A Long Road Chapter 12 Ficbit – Sneak

“So many noisy people,” Talia murmured to Rolan, as the two of them did their best to ghost away across the field. Alberich and Dirk were there, and Elcarth had come out now that the guards were less frantic; between the three of them they could handle Kerowyn and Lan Wangji. By Fetching ropes around them until they couldn’t move, if it came to that.

Not that Lan Wangji should take too much handling. Physically. Emotionally he was a ball of misery; spiky like a little’s first attempts with a spindle and wool trimmings as he bit back yet another secret. One he’d somehow gained in the less than a candlemark he’d been missing, which meant it had to be about Wei Wuxian. Drat.

For now she’d have to let Kellen work on him. Anyone so wrapped up in his own problems he hadn’t grabbed onto his own lifebonded for dear life, needed a lot of warmth to get him to talk.

Not to mention, there are two people in this mess, Talia thought dryly, and Wei Wuxian didn’t steal his beloved away, either.

Which was why she was sneaking off with Rolan. Lan Wangji had Kellen to help. Who did Wei Wuxian have?

Not Nie Huaisang. They’re friends, but… he’s caught up in politics here. And they both knew he would be. Wei Wuxian’s hurt, he’s grieving – he’s going to lock up his heart, and head back to his duty. Back to the Wens.

Unless she could catch him first. “You think he’s still here, old friend?”

Rolan snorted gently, and bobbed his head as they walked. Slowed a step, as they hit the stone footing of one of the bridges over the Terrilee, and rolled an eye back.

Talia glanced down the cobbled path, and wrinkled her nose at a stalker in Healer greens. “I thought everyone was going to be distracted.”

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38 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 12 Ficbit – Sneak

  1. Talia mega mom to the rescue! If you wanna approach WWX and keep him there genuine interest and a calm demeanor to get him talking is the way to do it.
    Stalker in greens—Crathach is that you?

    Liked by 5 people

  2. lols, Talia and Rolan, sneaking away to get actual work done while everyone else argues! And here comes Crathach, doing the same?

    And if she DOES find WWX, who is probably hanging off Wen Ning like a baby monkey while his bestest friend hangs off the bottom of the bridge there, she has the authority to negotiate unlike LWJ!

    Liked by 6 people

  3. To be fair, while Talia is the only current strong Empath amoung the Heralds right now(since most of the time Empathy is bundled with Healing, and Companions don’t Choose Healers in any normal times), Crathath is her trainer in Empathy. He can tell what’s going on just as well as she can. Maybe moreso.

    Admittedly, it’s probably a good thing that she has experience with Lifebonded people being complete idiots with each other…

    Liked by 4 people

  4. “I know what you Heralds are like. As soon as the healers look away for an instant, you sneak off and get stabbed by a fork, or mauled by a squirrel, or something equally ridiculous! Not this time! I’m keeping my eye on you! A watched Herald can’t get into trouble!”

    Liked by 7 people

      1. /Not to mention Crathach’s a combat-capable Healer./
        Yes, said skills are very useful in ensuring that the Heralds actually stay put long enough to heal.

        It might make them cranky and pouty but that is a sacrifice Crathach is willing to make.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. /who has seen him on the battlefield, and so knows “stay in the bed” means or get punctured./
        Crathach meets Wen Qing.

        Collective response: “Oh merciful -insert deity here-, there’s two of them.”

        Liked by 4 people

    1. WWX’s not going to know what to do with it, though. Especially from an older woman/mother figure (thanks, Madam Yu). I hope she’ll be able to get through to him, and it’ll be heartbreaking either way.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. If she’s lucky, she might be able to slide into more of a ‘big sister’ type role, which he is far more familiar and comfortable with. (I love Jiang Yanli. Seriously.)

        Liked by 6 people

      2. Lackey’s timelines are awful, but Talia arrives in Haven at about 13 and Elspeth is 7 at the time. When Elspeth goes off to find mages she’s 20-21? I think? which makes Talia 26-27, so definitely not old enough to be a mother figure for WWX. She’s probably only a couple of years older than Jiang Yanli.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. :chuckles:

        Depends on how strong her Mommy vibes are; when I joined the Navy, I was mothering people significantly older than I was, and managed to hit their Mom buttons.
        Took me years to figure out that was some folks’ beef! (Not great for the social life, Do Not Recommend, wow did I end up attracting some really Poor Life Choices guys.)

        Generally, though, yes– she’s more likely to slot into his “sisterly” understanding.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Talia to the rescue! And Crathach (?) too! They might not be able to do more than metaphorically put food in front of the wary alley cat at this point, but that might actually convince Wei Ying they’re not looking to kill him or the Wens. Talia having Selenay’s ear also helps. A LOT.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I thought about that, but would WWX risk that knowing the way there are at least dozens of mind reading people and hundreds of mind reading yao-horsy critters around?

        *sigh* probably.

        He might’ve gotten away with it if Talia, wasn’t there. Talia a) knows ALL the healers, and b) is an empath not a mindspeaker and he isn’t prepared for that, quite, I don’t think.

        Liked by 6 people

      1. I was figuring continued invisibility or treetops or basically something other than hiding in plain sight among people who probably already know each other, but I may be underestimating either his skills or the frequency of new faces!

        I guess I also took “stalker” to indicate somebody deliberately following her rather than trying to avoid her (but that’s only her perception (but she is an empath (but I guess WWX or WN could have decided to talk to her, that would be surprising/interesting))).

        I suppose another question is if that’s one of them, where’s the other?

        Liked by 4 people

      2. I’m just thinking, I’m relatively terrible at keeping track of people (whereas my parents seem to know all the cashiers and waitstaff wherever they go, at least the ones who’ve been there a while — granted I might recognize more cashiers if my husband didn’t do most of the grocery shopping) but I think I usually noticed if there was a new person next to me at my actual job and I assume most people would do better. 😀 But I may well be envisioning the context wrong.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. I suspect Crathach because he’s the primary Healer character who’s had a bigger role present and because the situation and dialogue as presented doesn’t seem to make sense for it to be WWX/WN trying to sneak away (“a stalker in Healer greens” indicates that whoever it is has been following Talia, her dialogue seems to indicate it’s someone she knows, plus Talia should probably be able to tell if it was WWX or WN thanks to Empathy and having felt them earlier.)

      I am of course more than ready to be proven wrong!

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Going by the just-posted chapter, I doubt WWX (and WN) would hide among the first responders.

      He’d hide among the Trainees or students. 🙂

      Liked by 6 people

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