Journal #3: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/6934725701 ))
Azshara. Dusty earth and smoke filled the air, and Kel, she looked nothing more than hurting and tired. In pain. But to any good at reading faces, she was hating herself. There was some internal conflict, and not a minor one at that. Her lip was bloodied, but the wound there was clearly self-inflicted, and she still chewed on it. Her fingers played with the true silver band on a chain around her neck, her eyes distant. With white knuckles, the paladin gripped the ring and held it, clinging to it as a child might a favorite toy, or a drowning man might a life preserver, and bowed her head, her tears marring the burnt earth at her feet. Her shoulders shaking with suppressed sobs, she tilted her head up enough to stare at the sky. New dawns.
The dusky light was by no means enough to illuminate her features, and her face seemed strangely shadowed. The inner radiance he seemed to have had for so long faltering and failing, leaving her cast in shadow.
A good question. Where was Shadow? And would she actually show up? Again, Kel squeezed Nic's wedding band, and then dropped her hand to Cy's. She didn't really, at that moment, look like the blood knight she was, nor a noble. Just a woman, broken and hurting, in an emerald dress that had no sleeves, leaving her scarred arms for all to see; her pain and past written there.
Flaming, the hippogryph descended. Perhaps not the best mount for someone who wanted to be sneaky. Despite her name. Shadow was anything but sneaky. In fact, she didn’t even wait for her mount to touch ground before she was flying through the air towards Kel. She missed pouncing the woman, however, instead tucking her body into a roll to absorb the impact of flying off of her mount, least she break her neck.
“Ow...” Shadow shook her head as she sat up, dazed, but unhurt. Clad in dark leather with her ears folded beneath a black mask, it was hard to distinguish her features other than the glitteringly bright eyes which looked up at Kel. The monk then stood and went to embrace the woman, finding it a rather easy task as they shared the same height. Nothing awkward or strange here. Not for Shadow.
“Kel!” she sighed. “I’m so sorry... I just... And the thing. And the paladin. And...” she trailed off with a soft whimper. Everything had to be so complicated, and Shadow had been forced to make two very hard choices. “This is Shadowless all over again...” she realized in a soft voice, nearly whispering as she pulled back suddenly to look at Kel.
Kel shook her head and squeezed her friend against her, not daring words, as her whole body quivered. When the monk pulled back, Kel let her, tugging at imaginary sleeves on her dress. There were, of course, none.
Meeting the monk's eyes, Kel managed, in a small, broken voice, "What is...? Nic and--" her voice broke, and she stepped back a pace to slide to the ground, her back against a rock, drawing her knees up to her chest.
Slowly, Shadow shook her head.
“Me, making a bad choice. I think...” Shadow replied in a soft voice. “Kel, when I was with Rath... I was cheating on Shadowless. I never told him that I didn’t want to be with him. He had to find out...” she shrugged. It was in the past, but she had to admit her mistakes.
“When that paladin told me Nicias was alive, but barely, my first thought was that he would want to see you. And I didn’t like that idea. You, with how things have been going... And him, needing a reason to keep going in life... So I wanted to keep you two apart as long as possible, and that wasn’t even my call to make...”
Shadow winced as she plopped down in front of Kel, her legs crossing out of habit. Slowly, she leaned forward, pulling her mask down. Despite her obvious youth, she wasn’t unscarred. A jagged mark ran from cheek to jawline on the left side of her face, and she looked about a fraction distraught as Kel was, even though she wasn’t the one hurting, and was hardly personally involved. And yet, she was distraught, upset, and the guilt and shame of her life choices was written plainly on her face.
“So let me make it up to you. Talk to me...” she didn’t mention Ratheron’s report of how things were going. That wasn’t needed. Not here, not now. She wanted to be a friend before a guildmate, a subordinate.