Lys: Submission

Aithne and Cathair stepped into the small stone chapel that was one of the first buildings in the cloister. It was quiet, cool, and somewhat dark, so that if one's soul was clean, one had a feeling of blessed peace, and if it was not- the feeling of a tomb.

Cathair felt a little of both.

Quietly, he pulled away from Aithne and went forward, kneeling at the altar. Holy God, you know me- my secret places are not hidden from you. Yesterday I killed many men in battle; many good men who knew you better than I. And most damning of all, I killed a boy, an innocent child looking to protect his charge. He heaved a sigh. That boy had been all that kept him from killing Aithne herself. God of the Sun, I have deprived a widow of her only child, her first son.

He took a deep breath before continuing. He was not used to going before the One God without a priest to guide him. Brother Parthalan said that it was perfectly acceptable, but he still felt this notion of speaking directly to a god to be a chancy venture. Especially with how bold one was supposed to be... I... I claim the blood of your Son, Jesu, which was poured out to cleanse me of my sin. Through it I ask forgiveness for my wicked deeds. He hoped he had got the wording right. So many years without Brother Parthalan's guidance, with barely a priest to be seen, much less spoken to, made his prayers rather rusty. I thank you, All-Powerful.


He'd almost forgotten that last part. Rising, he turned and started. Somehow he'd forgotten Aithne was with him. But there she was, sitting quietly on the bench nearest the door. It looked as though she'd been doing some praying of her own.

He took her hand and she smiled at him. "Feeling better?" she asked. To his surprise, he found he was able to nod a yes. The burden that had weighed so heavily on him was lifted. No longer was guilt pounding "Murderer" into his heart. He would mourn the boy, but the accident no longer had a choke-hold on him. He could call it an accident.


Aithne had sat and watched him pray, knowing what he was praying about and echoing his prayers. There was so much hurt in the valley, and so much for them all to face- she prayed that he'd have the peace he sought. And when he rose and took her hand, and she saw the burden had been lifted, she silently raised her thanks to heaven.

Kissing him on the cheek, she led him out to see the rest of the place. "These are the sleeping cells for the brothers and sisters of the cloister... though, come to think of it, the only brother I have seen is Brother Gaius, and he is not much like Brother Parthalan. Sometimes I wonder if he really is a priest or not...

"And this-" she opened one door, "is mine. For now, at least. I was put here when we arrived because, I think, they had no other place to put me." She went inside, feeling a bit awkward. "It's good enough, though. And much better than what I'm used to." Rummaging in her bag, she found a comb with which to untangle the knots in her hair. She turned to go, but Cathair stopped her at the door. "What?" she asked him. "I can comb and walk at the same time."

To her surprise, he took the comb out of her hand and moved her to the bed. "Sit down. If you don't mind, I'd like to comb it for you."
Her head whipped around to stare at him. "What?" he asked, much in the same way she had. "I've curried horses before, if you want qualifications. And can't a man want to help his... love when he is able?"

Her brow furrowed. "Cathair, last time you took an interest in my hair, it was to yank it as hard as you could."

But he just smiled and took the comb from her. And Aithne found there was something tempting about the novelty of it, and submitted to his wish- hare-mad that it was.

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