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Femslash February 2021: "Pride"

Day 2. A nice little tale of two of my favs - both from the same Witcher TRPG campaign. Siota is the butchy elven doctor who tries to take care of her pipsqueak noble princess of a girlfriend, Lothlan, whose moodier than a mood ring.

Content Warning(s): Mentions of starvation.

Lothlan looked upset; she would appear no other way on the eve of one of her parent’s grand schemes to return their “city” to glory. Mualann was an ancient Aen Sheidhe keep mostly left to the elements when humanity had forced so many of Dol Blathanna into the hills. She and her parents were the last remnants of a once populace and proud noble house, with her parents remembering the colonization with such storybook fondness that the perpetually malnourished Lothlan hated.The mountains had become a refuge for her family and many others. Some stayed at this keep; amongst the courtyards and in small houses outside the old stone walls. It became a city like any other. A city with not a soul who knew how to till soil. They relied primarily on scavenging and hunting like all Elves had to once humanity had forced them from their symbiosis. It was unsustainable - even with assistance from local youths and former warriors who had become Scoia’tael in Aedirn, there was no reliable sustainability in one of the Continent’s many forgotten Elven enclaves of centuries past.

Her parent’s scheme was to foster an alliance of some sort with Filavandrel aen Fidhail. The Feleaorns of the White Ships were once close friends. Now the leader of the Free Elves, they were in much the same boat as Mualann. They all had hunger and prejudice as their constant allies and the disdain of Aedirn to remind them. Lothlan’s gift - such as it was - were visions that took her mind elsewhere and wracked her body with seizure. It was a gift that her parents hoped to offer to Filavandrel in exchange for some more worthwhile protection; some advantage against the Aedirnians who would sooner tar and feather them than share their cereals.

The visions which plagued her typically would involve fully-stocked glades swollen with fruit and rife with game. Until they learned how to farm - something that her mother desired - it was the equivalent of a gift from the gods. Lothlan knew it was as much; she had seen the Queen of the Fields in the eyes of every woodland beast and between the trees during her walks.

She was on one such walk. Time to herself before she traveled to the “Free Elves” and attempted to broker something more long-lasting than an acknowledgment that Elven society had to evolve. Action, rather than musings and idle wonderings. Lothlan had to wonder if it would be enough, or if they were truly a species destined to die. She knew that anything was possible in this world; rich in resources and succor for growth as it was. The question was simply if the Elven people would choose to adapt or not.

Her boyish doctor followed behind her as Lothlan walked through the dry gardens of Mualann’s keep. The ginger-haired woman had been a companion in suffering due to Lothlan’s afflictions as much as a comfort; she was not just a doctor but something more intimate which no one else knew. Lothlan heard Siota’s footfalls hasten as it became clear that no other was present.

Siota’s warm, pale hand intertwined with Lothlan’s sunkissed, skinny appendage. Siota’s years as a doctor and an archer left her skin calloused and rough. Rough-hewn but entirely a woman despite cropped hair and not a touch of powder on her nose. It suited Lothlan just fine; fancy dresses and make-up were her passion. She took pleasure in watching Siota fumble with it when requested, but not much else. The bareness of her face spoke to a bareness of deceit. She was the new generation of Aen Seidhe; an Elf without royal connection, an Elf who has lived roughly and worked hard for every morsel. Lothlan knew as much, she could see the future in small fits. Even without it, she was as cunning as a fox. She knew the future of the Elven world was in the force of something like the Scoia’tael; an organized paramilitary force that was disconnected from the hamlets and city-states of non-humans.

Ironically, it was a sentiment that she and Siota could not agree upon. Her fare doctor’s views were, to Lothlan, as soft as her hair after a thorough wash. She did not wish to see any lives lost regardless of the source. She was a doctor, after all. Taught by the family physician, point of fact.

Lothlan squeezed her lover’s hand gently as leaves underfoot crunched loudly. Her heart ached suddenly, wondering how often they could take walks like this if only one of them was not born a woman. Or, more impossibly, the world became very accepting of a great many peculiar things. Such as two women of different worlds, different values, and different social castes hand-in-hand in a garden as much as they were in Lothlan’s bed chambers.

“I think this little journey will bring us nothing but regret,” she said finally, breaking the silence.

“Why would you say that?” Siota asked.

“No one over two hundred years wishes to learn how to farm. None of them wish to learn how to fight back at the dh’oine. How can I do anything when I’m instructed to abide by rules of empty platitudes?”

Siota stopped, a frown coloring her freckled face. Lothlan’s arm extended fully before she stopped as well. Turning back to look at Siota through a veil of curls, she continued.

“You think I can somehow convince a more long-standing agreement between us? Truly?”
Siota nodded. “It troubles me that you do not, my love.”

Lothlan’s brows raised in surprise and she closed the distance between the two. A playful smile appeared on her face and she moved both of her arms to wrap around Siota, her fingers intertwining with one another sloppy in the small of Siota’s back.

“I suppose you’re to give me honeyed words of encouragement when you dare not even spend a full evening in my bed chambers.”

Siota’s face fell, however briefly, but she leaned down to plant a gentle kiss on Lothlan’s forehead.

“We’ll make it through another winter because of your verbal ability, not whatever Scoia’tael friends you have.”

With a pout, Lothlan wordlessly pleaded for more than just a forehead kiss. She pushed herself onto the tips of her toes and waited for Siota’s warm, rosy lips to meet her own. Lothlan pushed back, wanting more. She always wanted more. Siota indulged. She always indulged.

They kissed tenderly in the garden, the heat from the kiss growing as each second passed by. After nearly a full minute, Siota pulled back and glanced around to ensure they were alone and Lothlan leaned in to rest her head against Siota’s chest.

“It means something to you. I would be a fool not to try, no matter the odds.”

“It isn’t like you to give up,” Siota said with a growing smile.

“It will make you proud, won’t it?”

“It will make all of us proud, but if my word is the one you care about the most...”

Lothlan sighed, stamping one foot on the stonework floor.

“It does,” she affirmed. “Do not even pretend as if it doesn’t.”

“I suppose it would make me proud if you put your almost mystical word artistry into this, yes.”

“Then I suppose that’s settled,” Lothlan said drearily. “I’ll be the dutiful daughter. Will you ever stop trying to rip out the best in me?”

“No,” Siota said. “I won’t.”

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