“Great! He has indigestion, so let's torture him with cake.”
“There will be no yelling at people who are bleeding themselves to unconsciousness.”
“You're the queen, and it's the queen's house, and whatever Brigan may accomplish, he's highly unlikely ever to be queen.”
“Well then," Roen said briskly, "are you sleeping?"
"Come now. A mother can tell when her son lies. Are you eating?"
"No," Brigan said gravely. "I've not eaten in two months. It's a hunger strike to protest the spring flooding in the south."
"Gracious," Roen said, reaching for the fruit bowl. "Have an apple, dear.”
“I'd thought once, actually, of taking your mind, if you asked. I'd thought I could help you fall asleep at night."
He opened his mouth to say something. Shut it again. His face closed for a moment, his unreadable mask falling into place. He spoke softly. "But that wouldn't be fair; for after I slept you'd be left awake, with no one to help you sleep.”
“All right," Clara said. "We have our swordsman, so let's get moving. Brigan, could you attempt, at least, to make yourself presentable? I know this is a war, but the rest of us are trying to pretend it's a party.”
“Brigan was saying her name, and he was sending her a feeling. It was courage and strength, and something else too, as if he were standing with her, as if he'd taken her within himself, letting her rest her entire body for a moment on his backbone, her mind in his mind, her heart in the fire of his.
The fire of Brigan's heart was astounding. Fire understood, and almost could not believe, that the feeling he was sending her was love.”
“I don't want to love you if you're only going to die.”
“Brigan," she said, annoyed that he had not understood.
"I’ll always be beautiful. Look at me. I have one hundred and sixty two bug bites, and has it made me any less beautiful? I’m missing two fingers and I have scars all over, but does anyone care? No! It just makes me more interesting! I’ll always be like this, stuck in this beautiful form, and you’ll have to deal with it."
He seemed to sense that she expected a grave response, but for the moment, he was incapable. "I suppose it’s a burden I must bear," he said, grinning.”
“Are you determined to leave me in this world to live without my heart?”
“Then come here," he said, a bit redundantly, as he had already pulled her with him into an armchair and curled her up in his arms. "Tell me what I can do to help you feel better."
Fire looked into his quiet eyes, touched his dear, familiar face, and considered the question. Well. I always like when you kiss me.
You're good at it.
"Well," he said. "That's lucky, because I'll always be kissing you.”
“It was a very hard thing to have crushed the heart, and the hopes, of a friend.”
“While I was looking the other way your fire went out
Left me with cinders to kick into dust
What a waste of the wonder you were
In my living fire I will keep your scorn and mine
In my living fire I will keep your heartache and mine
At the disgrace of a waste of a life”
“It's hard to wake from a nightmare when the nightmare is real.”
“It's not reasonable to love people who are only going to die," she said.
Nash thought about that for a moment, stroking Small's neck with great deliberation, as if the fate of the Dells depended on that smooth, careful movement.
"I have two responses to that," he said finally. "First, everyone's going to die. Second, love is stupid. It has nothing to do with reason. You love whomever you love. Against all reasons I loved my father." He looked at her keenly. "Did you love yours?"
"Yes," she whispered.
He stroked Small's nose. "I love you," he said, "even knowing you'll never have me. And I love my brother, more than I ever realized before you came along. You can't help whom you love, Lady. Nor can you know what it's liable to cause you to do."
She made a connection then. Surprised she sat back from him and studied his face, soft with shadows and light. She saw a part of him she hadn't seen before.
"You came to me for lessons to guard your mind," she said, "and you stopped asking me to marry you, both at the same time. You did those things out of love for your brother."
"Well" he said, looking a bit sheepishly at the floor. "I also took a few swings at him, but that's neither here nor there."
"You're good at love," she said simply, because it seemed to her that it was true. "I'm not so good at love. I'm like a barbed creature. I push everyone I love away."
He shrugged. "I don't mind you pushing me away if it means you love me, little sister.”
“He said, ‘The moment I began to love you was the moment when you saw your fiddle smashed on the ground, and you turned away from me and cried against your horse. Your sadness is one of the things that makes you beautiful to me. Don’t you see that? I understand it. It makes my own sadness less frightening.”
“To Garan's credit, the treatment of Dellian prisoners did change after that. One particularly laconic man, after a session in which Fire learned positively nothing, thanked her for it specifically. "Best dungeons I ever been in," he said, chewing on a toothpick.
"Wonderful," Garan grumbled when he had gone. "We'll grow a reputation for our kindness to lawbreakers.”
“Dear Brigan, she thought to herself. People want incongruous, impossible things. Horses do, too.”
“Living is too hard right now. Dying is easy. Let me die.”
“Through an arrow loop in the wall she saw a familiar horse and rider tearing across the camp toward the healing rooms. Brigan pulled up at Nash's feet and dropped from the saddle. The two brothers threw their arms around each other and embraced hard.
Shortly thereafter he stepped into the healing rooms and leaned in the doorway, looking across at her quietly. Brocker's son with the gentle gray eyes.
She abandoned all pretense of decorum and ran at him.”
“I must stop wishing for things to happen. Because something will happen eventually, and when it does, I'll be bound to wish it hadn't.”
“There is nothing unnatural in this world," he said. "An unnatural thing is a thing that could never happen in nature. I happened. I am natural, and the things I want are natural. The power of your mind, and your beauty, even when you've been drugged in the bottom of a boat for two weeks, covered in grime and your face purple and green - your unnatural beauty is natural. Nature is horrifying.”
“Do you understand? I don't want you to do a thing if you don't understand it.”
“You have a wound too, Papa." Hanna took Brigan's left hand, which was wrapped in a bandage, and inspected it. "Did you throw the first punch?”
“Fire's tears were real now, and there was no helping them, for there was no time. Everything was moving too fast. She crossed the room to him, put her arms around him, clung to him, turning her face to the side, learning all at once that it was awkward to show a person all of one's love when one's nose was broken.
His arms came around her tightly, his breath short and hard against her hair. He held on to the silk of her hair and she pressed herself against him until her panic calmed to something desperate, but bearable.
Yes, she thought to him, understanding now what he'd been about to ask. If you die in the war, I'll keep Hanna in my heart. I promise I won't leave her.”
“If her enemies were Brigan's friends and her friends were Brigan's enemies, then the two of them could walk through the world arm in arm and never be hit by arrows again.”
“He held up a finger and went to the hallway, where he tripped over Blotchy, and then over the two monster cats madly pursuing Blotchy. Swearing, he leaned over the landing and called to the guard that unless the kingdom fell to war or his daughter was dying, he better not be interrupted until further notice.”
“Have you ridden over anyone you shouldn't?”
“It's dizzying to think how huge the world is, or to realize how tiny you are”
“Grace says, "Are you thirsty?
I could go get the hose..."
I say, "Thanks. But I'd rather have
a swig of some Miracle-Gro.”
“Once I accepted my own transexuality, then it became obvious to me that the question "Why do transsexuals exist?" is not a matter of pure curiosity, but rather an act of nonacceptance, as it invariably occurs in the absence of asking the reciprocal question: "Why do cissexuals exist?" The unceasing search to uncover the cause of transexuality is designed to keep transsexual gender identities in a perpetually questionable state, thereby ensuring that cissexual gender identities continue to be unquestionable.”
“Het dooreen mengen van een zorgvuldig toebereide maaltijd geldt als een belediging van degene, die hem heeft gekookt [...]”
“But how can one be warm alone?”
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