Miko's Heart, Beyond Lawful Good (Part 8)

I see handsome Roy rushing blindly from the opposite horizon towards some unknown destination, followed by a spinning ball of light. Without conscious thought, he is not running anymore. I am not sitting anymore. The seraph and glowing ball stand like mediators between Roy and myself. It is Roy who speaks first, “I so do not have time for another nuisance, I’m trying to find out why it’s taken so long the Order to get me back to the land of the living. The last thing I need is some crazy bitch on a revenge fantasy because she never grew up. Still not getting any Treasure Type O?”

The ball of light speaks much like the seraph, but I cannot discern a gender, before I can respond from shock, “Uh, Roy? You remember those things we wanted you to cut back on? You’re about to get a sharp lesson in why. And you aren’t on Paradise anymore, so can the lip about the oh-so-woeful distress to your delicate psyche.”

My anger rises, and it takes everything I have to keep my hands from my blades, “I am not some honorless dog for you to kick because of the past! I am not here to be in your way or harm you, I am not even here by my own will! I was about to commend you for your bravery against the lich, to tell you that I was mistaken about your deeds, but it seems you are not worth the time!”

Roy is taken aback and immediately apologetic, “Geez, I’m sorry, alright? I’m trying to get back to the land of the living to stop Xykon for real this time, and our past few encounters haven’t exactly been CR 0. Why the hell wasn’t I briefed on this, Roy’s Archon?”

The little ball of light interjects as Roy rubs his temples, “If you hadn’t been babbling all eigh…nine days down the mountain with your circular worry, you might have made a single Listen check. I don’t have the hands the hands or feet to get your attention, remember?”

Roy groans and my anger calms somewhat. He spoke in haste. We all make mistakes like that, and I suppose…I suppose I am not one to point fingers about making assumptions after all. Roy speaks slowly at first, “Alright. Alright! I really am sorry, Miko. I know you were trying to do what you thought was right, but they briefed me on the Sapphire. We almost had that bony bastard, and I wouldn’t be rushing back to my ignoramus of a father!”

I speak softly, “I know that now, I acted in error. You surely do not deserve the outcome. I am…coming to accept that. I…you…maybe…”

Roy’s eyes sparkle handsomely for a moment as he mumbles under his breath, something I believe I was not meant to fully hear, “Miko…admitting she was wrong? Trying to make up for it? I…never thought…damn, I remember now why I wanted to get along with her.”

The hot blush rises, but I bow my head slightly and hope the shade of my hood hides it. So it is true! That what others see in me is tarnished by my…my what? Immediate aggression? Assumptions? Roy speaks words I am meant to hear that break through my thoughts, “Look, Miko…we got off on a bad foot and sort of made poor dance partners. Ah, crap, these are character development panels, aren’t they? At least no matter how much we blab in those panels, no time seems to pass…alright, Miko, is there anything you want to ask me? Talk to me about?”

The seraph smiles warmly at Roy and the light archon bobs up and down with a vague sense of approval. The words form from my heart, “Why was I so misguided? Why was my upholding the laws not good?”

The seraph frowns now and starts to speak, but Roy interrupts her with an open palm, “Okay, I think I get it now. Look, I know I’m not an expert on law and chaos here, and they almost made a lateral pass with me because of it. But Miko, the goodness comes from the individual. If you act with rationality or purpose, that’s just personal conviction or Lawfulness…that’s not good or evil in itself. The goodness comes from why you make those choices and being honest with yourself about them.”

Coming from Roy, I believe I finally understand why the Gods stripped me of the Paladin’s Mantle. I cannot escape my personal anger with Shojo and its influence on my actions. Or how often mere anger, not righteous anger, guided my blade. I step slowly across the space to him and lean my forehead against his strong chest. Roy seems surprised but pleased, and his arms wrap around my shoulders. I find this…very pleasing. I wrap my arms around him and lean further into him, blushing as I glance to the Seraph and the archon, “Are they trying to make me feel guilty about personal…about intimate…about…”

Roy chuckles strongly, “I’ve already had this particular discussion, and yes they are. That doesn’t mean you should. You really are beautiful when you smile, Miko.”

I avert my eyes for a moment before looking up to him, my strength returning. “Thank you for being understanding. For helping me. Maybe if we meet again…”

I cannot finish my sentence but lean as much as I can into his muscled torso, fingers twirling idly on his back. Roy grins in a way that seems knowing, “Oh, absolutely. You bring the tea and we can talk all we want. Tactics and old fights aren’t the only things about that interest me, you know.”

I smile contentedly and sigh against him, “…but for now you must go? And I think so must I.”

Roy grunts, “I don’t like it either, but you’re right. I think your case handler is at the edge of her leeway by that stern look and I really do need to find out what’s holding up my other friends. I really hate dramatic irony sometimes, it just slays me.”

I giggle a bit as we pull away, finding it hard to let go of Roy and very pleased that he seems to have the same reluctance. The world swirls again as we are no longer touching, and I touch my cheek to keep the warmness of him close a moment longer. Night falls and I am mounted again, as smoothly as though no time had passed at all. Making camp is not difficult this night, and neither is sleep. My dreams are not so troubled.

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