Becky (elisabec) wrote,
Becky
elisabec

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Fic: Laud and Tarnish 18/?

Finally some more of this tale...  Sorry it took so long. 

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previous parts:
{prologue} {one} {two} {three} {four} {five} {six} {seven} {eight} {nine} {ten} {eleven} {twelve} {thirteen} {fourteen} {fifteen} {sixteen} {seventeen}

Disclaimers: TS belongs to Paramount/Pet Fly. NCIS belongs to Paramount/Belisarius.

Laud and Tarnish - TS/NCIS crossover

{eighteen}

The sentinel woke to a darkened landscape of wet leaves beneath his knees and warm, moss-scented air weighing heavily against his face.  One blink.  Two.  A third.  The distant call of a single jungle bird sang to him as blurry objects became clear in the diffused light of a frozen sunrise.  Resting one hand on the rough bark of a nearby tree, he stood in a fluid movement, blue eyes seeking landmarks.  Abruptly, the familiar thundering of a waterfall - the witness of his choice to be or not - separated itself from the cacophony of white noise in his head.

>*painpainpain*<

Jarring memories of a hunt for a killer and defending the innocent of his territory mixed with more immediate images of a brief but costly battle in an unknown field.  The hunt, though successful, rewarded him with deep injuries hidden to the outer eye; the battle repaid him with a physical wound, strong enough to send him here.

>*painpainpain*<

His fingers dug into the tree bark.  The light faded.  A voice.  An echo of a memory of a voice.  “...picture a dial...you determine how much you feel...”

>*painpainpain*<

Eyes squeezed closed to hide from the dark, he held the image of a sundial in his mind, forcing the shadow backwards, against its nature.  *Lub-dub, lub-dub.*  Further.  *Lub-dub, lub-dub.  Lub-dub, lub-dub.* Further.  Wondering at the temptation to erase pain altogether.  *Lub-dub, lub-dub.  Lub-dub, lub-dub.  Lub-dub, lub-dub.  Lub-dub, lub-dub.*  Sensing a danger.

“...careful...”  The voice soothed, tugging at him to listen, to follow.   “...Jim...”

Jim.  His name was Jim.  *Lub-dub, lub-dub.  Lub-dub, lub-dub.*  The sentinel straightened as the pain withdrew to a near colorless outline - noticed but not in control. 

Opening his eyes once again, he drew a deep breath and stepped away from the tree into the clearing.  The sunrise melted and sluggishly inched further past the horizon.  Bloom-scents of flowering plants joined the mossy air.  The waterfall ceased thundering and became simply water falling.  Shadows and foggy shapes resolved to trees and plants.

He turned slowly and blinked at the structure, half-camouflaged by encroaching jungle.  A crossbow and full quiver of arrows - his - lay on the bottom step of a lost and ancient temple.  He touched his shoulder, only then realizing their absence.  Only his long knife remained strapped to one leg.  One step towards the steps, a hand outstretched to reclaim them.  Then he stopped.

A tall, knobby, elaborately carved shaman staff rested crosswise over the crossbow and quiver, guarding them, butt-end in the dirt and feathered top several steps above the bottom.  The sentinel - Jim - stared.  Frowning.  A shaman.  His shaman.  The owner of the voice of his misplaced memories.

>“...just hold on...please...Jim...”<

Nowhere to go.  Behind him, a cliff and falling water.  On either side, dense thickets of trees.  In front, a temple meant for him, for his kind.  But surely the staff placed over his weapons meant he was to wait here and not go on alone.

>“...hold on...”<

The sentinel folded gracefully down to sit in the dirt, closing his eyes, focusing on the shadowed sundial.

Again, the waterfall stood witness to his decision, this time to wait and hold.

tbc...

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go to part nineteen
Tags: fic: laud and tarnish, ncis, ts
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