safe place


Watchtower — Lower Bunk 2
Cair Paravel
Eastern Narnia


Haft lies on his bunk, back to the door, apparently asleep.

Lanisen, though he is rarely in the room at this time of day, is sitting on his bunk. He looks tired, as though he’s passed a sleepless night, but he isn’t trying to sleep. There’s a couple books scattered around him, and his notebook, and a letter, but he’s not reading any of them, just sitting with his back to the wall.

Haft grunts. “Stop being so deathly silent. You’re keeping me awake.”

Lanisen says, startled, “Sorry.”

Haft doesn’t turn over. “What’s got you so bothered?

Lanisen asks bleakly, “What?”

Haft says, “There somethin’ wrong? You’ve been odd since you came in.” Now he sits up. “There anything I need to know as regards Lady Avery?””

Lanisen shifts, slightly taken aback. “What?”

Haft says, “It ain’t a complicated question. “What’s irking you and does it affect my job?””

Lanisen says, shaking his head, “No, no.”

Haft says, “Well, it’s affecting my sleep.”

Lanisen says, “I– I’m sorry, I’ll go somewhere else.”

Haft says, “You don’t need to go anywhere else. I’m just saying if something’s troubling you, you might talk to someone. Meg, say.”

Lanisen says, “No, it’s not– I don’t want to bother anybody, I just need some, I need some time.” He scoots to the edge of his bunk, eyeing the door.

Haft sighs. “I ain’t trying to bully you out. Forget it.” He lies down and rolls back over.

Lanisen hesitates, then scoots back toward the wall. He draws up his knees and rests his elbows on top, cupping both of his hands around the back of his neck, and goes quiet again, staring at the rug on the floor absently.

Despite his complaints, after a few minutes the sound of Haft’s deep, even breathing can be heard.

Lanisen doesn’t leave, or move, or make any sound.


later


Lanisen is sitting on his bunk in a room that is quiet except for Haft’s snores. He’s got his knees drawn up and his elbows on his knees, his hands laced behind his neck. The bunk is littered with books and notes and letters, as if he’s tried each but has been unable to focus. He looks very tired.

Petria comes along the passage way, her paws click-clacking. When she reaches the door, she snuffles at it trying to get inside. “Lanisen?” She calls

Lanisen lifts his head at the sound of her approach. He draws a breath and scrambles to his feet, moving quietly to not wake Haft, and slips quietly out the door to join her in the passageway. “Hey, hi,” he says. “He’s, he’s sleepin’ in there.”

Petria tries to be quiet, but she’s fairly eager. Her paws still making little click-clacks as she paces. back and forth. “Oh! There you are Lanisen.”

Lanisen says, glancing back behind him at the door, “Um– let’s, let’s go downstairs, yeah?”

Petria nods okay.

Lanisen leads the way. He seems a little less at ease than is normal for him in Narnia, checking corners before he turns them.

Petria presses close to Lanisen sensing his unease. She however seems at ease.

Lanisen checks the room at the base of the tower, then glances out the window and sits down in one of the near chairs. “Hi,” he says again, giving her a quick smile.

Petria settles down beside Lanisen’s chair. “Are you alright? You seem anxious.

Lanisen says, “I’m– I’m fine, I’m all right.”

Petria doesn’t seem to believe this at all, in fact her ears straighten listen for any sound.

Lanisen, seeing this, says, “I am, it’s okay. I promise.” He takes a breath. “I’m, I’m a little jumpy just now, I’m sorry, but it’s all right.”

Petria says, “I hadn’t seen you in several days so I thought I would come find you. I’m off duty right now.”

Lanisen grins at this, but though the expression is as warm and crinkle-eyed as ever, he still looks a little hunted. “I’m glad to see you,” he says sincerely.

Petria grins a canine smile at this. She does however rise up on all four feet to check the room before returning.

Lanisen rubs his palms on his knees while she does this.

Petria settles down beside Lanisen resting her head lightly on his lap. “All clear.” she says as she returns

Lanisen straightens slightly when she does this, looking very uncertain. He doesn’t seem to know what to do with his hands. “Thank– thank you.”

Petria tail wags at Lanisen’s thanks. She noses one of Lanisen’s hands with her snout. “You aren’t ill? You don’t suffer from bad dreams, do you? My mother told me humans sometimes are disturbed by them.” She seems to be trying to convince Lanisen to relax and feel safe.

Lanisen says, “I’m not– I’m not sick.”

Petria seems to decide that it’s better not to ask so many questions and goes back to doing her doggy best to make Lanisen feel safe and good. “Do you have your friend with you? The non talking one?”

Lanisen says, “Tohol, no, he’s– I left him at home this time.”

Petria notices how tired Lanisen looks, “Perhaps I should talk to you some other time.”

Lanisen says, “If you– I don’t want to keep you from…”

Petria says, “I have the whole afternoon, but you look pretty tired.””

Lanisen rubs his hands over his face. “I didn’t sleep much last night.”

Petria whimpers a little in sympathy, “Do you have trouble with that often?”

Lanisen says, “Some, sometimes. It’s…” He takes and releases a breath, then tries to explain, “Um, there’s… there’s some things that scare me, and sometimes I get reminded of those things, and it– it takes me a little while to remember that just because it’s scary doesn’t mean it can hurt me.”

Petria nods seeming to agree with this. “If you like I will stand guard while you sleep.”

Lanisen says, melting a little bit, “Oh, oh– thank you, thank you so much, that’s very kind. It’s all right though.”

Petria says, “Alright then? Perhaps try to get some sleep then? I’ll come back”

Lanisen says, “I will; thank you; I will.”

Petria gets up to follow Lanisen back to make sure he won’t feel scared.

Lanisen gets to his feet, and moves toward the steps. He climbs, keeping a hand on the curving wall, and glances back at her gratefully. “I’ll see you around, Petria.”

Petria says, “You too”

Lanisen disappears up the stairs.

Petria curls up in front of the stairs after Lanisen gone up them, obviously in a guarding position.

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