n. a break, pause, or interruption.
the sequel to “the honor of” that absolutely nobody asked for, but you’re getting it anyway. or: hi, we are still in the era of Hanami’s Stormblood Depression DoT, and that means i can’t have nice things.
Hanami craned her neck, watching the flickering light from the oil lamps glint off the sheen left on her scales as she rubbed the last of her handful of lotion into the space below her horn. She didn’t usually use such things—they always made her hands feel slick and dirty, after, and smelled strongly medicinal to boot—but she’d learned the hard way that the salt air of the Lochs made the skin around her scales crack and peel like a nightmare. Bad enough on its own, but she’d started to feel the telltale itch of shedding scales just before Lyse’s summons to Ala Mhigo had arrived, and the kami knew if she didn’t do something to ease the dryness she’d probably rub herself raw.
She still itched, though. And the residue was disgusting. And the stink of eucalyptus was not helping her gods-damned headache.
The mirror trembled when she bent over to plant her elbows on the vanity, causing her reflection to wobble. She dipped her fingers back into the jar of salve and grunted at the pull of her neck muscles when she dipped her head forward to coat the scales that crept down her spine. The rough edges of her calluses caught on the ridges of keratin. Rasp-slide, and the creaking of muscles taut with discomfort, the insufferable itching pulling her body tight with strain. She bit down on another groan when the motion of reaching over her own shoulder caught a knot in her back.
From behind, the sound of rustling papers, nearly lost under the night-sounds of the Lochs trickling in through the window, and Aymeric murmured, “Would you prefer my assistance, love?”