disclaimer: I do not own KOTLC.
pairings&Characters: sophie, keefe, sokeefe, krikor
genre: romance, angst, (kind of) au, hurt/comfort, tragedy
rating: k+ - t
summary: she shouldn't have let them banish him there.
this is set kind in lodestar where it's basically about if keefe had been given a punishment by the councillors for running off with the neverseen.
...i hope that made at least a sliver of sense.
WARNING: VERY POORLY WRITTEN
Sophie walked through the drab, cold, dusty pathways of Exile, her heart hammering in her chest and her hands being wrung together so hard that her knuckles were white and her sets of various rings—her panic switch and Cognate rings—were digging sharply into her flesh. All she knew was there was a sour taste in her mouth, a nauseating churning in her stomach, and that her heart was aching with her chest tightening. After all he's sacrificed, she was appalled that they had the nerve to sentence him to Exile. It baffled her and made her furious at the same time. In her opinion, the Council was acting like an idiot.
She grit her teeth and squeezed her burning eyes shut for a second, trying desperately not to let the tears fall.
This was only temporary. She would find some way to bail him out or something.
There were physical pangs in her chest like knives being stabbed repeatedly right where her heart and lungs were. She was trying so hard to hold back hideous sobs that were very near escaping her mouth as a familiar dwarve by the name of Krikor led her past cell after cell in silence.
She's met the dwarf in her past when she'd visited Exile for the first time with Alden. She'd gone to the high security prison in the middle of the earth to perform a memory break on Fintan and act as Alden's guide. Long story short, the trip hadn't gone. . . exactly according to plan.
Now, here she was, being led by him again. Only, this time she was visiting. . .
Krikor stopped in front of a particular cell and Sophie stopped, gazing inside with a shudder.
"Is he . . ?"
"In there?" Krikor finished. When Sophie gave one nod, all he did was point to the plate above the cell with a name blazing in red letters: KEEFE SENCEN.
That was all the confirmation she needed. Almost all too quickly, the door was opened and she was still frozen in place, blinking hard. She shivered at the cold, brisk air that blew out from inside the cell and pulled the edges of her cape further around herself and her lips felt almost instantly dry. She stared at the figure on a metal chair in the middle of the room, their long and thick black cloak draping to the floor, and the hood concealing their face as they hunched over in the chair, resembling a drooping and withering flower in a drought. The thick bonds around their wrists and ankles brought memories back to Sophie she didn't want to relive.
She swallowed and tried to focus on how she could see her breaths.
"That can't really. . ." she began to whisper to the dwarf.
"Maybe I read the placard wron-"
"No. I'm sorry."
She shook her head. "Not your fault."
She blew out a breath as she took a step into the cell cautiously, the sound reverberating around the small space. She bit her lip as the captive's foot moved slightly, obviously a little startled. She waited a couple seconds before moving forward more, edging only what seemed like centimeters at a time.
She jumped when she was before the prisoner and their voice rang out low, weak and raspy. "I already told you, Alina: I am innocent, whether you choose to believe me or not."
Sophie held back a bubbled up sob in her chest-barely-and smiled lightly, folding her hands in front of her. She wiped away a tear that streaked down her cheek and licked her lips, making a quick voice change. Her voice was quiet and too shaky as she said, "That's Councilor Alina to you."
They gave a breathless laugh and Sophie watched the puff of smoke until it evaporated into the air. "You know that I don't-"
They lifted up their head to her and froze, mouth open. She watched through her own blurry, tear-filled eyes and their eyes got misty as their mouth twitched into the smile she loved. "F-Foster?"
The sobs she'd been holding back broke loose as she fell at his feet and grabbed onto his knees, crying her heart out like she had when she first found out they'd sentenced him to a dusty cell in Exile. She looked at him, smiling crazily through her tears. "You shouldn't be here. I'm so sorry. I should have been at the proceedings at the Tribunal Hall that day. I could have helped or something. I'm so sorry," she sobbed.
"Don't be sorry," he pled. "Gigantor and your parents put you on house arrest."
"S-Still! I should have snuck out or something."
His smile was golden. "Nah. Don't need to get yourself Exiled, too."
"But. . ."
"But, what?" When she didn't answer, he asked, "Why did you come all the way down here?"
She flushed. "I. . . have no clue."
He snorted. "Typical Foster. But, honestly, I think it's because you wanted to add on more bonus points for Keefoster time and possibly end the love square."
He waggled his eyebrows and she turned a shade darker, pushing his knee. Even while locked up he had a sense of humor. "No. And I have no clue what you're talking about."
"Mhmm," he purred, leaning forward and inching his face closer to hers. "Keep denying it. If you'd had your mind set on someone else, you would have come down here with Captain Cognate or told Dex-A-Roo."
Her eyes widened. "W-What do you mean? I told both of them. . ."
He chuckled. "I know you well enough to know you didn't do what you claim to have done."
She sighed. "Fine. I didn't tell them. I only brought it up with Oralie, which is how I got permission down here."
"So, Foster still has the Councillor's number at the ready, then?"
Her cheekbones tainted pink again. "Only Oralie."
"And Terik," Keefe reminded.
"Oh, shut up."
He grinned. Sophie smiled back at him, studying the contours of his face. His eyes, his nose, his smile, his jaw, his lips. . .
She looked back to his eyes and noticed he was looking straight at her, too. But, both their smiles were gone and they were just staring at one another, almost in awe. Sophie waited for him to make some joke about her swooning, but nothing came.
They didn't know how long they stayed staring at each other, but Krikor eventually cleared his throat very loudly. Sophie didn't snap her head back to look at him, and Keefe did about the same, keeping his ice blue eyes focused on her.
"You should probably get headed back to the surface. You are only allowed here for a couple more minutes."
Keefe blinked a couple times before he said, "Go on, Foster."
And he kissed her forehead, making her blush to her roots. "I'll get you out," she promised.
He smiled. "I know you will."
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