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The Tale of the Great Fire

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1 The Tale of the Great Fire on 10th July 2012, 00:41

The Tale of the Great Fire
Chapter 2


Starring
Faylinn Willow (MissAusten) and Leo Grailstone (Ariel Buttercup)


It is the beginning of a new future, in a new time, a time that is old, unknown, well known and still strange to our heroes. Why and how did they come here and more important how to they get back home. And then there is this little problem of knowing about the horrible tragedy that is about to happen.
Enter the place of wonders and make new friends and allies with people you would have never talked to in your life, but here you know you need them to survive.


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2 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 10th July 2012, 00:45

29th August 1666

The Great Fire of London was a major fire that ran through the central parts of London like a flood, from Sunday, 2nd September to Wednesday, 5th September 1666. The fire gutted the city inside the old Roman City Wall. The fire destroyed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St. Paul's Cathedral and most of the buildings of the City authorities. It destroyed the homes of 70,000 of the City's 80,000 inhabitants. Luckily only six verified deaths were recorded. But the deaths of poor and middle-class people were not recorded, and the heat of the fire may have cremated many victims leaving no recognizable remains.

The Fire started at the bakery of Thomas Farriner (or Farynor) on Pudding Lane, shortly after midnight on Sunday, 2nd September, and spread rapidly west across the city. The fire fighting technique of the time was the creation of firebreaks by means of demolition, but it was delayed of the indecisiveness of the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Thomas Bloodworth. By the time large-scale demolitions were ordered, the wind had already turned the bakery fire into a firestorm which defeated such measures. The fire pushed north on Monday into the heart of the city. Order in the streets broke down as rumors arose of suspicious foreigners setting fires. The fears focused on the French and Dutch, England's enemies; these immigrant groups became victims of lynchings and street violence. On Tuesday, the fire spread over most of the City, destroying St. Paul's Cathedral and leaping the River Fleet to threaten Charles II's court at Whitehall, while coordinated fire fighting efforts were simultaneously mobilizing.
The battle to extinguish the fire is considered to have been won by two factors: the strong east winds died down, and the Tower of London garrison used gunpowder to create effective firebreaks to halt further spread eastward.

The problems created by the disaster were overwhelming, socially and economically. Charles II encouraged evacuation from London and resettlement elsewhere, the king feared a rebellion amongst the dispossessed refugees. Despite numerous radical proposals, London was reconstructed on essentially the same street plan used before the fire.

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3 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 10th July 2012, 04:13

When the world came back in focus Leo knew that they weren’t in London 1305 anymore. They were on some kind o place. The people looked more developed but they were clearly not back home.
He turned around and found willow on the floor, on her knees.

“Willow, are you okay? I don’t think we are still in 1305.” It was a warm day. Maybe summer? This was just weird why did they skip times? Why didn’t they were able to go back into their time? So many questions and no answers.


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4 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 20th July 2012, 17:28

Willow felt dizzy. Everything in front of her had turned white, and she had no idea what was going on and where she was. She lost her balance and soon afterwards felt the ground under her knees. She also felt something else, someone’s hand, and someone was talking to her, but she didn’t hear what that person was saying, it all sounded too far away.

“Willow? Are you okay?” Leo shook her slightly. “Hey, can you hear me?”

She slowly looked up and the surrounding around her finally became clearer, but her head was still spinning. “Where are we? Are we back home?”

Leo shook his head. “No, we’re still in London, only a different time, I think…” He looked concerned at her. “Are you okay?”

“I think so…” She tried to get up, but her legs were too weak to hold her. The moment she got up she felt how she was losing her balance again, but before she could fall, Leo caught her and she fell directly into his arms, but she didn’t stay there long, she quickly backed away.
“I’m fine”, she said, trying to sound convincing.

“No, you’re not.”

“Yes, I am.” She crossed her arms and took a deep breath. “So, we’re seriously still in London?”



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5 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 21st July 2012, 17:50

“Yes. But later. The houses are more advanced, well kind of. Come on we need to find shelter it is getting dark and it doesn’t seem to be the London you should be outside when it is dark.” Leo knew that she didn’t want him to touch her but something wasn’t right here.

Willow was struggling against his tight grip but she had no chance to free her arm and the dark figures in the alleys they passed made her feel that he maybe was right. There was a blind man sitting on the floor at a corner begging and he had quite a lot money in his head. Leo bended down and pretended to put in another coin when in reality he took money.

“God bless you.” The blind man said, Leo looked sad at the man.

“No God bless you Sir. God bless you!” Leo mumbled and hurried with Willow away. They reach an Inn, and this time they seemed okay to enter it.

“Good evening good Sir, what can I do for you?” The innkeeper asked friendly.

“I need a room for me and my wife. The cheapest room you have.” Leo growled. He didn’t like how the man looked at Willow. “And also my wife wished to take a bath do you have a private facility for her to fulfill this wish?”

“Of course Sir. The maid will assist her if you wish.” It was amazing how friendly the innkeeper stayed while Leo was basically growing and looking more and more scary to everyone around him.

“Good. Thank you.” Leo pushed Willow in front of him checking that her cloak was covering her 21st century clothes. They better get rid of those. A suddenly light ray hit Willow’s hair and it shimmered reddish. Worry grew in Leo but he couldn’t ask her until they were alone.


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6 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 30th July 2012, 19:04

The guy she had met in the middle of the forest somewhere in the past kept surprising her more and more. Sure, Leo was anything but a sunny boy, but he really knew how to survive this whole…situation. He knew how to talk to those people even though he had (probably) never been in the past before, and yet there he was, interacting with people as if he had always lived here.
Before she could say anything to him, the maid appeared behind her.

“If you will follow me, Miss”, the maid said. Willow looked quickly at Leo, but he nodded at her, and even though she was still suspicious, she followed the maid to a private room. Of course reality hit her right in the face when she looked at the ‘bath tub’, which was nothing more than some big wooden barrel thingy. Willow sighed, but she so desperately wanted a bath that she would even sit in that wood thing.

“Thanks”, Willow said, turning to the maid, signalling her that she can leave the room now, but instead the other woman wanted to help her out of her clothes. Willow immediately backed away. “I’m good.”

“But I can offer my help.”

“Thanks, but I can get undressed by myself since I’m three”, Willow mumbled.

“Very well.” The maid seemed confused, but then left the room.

After Willow took off her long cloak she stared at her 21st century clothes and sighed. She knew that she had to wash them sooner or later, but knowing Leo she was pretty sure that he would insist to throw them away completely since she would attract too much attention in them.
When Willow sat down in the bath tub she started cursing because the water was damn cold, and she looked around suspiciously since she worried that someone would come in. After a couple of minutes the maid came in with more water, and Willow felt very awkward sitting there in the bathtub while the other woman was walking around. After the maid finally left again, Willow got out of the bathtub and put the sleeping gown on that the maid had laid out for her. It looked ridiculously old fashioned, but this was the past after all…
When Willow walked into the bedroom, she found Leo sitting on an old chair, looking all gloomy and lost in thoughts.

“Freaking water was cold”, Willow mumbled, and then he looked up, and for a moment she felt weird standing there dressed in nothing but a nightgown. She wasn’t a prude at all, but Leo was still a stranger, and he looked at her in a way that he hadn’t before. He seemed to notice that too, so he quickly cleared his throat and looked in the direction of the window.

“Did you expect a luxurious bathtub with hot water?”, he asked sarcastically.

She rolled her eyes and sat down on the bed. “No…”

“By the way, I noticed something about your hair earlier…”

“That it looks all gross because it hasn’t seen shampoo in a while? Yeah, I noticed that too…”

Leo shook his head. “No, I mean…in the light in kind of looked…reddish.”

“Oh, yeah, that’s because it is red.”

He was quiet for a moment. “What?”

“My hair is naturally red, but shortly before I vanished into the stupid past I dyed it blonde. My best friend has blonde hair, and she wanted to dye it red, but she said she would only do it if I dye my hair blonde, so that’s what we did. It won’t last too long though, I’ll get the red hair back sooner or later.” Willow noticed that Leo seemed very serious. Well, that wasn’t a surprise, but right now he looked almost worried. “Why did you ask? Is something wrong?”


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7 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 30th July 2012, 20:06

“Nothing. You can sleep in the bed, I’ll sleep on the chair.”

“Oh. Um okay.” Willow looked a little confused at Leo.

“And there is dinner on the table. I hope you don’t mind that it is just bread and cheese but we better try to keep our costs low. Tomorrow I will see if there is some kind of work I can do to make some money. Can you saw, knit or cook?” Leo had a little book in which he was writing all the spending and what they still had. He also had a list of goods they owned and what they still need.

“No, not really.” Willow just answered the last part of his questions before she took a slice of bread and some cheese. Leo also had ordered a pitcher of ale.

“Have some ale, it is good for you.” He mumbled while he was brooding of his list.

“Ale is beer, how can that be good for me?” Willow was glad to have some proper food and was clean again.

“It has a lot less alcohol then modern ale but it has a lot of the vitamins and the good stuff. So drink up. Oh and I got a newspaper we are in 1666, 29th of August to be precise.” Leo got up and took his own nightgown out of his pack. He didn’t bother to tell Willow to turn around when he took off his clothes, yep all of his clothes. He was standing naked in front of her while he pulled his nightgown over his head and then grabbed a fresh pair of underpants.
Willow was shell shocked how freely Leo was with his nakedness.
“That means you will experience a lot more things that are comfortable. I will make sure next time you have a hot bath and also some of those smelly essences girls like.”

“Oh erm thanks, that would be nice. Why do you know all this stuff?”

“I like history.”

“So you have a history degree?”

“No.”

“You are still in the process of making one?”

“No.”

“Do you ever talk about yourself?”

“No, why should I?”

“Because that is what small talk is all about. Get to know each other.”

“I never did small talk.”

That was something Willow believed right away. She went into bed and looked at Leo, who was luckily now fully dressed. “You know this bed is big enough for two and the chair looks really uncomfortable to sleep on.”

Leo got up and went in the bed himself. He lied down and turned his back to her. “In those times red heads where very often seen as witches. You have to watch what you say unless you want to be burnt alive or get killed by drowning.” Leo said calmly.


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8 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 3rd August 2012, 16:28

Whoa, whoa, whoa…this was all getting…way too much!
What. The. Hell?!
First of all…Leo naked…as in really naked! Oh. My. God.
Willow didn’t have words for it. This was…he was…OH. MY. GOD.
She didn’t want to look, but he got undressed so unexpectedly that she didn’t even have time to cover her eyes. She already saw more than enough. Seriously, what was he thinking, getting undressed like this in front of her? Was that normal for him? Was he even thinking at all? Maybe he grew up in some sort of brothel where it was normal for people to get undressed…or maybe not. Honestly, she couldn’t picture this socially awkward guy growing up in a brothel. She couldn’t picture Leo as a child at all, he probably came out of his mother’s womb huge and grumpy. Well, yeah, she couldn’t picture him as a little child at all…but she sure as hell could picture him now, his body and…holy shit, he was hot! Yeah…sure, he was a weird guy, but that didn’t mean that his body wasn’t smoking and totally out of this world. Willow thought of her girlfriends, and all of them would swoon at the sight of him. Nobody would care if he smiled or not, someone with that body definitely got attention among her friends. He was insanely attractive, even though she didn’t want to admit it, but denying it was completely ridiculous. Come on…have you seen this guy?! And without clothes…so yeah, no denying. She really didn’t have words, she felt too much excitement rushing through her body. It was very hard to get Willow speechless- but he managed to do so, just by taking off his clothes. Holy smokes…
And then he lay down next to her. Well, there was still a safe distance, but still…she could feel the heat of his body under the blanket. Or maybe it was just her feeling hot? Whatever, she needed to calm herself down, and she needed to know what the hell he had been thinking.
“So, you’re doing that with all girls to get them into bed?”

He didn’t respond immediately. “Excuse me?”

“I don’t know…if this is some kind of trick to get women into bed, it’s not working on me, okay? It might work on all the ignorant little girlies you might have tricked, but I’m not that kind of girl.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about”, he replied dryly.

“Well…I mean…getting undressed like that and showing off, that’s obviously-“

“You’re completely delusional”, he grumbled. “I just changed into my nightgown, is there anything wrong about that?”

An awkward silence followed. She wanted to tell him how insanely weird it was for a guy to just get undressed like that in front of a stranger , but she was pretty sure he wouldn’t get a word of what she was saying. Oh man, that guy was a piece of work!
She tried to think of something else than…eh…his body, when Leo pointed out the fact to her that red-heads were seen as witches back in the old days. And there it was again, this well-known feeling of getting annoyed by him for being such a smarty-pants - and a grumpy one on top of that.

“Thanks for telling me, but I already knew that”, she replied sarcastically, her face turned to the opposite direction.

“Good. Just making sure.”

Willow sighed. “Nobody is going to burn me just because I have red hair.”

“Well…you definitely have the potential of being burned, not just because of your natural hair color but also because you’re different than most of the other women.”

“Different meaning…?”

“You can’t shut up.”

She bit her lip. “Oh yeah…you know what? I don’t think that- oh shit!”

“What?”

Silence.

“Oh Shit!”

“What is it?” Leo finally turned around, actually looking concerned, but Willow just sat up, looking more than pissed, then she took a deep breath.
“Awesome!”

“Can you be a little more precise?”

She rolled her eyes. “There’s a…ehm…issue…”

“What kind of issue?” Leo actually seemed really worried and had obviously no idea what was going on.

“I’m eh…’surfing the crimson wave’…”

Now he looked totally confused at her. “What?”

She sighed. “It’s a quote from Clueless, have you ever watched that movie?”

Leo just stared at her. He obviously hasn’t watched it yet. Obviously.
Willow got up, this was so super awkward, even for someone as confident as she was.
“I guess they didn’t have any lady products in the old days, right?”


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9 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 3rd August 2012, 18:15

The candle was still lit and he looked at her. “Not the way you know them.”

Leo got up as well and went over to the pack that contained their medical supply. Leo had bought a couple of white cloths in case they need to cover an injury, but now they would collect a different kind of blood.

“Here but this in your panties like a sanitary napkin. It won’t have a sticky underside of it but it will hold. When it is too bloody to contain more blood you will wash it out and reuse it afterwards.”

Willow starred at him as if he just grown a second head. “Excuse me?”

“You put this into…”

“Yeah, yeah I got it the first time you said it. I will reuse it? That is disgusting and unsanitary!” Willow’s voice got a bit high pitchy.

“I got you soap. So you should be able to wash it quiet well and it is your only way. Unless you want the blood run down your legs?” Leo said gently folding the cloths into a slim form and handed them to Willow.
Willow snatched the cloths out of his hand and was about to leave the room when Leo said.

“Where are you going?”

“To the bathroom.”

“Well that would be an outhouse and I won’t let you go to the outhouse in London at night.” Leo sounded a little more stern this time but still friendlier then he used to sound.

“Fine, turn around!” Willow was too annoyed and too embarrassed to care anymore. Leo turned around as asked and looked at the wall.

“How does it feel?”

“You not just asked how a rough cloths between my legs at a very sensitive place!” Willow sounded angry enough to actually try and punch Leo.

“I’m sorry.” Leo mumbled.

“It works though if that was the content of your question.” Willow sighed when she sat down on the bed again. This had happened a few days earlier than she had expected but it was not surprising by all the stress she was under in the past two days. Willow felt Leo sat back down on the bed as well, and not really surprisingly he was quiet. Leo had read enough books about the female anatomy and its functions, to know that Willow wasn’t feeling well. Very gentle he started giving her a back massage. But Willow jumped up and away from him.

“What the fuck do you think you are doing? First you get naked right in front of me, then you know an awful lot about the history of menstruations and now you rub my back? What are you some kind of sick guy who dicks girls while they are menstruating?” Willow shrieked loudly.

“No I am not, I just try to help. And I know a few things because… I read a lot about midwifery. My mother was a midwife.” Leo actually looked sad at the floor. “I know a thing or two about the female functions and you seem to be one of the unfortunate women that have a rather tough time once a month and a back massage can help with the cramps, but… I won’t make you let me help you. So just try to sleep a little.”

Leo got up to let her have the bed to herself and sat down on the chair again. “Tomorrow I will go to the market and get some herbs to make you a tea that will help you.”


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10 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 10th August 2012, 15:43

This whole situation was undeniably awkward. Willow wouldn’t even talk with her closest girlfriends about certain lady problems, and now there was this guy who obviously knew everything about this stuff, even more than any normal girl.
But there was one thing Willow had to admit. She constantly thought something wrong about him when he in fact just tried to help. She wasn’t used to men being like that. In fact, she had never met a man as caring as Leo, and she started to feel guilty for accusing him of things he didn’t do. Well, yeah, Willow was usually suspicious and easily prejudiced, and Leo didn’t look like a nice, caring guy but rather like someone she had to be careful of. However, he proved her wrong. She still didn’t know what he was thinking by getting undressed in front of her, but he apparently didn’t have the intention to get her to sleep with him, and when he gave her a back massage it was seriously because he cared, not because he wanted something from her. Man, that guy was…something. And still, Willow didn’t really know what to make of him. He was so unpredictable and she could not tell what kind of man he really was. Nevertheless, he had been helpful to her from the moment they met, and she felt bad for being so bitchy towards him.
Now he left her the entire bed to herself while this huge guy sat on this small, hard, uncomfortable chair. Yes, Willow did feel bad.
“Ehm…I’m actually okay…”, she said, although that wasn’t completely true since she really had cramps, plus the fact that she felt very uncomfortable with that cloth between her legs. “I don’t mind if we share the bed, I’ll still be able to sleep.”

Leo didn’t respond immediately. “I’m okay right here. Try to sleep now.”

Willow knew that she couldn’t really convince him, so she laid back but she was wide awake, so there was no way she would fall asleep any time soon. “So your mom is a midwife?”
Silence.
Willow turned her head towards him to check if he was still awake, and he was, but he just stared blankly at the floor.
“Was”, he mumbled.

“Sorry?”

“She was a midwife. She died a long time ago.”

“Oh…” Great job, Willow! “I’m sorry.” She was quiet for a moment. “So did my mom, but I don’t have much memory of her since I was really small.” She started thinking of her family in Nashville and how much she missed her father and her brothers. “I grew up in a funeral home, you know, so death wasn’t really anything scary for me because I was surrounded by it. It sounds like a weird environment for a little girl to grow up in, but I actually liked it. We have a really nice living area on the second and third floor.”

Leo raised an eyebrow. “You live in a funeral home?”

“Yepp. Well, now I’m at college, but I lived there for eighteen years of my life. My dad is a funeral director and my family has been in this business for ages.”

“Weird.” Leo had a hard time picturing a girl like Willow growing up in a funeral home. He was pretty sure she used to draw funny faces on the dead people.
Willow continued talking about Nashville and all kind of stuff while Leo just tried to sleep, and especially wanted her to finally try to sleep, but that girl wouldn’t shut up.

“You ever consider going to sleep tonight?”, he asked dryly.

“I’m not tired.”

“Try to sleep.”

“But I’m so awake!”

“Just close your eyes and try to sleep.”

“But-“

“Sleep!”

Willow took a deep breath. “Okay, okay!”

“Sorry, it’s just…I want you to feel better soon, and that means that you need some sleep”, Leo mumbled, not looking at her.

It was quiet for a moment. “Leo?” She sounded like a little kid.

“What?” He sounded rather grumpy.

“Thanks”, she said. “For everything.”



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11 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 11th August 2012, 01:27

Leo couldn’t sleep so he watched Willow, the poor girl was tossing around in pain. It was not even three yet when he got dressed and sneaked out of their room. For a moment he was worried to leave her alone but they needed money. Leo had seen a mill just up their street.

“Good morning good Sir. I am strong and just travelling through do you need some help today?” Leo asked politely, which felt so weird for him.

“You look like a strong lad, yes see those sacks over there bring them to the wagon. No games! For every sack I pay you two pennies.” The rough looking miller said to Leo.

“Sir is there anything I can make more money with? I am not long here I need money.” Leo looked desperate at the miller.

“There is, come here. See those grind stone? You gonna sweep them. It’ dangerous you might get crushed so watch your arm lad. If you managed to do your job and keep all your extremities you get five pounds.”

“Thank you Sir that is a very generous offer. I’ll take it.” The next hours Leo was working hard and there were moments he nearly lost an arm but he got through. In the end he got the small bonus he had asked for and his five pounds. He knew that this was a small fortune and he was sure the miller was pitying him. It was eight when he stopped at the marked and got some herbs and a fennel, he was lucky to get it. And he got a newspaper. His way then took him to the Inn kitchen where he asked to get a big breakfast and made a fennel brew including some of the herbs he had bought. He took the large full tray of breakfast, tea and a little extra back to his room. He sighed gratefully hen he found Willow still sleeping, safely in the bed.

“Hey Willow, I’ve got breakfast and something for you to help with your craps.”

Willow lifted her body up and looked at Leo. “I don’t have cramps.”

“Okay, here out this pouch on your stomach it will help you. I’ve even got you a glass of milk, eggs and also some bacon, don’t expect too much British bacon in our times is already different but in these times it is more a piece of meat. Oh and drink this it helps you too. And later you will have another bath I will make sure it is a hot bath… oh and no worries I won’t look at you but I will be close. You are a pretty girl I don’t want that people hurt you. Even if you don’t like it, your safest bet is to continue to be my wife so I will be close.”

Leo looked at the newspaper when it suddenly hit him. “Fuck! We are in big trouble. We gotta leave! As soon as possible. We are in great danger. Get up Willow.” Leo was already starting to pack all their things, he packed it all into one pack so that Willow was walking freely and he would carry everything. “I will find a way that you can ride on a wagon. I’ll promise you’ll be fine.” Leo hadn't even told her yet that he made money this morning but he looked really tired.


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12 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 15th August 2012, 19:41

Willow looked confused at him, then at the breakfast tray. First of all, where-and with what-did he get all this food? Did he steal it? And secondly, why was he all of a sudden so keen on leaving? Something seemed to make him nervous.
“What’s going on?”, she wanted to know.

“I’ll tell you later. Come on, we have to go.” Leo was carrying their entire luggage and all she carried was this little pouch he gave her. Whatever that thing was…
“What about the food?” She looked at the breakfast tray, but before Leo gave her an answer, he quickly packed it up.

“You can eat it on the way.” He walked towards the door.

“Hold on, where are we going? I’m not even dressed yet.”

That finally made Leo stop, and he noticed that she was still wearing her nightgown and nothing else.
“Okay, you have to get changed, you can’t go outside looking like this.” He turned away so she could change into her clothes. Willow felt weird getting undressed while he was still there, despite the fact that he had turned around. And he constantly mentioned that she was a ‘pretty girl’ which was kind of weird as well, especially since he had said that more than just once…but he had done so much for her already, so she tried to stop being so suspicious and trust him a little more.

“Okay, we can go”, she said after she had changed into her clothes.

“How are you feeling?”, he asked without looking at her.

“I had better days, but I’m okay.” Willow followed him outside. “What am I supposed to do with this?” She held up the pouch.

“You’re supposed to put it on your stomach when you have cramps.”

She stared at that weird thing in her hands. “Where did you get it from?”

“The market.” His eyes still didn’t meet hers.

“You were at the market? Today?”

“Yes.”

“Geez, how early did you get up?”

“Early.”

Willow looked at him closely this time, and she noticed that he actually looked very tired. “Are you okay?”


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13 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 15th August 2012, 20:13

Leo paid their room on the way out and handed her the small money pouch. “Guard this with your life, make sure the money in it doesn’t jingle. The money will be safest with you because in these days women weren’t supposed to carry money. So I just have a few pennies and you carry most of our money.”

Not until they were out on the busy market that he let her catch up and answered her question. “I’m fine, just tired. I worked this morning in the mill. To make some more cash. We should be good for at least a week.”

“Leo hold on what is going why are we running out of town?” Willow asked nervous.

Leo looked at her angry because she was holding them back, well more likely because she didn’t know what was going on. Leo sighed and pulled her into one of the last small alleys of London.

“Listen keep it quiet and don’t freak out but did you ever hear about the Great Fire of London? Well London had a couple but tomorrow a huge fire will destroy pretty much the entire city. And we have to get out, because we can’t die in this fire and we can’t stop it. We can’t change the past. No matter what we do, we can’t change the past. So come on we have to hurry and get away. As soon we are out of town I’ll see if we find someone that can take us along.” Leo looked still angry but also worried and tired at Willow. He didn’t want to tell her but their stuff was actually rather heavy on his back.


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14 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 24th August 2012, 18:03

“Wait…what?” Willow stopped for a moment, but the same moment she felt Leo’s hand on her back.

“Come on, we have to hurry up.”

“Whoa, hands off!” She stepped away from him. She knew he didn’t mean it in a bad way, but right now she didn’t want anyone to touch her. She still had cramps (not that she would admit it), she was grumpy, and she so didn’t want to run around. She wasn’t good in history, but she had heard about the Great Fire once, and she knew that it destroyed almost all of London…and that was seriously tomorrow? Out of all days?
Awesome.
Brilliant.
Absolutely wonderful.
Oh man…she was so fed up with the freaking past!
Leo was probably right, they couldn’t just go ahead and change the past, but she sure as hell wasn’t going to die tomorrow, she wasn’t ready yet!

“Willow, seriously, we have to move as quickly as possible to get out of London or do you want to be grilled tomorrow?”

She took a deep breath. “Didn’t they have fucking cars back then?” Of course she knew they didn’t, but she had a hard time hiding that she was majorly pissed at this situation.

“That’s why we have to be fast today and can’t lose any more time.” He continued walking and she wanted to follow him, but suddenly she felt weird. She started feeling very dizzy, and just one moment later she fainted.


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15 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 29th August 2012, 21:50

Leo noticed that Willow wasn’t behind him anymore and when he turned around he just saw her fall. Without thinking twice he hurried forward and caught her just in time before her head hit the hard cobble stones. He was already carrying all their luggage and now he simply carried her as well like she was a tall baby. People did look at him but no one said something. She was unconscious for nearly five minutes, and it worried him. He was about to put her down and check why she has fainted when she just woke up. But she wasn’t yet coherent of her surrounding it took nearly an hour until she was really conscious again.

“You need to drink more. I don’t wanna be too personal but I guess back at home you are taking the pill, and since we are here you either have not taken it or your system is just too messed up to keep it in. Anyway you are heavily bleeding and you need to replace the blood you are losing with water. So you have to drink more. Can you walk?”

“Of course I can walk.” Willow snapped, but when Leo put her back on her feed she was still wobbly-legged. He wrapped his arm around her waist. He saw how unwell she felt but he didn’t say anything.

“Listen I can carry you a little longer or you can wait here while I try to find someone with a wagon. It’s up to you.”

Willow opened her mouth to answer him but she was pale and felt sick. “It’s okay I’ll got you.” He picked her back up. “Try to sleep a little, while I will get us into safety.”

Leo knew that there woman in this times that died because of the blood amount they lost during their period. “you will be alright Willow, I’ll promise.”


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16 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 2nd September 2012, 15:12

Willow didn’t tell him, but the moment he picked her up and told her she would be all right, she felt incredibly safe, as if nothing could harm her anymore. She felt like that one day when she was four years old, after her mother died and she didn’t really realize what was going on, so she had looked around everywhere and tried to find her and ended up in the basement of their funeral home, where it was cold and creepy, but her dad found her and picked her up, telling her it would be all right, and she had felt so safe in his arms that day. She had never felt that kind of safety again until now. And it confused her. Totally. She was not in the arms of her beloved dad but in the arms of someone she still barely knew. And yet, despite the fact that Leo was still a stranger to her, she felt that one special safety she had only felt once in her life.
Willow was too weak to keep her eyes open, just a minute later she buried her face into his chest and fell asleep for a while. When she woke up again she had no idea where they were and for how long they had been walking around. She felt better now and a little stronger, so she was indeed able to walk on her own again- well, at least she wanted to.

“Hey…” She tried not to sound too rude, but she started to feel kind of weird now, still in his arms. “We don’t have to replay the whole scene with Sam and Frodo, you know?”

He looked a bit confused at her. “Hm?”

“I mean, you don’t have to carry me around for the rest of the day, I’m feeling better now.”

He was about to protest when she tried to jump off his arms. “Hey, be careful”, he warned her and let go off her since she obviously refused to remain in his arms.

“Where are we?” Willow looked around, ignoring the fact that her head was spinning a bit.

“Not far enough from London yet”, he mumbled. “If we want to get away from here on time we really need to find a wagon, but so far we weren’t that lucky.”

Willow turned around and noticed that he looked tired. She felt bad because he had to carry not only their stuff but had also carried her for a while now. “You should take a break.”

He just shook his head. “We don’t have time for that.”

“But you look like crap.”

He just glared at her.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean it like that, I just meant…well, you look like you seriously need some rest.”

“We can’t lose too much time.”

“I’m not saying we should sit around for a couple of hours and stare at the trees, I just meant that you should rest for like thirty minutes or so.” She actually started to worry a bit about him. “Just for a bit?”


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17 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 2nd September 2012, 19:50

Leo looked at her before he nodded defeated. “Okay but only for a few minutes. I don’t want to be near London when it starts burning. We know too much.”

Leo sat down and handed her an apple and the water bottle. “Here drink it’s goat milk it will be good for you.”

Leo sat a little away from the road, unseen behind a few bushes. He was breathing heavily, from the load he had been carrying the past hour. Even though she might seem stronger Leo kept a close eye on Willow. She moved slowly and careful, an often when she thought he didn’t see it she dropped her strong face and looked like a hurt little girl. They weren’t resting for more than twenty minutes when he got up again. “Come on we gotta go.”

Willow was just about to stop him when suddenly there was a wagon, loaded with hay. “Whoa, whoa ,good Sir. I know it is a lot to ask but I and my wife are travelling west may we ride on the back of your wagon for a little bit? I’ll pay you five pennies.”

The man nodded and pointed with his thumb at the back.

“Come on, darling.” Leo grabbed all their things and took six pennies out of his pockets and handed them the ma, before he sat all their things next to Willow at the back. It was even quite comfortable sitting on the hay. “I think he is deaf or at least nearly. So we can speak freely.”

“How did you know that?” Willow asked, she was wrapped in a blanket cuddled in the hay.

“His ears got frost bitten, the infection he has will have damaged his hearing.” Leo said leaning his head against the hay. “This will help a lot. As soon we find a good place to stay we will settle there. How are you feeling?” A cold wind was going, it looked like rain again.


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18 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 7th September 2012, 17:59

“Well, I guess okay. I mean, apart from the fact that I just want to go home and have no freaking idea how to get home again, plus the fact that I got my period and can’t run to the next Walgreens to get some stuff, I think it could be much worse. Like if it started raining now…” The moment Willow said it, she felt a rain drop on her cheek, and when she looked up she took a deep breath, because the clouds were heavy and grey and it started to rain. “Of course…”, she mumbled and wrapped the blanket tighter around her. “Freaking England is seriously as rainy as I expected it to be.”

“Here, I can give you my coat.” Leo was just about to take off his coat when she shook her head.

“No!”

He looked surprised at her.

“It’s too much. I’m okay right now, I have a blanket and if I get a little wet it’s not the end of the world, but you…you do all those things for me without thinking twice. And it’s not like I’m your sister or someone you know, yet you did so much for me already.”

“That’s how I was raised”, he said quietly.

“It’s great to know that there are guys out there who like that whole ‘taking care of the girl’-act, but you don’t have to do that all the time. Really, I start to feel bad because so far I couldn’t give you anything in return.”

“You don’t need to give me anything in return.”

“Well, thanks, but if I could, I would like to. I really appreciate what you did for me…”
An awkward silence followed, then Willow cleared her throat. “Okay, I’m not a fan of chick-flick moments, so I better change the subject now.”
Another silence followed.
“Are we getting off at some point?”, she asked.

“Yes, when we see a farm or an inn somewhere, but it has to be far enough from London unless you want to get grilled.”

Willow chuckled. “No, thanks.”


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19 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 7th September 2012, 21:53

They were silent for a while, the rain wasn’t bad but steady and they were deeply cuddling into the hay to stay warm and dry. When Leo peeked around to see what was ahead, in the fog he saw some lights.

“I think there is a farm let’s get off here. I think the guy will not even know that we are gone.” Leo jumped off the wagon wasn’t going in an insane speed so it was safe to jump off. He didn’t jumped in to catch Willow before she even touched the ground, so she fell a little but seemed okay.

“Do you think they will let us in?” Willow asked rather quiet. Leo saw that she was cold the way she wrapped the blanket tightly around herself. They had to get her a coat for winter. “I think so just um try to be polite and don’t speak too much 21st century actually as a woman don’t speak too much at all. Please.”

Leo said just when they walked onto the yard of the farm. A few dogs started barking it was luckily still not late, actually it was still early afternoon so a good time to ask for shelter. There were a few men walking around, until one suddenly paid attention to them. “Hey what are you doing here?”

“Oh good Sir we lost our house in the city, may you good Sir give us shelter for a few nights? The barn is fine, we don’t need much.” Leo said hoping to sound convincing.

“You can stay over the stables. But if you dare to steal something or cause any trouble I will kill you. Do you hear me? You look strong you will work for your staying here. The girl can help in the kitchen while you work with me. Gus show them the place.” The older man grunted to Leo who and put his hand on Willow’s back.

“Sir, my wife is ill, please let her rest today.” Leo tried to spare Willow a tough day in the kitchen.

“She works and stays or she goes and doesn’t work it is as simple as that.”

“It’s okay Leo.” Willow whispered, Leo looked at her worried but then he nodded. “Thank you good Sir.”

They followed Gus who showed them one rather small very simple room. There wasn’t even a real bed just a hay filled mattress, a stool and a very small oven. “You have to make sure the fire does not spread on the stable. So keep the fire low. Be out soon the boss needs the hands. The kitchen is over there in the big house, your wife better knows her way around in the kitchen.” Gus looked once more at them before he left them.

“Always be ready to run back here. I think before I vanished the last time I felt like my hands had fallen asleep.” Leo looked worried at Willow. So far they never had been separated while they were stuck in the past. “You will be okay in the kitchen, right? I mean you know your way around the kitchen.”


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20 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 12th September 2012, 18:50

“Well, yeah, I know my way around the refrigerator”, Willow replied sarcastically. Leo wasn’t sure if this was a joke or not.

“You do know how to cook, right?”

“Do I look like I was born in the 18th century?”, she asked annoyed, but then looked at her clothes. “Okay, forget that, I look like I’m from the freaking middle age.”

“So you don’t know how to cook?”

“That’s right, I don’t. I didn’t have a mother who taught me, and my dad doesn’t even know how to heat up something in the microwave. So yeah, our meals were mainly coming from the delivery service, not from scratch.”

Leo sighed. This would be all much more problematic that he had thought. Willow would be the only woman here who didn’t know how to cook, and it would definitely attract unwanted attention- and so did her hair that increasingly started to get redder by the day. It was still blonde, but with a very obvious red shimmer, and sometimes it even looked more red than blonde.
“Can you try your best not to stand out? Just try to blend in and even though you can’t cook, at least pretend you know what you’re doing.”

“How can I pretend that when I have no freaking idea what I’m doing, I mean-“

“Please!” Leo didn’t mean to sound impatient, but this was too risky and he worried that Willow wouldn’t play along.

“Okay, okay, relax, dude! I’m trying.”

“Can you maybe try to not sound like a Southern cowgirl anymore? This is England, after all…”

“Now that’s offensive! Cowgirl? I’m from Nashville, not freaking Texas.”

Leo knew there was no point in arguing any further with her. “Okay, you should go to the kitchen now otherwise we won’t be allowed to stay here if we don’t work. You think you’ll be okay? You’re not feeling so well and-“

“I have to be okay”, she said without any emotion, then she turned away and looked out for the kitchen. She knew she would screw up. The kitchen was a strange territory to her unless she got something out of the fridge, but other than that…She didn’t even know how to make spaghettis. Did they have spaghettis at this time already? Probably not.


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21 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 12th September 2012, 20:57

Leo looked after Willow, he was worried. But he didn’t have to for that. He hurried to the fields and started helping with the harvest. It was hard work and he knew he should pay more attention to it after all he was working with a scythe.

“Hey lad, hurry up you are falling behind!”

Leo nodded and hurried on with the work. When they came back a few hours later he was already looking around where they could sit and see the fire, since they were sleeping far above the stables so they could climb on the roof and watch the fire. But for now he had to stack hay bale until dinner. It was late when the foreman ordered everyone to dinner. Leo as the help would eat in the kitchen. Leo had several minor cuts, a sunburn and several bruises when he walked into the kitchen. Hoping Willow was okay.


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22 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 15th September 2012, 19:47

The kitchen was…hell. It was not only that Willow was totally lost here, but all those women who were running around in this small place, pushing her around like she was a maid (well, that was pretty much her status) and she just knew she would screw up.
The women in the kitchen expected her to know what to do, but Willow had no single clue. She never cooked back at home, she only knew how to dial the pizza service.

“Don’t just stand there”, one of the older women said when Willow remained in a corner, hoping nobody would notice that she was there at all.

“I…eh…I’m not sure what I have to do, I’m new and um…”

“Why do you talk so weird?” The woman eyed her suspiciously. “Where are you from, girl?”

“I…eh…Tennessee.”

“Wherever that is! Now get to work, we can’t waste time here.”

Before Willow could ask what she should do, the woman pushed her to a big wooden table where a huge pile of dough was placed. “You can start kneading the bread dough.”

“Okay.” Willow nodded. On Food Network she had seen some guy kneading dough, so she was sure she couldn’t do much wrong with that. She started kneading it when the older kitchen maid looked over her shoulder.

“Are you falling asleep? You need to be faster!”

Willow was tempted to say something sarcastic, but she bit her lip. She knew she couldn’t be as outspoken as usually.
By the time it was early evening (and Willow couldn’t feel her arms anymore from kneading bread and peeling potatoes) she finally saw a familiar face entering the kitchen. When Leo stopped at the door frame, some of the young women looked up curiously, and Willow felt kind of…annoyed that they did look at him like that. She had no idea what was wrong with her, but she blamed it on her exhaustion.


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23 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 15th September 2012, 21:18

Leo looked at Willow, she seemed okay tired but okay. In her hair and face was flour and dough and her apron was covered in it too but she was still alive and well.

“You lad, sit down over there in the kitchen all you get is broth and some bread until you earned to have a proper dinner, and don’t expect any meat in your broth.” The kitchen leading kitchen maid said snotty. “Your little lassie can eat with you. And if I would be you she deserves some caning she is a disappointment of a woman.”

The lead kitchen maid shushed the other maids out of the kitchen, they all would eat in the servants dining room, just above the kitchen, that it was still warm but not as sweating hot as it was down on the kitchen. Leo sat down at the table where two plates with broth and four slices of bread. They got a cup of weak tea.

“You okay?” Leo asked he sounded more tired than ever. His body was aching and he didn’t want anything more then go to bed. He took the spoon and tested the broth. It was not much but it felt could enough. “The bread is actually not bad.” He looked up and nearly smiled at her. "So how was your day?"


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24 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 18th September 2012, 16:57

“I swear, if I still had any strength left I would go to this fucking kitchen maid and pull every single of her rotten teeth out”, Willow mumbled. She didn’t look at Leo, she just stared at this ridiculous tiny bowl of broth that was not much more than flavoured water. “Is she eating the same thing as us? How come she’s so fat then?”

“I know this is frustrating right now, but just be glad we have something to eat at all”, Leo said very calmly.

Willow sighed and tried the flavoured water. Who the hell would get full from that? At least the bread wasn’t bad and the fact that she had made it (yes, under enormous stress and one hell of a high blood pressure) made her a tiny bit proud, since she never accomplished anything in the kitchen before.
“I guess I’m just not used to that much physical work”, she said, trying not to bolt the bread too quickly.

“True.” Leo stared at the table. “But you’re okay?”

“Yeah.” Of course she wasn’t okay, but she saw how tired he looked and she didn’t want to start complaining how miserable her life had gotten while he looked really exhausted and had much harder work than her today. Truth was, Willow was so exhausted and tired and homesick that she felt like crying- which was very unusual for her, because she wasn’t a crier. It wasn’t like she never cried but she was really good in avoiding to cry. At the moment, however, she had a hard time holding it back. While they ate their lousy dinner quietly she felt like she had this huge lump in her throat from desperately trying to fight back the tears. She just wanted to go home, but the sad thing was, she didn’t know if she would ever be able to go home at all.

“You want to go on the roof so we can watch the fire?”, Leo asked after they finished eating.

Willow nodded. “Sounds kind of weird…”

“What?”

“We already know what’s going to happen while all those people here have to clue. I wish we would have had a chance to warn them…”

“They would have thought that we lost our minds, so nobody would have listened, and after the fire they would probably lock us up because they would assume that we had something to do with it. And besides, we’re not supposed to change history.”

Willow sighed. “I know.”


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25 Re: The Tale of the Great Fire on 28th September 2012, 17:09

Leo nodded at her when they took the jug of weak tea and went to their room. Even though it was August it was chilly, luckily they had a small oven and some wood. Leo made a small fire he was sore and his back hurt, and everyone else might had complained but he wasn’t the type of man who did. He looked into the flames and thought about his mom. He shook his head closed the oven door and got up.

“Come on there is a hatch that will let us climb out onto the roof. The fire should have begun by now.” Leo climbed on small stool to open the hatch, he then climbed down.

“May I help you?” Leo offered and since the hatch was rather high up Willow let him help her.

Shortly after Leo followed her up the roof. “The view is not bad.”

“Yes, it looks nice. There are so many stars here.” Willow said sounding tired and a little bit sad.

“Because there are no bright street lights distracting our eyes from them.” Liam sighed when he looked at London seeing the fire. “It is a shame that nearly the entire city of London burns down.”

“Yes it is.”

For some time Leo and Willow just looked quietly at the flames in the distance. Up on the roof it was completely dark, Leo knew that he had to open up if they would stay together for longer.

“You still want us to stay together until we find a way back home?” Leo asked.

“Yes please.” Willow didn’t tell him how much she needed him to stay, but he understood her.

“My parents used to have a farm like this a long time ago…” Leo mumbled, “before my dad’s accident.”

“What happened?” Willow didn’t mean to be rude but she was curious, she felt like she needed to know as much as possible about Leo.

“It was harvest time and…” Leo sighed heavily, “I was with him, and he saw ahead a stone and stopped. He said he would take it out of our way, he was standing in front of the harvester when… I was curious and leaned forward… and… I… I… somehow I put the harvester back into gear and… it drove on itself… it took me a little bit until I stopped the harvester. My father died on the field and by losing him my mother died on the inside. I got send around and ended up that way in Nashville.” Leo was lying back and looking at the stars wondering if things like ideas that the ones we love are up there in the stars. His body was still aching everywhere. He remember nights after harvest when he stayed up and spied through the keyhole at his parents, his mother was rubbing his father’s aching muscles until he felt better, until he kissed her and they… well made love not that he had been watching them doing it he left when they started kissing. But since he had lost his parents he lost his faith in love, because even if you find love it is certain that you will lose it again. So why find it in the first place.


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