Deitha had made an appointment to see Healer Ó Dálaigh again - it had not been the easiest of gestures but one that she felt compelled to do. Truth be told, she'd had quite the time since her first visit. No more nightmares - not so much as a headache - since her treatment. And yet, she had questions...
She was aware that callous cruelty and sadism was not always something she'd been enthusiastic about. Certainly it was something she had grown into, lashing out at the world in a way to deal with what happened. Being hurt, and continuing the cycle - and the nightmares certainly hadn't helped. But in a way it had taught her something about herself... that the wellspring of whatever it was that fuelled her inner sadist had always been there, and merely amplified by everything that had happened.
Specifically, this recent dose of freedom from her past gave her thoughts about her future. She wondered if she might, for example, start to spontaneously sprout something entirely as inconvenient in her trade as conscience, Merlin forbid, compassion, or even - empathy.
But, while she had made the appointment and had had the occasional jitter about keeping it, the question had been resolved for her by Ó Dálaigh's office postponing it.
But today was the day. The reckoning.
Last time she'd found herself in London heading towards Meridian, she'd purposefully worn an outfit intended to make a statement. A statement of 'come on, world, what do you have?' But today that hadn't felt like the right mood.
Yes, her purple dress was a frightful statement of intent. Confidence. Calm. That hint of something not so well aligned with everything else. But she'd felt... better, she could only call it... and purple didn't seem the right statement. It wasn't even that she wanted to demonstrate some sense of contrition perhaps for her delightfully dark exterior. That exterior, she was quick to amend, mentally, was still just as delightfully dark, thank you very much.
She stood, much as she had those few weeks ago, at the entrance into Knockturn Alley. Slightly different this time, it was a set of dress robes that were plummy in colour, less brash and bold than the purple, but still making it quite clear that adherence to blandness and convention was neither acceptable or desired. She adjusted the angle of her hat - it had a really rather wide brim this time, checked her pigtails one last time, took a deep breath and set off for Meridian.
She stepped over the threshold and felt the air change. It was as tranquil as her last visit, but it had a note of sadness about it. Something in the air... whatever she tuned into to get a read on her clients, she tuned into it here.
Odd, the receptionist wasn't there. She looked around, wondering where... all there was, was a scent of jasmine, which she followed to the little kitchenette, before knocking politely on the door.
"I'm not late, am I?"
The healer was sat in a chair. He didn't look well, and it was all Deitha could do not to gasp, and convey... was that an ounce of compassion in her face? He looked like he needed a holiday. Several of them, possibly.
"How are you?"