Zula had barely stepped out of the hallway, had barely realized that Froste was up and awake, before they were talking at her. Worse still, they’d asked a question that would actually require intelligent thought to answer. That wasn’t something Zula really felt capable of this early in the morning, even after her shower. She floundered in silence for a moment, her mouth practically hanging open while her tired mind refused to cooperate. It took her a good couple of seconds to find her voice, necessity and sheer willpower finally dragging the rusted gears of her brain into reluctant motion.
“You’re disgustingly cheerful for this time of morning” Zula observed dryly, once she finally felt capable of speech. She brought a hand up to rub at one of her eyes for a moment, while an absurdly large yawn forced its way past her lips. “Uh, probably, yeah. I just. Need a minute before we start talking about anything important. Coffee first, then details.” With that settled, and a new objective in mind, Zula strode towards the kitchen. She twisted at the waist as she stepped around the edge of the counter, and still just barely managed to avoid smacking her hip into the edge of it.
Despite her exhaustion, it didn’t take Zula long to fill up the electric kettle, or set it to boiling. While waiting for it to heat up, she produced two ceramic mugs from one of the cupboards, set them down on the counter, and put a teaspoon in each. She’d clearly assumed that Froste wanted coffee too – partially because she was still half asleep, and partially because she couldn’t fathom the possibility of anyone willingly going without. Next came the coffee itself. Zula spent a moment pulling two sachets of shitty instant from the pantry, before she ripped them open and dumped the contents into their respective mugs. After that, it was just a matter of time.
Once the hot water had been poured, Zula slid one of the mugs across the counter, towards Froste. Regardless of whether they accepted it or not, she’d cup both of her hands around her own mug for a moment, silently enjoying the warmth it exuded. Then, at long last, she finally lifted the coffee to her lips. Only after her first sip, and the sigh of blessed relief that accompanied it, did she finally turn her attention to the matter at hand. It was a little too soon for the caffeine to start kicking in just yet, but the placebo effect was strong enough that she was willing to try.
First, there was the matter of her unique circumstances to consider. Zula wasn’t entirely certain that she worked magic the same way ‘normal’ people did, and trying to explain the process with words seemed irritatingly difficult. She didn’t have the patience necessary to be a good teacher, and their respective abilities were about as close to polar opposites as possible, too. That said, it was Froste’s magical knowledge that she wanted. Magic could very well be the key to unlocking those specific memories, if this dream was any sort of indication. And all other details aside, she wasn’t in the habit of backing down from challenges.
“I can teach you” Zula answered plainly, the words imbued with more confidence than was probably realistic. There was a brief pause as she helped herself to another sip from her mug, and this time, she didn’t bother setting it back down again. “There’s no way in hell that we’re doing it here, though. If the iceberg was anything to judge by, then you’re carrying a damn big stick, and I don’t want you accidentally turning my home into a freezer.”
Zula’s fire would probably protect her from any sort of fallout, and under ideal circumstances, she’d be able to use it to thaw everything else out too. These weren’t ideal circumstances, though. A lot of her shit probably wouldn’t survive being flash-frozen, the neighbors would definitely notice, and – most importantly – she didn’t have that much juice left in the tank. The fire mage definitely didn’t want to spend that much of her remaining power if she could help it. Not when doing so would so effectively shorten the little time she had left.
“Lucky for you, I know a place. It’s quiet, and spacious, and there won’t be too much collateral damage if your power runs wild. I’ll have to introduce you to at least one of the local mages, but I assume that won’t be too much of a problem.” Zula sounded a little less drowsy now, with the caffeine in her system finally starting to do its job. “We can go as soon as we’re done with breakfast, if you like.”