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Long May He Reign - CR, Molly 2/?

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Good evening, beautiful forum!

This is a thread devoted entirely to your favorite violet circus man tiefling and mine- Mollymauk Tealeaf! The plan is for this to be more like vignettes than any real overarching story. I don't know how many updates there will be and I will be making no promises on the matter!

No spoilers past episode 25, but other incidental story beats up til then may appear. I ask that you also respect this for any new and/or potential Critters out there.

With all that said, I hope you enjoy!

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"Heeee'Yihck-tschooo!

Molly had been balancing on a makeshift tight-rope roughly a yard off the ground, but now snapped forward and nearly propelled himself face-first into the grassy meadow the troupe had stopped in that morning. He grimaced and braced for impact, but soon realized he would not be picking out turf from his teeth for the rest of the day, as a strong arm caught him and held him in place.

Yasha, tall and beefy and intimidating as ever, had him firmly by the torso.

"You should be more careful," she said, lowering him easily onto the soft grass.

It hadn't been long since she joined their traveling band of misfits, and at least twice a month, Molly would crack an eye from his sleep and catch her sneaking off into the night. He had also overheard Ornna complaining to Gustav about her and her dedication, but Ornna was always complaining about something to Gustav. He had learned to not pay her much mind when she got like that. 

Honestly, though, the most Molly could get a bead on the newcomer was that she was quiet, and sometimes seemed a bit sad.

Touching ground, he pulled himself back to the present, and issued Yasha one of his ten-copper-piece smiles.

He thanked her, dusting off his robe and straightening himself up. His tail flicked absentmindedly as he gave his nose a firm scrub with the back of his wrist. "Something in the air here doesn't seem to be agreeing with me," he sniffed for emphasis.

Yasha looked out across the great fields before them, and Molly followed her gaze. Wild lilies decorated the greenery with splotches of vibrant color. The sun overhead was warm and inviting, and white fluffy clouds sailed quickly by on the blue sky above. The wind picked up, blowing through their hair, and keeping everyone pleasantly cool.

They would need to move on to reach their next town before too long, but Gustav had insisted they take a break and enjoy the day a bit before committing to another hectic week of performances. Ornna had, of course, sneered at this, but even she had loosened up with the great beauty of the day.

Mollymauk loved the feeling of the breeze and the sound of the tinkling of his baubles hanging from his horns; however, a second lurking tickle seemed to spring to life with the wind. His nose crinkled and he turned away from his large companion, sneezing downwards, openly onto the grasses.

"Hyaah'Tissheeewww!!"

This one was more forceful and wet than the first.

His eyes were still scrunched shut, feeling far from done, when he heard a familiar snickering coming from behind.

"Holding it together there, Molly?"

"L-Love you too, B-Bo!" He struggled getting the words out to the half-orc before once more ducking down with a "Hyee'Isshooo!!"

Thankfully, this last sneeze seemed to have worked out the tickle that had been assailing him. He let out a satisfied sigh before fishing out a bright red handkerchief from within his inner robe pocket. He gave his nose a clearing blow, but his relief was replaced with a brief startle, as he opened his eyes to find Yasha watching him.

"Oh, uh, pardon the display," he offered sheepishly.

"Oh!" Realizing she had made him uncomfortable. "No, I mean, are you all right?"

Molly still found her staring off-putting, but this was the most he had ever heard her talk. He chose to roll with it.

"Oh yeah. It's probably just the flowers. Sometimes they get to me, but it's nothing to worry about."

That flicker of sadness flashed across the large woman's features again, and she grew quiet.

Shit, Molly thought.

"I mean, they are beautiful, though! Have you had the chance to take a proper look at them yet?"

He was now taking Yasha by the arm, and escorting her to one of the nearer patches of color, not altogether sure of what he was doing, but then again, what else was new there?

Then again, he was really hoping that this expedition would be worth it because his eyes were already beginning to water from the closer proximity to the dancing lilies that were practically dripping with pollen.

Yasha did seem to be responding better, however. She dropped down to the flowers and looked at them curiously before pulling out a small book from one of her side pockets. Molly watched as she inspected the blooms and after deciding which was the prettiest, she picked it and placed it within the leaves of her book. 

"I didn't know you pressed flowers!"

Yasha looked up at him with a genuine smile of delight and nodded. 

"There is so much beauty here."

Molly chuckled. She was still a bit awkward, but this had definitely been worth the short jaunt, he thought.

"Heee'Yisshooo!!" He snapped away suddenly with a particularly violent sneeze "Heee'Yah-tsheeeww!!" ..and its brother.

Once again, he heard laughter at his expense, but this time coming from Yasha.

"Blessings," she offered, still chuckling.

He instead joined in the laughter.

If sneezing was all it took him to make a new friend, he would go help her pick flowers everyday.

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•.*°•☆. Q .☆•°*.•

YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOLY SHIT 

holy damn you're really. bringing the goods today oh my damn

listen okay i love critical role, and i love all of tal's characters that i've seen him play so far. i missed a lot of molly's early arc stuff, because of scheduling things causing me to miss a lot of episodes from the 1-25 ep range, and it's a long episode format to catch up on, so i feel like i don't know him quite as well as other critters have had the chance to, if that makes sense here?

but this is a really magnificent chance to get a peek at how his personality was like in that time, and also his history, and also gawk at him a little bit. what i have seen of molly in the show, i do love. 

i look forward to checking this thread often haha <33

love your spellings and timing by the way it's so visceral and natural feeling! great job!!!!

and i think that it's so cute that he wants to make yasha happy by bringing her to the lilies even though he's allergic to them, omg my heart. and lilies is one of the sexiest flower choices you could have made, also, i'm just saying. let's be real. excellent choices all around. 

thank you for sharing!!!!

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MeForever

YAY!! I really love critical role and Molly! Thank you!

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facet

Thanks, you two!

I know Mollymauk means a lot to people so I hope I'm doing right by both him and all his fans.

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Hello beautiful forum!

I got this idea today, and I just wanted to get it down and out to you all without delay!

It's a bit of a slower burn, but I hope you still enjoy!

(And relax, it's Thursday!)

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Molly sat crumpled on the ground in Ornna's tent, completely exhausted. He was keeping an enchanted cold compress to his right shoulder, occasionally wincing at the pain and heat that seemed to be radiating from the area.

About half of the troupe had taken ill with some nasty cold, which left them with a few... "interesting" last-minute show changes on their final performance in town. Firstly, everyone adorned themselves in white face makeup, about an inch thick. If a few performers came out looking distressingly pale, the audience was sure to notice. If everyone came out looking like mimes, however, that was just circus-style aesthetic.

You quickly learn to use what you have on hand when on the road, especially when about a month's worth of dinners ride on the line.

Unfortunately, the sisters Mona and Yuli were deemed to be completely out of commission, which meant that Molly and Yasha got to try their hands at proper stage performance for the first time.

It had gone well enough originally.

Molly had balanced on her shoulders, juggling his swords, and she would take turns moving to try to make him lose his balance. Everything had gone to plan, despite Yasha's general lack of charisma with the crowd, until it came for their big finish.

She threw him straight up, probably clearing a good 30 feet, and then fumbled with catching him.

Thankfully, he was not a splat on the ground, but she had definitely grabbed him by the arm in such a way that there was a distinctly loud Pop! from his shoulder socket. Molly had given the audience a flourishing and deep bow afterwards so that they wouldn't see the pained expression on his face, and the roar of the crowd drowned out any unsavory mumblings that may have escaped past his lips.

His stage mates, and especially Yasha, however, were not fooled and helped him make a hasty retreat off-stage to nurse his injury until he was summoned once more for the final bow.

After the final guest was well out of earshot at the end of the night, the whole troupe seemed to let out a pained sigh of relief and were left to take off their costumes and makeup and tend to their sick, and now injured, cast-mates. Yasha was the only one who seemed anxious to begin breakdown and hurriedly started dismantling the poles for the main circus tent. She seemed to be avoiding eye contact with the others and hadn't said a word to Mollymauk since their act.

He was honestly a little peeved about this, but was surprised when Ornna approached him and told him to meet her in her private tent. 

So now there he found himself- frustrated, in pain, and completely spent. He frankly wasn't in the mood for Ornna and what he supposed would be another diatribe against how Gustav was running the whole troupe into the ground, although tonight he might actually agree with her.

It surprised him then, when she deftly entered with a bottle of whiskey and a long box he didn't recognize.

"Drink this, but not too much. Not yet, at least," she said, handing him the alcohol.

He obliged, limiting himself to one, albeit very large, swig straight from the bottle. He felt it hit the back of his throat and gave a slight cough, but thankfully kept himself from full-on sputtering at the strength of it.

"You did good tonight, Tealeaf. I'm giving you a present," she said with a haughty smirk. "I'm going to let you drink as much of that as you'd like until you pass out, or-" She paused and unlatched her mystery box, revealing a host of pointed metal tools and colored inks, "I'll give you a tattoo, my treat."

Her smile turned warm and reached her eyes for a moment, before once again turning serious. "That's the only drink you're having tonight though, if that's your choice."

Molly eyed the bottle. It was tempting, true, but he knew a deal when he saw one. He cocked an eyebrow at Ornna.

"Will you do my face?"

She rolled her eyes. "Why am I not surprised?" She grabbed a small stool and sat, preparing her tools.

Meanwhile, the chill of the earth he was sitting on, mixed with the cold from his compress made Molly give a shiver.

"You better get that out of your system now if you don't want ink in your eye," she chided.

"Well, if it's red," Molly said with another wince from the pain in his shoulder, "At least no one will be able to tell."

Ornna called him a dumbass underneath her breath and began to carefully clean his face. She was using some kind of alcohol solution, and the smell of it stung the insides of his nostrils.

He crinkled his nose with a sniff, then tried wiggling it back and forth, but no dice-

"Heee'Yihsshhhooo!!"

Molly turned away and sneezed into his good hand, wiping off the wetness onto his trousers.

"Blessings," Ornna offered, dryly. "You do understand you need to be still during this process, yes?"

Molly's face turned a deeper shade of purple, but nodded curtly and resumed sitting as still as he was able.

Ornna returned to her work quickly, apparently not trusting her canvas to behave for long. However, once satisfied that he was clean and ready, her demeanor softened.

"So, what is it you would like?"

Oops, thought Molly. He hadn't actually thought that far ahead.

"Can you just do some- uhhh..." he trailed off.

She let out a sigh.

"Some swoopies?"

"...Swoopies?" she repeated.

Molly used his nail to draw in the dirt some curved designs like a child might draw the wind.

She studied them for a moment before giving a shrug and began to draw similar patterns on her subject.

The sensation was not too terribly different from when one of the others applied stage makeup on him. He allowed her smooth brush strokes to soothe him. Ornna also seemed to relax as she focused in on her art. For a long time the two were quiet. Silence is a scarcity living in a circus so it is valued when found.

However, as the time passed, Molly was finding himself steadily more and more uncomfortable. Of course there was the matter of his shoulder, but a creeping chill also seemed to be sinking into his bones, and while Ornna was no longer using her cleaning solution, something was still making his nose twitch from time to time. Not to mention his overall aching for bed and rest. Perhaps the whiskey would have been the better choice after all, he mused.

"Molly?"

"Hmm?"

"You still with me? I asked you how far you want these to come in on your face."

Had she? He hadn't heard a word. "My apologies. I would say maybe in on the cheek but no further."

She nodded, but with a slight show of concern on her face.

A headache was starting to thump beneath his brow as he gave another sniffle, which set off another chain reaction.

He quickly held up one finger, signalling to wait, and twisted to the side with a-

"Hiih... Hee'Yis-sheeww!! Hah- Hah'Tch-chooo!!"

Ornna tutted her tongue. "Blessings. I'm sorry. I had not realized you had also caught whatever is going around."

"I- I haven't," Molly replied, surprised.

She placed the back of her hand to his forehead with a frown.

"Your temperature says otherwise. You should rest. We can do this another time."

She began to pack-up her things before he protested.

"We're already this far in! At least let me walk out of here with more than facepaint I have to rinse off."

She considered this, and maybe it was because she had already sunk maybe an hour into the process, but she humored him.

"All right, I'll just do the line-work tonight and we can fill it all in later." She paused for a moment. "But that will be on your dime, understood?"

He laughed and knuckled his nose one last time before returning to his position.

Ornna now began using her tools to gently and expertly apply the dye. The pain of it stung Molly, but nothing like what he had already been through that night. If anything, it just seemed to take his mind off of the pain he was already in.

He wondered if Ornna had planned that by design.

"You know, that Yasha?" She interrupted his thoughts. "She ran off again after she got the tent collapsed."

Molly listened silently.

"I suppose if she's going to behave like that we should be grateful she at least follows through on her duties."

He didn't meet the red head's gaze. 

"The thing is, though..." she trailed off as she applied more pigment, "Usually when she ditches us, she goes charging off into the wilderness to Gods'-know-where, but this time, I saw her heading back into town."

Molly furrowed his brows together slightly. That was odd for Yasha. He wondered what was up with her.

His thoughts turned fuzzy, however, as Ornna continued to work. Something about the rhythmic tapping seemed to be playing on his- apparently ill- sinuses. He tried to ignore the building buzzing-like sensation creeping from the top, down to his nose.

Unfortunately, his face seemed to be trying to twist and contort to aid him in this measure.

"Don't fuck up my lines, Tealeaf!" Ornna all but growled.

As she saw his eyebrows arch, though, she swore and pulled away, just in the nick of time for him to-

"Heeee'Yeehh-Shoooo!!!"

"I swear to the Gods, Mollymauk, if you sneeze on me, I will pile-drive you straight into the ground."

He rubbed his nostrils back and forth and gave her a pitiful, watery look, before turning away from her with another blasting-

"Hyaah'Tch-shooo!!"

He turned back, all but gasping, exhausted.

She chuckled, exasperated. "You're the only person I know who sneezes in three syllabels." She decisively started to pack up her tools now, setting the used ones to the side for cleaning. "Blessings, Molly. Here, take a look, and then go get some rest."

She held up a hand mirror and he took in the admittedly very swoopy shapes.

He sniffled before saying, "You know, I think we could change these just a little."

"You don't like your swoopies?"

"I love my swoopies! But I think they would be even better as..." he thought for a moment. "Feathers! You know like a peacock has!"

Ornna laughed. "Feathers definitely suit you, Tealeaf."

He smiled and thanked her as he walked out, desperate for his own tent and finally some sleep.

Waiting just outside his quarters, however, was an unexpected sight- Yasha.

She was just standing there with some parcel in her hands, and seemed startled at his approach.

"I- I'm sorry," she said. "I wasn't sure where you had gone so I stayed out here for you."

Molly nodded with a slight smile, confused as ever by the large woman.

"I, uh, like what you did with your face?"

The awkwardness of the encounter was not lost on the tiefling, but he tried his best to push through it so he could get to his bed. 

"Yes, Ornna- fire dancer and amateur tattoo artist. Will wonders ever cease?" 

Yasha said nothing so Molly gave a rather throaty cough before continuing, "Was there something you needed from me?"

"I... I'm sorry. I hurt you earlier. I went into town and got you a healing salve. It should help ease the pain, too."

She handed the wrapped parcel to him without meeting his eye. He took it, surprised, but touched.

"Apparently wonders really don't ever cease," he said more to himself than to Yasha.

"Thank you. Would you like to come inside for a bit to chat? Though I must warn you, I seem to have come down with this circus plague."

She brightened up at this, but declined.

"No, I should really get going and you should get some rest then. I- I hope you feel better.. all-around."

She offered him a weak smile, which he returned ten-fold, and after bidding her good-night, Molly finally retired- a fine end to a rough day.

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•.*°•☆. Q .☆•°*.•

oh my god, i adore this. something in the way you write these scenes is so sweet. and your character voice is impeccable, i can really hear them saying the dialogue in my head. thanks again so much for sharing these amazing ficlets!! 

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mutini

omg i'm so delighted to see more molly fics! he's still my absolute favorite. these are so great, thank you for writing!!!

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