Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Giles and Morgan (bodyswap), July 10 2008
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 07:00 PM
Gioia was feeling a bit skittish after her talk with Marcello. She had nudged the game a bit, and she didn't know if she had nudged it too hard. But saints, she couldn't just sit around watching people that should care about each other act like worse than perfect strangers. Not if she could help. Even if it meant risking friendship. She would be going from here eventually, her friendship might be remembered, but if Neely and Niabheara survived this... they would be around for a long time.
Oh she was too nervous to seek out the man again. And besides, they no longer had their more 'private' quarters now that the brig was taken.
Instead she had ended up in the smuggler's hold that Giles had showed her, trying to think. She didn't mind the damp and the dark, it helped with her headaches.
Sometimes there were too many people on the ship, but not here.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 07:06 PM
Quiet interrupted by footsteps that abruptly appeared right outside the hold.
Then the door opened and a pale, middle-aged man with a shorn head and pronounced, pointed nose stuck his head in and looked about to say something when his eyes fell on Hartley's body. He blinked a couple times, casting his eyes around.
"Uh... 'Scuse me. You, uh... You wouldn't happen to have seen a tanned, blue eyed, blondish-red-haired woman about... about yay tall, would you?" He held out his hand a little, just above his shoulder.
Morgan's nostrils flared and he looked around again as if confused.
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 07:10 PM
The young sailor's remaining eye widened in surprise. "Mo.. oh. Well. Yes. Yes she's on the ship." The man had risen, hugging himself in a rather nervous and feminine gesture.
"You are not part of the crew, what are you doing here? Who are you?" The gaze was angry, the freckled face very flushed.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 07:15 PM
"I'm. I'm a friend of Joy's. Or I used to be. I." He tilted into the room some, nostrils flaring.
Her otherness was missing, that was sure. But the spark of her, the moxie, the little ripples she left in the air around her seemed so close.
"I'm Morgan. Seth's dad. Just, uh, dropped in and..." The man sighed some, shaking his head.
"And apparently I've forgotten everything I know about how to find someone." He sighed, running a hand over his shorn head.
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 07:17 PM
"Maybe you have. Since it took you this long to find her." The young man seemed to be far too angry, perhaps Joy had told him who Morgan was.
"Maybe you should just go. Maybe you're just getting old and senile."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 07:22 PM
"Have an eye for her yourself, hm?" The man chuckled some, leaning against the doorway.
He should be getting defensive. And, Hell, Seth'd probably give him worse later.
"Don't blame you. I'm probably not a threat to you, kid. Just an old... just an old something of hers looking to apologize for some really, really stupid mistakes." He smiled at the young man then and stepped inside, closing the door behind him.
There were traces of her here. Strong traces. She'd BEEN here, at least. Maybe her and this poor kid with the metal head were lovers?
"So. If you don't mind me asking, how's she been?" The man looked up at Giles, brows raised expectantly as he slid down to the ground.
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 07:26 PM
"You aren't going are you?" He crossed his arms over his flat chest, the weight on one leg in a stance eerily like Joy's, but with narrow hips.
"Idiot man!" The curse turned into a sigh. "It's me. We've got our bodies switched on the ship. All of us. It's a curse, the Puck, a Tuatha creature out of the Erins. This here belongs to a friend of mine named Giles, and I would have kicked you in the crotch right now but I wouldn't want to bruise his body. I'm not sure how sturdy he is with his injuries. So I'll just glower."
And glower she did. "You waited THIS long and now what? That desperate for a lay?"
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 07:30 PM
Morgan tilted his head some and had to admit it made sense. Explained the anger and the body language, if nothing else.
"And." He sighed some, looking at the man who was Joy, "And I am. I mean, of course I am. But that's not why I'm here." He watched her-him for a moment before sighing again.
"I should probably just give up and go home, shouldn't I?"
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 07:34 PM
"Well, you're shit out of luck with that bit now, aren't you man?" She swaggered up to Morgan, very conscious of the fact that she was in a male body. She knew Morgan didn't swing that way the least.
She liked being angry. She really did. But the look on his face also made her feel like an asshole. Oh saints she hated feeling like an asshole.
"You left Morgan. You did just what you told me you would do, served me an improbable lie and ran off into the night to new adventures. I knew this. That's why I slept with you from the start, I don't want ties. Not in the long run. I just figured I'd be the one to walk, not you. So much for my ego. Makes me wonder how many other things you lied to me during what we had."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 07:42 PM
It wasn't a lie!
It was so fucking true! Look at it! This thing is alive! It's just sleeping and won't wake for a while. I lived a whole fucking lifetime somewhere else before it came back and I had to carry it again!
He wanted to say all that.
But he didn't.
"Shit out of luck? Yeah. Guess I am."
He looked down at the floor, "You wouldn't believe me about any of it, Joy. It'd all sound like a very good, well thought-out lie laced with all the kinds of... of things that were designed to try and make you come back." He shrugged then, taking a deep breath.
"'Cause I do want you back. Except for a couple things I have to do... talk to Seth, try and help... try and help get some Countess out from some weird Weaving she's under... Except for those, I just want..."
He shook his head then.
"Joy, I'm sorry."
He held out his hands then, brow furrowed deep, face all screwed up tight.
He was a supplicant. Someone begging for scraps he knew he didn't deserve.
Or he was a very good actor.
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 07:46 PM
"Morgan. You walked. I cried, I cursed and then I moved on. And -then- I found out that you had lied about other things as well. Like that mage who fixed my map? Made me whole again? Your -friend-? No wonder you was looking like you had swallowed a live coal back then, why would you even think about lying to me and say he was your friend when he was your enemy and the man that had sent you to hell? Saints man, you've cursed that man more than anybody, and I thought he was your -friend-!"
She calmed down, lips a thin, thin line.
She left the comment about the Countess for now, she'd get to that in time.
"I trusted the man!"
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 07:51 PM
"He. He wouldn't hurt you, Joy. He's. He's a monster. And I knew then--Hell, I know now--that he wouldn't hurt you."
It sounded so small, so stupid coming out like this now.
Justifications always did.
"He's the only being I knew who could fix the map. It was too intricate for me. For most living magi, really. I'm sorry I kept it from you. That was wrong, but."
He bit his lip some, "Joy, I didn't want to be the reason you didn't get to whatever it is that's at the end of that map. I broke it and..."
"Joy, I'm sorry."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 07:55 PM
"That's not it you idiot!" She glared at the man, Giles' voiced laced with Joy's inflections. "You could have told me! Told me that alright, this man is a bastard an an enemy but he will do you right because he is curious and I will grovel for him. Really. I would be alright with that. I'm not some little daisy you need to protect from the world, I never was!"
The anger was a living seething entity that threatened to consume her.
"I need the truth. Not lies to protect me. I thought you held me higher than that." But obviously not.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 08:01 PM
He nodded slowly as she spoke, wrapping his arms around himself, every word seeming to make the lines in his face deeper.
"I do. It just. It never occurred to me that you'd be willing to do it. I know it's stupid. I know it's a lie, but I thought you'd run. And then you wouldn't get your destiny."
he looked away from her, running a hand over his head. "I just thought that maybe you shouldn't have to worry. I didn't. Fuck."
He was just about to start trying to excuse it. None of that.
"I was an idiot."
A pause then.
"Hell, who am I kidding? I still am."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 08:05 PM
"Yes. You are an idiot. And a man that thought that he should make the hard decisions and not leave them to the little woman it was all about. Saints man, I know most men are like that but I thought you were different. You seemed different. That's why it hurt. If I had just thought you was another chauvinistic arse I would have never fallen that deeply for you. But I've learned my lesson. Again."
She sighed, Giles single eye boring into the man.
"He came back you know. To see me. After you had gone. He wanted help. And I felt that I owed him and that he was your friend. So I helped him."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 08:09 PM
"I doubt it'd help my case, but I didn't do it because you were a woman, Joy. If it were Seth, I would've done the same. If our places were reversed, I'd expect you to do the same for me."
He took a step towards her... er, him, holding out his hands. "I'm a warrior, Joy. I fight. I take the easiest blows I can give and move onto the next one. It just..."
He turned away from her then, "I. I just thought I could protect you."
Hey, she'd fallen deeply for him. Way to fuck that up, old man.
"What did he ask for?"
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 08:14 PM
"You can't protect me. Nobody can. I moved on from there, I'll move on again and again and there will be nothing you can do. You might help me for a little, sure... I don't mind heroics you know, I didn't mind you saving me... I mean I've saved you back enough. It's not about that." She sighed, letting it go.
He wouldn't get it. Men never did.
"He asked me to protect a man. He was recently returned to life, had no memory. He wanted him kept safe and alive for as long as I could." Her arms were crossed again, keeping him out of her heart.
"It started as a favor, but I grew fond of him. Very fond. When I shifted, he moved with me and eventually we ended up here." She held Morgan's gaze, letting the suggestion take hold.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 08:19 PM
"I... I know I can't protect you, Joy. But. I."
He hung his head some, scrambling for words that wouldn't come.
And then the implication that her charge had been her.
He wanted to punch something. Or run away. He did neither.
"Oh." His voice was very small then. "I'm." He frowned before looking up at her, screwing his face up to keep everything inside 'cause if he let just one drop, he'd fall apart right there.
"I'm. I'm glad. I wouldn't. You won't believe it, but I really didn't want to find out you'd. you'd waited for me." THAT was a lie. "Or. Or, I mean, I didn't expect you to." Better.
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 08:23 PM
Oh she was so bad at this. So VERY bad at this. She should keep him anger, make him seethe, go away, hurt like she had hurt. But she just couldn't.
Saints she was a sucker.
"Oh unruffle. It's the Countess father, he's completely and totally gay. We are friends. That's it."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 08:28 PM
"Oh." the man shrugged some and tried to look as if he hadn't just had a coronary just then.
"Well, I stand by what I said about not expecting you to wait." He nodded a little then, "I." he was so BAD at this. It was hard to believe Seth had mastered it at all.
He wanted to just unload on her. Maybe he should.
"Glad you got someone to hang out with, then. Makes long trips a lot better."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 08:33 PM
"I haven't waited. But you taught me a lesson. I am aiming for friendship first, it makes everything easier. I will not lose myself again. Saints man, you... why did you come back? At all? You mentioned a countess... it is the same countess that's on this ship? Whose father I'm a bodyguard for? Seth's here too you know. Though he also has another body, they all have."
It was hard to look at him, she had always fallen for that sheepish look.
Rugged and repenting. be still her heart.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 08:37 PM
Suddenly every justification of why he came back at all just felt stupid and selfish and laughable.
Still, that wouldn't be a first for him, would it?
"I'm back here because I. Because I want you back. And because I want my house to be a home."
That last was said very quietly and very quickly, like a child hoping to avoid ridicule.
"And I don't know much about the Countess, only that she has some poor schmendrick acting as a Magus of some kind. Or advisor, anyway." He shrugged some, sighing. "And. And thanks for the heads-up with Seth. He's... I was going to see him after you."
It'd be best if he hit the one he might be able to salvage first. Make him more confident or more pathetic for the talk with Seth.
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 08:43 PM
Gioia sighed and hid Giles one good eye in her hand. "Oh."
The word was obviously meant to be something else, something she suppressed.
"First things first. You're supposed to do something with her and you don't know much about her? Do you even have a name?" The voice was filled with suffering.
Then she paused.
A pause that held for a long time. Then she finally spoke, in a low, quiet voice.
"Morgan. I have no home. I can't have a home. You know that. And even if I wanted one for a few months, I am sailing into a war. I have friends here. Obligations. Things I want to do before I step on."
She didn't tell him that was the cruelest offer he could have given her, that wasn't fair. He hadn't been thinking.
Perhaps it showed on her face though.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 08:49 PM
"I figured I'd just look for a red-haired girl with an air of authority and try and help her out of the Weave. Hell, truth to tell, if she wins some ware she's getting into, that..." the man snapped his fingers together, "That does a good job of breaking it."
He'd prefer to just carve the Weave away.. but she apparently had a lot of destiny riding on her and he'd hate to cut that way.
And from the look on her face...
Way to go, Morgan.
He took another slow step forward then, hesitant. "Then you don't have to stay there, I just. After this war's over. If. If you haven't stepped on, I." he hung his head some, knowing what a selfish prick he must sound like.
"Joy I want you in my life. For a year, for a month, for an hour. I. I want to help you until you have to... to step on. I want to show you the kids and..."
He trailed off then and stepped away, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, that's. I'm not thinking about you. This. That's a lot to lay on someone." Too much?
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 08:56 PM
"Saints Morgan, do you ever look before you leap?"
No. She suspected he didn't. At all. From the moment she had met the man he had been one brief step ahead of disaster. Why was she drawn to people like that?
"When the war is over... we're not even certain we are going to win. We are hopelessly outnumbered, the Countess have so few allies and nobody is trusting each other even if we are supposed to be on the same side!" She cursed for a moment, in cecilian.
She had an accent she hadn't had before, that kept sliding in and out. Something else that had changed with this shift.
"If you want to help, help with that." She took a step closer, facing the man. "Seth is involved too, you have an excuse. These people don't trust me, I'm too tied to the Countess father. Nobody trusts him."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 09:00 PM
The man smiled some and shrugged, "Shit, I was planning on that anyway as soon as I had a plan for the kids in case something happened to me."
Because it had to be about the kids first.
"And... and I'll try to help the trust thing, too. But. But I'm not the most trustworthy guy." he smiled sheepishly and sighed. "And I want to see her win this war. Outnumbered or not, she's got eclectic help. And sometimes a weird offense is the best kind."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 09:10 PM
"I am not going to sleep with you Morgan. At least not now. There are people interested in me here, and I am interested in them but... no, I am not in love with them or anything. He's a nice enough man, I could like him a lot more if given time, you two would probably end up in a fistfight which I would be alright with as long as you both had your shirts off." There was the faintest of smiles there, the first one since he had arrived.
The anger was gone. She was warming up.
"I am not going down that road again. No love. This is... more of understanding."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 09:13 PM
Morgan shrugged some then, trying to play it off a little.
And he as pretty sure it didn't work.
"It's. I mean, I understand that. Like I said, I didn't expect you to wait around for me. I'll take my shirt off any time you want, though. You know that." He smiled some, looking at the one-eyed man then before sighing and leaning against the wall.
"I'll. I'll take what you'll give me, Joy." He bowed some in what he hoped was at least a little romantic, "I am your humble servant."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 09:18 PM
"You goof." But the smile was there regardless, an irrepressible little thing despite her attempts to hold her face steady. It was all Giles face's fault.
"Morgan... I'd lie if I didn't say that one part of me just wants to kick you off this ship so hard you'll bounce. But I've been spending a few weeks trying to talk sense into stubborn people, and I don't want to be a bad example here. And part of me wants to just see if you could ever really consider kissing a man because I don't think Giles would mind... but it's complicated. And there is a lot more important things at stake here than my sex life or my heart. Or yours."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 09:22 PM
"Well, if you want to punch me, now's the time. This guy doesn't look like he's got half your upper body strength."
Was that a joke or a little alpha male strutting? It was hard to say.
"I. I know there's bigger things. But you can live for small things. Big things you usually just die for."
And for a moment he simply watched the body she was wearing before reaching out to touch the face, closing his eyes and pulling himself in to kiss him on the mouth, screaming at himself it's okay, it's Joy all the while.
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 09:29 PM
She didn't have to be asked twice. Not now. Not when she had the ring.
It was just a kiss, and besides, she KNEW how much this would cost Morgan. Because it was a man's mouth, a man's body that pressed towards the much taller mage.
Yeah, she couldn't help it, she had to cling and melt a little bit, whatever problems she had with Morgan, they hadn't been in bed.
And Giles was just a bit taller than her.
Also, he had an untimely erection that Morgan might notice when pressed so close together.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 09:33 PM
Morgan leaned into the kiss as well.
You noticed the stubble. You noticed tody differences. But you also noticed teechnique. And that was Joy's technique, alright. He pressed against her as well, a hand running down his back out of habit before he felt something against his thigh.
Oh, notice it Morgan did, pulling back with a vague grimace for a moment before running his hand over his head, attempting a sheepish grin.
"Uh. Sorry 'bout that," he murmurred.
'Cause, really? Ew.
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 09:43 PM
Joy wiped Giles mouth, still looking a but stunned and flushed by the way she had been pressed up against the wall.
And hard. Oh yes, male bodies showed that. And Morgan had felt it.
"Yes. Man. It happens. You should feel flattered." She forced back the blush.
"I... really don't know where this will go. I am not saving myself for you. You can't just walk back here and expect things to be like they were. I need time. And things might never happen. But... I don't hate you. And you are an impossible man to be angry at for this long."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 09:50 PM
"Yeah. I should, just. Not quite able to, I guess." He wiped at his mouth a little as well, blushing a little himself.
Never kissed a man.
And to the rest, he could only shrug, "I know I don't own you. You don't owe me a damn thing. So. So I'm going to try not to worry about it. I just." He was quiet for a moment before turning his eyes to the other man's eye, meeting it with some sort of urgency in his gaze, "Joy, I love you."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 09:59 PM
"Took you long enough to realize that. It's been almost a year I think. I..." She sighed, watching the man. "You never said that before. Now you do. It's not working like that, you can't win me back with pretty words. And it's not going to make it easier for me that you think you love me."
Her fingers slid up to touch the faceplate.
"You have to be patient. And this time, if there is anything I ought to know, in the name of all the saints that hops or flies TELL me, alright?"
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 10:03 PM
"I know. I..." he looked around awkwardly before sighing, "I just. I wanted to say it. I wanted you to know because..." he frowned deeply then, "Because I'm a selfish asshole, I guess."
He looked down at Giles' feet then, "There's the kids. My sitter's a really nice girl from a brothel I used to frequent. Melekain and I have kind of talked and he's trying to get some perspective and change a little. Aly's crazy and I keep trying to keep her from blowing things up. And after eating itself, the sword-monster that lives inside me has gone mostly to sleep."
He closed his eyes and counted on his fingers, "I think that's about it for the big news."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 10:06 PM
"I should say you lead a very complicated life, but that seems to be the norm around here." Gioia sighed, but she didn't look depressed. More a bit overwhelmed by it all.
"You mean the part about the thing inside you was true?" Her one remaining eye was wide and surprised.
"Because that sounded like the lamest excuse this side of 'it's not you, it's me."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 10:13 PM
"Yeah. Complicated people tend to attract other complicated people. I guess it evens out the rest of the world somehow." He shrugged a little before holding out his scarred hand off to one side, and letting some of the blade emerge.
It was a long tendril of black, less a metal but an absence, as if light saw no reason to escape it, its edges indistinct and seeming to reach out to the world around them.
And then Morgan pulled it back into himself, frowning, "She... it's asleep now. I. I'm trying to keep it that way." He frowned some, "I know what it sounded like. And I've spent... I spent a lot of time kicking myself for it."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 10:17 PM
She pulled back her teeth in a hiss, the reaction not a voluntary one. It just looked too odd, too wrong, too completely unwholesome.
It made her ear twitch. Worse than iron.
"You've got a lot of scars already. Don't you think you've kicked yourself enough? The world does that for you anyway." The smile was instinctive, and honest.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 10:24 PM
"She--it. It's pretty freaky, right?" He sighed some, flexing his hand a little as if afraid it'd cut something on its way back in.
"And. And the world kicks me a lot. I don't mind it really, 'cause I don't get too attatched to things most of the time." He smiled at him then, "But I fight for them when I do."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 10:30 PM
"Morgan..." She sighed, giving the man a faint smile.
It was impossible. He hadn't changed a bit, but it was still impossible not to like the man.
"I think you should go. I need to think about this. I really do. And IF you are planning on doing this again you should meet with the captain and introduce yourself, and probably with the Countess as well if you are serious about the war."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 10:31 PM
"Yeah. I was thinking that. And."
He reached out and kissed the man's mouth quickly.
"I've got a few more things I have to take care of. Just." He shrugged and went to the door. "Be safe, okay?"
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 10 2008, 10:34 PM
"Who invites disaster around here, you or me?" She licked her lips, still tasting the kiss.
The man got points for courage at least.
"I will be safe. You be the same."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Jul 10 2008, 10:38 PM
"I'll settle for 'alive'." He smiled and closed the door behind him.
And once outside he adjusted his pants and silently wished his own arousal would finish.
Joy could KISS. Even with those little wisps of stubble.