Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Giles and Ariel (bodyswap), July 20 2008
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 05:22 PM
Gioia hadn't meant to escape Neely like that. But the man was too sharp and might want to talk about things she didn't want to. So she'd avoid him for now. Of course that meant venturing parts of the hold she usually didn't, and that was where she saw Ariel. Reading. That was the queensman's sister, wasn't it? But who was in that body now? It couldn't be Seth, despite the book.
So She cleared her throat a bit. "Um... hello there? Mind touching Iron for me? Just in case you are the puck." She pulled out the piece of iron she had now, which was an old nail with one end wrapped it cloth.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 05:27 PM
"Huh?" The girl glanced up from her tiny book, which seemed to be no more than a sheaf of paper sandwiched between two paper covers, and had to blink a few times to extract herself from her subject matter. "Oh, sure, no problem." She stretched out to tap the nail. "You're Gioia, right? I'm trying to keep everybody straight."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 05:32 PM
"Yes, I am." The smile came easy as she hunched down, by now she wore Giles body comfortably enough, at least when the headaches were on the easier side.
"Gioia Carpentiere. But I'm afraid I don't know who you are, it's a bit confusing with everyone getting switched around." She looked around, smiling again. "I can see why you hide down here. It's empty and calm during the day."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 05:38 PM
"Pipkin." She offered her hand. "Also known as the Black Aspect, also known as the Girl in Black, also known as Serendipity, also known as the Angel of Death--except I'm really not, that's just what Giles took me for the first few times." She gave the man a strange look. "And while I have you, may I ask you a question? Are you Gioia for good now, or did you plan to go back to being Joy now that you're not in Cecilia?"
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 05:43 PM
"You... you are her! I've heard about you!" Gioia smiled a little, watching the girl as if she would sprout wings and fly. "And Giles can be fanciful. Really..." She touched her head gingerly. "I wanted to thank you for that. For saving him or whatever you did. He is worth it." There was no doubt in her voice there.
"I am Gioia. It... is Joy in common? Or close enough. But Cecilian is my first language now, and even if I speak common well enough... it is my given name. It might change when I shift. Languages do that sometimes..." She had hesitated a moment before saying that but she supposed the girl would already know.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 05:53 PM
"I know he is," Pipkin said lightly, slightly bemused that Gioia would thank her for a foregone fact. "Generally resurrection only makes people worthless. But he's taken away some appreciation from it. I think he's ready to live now."
The girl folded the book around her finger. "It's just a bit of a tangle because I knew you marginally from Before. I never understood if you were using it as an alias or if that was your rightful name this time around. Believe me," she laughed, "I'll call you anything you like. Some people get fussy about names."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 05:59 PM
"I know. I don't know if this would count as my true name in the Erins since it was my name here. Maybe. Or maybe it would be my original one. I need to remember all that 'I am called' stuff now that we're getting close. Saints, you'd think Neely would have warned me enough." She shook her head, wincing a bit.
"So you knew me from before... from one of my other worlds then?" Her eyes gleamed with interest.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 06:07 PM
She laughed again, more gently, and shook her head. "Only enough to know you existed. You were right on the edge of my sphere."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 06:09 PM
"Awww... was it in the latest places I visited then? Like Raven's Dale or Earth? Or was it earlier on? It feels... it feels kind of nice to feel watched over you know?" She tilted her head and regarded the woman closer.
"Why did you let yourself he trapped and changed like this? It must be awfully inconvenient for you."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 06:17 PM
She nodded. "Ravensdale. I was fond of that place." The girl looked a little wistful. "It's a ghost world now. I've left behind a couple of those now. Held together by memories. Sometimes it's good to see how the people have dispersed." She gave Gioia a shining, bright-eyed look. "'They will come back, come back again, as long as the red earth rolls. He never wasted a rock or tree. Why should he squander souls?'"
She shook her head to dismiss the thought. "It is, a bit. I'm more worried about Miranda's out doing right now, but I think this might actually be beneficial."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 06:22 PM
"I... liked it too. Is... is it all fade now then? Or was that my version of it. I... I like that thought. That even the things that pass and fade has some use in the end. Like there is a plan or a meaning with everything. Sometimes I feel so out of place here... not here in this place, but... this reality. Some of the people... they are like the people I remember but not quite. And some remember me but I don't remember them."
She mused on that for a moment.
"Would she wreck things? By not knowing enough?" The thought was kind of scary.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 06:27 PM
"I think most of the people who were there have found other worlds. The stronger ones. Some of them were . . . well, nothing, y'know? Just vanities. Those are all gone now. The stronger ones moved on to other things. Some of them remembered, some didn't. It really depends on the individual, what gets taken with and what gets lost. Hell, you know that." She sighed.
"I don't think she could ruin anything, no. She might force a few small points, but life is very hard to kill. You know that as well."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 06:37 PM
"That's at least reassuring to know." That if the friends she had, from her own reality had... well, they lived on without her. It wouldn't be any different from a shift, should it? It might seem confusing with Seth not being the shy, sweet man she knew, and Jochy knowing her and not being Jochiem but... she would cope.
She always did.
"I hope she forces some good points though, because I am not sure what you think is small is going to seem small to us."
She eyed the woman curiously. "So how is it then... being human? Compared to what you thought? I know I've got more than a few surprises at how men worked."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 06:52 PM
"I'm mostly human anyway, in all but some of the more temporal aspects," she said. "I wouldn't say I miss anything? But it gets sort of lonely talking to people and not having that instant little list of facts about them at my fingertips. How they think, what they're feeling. But at the same time . . . the spontaneity is nice."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 07:02 PM
"Oh that is so unfair. All the rest of us will have to guess at what people really feel, and it's not easy. But I guess it is better in the long run, there's nothing nicer than finding out that someone who you thought could do something went and did it despite what everybody else thought."
She eased down from her hunch, sitting with crossed legs instead. "Maybe it is lonely because you are just sitting down here reading your book. I've hardly seen you at all, I think there's a lot of people that would love to talk to you. And even if they would make you feel lonely you could be lonely together. Sometimes that's nice." The smile on her face was so very fond.
"That's what I have with Neely I think."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 07:14 PM
"Being lonely together?" The girl smiled softly. "Maybe. A little. He's like a little baby turtle. You try to force him out of his shell once he's ducked his head in, you're apt to break him." She tipped her head to Gioia. "You like to fix people?"
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 07:21 PM
"It's not fixing." Gioia game the other girl a look, trying to stop herself from giggling at the image of Neely as a baby turtle.
"I just... I don't want to waste this you know? I have... a year, a year and a half at most. After that I will be gone. I won't be able to see any of these people again and I... want to feel that they might have a good life you know? That I mattered. Just a little bit. Maybe I do come on too strong, but... I can't just sit around watching people destroying themselves for no good cause."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 07:37 PM
"Neither can I." She drew up her knees, caught the toes of her shoes in her hands, and sighed. "People are so afraid to love one another, you know? They waste so much deciding whether or not they are, or God forbid if they should be--if the whole thing's 'appropriate'. It's scary."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 07:41 PM
"They just keep seeing everything that can go wrong. Every way they can be hurt. I... know I am a bit lucky in that in a way. I know how it's going to end. They don't." She scratched her hair a bit, sighing.
"Do you get to love... I mean really love? Or are you like the tales of the Angels I remember from another place, that can't love anybody but their creator?"
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 07:49 PM
"Everyone gets hurt," Pipkin said dismissively. "It's part of the deal. If you spend your life wrapped up in wadding, you'll never get a scratch, but you also never get anything else, either. It's just . . . extremes! Everyone seems to believe that there's either unending bliss, or else constant misery. They only have a memory for one or the other, there's no . . . " she floundered for the word " . . . contentment."
With a huge huff, she sank her back against the sack of flour she had been leaning against. "The Creator is the creation," she said softly. "This is all there is. You love the creation, any part of it, you love the part of the person who made it. You love it for itself, and because it represents something greater than itself. I don't know if that's an answer."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 07:54 PM
"Well, it is... if you love everything." Gioia smiled a bit, looking at the other girl. "But some would say that doesn't mean you love anything... because everything's the same. I don't agree with them... they seem to think there is a fixed limit on love." She rubbed Giles hairless chin. The man didn't become very scruffy at all.
"Maybe they are thinking of romantic love. That particular obsession. It... it hurts. I won't be ashamed to say I'm afraid of that."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 07:59 PM
"Well, yeah," she admitted, with begrudging acknowledgement. "I could get all philosophical about it. But that's really more of what Scarlet does. I don't think you've met Scarlet either. You're usually pretty good at getting things done yourself. You don't dither. It's easier when people shoot straight with themselves."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 08:06 PM
"In the end there will be nobody else. If I don't get it done by myself it won't get done. I..." She sighed there, shaking his head "It's not that I don't doubt either. Saints knows I do... repeatedly. But I won't be just a victim of this. I'll make it matter. I'll do something good with it. Even if people probably think I am a meddling busybody."
That made her giggle.
"Does it feel the same way now, in her body? Is it still all-encompassing love for everything? Or has that changed?"
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 09:28 PM
"I get to take people on their own merits now. It's a little disappointing. It's like I said, about people who are afraid to love? They have these little tangles, too. In their personalities. Touch-me-not signs, to keep people from getting too close too quickly. It's frustrating." She closed her eyes briefly, as if in pain. "But then again, you hang out with the King of Touch-me-not, so I'm preaching to the choir."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 09:32 PM
"Is he really that bad? I know everybody keeps telling me so but... maybe I just don't see it. Sure, he's afraid to let people in... but so is everybody else. I hope... he can resolve some things. Otherwise he's just going home to die..." The sigh was heavy.
"I think he was, at the start. I'm trying to make him realize he might have a future if he dares. Second chances and all that."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 09:48 PM
"I don't know. I don't know him anymore. Or more like it's gettting to know him all over again. He's trying to change, but he doesn't know which way he wants to change to. He doesn't know if there's any other way to live." She sighed. "It's really sad, when you get an idea of what he could be and what he is most of the time."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 09:55 PM
"I know... and he can't walk away and really begin something new, because there's so much left behind. And if he goes back to finish it... chances are it'll destroy him before the end. In one way or the other."
She fell silent, looking down at her hands. "It is... moments like this I feel that this is not all a curse, this map I bear. At least I get starts. They might not be fresh, but they are mine. I only get beginnings though... never endings. I have to make them up myself." That made her laugh, beaming the girl a smile. "I promised Giles a tall dark stranger, you couldn't nudge that into his future? He wanted a nice happy ending."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 20 2008, 10:06 PM
"It's okay," Pipkin assured. "Nothing ends anyway. There's never any one tidy point where you can put it all away." She smiled, a bit dreamily. "I make up endings for them all, too. Not happy endings but . . . satisfying ones. I think they're happy, anyway. You can't go on too far; someone always dies."
She shook her head at the remark on Giles, not to indicate a flat refusal but to say that she would not tell.
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 20 2008, 10:10 PM
"Yeah... it always ends in Death. I try not to think about that." She liked this girl, she felt like there was understanding there.
No need for masks.
"But you get to see whether the endings happen. I never do. So I guess that means they can't be ruined either."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 12:34 PM
She laughed again. "It's a good day when anything like the endings I make up happen. I told you. Things are too messy for endings. The next thing proceeds from the last. There's never a point where it all closes. It's sort of reassuring that way--that if anything too bad happens, there's life after that."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 12:37 PM
"That's what I try to think. But.. I have it easier. There have been places... I've stepped on to that have been downright horrible. But no matter how horrible, I have always known that in about a year... it would be the past. I just had to live through it. I think it might be different if you feel you can never outrun your past. For me, that's all I do. I can't keep the good things... but I can't keep the bad either." She sighed, shaking her head a bit.
"This part is always the worst. When you've stayed long enough ti make friends, to start to care about people... and you know you're on the clock. And it's ticking. When I get closer to a year it's easier... then there's this resignation. That every day might be my last. It is sad.. but also liberating."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 12:47 PM
The girl looked sad. "Have you ever noticed that sometimes things repeat for you? That you'll run into the same sort of person, or there'll be the same sort of trial?"
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 12:53 PM
"Sometimes. But there's always something new... and really, there aren't that many kinds of people in the world, are there? They are like pieces of a puzzle, they can just go together every which way. I..." She paused there, chewing on her lip. "Sometimes... I have doubts. Whether there is a meaning or whether I am simply making one up as I go along. But I always figured it wouldn't matter, as long as -I- believed there was a meaning with my path, there would be one."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 01:14 PM
Pipkin gave the man a shrewd, satisfied smile. "Exactly. You have no idea. That was part of what I did. Do. Did. Will do, whatever." She giggled at herself. "Those things that give you meaning . . . those are supposed to be there. It's pretty personalised. I mean, you can't just come down in fire and glory; people freak out. The signs don't mean anything except to the ones they're intended for. It's just a little way of saying 'hold on, you're doing okay' without being too disruptive."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 01:18 PM
Gioia was silent for a moment, her mouth a silent O. Then she answered the smile, Giles single eye gleaming. "Oh Saints... you..." It hadn't quite struck home until then. She felt like just an ordinary girl sitting here, there was nothing that would reveal her to be different. And yet Gioia didn't doubt her. At all.
"... you must have the best job ever."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 01:27 PM
"It's pretty much the same as your job," the girl said, with a nonchalant shrug. "Except that you do what I do without the supernatural hocus-pocus. At least, that's how I see it."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 01:35 PM
"I..." That made her gape for a moment. Of all the things she had thought that the map might mean, this was about the furthest thing from her mind. Could it... could this be it? How could she know?
Did she really NEED to know?
No she did not. This was one of the things you didn't need to be certain about.
But that made her smile a bit, surpressing the grimace that always came as muscles pulled against metal. "So... that makes it a bit interesting that I came down here to talk to you, isn't it?" There was just the faintest hint of teasing there.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 01:56 PM
"A bit," she said cheerfully. "It depends. Did you come down here to talk to me or to raid the pantry? There's not much left. I think the countess was munching on dried peas earlier." She made a face. "Dried peas and brown sugar."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 01:59 PM
"I came down here because I felt like looking around, and didn't want to go to my usual haunts and maybe run into people I didn't feel like talking to at the moment. I'm really not that hungry when I'm Giles... it's a bit of relief." She laughed a bit.
"So I suppose it is chance. And dried peas are delicious! Or... were delicious. Things don't taste so good anymore."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 02:10 PM
"I don't suppose they can be much different from wasabi peas," she mused, "it's just . . . sugar and peas, brr. And I'll usually try anything once."
She fluffed up the flour sack and slid over enough to admit another person--but hesitated. "Just to be sure, Giles did warn you about the luck-sucking thing? It's not me so much, but other people's bodies . . . I'd hate for Miranda to get a rude surprise when she gets in."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 02:16 PM
"Fixed!" She held up Giles hand, the small ring shining on his little finger. "We talked Seth into helping with it. Apparently he's been managing his magic a bit better since he ended up in Maulie's body, and he made this so as long as Giles wears it, he should be safe from sucking people's luck." She eased herself down next to the girl.
"I know everybody dislikes this but... it's resolved a few things at least. Made others a bit easier. And now I know what it feels to have a dick." She giggled.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 02:26 PM
"Oh God." She put her hand to her face and giggled. "That's half the reason I'm staying hidden. I am so sick of hearing about people and their dicks, you just don't know." She looked more thoughtful. "Although Scarlet said that having a dick was really interesting. But then Scarlet thought the whole idea of having a body was neat until she ate some bad fruit and ended up with a case of the runs."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 02:34 PM
"Then I will keep the affairs of my dick out of this conversation." She placed her hand across Giles heart, managing to look solemn. "Even though this ship seems to have been caught during mating season. You think the Puck has anything to do with that? The romantic entanglements here are... silly complicated. Cecilia was much simpler."
She sighed wistfully.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 02:41 PM
"I wouldn't give the Puck that much credit," she scoffed. "Or even say that he needed to go to the effort. These guys are practically doing his job for him. Some of it's cute, but aie-yi-yi, it gets complicated to sort out! I am so glad Scarlet finds this stuff more interesting than I do. I just don't have the patience for it."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 02:47 PM
"It is complicated" she agreed "I feel like a bit of a fool myself. Suspect that will pass though..." She leaned her head back, resting her neck a bit. "It must be easier to be like you. To have this... sort of general love instead of getting bogged down into specific individuals. Still... I might swear over them a lot, but men do make life a bit more interesting, don't they?" She tilted her head, glancing at the other girl.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 02:52 PM
"They do," she agreed without hesitating. "Sometimes they're a lot more simple than women on the surface? But underneath it all, I think they level out to being about as complicated as everyone else. It's sort of . . . flattering, though. To have that kind of attention."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 03:00 PM
"I know. And... well, I suppose it would feel more serious if I felt I had to pick a man and settle down and raise a fami..ly." He hitch in her voice was near imperceptible. "But I will move on. So flattering is as far as it gets."
She sighed, smiling faintly. "I told Bonet. And Giles. Neely already knew. I didn't want either to plan for any future with me. Not that Giles would. He's such a sweetheart but he's more of a kid brother you know? And Neely? I am lucky he is gay. I don't think he'd talk to me otherwise."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 03:10 PM
"It's just a different kind of family," she assured the man. "You're like Judith. You pick people up and adopt them. That doesn't make them any less yours; it's just that you get more choice than most people do. Thousands of women can't have families of their own. They do the same thing."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 03:15 PM
"I suppose so." Her smiled widened into warmth. "Thank you. I think I needed to hear that." She let out a breath, as if a great weight had left her shoulders.
"I'm sorry. I've just been so tense. Morgan, he's... sort of an ex-lover of mine showed up here on the ship. He pretty much propositioned for me to get back with him and make a family with him and his children." She sighed in frustrated amusement. "He never think things through."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 03:19 PM
"He already knows your circumstances." Like many things the girl said, it was less a question and more a statement inviting clarification. "He's offering what he wishes you could have. What he wishes he could give you. I don't think it meant to turn out sounding like he was being a dick, but you might want to tell him that it hurts you, even if it's well-meant."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 03:23 PM
"He knows. I just don't think he was thinking. Or maybe he just wanted what months I'd have. Or maybe he wasn't thinking at all." She sighed. "I don't know what to tell him when he returns. Or what I feel for him anymore. And in the end it doesn't matter. He should just let it go and find someone else if he's re-evaluating his life. He walked out on me after all... Saints... menfolk!"
She shook her head. "And now I am talking about this anyway. I'm sorry, I know you was trying to escape from it. Let's talk about you."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 03:30 PM
"Not knowing how you feel about something is a perfectly valid feeling," the girl said matter-of-factly. "It's calling 'indecisive' and if it's good enough for a political party, it's good enough for anything. It's a way station to something else. Tell him that. If you don't tell him something, he's going to bug you. Morgan's like that."
She rolled her eyes. "There's nothing to me. There is no me, per se."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 03:39 PM
"There is now." She smiled and poked the other girl's arm. "If things were to stay like this forever you would be just another girl. Live and love and die. You might as well have imagined that you ever were anything different."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 03:56 PM
"I don't know," she said soberly. "This is a very hard time to be a woman on one's own. I'd probably be better off in the Erins in that case, actually. But I don't think anyone's going to be stuck like this forever."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 04:04 PM
"Me neither. But that was not my point. My point is that as far as things are now, there is a you. An actual you, sitting here talking and trying to not think about sugared peas. No weight on your shoulders, no omniscience. Because you are omniscient normally, right?"
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 04:24 PM
"A little," she admitted. "Not so much omniscient as I sort of had a better view of things. It's sort of like Mel and his damn threads. That man pisses me off, royally. Never mind anything he's done. Purely philosophical matters." She bunched up her fists. "He is so close to having everything figured out. Literally. Everything. And he only cares about his one little speck of it. It's so frustrating to have someone who understands intellectually but stays blind to meanings."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 04:29 PM
She giggled a bit. "I didn't know you were capable of being pissed off! Good going there. He must be very special." Then she realized what she had said, pondering.. "Mel... threads... Melekain? I suppose I should be surprised since you knew about Morgan too. Are there any people here you don't know about?""
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 04:40 PM
"Even a position of supernatural benevolence does not stop people from being fucking irritating sometimes." She shrugged. "But yep. That Melekain. I know a lot of people."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 04:44 PM
"I suppose you must. Being that you used to have a better view on things. I met him a few times you know. He helped me out. He... gave me the same impression you know? So very smart, but cold. Even when he was trying to be nice. Which he was. I don't think he understands other meanings than his own."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 04:52 PM
"I know. And there's only so much patience I can afford to give him, you know?" Slipping her braid over her shoulder, she combed her fingers through the tuft at the end. "Essentially, logic is a good tool, but a bad master. People who know him now keep telling me they're afraid of him having any sort of power, but it's not the power that's the problem. It's the logic driving it. He's got to be made to feel first."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 04:56 PM
She mused on that for a moment. "People with that sort of power usually don't like to feel. You can't control hearts. He... he has a wife I think. Morgan slept with her. She got pregnant. I think he took offense, so there's obviously some feeling left at least." She sighed.
"Thought that might only be pride."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 05:01 PM
"Pride is good. Pride is something. Granted, it's harder to get around than most things, but behind pride is usually doubt. Insecurity. All that soft gooey stuff that's easy to mush around with." She sighed. "It's like pecking open a cocoanut with a toothpick."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 05:03 PM
"So, there's feelings inside the old cocoanut yet. Are you going to keep pecking? I'm only asking because well... he was the one that brought Neely back and even if he might have the wrong reason, I feel like I owe him a bit for that. Neely deserves a second chance."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 21 2008, 05:12 PM
"I hope there is something inside the cocoanut," she said, worried. "I'm going to be very disappointed if it's husk all the way to the middle."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 21 2008, 05:16 PM
"Most people do have something. Even Neely. And I think he's as tough a nut. Besides, I know that Seth adores him... though that might not be a shining endorsement." She shook her head.
"You really think that might be the case? I mean people... generally feel more than they want to let on. It's just a matter of finding the right path to get them to open up. And what that might be in that case, I have NO idea."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 23 2008, 04:29 PM
"I want to believe that he's getting to the point where he's figured out he's got to change, or else just give it all up. I'm hoping that's what this whole vacation means--that this is his way of giving himself room to evaluate himself. Which you don't do if you're completely eaten up with pride. Prideful people think they're complete as it is." She flicked her thumb, in a rather wistful way, along the thickness of her book's pages. "But again, there's the problem of him knowing that intellectually versus his understanding all the other implications."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 23 2008, 04:36 PM
"Well, at least he's trying... I just don't know what to make of the man myself. I thought he was Morgan's friend, then he was his mortal enemy, and then they're sort of allies." She sighed, waggling her finger back and forth.
"Apparently things are complicated." She sighed. "Men really do seem to have problems with their feelings." She scratched the edge of the plate, chuckling. "Well, that goes for women too I guess. But if he's the intellectual type, emotions probably doesn't make much sense. Them being illogical and all that. Or maybe he's just never opened up before. The first time is always the hardest you know?" She cast a glance at the girl.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 23 2008, 04:50 PM
"Yeah," the girl agreed. "That intellectual shit's going around, apparently. Seth's got a dose of it. And Neely . . . well, you know Neely." She sighed, her hands in her lap. "I'm just so worried I'll misstep. It's weird. I never realised that one of the things I missed by being human was just doubting things."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 23 2008, 04:55 PM
"Seth can have it but... well..." She smiled softly and lowered her voice as if it was a secret. "The world where I came from, that was almost like this but not quite... that Seth was so very sweet. Good-hearted and kind. Saved my life. So it is in there for him, even if that asshole Jochy hurt him enough to make him clam up." There was a snort there, though she had promised Elaine, she still had a hard time forgiving the man completely.
"And Neely is working on it. He really is. The things he's told me lately... they haven't been easy for him. I don't think he even want to remember or realize them himself. But they are there. And he shared. He is not as bad as everybody thinks..."
She paused for a moment, pondering. "How would you misstep? And I think the worry comes from not knowing everything. It's very easy to trust when you know. It's very hard to trust when you know nothing."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 23 2008, 05:11 PM
The girl gave a soft smile. "Seth's always been like that. Since the first time I saw him. It's hard when someone wants that much to do the right thing, to be loved . . . it hurts to see 'em get kicked in the face. As much as I'd hate to see him lose that shine . . . he's losing it. It's wearing off him. And maybe that's for the best. It's the only way he's not going to need people to protect him anymore."
She sighed again. "And Neely . . . not so much as bad as everyone thinks? More like him being as bad as he thinks? Which is pretty fucking considerable. More of the same thing. People who are afraid to be loved."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 23 2008, 05:15 PM
"Aren't we all that in our own way? Afraid to be loved?" The woman turned man sighed, leaning forward so she could rest her chin on her knees. "I know I am. I'm desperately scared of it because it will hurt too much to lose them in the end. Friendship I can deal with, and that particular closeness... but not passion. I wouldn't dare."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 23 2008, 05:22 PM
Pipkin cupped a hand at the back of the man's neck, her face softening in concern. "There are some things that knowing the reasons why still don't help much," she said quietly. "I'm sorry."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 23 2008, 05:25 PM
"There's no need to be. There is more to life than this. This... is important. And sometimes you need to sacrifice some things. I probably wouldn't have made as many friends as I have if I hadn't know I needed to hurry because time was running out. I feel a little bit more sorry for you really." She did. She really did.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 23 2008, 05:33 PM
"Nah. No need." She smiled and shrugged. "The issue's not even comparable. There's too much that needs done to worry over it."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 23 2008, 05:37 PM
"So, we're done feeling sorry for each other then." She smiled and straightened a bit, that seemed to take a bit of a load of her chest. "Do you know how long this will last then, this trading places thing... it's nice in a way, but it wears you down. "
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 23 2008, 05:45 PM
"Nope!" she said cheerfully. "Not a clue. All I have is the assurance that it will end and that everyone will eventually be restored to their proper bodies. Most likely before the ship comes into port. Which it actually can't, because there's no port in Oireachteigh that can take a ship this size . . . but you get the idea. There is a fraction of a chance that it won't be resolved until Ushante, but I think that's going to require more back-and-forth than would be strictly productive."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 23 2008, 05:50 PM
"Well, the Puck can get off here, so it would make sense. It wouldn't need to keep this confusion up anymore. And by that time you will have finished your book at least." She chewed her lip a bit as if she had just thought of something. "Aren't you worried that the queensman's sister in your body will mess something up? She has all your powers, right?"
It seemed terribly risky that...
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 23 2008, 05:54 PM
The girl gave a mysterious smile. "I don't doubt that she'll try," she said.
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 23 2008, 06:00 PM
Gioia laughed, looking at the girl with interest. "So there's limits then. That makes me a little bit happier... because from what I've seen that girl have all the drive of her brother but half the sense. Or maybe half the restraint is a better description."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 23 2008, 06:10 PM
"The risks are always taken into account before the first move gets made," Pipkin assured her. "It's very hard to--well, I'm not going to say it's hard to be taken off-balance. That's happened a few times. But it's hard to do any one thing that wrecks everything else. Life generally finds its own way."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 23 2008, 06:17 PM
"It sounds a bit like playing chess. I was never good at that game, couldn't sacrifice the pawns. A friend of mine had this amazing set many worlds back, and he taught me how to play. The pieces were beautiful, carved ivory I think, so many little details. Knights on their horses, pawns with their little tiny spears, I could look at them forever. But I couldn't sacrifice them... they were all so adorable I didn't bear to let them be taken off the board. So I protected them. And lost. I always hated that."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 23 2008, 06:30 PM
"This is the part that nobody seems to get," Pipkin said in mild frustration. "It's not a game where one side wins and one side loses. Winning and losing don't even come into it at all. Even when your little pawns got taken off the board, they weren't gone forever. They were just waiting on the edges for someone to start the next round."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 23 2008, 06:35 PM
"You are the one with the perspective. We others just have what our hearts and eyes are showing us. You said you was feeling doubt now? insecurity? Not knowing whether things were working or not? That's what we have all the time. No answers. You can tell us that the pawns on the side will be in the next game, but for us there is only one match. One board. We don't know if there is anything else, we can only have faith."
She sighed a bit, smiling to herself. "Faith is hard to find at times."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 23 2008, 06:46 PM
"If faith was easy, everyone would have it," she pointed out.
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 23 2008, 06:58 PM
"Then you should stop poking fun at us like we are fools for not getting it. It is hard, like you said. Does not get easier because someone rubs your nose in it." Gioia nodded solemnly.
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 23 2008, 07:06 PM
"I know," she agreed. "I'm getting that. I just wish I could make it easier for you guys, somehow. But I don't know how. If I could figure that out . . . it'd be a lot easier on everyone involved."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 23 2008, 07:10 PM
"I think it's just really unnerving to know that there is somebody out there watching. People like control of their own lives. Our own destinies. Even if it is illusionary. I think ignorance is best here. The more we know the scarier the world gets. At least it was that way for me."
Posted by: Ariel Jonson Jul 23 2008, 07:24 PM
"And that's one of the things I can't fix," she said. "Like it or not, I am here. I have a job to do, and I do it. I can't help what implications people take away from that. That's part of the nature of this world. How much is action and how much of it is chance depends totally on the person trying to decide between the two. It's not like gods, where the non-believers are punished. There isn't even really that much of a penalty."
Posted by: Giles Hartley Jul 23 2008, 07:32 PM
"Well, at least you are on vacation now." Gioia smiled, then eased herself back up to her feet. "And here I came disturbing you when you done so much to keep out of the way. But it was nice to talk. Really."
With that she bowed lightly at the girl, then turned to leave.