Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Elaine, Judith, Keisuke, September 23 2007
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 06:56 PM
When Elaine woke up, it was with a burning pain in her side.
It took her several minutes to even move, and when she did, she winced, biting down on her lip as she stiffly eased herself out of the bed and swung her legs-- or, rather, slowly raised and lowered her legs over the side as if they were lead weights.
"Oh my god," she moaned miserably. "It feels like I've been bitten by a shark. Can you get your middle amputated?"
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 07:02 PM
"Up and at 'em," Judith said without looking up from her writing. It did not appear she had slept at all after turning over her bed to Elaine; her hands were ink-spotted and she wore a look of intense concentration as she puttered over the best phrasing for what was turning out to be three sheets' worth of big-fish stories. "It'll seize up if you don't move around with it."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 07:05 PM
"It didn't hurt this much yesterday!" Elaine moaned mournfully as she crawled, very timidly, out of bed, stretching her arms in the air before she looked down, pulling her shirt up to check the bandages beneath. "Are you sure someone didn't shoot me a few more times while I was sleeping?"
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 07:10 PM
"Quite, quite sure. I were here the whole time." Judith gave an irritated look between her paperwork and her apprentice, then, with a sigh, sprinkled the wet ink with blotting powder, blew it off, and pulled herself off the floor to help the girl. "We're gonner have to swap out those bandages. Don't touch 'em with your hands."
Posted by: Keisuke Suzuki Sep 22 2007, 07:11 PM
From outside came the sound of someone tapping on the door--it was a light and awkward sound, the sort that might be produced when the knocker was juggling a tray loaded high with breakfast and a pitcher of fresh juice, and therefore unable to commit fully to the act of knocking.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 07:12 PM
"What?" Elaine asked. "What do you mean, don't touch them with my hands? What am I supposed to touch them with?"
She stomped up and down slightly, as if the stomping would make her side hurt less. "Did Starling tell you we found Cor--" She stopped, turning to the door. "Um? Who's there?" she asked, before realizing she might be better off leaving that up to Judith.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 07:19 PM
"Don't touch 'em with dirty hands," Judith corrected. "No, he rather skipped that part. Got as far as the Admiral. How's he lookin', then? He say anything about the first mate?"
She went to answer the door. "Ah. Mornin', Key." Snatching a heel of bread off his tray, she turned her back and went back to her paperwork, leaving both Key and Elaine to manage on their own.
Posted by: Keisuke Suzuki Sep 22 2007, 07:21 PM
"Mornin', captain," he said with a nod, before turning to peer at Elaine.
"You live," he observed with a quick smile, before offering up the tray. "Figured we ought to test you--if this doesn't come leaking out past those stitches, we'll know the doc's worth his salt."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 07:29 PM
"He said the first mate's the Cap--" Elaine started, before her eyes grew wide at Keisuke's offering. "OH MY GOD, IT'S FOOD," she exclaimed happily.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 07:35 PM
"Come now, Key. You got skewered; the girl barely got nicked. It didn't even hit an organ." With a groan, she knelt down and began gathering up pages. "She's not got that lovely soup-strainer effect you had."
Posted by: Keisuke Suzuki Sep 22 2007, 07:42 PM
"Ain't that the truth," the halfblood muttered, setting the pitcher down on Judith's desk and pulling off one chipped plate. "I think there was more missin' from my gut than actually left inside.... thanks to Mister Hartley's bloody aim. Honestly, who hits that many vital bits? In the dark, no less? Lucky bastard..."
He offered the first plate to Elaine, then--with a brow quirked--held the other out to the captain. "Want a bite, captain? Figure you're near worn out, without Knocks to take care of this menial nonsense..." He eyed the paperwork distastefully.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 07:48 PM
Elaine squirmed slightly, and gave Keisuke a curious look as she sat down on the bed again, taking her breakfast with her. "Did you really leak?" she asked curiously.
She make a face at Judith. "It feels a lot worse than a nick. A nick is what my father gets when he tries to shave."
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 07:56 PM
Judith curled up on the floor, knees up, hunk of bread in one hand and sheaf of pages in the other and looking for a free hand she didn't have to find where she'd put her sealing wax. "Knocks never had enough imagination for this business. Most boring man I ever worked with. I hope this is enough detail to cover it; otherwise I'm gonner have to make shit up. Thank the gods we lost half the crew. I can tell Moreau we swapped out all of 'em and that's why no one can corroborate."
She grinned up at Elaine. "It's a nick. You squeaked past it. Your grandfather's aim's shite."
Posted by: Keisuke Suzuki Sep 22 2007, 08:06 PM
"Why use your imagination? The truth is way more interesting, you couldn't make this shit up," Keisuke said, with a grin. And I'd corroborate," he added after a moment's thought, as though it were a great favor.
Cheerfully, the man flopped down on the foot of Judes bed, reaching for an apple from the tray, looking very much as though he was keen on sitting there until someone told him to move.
Taking a bite of the fruit, he nodded, solemnly at Elaine's question. "Oh yeah. Something awful--but only at first. They gave me the doc's god-cursed grog for the pain, and it came trickling right out, sopping wet. You have any idea how painful that is?"
He gestured to the offending area of his torso with the munched-upon fruit in his hand. "Once things started healing through the soup started stayin' where it oughta be. Lost all my pudge, too--perks of the near-death experience," Keisuke added, with a happy pat to his gut.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 08:11 PM
Elaine winced, squirming where she sat. "She needs Moreau to think she's actually been fighting Aquitaine's enemies," she explained helpfully. "Which we haven't exactly been doing. And you met the man. He wouldn't believe in bread unless it was on the plate in front of him. After he'd eaten it, he wouldn't believe in it again. Oh my god, food," she repeated happily as she shoveled it down. "I didn't realize how starving I was."
She looked to Judith. "So. The thing we were talking about. Is that meant to be common knowledge?" she asked, glancing at Keisuke.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 08:18 PM
"Exactly," she said with a nod to Elaine's explanation. "I take it back. Knocks is the second most boring man I ever worked with. Knocks at least had a damn sense of humour, much as you might have to dig for it. And the lesson here," she added, rather archly, "is I don't care how good-lookin' they are, you sleep with 'em once and you'll be stuck with their dreadful dull mind for gods know how long."
She glared at Key as the man took a seat on her bed, then shrugged and reached for the wax. "They're all gonner know eventually, Elaine, so it's not a matter of much secrecy."
Posted by: Keisuke Suzuki Sep 22 2007, 08:22 PM
"I see how it is," Keisuke made a face at Elaine. "Won't be the first time I've been left out on the interesting bits," he said, taking another bite of his apple, but refusing to move until Judith outright demanded it.
Then, as Judes' words caught up with him, he froze--mouth half open. "Wait, you mean, you were sleeping with that handsome dwarven devil? Or..." his brow furrowed slightly, "...the other guy?"
Keisuke appeared slightly astonished by either of these possibilities. So astonished that, for a long moment, he sat there chewing and forgetting to swallow.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 08:31 PM
"She definitely wasn't talking about Knocks," Elaine pointed out. "Not to say she didn't sleep with Knocks, but she apparently didn't think he was stupid," she said smoothly.
She looked rather satisfied by the fact that the only person she'd slept with whilst inhabiting her own body was, in her estimation, both good-looking and sharp.
"So we saw him," she informed the captain. "Corkscrew. He was pretty mad we played that song," she said, pressing her lips into a frown. "But anyway, he said the first mate's the captain now?
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 08:37 PM
Judith threw back her head and cackled. "Knocks? Hell no, man. Even I have some standards." She grinned brightly as she leaned back on her hand, knee swaying back and forth. "So Hector's captain now? Don't surprise me. That punch-drunk ijit they had before had no damn business runnin' a ship. How's Corkscrew lookin'? Still got the eye and all?"
Posted by: Keisuke Suzuki Sep 22 2007, 08:45 PM
"Now now, he was a fine looking specimen," Keisuke grinned at the captain's good mood. "If you're into the beardy, type, of course..."
Scratching at the scruffy, somewhat pathetic looking stubble gracing his chin, the half-Tuatha considered this with an arched brow. It was a well documented fact aboard the Red that he couldn't grow a beard to save his life. "Perchance I'll grow one out in the hopes of catching your eye, Captain."
With that, Keisuke stood, taking another bite of his apple. "I'll leave you lovely ladies to your plotting, then," he said with a grin.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 08:51 PM
"The--" Elaine started, before she recalled. "Oh. Oh, yes. He has the eye. So did you sleep with him?" she asked. "This Hector fello-- oh, God. Key, if that's what you find attractive, I'd hate to see that girl you're mooning over."
She shrugged back at Judith. "He said he'd tell the captain. He--" Now she grinned. "He seemed sort of scared of you."
Posted by: Keisuke Suzuki Sep 22 2007, 08:57 PM
"Nothing wrong with a hefty helping of good, old fashioned, unrequited love! Besides, Miss Molly's got a chin smooth as Starling's," Keisuke assured Elaine with a laugh, before exiting, the door slamming behind him with a bang.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 09:03 PM
"Aye," said Judith, deadpan. "It's the beard. Can't live without it. Broke my heart in twenty places when he turned me aside. Go grow your beard on deck, Key."
She waited cheerfully until Keisuke left them alone. "Iron nails, Elaine, how many people d'you think I've slept with? Corkscrew's an old mate. I knew 'im before they kicked him out of the Navy, his cousin too. And Hector. What's he got to be scared of me for?"
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 09:09 PM
"Quite a few," Elaine answered. "I mean, how many hundreds of years old are you? And it's not that I think you've slept with everyone; I'm just trying to figure out which ones you have," she explained earnestly, giving the woman a rather sweet smile. "I mean, if I'm going to be taking after you, I've got to know these kinds of things."
The girl shrugged. "I don't know. What has he got to be scared of you for?"
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 09:18 PM
"Not Knocks, that's for damn sure. Not Corkscrew; I were always under the impression that he were a poof. Not Silvio. And not Hector--not for any lack of trying." She ticked off points on her hands. "Moreau, yes, but I was drunk. Well, the first time I were drunk; the other times were probably my own fault. I may have been drunk with Hector's old captain, but I distinctly remember he passed out pretty early, so nothin' happened there. Don't take after me on that account. Like I said, it ends up bein' more trouble than it's worth."
She sat up straight, looking honestly puzzled. "I really don't know how I could've spooked Corkscrew. We were always pretty tight. I . . . ah, I think it might've been that whole thing with the sea serpent." Judith laughed at the memory. "But I did that for them! I don't know why that would get him rattled."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 09:37 PM
Elaine looked rather impressed at Judith's rattling. "Moreau?" she asked. "I mean. Hm."
Then she frowned. "Did you sleep with him before or after you shot him? And don't worry, he's a little old for me."
"So what happened? You raised a sea-serpent to help them out and he didn't like it? Who are these people? Why are we getting in touch with them?"
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 09:45 PM
"Before I shot him." She shrugged, as if that should be a given fact. "He had it coming. He tried to shoot me. I got to the gun first."
Judith popped the last of the bread in her mouth and, chewing, pulled herself off the floor again. "No, no, they raised the sea serpent. Or rather, their captain did, on account of he was an ijit, as previously mentioned. I talked the damn thing down. Which means they owe me a favour. I'm comin' to collect."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 09:51 PM
"Ahhh," Elaine replied, sounding amused. "So...what, he's afraid you want his eye?" she asked teasingly.
"And Moreau never told me that part," she assured her. "He made it out like you just shot him, which, given your past track record, didn't seem like such a big surprise."
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 10:00 PM
"Of course he wouldn't," Judith said. "What all did he tell you, then? How much did you two talk?"
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 10:04 PM
"A lot," Elaine replied. "I was there for ages before you showed up. I asked if he slept with you, but I don't think he gave me a straight answer. There were a lot of things he wouldn't give me a straight answer about, like what happened when you shot him and how come you left and he stayed and got his stupid commission."
She smiled at the woman. "I told him you'd never have wanted that commission."
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 10:20 PM
"Does he still do that thing where he fondles his pistol?" Judith's eyebrows shot up, eyes sparkling beneath them. "Man's got a bigger pistol every time I see 'im. He's compensatin'." She situated herself on the other end of the bed. "Same with the commission. Man like that's always got to have some reason to make hisself look bigger'n he really is. I didn't want it, and Aquitaine wouldn't have offered it to me anyways: even if I weren't a woman, I'm still faerie, and they trust us to do their dirty work but not so much when it comes to bein' in charge. Besides, it would've anchored me too much to the Wreath. This way I can vanish for months and no one comes after me." She smiled back at Elaine.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 10:24 PM
"That, and the whole bit where they have to believe you're a supernatural force probably gets in the way," Elaine agreed. "How did you manage not to do funny things to him? All I want to do is get him on this ship and tell Mama to have at him and see if he still says ghosts don't exist."
She grinned. "Yeah, he keeps rubbing the butt of his pistol, but I thought he was doing it to threaten me, not because he's self-conscious. I'll remember that next time I see him."
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 10:32 PM
"Aquitaine knew what I was when they signed me on. The reasoning was that they'd rather go ahead and get me on their side when things were peaceful, rather than waitin' for a sea-war to break out and someone else gettin' their hands on me--or more like me pickin' someone else's side. Which I might still do, though I'm less likely to turncoat 'em if they're still footin' me bills." She shrugged again. "Renaud knows. He's not that stupid."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 10:38 PM
Elaine raised her eyebrows. "But does he believe it?"
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 10:44 PM
Judith gave the girl a wry look in return. "Does it matter if he believes it?"
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 10:47 PM
And Elaine mimicked it. "It's funnier if he doesn't," she answered.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 10:58 PM
"Precisely." She seemed willing to let the subject go. "Moving on to Hector. I lost a ring to him, ages ago. Card g-me. Lucky draw. I lost it before I knew what it was. I'm hopin' to buy it back off him without him gettin' suspicious about why I want it. Failing that, I'll rent it back. You're the only one that knows that so far, including any of them out there, so good neighbour to keep it quiet for now."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 11:05 PM
"Yes, Captain," Elaine answered obediently, raising an eyebrow. "Do I get to know what the ring is?" she asked. "Or just that it exists?"
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 11:16 PM
"It's part of a map. The coordinates are carved into the back, very tiny--you need a special sort of light to project 'em. All I need it to get hold of the damn thing for an hour or so to copy them down. Then I'll turn it back over to Hector, and hopefully he'll be none the wiser." She grinned at Elaine. "And now you know enough to screw me over. Unless . . . feel much like treasure-hunting?"
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 11:22 PM
Elaine grinned, her eyes lighting up at the suggestion. "What's the treasure?" she asked. "And why," she asked,a bit more skeptically, "would I screw you over? Wouldn't that be sort of stupid? Besides, I like you."
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 11:40 PM
"Lost city, holy minaret, pagan idol . . . the usual nonsense." Judith snorted lightly. "The treasure hunting's the sideline. Supposedly there's a stone there that can be used to convey immortality. So naturally, we're goin' there to smash it."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 11:44 PM
"Wait, so we're going treasure hunting and not even for the treasure?" Elaine asked. "And why are we doing that? To, you know, prevent other people the pain and suffering of watching their children grow old before their eyes or something?"
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 22 2007, 11:52 PM
"No, we're doin' it because there's only so many immortals in the world and we don't like competition." She propped her head against the wall. "And for the loot. I'm a sucker for loot."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 22 2007, 11:56 PM
Elaine stuck her tongue out. "You said the loot was the sideline, I thought?" she asked, sounding entirely amused. "But I figure if I'm going to really do this thing right, I've got to have at least one treasure hunt, huh?"
She grinned again, then looked down at her side. "Hell. How long is this going to hurt for?"
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 23 2007, 12:05 AM
"Girl, you just got a gouge taken out of you. You ain't gonner sleep it all off in a night." Judith swung her feet to the floor and held out a hand for Elaine. "Give it a couple weeks. Meanwhile, if it's any consolation, someone showed up ass-early and left you flowers."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 23 2007, 12:08 AM
"What?" Elaine asked. "Who? You're joking, right?"
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 23 2007, 12:16 AM
"I don't know; do I look like your social liaison?" She scooped her papers back from the floor, deliberately not looking at Elaine. A smile formed around the corners of her mouth. "Tallish fellow, close-cut hair, about a couple shades darker'n you. Could you juniors try not to give out who we are to everyone who happens along?"
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 23 2007, 12:20 AM
"I didn't--" Elaine started, before her eyes widened, looking perplexed. "You mean it wasn't Starling and they don't have bug--What?"
She frowned for a minute. "We didn't tell anybody who we, except--huh. There was the man who bandaged me up when I got shot? I don't know...Why would he send flowers?"
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 23 2007, 12:24 AM
"Why does any man send flowers?" She tapped her pages on her knee to straighten the edges. "You want, I could send him back a nice note sayin' I don't allow you to accept gifts from strange men and that we've donated the flowers for the church altar . . . "
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 23 2007, 12:27 AM
Elaine's cheeks went red. "But he doesn't know me!" she pointed out. "All he did was cut my shirt open!" She looked around suspiciously. "Where are they?"
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 23 2007, 12:32 AM
Judith gave the girl a very dry look. "Cuttin' shirts open sounds like a pretty fair way of gettin' to know someone, you ask me. For pity's sake, girl--the man wants to get to know you. That's why he left flowers. It's classic. Girl gets shot, girl meets boy, boy loses girl, boy finds girl."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 23 2007, 12:37 AM
"But I don't WANT him to find me!" Elaine said frustratedly, her face still red. "Why is her sending me flowers? I could be crazy! Or evil! Or a heartless bitch! Or not even interested in men!" Her hands balled up into fists, and she looked as if she were about to burst from the energy she was building up by swinging them around.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 23 2007, 12:40 AM
"Did you not hear the bit where I said 'this is how he shows that he wants to get to know you'?" Judith was getting far too much amusement out of this. She tried to tone herself down a notch. "So if he sees you again, just tell 'im to stick his damn flowers up his nose and be done with it." She paused, slowly tapping the pages against her hand. "I put 'em in some fresh water outside the door."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 23 2007, 12:48 AM
Elaine started for the door, but about halfway across the floor, she burst into tears and threw her hands up in the air. "I can't do this!" she huffed, squeezing her eyes shut.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Sep 23 2007, 12:53 AM
Judith rolled in equal frustration. "Oh, fine. Stop throwin' your arms around; you're gonner rip somethin' loose. Give me ten minutes to talk to Gwydion and I'll come back in here and we'll swap out your bandages, all right?" Shaking her head and chuckling under her breath, Judith rolled the papers into a solid tube and stepped out of the room.
After a calculated beat, the door reopened, just a crack. A hand sneaked in with a half-filled pail of water from which a spray of early callinas emerged, the gold-speckled red petals arched like delicate wings. The door closed again.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Sep 23 2007, 12:59 AM
Elaine blinked once at the flowers, then let out a shrill cry of frustration, kicking over the bucket of water before she sank to the floor, nearly sitting in the puddle of spilled water from the bucket before she reached for the flowers, angrily mashing them into the floor as she sobbed noisily.