Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Michelle introduced, Seth reappears, October 17 2008
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 04:12 PM
The young woman was making her way through the crowd, weaving effortlessly through the festive people. Now and again she stopped to glance around, but whether she was looking for someone, or looking to avoid someone was anyone's guess.
What was obvious was that she avoided the off-duty aquitanian sailors like the plague, and looked quite suspicious of anything with a uniform.
The other thing that was obvious was the fact that the young woman looked to be quite pregnant. Even though she was bundled up in layers of the frilly skirts that women wore around here, topped with a blouse and layers of long scarves wrapped around her head and shoulders, the stomach still managed to protrude quite a bit.
She paused once more, leaning a bit against a post, reaching up to pull back the scarf slightly from her face. The hot and humid air had covered her darkly tanned face with a sheen of sweat, and the black hair was sticking to her forehead. She had a rounded face, pleasant-looking with high cheekbones and almond shaped eyes.
Those eyes were never still for a moment, looking for something... for someone.
But she was a patient woman. She could wait.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 04:25 PM
The one good thing about ballis was that Judith did not have to buy her own beer. Even though all things alcoholic in the Wreath were either made from or flavoured with some sort of juice or another, or else had chunks of fruit floating in them like edible buoys--a crime against both fruit and booze, in Judith's opinion, as she scowled into her mug and fished her fingers down in the depths to extract a bit of starfruit.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 04:31 PM
Elaine was sucking on a piece of orange rind from her own mug. "Why didn't anybody ever do this before?" she asked, as she took another gulp of beer. "This makes drinking so much better."
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 04:33 PM
"It's a cheap trick to cut back servin' any actual booze in it," Judith muttered grimly. "It's one step up from waterin' it down. Plus you can't tell if it's bad booze for the fruit." She finally extracted the offending starfruit and shook amber droplets off her fingers. "Be careful," she warned. "It also makes you drink faster."
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 04:36 PM
The young woman paused, having spotted at least one of the persons she had been looking for. Hesitating for a moment, she started forward, clutching her shawls tightly around her.
This close she was starting to look nervous, what if she had been mistaken?
Not that she had much choice, she knew she had been spotted when she arrived. She had managed to give them the slip, but they had probably already reported her to the authorities.
Sometimes this was a very small island. She wouldn't be safe her for long.
So, she swallowed hard, set her lips in a determined scowl, and started through the crowd. Judith. That was the woman's name, she was famous around these parts.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 04:41 PM
"But it's good fruit," Elaine pointed out, popping a grape into her mouth. She took another drink of beer. "Don't worry," she assured Judith. "I won't get inebriated."
She stopped, glancing up at the woman who appeared to be approaching them.
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 04:47 PM
As soon as she had been spotted, the young woman halted a few steps away, then braved the final distance. "Um... Captain Ni Dowd?" She obviously wasn't sure.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 04:50 PM
Judith's reaction to hearing her name in a public place was genial but wary. She gave the strange woman a long, speculative once-over, mostly to determine if she was either accompanied or sporting any weapon beyond the pregnancy. "I am," she drawled. "And you are?"
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 04:54 PM
She didn't seem to be armed, but it was rather hard to tell with all the layers. However, both her hands were in plain sight, clutching the scarves tightly around her.
"M... my name is Michelle. I..." She glanced around, shifting herself slightly into Si's shadow (no use hiding behind Judith) as some aquitanian soldiers passed by in a distance.
"We... please, I need to talk to you. I have money, I can make it worth your while." She said the words with breathless desperation, as if she would have been willing to sacrifice anything to get a few words in.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 04:57 PM
Elaine looked cautiously from the woman to Judith, and promptly put her beer down.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 04:58 PM
"Oh gods." Judith looked weary. "I'm not takin' passengers, I sure as hell won't sign you for crew as far-stretched as you are with your bairn there, and I'm trying not to do anything overtly illegal at the moment. Beyond those--" She held out her free hand. "I'm open g-me. What's the need?" She, too, was watching the Aquitaineans. "We need to take this elsewhere first?"
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 05:06 PM
She nodded quietly, pulling the shawl down over her head, doing a passable impression of an old crooked woman. "They are looking for me. I know they spotted me when I arrived here. They won't let me get away if they find me again. I..." Her accent was weird, it had certain hints of aquitanian, but mixed with other, harsher tones.
"I... he has eyes everywhere."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 05:07 PM
The back of Elaine's neck tickled. "Who?" she asked, though she knew she wouldn't get an answer.
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 05:20 PM
Somewhere in the crowd there was a faint 'pop' like a hiccup in the world.
And there was a tall, skinny man, a red pack full unto bursting on his back who, after a few moments stumbling and confused looking around slid a badge from his scarred hand into his pocket and...
Looked around, confused, a bit more.
Wasn't he supposed to be on a ship?
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 05:23 PM
"That would be my first question, too," Judith said in agreement with Elaine. "Come on, let's get out of this crowd first; at least then we can see folks comin' before they're right upon us . . . "
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 05:25 PM
The girl got up from her seat, before she saw a flash of red and a face that shouldn't have been familiar, but was.
She took in a sharp breath.
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 05:26 PM
"The man that's out to kill me." She looked hesitant to name the name out in the open, instead looking around for a quiet corner. "He... he's an officer of aquitaine, at least he pretends to be..." That would explain her fear of soldiers.
she had not even noticed the appearance of the red-clad young man.
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 05:30 PM
Seth blinked a couple times, turning towards the unfamiliar voice, for a moment casting around as if to make sure that there was not another person by that name being called for before carefully making his way through the crowd towards the girl and...
He smiled broadly at the unfamiliar girl's company, "Miss Judith!" He coughed once, composing himself some as he worked his way towards more familiar presences, "Lords... I... I was not prepared for there to be so many people."
He looked back at the girl then before bowing some, "Ah. Hello." He smiled some offering a wave, nodding to her and the quiet woman.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 05:32 PM
"I'm an officer of Aquitaine," Judith replied dryly, her arms folded over her chest. "I ain't been in town long enough to recognise 'em all by sight, lass, but a name . . . wait, what?" She glanced up, wide-eyed, at Elaine's shout. "Not my Seth. Seth!"
With a huge grin she bolted around the young woman and wrapped both arms around the man's skinny waist. "Feckin' hell, Seth! When did the cat drag you in?"
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 05:37 PM
Seth looked down at the woman, offering her an awkward hug--largely due to the height difference between them--and shrugging, "Just now. I... I finally managed to get my... my supplies and."
He laughed a bit, running a hand through his long pale hair, "You will forgive my surprise, I was anticipating a ship, not..."
Not so many PEOPLE everywhere.
"A-and who are your friends?" He smiled some, looking to them again, "A-are you sailors?" They hardly looked it. And, the young man had to realize, he knew little what to expect with sailors.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 05:39 PM
Elaine was still staring at Seth, shifting on the balls of her feet as if she wanted to run up to him but knew she couldn't.
She gritted her teeth, then stepped forward and held out a hand, looking for all the world as if she were about to melt. "I'm Elaine. Romain. Jude-- Judith's apprentice," she offered, her eyes still wide.
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 05:40 PM
"I know.... but... you shot him so I thought..." She broke off, stepping back rather shyly as the stranger appeared, sharp brown eyes taking in his appearance.
He didn't seem like a soldier though, so she soon relaxed again, waiting for them to get reaquianted. She didn't have any hurry after all.
That was the good thing about desperation, it meant you could take your time.
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 05:41 PM
Seth smiled at her, a part of him wondering about the look--something he was confident he would understand in time--before taking the offered hand in his own, "Miss Judith has taken an Apprentice?" He bowed his head deeply, "Then I am twice honoured to make your acquaintance, Miss Elaine."
He turned then to the other woman, smiling some, "Do... do forgive my interruption, Miss. I... I am Seth deCiel. I... do not believe we have met."
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 05:48 PM
Judith found herself torn in two completely conflicting directions. "Wait, what?" she said again, turning back to the girl. "I have only shot one person on this rustin' island in recent times and I know exactly which one it was. What's he got against you?"
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 05:48 PM
"Michelle. I... I don't want to intrude." She smiled shyly, lowering her head as she pulled the shawls tighter around her.
She turned to look at Judith, swallowing hard. "I... I know his secret. He has tried to kill me once already, but I escaped." She pulled back her shawl, revealing a rather brutal scar where her throat met her collarbone. She had been shot, and rather close range as well if the scarring was any indication.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 05:50 PM
"You mean Renaud?" Elaine asked, blinking at the strange woman. "Are you saying he's not an officer of whatever he says he is?"
Her attention was only off Seth for a moment. "I mis-- I mean," she caught herself. "I've heard so much about you."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 05:52 PM
"Ah... I see I have... come at an inopportune moment." A small, anxious smile crossed his pale features as he took a step back, bowing his head some to let the women, Michelle and Judith, talk.
Absently tucking a lock of hair behind one ear, he turned to Elaine, "So. Ah. How... how long has Miss Judith been your Mentor, then?"
It was... surprising enough a thing that it warranted exploring--besides giving Michelle and Judith some space to talk.
Always intruding, always underfoot, you stupid child.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 05:54 PM
Judith let out a long whistle at the scar. "Odd. Man didn't seem interestin' enough to be keepin' many secrets." She gestured to Elaine and Seth. "Well, mage-lad," she said cheerfully enough. "Looks like you just walked in on a whole other rat's nest. I say we take this back to some place less likely to get approached by the godsdamn Navy."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 05:57 PM
The young man could only offer a slight blush at the comment from Elaine, "H-have you? I. Well, I shall hope they were complimentary things." Perhaps from Jochy? Well, that would come in time. Though he felt as if he could burst with desire to see the man.
Seth could only offer Judith a nod, "I... I imagine that would be most wise, Miss Judith." If he was to become entangled, he imagined it would be best to be away from militias when it happened.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 05:59 PM
Elaine gave Seth a soft smile. "Very complimentary," she assured him, her eyes never leaving the mage. "I've...I've been with Judith for a couple months, now," she answered, nodding, and obediently stood to follow her captain. "I don't know how good I am at it, though."
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 06:03 PM
"That is the best way to keep them." She swallowed hard, nodding at Judith. "Please, I don't want to get in the way, I just want to say my piece." She seemed to straighten slightly since they were listening to her, one arm sliding down to caress her stomach. "Trust me captain, he has enough secrets for one man."
She would follow where Judith went.
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 06:04 PM
The mage laughed some at that, nodding sympathetically, "We never know until we are called upon to try. I am sure Miss Judith will be as good a teacher to you as mine was to me..." He held up his scarred hands with a half-smile, "And I am sure you will be a more apt pupil to her than I was for mine."
A low chuckle then before shrugging, "Miss Judith's instincts are... I find it wise in many things to trust them."
Though he rather hoped with that she would not bring up Jochy. He had come this far to see the man, after all.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 06:07 PM
With a sixth sense for exactly the subject nobody wanted brought up, Judith led the small troop toward the end of the busy partying crowd as she told Seth, "For the record, Jochy's no longer with us. He's taken up with a crew further north. Lorrain, I think, or thereabouts. So he's no longer in the Erins, either, although he's a bit closer'n than we are now. And it's a good thing you showed up when you did; we're huntin' for the emeralds."
She threw a glance to Michelle. "Although I'd say that's become a sideline. What did you do that's worth the man shootin' you? This got anything to do with his very-sudden commission?"
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 06:08 PM
Elaine winced at Seth's hands. They still-- no, correct that-- they conjured up ill feelings she would rather not have. Then she smiled. "Judith's a good teacher," she agreed. "I've learned a lot. Where are the babies?" she asked. "How are the--"
The questions were out of her mouth before she realized she'd asked them. "They?" she finished.
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 06:10 PM
Seth's shoulders seemed to slump then before he nodded, patting the badge in his pocket and shrugging, "I suppose there is nothing for it now. I am closer than I was before..." He made an effort to hide his disappointment before adjusting his pack on his shoulders, "Emeralds? Whic--oh."
The man smiled some, "Then... Then I suppose I will assist as I am able."
He tilted his head some, near-staring at Elaine for a moment before chuckling, "I... You must know Jochy." Seth chuckled some, "A-and the children are fine. Their father has taken them home."
And the relief coming off him at that fact was almost palpable.
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 06:15 PM
She nodded quietly, keeping close to Judith as if Seth intimidated her a bit. He was very tall and very pale and very... red after all.
"Y... yes. He... killed the last grand commandeur. And when I... " She swallowed, pressing a hand against her bulging stomach again, mouth a thin line. "I listened in. I found out why. And I... I couldn't... I couldn't just stand to the side knowing he worked with HER." The last word was hissed, viciously.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 06:17 PM
"And I'm assuming 'her' for once is not me." She shot a look back at Seth and Elaine--long enough to assure herself that they were not killing each other--as she turned toward the docks. "Which 'her' is this?"
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 06:20 PM
"Kuleliti." She whispered the word as if it had been a demon that might appear once her name was spoken.
"They have been lovers for many years. I found out too late."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 06:22 PM
"Wait, so Renaud is a fake Commandeur and a murderer, and..." Elaine was not at all surprised that this was the kind of man Judith would sleep with. "So what does he want?" she asked.
Then she looked at Seth, her expression becoming stern. "You gave them to Morgan?" she asked, her mouth twisting into a sneer. "Why would you give them to that drunken bastard?"
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 06:27 PM
Seth blinked, more than a little taken aback, and stared at the woman for a time before holding a hand up, "I... I do not know what you have heard, Miss Elaine, and he is..."
He could not bring himself to say it. He did not believe it himself.
"Miss Elaine, he is better equipped for the task than I. He is their father and desired a chance to raise them." The man's narrow lips drew themselves tight then as he looked away from the woman, "I was NOT equal to the task. If he is, then it is better for them."
If Jochy had told her this much, he had likely told her everything.
The thought of that was... painful.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 06:32 PM
Judith's eyes widened. "Captain Kullie?"
And, much to her own surprise, she burst out laughing. "When was this? I'd just like to know if I gave him the taste for sleepin' with cutthroats or if she did."
She sobered a bit, with a nod to Elaine. "There's enough ways to verify how he got the commission, or if he has it. Enough men in port are answerin' to him now that it makes no damn difference here in the Wreath."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 06:35 PM
"He's also a drunken, womanizing lout," Elaine answered hotly, crossing her arms over her chest. "I le-- You were supposed to at least try," she informed Seth, her eyes narrowing. "You didn't hurt them again, did you?"
She took a deep breath, turning her attention to Judith. "Who's this Kullie person?" she asked. "Is this bad?"
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 06:37 PM
"Years back, he... he's been working for her for a long time." Her voice was timid now, a bit taken back by the woman's laughter. "I am not sure how long. He... never confided in me." She ran a hand across her belly again, trying not to listen to the other argument about babies.
"I... don't know what they are planning. But I know he wants me dead. I know too much, and I didn't know anyone that would stand up to him. And you..." She looked shyly at Judith, her voice lowered another notch. "You shot him."
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 06:40 PM
"I never met Kullie; I just know her reputation." She looked with interest at Michelle. "She still eat people? No, wait, don't answer that." She shook her head. "Look, just because I shot him once don't mean I want to do it again. I had a reason the first time. Now I just got you. You don't need me to do your dirty work; there's got to be an decent assassin somewhere on the island."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 06:41 PM
Seth's face fell then, looking away from the woman, "I did not," He wanted to rail at her then. Ask her what business it was of hers to accuse him. Demand to know why she would ask those questions.
Mostly he wanted to rail at Jochy for telling her so much.
"A-and I will not be judged by you. I did try. Day in and day out I tended those children and did my all to keep them safe and happy. Did so alone, I might mention." He frowned sharply at the woman, looking to her sharply, "Morgan... Morgan is..."
He could not find a justification that was not that caring for two children simply emptied him out.
"Morgan is more controlled than I." he wanted to scream at her then.
And that would be improper. There was no need to create a scene.
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 06:42 PM
((Quick run-out. Back in fifteen!))
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 06:47 PM
"She eats people?!" Elaine exclaimed, looking sickened.
But Seth's answered brought her relief, not more anger. "Look, I'm not judging you. I'm just asking. So you did all right, didn't you?" she asked him. "You took care of them without hurting them, but...you would have gotten used to it, eventually. Or you could have-- you could have found someone better than Morgan to give them to," she said, with clear distaste. "He's not fit to raise babies."
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 06:49 PM
"I... I just want to stay alive." The woman bit her lip, forcing herself to stop it from shivering. "I don't know... if she... eats people. I think so. Probably." She sniffed, wrapping the shawls tighter around herself. "I don't care if he dies, I don't care if they kill off all the other pirates. I just don't want to die." She added in a quiet little whisper at the end.
"I want my child to have the chance to be born at least."
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 06:53 PM
And Judith, finally, softened. "All right then. The man's probably gonner turn up shipboard on my side eventually, but the Red's got a few cubbyholes. I can get you as far as Cecelia, but it won't be until business is done here. And I'm checkin' this out," she warned. "I find anything fishy, you're booted, bairn or none. And I don't know what you two are bitchin' about behind me back but let me assure you that I am the worst parent in the history of parenthood and if you don't settled down, I will give you a demonstration of my technique!"
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 06:58 PM
She nodded, getting tears in her eyes from gratitude, though she was quick to hide them. "I won't be in the way. It's just that he has men everywhere, and I think... he might be afraid of you. At least so he won't... look to close."
She gave Judith a grateful look, pulling the shawls tighter around herself.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 06:58 PM
"Oh, I can think of a few people who'd be serious competition for that title," Elaine muttered.
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 07:06 PM
"I am sure there were others more fit. And." He seemed to calm some with the sudden lack of accusation (no matter how accurate they were), "And they are his children. I... I can think of few others who would be... who could raise them."
Even his own mother had kept him until he was seven.
He imagined the children would be happy to have their father there for that long. "at any rate, he is... more fit than I am, Miss Elaine."
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 07:09 PM
"Of course he's got men everywhere," Judith muttered. She was one of them. Damn. This was already complicated. "What are you to him, that you know so much?"
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 07:14 PM
She glanced sideways, then looked down. "He is the father of..." She ran a hand over her stomach, her mouth a thin unhappy line.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 07:14 PM
Elaine rolled her eyes at Seth. "No, he's not. You'd do all right with them, if you'd just give yourself the chance. You spend too much time on your work anyway; it'd be good to pay more attention to people sometimes."
She blinked at Judith's question, and then looked at the woman's belly. "He gets around quite a bit for a consumptive old bastard."
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 07:15 PM
"He... he can be very charming." She didn't add anything else to that.
Just blushed and looked down.
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 07:18 PM
Seth frowned a bit at the woman--this whole conversation was getting uncomfortably close for someone he just met--before nodding, "Perhaps that is the case. And... and I am here now, far from my work. With luck I will learn some skill at... at paying attention, yes?" he could only offer a slight, forced smile then as he slid his hands into his pockets.
And tried to follow the other side of the conversation. And, with luck, it would all make itself understood in time.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 07:21 PM
"Or he can get very drunk," Judith agreed with Michelle. Nearing the Red, she slid back a few steps to get between Elaine and Seth. "Elaine, love," she said kindly, "would you like to explain how you know so much, or shall I?"
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 07:24 PM
Seth arched an eyebrow looking between Judith and Elaine, obviously interested in the answer.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 07:30 PM
Elaine blushed, then glared at Judith. "Exactly what are we explaining?" she asked.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 07:32 PM
"Don't give questions for questions," she replied, then turned to Seth. "One of the things I'm tryin' with her is to get her to make her own decisions. Quickly. She's not her father, praise be; he stumbles over himself."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 07:36 PM
"Ah." Seth nodded some, looking to the girl then back to Judith, "I... I suppose that... is a most valuable skill." The man smiled slightly, still anxious, "Though I must confess no small eagerness to hear either of you explain."
Explain why she knows so much. Why she could speak of it with such ease or intimacy.
It was that last point that disturbed him to no end.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 07:40 PM
Elaine glared at Judith again, then wrapped her arms around herself. "Jochy and I had our brains switched," she answered sullenly, looking at her feet. "I don't know how. I've got all his memories now."
She gave Seth a sheepish look. "And his emotional attachments. Sort of. I think."
Her ears were bright red.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 07:42 PM
Judith threw up her hands. "Good neighbour, and was that so terrible?"
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 07:42 PM
Seth could only stare at the girl then, mouth open as if words WANTED to come but had caught themselves in his throat.
He tried again.
And again before blinking furiously and shaking his head, suddenly blushing as well as he realized what sorts of memories that might entail... and then paling as he realized what sorts of memories that might entail.
"That..." He finally muttered, "Does explain it, I think."
How... how VERY strange.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 07:46 PM
"Shut up," Elaine said to the captain.
She looked suiltily at the mage. "I'm sorry. We didn't mean to."
Posted by: Michelle Oct 17 2007, 07:48 PM
Michelle just kept silent, not wishing to interfere with the discussion. She had got what she had hoped for after all.
((I will keep Michelle on the sidelines, feel free to ditch her for privacy! She's done her bit for now.))
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 07:48 PM
"It's better than passing yourself off as some sort of a mind-reader," Judith replied calmly at the foot of the gang. "Michelle, you need an arm up the incline?"
((Okay, I'll just motor that one.))
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 07:49 PM
The thought of Jochy willingly passing his pains onto someone else was... well it would be absurd enough to be funny were it not a laughing matter.
He only nodded some, "Then... I..." He frowned some, digesting the information before shrugging, "Then I suppose it is... very nice to meet you again." A small chuckle then before turning to Judith.
"I... I can see I am not likely to experience any tedium any time soon, Miss Judith."
He chuckled at his own joke then, a forced half-smile on his face.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 07:51 PM
"Was that acceptable to you?" Elaine asked Judith.
She put a hand to Seth's sleeve. "Look," she offered. "I have a way to talk to Jochy. We can talk to him later."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 07:55 PM
Seth nodded then, looking to Elaine for a moment, "I... I think I should like that, Miss Elaine." he inclined his head before wetting his lips for a moment, "I... am sorry if I was short with you, Miss Elaine. It is... Unjust that you are so embroiled in what has passed between Jochy and I."
Unjust and more than a little disturbing.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 08:02 PM
"Very well done," she said. And very damn convenient. "We don't know what the hell happened there," she explained to Seth. "None of us knew it 'till it were already over. Not even them, I think. I'm still sortin' out which of 'em did what."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 08:04 PM
"The important part is that things are... are as they should be, yes? Each mind in its proper place?"
At least he hoped it was the case. Lords knew one could have much to worry about when it cames to things like that. "A-and at least it IS over, whichever of them did whichever task, they are returned to themselves."
And, really, what could be more precious?
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 08:09 PM
"Mostly," Elaine admitted. "It sort of...it made me think a little differently. And I remember a lot. But we're mostly back to ourselves." She wasn't going to tell him about the parasite any more than she'd tell her father.
She gave Judith a sheepish look. "Anything between Sylvie coming and when I told you it happened, I was Jochy and Jochy was me," she informed the woman.
She patted her pocket. "We'll talk to him, then," she said. "He...he's probably expecting me to talk to him soon, anyway."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 08:14 PM
"Ah... how... Lords, how confusing that must be." he chuckled a bit then, shaking his head absently before looking to the girl, "Oh? Well, then this will make for a pleasant surprise for him."
He supposed that... that BEING someone (however THAT worked) must bring people that much closer together.
It was nice that Jochy had friends... though he had to swallow down the familiar taste of jealousy.
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 08:20 PM
"Near about as confusing as actually havin' the man on the ship," Judith muttered darkly. "We'll have to catch you up to speed, mage. There's been a lot these past few months. Praise be, I think I'm shut of it. What brings you to us?"
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 08:26 PM
The man blinked then, "Months?" Seth frowned deeply before reaching down and touching the weight in his pocket, smooth brow furrowing slightly before smoothing itself again.
"I... I took a couple days to ensure my home was secure... ensure I had no hanging difficulties that might harm it and then I came here." He smiled some, shrugging, "I have missed Jochy and... and being around people."
He said nothing of the books in his pack or of his desire to better understand the Erins, of course. "I hope that I am... not an imposition during my stay."
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 08:35 PM
"You're fine," Judith assure him cheerfully. "We're collectin' people. We've swapped out half the old crew since you've known 'em--although I don't know if you e'er met Gryphon or his girl. Umar, I know you don't know. We lost Knocksie.You'd remember him; he was on the ship the last time Jochy killed me?"
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 08:38 PM
"The ship's new, too," Elaine put in cheerfully. "It's my father's. Judith stole it. And my mother's here, too."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 08:39 PM
Knocksie... Lords, there had been so many people.
He nodded slightly, thinking he had a face to put to the name, "I... am afraid I was not so acquainted as I think I should now like to have been." A little smile and a shrug. "And I will get to meet new people. That... That should be quite lovely."
Or frightening. Lords of make and ruin, an enclosed space on the water filled with strangers. He would go quite mad. No matter. He could then list people he knew on more than two hands. Which, in some bizarre way, pleased him.
And there was still the question of Elaine. Lords, it would be nice to talk with someone who knew Jochy. Even if she knew him better than Seth did.
And the girl had family. He smiled to her then, "Then, Miss Elaine, I believe you will have to show me around. I confess, I am quite... quite unskilled in getting to know new places."
Posted by: Judith ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 08:49 PM
"Er . . . don't introduce him to your mumma just yet," Judith said, hesistating. "But show him around. If you see Mr. Ceallaigh, send 'im to me quarters."
And then, with usual lack of warning, she completely forsook the pair of them to one another's company.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 08:54 PM
Elaine looked tremendously uncomfortable for a moment, then shot Seth a sheepish smile. "Well," she said, glancing around. "This. Is the ship?"
She gestured at the deck. "That's the deck, and that over there is Judith's cabin, and..."
She looked back at Seth, her expression softening. "How are you?"
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 08:58 PM
Seth waved as Judith left before chuckling and looking around to get himself acquainted with the place--or to at least start doing so--before looking to the girl with a chuckle, "I am... somewhat overwhelmed." He adjusted his pack on his back absently.
"And I think that is... I think that is likely a proper reaction." The mage offered Elaine a small smile then, "And you? How... I can imagine this is a very odd thing."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 09:04 PM
Elaine smiled shyly at the mage. "I miss you," she said to the man. "I mean...I don't even know you, and I miss you. Is that silly?" she asked.
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 09:07 PM
The man laughed then, shrugging, "I... I cannot say. If you retain Jochy's emotions..." He inclined his head slowly, "I suppose it makes perfect sense."
A few realizations hit him in the stomach then. And he hoped that the girl had worked past--or WOULD work past Jochy's feelings for him.
"And... and will you not tell me more of yourself? How you came to this ship or... or other things you might like to speak on?"
What DID people talk about when they got to know each other?
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 09:21 PM
Elaine shifted her feet awkwardly, glancing back toward Judith's cabin. She suddenly wished the captain were back with them. "Well, there's not much to tell. I grew up in a convent, and I didn't really do anything very interesting until I came out here."
She shrugged. "Then Jochy and I switched places, and Judith asked him to be her apprentice. I think she felt like she had to let me do it when we switched back, but I think..."
She was getting hot. Uncomfortable. She rubbed the back of her neck. "I think--"
And then she cut herself off. She couldn't tell Seth about that, not without Jochy there. That wasn't fair. "I think I like it a lot better than the convent."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 09:25 PM
Seth laughed softly, nodding some, "I... I can imagine that it is quite a change. Coming out into the world after so long secluded..." The mage inclined his head with an empathetic smile, "I quite understand. And you seem to be holding up well enough."
Particularly for someone with a second set of memories.
"And... I would not presume to speak for Miss Judith, and I daresay it is more appropriate that you be her Apprentice. I am given to understand that the sea is supposed to be a far more feminine thing."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 09:33 PM
That made Elaine laugh out loud. "Well, he was sort of a girl at the time," she pointed out. "And I got to--"
Oh. More things she probably shouldn't tell Seth.
"I got to go on a ship with my grandfather, who shot me in the side--" She lifted her shirt to show the man her bandage. "Except he didn't know it was me. I didn't know it was me, either, because...I was Jochy. And then I got back, and then everything..."
Probably shouldn't tell him about the kissing, either.
"Got muddled. And then we went back to being each other again."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 09:40 PM
"He was turned into a... ah." Of course. Jochy was in HER body. That made infinitely more sense.
"That does sound like... like quite an adventure." He smiled some then, grimacing at the bandage--though he didn't dare Look deeper just now. Lords knew the Erins played Hells with his Art.
"I am... sorry you were harmed so. Are... is the wound healing?"
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 09:51 PM
Elaine nodded. "It's all right," she answered, shooting him a smile. "It just hurts like hell, but I've been informed it's not really a real injury. And believe me, for it to be your fault, everything would be much more discombobulated than it already is."
She glanced down again. "Jochy misses you," she told him. "I. I talk to him a lot. He didn't realize he was going to be gone as long as he was."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 09:58 PM
"I... I am happy, then, that it is not a 'real' injury." The man laughed a bit at his own joke, quite sure he'd actually made on this time, "And I am sure that when it heals it will be, if nothing else, an entertaining story."
Lords, how far he had come. He could actually think of things like that.
He absently rubbed his fingers against each other, "I... I am glad for that. I... I confess, there were times I had worried that he had..." The man shakes his head then, sighing, "Lords, I have spent far too much time alone. To... to what purpose does the ship sail to now?"
A far better subject (to say nothing of far more useful) than his habit of going strange when left alone.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 10:04 PM
When Seth started to conjecture, Elaine's face went dead white, and she looked away.
For a very long time.
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 10:08 PM
Seth blinked then, furrowing his brow curiously, watching the woman, "He did... what?"
Jochy? Did he forget him? Did he...
No. No. She knew Jochy's heart and missed him. That said everything there.
"Did I say something wrong, Miss Elaine? Please... ah. Please allow me to apologize. I did not mean to offend you."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Oct 17 2007, 10:10 PM
((While you cannot see her, this character is SO DOING THE HAPPY-DANCE RIGHT NOW.))
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 10:14 PM
"You?" Elaine asked, turning to look at Seth in disbelief. "What would-- you shouldn't be apologizing to me! Jesus, you're always so clueless! Don't apologize!"
Her voice cracked. "We were sleeping together," she said, almost whimpering. "Until Judith kicked him off the ship. And I shouldn't be telling you, he should be telling you, except I never thought you'd be here and I'd see you first and-"
She let out a cry of frustration.
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 10:21 PM
Seth stared blankly at the woman for a time, his brow knitting itself tighter before a sound like a cough or a chuckle escaped him and he turned away from the woman.
She was closer to him than his own husband. Knew his thoughts. Wouldn't listen to the person who hurt him.
He pressed his scarred hand to his face quietly, shoulders shaking, making the pack on his back jerk up and down before the man just slumped.
Why did it have to be someone new? Why not just Neely again?
"I... thank you for. for telling me." He couldn't look at her. Seven Hells, he could barely stand to look at himself.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 10:28 PM
"I'm sorry," Elaine said, her own face crumpling, the bottom falling out of her voice. "I really am. I didn't mean to hurt anybody, I promise, I just...it was really hard, when we got back to being ourselves."
She bit her lip. "I want to be friends. I do."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 10:34 PM
"Friends." The tall, thin man sighed softly, "You have... you have told me. I suppose in your way you. You are a friend already."
Not that he wasn't angry. Not that he wished he could grasp his Art and shake all memory of Jochy from her head or simply rip the memory from his own mind.
He did not turn.
At least Neely had not wanted to be friends. Seth had wanted that. If not some manner of understanding between them.
Why was it always people he wanted to like?
"Put it from your mind. I am foolish and will. And will work through it. I." He hung his head slowly, "I thank you for your honesty, Miss Elaine."
Even though he wanted nothing so much as to shove her over the side.
It would be someone who was so completely unlike him while being so like him. Short. Pretty. Dark of skin and hair. Female. Still isolated. Still learning. But so much... so much BETTER at it. He stifled a sob.
He should know better than to expect Jochy to wait.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 10:43 PM
And then Elaine's eyes began to burn, and she rubbed at her eyes. Something in her told her that this wasn't her time to cry, but it was hard.
"You're not foolish, Seth," Elaine answered hoarsely. "And you don't have to work through it. You should be angry. I just-- I don't know what to do about it. I can't-- I was going to tell him," she said quietly. "I was going to tell him I was calling it off until he talked to you and talked to--"
She bit her tongue. She'd nearly spilled more than she'd meant to. "Both of us together, so we could...figure things out. Because it's not fair to anybody."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 10:50 PM
The mage choked down another sob before adjusting his pack on his back, "I will... I will be fine, Miss Elaine. It is not. It is not the first time this has happened." And, he was realizing, it was likely not to be the last.
All that worrying. All the fretting. The nights unable to sleep for fear of being awakened by the sound of one of those children crying and fearing he might just still the air around them to keep their cries from reaching him. And the waiting. The foolish domesticity.
No wonder Morgana looked at him so. It was not sympathy.
"I... I rather doubt there is anything to work out. It is... it is who he is. You know that better than anyone." Was there acid in those words? Absolutely. He would feel bad for it except that he felt so cold.
"Is. Can you show me where I might put my things, Miss Elaine?" his voice cracked at the end and he felt quite sure he would be able to hold himself together anyway, "Please?" A silent apology for his ire. He was not mad at her.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 11:02 PM
Elaine's expression melted at Seth's request, and she gave him a weak smile, nodded. She held out a hand for his pack. "Let me take that," she offered. "Come on, I'll find you a berth."
She swallowed. "I know what he's like," she said. "But I'm sort of hoping I can influence him as much as he's influenced me. I just...I care about him, you know?" she asked him quietly. "I don't really...I don't want to mess things up for you and him. He's afraid it'll all break down if you know."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 11:08 PM
"Ah... no. I. I am fine carrying it." He smiled kindly as he could manage with his lips continually trying to contort into a silent wail.
"I... I imagine you must. I... I do as well." he smiled weakly back to her, "He. If he were not so inconsiderate, I... I would call him the best of men," he followed after her quietly before sighing, "You know his heart, Miss Elaine. He... He does love me, yes?"
Had he failed somehow?
Not fought hard enough or often enough?
He shook his head then, "N-no. No. Do not... I." he sighed, bowing his head, "I should not attempt to bring you any deeper betw--into he and I than you have been forced to be already."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 11:16 PM
"I wasn't forced," Elaine answered, shaking her head. "I talked him into it. The first time. I-- I just-- I wanted to, so badly, and.. sorry," she murmured, as she started down into the hold. "You don't need to hear this. He's a good man," she said, determinedly. "And he does love you. I know that. He'd-- he'd die if anything happened to you. He misses you."
There was a lump in her throat. She swallowed, tightly, letting him past her and into the main cabin. "I'm here," she said, pointing to her own berth. "I don't know if you want to stay near me or as far away as you can get."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 11:20 PM
Seth stared at her berth for a moment before shrugging, "I... I have little idea what would be best. I suppose you may put me... put me wherever you will be comfortable, Miss Elaine." He shifted his pack absently.
For a long time he stared at the cabin before looking to the woman, "One last question. Then I... I think I will... I think I will attempt rest. Do..." He frowned slightly, "Do you love him?"
He would not ask her how Jochy felt. Some... some ability to say it was nothing was needed.
He knew the answer. He wanted to hear it, all the same.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 11:24 PM
Elaine chewed at her lip, and then patted the berth next to hers. "It's nice having somebody to talk to who isn't Judith or Starling," she answered honestly. "Whatever circumstances."
She gave him a shy look then, pursing her lips, and nodded. "I don't. I don't know really what kind of love, you know? I'm still working that out. But I think it'd be impossible not to."
Posted by: Seth deCiel Oct 17 2007, 11:29 PM
"Then... Then place me nearby. I am..." The man smiled at her sadly, "I am sure once I am... once I have some distance, and if you... if you are able to stomach my insufferable jealousy." he shrugged then.
"I think we might be... be something like friends."
Because, with what she had just said...
If it were not for the fact that he had often wondered if it was happening, he might not have been able to look at her.
It WOULD be nice to have someone to talk to. Who was not Red or Morgana.
He knew so few people. This would be good for him.
And at that last, he could only smile, suddenly weary, and drop his pack at the head of the berth before laying his head on it, "I. It is quite impossible not to love the man."
Which is why it all hurt so.
"I. I think I will. I will rest now, Miss Elaine."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Oct 17 2007, 11:38 PM
Elaine smiled weakly. "I hope we can," she told him timidly. "Let me know when you're up. We can talk to Jochy then."
She bit her lip again, then nodded at the man. "It was still good to see-- I mean. Meet you," she said.
Then she left him to rest.