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Seas Of Erin > Cecilia > Lend a helping hand
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 12:59 AM
Awhile after Andre had left, the Lieutenant Commander let himself into Renaud's room, setting a neatly pressed uniform over the chair back, and an assortment of shaving and grooming equipment on the chest.
"Good morning sir. A valet will be by later to shave you, and I assumed you would be able to dress yourself. I also put in an order for breakfast, if you don't mind." He chattered, before getting up the courage to look over at the bed to see if the man was alive and awake or the opposite.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 01:05 AM
The man was alive enough to give his fellow officer a rather scathing look as he raised his head from the pillow, but then he collapsed back in a heap. "Gives me enough time to get some dignity back I suppose." The voice was hoarse and raw, hardly more than a whisper. The sweat had soaked into the bedclothes, leaving them damn and cold.
But he did not feel well enough for a bath.
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 01:07 AM
"Sir, are you dying?" He asked straightforwardly, coming over to look into Renaud's face, hands neatly behind his back. Bonet knew better than to ask for a doctor, but the man looked disgusting.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 01:12 AM
"I am -not- dying." Renaud managed a passable scoff, slowly easing himself up into a sitting position once more. Half dressed it was evident how thin he had become over the last months, or perhaps it was just the sheen of sweat that covered him.
"I'm sick. Maybe the air here is not agreeing with me. It will clear up. It is just a fever."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 01:19 AM
The man went and opened the window. "Well, the air in here is stale." He came over and sat on the bed. "And as my tutor would have said, we're all dying. Sir."
At a knock at the door, he rose to retrieve the food, and came back, laying it on the bed, immediately passing the man the fruit juice. "Freshly squeezed. Do you need more sick rags?"
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 01:26 AM
Renaud grabbed the juice, drinking it down greedily. He had drunk most the water already and he still felt parched. "Eventually. I hate to admit it, but the fever's making the cough worse." He fell silent, putting down the empty glass, trying to sense wheher he needed to cough more.
No, it seemed to hold for now.
"It's not just the air that's stale, you can be frank Bonet, it's not that you've worried about that before." He took a cautious sniff at himself. "I do stink."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 01:32 AM
"Yes, sir." Bonet allowed, sitting himself on the bed and buttering a piece of bread, which he then topped off with several pieces of ham, biting into it hungrily. "There's a difference between being frank and mean, which you have never perhaps found but the rest of us follow." He rolled his eyes.
"It was a long night, as I'm sure Romain said. Dogs and skeleton men." He swallowed some of his breakfast. "Judith also has interesting friends."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 01:37 AM
"How are you getting along after your promotion?" Renad's voice was still hoarse, but he didn't seem to be on death's door anymore. The temptation of food was too much, so he got a slice of ham, chewing thoughtfully on it.
"Madame Ni Dowd do have interesting friends. Romain filled me in about most things, though the man's not the sharpest dagger." Frank or mean... Renaud supposed the man did have a point.
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 01:40 AM
"He's not a dagger at all." The man replied, shrugging. "Captain Ni Dowd is a little angry that she's never recieved a promotion." He raised his eyebrows. "I told her I'd talk to you about that one."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 01:45 AM
Renaud chuckled, bending over slightly as the chuckle became a cough. He swallowed it down quickly enough though, giving Bonet a look. "The woman will most likely never get promoted. In that you have three things she does not."
His lips quirked ina think smile "One of them -not- being a talent for blackmail."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 01:50 AM
The other man laughed. "And the others?" He asked, quirking his brows, before helping himself to another piece of bread and ham with one hand and refilling the man's cup with the other.
"What if someone was to seek promotion on her behalf? You swept Romain out of her control, but that won't last for long. And she's positively chafing to be promoted." He pointed out, around a mouth full of ham.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 01:59 AM
"First she is a woman. Second she holds more loyalty to her own people than to the Empire and has never been shy to admit the fact. And third..." Renaud accepted the cup gratefully, sipping it. "Third she has no patience for politics. That is why you would have earned your place eventually, the higher you climb the more you end up staying ashore."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 02:05 AM
"Yes, of course." The man replied, pausing briefly to stop stuffing his face and to wipe his mouth with a hankerchief. "I'll explain that to her. In some ways, it's amusing that you refuse to promote the sea witch." He grinned. "I'd be afraid of storms for the rest of my life. Sir."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 02:08 AM
"If I was a coward I never would have taken to the sea. I'd fear bullets more than storms, she has played me fair so far. But she is a good shot." He turned towards the man, watching him eat wth some amusement.
"I assume this will all me on my tab. It seems like the petty revenge she might attempt."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 02:13 AM
"Yes, sir. She has also roped Romain into getting his daughters to exspense their dresses and other needs to the empire." He chewed thoughtfully, shooting the other man a look. "Because you won't promote her." He swallowed.
"Also, I've made aquaintance with a certain man. He owes Judith a lot of money because she paid for his medical exspenses. He's also half-Tuatha and has accidently given his name to the Tuatha prisoner. Apparently when you give one of them your name they have utter control over you, you can't lie or act against them in any way. He's hoping Judith with gain his name from O'Niall, but is rather hesitant about that. He also wants to sail on her ship." Bonet reached for a strawberry, chewing on that. "He could be useful."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 02:19 AM
"It sounds like he might. At least for some things." Renaud sounded dryly amused as he ate some bread, breaking off a piece at a time. "Remember that a man with so much ill luck is likely to drag you down with him... no matter how... useful me light be."
Renaud had no illusions and shot Bonet a rather disapproving look.
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 02:22 AM
The man rolled his eyes back. "Sir, as if you have never made light with a rather homely girl just because you could." He replied. "I have to have my fun. He knows Romain too, if you want someone watching him as well. I told you he's useful."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 02:26 AM
"I have done quite many things just because I could Bonet." Renaud got his tea, sipping it gratefully. "And your kind of fun is not very approved by the navy. Or by common morality. Still... if it leads to less... incidents like last time I suppose I should not disapprove."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 05:45 PM
Bonet stared at Renaud, wondering just which last time he meant, and shook his head, sliding off the bed to pace. "Oh, don't give me the lecture about public decency once again, sir. I'm not the one known amongst everyone downstairs as Madame ni Dowd's consumptive lover." He told the other man, stressing the words to make them sound almost romantic. "What I do, I do in private, except when it is useful to you." He added, allowing himself to smirk for a moment.
"Do I have any pressing duties with you today, or am I to be allowed to go find some civilians clothes so I don't keep worrying Captain ni Dowd's crew?" Bonet asked, straigtening his stock.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 10:26 PM
"People gossip far too much." Renaud cleared his throat, bringing up his rag to spit in. His mouth still tasted like blood. "We were lovers once, but that ended when she shot me. This... was just catching up. And too much wine."
He wished he had remained sober, but right now wine was the one solace he had.
"You are a surprisingly private man Bonet... and suprisingly competent despite your bumbling ways." Renaud closed his eyes for a moment, shaking his head. "No pressing duties at the moment. Get your clothes if you want to."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 10:32 PM
"Why do I feel you'll cough and hack yourself to death the moment I step out of the room?" He asked, seating himself on the bed. "And yes. People do gossip. That's why you give them nothing to talk about." He sighed. "I'd like to say that was one of the many things I learned at your knee, but it obviously isin't."
He was quiet for a moment. "Sir. Captain Ni Dowd is going to leave port as soon as she's satisfied with this whole business, and I'll have to go with her." He glanced at the rags. "And you probably won't be here if we ever come back."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 10:37 PM
"The trick is to have them talking about the right things. I do not mind any rumours about me and her. It's something that's almost taken for granted, and it hurts her reputation, not mine." Renaud turned to look at Bonet, thin lips pressed tightly together at the last comment.
"I do not intend to die until I have finished my business. It will likely take at least a few more months. Until then I don't intend to cough and hack myself to death as you so nicely put it."
He would not. He had business to finish.
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 10:40 PM
"Forgive my frankness, sir. I doubt Captain ni Dowd will make port here again." He repeated, looking at Renaud solemnly. "I need to know what I'm to do." Bonet bit the inside of his cheek, looking down at his lap, where he neatly settled his hands, lacing the fingers.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 10:46 PM
"Do you wish to go with her or stay here? I can easily rescind the order. She is probably going to war in the north, she has a tendency to disregard the Empire's interests when she wants to. You've served your purpose." Renaud was looking at the man rather seriously, brushing a hand over his hair.
So much depended on that answer, he would need to adjust his plans in either case. But this once, le left it up to Bonet to decide.
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 10:52 PM
Bonet kept looking at his hands, trying to look as though he was calm and composed, and not stone struck surprised and deeply upset, both of which he was. He swallowed hard.
"As you say, I made my choice to serve the Empire, not myself. Where am I most needed?" He asked.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 11:01 PM
"Charming." Renaud scoffed, stifling a cough as he watched the man. "We serve the empire both of us, but there are many ways to do that. But if you wish for an answer, it would be here. She is sailing outside our borders if I don't misread her intentions."
He leaned a bit closer, eyes sharpening. "If you go with her, your one use would be to be a spy. There is war and strife up there, and the Empire is always wishing to expand its borders."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 11:06 PM
The man's stifled cough made him brace a bit. Davide looked back at the man and nodded with certainity. "Yes. I make alliances, gather maps, see who comes out ahead." He thought out loud to himself. "Well."
He scratched his head, tucking his hair behind his ears and then deciding to retie it. "As an outright citizen and officer of Aquitaine or not?"
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 11:11 PM
"You would need civilian clothes." Renaud's lips quirked in a thin smile. "If you go with her I suspect it is far better to downplay that side of you. However..." He kept watching the man as if to decide what the best use was for him. "However you do need an excuse for going with her that is not politics. If she ever suspects that the Empire might have designs on expanding to her lands we would lose her."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 11:13 PM
"Yes sir." The man agreed heartily, with a laugh. "Any suggestions as to the reason I'd be going? Another fall out with you, perhaps?" He said, grinning.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 11:17 PM
"It would be the simplest explanation. It is not as if I don't have a temper." That made him chuckle, shaking his head. "And you do push the limits of accepted behaviour enough."
But his behaviour raised some issues "You enjoyed it then? Sailing with her, seeing the world?"
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 11:26 PM
Davide laughed again at the man, fixing his bright red hairbow in place. "It's.. well, I've hardly seen the world." He admitted. "I've mastered getting around on land. The sea is new."
Then he narrowed his eyes at the other man. "Why do you ask?"
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 11:28 PM
"It is a side I never saw in you before. You seemed perfectly content to never set a foot outside your own sphere of confidence." Renaud didn't really mean it as an insult, but Bonet had been as much a desk officer as he had ever seen.
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 11:31 PM
"Yes sir. But I was bored." He replied. And driven to constantly drinking due to the pressures of keeping up with the man who was argueably the world's worst boss, but Bonet was not interested in being mean.
"Shall we plan our falling out, or would you like to spring it on me suddenly, do to my lack of acting ability?" The amn asked, all business once again.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 11:37 PM
"I am ill Bonet. I feel like utter crap. At the moment you are a better actor than I am." His shoulders shook a bit as he tried to pull himself together. "If you wish, tell her about the blackmail. That might mollify her feelings about the promotion. She already knows... and by now I suspect it does not matter. I will have to tell Romain too eventually I gather, if I want his help."
"Or just tell her the truth. That you felt me up and I threatened to shoot you on sight."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 11:39 PM
Bonet snorted, going rather red at the mention of what had happened a few days ago. "But you didn't."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 11:43 PM
"It would have been inconvenient at the time." Renaud looked rather pleased at that blush, that was one of the advantages of being sick. Very little else rattled you when you focused on not shivering.
"Besides, as you say, you had made arrangements for your safety." It was obvious he did not really believe a word of that.
"Whatever possessed you to take that risk. I might as well have shot you."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 11:49 PM
Bonet grinned, and turned, tucking his legs into tailor's position. "You try living under someone's orders all the time and not want to kiss them." He set his hand on the man's knee, voice dropping to a low and sensual murmur. "All that power and intelligence right in front of you, and forbidden at the same time. You try not wanting to switch the tables."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 11 2008, 11:55 PM
"I have been living like that. It never was an issue." Renaud gave the man a look, shaking his head. "And right now I hardly feel powerful or intelligent." He stifled another cough, admitting
"That is why I ended up in the navy. Shot a man that tried to feel me up, he didn't die but was well connected. My father paid for a comission." It was not as if he was ever going to see Bonet again.
The man had spoken truly. He was reaching the end of his road. But not yet. He wasn't finished.
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 11 2008, 11:58 PM
"Oh? Interesting. Good to know your trigger finger got rusty." He didn't move his hand from the man's knee. "Different from the rest of us second sons who didn't want to chase peasants all over the hills for the rest of our lives in the Army."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 12 2008, 12:09 AM
"I was set to be a priest back then. " Renaud scoffed at his own youthful follies. "So I suppose it was a good thing." He seemed to notice the hand only now, but didn't really make a move to dislodge it.
Instead his shoulders sagged slightly. "I've been trying to ignore this for as long as I could, but I suppose it is to no avail."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 12 2008, 12:11 AM
"Your sickness?" The man asked, surprised, moving his hand in a reassuring circle across the man's lower thigh. "Or..?"
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 12 2008, 12:18 AM
"Yes, my sickness." Renaud gave the man a scathing look, and for a moment looked as if he was pondering slugging the man. But he didn't feel like he had the energy. Not now.
He didn't want to make Bonet his enemy. Not right now. "I do have a favour to ask. To you as a man, not as an officer." Because it would most likely go very much against the last.
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 12 2008, 12:21 AM
Bonet withdrew his hand and crossed his arms, his uniform jacket jostling and jingling. He knit his brows and stared at Moreau. "Yes? And?" His tone was suddenly wary, not expectant.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 12 2008, 12:27 AM
"Kuleliti." Renaud shook his head. "Merde man, unruffle. You know of her. I am not sure if you knows she is in fact two people pretending to be one."
He looked away, scratching his arm a bit. "Mother and daughter. They are the reason I commandered Romain. He sank one of their ships, he will be good bait for when they wish to take revenge. But... in case you hazard to meet them during your journey north and end up in combat..."
he paused, trying to think how to phrase this. he wasn't looking at Bonet anymore.
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 12 2008, 12:29 AM
"Yes? Take your time." He told the other man, letting his arms go and putting them back into his lap.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 12 2008, 12:48 AM
"The mother needs to die. She is a crazy cruel woman that likes earing people." Renaud bared his teeth in a snarl, giving Bonet a look to forestall any comments. The man had already pieced together enough, it was worth the risk telling the risk. "The daughter I am not so sure about. How bad the rot has crept in, whether she can still be salvaged."
He did not know. He simply did not know.
"When I was young Kuleliti raided the ship I was on. I was taken captive, and seeing what she did to the others I... switched sides. To save my life." He was giving Bonet more information, but he doubted the man would have time to use it and he supposed it was a bit of repayment for what he was about to ask. "I sailed with her for about a year before I got the chance to jump ship, but at that time she was heavily pregnant. I could not bring myself to kill her... even if I would have got the chance. Instead I swam, spent a few weeks on a nearly deserted island and then was picked up by a merchant vessel. I made up a suitable story for what happened, and tried to forget about it."
He ground his teeth together, as if every word had to be dragged out. "She is my daughter as well. She goes under the name of Michelle when she is not pretending to be Kuleliti. I... I know she should hang. But she is my daughter."
The pause was long, and painful. "I do not want her dead if it can be prevented."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 12 2008, 01:25 AM
"If it can be prevented, then she won't." Bonet replied, staring at the ceiling for a moment, puzzling out all of the hows and ensarements that were going to come out of this. "I can promise you that. I can promise that I'll make sure she's not hanged, nor killed, nor maimed to the best of my ability." He said quietly. "For you. You deserve that."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 12 2008, 01:31 AM
"Thank you." Renaud was silent for a moment, looking thoughtfully at Bonet. "Unless she is a lost cause. Then it is better she dies. Still, I suspect you will not run into them. I intend to make Romain a far too tempting target." The urge to cough was finally beginning to receed somewhat, it was always worse in the mornings.
"Things will become more dangerous for you now. You are becoming less easy to overlook. There is only so long one can play the fool. A fool servant is one thing, a fool in charge is quite another."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 12 2008, 01:36 AM
Davide sighed. "Yes, sir. But there are still fools in charge everywhere one looks, and my benefit is that I'm only playing one." He carefully slid his jacket off, folding it carefully over the chair and went to stand by the window, breathing in the cooler air.
"That's why I'm more useful offshore. I can get things done, and enrich Aquitaine with no one the wiser." He said quietly, looking out at the street.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 12 2008, 01:42 AM
"So are you gunning for Commandeur then?" Renaud asked, pulling up the blanket around his shoulders. "If you are, chances are you will at least have to pretend to run a ship. Perhaps it is good for you to remain with madame Ni Dowd then, the woman is not bad at what she does."
No, not at all.
"Or are you satisfied with the shadows? Because I gather this is as far as you can rise and still remain in them. Unless you are a subtler man than me."
He watched the other man's back, smiling. "Loyalty is a rare enough trait in a man these days."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 12 2008, 01:49 AM
"We'll see." Davide replied, looking at the man over his shoulder, before glancing out again. "What would I be without loyalty? You're the one whose brought me along so far." He turned away from the window and leaned against it, smiling.
"Whose to say I won't one day be Grand Commandeur?" He asked, smil turning to smirk again, glad for the brevity of this conversation. "You got that far."
"You have no other unfinished business that I must see too?"
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 12 2008, 02:00 AM
"No. I never had much of a life outside the Navy. She is the one thing. I only found out about her just before I left the wreaths" He loved his job, that was what he was good at doing. He always felt most at home on the sea. "And perhaps you will. Wouldn't have thought it a few years back but..."
He shrugged, giving Bonet a faint smirk. "You've surprised me."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 12 2008, 02:02 AM
Bonet raised his eyebrows, and gave the other man a sardonic bow. "Yes sir. Of course sir."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 12 2008, 02:15 AM
"I am going to miss that." Was he getting melancholy? Perhaps he was. "It is going to be an annoyance letting you go."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 12 2008, 02:17 AM
"I'm sure you'll find some way to fill the yawning divide in your life." His gaze twitched back to the man. "And I could always give you a very memorable parting gift." He offered, looking the man up and down, his gaze lingering on the man's bare arms.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 12 2008, 02:29 AM
"Are you serious?" Renaud gave the man a look, as if daring him to say yes. "I feel like death warmed up, and most likely smell like it as well. I am running a fever that's nowhere near peaking yet, and..." He broke off, shaking his head as he looked away.
"Don't push your luck Bonet."
He very much doubted he would even get it up. Not that he was entertaining the thought. At all.
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 12 2008, 02:33 AM
"That's a lot of reasons besides a simple 'no'." The man observed from the window, smirking. "I can always send Captain Ni Dowd by for the final send off, of course."
He sighed. "And I am promising to restore your honor and make sure your daughter doesn't fall into the hands of a cannibal piratess."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 12 2008, 02:38 AM
Renaud couldn't help but laugh there, a dryly amused and bitter little scoff. "Apprechiate the thought, but the woman's not fond of sick people. And last time I nearly coughed up a lung afterwards." In a way it was strangely liberating to admit this openly, he hadn't been aware how much energy it took to hide his condition.
"You know me. I like my reasons." The look he gave the man pretty clearly told him not to inquire deeper, it was not like he had needed reasons not to talk himself into it.
"I do have something for you, but that I can't deal with until I am back at the office. And for that I need clothes." He sighed, slumping again. "Merde, I don't have time to be sick."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 12 2008, 02:40 AM
"My medal!?" Davide asked excitedly, handing the man his shirt and pants.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 12 2008, 02:45 AM
"This is worth a bit more than that." Renaud smirked, shrugging off the blanket so he could put on the shirt. That was the best bit with a uniform, it his a lot of things. Incuding how wretched he felt... he hoped.
He buttoned it slowly, resolving to have a bath as soon as he was able. "Though that has been arranged as well. No, this is names."
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 12 2008, 02:48 AM
"Names?" Bonet asked, his face falling as he retrived the man's stockings, shoes and neckerchief. "Of whom?"
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 12 2008, 02:58 AM
"Of whom to trust. Of whom will stab you in the back. Of whom you can work your way around with money, and whom can be pressured." Renaud looked down at the pants he had been wearing, soaked with sweat and wrinkled. After a moment he resigned himself, struggling to his feet so he could kick them off and pull on the new pair.
Posted by: Davide Bonet Apr 12 2008, 03:00 AM
"Oh. Wonderful." The man said, and whether he was refering to the man's butt, or his gift was rather uncertain.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Apr 12 2008, 03:12 AM
Renaud pulled on his pants, perhaps slightly too quickly. He pulled the belt tightly, then sat down and reached out a hand for the socks.
"You will get your medal. I am a man of my word."
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