Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 01:20 AM
"I'm trying to figure myself out," Elaine said, shrugging. "I mean, I've been out of the convent for about half a year now? And I've never really been around people before. This is the first time, and I don't know how to react to anything, or whether what I think I'm feeling is actually what I'm feeling, trying to understand what other people feel, and..." She looked down. "Maybe it is, a little. It all seems very romantic, and--"
Then she blinked up at Niabheara. "Not sure you what?" she asked confusedly.
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 01:26 AM
"I don't love Marcello," she said evenly, keeping her voice as low as possible. It was not so much a fear that he might be listening at the door as it was that she would make a big scene about it. "He's a very good man, and a very dear friend. I don't pretend that's love."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 01:39 AM
"Oh," Elaine answered, looking puzzled for a moment, as if the thought had never occurred to her. "Um. Not to sound cheeky, but does Mister Knight in Shining Armor know that?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 01:49 AM
"Not for my telling him, if he does." She tried to muster up enough energy to threaten Elaine's life, but suddenly her shoulders sagged. She shook her head, feeling tired.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 01:56 AM
"How come not?" the younger girl askedn frowning. "I mean, if he's such a good friend...I may not be the queen of emotional sensitivity here, but that seems like a fairly shit thing to do to somebody you give a damn about."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 02:03 AM
"I already know that. As much as I know it will only be worse the longer I hold off telling. But . . . " She shook her head again with more venom. "I don't e'en know how to broach the subject! It's going to be . . . it's not as if I feel nothing for the man; I do, I swear on stone I do. But it's not what he wants. I know it isn't."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 02:18 AM
Elaine looked incredulous. "How d'you know it's not?" she asked. "And whether what you're feeling is what he wants shouldn't matter. I mean, you're the one feeling it, not him. You can't force yourself to feel something, and if you- I don't know. I would think if you- I guess that's what I thought with Starling, was maybe that's what love's supposed to be, and I just didn't know it yet. But he turned me off that quick."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 02:25 AM
"It's not . . . it's not as if it's servitude. I don't want to hurt him. I tell myself I can bear a good deal for his sake. I like being with him. I e'en like being in bed with him--" that came out before she could stop it, and she turned red again but went on. "I don't know what the matter is, save that it's in me. There's a . . . a lacking there."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 02:34 AM
Elaine grimaced and put a hand on her ribcage. "You mean the part where it feels like your heart's burning up inn your chest and you haven't got a body anymore, just fire?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 02:41 AM
Niabheara looked up at Elaine, her expression equal parts surprise, sorrow, and deep relief. "Aye, just so. And part of me wants to go, and it can't, but it tries, and it hurts . . . "
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 02:48 AM
"Go?" Elaine asked. "How d'you mean, go? You mean leave him, or what?" She bit her lip. "Jesus. Um. If I'm being too nosy, you can tell me so. I- I wouldn't tell anybody any of this."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 02:54 AM
"I want to forget about Jochy and be with Marcello. Only I'm afraid forgetting Jochy might not help either." She bowed her head. "It would be so much easier . . . I don't know why I'm telling you this." She suddenly looked ashamed of herself. "This isn't why you came to me."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 03:05 AM
Elaine gave Niabheara a reassuring look and shook her head. "I sort of-- like hearing it?" she answered. "I mean, not the bad bits, but...it's nice to know you'd tell me. And anyway, if it bothered me, I could tell you really horrible things. Like..." She grinned mischievously. "Your brother makes slurpy noises."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 03:15 AM
Niabheara was actually shocked into laughing. "He does . . . no, no, he's my brother! Don't tell me these things!" She pretended to block her ears with her hands. "It's not the same when you shared a crib together! It's just . . . squicky."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 03:18 AM
Elaine laughed, too, grinning, looking quite pleased with herself. "It's squicky even if you didn't, Nialla! Slurping," she repeated, in a fake-mortified tone. "Just imagine, you're trying to be all romantic, and--- SHCLOOOOP!" She waved her hands out for effect. "SCHLOOP! Oh, my god, I could barely keep a straight face."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 03:25 AM
Niabheara looked vaguely nauseated and horrified, even thought she was by now nearly bent double laughing. She waved her hands in a gesture for mercy. "No, no, please, it's . . . look, I used to change the wee thing's napkins, I don't need to . . . stop!"
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 03:27 AM
Elaine grinned and whooped. "No, no!" she retorted, slapping her knee. "That's not how it works! You tell me one, or I tell you one worse."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 03:31 AM
Niabheara was laughing almost too hard to speak. "I don't have any stories, I promise you, I don't! If I had them I'd tell you, just please don't tell me any more about Bram. Would you want me to tell you all about what your sister's like in bed? Or your father?"
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 03:38 AM
"Oh, god!" Elaine moaned. "You know, first time I met him, Jochy spent the whole time ogling my father's ass. And telling me how nice it was. And by then end, I had my mother dangle him over the side of the ship, I was so mad. It was--" she shuddered, running a hand down her face. "C'mon," she teased. "Tell me what your Queensman's like. He must do something hilarious, in bed or not."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 03:49 AM
"He didn't." It was the obligatory answer, but, knowing Jochy as she did, Niabheara didn't have to be told that he had. She rolled her eyes. "I didn't get that sort of story from Jochy--I was too young--but he wasn't quite shy about telling me that he'd slept with my father, either. Sad to say, it's starting to seem a habit with him, to move from the fathers to their daughters." She laughed lightly, shaking her head. "Impossible man."
Then she flushed. "He doesn't . . . it's not . . . I don't know!" She nearly wailed. "It's nothing like . . . we've--" She gave up, smiling, looking at the floor. "He's good. He's very good."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 03:59 AM
Elaine snorted. "Andre would have smacked him if he'd even so much as said so to his face," she answered. "Then again, Jochy thought I was a boy. Then again, then again, he thought I was a twelve year old boy. And he didn't know Andre was my father."
She smirked, then whistled low. "No complaints at all? He must...he must at least snore. Jochy-- I don't exactly have anything to compare him to, but he won't shut up. It was good the couple of times we-- but:" She made her hand into a mouth, opening and shutting it repeatedly. "Yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 04:06 AM
Niabheara bit her knuckle and giggled. "Mostly he talks when we're not in bed," she admitted. "We haven't actually . . . it's only been a few times. I don't really know yet."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 04:12 AM
"Oh, Jochy never turns it off," Elaine answered, shaking her head. "I'm not even saying this to be discouraging! It's like...if he could talk more than he does normally...he's figured out a way. I don't know how he keeps it up!"
Now it was her turn to blush. "I mean. Oh GOD! I didn't mean it that way," she said, as she went crimson.
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 04:21 AM
"I know what you didn't mean." Her face was one massive, stunned blush; if Marcello had walked in just then, he might've suspected that Elaine had just slapped Niabheara on both cheeks. She drifted over to the rumbled bed and sat cross-legged on its edge. "I like him," she explained, almost miserably. "I was curious. I wanted to see what it was like. I wanted to give him something he seemed to want. I didn't think either of those were bad reasons, until now."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 04:27 AM
She made her way over to the other girl, sat down near her but not beside her. "You mean until now now?" she asked. "I mean, was it something I said? I don't want to-- look, if it-- I don't think it's bad. I mean, when I-- I swore I wouldn't fall for Jochy; I knew it would be a mess if I did, and I did anyway, and I...I'm making him wait," she said, biting at the inside of her mouth. "Six months, I told him, and I feel like hell about Starling, but he told me...I mean, Jochy did. Told me I should. I don't want to make a wreck of things for you two, too," she said apologetically.
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 04:40 AM
"No. I already felt badly about it." She drew up her knees and hugged them against her chest. "The man's going to war for me. It's not about Cnoch-na-Niall or the land or anything else for him. One other reason. But he's as much as said that the rest is for me. And I can't let him do it, and he won't let himself be sent away--I don't want to send him away. There's nowhere else for him to go, really."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 04:46 AM
"But that-- that's not your problem," Elaine pointed out. "I mean...you can't just be responsible for people. That's what everyone keeps telling me. I can't be responsible for the fact that Jochy's no good at being faithful to anyone. And I'm not doing very well at not holding myself responsible, so maybe I shouldn't say it to you, but you can't. If he shouldn't be here, you've got to just tell him to go. If he doesn't have anything else, that's not your fault."
She gave Niabheara a curious look. "What's the other reason?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 04:52 AM
Niabheara swallowed hard. She couldn't bring herself to look at Elaine. "Someone who died. Titania killed him."
She sat up, laughing a little, and shook her braid over her back. "I am responsible for people. It's just that generally they are people in very large groups. I don't know how to manage only one."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 04:59 AM
Elaine looked rather saddened herself. "I don't know what to tell you," she admitted. "I've never been responsible for anybody but myself, and I don't know why I feel responsible for Jochy, but I do. And that's hard enough. I...I don't want to say anything like 'do you know how lucky you are' or anything scolding like that, but...I guess I wish somebody felt like that about me. I just always figured that if somebody did, it would be somebody I felt the same way about. Um..."
She looked thoughtful for a moment. "How much of this have you said to him?" she asked. "You can't-- you've got to get it sorted before something bad happens."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 05:03 AM
"I know I must." She lifted her head from her knee. "I was just going to say that you were the lucky one. You love him. He loves you. E'en if you couldn't be together, bad as it may have been, there was that."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 05:15 AM
Elaine winced, then looked glumly at the older girl, picking at the bedcover. "But it's like loving a...a wild bear. Or something. I'm always worried he's going to get into trouble again. I'm always scared he's going to bite me the same way he did you and Seth. I feel like I spend so much time keeping him in place, or scolding him, or trying to stop him from having nightmares or going mad, and I still can't trust him. And even knowing all that, I feel like I have to see it through. Like giving up on him is worse than the nine-in-ten chance that he'll spit this all back in my face. Because the one-in-ten it might work..."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 05:26 AM
Niabheara gave Elaine a shy, fleeting smile. "And I know how that feels as well," she said. She smoothed out the bit of coverlet the girl was picking at. "I don't want to discourage you, but those were all the reasons why I decided I had to let him go. He's always been this way, as long as I can remember. It's just that I didn't understand why those were dangerous traits, until now."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 05:35 AM
"Which is why I went to talk to Starling about it," Elaine answered, and she moved her hand away sheepishly. "Because I was thinking...and I don't know if it's something you've already thought, but I was thinking, what if that fire-feeling...the one you said is missing...what if that hasn't got anything to do with love at all? It's not like I'd know. It's not like I've been in love before this. Maybe I'm thinking it's love because it's such a desperate kind of rush but maybe it means something else."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 03:58 PM
"It's been my experience that it's an . . . entangling sort of feeling. Like oak-moss. If ever you are separated there's a long, dull pain, as if your whole arm's been struck off, and you can't sleep or eat or do anything at all without feeling the lack. Like trying to reach out for a cup with the hand that isn't there anymore. Like being homesick. It's . . . I'm sorry, I'm being foolish." She blushed again. "And to be honest I wouldn't know anything about that because Marcello and I have been virtually packed in the same box like a pair of spoons for months now."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 04:18 PM
Elaine frowned, looking wonderingly at the older girl. "I don't feel that," she said, frowning. "When Jochy's gone, I mean. I-- usually I'm ma at him when he leaves, though, but it's sort of...it's less-suffocating when he's gone. I don't mind being suffocated so much, it's not that. It's just...it sort of gives me more of myself back."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 04:33 PM
Niabheara coiled up at the far side of the bed. Judging by her expression, she was not quite following Elaine's line of reasoning. "Suffocating isn't much a word I'd connect with love," she said doubtfully. "I can fathom it, a little. What would you have done, if you had what you liked? Would you have him here, and decent, or gone?"
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 04:47 PM
"Here and decent," Elaine answered, without any pause. "I want him; there isn't any question of that. I just...he has nightmares. Horrible nightmares. When we're together, they're not at bad, but he still wakes up. And there's the parasite, and I'm always afraid it's going to creep back into my brain and I want it gone from him for good, but I don't know how to make it go. And Judith hates him, and my father doesn't like it when we're together."
She rubbed her cheek. "She called me a tart for staying with him the night he was really bad. I don't know what I'm supposed to do, and I think everyone else would be happier if I just left him alone, but I've seen the inside of his head, and it would be...cruel, you know? I can't. And I still know-- I don't know if all the effort in the world will make him turn around. It's work. When it's just him and me, usually it's perfect, but being around him makes things harder, not easier."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 05:07 PM
Niabheara squeezed her hands around her elbows. "I knew he had nightmares. I remember those. And the parasite, but not so much. I didn't really understand them when he explained it to me then." Her voice became a bit resentful; she laughed coldly. "Then again, I was six when he explained, and he wasn't much for recounting later."
Resentment ebbed into lighter, more thoughtful concern. "I believed that too," she said. "That I could help him. When I was small, it was . . . nice, in its way. He seemed a man, so much older than I, but he treated me as if we were equals, and I suppose I came to believe we were. But he went away for so long . . . I forgot him. I went on to other things." She paused. "I wish he had not come back."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 05:16 PM
Elaine grimaced. "He made me feel that way too," she answered. "Like I mattered. My opinion mattered. Things I said mattered. That was part of why I...you know, started feeling that way about him to begin with."
She bit her lip, sighed. "I remember you when you were a little girl," she said. "And that's weird. That's...everything's mixed up in my head about you. Would you..." She hesitated. "Would you have him back, now, if you could?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 05:23 PM
"Not now, no." She shook her head. "Not anymore. He would try to get himself involved against Titania, and she'd kill him with no thought--the way you or I might crush an ant." Her lips flexed in brief repugnance, while her eyes gleamed. "Unless she found a use for him. You remember me; do you remember Auberon? They met once, he and Jochy, but I do not remember much of how it went. I don't believe they passed more than ten words together at the time."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 05:28 PM
Elaine shook her head. "Man with the horns?" she asked. "Not really. I...I remember the big parts. The important parts. You, Seth, the demon, his father. Things that moved him and changed him, I guess."
Her eyes flicked toward the door. "You've already got one person doing that," she observed quietly. "Is Jochy any different?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 05:38 PM
Niabheara gave a small, unpleasant smile. "Aye, the man with the horns." She ran her tongue across her lips as if to wipe away a bitter aftertaste.
"In that respect . . . they're not so much different, Jochy and Marcello. Save that Marcello understands what's been happening, and he is much more practical than Jochy would be in the same circumstances. He's not so much driven by his passions as I believe Jochy might be." She touched the stone of her torc again. "Still I would not see him harmed."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 05:45 PM
Elaine frowned, looking uncomfortable. "If you could have one or the other...? I mean, if you could choose between them? I don't know how much of Jochy choosing me is him seeing you with another man and thinking you're happy and not wanting to mess it up."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 05:57 PM
"I hold by my lights," Niabheara replied. "Jochy and I would end badly, war or none, Seth or none, Marcello or none. I know him well enough, and I know myself." She gave Elaine a small smile. "I'm a selfish creature. There's little enough I claim as my own, but what there is, I will not share. He wouldn't stay with me."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 06:06 PM
Elaine grimaced. "And that's the difference, then," she said. "If I'm the sea-witch, I can't keep him with me all the time. We both know that."
She bit her lip. "I don't know where we-- what we do now," she said. "I've never really talked to anyone about anything like this before. I mean, not somebody I didn't think was judging me over it. What d'you want to do about your Queensman, then?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 06:13 PM
"Find a way to tell him, and soon. There is no other course. I don't want to lose him, but neither I would tie him to me with false promises." She sighed and hugged her knee again. "And you?"
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 06:17 PM
"Wait, so you don't love him, but you want to keep him?" Elaine asked, looking utterly confused. She shook her head. "Never mind. That's not my business. I--"
She rolled her eyes. "All I want to do is kick Starling in the teeth. At least it makes things easier for me. I just have to wait till I see Jochy again and see how he's done. I promised him he could kiss my feet if he lasted two weeks," she explained. Then wrinkled her nose. "Oh, god, that sounds weird, doesn't it?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 06:27 PM
"He's my friend, Elaine. Do I have to be madly besotted with the man to grant him the simple courtesy of honesty?" She made a face, before she softened. "Please don't kick Brammie anywhere until I've had a word with him. Really, this is not like him at all. I would rather have both sides of things."
Then she very nearly smirked. "Kissing feet, after what he's put us all through? Sounds perfectly reasonable."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 06:30 PM
"Oh, Jesus, and he's going to insist I jumped on him. That's what he said, was that he was following my lead, when he's the one who stuffed my hand down his pants."
"Um. Sorry," she said sheepishly, before smirking back. "That was the idea, with Jochy," she assured the other girl, looking rather pleased with herself. "I decided that if he wants me, he's got to earn me back. I hadn't thought of the implications."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 06:38 PM
"You're appealing to his stubbornness," Niabheara said wryly. "He'll manage it just because the challenge alone implies he can't, or else burst a vessel in his temple trying. He's like Mother that way."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 06:42 PM
"Exactly," Elaine said. "It's the only way to get him to follow through on something." She sighed. "You see the problem? If I change my mind before he's done..." She made a face. "You know he'll crash."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 06:51 PM
"And if you keep your bargain then you've compromised yourself." For the shortest of moments a sort of thin, nearly translucent pall fell over the countess's features; she looked as if she had just heard the clash of a battle from a long way off. She wiped her hand over her face, and the look passed. "At home it's a lady's privilege to set challenges for their suitors, and to drop them when it pleased. It's almost expected to drop them. It's always struck me as frivolous. Cruel, e'en."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 06:55 PM
"That is cruel," Elaine agreed, making a face. "I don't want to do that to him. I don't. I just-- I sort of know I'm still just a kid, right?" she said. "And I'm scared of making bad choi-- hey, are you all right there?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 07:02 PM
"Hm? I was listening." She blinked twice at Elaine and settled back into her former watchful position. "I don't think he will, um, crack?" She tipped her head to confirm she had used the right word. "If he's not yet from all other circumstances, I don't think that anything you can do to him would be enough."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 07:07 PM
Elaine shook her head, looking solemn. "I don't mean-- I mean he'll go back to sleeping with whatever he can get his hands on, lying, cheating...you know. He won't have a reason to try to be better. And the parasite-- it was getting stronger, he was sort of messed up when they put the part that crawled into me back into him, and...we had to cut open his tattoos. They're better now, but...and his father's trying to meddle again. I would hope it wouldn't make him crack, but I'm afraid. He almost did, back in the Wreath. The things he does when he gets down? Those just add to the parasite, make it worse."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 07:17 PM
Niabheara sucked on her bottom lip. "The parasite . . . it's separate from him, do you know that? His father told me once. It's a mirror of the original one, the . . . well, you know about the first one. Jochiem. But it still affects our one in the same way, much as if it were real. Meaning there must be some way of prizing it out, if only . . . how did you manage it, when it was in you?"
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 07:24 PM
"I know," Elaine said. "I didn't understand why they couldn't pull it out of Jochy," she explained. "I only got a little bit of it. And it's more than just having it in you; you have to be a proper host to it. Jochy's father made him into one on purpose. He made him feel hurt and loneliness and betrayal and all the things that would make him into...like a garden laid out with manure. I'm just hard dead dirt to it," she said, shrugging. "I haven't had a perfect life, but I'm not unhappy. I don't only see the bad in things."
"I met Jochiem," she informed the older girl. "I went to his home, and we had pizza. But the only way to get it out of me was to have the part inside Jochy suck my part out and go into him, too. I think if we wanted to get it out of Jochy, we'd have to find an even bigger parasite to suck his up. And cut his wards again. It would be dangerous."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 07:38 PM
"There's always the firstborn again--but that only puts it off, it doesn't destroy it. There's his father." She had fallen into Jochy's habit that any mention of Melekain came with a tight jaw, as if she had been forced to speak an obscenity.
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 07:39 PM
Elaine's eyes went bright. "Are you thinking what I think you're thinking?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 28 2008, 07:40 PM
Niabheara blinked in surprise. "I am now. And he would come. I think he's looking for me, too."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 28 2008, 07:43 PM
"We need Jochy close, too," Elaine pointed out. "Not just you and I; we need the parasite and the man." She winced, her expression becoming troubled. "He likes me. I think the two of us, we could lure him out properly, but we'd need to know what to do after that."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 29 2008, 04:42 AM
Niabheara suddenly let out a small strangled scream and bent forward, hands on her temples. "Paugh! Why must these things always happen in clusters? I can't do this; I can't do anything like until Cnoch-na-Niall is settled. I swore that would be the foremost an I could e'er get back. And Mother would likely kill us both for so much as considering it."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 29 2008, 04:47 AM
"She wouldn't kill us," Elaine said assuredly. "She explained to me. I think we're both at the age where she has to let us touch the stove to understand why it burns us. I just-- no, no, I understand," she assured the redhead. "We'd just have to figure out a way to get Jochy and his father into the same place. It'd take more planning than we have time for, because I'd want to worm some more about the parasite out of Jochy's father before we tried anything. You know, to be prepared."
She nodded. "I...I don't have a war on, but I know how that feels. I got shot, kidnapped, had to have the parasite cut out of me, and my papa got attacked by pirates all in the same week." She frowned. "I guess that's not as big as anything you've got. But it adds up."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 29 2008, 04:56 AM
"I'm sorry. It's getting hard to think about anything except what I'm moving into. What we're moving into, now." She shook her head. "What's been happening here? I knew your father was in prison when we arrived, but Mother has this habit of deciding what's important for me to know and what's me being curious about things that are none of my business."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 29 2008, 05:06 AM
'Don't apologize," Elaine replied. "You have a war to worry about. And that following fast on the tail of that demon bastard."
She feigned spitting. "Creepy son of a bitch. Um...what parts? How much? I mean, I know you met Papa before I met up with him, but before we got here-here? Well, we all came in because Papa was arrested because they killed some cult in Lorrain? I wasn't there for that, either. Judith was-- we were supposed to be treasure-hunting before the call came in that they needed help. Before that, I guess...before we met up with you, we had been in the Wreath and Judith introduced me to all her old pervert friends. One of them stole her kidney, one of them liked watching me eat apples, and you met Commandeur Moreau-- he's not so much a pervert as he is just old and coughs blood. The one who stole her kidney was the one who fixed me and put the parasite back into Jochy. That was just after we met up with Seth. Jochy got possessed with the wraith we took out of my grandfather."
She bit her lip, looking at the older girl. "I kept wanting to use the mirror to warn you about what was going on here. I mean, with Jochy. When he was possessed. Because I was afraid he'd come after you."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 29 2008, 05:14 AM
"Granted, at the time we would've been either in Leabharcham proper or else trying to leave the Erins, so I doubt he would have found us . . . but you couldn't have known that." Niabheara frowned and propped her hands on her knees. "Why didn't you tell us, then? I would have . . . something. I would've liked to have known, if nothing else."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 29 2008, 05:20 AM
"Well, I didn't know," Elaine admitted. "I wanted to, because then? You didn't know about me, and I didn't know about your Queensman, and I was worried Jochy would..." She shrugged. "Take advantage might be the wrong words. Conveniently edit the story to his own advantage might sound better." She made a face. "It wasn't all his fault; it was part the wraith, but I had a bad feeling he'd go to you and tell you he'd returned to Seth and Seth had turned him back out. Which would have been enough true for him the way he was then. And I wanted you to know about the wraith. But I-- I didn't particularly take well to some strange girl speaking invisibly to you and telling you she'd been sleeping with him." She shrugged. "And Judith warned me not to. She said it wasn't a good idea-- no reason. But I don't know; she might have known where you were."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 29 2008, 05:32 AM
"She did. I believe she spoke to Morgana when I was . . . unavailable." The thought still irked her. "No reason. Of course. Why should we expect reasons? It negates the whole point of communication."
Niabheara rubbed her hands along her knees, staring at her own hands. With her thumbnail she scraped away a dried flake of chocolate caught in the crease of one knuckle. "By then . . . I think I had other things to worry about. But no, it was not a good time. I can hardly imagine when would be." She bit the inside of her cheek. "howe'er it may stand, Elaine, I have no claims upon the man anymore. And nothing against you, despite my snapping at you before."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 29 2008, 05:40 AM
"She might've known, if it would put you in jeopardy, or you weren't able to speak," Elaine agreed, biting her lip, and then she smiled at the older girl. "I know that," she assured her. "And I wouldn't come between your friendship, should you want it. I-- I'm actually happy I came up here," she said, grinning at Niabheara. "I was sort of afraid you'd be a little stuck-up. You're not at all."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 29 2008, 05:47 AM
"Between Jochy and Mother, I didn't know what to expect of you, truth be told," she replied, a little shyly. "You still hold the advantage o'er me in that respect: I keep feeling I need to explain something before I remember that you already know. I . . . almost want to have something against you. But I don't. It's very odd."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 29 2008, 05:54 AM
"I'm still not totally sure why your mother chose me to be her apprentice," Elaine admitted. "I mean, I don't think I'm the type somebody would really choose for that. But I'm trying. And I know," she agreed. "I feel a little guilty, like I don't deserve to know as much as I do, but I can't--" she scratched her head. "I can't really help it. It's all in there. I don't know anything since Jochy left you in Cnoch-na-Niall, though, if that helps. You can still tell me everything that happened till I talked to you on the mirror sometime."
She pulled herself up from the bed. "I mean, if you want to," she said earnestly. "Are you going to be all right? You-- um, if you ever need somebody to talk to about things who isn't your Queensman, I wouldn't mind."
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 29 2008, 05:57 AM
"I would like someone to practise my swords with?" Niabheara asked hopefully, then admitted, "Marcello's no good. He won't strike properly for fear that he might actually hit me."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 29 2008, 06:01 AM
"Oh, no one else on this ship has that problem," Elaine replied, grinning, and she pulled up one of her sleeves, showing off a nasty bruise. "I've got the marks to prove it. I'm not-- I'm not very good, yet. But I've got falling down to an art."
She grinned. "You want me to go find you one?" she offered. "Or have you got to deal with affairs-of-state now?"
Posted by: Niabheara ni Dowd Apr 29 2008, 06:03 AM
Niabheara slithered off the edge of the bed, with an uneasy glance at the door. "I might better go tell my Queensman what's been going on," she said. "I don't want to know what's been going through his head waiting. Later, though, aye, of course."
Posted by: Elaine Romain Apr 29 2008, 06:05 AM
"Just find me," Elaine said, as she headed for the door, giving her a little wave. "Good luck with the Queensman. I'm going to go rat on Starling for keeping a chicken aboard. It's about the best I can do for revenge without getting him in serious trouble."
She grinned, waved, and left the Countess on her own, shooting a final smile over her shoulder.
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