[m] let me down easy

POSTED: Thu May 24, 2018 2:10 am

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

000 Set in Cape Acadia, after a certain thread I haven't posted yet :I the more we talk, the less we understand

He knew better than to drink the whole thing, but he did anyways.

It didn't matter. Maybe he'd puke all over himself and she'd come clean him up again. How many times would she do that for him, he wondered, and would it mean anything if she stopped? It didn't seem to mean anything to begin with.

Slowly, he was coming to terms with that. That was probably why he'd chosen to strike out alone that night instead of joining the group around the fire. He still didn't like to see her looking at the kid, and without many other options that wouldn't hurt Tiamat, he was handling it in the only way he knew how.

The beach was a different place at night. The tide seemed calmer, as if settled by the milky white hand of the moon, and a lot quieter too. There were many more seals than during the daylight, black shapes scattered on the sand like so many discarded pebbles, but they didn't fuss or care about him as he passed. The chasing was done, the fish were all eaten, the fights were all finished, and anything that was left could be taken care of in the morning. He didn't know how far he'd gone until the wildlife petered out, but as long as the water was to his left and the forest was at his right, he knew he could find his way back. Or, was it the other way around?

He let himself collapse back in the sand. The bottle rolled from his fingers, and passively he considered how angry someone would be if he'd simply forgotten it there. Glass was hard to come by.

A star glimmered past in the sky above his head. He hoped that his crew had seen that, wherever they were, and were betting themselves broke because of it. Stupid, superstitious lot that they were. He chuckled, and threw his arm over his eyes. When had he become so fucking pathetic?

POSTED: Thu May 24, 2018 2:52 am

Rolling Armand over while he slept was hard work. It wasn’t difficult, per say, as the fear of waking him was little-to-none, but his bulk irritated her. He slept the way he had since he was born; curled into the nearest source of warmth, which was always her.

Every night was like this.

He’d start out at the bottom coiled into himself like a folding chair, but as the moon rose he unfurled.

Rahab, who slept the same way she lived – with apparently no rhyme or reason – often dealt with the red-eyed man drooling on the small of her back, or a foot in her face. She’d grown used to this the same way she grew used to everything; time and the acceptance that it wouldn’t change. With one final push, she was free, and her little luciérnaga snort-coughed in his sleep.

Locating her things in the dark didn’t prove difficult; she was not a tidy person by design, but she knew where everything was so long as no one moved it, and no one else in camp seemed interested in her things.

A strange thing, considering that Tiamat’s crusades had made her a very wealthy woman indeed, insofar as luperci considered such thing. Glass bottles hung from twine in her tent, and heavy pelts adorned the ground she slept on. Even her clothes were thickly embroidered and well-made.

Fumbling in the dark, she almost dropped her almost-finished joint twice. Once, it nearly fell apart.

She made do, though, and got it lit with the aid of a small coal and a twig once she’d wandered far enough away from their makeshift camp. It wasn’t really a cobbled thing anymore, but a true place they could settle in night after night after night. Once, she’d thought that repetition and consistency would bore her, but this past year’s events had taken some of the wind from her sails.

It would return; this much was true.

Thinking about the desert and the girl she’d tried to bury in the sand, she didn’t see Griffin laying prone in the sand, and promptly fell over him. Her knees buckled and she nearly kneed him, but rolled forward instead.

Her unbraided hair fell over her face, and she laughed aloud.

Her laugh was loud and annoying, and she knew it, but she couldn’t stop. Holding her joint aloft – the most precious of all things, to be saved at all costs – she held the other to her stomach, trying in vain to get a real, tangible grip on her own laughter.

I’m trippin’, She confessed, even though she wasn’t.

Was but wasn’t.

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POSTED: Sat May 26, 2018 7:41 pm


This was one night, he told himself. After this, he would be a better man. Not for Tiamat, like everyone seemed to think, but for his mother. He never knew her, because she had died after having him, but he felt like she would have been disappointed in him if he had turned out like his father.

He had resisted the bad influences of his life as much as he could, but he wasn't perfect. Maybe that was why Tiamat's harsh worldview rubbed him the wrong way sometimes. She would condemn a person for everything, whether it was their fault or not. Would she turn on him the moment he slipped up? Perhaps the better question to ask was 'when'.

As if to answer, something crashed into his side.

While he bunched inward with pain, he thought about that damn ant again. How long would it seek revenge?

He groaned a curse. Slowly, the feeling withered and he could unwind back into the sand. The body next to him was seized with laughter, waving a joint around in the air. It could have only been one person, but he still extended a hand out to pat around for the face he could not see in the dark. As his palm landed on Rahab's forehead, he made a hushing sound.

Shh, he said, You sound like one of them. The seals, he meant, but was too drunk to convey with words. He waved his other hand in the direction of the herd, though they were far off. They're gonna think you're calling them over.

POSTED: Mon May 28, 2018 3:14 am

She knew nothing of what had transpired between the former ship captain and the girl he’d fallen in love with once. Tiamat did not discuss matters of the heart with her; nor could the same be said of the reverse, not that anything of real interest ever happened.

His growing absences concerned her, but not necessarily out of the goodness of her heart. With the sailor around things were easier; the more hands on deck, the less they were burdened… especially with their defacto leader currently confined to bedrest. Naji made sure she didn’t exert herself beyond a certain point, and the rest of them redistributed their daily tasks until the weight upon their shoulders was manageable.

Losing Griffin would require another adjustment, and for once in her short life Rahab craved just a moment’s consistency.

If the sleeping seals noticed her—and logic would insist they had—they did not make it apparent through movement or sound. Her laughter died down to a wheezing hiccough; her lungs were smoky, and her head was in the clouds, but this was not an unfamiliar realization or train-of-thought.

Maybe I will, She admitted with a small bubble of laughter that burst and ricocheted around them. His nonsensical suggestion appealed to her heightened sense of humor. at least I don’t look like one.

She said this as if such a thing would be the end of the world.

Her parents seemed like such down-to-earth people on the outside, but a certain vanity existed in the Savoy family that was not immediately apparent to an outsider. It was careless and fierce, not brittle like some precious teacup, but it was no less ugly when it appeared.

It was at odds with their religion, which considered humility to be sacrosanct.

All of this aside, she rolled over and peered at him through the crook of her elbow, which was perched in the sand. Taking a small drag, she offered it to Griffin in a peaceable manner; she would never apologize for hitting him over the head, but it was something. You smell like rotgut.

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POSTED: Mon May 28, 2018 4:17 am


Rahab was charming, or at least he used to think so until she hit him over the head with her staff. It was only then that he began to awaken to her many pretensions, like realizing that someone was wearing ostentatious jewelry just to disguise a blemish. It didn't change or hide everything, but it still influenced the way he saw her. Griffin hadn't liked that there was no warning for her apparently negative opinions of him. He felt like the only time he'd seen the real Rahab was when she was yelling at him, and now everything else - especially this coyness, or the times she'd saved him dinner - were just diversions from the truth.

At least I don't look like one, she said, which instead of insulting him only alerted him to her own insecurities. He smiled sharply, That's a shame. I love a woman with real substance.

It wouldn't hurt her - she'd made it abundantly clear that she thought very little of him and his opinions. In the time that he'd grown quiet in this residual resentment, she had rolled onto her stomach and held out her joint. He only considered her offering for a moment before accepting. It didn't mean all was forgiven, but now he had a chance of forgetting something. Taking a hit, he held the strangely sweet smoke in his lungs and then breathed out through his nose.

I feel like rotgut, he said, passing it back to her. And you're not helping.

You shouldn't do this crap so much.

POSTED: Mon May 28, 2018 4:34 am

He said he loved a woman with substance, and she suppressed a derisive snort.

Everyone knew that he loved every type of woman under the sun; they simply needed to display or suggest some interest, and he was game. In the case of her mothers, interest was not even necessary. The knowledgeable airs they carried and the fact that they were both, for myriad reasons, unattainable, made them irresistible for men like Griffin Winsor.

The same could more or less be said for Rahab, who missed her freedwoman more than she’d ever let on. There were those who might suspect, such as Naji or Tiamat, but they had the good grace not to mention it.

I’ll call one over for you. Said the young Lioness, eyes glittering fiercely. With her hands temporarily freed, she made a rude gesture at him in the dark.

Like everything else, his perception was tainted by his worldview.

He didn’t want to like her, therefore everything she did was discolored now to justify his feelings. It made him feel better to dislike her, and conversely made him feel better about himself. His blasé comment regarding her habits, which were apparently so much worse than his, made her laugh again.

It was airier this time, forceful breaths from between her teeth. Momentarily she sounded like one of the dangerous desert storms they’d learned to fear.

This crap, She emphasized carefully, wiggling her ears. doesn’t make me puke all over myself, hombrecito.

Last edited by Rahab de le Poer on Mon May 28, 2018 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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POSTED: Mon May 28, 2018 11:27 pm


Rahab seemed to think she understood him from the very little she'd observed, and for most people, including Griffin, this would have been irking. If Griffin had to pinpoint a reason for why he disliked her, it would have been this presumptuousness — and the inherent expectation that he try to change her mind. The game was set with him having already lost, and unfairness aside, it wasn't one he even wanted to play. Proving he was a good person was something he was and would do for Tiamat, but not for a girl who'd hardly proven herself to him. Respect, whether she liked it or not, was a two way street.

That wasn't to say he didn't take into account what she had told him (which may have come as a surprise to her if he'd said it, since it didn't fit into her notion of him as a shallow, narrow-minded womanizer) — he'd thought a lot about their exchange, which was more than apparently she could say. She had a way of deflecting anything that might cause her to look deeper inside, which felt to him a little like looking at his younger self. He used to be afraid to acknowledge that he could be wrong, and it was Tiamat who had knocked that square out of him.

Now that was a woman of substance.

Rahab made crude gestures at him in the dark, and he could only muster a sarcastic laugh. A heavy feeling set on him, and to dispel it, he sat up from the sand and drew his knees to his chest. Time was beginning to feel longer, and he couldn't help but notice how the tide withdrew for what felt like hours before crashing up against the shore again.

That's good, he replied in a drawl, already bored of her antics. If she'd ever found him combative, she should have taken a look in a mirror.

Alcohol wasn't a reprieve, but it made him feel like it was. Most vices he figured were like this; poor treatments to an incurable pain.

As he wiped at the bits of sand clinging to his trousers, he asked, What does it do for you, then?

POSTED: Tue May 29, 2018 12:01 am

Rahab could not respect someone whose opinions were fixed; despite new evidence, Griffin seemed intent on accepting only that information which confirmed his firmly held opinions.

The fact that she was here at all, let alone speaking with him, proved that she wished to better their relationship… or at least get it back to where it had been before he’d mucked things up with Tiamat; never mind that no matter what she did, he apparently believed the sun itself shone out her ass.

She liked the Amaranthe but did not put her on a pedestal.

Such a thing forced the object of your affection to constantly look down upon you; the reverse could be said as well. So convinced was he that she’d buried her head in the sand, he would not give her the chance to prove otherwise.

Mmm, Ray put a stopgap between her answer and him. it makes me feel better, sometimes.

An intelligent person might ask what she needed to feel better about, but she didn’t expect such intuition from him.

If you’re gonna keep moping, She continued the thought somewhat absently, dusting sand off her side. maybe you should go back to camp and dry out.

The way she saw it, continuing to drink wasn’t helping him any. Whatever excuses he made didn’t discount the fact that he’d gotten drunk before being let down by their glorious leader. The time he’d boasted about their wealth and nearly gotten them—Armand, her first priority, Tiamat, and herself—killed, it still irritated her.

And now this.

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POSTED: Tue May 29, 2018 2:37 am

It hadn't occurred to him to wonder why Rahab was out there with him now. He supposed she just wanted to berate him again or something like that, but the longer she lingered and didn't exactly yell at him, he realized that that wasn't quite right.

The drink and the smoke were beginning to get to him. This was good; it meant that he could forget about Tiamat and Mateo and all of them except, well, except for her. When she paused, he thought at least an hour passed and mostly had forgotten what was said earlier. It took most of his willpower not to ask what made her feel better. He simply stared at her with an inscrutable expression, until it all returned to him in a rush. He ran a hand through his hair and sighed.

She didn't seem to want to talk about her reasons for smoking, so he didn't press the issue. If she ever felt like telling him, she would.

To her suggestion, he rolled his shoulders and responded, Nah. There was less trouble to be found in isolation, at least when the trouble was him and the other members of the group. He touched at his mouth as he thought about the kid again. Then I'd just do something stupid. He paused a moment, as if anticipating some quip from her. He looked over, and as his hand dropped, his lips curled into a teasing smile. Why? You worried about me?

POSTED: Wed May 30, 2018 11:10 pm

Rahab didn’t need a reason to smoke—never had, never would—but it was easier sometimes to offer an excuse. It made her less desirable habits more palatable for those who would typically use them as a reason to berate her. One thing (perhaps the only thing) Griffin hadn’t been wrong about was that they all subscribed to crutches and vices.

She was Armand’s, his pathfinder through the world, alcohol was the sailor’s, weed was hers… perhaps the only two who did not subscribe to such things were Naji and Mateo.

For the moment she did not think about Tiamat, whose insistence that all the wrong things in the world could be righted was a tad idealistic for the de le Poer. An eye for an eye and all that was not a concept she believed in, largely because no one was as rational as they thought themselves, even Rahab herself.

He said he’d just do something stupid, and she appeared to think about this for an inordinate amount of time.

Instead of digging at him, which would have been the ‘easy’ way out, she let the comment go with a toss of her short hair. At least he had the self-awareness to realize this; to her, this implied some progress was being made… Not that he would ever admit it. She understood he was loathe to consider his flaws, or even acknowledge their existence, it was some inborn pride in all of them.

No one wanted to be fixed.

Not exactly, She muttered, leaning forward. Worried was not the word she would have chosen; he was more than capable of taking care of himself, whether that was getting into or out of arguments.

Taking a short drag from the dying blunt, she passed it off to him for a final hit or two.

He was like the moon. Precipitously rising tides seemed an entirely separate event, until you looked closer. Rubbing at her face, she realized all at once that she felt both too heavy and too light, like fog on the forest floor.

even if I was, it's not like you make it easy, you know. Her breath disturbed her hair, and his now that she’d leaned forward to be heard over the rolling ocean waves. Always looking for the worst in folk.

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