Re: [m] let me down easy

POSTED: Thu May 31, 2018 1:59 am

Griffin wanted to be fixed.

Or if that couldn't be done, if it was all too late, then he just didn't want to hurt anymore.

He didn't want to hurt anyone either, but he had grown up to be careless and a little mean. For the first years of his life, all he knew were shrewd people wizened by a blazing sun and lives of hardship, and nothing he could say or do would pierce their weathered hides. What was he except the product of his environment? Tiamat had been the first to pose a different question: what could he still become?

She had needed that question as much as him. He suspected she knew that she had a black and white view of the world, as many people who were raised in the uncertainty and tumult of an ever-changing environment often tumbled to one side or the other.

It wasn't as clear to him where Rahab stood in everything. Murkier still that it seemed at some points she couldn't stand to be near him. He contributed most of her ire to the fact he talked a lot of wind, but when it came down to it, the Captain knew how to put his head down and work. This was most apparent on a ship where he knew what he was doing, but even out in the middle of nowhere Griffin had found ways to contribute. He supposed that was why Rahab even bothered with him.

He finished off the smoke, and a frantic wind broke apart the cloud and dust around him. He was glad they had chosen to live by the sea, because he missed the way the breeze was always a bit candid, a little stinging against the eyes. When it settled down, his hair continued to stir against his cheek.

He tilted his face so that he was not quite looking at her but at the pieces of her that drifted into his periphery.

Rahab had always been pretty, but she looked different in the pale cast of the moon. She was the languid shape of sand — her body curved and wound in warm repose, and the softness of her skin evoked the sun-kissed afternoon; there was no part of her that seemed out of place. Like a lioness doused in shade, Rahab was ever poised to lunge or to sleep at a moment's notice.

Where'd you get that idea? He murmured, glancing at her downcast summery eyes. Her dark eyelashes were like the edges of trees against a bright blue sky.

I can make it easy, if you want.

POSTED: Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:46 am

When Rahab looked at their various behaviors individually, she found a lot of similarities within Griffin and herself. If they presented themselves in different ways, it came down to the simple fact that they were two separate entities with differing ambitions and motives.

He appeared to enjoy his life, even if that sense of ease involved flirting with both of her mothers. It had been fun to watch, and despite the no-nonsense mood aboard the ship, it had made everyone involved laugh, even the man with green-gold eyes. There was nothing more to it, she supposed; if there had been, at a guess, he would have spontaneously combusted.

Agrippa and Mara were wind and fire, and prone to causing storms.

Rahab didn’t know where she fit on the spectrum within her family. She’d brought them this far, but her sisters remained in Portland under the watchful gaze of their mothers, and she could not help but wonder if her decision to come back to beginning had been an erroneous one. Certainly, they did not seem to have the faith in her that she had in them, or Tiamat, or anyone.

She attributed this to their ages, though their second year was nearly upon them… and she felt as if she had nothing to show for it, save for the tales of adventure and woe. Her so-called wealth was rapidly diminishing, and what she kept for Armand and herself was of little practical value. Such things could be found if one looked hard enough.

It was the rarities, the oddities, the baubles and shiny trinkets that she kept for the novelty of the thing. The simplest thing in her possession was her staff, an easily-replaced weapon that was nonetheless more valuable to her than everything else combined.

The stub of her smoke fell apart and dissipated into nothing, dust falling to join the sand.

You act like everything nice I do is, like, Ray struggled to find the right words, her mind enveloped and sealed in smoke and fog. not… nice, I guess.

She knew what she was trying to say, but faltered. These ‘real talks’ of theirs never seemed to go well, probably because their guards went up the moment they encountered one another. It made frank conversation difficult.

Oh? She questioned his statement, looking him in the face as she did. Sitting up, she brushed sand from her side where it disappeared into the burnished gold of her fur.

How easy? Her uncertainty disappeared, replaced by a certain coquettish boldness.

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POSTED: Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:55 am

He couldn't say what brought them all together or what made them stay anymore. Tiamat was the easy answer, because she was like a river that swept them all along her current, though that made it seem like none of them had any agency in the events that had come to pass. The truth was that any of them could have left at any time. Rahab had real family in Portland, and he could have kept sailing with the Captaincy he'd won through less than honest means. Sometimes their way of life felt borrowed, like a vacation from the real lives they were supposed to be living, except it never ended. The anticipation built into nothing.

Maybe he was the only one who felt like that. It was probably like what she said about him and expectation. Did she say that, or had he thought it? In the haze of his intoxication, he wasn't sure.

Rahab's words were like smoke in the wind, and he could have sworn he saw them fluttering away with the ashes of their joint. There was worry there, even if she didn't see it, and he didn't know what to make of it either.

Everything? He laughed, and by the way he laughed it was clear that he found the thought ridiculous. She could be mean, but then again, so could he. Ray, we're not nice people. He muttered, and anyway, he didn't really believe in nice people. There were good people, but not nice ones.

He was fast approaching the third year of his life, and he hadn't done a whole lot of anything either. His days had gone by ferrying oddities, baubles, and trinkets back and forth, and thinking about it made him realize just how worthless any of it was. The real rarity was in the moment.

Rahab stirred from her somnolent posture, and the way the sand trickled down her figure made him think of the strange faced lions of the old world, whose riddles could bring a man enlightenment or a swift end. There was a look in her eye that both asked and told, and the danger of it made the hairs of his neck raise and prickle.

A moment like this was a rarity, to be sure.

Real easy, he whispered, and leaned in to kiss her.

POSTED: Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:06 pm

Though she was their leader in all but name, Tiamat’s actions and those of her friends were entirely their own. They circled one another, interacted, and conversed, but their motivations defined and separated them as individuals. Their course through life had aligned for now, but this was a temporary thing and made even more finite by their actions and consequences.

Like planets and stars hurtling through space above, however, they sometimes put themselves on collision courses such as this one.

He said something and then he kissed her, and she tasted alcohol, but not the too-sweet sort that her childhood home had in abundance.

She didn’t know why she was kissing a man who said she wasn’t nice, but she was. Her fingers slithered through his choppy dark hair, though it looked black in the darkness that surrounded them.

Silence crept in between their breaths, and she wondered what he thought of her.

Before – the pact, the desert, the victory, the Spanish courtiers – she would have said she did not care what he (or anyone else) thought of her, but this was the sort of lie everyone told themselves. Opinions mattered, and they could hurt. Some were aware that what she said was not a valid predictor of behavior, but others took her at face value.

In thinking this, Rahab considered that she had done Griffin a great disservice by judging him by his words and not his actions… except he matched inside and out, and she didn’t know which of these things was worse.

She accepted this unfairness because the world didn’t owe her anything, and she didn’t have anyone’s expectations to live up to, and that felt like a decent deal.

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