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Faith Augustin
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Tea for three

Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:39 pm

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1st Zi'da, 716
Faith had experienced discomfort in many different forms, but none like this. Why did she feel so nervous, she wondered, as she got dressed that morning. Having risen ridiculously late once, she had reverted this morning to her usual time of roughly the middle of the night. Careful not to wake Padraig, she had moved around the small house with quiet footfalls. That was much more what she was used to doing and, on any given trial, her routine was to be up early, dressed and preparing breakfast by the time that dawn's light came over the windowsill. And so she was this morning. She had pulled on the long thick black skirt she had bought the trial before and a long dark grey woollen jumper which she belted tightly around her waist. Her hair, she brushed and tied back and, as had become her habit in the last few trials, she wore very light make up, just enough to accentuate her eyes. Eating breakfast had been a struggle for her, but she had managed half an egg and then sat and sipped at mint tea as he ate. Eggs, two of them. Served with warm bread and followed by an apple, which she put out on the table with as close to a smile as she'd managed since he got up and she expressed the hope that she'd remembered correctly.

The reason, of course, for Faith's emotional state was that they were going to Tristan's house. Tristan had said, the morning after he'd freed her, that he wanted to meet Padraig and thank him. Padraig hadn't been entirely believing of this, but, as she handed him the scarf which she had made in the early hours for him, thick, warm and a deep tan colour, she breathed in and grabbed her own, also made the night before. Whilst she'd been at Tristan's the trial before, cleaning around and cooking a meal for him for that evening, he had said again about it and had suggested they come this morning, about a break before noon. It didn't interrupt Padraig's classes or work so she'd said yes. "I still don't see why I've got to be there", she grumbled as she tucked her scarf into her coat, the bottom of her face more or less covered by it and her hood pulled up. Silver eyes looked at him from deep beneath those layers and her voice was muffled, but the words were clear. She knew, and she'd no more let him go alone than she'd sit with her feet up and ask him to pass her a bonbon, but still.

He knew where Tristan lived, they'd bathed a cat there after all and he'd brought her back after they'd been lost in the woods. He'd insisted on it. So, shoving her hands into her pockets as she watched Padraig lock the front door, she considered that she'd make some gloves tonight. "I think it's enormous progress, personally.", she mumbled from deep underneath the scarf "that it didn't even occur to me to make you a scarf and gloves, then me. Celebrating the little successes, that's me." She was smiling beneath her wrapping, no doubting it. As they made their way, she considered if there was anything that she should tell him. She opened her mouth to tell Padraig about Tristan's pig-foot-painting, naked sculptures of men he'd never met, penchant for wine, tendency to pretend to be the King and crush on a specific Immortal. Each time, she closed it again, because quite frankly, how could she put into words the reality? No, meeting him was going to have to do.

Blessed Famula, she prayed, let these two men remain civil and if it is your will, then please don't let Padraig send Tristan to you this trial. Strangely, she really didn't think there was likely to be any trouble the other way. Except, of course, the one thing that she should warn him about and probably should have before they left the house "He's very blunt.", something of an understatement there "And I genuinely believe that he sees no wrong in anything he's done. So, you know how you clench your teeth together when I say something that happened and I think it's fine, but you blatantly believe it to be horrific?" Tristan genuinely saw nothing wrong, she believed, with any of his behaviours and would probably be proud of how he'd treated her. Oh, no, she thought, he was going to explain it. Please, she prayed to any Immortal listening, don't let him explain it.

But there was nothing for it. They were here so, she did as she'd arranged with Tristan the first trial that she'd come back to see him. She knocked on the door and then opened it. As she did, as her feet walked in to the familiar house it suddenly occurred to her just what she was doing and Faith bit back the urge to laugh. Hysterically. "Hello?" she called, unwinding her scarf and unbuttoning her coat, which she hung on the hooks on the back of the door, offering her hand to Padraig to do the same with his. Once coats and scarves and any other accutrements were put away, there came Tristan to greet them and Faith smiled at the sight of him. "I hope we're on time?" It was important to be, after all, although she was sure that they were. "Padraig, this is Tristan. Tristan, this is Padraig"

And if there could be a hole in the ground that swallowed her right now, that would be just fine.
Last edited by Faith Augustin on Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 979
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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Tristan Venora
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Tea for three

Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:20 am

Truth to be told, Tristan didn’t really feel like thanking Padraig. He had just said that he wanted to thank him because that was what a good person would say. In truth he rather wanted to pin him to the wall by his entrails (he still remembered the excellent idea Faith had once had) or send him to the pits so that his new fighter would have somebody to practice on – although he wasn’t even sure why he was jealous. Faith had assured him that there was nothing happening between them. He’d just given her a place to stay.

Was that how Peake Andaris had felt when he had realized that Alistair would not be marrying him, but his little sister? Despite all the evidence that pointed to the contrary, he still believed that Peake was secretly in love with his cousin. He also still believed that Padraig had some sort of hidden agenda which was why he had invited the man. He wanted to find out what the so called tutor looked like and what he was all about and make sure that he did at least treat Faith well. He hoped that he was bald and ugly and had warts all over his face.

He found it impossible to sit still while he waited, so he paced back and forth – until he heard a knock on the door. As the door was being opened, he instantly froze and wondered if he should get his sword or hide somewhere and pretend that he wasn’t home. By the time he had come to a decision, they were already there though, so he straightened himself, approached and looked Padraig directly in the eye before he turned to Faith.

She looked different. She had apparently discarded the silk and velvet gowns he had bought her in favour of plainer clothes. She still looked as beautiful as ever though. Padraig on the other hand … the man wasn’t much too look at, although it irked him that he was taller. At the moment Tristan felt that he should be the tallest man in all of Idalos!

He didn’t let his relative lack of height bother him though. The noble held his head high. He was dressed after the newest fashion (or rather, Vhalar fashion) in an expensive burgundy jacket, a dark shirt and pants and shoes made of the finest leather. His clothes had probably cost more than the so called tutor earned in a month, he thought.

“Only Padraig?” he asked as Faith introduced them to each other. Didn’t the man have a last name? Maybe he was a bastard. But then again, even his bastard brother had a last name. Maybe he was something worse than a bastard. Although he had never really cared about somebody’s ancestry before the thought made him happy for some reason.

“Well, come in. Let’s sit down at the table”, he suggested and led them into the dining area. Mistral, the cat, who had been playing on the floor so far, hissed loudly as he saw Padraig and immediately disappeared under the cupboard, remembering the terrible things Padraig had done to him the last time he had visited. Mistral had been bathed!

“It’s good to see you again, Faith”, he remarked and smiled at her. Even though he knew that freeing her had been the right thing to do – she would never have been able to realize her full potential, besides you just didn’t keep somebody you loved as a slave – something inside of him still hurt which he found strange. He had never felt that way before, and he didn't like it.

“So, Padraig”, he said and turned back to the tutor. “Faith told me that you let her live with you?” He hoped that the man wouldn’t only say ‘yes’, but elaborate a bit, and he realized that he should probably offer his guest something to drink, but he really didn’t feel like doing so at the moment. He wouldn't share his precious wine with him. Maybe he'd give him tea. Cheap tea.
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Tea for three

Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:13 pm

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Faith seemed a bundle of nerves that morning. She'd often seemed unsure about one thing or another since she'd moved into what had already become their time. But this time was different, and Padraig couldn't have missed it.

But he didn't pry into her thoughts. Instead he'd thanked her for the breakfast and enjoyed the time while they sat together. He didn't need to report to work or the university until much later that trial, and there wasn't any reason for him to object to being introduced to her former master. He knew, because he'd spent a great deal of time over the past trial, trying to come up with a plausible excuse to keep him from it. Nothing. "You have to be there," he told her bluntly before they'd left the house, when she'd handed him the scarf and he'd thrown it around his neck. "because it was your idea, and his."

And as they walked along, after a few moments of companionable silence, he added, "You know him better, but I still don't believe he wants to thank me. If the scenario was reversed, and if the feelings he expressed for you are in any way close to the truth of it, thanking him would be the farthest thing from my mind." It was as forthright as he'd been about his thoughts on the matter, but it couldn't have come as a surprise to her. "But I'll try to be on my best behavior," he promised, as if he believed she was unsure.

But the truth was, no matter that he'd never met the man, Padraig knew enough from what she'd told him, to have formed an impression. Whether it was the impression she'd wanted to give him or not. As for how long he could remain civil, clench his teeth as she put it, well, much depended on their host. Given his own tendency towards bluntness, immortals only knew.

"I also think it might be better if we didn't let on, concerning our feelings for one another. Even was he to ask outright," he said after a moment's pause.

As for Padraig's first impression, when he first laid eyes on the man in question? Good, relatively speaking, he was short and skinny. Although the choice of clothing came with an insight into the motives behind the way he'd dressed Faith, back then. Or was it a means of...over compensating? But then he remembered, he'd promised to be nice. And he reminded himself once again after Tristan spoke.

Only Padraig? Nobly born, that's what it meant. But considering that his mother probably knew no more than him about his father's identity, he could as likely be a spawn of the local fishmonger. He smiled amiably. "Padraig suits me just fine, lord Venora. Thank you for the kind invitation."

And then, there was that damned cat. Certifiable, that's what the creature was. In fact it occurred to him that when he'd been testing the vine sap and ghost mushroom for the combination's lethal properties, on a rat he'd trapped in a box, that cat might have been a better subject for his experiments. No one in the land could have blamed him.

"I did," he said when Tristan asked about the living arrangements. What else was he to say, without revealing the nature of their relationship? "It was a small home when I purchased it. But having recently expanded, there's plenty of room and we get on well. So why not?" Not his best effort, probably, so he was quick to change the subject. "So, lord Venora, Faith tells me you're a sculptor and playwright?" he asked. Something gave him the impression that their host wouldn't mind, was he to turn the direction of the conversation to his own accomplishments.
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Faith Augustin
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Tea for three

Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:10 am

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Biting her tongue, or at least the inside of her cheek to stop herself from speaking, Faith somehow managed to just burrow further into her scarf and hood. Her idea and his? She could bite back the response to that, and she did, managing not to point out quite a number of things, but she couldn't bring herself to keep quiet on one. As he wrapped the scarf she'd spent two breaks making him around his neck, she snipped, "And you're welcome. I hope it keeps you warm, I'm sure it will since it didn't exist yesterday, but don't make too much of a fuss, I'll get overwhelmed." The only part of her that was visable was her eyes by this point, so, she turned and walked. But as he caught up, she slipped an arm through his and hugged herself to him briefly, before shoving her hand back into her pocket against the cold. She hated the cold and she knew that the combination of her nerves, his complete lack of tact and the temperature combined to make her grouchy. Or, at least, as grouchy as she ever got. She was exploring new depths currently.

He had a point about whether Tristan wanted to thank him, or not, but Faith had a different opinion. He was a good man, she didn't doubt and so he probably was happy for her, because she was free and he almost certainly did want to thank Padraig for looking after her. "He's always thanked people for helping me before now. When Rafael Warrick saved me from some men who chased me into an alley, or even when Fred carried home my bags." She didn't want to believe what Padraig was saying and, bizarrely, that had nothing to do with Tristan. But, she kept quiet and said no more. And then, in a beautiful hat trick of flinging tact out of the window, he just casually suggested that they pretended. "Alright. If you think that's best", she looked at him and smiled. He was doing his best she knew, and although her face was hidden, the smile showed through into her eyes. "It will be fine. We just need to do this", preferably without anyone harming anyone else, she considered and just hoped that they got through the break without anyone mentioning her brands.

~~~~~

They hadn't been inside more than fourty trills and they were already at it. Faith watched the two of them and bit back a sigh. She smiled a genuine smile of fondness at Tristan "It's good to see you too. Did you sleep better?" What was it about the pair of them, she considered. She was the one who was being freed from a lifetime of slavery, and they were skipping their beauty sleep. Looking at the two of them as they engaged in a conversation about names, she resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Or to intercede with something snippy like "Well at least you've kept your first names all your lives, lads, don't worry about it.", but she didn't say any such thing, she just kept quiet and spoke a quite "Thank you. That would be lovely.", when Tristan suggested they sit at the table. She didn't quite know how to take this, should she be forceful and just make the tea, like she would in whatever passed for normally at the moment, or should she not? She decided that she should, then as she started to move that way the cat hissed at her. Faith looked at it and narrowed her eyes, just a little as it spat from underneath the cupboard. Just at ankle height that beast was, she considered and, rather than making the tea, she just sat down. In between the two of them and she folded her hands in her lap, fingers twisting around each other, tightening and relaxing. Her posture was always good, but she had never sat more upright in her life.

"It's a lovely home. I'm very comfortable, Padraig bought me a bed and a wardrobe and curtains so I have my own space there, too, just like here", oh don't do that, don't mention that she thought, wildly, Tristan will show him the storage cupboard! Quickly, change direction "And I'll be able to contribute to bills and upkeep, with my wage from work. Like here, really, except... well, they give them to me now", oh praise be to Famula but what was wrong with her? She supposed, suddenly, that she should be pleased that at least she hadn't opened with hey, Tristan,do you want your manacles back? or How're things, Padraig? Want a guided tour? Here's the bedroom judging by the way her mouth was running. But Padraig changed direction and she could have kissed him in that moment. "Oh, yes, you were at the play, weren't you, Padraig?" Why, Faith? Would Tristan know he was at the play, she considered. No. Of course he wouldn't. She briefly considered the merits of simply gluing her mouth shut, but she had to keep them talking on nice and neutral things. Don't say brands, whatever you do, don't say brands she thought. She turned to look at Tristan and smiled, then explained to Padraig, with a grateful look at him for the diverson "It was an amazing success. King Cassander was there, and the Empress, Emerson Brands.. Sands! Emerson Sands. Why don't I make the tea?"

She decided, all things considered, she was safer taking her chances with the cat.
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Tristan Venora
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Tea for three

Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:42 pm

Tristan made a face as the other man thanked him for the invitation and murmured something that might have sounded like ‚you’re welcome‘, but could also have been a terrible swearword in a foreign language. It was hard to tell. He didn’t feel like speaking clearly at the moment, and he already regretted his invitation. He also didn’t like that Padraig and Faith apparently got on well. She wasn’t supposed to get on well with anybody! She was supposed to be sad because she was not a slave anymore … Seven, he only just realized how that had sounded!

Maybe, he thought, he should just try to be happy for her. Where she was concerned, he actually wanted to try and be a better person because he loved her, and she only deserved the best. Padraig on the other hand immediately brought out the worst in him.

“Slightly”, he replied as Faith asked him if he had slept better. Looking at her instantly improved his mood somewhat. Actually, he had slept incredibly well because he had spent a busy trial at the fighting pits and been dead tired afterwards, but he was worried that Faith wouldn’t come anymore if she realized that he wasn’t completely miserable.

“Really?” he asked as she told him that Padraig had bought her a bed. If he had bought her own bed, she probably didn’t share his, right? Right? He looked at Padraig as if he were trying his hardest to read the other man’s thoughts for a moment before he remarked, “That’s nice. Do you ever miss your old room though? I haven’t removed your things yet, in case you’d like to take one last look and reminisce ...”

He wondered what that said about him. Would he turn into one of those people that left their loved ones‘ room untouched for arcs because they couldn’t cope with the loss? He hoped not! Faith wasn’t even dead yet, she was here and she seemed to be quite content!

“I hope you don’t take too much of her money”, he informed Padraig as Faith told him that she contributed to the bills. If he took advantage of her situation, he would teach him. It didn’t occur to him that he had taken all of her money and never even had any second thoughts about it. He had bought himself a few nice things with it as well – although he had also given Faith fashionable new clothes every season so that she would look good.

“Brands?” he asked, slightly confused, as Faith suddenly started talking about the play. How had the conversation moved from beds and money to the theatre? He looked at her, but she was already in the kitchen making tea, leaving him alone with Padraig. Why had she left him alone with Padraig? He would have to talk to him now! He didn’t want to talk to him! What was he supposed to talk about? What exactly is your relationship with my former slave?

He looked around helplessly – until he realized that Padraig had already offered him a possible solution to his problem. His eyes lit up. “I’m indeed a sculptor and a playwright. Wait here, I’ll show you one of my sculptures. Please let me know what you think.” Without waiting for the man’s answer he disappeared into his workshop and returned a few trills later, carrying a most peculiar sculpture in his hands.

It was a sculpture of a hound, the two headed hound that had been terrorizing Rynmere, only that it also had two tails for the sake of symmetry. Besides that it also had a saddle on and reins with golden tassels. Two people were riding the hound, a man and a woman. Their clothes had been ripped to shreds, probably during some sort of fight, so that a lot of naked skin was visible. The man had a pair of nice horns on his head, while the woman had three eyes. Apart from that she greatly resembled a famous actress though.

“It’s not my best sculpture”, Tristan remarked, faking humility. “That was the sculpture I made of Peake Andaris. Do you remember my Peake sculpture, Faith?” he called into the kitchen. “The one that got stolen by the one eyed woman that wanted to emasculate me and sell my thumbs to a lady with a thumb fetish?”

Please let Padraig think that I’m a dangerous madman so that he runs away immediately and never comes back! he thought as he waited for the tutor’s reaction. I don’t think I want to know anything about him after all. I can’t stand him! I hope he leaves Faith here though because he’s worried about my insanity being contagious. Although … would it make Faith unhappy if I scared her tutor away? I don’t want her to be unhappy …
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Tea for three

Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:31 pm

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For a second there based on her posture, Padraig thought that Faith would go and make the tea herself. He knew old habits died hard, would be the case for anyone. But why would she, when their host seemed perfectly capable of doing it himself? He frowned, just a flicker, while her back was turned, and Tristan's, but said nothing. Well enough, she seemed to change her mind. Good. So far as he was concerned, her visits here each trial seemed ludicrous, so far as he was concerned, but hadn't dared say aloud to her. As if the man was a child, needing to learn how to pull off the most basic of trial by trial tasks.

Twit, he thought uncharitably, and smiled while he sat himself down. And as she began to talk? If he'd forgotten, which he hadn't, he was reminded again, and again, why he'd thought this visit was a very bad idea. His smile grew a little tight, and beneath the table, out of sight, he took her hand and squeezed. A message? If it was, it would have been...stop that!. It was just as well he hadn't come armed. It would have been too great a temptation, was her former master to take the bait which she was inadvertently tossing into the waters, with abandon. This time, he didn't object when she rose to make the tea.

And then there the man went, gobbling up that bait like a child who'd stumbled on an open, unattended bag of sweets. Her old room? What? he wanted to say, You mean the cramped, damp crawlspace under the stairs? "I'm sure it was cozy," he said, somewhat too tightly. And had he ever used the word cozy in all his life? Probably not. The next question came too close on the heels of the last comment, and Padraig stiffened, or at least his smile did. His jaw was beginning to hurt, and it was developing a tick. "You needn't worry. Faith's money is hers, to do with as she pleases," he said.

Luckily, their host was all too eager to focus on his own accomplishments. And why should it surprise him? Padraig bet on it in fact when he'd asked. And Tristan's brief disappearance allowed him a moment to check his temper. Though when Faith returned with the tea, he whispered uncharitably, "One wonders how he gets his shoes on in the morning without assistance."

"Ah, wonderful!" he exclaimed, admittedly more cheerful than his usual when the sculptor returned with his work. And Padraig stood. Sure, all the better to see all of the thing Tristan had brought him. But too, it was an opportunity to remind the man that he was the shorter, and skinnier of them both.

He looked at the thing, hand to his chin in thought, walked around it, silent for several trills as if deep in thoughtful, genuine appreciation. In reality, well, while clearly the work of a skilled individual with genuine talent, the subject matter was...Well, Immortals, what sort of mind had conjured up an abomination like that? Surely, Faith had forewarned him, regarding the eccentric nature of the man's work. But nothing could have prepared him, really. And as a chemist and a dabbling alchemist, he'd seen some fairly worrying things before now.

What could he say? He worried that he'd have nightmares now. And suddenly he wished that Faith would interrupt with more talk about cupboards and brands. Still, he put a smile on. One would believe it was one of being impressed, if Faith didn't know him better. "It's...Well clearly you've a skilled eye and hand. You're too modest I'm sure." That much was undeniably true. The skilled part, not the semblance of modesty. "I'm impressed by the realism, the way you've portrayed the woman's ability to direct her focus to several matters at once." What with the three eyes and all. "Tell me, what was your inspiration?" he asked.
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Tea for three

Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:52 am

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"My things?" Her expression told that she was completely genuine in her confusion. "I didn't have any things. The clothes you bought I took, you helped me pack. There's just the mattress in there, isn't there?" Her confusion was evident and she looked between the two of them like she understood that there was some other conversation going on but she had no idea what it was. No idea at all. Padraig took ahold of her hand under the table and she shot him a look that spoke volumes of her discomfort. But her hand squeezed back and she let go, not wanting to break the notion that there was nothing going on.

When, however, Tristan said that he hoped Padraig didn't take too much of her money, Faith looked up and shook her head. That wasn't fair and it wasn't right, but Padraig answered and she was grateful, in truth, to get out to the kitchen to make the tea. The cat took a swipe at her and for the first time since she got there, Faith kicked back. It jumped easily out of the way, but it made her feel better.

"Oh yes, I remember. I told you, you shouldn't have given her the money she demanded. She was just one woman and when I stood up to her in Jamal's she backed down. She called back as Tristan shouted out to her " She's a bully, nothing more. It scared you though, didn't it? I still think we should have called the guard, you know. It isn't right that she bullied you like that." She picked up the tray and continued "I have her name, you know, it isn't too late. The others here should have protected you, it isn't right."

Walking back in, with a tray that had, she realised as she looked down, two cups of tea (one for Tristan and one for his guest, she thought with a sigh), she wondered just how much of her answer Tristan had heard, because he'd run off to get a sculpture. Padraig's whispered comment caused the first (possibly second... alright, maybe third, she wasn't sure really) stern look that she had ever given him."Stop that", she whispered back.

Then, in came Tristan, bounding in with his sculpture, and as it all unfolded, Faith took stock of the scene in front of her. There was Tristan, showing Padraig the sculpture of the beast, as described by Fred and artistic licence taken by lord Venora. And there was Padraig, walking around and inspecting it like a critic at an art gallery. She looked between the two of them, and there was just a moment where Faith felt complete and utter despair. What was she doing here?

"Well, look at you two getting on so well", she smiled at the pair of them, who were blatently behaving like babies, and put the tea out. "It's the beast Fred.. Aeon... Fred fought. With artistic license, of course. Have you shown it to him, Ma... Tristan?" Damn it, she did that less and less, but still. Too much. "To Fred I mean. I'm not thirsty, so I didn't make any for myself." That would fool no one and she knew it, but she carried on regardless. They talked and Padraig lied and Tristan showed off and Faith felt uncomfortable. She realised that it wasn't just that though. They were all three of them lying, all three of them feeling uncomfortable and, in all probability, all three of them showing off to defend against something that hurt them.

"I'm glad", her voice was quiet, as always, but it punctuated the brief silence between them. Her hands were clasped together in front of her and her fingers twisted together. "I'm glad you're both getting on. Or at least pretending to." She didn't look at either of them and, in fact, she picked up Padraig's tea and took a sip, placing the cup back down on the saucer with calm deliberation. Then, she looked back up and her gaze moved between the two of them "This is awkward and none of us are comfortable, and I very much appreciate how much you're both trying", she wasn't so impressed with how they both behaving like a pair of complete asses, but she didn't mention that, because it really wouldn't be helpful. "I'm living with Padraig. I have my own room, we aren't sleeping together", she spoke to Tristan when she said that, but she looked at them both. Padraig had said not to say anything, she didn't want to hurt Tristan and so she spoke the absolute truth. "I'm just very grateful for the opportunity to have time and understand what it means to be free. To be myself. I'd like it if it wasn't awkward, I really would, but maybe we just need to be honest with each other here and say it is."

Sighing, she prised her fingers apart and touched the pads of them together, steepling her hands. She examined them for a full moment and then looked up. "So, lets be honest. Tristan, I'm sure you've got questions that you'd like to ask Padraig, and more than one of them. Why don't we start there and you ask those?" Then, she figured, at least they'd stop fixating on who was taller or weirder or more able to act like a blatant idiot. "If it helps, look at me and ask me, if it helps?" Looking at Tristan with earnest silver eyes she nodded her head, encouraging him to just say what he was thinking, ask what he was wondering and get this all out in the open.
word count: 985
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

~ Rharne HQ
Dust Quarter Satellite Clinic ~ Order of the Adunih~Soup Kitchen & Community Center
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Tristan Venora
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Tea for three

Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:39 pm

“It was very cozy”, Tristan confirmed and wondered if he should tell Padraig that Faith had really only slept in her own room when she had been sick– or when he had been sick. What would the so called tutor say if he knew that Faith had shared his bed almost every trial and that it had been very enjoyable? Maybe he’d get some sort of fit and fall unconscious? He pondered that possibility and had almost come to a decision, but then he realized it might embarrass Faith, so he clenched his teeth and just glared at Padraig instead.

“And there’s more than just a mattress in there”, he reminded Faith as he heard her question. “There are also a blanket, a pillow and a chest and such. Unless you snuck in sometimes last night and took everything?” He quirked an eyebrow. Most people would notice if somebody stole their furniture, but Tristan had once had a three foot tall statue stolen from under his nose, so what he had mentioned was entirely possible as far as he was concerned.

“Good for you”, he remarked as Padraig informed him that Faith’s money was hers. He almost regretted that Padraig was not trying to rob her. It would have given him an excuse to punch the man. He narrowed his eyes as he wondered how great the likelihood of him winning a fight against the tutor was. Padraig was taller than him, but he was some sort of academic, and academics weren’t exactly known for their combat prowess.

Padraig had decided to take a look at his newest sculpture though, so the noble stopped thinking about punching him and stood next to him instead, waiting for his reaction with bated breath. When Padraig complimented him on his skill, he furrowed his brow as he wondered if the man had really meant it and then decided that yes, he really was impressed. Tristan was one of the most skilled sculptors in Rynmere after all!

“I’m glad that you like it”, he remarked and turned to Faith who had correctly identified it as the beast that Aeon had fought. He wasn’t sure who Fred was though. Maybe Aeon had a brother? “It is indeed that beast. Aeon said that it was really big, so I concluded that it was probably big enough to ride. He told me that the beast he had seen only had one tail, but that never made any sense to me. A monster that has two heads should also have two tails. That’s Valeria by the way.”

He pointed at the half-naked three-eyed woman that had her arms around the man’s waist. Valeria had been one of the actresses in his newest play. She was probably a star now.

“I already told you why I didn’t report her”, he reminded Faith, referring to Yana. “I told her that I wouldn’t if she left peacefully and let me keep my manhood and my thumbs. I don’t break my promises. And Hart and Ruq did help me. They got the money so that that terrible woman didn’t have to let go of me and lose her hostage.”

He wouldn’t allow anybody to criticize his beloved half-brother, not even Faith and not even when she was right!

She was saying something about them trying to get along though, and he could only look at her incredulously. “Are we really trying to get along?” he wanted to know from Padraig and secretly thought that he definitely wasn’t. He just wanted to scare the man away!

As Faith informed him that they weren’t sleeping together, he nodded. He thought it would be best if he didn’t comment on that, although he did look quite relieved. If they weren’t sleeping together, what were they doing then all trial long? He looked from Faith to Padraig and back and wondered, “What exactly is he teaching you anyway, and what do you do when you aren’t studying? And what exactly does he do for a living? I can’t imagine that tutoring pays particularly well. Most students are poor, unless they are nobles, but I’ve never seen him anywhere near my noble friends …”

He broke off abruptly and then informed Faith, “You know, if you ever get tired of sharing everything with him, I offered to buy you a house when I freed you …”
word count: 757
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Padraig
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Tea for three

Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:53 pm

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Stop that? Padraig had glanced her way, a questioning brow quirked, when she said it. What did she mean, stop that? Since they'd arrived, in spite of being given every reason not to, hadn't he conducted himself in a way that was above reproach? He'd been the soul of discretion and diplomacy, the picture of civility. Just as he'd promised he'd be. He'd concluded, long before he'd met the man this trial, that Tristan was a buffoon. Add insufferable ass to the list. Tristan and his cat deserved each other. He'd have said that too, had the man not returned when he did.

"That's a shame," he said, apparently amiably while the two talked on about some previous event. He might have meant, a shame that the scenario had occurred at all. Or, more likely, that the interaction had left Tristan with his life and manhood intact.

He glanced Faith's way again when she suggested that any questions the man had, he might ask them of her instead. As if the man was so lacking in intestinal fortitude that he couldn't speak to another directly? Though in spirit, he understood it. She'd shown a frustrating tendency to now, to indulge and coddle a grown man as much or more than anyone should a child. In practice though, when Tristan took her up on her offer, speaking past him, about him as if he wasn't present at all, Padraig visibly stiffened, the smile was tighter still.

Any semblance of civility was a much paler version of its predecessor. "I teach mathematics, chemistry, physics, while I attend the university in order to earn my certificate. It pays very well, in fact. You see, lord Venora," he added while the veil slipped just a little bit more. "Some of my students are like Faith. Clever and quick. Rare ones, far more so than those who pay their tuition. Others are the children or wards of the privileged class, those with more coin on their hands than good sense, who like some of their hapless benefactors, can no more add two and two together than they can wipe their own backsides without the aid of their more clever servants or slaves."

Padraig took a pause that lasted all of one trill and a half, and bluntly replied. "No, I imagine that we're not." Trying to get along? Not so much. But then the man went and offered, again, to buy her a house, should she choose to move out. And all bets were off. His chair scraped the floor as he stood up abruptly, and for a trill, it seemed as if he'd topple the table, reach across the wreckage and turn the noble's face inside out. Instead, he took a deep breath, and spoke quietly to Faith. "I made you a promise before we arrived." Best behavior, he meant. "I wonder if it's time for me to excuse myself and get on with my trial." Before he broke that promise, he meant, in spectacular fashion.

But then he just couldn't help himself. "It's been...interesting lord Venora. And by the way. That sculpture? It's an abomination. An expertly crafted, artfully rendered, award winning abomination. If your goal was to traumatize any child who was unlucky enough to see it, and cause them to suffer nightmares for the rest of their lives, congratulations. You have succeeded in spectacular fashion," he said. And yes, he was ready to leave before he broke his promise to Faith. It couldn't happen soon enough.
word count: 607
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Faith Augustin
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Tea for three

Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:17 pm

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She knew that she had a tendency to pamper Tristan and she hoped that Padraig understood that this had been her life before now, but that she had been happy here, happier than she had ever been before. She glimpsed at Padraig as she suggested that Tristan spoke to her, because she knew that he was on his very last nerve and that he was trying the best he could. But then, at least, Tristan started asking things. They were ridiculous questions and Faith didn't answer them, she just looked at Padraig to do so. That was what she had said, after all, that Tristan could ask him, but speak to her if he wished to. He did, and Padraig replied. Faith felt a swell of pride at the description of her as clever and quick and she looked at him. Really, she thought, what was she doing here? How was this helping anyone and....

...... and then Tristan offered to buy her a house and she turned to him in amazement, shock and surprise evident on her face. And then, she spoke. Her voice was clear and it was sharp and she was, quite obviously, telling him off.

"Tristan!" Faith looked at him with shock on her face. "What a thing to say! What a thing! You shouldn't... "

She put her hand out and took ahold of Padraigs as he stood. Her hand slipped into his, squeezing gently. Please, she thought, just wait, please just a moment. She looked at him as he said that it was time for him to go and her eyes were locked onto his face in desperation, even as he had a wonderfully erudite but very unkind go at Tristan's sculpture. "I'm sorry, Padraig. I'm so sorry." Standing up, she held on to his hand, not letting it go and she turned steely silver eyes to her former owner "Tristan, you said you wanted to thank Padraig for looking after me. Not try to demean him. You said that. You did. And he has looked after me. We aren't sleeping together, but if we were it wouldn't be your business. You bought me. You branded me, you sent me to a brothel so I could please you in bed. All of those things were your right to do and I don't hold them against you. But they were your right to do because you owned me then and you don't any more. You can't behave like this. I'm not yours to just put in a house to get me away from the man you don't know because you are jealous that he loves me better than you do."

Her face was calm, her voice quiet and her eyes absolutely flashed fury "Before I came here, I had not worn clothes that fitted properly, I hadn't eaten with a knife and fork or slept in a bed. You told me I was a person and I believed you and I will always, always love you for that. I will help you around here, like I said I would. But I am in love with this man and he is my choice. You gave me freedom and now I have choices. We cook together and wash the dishes together and then we talk all night. About science, about maths, about life and plans and hopes and dreams. I don't know how much he earns, I don't care. That isn't important to me."

Well, she hadn't expected that to happen, she thought as she realised that she had started to cry. Furiously, she tried to ignore the hot tears which spilled "Don't you think you can give me my freedom then try to decry my choices. You are upset and I know that, and I'm sorry that I can't love you like I love him, but Tristan, you don't burn the skin of people you love to show that they are yours. That isn't love, it's ownership. And now that I am free to make that choice, I can give myself to who I choose and I choose him because I am in love with him." Looking at Padraig she clutched on to his arm, "Just in case you didn't know, now might not be the time and place to say it, but I am." Of all the situations to make that clear, she thought.

Then she turned again to Tristan. "We are going to leave now. But before we do, Tristan, you have a choice. What man do you want to be? You said you loved me, then do so. Because if you love me, then you will be happy for me. And if you can't be happy for me, if you truly can't, if all you will ever see is a piece of your property then at least show some respect to the man who has done nothing but help me. Please, Tristan, be the man I think you are. Be better than this." Because she knew, and she rather suspected that they both did too that, no matter what Tristan did, she would come back tomorrow and help him. She'd given her word, after all.
word count: 887
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

~ Rharne HQ
Dust Quarter Satellite Clinic ~ Order of the Adunih~Soup Kitchen & Community Center
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