And So It Goes (The Room pt 3)

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And So It Goes (The Room pt 3)

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74th Zi'da

For a moment, Faith had believed that it could be different, that she could be free. Free of slavery, free of her past and free from Tristan Venora. He had been kinder to her, there was no doubt, than any owner and yet he had owned her and she recognised, finally, that her relationship with him was unhealthy. Yet here, she was carrying his child. That knowledge, in and of itself, caused her to feel a wave of a despair wash over her, tinged with anger and a hundred other emotions. Yet, everything that she felt was hollow, an incredible depth of feeling which was so much she could not feel it at all. Like an amputee with a phantom limb, she felt the pain and the despair, but they went only so far as she could feel them, not yet in full force.

Aelig had left the trial before, disappearing into nothing and then, shortly after, so had Padraig. He needed some fresh air, he'd said. Those were, in fact, the only five words he had spoken following the departure of the Immortal and they were five more than Faith had managed. He had left and she had no idea if he was going to come back. Why would he? It was too much and she knew it was. He had come back, some breaks later and he'd been drinking. Not so much that he was lacking his faculties or out of control, but more than she'd seen from him. She couldn't blame him, in truth. Why wouldn't he? By the time he got back, she'd cleaned and tidied the place, kneeling and brushing up the smashed mirror.

When he'd come back, he'd been distant, quiet and introspective and Faith didn't know how to do anything except let him have the space he needed. Once he was back she left to go and do a shift at the Order. It wasn't her name on the rota but she went and sat in the library and stared at a book, not seeing the letters on the page or comprehending the words they formed until the sun crept over the horizon and Mattieus had slithered into the room and asked her what the hell was wrong. Faith had looked at him like she didn't know who he was and shook her head, getting up and putting the book back then leaving the library.

Sitting there, not reading the book, she'd come to some conclusions of sorts and she went back to the room they'd shared and let herself in quietly. He was up, already, if he'd slept at all. He'd tried, at least, the bed wasn't made and the blankets showed that he'd been restless, tossing and turning through the time spent there, however long it was. There was so much she needed to say, so much she needed to explain. She couldn't lose him. If she lost him, she would cease, she knew that as surely as she knew anything. But this? This was a step too far and she couldn't ask him to be with her, either. Her heart was breaking into a thousand pieces and yet she knew what she had to do. She had to swallow the pain, ignore it and do what was best for him. Not because he owned her, he didn't. But because she was his.

So, she came in, sat down and looked at him for a moment. Faith had a high level of endurance and in their time together he'd seen her go without sleep for a lot longer. But she looked exhausted, just utterly exhausted and she sat for a few bits and just looked at him. She didn't smile, she had none in her but then she spoke and her voice was as emotionless as her expression, as devoid of feeling as her eyes and yet, at the same time it was as filled with pain as she was.

"There are a thousand things to say, but I can not say them. I..." traitorous tears sprang to her eyes and Faith bit her lower lip in an attempt to stop them. She was so disciplined, she had stood unmoving at the blows which had caused the criss cross of scars on her back, but this? This was more than she could contain. "I am yours, unto my final breath and beyond." The same vow that she had made to Famula, of course. Her silver eyes looked at him and she wondered whether it would be the last time she got to say those words to him. "If you leave, that doesn't change." her lower lip quivered but she spoke clearly. "Only you, for me. But if this is too much, I understand." Faith breathed in slowly and then out again even moreso. Her hands were clasped tightly together and she was quiet for a few bits before she spoke again.

"I want to beg you not to leave me." Looking anywhere than at him she paused, gathered herself, then carried on. "But you are free to make your own decisions. I can't ask you to be with me though I want to beg you to be. So, we need to ..." Faith considered that she'd been lucky, really, to get as many words out as she had but there, that was it. They needed to? What 'we' or 'they' was there she wondered? "I'm scared to ask you what you've decided, but I know I have to. Whatever you decide, Padraig, whnever you decide it, it's alright. Or it will be.." She wouldn't be, she knew it but right now he needed to be free to choose. So she fell into silence and looked at her hands held there in her lap, not even they could be still in this.
word count: 1009
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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And So It Goes (The Room pt 3)

He'd woken that morning to an empty bed and a roaring headache. He'd drunk just enough the night before to leave him more miserable than he was already, but not enough to numb any of the pain or the regret for having walked out in the first place. He shouldn't have left, and left her alone. But he couldn't have stayed either.

After a restless night, the trial hadn't gotten any better. He'd picked at his breakfast and eventually had sent it back uneaten. He'd attempted to study, but had read the same passage in the same book so many times that he'd lost count and learned nothing. And for all the thinking that he'd done, Padraig was no closer to a solution than when he'd begun.

When Faith finally returned to their room, he probably looked as bad as he felt. But at least he'd washed and didn't smell like liquor anymore. He was seated in a chair near the door, his bare feet stretched out and with an open book in his lap that he hadn't looked at for breaks. She looked as miserable as he felt, and he once again regretted walking out the night before. But he didn't say anything either. Not until she did.

"I love you Faith. That hasn't changed, this hasn't changed it and won't. But don't," he told her, pushing the book aside and leaning forward in his chair. "Don't ask me. Don't beg me. You ought to know me better by now than to think I would leave you like this." Did he mean in the short term? Or was it the long term? Truth was, he wasn't sure. "I shouldn't have left last night the way I did. I'm sorry for that. It was just too much."

"I'm here now," he said. "But it doesn't solve anything." Padraig paused there for a long few trials, trying to find a way to say what he was thinking when he wasn't entirely sure himself. "You're worrying about my feelings. Wondering what I'll do. If I'll leave or I'll stay. But this isn't about me," he told her. "If it was, we wouldn't be having this conversation." It was the only thing he knew to be true, besides loving her and not wanting to lose her. If the Immortal Aelig had come the night before and told them she was carrying his child, he wouldn't have walked out, and they'd be having a very different conversation.

They'd be talking about how, in spite of a lack of planning and the idea that neither of them had wanted children, they'd rise to the occasion to raise and love a child that they'd conceived together, in love. He knew that now, and it was a painful irony. That wasn't how it had happened. "This isn't about me. It's about you, and a child that until last night, neither of us knew existed. If we had, if you had, would you have ever come to my door that night after he freed you?" he asked. And no, he wouldn't even speak the name of the man that he had no love or use for.

"I've tried all trial to find a place where I thought it wouldn't matter. That if it's a part of you, then it's all that matters. I've tried because I don't want to lose you or give you up." He'd tried, failed miserably, and couldn't begin to guess if time and reflection might make the difference. This wasn't her doing after all. This was a result of a master expecting something from his slave, that she'd given only because it was expected, and nothing more.

"But I wonder if, for all your worry about me, you've stopped to consider how you feel and what you want. I wonder if I'm a distraction, stopping you from doing that." Hadn't he told her again and again after all, that he wanted for her, what made her happy and what was best for her, with or without him? And that he'd help her make it happen, even if her choices didn't include him?

"Do you think that I'd insist you choose between me and a child that until last night, you didn't know you were carrying?" he asked her. "I wouldn't. I never would. But I don't think you've had time to consider what you feel about it. You haven't known you were pregnant. Neither of us did. Your feelings now, your feelings tomorrow may not be what they were last night. A month from now they may change again. And when it's born and you hold it in your arms? None of those things are about me," he insisted. "And what about him? What part does he play in this?"

She'd told him after all, or said it in front of him numerous times. She loved Tristan, even if those feelings weren't romantic ones. Except, he could only think that situations like this had a tendency to change things. And he didn't expect that she'd have all of those answers now. In fact it wouldn't surprise him if she hadn't considered them yet. Her concerns for him and what he'd do were a distraction, Padraig thought. But he wouldn't leave her. Not like this, and she needed to understand that. And to know that he loved her and the nature and extent of it hadn't changed. But where that left them, he couldn't begin to know.
word count: 995
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And So It Goes (The Room pt 3)

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He spoke and she listened. His voice was calm and he hid the turmoil well, but she knew him better and it just hurt her more to see it. Was this how it was now, she wondered? He hurt so she hurt so he hurt in a vile spiral. She wouldn't do that to him, she couldn't. She listened to it all, every word and she tried to make it make sense, fit in to her mind and her heart and her soul but so many of the things that he said were discordant and she didn't understand. When he stopped talking, she said nothing for a good minute. Lifting her shaking hand to move her hair out of the way, she tried to think about how to explain what she was thinking and feeling. She didn't know how, didn't have the skills to explain. Was he giving her an out in case she wanted one or was he saying what she thought and feared he was? Or was it just something else, entirely? Her head was going around in circles and she felt dizzy with it and sick to boot.

As he spoke, though, Faith realised something and that she could say, unequivocally. "If I'd been pregnant, if I'd known I was I suppose, when he freed me?. I'd have come to you. There was nowhere else I'd ever go, I knew it the moment I stepped outside. It wouldn't have been right and it wouldn't have been fair, but the only difference might have been that I'd run a little faster." She turned away, not looking at him and trying to hold on to her emotions, but it was a battle she was losing and she knew it. He loved her, she didn't doubt that. That wasn't the question, though. "Would you have changed your actions, Padraig? Would you have taken me in still? Told me you love me and kissed me that night?" Tears fell, she couldn't stop them and she cursed herself for her weakness.

"You're wrong." Faith stood and moved away to look out the window. "And the way you're wrong hurts my heart, Padraig. You're talking about it not being about you, but about me. That's a decision, isn't it? Because I'm asking you if there's still an us to make these decisions together or if they're mine alone." She already knew the answer, she thought and as she spoke the words, she realised that they were basically what he'd already said. He'd confirmed it, too, she felt when he said that he'd tried all trial to find a place where it didn't matter. But it did. To him, it did. Wrapping her arms around herself she sighed. So the decisions about the child were hers, not theirs.

"You're right. I don't know how I'll feel. Nor do you know how you will." She wanted nothing more than to throw things through the window, to yell and scream but she stood still and quiet for another moment, looking at her hands. "You've tried to come to a place where it doesn't matter and I appreciate that. You've tried to do that because if you can't, you can't be with me, as much as you want to be. You've tried because you can't raise Tristan's child." In that moment, Faith hated Tristan. But he wasn't important here. Pushing her emotions to one side, she spoke as calmly as she could.

"Whatever I decide, I'm not going to involve him. He has no part in this." Faith had decided that in that moment, but she knew it was the right decision. "The two options there are that he raises the child or he hands it over to the Venoras. Neither of those is good for the baby, I wouldn't put any child in that toxic environment. I had no choice in the creation of this whole situation." Harsh, stark reality that it was, it was nonetheless true. "But it's mine to deal with, isn't it?" She couldn't look at him, but she turned and sat back down, suddenly just feeling utterly exhausted. Physically and emotionally drained to the point that she just wanted to sleep. "I'm pregnant." Faith said and she looked at Padraig for the first time since she'd started talking, tears spilling unchecked and unheeded. "You're right, I don't know what's going to happen when this baby comes, I don't know how I'm going to feel and I can't make any decisions until I do know. Right now, I can tell you that I don't want this child. Right now, when it comes I am not prepared, willing or able to care for it. But you're right, I can't make guarantees and it might be that I change my mind."

Faith sighed and looked at him, getting down to the crux of it. That was what they needed to do, they needed to be clear about what the scenarios were and what they would do. "That's my bottom line. I'm pregnant. Tristan isn't involved. Right now I don't want it but I might change my mind. I want you with me, but there is the possibility that means I change my mind and keep the baby and we do that whole thing. If you can't accept that as an option for us, then we should probably be clear about that now, Padraig. That's all I'm asking." She breathed in and out again then looked up at him. "If you can't or you don't know, that's fine. We can... that is, I can get in touch after it's all done or you can once you've reached a conclusion. If you need space to think about this, that's fine, too. I'm asking a lot, I know. " Just in case her clarity sounded callous, she added. "I want us to do this together. Just in case that isn't obvious. I want us to do this because I'm more terrified of losing you than of anything here. But you're right I might change my mind and I'm not prepared to put you in a position where you ask me to choose, and I'm not prepared to put me in a position where I have to. That's all." It made sense to her, but in truth Faith had never felt more tired than she did in that moment.

"I wish none of this was happening and if it has to I wish it was ours." Faith looked at him and looked as lost as she felt.
word count: 1169
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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And So It Goes (The Room pt 3)

"Of course I would have taken you in," he told her when she asked, and her tears cut through him like shards of broken glass. "But neither of us knew then." It was no use looking back and trying to second guess the past, and what they might have done then. They hadn't known. It was an unfair question, what if, and he shouldn't have asked it. "All I know is that I loved you. And knowing it wouldn't have changed that."

But whether there was to be a them, or whether there wasn't, as he saw it it was about her. And about the child. So long as he couldn't be sure, that was, if he could be any kind of father to a child spawned by Tristan Venora. It might have been anyone else, and he might have felt differently. But even of that he couldn't be sure. And he couldn't give her any guarantees that his feelings would change, and he couldn't with certainty say that they wouldn't.

He could no more expect Faith to choose, than he could tell her what to do or how to feel. "There's still us," he told her. "For me there will always be an us. You for me. Even were you to tell me there wasn't."

He felt as if they were at an impasse, and he wasn't at all sure how to find the way through it. "I can only tell you that I love you. And that I'll be here. You won't have to make the decision alone, but I can't make it for you. And I can't promise that my feelings will change. Because I don't know. Just as you don't" But she was right nonetheless. If asked, and made to answer based on what he was feeling right now, right here, he'd have to admit that he could not raise Tristan's child as his own.

But it was too late to change what was done, and she wouldn't, couldn't hand the child over to Tristan or his family. What was left then? He should have realized where this was going, long before they'd gotten there. They'd keep in touch? His gaze shot to her face, trying to decide if she'd meant what she'd just said. He couldn't quite figure it, except to acknowledge that neither of them was being particularly sensible at the moment.

"One minute you say you want to beg me not to leave, that you want us to do this together, and the next you say we'll keep in touch. As if you want me to go," he said, and he couldn't quite disguise how the last bit struck him to the core. "I've told you that none of this changes how I feel. That I'm here. And that, to the extent that we can, we'll get through it together. But I can't promise you more than that." Because he couldn't guarantee his feelings would change, should she choose to keep the child. "So do you want me to stay? Or do you want me to go? Because unless you can swear to me it's truly what you want, and I don't for a trill believe that it is, I'm not going anywhere," he told her.
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And So It Goes (The Room pt 3)

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There would always be an us for him? Faith looked at him and hope glimmered for her. Was he not saying what she was so afraid he was saying? Was he... she forced herself to listen to him, really listen and to not just respond, either, but to give herself time to digest what he was saying, give herself time to comprehend. Sitting there, a million miles across the room from him it felt, she listened to him.

"I'll never say there isn't an us. I'm yours, you're mine but... but I thought you were..." What did she think? She looked at him and breathed in, trying to get her tears under control. "There's always us for me, Padraig. Always." Faith realised that, between the two of them they were neither one of them being clear, neither one of them making sense. So she redoubled her efforts and, in fact, the look on his face made her more than aware of what she had said, and the vast gulf between what she had meant and what he had heard. She wished that she wasn't crying, she hated that she was, but the simple fact was that she couldn't help it.

"I have so many regrets." Faith whispered, looking down at her hands as she spoke. It was such an ingrained habit, mostly she didn't even notice that she did it. "So many things that I wish had never happened, things I'd never said, never done. Not the bits of my life you wish hadn't happened. I wish that last night I'd told you how terrified I am that I can't ever be what you need me to be. What you deserve ~ I'm so scared I'll never be truly free. I wish I'd told you that I'll marry you, that if I ever have children I want them to be yours, because it's too late now to tell you that." She looked up at him and wished that she could just stop crying, but she couldn't. "I don't want it. You don't want it. That is where we are today and as long as we are us, we will work it out, Padraig." Faith's focus on him was complete and she tried, desperately, to make herself understood.

When faced with the stark truth, though, of her words, Faith shook her head fervently. "I don't want you to leave, don't be ridiculous. But you did leave and you might need to again and I love you so much I could scream at you for doing that. You left and I didn't know if you were coming back or not." She wiped angrily at her eyes, regaining some semblence of composure even for a few moments. "And I didn't know what to do when you'd gone. But I knew that if you came.. came back, then I had to tell you that I hate this. I hate this and hate that being and right now I hate Tristan. But I love you. Only you and always you and if you need to leave then you can but please, promise me you'll always come back. I can't do it, none of it, not without you." Faith breathed in a gulp of air, fighting to keep herself calm. Her heart was beating so loudly in her chest that she felt sure that he could hear it. "I don't want you to make any decisions for me, I'm not asking you to do that. I'm asking if we can make them together, us, the best we can with what we have. Us. I'm so afraid, Padraig and I just ... could you please just ....I just..." Whatever she was trying to ask, she couldn't get out the words and the gulf between them was just too vast for her to cross. "I want you to stay and not leave, not ever. I want to make what decisions have to be made, the best we can, us. And I want to know that you're not so repulsed by this thing growing inside me that you can put your arms around me again, because you seem so very far away from me right now." Saying which she stood and walked towards him with slow steps, trying to gauge if her closeness was something that he was able to deal with right now. If it was, then she would be in his arms as quickly as she could be, her tears ceasing.
word count: 783
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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And So It Goes (The Room pt 3)

"It's settled then. I stay. We both stay," Padraig said with a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes.

There was very little of it that was settled. Or would be any time soon. He'd stay, and she would, and together they'd find some sort of solution. They cared for each other as much as they had just a trial ago, and would. And neither of them wanted this. The child, that was. But he was all too aware of how feelings could change. Hers, Padraig thought. Though he couldn't imagine any dramatic shifts of his own in the months to come.

But as he watched a tear slide down her cheek and the sight of it tugged at his own heart, he wished, not for the first time, that he could fix it. Make it all go away. Not just for him, that was the least of it. But for her.

Still, "If nothing else has, these are the things that remind you you're free. The choices. The fear and indecision. Regret." He looked at her, frowning and shook his head. "If I could, I'd take it all from you and lift the burden completely. But I can't. I can only help you bear some of its weight." It was the downside of freedom. And they were both feeling it now.

"I'll always come back," he promised. "I shouldn't have gone without saying it, and left you wondering. You won't be doing this alone." Padraig couldn't promise he'd always make it easy, or always be agreeable. But he could promise he'd try, and it would have to be enough. For them both. "I can say I'm happy about what's growing inside you," he added, standing up as she inched closer, unsure. And he even managed something of a smile. "But repulsed by you? Never. Come closer then," he told her, taking her in his arms when she was close enough and just held her. It would have to be enough for now.
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And So It Goes (The Room pt 3)

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Faith


Awarded Points

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/5
Structure: 5/5
These points can/cannot be spent in magic


Awarded Knowledge

Padraig: Loves me Regardless
Pregnancy: Not Free from Tristan Venora
Pregnancy: Tristan Will Not be Involved
Pregnancy: We Stay Together


Awarded Extras

Loot & Losses Injuries
None None
Fame Devotion
None None
[/color]



Padraig


Peer Review

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 5/5
Structure: 5/5
These points can/cannot be spent in magic


Awarded Knowledge

Faith: Would Come to Me Regardless
Faith’s Pregnancy: The Result of Being Used by her Master
Faiths Pregnancy: Tristan Will Not be Involved
Pregnancy: We Stay Together


Extras

Loot & Losses Injuries
None None
Fame Devotion
None None
[/color]



Comments

Faaaaaiiith. That last paragraph was mahooosive! I know, when you type it up, it doesn't look like it's going to be so long but in the template, it looks very long haha! I might have missed a really important Knowledge you wanted for that reason - my eyes kept jumping around! If I did please fling me a PM!

Aww that was so much fun to read. I love it more because I am the one causing this pain! Just wait and see what I have in store for you... O:


If you have any questions, comments or criticism about your review, feel free to send me a PM and we can discuss it.
Thank ye.
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