[Scalvoris Town] Options.

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Faith Augustin Champion
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[Scalvoris Town] Options.

26th Cylus, 717
When they'd got home from the Scholars' Nook it was to the smell of something which had been slow cooking since they left and the dog and cat both still fast asleep. At the sound of them coming in, at least the dog got up and charged in pleasure. The cat? She opened one eye, looked at the pair of them lazily and went back to sleep.

With him taking care of the animals, Faith was quite happy to potter about in the kitchen, relatively quickly serving up a hearty slow-cooked beef in a rich gravy for them, with home made bread and vegetables. She pushed hers around her plate a little, which was a shame really, because it was delicious, then glanced at him and smiled. "I have to make a decision, and I'm not sure what to do. I'm not up to the level required for the Diploma, Padraig. I think I should consider dropping back to studying at Letter. Start from the beginning."

She genuinely didn't seem put out by this as an option, instead wanting to make sure that she was making the right decision considering this fact. Her other option, as she saw it? "But another bit of me thinks that I should spend Ashan maybe paying for a private tutor to fill in the more basic gaps in my knowledge." As potential outcomes for her first trial of lectures went, they were neither of them great, evidently. To Faith, though, this was just too important to mess up. Especially considering what she was studying and how important it was that she didn't hurt anyone by her own lack.

Padraig knew her well enough to know ~ she wasn't upset by this turn of events, nor was she entirely suprised. There was concern, which she explained quite clearly; she hated the idea of having wasted money which she could have donated to the Order or spent or saved. More than that, she told him, it had been a waste of so many people's time. His, the Dean's, the librarian. "After he'd graded my test, the Professor offered to give me extra tuition to help me scrape through, but I'm not prepared to do that. It isn't fair on the other students to be held back in that way, or to not have access to him because he's helping me."

Pushing her plate away, Faith glanced at his and smiled. "You want seconds? I've got some going spare over here." Either way, once they were done they could wash up their plates, which was all that was left to clean as she always did it as she went, then get on with their evening. "Have you got study to do? I'd like to talk my options through with you, but do your study first if you've got it." After all, she added with a smile and a swift kiss, they could curl up on the sofa any time they wanted.
Last edited by Faith Augustin Champion on Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 518
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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"That was strange, don't you think?" Padraig commented as they walked in from the cold and removed their coats to hang on the hooks by the door. The Scholar's Nook, he meant. But he was quickly distracted by the pup lumbering towards them and hopping up and down, yapping with excitement. It was nice, he had to admit, having an animal so happy to see them when they'd been out. As opposed to the cat, who seemed nothing more or less than unconcerned.

It was nice to come home to the smell of good cooking though, and just the aroma had made his stomach grumble. While Faith picked at her food, Padraig devoured his, but waved off the offer of seconds with a smile. But it faded quickly in response to what she said next. "What do you mean not up to the level? Of course you are."

He couldn't imagine what might have caused her to come to that conclusion. She was the smartest, cleverest person he knew, and apparently the dean had agreed, or she'd not have been accepted as quickly and resoundingly as she was.

And he told her so before they got up from the table. "You'd be bored to tears were you to start from the beginning. What's put that idea in your head?" he asked. Medicine wasn't his field. But he was familiar enough at least to know that there were no gaps in her knowledge. At least not in the way she seemed to be suggesting.

"No, no studying for me tonight. I'm all yours," he told her after she'd washed the plates. And he moved to the couch where he had to push the pup aside to clear a space for himself. But something Faith had said came back to him, he raised a curious brow and then he frowned again. Likely it wasn't a question of what had happened, but who.

"He did, did he?" he asked, and his tone was suspicious. Help her scrape through? "Is that where all this is coming from? Your professor? What's his name by the way? Tell me what happened." He patted the spot on the couch beside him, after he'd relocated the pup once again, and urged her to sit down beside him.
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"You're not being logical, you know. I won't be bored if it's what I need." She smiled at him, but there was a certainty in her gaze when she did. Faith was quite happy to curl up on the sofa, where they were quickly joined by the dog, undeterred by Padraig moving it on twice already. Sitting, her hand moved immediately to his and she looked at him with a smile. "All to myself? That's just the way I like you."

He wasn't go let this go, she knew, until she explained it to him. "I flunked a test." Faith didn't like that she'd done that, but it was the simple truth of it so she didn't hide it. "I was late to class." That was ridiculous, she'd been so nervous that morning that she'd left well over a break early. "There was a ghost." She'd tell him about that later, but stayed on track for now. "My Professor wasn't happy, then he started asking me why my form was half completed. When I told him he pushed and pushed, asked why I had no date of birth, no second name. He seemed to want to humiliate me, kept singling me out."
Shrugging slightly, she explained that she'd realised why when he said that they were going to have a written test of their knowledge. It wasn't something that he normally did in the first class, but he was making an exception."He said he couldn't guarantee what we all knew because one of us was there by the Dean's good will, rather than hard work."

Three breaks later, the written exam was over and she knew that she'd not done as well as she wanted to, she told him. She'd run out of time on the last question, that sort of thing. "Then we had a break for eating, so I went to the library, then comparative physiology." Her face lit at that, she had evidently enjoyed that class very much. "But Professor Hamilton-Smith asked me to go back and see him at the end of lectures."

She'd done that and there he'd told her that she'd flunked the test. "He was very nice, very supportive. I offered to drop back to letter then, but he said that it might make the Dean not take the next person who did deserve to be there. I... I see his point Padraig, but I can't risk it. It's people's lives." So, he'd taken her timetable and added in study sessions, she explained. Faith quite happily showed Padraig the timetable ~ he'd scheduled her for two breaks a trial, every trial. One break at lunch and one at the end of lectures for that trial. "If I need all this, and the study from it and two jobs? It's not fair on anyone concerned."

Besides, there was the fact, she added, that his questioning about her lack of a date of birth or second name had piqued the interest of the other students. She hadn't told them anything, but it made her uncomfortable. "Between that and now they know that I didn't get here by the proper route. Maybe it's best that I just..." She waved a hand, but then added, quickly. "I didn't mention you to the students, but the Professor knew about you, because it's the only education listed, but I didn't tell him anything about us. Just that you are professor there and new and what you teach." Shaking her head, slightly, Faith shrugged. "I don't know what to do."
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"You'd be bored," Padraig insisted as they went to sit down on the sofa, "because if it's a matter of academics and knowledge, you don't need to start from the beginning." He wondered how Faith could even think it, considering her conversations with the dean and the results of the tests that she'd taken. Unless there was something she wasn't telling him about.

A ghost? "Did the ghost cause you to be late?" Padraig asked, still confused. As for tests, if she had genuinely failed it, some of the most educated folk out there failed to test well. But then when she told him about her professor drilling her about her name, her date of birth, his eyes narrowed some and a deep scowl settled into his expression. Already he was trying to figure out just who this professor was, so he could go throttle him to within an inch of his life.

And then she told him. Hamilton-Smith. Padraig hadn't met him yet, but he'd been told plenty by others already. And it wasn't all glowing praise either. And if any of those stories were true, then what she was telling him was beginning to make a great deal more sense than ever before. He kept quiet though while she continued to explain, but was surer and surer by the moment that he and this upstart were going to be having a discussion and soon.

But when he did finally speak, he didn't hold back. "Faith, this isn't about being fair, or getting in line and waiting your turn. This is about an admittedly brilliant young man who is threatened by anyone he perceives to be smarter or more educated than him. Look at how quickly you've come up," he told her, then through every pretense of correctness or political savvy to the wind. "He's a jealous little snot that can't stand the idea of anyone keeping pace with him, or even surpassing him."

"If there's any lives at risk, it would be because he managed to make you doubt yourself to quit and not become the healer you already are," he told her. And again, he was going to find that kid and throttle him good, first chance he got.
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"The ghost told me about bones under the room where the medical students are taught which had been used in necromantic acts. I dug them up." Faith shrugged slightly and explained that the university building had used to be a hospital and the lecture room for the students of medicine was the old autopsy room. "Beneath it, in the basement, that's where the morgue used to be." The digging had taken time, she explained, and she'd had to make sure the bones were clean and the tools of necromancy broken. She would have been on time, still, and she'd only been a few bits late, but she'd needed to wash her hands, which she'd used for digging.

When Padraig scowled like that, Faith resisted the urge to sigh. He spoke about his theory on what was happening here and she listened, not interrupting or arguing. It was a perspective and it was his, but it wasn't hers and it didn't meet the facts as she saw them. However, his reaction was another piece in the conundrum, really, and it meant that certain options were closed to her. She had to keep in mind that Padraig was likely to put his own career, academic achievements and good name on the line when he met the professor who was his colleague, because of her. She couldn't allow that to happen.

Faith looked down at the timetable in her hands, considering both it and them carefully. Then, after a moment, she spoke in a calm and considered tone. "Thus far I've taken two tests, done well enough in one that I got in and done far worse in the other. I was concerned that it was just luck in the entrance exam, you know that. Gaps are what worry me, always have." If she did what she thought she should do then Padraig was going to go up and down the wall, probably with her professor and get himself into all sorts of trouble. That left her only one option, realistically.

"I'll do the extra study sessions." She'd make the time, she determined, it would be fine. Folding the timetable, she put it down on the low table, then turned her attention to him. "I'll ask to see the test paper, see where the problems were, focus my attention there. I want you to promise me you won't say or do anything." She looked at him with a solemn expression. "I need to be able to come home and talk to you about things." That had been her mistake, of course, and she would have to learn from it. She was a student there and he was a professor and by discussing it with him, she was putting him in an entirely untenable position, which was a situation she wasn't going to repeat.

"I can't do that if you're going to charge off and defend me. You'll end up getting into trouble or spoiling your relationships with your colleagues because of me. I can't cope with that, Padraig, I'd leave the course altogether rather than do that." She had known something like this was going to happen, she considered, why was she surprised? So, she'd ask professor Hamilton-Smith if she could look at the test and she'd take the extra study sessions. "Does that work for you?"
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"There was a morgue in the basement?" It was a brief diversion from the topic at hand. But Padraig couldn't help but be a little unsettled by that particular revelation. He wasn't sure why, but it was creepy. Still, "Wouldn't spirits tend to hang around those places where they died, or they had some sort of attachment to in life, rather than in a morgue?" he asked.

But how could he not have reacted that way when she'd told him about what had happened? If keeping his good name intact, precariously relied on the whims and personal politics of others, then how good was it to begin with? It made it difficult for him to promise Faith what she wanted. It rubbed him the wrong way, in any number of directions except the right one. In fact, by the set of his jaw she'd know that for a few trills there, he was considering not promising her anything of the sort.

"I wouldn't care about that," he said. Getting in trouble, upsetting a few of his colleagues. After all, if this upstart professor of hers treated her this way so freely, how many other promising students would he walk over, present and future? But on the other hand, he believed her when she said she'd leave the course if it was otherwise. So ultimately he nodded and agreed. "Alright then, I promise."

It wasn't for his sake however, but for hers. If indulging his impulses risked causing her to quit her classes, he'd never forgive himself. So for her, he'd agree. "I promise, and I'll be nice," he agreed. He'd try anyway, and it was the best he could offer under the circumstances.
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Yes, she confirmed, there had been a morgue in the basement and the lecture hall used by the students of medicine had been the autopsy room. As to ghosts hanging around, she nodded. "The soul I saw was of the woman who was going to be the professor of medicine with Professor Carter. She was at the ceremony where they started the revamp of the building and she saw the necromantic artifacts." The ghost, when she was still alive, hadn't pointed it out at the time, Faith explained, because it had been a sort of ceremony and there were people there. She had planned to tell people next trial, once the important folks from Viden had gone, but it was not to be. "She died that night, suddenly. Her name was Lana and she felt very guilty for not having told anyone of the atrocity she saw."

Faith sighed slightly, "When I dug up the bones and destroyed the necromantic sigils and things, she passed over." It unnerved him, she knew but he asked a question and so she answered. "You're right, that's true. Ironically, the morgue and autopsy room are the quietest rooms in the Academy building, in terms of souls. It was deafening in the Dean's office." What room that had used to be, Faith had no idea but that was the simple truth of it.

It was a brief, but somewhat welcome diversion from what Faith found to be a tricky conversation. "I know you don't," care about his good name, that was, "But I do." Then, however, he promised that he would say nothing, although she could tell that he did not like it one bit. She moved forward and kissed him gently, then he spoke again and Faith frowned in consternation. He'd be nice? She looked at him and there was a few bits where there was confusion on her face, her gaze intent on him, as though seeking an answer in his eyes.

When she spoke, her voice was quiet, "You promised me that once before." Looking down at their hands, held together, her frown deepened. "Walking through the streets of Andaris, on the way to Tristan's house, you promised me." Her gaze lifted from their hands then and her expression was indicative of being full of both thought and emotion as first one realisation and then another fell into place. "I'm so sorry. What am I doing? I come home and tell you something has happened, you want to help me solve it and I won't let you. That isn't right, is it?"

She shook her head, her frown deepening as she considered just what it was that she was doing here. Retreating into her problem being hers, not theirs to deal with. Asking him to fit himself into a different shape than the one he was. As she realised it, she spoke the simple truth. "I don't want you to be nice, or well behaved. Not even polite. I just want you to be you, because you are the man I love and you are perfect just how you are." She was so busy trying to avoid causing him trouble from out there, she was actually creating it in here, she thought to herself. That wasn't good enough.

"So, your perception of this is different than mine. I think thre's a possibility that he's right, you think he's being a jealous snot." Faith smiled slightly at the description. "We don't know the truth and it might be either of those things, neither or both. So, there's only one question, isn't there? What shall we do?" Her hand in his tightened.

"I think we need to start by finding out about that test? Actually get to see it and see where I went wrong? Perhaps ask the Dean if I can see the entrance exam, too? Because then we find out what's actually going on here, flunked test or jealous snot?" Looking at him, she raised a hand to his cheek, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I'm so shoddy at this. It's just coming from wanting to protect you, you know that don't you? Just, somewhere along the line that became about protecting us, and I forget that sometimes."
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Once Faith had filled in all the details regarding her experiences with the spirit, Padraig frowned, thoughtfully scratched behind one of Cosmo's ears, and uttered dryly. "Remind me never to go down into the archives."

Yes, it unnerved him, and always would. Somehow he thought if he could identify a purely scientific reason for spirits to linger and that provided them with a means to do it, it might be different. After all, a scientific problem was bound to have a scientific solution if only one looked hard enough.

"It's not that I don't care about my name or reputation Faith," he argued then. "I do. But it only means something if it's based on integrity, hard work and right. If it relies on the whims of shifting politics and personal agendas, then it doesn't mean anything at all and can be as easily lost as gained." At least that's the way he saw things, which might've been a rather simplistic view. But nonetheless, it's who he was.

Still, when Faith mentioned Tristan, he quirked a brow, frowned and couldn't help but point out. "I promised to try my best. And I did. But Tristan started it you know and he provoked me." It probably sounded a little bit childish, and maybe it was. But Padraig was very firm in his belief that if not for Tristan's buffoonery, he'd have been the perfect gentleman, just as promised.

But he didn't want her to apologize, and told her so. "You ought to be able to tell me what's going on, when something is bothering you. I don't want you to feel like you can't. It's in my nature to want to fix things, to solve problems. But I should also learn to just listen," he admitted. Meanwhile, Cosmo had stopped squirming and had fallen asleep on his chest. And turned out, Cosmo snored.

"Maybe the reality is somewhere in between." He was at least willing to concede that, regarding her professor's motives. But more than that, no. Faith's suggestion of a compromise however was something he could live with, in the name of not making things more difficult for both of them while they were trying to establish themselves. And yes, he knew where her need to protect him was coming from. And he loved her for it. "I know. But like you said, it's us now. Not just me, not just you." Something they needed to work on, still, he thought. But little by little they'd get there.
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"Well, it's not much of an archive, in fairness. It's more of a junk room. If I hadn't been late for class, I would have been tempted to stay and tidy up." She was quite genuine in that statement and her desire to do that. In fact, she considered, she could pop back there at some point. As the plots for this began to formulate in her mind she caught his eye and grinned suddenly. "Stop looking at me like you're reading my mind. It's unnerving." It was unnerving, because it was like he could see straight through her. It was reassuring too, though and her hand in his tightened.

Now he did care about his name and reputation? "Well, when you said 'I wouldn't care about that', I thought you meant you wouldn't care about it." Faith retorted with a mock glare at him, trying not to smile and failing dismally. "Don't you go getting all contrary on me. I understood what you meant and I meant what I said. You wouldn't care about getting in trouble for those silly reasons. Good for you, I would care very much about you doing so." With a soft nudge she smiled at him. "Especially if it was because of me."

When he spoke about Tristan's house, though, Faith's gaze turned serious. "Padraig, we should never have gone there. I shouldn't have kept going there after he freed me, it didn't help anyone it just prolonged an already difficult situation." Hindsight, she said with a rather self depreciating expression, always had perfect vision of course. Now, she knew that she should never have put either of them in that situation, especially not him. Before he argued that, though, she was clear why. "It was part of the process of being truly free, not just on paper, for me. I know that there was a more efficient and effective way to do it, but I couldn't do that. That's fine, I got to the same place just took smaller steps." It was asking him to go there that she couldn't now quite believe that she'd done. "My priorities were all wrong and I shouldn't have asked. I was obeying what Tristan said, not putting us first."

As for how he'd behaved? Had she never told him? No, she realised, she hadn't. "You were magnificent. Your focus was on me, nothing and no one else. I'd never seen anything like it, never felt so treasured as I did then." She shouldn't have asked him then, nor should she now. "It comes to the same thing. I'm asking you to try your best to act in a way you don't feel" So yes, she did need to apologise, it was a foolish thing to do and a thoughtless one.

So, they agreed. She'd get the tests and they could look at them together, determine just what was going on here. When he said it was no longer just him, just her but it was them she smiled. "I don't know what I did to deserve you, you know." The dog let out a deep and rumbling snore and Faith smiled at the strange pup. "Padraig, we got a dog." Something neither of them had considered likely just last season, but then, a hundred changes and twists along the way had led them here.She smiled a wicked smile, though and did her best to appear the very picture of genuine when she asked, "How do you feel about getting an owl?"
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If he'd been inclined to go down in the university's basement at all, it would have been so he could dig through the crates and boxes looking for something interesting. Not to tidy up. "Why am I not suprised?" Padraig teased her when she told him that she'd different reasons for wanting to do it. Didn't surprise him at all, in fact. He knew here all too well by now.

"And you, are the best reason I can think of, to do just about anything," he reassured her and squeezed her hand before draping an arm round her shoulder. It was the closest they'd get if Cosmo had any say in it. The slumbering pup groaned his discontent at being shifted about, and when right back to snoring.

As for Tristan, he shook his head in response to her apology. "It was dealt with in the way you needed to do it at the time. You might not take the same tact now. But there's been a world of change since then. For the better. I survived the exchange. So did he, and so did you. It's all that matters." He grinned though when she described his behavior that trial as magnificent. "I think you may be the only person on Idalos who would see it that way. But I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't do it again."

Which was why it was probably best that he didn't arrange things in order to have a moment alone with her new professor. It wouldn't go well, in spite of his best intentions. At least not in the heat of the moment. She had it wrong though. He was the lucky one to have found her, and to be able to call her his, and himself, hers.

Still, when Faith raised the possibility of acquiring an owl? He had to look twice to assure himself she was joking. But even then, he shook his head. "I think not," he teased. "After Quattro and Cosmo, I suspect we've already dropped down two notches on the question of who's in charge here." He couldn't begin to consider another such creature in their home. But it was a happy one, for all of them there, and he couldn't have been more content.
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