Jethro, Bel, and Erskin: have feelings and problems

Discussion in 'Boat Trolls RP' started by roach, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    You don't really doze, but you fade out for long enough that the roomservice startles a flailing snarl out of you when you notice. The porter squeaks and skips back sharply, and before you can quite collect yourself he's out the door.

    "Hell," you say, deeply embarrassed. Not so embarrassed you don't help yourself to the meat, though. You wave a pastry at Jethro.
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  2. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    You take a bite out of the pastry and ruffle his hair. "Sorry," you say with your mouth full, "should'f warned you. I thought you were fleeping."
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  3. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    "Mmm. I might have been. I'm tired . I'm tired of being tired." You stuff the last of the meat down and commandeer the drinks. "I'm tired of being such a sorry bastard to all of you, even, it's not fair but I just--can't quite ever seem to, to pull myself together..." you pick at your wrist and huff. You're whining about whining. Ridiculous.

    "Have you been-- I shouldn't like for this past while to have been too hard on you," you say, guiltily, and pat his leg.
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  4. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    "If you mean the past couple weeks, not gonna lie, that was hard as fuck. But if you mean takin' care a you an' lookin' out for you -- Erskin, I'm pale as bones for you, I wanna take care a you. It makes me happy."
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  5. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    "Alright," you say. "I'm glad, then. I wanted you so badly and so I, I just. Feel responsible. Everything went so wrong." You touch his bandage. "Shall-- may I attend to this? For you?"
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  6. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    You swallow hard, because just having the bandage touched feels super weird, but that just means there's no one else you'd trust to do it. You nod. "Yeah. Have a look. Tell me if it's healin' okay."
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  7. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    You card your claws through his hair a few times, apologetically, then go to peel the tape off. The gauze padding beneath is still crisply white, with only a few spots on the underside. His bruising is even more vivid, even orange-brown in places, but there's no lines of infection so it should be alright with time. The punctures themselves are holding together nicely with clotting powder, stitches, and scabbing, so you just brush another layer of powder over the mess and tack down a new pad of gauze.

    "It all seems to be in order," you tell him. "You'll have a nice bright scar to show off to the ladies and gents in no time at all, I'm sure."
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  8. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    "Thanks," you smile, and snuggle into his arms to wait out the twitchy wrongness feeling that comes from anything to do with that bite.

    When you feel a bit steadier, you decide that for his sake you have to at least prod the trunkbeast in the room, because if you don't talk about it he'll never get past it. "I don't blame you for shit goin' south, darlin'. I just want you to know that. It's on Cloris, she's the one who screwed the pooch. Are you... are you still in that place where you can't hear nothin' bad about her? I don't wanna push you too hard, but we gotta talk about this sooner or later."
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  9. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    "I," you hesitate. "I know that-- what-- she did, how she treated you-- that wasn't right. And how I got, how I left you flat, I don't suppose that was fair, either, I should have, I don't know, I should have squared it all out properly. I won't make any excuses for either of us, love."

    You nuzzle his brisly hair. "You deserve better and you'll get it, I'll make sure."
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  10. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    You shake your head slightly, because that's not really what you're talking about. "I have her husktop," you say bluntly. "I don't wanna hurt you worse, baby, but she was fuckin' evil an' she liked hurtin' folks, an' she kept souvenirs. I don't wanna make you see it but I think you gotta see it. Cuz I think you still believe there weren't no danger to you, when you was the one most in trouble."
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  11. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    "You stole--" but of course they did, Bel would have scoured her hive clean of anything that could send a signal. You sigh through your fangs.

    She's evil, she hurts people, she keeps souvineers. Of what, old chat logs? Tokens of affection from past romances? Some little pitch trophy from that hysterical fucking clown?

    You set your jaw. "Alright, let's see it," you say levely.
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  12. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    "Bel did. He cracked it. Then he gave it to me. He was like, some things you oughtta not hear from your rival."

    Your heart aches for him, and you really don't want to do this, but it has to be done sooner or later; better now while he's safe and has you here and time to rest. You get the husktop out and open the file titled Mementos:

    There are pictures. There are so many pictures, all of them labeled by name, quadrant, and title.

    "Afternoon Tea" features a kismesis: quite dead and dressed in a ridiculous fluffy monstrosity of a deep red silk gown. She is slumped in a ridiculous pose, head tilted back, her mouth open, as if she simply fell asleep while waiting for her scone. Cloris, dressed elegantly, not a hair out of place, is smirking over her cup from her side of the table.

    "Diabolical Streak" shows one of her matesprits, a lovely delicate-boned young lady with tiny pointed horns. Her eyes are open, and the irises have only barely started to change color, leaving them a faint silvery pinkish hue. She lies on her back on a stone table, quite naked save for the flowers arranged on and around her, as if to preserve her modesty: enormous black dahlias and white lillies and deep red roses. Cloris is shown standing over the body, giving the camera a look of wounded regret as she pointedly holds open the lid of her little poison ring.

    "Room 23" is in an abandoned building--judging by the crumbling wallpaper and discarded furniture, it used to be a hotel of some kind. The walls, floors, and bed are coated in layers upon layers of transparent plastic. An eviscerated troll, their head missing, their guts strewn like garlands, sprawls in the aftermath while Cloris, nude and covered in cerulean blood, watches her handiwork and idly licks the blood off her fingertips.

    "Web of Lies" is similar, the surroundings dark and unfamiliar but unmistakably abandoned. An unidentifiable troll dangles from the ceiling, bound up in a gauzy white material, their arms pinned to their chest and their legs wrapped together. The horns have either been removed or were small enough to cover up, leaving them faceless. One of Cloris's long ebony thorns protrudes from their heart. Cloris herself is not shown.

    "Mother Knows" is the worst yet: a series of progress shots showing her lusus digesting a young male troll alive.

    There's also a documents folder containing a series of letters. Just skimming them made you wanna hurl; you haven't read them for reals. You sure won't blame him if he doesn't want to read past the first lines either:

    "My pet, my honeylove, it saddens me that we must part ways, but I know I can see you again each time I visit my begonias..."

    "I told you that you couldn't handle all I had to give, and now look where it got you."

    "My dearest sapphire jewel, you should know better than to toy with a girl's heart that way. I loved you. Part of me will always love you. And now I can keep you all to myself."

    "I'll be frank, Jarrek. It wasn't your clothes, your hair, or your tacky fucking jewelry. You were just too goddamn boring."

    "You made a hell of my life, so I made a hell of yours."

    "My crown jewel, did you honestly think you could keep me cooped up for my own good like a hothouse orchid? I hated to do it, really and truly I did, but I warned you not to smother me."

    "I would have hated you forever if you let me."

    There are videos. You haven't had the nerve to watch them. You kind of hope he doesn't either, because if he does, you'll have to.

    (omg aud sent me this a million years ago, i've been so psyched to post it lol)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2015
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  13. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    You want to believe the dead trolls deserved their deaths, but there's-- you stay Jethro's hand-- a little girl, an inbetweener pupa with long hair and short stubs of fin, laid out in a spray of indigo gore across a lushly stocked banquet table. Cloris is wiping a clean gray streak through the blood on her face, and the white paint, with a lacy napkin and you always loved how large your Lady was, how sheltered you felt when she pulled you into her strong arms. But the girl on the table is small as a doll under those broad starlight hands, and her unseeing eyes are pure silver. Six sweeps, you think, maybe.

    "That's the clown, isn't it," you say,and your stupid voice comes out all cracked. "I should have done the math." But you were always so bad at sums, weren't you? Stupid.

    You push your moirail and the husktop away and scrub an arm roughly over your eyes. She was six, she was fucking six and your Lady was ready to eat her up like a teacake-- how did she survive? Have any of the others? An entirely bew list of things not to know.

    "Excuse me," you say unsteadily. "I think I need to step out for a bit. I'll be--" you lurch to your feet "--back, I'll be right back. Thank you."

    You make your way carefully to the bathroom, and close the door, and lock it.
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  14. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    You put the husktop away, turn off the TV, and go find your lusus. You curl into his fur and cry for a little while. Then you wipe your tears and resolve to be problem-solvey guy.

    When you troll Bel, he says he's out at coffee with Lainey, gossipping about Reenactment dudes, and he can hold off on coming back for a couple more hours if need be. You tell him that's probably best; Erskin might not react well to his kismesis seeing him so vulnerable and sad. After that, you text room service and ask them to put together a cold lunch and leave it outside the door. He'll probably be hungry once he's cried out.

    And then there's nothing for it but to wait. If he doesn't come out or call for you in half an hour, you decide, you'll bring him his lusus.
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  15. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    You sit on the edge of the tub and stare blankly at your reflection: you're tired and thin and sickly pale and your fin-tips are a humiliatingly chewed-up lace. Hardly a prize. What was Cloris going to do to you, when she was done with you? How much longer would it have taken?

    Stupid, and everyone knew and-- you hold back from breaking the mirror, tearing everything apart, you don't-- you idiot, you're not grieving, there's nothing to be sad about and there never was. You're just a dumb animal letting yourself be dragged around by the mating glands.

    And your marks still ache. If she was here now-- you shiver. Stupid.

    You get dressed: sturdy boots, long trousers, shirt, sweater-- you can't put on the long green scarf. Your winter suncloak. Finally you lay your sketchbook on the edge of the sink, flip to a clear page.

    Need to be Out for a bit. WILL be back. Promise. Sorry.

    You flip one of the bathroom windows by the salt pool open, boost yourself to the edge. Top floor-- you're enormously high up but there are balconies. A length of rope, an old steel sharkhook, and you rappel quietly down to the next floor. Returning the item to your sylladex unhooks it from the bathroom window, which-- yes-- clicks back shut--then you open the balcony door and slip back into the hivestem.

    There's another troll, puttering about in the kitchen area, but the light casts darker shadows. You steal neatly through the suite and out to the hallway.

    Stemhives have service lifts, don't they? You saw that in a movie. You drift through the hall until you find an unobtrusive doorway, break the lock, and, yes, there. Shabby, plain corridors, and a rattly sort of cage lift. You take it down to the basement, slip through rows of piping and laundry and stranger contraptions, ease through a ventilation port, and the snow crunches beneath your boots.

    A perfect evasion sequence. Of course, here in a cluster you've the money and power to stroll straight down out of anywhere you like. But-- you feel a little better, moving unseen. A little more in control.

    You resettle your gray-furred cloak, cast about for direction, and take the best near alley.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
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  16. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    You stand looking at the note, a slightly annoyed Reggie in your arms, and mostly what you feel is tired. You guess there's only so many emotions you can feel before you run out of brain chemicals or something.

    How he got out is a mystery you will definitely be curious about later. For now, there's no splatted body or commotion under the window, so this isn't a suicide note, so... it's all right? You guess? You wish he'd just walked out like a normal person. Did he think you'd keep him from going for a walk to clear his head? The saddest thing is you don't one hundred percent believe his promise.

    Not that it's his fault. Cloris fucked with his head something fierce. She might've left time bombs in there. But what are you going to do about it? Have Paw sniff him out? Tell Bel to hurry back and do his spy thing? If he really is just walking it off, like you're 90% sure he is, you'll look controlling and that's the last thing he needs after getting free of mindcontrol panfuck city. You guess you'll just... wait.

    You bring in the cold lunch and put it in the room fridge. You don't have much of an appetite right now. Using your lusus as a backrest, you get out some olive heathered yarn and start on a pair of hiking socks for yourself to match the ones you made for Erskin. As you knit, you dream of the perfect pale-romantic camping trip you told Lainey about. Just you and Erskin under the stars, talking and laughing by the campfire. Fishing and hunting, eating meat so fresh it only needs a sprinkle of salt to be perfect. Listening to the wind in the pines while you snuggle in your tent. No stress, no crowds, no drama. Just freedom and the wide open sky.
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  17. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    It doesn't take so long to reach the outskirts of the cluster, where the gaps between buildings stretch out from alleys to back lots to snow fields. You could have hired a flyer and reached Cloris's hive in a claw-click, but stretching your legs and breathing in the fresh night air all on your own has done wonders for your temper. You trot straight up to the gate, don a pair of dragonhide gloves, and rip it free from its hinges. It makes a satisfying metal shriek, and then you storm across the grounds.

    Her blood is still in the entrance hall, and Jethro's, frozen at a vivid, fresh-spilt hue. There's your footprints through it, and more sets besides. Outside new snow obscured the tracks of visitors but in here there's just enough shelter from the elements to see their impressions.

    You stalk through each and every block, ripping the doors open, casting the splinters to the center floor, leaving a continuous trail of foam and fabric and gunpowder and broken furniture as you go. The hive's been thoroughly ransacked but enough items remain for a long, long line of kindling.

    You call until your voice is hoarse, each block, each closet, every cupboard. Is anyone here? Is anyone left here? But if they were they're no longer. Just a picture on a husktop, or gone away alive like the clown had. There's no one here to save. Just you. Upstairs, downstairs, basement, roof, and finishing at the back entrance, puffing for breath a fair bit— you're tired, spots are dancing at the corners of your vision— you get out matches and light a fistful, one after the other, tossing them back into the hallway until the snow all around you has melted to slush and the heat of the roaring fire has your fins pinned back. Then you take a few steps back, to a garden bench, and watch.


    Eventually a faint but growing series of crunches announces someone's arrival. You look back, expecting to see Bel or Jethro, but it's a lady, delicate and beautiful and white as the snow. Jolting to your feet, you ready your pistol and blade, but they waver as the lady just stands there and smiles at you.

    Cloris had friends. They might help you, take you— you were always in danger. Cloris kept souvenirs.

    They might use you.

    "I see I've rather missed the fun," the lady says, as you stand there and stare at her. She nods gently back towards the fire. "You're Briarthorn's newest, aren't you?"

    "Her last," you say, hoarsely. You grip your sword tightly. "She's. Done with. My kismesis saw to it."

    This news does not seem to shock or dismay the lady. She rakes her hair back from her face, where wisps escape the long braid, and watches the flames.

    "Well, it's about damn time her idiotic behavior caught up to her," she pronounces. "We all told her she couldn't run through companions so quickly but she did go 'round the bend remarkably early. She'd insist the moons were blue and plaid just to have things her own way. Good on you for getting out."

    "Thank you," you say, awkwardly. You shuffle a bit in the snow, and a loud pop from the fire behind you makes you jump again. You are uncomfortably aware of being examined by the newcomer's gold-green eyes, and of the thundering pressure of your pulse beneath your jaw. She takes a soft, predatory step forward.

    "I—" you start, and she cuts you off with, "How long?"


    "How long've you been," she waves her hand at you, "loose?"

    Your hand flies up to the fraying bandages on your neck, and her eyes follow your fingers. "I, I don't— understand the question," you say stiffly.

    She grins, and takes another step. You go to back up but your knees hit the bench and you sit abruptly and her gaze holds you.

    "Alone. Untended. Bereft. Isolate." A cold, bright finger traces along your neck. "Briarthorn liked to break her toys in fast and hard. But I think you and I could keep one another entertained for quite awhile, don't you? We could play around for ages."

    You're panting, heart hammering, every inch of you electric with desire and she fits her hand to your throat. You swallow, and when she puts another hand to your fin and strokes it draws a helpless little moan. Stupid. But you want— so badly—

    "Bel," you gasp, and the lady pauses.

    "Yes?" she prompts you.

    "My— kismesis, he'll," you pant, swallow, forge onwards: "I want but you can't, he'll, end you, he shot her dead and she was— wasn't good. For me. Or anyone. You can't. And my moirail, I, I, I p-promised him to come back and he's waiting and I can't, I can't leave him again, we can't."

    She grins. "Oh, is that all, sweetness? I'll have you home to your ones and onlies by dawn don't you fret. I can be very, very good."

    At the last whisper her cold breath rolls across your lips and her smile is so close, her bright eyes and fangs and you lean in. You open your mouth for her and let her lick over the cuts in your lip, peel you from your bandages and your cloak and take you right on the stone bench, warmed by the roaring flames from the burning hive. When she sinks her fangs in over the old marks it's like your first breath of saltwater after ages in the desert, it's like hearing a song you'd almost forgotten, it seizes you up and pulls you out of yourself all in a great giddy rush.

    Everything is very quiet, here. Very calm and still. It's so good. It's so good. You would live here, if you could.

    "Mmm, aren't you sweet," the lady sighs, pulling back, licking you down. "We've got to get the rest of these dealt with, sunshine. Can't have you courting infection from some other bitch's bitemarks."

    You purr and purr and curl into her body. She catches you before you can topple off the bench, brushes your hair back gently, and traces across your old marks, their incessant aching pull now gone magnificently silent. She examines your wrists and makes disapproving little noises.

    There's some business with handfuls of snow scrubbed across your broken skin, and the sharp startling bite of a cleansing agent, and then the more intimate coolness of her mouth, licking over each one, pressing you down into a soft and endlessly comfortable daze.

    "Where else?" she prompts you, and you gesture-- the rim of your gills, the inside of an elbow, the crook of your thigh. When she tapes over the wounds it's with a practical sort of stiff, expensive, neutral-gray dermal tape that hardly shows at all against your skin.

    "How're you doing?" she asks, and you purr at her. "Alright, great. Sit up— here, pretty boy. Sit. Drink this."

    You are given a foil packet of juice with a clever little straw. You amuse yourself while she fusses around with a phone, then comes back to stroke your hair, smooth your bandages, and give you another juice packet.

    "I like these," you observe.

    "I like you, sugar," she says.

    "Yes, like— likewise. I likewise like you," you agree, and disconnect the straw from the foil. "Oh, hell."

    She re-attaches the components and then helps you into an aircar.

    "I have to get back to my moirail," you observe, leaning blearily against the window and sipping your juice.

    "Yes, hon, of course. What hotel?"

    You tell her, after a few moments of contemplation, and even— triumphantly— come up with your room number. Between one heavy blink and the next, it seems like, she's got an arm comfortingly around you and is gently steering your unsteady steps towards your door. She turns you around just before it, and squeezes your shoulders as you stare dreamily up at her.

    "You're a good kid," she says, and gives you a phone. "Call anytime you want to go out for a bite, yeah? We'll have a nice time."

    "Yeah," you agree, "yes, certainly, yes, of course, right," clutching the phone to your chest. She kisses you on the forehead, pushes you gently towards your door, and strides off down the hall.

    You fumble the door latch open, feeling dizzy and faint but so much better, and stumble into the suite.

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
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  18. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    You were about to open the door yourself, because you heard Erskin talking to someone in the hallway, so he pretty much falls into your arms. You haul him right back out again and yell out to the girl walking toward the elevators. "Hi, excuse me, who are you?"

    Behind you, your lusus gives a huffing grunt of warning.
    • Like x 2
  19. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    The lady just waves, enters an elevator, and is gone. You pat Jethro's face.

    "'sokay, shh, she gave me, um. Whatsit. A phone." You hold it up. "She was nice. I have a phone now."
    • Like x 2
  20. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    "Oh my god, Erskin," you groan, taking the phone from him and steering him back inside. "She bit you. You done went an' found a drinker an' got bit, is that it? Holy shitbiscuits, I am so not okay with this. Aright, sit down, I'mma try this phone an' if it's just a prop I'm callin' Bel and I'm gonna have him blow her fuckin' head off you shut your wordhole, darlin," you add sharply when he looks about to say something. "You keep it shut until you can make sumpin come out besides bad decisions. Jegus on a cracker."
    • Like x 3
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