THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:53 am GMT 
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He'd been paralyzed with a sort of cold horror, mind spinning as he tried to grasp what that would mean for them, for the new life they'd been awaiting for so long. Knowing he would barely manage to support Jet in the coming years, not to mention some wife and child. Doubting whether Jet could support a family of his own, and what kind of job could he even hold now without risking a relapse?

"For God's sake." He turned away, running a hand over his face. "Best keep out of my reach, you young reprobate. I can't promise I won't slap you otherwise."

Then, exhaling a deep sigh of what was unmistakably relief, he turned back to Jet and waved towards the cups. "Come get your tea. I won't actually slap you. Or rather, I'll try." He picked up his own tea and ran his fingers through his wet hair, pushing it back from his face. Watching Jet casually from over the rim of the cup, he found himself suspecting that, with the right type of girl, Jet probably had a more game than he suspected. So long as he didn't lead with the bit about ballet.

"So?" he prompted momentarily. "Are you going to tell me anything more about this mysterious character? Why she wants to meet me, for one."

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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:39 am GMT 
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The tea warmed his palms, but he didn't move to sit down and savour it. Chances were, he thought, it may have tasted a little salty due to Han's tears. He grinned down a little self-consciously into the mug-- and then suddenly blushed by the realisation Han had assumed he'd been-- and happened to be suddenly arrested by something tremendously uninteresting in he back garden.

" 'Mysterious character'. Honestly Han, you make her sound like some sort of villain."

This was where things became difficult. This was where his life before Han slunk into view. As he looked into the window's glass, his reflection distorted into that of a fifteen year old's-- all raging eyes and untamed hair and a coat two sizes too large for him. His life on the street, miserable and lost, dirty and cold. The reflection out up its hand and scratch at the glass between them, insistent and ugly.

"She's-- I mean, her name..." This felt so odd, so uncomfortable. She wasn't a dark secret, not her but Freddie and Acacia-- ah, Acacia, even the thought of her was enough to make something in his chest twist-- and she all featured so heavily in his darkest moments, in the places he had learnt to turn away from and long ago taught himself not to scratch. It felt like were he to release her name, each foul moment from the life "before" would gush out too, and ebb into this frail normality he'd built.

He cleared his throat.

"Well, she... When everything... happened," The winter night when a strange man with Jet's face had appeared at their door and taken Jet with him. "For maybe... Well, obvious reasons I couldn't... Well I wasn't able to contact her and then after, I couldn't remember her address, or-- I mean, I'm sorry that I never brought up the whole situation, but..."

It might have hit Han then that the girl he was speaking about must have been on the scene long before these two weeks, long before Africa. A ghost that lingered somewhere in the gaps in the conversation, and those unexplained evenings spent alone. Utterly unmentioned.

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:06 pm GMT 
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"Alright, alright." Han cut him off, setting his tea down on the counter. It was too hot to drink now in any case. "Go easy on a confused old man. Let's take this a step at a time, preferably starting from someplace like the beginning."

It surprised him, in spite of himself, that Jet would have kept a secret of this magnitude from him for so long. Of course Jet had secrets, they both did, but something like the existence of a girlfriend seemed relatively innocuous, even charming. It was hard not to feel a little slighted, as though the fact that he was the last to know about this was some indicator of Jet's distrust.

But he was also glad in a way. Jet's willingness to keep these spheres of his life separate had meant the two of them had spent more uninterrupted time together than they might otherwise have done, without an unknown female presence looming over them. Now he had to wonder what sort of young woman she might be. Not only in terms of looks, but temperament. She had an address of some sort, so she wasn't likely to be living on the street as Jet had done. Was she, Han wondered, like Jet? Was she sick, had they met in one of the hospitals where Jet had alluded to spending so much time? Or she was Jewish, perhaps, someone from the community, someone Jet might even have known before his diagnosis. Or perhaps she was someone else entirely--for all Han knew, she could be educated or not, wealthy or poor, Catholic, Protestant, white, black, Italian.

An old flame.

A stranger to him in every way.

He counted on his fingers as he spoke. "First: what's her name? Second: how did you meet? Or if you'd prefer not to, you could tell me how long you've known each other."

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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:30 pm GMT 
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Despite Han's best efforts to the contrary, Jet started to feel as if this were gradually becoming an interrogation. Despite himself he imagined his father conducting this same conversation. He could see him now, sitting-- he'd be sat at the table, newspaper smoothed out in front of him, fingers laced across the headline. Sit, he'd say, and look me in the eye.

As his own gaze raked the lawn, he couldn't help but feel a prickle of sweat on his palms. Drawn, as if by his father's stern gaze, he found himself having to turn, and put down his mug, and stand vaguely to attention, hands loosely resting at the small of his back. It was, after all, a conversation he would never have with his father. He'd have it with Han, his Dad. There was no shaking the strange compulsion in his mind though, the unerring feeling that whatever he did he was being watched by a pair of dark eyes so different from the man standing before him. Honour thy father and mother. This is a conversation you will never have with them.

"Her name's," He remembered their first stumbling kiss, and skating on a frozen-over river, and sleeping beneath newspapers and being kicked by returning workers from the late shift. "Her name's Lucy. We met," A flash of red hair and a laugh, and that strange, sad ache deep in his chest. Too raw, too close. "... about two, three years ago. Before I met you, maybe half a year before, I guess. Friend of a friend." Stab of guilt.

His words were shorter than usual, and though he met Han's eyes and smiled-- he was smiling-- there was very little discernible in his quite blank eyes.

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:14 pm GMT 
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He had picked up his tea again, and as he passed the scalding mug from one hand to another, he continued to discreetly keep an eye on Jet. There was no mistaking the buzzing restlessness that seemed to have flooded through the boy as soon as the questions began. He was itching to know more, of course; though in his professional capacity he often preached the virtue of patience, he found it much harder practicing it in his own life. The way he saw it, however, there were only two possible outcomes. Either this mysterious girl was someone of significance, who would become a recurring character in their lives--in which case he would learn more soon enough--or they would move to New York and she would disappear, in which case the specifics of her whereabouts and identity would no longer be relevant.

He blew across the surface of the tea, dispersing a thick curl of fragrant steam. Then he raised his eyes, seeking to meet Jet's, and grinned at him over the rim of the cup. With one eyebrow quirked. The expression made him look years younger, another one of those fleeting glimpses of the person he must have been.

"Don't get cagey on me now. I haven't asked the most important question. Namely, is she coming for tea... or dinner?"

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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:00 am GMT 
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"... Sorry?"

He blinked, his armour suddenly shivering with the lack of flaming arrows falling down upon him. He had expected Han to verbally ram his gates; instead he appeared to simply be knocking. The experience was knew and almost unsettling, although of course-- and he had to remind himself constantly-- Han was not his Father. He had never been the type to drag out a secret by any means possible. A wary sort of relief trickled into his quite empty head, now bereft, it seemed, of the need to defend himself.

The prospect of Han and Lucy coexisting in a small space still terrified him.

"W-well, I ah..." Was Han joking? Did he expect him to answer? Did he envision something like candles and set out cutlery and proper napkins-- could they even do that? He flushed, confused by the olive branch and managed to stutter out something about "tea probably being best, all things considered." The possibility of scalding water being thrown at his face was a real one, but...

"Honestly, she said she wanted to meet you but the chances of her going through with it are..." He cleared his throat and rubbed the back of his neck, looking away. "... And if she does come, she won't stay long." I don't want her to. Implied and unspoken.

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: A Taste of Winter
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:33 pm GMT 
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"Tea," he said, and with a soldierly nod the matter was sealed. "Tea is civilized. Bring her 'round Thursday. That will give me time to dust and find some biscuits we're not likely to break our teeth on. Who knows, I may even manage to scrounge up a respectable teapot."

He was not oblivious, of course, to Jet's reluctance, nor to the way the invitation had flustered him. There was a certain ruthlessness in the way his words bored through all the spluttering hems and haws. Pussyfooting around the subject at hand had never really been Han's style. Actually, under ordinary circumstances he might well have been content to let the matter drop. However, the sheer magnitude of Jet's reaction--dear, socially oblivious Jet--told him that these circumstances were far less ordinary than Jet wished him to believe.

Lucy. He rolled the name around in his head, still trying to imagine what sort of a face, what sort of a girl, might be attached to it. Gradually, the parameters of his curiosity broadened. Jet and Lucy. Lucy and Jet. And then, just for the hell of it: Lucy Bloom? No. No, that wouldn't do. The ring of it all was atrocious, too many scooping vowel-sounds crammed into close proximity. It sounded like a hooting ape noise, not the name of some worthy future daughter-in-law. It needed something else. Lucy Verstraten-Bloom, on the other hand...

Now Han was getting away from himself, and he knew it. As objectively frightening as it was, the prospect of Jet with a girlfriend was one he found himself warming to rather quickly. Best to start with the biscuits and take it one step at a time from there.

"Thursday, then."

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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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