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When Characters Attack - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
robling_t
robling_t
When Characters Attack
"Interesting" case here where the reason behind the longish delay with this installment is that the image which originally sparked this bit as needing to be a separate scene ended up being what was hanging things up and hanging things up until it's the one detail that ultimately didn't make it in at all. Also, there's a thing in here that's Completely And 100% Ashnistrike's Fault, so obviously feedback is a helpful influence, guys...

(Still pondering the Dramatis Personae notion, and still not getting much of anywhere. Perhaps something may melt out tomorrow, when it's supposed to be Rent-Out-Texas-hot and I have taken the precaution of cancelling basically everything I had on my schedule that wasn't lying in front of the telly.)



***

I go to find Jill where she's stepped out for some air. "You're missing Jason's big Bollywood dance-number," I say, joining her in leaning against the railing at the river's edge.

"I can imagine." She touches a hand to her nose. "I just... had to get out of there for a while."

"I'm sorry about the dog, if I'd realised --"

Jill flutters a dismissive hand, jerky and unsettled. "No, that's okay, it was more the... everything. You know."

I think I do, yes. We stand for a while silently contemplating the view on the artificial range of the city skyline, so much preferable to the function-room's perspective on a plain of lights running endlessly flat out to a flat horizon. The boat that will be taking the newlyweds off to a suite downtown bobs on the current, flimsy speck compared to the gravel-barge tied up on the other bank.

It's warm for the season, but I'm rubbing my shirtsleeved arms in the chill near the water. Jill shrugs her wrap from her shoulders and drapes it round mine. "You're never cold, are you," I say.

"Seems to be part of the package." Her dress is cut low enough to glimpse the tattoo on her left shoulderblade, the constellation of tiny hearts any significance of which she refuses to speak of. (I suspect that I already know.) "I guess we could go back in, if you want to."

She's looking over her shoulder as if the building is full of snakes that are on fire. "Dog and all?" I say, wondering if Stuart will be staying very late to the party --

Jill pulls a face, a very caught-out face. "That's... not really as big a deal as I might have made it out to be," she admits.

I find myself having to blink. "You were... playing it up to Jason?"

A flash of teeth that can't quite muster itself to become a smile; "Not everybody can live up to the suicidal-honesty thing," she says. "I mostly just... didn't want to get too far into something that was never going to happen, you know?" Sudden icy tears glisten on Jill's cheeks. I murmur alarm and move to draw her close, I didn't mean to, but she retreats from the gesture, and sits heavily on the nearby bench. "It's just... Jason is all about his family. And I... Sometimes I can't even remember what my Mom and Dad looked like."

With my jacket upstairs I don't even have a handkerchief to offer her. "If you'd rather call it a night I can check if Jason could arrange himself another ride home," I suggest. Jill considers, then gives the smallest nod.

(He'll turn up tomorrow afternoon having spent the night on his parents' settee, I imagine, or not even having made it any farther from the reception than the hospitality-school's model-suite -- and if his story involving the Swedish ambassador is remotely accurate that wouldn't even be the first time.) When I take out my mobile I discover that Jason has been drunk-texting me about zebras. I had better just go find him, yeah. All right? Jill nods again, swiping an unladylike hand across her nose.

She ducks endearments, says I never come up with anything that doesn't remind her of the true difference in our ages; I settle for returning her wrap, which she promptly begins to dab at her eyes with a corner of, and a touch of her bare shoulder. We'll go back to hers, and make our own night of it, but for now the best comfort I can be is to leave her be. To grant her the space to gather her dignity to herself once more.

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Comments
ashnistrike From: ashnistrike Date: June 28th, 2012 11:33 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
They're sweet.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: June 29th, 2012 05:00 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Yes, but they were supposed to be having hot monkey sex in the bathroom. {grumble} Other people's characters wander off from the serious stuff to the lighter moments, man...
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