Hayley, Janus & Tara, 7/6/2002

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  • Hayley has been off doing her own thing for a few hours while Janus does his; last you knew she was reading in her room (it's the afternoon, so you had your regular sparring match already. ;^D )
  • Janus is tired.

<Janus> (And my hair's all flat!!) <Hayley> (It's now getting on towards tea/supper... not only is your hair flat, your tummy's grumbling! Tara has been going all out and cooking fantastic meals for you and Hayley)

  • Janus has been working on magical equations, but is distracted by hunger/tiredness...

<Janus> . o O (Am I eating too much lately?) <Hayley> (right now the aroma of roast duck in wine sauce is wafting upwards from the kitchen)

  • Tara hums in the kitchen.
  • Hayley is presumably in her room still.
  • Tara comes upstairs to your study.
  • Tara taps lightly on your door.

<Janus> Yes?

  • Tara opens the door a bit.

<Janus> Come in, Tara... <Tara> Good evening, my lord - I'm just waiting on dessert which needs me to watch it closely, so I can't stay and talk.

  • Janus looks towards the door expecantly.

<Janus> Oh, alright. <Tara> But supper will be ready in a few minutes- would you be a dear and let Hayley know? <Janus> Certainly. <Tara> I can't leave that dessert; I've left it too long already! <Tara> Thank you!

  • Janus closes his notebook and stands up.
  • Tara bustles off Bogganly.
  • Tara hurries off to the dessert.
  • Janus stretches his arms out; his shoulders are stiff from the unaccustomed activity.
  • Janus then makes his way to Hayley's room.
  • Hayley 's door is ajar so you don't have to knock.
  • Janus gives it a little tap.
  • Hayley is lying propped up on her belly on her bed, nose in a book.

<Hayley> !

  • Hayley jumps, startled.

<Janus> Hello? <Hayley> Oh, Corbin, you startled me. <Janus> ... What?

  • Hayley sits up slowly.

<Janus> . o O (Not again...) <Hayley> Corbin...?

  • Hayley shakes her head slightly.

<Hayley> Janus. <Janus> That's better. <Janus> ...

  • Hayley looks puzzled and her eyes a bit foggy.
  • Janus looks a little worried.

<Hayley> You're a bit too old to be Corbin, aren't you?

  • Hayley laughs nervously.

<Hayley> He was just a little boy... <Janus> Yes...

  • Janus crosses the room.
  • Hayley sits on the edge of her bed, watching Janus expectantly. She does a bit of a double take when he says "Yes".

<Janus> ... <Janus> Hayley, are you all here?

  • Hayley moves over so he can sit down, if that's what he was planning to do.

<Hayley> Hmmm?

  • Janus sits down beside her, and looks intently into her face.

<Janus> Do you know where you are?

  • Hayley blinks slowly.

<Hayley> I want to say Castle Lirazel but I know that's wrong... <Janus> Castle Lirazel doesn't exist, Hayley. <Hayley> I don't recognize the room as being one at the Castle... but it's also familiar, somehow... <Hayley> It does! <Hayley> I lived there! <Janus> No, it doesn't.

  • Janus says sternly.

<Hayley> For- for a long time. <Janus> And no, you didn't. <Janus> Someone else did. <Hayley> <w> I lived there... <Janus> A very long time ago. <Hayley> Yes... it was. A very long time ago.

  • Hayley says sadly.

<Hayley> I was reading about "King Arthur".

  • Hayley laughs.

<Janus> Oh, that. <Hayley> They have it all wrong. <Hayley> He wasn't a king... just a man with a dream. <Janus> I find it rather... campy.

  • Hayley looks lost in memory.
  • Hayley is startled back by Janus' statement.

<Hayley> Campy?

  • Hayley seems a bit upset.

<Hayley> Well, the mortals have gotten everything mixed up... <Hayley> They made a composite of all sorts of men... threw all their best qualities into one. <Hayley> But he wasn't like that. <Hayley> I suppose- <Hayley> I suppose it would seem campy to you, now...

  • Hayley sighs.

<Janus> ¬_¬ <Janus> Yes, well... <Janus> Tara asked me to come and fetch you for dinner.

  • Janus says, trying to change the subject.

<Hayley> <w> Artur was a good man... so was Beaumains.

  • Hayley gets up slowly.

<Hayley> Supper, with Tara, who is named after the Irish capital. <Janus> ... <Janus> Indeed.

  • Hayley turns back to look at Janus, expecting an escort to dinner perhaps?
  • Janus pulls himself to his feet.

<Janus> Well, shall we?

  • Janus ventures a smile, and holds out his elbow to her.

<Janus> . o O (I wish she could pass one day in happiness, without being haunted by the past...)

  • Hayley nods. She glances in the mirror at her reflection and her eyes widen. She touches a hand to one of her small antlers, and she seems to wilt. She takes your elbow, though and gamely tries to smile.

<Janus> . o O (... sigh.) <Hayley> <m> Cernan of the Beasts... <Hayley> (pronounced Kernan, btw) <Hayley> (he's one of the Tuatha de Danaan; Janus would know)

  • Janus makes a face then, before catching himself.

<Janus> I wouldn't say that. <Hayley> (a god of the hunt, basically; he has antlers. Magnificent ones, not wee tiny prongs like Hayley's) <Hayley> No, that's why Lirazel Satyrs look the way we do.

  • Hayley still seems to be fading in and out of the past; she's very otherwordly at the moment.

<Janus> Hayley. There is no house Lirazel. <Hayley> (mentally, not physically)

  • Janus says sharply.

<Hayley> There is. As long as one of us remembers... <Janus> . o O (Snap out of it!)

  • Hayley looks towards you a bit warily at the tone of voice, in a delayed reaction.

<Hayley> I'm sorry... I'm wandering... I can't help it. I have to... <Janus> ... <Hayley> Have to... <Janus> Why?

  • Hayley frowns, trying to remember something.

<Hayley> I just- I just do... I want to be whole again.

  • Hayley makes an obvious effort to refocus on the present.

<Janus> You *are* a whole person. <Janus> Here, in the present. <Hayley> No. I'm not... <Hayley> They're always there, in the background. <Janus> No? Because you cannot recall your past lives? <Hayley> Because I remember only shards of them, millions of fragments... <Hayley> I have to try- try to piece them together, make sense out of them. <Janus> What does that say about me, then, Hayley? About all the rest of Fae kind? Are we so small, so fractured, because we exist fully in the present? <Hayley> Then I'll be whole...

  • Hayley shakes her head.

<Hayley> No, you remember all /you/ need to know... But if you had little bits and pieces of memories... from before... wouldn't you want to piece them together? <Janus> I think you will be disappointed, if you believe that recovering forgotten lives is what is going to make this one meaningful <Janus> I have, at times, recalled things.

  • Janus says evasively.

<Janus> They provide me with interesting insights, but they do not haunt me. <Hayley> There's a prize at the end, waiting for me.

  • Hayley 's features darken and she smiles cruelly.

<Hayley> I just need to remembe- <Tara> Baron Janus! <Tara> Hayley! <Tara> Your supper's going to get cold. <Janus> . o O (Good. I don't like where this is going.)

  • Tara shouts up the stairwell.
  • Tara 's shout seems to have jolted Hayley back into the present.
  • Hayley looks puzzled, but her eyes are clear and she smiles at you.

<Hayley> We'd better hurry. <Janus> Yes, rather.

  • Janus says absently.
  • Hayley notices Janus' elbow in hers.

<Hayley> Oooh, red carpet treament, hmmm? <Janus> Hmmm.

  • Hayley seems to be trying to remember when your elbow ended up in hers.
  • Janus smiles a little.
  • Hayley picks up on your distraction.

<Hayley> What's wrong, Janus? <Janus> We mustn't keep Tara waiting...

  • Hayley looks up into your face from her full 4 feet 6 inches or thereabouts.

<Hayley> You must tell me what's bothering you, please?

  • Hayley is so short! ;^D

<Janus> . o O (I'm so worried that I will lose you to yourself... ) <Janus> I'm... <Janus> very tired. <Janus> You have exhausted me. <Hayley> Oh... all right.

  • Janus smiles down at her.

<Hayley> Well, you need to get into shape! <Janus> Hm.

  • Janus feigns indignance.
  • Hayley brings up her free arm to "punch" Janus in the gut.

<Janus> There are those who are rather fond of my shape.

  • Janus hops back out of the way.

<Hayley> Look at this paunch! Why, you must weigh all of 130 pounds!

  • Hayley smiles impishly; you couldn't back very far out of the way. "Got your elbow still."

<Janus> I do not have a.. *paunch*! <Janus> :o <Hayley> Ok, what part of 130 pounds do you /not/ understand? <Hayley> You're what, 6 foot something? <Hayley> 130 pounds is scrawny. <Hayley> For that height. <Hayley> I was teasing. <Janus> I'm not scrawny.

  • Hayley raises an eyebrow teasingly.

<Hayley> Let's try something.

  • Janus says a little poutily.

<Janus> Let's try going down to dinner?

  • Hayley unhooks her elbow from Janus' and flexes her muscles. They're quite big. (4 dots in strength).

<Hayley> Now your turn!

  • Janus says hopefully.
  • Hayley singsongs.

<Hayley> Then we can go down to dinner. <Janus> Oh, I'm not going to participate in such a display.

  • Janus crosses his arms indignantly.

<Hayley> Display? It's just /me/. <Hayley> Not some big sweaty audience wanting to shove money down your g-string.

  • Janus gives Hayley as shocked look.
  • Hayley smiles.

<Janus> ... <Janus> No! <Janus> >:|

  • Hayley smirks.

<Hayley> Someday I'll have to get you really drunk, sing a bit, and then we'll see if you'll flex your muscles for me so I can shove money down your g-string. <Janus> . o O (Tara is going to have fits!) <Janus> You will do no such thing! <Janus> :o <Janus> Now come along, before Tara gets angry. <Hayley> Ah-ah-ah! No Sovereign. You promised. <Janus> <m> Anyway I don't have a g string, I don't think I've even seen one... <Janus> What Sovereign? <Hayley> None. <Hayley> I was just warning you in case you were /thinking/ of using it. <Janus> Hmf. <Hayley> Well, now I know what to get you for Christmas, anyway.

  • Hayley smiles smugly.

<Janus> Oh, please don't...

  • Janus looks mortified.
  • Hayley holds her elbow out for him to take again.

<Janus> Please can we just go downstairs now... <Hayley> You're so charmingly young. <Janus> ¬_¬ <Hayley> (this from a 14-year-old.  ;^) ) <Janus> I am *not*.

  • Janus takes her arm and heads for the door.
  • Hayley just raises an eyebrow archly.

<Janus> <m> You picked that up from my *mother*... <Hayley> Maybe, but I think it's just something all women can do.

  • Hayley trip-traps down the stairs with Janus.

<Janus> <m> I hate that eyebrow... <Janus> ¬_¬ <Hayley> It's a defense. We had to develop some defenses during those long years of oppressive male domination. <Janus> ... Sorry about the delay, Tara... <Hayley> Say, does my sharp tongue and horrifying worldliness ever frighten you? <Janus> ...

  • Hayley asks Janus as she steps into the kitchen door with him... only to find there's no food set out /there/.

<Janus> ...No... <Janus> (where do we usually eat?)

  • Tara gives Hayley a strange look.

<Tara> (in the kitchen)

  • Tara swiftly recovers and beams at Janus.
  • Janus looks around the room, puzzled.

<Tara> Dining room tonight! Hayley's been with us a week; I thought we might celebrate. <Janus> Oh!

  • Janus smiles widely.

<Janus> What a wonderful idea!

  • Hayley looks a bit embarrassed.

<Hayley> Cool, I guess.

  • Tara bustles you two off to the dining room.

<Janus> Come on then...

  • Janus leads her to the other room.
  • Hayley looks at the setting with awe; Tara went all out; candles, and a floral centerpiece; the good silverware, the fine porcelain...

<Hayley> So- ah... if this is the one-week anniversary, what's one month going to be like?

  • Hayley jokes weakly.

<Hayley> <m> Outside in...

  • Hayley says as she eyes all the cutlery.

<Janus> It looks splendid, Tara... <Tara> Thank you.

  • Janus smiles nostalgically.
  • Tara beams.

<Tara> Well! <Tara> Take your seats!

  • Tara encourages.
  • Janus will pull out Hayley's chair for her.
  • Tara sits herself down to demonstrate (in old days she would have served, probably, but I figured things are a bit more relaxed now; plus Tara probably doesn't want to throw Hayley too far off. The food's all out in serving dishes under covers to keep the heat in)
  • Hayley blushes; her turn to be mortified.
  • Janus remembers all the times he did this for Debbie...
  • Hayley sits down in the chair he offers her.
  • Janus walks around the table to his own chair and sits down.
  • Hayley slides the chair in and folds her hands in her lap, afraid to touch anything.

<Hayley> . o O (Silly girl... you've eaten like this many times before.) <Hayley> . o O (But what if I make a mistake while /he's/ watching?)

  • Janus watches Hayley from across the table, smiling at the way the candlelight picks up the colours in her hair.
  • Tara raises the cover on the main platter, down at Janus' end.

<Tara> Master of the house carves! <Tara> (the carving knife and fork are next to you.) <Janus> Oh... <Tara> (it's a fabulous-looking roast duck)

  • Janus looks a little surprised, it's been some time.

<Tara> (Prolly you carved the turkey at all the Christmas dinners and stuff.  ;^D ) <Janus> Well, I shall see what I can do... <Janus> (Which we haven't had in years since the kids left)

  • Janus will get to work, not butchering the thing badly at all!

<Tara> (heheh, Tara prolly made some sort of effort at Christmas, unless she was under express orders from Janus not to) <Tara> Pass up your plate, would you, dear?

  • Tara asks Hayley.
  • Hayley does so, subdued; the colour's still quite high in her cheeks.
  • Hayley tries not to look out of place.
  • Tara holds Hayley's plate out for Janus to place some duck on.
  • Janus has forgotten all about Hayley's earlier moodiness...
  • Janus will serve everyone, looking pretty pleased with himself.

<Tara> (He forgets the negative aspects of her quite readily, doesn't he?  ;^) ) <Janus> . o O (It's... it's like I have a family here again!) <Janus> (he sure does)

  • Tara makes sure everyone gets a good dollop of creamed potatoes, minted peas, glazed carrots... the works.
  • Hayley puts on her best behaviour for the meal; she remembers to use the cutlery from the outside in and takes small, dainty, ladylike bites. ;^)
  • Janus will try not to eat *too* much though. Wouldn't want to have a *paunch* or something...
  • Hayley looks exceedingly charming and pretty throughout the meal.
  • Janus will be exceedingly charmed, them. ^-^

<Hayley> (the colour in her cheeks doesn't go down for the entire meal... she's so embarrassed, and worrying about making a mistake, but she doesn't let it show.) <Hayley> (except in her cheeks; that's involuntary.) <Janus> (like he'd even *notice* if she used the wrong fork.. ;D)

  • Tara works at keeping all parties engaged in polite dinner conversation.
  • Janus will be uncharacteristically genial and animated....
  • Hayley 's eyes will shine with admiration for Janus' delightful conversation.
  • Tara smiles to herself.

<Tara> . o O (Might as well not be here; things are going smoothly!)

  • Tara quietly gets up and clears off the supper dishes once everyone's had their fill, leaving the two lovebirds to talk while she gets the tea and dessert ready.

<Tara> . o O (Hayley is such a darling when she tries to be... but those two better behave themselves until she's older!) <Janus> (Well she needn't worry... I'm not going to have much chance to misbehave) <Tara> (heehee... I know... ) <Tara> (Not yet, anyway)

  • Hayley 's worldliness seems to have dropped away for the duration of the meal; she's a somewhat shy 14-year-old admiring the man she adores right now.
  • Tara bustles back in with tea and the dessert.

<Janus> . o O (She's so ... perfect) <Tara> (the dessert being some chocolate soufle-type thing, which you have to be really careful with while it's baking so as not to collapse it.) <Tara> (Only sometimes.) <Janus> (like now :D)

  • Hayley 's worldliness, Janus might come to realize, is merely another form of defense...
  • Tara uncovers the chocolate soufle which looks absolutely delectable and serves it up, also serving tea.

<Tara> (the dinner comes to a most satisfactory end, I daresay) <Janus> (yep)

  • Hayley offers to help with the dishes.

<Tara> Oh no, that's all right. I can do them faster on my own. You two run along now. <Tara> . o O (And play...)

  • Tara chuckles happily to herself.

<Janus> Thank you Tara, everything was lovely...

  • Janus stands up, and looks expectantly at Hayley.

<Tara> Oh, you're quite welcome, My Lord. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  • Hayley stands up and moves towards the door, meeting Janus partway there.

<Hayley> So... what shall we do now, my lord?

  • Hayley smiles.

<Janus> I was going to ask you... <Janus> We could... play <Janus> Scrabble or something

  • Hayley laughs.

<Janus> Or not. <Hayley> We /could/. <Hayley> Do you play any sort of instrument? <Janus> Well, I don't rightly know what girls like to do... <Janus> No... <Hayley> Too bad; it would have been nice to listen to you if you did. <Janus> Do you? <Hayley> No, I sing though. I was soloist for choir at school. <Janus> Well, you could... sing for me...? <Hayley> ... <Hayley> Maybe... one song.

  • Janus asks tentatively.

<Janus> Oh one song would be wonderful! <Janus> I'm sure you must have a splendid voice. <Hayley> I don't know many secular songs by heart yet. At school it was all religious. <Janus> Well, sing whatever you'd like.

  • Janus leads her into his study.

<Hayley> (study or music room? You must have a music room, somewhere in this big old house; all three kids are talented musicians... Aidan could be a concert pianist; Rachel plays classical guitar (and electric, but she wouldn't have learned that at home) and Tally is an accomplished flutist.) <Janus> (oh, sure then) <Hayley> (all right; the music room it is. Aidan's grand piano is there still) <Hayley> (not as portable as a guitar or flute.  ;^D )

  • Janus looks a little wistfully around the room. It's been silent for so long...

<Janus> Here we are...

  • Hayley looks around the room.
  • Hayley smiles.

<Hayley> Good acoustics. <Janus> So I'm told. <Hayley> Will you sit? <Janus> Certainly.

  • Janus pulls the dust cover off a chair and settles himself in.
  • Janus watches Hayley eagerly...
  • Hayley waits for Janus to sit and then locates herself in a suitable position to sing, with one hand on the piano.
  • Hayley blushes under his scrutiny.
  • Janus smiles encouragingly.

<Hayley> I've never sung on my own for an audience, so don't laugh. <Janus> It's only *me*.

  • Janus says, parroting her earlier tone.
  • Hayley smiles ruefully.
  • Hayley draws a graceful hand up to her forehead, trying to decide what to sing.
  • Hayley clears her throat nervously.
  • Hayley takes a deep breath and launches into her own rendition of "Stretched on your Grave".
  • Hayley 's voice is exceedingly expressive; the bitter sorrow emoted by the song is virtually palpable.

<Janus> <m> Beautiful...

  • Hayley pauses briefly when she is done.
  • Janus breathes, tears in his eyes.
  • Janus is reminded inevitably of Debbie...
  • Hayley then turns a shy smile towards Janus, one tear rolling down her cheek. She reaches a hand up to wipe it away.

<Janus> Very beautiful...

  • Janus repeats.

<Hayley> I- liked that one especially, because of the line "The priests and the friars/ behold me with dread" <Janus> You are... quite talented...

  • Hayley smiles shyly and ducks her head.

<Hayley> I've gotten better since my Chrysalis... <Hayley> But I don't sing often within earshot of anyone. <Janus> <m> You should... <Hayley> <m> Thank you...

  • Hayley blushes deeply.
  • Hayley comes over towards Janus and takes the dustcover off another chair.

<Hayley> So... what did you do, all the time in between? <Janus> <m> The time in between? <Hayley> <m> I can't believe I hadn't asked, yet...

  • Hayley nods and settles down into her chair, close to Janus'.

<Janus> I don't think you really want to know...

  • Hayley looks down at her hands.

<Hayley> Maybe... would you rather play Scrabble? <Hayley> <m> We're going to have to talk about it eventually... <Janus> I don't want to. <Hayley> . o O (There's not too much for us /to/ talk about, without referring to some sad times.) <Hayley> Ok. <Janus> I would have to ask questions... <Janus> And I don't know that I am prepared to hear the answers.

  • Janus says sadly.
  • Hayley nods.

<Hayley> All right... <Hayley> But someday, you will ask the questions, and I will answer as best I can... <Janus> ...

  • Hayley gets up and takes his hand.

<Janus> (someday, as soon as 3 days from now!) <Hayley> Well, I guess it's Scrabble, then.

  • Hayley smiles slightly.

<Janus> I always win at Scrabble.

  • Janus mumbles.

<Hayley> You haven't played against /me/ yet.

  • Hayley says cockily.

<Janus> I am... <Janus> The scrabble King.

  • Janus smiles weakly.

<Hayley> Ok, so you're a poet, a wordsmith, all that... but I've done a lot of reading, myself. <Hayley> I think I could put up a good fight. <Hayley> Or we could play something else to pass the evening. <Janus> Like what? <Hayley> Well, what do you have? <Janus> I don't remember... <Hayley> Well we'd best go find out, then, hadn't we? <Janus> I don't think I've taken them out in... 10 years or so...

  • Hayley pulls on Janus' hand.

<Janus> Not since the children left.

  • Hayley follows Janus to the game trove.

<Janus> Lots...

  • Hayley crouches down to take a look.

<Hayley> Well... do you want something that actually requires thinking, or something simpleminded? <Janus> A lot of them need more than two players. <Janus> Whatever you'd like. <Hayley> We /could/ invite Tara to play, unless you want an evening with me all to yourself.

  • Hayley smiles.
  • Janus pushes the Twister box to the back of the closet when Hayley's not looking.

<Hayley> (heeheehee!) <Janus> Pick whatever you'd like, really. <Hayley> Well, I don't feel like heavy thinking tonight, so let's just do something fun. Snakes and Ladders or the Game of Life?

  • Janus wishes the children were still here...
  • Janus wishes they didn't all hate him (except Aidan...)

<Janus> Um... <Hayley> You might have to remind me how to play Life... <Janus> It's not hard... <Janus> You have a little car thing... and you move it around... <Hayley> (they don't hate him. Tally and Rachel are rebelling against the establishment.  ;^D ) <Janus> (which means me!) <Hayley> (but it's just rebellion... a phase, that's all. Not outright war.  ;^D ) <Hayley> Ok, sounds like a no-brainer. <Hayley> Shall we play Life then? <Janus> Alright... <Hayley> . o O (Since we're neither of us particularly good at living it.)

  • Janus sits down on the floor with the box.

<Hayley> On the floor? <Janus> Oh.

  • Hayley smiles happily.

<Janus> I suppose that's not a particularly sophisticated thing for me to have done.

  • Janus stands back up.

<Hayley> No, it's fine. I just didn't expect you to sit on the floor in all your fine clothes...

  • Janus was thinking to the times when he and Debbie would play with the kids, when they were young...

<Janus> ... <Janus> Foolish of me...

  • Hayley sits down on the floor and starts setting up.
  • Hayley repositions herself to lie on her belly and kick her deer legs in the air.

<Hayley> I'll be blue!

  • Hayley takes the blue car.

<Hayley> My favourite colour.

  • Hayley glances up at Janus briefly and smiles.

<Janus> Hm...

  • Hayley sets her blue car on the start square.

<Hayley> What are these?

  • Janus sits back down on the floor, trying to look like a person who is having 'fun'.
  • Hayley pours out the little people pegs from an old film canister.

<Janus> They don't have a black one, do they... <Hayley> 'Fraid not. <Janus> They're the people. <Hayley> Well, I guess I need pink then...

  • Hayley grimaces.

<Janus> Heh...

  • Janus smiles a bit.

<Hayley> Here's a blue one for you. <Hayley> If I ever wear pink, please knock some sense into me. <Janus> ... <Janus> Noted...

  • Hayley glances up at Janus and smiles again.
  • Hayley reads some of the jobs.

<Hayley> I hope I get to be a doctor! <Hayley> Lots of money. <Janus> They don't have any really interesting jobs in this game. <Hayley> I wonder what I'll really be...? <Janus> You can't be an astronaut.

  • Hayley ponders.
  • Hayley smiles at Janus again.

<Hayley> It's a strange world nowadays, isn't it? <Hayley> I mean, everyone knows things were once so much better. <Hayley> But we're all kind of crippled. <Janus> And yet, no-one tries to right things. <Hayley> I <Hayley> I'm trying... <Janus> Its not up to us... <Hayley> But it's very difficult. <Hayley> It is, though... up to us. <Janus> The humans are turning away from us even more. <Hayley> (OK, they play Life. Hayley gets stuck as a teacher.  ;^) She groans but plays on) <Janus> It's up to them to save themselves.