Hayley & Janus, 4/10/2002
- Hayley goes to Janus' study first, as discussed previous to this.
<Hayley> (satisfied that Janus is not there, she stops and ponders for a minute, eying the patterns on the floor with misgiving, and not daring to look at the books on his desk for fear of what she'd find. <Janus> (Some stuff seems to have been knocked off the desk, as well)
- Hayley glances out the window at the cold, wet rain and feels sick at heart.
<Janus> (The wind howls)
- Hayley gathers up her courage and flashes up onto the roof. For plot contrivance's sake, she reappears some distance away from Janus, on the roof. She does not use any of her usual fanciful display; just one minute she's not there and the next she is. Janus may hear a small *pop* as she fills in a space that had been filled by air moments before, but that's about it.
- Hayley stands there, wringing her hands, and looking at Janus down the roof.
- Janus is lying spread-eagled on the roof. His clothes, his hair are soaked through.
- Janus is not wearing a jacket, and blood has stained the white linen sleeves of his shirt.
- Hayley waits to see if he noticed her arrival, and what reaction he'll have.
- Janus stares up at the black sky while icy water pounds his body.
- Hayley will take a hesitant step towards him if he hasn't noticed her.
<Janus> (The rain is freezing cold, numbing)
- Hayley 's hair becomes quickly plastered to her scalp and her clothes soak through. She shivers involuntarily.
<Janus> (Water drips from his fingertips)
- Hayley takes another hesitant step towards him.
<Hayley> <choked whisper> Janus?
- Janus closes his eyes.
<Janus> <m> No more ghosts <Janus> <m> No more <Janus> ... <Hayley> Janus...
- Hayley repeats a bit louder.
<Janus> The wind
- Hayley takes another tentative step towards Janus, still wringing her hands.
<Janus> 'Tis the wind and nothing more <Janus> ... <Hayley> . o O (He might react violently so I don't want to get too close. He wouldn't hurt me, though, would he? Oh, no I don't believe he could...) <Hayley> . o O (Not intentionally.) <Hayley> Janus -
- Hayley 's voice catches.
<Hayley> It's wet up here and I'm freezing. You shouldn't be up here...
- Hayley trails off.
<Hayley> . o O (That sounded dumb) <Janus> <m> Sounds, so familiar... <Hayley> . o O (Dear Lord, he's going to get sick.)
- Hayley kicks herself into gear, moving forward to crouch at his side.
- Hayley takes Janus' hand.
- Janus mutters words under his breath
<Janus> (it feels like wax) <Hayley> Janus- you feel like ice! <Janus> <m> Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from some unseen censer <Hayley> Oh, Janus- <Hayley> Open your eyes, please! <Janus> <m>swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor <Janus> Wretch!!
- Janus screams.
- Hayley jumps back, echoing his scream wordlessly, startled by the suddenness of Janus' actions.
<Janus> "Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee--by these angels he hath sent thee <Janus> Respite--respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore! <Janus> Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!" <Janus> Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." <Janus> *mumble*
- Hayley slowly uncurls herself from her defensive position and sits on her haunches, looking at Janus sadly now that the threat of being possibly attacked is over... for the moment.
<Hayley> Edgar Allan Poe. <Hayley> "The Raven" <Hayley> Janus, open your eyes, please- it's me. It's Hayley. <Janus> Ha, ha. <Janus> Your trick has failed...
- Hayley inches forward and lays a cold hand on his cheek.
<Hayley> Trick? <Janus> Why would *Hayley* be *here*, ghost? <Hayley> I-I don't understand. <Hayley> I came back to see h-how you were doing. <Hayley> Evidently not well.
- Hayley says, voice filled with sorrow.
<Hayley> And to let you know where I'm staying, so you can come see me, maybe...
- Hayley trails off.
<Hayley> . o O (Look what you've done to him. Why would he want to come see *you*?) <Hayley> And I'm cold and wet up here, and so-so are you. <Janus> Nonsense, I don't feel cold at all.
- Hayley sneezes.
<Hayley> I d-do. <Janus> I seem to recall...
- Hayley 's teeth chatter.
<Janus> I felt somewhat light headed... <Janus> The fresh air does wonders to bring one about. <Hayley> T-t-tara will be worried about you. <Hayley> I'm worried about you. <Janus> ... <Janus> Oh don't you worry. <Janus> None of you should worry. <Janus> I've promised Aidan. <Janus> I've promised him that my body will remain <Hayley> P-p-promised Aidan what?
- Janus laughs.
- Hayley reaches out to grasp Janus by the shoulders.
<Janus> Aah! <Hayley> J-j-janus, snap out of it please!
- Hayley says, voice breaking slightly.
- Janus 's eyes fly open, shocked.
<Janus> You're touching me! <Janus> You can't do that!
- Hayley looks surprised.
- Janus scrambles backward, away from her.
- Hayley snaps her hands back.
<Hayley> You're right, I sh-shouldn't touch you. <Hayley> But I'm cold and y-y-you're scaring me. <Janus> Hayley's not here
- Janus says, sounding connfused.
<Hayley> I c-c-came back... to see h-how y-y-you were... <Janus> (there is definitely something wrong with Janus' mental processes right now!! :o) <Janus> That's impossible, <Hayley> I tho-thou-thought you might be worried about me...
- Hayley says ruefully.
- Janus says with a dismissive gesture of his hand.
<Janus> Hayley isn't coming back. <Hayley> Oh, J-j-janus... <Janus> And you! You're obsolete!
- Janus shakes his fist at the little satyr girl.
- Hayley has wrapped her arms around her chest, hugging herself tightly. She bites back tears.
<Hayley> O-o-obsolete? <Janus> You were a fool, a fool to wish for such phantasms! <Janus> What were you *thinking*? <Hayley> Wh-wha-what are you talking about, J-j-janus...? <Janus> You should have let go, aged gracefully. <Janus> Now look at yourself! <Janus> You're a parody of your self! <Janus> People are laughing all over England!
- Hayley clues in that he's talking about himself, finally.
- Janus points a finger accusingly in Hayley's direction.
- Hayley is still quite confused.
- Hayley stands up and moves towards him.
- Janus backs up against the chimney.
- Hayley walks up to the chimney and hugs him.
<Hayley> D-do-don't say such things... <Janus> ...
- Hayley reaches up to pull his ribbon out of his hair, and casts Flicker Flash, taking them down into his study.
<Janus> You've won, already... <Janus> My ribbon! <Janus> Oh, I told you that was a bad idea.
- Janus snatches after it.
- Hayley stands back a step and offers it to him apologetically.
<Janus> It needs to be in the blood, in the blood. <Hayley> J-Janus!
- Janus staggers over to the sofa and falls/sits down.
- Hayley is still shivering, soaked to the bone.
- Hayley comes over and falls next to him.
<Hayley> G-g-get these clothes off... hypothermia.
- Hayley tries to strip Janus down first.
<Janus> I don't know what you're talking about, it isn't cold. <Janus> What are you doing?
- Janus backs off, looking *very* confused*
<Hayley> I-I-I'm t-t-trying to g-g-get your clothes off so you won't g-g-get sick. <Janus> Sick? <Janus> Who's sick? <Janus> Not me. I never get sick. I'm immortal. <Janus> Where's my glass...
- Janus fumbles around on the low table by the sofa.
- Hayley gives up; she didn't expect this. It was supposed to be easy; come let Janus know she was doing all right for the circumstances and let him know where she was so he wouldn't worry, and maybe would come up sometimes to see her.
- Janus knocks over some stuff.
<Hayley> . o O (I'm useless, and the stupidest girl there ever was...)
- Hayley sobs.
<Hayley> J-j-janus, please come back?
- Janus lies back against the sofa.
<Hayley> I-I-I'm frightened...
- Hayley sneezes again and shudders.
- Hayley moves towards Janus again and tries once again to render first aid for exposure to cold.
<Hayley> . o O (I have to help him... I did this to him... I can't leave him like this.)
- Janus isn't moving around so much now.
- Hayley fumbles with Janus' shirt buttons, fingers numb with cold, and eyes blurred with tears.
<Janus> (there's a kind of licorice smell on his breath, mixed with something else) <Hayley> . o O (I should call Tara, to help... I can't do this alone.)
- Hayley wrinkles her nose.
<Hayley> Y-y-you're drunk, aren't you?
- Hayley tries to pull herself together.
<Hayley> . o O (Strong, be strong for Janus.) <Janus> <m> I would not <Janus> ... <Janus> *mumble*
- Hayley dashes the tears from her eyes and continues fumbling with his shirt buttons. She gets a few undone but her own fingers are too numb to be able to do it all.
<Hayley> . o O (I don't want to see Tara... she'll be angry with me... it's the right thing, though, the right thing...)
- Hayley gets up and piles a few logs in the fireplace. She fumbles with matches but after having several match sticks break in her clumsy fingers, she just casts a Prometheus' fist on the logs, which start blazing.
- Hayley holds her hands out to the flames.
- Hayley shivers.
<Hayley> . o O (Clothes all wet...)
- Hayley glances over her shoulder at Janus.
- Janus hasn't moved.
- Hayley strips down and lays her clothes out by the fire, then sits by it, chafing her arms and legs until she warms up enough to go help Janus.
- Janus meanwhile, curls up into a ball on the sofa.
- Hayley works away at the wet cloth of his shirt and manages to get the rest of the buttons undone. She'll manoeuver drunk Janus to get the clothes off him so he can warm up.
<Hayley> (does he cooperate?) <Janus> (well, not really. He seems pretty limp.) <Hayley> (well, she's strong and can move him enough to peel things off. <Janus> (she'll notice, of course, the new cuts, the source of the blood on his shirt.
- Hayley touches the cuts lightly and fearfully.
<Hayley> Oh, Janus...
- Janus winces and mutters something.
- Hayley unfolds the wool blanket from the back of the couch and spreads it over his still form, tucking in the edges around his body.
<Janus> <m> Did you read my poems...
- Hayley lays his wet clothes out by hers on the hearth so they'll dry, then sits down near the fire to continue warming herself up, since there's no other blanket.
<Janus> <m> Did you read them?
- Hayley 's ears twitch as Janus mutters to himself in his 'sleep'.
- Hayley is startled.
<Hayley> Are you- are you talking to me? <Janus> <m> I wrote them for you.
- Hayley snatches up some of her wet clothes and clutches them to her chest modestly.
- Janus 's eyes are still closed.
<Janus> <m> All of them for you. <Hayley> No, I- I didn't read them. <Janus> Oh... <Hayley> I-it's your desk.
- Janus turns his head away, into the back of the sofa.
<Hayley> I know you do things I'm not supposed to see... so I didn't go through anything... <Hayley> Do- do you want me to read them now?
- Hayley is a bit afraid of what they'll say.
<Janus> <m> they're for you,
- Janus repeats, mumbling into the upholstery.
- Hayley nods and walks slowly towards the desk. She tentatively picks up a piece of paper that looks like it contains poetry and begins reading.
- Janus turns his head back towards Hayley, but does not yet open his eyes.
- Hayley sinks slowly into his big leather chair as she reads.
<Janus> <m> How do you like them, my flowers of evil? <Hayley> (ok, I need to know the general gist of the content of the poems here) <Janus> (well, they are all about Hayley, or mostly about Hayley... there are also themes of violent destructive grief, annihilation in love, and so on. I'm sure you can imagine. <Janus> (Hopelessness) <Janus> (The overriding sentiment is that of hopelessness.) <Hayley> (do they blame Hayley for what has happened?) <Janus> (no) <Hayley> (ok)
- Hayley reads through a few poems and then lays the sheets down, stricken.
<Hayley> <w> I- I can't read any more, Janus.
- Hayley 's eyes fill with tears.
<Janus> <m> Ah... <Janus> <m> You don't like them. <Janus> <m> I must be losing my touch.
- Janus turns his head back against the sofa back.
- Hayley says that loudly and sharply. It's not that she doesn't like them.
- Hayley looks down at her hands.
<Janus> <m> Are you truly here, after all? <Hayley> They are beautiful, Janus. Cruel and beautiful, like daggers of crystal. It's not that I don't like them... <Janus> <m> I was quite certain I was dreaming.
- Hayley cries softly.
<Hayley> It's that I feel them, twisting in my chest.
- Hayley sobs into her hands.
<Hayley> I'm here. <Hayley> I wanted to see- to see how you were doing.
- Hayley laughs bitterly.
<Janus> It would probably be best for you not to come here. <Janus> I do not wish to aggrieve you.
- Janus lies on his back and speaks to the ceiling.
- Hayley sort of stiffened on the edge of her seat when he said it would probably be best for her not to come - a fleeting thought that he had put her aside, at last, but then when he continues she realizes it is not so.
<Janus> You should not remain ... tethered to your past lives <Janus> It would probably be more beneficial for you to find a different teacher, after all. <Janus> I will continue to work against your curse, however... <Janus> I will not abandon my commitment because of my personal ... discomfort...
- Janus sighs, and drapes a forearm across his face.
- Hayley nods, bewildered, trying to make sense of what he is saying.
<Hayley> I- I came to tell you I found a little- little place to live. I would like to take you there, so you know where it is, so you won't worry about me... <Hayley> It's far away from anywhere, so I can think, and sort things out... <Janus> Hayley, I don't think it is wise for you to let me know such things. <Hayley> And I think- <Janus> It serves only to bind us. <Janus> And that is not... what you need. <Hayley> Oh, but I want you to know!
- Janus 's voice breaks a bit, but he tries to cover it up.
- Hayley says pleadingly.
<Hayley> You said- said yourself, we're already bound... <Janus> I am bound. <Janus> You do not have to be. <Hayley> Yes, I do! <Hayley> It's the curse! <Janus> You are confused. <Hayley> I'm trying to find Eros, to make him end it! <Janus> This house clouds your mind with memory.
- Hayley has jumped to her feet, nearly dropping the shirt she was using to cover herself up.
<Hayley> It does, you're right- but it won't, after I find Eros. <Janus> ... <Janus> Hayley. <Janus> You can't just go and find a Tuatha.
- Janus says, sounding tired and haggard.
<Janus> Leave this matter to me.
- Hayley 's eyes are full of hope, which fades a bit as Janus speaks.
<Janus> I may be only a shadow of what was before, but my sorcery is still as potent. <Janus> The work is progressing... <Janus> Despite your absence... <Hayley> <m> You're not a shadow...
- Janus drops his arm to the floor.
<Hayley> . o O (You fill me with light.) <Janus> See...
- Hayley moves over to crouch down beside the couch, still clutching her damp shirt to her chest.
- Janus waves a hand in the general direction of the rune-smeared wall and floor space.
- Hayley nods.
<Janus> I won't fail you. <Hayley> One of us will find the way... <Janus> Hayley, you can't. <Hayley> And then everything will be all right. <Janus> It is too dangerous. <Hayley> I haven't met the second one yet- I can't die until I do. <Hayley> So I'm fine. <Hayley> He can't do anything to me, by his own ruling! <Janus> That is a risky thing to gamble your future on.
- Hayley says fiercely and proudly.
<Janus> And anyhow Hayley, I think we both know the nature of our relationship. <Hayley> My whole future is ris- <Janus> You don't need to pretend. I understand.
- Hayley 's eyes lock onto Janus'.
- Janus says tiredly.
<Hayley> What- what are you saying?
- Hayley says, fear in her tone.
<Janus> It is perfectly... rational... <Janus> Living in my house. <Janus> The house that we shared. The memories here are so strong that I saw them overwhelm you completely. <Janus> It is easy to lose one's self, I imagine... <Hayley> Yes, I agree- but that's why I want you to see where I live... <Hayley> So you can come, sometimes... <Janus> To believe that you feel a memory.
- Hayley says eagerly.
- Hayley takes Janus' hand in hers, and the power of her personality urges you to look her in the eye.
- Janus reluctantly meets her gaze.
<Hayley> It's not a memory. This is real- it's /real/ Janus! <Janus> It must seem so...
- Janus says sadly.
- Hayley says, love shining desperately from her eyes.
<Hayley> It- it's not a question of /seeming/! <Hayley> I know it- in here!
- Hayley says with passion, pulling Janus' hand towards her heart.
- Janus looks away, hiding the tears in his eyes.
- Hayley 's shirt has fallen to the floor, forgotten, but she's wearing a bra of sorts. ;^) (So modest)
<Hayley> Will you come? <Hayley> Please?
- Hayley begs, voice hitching in her throat.
<Hayley> I want you to see my little cottage- <Janus> I want to believe you.
- Janus says quietly.
<Hayley> It's small, and rude, but it's mine, I'm fixing it with my own hands- <Hayley> You must believe me!
- Hayley pleads, tears squeezing from her eyes.
<Hayley> It's the truth! <Janus> You would not believe me...
- Janus says miserably.
<Hayley> What? <Hayley> When did I not believe you?
- Hayley 's voice breaks again.
<Hayley> I know you love me. <Janus> I told you that I would be destroyed... <Hayley> What? <Hayley> (tears trickle down her cheeks) <Janus> You ... fled from my love. <Hayley> <w> What? <Janus> I asked myself, how can this be? <Hayley> No- no. No. <Janus> If she were consumed as I am, by the tortures of love... <Janus> How could this agony be preferable to present bliss?
- Hayley regards Janus with deepening grief.
<Hayley> Oh, nonononono.
- Hayley sobs.
- Janus sighs again.
<Hayley> Oh, no, that's not it at all.
- Janus closes his eyes.
<Janus> <w> Please don't cry. It is not your doing.
- Hayley kneels beside Janus, throwing her torso on to his in her grief, clutching at his shoulders and burying her face in the blanket on his chest.
- Janus 's body shudders with emotion.
<Janus> ... <Hayley> That's not why I left- it's not.
- Hayley manages to choke out through sobs.
- Janus strokes her hair, as tears course down the sides of his face.
<Janus> Shhh. <Hayley> I told you- when you first came back for me. <Hayley> I am terrified of love. You know the agony of it, yourself... <Hayley> I'm still so afraid, so very afraid of it... I know it will hurt, and I don't want to hurt... <Hayley> I am tired of hurting. <Janus> That is what I told Aidan...
- Janus says quietly.
- Hayley clutches Janus more tightly, sobbing. She turns her head to the side so she can breathe ragged gasps of air.
<Janus> . o O (I love you so much it will crush me...)
- Janus screws his eyes tightly shut against the onslaught of emotion.
<Hayley> I'm so tired of hurting everyone... <Janus> Hayley. <Hayley> But- all I can do is hurt, in the name of love. <Janus> I've told you before not to say such things. <Hayley> Until it's over... until it's over. <Janus> I am the only one who hurts me.
- Hayley shakes her head to deny it, at the same time burrowing her face into the hollow of his shoulder.
<Hayley> You wouldn't- wouldn't be hurt, if you loved someone different. <Hayley> So it's me. <Janus> That is like saying I wouldn't be hurt if the sky were orange. <Hayley> It is, at sunset and sunrise... <Janus> Oh, you know what I meant.
- Hayley says, absurdly, and then chokes on another sob.
<Janus> It's not you. <Hayley> It's both of us then... <Janus> Maybe. <Janus> Or perhaps it's the Tuatha.
- Janus says bitterly.
<Janus> Toying with their little playthings... <Hayley> Not all of them... just- just Eros. <Janus> They're all alike.
- Hayley seems to calm slightly.
<Hayley> Sometimes, I wonder if he even knew what he did to me... <Janus> I'm sure he did... <Hayley> I'm not so sure... <Janus> It doesn't matter. <Janus> Their magic is weakening. <Janus> I will dispel it. <Janus> Then you'll be free. <Janus> ... <Hayley> How- how will you dispel it? You both say you will, but you haven't said how. <Janus> ... <Janus> What? <Janus> Who else have you spoken to of this? <Hayley> What...? <Hayley> Oh...
- Hayley realizes she's misspoken.
<Hayley> Just- just a Sidhe. <Janus> Just a sidhe? <Janus> Just a sidhe?
- Janus says incredulously.
<Hayley> He knows a lot... I thought he might be able to help me find Eros. <Janus> And what is this genius sidhe's name?
- Hayley backs off from Janus' chest, a bit frightened.
<Hayley> Ana- Anastasius. <Janus> And you've known Anastasius how long? <Hayley> A couple months... <Janus> What do you know about him? <Janus> Who is he, really? <Hayley> I don't feel anything for him- he's not the other one!
- Hayley says, alarmed that that's where Janus is going with this.
<Janus> And yet you trust him, a stranger, over me. <Hayley> No! <Hayley> I trust you much more than him! <Hayley> But I left in such a hurry- I left my insulin and everything behind. <Hayley> I was afraid to come back here, and there was- was no where else I could turn. <Janus> So now you owe this... Anastasius person. <Hayley> I wouldn't die without insulin... but I wouldn't be much use to anyone either... <Janus> Hayley, I can predict without the slightest doubt that he is taking advantage of you.
- Hayley looks down.
<Hayley> He isn't interested in me that way.
- Janus sits up, holding the blanket around his waist.
<Janus> That is immaterial. <Hayley> He's betrothed, and saving himself for marriage. <Janus> No-one offers to help in such an immense task where there is nothing to be gained. <Janus> Rest assured that he has an ulterior motive. <Hayley> Maybe he does... <Hayley> But I'm not afraid of him. <Hayley> I don't think he'll harm me. <Hayley> I- I'm sure he won't. <Janus> Mysterious sidhe do not randomly wander about the countryside offering their aid to commoners in distress! <Janus> What makes you think he will not harm you? <Janus> What makes you trust him so implicitly? <Janus> It is absurd!
- Janus exclaims, exasperated.
<Hayley> I just- just know it. <Hayley> I know he won't harm me. <Janus> You just know it, hm.
- Janus shakes his head.
<Janus> I cannot believe this. <Hayley> He says my curse is interesting... <Janus> You entrust your fate to someone who could for all you know be a member of the Shadow Court. <Hayley> He's just a scholar... <Janus> And you refuse to listen to reason from someone who has nothing but your best interests at heart! <Janus> No-one is *just* anything, Hayley! <Hayley> I'm listening! <Janus> That is like saying those fellows back at your school were just priests.
- Hayley says defensively.
<Hayley> I'm not stupid. I'm being careful around him. <Janus> You should not *be* around him. <Hayley> I'm not, most of the time... <Janus> At all. <Janus> There is something definitely amiss here. <Hayley> I'm not a little girl, and you are /not/ my father.
- Hayley says, a bit angry.
<Janus> I am trying to protect you! <Hayley> I know what I'm doing, ok? <Janus> You are fourteen years old! <Hayley> I know he has some reason for taking such an interest in my curse, but I also know that I don't feel that he means to harm me. <Janus> You're impossible! <Janus> Why can't you see what is staring you in the face? <Hayley> Janus, /who/ is dealing with this person? <Hayley> Me, not you! <Janus> No-one! No-one is dealing with this person! <Hayley> You feel things out when you're with people! <Hayley> I've been feeling things out with him! I know more about the situation than you do, because /I'm/ in it! <Janus> Even if, just for the sake of argument, he does not intend to harm you directly. <Janus> Who is to say he does not intend to use you in some plan to bring harm to others? <Hayley> How? <Hayley> I'm not a nuclear warhead.
- Hayley says, disgusted.
<Janus> No, but you do have the power to destroy a Tuatha. <Janus> You say your curse prevents you from being killed until it is fulfilled. <Janus> That makes you a very powerful girl, indeed. <Janus> Have you not considered how someone else might make use of this in ways of which you might not approve? <Hayley> I may not be able to die, but I have no reason to believe that I might be able to kill a Tuatha de Danaan. <Janus> You claimed to be able to do just that a few minutes ago. <Hayley> No I didn't. <Hayley> I said I was looking for Eros. <Janus> Oh fine, semantics! <Hayley> I don't think I'll be able to kill him. <Hayley> . o O (I may have to try, though.) <Janus> You cannot seriously pretend that you do not see how someone can exploit this magical loophole. <Hayley> I know there might be some way to exploit it. <Janus> I can guarantee that this is what this Anastasius is after. <Hayley> But I haven't sworn any oaths to him. <Hayley> I don't have to do anything he wants, unless I agree to do it. <Janus> Stay away from him. <Hayley> I do. He doesn't know where I live. <Hayley> And I don't intend to tell him. <Hayley> He only sees me when I choose to be seen by him. <Janus> Promise me you will have nothing more to do with him.
- Hayley 's anger fades away and her eyes grow sad.
<Hayley> No. <Hayley> I can't promise that to you, Janus. <Janus> Why not? <Hayley> It's one of the few things I can't... <Janus> Why can't you trust me to take care of you? <Hayley> I do! I do trust you. <Janus> One of the few things you can't.... <Hayley> But it's one of the few leads I have...
- Janus turns sullen, defused.
<Hayley> One of the only chances to break the curse so I can be with you...
- Janus says nothing.
<Janus> . o O (Clever girl.)
- Hayley is being sincere. She wants to be with you.
<Janus> Go then. I have no power over you.
- Janus says tiredly.
- Janus leans against the arm of the sofa.
- Hayley sits there on the floor in front of him for a while, looking up at him and trying to make him understand.
- Janus stares into the fire.
- Hayley ventures after some minutes of silence.
<Janus> Yes. <Hayley> Won't you- won't you come with me for a moment... so I can show you my little cottage? <Janus> Why don't you stay here?
- Janus doesn't look away from the flames.
- Janus already knows the answer will be no.
<Hayley> You know I can't. You said it yourself- I drown in the memories... <Hayley> But up there, I have a job- I'm a shepherd again, for a mortal farmer. <Hayley> I have lots of time to think, and sort things out. <Hayley> I've already made progress, don't you think?
- Janus says nothing.
<Hayley> I feel more- together... I'm not so moody. <Hayley> I haven't had more than one 'spell'. <Hayley> And I haven't had to fight off the feeling of drowning in another life nearly as much as I did...
- Janus stands up and walks over to the desk, with the blanket still wrapped around his waist.
- Janus stoops to pick up the fallen glass.
<Hayley> It's good for me, I'm sure it is.
- Janus sets it upright on the desk.
- Hayley tries to sound convincing, following Janus with earnest eyes as he goes about his business.
<Janus> Yes, I'm sure it is.
- Janus echoes hollowly.
<Hayley> Just- just a little longer and I might almost be normal...
- Hayley trails off.
- Janus opens a drawer in the desk and pulls out a cube of sugar and a silver slotted spoon.
<Janus> . o O (I'm sure it is far away from me) <Hayley> Oh Janus, I'm trying, can't you see I'm trying?
- Janus rests the spoon across the mouth of the glass and balances the sugar on top.
- Hayley 's eyes flood with tears again since he doesn't seem to be listening, really.
<Janus> It is good that you're attempting to separate yourself from your past. <Hayley> . o O (Ok, is he trying to say I'm mixed up about my love for him again? I'm not, oh, why can't he understand?) <Hayley> Well... not exactly... <Hayley> I'm sorting through all the memories...
- Janus opens a lower compartment of the desk and withdraws a bottle of emerald green liquid.
- Janus sits down at his desk.
<Hayley> Once I understand everything- I'll be healthy. <Janus> Of course.
- Janus nods.
<Hayley> We'll be able to build something together.
- Janus uncorks the bottle and pours some of the green stuff over the sugar, into the glass.
<Hayley> Janus, what are you doing? <Janus> I'm making myself a drink.
- Janus says calmly.
- Hayley wrinkles her nose.
<Hayley> Why is it green? <Janus> Because absinthe is always green, Hayley.
- Janus says patiently.
- Janus picks up the half melted sugar cube and drops it into the glass, giving it a bit of a stir with the spoon.
- Janus tops it off with water from a half-empty bottle.
- Janus swishes it around in the glass, watching it absently.
- Hayley is unsure what to make of this... torn between letting him drink it; it's just a drink, or angrily dashing it out of his hand.
- Hayley stands up, clutching the shirt to her chest once more.
- Hayley gets up and walks towards the hearth to check on their clothes.
<Hayley> Almost dry.
- Janus watches her as she crosses the room.
- Hayley shrugs into her shirt and pulls on her pants.
<Hayley> Do you want yours back, too? <Hayley> They're still a bit damp...
- Janus shrugs noncommittally.
- Hayley takes that for a 'yes' and gathers his clothes up.
- Hayley sits down on the couch, his clothes in her lap.
- Hayley starts smoothing the clothes out and laying them beside her for him to take.
- Janus takes a sip of the drink, and tries not to make a face at its bitterness.
- Hayley watches him.
<Hayley> May I try some? <Janus> I don't think that's a good idea. <Janus> You wouldn't like it. <Hayley> Oh come on. <Hayley> It's not like I haven't drunk alcohol before. <Janus> You have not. <Janus> Not in my house. <Hayley> Windrider took me to a pub in Russia one night. <Janus> Ugh.
- Janus makes a disgusted face.
<Hayley> And I had wine with meals often, when I was Sir Kiernan's squire. <Janus> It's not quite the same. <Hayley> Let me be the judge of that. <Janus> I really don't think it's a good idea. <Janus> This stuff is pretty horrible. <Janus> In many ways. <Janus> Really. <Hayley> Here, you put your clothes on, and I'll hold your drink. Then if I sneak a sip, you're not to blame. <Hayley> If it's so terrible tasting, why do you drink it? <Janus> <m>We all punish ourselves in different ways...
- Janus takes another drink.
- Hayley 's eyes do flash a bit as he says that.
- Hayley holds her hand out for the glass.
- Janus sighs, exasperated.
<Hayley> Glass. Here. <Janus> Pass me my clothes, please.
- Hayley says firmly, pointing to her hand.
<Hayley> Well... you beat me to it. <Hayley> I was going to say "Clothes. There." and point to you. <Hayley> But it will be hard to get dressed with a glass in your hand. So if you really don't want me to taste it, at least put it down on your desk.
- Janus puts it down on the desk.
<Hayley> Then I'll pass you your clothes.
- Hayley passes Janus his clothes one by one.
<Janus> Are you going to watch me? <Hayley> You watched me. <Hayley> But I'll turn around if you want.
- Hayley does so.
- Hayley hands his clothes to him over her shoulder.
- Janus gets dressed as quickly as possible. The end product still looks haggard, pale, and tired.
- Hayley turns around, smiling warmly and lovingly at Janus. She steps towards him and rearranges his clothes a bit so he looks less haggard. She then reaches her hand up to rearrange his hair.
<Janus> A modicum of respectibility is restored. <Hayley> There.
- Hayley smiles.
<Hayley> More than a modicum. <Hayley> Are you going to come then?
- Hayley asks, still very close to Janus.
- Janus looks to the window, where the wind has relented, leaving a slow, steady drizzle.
<Janus> Come where? <Hayley> To see where I live.
- Hayley says, perhaps a bit impatiently.
<Janus> . o O (ie: not here) <Hayley> I can't really describe it to you, and I have no pictures... <Janus> And to what end? <Hayley> So I have to take you there, so you know... <Hayley> So you can come up and visit... <Hayley> You can live with me if you want, but it's probably not going to be to your liking. <Janus> Why would you wish such a complication? <Hayley> It's not a complication. <Hayley> If I'm not allowed to do it for the simple reason that I want to, then let me do it as a courtesy. <Janus> A courtesy.
- Hayley nods.
<Janus> You know all my books are here. <Janus> All my records. <Janus> You know I can't leave.
- Janus says hollowly.
<Janus> Not if I'm to continue.
- Hayley nods.
<Janus> . o O (And so your invitation is without threat to yourself, of course, my dear...) <Hayley> I know... but there's a shelf or two in my cottage... do you need /all/ your books? <Hayley> I mean, if you wanted to stay... <Janus> They would not be safe on just any shelf...
- Hayley gets frustrated.
<Hayley> All right, so you don't want to know where I live. Whose love must be brought into question now? <Hayley> Is that what you're doing? <Janus> Oh, I'll accompany you there, if you insist...
- Janus slowly rises from the chair.
<Hayley> I do. I insist. <Janus> As you wish. <Hayley> It's important for me to know that you can drop in on me any time you want, the same way I can drop in on you any time I want. <Hayley> It's not really fair, otherwise, is it? <Janus> . o O (But you won't. Not once you realize...) <Janus> I suppose... <Hayley> I just want to know, and to hold the thought in my heart, that any evening I get home, you might be there... <Hayley> Hope is important... so important. <Janus> ...
- Janus is afraid of hope.
- Hayley says with passion.
<Hayley> All right...
- Hayley pulls herself together once more.
<Hayley> Ready? <Janus> Certainly.
- Hayley puts her hand in her pocket to make sure her amber necklace is there.
- Hayley glances up to see if Janus' ribbon is back in his hair.
<Janus> (It's not)
- Hayley moves in close to Janus and encircles him in an embrace.
- Hayley does a bunk (I can't think of anything cool for Wayfare at this hour) and they shimmer out in a whirlwind of autumn leaves.
<Hayley> (and shall we call it there?) <Janus> (ok) <Hayley> (it's latelatelate...) <Janus> (what an interminable period of melancholy this is <Hayley> (they've kind of reversed roles...)
- Hayley is now known as Debbie
- Janus is now known as Longpig
<Debbie> Where Janus was full of hope before, and Hayley in despair, it is now the other way around. <Longpig> Janus was so completely shattered by her leaving that it almost seems he doesn't know how to recover. <Longpig> He lost all hope <Debbie> Well, I wouldn't say Hayley was ever shattered; but she certainly was crushed by the weight and knowledge of her memories... she's just recovering now, a slow but necessary process. <Longpig> And is having trouble trusting it again <Debbie> yes, well, things will be fine until Hayley realizes Faren as the second one, then they might be shaky again... but with a glimmer of hope, maybe, because by then they should be on the track of a way to get rid of the curse... <Debbie> Although none of them will really know what sort of effect that will have. <Longpig> Things are far from being fine right now <Debbie> OK, for Janus. <Debbie> Hayley's on the upswing, though... <Debbie> Until Faren comes into the picture. <Debbie> Although if Janus doesn't seem to get any better, that will dampen Hayley's enthusiasm <Debbie> So it may not be fine for her, either, after all <Debbie> I am very tired... <Debbie> It was fun, although sad and at times frustrating. :^) <Longpig> I always feel drained <Longpig> Sigh <Longpig> See you later
- Debbie doesn't get drained 'cause she knows in the end it will all turn out all right.
<Longpig> Well I think there is deinitely potential for Janus to get better. <Longpig> I don't have that same confidence <Debbie> They'll live "happily ever after" ;^D <Longpig> will they... <Debbie> Well, with the odd quarrel, no doubt. <Debbie> But that's part and parcel with any relationship. <Longpig> Or will someone's cryogenically frozen evil brother return from the dead to wreak havoc? <Debbie> heehee <Longpig> I'm going to sleep now <Debbie> Ok, it is soap-opera-ish, but not /that/ soap-opera-ish. ;^) <Debbie> me too. <Longpig> It so is <Debbie> lates! <Longpig> Hayley's curse is easily equal to a frozen guy. <Debbie> But you like it all the same, don't you? <Debbie> ;^) <Longpig> Hey, I love General Hospital <Longpig> Night