Hayley & Janus, 4/9/2002
- Janus would like to see Hayley...
<Hayley> Even though I'm a little crackwhore bitch queen of hell on earth... <Hayley> He would? Really?
- Hayley always likes seeing him, even though it reminds her of what a horrible person she is.
<Janus> For some strange reason
- Hayley is gathering driftwood from the beach to heat her mean little cottage.
- Hayley has spent another long day looking after sheep but the day's not over yet...
<Hayley> . o O (At least no more have "mysteriously" exploded.)
- Hayley is tired and strained.
- Janus watches her from a distance, perched on a large rock.
- Hayley stoops to pick up a few more pieces of driftwood; the March wind whips her short hair about her face.
- Janus is not quite sure why he is here.
- Hayley hasn't noticed Janus yet... but she straightens up and looks around, feeling like she's being watched.
- Hayley spots the tall sidhe on a rock and cries out. She drops all her driftwood and runs towards him.
<Hayley> Janus? Janus?!
- Hayley looks very happy to see him... the tears in her eyes are probably not because of the wind.
- Hayley barrels into him and gives him a hug. Well, she doesn't barrel into him enough to hurt him, really.
- Janus hops down from the rock.
<Janus> (before you do that) <Hayley> (ok) <Janus> (obviously)
- Hayley could have jumped up onto the rock. She is a Satyr. ^-^
<Hayley> It's so good to see you... <Janus> You dropped your wood...
- Hayley burrows her face into his chest.
<Hayley> I don't care. I can just pick it up again.
- Hayley removes her tear-streaked face from his chest and tries to compose herself.
<Hayley> I dropped by your house the other day... you weren't there. <Janus> I've been at Aberystwyth. <Hayley> Oh? <Janus> I hope you did not have any troubles...
- Janus wonders what Tally and/or Tara might have said to her.
<Hayley> No, no... I just wanted to see how you were doing, since you haven't come up here again... <Janus> It is cold here...
- Janus looks around at the rocky coast.
<Janus> Colder than in Wales... <Hayley> It's more north... but I'm all right.
- Janus wonders how he got here, anyway.
<Hayley> It will be spring soon. <Hayley> How- how is the Countess? And Windrider? Rachel?
- Hayley tries to make conversation.
<Hayley> Did you want to come inside, out of the wind?
- Hayley is eager to please.
<Janus> Yes, alright... <Janus> Rachel is... well... <Janus> She is making new friends. <Hayley> Oh, that's good. <Janus> There is some young man she wishes for me to meet...
- Hayley says, feeling strangely maternal. o.O
<Hayley> What? A- a boyfriend?
- Hayley 's expression is very peculiar.
<Janus> I don't know that she used that word precisely... <Janus> I suppose it was bound to happen... <Janus> Eventually...
- Hayley leads Janus towards the cottage.
- Janus follows along behind her.
<Hayley> Well... she is... all grown up... <Janus> I suppose...
- Janus doesn't sound like he really thinks so.
- Hayley seems rather confused by this new maternal sort of feeling she's experiencing.
<Hayley> You don't think so?
- Hayley pushes the door open to her cottage and gestures for him to enter.
<Hayley> Well... my mother never really let go either... <Hayley> I guess you don't, as a parent. <Janus> Well, the Countess seems to like the boy, at any rate. <Hayley> (You get the feeling she's not talking about Mrs. O'Leary there... ) <Janus> She is, of course, as she's always been... <Janus> Nothing seems to touch her.
- Hayley has a strange expression on her face but it's not like she's slipped into being Debbie. Seems to be totally Hayley.
<Hayley> I think she's just really good at hiding it...
- Hayley says slightly absently.
<Janus> Oh really?
- Janus seems amused by that thought.
- Hayley piles a few pieces of driftwood into her hearth and puts a kettle on to boil.
- Hayley nods.
<Janus> Well, her court is still quite a hub of activity.
- Hayley smiles.
<Janus> I have met more people there in a few days than I have probably in the last year. <Hayley> Oh really? That's great.
- Hayley turns back to face Janus.
<Janus> One of Windrider's daughters is visiting. <Hayley> One of? <Hayley> How many does he have?
- Hayley asks, smiling wryly.
<Janus> I don't know, actually... <Hayley> Won't you sit down? <Hayley> I wonder if he himself knows...
- Hayley muses.
<Janus> Oh, probably...
- Hayley sits down at the rickety table herself.
- Janus sits down carefully, as though afraid the chair might break.
<Hayley> It didn't break last time.
- Hayley is good at reading his thoughts. ^-^
<Janus> Somehow that does not make me feel any safer.
- Hayley smiles.
<Hayley> Janus, you weigh so little I could probably pick you up and sling you over my shoulder. You couldn't possibly break my chairs. <Hayley> And if you do, no biggie... <Hayley> They aren't exactly valuable. <Hayley> Who else have you met? <Janus> Oh, a handful of people... <Janus> Fiachra was there briefly... <Janus> There are a few new faces among the staff as well <Hayley> Fi- fiachra?
- Hayley takes a second to recognize the name. So many people she remembers.
<Hayley> You didn't kill each other? <Janus> And the daughter of a French count was there, I believe she's a friend of Rachel's. <Janus> Rachel was there.
- Hayley laughs.
<Hayley> Oh, that's nice. <Hayley> You don't mind spending time with Rachel's friends? <Janus> She wanted to see the cliffs.
- Hayley is thinking about how he thinks Rachel is still very much of a child... so it would follow that Rachel's friends might not be all that interesting for him.
<Janus> Rachel was busy writing some letter or other for the Countess.
- Janus half-shrugs.
- Hayley nods.
<Hayley> The cliffs are very pretty... <Janus> Yes...
- Hayley gets up quickly as the pot is boiling.
<Hayley> All I have to offer is tea again... Would you care for some? <Janus> And you say *I* don't eat enough. <Hayley> I eat... the farmer's wife gives me lunch. <Janus> That's only once a day. <Hayley> I was about to go find some mussels or something to eat for supper, after I collected my firewood. <Janus> Or something?
- Janus looks disaproving
<Hayley> Well... sometimes I find a crab in one of the tidal pools. I'm too tired to try fishing tonight. <Janus> That is ridiculous. <Hayley> And I checked my rabbit snares on the way home... no luck. <Janus> You need to be eating more than just a handful of questionable shellfish! <Hayley> Payday is tomorrow... I'll get some bread.
- Janus frowns.
<Hayley> I'm doing fine, Janus... and I don't want to argue about it. Please.
- Hayley pours some hot water into the two mugs.
- Hayley stands up on the tips of her hooves to reach a tin on a shelf.
<Janus> (pick, pick, pick)
- Hayley opens it and half-smiles.
<Hayley> Look, I have some biscuits. Help yourself.
- Hayley sets the tin down on the table.
- Hayley brings the mugs over and sets one down in front of Janus and then sits herself.
<Hayley> So, why did you come up here? <Hayley> I'm glad you did. <Janus> To see you, of course. <Hayley> Well, here I am. Still alive. Still hanging on.
- Hayley sips some tea.
<Hayley> It will be lambing season soon... <Janus> Oh, right. <Hayley> I always like helping deliver lambs. <Janus> . o O (The *livestock.* :P) <Hayley> It's been nearly a year since I had my Chrysalis. <Hayley> Hard to believe... <Janus> I know. <Janus> I was just thinking of that the other day. <Janus> My mother is already preparing for Beltaine... <Hayley> Oh...? <Hayley> Are you looking forward to it? <Janus> I ... don't really enjoy it as much as some people do. <Hayley> I know. I remember. <Janus> (Weren't we together at Beltaine last year? I seem to recall) <Hayley> Are you going to stay in Aberystwyth for it? <Hayley> I'll... just be here. <Janus> I think I am expected to make an appearance, yes.
- Hayley nods.
<Hayley> The bonfires upset me... <Janus> Yes... I remember. <Hayley> Well, it's probably futile, but I hope you'll try to have fun.
- Hayley smiles wanly.
- Janus sips the tea.
<Janus> I don't consider strangers pawing at me to be 'fun'. <Hayley> Well... no. <Hayley> But the food and dancing... and just all being together and celebrating something good... I used to enjoy it very much. <Janus> I classify dancing under 'strangers pawing at me'. <Janus> (;d) <Janus> (;D even)
- Hayley smiles slightly.
<Hayley> You Gwydaines really need to loosen up a bit... <Hayley> You could just give the pawers a cold stare. <Janus> I am quite satisfied with the way I am. I don't believe I need any 'loosening'. <Hayley> Sorry... kith speaking.
- Hayley half-smiles.
- Hayley nibbles on a biscuit.
<Janus> ... ¬_¬ <Hayley> If- if you meet a Lady Irene while you're in Aberystwyth, would you be sure to say hi to her for me? <Hayley> She's very shy... but we were good friends. <Janus> Alright... if you think it wise. <Hayley> Well, don't say hi right in front of the Countess, obviously... <Hayley> I haven't been able to visit Irene much lately. Something always comes up. <Hayley> :^/ <Janus> If Irene is in fact at Aberystwyth, I'd strongly advise against visiting her!
- Hayley 's looks up at Janus quickly, not quite sure whether to laugh or not.
<Hayley> Really? I'd never have guessed.
- Hayley 's eyes sparkle with dark humour.
<Hayley> No, I don't visit her when she's there. <Hayley> Don't worry. <Hayley> Is your tea all right? <Janus> It's fine...
- Hayley tries to steer the conversation in another direction.
<Hayley> You don't seem to be enjoying it, much. <Janus> Certainly I am.
- Janus takes a defensive sip.
- Janus looks around at the bare walls.
<Hayley> (There's curtains on the windows! ;^D) <Janus> (but not on the wall ;D) <Hayley> (No...) <Hayley> (It's nicely whitewashed though.) <Janus> (has she got *anything* interesting in this place?) <Hayley> (A book or two...) <Janus> Don't you find it frightfully boring here? <Hayley> I'm only here in the evenings... <Hayley> And until a few days ago I was taking care of a sick seal. <Hayley> That was diverting. <Janus> I can't imagine following livestock about would be terribly stimulating either. <Janus> Ugh. <Janus> It could have had some kind of disease, you know. <Hayley> Hmmm, the fatal disease of being shot in the neck. <Hayley> It pulled through though. <Janus> Wild animals have parasites, Hayley <Janus> And that kind of thing. <Hayley> I came home a few nights ago and it was gone... <Hayley> Domestic animals also have parasites. <Janus> You brought it here?
- Janus makes an unpleasant face.
<Hayley> And you have parasites, and I have parasites. Little things in our eyelashes and stuff, you know. <Hayley> I wasn't sleeping with it. <Janus> I certainly do not.
- Hayley frowns.
<Janus> (Sidhe don't have parasites. ;D) <Hayley> Everyone does, Janus. <Hayley> Unless you don't have a mortal body anymore.
- Hayley looks at him in the mortal world.
<Hayley> And you still seem to. <Hayley> Even then, I'm sure there are a host of little chimerical parasites. <Hayley> Parasites seem to be a favourite nightmare of a number of people.
- Janus looks vaguely disgusted, as though Hayley had told an extremely vulgar joke.
<Janus> Hayley, please. <Hayley> I'm sorry. <Hayley> But it's the truth.
- Hayley sighs.
- Hayley looks very tired all of a sudden.
<Hayley> Janus... have you found anything out yet? <Janus> I have found many things.
- Hayley smiles wanly.
<Janus> But I have not yet solved the problem, no.
- Hayley nods.
<Hayley> That's all right. <Janus> ¬_¬ <Janus> My mother has certain tomes which may prove useful, though, so my visit to Aberystwyth is a timely one...
- Hayley smiles wanly again.
<Hayley> There's still only you... but I don't know. I feel... kind of dark. <Hayley> Like I'm being driven on to my fate inexorably in spite of trying to fight it every inch of the way...
- Janus still thinks that hiding out in some remote shack is probably not the best solution.
- Janus sighs.
<Janus> I am working as quickly as I can, Hayley. <Janus> <quietly> The work would progress more briskly if you were not absent.
- Hayley looks kind of stricken.
<Hayley> Would it? <Hayley> Really? <Hayley> It seems to me that we were awfully distracted by one another when I was in Oxford. <Janus> (Isn't that what I said the first time you came back?) <Janus> I believe I've already said as much. <Hayley> So how would me being there help, really? <Janus> Do you really think your absence is any less distracting?
- Hayley looks down at her hooves.
<Hayley> I don't know...
- Janus warms his hands on the mug.
<Hayley> Your mother likes you again now that I'm gone... <Janus> Somehow, she found out that you'd left. <Janus> Well.
- Janus shifts awkwardly.
<Hayley> She won't be if she finds out we're together again, will she?
- Hayley says sadly.
<Janus> To me?
- Hayley nods.
<Janus> Are we, then? <Hayley> Janus... think it through carefully.
- Hayley 's voice catches in her throat.
<Hayley> Do you really think it's a good idea?
- Hayley swallows and looks away, trying to maintain her composure.
<Janus> what I think... is more or less irrelevant to the situation.
- Janus sighs tiredly.
<Janus> . o O (Why did I come here?) <Janus> . o O (I might have gotten WIndrider to kick me in the stomach a few times, and saved myself the trouble.) <Hayley> That's not true...
- Hayley says raggedly.
<Hayley> Janus... I know how much your mother's opinion of you means to you. <Janus> I don't get to 'decide' how I feel. <Hayley> No, neither of us do. <Janus> And neither does my mother... <Hayley> I'm so afraid though... I don't know what I'll be like after the curse is broken.
- Janus half-smiles.
<Janus> I would not worry about that.
- Hayley 's eyes well up with tears and she looks back at Janus.
<Janus> . o O (Leave that to me.) <Hayley> Janus, I'm terrified... <Hayley> I never felt like this for anyone before the curse... what if it's not really me?
- Janus reaches for her hand.
<Janus> I did not come here to make you cry. <Hayley> I don't want to break your heart a third time. <Janus> :/
- Hayley is distraught... she really means this.
<Janus> That will be my problem, I suppose...
- Hayley lets him take her hand and wishes he'd do more.
<Hayley> I love you so much, Janus... <Janus> . o O (Every conversation is like a whirlpool. I always end up being sucked down into the same dark place...)
- Janus smiles a small, sad smile.
<Hayley> I want you to know that.
- Janus is quite aware of the possible falseness of Hayley's affections. (Miss Leavey-pants!)
<Hayley> I did as Debbie and I do now... it's real right now. Nothing false could hurt so much, could it? <Janus> I don't know of anything that does...
- Hayley asks with a strained voice. She really, really is distraught. It doesn't seem possible that she could be such a good actress.
<Janus> (oh, I'm sure she believes what she's saying ;D) <Hayley> Janus...
- Hayley sighs.
- Hayley wishes she could feel his arms around her.
- Hayley feels she doesn't deserve such comfort though...
- Janus looks up at her.
- Hayley is trying to erase her grief from her features with the heel of her free hand.
<Hayley> It's so unfair... I'm so sorry you are trapped in this. <Hayley> I wronged Eros, not you...
- Janus looks down again...
- Janus 's features are burdened with sorrow... :(
- Janus just wanted to see Hayley...
<Janus> . o O (But it's never that simple.)
- Hayley gets up and comes around the table to hug him, probably against her better instincts but she couldn't give him the comfort he wanted once so she's determined not to let him down again.
- Hayley folds him into an embrace.
<Hayley> I don't deserve someone as wonderful as you. <Hayley> But, if any good has come of the curse, it is you. Oh, it is you.
- Janus finds her hand again, and squeezes it tightly, closing his eyes.
- Janus tries to ignore the knife twisting in his stomach.
- Hayley buries her face in his hair and strokes the blue silkiness gently with a hand.
- Hayley certainly seems to be a bit more mature...
<Hayley> (Don't you think? I think she is acting quite grown-up) <Janus> (you smell like sheep ;D) <Hayley> (Well... a bit, yeah. But she wasn't hugging sheep or anything...) <Hayley> (So not overpoweringly of sheep)
- Hayley kisses the top of Janus' head.
- Hayley squeezes him tightly, offering him what strength she can.
- Janus sighs again, but it is a happier sound.
- Hayley will just keep holding him until he wants to not be held.
<Hayley> (It gets dark outside. ;^D )
- Janus kind of leans his head back against her chest.
<Hayley> (It's a lovely, soft chest in spite of her tender age)
- Janus tries not to think about all that unpleasantness, for a few moments, anyway.
- Hayley keeps stroking his hair sporadically, etc. It's so very nice to be this close to him.
<Janus> <m> It's getting late.
- Janus says finally.
<Hayley> I know.
- Hayley says reluctantly.
<Hayley> They'll probably wonder where you are... <Janus> Probably.
- Hayley gives him one last supportive squeeze.
<Hayley> You're welcome to stay, if you want... <Hayley> . o O (Did I just say that? o.O)
- Janus glances over at Hayley's tiny cot.
<Janus> I think it might be somewhat cramped. <Hayley> (It could sleep two... barely.) <Hayley> I like to call it "intimate". <Hayley> But you're right. It's probably a bad idea. <Janus> ...
- Hayley unlooses Janus from her embrace, trailing her hands along his face affectionately. She smiles, a bittersweet sort of smile.
<Hayley> I'm glad you came by...
- Janus stands up slowly.
- Hayley tugs on his lapels to straighten his jacket affectionately.
- Janus looks down at her as she does so.
- Janus smiles a bit.
- Hayley glances up at him and smiles shyly.
<Hayley> You should get going...
- Janus nods absently.
<Janus> Ahem. <Janus> Right.
- Hayley 's eyes are a bit watery but she doesn't cry. She just looks luminous, in a tragic heroine sort of way.
- Hayley hopes her stomach won't growl and make him feel bad because it's too dark for her to go find some supper now. ;^D
- Janus never thought of that... :(
- Hayley manages to keep it from growling through sheer willpower.
- Hayley wishes he'd do something... the pause is getting a bit awkward.
- Janus lifts his hand to her cheek.
- Hayley smiles tremulously and turns her face into his hand, raising one of hers to hold his.
<Hayley> Don't stay away so long this time, OK?
- Hayley asks softly.
- Hayley lifts his hand away from her cheek and kisses it gently, looking into his eyes as she does so, 'cause she'd really rather be kissing his lips... but perhaps now is not the time.
<Hayley> <w> 'Bye...
- Janus seems reluctant to leave...
- Janus will lean forward and give her a little kiss...
<Hayley> (on the lips? or chastely, on the forehead or something?) <Janus> (on the lips. :) <Janus> I'll see you again.
- Hayley kisses him back when he does so; her lips are sweet as bee's honey. ^-^
- Hayley nods and swallows, not trusting herself to words.
<Janus> (and I leave, etc... better start paying attention to DC before I get lost)