Goriel and beyond, part 6

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Drannin
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 6

Post by Drannin »

Argus just smiled at Rose. "Thanks. And I'll try not to make any waves while I'm there. I guess we'll see what we see, yes?" He squeezed Rose's hand back.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 6

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The subtle implications of what Desiree was saying went by Anfisa, as did most of what she said about magic (a subject of which Anfisa knew next to nothing). "She sounds like a wonderful goddess," she said. "I wasn't planning to keep praying to Jurana anyway, it's not like I'm praying for Grigoriy to get help and find us, and anyway, Iokim handles most of that ritual stuff. So if Anilis is the goddess of fertility, that means you pray to her to have babies? You must have a lot of them in your village then. I bet the people are very devout! I'd like to learn how to bless you back when you bless me too." She paused in her shoulder-rub to give Desiree a quick kiss on the cheek. "A blessing for you" - *kiss* - "then a blessing for me." She wrapped her arms around the other's waist. "As many as you wanted!"
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 6

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"I love you," Sister Rose said simply. (She'd been far more eloquent a few nights earlier.) "Excuse me for a minute." She gave Argus a discreet, quiet kiss, then went looking for the airship's captain.

When she returned, she was all business again. "Confirmed," she said. "First stop is Saus, late tomorrow. Refugees will be off-loaded there, and there'll be another refueling stop. Then we'll continue on to Emerylon. Details on that are still being settled." She almost said "up in the air," with a wink, but somehow this didn't seem like the time for a playful pun. A sigh. "I'd better go tell the others. Tim will probably consider that good news. The three women, however ..." She let her voice trail off as she headed aft.

[OOC: As previously noted, Desiree, Anfisa and Therese have a small wardroom to themselves. I would presume that Tim, as an unattached, fairly junior officer (but still an officer), would have been forced into sharing a bunkroom with the other junior officers among the crew -- one of whom would have been displaced to make room for him, and forced into less comfortable sleeping arrangements with the enlisted men, probably to his considerable disgruntlement. A, suggest you proceed with this model for Tim's situation unless you can think of something else that still works in the relatively confined space available.]
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Drusia
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 6

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"She sounds like a wonderful goddess," she said. "I wasn't planning to keep praying to Jurana anyway, it's not like I'm praying for Grigoriy to get help and find us, and anyway, Iokim handles most of that ritual stuff. So if Anilis is the goddess of fertility, that means you pray to her to have babies? You must have a lot of them in your village then. I bet the people are very devout! I'd like to learn how to bless you back when you bless me too." She paused in her shoulder-rub to give Desiree a quick kiss on the cheek. "A blessing for you" - *kiss* - "then a blessing for me." She wrapped her arms around the other's waist. "As many as you wanted!"

"Well, I certainly think she's wonderful," I tell her. "And yes, for babies, for livestock, for crops - anything that grows, really. I've been trained in some basic midwifery, and I've helped deliver some babies." I pause, letting her kiss my cheek some more. "I've also laid down in a field with a priest of Senilis - the male elven god, the other temple back home - and made love with him to bless the harvest."

I turn to her and cup her face in my hands. "And you have it backwards, love," I tell her. "A kiss isn't a blessing - it's a prayer. Every act of love - a kiss, a climax - is a prayer to Anilis. That's why worshipers of Anilis use me to contact the goddess."

I could kiss her now. I could. We'd end up somewhere semi-private, making love again. Or I could say what I need to say.

"Which is still my duty," I continue. "If someone wants to take me to their bed... I'll go. It's just who I am." There, said it.

-- Desiree
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 6

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"-- wants to take me to their bed... I'll go. It's just who I am."

Sometimes, Therese would later reflect, the skill of moving silently was a mixed blessing. It was certainly useful enough for scouting, the Five Great Mothers knew. However, it also meant that sometimes you heard things you'd really rather not hear.

These thoughts lay in the future, not the present, as she slipped into the wardroom, hearing only the last little bit of that conversation.

"I'm s-sorry -- am I -- interrupting?" she stammered most uncharacteristically, blushing violently, which was uncharacteristic as well.
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Drusia
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 6

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"I'm s-sorry -- am I -- interrupting?" she stammered most uncharacteristically, blushing violently, which was uncharacteristic as well.

"A bit," I reply, "But it's probably for the best. I get the impression that you should hear this too."

I might as well keep going. "I find it difficult to love just one person," I tell them both. "Back home, everyone already knows that. But I've just met both of you, so... I thought you should know."

-- Desiree
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 6

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Therese could feel the heat rising in her cheeks ... and elsewhere.

"Thank you," she said quietly. "I'll remember that."

Without another word, she slipped out of the wardroom and found a seat in the observation area, where she sat staring out the window, watching the encroaching dusk as the airship flew southeast, and trying to decide what to do next.
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 6

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"I find it difficult to love just one person. Back home, everyone already knows that. But I've just met both of you, so... I thought you should know."

"Well," said Anfisa -- and she wasn't thinking out all the implications just now, bold confrontation not being her forte -- "but I mean, after you're through with your whoevers for the evening, with your blessings and all, you go back to your zenana to sleep, right? And you need someone there to keep your bed warm, don't you? I think maybe men don't count anyway. They're just, zip! But there should be someone special too where it really means something and doesn't stop 'til you want."

* * *

Tim, having discovered the displacement of another officer on his behalf, immediately and informally set about reversing the situation. It was obvious these fellows had a tight bond -- how else to avoid going mad in a space this small? And they had to keep their distance from the enlisted, the psychic distance anyway. He, by contrast, was only here temporarily. And he was always at home with Veracian peasants -- no matter how much they'd trained in mysterious arts and secret weapons. These were especially easy to get along with. He was quite enthusiastic about this flying machine and their aerial service, and they enjoyed telling him all about it. This lieutenant being a priest, they didn't presume to talk about those three girls, or what they were getting up to in their cabin, or the best vantage points for peeping. Not when he was around, anyway.
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Drusia
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 6

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"Well," said Anfisa -- and she wasn't thinking out all the implications just now, bold confrontation not being her forte -- "but I mean, after you're through with your whoevers for the evening, with your blessings and all, you go back to your zenana to sleep, right? And you need someone there to keep your bed warm, don't you? I think maybe men don't count anyway. They're just, zip! But there should be someone special too where it really means something and doesn't stop 'til you want."

I watch with some regret as Therese goes. I hope that didn't upset her unduly. She seemed... well, she didn't seem upset.

Back to Anfisa. "I don't have a zenana back home," I remind her. "Just a temple. And I have even less here on this airship. Just this room, which we're sharing with Therese." I nod at the door she just left by.

"I knew of zenanas because my mother told me about them," I continue. "She spent some time as a getera/spy like I did. That's one of the reasons I wanted to try it - all my mother's stories made it sound romantic." In a sexy spy sort of way, not a falling in love sort of way, although it turned out to be both in the end. "Oh, right - that getera, Drusillia, the one who got her face cut? That was my mother, who you met. She used healing magic to heal her face afterwards. The suicide thing I have no idea about. Maybe she faked it, or maybe they made that part up afterwards." I didn't ask.

I wave that away. "Never mind. The point is... I didn't learn about zenanas and submission from my work as a priestess. About pleasure, yes. Some of my duties as a priestess are a bit like a getera's. But in a lot of ways it's different. I'm not locked away from everyone - me and the other priests and priestesses can do as we like with our own time. I can go about the town and if someone is interested, I can bed them or not, as I choose. No one owns me or guards me - I can do as I like."

I turn to her and kiss her. "And I would very much like to find my way to your warm bed, at least some of the time. But I wanted to make sure you understood that my heart may open up to others as well. And that, no matter how many people I fall in love with, no matter how many people I spend my time with, I won't love you any less. And I will keep coming to you as long as you'll have me."

There. I may fall in love with other people, but I won't push her away. She... seems okay with that. I think? I guess I'll find out here in a moment.

-- Desiree
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Re: Goriel and beyond, part 6

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Therese sat staring out the window for a long time as darkness began to fall, long enough that Sister Rose was getting worried about her.

After a while she excused herself with another soft kiss on Argus' brow, and went to sit by the red-headed woman. "Is everything all right?" she asked gently, her full empathetic senses (but not magic) up.

Therese thought for a moment, and decided to answer the question with a question. "Rose -- if you don't mind my asking -- how did you and your husband meet?"

Rose smiled softly. "It's a long story." The thing was: she knew Therese was talking about Argus, not Kenny ... and it didn't bother her any more.

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OOC: Is there anything more that people want to do while the airship is aloft, or should we fast-forward to the landing in Saus? I'm ready to move on.
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