eiattu_pride: (oh god no)
[personal profile] eiattu_pride
It was a newscast. Just some stupid, little newsfeed that he was watching in between meetings, practically inhaling his noodles while keeping half an eye on the chrono. The holoannouncer, perfectly made up, almost plastic-looking, had to raise her voice above the sound of sirens.

"...and again today, a riot injured six people and killed a seventh in the city of Peraz. I'm here live at the scene, where rioters smashed windows, defaced public property, and attacked bystanders. Killed was fourteen-year-old Kiana, a student at the local high school walking home after classes finished for the day." A picture of the girl was already hovering next to her, and Rial had dropped his fork. She looked like a miniature Isplourr, red hair, a light spray of freckles, a mischievous grin.

"Her family could not be reached for comment. Priamsta decals and slogans have been splashed over the walls, including one rather dramatic quote." Whoever was controlling the holocam had zoomed in on a wall, painted brightly.


WHERE IS YOUR EMPEROR NOW?

And that's why Rial's sat in the shared royal quarters at 2130 hours, staring into the bottom of a bottle that had been full, he's quite sure, just a minute ago. Hour ago. Some time ago, anyhow.

He wonders vaguely where Isplourr is. Isplourr. It's easier to call her that, now, living with her. And sometimes (though he won't admit it) he likes seeing her smile when he uses that name.

He'll probably try and find her, in a moment. Once he peels himself off the couch.

Date: 2007-08-26 04:28 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (bald - eyes dark)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
Isplourrdacartha Pernon slips through the front door, waits for it to close behind her, and then leans against it for a long moment, her eyes closed. She wears the fitted, elegant purple-and-gray skirt and tunic combination that has essentially become her uniform, with the purple sash that signifies her status as the consort to the emperor.

That was, she thinks, the longest press conference that she has ever presided over, and one of the most horrible.

She kicks off her shoes and drags herself through the hallway toward the living area, pulling her long hair loose of its low, neat ponytail.

Date: 2007-08-26 04:33 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (medium - startled)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
She stares at him for a moment, hair loose and framing her face, and then she says, "Rial. Are you drunk?"

Date: 2007-08-26 04:39 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (medium - concerned)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
"Jarni scheduled an emergency press conference." She comes around the sofa, pulling her sash off over her head, and she sits down on the small part of the couch that he isn't taking up. "Reassuring the people that we will keep them safe." She holds her hand out wordlessly for the bottle.

Date: 2007-08-26 05:01 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (medium - regret)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
She considers the bottle for a moment, then takes a long, wildly uncharacteristic swig straight from the bottle. That accomplished, she sets it on the floor, tucked against the side of the sofa, where he would have to go past her to get it.

An 'I know' dies on her lips, as he indicates himself and goes on, and something in her chest tightens. "Rial..." she says, and she lays her hand on his knee. She knows what his reaction will be, she knows he'll push her away, but she does it anyway. She does it for him, because he needs the contact and he needs the comfort, her pride and her pain be damned.

"You're working toward peace, my prince. You're doing the best that you can. There isn't anything that you can do that you aren't already doing to stop the Prims, to keep people safe."

Date: 2007-08-26 05:16 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (long - sad)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
It isn't like how she had always imagined it.

In her mind, her handsome prince would take her hands in his and tell her gravely how wrong he had been, that he was madly in love with her and always would be, that she was beautiful. He would call her Isplourr. He would kiss her. It would be the perfect kiss; soft and gentle, like that one in the stables that she can't get out of her mind, like the way he kissed her in their wedding.



He's drunk.

He tastes of whiskey and desperation, and he's only kissing her because she's there, a warm body, and it doesn't mean anything, and she should be happy that he's kissing her, she thinks vaguely as she kisses him back, but all she really wants to go is go cry.

All she can do, for a moment, is stare at him numbly.

But he needs her. He needs her and she won't leave him, won't ever leave him, and she murmurs, "Come here," and shifts to wrap her arms around him, guiding his head onto her shoulder, if he'll allow her.

Date: 2007-08-26 05:32 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (medium - quiet)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
She stares up at the ceiling, arms tight around him, one hand stroking his back. It takes a moment or two for her to trust her voice enough for speech.

"You'll find solutions, Rial. You'll find answers," she says, with the confidence only to be found in true believers, even if her voice is thin and quiet. "I have faith in you and your abilities. Look at everything you've done for your people so far. You'll figure it out, and -- and everything will look so much better when you're sober, my prince." She hides a kiss in his hair, and could slap herself for it. "I promise you."

Date: 2007-08-26 05:40 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (medium - teary-eyed)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
She rubs his back, slow and quiet, and she holds him close, and if, after a time, her face becomes wet with tears--she never used to cry like this, never used to be good at doing it without a sound or a tell--she doesn't say a word about it.

Date: 2007-08-26 05:53 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (medium - teary-eyed)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
Isplourrdacartha waits for a time, until his breathing has become deep and even and he is quite clearly dead to the world. She eases herself out from under him and gently lays him down across the sofa. She pulls off his boots, tucks a pillow under his head, and covers him with a blanket.

As a last thought, she leaves two painkillers and a glass of water on the table beside his head.

And then, pale and silent as a ghost, she picks up the whiskey bottle, slips through the apartments and into her bedroom, tucks the bottle into her sock drawer, and she crawls into bed.

Date: 2007-08-26 06:04 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (any - asleep)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
They're slow, even breaths that he's counting, even if she's asleep fully-dressed on top of the covers, with her head on the mattress just below a pillow.

She's fast asleep.

Date: 2007-08-26 06:15 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (long - guh?)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
When Isplourrdacartha's eyes slowly open, the first thing that she registers is the sunlight right in her face, pouring through the open curtains. She blinks once, twice, and she slowly pushes herself up, covering a consulsive yawn with her hand and starting to stretch--

The second thing that Isplourrdacartha registers is someone sitting on her floor over by the door.

She starts, sitting up quickly and going to grab the covers -- except that she isn't under them. Drat.

"...Rial?"

Date: 2007-08-26 06:24 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (long - guh?)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
"You're in my room," she points out, sitting up higher--and hurriedly crossing her legs as she realizes she's wearing a skirt. "You've never been in here before."

Much less sitting on the floor, watching her sleep.

Date: 2007-08-26 06:27 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (long - guh?)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
She's staring at him.

Rather a lot.

But she says, after a long moment, "Did you say something about caf?"

Date: 2007-08-26 06:35 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (medium - eyeing)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
Rial has never made the caf before; not once. Isplourrdacartha is always up first to make it, or a member of the kitchen staff.

Thoroughly bewildered by now, she calls, "Yes, please."

She climbs out of her bed and strips off her formal outer tunic, leaving her in the skirt and tank top, and as she passes her dresser on her way to the closet -- she sees the whiskey bottle tucked into the top drawer.

She makes an immediate, rare half-dressed foray outside of her room. "Rial?" she says, "Rial. If this is about last night--"

Date: 2007-08-26 06:42 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (medium - quiet)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
"Careful!" she yelps, and she lunges and catches his hand with the pot before it can pour too much caf on the counter, or (more importantly) on his other hand.

She lets go, a second too late for it to be comfortable.

She looks up, her hair soft around her face. "You don't have to," she says, softly. "I don't know if you're apologizing or trying to thank me, but -- you don't have to."

Date: 2007-08-26 06:51 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (medium - concerned)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
Her heart thunders in her ears.

She can almost hear her blood sing through her veins.

But he isn't looking at her, and that -- he can't mean the kiss. He can't. He means opening up to her, he means getting drunk, he means worrying that way over his people's safety.

He doesn't mean her.

Her voice is steady. "What?"

Date: 2007-08-26 07:15 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (rial - another kiss)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
Oh, oh, oh he did mean her, he did mean that kiss-- She has time for that and for widening eyes, and then she can feel his mouth pressed to hers and she melts up into him. She kisses him desperately, strong, as if this is the last chance she'll ever get (and it could well be) and he'll change his mind and pull away (and she still thinks he will).

Her hands hesitantly rise, as if of their own accord, and wind into his tunic-front, pressing against his warm chest.

She loves him loyally, fiercely, and it's in her kiss; she wants only him for the rest of her life, and it is there, too.

She clings to him, and she will not cry, she will not, but she doesn't want him to pull away from her (again), to reject her (again) -- and she's pretty damn sure it's coming.

Date: 2007-08-26 11:31 pm (UTC)
fighting_mad: (bald - white)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
She stares up at him, frozen, brown eyes wide and luminous, her hands wound tightly into the fabric of his tunic.

"You--" She tries again. "You want what?" she manages, her voice low and her face inches from his.

Date: 2007-08-26 11:51 pm (UTC)
fighting_mad: (long - soft smile)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
Her eyelashes twin dark smudges against her skin, she unconsciously leans into his hand. She swallows, and she opens her eyes again.

She is beginning to smile, tiny and fragile and disbelieving.

Date: 2007-08-27 12:14 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (stubble - combat baby)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
"This is... You want to be married?" She hesitantly, slowly, raises her hands, and rests her curled fingers on either side of his neck.

"Really married."

She's asking, unsure and fighting not to get her hopes up, reminding herself that she could be misunderstanding.

Date: 2007-08-27 12:26 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (medium - learn to fly)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
"You know what I wish, Rial, you know what I have wished for a long time now." The words pour out of her, her voice thin, and she abruptly stops.

Isplourrdacartha opens her hands on his neck, and she says quietly, "I want to be with you. That is all that I wish. But I don't know what you wish."

Date: 2007-08-27 12:39 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (long - melancholy)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
"But--" she says, her voice perpetually quiet, and this is the point, this is what she has been trying to figure out, "more, than -- than now?"

Date: 2007-08-27 12:56 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (long - kind of sad)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
Her hands would be twisting in her lap, by now, if they weren't on his neck, and her face -- she's distressed by how poorly she's expressing herself.

"We're married now, and we're not--"

She cups his jaw in her hands, leans up and presses her lips to his, sweet and slow and closed-mouthed, but not chaste.

"--like that," she says, very quietly, dropping one of her hands to run her fingers along the back of one of his. She looks back up. "More."

Date: 2007-08-27 01:11 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (rial - likes picking her up)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
That's all she needs to hear.

She loves him, but she isn't about to demand the same of him; she won't rush him.

She only needs to know that he wants her. That--

"You care for me," she says, in low wonder, "oh Rial--" and she abruptly throws her arms around his neck and buries her face in his shoulder.

You don't know how long I've wanted this, you can't know--

Date: 2007-08-27 01:38 am (UTC)
fighting_mad: (long - grin)
From: [personal profile] fighting_mad
The move is rewarded by the way that she smiles against the bone of his shoulder. She sits there for several minutes, letting the warmth slowly seep into her, letting herself suspend her disbelief.

He isn't going to pull away. He's holding her, he kissed her hair -- he cares for her.

When she leans back, her eyes are red-rimmed and a little damp, but she's smiling, broad and shaky and wildly elated. "How is your head, my prince?" she asks, one hand on his jaw and the other on his head, and she's almost laughing as she presses a slow, gentle kiss to his brow.

Her prince.

Her prince.

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