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jamjar: (weird mouth origami thing)
"In light of your decision to emigrate, you may wish to hire my services," the Marquis said.

"I don't know if I could afford it," Richard said. He made the effort to step where the Marquis stepped, following the light indentations in the mud. "I didn't come back prepared for this. I should have brought another hanky."

The Marquis raised an eyebrow. "I'm sure that would have come in useful." He paused and looked Richard over, dispassionate as a chartered surveyor, before smiling in a way that entirely failed to reassure. "Never let it be said that I'm not flexible. Payment can be negotiated. A future favour, something suitably large to balance the likelihood that you'll die before I can collect."

"I thought I could stay with Door."

"I'm sure she would welcome your presence, but the Lady Door is rather nomadic and can be difficult to find." He turned around, coat flaring, for no reason that Richard could see, and pushed past Richard in the direction they'd just come form, beckoning for him to follow. "You'd probably run into her at the next market. Assuming, of course, you survived that long." His tone suggested that he thought this rather unlikely, but was willing to entertain the nonpossibility out of a sense of fairness.

"I'm not as--" Stupid? Naive? "I could..." Richard frowned. "Fine. Until I get on my feet."

"For a big favour," The Marquis grinned, sharp white teeth flashing in the dark. Richard nodded and the Marquis's satisfied smile widened impossibly. Like the Cheshire Cat Richard thought.

"I think you've made the right decision. Left to yourself, you do have a tendency to get into bargains which are positively *unhealthy* for you." The marquis's voice was almost chatty as he called back over his shoulder.

"I was still new at this," Richard said. "I'm not going to make deals with Velvets again."

The Marquis stopped, so suddenly Richard almost tripped into him and kissed him so quickly that Richard didn't have time to register it until it was finished and the Marquis was standing three feet away.

"The Velvets aren't the only cold things," the Marquis said. He turned his back on Richard, ducked under a broken water pipe and into a tunnel.

Richard frowned, then followed him further in.
jamjar: (Default)
He poured the tea and tried to guess the easiest way to the living room. Through the hallway or- no, not the hall way, not on a Tuesday. Up the stairs, into the garden and through the bedroom then.

Door was a good friend, but Richard sometimes thought he should have looked for a place to stay on his own. "Milk? Sugar?"

"Milk, no sugar," Adam called back. His voice echoed strangely through the house. "Where did you say the book was?"

"In the bookshelf, near the..." Richard stopped trying to explain when he realised his voice wasn't carrying through the house anymore. He picked up the tray, stuck a packet of ginger biscuits on it and headed out.

"It's on the book shelf behind the... Adam?"

Adam was standing in front of the mantelpiece where Richard kept what he thought of as souvenirs. A recipe from the Shepherds he would never try. Serpantine's hangover cure, or possibly poison. One of Islington's wine glasses.

Adam picked up the glass.

"Wine from Atlantis," he said. He held the glass with both hands, reverentially. Brought it up to his face and breathed in what was left of the smell. "I didn't think I'd--"

"You knew Islington?" Richard said. He put the tray down and wished these things didn't always happen and that he hadn't left his knife in his coat.

"The angel? Yes, I met him once, a long time ago." Adam's expression changed into a mixture of grief and rage. His fingers tightened around the glass and Richard wasn't surprised when he threw it against a wall. The last dregs of wine lit up the broken pieces like sunlight on ice. The sound of it smashing hung in the air for a long moment.

"Sorry," Adam said. He didn't sound it, but Richard liked pointless niceties a lot more than he had before.

"It's fine," he said. He opened his mouth to ask-- what, or why, and changed his mind. "Ginger biscuit?"


I did not write this as I was expecting to write this, before I started.


jamjar: (Default)

October 2017

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