Participants:

Cenn_icon.gif Garou_icon.gif

Scene Title Aftermath
Synopsis After talking to Mac, Cenn is not okay, and Garou is the one to find him.
Location Mage Wing
Date 12 August Dragon 9:31
Watch For Hello Hope
Logger Cenn

Hello universe, Cenn calling, could you just not for awhile, please? No? Well, okay, then. Honestly, he doesn't know what time it is. It's well into the evening, past curfew for the mages, as Cenn stumbles out of Mac's room. Eyes red from crying, and the faintest glow around the edges of his person. He's not paying any mind to what he is doing, trusting his feet to lead him toward the Templar's quarters. He ought not do so, though, as he's headed more toward the library.

Toward the library may not be where Cenn means to be headed, but it's certainly where Garou intends to be. Coming off of a long shift, he's already changed out of armor and had a chance to clean up a bit. Now it's time to wriggle out some bed space for himself, wrap around a sea god and a lionette and pass the fuck out. Or. Well. It would be time for those things, except that there is a very familiar figure stumbling along in a Very Not Okay fashion. "Cenn?" he queries without thinking, honestly surprised and perhaps even a little bit concerned. "Lieutenant d'Argent, are you quite well?"

Sleeping would be a great thing. But his head is spinning and Hope is not happy with him. Cenn can't focus and the sound of his name is as though he is hearing it underwater. Instinct kicks in though, and he manages a muffled, "Yes, Ser?" Better to assume a superior officer. Because he's not looking up from the ground. His knees are giving up the ghost, too. When did the ground get so close?

"Whoa there, soldier." Rou knows well enough the look of a man whose knees are about to give way beneath him and darts in with swordsman's grace to catch his fellow before he hits the ground. And though there is an inescapably rough quality to his voice, the words are surprisingly gentle. "Easy," he soothes. "Easy. Are you hurt?"

"No." Cenn manages, his voice very far away. There's no resistance to being caught, but he's not much help in the endeavor either. The screaming disapproval in his mind is just… He can't think. Not only that, he can't tell the growing of the glowing around the edges of his form, as his will breaks down while Hope is so active and emotional.

Yeah, this glowing thing is really starting to freak Rou out in ways that are just ten different kinds of Not Okay. But he likes Cenn. This is the man who practically carried him off the battlefield. The idea that something's got its hooks into him is just… entirely unacceptable. So, with a low growl resonating in his chest, Garou employs a maneuver he's had to use on shell-shocked soldiers before. Shifting his grip so that it's one hand bracing his fellow Lieutenant upright, the other goes to the back of Cenn's neck, taking a firm-but-not-painful grasp in a maneuver like to a lioness scruffing a recalcitrant cub. "Look at me."

His skin is hot, not supernaturally so, but the heat that comes with panic. Breathing shallow, his eyes dilate, and with a hand on his neck, the rate of his racing heart is obvious. For a moment those eyes, always blue, are the shining light of the Fade before it flickers out and Cenn meets Garou's gaze. Now is not the time, and maybe this has gone too far already, but Cenn isn't willing to give up the fight yet. His hand comes up to rest weakly on Garou's forearm that reaches toward his neck. Not stopping him, just there, something subtle and grounding.

"There we go," Rou affirms, not breaking Cenn's gaze even when it flashes ethereal - though the sight brings bile to the back of his throat - nor when that hand rests on his forearm. "Good lad." There's an almost soothing cadence to his voice, though he never breaks that eye contact and his grip on the back of Cenn's neck remains firm. "Take deep breaths for me, now. Slow, deep breaths."
What a time to be Cenn d'Argent. None the less, he listens, breathing slow and deep. Taking orders has become second nature, so that much he can manage. But he's not all there, though he's starting to support more of his own weight.

Two steps forward, three steps back. The ability to take more of his own weight is encouraging, but the blankness is very much not. "Tell me your name." There is no room for argument in Garou's tone. "Tell me when you were born." Grey eyes bite into blue and there is a moment that stretches out between these two forces of nature. "Tell me your mother's favorite flower."

Cenn takes a deep breath. "Knight Lieutenant Cenn d'Argent." He answers, completely rote. "Lac d'Argent." That one brings him a little more to the front. It's not often he has to talk about his life before the Order. Cenn blinks, breath turning shaky, but with it comes his awareness. "Water lilies. You had to go to them…" He answers again, quieter, still shocked but more present now. "Garou? When did…?"

"There you are." And despite the calm confidence in Garou's tone and demeanor, there's something of relief in the way he says it. "Figured you couldn't have gone far." But one hand still braces part of his weight and the other is still at the back of his neck and he does not look away for a second. "You want to tell me why you look like you've seen a ghost?"

Only for lack of time, but Garou's correct, Cenn hadn't gone completely away. Then again, if he had, things probably would have been a lot worse. At that question, though it did not before this moment seem as though it were possible, Cenn goes even more pale. The whole endeavor had been bad enough but now he's staring at a member of his own Order and there's no getting around this. He knows when he's backed himself into a corner, and he's an awful liar at the best of times. "One of the new mages…" He starts, slow and quiet, "She is the twin of someone I used to know. Someone who I did not know had a twin." Almost literally seeing ghosts here. Then again, he had experience with ghosts. Maybe that will be a sufficient answer, Cenn certainly hopes so.

"Ah," Garou begins, in the understanding way all Orlesians have surrounding love and tragedy. "The owner of that token you always wear, perhaps?" There are no judgments; Garou goes nowhere without the distinct music of his bracelet and would sooner die than give up its claim upon him. But lack of judgment and lack of observation are two very different things. "That would indeed be a shock. To be sure, a terrible one." Staring a dead lover in the face? No thanks. And he continues, mild as milk - a direct contrast to the velvet steel of his grip. "This does not, however, explain why I found you lit up like a candelabra, nor why your eyes were glowing. They're pretty enough on their own, you know. Anything more is just over the top." Anyone else would have struck by now, most likely - or at the very least have sounded some form of alarm. Garou does neither. He is not relaxed, but he is remarkably patient.
That very same pendant is not around his neck. It is slipped into a pocket until her can repair the cord later. Cenn just nods, unable to bring himself to answer that question with words. It didn't need explaining, and Cenn couldn't hear to do so again anyway. And then… Of course, he couldn't have actually hoped that would go unnoticed. "I…" Cenn starts, and then shakes, "Maker, I can explain but I don't know if you'll believe me." But there was nothing for it. "At Kinloch, during the rebellion, I stayed behind the doors to try and…" There's a glance then, downward to where the necklace normally sits, "I died. Or, I should have…" He's full on trembling now but it's not like he has a better option, "A Spirit of Hope took pity on me, when the Veil was torn to shreds and she could help… I know how crazy that sounds, but I swear I'm not an Abomination. I know what I would have thought two years ago…" He's starting into some pretty panicked slurring then.

Garou is not paying nearly so much attention to the words being said as to how they're being said. Probably not his wisest life choice but he can parse the details in a minute. Just now there is a panicky young buck practically in his arms who needs to calm down before they go any further down this rabbit warren of that particular story. He takes a slight risk then, moving the hand at the back of Cenn's neck to a hold he does not often take on anyone out here in public spaces. It's a fistful of hair at the back of his head - not hard enough to hurt, simply enough to pull, to yank attention more fully into the here and now. "Breathe, d'Argent. I have not drawn my sword." It is neither a statement of belief nor of disbelief, but a reassurance of his safety - at least for the moment. "Don't look down. Don't look away. It's the middle of the night. No one is here but me and you. No one can hurt you but me." He lets that sink in for just a moment. "And I haven't drawn my sword. Breathe."

Oh sweet Maker as if this day wasn't complicated enough. That hold in his hair gets a very complicated mixture of emotions. They're not all positive, but they are all present and that is something. For half a moment there is a flash of white hot rage that looks as though Cenn might have some very unkind things to say or do, but the fear of the real situation he is in overrides it swiftly. He breathes, though not comfortably. This was not the sort of hold he just let anyone take him by, and with memories swimming in his mind, it's bitter at best. But that indignation makes it easy for him to meet Garou's gaze again, the lion in his heart ruffled. Another breath, this one with more understanding, with keen awareness that yes, no blade has been drawn. Another, this one stilling the trembling. "I take it you have questions, then?"

Rou is actually the worst human being. Instead of having the good grace to look surprised or even bashful - or possibly apologetic - when he stirs that rage in Cenn, he simply smirks like the cat who'd managed the cream and the canary. "Good lad, that's much better." And he holds it just a moment longer - because he can - and then releases that hold on Cenn's hair so he can step back and away from Garou's support should he choose to. "I've spent far too much time with Spirit Healers." It's the only explanation he offers to the question that wasn't asked. One Spirit Healer in particular, but still. "I have no questions. I have only facts. You will choose one of the two Healers in this Circle." Far be it from him to dictate to whom secrets of this magnitude be spilled. "You and I will go find him. He will tell me whether or not the thing inside you is Hope. If you speak truth, everyone will walk away. But if you are lying to me, Cenn d'Argent I will burn your very name from this earth before I let you harm one of these mages." And that is that.

That look would have normally earned a roll of his eyes at least. Not now. As Garou lets him go, Cenn leans back against the wall, still not totally sure of his ability to hold himself up. And then… Well… Huh. Cenn blinks. "Seren." The name is from his lips before he can even think about it. Cenn knows there is another Healer in the Circle, but his was not a question. "And if it isn't, then please, speak true, because then she's fooled me well and true and I deserve such a fate." Strangely, this prospect of dying doesn't seem to bother him in the slightest.

"Seren, then." Garou does not appear to be at all bothered by the name chosen. People were funny about their healers; it's a fairly universal truth and one most all healers (and those around them) learn to treat with a good deal of respect. A glance out the window, however, shows it to be far too late to barge in and drag Seren from his bed without being incredibly rude. Since this isn't exactly a 'right now or death' scenario. "Very well. We will go see Seren at first light. For now, you will attempt to sleep and I will keep watch." That is not a suggestion. "Lead on, Lieutenant."

At least he had said attempt, because after today, sleep was not going to happen. Cenn just nods, there's no argument to make, nor does it seem like one would be brooked. There's a moment's hesitation, where the conflicting orders to not look away and to lead the way make him worry, but his mind catches up to instinct quickly and he pushes from the wall. It's then that he notices he was going precisely the wrong way and sighs, orienting himself, setting off for his room without a word.

That hesitation surprises Garou more than he was prepared for. It's been a long time since he's played those kinds of games with anyone who wasn't Valentin (or one of Valentin's chosen playthings) but it's hard to forget the look of someone too deep into that headspace to parse out timing or importance of conflicting orders on their own. He opens his mouth to soothe and make more precise his instructions when Cenn shakes himself out of it and leads on. Well. Perhaps he has forgotten what that conflict paints across a face. Huh. Saved from perhaps a moment too awkward to recover from, he shrugs, sighs and keeps pace just enough that it would appear they walk together and not one being escorted.


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