Participants:

Cenn_icon.gif Garou_icon.gif

Scene Title Bearer of Bad News
Synopsis Garou returns after a certain dinner party.
Location Cenn's Room
Date 1 Firstfall 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Heavy conversation.
Logger Cenn

With the sharp chill that comes to nights this late in autumn comes a certain expectation of discomfort, but even wrapped in his heavy winter fur-lined cloak, Garou cannot help the way he shivers coming into the Circle. His face and hands and boots are damp from the spray of the salt water, an inevitable casualty of the crossing so long after the early sundown. There's a white cloth bag in one hand and he does his best not to swing it as he walks - an endeavor hindered by the shaking but aided by the leonine stalk that has become his gait until the two forces almost even out. Almost. He had the best intentions of taking his time - truly he did - of walking this out until he felt at least little more like himself, but even the best of intentions don't stand up to his withdrawal-angry body's vicious reaction to the cold. So, armed with the knowledge that there are things he cannot in good conscience not share (and determined to try and be as much himself as possible) he makes a beeline for a familiar door. Normally he'd bother with niceties like knocking, but while so tangled and mired in old, old rules the idea of knocking just… well, he never quite makes it that far. Sorry, Cenn.

While Garou had been out at this dinner party, Cenn had been doing his best to forget it was happening. Part of him had considered going. Really, he had. But then he'd set out this outfit that Davan had sent for him and just… He'd cringed. It wasn't that it was bad, it wasn't, but the idea of putting them on had made his skin crawl. The plan of letting Garou see for himself would just have to do. So, instead, Cenn has set himself down in front of his fire, in his most comfortable lounging attire. He's supposedly working on reports, but mostly he's just been getting himself slowly through a bottle of wine. When his door opens suddenly, the Lieutenant blinks, looks up, sets his glass aside. It honestly takes him a moment to realize it's Garou, but when he does, he frowns. He didn't figure this would go well, but this doesn't look like it went anything short of disastrous. "Garou…" It's a greeting and a question as his brow knits, and the papers get set aside as well.

"One of these is for you." Garou closes the door behind him and holds up the white cloth bag (though there is no hiding the way it trembles) before setting it down on an empty space wherever he can find it. Desk, dresser, whatever will suffice. Now free to have both hands inside his cloak, he wraps it tighter around himself and stalks closer to the fire. He smells of incense and pheasant and blackberry wine, but the tension never quite leaves his frame, not even when he gets close enough to the flames to let the front of his cloak hang open at his sides. "Would you like the 'I told you so' now or later?" The tone is light enough, but there's a harshness to it that's not at all natural and the look he gives Cenn over his shoulder is anguished for a moment before he turns back to stare down into the flames.

"Of course he sent you back with something." Cenn says, actively rolling his eyes. At the next though, Cenn sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose. "Why don't we start with what happened, and we can lead up to the I told you so, which I'm sure I rightly deserve." Looking up Garou, his hand falls away, and a frown settles over his features. There's concern in his eyes, and with his generally canine countenance, it borders on apologetic puppy perhaps a little more than he intends.

"The entire charade was a setup." Everything about this is ridiculous and sharp and jagged and wrong and it tugs a brittle laugh from Garou's lips. "The reason he was so insistent? It was a honey trap, my dear. A test from start to finish." The humor turns to outright bitterness, though there's still something coiled in it. "Yes, let's bait the lion and see if we can make him snap. What an excellent use for an evening." His hands come up to rest upon the mantel and he leans forward against the ache deep in weight-bearing bones. "Test me, he says. Like I'm a rabid dog he must examine before he'll let it play with his children."

Again, Cenn sighs. That is awful. It is terrible. But it actually could be worse. "Garou, I am so sorry." He says then, quietly, "He had no place, and no right." He stands then, moves to his table, grabs the other chair and brings it back to the fire. It's placed opposite his own, and then Cenn settles back down, the offer there but not pushed. "Thank you for telling me."

"You told me he wasn't a threat because he didn't like intrigue. He didn't like politics." He can hear Cenn moving around behind him and there's enough aural clues to put it together but the idea of being even a foot farther from the heat of this fire right now is enough to make him want to cry, so the offer isn't taken. Not yet. "Yet he tells me that he misses the intrigue, the… predation. That Free Marches politics is hardly even worth participating in because it's all power and commerce." Finally he's in a place where he can shed the cloak, flinging it over the empty chair meant for him as he finally turns his back to the flames and leans his shoulders against the mantel. "He's lying to one of us and given the fact that he knew my preference for sexual control yet didn't know I was the son of a Duke but only suspected that I was probably nobility, I don't know which of us it is."

That stops Cenn dead. He'd had a mind to reach for his wine again, but that's put off. He was already furious, but this… That pulls an ugly, bitter laugh from Cenn before he can stop himself. His stomach churns and then knots, and he has to force a deep breath to quiet himself. "Well, that certainly puts to bed any doubts I was having about some decisions." He says, taking on some of that sharpness for himself. "Honestly, either he's an idiot, a sadist, or so far beyond my ken that I have no idea what game he is playing at." And Cenn's not great at intrigue, but he's not hopeless either, not when it really mattered.

That makes Garou snort, though notedly there's something brittle and self-soothing about the way he folds his arms over his torso. "He certainly thinks very highly of himself." There's more - there is, in fact, an explanation of that statement, but he has to swallow hard several times to get there and he can't actually bring himself to look at Cenn when he finally manages anything beyond strained breaths. "He means to mount me, I think. Believes he can, certainly. Pleased by a matching set of Orlesian Templars if only I would consent to being kept." He shudders and shakes his head. "And then in the next breath taunted me about Templars in Tevinter… something about smelling like candy?"

"Yes, the lyrium…" Cenn says, shaking his head, because that's somehow the easier place to start in any of this, "He said it to me when he first met me too. At the time, it felt like a joke, it was charming." He cringes. "Knowing he used it a second time is bitter." Then, Cenn growls, low and dark, and a right sight more dangerous than much of anything that normally comes from the eternal puppy. "Set of match-" Nope, that gets interrupted by that same ugly laughter, only muffled when he finally does reach for his wine and drains his glass. The glass is set aside with a little more force than he likely means, but there he is nevertheless. "Son of a bitch."

Somehow, Cenn being angry makes this easier. It doesn't tug at the softer places in Garou - it doesn't call to his vulnerable underbelly. There is nothing but tooth and claw and a defensive crouch, things that leave him with pride and affection that can exist like this because they are sharp like this - hard like this. "That's how he justified it all; baiting me, testing me. Because he's interested." But when that growl turns to ugly laughter and then to the dull thunk of empty wine glass and the low mutter of cursing, it tugs at him in places that hurt because they're not where they should be and he's not who he should be… not standing here with his finery and his furs and this skin that once belonged to him and now feels like he's been trapped inside a mangled shroud. "I'm… sorry," he manages, stilted and broken. He steps away from the fire despite the way his body trembles almost instantly, stepping around the empty chair and reaching to rest his hand on Cenn's shoulder. "I do not… want you to hurt." He swallows hard. "If I can at all help it."

Cenn takes a deep breath, steadying his anger. "I appreciate that, but my pain is not of your creation." He says, voice thick with anger that hasn't actually left, and with heartbreak he's not ready to face. He lifts his hand, placing it briefly, warmly, over Garou's own. "With any luck neither of us will have to deal with him again come the end of the month."

The contact should be welcome - is welcome on a number of levels - but Garou actively feels like his skin is crawling and it makes his stomach turn to have even that moment of skin-on-skin. Everything feels wrong. Even so, he forces himself not to shy away, to leave his hand on Cenn's shoulder long enough to fall away naturally and not jerk. "I…" It takes him a minute to try and process that, nose wrinkling with thought. "I think I've missed a step somewhere." Or else his memory has more holes than he'd really like to think about. "What happens at the end of the month?"

"Ideally, it will not take me beyond the end of the month to convince him that I am done and cannot be convinced otherwise." Cenn says, sounding bitter and more hurt than he really wants to convey. He sighs again, leaning forward and burying his face in his hands. "Was there anything else awful that decided to tumble out of his mouth?"

That bitterness and hurt is like a siren call to the parts of Rou that are made of 'comfort' and 'care for' and 'protect'. It leaves him shaking for a moment in a way that has nothing to do with the evening chill that gnaws at his joints. It's a call that he can't help but answer and so he finds that same hand reaching when Cenn buries his face, fingers combing through soft, short gold hair in a repetitive motion that sets his teeth on edge but leaves his inner lion nearly purring over being allowed to offer comfort. "He seemed aware of my politics within the Order, so he probably has at least one source here inside the Circle. And he may try and assert that you and I are safe there." Since he'd tried to say as much to Rou. He pauses another moment, torn between his desire for honesty and his fear of causing more hurt. In the end, honest wins out, Rou's experience with it being the only way any kind of closeness can be sustained long term. "He wishes me to come back. He wanted Valentin to join me, I…" He sighs. "Given everything and the way it was phrased I worry that he knows enough to be a concern." He never stops petting at Cenn's hair, fingers pushing through hair to let blunt nails drag lightly across the scalp. "The only reason he is still alive is because I made a promise I don't want to have to fulfill." Well. That's… certainly more than he'd expected to let out of his mouth. Great. Good job, Rou.

Petting his hair fairly reliably relaxes Cenn. Even now, it works, though less than normal. There's the awful, keening pain in his chest, and it knots tension into his back and shoulders that no amount of petting is going to unwind. He's quiet for a long moment after all of that, thinking, eyes closed. Eventually, he pulls in a long breath, and then sighs out a heavy exhale. But the hope that would be enough falls through, and so he tries again, worrying at his bottom lip through the process. That doesn't work either, and there's an awful churning in his stomach then, and a shudder runs down his spine before he can quell it. "I understand." Two words, heavy with something like defeat but somehow worse.


This log is incomplete, but most of the relevant information is present.