Participants:

Cenn_icon.gif Garou_icon.gif

Scene Title Distraction
Synopsis Cenn comes to talk to a friend.
Location Templar Corridor/Training Yard
Date 22 August 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Training yard time.
Logger Cenn

Lately, evenings not spent on patrol or hounding Valentin to
remember that he's mortal and needs food and sleep are wrapped up in his room, seated in front of the
fireplace nursing a glass of brandy. It's not even that Garou looks sad doing so, but there are
unmistakable lines of tension and fatigue in his face; storm grey eyes are out of focus and there's actually a
fire tonight. It's… pretty warm in here.

Having spent most of the day off talking with Carys, Cenn doesn't return
until pretty late. But he'd had morning patrol, and so he's free to do as he pleases. And the conversation he'd
just had demands a follow up of courtesy to someone else. So it's to Garou's room that Cenn goes when
he returns to the Gallows, free of his armor and for once not smelling of any form of drink. There's a knock
at the door, the younger Lieutenant waits, rocking back onto his heels.

The number of people who would knock at his door is a relatively
small one - at this hour it's even smaller. So as Garou lifts his glass and calls a low, "Come in," he honestly
half expects it to be Valentin and Seren.

It's almost gentle, the way Cenn opens the door, intentionally quiet and
unobtrusive. Stepping inside, he closes the door behind him before looking over to Garou. Immediately,
however, he realizes how warm it is in the room, and though he says nothing, he's regretting the coat he's
wearing. "Do you happen to have a minute to talk?" Cenn asks, though it's not in the fragile tone that might
mean that he's upset, but in a firmer, more professional one that allows him the distance necessary for this
particular issue.

This is very much not Valentin and Seren, but still someone
equally as welcome. "Cenn," he offers, quiet and warm in a way he just isn't outside certain safe spaces.
"Whatever is left of the evening is yours. Come in." He gestures with the hand holding the glass to the
span of floor between his chair and the fireplace. "Sit where you like. I've not much in the way of chairs,
but until very recently the only company I've had frequent this room prefers my lap."

"Well, I can't much blame him." Cenn says with a small laugh, "And I'm
not bothered by the floor anyway." Because he'd spent years sitting on the ground and floor talking to Rylan.
It's what he had always preferred. So Cenn settles down, as far from the fire as he can manage is decent
speaking range. "Are you feeling well? It's… Rather warm in here." He can't help it, this is… Well, he's
probably going to have to take that coat off in a minute.

Cenn's stated lack of blame makes Garou's mouth quirk up at one
end, smug and sinful. "It wasn't a question of blame," he quips back, sipping lazily at his brandy. "I don't
tend to complain when enticing brats want to occupy my personal space." He watches the younger
Lieutenant settle on the floor and tips his head to one side in an acknowledgment of the fairness of that
observation. "Sometimes I take a chill for no discernable reason," he explains, tone touched by the kind of
resigned reverence the older Templars reserve for lyrium and its effects. "I can bank it if it disturbs you."

Cenn doesn't shy, but he does blush at that smirk. At that more somber
explanation though, Cenn nods. He's not going to linger on that. He knows that tone, he knows what it
means, that's enough of an answer. "No, it's fine, so long as you're not opposed to me losing my coat." He
says, and he's already pulling the garment off because fuck.

"I have the same philosophy regarding enticing brats that want to
shed layers of clothing." It's not quite dry, but Garou has a unique sense of humor that is a mix of dry
and flirtatious. He lets the silence settle between them for a bit, then, comfortable with his company and not
in any rush to conclude the visit.

That earns a laugh as Cenn pulls free of the coat, sets it aside, and then
loosens the lacing on his shirt. That is more manageable. He doesn't push the silence for a moment, glancing
to watch the flames in the hearth for a minute. "So, I have this… Friend." It's weird, using that word with a
double meaning, "And I've asked them for a favor. Because someone back in Starkhaven hurt Macenaya and
someone needs to pay for that. So… I figured you ought to know, since you're keeping an eye on her too."
Straight to the point, it seems.

It isn't often someone who isn't Valentin gets the dubious honor of
being able to say they've actually surprised Garou. But in this case, with both brows raised and eyes slightly
wide, it is fairly evident that he is entirely caught off guard. It's information he hadn't expected Cenn to
hand over so readily - not to him. He's touched… in his own way. "Thank you," he offers, quiet and sincere.
"Were there specifics to how she was hurt of which I should be made aware? Anything I can see to it is
avoided around her entirely?"

Cenn shakes his head, and doesn't look at Garou. There's a hard set to
his jaw as he's thinking on this. This is not the sort of thing he enjoys having to hand off for someone else to
handle. "I do not know all of the details. But I know it was heinous enough that Seren was near violently
angry. I know it is personal. And I know her raven took the man's eye for it." He answers, voice turned cold,
ice that can't be melted by the heat of the room. "Seren wrestled a promise to not go off to handle it
myself…"

There aren't many kinds of 'hurt' that could end with all these bits
of information coming together; that knowledge alone is enough to spark a growl in Garou's chest that is low
and livid and deadly. "He fought well, then. For it would have been 'ourselves' if I'd had to track you
through the rainy season to do it." He does not fuck around with looking after his own. "I will pass that on
to Isolde the next time I can catch her alone. She will want to know so that extra care can be taken."
Garou drains the last of his brandy and stares at the fire through the glass. "Even Meredith cannot condone
such abuses."

Cenn glances to Garou then, blinks, but accepts this. He's not going to
argue with the other Lieutenant, and if Garou had a mind to follow him, Cenn did not think he could have
stopped him. He even nods when he says that he's going to tell Isolde. But then, Meredith… Cenn frowns.
"An Enchanter of this Circle was made Tranquil and the Knight Commander bids I say nothing. I do
not trust what she would and would not condone anymore." He says, all bitterness and anger.

Garou tips his head to the side again, acknowledging Cenn's point
with his trademark verbal signals to go with the silent physical ones. "Be careful, Cenn. Ordering silence is
not the right way to proceed, but it does not always equate to condoning the action hidden." He shrugs one
shoulder - again with a soft, verbal sound accompanying the motion. "Secrecy is second nature to some.
We don't yet know where the chips will fall, but we will find out."

"If it were secrecy for an investigation, or some noble purpose, then I
would have at least been contacted with some sort of investigation. But there has been nothing." Cenn
sends back, much more angry this time, though he's careful not to direct it at Garou as much as possible
when it colors his tone as much as it does. He takes a deep breath, and moves to stand. "But I suppose that
is the news I wished to give… Have a good night." Because this thought is boiling his blood and he's not of a
mind to properly lash out at one of his friends, so he's taking up his coat and heading for the door.

"Cenn…" Garou sighs. "Stop that." He twists enough in his chair
to set the empty glass aside where it isn't in the way and then returns to face the right way so he can lean
back a little bit into the cushion of the armchair. "Come here," he adds quietly, but there is no hesitation or
weakness to the tone.

Somehow, some-fucking-how, Cenn hadn't actually been expecting Garou
to stop him. So it catches him off guard enough to make him pause, take a deep breath, and listen. With a
sigh, he walks over, stands a pace from Garou's seat, and looks to the other man. "I haven't been out to the
training yard in days… It's fine. I'm not on a bend for destruction that isn't productive…" He says, but it's a
hollow excuse.

"I know," Garou says simply. "That's not the point." And as
though that's all there is to that, he points to the ground between his knees. "Sit. Back to me." And he lifts
his gaze to Cenn's with both a challenge and an easy way out, should he want it. "I'm not nearly so
breakable you have to flee before something sharp comes out of your mouth."

"It's not about the breaking, it's- " Cenn cuts himself off, sighs. It's
honestly not all that long that he meets Garou's gaze, either. He's not angry at Garou, and that's about
the only thing that puts Cenn in the mood for that much of a challenge. So he just obeys, settling down in
front of Garou's chair, knees bent, arms rested on them. He's not entirely following why he's sitting
here, but you know… He'll go with it.

Garou waits long enough for Cenn to settle where he's been told,
amused at the almost palpable confusion from the younger Templar. Cracking his knuckles, he reaches
for the head of short, blonde hair and rubs circles against the scalp with gentle, knowing motions of his
fingertips. He moves backward from the hairline, eventually working on the places where the tendons attach
behind the ears and at the base of the skull. It's a slow, methodical process, but one undertaken without
pause or complaint.

This is three people in two days who have taken to petting his hair, in
some form or another, and Cenn really does not know what to do with this fact. He melts nearly
immediately, before pressure is even put on his scalp, because this is just… Well, there are some things that
are 'off' buttons for people and this was one for him. In a few moments, he's actively purring. The puppy
mannerisms completely disappeared for those of a cat.

This isn't the first time that Garou has brought out the cat in
someone else. At this point he accepts it as simply part and parcel of this weird experience that is his life.
And much as he'd done for his love the night before, he works down from the scalp into the muscles and
tendons of the neck leading into the shoulders. "There," he says, working into the shoulders properly before
resting both hands on those shoulders. "Feel better?"

As Garou stops, Cenn takes a deep breath, even yawns. "It was certainly
pleasant…" Cenn says, "But if physical relaxation were going to help this anger, Seren would have covered
that last night." Because, well… Cenn realizes what has just fallen out of his mouth, and clears his throat.
"Thank you, though." Perhaps that will be enough to distract… No, no it won't, but he can dream.

That's enough to make Rou laugh, a quiet sound that contains joy
without mockery. "Good. He was serious, then." And though Cenn had said it wasn't helping, Rou finds his
fingers straying back up to card through short hair in a languidly affectionate manner. "Called us his clan,
you know. Said it always starts innocently in the clans." His mouth twitches again, amused. "But that it
does not tend to end there." And that really does seem to be that, except, "I suspect Valentin will drag him
to bed in short enough order." Now that the issue - and Seren's attractiveness - has been addressed, at any
rate. "If physical release doesn't help, an hour in the training yard will do you no good. Pretend, then, that
I am ignorant and possibly stupid. Pretend and explain your anger to me."

"Yeah…" Cenn says, smiling faintly, "Rylan used to say the same thing."
That hand in his hair has him going loose again, hazy and not entirely in touch. Though it doesn't seem that
he minds at all. But that… Well, Cenn frowns a little. "I don't think that's… Really accurate." Cenn says, "I
get very different things out of the training yard and the bedroom. One is taking control, the other is giving it
up."

"Either way, you're working up a sweat." And for Rou it is exactly
that simple. Then again, the bed and the battlefield are the only places he's ever found something like
peace. Still, he does look down, pausing in his petting though he doesn't pull away. "Do you want to be in
control or out of it?" Because he'll send him to the yard right fucking now, if that's what he needs. Hell,
he'll probably go with him.

Cenn sighs, "Well, yes, but it's not…" He doesn't really have the right
words to explain the difference, so he doesn't try. "In. For once in my damned life, in." Cenn answers then,
that's an easier thing. "I've talked it to death, I've tried fucking it away, drinking it to sleep… I just want to
fucking hit something." And it's actually that simple for him for once.

"Alright, then," Rou agrees easily, tapping him on the back to urge
him up so he can follow. "Let's go."

"You don't ha-" Cenn starts, and stops himself again. Because Garou
really doesn't seem like the type to do much of anything he's not already set on. Lions are energy
conservation based creatures, after all. So Cenn just pulls himself up, and moves to the door again, this time
less hastily.

"Hm, smart boy," Garou hums, the sentiment trailing off into low
laughter as he pushes himself up to stand. There are several audible pops as he stretches and there's
definitely a little stiffness in the way he moves, but falling into step with Cenn is easy in a way.
Comfortable. Sure. It may take him a minute to get going properly on the bad nights, but once he's
there… well, he's looking forward to this.

It's subtle, but there is a small shiver from Cenn at those words. If it
weren't so damnably warm in Garou's room, he could likely pass it off as the night chill, too. But no, there's
no excusing it, though he doesn't linger on its presence either. Nor, mind, does he linger on the stiffness in
the other Lieutenant. There are just some things that are inevitable about this existence, and drawing
attention to them is needless. So there is just walking, glancing out of passed windows to the night sky, dark
and clear. When eventually they are outside… Well, it might be a little ridiculous. The middle of the night,
neither of them in proper training gear. Fuck's sake, Cenn is actually in some of his more put together
clothes. He doesn't care. "Not saying it's bad plan…" Cenn starts then, moving toward the racks, "But is
there a reason you're not letting me go about this alone?"

Rou is about as ostentatious as they come, but he's lived among
the Game too long - and spent too much time in activities of questionable risk - to not pay attention to
subtle changes in tone, posture or other body language. He doesn't miss that shiver, but beyond pushing his
expression - as they walk - into 'cat who got the canary and the cream to boot' the information isn't
commented upon. Being outside in the night air causes Rou to shiver, though for different reasons
altogether. He ignores it, tugging his tunic and undershirt off to toss over one of the railings to let himself
stretch and roll his joints with their full range of motion. He almost never trains in gear. He is, in fact, that
much of an idiot. "If I told you it was simply that I'm always spoiling for a fight," Rou answers, following
behind Cenn toward the weapon racks, "would you believe me?"

See, if Cenn had good sense, he would have stopped to get his own
trainer from his room. Because, well, he was that kind of a fussy son of a bitch. He could use other things,
sure, but he'd been very particular about balance and weight and… But he'd not had good sense, he'd just
come out here looking to rail and well, the standard issue would just have to do. Shivering may not even be
noticed with how much Cenn doesn't pay it mind… Though he can't say there is not a glance that lingers a
little longer than is entirely appropriate as Garou removes his shirt. "I would believe you only half the
distance to the finish line." Cenn answers with a smirk, taking down a trainer, glancing to the training shields
and deciding to just not on that front. They didn't fit like a second skin like his own shield did, and he
couldn't abide the uneven nature of shields that spend so much of their lives being inexpertly wailed on.
Sure, they were mended well enough, and they were well crafted - The Order did know what it was about in
some areas - But just… No.

Garou can appreciate that fussiness. When it comes to his own
equipment, he is… honestly probably worse - especially for the poor craftsmen to deal with. But when he
trains, there is a game he likes to play with himself - finding the flaws to whatever weapon he happens to
pick up and figuring out the best way to compensate for each one. That way, if he's ever caught without his
own kit and has to make due, the chances of him finding something he just absolutely cannot work with
are fairly small. When Cenn doesn't take a shield, Rou nods and selects only one of the longsword-variant
trainers, settling the hilt in his left hand and checking with small, practiced movements for balance and grip.
He returns that smirk over his shoulder and steps back from the rack. "And you would be correct."

Seeing Garou take up a blade in his left hand makes Cenn grin a little.
Because, funnily enough, it is also in his left hand that Cenn has taken up his weapon. He'd always favored
it, and it always made his training partners groan. "So, what's the rest of the way paved with, then?" Cenn
asks, raising a brow and following Garou away from the trainers and out into the yard proper.

Rou catches that grin and glances toward Cenn's own weapon with
a nod… and possibly a hint of a return smile. He steps away from Cenn and carves a pattern through thin air
with his weapon - a test to try and sense what he can and can't adjust for. "I've actually given you the
reason already." He hates being alone, too - always has. But because they'd both been in their cups by that
point and because Garou is cruel but not mean, he offers a simpler answer that still manages to tie in to
the deeper, more complex one. "Everything's better with pleasant company."

That answer is sufficient for him, and earns a nod. "So long as I'm not
being given a minder, that is good enough for me." He says, and he's not going to linger on that either. If
Garou had a mind for company, Cenn wasn't going to complain… Because he's staring again, as Garou tests
the blade he's picked up.

"You're a grown goddamn man, Cenn." And apparently it's as
simple as that for Garou. "You don't need a minder." He runs a second, shorter pattern, the motions
quicker. "Need to be beat over the head with things sometimes, but not a minder." Look, Garou is not quite
to Valentin's level of exhibitionism - or at least he tells himself he isn't - but he can feel that stare and,
well… maybe he shows off for it, just a little. His style is meant for two blades and does much better in
leather armor - or none at all, really - than in the clunky metal traps the heavier line fighters can make such
good use of. He's adapted fairly well, having learned the two in concert, but it's not until you see him out of
the armor that you see what he's truly capable of. It's just a simple pattern dance - nothing really
beyond a proper warm-up - but he makes it a bit more… elaborate than is strictly necessary.

That statement makes Cenn sigh relief. Honestly, the amount of people
he's had to tell that to… Yes, he was an adorable retriever with the people he cared about but really.
"You've proven yourself more stubborn than I am, so I think I'll take that statement as praise." Cenn says
with a smirk, and… He's still staring. And really doesn't realize he's doing it, because damn. It's a good,
long moment before he notices what he's doing and clears his throat, hand coming to the back of his neck as
he makes himself look away. This wouldn't be terribly productive if he couldn't convince himself to focus.

To say Rou preens under that stare would be to sell short the
way his whole body arches into the attention like it's a physical caress. He's… yeah, he's almost as bad as
Valentin, but there's something delicious to being the one watched instead of the one watching that he
hadn't quite… counted on? Even for something as innocuous as sword dances, it's… this is definitely a
pleasure to explore later. With a maneuver that's almost entirely in the wrist, he closes out his warm up and
turns to more fully face Cenn. And oh, does he enjoy that hand on the back of the neck - more than he
should. "You really should work on making it less enjoyable to see you uncomfortable. Just for your sanity's
sake." But even that teasing is warm, rumbly, easy - a lion among his pride. "Do you have a routine to start
your sessions with then?"

You know, he'd done so well, not blushing, but Cenn certainly is now.
"For my sanity, hm?" He says, raising a brow again. "I may walk away worse for wear, but I think my
sanity, of all things, will be the one thing still intact." He smiles faintly, his hand falling away from his
neck then. "I… Uh… Yeah." He says, back to his awkward, puppy self. It's odd, the way he flip flops like this.
"Just… Distracted, apparently." And then he's being responsible and actually loosening his shoulders, and
going through a few simple motions to make test of the trainer in his hand.

The low growl that starts in Garou's chest is swallowed almost as
quickly as it begins. That blush just… honestly, if it wasn't so enjoyable he could behave himself so much
better than this. Still, he can't resist raising a brow in Cenn's direction. "If you enjoy being
uncomfortable to the point of blushing so prettily, I certainly won't complain; otherwise, I do think your
sanity will get a little ragged around the edges." The flip-flops may seem odd to most people, but Garou has
some experience with the visceral sensation of who you were before a traumatic event trying to poke its
head up out of the burnt wreckage of who you became after. He doesn't comment on it, just rocks his
weight back on his heels to watch Cenn's form with a critical eye… and also a little because now it's his turn
to stare, damn it.

Unlike Garou, this man is definitely a shield fighter. It's obvious in the
way he moves, the way his shoulder drops even as he is smart enough to know to change his lead as he
doesn't have a solid wall of metal to put in front of himself. His style is clean and smooth, well practiced, the
kind of rote beauty that comes from training from a young age. However, it is painfully, distinctly, and
hopelessly Ferelden. The arcing swings, the almost… Languid nature of the movements, it has none of the
sharp glamour of Orlesian training. One might think to wield a greatsword in a similar manner. "I never said
I didn't enjoy it." Cenn says with a smirk, though he doesn't pause in the forms that he's much more
accustomed to doing in the morning. Though, he can't say he's complaining about the staring, either.

Watching Cenn go through his own exercises is an… interesting
experience. It begins with dismay and dawning horror as he recognizes the Ferelden style of combat.
But the longer he watches, the more he realizes - and has to admit to himself, the horror - that this
method suits Cenn in a way that defies description. Powerful, steady, sure and possessing a quiet,
natural grace, watching these movements is like watching a description of the man making them. It takes
almost the full cycle, but Rou does finally conclude that he actually enjoys watching this. "That's lovely,"
he says aloud. "I've never seen Ferelden methods applied without making the user look lazy and sloppy, but
that was…" He works his jaw a little, having difficulty praising anything Ferelden, even abstractly. "You
made it worth the watching." There, that's not so bad.

"That would be because most people are sloppy and lazy with it,
because they think they can be." Cenn says, crinkling his nose a little. It seems he doesn't much like
people who don't respect this fighting style. Because it can be well used, fierce, and strong. Nevertheless,
he smiles at Garou then. "But I am glad I could give you reason to appreciate it."

"It was good enough to distract me from staring in a more…
aesthetic appreciation. That in and of itself is pretty impressive." But the teasing is softened by a return of
Cenn's smile and half a step back into a more fight-ready stance as he lifts his practice blade. "Come on,
then. Let's see what you can really do."

Well, that is something. And it gets Cenn blushing again, but in a
different way. Though, he at least has the good sense to be able to shake off the lingering embarrassment of
a compliment well enough when Garou steps back and falls into a combat stance. So with a nod he drops as
well. And this is what he wanted, just to swing at something. And it being someone, well, that's more
satisfying. And fighting with someone is different than his raw forms, performed by rote. This is a flow he
falls easily into, familiar and well practiced, and fucking quiet. So that even as he swings for the first time
on Garou, he is immensely present and entirely distant all at the same time.

When not encumbered by the regulation armor, Garou moves like
liquid lightning; Cenn is on him, so he retreats, ducking and weaving without making much of a return push.
There are small strikes, targeted at flanks and sides and arms - playful motions meant to draw him out and
give him an excuse to let loose some of that anger in physical exertion, but nothing forceful. Nothing to
make him stop.

Okay, look, if there is one thing that his training his taught him it is three
very, very important words: Do. Not. Chase. Chase just wears you out when you're in massive armor and
a heavy shield. So he doesn't. Cenn just holds ground. Garou can duck and weave and pull. And the strikes
do give his more fluid, slow method a challenge, but he does not follow. He takes opportunities when they
arise, and little else, despite this being a decision fueled by frustration and anger. Mindless swinging would
not help, satisfaction from well applied technique was what kept his mind quiet, and that is what he would
use.

Oh blessed Andraste yes. The grin that spreads across Rou's
face is bright and contagious, lighting it up and taking at least five years off his apparent age. That's the
point where he changes tactics - oh there are still little swift teasing strikes and a good deal of fluid moves to
miss any returns from Cenn instead of actively blocking them - but he's increasing his speed… and he's not
running.

There is a satisfaction that comes with that smile, with getting someone
to change tactics. And now that he's not having to focus on little darts in and out, Cenn can train his
attention on strikes that come with increased frequency. At first, it's a little faulty. He's not near as quick,
and he's not learned Garou's rhythm yet. But it improves, noticeably, as time progresses. Because he
does learn that rhythm, quickly, falling into a motion that isn't as quick, but has a fluidity that allows him
to flow against the volley Garou sends at him. It's not the best thing for being offensive, but most of Cenn's
training lies in a defensive nature, and this is good for that, at least.


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