mnt_raph: (Default)
[personal profile] mnt_raph
Righting a wrong is often times hard enough. When you're righting a wrong that's solidly embedded into how you see and carry yourself, it's damn near impossible. And that just the task set before Raph; righting a wrong that is...him. It's every fiber of his being. It's...the tree to his forest. The existence of water to his fish. The...well, you get the idea.

Raph had been stewing over Alanna's words for some time now. He'd killed many a bottle of Sam Adams in his attempts to see things from this completely new-to-him point of view. It was working, but...wow was that work slow going, and even as he did so he knew the hardest trial was yet to come: how best to approach Abigail. The hours rolled into days, and still he had made no headway into how to confront the woman he loved,...the woman he had inadvertantly wronged. Until one day, when he could stand the separation no longer, he returned to Tortall.

Standing outside the door to the barn where he knew her daily routine would most assuredly place her, he takes a deep, calming breath.
Instantly a memory from a few days previous surfaces.

Raph was helping Mike with dinner preparations, ie: setting the table, when suddenly he threw caution to the wind and asked his brother:

"How would you go about apologizin' to a really really angry woman?"

"Oral sex. Lots oral sex," replied his hedonistic youngest brother, without so much as missing a beat.

Raph had no words.

"But that's just me. For you?" Mike continued, ever unflappable. "I'd suggest something a little more Pop Warner and a little less Varsity. Flowers? Coupon for a free kick to the nethers?"

"I hate you so much right now."

"I know. But if you're asking me for advice, you clearly don't hate me nearly as much as Abigail hates you right now."

Mike wasn't wrong. Infuriatingly, he usually never is.
Which is why, as he pushes open the barn door, he's carring a Star-gazer Lilly in one hand.

Date: 2010-10-22 07:44 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (You really aren't very smart)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
The truth of the matter is that Mike's advice wasn't far off. Oral sex would do Raph's case a world of good, but Abigail would be far too likely to cash in on that coupon for a free kick to the nethers before he'd so much as touched her knee.

As for the flower...

Well.

Abigail takes note of it as she leaves one cow and moves her bucket to the next, but she's not at all inclined to comment on its efficacy as a tool of reconciliation.

Date: 2010-10-22 07:51 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Strong and proud)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
Abigil ceases the repetitive motions of her hands to have a look around, eyebrow raised.

"Oh, aye. Quite a lot of it. Not all of it's good eatin' for the livestock, though. You have to know how to mind the shit all mixed in."

Finished, she goes back to milking the cow without so much as looking his way.

Date: 2010-10-22 08:03 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Look down)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
"Do you now?"

Color flares high on Abigail's cheekbones. She stares at the udder in her hand and carefully unwraps her fingers.

"Mayhap I do, as well. But you go right ahead, Boy-o, as I know it's hard for you to get your tongue untangled."

Her tone isn't unkind, not really, but she does look a bit as if she's struggling with the urge to turn the milk bucket over his head.

Date: 2010-10-22 08:12 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Bzuh?)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
That depends entirely on what he wants to accomplish.

It certainly serves to astonish her, at any rate.




He doesn't think... No. Even her Raph couldn't be that thick.

"For?"

It's as sharp as the katana he'd loaned her.

Date: 2010-10-22 08:31 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Soft as steel)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
Slowly, Abigail pushes her skirts back and stands, lifting her eyes to his. Her expression remains stony. It might be termed wary, if wary was backed up by frustrated, annoyed and irate.

"Someone help you with that, then?" she asks quietly.

The first she believes he'd say, no doubt about it. The middle and the last? Not so much. The man is many things, most of them good, but astute is not one. If he hadn't figured out why she was upset by the time she threw the pork shoulder at him -- and he hadn't, judging by his bewildered surprise -- then no additional thinking was going to light that candle for him.

Date: 2010-10-22 08:50 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Huh)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
"Maybe."

Oh, there's that look. That dangerous glint in her eyes that suggests she's found something new to be mad about, and that maybe it would be wise to be elsewhere as quickly as possible.




Remarkably, she doesn't move. Nor does the bucket.

"Even now you won't do me the favor of speakin' the truth? Tellin' me what I might need to know? That's a shame, then. That's a shame."

Date: 2010-10-22 09:13 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Soft as steel)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
"There are different types of lies, Boy-o," she says, voice low and full of steel. "Bein' told what you did wrong and that you should apologize doesn't mean it's meant, not if that confusion's still ridin' you."

It's written all over his face.

She wallks toward the rear of the barn, then past him to the door before turning back around and addressing him again.

"You've no idea, do you? All our time together, all we've shared, I never asked for anythin' but respect. I'm proud enough and smart enough to know what I'm due. And here was your brother! Come t'find you about your other brother's time, and you left without a word." She throws her hands up, then lets them fall to her sides where one twists in her skirt. "Never once did you make me feel like I was less. Never once did you make me feel like I was just anythin'. But that day I could've been any tavern girl you'd decided to tumble that night for all the thought ye showed me. That's my truth. Now mayhap you should go ask the Lioness about what to do with that."

Date: 2010-10-22 09:22 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Strong and proud)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
"Different?"

Her eyes narrow further.

"I believe you. I believe it wasn't meant. You'd have to think too hard first, and that seems as likely as my hair up and movin' to your foolish, thick head!"

Date: 2010-10-22 09:45 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Soft as steel)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
A sharp burst of humorless laughter escapes Abigail's lips.

"You say that, but it's anger talkin'. And if I really thought you stupid, Raph, would we be havin' this fight? I've no love for fools."

Just for a man who sometimes acts like one.

"Oh no. It's not simple like that. Not even close."

Date: 2010-10-22 10:03 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Strong and proud)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
A number of possible replies cross Abigail's mind, some more insistent and angry than others. The first, don't be tellin' me, SHOW me you great big dolt is too close to the hurt. The next, the Lioness' noble self tell you yellin' your apology at me was a good plan? is dismissed as too bitter.

But that bitterness and hurt shows in her eyes if Raph takes the time to look.

What do you want from me?

Love, trust, companionship. Honesty. But can he give it the way she deserves? Abigail isn't so sure anymore. She knows there's more he isn't telling her. She's all too aware -- even if he's not -- that they haven't addressed his obvious reluctance to take her with him to his precious Milliways. Family is different, he'd said. So where does that leave them?

Her lips thin into a nearly straight line before she says "That's for you to be figurin' out" and storms off -- for once without throwing anything at his head.

Date: 2010-10-22 10:17 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Bzuh?)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
"Oh, is that so, Boy-o? Fine, then. Say what you're wishin' to say, or I'll hand you my goodbye."

Abigail folds her arms across her chest and glares at him.

Then, when he doesn't immediately say anything, she has an abrupt change of plan.

"THOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMAS!"

Date: 2010-10-22 10:37 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Soft as steel)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
"Aye, you didn't mean it, and I'm sure you won't mean it the next time!" she shouts back. "That's an excuse I hope you don't intend on usin' the rest of your life, because it's comin' up on the end of its days!"

Beat.

"I couldn't come. Of course I couldn't. YOU NEVER ASKED!"

Date: 2010-10-22 10:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agoodmusekickin.livejournal.com
Thomas heard the raised voiced long before his name got dragged into it, and normally he'd just go on ignoring the spat, but there's something off about Abigail's tone.

And while he doesn't think Raph would ever actually lay a hand on his sister, he's felt first hand what the Shang is capable of. This is why he takes the gifted sword from behind the bar out with him to the yard.

"Oi! What's all this then? Why don't we take a step back so that cooler heads can prevail."

Which is a hell of a thing to say when you enter a fight armed, but Thomas is hoping the sight of the sword will remind Raph more of his promise to them than of an attack on his person.

Date: 2010-10-22 10:52 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Huh)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
Abigail wastes no time stepping back beside Thomas -- mindful of the sword, of course. She loves her brother, but he's no knight.

"That so."

Beat.


"Family is different," she reminds Raph. "Well, mayhap you'll just have to be dealin' with mine for now."

Date: 2010-10-23 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agoodmusekickin.livejournal.com
Thomas shifts the sword from a defensive to an offensive position.

"Not going to happen, Raph."

Date: 2010-10-23 12:22 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Strong and proud)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
It has to do with family, though, doesn't it?

Stubborn to her core, Abigail lifts her chin and gives Raph a withering look, feet planted in the soft dirt by their door. She won't desert Thomas, and the message couldn't be more obvious: It's time you cleared out for a while.

"You've got some thinkin' to do. Best get started somewhere you won't be distracted. When you can understand why I'm unhappy without shoutin' at me about how I should be done bein' angry about it, and say you're sorry without actin' all frustrated, you know I'll have an ale waitin'."

There. That's as much of a concession as he's going to get right now.

Date: 2010-10-24 12:16 pm (UTC)
becareful_boyo: (Soft as steel)
From: [personal profile] becareful_boyo
All this time.

All this time he could do that?

Abigail takes a deep, shuddering breath and stares at the spot formerly occupied by Raph.

I love you too, you inconsiderate blockhead.

Mustering some small measure of nonchalance, Abigail swoops down on the flower and clutches it tightly, further crushing its stem. The look she gives Thomas asks -- no, demands -- that there be no questions just yet.

"Those layabouts inside aren't going to feed themselves, are they?" she snaps, lifting her chin as she stalks inside.

Date: 2010-10-24 10:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agoodmusekickin.livejournal.com
Thomas is, for lack of a better term, gobsmacked.
Of all the things Thomas was expecting to happen after taking his Raph's sword and using it to defend Abigail, Raph disappearing into an equally disappearing door was certainly not on the list. Bleeding to death in the dirt was second to arriving in time to watch the two lovebirds make up, but the thing with the door? Kind of blindsided him.

This is why he has not a word to say as his sister turns to him before retreating back into the house. It's only after he hears the latch of the back door click shut that he manages to find words, and they're stolen from the man who just made the most amazing exit Thomas has ever seen.

"Fucking hell."

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Raphael

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