(JP) I will go down with this ship ... (RP for [livejournal.com profile] sand_andwater)

Jun. 27th, 2009 10:01 pm
fey_fire: (Profile)
[personal profile] fey_fire
I know you think that I shouldn't still love you,
Or tell you that.
But if I didn't say it, well I'd still have felt it
where's the sense in that?

I promise I'm not trying to make your life harder
Or return to where we were …

June 17th, 2009

Rory had been sure that the hardest part of getting to Venice to see Pippa would be cutting loose from Breaker Street's schedule of promotional appearances for their debut album. The head of PR for Serptichore Records had indeed gotten in a fume about his request … more of a demand, really … which the singer bypassed by going straight to the top, namely Robbie Fellowes' office. Rory had been prepared to argue, cajole, insist, anything necessary to get his way with the man he'd known all his life as Robin Goodfellow. Robin, however, had listened to his explanation with narrowed eyes, and then shocked the hell out of him.

"One week," he'd said mildly. "Absolutely no more than seven days. We'll spin this to our advantage in the meantime, but you're to be back here no later than three weeks before the tour starts." Eyebrows arching at Rory's stunned expression, the Puck had flicked his fingers at the office door. "What are you waiting for, idiot boy, a bolt from the blue? Go!"

He went.

Certainly travelling to the City of Bridges wasn't the greatest of difficulty, not for a fae like himself. Using the twilight realms to cross the Atlantic and part of Europe took longer than to cross the United States, but no more than a handful of hours passed before Rory changed from stallion back to man and emerged on a vacant rooftop overlooking the Piazza San Marco. Only then did the problems of trying to find one spot in a completely unfamiliar city bear down on him. He of course spoke not one word of Italian, and even when a young woman who spoke reasonable English took pity on the tall and very lost-looking foreigner with a single bag slung over his shoulder, his Irish accent still made it difficult to establish mutual understanding. The scrap of paper on which he'd scrawled the return address from one of Pippa's letters, however, helped clarify matters.

"Ah, si, you are going to Murano then. I can show you where to catch the vaporetto, it's just up the Riva degli Schiavoni … you have a pass, of course?" When he confessed he did not, she shook her head and guided him through buying both a map and a "Venice Card" good for a week's travel on the water buses. Rory had at least provided himself with plenty of euros; he had no desire to fool the locals with fairy coinage.

He knew perfectly well that he hadn't given himself enough time for proper planning. Taking that time would have also meant giving himself too much time to think about what he was doing, and the journey here had already provided more than enough of that. Even the wait for the vaporetto and the ten-minute ride across the Venetian Lagoon set his mind to gnawing at one realization. His biggest difficulty had nothing to do with getting out of his obligations, the language barrier, the strangeness of his surroundings or even the fact that he had no idea how Pippa would react to seeing him.

In truth, he had no idea how he would react to seeing her.

His thoughts swung wildly through a swirl of emotions: distress at the tears in her voice during their last phone conversation, frustration at her refusal to respond to his calls and messages afterward, not a little pique that he was somehow expected to chase her when she'd been the one to decide to leave, and simple desire to see her face again. Overlaying it all was worry, worry that he still wasn't sure whether he'd made the right choice.

He set foot on the Glassmakers' Island, fingers on the slip of paper in his pocket, looking around for another local who might help him. And still he didn't know if he should be there at all.

And when we meet
Which I'm sure we will
All that was there
Will be there still ...

Muse: Rory MacEibhir / Rory Stone
Fandom: The Grey Horse by R.A. MacAvoy
Word count: 645

Date: 2009-06-28 05:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
Pippa, of course, had no idea anyone was searching the small island for her. Even if asked to guess who might wish to see her, the redheaded gaffer would likely name any one of a half dozen friends she had scattered over Venice's many islands. Rory Stone wouldn't even come to mind.

Not in that capacity. He'd written her off, she assumed, when she'd called him days ago and begged him to come to her. That he hadn't and could only offer her a 'maybe' spoke volumes to the temperamental artist. Unable to forget him and move on, it seemed he had little of the same problem, so she stopped answering his calls, deleted his voice mails unheard and spent her time much as she had for the last six months: pushing herself to hard and blaming herself for far too much. Her moods could burn as long as the fires she stoked and be as fragile as the glass she worked.

Today she was doing the work of an apprentice, a near-novice, making gathers of flux for other glassmakers. Back and forth she moved, from furnace to work bench and back again. She did the menial labor so that the gaffer could create. Physically demanding, her tank top was soaked through with sweat and her jeans were grimy, her hair tied back with a kerchief and while her arms tensed and muscles at times quivered from exhaustion, Pippa’s face was an expression of pure concentration. She was nothing if not determined here.

Proving that she could still do this, that her talent wasn’t wasted. If this weren’t enough of a reminder, her journey across the studio repeatedly brought her to face another reminder: The Red King. Ruairi. Ro. Her own project that occupied her evenings and any time when she wasn’t working for the maestro and earning her keep. She worked on the massive sculpture when she could have the studio to herself, while there was no one to interfere with her methods.

In fact, it was her plans for this night that prevented Pippa from paying too much attention to the minor commotion outside the studio. Along the canal there was a walkway and as usual, it was littered with men taking a break from their work and passersby curious enough to watch the gaffers at their craft. Now there was a murmuring, some excitement or another than had a wave of Italian voices rising and falling. A few even glanced back inside at the redheaded American.

She didn’t notice, back to work as she was. Pontil dipped into the flux, spinning the rod steadily with one hand and balancing it in the other to make the perfect gather.
Edited Date: 2009-06-28 06:10 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-06-28 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Rory adjusted his duffel on his shoulder as he kept walking. No other English speakers had surfaced, but a few people had been kind enough to look over the address and literally point him in the right direction. At least he hoped it was the right direction. Ruddy hells, but he wished this was Éire. He'd have no need for translation in his native Connemara, no matter what language the other person spoke.

But there, this was the area he was looking for, wasn't it? As he paused to inspect a nearby sign, the Irishman became aware that he'd attracted attention. A group of men on the walk outside a nearby building were talking amongst themselves as they watched him with undisguised interest.

That's odd. Not unnerving, no, the singer had spent too much time on stage for that. But puzzled he was, he didn't look that out of the ordinary, and Breaker Street's CD wouldn't have a European release for some time yet. Surely they couldn't have recognized him?

At any rate, perhaps they could help. Reaching into his pocket for the now-creased address, Rory started to ask if anyone spoke English, only to be interrupted by one of the younger men breaking into a spate of Italian. When all he could do was stand there looking befuddled, the man tapped him on the chest and said something that sounded like rehrosso.

Rory shook his head in confusion. "I'm sorry, but I don't understand."

Date: 2009-06-28 07:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
"Capisce?" The younger man tried again and seeing the blank look on Rory's face, waved his hand in dismissal, "Non importa." It doesn't matter. He turned from the clueless man with the recognizable face and spoke a few words to one of the other men and gestured inside.

"Phillipa! È libero, Phillpa?" Exasperation from the one Rory spoke to is directed at the taller, heavier man. He was supposed to go fetch the woman not yell for her like a simpleton.

He had to call her a few more times before the sounds of heavy pontils being placed across a steel table could be heard, the clanking and the possible muted swearing in a feminine voice. Then came a friendly, "Cosa c'è? What's the matter?" As she moved closer to the entryway her expression grew more and more confused, why were they all grinning at her? If this was another foolish joke on the lone woman in the studio...

re Rosso. The Red King. He was standing right there. Pippa stopped, hand to her chest and looked up at him. That so familiar face. There weren't words, there was barely enough air to breathe--how could she spare any to speak?

Date: 2009-06-28 08:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Phillipa. His ears managed to pick that name out of the Italian accents, so Rory had slightly more forewarning than the red-haired woman now staring up at him. But no amount of warning could help his eloquence now. She was grubby, coated in perspiration and as far as he was concerned, utterly entrancing. Pippa.

Rory wanted nothing so much as to scoop his-- yes, his instincts still said his --believer girl into his arms, but his uncertainty held him back. Anxiously he searched for some reaction behind the shock in her blue eyes, some indication of how she felt about seeing him after nearly six months. Nor had he ever been so self-conscious in front of an audience as he was now, awkwardly aware of the group of grinning men watching them with open curiosity.

"Pippa ..." He had to swallow before continuing. "I came. I hope that's all right."

Date: 2009-06-28 08:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
"Stai zitto, sei pazzo! Ro..." Shut up, you're crazy--and then she was moving towards him, wrapping her arms around him and pressing her face into his chest. "You're crazy...you're...oh God...you're here."

She had been wrong about him not coming, not caring and now nothing else mattered. Not the cat calls and the approving nods and applause from the men and passersby watching her cling to the tall Irishman, not any of her reasons for leaving him in the first place. The only thing that mattered was Rory standing there with her in Venice.

How she loved him, adored him and wanted him. Needed him. Feelings washed over her as she held tightly to waist, inhaled the warm, fresh scent of him and she tried to find some way to tell him everything all at once. Pippa couldn't so she settled for pressing a kiss to the middle of his chest. "Oh, Ro."

"re Russo, si?" One of the gaffers asked and Pippa lifted her head and nodded, grinning through tears. "Si, si...re Russo."

And she too, pressed a hand to Rory's chest as she spoke the words, not that she offered any explanation for the words or actions. "Si." Pippa looked up at him again, this time reaching to run her fingertips along the contours of his face. "I know you, I know you so well...this beautiful face."

Date: 2009-06-28 09:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
The hard knots of tension in his chest and gut eased at her embrace. Whatever had passed between them, however much hurt and confusion, she was happy to see him now. Rory shelved his own misgivings, ignored the men behind them and let his bag fall to the ground in order to wrap his arms around Pippa. Go away world. For right this moment, I'm ignoring you.

"A muirnín," he murmured into her hair, marveling at how easily the endearment fell from his lips. "I missed you."

When Pippa spoke to the man, he tilted his head quizzically at the Italian, wondering what was being said. Smiling at her caress on his face, Rory gave in to impulse and kissed her fingers. "Your ... coworkers, I presume?" he asked, nodding at the men in question.

Date: 2009-06-28 09:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
She laughed at the terminology more than the question itself. "Gaffers, yes. Mostly. Ah, Gianni, Paolo, Maurizio, Vitale and Gianni." She rambled off their names, shaking her head when the second Gianni and the first began to argue which was the better of the two. They already knew who Rory was so she didn't bother introducing him further. "And they are all going back to work now."

Her words were in English but her look pointed enough to earn her a few salutes and a couple of groans as they went back inside the studio. Pippa turned to face Rory once more at that, grinning before realizing what a mess she was. Hastily pulling the scarf from her head, Pippa used her fingers to rustle her red curls loose. In the past six months her hair had grown quite a bit longer, shoulder length again.

"I...you...what are you doing here?" She was hugging him again, not letting go lest he slip away and disappear.
Edited Date: 2009-06-28 04:38 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-06-29 09:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Rory's sense of mischief came to the fore, arching his brows and putting a sparkle in his eyes as he hugged her back. "I should think that would be self-evident, sweet," he teased. "What other reasons would I have for being here, after all?"

At least that solved the mystery of being unexpectedly recognized. Pippa must have shown her fellow gaffers a photo. The púca dismissed the event from his mind in favor of running his own fingers through her fiery curls. He'd missed this too, missed having her close.

"I hope I haven't interrupted anything important," he murmured. "I wasn't sure how long it would take me to find you."

Date: 2009-06-29 10:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
She looked up at him, took in his expression and choked on a bit of a laugh. Oh, Ro... If that was what he was after, she'd certainly indulge him. Absolutely indulge him. She's missed that part of their relationship almost as much as she's missed his physical presence in her life. "Don't tease me, not now. I...I can barely think straight and that's not fair."

She was trying to get scattered thoughts in line, what to do with him now? Where to go? What to say and how? And please, please let her get a shower and a change of clothes before settling on any of that. His hands in her hair distracted her once more and she sighed softly.

"Mmm...no. Nothing important, nothing's more important than you being here now." Later, once the men had gone home for the day, maybe she would show him The Red King and why they all knew re Rosso on sight. "We can go? I mean, you must be tired and I'm a mess and well, I suppose there are about a million things I want to ask you, tell you, show you...how, how long have you been here?"

He'd been searching for her? Oh, what if he'd tried calling and she'd ignored him? Pippa winced and bit her bottom lip. "I'm sorry if you had difficulty."

Date: 2009-07-09 03:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Nothing's more important. Rory's arms tightened a fraction at Pippa's words, his cheek pressed a little more firmly against her hair. Nothing. There might still be a voice in the back of his mind demanding to know why Pippa hadn't called him back if he was so important, but he'd stifled that voice into near-inaudibility. They could talk such issues out later. Much later.

For now he gave her a reassuring smile. "I've been here a few hours." Several, but never mind. "It wasn't such a problem. I found someone who spoke English to get me started in the right direction, and I had this--" He pulled out the slip of paper and showed it to her. "So I got here."

Looking at the address brought to mind a potential problem, though. "Um ... I can get a hotel room somewhere if needed, of course. I certainly don't want to put Maestro Alessandro to any inconvenience." For all sorts of reasons.

Date: 2009-07-09 04:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
"No." No, no, no. There would be none of that or that either. Pippa certainly wasn't about to let Rory out of her sight or bear the thought of a situation where she'd potentially not be spending every waking and sleeping moment with him...for as long as he was there. Nor was she about to suggest he stay with her at Alessandro's. She'd not insult either man with that sort of imposition and awkwardness.

Ignoring the slip of paper, Pippa ran her hand down the front of Rory's shirt, smoothing nonexistent wrinkles in the fabric while she thought. The she reached into the back pocket of her jeans and pulled out her cell phone. "Un momento, per favore." She slipped into the Italian, her accent still carrying more than a hint of her native New York, pressing a single button to connect her to someone she obviously called frequently. "Marcello! Si, vorrei..." Pippa gave Rory a smile here and there as she spoke cheerfully and quickly to the photographer.

She was asking that the small apartment he used as a photography studio be loaned to her while Rory was in town. As the man asked more personal questions, Pippa's voice lowered and she turned her back to the Irishman even though she was aware that he couldn't understand her side of the conversation. Yes, she was certain of what she wanted. No, it wasn't a bad idea. Yes, yes...okay...maybe she had been wrong in her angry and hurt dismissal of her Red King. Re Rosso. "Grazie mille, you horrible snoop. Just leave the key...yes. There. I am hanging up now..."

Laughing, she looked up at Rory again. "The only person I'm inconveniencing is Marcello's wife. She's going to have to put up with him being underfoot since I've just confiscated his studio." And moments pause, she really ought to give Rory some say in the matter. "If that's all right with you, Ro."
Edited Date: 2009-07-09 04:14 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-07-09 05:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Mention of Marcello's name might have sparked a different kind of awkwardness, had it not been followed by mention of his wife. He's married? Rory might still feel a prickle of very base jealousy at the thought of the photographer encouraging Pippa to pose semi-nude for his camera, but he was not about to brand him an adulterer and Pippa along with him, not even in the privacy of his own mind. As for what Marcello might want ... Benefit of the doubt, man. You haven't even met him yet.

And with that admonishment on board, he answered Pippa readily. "That would be fine with me, sweet. If you're sure I won't be imposing, that is."

Date: 2009-07-09 05:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
"Have I ever once thought of you as an imposition?" She wasn't asking him if it were all right for her to stay with him at Marcello's flat, she was simply letting him know that it was her intention to do so with a question to which she already knew the answer. Ever so Pippa, that. "I'm afraid I'll have to inconvenience you a bit, however."

The redhead turned and called towards the glass shop, Good bye, I'm leaving! setting her face into something bordering on disapproving annoyance as a flurry of remarks drifted back to them on the walkway. No, she wouldn't do Rory the courtesy of translating the cat-calls. He likely could guess at the intent from the intonation of the various voices anyhow.

"I do need to stop ho--stop at Alessandro's to change and feed that miserable beast." The cat. Alessandro's poisonous little tom. Her disdain for the animal was something she didn't bother to hide. In fact, she held up her left arm, exposing the tender underside of her forearm to show Rory the angry red parallel lines left from the most recent clawing the feline had served up. "I should let the wretch just starve."

And then, as if realizing what she sounded like, Pippa dropped her arm and once more forced a calm, pleasant expression to grace her features. It was so easy to fall back into a comfortable posture with him and let her guard down. Something warned her to not get very comfortable with this visit. After all, there's no telling how this will go once they move past greetings and necessities. So many things to discuss...

"Walk with me?" She held out her hand to him as she turned in the direction they needed to go.

Date: 2009-07-10 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
A small smile curved Rory's lips at the gaffers' ... enthusiasm, he decided to call it. That smile reversed into a slight frown, however, when Pippa displayed her feline-inflicted wounds. Well, he could certainly ease those later if she liked. Moreover, the furrow in his brow quickly smoothed when realization struck. She's not trying to hide her left hand anymore.

But maybe he should have a talk with the cat.

"But of course, signorina." He lightly offered one of the very few Italian words he'd picked up as he slung his back back over his shoulder. Taking her proffered hand, Rory set off with her along the walkway. His eyes picked up on subtle signs of healing in Pippa, a greater ease to her stride, an increased confidence in the way she held her shoulders. This stay in Venice had been good for her.

He too had so many things he wanted to ask. How are you? Are you happier here? Is your glass work progressing as you'd hoped? How are you really? But he shied away from diving straight into deeper waters so soon. "So other than dealing with cat attacks," he asked, giving her hand a gentle squeeze, "what have you been up to?"

Date: 2009-07-21 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
Pippa arched an eyebrow and gave a backward glance at the glass studio behind them. What has she been up to, indeed. "Making glass."

True enough, really. She had been and while this wasn't exactly the way she wanted to show Rory just what she'd been creating, the redhead made a decision then and there as they walked side by side. She'd show him. Tonight.

"I'll show it to you, if you like." Just not now, not with the place filled with men who would never truly understand what she had been doing for the last six months. And much more casually, "Spending time with Marcello's family, drinking too much wine and eating too much pasta, arguing with Alessandro...remembering what it's like to live in Venice."

Date: 2009-07-21 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
All right, an obvious answer to a silly question, Rory supposed he deserved that. And he was far too intelligent to mention that he'd noticed the bit of weight the pasta and wine had put on Pippa. As far as he was concerned, it looked good on her, especially considering how thin she'd gotten when--how thin she'd gotten.

Her offer to show him her work brightened his eyes, though. "I'd very much like to see your projects, sweet." Rory had always enjoyed watching Pippa's passion and fire come out in her glasswork, and he smiled in happy anticipation that he'd soon be able to watch her once again doing the work she loved. He bent to drop an impulsive kiss on her forehead.

Date: 2009-07-21 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
She wouldn't have been offended had he mentioned the weight, others had and she herself wasn't blind to it either. Not that Pippa was particularly pleased with the snug fit to some of her clothing but she accepted it for what it was. Besides, if Marcello and Alessandro had their ways about it, she'd add another twenty pounds or more to her frame. Mangia, mangia! seemed to be their favorite phrase.

Pippa smiled again at Rory's kiss and shook her hand free from his to loop her arm around his waist instead. This felt good, the small indulgence of invading his personal space and pretending for the moment that things were perfectly fine between them. So much for the caution she knew she should exercise.

The walk to her Venice home wasn't long, a few short blocks and over a footbridge or two and they were standing outside of a tall stucco and plaster covered building with terrazzo steps leading to a heavy wooden door. Perched in the window on the third floor was an orange cat, lazily watching something or another in the wrought iron flower box that was overflowing with bright colored blooms.

"Come in, meet Tiberus." Yes, she'd noticed the furry menace and that he was in her room, yet again. As Pippa pushed open the door and stepped into the cool foyer, she waved Rory in as well. The maestro, she didn't mention even if he was likely somewhere in the house.

Date: 2009-07-22 04:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Rory had no objections to trading his grasp of Pippa's hand for an arm around her shoulders. The feel of her tucked up against his side, the scent of her next to him seemed so right after so long apart. He too had to take a moment to remind himself that he and the woman beside him had plenty of issues to work through. If they could.

Better for now, maybe, to focus on the pleasures of the walk and the company, the beauty of both the surrounding city and Pippa's smile.

Rory did indeed wonder about Maestro Evangelisti's location, but since Pippa didn't bring up the subject, he decided not to ask. "Tiberus?" he asked instead. "You mean the owner of the claws?"

Date: 2009-07-24 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
"The little horror. He seems to think my room is his. We argue about this nightly." But enough that, she only wants to shower and change, maybe put a few things into an overnight bag of her own. There's a wide staircase that leads to the second floor, Pippa takes several steps up the flight before addressing Rory again.

"I'm going to wash the work off myself but I won't be long. You can stay down there if you like, I'm certain there's sangria in the kitchen and anything else you need." Alternatively, "Or you can come up here with me."

Date: 2009-08-04 08:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
No, Rory was not quite ready to let his red-haired darling out of his sight just yet. Easily taking two steps at a time, he clasped Pippa's hand again and walked with her up the stairs. "I'll come up and protect you from the little horror, sweet."

When they reached her room, the tall singer looked over Pippa's head to take in the furnishings. The cat, he noted, still reclined in the window. "Tiberus, I presume?"

Date: 2009-08-04 08:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
"Si." And she said it so carefully and with just a hint of malice in it that the cat stood and stretched before greeting them with an arched back and a hiss. "Charming, isn't it? There's a reason I much prefer dogs."

As for Pippa, she closed the heavy wooden bedroom door before peeling out of her work clothes. Tank top, bra and jeans all neatly discarded in a wicker hamper before she bothered with pulling on a lightweight robe (that she only loosely belted around her waist). Her movements and offhand manner gave the impression that this is how the woman ended many of her days here in Venice.

Sitting at a small vanity, Pippa carefully pulled pins from her hair, letting the curls of varied lengths tumble free and creating something of a wild red mane about her face. Raking fingers through her hair, she looked at Rory in the reflection of her mirror, "I hope you don't mind my taking a quick shower. I'm quite disgusting after spending all morning in the studio."

Standing, she moved toward him and the door. "I'll only be a few moments." She had no real concerns about leaving him in her room or with her things. As for the cat, well...she half-hoped the beast would try something. The ball of fluff would be no match for a puca.

That is, if he's not distracted by Pippa's scattered mementos and photographs placed around the warm space. The few things she brought with her from New York and her sketchbooks filled with the things she's been working on in Italy. Some proofs of the latest work with Marcello.

Date: 2009-08-22 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
"Of course. You go right ahead." Pippa herself had distracted Rory up to that point. The way she undressed and her relaxed attitude called up memories of times at his apartment or hers when they would have stepped into that shower together. But one glance around the unfamiliar surroundings reminded him that they were a long way from those days, leaving him uncertain of how to proceed.

One step at a time, man. He drifted around the room, taking note of bits and pieces. Tiberus hissed again as he approached the window, but he met the tabby's eyes with a level gaze that said behave. The cat clearly did not agree, but he only spat once before dropping down from the sill and vacating the room.

Rory smiled as he continued around the room, but stilled abruptly when he came across the photographic proofs clearly taken by Pippa's photographer friend. He looked them over thoughtfully, mildly surprised to find his initial jealous irritation fading, and for more reasons than the fact that Marcello was married. The pictures he'd taken were clues to Pippa as she now was, and as he sifted through them, he looked for hints of the changes she'd gone through since leaving him.

Date: 2009-08-22 04:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
There were shots of Pippa clearly posing under someone's direction to hold her body this way or that, photos where she hadn't been aware of the camera at all and her expressions ranged from completely lost to wry amusement and even downright silly. There were a few images of her working as well, though on what it was hard to tell from the angles and light--besides, the artist was the focus and not her art.

While Rory poked around her room, Pippa kept her word and showered quickly, washing her hair and rinsing the sweat and grime from her body. When she returned, her hands were full with a towel that she was using to dry her hair and her robe was loosely belted about her middle. "You found my pictures."

Just an observation, a comment to announce her presence even though she knew he didn't need one. "I don't like most of them, they're dreadful, but Marcello is insisting they be printed anyhow. He's entirely unreasonable that way." Pippa was looking over Rory's arm by that point and added with exasperation, "He prints those and I'll make him eat them and the proofs."

Pippa, wholly undignified with her eyes crossed and her mouth twisted in a disgusted expression as she held up a dead fish by the tail in what looked like a market stall somewhere. "You never saw that."

Date: 2009-08-23 03:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Rory couldn't stifle a chuckle, and truth to tell he didn't try too hard. "Never?" he teased gently. "If you say so, sweet. I think it's adorable though."

Glancing down at Pippa made his breath catch just a little. Her fair skin and bright curls looked soft and touchable, still damp from her shower. The bit of weight she'd gained had clearly wound up in all the right places, and her scent ... enticing. She looked much like the Pippa he'd met years ago.

But she wasn't, and he had to remember that. Rory contented himself with tucking a curl behind her ear and letting his fingers trail down the lobe. "Tiberus decided to take his lordly presence elsewhere. You can do whatever you need to without fear of feline attack."

Date: 2009-08-23 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
She wasn't going to acknowledge his comment about the picture, he never saw it after all. Likewise, she was doing her level best to ignore the way it felt to have his oh so familiar touch caressing her ear. "I suppose it's too much to hope for that you pitched him into the canal."

Anyone else might have wondered at the seriousness of her comment, but the way she glanced up at Rory showed every bit of the possible mischief those blue eyes could hold. She looked away quickly.

"I only need to get dressed and put a few things in my bag." Very few. And she wouldn't bother with makeup either. Should she feel like it later, she had everything she could possibly need at the studio flat, including plenty of clothing.

She would have to stop standing there next to him if she were going to accomplish anything, however. Pippa found it hard to put even a few feet of distance between them. "Oh, Ro..."

So much said in those two syllables.

Date: 2009-08-23 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
So much said that her brief whisper seemed to travel straight from her lips to lodge underneath his heart. Before Rory could think to stop himself, he'd cupped his hands over Pippa's shoulders and lowered his head to brush his lips against hers.

He kept the kiss brief, much as he longed to crush her to him and devour her mouth. "I have missed you, a muirnín." Trained as his voice was, it still shook slightly. "So, so much."

Date: 2009-08-23 04:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
She missed him too, as evidenced by the way she placed her hands on his chest to steady herself after that short kiss. It took her a bit longer to find her voice--instead of trembling, her words were airy and soft, not much more than a whisper. "I can't tell you how much I've missed you."

But she would show him. Later. The Red King was the best proof she had of that.

"I should," She paused, hesitated again. "I should get dressed.

After she dipped her head to brush a kiss over his knuckles.

Date: 2009-08-23 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
"Right." And she can't do that while you're holding on to her, boyo. Reluctantly he let his hands drop back to his sides and stepped back to take a seat on Pippa's bed. Maybe if he didn't loom quite so much, she could move about as needed.

He heard the irritable tomcat approach the door, then let out an annoyed little growl when he still smelled the púca within. While Tiberus made his second retreat, Rory tried for casual conversation. "Is Marcello's studio on Murano as well?" Ah, there, he can even say the name without wanting to clench his teeth. Will wonders never cease?

Date: 2009-08-23 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
He let go and then the cat had to show up again prompting Pippa to backtrack and completely push the door closed. "Honestly, one of these days I am going to shove him out of that window." She did give Rory a somewhat charmed look as she realized that cat was just as displeased with him as he was with her. "It is nice to know that it isn't just me that he finds objectionable."

Once more she was shedding her clothing in front of the Irishman and dressing in something suitable for the walk they'd be taking. "Hmm? Oh, no. We'll take the boat. My keys are around here somewhere."

She was fumbling with the clasp of her bra as she continued to speak, irritated with the garment but determined to fasten it without assistance. Absurd, really, that she was having issues--nerves, maybe? "He lives in Venice proper not out here in exile with all of us mad hatters determined to set everything ablaze."

Date: 2009-08-23 06:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Rory stood and crossed to help Pippa without thinking. It wasn't until he'd fastened her bra and found his fingers were even more reluctant to leave the smooth skin of her back than her shoulders that the simple intimacy of the act washed over him. Swallowing hard, he forced himself to retreat back to the bed.

Light, light, keep it light. "Is that what you gaffers are?" He injected a teasing note into his voice. "I didn't realize."

Date: 2009-08-23 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
That he got up to help her only spurred Pippa to rush with the rest of her clothing, hurriedly pulling a loose-knit top over another tank, layering things to keep between herself and Rory. She did manage a small smile at his question while she stepped into her shoes.

"Only the ones with any talent." Was she referring to herself or not? In the past she'd always insisted that was she did was a learned skill, nothing more. She'd learned and relearned a lot in the last six months. Opinions changed.

Date: 2009-08-23 07:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Rory noted the ambiguity in her answer, but he also heard the note of returned confidence in her voice. No ... the note of increased confidence. It broadened his smile just a trifle as he watched Pippa gather her things.

"How have the others reacted to you?" His own tone turned thoughtful. "I noticed it was all men at the studio, except for you."

Date: 2009-08-23 07:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
"Do you mean now that they've all stopped laughing at me and come to the realization that they'll never get me into bed?" Those first weeks back had been the worst with the sexism and the rudeness, the ogling and even some very unwanted advances. She ignored or fended them off as need be and once they saw that Pippa expected nothing from them in the way of assistance and later, realized that the young woman had earned every word of praise from Alessandro, they settled into the good-natured ribbing Rory witnessed earlier.

"Men," she fixed him with a look as she zipped her bag closed, "are pigs." It wasn't until she had her bag on her shoulder and managed to locate her keys that she amended her statement. "Present company excluded, of course."

She shook the keys at him, "Ever pilot motor boat?" He was a speed demon on that bike of his, Pippa was fairly certain he'd enjoy playing with her fast little toy as well.

Date: 2009-08-26 01:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
Rory's eyes widened in innocence at Pippa's proclamation of the porcine nature of the male gender, then narrowed in amusement at her addendum. He hoped all this helped hide the jolt of protective irritation he found himself feeling after her description of the other gaffers' behavior. She's handling them just fine, laddie-buck, and doesn't need you leaping to her defense. He'd erred on the side of over-protectiveness with Pippa once already; he didn't need to make the same mistake twice.

When she pulled out those keys, however ... oh yes, he was intrigued. "I have, yes. Tadhg and I borrow a speedboat from a friend of his now and again. Haven't wrecked or overturned it yet." Reaching for the keys with a ooo-new-plaything brand of eagerness, he asked, "Are there any 'rules of the road' I need to know about Venetian canals?"

Date: 2009-08-26 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
She chuckled at his various changes of expression and then hesitated before laying the keys in the palm of Rory's hand. "Don't even think about gunning the engine until we are on the open water. The wake would tip any gondolas, let alone the possibility of flooding someone's first floor. We have enough of an issue with that here during the rainy season."

We, she spoke as if she were a permanent resident of this city. Her home now, just as it had been for several years in her past. Would she ever consider leaving again?

"Go around San Michele and towards Lido di Venezia, less of a walk that way and I prefer the docks on that side of the island." She would, of course, serve as a proper navigator for him but for now the conversation was easier than trying to hold a personal discussion with him. Not now, not yet. "And I reserve the right to shove you over board if you say anything about the boat's name."

Date: 2009-08-26 03:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
He listened attentively to her instructions, assuming the directions would make more sense once they were on the water. His eyebrows lifted along with the corners of his mouth, though, at her final declaration and the Look that went with it. "The boat's ... name. Right. This I have to see."

If Rory noted that we and its implications, he let no hint of it show on his face. Shouldering his own duffel, he offered Pippa his arm. "And I'll be proper and polite in the canals, I promise."
Edited Date: 2009-08-26 03:43 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-08-26 03:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
He really shouldn't be allowed to look so adorable, Pippa shook her head as she took Rory's arm and led him back down the stairs and out of Alessandro's home. The maestro's own vessel was tied up in front of the residence meaning the pair had a short walk along the canal until they came to an obviously much newer boat. The small sports craft was covered by a blue canvas tarp that hid its interior from view and the parallel docking along the canal obscured the boat's name.

"It's covered because I am a slob and lazy." She's explaining this as she drops her bag to the paved walkway and leaning over to undo the tarp, peeling it back and folding it in the process. Her idea of slovenly differs from most; resting on the leather passenger seat is a box filled with empty bottles (to be returned to a friend's vineyard), a change of clothes next to it and several pairs of heels on the deck (discarded because walking home barefoot was preferable when drunk).

Pippa climbed into the boat to finish dealing with the tarp and stowing it. Looking up at him, she held out her hands for their bags. "Untie that before you get in, please?" She pointed to the length of rope securing the boat.

Date: 2009-08-26 06:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
He did chuckle a bit at oh-so-proper Pippa's definition of slobbishness, but he dutifully handed over the bags. "As you wish, signorina." He went forward to cast off the small boat, coiling the line neatly. Rory did learn watercraft as well as horsemanship in Connemara, after all.

Unfortunately, the boat's name wasn't painted anywhere he could see from his vantage point. That didn't stop him looking before he stepped off the quay and down onto the deck.

Date: 2009-08-26 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
Pippa arched an eyebrow as she watched Rory lean over the starboard side of the stern to look for the boat's name. She wouldn't really shove him into the canal if he laughed at The Mr. Beaker but she would be sorely tempted.

Date: 2009-08-27 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fey-fire.livejournal.com
He didn't laugh. Not quite. Pippa no doubt saw the sudden quiver of his shoulders as he finally spotted the name, but no sound emerged. After another moment spent getting himself under strict control, he straightened and moved forward to the wheel.

"Right," he said brightly as he slid into his seat and slipped the keys into the ignition. "Point me in the right direction and we're off." The roar of the engine cut off his last word as he turned the keys.

Date: 2009-08-27 04:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sand-andwater.livejournal.com
She saw and when he sat, she gave his shoulder a good shove. "I told you not to laugh." Instead of taking her own seat, she remained standing, just behind him and lets her hands rest on his shoulders. He'd have to go slow enough though the narrow canal that balance wouldn't be an issue. "You're going to follow this all the way down to the bridge there and then it'll be the first turn on the port side. Left." She corrected herself, not really thinking much about it or the fact that Rory would likely know his port from starboard.

"Then it's just out into open water and you can see how fast you can make this go." So it wasn't his bike, but The Mr. Beaker could haul butt when need be.

"Oh, it's so good to see you." Pippa was hugging him around the shoulders and leaning down to press her face to his neck.


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