User Tag List

Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 41 to 49 of 49

Thread: We all end in the ocean, we all start in the streams - 11/12 Afternoon, Riverfront - Percy/Pippa

  1. #41
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    163
    Mentioned
    95 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Percy flinched lightly at her outburst, even if it was in good humor, and mumbled another apology. The knight was about to pull his hand away when Pippa seized it and began her massage. Percival wasn't exactly sure how to react to this action, but found that he enjoyed the tactile sensation of having the pads of her fingers press against the muscles in his palm. Moreover, Percy wasn't sure what, if anything this was leading to. Xavier had once told him that he used a tactic where he would offer to massage a woman's shoulders and then make some pretense about how he could effectively remove knots from the blades without unlacing the back of her dress, and then as he would so eloquently put it, they would be putty in his hands.

    Well, the man decided that if this was a segue into something more carnal, and if Pippa was as conniving as Xavier, he wouldn't do anything to stop her. Instead, he let her work as he considered her previous statements, his eyes dropping closed and his muscles relaxing under her touch. "If there's one thing I enjoy," he said with a sigh as he dropped his other arm around her and across her chest, "It's a beautiful woman who makes plans for her future that involve me," he said with a smile. "Though the beach sounds pretty nice too," he added with a soft laugh.

    Percy didn't mind her gratitude, but was somewhat concerned that with Pippa coming to the barracks to study under Guy that she might be given the same boring histories to read that he had been given, and therefor he had best clear up any notion that he was some sort of a poet. "Well, as much as the sentiment was true," he said with a shrug, "I can't take credit for originality. It's a quote from Vilgeforz of Roggavene, the sage who supposedly predicted the Tallworth Rebellion and prompted priests of Mink-Asa to destroy the House of Tallworth during the Great Darkness." Percival was somewhat of an authority on the history of Poltarus, at least the written histories that he could get his hands on. And he had a healthy admiration for men who were gifted with a strong dose of foresight. Even if the aforementioned had been on the wrong side of the war.

    Percy kissed the back of her head and smiled again. "I find it hard to believe you have doubts," he said, with not even the slightest hint of mock or teasing. "I've known you for less than a week and I've never seen anyone navigate the capital with such confidence and conviction. At least not on their first visit," he told her honestly. He had a good idea now of why his father had brought her. About how she had risen so high in his opinion. Corran was a man of action, who preferred men of action. And he wasn't the kind of man who minded if his men of action were women. Guy would like Pippa as well. The thought made the relaxed hand in hers tense a little. As long as he didn't like her too well, everything would be fine.


    @Philippa Avery

  2. #42
    Senior Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    111
    Mentioned
    113 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There was a strange duality developing in Pippa's mind, the more she interacted with Percival. On one level, she was perfectly content to, as she'd said, let whatever this was between them develop and see where it went. On the other, though, was the reality that this closeness went against what had, up until this point, been her nature. Whether it was some sort of protection mechanism or just how she was, she had almost never opened herself up to someone, or allowed this level of closeness. And, developing alongside this ignored truth was a feeling of unease, although she hadn't realized it yet. There was something about how easy this was, how comfortable, that was somewhat unsettling. And, in the same way Percy's words to her before had been a comfort, his comment about her making plans for the future that involved him lodged itself in her mind, sure to come up later.

    She didn't recognize the name he offered as the original author of his words, but that could hardly be surprising. While she knew how to read and write, she'd come rather late into the knowledge, and she hadn't had much opportunity to study histories. Or, if she were perfectly honest, the motivation. She was not a natural scholar, and while she found many things interesting, she much preferred learning from people than from books. "I still like it, even if you didn't come up with it," she said simply, as she brought her thumbs together to stretch the thick muscle at the base of his thumb. She didn't ask further about the sage, although she was a little curious about the whole thing. Just...not curious enough to admit her ignorance, for the time being.

    "I find it hard to believe you have doubts."

    Pippa couldn't help but laugh, but the sound wasn't unkind. "My plan is working perfectly, then!" She laughed again, the sound jokingly like a villain from a play who was getting their way. But after the laughter died away, she let silence linger a little, as she thought of what to say. In that pause, she felt the tension creep back into Percy's hand, and she wondered if she was the cause. If he liked her so well now, when he thought her confident and unerring, did finding out she was not really that way change things?

    Lifting his hand to her face, she kissed the side of his thumb and then released him. Sitting up, she turned so she was no longer leaning against him, maneuvering the blanket so they were both still covered. "It hasn't ever really been advantageous to appear to be anything but sure of myself." She was keeping care of her tone, not sounding too vulnerable, as if she were just stating a fact as benign as 'the sun rises each day'. "I mean, it's not all bravado. But it's not all genuine, either."

    -----
    @Percival Torgood

  3. #43
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    163
    Mentioned
    95 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The fact that Pippa didn't seem to mind his plagiarism was a relief to Percival. He was fond of her, and wanted her to be impressed by him to a certain point. He was glad to sound well-read or thoughtful, but he was also relieved that she was content to know the truth, which was that he simply wasn't as original as he would like to be. So few women in his experience were interested in an average man, and he found the process of pretending to be more than he was to be completely exhausting.

    It was evident that Pippa's attention to his hands was nothing more than an act of kindness, and while Percy enjoyed the attention, that constant aspect of self-doubt that always lingered in the back of his mind began to surmise that a nervous Philippa Avery might have just needed something to keep her hands busy. It was in these few unspoken moments that the knight became a terrified child that wasn't sure his feelings for anyone would ever be reciprocated. Whenever he and Pippa spoke, everything seemed to be wonderful. But the silence always seemed to breed that doubt, and he wondered if he would ever really figure out what any woman in the world was thinking about when they weren't talking.

    Her laugh woke him out of his funk, and he smiled. Percy wasn't the kind of man who minded where a laugh came from. He had never bothered to care if he was being laughed at or with, so long as it all ended in smiles. But the revelation that she wasn't as confident as she seemed was something of a boon for him. If she was like him in any way, and needed a break from being a constant facade of surety, then he would be glad to give it to her. "That's something interesting," he said quietly, as he released her and allowed her to turn and face him. As much as he liked having her close to him, he did appreciate the chance to reach for his cocoa again without disturbing her. "I thought your plan was to storm Hebron by force, while trying to convince the populace that you were naught more than a glorified babysitter," he said with a smile. Percy had seen Pippa and Victoria, and knew that their relationship was real, but it also served to be disarming if you looked at them objectively on the street.

    Sipping from his cup, Percy paused and looked down his nose until his eyes crossed at the sight of cocoa lingering on his upper lip. He licked it away comically, and then shook his head. "Appear to be? I can sympathize there." Not so much in the fact that he had to appear to be more than he was simply because he was a woman in a traditionally male job, but more because he knew that there were certain expectations from knights of his order that he wasn't always sure that he could live up to. But not acting like he could would sow doubt in the public image of the Knights of Dawn, and that would almost be as bad as if he showed up at his post without putting his pants on. "Well, I believe in you. Both publicly and privately. But I hope we become good enough friends that we can be honest about our doubts. Because I could sure use someone to talk to when it comes to those. Xavier and Jesse and Guy...there's so many expectations that I can't even keep up with the act most days," he said, shaking his head. "Might be why I've spent so much time in my rooms before you got here."

    Percy took a deep breath and steadied his heartbeat. It was a big thing to have off his chest, especially since he felt like he could trust Pippa not to judge him on it. And copping to the fact that there was some vulnerability allowed for the progression of their relationship in which he sought her opinion on things, and she would know he valued it. "So...now that I know you're staying," he began somewhat awkwardly, "I suppose I should warn you that my friends are likely to ramp up their pestering of you. You almost got away, you know. I think Jesse and Xavier have already started trying to find me a date for the Festival of Dorintz, but I'm pretty sure now that Vivienne and Sophia will call them off."


    @Philippa Avery

  4. #44
    Senior Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    111
    Mentioned
    113 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "I thought your plan was to storm Hebron by force, while trying to convince the populace that you were naught more than a glorified babysitter."

    "It was working pretty well there for awhile," Pippa said, giving Percy a sidelong smile. "Not sure that facade will hold up now, though. My new job isn't exactly subtle." Even if it were, word spread quickly in this city, especially when someone as noteworthy as the Commander of Dawn was involved. Sure, her training could probably take place inside, at least until Henry got to the city; if people didn't take notice of her coming and going from the barracks, maybe she could have stayed relatively unnoticed. But she wasn't naive enough to even entertain the thought that she might avoid attention for the barest of moments. It didn't bother her, but it did mean that the need to keep up appearances would be stronger than ever.

    The guard-turned-squire had forgotten about her cocoa, but seeing Percy wearing his both made her chuckle and reminded her that she had her own cup. Reaching for it, she listened to him speak of his hopes, and his own doubts. Once, as a young girl, she had believed that everyone carried a sense of doubt with them. Surely nobody could be confident in their decisions all the time, or feel as if they were perfectly prepared for where they were in their lives. Time, though, had proven her wrong, and although she still couldn't fathom moving through life like that, she had found more and more examples of people who seemed to do just that. Xavier was the latest in that category; Pippa couldn't even imagine what doubt would look like on him. Sophia seemed much the same way, and Pippa didn't doubt for a moment that that shared trait contributed to the strength of their relationship. What love could fail to flourish when neither party could even begin to fathom questioning it?

    "I hope we do, too. Anybody I could be that sort of honest with, I left behind a long time ago." There hadn't been anyone since....well, since she'd left home. Running caravans, at her guard post, and even working with Vicky, she'd always had to prove herself. There had been no room for vulnerability, nobody she could speak of doubts to. Percy would know well enough that Corran wasn't the easiest person to talk to, and even if the old man had grown more fatherly down the years, he still wasn't exactly sympathetic. She took a drink of her cocoa, and looked, perhaps, a little homesick. Wrapped up in her own thoughts, her gaze somewhere around her mug, she unconsciously gave Percy the space to steady himself after his confession. He was right in feeling that the girl wouldn't judge him on it; were she to be asked her opinion on such things, she would have said that vulnerability was something she admired in a man. It was somewhat rare, and showed a sensitivity she found attractive. She wasn't of the belief that it made a man weak, or somehow less virile, and would have argued that it might've been the opposite, for it took strength to speak of such things.

    "So...now that I know you're staying..."

    Pippa's attention snapped back to Percy, and she met his eyes as he went on. A smirk pulled at the corner of her mouth, and she wasn't sure if she should be amused, flattered, or frightened about the probability of increased pressure from his friends. She hoped they would also become her own friends, but if that was contingent on her coming into a relationship with Percy - which she assumed was the aim of the pestering - it left a sour taste in her mouth. She was a woman who wanted to stand on her own merit, both at work and in her social life. If the only way she had friends was through a significant other, what did that say about her? But the mention of the Bacchanal, and the prospect of Percy's friends finding him a date, drew her attention. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the whole point of Dorintz's festival to find a partner among the masked masses? I mean, I've never been to the big festival here, and to be honest I usually spend the night safe and alone in my room or tent or whatever, but I definitely remember hearing that anonymity was a big part of the whole thing."

    ------
    @Percival Torgood

  5. #45
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    163
    Mentioned
    95 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "I don't see any reason why anything would have to change," Percival told her. He didn't exactly want to spoil the image of what she thought being a squire in Hebron was like, but at the same time he didn't want her to be under the impression that she would have to maintain a squeaky clean reputation based on some new notoriety or fame she might find. "Hell," he said balancing his cup on his knee. "I've had a squire for three months. I don't even think anyone knows, outside of me and Guy and his mother." Granted, William Fairfax was a quiet boy who usually kept to himself, and was mostly out of sight. And squiring for Percy was hardly as big of a deal as squiring for the Knight of Autumn, and being a woman on top of that.

    There was a soft smile on his lips when he thought about what she said, and he shrugged his shoulders. "Maybe someday Hebron will be home. And maybe it will be full of friends and people you can lean on. I haven't met anyone who doesn't like you already," he said. And Percival wasn't merely referencing his close core of friends. The old physician had commented to him the previous day that he thought Pippa seemed like a very charming woman. Bosleigh Hepburn had given her a long look at the party. Even Lexington was somewhat fond of her, in that odd way that he appreciated any girl who showed attention to his kid brother, which Percy sometimes felt like. "But if you somehow manage to spurn all of those would be companions, you needn't worry. I've always got your back." Swaren knew he'd been lingering enough to look it up and down in the few days since they met.

    The knight wasn't entirely sure how to read the smirk on her face, and he found himself blushing a little once more, and wondering why that kept happening to him. She was just a girl, and if he were honest with himself, one that hadn't even really tried to impress him. She had been passionate at times, and coy at others, and honest for all of it that he could tell, but hadn't really given him the impression that swooning was necessary, or even appropriate. Part of Percival had a fear that she might loathe the idea, if he didn't get it under control. But he assumed that feelings like this weren't meant to be controlled. He could handle being left again. At least he thought he could. He hadn't planned on giving anyone the chance.

    "You're not wrong," he said with a laugh. In fact, the whole idea of the six of them, now that Pippa was staying, would be partying privately was something of a surprise to Percy as well. They had parties in the past, but nothing in concert with a festival like this. As early as a couple years ago, he and Jesse and Xavier would look forward to running the crowds in Hebron on this occasion. Not that Xavier was ever with them for long. Jesse and Percy were consolation prizes, and they both knew it. But they never minded as long as the night ended the way it should have. "I think you'll find that when you run with the queen, the rules don't necessarily apply to you. And unfortunately, as much as some of them would prefer to stand on principle when it came to obeisance of the Gods, I get the impression that Vivienne is not as free spirited as Eleanor when it comes to matters such as anonymous encounters with her citizens."


    @Philippa Avery

  6. #46
    Senior Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    111
    Mentioned
    113 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pippa wanted to believe that Percy was right; that she'd be able to remain fairly anonymous, and still be able to move through the city with Vicky without drawing attention. But she wasn't very optimistic. After all, she'd already drawn enough attention that Javorius knew who she was. There were already rumors about her - or, rather, songs of her beauty, although she felt a little like that was worse, somehow. No, she felt she knew how this would go: she was a petite commoner girl with an unusual weapon proficiency, working toward a job few women pursued, training under the Queen's attractive and successful cousin, frequently seen spending time with another Knight of Dawn. It wasn't that she was expecting to be a sensation, but she wasn't going to be pulling off the glorified babysitter thing for long.

    The thought that Hebron might become home was somehow painful and comforting at the same time. She smiled, though, genuinely appreciative of Percy's support. "Thanks...I hope you're right. It'd be nice to have more than a few friends, and maybe even ones outside of the job." The look in her eyes seemed to indicate there was a story there, but she said nothing of it for now. It was likely she'd elaborate if Percy asked, though. As much as she usually kept things that touched her deeply to herself, there was something about Percival which made her feel like she could tell him pretty much anything. Especially now that she'd learned of his struggles with doubt, he was quickly becoming someone she felt like she could safely confide in.

    "So, wait," she said, backing up a little in the conversation, "are you saying your friends are going to stop looking for a date for you, because I'm staying? Meaning, they're going to try and get me to be your date. For the festival that centers around pranks and sex." She sounded like she was trying to ascertain the facts before she reacted to them, and so it was impossible to tell how she felt about the idea. She didn't want to be misunderstanding and assuming he meant they would now focus on setting her up with the Sword of Summer, but that was definitely how it sounded.

    -----
    @Percival Torgood

  7. #47
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    163
    Mentioned
    95 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Percival couldn't quite remember the last time he just sat around and did nothing but have a conversation. Life in Hebron had been so busy lately that he couldn't even imagine finding the time for it even if he was inclined, let alone with someone who interested him as much as Pippa did. His feelings aside, and he had long since given up on pretending he didn't have any, she was a remarkable conversationalist with her own stories and thoughts on the world, and not just some girl who wanted to be regaled by his tales of knighthood and royal gossip. He had to make an effort not to sigh contentedly, since he didn't want to give Philippa the impression it was anything but that. Sighs were dangerous, because one always risked the appearance of frustration or tedium, and that was far from what he was experiencing at the moment.

    "Does that statement mean to imply that you struggle to make friends, or that you simply don't believe some of the friendships you make to be genuine?" Percy didn't want to tell her that when it came to superficial relationships, Hebron was simply infested with them. As much as it might be true, there was no reason to skew her outlook before she even settled in. And, there was no reason why she couldn't make real friends. "I don't think you should struggle here. Sophia seems eager to make a few more of her own as well, and Vivienne..." The knight trailed off, shaking his head sadly. "I can't even imagine how hard it is for someone in her position to guess who her real friends are, and who might just be maneuvering politically. It probably goes a long way toward explaining her feelings for Jesse. He never really had anything to gain, other than her love, and I think she really appreciated the security that came with knowing that." The queen had not said as much, but Percy had occasion to study her often enough to think that he was something of an authority on the woman.

    The doubling back and defensive questioning amused the man, and he didn't even try to hide his smile. "If you're asking me to unravel the intentions of Jesse Somers and Xavier Fairfax, and try to guess what their long-term strategy for meddling into my life is, well...I'm probably gonna need some more time. And a few hundred sheets of parchment, and charts of the weather and jet stream, the results of their latest physicals from Augustus, and probably some of Hepburn's intelligence on their movements..." He had made his point. In the end, Percy had no way of knowing what the other two were on about, or what their endgame was, but he did know that there wasn't much he was going to do to deter them. That was a job for the women.

    Moving his cup from his knee to the end table, Percy sat up straighter and reached for Pippa's hand. "There's going to be a party. You will be invited regardless. Go or do not go, as it suits you Pippa. These are things you will need to work out for yourself. Negotiating the perils of society in the capital is no different than any other mission you've ever been on. The caravan moving across the island is going to pass through choke points and ambush sites, and even though you know they are there, sometimes you don't have a choice but to see your way through them." It was really the best advice he could give her. If she chose not to go, it wouldn't change his opinion of her or keep him from trying to see her again. Their friendship was not contingent on anything more than what it was.

    Turning her hand over, he interlaced his fingers with hers and lifted them both toward her face. He extended his index finger and tapped her nose playfully. "They'll stop looking for a date for me, because they know I'd have no interest as long as you're within a day's ride of where I am standing. They are incredibly stupid boys with the best of intentions, I assure you. They just happen to think that the best solution to every problem is to throw a girl at it. But they're smart enough to know that you leaving Hebron would be a problem. At least for me."
    Last edited by Percival Torgood; 02-10-2018 at 10:17 AM.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Philippa Avery's Avatar  
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    111
    Mentioned
    113 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "A little bit of both, and at the same time, kind of neither." The girl gave a little shrug. "The village I grew up in was pretty small, so there weren't many kids around my age. When I began working with my dad and uncle I kind of defaulted into being everyone's kid sister, and that carried over even after I started running without either of them. And then Eddleton..." She paused here for a moment, as if she was a little loathe to continue. "As lovely as it was to be there, it wasn't really a place where I made and kept a lot of friends." No, for Pippa, Eddleton had been something of a struggle, although in many ways that was what saw her improve. She'd had to fight to be taken seriously, and even when she had more or less achieved that she hadn't really been accepted. She had managed to make a few friends, but two of them had been killed during an attack this past July. "And there are always those who will try friendship as a means to an end, so to speak. Once it becomes clear they aren't going to get what they want, they move on." It was a fact of life that Pippa knew wasn't unique to her situation, but was certainly applicable.

    A smile gradually grew on Pippa's face as Percy outlined the impossibility of predicting his friends. She was glad he was smiling, too; it meant he wasn't offended at her hesitation. As much as she wasn't necessarily comfortable with the idea of going to a Dorintz party, she didn't want it to seem like she was rejecting him. She liked Percy. She even liked Percy more than she wanted to admit to. But even though she'd said that she wanted to see how whatever this was between them unfolded, this made her hesitate.

    As Percy reached for her hand, she met his eyes and listened to his advice. It was an apt way of describing the treacherous environment that society could create, and it was a challenge she never thought she'd face; even when she'd dreamed of being a knight, she had never thought she'd be infiltrating the social circles that also contained royalty. She could throw herself into her training now and surmount any challenge squirehood could throw at her, but she couldn't approach this challenge the same way, and she found that incredibly intimidating. But it sounded like he wouldn't hold it against her or be hurt if she decided to play it safe and stick with her current plan to stay home and go to bed early on the night of the festival, and that gave her some comfort.

    "I mean, they're not really wrong. As long as they're not doing it bodily, throwing a girl at a problem can oftentimes be of great benefit." She grinned at the boy, before adding, "And, in very rare circumstances, physically tossing a girl at trouble can help, too."

    -----
    @Percival Torgood

  9. #49
    House Torgood Percival Torgood's Avatar  

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    163
    Mentioned
    95 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There were soft nods from Percy's head as the girl spoke. He could understand from a certain point of view. While he was hardly a prince or princess, or a soldier's daughter, he had endured his fair share of patronizing friendships as the Commander of Dawn's kid. There were awkward memories that lingered in the back of his mind, where he had overheard women chastising their children into being nice to Percy, because he was Ser Torgood's boy, and how would it look if they were the parents of the boy who had been cruel to him. He had done his best since squiring to concern himself with the few strong relationships he had, rather than wonder if other people who were nice to him were merely sycophants.

    "Amateurs," Percival snorted at the last part of Pippa's revelation. "What would you do with a man who didn't have the fortitude and stamina to continue pestering you until you yielded," he asked with a chuckle. "You're gonna have to leave the city or cut me down to get me to stop harassing you," he assured her jokingly. "Plus, I know a bard who will give me a good rate on ballads of your beauty, and I don't really have a lot of other expenses..."

    Percival looked at Pippa skeptically. In his experience, which he had to admit was limited, a girl was usually the source of a problem. But given his love life, and the wide variety of quirks that were the Shellten queens and princesses, this was a natural conclusion. "Nobody tosses a woman with a halberd in her grasp, Pippa. It's dangerous. Javorius would be quite cross. Hook gets caught in the drapes, and pulls them down. Blade nicks the portrait of my mother over there," he said gesturing, not sure if Philippa had noticed it before. "Disaster. Besides, it wouldn't do to encourage them," he told her with a grin to match her own.

    Percy liked Pippa. He wouldn't mind catching her, but he knew that for both of them it would be best to do it on his own merit. At the end, all he could do was shrug. He wasn't inviting her. And if it was Xavier or Jesse's idea, they would likely recruit the women. And Pippa was smart enough to know when someone wasn't being genuine. But he also didn't think that Vivienne or Sophia were insincere in their fondness for Avery. Perhaps she would just have to sit this one out, and they all would have to endure him being the fifth wheel again. There would be other festivals when Pippa was settled in to the capital.

    "I don't know that you'd be able to make it anyway," he said with a small wince. "Most of the time, squires draw the short straw during festivals. Horses get spooked or drunks need picking up, and the usual guard contingent isn't sufficient. Come that night you might wish it was an inebriated Xavier or Jesse pawing at you, as opposed to some of the rabble that needs to be sent home," he told her. It wasn't as frequent as he led on, and silently he hoped that this wouldn't be the outcome, but one never knew in this town.


    @Philippa Avery

Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •