Homeward Headed


Homeward Headed

Joined: 15 Mar 2014, 00:45

16 Jul 2014, 03:24 #1

Romenna was exactly the sort of oily, fishgut-smelling midden that Erestor had come to expect of the port cities of Men, as technologically advanced and beautifully manicured Armenelos was, and if he hadn't been sad to leave it behind his horse's crupper the first day, he was even less enthused to have to see it again the day before they were to set sail for Harlindon again. The inn beds were scratchy and uncomfortable, their dinner had been greasy and sorely lacking in anything other than duck and partridge (both of which were fatty and gamey and not at all what he was looking forward to pitching over the ship tomorrow day), and the local tongue was so far removed from the scholarly, grammatically sound Andûnaic he had studied at length in Gil-galad's archives that getting around had been nigh impossible without their guide. Said guide, one Akhôr, advisor to Tar-Telperiën, had been taciturn and grim-faced the entire trip, which had not helped the already-sharp tension along any.

In fact, the affair had been a massive waste of a season. The queen, only a few years into her sovereignty, had been reluctant to receive them—and she had done little to hide it, deferring their formal convergence for a full two weeks before Erestor had finally tired of the back-and-forth and mustered their contingent to await her in her council chambers without her leave one morning in a strategic move that couldn't really be called anything more polite than an all-out ambush. By then he knew to expect nothing from her, and he was right: she had no interest in the affairs of the mainlanders, and had agreed to supply only one small contingent of ships to patrol the southern cape of Eriador, a single ship more than was customary. This flagrance, and the incredibly indelicate manner she had communicated it to them, had infuriated Erestor beyond the telling, but there was nothing to be done for it now: she was stone as cold and remote as the peak of Meneltarma.

For as happy as he was to be taking the first steps towards home again, the task of relaying the story to Gil-galad didn't appeal to him—and neither did the risk of having to discuss with Elrond the state of his long-dead twin's latest scion, who had all of his beauty, but none of his sense of empathy or natural wisdom. Perhaps the minor betrayal had been all the worse for their tepid reception, when Erestor felt they were owed better given the rather intimate nature of their relationship to the House of Tar-Minyatur, but in the end, it had been a contest of wills, and Erestor knew better than to challenge a mortal at pig-headed mind games. Most of the time they keeled over and died of some tiny ailment before an Elf ever conceded to make the first step towards compromise, even if Erestor had been of a temperament to try to coax her into one.

The journey, too, loomed over him like a black cloud: their ship seemed even smaller than the one that had borne them across, a narrow, two-masted ketch, and it took Erestor only a short trip below deck to become acquainted with the horrifying reality that there were exactly six less bunks than there had been on their first ship, which meant that their entire party was about to have to double up on beds, a fact loudly proclaimed to them by their squat mortal bosun, whose name Erestor didn't care to learn after having spent an entire three and a half months in the company of Men.

Eru forbid he ever need to speak to one again, frankly.

It got worse almost immediately. The weather had been fine to set out, but the sky quickly darkened from a gentle overcast white-gray to something much more malevolent-looking almost as soon as they were out of sight of the island. The air smelled like rain and ozone and, true to his prediction, the rough waves slapping the keel and the winds blowing seemingly at the whims of their own caprice had him doubled over the gunwale, miserably emptying the entire sum of all the meals they had taken in the last fourteen weeks into the ocean.

Perhaps it was just as well that Fëanor had burnt the boats at Losgar; in spite of how wretched the next few weeks were going to be, at least he knew now that if he'd been given the choice, he might have picked walking the Helcaraxë a second time before he ever considered boarding another ship again.
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Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 04:50

17 Jul 2014, 03:28 #2

Glorfindel had taken it upon himself to go in a less 'diplomatic speaker' and a more 'silent muscle' supportive role on their mission to garner militaristic support from Numenor against Sauron's new power. Four hundred years had indeed passed since his re-arrival in Endor but he'd had twelve hundred and eighty more that he had to catch up on. Geography, history, politics, even slang had all changed. Some days he felt like an elfling trapped in his lessons and desperate to get out and see the sunshine.

The difficulty had worn down the last two hundred, but he still felt oddly out of place and touch sometimes, and he still didn't have the finest grasp on the politics of Elros's line. It was difficult enough to keep their names sorted when they passed in and out of life so frequently, though not half so frequently as the men of other lines. With their living on an island halfway to Aman he only ever got vague impressions of them to begin with, but there had already been four just since he'd settled in. He was fairly sure he would get the Queen's name wrong and have his head lopped off, or say something equally indelicate and have them all beheaded.

So he'd stayed mostly quiet until it was clear the woman had no plans on aiding them in any meaningful capacity. He'd wanted to argue, righteous indignation demanding some kind of concession, but Erestor would have none of it. Glorfindel had bitten his tongue, reminding himself that he was not the expert Erestor was, and they had left. Really the leaving was the best part of the trip, because there had been few all season he could converse comfortably with, and of those few one was Erestor and one was the very unpleasant Queen's Advisor.

Glorfindel had never been that knowledgeable about ships, or even small boats, as evidenced by the few times he'd mistakenly thought coaxing young Elrond into one with only him as co-caption was a good idea and learned the hard way that it was indeed not, but he was fairly sure the vessel they'd been chartered back to the Eastern shore in was yet another insult to their errand and their persons.

The awkward conversation concerning who would be sharing bunks had yet to take place, but as Glorfindel eyed the sky uneasily and felt his hair frizzing up around him without having to look, he knew it would have to take place soon, as he did not want to be above deck when the storm hit. He thanked whatever mercy had been in Iluvatar's song that he did not suffer the same motion sickness Erestor seemed to, remembering the same image he presented now on their first trip. The Vanya sighed after watching him from the completely opposite end of the deck for a solid fifteen minutes, partially while gathering up the wherewithall to confront him diplomatically, and partially trying to shift people around in his head in a more suitable arrangement, but the facts did not change.

Erestor was very small. Glorfindel was the tallest - and possibly the broadest on the ship excluding the burly mortal crewmen. There was no excuse shoving someone else in bed with him when they clearly had a more economic pairing available.

Coming up beside him, he dug around in the inner pocket of his tunic until he found the clip he normally used to pin up his hair after a round of training, then in a few deft moves, twisted the librarian's hair back and clipped it into place at the nape of his neck. Settling to lean against the rail beside him, he wordlessly reached out and took one of the scholar's spindly forearms in hand, pushing the sleeve up to reveal a three inch span of wrist, where he held it loosely and pressed down lightly between the two tendons there with the pad of his forefinger. "Pressure point," he explained gently, "It should help with the nausea." He held it there for a while in something of an awkward silence before speaking again. "I don't suppose that you've had time yet to consider our future sleeping arrangements with your… condition, but it seems we may be stuck together for the time being. If you can live with that. I doubt anyone else will fit with me without falling off in the middle of the night."
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Joined: 15 Mar 2014, 00:45

25 Jul 2014, 02:09 #3

The first few days aboard, someone had offered Erestor an absolutely noxious concoction of liquid charcoal as black as gall to discourage the retching, but none of the crew seemed to be paying attention to him this time around, and for all of his current misery, he was actually kind of glad of that—the only thing worse than actually being sick was having everyone else know he was sick, at which point they would take it upon themselves to offer anywhere from one to ten different "home remedies," each as improbable-sounding as the one before it. For the first time since their departure out of Forlindon, Erestor was homesick for Elrond's modest expertise and sensible repartee when no one else in their group could be counted on for either of those things in any capacity, mortal or immortal alike. It was a small consolation that at least his stomach had vacated everything that could have possibly been inside of it and now it was just a matter of waiting for the migraine to take over for the settling nausea.

For its part, his seasickness refused to give up quietly, and had him wringing out the dregs of his entire digestive system long after he felt was especially fair, but it coincided nicely with the sound of Glorfindel all but sneaking up on him. His hope was that he would only take the hint and leave the area promptly, but he didn't, and Erestor was forced to concede that he'd been ready to snap at him with an unfair vitriol as the mass of his hair left the back of his neck and out of the way of his face; he lifted a hand in a weak gesture of thanks, and let it be apprehended, the whites of his eyes moist and grayed with misery as he slid a sidelong look to the only other Elf currently above-deck.

Oh, right, the beds. Another surge of acidic bile rose from some previously-unfelt depths, and Erestor flung his neck over the railing, but when nothing came out, he withdrew a handkerchief from the inside of a pocket and dabbed his mouth, lips pursing tightly. The day just kept improving, didn't it?

"We can set up pallets on the floor," he ventured, though he doubted any of their retinue would consent to that if the ship was going to be slanting as dramatically as this all night. He practically had to dig his heels into the planks of the deck to keep himself from sliding backwards. "You're already too long for those cots, and I think—" Here, he leaned over the ship again, coughing wetly into the trim of foam that clung to the swell of the hull. "Aiya, Uinen, am man theled! Bring Dorgund to the deck and maybe if we sacrifice him to the sea, she will consent to protect us from the storm, I cannot take another hour of this. Anyway." As if just realizing that Glorfindel still had possession of his arm, he tugged it back, taking up the task of locating the spot he'd been attending to with his own other hand. "Anyway, there must be other options. Has everyone already claimed their beds yet?"
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Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 04:50

27 Jul 2014, 01:42 #4

Glorfindel sighed and rolled his eyes, letting Erestor spin his wheels to come up with a solution that solved exactly zero problems, and then snatch his wrist out of his grip as if he'd been scalded. His eyes narrowed as he looked at him, dropping his forearm with a heavy thump onto the ship's railing in a very pointed gesture of displeasure, a self-righteous sense of indignation and offense rising up in him in a hot blaze. The desire to snap at him in some childish retaliation concerning his suitability for sharing a bunk was shoved down forcibly, though his expression remained chillingly unpleasant. Erestor looked too damn pathetic at the moment for him to have the gall for a full on verbal assault.

Instead, he took the logical approach and said, "They are below deck, no doubt working it out as we speak." Blue eyes, reminiscent of the choppy waves they rode, turned away from him to gaze upward at the rolling gray clouds and the crew as they scrambled about reefing the ship's sails in preparation for the oncoming storm. "You know why sleeping on the floor is unrealistic. And a little discomfort is better than the alternative, but if you're so disagreeable to the notion then you are welcome to take the floor yourself. Uinen is most likely punishing you for being a stubborn fool, no sacrifice will change that."

His nose wrinkled as the first raindrops hit his skin, drawing a shiver down his spine. Great. His hair was already besieged with frizz and it was difficult enough to deal with on a good day without seasalt and humidity mucking it up, but now it would be a nightmare. "We'd better go down. Unless you'd prefer to stay up here where you will be as far from me as possible short of diving into the sea - and if that sounds like a good plan to you, be my guest." Either way that would solve his problem. Glorfindel pushed himself away from the railing and moved to go below, expecting Erestor to do as he pleased and not bothering to argue with him in favor of staying as dry as possible. The wind was already picking up as the rain grew to a steady shower, which would move swiftly to a downpour and then a gale, which he was most certainly not waiting around to be caught in.

"Somehow I expected you to jump at the chance to vomit on me with a ready made excuse," he added flippantly as he pulled open the hatch. "But you never do anything I expect. And I really…" a soft chuckle escaped, a slight shake of the head, the flash of a trenchant smile, "...really hate that." The pitter patter of the rain on the wood of the deck grew dim as he padded down the open stair into the short hall to the cabin in the aft of the ship. If he turned and skirted the ladder he could sidle into the galley, but even he without such a violent case of seasickness was in no mood for food. They were all in a sour humor, and that would make the journey seem even longer than it really was. He was not looking forward to it. Stepping into the cabin, he found the others already mostly settled, and it seemed they had already come to the same conclusion as he. He grimaced. It seemed they all agreed. Either he was not one they wanted to squeeze in with, or they didn't want to suffer Erestor's sharp tongue and poor attitude. He couldn't blame them. A cactus would be a better bed companion.
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Joined: 15 Mar 2014, 00:45

31 Jul 2014, 03:35 #5

Sacrificing Dorgund was quickly becoming the most appealing option, both because Glorfindel's smug superiority was making him homicidal, and because the loss would mean one more bed to put to use elsewhere. For his part, he was regretting allowing his senior assistant to bring along his wife as part of their retinue, the obvious fact that he could barely name everyone in the company much less knew enough of them to be sure a shared bed wouldn't end with elbows in faces or blankets being hogged in the middle of the night weighing heavily on his mind. I suppose Manwë's favorite would know what Uinen wanted, he almost said with all the bitterness he could muster, but another sudden pulse of nausea as the boat teetered in the opposite direction with a great, low groan of its beams forced him over the ship's edge again. It was barely a weak trickle of clear spit that met the ocean, but he slumped over his elbows like he'd just ejected his entire large intestine, mostly oblivious to the rain.

At least until Glorfindel collected himself, and Erestor peered over the rope of his bound hair at him, sallow-skinned and very much acting the part of a wet cat, ready to bristle at the idea that he would ever enact his enduring dislike of the Finwean in such a lazy way. At least throwing a book required aim and a good arm. He wished he had either of them now, his eyes slits as he watched Glorfindel descend beneath the hatch. "Lucky me," he drawled to no one in particular after he had gone, secretly taking a frankly disgusting amount of joy in the sight of Glorfindel's hair, casualty of the incoming storm that it was. No doubt he'd be left with the dregs of whatever their company had decided as far as cotmates went, but that was fine: if it ended up being one of the mortal crewmen, even better. Their Sindarin was usually not very good and even Erestor, who was proudly of an average height between the handful of them, could make the most of the arrangement as long as they kept their mouths shut.

The waves were growing choppier. Had already grown, really, because the boat suddenly rushed into a wave whose crest could well have reached the first crosspost of the front mast if it hadn't receded suddenly, as the waves were wont to do, but the violent tossing of the sea threw the ship sideways again, the deck slanting at such an acute angle that Erestor was knocked back to the middle of the ship, and might have gone into the opposite rail if not for the coil of rope that broke his fall. A distant peal of thunder later and the clouds overhead were suddenly dumping what seemed like endless gallons of rain over them, sopping the deck so much that Erestor wondered if they would be called to help bail the ship later.

Sensing that it was in his own best interests to get beneath deck, Erestor sighed and began the arduous journey down the steps, sopping and occasionally forced to pause to wait until a wash of nausea had subsided, one hand on the step above him. It was dark and smelled like moldy linens, and the lights in the oil lamps shivered every time the boat tossed against the shrieking winds, but it was enough that he could make his way towards the bunks. As he'd expected, Dorgund was already asleep beside his wife, and those who weren't already reclining were playing cards on the floor, and Erestor got the distinct impression that any efforts to take advantage of an unguarded bed would be met aggressively.

Eru, was the motion sickness not punishment enough?

Pushing all thoughts of everyone else out of his mind, he moved to a slightly darker corner and removed his soaking outerwear down to his smallclothes, which were too damp to be comfortable but not enough to justify digging out another set. Where Glorfindel had gone, he didn't want to bother thinking about, but he took the proximity of his effects to be a signifier of the cot he had chosen, and quickly ascended the ladder to take up the bunk he had previously declined, flopping down against the sparse ticking with his face pressed into the rough, mildew-and-salt-smelling wall. He dozed, but not in any satisfying capacity—the thunder overhead was like cymbals up against his ears, and the men had begun to socialize with the mortals by drinking and gaming off in the galley. Worse, the ship's tossing forced him to grip the headboard (such that it was) for fear he would roll off and hit the floor, and accidentally making a hole into the bilge was admittedly not on his list of to-dos for this trip.

It was going to be a long, long night.
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Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 04:50

01 Aug 2014, 02:13 #6

Glorfindel had discovered early on in his return to the Great Lands that he was exceptionally good at playing cards. It was not so much that he understood the game spectacularly well, or had any fame-worthy methods or tricks, but simply because he'd developed a very good poker face over the years. He'd never been that fabulous at it before, but he suspected it had to do with the fact that he hadn't been raising alongside any of those he challenged. His skill at keeping a neutral expression in the face of adversity had been partially perfected in his trials with his eldest uncle during his first life, of which he took great pains to not remember or credit as much as possible, but his various cousins had always been particularly good at parsing the bland expressions he offered them, especially when he was so… honest. Card games had started out as a difficult endeavor for this very reason, but eventually he'd gleaned an understanding that his trustworthiness did not have to extend to games, and thus the concept of bluffing became much easier for him.

Now it seemed that was even easier, because his companions never seemed to think he was bluffing, for they were so used to his honesty it never occurred to them that he was anything else. It was both a source of amusement and distress, for it was a great reminder that he was the last, except for his brighter cousin Galadriel, who he had heard had gone eastward. Glorfindel had decided he was not ready for sleep, and had gone with a few of the men back to the galley for a few rounds - both cards and drinks - though he was of the opinion that it wasn't such a stellar idea to be drinking when there was a rather high possibility that their ship might capsize or be set aflame and they would end up needing all their wits to survive - but frankly the concept of death didn't phase him much anymore.

After enough mugs of awful watered down ale that the swaying of the lanterns suspended from the ceiling became slightly more pronounced due to the alcohol in him, and his mood was considerably better than it had been since he'd descended below deck, he decided it was time for sleep. He set down a very poor hand indeed, to which they all gawped and yelled in dismay, he grinned and waved them all goodnight, and headed back toward the aft of the ship, one set of fingers trailing along the wall to keep himself steady as the ship heaved from side to side. It was very unpleasant, at least with this weather, but luckily he wasn't one to get motion sick, if anything it would just help to put him to sleep once he managed to get horizontal.

He was humming softly to himself as he stepped into the cabin, finding all dark but for the single lamp burning low he'd had the foresight to bring in with him from the short hall. Glorfindel swayed his way over to where he'd left his pack, hooking the lamp over the post and then shucking off his outer layers to fold and tuck away. If Dorgund's wife had still been awake he would have made an effort to go elsewhere to change, but since she was sleeping he thought little of modesty since he was both tired and slightly inebriated. Then came the arduous task of separating his distraught mass of curls into three sections to braid into a loose plait in a vain effort to keep it at least minimally tamed during the night, though it was already a lost cause and only instilled habit.

With grace he shouldn't have had he clambered into his bunk, and found with more than a little dismay that Erestor had indeed decided that a bed was better than the floor where he would have no doubt rolled and smashed into every object within sight. He resisted the urge to sigh for he'd almost forgotten about him completely in the heady rush of alcohol and winning, but more concerned at this point with keeping him asleep - assuming that he was - than voicing his displeasure. Though it would be remiss of him not to also acknowledge the little seed of smug satisfaction that came with Erestor conceding to logic and stooping to sharing confined space with him after rejecting it so viciously. There was a third, very tiny part of him, that stopped for a brief moment to look at him. He was not sure that he'd ever witnessed Erestor sleeping, and his still form was almost attractive, in a silent, dead-looking kind of way. Still, he would prefer to get through this with as little strife as possible, so kept these thoughts to himself and simply rolled into the cot, keeping as close to the edge as he dared while still being secure, and settled on his side face the dim flicker of the lamp, his back to Erestor's prone form.

He was tall enough that he could hook a foot through the rail and anchor himself in place, which he did, one arm folding beneath his head in a makeshift pillow as he yawned softly. In the silence, he attempted to drift to sleep, but soon realized that there was suffocating frigidity at his back. He cracked an eye open, his tone no more than a whisper to keep from waking the other inhabitants of the cramped room, and decidedly less antagonistic than usual. If anything it was rather geared toward reassurance. "There's no need to cling to the wall like that. The only way out of this cot is by crawling over me. You won't fall. Relax." Glorfindel's eyes slipped shut again, the alcohol thinning his blood the only thing keeping him from being as tightly wound as his bunkmate. "Just sleep."
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Joined: 15 Mar 2014, 00:45

01 Aug 2014, 04:42 #7

Even had Erestor been totally asleep, he would have been able to sense Glorfindel's approach long before he had even approached the ladder—he smelled like cheap alcohol and the same strangely unique odor that followed the mortal crewmen around, signifying that he'd probably just been socializing with them, and he pressed himself to the wall on a reflex, covetous of even a few fingers' breadth of space to separate them on the cot. No such luck. As soon as Glorfindel had settled into his side of the bunk it became obvious that it would have been impossible to maintain a decent gap even without his stupid hair taking up so much precious, limited pillowspace, feebly bound up as it was, and Erestor made a sound like a dying horse, the culmination of the stress of the failure of the entire trip now perfectly accented by this last bit of humiliation he felt he had done nothing to deserve. At least there was no possible way it could get any worse: the ship capsizing now would practically be doing him the favor of a quick mercy-killing, and it would be some comfort that Dorgund and Glorfindel and all of those stringy-haired, useless Men would die, too.

That was his last thought before the ship teetered sharply, sending him rolling a half-turn with his face unceremoniously mashed into Glorfindel's arm, and then backwards again, his forehead making contact with the wall. "Varda's cunt," he spat, irritably scrubbing the back of his palm over his forehead. If the entire trip was going to be like this, his first errand upon returning to Lindon would be to take Ereinion by the balls and demand a substantial pay raise. Between Eregion and Numenor he was increasingly suspicious he had become Gil-galad's go-to for the more distasteful and time-consuming diplomatic errands when ingrates and cultural disappointments like Pengolodh were allowed to journey to Khazad-dum to study Khuzdul, an honor Erestor would have freely offered an arm for. Given that Pengolodh had probably forced enough brain damage on himself to justify an early trip to Mandos in his walking-into-closed-doors routine, it struck Erestor as shamefully unfair that their only contact with the Khazad had to be through him, elven mutt that he was.

"You probably thought that too, right before you were dragged off of Cirith Thoronath." He scrunched his nose, the tip of it throbbing with the discomfort of having been abruptly reacquainted with the wall, but a moment later, he heaved a sigh, reaching up to pluck out the clip Glorfindel had used to set his hair earlier. Without much unnecessary movement, he rolled onto his belly and dropped it down into the opening of his own pack of luggage propped up against the wall at the foot of the bunk posts. "Apologies," he mumbled, speaking into the wall. "The prospect of being ill for the next two weeks doesn't appeal to me but as the leader of this expedition, it is incumbent upon me to be better than that." As if on cue his stomach acid roiled, but with nothing left in him to make its way back up his esophagus, he willed it down, retaking his grip on the headboard. "Though you smell like cleaning solution. I don't know how you stand the swill the crewmen drink; I hope they killed the poor horse pissed out whatever is in their ale barrels."
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Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 04:50

02 Aug 2014, 03:12 #8

Glorfindel snorted. The sound that emanated from the spiny black bundle that was Erestor brought him a vengeful sense of amusement, knowing very well that it was only because he had finally invaded his precious personal space that it came. The alcohol was doing well to smother the offense he would have otherwise taken, instead turning it into a sort of twisted entertainment that if anything made him feel a little better about their predicament. As much as he hated to admit it, at times Erestor served as a breath of fresh air against the numerous individuals who held him in such great esteem - as more an idea than a legitimate person - and would have killed their own mother for the same honor Erestor was now being graced with. It was rather comforting to know there was someone in the world who despised him for nothing more than being himself.

His lips curled upward in further indication of his silent glee when he heard the muffled curse directly following a thud as he impacted the wall. Serves you right, he thought to himself, feeling a slight tingling where Erestor's face had smashed into his bicep as well. He made no comment however, choosing to keep his peace and enjoy the misery inwardly, while at the same time advising him to relax and sleep in favor of fighting the motion.

He tensed at the rebuttal, his eyes snapping open and staring in mute disbelief at the molded boards of the ceiling, barely a foot away from his face and lit with the ambient glow from his person, too bright and flickering bitterly like a wounded creature in a corner. The feel of his heart quickening in his chest with a spike of white hot rage, suddenly uncomfortably aware of the scant dropoff directly beside him, made his jaw clench and teeth grind loudly together. It was an unpleasant reminder of a death he hadn't thought about for nearly the entire trip, the longest he'd gone in quite a while, but now it chafed and he did nothing but gawp in utter amazement at the depths to which Erestor had sunk in his discontent. Yes, he was an ass, but it was infrequent that he became utterly cruel. His earlier pleasure at his discomfort felt all the more justified, but vitriol burned his tongue all the more. The apology came just quick enough to mire the venom in his throat, and he pulled back, closing his eyes and taking deep breath through flared nostils as he took pains to swallow down the insults he'd prepared to fling at him in defense. The calm he found was half hearted at best, only for the sake of their neighbors and a grudging understanding of Erestor's sickness.

The lopsided smirk he give him was bitter as he answered, with too little care, "It is a small price to pay to better to survive your company. If I were sober, I may have broken your nose, if the wall has not done that for me already." Glorfindel shifted onto his side, turning his back to the scholar with a finality that was absent in the hollow glow of displeasure, muted only by the thin blanket he pulled over himself.
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Joined: 15 Mar 2014, 00:45

04 Aug 2014, 01:50 #9

Hm. He'd hit a sensitive nerve, apparently. Erestor spent a few seconds debating whether he was obligated to issue a slightly more substantial apology, but the meretricious appeal of trying to extend another olive branch was short-lived at best; he settled for throwing an arm over his head, trying to block out the insistent glow that seemed to pierce straight through his eyelids. Having to deal with that was punishment enough. "If you would like to seek another arrangement, by all means. You might as well sleep with the crewmen if you must smell like them," he rejoined dryly, wishing he possessed enough upper body strength to make trying to push his bedmate down to the floor an effort that had even the barest chance of success. As he didn't, he was forced to accept the shame of being forced into such an ignominious position.

Worse was that the scant blanket barely covered Glorfindel, to say nothing of Erestor, who would have found himself fighting for an eighth of it even had he been able to convince himself to surrender the hard-won few inches of space in order to try to get his half of it. His only consolation was that the thing smelled just as musty and felt just as threadbare as their so-called mattress was, one hem artfully fringed by a torn hem that was slowly unraveling. If it saw the second week of their journey, he'd be surprised, but in this matter he was absolutely not above pulling rank and taking some other poor scribe's blanket. What good were underlings if you couldn't take advantage of them every so often?

Still, he was cold. And the cold was doing nothing for his battered system, which felt almost as rickety and empty as the ship they were going to be forced to put up with. Even a blanket that was more like glorified tissue paper had to be better than nothing, surely, though he was hard-pressed to think up a situation where asking his bedmate to relinquish half of it would be anything but utterly debasing. Now that Glorfindel had cooked himself into a mood, it was a distant desire he'd have to relegate to the distant fields of everything else he missed from home: actual food, a stomach that could keep itself from turning inside-out at the slightest provocation, pillows, dry underwear, his cats—

Miserable and just now beginning to understand the very desolate experience awaiting them, Erestor grit his teeth and abdicated his dignity in favor of inching the tiniest increment away from the wall. There, that had to be good enough.
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Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 04:50

08 Aug 2014, 20:20 #10

"I did say I was already well prepared for your company. Unfortunately for you I am not moving until this storm ends or morning comes." This was his faux-diplomatic way of saying deal with it. He was not in the mood to hunt down other accommodations.

Glorfindel was also an only child, and not used to sharing space with others, or even playing nice and sharing simple things like blankets. That was the unfortunate side effect of growing up the son of a princess. He didn't sleep with others. That had been common upon the Helcaraxe to conserve warmth of course, but otherwise it was a vague area of unknown dynamics that he had little knowledge of besides when he was quite young and small enough to fit snuggled in others' arms. He had no desire to learn the delicate social construct of shared space from Erestor of all people. Once the storms had passed over, he would make an effort to sleep as little as possible, which for him wouldn't be much of a problem as it was.

The swinging flicker from the lamp he'd hung did little to keep the nightmares at bay when they came. The rock of their ship beneath him felt like the heave of white stones beneath his feet as buildings tilted and crumbled around him, as the landing of dragons shook the earth in a herald of doom. The wood around them groaned loudly under the strain of the wind and cresting waves without, and Glorfindel sucked in a sharp breath, startled awake in the likeness to the shriek and groan of the King's Tower as it fell. His favorite cousin's name died on his lips, left unvoiced in the darkness in favor of shallow breaths. The lamp had gone out, most likely doused by the erratic sway of the ship, but he doubted very little time had gone by since he'd fallen asleep.

As his heart slowed in his ribs, he blinked to adjust his eyes to the unpleasant lack of light, and became aware of a warmth at his chest. He tensed immediately, realizing belatedly that he'd turned around at some point in the night, and Erestor was decidedly not against the wall anymore. No, he'd pinned Glorfindel's forearm beneath his head somehow, leaving him trapped unless he wanted to wake him and reveal the indignity of their position, for which he'd most likely be blamed entirely. No, better to close his eyes and pretend ignorance until he rolled off and freed him again, he decided, though all he did was look at him, finding a sense of comfort in a face completely separate from his life in Gondolin, buried beneath the waves they were riding now. Eru, what had he done to deserve this?
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