03.14.3014: A Matter of Blood
Summary: Garus and Jane have their first real fight. Jane reveals that Garus' armor was sabotaged. Garus chooses to go on the offensive.
Date: 06 January 2014
Related: None
Garus Jane 

Jane's Apartments
Room description included in set.
May 14, 3014

One would expect for Jane to be like every other human being, and to possess a 'lounging' wardrobe for those days she spends laying around her apartment instead of wowing the world with her gowns - but if that is so, lurkers would be hard-pressed to find sweat pants in her drawers. The fesity redhead is currently dressed in one of her favorite gowns - a misleadingly simple taupe with flowery silver lace overlay. It clings snugly to her body, outlining her curves as she leans over the breakfast bar with her elbows resting on the counter and her gaze fixed intently on the tablet laying in front of her. She taps the toe of one heeled shoe on the lower rung of her stool lazily, casually flicking through the screens as she reads - well - something. "Mother is expanding her distribution, I hear. She wants to take up a 'green' line that favors Arboren styles with ecologically-conscious manufacturing," she muses aloud, attempting to entertain Garus with the various tidbits of her life outside of the fame. "Hmm."

Not entirely known for his fashion sense, save for the rather openly shared belief that his new choice in wardrobe and fashion is something that has been pressed to him by the woman he's been seen all over with, Garus has no lounging wardrobe from which to speak of. In fact, he hasn't yet graduated to having things for himself at her apartment for when he visits. So to make up for his lack of lounging wardrobe, the muscular, war-bred Leonnidan settles for a few buttons undone on his black, button-up shirt to reveal the tank top he's wearing beneath it, and it has been left to hang untucked.

Untucked. Amazing. Still, he wears it well.

"Is she even aware you've been seeing a son of Peter Leonnida? Favoring Arboren styles?" Garus hisses quietly to himself as he tips back the bottle of beer. Slipping past Jane, he fails to miss the opportunity to graze his fingertips over the swell of her backside tipped upwards by her lean. "Should be a hit with the Arboren, but you'll have to let her know once you're bound to me it would be an insult to not shower the Roar with fashion."

"You know nothing, Garus Leonnida," Jane replies offhandedly as she scans through her other messages, but when Garus reaches out to touch her, she glances up to offer him a warm smile. "She is looking to craft an Arboren-inspired line of fashion, not deprive us with her work. I rather like the idea; she has spent most of her time playing up the lavish styles favored in the Vale, after all, and in any case it means you might see me in something other than dresses. I have a feeling Mother will have to get over her aversion to pants, and when she does, the public will be agog with fascination at the transformation. It will not have been my doing, but I will be blamed nonetheless."

Laughing quietly, Jane half-turns on her stool to face Garus more. "But never you fear, I am sure she will honor our union with something just over-the-top enough to appeal to your family and friends."

"You're right, I do know nothing." Garus' brow lifts as the last fingertip slips free of her hip, brushing the side of her leg as he continues walking past her. "I'll be the firs to admit that I don't mind whatsoever the designs, the dresses, your entire line of clothing; it's been a very great experience for me, but until a certain age the only color that mattered in my clothing was to decide whether I wanted to blend into the plains while hunting or put on a show for people we were riding after." That old familiar, wolfish grin returns to his lip as he leans his side against the island, balancing easily to set his bottle down and turn his light, blue eyes her way.

"Perhaps we should trade," He suddenly speaks up, nodding to the end of the table where his swordbelt hangs from the shoulder of a chair. "Tell your mother after the film you've gained a certain taste for armor, and she should design a line of Leonnidan fashion armor; kill our foes with excellent stitching while killing them with sharp sticks and mailed fists."

Jane barks a short laugh. "Ask my mother to design armor? She would spit her tea all over. It would be quite undignified. We may not be nobility, but you would never guess it the way Mother carries herself." Her gaze drifts back to her tablet, but the messages are distasteful enough that she sighs heavily and taps the screen blank. Pushing it away, Jane sits up straighter on her stool and rotates in a slow circle. "It would be nice if she could work with engineers and design some armor that looks like clothing, so you can get away with wearing it all the time. Constant protection even in the moments you're less vigilant - at least until you kill your brother."

And just like that, the sarcasm and laughing has been replaced with sighing and joyful little jokes have been replaced with a thin line of tension between the two of them. Brows lifting and falling rather suddenly, Garus narrows his eyes towards her and finds a spot of her stool that isn't occupied by her hip and gives it a shove with her boot, sending her spinning just a little more quickly.

"If that's the case, love, then she'd better design me fashionable eyes for the back of my head, a high-fashion stomach that is immune to poison, and a nice, big mailed armor fist that looks like a wedding glove to get in the way of Godric's cybernetic arm." Garus replies, reaching for his bottle of beer once more. "You're so certain I'll have to kill him, Jane?"

Jane doesn't notice the tension at first, so when Garus shoves her stool spinning at a greater speed, she laughs girlishly and has to reach out to grab the counter to slow her spin. The resulting dizziness is brief, but she stares intently at her hand until it passes and she can look up and focus on him properly. Her smile begins to wilt.

"Poison is a woman's weapon, and in any case you can always carry a bunny or something and feed it your food before you eat it yourself. Or cook your own food. I think this is making you so seriously paranoid, Garus, that you have one of two options: either kill him, or succumb to insanity." She reaches up with a single finger to flick back a stray red curl. "And you are not about to lay down and die in a padded cell, so you will kill him."

"Tampering with my armor when an arrogant son of a bitch like he is thinks he has no equal is just as cowardly." Garus replies, huffing against the lip of his beer bottle to cast a steam-whistle echo from his position. Eyes rolling, he tilts the bottle back and sets it down once more to slosh the wheat-gold ale within. Lips curling back to breathe that very slight, near-nothing burn, he brushes his hair back. "And I'll go to war in one of your gowns before I carry a bloody rabbit around with me to every meal."

Hands freed, the Leonnidan knight steeples his fingers together before his chest, brushing the lion's head pendant around his neck with his thumbs. The fingers lace together, turn outward towards her, and pop quietly. "I know that my life is ever in danger with him about, Jane, but please try to understand I buried a sister already, I'm in no hurry to bury a brother as well. It will happen all in due time, but to rush towards it, to seek it…" He trails off, shaking his head as his hands fall to rest in the buckle of his belt.

"I think you misunderstand me, Garus," Jane replies slowly, allowing him his moment to vent. She leans back against the counter, propping her elbows on its cool surface, and studies the Leonnidan calmly. "I never said you were rushing toward it, or that you should. I am only saying that it is inevitable for you. You are a survivor, and you will not go without a fight, and there will be a fight, and he will die. You will have to kill him to be at peace from him, because he will not relent until you are dead." She pauses to lick her lips, and her blue eyes darken as she allows some of that calmness to slip. "But thank you for insinuating that I am heartless and bloodthirsty."

Chewing at the corner of his lip, Garus allows his head to cant gently to one side, casting a shadowed look to the woman before him. His lower lip flubs back into place as the teeth let it go, leaving a brief moment of white skin that quickly rushes back to its normal soft shade of pink. "Was I insinuating that?" Garus replies, a bit of challenge to his voice.

Realizing that they're toeing the line of uncomfortable territory, Garus lets a sigh escape him and turns his eyes to the kitchen beside him. She has mixers and all of the most recent, fashionable kitchen aids, but not a one of them gives him an escape from the bitter feelings welling up inside of him. "Jane, I understand you've no wish to see me buried before the Companionship begins, nor after." He replies, turning back to face her. "And no doubt it will be easier for me to kill Godric than Dorinne; I was just a lad then and tried to talk her out of it." His lips flatten, head shaking bitterly. "But who am I kidding? Trying to talk Godric out of this would only give him more room, more time, to kill me. I'm just saying it's a vastly different thing when you plunge a blade into the heart of someone you grew with, aye?"

Jane slips down from her stool, landing softly, almost like a cat on the prowl now; except her expression isn't that sultry, feline look she can wear in the bedroom. Instead, she looks almost muderous, and the rising ire is tempered only by a fierce projection of willpower. "You are patronizing me, Garus, as if I have never encountered loss before. I may not have killed, but if you keep talking at me like I'm a child, I just might be experiencing murder firsthand sooner than expected." She stalks past him, heading out of the kitchen and down the hallway toward the master bedroom.

The distance, apparently, is not a deterrant from continuing the conversation, and although her voice is quieter as she turns the corner into the bathroom, she is still audible. Banging sounds follow as she digs roughly through her drawers and cabinets. "I will never understand the brotherliness you feel for him in your heart. I may not be a member of your family, but I was raised in the Roar. I am as much Leonnidan as you are, and I think this softness is going to be your undoing." Drawer slam. "So stop - " a loud bang as her hair dryer falls to the floor accidentally " - acting like - " the thunk of a closing cabinet " - I am an ignorant princess."

"Patronizing, no, I'm not patronizing you, Jane, there's a difference between patronizing you and just sharing my angle on the fucking matter." Garus rubs at his brow as she stalks off towards her room. With her back turned, he rubs at the bridge of his nose and wide-eyes his bottle of beer. Growling, his own rage bubbles to the surface, his hand lashing out to grab it, sending a small dribble to slosh out over the lip and down the side of his hand. "Like you've never experienced loss, bloody hell, Jane…"

"Think on this then, Jane." Garus speaks up, loud enough to be heard from the other room, his voice only only growing louder as he pads down the hall towards her doorway. "I'm not being bloody soft, Jane, I'm trying to think of the next three steps down the lane. I'm not interested in any children I have murdering themselves over some fucking perceived nonsense like Dorinne tried with me. Godric? Yes. Godric or I are going to have to die, but I'm a different man from my father, Jane."

"Every idealist spouts that same crap, but in the end they become their parents," Jane answers, sticking her head out from the bathroom and hissing the words down the hallway. It appears that whatever is supposed to have happened in the bathroom has, because she flicks out the light and moves into her bedroom like a tornado on the rampage. She hesitates with her hand on the doorknob, considering for a moment whether it would be prudent to slam the door. Her pale hand rises, fingers curling inward as she rejects the idea and spins on her heel to storm out of line-of-sight toward her closet.

"This isn't about your non-existent children, Garus, this is about you not wanting to man up and do what is necessary to survive. Isn't your family's motto 'Only the Strongest'? I realize that's subject to interpretation, but I think Godric has interpreted it to mean 'Only the Breathing'. You can worry about how this will reflect on your ability to raise kids after you've ensured you have the fucking time to propagate." Muffled whooshing sounds issue forth from the bedroom as she begins ripping clothes out of her closet, piling up dresses onto her bed. The purpose for all of this activity is, of course, one of those burning questions: what the fuck is Jane even doing right now?

"Man up?" Garus blinks. The knife has been inserted between the ribs and forceably twisted in such a way to bring a narrowing of his eyes to the woman. His lips curl over the edge of his teeth at the corner of his mouth, bringing a very visible scowl to his face. He steps into the room, setting the beer down on the corner of her dresser and starts towards the closet, his words quickening in tone and cadence. "There are many good qualities about my father, Jane, but his ability to inspire his children to murder each other for fucking sport is not one of them that I have the time nor patience for, Jane, and being applauded for burying one of them is something I assure you that you haven't had the pleasure of experiencing."

Stopping in the doorway of the closet, effectively blocking her path with his muscle and oppressive posture, Garus no longer chooses to hide his growing frustration with her. His shoulders tighten and his arms fold across his chest, the classic cut off posture. "I will kill my brother or be killed. I understand this, damn it all, so please don't walk about acting like this is something that I'm going to wait until he has a bloody checkmate on. I'm no fool. This isn't a tourney, it's an execution."

Jane turns about with another dress in hand, and she is brought up short by Garus standing there. Staring at her. Being angry. She recoils reflexively, clutching the gown to her chest and running her fingers over the smooth, silky fabric. Perhaps haute couture provides some ridiculous reassurance, because she straightens after a few seconds, sets her jaw like the stubborn redhead she can be, and she meets Garus' gaze unflinchingly. "If you honestly believe it's for sport, Garus, then I think you've missed the point entirely. You make it sound like it's some - some big game, and you're wolves circling and nipping and waiting for the other to transform into a delicious doe. That is so far off the mark that even the outsider has to laugh." She thrusts the dress at him while simultaneously trying to sidestep around his hulking barrier.

"And I am not trying to whip you into a frenzy like some feral dog I unleash to do my bidding. I am saying it because I am getting exhausted listening to you agonize over things that haven't happened yet. You carry more emotional baggage than four women, and about ten times more than I do. I mean, I thought I had some daddy issues…" If she is allowed to pass, she will linger by the bed sorting through her messy pile. If not, she will be backing slowly into the dresses still hanging up behind her.

Garus does not move away, stealing her personal space away from her enough to keep her inside of the confined space. The dress shoved towards him falls to a silken puddle around his feet, and as it falls he steps towards her, providing his body as an outright block to her with lowered brows and a line of stone falling over his jaw. "You misunderstand as an outsider just what happens inside of the house you're about to join, Jane." Garus replies darkly. "With the slightest suggestion of pride and strength, my sister interpreted his desires for us, and after I buried the knife in the chest of a woman who could have one day been a political boon for our house…he smiled at me. It was for shit, Jane, a technicality and a misinterpretation."

With a hard stare, Garus turns away from her and slips back into her room. His arms unful to brush over the top of his head, leaving his arms bent at the elbow like a pair of chicken's wings as he gazes over her pile of dresses. "This is now the second of my brood that has attempted to murder me, and at least this one was over a point of power that I am threatening Godric with my own influence. That POINT," Garus growls, eyes turning down his shoulder towards the closet. "Is that the strongest leads, and if need be the cancer is cut clean. You're right about the interpretation that my father handed down to Dorinne and Godric, but my different interpretation isn't emotional baggage, it is ethic and with ethic once my brother is dead the interpretation will be very, very clear."

You will no longer hear messages on channel <Public>.

"Please step back, sir," Jane replies through clenched teeth as Garus plants himself in her path, providing a barricade that is both stormy and threatening. She reaches up with one hand and holds it out, palm facing him, in a warding gesture. "What you perceive as a misinterpretation is really not so. Cultural implications guided your sister to make that decision, and it just so happened to coincide perfectly with your father's understanding. You come from a House with a history of violence between siblings, so I cannot and will not understand why you seem so - so baffled by it. It is in your blood, Garus, so when your own siblings decide to off you, stop internalizing that. Stop taking it as some commentary on your character but instead as commentary on theirs. And for fuck's sake, stop acting like you're on some damned crusade. Forcing your siblings' hands through inaction or purely defensive maneuvering doesn't make you angelic, it just makes you a bigger and more subtle schemer."

Taking a deep breath, Jane looks as if she is about to continue, but the rapid beeping that is an alert from her wrist stays her words. She glares once at Garus before looking down to her wrist and pressing a button to scroll through a message. "Perfect timing. The results on your shield generator. Do you want them, or would you like to stand there for longer and preach to me about how you're long-suffering and afflicted with the worst family in Haven?"

The tall, powerful Leonnidan in Jane's path casts a simmering look down the plane of his shoulder to her as he turns, freeing more of her path to travel as she pleases. The way he rolls his tongue over his teeth and stares off to a wall, steepling his fingers, is the Garus Leonnida classic thinking posture. Responding to her analysis with a snarl of his teeth, his lips part fully to bare them towards the wall as his chest rises, breathing in deeply. When the breath comes out, something within the man seems to cleanse; his posture normalizing.

"There's something about you that is absolutely enfuriating in your wisdom." Garus replies, turning to face her. Fingers sliding over one another as if warming them with a towel, his green eyes turn towards the device on her wrist, giving it a nod to the affirmative. "It's important information, and why are you packing so many things?"

Jane pauses, glancing down to the dress on the ground and then the pile on her bed. Her brow furrows, her expression growing perplexed as she tries to retrace her steps and figure out just what in the hell she is doing. "Oh, I'm not packing. My closet is full. I'm moving old gowns out into storage, ones that are out of fashion and I haven't worn in a year." She exhales through pursed lips, running her fingers back through her hair and sending the curling red tendrils into a frenzy. She gestures to one of the chairs, silently inviting Garus to sit before she scoops up the fallen dress and deposits it onto her bed.

Lowering herself onto the edge of the mattress, she looks back to her wrist and presses a button again. "He said that it was tampered with in multiple ways, although he has no idea who might have done it. He said that it was sabotaged physically and code-wise, and that a chip was added to the shield generator so that by traveling through the Waygate, the other saboage was triggered and fried out the shield generator's circuitry."

"Of course," Garus presses a palm to his forehead, the tension of their first fight coming to a close with a half-audible laugh. He's chosen a clothes-horse, and the changing of the guard is something he's seen with his sisters. Eyes closing as he lowers into the chair, he slicks his hair back only to find the bangs flopping back into place. "When you move to the castle I'll make sure you get an extra room just for them." Sarcasm.

When the verdict comes through, Garus' eyes open and center on Jane in a long, heartfelt stare. His arms lift from his lap to fold across his chest, fingertips flexing and tightening against his forearms. It isn't a surprise. It never was.

"My armor was stored in Castle Leonnida. There's no way this could have been done by an outsider." Garus' voice lowers to a low, gravelly baritone. Fingers tap against muscle as Garus cants his head to one side, eyes narrowing to as the plans begin to unfold in his mind. "So long as Godric lives I am endangered. There's only one answer."

"Really? That would be absolutely lovely. I love my apartment, but I lament its lack of closet space." Jane smiles charmingly, ignoring the sarcasm behind Garus' remark, and reaches out to fluff a ribbon on the topmost gown. Her gaze is downturned while the Leonnidan ponders over the implications of the results, but the finality in his response draws her attention back up to his face. Despite all of her talk, she cannot hide the concern lurking behind her eyes. "So you are going to take the offensive finally."

"I'm not going to wait to get poisoned or shoved off of a cliff and I'll not suffer watching every shadow for fucking Godric for the rest of my days." Garus replies, the line of his jaw tightening into a scowl as he rises from the chair. He hooks his thumbs in the buckle of his belt, and chews at his lip, eyes far off before they slowly turn to meet hers with an intense gaze. "I'm not going to go on the offensive." Garus replies, brows lowering. "I'm going to kill Godric and make an example of him so the others, whoever they may be, know the price for failing to murder me."

A flutter of a smile passes over Jane's lips, and she rises up from the bed in a graceful swish of synthetic fabric. Light footsteps carry her toward Garus, and she lowers herself into a kneel on the floor at his feet. One pale hand rises up to rest gently on his knee. "So that they will try harder not to fail in the future?" She waves away the jest quickly before he can answer. "I know that you wish for peace, my love, as do we all - if it is not your brother, it will be the Hostiles after your head instead. Ours is not a life meant to be lived peacefully, and we have known it since birth. It may not make it any easier to swallow, but it has to be faced nonetheless. Would that we could talk about my wardrobe all day instead."

"If I die, I die, but they'll know I'll be aware and watching now." Garus replies, his pale, green eyes tracking her as she lowers to the floor at his feet. Reaching out for her, he traces a fingernail over her jaw; sweeping back to catch a lock of her hair and tuck it behind her ear. "Hard fought. Hard to kill. The price for failure must be something to fear; another shield at my back, our backs, at all times." Fingers curling, digging into her neck to draw her eyes up further to his so that he may bore down into her own eyes, making it clear that he wants her to hear him. "I won't mourn him like I did Dorinne. She was a child, and I'll not wait for him to harm you to get to me." He pauses. "Are you ready for these risks, Jane?"

Jane tilts her head, pressing her cheek against his fingers until they slip away to toy with her hair. She wrinkles her nose, listening to him in silence and looking away for a moment to consider the weight of his words. Only when he's urging her to look up does she turn back to meet his gaze, and her expression is as fierce as a feisty redhead can be. "Yes. What is life without a bit of risk?"

Murder most foul. The game is set, and for the first time since his armor failed him, the pang of excitement flows up into Garus' eyes. The part of him that is the lion, the part that savors the thrill of the hunt is shown to her. "Oh, love," Garus murmurs, a wolfish gnashing of his teeth comes as his boots scrape against her carpet, bringing him to one knee and face-to-face with her. The adrenaline of knowing that soon his life, or Godric's, will be over brings a demand to his hands as he captures her face, pulling her lips to his.

Reaching up, Jane cups her hands around Garus' and leans in to the kiss, letting it linger for several moments before pulling back to take a breath. "Just promise me that you aren't going to do anything absolutely stupid, okay? I love you, but it won't stop me from resurrecting you just to kill you all over again out of anger.

Gasping with the effort and a need for breath, Garus' eyes flash open and he presses his forehead against hers. Try as he may, he has to lift his fingers in between hers to capture and thread their hands into conjoined fists. "I promise," Garus breathes against the corner of her mouth, finding her eyes once more. "I love you, Jane Wyre, and I will make you my Companion and no widow. Once Godric is buried…I want all of Haven to see you by my side, and for all of Haven to see that you have my love." His cheek tugs in a wan smile. "Does this plan work for you?"

Jane's eyes widen a degree as the talk turns toward the impending Companionship, and her heart skips a beat. She tries to catch her breath, exhaling slowly as her lips spread into a wide smile. "I love you too, and I am - well, I confess myself very excited by the prospect. I'm sorry, dear, but I cannot let Godric stomp all over my enthusiasm. I suspect a long and happy life together once you are rid of him, so yes - yes, this plan works for me perfectly. And it gives me time to plan my trousseau. Mother thinks she has finally finished the sketches for my gown, because even if it isn't a wedding, I am still going to wear the dress." Speaking of dresses… "Oh! I should probably get the rest of these packed away."

Sometimes Jane speaks in a way that makes Garus' eyes spin. From love to Godric to trousseaus, and then the sudden shift to going back to her work. Return to work? The way she obsessive-compulsives back to putting her dresses away brings a groan from Garus' lips. Making his point clear, he tangles his fingers in her hair and tugs her lips back to his, pressing her back against the mattress of the bed. "You can do all of that later." Garus mumbles against her lips. "Gown packing?" His fingers tighten. "Now?"

Jane is halfway to her feet, ready to pull away from Garus so she can organize the absolute mess that is cluttering her bedroom. When he fails to relinquish his grip, she falls back to her knees and turns to him, eyebrows raised. Her lips part to spit out a retort, but he cuts her off before she can speak by pressing his lips to hers. A laugh rumbles through her chest, and she throws her arms around his neck as he tilts her back. "Fine, it can wait."

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