03.24.3014: Dionika and Maelfus
Summary: Jane rushes to the Cindravale Fortress at Phylon to find the wounded Garus.
Date: 11 December 2013
Related: Calling in the Favors
Jane Garus 

Private Resting Room — The Fortress, Phylon
Room description included in scene.
March 24, 3014

Like a bastard, or thoughtless, Garus hasn't given any details of his injuries, however, and the medication he's allowed himself to have has put him into a tired, sleeping state. Half awake, he lays on a hospital bed with his left arm lashed to his abdomen, immobilized just beneath a large, serious-looking set of chest bandages that keep him from moving his torso while his pectoral muscles heal. With a few extra days' growth of beard and half-lidded eyes absently watching the 'ELECTION 3014' news reports, he sits alone…

If looks could kill, Jane would have burned a hole the wall of her trailer after receiving Garus' letter. She immediately put in for time off, which was fairly easy to come by since the movie has been moved into post-production. So it is with far much luggage that Jane returns to her suite in Castle Leonnida before venturing up to Phylon. And luckily for the guards, she has been placed on the visitor's list. A hasty jaunt toward the infirmary lead by a page, and then Jane finds herself with her back against the door staring wide-eyed at the man on the bed.

"Garus?" Her voice is at most a whisper.

It isn't so much the word that Jane speaks, but the tone in her voice. It tells Garus everything he needs to know, with its distinct lack of joy and an architecture of pain, and his eyes are forced to turn towards her. The scar that lines his neck twists as his soft, blue eyes are filled with relief and a drug-addled grade of strength for the moment. At least he's had sleep.

"Jane," Garus replies, his brows tilting to the center in his something's wrong look as only usable arm reaches out to her, fingers splayed in a demand for her presence. "Six, I was worried you weren't going to get the message, did you hear it from me first or the grapevine?"

"You first," Jane murmurs, finding somewhere the voice that momentarily abandoned her. She answers the beckon wordlessly, lifting the hem of her dress and swishing forward in a noisy swath of fabric. She reaches Garus' side and lowers herself to her knees, grasping his hand firmly and raising it to her cool cheek. Her head turns slightly, sending a few tendrils of curls over her shoulder as she brushes her soft lips over his knuckles. "Someone must have scared the press into a delay, because it took half a day before the news caught up with my mail. I had my things collected before anyone heard word."

Smiling, the actress slides her fingers up Garus' arm and reaches out to caress his briefly. "If you're awake enough, can you tell me what happened? I do not trust the news to get it right. I am so glad you are—not worse than this." With visible effort she swallows back the dreaded word.

Palm to cheek and fingers threading through her attractive red hair, Garus paws at her face and tightens his knuckles with hers. In the brief spaces between the boucing of his eyes the relief can be seen on his face before he washes it over in a new wave of Leonnidan resolve. The look on his face is the same concern he wore the night he'd asked her to be his Companion, which is evidence enough that although he doesn't want to, he intends to tell her.

"Your lips, Jane, I've been thinking about your lips for days." Garus' wrist turns in a weak attempt to guide her closer to him. "I'm awake, more then I've been in days and Solon and Alistair I may…" Garus frowns. "I'm not sure, but I may owe them greatly." He swallows. "My shield malfunctioned, and one of those bloody Hostile Elites came upon Sir Canis and I. He fended the soldiers and I stood against the Elite. My armor wasn't working right and…" Garus growls. "…I made it. That's all that matters now."

Except the part about the malfunctioning armor, but Garus, as expected, tries to deflect his paranoia elsewhere.

Jane listens in silence, extracting her fingers from Garus' still weak grip as she silently rises to her feet. While he talks, she putters about the room tidying up before hauling a chair over to his bedside. Perching on the edge, the redhead leans forward and brushes hair back from the wounded Leonnidan's face while offering him a bittersweet smile. "I thought your squires are meant to check your gear before you go out, just to avoid this very thing. Have you not got one?" Once more she laces her fingers with his and leans forward to rest her elbows on the mattress.

"Or…" Jane doesn't say it

She doesn't have to. From the look on Garus' face he is thinking — or trying not to think — the same thing. "Where were you anyway? I thought the Valens had the locations of the Hostiles mapped, or was I just dreaming that?"

"I don't have one, no…" Garus trails off, teeth baring in a wince as he tries to sit up. It's a barely there effort, as the network of chest muscles support the back and to move it…is a failed effort. His shoulders instead slump to the pillows and he brings her knuckles to his in a gentle kiss. "So it was myself maintaining my armor, but I didn't watch it at all hours."

Features growing grim once more, Garus' eyes shift from Jane's to scan the room. His head cants to the side, resting against his shoulder, as his elbow tightens to draw her in closer. "I cannot say where we were, it's not my place to say but…my armor's never malfunctioned, not like that. When I woke up from surgery, dear, I could only think about my sister, so much enough that I wrote to Solon. I'm here because for a day I refused to sleep." A long, severe frown forms on Garus' lips. "I need to investigate my armor. I cannot rule out sabotage."

For one very brief moment, a savage gleam darkens the woman's blue-gray pupils, bloodthirsty and nigh on frightening for those who have never seen Jane truly angered. It disappears behind her usual mask with the flicker of an eyelid. "I could not rule it out either, my love, but… The Young Lord is generous to offer you sanctuary here, and I hope it will not be seen as interference by your family. Not that the Young Lord would care overmuch, I think, but it could make things more awkward for his parents." Jane presses her lips together in a thin line briefly before letting them relax into a faint smile. "You are here, you are alive despite someone's better efforts, and I am here with you. For now, let us focus on healing and getting back to normal before we launch an investigation. Tell me what I can do for you now, please. Write letters, call in appointments, hunt down Lord Solon…"

"I think he's going to say it's been done out of esteem for his vassal and friend, that should be simple enough." Garus replies to Jane, brows clinging together as he shakes his head from one side to the other. "It's this sort of precious hours nonsense that will give us time to figure this out and hope for the best. I'd like to say my family is above this, but it's been our way for generations, Jane. Generations."

Considering her offer of being his hands while he's in bed, taking requests and all, Garus' eyes flash to the closed door, then back to her. "Well, for starters, a kiss from your lips. I know I'm not in condition for you to tackle me like you do, but I'm very happy to see you." He grins, then lets out a pensive sigh. "My armor is here and I don't have a squire to look at the shield mechanism. I know this isn't your craft, Jane, but do you know someone you'd trust? Perhaps arrange it through Solon? If it's been tampered with, I'd need it to be kept a Leonnidan manner, which means…perhaps My Lord is not the right answer." A beat passes. "If my family reaches to you, be sociable, and by Six bring our books? Perhaps we could read a comedy while I'm healing."

Garus' request draws an amused smile out of Jane, and she leans forward on the bed so that her face is closer to his. This close, she can make out all of the fine details of his face, and she takes a moment to study the all the lines and marks that stand testament to everything the knight has endured. She brushes her lips over his gently, lingering for a moment or two before pulling back a couple of inches. "I will manhandle you when you're whole and hale. I owe you a fierce whipping for not telling me that you were off to risk and life and limb. I at least like to know when you're in the field so I'm not making merry and acting like life is all a game when it isn't."

Jane pulls back farther and settles into her chair once more. "I know of an armorsmith, the one who crafted the suit I barely use. He is very skilled, I think. Could I not just bring the piece with the shield generator and have him look it over? He needn't know who it belongs to." She rests an elbow on the arm of her chair and taps a painted fingernail against her bottom lip. "And do not worry, darling. I will put on an innocent face and act appropriately sober around your family without any surliness whatsoever. Yes, I can bring our books. Are you terribly bored? How long will you be here?"

Garus' fingers curl tightly against Jane's smaller, more slender fingers with the kiss. Watching her until she's close enough that her face blurs, he closes his eyes and settles in against her lips for the gentle caress, one of the few comforts he's had in days. When she pulls away, his eyes open and his lips part to smile at her threats of manhandling and horrible punishment for his crimes against her. "Oh you are, are you?" Garus challenges her. "I'm a veterean knight, Jane Wyre, and even I sometimes have to go to location to film." Film. His eyebrow twitches. Something awkward. "But I will tell you what I can so you can listen to the reports. My word."

Reaching out to her face, Garus slips a tendril of her long, red hair back behind her ear and steals a quick, chaste kiss from her. His palm paws at the side of her face until it comes to a stop between her neck and shoulder, holding to her there. "Solon can get you the one piece, and it's nondescript enough when removed from the entire arm of the armor, your man should be able to do the work without suspicion while I'm here for…more than a week. If you need money from me to make it a rush job, I can help. And while it's being worked on I want as much of your time as I can have. A little vacation with myself, the Cindravale, and Lord Sammel's new wife, Elodie. She was my doctor once before." His brows harden. "And if this was my family, Jane…"

Jane closes her eyes for a moment, reaching up to rest her hand atop his as his fingers trail down her face. "You needn't give me a single detail, Garus. Just tell me 'I'm going out' and that is all I need to know - just that you're not doing the daily mundane administrative work, but instead are risking life and limb for the sake of this fucking ridiculous war." Did she say that out loud? It seems so.

Her eyes open slowly, almost unwillingly, and she focuses on his face for a moment before her gaze slides away to stare at a snag in the sheet. "If this was your family, Garus, then it doesn't really change matters too much. They are simply trying for the more subtle since the direct route is closed to them. Don't eat out. Find someone willing to be your taster. Check over your own gear piece by piece, armor and weapons. Check your saddle before you ride out. Don't stay in any one place longer than necessary. Eventually you're going to have to bite the dagger, though, and consider retaliation. This tradition that you insist has lasted for generations - it's not going to disappear until you're the last man standing. Remember that."

"If this was Godric, or pray-Six my father, then to be careful is one thing, but to appear to go to ground will only draw more teeth in my direction. I've always felt the esteem of my men, but there's no telling which ones would look the other way. The even harder truth, Jane, is that if we Leonnida are to fight, openly, the men would form a circle to watch." Garus leans forward, pressing his forehead into her cheek for a brief spell. His body cannot hide the fatigue and stress he would never admit to. "I believe in strength, but not about cubs eating their own litter. This damnable tradition needs to change; we are strongest united under the strongest, not in killing our best and brightest for ambition."

The unholy, treasonous words spoken, as honest as they may be, brings a tightness to Garus' jaw. Using her shoulder for balance, he leans back against his pillows and settles in to watch the outline of her face. With a faint smile, he traces her cheek with his finger. "You should be careful to avoid saying things like that," Garus smiles quietly. "You have my heart, Jane, and those leaked images, had we not discussed those scenes, would have surprised me. They made me miss you, but I wonder if people actually think you sympathize with the invaders." He chuckles once, a raspy thing. "This war is folly and horrible, I agree, but the tabloids do love their fiction."

"I'm not going to say a peep to trigger your family's bloodlust, at least not if I can help it. I already know that your father would probably love to skin me alive and make a throw rug out of me," Jane retorts, perhaps a little more hotly than she was originally intending. The ire in her voice takes even her aback, and she is silent for a moment while the lecture continues. The actress scoffs openly at being deemed a sympathizer, however, and she tosses her hair back in flustered frustration. "I am not and you know it. I find this war damnably stupid not because I think we should welcome them as our overlords, but because I think it needs to end once and for all, and I think a mixture of firmness - yea, a steely resolution - and a hand outstretched for peace is the response. If they find that unacceptable, then we end their planet and wipe out the stragglers left behind. I am not a sympathizer, not entirely, and those images were entirely out of context."

Taking a breath, Jane presses her lips together while she visibly wills herself to grow calm. "Some people will think what they want to think, even if it is not the truth. Such is the human condition, Garus, that we are granted the right to use our own brains for better and for worse. I cannot let my sense of self hinge on what others think, or I will go crazy. I learned that years ago. But right now, I think you need to rest. I have excited you overmuch, and I am sure a nurse will blame me if your recuperation is slowed by exertion."

With widened eyes and a playful roll of his brow, Garus' face contorts into a look of near incredulity…yet agreeing with her. In the private watches of the night, Garus has a private self he's reserved for Jane, even as his knuckles tap against the side of his head. "Clearly, you're a very wise, very correct woman in the matter, Jane. I'm not out to harm their children any more than they should harm ours, and even in the field when we fought I barked at them to yield, and I will continue to do so. If we've replaced our morals with a thirst for revenge, we're no different than they. I vowed to defend, and if the best defense is to slow this bloody war, my dear, I will do what I can. I am a defender of the realm and of the people of the Roar, not an assassin." Garus' words slow, ending in a wolfish trail of final syllable. "Perhaps, if this was treachery, that is why."

Breathing in quickly, he reaches to her chin and pulls her to his lips for one final kiss. The final for the day is a slow, heartfelt press of his lips with fingertips flailing as she draws away. "You're in my heart for who you are, Jane, your beauty a second, you are my companion to be. I will rest and be safe for the time being, and will wait for you. Luck be with you, and please…be careful. Back to back against the dark, like Dionika and Maelfus, right?"

With his final goodbye spoken, Garus' pale, blue eyes trail from her eyes to her hips, blinking slowly as she closes the door, cutting off a view of his waving hand.

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