07.04.3013: Red Sabaton Diaries
Summary: Nitrim treats Michael to a potentially life-changing experience. Jane makes an appearance in an unlikely place.
Date: 4 July 2013
Related: None
Jane Michael Nitrim 

Willowtree Hospital, Landing; later, A Brothel, Landing
First a hospital, then a brothel.
4 July 3013

Somber, yet not sober. Michael has returned to the hospital. He's packing his things, the bandages having been taken off to reveal scars on his chest with a twin on his shoulder. His stomach showing bruising but nothing else. He moves slowly, sad and quiet.

Slipping his way around the various gurneys and hospital staff on his way to the recovery ward. With a book under his arm, he comes to the edge of Michael's bed and knocks on it twice to get the man's attention. "Hey Michael…" He nods to the man. "You got time for a visitor before I run back to the Palace?"

Michael looks up, his eyes showing his drunken state. "Lord Nitrim, of course I have time." he looks at the man, "How are you?"

"Not as good as you, I see." Nitrim laughs, lofting the book to the bed near Michael's feet. Taking up Michael's chart, he starts to read it over, flipping through the pages as he goes over Michael's personal information. "So where's the bar in here? I might need to tie one on, myself."

Michael chuckles ruefully, "There isn't one… I snuck out last night and promptly got caught at the Taphouse in Arboren." he sighs, and takes a seat. "Then Sir Johana arrived." he picks up a glass of water and finishes it. "You know? This is the first time I've ever actually been drunk… never doing this again."

"I said that very same thing the first through eighth time before I just let things go. Like it or not, Michael, you've opened the box." Nitrim smirks, placing the clipboard on its holder where it belongs. Adjusting his footing, he folds his arms to look to the man. "Well, I had just dropped by to lend you some reading material but it sounds like you're a little off edge. Is everything okay?"

"Sir Johana had dismissed me." he stops for a moment, and swallows again, "She's letting me return to Obsidia, and if I prove to her through hard work that I'm worth this chance, I'll keep my position." his fists clench slightly and then he relaxes again. He looks up at Nitrim, "Have you ever lost someone you were in love with?" he asks.

"No." Nitrim doesn't have to think long about the reply. With a little shake of his head, he reaches out to the chair beside the bed and slips into it. "I'm not really a love kind of person, at least I haven't been in a situation I wasn't able to figure out on my own without falling all over myself." A beat. "So you're all about a girl and this is why you're jeopardizing your status with Lady Johana?"

Michael shakes his head, "My former knight, Sir Corbin, she and I were in love. Though nothing romantic ever happened because I wan't comfortable with it. When she passed away like that, I couldn't just get knighted by any knight… so I left it all behind." he pauses, "My jeopardizing comes from mistakes made, the last one was telling Sir Johana off when I took her scolding to mean that I was the reason Roan had died." he frowns, the thought clearly not sitting well with him.

"Sounds to me like you need a counselor and not a doctor." Nitrim comments, bringing his boots up to cross at the angle on the end of the bed's mattress. "Though I've read that step one to being a good squire isn't mouthing off to your knight. Question, though, you were just fine back at the caravan and this stuff wasn't happening before. You didn't seem to be having any issues with your deceased Sir Corbin-ladyfriend back then. What changed?"

Michael sighs, and shakes his head slightly. "I lost the ability to zone. To block out all emotions and even thoughts to an extent, I've held a quasi-zoned state for the last six years… since the ambulance ride…" tears start to form in his eyes, "Without it, I'm feeling all the emotions I didn't feel for six years.. and the addition of alcohol didn't exactly add to my self control. Things I didn't do in my youth, like breaking rules, sneaking out, getting into trouble… suddenly I feel like I want to do them." he shrugs slightly, "Though… the knowledge that I could very well never be able to see Sir Johana again if I do, has pretty much kicked those desires into space."

"Don't cry. Please, dear gods, Michael don't cry. And don't you dare start to entertain the idea of courting Lady Johana. There's enough medicinal alcohol in bottles in this building and I'm likely to douse you and light you on fire for either of those." Nitrim says with a low, muted drawl and a shake of his head. "Look…you know what you need? You need to stop taking all of this girl business seriously. I could arrange two, three girls at a time, get it out of your system, and get you back to business, but you owe it to yourself to not lead up to your knighting with being a pussy."

Michael nearly laughs, "Not going to cry, that's an automated response." he does chuckle softly, "Oh, the thoughts of courting Sir Johana have come and gone. No worries on that front, they left before the caravan did." he smirks, "I appreciate the offer, but I've not slept with a woman thus far… and I'm a bit focused on making sure I don't piss off Sir Johana again, so I'm not sure I'll have time." then he smiles, "It's a good thing I'll be surrounded by Khourni for the rest of my life, they glare the wuss right out of you."

"ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?" Nitrim blurts out, loud enough to cause some of the nurses walking down the hall to cast death glares towards Michael's gurney. Nitrim, in response, rises from his seat and glowers at Michael. "Look, you're not doing any woman a shred of good by treating her like she's the only thing in your life you've ever had. That's way too much pressure. So you're going to come with me and I'm going to get you laid. I'll send word to Johana that I had need of you."

Michael blinks at Nitrim, "…" he opens his mouth then closes it. He stands up, and just looks at Nitrim, "I…um." yeah, he'll follow, but he's at a loss at the moment.

"Shut your fucking mouth and follow me." Nitrim says back to the man as he waves to the nurses, leading the way out of the hospital. Once they get to the street level, Nitrim turns to explain something to the man. "Women won't admit it but they like their men experienced and confident, Michael. They don't want you to act like they're the be-all-end-all, they want to just see it come through from time to time because the last thing they truly want is to get sandblasted by romance. It's like those movies the women love so much, right? In every one of them the guy is a strong, rugged, thoughtless douche until he lets out his heart for one really romantic moment, right? Well what do you think that man does after that movie ends? He goes back to being an awkward, stupid douche until he shows the effort. If the romance button were on all of the time you'd come across as needy. It just doesn't work."

Stopping in front of a door, Nitrim jerks it open and leads Michael inside. Down the hallway he goes until he stops at a window. The strong, muscular man behind the window recognizes Nitrim's face and asks them to wait as he goes to unlock the door.

Michael just nods to Nitrim as he explains. Follows him silently through the door and down the hall. He just waits now.

The door opens to reveal a plush, carpeted room that smells of nag champa incense and the light ringing of chimes. Without asking, Nitrim puts his hand to the center of Michael's back and leads him to a sitting area. Taking to one of the couches, Nitrim motions for Michael to sit. Within minutes a number of girls, in many colors and shapes, enter into the room. The area around them, now dotted with girls in lingerie, string bikini-like tops, and short skirts scandalous enough to swear away Chantry standards, brings Nitrim to give them a small wave and a smile from his lips.

"Ladies, you look lovely this evening, each and every one of you. I'd like to introduce you to Michael. He's just come back from war with the Hostile with me and he's been feeling rather blue as of late. In fact…I'd hate to send him back to war without knowing what it's like to be in the care of one, or more, beautiful girls."

Hi, Michael!

Oh from the war you brave soul…

Oh you poor thing…

Michael smiles charmingly to the women, then looks to Nitrim for a moment as if curious what the proper course of action is. He doesn't wait for a response before he looks back to the women. "Hello." in a slightly shy tone, though he does seem to be open and approachable even seated on the couch as he is.

Smiling like the Devil does, Nitrim brings a cigarette to the palm of his hand. His eyes gloss over in white as a small spark of flame brings the top of the cigarette to life. He scans the faces in the room before looking over to Michael. "Consider it a gift, Michael, from a friend." He claps a hand down softly against Michael's shoulder and motions for him to stand and approach the women. "Go, be bold, soldier. Take your pick and go have fun. Don't spend this time talking to me."

Michael nods to Nitrim and then stands up. Makes his way to the women, who of course begin to show off to him. He does seem slightly awkward, but after conversing with them all, he and two women. Both tall and long legged, one with long brown hair the other with long red hair, leave the room.

A couple hours later, he returns with a mixed facial expression of a wide smile and confused eyes, he walks awkwardly over to Nitrim and chokes out, "Thanks." and then just doesn't seem to know what to do next.

When Michael comes back out, it seems as if Nitrim's been sitting in the main room for hours. Having not partaken in the charms of the brothel itself, the young Khourni lord is instead speaking quietly to one of the brothel's girls that is off duty. "…was cold. I didn't really know what I was getting when going out to Niveus. We expected it to be cold, but really, it was like fighting inside of an ice cube tray."

"You see, Nitrim? You should have come to see me first. That's where I was born, I could have told you all about it." She replies, lightly touching her arm. She's past trying to lure him back for business, and is instead keeping the buyer of Michael's time company while he waits.

"If only I'd known." Nitrim laughs and the two look to Michael at the same time. They share a glance between each other and rise in unison. The girl sweeps across the floor to Michael and places a soft kiss to his cheek, whispering a word of congratulations before she slips off behind the curtains. Nitrim just smirks to the man and goes to the door, holding it open for him. "Come on…let's get you back to the hospital."

Michael blushes at the kiss and word of congratulations, clearly figuring out that Nitrim told her. He follows to the door allowing himself to be lead back to the hospital without a word. The smile doesn't fade until after they've returned.

Nitrim stops Michael at the door and looks back to the sofa. "Wait…maybe we should have another drink first." Nitrim lets the door swing closed and moves over to the wetbar. He pours the two of them a drink and offers Michael the glass. "Now…I should probably make sure you're aware that this isn't fit for public knowledge. We're friends, Michael. Let's keep this just between the two of us."

Michael follows Nitrim to the wetbar and takes the drink, "Of course, Lord Nitrim. I won't tell a single person." he replies softly, then takes a drink from his glass. "Without too much to say, that was… an experience." he comments lightly, voice hushed.

It's a brothel - and there's Jane Wyre waltzing down the stairs with the grace and ease of a woman who knows her own business and gives no shit if anyone else wants to make assumptions. The likelihood that paparazzi linger outside of the building ready to snap pictures is very high. Still, the actress is smiling. A half-finished cigarette dangles from her lips, and she is gazing not at where she is headed but instead at the PDA in her hands. The sound of electronic clicking accompanies her fingers on the screen.

It isn't until she meanders up to the bar and lifts a finger to order a drink - the 'usual', and it's a bad sign that the bartender knows what she wants - that she glances up from the glowing display. To her surprise, she recognizes at least one face at the bar. Rather than greet Nitrim, however, she simply slips onto an empty stool on the side opposite of Michael. "Thanks," she offers the bartender when he slides a short glass of ice and something dark (whiskey? rum?) toward her.

If it weren't for the fact that Nitrim Khournas were rather well-versed in scheming, he may have said something to Jane at the second he notices her. Instead, that brief moment of eye contact is met with a nod of his head as he tilts the tumbler back to his lips. The ice slides in the glass as he sets it back down to the bartop, and he slips a cigarette between his lips. "It always is an experience, Michael. One you'd better never forget." Nitrim offers to the man quietly, as well as the open case of cigarettes.

Sticking his hip to the bar, Nitrim decides that enough time has passed and he'd rather look over Michael's shoulder to Jane Wyre. He tilts his head to get a better look at her and then taps the edge of his glass with his clawed ring to get Jane's attention. "Well Miss Wyre, if only I'd known before declining our lovely hosts." He teases, flashing a grin towards her. "It's rather comfortable here, isn't it?"

Michael finishes what's in his glass, and then nods to Nitrim. "I doubt I could forget that." he comments softly. Then at Nitrim's head tilt, he turns around to regard the woman. He smiles softly and nods to her in a way of greeting.

It is always an awkward thing meeting one's acquaintances in the least likely of places. Jane pretends she is not listening in on their conversation as she taps the ash from her cigarette into the glass tray set somewhere in the middle of the three. Her arm brushes Michael's as she pulls back, inhaling slowly as her gaze turns to fix first on the young man and his even younger companion. "Lord Nitrim," she greets slowly, and the words slither out from between her lips on a wave of flavored tobacco smoke - strawberry, most likely.

"If only you had known what, hmm? Do not assume I'm moonlighting for extra creds," the actress answers quietly, following up her words with a sip of her drink. The ice clinks noisily against the glass as she lowers it to the counter, and without thinking she wipes the condensation from her fingers onto the leg of her too-tight pants. "And yes, it is comfortable here. Quiet. People don't ask too many questions. I do not ask many questions." The last is offered with a glance to Michael, and she returns the man's smile with one of her own. It is a placating gesture meant to silently communicate that she sees nothing, hears nothing, speaks nothing. "I hope you have enjoyed yourselves, gentlemen."

"Well, it's a shame that this conversation never happened the moment I leave the room, because our conversations are always so fun, Jane." Nitrim laughs, his eyes flashing white as he lights his cigarette with his own hand. "Myself? I've spent the last few hours chatting and having a drink. I have to head back home soon as it is. I can't speak for this gentleman here." He motions to Michael.

In one single motion, Nitrim scoops up his glass of iced brandy and rolls around Michaels back to come to the stool on the other side of Jane. Dropping into it, he presses his back against the bar and leans his head towards her. "But now that you're here I've got this little light bulb above my head that I can't ignore. I've got an ask for you. I need help with something that requires a degree of discretion and…it would be a personal favor to me. The kind of favor you could name your price but if your price is high might have to come in monthly installments."

Michael blushes slightly, but then smiles all the same to the woman Nitrim calls Jane. When Nitrim slips around him to speak with her, Michael simply orders a glass of water, he's still working off the ales from last night after all.

Jane laughs at Nitrim's words, a smooth, deep, liquid sound of genuine humor. It makes her eyes crinkle at the corners in a way that doesn't happen so often these days. She almost looks pretty with her face alight in true amusement. "It can be our secret conversation, my lord, and still be fun. Not everything need make the tabloids, after all." She flashes another white-toothed smile, but this one is still directed - oddly enough - at Michael.

The actress doesn't watch as Nitrim relocates himself to her other side, instead twirling a curl of red hair around one finger while gesturing with her empty hand for a top-off. She listens in silence, but the word 'favor' draws those steely blue eyes toward the Khourni. "Oh?" The word is laced with a multitude of tones that indicate curiosity, intrigue, amusement, and hesitation all at once. "You have my attention, my lord."

"Michael? This is also something you didn't hear, okay? It was all a fabric of your imagination. Sometimes secrets can be fun, can't they?" Nitrim smirks, leaning back against the bar to get a better look at the man. Like a child, he grins broadly and salutes him with his glass.

Smile fading, the Khourni lordling lowers his green eyes to Jane's blue. He taps the ashes of his cigarette away and lowers his voice to a strangely personal tone. At first, there's an awkward smile. "There's a girl." Which explains why Nitrim didn't partake in the whoring. "A citizen girl. A citizen girl who has spent the last gods-knows-how-many years in the slums of the Ring." He smiles again. This one he likes, at least enough to demurely break eye contact. "She's had a hard life but she's an Awakened like me, a kind soul, and we both care for each other. But…she's been shut in for years. She would stick out like a bomb in the noble circles. She not only needs another woman to help her with certain things but…I'm also in the need of a talented actress to teach her how to…act. Do you see where I'm going with this?" He laughs. "Do you remember that one movie where the girl from the street becomes the bride of the lord's son?" He narrows his eyes to her. "And by the gods please keep this on the down-low."

Michael listens to Nitrim and nods, "I should go back to the hospital m'lord. I'll be expected. Thank you though, I'll remember." he nods again and then smiles to Jane. He makes his way out brothel before he hears what Nitrim says.

Jane glances sidelong to Michael several times. There is something about his rugged looks combined with a penetrating stare backed by nothing but sheer innocence. It's almost like a drug for the actress, and she can't seem to absorb enough of him with just one look. "Hmm? Oh, yeah, I saw that piece of shit, but wh- ah." She coughs into her hand to cover her sudden surprise, and immediately downs half of her drink before she can even consider the request in the proper frame of mind. 'Buzzed' being the proper frame of mind in this situation.

"I don't — well, I can, but — fine. Okay, fine." Jane attempts to interject Nitrim, but as the man pursues his cause with the unflagging enthusiasm of youth, the actress can only hold up her hands in a 'what am I supposed to do' gesture. "I can do this, but with stipulations. She has to listen to me absolutely, no arguments, and I don't want any attitude. In return, I won't ask any questions. I don't want to know the reason for this or what your plan may be, because I am well aware that ignorance is bliss. She must be punctual, because I keep a very tight schedule, and one of you may have to shell out for a wardrobe."

Jane pauses to lick her lips, but then opts to wet them with brandy instead. Her gaze flutters over to Michael when he offers his farewell, and she tries to hide her pout as she holds out a hand to touch him very lightly on the arm. "Safe travels."

Like a hummingbird darting amongst flowers, however, the following second Jane has returned her attention to Nitrim. "Well, I'm assuming she'll need something like an updated wardrobe, refined manners, a basic understanding of etiquette, a repository of empty phrases and bullshit to keep her afloat in the midst of noble conversations, and a metric fuckton of luck. Have I nailed the target?"

"Yeah, you've nailed the target pretty dead on, Jane. I can shell out for a wardrobe and I'm doing my own training if you will, but I'm not a woman. There's only so far that I can take it. I can promise you she'll mean well and she might be prone to getting discouraged, but she's brave and up for the challenge. I can also assure you that this isn't for some illegal purpose. You'd just be a friend doing me a favor, and in return I will owe you one. A big one." Nitrim replies, leaning his head back to the ceiling while he enjoys his cigarette. Perhaps the privacy of the what happens in the brothel stays in the brothel rule has led him to be a bit more thorough in his explanation as needed, but he seems to have a personal stake in this request.

He licks his lips and takes another pull from his glass. Back rising from the bar, he turns around on his stool so that he's facing her, and eye contact is resumed. "I won't lie, this will be work. You'd be starting from a negative canvas having to build up. She's got blocks in talking with people. She's quiet. She thinks a lot but right now she's not much for words."

"Quiet is not necessarily a bad thing, and we can use the contemplative nature to her advantage," Jane muses aloud, finishing the rest of her drink. She glances down to her PDA to check the time, and a furrow appears in her brow. "I have another appointment today. They seem never-ending. Ever since the benefit concert, I've been sticking my thumbs into way too many pies. Lord Nitrim, you have my contact information. Pass it on to this friend, and tell her she can use whatever fake name, byname, nickname, penname she wants to use. I am the very model of discretion."

Pausing, Jane allows herself to digest her own words, and her response is another laugh. "Well, alright, but you know what I meant. I am not one to blab, and I never have been. And you're right, you owe me big time, and I am looking forward to figuring out how you will repay me. For now, I have to go. Do I look too trashy for a low-key meeting with an investor?" She poses for the Khourni, hips cocked, hands at her waist, chin up.

"I will, and thank you, Jane. I really appreciate it." Nitrim replies, downing the last of his drink. Leaning to the side, he glances up and down Jane's body, looking over her clothes, hair, and makeup. Pursing his lips, he narrows one eye towards hers. "Depends, are you hoping he'll find you attractive and give in a little? If so, you're golden, but not trashy." He stands up, stepping back over to the sofa he was sitting on with Michael. Finding a journal there, he double-checks to make sure it's his before he heads to the door. "You, Jane, are an amazing person. I will remember this."

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