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Messages - Jean Marceau

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1
The Verse / Re: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Skyplex
« on: October 20, 2017, 05:31:21 PM »
For a woman he was very desperately trying not to have to shoot, she was doing a damned fine job of making his life difficult. If her words got to him at all, there wasn't any sign of it. Jean was his usual stony faced self, his sharp blue eyes glued on her face without blinking.

At least, until that last comment.

The reaction was quick. Just a macrosecond of a glance up to check the best angle of aim, and like a machine doing the work, the rifle was shouldered, aimed, and a loud, sudden CRACK deafened the room as the shot rang. The end of the muzzle spat fire, the bullet landing precious inches away from Alexis' foot, indenting the floor, before it bounced past her leg with a sharp wizz to ricochet into the back wall.

2
The Verse / Re: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Skyplex
« on: October 16, 2017, 07:54:57 AM »
What in God's name was the Doctor doing? Aside from obeying a command that wasn't directed at him, he was putting himself in prime position to get himself hurt if this so called 'friend' of his decided to hold a syringe to throat and take a hostage of her own. While Jean and the Doctor had had their points of difference in the past (see: the Doctor's recently broken nose), he wasn't actively looking to shoot the man.

"Search the supplies," he barked, with a look at the Doctor that was fierce enough to make damn sure there was no confusion. That was the whole point he'd brought the man, after all. While Jean had some degree of medical of knowledge from his field training, it didn't come close to being specified enough to do any more than guess what might be valuable on any number of black markets.

But that still left him with his current biggest problem.

The woman — he knew her name, but he was damn well determined not to use it — didn't seem to have a clear idea of exactly what position she was in. Anonymity was how the Black Echo had avoided detection for so long, and the sheer fact that she'd seen his face was a big fucking problem.

Did he really want to shoot a friend of the Doctors?

No.

The question was whether he was going to have the choice.

Fuck.

"You. How good are you?" he found himself asking through gritted teeth in response to her last statement. A good, well trained doctor might be able to command a decent price on the slave market, but...

Was that a risk worth taking?

3
The Verse / Re: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Skyplex
« on: October 06, 2017, 06:35:34 AM »
That wrapped the situation up. Mostly. Despite the orders having been complied with, Jean's expression was no less sour as he allowed the muzzle of his assault rifle to drop. It wasn't much of a gesture, but at the very least, he was no longer pointing the gun directly at them.

No one was supposed to be here.

Fuck.

"Against the wall," Jean ordered with a snarl, jerking his head towards the nearest bulkhead. "Sit." It wouldn't accomplish a lot other than an extra precaution to ensure she didn't try and stab anyone with a syringe if she thought she could get away with it, but he wasn't actually looking for excuses to—

Ta Ma Duh! How W'rin Bu Lai, Whai W'rin Bu Jwo!

FUCK.

No one was supposed to be here. That was the whole fucking point of the exercise. Lock them in. Secure everyone away. Get in. Get out. No witnesses. One fucking ship where he wasn't going to have to—

Glaring daggers at Alexis — as though the whole thing was fucking her fault — Jean addressed his question to the Doctor. "How do you know her?" he growled through gritted teeth.

You know. As though that was going to fucking help.

4
The Verse / Re: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Skyplex
« on: September 27, 2017, 09:08:01 PM »
In Jean's not-so-limited experience, there were a myriad of reactions people tended to have when you pointed a big fuck-off assault rifle in their face. Chief among those was fear. Most folks usually just went wide eyed, and the majority went quiet. Some would cry, or shriek, maybe snivel. Rarely the odd man would run. Few tried to be a hero. Then there was the Doctor the first time they'd caught him, who was… another case entirely.

Long story short, the last thing John Marceau expected upon aiming a gun at a woman and telling her to get on the ground, was a lecture.

"Shut. The fuck. Up," came the notably irate response, with a quick shove of the rifle in her direction for emphasis, "And we will not have to find out."

That, apparently, didn’t go down well. The Doctor was straight there in a heartbeat, evidently anxious that Jean might actually go through with the threat. He felt the man grab his arm, but other than a quite notable clenching of the jaw that Jean usually did when something had displeased him, he didn’t take his eyes off the woman for a second.

If she had a gun on her, a second was all she’d need.

“Handcuffs. Belt,” came the brusque order at the Doctor, indicating he should be the one to cuff her. Shooting her would admittedly be easier, but it didn’t matter how long he’d been doing this for, the idea still left a bad taste in his mouth.

Fuck.

No one was supposed to have been here.

5
The Verse / Re: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Skyplex
« on: September 25, 2017, 09:24:07 AM »
There was nothing for a moment. The pre-recorded emergency messages set to play over the P.A. system to relay evacuation instructions never came, instead crackling over the intercom in staccato spikes before fading away into white noise. The power fluttered, and then even that cut off abruptly, leaving only the eerie silence, and a faint, unfamiliar hum through the hull that sent the hairs one one's arms rising, as though every bulkhead had filled with static.

The first sign of life was the sound of hydraulics and locking bolts clicking as somewhere — deep in the ship — a door opened.

No.

Not a door.

The sound had come from the external airlock.

Sure enough, the faint sound of the warning alarms could be heard through the thick bulkhead walls. There was a mechanical whine, and a grinding sound caused a momentary vibration through the floor.

The airlock was open. But there was no rush of evacuating air.

The Med Transport had been boarded.

The heavy clunk of boots on metal decking quickly confirmed it. Two muffled voices. Both men. Neither of the two sounded like the voices of anyone on board, and while it was plain there was some sort of argument in progress, the words were too unintelligible to make out. One voice appeared to be pleading, at least until a barklike order from the second man put an end to it.

The footsteps eventually made their way to the storage door. Now, close enough, one of the voices only just became audible.

“Is this the one?”

It was the second man. The voice was heavily accented, the impatience evident even through the bulkhead.

The reply from the first voice was muffled, but presumably in the affirmative.

“Seven,” the second voice said again, “this is Six. Open bulkhead Two Seven Cee.”

Above the door to Alexis’ storage room, a green light flashed as the door was overridden remotely. It slid to the side with a hydraulic whirr and a rush of air as the pressure across the bulkheads equalised.

The next thing through the door was the barrel of an assault rifle.

Whether the man who walked through the door first had expected to find Alexis or not, the response was immediate. A quick flash of her out of the corner of his eye, and the rifle was aimed and ready, the end of the muzzle aimed square at her chest.

“On the floor. Now.

6
The Verse / Re: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Skyplex
« on: September 25, 2017, 05:43:51 AM »
It wasn’t long before it became clear that whatever was happening was more than just a routine drill or a malfunction. The doors locking throughout the ship was only the start, followed not long after by a thundering boom that shuddered through the entire hull. The shockwave ran through the superstructure like an earthquake, the whole ship shuddering as though from impact. Glass vials fell and shattered, and everything that wasn’t secured nearly upended.

Another boom, and the lights died.

The subsonic rumble of the reactor and drive didn’t hold on long after that.

The unnatural silence of a true vacuum lingered for only a few precious seconds, until the clunk and thud in the bowels of the ship heralded the booting of the emergency systems. Back-up lights flooded the walls, while the air was filled with a hissssss as the air reticulation systems came back online. The sound was quickly drowned by the crackle from the intercoms, but the familiar voice of the Captain never came.

Along the walls warning lights flashed red, signalling emergency evacuation to the escape pods, but the doors remained hydraulically sealed.

7
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Book of Revelation
« on: September 24, 2017, 04:46:34 AM »
Jean didn’t let her go until he was confident she could sit up on her own. He watched her closely as she drank, absorbing every detail, every movement, afraid to blink or look away. He didn’t know what he was afraid of. That she’d collapse? Throw the mug? Worse? As though he if dared to look away even for an instant, he might miss a vital sign of something about to go wrong. All paranoid thoughts, but after that crippling fear he’d felt when she’d collapsed the first time, and he’d thought that...

Jean's stomach gave an uncomfortable twist.

He’d already thought he was going to lose her once today. That was enough.

Jean took the cup back when she offered it, but he didn’t want to leave her side yet, not even to get water. Fear, concern, and exhaustion were written on every line of his face as he looked at the woman sitting in front of him. God, she was getting thinner by the day. He’d noticed it earlier but here, now, in the cold light, the needle marks raking her arms looked almost grotesque. Had it always been this bad? Or, more likely, had he simply refused to see?

He had barely moved to take a step when Tavi’s other hand reached out. The gesture was enough to give him pause. Looking at her hand for a moment — the meaning almost lost to him as well in his exhausted state — Jean felt his heart start to beat faster as understanding flooded in. The way she was holding her arms out, it looked like she wanted him to...

The impulse to grab her tight was almost overwhelming. He wanted to. Christ he wanted to. Grab her close, and just hold her. As though if he could clutch on hard enough and never let go, he could take away every inch of her pain. Hell, they’d shared more than a hug just the day before. But something stopped him in that moment. The memory — vivid, and in agonising detail — of the way he’d tried to touch her hand, and she’d looked at him with an expression of utmost terror.

He couldn’t handle that. Not now.

Not again.

The words didn’t want to come easily, whatever wellspring of emotion — sadness, relief — building in his throat blockingwhat he wanted to say. What could he say, to make it better? Make it worse?

Nothing.

“Nom d’un bordel Tavi..."

Under the exhaustion, there was a distinct crack in Jean’s voice. One he didn’t even recognise. He’d almost tried to tell her what had happened, but the rising in his throat had stopped him. What good would it do to anyone?

Putain de merde. The way she was looking at him now. Sad, defeated, and almost pleading. Both arms outstretched, and—

Like that, Jean's resolve broke. Reaching forward, Jean grabbed her tight, pulling her in despite himself, burying his chin into her hair before his brain had even caught up. And he hadn't realised, until then, just how desperate he'd been for this moment. Her body felt so small and frail wrapped up in his arms, frozen cold, sending a pang through his chest. Jean's next breath came out more like a shudder, as the simultaneous surge of relief, and the fear that he'd been holding onto for the last five hours, finally let go like a torrent, so hard it physically hurt.

Never..." he said, the relief audible, "do that to me again.”

8
Mining Skyplex / Re: Menagerie Reunion
« on: September 24, 2017, 04:16:15 AM »
"I would say about the time same you did," he grinned.

Despite the good matured response, that wasn't entirely true. He knew intellectually that Safiya had to be older than him by now, but aside from the mechanical arm, she'd clearly weathered the passage of time a fair bit better than he had.

Dieu. How many years had it been?

"I am only here on a quick stopover," Jean replied, dodging the question, and finding his attention accidentally lingering on the mechanical arms. There was something hypnotic in the way they responded to subtle movements; the little twitches in the machinery even in subtle gestures. He'd heard about such cybernetics, of course, but they were rare enough as it was, and he'd yet to actually see one.

How had she—?

Curious as he was to see her again, he was nothing if not painfully of aware of the freshly dead body near Safiya's feet spilling blood and brain matter on the steel flooring. While the Skyplex might not always have the best surveillance, the attention that Jean was already attracting was making him distinctly uncomfortable. The last thing he needed was too many people on Skyplex memorising him. A.M.C even less so.

Jean pulled his gaze back up away from the body. "Listen, I can not be here," he admitted, with a quick gesture at the corners of the room to indicate any potential surveillance. He didn't know whether she intended to bring him in for questioning or put this on any record or not, but if there was a time to all in a favour, this was it.

He had to move. Ideally, away from here, and fast.

9
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Book of Revelation
« on: September 20, 2017, 02:03:14 AM »
At first, Jean wasn’t sure whether the faint cry of ‘water’ was real or an echo that existed solely in his own head. He heard it. Barely. The sound was faint and quiet; more of a rasp in the dark, that struggled to reach through the half-asleep barrier of his mind.

If he hadn’t of been specifically listening for it, he might not have heard it at all. Jean’s chin was up off his chest before he’d even realised why he'd been startled, brows pulled into a confused frown.

Wait. Had he nodded off? He didn’t remember closing his eyes...

No.

That sounded like—

Gingerly sitting up, and trying to ignore the sharp throb of pain in his lower back, Jean looked up towards Tavi. She hadn’t moved since he’d last looked at her. Or at least, she hadn’t seemed to. But he could have sworn he’d heard—

“Please.”

A quick thrum like electricity ran through his body at the sound. Jean was up immediately, the movement triggering a soft flood of white light flowing through the medbay. It wasn’t excessively bright, but it felt that way compared to the relative darkness he’d been sitting in for over five hours.

“Tavi? It’s me,” Jean answered quietly, surprised at how hoarse his own voice sounded. “You’re okay.” It was an assurance to her, as much as to himself. A tangible relief was flowing through each muscle, powerful conflicting impulses striking him at once to rush to her side, or to go fetch her water at the same time. It was logic and the second one that won out, and after the sound of a chair being pushed aside, the distinct noise of water from the distiller filled the room as it was poured into a cup.

Jean was back in an instant, the dark shape of him shielding the overhead lights. There was a touch at her wrist first, and the tug and distinctive noise of the buckles of the straps being pulled free. A foolish choice, maybe, but as quiet and subdued as she sounded, Jean couldn’t bring himself to leave her there strapped down to a table like an animal any longer than necessary. Not like this.

“Slowly,” he encouraged, slipping a hand behind the back of her head and neck as best he could to help her up so she could drink. He could feel his breath caught in his throat somewhere, heart beating insistently, almost as though he was afraid to breathe until he knew she was all right.

Tavi…

Jesus.

How had it come to this?

10
Mining Skyplex / Re: Another Day At The Office
« on: September 19, 2017, 08:02:44 PM »

Dead or Missing in Action.

There it was

Jean leaned back in his chair. He was still frowning, but the expression had taken on a different aspect. Something a little more inscrutable than the abject annoyance he’d been showing earlier. A little more thoughtful, in it’s own way.

This had been easier than what he’d thought. Even despite Mei’s somewhat difficult attitude, he’d just gotten half the information he’d come here to acquire, and he hadn’t even had to pay a silver for it. The information might not have been worth much to Mei, but to Jean, well...

Dead or MIA.

Huh.

Couldn’t complain about that one.

The shipping routes were another matter. While it would undoubtedly be a boon, Mei’s terms couldn’t help but leave a sour taste. There was no guarantee the favour she’d request would have parity to the information he sought, and while Mei was playing coy with precisely what she was going to ask for, Jean was inclined to play it cautious. He was trying to keep his crew alive, and there was no guarantee that Mei wasn’t going to jeopardise that.

“If you are as good as you say you are,” Jean said, getting to his feet, “Then you will have no trouble finding me.” There was nothing more to be done here now, until Mei knew what it is she wanted to ask of him. Jean was not so foolish as to purchase a favour without knowing the cost.

“You know who I am, so you know my service record,” Jean continued, hands resting behind his back and inclining his head to one side. “If you know my record, then you know my training. And if you know my training, it means you know what I can do.”

There was no sense shutting the doors on negotiation completely. Mei knew the cards he was holding, and Jean knew hers. Time would tell how that would play out.

“The day when you need that favour of yours, be in touch,” Jean added. “Then, we will speak again. Until then, Zhīzhū Nǚwáng”

With a final short nod of his head that may have been a bow, Jean made his way back to the main Skyplex hangar. He may not have gotten everything he’d came for, but it had certainly been… educational.

11
Mining Skyplex / Re: Menagerie Reunion
« on: September 19, 2017, 06:04:54 PM »
So much for that plan.

Jean had barely gotten a chance to clear the scene before the A.M.C. Deputy was already making her way down the corridor, barking orders. Jean should have left. Turned around, slipped off with the crowd, and not looked back. That had been the plan, right up until the millisecond he looked up to see who it was, and that pang of realization came thundering down.

Shun Sheng Duh Gao Wahn.

Jean found his feet rooted to the spot for just a fraction too long. Her gun was at his head before Jean could even get a word out, and slowly and clearly, he moved his hands to the side away from his pistol.

Fuck.

It didn’t take long for the realisation to extend both ways. He did manage a small, lopsided smile when when her expression started to crack, feeling his own flood of relief start pouring in. He’d seen that look of hers before. It sounded like he’d changed, but the Safiya he saw may as well be the exact same Safiya he’d said his farewells to, so many years ago.

Well. Barring one major addition.

“Here I thought I was cleaning that mess,” he shot back, with a grin of his own that didn’t quite feel natural. When had he last smiled, anyway? “Still getting into trouble without me, Cackles?”

12
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Closed Book of Revelation
« on: September 18, 2017, 06:36:32 PM »
[Epilogue (?) to CANDYLAND]

Over three hours had passed since Tavi had collapsed unconscious. Three hours, forty nine minutes, seventeen seconds, to be exact.

The medbay was dark now, the only pale light filtering in through the frosted glass that separated them from the rest of the world. Their own personal glass cage. The automatic lighting was set to dim during the simulated night-cycle, in order to help patients sleep.  Movement would trigger the sensors, but it had been a long time since Jean had moved.

He’d set up his vigil on a hard, plastic chair at Tavi’s bedside. That was where he’d remained, for three hours, fifty minutes, thirteen seconds. The Doctor had already checked her over; painstakingly reading each vital sign, and even performed a check of her brainwaves with a hand scanner while Jean stood by with his heart in his throat. All of it had come back normal. It wasn’t a stroke, as Jean had feared. She wasn’t dying. Her body had just… shut down.

Too much. An overload. A rerouting of essential function triggered by a fight or flight response.

How much of it had been Jean’s fault?

Honestly? Jean couldn’t even say for certain.

They’d both agreed to sedate her, just in case she woke up thrashing, or caught in the midst of another traumatic flashback. The restraints had been the Doctor’s idea. Jean was already feeling the familiar prickle of guilt. The straps wrapped around her wrists and ankles looked gargantuan on her emaciated frame. Cruel. But at the time, it had felt like it was for the best. If she woke up thrashing. If she hurt someone. If she hurt herself...

Yet the guilt remained all the same.

In the end, Jean had apologised to the Doctor for what he’d done. It was sincere, for what little the words meant coming out of his mouth. Less than dirt, if he had to guess. He wasn’t sure if the Doctor trusted them, but he’d needed to say them. For the Doctor. For Tavi. For himself. For whatever pittance it was worth.

What had happened here couldn’t happen again.

It wouldn’t happen again.

Three hours. Fifty six minutes. Twenty one seconds.

A stiff pain was working its way through his lower back, but Jean couldn’t bring himself to move. As though if he dared, the lights would be triggered, and Tavi would be jolted awake. He had no way of knowing now whether she was still sedated, or drugs had given way to a genuine sleep.

These days, a dreamless sleep may well be the only respite she had left in the universe.

She looked peaceful. There, resting on the bed, a faint rise and fall of her chest with each breath, body silhouetted in crystal light. Only the restraints ruined the illusion. Jean’s eyes had long since adjusted, but sometimes, when he blinked, there was blood on the walls. Blood on the bed. Running down her hands. Pooled around her neck. The same way the blood had been everywhere after the Caduceus was attacked. The same way Natalie had looked on that stretcher after the anti-materiel round had ripped out her throat.

It was all starting to… blur together.

Jean blinked hard, lowering his head and pressing this thumb and forefinger into the bridge of his nose, as though that would help clear his mind. There was a reason he rarely sat. Work helped to numb the pain. Keep the world at bay. Work had always been his solace when life began to crumble down around him; his dogged determination to keep himself busy — to work, not to let himself think, or grieve — had single handedly pulled him through in those hours after the Caduceus. After Natalie. And, Hell, the whole goddamned War.

Suffice it to say, Jean gotten uncommonly good at operating on too little sleep.

The deepening crow’s feet at the corners of his eyes showed it. The haunted look he’d picked up in recent months. The gauntness eroding away at the sides of face, that on some days, in the right lighting, made him look half a corpse.

There was nothing else to be done for her now. No work teep his mind busy. Nothing but to do but wait. The medbay was already organised. The ship’s course was set; autopilot was running correctly. The alarm from the scanners was quiet. It was the early hours of the morning, and French and Mao were asleep. There was nothing left except sit on that hard chair, burning the visual of her outline into his memory.

He wanted to be here when she woke up. There wasn’t much logic behind it, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave. To abandon her here, to wake up alone, terrified and confused. Even just the thought made him feel wretched.

He just wanted to—

No.

There were a lot of things Jean wanted. Very few of them ever came to pass.

Four hours. Thirteen minutes. Fifty seven seconds.

He was playing it back in his mind over and over. The series of events that had brought them to this point. Every word. Every shout. When he flexed the fingers on his right hand, he could still feel the crunch of bone under his knuckles. He’d washed away the blood. But the feeling remained.

Why had he done it?

Jean was no stranger to violence, but it had always been controlled. Deliberate. A selective application to accomplish a purpose. Even when he was angry, he always had control. But this? What had just happened? That was rage. Genuine rage. The type that came like a crack of lighting. The one that made him bare teeth, and in that moment, want nothing but blood.

It had been years since Jean had struck out in anger. At least seven or more, by his own reckoning. He was still lost, even now, trying out to trace it out; map out what had happened, and why.

Christ.

How long had he been trying to get away from it all? And here he was, falling into old patterns he swore he’d left behind him. And what had it cost him? A Doctor with a broken nose, who for all his faults had only tried to help. And Tavi. And that look of fear that she’d given him. That little broken pleading in her voice that she wanted to go home. To get away.

The look was seared into his memory. Even now, the recollection of it, clear and crisp in his mind's eye, made his skin crawl. He’d done some despicable things in his life. He’d killed people. Sold them into slavery. Hurt people for his own gain. But never before had he felt like so much of a monster, until that look.

But why?

Why had he lost control?

That was the question that was haunting him, as the time of clock marched ever onwards, and Tavi continued to peacefully breathe in the dim light of her crystal cage.

Four hours. Forty minutes. Eleven seconds.

Understanding came eventually. There wasn’t much left to do otherwise, except think and ponder on each various failure that had led him to this point.

He realised, now, that throughout it all — though the decimation of the Caduceus, the black box, the first sale, the first kill — Jean had never really let go. He went through the actions. Played the part. But he’d always been hoping. Praying. The back of his mind, subconscious or otherwise, still clinging onto the hope that this was only a temporary sojourn from the life they’d lead. That they could go back. That he could fix everything. That it could all be how it was before.

A long time ago, far, far away.

Jean breathed deep, trying to suppress a sigh as he ran a hand through his hair.

There was no escape from this. There was no out. It was a truth he already knew, but the stubborn part of his heart hadn’t wanted to believe it. Not really. It had kept rebelling at every move he made. Fought and gnawed and clawed at him. He’d shouldered all the responsibility, and let it weigh on him like a boulder. One that he refused to let go of even as it kept dragging him down into the ocean’s depths, no matter how desperately he tried to swim.

It was destroying him. Drowning him. Slowly but surely. It had just taken this for him to realise how far he’d sunk. How little of himself he had left, and the damage it was causing to everyone around him.

It had to change. Because this? Here? What had happened? It wasn’t going to help anyone. Not Tavi. And certainly not himself.

Perhaps it wasn’t his job to save her. Perhaps time would claim her life in the end. And Mao as well. And then all that would be left would be to steer the Black Echo into the sun.

But not yet.

Not while there was still work to be done. And it was work Jean couldn’t do if he destroyed himself first.

There was a conversation with Mao that came to mind. He couldn’t remember the exact words, but the gist, at least, was that Jean need not fear becoming a wicked man, because the Universe had already shown him evil, and he had not broken in the face of it. And Jean remembered, even then, how the words had rung hollow.

He’d tried being a good man. It clearly wasn’t working. The Black Echo didn’t need a good man.

It was about time he understood that.

Five hours. Ten minutes. Thirty nine seconds.

Sleep was getting harder to fight. More than once, when Jean closed his eyes, all he could see was the blood.

There was a time once, when he’d laid her down unconscious in that same cot, and taken vigil in this same plastic chair. She’d been covered in blood then. The same blood that occasionally wormed its way from the vaults his memory into his vision in the dark light. He’d thought he was going to lose her then too. He’d watched that same outline of her breathing against the crystal backdrop, and prayed to Gods he didn’t believe in. Barely months ago, yet a thousand years away.

Sometimes, when he found himself almost nodding off to sleep in his chair, he’d feel like he was there again, and that old sense of an iron vice around his chest began to close.

Time was starting to lose all meaning.

There was only Tavi, as she continued her gentle breathing. That slow in and out. Bone thin, broken, but still beautiful. An angel shattered. Neither dead nor alive, both in body and soul. As though someone had torn off her wings, and her body had withered because of it.

His Sleeping Beauty.

She had to wake eventually. He had to believe that. And he’d be there when she did.

And maybe — if he ever had the chance — he’d find her a planet with cherry trees.

13
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Go Down, Moses
« on: July 15, 2017, 10:27:29 AM »
She shuddered, pushing into his fingers, and Jean felt it before it happened. Felt her tense, felt her breath catch, her legs stutter. He pushed in harder, pressing with his tongue, sucking hard, trying to push her over that edge.

She came so hard he could feel her clench around his fingers, thighs squeezing tight around his head. That ragged cry was everything a man could hope for and more, coaxing her through it, held on while she ground into his mouth, relishing every goddamned second of the way she shuddered and twitched under him, against him, thighs slamming tight around his head.

He waited until the shocks began to die down. Until she could breathe. Slipped his hand from her, face slick, fingers wet and dripping. Something almost sly in that smirk as he nuzzled against her inner thigh. “So good,” he murmured, pressing a kiss against her skin.

Another throb ran though him, and fuck, if she wanted to back out now, he might have to bring himself off right there in front of her. Mercifully, he didn’t have to wait. A little aftershock coursed through her, and she was back, determined, mouth wrapping around the head of cock, slick, exquisite heat that made his breath catch. Jean’s mouth dropped open in a silent gasp, making a throaty, needy sound, gliding forward with his hips, into the slick, hot inside of her mouth.

“Holy fucking Christ...” And he wasn’t going to last long this time. Not after that. Sweet smell of her filling the air, hands gripping in tight, head resting on her thigh, litany of words spilling out of his mouth that definitely wasn’t English.

It was his turn to shudder, jagged breaths. It didn’t take long of that — hands working in tandem with her mouth, exquisite grip of her hand and heat of her mouth — until instinct took over, muscles clenching, shallow thrusts as he pumped into her mouth, careful, trying to bite back on the impulse to push in deep, felt muscles start to tighten, twisting pool of heat. Fuck— Yes. There.

“Woah- Tavi—,” he gasped, another clench shooting through him, curling like a fire, gently reaching for her shoulder to encourage her back while trying to twist out of her way. This was relatively new for the both of him, and he didn’t mean to catch her off guard if that wasn't her intention.

14
The Verse / Re: Everything Was Beautiful...
« on: July 13, 2017, 09:17:23 PM »
Jean wasn’t far behind. He’d let Tavi go on ahead, lingering in the pool for a moment with his arms crossed over the concrete, watching her as she walked. There was a nice sway of her hips as she went, the wet back of her bikini bottoms clinging tightly to her skin, but, for once, Jean wasn’t just admiring the sight.

She looked like she was gaining a little weight. At least, he hoped. His gaze lingered on her thighs for a moment, the way the sun glistened on wet skin. His head tilted to one side as he tried to puzzle it out. It was subtle, if it was true. Perhaps it was just wishful thinking on his part, but the thought still brought an ill-advised flicker of hope

She said she’d brought food. Sans doute, it was just to make him happy, but if it meant she actually planned to eat something today, then that had to count for something, didn’t it? A little step in the right direction was still a step.

He couldn’t help it. He did tend to worry about her.

Someone had to.

Jean kicked off the bottom of the pool, hauling himself up over the side. He took a quick detour for his abandoned shirt first, slinging it over his shoulder, feeling it stick to wet skin before following her to the cooler.

He knew something wasn’t right the moment she paused, her feet trailing to a halt. The slight hesitation that had crept into her movements. The nameless emotion in her eyes, when she turned towards him. Something a little more lost. A little more worried than it had been only seconds before. It wasn’t much of a giveaway, all told, but he’d spent so long desperately watching after her, carefully studying her every move for a hint or a sign, that he was starting to pick up on the subtleties. The little things that made Tavi Tavi.

Jean his brows start to draw together, mirroring that look back at her with an expression of concern. Something in this stomach giving an unpleasant twinge.

Christ.

“Hey. Come here,” he prompted when she was finished, reaching for her and pulling her close. She still felt small in his arms, the way she always did, cupping a hand to the back of her head and pressing a bristly kiss to her forehead. She tasted of water, sunscreen, and chlorine. Tasted like her. “You’re here with me.”

He didn't know whether she was talking about the things in her head, or whether or not she was doubting this was real. The fact that they were both here, together. He was getting used to that too. The little shifts and breaks in her reality.

It had stopped stinging as much to see her this way — repetition brought a certain amount of familiarity — but it never hurt any less.

“And I’m not going to let anything happen.”

He’d thought she was getting—

Well, maybe that was foolish of him too.

A little reminder that, even here, as far away from the ship and the death as they could get, they still weren’t quite free.

15
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Go Down, Moses
« on: July 11, 2017, 08:01:06 PM »

It was a little lacking in finesse. The way she choked down on his cock like she was desperate for it; crushing heat, the clench and squeeze like an iron band as her throat locked down around him with each gag, pleasure bordering on pain. But Jesus, there was something about her determination, sending another twist as the muscles in his stomach clenched, until—

She pulled away suddenly, leaving only cold air and a sharp, aching throb. Jean made a frustrated sound that vibrated in his throat, the fingers of his other hand digging painfully into her thigh. Jesus. He’d been getting close; the sudden neglect now bordering on discomfort, felt another throb run through him, while a tiny, desperate voice tried to forcibly remind him that it was in his best interests to lose. To let her win. But he couldn't help it. He’d come too far now.

Each choked word only seemed to spur him on further. Now wasn’t the time to be pushing her limits — he knew that — but Jesus Christ, she made it fucking difficult. That pleading in her voice making him want to press in harder. Push in deeper. Feel her body clench and squirm underneath his hands. Under his tongue. It was a conscious effort to keep his hands still, to keep that same rhythm, that wet heat tightly gripped around his fingers.

He could feel her thighs start to clench, gripping around his head, and fuck— yes. Perfect. Wanted to growl encouragement, but that meant moving his head, and that wouldn’t do. Pulled his fingers free instead, just for a moment, another slap to her ass and a determined squeeze,  before his fingers slipped back inside, heel of his hand pressed against her so she couldn’t buck away.

16
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Candyland
« on: July 10, 2017, 08:42:19 AM »

“I know.”

Jean had moved to the side of the room once the chaos had settled, leaned back up against the medical counter, arms crossed over his chest. Although he was speaking to the Doctor, Jean hadn’t been able to tear his eyes away from Tavi for the last ten minutes. Even the admission was made through gritted teeth.

Jesus. How had it come to this?

There was a welling in Jean’s throat that didn’t seem to want to budge. The sight of her there, pale in the artificial light, all ribs, riddled in marks, monitors still hooked to her chest. Jean had protested at the restraints, but the Doctor had insisted it was necessary in case of a seizure, or if she woke up thrashing. The sight of them around her bone-thin wrists made him feel sick.

It wasn’t a stroke, as Jean had feared. She wasn’t dying. He still remembered the icy way the blood had flowed through his veins as the doctor had checked her over. The way the world around grew distant, as if viewed through a dream. Trauma reaction. He’d felt it before. The brain’s way of coping under extreme pressure. Then the crashing relief like a wave that she wasn’t about to die.

He could still feel the prickle along his skin. The shadows of a thousand spiders.

She was okay. Or at least, as okay as she could be. Her body had just… shut down. Too much. An overload. A rerouting of essential function triggered by a fight or flight response. At least, that had been how it had been explained.

How much of it had been Jean’s own fault?

He couldn’t even say for certain.

The fingers of his right hand flexed again. The physical memory — the feel of bone crunching under his knuckles — was replaying in endless loop. He’d washed away the blood where it had dried and flaked over his skin, but he could still feel it. As thought it was still here.

He still didn’t quite understand why he’d done it.

It had been years since Jean had struck out in anger. At least seven or more, by his own reckoning. Jean was no stranger to violence, but it had always been controlled. Deliberate. Selective application to accomplish a purpose. Even when he was angry, he had control.

Until today.

That hadn’t been anger. That was rage. Genuine rage. The type that came on quickly, like the fall of a hammer. The one that made him bare teeth, and in that flash of a second, want nothing but blood.

Jean still didn’t understand why he saw red.

There was a time, long passed, when red was the only colour he saw. But had had been after the War. After the killing. Another demon he’d carried ever since, and one he was supposed to have cowed a long, long time ago.

So why?

It felt like the answer was in front of him. Tantalising, but just out of reach.

There was something slow in Tavi’s breathing. Each rise and fall of her chest. Was that the sedative, that made her look so at peace? Or was it because a chemically induced sleep was the closest thing she’d felt to peace ever since the world self destructed?

The thought stung.

The memory of her was taunting him. Toying on his mind. It had only been yesterday. Only yesterday when she’d—

Jean felt his heart seize again.

“You will not convince her,” he said, the matter-of-factness in his tone surprising him. He didn’t look away from Tavi. That slow breathing. The restraints. The wires. She had to know. Surely. She had to know what she was doing to herself. A woman that smart, who could read the stars as though they were poetry, had to know. Cause if she didn’t? He didn’t know what the Hell else he could do.

“She will not stop only because you have given her a lecture.” God, if only it could be that easy. But no amount of praying would change that. It wouldn’t change why she did what she did. Jean thought he knew, but it was never possible to know for sure. “And if she will not stop, then all it is we can do is make sure she is safe.”

Well, as safe as she could be. Jean was under no illusions. There was no ‘safe’ here, just the lesser of two unspeakable evils.

“If she will not let you inject her, then... Jean sighed, running his hand through his hair, the sound half a frustrated growl working up through his throat. “Then she has to learn how. What she can mix that is safe. What she can not.”

He thought he knew already how the suggestion was about to be taken. He knew how it sounded even to his own ears. But they couldn't control her every minute. She'd find more drugs after today. She'd inject herself again. Likely within minutes of being back out of sight.

So what was left?

“Because if she keeps going how she is, she is going to kill herself. And we can not help her if she does not live long enough to let us.”

17
The Verse / Re: Everything Was Beautiful...
« on: July 07, 2017, 07:53:32 PM »
Okay, so, maybe sunscreen might be wise. He wasn’t about to panic that the sun was going to instantly set him on fire, but, she had a point. For all of Tavi’s complaining about albacore, he’d been with her on the same ship for the last few years. When it came to complexion, he wasn’t looking any better.

“At least one of us came prepared,” Jean acknowledged.

There was an irony here of a sort. Assuming, of course, he was using the word correctly. He had the armory categorised to perfection, each loadout pre-equipped and ready to grab at a moment’s notice in case of a surprise attack. He could tell you precisely how many rounds of ammunition they needed to purchase at the next layover or space station, and the date he’d cleaned and serviced each item of armor and weaponry. Welding tape, breaching charges, commlinks, and other tools all accounted for. But stop over for some leisure time, and suddenly little things like food and sunscreen completely slipped his mind. Probably to do with the fact ‘leisure time’ might as well be a foreign language. Even when Jean had been given R&R in the past he never seemed to know what to do with it. Though, as he watched Tavi try and make her way to the side of the pool, he had to wonder if the problem hadn’t been in the Company.

He caught up to her easily, in no small part because his feet could still touch the bottom of the pool. Jean scooped her up as he went past, hooking an arm under her legs and one around her back. Not that it looked like she was struggling, but, well…

Okay. It wasn’t the most graceful swimming attempt he’d ever seen.

“Are you sure?” he asked, meaning the sunscreen as he lifted her up to help her get over the side of the pool. “At least if I turn red, then if we are to crash in the snow, we will have a reserve beacon.”

18
OOC Chatter / Re: Mood Boards
« on: July 05, 2017, 11:40:50 PM »
WINFORD MAO - RELAXED
 

19
OOC Chatter / Re: Mood Boards
« on: July 05, 2017, 11:39:46 PM »
JEAN MARCEAU - DARK
 

20
OOC Chatter / Re: Mood Boards
« on: July 05, 2017, 11:38:33 PM »
OCTAVIA YEATS - NOSTALGIC
 

21
Mining Skyplex / Re: Another Day At The Office
« on: July 05, 2017, 09:43:04 AM »

Well. This was off to a fucking good start.
 
One of Jean’s eyebrows arched as he studied her carefully. It seemed a bizarre thing to be coy about. Up until now, it sounded like she’d been trying to convince him to agree to her little deal, and once he’d shown a hint of interest, she was locking up tighter than a virgin’s cunt.
 
“Funny. I had already guessed that,” Jean replied dryly. He would have thought the question would have been a good chance for her to show off exactly the sort of skills she had. Maybe even wave his record over his head to make sure he knew exactly what he’d be facing if he crossed her.
 
But, no.
 
Was she seriously going to make him slide two gold coins across the table for this? Really? If she got her way and he agreed to this ‘mystery favour,’ then he was subjecting himself to far more risk than what she was taking by sitting at her computer screen. What was to say she wasn’t going to make him take on an Alliance Frigate, or something equally suicidal?

He already knew he was in deep shit. That wasn’t in question. The question was the precise depth and whether or not he was going to need gumboots or a canoe.
 
“Then how do I know you have my military record at all?” he countered with a one-sided shrug. She easily could be bluffing, and if this was going to be a waste of his time, it was best to find out now rather later. “You may be reading off a civilian register. Obituaries, or Birth and Death records.” Any one of them would show he'd died and his rank as a courtesy.
 
Why else not tell him? If she wasn't bluffing, and not just trying to get him to believe she had more information than she really did, then it implied what was on his record wasn’t damning enough for her to want to spell it out in comparison to the ‘favour’ she had planned.
 
Cheeky bitch.

22
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Go Down, Moses
« on: July 04, 2017, 06:31:33 PM »

That had upset her plans. Jean heard her choke, throat fluttering around, felt her mouth move away, the sudden tensing of her body beneath his hands as her next word was cut off. And, honestly, he might have felt a bit disheartened about the fact the blowjob was over so quickly if he wasn’t feeling so damned smug.
 
He smiled, something even a little sly in the curl of his lip, satisfied rumble in his throat as he closed his eyes, trying to focus on making her quake all around him. The positioning was more comfortable than he’d expected; her thigh making a good makeshift pillow, and Jean moved his free hand, stroking down her ass, fingers digging in so she couldn’t jolt away from his mouth, breathing deep and taking a moment to just to appreciate this.
 
His victory - of a sort - was short lived. Tavi readjusted, mouth closing back about around him, drawing him in, hot and wet, and damned if that didn’t near sidetrack him completely. He faltered for a second, a moan tearing from him that was half a growl, prompting him to press his jaw against her tighter, sucking relentlessly, encouraging her to grind against him.
 
And that sound again; the gagging as she choked on him, her throat tightening in a quick spasm around his cock, making his muscles clench instinctively, like fire through his belly, and for a moment, Jean wasn’t sure whether or he should stop and make sure she was okay, or follow his gut impulse and start thrusting deeper.
 
Jesus Christ...
 
It was a conscious effort to keep his hips still, not to drop what he was doing and grab fistfuls of her hair. He didn’t relent, free hand curling around the back of her thigh, fingers pressing against her, soaking wet beneath his hand. The feel of her under his fingers, against his face for fucks sake, going straight to his cock. He spread the slickness around her lips, pushed two fingers inside, just past the first digit, testing the water, giving her something to clench against as his tongue pushed beneath the hood of her clit in an attempt to regain his imagined lead.
 
It wasn’t technically a competition, but he couldn’t quite seem to help himself. And if he lost, he honestly couldn’t say he’d care.

23
The Verse / Re: Everything Was Beautiful...
« on: July 03, 2017, 10:27:16 PM »

The amount of care and thoughtfulness she’d evidently put into preparing all of this caught Jean off guard. How long had she been planning this, exactly? Long enough to conspire with French to make ceviche. It was a strangely uncomfortable revelation. Not in the least because Jean wasn’t used to being doted on by anyone, and secondly, because he was left with the distinct impression he’d dropped the ball somewhere.
 
Merde. Had he really been stuck up in that metal tube so long he’d completely forgotten the basics? Finding new and creative places to fuck inside the Echo without getting caught was all well and good, but it didn’t exactly scream romance. But, then, it wasn’t as though anything about his relationship with Tavi had followed the standard formula.
 
Was this technically their first date?
 
… He supposed it was.
 
Merde alors.
 
He’d have to arrange something. Make it up to her somehow. He’d never been good at grand gestures. His affections usually manifested in the little ways, such as if she mentioned wanting something, even in passing, he made sure to fetch it whenever they reached a station, by being extra affectionate whenever they were alone, or making an extra cup of coffee to bring with him to the bridge. But then, women liked more than that, didn’t they?
 
Jean tabled the thought, adding a little mental reminder that he needed to step his game up. No ideas were springing to mind, but there was still time.
 
A corner of his lip quirked boldly at her question, marking the exact second his mind dropped back in the gutter. “I can think of a few things,” he answered, cutting short of actually spelling it out. He wasn’t sure if — as she’d put it before — “being crude” was going to ruin the moment, so it felt wiser to give her a chance to cut off that line of thought if she wanted.
 
This was sort of a date, after all.
 
He allowed her to disentangle herself, but he kept his hands lightly supporting around her sides all the same. She should be able to touch the ground on tip-toes, but he wasn’t sure how familiar she with was with treading water and keeping her head above the surface. It wasn’t always the most intuitive process for some, but at least he was right there if something was to go wrong. “You are all right?” he asked, checking in just to make sure.

24
The Verse / Re: Everything Was Beautiful...
« on: July 03, 2017, 09:56:37 AM »

Well, squire was probably fitting, if she was using the definition he thought she was. Namely, that of a male attendant of one of great personage. This was Octavia fucking Yeats, after all. Senators daughter and all the prestige that went with it. Meanwhile, Jean was just… Jean. Another Universe, another world, maybe ‘squire’ or ‘bodyguard’ would have been the best he could have ever hoped for.
 
Huh.
 
Would she have paid him any attention at all, if it wasn't for the chain of events that had brought them here? Even Jean had to admit it wasn’t likely. She seemed… happier, though. At least, compared to what she had looked on the Caduceus. Or maybe that was his subconscious desperately trying to assuage his guilt. He had to admit, there was something strangely liberating about this new life they’d found themselves in — a sense of freedom he hadn’t anticipated — and that was a big admission coming from him. Perhaps she felt it too. From what little he knew, even away from her parents, Tavi had never really been free.
 
“I have need of a sword,” Jean decided, pulling a mock-thoughtful expression and glancing up at the clouds. The water was at the base of his neck now, and keeping his feet flat on the base of the pool was getting difficult. “To be a good squire, I mean to say. They always have swords in the films from Earth-That-Was. Did you buy me a sword?”
 
She’d mentioned birthdays, but that didn’t sound quite right. He’d been in the habit of ignoring his birthdays for the last decade or more, and to that extent, he’d never told anyone the date. Then again, if anyone was smart enough to work it out, or determined enough to dig up his records, it was definitely Octavia.

25
Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Go Down, Moses
« on: July 03, 2017, 09:56:29 AM »

Jean hadn't caught the double entendre until Tavi all but spelled it out. The burst of laughter was unexpected, but contagious enough even Jean had to give a confused smile. It didn’t feel like being laughed at, so as long as she was feeling better, he wasn’t about to question it.

Good. That was...

It was good.

He didn't want her to be stressed. Hypocritical of him as it might be to say, given that was his default state of being.
 
Tavi started to wriggle, and Jean shifted onto his side, lifting his arm to let her escape. He wasn't completely sure of what she was doing at first, but he caught on quickly when she began to maneuver towards his manhood, realisation bringing a clench of anticipation through his gut like a jolt.

Her mouth closed around him, hot and wet, lips wrapped around the end of his cock, eliciting an involuntary moan that was half pleasure half surprise. The renewed attention on neglected skin felt downright exquisite, slick hand working his shaft, tongue swirling over the head in a way that was almost dizzying. More-so, even, given the emotional weight that had just lifted off him. He tried to keep still, doing his best to let her go at her own pace, but fuck, it was difficult, biting back on his first instinct to thrust straight into her throat, feel it close and flutter around him.

His head was still reeling. At this. At what had just transpired. But he couldn’t find time to think. Didn’t want to find time to think. Not when her hand was working him like that, perfect heat of her mouth and relentless working of her tongue.

Holy shit.

He wasn't sure whether or not the positioning was intentional, but fuck, did it help. Her legs were spread in front of him, giving him a good eyeful, opened like a goddamned invitation, just for him. He couldn't help himself, arching his upper back a little so he could reach, hands running down her thighs, divots left in the skin beneath his fingers before he delivered a light smack up against her inner thigh. “Open for me,” he ordered, before pressing his lips against her mons, heady smell of her and the feel of her mouth making his breath catch, short cutting reason, until he leaned in, closed his mouth around her clit, and sucked.

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2517, The Unification War has been over for a decade and Miranda is still a secret. Into The Black is an Alternate Universe Firefly & Serenity fandom roleplaying game. It centers around independent crews of different ships which travel all over the 'verse created by Joss Whedon.

Welcome to Into The Black

Rules
Setting
Crew List
Face claim
English Slang
Chinese Slang

Mature board ~ LGBT+ Friendly ~ No Word count

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Alternate modern day Earth, Dystopia & Arranged Marriage



Distant Fantasies RPG-D
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