(1306-01-22) Having A Good Time
Summary: Symon and Chimène in a moment of truth.
RL Date: 13/10/2018
Related: 1. An Inconvenient Man. 2. Oh, It’s Only You, 3. Having A Good Time.
chimene symon 

A Completely Made-Up Place

Replete with golden ducats Chimène Rousse de la Courcel rises from a table comprised more of her enemies than her friends — or worse, from their point of view, those whom she has never acknowledged socially without a deck of cards to broker the introduction. She bids them so courteous a good evening that some of them might well consider their losses redeemed by such words, from a lady of such birth. Her usual fine linen handkerchief isn't enough: she has a bodice stuffed full of golden ducats and a pearl-bedecked purse that was thrown into the pot besides, when in her progress from the chamber set aside for gaming into another where sweetmeats might be had as well as wine, she runs across the familiar figure of Symon de Perigeux. "Oh, Symon! How do you fare?" she laughs.

Symon is known to enjoy gambling, though he can't toss around quite as much money as some without awakening parental ire and all the troublesome questions that go along with that. Still, he is not afraid to lose some money. Which he usually does, with good humor, only worried about the bottom line when it means bringing the festivities to an end. Which is the situation he finds himself edging toward now, a dwindling pile of coins in front of him. "Oh, about as w…well as usual, although the w-wine seems unexpectedly decent here."

Husbands are infinitely less tiresome than parents. And so Chimène brings with her, on these occasions, the sort of war-chest few would dare to open as casually as she — not to mention the jewels, and the vowels. She laughs now, and gives his shoulder a casual pat as she lingers by the table where he does three-cornered battle over a hand of ombre. "If you're ready to settle up here," she suggests, "come and drink a glass of that wine with me. It isn't too bad, is it?"

"Yes," Symon says. "I think I'd b…better. I haven't b-bet anything dangerous yet." He smiles lopsidedly and scoops what he hasn't lost into a purse. it's far from filling the bag up even halfway. "Apologies, fellows," he says to his companion foes, "B…but you've had a b-big enough piece b…by now to satisfy you, eh?" They don't fight his departure, so he stands to follow Chimène.

The two drift together through another chamber filled with chattering nobles, and into an alcove wherein, according to Chimène, they might possibly hear themselves think.

A servant she summons and dispatches with inborn ease brings them wine, and a plate of the dainty sweets being served at this hour betwixt supper and breakfast. She rolls up the hands of her gloves inside the arms, and with long white fingers she picks at them, as though she's eaten them all before. (She has.)

"One does see you everywhere, Symon," she remarks.

Symon never seems to mind too much about hearing himself think. "I like to b-be everywhere," he replies readily, glad to lift a new cup of wine. He eats one of the sweets, at least. "B…but do you? I can never exactly tell if you're having a good time. I mean, really." He squints.

Chimène looks at him dubiously, as though he's threatening to bring her whole house of cards crashing down. "I like it and I despise it," she offers in an airy small soprano voice. "But where else is there to be, what else is there to do—?" She bites into a sweet and makes another of her occasional faces, after which she is overcome by the necessity to lift a napkin to her lips and extract the beastly infernal poisonous morsel behind the cover of crisp white linen.

When she lowers the napkin again her social mask is once again in place: cool, implacable, sculpted ivory. She drinks deeply of the adequate wine.

"Oh," says Symon, blinking once or twice. "I don't know. It's b…better than at home, surely." Is he meaning to speak for himself or for her or both. he doesn't seem to mind her spitting out food as much as he might mind her masking up again. He doesn't help himself to more sweets either, so perhaps his palate has progressed somewhat. "I don't know w…what makes you despise it, exactly, b-but I think you are b-b-being very well."

"… Being very well," echoes Chimène, emptying her glass and holding it out in the sure knowledge that a servant will replenish it. This duly occurs. "I don't know what you mean, Symon. What should I be but well?"

Symon's eyes wander thoughtfully. "What I m…m…mmmean is, you're b-/being/ v….v…very well." He has a swallow from his glass. "Just b-being." His eyes swivel back to see if that thought has connected.

Chimène looks at him wonderingly across the rim of her glass. "I can't think what you mean, Symon," she sighs; "I really can't."

At some hour after dawn but tragically before noon the long, lean, muscular shape lying next to Symon stirs in the coolness of this chamber, and gathers the bedclothes about it with wanton greed as it sits up and vomits prodigiously into the chamberpot. Well. At least she got there in time. Chimène Rousse de la Courcel, naked and sleek and boasting the entwined roses of the Eglantine marque on her back, emptying her guts after a long night's revelry.

Symon is not wakened by the urge to vomit, having some bulk on his partner and having amassed a lot of experience drinking to flat-out excess. But he is awakened, a few minutes later, by the chill that creeps up when all the sheets and blankets are stolen. Now that he's the one exposed, it's plain by morning light that his skin has not a mark on it, not even a single scar from childhood mishap or martial training. He gropes for the bedclothes but instead of catching the sheet by the corner, gets it along one edge and tugs at it in confusion.

Caught in this tremendously private moment, still heaving over the porcelain vessel in question, trusting neither her stomach nor her limbs, Chimène confesses in a low hoarse voice: "I'm sorry." She hasn't quite gathered who it is, on the farther side of that warm feather bed. Whoever it is she's still sorry.

Symon makes a grunt that is not a word but that sounds questioning. "What's happened?" he murmurs without getting his eyes all the way open. His face is still half in the pillow. With some effort he extracts it and squints in Chimène's direction.

"What's happened?" Sitting on her edge of the bed, blanket-swathed but with rapidly cooling feet, Chimène begins to laugh. And laugh. Those peals of soprano amusement ring out through— through some bedchamber or another, it's difficult at this hour to perceive which, until at length she vouchsafes: "I'm pregnant. Don't worry," she bites off another laugh. "It's another little Rousse. And another year of my life gone to shit. You need not concern yourself— Symon," she guesses.

Symon seems a little startled, first of all to hear such laughter with someone he's naked in a bed with, that is a little alarming, and then to hear the phrase 'I'm pregnant' at such an early hour. Judging by his expression it takes a moment to work through that little sub-problem as well, but once he sorts out her words and her voice and a couple of fragmentary memories. Then his shoulders relax a little and he shifts the pillow so he can sit with his back against it. "Oh. B-but. W…we're friends, so…" He pauses to think about what he's supposed to say. "Do you…?" Nope, partway into that one he abandons it. "It m…must be troublesome, being p-p-pregnant."

Chimène next to him, huddled amidst the bedclothes and trusting her stomach a little more with each passing moments, segues into a gentler laugh. "We're friends," she agrees, half-looking as she extends a hand in search of his — she finds his hip first and strokes vaguely up over his bare skin, "so I may as well… It is troublesome," she agrees, "but once it happens there's nothing to be done but bear it. And I did promise I would," and she groans deeply, bowing her head in the half-darkness and squeezing his found hand.

Symon is much more welcoming of being touched than of trying to drunkenly stumble through the forest full of traps that is a hung-over pregnancy conversation. He reaches to touch the side of Chimène's neck and stroke a thumb against her jawline unless she pulls away. He grasps her hand with his other hand. It's plain he's trying to think of the right cheerful and comforting thing to say, but it doesn't come. "Do you…w-well…once they're b-born, do you like them?"

No: Chimène doesn't pull away. She groans and accepts Symon's touch as an invitation and settles back into bed, horizontal next to him, covers still clutched about her. "I suppose," she says vaguely, being unable to summon much well-bred mendacity at this hour and with a man who not too long ago — she recalls it, more less — was buried deep inside her and acquitting himself handsomely. "I don't know that there's anything to like in a baby. One loves them, of course. But does one like them? I don't know," she says again. "Perhaps not, yet."

Symon seems glad that she does relax and lie down closer, the corners of his mouth turning up a little. "I don't know much about b…babies," he says. "Or…any of it." Presumably he means the progress of a pregnancy. "I've never thought about it." He looks toward the window, then back at his partner. "You w…w…won a handsome p-pot last night, didn't you?"

"Be glad," laughs Chimène on the pillow next to Symon's, "that you don't know… I wish I'd never thought of it," and she gives herself up to a long, passionate burst of laughter, for at this hour of the day it all seems if anything more absurd and less credible than before. Under the disordered covers her hand strokes over a belly still deceptively flat, and the sharp hipbone adjacent. "Another little Rousse…" she repeats. "It's all I am; a walking womb. Whatever I may've won, what is it besides that? Oh, Elua's balls," she groans.

Symon reaches to touch Chimène's hair, but when she groans, he lets go, in case… "Do you need to b-be sick?" He asks gently though. "B-but anyway, the w…way our families see us or…use us, that can't be all of who w…we are. I don't think you are one thing."

"… Oh, I think I've finished," Chimène groans. "I'm used to it by now." She breathes out and then, tentatively, curls in toward him. "I hope we are neither of us just one thing," she says softly.

Symon puts his arm round her to put his fingertips on her back, touching the lines of her marque. "So that's the thing," he says. "There m…may be p-parts that they own, but then there are p…p…parts that they never could. As long as you w…won't surrender them. Right?" He shrugs one shoulder. "I think so."

"Never," the lady groans, queasy and discontent. "Never."

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