glowing_skye: (chemistry in a bikini)
Ema Skye ([personal profile] glowing_skye) wrote2011-09-02 08:16 pm
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~forty-two~ (locked to [ profile] have_your_lives)

[It takes Ema a few moments to sort through the disorientation that comes with waking up in an unfamiliar place. Once she pulls herself together, however, she realizes that it's not really all that unfamiliar--she's in the Louvre Hotel. Last summer, she had been trapped her with Klavier, leading to one of the best nights she's had since arriving in Mayfield. Back in better times with him, before tensions and the subsequent droning. She feels a bit of a sting, both from the memory and from the realization that time is still flying by. She's been here too long.

This year, Ema's bedmate is none other than her assigned husband, Schuldig. In all honesty, she's not sure if this is to her benefit or her detriment; she's not sure she's up to spending a night here with Edward with memories of Klavier coming back into focus. At least with Schuldig, she doesn't have to make any choices that can lead to bruised egos and a needless sense of competitive jealousy. On the other hand, she does need to worry about having her brain picked apart. Why would the setting and the situation change Schuldig's M.O. any, especially when there are several new (and questionable) developments in her personal life to dig into? If anything, the extended period of time in which they'll be trapped will probably encourage it, since there's nothing better for them to do.

And, to make things even more awkward, she's wearing lingerie, the room is candle-lit, there are roses with them in the bed, and there's plenty of food and alcohol for them to share. For all parts and purposes, this is set up to be a lovers' evening. Between her and Schuldig. Who have a complicated partnership based on proximity and knowing way too much about the other. And who aren't inclined to take advantage of the setting.

Ema sighs deeply as she climbs out of the bed in search for a robe to cover herself. This is going to be an uncomfortable night.]

[identity profile] 2011-09-03 01:23 am (UTC)(link)
[Schuldig is hardly unaware of the recent developments between Ema and Edward - nor is he pleased with them. A few months ago, they would have delighted him; it is, after all, perfect fodder for him. There is absolutely nothing like a romantic relationship for wreaking havoc on someone's psyche, after all; insecurity, jealousy, fear, anger, bitterness, resentment...all the easiest emotions to manipulate, laid out and amplified in any romance. And Ema and Edward are both train wrecks; having them collide ought to have been a psychological sadist's dream come true.

Instead, Schuldig himself is feeling every emotion he ought to be exploiting in them. He hardly has any dealings with anyone else in Mayfield these days, and while their interactions are rarely what anyone would call friendly, it's about as close as he ever comes to friendly outside of Schwarz. And now the last two people he has any connection to - who have, at best, tenuous connections to him - are banding together. Quite possibly against him. Edward's already tried to force him to stay away from Ema; Ema may return the gesture in kind. And, either way, their attachment to each other means they'll have even less reason to rely on - and far less tolerance for - Schuldig himself.

Their banding together isolates Schuldig further, and Schuldig is all too conscious of how little he can afford it. To say he's in no mood for Mayfield's nonsense would be a laughable understatement. From the moment he opens his eyes, he's in a bad mood.

The tuxedo he finds himself in does absolutely nothing to improve matters. He can't stand formal attire, and almost as soon as he processes it - before he even bothers registering anything else - he's tugging the coat and shirt off, throwing them aside with visible disgust.]
When I question a fashion decision, something is even more wrong with the world than usual.

[He can't help having been aware from Ema's presence from the start - his telepathy is all too active, as usual - but only when he's got enough of the offending outfit off does he actually turn to look at her. And...okay, so not all of the town's fashion choices are godawful. He takes his time looking her over, although thanks to his mood, his gaze is more that of an art critic scrutinizing a sculpture than anything sexual. Which...may actually be an improvement over whatever Ema might have expected.]

[identity profile] 2011-09-03 01:39 am (UTC)(link)
[For the time being, Ema's pretty much oblivious to Schuldig's inner turmoil regarding her and Edward. Instead, she's more focused on the current situation and how awkward she's feeling in it. Even if Schuldig's gaze isn't sexual, it's still clearly evaluative. Ema squirms a little under the scrutiny.]

Stop staring.

[She snatches his discarded tuxedo shirt off the bed and puts it on over the lingerie. It's not like he's going to use it; he often fails to cover himself at home, so she doesn't expect him to do so here. However, that doesn't mean that she needs to remain half-naked.]

[identity profile] 2011-09-03 02:29 am (UTC)(link)
[Keeping Ema oblivious to that is very much in Schuldig's best interests, so he gives absolutely no thought to enlightening her on the matter. His lips quirk slightly when she covers herself up, if only out of habitual enjoyment of causing someone discomfort.]

Why should I? You get to see me half naked all the time.

[identity profile] 2011-09-03 03:05 am (UTC)(link)
[Ema bristles a bit as Schuldig begins being Schuldig at her.] Walking around the house half-naked is your choice. This isn't mine. Not the same.

It's not fair. You got a full outfit.

[identity profile] 2011-09-04 07:21 am (UTC)(link)
So? Frankly, I'd rather be naked. [He smirks slightly.] Hell, I'd almost rather be in that. [And he nods to what Ema is wearing. Who knows - given his fashion sense, he may have worn worse.

But the brief amusement doesn't last, and the smirk fades. He gets to his feet and begins to scour the room - couldn't Mayfield have at least granted them the luxury of some cigarettes?]
So you've finally given in to him? I'd at least have expected you to hold out longer.

[identity profile] 2011-09-04 05:29 pm (UTC)(link)
You wouldn't be able to fill it out.

[The banter all but falls on deaf ears, however; Schuldig quickly redirects the conversation to the topic of her and Edward. It doesn't really occur to Ema to be surprised that the subject has come up. He's a telepath and the two of them live together; even if he managed to somehow tune them out during the actual deed, it's been on her mind quite often since. There's no way for him not to have noticed what happened.

A few months ago, she might have gotten embarrassed or defensive at the subject and the way in which Schuldig has elected to bring it up. Now, she simply gives him an even stare. She's lived with him long enough to know what reactions are favorable to her. Sometimes she still rises to his bait, but she makes an effort to avoid it when possible. Whether it's something she's come up with on her own or something he's trained into her is debatable and--for the time being--beside the point.]

I didn't think it'd happen this quickly, either. Mayfield has a way of hurrying things along. [It sounds like an excuse, but there's truth to the claim. The compulsive honesty from a month and a half ago put things on the fast tracks; they might have been more inclined to take their time if they hadn't bared their souls and confessed feelings that they weren't entirely aware of that day.] Also, I sought him out. That's not the same as 'giving in.'

It happened and I have no regrets, even if it probably happened too soon. So if you're looking to make me feel bad about it, stop. I'm an adult and, contrary to what you seem to believe, capable of making adult decisions about my own life.

[identity profile] 2011-09-08 03:05 am (UTC)(link)
Maybe not in the same places, no. [Schuldig's not one to give up on promising lines of banter.

If he finds any satisfaction in the fact that his unwilling pupil is learning, he conceals it remarkably well. In fact, he seems more genuinely irritated than anything - it's one thing teaching her to mind her tongue when she should, but it's another when it arms her better for conversations where he wants to be the one in control.]

Just because he's worn you down to the point where you'll have him of your own free will doesn't make it not giving in. You realize the only differences between he and I are that I've hurt you less, and I haven't actually pursued you? He's no more moral than I am, no less dangerous or arrogant, no less determined to get what he wants at the expense of other people. If he's trying to change that, trying to show a better face to you, it's only because he's trying to win you over, not because he's changed. You know all that, and the only reason I have to keep telling you is because he keeps coaxing you into forgetting all the misgivings you ought to have. Love doesn't forgive all sins, Ema - it just makes you blind to them.

You do know that adult decisions can still be terrible ones, don't you? That's what you'd call this in anyone else.

[Is it only his own perception, or have his usually devastating arguments lost some of their weight...? Or is it because, for once, he's arguing with an Ema that's actually sure of herself? Not that she's necessarily right, but certainty of any sort is far harder to combat.

That, and Schuldig is in wildly unfamiliar territory. What the hell does he know about love? It's something he's experienced vicariously a hundred times, but he long ago lost the capacity to comprehend it as anything other than an abstract concept.]

[identity profile] 2011-09-12 05:57 pm (UTC)(link)
You say that as if I don't know all of this already. And you act like I don't have misgivings. I do.

I'm not so naive as to believe that I'm going to magically change Edward somehow. He's selfish, narcissistic, a megalomaniac, and neurotic. He's been that way for nearly forty years now, and I refuse to be That Girl who thinks she's the one to turn all of that around. But there's something, and it's not just on his side. [She pauses, trying in vain to come up with a strong, logical reason why this is a good idea. Logic is Schuldig's strongest weapon against her in conversations like these, so it would be nice to have some to throw back at him.

Unfortunately, she comes up with nothing. This relationship with Edward is dangerous, possibly based in a rebound despite her best intentions to avoid it, and likely a source of many future headaches on her part. But, somehow, she doesn't feel swayed away from her decision to pursue it. Love really does...

Wait, love?!]

I never said I was in love with him.

[identity profile] 2011-09-12 07:46 pm (UTC)(link)
So you're not? [Schuldig cocks an eyebrow at her. The part of him that hates them together might feel hopeful, if he were better at fooling himself - but he's not. The curse of telepathy is that he knows other people better than they know themselves, most of the time, and that he knows himself far better than he'd like as well. He knows things Ema hasn't realized or will never admit about herself, and he can't pretend he doesn't even if he'd like to.

If she doesn't love Edward, then she's close enough as makes no difference. What she thinks of it, what she calls it, is immaterial, at least to Schuldig's purposes.

He gets up from the bed, pacing the room like a restless tiger.]

So there's 'something' there to make you overlook the fact that he's basically an older, less attractive, more inept me, as well as the fact that you actively know better. It's either love or self-destruction, Ema, and while you're certainly acquainted with the latter, you'd already be reconsidering if it weren't the former.

[What in hell is he doing? He's supposed to be calling their bond into question, shattering it if he can, not awakening Ema to the fact that it's stronger than she realized. But the fact is that Ema isn't the only one intimately familiar with self-destruction. And, in the face of this last abandonment, Schuldig abruptly finds himself driving the nails into his own coffin with a vengeance.

If he can't drive them apart, then better to drive them away fast and have it over with.

Not that he's entirely conscious of this. He knows the conversation has veered from his intent, and he isn't sure why, and is caught in an uncomfortable place between anger and confusion...but his bitterness is driving him on, to whatever end.]

[identity profile] 2011-09-12 08:09 pm (UTC)(link)
[Ema sits there for several moments, mulling over what Schuldig has just made clear to her. Is she in love with Edward? The thought is actually terrifying, but it does force a lot of uncomfortable feelings that she's been avoiding into sharp focus--particularly prior to Klavier's departure. What she has with Edward isn't new, even if she's just now actively pursuing it.

This means that Klavier was right to be threatened by Edward's involvement in her life. It's enough to make Ema feel a twinge of guilt; she betrayed him just like everyone else in Klavier's life, without even meaning to. Should he come back to Mayfield... what would she do? She doesn't want to turn around and leave Edward, not after finally returning his long-suffering affections. But she doesn't want to hurt Klavier further over the just-noticed emotional infidelity that she's not especially sorry for. Just thinking about the possibility made her head hurt.

With any luck, it wouldn't come to pass. She's probably a terrible person for feeling that way--it's not like she doesn't miss Klavier--but... perhaps that would be best. Maybe Klavier's home and can find solace there. Mr Wright might forgive him. Apollo seems to care about him on some level. He has friends there. He hasn't... been cowed like he was toward the end of his time in Mayfield. It's better for him.

Now, if only Ema could make herself believe that.

Only Schuldig could take something like a new relationship and ruin it. Unwilling to deal with the mess that's stewing in her own mind, she reacts in a way that he's probably familiar with: she deflects.]

... Why are you doing this, Schuldig? First the gun, now relationship advice? Since when do you even care if I live or die? Don't you get off on me being miserable or something--I'd have guessed that this would be like Christmas to you.

[It's expressed with more venom than she probably would have liked, but that's more because of her own stream of thoughts and less because she's actually irritated with him.]
Edited 2011-09-12 20:34 (UTC)

[identity profile] 2011-09-12 08:45 pm (UTC)(link)
[Schuldig does, indeed, take some savage satisfaction in Ema's discomfort and uncertainty. Why should he be the only one in that position right now, after all?

But the question she asks - it's dangerous, in the very last vein he wants her to be pursuing. Her deflecting from the subject they were actually on has, in fact, led to her jumping onto the very track Schuldig was carefully steering her away from. And his shock at the sudden reversal can't be entirely concealed.

He covers it well, and quickly, but for the briefest moment...]

And since when do you care what I get off on? I'm doing this for the same reason I gave you the gun - because I'm sick of watching you stumble around blindly trying to figure out the obvious, and I don't have the patience to grow old waiting for you to work things out for yourself.

[identity profile] 2011-09-12 08:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Why are you even bothering? Besides the inconvenience of having to wake up next to me, what difference does it make as far as you're concerned?

[Ema's not about to let him derail her derailing him. Especially not after seeing the briefest hint of surprise when she asked the question--he's hiding something, dammit, and she wants to know what it is.]

Since when do I matter to you?

[identity profile] 2011-09-12 09:16 pm (UTC)(link)
[This is the last question Schuldig can afford to have her asking. It's rare for him even to give Crawford any sign that he's important to Schuldig, and Crawford is someone he trusts unreservedly. He doesn't trust Ema in the least.

Whether he needs another matter. With Schwarz gone, Ema - and Edward - are the closest thing Schuldig has to allies in Mayfield. The only people who understand absolutely anything about him. To be deprived even of this leaves the telepath in a horrifying position - entirely alone, while simultaneously having the entire town in his head.

But severing ties with her completely - which seems inevitable anyway, whether or not he chooses that fate for himself - is still vastly preferable to letting her know that she's important to him in any way - to giving her a tool to exploit him with, giving her a weapon to hurt him with. That was the first lesson one learned in Rosenkr├╝s; anything of importance to you is something that can be used against you.

But his fear at how close she's coming to the truth - how near she is to actively threatening him - works against him here, is all but visible in his eyes. He should have a better, more flippant retort - something casual and cruel to underline just how little she matters. Instead, all he can muster when put so firmly on the spot is a terse, dismissive denial.]
You don't.

[identity profile] 2011-09-12 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
[Ema gives him a long, critical look. It doesn't take a telepath to be able to tell that she doesn't believe him. His actions are speaking louder than his words here; she's more inclined to believe the former over the latter. For whatever reason, she matters to him. Probably not in any way that she'd consider normal, but... well, it's Schuldig. She would be downright stupid to expect normal from him.

Instead of pressing the issue further, however, Ema instead chooses to back off. She climbs off of the bed, goes to the room's coffee maker, and starts preparing a pot of coffee.]

In that case, I say we just make the best of the hours we're stuck here. You do what you want. I'm going to get drunk and maybe go to sleep.

[This isn't so much a dismissal of Schuldig as it is her backing off like he so obviously wants her to. The pot of coffee should be evidence enough of that.]

[identity profile] 2011-09-14 08:17 am (UTC)(link)
[Schuldig's feelings of relief at Ema's dropping the subject are easily eclipsed by his anger and disgust. And, today, they're directed as much at himself as anyone else. His relief is proof of cowardice - that he was backed against a wall, and that this reprieve, this mercy Ema is giving him, is welcomed. He shouldn't be feeling relief; he shouldn't be feeling any of this. And he most definitely shouldn't need an act of pity from Ema Skye. He can't decide which of them he hates more at the moment, but his distaste for the entire situation is spelled out - in exceptionally strong language - in the black expression on his face.]

When have I ever waited for your permission to do what I want?

[He brushes past her, his tone as brusque as his movements. Today, he needs something a hell of a lot stronger than coffee. Not that it will matter; the energy his telepathy consumes, and its effect on his metabolism, means he burns through alcohol at such a rate that it's almost impossible for him to get drunk. But he is going to do his damnedest - a fact made stunningly clear by just how much alcohol he takes out of the mini-bar. If Ema needs more than one or two bottles to get drunk, she'll be hard-pressed to get them.

Once he's arrayed the bottles by the bed - which he's evidently claimed - Schuldig also grabs his plate of food from the table. His metabolism really is no joke, something Ema may or may not have observed on occasion...not that she spends any more time around him than she can help.]

[identity profile] 2011-09-16 07:13 pm (UTC)(link)
[Between the look that crosses Schuldig's face and the way that he snaps at her, Ema shrinks back away from the coffee pot as he passes. This isn't what she expected out of him when she woke up next to him here. She'd expected him to torment her about Edward, pick at her insecurities, maybe get bored and decide to eat. Instead, he's confused her by suddenly giving a shit whether she lives or dies and then gotten angry with her for reason she's not entirely clear on. Is he angry that she backed off? Why?

Even if Schuldig realizes that Ema has more power in this relationship than he does, Ema herself hasn't realized it yet. Unwilling to press her luck any further or risk setting him off accidentally, she waits for him to claim what's his before taking the bottle of champagne that was meant to go with dinner and retreating to the loveseat on the other side of the room--the few remaining bottles in the minifridge are his to claim. Unless Schuldig demands otherwise, she'll stay there the rest of the night.

She drinks most of the bottle on her own (without a glass, because she's too spooked to reapproach and grab one), lies down, and waits for sleep to claim her. Thankfully, it doesn't take very long for her to drift off; she's small, female, and drinking a bubbling wine on an empty stomach. The odds are intentionally stacked against conscious sobriety.

The pot of coffee finishes brewing and then goes ignored.]
Edited 2011-09-16 19:14 (UTC)