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The thing about England -- about Europe in general, in fact -- is that its public buildings have yet to develop an appreciation for air conditioning. Beads of sweat have started to gather on the back of Jack's neck as he slumps on a bench in the entrance hall of the King's College law library. June in London isn't anywhere near as humid as June in Thailand but the combination of boredom and lack of a breeze has begun to take its tole. Mister James L. Norrington, soon-to-be Esquire (information curtesy of a quick Google search in a cafe earlier this morning) seems to have a habit of taking his sweet time. Jack sighs and tries counting the tiles on the ceiling.

The other thing about England is that it doesn't install sofeted pannels in its ceilings. The archway stretches at least two stories high, done up in posh cheery wood with gilden trim, free of anything to count. Jack tilts his head and tries to imagine a mosaic up there, maybe someone like Cromwell in one of those horrible, hilarious wigs banging down the gavel of enternity on the Irish.

Jack would be the Irish in this analogy. Despite that, technically, he's as English as Cromwell was. Technicalities, Jack's always thought, are highly over-rated.

Even if a technicality is what will keep his arse out of jail for the rest of the month. Three days and a fine isn't a bad trade for keeping the Pearl safe. Landing in St. James Park was better than crashing into Big Ben, after all, and it's not like Jack could help the fact she was leaking oil all the way from Salzburg. Not in mid-air, at least.

In his hand, Jack holds a crumpled piece of paper with the name of the officer he's meant to turn himself into in a week's time. He could call now, introduce himself, try to arrange that week into two and those two weeks into never, but the only things he has in his pocket is €1, cigarettes, and some lint. There doesn't seem to be a phone booth around here anyway.

Court is really, really boring. Jack puffs at his fringe and then pulls himself up to smoke a fag outside. At least it will give him something to do with his fingers.

As he stands patting down his pockets (there are eight of them, when considering his socks sometimes serve as good storage space), a door down the hall swings open and the sound of very smart shoes come clipping down the hall.

James L. Norrington, soon-to-be Esq. looks entirely different than he did in the makeshirt courts. Without the robes and the wig (horrible, hilarious), attention can actually be focused on the strong line of his jaw, the broadness of his shoulders, the colour of his purse. (Bag.) Jack thinks the hue might be termed fawn. He wonders if Mister Norrington calls it that.

Tucking the filter of the cigarette into the corner of his mouth, Jack ruffles up his hair and walks to intercept his prey.

"You take a bloody long time to un-doff a wig, mate," Jack says when he gets within hearing distance. He holds out a hand, conviently blocking James L. from continuing on his merry little way. "Don't think we got a chance to be properly introduced."

Date: 2008-10-16 11:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
Somehow, "a bite to eat" managed to become a full knock-out buffet with Gibbs, sitting on a stool in his kitchen spinning stories about Thailand and the Pearl and Jack running from angry villiagers. Gibbs keeps him stocked in knowing hums and free beer until Jack's out of story to tell and a little bit drunk.

The clock on Gibbs' wall, which is the face Felix the Cat, a present Jack bestowed on him one Christmas after finding it in a pawn shop in the south of France for a good price, catches the time and Jack off guard when he looks at it next. Felix's whiskers say quarter past seven, which can't be right, because Jack was meant to leave at least by six-thirty.

"Bugger," he says and sets down the dish of applesauce. (Gibbs had told him it was from Hector in Accounting and Jack passed the double pint mark before he was convinced that it wasn't poisoned.) "Bugger, bugger, bugger. I'm going to be late."

Gibbs had sprawled out on his sofa a while ago and seemed half-asleep, unable to pay attention. Or drunk. Or both. Jack side-steps him, pocketing his keys to lock up, and hops the tube to Camden. By the time he budges open the door to his flat and leaps over furniture in search of clean clothes, the sun has set.

Bugger. This is not good. James seems not the type willing to wait long, punctual probably, and chances are annoyed when Jack went out of his way to ask him out. Jack finds a white shirt and an embroidered tweed waistcoat and fits it all together with a fedora. He adds a bit of eye-liner for evening and then hurdles the sofa and what he thinks at one point was a television back in 1956 to bolt out the door.

James is visible through the window, the back of his head looking rather nice and not angry, but Jack doesn't trust the front to be the same. Full smile in place, he tucks into the restaurant and slips past the maitre d to join James in the corner.

"Takes longer than you think to get a cab back from Northaw," Jack lies smoothly. He eyes James' blazer. "And good to see you took 'flash' to heart."

Date: 2008-10-16 12:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
It's fifteen, maybe twenty minutes before Jack shows up, and- James has to admit- he's beginning to think that maybe he isn't going to show at all. The thought stings a little, and he's more relieved than he'd care to admit when he sees someone with that distinctive swagger make their way through the door.

He smirks when Jack slides onto the bench next to him. 'No need for lies,' he says mildly. He's not particularly irritated, not now that Jack is here, but there's no need to let him off the hook without any sort of sting. 'Life happens, people are late.'

'And I'm not the only one,' he continues, lifting his glass in indication of Jack's clothes. Very... bohemian chic, perhaps? Would that be the term for it? James doesn't really know. But it's a good look for Jack, regardless of what it's called. The eyeliner especially, rather to his surprised; it makes his already handsome face look almost fey, and James lets his eyes linger, an approving little once over.

Date: 2008-10-16 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
It's not really a lie, because it is harder than most people think to get a cab back from Northaw. Or harder than Jack thinks, at least, any time he needs to make the trek back to London from fielding the Pearl. But if James isn't upset about it, Jack sees no reason to try to defend himself. Best to leave the whole thing behind them.

His grin turns a bit wicked as James's eyes examine him. Jack far from minds it and even plays it up a bit, tipping his hat higher on his head to stare at James. He cleans up well, he does, and Jack lingers over the small hint of a collar bone beneath the collar of his shirt. Black works well on him, and Jack says as much, resisting the urge lean across the table and part James' shirt for better appreciation.

Of the fabric.

"Didn't want to disappoint," Jack murmurs, smile curling the words into something soft and somehow suggestive. "Shame, though, that you didn't bring the wig. It would go with the black even better." Which is a lie in a way, because James has rather nice hair. Jack likes the ability to see more of it.

A waiter passes and Jack puts in his order for a Black Russian, then stretches out in the booth, boot going up to rest next to James' hip on the seat.

"So the L. I got to admit it, I'm curious, mate. L-names not being so popular these days."

Date: 2008-10-16 12:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
'I'll keep that in mind for next time,' James returns dryly when Jack says his wig would go well with the black.

A Black Russian sounds good, and he catches the waiter as he's leaving, ordering one for himself. His glass of wine's long gone, after all, and Friday's his free day; no harm in it.

He gives Jack a somewhat dubious look as he stretches out, feet right up against James's hip and thigh. This is a nice place, after all; a quality establishment. Feet up on the seats isn't exactly the way to go, even if he does rather enjoy the discreet pressure of it up against his leg. He doesn't say anything, but rather lets his glance speak for itself.

The query after his middle name makes him duck his head slightly, biting his lip against a rueful little laugh. 'Nor was this one so popular ever, I shouldn't imagine.' He catches Jack's eye crookedly. 'Lysander,' he admits. 'My parents... they're interesting people.'

Date: 2008-10-16 12:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
Next time sounds promising, though Jack can't tell for sure if James means that as an open possibility or just a deflection of what Jack's presenting. It doesn't matter much, either way, because Jack plans that there will be a next time, whether James knows it now or not. This night, in Jack's estimation, will go very, very well.

James laughs again and the way he shies away gives Jack a skyview of his cheekbones, the long shadows his eyelashes throw across his face. Jack's about prepared to start guessing when James confesses and Jack laughs. "So James L. is really James Lysander? Fancy that. Parents fans of Shakepeare's comedies, then?"

The waiter returns with their drinks and Jack wraps his fingers around the glass, the ice rattling as he lifts it up in a toast. Though he's not quite sure what to say. Finally he settles on, "To love-lorn wanderers and mischeivous fairies" and grins and drinks.

The cold, sharp flavour bites at his tongue and Jack sighs pleasantly at the feeling.

Date: 2008-10-16 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
James cocks his own glass towards Jack's in a small toast, raising it to his lips in a drink. The ice clinks against the rim as he drinks, and he smiles tightly around it as he sets the glass down, enjoying the ice cold burn of the liquor.

'I suppose that would make you Puck?' He muses, cocking an eyebrow at Jack. 'If I'm the lovelorn wanderer in that equation, that must leave one of us to be the mischievous fairy.'

It seems a strangely apt thought, and he shakes his head in a little laugh, spinning his glass against the tabletop.

Date: 2008-10-16 01:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
"Not neccessarily. You might be more of a fairy than I am."

Not that Jack has anything against Puck, but it's little interest of him to be some character from Shakespeare, running around at the whim of Oberon. That's unfitting and a little boring.

"Always liked his sonnets better anyway." He watches James fidget with his glass and nudges his hip with a foot, trying to stop the nervous beheaviour. "So rather than love lorn, to be in Shakespeare, who would you pick?"



Date: 2008-10-16 02:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
'Oh, I don't know,' James chuckles. 'I've never been what you could call particularly... puckish.'

He manfully resists the urge to comment on the double entendre around the word fairy.

Jack's foot nudges slightly against his hip, and James slides smoothly away, casting the offending boot a look. He gets the message, though, and ceases his fiddling to take another drink. Jack's question is rather a difficult one, now he thinks about it, and he shrugs.

'Well, Shakespearian characters are hardly much suited for real life, are they? The lovers in comedies always end up happily married at the end, but it's never through any doing of their own, and in tragedies...' he gives an affected little grimace. 'Well, they all die in tragedies. Though I suppose I'd rather be a Lysander than a Hamlet or Macbeth. Quite fond of living, you understand.'

Date: 2008-10-17 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
Jack laughs when James laughs, smiling into the rim of the glass. "Never said you were. Though -- " he gestures with the glass " -- that blazer could be another matter."

He ignores the look, wiggling his foot and chasing after James anyway. James might be right to call Jack Puck. It's certainly better than Hermia, for a start, and there is something far too enjoyable about willfully doing the opposite of whatever James seems to want him to do. He slips his boot once more against James' hip, either giving him the option of dealing with it or falling off the seat entirely.

James makes a fair point, though, and Jack relents a little, lifting his glass to it for another swallow. "Can hardly blame a man for that. Much better to live life like it was a comedy than tragedy, even without Shakespeare."

Date: 2008-10-17 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
James plucks at the lapels of his blazer, affecting an offended look. 'I beg your pardon. This is a quality blazer, sir; not the least bit... Elton John.' He can't help his smile, though, as he smooths fingers down over the velvet. Maybe it is a little metro. But around Jack, that hardly seems to be a problem.

Falling off his seat doesn't seem to be much of an option, so he just sighs a little as Jack continues to poke at him with his boot. It does kind of feel good, he has to admit, even if it is brazen, given the fact that they hardly know each other at all.

'You certainly seem to,' he comments wryly. And it's true. He's rarely seen someone who seems to play the clown quite as much as Jack, spinning his tales the way he did in court. The get-up, the way he walks; oh, James likes it, no mistake. He wouldn't be out on this date if he didn't. But it's certainly not anything that belongs in a tragedy. It makes James curious, despite himself, to find out more about the rest of him, whatever's underneath the eyeliner and the fedora.

Date: 2008-10-17 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
"My deepest thousand apologies," Jack says in mock solemnity, folding his hands together. But the smile gives the lie away. He couldn't be sorry if he tried, which he's not, not when James is sitting across from him, looking like that, inviting Jack eyes to stray if they will to follow his hands on his chest. It's hard to resist the temptation to just lean over and touch the velvet himself, part James' shirt a little bit. The table will make that difficult, however, and Jack does know the rules. Besides, it's far more entertaining to edge the boundaries without actually crossing them. James reacts far more interestingly that way.

So Jack contents himself with looking only, shifting his heel just slightly against James' hip and thigh.

He shrugs at the comment. "Why live like you're miserable, eh? Might as well get the most fun that you can, go where you want, take what makes you happy and leave the rest. Would Mr. James Lysander disagree? Not one to run into the woods to be with your beloved?"

It's honest curiousity Jack has for that answer, why it should seemed to be a concept worth remarking on for James. Jack knows he doesn't have the most normal life, never stayed in one place long enough to find one, but he never wanted that. There's far too much out there to see and to do than can be accomplished sitting still.

Date: 2008-10-17 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
Jack's answer has his pursing his lips, tilting his head back to rest against the plush leather of the bench to regard his curiously across the table. It's a philosophy he can see the logic in, but never one he's lived by. If that were so, he might have run off to Scotland at seventeen for a girl with black hair that fell halfway down her back, might have- on numerous occasions- told his law homework to go fuck itself. But he never did, and so here he is now, on the verge of adding an Esquire to the end of his name, graduating from a very prestigious school and making a proper life for himself. He'd much rather have that than an uncertain summer in love, or a night out with Andrew and Theo instead of in with his books.

It seems much safer to do things the way he does. And he's happy, he just understands that one can't be happy in every moment. There's always a greater happiness to work for; drive and ambition to make it to the next level, and the satisfaction one derives from that.

He doesn't say that, though. No need to give Jack a lecture on their first date, after all, if this even is that. So he shrugs, taking another drink. 'Well, one must bear in mind the consequences of one's actions. No point in taking what makes you happy if you'll have to pay for it the next day.'

That all sounds rather dour for this sort of setting, though, so he lightens his words with a crooked little smile. 'So they'd have to be very deep woods if I was to do any running into them.'

Date: 2008-10-17 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
The look James is giving him is not one of agreement and Jack waits for an explanation, a debate, some kind of challenge. It's a little disappointing when all James gives him is a shrug.

The reason Jack likes him -- and it's expanding with every smile, every parry to his thrust so to speak -- but the reason he waited that long, painful twenty minutes in the warmth of the library was because James did what very few manage to do and that was to give Jack an excuse to think. Think about what he does, why he does it, argue for it. So much of the time, Jack spends his time doing without stopping and it's something new to take a moment to figure it all out, learn something else.

Jack frowns a bit, narrowing his eyes as he studies James, trying to get a read on the thoughts behind his words. "Would think you'd want people to get themselves in debted to yesterday. You'd be out of a job otherwise if everyone took stock of consequences."

There's a little bit of a challenge in the words but it remains true. If no one broke the law, there'd be no one needed to uphold the law. Which is not the same as what Jack means exactly but he's more interested in what James thinks of it. Why he thinks that way.

"After all," Jack adds, finishing the last of his drink, "consequences are just another way of saying what a man can live with. What a man thinks is worth it. Different for everyone, that."
Edited Date: 2008-10-17 09:30 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-10-17 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
'I suppose that's true,' James says with a little laugh, because it is. As much as the judiciary or the constabulary might talk about eliminating crime, to suppose that that's really what they want in the long term is simply naive. Jack's words have more behind them than just that, though, and James finds himself curious about what exactly that is. If Jack himself is indebted to yesterday, as he put it, if he cares that he is.

Because it's not crime they're talking about, after all, it's just living. James absently watches Jack's Adam's apple bob as he swallows, catching the swift-flicker of his tongue as he licks the taste of vodka from his lips.

'So I suppose,' he murmurs, chasing the edge of a thought, 'the question would then be not how deep the woods are, but what one might be chasing into them.'

He pauses, taking a small sip of his own drink, and mulling his thoughts about. 'Though I think... there are ways to circumvent consequence, if one looks at something the right way. Patience and thought, instead of just flinging oneself headlong into things.'

Date: 2008-10-17 09:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
That is the question, isn't it? Jack outright grins at that comment, a little wicked and thrilled. Something in his stomach lurches like it does on take off, the sense of a new adventure dawning on the horizon and nothing seperating it from Jack.

"Everything changes with looking at it the right way. It just depends on what the right way is. There's something to be said for crash landings."

Because that is, after all, why Jack is sitting here now, discussing this with James. If he had thought to check the fusile lodge. If he had thought to stop in Paris instead of risking the rest of the way to London. It could be a Parisian sitting across from him now, correcting Jack's French. More probable, it would be no one, and Jack in some cell, muttering "d'eau" to himself. This reality is far better.

"Some things aren't meant to be circumvented. Better to just let interesting times come. The Chinese call it a curse but the only alternative then is not going into the woods at all."

Date: 2008-10-18 05:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
James has never much gone for crash landings himself. He prefers to know how things are going to end, and if he can't figure it out, making sure they go that way himself. What's more, he's got damn good at it. With Jack, though... he'd had no chance knowing how this was going to happen thus far, and even less of knowing how it's going to end. If it's going to end.

He's not entirely sure how he feels about that, and that in itself is rather... exciting.

But even that thought feels like something a blushing teenager might write in her diary, and his lips twist a little as he signals the waiter to order himself another drink.

'You really think so?' He asks, as he turns back to Jack. 'The fairies in those woods aren't always so benevolent, and even when they are, somebody ends up looking an ass.' James meets his eyes, his gaze shrewd, as if he could divine some answer there merely by looking. 'I like to try and be a little prepared, at least.'

Date: 2008-10-18 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
Somehow the way James is looking at him hits Jack square in the solar plexus, traps his breath there so that he needs to struggle for a moment to remember how to convert air into oxygen. That particular feeling in his stomach grows, adrenelin and the liquor combining to send a warm buzz through his veins. He's not quite sure what James is proposing but he likes it well enough not to back out now.

"I find," he starts before the waiter leans over the table to collect the drinks and replace them with fresh ones. Jack curls his fingers around the glass, spinning it slowly on the table top, watching for a moment as the ice sinks to the bottom before glancing up to find James' eyes again. "Not much worth doing comes with warning signs. Sometimes you just need to get a little lost in order to find something better."

Date: 2008-10-18 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
Jack's dark eyes seem ridiculously warm, focussed on James like that, and he licks his lips before he can think about what his tongue's doing, taking a quick sip of his drink to justify the internal glow that seems to have blossomed in his gut. He almost wants to laugh, though, at the way they're speaking in riddles and metaphors, and lifts an eyebrow, leaning back in his seat. He shifts slightly on the bench as he does so, nudging against Jack's boot.

'So tell me,' he asks dryly, 'are you the something better in this metaphor? Bit presumptuous of you, really, to imagine that I'd want to go chasing into any sort of woods after you, whether they're metaphorical or not.'

He's smiling as he says it though, because he thinks that maybe he wouldn't mind chasing Jack into the woods. Certainly it would be an interesting experience, if nothing else. Nothing about Jack thus far has been boring or predictable, and James enjoys the way he matches him turn for turn, keeping up like it's a swordfight, blow for blow, parry and thrust, each of them dancing around the other. And even besides that, judging by the heat of those eyes as they regard him, metaphorically chasing Jack into the metaphorical woods would be a rather enjoyable experience as well.

Date: 2008-10-19 01:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
Jack chuckles at the implication. Maybe he's suggesting that and maybe he's not. He can't even answer that for himself. James can decide for himself if Jack is something better for him. Jack knows next to nothing about him, except that James is attractive, relatively intelligent, and some of the most fun Jack's had when either not stuffed in a cockpit or naked. Possibly even surpasses both at once.

Images are tied to that thought, glimpses of taking James home, or really to the Pearl, seeing as she brought them together and Jack's flat would be more difficult to squeeze another being into, and stripping away Elton's blazer and slowly pushing open the collar of that shirt to see and touch the skin beneath.

He wonders idly, as he pretends to seriously consider James' question, finger poking his chin, if he actually could get James drunk enough to agree to sex while flying. Very few people seem to trust Jack's skill to multitask both of those acts at once. He's never been particularly brave enough to question which skill set they doubt. James seems the type to protest both at this moment, though.

And Jack rather likes the idea of being chased. He's fairly sure James would, with the right sort of motivation. No one asks that question expecting to be told no. So that's just what Jack does, in a way. Retracting his foot, Jack crosses his leg beneath the table, making a new space between them even as he leans forward on his elbows, hovering closer to James. He draws small patterns in the watermarks on the table with a fingertip, smiling softly as he holds James' gaze.

"Can't say, can I? That's the thing about chasing something: you don't always get it, even if you want it. So I guess you'll just need to catch me first to find out."

Date: 2008-10-19 06:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
The foot nestled up against his hip slides off the seat, tucking itself neatly away on Jack's side of the table, and James could very well laugh. Sets himself out there, pulls himself away, like all this is some sort of game that Jack just gets a lark out of playing. So James doesn't lean in to mirror Jack's gesture, but instead idly holds his glass to his lips, inhaling the sharp, sweet scent of the alcohol, watching Jack over the rim. He smiles a little, though it's wry and slightly crooked in the face of Jack's soft one.

'I was rather under the impression that I already had caught you,' he comments. 'Certainly, the three days you'll be spending in a cell would suggest as much.'

James sets down his glass, and this time, he does lean a little closer, one eyebrow lifting wickedly, fingers skating smooth across the polished tabletop. 'And need I remind you that you were the one who chased me down and insisted on a drink, lest you break some poor innocent's window.'

Date: 2008-10-19 07:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
"Only place you want me, then? Banged up behind bars?" Jack immediately counters. Because if that's all it is -- and he doubts that, knows it to be more -- they have no reason to continue anything. Jack might as well serve out his time due and leave the rest be. But the fact James is here, met him for drinks despite all those useless protestations, proves what a lie that is. "Besides. Hasn't happened yet. Thought we already mentioned the dangers of being presumptuous."

He leans back when James leans closer, swaying away playfully, skating his fingers to the far side of the table to lean a shoulder against the wall.

And James does have a point. Jack did instigate it, took the first step, but James responded and that's what really matters. He takes the hat from his head, spins it on a finger like he isn't listening at all, even though he is. Lolling his head to his shoulder, Jack answers lazily, slurring a bit despite the fact that he hasn't had quite enough alcohol to reach that point.

"All that proves is that I caught you. Never said anything about me turning myself over under your charms."

Date: 2008-10-19 07:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
That doesn't even come close to deserving an answer, so it doesn't get one. Though James had meant his protestations at the time, he rather thinks it's become clear to the both of them by this point that Jack's far too interesting simply to ignore after his stint in jail. He thinks (hopes? surely not) it's fairly safe to assume Jack's come to a similar conclusion about him.

He makes note of the way Jack leans back when James leans in, keeping up that play of give and take that seems to have developed between them. He doesn't entirely understand it, or Jack's motivation for it, and that too drives him forward. James has never been good with not understanding.

'Caught me?' He echoes, good naturedly incredulous. 'I hardly think so.' The thought of Jack... turning himself over under James's charms does have a certain appeal, though he doesn't say as much. Wouldn't do, after all, and certainly not if he's to prove the point that he hasn't been caught yet. If he's ever going to be. Once again, presumptuousness.

So he takes another sip of his drink, absently noting that he may be somewhere on the path towards tipsy. 'Just a drink, Jack,' he says. 'I'm hardly in chains yet.'

Date: 2008-10-20 06:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
It is just drinks, and were it anything more -- is it anything more? -- Jack would be the first to correct that assumption. It's pointless to waste time wandering things like that, making plans based on things not yet come to pass, deciding the next place to go before you've even reached the first. There's place else to live but the present, and that's drinks right now, and strange, looping conversation.

Jack likes that. Doesn't need to think of anything more just yet. "Only wanted you for drinks when I asked," he says, then makes the gesture to check the watch he doesn't wear. "But the night's still young yet, isn't it? No telling where we'll end up."

He smiles as he says it, offering up another invitation maybe, if James wants to take it as such. To take Jack home with him, let Jack take him. Or something else altogether. Because even if you can't live in the future, there's no harm in glancing in its direction every once in a while. Two drinks in and it already feels like too long sitting still, playing at something without really being part of it. Jack tips the glass back, downing half his glass in one large gulp before turning back to James, fingers dabbing at his lips.

"It's like you said. Doesn't matter how deep or dark the woods are so much as what you're willing to chase into them. Maybe I just wanted to see if you'd lose the right road with me."

Date: 2008-10-20 06:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fortiter-in-re.livejournal.com
When I asked. Which would suggest that it's something more, something else that Jack wants now. Or perhaps something else he's willing to entertain the possibility of. That's interesting, but not particularly unexpected, and James matches Jack's smile with one of his own- small and close-lipped, but warm, amused.

There's an invitation there, but James isn't going to take it. Not yet, at least. From the looks of things he could probably get Jack into his bed tonight, if he wanted to. Or up against the wall out back of the restaurant, if that's what took his fancy. But James is patient; he knows how to let things take their time, growing richer and sweeter as time passes. And besides, he's enjoying the strange, twisting not-conversation they're having. He's never quite sure where it's going, and that's an unusual thing.

Jack's words surprise him pleasantly, and he lifts an eyebrow, the words coming up out of the back of his brain where they stored themselves years ago when first he read them. They come easily, tripping over his lips with the lazy ease of long memorisation. 'Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita/ mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,/ ché la diritta via era smarrita.'

James smothers his small smile against the rim of his glass, ice cubes clicking against his teeth. 'Dante?' He asks, even though it isn't really a question. 'Seems a bit grim for... this particular setting.'

Date: 2008-10-20 07:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notjackkerouac.livejournal.com
The Italian comes as a surprise, but not an unpleasant one once Jack bends his ear around it again. Recognises it as the actual verse of his thought. It's only from distant memory of recitation, struggling over the popping vowels many years ago with a warn book propped across his knees and an Italian-English dictory flipped open on the seat next to him, that he can place it.

It shocks a line of one of the verse of the original Italian Jack ever bothered to memorize out of his mouth before he can think about it. "Io non so chi tu se ne per che modo venuto se qua giu; ma fiorentino mi sembri veramente quand io to odo."

The words don't quite fit in his mouth elongating and stretching along his tongue as he does the thing from muscle memory rather than concentrates on the individual consonants themselves. It's something smug he feels when he pulls it off, pleased at the reaction it gets.

He rubs his fingers into the grain of the table when James calls him on it. It's not embarrassment, whatever it is that makes Jack tuck his chin to his chest, eyes sliding off to the side. It's more that James caught the implication, found out the lines that Jack mistakenly managed to keep in his head despite trying to rid himself of it. He squeezes an eye shut.

"If you're to be bringing up woods..." he excuses and then shrugs a shoulder. "And all depends how you look at it, really. In the end, they find the stars. Fair finale, I would wager."
Edited Date: 2008-10-20 07:15 am (UTC)

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