AWD #083: Beg, Steal and Borrow
Beg, Steal and Borrow
Summary: After a long avoidance after the temple incident, things between Cole and Iphigenia finally come to a head in the Head.
Date: 01/April/2013 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Any in the Cole/Geni saga.
Cole Iphigenia 
It's the Head. There are showers and such.
April 1, 2005

As bad as it gets, a hot shower is something Gen is grateful for. There's so little time for one's self, and at least the shower offers a modicum of privacy. Finishing up her ablutions, she's singing softly, almost under her breath. "Ive got my ticket for the long way round/The one with the prettiest of views/Its got mountains, its got rivers, its got sights to give you shivers/But it sure would be prettier with you/When Im gone, when Im gone/You're gonna miss me when Im gone/You're gonna miss me by my walk/You're gonna miss me by my talk/Oh I know you're gonna miss me when Im gone."

She briefly examines her arms - all the lash scars have faded, save the one curving across the back of her right hand and wrist. It required stitches, and the mar is now a permanent feature of otherwise perfect pale skin. She shuts off the water and reaches for her towel to wrap around herself.

Towel thievery is Rampant on a Battleship, usually in the form of pranks and good old fashioned tomfoolery. It's just as Geni is reaching for her towel that a hand appears over the top of the partition and yanks the terri cloth rectangle away. Likely had Cole heard the singing and recognized the voice, such a thing would have never occurred, but he's tired and apparently far too lazy to have stopped at Berthings after CAP to have gotten his own. Thus the man believes he's running the maneuver on just another random ship mate, and can be heard on the other side of the door. "The Admiral has ordered any Non-Coms to drip dry until further notice."

Iphigenia tugs open the curtain, wide enough for her to poke her head through. "How fortunate I'm a not a non-com." she says pleasantly. She holds out a hand. Guess which one. "I'll have that back, please."

The towel has already been flipped over the bar in the neighboring stall, Ari's back to the Priestess mid-strip. The scar on her hand and arm are amplified and multiplied on the tattooed skin of the man as he exposes it while disrobing. It's with his dual tanks somewhere awkwardly around his shoulders and covering his face that he realizes just /whom/ he has stolen that towel from. Cue jerking motions to get himself the rest of the way out of his shirt. "Shit."

"Quite." she says, her expression remaining pleasant, if somewhat kerfluffled. "I'll have my towel back please, Aristides. Or have the kindness to fetch me another."

The muscles in his shoulders tense into hard lines as he balls up his dirty shirt between his two wide palms. For a moment Cole looks as if he's not quite sure what language she's speaking, because he doesn't immediately respond. "Shit." He repeats, head shaking sheepishly. "Of course, right." He leans into his stall, wrist making a quick snapping motion as he pulls the towel free from the bar. Holding it out to her, he doesn't immediately release it once she takes hold, as if again forgetting another vital step in this whole exchange.

Iphigenia keeps her grip on the towel, starting to tug it toward her, but when he doesn't release it, she looks from the towel to him, her expression somewhere between that mask so firmly in place and vulnerable. "You could," she points out quietly, "Let go of the towel and we could both pretend this exchange never happened, if you prefer." She gives the towel another tug.

He ignores her words completely, instead his attention is now on her hand and her delicate fingers curled into the fabric. Ari's hazel eyes narrow in a squint, and the line of his jaw tenses with a subtle grind of teeth. "I did that?" Comes the terse question, the tug of war for the towel still engaged.

"I got in your way." she replies, which doesn't quite answer the question. "It's certainly not nearly as horrific as what you did to yourself." She stops tugging, but she doesn't let go of the towel.

What should be an apology somehow gets muddled into anger. "That's right. YOU got in MY way. YOU turned my private grieving into a public spectacle. YOU." The anger boils and bubbles, like a pot that's been sitting on the fire for a week now. Most of it should be evaporated by now, but there's still the sting of steam that hasn't been released yet.

"If you're going to be angry about private grieving being made public, perhaps you should have taken it up in a private place." she replies calmly. "And if you're going to be angry at me for finding watching you self-harm painful and being…insistent about doing something about it," she lifts her chin, "Go frak yourself."

Ari takes a menacing step towards Iphigenia as she tells him precisely what he can do with his anger. His full six foot height no longer seems lanky and awkward as he positively looms in her personal space. "How can you do it? How can you love me? How can you say you love me, when Magnola has left me so frakked in the head that I'm barely keeping myself together? Our friends are DYING, the rest of them are turning on each other over Knox and Ceres. Just how. How can you love me?" He demands.

"I don't know." she says quietly. His menacing approach doesn't result in the shrinking back that he may have expected. "I know that when I prayed for it to go away, you went down over Aerilon. I know that when you have those rare moments when you are happy and content, I feel suffused with joy as close to the gods as I ever have been. And when you let your pain show, it's pain worse then this." She twists her hand clasping the towel to bring the scar into light. "While I may not control my own heart, that does not mean I will invite you to hurt me. To use me." She lets out a soft, frustrated breath. "Do you know what it's like to pray to the goddess of love with fear in your heart? I don't know how I can love you." Her eyes flick side to side. This feels terribly public, and even with the shower curtain, she's suddenly far more conscious of being naked in a number of ways.

"But you did invite me to hurt you. You did. You Iphigenia Arden, daughter of the ancients, invited my pain to be yours. Or have you forgotten the way you supplicated yourself in front of me? Bared your wrists and practically begged to take the lash instead of me." Ari's stepping in again, and unless she wants his boots treading on her toes, she had better take a step back into her shower stall, because he keeps advancing. "But use you? Tell me how I've USED you. I treated you like a person. A woman.."

"That's not the sort of pain I'm talking about." She doesn't want her toes treaded on, so she backs up, but there's nothing about signaling submission, or retreat. "I let you sink yourself into me, and when you forgot my name and whispered your wife's in my ear, I let you do it. I let you do it and said nothing, because I pathetically thought that the illusion of you loving me was better than nothing. But it's not. It's not."

"You didn't let me. You begged me. BEGGED. I hadn't touched another woman in nearly two years, but you begged me to frak you. And I knew I said her name, the moment it was off my lips, I knew I had said it." Cole's backed her into the shower stall she was occupying just minutes before, and now he's reaching out in attempts to wrench the curtain loose from her fingers so it can close behind them. "Because I didn't want to let her go. But now it's you! It's you that I'm reaching for in the middle of the night. It's you that plagues my dreams. It's YOU that makes my body ache."

She is silent then, staring up at him. "I told you once," her voice is soft, "Love isn't cubits you divvy out or trade. I have never - I would never - demand or presume or expect you to love her any less. Ever."

His hand is suddenly at her throat, but his thumb is stroking the pulse in her neck as if he's waffling between some twisted sense of desire or choking her. Or maybe Cole'll choose both. "I hate myself for feeling again. I hate you for making me feel again."

Her chin lifts slightly with her hand on her throat, but there's nothing of submission about that, either. "I'm not sorry." she says, looking him defiantly in the eye.

Ari's hand tightens on Iphigenia's throat, just the barest flex of his five fingers inward. "I could make you sorry. I could make you cry. Resent me. Rue the day you ever saw my name on your counseling roster." His chin tilts up slightly, teeth partially parted as if trying to taste her breath as he squeezes it out of her with another slight increase in pressure. "I could snuff you out of my life, but you'd still haunt me, wouldn't you?"

Iphigenia lifts her hand - that very same one, and gently places her hand over his at her throat, fingers curling into the pad of his palm, fitting her fingers into the groove it creates. Her breath is raspy from the pressure on her throat. "Is that really what you want?"

"What I want," Cole exhales his eyes drifting downward, becoming all to aware that little is between himself and the Priestess' damp form but a mostly forgotten towel. "Is to lose myself in you, and never come out again."

There was a time where him saying that would have had her fall into him as much as he wants to sink into her. "You can't live like that. I can't leave like that. Sucking each other dry." she says. "Build something with me instead." She's also aware of the proximity. She applies gently pressure to the hand on her throat.

"I don't know how." Cole finally says at length, his fingers unfurling one at a time until he relinquishes his hold on the delicate line of her throat, letting her take his hand away. He stoops his head, however, so his mouth closes over her reddened skin and he suckles at droplets of water from her wet hair as the follow the contour of her collarbone.

Iphigenia turns her head so her face is toward his, but she doesn't move it closer. "Do you want to try?"

Ari pants after his taste of her skin, his head bowed as if ashamed of himself and his actions. "I don't know how." He repeats again, reaching down to find the towel between them. Gingerly and tenderly, he wraps it around her torso. "I'm sorry, Iphigenia."

Iphigenia curls the towel around herself and puts her hand to his chest, over his heart. She says nothing even as her lips part when she touches him, but her eyes remain on the floor. She just gives him a gentle push backward.

His boots squeak against the wet floor, Ari taking a step backwards by the suggestive push from Iphigenia. There is a shake of his head, and he turns, a fist slamming into the tiled wall in one solid punch as he stalks out. At least she got her towel back.

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