Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

Gale would never ever visit Russia if this was how they all were, and thought he felt a bit deflated he wondered if he too had made a mistake by inviting this….Prince, but he was always open for a challenge.

“Everything? My, you are a cold one.” No pun intended of course, and with that he put up his hands, still holding the bottle with one as though to surrender, “I just want you to enjoy yourself, you seem so…miserable and alone.” He lowered his hands and tilted his head lightly as though to study him.

“What is it you are doing here?” His words were deeper than just this island and just this country, they went further in the way he was trying to get from the man what it was his purpose on this world truly was.

Gale could not help the way the Prince’s last words bit at him and made his heart hurt, he was as lost as the Prince in many ways and when he pulled off his mask and removed his hat he appeared almost childlike in his disappointment.

“Perhaps we can sit by the fire?”
word count: 195

Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

Nicholas gave a frustrated sigh, disliking being told that he had appeared 'miserable and alone' while also realising it was very likely true. It made him feel defensive, as though he ought to take a stand and point everything wrong with the statement. Monsieur Rosseau's own reaction served to frustrate him further, as his disappointment in Nicholas' reactions was abundantly clear. What had the musician expected of him? Did he not understand what it meant to be nobility, that it was not simply a title which could be cast off at a moment's notice but was also a way of life, of upbringing? Perhaps Monsieur Rosseau could find himself equally at home in with the wild things on the island and with the corridors of a court, but Nicholas could not, more importantly - he had never had the chance.

"I'm not opposed to enjoying myself." He pointed out, putting his hand on the bridge of his nose a moment before dropping it, "But understand, I'm not from your world." He had hardly been in a public drinking establishment let alone to a party on an abandoned island. "This is all very...Strange and unusual for me..." He gave a brief smile because he appreciated Monsieur Rosseau's own frustrations.

"I came because I imagined something entirely different," Nicholas admitted, "I suppose you must think me very naive." And truthfully, he likely was. His interactions with Monroe had made some of that abundantly clear. He was a Prince of the Blood, he had been raised in comfort - never knowing poverty, or even what it was to want something, everything in life had been handed to him on a silver platter.

Monsieur Rosseau's clear disappointment, made him feel worse. The Prince removed the hat and mask, following Monsieur Rosseau's suit before nodding, "That I can manage." The roar of a good fire was always relaxing and familiar, perhaps a moment to sit and to get accustomed to this strange place would make him feel more at ease.
word count: 341

Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

To the Prince he smiled, and warmed as he came up beside him to guide him to the fire. He chose one away from the rest, where they could be a little more alone though the sound of the lashing still played out over the small island.

“I understand very much, but this was always my world. I was born into it as much as you were of Russia.”
He took a seat and pulled his robe around him as though to protect his body from the cold, “My father…well my real father was Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a name more familiar to Prussia I suppose than that of your homelands, but one you know?” It wasn’t a secret the sins and strange life that Rousseau spent with both Voltaire and Frederick, but his writings and philosophies were as well known now as the very bible throughout Europe.

“So I do not think you naive at all, but forget that sometimes not everyone has this same darkness.”

Gale studied their surroundings amazed at how much no one seemed to care or notice, despite his own anxieties tonight they would be safe.

“In Paris there is a place called the court of miracles and this? Well this is as much that as you can get in Venice. Here there are no kings or queens, no princes or presidents. Just us.” Everyone else.

He handed the Prince the bottle and refused to take it back, his cheeks were already flush and his words were heavy.

“I do not look down upon you for being born where you are or living as you do. I do not even think poorly of you for being so…lost here, but what I can not stand is for a client to leave me unhappy. Look—“ He motioned toward the crowd, “There are women there that will dance for you. Up there,” He pointed to the second floor of the ruins, “There is a woman who please you in every way. Out there,” He motioned closer to the boats, “Any sort of spirit you would wish. I shall sing for you, and I will play if it would please you, dear Nicholas,” he left their pretend name, "You just have to tell me what you desire."
word count: 380

Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

Nicholas allowed himself to relax, now they were seated and in one place with no chance of anything surprising happening, at least for the foreseeable future. He was certain, at least reasonably certain, he would become acclimatised to the location soon enough but he appreciated having a moment to simply adjust to it all. Perhaps there was an exciting, enjoyable evening ahead of him, but ultimately he was a man and could only take on so much oddness in one breath. A moment's calm was exactly what he required.

"Ah, the revolutionary philosopher..." Nicholas had heard the name, though not with warmth or affection but rather disgust and fear. A man who could create such a theory of society and serve to influence the French to rebel against their nobility as not someone highly spoken of in the courts of Europe. "Of all the men to find in my company..." Nicholas gave a small chuckle. His grandmother would be furious if she knew any of this, from visiting the island on a whim and in disguise to associating with the son of an important motivator of the French revolution. "I assure you, my grandmother would certainly not approve." He grinned, before adding, "It seems Venice is filled with revolutionaries of one style or another." First Monroe and now this man. Perhaps he ought to vet his companions better, or else one could begin to believe Nicholas had revolutionary interests himself!

As Monsieur Rousseau explained the situation in greater depth, Nicholas nodded, taking the bottle of wine from him "I understand..." Though he still found it - strange and did not entirely understand everything which might be found under the banner of the island.

Taking a sip of the wine, he rested the bottle against his knee a moment, "Client?" It was news to Nicholas, though as he slowly realised, it did perhaps explain things - a great many things. "I think you have things mistaken Monsieur Rousseau, I had no intention of hiring you for - " He swallowed deeply, " -any such things. In truth I did not even realise that you were -" Again he paused, " If I had realised..." If Nicholas had realised it was all a business arrangement, then perhaps he might have given everything a second thought. If he had found himself lured to an island be fleeced of his money, those doing the robbery were to be severely disappointed - a Prince did not carry coin.

Nicholas found himself stuck between two places. Awkwardly he rubbed the base of his neck, the bottle of wine still resting against his leg, "Perhaps we have both assumed wrongly of one another." He started, unsure if this was the final straw which would make him leave, or if he wanted to forge ahead despite the possible pitfalls.
word count: 464

Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

“I wish that I shared his convictions, but my part was played only at the hands of a wife to a revolutionist in America and well…her cousin who was my lover.” He smiled at the memory of Lou, and didn’t realize how much he missed the man until now.

“I do not think you will hire me for anything after tonight,”
He grinned and shrugged slightly, “The first one is free anyway. It is a challenge in many ways, and I rather enjoy myself. Part of the pleasure for me is making my lovers fall apart only to find themselves at my door again.”

"It seems Venice is filled with revolutionaries of one style or another.”

His eyes darkened at that, his face nearly clouding with half truths that were almost full lies now.

“My Lord, Venice is made of like minded men and women. If your grandmother did not want you to be surrounded by them, I do not think she would have let you come.” Gale knocked his shoulder gently with his own, “But here you are.”

Here they both were, and the stars seemed all that much closer when there was nothing certain and with a deep breath Gale let go he was relieved to not have to entertain.

“I thought everyone knew about me, the first chair fuck off the books. It gives men more freedom to do as they please.” He offered the leather pouch once more. “I will give you this if you tell me a secret…”
word count: 255

Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

“Of course not, you're a man," Nicholas said quickly, coldly and defensively, though not intending to be brusque as he was but decades of social training and expectations framing his words. It was one thing to lure him to an island of hedonism and possibly occult worship, but another to imply a member of the imperial family was, as they said, 'that way inclined'. It was all a perplexing notion, stating such things out loud, but at some level, Nicholas regretted his words, if only because the musician seemed to be a pleasant enough fellow (albeit possibly insane).

"I apologise...I don't mean to be so..." He pursed his lips, attempting to find the correct word for what he wished to express. "Traditional." He finally decided on the world, flashing the other man a brief smile. "Much of what you say I find startling." To say the least, shocking would describe most of it. Men in Nicholas' world did not speak of other men in such a fashion, it was foreign and strange to his ears.

"I am not encouraged to dabble with commoners." He pointed out dryly, sure his grandmother and father appreciated he would speak with those with differing views to him on an equal standing, but not to do running about on bone littered islands with them...Monroe was stretch but given his friendship with the Dodge, he was a perfect example of a revolutionary his family might approve of - Monsieur Rosseau was not. "Though as long as none suggest murdering my family for a political cause, I shall keep my imperialism quiet." He promised, very serious as he would not stand for threats to his family - extended or otherwise - no matter the circumstances.

He let out a long exhale, taking the pouch of herbs in his hand, "Do I truly want this though?" He had to ask, perhaps a little rhetorically. "I'm not sure I am ready to add hallucinations to this mix." There was already so much to boggle his mind without adding a drug which addled the senses to it. "But, what sort of secret do you want to know?"
word count: 359

Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

“Tell me something about you that no one else knows? This kind of secret. Perhaps a fantasy?” Gale tried not to prickle at the Prince referring to the rest as commoners, his own title having always been Winter Prince but those nights were not to be shared with this one.

“You do not hallucinate or so I have been told, Monsieur Monroe, the Doge’s Cipher says that it will just relax you and that you will see truths that were not there before. Are they real? Are they fake? The Mohocks as I have said before when we first got here are horrible men, but they take their practice from the Mohicans.” He was getting excited to talk, the little nerd in him coming to the surface rather quickly, and perhaps a bit more clarity to why he was such a treasured member of so many of high ranks.

“They were a native tribe in America that are all dead now I do believe, or at least very close. They say that it is why they are so aggressive, and it has been my duty to study it.”
word count: 189

Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

"I am not sure I have any such secrets..." Everything about him was likely known by someone, somewhere. His whole life existed beneath a magnifying glass, with his movements were documented and opinions noted. "Ask me something." It was the best he could offer, with nothing he might want to share - even in secret- coming immediately to mind.

"You are acquainted with Monsieur Monroe?" Nicholas realised he ought not to have been surprised, Monroe had seemingly slipped from one social circle to another without so much as a blink. As pained as he was to admit it if the herb came with Monroe's appreciation - it could hardly be as troublesome as Nicholas imagined. Monroe simply did not strike him as the sort of man who would allow himself to take something which put him completely out of control. "How does one smoke it?" Nicholas finally acquiesced, handing the herb back to its owner if only to be shown how one utilised it.

"Hm, a revolutionary Frenchman studying the natives of the new world..." Nicholas could see why Rousseau and Monroe might well be acquainted, given their overlapping interest in the Americas. "Have you been there, to America?"
word count: 198

Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

“Everyone has secrets, and I only want the ones that won’t start a war.” He was enjoying his time away from the politics and secret societies that ran places like this, and left the West Indies in ruins.

“And yes, I am, though I am closer to his wife er…former wife? She and my master share the same connections. He knows that I share the same love of the apothecary as his former wife and gives me things to study. One of these men…” He paused and shook his head, “Fought him so hard that he bit him and that left a very nasty scar, but every study I have done on this shows that opposite affect. The aggression and outbursts have simply proven to be a dead end.”

Gale seemed to speak more to himself than he did the Prince, his mind still trying to process the science behind it all. In any case he prepared the blunt and lit the end.

“I have not,” his answer to America, “And I don’t suppose I ever will. I do not have connections there, and my life is here with Jean-Luc.” The first time he refereed to his benefactor by his first name.

“What about you? Do you plan to ever cross that sea?” A deep inhale of the joint had his skin almost turn green but upon exhale he could already feel the calm come down around him.
word count: 242

Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

Nicholas gave a chuckle," I don't suppose I know any of those either." He was hardly given access to court secrets, not with his present behaviour and the simple fact that he was merely fourth-in-line to the crown. Unlike his brothers, he had not yet taken a military commission and would avoid doing so for as long as possible. He knew very little which would cause any trouble to anyone except himself. "I think you should know, I am not a particularly exciting individual." Excluding the one thing, he was most certainly not going to mention, Nicholas truly felt as though he had nothing to hide.

"Ah, I see." The Prince nodded, his and Monroe's conversation had covered the man's divorce - something Nicholas still found to be most strange, like so much he discovered in Venice. "Perhaps some men are merely disagreeable, regardless of what they smoke." Nicholas pointed out, amused by the mental image of Monroe being bit by a crazed native. Should they ever speak again - and Nicholas was unsure if they would - he would ask to hear the story. "Monsieur Monroe is disagreeable." He added thoughtfully, "And yet, I still found I enjoyed his company." Though now it seemed that was in the past.

"Unlikely, I am limited where I may go and to put it frankly, the continent never interested me. I learnt very little of it until I arrived in Venice. I shall make do with stories such as yours." If Venice had provided enough shock to his system, then he was not keen to know what a foreign and uncultivated place like the Americas would provide.

Taking the rolled herb when offered, he wrinkled his nose at the initial smell but did as seemed appropriate, putting it to his lips and inhaling. The acrid smoke tickled in his chest, causing the Prince to cough sharply, "Goodness -" he said between coughs, "That is certainly something."
word count: 325

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