Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

‘And yet, I still enjoyed his company’

Gale smiled, “That seems to be what people say about him a great deal, and I have to admit I have only ever known him this way. Though he did seem happier when they were together,” His thoughts grew distant though in the way one thought of happier times and when the world was right.

To the ground he spread his cloak out and stretched out on his back to watch the stars and smoke with his new…dull friend, and when the prince started coughing he eyed him with an amused smirk.

“Drink the wine,” he pointed to the bottle, “It will help with the cough.” A small laugh escaped him as he felt the heat of the fire burn at his skin, “And whatever you do, do not get on his or my master’s bad side.” Gale propped his head up, his dark eyes watching the other man a moment before he came to his conclusion.

“I know what secret I want to hear…tell me about a fantasy you have?” Everything was sex to him, but as he watched the ice melt a little he felt he should attempt just once more.
word count: 203

Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

Doing as he was told, Nicholas drank from the bottle of wine again. Finding the combination of smokey herb and rich wine to be a rather pleasant taste, he took another inhale of blunt and once more turned to the wine. Mimicking his host, Nicholas pulled out the cloak and settled back against a conveniently placed log, allowing him to remain upright enough to continue drinking.

"Hmm, I have already noticed, unfortunately." The incident with Monroe and the Swedish Duke had made things difficult, impossible even. "We got along very well, until -" He took a drink of wine, "- well, I suppose until we did not." Which was the simplest way of putting things without going into too much detail. "He's a good man, but I think far too accustomed to doing things his own way." Which was perhaps no issue when one lived in a world like Monroe and Rousseau did, but when one dealt with courts and politics, things became complicated.

Glancing up at the stars above, the smallest flickers of the fire climbing their way into the heavens, Nicholas shrugged, "It is not so much a secret, I think. But I oft dream of home, when early in the morning after the first fall of snow, and amongst the trees heavy with snow there is nothing but silence. It is almost like a painting, so fresh, perfect and bright." Perhaps it was not what his host wanted from him, but Nicholas felt he wanted little else when he desired something, he did something about it. A Prince did not want for long. But a fresh, ice cold morning in the forests of Russia? It was not something he could simply acquire, he could only dream of it.
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Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

"He is a great man,” Gale wanted to correct the Prince but kept his tone quiet and agreed with him by tone, “I feel that I am surrounded by great men, men who will go down in history, in Ashley’s case as well my Master, they have already done so much and show no sign of slowing down. Men and women both adore them, follow them, and Ashley he makes whole nations want to follow him into anything, including their death if need be.”

Listening to the Prince talk of Russia made Gale go quiet as he listened and tried to imagine what a winter like this would be like. He had known them in Paris, even here, but nothing as he imagined like this.

“Gold,” he smiled, “And the world looks golden and surreal, pure and untouched. This is what winter does for us all I think. We walk out in it and complain of the cold, but so few see it as a chance to make steps were none have been yet. Waves will wash away our footprints in the sand, the sun will eventually warm away our tracks in the snow, but that does not mean we do not feel as though we have been somewhere non-else have known.” It was natural to move in a little closer to Nicholas, as though the winter that they spoke of made him shiver and want of the man’s warmth.

“You must have people wanting everything from you all at once, and to be out there where everything is new…well that is a very good dream indeed.” And that pleased him, his smile said so as well his eyes as they warmed now not just from the firelight.

“I would love to see this one day, perhaps I shall come see you in Russia?”
word count: 308

Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

"Hmph." The Prince responded diplomatically. Monroe was an impertinent, rude, hot-headed man who thought too highly of himself. For all Nicholas knew, half the scars which he bore might have been the result of his terrible temper, rather than anything noble. He was also intelligent and surprisingly insightful, while also being stupidly pigheaded. Not that it mattered in the slightest, Nicholas still doubted he would ever have another private conversation with the American, by choice or by Monroe's own decisions.

Nicholas nodded, pleased that his companion at least understood the image he was attempting to conjure- the peace, the silence and the untouched perfection. It was hard not to miss it when stuck in a bustling city which was far too humid, filled with commoners rushing and shouting in the streets or canals. Nicholas even missed such quiet when he was in Russia when Court was in season life was a blur of social occasions and family demands. It was only when he could escape to his country house - a present for his sixteenth birthday - did Nicholas find he could truly experience the silence

"Perhaps you shall." Nicholas agreed, before grinning and passing the blunt over to the musician, his lungs needing a little break, "Though if you wish to have me as a guide you may need to wait for some time." He had no idea when his banishment would end. Perhaps he would just be forgotten about - his parents did have plenty of children to pick from, why bother with the recalcitrant one?

"I shall tell you a real secret, but you must swear not to spread it, not for national security or any such concept but in hope of maintaining what dignity I have left." It was known about the Courts but it was not completely common knowledge, so Nicholas was keen to keep the news of his failed engagement on the quiet. "I am exiled, albeit temporarily and supposedly 'for my own good' according to my father," Nicholas explained, with a sigh and a slight roll of his eyes, because as with anything regarding the Imperial Family, it was a convoluted mess.
word count: 358

Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

Gale listened but his eyes were on the stars above them, the strong herbal burn still making his lungs burn but the Prince’s confession made his heart warm. He could imagine that this closed off youth at his side would have been a force to be reckoned with against the rules that the Russian courts stood for, and it made him understand more as to why his normal tactics hadn’t warmed the other man.

“And here I thought I was the one breaking all the rules,” His grin was small but it was understanding and as warm as it could be with winter still on his lips, “Forgive me then for earlier? I am used to those that want to be free from the rules and here you are being punished for breaking them.”

His fingers touched the fine fabric of Nicholas’ pants, the hem only but when he got to the Prince’s green coat he could not help but admire it. It was beautiful and he couldn’t help the way he wanted to touch.

“You always dress so fine, you wear your station flawlessly,” His own sheepish admission giving away that he had noticed him before, “Just when you think you have seen every noble sort and could write sonnets upon each man, here you are in green.”
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Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

"You weren't to know." Nicholas bowed his head, relaxing against his chest a moment before lifting it and taking another, long, drink of the wine. At least now the musician understood better his situation and why it was not so easy for him to simply 'let go' and enjoy the strangeness of it all. One could only make so many mistakes before all the bridges were burnt and no one would against trust you or put responsibility on your shoulders. While Nicholas had no intention of marrying any woman with whom he could not at least hold a conversation with, he did hope to be reunited with his family and undertake a responsibility from them in the future.

"Every life is governed by one rule or another." Though some might think the many which ruled the life of a Prince did not make the wealth or luxury worth it, Nicholas was content with his lot in life.

He glanced at the musician's elegant fingers as they touched at the rich green of his coat. "Another rule one must follow I suppose." He gave a slight grin, "A rich merchant might be excused, I suppose, if he were seen in rags, but I think people expect a certain level of fashionability from their imperial family. People do not wish to see me, not Nicholas. They want a Russian Prince, familiar yet foreign..."

The Prince shrugged, he understood his place in the world, "Though, you ought to see my brothers and I in full court dress." He chuckled a little, "Trussed up and weighed down with medals not one of us had earned" With buttons of pearls and gold thread, Court dress was not for the financially conscious.
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Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

"It is a rule that I could come to love I think," He looked up at the Prince, and wondered if he was a bit too transparent for his own good, but Gale loved fine things. He loved fabrics and trimmings, threads and fine buttons. His eyes grew distant as he thought of them all in their dressings and fine uniforms.

"But this is the love of Venice, the one thing that I think all of us can relate. Here we can wear masks and be free. If you wanted to venture out into the streets as a merchant you could. No one notices, though..." he blushed lightly, "As blue as your eyes are I have a feeling you would be known."

The musician folded his hands over his chest and sighed, "I'd like to be a Prince, even just for a day. To wear your fine things and live inside a castle. I feel that I have been in a cage my entire life and let out only when the right fees are presented. But I suppose this is what happens when you are born a bastard with beauty and a talent for many things." There was a bit of an evil smirk at his lips as he certainly didn't care which way the Prince took that comment.
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Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

Nicholas did not mind the fine clothing, expensive fabrics and so forth, it was simply part of his life. As that very evening had shown him, they were an important part of his identity, his barrier against the world.

"Attend a royal court, you'll find yourself overwhelmed with such fineries." Nicholas shrugged, making it sounds as though it was an obvious solution. "You converse as charmingly as you play." He added, finishing the last drop of the wine and letting the bottle drop to the ground beside him. "I doubt you will have difficulties in finding a patron." The task would be to find the right one for the musician's expectations, but Nicholas did not doubt it could be easily done.

He smirked a little at the comment regarding his eyes, "Perhaps they will notice the accent too?" Or the way a noble tended to handle themselves amongst the commoners. "That be as it may, but my guards frown upon solo adventures." And if the guards reported his activities to his Grandmother then things would become even more difficult in the future.

The musician wishing to be a prince for a day made Nicholas give a short, amused laugh because it was such a simple thing to arrange. "It would be a grand game to play and simple enough in this city." Where everyone seemed so eager to believe anyone with a bit of money was nobility. Perhaps it was the absence of a monarchy which made them crave it so? "I do have many, many cousins..." Nicholas added almost conspiratorily, completely oblivious to anything untoward the musician might have been suggesting.
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Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

“Perhaps you can be mute?” He grinned as he had a thought that perhaps this Prince would not be able to go silent for a day, and though his attention returned to the thought of being in the Courts his smile faded at the talk of a patron.

“Oh. I’ve had them. I get offers every month,” Gale sat up at he spoke as though to recoil a bit, but in truth he was getting cold. “Men. Women. Once even a Prince.” The playful mood was not about to be ruined by his poor luck, and crossed his legs under him.

“Where would you go in Venice if you could be a commoner for a day? Perhaps to the market? How nice it would be to simply be where the people are for once? Without eyes…” Lord Jesus Disney here he comes!
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Re: Blind, But I'm Still Alive

“I have too many opinions to be mute." He grinned, "I imagine I shall have much more if I am somewhere I'm excited to visit." Thought Nicholas was the quieter of his siblings, his two elder brothers much louder and verbose than he, when Nicholas was drunk or excited, he tended to find plenty of things to say.

"And you do not accept them?" He wondered curiously since it seemed that comfort, security and fine things were what the musician wanted, but he turned them down. "In Russia, many great musicians and performers earn their living by taking on a patron to pay for their needs." Nicholas had to wonder if 'patron' had different connotations in Venice than it did elsewhere, given his hosts' emphasis on both men and women. "What sort of arrangement it is it in Venice?"

Nicholas considered the question carefully but did not take long to make a decision. He knew what would do, he had known it all along. He was also aware enough to know anything he wished for was likely a case of the grass always being greener on the other side. "I would visit a public drinking house." He nodded, "With cheap beer and music, noisy and dirty." He could visit one now, but between the clothing he wore, his accent and even the simple way he held himself - they would out him for nobility quickly.
word count: 235

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