|Orb Kaftan sings the everything (songofcreation) wrote in valarlogs,|
@ 2012-04-26 18:10:00
|Entry tags:||!complete, orb kaftan, parry lecomte, truthiness plot|
Open & Closed Again
Who: Parry LeComte and Orb Kaftan
What: Parry's a confusing little creeper, but at least he gives Orb insight toward a personal dilemma. It's kind of sweet. Oh, and Parry hired Daleks; they also talk about political pornography for a second.
When: Night of April 22nd
Where: Orb's apartment above Paramnesia, Anaheim
Knock, said Parry's knuckles on Orb's door – the inside door, the one that required theatre access to reach, which also meant a few things in turn: Orb could actually hear it, it wasn't Loki (who would have just gone ahead and barged inside), and it was one of the very few people other than Loki who had the ability to get to the door in the first place.
It was awfully late at night for a fan-club gathering.
Her nonexistent fan-club shouldn't have had the ability to get to her back door, anyway -- Orb sat up on the bed, where she'd been flopped over reading something inconsequential, and tried, "Come in?"
If the person had a key, that would narrow it down further.
Rattle, said the doorknob.
"It's locked," the irritable-sounding French accent from the other side of the door informed her tartly.
"Wasn't sure if whoever was knocking had a key," Orb called as she jumped the rest of the way off the bed and walked out into the hallway to open up the back door. "Figured that would narrow it down -- did you think I'd just not lock the door, then?"
She was already wearing pajamas -- a black spaghetti-strap top and grey pants, both a loose soft cotton -- and was barefoot. Thankfully, her wooden floors were kept well clear of any troublesome nails.
"I see you took my advice to heart," was what Parry actually answered. He was not altogether subtle about taking in what she was wearing; he himself was, understandably enough, dressed to be outside. But he also had a black duffel bag slung over his shoulder, until it was slung down to the floor next to the door, instead, so he could kick off his shoes. "You used to keep it open."
"Sometimes I still do keep it open!" Orb actually laughed, as she stepped backward and -- squinted at him funny. Why was he there, again? It was something like eleven at night and she usually went to bed early. "But I wasn't expecting Loki or anyone, so voila, it's closed."
Her chest may not have been all that large, but considering he spent way too much time at a strip club and everyone knew it, Orb wasn't surprised about any lack-of-subtlety in his ogling. He didn't ever think to be ashamed of it. After all, what woman wouldn't want him ogling her? Mentally, she rolled her eyes and snorted at him. Physically and out loud -- nothing.
Had he known what she was thinking, he would have defended himself somewhat; he didn't think he spent too much time at a strip club, after all! As far as he was concerned, he spent a reasonable amount of time each week split between two or more strip clubs! That made it better, right?
"And open, and closed again, yes," Parry agreed, oblivious, and picked up his bag again, looking at her expectantly, and untucked his shirt.
Orb was supposed to remember something.
So she tried the slightly sardonic, "Moving in?" instead. Maybe he'd remind her.
Parry – stopped.
(With his shirt still on, and even buttoned, just... untucked.)
And he looked at her, very thoughtfully.
And he started to smile, a little, and almost looked as if he was about to quip that yes, of course he was, but instead –
"You don't remember, do you?"
"No," Orb confessed. "Haven't a clue."
He looked kind of silly with his shirt untucked, as far as she was concerned. She'd never actually seen that before without it being open.
Clearly that meant she spent a lot of time staring at how his clothing fit together around his waist, right? No? Damn.
Parry's smile just got smirkier and smirkier, of course, before he decided – at last – to take pity on her. Sort of.
"I hired Daleks to visit my apartment." On second thought, that wasn't actually less confusing, was it.
No, not really. Orb kept staring -- at his face, thank you very much, narrative voice. "You did what?" Her eyebrows and her hairline were making good friends.
"I hired Daleks." Oh, he was amused, now. "I am told it will be at least two days before it is safe to be in my apartment once again. We spoke of me staying here."
"Did -- oh." Orb rolled her eyes, and actually playfully shoved at him. "The exterminators. You ass."
"Yes, the exterminators," he agreed innocently, catching her hands and pinning them – with the end result that she was suddenly trapped in his personal space. Oops? "Is that not what I said?"
Oops indeed -- that wasn't at all Orb's intent, but that didn't mean she wasn't just a natural flirt constantly, even if this was Parry and she didn't want to think about it too hard -- so she sort of mock-fought to pull away, giggling and not really succeeding in doing much.
"You could say it was."
"Then I think I shall," he mock-growled, pointedly looming over her for just a moment, and then –
In one swell foop, somehow, somehow, her hands were sort-of free, because he wasn't holding them anymore, but the bag that wasn't on his shoulder was in them.
"What am I," Orb chided, or grumped, or complained, or something along the lines of all three, as she really rolled her eyes at him, "your caddy? Where do you want this, anyway?"
Why was she letting him stay there, again? Why had he asked to stay with her? She only had a couch for him to sleep on.
"Non," he answered lazily, "not the caddy, the pack mule, yes?"
And then Parry was wandering off in the direction of her bedroom, and stripping his shirt off as he went. The little fucker.
"You suck," she told him, and -- well, she followed him back into her room, a bit more slowly. Because she was busy actually processing what he was doing. Namely, thinking he was sleeping in her room -- and damn it, she was sleeping in her room.
"Is that what you wanted me to do?" asked the amused, shirtless French voice coach in – no.
Not just in her room.
On Orb's bed.
He was lounging. Taking up the entire thing. Of course he was.
"-- no," Orb groused, put his back down on her linen chest for him with a shake of her head, and then picked up her hairbrush. She would have gone right back to sitting on her bed and brushing it, but she couldn't, so instead she stood above him and brandished the brush like a weapon. "But you need to shove over."
"I could brush that for you," he offered in a deeply disturbing voice – disturbing because it was low, moderately compelling, and rather rammed home the fact that he could be all sultry and seductive if he wanted.
While Orb didn't find it seductive, really, she was a bit shaken by it -- and felt something, whether it was her stomach or her heart she couldn't tell for sure, lurch a little.
"I -- would you really want to?" she asked, instead of just saying no, which is what she expected would have come out of her mouth.
He held out his empty hand, demanding – but it was maybe a gentle demand, or more of a challenge, even, than a harsh one. He raised an eyebrow at her, adding to the challenge: would she, in fact, dare to let him brush her hair? Was that too intimate? Did he ever answer a direct question in words?
Whatever the answer to that really was, Orb didn't seem to be much displaying it. She simply held out the hairbrush, albeit slowly -- maybe she didn't consider it all that intimate, considering she was used to being teamed by stylists (and Loki)?
Once Parry had teased the brush out of her hand, of course, he did sit up – some – enough to do that ridiculous pat-rub come-hither gesture generally only seen in films featuring sketchy guys with pornstaches. He didn't have a mustache of any sort, and what was worse, he seemed genuine in his gesturing – that was, after all, a spot very close to him, where he would presumably have a fine angle from which to brush her hair.
She, in turn, would be very nearly sitting in his lap, if he shifted even a tiny bit – but one might assume that was his point.
"Do you have a terribly sensitive scalp, Orb?" he murmured in that same seductive purr of is-this-really-happening-are-you-kidding-m
"Not really?" was Orb's first answer, before she was even really considering it -- not as if there was much to consider. She had a rather robust scalp compared to cousin Luna, who screamed if anyone so much as touched her hair. Or maybe even looked at it funny. Orb didn't have that kind of sensitivity anywhere, as far as she knew.
She took the risk of actually sitting just about where he wanted her to -- though if she could possibly have an inch or two of forward space, she tried for it. And, of course, she rolled her eyes at his pornstache gesturing and even told him so: "You look like a guy in an infomercial or some awfully-titled flick like Carrie Does California Number Six."
"And what is a California Number Six, then?" he inquired, and – well – she could lean forward, if she wanted; he was just going to lean up right close to her, so that he could loom warmly against her back. His hands, in the context, were surprisingly gentle after all of that – enough so it would almost be easy to believe that her hair was being brushed by magic, and not by man.
Orb wasn't, at least, the type of person to consider touch very seriously. Touching and being touched was just something people did, and she didn't take it too seriously; didn't really assign meaning to it. "The sixth of the 'California' films, obviously," she explained, with another eyeroll he couldn't see.
"Ahhh, and here I was thinking it was a cleverly-titled piece on political analysis," he quipped back, fingers brushing lightly along the edge of her jaw. "Somewhat like, oh, 'Maria Does California Proposition Eight,' but with more breasts."
Of course, that resulted in Orb's head moving, because she was letting out a half-choke half-laugh sort of noise and ended up having to toss her head a little bit to breathe properly. "Oh, you wish you actually thought that!"
So did she, really.
"Perhaps I shall have to find some way of making such a thing happen," he answered, wicked amusement evident enough in his tone. That finger of his flicked at the corner of her jaw again for just a moment, teasing at her, before he went back to the simple, prosaic, relatively-innocent act of brushing her hair.
But he was awfully warm and close against her back.
"Planning on making political pornography?" Orb quipped, and the only reason she wasn't rolling her eyes anymore was because her eyes were getting tired of it. Parry did tend to induce those sorts of expressions in people, or at least her. "Count me out. Not my field."
She would have flicked her fingers at him, but it wasn't worth it to twist around.
Especially since Parry also didn't seem to believe in the concept of personal space.
"Do you tell me that I cannot persuade you to provide it with a soundtrack, during the sweeping-vista segments at least, if not the political-sexual-scandal parts?" he teased.
He wasn't going to be able to pretend her hair still needed brushing for much longer, either, and then what was he going to do?
"No," was Orb's response, trying to be firm but coming out as firm-but-with-breathless-laughter punctuating it instead -- kind of like a wheeze saying 'no.' "I most certainly will do no such thing!"
People would start boycotting her. She didn't want to be caught in the rift between pro-porn and anti-porn politicos.
Well, if lesbian pirates could make a triple-x film that managed not to be sued by Disney, why couldn't there be a pornographic political drama? – but that wasn't really the issue of the night, and so Parry let it slide; he also let his hands slide down her back, or at least the hand that wasn't still politely holding on to her hairbrush.
"Better?" his not-quite-porn-voice murmured.
Orb may have seemed a little bit distracted, leaning slightly into the touch merely because it was soft -- and warm, and she did like to be touched. Even when she wasn't actually on E she acted a little bit like it --
"And the subtle subject change," he teased, as his hand rubbed back up her back, for that matter. "I think you are overdressed, though."
"-- I'm wearing my PJs, moron," Orb said, with a groan and -- yes -- another eyeroll. She'd also missed whatever he was talking about: "And what subtle subject change? If there was a subject change it actually went right over my head."
"Ahh, then is it I who am overdressed?" Parry exclaimed, mock-astonished, pulling back to put his hand, stunned, over his heart. "You should have told me this sooner!"
Had Orb actually been thinking about it? No. Of course not. "If you intended to sleep," she said, shaking her head. "Then yes, you probably are."
"Ahh, well, it is easy enough to fix, and I think you will be very satisfied with the result as well," he informed her solemnly, and self-satisfied-ly, perhaps, judging by the smirk that appeared just before he offered her the hairbrush back. "Will you be the one to get the lights?"
"Thank you," she said, with a simperingly polite smile, and put her hairbrush back on her end-table. "And yes, I will, as soon as I can have my entire half of my bed back."
Parry, well, he laughed. And mock-bowed, and more-or-less got up from the bed in the process of taking off the vast majority of his clothing, and so perhaps Orb would take some level of reassurance from the fact that he did keep his boxers on, because he certainly wasn't leaving anything else on.
He did, however, lounge on her bed again in a more-considerate fashion; he limited himself to just one side of the bed, and not the entire thing. And if the look he gave her was blatantly appraising and challenging, well, that wasn't really surprising; he did, again, spend an awful lot of time around women who made their living by the sexual display of their bodies.
She didn't actually take off her tank top or pajama pants, either one.
She also didn't comment. Not a word: it's not like she could say anything about it getting cold, because it really didn't get cold in Anaheim (Orb herself still hadn't adjusted to the weather and occasionally got overheated in the winter, despite having been in California for years and Arizona before that!) -- and he wasn't actually naked, so she couldn't really snark about him showing too much, either.
So it would be easy enough to say that Orb didn't quite rise to the challenge, and whatever he was appraising may or may not have passed muster, because -- Orb hopped back onto her side of the bed, and turned off the lights.
And for a moment, life was serene, there in her bed.
Before more than few minutes had passed, though, Parry was awfully – close was the only word for it. He wasn't quite pressed up against her, but he wasn't far from it; he was close enough that she could feel his warmth, even if she couldn't feel his touch, along just about every inch of her.
He was breathing close enough to stir the hair at the back of her neck, for that matter.
And eventually, of course, he started talking.
"You don't like me very much, do you, Orb?"
Orb didn't mind it -- the closeness -- at all, even if she did think it was a little bit unusual that he just decided to come by and sleep in her bed when he had nowhere else to go. And why did he ask her, anyway? Didn't he have a girlfriend or two already?
"I didn't say that," she said, softly, "and didn't imply it, either."
"What is it that you are looking for, Orbit?" came his murmur, stirring her hair, fingertips brushing over her arm. "Why do you run so from love?"
"What are you talking about?" was muttered back at him, in just about the same light tone -- Orb wasn't accusatory or defensive, just confused. "Where is this coming from?"
"I thought you were very perceptive, for your music tells me this," he answered, tracing paisley patterns of goosebumps into being on her arm. "But you do not listen to what I tell you."
Still bewildered, and glad she was facing mostly the other way and he couldn't see her face anyway, Orb said, "I'm listening."
Inside, she was more like what is he going on about?
"Then you do not hear," as answers went, was both mildly aggravated and not very informative; after a moment, Parry sighed. "I try to woo you, and you ignore my offerings. What do you require, Orb?"
Bewildered turned into completely lost; Orb could feel her chest doing flip-flops again, and not the sort that were due to swooning so much as just unanticipated, unbidden shock.
"I -- what?"
"You do not listen to me!" he insisted, as if she'd somehow forgotten that in the interim twelve seconds. "I try again and again to determine how it is you want a man to approach you, in wooing you – when did you decide you would have no part in love, Orb, that my efforts are ignored so utterly, or stared at so blankly now? Yes, I know, I could easily enough ask you for sex – but your heart, Orb, why do you lock it away so cruelly?"
Words didn't come out of Orb's mouth when she told them to.
The sad thing was, she even knew what they were -- a simple answer to the question, because she knew the answer to the question he was asking, but she was so busy reacting to what he was saying that she couldn't force herself to speak just yet.
Either she was the most oblivious woman on the planet, or Parry really was doing a bad job at trying to show her that he was -- what was he? Trying to say he was in love with her? How was she supposed to know that -- or was he saying it was impossible to be able to figure out how to show her that?
"Um," she managed, eventually, soft and a little shaky. "I was -- in a -- I had a relationship end really abruptly a few years ago --"
"I am sorry for the loss of your prior love," was what Parry settled on saying, after a moment of quick-thinking silence. There was a part of him that wanted to say that was years ago, you should get over it by now – but was he not himself still in love with another? "I think you know, at least a little, of the loss of my own love, Jolie – she who wrote the song you sang when I met you."
"Thanks," Orb whispered, because what else could she possibly say? Or even feel -- what was she supposed to be doing, here? How does one handle the situation where one is in the dark in one's own bed with one's vocal coach next to one professing his love or something or whatever he was supposed to be doing because Orb couldn't really tell? "You -- told me a little, yeah. She got killed. You were young." It sucked.
"Young, and foolish, and no doubt there was little enough we had in common for each other but passion and singing – but there are worst things, I think, for which someone might base a relationship on, non? And it is little enough to do with your own pain."
"No, it's definitely -- not the same story," was all she could think to say. "And --"
And what? You might have worked out just fine?
How could she comfort someone over something that happened about a decade ago in another country that she had nothing to do with without coming off offensive or weird?
Most likely she just couldn't – but then, Parry wasn't trying to be comforted, here. "You have heard my story," his compelling murmur continued. "Won't you share with me yours, ma petite chérie?"
And then it all came out in a rush: "I was a freshman -- nineteen, I started late -- and we kind of just clicked, like? Fell in love before I even really knew what that was supposed to mean. It was new, caring so much about someone like that. But he had to leave, and he left suddenly, to go home, he was some kind of royalty back in India and just -- left. After the year was up. He was just gone."
"Royalty?" Silence, from Parry – but really, how was a mere count's-adopted-son going to counter royalty, if not for... well, the fact that he left Orb. "He did not leave you a way of contacting him," Parry guessed.
After a moment, his hand started rubbing warmth back into her arm once again.
"No," she said, and was only not swallowing tears now out of practice. This time, she leaned back into the touch without thought.
There were things he wanted to tell her – confessions of love, the sharing of hauntingly strange dreams – but instead, for now, Parry just wrapped his arms around her, holding her close, and pressed a kiss to the top of her head. "I will not leave you," he half-whispered into her hair.
Was that comforting? Well, yes and no -- Parry was no Mym, certainly, but it was always nice to hear; Orb was used to a life that was at least somewhat ridden with abandonment, be it someone leaving her or her leaving them.
"Thanks," she said, and then, because apparently it was time for confessions: "I never even got to tell him. He left before I knew."
"Never got to tell him what?" But even here, despite his curiosity, Parry didn't pull away.
"Oh." He didn't know; she'd forgotten. "About -- I was pregnant."
She didn't have a child, though. He knew that, and had at least learned, over the years of his life, to keep from saying something quite that stupid out loud. He could figure this much out for himself: some Indian royal had fathered a child on Orb, had left her alone with no means of contacting him or requesting support, and – as Parry knew and was too-frequently exasperated by anyway – Orb had a tendency to use drugs, besides.
"Did you lose the baby?" he asked very gently.
Orb tensed, just slightly, but not out of defense; out of surprise. Had she really set it up so that the story seemed that sad? She actually sounded guilty when she said, "Oh -- no, nothing so horrible as that. She was healthy. Adopted. I never met them, though; I'm not sure where she is now." A beat. "Orlene."
The tension was misread, at least at first, as an affirmation – and then not; but Parry was already rubbing her back and trying to soothe away her pain anyway. And then, of course, silence while he considered her words, before offering: "I think you have still lost her, even if you have given her life and a name."
"I don't know if they kept it, but -- yes. I don't really feel like I lost much? I wasn't ready to be a mother, but I also wasn't able to cope with the idea of an abortion --" which had a tendency to embarrass Orb, make her feel silly, but with a Catholic as her conversation partner she actually rather expected him to be proud of it or something like that, "So I gave her to someone who needed her. Weren't you adopted?"
Had she remembered that one right?
"I was," he agreed, relaxing more into the bed. Maybe it wasn't such a sharp pain for Orb after all, if she could speak of the adoption with relative ease. "I was abandoned on the steps of the monastery, to tell the truth. The local bishop arranged for me to be given to my parents, who were known to him as good people who could not have a child of their own, and who suffered in that lack. It was a good arrangement for us, but there is no way for me to know who my parents were, or why they gave me up."
"Well --" Now that the conversation wasn't about her love life, even though Orb hadn't meant to turn it around that way, she could actually be a little more comfortable with it ... and possibly actually gain some insight, which was nice.
(Funny how straightforward she found herself being.)
"If your birth mother could've done anything else, what would you have wanted? I mean, I can't contact her directly. But I know the agent."
"I would like to know why," he answered immediately; no hesitation, for once. This, at least, he'd known a long time. "I would like to know if my mother wanted to know me, now, even if she could not be my mother when I was young. I would like to know that it was my choice, to contact her, but that if I wished to I knew how." He smiled, against her hair, even if she couldn't see it, as his voice got quieter again. "I would like to know that I had a letter from her."
"I've thought about it," Orb confessed, sounding a little less shaky about the entire discussion. "Writing a letter. I just don't really know what I'd say. I was nineteen and a drug addict in my first year of college but I really do love you? Who wants to hear that?"
"It is honest," he pointed out gently. "To tell her that you loved her enough to know you couldn't truly care for her, that you wanted what was best for her and knew you would not be it – that is love, even if it hurts. If you send her a letter now, when she is young, then – does she not realize, when she is old enough to read it, that you have loved her at least since you sent it?"
"Yeah. I should. Maybe tomorrow," was Orb's response, and she at least sounded like she intended to do so. "I -- thank you. For the insight." Or whatever. And specifically not so much for alluding to being in love with her, because she still didn't know what to do with that one.
"You are always welcome," he answered, not knowing what she wasn't saying, only what she was; after all, she might have appreciated the insight that he was trying to woo her! And, of course, he followed it up by... kissing her neck, light but lingering, and curling his arm around her. Settling in for the night.