(1937-10-08) How It Ends
Details for How It Ends
Summary: Ria cleans up her mess, but still spills the beans to Ripley.
Date: October 8,1937
Location: Astronomy Tower, Hogwarts
Related: Et tu, Brute?, Act IV

Astronomy Tower Hogwarts Castle
Mon Oct 08, 1937 ((Mon Oct 08 01:03:51 2012)) (Roof)

It is a fall night. The weather is cool and fair.

The desks in this room are arrange in two staggered circles, one within the other, all of them facing outwards towards the four large windows that take up almost the entire wallspace of this room. The tall conical roof is held up by four thick doric columns which serve as frames for the windows, which face North, South, East, and West. Small tripod mounts sit at each desk so that the students are able to attach their telescopes when they come to class and to the southwest a door sits in the middle of the column on that side of the room, allowing access to the parapet that goes completely around the tower. The views from this tower are magnificent and uninterrupted as the only way to get any higher than this would be to unwisely climb the steeply peaked roof of the tower itself.

It's Ria's turn to ask to meet with Ripley alone this time. After a few giggles from the other girls in the dormitories, she quickly stashed the rose and card away and threatened them all to shut up about it, lest they want to all wake up without hair in the morning. Classes have ended for the day and thus most of the school it off eating or in common areas, so she asked him to meet here at this particular location at this time. She leans against a column, looking solemnly out the window at the dimming sunlight while waiting.

Ripley makes his way in and sees the woman he wishes to see. He comes in close and wraps his arms around her from behind, "Ria. I missed you." He says quietly and kisses at the back of her neck.

Ria got here early and has been waiting for so long that she half-hopes he wouldn't come. But a door opening, followed by footsteps tell her different, and just as looks over her shoulder, arms come around her and lips on her neck. She shivers a bit but sighs and closes her eyes. It felt nice and it was going to make everything more difficult. "Ripley," she rubs him arm gently to get his attention. "We…we need to talk."

Ripley leans in and kisses at her neck a little more, "Don't talk. Just be with me. Please…. Just let me hold you." As he rests his head on her shoulder.

Ria presses her lips together at his request, her heart thumping just a little too strongly and she replies, "Okay." So she simply goes with it, arms resting on his, which wrap around her while her cheek leans against his curly mop. And she continues to stand with him like that in the still silence of the astronomy tower for as long as he wants. Though she desperately hopes its a long time only because she's savoring this moment realizing it might be the last.

Ripley moves and turns her around to face him. He smiles to her and leans in to place a kiss on her lips. It's a truly long one, full of want and promise and as he does so, his hands move up her sides to rest upon her cheeks and hold her there for as long as the kiss goes. A deep breath is taken and he holds it, savoring it all as he is there with this woman. For now, it is perfect.

And this is the part where she loses herself every time. Call it by any name you want: hormones, feelings, whatever. Ria Sykes is a sucker for this. Her lashes lower and she too enjoys the kiss thoroughly, relishes how his hands feel in her face while her own hands grip his shoulders. But she has to snap herself back to reality this time. It's time to keep herself in check. And she pulls back a bit from the kiss before exhaling, "We really do need to talk."

Ripley falls into the emotion from it, living it for a time. As he slowly begins to snap back into reality and he smiles to her, "What is it?" He looks to her with sympathy in his eyes.

Ria's hands still grip Ripley's shoulders and she presses her lips together again. It's hard to talk to him when he looks at her that way. So with eyes full of guilt she says, "We need to stop this. This secret arrangement. It has to end now."

Ripley looks into those eyes, "No…" he says simply. "But… No. You and me… We… No." He shakes his head.

Ria meekly nods her head at first biting her lip. "Yes." The nodding becomes slightly more vigorous. "Yes, because…" She instantly looks down away from his gaze and inhales slightly, "I'm dating Lucian." She doesn't want to look up. She's too afraid. Her hands slip from his shoulders back down to his sides.

Ripley frowns, brow creasing and he reaches to touch her cheek, "No…" He whispers. "Why?"

"Yes," Ria gives him a defeated nod, raising her hand to intercept the one going for her cheek. Though she does it gently, holds it in midair and brings it down slowly. "Yes, because…he asked me and I said yes. He's been my friend forever, and he asked to date me long before I was a fool to start things with you. I feel that I owe him this. I owe him his chance first." And she runs her hand over her face in frustration, wanting to tell him more about Leander's involvement, but she's not sure. "I'm sorry, Ripley," she mutters quietly, though she's unsure of what good it will do.

Ripley is stunned and stands there for a long moment, "I want you checked for some kind of charm."

Ria snaps her head up instantly, brow furrowing in utter confusion. She definitely wasn't expecting that answer. "What?!"

Ripley looks to her, "I have been kissed by you. Felt your arms around me and you obviously have feelings for /ME/." He shakes his head, "SO why would I not think you have been charmed or in some kind of trouble. I know how that guy works."

"That guy?!" Ria frowns and shakes her head, "Do you think I've been imperio'd or something? Lucian couldn't trick me even if he tried." That statement sounds more haughty than a real attempt at defense. "Ripley, I told you from the beginning. What I did that day in the library…it was a mistake. I acted without thinking and I lost my head in the moment. I told you once and now I'm telling you again, I can't date you."

Ripley steps back and gives a nod, "I'm sorry." He says and shakes his head slowly, "Never had a girl turn me down so… I have to think something is wrong with me." He sighs, "Never really kissed a girl before you. Kissed like that…" He then sighs. "I hoped."

Ria's lips form a straight line before she murmurs, "And I never kissed anyone at all before you. That was my first…" There's something in the way the corner of her mouth crinkles when she frowns. It shakes as if she regrets telling him that and she's trying to hold herself in from spilling over. But it doesn't work too well and instead she buries her face in both her hands and says, "I'm sorry if I gave you a false impression. I wish things were different…but current circumstances don't allow for an 'us' right now."

Ripley reaches out and pulls her in for a hug, not the kissing kind but the kind of a friend comforting the other one. "Then it was an honor to be the first." He says and takes in a deep breath and smells of her hair a little bit before he blows it out. "You wish things were you and me?" He asks, honestly.

Ria tucks her arms in against her and leans on him, the side of her head resting on his collar bone. "Yes." She pauses and then says, "No." But she pauses again and frowns, "I don't know. I care deeply about Lucian, but I also am strangely drawn to you. I just wish I wasn't forced to choose so quickly. I wish I could make up my mind in my own time." She falls silent again, her mind churning less guilty thoughts any longer and coming up with more bitter ones. Her jaw stiffens, mulling over something in her mind for a moment. Looking up at him, and takes another deep inhale and says, "How badly do you want to know the truth, Ripley?"

Ripley looks into her eyes and looks at her for a long moment, "I never lie, Ria. I always want someone to be truthful to me." He gives a bit of a nod, "Ria. I wasn't asking you to marry me or anything. All I wanted was a chance to be your boyfriend and maybe down the road. Date. Find out if we would work and go from there." He looks back to her eyes, "Tell me."

"Things got more complicated when Lucian also began asking for the same thing," Ria says, running a hand through her hair and crossing her arms. "And when…," she thinks carefully of how to approach it. So she starts her explanation over, "You brother found out something about me that I needed stay a secret. And when I ask for his silence, he asked for something in return. So I made him a promise. An Unbreakable vow, to not fool around with you, so long as he kept his silence." She says it the way Ria Sykes would say it. Cold. Venomous. Bitter. "That's the truth. And I will have you know that if any authority figure finds out about that truth, it will put me and Leander in grave trouble. I'm telling you this for your sake a lone, to approach your twin with how you see fit." In other words, tit for tat. She tells you what's up. Don't screw her over. Please?

Ripley listens and his brow furrows and his teeth grind. His breath quickens and he pulls away from her. He turns his back for a bit and rubs his hands over his face. He takes in a deep breath and turns back to look at Ria, "You really do trust me. Don't you?" He asks.

Ria crosses her arms and leans against the column just like she did when he first arrived. "After all this, I don't know who to trust anymore. It's blind faith at this point," she says gravely. "I only feel that you at least deserved this one bit of information."

Ripley comes up and touches her shoulder again. "Tell me your secret?"

Ria tenses when he touches her, but it seems like it was mostly a reaction to his question. And much like the days before this all started, she turns skeptical and her eyes narrow a bit, "Why? You have nothing to gain from it while I have things to lose. I made your brother vow his silence, and not even Lucian knows. So why should you?"

"Because I want to share in something with you." Ripley says, "Ria. You mean something to me and I… I just want a piece of your life. That is all. Lucian wins but I get one little piece that says you trust me."

Ria's nails dig into her arm and her jaw stiffens again. Angrily she looks away and out the window, her foot tapping incessantly for a while before she glances at the door and groans. Leaning close to Ripley's ear, she grabs his shoulders tightly and confesses. And when she's done she holds him at arms length, looking directly into his eye with those green eyes as sharp as they always are, but for Ripley they're dulled just a bit. And he'll be able to tell there's a pleading sort of fear apparent in them.

Ripley listens and then looks to her. "I understand." To this he smiles, "And you trust me." He leans in to go for her lips once more and then bends to place the kiss on her forehead, "Ria. I'll always be here. If you need me."

Ria flushes red when her eyes follow his lips, getting nervous that he'll kiss her again. If he did, she doesn't know what she would do. There's a sigh of relief when it lands on her forehead, but perhaps her eyes lower in disappointment. She grips his shoulders so tightly to communicate a 'thank you' to him. But the sharp bitchy look is back in her eyes when she peers up at him. "Go find someone who won't mess with your mind, Ripley." Its like a warning. One coming from a place of affection but a warning none-the-less. And with a nod, she straightens out his hair and any wrinkles she made on his sweater before looking at him one more time in the eye and turning to leave.

Ripley gives a little nod of his head and sighs a bit as she walks out of the room. Still, as she reaches the doorway and is almost out of sight, a smile grows over his face and he speaks, "Let the games begin…."

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