(1937-11-23) Revelations
Details for Revelations
Summary: Keenan and Veruca face up to a truth neither of them expected.
Date: 23 November 1937
Location: Veruca's Flat
Related: Quietus Interruptus, Apothecary Purchases Forgotten

Night passed, and the next day. It wasn't until the next evening after Sloan knocked on his door and barged in on Veruca and Keenan that the latter, with a heavy knapsack on his shoulder appears at Veruca's flat.

Although he wears fresh clothes, the shirt isn't tucked in, and a button has been skipped. His robe is unfastened, just being held around himself when he's out in the cold so that now it falls open as he stands there staring at the door. He rakes a hand through his hair, which is damp from being cleaned, but hasn't been combed, and then reaches his hand to knock. The hand falls to his side. He looks up and down the hallway, and braces his hands on either side of the doorway, head bowed slightly. Finally, blowing out a deep breath, he lifts one of the hands from the lintel, and actually taps the back of his knuckles against the wood, then waits.

Perhaps there is some sort of charm on her doorway that alerts to the presence of a visitor, or maybe it's just that she was waiting for a visitor. But it's only moments after the knock comes that the door swings inward as Veruca walks through the living room to the front hall. She pauses, concern on her face as she looks him over, before saying, "You look like hell. Come in, Keenan." What could be harsh words are gentle and quiet, and she reaches out to take his arm, drawing him inside so the door can swing itself shut behind him.

Keenan walks in as soon as the door opens, and his knapsack swings from his shoulder, hitting the floor with a thud. He doesn't wait for them to walk all the way to the living room, as soon as the door shuts behind him he tugs on the arm that reaches for him, and pulls her to him. His own arms wrap tightly around her, pulling her close as if to absorb her into him, his head lowering to her shoulder.

It doesn't take much of a tug to get Veruca turned, and she steps closer immediately, without protest, letting her arms slip around Keenan's waist as he pulls her close. Not typically one to be very attuned to the feelings of others, she seems to overcome her own obstacle in this case, holding onto him quietly for as long as he desires. She makes no move to pull away, feels no need for any more words just yet. Remarkably, she is just there to hold him.

They stand there for a long time. At one point, when his body trembles, it seems like he might actually break down and cry, but he doesn't. Finally, kicking off his boots, he takes his hand in hers and walks further in, to the living room and the couch, where he sits down and puts his feet up… wearing the same kind of thick, comfy wool socks he'd been wearing at his own place. He pulls her in close to her again, seemingly he's not had enough of her presence close to him, yet, but this time he rests his head on top of hers. Finally, in a hoarse, emotion rough, voice he informs her, "someone tried tae use 'obliviate' on ma li'l sister."

Veruca lets her hands move to softly rub Keenan's back as she holds him, her touch stilling as she feels the tremble, her arms tightening a measure until he seems collected again. When he decides it's time to move she moves with him willingly, stepping out of her own shoes to pad in stockinged feet along side him, folding to sit next to him on the sofa. He doesn't need to pull, as she's already scooting close up next to him, but the fact that he does tells her she's doing something right. When he finally speaks, his words bring a frown to her lips, and one hand drifts up to lightly caress his scruffy jaw. Being experienced in obliviating, she understands what can go wrong, especially with a 'try'. Her voice is soft and clearly concerned when she asks, "Is she alright?"

Keenan takes a deep breath and sighs. "She's… all right, aye," he says softly. "But she feels like she's losin' her mind. From what Gideon an' I can tell from the shop, Niamh figured out what was goin' on, an' threw an' ink pot at tha man. She knows it's a 'he', but that's all she can tell us." He sighs, and tightens his arms a moment, then he lets his head fall back on the back of the couch. "The ink pot distracted 'him', whoever he was, an' it scattered tha spell. She apparated home tae Mum an'Da. Since there was a colloportus on tha door, it seems that whoever it was must've apparated or floo'ed out as well." His jaw tightens. "It's going tae take a long time tae restore her memory so she can tell us who did it."

Veruca listens in silence, and as his arm tightens briefly she twists a bit more toward him, letting her arm come to rest lightly on his chest. This nestles her comfortably against him as she bends her legs to tuck her feet up on the sofa, knees pressing to his leg. "Who do you have working on it? There are specialists in the field." Of course, specialists come dear, and that might be an issue to his family.

Keenan gives a wry chuckle. "I'm somethin' of a specialist on Memory Charms, maself, love. An' right now, Niamh isnae trustin' anyone else but me." He sobers, and shakes his head. "There's just some things that nae make sense. Nia's very particular about keepin' her ledgers, an' keepin' them accurate. Tha ledger on tha counter was an old one, an' there're ink splatters on a certain day. There's a change in one o' the notations that doesnae make sense." He blows out a breath, and lifts a palm to press against his temple. "Perhaps I'm making tae much of it… she's my li'l sister, almost like a twin tae me. I'm seein' ghosts tryin' tae find who did this tae her."

In a very un-Rue move, the witch shifts, pulling her legs under her as she turns and pulls away enough to be seated now facing Keenan, leaning on his legs to the extent that she might as well be in his lap and not merely next to him. Her hands come up, one sneaking under his own, fingertips gently rubbing his temples as she talks quietly. "You need to concentrate on what you can do for her, Keen, and not on speculation right now. Leave that to the authorities for the time being. She needs you to help her mind, first. Then worry about the rest of the puzzle when you know she's alright." There's a pause, before she adds, "And when you help her mind, she'll be able to fit more of those pieces together with you."

Letting his hand fall to his lap as Veruca's fingers find their way to his temples, Keenan opens it to cradle lightly along her hip where it presses into/onto his lap. "I just cannae help thinking it's tied all taegether… if she had extra blonde hairs, she'd hae labeled them carefully, tae be sure they didnae get mixed up with somethin' else. Same with tha brunette hairs tha customer didnae want used after all. I wish tha name hadnae been spattered by tha ink." He sighs, and opens his eyes to look at her, his other hand coming up to her cheek, cupping it lightly, his thumb tracing her cheekbone. "Ye're right. Even after what happened tae him, Da taught us that revenge is nae good fer the soul… but Rue," there's a tortured gleam to his eyes as the hand at her side curls into a fist, the knuckles now resting against her thigh. "This is ma sister, ma twin… I want tae… I want this man… even though I shouldnae."

Although she has no idea what he's talking about, Veruca lets him talk and try to get his thoughts sorted out. Her fingers are surprisingly gentle and deft, perhaps easing just a small measure of his stress. Until his hand curls into a fist, and that light takes his eyes. Such gentle, good eyes, to be taken by something so foreign to them, even in her short experience. Her hands still, but only drop as far as to allow them to tenderly cup his face. "Of course you do, Keen. But what you want and what you do… that's all the difference."

Keenan searches her eyes for a few more seconds, then the hand at her cheek slides around behind her neck, urging her gently, but firmly towards him. His lips are warm and tender as they meet hers, seeking not just contact, but some sort of comfort from that contact as the fist uncurls and his hand slides around and up to her waist, the small of her back.

Leaning in to him, Veruca's lips don't hold the hunger that they have in their kisses previously. The contact is soft, almost tentative, and settles into something more warm than passionate. Her hands still cupping his face, the touch is also gentle, and one drifts to settle at his neck, the dampness of his hair tickling at her fingers as the touch comes to rest.

The deep breath that Keenan draws in and releases sighs along her cheek as he continues the kiss, a touch of hunger born from his need for comfort felt in the tongue that flickers for a moment across her lips. But then he takes another breath and pulls himself away, trying to calm his breathing and now thudding heart.

Warmth can turn to passion with the barest fan of the flame, or the lightest lick of the lips. Oddly, her thoughts are entirely for his well being right now, and that sudden flush of desire is swallowed… quite literally… as she settles back onto her heels. She has to pause a moment before speaking again, and when she does her voice is even and controlled, not belying her desire to take him to her bed and make him forget the past few days, even if only for a little while. "What can I do for you, Keen? Something to eat? Something to drink?"

Keenan's hand slides back from around her neck to her cheek again, and his thumb again finds her cheek, this time along by her ear and jawline. "I'm nae hungry fer food, lass," he admits with a wry smile that only seems to underscore the desire burning in his eyes. The eyes that he closes and leans his head back. His hand around her waist tightens as if he wants to draw her nearer, and he lets a groan rumble from his throat. "I don' know why Rue, but I wanted tae wait. I wanted… somethin' different with ye…"

Thankfully, with his eyes closed, Keenan can't see the flicker of fear in Veruca's eyes. His words state what she hadn't allowed herself to linger on, and it's no little shock hearing them put out into the world like that. But she can't possibly be interpreting that right, so she asks with an uncustomary meekness, "Different?"

Keenan winces at the sound of her voice. "Aye," he says quietly. "I don' know why, I just… havenae wanted tae stop seein' ye. I've enjoyed yer company… enjoyin' tha company of a woman fer anythin' other than, well…" he gives a shrug to finish the thought. "It's not somethin' I've ever… really… done. Before."

Veruca turns and settles back next to him, comfortably nestling in under his arm. This seems like a conversation she may not want to look into his face for. Or may not be able to. She's never before felt any inclination to be concerned about her past actions, and while she suddenly finds herself hesitant to admit them to Keenan, she finds that she would like it even less if they hung like an albatross around her neck, hidden from him. Most unsettling. She seems to choose her words with care, few though they are. "I haven't either."

Keenan nods slowly, letting her shift under his arm, and still holding her close. After a considered, and considerable pause, he gives a long suffering sigh, and tells her, "I'm in a predicament, now, an' it's all yer fault lass." He looks down to his feet and wiggles his toes a little, then flexes his feet.

This brings Veruca back up from her comfortable lean (not a snuggle), and she looks at Keenan. There's a level of concern on her face. In such new territory, she's not at all on her usual solid footing, and the thought of adding to his already considerable distress after Mungo's and his sister is not a thought she likes. "What have I done?"

Tipping his face down to look at her, Keenan puts a finger under her chin to make sure her eyes meet his. That irrepressible boyish gleam that she's used to seeing is back, maybe not in full measure, but darn close. "Because, lass… right now I just want tae lose myself in a woman's arms an' forget ma cares. Unfortunately I don't want any woman's arms but yers around me. On tha other hand, if I give in, an' seek comfort from ye, ye may then become bored with me an' not want anythin' more tae do with me if I give intae yer charms."

There's a vulnerability in the eyes that meet his, something that's clearly out of place where there is usually only confidence and assurance. Veruca listens quietly to what Keenan has to say, holding his gaze levelly for a few long moments. Then she moves again. Almost resuming her position next to him but facing him, with a difference. She slides herself into his lap properly, nleaning forward to bring her lips to almost touch his, with barely a breath between them. Her eyes are lowered and her voice is soft. "I don't want any woman's arms around you but mine either." And the words melt into a kiss.

~~~ snippity doo dah ~~~

The quality of the kiss they share has not so much changed, as been enhanced by what they've just experienced. There is still desire, although it is quiet in the background for now. But there is a new quality of acceptance from Veruca, and a loss of the guard that was growing weaker with each meeting of the pair, but was just blown to smithereens in the past hour. She may not be able to voice it yet, but there is no doubt about the level of affection shown in other ways.

Keenan may not be completely aware, yet, how much the past hour has affected him. He is aware that Veruca is absolutely different from any other woman he's ever known, and that she is now almost as important to him as his own family. As the kiss shows, and the new affection as he pulls her into his embrace to rest after their passion, he is not ready to let go of her right now, maybe not ever.

The next hour or two pass in that outside-of-time way, warm with the afterglow of mutual satisfaction. Veruca has been unusually attentive to Keenan. Aware once more that he still has trials to face with the matter of his sister, she has taken particular care that this be a time for him to rest and rejuvenate to better deal with what still lies ahead. Despite it being a role she has never sought out, something about taking care of him feels right and natural. Tucked under the covers with him, she knows that eventually he will need to go, but for the moment she is content laying in his arms with the wizarding wireless playing soft music in the next room.

Holding her loosely, yet close, under the covers, Keenan's been happy with this new idea of just enjoying the nearness of another person, of the openness of nudity without sex involved. He kisses the top of her head, and finally, he gives a sigh, and a little squeeze of his arm around her shoulders.

Veruca has spent the last few minutes tracing lazy patterns with one fingernail in the hair on Keenan's chest, and she knows what that sigh and squeeze mean. She echoes his sigh unconsciously, not happy that their time must end for now, but not worried whether they will have more. She knows they will. Her head tilts so she can look up to his face, dark hair, finally with the pin pulled, spilling over her shoulder and his chest. "Already?"

Keenan gives another sigh, and a slow nod, playing with one, long, lock of her dark hair. "Niamh's gointae start wonderin' if I forget about her. She's probably goin' stir crazy, even with her boyo there tae keep her company." He shifts and kisses her forehead.

A nod comes, setting another lock of hair tickling at his chest. "I don't want her to worry," Veruca agrees. It crosses her mind to ask if she will see him again soon, but she stops the words before they can pass her lips. While she wants to see him, she doesn't feel the need to cling and doesn't want him to think she does. Instead she asks, "Would you like anything before you go? Something to eat?"

Gathering himself together at the offer of something to eat, Keenan shakes his head. Using his forefinger to gently lift her chin, he kisses her once more before he gently disengages and pushes himself out of the bed. "Nae, thank ye. Niamh will nae believe me if I tell her I've eaten, an' she's bound tae ply me with all sorts of food she's been creatin'." Finding his clothes, at least for his lower half, he pulls them on. "I'll be goin' back tae St. Mungo's tomorrow, an' I'll have tae look in on the shop an' straighten it up. I'm not sure how long Gideon's gointae want Niamh in tha safehouse… but I'd like tae stop by when I can, if that is all right with ye."

Veruca stays in bed for a moment or two longer, missing his warmth almost immediately. She sits up, letting the blanket pool around her waist, unbothered by her lack of covering, watching as he gets half dressed. Since it's not something she would expect of her own family, she didn't even think that Niamh would be wanting to feed him, but of course he's right. It may take her a little bit of time to get used to such fundamental differences. Keenan is favored with a warm smile, "Of course it is." In fact, by his next visit, the lock on the door will have been changed to respond to him as well as herself. "Any time you want to come by, do." She pauses, then offers, "If you need any help at the shop, you'll let me know?"

Keenan pauses at the offer, and then he smiles broadly. "Thank you. I'll pass the offer on tae Niamh, as I can nae be speakin' fer her shop fer her. If yer sure that Mr. MacCurry will be able tae spare ye…" he's backing towards the door to get the rest of his clothing, but his eyes are still feasting on the loveliness that he really doesn't want to leave.

Rue slips out from under the covers, padding barefoot… well, bare everything… to follow him into the living room. "I'm sure Mr. MacCurry will manage to survive." His shirt and robe lay where they were discarded, along with her own blouse and bra, which she bends to retrieve and lay over the back of the sofa. Perhaps more now than when she's clothed, the grace from dance lessons shows in the way she moves so easily, comfortable with her body.

Keenan is caught watching for a long moment, then gathers himself, and pulls on his shirt, right side out and this time he buttons it up properly. He certainly is looking much better than he did when he arrived. Pulling on his robe, he finds his way to the door to pick up the knapsack he left there. He pauses at the door, turning back to Rue.

Rue is less than 10 steps behind Keenan, and she closes the distance to slip her arms around his waist, tilting her head up to regard him. "If you need me." She leaves it simply at that, knowing he will find a way to get in touch with her. She waits for a kiss before releasing him and taking a step back.

Keenan brushes her hair once more, and then curves his fingers around her neck. "Oiche mhaith, codladh samh," he says softly as he leans in to kiss her. Then, with that good old humor back, although there's something more genuine in the glow now he translates, "Good night, sleep well." Then he kisses her once more before he hoists the knapsack to his shoulder and slips out.

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