(1938-11-04) Respect
Details for Respect
Summary: On an evening patrol of the castle, Ria and Lucian hash out recent problems, and try to rebuild some of the respect for each other that their break-up has damaged.
Date: 4 November, 1938
Location: Entry Hall, Hogwarts
Related: A Big Pill to Swallow, Halloween Dance - 1938

Judging by the way she has her arms crossed and how she impatiently taps her foot, something is very off with Ria Sykes this evening. She's set for an night time patrol with Noalan, and he is five minutes late. Even though she expects punctuality of everyone there's something more fierce about her annoyance tonight. "I will rip him a new one if he doesn't show up in the next three minutes," she mutters angrily to herself as she stands in the middle of an empty and dim Entry Hall.

Two minutes and seventeen seconds later, footsteps echo from the dungeons, announcing the arrival of a prefect. But it is not the dark head of Noalan Eibon that emerges from below, but the golden mane of Lucian Proudmore, illuminated by the glow from the tip of his wand. Catching sight of someone ahead, he lifts his wand higher to expand the radius of light. "Ria?" In his surprise, there is a brief moment when he starts to smile, before recent memory comes crashing in and a frown forms on his face.

"Finally," Ria turns in the direction of the slow, prepared to look rather menacing when the late Eibon arrives. But the sight of blonde hair takes her by surprise, and makes her jaw tighten. This is the last thing she needs after today. "W-Where's Noalan?" she says anxiously from her distance, her nervous frown meeting Lucian's.

Lucian pinches his lips suspiciously for a moment. But no, Ria likely didn't arrange this. She avoids him when there's conflict. She doesn't run to it. "I traded shifts with him so I could tutor Medusa late tomorrow instead of napping before patrol. If I'd realized you were on patrol to, I'd-…" He stops himself, then shakes his head. "No, you know what? I still would have traded. It seems the only way I can get you to talk to me is if you're stuck with me."

Ria crossing her arms, she avoids make direct eye contact. "Lucky girl," she mutters flatly at the mention of tutoring and resolves to lean against the wall next to her. But at his last sentence, her frown turns deeper in annoyance, "Well what do you think Lucian? You think it's a brilliant idea for me to just walk up to you? Strike a conversation. You already know the situation."

Lucian rolls his eyes. "Apparently you think it's an even brighter idea to flee in terror and throw Gryffindors in my path when I want to talk to you. Bloody hell, Ria, we're both prefects. It's not strange to see us talking to each other. Even your father can't argue with that." He moves closer, extinguishing his wand with a murmured, "Nox," now that he's amidst the torchlight.

Oh. That second-year. Ria barely recalls who exactly she used, for she simply picked whoever was the most convenient. And a young second-year, nothing reeks of pushover than that. "That…that was different," she says to her feet. "You had that look you get in your eye when you get really angry, when you want to tear something apart. That and your bandaged hand." She peaks over to Luc's hands to see if there were any traces left of the injury. "Polly Parkinson told me and hell, how on earth am I supposed to talk to you after I know you're seething like that? What words can I say? Anything conversation we would have had would only have gotten both of us angrier."

Lucian looks down at his hand. The fracture has completely healed now, thanks to the expertise of Madam Spleen. "I was angry. I am angry. But for Hades sake, you're listening to Polly now? She doesn't know a bloody thing about it." He takes a long breath, his exhale might give on the impression of a deep purr or low growl. "Why Alphard, Ria? I get that you couldn't go with me. But of anyone you could have picked, why him? And why didn't you tell me?"

"She only told me that your hand was bloody and broken, and considering the timing of when I divulged a certain request out of Medusa, I drew my own conclusions," Ria says in Polly's defense. Because even Polly needs someone on her side every now and then. Her eyes jump back up to Lucian, a deep scowl weighing down on her brow. "What does it matter who I bring where? What does it matter who I tell about it?" she snaps. "Must I check in with you for everything? I didn't see you notify me about Rashley." She may have caught the back end of it, but she heard well enough from everyone else about their joint appearance.

Lucian blinks in disbelief at her. "So my hand was broken. So what? How does that lead to you running away from me?" He leans in a bit toward her, his posture matching his accusatory tone. He leaves the rest of the matter about Alphard hanging in the air…for the moment.

And Ria, not afraid to argue back, takes a step forward toward him as well. "Do you think I'd bother to speak with someone I know who wasn't going to be rational? Someone who hit something and injured himself out of unthinking anger?" She lets those words in sink in for a second. She knew him well enough to fill in a couple blanks. "I knew exactly why you were angry and forgive me if I wasn't in any mood to deal with an irate brick wall."

Lucian barks a laugh, which echoes in the empty chamber. "Yeah, I hurt myself in unthinking anger. It's amazing how sobering a broken hand can be, though. I wanted to talk to you. Yes, I wanted to try to convince you not to go with Alphard Black. Anyone else but that poncey, whinging little worm. Tell the truth, Ria. You weren't running because you thought I'd be irrational. You were running because you wanted to make sure I didn't have the opportunity to talk you out of it."

"Alphard Black did me a kindness by coming with me to the dance. And he was honorable enough to reject me at first out of respect to Beatrice. So yes, he may be a bit extravagant at times, but I highly doubt you'd be so averse to him if I hadn't asked him to the dance." This time she comes to Alphard's defense. Ria is on quite a heroic role tonight. A scoff emits from the girl at Lucian's accusation. It's a scoff that has hints of amusement and causes a sinister smile to grace her mouth, which steadily it builds up into a laugh. Quiet at first, then a bit louder, and then loud enough to have her taunting cackle fill Entry Hall now. She places a hand against the wall as she doubles over in laughter, managing to barely get her sentence out. "Oh please! Say that again. Say why you think I was running away from you again," she begs while catching her breath.

Lucian's voice raises to shout above her laughter, his scowl deepening. "Because you bloody well know he's a spoiled idiot, and you'd have to face that fact if I confronted you with it! Don't act like he's some noble gentleman. He's fucking twat and you know it. He always has been." He moves right into her personal space then, staring her down from a breath away. "If it isn't true, then tell me why you kept avoiding me. I hurt my hand three days before the feast. Three fucking days, Ria. You can't maintain that you thought I'd be irrational that entire time."

But Ria can't seem to let up, and her derisive cackle only continues to stifle her next few words. "The thing - ahahha - that I find funny about - haha - all this is that -hah-," she takes one last gasp of air, and then suddenly possessed by burning fury she takes a step even closer to growl in his face, "You think you could have convinced me otherwise. Everything I do, every decision I make, you believe you can talk me out of it. Rather than respecting my right and my ability to choose for myself, you think you know better." Ria jabs her finger into his chest at every word, advancing forward step by step till she's practically in his face. "So if choose to go to some silly dance with someone you consider a twat, it's only right for you to step in and intervene. For fuck's sake Lucian. I've never been so insulted. Who the fuck do you think you are?"

Lucian's eyes darken further with every word, every jab of that finger into his chest. At last he can take no more. With a bestial growl, his hand snaps up to seize her wrist, pulling the jabbing hand away from him. But he doesn't release her right away, holding her firmly in place. But even in his anger, his grip is like a cuff, preventing her from pulling away, but not digging his fingers into her soft flesh. "Who the fuck do I think I am? I'm the man you love, who is doing everything he can to change our fucking lives so we can be together. So the next time you're considering doing something that you fucking know will affect me, show me some fucking respect and fucking tell me."

He manages to catch Ria off guard by grabbing her wrist. And gritting her teeth, she tugs her arm to free herself, but he's strong enough to keep her there despite her efforts. Once again, she finds herself literally stuck to him, and slightly gives up her struggle, resigning to let him keep her there. Only she'll not relinquish. "Darling, you are very much a boy who doesn't know what he wants. And until you figure out where you stand," with the tip of her polished finger, she traces his jawline slowly before looking him straight in the eye to say, "I can do nothing for us, because there is no us, and therefore I owe you nothing."

"Griffin-shit," Lucian fires back. "It's you who can't decide what you want. I've been very clear every fucking day since I first asked you out last year. Or have you forgotten that it was you that ran off to snog the first boy that batted his eyes at you later that same fucking day? I've tolerated a lot of jerking around from you, and last summer is no exception. But I'm still here. I'm still the one fighting for you while others play the stupid games you claim to be so high above now. Wake up, Ria. You decide what you want. Don't you fucking dare tell me you love me, and then turn around and disrespect me like you have."

"Please! If you want to stoop so low and bring up past exploits to use them as ammunition, then I'm far better equipped than you are on that matter," Ria glowers up at Lucian. "Ripley was a mistake that went disastrously wrong and cost a lot more than we all bargained for. And guess who I chose at the end of the day despite all that. Don't tell me I'm playing games. You think my decision to split after my father found us out was just on a whim? He made it very clear to me that things were happening around us and that I needed to get my priorities straight. It wasn't easy." Her jaw goes stiff again, this time she looks to the side, avoiding eye contact during a topic she finds particularly worrisome. "And in all this impending whatever, I don't know Luc. You haven't even given me a hint of inclination in any direction. I have no clue know where you stand, and I'm not sure you even have it in you. I can try and force you but then what? We find out later that you're not on the same page as me and then I end up alone? I don't want to find out later. I need to know now. So that if you can't believe in what I believe in, we can both just…move on." And like after all her embarrassing admissions, Ria tries to escape tugging at her wrist again so she can walk off.

"You think you had it hard? I was left hanging in the wind. No word from you. No consultation with me about the decision that affected my life as much as yours. You abandoned me, Ria. You didn't even give me the dignity of telling me you were ending things." Lucian releases his grip, but holds up a hand in an effort to stay her. "Wait. Hades, just wait. You know damn well what's going on with me. I've told you every step of the way. I'm trying to find a path. I don't know if it's your path or not, but for Merlin's sake, give me more than a few days to decide my entire fucking future before you give up on me. Medusa invited me to be her guest at the Magijugend bonfire. I figure if anything is going to tell me if this is right for me, that will. Wait me for, Ria. You can't tell me you don't want to work out. So work with me, and show me a little respect for making the effort and being the guy that's always stood by you."

"I didn't have a choice, I was locked up the rest of the summer after her found out about us. Ask Kaiden!" Ria tries to explain that with the exception of the beautiful Cassius Malfoy, she saw no one and was monitored for the rest of that holiday. His hand hushes her from chiming in any further, and the crosses her arms now that her wrist is free to do so. There's something tense about the way her lips purse when he mentions being Medusa's guest. But she doesn't address it, resolving instead to keep her mouth shut. "Fine. I'll be more open with you then with anything I plan to do," she gives in simply tired of striking back anymore. It's a promise half-assed in presentation. But at least he has her word, if that means anything. "But I don't feel I need approval from you," she clarifies. "I'll be considerate of the greater picture, only I don't want to have to rationalize every move I make to you. Like going to the dance with Alphard. Let my choices be my choices for small things like that."

"Not every move, no." Lucian agrees. "But…I suppose you don't see the Alphard thing the same way I do. That wasn't small to me at all. I wanted to be the one with you. I know I couldn't be. But…I'd have liked to have been talked to about it, at least for some kind of reassurance that it was just a silly thing to you. I had no way to know that." He takes a deep breath, calming, but there is still a fierceness in his eyes. The entire encounter has him on edge. "Just remember, I'm not the one making your life difficult. Things were fine between us before your father stepped in. Help me to make that situation better. I love you, and that's not going to change."

With a sigh of resignation, Ria looks up at him a moment before pushing his hair out of his face. It really was getting long. "I know, I know. But you have nothing to be concerned over, okay? Because I only consider him a friend and I'm fairly certain he has no interest in me that way," she tries her best to reassure him even if it is belatedly, "I think his interest in Andromena Rowle is pretty evident, and you'd be able to see it too if I wasn't in the picture." She gives another sigh, pressing her forehead to his chest tiredly and closing her eyes to remember easier days. If Lucian's on the edge, Ria's worn out. "Okay, I'll try my best," she nods still leaning against him, "I'm sorry."

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