(1938-12-21) Keeping Promises
Details for Keeping Promises
Summary: Silas and Jenny head home for the holidays, while the ride itself becomes an excuse to hide and then, pretend everything's okay. There are promises to keep, after all.
Date: 1938-12-21
Location: Train to London
Related: Nothing Left To Catch

The two get there, barely in time. Their baggage is there, waiting, just as promised, the handler looking none too harried as last call is called just as Silas, gentleman as always, offers to help Jenny up into the car. It's not the Hogwart's Express, of course, as that left a few hours prior, but that's not the only train to leave Hogsmeade toward London. And, by the looks of it, Silas has sprung again for accommodations, as the two are led to their own, albeit small, roomette, with two couches against the opposing walls, a small drink station, and a door for privacy. Cozy, for two people.
This may explain his shock at Jenny's offer… this was meant as a surprise, rather than their having to share an entire cabin with others.
Another "All Aboard" is called outside.

This is….well, this is not at all what the girl had been expecting. It's apparent on their face as they're led further into the train that she'd tended to be and past the general gaggle of people sitting in clustered groups or even group sized compartments. On, towards a cabin for two. It actually takes their escort clearing his throat to prompt her to step inside and when she does, it's to dump Mephy out onto the seat beside her, before she sits, in a sprawling display that seems to be all arms and legs, while the whiskey bottle is withdrawn from her robe.
"This is…well," Corks were such a pain. "This is too much, Silas. Entirely too much. You've spent..well you've spent way too much on me. You shouldn't have."

"I have been sitting on a dust-collecting allowance for almost six years," Silas says with a smile, "that had no connection to my clothes budget, I might add. I've only had supplies and treats for Adelaide to spend it on," The animal, too, is set on the opposite couch, with the knapsack, which she immediately frees herself from, jumping off the couch and launching herself up onto the other in a surprising bit of athleticism to tackle Mephy.
He walks over to the drink station, grabbing a small cup, and a corkscrew, offering both to Jenny. A sign, perhaps, that he's not going to judge her? "I'm sorry… but I'm of a mind to spoil you just a little, while I can." A wink, "Just don't get used to it because the pile is a wee bit smaller now."
Of course, this may also inform just _why_ he was looking for her.

"No thank you," to the glass, or the cork screw. That's what she had sharp teeth for. And it seemed a familiar standing with removing corks in such a fashion. Low class? Perhaps, perhaps, but there it was regardless; the girl pulling the cork free with her teeth, almost at the same time that Mephy stood up and gave the kind of hiss that promised the next time he used his claws it would be towards a bloody end, rather than a warning. It seemed his mood was feeding off hers.
"I don't need spoiled. Your friendship is spoiling. And I'm here, on the train, with you, going to France. You don't have to spoil me. I don't care about money, Sy."

"I know, Jen. It's isn't about spending it, for me, either. And perhaps spoil was the wrong word," Silas offers back, replacing the rejected items and then deftly removing Adelaide before she misinterprets the cat's own rejection. "It isn't about show, either. It's about thanking you. Wanting to make you feel special. You're giving up a part of your holiday, for me, unselfishly. I can't express how much I appreciate that, not adequately. So I try in other ways. This was one of them."
He sits, opposite her now, on he edge of the couch so that he can be at least slightly closer to her, but not touching. Not yet. He's trying to learn. His eyes flick to the bottle, and then he says quietly, "Do you want to talk about it?"
Outside, the train finally lurches into motion.

"Then just say thank you." She's doing this wrong. All of it. A part of her recognizes it too. That she sounds ungrateful. That she isn't as smiling as she should be. As happy. That she isn't awed, not properly. Except that she is awed, but it's a quiet kind of bittersweet way. The confusion in her head is bleeding over with the hurt and she does feel hurt. Hurt and terrible, because she'd made Duncan sad. Part of that too, is iconic, because of what he is. Because of who he is. And part of it? Part of it is a third year girl, looking up with wide trusting eyes, full of love and enchanted, wishing a boy good luck on his game. A real fan. The die hard kind, who'd imagined she was in love and could wait forever. The same girl, who three years later accepted all of it, everything the good with the bad and looked towards a brighter future. The one who failed, because a boy who was sweet and let's face it, made life easier with her peers, offered her friendship.
"No. No I don't really want to talk about it. I am going to drink. I am going to drink until I can see clear glass at the bottom of the barrell and by then, there'll likely be sunshine on bright snow and a reindeer, pawing at the earth at the front of a carriage, to take us, not to your house, because I was half lying when I asked for the location for my parents, but to a tree farm, so you can have the experience of picking out a Christmas tree to be cut down and taken home and decorated. There likely would have been caroling, but since I really can't do anything right, you're stuck with the company of a drunk whore. My apologies."

At times like this, Silas is unarmed. Her reaction to his thanks doesn't unnerve him. He knows that she has her own way of appreciating things… and he knows it will come at some point. He also knows that something is digging at her, has been digging at her for some time now, something he couldn't identify, but after reviewing their encounter in the maze, her reactions at the picnic… all of them have told him that there's something more here, some greater hurt that has been systematically torn open… even if by him at times.
However, her last statement throws all the rest away…. he can focus on nothing but her pronouncement. She's seen his fury, that sort of flailing about someone he cannot touch. This is different. In a moment he is on his knees in front of her, his hands reaching to take her head on either side, to make sure she sees him face to face, as he makes his next pronouncement. This isn't rage. This is fury… and clearly not aimed at her, "If that was what I witnessed, if that is the argument I walked in on… if he so much as put those thoughts into your head, I swear, there is nothing in this world that will prevent me from destroying everything he holds dear. His world will burn if he put those words on your mouth."
Then his voice softens, "But if he did not. If this is you somehow doing this to yourself, Forget the drink. Forget Duncan. Forget France. Forget Christmas." He pauses, and then, in a soft voice that somehow brooks no refusal, "Look at me. I want to spend this time with you. Because of who you are. Because you are Genevieve Solomon, my best friend in the entire world, who thinks she might love me and frankly I'm not unconvinced that I could…" he says it with a pause, belief sparring only for a moment with something he's fought with for some time, "love her too. Who has allowed me into a part of her life I could never have known."
Finally, he looses his hands a bit, the touch being more gentle now, "I don't know who you think you are right now, but I know you're not that. But whatever, whomever you are, I want to be with them. Right here. Right now. Because you are Genevieve Solomon. And that's a damned fine thing to be."

He can feel the tension in her when his hands claim her face, prepared to rear away for a battle, to keep the bottle and perhaps, her silence. To find his eyes, to instead see that kind of fury in him…it was disarming. Completely and yet it took no more than the mere suggestion of just where that fury might be aimed to draw…some of the very worst parts of her into light. Feeling raw already, to swim in guilt and then…hear that? "If you lay one hand on him, try to ruin him in any way…there won't be a potion to fix what I do to you, Silas Meliflua and by Merlin, I mean that." Quick as a dragon, who's heard the sound of footsteps amidst its gold, Jenny had snapped and the bottle wasn't just a bottle in her hand anymore, her grip suggested that it could also be a club.
Which makes it hard to ease when his voice softens, tempers into something else. "You don't know me. And I'm not worthy of love. I'm Esther's villian. And I'm cruel. Your mother was right, Silas." They're tired words, because the day has simply been too much. "It would serve you well to listen to her. And Duncan was right too, because the situation is unfair to both of you and it's my fault, which I can say without a desire for pity or a pick me up speech or any other such nonsense. Ask Esther what I do to my friends." Bitter there, too. Pity there wasn't a quidditch pitch handy on the train, because she could certainly do with a beating. "Or simply…," her voice had turned soft, the ghost of a whisper, "Look in a mirror." To see the remains of that bruise near his eye.

"Then he had better never use that word to describe you, or we're all going to have a horrible time of it," Is his response to the first part, although he waits until she is done to response. "My mother, on the other hand…" he pauses, "You found the letter. Yes. She said horrible things. She's also a heartless harpy who uses lies and deceit to get what she wants. She is the reason I… cling to the truth. Even if I have to use it as a weapon. Because I've watched her use it to wound and maim. You may also recall that in that letter she told a girl that I have countless times told I was not interested in her that I secretly loved her. I. Who until I met you doubted the words could even have meaning.:
"And Esther? One of Medusa's beaten pawns off her leash who lashed out at you because you were closer at hand than her mother. Because she can't help seeing everyone as moving against her eventually."
One hand moves slightly, then, his eyes focused the entire time on hers, to smooth a strand of hair out of her eyes before cradling her face again, "And me? I deserved it. I failed to see how my own flailings and anger blinded me to your own. I even had the audacity to assume I knew how it would make you feel."

There's a flicker of…wariness in the girl's eyes, when he makes that rather..more truthful than she desired response. The kind of plea in her eyes that half begged him to simply leave it alone. There were all kinds of pleas in her eyes, to be honest and not all of them would ever find a voice. Like the one where he let her go. Still, she listened. Longed to fit the bottle between them so that she could have a long drink of it but still, listened. For all that there'd been no sign that she'd been listening at all before. At least, not to that mention. It was as untouched as the offered cup. Had to be. Because right now? It was too much.
"Silas," the words were careful things, fragile like the finest glass, "…please, just right now, don't touch me. You don't know what I've done. Or what I'd be willing to do. You just…you see the happy side and the piece that still dreams but, well and alright, apparently a goodly portion of the absolutely pathetic side but, that doesn't mean you know me. You can't. Because if you did? There wouldn't be any of this. I'm not always as dumb as I pretend to be."

And, just like that, he flows away, touch gone, giving her space, sitting on the opposite couch. "I never thought you anything of the kind. I never though you stupid." There's hurt there, unavoidable. After all that. He simply wants to fix it. "I know, that I don't know everything. About you and Duncan. About you before we met. But I'd like to think I know you. The essential you. And that's enough."
A sigh, and he moves to lie back on his own couch now, dismissed. "I just wish I knew how to show you, to tell you, that it's enough for me."

"I'm…I'm bad at this." Her hands waved about, trying to encompass everything without spilling her drink. "I can see it in your face, how terrible I am. And it's my fault, too, that everything got all muddled, because I couldn't find the lines and just, abide by them. And I don't…understand how you can just, be okay over there after..everything you walked in on. It doesn't make sense to me. I don't understand how you're not angry. How you could just ask me to leave. Or remind me to go. I just.., don't."
Free of entanglement, the girl curled up in the corner, her head in against the wall, knees tucked up against her chest; feet resting half beneath her rear. As small as she could make herself, in compete opposite to her feline, which had stretched out to claim as absolutely much of the bench as it could.

"I'm not okay," Silas offers honestly. "Far from it/ And I wasn't then. I was stricken. I heard you shouting and I wanted to come immediately to your defense… but I didn't because I didn't know what was going on, and it wasn't my fight and…" He shakes his head, "I'm good at masks, most of the time, remember."
He closes his eyes now, just lying there… "But why wouldn't I want you to leave with me? To come with me? I understand that Duncan is part of this equation. I know we've crossed, or at least blurred some of our lines… but I still respect you. What you want."
"And yes I do see the good in you, perhaps to a fault. And try to continue doing so. It's not hard to do. You say there's other sides I haven't seen. I'd beg you to show them to me… to trust me as you have in so much else. To trust me to still see you in the same light after you're done."
"The shield metaphor we used… such a shockingly short time ago, has come to mean far much more. And the offer is still there, Jen. I'll be your shield if you still want it. Not just from notice, or our peers."

"Then…why don't you show it, if you're not..I mean. Why…why wear a mask with me? I don't, for all that I should, wear a mask with you. I may not be the best at them but I can sort things out according to color and make sure they match the people I'm around. And it's not really a masking thing so much as…a difference in what's shared. I don't care to be around people of all different sorts of backgrounds, but of those close to me I expect to be pure. I thought Esther was foolish, for trusting me and I let her go right on believing it was a place to place that trust, all the while knowing I'd give the information to Alphard if it was about him. He's protected my back for years. How can I not do the same? But she doesn't see it. And just…"
Another little sigh and she couldn't even properly take the drink that she wanted, because somehow he'd managed to taint that for her too, damn him!
"I do trust you, damn it. I don't want you to think that some shield is all that you are to me. I just…I don't know how to explain it or to show it or…do more than babble about it, apparently."

Silas shakes his head, "It wasn't a mask for you. It was for him. He's your…" He was silent then, not really wanting to say the word, "Couples argue. I had no right to make suppositions, or act on them. Not there. Not with him. Even with all my bravado a moment ago. Not unless I saw him cross a line. Otherwise… it's not my place. And I don't try to hide my emotions or thoughts from you. Not when it's just us. But I don't know Duncan. Not enough to trust him with who I am. And so I wear a mask around him." Because, frankly, the result would either be terrifying, or pathetic, and either way would likely drive her away, as held-in-check jealousy would typically do.
He turns over on his little couch, looking at her again, "You did with Esther what you thought was right. And her actions and statements have made her dangerous. What you did with her was warranted. She won't see it."
He then offers a wan smile, "As to the rest? I don't think of it as just. I think of it as a role I feel. I just wish, if you trusted me, then you would trust me with this side of you that somehow thinks I would run away. That you would trust me to ask me, when I seem to be confusing you."

"We're…not really a couple anymore," Jenny manages but that at least seems to be all the nudge she needed to pull another drink from the bottle. "That's…well, anyway, I'm pretty sure that's what just happened. He doesn't think he's good enough. Which is funny, because I think exactly the same thing about me. It's like, the only thing that we could ever get right was…," and there she held her tongue again. That censor returned, this time in fear for his feelings.
"And I do trust you. I just, I don't know. You're so sweet and so good and I mean, even with that letter your thoughts went to that 'poor' girl who didn't fucking deserve them and I just…blah." But at least that blah came with a wry little chuckle.

Silas cocks a single brow at that first admission, his head cocking to the side at the same time. That would explain the shouting. The omission, on the other hand, has him a bit confused, and it shows on his face, but he doesn't pursue it. "I'm sorry," he offers instead, and seems to mean it. "But I'm of a mind to suggest you might have been wrong. About being good enough. And you won't shake me of that opinion."
Another sigh escapes him at the mention of Rowena. "She's a shallow, hapless cow who is the mirror to whatever social group happens to let her in, has no personality, no guile, no ambition. Whose parents happen to be of decent blood and are connected to my family. She's been after me since her first year, and every year I've told her I want no part of it. The only thing she has going for her, is her lineage." He groans, "But I hate to think of anyone being hurt on my behalf. My first thought, though, was of you. Not her. My first concern was of you. She was collateral damage, and I hated seeing that."
He shrugs, but his eyes lighten at her chuckle, "I can't help but be who I am. I could try to be 'bad', but unless it was protecting someone I care about, I figure I'd pretty much make a right mess of it.

Jenny all but spit out her drink; a hand rising up to clamp over her mouth to hear the words 'shallow hapless cow' come out of Silas' mouth. "..what?!" The girl half squeaked, the shock of it lending no small amount of surprise to her eyes and for the life of her, the giggle that followed probably shouldn't have at all. It knocked the explination for his look of confusion right out the window because that, that was a memory that she was forever going to cherish.
"I had..that was..I've never heard you talk like that before. At all. About anyone." Blink blink. But then, then it turned somewhat serious again. "I thought…well, when I found out that you were promised, I thought I was just something to help you pass the time. I mean, it made sense. You knew I was otherwise involved and there was all that talk about touches being okay which, I thought was half just to excuse me from feeling guilty for being close to you and I mean…I half thought that it might have just been about getting a lay for a little while. But then you looked so genuinely upset and, I don't know. I was wrong," she offered him a smile.
"And I'm sorry."

Her giggle elicits a beaming smile from him, one that lights up his entire face, and moves him to sit back up on the couch, "I very rarely carry such strong feelings about a person. But she's made herself one by her pointless crusade for me. But, if such pointed opinions make you happy, I'd be glad to offer more when the mood arises." And there's that impish grin again. But yes, things get serious again, and he sobers quickly.
"Ir hurts me to think how other men, other boys rather, have treated you so that you would think that of me. That others may have so toyed with you…" Silas purses his lips, "I've told you… I came to you with friendship. Yes, it was on a whim, and experiment to see what could happen if I let someone near… but I came to you with the truth. That you have my word on. We spoke of solidifying our promise with blood during this trip… I would add that promise to it as well."
"The talk of touch… was out of need for human contact, my words about children being forced away from a primal need was honesty. I think we have." He then smiles, looking away a bit. "Although I must admit now that its connection to you might bear a bit more meaning… the intention was true. Never, however, have I thought of you… as 'a lay', as you put it. "
He smiles, and by instinct holds out a hand to her, letting it hover there a moment before recalling her request, and taking it back, sheepishly, "All forgiveness given, even if it's not needed."

"Well, if you're asking for my thoughts, which aren't always…kind, then the least you can do is offer your own for exchange. I didn't say it makes me happy, I laughed because it seemed so…strange, hearing an opinion like that out of your mouth. It was like, like the other day when you cursed. It was different because you don't. I don't want you to be any less than who you are with me. No changing, just because you think it might make me happy." The idea that it might, threatened a ghost of a frown on the girl's lips.
It remained, even as she was reminded of a promise made with all the child-like naivety in the heat of a moment. A promise to be sealed in blood, by wizards. Honestly, if she stopped to think about it, it sounded a lot like an unbreakable vow, sans wands but Jenny hadn't stopped to think about it. "A promise for truth, you mean?" She ventures instead, clarifying what he seeks to see added.
"How about a promise not to lie about the important things? Though I don't recall lying, really. Omission, maybe. Omission of the catty opinionated parts." A small grin at that, before it became a tempered smile. "But I'm glad to know that you haven't thought of me in that fashion." Wait, did he mean he hadn't thought of her like that at all?
Instead of asking though, she reaches for his hand, attempting to catch it on the retreat, before giving a small tug. An invitation to her side of the cabin, Mephy's sprawling be damned.
"I think you just weaseled your way back into Christmas carols."

"I do, for the most part," is Silas' initial answer, "To be honest, I simply… I don't like to be cruel. Honest, yes, cruel, no." He then shakes his head at the next art, laughing himself, "No… no. That was more meant to be a jest. I can do sarcasm occasionally."
When she reaches for his hand, the tug is accepted and followed, the offer accepted as he moves to take a place with her on her side. "Honestly, I just want you to know that I give you my word. If it needs blood, so be it. But I meant every word, with or without. About not leaving you, not without trying to pick up the pieces."
A grin, "About not being dishonest. Yes, there will likely be omissions. But I will do my best not to purposefully leave them out now, for us both to trip over. Like /her/. Or about touch. Closeness. Who we are to each other."
And at the end, he sighs, happily, "I'm good with the carols. Frankly, Jen… I'm just happy to be with you over this holiday. I could care less if it were in France, at your parent's place for the entire time, or even if we were still stuck at Hogwarts with little Miss Evans feeling sorry for us and sending us daily Christmas cards."

"Well," Jenny announces, since they're being just oh so honest with each other, "Sometimes I'm cruel and sometimes, I like it. Yes, it helped Esther more than she knows to apologize but at the same time? I enjoyed watching her squirm. She deserved it, going after him as she did. Threatening like that. But…I don't know. I don't think I want to think about it on the first day of vacation either." Not when they were trying to find the silver lining for it and, after all, she'd dressed for him, in an outfit that he'd stated plainly that he favored.
Her position shifted too, from leaning on the wall, to leaning in against him, with a slight snuggle against his side. "I just…," when he spoke of blood, "I want to be able to share something with you that's just ours, that's beyond conversation that I haven't with anyone else. Is that silly? Some big flashing reminder that, even if things look just dreadful, we'll still work at the peices, as much for me to remember, if not more, as it is for you." Another dose of truth there, that.
"We'll go to my parents," did he notice that she'd had an unusual amount of luggage? "And that might implore us to stay a day or two. But…I promised you Christmas, Sy. A real one. I intend to make sure that you get it."

The closeness is relished, and Silas closes his eyes at the contact, "There are levels, and just because I don't enjoy it doesn't mean I don't see how it may sometimes be useful. Perhaps that's part of what draws us together; there are ways we simply complement each other, no?" He then chuckles, "And it's not like I don't have my own darkness. You've seen how I get when I get protective."
"As to the promise, then, you'll have it. However you want. It's important."
Finally, he looks over at her, "Do you think they'll be okay with me? A boy who clearly only knows as much about Quidditch as he's been able to scrounge from books and occasionally watching you practice?" A slight twist of the smile here, "Lack of omission, here: I'm a wee bit frightened to meet them, your family. To see something I've never had in my life."

"Yes," Jenny agreed, letting her head fall in to rest against his shoulder. The simple act of that closeness, that contact, helping to ease the warning emotions that'd been worrying her. It's what she'd fought it so hard to begin with. There was that piece of her that was determined to believe it wasn't something she deserved, not after the hurt she'd caused.
His promise though, their agreement, she let it rest to the wayside when he actually…voiced his fears. And again, surprised her. "You shouldn't be frightened. They're going to love you. You've already got more in common with my father than I think you realize and my mother isn't really so terrible. Oh sure, she's passionate about what she does. But she'll approve. That you tried to even learn about Quidditch speaks wonders for you. That you're willing, that's all that will matter. I promise it won't be terrible."

Silas seems to melt into that closeness, although it's not that much longer before a certain neglected white companion is up there with him, claiming his lap as her territory, eliciting a chuckle from him, especially as she sniffs at their hands when Silas tries to lace his fingers with Jenny's, "I'm sure I will. And I remember your father. A nice man. It's just like any challenge before you meet it, surmount it."
He leans his head over to the side, to rest it on hers, "I'll have you there with me, so that'll make it surmountable. That… and ready knowledge of the nearest escape route, I think." Voice? Flat. Grin? Ten meters wide.

Adeline coming closer only seems to prompt Mephy to think that the opposing couch is suddenly his-all-his, and the cat claims it, with a graceful pounce, before stretching out in the middle as long as his fluffy body can manage. His body may be small, but the demon named cat has an ego that can certainly fill the space.
Meanwhile, Jenny's fingers lace with Sy's, giving his hand a gentle squeeze as she nuzzles in contently there at his side. "Mmm, did I forget to mention that all the doors are bared so that none of the animals can escape and the windows all have locks. Once you're in…you're in. There is no escape." Cheeky grin. And it was followed? With a little peck to his cheek. Which in turn, became the soft drag of the tip of her nose in against the lobe of his ear.

The cat is watched out of the corner of his eye, but when it simply claims the other couch, Silas just offers a slight chuckle. Jenny's next pronouncement does give him pause, but he takes it in stride. "Well, you see, I guess it would be a good thing that I've practiced my apper… ah… tu… hrm." Yeah. The peck was enough to pause him. The nuzzle? Apparently hit the button that controls his speech centers.
Eyes closed for the moment, Silas doesn't move a muscle… breathing cut short for that split second.

"Practiced your…," the girl repeats in a tone that is clearly meant to tease when Silas' ability to speak simply trails off into nothing. That has never happened before. Ever. And she can't help but grin about it. It's impossible not too. Further, it serves as a way to continue to distract herself, which…perhaps shamefully, she takes advantage of. Because her lips press again, but this time it's at the base of his jaw, just a soft flutter of skin on skin before it starts…sweeping lower, against the curve of his neck.

Unexpected, this subtle change of events. He could think about it, if he really wanted to, but for the moment Silas remains silent. Instead, his hand simply squeezes Jenny's just a little tighter, and he lets out a soft sigh, head moving away from her, instinct kicking in as he moves to give her more access. A slight shudder then passes through him, just for a moment. "Hrm," he manages again, somehow managing to make it a little more heavy.
The little ferret on his lap, however, does not stay still. Her own instincts suggest that lap-time is over, and she moves off to sniff around the cabin.

Jenny's thumb brushes in against the tops of his knuckles, a soft fluttery gesture that's as calming as it is meant to be reassuring. Here was a boy who had words for everything, a reasonable explination, a way to make it better and he was…as quiet as she'd ever seen him except for when he was drawing but this was a different kind of quiet. Empowering, in a backwards kind of way.
Easier to manage too, when he offered her his neck like that. Had the master made his little protectress antsy? The slow line of kisses eventually met with his collar bone, where her teeth pulled in a soft slow draw against the exposed skin before she murmured, "You're being awfully quiet, Sy…"

New experiences, new sensations, have a way of doing that to a person. This was not a simple touch… nor his rash, chaste kiss from the other night. This was something completely out of his realm. He lets out another sigh, and reaches with his free arm to brush lightly against her shoulder, "I'm… still here." He offers, not sure how to respond.
After a moment he says, "I just didn't want you to stop."

"You sure?" The girl hadn't lifted her mouth very far away, still more than close enough so that he could feel the way her lips fluttered when she shaped every word. That was the upside about him walking in when he did, to that little…bit of drama earlier. He knew everything now and he was still there. She didn't have to be ashamed of it. Not anymore. There was a sense of freedom in that. Probably the biggest gift he could have possibly ever given her and he wasn't even aware of it.
"Who said I was going to?" Poor Silas. The girl gave an affectionate bump in against his shoulder and then? Shifted positions once more. Aiming to ease in beneath the sweep of his arm, to settle on his lap, instead.
<FRIENDS> Esther has connected.

If her aim was to be there on his lap, he apparently has no issue with it, even if it meant disentangling his hand from hers to instead wrap his arms around her, facilitating the new position. Even as she does so, he tries to meet her gaze, staring at her a smile so small, yet true. A new one, for him.
"I'm certain. I'm still here. And I'm not going anywhere." So perhaps he caught some of the implication, at least. And then, he waits, as if for a cue.

"You're just being all..quiet. It's different. You generally talk as much as I do." But it was comfortable, there beneath the weight of his arms. With his smile. Her nose brushed his cheek as a result, before her head fell again, tucking in against the crook of his neck. But this time, there was only the single kiss to come with it, before her arms tucked in around him.
"And..you know…that thing you said earlier, about love…Thank you." See there, she'd been paying attention after all.

As Jenny settles into his arms, Silas relaxes there, letting the steady movement of the train work its own brand of magic. That, and he simply revels in the warmth of it. They've been close before, even as close as this… but either the mood, or the location, or perhaps even the season adds a little something extra to it… something that just makes it feel, right.
"I… well, I guess sometimes it's easier to just… express what you're feeling than say it. And for that moment… I just wanted to revel in it. Firsts, as we've often brought up. As we're focusing on this holiday. That was one for me. And precious at that. I… had to savor it, and my mouth would only get in the way."
At the mention of love, of course, he blushes… something he seem wont to do more and more these days, "I meant it, Jenny. I can't say that I fully know what it means… but I can't say I don't believe in it anymore. It's… confusing, but in a way I'm happy to struggle in."
He then pauses, and looks at her with a suddenly stricken look on his face, "However if that last bit means I've lost caroling priviledges, I'll immediately take it back!" The look is only held, however, for a few beats before he betrays the joke, the look dissolving quickly back into a smile.

"Oh Sy," Jenny couldn't help chuckle, those slim arms hugging him closer for the moment. "You don't have to explain it, really. I was just teasing you because I thought it was cute and sweet and just a little precious. I'm glad that I could give you something that leaves you as speechless as you often leave me." And she meant it. Though, it might not be helping to put the right ideas in her head.
His blushing helped to disabuse her of a few of them, at least. She listened, without speaking for once, an art that she was slowly learning from him and in the end? Couldn't help but grin. "Mmm, I suppose you can still carol. You have to have a favorite song, after all and it's hardly any fun to decorate a tree without music. Though…I noticed that you weren't there for the tree decorating at school. Was there, was that on purpose?" He had done them before, right?

"But I have to!" Silas argues, not without good humor and tone behind it, suggesting he means nothing of the sort, "I have to verbalize and rationalize and internalize everything. That way I can control it, understand it." A laugh. "In other words, bad habits."
Slipping one arm free of the embrace, slowly, Silas once again moves as if to brush an errant, and possibly imaginary, strand of hair away from Jenny's face, allowing him to leave that hand in contact with her as it slides down to her cheek, the backs of his fingers up to the first knuckle resting against the skin there, his thumb tracing her jawline, "I know a few… French and English both. I don't know that I would have a favorite, though… I always just sang along with others when I heard them sing. But no, we never did the tree-decorating thing at home. I wouldn't know where to start, and I…" He closes his eyes then, slowly shaking his head back and forth. "I didn't want to appear foolish."

"Mmm, and have you figured out a way to control me yet?" It's a tease, everything from her looks to the tone, convey that jest while the train speeds on towards London regardless of their ease. And it was ease. Ease and further, easy to lose time. Or at least it was for Jenny, especially when she was with Silas. "Bad habits and all?" A wink at that. "Honestly? For me, it's…mostly I just like to hear what you're thinking. I like to know. I care, I guess, about what goes on in your head."
The words had gone tender, when he brushed her hair back, sofer as the curve of his knuckles found the curve of her cheek. Her sigh too, was soft and sweet for the brush of his thumb. "Well, I don't know any in French, but I do know some in English. But perhaps you could teach me French?" Invited, even as she nuzzled in more deeply against his hand.
That admission though, it put a flicker of worry into her eyes. "I don't think you could ever appear foolish. I wish you'd have been there. But, it's okay! Because this time? We get to have our own."

That loss of time is mutual, and perhaps just a bit purposeful, as although he'd rented this cabin to thank her, to spoil her, it also meant that, at least for a time, they had their own little world. He knew the moment the whistle blew, and they pulled into London, those things would be potentially fleeting, so this was the one chance he knew that he could control, and revel in.
His thumb continues its lazy wandering, never straying far from the base of her chin, except to occasionally tease up, just a bit, not quite touching her lower lip, before returning to where it belongs, even as he responds again. "I could never control you, Jen. Nor would I want to. Not truly. And I… respect that. Want that. There is such a strength in you that…" He smiles then, catching the joke, and simply lets the statement fade as he smiles again.
At the offer to learn French, he smiles wider, nodding, "<I could teach you French, yes, and anything else I know would be yours for the asking.>" Is his response, "It is not the easiest language to learn. Could take years and years to learn all the ins and outs."
The rest? He lets go, nodding in agreement with her even as he maintains his focus on her.

There's a lazy seduction in that, with the way his thumb sweeps. But there's a hint of playfulness too, so that on occasion, when that digit rises her tongue teases out in an attempt to catch it before it can retreat again. He saw a strength in her that she didn't see in herself, much in the same way others saw beauty. Jenny saw the number of times her nose had been broken or her fingers, or the fading lines from where she'd spliced herself. Jenny saw a scattered mess.
But even she had the good sense to see where he made her better. Not because he was with her, but because he helped her and showed her ways to better herself.
"I have no idea what you just said," she admitted on a laugh, "But it sounded pretty. And…I have years." A wink at that, though the statement was given infinately more softer than anything she'd said before. It was his watching her that caused it. The realization that, they were in entirely different places and that she had absolutely no idea how to lead or if she was supposed to. Or if he would even want her to. Or if she should. It'd worked out so terribly for her in the past, after all.
Instead she snuggled in deeper, with the kind of position that was conductive to both comfort and sleep. "Sing me a song? One of your french carols. Something easy to remember."

It wasn't the first time Silas had said it to her, or the last… but it was something he knew, felt she needed to hear until she believed it herself. She'd said he's always see the good in her… and he was convinced that he would make her see herself, one day, through his eyes. The playfulness has its reward, and when she does snag the digit with her tongue, his thumb stays there, not moving, and his smile grows even wider.
And then, there's a soft, "-WE- have years," that is offered… something said with a bit more surety than even Silas is prone to offer. An echo of the Promise, perhaps, or an allusion to it. But then he's nodding at the request for a song, smiling, and about to take a breath… before inspiration hits him.
She's close, after all, and there has been suggestion and sensation, and something about it feels right. It's not the sudden move of the first time he attempted to kiss her. This one was a bit more calculated, smoother, more confident. Slow, telegraphed in its approach, and lasting only a mere moment before he pulls his head away just far enough that he can begin to sing to her… that tenor voice breaking into a soft, French melody for her.

That he left his thumb there, surprised her enough. But his smile? It had her own twinkling in the moment, for all that it was a moment she didn't chase. The reasons for that were still something she was sorting through. "We do, don't we?" Years. The emphasis that he put on it too, it was the kind of thing that.. The way the train moved was almost as relaxing as being held. It gave her something to think about, or the sight of the world passing by beyond the frosted windows.
Jenny had been expecting the song. She'd asked for the song, to avoid this very thing and then, there it was. Unavoidable. It was returned with tempered moderation, the flickering return of a cause to feel…bothered again. Her head tucked lower, for instance and at an angle that made the gesture impossible to repeat.
Instead, she got caught up listening to his song, her eyes drifting closed and breathing shifting into a little deeper, more relaxed. The kind of rhythm that suggested she may well go to sleep listening to him.

For his own part, Silas is oblivious to the suggestion that her movement provided, as it was intended as only the short kiss and nothing more. Instead, he simply shifts as well, leaning back even more into the couch to let her burrow as she needs into his embrace, his hand returning once more to her side.
In this position, his voice becomes a bit more breathy, a bit more shallow, but he carries on, soon turning to another tune. This one, however, is a bit lower… and one could almost think it a lullaby, more than a carol… it's soothing notes working well with the tempo of the movement of the the train.

It works, too, because not long after, he can hear as much as feel from the way the girl's gone rather limp, that she's fallen asleep. Her hair spilled out against his shoulder and her nose tucked in against his neck. Arms sliding down to rest pliant against his own. She'll sleep too, likely as long as he lets her or until the train itself comes to a stop. The stress of the day finally catching up with her that when faced with being completely relaxed, as carried her off into the world of dreams.

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