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I missed you

Who: Clopin Trouillefou and Esmeralda
What: Clopin's not a cat anymore! Yay! Now he needs to properly greet Esmeralda and then drag her around campus to prepare for the good ol' FoF.
When: January 6th, the wee hours of the morning long before the sunrise.
Where: Joe West, Esmeralda's room
Warnings: Puppets, fluff, and Clopin's crazy.

[Turning into a cat sucked. Turning back into a human sucked almost as much.

He woke up at midnight curled up on the foot of Esmeralda's bed, completely human, his head spinning and stomach churning. Without thinking about it, he had rolled silently to the floor, trying to find some semblance of balance and orientation before retreating to his own room.

He had felt completely sick to his stomach and his head pounded. After a few hours of pacing his room, getting used to a human form again, and drinking water periodically, his body's violent reaction to the form change had died down. His joints still ached, his muscles were sore, and the site of his stitches (and the healing squirrel bite on his hand) throbbed, but he was able to stand straight again.

So now he's dressed himself in simple purple, ditching his usual mask, and he's back in Esme's room. He takes a moment to smile at her, tenderness in his face that he doesn't usually show, then his hand puppet pops out and gets in her face.]
Monsieur gypsy king requests that la Esmeralda get out of bed and check her calender before he gets any older!


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Jan. 6th, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
[ Let it be known: Esmeralda is a light sleeper.

Chalk it up to years of being ready to go anywhere at a moment's notice; blame it on honing her instincts carefully; call it paranoia (she prefers to call it prudence). She is more than used to it by now, and honestly does not give it much thought.

This morning, however, is a different story. Sounds that would normally make her jump out of bed hardly give her pause. She had gone to sleep, exhausted from traveling and the day's exertions, with a grateful and warm kitty. The bed in her dorm room was a luxury unlike any she had been blessed with before, and she was more than reluctant to get up. She heard the cat fall off the bed and managed a sympathetic murmur before pulling the covers closer, her eyes resolutely shut. She would check on him. She would. In just five minutes...

So when a voice accosts her out of nowhere, she jerks awake, eyes wide, heart pounding. Before she has time to think about her actions, her hands clutch her pillow and fling it in the direction the voice is coming from (it's not the best weapon, admittedly, but it will have to do).

It's only after she catches her breath that it occurs to her that that voice is actually very, very familiar to her. Oops. Perhaps the pillow attack hadn't been the best course of action.

There are a million things she could say right now - sorry about the pillow; why is he in her room; what happened to the poor kitty; and oh by the way, it's nice to see you too, Clopin. But what comes out is this -- ]

Monsieur gypsy king might want to make his requests more carefully!

[The scolding is quickly followed by a very sincere smile, however. Without any hesitation, she launches herself at him, locking her arms around his neck and hugging him tightly.]

Edited at 2012-01-06 08:13 pm (UTC)
Jan. 6th, 2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
[dsakfjoaskdng pillow at twelve o'clock

He reflexively protects his face with his arms, the pillow catching him in his wounded right arm (which is thankfully concealed by sleeves) and making him wince in pain, but then he just laughs, grinning mischievously with sparkling eyes and opening his arms wide, catching her hug enthusiastically.

He winces again at the force of her launch, the stitches on his side complaining vehemently, but he's too happy to care. He keeps laughing, hugging tight.]

But then I wouldn't get attacked by rogue pillows!

[He kisses her cheek, unable to stop smiling.] Esmeralda, I never expected to see you here!
Jan. 6th, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
[His laughter is contagious, especially when it's followed by his statement about rogue pillows, and she can't help but laugh along with him. She doesn't entirely miss the wince, though. She pulls back just enough to look up at him, her eyes wide and wondering, silently asking him what's wrong.

She smiles at the kiss, however.]

Nor I you - but you're a teacher here, right?
Jan. 6th, 2012 11:14 pm (UTC)
[He shrugs off her concerned look with a grin, never one to really share when he's non-fatally wounded. Nonetheless, the shrug is very stiff on his right side, noticeably so.]

Oui, oui ma petite fille. Drama and music teacher, of course. Half of Paris would have a fit to see me in a teacher's position. [Can't have the evil gypsy king corrupting the minds of respectable fair-skinned teenagers. :| ] And you are a student?
Jan. 6th, 2012 11:36 pm (UTC)
[Careful, it's the respectable ones you have to watch out for!]

Half of Paris doesn't know you, and it's truly their loss.

[She nods, her excitement evident in her eyes - she'd never have been able to be a student back in Paris, and even if she regrets the circumstances that led to her invitation, she's grateful for her invitation.]

I just have one question, though.

[She leans her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes with a sigh.]

You couldn't have come to visit me after the sun rose?
Jan. 7th, 2012 01:35 am (UTC)
Ah, you flatter me, ma chatte. And flattery will get you everywhere.

[He's glad that it's you who received the invitation instead of some rowdy rock-brained gypsy boy. He knows that, Paris being Paris, it'll be difficult for a woman to do too much with an education, but at least you have the intelligence to make use of the tools you'll be given.

He lets out a bright laugh, stroking her hair with one hand.]

And miss your reaction? Non, non, you ask too much of me. And it's January 6th, after all; I need your help to prepare the campus!

[His laugh recedes into chuckling.] Besides, I got much too big for my little spot on the bed. Too bad, too--I was just getting comfortable. [Confused?]
Jan. 7th, 2012 01:52 am (UTC)
[She isn't, though. She's completely truthful. He's someone she's looked up to since she was a child, and she would tell him so, but his reminder as to what day it is surprises her more than it should. How could she have forgotten? Her mind whirls as she considers decorations - costumes aren't a problem, though, she doesn't travel without them. She is a well-trained protégée.

But his next statement...wait, what?]

Your spot on the bed...?

[She was already comfortable, too, but she raises her head from his shoulder and looks up at him, brow knit in confusion.]

What can you mean?

[Although, now that he's mentioned it, she probably should go find that poor cat - she turns her head slightly, her eyes scanning the room for his form, which is nowhere to be found.]
Jan. 7th, 2012 01:58 am (UTC)
I'll give you a hint, ma belle.

[He pulls away and rolls up his right sleeve, revealing the bandages wrapped tight around his arm hiding the gruesome stitching underneath.]

Jan. 7th, 2012 02:07 am (UTC)
That was you?

[Her voice rises an entire octave as she says the pronoun, and then she mentally reviews yesterday's events.

Wow, Clopin. You're so good at being a cat, it's kind of scary.]

How did you even -

[She interrupts herself - what was it Demyx had said? She remembers, and the minute she does, she fixes him with a glare.]

You were not a part of a voodoo festival a few days ago.

[...were you? D:]
Jan. 7th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC)
Well, why else do you think a scarred tomcat was licking your face off before you said so much as bonjour? [Noooooooo shaaaaaaaaame]

Non, non, not a part of it. I thought it was all fake and got a charm I thought one of the little girls home would enjoy. [He pouts, but there's amusement dancing in his eyes. Even now, he can laugh at the whole thing.] Remind me to never do that again, ma petite chere. I've never had a more useless week in my life. [So many naps. SO MANY. Also, a lot of getting thrown into windows and needing stitches, but THE NAPS HE IS NOT MEANT TO SLEEP SO MUCH GDIT CAT BIOLOGY]

Edited at 2012-01-07 02:15 am (UTC)
Jan. 7th, 2012 02:26 am (UTC)
[She almost laughs at that - you're right, she immediately should have suspected one of her friends was trapped in cat form! But she manages to suppress the laugh and shrugs elegantly instead.]

Because of my natural amiability and talent with animals, of course. Now all my illusions are shattered.

[She grins playfully, but she listens closely to his explanation. His words make her eyes widen slightly.]

I don't think it is fake here, at least not entirely. Magic was mentioned to me yesterday on two separate occasions, and both of the speakers were serious.

[The idea of real magic still makes her feel a bit breathless, and very curious, but she can't resist teasing him for his last words - love you, dear, but you're so easy to tease.

She quirks an eyebrow.]

I'll make a note of it. And it warms my heart to know our hugs and shared cream were so meaningful to you.
Jan. 7th, 2012 03:35 am (UTC)
Of course they are, my dear. I'm afraid that your powers of charm may be great, but they are just not great enough to attract random stay cats to your bed.

Well, I know that now. I thought they were simply being fanciful before. You know how I am about superstition. [He's very pragmatic for someone from Buena Vista.

He simply laughs again, cupping her chin in his hand and kissing her nose.]
Ah, my dear Esmeralda, ma fille bien-aimée, I love you with all my heart and I cherish every moment we have together. [And then he gently whacks her over the head, eyes sparkling with humor.] But cream does not make for a productive week.
Jan. 7th, 2012 04:11 am (UTC)
Oh, heartless one. Must you dash all my feline hopes?

[It's hard to take the idea of magic seriously when you're an illusionist, but Esme doubts that the two students who spoke to her yesterday were lying. She's remaining open-minded on the subject.

She smiles very prettily at his poetic raptures, enjoying being at the center of them, then lets out an unlovely gasp when she is unceremoniously (but nicely) whacked. Good lord, if you weren't her adopted family member and favorite person and her people's leader all at once, oh, how you would be repaid.

So she makes a point of touching her head gingerly (which doesn't hurt) and glaring at him. It's a farce, and she's sure he knows it: she can never stay mad at him.]

My apologies, votre majesté. Clearly I can make up for it by interrupting my well-deserved sleep to assist you on your errand. In the middle of the night.
Jan. 7th, 2012 04:38 am (UTC)
I'm afraid so, mademoiselle. Destroying your dreams is one of my few joys in life.

[He loves you too, sweet pea. He grins and laughs again, patting her cheek.]

Clearly, my dear. And it's not in the middle of the night, it's very early in the morning. Now then!

[He grabs her hand, going to drag her out of the room.] Time waits for no one! We must turn the campus upside down!
Jan. 7th, 2012 04:47 am (UTC)
Far be it from me to interrupt any joy of yours.

[But on this score, she is quite adamant. She stops in her tracks, giving his hand a tug, and looks up at him.]

Tell me whatever it is you want done, and I'll do it. You are stubborn and wonderful and much too noble for your own good, but I'm not having you upsetting your stitches again.

[Cheeky grin!]

I worked much too hard on them for that.
Jan. 7th, 2012 04:58 am (UTC)
[He looks over in surprise, not used to being resisted, then pouts a little, rolling his sleeve back over his stitches.]

Ma petite, I'm not useless. It was just some broken glass. Don't you worry about me. [He's not used to easing his workload for anything less than debilitating injuries. He keeps forgetting that they're not in Paris and going easier on himself won't end in people dead.]
Jan. 7th, 2012 05:04 am (UTC)
But I do worry, and it's my prerogative to worry, so don't you dare try to deter me.

[She presses his hand kindly.]

You're not taking the day off, you're just changing duties. Besides, you're so good at bossing me around, why shy away from it now?
Jan. 7th, 2012 05:10 am (UTC)
[He frowns, subconsciously putting a hand on his side where stitches are. He's really bad at accepting help.] Because I can still boss you around while doing things, ma chere. [He's trying to figure out if this is worth being stubborn about. Esmeralda has one hell of a stubborn streak herself, and if they get into a battle of wills, they'll be debating this into next week.]
Jan. 7th, 2012 05:22 am (UTC)
[Shh, Clopin. It's not help. It's an extension of good-will. Or something.

She laughs lightly at that. Oh, you.]

I don't very often make this offer at three in the morning, so you'd better take advantage of it.
Jan. 7th, 2012 05:28 am (UTC)
[But but but but



Very well, very well. Keep pace, then, or we'll never get it all done on time.

Jan. 7th, 2012 05:39 am (UTC)
[Hurrah, victory is hers this round! She smothers a grin, endeavoring to look very serious indeed, though she can't quite keep the smile out of her eyes.]

Yes sir!

[And for good measure, she quickens her pace. It might be considered skipping, at this point.]
Jan. 11th, 2012 02:14 am (UTC)

He'd like to point out that you only won because you both can't waste time arguing when there's a festival to set up.]



Hmph. You never told me why you are here, fille.
Jan. 11th, 2012 03:19 am (UTC)
BECAUSE LJ HAS GOOD TASTE and this whole thing is marvelous <3
Why, to watch out for you, of course.

[It's a thankless job, but someone's got to do it. And oh, speaking of jobs...

Her expression and her tone soften somewhat.]

And because circumstances at home are in very great need of change.
Jan. 11th, 2012 03:35 am (UTC)
[That makes him sober up a little. He frowns, touching his arm.]

I know, ma petite. I've been doing what I can, but petty criminals don't have the resources to start a revolution, and in order to find the people who do have those resources, there's a certain amount of delicate work needed, to say nothing of how careful you have to be once you're meeting them. [It all takes time that he's not sure they have, but he's been working diligently on it regardless. He never thought that 'legit' powerful people, like politicians or kings, would ever be interested in helping the downtrodden nomads of Buena Vista, so he had just gone straight to the people who wander on the dark side of the law.] I've done what I can in the time I've been here, but...

[He pauses, still frowning.] I think that we may have the makings of a legitimate ally. One with sway in politics instead of crime.

[He's wary of it, as he's learned to be around lawful authority figures. It seems too good to be true.]
Jan. 11th, 2012 03:55 am (UTC)
[She halts in her progress again, turning to face him, placing both her hands on either side of his face to make sure he is paying attention.]

You are not a petty criminal.

[Her voice is strong, unwavering, but there's a nameless emotion flickering in her eyes.]

I have no doubt that you have done all you can in the time that has been given to you. The furthest thing from my thoughts would be to reproach you...you, who have given us hope when we had none. You, who never thinks of yourself.

[She smiles softly at him, letting her hands drop.]

I only meant to answer your question. I would like to do all I can, too.

[A legitimate ally sounds promising, and she wants to inquire, but she's not going to, not just now. His well-being comes first.]
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