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[CW] Sea, Differently
Diamond Pony Owner

723 Posts
21 Threads

Pronouns: He/Him
Age: 27 (6/6/1869)
Occupation: Barrister
Plotter: [Here]
Height: 5'6"
Registered: Jul 2019

#41
Hm. Crane did not seem nearly excited as he might have hoped. The last time Zechariah had bothered with a fellow half-in, half-out of the closet, he had been fucking the whole damned village and ended up choking on rope in the end. His eyes flicked over Crane, openly sizing him up.

Simon had not had a uniform. Was it worth making the same mistake twice if this time, it came in a snazzy outfit? Oh, the decisions!

Zechariah crept up, chest to the back of Crane’s shoulder as he slaved over gloves he would more likely than not just toss.

“As soon as …” you know what you want, he almost said, but then figured he would never see him again, “… you are happy to see me again,” he decided instead.

He took the gloves back and gave them a careless wring between his hands.

“Sometimes, changes leave a mark.”

He pulled them back on with the folder braced in the crook of his arm. He might have made a bit of a face because they were still wet.
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Constable

3,142 Posts
24 Threads

Pronouns: He Him
Age: 30
Occupation: Constable
Height: 5'10"
Registered: Jul 2019

#42
Elijah was surprised when he felt him behind and tried to remain steady in his task. Perhaps he took a few extra moments to make sure they were clean. "I told you... I'm always happy to see you. I'm pretty sure you don't want me to just follow you out." He said lightly to try to lighten the strange feeling in the room as he glanced over his shoulder toward him. "But how about eight? Is that alright? I will admit, you've always seemed a bit larger than life for a small town like Whitby. I hope you aren't disappointed."

He was sure he would be boring to someone like Zechariah but that didn't mean he'd turn him down. He turned as he gave him the gloves and watched him. The lawyer didn't react to his hands at all and a little relief came to him but he rubbed his hands still a bit self conscious even as he smiled at him. "Well... that's true. But change can come whether we want it to or not. Sometimes it can be a welcoming change. "

He glanced towards the other room where the article sat on his desk. "I'm worried about some changes even though nothing has happened yet. But I like to hope good can come too." He looked back at Zechariah.
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Diamond Pony Owner

723 Posts
21 Threads

Pronouns: He/Him
Age: 27 (6/6/1869)
Occupation: Barrister
Plotter: [Here]
Height: 5'6"
Registered: Jul 2019

#43
“That would be suspicious,” Zechariah answered lightly, neither confirming nor denying.

Crane? At his beck and call? Following at his heel like one of those ladies’ brainless dogs? Hm, hm, hm.

“I will see you at eight,” he confirmed.

Larger than life. Zechariah considered himself quite humble, thank you very much. But – Zechariah had a date. A date … and a letter to send.

It was the letters that had begun this, after all. Why give up the kindling that had started the flame?
###

Was going for candles rather than the electric lights too much? Was it bad form to banish Mr. Benjamin to the opera on the off chance Elijah was not so innocent as he made himself out to be? … And should he send Mr. Benjamin for hand cream more often so it just seemed like he was masturbating too much?

Which he was, but not with hand cream.

The sun was beginning to set at eight. Zechariah lurked in the parlor, eager to whisk Elijah away from prying neighbors’ eyes the second he knocked.
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Constable

3,142 Posts
24 Threads

Pronouns: He Him
Age: 30
Occupation: Constable
Height: 5'10"
Registered: Jul 2019

#44
Elijah still was not quite certain what to expect when he came to visit Zechariah so late at night. The lawyer had seemed happier when he left the constabulary. Perhaps it was a secret meeting since they had something in common they couldn't just talk about casually. He wanted a friend in the constable.

Friends don't hold hands like that though. Elijah glanced at his hand in the new gloves as he stood at the door to knock. He didn't know how to dress, but he dressed nice while still casual. For being someone who didn't keep up with fashion, he'd asked before buying this piece three years ago when someone wanted a constable at a party just to keep an eye on things. It was important he didn't 'look like a constable'.

Freshly washed and brushed, to do all he could to be presentable, he teetered between worrying if he'd overdone it or under, and did it matter? He brought up his hand to knock, the house looked a bit dark so he was almost worried that the other was playing a prank on him and wouldn't be home. Or would jump out in surprise as some attempt to lighten his worries after that damned article had been printed.

There was no way he'd find out without trying. He couldn't let his worries ruin what could be genuine. So he didn't want to keep the other man waiting, and he knocked.
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Diamond Pony Owner

723 Posts
21 Threads

Pronouns: He/Him
Age: 27 (6/6/1869)
Occupation: Barrister
Plotter: [Here]
Height: 5'6"
Registered: Jul 2019

#45
Zechariah opened the door the second Crane stopped knocking.

“Come in, come in. Quickly.”

He stepped back to allow him room to pass through, gesturing toward the dining room. Were Elijah looking about, he might catch the gleam of a rifle over the lit fireplace in a parlor.

“Just a last course tonight – I do not know what you enjoy yet.”

Whips? Chains? Tricorne hats? Wedding gowns? He looked Crane up and down. Too tall to claim he was getting one as a hint to Nesah.

Constable Crane … did not look like a constable. This was disappointing, and he smiled politely to hide that fact. Was his visual memory vivid enough to picture the uniform? Would the dark make the suit- no, the hat specifically was essential to the fantasy.

“You look good,” he said.

‘But I wanted you to look like a naughty cop, or a bad Catholic,’ he did not.

There was soup and rolls ready, though there was a larger assortment of drinks by far. Wines, vodka, whiskey … champagne tucked in the middle. He was half convinced that champagne was cursed by the ghost of Dr. Wells’ sex life.

There was also a whip sitting innocently by a heart-shaped candle, on one of the curio tables between doors.

“Have a seat,” he said, pulling one out for Crane and then sitting across from him. “How has your evening been?”
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Constable

3,142 Posts
24 Threads

Pronouns: He Him
Age: 30
Occupation: Constable
Height: 5'10"
Registered: Jul 2019

#46
Elijah didn't even hear him coming before the door opened and he was ushered in. True, it could be bad for Zechariah for him to have a late night visit from the constable who had been mentioned in that paper, if any of his neighbors read it or heard of it. He didn't hesitate to come in. He glanced around the room as it was his first time inside the other's home as he walked to the dining room.

It was dark. Romantic?

There was a small meal and a lot of alcohol. To loosen lips or inhibitions? He noticed the whip and candle and he avoided letting Zechariah see the raise of his brow. More and more, it was clear that he wasn't here to merely talk.

Still...

What was the lawyer looking for? He did barely know him beyond a professional relationship. It didn't matter though, he had been kind to him and... Oh, he had been too quiet. He gave him a soft smile. "Thank you. It is a perfect amount for me, and it smells delicious. I am very easy, so do not worry about what I like. I tend to like most things." He said, completely innocent of the ideas in the other's mind.

The compliment brought another smile to his face more naturally, "You look wonderful. I did not know how to dress, I didn't want to come after work in uniform. I was sure you wouldn't want me coming in dirty."

A seat pulled out for him? Did he do this for all guests? He had no idea, but he watched his face as he sat and waited patiently for him to sit. "Ah, it wasn't bad. All thanks to you. I would have been a mess had I found out and you hadn't... given me things to think about. I am grateful for all you've done and then you invited me over for dinner which I admit.. I've looked forward to." He looked down with a more timid expression as he looked to the soup then up. "Please, tell me how your day's been?"
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Diamond Pony Owner

723 Posts
21 Threads

Pronouns: He/Him
Age: 27 (6/6/1869)
Occupation: Barrister
Plotter: [Here]
Height: 5'6"
Registered: Jul 2019

#47
Hm. He was very easy. Simon had been difficult for him, and yet if the gifts and money came around? Apparently that was all it took in the end. He had deluded himself into thinking Simon saw him for himself, and found some sort of charm in that.

Hilarious. Not-Richard was the closest someone had come to expressing those sentiments – and how long would that hold?

“How easy?” he said, jokingly … though the intent way he watched him seemed rather serious.

He had half a mind to linger until Crane took his seat, but he paused only two breaths before returning to his own.

“There is a manservant,” he said, dismissively, to his concerns of dirtying the place. “And I doubt the hat is that dirty.”

Too obvious? The height of subtlety, hopefully. What if he was not into that? … Maybe he could trick him into being into it. ‘Spontaneous’ was more romantic, right?

Zechariah squirmed under the compliments. It was nice, but the last time someone had paid him one, his family was literally paying the establishment. What did he do with that? File it under ways to get him to wear the copper hat?

Oh, God. This was flustering. He reached for the nearest liquor, paused, then pretended to have some self-control by pouring a white wine instead.

“I had a nice time, too,” he said, then winced. “I mean, I have been looking forward to tonight.”

And it had totally felt awesome to be his white knight, but he knew he was not supposed to say as much. He took a long sip of wine.

“Good day, all things considered.”

Amazing day that had ended this poor, self-loathing Catholic up in his dungeon beach home.
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Constable

3,142 Posts
24 Threads

Pronouns: He Him
Age: 30
Occupation: Constable
Height: 5'10"
Registered: Jul 2019

#48
Elijah chuckled slightly at the question. "Ah.. I mean, you're being kind enough to treat me, how could I refuse anything? Plus, you seem like a man of good taste so I trust you." He noticed the way he looked at him and it made him worried on if he'd replied correctly. Why did his tone not match his eyes? It made him feel like there was more going on here.

"Yeah?" He glanced around as if this manservant was lurking in the shadows. "He is very silent." He smiled playfully, something gave him a feeling this manservant wasn't around at the moment. The mention of the hat had him tilt his head. "Yeah? Well.. if I am ever invited back I shall remember that and know I can just come straight from the job. Luckily, I had time today to clean up first."

When Zechariah grabbed a wine, he nervously grabbed the closest bottle. He poured a glass without paying too close attention to the label. "Are you nervous? You seem ..." He couldn't think of the word. Seeing the other man look restless and wince, it would be charming to think he was nervous because of him, but that would mean there was actually something to tonight? And he was feeling more certain it was, but he was terrified he was wrong. He had to avoid being completely convinced and ruining the nice evening and possibly his relationship with the Meijer. "I mean, maybe it might be me. You have no reason to. There's no reason to worry about me. I am very happy you are letting me spend this time with you, and you being here for me is a comfort and something I felt I could cling to while I've been hit with worries. There are no words for that." He said as he looked into his eyes and sipped the glass. He immediately shut his eyes tightly.

Shit what was this? Vodka? It was far stronger than he'd intended. He coughed as if it had merely gone down the wrong pipe and smiled at him again. "S-sorry about that."

"I am glad to hear it. So, that means that file was useful for your case?" He said, honestly interested that he'd had been some help to the lawyer.
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Diamond Pony Owner

723 Posts
21 Threads

Pronouns: He/Him
Age: 27 (6/6/1869)
Occupation: Barrister
Plotter: [Here]
Height: 5'6"
Registered: Jul 2019

#49
How could he refuse anything? Easily. By saying ‘no’, like he never said to Zechariah … before the letters. He had called him a treasure, and yet avoided him when he had called to him. Did he know? Did he know that ‘tomorrow’ had become a roadside prayer on his way to the post office? Did he know the torture of being let down gently, again and again?

Did he know that Zechariah was still holding court? Still filing an appeal to Elijah’s decision? He was here, and he was declaring himself ‘easy’.

Hm, hm, hm. How did Zechariah navigate this boat? How did he keep from ending up that sword-riddled mermaid again? And what on earth had changed Elijah’s tune so quickly from turning him away to offering himself up with the appetizers?

Zechariah smirked. Perhaps he had not believed him when he had told him he was handsome enough for two.

“I sent him away so we could have some privacy,” Zechariah nonchalantly answered.

The heart shaped candle’s light danced, casting shadows over the whip in the shifting sun.

Was he nervous? Of course he was nervous. He was hardly about to let that stop him, but here was Not-Richard in the flesh! Easy! Possibly down to the flesh! Zechariah kept the glass of wine to his lips as Crane spoke, steadily draining it.

Wait. No … no reason to be nervous? Had he misunderstood him? Oh-oh God. Was Crane about to … uh, cry? He drained the glass with slightly widened eyes.

“Oh,” he answered, staring. “No, the vodka is there to drink.”

In fact: excellent choice, Crane. Zechariah filled his glass with mostly vodka and dashed a bit of vermouth over it.

“Case?” Zechariah said with an uncomprehending look.

Oh, right. Why he had been there in the first place.

“The case,” he said, more confidently.

Shit. The thing was still sitting unopened in his office.

“… Yes.”

He inhaled half the cup of burning vodka without so much as a blink, as though it were just one step up from bitter water.

“Have you had any luck with … your … cases?”

He had not brought Crane here to talk about work of all things. God.
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Constable

3,142 Posts
24 Threads

Pronouns: He Him
Age: 30
Occupation: Constable
Height: 5'10"
Registered: Jul 2019

#50
Privacy.

The dancing shadows brought his eyes back to that candle. Such a shape, he couldn't have brought it out by accident. That could also mean...

He had to calm down and when he sought it in the liquid he'd hoped was something light, the burning of the vodka had caught him by surprise. He looked across the table at Zechariah and nodded, giving an embarrassed smile. "Of course.." He took another sip, now prepared for what was in the glass. He carefully placed it down to partake of the soup instead. The constable had a feeling he should have more than just alcohol in him, even if it wasn't much.

"Ah, nothing remarkable today, thank goodness." He'd replied on the question of his own cases. He had not mentioned how he thought he'd noticed stares and whispers. It was a blessing his mind had been curious about what had occurred that morning that he'd managed to not let it get to him, otherwise it could have suffocated the sensitive constable.. He found himself watching the lawyer across from him. For a man who was so good with words he said next to nothing about his work. It was clear he didn't want to talk about that. And then he drank so much vodka as if it were nothing. For a man used to wine, Elijah was nervous if this was to be some sort of challenge. He took another small swallow and decided to use that as an excuse to let his lips work, whether what came out would save this night or destroy it.

"I must say.. I am surprised about tonight. We've spent so much time together for work, including nights pouring over paperwork. I never could have imagined I could be your type. You're so very handsome and charming, you could have almost anyone sitting across from you. I do hope I wasn't invited simply because of this morning's discovery." Would Zech invite him over to be a notch in his bedpost? He'd see him at work again, and things would be awkward. He couldn't imagine it. He chuckled lightly to laugh off the notion, but he still glanced down at the food but brought the vodka back to his mouth to focus on, hoping he hadn't put his foot in his mouth when he wasn't paying attention.
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