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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

#51
The heart had started to melt enough to look like an uneven, gaping butt.

Following suit, Zechariah took a roll and swept it through his soup. Once, twice, not particularly paying attention to it. He nodded to Crane’s evaluation of the day and took a bite, chewing. Life was so much easier when he was not (actively) seeking to impress someone. That was why he moved countries away from his family, after all.

He swept the newly exposed bread through the soup to saturate it, biting half off this time as Crane worked himself up to speak. A tilt of his head in surprise, even though he had hardly noticed the constable until after he had already unwittingly came to the thought of him. A raise of the brows when he surmised he only invited him because of the article. Did the letters mean so little to him? He popped the rest of the roll into his mouth.

Zechariah took a curated, moderate sip of his drink to wash it down before answering.

“It was the first invitation you accepted.”

He closed his eyes, then shook his head.

“That is not fair. You did accept that time a shipwrecked man streaked through here. Had I known you crashed on some of the same islands?”

He took another, less moderate sip of his martini.

“We would have had our maiden voyage years ago.”
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Constable

3,142 Posts
24 Threads

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

#52
He carefully mimicked Zechariah, but ripped his roll in half before dipping one part in. He was about to take a bite when the other man spoke. Confusion filled Elijah's features. He was about to correct him, to say that he'd never invited him before. But then mentions of islands and voyages. He stared, and part of the roll, soggy from the soup, dropped into the bowl.

"Swordfish..." It was stated though it was a question with it's own answer. He blushed and didn't move for a moment.

"I.."He immediately looked down at the ruined roll, and took his spoon to scoop it up. "You didn't mention it. I wish you had." He covered his face with a gloved hand, rubbing at his cheek in thought. This was the man who had been so tortured by the past? And he still wanted him, knowing who he was?

"I.." Words still eluded him. But he had one thing he could say. "I admit, you were right. You are handsome enough for the both of us." He immediately took the spoon into his mouth to eat some soup and the soaked portion of roll to keep his mouth silent. He needed to take in the new information as he still stared at Zechariah in a new light. With a gulp he smiled, but now more nervous than ever that he couldn't live up to his letters or whatever the other man wanted.

"Sorry.. I guess it was obvious to you. I had no idea, sometimes you need to be blunt for me to get it."
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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

#53
Whilst Crane and Zechariah were about to delve into some heartfelt conversation … the heart candle continued to melt. The gaping hole was surrounded by runny, waxy trickles that looked oddly suggestive – even with the fire billowing out of the hole.

There was a tilt of his head when Crane half-asked, half-stated “Swordfish”. Oh. Oh. He had not known. This was … not quite the delighted response he would have hoped for a new revelation, but so be it. Zechariah finished off his glass, and filled it back up with straight vodka. He was feeling the warmth, some, but he was still in complete control of his faculties.

A couple more would fix that in a jiffy.

“Surprise?” he said with an amused arch of his brow. “You caught me. Biggest case of the year, surely.”

Oh! The constable could flirt. Zechariah waved a hand and shook his head.

“And it was not even necessary. I forgive you for speaking down on a morsel of a man,” he teased, letting his gaze run up and down Crane, “but just this once.”

Oh, God though. What was that sound? Was Crane’s chair shaking? (Did he find all the sabotaged ones? Who knew.)

Did he want children? He hoped he wanted children. Perhaps he should ask him, right now, while he was shaking in his chair, if he wanted children.

Zechariah took another sip. Nah. A little early for that. A little.

“So … Catholics flog themselves?”

Small talk. Perfect small talk.
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Constable

3,142 Posts
24 Threads

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

#54
Crane sipped the vodka, a warmth filling his belly. He watched the way the shadows danced over the features of the man across from him. It was so strange to see him knowing now another side of him. A small smile came to him.

"I guess I never considered the letters were from someone I already knew. I-" immediately he looked away and blushed furiously. He remembered some of the content in those letters and images flashed in his mind. Zechariah in just a house robe. Wanting to call out his name. Sixteen ...centimeters.

He had to slow down on the vodka so he took a spoonful of soup to clear his head. Was he trembling? He thought he heard something...

"You're more than a mere morsel.. and if I fail you again I'm more than willing to work towards making it right. " His letters gave Elijah the feeling he had an imagination on how.

The next comment confirmed it and he found himself staring at the other man. That blush hadn't fully faded and was renewed. "It isn't..unheard of."
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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

#55
“You what?” Zechariah asked, homing in on the blush with a self-satisfied smile.

Crane ate; Zechariah drank. What better time to drink than a night to celebrate? Crane seemed far more inclined in person than he had in his letters, even. Nervousness, rather than polite disinterest as he let his mind wander to that shipwreck that got away.

Also, Crane absolutely wanted children. And to meet his mother, and extended family. He was Catholic – he could take a flogging, right?

There was a confused crinkle of his brow when Crane referred to Zechariah as the morsel, but he did not catch it quickly enough to clarify.

Then Crane’s face burned. Zechariah hid his smile behind another sip, though not well. It lingered even as the glass met the table once more.

“I see. And under what conditions does a Catholic flog himself?”
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Constable

3,142 Posts
24 Threads

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

#56
Elijah's blush didn't subside as he struggled to find an answer to the question. Zechariah was so calm, it was like he was on top of every situation with no worries. "Ah.. Sorry, just that I ... probably would have been more agreeable in the letters, had I known. If I had known it was you.." He took a glance into Zech's eyes then back down to the vodka to drink before he let out a small, "I'm sure of it." Was he though? It was so easy now because he knew and how far he'd come to this moment. It was easy to guess that any hint would have told him loads enough about the other man to say he would have.

The question on flogging wasn't dismissed, Crane's eyes went to the whip then back to him. "Oh, well.. normally one flog's themselves when they've been..." naughty "in need of punishment. They think that they are in need of a spiritual cleansing for acts or.. thoughts.. that require more than a mere confession and words." Was he in need of a flogging? He probably did, but at the moment he wasn't feeling any shame in the thoughts that swirled in his mind.

"Are you.. ah.. interested in self flagellation?" He asked tilting his head. He couldn't imagine it.
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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

#57
Which was brighter? The candle (wow, it had spread wide in an unflattering way), or Crane’s face? A wonder to behold, and Zechariah was smiling wide for it. There was the faintest of a flush to his own face.

“Crane. You? Shallow?” Zechariah taunted. “Here I thought it was my wit that you were after.”

Wanting him for his appearance was a perfectly valid reason, though he did rather prefer some fellating of his dazzling intellect, too. Those letters were retread for more than one reason.

The brow arched high at Crane’s pause. In need of punishment? Every single thing he heard about Catholics sounded more abashedly sexual than the last. What kind of acts? What kind of thoughts? Before he could bluntly inquire just that, Crane needed to know about his whipping traditions.

“I am not,” Zechariah answered, with a smile. “We beat our chests at the end of the year, but the Catholics? Oh, it seems the Catholics require a hard hand. Tell me more about these acts that … need, whipping.”
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Constable

3,142 Posts
24 Threads

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

#58
"What? When did I say it was looks alone." Elijah smiled slightly, though he liked the look on Zech's face and could get used to seeing it. "You are an intelligent and cultured man. But also you're someone I've known, even if not well, I have some concept of your personality. It is just different when it is written words... you aren't just a siren calling to me with beautiful promises. You're an Eros in human flesh." He suddenly looked very shy. "Or even better... Anteros."

Crane was trying to keep his mind on purer more unassuming thoughts but he felt that the handsome man before him was speaking on this on purpose and it made Elijah squirm. He wasn't upset, but it made him nervous but somehow also thrilled to try to speak of it. Was he discovering something about himself?

"Ah.. i mean it depends on the person. Usually the closer you are to the church or the deeper you feel in the religion, the harsher you are on yourself. I mean just having wandering thoughts about ..um.." His hand trembled as he sipped his glass. "Intimate things. Or even more so if a man were to..ah.." he struggled for the way to word it. "Become intimate with himself. Those could be enough. Sometimes more malicious things but those are things easier to avoid since it requires such an intent. Having a desire is so much harder to avoid being tempted, I find." He found himself having trouble meeting his eyes as he spoke about something that was so hard to talk about and made his cheeks burn.
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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

#59
Was Crane always this charming? This handsome? This good with words? Zechariah sipped and basked and sipped some more, the vodka vanishing yet again before he knew it.

He wondered if Simon ever thought things like that. If he had fancied Zechariah an Anteros, or just another Icarus flying into his sun.

The smile slipped. Fuck Simon. He had a new man, and this man did his confessions outside of a courtroom. He topped off his glass and glanced to Crane’s, still barely touched. Was Zechariah drinking too fast? Nah.

“I am having trouble picturing this,” Zechariah said with a devious look. “These thoughts and … self-intimacy? Give me an example.”
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Constable

3,142 Posts
24 Threads

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

#60
Elijah sipped more of his wine as he enjoyed the 'dinner' in the quiet, candlelit room. He also noticed how much Zechariah drank, he was such a light weight in comparison. But he wasn't surprised, Zechariah had made it clear in his letters he knew how to relax and have a good time.

While his heart clung to Father Richards and placed the man on an elegant pedestal to never be touched, he was pulling up the man before him. Raising this man with every interesting and beautiful thing he learned about him, so that in time he'd equal or somehow surpass him in his heart, though he was so much more devilish and Elijah could see himself falling deep into sin with him.

The thoughts gave him the inspiration how to respond to the question so tantalizingly baiting him into a more sensuous conversation. it still made him blush and tug at his collar as he felt warmer. He took a larger sip so that it burned his throat and numbed it for the words that fell from him. He was smiling at Zechariah the entire time though his natural reaction was to turn away, he wanted to attempt confidence.

"Ah, well.. I can give an example you may be more familiar with. A certain man sent me a letter telling me how he called out my pseudonym while clinging to his sheets. Whatever you were thinking and doing when that took place could very well be exactly what I am referring to. Though I can not guarantee without knowing more details of what happened?"
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