Private Finished For goodness sakes, Where is my self control?

ReD

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Lochlann nodded.

He took a deep inhale of the cigarette and held the smoke in his mouth until it started to burn. He exhaled.

That was like Guinevere.

She was smoke and he wasn't exactly sure what was happening to him whenever he breathed her in.

Instead, he asked, "What do you want to know?"

It felt unusual to reveal what he knew about Guinevere to him. In the past, the words would have spewed out easily. But, now, after he just had Charlie help him and risked so much to get what they needed, Lochlann felt a little bit reluctant.

"I'm pretty sure she's going to kill me," he said. Then, he admitted, "I mean, I may have asked her to, but only because I'm pretty sure she's going to kill me whether I ask her to or not. So this way, at least, I'm taking away the satisfaction, you know?"

Probably not a great introduction, but then again, neither was his introduction to Guin.
 

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"Erm, well" said Charlie, a little confused by Lochlann's outburst. There had been something in the file about things like this, but Charlie preferred to hear them straight from the horses mouth. Quite literally in this case.

"Everything you're willing to tell me. I've met Guinevere, you know? I told her that I was your faculty mentor, and she ran off. Odd... So yes, i would like to know as much as you are comfortable with."

Charlie wanted to know more than that. He wanted to know about this person, this mysterious figure who played such a pivotal role in why Lochlann was like he was, who seemed to crop up as a veiled reference in every traumatic event on the island Lochlann had told him about.

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"You met Guin?" Lochlann asked. His eyebrows arched up and his bottom jaw slackened, though he managed to not quite gape at Charlie.

It was surprising, but Lochlann supposed that, in this case, it might be okay. Guin probably couldn't kill Charlie since he was, well, undead and such.

"And she...ran off," he said.

Lochlann laughed. Holy shit. Guinevere ran from Charlie. Did it mean she was afraid of him? Why the hell would Guinevere run from Charlie?

"Did you show her your...you know," Lochlann said, lifting his eyebrows and dropping his voice into a whisper. He wiggled the fingers on his left hand like legs. "Spiderpet?"

Lochlann was quickly depleting this cigarette and he pulled out another one, lighting it on the butt of his last one before stepping on it and putting the squished remains into his pocket.

"Okay," Lochlann said. He chewed on the inside of his cheek, took a drag. Held the smoke. Exhaled. "Guin was one of the first people I met on the island. She's hot as fuck, she's a straight-A student, and she pretty much never in any trouble."

Lochlann ticked these facts off on his left hand.

"She does yoga and other than that I don't know if she has any hobbies. She flies under the radar by being totally fucking normal but.."

Lochlann licked his lips.

"She's a fucking psycho," he said. "And no one believes me. Why would they? I'm Lochlann Cabyll-Ushtey, I fall asleep in class and jump out of windows, I stole liquor and accidentally summoned some hot babes from another dimension into the ballroom, I must be making this stuff up."

Lochlann frowned for a moment and then looked at Charlie, assessing the lich. He asked, "Do you believe me?"
 

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"I do believe you Lochlann" said Charlie, patting him on the back "you may be many things, but you're not a liar."

Charlie might present an image of someone kindly, if a little odd, but anyone with any knowledge of his past did not see that image. They saw the person he was trying to leave behind, the evil lich. And he was trying hard to present this image, and he had realised others were doing the same, hiding something behind a public image.

"And honestly, I wouldn't be surprised. Never trust anyone who does yoga" laughed Charlie "Often the people who are 'perfect'"

Charlie made air quotes with his fingers at this.

"Are the people who have something to hide. And I didn't show her the bonespider, or any of my undead to be honest. My glamour might have flickered, but it's a common enough occurance. I think she was simply put off by the fact that I knew you, and was a member of the faculty. The existance of my horde is common knowledge after the invasion incident, so maybe she was put off by my mentorship of you, and worried I might know something... illicit. What sort of things has she done?"

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This was the first time someone believed him.

Not just someone, but an adult. A professor. Someone with connection to the school.

Lochlann was quiet for a moment while he mulled this over, taking in Charlie's words and twisting them in his stomach, trying to feel whatever this feeling was. He did snicker when Charlie mentioned the parts about not trusting someone who did yoga.

Then, his smile faltered again, because a year ago he'd met a girl who did yoga. He woke up in a lake with blood in his mouth and she'd vanished from the island. No one could trace it back to him--she'd told several people she was going home, after all--but Lochlann couldn't forget that night.

He'd gone to Guin's then, too.

Lochlann flipped his hand over to show the scar on the back of it. He traced it absentmindedly.

"She shot me in the leg," he said. "And she stabbed me three times. Or is it six maybe?"

He frowned. It was three times, but she'd cut all his scars open again last year, so was that six? Or just three?

Lochlann cast a glance at Charlie and then out at the expanse of black ocean. The waves matched the sensation of feelings rising and falling in his gut and his heart.

"She stalked me and followed me home two years ago. After my girlfriend died," Lochlann explained. The rest of his sentence was flat and automatic. "It wasn't me. Her body is in the cemetery."

Another cigarette. He as going to go through the whole pack before they got off the boat at this rate.

"I didn't think I was coming back, Professor, I thought I was going to be done here. I went home, and straight-A-student-Guinevere-Haze was sitting in my kitchen with my mom. "

The professor knew what he was, Lochlann realized. So he'd know what Lochlann's parents were. What his family was.

"I thought I'd stay home, But I did come back, and it wasn't even because of her, but when I came back, someone had beat Guinevere fucking Haze within an inch of her life," Lochlann said. "And I might have hated Guinevere, but I wouldn't want that for her. So I guess what you should know about Guinevere is that I'm terrified of her because she keeps fucking stabbing me and also that there's someone out there capable of hurting a young woman very, very badly."

Lochlann bit his bottom lip.

The last part he dropped out quietly.

"And she's a good kisser."
 

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"It seems that you have a... complex relationship with Guinevere" said Charlie, joining Lochlann at the rail, and staring out at the sea. Charlie had always loved the sea, the deep black expanses. People could tell you about space, planets beyond ours, but still the depths of their own planet were undiscovered. Leviathans, great creatures who slumbered beneath the waves. The joys of being undead, and not needing to breathe, he could walk the sea floor. It had been an intresting day when a moray eel had attempted to make his ribcage it's new home.

"Have you ever heard the joke about the man hitting his head with the hammer? Well, a man comes across another man who is repeatadly hitting his head with a hammer. He asks "why are you hitting your head with a hammer?" To which the man replies "because it feels so good when it stops." I feel like that is you and guinevere. Because whilst the good times are fantastic, the bad times are awful. The fact she followed you back to your home proves the hold she wishes to have over you, to control you. I'm sure there are plenty of fantastic kissers, but why go back to one who hurts you so much and causes you so much strife. You need to break that hold she had over you. There are plenty of people capable of hurting someone badly. You and I are examples of that. I would quite like to meet Guinevere. Maybe we can... sort some things out."

Charlie stared back out at the ocean. He imagined if things were different, if Lochlann could keep his compulsion under control, maybe things would be more normal. Maybe they wouldn't have just lied their way into a high security detention facility to steal a picture. But if it kept Lochlann on the straight and narrow, any measure was worth it.

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Everything Charlie said was true.

Lochlann had lifted an eyebrow when the professor asked him about the man with the hammer and the corner of his lip twitched upwards with the story. Lochlann's head still ached like it'd been hit with a hammer; he needed a drink in the worst fucking way.

Everything Charlie said was true, but it was also incomplete.

It's not that Lochlann doubted his wisdom. For all his flaws, Lochlann at least knew that the people in his life that were older than him had lived through more and had more experiences. It was just that Lochlann did not always trust that the adults in his life had his best interests in mind. Though Charlie had earned some of Lochlann's trust, Loch was still a flighty thing and it could change in a heartbeat; it's why Lochlann couldn't fully express everything in his history with Guin.

Instead, he said, "It sounds like it should be easy, shouldn't it?"

Lochlann took a deep breath.

It was obvious that Lochlann wasn't human, but he so rarely acknowledged it. He shied away from his fae heritage like a horse shies away from an unfamiliar obstacle.

But right now, Lochlann addressed it. He tried to ignore the unsteadyness of his hands, the pounding in his head, how dry his mouth felt, how dark and deep and welcoming the water looked.

He said, "Guinevere breaks the rules of everything I am."

Lochlann wondered, not for the first time, if this had something to do with just how long Guinevere had his amulet. Maybe it changed something. Maybe whatever weird magic Guinevere had rubbed off on it.

"Guinevere and I aren't exactly friends," Lochlann said. "I'm not sure I could convince her to show up. I don't even expect to see her half the time and then there she is."

Lochlann frowned.

"I moved a lot," he said, testing the waters of this story carefully. "My family immigrated when I was younger. We stayed with some people for a bit, then set out to find a new place. But it never lasted, so we moved around quite a bit, until, well, right before I came here. We'd finally settled down."

He shifted his weight onto his other foot. The ocean reflected off his eyes. Lochlann's fingers twitched and he clung tighter to the cigarette, feeling the paper over it.

"So I've been here longer than I have almost anywhere else," he said. He was thinking, for a moment, about Adelene. if she was still talking to him, if she was still around, Lochlann might have been more willing to introduce her to Charlie. They'd probably have a lot to talk about.

That brought a faint smile to his face. But again, to Lochlann, it highlighted the point he was too cowardly to make: Lochlann was not used to having someone in his life as long as Guin.

"You've seen a lot of people die, Professor," Lochlann said.

It was a question and a statement.

"Do you think drowning is a bad way to go?"
 

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"Honestly" said Charlie, staring out at the ocean "Things like this are never easy. The importsnt thing is to go with your heart, but temper it with your head. It sounds like you have a love-hate relationship.

"Often, we associate people with places, and emotions. Thats what makes a breakup or a move so hard, that you associate all these good emotions with a person or place. It's important to realise that the two are seperate. Whilst it is the people, not the place that make somewhere home, often it's the community, not a particular individual."

Charlie wasn't the best psychologist, but then again a psychologist wasn't what Charlie thought Lochlann needed either. And he didn't need a friend, he needed something inbetween, or so believed Charlie, and that was what Charlie was trying to be. Being supportive while also guiding Lochlann towards a better place.

"That depends" thought Charlie. He'd never really considered drowning as a means of death. It was ineffective, slow, personal. An arrow to the skull or a sword through the heart was simpler, and quicker. Drowning someone was something that required passion in the kill, something that Charlie often lacked. He had killed people by drowing, but that had mainly been to send a message, and a peaceful death was sort of against the goal "Well, i've heard if you're unconcious, it's quite peaceful... but then again I surpose every method is peaceful if you're unconcious... Honestly, I wouldn't know... i've only died properly once, and that wasn't by drowning."

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"I wouldn't say we have a relationship at all," Lochlann laughed. It was a dry sound, more like a cough, and he swallowed immediately after. The first thing he was doing when they got back was drink a gallon of water and take a shower. Maybe seven showers. He could still smell juvie on him.

Maybe he could break it off with Guin. Maybe he could just end it completely. They weren't really enemies anymore, where they? They only had the promises between each other to contend with.

Lochlann shifted his weight again and resumed smoking while Charlie responded.

Lochlann nodded. He wondered if this was an inappropriate question, but he was feeling a bit more bold when it came to asking the professor inappropriate questions. Lochlann figured that Charlie could always tell him to shut the hell up.

"How did you die?" Lochlann asked. "I mean, the Big One, I guess, since you're like immortal now, so I don't really know if you died a bunch of times."

Anything could be peaceful if the person was unconscious, Lochlann noted. It's not like he wanted to die, but he figured it was inevitable, so he kept it in mind. "What do you think is the easiest way to go if you have to stay conscious?"
 

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Lochlann's situation with Guinevere seemed complicated at best. Charlie trying to fix things would not be the best option, all he could do was advise, and let Lochlann do with his advice what he wanted. Charlie still felt there was something Lochlann wasn't telling him, but he wasn't going to push. The kid had had a rough enough day already. He'd find out eventually, but for now, he'd wait.

"The big one, the one that stopped me being human? I drove a flint knife through my heart" said Charlie, still looking out to sea. "In a cave, so very long ago..."

He had watched time change and erode mountains into plains, plains into rivers, rivers into valleys. But the sea, it remained the same, ever changing, always moving, but somehow, the same.

"And i've sorta died a whole bunch of times since then, shot, stabbed, burned, but it's not the same, It hurts, sure, the same as a regular human death, but it's still much easier than the first time. The first time I wasn't just dying. I was permenantly warping my soul."

Lochlann's last question threw him a bit. Charlie could feel the meaning behind it, coupled with what he knew of Lochlann's self destructive tendancies.

"I'm not going to advise you on that. Just know if you do end up doing... what I think you're asking advice about, i'll drag you back from the other side." Charlie laughed at this, before giving Lochlann a kind caring look "i'm joking of course. But i'm not going to give you the 'you have so much to live for' line. Hell i've been in that place myself. Just know, i'm here to support you. And there is no edge you cannot step back from."

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