|The next morning, continued
||[Dec. 1st, 2012|11:24 pm]
Negability Prime--Negability in time and space.
'No thanks to you,' Overstrom mutters to Ivy, as he accepts another piece of peach tart from Blake's willing fingers, thanking him with a pleased smile. He turns his gaze to Hawkins. 'Why don't you join us?' he asks.
Blake's hand freezes en route to Overstrom's mouth.
"Don't be silly," Ivy says after a pause. "Hawkins is a pure soul. He doesn't eat pie or lie around in bed."
Sir Isaac looks at Overstrom over his teacup. 'Leave this young man alone, he's not suitable for you.'
Overstrom bats his eyelashes at Sir Isaac. 'I just thought he'd be warmer in bed.' he answers innocently.
"Look what you did!" Ivy struggles to free herself from Overstrom's arm. "You upset him!"
'Where do you think you're going?' he asks, holding her more tightly.
Janet growls. Hawkins stands, up, agitated. 'Come along sir,' he pleads with Sir Isaac, 'this room is unfit for either of us.'
"Hawkins, I'm sorry," Ivy calls. "I'll try to keep him, um, less rude." She turns to Overstrom. "What is WRONG with you?"
'You're not my favourite any more,' Overstrom answers, kissing Blake on the top of his head. Blake looks uncertain.
Sir Isaac glances up at Hawkins. 'I have known this man for more than 25 years,' he says calmly. 'He is no danger to me, though I concede that he may be a threat to you.'
Hawkins is torn between his concern and his fear of contradicting Sir Isaac.
"He's not going to hurt anyone," Ivy tells him. "He's just playing."
'How would it hurt him to join us?" Overstrom asks Ivy.
"He's not a heartless libertine like you," she says, swatting him lightly.
'He could be if he worked at it.'
The rat jumps out of the bed and runs up to Janet, play-bowing. Janet bares her teeth.
'Sir,' Hawkins finally tries again, 'how can others accept your witness to the One God if they see you associating with such as these?'
Sir Isaac holds his teacup out for Hawkins to refill, which Hawkins does with relief at having something to do. 'I need not witness to God, He is capable of speaking for himself. If others are blind to this, how could my behaviour sway them either way?'
'But sir, um, if influential people started to, um, ask questions about the company you keep....'
Sir Isaac gives him a stern stare. 'Why would they do that?'
Blake forgets to feed Overstrom, and eats a piece of peach tart.
Overstrom clears his throat meaningfully at Blake.
"What happens if I don't feed you?" Blake asks him.
'I don't believe you'd enjoy finding out.'
Blake holds the next piece a couple of inches away from Overstrom's mouth. "I don't know--the way you say that, I'm not sure I believe you."
Overstrom shrugs, releases both Blake and Ivy, and reaches for the tray himself. 'Well you're no longer my favourite,' he says, reaching for another peach tart.
"Noooo," Blake protests.
'Consequences of your own behaviour.'
"Hey, let's everybody sulk!" says Ivy, snatching a roll and slathering it with butter. "We haven't had a good sulk for...five minutes or so."
'Sulk?' Overstrom asks between bites. 'What on earth do you mean?'
"Nothing," says Ivy, reaching across Overstrom to feed Blake a piece of roll. He looks surprised, but accepts it.
Hawkins takes a deep breath. 'Sir,' he begins nervously, 'if I cannot persuade you to quit this company I'm afraid that I must, for my own spiritual safety, and I must also find someone who may be able to speak to you more powerfully about this.'
Sir Isaac looks up at him in surprise. 'I consider that a sensible course of action,' he answers mildly. Hawkins bows to him, and without looking at the bed strides out the door.
Overstrom sighs. 'Too bad,' he mutters. 'Perhaps he may have come to be more accommodating than you two.'
Sir Isaac raises his eyebrows at Overstrom. 'He is strictly off limits to you,' he says mildly. 'He is a member of my household and of a very fragile temperament.'
"I don't think that was a very promising start," Ivy points out.
Overstrom smiles at Ivy. 'Did WE get off to a promising start?'
She smiles back, and feeds him a piece of roll. "I think so."
'You have a faulty memory of our history then.'
"All I can remember is being stuck in that goddamn tent with that goddamn Lawrence." Blake's eyes widen.
'Who had the temerity to shoot at us.'
"I know, and after using me to help him dig!"
'What a heartless young man.'
"Lawrence?" Blake asks carefully.
"Little pain in the ass British twit who thought he was an archeologist," Ivy says fondly. "Big liar."
She pops another piece of roll into Blake's mouth, and he has to chew and swallow before answering. "T.E. Lawrence?"
"Mm, yeah," she says with her mouth full.
Overstrom slides out from between Blake and Ivy, carefully balancing the now nearly empty tray and setting it aside; he hunts around for his robe, pulls it on over his shift, and joins Sir Isaac at the fire with some tea and a couple of plates from the larger tray. 'Actually you've always been my favourite,' he announces to an amused Sir Isaac. He notices Sir Isaac's now somewhat rumpled braid. 'Who did your hair?' he wonders. Sir Isaac nods at Ivy. Overstrom looks back at her with a genuinely pleased smile.
"If yours was long enough, I could braid it too."
He thinks briefly. 'I don't think it ever has been.'
'It wouldn't suit you,' Sir Isaac interjects, refilling Overstrom's teacup.
"I think it would," Ivy says. "Especially one of those Colo--oh, sorry," she finishes, looking guiltily at Sir Isaac.
Blake stares at Overstrom, imagining him with an MTT braid, and gets a vaguely queasy feeling. He closes his eyes and lets his head sink down to the pillow.
Overstrom yawns. 'It is far too early to be awake and talking to you,' he says vaguely to all of them. 'I'm going back to sleep. Those of you who care to stay awake please take your commotion elsewhere.'
"Commotion!" says Dora. "Really."
Overstrom raises an eyebrow at her. 'Why yes, really.'
"Takes one to know one," Ivy's rat says, running up to her shoulder.
'It takes a commotion? How does that make any sense? And why am I expecting a rat to talk intelligible English?'
"His name is Noam and he talks just as good--uh, as well as you do."
'And quite possibly better than you do.'
"Possibly." Ivy turns her nose up.
Blake turns over and pulls the covers over his head. Overstrom nods in his general direction. 'He has the right idea,' he suggests.
"Sir Isaac, do you want to run amuck in the streets with me?" Ivy asks. "I think the other two aren't coming."
Sir Isaac yawns. 'It's too cold outside.' He thinks for a few seconds. 'But I have no interest in returning to bed.'
"We could run amuck IN the house."
'I do not want you to run amuck in my house,' he answers her firmly. 'There was enough of that last night.' He shoots a quick glance at Overstrom.
"What do you want to do, then?"
'Entertain my house guests,' he says with a smile. 'Which means you, apparently, since the others do not appear eager to be entertained.'
'How would you care to be entertained? Within reason of course,' he adds quickly.
She considers. "We could do some alchemy?"
'Oh! Hm, I suppose we could....' He glances again at Overstrom. 'Would you object?'
Overstrom considers. 'I suppose not, if you can restrict yourself to relatively safe experiments.'
Overstrom smiles at her. 'Go enjoy yourselves.'
Sir Isaac gives Ivy a stern look. 'You'l have to put on some clothes first.' He looks down at his dressing gown. 'And so will I, I suppose.'
"Aww...wait, O, can I wear your clothes again?"
'Certainly not, I don't want you spilling anything on them.'
"Blake, can I wear yours then?"
"Sure, whatever," he mumbles.
'The servants have taken them somewhere, when they cleared away the party clothes. We can ask for them in your dressing room.'
Sir Isaac sets his teacup down and attempts to get out of the chair. Overstrom sets his down as well, and stands to help Sir Isaac up.
'I don't need you to help me get out of the chair!' he snaps at him.
'No, of course you don't,' Overstrom answers soothingly.
"O needs help, he's just surreptitiously leaning on you," Ivy whispers.
He glares at her. 'Don't patronise me.'
"How could I? You're much richer and well-connected than I am."
'And that counts for NOTHING with you people. If indeed people is the correct term.'
"I think it probably is, since we have some kind of consciousness."
'Everything has consciousness,' Sir Isaac begins, but the incipient debate is headed off by another knock on the door.