So, Elpida ran into Aloysius again. They were talking and seated relatively next to each other at a little cafe and then SNAKE PETS followed by SNAKE HUGS.
Elpida is trying to disentangle them. “STOPIT,” she informs them.
This is really unfair.
If his butler were here he’d probably have sighed and then after taking some time to study the problem would have…maybe tried to pull Aloysius loose? That’s a quandary for another day, surely. After all, how does one handle snakes? Poisonous ones at that! …wait, does Aloysius even know that they’re poisonous?
Getting swarmed by snakes is fascinating for only so long. It particularly gets difficult when you find yourself having trouble trying to breathe properly. At least he has realized that they aren’t trying to harm him? …he doesn’t think so, anyway?
His hands try to part the sea of snakes from around him but it seems some of them have taken to wrapping up more than just his face.
Needless to say, there’s some staring.
Elpida works feverishly to disentangle her snakes from Aloysius with frustration. “Stop that! Listen to me! Stop trying to hug him! Why are you EVEN OKAY WITH THIS? STOP.” She is leaned close to Aloysius as a result which probably earns mutterings of ‘get a room’ amongst pointed laughter at their misfortune.
Looks like the crazy Haberdeen boy is at it again. What would his father say? Unfortunately for Elpida, Aloysius has a Reputation given his family name, although most have come to accept him as the eccentric heir whose businesses left by his family have been understandable left in better hands than his own to continue on. It’s not at all that far off the mark. His interests have just been elsewhere, and he’s always tended to dive right into such things.
And apparently now some of the locals are adding Gorgon snogging to the list.
At least Aloysius can’t hear very well outside of Elpida’s frustrated attempts to keep her snakes from smothering him, not above the constant susurrus of hissing like a great many leaky tires.
Maybe they’re agitated? Hugging? Are they trying to eat him? Oh dear. His fingers stroke the scaly bodies within reach, trying to put them at ease. This is how you calm things, right?
Petting. That is a thing.
Elpida pitches for ward into Aloyisus.
“…gngngh,” she manages to say intelligently.
This is not helping with the gorgon snogging rumors.
Aloysius manages to catch a glimpse of Elpida as the snakes slacken slightly around his face, but it’s brief as their sudden movement causes her to fall towards him. Which really doesn’t help either of them.
There’s a muffled shout of concern, hands shifting to try and help prop Elpida up, seeking out shoulders to grasp and constantly coming up with snakes under fingers. A part of him does seem to realize what a ridiculous situation this is, at least, drawing from him a slight chuckle that hopefully isn’t mistaken as unhinged.
“…you just make it worse when you pet them,” mutters Elpida, finally, but with a voice tinged with the tone of someone getting a decent massage. She puts her hands on Aloysius to try to push herself back off him, but really, it’s a mess.
She laughs helplessly.
“Mf fowy?” comes his equally helpless response. But then hadn’t all this started when he’d stopped petting them? It’s quite confusing. At least he can feel her hands as they try to brace against him to pull away, so he lets his own fall from her as they can, sagging somewhat in defeat.
What a way to go. Done in by snakes. He thinks he may have accidentally licked one when he tried speaking, which only makes him wonder how Elpida cleans them. Not that he’s concerned- he’s eaten stranger, surely.
…although now he’s hungry just thinking on that tangent of food, his stomach grumbling lowly.
What was that feeling? That was weird. It makes her brain misfire a bit.
“Bllrrgh,” she replies. She flops back onto him. This is really awkward. She is going to be feeling deeply humiliated.
At least when it comes to embarrassment, Aloysius seems to come with automatic deflection. He’s rather good about taking things in stride, even when it’s being in a considerably questionable position with a Gorgon.
“Mm? Mf Felpifa?” he asks when he hears her groan and collapse back against him. It causes him to sit up again at least, and he begins anew in trying to wedge his hands in between face and snakes to gently prise them from his personage.
“Come, come, come now, easy there boys. …Girls? Ah… fellows?”
Do they even HAVE a gender? Let’s hope not.
Elpida raises her gaze from where she was pressed against his shoulder, slowly. Sense is starting to return. He’s encountering some success in prying them loose, finally, but the damage is done. It’s hard to get more questionable than how this looks at the moment.
THE RUMORS WILL BE MANY.
Thankfully Aloysius doesn’t go that far down that track of thought as Elpida starts to stir again, which brings a smile of relief to his face once he’s able to see things.
“There, there, ease up. Gently now… Miss Elpida? Are you well?” he asks, as though he hadn’t been covered in snakes a few seconds ago.
“Uhm, yeah,” says Elpida. The snakes drape over Aloysius shoulders, though, rather than her own. Slither slither! She peers at him.
“They really must like you. OW.” One of them bit her.
Aloysius glances at the snakes awkwardly. This is…a new development. Perhaps they’re confused?
“You think so?” he asks, wincing when one bites Elpida, eyeing the snakes at his shoulders in a slightly wary light.
More biting of Elpida.
“I mean, I don’t know. They seem to like you better than they like me, anyway. Every time you scratch them it’s… ugh. It’s weird,” she says, failing to find words for it that describe it aptly enough for her. “Can I let go of him now?” she asks of a snake.
That sort of suggestion just baffles him. Aloysius looks at her, confused. “How does that even work? Aren’t they…attached?” Part of her? …whiiiich makes it a lot awkward to think about when put in that perspective as he considers all the times he’s petted her snakes.
He might be blushing just a tiny bit.
“O-oh. I’m sorry. I should probably stop with that- I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable..!”
Elpida mutters something under her breath.
“Uh, yeah. I mean, it’s weird and hard to explain? Like, they’re kinda independent and not? I don’t control them but they feel things and I feel things and, you know. I mean, when you’re petting them it’s like… getting a really nice massage, I guess.” FINALLY. WORDS. “It’s not accurate but that’s never been like it before when anybody ELSE touches them. I guess they think you smell good.”
….she’d be blushing after she says that if she had skin that blushed.
“Oh.” That…makes odd sense, in a way? And yet doesn’t really help for matters. Aloysius clears his throat, glancing at the snakes settled about his shoulders again, thankful that at least they aren’t attempting to hug his face.
“Ah…thank you, I suppose?” he says, seeming to address the snakes at Elpida’s suggestion that they might like how he smells. “I mean I do try to bathe every day…”
Slowly he tries to ease himself back a bit more from the snakes now that they’ve more or less settled, bringing up a hand to carefully help them slip off of him.
Elpida reaches around him to help gather her snakes.
This does not help any. Since her arms are, you know, kind of around him and such. And he’s leaning back. And she’s leaning forward and it just looks horrible and she has no idea because, a lot like Aloysius, she does not think about these things. Why should she?
She gives her head a slight shake when the snakes are finally beginning to get themselves back under control. “SO ANYWAY.”
It’s probably for the best that the majority of people don’t read around here. This would certainly have been something for the tabloids, otherwise, had they still existed. Of course there’s still word of mouth.
Aloysius smiles at her once he’s been more or less divested of snakes, straightening the collar of his shirt and jacket.
“Eh-heh, yes, anyway…” he says, sighing lightly in relief. “Oh, that hole in the street out in Glowtown should be taken care of by now.”
Finally, Elpida can pull back from him and slump back into her seat. She feels very small right now and a little weird.
It’s the snakes. They tingle a bit.
“So, uh. Yeah. Yeah. Ahah. Ahahaha. That was funny, right? Also, we will never ever talk about this.”
“Funny? Well yes, I suppose it was, actually,” Aloysius chuckles. And then he blinks, perhaps confusing things up a bit in his head, but either way it’s probably the proper answer anyway.
“Talk about what?”
“Yeah! Very funny. I think everyone thinks we’re dating now,” says Elpida, looking out over to the others.
“We’re not dating!” She informs them all. “Or anything! It was just a simple matter of confusion. GOT IT?!”
NOTHING UNTOWARD HERE AT ALL!
There’s just the slightest cringe as Elpida makes such loud claims. Even by way of clarification, Aloysius is uncertain as to how well simply informing people the truth of the matter is going to work. Still, it couldn’t possibly hurt, could it?
“It’s quite true,” he says, nodding as he follows Elpida’s gaze, in contrast smiling at the passers-by who probably just think him an enormous idiot. “There was just a slight misunderstanding with her snakes, but everything’s been quite resolved. Also they’re quite nice snakes when you get to know them.”
Is he trying to help..?
“If you’re not dating, then how come you were just kissing?”
“Our lips never touched! AT ALL!”
“SHUT UP, YOU,” Elpida jabs a finger at the passerby interjecting.
She clears her throat.
The question appears to catch Aloysius completely off guard as he stares blankly at the one who posed it. He begins to shake his head just as Elpida makes her own claims, a frown creasing his brow at the response from the passing commenter.
“I am dreadfully sorry about this,” he sighs as he watches them go off, glancing over at Elpida then.
“It’s all right,” says Elpida with a snort. “I give exactly zero fucks what the rest of them think. They think I kissed you? FINE. Let ’em. Assholes,” says Elpida, gesturing dismissively.
“People will think what they will,” Aloysius agrees, smiling sadly as he nods. “So long as it will not become a bother to you. I hope they’ll find something else to talk about soon enough. …although for what it’s worth, at least I’ve been mistaken to kiss someone pretty?”
It’s like he thinks she’s the one that might be saddled with the worse end of the rumors. Not really, but he’s quite sincere in what he says, guileless as he says it.
“…what?” blink. Blink. Staaaare.
“I’m not pretty,” she informs him, stammering.
Her reaction has him laugh a bit. “Well you’re certainly not ugly! And if anyone’s said as much then they are sorely mistaken,” he snorts.
He seems astonished that it’s possible no one’s ever paid Elpida the comment. Or he might just be weird, but around Vesper there are many sorts aside from human and they also look attractive in their own ways. Elpida still looks humanoid and to him her scales and snakes may as well be some cosmetic enhancement.
“… I mean, I got called lovely by a statue lady, but I think she was referring to my monstrousness, not my tits. You know?” Elpida shrugs her shoulders, looking down at her chest with a deep sigh. Which is probably the last thing she should do just when she calls attention to them, but it’s probable that she’s just really fucking bad at this.
“Statue…?” Aloysius blinks, his eyes dipping downwards as Elpida’s own gaze drops, just as quickly bouncing back up as he realizes where his attention’s drifted. He coughs into a fist, turning his head as he tries not to look awkward, feeling his face heat with the faint red that flushes his cheeks.
“For the record I wasn’t referring to… I mean, I wasn’t even looking at- well, not until you did but it wasn’t on purpose, I swear!” he sputters.
“Yeah, statue lady — some weird ass statue lady who was looking for — wait what what do… Pffft…” She starts to laugh. This probably isn’t helping any at all.
By then he’s thrown his hands up over his eyes. See! He’s making an effort! Although when Elpida starts laughing Aloysius has to peek between his fingers at her. Oh, she’s not mad then? That’s…that’s good. Laughing is good. He starts to chuckle a bit himself at that, hands lowering from his face.
She throws an arm around him, companionably, and leans in closer to say something to him.
But it could be seen as a mixed signal. You know.
Aloysius is honestly just glad she hadn’t gotten upset with him, although her sudden movement has him tense, if for a moment as he wonders if he should expect to be slugged in the next breath. What actually transpires is more preferable, and he has to laugh, at what she says, at himself, perhaps. But rumors aside, he’s happy to have made such an unusual friend.
Elpida leans into him and says, quietly, “Well, you know. It’s all good. I appreciate that you’re not… okay, you’re pretty fucking weird, but you’re not MAKING it weird. Weirder. Weirdish. More weird. I don’t know. Anyway. It’s all good.”
He flashes her a sheepish grin at that. “Heh! Well you wouldn’t be the first to say as much. …maybe not exactly in those words but still,” he admits, chuckling. “My mother always said I was strange. And my father. And my butler, on a daily basis. …and the baker I always like to stop by, and my tailor, and…”
Aloysius stops himself before he goes further on, the point made, and he coughs into a fist with a mutter of apology. He’s quick to regain a boyish smile as he focuses upon the last said.
“Well good. I’m glad then.”
She pulls back from him after a moment. Probably because she’s aware that laughing while leaning against someone can produce a few weird things when you’re, you know, her.
She gives him a chagrined look, offering, “Yeah, yeah. I get it. Trust me, I stuck my own foot in my mouth tonight enough times that I won’t be able to get the taste of shoe leather out for weeks. Probably.”
“Mn, well figuratively is better than literally. Trust me, leather may come from animals but they just don’t taste the same no matter how much you try to cook it,” Aloysius says, shrugging. …why…was he eating shoes…
As Elpida pulls away, he moves to stand, tugging his jacket to smooth out the wrinkles. “Anyway, you mean well, for all that things might be better said here and there, but it’s difficult to fix that once it’s out of our mouths, isn’t it?” A laugh. “In any case, I needa be off. I’m supposed to meet someone at the Academy soon. Or perhaps I’m already late. Well, I suppose I’ll find out when I get there.” He grins and gives her a wink and a bow, taking a few steps back.
“I’ll see you around?”
“Probably,” says Elpida, “Assuming I don’t get warped off to Hades or something.” She drags a clawed fingertip on the table with a worried, pensive looking.
Is.. is that something that could happen?
Yes. It is.
His laugh makes it obvious that he at first takes it for a joke, but he soon notices it’s not one shared as he continues to backpeddle. Wait, is she serious? Is that a thing? Should he be concerned-
“Oop, excuse me..!” Aloysius says, turning abruptly as he nearly runs into someone who shoots him a look, and then in the manner of one who recognizes who’s nearly bumped into them and has come to accept this as something expected simply sighs and goes on their way. Aloysius himself takes a few more spins to keep himself on balance as he weaves around foot traffic, looking back towards Elpida’s table at the cafe before he resumes his own trek.
He’ll just have to ask her about it later. Granted there’s a later…!