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Wed Jan 31, 2018 06:17

“Same. And try to be mostly English when Jehan visits,” he nodded, as Tatya talked about the linguistics of her holidays. He had mentioned Jehan coming to visit in his letters to her, along with the vague suggestion that she really must also. He didn’t actually want any of his friends around when Matthieu was there, but he was confident she would be too wrapped up in her own family to take him up on it, and it would have been rude not to offer. “But my family has trouble to stay to one language. Maybe he learn more Chinese and French, and me not so much English that week,” he smiled. He was pretty sure Jehan’s had added to his stock of Mandarin, at minimum, naughty egg, lazy egg, stick insect, and eat up. “It will hurt my brain to be in English all day again.”

Not that school involved exclusively English for him really, as Tatya promptly demonstrated. On the one hand, Dorian was very used to people switching languages around him. It was something that happened constantly at home, and it was a habit that - thanks to Tatya and Jehan - he hadn’t been forced to break with entirely at school. However, he was very unused to one of the languages involved being Russian, or any of the French having a distinctly Russian accent, and his thoughts lumbered along in the wake of Tatya’s chatter picking up each piece and examining it where needed. His assumptions, it seemed, had been correct about who Rodya was. Mal’chik…. Mal’chik he remembered because he and Jehan and Vlad were all mal’chikov, and because when it was singular it sounded rather, to his French ear, like Tatya was suggesting that they were all rather unfashionable. Not that the construction ‘mal-chic’ existed, but it was plausible enough. And Tatya liked this person chut-chut. Tatya felt chut-chut about enough things that he knew that too. Then there was a ‘but,’ followed by a small outburst of verbal chaos which he assumed was Tatya giving vent to her feelings and not something he was legitimately expected to have a hope in heck of understanding, followed by an attempt at explaining.

“Oui, je comprends,” he nodded, although it applied to the languages reasonably well, his tone implied he meant this much more on the emotional level. “Je suis heureux que tu aimes Rodya - le soupirant de sa soeur, even if just… chut chut” he added, speaking deliberately slower than usual as the benefit was to give Tatya practise than really express any further feeling. “Soupir is also the verb like…” he demonstrated sighing, “I suppose because the people in love do this. Maybe especially,” could you say ‘maybe especially’? It seemed logical that you should be able to but it was weirdly rhymey - “if the love is not give back.

“Merci,” he smiled, a little sadly when she complimented his brotherliness. He understood how Tatya felt about her sister being taken away, though for entirely different reasons. He wished he and Émi could have gone to school together. “J’espere.” He was ready to continue the subject of siblings, when the door to the Cascade Hall was pushed open again, and this time as he hopefully looked towards the new arrival, he was rewarded.

“Je!” he called, standing up. And then Jehan was there, and Dorian flung himself at his best friend, not with all the exuberance and happiness he had done at the fire but almost as if he had been chased into Jehan’s arms by something that frightened him very much. He let Je’s arms circle around him, enclosing him a small and perfectly safe little world, and he took a deep breath. Jehan smelt different when he’d come from home, but Dorian had got used to the scent during the week he’d stayed over, when the pleasant smells of his own home had mingled in with it, changing it again - but whatever superficial laundry powder smell was on top, underneath all of that there was always the smell of Jehan himself, and that smell represented warmth and comfort almost as much as the scent of jasmine tea.

Ca va?

“Mm, ca va maintenant,” he smiled into Je’s shoulder, a little emphasis on the final word. He had told Jehan constantly in letters since his departure how it felt to be without him, and this was a way of continuing that, closing it perhaps, without having to spill all those feelings in front of Tatya.

Tu m'as manqué. Tu m'as tellement manqué que ça m'a blessé.

He had only been thinking it, but Jehan answered him out loud. ’I missed you too.’ He smiled at the fact that Jehan could answer his thoughts, although the follow up was a little startlingly insightful, but at the same time confusing… ’Have you hurt yourself? Maybe Je’s mindreading skills weren’t so accurate when he, Dorian, was thinking in French. He had not hurt himself - he had hurt at Jehan’s absence. And then, as Jehan held him a little tighter instead of letting him go, and he breathed that comforting smell again, he realised what his friend was asking about. Because if he could smell all the scents of home on Jehan’s skin, then Jehan could probably smell the same on him… His shoulders stiffened slightly.

Luckily, he had a moment to compose himself whilst Jehan greeted Tatya. He pulled reluctantly back, wishing again for some privacy so they could stay wrapped up in each other. He so much preferred private. It was always cosier. Émilie would flop all over him at home, would snuggle into him, give him affectionate kisses over every little thing. Compared with the stiff backed postures they adopted at dinners and balls… The Cascade Hall was not a formal ball, but it was public. There were certain ways one had to behave. His fingertips brushed lightly over Jehan’s back on their way out, resisting breaking apart until the very last moment.

“I hurt a little before but is ok now,” he answered. If Jehan could smell bruise balm on him, then there was no point lying about that. And anyway, it wasn’t a crime to use bruise balm. People did it all the time. And, on the off chance that he hadn’t meant that, the sentiment definitely applied in other ways. It was ok now. Now that he was back, everything else was truly behind him. Matthieu’s mockery… You’re writing to him again? Poor precious Jehan! Does he miss you? Is he waiting for you? Who cared that the answered to Matthieu’s taunts were ‘yeses’ - emphatic ones - because how could this be anything bad? It only felt like it when Matthieu was around. And now, he was far, far away, and it all felt so good again. Nothing had been taken. Nothing had been broken. Dorian smiled at Jehan. He couldn’t pull him into his arms, or tell him all of the things he was thinking right now, but Dorian was sure he would know. And as he smiled at Jehan, willing him to just know, the person he had been at the bonfire was back.

“Yes, see what she brings,” he nodded, returning his attention to Tatya, his eyes all smiles, as she pulled out Jehan’s parcel, which was a rather similar shape to his own.

OOC - glossary
Oui, je comprends - yes, I understant
Je suis heureux que tu aimes Rodya - le soupirant de sa soeur - I am happy that you like Rodya, your sister’s suitor
J’espere - I hope (so)
Ca va maintenant - I’m alright now
Tu m'as manqué. Tu m'as tellement manqué que ça m'a blessé. - I missed you. I missed you so much it hurt.

  • Six of one, half a dozen of the other.Tatiana , Tue Jan 30 18:17
    “You too - and it keeps up English, French to me, little,” said Tatiana of their admittedly something-less-than-scintillating letters over the summer. “Speak English with Katya and Papa and Nadezhda... more
    • You're home — Dorian, Wed Jan 31 06:17
      • And so schastlivyi to be iciJehan, Tue Feb 13 12:41
        Jehan was relieved to hear Dorian was okay now, but still a little concerned. Dorian’s happiness to see him didn’t seem to be simply a dramatic ‘I missed you so much’, but more like there was some... more
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