tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Printable Version

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RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Juliana Binns - March 28, 2021

Juliana smiled a little wryly at his continued use of male pronouns for the elusive Marlowe Forfang. A habit, probably, and not one he'd be likely to drop anytime soon. Probably that was for the best, though; just because he had taken this news well didn't mean she wanted anyone else catching on to her identity, or suspecting that Forfang might be a woman. And he worked at the paper, so if he started unintentionally dropping hints, things could spiral out of control more quickly. She sensed she could trust him to be discreet, though — he'd been carrying around a much bigger secret for a much longer time, and hadn't been found out yet.

Oh, she had so many more questions she could ask him, now that she knew who he really was and now that he knew that she knew. Not here, of course — she had probably been a little too indiscreet already, in her excitement to communicate how she'd pieced it together, but she wouldn't continue in a way that jeopardized him at all. Probably it would be better to end the conversation soon; she'd done what she'd come for, he wasn't angry, and they could talk far more freely in letters than they could in public, even if they were at an out of the way booth and no one seemed to be interested in eavesdropping. She didn't want to leave, though — now that the connection had been made and brought to light she wanted to prolong this interaction as much as possible, taking time to drink him in and correct her assumptions about him. She'd already recolored the version of A she'd created in her head after she'd gotten a sample of his hair, but there was still work to be done in reconciling the man she'd imagined to be on the other side of her letters to the living, breathing one across the table.

So she wanted to say something, but the first thing that came to mind was to point out that he did the same thing. He talked about himself in third person when he talked about full moons. An artificial distance used as a defense mechanism. That wasn't the sort of thing she could say in a bar, though, and maybe not at all. It probably wasn't the sort of thing he'd enjoy dissecting, and it wasn't really the same, anyway — she had chosen to have two separate identities, and he hadn't.

"Well, you started it," she pointed out with a mild smile. "Asking if I'd heard about the book. And I just couldn't resist asking what you thought of it," she admitted. "But I suppose now I'll never have your unbiased opinion again."

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Kieran Abernathy - March 28, 2021

Kieran grinned at her. "Oh, you'll still get my unbiased opinion," he said, "You can ask my other friends, I don't really do that whole —" he waved a hand "— polite, what people want to hear, thing." He wasn't about to start just because he knew Marlowe Forfang personally, now — except that he was not sure she would take his concerns for her safety any more seriously now than she had when he alluded to them in writing.

He opened his notebook and scrawled with a quill at the top of a clean page, flipping past pages and pages of reporter's notes and wrote We should talk about these things in private sometime. Kieran spun the notebook around to face her.

"Have you met any other — um, correspondents?" Kieran asked, tilting his head as he tried to figure out how to phrase this. Maybe MacFusty was actually a werewolf.

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Juliana Binns - March 29, 2021

She smiled at the remark about not being polite, and might have said something about it had she not been so thoroughly distracted by the note he slid across to her. Oh! How exciting! It had crossed her mind, of course, when she'd been setting up this meeting, and since he had offered his flat as one possible meeting place it had evidently crossed his as well. Given that she didn't know how he would react, though, she was leery of choosing any location that might have increased the feeling that he was being ambushed by this information, and by her. Intruding on his personal living space to give him a bit of news that might not have been welcome wasn't something she'd been interested in. Since he wasn't angry and they were on even footing now, however, she was enthusiastic about the idea. She might have suggested he finish his drink and they head off directly, but even Juliana had enough sense not to be seen walking from a bar to a flat in a bad part of town in the company of a strange man. Instead, she gave an enthusiastic nod, still smiling.

At his next question her smile tempered somewhat, though lingered in a more muted form. "A few. Anonymously. It's quite tricky to arrange, but — what was it you said? 'There's so much lost in a written interview,'" she paraphrased cheekily. "So it's worth the hassle, when it's possible. But it's — well, it's difficult to find the right way to ask. You understand." She paused a moment, then wagered a guess: "You wouldn't have agreed, if I'd asked you."

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Kieran Abernathy - March 31, 2021

So she had met some werewolves — probably more werewolves than Kieran had, actually, even if it was tricky to arrange. Kieran could have identified the werewolf who turned him, given the opportunity — but he only really knew Morwenna. And Topaz Urquart, a little, maybe.

"Probably not," he agreed. Anonymity was power. Purposefully or not, he'd turned some over to Miss Binns. He didn't think she would misuse it, but she could. "Depending on the circumstances, I suppose. But we're past that now." He tried a crooked smile on, found it was genuine despite the circumstances.

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Juliana Binns - March 31, 2021

"We are," Juliana agreed, with a slight smirk. "And don't think I'd hold it against you. I didn't agree when you asked me," she pointed out. An entirely different context, of course; a reporter asking to interview Marlowe Forfang compared to a researcher asking to interview an anonymous subject. Still, it was similar enough that she hoped the meaning was still clear; she understood the safety that was offered by being able to hide behind a letter, and she hadn't meant to strip it from him. This was probably as close as she could get to saying I didn't mean to figure you out while they were still in public.

"But I'm glad it all worked out this way," she continued cheerfully. "I wasn't sure, right up until the last minute, but it's —" Someone walked close by the table and Juliana quickly amended what she'd been planning to say, adding a bit more of the vague conversational facade they'd been using on and off. "— such a pleasant surprise to find we have such compatible theories about Forfang."

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Kieran Abernathy - March 31, 2021

Kieran smirked again at the mention of Forfang, with a glance at the passer-by. "Yeah, certainly," Kieran said, "I think I mostly needed someone to back me up on it." He turned his notebook back around to face himself and tapped the end of his quill against it, trying to figure out if he ought to add anything else. There was more to say, he thought.

"Oh, you can probably start sending all your mail to my actual flat," Kieran said, as if the thought had just occurred to him, "I'm sure the bartender will be relieved if they need to hold papers for me a little less frequently."

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Juliana Binns - March 31, 2021

"Delightful," Juliana chirped with a grin. It occurred to her belatedly that he might be expecting her to return the offer, as a gesture of trust, so she felt inclined to continue with an explanation of why that would be quite impossible. "Oh, but — if you don't mind still sending mine to the post box? I live with my parents," she said with a sympathetic sort of expression, as though this was likely to be a terrible inconvenience for him and she was sorry for it. "They don't know about — well, anything, actually. And if I get owls during dinner my mother has this awful habit of asking who it's from and what it's about, so. It's best to limit my at-home correspondence with strange men," she joked lightly. She'd been lying to her mother often enough to cover up the prolific amount of mail Lachlan MacFusty had insisted on sending her and if she got too many letters at inauspicious times, the cover stories were bound to start falling apart — though she supposed, given the way their last interaction had left off, maybe Lachlan MacFusty wouldn't be writing her any more.

Or maybe he would. She'd told him not to, but she'd told him that before, and he wasn't very good at listening to her directions when it came to things like this.

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Kieran Abernathy - March 31, 2021

Kieran grinned at her answer. "Sure, I can do that," he said, "I suppose I'm lucky that my flatmate doesn't care what letters I get." Eileen had no reason to be suspicious of his writing to a woman for a multitude of reasons, including that Kieran tended to send a lot of correspondence due to his job — but it was much more fun to mention her than to say something about mothers, given that Kieran had not spoken to his in ages.

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Juliana Binns - March 31, 2021

Juliana's mouth made a little oh of surprise at the mention of a flatmate. Obviously she knew it was a thing that people did, but it had never occurred to her that he would live with someone else. It made the idea of meeting him in private a little less appealing — what would she do if the two of them were surprised in his flat by this roommate? Sharing her identity with him was one thing, because she trusted him, but she knew nothing of this third person. How much did they know? Enough to piece together who she was, if she was in his flat, or would they be more inclined to jump to the same sort of conclusions that Marianne Finch had done when she saw Juliana and Lachlan MacFusty together in the garden? (Presumably if she did go to his flat her dress and corset would remain intact, but — still). Did this flatmate know about him, about his condition? Was this, perhaps, the friend he'd mentioned before who was studying to become an animagus for his sake?

She recovered from her surprise enough to form a response, after half a second, and flashed a quick smile at him. "I imagine there are far fewer people interested in your letters than there are in mine," she joked. "Or in who you spend your time with. Or who you run into in gardens."

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Kieran Abernathy - March 31, 2021

Kieran grinned. "No, I think the odds of Witch Weekly caring a whit for me are fairly low," he said, a little flippant, "Unless they get very into — socialist politics?" Was Kieran very into socialist politics? He supposed that he was, by the definition of "into" that most people would use. Hrm. He wasn't sure how he felt about that. And hopefully werewolves weren't the only area where Miss Binns was a progressive, or their actual, in-person acquaintanceship would probably be awkward if she ever came back here.

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Juliana Binns - March 31, 2021

Juliana raised an eyebrow. "Socialist politics?" she repeated. This was a surprise, because they had never discussed anything political before, except in the very particular context of laws pertaining to lycanthropy and the werewolf registry. She knew his opinions on that (namely, that she was too optimistic in her vision for eventual change), but, she was realizing now, on precisely nothing else. She wasn't exactly a politico by nature, though, so she didn't really know what to make of the phrase. What were socialist politics? It sounded vaguely like the sort of thing her mother might be distressed to hear she'd been learning about in conversations with strange men at bars, but her mother wasn't going to hear about this, and — well, she liked him, and trusted him, so she was inclined to think that if he was invested in them they couldn't be that bad.

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Kieran Abernathy - April 2, 2021

Right, Kieran had forgotten that even extremely clever young ladies — (for some value of young, they might be the same age) — didn't exactly run around reading Karl Marx et cetera. "I oversimplified a bit, but it's like - hrm." Kieran straightened in his chair, looked around, and did not see the familiar angel-blond hair that would have identified Jude for him. "Damn, he's not here. But the Augurey is sort of — a lot of progressive types frequent it."

"And they're like — it's like thinking how Forfang does, about lycanthropy. But for —" he made a vague expansive gesture with his hand "— all of it."

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Juliana Binns - April 4, 2021

Juliana raised an eyebrow at his explanation, bemused. She wasn't really sure she understood what he meant, because her thoughts on lycanthropy were too expansive to boil down into one succinct philosophy. To do that, and then apply that same philosophy to all of it, was a bit much for her to wrap her head around when they were only talking about it in such vague terms. If his instinct when trying to explain it had been to compare it to the things she'd written in her letters, though, she was still decidedly of the impression she'd be interested in learning more about it.

"Well," she said with a smile. "If that's the case, I imagine I might get along with some of these 'progressive types.'" With a curious glint to her eye, she continued, "Do you count yourself in that group, or do you only drink here?"

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Kieran Abernathy - April 8, 2021

Kieran considered her question carefully, and took a sip of his beer. "I would say that I'm a cynic but a progressive one," he admitted; usually he would have distanced himself from the word a little further — he preferred to avoid caring — but Miss Binns knew him a little too well for Kieran to claim otherwise. "So I would like progress, but I am not convinced that things will fundamentally change."

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Juliana Binns - April 8, 2021

"Right, of course," she said, with a cheeky sort of smile as though she was in on a secret. Which she was, in a way; she had a whole wealth of letters from him carefully catalogued back in her room, and no one in this bar was ever going to know about them. She closed her notebook, tucking the ribbon bookmark and the various scraps and rough edges of paper in to tidy it as though she were preparing to leave. "That's alright, you know. Fundamentally changing things is my job."

RE: tell me your secrets and ask me your questions - Kieran Abernathy - April 9, 2021

Kieran grinned at her confidence. "I suppose you're right," he said; Miss Binns was far too interesting for him to antagonize her the way he antagonized Jude. It would have been mean, and besides, he was too pleased that she'd actually found him — which he supposed that he shouldn't be, but it was hard to be mad about it when he'd enjoyed her company so much. He watched her close her notebook and frowned slightly. In his own, under the previous line, he wrote: Talk more soon? and spun it towards her.

"And I'll have to send you some books," he said, "On a different subject than usual, for a change."