“Don’t worry, I already have. He basically said the same thing.” Joanna shifted in her position on the bed, feeling a bit awkward. “It’s okay, really.”
She raised an eyebrow. “I’m always…what? If I’m doing something, then I really don’t notice it.” It was true - she was usually accused by a few people over her actions, but Joanna usually paid no mind to them. At Irene’s explanation, she went silent. After a few minutes she pushed the woman on the shoulder. “Yeah, I’m really going to go running out of the room. I probably wouldn’t talk to you for about an hour as well.” She shook her head. “I’m just curious. Who knows, maybe I’d even like it. But I promise it won’t cause me to look down
Frowning, Irene didn’t know how to respond. She didn’t want to upset the girl any more than she already was, but she knew it was unavoidable. “You’re always provoking them, aren’t you? I don’t know if you mean to, but it definitely seems like you are at least trying to keep their attention on you. Not that it’s a bad thing,” she said with a shrug. “It’s certainly admirable.”
Growing worried at the silence between them, Irene shifted her position a bit before she answered her. She grinned at her friend, suddenly feeling as if it was alright to tell her. If the girl really didn’t care, Irene didn’t find any problem in telling her. “Well, you know, it’s quite hard to explain. But I could always show you,” she said, leaning closer and cupping the girl’s cheek in one of her hands. She raised an eyebrow at Joanna before leaning in to press a soft kiss to her lips, wondering if this was alright with her. She would know soon enough. The last person that had kissed Joanna without her approval had gotten punched in the face, as far as she knew.
Joanna just stared at Irene, taking in her words. When she was done, the younger girl scoffed and shook her head. “Well, I certainly didn’t expect that to come from you.” She understood where the woman was coming from, but it didn’t stop the words from hurting. “I know, and I do see it from his point of view. That’s why I’m in this room instead of in there.”
“I don’t want people noticing me because I don’t like it. I hate the attention.” She shrugged. “I guess it’s mostly from being the captain’s daughter - everyone noticed me. It was annoying.” Joanna noticed how Irene didn’t answer the question. She leaned up and switched into a sitting position - both legs underneath her. “You forget, I’m twenty years old. I’m old enough to make my own decisions.” She ran a hand through her hair. “I don’t understand why no one will explain it. It can’t be that bad.”
"Come on, you had to hear it from someone," Irene said, trying to brush it off as nothing. She could tell she had hurt the girl, and she wished she could take her words back. "And I’m glad you are," she said quietly, trying to see if she was actually doing alright.
"You don’t shy away from it very often, though. You’re always, oh, never mind," she said, shaking her head. Irene pulled her legs up to her chest, resting her forehead on her knees. "Damnit, Joanna. I don’t want you looking down on me. I like you, and I don’t want you running from me because of my job. I’m sure your dad has other reasons, but that’s mine, alright?" Sighing, she looked up at the younger girl again. "I know how people react whenever I try to explain my job, and I just don’t want that from you too," she said quietly.
“Ugh, I’m tired of being a worry on everyone’s mind. I’m a nurse for crying out loud - I can keep my composure pretty well.” Joanna sighed, shaking her head at the statement. That was true, she’s seen enough to not faint at the sight of blood. But she could see where everyone was coming from. It was her dad, not just some patient.
She tilted her head. “I know I’m pretty, and I hate it. I’d rather be the plain jane than have guys notice me.” She rolled over onto her stomach and looked up at Irene. He had described her job as something to do with S&M - she may be innocent, but she knew what those letters stood for. “Why not? I think if you enjoy what you do, it deserves to be respected.” She began to pick at the covers under her. “What is it exactly? The dominatrix thing?”
"It’s not that he doesn’t think you can handle it, I’m sure. It’s more of the emotional side of things," Irene said with a sigh, looking down at the girl. "You’re already not taking things well, and your dad doesn’t need that right now, I’m sure. He’s probably got his own problems to work out. He doesn’t need yours too," she said before she realized how harsh that sounded. "I don’t mean that in a bad way, sweetheart. I’m just looking at it from his point of view."
"That’s definitely not the attidude I was expecting," she said, rolling her eyes. "Why don’t you want people noticing you?" Irene could see the curious look in Joanna’s eyes and started to get worried. She was going to start asking questions about her job again, and she just didn’t want to explain it to her, for fear of scaring her off. "It’s not exactly like that," she said, shaking her head. "You’re going to be the death of me, you know that? It’s hard to explain. And if I do, your dad will kill me," she said, trying to brush it off.
“Less distractions? The last thing he needs to be is by himself with my dad. If someone is there pestering him he’ll keep a clear head.” Joanna pulled her knees to her chest, pressing her chin on top of them. Tilting her head slightly, she regard the woman with a blank stare. “Okay, so that statement came out a little harsh. But can you blame me for it?”
She made a face. Of course Irene would mention something about the guys. “I hate it - I honestly don’t even know what they see in me.” It was true, even when she was going through the academy it always seemed to freak her out whenever guys would say things like that. “I also don’t get why people don’t like you. Like my daddy. He said something about it being because of your profession, but even that’s confusing.” Joanna blew out a puff of air and laid back down. “Everything is confusing.”
Closing her eyes, Irene leaned her head back to rest against the wall, rubbing her temples. She obviously wasn’t doing a good job with getting Joanna’s mind off of her dads. “No, of course not. But I’m sure he’s fine right now. Caroline and Gwen are in there, aren’t they?” she asked softly. “He probably doesn’t want to see you upset about all of this, and I don’t blame him. He doesn’t need another worry on his mind right now,” she said with a shrug.
Rolling her eyes, she responded, “You’re gorgeous, Joanna. And don’t try to deny it. You’re something special, and of course they all like it.” When the girl brought her job up again, she became quiet. She had never really thought about it, it just came with the territory. People always acted weird around her, and she didn’t really mind it. “My job isn’t the most respectable profession, you know. I don’t even really care what your father thinks. I’ll stick around if you’re happy with me,” she said, knowing that really didn’t answer much of anything. But she really didn’t want to talk about it, especially with someone as innocent as her.
“Unless you are messing with another guy, then yes. I’m talking about Gwaine.” Joanna rolled her eyes. It was stupid of her to act this way, but dammit she had a right. She got used to having Irene around most of the time - and this was the first time they’d seen each other in a couple of days. “He may be taking care of him, but I should be there too.”
A blush rose to her cheeks at the accusation. Joanna cleared her throat and put her arms over her face. Was she jealous? She didn’t even know what it was supposed to feel like. Sighing, she removed her arms. “I-I don’t know. Jealousy isn’t really my thing, being the awkward wall flower and all. I’ve never had anything to be jealous over.” She shrugged, moving out of the way of Irene’s hand. “Is that bad?”
"Yes, because there is such a variety of men here that I can be messing around with,” Irene sighed. It seemed like such a big deal to Joanna, and she hadn’t meant it to be. They did spend a lot of time together, but that didn’t give Joanna a right to her all the time, did it? “Maybe it would be better if there’s only a few people in there with him, less distractions,” she said with a shrug. She didn’t know much about how the man was getting treated, or how badly he was hurt. From what Joanna said, it was extremely bad, but she was known to exaggerate a bit.
Grinning at the small blush on the girl’s cheek, Irene pulled her hand back, satisfied. “You definitely aren’t awkward at all. The men here are all over you,” she said offhandedly. It was just the truth. She was always talking about how awkward she was, about how she never really talked to anyone. But she didn’t see that same problem here. “I suppose not. Nice to know someone cares about me, at least,” she finally responded, smirking down at the girl still laying down.
Joanna groaned as the door opened. Just what she needed at this moment - a stupid invader of her personal space. She couldn’t get just a few moments to herself. Turning her head, she caught sight of the girl. “Oh…it’s you. Here I thought it was going to be your wonderful boytoy.” Rolling her eyes at her own comment, Joanna flipped over onto her back.
“Whats wrong, you ask? Oh, nothing. Only my dad is currently probably dying and I can’t do anything because my other dad is being a complete dick. On top of that I have been sleeping on random couches over the last few nights because I’m scared of catching you having sex. Besides that? Not a thing.”
"M…my boytoy? You’re talking about Gwaine, aren’t you?" Irene said, frowning. Was she really spending that much time with him? She had only spent one or two nights over there with him, and they had never come to her room, for that exact reason: so that they wouldn’t disturb Joanna. But it seemed as if they already were. "If McCoy’s taking care of him, he’s not going to die. He won’t let him. Just relax about it, alright?" Irene said, not knowing how to deal with this. She was never the best with the whole…feelings thing. But she felt as if she had to take care of this girl, if her fathers weren’t going to. "Am I really spending that much time with him? We haven’t even come to this room, you know. I don’t want to scare you or anything," she sighed, climbing up on the bed and letting her back rest against the wall. "I think someone’s jealous," she said, poking the girl in the side. Obviously, she didn’t know what she was doing. But she could try to cheer the girl up.
Joanna was angry - angry at everything and anything. She stormed down the hallway, her face probably matching the hue of her hair. How dare that girl suggest such a thing? Give her father blood? It didn’t help that her father still hadn’t woken up. She decided to leave instead of staying - something her other dad would be very happy in knowing. Even though she was a nurse, there wasn’t a lot she could do with the technology they were provided, and lacking of.
So, instead, she found herself attempting to make her way back to her room, take a nice shower, and go to sleep. It took her a little bit to actually find the right door. All the hallways and things looked the same no matter where she went. A small thought crossed her mind of if her roommate was in there with the knight - but her exhaustion had a higher demand. Joanna threw herself onto the bed face first, giving a small sigh of content.
Irene had been wandering the halls, and she had heard some rumors about Jim being hurt. Something about him having fallen from the roof, and it worried her. She never went and checked, because she knew that McCoy was surely there and would throw her out. They never had that good of a relationship, no matter how hard they tried talking to each other. But she was also worried about Johanna. Her friend hadn’t been around for a while, or maybe it was the fact that she had been spending the nights with Gwaine. Peeking her head in the door, she saw Joanna lying facedown on the bed, and rushed over.
"Sweetheart, what’s wrong?" she asked, although she already knew what was wrong. Her dad was hurt, and she was probably worried. But she always found it good to ask. She cared about this girl more than anyone here at this mansion, but she wasn’t going to tell anyone that. "Come on, Joanna. Talk to me," the woman murmured, rubbing her back gently.
He’d got the letter some time this afternoon. It was just sitting there on his bed, looking innocent. Nothing stood out about it. It had bright red stationary, a gold ‘O’ on the front - McCoy guessed it stood for ‘Owner’ - and the invitee’s name printed on the front. And, when he opened it, nothing exploded or whistled or smoked or spontaneously combusted. A little bit of gold glitter fell out and stuck to his fingers, but that was all.
Despite his initial wariness, he was interested. The doctor pulled out the invitation and flipped it over so it was right-side up. It began:
It was a large, flowery font, the kind he hated. Furrowing his brow, he read on, skimming over most of the contents.
Torture isn’t the only fun I can have with you. Watching…boring… gives me ideas…
…all-day pool party… swimwear mandatory…
Barbeque and karaoke machines provided. Attend… like it or not… You have my word… nothing bad… happen.
Have fun. Entertain me!
McCoy read it over once or twice, shaking his head. “You’ve gotta be kidding me,” he told the trash can, then tossed the letter in.
He went anyways. Not wearing a swimsuit, but he went. There wasn’t much else to do these days, especially after all those people disappeared. The only other options were to sit and drink himself into oblivion, feeling guilty for something he had no reason to be guilty for, or go back and skim the library’s medical journals for the fourth time. And, since reading about this century’s ancient technology made him feel like he’d just eaten a lemon covered in curry powder - he actually did know what that tasted like; damn Jim Kirk and his fondness for Truth or Dare - even a pool party seemed like more fun.
Thankfully, McCoy wasn’t the first one outside. He was one of the first, however, so nothing in the yard had been disturbed as of yet. The pool was spotted with inner-tubes and things that looked suspiciously like water guns. A ways to the left, closer to the garden, the grill and a few tables were set up. And - much to the doctor’s dismay - a karaoke machine and speakers sat on the porch not a yard away.
He shook his head. There was no way ‘nothing bad would happen’ like the Owner claimed. There was no way this party was as straightforward as it seemed to be, either. But nevertheless, here he was.
Grabbing a drink from one of the coolers scattered about the lawn, McCoy cracked the top and sat down on the porch steps. Well, he thought mildly as he waited for someone to either approach him or do something stupid he could use to start a conversation, it could be raining.
Irene was getting bored of wandering around the mansion, trying to find someone that would do something interesting. The mansion was quiet this week, and she attributed that to all of the disappearances that had been happening recently. Some, she didn’t really care about, like Merlin and Arthur. But she did quite like Kurt, and her and Leon had been good friends. Well, what can you do, she thought to herself, knowing in a place like this anything could’ve happened and they couldn’t do anything about it. When she arrived at the room she currently shared with Joanna, she found a card sitting on their bed and smiled. It looked like an invitation, and on further inspection, it seemed as if they were all invited to a pool party. Surely, this would spice things up. So, she pulled her hair back and went through the closet, pulling out her favorite red bikini and a short, flowery dress to pull on over it. Slipping on a pair of white sandals, she pulled her hair back into a bun and then headed off.
When she arrived, she saw only a few people, most of which she didn’t know yet. Nothing had really started to happen, although she did see a few coolers open and a grill pulled out. It was almost as if the Owner was getting bored with all the quiet in the mansion too, and he was trying to liven things up. The type music that she absolutely despised was coming from a sound system that she couldn’t exactly locate, but there probably wasn’t anything she could do to change it, so she headed over to the coolers. Grabbing a beer, she headed over to sit next to McCoy and a blonde woman she probably had only spoken to once or twice. “Well, nice party, eh?” she asked as she sat down next to McCoy, smiling at the two. "And where’s your swimsuit, McCoy? It’s supposed to be a pool party," she said with a small smirk.
/gently takes her hand and leads her into the room, closing the door behind them. I wouldn’t mind you being around more often and if my new manservant cleaning the room is what it takes then I’m all for it. Make yourself comfortable.
Oh, I’ll be around for other reasons. But McCoy’s certainly a plus. I’m not going to lie. /pulls him over to the bed and sits down on the edge. Oh, come on. I know you’re not shy, of all people.
That would make me very happy to know. I aim to please and I thank you for thinking so. /stops outside his room long enough to open the door. Oh I wouldn’t dare do a thing like that. Like you said, I have McCoy as my manservant now, so he will be visiting to clean up at some point tomorrow.
Well, it’s not too much of a mess in here. But I might just have to stay long enough to see McCoy cleaning your room. I’m sure he’s not too pleased with the sudden turn of events. /smirks. So, are we just going to stand out here all night?
Who ever said I wasn’t has lied to you. Despite my more than friendly tendencies, I am a good man. All I do is love everyone in my own special way. Might not be what others approve of or like, but it’s my way and I like it. /pats her hand. Though having a girl in my life might keep things a little cleaner which I would greatly appreciate.
You’d be glad to ka\now I like it too, then? You may be a flirt, but you are a good man. I agree completely. Are you trying to get me to clean your room? Don’t you have a manservant now or something? I’m sure he’d be more than willing to clean up your mess.
If it means seeing you more often then I don’t mind getting lost. And it is clean. Well, as clean as it can be with two men living in it. I tried keeping it tidy at first, but that didn’t really end well on most days.
I was wrong about you before, you really are a sweetheart, aren’t you? And I can imagine that would get tough. I suppose it’s easier with two girls, but I bet you two are just a mess.
Well, I am in no short supply of oversized shirts for you to wear if it comes to that. I would enjoy seeing you in one, I admit. My room is just down this hall. Took me a while to find it the first time after I go so used to going to the old room.
Well, I might just have to do this for you now, won’t I? I can just imagine you getting lost trying to find it. /chuckles. Well, I hope it’s as clean as your last one. Although you didn’t really share that one with anyone.
I don’t have to since I have you to go to sleep with tonight. Lucky me. /winks. If you feel you would rather wear something else at any point in the night, let me know. I’m sure you would look just as nice in one of the shirts I’ve been given. Might be a little big, but I personally think it’s cute.
Oh, and I’m very lucky as well. And I’ll keep that in mind. Might be worth it just to get you to call me cute. /smiles. So where exactly is this wonderous bedroom of yours, might I ask?
Exactly. As beautiful as love making is, it’s not so pretty when you’re walking up on it as it happens in your bed. /takes her arm to lead her away. Did you need any sort of bed clothing before we went?
Expecially when it’s…them. But, he’s your roomate. So I guess you have to live with it. /smiles as they start walking. Nope, I think I can make do with what I’ve got on. If that doesn’t bother you too much.
We can go now if you like. He’s probably with his husband-partner-whatever, McCoy, by now. If he is there, he will leave. It was a part of our agreement as roommates to give each other space if the other was going to have a guest over for the night.
Oh, that’s always a good agreement to have. You probably had that on his part, didn’t you? Wouldn’t want to walk in on those two in the middle of something. Well, let’s head out, shall we?
I don’t see why they would mind so much. It’s not like you would try anything on her that if she didn’t like it. Seeing as Kirk is one of her fathers I think they would love it if you stayed with me and my bed will always have room for you, milady. Even if he is still my roommate, I’m sure he would understand staying somewhere else.
No, I’ve already made that clear to all of them. I don’t know, it’s probably just a parent thing. And I will gladly take you up on that offer. Shall we go now? Or do you have to warn your roommate first, wherever he is?
Yes, I would assume so, especially if they new what it is you did. As parents I don’t think it’s exactly what they want to picture their little girl being a part of. I on the other hand have not problems with it. I would be a perfect gentleman. /takes her hand and kisses it lightly.
Oh, they do. And they told her, so she knows as well now. Not that I mind, of course. She doesn’t, either. But they definitely do. I don’t think I would mind spending a night with you, though. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind either, if it came to that. And if you really are selling your roommate, there should be room in the bed for me, right?