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Jan 18, 2021 12:05 AM
James is left for dead on a deserted island right before the Trojan War
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After what is almost certainly a subjective eternity, dusk falls, and a head of red-orange hair pokes out of the water. It's hard to make out the details at this distance, besides the pale skin and hair color.

"You know," she calls, sounding less unhappy than she had been, if a little... tired and resigned, "it would be a lot more comforting to strangers trying to help you if you didn't constantly have your very deadly ranged weapon at hand all the time."

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He does not open his eyes. Was he asleep? Who knows.

"It was a gift from a dear friend. And now, apparently, my only possession other than my clothes."

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"I'm not saying throw them in the sea and be done with them, I'm saying maybe just, just—put them more than an arm's length away so I have some warning and can dive away if you suddenly decide to shoot me."

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"- you saved my life why would I shoot you?"

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"I wouldn't say it'd be reasonable! Or that it'd be smart! I'm saying I'd be dead!"

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"It would be dishonorable," he says, curling his lips in disgust when he utters the word, but he does get up on one foot and gets the bow farther away from where he was than it was before (opening his eyes with his back to the ocean so he doesn't look), then returns to his rock. "And anyway," he adds now that the bow is pretty far, "under less adverse circumstances I would be a good enough shot to hit you even with my eyes closed."

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"Truly, you are a master of reassurance," she deadpans. "... But thank you."

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"I do not want to shoot you, and I am under adverse conditions. I could barely hit the pigeons I was hunting earlier for food."

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"... Okay. It's silly to keep your eyes closed all the time, you know."

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"It's silly to disappear whenever I look in your direction," he counters easily.

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"Is not, you have a ranged weapon and the skill to use it, and I have very good reason to suspect that a strange man might use it on me. Not staying where you can see me is perfectly logical."

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"You... what very good reason could you possibly have to suspect that? Other than, I suppose, that being at all possible for him to do"

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"The one time my sister went in reach of a man," she says in a dead sounding monotone, "he dragged her up the beach by her hair, then bashed her head in with a rock."

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"...what? Why would - I am so sorry -" He opens his eyes almost accidentally and moves in a way someone might recognise as the start of a hug offer, except he's sitting down and there's no one to hug so he just settles for looking very forlorn and sorry.

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She shrinks away a little, in the waves, but doesn't quite flee.

"... She might have deserved it. I don't know. We did essentially get him and all of his crewmates killed."

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"I - why - that is not important. I am very sorry for your loss."

The red-orange thing was her hair? That's a peculiar colour. Very pretty, though.

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"... why? It didn't affect you at all. You didn't know her, and you barely know me." She sounds sincerely confused, not bitter.

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"...I am not sure how to answer that. I do not like it when other people suffer."

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".... okay."

She doesn't say anything else, just. Floats in the ocean. Looking at him.

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"Well. I am not going to shoot you. The only person I would like to shoot is the queen of gods. ...perhaps Odysseus, too."

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"Don't," she hisses, horrified. "I mean, maybe Odysseus, I don't know him at all and he might be fine, but don't even say that, you idiot."

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"I did not use her name," he says, shrugging. "And she already hates me, for the sin of befriending one of her husband's bastards. Who has been dead for a while, I should add."

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"If she hated you, you would be dead, do you have any idea how hard that was to prevent even though she was just mildly annoyed with your existence?!"

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"...no, I do not," he admits. "If this is her mild annoyance, then I gather she is also only moderately annoyed at all the bastards."

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"Compared to her feelings for her husband, yes, that's accurate! I begged for your life and she agreed to let you off with an incurable cursed wound that will never heal! You were very lucky and if you are very stupid you will get us both killed!"

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