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Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit and Jack Frost walk back into the fortress, getting out of their wet cloths and warming up a bit. Once that was done, the two approached the room outside of Haddock's main chambers.

"My King, you have been locked up there all day." Stonegit calls. "May we see you a moment?"

He he finishes he glances over at Jack. “Jackson, I must admit I never imagined us being fr…*clears throat* being…people who don’t want to kill each other. So no matter what the King decision is, I hope you will stay.”

[response lost from Jack Frost]

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "He doesn’t, but I’m working on that. *frowns* Quick question, what is Hemlock been up to? I ask because I get the feeling she could help us out?" Stonegit shifts uncomfortably. "In theory…" 

Emily: ”If you don’t mind, I could go with you two. As one of his advisers, the King trusts me. It might help cool off any tensions.”

Jack Frost: "That’d be great. Thanks. As for Hemlock… I don’t know. I actually haven’t met her yet. She seems to always be locked in that cabin taking care of the Chief."

Emily: "Lately she’s been giving me the creeps. We hardly ever see her around, and her library is almost impossible to get into."

Jack Frost: Jack raises an eyebrow “almost?”

Emily: "I’ve never been inside of it, but if Hemlock can get in and out of it there has to be some way."

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss:  ”She gives me the creeps to, do you have people who can watch her? I don’t like the thought of someone like that being locked up with so much knowledge and power to themselves.

Emily: "I’m sure that somebody’s watching her, but it hasn’t been me."

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock, having heard Stonegit’s comment outside his chambers, steps right outside and sees Emily, Stonegit, and Jack. “Did you knock on my door for me?” he asks.

Emily: "er…Yes, King."

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock raises his eyebrows. “This needs to be discussed in depth?” he inquires.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit licks his lips once. “Well not really…but we are still down one General my King.”

Jack Frost: [Jack won't be talking much in this convo, just standing there awkwardly.]

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit leans over to Jack and whispers, "I don't want this to be awkward for you so why don't you get some air and I'll handle this."

[post lost from Jack Frost]

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: He clears his throat, watching as his companions quietly leave, turns back to Haddock. “Despite all similarities, I really don’t believe Jackson is Frosti my King.”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: It doesn’t matter if he is or isn’t. My answer doesn’t change.

For let’s consider the two scenarios: first, if he is Frosti, and two, if he is not.

One, let’s pretend he is Frosti. Then I definitely don’t want someone who tried to murder me reinstated into the General position. Enough said. That shouldn’t be hard to conceive.

Two, let’s say that he isn’t Frosti. In which case I know very little about him, and in which case he might not have the skills needed to be a General. I need to pick someone who has experience and my trust, someone I know I can count on. A person who just stumbled into camp this week does not fulfill those criteria. It’s nothing against Jack, then, it’s just simply the fact that my officers need to be fully reliable and qualified. Not someone who just popped in a short time ago.

Both ways, the answer is this: No.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "To be fair my King I to popped out of nowhere and you allowed me to become your bodyguard. I see what you are saying about the position of General, it makes sense and I agree. But we also can’t just have him wandering around as you might say. He is the most powerful ice mage I have ever seen."

Stonegit shifts uncomfortably. “Absolutely… by your decree, the position of General is out of the question. Which is why I have a second proposition. It’s no lie Sire that my service to you has been…choppy, at best. You are also a fully capable warrior. In light of that maybe you do not require a 24/7 bodyguard, but perhaps a professional ‘Hand’ or two.”   

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "That… would NOT make me comfortable." Haddock subconsciously reaches toward his heart.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "How so? You call for a lot of privacy when meeting with people, which is fine, but it removes the sole purpose of my job. Having someone who will do anything from fetching you a mug of tea to killing a dangerous enemy might work out better."

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "And there are many instances in which my bodyguard - you - stays right beside me. Oftentimes alone with me. I would not feel comfortable with… someone like that… staying by my side, even if with full good intentions."

Haddock gives a small shudder, feeling cold all of a sudden.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit glances away briefly. “Uncomfortable with Jackson by your side or uncomfortable with me…by…*blinks, striding over and touching his wrist* Sire are you alright? You’re going cold.” 

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock frowns and blinks multiple times, as though to steel himself from… something inside his head. He shudders again.

"No, I am not uncomfortable with you. I would not have given you this position if I did not feel safe around you. I mean uncomfortable with Jackson there… nothing against him personally… I think…"

He avoids directly answering Stonegit’s question regarding his well-being.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit works his jaw. “Then what about making him my subordinate? He would never be near you without me, and most of the time he would either be out on an assignment or taking some down time…*motions to a char by the fire* Perhaps we can sit down for the rest of this conversation?”  

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Alright, sit down, then. This appears it’ll be a long, extended conversation."

Haddock sits down and leans forward intently. “Look, why are you pushing so much for Jackson to be in some position beside you? What’s the purpose to all that?”

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Simple. I will always be between him and you, securing safety and usefulness on both sides….How’s your heart?" Stonegit reaches forward slightly.

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: As Stonegit reaches forward, Haddock tumbles backward. Off-balance, he falls off his chair and right onto his injured leg, resulting in a stifled moan and a few biting curses.

"For the love of Loki Laufeyson, it’s healed, dammit," Haddock snaps. Then, grimacing, he rights himself back up and reseats himself in his chair.

Trying to cover that last reaction, he returns the conversation back to Jack, and remarks, “You can be a bridge between him without trying to promote him. Look - there’s nothing wrong - just let him work his own way up in camp, okay? Like everyone else. There’s nothing wrong with him, but he’s yet to make his mark. Just let it be. Safety and usefulness? Don’t think we need to make any special arrangements for that.”

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "As you decree…now, why are you so cold? I can see you aren’t well Haddock you can’t hide that."

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Gods… gods above… I’m not actually cold… am I? Just… just a memory… right? Flashback? Please tell me it’s that… I don’t know.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "When I touched your wrist Sire it felt cold and dead. Why?"

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Clenching his teeth and trying not to shake, Haddock responds, “Ask. Jack. Frost. Whether or not he’s Jokul, he should know.”

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit turns around, calling. ” Jack Frost! We need you in here please.”

Jack Frost: Jack cautiously walks back into the room “what’s wrong?”

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: [calls over shoulder] “I’m sorry Jackson, I called you in error.”

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: At this point, Haddock is beyond speaking. He is just curled up, as though warding off coldness or a bad memory.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit stands to his feet, running to the hearth and grabbing up a bit of charcoal, quickly drawing a healing pentagram and rolling Haddock onto it. *muttering* “Hold on you stubborn ass,”

Stonegit calls upon the fire and healing magic he had learned to try to simultaneously heal and heat up his King.  

Jack Frost: “Um. Is he okay?” Jack asked while slowly walking up towards Haddock.

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock glares up at Stonegit, clearly humiliated at the going-ons, but making no moves to stop any of it. Then his eyes glaze over slightly.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "Glare at me all you want," Stonegit mutters. "And I’ll be damned if I let your pride get you killed." He looks up, still using the magic. "Jack, can you tell what’s the matter with him?”

Jack Frost: Jack cautiously puts his hand over the king’s heart, while watching his face for any objection. “Whoa. Who did- oh yeah…. I- Jokul. His heart it’s still frozen. I don’t think it can be healed with fire….”

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "But I thought I…!" Stonegit rubs his eyes. "Shit that does it. I have to call Hemlock.”

Concentrating his mind Stonegit reaches his mind out to Hemlock, knowing that she would read his thoughts. 

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock’s breathing increases nervously. Whatever is going on in his mind is faring just as poorly as his heart.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit turns to Jack. “You know very well I do not trust Hemlock, but we need her here just in case Haddock starts to die.”

"You said fire and healing won’t fix this frozen heart, so what can!? Please! I would do anything to save him he’s the only reason I haven’t let myself drop off a cliff!" Stonegit cries out, grasping his head as the pressure of the situation caused his damaged mind to throb. "Jackson whatever you know you have to tell me!"

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock seems unaware of the outside world.

Jack Frost: "I’m sorry, Jokul’s a whole lot more powerful than I. But it feels like…. there’s- there’s a message! ‘Only an act of true love… can thaw a frozen heart’" Jack turns to look at Stonegit. "Do you think you can do an act of true love?"

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit stops, slowly bringing up his head to look at Jackson for a long awkward moment. “What? Are you kidd…I mean are you ser…oh gods you are serious.”

Stonegit lowers his hands, and then has another mental breakdown, exploding to his feet. “Well how am I supposed to do that!? Iv’e gotten in harms way, offered advice, friendship, I saved his life! I would killed for him! I know! I tried more than once! What more do I have to do? Kiss him full on the lips? Hug him? Pat his hand?!

Stonegit’s eyes fill with tears, a few sliding down his cheek. He continues, voice trembling and breaking. “I…was…nothing before he led me out of the Grounded Dungeon. I was a freak, a lazy eyed unstable freak! And in a matter of a few days a freak became something important because this moody…stubborn…prickish…and unbelievably wonderful bastard thought ‘eh, why not?’ and let me stay.”

He sinks to his knees again, thudding his head onto Haddock’s chest, hitting his fist weakly against him once. He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth, the tears now freely flowing. “And now…just like last time. I just don’t want him to be dying again.” *grips Haddock’s shoulders tightly.* 

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock shudders and gasps. His eyes fly open.

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit gasps at the same time in shock, his head coming up and looking at Haddock. He stared at him, and then at his chest, pressing his ear down to see if his heart was actually warm and beating. 

Jack Frost: "It- it worked! King Haddock, how are you feeling?"

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: The king groans, continuing to focus just on breathing for a long moment. When he notices Stonegit on his chest, he awkwardly, somewhat firmly pushes his bodyguard’s ear off his body, then tries to sit up. He is shaking as he does so.

"Don’t… no… not near me, Jokul…" he hisses between heavy exhales. "Will be… will be… f… what happened?"

Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit stands to his feet, looking over at frostyvviking with a mortified expression. He gaps for words for a moment and then his shoulders sag. “Um, well as far as I can tell my King, Jackson and I were diagnosing your problem and I uh… *turns a deep red, jerking at his collar* well we fixed it. No more frozen heart…yep…that’s just about the long and short of it.”  

Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: Haddock curls up, grabs his knees, and whispers very, very softly, “Both of you. Leave me now.”

There’s a tear dropping down on his cheek.

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