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Long morning
little smile
easilyflustered wrote in pandoraheartsdr
Liam is sitting underneath a tree outside, with bittyliam curled up and asleep against him. There's a jar of grasshoppers near them, along with a stack of books. One that the little one apparently fell asleep reading is The Lost Years of Merlin. At the top of the stack is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. There are also various children's books on King Arthur and Merlin.

Liam is currently reading Le Morte d'Arthur.

Clearly, bittyliam's naming of his frog has resulted in curiosity.

(The bitty will only comment if he's woken.)

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Yyyyyyeah, I cannot let this slide even though I am hiatused. .|

Break passes by from the other side of the tree, coming in from the gardens, where he was out messing with the koi fish in the pond. He spares the two of them a passing glance, but otherwise ignores them -- until he catches a glimpse of the cover of the book Liam is reading.

He knows that image. It's not his most beloved version of the book, but --

Sorry, Liam, Break will be kneeling down in front of you and shoving the book toward you so he can get a better look at it. When he's done gawking at it, and at the books nearby, his expression shifts to something outraged and almost hurt.

"Where did you find this?" It comes out as a quiet hiss.

Liam blinks at him, startled. He'd been engrossed in the book. The expression on Break's face worries him.

"In the library. They showed up recently, most of them after he named the frog Merlin. He has more in his room, but some of them are too advanced for him, like this one."

He keeps his voice low as well, so as not to wake the bitty. Liam is actually rather enjoying reading it, even if he initially started to be able to tell the boy the story later.

"What's wrong, Xerxes?"

Temptress my luscious butt; you are a troll under my bridge

"...he named the frog Merlin. Bloody —"

It's a mutter that he barely restrains from becoming a snarl. He looks like he wants to clutch at something, but the hand on the book remains gentle.

"I have been waiting for King Arthur books to arrive since the first day I landed in this stupid mansion," he says quietly, standing. "I've checked bofe libraries for them daily."

Which billy goat are you?

"We made a list of names, and that was the one he liked best after talking it over with Barma and Hatter. The other option he was considering was Ent."

He frowns at the reaction.

"He's a child, Xerxes; he liked the character and a picture from something called 'Disney' had him dressed in blue. Blue frog in a 'magic mansion,' and that's how it got the name."

Liam gestures to the top book.

"I've finished reading that one. If you don't mind, I'd like to finish this one so I can tell him the stories, but you can have it then."

The one in the high heels. Clip-clop, clip-clop

"I grew up on King Arthur." Which is his way of not saying that these stories are some of the most important things to him in all the history of ever, of course. "The picture he saw is from the movie The Sword and the Stone, based on the book of the same name by TH White. Have fun imitating me accent if you read that one out loud to him."

Stomping off now, bye.

"The tiny Elliot wants to read them, too. Particularly books concerning Lancelot. I promised him, so let me know when you're done."

lol brb imagining dork in stilettos

"So these are from your world, then. I thought so."

He frowns, putting a bookmark in the book and setting it aside to pull out his little notebook and write the name and author down.

"You could read it to him. He enjoyed your reading of 'Oh, the Places You'll Go!', you know."

Liam's not really understanding why he's so pissy, unless it's that the mansion gave the books to someone else first. He recognizes that these are important to him, but they're here and that's what should matter, right?

"I'll bring them by your room when we are, he calls softly after him.

"England is where I was born."

He's not answering the comment on reading aloud with the tiny Liam. Other books? Sure. He can do a pretty wicked Gollum, to say nothing of his imitation of the cobras in Rikki-Tikki-Tavi or his dramatic retellings of certain favorite fairy tales. But these stories are personal to him in ways that no others are -- his very first tattoo was the Excalibur on his wrist, for pity's sake -- and he's feeling far, far too possessive of them to expose himself to the tiny Liam's particular brand of invasive personal questions just now.

The tiny Elliot just accepts that they share a mutual interest in knights and moves on with his life. The tiny Liam will want to know why they're important, and Break loves them far too much to share that with these strangers who don't even know what fucking England is.

After an angry powerwalk across the lawn, he disappears into the mansion and aims straight for the library.

Of course he would, in those tight jeans. He'd probably prefer knee-high boot stilettos

Liam remembers him mentioning that, the first time they met.

He says nothing, instead watching him stomp off toward the Mansion for a few seconds before glancing at his younger self to see that he's still asleep, then picking the book back up and continuing to read.

He knows perfectly well, having learned the hard way, that it's not his place to help this Xerxes with much of anything.

…can't resist a Liam party.

Liam has been actively avoiding people of late but today he's just really fed up with not having his cane and had gathered camera, umrella/replacement cane, and thick scarf (never mind that the weather is hot) to go to the gardens to look for it. This turned into an extended walk which led him to the very tree both Liams are under. Oh dear.

He starts to backtrack quietly but his foot lands on a stick which snaps sharply and he freezes with a 'kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar' expression, hoping neither Liams will have heard that.

Liam hears it and checks his younger self to make sure he's still asleep. Then he raises a finger to his lips to indicate that the other Liam should be quiet, then gestures to the sleeping boy.

So much for not getting noticed. He nods vigorously, he has no intention of waking Bitty, after all, these days he has enough trouble with adults. Catching sight of the title of one of the books he drifts a little closer, cocking his head to read it again, not sure he had it right the first time. Because that book looks very familiar.

Liam blinks when the other Liam seems interested in the books. He'll be very surprised if the King Arthur tales are as important to this Liam or his Xerxes as they seem to be to the Xerxes from the world these are from.

Those stories don't have a special meaning to him but still, since he'd been avoiding libraries in the name of avoiding Barmas it honestly hadn't occurred to him them there might be be books from his world here. He speaks very quietly, not wanting to wake Bitty.

"…are those… King Arthur books?"

Liam nods, and replies just as softly.

"Most of them showed up in the library after he named the frog Merlin."

"That's good he found a name at last." Still speaking quietly, don't want to wake Bitty, but Liam smiles because he's heard a lot about that frog. "I didn't know your world had a King Arthur legend."

After all, the only other person here who's ever mentioned it was the Xerxes that came from a world like his. Then again, it's not the kind of thing that comes up in conversation often.

"We don't, though there are tales of knights in ours as well. There were a few children's books involving King Arthur, including one with a picture of Merlin in blue. That's what led to it."

He reaches down to pick up the top book on the stack and regards it in… shock. "A book from my world… I didn't know there were any of these here. I haven't really been in the library much since I came here." Libraries have Barmas, which he's trying to avoid --though he badly misses having something to read. Gently he sets the book back on the stack.

Liam checks his younger self again before answering.

"Even if you feel the need to stay away from people, it's simple enough to gather a stack of books to keep in your room and read."

Oh well, so much for that pleasant conversation he was just having. This is going to no doubt anger the other Liam to no end but… no helping it.

"Well, you see, the books are in the libraries and libraries tend to have Barmas." He says this like it makes perfect sense because to him it does. The only time he'd gone in a library he'd run into a Barma and that alone was reason to avoid a libraries.

The comment actually doesn't anger Liam--he's generally been avoiding Barma himself--but it does make him give the other Liam an 'are you stupid' look.

"You do realize that he doesn't use the library at night, yes?"

That's information he's taken plenty of advantage of.

…now that he hadn't even thought of. He'd been dreading seeing that Barma again so much he hadn't even considered that the man had to sleep sometime.

"I h-hadn't." He flushes, feeling rather silly and that stutter that plagues him comes out to play. "But it's n-not my Barma. I-I didn't want to assume the habits were the s-same."

Liam is never going to understand what makes this version of him so... Well, somewhat pathetic.

"He reads and takes care of the children most of the day, and maintains a relatively normal sleep schedule so he can."

He makes himself pause before he speaks again and speaks slowly to try to avoid the stutter. "I suppose… that makes sense."

And by now he knows that look. What did he do this time? How could he have possibly angered the other Liam so quickly? Did he breech some obscure victorian manner by approaching them? Vincent has already patiently explained to him how many people are already angry with him, why on earth did he go and add another? Or was this Liam already angry with him, he honestly doesn't remember. All of this races through his head as he starts to draw back from them.

"I didn't intend to bother the both of you."

Liam is troubled, not angry; at some point, he knows, he's going to have to find out why this Liam acts like he's been broken by some major event. It's hard for him to understand what might do that, given that he's managed not to collapse despite everything that's happened at the Mansion and at home.

But now he's spending time with his younger self.

"It's fine. You might be interested in knowing there's a library on the second floor as well. Barma rarely visits that one, since it's much smaller."

No, no, he's angry, he's just being polite and hiding it like the Frog Gilbert did the last time they met. Yes, that must be it, because he remembers now, Vincent had told him very specifically what this Liam thought of him. And those had been some very choice words.

Well, it's not as if he can really argue that those words weren't true; besides, they came from Vincent, that made them accurate. Vincent wouldn't lie to him, after all.

"I'll… have to look for it." he glances at sleeping Bitty, so very glad he's still asleep because last he remembered Bitty was upset with him too. "… would you tell him that… I'm glad he found a name for his frog? I-if it's not too much trouble, of corse."

But he knew it was too much to ask of someone he had no doubt already deeply offended.

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