Description: In which OUR HEROINE harasses a man of the Lord, with PARTIAL SUCCESS. Thrill to see her assigned PENANCE for TEENAGE SINS. Gasp at the disrespect in the Lord's house (almost typed 'hosue').
Sometimes a priest must come home! Even a dragon priest. And so Walter Bardsley is within St. Peter's Basillica! It's somewhat late at nigh, and miraculously empty aside from the priest himself. Right at the altar, the draconic one is on his knees whispering prayers with his spear out in front of him!
Wings and tail are exposed upon his back and backside, the pious knight not at all wanting to hide anything in this House of God. He looks tiny compared to the massive church all around him with it's many pews and beautiful frescos and other aspects of devotion. Completely engrssed in his task, it would be so easy to sneak up on the holy lizard!
"Oh... wow," Mercedes Deletraz had said: "They have confession here, too? I didn't know they actually had Mass and whatever." The tour guide who had been leading her around with a small gaggle of other people approximately in her age group - a tour guide who Mercedes had chosen because he had tight pants - lets out a small sigh.
Mercedes comes down the great aisle, heels clicking. There is a faint wet sound as she pops the gum she's been chewing.
"Excuse me!" Mercedes calls ahead. "Yoo-hoo~! Sir, forgive me for interrupting, but I haven't been in a church for like, real-real since I got out of confirmation -- are there hours or do I just hit you up or...?"
Mercedes flicks a hand around to point towards where the confession booths were in the church she went to in Marseille. Instead there are priceless treasures of art. Mercedes glances that way. "Wow," she says, "did that angel have like a piercing...?"
Slowly, Walter stands up. The dragon-priest turns to spy. He gives a slight double-take at just how.../casual/ she is about asking for confession. In /St. Peter's/. At least she's not screaming about the wings or calling him a demon. He's had that happen several times.
"Ah...Miss. /No/ that is no a piercing, dear Lord! You're in the largest Cathedral in the world! This isn't..."
Pause. /Sigh/. He rubs his temples as he approaches Mercedes, taking in her interesting outfit. "There isn't a proper confessional here. We would have to go down the street. /But/, the Lord is understanding, and if you wish I suppose it would not hurt the intent to do one here."
Finally, he offers a smile. "It would be my pleasure, my Child." Seems the dragon is game! He finds a convenient seat, patting the spot next to him.
"I feel I should let you know, father," Mercedes says, twisting her hand round again with a casual toss of the wrist, "That you're in... costume?"
Hm. That was an interesting tone on that turn of phrase.
"But it's really good stuff."
Maybe she's not just here for confession.
But she seems to go along otherwise. She pops her gum again as Walter speaks, and then says, "Oh great! Yeah, I'm pretty sore so if we could skip crossing the entire plaza, which is by the way /extremely/ beautiful, I do love it here in Rome, anyway yeah, sure, that works!"
Walter plops down into a pew. Mercedes plops down exactly where indicated, which is close enough that her thigh is up against Walter's. She has moderately expensive perfume on and her breath smells of the inexpensive chewing gum she's been popping. "Sorry about this," she says, pointing to her mouth, "but I kind of have to do this or I get all twitchy..."
Mercedes takes in a huge breath, then clasps her hands together. "Bless me father, for I have sinned."
Her tone gets less formal again. "It counts even if I like miss a couple, right? Because I kind of have to think back a long way here, and like, I did /think/ about it, but you know what I mean - don't you? Like if I forget about one when I was, IDK, seventeen, but it wasn't a big one."
Walter's smile is...somewhat of a smirk, a little amused, and a /lot/ wanting to facepalm. At least it explains the lack of Mercedes calling him a demon. "...Yes. Costume. Why thank you, I put a lot of work into it. A new way to attract perisioners." Yes, Mercedes, this is all an attempt to convert scalies and cosplayers into becoming good Catholics.
"Of course, of course! /Isn't/ it? I grew up in Rome, you know? And yet every time I walk it's streets, I find something new to marvel at!" At least Mercedes is bubbly and adorable. He instantly decides he likes the ditzy young woman. That tail of his wags happily at the tip!
When she's all but rubbing up against him, it's easy to see his cheeks coloring very quickly. Yet, he doesn't exactly move. Lord give him strength! That perfume is really nice, and he makes a conscious effort to look her in the eyes.
The dragon in him wants to flap off with her over his shoulder. Mentally the darkstalker beats it down.
A raised brow. "Well, we are already being liberal with the setting, whatever makes you comfortable my dear."
Ahem! He clears his throat. "What troubles you, my Child?" He asks with gravitas. It breaks quickly enough though. "That is why you say how long it has been since Confession." He encourages. Wink!
"And no, you are not expected to remember everything. The Lord is forgiving! Speak of the ones you do, the ones that most trouble your heart." He offers gently.
Mercedes wiggles a little to get comfortable. When Walter looks her in the eyes she leans forwards an inch or so, the Breton shirt she has on shifting in a flattering way. She looks faintly vacant, but only faintly. Of course, any introspection on the details of her face might be a little hard, right now.
The tip of her tongue runs over her lower lip. "It has been..." Her eyes turn heaven wards as she maths it out, "seven years and eight months? since I have gone to confession last." Her hands come up, clasping before her again, fingers lacing together. "And I am a sinner, Father. Oh my god. Okay, let me think here."
She purses her lips.
She counts something on her fingertips for a moment.
"Okay, let me remember... let's see... right, that one /is/ a sin, right... Should I try to give counts or do you want to hear, like... the story, Father?" Those big eyes come back up to him, her lips pursing in curiosity.
That is /not/ helping matters! Draconic eyes flick down, and Walter has to tighten control on himself. The priest has always had issues with the fairer ones amidst the Lord's creations, and Mercedes is nothing if not fair.
Slightly vacant, annoyingly adorable, Walter resists the urge to bap her on the top of the head like a misbehaving pet! He can't help but wiggle a little himself. "That's not something to brag about, my dear." There's a little strain to his voice. Where oh /where/ is a newspaper!? His tail, for it's part, has kind of flopped across both his own and Mercedes' ankles. Like some kind of coily garter snake.
"The story, my dear. Tell me what happened, and I shall give you what wisdom I can. My ears and heart are yours, may the Lord keep us both."
Mercedes shifts her ankle as she feels the tail flopping. She rubs underneath it. She shifts her foot, slowly taking it out of her shoe as she says, "Okay. Let's see... Alright, so, Father, I need you to know that I practice savate. I know it's a little mean but it's what they have where I grew up and I'm okay with it, right? My grandfather was really an expert, before he passed on, so..."
Mercedes's eyes turn heavensward.
"When I was sixteen," she says, "there was this other girl in my class. Simone. She was really f-- uh, really nasty, you know? She was blonde and she acted like, because she was blonde, she was like God's gift, right? She was big in the committees, she hung out with all the big wheels... I was already hanging out more with the people who I would later go on to work with, or like, the people RIGHT next to that, but because we both lived sort of near each other she would try to snipe me."
"So one day I was like, okay, you're super annoying?"
Mercedes puts her hand on Walter's knee as she leans forwards. "And she slapped me! Oh my god. Like just there in the canteen, right across the face. I was so embarrassed, Father! So that's when I started to like, swear, and I broke her ribs and then I was GOING to gouge out her eye but I wasn't wearing heels so I just kind of gave her a scar on the cheek? It was really bad. I feel so awful for her!"
She does not sound regretful at all.
"Because now she just made one mistake and she had her face ruined," Mercedes says, pouting her lips. "Like, I should have just slapped her back, right? Or smashed her in the gut so hard her useless -- mm, I shouldn't finish that sentence to a priest... Anyway so like, I way overdid it there. That was really cruel of me. What do you think I should do to atone...?"
That tail is sensitive it seems, as the Priest visibly goes stiff and straight in the pew whenever it's rubbed. It's not getting out of the way, though, and so Mercedes has the dragon's slinky appendage at her mercy!
His face grows stern at the mention of savate. A cruel, dangerous art. But, he simply nods in acceptance. Then she starts that story of a classroom altercation!
As that hand comes to his knee? He leans back just enough to where he has to balance a bit to not flop straight out on the pew! It'd be easy to knock him over right now, really, as he's very much not taking in martial artist balance right now. He is, for multiple reasons, distracted.
And as the girl puts down her story for him, increasingly horrified. His mouth actually gapes for a second, revealing sharp teeth, before rapidly closing. His wings droop behind him as he stares in judgement at this terror of a savate user!
"You...oh /dear/ where to start!? Miss, you practiced the sin of Wrath. To give in to revenge, to not turn the other cheek but to scarr a young woman just because she was being a git! It is good that you have confessed. For if you continue to give in to anger and hurt those around you, you shall end in the fiery pits when your time on this world is done!" Chastizes the priest openly. He offers a pointed poke to her nose!
The dragon closes his eyes, and thinks. A smile comes to his face. "Ah, I know! Wrath is a crime of passion. And so, you should do the kindness of helping another settle theirs. Find someone who is clearly suffering from some kind of passion that is hurting them or burdening them to carry. An angry man, help them find why they are angry and calm them. For the sorrowful, listen to their pain, and offer your help in easing that suffering. Then tell me who you helped, and how. By lessening suffering in the world, the pain you caused will be lessened in turn. You could also learn a bit of restraint, but one thing at a time."
Mercedes drinks in the discomfort of the priest. Metaphorically, that is to say. Physically she just leans forwards slightly as Walter moves back. Her foot, drawn out of its shoe, turns round to brush her toes over the probably-warm and totally not at all real, yup, mm hmm, we mean it tip of the tail.
Her lips purse. "Oh..."
She looks downwards as she is given a chiding. The poke to her nose makes her eyes cross momentarily and prompts her to look up to the priest again. He closes his eyes to think, which is when Mercedes takes the opportunity to make herself comfortable, leaning back in the pew. This does take her hand off his knee.
Her hands lace behind her head. Then - "Oh!" Her penance.
"So do I need to do... both of them?" Mercedes asks, just for clarification. "Like, a sad person AND an angry person?"
Her voice then lowers a note. "And how should I tell you, Father... Do you want my number?"
Yeeek! That tail-tip curls into the rub of soft brushing toes, as though it were a kitty tail deigning to let itself be pet! Walter unconsciously scoots a little /closer/ to Mercedes at the action. Congratulations you horrible martial artist, you have discovered the weakness of a priest-dragon!
"Well, it doesn't have to be anger and sadness /specifically/. Anyone with a burden you can relieve them of in some way. And let's say...three. Three persons that you have helped in your own unique way. Anger simply seems relevent given your mis-steps!" Nod nod nod!
Her...number. Cue his face going bright red once more. He sucks in a breath, and considers crossing his legs for a second. He decides against it.
"Erm...I /am/ a traveler. I suppose having your number so I can check on you wouldn't be bad." This will cause /so/ many rumors.
Seems she's not off the sin hook just yet though. "Now. What else burdens your soul? Greed? Have your hurt anyone recently with your ways? Have you coveted your neighbor's husband? Or wife, no need to worry, the Lord sees all love as pure." At least this priest has managed to keep with the times. And what a prying confession this is, too!
At the motion of the tail Mercedes's foot moves to grind the sole around the tip even as she nods along with the Penance Prescription. "I get it. Like Wicca! - Oh, I get it, mis-steps, a ha ha ha haha that is so /funny/, Father!"
She actually said the laughter aloud. Then she reaches into her pocket with a wiggle of her hips, pulling it out. "Okay, Father~. It's --"
The number comes out. It's French, but international calling is just one of the many burdens of the men of the cloth. "Send me a text if you can, so I know you got it right?" Mercedes says, which means she's leaning against him all casually. Her other foot comes up then, resting on the pew and making her jeans sit tighter. "Umm-m-m-m..."
"I was totally lusting in my heart about the tour guide," Mercedes says. "Tho srsly you're saying that the Lord sees all love as pure? I thought you were only supposed to have love in your marriage or in your family or like, for hating liberals." She tilts her head back - and now she's getting out the bigger guns because she tilts her head to look at Walter /upside down/.
Twitch! Mercedes gets to have a front row seat to the conflict that is Walter right now! That foot grinding along the tip of his tail does very /interesting/ things to this put-upon dragon, and he's forced to bite his lip more than once. He's starting to finally notice, but he can't find it in himself to make her stop. He also looks extremely annoyed amidst it all.
"My Child, if you start mocking me, I have half a mind to get out the paddle." Threatens the priest. Don't mention pagan religions to /him/, girly!
Out comes the phone, and Mercedes' number is collected! He actually has a phone just for this purpose. A quick text!
'Lord love you and keep you, Child! Git.'
The priest can be a jerk sometimes.
Leaned up as she is, Mercedes can feel him tense. How his wing closest to her kind of flutters out. She may very well end up leaning against more scaley bits then. Both tail and wings are warm and smooth. Kind of comfy actually. He'd make a good couch.
"Lust, my dear, is an insidious thing!" He starts, trampling over her barbs.
"Also Mister Antonio has a wife and a child! Lust leads to social disorder, to taking refuge in physical pleasures rather than devoting time to the Lord! It is a difficult thing, I know well. Cheating, dishonesty, all of it stems from lusting impurely to others!"
He still answers those barbs. "In a /platonic/ sense! We are back to lust again. For /that/, you are to assist someone else performing a good work. To look outward, rather than to focus on your own filthy desires!" He's being harsh here. The dragon has his own hangups about this particular topic.
The upside down visage of Mercedes finally does it! He stares, and then? Yup, the dragon-priest is toppling over onto the pew! Gravity takes it's course. Someone help this disaster of a draconic fool!
Mercedes immediately takes a selfie facing herself. Walter will find out later that Mercedes was making a o3o sort of face at the camera, but her face was turned away from the Lord's representative at the time.
Then he tenses up. Mercedes says, "Oh........?" even as he gets rolling, heated, steamed, perhaps even flaming proudly. After this he speaks with extra enthusiasm and then he topples backwards, into the aisle, and Mercedes flips around and inchworms along the pew to loom over him.
"Father," she says. "You fell into the aisle! How come?!"
Instead of being helpful she heaps up her arms and stays like that, one foot arching up as she asks, "Do you really have a paddle? Usually I got it bare handed. I didn't know you had paddles." She continues along the way to not be helpful at all.
WHUMP! Inchwormcedes appears to peer down upon the fallen priest in all of his inglory! He's at a slight cant down there on the floor, with this horrid example of a savate-artist prodding both dignity and his worldly faults.
A looming arched foot is a wonderful place to stare, and entirely unhelpful in taming his inner dragon. He actually gives a little little rumbly roar in displeasure at Mercedes! "Only because a little waif is having her fun with this admitted fool of a holy man!" Complains Walter openly by now. Even /he/ can remain ignorant for only so long. And yet, he has a duty to fulfill! He's going the distance on this one. He also doesn't yet get up. Not entirely, anyway.
Yeah, he walked into that one. Even when he closes his eyes to block out Mercedes, he twitches. His tail and one wing now are within reach up on the pew.
"The sting makes you remember the lesson!"
Huff! He'll no doubt sob over that text later. Cursed kissy lips!
"By the blessings of the Lord and the Holy Son, you are absolved of your sins! Please try to be a better person. Or otherwise we will be doing this on the daily my dear! I should hate to have to chastize you again! ...You are a warm soul. Such people bring joy to others." Yup, despite it all, he still likes and wants to think the best of Mercedes. The bubble-gum popping woman with her pleasant shape and playful demeanor can't /possibly/ have ill intent, can she?
Let's just ignore the savate here.
Mercedes reaches over to gently grasp the tail and stroke her fingers up along their length. "Oh~. Well, if I ever sin again..."
She trails off.
Her fingers slide off that tail as she says, "Okay, Father! I swear that I'll fulfill the penance you've given me and I'll like update you and stuff on it!" Her legs slide round as she sits up, still not helping him up. "Thank you so much - I really do feel so much better, and I can tell you enjoyed it too!"
Her feet slide back into her shoes. The gum gets snapped as she rises upwards. As she steps carefully over the fallen Priest, she adds cheerily, "You should be careful, you're going to damage your costume!"
SECONDARY MISSION - M. DELETRAZ - PENANCE FOR SINS
* 1x SOOTHE an angry person
* 1x CONSOLE a sad person
* 1x HELP a person of some kind (free choice)
* Getting to hang out with Jesus instead of roasting in a tureen full of dog crap for eternity
Outside of the Vatican, Mercedes muses, "I wonder if I should've asked what his name was. Oh well," she says, entering the name as FR. VIERGE.
And thus leaves Mercedes, a woman nestled into the good Father's mind and heart in ways filled mostly with regret and horror. He's a blushing pile of darkstalker on the floor. No, he's not getting up, as he has /zero/ desire to explain himself to anyone right about now. The still-warmed tip of his tail is straight up in the air, flicking.
"....Shut up." Despite the pieces of his dignity all around him, despite all of the jumble of his emotions and reactions? He's smiling.
Yeah, he enjoyed being played. He's the type.
Maybe at least, three people will be bettered by his humiliation.
The nun tasked with sweeping this section of St. Peter's rolls her eyes. She makes sure to sweep up the idiot dragon-priest.
"Should've asked for her name."
WHACK. Broom to the knuckles.
Log created on 19:10:44 10/23/2018 by Mercedes, and last modified on 23:13:34 10/23/2018.