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That's no way to live; all tangled up like balls of string // Arthur
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For a moment, only the sound of his own heated blood rushing in his ears was the only noise he was aware of, liking the way his lungs burned as if he'd just run a marathon. Then a boy's voice with too much authority to be natural intruded and Joel's lips curled up in an automatic snarl. He was not in any right mood to be dealing with a patronizing child who thought himself some magical reincarnation of a man long dead. And he particurly wasn't in the mood to give Arthur the beating that was coming if the boy-king wasn't wise enough to leave him alone.

"You have this terrible tendency to assume everything is about you, Arthur," he said tightly, lowering the large hand from his eyes to glower icily at the younger man. "Nothing I've done here tonight has anything to do with you. And if you've forgotten, let me remind you that this castle is open to all by your royal proclaimation. So I'll come and go as I please without telling you a damn thing." The words were spat with the venom of a cornered, wounded man and Joel continued to lay where he'd sprawled in the chair, visible tense, but making no move at all to begin vacating the premise. He watched Arthur however through hazy, blood-shot eyes like a predator would fixate on an enemy encrouching into it's territory. He may be drunk, but he was still fully capable of physically forcing his friend and king to give him the peace he wanted if necessary.

It was only a matter of time though till Arthur said something that made him snap, loosing the monster created from his lonliness and constant anger and setting it rampart from it's cage. He jumped up from his seat, the chair toppling helplessly to the ground with a crash from the velocity of his action and he slammed both palms forcefully down on the wooden table that separated him from the king. "My problems are of YOUR doing! he hissed at the young man, pointing an accusing finger down the table to emphasis his half-truth. "The only reason I would even ever come to this place is because of you. Do not criticize my actions here, Arthur because it was YOU who brought me, YOU who appointed an advisor unsuitable for the job!" Each word was saturated with more fury, each sentence doubling in volume from the previous one, still he leaned over the table, spitting mad, fingernails digging cresent shaped grooves into the soft wood. Elle, being the more sensable of the pair of them, had already smelled a fight coming and had moved to sprawl out in a cool corner, watching with a mild interest as her fairy shot headfirst into the beating he most likely deserved.

"I didn't ask for this," Joel shouted, slapping a hand down once, twice, on the polished wooden surface till the entire long table shook violently, bottles and goblets spilling to the floor in the aftershock. "I didn't ask you to make me a chancellor, I didn't ask to be responsible for anybody." He felt like his skin was too tight, years of rage and pain and thread-thin sanity boiling up and threatening to explode onto the only person within reach - who unfortunately had only wanted to prevent a drunk man from destorying his dining room. Joel was fast losing himself and Arthur would have no idea of the storm his words had unwittingly unleased. With a final slam to the table, he pivoted around the sharp edge and covered the space between himself and the king in four easy strides. Only when he was close enough to stare down from where he towered over the younger man, his own rank breath ricocheting off Arthur's face and back into his own, did he growl out a reply to the king's last order.

"Do. not. dare. give me orders, Arthur." It held as much threat as if Joel had pulled a knife from his pocket.


Joel
chancellor, hardass, father, hater, introvert, leader, lover, craftsmen, killer, hero




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