The Language of You

November 16, 2017:

The day after Rescuing Emily Montrose, Zatanna Zatara visits Tim Drake at his New York penthouse as he deals with the consequences of their astral jaunt, revealing something of her own recent metamorphosis.

Tim Drake's penthouse, New York City

It's mid November, why is he meditating out on the patio?!


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Constantine, the Winter Soldier, Jane Foster, Jessica Jones, Peter Parker, Alfred Pennyworth


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…


Tim Drake ingested some kind of mystical relic, containing a person's soul. It was weird.


It continues to be weird.

He was used to solitude, to being alone with his own thoughts, and now he wasn't. There was someone else there, someone else present, at all times. The unsettling feeling that you weren't alone in a room, even though you could look around and see nobody else. An attempt to regurgitate the tyet had resulted in nothing but the keys and lockpick he'd swallowed before coming up, but that wasn't surprising… Ancient relic or no ancient relic, he hadn't really eaten it with his mouth. That line of thought had only made things more unsettling.

He hadn't gone back to Gotham.

He couldn't, or at least shouldn't, not until he fully understood what was going on - he'd prefer to simply resolve the matter quickly, but he doubted that was in the cards - because there were simply too many possible dangers. Whatever awareness Emily Montrose had of the world seemed to be borrowed secondhand from his perceptions… So he hadn't gone to the Tower, or to the backup Nest he had hidden at the harbourfront, but instead to his penthouse in downtown Manhattan, closing his eyes as he removed every mirror, avoided even looking at anything that might compromise him, compromise others. He'd need to put himself on some kind of a lockdown, in the interim.

He'd have to skip Thanksgiving at the Manor. Alfred wouldn't like that.

The crisp midday light of autumn shone through the tall windows of the penthouse, the blackout curtains all drawn back for once, letting in the view of one of the world's greatest cities, its beating heart of towering monoliths of glass and steel. Tim Drake sat outside, on the patio, despite the chill clad in a t-shirt and workout pants. Legs folded, hands curled in his lap, eyes closed as the brisk wind this high up toyed with his black hair. Trying to meditate, to find clarity the way Rahul Lama had taught him what seemed like a dozen lifetimes ago, in a run-down old building in Paris.

It didn't work. It was like she was right there, right behind him. She was asleep, he knew. He could hear her, almost, sort of, like quiet breathing. She'd been sleeping quite a bit, after her initial apology to him for the inconvenience of their situation: Presumably, Emily Montrose had found little rest as she hid from that devouring Something.

Since returning from Constantine's flat, the restless one had been Tim, instead.


"The glass container holding her is Isis' tyet."

The voice is absent and almost dreamy, but Tim would recognize it easily as Zatanna Zatara's, suddenly there out in the open aired patio with him. Her back is to him, arms folded on the rails and surveying the metropolitan tableau before them. What had once been a restless aura has been replaced by something cooler, but no less intense, ice-blue eyes taking in her environs as if enthralled by what she sees. To Tim, the sight of it would be nothing ordinary, but to her, New York looks different now. She has always been able to see beyond the Veil, but this is something else; Magic awash in various colors, more ancient strains twisting with newer forms. She breathes it in, drinking deeply of it. It was like being at a bazaar for the ephemeral and the air smells like spice.

She's dressed for colder climes, Summer had come and gone in the blink of an eye. Fitted with a jacket with her ripped black jeans and fishnets pulled underneath them, her overall gothic appearance has been accentuated with a blood red scarf, unfurling from her high collar like a banner, signaling God only knows what. A knee is bent, foot resting on the ball of it.

"It's ancient but powerful, you don't have to worry about her getting into places she shouldn't inside you. But it'll take some getting used to. Sorry you had to do it, Tim. If you like, I can take her back. The only reason why I declined was that I had to be ready, in the event that we couldn't get away too quickly. I would have had to buy us the time, and I couldn't risk carrying her when that possibility had been very real."

She turns her head to look at him over her shoulder. "It's probably safer with you anyway. Aleister Crowley had me and John hunt for it in exchange for the Keshanti Key. It was supposed to help us peek into Miss Montrose's memories. But after I found it, seeing how powerful it was, I didn't feel right to just hand it over to him, so I found a work around. That does mean I pissed him off, however." There's an easy smile, somewhat absent. "You're in enough risk though, if you still feel comfortable about it, you can always say so."


The cold doesn't bother him. It's a distant thing, of no real matter at the moment: That much of what he learned he was able to summon up, at least. Control over his own body, suborning the needs of his own flesh and blood to the demands of his will. It was part of how he was able to do what he did, after all… How he could operate on little to no sleep, how he could push himself through injury and pain that should leave him laid up, time and time and time again.

The awareness that he's even less alone than he was before comes along with Zatanna's voice, his dark blue eyes opening and looking towards her as she leans against the patio railing, her back to him, her attention consumed by the city, by what she can see and he cannot.

He remembers - of course he remembers, he seldom forgets much of anything - the first time she'd come up here, after Ozone Park, after Lernaea. The look of wonder on her face when she'd looked out over Manhattan with the eyes of a sorceress, the joy he could only share by extension, by empathy.

But this was different. She was different. It wasn't a slow change that he'd only just noticed: She had changed, sharply, recently. Her body language was different from the girl who had lounged on the couch with him in Gotham, watching giant robot anime and eating snacks she'd brought from Wakanda.

"It's fine," he assures her, closing his eyes again, bowing his head slightly. By the time she turns to look over her shoulder at him, there's no indication that he'd stirred from that position at all, even for a moment. Would she have expected him to say anything different, though?

And besides, when she does look back at him, she tells him that it's probably safer with him, anyway. That a famous occultist (supposedly some seventy years dead) had wanted the item, in exchange for the one Zatanna and Constantine had originally sought. That the Princess of Prestidigitation had angered Crowley in the doing.


Tim couldn't say he was surprised by that part.

"It was the sensible play," he says, continuing his earlier thought rather than directly addressing what Zatanna says next. "I was the most expendable one there if anything had gone wrong, and nobody's going to look to me expecting to find ancient Egyptian artifacts inside me anyway."

Which is probably good, because he wouldn't put it past Cassie's mother to try and fish it out of him, given what Zatanna said about the object.


There is a part of her that is detached, a piece of her that remains floating out into the ether, that needs to be reeled in to make her seem really present. She has yet to get used to it, to this new feeling of being connected to things not just in her present reality but beyond. The Scarlet Women had told her that she would change, after she completed the task of crossing the abyss of her own soul, that the moment she left the place that she would never be the same again, that it would be foolish to expect that things would affect her the way it did. And is that so confusing? The journey had forced her to confront aspects of herself that she would not otherwise: how she truly feels about the two dominant, masculine influences in her life, what she deems a betrayal whenever she thinks about Tim's feelings, the thing in her father's secret study that scares her so much.

But she's made her choices, and she came out of it more clear-headed than before. She is young yet and while Life will continue to fill her spaces with the unwanted debris of her poorer experiences, right now, at least, she is a much calmer, more confident entity.

It's fine, he says. He's the most expendable one there, he explains, and despite how closed his eyes are, there is something palpable in the way Zatanna rolls her own skyward that he can't help but feel it.

"That's a ridiculous point of view for someone with as much as you do," she points out, unable to fully understand that part of him that is perpetually entrenched in the belief that he is disposable when his status in the world and his own family speaks otherwise. That hasn't changed at least, as straightforward as she always is with her opinions.

"But if you're sure, I'll leave it with you. It must be strange for Miss Montrose, but it can't be helped. Her condition is irreversible." There's a slight frown at that. "Let me know if you feel it's gotten too weird."


That's a ridiculous point of view.

"Is it?" the young man says. "It's simple practicality. If something had happened to me because of Miss Montrose, then it would've been the least grievous loss to the group. Your raw power, Constantine's mystical knowledge, Doctor Foster's scientific ability, Miss Jones' detective skills and her metahuman abilities, Sergeant Barnes' practical experience and combat prowess… It's no different than the decision I made in Lernaea."

That's a lie, however logical and convincing of one. The decision he'd made there, in that artificial utopia, hadn't been one of cold reason. Oh, he could paper over the truth with a perfectly sensible explanation - if Zatanna had been badly hurt or killed, they never would've gotten out of there, not a one - but that wasn't why.

No more than cold practicality was behind the bargain he made with Wong.

Giving up on any hope of finding meditative focus for now, he rises out of that seated position easily, padding over to the railing beside Zatanna on socked feet. His t-shirt is burgundy, with a distressed logo on the front in blocky white text: I MAY BE, it says at the top, over the periodic table plates for nitrogen, erbium and dysprosium, and below that, BUT ONLY PERIODICALLY.

"Is it irreversible? I mean, if we can fix whatever's happened to her body, can't we… Put her back into it?" Dark blue eyes turn towards the witch, as he asks. Dark, like the deep ocean: Calm hiding whatever might be going on underneath. "She's asleep right now," the detective says, in case the possibility of Emily Montrose listening in would affect how Zatanna answers.

He doesn't say anything about the other thing Zatanna says, though. Not one word about telling her if it gets too weird, any more than he did before about it becoming uncomfortable.

He's been trying to not lie to her anymore, after all.


The young woman's expression after his explanation is so flat, one could iron a shirt on it, ice-blue eyes finding his profile, and downright emphatic with just how she thinks of that statement.

"That's all bullshit," Zatanna tells him, her syllables underscored with an unmistakable degree of impatience. She doesn't explain why, doesn't present her case. Nor does she pepper him with all the reasons why she thinks that, as flattering as it would probably be to listen to her reassurances. But she's heard same sentiments from him so many times that his old excuses are rote by now, childish in a way that she doesn't bother to point out, and whatever newfound confidence she's managed to recover while embroiled in that devastating battle against Herself applies here, too, trusting that Tim would know why she thinks that. He is a detective after all, and leagues smarter than her. She doesn't need to paint him a picture.

Thankfully, he turns her attention to a more practical problem, and the young woman shakes her head instead. There's a glance at his shirt, a small sound of amusement evident when she reads it, but otherwise, black-lacquered nails curl loosely on the railings.

"Once the cord's severed, there's no other way to put the soul back in," she says. "It can be brute forced, but the person will be forever changed. I imagine it's the same as the Lazarus Pits. There's a reason why any kind of Necromancy is dangerous. This way, we can still ask her questions at our leisure, but she'll no longer be…you know. Alive, in the traditional sense of the term."

After a pause, she speaks up again. "She probably won't like hearing that either, though I think some part of her knows. The only thing we can do for her after this is all over is help her pass on, get her to where she truly needs to be. It's regrettable. We got there too late, in the beginning. The best we can do for her now is work with what we've got."


It's an old argument, inasmuch as any argument can be 'old' with someone you've only known for a year. Maybe not even really an argument, but a difference of opinion. It wasn't like he was eager to die, or had any intention of throwing his life away… But he knew it was coming, and sooner was far more likely than later. To him, it seemed straightforward enough. To Zatanna, it seemed like bullshit.

But Tim doesn't press it, doesn't argue any further anymore than Zatanna goes into detail about why she calls it bullshit.

Instead, he turns to the fate of another, the one currently riding in the previously unused passenger seat of his existence.

What Zatanna tells him makes sense. It fits with what she told him months before, when he'd told her about the League of Shadows, about the Lazarus Pits. There was nothing to be done except to take advantage of the information Emily Montrose still possessed, and then to see her on her way to whatever afterlife the rules assigned her to.

It's regrettable.

There's a shift in Tim, his dark blue eyes moving away from Zatanna and over to the Manhattan skyline, as his head bobs in a succession of slow, shallow nods. A tension that braids across his shoulders, subtly, briefly. It's buried, under that outward calm and control, that apparently unflappable focus that makes the other Titans look to him for leadership. Anger. Fury. At the unfairness of it, at the beings who had done whatever had been done to Emily Montrose. At himself, for not being faster, not being omniscient, not being able to save this one person. Even at Zatanna, for the matter-of-fact way she says it, for all her vast power… Not being able to save this one person.

It's regrettable.

"Yeah," he says, finally. He straightens from the railing, scrubbing his hands over his face, then through his dark hair, pushing it back; slowly, it slips forward again at the sides, framing his face as he stares out over the city. Perhaps is perspective is skewed, part of him suggests. Perhaps he's over-identifying with Emily Montrose due to their current proximity.

But what is the Bat, and those who follow after, if not an act of defiance against chaos, unfairness, and death?

"You okay?" Tim asks, after a few more moments, burying his anger, putting it away somewhere it doesn't matter right now. Surely, she'd know why he asks. He doesn't bother with facile observations: She's changed, she seems distant. Even he'd noticed that her magic itself was different than before. Instead, he boils it down to a single question.

The only one, from his perspective, that really matters.


She isn't happy with it either. For as much as she has chosen not to be caught in her father's and John's strings anymore, Giovanni Zatara's values are ingrained deeply in the marrow of her bones. Ultimately, much like her father, she is in the business of saving lives, and not being able to do so wrankles her like nothing else. But while her best friend dwells on the futility of it, reality being the way it is, a person cannot possibly save everyone, she has long since accepted this truth with the tired resignation that can only come from someone who has seen this so many times to deny it.

Zatanna keeps watching the city skyline, how the vibrant colors of the Autumn sun bleeds into the horizon, heralding a new evening in an hour or so - red and gold, a splash of indigo. Ensconced within the colorful aurora of different strains of Magic, rising from the nooks and crannies of one of the greatest bastions of the stuff on Earth, it is a palette of gorgeous, evanescent color. Some part of her regrets another thing, that she cannot share the sight of it with anyone else. It's possible that only those who have crossed the Abyss ever can.

You okay?

The question draws all of her back. Ice-blue eyes find Tim's next to her, before they drift down to the fingers curled around the railings on her balcony. Teeth worry faintly on her bottom lip.

"I don't know," she says, ever so truthful about the nature of her interior landscape, whenever someone asks. "Recovering the tyet had been difficult. I wasn't in it to obtain more power, I don't even know what to do with what I already have." And what she has is no small thing. "But once it started, there was no going back. I thought we really needed it just so we could get this far with the entire iDol debacle. I thought to myself that if John, Jane, you and the rest would do what's necessary to go forward, why shouldn't I do the same? I just wanted to do my part."

She takes a deep breath. The air smells like cinnamon and pumpkins and smoke. Coffee, sweat and blood. She feels more connected to this world and the next now, more than ever, but her newfound sensitivity distracts her more, too.

"They said that if I got to the end, I'd be changed. I'm still trying to get used to it. In many ways, I feel more at peace than I have ever been. In others, I feel like…I'm not all here. Like I'm somehow beyond all this. I think…hopefully…once I get used to it, I'll be somewhat of my old self again."


For all that Tim tries to be pragmatic about it, for all that he does often seem pragmatic in comparison to the rest of the capes and tights crowd… He can't.

He knows he can't, he can't let himself become resigned to it, inured to it. Twelve young women all sacrificed to Mammon by a serial killer, slaughtered in that old abandoned tannery in the Red Hook before he'd been able to do anything about it, the night he'd saved Zatanna and been drawn into the mystical conflict that surrounded her by the very nature of her birth. A woman named Monique d'Aubigny, paralysed by a large-caliber round through her spine, drowning in her own blood. Her employer, Don Alfonso Maniero, killed mercifully instantly by the same shot. The assassin who killed them, slain in turn by poison. Rahul Lama, killed by a vengeful ex-student. Darla Aquista, murdered by her father's rivals. So many others.

But each one has to hurt. Each one has to feel fresh, to bleed… Not enough to stop him, not enough to endanger the Work. Just enough that he doesn't become what lays down the other path.

He can't save everyone. He knows that as surely as anyone, a soldier from the age of fourteen.

He knows it, but he will never let himself accept it. It will hurt him, it will break him, it may kill him.

But the alternative is so much worse.

What he asks Zatanna is of a piece with that: A simple, two word question that inquires after the only thing of relevance. Once he's asked, he doesn't press, doesn't do anything but focus on her, listen to her as she collects her thoughts, drawn completely into the now by that simple query.

He knows something of her concerns about her own power, after their conversation months gone by in her father's library. Pieced together by observation, sure, but any doubts he'd had about his conclusions were dashed by her response to the promise he'd made. Even with what he'd learned from the books she'd lent him, he was still feeling his way through a world he didn't understand, but he's clever enough to grasp the depth of what she says, and what she doesn't say.

There's a sour stab of guilt in his belly when she talks about the lengths the rest of them go to, and how she wanted to do her part, to do the same as they. He didn't want her to, didn't want any of them to, but her least of all. She was so bright, and caring, and kind, and good, and deserved nothing but happiness, and he wanted to shield her in ways he'd failed to shield others. To spare her those things, when she'd already endured more than she ever should've.

But that wasn't his choice to make, and he knew it. The different, disparate impulses that drove him tangled up against each other on that one, a snarl of conflicting drives and wants.

"Speaking as someone who's a big fan of your old self, I hope so," he says at last, a bit of levity returning into his voice. "I… Sort of understand what you mean. Maybe not on such a mystical level, but we all go through things that change us, right? Struggles that fundamentally shift things about ourselves."

What he'd done during the Batman's disappearance had surely been such a thing. Transformative… And not entirely in good ways. He could never go back to the person he'd been before then, even by surrounding himself with friends who had known him when he was still that more innocent child, but…

But, one of the most powerful helping hands he'd gotten to pull him out of that darker, more joyless person he'd been was the young woman standing beside him now, for all that he'd tried to keep his distance.

"If there's anything I can do, Zee… Just let me know. After all, I promised, right? No matter what, I'll always be there. I'll always believe in you. It's your journey, and your choices, but I'll go with you as far as I can."


She knows they all do, and she doesn't know what to feel about it. Her father never balked in shielding her from the gorier, darker parts of the Work, and neither did John, but when push came to shove, they did their best to shield her from staining her soul any further, to keep her from sacrificing parts of herself that they have before her. In a way, it is touching, reflective over how much they care about her and all the intangible stuff that makes her who she is. But she can't help but wonder, also, whether that means that they don't think she can handle it, that she can't stand on her own. As a young woman who has discovered her own independence, has grown attached to it to the point that she doesn't want to let go of it, it can't help but wrankle her pride. If there is one thing she has learned in her journey within Herself, it is the fact that she doesn't want to be protected.

Tim's remarks has her nodding once, a smile lifting the corners of her mouth. "It's the magical version of Luke Skywalker fighting Darth Vader in the cave only to realize it was him all along," she explains to him, at the very least familiar with Star Wars. "Only it was less literal like that. There was a lot of allegory, all laden with meaning…but the kind of shit that people can't really understand unless it's me." She tries to explain it as she can, without going further into detail. It feels wrong, somehow, to talk about the extent of it, the details - the mirror maze, finding him in a perfect facsimile of their old study room at the University, how she was slowly turning to stone as she reached for the strange rock sculpture in her father's study…

He offers to be there for her, because of course he does. His support was never something that she takes for granted, and warmth returns to the way her mouth curves upwards.

"Well, that journey's done," she tells him, finally turning sideways so she could look at him directly. A hand lifts to squeeze his shoulder gently. "And it's not something anyone could latch onto, but I know what you mean. The rest of it." Something about her softens then. "It's alright, Tim. It's just another hurdle to overcome, right? If nothing else, we've done a lot of things that people have thought impossible before. Like I said, I just….need to get used to it, is all."

After a pause, she speaks up.

"I wish I could talk about it," she tells him honestly. "Tell John or you or Jess…someone what I had to do in order to return with…whatever this is inside me now." She gestures to herself. "But it was so personal that it feels wrong, somehow. Even what little I've managed to tell sets my teeth on edge. Is that weird?"


"Nerd," Tim jokingly chides Zatanna when she uses Star Wars as a reference.

But he's too keen of a student of human nature, too clever and perceptive, too familiar after the past year with the rhythms and behaviours of one Zatanna Zatara - even if they've changed somewhat since her transformative experience - to not notice how she maneuvers around the specifics. If chafes, a little… The flipside of his voracious appetite for knowledge is that drive to know things that he perhaps shouldn't, his difficulty at accepting the idea there were things that other people might not want him to know about them.

And too, perhaps, a concern about trust… Or maybe worse, being left behind by her as she becomes something else.

That was a natural fear under the circumstances, an insecurity whose seeds existed since he learned that Zatanna was a true sorceress, though it was the words of another in her community which had made him unable to ignore it. After all, how many people in his own life had in one way or another fallen by the wayside as he'd moved deeper into the shadows? If he was that to normal civilians, didn't it make sense that Zatanna was the same to him, part of deeper mysteries than he could ever perceive?

But he does what he does. He offers his support, unhesitatingly. He feels warmth, pleasant and shameful all at once as she gives him something of one of her old smiles, as she reaches over to squeeze his shoulder.

And he listens, as always. He listens as she tells him it's all right, reiterating that she needs to get used to it. He listens as she pauses, and she follows that pause with an honest admission.

Is that weird?

"No," Tim replies. "I mean, it's super weird," he amends, "but how you feel about it isn't. Some things aren't meant to be shared. Something that personal… It's for you, and you alone. Like you said, there were things a person couldn't even understand unless they were you… Things that there probably isn't even the language to share, because the language and the logic of it is you. I think there are parts of oneself that if you could share them you'd just stop existing as something distinct and individual."

Part of him wants to know anyway, of course. To unravel every mystery. To know something about her that nobody else does.

"So, don't worry about telling me anything you aren't comfortable with. If you ever are, I'll listen. If not, that's fine."



The joking remark draws a grin out of Zatanna, the kind that lights up her face. In spite of the slightly worrisome changes in her, she is still capable of it; if nothing else, it is only further evidence that she is at least being truthful in what she says. That somehow, eventually, she'll get accustomed to her changes, and reclaim the brighter parts of her spirit that she has shelved in order to give herself the space to absorb everything that has happened to her in the last few weeks. Sometimes, all she needs is time.

"Your influence," she ribs back, glancing pointedly at the shirt he's wearing.

He is, as always, understanding. If nothing else, that has always marked their interactions well before the veil was even peeled back between the both of them. He's never failed to be a good friend, has never broken her heart in the way a few others have. Not to say that it would never happen, Tim was just as fallible as the other people in her life. But so far, he has not; takes conscious pains not to, and if nothing else that makes him a relatively reassuring presence in her life. Someone with whom she can confide almost anything.

Anything, it seems, but this.

Because in the end, he is right. There are some things people just can't share, and if everyone was equipped to share everything about themselves to everyone else, the boundaries that keep lives separate will surely cease to exist, and isn't that one of the best parts about being a person? To have one's own mind and heart, the secrets that define their internal spaces?

So all she does after that is nod. Her smile remains, but the reassurance that she can keep this, at least, for all that she is presently defying any expectation to be open the way she usually is, does much to return her to the world in which she belongs. She still thinks she should meditate, reflect on her experiences and decide what she wants to do from here, but something in what he says calms her inner tumult. After all, what she perceives as a betrayal of a fundamental aspect of herself is confirmed as no such thing.

"Thanks, Tim."

She steps away from the balcony, stretching her arms over her head. "Anyway, it's getting late. If you're not heading to Gotham, tonight, let's go do something, then. Eat out. We can even call my friend, Peter, too. It's been a while since the three of us checked out a new restaurant."


She calls it his influence, jokingly, as though one of the first things she'd ever asked him wasn't whether he was a Jedi or a smuggler when she saw his Rebel Alliance logo t-shirt.

But it's good. The joking, the grin that lights up her face if not with quite the same luminescence as might usually be expected of her. For Tim, at least, it's a salve for the worry that had been building since he'd noticed the change in her. The worry about being left behind, about no longer being necessary in her life, or a part of it. The worry that whoever had come back from that trip to London was no longer Zatanna Zatara, as they would understand her.

Surely, he was fallible. He was eminently capable of manipulation, of causing hurt intentionally or not - it says something, perhaps, that when they were tumbling through each other into the astral plane, Constantine had found that intrusive bit of the darkness that lurked inside Tim Drake to be not unfamiliar.

But he was trying to not. He was trying to be something else, something better than he had been.

To her, at least.

"You're welcome," is the simple response when she offers him her thanks. She doesn't owe him anything, he would say - not her secrets, nor her thanks - but it seems like one of those situations where he ought to answer in kind.

And then she's moving away from the edge of the patio, stretching her arms over her head and talking about 'doing something'.

"I don't know if I'm going back to Gotham with the whole," he gestures vaguely at himself, because really. "I'll need to lift the lockdown on the Nest, there was something weird about the blood sample while you were doing magic at it, but I need to be careful otherwise. It's funny, if you didn't have Thanksgiving plans I was gonna see if you wanted to join us at the Manor, but I guess I'm gonna be missing it this year. But yeah, where do you want to go? I can get us reservations wherever, no magic required."

That Wayne name is good for something… As long as it isn't getting into clubs from the spooky side of the street, anyway.

"I dig the red," he adds, indicating her scarf as they head back into the penthouse proper.

Which, yeah, of course he would.

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