Friday, March 5, 2010

Terrible Analogies

A stunned Jaka says 'But you're the head of the Eastern Church.'
Cerebus reasons that he used to be the Prime Minister, too. Titles don't mean a lot to him, the power they give him does, though. To prove his point Cerebus spins and slashes a piece of the curtain off, he picks it up on the point of his sword and tosses it on the bed, Cerebus used to be a lot of things.

He's already planning the life he and Jaka will have, they'll take some of the gold he's acquired, get on a caravan going north east and set up a cabin in the Kota Mountains, just he and Jaka. He holds out his stubby little four fingered hand to Jaka, she won't take it, she's married. Cerebus tells her that he is still the Pope, he can dissolve the marriage.

Jaka starts to cry, she doesn't love her husband, but he's good to her and she can rely on him, not words one generally associates with the avaricious aardvark. Cerebus tells her that she doesn't love him, but she knows she loves Cerebus.

Jaka sits on the bed, puts her face in her hands and through her sobs tells Cerebus that she's pregnant. Cerebus is speechless. He tosses the sword aside and that's when Bran enters with the news that the Red Marches belong to Cerebus, his followers are poised to drive into...the words die on the smooth former tribe leader's lips as he takes in the scene before him. He apologises and retreats.

Jaka confesses that she's scared of starting a family, of losing her looks, of not being able to dance anymore. Cerebus stands in front of Jaka and tells her that she'll never be ugly. Just for a moment Cerebus isn't the former Presidential Candidate, he's no longer the former Prime Minister of Iest and he's not Most Holy, the Pontiff of the Eastern Church, he's Cerebus the Aardvark, a wandering freebooter who had just fallen hopelessly in love with the most beautiful woman he has ever seen; a tavern dancer who calls herself Jaka. They embrace and share a cry. Jaka kisses Cerebus on the forehead, just between his ears. One of the most beautiful pages Dave ever drew. Heartbreaking. They want so much to be together, but they never can, not really, not the way they want. If this was written just after Deni left then I'm not surprised that Dave is writing about his own fantasy. Jaka is as much Dave's perfect woman as she is Cerebus'.

Jaka says she has to go and Cerebus in a desperate attempt to extend the moment tells her to wait, to stay. He runs out of the room, telling Jaka to wait right there. He returns holding out a bag of gold for her and the baby. Jaka thanks Cerebus, but refuses the gift, Lord Julius will give her money if she really wants it and she wants to manage on her own as she always has, and then she leaves.

Snout pressed against the glass Cerebus watches her go. She stops, looks back and waves, Cerebus stands there waving at her until she's gone from sight. He sinks down against the wall and adopts the classic Cerebus post, knees drawn up, arms folded, snout between them, elbows resting on knees, scowling and thinks to himself 'Shit.'

You knew it was too good to be true.

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