Jules' bedroom smells of the outdoors, somehow, and an expensive lavender fragrance, and old books; he's used to all of that, though, so to him it smells like nothing in particular. The scent of the outdoors comes from the way the windows, always open at least a crack, and the room is full of books, but the perfume (because cologne just doesn't come in the most fabulous scents) has a bit of a longer story behind it. Jules owes that particular scent, like most things, to Rosemariné, who handed a bottle of it to him one day and told him that it would make him seem more put-together. Jules, who had been quite happy with smelling like himself and felt like he was already quite put-together, was rather offended at suddenly getting a whiff chemicals and femininity every so often, although the way Rosemariné face got close to his to make sure the scent was just right was nice, albeit flustering.

Ever since then (and that was years ago, Jules realizes - it's hard to keep track of these things since Rosemariné has always been the same) he's worn the same scent almost every day, and he's grown so used to it that it may as well be natural. Maybe it's because he's so used to it, or because he gets complemented about it, or because Rosemariné keeps buying it, but Jules has grown to like smelling like a garden. It's classy, he realized after a wealthy girl he danced with at a party was impressed that he smelled so expensive; "we have a lot in common!" she giggled. Rosemariné coughed loudly and ushered Jules away after that, telling Jules that if people could smell you, you were either using too much scent or obscenely close together. Jules noticed that as Rosemariné said this, he could smell his cologne very clearly - and Rosemariné was very conservative with the amount he used.

Naturally, Rosemariné smells like roses, and has ever since they were thirteen. He has always insisted that it's a perfectly masculine and commanding scent. Somehow, on him, roses manage to be powerful and somewhat intimidating. Jules is secretly in awe of that; only Rosemariné is able to turn something so classically romantic into something blunt and asexual. Jules wishes that he could do the same thing, but the lavender scent only makes him seem gentler. (He wishes he could mention this to Rosemariné, but he already knows the response will be something along the lines of "good, and you should stay kind and nonthreatening." Sometimes, he wonders if Rosemariné is just as envious of him as he is of Rosemariné.)

Jules is reading Plato in Greek and musing about this when Gilbert comes to visit, clothing thankfully on. "Jules de Ferrier," he starts, "did you-" he stops and wrinkles his nose in disgust. "It smells like him in here." Jules has no idea what he's talking about, and wonders if there's something wrong with his nose. Gilbert smirks at his confusion. "I'm referring to your 'patron', of course. Does his disgusting aroma come from your bed sheets, by any chance?"

"I think it would be wise to refrain from such harassment, if I were you," Jules simply answers, repressing the part of him that almost wishes Gilbert is right. "Is there anything else?" He's not going to point out that Gilbert smells like roses too, when he bothers to wear a scent.

"I had forgotten for a moment who you were," Gilbert says, "never mind, I'll ask someone with a will of his own." And he leaves.

Jules is about to call after him, but decides better of it. He settles into his chair again, sniffing it despite himself (it smells like a chair). When he stops to think about it, the room really does have the faintest tinge of a rose scent, although he would have never noticed had Gilbert not pointed it out. Is Rosemariné really here that often, he wonders; and he's quickly answered by Rosemariné bursting in. As always, Rosemariné knows that he's welcome, if only because Jules depends on his wallet (although as far as Rosemariné knows, that's just a minor aspect of their relationship). He squeezes into the chair next to Jules and buries his face in Jules' hair. "It's been a long day," he says. "Did you know that lavender is said to be relaxing?"

"So I'm told," Jules says, smiling. The scent of roses is an aphrodisiac, he is suddenly and violently reminded as Rosemariné leans onto him and reads over his shoulder. "I think our scents go well together."

"Oh?" Rosemariné replies, "I hadn't noticed." Jules notices the tone of his voice seems to say that this was on purpose, though; it sounds like Rosemariné is happy that Jules agrees with him.

"It must mean that we suit each other," Jules says, pretending that he cares more about philosophy than the warm body all pressed against him and the blend of lavender and roses filling his nostrils. They sit there in silence for a few minutes after that, then Rosemariné suddenly pulls away. "Is something the matter?"

"I'm fine now," Rosmariné lies, and Jules tells himself that Rosemariné cheeks aren't really pinker than usual, "I don't need to be so close to you anymore."

"Ah, the lavender works. You are getting your money's worth then."

"Mmhmm," Rosemariné nods, satisfied with his decision to give Jules a scent that he had a good reason to be near, just in case he needs another excuse.

Jules puts his book down; he's forgotten what he was reading, anyway. "You can still sit with me if you'd like," he says, out of both kindness and a sense of duty, and Rosemariné does, even closer than before, nearly on top of him. Jules considers suggesting moving to the nearby couch so they could have a bit more room, but decides against it - because their chair is softer and Rosemariné won't be in the mood to get up again in order to move just a few feet, he says to himself as a form of justification.

In moments like this, Rosemariné considers starting a conversation: he wants to tell Jules how happy he is to have him there, and he's almost tempted to ask to be waiting for him like this every day for the rest of his life. He doesn't, though; he never does and probably never will. But during these times, it doesn't feel necessary. Jules has completely different things to say: that he's thought of Rosemariné as nothing but a source of income for years and yet if Rosemariné lost his fortune tomorrow, their relationship wouldn't change one bit. And yet somehow, both of them are perfectly content right there without words or reasons or thoughts of social constricts. Jules wishes for just a moment that he'll be able to fall asleep and dream of trees and books and roses and lavender, but he knows that even if he does, he'll wake up and realize that he doesn't need to dream about them. They're all things he can have, even if they'll never fit together perfectly, and for now, that's enough. All he really wants, after all, is security, peace, and someone to soothe with his lavender and kindness.