"Cerebus loves you too" - Cerebus
Bar Owner: He's the luckiest guy in the whole world.
Jaka: You're very sweet to say that. Of course this is the 'beginning' part. The 'beginning' part is easy. We'll have to see how 'lucky' either of us feels after we've had a chance to really get on each other's nerves.
After tangling with one of Lord Julius's look-a-likes in another pub they carry on with their journey. Jaka keeps wanting to stop and admire the scenery or shop for clothes and soon Cerebus's inner voice starts to panic that they are falling behind schedule and might at this rate end up stuck in the Conniptin mountains during winter. On this first leg of the journey Jaka drops a small bombshell about what she had been thinking during Cerebus's stay with her and Rick:
Jaka: "Remember when you came to stay with us? And I gave you my little 'I love my husband' speech?
Jaka: "After I finished I sat there hoping you would say 'Fine Jaka. You love Rick. But you belong to Cerebus. Pack a bag, we're leaving tonight.' I would have packed my bag, kissed Rick goodbye and left without a backward glance."
Jaka: "Unh huh."
It feels like something of a retcon of Jaka's Story, because I find it hard to believe Jaka would have left the decision to leave Rick in the hands of Cerebus alone. But it can work as a non-retcon, if it is more like something she has come to believe in retrospect because of a combination of being angry at Rick over the end of their marriage and idealising Cerebus the same way he idealises her.
|"But I Must Have New Clothes Every Day!"|
"She's basically and unhappy person...With the unhappy ones you've got to be happy enough for two. You're a naturally happy person and as long as you stay that way you should do fine. Just be happy every damn minute of your waking life and you've got her for as long as you want her."
As they travel, Jaka keeps getting invited to receptions by local Cirinists, as she is still Palnu royalty. Curious, Cerebus wants to see what they are like and so Jaka accepts an invitation to a local gathering. Lots of women, young and old turn out to see her and having seen enough, Cerebus leaves to go for a drink at the local pub while Jaka goes to speak to at the local community centre. Both have a strange experience, for Cerebus it's an old man mentioning "prophet Ricke" and asking if Jaka is "a scorpion, or a lunatic, or an angel or just a woman?". While Jaka after leaving the community centre is accosted by a Cirinist who tells her "Cirin is too old. Too much has changed" and tells her that her local Mothers will swear allegiance to Jaka right now. Both Jaka and Cerebus run away and bump back into each other. Both somewhat discombobulated by their respective encounters.
The next day, Cerebus and one of the local Cirinists are examining the hacked up remains of what appears to be the one who tried to speak to Jaka. The Cirinist makes a veiled threat regarding Jaka, that her Royal status won't protect her from a charge of insurrection. Cerebus says he "gets the message". When the remains are tidied away, Jaka is brought to Cerebus in the carriage, she is almost hysterically thankful to see him, thinking that something awful must have happened to him and it was her fault. Cerebus grips her tightly and tells her she MUST be more careful who she talks to. She gets the message as well. While Cerebus's inner voice keeps tormenting him, he keeps up his happy facade. They engage in a bout of vigourous lovemaking in the back of the carriage and we get a wonderful image of Jaka mopping half a pint of aardvark spunk out of her ladygarden. Bleaurgh, thanks for that Dave, where's my brain bleach?
|That's One Long Spliff Man|
Turns out Kennedy's wife is in a sanitorium, or the nuthouse as Cerebus rather insensitively refers to it. Showing her changing attitude towards Kennedy, Jaka tells Cerebus:
Jaka: "You said to me 'Jaka, be careful who you talk to'. I never once asked you why I should be more careful about who I talk to...Now why do you suppose that is? It's because I trust you, that's why. And I trust you because I love you. So if you trust me and if you love me, you'll go right over there and apologise to Mr. Kennedy for what you said to him."
So Cerebus goes and apologises and returns much later roaring drunk. Lovingly, Jaka tucks him in as he passes out on the sofa, showing the real tenderness their relationship has at the moment.
|D'awwwwww, How Nice.|
Later the next day Jaka asks Kennedy if he can read what he has written about her. He refuses.
Jaka: "Don't you ever tire of invading peoples private lives? Just to feed your noteriety/"
Kennedy responds that what he tires of is wondering which of his writings will result in his wife getting better or worse care from the Cirinists. And which of his writings will see him either applauded or despised by them. And that he tires of being "judged. Sneered at..snubbed and slighted" especially by people he met once, long ago at a party. While Jaka tries to prise more information about his book out of Kennedy, Cerebus is fishing and falls asleep. He dreams of Rick, now looking very Jesus like, baptising people in the river. He awakens with a start.
|Dreaming Of Rick|
At their next meal together, Cerebus seems to finally cotton on that there is something growing between Jaka and Kennedy. Jaka ends up running from the table in tears, saying she wants to be left alone. This causes Cerebus to see the rocky landscape of Juno again. He goes and gets miserably drunk pondering the advice about staying happy to keep her happy. Kennedy invites Jaka to come to Mealc as a patroness and drunkenly imagines himself kissing her. Jaka drags a sulking Cerebus back to their room.
|The Artist At Work|
Cerebus: "In that case Jaka, Cerebus guesses this is goodbye. Cerebus will go to Sandhill Creek and make sure his parents are Okay, and Cerebus will catch first boat south in the spring and meet you at Mealc, before the festival of the summer bonfire. Cerebus can't live without you Jaka."