(121-03-27) Out of Practice
Out of Practice
Summary: Being a bitch takes work. Valerity is out of practice.
Date: 03/28/14

Lady Valerity Redwyne knows how to do a few things well, and one of them if cross the right palms with silver. That it's her uncle's silver really doesn't figure into her reckoning — it spends the same. In this way, she's made certain to be abreast of the comings and goings of a certain party of Lords Errant, those men said to have been on a hunting trip these past few nights. Now word of their return has set her pacing and — quite unlike her — fretting. All the more unlike her, in need of company. More than company? A confidant. Exremely unlike her. So it is that Valerity, rather unlike herself, ends up at the door of the suite where Princess Mariya Martell has been installed as 'guest.' She smooths out her gown of spring-green silk, itself more than a little inspired by the latest fashion in Sunspear, and knocks.

It doesn't take long before Mariya opens the door. There are normally maids or servants to do so, however it would seem that the young Martell is alone for the moment. In the comfort of her own suite, she has reverted back to more Dornish styles of clothing as well as the oranges. No need to attempt to fit in when she is alone. "Lady Valerity," she greets with a welcome smile. "Please come in!" She moves back from the doorway and gestures for her to enter. "Is everything alright?"

Valerity twitches a smile that's slightly uncomfortable. One might almost call it shy. "Princess," she bobs a curtsy, then enters as she's bid. She waits until the door is shut again, then takes a breath to speak — hesitates — and asks instead, "Are we quite alone?"

Noticing Valerity's discomfort, Mariya shuts the door softly behind them and then turns to her newfound friend. "Yes. There aren't even servants at the moment. I sent them to my sister, Ellia, to help watch the children and give her some rest." The hesitation and the question is enough to pique her curiosity as well as her worry. "What's the matter?"

The Redwyne blows out a breath and finds a seat to collapse into, shutting her eyes for a moment. "Thank the Seven." She rubs at a vexed line of worry that's drawn itself between her brows. "I… I've had a little to drink," she begins, in apology. "I have a — friend. I think that's probably the word for him. He went off hunting and — well, he's failed to return. And I'm worried about him." She huffs and scowls. "And I hate that I'm worried about him." She glowers. "He's very, very stupid to make me worry." Then, plaintively, "Men are very, very stupid, aren't they?"

"Perhaps you should sit, then." Mariya moves toward the comfortable chairs in the room where they can sit and talk. Her face creases a bit in worry as she listens. "Perhaps he merely got waylaid. Has he been gone long?" Though, she smiles kindly and reaches out a hand to take hers to offer comfort. "It's only natural to worry about someone you care for. From what I've seen of men, they can often times let other things get in the way of logical thinking. It's why we allow women to rule in Dorne."

"That's enormously practical of you," says Valerity, grasping Mariya's offered hand. "The only thing better would probably be a complete matriarchy, but there's nowhere in the world perfect." She shakes her head. "He rode out with a group of his companions — who are no doubt equally stupid — and they've returned without him. That's all I know just now. I've been trying to refrain from going and less-than-gently interrogating one or more of them. But then — I think I'd have heard if they'd returned in mourning or with a body. Wouldn't I? So this whole interrogation idea is simply histrionic and untoward. It's none of my business, anyway. I'm being foolish. I hate being foolish but I can't seem to stop." She stares at Mariya a moment to communicate her alarm at her own state. "Goodness, this is perfectly wretched."

As Mariya listens, she gives Valerity a firm squeeze of her hand in consolation. "If he were injured or killed, they would have brought him back with more alarm," she agrees. "Who were the men that rode out? Perhaps you don't have to firmly interrogate them so much as ask them where he is and how the hunt went. If you'd like we can arrange a meeting somehow. I would ask around myself, but I don't know many here and many, I think, would not take kindly to me prying in their affairs." With a smile, she adds, "You don't seem to be foolish to me." Of course, Valerity might find that in and of itself condemnation of silliness. "You are worried, that is certainly a different thing. I hope that your friend is perfectly well, but until you are sure, you worry. I would find you more foolish were you cold-hearted and did not care if your friend returned or not."

"I've got little birds out there, all gilded with silver — they'll report back in, I just have to be patient," says Valerity, frowning deeply. "And I'm not good at patient. I was good at cold-hearted — " she blinks, a thought occurring to her. "Maybe I'm just out of practice." Hm. "That's comforting." She thoughtlessly begins to gnaw a thumbnail, then catches herself and snatches her hand back down to her lap. "He's not very handsome, you know," she reports to Mariya. "And he's not nearly so clever as he thinks. And — and he smiles a great deal. He's very — toothy."

"Then, you can simply pass your time with me. It's easier to wait with friends." Mariya knows quite a bit about impatience. "Out of practice at being coldhearted? One might think that a good thing." Standing, she moves toward a side table and pours a goblet with water, then returns and holds it out to Valerity. It will give her hands something to do, even if she does not drink from it. She smiles at the description. "He sounds lovely. Smiling is a fine thing for someone to do. Who is he, if I may ask?"

"He is a little lovely," Valerity admits, unhappily. She does sip the water, though probably just to make good the prop, as intended. "He's no one of consequence. A Florent. With Florent ears." She holds her hands up on either side of her head and splays out her fingers to give an estimation of size. Then, reclaiming her water, she blinks and asks, "Aren't you betrothed? Surely they had that all squared away before you were born."

Despite herself, Mariya giggles at the approximation of the Florent in question's ears. She attempts to hide it behind a hand, but that is all in good fun. "I did not realize Florents were known for their…ears. I know most of the major houses, but many of the others tend to jumble together for me." As for being betrothed or not, she shakes her head. "That probably should have been the case, but I was a complete surprise for my family. They did not think I would live, nor did they think my mother would live to bear me, as she was in her forties when I was born. I think they were so surprised that we both are still here that they did not worry of anything else. I'm sure my mother is looking in to what house would make a good alliance and which of those have proper sons. I've heard the Yronwoods might have a suitable match, but I have yet to meet him."

"Yes, I imagine you're too politically significant to marry for anything less than advantage, aren't you?" says Valerity, with some sympathy. "I almost escaped it, myself. But unfortunately, my father met a man who wanted a foot in Hightower, and was willing to sell his son off cheap to attain it."

As for political significant, Mariya shrugs her shoulders. "There is no danger of me inheriting. I have a fair number of brothers and sisters before me, so I am merely important for being a Martell." As for Valerity, her head tilts slightly. "I did not know you were betrothed. Who is the man? And, despite your father's thoughts, whoever the man is, he does not know the prize he is getting." Though they have just met, it's clear that Mariya will easily and happily trust the woman and champion her.

Valerity sighs, looking touched and a little exasperated at the princess's immediate loyalty. "You mustn't love people so easily, you know," she says, taking Mariya's hands in both of hers. "Not everyone is like me — I'm just… a practicing curmudgeon. I don't mean any ill. But there are people who will mean to hurt you, and they'll pur on a far fairer face than mine." End of lecture. She looks down a moment, then explains, "Ser Dresden Reyne. He made a name for himself in his youth, but he's… no longer young. And we — don't really get on. Not that we don't get on, it's just…" She frowns. "Difficult. Awkward." A sigh. "It's probably my fault."

Mariya takes Valerity's hands easily and with a smile. It's a lecture that she has heard often, it would seem. "Yes, but you are not false, nor mean me harm, so I believe my trust is well placed in this instance, don't you agree?" Instead, she focuses on the task at hand, which is Valerity's crisis and worry. "I do not know the man." However, she does think she undersatnds the pain of being betrothed to a disagreeable man. "Yes, I can imagine it awkward to wed a man when you are fond of another. And I have little doubt that the problem is your fault. You were cross and disagreeable in the square, but you have a good heart and befriended me. From only knowing you, I imagine that he has his own disagreeable qualities that make the match difficult."

"I was not," Valerity argues, rolling her eyes even as her dimples flash, "cross and disagreeable. I was pragmatic and realistic. You were insisting the Maiden's Knight is precognitive and has rainbows and unicorns falling out of his ass. Such notions need stomping." Public service, you see. She renderz them.

"No, I was saying that Ser Daevon would most likely know better of his sister's condition than someone random in the square decrying Lady Visenya as dead." Mariya blushes slightly at the language. "I would think that if anyone would know the situation best, it would be her twin brother. You seemed, at the time, quite happy to argue for the sake of arguing."

"I am of the very strong opinion," argues Valerity, amused, "that someone's twin brother is the worst person to know what is going on with them. Love and close proximity make us very blind, indeed. Even as a total stranger, my lack of prejudice and the clarity of perspective made me better suited to make a rational guess at the lady's fate." She smirks. "We will probably argue about this, and many things like it, until we are very old. Seven willing we both live so long."

"Yes, but Ser Daevon was correct in his thoughts of Lady Visenya." Valerity herself mentioned so, earlier! "Yes, I do believe that it is an argument worth having, at least. I do hope we are able to have it for quite awhile, though I also hope that I will win the argument in less time." While Mariya's smile is not exactly a smirk, it is happy one. "I have argued with a fair number who seem convinced to tell me that my faith in people is misplaced."

"And have you convinced anyone, yet?" Valerity asks, raising an eyebrow. "Having faith in someone is one thing — ascribing them otherworldly insight simply because you admire them is another. I have faith in the Maiden's Knight as well — faith that he will do and behave as a good man should. Beyond that, he is only mortal."

"I don't think Ser Daevon is otherwordly, persay. He is a good man and friend, however I would also believe him to know his family. I trust his judgement." Mariya does not find this to be quite a leap, into the supernatural. However, she attempt to explain herself: "If anyone would know of something like that, it would be him. He found and rescued me from a horrors when he did not know anything of me other than I was Dornish and was in trouble. If he believed his sister alive, I would not argue otherwise."

"Those are sentimental reasons, and kind, but not very rational," says Valerity, simply. "We only think we know our families, when more often than not we're blinded by our affections. That he came to your rescue makes him good, not wise. But… I understand your admiration and your affection, and I think — I think it's lovely that you support what he believes because of it." She sighs. "The hour grows late. I suppose if I mean to learn anything more of my friend, today, I should do so before all my birds go to roost."

"And I don't feel as if sentiment should have no bearing on judgement. There are reasons why we trust other people." Much like why Mariya now trusts Valerity. "I don't find it as blinding, though perhaps I am mistaken." She smiles and nods. "I will not keep you from your news - of which I hope it is good tidings. I'll be here by myself for the evening. So, if after you hear or do not hear, feel free to come back and pass the time with me. I'd be glad of the company, honestly."

Valerity sighs again. "I can't help but hope you persist in that belief, dear princess — which is also very unlike me. Perhaps it's the wine talking." Though in truth she hasn't had so much, and has had only water all this while. She leans in and kisses the Dornish girl's cheek. "I hope sleep will have found you by the time I'm back, but if I see the light on, I'll knock. Thank you… for this. It's almost like having a sister, again."

"I do seem to endeavor in it despite many attempting to convince me of the contrary." Mariya grins good-naturedly at Valerity and leans in for the kiss on the cheek. She reaches out to put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "I'm not sure I will. It is a troubled time for both of us, I fear, which makes it difficult to sleep soundly. But, I hope your own troubles will be assuaged tonight with words from your little birds." With a smile, she gratefully takes the sentiment and returns, "You're welcome. I'm glad of your company. I enjoy spending time with you."


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