(121-04-04) Mind the Roses
Mind the Roses
Summary: Leire shares a vision with Laurent.
Date: 4 April 2014
Related: All the ones where Laurent cries about his daddy being dead.

Small Study - Starry Sept

This small room has one of the great stained glass windows depicting The Father to let in the light. Under the window there's a large ornately carved wooden book-stand holding an enormous and artfully illuminated copy of The Seven-Pointed Star. Elsewhere, the walls are hung with small tapestries depicting The Seven.

The rest of the room is dominated by a large table covered in scrolls and prayer-books. Behind it stands a heavy and imposing chair with a seven-pointed star carved into its backrest.

There's a small fireplace on one side of the room, and a living space that seems almost an afterthought. It consists of a comfortable chair padded in leather, a little side-table, a small Myrish rug, and a narrow bed.

A little redheaded girlchild of ten or eleven summers wearing the robe of an acolyte escorts Laurent through the sept when he arrives, guiding him beyond the narthex where worshipers are making offerings at the altars of the Seven and leading him up one of the sept's stony towers to a private door. She knocks quietly, pressing her ear to the thick wooden door, and then pushes it open for Laurent to enter. Though it's mid afternoon, the room is not overly bright, some of the curtains drawn to block out the light. Leire is seated in one of a pair of chairs by the fireplace, which isn't lit, looking less like she's casually perched there and more like she's been propped up and left there purposefully.

Whether the girl announces Laurent, or doesn't, he brushes past her without a word of thanks or farewell. Brisk steps carry him into the room until he's standing behind the empty chair facing Leire, his hands resting on its back. "Leire," he says, by way of greeting. "I got your summons. I trust you're well?"

Too bashful to speak in his looming presence, the acolyte closes the door once he's entered, leaving the pair of them to their meeting. Once he's drawn closer, it should in short order become apparent that Leire is pallid where she usually lacks not for vim and vigor, and when she lifts her gaze to Laurent's and speaks to him in reply, it's evident it's done with effort, even if she takes care not to be dramatic about it. "Laurent. I'm glad you were able to find time to call."

"You're not well," Laurent says in place of something polite, and the words have the sound of an accusation. "Are you ill? Or injured?" He frowns now as he looks her over, his dark eyes narrowing. "I'll send for Jacsen, he'll see to you either, illness or injury." Though his voice is rough, there are small tells that speak of his concern for his sister. A clenched jaw, hands squeezing the chair too tight, a deep indrawn breath released as a sigh.

"Sit," says Leire, managing to issue instructions despite being folded into a chair with a blanket across her lap like an invalid. Her hands are folded in her lap serenely, and she watches Laurent pointedly until he fulfills her request. "I've communed with the Crone on your behalf. She demands a high price, as is to be expected."

Laurent scowls as he comes around to settle heavily into the chair, hardly taking his suspicious eyes off his sister. Once he's seated, he slouches in the chair — he has a tendency to do that. Stretching out until he's comfortable, he owns a good deal of space around the chair as well by virtue of long legs and an imposing presence. "Why?" Rather than grateful, the question is sullen, almost accusatory.

The question causes Leire to regard her brother as though he had six heads. She sounds faintly exasperated when she speaks, and then by turns a little disappointed. "I wonder that we have any blood in common, much less so much as half." She doesn't answer the question, and by the same token offers no further insight, letting her gaze wander to the seven-pointed star displayed beneath the stained glass window bearing the face of the Father, the only one not covered in the small room.

"And yet I've been told that we do," Laurent reminds her unnecessarily, his eyes following hers, though he looks to the window rather than the icon. Perhaps he thinks that is where her attention is, as well. He stares at the window, itself a work of art, for a moment in uncomfortable silence. It's not long before the surly knight is drumming his fingers on the chair's armrest, and stealing the occasional glance at his sister to make sure she hasn't fallen asleep.

Leire lifts a hand to reach for the pendant at her throat, but the gesture makes her wince, ever so faintly, and so she clasps her hands once more, the bell-shaped sleeves of her robe pooling around them. "I was seeking guidance as to the remediation of your father's slaying," she offers at length, studying Laurent. "But the Crone was silent on the matter."

Laurent edges forward slightly as if to help, but in the end remains seated and doesn't reach for Leire. What could he do? Instead he leans forward to put his elbows on his knees, and rest his weight there. "A sword in Ser Maelys' gullet should serve, I would think," he muses darkly. Despite his demeanor, the news of the Crone's silence puts him slightly on edge. He's well used to not feeling an answer to his own prayers, but seeing Leire's go ignored doesn't sit as well with him. Especially not with the price she has apparently paid for that silence.

Leire leans forward as well, though it's more of a slump than her usual grace would afford her in such a gesture, perhaps subconciously to mirror her brother's affectation. She smooths her palms over the plush blanket draped over her lap, resting them upon her knees. Her tenor shifts suddenly, the note of disappointment with which she admitted to not having received the guidance she sought replaced by a sense of urgency when she relays, "The Wizened One opened my mind to an unexpected image. A beautiful field with a patch of roses. One grew strong, taller than the others."

Laurent's heavy brow draws together, leaving furrows in his forehead as he considers the image. It's significance seems to elude him, but fortunately Laurent is not one to long endure curiosity. "What does it mean?" If the question is too direct, or too simple for such a thing as a vision from the gods, that is only a reflection of its source. Laurent is a direct man, and simple himself.

Leire has clearly decided the meaning of the vision, for its importance is writ large in her dire gaze. "Then another sprang up to bloom alongside it, its petals more vibrant and more fragrant than the one that dwarfed it. Then another burst forth, and another, crowding the tallest of the roses. Together they choked it out, until it could draw no further sustenance from the earth." Her stare is briefly distant and withdrawn, as if she's dwelling further on whatever divine knowledge she's convinced she's received, and when she comes back out of it, she says, "Now that your father is dead, your position is tenuous. You have brothers more favored than you were, who have been at Highgarden winning esteem while you've been doing your duty here in the city. While you are caught up in avenging your father, they may seek to fill your shoes as heir apparent."

Laurent seems about to ask a further question, nervous even for a moment. His mouth works in silence, but something in Leire's description of the dire prophecy seems actually put the Thorn at ease, and he falls back into his chair again to think on it. "No doubt they do," he agrees, looking into the fire. "I'm certain our mother prays for it daily, as did my father." He doesn't begrudge them that, though. Not judging by his tone. He takes a deep breath, and Leire can almost see him thinking, so intense is the focus in his eyes. But that's all for naught, or seems so, for his next words admit his lack of insight. "What would you have me do then, Sister? Ser Maelys Targaryen must die on a Tyrell blade. He murdered my uncle and defiled my father's corpse — it cannot go unpunished. Is that not more important than which nephew is favored of Lord Tyrell?"

Leire's gaze follows Laurent's, watching him digest what she's just told him as he looks from her to the fireplace. She sways in her seat, momentarily lightheaded, forcing herself upright to regain the balance of her composure, her back flush with the chair, her hands moving to grip its arms. "That's not a question for me to answer, brother, or for the All-knowing Crone to attest to on your behalf. What is most important to you is a province you preside over alone."

"Damnit, Leire," Laurent says, turning her way again. "If you were my sister, and not a Septa, what would you tell me? You know my mind as well as anyone. House Tyrell first, and Ser Laurent of that house last. My name is nothing without the Tyrell name. So tell me. Do I let the feud with Ser Maelys lie for a time, to be taken up later?" He grimaces, not liking the taste of those words. "It will take time to learn to discharge my new duties. Do I focus on that, and on securing my inheritance? Or do I leave it in the hands of my siblings, and seek blood for blood, and now?"

Leire's reply is quiet, as if she's worried anyone but the two of them might hear her shame, when there is no one to eavesdrop on their conversation here but the Seven themselves. "If I were simply your sister, I wouldn't be a Septa." Though her skin is pale, the blood drawn from her face, her steely stare is unwavering. "If you leave the matter of governance to your siblings in order to pursue revenge, you may return to find your familial duties are no longer your own."

"Are my brothers not better suited to them," Laurent asks sourly. "I've spent my life chasing across the Reach with no duties, or small ones invented to keep me apart from Highgarden and my parents' side." This, too, is said with no grudge against those parents. "The gods know I'm most comfortable with a sword in my hand and a foe in front of me. Am I as ill-suited to responsibility as our family would name me?"

"That is for you to decide," repeats Leire, echoing her earlier sentiment. "Your lord father is dead, and you are no green boy to be beholden to the instruction of your lady mother. You stand in good stead now to demonstrate to the family whose name you bear what breed of man you are. You are your own architect, Laurent. Your impose harsher limits on yourself than your family has any power to impose upon you. Don't grant them that power." Leaning toward Laurent once more, Leire makes the effort to lay one of her hands over his, though he'd have to catch it to help it there in her tremulous state. "I believe that you are capable and honorable and will do our family a great service by shouldering your father's mantle."

Laurent does lean forward, reaching out with both hands to steady Leire, meeting her effort with a scowl. "So you would have me take up the steward's mantle, then, and manage my family's lands and affairs." He's a stubborn man, and as determined to find advice in Leire's words as she is to encourage him to find his own path. His tone is coarse and uncaring, but his hands give it the lie as they urge and guide Leire back into repose. "I'm capable enough. I've no head for taxes and harvests, but there are…" He pauses as his hands drag across a bandage at Leire's wrist; the feel of it draws his lips down in a frown, and stills whatever thought moved his tongue. He takes a deep breath, his lips curl back in a grimace, and it's a moment of silence before the surly Tyrell knight is certain he can bite back his thoughts on the price his sister pays. When he speaks, he has moved on to another point. "You know me too well to think me honorable, Leire, though I sometimes find stubborn to be a near enough substitute."

Steadied and settled at Laurent's hands, Leire sighs heavily, demonstrating her fatigue for being made to wrestle with her brother's enduring hardheadedness. "I would have you learn another way by which to govern yourself than thinking perpetually of what others would have you do." She stiffens in her place like a deer caught in a hunter's sights at the touch to her wrist, shirking Laurent's gaze for the moment before ultimately telling him, "Blood for blood for blood." And then, on that note, "You need not live and die by how quickly you will be able to spill some in your father's name. There will be time. If the Dragon poses no immediate threat, look to the roses," harkening back to her vision.

Laurent sighs heavily, still not satisfied with the Leire's advice. She knows him well enough to know that it's too abstract for him, that he does thrive on being told precisely what to do. Exactly the reason he needs this sort of advice. "Can I not bleed for my own answers, Sister," Laurent asks with a frown, once Leire is still and comfortable. He remains forward in his seat now, rather than slouching back, his eyes on her. "I don't know what threat that whoreson poses," he complains, shaking his head. "Tensions are high just now with some of our banners. Add to that the threat from Dorne, and the slight of a broken betrothal from House Targaryen, and Ser Maelys may take on more weight than he would otherwise. Think on it, for me?"

"Your turn to bleed will come," says Leire, her brow creasing with concern. "You cannot hope for revenge without expecting to spill your share." She hears him out, nodding in turn at each complication given voice by Laurent. When he begs further guidance, she does not hesitate to nod. "I will consult the Oracle again, when I am able. The Crone knows she has a loyal subject in me."

"Just think on it," Laurent urges Leire, shaking his head. "Your counsel is enough for me in this." Though they're not full siblings, that doesn't diminish Laurent's protectiveness where his sister is concerned. In truth, he's as protective of his scheming, backstabbing siblings as well, and every cousin who sneers at him but shares his name. Undeniably, though, he has a fondness for Leire that very few of the others enjoy.

"She is the pool from which my wisdom springs," Leire says unapologetically, her gaze flitting over to the seven-pointed star beneath the window before darting back to Laurent. "Do not begrudge the price of wisdom. Nothing worth having comes without some cost."

"You should rest," Laurent says, pushing himself back to his feet with a grunt. "Rest," he says again, "And I'll send our maester to you." He raises a hand to forestall any argument, shaking his head. "We will both need our strength, I think. These are black days, and I think there is worse to come." Slow steps carry him back around the chair and toward the door, and he calls out in a harsh voice once he has opened it. "Girl! The septa needs food and drink, and rest. When Maester Jacsen arrives, see him to her." And with no goodbye at all, Ser Laurent Tyrell's voice trails off down the hallway, still making demands of the nervous young acolyte.

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