(121-04-27) When the Gods Close a Door
When the Gods Close a Door
Summary: … you're probably going to have to climb three stories and in through a window.
Date: April 27, 2014
Related: Communication

The door to Visenya's room has been locked, and it feels as if heavy furniture has been placed in front of it in case someone got past the lock.

Well, Aevander's not much for picking locks, nor for moving furniture. So. He just knocks.


"Visenya?" Aevander calls, with another knock.

"GO AWAY!" Visenya yells.

Aevander considers a moment. "Dearest, I don't wish to climb in through the window, but I shall. Please open the door."

"I am so displeased with you that I may push you out of the damned window!" Visenya vows through the door.

"Well, I can imagine worse ways to die, if not much more ignoble," Aevander replies. "Window, then?"

"You know what?" Visenya asks, "I'll be so impressed with you climbing that high that I may just let you in."

And then there is nothing. Not for nearly an hour. After which there is a rather sweaty and exhausted Aevander, clinging to the trellis and rapping lightly on Visenya's window.

Even Visenya is not cruel enough to leave her brother outside. She opens the window to let him in with a little shake of her head.

Her room looks slightly dirty from lack of servants, but it seems the commotion mostly came from the movement of furniture. Visenya looks slightly disheveled. She has been drinking for sustenance, it seems. The food the servants left was never taken, but her stores of wine are nearly depleted. She's drinking a glass now, and has a lightly glassy look in her eyes.

Aevander climbs in, taking a long moment to catch his breath. He trains a squire, now, but he's still hardly the athletic sort, and scaling the side of a manse is more strenuous exercise than he usually takes on. He looks around at the room, the empty wine bottles and the glassiness of Visenya's gaze. "You don't look well," he points out gently.

Visenya takes a swig of wine, and eyes Aevander, "What do you care?"

"Of course I care," Aevander replies around puffs of breath. "I shouldn't be cross with you if I didn't care."

Visenya finishes off her glass of wine, and sits down on her one sofa that hasn't been moved. "I'd probably have come out tomorrow. I'm getting hungry."

"Ah, well," Aevander puffs, reaching up to loose the top buttons of his jerkin and then the laces around the neck of his shirt. "I suppose I could use the exertion. Is there any wine to spare?"

Visenya nods her head towards the little side table where a bit of wine remains in the bottom of a carafe. "Drink away."

"Oh, lovely," Aevander exhales, pushing away from the window to pick up the carafe. He'll pour the wine into a goblet if there's one to e had. Otherwise, bottle-chugging it is. Once he's quenched his thirst, he puffs out another breath and regards his sister. "What brought this on, then?"

"If I knew what brought these things on I'd be able to avoid them, wouldn't I?" Visenya responds testily. "It went away faster than usual, but I realized that I was tired of everything. I don't want to come out. What's the point? What's the point in anything?"

"I don't know, my dear. If anybody can answer that, I'm sure they'll write a book," Aevander replies. "Daevon thinks he caused it. Or, rather, some dream of his upset you?"

"I don't remember." Visenya says stiffly.

Aevander hefts a brow heavy with skepticism. "He also mentioned you were taking a tea which seems to be helping, overall. Shall I drag the couch away from the door and have some hot water and something to eat brought up?"

"Why is Daevon telling you things about me?" Visenya asks in a tight tone. "You'll just throw it in my face later like you always do."

"Likely because he cares for you, too, and he's rather poor at keeping secrets, in general. Too forthright, I suspect." Aevander does walk over to the door to begin tugging at the furniture that blocks it.

"Stop!" Visenya demands as he begins to pull away the furniture. "I don't want to come out!"

"Well, I want food to come in," Aevander argues reasonably. "We can always push it back, after. I climbed up the whole manse, you know. You could at least help me move these chairs."

"You chose to climb up here." Visenya says tersely. "But how like you! It doesn't matter what anyone else wants, does it?" Her voice begins to raise slightly, "You just do whatever you please, and if anyone else has a problem with it oh well! You don't care one whit! It's just what /you/ think is right!" She lets out a weak little sound in the back of her throat before she stands up from her sofa, and begins walking briskly to her sleeping chamber.

Aevander leaves Visenya to stalk into her bedroom as he pushes chairs, couches and whatever else away from the door. This he opens to request a tray of light foods and a cup of hot water brought up, and some it's perhaps twenty minutes later when he steps into Visenya's sleeping chamber with said tray. "Sure you don't want a bite?"

Visenya is sitting on her bed with her legs drawn up to her knees. She glares at Aevander a moment before standing up, and walking out past him to the sitting room. She sees the hot water, and takes a small bag from one of the cabinets to shake the contents into the cup.

Well, so out Aevander comes into the sitting room, setting the rest of the tray down on a small table for Visenya to eat or not, as she likes. He sinks down into one of the chairs, stretching out his legs and regarding his sister.

Visenya drinks her tea, and stubbornly stares down at the food for a few minutes before she starts picking. And then she begins eating with the vigor of someone who hasn't had anything to eat for a few days.

Aevander is quiet while she does, opting not to interrupt her eating when it's clear she needs it.

Visenya polishes off the tray, and looks up at Aevander. "Thank you." She says stiffly. There's a few moments of silence before she says, "Say what you need to say."

"I worried about you," Aevander replies once they're speaking again. "Are you all right?"

"I'm tired." Visenya says with a light shrug. "Not as in I want to sleep. I'm tired of the constant fighting, and of the throwing others to the wolves."

"Well, as am I," Aevander agrees, "so what say we stop doing that?"

"That would mean you would have to stop doing it as well." Visenya states.

Aevander tips his head in a small nod for Visenya's reply. A corner of his mouth lifts into a small, playful, smile. "I do understand the meaning of the word 'we', my dear."

"You do?" Visenya asks with a creeping lift of her brow. "I'm not convinced."

"And how might I convince you?" Aevander asks, canting his head.

"You need to start taking what Daevon and I say into account instead of just dismissing us." Visenya says, "If you can do that then I will no longer feel the need to act without your knowledge. The point of the matter is I don't trust you, and you don't trust me." She pauses, "But I think I am more annoyed that you dismiss Daevon so easily. He has never given you reason to mistrust him. He asked for your support in regards to a loan for Princess Mariya, and you dismissed him outright."

"I did not dismiss him outright, though I did disagree with him. It is not our place to ransom the Princess Mariya, though she is his betrothed. "It is House Martell's and House Dayne's right. She is their daughter, and to pay Mariya's ransom would be to insult them. That seemed both discourteous and unwise. I know Daevon is a good man, but he is a very poor politician." His hands lace lightly together. "I don't trust you," he agrees softly. "I thought I could, but these letters to King's Landing… oh Visenya. How could you?"

"You happened to disagree with him while knowing you control the purse strings, and knowing you had the power over him. You knew you had complete control over the situation. That your decision was final." Visenya shrugs. "You treat him like a child." She smiles thinly, "Maybe if you did what you needed to I wouldn't have to." She shrugs lightly, "I could explain my reasoning, but you won't care. You never do." She watches Aevander for a few moments before saying, "You don't seem interested in actually compromising and moving forward, and I'm not particularly interested in compromising if you aren't. I really don't know what else we have to discuss."

"There is, perhaps, a reason our father put me in charge of the purse strings," Aevander offers gently. "Sometimes, Daevon is impulsive like a child. If the three of you didn't need at least a little looking after, our parents would have never sent me. I don't think my actions were wrong. You don't think yours were. But, neither of us wishes this anger between us… do you? I don't. So, tell me what sort of compromise you have in mind."

"I really don't see the point, Aevander." Visenya says with a shake of her head. "Because I tell you to respect our brother, and you return with reasons as to why you shouldn't. It was never meant to be a payment of Princess Mariya's ransom. It was meant to be a loan." She lets out a disgusted noise, "What do you think Father would think about you throwing a member of this family to the wolves? I don't care who Ryzael insulted. He is a Prince of Westeros, and deserves our protection. Instead, you try to humiliate him to the Tyrells and Oakhearts. The very same family who continually insults us publicly. Seven be blessed, I even heard that Princess Jaehaera is calling for his head! He is a Targaryen, and a Prince of Westeros!"

"Then he should know better than to try and strike a Lady in the street," Aevander replies with a soft frown. "What do you think that means? To be a Targaryen and a prince? Do you think it means we can go about bullying everyone we see, and those without our name should thank us for it? Do you think it means we have no obligation to be civil? We are the rulers of the realm, Visenya. For fuck's sake, we should act like it. We are not owed their respect, they are owed our superior example of what it is to be noble, righteous and lordly."

"He didn't try to strike a lady in the street. He used harsh words with her. Don't lie, Aevander. It's unbecoming." Visenya's mouth forms into a firm line, "Aye, we /are/ the rulers of the realm, and right now a very powerful vassal thinks it is acceptable to publicly insult us whenever they'd like, and you do NOTHING to stop it. Do you honestly think succumbing to their demands will end their insubordination? That acting POLITE will end their insubordination?" She lets out a laugh, "By the Seven, Aevander. Our ancestors took this realm with might, not with good manners! Do you honestly believe our good manners are what holds it together?!"

"I am not lying. He raised a hand to Lady Johanna Oakheart. Witnesses confirm it. Sapphyra confirms it. Even Ryzael will confirm that he meant to strike her if you ask him," Aevander replies. "I think there is a time for might and there is a time for something more elegant. To conquer an empire requires different skills than maintaining one, you cannot treat your vassals as if they are your enemies."

"I had not heard that he meant to strike her." Visenya's lips press into a thin line. "No, I agree they should not be our enemies. However, the Tyrells have done everything they can to insult us. It was not us who made them enemies. The point of trying to be friends with them is over."

"And yet we need them as vassals and it is not us, but the king, who may raise them up or crush them down," Aevander replies gently. "I do not think it is all Tyrells who give us such slights, but one in particular. What insults can you think on that have not been the result of Lord Garvin's words or actions?"

"Apparently Lady Johanna thinks it is acceptable to insult a Prince of Westeros on the streets, and her brother thinks it acceptable to threaten to geld said Prince." Visenya sighs, "I'm not saying we should be making decisions as to what the King ought or ought not do. What I'm saying is it is stupid that we are tolerating personal offenses from them."

"Lady Johanna responded to Ryzael's assertion that the duel was unjust," Aevander replies. "As her family fought in it, she was understandably insulted, and quite frankly, I am shocked Ryzael would say such a thing so loudly and publicly when Princess Rhaenys was sent by the king specifically to ensure the duel was held honorable the the outcome respected. All that, and a day later, Ryzael is sowing dissent? She spoke in defense of her family and the poor character of Maelys, whom, whatever we may think of him personally, it must be acknowledged is an exile who chose very rashly to fight for the Dornish purely to have his fight with Ser Laurent. And when she dared speak her mind, Ryzael began shouting. I was there to see him call her a cunt. To threaten her with 'blood, tears and anguish'. To threaten her guard for stepping in front of her after he raised his hand to slap her. Gods, Visenya. He threatened a guard for defending his lady, because he deemed the act of the the man doing his job as some form of treason. Purely because he was a Targaryen and if he saw fit to strike Johanna Oakheart down in the marketplace… what… the guards of House Oakheart should just allow it to happen?" Aevander swallows tightly, closes his eyes and shakes his head. "I can understand Ser Quillian's fury, because I can only imagine my own rage if anyone, of any family, were to speak so to you or Cerys."

"So your solution is to make sure our cousin is killed in a duel by making sure no one defends him?" Visenya shakes her head. "I don't agree with what he did now that you put it like that, but I don't agree with letting our kinsman's blood be spilled, either. He is still our cousin, Aevander." Her nose wrinkles, "Maybe Cerys."

"No, Visenya, of course not," Aevander replies with a shake of his head. "Ser Quillian would not be foolish enough to kill a Targaryen, not even over an insult to his sister. But a little public humiliation? A scar or two to remind our cousin that threats and bullying will not rally his family around him, and that he must use more temperance? Yes, my dear, that I would have allowed. That, I think, is what he was owed." He shakes his head with a small tut. "Cerys or you. Little as you think of me, I would not suffer your being treated so. We will deal with Lord Garvin. I have not forgotten him. But I think letting him spread his nonsense will serve us better when we tighten the noose."

"I hear Ser Quillian is a butcher. I don't feel comfortable letting him have access to our cousin." Visenya admits with a frown, "And you cannot allow a man a just beat him a little bit. But Daevon showed me the letter. He did not challenge him to a legal duel. He threatened to geld him. We cannot allow these people to be violent to us as they please. It will only progress to them thinking they can do as they please to us." She shakes her head, "You think little of me. I'll believe it when I see it. You don't need to tell me things to placate me."

"He threatened to geld him on paper. I am sure, when he comes, he will issue the challenge of a duel. Ser Quillian may be crass, but in all his dealings that I have observed, he has behaved honorably. What would be the point in writing down a threat one meant to carry out illegally?" Aevander queries. "I think very highly of you, Visenya. It is why I expect so much. I see your potential. I see the great princess you could become. It makes me heartsick when you carry yourself as less than you are."

"I am unconvinced it will happen as you say." Visenya snorts, "And don't humor me like I'm some stupid child. You've proven to me over and over again that you only see all of the horrible things I do. In your eyes I can do no right. You'll only be satisfied if I obey you completely because you only care about what you think is right."

"I care about what I think is right, because I believe those things are important. If I cared nothing for you, do you think I would spend this much energy, make myself this tired and unhappy and frustrated? I would nod and smile and let you do ask you liked and leave your own consequences to serve as your lessons. You mistake agreement for affection and disapproval for dislike. You wrote to the king behind my back. You humiliated me and yourself. I…" he exhales softly. "If you intended you hurt me, you succeeded quite well."

"I wasn't thinking of you at all." Visenya says, "I'm sorry my actions hurt you. But they really had nothing to do with you beyond my perceiving that nothing was being done. The regency was a stretch, but I wasn't wrong about the other things. And unless father has written you telling otherwise he did not seem too disturbed by it. Although I suspect he is humoring me slightly." She shakes her head, "You don't respect me. You don't respect Daevon. You treat us like children. If you had used the talents that I have willingly instead of reminding us constantly that we aren't allowed to sit at the grown-ups table then maybe I wouldn't feel the need to go behind your back, Aevander."

"I was scolded by The Queen Who Never Was. In this instance, father's opinion, one way or the other, is irrelevant. You have made yourself known to the king, Visenya, but in a way that has left an unpleasant taste in his mouth." Aevander replies, "I think sometimes both you and your brother behave as children. He runs from things he dislikes, he ignores the aspects of the world he finds unappealing. You cling to petty fights, you seem to seek out insults, you act rashly and then are surprised at the consequences of such behaviors. I see these things and I am frustrated by them. I do not know how else to respond but to chastise you. To try and help you understand why acting so will not get you what you desire. But, I certainly agree you are right. My attempts do nothing more than make me a villain in your mind. It is clear that father was wrong when he thought me the man for this task."

"That's not what Father says." Visenya shrugs, "But, as usual, your opinion is the only one that matters. And as usual you only see the negative. I found the Whoremaster, and as a result no one else has been eaten by it. I brought two dragon's eggs into the family. I rode it, proving that I've potential as a dragon rider. This doesn't matter to you. All you care about is the negative. You don't want to compromise with me. You want me to yield to you, and that I will not do." She shakes her head, "I tell you that Elionys has snubbed and insulted me. You don't believe me. You think I'm just a bully to her. Everything is always my fault. You don't think I have potential. You think I'm a monster and a screw up. Why wouldn't I cast you as a villain in my mind if that's how you treat me?"

"You did brave things, though you did them duplicitously. I thought you were dead, you know, speaking of having no care for me. I am not your twin, I have no magical dreams to whisper secrets. Father said you were dead, and I believed it," Aevander replies. "Only to learn you are not dead but pursuing a dragon in secret, having skulked out under cover of dark. I do not doubt your intentions, but if you cannot understand why the town is drawing caricatures, rather than singing your praises… Visenya, it is because you snuck about like a thief," Aevander replies. "I do think you can be a bully, I do think you have been one to Elionys. Certainly, you have been one to me about Elionys. You don't want to compromise with me, either, dearest. You want me to agree with you and apologize and see you were wholly in the right the whole time."

"I left because I found out Daevon had a lover." Visenya blurts out suddenly, and glances downwards suddenly to hide the flash of grief in her eyes. "I was told my whole life I was supposed to marry him, and here he is with this man…I was crushed. I felt like any purpose in my life was gone, and finding that damn dragon was the only thing that kept me from flinging myself off of the Hightower. I didn't fake my death to throw you off the trail. Ser Fulk thought it was prudent that I be a Silent Sister to keep me from being raped on the road. He didn't want anyone with nefarious plans to follow us. You don't know the full story and you never bothered asking me. You just made your own judgements because they suited you." Visenya sighs, "And you continually ignore my side of things. Because it is completely acceptable for Elionys to cry and whine about me to you, but if I do it I'm bullying you. I've told you repeatedly that she has mistreated me, and is not as innocent as you seem to think she is, but you just ignore me because you don't care."

"Visenya," Aevander argues gently, "Elionys has never called you 'slut' or 'ugly' or any of the vile things you have called her while in my presence. She has never accused me of trying to crawl up your skirts because I was kind to you or of hating her for holding civil conversations with you. Whatever you see in her behavior, I tell you truly, her manner of approach and yours are very different." He closes his eyes and bows his head. "I think perhaps it may be best if I leave the manse for a while. It would allow you and Daevon to breathe easier, and perhaps it would begin to show father that i am not needed her to look after you."

"Of course she hasn't. Wouldn't want to ruin her position as the one who can do no wrong, would she?" Visenya rolls her eyes. "She acts differently when you aren't around. Of course you don't believe me." She sighs, "I'm not telling you to leave. I'm telling you that maybe if you actually put some faith in me I might have confidence in you!"

"I suppose that could be one reason," Aevander allows softly. "And I guess you will call me fool if I answer that perhaps she is kind to me because we have been friends for many years." The tiny smile his offers is a bit melancholy at that recollection. "Then we must find a way to take steps towards each other, dearest. I cannot put faith in your simply because you demand it anymore than you can have confidence in me simply because I wish that you would."

"Then what do you propose we do?" Visenya asks. "Because I really don't want to take you in my confidence if all it means is you will act against me."

"We both offer something and gain something from the other," Aevander replies. "An agreement. A truce."

"Alright." Visenya leans forward to meet Aevander's eyes. "What do you want from me?"

Aevander draws in a soft breath. "A concerted effort to be courteous and respectful to nobles of the other houses. Even when… especially when you feel you have been slighted." He regards his sister. "What would you have from me?"

"You start treating Daevon and my concerns as valid, and you try to understand situations without jumping to conclusions or deciding one side is completely right while the other is always completely wrong." A pause, "Stop putting Daevon down all the time. He's much more sensitive then you think."

Aevander's mouth quirks a little upwards. "That's two requests, you know," he teases gently.

Visenya smiles. She then bites her lip. "…I've a confession."

Aevander cants his head, brows lifting. "All right, dearest. I'm listening."

"…I may have suggested that cousin Ryzael have Quillian Oakheart arrested…?" Visenya confesses with a grimace.

Aevander barks out a soft laugh, brows lifted high. "What?" he chuckles, clearly incredulously. "On what cause?"

"Ser Quillian did not actually challenge Ryzael to a duel. He threatened to geld a Prince of Westeros." Visenya shrugs. "I thought if he was arrested we could make him forgive the ransom that is owed for Princess Mariya. You may think it fine that she is held, but Daevon doesn't."

"Dearest," Aevander says with another soft chuckle, "Princess Mariya was released this morning. House Dayne paid off the ransom, she is free." He shakes his head. "I am not sure a paper threat would be sufficient grounds for an arrest. At any rate, I expect if Ser Quillian means to duel Ryzael, he will issue a challenge and that should put an end to it. But thank you for telling me."

"Oh, good." Visenya says softly. "It feels as if she's been in that horrible place forever." She stands up from the sofa, and opens the door to her room to call for a bath. She needs one.

"I am not sure the Garden Isle qualifies as 'horrible', but I am sure she is pleased to be home among her family, again." Aevander stands, stretches and rolls his neck. "Will you come downstairs, then, after you've washed? Join the living once again?"

"I've a few letters to write." Visenya says, "You're right, to some extent, about Elionys. I did call her nasty words. I'll apologize for that, but nothing else."

"Thank you," Aevander murmurs. "I can't tell you how happy that makes me. And I am sorry to have made you feel I was so against you. I am never against you or your brother. Even when I argue against your actions, it has only ever been to protect you from their consequences."

Visenya sighs. "I don't want to." She admits. "I don't like people hitting Daevon. …What you don't understand about him is he would have let her hit him as much as she liked because he thinks he deserves it."

"But she wouldn't have hit him more than the once," Aevander replies. "I believe that. And she had been bruised about by a dragon. I don't recall you being in very good spirits after the same happened to you."

"No." Visenya admits, "But I didn't blame anyone else for it."

"True," Aevander allows, "but nobody asked you to go after the dragon. If you had gone because Daevon or I instructed you to do so…" his brows lift as a means of finishing the question.

"Gone to feed it." Visenya frowns, "They ought not have been fooling around with it. But, there's no point in arguing it. It's done."

"No, perhaps not, though to hear Aegon tell it, there wasn't much fooling before the dragon swooped down and tried to… I'm not sure what. Play with them?" Aevander shrugs softly. "It is done. Let's lay it to rest."

"I should like to go see the dragon again." Visenya admits, "Daevon believes there is a Valyrian sword there, and wishes to find it."

"Yes. His dream," Aevander replies. "Well, if you think you can manage the creature and the both of you will remain unharmed, then do as you like. Perhaps take a raven to release in case you do become injured or unable to return home."

Visenya nods her head to the advice. "We will." There's a pause, "Aevander, I'm sorry."

"So am I," Aevander replies, "but let's start afresh."

Visenya nods. "Yes. Let's." She smiles, "I'm going to take a bath now. You probably should, too. You smell from climbing in the window."

"Ugh," Aevander replies for climbing. "I will be leaving your room by the door, thank you. I think I have stone shavings in my teeth." He steps over to press a kiss to Visenya's hair before heading out by less precarious means than those that allowed him entry.

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