(121-04-28) Black and Blue Foxes
Black and Blue Foxes
Summary: Caelin talks to Arion who makes a hard choice. Sera invades and broken bridges start to mend…maybe.
Date: 28/04/2014
Related: The discussion after Lord Pansy Meets the Black Fox

Caelin can be found later on in the gardens, having settled into his new quarters. The older Florent has always had a fondness for the outdoors, or a replica of it at any rate, and is taking the evening going over paperwork by lamplight out here rather than in his study.

Arion has paid a visit to the manse to speak with his brother. He is directed into the garden and walks down the path until he spots Caelin. He watches he brother for a moment before he steps forward annoucing his presence in a soft and slightly nervous tone of voice. "Brother? Is this a bad time to speak with you?" He shifts fidgeting a little while he waits for his answer.

Caelin finishes writing a line, setting his quill down by the inkstone as he stands. "Not at all." He nods to the nearest manservant, the Black Fox's voice polite but brisk, "Leave us." And then his gaze is entirely on Arion, leaning against the oaken desk. "Brother. I suppose you have decided not to cast your family aside, then."

Arion frowns and then moves to take a seat across from Caelin. "I told you I would speak with you in private and take whatever punishment you choose. I am undecided on what to do at this point….I love Garvin dearly but family should mean more to me than people to deliver punishments and rules to follow. I want to work this out somehow but I'm not sure its worth it." Arion pins Caelin with a look. "I know I haven't been discrete at all but I've been so happy lately and I want everyone to know why that is. Is that so bad brother?"

"Yes." The older florent answers flatly, lips quirking ever so slightly. "You can think and hope and pine however you wish, little brother, but your actions, and your failure to hide them, are harming our family. Do you really not see that?" His voice lowers, the mask relaxing a little. "Or do you truly care so little for those who have nurtured, protected, and loved you your entire life?"

"I do care…its just it seems like sometimes you and the rest of them don't care if I'm happy or not…you just care about the family and the greater good. But you did raise me and take care of me so thats why I'm trying to understand your point of view. I love Garvin and he makes me happy. I know he cares for me I see it everytime I look in his eyes." Arion smiles fondly his eyes taking on a far away look. "I could try and be more discrete but honestly I'm not sure it will work…I want everyone to know I care for him and thats hurting the family. It doesn't seem like there is a good solution here for me…" He sighs sadly.

Caelin watches the blond quietly for a moment, a hint of softness to the elder fox's stern features. "We do care for you, Arion. I care." He pauses, then continues, "But I care about the family more. More than you, more than myself, more than father, more than any one of us."

Arion blinks his eyes softening a little at that admission before turning curious. "But why brother? Why the family and not someone close to you or even yourself?" He looks confused but still curious his head tilting as he reagrds Caelin. "Is it becuase of your ambitions? I must admit I've never had much ambition myself so I don't really understand it."

Caelin's lips turn downwards, in a sharp frown. Disapproving, but less dangerously so. More like when the younger blond would fail at his lessons for want of paying attention. "Ambition isn't the point. It's merely a tool in the service of the family." He pauses, the scowl deepening a moment. "Because we're all we have, little brother. Because the family is you, and me, and father, and our brothers and sisters, our cousins. Your future children, and grandchildren not yet born. All of us."

Arion blushes as Caelin mentions him having children. "You really think I will have children? I love Garvin but thats one thing he can't give me…one thing that I really want." He looks depressed and finally he shakes his head slowly to clear it. "I think I understand though…you support the family and they support you yes? What we do for family is for the good of those here and those that will come after them. Still I'm selfish brother. I want to be happy. I want to be loved." He lowers his eyes as if he ashamed to admit this.

Caelin agrees softly. "No, that is something… Lord Tyrell…" His emphasis on the family name is slight but unmistakable, and the choice of paramour is not the least of his worries, "Cannot provide you with. You need a wife, who will bear you children." He states this firmly, not leaving any room for argument before continuing, "And I won't make you leave Oldtown. Once you have sired children the stories of your diversions with Garvin will lose their bite. Go on hunting trips together, become companion knights like in the ballads. But you need to show discretion. Not simply for my sake or father's sake, or even your own, but for all our family."

Arion's eyes widen a bit and he bites down on his lower lip before he speaks. "Brother are you suggesting I marry and keep seeing Garvin afterwards?! That…I could not do that. If I do marry I will be loyal to whoever that is I will earn thier love and they will have mine as well. I will not hurt my wife by insinuating that she is not good enough by seeing a man." He sighs. "I'm sorry but if I was ever to marry I would have to give Garvin up for good…and that thought is painful to me. Still I will try harder to be descrete for the sake of the family. Will that satisfy you?"

Hard black eyes settle on the younger Florent a moment. "You are a brat, little brother." He sighs. "You have always been a brat." But there is the slightest trace of a smile. "And sweetly naive. I wonder if the two are meant to cancel each other out, or if they're simply sides of the same coin. I would not suggest trying to keep such an arrangement secret. Not from your wife, at least. But such arrangements are not as rare as you might think. I won't name names, but I believe we can find you an accomodating bride." He pauses, gaze earnest. "Discretion would be an improvement, but this is not negotiable. We can put it off for a few more years, maybe, if you do learn to be quieter, but in not too much time you will have to wed. One of your duties to your family is to sire the next generation."

Arion lowers his head and sighs. "You are missing my point brother. It would be against my nature to involve myself in a marriage with someone who did not care for me and that I did not care for. I want someone I can be loyal to and hopefully them to me. If I ever found a woman like that then…I think I could give Garvin up. It would hurt us both but perhaps it would work out better in the end. Look for me a wife if you like but please I beg of you to remember my words on this. Don't condem me to a life of misery brother.." He looks up his gaze pleading with Caelin and then he nods his head. "I would not mind marrying at all if you will keep in mind what I have said and try to find someone we can all agree on. In the meantime I will be more discrete in my dealings with Lord Garvin Tyrell.

Caelin lifts a hand to his brow, rubbing softly. "A brat." He repeats, softly, a bit dangerously. But not altogether harshly. "We will see. You are still quite young, and if these rumors will abate, as I said, we can put the matter off for some years yet." He pauses, then adds firmly, "In the meantime, we clearly need to find some productive work for you to do here in Oldtown, to keep you busy."

"I know thats what people think of me brother. You don't need to remind me." Arion pouts a little and then looks curious. "Father always wanted me to be a knight but thats really not something I think I would be very good at. I was present with Abram at the trial of the Seven and when the Blackrood killed one of the Dornish men I nearly lost my lunch…the thought of blood is…" Arion turns a bit pale and green just thinking of blood. He shakes his head slowly. "So nothing that involves blood or fighting please unless you want me to hide in my wardrobe…" He grins faintly but his eyes show he is being quiet serious. "Any other suggestions on what I could do?"

"You could study with the maesters, while you're here anyway." Caelin sighs, a twitch of his eyebrow at the pouting youth. "I wouldn't advise taking the chain but you could pass a few years in study. Of course, you couldn't father children if you did decide to swear, but you could serve the house in other ways. Or you could spend time with our master of coin here in Oldtown, learn how to manage the House finances."

Arion looks thoughtful a long moment. "I think I would like to learn more about finances and economics. It could be of use to the family yes…also if I studied money management and trade I might be able to get better deals when I go shopping!" This seems to inspire him and he smiles brightly. "Can i do that brother? I think I would enjoy it…I may study a few extra subjects on my own as well. Perhaps I could study the history and current events of our houses trade agreements and alliances and figure out how to improve them?"

Caelin blinks, long-sufferingly, before inclining his head, "I am happy if the idea excites you. Tomorrow I'll speak to the master of coin. If you would study history as well I'm sure one of the masters can be induced to help you with that." And then the younger Florent will have no time left for acting, he thinks but doesn't say.

Arion frowns a little as if he realizes what his brother is doing. He looks at Caelin with an intense stare. "You are trying to distract me from seeing Garvin….from being able to spend time with him." He sighs and looks depressed by this. He nibbles his bottom lip in thought thinking hard about his options. "I…I will speak with Garvin later. I don't want to hurt his feelings over this but…I think it would hurt him more if it happened later with a marriage looming over me." He lowers his head trying to hide the tears that are forming in his eyes. "I don't want to do this brother…I want him. But I can't keep him." Then the dam breaks and Arions tears start falling silently onto the table.

Sera comes out of the manse.
Sera has arrived.

Caelin was evidently writing and going over papers by torchlight. The bearded man places a hand firmly on Arion's shoulder, squeezing it as he watches his little brother quietly. "No. You can't keep him." He pauses a moment, voice calm and measured, but almost soft. "Enjoy the time that you have, so long as you are both discrete. But your labor needs to be focused on helping your house. This acting business is a frivolity we cannot afford."

Slipping back into the house a bit later than usual, Sera pauses at the entrance as Sesro, one of the tall servants, rushes in to tell her that Ser Caelin has arrived and is in the garden with Lord Arion. The woman is shocked at first but quickly moves towards the garden, only stopping briefly before a highly polished mirror to check herself. She frowns at her image and lifts up the collar of her dress to hide a few faint bruises. Works like a charm. With that done she slips off towards the garden in search of her cousins. Spying Arion and Caelin seated at the table, she makes her way towards them with a smile on her lips, until she realizes Arion is crying. With eyebrows popped upwards she pauses briefly to assess the situation before interrupting. "I have heard you've arrived Ser Caelin; greetings, cousin." She then looks towards Arion with a dip of her head. "Cousin Arion."

Arion doesn't look up for a long moment and there is an expression of pure hurt on his face as he cries silently tears falling onto the table one after the other. He offers Caelin a shaky nod and takes a deep breath. He doesn't look up at Sera as she approaches them but the hurt changes into shame and embaressment. The blonde looks like he wishes he could hide or sink into the ground. He takes another deep breath and fianlly looks up with moist eyes eyeing Caelin with a broken expression. "You are right brother…I..I hate it though. I'm not angry at you..at any of you." He glances to Sera now. "You were right and I was wrong…I'm sorry…I was a fool for thinking my happiness would last. Garvin…yes I love him but our love will never be accepted and well…I can't have children with another man. I wouldn't be truly happy as its not just love I want but also acceptance." He bows his head once more muttering softly. "I'm such an idiot…"

Caelin has cleaned up from the road, although there's a chink in his composure, the older Florent resting his hand on Arion's shoulder supportively, not speaking for a moment before answering, without moving, "Lady Sera. Cousin. It's a pleasure to see you again. You've grown into a beautiful young woman." He smiles, but seems understandably distracted.

She beams at Caelin at his compliment as she moves a few steps closer to the table. "You look well yorself, Ser Caelin, and your presence here is already a boon." A quick glance at Arion before her lips quirk at the corners. At his admittance over the situation with Garvin, Sera's expression softens towards Arion. "You are a fool," she assures him. "But we have all been fools. If it is your first love it is easy to get swept up with such a foreign but incredibly strong emotion." Her teal eyes flick towards Caelin to see if he would confirm his own tale of love and woe. "We all have given up much for the family, Arion. I suppose it is your turn now too."

Arion looks up at Sera in surprise his eyes still moist from tears. "You aren't going to mock me Cousin Sera? Rub it in my face? I….I know I upset you and I am truly sorry for that. There was no lasting purpose behind it either." His voice cracks a little as he admits this but he holds her gaze. "I want to earn your forgiveness if you will give it?" He seems sincere and there is true regret in his eyes along with his pain. He takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly another tear escaping. "I will try to keep Garvin as a freind….but I cannot in good concious remain his lover. It would hurt me too much to get further attached only to give him up later when I marry not to mention the pain it would cuase him. Yes I still care for him but I owe my family more than disgrace and abandonment. If I have to give him up to spare us all further disgrace and to keep from hurting us both in the future that is what I will do." He looks miserable about it but its also clear he is speaking truth.

Caelin's lips quirk a little at that searching look from Sera. "Looking for details, cousin?" He asks softly, then admits vaguely, "I have been a fool my fair share." His hand doesn't leave his brother's shoulder, squeezing it softly, and nodding, his voice very quiet. "That would be honorable. I am sorry that this first love brings you pain, Arion. I have no doubt that your love for one another is genuine. But the gods made us as we are. It is our duty to play the parts they have cast for us. All of us."

At his sincerity, Sera's own eyes harden. "How many times have you repeated those words to me, Arion? I have been nothing but sweet and understanding to you until you have pushed me beyond my abilities to care. I tried to teach you to be discreet, did I not? I tried to warn you countless of times, did I not? But you just nodded your head as you do now then turn around and flounce off with him until I had to slap you in /public/ in front of a /Tyrell/ Lord." She then stops, looking towards the older Florent as her cheeks turn a touch redder. Perhaps in realization that Caelin's presence is proof enough that her attempts had failed horribly. "Arion your words mean nothing to me, you have always been good with spouting them to ease our fears every time I spoke to you; you've promised me change but did nothing. I will forgive you if your actions match them. You sound sincere enough now, however, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt but your actions is all the answer I need." Well isn't she a bit butt-hurt over the situation. When Caelin accuses her of looking for details, Sera pauses before she actually laughs, a soft sound that takes her by surprise. "I suppose I am. I am still a lover of gossip and rumors, Cousin."

Arion nods to Sera looking both understanding and miserable. "I understand I would not believe me either if I were you. I will have to rpove myself…I understand." He looks to Caelin and smiles bitterly his eyes still damp. "Thank you brother for your support. I will send a letter to Lord Garvin and request that we meet to speak about this as soon as possible. I will resolve this…even if I will want to lock myself in my room and hide for a week afterwards." He sighs softly and rises to his feet. "I think I need a long bath and a slice of cake first though…but..maybe not in that order." He looks depressed but determined glancing between the two of them. "May I be excused?"

Caelin watches Sera a moment, lips curling thinly. "And as quick-tempered as ever. Be careful, sweet cousin." He speaks softly, placing only a subtle emphasis on that last word. "While I appreciate your zeal for our family's honor, I am sure that my brother's desire to make amends and serve our family is sincere. If he regresses, I will correct him myself." He gives Arion's shoulder a soft squeeze, "Go. Rest." He waits a moment for the wearied blond to depart before turning his attention back to Sera, "Are there any other problems I should be made aware of? You haven't started dressing up in armor and winning tournaments have you, I gather it's quite the fashion for Oldtown maidens these days."

Sera peers at Arion, pressing her own lips into a thin line before she sighs and nods. Her eyes flick towards Caelin as he excuses Arion and, instead of leaving herself, Sera moves to sit down at the table. She looks for some wine but seems dissatisfied. "Sesro!" She calls out to the thin and sleepy looking servant. "Arbor red!" He bows and quickly slips out. "Good night, cousin," Sera finally murmurs towards Arion. She then focuses back on Caelin as she leans back in her chair. "My zeal was born out of necessity, Caelin, I assure you. And no, while I have not donned any armor I think I should have; the men here are sorely ill-equipped in comparison to the rest of the kingdoms." A quick glance towards Arion's departing back, she can't help but murmur, "they seem to be distracted by other things here. I did, however, hire a sellsword to capture a thief that has taunted our family."

"Goodnight to you both then." Arion inclines his head to his brother and cousin before retreating inside. He pauses his steps breifly when he hears that comment about men. With a final sigh and no further comment he retreats indoors going in search of cake, his favorite way of coping with distress.

"Goodnight, little brother." Caelin watches the youth depart, then, raising an eyebrow as he also beckons for a cup of wine. "Go on. Tell me the story, then. Why did a thief target our family?"

Sesro returns with a fresh flagon and begins to pour them into the cups. Sera reaches for hers and downs nearly half of it in one go. Someone needs a drink. "Apparently Lord Garvin and Lord Arion were walking back from the theatre when this tall man targeted them. He stole from both them and disappeared. Not much was being done at the time and after having to deal with such horrible rumors for so long, and with cousin Abram no longer here to defend our honor," she flicks another glance towards Arion before continuing, "I decided that I have had enough slights on our family so I decided to take action. I captured him but a Targaryen interrupted me on my way back home and helped to free him."

Caelin frowns sternly at the mention of Targaryens. Even moreso than with Tyrells. "Unfortunate. I appreciate your initiative, cousin. Who was the Targaryen?"

"While she did not give her name then I am positive it is Visenya, the one who rode the dragon above the city." She looks down at her wine glass for a moment, swirling the contents within. "She claimed he was a lord but then took back that claim only after he had escaped." Her teal eyes flick towards Caelin to take in his reaction. "I have also heard that Lord Garvin has captured him, but the thief was not brought forward to face trial. I did not want the rest of Oldtown to think Florents are easy targets for those with light pockets."

Caelin sips his wine, slowly. He's never been much of a drinker. "But you said he robbed Garvin as well. Why would the Tyrells hold him and not execute the thief?"

"Well, if the claims that he is lord is true…" She trails off before her eyes fix on Caelin. "Or why do /you/ think Garvin does not act out? You are still new here, cousin, but Oldtown is a very interesting place…"

"Yes. I have heard as much." Caelin's lips twitch, whether in annoyance or amusement is unclear. "Women dominating the tourneys, and dragons, and my little brother wanting to be an actor." He places a soft but distinct contempt on the last word. "It is an interesting place."

Caelin sips his wine and broods thoughtfully.

"The Tyrells seem to have a strong influence," Sera returns with a sigh before she looks back towards Caelin. "Cousin Abram won the trial of the seven, however, which has been a boon to us. He was gifted wih a massive amount in ransom, fit for a Prince, and it has elevated his station wonderfully, so it isn't all bad." She then hesitates as she tries to think of what else to add. "Perhaps with your arrival things could calm down and be made sense of."

Caelin fingers the stem of his glass at the mention of the Tyrells, but simply nods at his cousin's last words. "I will try to justify your faith in me." He pauses, considering. "Well, every bit of good news is welcome at this point, and that is cause for celebration. Your brother is also here, I was told."

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