(121-05-13) Congratulations Gone Amiss
Congratulations Gone Amiss
Summary: Amadys pays a courtesy call upon the Florents and finds Sera…and Valerity. Things escalate somewhat.
Date: (13/05/2014)
Related: In Vino Valeritas, One Way to Skin a Cat

Foxearth Manse

The summer is high and mighty and distinctly oppressive as a tall but slight young fellow, richly accoutred in fashionable but over-warm black satin slashed with light blue - an assemblage that matches his streaming hair and sardonic eyes suspiciously well - sidles off his quiet, glossy grey gelding and knocks with a beringed hand at the portal of the Florents. The youthful visitor is unattended, but stands with the gait only high birth can bestow, full of easy, genial scorn at the world and its follies. For even foxes, those glinting dark blue eyes seem to hint with irreverence, must have their follies. "Amadys of the Citadel," he announces in a voice far more confident than the casual title, or lack of one, he has given. "Come to visit Ser Abram. Or it might be Lady Sera. Whichever! Or, indeed, both…"

Sesro, a tall and sleepy looking servant, stares at Amadys for a moment or two longer than many would deem necessary before he finally lets the man in - it's not like Sesro is suspicious of Amadys, but more like it just takes so long for the message to be received in his brain. He escorts Amadys to the sitting room, announcing his presence to the lady within.

Sera was standing by the window, peering out while a glass of wine dangles loosely in her grip when Sesro announces the arrival of Amadys. She blinks up and turns to fix her teal eyes on the Baratheon, looking a bit surprised at his presence. "Amadys! How nice of you to come by. Please have a seat while Sesro fetches you a glass. I know it may be a bit early but perhaps you would join me for a glass of white wine?"

Valerity comes swanning in from the garden, swishing dark blue silk, with a charming little foxhound all tucked up in her arms, its legs sticking up in the air and tail thrashing as it tries to give her kisses. "It's never too early for wine, Sera — what a terrible thing to say!" she rebukes, laughing — only having caught the last few of her soon-to-be cousin's words on the evening breeze, yet unaware to whom Sera's speaking.

The serving man's height outstrips the acolyte's, but not by much, and the look of jovial indifference Amadys shoots over him might suggest the retainer was no taller than about six inches. But he follows readily enough in long, relaxed strides, until he is ushered into the young vixen's presence. "Why my lady, but of course. Never too early. One of the first lessons they teach novices, that!…"

He has begun to burble thus, when his expert medical advice is found to be a tardy second opinion. But it isn't likely to be only the sting of losing out on originality that temporarily robs the Baratheon of his tongue, normally one of his favourite assets. He looks at Valerity Redwyne directly, even a little solemnly, for a moment or two of silence, before his usual easy smile makes its passage across his expression; late for the cue, noticeably, but none the dimmer for it.

"My lady Valerity. I had some thought of congratulating your new betrothed, but since you seem to have preempted him…I would offer those congratulations to you, only, - knowing your wise opinions of love and of marriage - I fear you'd take them but ill!"

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Sera=empathy Vs Amadys=presence
< Sera: Good Success Amadys: Success
< Net Result: Sera wins - Solid Victory

"There is indeed a time too early for wine, if you were to believe my mother that is. She can be a horrible person when she is being proper. She is, however, much more tolerable when she does not take her own advice," Sera concedes towards Valerity with a grin before she shifts her attention back to Amadys. His reaction causes the Florent woman to fall silent briefly herself as she scrutinizes him before sliding her eyes back to Valerity. Those teal eyes bounce back and forth between the two for a moment, then Sera lets out a long sigh as her shoulders drop. "Wine, that's it," she murmurs as she grabs the flagon and pours herself another glassful. Lifting it up, she takes a long swallow, so long as to listen and watch for Valerity's reply.

Valerity blinks, looking caught out, before her lips resume their merry, vinous curl. "Not at all, Baratheon!" says Valerity, all charm and bonhomie. "Marriage is a barbaric institution, but if one cannot avoid it, one might as well throw in with a lot of like-minded barbarians." She sets the little hound on the ground, and the cheerful fellow scrambles over to sniff Amadys' shoes. The Redwyne follows, and leans up to offer the maesterling's cheek a chaste kiss. "Thank you."

"Mrm," Amadys opines, and for a syllable without meaning it is strangely eloquent, along with the rigidity in his pointed shoes and the slight but sharp tincture that varies his usually bone-pale cheeks. "I'm not sure I can agree, for myself, my lady. It may be that I took your lessons more deeply to heart than you did yourself. In any case, for all my dear brother's approval, I am not especially minded to persist in my…", he pauses, so to speak, pregnantly, "suit of the fair and cold northern barbarian. My studies are flourishing lately. Three links in a year is as good as the most diligent of my fellows. It may be that I'll make a maester yet, after all. One of my superiors told me I was working as if inspired. Quite so, Maester Gyldayn cut in, curse his unwashed beard, but inspired by whom?"

Amadys shrugs for all the world like a carefree man, and drinks the proffered light gold vintage for all the world like one so worn through by cares that he has forgotten what they are, or indeed are not.

"Yes, by whom indeed," Sera murmurs into her glass, her voice soft enough to hopefully only be heard by her magnificent ears. She keeps her eyes on the two, a look of amusement coloring her features as she crosses her free arm underneath the other. Sera leans backwards until her shoulders press against the wall of the sitting room, right next to the window.

"You did the right thing," Valerity tells Amadys, with certainty and approval, "recommitting yourself to your studies. You are, of course, brilliant. You only needed to believe it — or some other hackneyed homily." She sweeps over to procure her own cup of the wine, turning to lounge back against the sideboard, her free hand cupping the elbow which bends to hold her cup aloft. The young stag is assessed over a sip. "Come on, Amadys, stop looking so… judgy. He cut off the Grey Lion's hand for me." Apparently, that's all it takes. Fucking women.

"Very witty of him," the acolyte agrees smoothly, "the very hand that Reyne offered you in marriage. A lacklustre, scalescarred, decent hand. Some nice plump crow got it instead, I suppose. And what will become of your pawless Lion…for he was yours, once. Do you think he'll make a maester too? If one of us doesn't finish him off trying to stop the wound festering, that is…" He has entered into the outward spirit of courtly and lighthearted banter, but has not yet recovered quite enough politeness to keep the substance out of his jokes.

Nevertheless, with a slight effort and a supplementary swallow of wine, he turns definitely back in the direction of his proper hostess. "But my lady Sera, we mustn't get ourselves snagged on just one morsel of your family's foxy adventures. Your brother is thriving amidst his various musty pages, as far as I recall. But has there been word of your pretty cousin? The boy-cousin, that is? Not, of course, that he's a patch on your ladyship!" The Baratheon smirks the broad family smirk.

When Amadys turns his attention back towards Sera, he'd find her not smiling, far from it. Her eyes are narrowed to thin slits as she watches him intently and her grip on the glass she is holding is quite tight. "I think I may have had a bit too much wine," she suddenly murmurs, though her voice is loud enough to carry. "Because surely I am mistaken and I did not just hear what I had just heard, in my own manse, the same manse of the very man you are discussing." She places her glass on top of the table as she pushes away from the wall and makes her way towards the entrance of the sitting room and towards the hall. "If you are so determined to shatter your heart in our sitting room, Amadys, be so kind as to sweep it up and take it with you when you leave. I do hate littering and poor Sesro is overworked as it is."

Valerity's pale features turn a shade paler. She breathes in through her nose, nostrils flaring, and lowers the dark veil of her lashes. "You're very clever, aren't you?" she says to Amadys, softly. "And very keen." She lifts her chin to smile thinly… and drinks. "You aren't typically so sympathetic to those of your own sex, Baratheon. Competition for whatever half-dozen women you're in love with this week. I wonder that you spin such a poignant tale for the fallen Reyne. Perhaps you feel some kinship?"

Amadys frowns in apparently genuine confusion at Lady Sera's fury. "I'm sorry, my lady…how did I offend? Is your soon-to-be-kinswoman mistaken, then? Did Ser Abram not cut the fellow's hand off, after all? As Lady Valerity so astutely points out, I'm quite as heartless as she is. It's all one to me. I was just curious about the…practicalities."

These apparently glib, covertly somewhat painful lies are delivered in a leisurely enough fashion, but with the help of plenty more liquid. It's clear Amadys would welcome more of the same, if even he hadn't sensed it was unlikely to cohere with the situation's demands upon etiquette.

The little foxhound, who was sniffing at Amadys, then sitting to stare up at the tall, dark-haired man (head cocked just so), looks over at Valerity and barks a single, worried yap.

That certainly stops Sera in her tracks. She turns around to face Amadys once more as she clenches her fingers into a tight fist. "Oh ho! And now you insult me with such words. Perhaps you are capable enough with your flowery prose among those in the Citadel, but I assure you that you are a maester only among men. Your words stink of the real truth behind them, so much so that I can smell it over here, every woman with half a brain can." She flicks her teal eyes towards Valerity, who seems to get some of the Florent's ire too. "How /kind/ of you, Amadys, that you come to visit us on the week of my cousin's betrothal when we have had little to no dealings before. And look, how marvelous it is that Lady Valerity just happens to have discussed with you matters of marriage and your constant stream of lovers. I can tell just how wonderfully good friends you both are." Sarcasm drips from her every word. "Such integrity, such attitude! And you think yourself so clever as to actually get away with it with a sick little smile on your lips. Truly, I can see you have no shame, but to debase yourself so…/freely/. It does seem rather sickening. I can see why you would wish to pick chains over dealing with such women. If we are lucky enough you may have one long enough to string yourself with from the rafters." She takes a deep breath after that, looking as if she is trying to find something to throw at Amadys. Finding nothing, she tosses out more words instead. "You wish to know the practicalities? One does not walk into a man's house and speak to his betrothed in such a manner as you yourself did; questioning her reason for marriage when it goes against whatever she has told you before; /shaming/ her for her decisions in the very man's house she is betrothed to! Surely you can see that! But no, perhaps these practicalities are too minor in your world of books and information. Here, about another practicality: Amadys, you're a proper cock."

The acolyte's words seem to have dried up with his cup, which is convenient, as he has, it seems, plenty of listening to do. He hovers, still standing, alternately blushing again and looking all the paler, as if he is bleeding through the cheeks. When the vixen's diatribe seems to have settled, at least for the time being, he asks simply, in hardly more than an undertone, "I am?" He gives Valerity a beleaguered smile. "At least one high born maid in the city is of that opinion, then…I take it you are a high born maid, incidentally?" he asks of Sera innocently, as if on a gossamer fine point of clarity.

Valerity holds up her hands — one empty palm out, the other still cup-bearing — when Sera's glance aims at her. HEY! She's not — it's not her fau — oh, back to Amadys, now. That's better. She breathes a deep sigh of relief and rolls her eyes, draining her cup. Dark, velvet blue eyes bounce back and forth between the railing Florent and the cornered stag, fascinated but lacking relish. The whole thing's somewhat pitiable, now. And out of hand. The Redwyne's aspect slowly settles, like fallen leaves, into a brittle pile of regret.

Then, of course, Amadys opens his mouth and words come out. It's not a good thing. Her mouth drops open and she is, for a moment, at a loss.

At Amadys' question, Sera narrows her eyes yet again before she replies with a simple, "Not high born enough apparently." With that her hand lashes out to grab her full glass, no longer caring that it would break, and pitches it forcefully with an impressive throw. The white wine arcs out of it in a beautiful ribbon of liquid gold as the glass sails with near perfect aim towards the Baratheon scholar.

Amadys is quick on his feet, for all his usual drink-sodden languor, but that throw is near as pretty as its thrower, and though the acolyte does manage to dodge the glass, he is indeed thoroughly soaked in golden wine. He just about succeeds in keeping up a brave face, even if a distinctly drippy one. "Well, be that as it may, you're certainly the perfect hostess, Lady Sera," he quips gallantly. "How could you tell I was thirsty?"

"I think things went amiss when you asked if she was a highborn maid, dear," Valerity points out. "Highborn lady probably would have been safer phrasing? Just… for the future." She picks up a clean cloth from the sideboard, on hand — under normal circumstances — to apron chilled bottles of wine, and tosses it to the dripping acolyte.

"Just get the fuck out," Sera returns towards Amadys with a growl in her voice as she watches him. "I refuse to be a host to those who refuse to be guests. Get out, Amadys, I do not wish to see your face again. Get out and stay out before my cousin is called in to join in this little banter of ours." With that she turns to call out, "Guards, show the Acolyte out." She then flicks her eyes towards Valerity, her jaws clenching, "You are not helping matters either. I do hope you have had an open and honest policy with my cousin."

Showing the same natural if distinctly unpractised co-ordination, Amadys catches the cloth he is thrown, but does not yet make any move to wipe himself, standing, as if transfixed, before Lady Sera's outburst. Very briefly, a look of something like cunning impinges on his damp, dark brow, but soon he has returned to the same overwhelmed state. When Sera pauses for breath again he sighs, and his next words come in an irrefutably reasonable tone.

"I've no wish to have this famously vicious fox start…experimenting…on dissecting any part of my anatomy, on a certain. I suppose this is our last farewell, then, my love. I thank you for my gift, but you can keep it as a favour, from a stag who shall ne'er forget the sweet night we shared, whate'er chain he dons." And with that, he kisses the cloth, throws it back gently to Valerity, and turns to leave, rather fast, as he has no eagerness to be manhandled.

"Me?" Valerity looks perfectly affronted, the soul of innocence, a virgin — okaywellmaybenotquite — martyr. "What in the world have I done?" She seems to have more to say to Sera, her eyes narrowing slightly with her own flash of ire, but then Amadys is throwing in the towel, so she's obligated to catch. His words have her rolling her eyes before he's even through. "You melodramatic, rotten — " Off he goes! She stomps her foot. "They're hiring at the Whimsy!" she calls after him. Not quite a shout, because composed and above-it-all Valerity never shouts. But arguments could be made to the contrary.

But Amadys is already offstage, no doubt preparing for a change of scene and costume, waiting in the (raven) wings, and so on.

Sera narrows her eyes at Amadys' look before she turns back to Valerity. "The least you could do is side with your betrothed and his family. To actually not look chastised or admonished by his words. The man comes in here in love with you, or something, and you smile and kiss his cheek like the innocent and dainty little flower you are. Next time your 'friends' come over, Valerity, I highly suggest you be more aware of your conduct. Innocence is not very becoming of you."

"You," says Valerity, after hearing out the latest installment of Sera's ire, "are a very judgmental young lady, in the way that only high-born maids without any real experience of the world can be." Her tone is silky and very even. "It's been a long, long time since I was innocent and I don't play innocent. Baratheon isn't in love with me any more than he is you — or any other woman he moons over. Now, when you've had a perfectly good, decent, disfigured and melancholy man who's done nothing wrong in the world take a crippling wound over you — and had to carry around the very specific and particular guilt of being happy about it — you can talk to be about how to feel. In the meanwhile, little miss, go practice your intrigues on your dolls."

Sera watches Valerity for a long while before she lifts her shoulder in a shrug. "And that is why he happens to come by here?" She murmurs, "Sowing discord in your marriage? He wanted to see me or Ser Abram, Valerity. He did not come here to seek you. Perhaps you should think as to why that is, considering he knows us not." Her eyes narrow at Valerity. "Then think about what he said, in front of me, about you. Odd how he drudges up your secret talks of marriage in front of your betrothed's cousin. But…perhaps you're right. I will go back to my dolls." With that she makes her way out of the sitting room.

Valerity rolls her eyes. "Secret talks of marriage," she mutters. "Clearly dropped on her head as a child." She looks around. "Tyrell!" The foxhound, who fled to hide beneath a chaise when the wineglasses started flying, pokes his head out and barks. "Come along, Ty," she sighs, and turns to swish upstairs. The little hound follows in her wake.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License