(121-05-17) Hawks or Songbirds
Hawks or Songbirds
Summary: Abram and Johanna drop in on Viggo at his new house.
Date: Date of play (17/05/2014)
Related: None

There is a certain irony to the Cockshaws, Viggo primarily among them, finding a manse along Champion's way within short sight of the Tournament Grounds. The house stands narrow among the others, plain and unassuming, but for the sheer metal body of a cockstrice weathervane perched on the roof. Upon final ownership, notes have been sent out to the Brothers of Seven inviting them to visit at their leisure in lieu of a grander party that the Cockshaw man promises is to come. The morning sun beats brightly on the street, light dancing off the roof tops and air cooled by a gentle breeze. Upon purchase of the house, the weathervane stood — solid and unassuming — in need of care not unlike the plain house itself. Now Viggo Cockshaw sits perched on the roof, shirtless and baking in the sun as he polishes it to a gleaming buff. His strong, bare chest peppered with dark hair to match his moustach, potentially causing some gasps from any tittering ladies that might look up. People so rarely look up, though. A jaunty whistle carries through the air as he works.

"You know," a voice calls up casually from the street below. "It would be funny- in the bad way- were you to die of a broken neck on the tournament grounds after falling off your own roof." A grin colors the words and bends Abram's lip as he peers up at Viggo.

Maybe it's that Johanna does often look up, if only when in the process of begging the gods for more patience in dealing with foolish people, or the whistling, or maybe she's just nosy. Whatever the case, she follows shortly behind Abram, head tilted back as she squints up at Viggo. "That would be an awfully disappointing end to your story," she adds on the heels of Abram's comment.

Shifting his position on the roof, Viggo lifts his brows to peer downward at the peanut galleria below with his hand still settled on his gleaming cock. "It would be quite the fall, many footsteps away. Far more likely I fall on an idle fox, making its own irony there," he calls with a bright grin, corners of his moustache twitching upward with his broad smile. His dark gaze slides onto Johanna next, grin remaining. "Aye, my Lady. It would be. Good day to you!"

Abram laughs readily at Viggo's retort. "If there is a more ignoble end to the both of us, I can't think of it," the Florent grins back, before looking over one shoulder to acknowledge, "Lady Johanna, a fair day to you." The languid movement of one arm adds a lazy flourish to his greeting. Pointing a thumb back toward the perching Cockshaw, he notes, "You see what happens when a man knights his squire? He must do the do the dirty work himself. Sad, really." He smiles back up to voice, "Ser Viggo, if you'll climb down, rather than land upon me, I've brought a bottle of Arbor gold that has been begging for its end?"

"Good day to you as well, Ser Viggo," Johanna calls back, looking amused. "I see that. Clearly the man needs another Squire, quite probably a few, if it will keep him from having to do chores like this." She glances aside at Abram, lips curving into a small smile. "I'll have to see that my brother gets one or two more just to prevent this sort of thing from happening. Because it would."

"I'm certain we might with enough ale in us, although more likely than not it would involve a floral arrangment and some minor disagreement," Viggo quips, corners of his eyes crinkled by the breath of his smile. He offers Johanna something of a bow from his perch on the roof, extending a bare arm towards her. "It is a honor to polish ones own…" Pausing, the Cockshaw man glances towards the Cockatrice weathervane and then back at Johanna to think better of his words. No need for Ser Quillian to bring a duel to his door, after all. "Kevyn would likely have fallen to his doom," he says instead with a rueful shake of his head. "I'll take a new one on if you've any suggestions." Squires, it's hard to pick a flavor. "Ser Abram, I'll happily end your bottles begging with you. The door is open below, let me make myself presentable. Lady Johanna, will you join us?" He bids, collecting his rags and tucking them into his belt to angle down the roof with care.

Abram nods knowingly to Johanna, commenting with affected gravity, "Quite so, Lady Johanna, quite so. There are few sights mroe sorry than a noble knight reduced to polishing his own cock." Yet, the joke comes a half breath after Viggo began it himself, and Abram cuts off with a laughing curse. "Damnation, Viggo! I nearly had it!"

Johanna's amused gaze goes from Viggo to Ambram, both hands lifting up into a vaguely defensive position. "What you honorable knights feel you need do in your own time is your business, I try not to judge," she lies, because definitely judges. "Yes," she goes on, head tilting back to look up at the knight on the roof. "I will, thank you."

"Mind your tongue about other men in front of the Lady, Ser Abram!" Viggo calls, scampering down the roof towards the windows that hang open. "You'll find yourself gagging on your words as now! My cock is none of your concern, good sir," he laughs, heading towards the back of the house with a wave of his hand. "Join me. I will be down in but a few minutes." He disappears from sight, but a curse echoes up from the back of the house that is almost worrisome. He'll be fine. He bounces.

Abram chuckles merrily to Viggo's rebuttal, offering a short bow and motion of one arm to Johanna in order to escort the lady into the house. "I wonder, lady: do you have a rare appreciation of humor, or do you simply conceal distaste better than most?"

Johanna looks only vaguely concerned at the curse that echo up from the back of the house, but when nothing follows, that small measure of worry is dismissed in favor of Abram. "I suppose you could say I have a rare appreciation," she replies, shoulders gathering in a faint shrug. "I don't see it as anything particularly offensive, and it's far less annoying that the polite conversation that ladies are expected to have." She begins to make her way into the house, looking at the knight beside her. "And I grew up with Quillian around. Our father has a similar humor, I'm accustom to it."

The interior of the manse is clean and bright with the light from the gardens with smooth floors and comfortably seating. What character is lacks outwardly it is made up by a warmth and genteel comfort within, appointed with dark woods and lacking in draperies. Thudding is heard overhead as Viggo changes, a servant is sent sliding downstairs to seat the nobles and put out glasses and refreshment after an aimable bark from the Cockshaw.

"Ah, the Oakhearts. Small wonder I enjoy your family's company so," Abram laughs lightly to Johanna's response. He'll keep his feet until Johanna is seated, then will settle into a chair across the table, facing the lady. The promised wine- Arbor gold, aged twenty years- is set on the table and the servant who emerges is asked to uncork the bottle. "Does Quill mend well, by the by? If so you might need to use stronger poison to keep him cooperative," he jests with a wink.

"We're an acquired taste," replies Johanna, laughing in the face of the truth that the statement carries. "Not that it bothers me, if it means that people like the brave Prince Ryzael avoids my company, all the better." She smooths her skirt against the back of her legs before she settles into the chair, glancing up at the servant that delivers the cups, then back to Abram. "He mends well, and refuses to stay still so that things can mend quickly. I should poison him just a little bit just so he'll stop and recover, but could you imagine the shouting if he found out?"

"Ser Quillian enjoys shouting," Viggo comments, boots heavy on the stair, as he descends in a clean shirt and garb. His dark hair is still damp from a brief cleaning, but his moustache has been arranged precisely. "What is he shouting at about now?" Joining the pair at the table, he drops into a seat, bracingg his arm over the back of it.

Abram's shoulder stir with a silent chuckle at talk of Prince Ryzael, "Ah yes, the toothless dragon. Haven't made that one's acquaintance yet, but I imagine if I ever do it will be entertaining." The merry talk of poisoning is met with a crooked grin and stage whispered, "Maybe just a little." Looking up with transparent innocence as Viggo enters the room. "Hmm? Does he really need a reason? Quill has been a dear friend for many years- more than once I'd have been dead if not for him- but Gods has he refined that weighty look of disapproval." A theatrical imitation of Quillian's dire stare is undertaken.

"Good luck to you if you ever do," Johanna remarks in an incredibly dry tone, then she pauses. "Or good luck to him, possibly." That thought cheers her greatly, and the resulting smile is turned on Viggo at his return. "Oh, he yells about everything." Which is only partly true, but true enough for her, and then she follows it with an imitation of her brother's dour look, which she has gotten very good at impersonating.

"Is it truely the look of disapproval that causes your cringe, good Abram, or the chastisement that follows it?" Viggo wonders, the servant setting down the opened wine on the table. He smiles winningly at Johanna, before chuckling at Abrams's imitation of Quillian's dire stare. Johanna's fine impression of her borther's dour look causes him to laugh aloud, voice breaking with mirth. "My lady, your children shall run in fear of you. He is set in his ways, Ser Quillian. Yet, a goodly man."

Abram glowers ala Quillian between Johanna and Viggo. "I had fun once. It was awful," he mopes in an Oakheartish manner, before punctuating it with, "Damned sand roaches." A grin cracks though the Florent's imitation, as he chuckles. "A fine fellow, even if his face is a bit broken." The Cockshaw's query causes a thoughtful look, "It's regret, I suppose. You see, I knew Quill back when smiles weren't such a rarity for him. But Ser Viggo! At the risk of speaking even further about those who are not present, I had thought to make some gift to your kinsman Kevyn on the occasion of his knighting. Does he want for any pieces of horse or harness?"

The feigned dour expression melts away at the comment from Viggo, quickly being replaced by a grin. "Yes, I'm sure they will, but I'm an awfully intimidating figure, so who can blame them?" Abram's impersonation of her brother elicits a sudden laugh, just a little bit louder than she meant for it to be, but even after the slight cringe she looks amused. "That sounds accurate." As the conversation turns more serious, her own amusement cools by degrees, and instead she looks to the bottle set out on the table, listening as the conversation moves on.

The wine is readily served upon Abram's gesture, uncorked bottle presented for his approval, leaving Johanna little more time to mourn its lacking in her glass. "Aye, my Lady. I'm certain you'll govern any household with an iron hand and a delicate glove," Viggo compliments cheerfully, inclining his head respectfully towards her. "Yes, Ser Abram!" He answers, lifting his dark brows in amusement at the sudden change of subject. "His horse's seating could use an upgrade if one was so inclined, needfrul that he might not fall from it on another of our hunting trips. However, I ought to be asking you what gift you wish in time for your upcoming nupituals. It's hard to believe a Lady might take you," he teases, corners of his eyes crinkled in good-natured mirth. "She must be given to the heart of the Mother herself."

Abram's grin tugs deeper at Johanna's clear amusement at his jest, the Florent leaning back in his chair with merry comfort as the fine wine is measured out. "Tack and saddlery, then? That should be no hardship at all, the best knight on the finest horse will still eat dirt if his saddle is for shit," he comments lightly. A fresh chuckle at Viggo's jest to his expense, shrugging one shoulder and grinning with a self-effacing quip of, "Women are mysterious creatures, tis true," a dip of the head to Jo with the words. "I happened upon one who- for some unfathomable reason- thought dueling another man and taking off his hand on her behalf to be the most romantic thing she could imagine." A broad smile and spread hands, "More the lucky, I!"

And so Johanna mourns her empty glass for a little bit longer, at least until the wine is poured and cup drawn closer. Much better. "Women aren't so mysterious, they often say precisely what they're thinking. The trouble is that they also say a great deal else, and you have to do quite a lot of listening if you want to catch the important bits," she remarks, amused. "I heard the duel did go well for you though. Congratulations on that, and all the rest of it."

"It is all too true. I've seen it at tourneys where a man will ride into place with the finest of armor and a magnificent beast of a horse, only to find his ass deeper in the dirt unable to keep his seat." Fingers strum on the table, moustache twitching at the memory of such an event. "Which is well for your future as you are a man who'd remove more hands for the good of it. You must have been quite gallant in your adress," Viggo muses with some amusement at the situation.

"Well," Abram amends to Johanna's commentary, "The first thing she did was slap me afterward, and ask what made me think she would want to marry me, but it seems those details belong in the 'great deal else' category." A chuckle follows as he raises his glass in thanks for the lady's congratulations. As Viggo muses, the Florent shares a few details: "We fought with swords and no armor. I don't recommend it, given the choice, but I can't complain at the outcome."

Johanna lifts her glass in return, grinning at Abram. "I think you may be right, but at least you listened well enough to the rest of it to wind up in a happy place." She leaves off the 'for now' and instead takes a sip of wine. "It does seem an unwise thing to attempt, fighting without armor, especially given the injuries I've seen after fights where people were wearing armor."

"To a joyous engagement," Viggo toasts, lifting his glass in following of Johanna's congratulations with a grin. "And a wife that will meet your ways." He'll drink to it at the very least. "Aye, blades hurt quite a lot. There is a reason they are lethal, but an effective way to end any disagreement."

Abram rolls his shoulders in a bemused shrug, head going to a knowing angle at Johnanna's description of events as 'unwise'. "I've never been called the most clever of men, I admit." Viggo's gracious toast is met with a dip of the head, and raise of the glass. "Hear, hear." A sip of the smooth Arbor gold is drawn, before he wonders of the Cockshaw, "Any word as to which of your kin will fall upon the sword of Royal decree and marry one of the Blackmonts?"

"You are bold, at least," Johanna replies to Abram, smiling, "Which doesn't always work well in the place of wisdom, but it can catch opponants off guard." Is it a compliment? Maybe. Either way she takes a drink afterward. The mention of having to marry a Blackmont earns a faint grimace from her. "I feel bad for whoever it ends up being."

"No man at this table can claim that," Viggo offers with a lift of his own shoulders in good-natured self-depreciation. "Be there more valour in a man who is true and bold, than those who cower in their wisdom in safety." Nodding at Abram's cheer of here, here, he swallows his own long draught of the Arbor Gold and its smoothness. Only to lose its flavor in a bitter sigh. "That is to be to my Lord father to decide, like as not it may be I if a marriage is not to be found in the coming months. What a… honor and a justice it might do us if it was. It cannot be Haywood, no roach should so pollute the inheriting sons of our house."

"I thank the lady for her compliment," Abram bows his head to Johanna with a broad smile, clearly choosing to see the merit before the less flattering truth. Viggo's first words earn a wry smile. "I'll never understand how some folk can claim to mix wisdom and cowardice, but then-" a shrug, "Perhaps I'm not wise enough to see." The less cheerful answer to his inquiry causes a brief wince. "With all respect and friendship to your brother, Lady Johanna- after Quill's fruitless marriage, I'm surprised our Overlords went back to this well again."

"You are not the only one who is surprised at that particular choice," Johanna's expression sours a touch, mood not even helped by a sip of the very fine wine. "The woman is entirely useless, if she can't even manage to produce an heir there seems absolutely no point to her. It's not as though she's a pleasure to be around." There is, apparently, no love for her goodsister found here. "And she's been no help in seeing my brother's bones returned. It's been long enough, he just needs to set her aside, there are a fair number of far more worthy women found right here in the reach." Though if she can think of any, she doesn't name them.

"It is because it seems a simple union, nothing like children to bring paired houses together. We do not see that those matches usually produce poison rather than fruit," opines Viggo with a deferential tip of his head towards Johanna as she speaks of her brother's wife. "Just keep him from the Tyrell lasses, those twins sisters of the Lady Katya, Kevyn has enough trouble there alerady." A little humor seeps back into his words, dark eyes brightening at the thought of the two fair sisters.

Abram's smile twists toward the curious at something Johanna says. "Hmm," he muses aloud, swirling the golden wine around in his glass idly. "I suppose he could set her aside at that. What would the Blackmonts do, if he did? Declare war?" It is spoken as a humorous impossibility. "Not to speak ill of your kin- or of Ser Kevyn's intended- but I do wish out Lord of Highgarden had shown more concern for their own vassals, than they have for the fragile tempers of foreigners. Troubles of new knighhts and young ladies ought to be the worst thing our families grapple with for at least a decade or two," he quips with a broad smile for the romantic aspirations of Viggo's former squire.

"Had she made any effort to be a part of the family, it might have gone differently," Johanna remarks, though it likely would have required quite a lot of effort. The woman is Dornish. "Instead she insults and throws tantrums." Another sip of wine taken, she sets the glass aside for the moment. "Hopefully whoever you, or yours get trapped with is more agreeable than the woman my brother was given." Huff.

"One would think they've been routed enough," Viggo notes, swirling his wine in his glass as he watches Abram regard Johanna. His gaze dancing from one to the other, the set of his smile smug. The Florent's words cause its dimming. "I wish it so as well. It is our crown who might have shown more concern, no doubt a heavy hand was laid on our Lords. The wrath of a true dragon is a terrible thing to provoke." He offers a sympathetic hum to Johanna's assessment of her brother's wife. "It would be well if we were."

"Had she made any effort to be a part of the family, it might have gone differently," Johanna remarks, though it likely would have required quite a lot of effort. The woman is Dornish. "Instead she insults and throws tantrums." Another sip of wine taken, she sets the glass aside for the moment. "Hopefully whoever you, or yours get trapped with is more agreeable than the woman my brother was given." Huff.

"One would think they've been routed enough," Viggo notes, swirling his wine in his glass as he watches Abram regard Johanna. His gaze dancing from one to the other, the set of his smile smug. The Florent's words cause its dimming. "I wish it so as well. It is our crown who might have shown more concern, no doubt a heavy hand was laid on our Lords. The wrath of a true dragon is a terrible thing to provoke." He offers a sympathetic hum to Johanna's assessment of her brother's wife. "It would be well if we were."

"No doubt," Abram allows first to Johanna's 'what if', and a second time to Viggo's comment on dragons. "No doubt, the Crown wanted peace, the Tyrells wanted peace, though I doubt any hand could have been so heavy as to prevent a truly just heart from seeking justice. As we well know, hmm?" Another slow swirl of wine in the glass and swallow taken before he grimaces, and declares "Damnation, but I've soured a bright day. Lady Jo, have you a brighter topic for us to dwell upon in this fine new house?"

"Brighter topics?" asks Johanna with a glance at Abram, and a thoughtful frown. "I don't know that I am the one to turn to for bright topics," she admit, though that draws a bit of a self-effacing laugh from her. "Ah. The Tyrell twins are in some sort of battle with Prince Aevander Targaryen that involves sending live creatures to one another. I was witness to them getting a snake," she offers, failing to mention precisely how she reacted at the appearence of the snake.

"Drink more wine, perhaps it the vintage you brought shall sweeten all of our tongues," suggests Viggo, partaking of his own advise. "It is fine though. There's a yard big enough in the back for practice boughts, even a small arbor." He grins at the thought of doing just so. A smile is turned towards Johanna, along with a nod as she summons a topic. Laughter is sputtered over his glass, dark brows lifting. "One might think them children. I do recall sending a fair girl I liked fine a mouse once, matched her hair… Hopefully a simple garden snake?" Worry for Johanna's saftey comes after the passing of amusement, although it still brightens his dark eyes.

"Sage advice," Abram allows to the 'more wine' idea, helping himself to a fresh measure of the Arbor gold. "A live snake?" Is echoed incredulously to Johanna's report and the Cockshaw's addendum. "More the fool me, last time I sent a lady an animal it was a kestrel and hunting hound."

"One might," agrees Johanna with an amused look give Viggo's way. "It was a live snake, yes, though I think a harmless one. Or if it wasn't, it was too shocked at being flung from the box that it never thought to bite anyone," she answers, then looks to Abram with a grin. "Now you know better, just send ladies serpents, or rats in boxes. Apparently it's what's done."

"In my defence, the mouse was the colour of the said girl's lovely brown hair," Viggo offers with an utter lack of repent. Clearly, he too was a boy at the time. "Now I find flowers work better, chocolates, promises…" The last sent towards Abram with a grin. "A kestrel and a hound? My you were quite taken."

Abram laughs and rolls his stiff right shoulder in a shrug to Viggo. "I considered it an investment. The pair of beasts ensured she would continue to join me on hunts. And it worked, though she has spoiled the hound horribly." A short sniff. "Besides, both hound and kestrel will be back in my house after the wedding, so in the end it cost me nothing." A broad grin accompanies the transparent practicality. Johanna's deadpan quip earns a chuckle. "Rats, too? Damnation, what next: frogs and beetles?"

"I'm sure she was just delighted to get the mouse too, mm?" asks Johanna, laughing as she glances over ato Viggo. She pauses long enough for a sip of wine, and then looks back to Abram. "Gods only know what they're going to send him next, or what he will send in return. I only found out about it because they invited me to tea and they happened to get the box shortly before. How lucky I was."

"Well, if she was to be your bride than that was an investment in your happiness, Abram." A bride-present of sorts. Viggo chuckles at the man's sniff as he mentions the pet being spoiled. He sighs, placing his hand on his chest as he looks to Johanna with a mimic of pain in his dark eyes. "My Lady, I am afraid she never spoke to me again. I was forced to best one of her brothers in the yard and cut ties. It appears some thing seem less chivalrous at seven than otherwise. She was my first heartbreak." That said, he takes a draught of his drink, smiling by the time of the swallow. "Indeed. Pray tell, do you intend to join in by having a suitor send you something strange in a box at tea?"

"She were simply an intriguing lady at the time of the gift," Abram clarifies to the timing of his 'investment in happiness'. A wince at the tale of challenges and heartbreak. A fresh laugh aloud as Johanna adds talk of her luck, and their host makes his inquiry of her. "Perhaps a sprig of oak with a squirrel atop it? Wrapped up with a bow and acorn?"

"Does a woman ever intend to have small, decorated rodents sent to them?" asks Johanna with a laugh, looking between both men. "I can't say as I recall that being something the septa ever taught me to expect, but I think the world is a great deal stranger than she ever said." She pauses to finish off the last of her wine, glass set on the table before her. "Though if one must, I suppose a sprig of oak would be appropriate, with either a squirrel, or maybe some sort of bird? As long as I'm not sent a snake, I think I will be happy, or as happy as one can be when being sent small creatures."

"Seems that has turned out well for you, perhaps I ought invest in some hounds," Viggo counters lightly, taking another drink of his wine. He bears his heartbreak with good nature, lifting his shoulders in a shrug. It was only the first. "You seem more suited for the songbirds than the squirrels. The live ones are damnably heart to catch and will be imminently more sullen for being set to a box."

"Any lady who lacks the patience to be fond of a small hound will likely lack the patience to be fond of men such as we, I think," Abram quips aside to his host, with a ready- if self-depreciating- grin. As Johanna drains her glass, the Florent offers, "Another, lady?" as he reaches to take up the bottle, prepared to fill her cup anew.

"Do I? I will take that as a compliment, Ser Viggo, but would hate to see any sullen birds as a result," Johanna tells him with another grin, which is then turned on Abram. "I suppose that is true. Not that I can claim any particular fondness for snakes, but near anything else and I'm sure I can attempt to be flattered that someone thought to send me something." The offer of more wine is answered by her sliding the glass towards the Florent. "Thank you."

Abram's quip nearly causes Viggo to sputter his wine as he laughs, grin pulling his moustache at the corners. "That is all too true. It is a fine test of what woman of quality will temper our faults and affections," he says, leaning causally back in his chair. "What think you, Lady Johanna, does a small hound seem a fine measure of men such as we?" He sips at his wne for a moment before offering, "You ought, it was so meant. A bird in a covered cage will not be sullen, my Lady, merely asleep." Provided there is air for it.

"I have no use for songbirds, dreary and sullen little creatures," Abram opines lightly. "A raptor, or nothing, I say. Even a small owl, or sparrow hawk would be better. Trained well enough to enjoy the wing freely, and come back to the glove by it's own will. And still small enough to fit upon an oak branch! There," he declares pleased at somehow having 'won' the discussion, in his own mind, at least. The golden wine is poured out for Johanna, even as he grins aside at the nearly sputtering Cockshaw. He awaits the Oakheart's verdict with clear amusement.

"A small hound?" asks Johanna, eyes narrowing as though she's giving the issue very real thought. "No, not a small hound. I think it a more apt gift would be one of those large dogs, the big lumbering things that sometimes drool." She grins again, drawing the glass back towards once the refill is given. "I think I should prefer an owl, or a hawk, they're far more useful than the tiny songbirds."

Johanna's verdict ellicits yet more laughter from the Cockshaw knight, his dark eyes dancing at her answer. "How cruelly she paints us," Viggo bemoans to Abram, before shaking his head at the pair of them. "Beauty need not always have use. The warble of a songbird can be so useful in a hunt as to tell you when the way is clear and calm."

"Yet I can't call her wrong," Abram banters back to Viggo with a chuckle of his own. Yet his eye narrows upon the Cockshaw in merry judgment, as he points out, "I find beauty in use, myself. But lets appeal to the fairer eye: Lady Johanna, what say you: would you prefer to be the raptor or the songbird? Do not be swayed in your answer in any way by the fact that a sparrow hawk would devour a songbird as a midday snack, please. Pretend I didn't even just point that out," he adds merrily.

Johanna's eyes are bright with mirth as she looks between Abram and Viggo, the latter favored with an amused smile. "That is fair to say, and beauty also need not always be useless. There are many lovely plants that are particularly useful, for example. I did not know that songbirds could help in a hunt," she admits. "I've only been out a few times, my brothers only rarely wanted their younger sister along." She pauses for a sip of the refilled wine, then looks to Abram. "If left to me, I would choose something useful, even if the sparrow hawk does that thing I'm meant to pretend I don't know about."

"You dog eared minstrel," Viggo accuses with a smile, leaning over to lightly punch Abram in the arm. "Do not let him so sway you, my Lady. That said, I do not prefer one over the other merely seek to point out that there is value in each." BOTH ARE LOVELY. A rueful, mournful, sigh escapes him as Johanna bows to tha logic and causes him to shake his head.

Abram laughs aloud his weight rocking in the chair in response to Viggo's jovial little punch. "A flippant flourish of one hand acknowledges the Cockshaw's 'dog eared minstrel' accusation. He declares to both of them, "You must both come along when I and mine ride north for a hunting holiday to survey my new lands. Humble though they be, they are mine and what better way to take the measure of a land than to hunt by hand and hawk in good company?"

"I'm afraid that wasn't his influence, but my own," Johanna replies to Viggo with another easy laugh, shaking her head. "It's not that I don't enjoy pretty things, but if it's left to me, often I will choose what is practical." The hand not wrapped around the glass comes to rest on her collar bone, head bowing just a fraction. "It's a terrible failing on my part, I know." Blue eyes move from Viggo to Abram, settling there a moment before she nods. "I should like that. It would be nice to get out of the city for something like that."

Viggo offers Johanna a kind smile, lifting his cup in mild toast to her choices. "No failing, my Lady. It is merely a preference." At the mention of hunt and hawk, his attention turns towards Abram with renewed interest. "I would like nothing more than the pleasure, my friend. It is the best purview of a land by field and stream."

"So true, and well said, Ser-" Abram notes to Viggo's opinion on the survey of lands. "It is agreed then! Bring whomever among your friends and household you would enjoy the company of for some few days, the road to Derring Downs is traveled in near a day. There is no hall or keep built there as of yet, so pavilions and fresh air are to be the order of the days and nights. Even such hounds as you and I deserve a fine holdiay from time to time." A raise of his glass to Johanna, "And now my Lady Valerity will not be alone among the fairer sex, which is most welcome news."

"I know," Johanna assures Viggo confidently, smiling at the moustached man before turning back to Abram. "I am glad to come, and curious to meet this woman of yours, who you made such grand plans to win." She lifts her own glass in turn, first as though to toast, and then it's brought to her lips again. "My brother will probably want to be there as well."

The gesture of a toast is echoed by Viggo's glass to join Johanna's. "I as well look forward to knowing her better. As well as enjoying your hospitality," the Cockshaw man answers. Swiftly following his words by mocking the low bray of a hound with a grin. Arooo. These hounds.

"And so he shall, Quill is among my oldest friends, I wouldn't dream of leaving him behind to sulk," Abram declares to Johanna's latter comment. "She is quite the fetching creature. Not my usual type, if I'm honest, but…" A merry grin and shrug follow. His glass is raised and a sip of the fine golden wine savored- and then snorted as Viggo brays. "Oh, go to the seventh hell, Viggo," he manages between bouts of laughter.

"We can't have that, I would hear about it for months if you didn't invite him," Johanna informs Abram with a grin, laughter bubbling up unexpectedly as she hears that braying from the other knight at the table. "Watch the drooling, ser, it's impolite in front of guests."

"Such unkind things wished by my friend," Viggo opines mournfully to Johanna, before taking a sip of his wine. Then braying again with a grin.

Abram is not taken unawares this time, instead simply adding a merry, "Awoooo," to Viggo's second howl, befofre the note trails off into an easy chuckle. "Well! I thank you for the hospitality Ser Viggo, and for the fine conversation Lady Johanna, but I daresay it's time I be on my way." Rising languidly to his feet, and sketching a short bow, he bids, "Until we meet again."

"That is what friends do," Johanna tells Viggo helpfully, that sentiment followed swiftly by a grin. When Abram rises, she pushes back from her seat and rises as well, glass returned to the table. "It was nice to see you again, Ser Abram. Let me know when this trip is going to be and I'll make sure Quillian doesn't forget."

"Until the next, Ser Abram," Viggo bids, also rising to his feet to offer the man an equal bow. "I am glad you were able to see my humble home." Dipping his head in a nod, he then turns towards the Lady Johanna. "Will you also take you leave, my Lady, or might I offer you a tour of what meager garden I possess?" It is only polite, after all.

"If you have the time?" asks Johanna, glancing at the departing Abram briefly, then looking back to Viggo. "I would hate to impose upon you any further." Though as she says this, she half turns from the table to sweep her gaze around the room again. "It is lovely here. Much nicer than the one I'm at, currently, which requires I go outside if I want breakfast." Which wouldn't be a problem if the rain didn't make her hair frizz quite so much. Stupid rain.

"For Lady Johanna Oakheart? Of course." Lest Quillian think him rude and seek a challenge or perhaps because he just wants to show off, but regardless Viggo is genuine in his offer. Stepping around the table, he offers her his arm and gestures towards the place. "How scandalous. We've no such rough accomodations here, the table is in doors…" He begins, guiding her back towards garden to show off their ever so modern indoor kitchen as well.

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