(121-06-06) Better Judgment
Better Judgment
Summary: It is called into question when what starts as a lighthearted evening visit becomes a little less so.
Date: Date of play (06/06/2014)
Related: what is this i don't even

Walled Garden - Luthier's Manse Appletree Wynd

Fri Jun 06, 121 ((Fri Jun 06 20:35:44 2014))

It is a summer evening. The weather is warm and fair.

This small garden is walled in dusty-brown coloured stone. Grape vines and morning glories grow up the walls. A few yards from the door to the manse is a pretty little stone pool. It holds rainwater that collects from the roof's downspout and runs along a miniature aqueduct to fill it. There's a single apple tree here, old and twisted but still able to bear fruit, and several slim and graceful young apricots. Under and between them is a set of smooth wooden benches and tables.

Further back, there are flourishing patches for vegetables and herbs. The back garden wall is the wall of a house the next wynd over, and its windows and those of the surrounding residences might offer a view of the garden, but no access.

This evening's visit would feature a couple guards who had opened the door of the manse to certain visitors of the Elionys Targaryen variety. At this point, it appears that they just sort of 'jump to' when she shows. The lanky, scarred-face Blackwood sworn man she had seen prior bid her to wait a shockingly short time as he scurried to the back of the manse towards a door that has been left wide-open. The scarred-faced man is met by a familiar sight, Riderch's large, bald-headed squire who ducks on inside after the two trade words. Tel pokes his head in and looks back out towards the garden before his face breaks into a broad grin, nodding at the guard.

Meanwhile, the other guard at the door just loiters, as though he were simply paid to be there. Well, actually he is. Tel himself then lumbers off towards the kitchen to probably torment the poor cook as the scarred-faced guard makes his way hastily towards the door, indicating that Riderch Blackwood is in the garden. And is happy to receive a visitor. The guards both stiffly bow.

Today Elionys makes her way to the manse in a white gown, an off the shoulder thing with little more than bunched bands of fabric that serve as the sleeves, though there is an intricate almost-netting of gold and silver chain draped over her shoulders, attached at intervals along the neckline of the gown. The metalwork continues down along the whole of the bodice, with a bejeweled brooch centered beneath her bust, and another similarly designed piece centered against her abdomen. It's ridiculous and complicated, but what's the point of being a princess if you can't wear ridiculous things. A pair of guards arrive with her, but as is the custom, the men wait for her elsewhere in the house, likely nearby leaving the young woman to wait in the garden. Tel is given a bright smile, and then she begins to wander, not far, just around the small pool and around the tree, meandering about until the Lord of the house arrives.

Oh yes, Tel was definitely grinning. It would seem that Elionys did not have to meander long. The stone pool that is designed to catch the rainwater absorbs a rhythmic series of droplets from the roof's spout. Drip. Drip. Drip. Crickets chirp, and under the old apple tree sits — no, reclines a man. A man clad in a loose-fitting black shirt with his House's coat of arms blazoned upon the chest, and similarly-fashioned black trousers and boots. He's on his back, arms splayed in a butterfly position as he props his head up facing the sky. His eyes are closed indicating that — well, he might have been sleeping. The guards didn't indicate that.

All of this is pointing to one thing. Riderch's men, while nominally loyal, might not be above having a little fun at their Lord's expense. Soft snores emit from said Lord's nose until the sound of activity and a visitor begins to rouse him and he starts muttering incoherently.

Elionys stops as she spies the sleeping Lord, amused laughter muffled being pursed lips. Already slow steps slow further to prevent the soft tinkle of the metal chains on her dress as she approaches, waiting until she is right beside him before she reaches up to pluck not apples, but a series of leaves from the tree. With at least a dozen in hand, she carefully lowers herself to the ground until she's crouched right beside him, taking a moment to study him before reaching out eeeeever so carefully to carefully lay one leaf on his forehead, and provided that doesn't wake him, she will continue to do this either until she's exhausted her supply and much of his face is hidden behind leaves, or until he begins to stir. With that done, or as done as it can be without waking him entirely, she gets up and moves around behind him, behind the slender trunk of the apple tree, and calls, "Riderch," from this insufficient hiding place.

There's a little bit of a stir in the man, but it looks like Riderch had gotten into a deep sleep here. Soft snores give way to staccato snorts as the leaves pile up. He's bllissfully unaware of this for the most part. At first. Still, one of the leaves actually manages to catch itself in a gentle breeze, floating up into his eye, or upon it as the visiting Elionys enacts her sinister plan.

And it is indeed this last leaf that gets lodged in his eye, causing him to shift upright. And that voice, that familiar voice causes him to finally bolt into a seated position, eyes widening. "WH — WHAT?!" Chest puffed up and eyes are open in shock here. And of course he took the bait, looking around with a few sharp, birdlike turns of his head.

It is a sinister plan, or a slightly sinister plan. Okay, it's not very sinister at all, but she may not be the most sinister of individuals, and she had limited means. One works with what they have. When he sits up an cranes around, he'll find Elionys on the other side of the tree, in plain sight as she leans in against the trunk and wears an impish grin. "Hello there, ser. Did I wake you? I am ever so sorry," she lies. She's not sorry. It's obvious.

The expression on Riderch's face cycles through any number of obvious things. This is a common issue when one tends to be as, well, candid as he is. There was still shock, befuddlement, and something red-cheeked. What is not there is any real lingering sense of anger once he settles in to the situation, rubbing his eyes with the back of his hand, and scrambles slowly to his feet groggily. And then, he just rounds in place. All that is gone now, replaced with a sort of confused, wry smile as he tosses another leaf off himself that managed to cling to his shirt. "I'd ask how you got here." He begins, rubbing at his jaw. "But — Hello, Elionys." And whatever he was going to say after this disappears in a loud snicker.

The slideshow of emotion is observed, all while she wears a brightly amused, and awfully fond smile for the Blackwood Lord before her. "I walked, ser, which is how I get most places," Elionys informs him unhelpfully, head tilting just enough that it rests against the tree trunk. "Hello, Riderch. How are you doing on this lovely, warm day that is perfect for napping in the garden."

And just for a moment, there's a sour, sinister glower shot towards Elionys here. His large, expressive sea-colored eyes narrow upon the Princess as Riderch stands with his arms crossed in front of his chest.

And then it all fails miserably, as the sour look crumbles before her eyes and he laughs a laugh that could wake the dead, his chin tilting upwards. "I was dreaming. And then I wasn't." He offers, succintly, wheeling about and stretching his arms above his head before turning back to face the tree. And her. "I suppose you've defeated me as I am here. Unarmed." He sighs in an obviously overdramatic fashion. "Can I get you anything?" Another leaf falls off his shirt as he takes a step towards her.

Those oddly colored eyes round out in innocence as he gives her that sour look, trying to don a look of concern that fractures the moment he begins to laugh. "What were you dreaming about?" asks Elionys, remaining there behind the gnarled trunk of the apple tree. The tumbling leaf is watched as it flits it's way to the ground, and only once there does her gaze lift to rest on his face again. "No, I don't need anything. I wanted to talk to you."

"It is a time for garden parties." Riderch indicates. "Careful of this tree, though. It's proud, but a little worn." He indicates the tree. The very tree here that she is hiding behind. He indicates its form with a sweeping gesture, and then does something very matter-of-fact. "You look beautiful." He states almost as though he were talking about the weather, except for the odd pause before it and the very obvious eyes-on-her look given that manages to seem surprisingly decent.

"I was dreaming of home." He finally offers. It's vague, but there is a definite weight to the words. "It was a long time ago. And full of impossible people that could not possibly be there." He offers in a confusing narrative. Well, it seems plain to him. Weighing her other statement now he tilts his head ever-so-slightly as blue-green eyes strain to fix themselves on violet. "Well? Here I am." He says, with a tight smile that is as much in his eyes as on his lips.

"I won't try to climb this one," Elionys assures him with a small smile that brightens at the matter-of-fact compliment. "Thank you. You look handsome." There is a pause, and then the smile goes a bit crooked as she slips from around the tree, to reach out, and if he lets her, pluck a leaf from his shoulder. "And a little bit tired. Maybe I should have let you keep on sleeping." She leans against the tree again, this time to the side with her head tilted as she watches him. "That's the beauty of dreams, isn't it? Dreaming of impossible things. Do you dream of home a lot?" Whatever issue she needs to discuss, it's delayed for the moment.

Preen. Well, only a little bit of preening, to be honest, and it would appear that Riderch is taken entirely aback by this sort of compliment but he takes it more or less in stride. Blinking a little here, Blackwood didn't even notice the presence of that leaf until Elionys plucked it oh-so-stealthily. "I think right now I would rather be awake." He just comments with a certain mock-reserve. The smile turns suddenly a little distant. "And — I don't know, exactly. I was younger. All my brothers were there, my sister, my Uncle Hugh. Parents. A lot of people I just — don't recognize." he narrates, and it may become increasingly apparent to the Princess that she got him going.

And then he sidles up to the tree at an angle so they can easily see half of each other, lazing against its cool bark with an open palm outstretched above his head. "Sometimes I do. Sometimes it is strange. Like this. Sometimes I think some of those people are ghosts." He pauses a little. "I already asked you about your dreams." He observes, remembering. An just like that, another leaf is plucked off his shirt. The last one, and he flings it through the air at her but it flips pathetically through the air and lands against her dress.

"I dream of my mother sometimes, and other members of my family who have died," Elionys confides quietly, head angling to watch him as he takes up position on the opposite side of the tree. She turns then, so that her front is against the tree, rather than her side, head tilting slightly so her gaze can remain on him. "Usually it's them trying to tell me things, or… well, none of it truly matters. I have impossible dreams, but usually in places I've never been before, rather than home." She pauses a beat, seeming to consider something. "Maybe they are ghosts, maybe your family is coming back to try and warn you of things, or give you advice, or maybe they just wish to meddle in your life even after theirs has passed." A little laugh escapes as she watches the leave flicked her way, only watching it as the thing flits and flips before landing on her dress. "Do you ever feel like you have an impossible problem? A thing that has no good, or no easy answers?"

To this, Riderch's head shifts around the tree as he too leans, shifts the position of his feet so he can achieve two things: The first, leaning against the tree in the laziest way possible while still standing, and the second, the best possible vantage point to affix his eyes upon her in soft study. "You do? First of all, I don't think any of it doesn't matter, Elionys. All of it matters. Everything matters. Or nothing matters, but my coin's on everything." The half-smile which just seems to have taken root on his face doesn't vanish completely, but she would be able to note a raised, arched eyebrow as she mentions her mother.

"You do that too?" He pauses a beat, not really specifying what 'that' is. "I think you understand more about my Faith than I would have thought. Our Ancestors go to rest with our Gods. As to the 'whys?' Well — who can say?" A beat is paused and a rather long one as his eyes go to his retaliatory leaf and manages a snicker. "Impossible problem? My life is a series of impossible problems."

"Maybe everything does matter, and it's us who twists it all into insignificance," Elionys muses quietly, a tiny smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. "I do, yes," she agrees in little more than a whisper, perhaps not caring that she doesn't understand exactly what it is that they have in common, just that there is some shared thing. After a moment her head rights and then tilts the other way just a touch so that half of her face is hidden behind the trunk, though the one visible eye remains on him. It's with the gentle tinkle of metal that one hand stretches out, palm up, toward him. "I suppose my life is rather like that now too. I can't complain though, problems mean choices, even if all of them are bad choices. At least there are choices."

"I'm not big enough to render these thing into trivialities." Riderch Blackwood responds hastily with a smile of his own. It's muted here, but warm. "We see these things when we dream. You, your mother. Me, my brother. Old things. Far away things. Things we maybe shouldn't for one reason or another." This response is sort of drawn out here, in a low tone of voice. And he rounds, craning his head just enough to keep his eye upon that one visible side of her face.

It takes a moment as his own arm rises to meet hers, the one not leaning against the tree, and should she accept it, his fingers are placed against her own. He considers it a weighty gesture. "Bad choices? Good choices? I don't — even know, really." He admits. After a very long pause. "Remember, there are no easy answers. Like you just said. And we said…before."

"It's a blessing, and a curse," Elionys remarks on the subject of unusual dreaming, words carried on a bit of a sigh. "But it's who we are, it's a part of what we are, so whatever it is, we have to carry it." Her fingers wrap around his, eyes closing for a moment. "What would you do if you knew something that… well, while it's not a bad thing now, it could become a bad thing? An awful thing, even. It could be a bad thing for a lot of people, but doing something about it is complicated, and comes with risks and hurts of it's own. Do you act before it's anything, even though it may never be a thing, or do you wait to see if it becomes a thing?" Apparently she's speaking in code now.

Ainsley comes out of the manse.

This is one of those blissful evenings that manse-dwellers tend to leave windows and doors open. There might be an unfamiliar guard or two lingering somewhere inside the manse, in addition to the Blackwood folk and whever else occasionally dwells here. But out here in the garden, the weather is temperate and calm. And mostly quiet. For there are only two people out here, both of them leaning against the old apple tree.

One of them is Riderch Blackwood — wearing a rumpled, loose-fitting black shirt with his House crest upon it, like-colored breeches and boots, all of them looking like he might have slept in them. Tousled also describes his short growth of hair. There might be a few leaves from the tree stuck to him, too.

The Riverlander has his one arm stretched high above him as he rests against the bark with an open palm. At an angle, from where he can only see one half her face, is a much more neatly-dressed woman of a familiar mien. The two have their free hands stretched out, fingers wrapped around the other's. Of course, they're alone out here as they speak. "The Gods don't give us anything for free, you know. It's always like that. They gave us this world, and it was a beautiful thing, hmm?" Pausing a beat he adds, with a tight smile, closing his eyes a second. "And then made it so there wasn't enough to go around. But I think you just said it as well as I ever could."

Now there's a definite pause here and a long silence as he considers something. Her other words, maybe? His forehead wrinkles as he puzzles out this very vague, very coded statement. "With my judgement? Usually go kicking down its bloody door to make sure it's not a thing, but I'm not that much of a fool to apply it everywhere." Riiight. He gives a snort. "A lot of it depends on who gets hurt whether one acts or doesn't act?"

"I suppose they don't," Elionys agrees quietly. "It's funny when we talk of the world and there not being enough of it. I suppose that is the case when people want to take very large pieces of it." You know, people like her family. The fingers tighten around Riderch's hand for a moment, and though half her face is hidden, there is some visible uncertainty, or even distress in the other, visible half. "I don't know that kicking in doors exactly applies here," she admits, eyes closing for a few beats as she draws in a slow breath. "I just don't know, and I don't know what to do, and I don't wish to start a fight within my own family over it, or hurt people. Especially not-… well, any of them, if I can help it, but I am still worried and I don't know if anyone will listen. Not really." Still vague, but maybe slightly less so.

Blink blink. The erstwhile Lord of House Blackwood focuses his eyes on what he can actually see of Elionys from around the tree, even though his own hand tightly clutches hers. This is an odd arrangement they're in but he appears nothing short of comfortable and actually awake now as he does stop and listen. And his own face remains calm, even good-humored. "Relax. I wasn't serious or so literal about kicking in doors, Elionys." He pauses to draw in a deep breath and carefully chooses his words here. "I also am not relishing trouble with your family, but if I truly thought I was so worried about that?" He doesn't really have an answer beyond a very plain statement. "You have three cousins that I've known. One would probably be somewhat unhappy that we are even talking here. Another seems to think I'm fine, and another seems to think I am something a little above what my horse leaves behind." There's a long period of silence on Riderch's part as he reiterates. "I'm not always simply kicking in doors. Right now I'm building a bloody army it seems. I can do other things." This is as probably vague and cryptic as whatever she is talking about. "But I trust you. Whatever it is, if you think you need help we can deal with whatever angry cousin gets in a snit when the time comes." This is delivered as reassuringly as possible. And to be perfectly honest? He doesn't seem to be all that bothered right now, about anything.

Blink blink. The erstwhile Lord of House Blackwood focuses his eyes on what he can actually see of Elionys from around the tree, even though his own hand tightly clutches hers. This is an odd arrangement they're in but he appears nothing short of comfortable and actually awake now as he does stop and listen. And his own face remains calm, even good-humored. "Relax. I wasn't serious or so literal about kicking in doors, Elionys." He pauses to draw in a deep breath and carefully chooses his words here. "I also am not relishing trouble with your family, but if I truly thought I was so worried about that?" He doesn't really have an answer beyond a very plain statement. "You have three cousins that I've known. One would probably be somewhat unhappy that we are even talking here. Another seems to think I'm fine, and another seems to think I am something a little above what my horse leaves behind."

There's a long period of silence on Riderch's part as he reiterates. "I'm not always simply kicking in doors. Right now I'm building a bloody army it seems. I can do other things." This is as probably vague and cryptic as whatever she is talking about. "But I trust you. Whatever it is, if you think you need help we can deal with whatever angry cousin gets in a snit when the time comes." This is delivered as reassuringly as possible. And to be perfectly honest? He doesn't seem to be all that bothered right now, about anything.

"I know you didn't mean it literally," Elionys is quick to assure him. "I know you can do more than just that. I only meant I'm not sure an approach like that would work in this situation," she goes on, the one visible shoulder rising and falling as she heaves a sigh. There is a pause then, a moment to let something sink in, and then she looks up at Riderch again. "You're building an army?" It's a verbal bookmark, an item she's going to return to eventually, provided she makes it out of the garden alive tonight. "It's just that one… that someone told me something, a plan, or… well, an ambition, only I think it could be bad. It could go badly." She stops again, several beats, seeming truly conflicted about whether or not to go on. "You wouldn't want someone who was not entirely sane in charge of a great big weapon, would you?"

The first interruption is a large, glossy raven gliding out of the Manse on quiet wings, tilting upwards and perching on a low branch of the tree that Riderch and Elionys stand beneath. He croaks a low, cackling 'GRAAAK' as the second interruption appears: Ainsley Blackwood, mostly recovered from her illness and in a simple black skirt, dark red top, and bare feet, steps quietly into the garden. Her pale blue gaze follows the raven and then moves lower, to regard the pair of people beneath him and, more precisely, the point at which their hands are laced together.

This is one of those cases where Blackwood actually shrugs it off a little. "It's fine, Princess." He says for only a moment, using her title which is something he is doing less and less of these days when alone with her. In fact, the word is used as a playful thing. "I know you know I'm not that kind of simpleton." A low rumbled chuckle emerges from his throat as he raises his committed hand a little bit, dragging hers with it. And laughs some more. He can't help himself. "Well, — not so much an army. But a dedicated force of fighters that are going to hopefully do something about these 'Bloodshields.' Can't say I love the name." But again, this may be a topic for later.

"At the fall of the Age of Heroes, it was said that the Lord of Hawk's Peak was granted a boon by the Gods. A gift to defend his people from the coming invaders, but at a price." He pauses, mulling over her question now even though he mentions this strange story out of the blue. "And the price you're describing is one none would want to pay. So? No, I…"

Oh — uh. Hi. Raven. His eyes narrow a little as a familiar visitor decides it is time to make this place a little more crowded. "Hoaresbane?" His gaze juts upwards increduously. Of course, this is a surprise. And such a dramatic one, he hasn't yet noticed the second one yet.

Bloodshields. This draws a small shudder from Elionys, likely felt slightly rather than much seen. "It's an appropriate name after the dream, I suppose. Awful." But the subject is left for now, in favor of the topic that is even more uncomfortable. "This wouldn't be a gift from the Gods, or if it is, it's a very old gift, and the cost of it could be… I don't know. I don't want to imagine." If there was more to follow, it's left unspoken as her gaze tracks after the bird that lands in the tree, and when it drops, she catches sight of Ainsley. She draws a breath, and even if he doesn't see his sister yet, Riderch might see the sudden look of guilt on the Targaryen's face, and surely he'll feel the way she tries to gently pull her hand from his.

Perhaps it's more that flush of guilt than the actual clasped hands that makes Ainsley's eyes narrow as she pads quietly into the garden and towards the tree. Hoaresbane is less quiet, letting loose another 'GRAAK GRAAK' followed by 'SWAN-NECKED DRAGON GRAAK'. The Blackwood lady's brows lift slightly at this pronouncement, but all she offers is, "Good evening, brother. Princess. Have I interrupted something?"

"Awful is what's going to happen to them." Riderch assures. Maybe a little too confidently here. "We just had another Mallister crew sail in. We'll have swords and ships for that. And — well, I will help if I can, you just need to tell me." He was surprised by the raven, for certain, and hasn't really put two and two together here. And even as she tries to draw her hand back, his own grip lingers. Ainsley's brother isn't looking the slightest bit guilty here, just horribly confused as he again looks between the pale-haired Targaryen and the raven in the tree. Who then just utters something that makes him turn a little red.

Oh, but this gets so much better. He is putting two and two together here now and the combination of Elionys' shift in attention and the obvious voice of one little sister results in Riderch turning his head and still managing to stay a little red. "Er. I don't know. Exactly. You're looking better, Aine." Well, this is a reason for him to sound and appear cheerful. Oh, what's his hand still doing?

When the grip lingers, Elionys' hand remains within his, rather than make a show of trying to pull it away. The squaking bird pulls her gaze from Ainsley and up to the raven, and something about that inspires the smallest hint of hurt in the gaze that falls back on Riderch. "No, my lady," she answers, soft and polite, head shaking ever so slightly. "You've not interrupted a thing. I heard you were ill, I'm glad to see that you're recovering."

"I was a bit," Ainsley allows, "Though I'm feeling much improved. How kind of you you show concern for such a small illness afflicting someone so far beneath your own station, princess." Funny, how Ainsley is looking more at her brother than the princess in question, as she says that. She holds an arm up and Hoaresbane spreads his wings, gliding from the tree down to Ainsley's arm. From there, he hops to her shoulder and begins to preen his feathers.

Ho boy. How happy. Riderch's good cheer gave one final push as he sort of tried to power through this awkward exchange and it just wilts. Elionys' hand is given a final squeeze though and the look he gives her is intent and looks a little awkward and apologetic too, for all he's practically staring at her face. "I'll help. Whatever it is." He repeats one final time. The grip loosens though as he turns to fully regard Ainsley.

Hoaresbane is visibly ignored here as he turns his head to study his sister, straightening away from the tree. "Ainsley." He begins. "You could start by being a little more fair here. And I know that look, too. So if there's something you're trying to say here, spit it out. I remember the last time you looked at me like that. And I think you do too." He says, with a weary, petulant cast to a tone that would otherwise almost seem familiar and fond.

"Thank you, Ser," Elionys' words are quiet, enough that it certain sisters would have to strain to hear them, though it's not impossible. "I'm sure it's nothing," she lies, and it may be evident to Riderch that it is a lie, but it may also be equally as apparent that she isn't going to ask for help in present company. With that, she clears her throat quietly and looks back to Ainsley. "I'm saddened to hear that my reputation here is such that you would be led to believe my caring or concern would depend upon station. It does not, and I'm glad that you're feeling better." The hand that was in his drops, and with that she pushes away from the tree as well.

"I do, brother," Ainsley agrees somberly, her other hand lifting to idly scritch Hoaresbane neck, the raven dipping his head low for the attention. "If you wish me to speak plainly, then I shall. You are doing yourself harm with this fruitless pursuit, and I hate to see it. Even more, I hate to see that a princess of our royal house would so cruelly allow it to continue. You shame yourselves, the both of you, but it is our house that will feel the brunt of it, when the princes and princesses of House Targaryen catch wind." Looking more properly at Elionys, Ainsley adds, "How far does your caring and concern extend, Princess? Would you tryst with a Blackwood? Would you wed one?"

"It's not nothing. And as I just said, it's never nothing. Nothing ever IS." The little contentment that Riderch had here slowly crumbles as the exchange turns from blissful to tense and the first look he shoots is actually not to his sister, but to the Princess as blue-green eyes widen. And narrow. That's all that Elionys gets from him for the moment though as he too steps away from the tree, crosses his arms in front of his chest, and rounds on Ainsley.

"Ainsley." He begins. And every time he uses her full name, he's trying to make a point, often an indignant or pompous one. "You should know better. Do you possibly think I would — spend time with someone who would not care for your well-being? I say this as I love you and regard you as the best of our blood." He jerks his head up at Hoaresbane as well, curious, but questions about that will likely come later. "You ask a great many things, but I would hope you would her character as you would trust my judgment in it."

Chest puffed up, Riderch takes a step forward with his arms crossed. "I have done nothing to dishonor her. Ever." And his cheeks go a little flash of red indicating that maybe there is a slight complication to this statement.

"And — Well? I've seen the kind of slinking fools that the Reach has scraped up to court her. And do you know what? Maybe I listen to all that talk about how our family has been around since the Age of Heroes. And how we fought the Grey King. Terrified him so much that he named his God's enemy the Raven. How do you like that, Ainsley? We frightened a bloody GOD. Do you think that I'm not GOOD ENOUGH?" He seems to have, uh, sort of lost something here.

"I know, it's only-…" something, but whatever it might have been, it's quelled by the look that Riderch gives her. Elionys only nods, though it's hard to say whether or not it's actually any sort of agreement, or merely acknowledgment. The Targaryen doesn't go far from the tree, and when Ainsley begins to air her grievances, one hand braces against the trunk for support. "I don't want to hurt him, my lady," she starts, but the attempt at reassurance falters there, and instead she listens to Riderch, brows steadily climbing.

Ainsley stands, shorter than her brother by some inches, but undaunted by his height or his rising temper. The raven on her shoulder makes his call again, wings open a little as her own nostrils flare on a deep breath. "You are good enough for anything," she agrees, "but royalty sees standing and not worth. They see names and the gods that men follow and make their choices. And these days, such choices do little to honor the likes of us. You know this, Riderch!" To Elionys she asks, crisp and curt, "Then what is your intention, your highness? You come here, dressed as you are, seeking help and counsel from my brother over some matter, hands clasped together. Explain to me what you intend, what kindness such actions offer."

"And you haven't." Riderch starts. First, this is directed towards Elionys with a slight sideward shift. "If I have seemed hurt, it has been because of circmstances of birth which you had no control over. I never wanted you to find out this way. Or — well, there are a lot of things I never wanted. Just remember what I said." Said? What exactly? For this moment, his gaze on the Targaryen girl is gentle as was his tone here. "Never think that you have done me any injury."

This only lasts so long though, as he and Ainsley apparently have some, well, issues to air out. Poor Hoaresbane is just along for the ride here. And it's not temper that rises exactly for even in the middle of this tirade, a smile fights its way to his features as he looks upon his sister. "There are a lot of things that I know, featherhead. I have seen this myself. I have also seen that the Targaryens have honored every oath of service that our lands have sworn to them since Aegon. What would you accuse me of here? Becoming heartsick over an Andal?" There's a real admission in this statement and he looks back over his shoulder at Elionys. It's almost abashed. Almost. Cat's out of the bag.

And yes, dear reader, obviously he knows she's not an Andal.

Elionys' eyes leave Ainsley as they angle downward to her front, the clothing that she wears, and then back up again. "What is wrong with how I'm dressed?" she asks, sounding genuinely bemused by the statement. What is wrong with seeking council from Riderch? Is your claim that he's unwise and has nothing to offer, my lady? Should I not value the council of men who will one day lead parts of the realm?" She drinks in a deep breath, seeming a little tense, and perhaps even a little pale as she looks back to Riderch. "I would never want to do so, not ever. If my company risks doing you harm-…" but again she leaves off there, and instead she looks away, back to Ainsley and the feathered fiend with her.

"I accuse you of being heartsick over a Valyrian," Ainsley answers her brother, his spine straightening and her shoulders pushing back sharply enough that Hoaresbane launches himself off his perch to land on Riderch's head with another 'GRAAK! THOSE IRON FUCKERS!' To the princess she says, "I do not think clasped hands and flushed cheeks are indicative of a woman who merely seeks advice, princess. Your words and your actions are at odds."

"You accuse me of a lot of things." Riderch practically spits out the words now, niceties are more or less shed here. "Little sister. I have loved you since the day you were born. You are dear to me which is why I refuse to become angry at this." The elder Blackwood protests here, crossing his arms in front of his chest. "We had to entertain Elys bloody Bracken in our Hall. And you know what? I tolerated that. Because Tewdric demanded it." His lips twitch at Hoaresbane's outburst but he says nothing further. "And now he is dead and gone. And I will not pursue some half-suspected vendetta because I honored his wishes. So maybe, if I can do foolish things in honor of our blood, you can honor my foolish thoughts."

He's not done though. "Elionys." And now he rounds upon the Princess. "I have done you a great disservice. Because, as my dear sister here has so clearly declared, I have begun to bear another sort of love in its own right." His face screws up in a a rueful smile. "Another kind of love for another kind of woman and maybe you might understand what I am speaking of. I am sorry to have burdened you with this. So? Maybe I should just go. I cannot do anything more here but bring you embarassment so maybe I should be elsewhere for now."

Oh, and — in case it was forgotten, Riderch has a RAVEN on his head. It's bloody ridiculous. He winces a little but just went on with his tirade.

Elionys' face screws up a moment as 'Valyrian' is stated in an unfavorable way, and clearly the Targaryen, blood of Old Valyria, wants to know just what is wrong with that, but for however much she may want to ask it, the words are withheld. For now. "Clasped hands do not negate the need for advice, or help with problems, my lady," she points out in a carefully gentle tone. That's all, she doesn't address the other issue of flushed cheeks, instead looking around to Riderch again. It's not until he's speaking to her again that she inclines her head slightly. "You have done nothing wrong, Riderch, and this is your home. Your garden. You ought not be chased from it. If someone needs to depart, perhaps it ought to be me."

"And I have loved you since the moment I was born!" Ainsley argues ("argues") back at her brother. "You are dear to me, which is why I am angry. Oh! Enough about that damned Bracken chit! You bring hr up every time, as if tolerating her was exactly the same as everything else unpleasant in the world! I love you, brother, I believe in you, and I hate to see…" it's her turn to cut off a thought and press her lips angrily together. To Elionys, she adds, "You may weave as elegant a web of words as you like, your highness. It will do nothing to change the truth of the matter or the fact that you know full well you are making promises you can never keep. I have said my peace. Now I shall go, and you two do as you will. Gods know, you shall, anyway. Hoaresbane." The raven on Riderch's head was just considering if one of the man's ears might not be nibble-worthy. But at his name, he calls "FUCK THE SQUIDS!" before leaping off to fly back to Ainsley's shoulder as the girl turns and retreats back inside.

"Well, I'm fucking getting out of here, anyway. I am thoroughly sick of this place." Riderch protests, looking a little out of sorts and taken, well, surprisingly off-guard at both women. "You are a guest, El — Princess. Never think that does not count for everything but it does. Especially to you and Especially from me. You can leave or stay, but I had better leave." He's also averting his eyes here.

There's a look at Ainsley here and it's far from warm. As Hoaresbane leaves his head, the elder Blackwood just lets out a deep, deep sigh.

"I don't even know what you are fighting about anymore, Little Bird. Or what I am. I don't even think it matters. Anymore." His fire's a little spent, here. And he too stalks off. Not after Ainsley, though. And there is but one glance directed back towards Elionys and it is something that just looks positively crestfallen. And then he ducks into the manse, with a clear intent to reach the other side of it as soon as possible.

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