(122-09-25) The Pit of Despair
The Pit of Despair
Summary: Rhaegor requires an intervention; Emira provides.
Date: 25 September 2015
Related: Forget the Fucking Monkey

In the wake of Visenya's reunion with her hatchlings, Rhaegor seems oddly like himself. That is, the restrained, brooding, quiet version of himself that Emira first met in Dorne, before the advent of his dragon fever put that stark control in jeopardy. It's familiar, but it's unfamiliar. He hardly speaks, in the days that follow, as the group makes its way across the desert once more. When they spar, for recreation, he is mechanical. But the topic of the Whoremaster, the wyrm that has dominated so much of Rhaemira's collective conciousness for days if not weeks, is decidedly off limits. Rhaegor's Velaryon man-at-arms, his number one dude, even seems mutedly concerned for the Targaryen's demeanor, and this the man who single-handedly helped the prince climb out of the spiral of mania his blood-stained revenge quest in Qarth thrust him into.

It's midmorning, a few days after the eventful night in the desert in which they found Visenya's hatchlings. Rhaegor has completed his watch over their slumbering campsite, been spelled off by his Velaryon companion, and rather than rejoin Emira in their tent, has disappeared off into the desert.

Emira does not rest; her attempt is as fleeting as blowing sand, and as comfortable. There is hardly a pause between rolling to her feet in the morning light of the tent and setting after Rhaegor, her suspicion piqued as the time wears on since his absence. Her eye has been close upon his state of mind, while her own has been ferocious without falter. She has been quick to bite off just about anybody's head now as she had been on the very last part of their journey toward the oasis, when impatience and anticipation was high. She leads her sandsteed out of the camp quietly so as not to stir the camp into asking questions, searching for hints of Rhaegor's tracks before flinging herself onto the animal's back and galloping out after him.

She spots him, eventually, out in the desert. He looks like nothing but a figment at first, a mirage on the horizon. As the shape of him solidifies, becoming more real, more certain, more imminent, logic would have it that Emira would slow her horse. Instead, she shouts and encourages the powerful animal into running faster, a whirl of angry sand around its hooves without any sign of stopping, headed directly toward Rhaegor.

It's impossible to tell what Rhageor is looking at, what he's doing at all so far from their camp, which must at least have been an hour's walk, if not more. His back is to her as Emira drives her horse toward him, but still he manages to seem out of place, a flickering figment of the imagination that should disappear when one gets close enough. But he doesn't, and though he must surely hear the approach of the horse, he doesn't turn toward it. Reckless. It could be anyone, and they could have the advantage on him for the way he renders himself vulnerable. Maybe he knows it's Emira, but how could he. Several leagues from where he stands is a rocky formation stretching out in a crescent moon, a sign of the approach they make toward the Red Mountains. It's a bit reminiscent of the spot where they had stopped to spar, where he nearly climbed to the fragile precipice that would have been to his peril.

At the last moment, the horse swerves under Emira's guidance, so close that Rhaegor is assaulted by the scent of horse sweat and the whipping of mane and tail and assault of sharp sand. It snorts and whinnies in defiance of Emira, or perhaps mistrust of Rhaegor who it so nearly ran down, head swaying between the reins as it comes up in front of him, threatening, still, to stamp him down. It is reckless on Emira's part as well: how easily could Rhaegor turn and attack her horse in such close quarters, without knowing who rides? "Explain yourself, dragon," she calls out louder than necessary, hotly accusatory, "Do you mean to fly away in the wind by yourself?"

Rhaegor looks the beast square in the eye when Emira wheels around to stop dead centre in front of him, as if he might will the creature into submission with just his flat, emotionless stare and the demonstration of his physical power through his menacing stance. The horse could turn on him, but there is no fear in the complex tapestry of emotion that makes up Rhaegor's unsettling mood. No, but there is agony in it, and it flashes in the edge of his voice when he answers the question she hurls at him. "Would that I could. You'd not find me here, boots in the sand, if it were so." It's not an explanation. He avoids her gaze, knowing she will prove harder to stare down than the steed.

The steed breathes hotly in Rhaegor's face before jerking its muscled neck to the side. For the moment, its rider lavishes in the height her mount gives her above the Targaryen with his menacing stance. She stares down at him, even if he does not meet her powerful gaze. The lack of emotion in Rhaegor's eyes seems to frustrate Emira, who bites down like a horse on a bit. She hears his agony; confronts it. "And where would you go?" she refutes loudly more than asks. "You are here, on the ground. I grow tired of your head being up in the dark clouds."

To think that some Targaryens spend their entire lifetimes caught in the manic ebb and flow that Rhaegor has spent so much of his life learning to resist. To control. To choke and repress. This is but another facet of the same, a dark and brooding and tortured turn taken in response to the proverbial dead end they have reached in the search for the Whoremaster. The realization that the pull he felt was to Visenya's dragons, not the one he hoped to call his own, even if for one glorious moment. Emira's chastizement wins only a question that comes out sounding halfway between defeated and despairing. "What would you have of me instead?" he asks, as if he needs her answer, rather than argumentatively. As if he craves that guidance. As if he is himself too far beyond generating an alternative to his present course. Defeated and despairing.

Emira jerks her chin up. Her movements are not unlike that of her restless horse, taut and defiant. "To forge your own path," she says as though it should be obvious; such is her voice, straightforward and bold. In seconds, she's off her horse, landing in the sand in front of Rhaegor. Her feet hit hard, as though she is much heavier. "Fuck Visenya and her dragons! You are Rhaegor of House Targaryen and you will not accept defeat." Unless it is by her hand, she seems to think, given the way she reaches up and places her hands on his shoulders, pressing. Her dark eyes pierce.

There's no avoiding her stare when she plants herself in front of him, takes him by the shoulders, and bores into his very being with her sharp, piercing eyes. Rhaegor meets them then, at last, something dormant flickering in his own pale gaze, awakened by her stern words. Fuck Visenya and her dragons! You are Rhaegor of House Targaryen. It flares in his eyes. He lifts a hand, taking rough hold of Emira by the cheek, decidedly affectionate in spite of its lack of tenderness. As if clinging to her flesh and her words are of equal importance for what they make him feel. "Yes," he says, finally. Like the simple proposition is beginning to take seed in his mind.

"Yes." The change, renewed life, in Rhaegor's eyes draws Emira closer. His flare sparks an insistent flare in her own gaze. Together they blaze. One hand leaves his shoulder while the other grips tighter; she holds his hand against her cheek a moment until her clawing off of it to hold to the handle of the whip she's brought with her, reliably at her hip. "Wherever we must go, we will go," she states.

"Yes." Once more for good measure, like Rhaegor can't help but repeat it when she does, pulled into her orbit by her dark, fierce, wild eyes, by the gravitas of her presence. It's a subtle thing, but it's like a piece falls into place, realigning him, repairing him, the hot edge of his mania and its cold edge, too, displaced. He'd ached for just the sort of purpose she gives him with her simple words, and he absorbs it now. Briefly, her hand is on his. Then it is not, but he grips her tight just the same, lest his renewed focus prove fleeting. He doesn't apologize, because where would he begin, but there's a flicker of it in the way his eyes drop, briefly, to follow the hand she places on the hilt of the whip. He draws Emira in, with the brute force of his grip on her face, the tips of his fingers insistent where the dig into the bone in her cheek. "I owe you a debt," he says, grave and low.

Emira is unmoving, standing certain and strong in Rhaegor's hand, her gaze without waver. Her bold brows lower, straight and serious, an edge of defiance or dismissal readying in her gaze over talk of debt. Upon the verge of words to that end, however, her lips twitch into a smirk, so utterly contrary to Rhaegor's graveness. "You will always be in my debt," she says, a sharp lancing of mischief edging her voice ever-so-slightly away from total solemnity, better matching her lips. "That is what happens when a man is tied to a Martell."

Rhaegor must reckon it a fair price, because he brooks no argument. It's utterly unnecessary, how fiercely he clings to her with his vice grip, but it seems to quiet his inner tumult and he does not relinquish the hold. Instead, once he's drawn her as close as close can be, and once she's spoken the last of her words, he ravages her with a kiss as desperate and aching and intense as the warring emotions that led him here on foot. It's cathartic, but it's something else, too, a demonstration of feelings she inspires that he doesn't name aloud. Like her lips have the power to centre him. And when they part, at some point, he says in that same low voice but with all the grave intent of a pledge, "I will ride her. And if we should have a child, they will have her egg for a birthright."

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