(123-05-17) Impending Decisions
Impending Decisions
Summary: Such as: travel plans, learning, decisions about decisions, and what to name a cat.
Date: 17/05/2016
Related: None

Northwest Suite - 7 - The Hightower
Battle Island

This is one of the smaller of the Hightower's suites, but it is still grand. It offers a unique view from its large window — from the opening one can overlook the city and see the seven domes and seven towers of the Starry Sept, and the Maidenday Gardens in the middle distance. The window has a wide padded sill large enough for one to sit comfortably and watch the city. In the large sitting room are velvet-cushioned chairs and couches. The dull gray stone flooring is covered with a dark hunter green Myrish carpet trimmed in black.
On one side of the suite is an arched doorway leading to a bedroom. In the sleeping chamber a large four poster wooden bed stands against the wall, with a green and black coverlet and lavish pillows. A matching wardrobe and nightstands are also present in this room. The wall that leads to the sitting room is equipped with a hearth that heats both rooms should it be needed.

Lady Marsei sits at her favoured place at the neat little table nearest her window and its lovely view of the seven domes and seven towers of the Starry Sept, now only inky impressions in the dimming light. Her attention is split, tranquilly, between three things: the casual sorting of unstrung beads in a small jewelry box, glancing toward the bedchamber where a less tranquil interaction between Dhraegon and the newest addition to the family ensues, and Siva, who is sitting across from her with a parchment in hand, from which she reads.

The dark-haired handmaid has an even-keeled, richly toned reading voice, filled with borrowed character; animation that is not part of her own, personal inflection. "… and so I am surrounded by people who are charming, and yet I find myself missing my dearest friends from Oldtown. Nothing would please me more than to have you here in this last dreadful month, and what a dreadful month it is!" She pauses as Marsei drops her beads back in the box and crosses her hands across her chest, brightening as she listens. "You should see me, Marsei. I am like a great— "

"Have you got her down yet?" the lady interrupts — not without an apologetic smile to account for her concern for whatever plight goes on in the other room, but the pace between she and Siva is so comfortable that she need not — and cranes her neck to look for Dhraegon.

" — big whale beached — "

Several soft thumps and a squeak of distress, likelky Dhraegon's but it is hard to tell emerge from the bedroom, followed by a rather breathless, "Almost! I think?" There is a diminutive hiss (likely feline), a yowl of distress (indeterminate), and then silence. Dhraegon emerges, fine white hair rather wild and a big scratch on his cheek, but the tough little kitten is cradled, protesting in a swath of Dragon's massive silk sleeves. Dhraegon's tone is rather forlorn. "I don't think it approves of me."

Marsei brings a hand lightly over her mouth in a not-so-serious attempt to disguise her amusement at the sight of both of them emerging. "You would be upset at the person who plucked you from the mountain you worked so terribly hard to scale all the way to the top too," she rationalizes, brightly reassuring. She holds out her hands for the kitten.

Meanwhile, Siva has gone quiet, halting her reading until she catches her lady's eye. To the question in her own — to go on with the letter or remain paused — Marsei gives her a nod, and the reading continues.

"…beached… in some swelteringly hot paradise. It's lovely, but I cannot get comfortable. I'm rambling. The truth of the matter is I think you will also find Starfall enjoyable. The Daynes have been exceedingly courteous to us as we pass the worst of Summer here instead of Sunspear. It is absolutely lovely."

"Visenya writes from Dorne," Marsei explains, clearly pleased as can be to hear from the princess. She gives a curious look to the back of the parchment Siva reads. "Do you think it is beginning to sound like an invitation…"

Dhraegon is quite ready to offer up the kitten to one so much better equipped to please it. "Have you thought of a name yet?" He eyes the parchment warily, "If it is, I can't imagine her wanting me about. You though, I can't imagine anyone not wanting you with them."

Marsei gives her head a shake, distracted by cradling the nameless creature. It purrs, but like a wily child, has other ideas, promptly hopping onto the table and reaching a paw into the box of beads. "Oh, I wouldn't say that," Marsei says, both saddened by the thought and instantly reassuring once again, "Why shouldn't she want you around, after all this time?" She entertains the kitten's playfulness by tossing a shiny bead onto the floor for it to chase.

Siva clears her throat softly and goes on — even, perhaps, slightly pointedly, "I know you had past fears regarding the safety of Dorne, but I can assure you that you and Prince Dhraegon will be very safe here with us. After the little Prince or Princess comes we will be having a celebration, and Seven save me I have so much planning to do, and a helping hand with that would be appreciated as well." She sets the letter down and rolls it back up. "Your friend, Visenya."

Dhraegon watches the tiny beast, "I do like the food, but you think she has forgiven me… you? I don't know if there are bushes to hide under there…." he drops his voice and asks her, "Have you thought about… the other thing? The one we talked about in the Library?"

Camillo makes a quiet knock on the door that somehow manages not to be obtrusive, but to identify him quite clearly. He waits for a handmaid to admit him and then takes note of where Marsei, Dhraegon, and Siva are arranged. He bows his head. "I understand you wanted to see me?"

Marsei is on the verge of yet another sincere bout of reassurance when Dhraegon asks the question, and she lowers her head more solemnly. "I am still praying to the Mother for an answer," she replies quietly. She brings her chin up, buoyed by a smile. "Perhaps time with Visenya will be of help to me as well as her. Anyway, she came to a much better understanding of us even before she left; I promise you needn't worry." She reaches her hand out toward Dhraegon much like she did when reaching to offer her comfort to the cat. "I do not know if there are bushes. Perhaps… stones," she says, uncertainty over her knowledge of the landscape of Starfall at odds with her assurances, but she gives a good-natured smile. "But— Dorne… do you think… is it truly as safe as she says— ?"

It is then — as the lady's last few soft words to Dhraegon trail off — that she's made aware of Camillo beyond the faint knock, and turns her smile on him. The little one-eyed cat bats the bead toward his feet, flipping onto its patchy-coloured back in a fit of nonsensical play. "Yes," she responds in her usual form, chipper and polite. "You have been made aware that you're to learn bookkeeping from Flox?"

Dhraegon takes her hand, then bends to lightly kiss the top of her head, "I trust you, My Foxglove. I am sure you know best." He folds his legs to sit at her feet, fairly gracefully for a man of his bulk and age, "Flox will not let harm come to us and the Martells are honorable men. I hope young Alayn is there. He is very sensible and level headed. We should look for good hiding spots first thing just in case, but it will likely be all right, My Oleander." He gives camillo a friendly ebnough smile. "I mentioned to My honeysuckle that you might suit…."

Camillo inclines his head toward Marsei, either devoid of the desire to play with the adorable scamp at his feet, or resisting it in favor of paying precise attention to his duties. "Yes, my lady," he says, with a glance in Dhraegon's direction. "I had been told so." Then he looks between them once more. "In…in studying bookkeeping my lord?" he repeats, as though perhaps he does not quite understand the situation.

Marsei's agreeable smile seems answer enough on her end, but calmly she looks from Camillo to Dhraegon, allowing her husband to answer. She lays a hand upon his shoulder. Siva rolls up the letter from Starfall and picks it up along with a few other letters, tidying, quieter than a mouse.

Dhraegon gives Camillo a big goofy smile, "My Snowdrop wishes to learn more about the shipping business. This way you might learn together and be of help to each other. Won't that be fun?" No irony. No sarcasm. Pure, bubbly Dhraegon.

Camillo hesitates briefly, though he is the sort of man to hesitate at any question. Then he bobs his head. "Yes, my lord," he allows. "Are…you planning a journey to Dorne?"

Dhraegon's bubbliness is easily transmitted to Marsei, who cannot help but beam to hear it. However, a gleam of worry manifests in her gaze which, combined, does give an ever-so-slightly manic expression, directed mostly across the table to Siva, before it fades. "Oh— yes, perhaps," she replies. "By invitation of Princess Visenya. It is not yet quite for certain… The end of the month does grow faster and faster upon us," she turns her head down to Dhraegon mid-sentence, concerned.

Dhraegon peers up at her, trusting and happy, "There will be all the candied oranges we can eat, I imagine and though spice cakes and those honey pastries. If you wish to go, we will go, My Hyacinthe. Ought we start the lessons before or after the trip? We'll need Flox and Siva of course. Were you wanting camillo, or ought we leave him to watch the beasts? Which would you rather, Camillo?"

"Oh…" Camillo says slowly when the question is put to him. "Do…you mean to ask if I would rather stay or go, my lord? I… How far away is Dorne?" There is obviously a certain apprehension in him at the idea of going /very/ far away. "Does one go overland or by boat?" His grasp of geography beyond the Reach is also rather shaky.

"Perhaps— perhaps you or Flox could give us a primer on the methods of bookkeeping before we begin in true," Marsei suggests. "I should not like to let Visenya down— and I suppose the whole thing would be an adventure!" Even as she says so, there's quite the enormous conflict manifesting in her voice, the tiny tremor beneath it both excited and nervous. She looks to Dhraegon as well for the answer of land and sea, adding only, "She and Prince Torren are residing in Starfall while she is with child, and thankfully it is much closer than Sunspear. I— suppose the journey would have to be quite soon? To make it with time to spare?"

Dhraegon holds up his right hand, palm facing Camillo. "My thumb stands for Dorne, yes? And Starfall is here." He points to a spot on his thumb near wear it meets the palm. "And Oldtown is here." He points to the edge of the palm near the wrist. "To get there by cart, we'd have to go alllll the way across here, over the bumpy mountain pass. To get there by sea, it is around one side of the thumb and down the other." He illustrates with the pointing finger, then places it back at Oldtown. "In this case it is faster to go by ship" He draws a diagonal from Oldtown to Starfall.

Camillo nods once. "If…I were to go, I'd rather go by land," he says. "But…it's whether you need me or not, my lord. I don't know much of foreign ways, but I'd go where ever anybody needed me." As for bookkeeping, he nods at Marsei's proposal. "It might take me a long time to get the idea…"

"Me as well," Marsei adds with a gentle, warm laugh wound loosely throughout her words; an earnest admission, meant also to reassure Camillo that he is not alone in his concerns about the lessons.

Dhraegon's tone is gentle, "Where would you best like to be, Camillo? Keeping an eye on things here or studying accountig as we travel and seeing a great tourney in Dorne?"

Camillo's strong suit has never been making big decisions on his own. And this feels big to him, at least. "I…don't know, my lord," he admits. "I don't know what it would be like there. I've not been more than a week's ride any direction…"

"I believe it's closer than Cider Hall," Marsei says, although her tone is more wondering than encouraging. "Of course, I could be wrong," she adds with a self-aware smile, deferring to Dhraegon's better geography. "It's just easy to forget somewhere that seems so faraway to me is truly so close, just beyond the mountains… I mean— " she pauses to reconsider pensively, " — I'm sure it does not seem that way to the Marcher lords…"

Dhraegon studies Camillo with a touch of disappointment in his eyes, "Let us know what you decide, Camillo. We should start packing soon if we are going, I think." He smiles up at his wife, leaning gently against her leg, "I suspect it does not, but let us hope that friendship brings us all closer still."

Camillo seems mildly surprised by Marsei's news, having assumed that they would keep other kingdoms /much/ farther away! He looks back to Dhraegon, brow crinkling a little at the prince's expression. He bobs his head, dropping his eyes. "Yes, my lord," he answer.

The kitten takes this moment to enact a tactical assault on Dhraegon's long sleeve from underneath the table, eliciting a new smile in Marsei and even a faint likeness in Siva. "I am glad for you to learn about the shipping business as well, Camillo," the noblewoman diverts.

Dhraegon wiggles the other sleeve enticingly at the kitten, giggling happily. "The choice is yours, Camillo. It's the act of choosing that matters."

Camillo glances up at Dhraegon. "But I don't…understand," he says, taking all this far too seriously to be amused by the adorable kitten. "I don't understand whether you would need me. If you don't need me and I go, then that's an extra man's weight on the horses, food for me on the journey and for the horse, and the need to fit in amongst whatever servants might be there… But if you /do/ need me and I said 'no,' then I'd be leaving you without help." Do they not see the bind, his expression seems to ask.

Dhraegon beams up at camillo before going back to play with the kitten, "Yes, exactly, Camillo! That is the nature of choice! Sometimes you must weigh cost against risk and decide what is most likely to happen, knowing that you might choose wrong. this is good pactice."

Between Camillo speaking his dilemma and Dhraegon's explanation (finding it, herself, less than comforting), Marsei seems to understand; she shifts a small, sympathetic smile to her husband to the servant, but does not intrude upon the decision-making.

Camillo gives Dhraegon the unhappiest look he dares in response to that answer. "If you'll not need some skill of mine, my lord, then I'll stay," he replies with obvious reluctance. "If you'll have Flox with you, then surely he can attend to anything sudden."

Dhraegon reassures, "I will have Flox with me." He gives him a bright smile, "The only wrong answer in this case would likely be not choosing." He extracts his sleeve from the kitten in order to fish out a paper of boiled sweets, "Anyone want one?" He pops one in his own mouth to show willing, offering to his wife next, then Siva, then Camillo.

Marsei accept the sweet eagerly; Siva reaches across the table to take it more out of respect for Dhraegon and his enthusiasm than anything; the kitten is most enthusiastic of all, standing on its little hind legs to try to regain capture of the sleeve and its secrets, succeeding only in tumbling over in the process.

Camillo shakes his head slightly to decline. He always does get funny about taking optional foods and drinks. And he seems embarrassed at all this choosing or not choosing. He looks down at the cat. "Has it been healthy?"

Dhraegon absently wiggles the other sleeve rather than leave the tiny terror bereft, before tucking the candy away.

Marsei reaches down to scratch the kitten about the ears. "Healthy enough to find her way to the top of my wardrobe!" she's amused to announce, the faint tone of scolding in her voice utterly humorous (despite the real scratches Dhraegon has to show for it). After she's through with the boiled sweet, she sits up a bit straighter. "I ought to write back to Visenya straight away. We will discuss the bookkeeping with Flox soon," she says to Camillo. Siva stands and leaves, taking her usual silent, wide berth around everyone, ostensibly to fetch a quill and ink while Marsei gives Camilo an allowing smile. "You may take your leave if you please."

Camillo makes his usual informal, but respectful, half-bow. "Yes, my lady," he says.

He moves to let himself out quietly.

Dhraegon pokes at the scratch on his face, "Itchy and stingy all at once… Ought we name it Nettle or Thorne or the like?" He gives Camillo a little wave, "check in with Flox about lesson times.

"No, those names are far too rough!" Marsei says in good-natured defense of the kitten while Camillo departs. She scoops the — granted, rough-looking — little character up onto her lap as if to protect it from further slander.

Camillo bobs his head in affirmation and gently shuts the door.

Dhraegon says, "It has had a hard life, ought it not have a… protective name?""

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