(123-09-22) Misty Meeting
Misty Meeting
Summary: Log Summary
Date: 9/22/2016
Related: None

The business of unpacking and arranging things in new living quarters is a tiresome, banal one. Given more time, Valaerys' meticulous nature will no doubt call for adjustments to suit her, but with the advent of hot summer rain there is exactly zero chance of keeping her attention indoors. So instead, the steamy afternoon finds her here, in the gardens across from the Dragon's Door. There are a small handful of handmaidens scattered throughout the garden - she isn't blind to propriety or good sense - but they are very good at pretending not to be here until they are needed. Their mistress is particular about that, too. Said mistress is garbed simply, for her. A gown of layered light fabrics leaves her arms, collarbone, shoulder blades and feet bare for the world. Twirling in the rain like a child, the clinging nature of wet fabric removes most of the remaining modesty from the flowing nature of her garment, but she does not seem inclined to pay it any mind at all. No, there is rain to fall on her face and to slide down the expanse of pale curls made dark and heavy with water… what care should she give for the sensibilities of mortal men?

There are two sure fire places to find Lorn Lannister. The first, and most reliable, is where there is plentiful wine. The second, is where there are beautiful women. Really, it's a theme. Dressed in the reds his House so favors, the Lannister enters the garden on slow, even strides, audible only because of the hard sole of his boots and the gently sound of a velvet cloak upon the sheathed blade on his hip. And for a few moments, it seems the Lannister heir isn't going to notice the dancing Targaryen out in the summer rain. It doesn't last forever, though, because wet fabric on smooth skin has a very distinct sound, and Lorn, vaguely confused, looks up from the flowers he had been idly staring at. Catching sight of Valaerys, he stops, can't help his staring, before making a small, intentional noise in his throat to inform the Princess that she is no longer alone in the garden.

Bootheels and velvet over steel are sounds one grows very accustomed to - realities one grows very accustomed to - when one is raised among the fire lords of Dragonstone. They do not alarm Valaerys sufficiently to cease her play, but the clearing of a throat certainly does. Whirling in the motion made only a little unsteady by the wet grass underfoot, she stares at the man who would intrude upon her solitude, upon her peace. Her chest heaves with each indrawn breath and puffed exhale, the only part of her that moves for a small eternity. There are only two Houses bold enough to drape themselves is so much blatant red and this man is no dragon. "It must be inducement indeed, my lord, to draw a lion from his den when the world beyond is so very wet." If there is some apprehension in her voice, it could be because the young lord hovers on the threshold between comfort and distress for the young dragon. Or it could simply be that she had not expected to be interrupted thus. It is always difficult to tell with her.

"I do not mind the rain. Lion or no." Lorn answers with a small smile and a bow of his head. "You need not stop on my account, Your Grace," He says then, "But I did not wish you to do anything thinking you were alone. I apologize for the interruption." As it turns out, the Lannister isn't entirely rude. And even though he is offering her to return to her dancing, and he will continue on his garden stroll, he does not depart without her leave. There are just some things you don't do, even as a lion. One of those is turning your back on a dragon. He knows better.

The small smile, the tipped bow of his head, these are little gestures of civility that Valaerys finds refreshing and intriguing in equal parts. As, in fact, is his correct use of title. "Have the rumors traveled so swiftly, then?" It's a mild, soft-spoken question - one that could easily be interpreted as rhetorical were it not for the strange, otherworldly intensity in bright violet eyes. "Your interest in consent is a novel one for your sex, my lord." And, perhaps, the reason that she takes the fateful step forward - the one that comes with closed eyes and a sharp intake of breath as the unseen river rushes and roars in her ears. "Most men I find are content enough to look at everything in the world as though it either belongs to them or should. In either case it exists for their pleasure and theirs alone." With the initial burst of sensation dulled into something around which she can easily concentrate, Valaerys steps closer again and again until she is abreast of the leonine lord - her carriage that of queens despite her dripping exterior. "I think I will join you on your stroll, then. I would know more about the man who would not even stare without permission."

"No, Your Grace, no rumors." Lorn answers with a shake of his head that sends his hood back toward his shoulders, revealing golden curls that darken quickly under the light, summer rain. "But it is generally a safe bet with one who so clearly bears the blood of the dragon." There is a small quirk of his head at that intake of breath, but Lorn does not ask. "The laws of ownership are very dear to lions, Your Grace," He says with a smirk, "And lions will lay claim, swiftly and absolutely, to anything that is theirs, or ought to be. But it is a very stupid lion, indeed, that thinks that anything that belongs to a dragon ought to be theirs." There is a nod of his head, then, at her assertion that she will be joining him, "Very well, Your Grace, if it please you." And, dripping wet or not, he offers her his arm, the velvet cloak shrugged behind his shoulder, revealing the golden embroidery of a lion's head upon his shoulder. If it weren't obvious what family he belonged to before, it was certainly obvious now.

"Lions and rivers both," Vala muses, taking the offered arm as though it were her due. "So had you found a she-wolf or a doe among the grasses, my lord, you would have looked your fill regardless of her knowledge or permission?" There is, oddly enough, no hint of judgment in her tone, only the same mildness as before - brushed with curiosity.

"Rivers?" Lorn says, his brow furrowing, though it is quiet enough that it is likely that he doesn't entirely expect an answer. Lorn leads them through the garden then, not minding the warm rain, even as it slicks his hair. He makes a thoughtful noise then, taking a deep breath. "Well, that would depend." He says, "On if they also had the look of prey. A she-wolf? Less likely. Direwolves are a challenge even to lions. A doe? More likely, though any good hunter would tell you that the doe is only harmless at a distance."

Lorn's thoughtful noise is echoed in Valaerys' throat, settling into his easy pace - though her short legs can't quite match him stride for stride. An ill-matched pair of carriage horses they'd make, assuredly. "So it is fear, then, which governs your actions. An assessment of the risk involved against their potential reward." This time it is not simply a lack of judgment, but something rather like approval to color such statements. "Rivers and lions both take with impunity, my lord." An answer to that soft spoken query whether he wants it or not. "But only the river is yet exempt from fear." Her mouth quirks into a smile then - one that colors her words if not her eyes. "For even a dragon can only redirect a river. No force on earth can stop it entire."

Another thoughtful noise from the Lannister heir. "Economics, rather." Lorn says, "Perhaps that could be a type of fear, but that is not quite how I see it. Fear is actually not something I often feel these days." And, strangely enough, it's delivered with none of the bravado that such a statement normally comes along with. This is no knightly boasting, but a simple, almost somber, expression of fact. Perhaps, even, fact that he finds just the slightest touch concerning. "Ah." He says to Valaerys' explanation, "I see. Perhaps we ought to be taking lessons from the Tullys, then?" It's paired with an easy, quiet laugh that is more a movement in his shoulder than actual sound. "But, I am afraid, Your Grace, that I have been terribly rude. I am Ser Lorn Lannister." He offers then with a smile that is much more bright than the rest of the man has been up to now, "May I know with whom it is that I am taking this rainy, garden stroll?"

"Don't." The one word from Targaryen lips is neither sharp nor loud, but carries with it a weight that speaks of finality. "It's been nice, speaking with someone sensible. You'll ruin it if you backtrack to fake smiles and flowery gallantries." It isn't that those things don't have their place - and it certainly isn't that she herself doesn't employ them to great effect. But when one does not begin with them, they ring excessively false in a way that hurts her ears and sharpens her temper. "I am Valaerys Targaryen, eldest child of Aegon, youngest son of Baelor, eldest of the Old King. Will that genealogy satisfy you, son of Jason?" There's something cold and sharp and arch in the way she asks, in the way she lets him know that she is not ignorant of the important family names. It leaves the silence between them to sting a little, but when she breaks it again it is with mild-mannered sweetness once more. "What lessons can fish give but in helplessness or folly? Either they spend their lives swept along the current or beating their tails against it. They may know nothing of fear, but they learn economics when the fisherman brings them to table. In the end, the two are so twined as to make difference pedantic and immaterial."

Well then. "My apologies." Is the simple answer that she earns from Lorn, without fanfare, "And yes, Your Grace, it more than suffices." As to fish, economics, and fear? Lorn just shakes his head. "I have learned more from fish than from many others in my days." He says finally, after allowing silence to settle between them with the sting that Valaerys had intended. It is obvious that there is much, much more that Lorn does not agree with her statement, but discretion is the better part of valor and he keeps his mouth shut.

Valaerys nods when apologies are offered, but it is the only acknowledgment they receive. What he says with regard to fish, however - and, perhaps more importantly, what he doesn't say - is enough to pique her interest again. "I have offended you." It is mostly a statement, though there is a little room in the tone for question. "Why?" Not, perhaps, the typical response to causing offense, nor perhaps the most politic one, but it is at least honest. "What care lions for the wisdom of fish?"

"I think offense is a strong term." Lorn says with a small shake of his head, "I simply do not agree. But I feel not the need to debate hotly." Not, not the most politic response, but Lorn can respect that, at least. There's a long pause before the rest of his answer comes, though. "Sometimes, foolish lions fall in love with fish, and think that the river will suit them just as nicely."

"Dragons, as a general rule, feel everything strongly." And this time it is Vala's turn for a quirked, rueful smile. "And thus our language for discussing feelings tends to be skewed accordingly." It is not an apology, but it is something of an explanation and that… that is rare enough in itself. She is content enough in the silence that follows - she is not the twin cursed so with their father's restless bones - but his confession merits a drawn out 'ah' of comprehension. "But what seemed once a haven showed its teeth when there was no longer a fish to guide the foolish lion and the river which should have sheltered him swept him out to sea to be dashed to little pieces upon the jagged rocks." There is no pity in her recitation, but nor is there scorn. "I believe we have a variation of this tale at home. Except it is the seahorse who tried very hard to fly."

"Lions ought not try to swim so long." Lorn admits with a shake of his head, "And seahorses aren't even particularly good swimmers, much less flyers." But her lack of pity or scorn seems to go over well enough with him. The rain is a pleasant alteration to the city. The garden, full of blushing flowers is only aided in its delicate frailty by the gentle grey of the rain. Summer roses drip with fresh water, and as they pass one rose bush of a soft, pink touched orange, Lorn reaches to pull one flower from the plant. He turns it quietly in his hand just until they pass the next shrine to the Maiden, where it left upon the altar without comment.

"Ah, but they look just enough like little dragons that they forget floating along with the current is not at all the same as riding the air to your own choosing." It at least explains the root of seahorse delusions, even though it's not even close to an attempt at excusing them. The quiet that settles afterward, however… it suits her. It suits them both, in a way. The rain continues to be a pleasant sensation against her skin, a background white noise while she watches her walking companion pluck his rose, twist it in his hand and then make his offering. It's not exactly difficult to piece together what that looks like, this single silent gesture on the heels of his simple confession, but Valaerys does not appear inclined to comment upon the obvious - at least not at this juncture. "Why Oldtown, my lord?" The question is at least preceded by an audible inhalation, enough of an aural clue that the silence is about to be broken to hopefully prevent startling anyone. "I imagine there would be more work to be done at Casterly Rock or more ample distractions in King's Landing… and yet you are here and not there."

It's not meant to be subtle, that offering. But it's a balm, in its way. Prayer only ever helped for so long, but he would take what he could get. And it seems he is perfectly content to walk quietly through the misty garden, watching small birds dodge heavy water drops and small puddles form around the edges of the paved paths, rippling water reflecting back the pastel palette of the garden. But that breath is enough to make him look back to the Princess upon his arm even before she speaks, an age in his eyes that isn't lived, but definitely felt. "I have spent a long time at the Rock." He answers, though his voice doesn't bear the same weight to it that his gaze does, "And King's Landing is… Busy. I've been away from a lot of the Court for awhile. Busy on the coast." Not untrue, the Ironborn were a headache for everyone with a coast, but not the only reason for his absence from the social circuit. "Oldtown seemed the easier place for reintroduction to a social life."

"I'd never been allowed anywhere but Dragonstone before this." It's a soft-spoken confession, though whether it's because she sees the old, broken down man inside his eyes or simply because it's the next bit of conversation to amuse her is hard to say. "Mother was not made to marry into the royal family. She is too sweet for it, too trusting. She never seemed to recover after birthing my brother and me and since Father would neither leave her nor risk her on the journey, he never went back to the Landing either." Despite, so it has been heavily rumored, many attempts to persuade him otherwise. "So while you have come for a reintroduction, my lord, we come lacking an introduction at all." There's a quirk to one side of her mouth, then, what might be the beginnings of a smile but for the moment appears only… satisfied, in some odd way. "It will be interesting to see, I think, which of us fares better in the endeavor."

"First introductions are often much easier than reintroductions." Lorn answers easily to that. Honestly? He rightly should have, but the Lannister heir could not keep up with the goings on of every branch of the Targaryen family tree. He could barely keep up with his own family tree. If there were rumors of Valaerys' father turning down invitation back to King's Landing, those were not ones he had heard. His aunt, though, she likely had. "Welcome, though, to Oldtown, and to life outside your birth home." He says then with a smile that almost surprisingly warm, "I hope the city treats you well."

In all fairness, there are a lot of Targaryen branches. Keeping track of them all would be… honestly a full-time job. "I appreciate the courtesy," she replies easily, though there is no such warmth behind her own polite smile. There is something off about this man and all his jagged edges and hollow centers. It makes him seem… frightening, in his own way, but rather than run from that, Valaerys only hums - a thoughtful, noncommittal noise to her own internal musings. "I am afraid that this is where I must leave you, my lord." Since their stroll has taken them finally near enough to her favorite among her handmaidens that she can no longer escape the rest of her responsibilities for the day. "I am certain there will be some function or other to introduce my brother and I into the local society proper, once the dust settles. The city will treat me how it wishes to be treated by me." It's so mildly spoken that the general, directionless threat in the statement is easy to miss. The Targaryen propensity for that special kind of arrogance is not entirely absent, it would seem. "But you at least are enjoyable. I must remember to look for you among the lions. Good day, Ser Lorn."

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