|A Harpy's Heart|
|Summary:||Roslyn gives Riordan a secret Nameday present, and the pair spend a quiet moment talking about the affairs of a Nayland's heart.|
|Related Logs:||Riordan/Danae stuff, and possible others|
|Riordan's Chambers - Fortress of the Sevens|
|Riordan's room within his childhood home. Bed, furnishings, and the sweet songs of the Mire coming from the open window. Plus good memories.|
|Thur May 31, 289|
It is only after plans are set and their father has gone on his way that Roslyn finds Riordan in his room, knocking warning but not waiting without. Instead, she steps inside with a smile, a velvet bag in hand with the drawstrings wrapped around her fingers. She does not bother with shutting the door, focusing on her brother quickly with a smile. "I thought I should bring by your nameday gift before we leave for Stonebridge," she explains for her presence.
Preparations are already underway for them to depart in the morning, and so Riordan is in his room, seeing to the readying of his own personal belongings. Or rather, his manservant Stanley is, while the Nayland scion himself is by the open window, listening to the sounds of the Mire and the smelling the scents drifting on the wind. At the knock, the servant dutifully went to go open the door, but stops when it opens and Riordan's sister enters. The Regent glances at his sister, a warm smile on his features, and he simply dismisses Stanley with a glance of his eyes. The retainer leaves, closing the door behind him, and then Riordan focuses on Roslyn. "Oh?" he asks, simply, though obviously pleased. After all, it's nice to get presents, especially from your favorite sibling. And after the 'present' that their father gave, namely the confirmation that he intends to marry the Regent to Isolde, well… he could use some cheering up.
Roslyn glances after the man for a moment, before her attention focuses back on Riordan with the brightening of a smile to her lips. She crosses the room before she says anything, drawing to the window as well to scan the length of the Mire viewable beneath it, leaning forward as if to draw in that scent. "I miss it, somewhat. It is much easier to be holed away here than I thought," she admits quietly, but she dismisses the thought with a quick shake of her head. The bag is held out to her brother with a smile.
"I know. During the Rebellion, I wanted nothing so much as to be out from behind these walls, with our father's blessing, preferably with Rutger and Rygar… but now, after Stonebridge…" Riordan smiles, wryly, wistfully. Then, he reaches out to take the offered present, pausing to take hold of his sister's hand with his free hand and offer a squeeze of gratitude. And then he proceeds to unwrap the gift, peering curiously inside the bag.
It is weighted, metal. When exposed to the light, it shines brass, the object fitting neatly into the cup of his hand. It is a Harpy, wings spread with her talons clutching an egg, that cover hinged to open. Inside is a miniature of the Lady Danae, captured in the metal but not painted upon it. There is no chain, no clasp for it to be worn. It is not meant to be displayed. Murmuring, Roslyn says, "You may replace her, if you ever wish to."
Riordan is silent for a long moment, first as he admires the craftsmanship, and even longer when he opens the thing and stares at the miniature held within. "There will never be a replacement for her," he says, very very softly, when he finally speaks. "Though given all that has happened between us, perhaps that is for the best." And even if he does not sound terribly convinced of his own words, he closes the egg, and replaces it in its bag. He then moves, across the room, opening up another gift of his - the lock box that Jocelyn gave him. The irony of putting Roslyn's gift inside a lock box with the etchings of Stonebridge is not lost on him, and the smile he has now is wry. But it is quickly replaced by one of genuine fondness, as he turns back to his sister, and takes her by the hands. "Thank you, Rosie," he says, simply.
"A harpy's heart must be as hard as its egg, no matter what it holds," Roslyn replies, a hint of humor in the alliteration and allusion as her fingers twine through her brother's and she smiles wryly. She adds, gently, "If there ever is. You cannot tell yet." A pause. "It is possible you will come to feel as much for the Lady Isolde."
"I am not sure our relationship will ever be anything but awkward, sister. Wife of our brother, and before that promised to the disgraced Terrick whose armor I now possess, and whom I assisted to bring to justice. More then that, it was Isolde that introduced Danae and I, and sought to see us matched…" Which is of course all the more telling for just how much Riordan feels for Danae, for he normally resists and rebels against being manipulated in such a manner. "But… perhaps you are right," he allows, if with not too much conviction. "If neither of our marriages hold happiness, at least our new homes will only be a short enough ride away. And even if they do." Riordan will never be totally parted for his sister, and their new spouses and families, should all these plans come to pass, will just learn to live with that.
"I will visit often, gods be damn anyone's wishes or any gossip that comes of it," Roslyn assures him wryly, tightening her fingers on his for a moment before she moves to draw away only to settle herself at a seat near the window. "If only we were smallfolk."
Having had enough disagreements lately to last him a lifetime, Riordan is relishing the closeness and easy conversation with his sister. So when she draws away to the window seat, he follows, wrapping an arm around her and pulling her close to him. "Being any kind of folk, noble or otherwise, carries problems. Though yes, sometimes I long for the freedoms that they must surely enjoy," he comments, quietly, a smile forming at the very thought.
"I would not be so old, then. They do not always marry as young," is reasoned quietly, Roslyn seeming thoughtful where she looks upon her home as she leans into that embrace carelessly. "And you could marry as you wished," she adds, softly pointing out the obvious.
"Mmm…" Riordan's sound is one of non-commital contentment, as he leans back against Roslyn, seeking comfort from the embrace. "I'm not even sure how it would have turned out, even that were the case. I was once so sure of her love for me. But each day that goes by since…" He trails off, letting the thought loose in the room, and just breaths in another sigh. "Love is more trouble then it is worth, I think," he says, though without much force, smiling wryly before adding, "Beside the love for one's sister, of course." Added with a light wink, glancing aside at said sister. Of course.
"How did that poem go? Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?" Roslyn reminds Riordan gently, shaking her head in a slow gesture of disagreement. "It is better that you had it, Riordan, than to spend so much time regretting it."
"I suppose," Riordan says. After a moment, he reaches into his shirt and doublet, drawing out what hangs next to his heart always, hung on his neck by a leather thong. It's a leather pouch, which has certainly seen better days, stained with something dark and blackish, and bearing a rip in one section that has been clumsily repaired with crude stitches. Toyish with the thing with his free hand, staring at it, he says, "They are good memories."
"I know," murmurs Roslyn, bumping lightly against her brother before falling into her own contemplative silence. She looks at nothing, however.
After awhile, Riordan puts Danae's token away, and simply lapses into silence pressed up against his sister. It's enough, for now.