|Prayers and Wishes|
|Summary:||Anais has a few questions for Dmitry. He even has some answers that are not terrible jokes.|
|Date:||14 June 289|
|Related Logs:||Different Game Plans, other associated logs it's all arcy idk|
|Behind the Sept is a small garden that runs nearly to the edge of the cliffs that fall right down into the forthing sea more than two hundred feet below. The ground has been tilled and turned to help the soil produce a small amount of vegetables as well as fruit-producing shrubberies. Flowers have been encouraged to grow up trellises along the back and side walls of the Sept.|
|14 June 289|
Dmitry moves with a mild diffidence into the trellised garde, dark eyes flicking over and ahead towards the cliffs and then back toward the sept behind them in a kind of quiet, cataloguing way, stock taken of the once-familiar and near-strange. His courtesies quiet in tone as he follows Anais into the green outside, he says, "A moment for you, Lady Anais, or several, if you prefer. What is it?"
Anais laughs softly to the question, a rueful sound. "What isn't it?" she echoes in return, walking toward the edge of the cliff and stopping a short space away, where the sound of the surf can drown out the ambient noise. Turning back to the lord, she draws a breath, crossing her arms loosely over her chest. "I wanted to ask you about your part in that meeting with the Groves."
"Ah." Dmitry's smile lifts at one corner of his mouth, and then fades again to a more neutral mildness, curiosity reflected in his dark eyes with the slow tilt of his head to one side. "That's interesting; I should dearly like to return that question to you in turn. I certainly did not mean to drive the roses from your cheeks, my lady."
Anais raises one hand, a flick of her fingers dismissing the flattery. "Dmitry, the last few weeks have been very trying," she says wearily, pacing a quarter turn and turning back again, restless. "And I'm honestly not entirely sure the bandit kidnapping was the worst part of all of it. Which should tell you something about my current state of mind. Under whose direction did you undertake to begin negotiations with the Groveses?"
"My own," Dmitry says promptly, eyebrows swept up. "It is my personal judgment that it is unwise, at this point, to offend the Groves in matters of business, and that an alliance between House Groves and House Terrick is not less worthy a goal now than it was before they sold their grain to the Naylands. Now that the Groves are sitting on a cauldron's load of Nayland gold, too. Opening the conversation as to an alliance without offense to them over the Nayland cock in our — excuse me." Dmitry clears his throat and looks briefly up toward the sky, a faint squint of his eyes as he, apparently, struggles with himself over his desperate need to be inappropriate. "Anyways," he pretends not to have gone down that road, "Lady Lucienne as a match for the Groves heir has certainly come up before now, and Uncle did say he was not opposed to the idea, only the timing. So. I spoke with her, and then I spoke with the Groves, and there you are. Mind I'd steal Rosanna in a heartbeat if I thought I could get away with it. I'd prefer her as a pretty peach for Justin than sweet Roslyn, but he's gone and lost his head over her already, the poor sap."
"Lucienne would be a fine match for-" It seems Dmitry isn't the only one struggling to be appropriate, because Anais hauls herself short before she can finish that particular sentence, closing her eyes tightly. "Excuse me, please. What I was going to say is that as nice as it might be for Luci to marry Lord Stafford, we have nothing to offer as a dowry right now. Except for land. And while /you/ may be willing to part with it on her behalf, I'm not particularly interested in giving up lands that will rightfully belong to my son for her. And gods help me, I have a good deal of respect for Lady Rosanna, but the idea of living with her is terrifying," she shudders. "As for Justin…" She looks back to the sept, craning her neck a bit before continuing in a lower tone. "I don't think he's so much lost his head as trying to make the best of the situation."
"Really, I just want all my cousins married to women it is entertaining to flirt with," Dmitry confides to Anais, laying his hand over his heart with wide and wistful eyes. "Is that so much to ask?" He leaves aside this gambit, though, with the lift of both hands to show them to her, palms up. "I do not know what we have to offer the Groves, anymore, that we can afford to part with, nor what they have to offer us either except possibly enough gold to melt down into enough material for a gigantic statue." His smile quirks his mouth at one corner, distinctly wry. His sense of humor is terrible but at least he hasn't decided it should be a statue of a penis. Out loud. God, why does anyone let me have a keyboard. "My greatest goal in opening the conversation was to find out. I believe that after the Naylands snaked that grain from beneath us, we needed to make overtures to House Groves so as to prove that our friendship remains possible. If it turns out there is no arrangement that may beneficially be made for both houses that results in the marriage match, there is still value in having opened my hand in the first place."
"Mmmm," Anais hums, apparently unconvinced by some or all of this explanation. Finally, she turns toward the water once more, wrestling with some other thought. "Why," she says quietly, arms crossed loosely over her chest, "Didn't you speak with me about it beforehand?"
Rolling a shoulder in a partial shrug, Dmitry says, "Should I have?" He settles his weight back on his heels, rubbing a thoughtful hand along the line of his jaw, where the dark trace of his beard lends some bare shadow of the mature and manly to features inclined to boyish prettiness. "I can't say it occurred to me to mention it."
That more than anything else seems to land a blow on Anais, her shoulders sloping and head ducking. "Well," she murmurs. "I suppose that answers that." She stays there for a moment, letting it sink in, before she tries to school some steel back into her spine. "I know I'm new here, Dmitry. I know I'm…not Lady Evangeline. But this is my home now. My children will be Terricks of the Roost. I will be Lady Terrick. I- Don't you ever bring things to the lady of the keep?" she asks, brows furrowed with some confusion.
"Lady." Dmitry bows to Anais, then; it is a less theatric gesture than some, though he is inclined to physical drama. His voice has gone quiet as he shares what comes next, very nearly earnest, for all that it is not ordinarily an adjective to which he attaches himself. "I hardly even recall Lady Evangeline. I squired young, if you recall, and only returned to the Roost with a quiver full of squid stained arrows. It did not occur to me that matters had reached a stage where it was necessary to bring them to anyone at all. I spoke with Lady Lucienne because Uncle tasked her and Justin to negotiate with the Groves, and because it was her bloody match I intended to suggest; seemed only fair. Why does this trouble you so? I beg you, tell me, fairest Anais." His voice goes lighter, teasing warmth. "Shall I kneel? Would it look indecent to kneel to you before the sept?"
"Please stop." Anais moves to the low wall that guards the edge of the cliff from those who might trip or fall with a pained expression at his tease, leaning up against it. "I can't…I really can't handle being made fun of right now. I'm sorry, I usually…You're very funny, but I just can't right now." Quiet, she reaches up to rub a hand at her brow, as if doing so will keep the frown wrinkles from settling in. "This troubles me because this is supposed to be my house now, but I feel like I've been shut out and I can't trust anybody. Because I feel like if I let people start pushing me aside now, they'll never stop, and if I have to spend my whole life being ignored, I'll lose my mind within two years, so it won't be a very long life."
Dmitry purses his lips, giving her a considering look from beneath the dark veil of his eyelashes; he does not continue at play, but settles his weight back his heels and permits her the distance, drawing a long breath through his nose as he stands still behind her. "My lady," he says mildly, "if you feel you cannot trust anyone, think of that feeling as the beginning of wisdom. I know I do." His smile is very slight, though present at one corner of his mouth. "Everyone in the world has their own agenda. The trick comes in lining them up."
"Oh, it's not so much the knowing the agendas that's troubling me right now," Anais laughs, though there's little humor in the sound. "It's being able to do a damned thing about any of it." She thumps the side of her fist half-heartedly against the wall, then looks back to him. "What's your agenda, then? Aside from getting your cousins married to pretty women, that is."
Dmitry arches his eyebrows at her. "Oh, mine?" he says. "That's easy. My agenda is to be overlooked, and to smile about it." He smiles. It is a wide, bright smile, bright in his dark eyes. "For now." He blinks at her, ingenuous, and asks next: "What action do you need, that you lack? If you could do one damn thing, what would it be?"
"Just one?" Anais leans back on her hands, chewing at her lip as she tries to narrow down her options. "If it's just one, I'd have to feed the Roost," she admits. Even if she sounds a little regretful. "I'm supposed to get three wishes, though," she adds, a ghost of a smile tugging at one corner of her lips. "That's how these arrangements are supposed to work, I believe."
"Mm." Dmitry tilts his head in acknowledgment, lashes falling low over his eyes. "I am afraid just your one wish may overmatch this poor, defective genie," he tells her, blinking his eyes open. "At least for now. We shall eat pride and drink honor, like proper Terricks; perhaps Justin's knightly heart will feed the throngs, though. Two more wishes?"
"Don't you ever get tired of pride and honor?" Anais makes a face as she looks away again, picking at the lichen that grows on the tumbled stones. "Two more wishes," she echoes. "And do I make them practical? Or is that just another way of wasting wishes? Is there a more efficient way to state them, so that one can fix more than one problem? If I wished for Jacsen to be whole, would it make him love me? If I wished for him to love me, would it matter that he limped? If he loved me, would I need to wish away the other claims on his heart?" Flicking a piece of lichen from beneath her nail, she shakes her head. "I'm an idiot Dmitry."
"Are you?" Dmitry looks sympathetic. It is a good look for him, all soulful dark eyes and mobile mouth. "I don't know," he says lightly. "I know little of love; the bitch has never bitten me." What a way with words, Dmitry. "But hearts are silly, foolish organs, inclined to skip and flutter about, or to ache with unexpected breakage, or to fall and slosh about in one's stomach in the most unappealing way. But your mind is sharp, and steady, and built with the capacity both to remember and to reason. Hear her, instead, sweet Anais, and perhaps your husband shall do the same."
"I think I could be happy with listening to me," Anais agrees. "That would be nice." She pushes away from the wall then, brushing her hands off on her skirts. "Well. Since I actually get no wishes, I suppose I'll just be straightforward. I like you, Dmitry. I'd like to continue to like you, and maybe even to consider you someone I can trust in the future. So I'll ask only that you keep me apprised of things, should they happen to reach your overlooked ears."
Dmitry tilts his head slightly to one side, quiet for a thoughtful moment as he watches her. He says, "What things should you like to hear? I mean, as an example, may I assume you don't care that Ser Kittridge has invited me to his nameday hunting party?"
Anais quirks a brow, head tilting with some surprise. "That's very interesting, actually," she replies. "I like knowing things in general." Her smile flickers, and she steps away from the wall. "Anyhow. I'll make you a deal. You tell me things, and I will laugh at even your worst jokes. Publicly, even."
"I may hold you to that, my lady," Dmitry says, with the flash of a brighter smile. "Some of my jokes are absolutely appalling, though. I should warn you." Since she — clearly has no idea of that already.
Anais chuckles softly. "It's entirely possible that so is my sense of humor, Dmitry," she confides, winking as she starts back toward the sept. "If you'll excuse me, though, I should get back to making my wishes inside the sept where the gods can hear me."
"Indeed," Dmitry says, with the tip of his head in an acknowledging nod. "Wish well, Lady Anais. I am sure we will speak again. Particularly if I hear anything interesting." His smile slight, he tilts his head, and drifts after her, although he is probably not going to go pray for anything.