|Set Her Aside|
|Summary:||Lucienne gives a drugged-up Jacsen some advice. Can you guess what it is?|
|Related Logs:||Like A Woman|
|Lady Lucienne's Chambers - Four Eagles Tower|
|Home of the Wincest Burger.|
|Wed Jun 13, 289|
How much Milk of the Poppy does it take to dull the pain of a disastrous marital explosion? Jacsen seems determined to find that answer. He barges his way into Lucienne's room without so much as a warning or a knock, stumbling all over himself, strung out more than he's ever looked since he started the drug. His hair is sweaty and matted to his head, his eyes half-closed and unfocused, an empty grin plastered on his face. "Luci," he says, his eyes not quite focusing on her.
Thank goodness she's seen off her guests, though her handmaid remains, clearing away the notions of a tea party. Half-drunk cups of tea and even a half eaten cookie is lumped onto the tray, but as Jacsen stumbles in, both girls freeze and look toward the door. Lucienne blinks, surprised by her (mis)fortune today, and shares a look with Celine; the girl knows well that now is the time to scurry out and snick the door closed behind her. "My love," Luci greets, also aware of the sensitive situation. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"
The handmaiden isn't even registered in Jacsen's mind - she may as well be invisible to him. "My lovely Luci," he says, overenunciating the words. The already-large smile growing even bigger, he tries to make it across to her only to catch his cane and stumble, sending him pitching forward toward the floor by her bed. None of that seems to really register either, and he stays a collapsed mess on the ground, laughing. "What am I doing here?" he asks through the laughter. Here, on the floor or here, in her room?
Of course her initial reaction is to jump to his rescue, but what else is there to do but join in that laughter once Jacsen is down? Lucienne crosses her chambers from the hearth to her brother's side, and instead of offering a hand up sinks down to the floor beside him. "I just asked you the same question," she points out, black silk skirts swirling around her. She pauses, studying him a moment longer before enquiring, "What brought this on?"
Jacsen crawl-drags himself closer to Lucienne and lays his head in her lap, rubbing his cheek against the fabric of her clothes before he closes his eyes and settles in. "My wife hates me," he murmurs, the word 'wife' spoken like an expletive. "She thinks I'm not a man." His breathing slows, comforted by her warmth and presence. "But I'll show her. I'll put a bastard into every whore in the Riverlands if she doubts my manliness."
Lucienne can't help but to let go of another chuckle, this one a little more skeptical. She threads her fingers through the lengths of Jacsen's hair comfortingly, voice pitched accordingly as she says: "I'm sure she doesn't hate you." Fingernails of some length scratch with applied pressure to his scalp, and Luci frowns concernedly. "She said that? She blames you for the lack of children?"
"She said that… that if I was a man, we'd have an heir," Jacsen says. He sinks further into her lap at her touch with a deep sigh. "That she'll find someone else to… do it." Opening his eyes, he casts a hazy gaze up in her general direction. "She's wrong though, Luci." His words are slow and drawn-out, given his doped-up state. "Probably… probably taking moon tea and waiting until I die. I'm just the place…holder."
Her nails dig sharply at pressure points toward the base of his skull as Luci ruminates. "You don't think she's serious, do you?" Less than impressed with this revelation, she informs her brother after a long moment's thought, "I hope you threatened to set her aside for her insolence, my love. You need no more proof than her lack of child, you know."
Jacsen's head slowly folds back as a dull shadow of a pain emanates from where Luci's nails dig into his neck. "If she is, I'll see her ruined," he says in a vicious, albeit slurred, whisper. "She says… she says the Nayland never touched her, but I don't believe her." He tries to reach back to move her hand away from his neck, but he can't quite manage the movement. "Doesn't matter. I don't need her… to tell me what I'm not. I know what I am."
Perhaps she's aware of the discomfort she's causing, perhaps not, but in any instance it is not long before Jacsen finds relief and Lucienne returns to scratching more lightly at his crown. "I don't think there is anything I could tell you that wouldn't sound biased," she admits, annoyed. "You know there's no love lost between your lady wife and I. But how can you trust her now, if she would threaten you so? All she needs is a tall man, dark hair, strong lines… Seven know there's no shortage of Riverlanders to fit that description."
Jacsen relaxes again when she releases her hold, turning in her lap to look up at her. "Don't care about her," he murmurs, an unsteady hand weaving up toward her cheek. And missing completely, though he doesn't seem to know or care - he just closes his eyes again. "Only care about you. I love you." A faint smile steals back onto his face, and the hand flops back down on the ground beside him. "She knows… you offered me poppy… for the seal," he murmurs, sounding like he's falling asleep. "Didn't tell her… she knows."
"And I, you," Lucienne assures her brother, running her hands gently over his scalp and down to his cheeks. His sleepy words see her frowning only deeper, and she shifts her hands to dig her nails sharply into his shoulders. Wake up! "I offered you poppy to see things done," she corrects, still peevish in tone. "You will recall, or perhaps you won't in your delirium, that I did not take it."
The sensation of her digging her nails into his his shoulder is dulled, but Jacsen still responds to it nonetheless, emitting a short, low moan before opening his eyes again. "I know… you'd never take it," he responds, stroking her knee idly with a hand that gets progressively slower as his consciousness starts to droop again. "You wanted… what was best. You always want what's best." His eyelids start to droop again, though he fights to keep them open. "She knows… about us. She might. I think."
"I've proven myself time and time over," insists Lucienne in irritation. She slaps at Jacsen's cheek, harder than necessary but not enough to leave a mark. "She does not," says the Terrick girl firmly. "And you had best hope I'm right again, in this. Are you even… you're not coherent. Sit up. Sit up now."
The slap leaves Jacsen blinking but not fully awake, and he looks completely dazed and confused. "But she said, she said she knew I'd been seeing… someone else," he says, touching his cheek where she slapped him. He pushes hard on his cheek a couple times, obviously can't feel anything, and gives himself a good couple slaps too. Nope. "Comfortable," he complains, not wanting to get up from her lap. His safe zone.
"Avinashi," says Lucienne. "Celine. Any of the kitchen girls. Don't you dare, don't you dare give me away, you bumbling idiot," she snaps, words no doubt stinging far more than a slap. Said in haste, she is quick to soothe, bending down awkwardly to press a kiss to Jacsen's sweaty brow. "Forgive me, my love. But listen… can you listen?"
"No… no," Jacsen replies quickly, urgency in his voice - the desire to please, to do away with her doubt and disappointment. "I didn't. I wouldn't. Never." He looks up at her with desperate eyes, unable to bear the thought of Luci being mad at him right now, not with everything that's happened with Anais. "I'm listening. Tell me."
"I want you to think carefully," begins Lucienne, speaking slow and deliberately, "About setting her aside. She troubles you so, and stirs nasty rumours, and it seems she can't even provide you with heirs. Just think on it." Gentle hands stroke at Jacsen's cheek, and Luci smiles, her expression full of that adoration her brother so loves. "Jarod will be at the Sept reopening," she tells him. "And the Haighs might prove useful yet. But let us get you to bed now, hmm? Nice, soft bed, where you can sleep all this off."
Jacsen might be listening. And thinking carefully. He is trying to keep still and focus his eyes on her face, but Gods only know what's actually registering in his mind and what's leaking out the other ear. "Jarod?" he echoes, locking in to that name. "But he left me. Like Jaremy. Ran away with… with that Nayland." If 'wife' was spoken as an expletive, 'Nayland' carries with it all the snarling force of a crushing curse. But the thought of a nice soft bed placates him. "Wanted her to stay," he murmurs, trying to drag himself up to Luci's bed and failing miserably. "I thought… she could have been…" Almost there… almost there…
Lucienne lifts her chin, calling toward the door at volume: "Celine!" She continues to stroke Jacsen's cheek even as he moves, twisting another sympathetic look down to him. "He did," she agrees. "He's awful. I told him as much. You should too - this evening. Now shhh," she instructs, as the handmaid re-enters. "Fetch some guards, my brother needs to be seen to his room." There's no attempt made from Lulu to help Jacsen right himself. "She could have," she says wearily. "But she's not. Just think about it, my love."
Jacsen doesn't make it up to the bed by the time the guards arrive. He's 'helped' away back to his room, though he casts a dazed and forlorn look back to Lucienne as he goes. "I don't want to see him," he says quietly, perhaps too quietly to be heard. "I don't want to go back to that room." Two statements both stemming from the same insecurity, brought together in one drug-tastic afternoon.