|Summary:||Kerrigan, Nedra and Aeliana have brunch and a few gos at each other.|
|Private Solar, Braeburn House|
|It's a solar. Derp.|
|Nov 16, 289|
It is too late for breakfast, and too early for lunch, when Kerrigan finally joins the rest of the world and drags himself from his bed. BRUNCH IT IS. Thus, it is a sleepy, hungover Kerrigan that makes his way into the solar, his messy curls a deceptive-looking halo atop his head. He seems to be in search of food. Grumble, grumble goes his belly.
Aeliana looks like she hasn't slept very well either, thank you Kerrigan. But at least she's put herself to rights. Her hair is well, it's a mess, it's always going to be a mess. But the dress is clean and straight and as she always does when she's upset and needs to think, she's tucked into a corner, the scattered light meal forgotten with…knitting in her lap. Busy hands help her think. Kerri gets a brooding look, mostly because she wonders who's bed he's been in. Knit, knit, knit.
Nedra is well aware that Morning People are universally hated and, as result, she is careful to keep her penchant for rising at or just before dawn to herself (chiefly to avoid being lynched or something equally comically amusing), but she was able to slip out for a early morning ride. By the time she returns, the sun is full in the morning sky, and with a quick change out of her riding habit she heads for the Solar to find Aeliana and makes a silent promise to herself not to babble like a loon at all of the wonderful places she could set up her easel and paint to her hearts content.
Kerrigan gives a vaguely amused smirk in response to Aeliana's brooding look. He might be half-asleep, still, but his mood certainly seems to have improved since their last meeting. "Lady Nedra," he says, turning to greet the other lady. "Or should I say, Lady Inspiration? You are a sight for sore eyes. Is it too much to hope that you remember a poor knight?" He reaches forward to pluck an apple from a bowl on the table.
In her corner, Aeliana's rolling her eyes over Kerrigan's overly theatric greeting and there's a muttered curse when she impales her finger to the tip of needle point. At least it's enough to make her realize that what she's knitting looks like a rope that could very well and easily end up a noose. Now who is she going to give that waste of thread too? "Good morning, Lady Nedra, please, if you can wade through the…," bullshit would be rude to say, wouldn't it? "Molassas that's so suddenly thick in the room, to have a seat you'll have to tell me how you enjoyed your ride."
"Ser Confident, I believe, is the name that I decided suited you best, if I recall," Nedra replies in turn, amusement shading her tone of voice to match the smile upon her face. "However, I'm not sure that the sight of inspiration or fate would do your eyes any good, perhaps a cold cloth soaked in witch hazel," she advises with a small shake of her head as she snags a apple from the same bowl that Kerrigan plucked from, gives it a light toss into the air, deftly catches it and continues to where Aeliana is seated. "Good morning Ae," she says as she walks over to Ae and takes a seat, "and it was lovely. Just absolutely lovely," then stops, see? she managed not to babble.
"Speaking of the atmosphere," Kerrigan says, conversationally, in an apparent comment on Aeliana's statement about molasses, "is it just me, or is it suddenly chilly in here?" Then, he grins over at Nedra. "I will have to try that," he gives a small bow in her direction. "I have been called many things. I'm sure Lady Aeliana could give you some ideas. But, from your lips, anything would sound wonderful." He grins, inspects his apple, then takes a bite from it.
Now Ae knows who she wants to stab with her needles. But damned if she doesn't have just a lovely pretty little smile on her face. Sweet as pie. "Perhaps tis the fresh morning air that's swept in from the outdoors upon Nedra's bootheels," the lady suggests on a tease flashing the pair of them a smile. Those needles safely laid flat in her lap and away from itchy fingers for the moment, but a whole three inches. "But I told you it was beautiful, didn't I. That's the thing I love most about it here, I think. The beauty that's left with the country and way they've left their forests unmolested. And as for you," those dark eyes leveled off in Kerrigan's direction, "I spent half an evening singing nothing but your praises to Nedra, so chew on that, before you decide just what I'll lable you. Though after last night, I'm sure I could think of a few more to add to the list." SMILE. Oh god, it was so fake.
"Careful," Kerrigan can't help but quip in reply to Aeliana's smile, "your face looks like it's going to break." He glances over at Nedra. "Is it true, my lady? Has she been singing my praises?"
Nedra casts a slow glance from Kerrigan to Aeliana and back, her fingertips fairly itching to do some work of her own - chiefly sketch the expression on Ae's face and the one on Kerrigan's face, what a study in lines and shadows it would make. "I can't speak to the weather," her attention shifting toward Kerrigan, "but if you keep praising me I may have to start reading lists just to test that theory," she offers with a hint of a smile that continues to look amused. Her attention shifts back to Ae, blue-grey eyes widening ever so subtly, "The forests are lovely, yes," she agrees, "and I could spend all day doing nothing but sketches," she admits, still studying Ae's expression, and that smile, before glancing back to Kerrigan again. What ever she sees, or hears, only tugs at her curiosity and she moves the chair ever so slightly so that she can see BOTH of them at the same time. Intriguing.
"Break?" Aeliana replies to Kerrigan, an intrigued little note to her tone, "Now see, I would have expected something like…frozen, like ice, perhaps."
"I suppose if you wanted to get into the details of it," Kerrigan claims a chair, stretching out his legs comfortably, "ice is brittle, and when put under stress, breaks. Are you stressed, my lady? Did you sleep well?" He is all concern. He eyes his half-eaten apple. "How does the saying go? I can't remember. Don't put too fine a point on your wit, for fear it should be blunted?"
Nedra tosses the apple lightly from hand to hand, "It is true," she interjects, "the praise singing was quite splendid, she set it to a lovely tune, there was dancing, and a bit of choreography." The small knife that she carries at her belt is used to start peeling the skin off of the apple in a long curling strip. "But water is the most powerful thing in all nature," is added, "give water long enough and it will wear away at the strongest rocks. Give water time it will freeze, expand, evaporate, all over again and again until it changes the shape of the world itself. Respect water," said with a touch of a smile aimed at Aeliana.
"I slept just as well as a newborn babe, Ser Kerrigan," Aeliana is perfectly civil in her reply and has to, as the knight approaches, move her knitting from her lap to the basket at her side lest she become too tempted. Of course, anyone who's had a newborn knows they don't sleep at all but rather flail restless and discontented. "You, my friend," a smile is given in Nedra's direction, "Are entirely too kind. But I /am/," see, she's not putting too much weight behind anything Kerrigan says, right? "Very very glad that you've enjoyed the forests. There's this little stream near the very heart of it, with this tree," a wistful sigh is given. "Later today, yes? I ran out of time yesterday." Guess who's not invited.
"How poetic of you, Lady Nedra," Kerrigan says, so pleasant, in the midst of all this below-the-surface verbal sparring. "I imagine the world must seem very different through your eyes; but you are an artist, yes? I should like to see some of your work, sometime. Maybe I'll gain some new perspective." His gaze settles on Aeliana again, "Didn't you say you were to paint Lady Aeliana? What a breathtaking subject." This is, perhaps, a compliment offered up in some sort of apology. He's a man. He doesn't do ACTUAL apologies.
"Nonsense, it's not about being kind, it's all about lacking the focus to stay good and mad or mean for long enough to make it worth the effort," Nedra counters with a quick glimpse of a grin before she nods, "later today sounds perfect." The last of the apple is peeled, carefully shaping the peel into one long strip as she gives a small shrug of her shoulders to Kerrigan. "I honestly can't imagine seeing the world without picturing what I would paint, what colors I would use, how I would frame it, everything. I wonder how everyone else doesn't see the same thing, to be fair. And if you'd like, I'd be happy to show you the pieces that I brought with that I'm still working on. And," back to Ae with another grin, "she is, indeed, and I've promised not to do some stuffy stern study."
"No you are," Aeliana replies and there's a measure of softness there, when speaking in regards to her companion. "You are sweet and lovely and a champion of things that perhaps ought not be championed," like her, "But wonderful to be around never-the-less." It's given with a smile too, one that's remarkably sincere and perhaps with a tiny touch of envy. The latter is quickly gone of course and even the smile is threatened at the sound of that 'compliment'. "My Lord makes himself a liar, even as he speaks, for you never seem to be short of breath at all," flows tongue-and-cheek response but her eyes stay soft, which is the telling part and surprisingly, so does her smile. "But yes," she slants a grin at Nedra, "She's promised that if I must sit through a painting that at least I could pick the location and the scenery." Though if she's supposed to keep a single expression, it's probably best Kerrigan's no where near for the sketching.
Kerrigan dissolves into genuine laughter. "That was a good one," he allows, at the way Aeliana has turned his words back at him. "It's true that I'm rarely at a loss for words, though you seem to be doing your best to rob me of them. Lady Nedra, it is a good thing you've come to stay, or you can see that Lady Aeliana and I would tear each other to shreds."
"Thank you," Nedra says quietly with a smile shared with Aeliana, "and I would wish to be half as clever and half as smart and witty and kind as you are," she admits in return. Another thoughtful look is sent between Kerrigan and Aeliana, "I would never make a painting of that you hate, I promise. And.." a brief pause as she considers her words before continuing with, "we hurt those that we care for the most because we know every soft spot, every string to tug, every step to trip over. However, if tearing each other to shreds is desired, I'd be happy to act as a referee," she offers. "You'll have to agree on a set of rules, of course, no weapons, no hitting, etc.," and if there's a gleam of impish humor in her eyes.. well it's just part for the course.
Aeliana smiles in Nedra's direction, though the sound of Kerri's laughter earned her grin. And for his compliment, this one of which she took genuinely, a faint bow of her head was offered to conced the point. But she does attempt to look innocent when tearing each other to… "I do not care about him the most!" Amazing, she sounded like a petulant five year old just then. Cough. Ahem. "Which is to say," fumble fumble, -almost- stretch out that well known but clearly uponspoken rule for the amount of silence allowed between comebacks, "We're not going to be having a go at each other." Prim, nose turned up insufferable propriety for the win.
"She's just saying that because she doesn't want to agree not to hit me," Kerrigan says, aside to Nedra. "Do you see how I am abused? Like I said, it is a good thing you've come, or I would certainly fear to even sleep in my own bed." Not that he does much of that as-is. "I like to think of betrothals as something like a gauntlet," he adds, cheerfully. "If you survive, you get to be married at the end."
"Of course," Nedra remarks in a tone of voice that conveys exactly what it should, which is to say 'amusement' accompanied by a host of other things, but stick with amusement, it's the thing she's least likely to get smacked for. She takes a moment to give Kerrigan the look that his words begged for, a sweeping glance from head to toe, before she says: "You look like you're strong enough to stand to it, you are, after all, Ser Confident, what's a few hits from such a delicate creature as our Aeliana?" she challenges, the hint of a grin forming on her face before his words make her shake her head firmly in rebuttal. "I'd swap the word 'gauntlet' for 'trial by fire' and 'get to' with the words 'have to'."
"That's not t…," the lady was willing to argue with Kerrigan, at least that far, at which point Aeliana bit her tongue and promptly shut up. Because she realized how it sounded. There's a list in her head that she's going over, one that helps somber her right up, until she's poised enough to reclaim her knitting. And she is remarkably involved in it, rather than the conversation, which has tiptoed back around to betrothals.
"A beautiful woman such as Aeliana," Kerrigan says, glancing back towards Nedra, "or yourself surely knows how to bring a man to his knees, delicate or not. And, well. I didn't say that you 'won' by getting married, per se. It is a complicated business, I'm sure."
"I've found that the most effective way to bring a man to his knees, my lord, is to trod firmly on the toes of his boots and accidentally shove my elbow into someplace inconvenient," Nedra replies with a glimpse of another impish smile. "I normally save such delicate things for crowded common rooms and overly friendly patrons," said after she finishes off the apple she'd cut into segments before dusting her hands together lightly. "Complicated, I quite agree, and a sport best participated in as a observer and a guest to the wedding and resulting feast and dancing."
At Nedra's example, Aeliana can't help but laugh, however softly as she as those needles work in against themselves and a rope becomes turned around, with a new row lining up to turn it into the beginnings of a scarf. There is absolutely nothing subtle about the way she changes topics. "I heard this morning that there was a child gone missing here," and lookit what a tone she sets with it too, "Though I can't remember if it's been found yet or not. Have either of you heard?"
"Lady Nedra, I do believe you'd better be careful," Kerrigan says, offhandedly, "because that sounds almost like a challenge to my ears. Inconvenient elbows, indeed." He flashes a grin in her direction, amused. He picks up on the topic change, however, his brow then furrows in thought. "I hadn't heard that," he answers with a mild sort of concern.
"I haven't heard, no," Nedra replies with a slow shake of her head, "though I did hear some talk about it in the stables," she says quietly. "It sounds as though the child is still missing, at least so from earlier today." She tilts her head slightly and aims another look at Kerrigan, quietly amused, "Inconvenient elbows," she repeats in turn before turning back to Aeliana, the worried gleam in her eyes again. "I had heard it's more than one child though, and not from here, I mean, other places."
"To be fair I generally take everything Ray says with a grain of salt and…don't listen." Oh, was that handmaid in the room? Yes. Tucked into her own little corner, and from the looks of things, sleeping in her chair. Figures. "I hadn't realized there was any truth to the rumor." There, she's found her center again. That decidedly too girly feminine edge stomped back down where it ought to be. "Strange they'd start disappearing all at once though."
"Very strange," Kerrigan agrees. He seems, well. Distracted. Rising to his feet, he stretches his arms out. "I hope you both enjoy the forest when you go," he says, apparently about to take his leave. "Do be careful. Have the kitchens prepare a basket or something to take with you."
"It's one thing to hear a rumor from one source, but to hear versions of the same thing from one holding to another, that tends to make me less skeptical," Nedra admits but she does nod slowly, "it is strange. I would imagine that parents of young children are worried, with good reason." She glances up at Kerrigan stands and gives him a smile to accompany a nod, "We'll be careful," said in a perfectly calm and reasonable tone of voice, "after all, I'm sure between Ae's guards and mine, we're more than adequately protected. And, of course, if push comes to shove we can always throw food to distract any would be assailant."
"What we have between us, Nedra," Aeliana grins, despite her attempt to retreat towards composed, "Is more than most Lords keep in a lance. Her guards, mine and between us and not counting us, four women. I daresay that we could probably take a camp of bandits if we wanted," which came with the threat of laughter in her tone. "Oh I hadn't heard there'd been talk from elsewhere." She'd had other things on her mind. But they didn't stop her from casting a worried glance in Kerrigan's direction for his own distracted look. "Is everything alright, Kerri?" Er. "Ser Kerrigan."
"Everything's fine," Kerrigan assures Aeliana, stealing another apple for the road. "I've just remembered that I have some very important business to attend to." Yeah, right. Kerrigan wouldn't know 'very important business' if it punched him in the face. And it has. "See you both later!"
"And it helps that we aren't surrounded by shrieking women who are shrinking violets," Nedra interjects with a grin that's just a wee bit fierce. "And I quite agree, I'll just bet we can," she says firmly, calmly confident in her ability to throw food and kick. "Have a good morning, Ser Kerrigan."
Kerrigan leaves. Or flees, seeing as the women present as so fierce!