|United With Family|
|Summary:||Nikolus Groves returns to Kingsgrove and has a welcome home chat with his sister Dyonne Groves.|
|Date:||2/12/2012 (OOC Date)|
|Guestroom, Braeburn House|
Word was sent ahead, some weeks ago that Nikolus would finally return to Braeburn House after so many years had passed. Travel took months, a journey only those with the lust for exploration could appreciate the risks of the road. Nikolus had aged since his last step foot on the lands of his family's dwellings. His skin was olive now, an even tan from far too much time spent beneath the sun. His old boyhood quarters were given to another and until living space was reorganized he took up temporary residence in the guest quarters. One of the servants should have been unpacking his things however this task Nikolus assumed for himself. He was crouched down before a large wooden trunk, laden with copper trim, which was filled with various cloth wrapped items. A mysterious collection.
Dyonne had not been allowed to put her life on hold when the news had come, which, of course was a pity, because she missed his arrival. It was simply one of those things; appearances were important, especially if one held the family's reputation in esteem. And yet, Dyonne picked up her skirts and urged Ginny, her handmaid along at a pace that might have surprised some. Ladies, as a rule, did not run through the halls, and in compromise, Dyonne was taking the back corridors, and all but dragging her brunette companion behind her. The other girl was shooed away at the last stretch (The door was in sight, how much trouble could she really get herself into within the space of three feet?), and Dyonne smoothed her skirts, and her hair, before making her careful way to one particular door in the guest quarters. Her knock was soft; demure. It was also rather excited.
"Enter!" Nikolus permitted, still carefully removing a few items from the trunk and separating them into small collections on either the right or left side of his kneeling form. Whatever they were their transport was precious and the form beneath the binding's of cloth gave no hint for their nature. The owner knew which was which, bound by twine and lacking labels any sort. Nikky rose onto his booted feet, doublet removed and garbed in dark pants and a simple white shirt that welcomed the warm moist air.
Dyonne hesitated for just a moment, before pushing the door open, blonde head peeking in through the crack. Upon spotting him, the door is pushed open further; Lady Dyonne is a composed young woman, but amongst family she wears her emotions on her sleeve. Her face lights up like a cloud passing away from the sun; blonde hair rustles as she steps farther into the room. "Oh Nik. Hello." Her tone is warm. Affectionate, even if the smile that curves her face is demure and controlled. She can't quite keep the sunshine out of that expression though. "It is so lovely to see you. I'm sorry I wasn't there when you arrived. No one informed me." Ginny was in so much trouble.
He was half expecting the arrival of his mother and her doting curiosity of his travels and how well fed he appeared. There were no expectation of fanfare however, Nikolus was still settling in, surveying through the stalemate of his family's history and some minor changes on the surface. His siblings were the most noticeable of all, Dyonne received a wide eyed look followed by the lowering of his eyebrows. "Dyonne?" A woman? From a mere child, scrawny and slender to… "Seven Hells you grew." Nikky was foolish to believe she would still look all of twelve with all the ambitions of a proper noblewoman in practice. A few steps closer had removed the gap between them as there was no proper formality between family. At least not with him. Nikolus instantly went for a bear hug of an embrace, lifting the girl from the floor should it be allowed.
Dyonne 's smile grows brighter at his surprise, and his statement; she laughs softly. "Yes, well, I think that all of that is over now." She says wryly, because she's quite the small woman, especially when compared to her taller brothers. The hug surprises, her, and she squeaks a little bit, but doesn't seem upset, even if her trailing feet make her feel like quite the child. She returns the hug after a moment, a smile in her tone. "You, on the other hand, are just as giant as I remember." She comments, and when he finally sets her down, she takes a moment to rearrange her skirts. Gowns are a hellish bother that she would wish on few political enemies. "Has mother been to see you yet? I know she was eager to see you, and Hallianne has talked of little else." This brings an indulgent smile to her face. Everyone treasures the youngest daughter.
Nikolus reeked of the summer scents and salt air from traveling by sea and land. Following the aggressive greeting Dyonne was gently set back to the ground where her comment had caused the birth of an impish grin. "And yet I was the runt." Smaller of the family it seemed among the males of tall stature, Nikolus moved for the door to close it behind Dyonne's entry. "Go on, sit." He encourages, gesturing everywhere and anywhere within these smaller quarters. A pair of chairs were vacant, as was the bed for seating options. "Yes, Mother has in all her tearful glory." He chuckles lightly while directing his path for the table where his wine cup awaited him. "I sent Hallianne to return to her studies. She and I will have all the time the world for stories."
Dyonne graciously seats herself in one of the chairs, back straight as a rod, hair draped just so. At this point, it is second nature; ladies are meant to be poised and pleasing, after all. She smoothes the mint green of her skirt gently, and smiles. "She misses her boys so." Comments the blonde mildly, though to be sure their mother has no shortage of affection for all of her children. Dyonne hides her fingers in her sleeves, glancing around hid quarters absently. She's rarely been in the visitor's wing, after all, so busy is she kept with her studies. "She has such an adventurer's heart." The blonde says with another fond smile. It has just a touch of sadness to it; to be sure, Dyonne herself was a child that had loved the outdoors, but duty calls to each and every one. "HAVE you brought back any amazing tales for your sister? I will be married someday soon, and so I must live vicariously through you." She jokes. Sort of.
Nikolus rested one hand atop of his hip while drinking from the cup and eyes meeting those of his kin. Between the thirst for beverage he answered. "That much is apparent." Again he drinks. "I might…" a teasing tone in his voice. "Though I wouldn't bore you with such tales of liberal practices and lawlessness of Planky Town." Nikky takes a few steps forward, occupying the other seat and poised quite the opposite. Leaning back in his chair, legs spread like some untrained commoner. "Marriage you say? Who dares to intrigue my sister's eyes?"
Dyonne 's muddy green eyes are hardly her most appealing feature, but they dance with amusement. "You're such a terrible cad, teasing your poor sister." She says, mock offended for the moment. Even lawlessness is better than drudgery, surely, even if Dyonne herself has little to do with the actual drudging. She may not have to scrub floors, but privately, she often wonders if that might not be preferable to embroidery. She scoffs in a manner that manages to be ladylike and still convey her dismissal. "I doubt very much that my eyes shall ever be intrigued. But you know it would be a disgrace to keep me around much longer." She says with a smile. "If Father isn't careful he'll have a spinster on his hands."
"I am terrible." Nikolus fully accepts with a small smile as he set the cup down to the table. "I wouldn't worry too much about rushing into a marriage Dyonne." He starts, nudging the cup of Dornish Sweetwine towards her as a silent offering. "When our house stands taller, our coffers a bit more fuller than they are, the marriage prospects will come rushing in, regardless of your age. For you are beautiful, you're a woman, and you have everything any rational man desires." Straight to the point with no flowering of his words.
Dyonne accepts the wine after a moment, and takes a sip, a smile crinkling her eyes. "You're not terrible. Although I have no idea why you aren't married yet." Her voice takes on the tone of concerned younger sister. She only wants what's best for him, and is clearly willing to meddle for the greater good. Another sip. A tiny one. "I don't want to embarrass father and mother." It is a mild statement, but one that has shaped her actions since she was about 7 years old. "You say so, but no one wants an old wife! It would be terrible if father had to support me for the rest of my life." she mumbles, and then shakes her head. "But that's unpleasant. Tell me instead about your adventures." She demands much as she must have in youth.
"I'm biding my time Dyonne. I'll not be married until I am fat, grey, and balding with some young tart to birth me sons." A terrifying thought for all young woman. Maybe he was terrible? "If you become a spinster, I'll support you though of course you may not be able to step out into the public eye." He winks, obviously a jest. "My adventures." He laid an arm across the table, idly drumming his fingers silently upon the wooden surface. "Some would call it survival. Mother and father gave me not a single penny on my depature."
Dyonne nearly chokes on her wine, but it's from the giggle that dribbles out of her mouth like a liquid thing. "Of course. I wouldn't want to ruin your chances with a young tart." She offers sagely, dabbing at the corner of her lips with a handkerchief conveniently stowed in one of her sleeves. There is a duck embroidered on it, inexplicably. Her expression wilts slightly at his statement; that cloud passes back over the sun. "I know, Nik." She says softly, reaching out with small, gentle fingers to pat at his hand before pulling away again; ever the demure young lady.
Nikky tilts his head a touch, "Do not feel sorry for what we cannot change Dyonne." He answers reassuringly. "I am not and neither are they." He'd explain but that was another story, for another night of drinking. "I enjoyed my travels both the good and bad. Some men are not so lucky but Baryl was quite the luck bringer."
"You say that, but…it is certainly easier said than done, brother." She says, although there's no reproach in her tone. It's simply impossible not to feel a little bit sorry. Another night indeed. "Baryl?" She asks, taking another sip of wine, expression intensely curious.
"Then as a favor to me hmm?" He states while watching his sibling take favor in the distant wine brought. "Ah, Ser Baryl. We met over a broken nose as I was blacked out for the night. I needed to pay for my room and my card partner was disapproving of his loosing hands. He took out his disapproval on my face and being the honor bound man Baryl is, he interceded. He needed money I in turn needed a capable sword hand." Nikolus makes a gesture with his chin for the window, "He's here, tucked at one of the Inns."
Dyonne makes a noncommital noise, but seems willing to let the subject drop. At this point, she's mostly holding that wine; it would not do for a lady to start showing signs of intoxication. Her expression turns briefly alarmed at her brother's description, but quickly smooths over after a moment of concentration. "I see." She says neutrally, setting down her chalice and letting her hands fall into her lap. "Well it was certainly good fortune that he did." She says, sounding mostly approving, although her brow quirks a little bit when he informs the girl of his hired-sword's whereabouts. "He…did not wish to stay by your side?" the question is artfully neutral.
"Very good fortune." Nikolus agreed before pressing himself to rise and cross the quarters for that chest he was digging through earlier. "He is not sworn to me as my shadow Dyonne. The man may go where he wishes." Spoken of as a friend than a servant. "Besides, he's pitiful at holding a conversation." One of the wrapped cloth bundles was plucked from the ground and carried over to Dyonne. It was now in offering.
Dyonne blushes slightly. "I did not mean to…I did not mean to make light of the situation. I only wondered." She explains, because the thought that he might think she thought so little of the people around them was clearly mortifying if one were to go by the look on her face. "Oh? Well then he and Ginny would get along." She says wryly, a wistful look crossing her features. Ginny was a lovely girl, but about as bright as a box full of hair. She blinks in surprise at the offered bundle, and gently takes it in her hands. Unwrapping it is an activity that takes moments. Her fingers run gently over the top of the box. "It's lovely." says she, pressing at the lid. It proves obstinate.
A shoulder shrugged, dismissing the concern as he gained no offense. "They might, though he may be clueless as to what to do with her." Nikolus smirked, returning to seat and now that she gave up his wine cup, he quickly reclaimed it to refill the contents with a sweet vintage. "Mmhm… having trouble?"
"Is he meant to do something in particular with her?" Asks the blond woman absently. There are puzzles to be solved; she's hardly even considered what exactly it is that he's said or the implications. Finally she detects it. Her visage brightens happily. "Ahah!" She says under her breath, sliding the panels at the bottom to the side. The lid clicks, and she pushes it back with thin fingers, expression pleased. Dyonne, for all of her dedication to her duties, is intellectually starved.
"What man and woman do naturally." He returns absently over the rim of his cup and still minded that when it comes to the ways of the world, the women here in the Seven Kingdoms were best kept shielded from carnal knowledge. But victory is upon her when solving the riddle of the box. "Congratulations." Nikolus declares. "Even proper ladies are afforded their secrets."
"Eh?" She asks, looking sort of confused for a moment, which is natural, because for the last several moments her world had consisted of a puzzle that desperately needed solving. And then it clicks. Well sort of, she doesn't know the specifics, and even what she does know is rather…hazy and guessed at from overhearing inappropriate conversations between menfolk too far into their cups. But she knows enough to be embarrassed. The blush starts at her chest, and travels up her neck like conquering ironmen. It's such an intense color change from her usually pale skin that it is just a shade less than medically fascinating. She manages to be polite nonetheless. "I don't think that Ginny does that sort of thing." She says, sliding the lid of her lovely box closed, and then pushing the panels back into place. "It's lovely. I shall cherish it."
Amusement curled in the corner of his mouth. Remembering those years when innocence was an awkward phase. An all too short phase for men. "Every woman may do that sort of thing, if the will is weak enough." He responds honestly. "Never forget that Dyonne." Another drink from the wine and he decided upon keeping this cup, not willing to claim responsibility for enabling his younger sibling. "Good. They are very common among the noblewomen in Dorne. Children too. Some more complicated and larger than that one there." The puzzle box is indicated from his pointing cup. "Each one is made different, never the same… so they say."
The expression on Dyonne's face is far away and startled. Like she would rather be discussing literally anything else. "Of course." She says dutifully, because he is offering her advice, and it would be rude to neglect her manners just because she is horrified. "It is very lovely. And so clever. I wonder how it is that they make it work." She says aloud, picking the box up carefully to surreptitiously peer beneath it. The underside offers nothing in the way of edification; its secrets are no clearer for her investigation. "Did you meet many Dornish noblewomen?"
"It is a mystery. A complete wonder. The craftsmen share no secrets." No matter how much wine and women he offered. Though relaxing in his chair Nikolus keeps his good eye trained upon his sister, inspecting the box. "I did." He starts. "People say it is the sun that makes them hotheaded." A faint chuckle follows the words.
Dyonne nods her head, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "I suppose they wouldn't." She offers ruefully, although it's clear that her curiosity still remains. Alas, she is doomed for disappointment on this front. Those muddy green eyes flick over to her brother, and the smile that falls across her features is good naturedly amused. "Indeed? Perhaps mother ought not to let Hallianne outside, if that's the case." She jokes, curling her fingers around the edge of the box and drawing it further into her lap as if indeed, it is something precious. "Thank you for the gift." She says sincerely, thumb stroking the polished wood. And then she blinks, as if something has just occurred to her. "Is Dorne quite a bit like home?"
Nikolus smiled, "She is still a handfull I imagine?" Recalling the firey antics of their youngest sibling, the one desiring all the attention unknowingly. "You are welcome Dyonne." His tone is earnest. "No, very unlike home and very unlike the Westlands. There are some small similarities here and there such as…" He glances around himself, "Noble castes… honor… challenges of prowess." Nikolus is drinking from his cup again with a hand turned outward, palm facing the sky. "Consider this is all you know of the world; the arts of etiquette, the structures of high born and low born, the enforced rules of our noble society and those beneath us. Consider the secretive world we nourish, the desires we silence and the knowledge we covet." Then Nikolus turns his palm upsidedown, "Dorne is everything you know turned upside down."
Dyonne offers an indulgent smile. Everyone loves Hallianne. "Not as rowdy as she used to be. Her lessons, and the expectations of her class chafe a little, though." She says, settling both hands decisively on her box. She listens to his description with an intense curiosity and a voracious gaze; she is not Hallianne, and her age has allowed her to become resigned to her lot in life. That doesn't mean that she's above living vicariously through her elder sibling. "Perhaps the sun has done them some good after all." She says quietly. As if even thinking it is improper.
"I can imagine." The desire for wandering must be in the family blood. "Perhaps.." Nikolus muses while biding his tongue for now. Setting down his cup, the man's rejuvenated mirth returned, "I reek of the sea and now you're soiled with my foulness." He jerks a head for the door, "Go on now, I'll see you during the evening meal."
Dyonne blinks, surprised for just a moment, but her eyes lower, and she nods. "Yes, of course. I'm sorry, I didn't even think." She says, offering a smile, and rising. She smooths the mint fabric of her skirt, and takes her box in oh so gentle hands. She pads toward the door, skirts swishing, and one small hand moves to open the latch, but she pauses after a moment. "I really am glad that you've come home, Nik. Even if it's only for a while." She offers, before pulling up the latch, and peeking her head out. "Ginny, dear." She calls, and the brunette startles, and scuttles over from where she'd been conversing with an amused guard. Dyonne waits until Ginny is close, before offering a smile over one shoulder.
Nikolus smiled fondly as Dyonne rose to depart. "For as long as necessary." He states which could still mean any given time. He keeps his gaze latched upon her exit until she entirely disappears from view, permitting his solitude once again.
Dyonne closes the door behind her quietly, and turns to Ginny, offering a smile. "Well. It's almost time for the evening meal. I suppose we should prepare." Says the blonde, offering her arm to her companion, who takes it. The two girls bustle down the hall toward the family wing.