06.24.3013: Amber Tears
Summary: Sophie goes to visit Michael while he's recovering.
Date: 24 June 2013
Related: Amber and Wine <- Gives background to this meeting only.
Sophie Michael 

Barracks - Volkan
At the base of the Blackspyre are several floors of barracks, training facilities, armories, and cafeterias, all built to house the defenders of House Khournas in rough comfort. Soldiers are bunked in rooms each large enough to sleep 50, with lockers and desks alongside each bed. Deep within the barracks levels, close to the training areas, are communal bathhouses, some set aside for single-sex use and others open to members of both sexes. There, the soldiers and nobles of House Khournas can soak away the aches of a hard day's labor. The corridors are all narrow enough that two soldiers could hold them against a tide, except those leading from assembly areas to great doors that open to the exterior surface of Volkan, allowing the soldiers of House Khournas to march out already in formation if need be.
24 June 3013

Finally allowed to stand up, Michael is taking it slow. This is new for him, usually he'd be out running at this time. He has duties to attend to, and since Johana isn't overly happy with him right now, he's rather hoping to just do what he knows needs to be done and keep himself quiet. However, the fact that he can walk as little as he can, means that he's up and practicing his sword work. There are two dummies in a crude human form both mechanized to challenge him in a fight. He's faring rather well so far, though he's favoring his still well bandaged right leg.

Sophie comes striding in to the sounds of a blade banging against solid surfaces, Caedmon naturally right behind her. Her steps are hurried, the skirts of her dress flowing swiftly along her legs. She approaches the practicing man and arches a brow in wonder, "are you certain you should be doing that, Squire Michael? I heard you just recently were injured in a Hostile attack…" She sighs softly, "I wish I was there…" She shakes her head quickly of such jealous thoughts, "a-anyway, how are you holding up? What…well, what happened?"

One of the two dummies lands a solid blow into Michael's abdomen right as he's distracted by the sound of a young voice speaking at him. "Eurgh." he groans slightly at the hit. His own sword glancing uselessly off the other dummies'. "Pause sim." he says firmly enough that the dummies retract their arms and go still.

"What are you doing here?" he asks curtly, a slight glower to his eyes as he looks at Sophie. "I'll be fine. Just took a ribbon of steel to the leg and let it bounce around inside me while I slaughtered two Hostiles and helped slay an elite." he's not overly warm in his tone.

Sophie winces sympathetically when she watches a dummy smack Michael across the abdomen, though she blinks and looks up at Michael in surprise at the sudden tone of his voice, "I…I-I thought I would check in on you?" She notices the glower in his eyes, "I apologize if I distracted you from your training…" She licks her lips, before taking a couple steps closer, "that must have hurt. I tool a ribbon of steel to my own right leg. I am certain it will heal, my injury has all but faded away and I got hurt only a week past." She pauses, before uncertainly adding, "you…y-you must be proud to have defeated so many Hostiles. Was it your first fight with them?"

Michael nods stiffly, "I see." he says, then shuffles into a chair nearby. He regards Sophie for a moment, "I'm not upset about this." he pauses, "I could have very well lost my squiring because of you and this stupid folly you keep trying to impress onto others." he stops, looking up to Caedmon, then drops his gaze and looks Sophie right in the eyes. "You give up this plan. Not for any other reason than it is a bad one." with that he places his sword in his lap and begins to wipe it down with an oiled cloth.

Sophie just stares silently at Michael, lost for words as he makes his way towards the chair and begins wiping down his sword. After gathering the ability to speak once again, she replies uncertainly, furrowing her brow, "what do you mean, you could have lost your squiring because of me?" She frowns, "it is a perfectly fine plan and a reasonable mission, no folly at all…i-if you have any suggestions however, I would welcome the input…" She falls silent in order to lick her lips again and shift a couple feet closer, "i-indeed, I even recently received word from the librarians that they will collect some information from the archives which I requested. It should be sent to me within a week…"

Michael shakes his head, "Giving you advice, offering to teach you anything, even offering to assist, all not my place and all stupid ideas. I like you Lady Sophie, you're a nice person and you're a bit more eager than I am for life, but this plan was stupid to start will end badly. Sir Ellinor is already going to your parents, so me telling you to drop it is really just me trying to save you from that." he sighs, "I don't want to be angry with you, but you've got to learn that just because the plan makes sense, doesn't mean its a good plan." he finally looks at her again, attempting to find her gaze with his, "You need to listen to your sisters, especially Sir Ellinor. By being stubborn like this, you're only telling them you aren't ready to join the field. Give this plan up, instead show that you can follow orders and act like a squire. If anything shows you've grown up, it's admitting you're don't know the all of it."

Sophie shakes her head quickly, eyes wide, "b-but I want you to give me advice, teach me, and help me, Michael. They're not stupid ideas at all…" She whimpers softly, looking down at the ground, "Lyri intends to tell Mother and Father no matter what I say…" Of their own volition, her eyes begin to fill with tears, stepping right in front of Michael's chair. Hearing the warning to give up her plan, she whines out, "b-but…but what if the dream is ignored and…a-and the worst comes to pass? We have…h-have to do s-something…right?" She sighs softly, shaking her head, "we cannot just ignore the dangers of the dream…can we?"

Michael slides his sword into its sheath and sets it against the chair as he stands. He offers his arms in a hug. "Knowing there's the possibility, affords us the foreknowledge to prepare. Running into the danger headfirst is foolish and bound to get your hurt or killed." he pauses, "Our mission the other day, was to lure the Hostiles out of hiding so we could clear a section of a convoy route. Even then, a few of us including your sister, got hurt and we're all well trained with me being possibly the least experienced." he sighs, "Do you know why I was allowed to be there? Because I've shown, I've admitted, to not knowing what's next." if she'd taken his hug, he'll gently pat her back, "If you want to show them you're growing up and that you're becoming ready to be a part of this war, then you need to learn the first lesson taught to every page. Listen to orders without question, and do as you're told."

Uncertainly, obviously hesitating, Sophie eventually lets the man embrace her. The act elicits her tears to trickle down her cheeks, while Caedmon watches from afar with a very deep frown. Sophie listens to Michael's words all throughout, sniffling lightly when she replies, turning her head up to stare into his eyes, "then…you suggest I simply do nothing, now that I have told my sisters of the threat?" She purses her lips lightly in thought, while feeling the pat upon her back, "I don't…I d-don't know…I don't know anymore what to do…" She moves to rub one cheek with the base of her palm, "everyone is telling me not to go through with this plan. I…I don't know what to think anymore…"

Michael looks down into Sophie's eyes with warm and gentle care. "I suggest asking them for their opinions. Not telling them what you'll be doing. They have the experience in fighting a war that both of us lack. You aren't doing nothing, but relaying information to higher ups and allowing them to make decisions." he pauses and reaches around her to wipe a tear away with his thump from her cheek. "I know this feeling, I've felt it before when Sir Corbin passed away." he sighs softly, maintaining their eyelock, "Don't go through with it, instead face your sisters in humility and let them deal with it. Giving up this plan, is not giving up the future. It's opening the door to them eventually seeing in you a grown woman capable of joining them on the field." if she remains in his embrace, he'll give her a gentle reassuring squeeze before letting go. If not, he'll just let go and then sit back down.

Sophie gazes up into Michael's eyes, hearing every word he speaks and digesting it deeply. After a long moment of silence, she replies, "m-maybe…maybe you are right, Michael…" She sniffles softly, eyes lowering for only a moment. Just then, she feels a thumb slide along her soaked cheek, lids widening across a rising amber stare. She flushes gently, even smiling lightly, "someone else gave me a similar suggestion…to simply supply them with what I know, and let them consider how to act upon it…" She feels the man squeeze her in their embrace, before releasing her to stand. She rubs at her cheeks some more and slowly nods her head, sighing out softly, "I think I will do as you say. I will tell them what I know, and let them handle the consequences of either acting upon it or ignoring it…or…o-or at least try to…" She sniffles again, nodding even more firmly this time, "first, I wish to hear what the librarians say. Then I will make my decision, I think…"

Michael sighs softly when she adds that last part. "Give them that information too. It doesn't hurt offer your suggestions, but don't be unhappy when they're shot down. On the field, I might have my own ideas about how to best handle the situation… but if Sir Thalo tells me to do something I do it. No lip, no hesitation. The same goes for any knight who gives me an order." he pauses and looks over to Caedmon briefly and notes the extreme frown, but this time Michael doesn't seem to lose his confidence. Turning back to Sophie, "Right now, you're working against your sisters and that could lead into disaster for them as well as you. Work with them, and this dream could be thwarted by combined efforts. They have the knowledge of battle and strategy, you have the knowledge of this dream and whatever things are told to you by the librarians. Join forces and conquer, split and bicker and ultimately fail."

When Michael and Sophie part and upon hearing the words aimed at changing the royal's mind, Caedmon's frown very nearly disappears. Either way, Sophie bobs her head gently and rubs at her cheeks, "I will…I will tell them about my request to the librarian…" She sighs softly, taking Michael's hand and giving him a gentle squeeze before her hand falls back to her side, "thank you, Michael. I am glad to have listened to what you said. I am glad you are my friend."

Michael smiles, inwardly glad his words got through to her, and inwardly glad that being near her no longer drums up mixed confusion. "I am glad we are friends as well, and now that I'm working to patch the tear between myself and Lorelei. Perhaps it isn't so hard to think one day we'll all be able to just walk in the park together again." he smiles again, and then looks over and nods to Caedmon slightly, giving him a silent message. He looks down at his sword then, and lifts it up. "I do not know the proper ways to teach someone anything, and it wouldn't be good if I tried without knowing." he pauses and looks at Sophie, "I am happy that you came to see me, and the medics say a few more days and I'll be able to rejoin Sir Johana on patrols."

Caedmon carefully nods his head when the silent message is passed, just when Sophie smiles and replies, "though I know little about what happened between you and Lorelei, I am certain you will be able to heal whatever tear existed. You…you are very good at persuasion…" She giggles lightly, bobbing her head to the suggestion of a walk in the park, "that would be lovely, Michael. I can hardly wait. Perhaps I can speak with Lorelei. She seems friendly, and it would be nice to help a friend with their worries." She shakes her head pleasantly, "you do not need to teach me if you are uncomfortable with it. I am training with the Peake Irregulars and I have been going out on occasional Valen patrols." She slips a handkerchief from her pocket and dabs at the remainder of tears that decorate her cheeks, "Johana is a nice person. I'm so sorry for getting you in trouble with her. Maybe I might go on patrols with you both sometime…"

Michael smiles softly again, "I am sure Lorelei would like that too. Her poor horse Hubert just broke a leg, so she's a bit upset at the moment." he pauses, "It is good that you're learning, and perhaps if Sir Viannea knows you and can vouch for you, Sir Johana might agree. I've been hoping to have Sir Viannea come with me on patrols, she and I have been spending time together recently and it would be nice if she could." he nods slightly, "I look forward to any walking without a sword to support me." a rueful grin. If she plans to leave he'll say good bye, if she plans to stay he'll answer any questions she might have so long as they don't work against his efforts thus far.

Sophie blinks, "he broke a leg? That's terrible. I hope it heals well." She shakes her head, "I am certain it will heal well." She smiles, "I only met Viannea once, though I would be happy to go on patrols with you. I could protect you from afar, using my bow." She cants her head to the side, "if you know my sisters, do not let them believe I am not cut out for battle at all. If I wished, I have every confidence I could earn a permanent position as a scout, if my employment was purely based upon my skills." She hears a little beap and fishes something from her pockets. She giggles lightly at Michael's prospects while glancing down at the screen of a small device, "I imagine if you became a Knight, you would think differently about your sword." After a moment of silence, she pockets the device and looks up, smiling brightly, "I am expected at the Khournas residence. It was very nice to speak with you again." Hesitantly, her arms rise up and she gives Michael a quick hug, "if coincidence will have it, as I am sure it will, we shall see each other again soon. Otherwise, you are welcome to come to the Matthias Towers whenever you wish." At that, she begins to depart, though Caedmon almost imperceptibly sighs out a few simply words as he moves to follow his ward, "thank you."

Michael instinctively returned the quick hug, and then smiles just as she's about to leave. "I am sure we will, and it would be nice to see you again." he pauses, "Perhaps next time, Viannea will be with me and we can have another recital of poetry." he then nods slightly as Caedmon moves past him. "Good bye Lady Sophie, have a good day."

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