03.25.3014: Apologies Long Overdue
Summary: Lyrienne and Declan run into each other in Arboren and have a conversation they probably should have had eight years ago
Date: 14 December 2013
Related: None
Declan Lyrienne 

The Gardens of Nora - Arborenin - The Spine
While these gardens act as the courtyard between the Heartwood and the Elder Seat, they have managed to obtain a peaceful ambiance despite all the foot traffic. There is a gently angled esplanade that leads up from the Heartwood, interrupted here and there by short segments of stairs. When it reaches the main promenade of the gardens, it flattens out and continues to provide a pathway directly toward the grand doors of the Elder Seat.

Flanking either side of the esplanade are parcels of well-kept garden that are divided by smaller pathways that lead off from the main esplanade. These parcels vary between thick carpets of moss and forest flowers to clusters of wild roses to a very small orchard of fruit trees that bear red apples and pale peaches in the summer. Natives and visitors alike are encouraged to wander throughout the Gardens of Nora — named for the first High Lady of Arborenin, the daughter to Hugh Arboren — but there are also Arborenin guards who equally frequent the area.

March 25, 3013

Declan sits at a bench it a small grove that lies down one of the side paths out from the Gardens of Nora. In front of him is a railing from which he is able to look down for the tier the Gardens rest at and then the tier below it that make up the city. The afternoon light grows a bit dimmer as the high tree canopies begin to cast their shadows over this part of the city. Declan is garbed in his traditional somewhat casual clothing of a leather jerkin bearing the emblem of his house, a green surcoat underneath, and dark boots that have clearly seen better days. Behind him stand three guards from his personal retinue, rangers by the look of their synthe-leather armor and bows strung over their shoulders.
The Young Lord of the Arborenin inhales deepy, his eyes flutter closed as he trains his sense of smell, learning to recognize each little scent that is buried within the air he breathes.

"You're doing it wrong." The voice is a familiar one, soft and gentle, with a delicate undertone of humor to it. And not the first time it's said that, either. Lyrienne steps slowly down the path, moving carefully through the greenery. Well into the seventh month of pregnancy - with twins no less - she's definitely getting to the ungainly point, though she manages with as much grace as she can. "If you're trying to meditate, that is," she adds as she comes closer, offering a warm smile and a nod to the guards. There's even one she greets by name. Lyrienne may have been gone from Arboren for years, but she remembers its people.

Immediately, Declan's eyes go wide as he recognizes the voice. His back stiffens and shoulders become rigid as the words merely tumble from his lips, "Holy Six…" He slowly turns towards the voice, his head first turning then his chest, the his waist…it was as though his muscles were acting with hesistation to the brain's commands. He does not smile, his face is one of shock. Never we he suspect to find Lyri coming back here…though she might have spent part of their childhood here…and during their games of hide and seek this bench he sits on now was often the "base". This part of the garden had once been a special place for the two of them…prehaps she wanted to see it again.
One of the guards, who clearly know his charge's past reaction immediate and moved to block Lyri's path. This movement triggers Declan to jerk upwards to his feet. "Geoffrey, it's fine…" Declan says and the ranger-guard halted….hesistently…then turned away. "You men are dismissed", the Young Lord said and waved his hand dismissively. The guards bowed and departed, each of them glaring at Lyrienne as they passed.

Lyrienne's chin rises ever so slightly at the glares, her smile unfalteringly warm. They may hurt, but it's far from the first time she's weathered those looks. Or worse. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you," she says quietly as the guards move away, stepping up to the railing and setting her hands carefully onto it. "I've just been…Things are a little strange right now. And I've been studying. And I know that all things are connected, even on the Ring, but sometimes it just helps to be a little closer to the earth when I need to focus, so I thought I'd come here for a little bit."

Declan looks at her, eyeing her pregnant form warily as though she fearful she might actually have a bomb up her frock. He still does not speak directly to her; he merely, watches her cross over to the railing. Seeing her pregnant was like rubbing a salt in a wound that only started to heal. His chest hurt as he thought about how she would have looked like this for Cedric only a few months after her….well there was no other word for it than…betrayal. Declan grimaces as he bites his tongue…finally after eight years he ia alone with Lyrienne. Should he yell at her like he always fantasized about. Declan finally speaks up, his voice calculating, "And…to get closer to the earth…you choose this city?"

"It was my home, too, Declan." Lyrienne's voice is soft, and though it lacks the undercurrent of rage he has, it has instead an old, heavy weight of sorrow. She runs her hand along the railing, letting out a slow breath. "And besides, my mentors are here. Most of the Awakened on the Ring are…a bit different." She quiet for a long moment, looking out over the forest before she speaks again, voice low. "I didn't realize you'd be here. If anyone, I was hoping for a chance to run into Brienne. With all the rumors lately, I though she might appreciate a chance to talk to someone who's been through it."

Declan snorts at this, not bothering to mask his typically restrained emotions, "At least she still has some honor. After all she did /lay/ with any of the men she was rumored to be around." He returns to sitting in his bench and turns his head down to look at Lyri's feet….not really focused on anything specifically…though after moment he closes his eyes and controls his breathing. He felt like someone had turned his heart inside out….he was ashamed to feel any of this…he had thought with certainty that these negative feelings were gone…after all he was with Ariana now…why should he still care.
His left eye twitches slighty and his speaks up, though he voice is a slightly uneven in tone, "Yesss…it was your home…and you were my….my….family." He hissed the word 'family' as though unable to believe he just said that.

Lyrienne turns back to face him, brows furrowing slightly as she watches him. It's been a long time since they were actually alone together. Or spoke, even. And while most of Haven knows Lyri as a motherly figure, as someone who has a smile and a kind word for anyone, he's know her long enough to know the anger that can spark beneath the surface. Anger that it seems she's spent some time coming to terms with. Still moving carefully, she steps over to join him on the bench, folding her hands in her lap. "I loved you, Declan," she says quietly, voice gentle. "You were my first love. And I will always hold you in my heart. I'm sorry I never came before now. I thought…For a long time, I thought it would hurt less if I just left you alone."

"It will always hurt…the trick is to find something that distracts you. The downside is that when you see something that reminds you of the person you are trying to forget…it cripples you for about a day or two," He raises a finger as though to a make a point, moreso to himself, "One must be constantly on the guard and make sure there is nothing that mind trigger a memory of the one I lost." He hangs his head for a few seconds then shakes it, utterly disgusted by himself as plump tears drop from his eyes upon his lap. He balls up a fist and pounds it into his thigh as he says, "You see…you were my first love too…and…I don't think I ever stopped loving Lyri…my Lyri that is…the Lyri that was here with me. But she is gone…dead. That Lyri is dead…died when she was pure and faithful…died when she only thought of me. I did not treat her right…" He looks up at Lyri, his eyes rapidly turning red. He looks at her face to find the innocent younger girl he loved underneath, but he saw only Lyrienne as she is, "I did not treat you right…I'm sorry…"
He looks down into Lyrienne's lap and reaches out to take one hand. "I remember this hand", he says hesistantly…longingly. He releases her hand and pulls his back on his own lap.

"Declan, honey." Lyrienne reaches for his hand after he pulls it back, taking it in her own and reaching up with the other to brush the tear from his cheek with one thumb. She may not be the girl she was, but there's still something of that girl beneath the surface. Some things are brighter, some are deeper, but she's still there. "It wasn't anything you did or didn't do. Not really." She takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "Janelle put it in my head that you'd been fooling around with Rhiannon. I was young, and I was stupid, and I was afraid that I wasn't good enough for the only person I'd ever loved. So I blew up at you, and I ran off, and I did something stupid. Just once. But our actions have consequences, Declan. Gods know, they have consequences."

Declan blinked away he last tear and looked up suddenly. He stammered a bit as he said, "Wha…what? J-Janelle? The fucking princess Janelle!?!?!" Though at the tug of her hand on his causes him to melt unable to think clearly…but listening to her last words he shrugs a bit and says, "The conseqenuces don't seem quite so bad for you…look at yourself, you're happy…you have a family that loves you…you-you-you have a husband that loves you….you are gods damn married and have children", he snorts again, "I am here…alone….my family hates me because of the role I will eventually be forced to play as their leader, I have to schedule meetings just to see mother, I rarely ever see Lady Ariana…I have no kids…no…no…no….intimacy with another human being!" He leaps to his feet and mocks and laugh by saying sarcastically, "You seem to have reaped all the rewards I would have wanted for myself…maybe I should end my betrothal to Ariana by find a noblewoman right now and impregnating her…hopefully the conseqenuces of that will be so severe that I will end up with a wife and children and an adoring family in no time!"

Lyrienne looks decidedly unimpressed by the drama, crossing her arms so that they rest over her stomach and arching a brow at him. "I've also been a virtual exile from the place I call home and the people I call my family for the last eight years," she points out, dry. "I'm looked at askance still by most of the older nobility. Aunt Aelewen-" She stops, looking away with a deep breath. "I ran into her at Talayla's birthday party and she wouldn't even acknowledge I existed. It is not all perfect, Declan. Nothing is. But I won't say I haven't made the best of the situation. Your family does not resent you. Your mother is the same as she's always been, and you know it. And if you do something stupid in a fit of pique, I will go on H.N.N. and tell them about the time you dropped that bee hive on your own head. Stop sulking, Declan," she says firmly. "You are better than that."

Declan grins at Lyrienne, as he remembers the beehive incident, but the smile quickly disappears as it reminds him of the old Lyrienne…the one that he always had to pretend to himself that that version of Lyri was dead. Its hurts…not as bad as though pissed off bees, but it still hurt pretty bad.
Declan takes a seat on the bench and says, "Speak to Keanen, the boy loathes me…two days ago, he seemed to go into what I thought was some sort of…fit…he came at me, the powers of the Awakened in his fists…and he was saying he would kill me. So, all in all…not the greatest bunch of siblings. The others seem to support Keanen's right to risk losing control of his Awakened powers and killing all of us in the process." He sighs, "They don't understand I cannot act in their interest anymore…now I have to act in the interests of my people as well…and if Keanen is a threat to the public then he needs to be deterred."

"Why would Keanen be a threat to the public?" Lyrienne quirks a brow curiously, sticking to the part of the conversation she might actually be able to help with. Maybe. "Aside from the danger of being exposed to truly dreadful pick up lines, of course." Her brows furrow, a flicker of concern in her features. "And what do you mean by losing control of his Awakened powers?"

"It was at his birthday party and a few minutes after I arrive he threatened me…he lost control…he hands became like fire as did his eyes. He was…not himself. He was worse…and he left the Elder Seat in that state. I know…that…" He falls extremely quiet and says, "I fear he might be addicted to something…I have no way of knowing…but something has been into him for about half a year. Brienne and Tristan say that he is only like that around me…so…I fear I have wronged him. Let me think…it would have been last August…that was when mother agreed to the betrothal with Ariana and myself. I dont't remember anything else of import hanging then…"

"Aside from a late Awakening, we don't really lose control of our powers, Declan," Lyrienne says reassuringly, shaking her head. "We can make all sorts of flashy lights, and we can do all sorts of damage on purpose, but we don't generally lose control of what we're doing. That isn't how it works." She reaches up to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear, considering. "Keanen's probably just being a teenage boy. Didn't he get into a fight with Nitrim recently, too? There's two people who don't need to be spending time together."

Declan shrugs, "All I saw was him essential making himself up to be like a bomb. But I will not bow to his attempts at intimidation if he was in fact in total control…then he did those things intentionally. That is even worse him…it means there will have to be conseqenuces…and there need to be conseqenuces for that fight too." He sighs and shakes his head, "I saw him as a threat to everyone in that moment and shielded Brie and Tris because I literally thought Keanen would explode. But….but…if all of this anger directed at me by him…why…I have made no major decisions recently that might effect him…"

"Because he's a teenage boy, Declan." There's a touch of rueful humor to Lyrienne's voice, one that doesn't make light of the situation so much as make…normal of it. "And maybe you're right, maybe he's getting into some things that he shouldn't be. More of the young nobles of Haven have been playing around with red eye or AMP than ought to be. And if that's the case, then it's something that can be fixed. But you can't let his problems become your problems, Declan. You do what you have to do. You do what's right. And what's right for him, and right for Arboren. But you can't let it tear you up like this."

Declan looks at her, clearly unconvinced at first but slowly she starts to become more sensible and he looks up at her with baleful eyes devoid of the energy and happiness of the youth she would remember him from. He lowers his voice so only Lyri could possibly hear him. He lays a hand on her arm and whispers, "It's not too late, Lyri…come home…" Yes, he sees she is pregnant…but he simple feels like he must ask if only to finally extinguish the burning star he has always had in his mind…the glowing light of hope that one day…one day she might come back.

Lyrienne reaches up to cup a hand to his cheek, tipping her chin up to press a gentle kiss to his brow. "I will always love you, Declan," she murmurs. "But it was too late eight years ago. I love Cedric." Her voice lowers further as she leans back, smile softening. "I love my children. And though I may hate to admit it, because I hate to see you alone like this, I love the freedom that I never would have had here. My music…" He would know how much she loved her music. No matter how dutifully she set it aside in favor of responsibility, she always wanted more from it. "It can't be what it was going to be, Declan."

He leans his cheek against her hand, bending his head to kiss her palm. His eyes are dry now and he nods at her, finally smiling. "I understand…we had our time together, though it was breif, I suppose that time is gone and would come back." He sighs before musing, "Odd how humans yearn for the future but then we also want to preserve all we can at the same time. It makes no sense." He gets to his feet and bends forward to kiss Lyri one last time. "I envy you, Lyrienne.

—-" He smiles at her again and states she has the honors of guestright and states she is free to stay as long as she wishes.

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