07.18.3013: Ashen Hearts
Summary: In the wake of all current news and rumors, Flint and Devon a moment to vent, talk, and consider an odd proposal.
Date: 18 July 2013
Related: D-4, Nitrim/Soleil marriage, Flint/Anabethe rumors
Devon Flint 

Flint's Apartment
Flint's apartment in the Red House on Ignis. It's pretty awesome. No, really.
07 July 3013

Flint has had a bad week. And he's shut himself in his apartment in the Red House. Likely only coming out to beat the hell out of Nitrim for training. Which has been often enough to see him in public. And he hasn't exactly been kind on his squire, making him do a lot more than that's been required, sparring with him himself, and putting the young Khournas through the ringer. At about the point where he would collapse was the point that the Ash Knight relented, telling him to go get a soak, eat, and then sleep and get ready for more tomorrow. But not sparring. Tomorrow is running. All day. Outside of the Pit, in a exo suit. A weighted one.

Devon has retreated into almost Flint-like behavior. She has tended to whatever was required of her day to day before retreating herself into her own apartments — an apartment she had once shared with Zayne. It is only after the fifth day of this does she finally go visit her husband's Uncle. She taps softly at his door, refusing to use the chime mechanism. She waits, hands in the pockets of what can only be described as sweatpants. Her hair is drawn back into a simple, natural-colored braid. Her eyes are heavy with dark rings, which suggest her sleeplessness.

At about the third knock, Flint gets out of his chair. "I swear to the Crone, Nitrim, if that's you trying to talk some this out, there ain't shit worth talking about." he mutters coming to the door, pressing a button on his panel. The screen flickers to life, giving an image of Devon and his countenance softens slightly before opening. "Devon." he sighs, looking like there was once anger on his face but having since been flushed out at the sight of her and not someone else. "Come in."

Devon arches up her pale brows at the shouting, though her countenance is smooth the moment the door opens. She offers him an idle smirk. "Never been so relieved to see me, have you?" She asks in a dry note as she steps inside. She does not remove her hands from her pockets, fingers idly picking at the lint lining the interior. She looks over the familiar room before she turns slowly to face Flint. "How have you been?" She asks, feigning some sense of conversationalism.

Letting her inside, Flint presses the button to shut the hatch behind her, giving Devon a snort. "Don't patronize me, Devon." he waves a hand. "I'm fairly certain you know exactly how I've been. I swear, as much as I like and respect the Khournas, some of them can be a fucking pain in the ass. If it's not Nitrim marrying that Sauvuer for Crone knows -what- reason, well beyond the political, it's old man Khournas getting his goddamn panties in a twist about me and Anabethe spending the night together." Beat, then he looks at her, moving for the frige in the kitchen part of the main room. "Oh, I know you knew. Everyone knows." Two beers are set on the counter of the breakfast island, one getting slid to her. "I'll be damned if I get shunted off to swearing to the royals just finish his squring."

No matter how masterful Devon is at hiding her emotions, mention of Nitrim and his recent betrothal causes a touch of pain to be evident in those glass-colored eyes. She fists her hands deeper into her pockets, shoulders rolling forward just a touch. She does look up at the news of Flint and Anabethe spending a night together, and she smirks a bit. "I thought you were a self-determined bachelor, Uncle? Changing your mind?" Then she steps forward to take the offered beer. She sags — heavily — into her elbows after she cracks open the bottle on the counter edge. She looks at the bottle for a long moment before she takes a swallow. "Flint…" She says softly, thumbing against the glass of the bottle. "I was going to ask Marah to arrange a match between myself and Nitrim." Bomb, dropped.

Another snort from Flint. "It was one night. We'd both been flirty, we thought we'd have a good time. That was it. Nothing more, nothing less, but of course, people are going to fucking talk. It's what everyone does. Fucking talk. And they're reading way too much into something that isn't there. We're friends, we respect and admire each for our friendship and our mutual skill." However, he can't hide his jaw setting. "If anyone would be able to change my mind, it'd be Anabethe, but I doubt she has an interest in it." He's in the midst of drinking from his bottle when that bomb explodes. There's a hard swallow, like it was ground glass instead of liquid. "You were going to -what-? I don't think heard that, I had a bit of crazy in my ear." She has his full attention. "Marriage? With Nitrim? Don't tell me you two…" he shakes his head. "You did, didn't you." His anger doesn't really seem directed at her. No, it's being emitted elsewhere.

"We did," Devon half-whispers as she locks her gaze on the brown bottle of beer. She thumbs her digits across the glass again, taking a long time to finally look up to meet his familiar eyes. She slumps a bit at his words. "I was… I don't know… I wanted to feel something again. I was guilty at first, and I think he suspected I didn't want anything to do with him, and then… I thought we were making progress." She finally takes another swallow of beer, letting it settle into her empty belly. "It has been a long time since I felt connected to someone… I thought if Marah would marry me to anyone it would be to a Khourni."

Hard, calloused finger rap against the countertop as he listens. And here was thinking that he couldn't get any more into a bad mood. "I told him." he starts. "I told him there were no secrets between him and I. You lay your life open bare to the Legion. And he kept something like this from him. Didn't even have have the -fucking- courage to tell me that he slept with the young woman who I consider one of my closest friends? He'll be damn lucky if he survives his goddamn squiring. Thinks he has it bad now, he'll be praying to the Mother to be a soft Sauvuer bed."

Devon shakes her head a bit, slumping down into the bottle once more. She is silent for a moment, nursing on the dark brew, and then she rolls her shoulders. "I'm sure that his soon-to-be Lady Wife doesn't know. Nor does she need to." She lifts her eyes toward him, pointing at him with the bottle's neck. Then she shakes her head. "I do not want to be a widow forever, Flint… but to allow Marah to marry me off means I would leave Ignis. I had thought that Nitrim would nearly solve those problems. But… I am now told that Nitrim has been engaged with Soleil for some time."

It's a rare sight to see fear in Flint's face, but you pick out bits of it if one looks hard enough. There's a bit of spite and bitterness, and it's likely that does debate telling Soleil exactly what Devon told him. Because in his eyes, Devon has been more than a hostage of Grantham. She's one of them. Grantham. Legion. A sister in battle to him. "I know you don't." he finally says, his neice able to suck the wind out of his angry sails. "Now do I want you to be alone forever? Of course not. You know I always wanted you to be happy. But you'll excuse me if I don't jump for joy at the idea of you leaving Ignis." In an effort to maybe break both of their bad mood, the Ash Knight chuckles lowly with a joke. "Could always marry me just so you don't have to leave."

Devon lifts her glass-colored gaze toward Flint at that, and her lips quirk with dry amusement. "I would not torture you with such a proposition, Sir… though if I manage to reach thirty and still unwed, perhaps we can re-enter these negotiations." She shakes her head a bit, clicking a nail against the glass. "Though we can take marrying into the Royal House off the list… I'd like at least an ocean between myself and the happy couple." Her own bitterness is evident, and she draws another deep swallow from the bottle. "Maybe I'll join the Chantry… wed myself to the Sage, become one of the priests that look after the Grantham dead."

"I'd do it." Flint suddenly blurts out. "Devon, you know I wouldn't ever want to see you miserable. Not after what you've been through. Ignis is your home, and it always be. You are a child of fire and ash just like I am." He takes a long pull from his bottle. "I wouldn't even do it with Anabethe, at least, not with a lot drink and a lot of time. I know you. I trust you. And hell, I've always cared about you. I know I'm old an all…" he doesn't deny for a man in early forties, and it just ends in a shrug. "I wouldn't do it for anyone, but for you, I'd do it gladly for you, my bachelor reputation be damned." Listening to her other options, he nods at the last one. "That's also a respectable choice and I wouldn't think down on choosing something like that. Shit, Devon, you're my best friend. And I say that as someone who doesn't have a lot of them to begin with."

Devon blinks, lowering her bottle from her lips before she can take another drink. She is quiet for a heartbeat, digesting the fact that he stands before her, quite serious. "I don't know what to say, Flint… you have looked after me with such care, I don't doubt you would continue to do so until the day you died." She does offer him a soft smile, a bit of light touching her eyes. "I always thought I was your only friend," she teases him gently. She shakes her head. "I couldn't join the Chantry," she says finally. "But, I would consider marrying you."

"I just couldn't stand seeing you leave." Flint says after a moment. "This is your home. I know your soul, it burns for this place. I know it's not unknown for Granthams to leave Ignis, because have to make the smallest concessions to keep the other houses thinking we actually give a damn about politics. Marah's job is harder than it seems. Being political to stay neutral, I don't envy her sometimes, if she asks I help sometimes." He was raised to be running things afterall. He takes another long pull from his beer, before coming around to face her. "I won't lie to you, Devon. We both know I may not see the end of this war and well, hell, I'm already starting my mid-life. But I promise I'd be good to you. Well, y'know. Shit, I'm not good at this. I won't ask for your response right this second, but if this keeps you in Ignis, keeps you here, I'll do it." Another laugh. "Yeah, I managed to expand a little, but you've always been the closest. You've always tended to know what I'm thinking even before I do."

"I know the difficulty of Marah's job… I was being trained for it. Zayne was a Knight, to the end… quite like his Uncle," Devon says as she casts Flint a fond smile. "I was going to be the one that kept the House together." She laughs before she finishes off the beer. Abandoning the bottle she steps toward him, reaching to gently touch his forearm. "Let me think on it. I wouldn't want to make a decision because I'm woeful and broken hearted." She shakes her head a bit. "Though, I might ask if I can beat the shit out of your squire." She smirks. Whether it be the bottle of rather heavy ale or her own exhaustion — or both mixed — she seems a touch warmed with her bottle empty.

The topics of love and children are not even touched upon in this conversation, that's something that neither of them really need to talk about. "I always got on with family, but you were always different. I couldn't say how, but you always seemed more Grantham than full-blooded ones." He lays a hand over her's. "Take all the time you need. I know…this is a lot to take in one particular moment, and we're both angry and feeling betrayed at the moment, but I know how to seperate my anger from being honest. And feel free, you could use the practice anyways. I'm going to make him run up to the pleateau in a weighted exo suit tomorrow. Feel free to come along to watch."

The Ash-Witch nods gently even while a small smile dances at the corners of her lips. "You always told me that emotions are powerful tools… you turned my grief and anger into a weapon." Devon shrugs her shoulders a bit before she offers his forearm a gentle squeeze, then her hand falls away. "Another?" She asks as she steps to grab another bottle of mead. She pauses just a moment as she drops her empty bottle in the bin. "I'd like that… I have lost sight of my purpose as of late. It would be good to… find myself again. Ignis has always given me that much."

"I think that's a lesson that Poe still has to learn." Flint observes, reflecting on his meeting with the wayward Ash Knight. "She's so shut off from…everything. I still think dad should've taken her dad's head, stuck it on a pole as an example to everyone on Ignis, citizen and noble what happens when you mentally abuse your own family. A shame he died before my old man could do it." A snort. "But she ended up alright. Cold, shut-off, but alright." The idea of another bottle of mead is nodded at. "Toss me one, I think we could both use more than a couple tonight." Watching her, he takes a moment to consider her words. "It happens to all of us. I'll admit, I have been feeling a bit, I dunno. Alone recently. Like I'm missing out on something. Maybe it was D-4. You want to know what it showed me?" he asks her suddenly. "Two things. Visions of me, deaf, blind, no limbs. Helpless while the war raged on and there nothing I could do. No way to help anyone. Just. Sat there. And the other…was something that always picked at the back of my head. That I always knew I'd die alone." It's not likely he's been able to tell anyone else what he saw at D-4.

Both bottles are cracked open, and Devon hands one to Flint before she starts to nurse on her own. She steps past him this time, sinking heavily into the softest chair in Flint's apartments. There is a long and thoughtful moment as she perhaps tries to remember who Poe is, then she blinks. "Right… Poe… I don't think we ever have crossed paths, or if so, I hardly remember it." As if she was a ghost, though Devon did spent much of her time with Marah's own. Then she breathes out a slow sigh as she listens to Flint's memories of D-4. She taps her fingers against the bottle of her refreshed mead. "The Legion would not see you die alone, Flint… but… there are different definitions of loneliness," Devon confesses. "I heard Zayne," she finally admits, softly. "Shouting, angry… violent." She shakes her head. "We all saw things that weren't true."

"That's the thing Devon," Flint starts, twisting off the top of his bottle. "Those were my fears. I'm terrified of being useless. Say I survive to see the end of this war, then what? What do I, hell, what does Grantham do? The only reason we're nobility was to fight Hostiles. If the Hostiles are gone, what purpose would we have? Is that when we start tearing at other houses for dominance? Ourselves? We both know that's not our way. A warrior without a war is nothing. Useless. Maybe that's what I saw represented, I dunno. But it scares me." Her last bit has him frown a bit more. "Maybe I am lonely. All these years, determined that I didn't need anyone because I assumed my death was promised on the field. All the brothel girls, while fun, I realized that I always came home to an empty bed." He shakes his head to sigh. "I don't know what my deal is. Doubt, I guess. As for you, we both know Zayne never thought of anything bad of you. He was one of the best. Grantham to the core."

"We invent a new purpose," Devon reassures him with a lift of her brows. "There will still be battles to fight, and the System will change without the Hostiles looming… and with change comes greater conflict." She shrugs a bit before she works through the first third of her mead, and then she breathes out a slow sigh. She nods gently at the description of her husband. "He was a good man, and he always will be." Then she shakes her head a bit, and she offers him a quick smile that gently touches her eyes. "Why did you never consider marriage, Flint?"

"For all of my fears, apart of me will always wish that there was never a need or use for people like you and I, Devon." Fline states, walking towards the large picture windows that dominate a good portion of one of his walls. Sealed by probably five or six inch clear material to give a view of the outside of Ignis, it's hazy atmosphere and the sun just barely able to penetrate the constant haze of ash and dust on the firey world. A drink. "I don't know Devon." he finally says. "I always thought I'd die when the war came. I didn't want to marry because I felt like being married, having children, loving a woman…only to die and leave them alone, would I want to do something like that to them? Could I? Maybe I sacraficed my own wants to spare the pain of those I'd come to care about." A look over his shoulder at her. "And yet, here I am proposing to you. Even thinking about what it might be like if we were married and if I could keep you happy. Because you, more anyone I've known, deseves to be loved, cared for, and be happy. Even if you'd rather fight."

"The world is a strange place," Devon simply says before she sweeps up to her feet once more. She pads up to the window to look out beside him. She tilts her head a bit as she watches the familiar flows of lava move across the wreckless terrain of Ignis. She glances up to him as she crosses her arms at her chest, bottle hanging from her fingertips. "Married to one another or not, Flint, I would still mourn your death. As will the rest of the family. No matter what happens, Flint… I would still be sad and lost by your passing." She shrugs her shoulders. "You can't spare us from that."

"I can sure as hell try, though." Flint manages a low laugh at that, glancing to side when she steps up next to him. "The world is indeed a strange place. I'm trying to make it a better one before I'm gone. I don't know how many others can say that and it not be a lie in their own heads." The Ash Knight draws in a deep sigh. "It's beautiful. I truly love this world. It is cruel and harsh, but it's ours. But…I would mourn you too. Even more than I did for Zayne." Then he turns to her. "Devon." Breath. "Would you want to stay here tonight? After all that's happened, I'm not in a huge hurry to sleep by myself." And no, there doesn't seem to be any hint of sex in that. Seems rather earnest, really.

"It is," Devon murmurs in regard to the beauty of Ignis. She admires it for another heartbeat before she glances toward Flint. There is only a smallest pause from the pale-colored woman before she inclines her head with a small smile. "I'd like that," she confesses. "I'm not fond of the loneliness either." She presses the dark brown glass against her cheek for a moment, and then she reaches out to clink her bottle against his in a wordless, companionable exchange.

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