07.30.3013: Beer Good, Squiggle-Sounds Bad
Summary: Victor seeks out Reena for advice regarding Devon, and the two commiserate over their lack of understanding their intendeds over beer and cigars.
Date: 30 July 2013
Related: None.
Reena Victor 

Indoor Garden — Blackspyre, Volkan
This lovely indoor garden is part greenhouse, part showpiece. Winding trails wend their way, snakelike, through beautiful displays of trees, shrubs, and flowers. Fruit trees and vines add a citrus scent to the air. Orchids abound, with countless varieties in hundreds of shapes and hues around every turn. The Phalaenopsis gigantea var aurea is prevalent, being yellow and red, in line with the colors of House Khournas.

A small man-made stream runs through the center of the garden, with footbridges crossing it at different parts of the trail, and ending in a pool with a gentle waterfall, surrounded by bench seating and filled with golden fish. In the back there is a separate area behind french doors for herbs and vegetables, as well as tables and equipment storage for potting plants and the other dirty work of maintenance.

30 July 3013

The indoor garden of the Blackspyre has been Reena's project since she was old enough to water a plant. When she is angry, upset, or sad she tends to seek refuge here, among the living things she's nurtured. She's been in here a lot since yesterday. At the moment, she's back through the French doors, where her potting tables are, carefully taking cuttings from some of her vegetable garden's offerings, and planting them carefully in trays full of soil which have handles for easy transport. The potato pieces, each bearing "eyes" have been carefully dried for a few days so they don't rot in the soil. The cabbage and lettuce roots have been soaking in small bowls of water for a week, and the onions roots have been salvaged from kitchen scraps as well. She is in simple breeches and a blouse, with an apron covering most of her clothes, and dirt all over her bare hands. Her hair is back in a loose and messy tail, sweat beaded on her brow as she works.

Victor is polluting the air of the garden with the smoke from his cigar, and his semi-habitual six-pack hangs from the fingers of his left hand. It's a damned good thing that he is as active as he is, considering the volume of beer he drinks and the genes he got from his father. Strolling down the paths, he spots Reena, pulling out another cigar and clipping it on the integrated clippers from the case. Both cigar and a lighter are held out as he walks up behind her, "Hey peasant girl, you know where my cousin in?" A chuckle breaks through his gravelly voice, and he rattles the six-pack in his other hand, "I come with beer and cigar to bitch."

Reena looks up at the sound of Victor's approach, and she lets out a soft snort, wiping her hands off on a cloth before accepting the cigar and lighter. "I think she went to throw herself off the Overlook, so the peasant girl will need to do." She lights the stogie before handing the lighter back to Victor and taking a deep drag. She lets the smoke out with a sigh. "I really needed that. And the beer. Definitely the beer." She jerks her head towards a bench outside of the potting area, near some of the trees that do well cleaning up polluted air. A great spot for smoking.

Victor tucks the lighter away, "Reminds me. I need a refill. A whole fuckin' room of nobles, and nobody else had a light." He follows over to the bench, dropping down, setting the six-pack between them, and then pulling out a bottle for himself. He shifts his cigar to one corner of his mouth, then pops the top and holds the bottle out to clink with her presumed drink. "Went as bad as they're sayin'? You and fish-boy?" Shaking his head slowly, he nods his head northward, "Would've thought they'd throw Jay at you. You have any idea what the hell got in the boss-man's head?"

Reena settles in and uncaps a beer for herself, clinking it to Victor's out of long habit. "Worse," she admits, in reference to Fish Boy. "You'd think I was a pile of paperwork he was tasked to complete, rather than his intended, for all the enthusiasm he showed. Even worse, he's more interested in continuing his feud with Grantham than being happy that his sister is no longer their hostage." She takes a deep swig from the bottle, and cringes a little at the last question. "Promise you won't hate me forever, or throw me off the Blackspyre?" she asks.

Victor waves off the first concern, "You'll get your hooks into him. Then you'll get to run around in a swimsuit all day telling tan people what to do." He frowns at the mention of feuds and hostages, evidently not having done that much research on his own bride-to-be. And his frown deepens even further at the question that follows, "I'm gonna need more beer, aren't I?" Taking his cigar from his mouth, he takes a slug of the strong brew, then makes a beckoning gesture with the bottle-filled hand, "I promise, I promise. Too much of a pain in the ass to take down the electrostatic fields anyhow. Spill, Reena."

Reena lets out a slow breath and tilts her head back to rest on the back of the bench. "I think this was my fault. You and Lady Devon. Me and Kadmus." She rolls her head to the side to look at Victor. "I wrote my father, regarding the charity project I am heading, to get his permission. Kadmus had told me how Devon was taken by the Granthams as a child for some slight done to them by Volen in the generation prior. He was very upset about it, and insinuated that our association with Grantham, through Nitrim's squiring, was a barricade to him marrying a Khournas. So I asked father, in that letter about my project, if he might be able to act as an advisor to both sides and see if it could be resolved. Apparently, Jevon felt that marrying people off was the easiest and quickest solution to getting Devon free from her keepers and me into a marriage with an heir."

Victor arches his eyebrows at the first statement, rubbing at his temple with the thumb of his left, cigar, hand as she goes on. Groaning softly, he slumps back on the bench, taking another swig of his beer, "And so now you've got an Heir who won't be anything but civil with you, and I got a widow who can't be civil with me for 24 hours." He draws on his cigar, exhaling a stream of smoke straight up and staring at it meditatively, "At least she hot." There's a pause, and then he looks over to Reena, "Oh, and we're gonna be in-laws." That draws another chuckle, and another extension of the bottle for another clink, "Bright sides."

"From cousins to siblings, all in one fell swoop," Reena quips with a smirk, clinking her bottle to Victor's. "Crone's tits, Vic, I have never had any issues making a man see me as attractive or a woman. I don't know how to deal with this. Hell I nearly made Thalo blush a few times but Kadmus is just so," she wrinkles her nose, "proper. I mean, I'm about as proper as a Khourni gets, and I am thinking he has a stick up his ass. That says a lot." She shoves the cigar back in her mouth angrily for a long pull. "And Devon is gorgeous, and smart, and nice, and she was a soldier too. You could do a helluva lot worse, Cueball. What's she harping on you about?"

Victor shakes his head at the complaints, "He's a man, and he's not into other men, or he woulda been set up with one. I'm sure you'll work your dark magic." The fingers holding his cigar wiggle in a suggestion of 'spellcasting' even if he knows it takes a good deal more than that. He nods at the description of Devon, "Is a soldier. And yeah, I coulda been saddled with some fainting fucking daisy who simpered any time I went off to fight." Then there's the question, and he drains off more of the beer before he answers with perhaps a bit more candor than he wants, "It's not just her. Just… everything we fucking say to each other sets the other one off. She takes offense at everything I say, and that pisses me off, and we start yelling, or she storms off."

Reena ponders for a long moment, sipping her beer and looking up at the branches of the trees above. "Tried talking less? Listening more? She's been in a bad situation, Vic, one that started to get good for her when she married, then dropped right over a cliff again when he died. Then she found a place with the Ash Legion, only to be sent off to marry a Drake. That's a lot of life upheaving events for one person to bear." She nudges her cousin with her elbow. "Maybe try writing her a letter? Just tell her about yourself, who you really are, not the show you put on for other people. I mean, she's young, you're young, if the Hostiles don't end us you're going to be together for a long while so best to lay your cards on the table. It's easier, sometimes, to put it down on paper. There's a buffer there. " Where you can't see their eyes when you tell them. She adds, "You do know how to write, right?"

Victor coughs at the first question, waving his hand in front of his face and clearing away the smoke from his cigar. When he's breathing again, he draws on the stogie again, this time exhaling without any problems. He listens easily, even rocking more than necessary at the nudging. He's about to respond, thoughtfully by the furrowing of his brow, and then she gets that last shot in, and he snorts, scowling heavily, "Vic-tor not like squiggle-sounds. That why Vic-tor's beer all have no label." He takes another swig, splashing around the dregs, then then finishes off his first beer, "Beer good, squiggle-sounds bad." Tucking the empty away in the six-pack, he pulls out another one immediately, "Letter might work though. Worth a try. You tried the bathhouse yet? You saw how Sir Flint reacted in there. Or do you think the whole experience might scare Young Lord Fishie off?"

It takes a few moments of doubled over laughter before Reena regains her composure. She wipes at her eyes with the back of her beer bottle hand and gasps for air. She shakes off the last of the giggles and gets serious again. "I'm trying to figure out if he's uptight and prudish, or just overwound about something. If he's the former, the bath house might scar him for life. If he's the latter, then it might break through. It's a risk." She frowns.

Victor pops the top on his second beer, taking a sip as he chuckles and she regains control of her laughter. "So what you're saying is that Bethe, 'Trim, and I have to take him out drinking. Get him piss drunk, then take him to a strip club to see if boobs traumatize him for life? 'Cause if that's the case, then I'll start asking around to see if I can find some pretty Cit boys for you." Taking a long draw on his cigar, he blows the smoke out in a plume, "So what the fuck do you do about a prude? I mean… really. Bring him along slow? Hold his hand for a month, then try a hug, then snuggling, then a kiss, and then sex with the lights off? Shit… that sounds like a whole lot of work."

"It sounds exhausting and boring and I feel like crying," Reena says with a scowl. She snorts a little bit. "How do you know I don't already have a pretty Cit boy tucked away somewhere?" she snarks at him, draining her beer and reaching for another. "I can talk to Devon for you, maybe. She might just need a woman to talk with after spending all that time with Granthams." Yes, she thinks Ignis women are kinda manly too.

Victor takes another sip of his beer, "Who said shit about one?" He grins, but even as he does, his eyes narrow slightly, and he turns on the bench to study his cousin, "Reena, are you holding a try-out for a Companion in case Young Lord Fishie turns out to be Young Lord Cold Fishie?" His grin broadens as he settles his cigar back into the corner of his mouth so that he can use that hand to point a circling finger at the younger noble. "And if the letter blows up in my face, I'll ask for your help."

"I met someone. Got rid of some negative energy with him. Then wound up engaged a few days later," Reena says with a shrug. "And that goes no further than you and I, Vic. I've been way better than the rest of my siblings at not looking like, well, Nitrim." She arches a brow at her cousin, "And I somehow get the impression that a Companion wouldn't be something Kadmus would be all right with. Do you?"

Victor holds up his hands to his sides in surrender, "Vic-tor no tell on Ree-na." Caveman speak doesn't work so well with a cigar in your mouth, but he makes it work before plucking the stogie free to blow out smoke and suck down beer. "Hell, you know I've had a few flings with Cits." And then he points the middle and ring fingers of his beer hand at Reena, "And if he's not givin' you the marital business, then fuck him if he doesn't want you to have a Companion." He pauses, then chuckles richly, "'Course, if you were fuckin' him in the first place, it wouldn't be a problem."

"I'll jump off that bridge when I get to it," Reena says sourly, popping the cap off her second beer. "At least I have my charity project to keep me busy no matter what. I'm going to work on reclaiming and rebuilding the Down Below here in Volkan. Repairing the lower towers where the poor and homeless stay for shelter, cleaning up the air and water down there, building a community garden that they will work and get the bounty of for their work. Training their own people to be first responders, clinics for basic health care and addiction treatment." Who would have thought Reena would be a philanthropist. She gestures with her cigar at the greenhouse. "That's what I'm doing those cuttings for. Prep to transfer them to a community garden."

Victor nods his head, "I bet the Senator's'll grab onto that with both hands, with the elections comin' up in a couple months. Already got the Chantry growin' cuttings too?" He nods his head, apparently accepting the philanthropy without question. After all, it's just turning medical expertise and a green thumb outwards, and really… probably about time they all turned their talents outwards. "Big project. You talk to Young Lord Fishie…" he grimaces, "Shit, I'm gonna have to stop calling my future brother-in-law that… to Young Lord Volen about keepin' it goin' after the wedding? Or you just gonna keep doin' it 'till he says to stop, then tell him to piss off?" He stops then, sipping his beer thoughtfully, "I wonder. That might work, actually. Piss his ass off. Anything to get a rise out of him. I mean, he's pretty, right? So if he ends up pouncing the hell out of you, it's all good."

"Kadmus said he fully supported the endeavor, so at least I am safe in that. And I need to set up a meeting with the Volkan chantry and senators in a few days, along with a few other nobles who have expertise I want to guilt them into volunteering. Brigham Peake, Helena Dalton, Ariana Larent, Talayla Orelle. They all have skills I need for this to work. I'm hoping I can at least get them on as project advisors." Reena snorts and shoulder bumps Vic. "I almost called him Aquaman by accident. I have to curb that too. We need to be smarter, Vic. Clearly opening out mouths too much gets us both in trouble. And I wouldn't be too adverse to being pounce. He isn't hard on the eyes at all. But if he comes to my bed with hesitation and disdain instead of a pounce, I'm not going to be happy about it."

Victor almost spits out his beer at the mention of 'Aquaman,' chuckling right in the midst of a sip. He sits up sharply, making sure the bottle doesn't foam over onto his jacket and lap. "Even that ain't the end of your problems." The words are snorted under his breath as he transfers his beer to his other hand and then shakes off the foam that flowed over his fingers. "Don't really know…" he blinks, then nods, "Oh… Doc, and the quirky Orelle girl. Yeah. They seem like good people." Clearly he's going to rush right past his mutter, "I think I'm just gonna start being silent around anyone who isn't family. Save me and all of you a whole lot of grief."

"We'll survive, Vic, as long as you don't run out of beer and cigars," Reena quips. She sighs. "Well, at least we'll have friendly faces at family functions. I'll need to map out the hidey holes in New Atlantis where we can drink and smoke and bitch."

Victor nods his head, "I've been thinkin' of taking Dee there. I don't know if she's been back in… ever." The last of his second beer goes down his gullet, but he doesn't immediately grab another, "Maybe it'd be good to meet up with you and Young Lord Volen there? Find some place to swim around while I'm away from the front." And that's got him at least a little bit twitchy, you'd better believe. "Then you can take the time to map out the places with good filtration where we can smoke without makin' everyone smoke with us."

"He's still here, Vic. He's visiting for a few days. I was hoping to let the two of them have some private time here or the Overlook maybe, before their newly betrothed descend on them and make it an extended family affair. I was hoping he'd be so thrilled to see her. But he seemed so…" Reena shakes her head. "I don't know if he is just an expert at wearing a mask, or if he really was barely moved. I know he hasn't seen her since she was little." She swings from her beer bottle deeply. "I was planning to visit Mare Maris after his visit here. He told me arrangements could be made to see to it I was shown around and made comfortable. He didn't even intend to do any of that himself!" She almost throws the bottle, then remembers it's her garden, and sets it down instead.

Victor snorts at the latter point, "Shit. You remember that knuckle-punch Bethe used to use when we were kids? Use that fucker on his kidneys. It'll feel a shit-ton better than throwing a bottle around. That doesn't solve shit unless you throw it at someone." His broad shoulders rise and fall, "If he's too dumb to chase after the idea of you in a bikini, then he can suck goat-balls, Reena. I'll drag his ass along though if we make it a family outing." Not that he's totally anxious to see Devon in a swim suit. Not at all.

Reena finishes off her second beer, and stubs out the cigar, tucking it in an apron pocket for later. She rises. "Like you don't just want to see Devon in a bathing suit. You aren't fooling anyone, Vic," she says with a grin. She bends to smooch the top of his head. "I have to get some sleep. I might have forgotten dinner and just drank two brews. I don't think planting veggies is a good idea while tipsy." She hangs the apron on a hook near the potting tables. "Don't forget to write her that letter, Vic. I think it'd be good for both of you." Then she heads out.

Victor shrugs helplessly, tucking his bottle into the six-pack, "They say a little mystery is attractive." Tucking his cigar into the corner of his mouth again, he ducks his head to accept the Mr. Clean smooch, then rises up to his feet and collects his party paraphenalia, "I'll do it, I'll do it. And yeah, lemme know if you want us to take the Young Lord out and get him six sheets," see, he can use water-y words, "to see if he's a cold fish or just puttin' on a mask."

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