06.16.3013: Best Laid Plans
Summary: Nitrim and Anabethe spar. She makes her decision about his impending rehab.
Date: 16 June 2013
Related: References Reveille, and takes place approximately 1hr after.
Nitrim Anabethe 


Watchtower Overlook — Volkan, Imperius
At the very peak of the Blackspyre, the lift opens up to a railed lookout, leaving all of the city of Volkan, Mount Drakan, and the Black Wastes laid out below. Even two hundred stories up, the sounds of industry can be heard, although it is a faint sound this high up. The smoldering heat has not diminished, however, and is in fact protected by the electrostatic fields wrapped around the top of the spire to keep out the weather. The lava tubes running through the city look like nothing so much as veins from this high up, running bright and yellow-red throughout the city.
June 16, 3013

Nitrim arrives from the corridors, fully cleaned and shaven, wearing a long, black shirt and carrying his practice sword in hand. As expected, Anabethe is waiting for him, and less than an hour has passed since their trouble in his bed chambers. He steps out to the center of their favorite place, and brings his sword to a ready position. "So…Sister, have you have time to make your decision? Will I be coming?"

"You were always coming, Nitrim," Anabethe says, stepping back from the rail and picking up her staff. There's a blunted blade on the end, though it's still heavy enough to leave bruises. "There's no question of whether or not you're coming. The question is what you're bringing with you." She takes up a ready stance as well, then jabs lightly toward him, testing his reflexes. "How bad is it?"

Nitrim, just a little slow, brings up his sword in time to deflect most of Anabethe's jab, but not all of it, to the tune of a growl from his lips. He should be faster than that. He stays light on his feet and gives her som room to attack him. "It comes and goes. It's not debilitating but…I haven't gone four days in almost three years. I'm on day two right now."

Anabethe pulls her hit enough not to do too much damage, but there's a warning to the blow as well. Between the polearm and her own height, she has the reach on him at the moment, and uses it to toy and test. "Four days," she echoes, grimacing faintly and jabbing at his feet. "You talked to Reena about it yet? She's the one who'd know about withdrawal."

Nitrim gains a little momentum on his block, bringing his boot up and his sword down to block Anabethe's strike, but again a glancing hit sets his teeth to bare. She's the knight, he's not, but he knows his swordwork better than most. "No…Reena doesn't know. I'm sure by now she suspects. Soleil's aided someone through the withdrawal process before, which was why she was here." He steps in, going onto the offensive to get in close and take some of her reach away from her, sword jabbing towards her upper arm. "To remind me that fighting the Hostile while high or sick is fucking crazy."

"Don't like her." In case Anabethe didn't make it sufficiently clear earlier. "And we fight when injured. You can fight when you're not at your best, or we can find a place in the wall to put you where you're relatively protected. Your choice." She steps back, sweeping the staff across the front of her body in a practiced motion. "You're an adult, Nitrim, and whatever you think our father thinks, you're Khournas. That means you can make those decisions for yourself. Can you fight while you're going through this? Or should we find another way to deal with it?"

CHING!

Nitrim's sword connects solidly with the haft of Anabethe's shaft, good enough to prove that he knows what he's doing. The look of satisfaction on Nitrim's face is enough to show that he's glad to have gotten a near-hit in. He brings his sword back to bear, stepping forward in a series of strikes to keep his sister on the defensive.

"Not in front of the Granthams. They're expecting me to perform. Like it or not, I've already cast my lot in on this one. I want to be near you and them, where Sir Flint and Lady Devon can observe me." He grits his teeth. "There's no fast detox. It'll be a few days of sweating, anxiety, fever, but I'm Awakened. I won't be on the shield wall. I'll be behind raining death down."

"So long as you can aim, I can work with that." Anabethe grins at the block, chin dipping once in fierce approval. "But you're going to work with a doctor on this. Reena if we can get her to come. If not, then we'll use the Drake's doctor. He's loyal to me, not to Da, so he can keep quiet about it. But you need to be monitored and we need to make sure we're doing all we can to keep you in top shape." Her staff is a blur, guarding herself and snapping out when she sees an opportunity.

As Nitrim's combination strikes come to an end, he brings his sword back for one last, more powerful, strike and Anabethe's polearm comes down over two of his fingers. Nitrim keeps his sword forward in a one handed grip while he shakes his sore fingers to the side, grimmacing. He flexes his fingers one final time and resumes his grip.

"Understood. I'll follow your lead on this one. Besides we've got…" He lunges forward for a thrust. "…esteemed guests that seem to have taken a liking to you and I. I'm not about to embarass any of us." A beat. "So that's that, then, I'm going to go through with this. Do you have anything else you'd like to say on the matter before we move on to my private life?"

"Rather like them myself," Anabethe agrees, smile quirking again as she jabs the butt of her staff toward Nitrim's ribs. "And no. You have a problem, we're going to fix it. I'm sorry you didn't feel like that was the case earlier, but I'm not going to make it so you don't tell us things in the future, either. You're my brother, Nitrim. I love you. And no one but me gets to beat up on you."

And beat up on Nitrim she does. The knight gets in another lesson-learned to Nitrim's ribs, forcing him to hop back and rethink his defenses. His wrists turns, bringing the sword into an angled grip that favors her dominant hand. She's better than him, there's no mistaking it.

"I knew I had a problem before." Nitrim replies grimly with a shake of his head. "I've met plenty of addicts that didn't think they had a problem. I was doing what I did because I know I have problems to work through. I just kept putting them off for weeks at a time."

He strikes out, trying to make it difficult for her to get inside again. "So you like them, huh, Sister? Which do you like more, Lady Devon or the one you were throwing shots back with?"

Anabethe takes a shot to the shoulder in turn, grin flashing as if the accomplishment is her own rather than her brother's. "Nice," she approves, though she follows it up with another sweep of her staff toward his legs. "And I like both of them, thank you very much. They're damned sensible and they don't bitch about the heat. And don't you be getting any ideas. I hardly think Da's going to be in a rush to hook me up with someone who stepped down from being an heir himself."

"Thanks, I—" Nitrim gets out before his forward foot is swept, sending him stumbling forward. His shoulder baps into hers and he laughs, grabbing onto her arm long enough to shove his body away from hers and get back to the fight. For the fighting earlier, it's a sweet moment of sibling love.

"I like them, too." Nitrim says, shaking his sore fingers once again before resuming his swordstance. "And what, would I do something like make jokes about you getting matched after I'm already on your shit list for this morning? I know when to take my good graces and run with them, Anabethe. Though I'd better track Lady Devon down fast before the withdrawal kicks in. She asked me to give her a tour and I accepted."

"You're not on my shit list," Anabethe assures, bracing him until he's standing and taking a large step back to reset. "I'm hurt that you didn't talk to me or Reena first, but I'm not angry at you. Don't much care for the girl, though." She feints a strike toward his groin, then redirects to the outside of his thigh. "Don't trust her too far, okay? I know it looks like she's trying to help you, but girls like that aren't in it to help you. They're in it for what they can get out of you." In her totally unbiased opinion that has no basis in her own marriage.

A little too protective of his groin, Nitrim misses the block to the outside of his thigh. His back straightens and his head lulls back in a sigh, starting to get frustrated with not being able to keep up. He turns to the side, hops in place, and returns back to their spar with a little more zen than before, striking for her side.

"You wouldn't care much for any of the girls I've seen for the last few years, I'll leave it at that. Soleil's a wildcard, but I've been inside of her mind and she in mine. When that happens it always gets personal. I'll be careful." Nitrim steps in close again, because in sword against polearm, close wins it for the sword. "But Princess Janelle has advised her strongly against the match. As I understand it, I'm not on the official menu."

"And if you or she think that just because Janelle says she doesn't want it means I'm automatically going to approve, then I'm not quite as stupid as any of you think," Anabethe smirks back at her brother, using her staff to maintain some distance between them. "Maybe Janelle knows a lost cause when she sees one, though. Not that you're a lost cause, but trying to win us over so she can fuck with Emund is absolutely a lost cause."

Nitrim lowers his sword, effectively shutting down the duel. The tip of his sword taps against the ground beneath them, and he raises his attention to Anabethe's eyes. The side of his cheek tugs wryly. "That's probably why Janelle doesn't approve, you're right. Look, I can't say whether or not Soleil's going to end up being the girl I'm with. So much of that is not my decision, and I know I have duties to the House. We've had this stuffed down our throats since we were kids." He taps the flat of his blade against his knee. "It's just nice to have something that isn't superficial, if even for a few moments."

Anabethe rests the butt of her staff against the ground, leaning against it with a sigh of her own. "I know, Nitrim. I know." She steps forward, reaching out to catch her brother in a rough embrace. "I'm proud of you for deciding to do this," she says quietly, arms tight. "And I can't wait to see what you can do with your own special talents. You'll make us all proud. I know it."

Wrapping his arm around his sister's shoulders, Nitrim leans into the hug and gives her a tight squeeze. Like many hugs in the Blackspyre, they're short lived and few in number, and this one is no different. He pulls back to flatten the front of his shirt and brushes his forearm over his lips. Eyelid twitching, he lets out a long sigh and turns toward the door, about to leave her. Touched by the moment, he gives her a weak smile and starts to walk away. "Oh, Beth, I'm just getting started. You've seen nothing yet."

"Good," Anabethe says quietly. "I'd expect nothing less." Her nod is somber, serious, and as her brother walks away, she moves to the railing to look out over the city once more, letting out a slow breath.

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