09.26.3013: Cookies and Other Things in the Oven
Summary: Lyrienne visits Nitrim to cheer him up. She brings cookies…and other news.
Date: 15 September 3013
Related: None
Lyrienne Nitrim Ithaca 

Nitrim's Apartments - Volkan, The Crescent
A small two-step set of stairs lead into this recessed room that is lit by hooded, indirect lighting that casts a somber, golden glow over its mostly red and black features. Various pieces of art, both photography and moving hypervisual, line the walls. Darkly shaded marble flooring stretches out to a small seating area with a pair of sofas in front of a mounted InfoSphere videoscreen that serves as the centerpiece of the room. To the left of the entryway is a comfortable chair seated next to a table and bookshelf that rest near a wide balcony that overlooks Volkan below. Along the far right wall is a snake habitat on a raised platform tht is protected by a mostly transparent energy shield.

The rear of the room supports another small two-stair reach that leads up to a lavish bedroom setting with a draped four-post bed in black and red dressing. Lastly, a small double door off to the side of the bedding section leads to a washroom with a walk-in shower and a large soaking tub set next to a window.

September 26, 3013

There is a crack where Nitrim's door is normally left closed tightly shut, which means two specific things in the daily habits of the man who lives inside. One, that he is, in fact, present inside of the room and two, that business hours are, as they say, open. It's been days, more than a week, since the shattering news of Lady Soleil's mysterious death has sent the oft-troubled noble into hiding in the one place he knows he can have everything to keep himself comfortable without being disturbed: home.

And now, like many days, he sits in a grand, drake-clawed chair the looks like something from a relic of past barbaric times next to a small sitting area that overlooks the city at Volkan below. With a cigarette long forgotten in an ashtray beside him, a worm of untapped ashes curling down like wet pasta towards the ceramic bowl that is an open grave of cigarette butts, Nitrim stares out at the hissing rain that cleaves a vein of clarify through the smog line than is ever-present over the city.

"Well, that's a depressing song waiting to be written, isn't it?" From outside the door, Lyrienne's voice is light and musical, the very antithesis of the darkness in which he hides. "No, that's quite all right, I can announce myself, thank you," she informs a servant before nudging the door with her foot. Her hands, it seems, are otherwise occupied. A guitar case is slung over her shoulder, a bottle of something tucked under one arm, and she holds a foil-wrapped platter in her hands, mounded over with something. "Are you decent, Nitrim, or should I avert my eyes while you go and get some sort of decadent dressing gown on?" she asks, eyes closed.

"It's quite alright, cousin, all of the skeletons have been ground to ash or thrown off of the balcony. I learned to clean my room the right way when I was a kid." Nitrim replies, a certain focus returning to his eyes as the rain spattering against the windows sharpens in his vision. Rising from his chair, he turns to the door to watch his cousin enter the room. The bottle under her arm isn't out of place, but the guitar case brings a shift to his head and a smirk to the corner of his mouth. He nudges his head in the direction of the door. "Feel free to give it a kick. The door's all grown up, it'll understand." He offers, then steps forward to greet her, offering an arm for a quick hug. "To what do I owe the unexpected?"

"Mostly I was asking if you were dressed," Lyrienne clarifies with a wry smile of her own. "I wouldn't want to be overcome by inappropriate lust. Or something." She chuckles softly, giving the door a nudge with her foot and moving forward to set tray and bottle down on the bed. The guitar follows, before she promptly steps over to return the hug, though she holds on for a long moment, squeezing tightly. "I thought you could probably use some company," she answers simply. "I'm sorry for your loss. And the press."

"It's an unfair advantage this new Awakened power I've learned. Ray of Lust, or something like that." Nitrim replies sarcastically as he wraps his arms around Lyrienne in a hug, squeezing softly against her shoulder for just long enough to convey that, yes, it has been a hard week. Pulling back gently, he holds her at her upper arms before releasing her and giving her a faint smile. "Thank you, it's all sort of coming down all at the same time; reality hits you hard when it does."

Sliding his hands into the back pockets of his trousers, palms facing out, his elbows swivel like chicken wings as he lets out a quiet, refreshing sigh, complete with hopeful smile to Lyrienne. "I wanted to thank you, actually," Nitrim starts up again with a nod of his head. "For the warnings. I think when you popped out to me at the Rave I was just trying to be a domineering ass, and you warning me reminded me there's more people that give a fuck than I thought."

"Oh, I know how it goes," Lyrienne assures, giving his shoulder a squeeze as she steps back. "Sometimes when something goes so wrong, you want to lash out. It doesn't really matter who you hurt, so long as somebody hurts as much as you do. And if you can't make somebody else hurt, than at least you have control over hurting yourself." She moves back toward the bed, leaning over to pull the foil off of the tray. "Cookies," she announces with a flash of a smile. "The kids helped. And," she lifts the bottle, wiggling it, "Sparkling cider."

"And the worst part about it all is that I can make people hurt. I can throw rocks. With my mind." Nitrim retorts, folding his arms across his chest in a display of I know how powerful I am, brooding incessantly per norm, as Lyrienne steps away to the foil wrapping on the tray. "When the press gets in your face like it's any of their business, or the dirty looks, or the questions about Soleil it just makes me want to take one of those cameras and shove it up their a—Cookies?" Screech. Nitrim blinks and steps forward, prying a hand from the back of his trousers. When in doubt, be young. He reaches out with grabby hands for a cookie, finding a bit more grin to himself. "I've got to learn this whole saying and doing happy things skill you've mastered, Lyri. All my news is doom and gloom. Maybe I should learn to bake."

The door security panel makes a bleep bloop sound as a code is typed in, unlocking it. It's Rook's code, as displayed to Nitrim on his system. It swings open and the little hacker slips in after being out working from an Infosphere caf for a few hours. She's in leather pants and one of the off-one shoulder sweaters the apartment's resident seems so fond of. "Home!" she calls, not quite realizing he's not alone yet.

"I will say, hobbies help. Kids too, but I don't really recommend the having children method of working through your problems," Lyrienne laughs softly, taking a cookie for herself as well. "Too much at risk, really. Also, I doubt the tabloids will be less inclined to follow you if you manage to get pregnant. They seemed to think it was the best story in years when I did. So." At the sound of the door, she looks over her shoulder, a warm smile curving. "Rook, how good to see you. You're looking lovely, aren't you? Cookie?"

"I think if I suddenly wind up with a child on the way the Sauveur will ask for my head on a platter, and my sister would be tempted to give it to them." Nitrim replies with a laugh, taking the cookie into his hand and cramming it between his teeth. Biting down, his eyes flutter and he takes a moment to savor the flavor of carbohydrates, sugar, and soul-food. He starts to chew quickly, speaking with a cheek full of cookie. "I'd be a terrible father." Nitrim adds quietly as the door opens, and a strange, out-of-place look on his features follows at the sight of Rook. "Yeah, she really does look lovely," He raises his voice. "Hey, Rook, you remember my cousin, Lyrienne, right?" He asks, waving a crescent of cookie in the air before him. "Her and her kiddos made cookies for me, they're amazing."

"Lyri!" Rook exclaims, before rushing over to wrap the blonde woman in a happy hug. "Hi!" She beams at the Orelle, then remembers who she is related to. "Sorry about cousin," she says quietly, sincerely. Then it's all about the cookies. OMGCOOKIES! "Cookies?" She plucks one up, sniffs it briefly, then grabs about four of them, curling them tight against her chest as she nibbles one at a time, savoring the sugary goodness. She pauses long enough to kiss Nitrim's cheek in greeting before resuming the omnomnom.

Lyrienne laughs, returning Rook's hug. "It's all right. But thank you. Actually, I'd come over to make sure Nitrim wasn't moping excessively. I thought cookies would probably help. As for being a father, Nitrim, you might be surprised. Kids have a way of bringing out the best in people, I've found. Ric and I had to grow up fast, but I wouldn't trade minute of it for a world without our children. So. Do you have glasses?" she asks, taking a bite of her own cookie and starting to peel the foil off the bottle of cider.

Returning the kiss to Rook's cheek, Nitrim plies his other hand free of his back pocket to squeeze Ithaca's hip as he passes her. "Yeah, sure, I'll get the glasses." Nitrim adds, brushing past Ithaca on his way over to a small fridge and cupboard set in the corner of the room. Reaching inside, he pulls out three glasses. Not the fine glasses required for champagne or sparkling cider, as Lyrienne has brought, but they're drinking tools and those are the best of their kind. "Maybe someday, I don't know, Lyrienne, one crisis at a time." He laughs, moving to set the three glasses down and motioning for the ladies to bring the cookies and drinks over. "It comes and goes in waves, though, and Ithaca's been loading me down with attention and horror movies to help keep me free, too. How are Ric and the kids, anyway?"

Rook snorts a little at Lyri, then looks to Nitrim. "She clearly never met Nysa." Rook's mom was not in line for any parenting awards, that's for sure. Then she blinks. "Wait, is someone pregnant?" She looks at her own stomach as if to make sure it hasn't ballooned out with some sort of rapid growth alien fetus or something.

"I'm pregnant." Nitrim interjects quickly. "Congratulations, Ithaca. It's a pain-in-the-ass."

Lyrienne flushes slightly at Rook's question, but doesn't say anything, instead working on opening the bottle. "Ric and the kids are doing well, thanks," she says, looking up with a small smile. "Marus is the most responsible six year old ever, I'm afraid. Lyssie makes up for it and idolizes her aunt Ellinor. And Julian is doing well. Sleeping through the night, at least, which is a massive relief for me."

There's a moment there, there really is, when Nitrim is about to light a cigarette, but he pauses. Lighting a cigarette while still chewing on the remains of a cookie isn't the most pleasurable of experiences, one that Nitrim, being the sometimes male-of-males is not above. Still something stops him, and it's the rosy-red on Lyrienne's cheeks that does it. He slides the cigarette away and drums his fingertips against the back of the sofa. "Wait. Is someone pregnant?"

Rook shoulder bumps Nitrim and smirks at his pain in the ass comment. Then she too catches Lyri's flushing. "Are you?" she asks, in concert with Nitrim, grinning.

"Shhh!" Lyrienne hushes both of them with a wave of her hand, flushing a little more deeply. "I'm not sure yet. I'm about a week and a half late, though, and I've been tired, and feeling bloated, and…" She sighs, passing them glasses. "Hush, both of you. If another week and a half or so go by, then I'll go see Hadrian for the test and then I'll know for sure. But until then, you keep your lips zipped."

"Alright, alright," Nitrim grins broadly, leaning out to Lyrienne to wrap an arm around her shoulder and give her a big squeeze and a kiss on her cheek. "If you were looking for discreet you came to the right people, it's cool, and if you need Rook and I to draw the press away, you know we're good for it." Nitrim laughs, looking back to Ithaca for a wink. "If you are, Rook and I will babysit. We'll teach it how to light stuff on fire, skulk, make things out of bones, advanced mathematics, identity hacking, advanced Hermetic theory…" He trails off, flashing a broad grin over to Ithaca, mouthing she's not gonna ask us to. Trust me.

Rook smiles and she kisses Lyri's cheek. "You're a good mom," she says softly, the corners of her eyes crinkling with genuine affection.

"Well, Julian's going to have to learn from someone. And it would be a tragedy if he never learned how to break hearts," Lyrienne teases Nitrim back. "We'll let you practice with Marus first, though. That way there's at least one responsible party." Her features soften at Rook's words, though, reaching out to give the other woman's hand a squeeze. "Thank you, Rook. I don't know if I'm ready for another so soon, but I've found that the gods only send what we can handle. And maybe it's just a false alarm."

"I guess if I'm keeping an eye on someone's kid I won't be out causing problems. Just don't hate me if he comes back with a tattoo." Nitrim retorts to Lyrienne as he pours a glass of sparkling cider for each of them. He sets the bottle back to the table's top and moves to stand beside Ithaca, his fingers splaying as they seek out the back pocket of her leather pants, a place to hang his thumb from. "Either way, I wish you the best of luck, Lyri. We really should get together more than we have been." He adds, nudging Rook's side playfully to see if it makes words come out.

Rook takes the glass and sips at it, wrinkling her nose a little at the bubbles making it itch. She leans against Nitrim's side lightly. "Need more lessons too," she adds in with a small smile at Lyri.

"I'd like that," Lyrienne says with a warm smile, nodding. "I miss spending time with other adults sometimes," she admits with a low laugh, reaching for another cookie for herself. "Not that I don't love having the freedom to spend time with the kids, of course. Or with Ric, since the Intent's been home on the Ring. But sometimes it feels like I don't have a life of my own." She pauses, taking a sip of the cider with a rueful smile. "Sometimes it feels like I haven't had much of a life of my own, ever. And then I remember that I get to sing. I get to be with my kids. I'm not responsible for an entire Paramount. It could be worse."

"Well, with what's happened, there's no doubt I'm going to be here for a while, and Rook's going to be here with me when she's not working." Taking the glass into his hands, he lowers his eyes to take in the color. Chewing his lip softly, he leans in to sniff the sparkling cider, musing over it lightly. He probably hasn't had sparkling cider since he was eight. Still, he takes a drink, happy with it. His eyes shift to Rook, studying her expression before sharing his attention between the two of them. "Lyri you'd be surprised with Rook, she's recently started walking in heels." He smiles. "Heels."

Rook smiles and nods a little. "Jane taught me," she murmurs, seeming rather at home in the Blackspyre now. In fact, around the rooms, there are bits and pieces of this and that which might belong to her rather than Nitrim. "I can watch kids for you," she offers. Though…no one in their right mind would probably take her up on that.

"I'm not sure I can think of a better teacher for that than Jane Wyre," Lyrienne laughs to Rook, the corners of her eyes crinkling a bit. "And thank you. Really, between the nannies and my parents, it isn't as though we don't have people to watch them. But if you're desperate to spend time with them, I'll be happy to give you the opportunity," she teases. "And Nitrim, when you want to get out of here, please call me. I know I'm not exactly the most fascinating person on Haven, but maybe I can help you with the image thing a bit. Everyone knows I've made my own mistakes, but I've cleaned up since then. Maybe if they see you and I spending time together, they'll start to believe you're serious."

Nitrim shifts against Ithaca's hip and looks to her, a thoughtful vein reaching across his features as he considers her. Pressing his hands together, he folds them back until the knuckles pop in one bubblewrap-like way. "Maybe what I need to do is that, get out, be seen being normal for a change. It'll draw attention for a short while but I'm pretty sure I heard murderer on the street yesterday." He admits, reaching to scratch the back of his head as tension creeps in. "I think I'll take you up on the Lyri, but if you are pregnant, you realize that they're probably going to throw out some kind of speculation, so you'd have to leak the news first the right way or else Ric's gonna start asking all kinds of questions."

Rook leans back against Nitrim gently as she sips her cider. "Should get out," she gestures at the two of them. "Be seen doing good for others. Build reputation."

"Ric isn't going to ask any sort of questions," Lyrienne says with a roll of her eyes and a fond smile. "Ric knows very well he has nothing to worry about. And it's a risk I'm willing to take. You forget, Nitrim. You may have been playing hide and seek with the press for the last year or two, but I've been doing it for seven years. And with plenty for them to chew on. Besides, I refuse to let them run your life or mine. You can weather this storm."

"So what you're saying, Lyri, is that by hiding I'm just making them hungry, and really the best thing I can do right now is get out there and try to control it a little bit with an expert like yourself?" Nitrim asks Lyrienne, watching her quietly over the rim of his cup as he takes some more of the cider into his system. Fingertips drumming on the glass, he nods sharply, a decision. "Alright, fuck it. I can do this."

"So what you're saying, Lyri, is that by hiding I'm just making them hungry, and really the best thing I can do right now is get out there and try to control it a little bit with an expert like yourself?" Nitrim asks Lyrienne, watching her quietly over the rim of his cup as he takes some more of the cider into his system. Fingertips drumming on the glass, he nods sharply, a decision. "Alright, fuck it. I can do this."

"She's right," Rook notes. "I can spin it maybe too." She's a hacker, she can get rumors flowing of the good kind if need be.

"Well, that's part of it, at least. It's good to get away from the press some," Lyrienne suggests, moving to sit on the end of the bed. "Let things cool down a little. But then it turns into a good deal of image management. I was lucky in that my mother made sure I had all sorts of consultants after the news of what had happened came out. They taught me a good deal about how to clean up my image. Granted, there are still and will always be people who think less of me for it. But things get better."

"Well don't get yourself in trouble, Rook, but if you wanted to give it a crack, maybe urge good rumors, I don't know." Nitrim replies to the brunette as he leaves her side and sits on the edge of his sofa. Wrapping his arms around his waist, he turns his attention to a rather dark painting, an abstract in reds and blacks sweeping over an all-black canvas. "With all of this side work, the Cabal, I've been doing I would rather the press just leave me alone, but after Soleil and the speculation behind this book, it might be a while till I can move around unnoticed, which is what I prefer."

"Rely on the rest of us," Rook says calmly. "If everyone is looking at you, no one is looking at anyone else," she points out, with her own strange brand of wisdom. "Keep press distracted. Let us move in anonymity."

"Well. We don't always get what we want, Nitrim. That's the price of being who we are." Lyrienne takes a sip of her cider, then holds the platter out toward him. "On the up side, there's never a shortage of cookies. So." Her smile flickers, and she takes another cookie for herself. "Speaking of which. How is the whole Awakened enterprise going? I hadn't heard anything in a while, I wasn't sure what had been decided. I've put in a request to see the…captive Hostile," she adds, brows furrowing for a moment. "Though I haven't heard anything back yet."

"I had my day in the sun, to be fair, I kept things quiet and under wraps for long, bloody longer than most others manage while not actually having to pay people off. I guess it's time for me to grow up, join the club." Nitrim agrees as he reaches back for another cookie. A grumble of approval sounds over his crunching teeth as he starts to gnosh again, tapping his chin with the rest of the cookie as he thinks on how to answer Lyrienne's question. "It's been rough. I think I'm at the center of a dream, I've seen a dream come true before my own eyes with that Hostile telling me to Release Me; same eyes, just more…female." Nitrim ponders. "And as it stands there appears to be people on the Haven side helping out the Hostile, as in helping them early on, maybe even were waiting for them to arrive. It's a fucking mess. I really hope this legitimizing myself lets me keep working on this, even if I have to let Rook, or you, or some of the others take the steam for a bit."

Rook pales a little at the mention of the captive Hostile, and she glances over at Nitrim worriedly for a moment, before finding a perch on the arm of the couch. She just sits quietly, eating cookies.

"I had that dream too," Lyrienne says quietly. "And the rain. I could really do with a few nights without the rain dream." She takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "I want to find out more about what they want from the Awakened. About what the blood means. I've just got this nagging feeling that the blood isn't as obvious as it seems. I'm hoping that maybe if I get a chance to meet with it, then I'll be able to make the connection."

"Well, if they're taking DNA, they might be trying to break into the Awakened powers and hoping it's genetic, but there's never been any sure-fire to any of that. I don't know. I just wish I could get that girl's trust." Nitrim stares off and then straightens, sitting up. Looking back to his door, he considers. "We should get everyone together for a chat, bring everyone together and get organized, soon. Very soon. Maybe after dinner." He pauses. "Anyone hungry?"

"Food sounds good," Rook admits, glad to steer away from the topic of Sarah.

"Blood. DNA. But why falling, rather than being taken away?" Lyrienne trails off, shaking her head. "Hungry?" she echoes, arching a brow and looking at the platter of cookies with some amusement. "Teenagers," she sighs dramatically. "All right, fine. I might as well, if I'm really eating for two. Let's go and see what the kitchens have going."

Momentarily reminded that he's not actually twenty years old yet, Nitrim laughs and takes a few cookies for the road. "Oh come on I'm wise for my years." He laughs, pointing to his bed. "Go ahead and leave your guitar case and we'll yank it out when we get back up. C'mon." Nitrim steps past them for the door. "Food first."

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