06.02.3013: Ears Burning Red
Summary: Just after Ariana and Keanen meet over lunch to discuss their friend Soleil, Soleil shows up.
Date: 02 June 2013
Related: Happens just after About Soleil. Linked to Tournament Feast and The Awakened Unveiled as well as A Matter of Hospitality and Opiate for the Masses. A lot of them!
Soleil Keanen 

An outdoor cafe at the Grand Esplanade - Landing
An outdoor cafe that serves Nubilus-esque cuisine somewhere along the Grand Esplanade

Although the Grand Esplanade is centered on a double lane for ground vehicles and carriages, the majority of the broad street is held for pedestrian use. Smooth pavement extends out around planters that keep vehicle traffic away from people on foot, exposing a broad expanse to the feet of passers by.

The Esplanade leads past scores of little hole-in-the-wall shops and kiosks selling everything from daggers to scarves to jewelry. Light posts are interspersed with the planters, casting a warm glow over the Esplanade at night, while electrostatic shields blur the skies but keep off any rain from above, leaving the Esplanade crowded day or night, rain or shine.

Towering over the Esplanade to the west is the shimmering steel spire of the Citadel, while the Gardens of Erkwin and the Landing Stadium lie to the east. Directly north is the magnificent Palace Towers, seat of House Sauveur.

2 June 3013

Keanen is standing at a table on the patio of a sidewalk cafe along the Esplanade, watching his friend Ariana leave. It's a little place that serves Nubilus cuisine, and to not be Nubilus, it's not terrible. His long hair is pulled tight into a pony tail. He sighs, and flops back down into his chair, the two lunches left half eaten and at the center of the table as he rubs his temples with his cybernetic hand.

Soleil seems to be arriving just as Ariana is preparing to leave. The young lady is dressed for city-walking, which means a stylish, youthful suit of leather with knee-length skirt, tall boots, gloves. Her hair is severely pulled back but then suddenly allowed— or styled— to go wild at the nape of her neck. The whole outfit is black and grey, and today her hair lacks even the subtlest of colors.

Keanen sighs, and glances out into the walking area, where he sees Soleil. He chuckles, rolling his eyes and mumbling, "…great…" And then he waves, "Sol!"

"Kean," the young woman greets him, cutting in front of some annoying teens who don't realize til too late that they were about to interfere with the path of a royal. For today her status as someone Kind of Important is much more obvious. Her knight is in the Saveur livery, and no doubt there are plain clothes bodyguards around that leave the young woman the facade of not being totally crowded with guards.
"What's up?" she asks as she reaches his table, and eyes the plates there suggesting an interrupted tryst. or, maybe just an interupted lunch. She doesn't sit until a waitress sweeps them away and polished the table— and her chair— clean.

Keanen gestures, "Have a seat. You just missed Air. She had to run. Sounds like one of her siblings may have been hurt." He sighs, and watches her a moment. "How um - How are you?"

Soleil eyes Keanen, an air of suspicion suddenly settling about her. This is how sometimes the interventions begin. "…fine. You? Did something happen? I didn't hear about another attack." She glances at her knight who has settled down nearby, still on his feet but relaxed. He shrugs. Looking back to Keanen, she eyes him a moment before turning to answer the waitress who has stopped by for her order.
"You know, it's a good thing you had to rush off last night but we would have liked your company. Your brother's totally weird though."

Keanen smiles back at her, "My whole family is weird." He scratches the back of his neck, and shrugs, "I don't actually know what happened, she had to go pretty fast." He takes a drink of his water, and as he sits the glass back on the table, he tilts his head a bit. "You were the woman in black."

Soleil watches Keanen for a long moment, eyes boring. "Your sister needs to learn to hold her tongue," Soleil she counters at last, leaning back and crossing her one leg over the other while the waitress brings her drink. "In more ways than one. Anyway, yeah? What if I was?"

Keanen shrugs, "I'm not my sister. We've been friends long enough for you to know that." He tilts his head just a bit more, "I just… We…" He huffs, and then furrows his brow a little. "Are we friends?"

"What the hell does that mean?" Soleil laughs, but the laugh is slightly uneasy. In the past, she's been pretty keen to avoid much vulnerable, emotional, heart to heart stuff, but she can see Keanen's got some serious baggage on his mind. She shifts her attention to the purple cocktail that just arrived, and plucks the glowing green cherry out of it to eat.

Keanen looks a little sad, and he nods, pursing his lips. He looks away, then back at her. "Forget it. I should go." And he pushes to his feet.

"Sit." It's somewhere between a request and a demand, and it causes Soleil's knight to perk up.

Keanen lingers, and he chews on the inside of his cheek for a moment, looking out at the folks on the street as he decides to stay or go. He finally slowly nods, and sits, but now his arms are folded over his chest. "If I'm to stay, then I'd like an answer." He looks at her, in the eyes, "Are we friends?"

"I hope you're staying because I asked and not because I ordered," she replies, toying with the stem of the cherry she just swallowed. "A friend would stay because I asked." The knight settles back down, regretful he didn't get to throw his weight around a little, assuming Soleil would have actually made keanen stay.
"I laughed because it's a stupid question. I'm annoyed you'd ask it. When have I ever pulled rank or status except when I wanted to get us a slightly better table or something? What do you think I am if I am not your friend?"

Keanen continues to look directly at her, "You're annoyed? Damnit, Sol, you're so different than when I saw you last, I don't KNOW anymore. Even at the club, you wouldn't amp, you would hardly pay me any attention. Did you even dance at all?" He shakes his head, "If you're my friend, then why would you keep that from me? Why would you not tell me you were Awakened?"

Keanen is kicked under the table, really hard, in the shin. You wouldn't think Soleil could have done it because above the table she looks as cool as a space cucumber, but who else could it have been?
"Who says I am? just because I was at that meeting?" She gives him a piercing look, her most penetrating. "First of all, Keanen, I am different. I didn't really have a choice in the matter. When your relatives kidnap you and inform you things are going to change, and your relatives happen to rule the entire system, you change. They finally noticed me, that's the problem. They remembered daddy had a little girl and they felt sorry for her after all those years and decided to rectify all the neglect, and here I am, loved and cherished in the bosom of my family." It's incredibly hard to tell what tone she's taking here— sarcasm, resignation, pride— Soleil can be so devoid of any hints sometimes.
She shrugs. "That's just how it is. Someday your family will make you straighten up too. You'll marry a girl in a stiff dress and make lots of little forest brats and do something in an official capacity. And you won't ge to do amp any more, or sleep with a different girl every night." Quiet lecture over, Soleil leans back again.
"There's shit you don't know about me. So what? Enjoy the mystery and don't take it personally. We're friends. If I have kept thing to myself it's because I needed to. Besides, I would have thought you had most of it figured ut already anyway."

Keanen curls his lips and looks away once more, shaking his head. "Yeah, that's what Air said, too…" He sighs, looking back at her. "I enjoy the mystery. But, I also miss the old you." He shrugs, "And, figured it out or not, I just thought the three of us were close enough that something like that would have come up."

"I'm still here, Keanen." She shrugs, turning her drink slowly between her hands. "You'll probably find me making it up to you soon, anyway. But before that comes around, we have another problem. It's not really your problem but I thought because she is your sister, and because it's for your sake I am going to be /nice/ about things, that I should involve you."
"It's not about pull, it's about the fact that because I am your friend I am going to choose a nice method. Here's the thing. Eilara is a guest in Landing. She was a guest at the school. Now I realize she may have a lot of clout in Arboren but here, there are people with more clout. She needs to understand that if a prince's daughter wants to enter a school where she is a student, wearing a cowl, and attend a meeting where no rules have been set forth other than 'If you are Awakened you can come', and that if the security of that school has, in their great wisdom, allowed that student who is a prince's daughter to enter said meeting, then she doesn't get to call the shots. I know she and her little Peake boy want to pretend the whole thing was some personal insult to them, but they need to understand— it's not about them. This narcissistic obsession that some person wanting to keep her identity a secret was all just to insult them is about the most ludicrous backwoods thing I have ever heard. This is Landing. I don't know how you lot do things in the woodsy treetops, but here, they're not the biggest fish in the pond. I am not the biggest fish in the pond. But I do answer /directly/ to the biggest fish in the pond." Soleil draws a breath.
"In short, keanen, your sister needs to understand that if a prince's daughter wants to do that shit, and it's okay with the authorities, then the prince's daughter will do that shit. And she will accept it. It's quite unfortunate she didn't think things through and realize I was there to support her effort. She alone doesn't have the excuse of not knowing who I was. She knew who I was, and she still chose to speak to me as she did. This was not wise."

Keanen folds his arms over his chest once more, looking at her rather discerningly. "Why did you wish your identity kept secret in that room?"

"I don't want people thinking Soleil Saveur is…" She trails off meaningfully. "And it's my righ and my business. If your sister an all the other super special fireball-fantasy afficianados want to advertise their great and blessed state, fine. Many people don't feel comfortable with that. And you don't know they exist because they want it that way. Now anyone who wants to is free to host a meeting in their house or on their land and dictate only people with green eyes and black hair can come, and I don't care. Let them. If your sister wants to host a meeting where she demands everyone present make themselves known, that's also her right. But that's not what she did. But that's beside the point. She made a big mistake. And she compounded that mistake by telling people who I was when she had it quite plainly laid before her that I wished discretion. I have to wonder who else she told."

Keanen shakes his head, "She didn't tell me." He leans back in his chair, though his arms are still folded over his chest. "I don't know if she's told anyone at all." He shrugs, "You don't want people knowing that you're what? A freak? Like me?"

"Now you're just not being fair," Soleil says, her lips forming a severe frown. "What I am is my business. What I judge myself to be has shit to do with you. How I feel about this stuff is my right. have I /ever/ treated you badly?" She holds up a hand abruptly, because he could probably answer yes to that. Being a major tease, for starters. "Nevermind, that has nothing to do with it. Just quit this hurt puppy stuff. You and I are different people with different experiences. And this gift isn't the same for everyone."

"I'm not being FAIR?" Keanen asks a little indignantly. "I find out one of my best friends has been keeping something pretty major secret from me, and you just dismiss me because I'm not being fair? And yet you expect me to tell my sister to play nice?" He shakes his head, "What the hell, Sol. It's like I don't even know you…"

Soleil's look darkens. "First of all, Keanen, it's for the sake of our friendship that your sister needs to play nice. Secondly, I doubt you have told me the things about yourself which you feel are most private. And if you have? Well you're fucking lucky to not having anything as dark in you soul as I do." Soleil curses less these days too, and the appearance of the F-bomb indicates she's losing patience. "WHAT do you WANT?"

"For the sake of our friendship?" Keanen repeats, suddenly much calmer. "That's where we are now? I convince my sister to play nice, or you and I aren't friends anymore?" He stands. "Maybe we weren't friends before, if that's how you feel this has to go down." He scowls then, just a little, "You clearly don't understand friendship and trust."

Soleil stares at Keanen a little, and this time she doesn't order him to sit. "I mean if I do something to your sister I imagine it would damage our friendship," Soleil says. "I meant if there's antopathy between two people you care about, it causes a problem." She rises, and motions to her knight. "I think you're just determined to be outraged. And…I guess you're right. You don't know me at all." Her knight offers her her cloak and she slips it on, turning to go.

Keanen furrows his brow again, "I have zero desire to be outraged with you, Sol. None at all." He huffs, "DO something to my sister?" He tosses his arms out a bit to the side, "Just what do you intend to DO to my sister?"

"Well I intended to try and straighten things out with her, since we were friends and all. Let her try and make amends so in future we can work together. I doubt that's happening now, though, as you and I don't even know each other anymore." Soleil's getting out her little electric cigarette, which she seems to have replaced. "I don't know, maybe your brother can talk some sense into her before she ruins her future by mouthing off to the wrong person." Soleil heads down the steps, not looking back.

Keanen watches her a moment, and then slams his human fist down on the table, a crackle of electricity surrounds it as he does so, the table shattering beneath his hit. "Fuck." He shakes his head, and mumbles, "…what the hell just happened…" He huffs, and a moment later, several employees rush out to see just what he's done. He sighs.

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