07.24.3013: Hopes and Dreams
Summary: The Keats men and Rebecca converge for some quiet talk after a long day. Jeremy explains a recent Awakened dream and Rebecca speaks about her missing husband.
Date: 24 July 2013
Related: None
Jeremy Lionel Rebecca 

The Market Center — Pale Horse Caravan, The Vale
Though the exterior of the caravan is smooth and glasslike, allowing for solar energy harvesting, the interior of the caravan is more rural with wood and stone materials used to craft a small isolated township. Like any other caravan, the entire lower level of the Pale Horse Caravan is dedicated to the Market Center. It is a tall, soaring space that is about thirty feet in height with a series of glowing lights inset in the vaulted ceilings that simulates natural light. This shared space has dozens of shops and restaurants circled around an indoor courtyard garden. There are two broad ramps at the fore and rear of the sprawling market. They are floored in rough rubber carpeting that tranistions onto the hard and durable flooring crafted from wide slats of Arborenin elderwood. The substructures have facades of stone and wood with simple and subdued signage. Of these structures is a grocers, several specialty shops, and the famous Pale Horse tavern. There are several staircases and zigzagging rampways that lead up into the residential levels of the Caravan.
24 July 3013

Nighttime over the Caravan means hard light paddocks, and the lights of the rovers spread out across the grasslands. Jeremy has returned from a patrol, and has found himself a small section in the public area at the top of the caravan. His crossbow is set up under the streetlamp, and the Arborenin sits on a bench, a datapad in his lap and a stylus moving over it slowly, almost unconsciously. His head dips slowly, the stylus slowing even further, and then he starts upright, ethereal tendrils spreading out from him as his aura snaps into existence. Woah. He's definitely awake now.

Dax bursts out of the door of the Keats townhouse, bounding happily down the short steps onto the lawn in front of the house. He scratches wildly at his ear with his rear foot, panting happily as he waits for his owner to catch up. Within a couple moments, Lionel follows out as he shoulders on his greatcoat. He pauses at the abrupt sight of the Awakened aura, and he blinks several times before he offers a bit of a smirk as he comes up toward Jeremy. "Any reason you're sitting out here?"

Rebecca has just returned from a scouting run, and finished the brush and curry comb routine on Spectre. She has a little free time before tonight's babysitter, Ioan's grandmother Edna, is off the clock. She makes her way up to the public area near the top of the caravan with a skewer of marinated pheasant meat on a plate over some rice. She's in simple breeches, tunic, vest, as usual. She spots the familiar faces, and familiar dog, and raises a hand in greeting.

Jeremy opens his eyes, white from lid to lid. He draws in a long, slow breath, then his aura dims, his eyes returning to their usual clarity. A shiver runs down his spine, and he looks up to Lionel as Dax goes nosing around the stylus he dropped in his surprise Awakening. Shaking his head and running both hands back through his hair, he offers up a little smile, "Well, I was sketching, and then I had a Dream." Looking over at the wave, he lifts a hand in greeting to Rebecca as well, then reaches down, "C'mon Dax… gimme the stylus, bud."

Dax stops nosing the stylus and promptly picks it up in his mouth. He starts to bound happily around the pair of Keats before his ears perk up at scent of Rebecca. Ooh, friend! He immediately starts to bounce toward the woman while still holding onto the stylus. Lionel looks up toward Bex, and he flashes her a grin and a wave. "Hey, beautiful," he says across the way before he glances toward Jeremy once more, blinking at the news of a Dream — capital 'D'. "What did you dream?"

"Hey boys." Rebecca plucks a pheasant chunk off the skewer and sets her plate somewhere high up. She crouches down near Dax and murmurs, "I'll trade you, short, cute, and hairy. Food for the stylus." She holds it up above the dog's head, forcing him to sit to see it, and holds out her palm for the pen.

Jeremy shuts off his tablet, shaking his head a little, "Nothing… clear. Sand turning red, I think it was blood, and then black as if burned." He shakes his head again as if trying to shake the Dream off, "I miss the nice Dreams. The quiet ones, you know?" He watches Dax bound off, letting a little smile touch his lips, "Well, he's not exactly short, Bex."

Dax blinks those warm brown eyes up at Rebecca several times before he immediately drops the stylus for the offered treat. He bounces up a bit to grab it, tail ruthlessly beating the ground as he turns back to bounce up toward Lionel and Jeremy. The Valen Keats glances back up toward Rebecca as she is rewarded with a slobbery stylus, and he waves her to come join them. He frowns down at Jeremy's response before he looks back over toward Bex, and he puffs out his chest a bit.

Rebecca re-gathers her plate in her free hand, and moves to the Keats family to deliver one drool-covered stylus back to Jeremy. "If you plan on having a kid, get used to the slobber," she warns.

Jeremy takes the stylus back, wiping it off on his sleeve, then tucks it into the tablet, "Oh, he's gotten it before." He leans back on the bench, "Come on, Lie… nothing for that one? I call you 'not-exactly-short,' 'cute,' and 'hairy' all at once, and I get nothing? You must be tired." Pointing over to Lionel, he reaches down to scruff Dax's ears as he adds to Rebecca, "He actually dragged me out on patrol. I haven't ridden that long in years."

Lionel snorts a bit down toward Jeremy before he plops down to sit beside his husband. He darts a glance toward him before he shrugs. "I haven't slept well since the Hostiles broke the navy's line." He rubs at his jaw a bit as he looks up toward Rebecca. "You ready to start hardcore patrols, Bex?" His voice sounds tired even as he poses the question. He does frown a bit toward Jeremy, wishing to ask more about those dreams, but he is stalled for now.

"Just wait til tomorrow. Your backside and inner thighs are going to be very displeased with you," Rebecca quips to Jeremy. She grimaces a bit at Lionel and nods. "I am. I'll be updating my will tomorrow. I need to make sure Sophia is taken care of."

Jeremy shakes his head at Lionel once more, "It wasn't like the one with the storm and the drakes and the eagle. Just the sand and the bl — " he stops, considering, then sighs, "blood, and fire. It was blood and fire." The weary words are a realization, not an admission. "It also wasn't like the one with the knight. Nothing clear, just… sand, blood, and fire. And maybe…" his brows furrow as he considers more, "…maybe a cry for help." Shaking it off, he looks back up, "Sorry. And I'm sure Lady Rovehn would see her taken care of if you fell in battle, Bex."

Lionel frowns. "Blood and fire," he repeats before he breathes out a sigh and starts to rub at his shoulder thoughtfully. "I wish you stopped having dreams," he confesses instead though he does look up toward Bex as she comes close. "My mother has already volunteered if you need someone to watch her… or even take care of her more long term. She thinks it is rather cute that it took your kid to convince us we needed one of our own."

"Dreams of blood and fire? That doesn't sound good," Rebecca notes quietly. She nods to Jeremy. "I'm sure she will, but I want the paperwork in place just to be sure. And I'd love to give Granny Edna some relief with watching Sophia. She's 80 years old. Still sharp as a tack, but I worry she'll break a hip chasing a toddler in a few months."

Jeremy shakes his head at Lionel's frown, rising from the bench and stepping over to cup the back of his husband's head with one hand, "I don't. They're a gift, no matter how unpleasant. They're a warning, a foresight. Three drakes… that could be something important for Haven." A little laugh touches his lips, and he shrugs at Rebecca, "I don't know… the sand could have been nice. But honestly, how likely is it to see anything like flowers and sunshine these days? And it would be horrible for a Rovehn to break a hip… no riding, and all these stairs…"

Lionel does not look convinced, though he does meet his husband's eyes briefly. "Our child is going to be Awakened, isn't she?" Then he breathes out a heavy sigh that sinks his shoulders once more. "Fuck." Then he looks up toward Rebecca. "Did you hear we're looking for surrogates?" He asks, trying to change the topic to more cheerful subject matter.

"Well if you want a child and aren't adopting, I suspect a surrogate is the way to go," Rebecca says. She works chunks of pheasant off the skewer to eat them. "And Awakened dreams are important. They're from the gods right?" she looks between them.

Jeremy shakes his head at Lionel again, laughing softly and letting his hand drop from the back of the other man's head, "Don't worry, there's only like… what… a ten percent chance of that." He nods his agreement at Rebecca's statement, "That's what the Chantry says." From some men, especially some Arborenin, there would be doubt in those words. From Jeremy, however, they're simply confirmation. He looks over to Lionel, smiling just a little, "I don't know, if we can find and afford a surrogate, I'd like a child who was both of us. But adoption would work too." Collecting his crossbow and slinging it over his shoulder once more, he smiles at Rebecca, "You know that when I came out to the Caravan the first time, I had a Dream of finding a horse to call my own…" There's a touch of a smile to his lips, and he glances over to Lionel, making it unclear if he's joking or not…

Lionel glares a bit toward Jeremy at the mention of his dream. "I'm not your horse," he says, though shortly after he crosses his arms in a bit of a sulk, he releases a low whinny. Then he looks up toward Rebecca, and a sly thought touches his eyes. "You know, Rebecca…" And then he thinks better of it, waving his hand dismissively. "Nevermind, you would never go for it." He casts a dubious smile toward his fellow Rovehn before he glances down at Dax who has flopped on Rebecca's feet with the kind of adoration he gives everyone who he feels isn't allowed to move until he does.

"Well Lie is about as ornery as one, but I have to confess he's prettier than most horses. Most," Rebecca quips. "I'd offer to help you both but," she shrugs, "I still am not convinced that Ioan is dead. And I can't bring myself to stop looking for his body, not even to gestate what would undoubtedly be a gloriously beautiful child consider its daddies' looks." She tosses Dax another chunk of bird.

Jeremy swings a light slug at Lionel's shoulder, "It's symbolism, you outrageous ass." He shakes his head at Rebecca, "I understand entirely, Bex. But you're needed on the battlefield as much as we are, yeah?" He looks down at the pup, chuckling softly, "He's just a little attention whore, isn't he?" Looking over to Jeremy, he winks briefly, then shrugs, "I think between us we can probably pay for a surrogate well enough, someone who isn't taking away from the front lines. And I'm sure Ioan is out there, Bex. When he can get back to the Caravan, he will."

Lionel takes the light slug to his shoulder with a full-bodied sway. He then looks up toward Jeremy to gasp, "I'm not an attention whor — oh, you meant him." And he looks down at the puppy who gnashing away at his treat as he beats the ground with his tail happily. The Keats then shakes his head and sighs. He rubs at the back of his head a bit. "Bex, why don't Jeremy and I go out and see if we can find him? I mean, we're near where he was last seen, aren't we?"

"They found his gear in the Forlorn Swamps. It's too dangerous to ask you guys to go there to find him," Rebecca says quietly. "But thank you for asking. I appreciate it. I can't be off the field to make your baby any more than you can to find my husband. We're at war."

Jeremy shrugs at Lionel, "Six of one, half a dozen of another. He's a little hairier, you're a little taller." He nods to Lionel's words, then smiles faintly at Rebecca's statement, "There are Hostiles in the Forlorn Swamps. They need to die too." A long, jaw-cracking yawn causes Jere to ball up a fist to cover his mouth, "Sorry. I need a painkiller and a bed. Or maybe two painkillers."

Lionel snorts before he rolls up to his feet. He steps forward, immediately capturing Rebecca in a hug. He squeezes her gently before he steps back to smile down into her face. "We will talk about it again tomorrow. I'm serious, Bex." Then he gives her shoulder a gentle pat as he steps away. He whistles down to Dax, the dog bouncing up to trail up behind the Valen Keats before he slaps Jeremy gently on the shoulder. "Let's go." He nods his chin a bit to Bex. "Patrol tomorrow, ten a.m."

Rebecca watches after the pair and looks surprised at their enthusiasm for the swamps. "They are so going to regret this," she mutters.

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