09.02.3013: Knights These Days
Summary: Lionel and Kassandra discuss life, death, love and sex while doing a perimeter check of the camp.
Date: 1 September 2013
Related: Sacrifice, A Respite, Making Camp, Hello? Is There Anybody Out There?
Kassandra Lionel 


The Wilderness - Eastern Spine
A forested area.
2 September 3013

Lionel looks mostly distracted as the helmet in his lap remains silent. He glances up toward Kassandra as she announces her wish to go on patrol, and he nods his head a bit. "I'll go with you, Kass." He sets his helmet aside so that they don't bring a noise box with them. He grabs his sword, slinging it across his back before he steps up to the woman to join her in a traipse through the woods.

Checking the axe holstered at her waist, Kassandra adjusts her belt before lifting her chin to signal that she has heard Lionel's offer. Her glance darts toward the helmets, now silent, and she exhales quietly before gesturing for Lionel to follow her through the brush and into the woods proper. Or, well, they're more like a scattered collection of trees occupying a couple of acres of uninhabited wilderness, but they serve well as a protective screen.

"You missed a glorious night last night," the Valen remarks to her companion in feigned cheerfulness that lends an almost robotic sound to her voice. "Kaedin nearly lost his shit, and then I swear I saw Chiron crying. Now the meds are making Jarek sob and the only people keeping their shit together seem to be the women." Kassie glances to Lionel and grins briefly. "Well, and you. Are you okay?"

"Don't worry," Lie says quietly toward her, "Jeremy gave me the coordinates for their location and his proposed meeting location through a very secured transmission." He taps his temples. "Jere's been part of the Druidic Order since he was a kid." Then he shrugs his shoulders a bit as he falls into stride with her. He tries to keep his footsteps quiet, but Lionel has always been like a bit awkward oaf in the woods. He looks over toward the Valen woman as she speaks of what he missed while he was out on patrol. He grimaces after a moment, and the question earns a half-hearted shrug. "You know about your pie and hot tub? I'm going to spend several days in a tavern, drinking into oblivion." He meets her grin after a sober moment. "I get why the squire was crying… shit, what did we even have to deal with as squires? I was knighted after some skirmish between Rovehn and Courcelle. I think I celebrated that knight with Rovehn and Courcelle knights alike." He pauses a moment, looking back toward the camp. "Chiron is going to get knighted while kneeling in the blood of dead Havenites." He grimaces. "As for Jarek… there is no honor in mindless revenge. We closed the gate, we saved tens if not hundreds of thousands of people who would have fallen if the Hostiles got that Ways. You know what was my first thought when we started to retreat?" He glances toward her. "'Gods, I just want to make it home alive.' I'm not a coward for thinking that."

Kassandra cannot help but laugh a little, even if the sound is almost devoid of humor; Lionel is a great calming influence, and so the built-up stress of dealing with everyone else's emotional pitfalls is slowly seeping away. "Watch your step," she murmurs, pointing ahead to a brush tangle cleverly disguising a fallen log; sometimes nature can be kind of a cruel bitch. "I would love to be drunk for a week, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I have too much work to do when we get home."

The Valen sweeps brush out of the way with her hand, holding back closely-growing branches and gesturing Lionel to precede her along their path. "And I get it. I do. I did my best to keep Chiron from bursting into tears, but I think by then I had exhausted my tolerance listening to Kaedin swear bloody revenge. We're not cowards. We completed our mission, which is more than I can say for a lot of people I know."

Pause. "My thoughts were worse, Li. I was worried my helmet had been ruined."

The Mane takes a broad step over the aforementioned brush. He nods his thanks. "I feel alive… almost normal… when I drink," Lionel says — and those words should carry some kind of warning about bad behavior, but the Rovehn doesn't notice. He just shrugs. "And I'm going to want to feel very alive after all this." He lapses into silence for a moment before he shakes his head at the assessment of Kaedin. "What did he want to do? Kill every Hostile on the Cape?" He shakes his head, grunting a bit. "What the fuck are they teaching Knights these days?" He kicks a bit of loose peat, sending it rolling ahead of them. He chuckles after a moment of her own thoughts, but he shakes his head. "Means you were still worried about making it out of there. If you weren't, then why the fuck would you care about your helmet?"

"Because my helmet is fucking expensive, that's why, and it always seems to get ruined first thing in combat. With all the blows to the head I've taken, it's a miracle my brain is still in tact." Kassandra opts to answer the last question first, but the conversation turns back to the talk of 'knights these days'. The Valen's frown is a deep one, a tacit agreement with Lionel's veiled insinuation at the absurdities of people. "He was pissed, royally pissed, at losing. Not only at losing, even, but at losing civilians. He disagreed with any number of casualties being an 'acceptable loss', and insinuated the term was born of — what was it, laziness? Something of that nature, anyway. It took all of my willpower and then some to keep from beating him to a bloody pulp."

Kassandra pauses in her reply to jump up onto a fallen tree, testing the log tentatively each step lest she put her weight straight into rotted wood. "I wanted to yell at him, but instead I spent my energy hoping he was just letting off some steam and didn't really mean it. He was insisting on going back to kill them all. I just…we need to get home. I need a break. I need…I don't know what I need. Something."

"Losing a thousand will always be better than losing ten thousand," Lionel remarks humorlessly. "We would all want no Havenites to die at the hands of these Hostiles… but the last time around, we lost, what, a third of the entire population over forty years?" He pauses. "If the Cape of Amran is the only settlement to fall to the Hostiles…" Those words fall off as he rolls his shoulders almost uncomfortably beneath his underarmor. "I compliment you, Sir, on your ability to hold back… I wouldn't have been able to." He looks up as she hops onto the log, and he smirks a bit. Whatever amusement touches him at the sight of her balacing on the log goes unsaid. "To get laid," he says dryly. "Sex is one of the primary food groups to a strong warrior."

At the word 'laid', Kassandra eeps in surprise, and the sound is timed with the crack of rotted wood as her foot sinks into a soft spot. She lets out a laugh of startlement, beckoning for Lionel to give her his hand so she can pull her leg free. Her cheeks are inflamed, a vivid blush that does nothing to enhance her beauty but rather to provide a sort of chidlish air that is wildly unbecoming (or so she believes). "I'm all talk, Li. I can't. I couldn't. I don't even want to. I just said it because, well, it's what people say in times like these."

Working her foot free without injuring herself, Kassie glances toward the Rovehn but fails to meet his gaze. "Anyway, what I need is a hot bath and a night of rest in my own bed. I will be right as rain the next morning and ready to go back to work." Ever the dutiful daughter is this one. "I can only hope my family makes no fuss about me whatsoever, or I will have to kick every one of them in the shin."

"What does that even mean," Lionel says with a touch of honest surprise, "'I can't, I couldn't, I don't even want to'?" He blinks over at her as he leans back a bit on his heels. There's a beat pause. "Kass… are you a Maiden?" And that's a very polite way to phrase that question, not that, that question is ever a polite one. He steps up toward her, hands tucked behind his back as he does. He shakes his head a bit, though there is a light smile at his lips, though he still tries to remain mostly polite as he waits to hear her answer.

It is quick work freeing her foot, as the log is mostly rotted in that section. Kassandra leans down to brush debris from her boot, using the moment as an opportunity to regain a degree of dignity and decorum. Of course, in Lionel's presence, it is absolutely impossible for a lady to be either of those. "And if I was?" she retorts quickly, and there is an edge of challenge in her voice. She straightens, tugging her tunic into place, and without so much as a glance at Lionel she leads the way not forward but off to the side to begin a perimeter check. "I do not have time in my schedule for dalliances. I belive they are a waste of energy, and can think of twenty more important tasks I could be tending to instead of mooning over some poncey, baby-faced jackass."

"Hey," Lionel puts up his hands in mock defense. "Nothing wrong with being Maiden girl." He smirks after a moment. "Though, the 'can't, won't, wouldn't even like it' assumption is rather amusing." He shakes his head then, steering a bit clear of the Valen in case his shins are victimized. He does follow after her though. "I think you're missing a rather large facet of human life, Kass." He shrugs his shoulders a bit. "I love my duties as a Knight. They were the first things in all the worlds that made me feel like I was more than gutter trash." Not that there are tons of gutters in the Caravan. "But, I'm also happy to have Jeremy around." He kicks at a bit of ground. "Companionship makes us human."

"And so I am not human because I'm not fucking someone?" Kassandra's eyes flash dangerously, and she kicks away a stick rather viciously as she stomps through the underbrush. "I have companionship. I have family. I have my brothers. I have my work. I am fulfilled." Oo, that almost sounds like a well-practiced mantra, spilling out of Kassie's mouth with nary a thought nor hesitation. "I'm not a naive 'Maiden girl', Li. I've considered it, and in doing so I've deemed it a waste of my time. One day I will marry, because my father will demand it, so I have no reason to bother with the trivialities of the 'heart'." She smirks with that final word, ducking beneath a low-hanging branch. "In the meantime, I can hope a Hostile takes off my head before that day comes. If there are gods, they'll hear my plea."

"I said companionship… not fucking. Get your underarmor untwisted." Lionel smirks. "Not that the fucking thing isn't a wonderful stress relief." He shrugs his shoulders again. "Man, girl… some guy or gal is going to walk in one day and take your breath away. And then you're going to come find me and tell me how wrong you were that day in the Godsdamn Arborenin Woods." He flashes her a lopsided smile. "All I'm saying is don't be too quick to keep that heart of yours in the steel coffin you think it belongs in." He tips his finger idly to her. "Besides… you're a right ass pain when you get all huffy puffy about relationships."

Kassandra scoffs loudly, rolling her eyes in an exaggerated expression of her absolute and total skepticism. "The day I come crawling to you professing some undying love for another person will be the day I commit suicide-by-Hostile or jump off of Leonnida Castle. And I rather like being alive, so we both know it's never going to happen." HARUMPH. BAH HUMBUG. Etc. By this point they are nearly two-thirds of the way through an entire perimeter check, with Kassie stopping every so often during the awkward silences to listen for any sounds that might be out of place. By the time she answers Lionel, her fury has dwindled into a slow-burning rage, which for the most part means she's in a downright pleasant mood again. "I don't keep my heart in a steel coffin, Li. I don't keep it at all. I'm just very happy with the way things are right now, and I don't need people fucking that up. That's all. People can be happy on their own. Maybe not everybody, I know, but some."

"You're so cute," Lionel says in what can only be even more obnoxious than this conversation. All he needs to do is pinch her cheek, but he's certain that's about when she kills him. So he just walks along side her, hands at his back, sword bobbing behind him. "Well… if you finally decide that you never want to be with a human being for an extended period of time, let me know. I'll get you a nice brothel boy so you can at least experience what everyone keeps talking about." And he carefully sidles over several steps to avoid any punches, kicks, or otherwise.

Kassandra reaches out to punch Lionel's arm playfully, but her fist catches air as he sidles just out of her reach. "I've seen it before. I truly don't understand the draw or why everyone gets so crazy about sex." She holds up a hand quickly to ward away any attempt at an explanation. "I don't really want to know, either, so save the sexy talk for Jere. But — thanks. For the offer, I mean. And thanks for not being the biggest twat in the world about my wishes, either. You were only the second biggest." She flashes the Rovehn a brief grin. "I didn't know men worked in brothels."

The Mane casts her a wry smile. "I can handle being the second biggest," he says, and there is almost some pride in his voice. He's even buffing his nails against the chest of his underarmor. "Though I will need to eventually usurp the biggest. Can't have any twats bigger than me hanging around." Then he offers a bark of laughter toward the woman, and he shakes his head. "Only the prettiest, dumbest men in all of Imperius work at brothels, but they are there for your delight." Again that lopsided smile is in full force.

"You'll have to armwrestle Niky for that trophy," Kassie replies offhandedly, perhaps not realizing until much later that she just called her brother gigantic twat. Well, so be it. She is silent for a minute, considering Lionel's description, and her grin widens perceptibly. "Gorgeous and stupid? My, but you know exactly how to win a lady's heart, Sir Lionel. Everyone has their place in society, and everyone has their merits. I'm assuming that these gorgeous and stupid men are also too scrawny to be useful soldiers? That's not very appealing."

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