06.15.3013: Reveille
Summary: Anabethe and Reena barge into Nitrim's room to find Soleil in his bed. One sister approves, the other does not. Amidst the fighting, Nitrim comes clean to Anabethe about his addiction.
Date: 11 June 2012
Related: None
Nitrim Anabethe Reena Soleil 

Nitrim's Apartments — Volkan, Imperius
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 Obsidia 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.

June 15, 2012

Early morning has come and gone over Volkan, and the sun has reached a higher point in the sky casting a lengthened shadow of the Blackspyre over Obsidia below. With the Grantham's currently partaking in Guestright, Nitrim has excused himself to his own private council after being seen out and about in the city with Lady Soleil Saveur at the Public House bar. He has not been seen since that night, did not appear at breakfast in the morning, and has not come out of his room in quite some time. His personal attendants have stated that they have not seen him exit his room, and no requests for food or for service have been received since late last night a small tray of food.

Deep within his chambers, which are dimly lit by the heavy curtains drawn over his panoramic balcony, Nitrim lays in his bed still. One black-pajama clad leg is sticking out of the blankets which are drawn up to his waist, and his arm is slung underneath a pale, blonde-haired girl that is nestled against his chest and far more covered by the blankets than he is. The tray of food is mostly eaten, sitting to the side of his bed. A late night…indeed.

As usual, Reena has been up since the crack of dawn, handling the mundane matters of keeping Blackspyre running like a well-oiled machine while Lord Jevon is away. Upon hearing that her brother is being a layabout, she to rouse Anabethe, and passed her sister a few water balloons filled with ice water. "Time to wake the baby," she declares, as they creep up to the doors to his apartments.

"Nitrim!" Anabethe truly has a voice for battlefields. It has a gift for cutting through noise and silence alike. And sleep. Despite the fact that she lingered late and well past seven drinks at the public house, she's been up and about already, sparring and staying sharp. Now? Now it's time to be difficult. "What are you, passed out? I thought you had a stranger constitution than that!" She does hold one of the balloons behind her back as she strides into the room, seeking out her dear baby brother.

"Whaaaat the /fuck/?" A groggy female voice. Stirring beside him, the pale-haired girl, the latest thing for Nitrim to drag home after prowling the clubs? It's definitely the tone of voice a girl who stayed up way too late and has a hangover would use. Whoever it is is mostly concealed by wildly mussed platinum hair, which she shoves under a pillow. Muffled— "You have the worst fucking valet in the fucking system."

"Ana—Fuck.." Nitrim wakes up quickly, his eyes slashing open at the booming command of his sister. His free arm rises to his forehead to rub at his eyes as he leans up on one elbow from the bed. With Soleil slipping further under the blankets to hide beneath his pillows, he pushes up the rest of the way until his tattooed shoulder taps against its large, ornate headboard. "It's not a valet its…" He sidelongs to his bed partner and wipes the sleep from his eyes. As if trying to ward Anabethe and Reena from coming closer, he sticks a hand, palm out, towards them. "Hey, could you guys come back in an hour? Now's not a very good time…"

Reena is wise for her years, and uses Anabethe as a sort of human shield, peering out from around her elder sister to chuck her water balloons in the direction of Nitrim's bed. "INCOMING!" she hollers as the missiles soar through the air. Then she doubletakes and peers around Anabethe again at the sight of another body-shape under the covers.

"Oh, Nitrim. Really? Right back to your room?" Anabethe tosses the balloon in her hand, making a rather poor shield as she comes around closer to get a look at her brother's new friend. "Hello, flavor of the evening!" she declares cheerfully. "I hope he told you about the family. Da's ready to marry him off, I hear, so you could be stuck with us sooner rather than later." She's not dropping the balloon just yet, though. She's more interested in the new thing in the bed.

Splash. Even if it's Nitrim who gets hit, enough water would splash on his companion to cause drama. She doesn't spring up, indignant and obscenely nude, which the sister might have found amusing. Alas, whatever the cat dragged home lies there, motionless, for a full five seconds. Then—

"What. The. Fuck." The voice sounds just plain incredulous. No. No, someone did not just throw water on her. It CAN'T be.


The water balloon from Reena claps against the side of Nitrim's face, splattering his blonde hair and the pillows with frigid water. He was still half asleep. Now he's not.

"REENA! FUCKING HELLS! He chokes, fingers clenching into fists as a shiver crosses over his lips. He reaches for a dry section of blanket in an attempt to keep himself warm. "Flavor of the—It's not like th-" He gripes, looking to Anabethe with gritted teeth, giving her the REALLY? look while he tries to shove the water balloon out of her hand. "I thought I re-keyed the fucking room. Are you serious, Anabethe, is Father really eyeballing that?"

Deflating just a little, he rubs his hands over his face and leans towards the pillows that Soleil is hiding under. "My…sisters are in the room."

"She sounds awfully feisty, Anabethe. Just who does our dear brother have in his bed?" Reena queries with a devious grin. She rounds Anabethe's frame to jump up and sit on the edge of Nitrim's bed. "Come out, come out! Whoever you are. We won't let our brother keep you cooped up in this place. There is food and coffee downstairs. Has he paid you yet for your services?"

"She does have a mouth on her, doesn't she?" Anabethe observes as she comes to lean against the bedpost closest to Nitrim's companion. "Father's always eyeballing something that helps the family," she shrugs to her brother, still holding on to her ammunition for the moment as she tries to take a closer look at the girl in the bed. "Nitrim. Tell me you didn't bring the Sauveur back here," she sighs, long-suffering.

Oooo that's gotta hurt. Whatever girl Nitrim's managed to bring home must be feeling utterly humiliated just now. Her romantic fairytale evening, in which Nitrim Khournas, hearthrob bachelor of the club scene, invited her to his palatial residence, has ended in the worst way possible.

Rather than leap from the bed and run from the room with her clothes clutched to her bosom, however, the girl moans a little as if it's just such a shitty pain to have to wake up, rolls over so that the pillow that was on top of her now ends up behind her head, and scoots languidly up to put her back to the headboard. Her hair's in total disarray about her face, the worst case of bedhead since man first slept in outer space. Soleil is indeed wearing a t-shirt. One of Nitrim's.

She groans faintly again and rubs her eyes, saying in a weary voice, "No…no, the hooker left like…three hours ago."

"Well fuckall know Father pays his house knights for their services, Reena, and that doesn't stop you now, does it?" Nitrim fires back, a rather inside-joke jab at his beautiful, horrible sister. His face contorts, mouthing the words The Wall?, The WALL? to her with no lack of teasing in his facial expressions. His index and middle finger sprout up, giving her a rude gesture.

"Okay…" Nitrim harrumphs from between his fingers to Anabethe, speaking to her as if she's the good cop, where Reena is the bad cop. At least with the water balloon, Anabethe is the one to barter with as she has the bigger threat. "Anabethe…" He starts an impromptu speech that is cutoff by Soleil's sarcastic joke. YES. It's the Saveur in bed with him, there's no sense in hiding it any more. "…she's telling the truth, but it's okay, she left through a side gate."

"Oh my," Reena purrs. "The Princess' handmaiden nonetheless. Brother dear, I have to give you kudos for upping your game." She gives Nitrim a secretive look, the sort that usually means she will be using this information as leverage in the future. She pulls out her handkerchief to dab the water off her brother's face. "Lady Soliel, I do apologize for whatever inadequacies Nitrim visited upon you last night. If you would like something for your hangover, as you must have been drunk to come home with my darling brother, I can get a hold of something for you."

Anabethe's lips quirk as she struggles against amusement at Soleil's answer. She's trying to be responsible, but it's so much more fun not to be… "Great. I'm sure Da will be completely reassured that the hooker you brought in to amuse yourself with a member of the royal family left through a side door. Because that's totally the part he's going to be concerned about." She crosses one arm loosely across her chest, amusement slipping through her features as she looks to the woman in question. "Have the two of you thought through the consequences of this sort of thing yet?"

Soleil is glowering through her hair, her arms crossed beneath her breasts. "If you're in the habit of emasculating him like that," she begins, "It's no wonder he just wanted to cuddle last night." She actually sounds just a touch…defensive. "Nitrim, rehab's going to be a breeze for you," she adds as an aside to her bedmate.

To Anabethe the girl turns and, sweeping locks of messy hair from her face, says, "We haven't thought /anything/ through. We're 19."

Rehab. Nitrim blinks and suddenly realizes the dreaded word has been said. Before anyone can say anything in response to it, his eyes flash white and something on the nightstand flings like a rock towards the open window. The curtains whip as it sails by, and his eyes return to normal again.

"It's okay, Soleil, they're just trying to get one in on me. Devil knows I've made life difficult enough for them." His hand moves under the comforter, likely near her leg, for an affectionate brush. She wears his tee shirt. No, this wasn't about sex.

"Reena? Anabethe?" He looks over to them, eyebrows knitting together. "Father doesn't need to know about this. I don't care how high the price is, and I don't care how long this takes. Soleil's been helping me through something and we've become close and I'd rather avoid something the two of you say deciding that I immediately need to marry some kind of punishment match."

Reena's expression softens for a moment at Anabethe's words, and she folds her handkerchief neatly to pocket it. "Really, Beth, it's 3013, not 1813. No one expects someone to go to their marriage bed a virgin, and if they want to have some fun while they're still young, more power to them." She sighs as if she's so very much more than a year Nitrim's senior. "Really though, I am rather glad my brother has shown some taste in this instance and that he has a friend. Is there anything you need, Lady Soliel?"

"Not the consequences I was thinking of, actually," Anabethe, snorts softly to Reena. "More the potential complications like, say, pregnancy. Ruined reputations. Or Da fixing them up for good." She arches a brow as she watches the bottle shoot out the window, still bouncing the balloon gently in her hand. "Not sure I like you enough for you to marry my brother," she drawls in a dry tone to Soleil before moving to sit on the edge of the bed, completely comfortable despite the awkwardness of the situation. "Let's start at the beginning, Nitrim. Just what is it she's helping you through, and why couldn't you come to family first?"

Apparently ready to forgive Reena the rude awakening since she seems to be down with the whole need to slip the chastity belt every once in a while, Soleil gives her head a small shake. "No, thanks." Then, an incredulous look to Anabethe. "-Pregnancy-? It's…the 31st century," she says. "My mother may be dead by my father hired a woman to have 'the talk' with me. I know how to keep things free and easy." She glances at Nitrim. Despite her sense of self and composure, this /is/ getting a little uncomfortable.

"Anyway how come it'd be such a bad thing for your house if he married a Saveur. Or for mine if I married a Khournas."

"Pregnancy's not a threat, clearly I enjoy her company, and reputation-wise our House has always been staunch supporters of House Saveur." Sarcasm. It's what's for dinner. Nitrim says while rubbing at his eyes, then peels his hand over his forehead to mop back his sopping wet, blonde hair. This is, at least, Nitrim's quick-fire reply to Anabethe's list of concerns, though his answer is more of a murmured how I'd spin it than an actual response. Her conerns he understands all to well.

He has just enough time to return Soleil's look, which is cast over a sweaty brow before Anabethe asks the hard question. He looks to his eldest sister and sighs, shaking his head. "I'd rather change the subject. You said something about breakfast?"

"Please Beth, no one has children unintentionally in this day and age," Reena notes with a smirk. She noticed the bottle, but she's keeping mum about what it was. Being the two youngest, there is a strange loyalty she holds for Nitrim. When Anabethe questions him, her expression tightens and she shakes her head ever so slightly, as if to warn him off of answering with the truth. She looks at Soleil and shrugs. "It depends on what else you bring to the table. Our father is somewhat pragmatic, he wants tangible advantage from a marriage, as much or more than a good name. If he can find both, then that will be the avenue pursued." She leaves off the unspoken whether we like it or not. "And there are waffles with real maple syrup and cinnamon butter waiting downstairs."

Soleil nods faintly for some reason.

"I'd rather not change the subject." For all Anabethe bucks their father, when she gets stubborn, there's no mistaking the relationship between them. "Why would you take on something difficult with a stranger instead of family?" There's a look for Soleil as well, though it's a less friendly one now. "Like I said, I don't know if you're good enough for my brother, whatever family you come from. Maybe he doesn't believe that his family stands behind him. But I'll stand in front of him."

Soleil's head falls /just/ slightly to the side as she regards Anabethe. A pause. "I have confidence Nitrim can overcome any obstacle. Any obstacle at all," she says with calm certainty. "As for stranger— I'm not a stranger. Not to him. and he's the Khournas I wish to know. Though I'm perfectly fine accomodating any others who wish a mutual acquaintance." Here she offers a nod to Reena. "Within reason of course. I'll probably keep the slumber parties to Nitrim." She adds, "Oh and whores of course."

Eyes hooded beneath his brows, Nitrim sends a quieted look to Reena, knowing well his back has been speared against the headboard by Anabethe. With nowhere to go, he sighs and reaches to his nightstand for a pack of cigarettes. He fishes one out, slips it between his lips, and lights it with a self-generated flame from his fingertips. He takes the first drag and holds the cigarette in his left hand, exhausting the smoke away from Anabethe. He looks to Soleil, leveling her with a long, quieted look, as if dangling on either side of letting the cat out of the bag. Best to feed as little as possible.

"Soleil isn't feeding any bad habits, and if you understood just what she's risked to support me you might think differently." He starts, teeth biting down over his words. He leans his head, trying to get her eyes back over to him. "I've enough issues between our Father and I, Anabethe. There are some things that Father would not accept, and things I've been suffering for years that he couldn't understand. Do you have any idea what it's like to see through the eyes of a Hostile while he spears a man through? There's a weight…a burden that comes with that."

Reena chuckles and she reaches a hand to squeeze one of Soleil's if permitted. "I think you and I will get along famously." Especially while they're both watching her brother's back. "Ana, let them be. Nitrim knows his own mind. There are some things we need an unbiased ear for, and as family, our ears are extremely biased. If he needs us, he knows we're here." She exchanges a look with Nitrim. Solidarity.

"Right. You and the whores." Anabethe does not look particularly trusting of Soleil, but it's her brother she's more concerned with. "I know what it's like to look through my eyes when I spear a man through," she counters. "I'm sure it's more unsettling coming from an unfamiliar point of view, but we're Khournas, Nitrim. And how'm I supposed to know what you've been suffering, how'm I supposed to understand, if you just assume from the start that I won't and never try to tell me?" With a grimace and a glare toward Reena, she pushes up from the bed, tossing the balloon lightly enough that it should land without breaking on the covers. "If you're going through things alone, Nitrim, it's by choice. Not by necessity."

Soleil seems a little bemused by the hand-squeezing, but she nods to Reena amicably enough. She looks at Nitrim, fixing him with her penetrating gaze for a long few seconds. "The people arranging our marriages may exclude us from one another just now, and in the future too, so it's better we get this out of our systems, whatever it is, so we don't end up pining for each other some day, yeah?" She leans over Nitrim, half-climbing over him, to get her own vapor cig from beside his pack of old-fashioned ones. She taps it, and it lights. "He's not alone," she says. It may burn her in Anabethe's book, but it's Nitrim Soleil is looking at again once she's spoken. The vapor curls upward from her lips, as sinuous as smoke.

Soleil gives her head a slow shake. For some reason.

"I love you both, dearly." Nitrim says simply, eyes shifting from Anabethe to Reena. Blindly, he reaches out and brushes a hand through Soleil's hair before he rises from the bed. The black pajama pants he wears that are cinched to his hips are a good sign that Soleil tells the truth, they had just slept last night. His body is free of the telltale red welts that sometimes can be found around the neck.

Shoulders flexing, he steps over to the food cart and lops a slice of cheese over a cracker, preparing a small snack with his back to the three women in his room. He nods his head after Soleil shakes hers; a strange gesture when he couldn't have seen her shake of her head. "I have no name right now, Anabethe. Whatever potential I have is wasted on the fact I've done nothing, and when I get that potential I'll be able to barter my own match, provided Father doesn't beat me to it." He looks back over his shoulder to the three of them in silence. "Are you going to tell him?"

"It's not mine to tell," Reena notes. "I'll leave you two to get dressed and enjoy breakfast. I have some tasks to handle before lunch, so you'll have to excuse me," she says with a small, tight smile. She rises and heads for the door, turning a glance back over her shoulder to the pair, a look that seems to indicate she's on their side.

"What, and get stuck with her?" Anabethe arches a brow. "Unlikely." Apparently Soleil is definitely burned in Anabethe's book. Or else she has a good long way to go before she's in the heir's good graces. "You have a name, Nitrim. It came with the family. You have potential. It's a part of who you are. Is this really all about just picking who you marry? Or is there something else going on?"

Soleil offers a small but genuine smile toward Reena, seen through the curling vapor of her cigarette. She glances at Nitrim and then also swings her bare legs to the side of the bed, rising. The tshirt just barely hangs to her thighs, but she's not embarrassed about her state of address. After all, it's just girls and Nitrim. "I won't lie," she says as she walks over to take Nitrim's robe off a chair and pull it around herself. "Someone tells and I'll probably get a serious grounding. If not for doing this, at least for getting caught. So if you want to fuck me up and show me I better stay away from your little brother, that's probably the best way." Apparently she's talking to Anabethe. "See, my family doesn't think /he's/ good enough. They wouldn't approve it, whatever your father would say. I do think he's good enough."

Nitrim's lips flatten and he nods his head sharply to Reena, knowing well that look. He has just enough hope in his eyes to convey that he hopes she means it.

Taking up the cracker in his hand, he bites down on it, busying himself with taking on some food, which gives him precious seconds to hold off his reply. It gives him time to think. He turns to see Soleil slipping his robe on and swallows, freeing his tongue to speak. His eyes close and he takes a deep, tense breath.

"Anabethe, this isn't just about marriage. The Awakened aren't talking much, yet we get these dreams. I'm wanting to draw them in together somehow. Soleil and I started talking and we've become close. Something in me is changing and I've spent too many fucking years being the end of the chain in Father's eyes. Michram told me that Father would likely ship me off to be a glorified secretary over some unit since I'm not knighted up to die so that the rest of you could have something to avenge. I haven't asked myself much about what I want, and now I am."

Reena leaves, heading towards the Living Quarters Greatroom [Out].

"Because your family-" Anabethe cuts herself off, closing her mouth and pressing her lips together tightly. "Right. Well. No one's sending you to die, Nitrim. But if you'd rather play the pity party game and pretend like no one loves you, then fine, you do that. Personally? I came over here because I wanted to bring you in for some sparring so you could make sure you were ready for the fight. But you're right, I don't understand you, I don't care about you, I don't think you can accomplish anything. Your girlfriend here, she's your only friend. That's why she wants you to trust her and not confide in your family. Because she has your best interests in mind." She grimaces, shaking her head. "Don't replace one drug with another one, Nitrim."

"He's being proactive," Soleil says in a tone that suggests she's not taking anything personally. She has taken a seat with her personal computer, going through messages while she lounges in Nitrim's robe "He's not replacing anyone with me. Or anything. Family drugs, whatever. I'm just here for him, suggesting he do what he thinks is best and follow his instincts." She speaks while tapping out a message, one bare leg crossed over thr other. "I am not sure why you're taking all this so personally. I can't be the first girl he's brought to his room. Maybe it's a problem I'm one of the few he hasn't mindlessly fucked and kicked out afterward? Whatever. A man can have attachments outside his family."

Anabethe is right. Nitrim is reaching, and in the Khournas household, the Khourni do not plead. The words pity party bring a tension to his shoulders that eases his body into a transformation. He picks his cigarette up from the ashtray, slips it between his grated teeth, and takes a drag off of it. "You understand a lot more than you say out loud, Sister, and for that I thank you." He scratches the top of his head, breathing out a cloud of smoke like a brooding drake. "Soleil's telling it right. The one putting up the walls is me. I'm picking my perches."

Nitrim pauses, mentally taking a picture of the two of them in his room, their posture, and the tone of their voices. Once more, he scrubs his hands over his face and sits on the corner of his bed. His fingertips drum against the lacquered wood, rings clacking softly as he considers something.

"Anabethe. I want your word that what I'm saying never leaves this room. Your word…" Nitrim slowly drolls out, eyes crossing over to Soleil.

Soleil lifts her eyes to Nitrim from across the room and exhales softly. "If she knows she knows. A man's entitled to privacy, but it's your choice."

Anabethe's eyes narrow as she looks to the Sauveur woman. "You know how people say things like, it's not personal? Like, you know, it's not you, it's the potential politics of the thing. Or, it's not you, it's that I'm worried about my brother." A beat. "It's you." With that, she looks back to her brother, crossing her arms over her chest and shifting her weight to one hip. "What you're saying never leaves this room without good reason, Nitrim. Unless it absolutely has to. You're lying on the ground gasping out your last because you overdosed on something and the medics need to know what, then I'm telling them. But I'm not going to go running to Da to tattle on you. Reena's the one who saves secrets."

"That's interesting," Soleil says to Anabethe, musingly. "To have inspired such dislike in you so quickly. You must be just an /amazing/ judge of chaacter." Soleil looks at Nitrim and rolls her eyes. "I'm really, /really/ starting to understand what you mean," she tells him.

Nitrim's eyes follow the two women, picking apart his favorite shards of ice that separate the two of them. Cigarette dangling from his lip, he sighs out a cloud of smoke, and the cigarette nearly falls from his lip when Soleil says what she does. The temperature in the room seems to drop thirty degrees, and the hairs at the back of his neck stand on end.

He lowers his head. A flash of fire forms around him for just a second, long enough to send the food cart flinging into the wall with such force that the faux-aluminum tray dents violently. Food, water, and wine splash over one of his paintings, and a small, ash-wood statue falls to the floor, breaking in half.

"FUCKING ENOUGH!" Nitrim barks, clenching his fist and letting it go, his Awakened powers receding as his all-white eyes uncloud back to normal. His head whips over to his sister, eyes serious. "I started taking Red Eye three years ago to blot out the dreams, Sister." His hand whips out, pointing to Soleil. "SHE is trying to convince me to rehabilitate because she knows just what this family means to me, as does my place in it. If Father knew…" He bares his teeth. He doesn't have to explain to Anabethe. She knows what their father would do. "He does not trust my presence in this house in the same way you and the others do. You know that."

"I know a bitch when I see one," Anabethe starts to snap at Soleil, though she starts when Nitrim lights up the room. In that particular, charming way of his. That's all she does, though, and once there's no more actual fire, she points a finger at her brother. "You get that shit under control," she warns. "You're better than that." Only then does she consider his other words, quiet for a long moment before she speaks again. "You're better than that, too," she says quietly, then grudgingly, "And she's right, if you want Father to trust you, then you're going to have to kick that habit. It's a dangerous sort of connection and a dangerous sort of weakness. Can't you train to control that better?" There's a genuine question to the last, as she tries to understand.

"I wager he meant to do that," Soleil says, righting her computer. Hey, she was startled too. "Maybe it's hard to get you people to listen to him. That's the vibe I am getting and I just met you." She snaps her computer shut and lays the small device aside, then rises and goes in search of her clothing. It's actually pretty neatly laid out, not at all like it was removed in a frenzied passion on the way to bed.

"This is also pretty telling, how you call it a weakness. It shows you don't get it and I think you never will." She proceeds to dress, right there in front of both of them, continuing t speak as she does so.

"Sisters are pretty important. But a man is going to find a woman he's closer to than his sister. Why? because he can't fuck his sister. So someday Nitrim is going to find a girl who is even more important to him than you. Maybe me, maybe not me. But the one thing I can tell you for sure is— if you're a bitch to her, you'll lose him."

Soleil combs her fingers through her hair, the baby-fine strands so soft that that's pretty much all it takes.

"Nitrim I am going to go. I've never been one for family drama."

"Yes. I can." Nitrim replies to Anabethe, fingers coming to his chest to scratch just beneath the flecking tongue of the serpent tattoo on his chest. The tracks of his nails leave small, red marks in their wake. His jaw squares as he bites his teeth down tightly against each other. "And yes, I am, Sister. My family didn't get me into this hole…" And it's not his family's job to get him out of it. The words practically finish themselves.

He rises from his bed to watch Soleil start to dress, listening to the words she says to his sister. Though his eyes do glance over her as she dresses with an air of interest, he's attracted to her, the tension dotting his features makes the viewing all the more clinical. He slips the nearly-dead cigarette back into his lips for a final drag and turns to stub it out. He resumes his lean against the footboard of the bed, near her.

"Okay…" he trails off, folding his arms across his chest. "…I'm going into the field to fight alongside my sister and the Granthams." A beat. His eyebrow crooks. "I'll write you. Keep an eye out for it?"

"That's what you don't understand about family, sweetheart," Anabethe drawls to Soleil. "And not a surprise coming from one of Janelle's flunkies. You don't ever lose family. You don't lose them. You don't put them aside. You don't replace them. And even when you're not sure you agree with them, or things are hard for them, you stand by each other. Because that's what family is. Family is blood, family is trust, and family is the thing you can always count on. Family stand by each other, because it's not a competition about who gets the farthest the fastest. It's about getting there together." She eyes the remains of the food cart, grimacing, then shakes her head. "I'll be down in the gym, Nitrim. Whenever you're finished."

"Yet you don't seem to be standing by Nitrim, or listening to his wishes," Soleil says, glancing over her shoulder at Anabethe. That's all she has to say to the woman, since Nitrim now commands her attention. She turns back to him, and fixes her eyes on him, the intense blue faintly clouded.

"This is hardly how I wanted to say goodbye. Be careful, and remember— it is not a race."

Her fingers extend toward his face, and she just barely brushes his jaw. Then she is leaving.

Soleil glances over her shoulder to smile at Nitrim before she exits the room.

Soleil leaves, heading towards the Living Quarters Greatroom [Out].

Nitrim watches Soleil closely as she gives him her Plan B goodbye, and his eyes continue to trail after her until she's clear of the door. The door closing behind her is a loud K-THUNK that leaves him alone with Anabethe. Arms folded across his chest, his eyes then turn to her, staring in silence. His eyelid twitches, forcing his gaze to the window that the bottle flew out of. He's feeling an itch. Now that the cat's out of the bag, it's something he cannot hide from her. When his eyes turn back to Anabethe, his lips flatten into a broad frown.

"Any concerns you may have about me being unstable, I assure you, are never going to become reality." He says to her, turning to head towards his washroom. "I am stable. If I weren't you would have noticed this years ago." He turns on the tap and splashes his face with cold water, blindly reaching for a towel. "The Hostile just picked a great fucking time for me to need to be ready, though, didn't they?"

"Oh, you were going to have the habit kicked in six months from now?" Anabethe sounds less than convinced of that. "It's not like we haven't known they've been coming, Nitrim." She looks after the other woman, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. "Be careful with her, all right? Maybe she means it, or maybe she likes the idea of having something on one of us. Janelle'd kill to pry us away from Emund. We'd give her the sort of military legitimacy she doesn't really have right now." For a moment, she watches her brother, and then she shakes her head, moving toward the door in turn. "I'll catch you downstairs."

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