04.22.3014: What May Be...
Summary: Brienne comes to see Advent and they talk. Brienne leaves Advent heavy with purpose and confusion.
Date: 26 Dec 2013
Related: Soothing the Sting
Brienne Advent 

Grand Hall - Royal Tower, Landing
Through doors that are three stories high and which open with quiet grace is the Grand Hall of the Royal Tower. It is a cavernous antechamber that truly embodies the wealth and grandeur of the Royal House of Sauveur — which is why it is also the foyer. The floors are polished marble inlaid with violet metallic accents that could be described as Old Earth Parisian. Luminous chandeliers that resemble white suns float midway between the floor and the ceiling, and they dim or brighten depending on the desired mood. Enormous, floor-to-ceiling pillars are evenly spaced along the outer edges of the room, keeping the center free for feasts, dances, and other events. When the hall is still, it can feel too large and empty, and noises can echo too easily.

Toward the back of the Grand Hall are a pair of mirrored staircases that sweep up either side of the room toward a mezzanine that looks over the grand hall and gives access to the turbo-lifts, and thus the rest of the Royal Tower. Beneath the mezzanine are various doors that lead into the kitchens and Royal Dining Room, where most of the Sauveurs and their guests take meals when there is not an event being held.

It is rare for this room to be empty, as there are at least guards standing watch and on patrol.

April 22nd 3014

Advent has just gotten back from a battle. He has a few people helping him get the broken armor off his sore body. He's trying to help but they keep telling him to stop and are batting his hands away. The arms of the armor are removed first, then the legs, before the hip guards and the chest plate. He's sweaty and his face is pale. One of the ones undressing him starts to worry about his shoulder and he shakes his head. "I'm fine. Do not worry about me. I heal. I need more armor though. I have another battle tonight." They all just stare at him before bowing and moving away from the man, leaving him mostly alone.

Brienne had come in response to the last letter sent that she had never responded to yet. She waits outside the door after being let into the Royal Tower by staff who hopefully will alert Advent to her presence. While she waits though, she slowly becomes aware that he had just returned fro a battle and he is being fussed over. Only when she hears about another battle the following night does she disregard being announced further and pushes into the room, green eyes taking in the scene, moving over him, his freshly removed armor and then the room around her. "No. I'll go in your place while you heal." There's no other greeting than that and she looks to be rather adamant about it.

Advent stands there while she comes towards him. His eyes follow her and he shakes his head. "I do not need to heal. I am fine." He speaks so very politely. The only visible injury is a bruise around his temple and a cut down the side of his neck which looks more like a cat scratch. He stares at his armor. "You will not fight in my place, Lady Brienne." He turns and rolls his shoulders back, keeping his chin up while walking, masking any other injuries in being proper. "What brings you to the Royal Tower, Lady Brienne?"

The denial had been expected, but Brienne has no intention of backing down just yet. "Then allow me to go with you, Sir Advent." Once more it isn't phrased as a question, but an adamant statement. His question, while also being expected, seems to take her off guard and her steps falter before stopping all together, several feet away from the Sauveur. "I.." Her words are as halting as her steps, the hesitancy in confessing her reasoning for coming is there in her eyes. "I got your letter. I have tried writing a letter in return and it has been on my mind since I received it."

Advent shakes his head and walks to the table which a new set of armor is being laid out. "Your request, while gracefully heard, I must decline. You would be a distraction to me." He adds on the last as he starts to arrange armor. He leans lightly against the table and turns his eyes to her carefully. "How do you wish me to help your family, Lady Brienne?" He lifts the helmet and watches her through the reflection on the visor for a moment before putting it down and turning so his blue eyes are on her.

"Distraction?" Brienne inputs with question in her eyes. She glances over at the new armor being laid out, a frown marring her usually smooth brow. When he leans against the table and watches her, she returns her gaze to him. At first, her expression is blank. "Help my family?" Considering that question a long moment she smirks, "I had forgotten that offer was in the letter." Flushing a little, she lowers her green eyes. "I had not come to ask a favor of you for my House, Sir Advent."

Advent takes a moment while his eyes narrow as he watches her. Finally, he turns back to his armor and nods to the people there. "The armor will do. Thank you. Please take some time off." He waves all his helpers away before he takes a seat at the table slowly, holding his midsection. "Than mark me confused, Lady Brienne. For what other purpose would you come to the Royal Tower?" He starts to slowly put on the armor that's on the table. He starts with the gauntlet.

"I.." Once more words don't come so easily to Brienne and she finds herself hesitating again. she watches him don the gauntlet looking anywhere but at him directly. "The last time we spoke, I left you under the impression that I was in love with someone." The words come out in a sudden rush. "I've since discovered I had no idea what love even was. You wished for me to find happiness and to have the one I love and I.. thought I was in love. Time and distance has proven that to be false." The words make no sense even to her. "Actually, I don't know what I'm trying to say.. forgive me," she turns towards the door but doesn't immediately walk out, only rests her hand on the door handle. "Please heal before you go back out."

Advent stops trying on the gauntlet and his brows furrow. "I hear there were two." He speaks quietly. "One you embraced as friend and another you loved and yet neither with clear intentions." He fixes the gauntlet and tries his grip with it. "Why has time and distance proven a false love? Are you speaking more of being infatuated with someone?" He seems so very proper at this point. "I will go out tonight. Then tomorrow, then the day after. If the Hostile's do not stop coming, I will not stop returning strike for strike."

Brienne keeps her hand on the door, bracing for something, anything. Disapproval most of all. Turning to face him, she finally releases the handle, allowing her gaze to fall to her side. "Canis is and always will be my best friend. He mentioned wanting more even before I met with Kieran Valta and I declined it, citing that my mother would be choosing who I would wed, so I do not even pretend to understand the rumors. He knew, I knew and we were yet friends, promising no matter what we would always be friends. That has proven true to this day and I feel I can speak with him about anything. As for Kieran.." This is where her brow furrows once more and she shifts slightly, so she can look at him again. "I fancied myself in love, being able to leave the woods for the rugged lands of his home. He and I both know that isn't true any longer. I do not love him. He does not love me, and we can remain friends and nothing more. The media has blown things out of proportion, yet that is what they are meant to do I know it."

Advent lifts a single brow, he turns to stare at her. "Than marry Lord Canis." He states it simply. "To marry your best friend is an honor." He turns back to his suit and starts to get into the legs of the suit. "It's always out of proportion and yet each has a nugget of truth. You were indecisive and yet you gained perspective." He clicks the legs into place and gets the other arm on slowly. "You were in love with the idea of being in love. There is nothing wrong with that in the short term." He slides into his back plates and then ties himself in. He turns to her with only his helmet left off. "So, I will ask my question again, Lady Brienne… if you knew all this… why did you come to tell me?"

"Oh no, I wasn't indecisive. I had already told Canis no. There is nothing indecisive about that." Brienne corrects him. His solution brings a guarded look. "Marry.. Canis? Oh, no, I'm afraid that's not possible. Though we are friends, that is all that we are. Thank you for the.. permission though." Her lips compress marginally. At the question, she laces her fingers together, clasping her own hands tightly. "I don't know. I have no idea why I came back to tell you. I.. can go if you prefer it?

Advent jaw tightens and he stands there in his armor in front of her. "You do know why you came here however you feel that you will be judged if you speak your mind." He leans back against the table and stares at her eyes for a long few moments. "I've told you before Lady Brienne, you can tell me anything. Speak your mind and I promise you will not be judged." He looks down to his arm and starts to fiddle with the buttons on his armor trying to figure it out. He was never good at electronics.

Brienne was even worse at electronics, but she knew armor. Walking over, she smiles tentatively, "May I help you?" She makes no move to touch him or the armor without invitation though. "I hurt you," she speaks softly, hesitantly. "I.. think about what you said and what I did and I cannot get any of it off my mind. It is very defining to who I am becoming as opposed to who I was. And your letter.. you're very right about things. My brothers know I'm not happy and now each one of them other than Bren are about to be betrothed. Here I stand, with a bunch of ideals, alone. I want to make amends with you, but I think you can honestly just barely stand the sight of me."

Advent's jaw tightens and he brings his arm to his chest before it falls to his side. "Are you happy with who you are?" He doesn't give her permission to touch him. "My eyes betray me. No, I cannot stand the sight of you. For my whole life, I was given things. I was loved and given all I desired and in return I gave my soul to Haven. The one time I reached for something not given me, not only did I find that I was not desired in return but there were others … better than me." He shakes his head and bows his head to her. "I have rarely been bested. However, with you I was bested many times over until I was as a knight lying on his back on the field, having lost his horse in the first round."

"No, I'm not happy with who I am." The confession echoes between them and Brienne takes a step back again at the harshness of his words, flinching at each delivery. He could not stand the sight of her… "You told me I was the second time, not the one time. I told you why I chose as I did, the decisions I made. My brother.." She waves a hand, dismissing it, realizing nothing she said or did would change it, would change anything. "Bested? No, Sir. You are quite mistaken, else I wouldn't be here." For a long moment, she regards him in silence, then brings herself to ask. "Would you prefer me to go and never grace your doorstep again?"

Advent shakes his head. "She was given me by my parents." He crosses his arms and stares at Brienne. "You were my choice." He grabs his helmet and stands straight again. "Why are you here, Lady Brienne?" He demands quietly. "No… That is not what I wish." He turns and walks around the table slowly and leans heavily against a chair, looking out to the floor of the grand hall. "I was bested. I saw the forest in your eyes and the love you have for you family and I felt that perhaps someone could love me as much as you did your family. My family loves me dearly. Most of Haven loves me and yet they do not know me. I wanted to have a family." He takes a deep breath. "I truly hope Lord Tristan and Lady Firia live a long life full of such love."

So many mixed and confusing signals, Brienne lifts a trembling hand to her own hair and tucks strands behind her ear, searching for what she can say. Every intention she had, is now gone at his words of not standing the sight of her.. and she wears a hurt expression that she is trying very, very hard to hide. "I never knew what love was. Oh sure, I love my brothers, my parents, my forest. Even Phylon. I love being a knight. I've never exactly imagined myself to be the object of desire or affection. Keanen told me many times I was manly. He'd greet me by telling me how ugly I was. I never showed any particular interest, no one more than any other. I was as impersonal as I could be, laughing, joking, being 'on of the guys' with people. I wasn't even expecting to be wanted or desired. Or even needed by anyone. I don't say this for sympathy, because sympathy and pity are the absolute last things I want. I just.. have this guard around my heart that I'm not sure can ever be penetrated. I don't want to be at the mercy of another, to be shattered by someone, to let someone have so much control over me that I would be destroyed if they suddenly changed their mind. It happened to Declan and I saw what it did to him. I saw how hurt he was by.." She doesn't finish it. "Lady Firia is Sauveur, but she is a ward of House Valta. Who is the alliance with, after all?"

Advent takes a deep breath. "It would be with Valta." He grips the chair and keeps his eyes on the floor. "You are afraid of fanaa. Destruction in love." He shakes his head slowly. "You are not manly. You are beautiful. Not only do I love you, but I can tell the universe loves you too. Loves you more than others. You are different. After all, I would be a fool not to notice the way the sunshine plays with your hair. Or how the light summer's breeze brushes its fingers into your silken locks." He takes a deep breath. "You aren't one of the Ladies. You see the word through warriors eyes and you fight with all fibers of your being." He turns his eyes to her. "You never look nice. You look like art and art isn't supposed to look nice. It is supposed to make you feel something. When I look at you, I feel the love for your family, the passion in battle and the heart you offered someone else. It is a sting." He takes a few steps away from the table, to the wine tray.

Valta. That is what Brienne had thought and the knowledge is there in her expression. "Fanaa?" Destruction in love. Very possibly so. "I have not offered my heart for another nor has he offered his for me. We're neither one bound to the other." His compliments are hard to take, harder even this his anger had been. She ducks her head, pulling her hair back from her face almost absently. "Th..thank you." His question comes back to her, the one from the beginning. "Would you still consider marrying me? I can promise to be faithful, honest, devoted and open to you. Only you." It's something she had put thought into, the ultimate reason she had come.

Advent's jaw tightens and he makes a little bit of a mess with the wine he was pouring himself. He puts the bottle down and grips the table. His eyes stare at the wine in the glass and he speaks quietly. "You do not want me, Lady Brienne. With me you'd be miserable." He takes the wine glass and lifts it to his lips. "Why would you ask such a thing from someone you do not want?" He turns and those blue eyes look at her carefully. There is confusion in his gaze and a heavy distrust. The glass in his hand is held tightly.

"But I do." Brienne contradicts him almost immediately. "I believe differently. I would not be miserable and I would move the skies and the forests to make you happy. I have put this hurt in your eyes that haunts me and I wish to take it away. I do not want to be the cause of your unhappiness or your pain." The distrust once more has her lowering her gaze. "You asked me what you could do for my family. That is what you could do."

Advent looks away from her and shakes his head. He finishes his wine and brings his hands to his forehead. "You would not be happy. I am convinced I am not the man that will make you the happiest." His voice is barely audible. He frowns and nods his head slowly. "I said I would help your family any way I could. If this is your request of me, make it known again and I will do as you request." He bows his head and puts his hands behind his back with a wince.

"I'm not so convinced of that, Sir Advent. We have always got along and you always knew how to draw a smile from me. We fight well, side by side. I think we would be a very strong match. I am a warrior, I would not be happy with less than a warrior as well and you are a warrior, Sir Advent." Brienne takes a few steps, so that she can stand beside him, yet she still makes no move to touch him. "I cannot use your word to force you into something you would not wish."

Advent puts the empty wine glass down and doesn't move to touch her. He keeps his eyes on the ground and he waits a rather long time. "Is this what you wish, Lady Brienne? Do not answer from another's perspective. Is this what is in your heart? Is this your wish?" He keeps his eyes down on the floor while he waits patiently for an answer.

"I.. " Brienne doesn't go for a long explanation this time, instead she looks back at him even as he looks away. "Yes. This is what I want, it's my wish, it's what I am led to with everything inside of me." This time, she does reach out to gently touch his shoulder, just a brush of her fingers, if he allows it or doesn't pull away.

Advent takes a moment and doesn't pull away from her touch. He turns his eyes to her and looks over her face. "I am convinced I am not the man that will make you the happiest. Lord Canis loves you and you him. Why do you not seek a match with him? You can erase the hurt in my eyes in time, you do not need to be my wife to do such." He keeps his eyes on her for a moment longer before looking away. "You would put this same hurt into Lord Canis's eyes if you marry me."

Brienne looks physically wounded at those words, her hands go to her middle as if run through with a blade. It almost doubles her over. "C..Canis? He.. he no longer sees me like that, how would it hurt him? He only wishes to be my friend. N… no. I can't hurt you, I can't hurt him anymore. I wish not to hurt anyone. I want to repair what I have broken. My mother chose you, Sir Advent. She believes we would be a good match. How can I not think my mother does not know what is best for me? She wished it. Could I not take the pain and sadness from your eyes?"

Advent shakes his head and stares at Brienne. "Your mother didn't choose me, Brienne. I was there because I wanted to be. I wanted to get to know you and your mother hosted me." He speaks quietly. "Trust a man, when a man kisses his friend, that friend is not just a friend. He might speak as to being your friend but you kissed each other. He feels more for you than you realize. He loves you, Brienne. I do as well but you've already hurt me. Avoid hurting him and make him happy. Be his wife." His eyes are on her. "If he rejects you as his wife, I will still be here. Our match will be pleasant enough but Brienne…" He speaks her name softly. "I cannot make you happy."

"No.. he kissed me before. Now he says we are just friends and I really think he means it. No, I don't want you to be someone as a 'just in case' it doesn't work out for me with Canis. He doesn't love me any longer, he no longer even acts like he does. I destroyed that. I don't want you to think I am settling for you when it's not like that at all. I came here seeking you deliberately. Whether you believe you will make me happy or not, I do not deserve that consideration. I want to make you happy, Sir Advent. I want to see that smile again, watch you warm a foal with your cloak, walk at your side, fight at your side and have your back. I want to be the one to bring back a smile to you." Brienne once more lifts her hand to his shoulder. "I did not marry him when he asked me before. Perhaps that was what was meant to be."

Advent frowns slowly and bows his head. He looks completely lost while he stares at the table near him. He thinks over things. "To marry you, I'll be hated by Lord Canis. I fear you do not see the whole picture." He turns to her slowly and looks at her face. "Oh to be honored to be your husband but I want you to be happy and this choice does seem like you are settling. That everything else fell apart so you are coming to the man who you know will honor you, be faithful, and be loyal. The safe choice." He seems hurt again. "I must speak with Lord Canis to hear his thoughts. Before anyone else, I'd want his blessing."

"If I were settling for you, then I would have went to him and asked him to marry me first." Brienne says quietly. "You need not decide today, please take your time and decide, but please do not strike me from being one of your options. I leave the decision to you." Dropping her hand to her side once more, she lifts her gaze to watch him look anywhere but at her still. "Should you get his blessing, then please will you let me know your decision?"

Advent groans and brings his hands to his head. "So you've chosen me over your best friend. I do not understand this, Brienne. I do not. For all the world I'd marry my best friend before anyone else. There is the base of friendship before love and that is the strongest bond." He slowly sinks down to the floor where he sits, hands in his hair, metal twining with silken curls. "I will speak with him before I ask for his blessing. If he loves you, I will marry you two together. Should be claim as you do that his love has wilted, I will be your husband. However… I do have a warning for you and this … is based purely on the rumors…" He lets his hands fall to his laps. "I am not… You have been with men and I have been with no one. Nor have I kissed anyone's lips. I am not a man of affection or romance. I am a warrior."

Men. Brienne's breath catches in her throat and her heart beats painfully in her chest. "One man. One." Her voice sounds hoarse at the confession and she leans heavily against the nearest wall. pressing her forehead there, trembling. "Speak with him then. I do not require romance or affection, Sir Advent. I also am a warrior." With the heart of a woman, protected by barrier after barrier. "If you should not wish to… be intimate with me, or kiss me.. is that what you are saying?"

Advent frowns when she speaks. "Still one hundred percent more than myself." He speaks quietly. "I've not been with a man…nor a woman so I have not honed those skills. I do not know how to be that way with anyone nor have I thought such thoughts in years." He talks to his hands. "I fight in a war and I care and love those I fight with but outside of war, how do these hands cause anything but pain?" He pushes himself up and walks to the table. He writes something down, folds it, puts the Sauveur sigil on it and then hands it to one of the guards. "Give this to Lord Canis, post haste."

Brienne straightens from the wall and turns to face him, her expression holding deep regret. "I will ever regret what I have done and who it was with. Nothing can change it though. I can make better decisions in my future, but my past owns me even moreso. I would never ask more than you could give of yourself." She falls silent when the message is sent to Canis and she stiffens slightly. "I will go, please let me know of your decision."

Advent frowns. "I will not make you happy." He echoes quietly and he rubs his stomach slowly. "I do not wish you to regret anything but you have asked and I am honorbound to reply." He turns to stare at her. "You will know when I have been advised. Lord Canis, if he gives blessing… is a precursor to our parents agreeing to such a union. If all have fallen into place, you shall hear when I do. If it is a no, than I will do all in my power to see you happy with Lord Canis." He bows his head to her. "I just want people to be happy…"

"I want the same. I want people to be happy. Everyone deserves that much. Be well, Sir Advent. I look forward to your summons or your missive." Brienne offers a bow, her gaze lingering on him a moment longer before heading out, closing the door behind her.

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