07.25.3013: Why?
Summary: Devon and Victor attempt to talk after their betrothal. It doesn't go well.
Date: 25 July 2013
Related: None
Victor Devon 

Watchtower Overlook, The Blackspyre
At the very peak of the Blackspyre, the lift opens up to a railed lookout, leaving all of the city of Volkan, Mount Drakan, and the Black Wastes laid out below. Even two hundred stories up, the sounds of industry can be heard, although it is a faint sound this high up. The smoldering heat has not diminished, however, and is in fact protected by the electrostatic fields wrapped around the top of the spire to keep out the weather. The lava tubes running through the city look like nothing so much as veins from this high up, running bright and yellow-red throughout the city.
July 25, 3013

Victor isn't a complete heel. He may prefer to be on the front lines, but a request to meet the woman you've been unceremoniously betrothed to is enough to get him back to Volkan. He's found his way up to the peak of the Blackspyre, and then informed the Grantham nee Volen of his location. And then he waits, leaning oagainst the railing to look south, toward the war. The light of Mount Drakan burns against the back of his shaven head, and the light of a cigar blazes over the lines of his face. He leaves the stogie in the corner of his mouth between draws, except when he raises the plain brown beer bottle in his left hand up to his lips. The rest of the six-pack sits at his feet, kept cool despite the heat of Volkan by the integrated chill case.

Devon Grantham nee Volen steps gracefully out of the lift as it comes to a stop and opens its doors before the overlook. Ash-colored gossamer whispers across the floors, the nice layering of fabrics hinting at her silhouette while not fully revealing the curves of her petite frame. She clasps her hands behind her back as she strides toward the sole figure up here, high above the noise and heat of the ever-churning city below. She halts a good three meters from the man, her glass-colored eyes sweeping up his languid frame in careful consideration before she clears her throat. "Sir Victor?" She asks, her voice smooth and polite.

Victor tilts his head slightly as the sound of the lift's doors filters through the ever-present sound of industry from far below, but he allows the Ash-Witch to approach without being watched the entire way. When she clears her throat, he reaches up to collect cigar and beer bottle both in his left hand, turning about and bowing his head slightly. He studies the smaller woman in silence for a moment, his dark eyes narrowing in thought, and then he nods to himself, speaking up in that low, gravelly voice, "Lady Devon. We met once before. You had blue hair, I think." There's a touch of amusement there, and he crouches a moment to collect one of the bottles and offer it out to her, "Beer?"

"I suppose we did," Devon says, a touch dryly, "in passing." She juts out her jaw a bit before she steps forward to stand beside him. For a moment, it may seem as though she is about to reject his offer for a beer, but then she breathes out a soft sigh that deflates her shoulders. She takes the bottle in her much smaller hand, twisting off the cap before she leans her elbows into the barrier that surrounds the terrace. She is silent a moment as she takes a swallow from the dark brew, her eyes gazing out over Volkan.

Victor passes over the beer without comment, then turns around to lean against the rail again himself. When she twists off the cap without comment or complaint, he nods to himself, shifting his cigar to his right hand and taking a pull from his beer. "In passing." He agrees. "Sorry, I don't stand so much on ceremony," he rumbles, "Probably should have bowed all formal-like, kissed your hand, all that shit. But that's not me." Studying the end of his cigar, he ashes it, the gray flakes falling away to sizzle atop the electrostatic shield. Awkwardness, thy name is Vic.

Devon cannot seem to resist the smirk that pulls up sharply at the corner of her pale mouth. "The Granthams don't tend to stand on ceremony either, Sir Victor… my first husband got glue in my hair within our first week of meeting." Granted, they were six years old, but she doesn't clarify that. "And it isn't as if we won't be required to be more ceremonious in weeks, months… years… to come." She takes another swallow of the beer as her gaze continues to linger at the red-veined city. It is only after another tip of the bottle does she finally glance aside to him once more.

Victor chuckles at the comment about glue, although when he responds, it's to a different part of her statement, "Good. You've got experience with the whole marriage thing then." His teeth show very white against his dark skin as he smirks alongside his words. "Because I've just been trying to make the boss-man forget about me so I can go out and kick the shit out of Hosties without worrying about what some girl back home's worrying about." Straightening up a little, he draws on his cigar, puffing it back to glowing life, then breathes the resultant stream of smoke up and away from the smaller woman, "You think we'll have to be more ceremonious eventually?" Another chest-rumbling laugh touches that question, and his dark eyes cut over toward the pale face beneath the riot of colorful hair.

At his laughter, Devon seems a bit nettled. "Rest assured, you won't be required to worry about me, Sir Victor. But yes, I imagine there will be some kind of requirements beyond marriage vows," she says in reply, though her voice has a faint, uncertain hint. She then looks down at the brown bottle as she taps her fingers against the smooth glass thoughtfully. She then deflates a bit under the weight of her own discomfort. She shifts her eyes over the city a few more times before she turns slightly to regard the Khourni. "I knew my husband… my former husband… for ten years before we even started a courtship… I don't have as much experience in this… particular situation as you may think."

When his amusement finds barren ground, Victor grimaces, taking a heavier pull of his beer, hefting the bottle a bit, then crouching to slip the empty into the six-pack. He doesn't pull out another, however, merely straightening up to lean against the railing again, "It's Vic, by the way." Let someone else share the 'Cueball' byname. "And I guess we're both goin' in blind then." Once more, the tip of the cigar brightens as he draws on it, and he directs a plume of smoke out away from Devon, "You were with the Ash Legion when they were here. And up on Niveus too. Guess I really won't have to worry about some girl pining away back home." Having slowly worked his way through to that, he finally comes upon, "What other requirements are you thinking of, Lady Devon?"

"Devon," she corrects him after a heartbeat, and then she surrenders a slight shrug before she takes another swallow from the bottle. She then offers a small nod of her head. "I was with the Ash Legion for five years as a field medic and soldier." Then she shrugs her shoulders. "Marriages are made to create family alliances and to continue to population efforts. I imagine children will be expected." She looks back out at the city as if to spare him her gaze as he processes that information.

Victor grunts at that, although he nods, "Thought you might mean requirements you had. Yeah. Have to deal with that at some point." Straightening up again, he draws in a slow pull from his cigar, turning around to lean back against the railing and blow out a stream of cigar smoke up and away, "Figure you'll join one of the companies here?" His broad shoulders rise and fall in a shrug, "Won't be the Ash Legion, but it'll be something." Evidently, he has no plans to try to restrict his wife-to-be from the front lines, although that could certainly create complications for procreation… complications which he is quite doggedly ignoring for now.

"I… " Devon blinks as he suggests that she might have requirements. "Victor, I hardly know anything about you. I don't imagine that I'm going to have much in the ways of requirements until I fully understand why I am here here beyond the fact that Lady Grantham and High Lord Khournas decided that our marriage was necessary." She curls her hands tightly around the beer bottle, though the glass remains unyielding. "I will offer whatever services I can to House Khournas… if my place is on the field, then that's where I will go." She knows there is a slight broodiness to those words, but she doesn't seem willing to to move on from anger to acceptance yet.

Victor shrugs again, glancing over at the vibrantly-dyed woman and smirking just a bit more, "I just figured the boss-man needed a convenient lackey to throw at a more formal alliance. Seems we've been making a shit-ton of them lately." The broody, grumpy response causes him to shake his head, "Knight on a fucking crutch. I don't care what the hell you do with your time. Do what makes you happy, so long as it doesn't hurt the house." And now he does lean over to scoop up another bottle, twisting the cap free and dropping it into the six-pack, "That's what I do. Hell, you might even like Bethe."

Again, there is a faint hint of nettling, but Devon swallows it down with the last of her beer. She hands off the empty bottle to the bald Khourni. "I do like Bethe… I have had a few opportunities to speak with her when I was here last." Without the beer bottle in her hands, she must resort to flexing her fingers together in a tight little bunch. She maintains her stare out at the city for another heartbeat before she reaches up to rub at the tension that has been building in her neck and shoulder since Marah informed her of this twist to her path. It takes her this long to confess in slight hush that, "I have no fucking clue how this is suppose to be going, but it feels like it is going pretty poorly, doesn't it?"

Victor tucks his cigar into the corner of his mouth to take the empty and settle it down into the six-pack. The profane comment causes him to laugh, a low rumble that builds from deep in his chest. Shaking his head, he pulls out another bottle and offers it up, "Well, we're only three beers in." Whether she accepts or not, he straightens up again, this time actually turning toward the Lady of the Lashes, collecting cigar and beer in the same hand again, "Look, as long as you don't get in the way of me fighting, I won't get in the way of you doing whatever.." His broad shoulders rise and fall in a shrug, "You want help fitting in here, I'll give it. But you don't have more to do with me than…" And here the smirk comes back, "…requirements require if you don't want it." He makes a dismissive gesture his his free hand, "I know I'm not some stupid fucking storybook Valen knight. So there's no point in pretending I am."

Devon frowns as she takes the beer, and she twists it open after a heartbeat. "I won't get in your way," she says, though there is something almost, well, sad in those words. She shrugs a bit at his offer to help her fit in. "If you feel that I don't fit in, I will appreciate whatever pointers you have." She says no more as she closes her eyes a bit, tilting her head back to gulp down several swallows of the new beer. Then she breathes out a slow exhale once she has drained about half the bottle. She shakes her head a bit. "I never assumed you would be a Valen knight, Sir Victor…"

Victor drains off a good third of his beer in a series of quick slugs, lowering it again to note, "I'm pretty shitty at this, aren't I?" He flashes a smirk, "This whole, making nice, getting to know you bullshit." Tucking his cigar back into his mouth, he grins around it, "Now you know why I'm such a catch. I'm sure the boss-man was doing me a favor matching me to you, if it seems like we've all gotta be matched up two-by-two real quick. After all, you're a fighter yourself. Not gonna freak the fuck out if I want to keep fighting."

Devon licks at her lower lip at his words, though she tries not to grimace when he considers this particular phase of the process bullshit. She drains another quarter of her brew before she straightens her shoulders back. "I'm a Grantham, Sir Victor… it would directly oppose how I was raised to… freak the fuck out… that you decide to do what you are meant to do." She finishes off the beer now, half considering chucking it at the city below if she knew that the electrostatic field wouldn't just repel it back into this courtyard. Instead she rolls the glass back and forth between her hands.

Victor lets out a breath around his cigar, then carefully draws on it, sending the coal flaring to red life, and then blows the smoke up and away again. Evidently that serves to tamp down the frustration brewing up behind the dark eyes. "I said that, didn't I?" Pulling the cigar from his mouth, hhe knocks off the smouldering tip into the electrostatic barrier, then tucks the stub down into the six-pack at his feet, "So. What'd I do to piss in your cornflakes last time we talked? Or is it something I did this time? Or are you just pissed to have to be marrying again?" There's no real anger in the words, just a low simmer of frustration expressed in flat syllables.

Devon sets her empty beer bottle down with the others, though she does arch a brow up at him at his questions. They incite a flash of anger in those glass-colored eyes, turning them dark like a storm seen through a windowpane. She rolls her shoulders back, clasping her hands together before her as she sets her jaw. "I hardly know you, Sir Victor… I don't even remember what we said to one another anymore than you remember what color my hair was that day. But if I'm expected to just stay out of your way, and that getting to know one another is bullshit, then perhaps it would be best if I just stayed at The Pit until our wedding day."

Victor doesn't pick the fact that he thought it was blue to argue on. Oh no, it's the later points that cause him to squeeze the beer bottle tight in his left hand, a hint of a snarl touching his lips, "I was talking about smalltalk in fucking general." His hand clenches around that plain brown bottle again, and instead of throwing it, or breaking it, or anything like that, he brings it up to toss back another gulp of the beer inside. "I'm trying to be polite. And considerate. What, you want to sit down and paint our fucking toenails together and plan out the color theme for our wedding and what we're going to name each of our four fucking children and just act like this is something we both wanted?"

"I didn't ask you up here for smalltalk," Devon snaps back, that weak barrier that had been keeping her anger at bay breaking now under his own frustrations. Her eyes start to whiten as pale fire starts to move across her skin, though she does not burst into flames despite her loss of temper. She does seem to be managing some degree of control. "I had no desire to marry you, Sir Victor Khournas… I did not ask Lady Grantham for this, just as I'm sure you did not ask High Lord Khournas. But, here we are. So what the fuck do you want to fucking do about it?"

Victor starts to throw up his hands at the snapped statement, but when her eyes whiten and that ethereal fire starts to crawl across her, his stance automatically lowers slightly, his legs tensing and his right hand curling into a fist at his side. The movement is an unconscious one, however, "No, I didn't ask fo this. I would've been just plenty happy killing Hosties and protecting my damned family until they got me or the war ended. Reena and Nitrim like the political shit, making matches, the fucking subtle play between Houses. I figured it'd be a damned good thing to meet the woman that I got set up with though, see what kind of person she fucking was." The roll of gravelly, growled words is interrupted for a moment as he blinks, actual curiosity and confusion touching his brow as he asks, "Why the hell did you ask me up here if it wasn't for smalltalk?"

"Because I wanted to see who in the Chasm of Hell I'm being handed off to," Devon says, her own anger and despair mixing into a dangerous cocktail. "To see who I am suppose to be spending the rest of my days with, to see if maybe there is some reason behind it all beyond your fucking Uncle thinking the only marriage that would suit you would be to someone who didn't care what you were doing or where you were going." She waves her hand dismissively. "To you, this means nothing… changes nothing." Then her jaw sets, and she straightens up her shoulders. "You've asked me to stay out of your way, so I will." And then she starts to step away.

The last seems to touch off a sore spot, "Hey… fuck you, Lady Devon." Annoyed anger bleeds into his low voice, "I was trying to give you an option if you didn't want shit to do with me, since you obviously didn't want shit to do with this marriage. But Khourni," his free right hand reaches up to tap two fingers into the center of his chest, "We follow through on our duties. So just what the fuck is it that you want out of this? And Uncle Jevon's never said shit to me about having to get married any time soon. So are you so sure this didn't come from your Lady Grantham?"

Devon is several steps away before he says enough to send her turning back around toward him. Her anger still burns low, her aura resonating with that emotion, wearing it literally on her sleeve. "Does it even matter what I want out of this, Sir Victor?" The question is not allowed to linger long enough for him to really answer before she continues forth. "Lady Grantham knew I had asked to be allowed to go to the Chantry. I believed that she was agreeable to the idea, and then within days, I hear that I'm to be married to you."

Victor does throw his nearly-empty bottle now, tossing it into the corner of the wall in a spray of glass and foam, "Yes, damn it, it matters." Despite the physical evidence of his anger and frustration, his voice doesn't rise much beyond a normal speaking tone, "If Lady Grantham wanted you here in Volkan, there's a damned reason." Some of his anger bleeds away, his brows drawing together just a bit as a hint of hurt actually touches his voice, "And just what in the Chasms of Hell is wrong with me?" He gestures down to the remains of the six-pack at his feet, "I even brought a fucking peace offering." Because a six-pack of beer is the ultimate in romantic gestures.

"It doesn't," Devon says, and her voice chokes on whatever else she has left to say. She turns away sharply to hide the way frustrated, angry, and sad tears gather at her lashes. She crosses her arms at her chest, turning her gaze aside and upward toward the dim Volkan skies. She shakes her head a bit at his question, shrugging her shoulders in a kind of dim acceptance. "I prefer mead," is all she trusts her voice to say without betraying her emotions further. Her aura subsides.

Victor does throw up his hands at the first statement, "Six Above and Devil Below…" He cuts off whatever else he might have been about to growl, looking down to the remains of his beer bottle. But instead of cleaning up the mess or getting another drink, he reaches down and scoops up the six pack entirely, letting it dangle from his fingers, "Well see I didn't know that. If I'd known that, I might've gone looking for some. Gods damn me… was that so hard?"He shakes his head, "Here, here's another thing. You wanted to go to the chantry, my mom was a Saimhann." Because that's totally the same thing — well, not so far off, a lot of the time.

Devon laughs, but there is no smile to accompany it. She reaches up to brush the blade of her finger against her eyes, dashing away the clinging tears before they threaten to fall. She shakes her head before she finally replies in a thick voice. "Marrying a half-Saimhann is not the same as becoming a Priest," she says, though shortly after the words are spoken she realizes she has only further dismissed the man's attempts. So she sniffs hard and nods a bit. "But that's something."

Victor smirks at the initial response, "No shit." Still, there's actual humor there, and he nods at the words that follow. Crossing his arms over his broad chest, he continues to let the remains of the six-pack dangle from the fingers of one hand, "So. You're stuck in a place you hate with a guy who's an ass, but at least he's half-Saimhann. I get to keep doing what I want, but I take my duty seriously, I've got a wife when I never wanted one who's going to be fucking miserable. How do I keep that from happening?"

The Ash Witch keeps her back to him, which perhaps proves to be a good thing as she feels her tears start to overflow once more. She raises a hand to rub at her throat, eyes searching the skies and then drifting back down across the courtyard. "I don't know," she finally confesses at his question. She finally turns to face him as she tries to wipe away her tears.

Victor snorts, "Well you're no fucking help." There's an edge of humor in the words, however, rather than anger or frustration. "Come on, if you know Bethe already, I'm sure she'll be glad to see ya." He starts forward, although he stops when she turns back to face him, grinding to a halt a pace or so away and reaching up to run one hand back across his shorn scalp, "Shit. I really am horrible at this, aren't I? My idea of cheering someone up is to go get them drunk and laid." He blinks at that, perhaps realizing that the second part of that admission is not a particularly good one to make in front of your betrothed, even if he didn't say anything about getting laid himself.

"Perhaps Bethe will be happy to see me," Devon says, perhaps a touch cryptically. Then she shakes her head, wiping away more tears from her cheeks. Deep her in belly, all she feels is the slow-growing hatred, though it is primarily centered on the fact that she promised herself she wouldn't be weak around the Khourni. She actually offers another one of those almost unsmiling laughs. "Well… you're only half-way there on one of those… and I can't imagine that the latter will happen." She turns away a bit again.

Victor smirks, "Hey, I was happy to see you, it was just when I started having to talk that things started to suck." Pulling out another beer bottle from the now-two-pack, he holds it out, "There's whiskey downstairs, and I'm sure some place around here has mead." Clearing away the smirk, he shrugs his broad shoulders, "And yeah… somehow I don't think getting either of us laid would be a great idea just about now."

Devon glances over toward him at his attempt at compliment, but then she just shakes her head a bit, expression somber. "I think we should go downstairs," she says as she takes the offered bottle, but does not seem too keen in opening the third one. She offers him a vague nod at his words about getting laid.

Victor pulls out his own third bottle, twisting it open and taking a slug. Gathering bottle and six-pack in one hand, he pulls out his comm, "Vera, where's Bethe?" There's a brief pause, and then a contralto female voice responds, "Sir Anabethe is in the Great Hall." He shrugs, stepping around past the Ash Witch to call the lift, "So?" And then he drains off a goodly portion of his beer. Because, you know, when he tries, things just suck.

Devon glances over toward his comm as his AI replies, and then she looks away as she holds the unopened beer loosely in her grip. She follows after him after a pause of hesitance before she nods her head a bit. She just arches a brow at him when he offers a subjectless word. "So," she replies vaguely.

The door 'dings' open, and then he shakes his head, "So. As in, 'so, you want to come on down and say hi to Bethe.'" And then he takes another swig of his beer. So not going well. At least lift rides are always awkward.

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