(1866-05-31) A Small Chat
A Small Chat
Summary: Michael figures out Alina may be alive and goes to confirm it for himself.
Date: 05-31-1866
Related: None
Michael  Alina  

Room Name
Room description
IC date of RP

The l'Saigner manse had been a-bustle with activity these past few days leading up to the coronation. First the Duke's two sons had arrived, one from the Battle of Three Crowns (the trueborn) and the other through the Faegate from Lonnaire (the bastard). Then the Hawk himself had made an appearance through the Faegate only a couple of days previously, and had been esconsed in the manse since, likely recovering from his Gatesickness.

His two sons had been seen moving throughout the city, purchasing various items to have sent back to the manse. How Michael knows this is that the public movements of the l'Saigner were generally kept note of by the l'Corren just as a general precaution for several generations by this point, and they were often useful.

For example, it wasn't entire out of place for the manse to need more bread and the makings for bread. Or certain herbs, spices, and exotic sorts of roots like ginger (which the bastard had spent apparently nearly an hour in negotiations for— an expensive and exotics root that it was, and it's not like the l'Saigner are exactly rich (that the rest of the houses know of)).

But seeing an annoyed Lucas having to make arrangements for a cobbler known for work on women's shoes to make a new pair in a hurry— from another pair that he carried with for sizing— was an oddity. And the bastard purchasing a some jars of soured cucumbers (enough of them to be of note, at least) and making arrangements for an entire shipment of potatoes from the local area to be sent to the manse…

Well, stranger things had happened.

But when the trueborn son also stopped at a jeweler with a broken necklace and waited over an hour for it to be repaired…

That spoke of something else.

Duchess Mina had not stepped through the faegate with her husband. She rarely if ever did, they were usually working on seperate things, and someone had to run the duchy in the Duke's absence. In fact, the Duke had already sent a meesanger expressing his apologies his wife could not make it to the coronation… expected, of course, as she would be staying behind for the duchy.

So… what woman was Lucas doing the bidding of? And why was Corvin making arrangments for particular foodstuffs when they had servants perfectly capable?

Those thoughts were the sorts Michael l'Corren, trained in courtly intrigues, had rising when he saw the reports.

Despite pace of the l'Corren preparations for the coronation Michael had been made aware of the l'Saigner preparations both by his own agents and by a chance meeting with Lucas l'Saigner in the market. So, now the heir to Murnord finds himself at the gates of the l'Saigner manse tossing and catching a bundle in hand as he approaches the guards wearing the tabards of the Black Fox Company. "Good day to you both," he smiles as he sizes the men in the way fighting men did when they met. "Send word to the lady Alina that Michael l'Corren is here with a gift."

The two men balk slightly. "Lady Alina is de…" one of them begins.

A larger man in combat leathers leaning against one of the walls in the courtyard interrupts him cheerily. "…delighted to see you, Lord Michael." A Wraith known as 'big Pie', one of Alina's personal guards, at least as Michael was concerned. "Right this way, just keep your hat on about it. You'll see why."

And he turns on a heel and moves quietly into the manse, expecting the lordling to follow. The two Black Fox guards look confused but shrug and let the l'Corren lord pass.

As he does, he can overhead one of them muttering to the other, "'Could understand if it was the other one." and the other replying, "Abyss. Doubt the other one is gonna be too happy. Pretty sure he was drunk the one night he and Lady Alina tumbled—"

Michael grins in greeting to 'Big Pie' and gladly follows the big Wraith, stowing his gift in his belt for now. The guard's talk filters back to him Michael snorts a laugh. "They're right about how 'the other one' is going to take all this," he remarks to the Wraith. "He won't be half as amused as I am about the whole business."

"Probably not," Big Pie allows, as he leads the l'Corren heir through the manse and up a flight of stairs, "But there's reasons, m'lord. You'll see. Hopefully he'll be able to keep his head on about it, he seems a reasonable sort."

They move down a hall someways before rapping gently on a door and then pushing it open. "No, my lady, you're staying abed," he says with insolent good cheer. "Your brother will have my ears if you push yourself too hard, and His Grace might have my head." He's already waving off towards the canopied bed in the center of the room.

Within, Alina lays, propped up by a number of pillows, very much alive… and very much pregnant, in the late weeks of it, her stomach quite visibly swollen under a lightweight blanket and a couple of layers of linen nightdress. She looks rather grouchy as she glowers towards the door. "What is it?" she says, looking up from the book she was reading. "I'm trying to rest— oh." She espies Lord Michael. "Gabr— Michael?" It takes her a moment through the sheer falls of curtain around her bed to realize that it is the more courtly of the twins. She breathes a small sigh. "What are you doing here?"

"I share your hope, Master Pie," Michael says as he climbs the stairs in Big Pie's wake. "Which is why I am here confirming that she lives," he explains.

The voices from the end of the corridor brings silence to Michael's lips until he is shown into the chamber and presented with the l'Saigner heir in the flesh, of which there seems to be a good deal more of than when he last saw her. "My lady," he greets with a quirked eyebrow. "It is good to see you are Lucas' equal when it comes to being hard to kill." The pregnancy, for the moment, is not remarked upon.

"Rumors of my death," Alina replies lightly, "were purposely exaggerated. Cardinal Ramius knew I was onto him and his trail. If it had only been myself in danger— the kingdom comes first." Her hand lightly rests on her stomach. "But… I have them to think of too."

Twins. A blessed omen from the One. Moreso if they are true twins.

There is a nod from Michael as he approaches the bed. "An understandable precaution," he concedes. "And 'them'? Twins then?" he asks looking now at Alina's distended belly. He fumbles with the package in his belt and when it is free he extends it towards Alina. "And here I thought the things being sent for were to do with your usual reaction to gates. Still, these sweets may be welcomed all the same, I recalled you favoured them when you were ill after a trip."

Alina takes the package and smiles. "Thank you," she murmurs, though she puts it aside for now. "I'm past my gatesickness, I arrived several days ago. But these will be appreciated later." She grimaces a bit. "Yes, twins. Your brother will either be thrilled or terrified, I'm sure," she mutters, looking away. "I feel like a whale," she says irritatedly. "And I haven't told him yet… well, I want to be the one to tell him. But he's so… so… l'Corren— no offense— that if he had known, he probably would have abandoned the Prince and come back to protect us. Him and his… oaths." She wrinkles her nose.

Then she gives Michael a sunny smile. "But you kept His Majesty safe. You both did. Thank you. If it wasn't for you, we may not have a king on the throne— not that Father would have beheaded him or anything, but I suspect that Ramius would have managed to get some sort of assassination attempt managed while the Prin—King was in our custody. Bastard. I only wish we could have killed him a few more times. Ramius, that is."

Michael nods and as Alina puts aside the sweets he drags a chair over beside the bed and sits. "None taken," he snorts with a shake of his head. "As for Gabriel and his reaction," he pauses to weigh the idea. "A little of both I suspect, joy and terror, but I am sure it will lean more to joy when the shock passes. Though he should be told and soon, Ali. It's cruel to keep him thinking you're dead and keep news of his children from him. That said I will leave the part about the children to you."

There is a faint smile from Michael as the talk turns to their time on the run with Jean-Paul "Well a summons from you is never dull, I will say that and I was glad to keep our king alive. I think he will be a good one. Like his father," he says a touch of bittersweet remembrance creeping into his tone at the mention of the old king, his former mentor. "And Ramius is dead?" he asks smile vanishing as he looks to Alina for confirmation. Seeing no sign of jest or exaggeration he lets out a breath and nods. "Good. Though you're right that son of a poxy dockside whore should have died screaming once for each of his many crimes. I cannot believe he was in our midst the whole time and we did not see it."

Alina frowns slightly, a somewhat blank look touching her expression. "He was probably relieved to hear of my death," she murmurs sulkily. "And will be less so to hear otherwise. He has to marry me, after all." She folds her arms across her chest defensively.

She nods first in agreement that the new King will be a good one, and then grimly at Michael's colourful description of what Ramius should have suffered. "He took a pair of the Queen's Songbirds with him. To… use." She shudders. "They are being seen to privately by Viscount t'Andalucci… healing their bodies of the drugs and One hopes their minds from the memories. I'd like to see the Cardinal roast slowly for that crime alone, not even bringing in all his other ones." She lets out an slow breath. "But yes. The man is dead, and ashes. We l'Saigner are nothing if not thorough."

There is a disgusted curl of his lips at the news of the Songbirds. "Scum," he spits at the dead Cardinal. "I am glad Viscount Mattias has them in his care if anyone can help them, he can," he shakes his head. "I can't help but think of all the times I was in reach of Ramius with a sword at my side. One, if only I knew a simple thrust of a sword through is black heart could saved so many so much grief." He shakes his head. "Anyhow, there is no changing the past and I suppose we must be glad the One and I assume your brother brought about his end at last."

Then of Gabriel he shakes his head softly and reaches out to put a hand on Alina's nearer arm. "Do you really think that Ali?" he asks her gently. "I know my brother may not have been expecting to be wed to you but I can tell you he did not rejoice at the news of your death and I doubt he would weep with the news of your return or that you already carry his children. Though if you want my advice, send for him and reveal both to him in private before you reveal all to the court. A man has his pride and it would go ill for my brother at court if he seems surprised by your survival and that you are with child."

Alina swallows. "You think so?" she replies. "I had thought to simply let all know at once, and then speak to him privately afterward. And I would think he would have been happier staying in your frozen north clanking around and yelling and killing Tirians. THere is nothing I can think of that will bring him any pleasure in Lonnaire." She frowns some, looking lost for a moment. "He is a straight forward man," she says quietly. "Even you are more accustomed to the intrigues of court than he is. I fear it will not be happiness for either of us, our wedding. But he is your brother and you know him better than I."

"You said it yourself just now, Ali, he's a straightforward man and you need to be straightforward with him if you hope to have some degree of happiness with him. I would start now and not let him know of your return along with the rest of court, but in private, in person. It would be a good way to plant a seed of trust to grow as you get to know each other," Michael explains before pausing and thinking things over. "As to what he'd do at Lonnaire. I admit my brother is ill-prepared to be Duke and it's requirements run contrary to his nature but he will need to learn and that will take much time. Help him with it as something to do in common."

Alina looks fretful. "But how can I summon him to me without letting him know I'm alive? And how will he take…" her eyes flit downwards for a moment, then away. Her face is pale and she looks genuinely fearful and worried for likely the first time Michael has ever seen. "I just… I do not want him to hate me. I want us both to be happy, eventually… I didn't plan for any of this, and…"

Michael settles back. "Send word through a servant that there is something at the manse you wished him to have," he says. "That will bring him here so you may have your reunion in private and in doing so, as I said, help pave the way towards the happiness you seek. My brother is a straightforward man but not a stupid one. He will not hate you for the deception around your supposed death, he will see why it was needed at the time. Though he will not understand if the deception is carried with him past the need for it. So, again, I say talk to him and soon and see your chances for happiness in your marriage greatly improved."

Alina frowns for a moment, then nods. "I… I will. I'll send for him this evening." She brightens a bit. "Perhaps he'll be pleased to see me. I would not be unhappy with that, to be truthful. But I suspect you're the more romantic of the two." She grins and laughs some.

Michael reaches out and grips Alina's shoulder briefly. "Good," he says with a confident nod. "Trust me. It will be for the best." Then when Alina guesses he is the more romantic out of he and his brother he laughs. "I won't deny that. Still under all that clanking steel and duty a man's heart beats in my brother's chest so I suspect he will be pleased to see you. What man wouldn't after all?" that last Michael delivers with a lopsided grin.

Alina laughs lightly. "Of course! Well, keep my secret for me a day longer, will you, Michael?" She assumes he will, of course, they've kept other secrets longer. "Father and I will be bringing some news to tomorrow night's… function." She stretches and sighs. "But for now, I need sleep. Good evening, Lord Michael. I shall certainly see you later."

And after a exchange of quick pleasantries, Big Pie escorts Michael back out of the manse.

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