(1866-06-03) An Awkward Sort of Courtship
An Awkward Sort of Courtship
Summary: Before the coronation, Alina and Gabriel feel each other out, and try and make some plans.
Date: 1866-06-03
Related: None
Alina  Gabriel  

l'Saigner Manse - Noble Circle - Rovilon - Rovilon - Couviere
Room description
IC date of RP

Despite the revelry in the capitol, Alina has actually been avoiding much of it. Besides, she suspects Gabriel isn't much a fan of courtly drunkeness and parties, so she had invited him over to the manse tonight so they might spend some time together away from the loud noise and the overindulgence.

She had brought him up to her room— the very room he had already become… acquainted with once before. Her overdress off for comfort, Alina sits on the edge of the bed, brushing out her hair as she speaks with the l'Corren knight, actually quite polite tonight as she goes.

"Will you be participating in all the tourney," she asks as she draws the brush through her locks. "Or just parts?"

Glancing around, Gabriel stands off and to the side, providing some distance as Alina does whatever lady things she does, for now it is combing her hair, but he is certain other things will come soon. He shrugs and shakes his head. "Whatever I can actually compete in. Of course I will try and win, but there are a few others I wouldn't mind seeing take home a prize or two." He offers the faintest of smiles and then turns to survey the room some more.

"Do you… well, will you want my favor?" she asks as she finishes brushing her hair, beginning to tie it back with a thin ribbon. "I suspect you will do well in the tournament, Gabriel, whatever you choose to compete in— but is it likely that others will target you personally, seeing as you are the most recent Champion of the Circuit?" She offers him a quick but sincere smile. "Is there anything I can do?"

"Yes, I shall wear your favor. Normally, I would not. At least… I tried not to get involved in such matters." He shrugs, and then turns to face her, offering something of a smile. "Now is different though, at least because of our situation." He gestures towards her stomach, smiling. "As to people targeting me? Eh, there were those who already did last year, but I cannot let that stop me, nor can I worry about it."

Alina gives him a wry smile, then gestures for him to come over and sit beside her. "Good. It's nice to know I'll have a husband who is not afraid of competition." She settles back, putting her brush aside. "After all, competition is how one becomes heir in my house… and it will be good that you can foster a healthy sense of it, perhaps, in our children."

Again, the l'Corren shrugs and hesitates a moment before stepping over to sit beside her. "There is a time and a place for competition though, and that sort of lesson is important for all to understand. It is one thing to compete on a tourney field, but when there is something truly at stake, I would hope that any competitive spirit that is fostered in our children will be put aside. I will do what I can to at least foster that into them. Family must support family when all is said and done."

Nodding, she rests her hand on his. "Of course," she replies, though there is a touch of grimness to her tone. "Kingdom, Family, Self." She shakes her head, forcing a soft laugh. She leans over and kisses his cheek lightly. "I suspect you may be in for many surprsies one your cloak is turned," she says with a light shrug. "We;re not as honorless scum as some might think," she teases.

He glances down as she puts her hand on his before looking back up at her. Nodding at her words, he considers it for a moment, only offering a slight smile at her kiss. "No, I am pretty sure you are not scum, but honorless? I have yet to be convinced otherwise." The words are said in a rather lighthearted manner, as if it is some sort of joke. As if it really could be… coming out of the mouth of a l'Corren and all.

Alina offers him a pout in return. "Well, hopefully I will convince you in time," she replies, half teasing, half pouting. She regards him idly. "Or at least Father might."She actually seems serious about that one. "You aren't really going to want a bunch of knights around us all the time, are you?" she asks with a sulk. "You were teasing about that?"

Glancing upward, Gabriel considers the best way of saying what he wants to say. Several long moments pass before he finally lets out a sigh and then shakes his head. "Listen Alina, the fact of the matter is a lot of things were put into motion with the Cardinal's plans. I have heard it said that he put a lot of mercenary companies into play. I know that your family considers your pet mercenary company loyal, and perhaps they are, but there are bonds that go beyond drawing your sword for money. Once you start selling your sword, what does a man become capable of? Who is your lord? Who are you loyal to? It seems to me that the thing you become loyal to is coin, and there is always someone with more coin than you." He pauses and then snorts, "Unless you are a bloody Tracano, I suppose."

Alina's expression flattens, though whether it is from mention of the Tracano or mention of coin— her family only supposedly had a moderate amount of it, though in truth, they had under the table resources enough to hire half of Pacitta… or more… should they need to.

But Gabrel would find that out in due time.

Still. She forces another smile to her lips and then shrugs. "A man that is paid to do a job can be paid to do it however desired. KNights have foolish notions of fair fights, honorable combat, and facing a man head-on. But what good is that? A dead man is a dead man, and he hardly cares if the blade hit his heart from the front or the back." She sighs. "I… I like knowing most of my people will come back home." She turns to face him on the bed, shifting a bit awkwardly with her additional weight. "I will want you to come back home. And if that means stabbing a brigand in the back instead of waiting for him to stand and face you in honorable combat, well then, that's what it means."

Gabriel begins to rub at his face with both of his palms, shaking his head. "I am… not sure where you have come up with such notions." Lowering his hands, he continues shaking his head, unbelieving. "Alina, you are aware that most of the time, when a knight enters combat it is the very definition of an unfair fight, yes? Consider that a man kitted out in full plate goes and fights a brigand who might, -might- be wearing leathers. Yes, the brigand may have some more mobility, but you might be surprised how quickly a man who is trained to wear such armor is capable of. Plus the knight has received far more in training. Yes, there are things that can be done to counter that knight, but combat is a bloody affair, and anything can happen. So keep those things in mind when you worry whether or not I will return home. Besides, I am also too stubborn to lay down and die."

She laughs softly at that last bit. "I thought you meant 'strong-willed'," she teases. "Not stubborn." She makes a face suddenly and her hands move to her stomach. "Mmph. They keep kicking and moving." She gives him a halfway dark look. "Like they already have on armor and are trying to beat their way out," she says with a sigh.

"Armor just seems so limiting," she says finally. "And it is noisy."

"It is only limiting until it saves you from getting run through." He says matter-of-factly. Glancing down towards her stomach, he frowns. "I didn't realize that they moved around so much, but it's not as if I know too much about all of it." He rubs his chin for a moment, tilting his head. "Were you hoping this would be the result from that night we spent together?" The question is asked curiously.

Alina blushes. "One, no." She shakes her head. "I… I wasn't thinking or hoping much our night together… except to have your arms around me, to feel you… ahh," she rubs her face slightly, "to feel your heart beat and to know you desired me." Her cheeks darken furiously as she speaks. "I should have thought of the possibility, but I had other things on my mind."

"Oh." He says, blinking. "I suppose that makes sense. Apologies for asking then, it was… oh, nevermind." Wow, what a question to have asked. Thinking of something else to do or say, he reaches over to put a hand on her stomach, to see if he can feel anything.

There is a thud from within of tiny feet kicking against the inside of her stomach against Gabriel's hand. Alina winces a bit, obviously not enamoured of the sensation. "No, no," she says quickly. "It.. it made sense to ask, I'm sure, and…" she shrugs helplessly. "Well, I am sure this was not your plan either."

"No, not it really wasn't something that came to mind when all was said and done. I guess it's not really something I had ever really felt the need to worry about before." He shrugs slightly, leaving his hand on her stomach for the time being to feel the sensations coming from within. "Anyway, I can't say that this is a bad thing. At the very least there won't be any pressure coming from either of our parents about succession."

Alina nods. The little feet seem to know when someone is touching them and paying them some small attention, as they keep pressing against Gabriel's hand and occasionally kicking a tattoo of drumming as well. "That is true. Perhaps we will simply have more time to get to know each other better, then, after we wed." She smiles at him, genuinely. "I would like that."

For a few moments longer he feels the little kicking, and then he removes his hand and offers Alina a slight smile. "Oh? Does that mean that we can go on long horseback rides out in the country to have picnics? Of course we can have a few guards so that we do not run into another little village of nightmares." He chuckles softly, for several reasons, but mostly at the idea of forcing Alina to ride a horse some more.

"If you insist," Alina sighs, mock woundedly. "I will get on a horse so we can picnic, instead of using my perfectly good feet or a carriage." She shifts over a bit, reaching up and running her fingertips across his jawbone lightly. "We may have to trade for it though… you make me ride a horse for an afternoon, I make you do something I want for an afternoon."

"Good." He nods, rather seriously. "You should become more skilled in riding. If there is ever a problem, you should not depend upon carriages or ships. It may come to pass that a horse is your best method of travel." He frowns slightly at the rest of what she says, his eyes narrowing suspiciously. "Like what?"

Alina smiles wickedly. "Well, I'd love to see you spar hand-to-hand with my brother. Either of them, really…" she teases innocently. "Or… we could consider more pleasant diversions. Like chess. Or go. Or…" she shrugs. "You told me once you had some musical talent. Perhaps that?"

"You want me to spar with one of your brothers?" He frowns, considering this. "I suppose I could do that, but I wonder what your motivations for this is. Surely you have some sort of motivation for suggesting that?"

Alina leans up and kisses Gabriel lightly, more a quick brushing of lips against his. "Because it will amuse me to see you lose. Perhaps get better over our marriage… I would hope so, in fact. But you will learn quickly that just because we are not knights does not mean we are incapable."

"So, a question, what would happen if I ended up beating one of them?" He asks the question in a curious manner. After all, he did manage to do somewhat well when there was a hand-to-hand combat competiton in one of the tournaments last year.

Alina tilts her head and considers. "Rewarded with lovemaking until you cannot move?" she asks lightly.

Rolling his eyes, Gabriel says, "Is that really much of a reward given that I am sure you will want that from time to time anyway?"

"And you won't?" Alina asks with a pout.

Gabriel says, "From time to time, certainly. I am sure that after each tournament I will need to do a little unwinding, you know?" He shrugs, as if that is what everyone does after participating in tournaments."

Alina pouts a little bit more. "No more often than that?" she asks quietly. Tristan would have her every night, if they had wed. They would spend hours exploring each other and loving each other… why did she have to be stuck with a l'Corren?!

She sighs, settling back with an expression of disappointment. She would have to… cope. With it. "If that is all you want," she drones flatly. "I understand."

Gabriel frowns. Reaching up, he scratches at the side of his head as he stares at her. "You seem a little disappointed. I… I'm not exactly sure why. I thought is better than most couples would be, plus I don't want to go into things with any sort of expectations, that wouldn't be fair to either of us. You will be busy and have your duties, and I will be busy and have my own duties, it's not as if we can spend every waking hour holding one another and staring into each others eyes."

Alina actually lets out a slight giggle at that, after a moment or two of silence. "No, ah… no. Of course not. I had just hoped there would be more… often… than just after tournaments." She frowns.

"Oh… no, that isn't quite what I meant." Shaking his head, he gets up and then stretches, letting his spine pop as he does so. "You will not need to fear that, I think. In any case, you should get some rest. I am sure all of these… festivities… will keep the two of us busy until the coronation occurs."

Alina nods, yawning a bit. "I am tired," she admits. She pauses, thinking for a moment. "Stay with me… the night of the coronation?" she asks gently. "I would enjoy your company. And your arms."

Gabriel nods, and smiles. "Of course, we can do that, I think."

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