(1867-10-17) All We Can Do
All We Can Do
Summary: Corvin and Esyld discuss the future. Several different versions of it.
Date: October 17th
Related: And It Begins
Corvin  Esyld  

The Bastard's Suite — Highwater Castle, Lonnaire

Corvin Fremont's suite (affectionate/not-so-affectionately known as "The Bastard's Suite") in the family tower of Highwater Castle is certainly more than a servant's quarters. The entryway is a small combination of sitting room and office, though it looks like it is relatively unused save as storage for a multitude of weapons that are neatly arrayed on tables or hung on walls in a manner that allows for easy removal. Lots of knives of differing varieties, a few short swords, a couple of longswords and rapiers, a couple of saps, and of course a couple or three bows and lots of arrows. Couple that with a suit of combat leathers resting on a stand, and there's quite an arsenal to be found here. What there isn't, is much in the way of decoration. A small portrait of an attractive older woman…perhaps Corvin's mother…hangs on one wall, and there's a rug in the colors of the House covering the stone floor, with a small tapestry of the House crest hanging on another wall. A hearth keeps the suite warm in colder months.

The second room is the bedchamber, which..unsurprisingly, has a large, comfortable bed in it, as well as a couple wardrobes and chests for storing clothing and bedlinens. The third, smaller room is a privy that includes a good-sized copper tub. All the furnishings throughout the sweet are of decent quality but not quite "top of the line." Comfortable but not opulent. In some ways, a subtle reminder of the occupants' place in the house.

Octobre 17th, 1867 IA

Outwardly, things don't look TOO different in Lonnaire just yet. Perhaps a few less people going to and fro, but overall it seems like business as usual. Still, there's a touch of uneasy anticipation in the air. The heiress is ill. That much is known. A few others have started to show signs of illness. Corvin Fremont, for the moment looks his usual self, tucking away the tools of his trade after another day. But the frown on his face, is not so much characteristic. He managed to keep things running as usual, despite a couple of Wraiths already shunted off to the healers, for the duration of the day. Now? Now he can let a bit of the stress show.

True, for most of the city's inhabitants things might not seem amiss. Esyld, of course, was present when Alina was struck by the illness and has seen a few others succumbing to similar symptoms in.. worryingly quick succession. She knows better than to discuss any such thing, not even with her fellow knights. After many years serving the l'Saigners, she knows the value of subtlety and decorum, even if she lacks the finer points of etiquette. But anyone who knows her well enough would be able to discern the hints of concern in her features; her blue eyes a little too intense, her mannerisms just ever so slightly 'forced', particularly in joviality.

A gentle knock does announce her arrival at the Wraith Commander's door, but the young woman slips through without exactly awaiting an invitation, her gaze finding and lingering upon Corvin as she closes it behind herself and leans there. One might fancy she's trying to literally hold the world back out there with the weight of her body alone, the way her palms and shoulders press. But it'd be a fleeting notion.

"..how is she?" Little surprise she'd enquire after Alina without delay.. her loyalty to the heiress is inquestionable, and she knows how dear Corvin's sibling is to him. Knowing she was of little use to the healers - and not a relation, either - the t'Maren had removed herself discreetly and 'busied' herself elsewhere, lest anyone find her hovering and wonder what was wrong. But with other cases arising, it seems prudent to stay a little closer, after all.

"Better, but not out of danger." Corvin replies, turning to face Esyld and not bothering to fake a smile, even if there's still a certain sense of pleasant acceptance of her arrival here. "The Willow seems to be lowering the fever, but not elmiinating it. She's still fading in and out of consciousness. The Healers don't know how long this might last." He moves to sit down on the bed, though his attention remains focused on Esyld, "The children are being watched closely for signs. Nothing yet, thankfully." He sighs, "It's always the things that can't be protected against."

There's at least a vague flicker of relief from the brunette, when the children are mentioned. But the tension doesn't ebb from her as she pushes away from the door and crosses the floor; palms rising to rub at then draw downward over her features, coming to a brief halt at her nape, then lowering as she nears the Wraith. "..and you?" The fingertips of one hand, if permitted, brush his brow; ostensibly to sweep aside his hair but no doubt noting the warmth of his skin in passing. The gesture, at least, seems affectionate, judging by the drift of her hands to his shoulders when she draws to stand before him, those sapphire hues cast down watchfully.. as one has to be, usually, to catch any hint of what Corvin may be thinking. "You're alright? Other than your concern for Alina, I mean?"

For now, at least, his forehead feels to be at a normal warm temperature, and he quirks a half-smile, even if it only barely reaches his eyes, "I feel all right, so far. Even my side's not itching and I don't feel like eating a horse every waking moment." He rolls his neck and shoulders a bit, reaching to give Esyld's hand a gentle squeeze, "Believe me, if I feel out of sorts at all I'll report to the healers immediately." Which is likely true, "God or Gods willing, it'll pass me over. Father's going to have a heavier burden than usual with Alina out of sorts. I'll take what little of it off his shoulders as I can."

"You'll be fine." Whether for Corvin's reassurance or her own, Esyld says it out loud and even somehow manages to seem confident. "We both will. We're two of the strongest people I know." The faint smile twitches to a smirk, mostly for his benefit, and she returns the pressure of that squeeze a moment before turning and dropping to a seat beside the Wraith. Her hands clasp loosely between her knees as she leans forward, typically leaniong her elbows on her thighs and gazing broodily off into the middle-distance. "Perhaps I ought to try and do the same for Gabriel.. he'll want to be close by, I expect. But.. maybe Vorian would be a better right hand man."

With a sigh, the raven-haired woman pinches the bridge of her nose, closing her eyes briefly. "..I'll suggest it, anyway. If this.. if things escalate.." Alright, she's out of her depth. And, quite uncharacteristically, anxious. Turning her head to regard Corvin from this rather odd angle, she just asks, blunt as ever. "What would happen, theoretically, if things.. got bad."

"Gabriel has a set of quarters prepared separately from those he shares with Alina. He's being watched but nearby and kept informed of Alina's status." Corvin sighs heavily, turning to glance at Esyld, eyebrows lifting in thought at her worst-case scenario question. "It depends on how bad we're talking." He pauses, silent a few moments, before continuing.

"If Alina…if Alina passes, then Lucas would become heir. If Alina and Lucas both pass…" He shakes his head, "Well, it would most likely fall to Enrique's children. And Enrique himself is most likely to take over the Duchy if…well, if all of my family should…fall." Clearly it's not the easiest thing for Corvin to discuss. "There are a lot of l'Saigners beyond us. The line would carry on, one way or another, unless it gets truly apocalyptic."

"And where then would your loyalties lie? Still with the House, under the rule of another line?" The woman halts herself visibly, pressing her lips in a firm line before speaking again after a pause. "I'm sorry." That much, anyway, is obvious; those cerulean eyes actually soften as she watches Corvin force out unusually halting words. "I'm not trying to upset you unnecessarily. I just… I like to be prepared. I'm sure she'll be fine. She's too stubborn to tolerate any other possibility. And.. well, if the world does happen to go to hell, I'll follow your lead." There's a lengthy, though not uncomfortable, silence as Esyld likewise lapses into contemplation for a time. "I haven't heard anything from Bloodfield.. though that's hardly unusual. Perhaps I might break with tradition and actually write to my brother."

Unbidden, a scowl darkens her brow, even though her gaze is now on some unremarkable patch of floor a few feet ahead of where they sit. "..there was illness in Pacitta, wasn't there. I remember, because I was angry at the thought of you being sent there. Do you think.. maybe this is the same thing?"

"I serve House l'Saigner, and at the Duke or Duchess' pleasure." Corvin replies, "Whoever would end up ruling would decide my fate, as well as everyone else's." He chuckles grinning just a bit wryly, "Doubt I'd keep this suite, though." He shrugs a shoulder, the smile fading quickly enough, "If they no longer required my services and decided to leave me alive, I'd likely see if Talia wished to put me to work. There are only but a few fields my particular skills are useful in, and I'd prefer to stay useful to someone." He shakes his head, "But you're right, the chances of…so complete a loss…are surely not so high."

He glances to Esyld and nods, "Seems likely. From what I vaguely recall of the supposed symptoms, it would seem to fit." He shakes his head, "If it's spreading through Pacitta…we're like as not going to see it get a lot worse before it gets any better."

Straightening slowly, Esyld leans momentarily at an angle in order to press her lips to the Wraith's clothed shoulder - some semblance of a kiss, but a muted thing; both their minds distinctly elsewhere. "It won't come to that." she agrees, in a murmur. Flitting a look up at Corvin, she ventures a wry twist of a smirk. "..though maybe I'd get the suite, then.."

Drawing back again, the young woman pulls her knees up to her chest and rests her chin atop them, locking her arms around her calves. "What do the healers say? Are there precautions to take? Surely the t'Andalucci are the authority on this sort of thing..?" So speaks the quiet desperation of one who has no concept of how 'these things' work at all. Blue eyes remain on the dark-haired man beside her.. and after a moment's pause she offers, somewhat belatedly, "..should we talk about something else..?"

"Well, Enrique has several children. they'd probably need it for one of them." Corvin replies with a smirk. Though at the question of further precautions, he shakes his head, "Aside from trying to catch it early…not that I'm aware of." Corvin notes, "But I haven't really spoken with them much. Their counsel largely goes to Father and the Duchess, and Gabriel." He pauses, glancing to Esyld, and finally showing a glimmer of humor, if gallows-type, "Do you think so?"

"I want a cottage on the edge of the forest. With an apple tree." Esyld responds promptly, and quite deadpan. "At least half a dozen children. My arse will get fat after the third and there'll be no help for it. So I'll hang up my sword and learn to make stew and pies. And whine that you never take me to market to buy any fine cloth for dressmaking. And I'll probably have need of a cider press to ensure I can occasionally get you drunk enough to still take me to bed." A slow curve plays about her lips, then widens to a slight grin, the first in a few days. "..there now. Our predicament doesn't seem so bad, in comparison to that nightmare I just painted, does it." Perhaps she's spent too much time around Corvin.. this dark humor is a new habit with her, but one she's taken to with surprising ease.

"And what about you.." Adopting an air of convincing calculation, Esyld tilts her head and studies the man, coaxing him to play along; to shake off the real cares for a moment with imagined horrors instead. "You could be a farmer, maybe. And spend every Friday at the local bar, regaling other pot-bellied farmer types with tales of the glory days that everyone will put down to one too many pints before fetching you home in a wheelbarrow."

"You're right. Let's talk about the illness again." Corvin deadpans, but there's still that touch of a smirk to his features, "No, I'd be a fisherman. At the pub every other night, getting fat on bad ale and good chowder." Corvin chuckles, "And on those nights I'll crawl into bed stinking of ale and fish and mutter the name of the boatswain's pretty young daughter while I paw at you." Hey, two can play this worst-case scenario game! "Our children will grow up resentful, spiteful, shiftless things who'll never know what their parents once were, and would believe it even less if they found out."

He chuckles in spite of himself, "Just a pair of fattened rotters, with our children waiting for us to die so they can seize their meager inheritance of the few dozen silvers and coppers you stashed under a floorboard in the cottage, that I've been filching from for years to fuel my Haze habit."

It's a rare thing to make Esyld laugh, and especially given the circumstances.. but she does, grinning aside at the Wraith. "Ahh, yes. Funnily enough, the brats born since that habit took hold never looked quite as much like you as the elder ones. Not surprising really, that or the poverty… less finesse with your rod, y'see, as the years go on. And fumbling fingers never do make a missus happy." Bracing her hands behind her and leaning back on them comfortably, the brunette casts her eyes ceilingward, her expression a surprisingly good impression of wistful as she goes on. "I'll try and ply my trade on the most rundown of corners, but not even a blind beggar would chuck a coin for a fat-arsed, battle scarred old harridan, so I'll end up a seamstress, instead. Probably to the boatswain's pretty daughter. Til she has a tragic 'accident' down at the docks, anyway, forcing me to return home to pies and my ale-reeking lover. And we'll be stuck with one another, fat, impoverished and forgotten until one of the children finally has the balls to smother us in our sleep and take the coppers to buy passage for he and the tavern wench he's knocked up, on the sly."

She pauses, before chuckling again, gently. "..but at least we had each other."

"Ah yes, bastards for the bastards." Corvin notes with a snort of laughter, "And the most frightening part of all of this is that it almost sounds like a fitting end." He chuckles, leaning over and kissing Esyld's cheek, playfully, "But at least we had each other. I suppose that'd keep it from being utterly intolerable. Just mostly intolerable." He chuckles, then reaches to lift up Esyld's hand, kissing the back of it. "I don't…" He frowns, clearly struggling with the concept. "I don't really know what I will become if…they're lost." A gaze into the middle-distance for him now before he admits, "Or you."

"Well, at least for that end we're very well prepared. As you're already mostly intolerable." She can't resist one last tease, glancing sidelong at the Wraith with a fond cast to her expression following the brush of lips to her cheek. As he lifts her hand, though, and sobers, Esyld's eyes search his features for the source of the sudden internal debate. Twining her fingers with his strong, equally calloused ones, the woman shakes her head a little, loosing a few locks of ebon about her cheeks that sway with the motion. "Nor do I, for my part.. but you're not going to lose them. Or me." Who would have thought it; Corvin Fremont, suddenly worrying about his place in the world. It's an admittedly daunting prospect for her, too. When all you've known is this life, contemplating the upheaval of it on terms entirely not your own? Doesn't really bear thinking about.

"I'm inclined to think.. no, I'm fairly certain if it were me on the losing end I would have a sudden, unstoppable urge for violence. So what I'd likely become is gaoled. But.. you've more strength than me, in that regard. You'd find a place.. and you would go on." Squeezing gently at his fingers, the brunette falls quiet, still watching him in profile. Introspection is an unfamiliar sight upon this one. She'd rather allow him the freedom to consider these things than bat them dismissively aside.

"I know Talia would take me in if it came down to it. I'm just not sure that's would want to be a Marked Man." Corvin replies, "Perhaps I would try to speak with the King." Corvin smirks, "Corvin Fremont, the Royal Assassin, has a nice ring to it." He shakes his head, laughing at the notion, "I suppose it doesn't matter overmuch right now. And doesn't do any good to fret over it. We'll shoulder the burdens we must, see how things unfold, and adapt. That's all we can do at this point."

"I'm sure she would." Esyld keeps her reply to that quite placid, managing to keep the usual lacing of sarcasm from her tone. And the further idea rouses a genuine smile from her. "His Majesty would be lucky to have you. Anyone would. I think you still, on occasion, forget your worth, Corvin Fremont. And that must be your own fault, since I've ceased telling you otherwise over the past year." Smirking again, she nudges his ribs lightly with her elbow. "..humility really doesn't sound you. You arrogant ass."

Slowly, reluctantly even, withdrawing her hand from his, the ebon-haired knight rises to a stand, unfurling her legs and stretching weary muscles. "That's all we ever do, my dear Wraith.." she points out, not unkindly, as she rocks back onto her heels from her toes and offers him a glance aside. "But no. There's no sense in fretting. I'm more upset at the notion of my arse getting too big for your tastes, now." That's highly unlikely to be true. But her spirits are raised a little, and she's not going to resort back to the gloom of earlier quite yet, if she can help it.

Corvin doesn't seem inclined to veer back into that realm either, instead giving her a once-over and smirking, "Well, I suppose I could probably tolerate a certain amount of expansion. Nothing wrong with having a bit more to hold on to." He reaches out and swats at the derriere in question, playfully, "But I think you've still a few years and a couple of children before you'd have to worry over it." He chuckles, "I'm nothing but humble." He blatantly lies.

"How generous of you." replies the woman, blithely seeming to ignore the swat, only to unhurriedly turn and bend at the waist, bracing her hands on Corvin's knees and eyeballing him on the same level. "Of course, I'll lose interest the moment your looks begin to fade. Hmm.." Pointedly, she rakes her blue eyes over his features, as if consideration of the rugged and weary lines; her lower lip bitten in thought. "..it may already be starting. Perhaps you ought to get a cider press..?" Yes, it still baits her when he's arrogant. But in an entirely different way, these days.

Leaning inward swiftly, she pecks a kiss at the corner of Corvin's lips, deliberately not lingering long enough for him to claim anything more - the cow - before she starts to draw away again. "I should let you rest. Yes, you heard me. I have restraint now." Flashing a momentary glimpse of her teeth, the brunette straightens and shakes back her dark hair. "..but I'll come back later, if you'd like company." Truthfully, she's been here more often than not, in recent nights. Maybe she doesn't like being alone with the troubled thoughts, either.

"Oh good. She can be taught!" Corvin teases right back, having just started to lean into that kiss when she pulls away, there's laughter in his eyes, though, "Well…if you have duties to attend to, I won't stop you." He rises from the bed, moving to wrap arms around her waist, unless of course she shimmies away, "But if you don't…."

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