Rachel gets in trouble with Diamond, and Michael is somewhat angry because of it, 7/1/2005

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<Rachel_> (Day after she nearly died and was returned to life by Janus, I presume <Rachel_> ?) <Diamond> (Yeah... I can't remember what I was wearing that day so let's just say I felt like changing clothes in between) <Rachel_> (and would this be after she talks with Janus and Hayley?) <Diamond> (I was going to go lie down anyway, so it kind of makes sense) <Diamond> (yeah) <Rachel_> (I think she was wearing lots of black velvet with feathers at the cuffs.) <Diamond> (after my nap :V) <Diamond> (well I wouldn't have slept in that gown, and it's very like me to change into something new, and I already typed a new desc, so... :V) <Rachel_> (^-^) <Rachel_> (I am sent for by messenger?) <Diamond> (yeah, that'll do)

  • Rachel_ arrives at Diamond's apartments and is announced by the page, etc. She is anxious to see how her grandmother is doing!
  • Diamond is sitting in her favourite chair, by the window, while Dovev hovers semi-unobtrusively in the background.
  • Diamond is wearing a high-collared black gown of clingy, crepe-like silk. Her hair is rolled back from her face, and upon her head is perched a tiered black hat shaped vaguely like a rosette, with a long black veil that hangs down her back between her wings.

<Diamond> Good afternoon, Rachel.

  • Rachel_ is garbed in a long and diaphanous gown. She looks more slender than ever and her wings glimmer behind her. She looks so impossible that it seems as if a gentle breeze would dissipate her into little puffs of mist.
  • Rachel_ curtseys.
  • Diamond is still rather pale, and seems somewhat tired; she's much improved from the last time you saw her, though!

<Rachel_> Good afternoon, Your Majesty.

  • Rachel_ scrutinizes you.

<Diamond> Please, come closer. Sit down. <Rachel_> You're looking much stronger, I am glad to see...

  • Diamond gestures gracefully to a chair opposite her own.
  • Rachel_ does so and slides into the seat as silently as air.

<Diamond> Yes. I would say that I am sorry to have called you all this way for nothing... However, I am quite pleased at this particular outcome. <Rachel_> We're all very glad that you are still with us... You had me terrified yesterday. But, I am sorry for the loss of your child...

  • Dovev hovers a little closer, emitting a slight sort of rattling purr from the back of his throat.

<Diamond> We are all aggrieved by the loss.

  • Diamond says, her expression unreadable.
  • Rachel_ obviously has mixed emotions about everything, as she says.

<Rachel_> (But she is glad you are alive - nothing mixed about that.) <Diamond> How are you feeling today? It was a rather late night for everyone. <Rachel_> I'm all right... <Rachel_> I slept late...

  • Diamond nods.

<Diamond> As did I.

  • Diamond says with the barest hint of a wry smile.
  • Rachel_ smiles slightly back.

<Rachel_> I seem to do that a lot lately.

  • Rachel_ seems a bit hesitant about mentioning that.

<Diamond> A lady does require her rest. <Rachel_> Oh... I don't know that it's so healthy, really...

  • Rachel_ looks down at her hands and twists a ring on her finger awkwardly. Then she stops and looks up at you again, and smiles.

<Rachel_> But enough of that. I am tiresome at best. <Diamond> The burden of leadership can be tiring.

  • Diamond shrugs fluidly.

<Diamond> I wished to speak to you concerning the events of last night. <Rachel_> Of course.

  • Rachel_ is attentive.

<Diamond> I vaguely recall saying certain things concerning Hayley, while you and she were present...

  • Diamond looks thoughful, as if trying to recollect what exactly those things were.
  • Rachel_ nods slowly.
  • Rachel_ wonders if you are expecting her to remind you, and whether it is a mind game.

<Diamond> As one might imagine, I was not quite myself at the time...

  • Rachel_ looks at you oddly.

<Rachel_> Well, you were in pain, but the sentiments you expressed were not exactly out of character for you, Your Majesty. <Diamond> I may have said some things which I otherwise would not have. <Rachel_> I was a bit shocked by your last words.

  • Rachel_ admits.

<Rachel_> I am glad that they were not, after all, the last thing you would ever say. <Rachel_> But it was sad. <Diamond> Perhaps it would be best if we both forgot about that. <Rachel_> ... <Rachel_> How do you propose we do that? <Rachel_> She'll remember. <Diamond> I have spoken to her. <Diamond> I have tossed her a few scraps of kindness, and she will think the world of me for it. <Rachel_> (empathy... does Diamond mean that or is she just saying that to appease me?) <Rachel_> (Does she really hate Hayley still?  ;_;)

  • Diamond 's expression is inscrutable. She outbluffs you by about 500 years.

<Rachel_> So... you've had a change of heart?

  • Rachel_ says carefully.

<Diamond> That is not what I said. <Diamond> Rachel, it does no good to publicly persecute Hayley. <Diamond> We both wish the best for Janus. We wish to see him spared any possible pain. <Rachel_> (by both, she is referring to Hayley, yes?) <Diamond> (no, you) <Diamond> But when one does not take enough care to veil one's distaste... Well, it is not Hayley who pains him.

  • Rachel_ frowns slightly.

<Rachel_> So, I am to pretend I like her now? <Rachel_> I'm sorry. Perhaps you can do it, but I cannot. I watched her playing with Salimah last night. <Diamond> You will do what you wish, as always. <Diamond> But mind the consequences.

  • Rachel_ sighs, wondering how she ever got born into this family.

<Rachel_> Are you going to pretend you like her? <Rachel_> She is pretty observant. <Rachel_> You can keep father blinded by his love for you, but not her I don't think. Not her. <Diamond> As far as she is concerned my near death experience has caused me to reconsider my stance on their relationship. <Rachel_> ... <Rachel_> Do you ever wonder whether admitting such things might backfire on you someday? <Rachel_> I can't help but wonder now how genuine your feelings for me are, or if you're even telling me the truth right now. <Diamond> Should I take more care in what I admit to you, Rachel?

  • Rachel_ says sadly and resignedly.

<Rachel_> No, you have nothing to fear from me. <Rachel_> Except maybe for finishing what your father started. <Diamond> Pardon me?

  • Diamond 's eyes seem to ice over.
  • Dovev frowns slightly.

<Rachel_> Didn't Kolya tell you of the vision in which he thought someone might turn my heart to hatred? <Rachel_> He tried... but he didn't succeed. <Rachel_> I still care for you. <Diamond> Kolya tells me all that he sees.

  • Rachel_ nods.

<Rachel_> But I am struggling in everything I do. And I don't know how much longer I can keep myself from faltering. <Diamond> Michael has been interviewing potential advisors for you. You know this. <Rachel_> If indeed, I haven't already... <Diamond> I fail to see what this has to do with my late father.

  • Diamond says coldly.

<Rachel_> ...

  • Rachel_ looks immensely sad and tired all of a sudden.

<Rachel_> You are in danger of proving him right. I don't know you at all...

  • Rachel_ practically whispers.

<Rachel_> But I will do as you say, if it pleases you. <Diamond> It does.

  • Dovev frets with a cuff behind her, looking almost nervous.
  • Rachel_ nods, accepting this, though she looks extremely unhappy and, well... beaten. No spirit left.

<Diamond> You must realize that I have your interests at heart.

  • Diamond defrosts slightly.
  • Rachel_ looks down on her hands and nods, but doesn't really seem to believe you.

<Rachel_> That's what everyone says...

  • Rachel_ says, rather dully.
  • Rachel_ rallies up a smile from somewhere.

<Diamond> You never consider that they might be telling the truth. <Diamond> Would it make you happier to think that I have accepted Hayley with open arms? Would that somehow please you more? <Diamond> Would you prefer that I tell you I plan for her to bear your father's future children?

  • Diamond rises to her feet, although she seems just a trifle unsteady.

<Dovev> <w> You musssst not excite yourssself...

  • Rachel_ looks up at you and looks sad.
  • Rachel_ nods.

<Rachel_> Please don't.

  • Dovev whispers, concerned.
  • Dovev reaches for her elbow but is waived away.
  • Rachel_ stands up to offer you assistance as well, but lets her hands fall when she sees you wave Dovev away.

<Diamond> Very well then.

  • Diamond raises her chin imperiously.

<Diamond> I will tell you what you think you want to hear.

  • Rachel_ shakes her head.

<Rachel_> That is not it at all. <Rachel_> Please sit... <Rachel_> Please - I don't want you to injure yourself. <Diamond> Hayley has been kind to me when I would have spent my dying breath cursing her. <Diamond> I will cause her no more grief. <Rachel_> (Empathy - is *this* the truth?) <Rachel_> (Truth is all I want.  ;_; ) <Diamond> I expect you to follow my example if not because of love for me, then because I am a Queen. <Diamond> (/me seems candid and also pissed) <Diamond> Your ill treatment of Hayley causes your father pain because you are not even subtle enough to be polite in front of him. <Diamond> That, at the very least, must end.

  • Rachel_ actually takes the criticism without flinching in the slightest.

<Rachel_> (is Diamond done?)

  • Diamond seems a little paler.
  • Dovev shoots you a venomous look.
  • Rachel_ ignores Dovev.

<Rachel_> Thank you, Your Majesty.

  • Dovev lightly takes the Queen's arm to steady her.

<Rachel_> I will follow your example because I do love you, and because I am grateful to you. <Diamond> Grateful? <Diamond> Grateful?

  • Rachel_ nods.

<Diamond> When did I grant you something that you did not question? <Diamond> When have I offerred advice and assistance and not had you mistrust it? <Dovev> <w> Missstressss, please... <Rachel_> For letting me see a small glimpse of who you really are, I am grateful. <Rachel_> You are, truly, a Queen.

  • Rachel_ curtseys respectfully.

<Diamond> Good day, Princess. You may leave.

  • Rachel_ curtseys again and departs.
  • Diamond collapses gracefully into Dovev.
  • Dovev deftly catches her!
      • Dovev has quit IRC (Quit: Adios, chochachos.~�)
      • Diamond is now known as Michael_

<Rachel_> (when will this conversation with Michael be?) <Michael_> (Early evening maybe? After dinner?) <Rachel_> (same day, though? OK)

  • Rachel_ has spent her afternoon quietly in the castle, trying to read, but more often contemplating the discussion with Diamond, what to do about Hayley, and where to go from here.
  • Michael_ catches up to you, as if by chance.

<Michael_> Hello, Rachel. <Michael_> We must talk. Do you have a moment?

  • Rachel_ turns towards you; she had been staring out a window.
  • Michael_ is wearing layered robes of maroon and black, with a priestlike stole in black with silver markings. A finely-crafted silver coronet rests upon his brow, and he carries, as usual, his ebony staff.
  • Rachel_ stands up and curtseys as etiquette requires.

<Rachel_> Certainly, Your Majesty. <Rachel_> Please, have a seat -

  • Rachel_ gestures to the second armchair that is set up by the chess table next to the window in the suite she was given.
  • Michael_ sits down. He smells vaguely of cloves.
  • Michael_ shifts his wings into a somewhat more comfortable position.
  • Rachel_ re-seats herself once the higher-ranking king has settled himself in comfortably.
  • Rachel_ smiles slightly... his wings are so beautiful.

<Rachel_> How have you been since I saw you last? <Michael_> Well enough.

  • Rachel_ nods.

<Michael_> I have a matter of business to discuss with you. <Rachel_> Of course, Your Majesty. <Michael_> As I mentioned earlier, I have been keeping an eye out for someone who might assist you.

  • Michael_ says in a businesslike tone.

<Rachel_> . o O (It's always business with you and grandmother.  :( ) <Michael_> Forgive me if I have already told you this... Last night is a bit of a blur. <Rachel_> Yes, and you mentioned a young lord, Rhydian was his name, I believe?

  • Rachel_ waves her hand dismissively.

<Michael_> Yes, yes. Rhydian ap Caradoc. <Rachel_> It was an uneasy night for all.

  • Rachel_ nods.

<Rachel_> Yes, Count Cillian's boy, wasn't it...? <Michael_> Cyllin.

  • Michael_ corrects you.
  • Rachel_ asks, uncertain if that was it or some other relation of his.

<Michael_> He is Cyllin's nephew.

  • Rachel_ looks upwards, a bit embarrassed.
  • Rachel_ repeats the name Cyllin a few times mentally so she won't get it wrong next time...

<Rachel_> Right. <Michael_> They plan to leave on the morrow, but if you have the time to meet with Sir Rhydian, I am sure they would be willing to delay their departure by another day. <Rachel_> ... <Michael_> If you still wish to meet him. <Michael_> If not, I will send him on his way. <Rachel_> Well, it would certainly be more convenient to meet with him on this trip, rather than come back. <Rachel_> I am never quite at ease when I am away from my barony. <Rachel_> :/ <Michael_> It is up to you. <Rachel_> Not to mention Windrider is probably getting tired of transporting me back and forth. <Rachel_> No, I shall meet with him, if he is willing to extend his stay.

  • Rachel_ says decisively.

<Michael_> I am sure he will be pleased. <Rachel_> I admit that his tender age threw me off at first - what does it say about me? - but... I have identified this weakness in myself and I am sure you know what you're doing. <Michael_> Sir Rhydian is a good and clever man. He is wasted at his uncle's court. <Michael_> Nevertheless, the decision to engage him or not will be your own.

  • Rachel_ nods.

<Michael_> You are by no means obliged. Both he and the count are well aware of this. <Rachel_> I would like to meet him, certainly. <Michael_> (by engage I meant 'hire') <Rachel_> (I know...  :P) <Rachel_> How is Her Majesty? <Michael_> (ok... just seemed like you were agreeing to meet him again) <Michael_> She is resting. <Michael_> She had a difficult spell this afternoon. <Rachel_> I am sorry to hear that. <Michael_> She is meant to be taking something for the pain, but she finds it dulls her more than she deems acceptable. <Rachel_> Well, she'll do what she thinks is best. <Michael_> Yes.

  • Michael_ 's black eyes are unfathomable.

<Rachel_> But I hope she does not strain herself too much. <Michael_> Dovev and I will see to it that she is not subjected to anymore undue stress, until she is well. <Rachel_> ... <Michael_> My wife's health is of utmost concern to me, as you can imagine. <Rachel_> Yes, Your Majesty. <Rachel_> I am sorry. <Michael_> I do not mean to lose her, so soon after finding her anew.

  • Rachel_ regards you. She has trouble believing she caused *that* much stress. :P

<Rachel_> Of course not, your Majesty... <Michael_> (believe whatever you want)

  • Rachel_ looks away, first sign of weakness.

<Michael_> Where would you like me to have Sir Rhydian meet you? <Rachel_> Oh... <Michael_> And how formal would you prefer the encounter to be?

  • Rachel_ looks back at you.

<Rachel_> We can meet in a salon, and you know how well I sit with formality...

  • Rachel_ says, self-derogatory.

<Michael_> I will have him come to the [blah] room at two tomorrow afternoon, then.

  • Rachel_ nods.

<Rachel_> Titles, I suppose... but a chair for him to sit across from me. <Rachel_> Thank you, Your Majesty... <Rachel_> I'll get the servants to arrange the room to my liking.

  • Rachel_ hopes he didn't think she was implying he should do that... :o
  • Michael_ nods, then stands up, looking regal and impressive as he stretches his wings...

<Rachel_> ... <Rachel_> Do you miss the girl you first met, very much?

  • Rachel_ asks quietly.
  • Rachel_ refers to when she first met you, of course... ;_;

<Michael_> Yes.

  • Michael_ says simply.
  • Rachel_ nods.

<Rachel_> I do too. I think she is dead. <Michael_> That is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • Rachel_ looks small and lonely.
  • Michael_ looks tall, imposing, and powerful.
  • Rachel_ looks back out the window, unable to look at you for long.

<Michael_> What is it that you *want*?

  • Michael_ towers over you.

<Rachel_> (Angry?  :/ ) <Michael_> (no, just scary :) <Michael_> (well, imposing) <Michael_> (I'm not deliberately trying to be scary. I just kind of am I guess)

  • Rachel_ looks back at you. There are shadows in her eyes.

<Rachel_> A return to innocence, perhaps. But that is the coward's way out. <Michael_> I ask because I have tried to offer you as many constructive aids to your situation as I could think of. <Michael_> But what you seem to want most is pity. <Rachel_> ... <Rachel_> Not pity, Your Majesty. <Michael_> No? Then what? <Rachel_> I don't know. I am not sure where I am, or how I got here... or what I shall become when it's done. <Rachel_> But you are trying hard to help, and I appreciate that. <Rachel_> Even though it might not seem like it. <Rachel_> We shall see what comes of the meeting tomorrow.

  • Rachel_ says, trying to sound sure/reassuring.
  • Rachel_ smiles courageously for you.
  • Michael_ is silent for a moment, as though contemplating saying something else.
  • Michael_ merely nods, in the end.

<Michael_> Have a pleasant evening, Rachel.

  • Michael_ gracefully folds his wings behind him.

<Rachel_> You too, Your Majesty.

  • Michael_ takes his leave, then.