Rachel & Michael, 5/12/2002

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  • Rachel_ is puttering about, killing time until she can have supper with Nikolai. How long is Nikolai going to stay, she wonders.
  • Rachel_ hopes for a while yet... but he might get sent off on business, especially if the Duke decides to remain here...
  • Michael_ is walking in the gardens... A page trails at a discreet distance.
  • Michael_ 's beard has mysteriously re-appeared!
  • Michael_ used a cantrip.
  • Rachel_ hums to herself in the garden, no page trailing after her.
  • Rachel_ is happy-ish now. She selects a few exquisite tulip blossoms from the cutting garden for her room.
  • Michael_ walks up behind Rachel.

<Rachel_> . o O (Hopefully Miss Machynnlleth won't blister me with that tongue of hers for cutting *her* flowers) <Michael_> Good afternoon, Rachel.

  • Rachel_ tries not to be startled.
  • Rachel_ straightens up, turns around, and curtseys to her grandfather.

<Rachel_> Your Grace, good afternoon. <Rachel_> It's a nice one, though a bit chill. <Michael_> Hm, yes... Well, that should pass.

  • Rachel_ nods.

<Rachel_> I should hope so. <Michael_> A shame about your cousin... <Rachel_> Yes indeed. <Rachel_> It is not easy on her. <Rachel_> ... <Michael_> ...

  • Rachel_ tucks a lock of hair behind an ear.

<Michael_> (awkward pause!) <Rachel_> Do you know what is to become of her? <Rachel_> . o O (He probably won't tell me anyway) <Michael_> Miss Isabel? <Rachel_> Lady Isabel, yes. <Michael_> I assume you mean in the immediate future. <Rachel_> Immediate, long-term... they are all related. The immediate will affect what happens to her in the long run. <Rachel_> She is very unhappy right now. <Michael_> Indeed... Quite an unsettled situation she's in... <Michael_> But it is out of my hands, I'm afraid.

  • Rachel_ nods, she expected that.
  • Rachel_ rearranges the flowers she's holding.

<Rachel_> I'm glad you told Nikolai in advance.

  • Michael_ looks mildly surprised.

<Michael_> Of course I did.

  • Rachel_ nods and swallows.

<Rachel_> I expected something like that would happen... <Rachel_> But still... <Rachel_> . o O (I wish she would have told me...) <Michael_> Still? <Rachel_> She didn't tell me...

  • Rachel_ says softly.
  • Michael_ furrows his dark eyebrows.

<Michael_> You already knew. Why should she fear upsetting you? <Rachel_> . o O (He already knew too. Why would you fear upsetting him?) <Rachel_> I wasn't upset, really, not that way. <Rachel_> I knew it would happen. But I had hoped she would tell me in advance. <Michael_> Well... then it wouldn't have been a surprise, I suppose. <Michael_> She does love surprises... <Rachel_> I know... <Michael_> Are you upset because you do not feel she holds you in confidence?

  • Michael_ prompts.

<Rachel_> ... <Rachel_> . o O (No use lying)

  • Michael_ clasps his hands behind his back and waits for the answer.

<Rachel_> Somewhat. I understand why. But I wish things were otherwise. <Michael_> Mm-hm.

  • Michael_ nods.

<Rachel_> Would you like to walk?

  • Rachel_ is getting tired of standing still in one place.

<Michael_> Certainly.

  • Michael_ offers her his arm.
  • Rachel_ takes it demurely.

<Michael_> It must seem disheartening, but you should not take it quite so personally. <Michael_> She is difficult to get to know, and you really are only beginning to deal with her as an adult.

  • Rachel_ nods, a bit surprised, and also somewhat gratified that he's taking such an interest. She didn't expect that.

<Rachel_> We seem to have some fundamental differences of opinion that don't help, either... <Rachel_> I want to please her, but not at the expense of my own beliefs. <Rachel_> I don't know how to reconcile the two. <Michael_> And what exactly is the fundamental difference? <Rachel_> It has to do with Commoners, as you might guess... <Rachel_> I enjoy their company as friends and companions... My two brothers are, after all, Commoners... and my mother was.

  • Michael_ nods, listening.

<Rachel_> I'm not comfortable, being served by them... I didn't grow up with pages attending to me... <Rachel_> I recognize that these are their jobs. <Rachel_> But I'm just not comfortable with pretending they don't exist, like our companion back there.

  • Michael_ looks over his shoulder at the page, who is looking around boredly.

<Rachel_> It just seems... wrong. <Michael_> It is a matter of protocol, I suppose... <Michael_> It might be different if they were not working.

  • Michael_ shrugs.

<Rachel_> Except that I found out today that they get harsh words if I speak to them... They don't want me to, because they've had the fear of Sidhe put into them...

  • Rachel_ says wryly, paraphrasing a mortal saying.

<Michael_> Who told you that?

  • Michael_ asks casually.

<Rachel_> I was being very un-Sidhe like earlier today. I went to the kitchens to get something to eat because I wasn't in the mood to have pages fluttering about me. <Rachel_> They told me, pretty much.

  • Michael_ nods again.

<Rachel_> So, I must curtail that. I don't want to make them uncomfortable. <Rachel_> They're such interesting people, though. They have so much to say. I want to get to know them... <Michael_> Are you certain it isn't just because you might interfere with their work? <Rachel_> Well, many of the Countess' pages aren't Boggans, so it's just like sending one of them to get something for me. <Rachel_> I don't try to draw them into long conversations... <Michael_> All the same... <Michael_> Things in a large household are very busy... <Rachel_> I know, I used to run one for all intents and purposes. <Michael_> In all fairness, I do not think that was entirely the same thing. <Rachel_> Perhaps not in some ways. But I had to make sure everyone was fed and clothed, I had to make sure the injured were tended, I had to make sure everyone had a comfortable place to sleep, I had to resolve disputes- <Michael_> The staff here must function quickly and efficiently to keep up, and disruptions are quite counterproductive.

  • Michael_ is so calm when he speaks. Such a nice deep voice. So enchanting.

<Rachel_> There were a lot, you know. People under pressure aren't so good at holding their emotions in check.

  • Michael_ arches an eyebrow.
  • Michael_ still doesn't think a fairground full of commoners is quite the same thing as a castle.

<Michael_> I'm sure it was quite challenging. <Rachel_> I loved it. <Michael_> But the fact remains that it is quite a different matter. <Michael_> I see... It is frustrating to you, that that is not your place here...

  • Rachel_ gazes downwards in acknowledgment.

<Rachel_> It is hard, to have been the one in charge for so many years, and now to be quite purposeless. <Michael_> As difficult as it is, Rachel, you must respect that this is your Grandmother's freehold, and she has her own way of running things. <Rachel_> I know... it wouldn't be so bad, if I had something useful to do. I tried asking her, but she misinterpreted what I was saying. <Michael_> Ah, I see... That goes with what I was saying before, then... <Michael_> She is difficult to know. <Michael_> She doesn't allow most people a chance. <Rachel_> Don't I know it.

  • Rachel_ says ruefully.

<Rachel_> Like I said earlier, I want very much to please her... I know I must win her trust. Yet how am I to do that when she won't give me a chance to prove myself to her? <Michael_> It will probably take a great deal of time, to be honest. <Michael_> Unless some fortuitous circumstance presents itself.

  • Rachel_ nods.

<Rachel_> I'll keep my eyes open.

  • Rachel_ tries to joke.
  • Rachel_ smiles up at Michael.

<Rachel_> Nikolai was lucky to grow up with you...

  • Rachel_ hopes he will take the compliment for what it is.

<Michael_> Well, I do my best...

  • Michael_ smiles.

<Rachel_> You two seem very close. It's easy to see why. <Rachel_> I'm very glad I found you!

  • Rachel_ teases.

<Michael_> So am I.

  • Rachel_ smiles.

<Rachel_> Will you be staying very long this time? <Michael_> Probably a few more days, anyway.

  • Rachel_ nods.

<Rachel_> Have you spoken with Father very much yet? <Michael_> No, I'm afraid not... <Michael_> That is a difficult situation, as I'm sure you are aware... <Rachel_> I know. <Michael_> I don't think either of us really know how we should deal with the other... <Rachel_> Things will likely be strange and awkward for some time...  :^/ <Rachel_> He's so very sensitive, too... <Michael_> Your grandmother has gone to Oxford for the afternoon... <Michael_> I thought it best that I remain here. <Michael_> ¬_¬ <Rachel_> She has...? <Rachel_> . o O (She better be nice to him!) <Rachel_> It's probably best to ease him into things...

  • Michael_ nods.

<Rachel_> Too bad we found you in such turbulent times.

  • Rachel_ smiles ruefully.

<Michael_> Hm.. Well, better late than never; if you'll permit the cliché. <Rachel_> I think you're up to the task, anyway. <Rachel_> Nikolai and I were going to dine together this evening. If you wish, you may join us. <Michael_> Well, I don't want to intrude. <Rachel_> Not at all. I wouldn't want you to eat alone, if the Countess is not back by then. <Rachel_> . o O (I hope she'll be back.)

  • Michael_ laughs.

<Michael_> Don't worry, I can take care of myself.

  • Rachel_ smiles.
  • Rachel_ looks amused and perhaps a bit embarrassed.

<Rachel_> . o O (He sees right through me...) <Rachel_> Well... I won't press the matter then.

  • Rachel_ smiles mischievously.
  • Michael_ chuckles to himself.

<Michael_> I'm pleased to see that these strange circumstances haven't affected your relationship with Nikolai. <Rachel_> What's there to worry about? He's adopted.

  • Rachel_ smiles.

<Rachel_> I wouldn't say we're completely unaffected... I think things may be hardest on him. <Rachel_> . o O (He has an older brother now, who is your biological son...) <Rachel_> But we'll muddle through together. <Michael_> Well, I had worried that certain things might be too unsettling for you to deal with. <Michael_> I am happy to be proved wrong, in this case.

  • Rachel_ nods.

<Rachel_> I am a bit anxious about what Father will think, when it sinks in to him... <Michael_> Yes, that has also been on my mind. <Michael_> But there is little that I can do about that... <Rachel_> Anyway... I don't mean to let it come between Nikolai and I.

  • Michael_ nods.

<Michael_> . o O (But what about between you and your father?) <Rachel_> The Countess isn't concerned about it... perhaps that will have an effect on Father... <Rachel_> Anyway, we will leap that hurdle when we come to it.

  • Rachel_ says decisively.
  • Rachel_ doesn't plan on giving up Nikolai without a fight, if it comes to it! ;^D
  • Rachel_ doesn't plan on giving him up at all, not to please Janus or anyone. But she will if things just don't work out between her and Nik... :^/
  • Rachel_ looks up at the cold sunshine.
  • Michael_ nods again.
  • Rachel_ glances down at her cut flowers which are starting to show signs of being unhappy.

<Rachel_> We live in interesting times, at any rate... <Rachel_> . o O (Somebody's freehold is going to require a regent... I wonder who will that be?) <Michael_> You ought to get those into some water. <Rachel_> . o O (Father or Nik, one or the other...) <Rachel_> Yes, I should. It would be a pity to waste them. <Rachel_> Will you be staying out here in the garden? <Michael_> I think I may head in myself. I have some letters to write... <Rachel_> Well then, I shall not have to part company with you just yet.

  • Rachel_ smiles.

<Michael_> Shall we, then? <Rachel_> Indeed.

  • Michael_ turns down a path leading back to the castle.
  • Rachel_ walks with him, since her arm is still looped through his. Awwwww... grandpa and granddaughter, enjoying each other's company. So cute.

<Rachel_> I'm glad you have your beard back. It's very dignified. <Michael_> I'm rather fond of it, myself.

  • Michael_ smiles.

<Rachel_> You should be, it suits you. <Michael_> Dignified, hmm? <Rachel_> Yes. And also somewhat stern, but your kind eyes give you away. I don't think I'd like to cross you, though. <Rachel_> So I shall endeavour to be a good granddaughter.

  • Rachel_ smiles.

<Michael_> Well, I shall endeavour to be a good grandfather, even if I am not used to the idea just yet. <Michael_> I thought I had a few more years, anyway! <Rachel_> I'll go easy on you. <Rachel_> At least until you're used to the idea. Then I expect to be spoiled, as all grandchildren should be.

  • Rachel_ teases.

<Rachel_> Are you glad to be back in Wales? <Rachel_> Or do you love Concordia now too? <Michael_> I have grown accustomed to my home in Concordia... <Michael_> :/

  • Rachel_ nods.

<Rachel_> There are a lot of big decisions ahead for you and the Countess. <Michael_> I do not know how that is going to work out, exactly. <Michael_> Yes... <Rachel_> I don't envy you... but I am confident that the two of you will come up to some sort of solution that is agreeable to all. <Michael_> That is the hope, yes.

  • Rachel_ seems quite well aware of the ramifications... in terms of matters of succession, responsibilities to your respective freeholds, etc. etc.

<Rachel_> You will.

  • Rachel_ says confidently.

<Michael_> I thank you for your vote of confidence,

  • Michael_ says, vaguely amused.
  • Rachel_ hopes he's not patronizing her! ;^D
  • Rachel_ and Michael get to the castle doors.

<Rachel_> If there's anything you think I can do to smooth things over, I'd like to help. <Rachel_> It seems likely that whatever your decision is, I'll be the least affected. Affected directly, anyway. <Michael_> Well, thank you, Rachel. <Rachel_> You're welcome... <Rachel_> Here we are though... I'd better rescue these flowers, if you will give me leave. <Michael_> Of course. Good day, Rachel

  • Rachel_ curtseys.
  • Michael_ gives a little bow, his shiny black hair spilling over his shoulders.

<Michael_> (Well, most of it's black, anyway) <Rachel_> Good day, Your Grace. It was a pleasure spending time with you. <Michael_> The pleasure is mine.

  • Michael_ smiles.
  • Rachel_ smiles again and departs, quite happy now. He understands! He cares! What a great Grandpa.

<Michael_> (I am so the man.)

  • Rachel_ is in good spirits now and isn't worried about being a drag for Nik. ;^D