Blood of Dragons

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' MUSH


And an Uller in a Pear Tree…
IC Date: Day 15 of Month 3, 158 AC.
RL Date: December 14, 2006.
Participants: Jonn Lannister, Liane Uller and Serion Uller.
Locations: Red Keep: Southern Outer Yard.

Summary: Serion Uller is introduced to Ser Jonn Lannister, and, true to form, things degenerate quickly.

Jonn Lannister sits cross-legged beneath one of the apple trees found in this section of the outer yard surrounding the Keep. He prods his knee with the sharp end of a quill, and his tongue juts but slightly out of the side of his frowning mouth.

Thusly reposed, he shuts his eyes tightly, gives the quill a lackadaisical toss into the air and mutters, “Fuck, it was much easier during battle.”

He exhales gustily, the force of it seeming to knock him back into the trunk of the tree with an audible thud. An apple wobbles and falls, barely missing his head. He picks it up with a grunt.

Liane’s entrance is not exactly conventional; to anyone who isn’t paying close attention, she seems to drop right out of the sky. To anyone who is watching the pear trees, however, the place from which she comes is clear - the Dornishwoman came right out of a tree. Pear in hand, she takes a moment to brush off her skirts and properly arrange the robes once on the ground again, before looking around and catching sight of Jonn Lannister. She grimaces, but neither flees nor approaches quite yet, instead taking a bite of the pear.

Lannister under tree, Uller out of tree—perhaps another party will blossom on a tree? No such fortune. But from the southwest, from the kitchens, waft the smell of roasting meats and spices—

—and from that direction, a voice: “Liane?”

A question more than a call, it is followed shortly by her brother’s tall figure emerging from the same direction. And his eyes are fixed not on his sister—but on the apple tree.

Old habits die hard, it would seem.

For there is a flash of steel as a dagger is yanked from the Lannister’s belt as he hears the thud of Liane landing on the ground, the blade clutched loosely between his thumb and forefinger. His eyes are hard, like emerald new from the ground, and he is poised to throw.
But seeing the cause of the disturbance, he grunts, and with a flick of his wrist tosses the blade into the apple. It quivers for a moment before falling still.

“Seven help us all,” he calls out, looking toward Liane and then to the brother, “two Hell-fruits in the same orchard.”

And so is Liane revealed. Apparently unable to hold back from responding to her brother’s call, the Uller woman raises a hand as she swallows. “Over here, Serion,” she calls back, waving once before starting towards towards him at a jog. She casts a dry look towards Jonn, rolling her eyes slightly, but slows down as she draws closer to her brother, taking another bite of the pear. “Here,” she says again, quieter. “Jonn Lannister,” she adds in pre-emptive note of the other presence in the area.

A dark smirk dances across Serion’s lips at the Lannister’s prayer, but he turns to his sister as she approaches, resting a brotherly hand lightly on her shoulder.

“Lannister?” he replies—perhaps overly loud. A dark brow arches. “Really? I thought the stench was merely a carcass from the kitchens.”

Lips pursed, the Westerman looks at the Dornish youth for a moment. Not a look of challenge, this; nor the sizing up of an enemy. He merely observes the other, taking in his features, his attitude, his carriage. Briefly, when his perusual is complete, he nods, apparently satisfied with his conclusion.

Casually he picks the dagger from the apple and returns it to its hidden resting place. Then he laughs, but says nothing in response.

“No, it’s the scent of an occasionally foul mouth,” Liane posits, though she makes no move to approach the Lannister at the moment, instead remaining near her brother. “One it’s not worth antagonizing,” she adds, lower, as she takes a step back to check over her brother. “Pear?” she asks after a moment, taking another bite of her own.

“Occasionally?” Serion’s nose twitches as he makes a show of sniffing at the air. “Somehow I—”

He pauses, and without turning his face from Jonn and the apple tree toward his sister, he holds out a hand, palm-up, as though to accept the fruit. “Are they sweet? I find a bitter taste in my mouth suddenly.”

The tree rustles above the Black Lion, but no apple falls this time. Keeping his leonine smile fixed on the slender Serion, he plucks the punctured fruit from off the ground and takes a bite from it.

He chews slowly, loudly, and waits still.

Liane produces a pear from her sleeve, setting it into her brother’s hand. “Busy your mouth with that, Serion, not picking fights,” she suggests in a low voice, taking another bite of her own pear and absently reaching out to straighten the shoulder seam of Serion’s robe before brushing off her own skirts again. “Have you been out to the city yet?” she asks him then.

The younger Uller’s shoulder twitches under his sister’s touch, jerking away from her solicitous action. But the pear—the pear he accepts, bites into, and dabs a bit of juice from his chin with his sleeve.

“Not yet,” he replies around the bite, his words slightly mangled by the fruit.

A pause. A beat. A frown. “Did it leave?” he asks quietly, tilting his head toward the apple tree. “Or is it just rattling the branches?”

The Lannister yawns and lifts his arms up and behind his head, stretching languidly. He continues to look upon the two Ullers, though he appears bored now—usually a precursor to some dastardly act—and begins to roll up the maps unfurled at his feet.

“Still there,” Liane notes for Serion, grimacing as he dodges her adjustment and crossing one arm over her chest as she continues to nibble at her pear. She keeps a wary eye on Jonn, though there’s an unusual look in her eyes - not just warning, but almost pleading.

“I see.”

Another bite of pear, and Serion pauses thoughtfully to chew it. Another bite. A third. “Anything interesting to be seen out there, in the city?” he asks of a sudden, shifting tack. His tone is bland, disinterested. “Anything more worthwhile than the creatures within the keep?”

The maps are put away. They are rolled in perfect spirals, slid back into their wooden cases, and tucked neatly beneath Jonn’s arm. Tossing the half-eaten apple up and down in his free hand, he walks slowly in the direction of the Ullers.

Does he walk toward them? Or do they merely stand between he and his destination? He does not seem intent on them, but rather on some point nearer to the Keep itself.

“The attraction is more what you /don’t/ see,” Liane admits. “These walls.” She shrugs one shoulder, still watching Jonn warily even as she speaks to her brother. “But at least it’s a change from this. Different creatures, if no more or less pleasant. I’ll take you one afternoon, if you’re interested. Borrow horses, maybe.”

“I rather like the walls,” retorts Serion, but without vehemence, without feeling—again, blandly. But darkly. “They’re an easy reminder.” He, on the other hand, does not look toward Jonn—and save for a slight cocking of his head, seems to pay no mind to the man’s movement.

Another bite. “Tomorrow afternoon?”

As Jonn passes by Liane and her brother, he flashes a smile at the woman.

And immediately following this flashing of white teeth, he twists his shoulder in such a way that it will surely intersect with Serion’s own…

“You can’t see the wall,” Liane tosses back to her brother, matching his tone as she looks away from Jonn to grimace in Serion’s direction. She’s silent for a moment, her own bite of pear echoing her brother’s before she nods. “Tomorrow afternoon,” she agrees, letting the topic drop in the same manner.

“Doesn’t mean they aren’t a comfo—”

Shoulder meets shoulder, and Serion cuts himself off with a grunt. A hand grasps suddenly before him toward—toward anything, it seems, that might help him catch his balance. But he catches himself.

And turns sharply toward Jonn—or, toward where he might be—left eye squinting fiercely.
“Where is he?” he growls, voice low—to Liane, ostensibly.

“Over here,” Jonn’s deep baritone sounds out menacingly. There can be no mistaking his location, nor his intention. His words sound like stones being poured from a bucket.

When Jonn knocks his shoulder in Serion, Liane’s eyes widen in outrage, and she takes a few swift steps after the Lannister, a fist snapping out towards his shoulder in a girl-punch. “Do /not/,” she growls low at the Lannister, standing between him and her brother. “Leave him alone, Jonn Lannister.”

He doesn’t speak. He needn’t. Anything words might express—disdain, disgust, anger—are written plainly in the twist of his lips.

The punch strikes the Lannister’s shoulder, denting the fabric of his shirt but little else. He smiles at Liane, a flash of teeth behind his lips. “Bid your pup to still his tongue,” he advises her, shifting his eyes, hard as jade, to the younger Uller. “Or I’ll do it for him.”

He turns and takes a step away from the Ullers, his back straight, his strides slow.

“/No/, Serion,” Liane says with quiet intensity when her brother starts to pull her out of the way, resisting. She glares at Jonn for a long moment, then turns back to her brother, trying to put her hands on his shoulders and moving to try to settle into his field of vision. “He’s not worth it. He just wants to pick a fight, and now isn’t the time and here isn’t the place,” she says quietly, though she places undue emphasis on the ‘now’ and the ‘here,’ casting another dirty look over her shoulder. “He’s not worth it,” she says again, louder.

Left eye squinted still, right focused, it seems, on something distantly behind the Lannister, Serion clenches his jaw, clenches a fist. “Right,” he says tightly. “Right. His ilk killed Berec, killed Utheryn—and he’s not /worth/ it.”

He spits the words—but it seems the elder Uller has the cooler head and the upper hand. As her face floats into his field of vision, Serion takes a step back. And then, forced words: “I think I’d like to see the city now, Liane.”