It is another in a long string of stifling, humid nights. The heavy cloud cover renders the darkness complete, but there is a light in Reyna Tyrell’s window. A dim one, to be sure, but a light there is.
The lady herself sits with it, curled up as she has been more on than off for several days now. Presently a clad-for-night Gysa passes by to press a cup into her pet’s hands, then take herself off to bed with an admonishment not to keep watch the whole night long.
A timid rapping sounds upon the door to the apartments. There is nary a sound from without, if the visitor is accompanied by guardsmen, they have been asked to wait without.
With both servants abed, there is only Reyna to answer. She reluctantly uncurls herself from her perch, and sets her cup on a table. She pads across the floor on bare feet, in a long white bedgown that covers her from chin to toes, and opens the door to peep through the crack. “What is it?”
“It’s me,” the simple announcement is soft spake, and perhaps familiar. A glance would reveal a woman clad entirely in black, dark circles ‘neath suspiciously bright eyes, and a few pounds lighter than usual. Weight she could ill afford to lose. Elanna stands at the door, wary, her hands clasped before her.
“What do you want?” Reyna asks in a flat voice, standing away from the door and opening it enough to admit Elanna. “Gysa and Amalia are asleep, so I can offer you little hospitality.”
“This isn’t a social call,” Elanna replies, her gaze becoming bleak at the welcome, or lack thereof.
“Can you hear me out?”
Reyna gestures her in, saying nothing. She stands with her hands behind her back, her face quite empty of emotion. No trepidation, no subservience, just… nothing.
Elanna closes the door, and her gaze rests upon Reyna. Her voice is soft as she speaks.
“Did you understand why I was angry with you, Reyna?”
“I’m not a child, lady,” Reyna replies evenly. “Pray do not treat me like one. I believe you are angry because Jonn Lannister spent an hour here when I was ill, because he gave a damn that I -was- ill. But that is an abuse of trust, as I understand it. A terrible betrayal, a blow to all Baratheon.”
Reyna unclasps her hands and moves back toward the window, as if it is the one safe place in all the room. She curls into it again, still speaking. “There was something about betraying all womankind as well, and of being selfish, and not understanding anything about the cruelty of my actions. Of penance meaning -nothing-, as if you knew my heart. In fact, I believe you commended me to the Seven as quite a lost cause. So I ask again, Elanna: why are you here?”
Elanna turns her head aside as though a blow were landed. There is long silence.
“You think our friendship was so fragile I would have forsaken you over Jonn Lannister?” her voice was flat, “I was your friend, Reyna. I had come to you angered and upset when I had thought you had used me to facilitate your affair. I had supported you and remained your constant friend through all else. And you threw me out, like a common cur, saying nothing that you had not said already to everyone else. Apologising for sleeping with Jonn, for showing weakness, for -whatever- else,” A swallow, “You treated me no different to anyone else and I lost my temper,” A shake of her head.
“What am I doing here? Making another mistake, it would seem. I am tired of making them.”
“As I am weary of being reminded of mine. I said nothing I had not already said, because I have spoken nothing but truth to everyone who asks it of me.” Reyna’s voice is still flat and unemotional. “What cost honesty? I asked you to leave, lady, because there was no forgiveness in you, as there has been in no one who has crossed my threshold. I believe I am still allowed such a luxury, of peace in my own home.”
Elanna shrugs helplessly, and she raises a hand to brush at her forehead, “Then we are done. I cannot think what else to say,” her voice becomes hoarse, “I will leave you to your..peace.”
“You still do not believe me,” Reyna says, shrugging. “You, who claim to be my dearest friend, my greatest supporter, were the cruellest and least forgiving of everyone. Even Almer was not so cruel when he left me alone. Tell me, Elanna, did you speak your words of recrimination to Jonn Lannister? For you looked on him kindly in the Sept. That tells me that no matter your heartbreak, you still believe everything you have heard against me.”
She turns to look on Elanna, her brown eyes, so often warm and amiable, gone cold and dull. “What -do- you want to hear?”
“What do I believe, Reyna?” Elanna sounds lost, “What is it I am meant to believe of you? That you slept with Jonn Lannister? That you were sorry for doing it? Of course I believe you. Do I give a good damn what anyone else says? Do I believe it? No. I believe what you told me,” Her eyes glitter again.
“Did I wish to shout and rail at Jonn Lannister in the sept? With his wife and child, and others of King’s Landing watching? How would that have painted me? What repute would that have brought my family?” she pauses, takes a breath, “What do I wish to hear from you?” She shrugs again.
“That you would once more be my friend. But, in the circumstances, it will not happen, will it?” a considering look, a calming breath again.
“You have said things to me that cut me as deeply as any blade, Elanna. Such wounds do not heal any faster than the ones I have inflicted on Lady Kellyn.” Reyna shrugs again, and pulls the hem of her bedgown over her toes, despite the heat. “You abandoned me when I needed you most.”
Elanna turns then toward the door, “Then we are done. Our friendship is over.” Her voice quails at the end of it, as though she could hardly comprehend such.
“I didn’t abandon you, Ren. I was always there. I have a temper, you know I have. This was just the first time you were the recipient of it,” her hand rests on the door handle, “I am sorry it happened. I am sorry that all this has shattered what we had. I had not thought it so fragile that we could not have weathered the storm of it. But there it is..”
The door opens, light from the hallway spilling in and she takes a step beyond the threshold.
“Just like Almer. Go then. I won’t bend to anyone’s measure but my own any longer.” Reyna rises from her window seat and blows out the lamp. “Please close the door behind you.”
The door is thus shut, a silent and intractable barrier, the only sound beyond it, the whispering of skirts as the retreat is sounded.