(1305-01-10) Oh, It's Only You
Summary: Symon and Chimène are becoming old friends.
RL Date: 13/10/2018
Related: 1. An Inconvenient Man. 2. Oh, It’s Only You, 3. Having A Good Time.
chimene symon 

A Completely Made-Up Place


Midnight bells toll in the Temple of Naamah set within the grounds of this sprawling l’Agnacite estate belonging to House Courcel; and laughter rings out across the snow as umpteen guests sort themselves into friendly pairs (and downright intimate trios) for a sleigh ride under the crisp and clear starlit sky.

For those who haven't special friends to cuddle with under fur-lined lap-robes the wine keeps flowing, the braziers set about the terrace and the nearer of the gardens are stoked with fresh coals, and the inevitable violins play on. Chimène Rousse de la Courcel neatly avoids another arm that would like to snake about her waist and draw her into the depths of a well-cushioned sleigh, and ducks away in search of a favourite garden nook. It isn't the elements she fears to brave in her ensemble of fine blue-green wool variously trimmed and lined with russet-coloured furs, and her matching little toque hat. It's the company, as dire here as everywhere else in or near the City of Elua, after the first three or four hours: at least if one isn't trapped in a horse-drawn sleigh speeding in convey over hill and dale, one has options. Such as: when she discovers the pale stone bench in her nook not only cushioned but tenanted, she could just as easily affect to have been mistaken and retreat to safer ground.

Instead: "Oh!" she exclaims softly. "It's only you, Symon." And she subsides gracefully and in a waft of fragrance onto the bench at his side.

Symon's winter doublet is a thick, plush velvet, hunter green and black with silver embroidery, and he has a heavy wool cloak in a more muted olive shade, trimmed with just a bit of dark brown fur. This he keeps pulled fairly close around him. He looks pleased to see another warm body. "It j-just goes on getting c-c-colder the later it gets!" he marvels. "W…why would we p-put our capital so far north, anyway?" That's a kind of greeting, isn't it?

"I think just enough chill is bracing," laughs Chimène, clasping her hands together in their fur-lined leather gloves. Her present safety from romantic or political overtures is, perhaps, even more so. "You ought to try a Namarrese winter," she teases. "Then you might understand what it is to feel the cold. When I was a little girl I so looked forward to the first icicles on the nursery windows… We haven't even that, you know, where I live in Eisande."

"M…my nose is cold," Symon complains in reply, but he's smiling. "And I'd b-better not drink too m…much more to stay w-warm. Otherwise I might p-pass out in the snow b-before dawn and die of exposure." Now, that is surely an exaggeration.

Another little laugh, this one suggestive of a naughty schoolgirl lurking beneath Chimène's regal Dahlia-trained exterior. "The servants go about at the end of a party," she confides in a whisper, leaning closer from her cushion toward his, "twice, to gather up anyone who has gone to sleep in the gardens or is simply too ill to move. I should imagine they'd find you in time."

"Thank goodness," Symon says. "It is difficult enough to w…wake up in a shrubbery w…without risking b-becoming ice sculpture." He rubs his gloved hands together. "How do you rate the w…w…wine tonight, then?"

"I feel quite aglow with the wine tonight," is the opinion of one Chimène Rousse de la Courcel, connoisseuse of all the finer varieties of plonk. "Have you tried the shrubbery at our house in Troyes-le-Mont? You ought to some evening or another — mercifully soft moss, one might as well lie upon a featherbed," she suggests with an elegant shrug. "Or tread upon one, I suppose."

"That sounds p-perfect," Symon says warmly. "Especially the w…warmer w-weather. You m-must invite me." He looks at Chimène appraisingly. "If you are having a fine evening, p-p-perhaps you can b…be tempted to the floor for one dance?"

"Oh," sighs Chimène, with a pantomime of wilting into the far corner of the bench away from Symon, shoulders against stone and gloved wrists crossed at a distance from her torso. "You never give up, do you?" But her frank accusation is in itself an acknowledgment that Symon de Perigeux, Symple Symon, the Stutterer from Siovale, has managed to infiltrate her circle. She closes her eyes, gives an agonised sigh, opens them and concedes: "One dance. One. But I won't go inside again just now, I can't bear it. We can hear the music here, can't we?"

Symon looks curiously at Chimene's face, squinting. He has a certain habit of squinting at important moments. He seems worried that she is about to drop him altogether, and then relieved when she consents. "Of course we can," he agrees. "C-come." He stands and puts out a hand for hers.

The former Eglantine — that, he must know by now, though she has never spoken of her years on Mont Nuit — rests her hand upon his with a regal grace, and rises smoothly to her feet, already in discreet harmony with those distant violins.

Once she's assented, Symon seems to take on faith that they are going to have an enjoyable dance, despite her previous reluctance. He thinks to shed his cloak as he stands, despite his complaints about the cold. Symon seems to look forward to be dancing, not only to having the opportunity to dance /with/ someone whose skills have surely been talked of in rumors for years.

In lieu of a cloak Chimène's gown has a small fur-lined cape attached to its shoulders and swirling down below the waist — which she retains, for it is no great burden. Her gloved fingers curl in amongst Symon's and she lets herself come comfortably nearer to him, their young bodies perhaps sharing a few degrees of warmth as they move gracefully together upon this broad stone path swept clear of snow earlier in the day by servants' brooms. She's as featherlight as her reputation suggests, and as responsive: just by following him with those heightened Eglantine instincts, she makes him a better dancer than he was before.

Symon may complain of cold, but he is the type whose hands give off heat. Though he has surely heard his partner's reputation, he is not a timid partner. His feet, hips, hands, and shoulders know where to go, and the lines of his body are fluid rather than disjointed collections of segments. He does not have the training or even raw talent that an Eglantine would, but it is clear that dancing is a joy for him and something that he has put a rare amount of effort (for him) into studying.

They've only been moving together in one another's arms for a few moments, and a single twirl that reveals the wealth of costly fabric comprising Chimène's skirts, when she breathes out: "Symon, why didn't you tell me—?"

And from then on, the evening grows easier despite the chill in the air.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License