(1311-02-28) Generosity to Idlers
Summary: A Coquelicot courtesan crosses paths with two successive acquaintances, amidst those gifts of the grape which are always such a boon to conversation.
RL Date: 28/02/2019
Related: None.
philomene aimee aidan 

Wine Cellar — Noble District

Stairs lead down to the heavy oak door, above which the sign of the place, the likeness of a Hellene amphora spilling over with wine painted upon wood, swings lazily in the occasional breeze. Beyond that door the entrance hall comes into view, where various kegs and casks of differing sizes are arranged in oenological allure before the roughly hewn walls of ancient stone. There is a chill down here on hot summer days, that will be efficiently battled in the colder months through the heating of a giant hearth to the back. The place has a decidedly cavernous character, alcoves to the left and right offering seating at small tables for two or three. Lamps are dangling by chains from the ceiling, shades of milky glass work from La Serenissima offering sufficient lighting. There are no visible windows, which means lamps will be in use even during the day.

Further to the back there is a small hallway branching off from the main area, leading to a medium sized chamber where the bigger barrels are stored. Here, a larger group of up to eight people can sit about a round table of heavy oak, while they are being served the rarer vintages or even the heavier spirits that are stored in a wooden cabinet to the back. Staff is mostly male, clad in black breeches and white shirts with dark red vests, knowledgeable sommeliers of superior training that will be glad to wait on guests in person and offer insight into the variety of wines, red and white, from Terre d'Ange and a variety of specialties from abroad, that are available here.

The last streams of evening sun shine through the windows of the Wine Cellar, casting their glorious golden light on the tables within, and shining on the light red hair of one of the women sitting by herself. Aimee Rousse no Coquelicot is a petite woman, covered in freckles, with round blue eyes that shine with mirth. She is drinking from a glass of pale white wine, and doodling in a notepad.

The last streams of evening sun shines through the doorway of the Wine Cellar, casting its glorious golden light on the tables within as a newcomer enters, and shining on the light red hair of one of the women sitting by herself. Aimee Rousse no Coquelicot is a petite woman, covered in freckles, with round blue eyes that shine with mirth. She is drinking from a glass of pale white wine, and doodling in a notepad. She is seated under an area with more lamps for light, rather than one of the darker recesses.

That amber sunlight is cast into shadow by a tall, slender figure with pale blonde hair, cropped short in a practical if somewhat severe style. There's no denying the D'Angeline blood in this one, with her striking features and exquisite bone structure, as though carved by a master sculptor, and clad today in an outdated brown riding jacket and breeches, decorated, if one were to look very closely, with tiny embroidered vines, leaves and flowers at seams and cuffs. Philomene would be an arresting sight, were it not that this is Terre d'Ange and everyone is an arresting sight, right up until the point that she moves from the doorway and slowly over towards the fire. It is this movement that reveals a quite distinctive gait, a definite favouring of the left side over the right, and that in a land full of nothing but beauty and perfection is noteworthy.

Aimée looks up from her doodling, and her cheeks round out as she smiles at the woman entering, taking in her gait with a practiced eye. She waits until Philomene is closer to her and greets, "Good evening Lady. Would you care to join me?"

Philomène takes a moment to look the woman over, a few seconds of scrutiny with those stormy blue-grey eyes which seems to stretch far longer, before she inclines her head, allows her lips to curve into a polite smile and agrees, "Thank you, I should be delighted." She doesn't exactly sound overjoyed, but on the other hand, she doesn't seem given to great shows of emotion. "I had a mind to buy wine, if you'd care to share a bottle?"

"I would absolutely love a bit more, thank you," Aimee answers cheerfully. Philomene might be a bit dour, but her demeanor is countered by that of the younger woman who all but exudes contentment and cheer. Aimee finally introduces herself, "And I am Aimee Rousse no Coqulicot. With whom do I have the pleasure of drinking this evening?" Of course, being from the Night Court would explain the easy way she introduces welcomes new acquaintances to her table.

Philomène's lips curve into an amused smile, then her expression fixes firmly into place, jaw set, as she lowers herself into the seat round the table from the courtesan. It's not until she's fully seated that her expression regains any fluidity, and she gives a small nod. "A Rousse, of course. I should have guessed from the hair. I have the honour to…" she pauses, then shakes her head, instead offering something more reminiscent of a genuine smile. "No, tonight I think I am nothing more nor less than Philomene. What are you drinking?"

Aimee's smile brightens as she answers, "Philomene. I like that. It's a strong name, and the wine is from Camlach actually. It's a little bit sweeter than I normally choose, but not cloying, so I rather like it. And I suppose the hair does give it away sometimes, for some of us, at least my branch. I don't think my cousins have as much of the red as we do though." The woman does not speak over quickly, just strings her thoughts together as they come. She takes another glance down at Phil's side and asks, "May I ask what causes your limp? I'm training as a chirurgeon, for when I leave the Salon."

"Are you always so direct?" Philomene challenges, rather than answer the question, a fine brow rising. "I had always associated that particular trait with the Orchis, not with your house."

"Well, the only problem with how we handle Salons here is that while canons are blended some of us cross boundaries. If I could blend Orchis and Balm I would, but well, I could not, so I trained Balm and Heliotrope instead. Fortunately love is a funny thing and makes people act foolish, so my forthright nature and tendency to make jokes is mostly accomodated," Aimee says. This might also explain why she isn't planning a full career in the Salon, but also is training for a profession outside of it.

Philomène presses together her lips, somewhat chapped from being outdoors in all weathers, and gives a simple nod. One hand lifts to attract the attention of the serving staff, and she places the order for wine in short, confident tones. She may have given only her first name, but her entire demeanour makes it quite clear that she is used to being listened to when she speaks. "Well, love is in itself wholly foolish," she opines, fingertips drumming absently on the tabletop. "It strips all good reason."

"Yes, but it is so much fun," Aimee answers with an impish smile, leaning in across the table. She raises her glass to Philomene and offers a toast, "Will you join me Philomene? To being foolish in love, but only when it suits."

Philomène half smiles, shaking her head. "To joy in love, to that one I'll drink. I could never in good conscience drink to losing one's wits, no matter how noble the cause." She lifts her glass as it arrives, dipping her head as it's raised, before lifting it to unpainted lips.

"Good enough for me." Aimee takes a deep drink before setting it down with a chink of crystal on wood. "See, I rather think being foolish in love is about finding the joy in it, and deciding exactly how witless one is willing to be. Not al the time, of course, I would make a terrible chirurgeon if I let all of my idle fantasies interfere with healing people, but then… when the work is done, and my mind does not need to be focused, I can be a fool for love, and relish in the joy it brings."

There is a natural pause as Philomene takes a deep draught of her wine, thumb absently rubbing along the rim as she sets the base down on the table. "And this is your ideal, then?" she queries with idle interest. "To spend your days healing the sick, and your nights losing your heart?"

"Absolutely. I love, and love freely, and that love comes out as foolishness and fantastic passions, and as healing those who need it. I used to get in trouble in the Salon in lessons, because I know Naamah gave erself to those who paid, from all walks of life, and Eisheth healed all as well. I would argue about keeping our skills and our Service from any save nobility," Aimee explains.

"But without such distinctions, how could we continue to fool ourselves into our own squalid superiority?" Philomene asks drily, taking up her drink for another mouthful. "Because surely it couldn't possibly be by acting with any sort of nobility of spirit or purpose."

"Oh I think we are vastly superior, but because we are d'Angeline and the blood of angels flows through our veins. But we are /all/ d'Angeline from the very least street urchin to the King and Queen themselves. There are enough reminders of our different circumstances among the classes without who can get stitched up, or be allowed to worship Naamah in the Night Court being added to it," Aimee answers back.

Aidan has arrived.

"It takes nothing to be nobility, but to be born," Philomene reasons, resting an elbow on the table she shares with Aimee, the two of them in easy conversation as they share a bottle of wine in a well lit area. "But to be noble requires action on our part. I would argue that the distinction for the service of your house and those like you is a way to maintain the appearance and te benefits without the need to do what is by rights our duty."

Aimee smiles brightly and answers back, "It sounds like you might be more on my side of this argument than the Salon's Philomene. I think that it is more noble in action to heal those who need healing, than those who can afford high fees. Where would be without farmers and soldiers, low though they may be in the grand order of society, but both necessary, and even yes, noble, in providing the necessities of life?"

Philomène lifts her glass and offers a small smile. "I will always drink to the good health of both our soldiers and our farmers, who are a damn sight more use than most of the bloody lazy noble idlers you see lounging around here."

"I make a living currently off of those idlers, so I have to be generous, at least a wee bit. And I have seen trauma in my work in healing, among the nobility that I rarely see elsewhere. The ways people hurt each other," Aimee says, shaking her head as she remembers, eyes going vacant for a moment. "But I prefer those who have a profession of some kind. Work that keeps them busy, and more occupied than idle. I'll be leaving the Salon within a couple of months, once my training is done."

"And your plans thereafter?" Philomene queries, curious. "I assume you will return to your family, arrange a good marriage and see to the continuation of your line, but what beyond that?"

"Oh of course. I will make a reasonable marriage for my family and ply my trade as a chirurgeon. I've a lover I care for, so maybe it will work out with our families, or with whatever marriages we both make," Aimee answers with a grin, her shoulders rising and falling in a shrug. "I will go out a make a living."

Aidan makes his way into the Wine Cellar handing his cloak off to one of the staff that approach him to take it and smiles a bit, "Thank you." Although he seems relaxed he's taken to carrying his sword when traveling through the city again and his gaze is a bit more watchful than it used to be.

Philomène glances up as the door opens, giving Aidan a slight nod of acknowledgement as he turns, before her gaze fixes back on the young courtesan in front of her. "I can't imagine there will ever cease to be a need for a good surgeon," she muses, lifting her glass once again to down another sip of the cool, pale liquid. "Even if we did not fight to secure our borders, there would be accidents. And, no doubt, a fair share of idiocy. Often caused by that same stealer of wits, love."

"Oh I have cleaned up a few messes that came out of Rose Sauvage, or silly nobles trying to prove their love was true. Excuse me a moment?" Aimee answers back as she too looks at Aidan. She however greets him with the unmistakable look of one who is enamored, and she all but runs over to him, wrapping her arms around Aidan's neck to greet him with a enthusiastic kiss. Apparently she is perfectly alright being a bit of a fool here and now. "Aidan, do you know Philomene? We were having wine together." Aimee directs Aidan to her table.

Aidan gives Aimmee a quick kiss and smiles some nodding, "I do believe we've met a few times." He offers Philomene a bow of his head, "I actually do believe we last spoke the day I met the lovely lady here, my lady Philomene. I'd jumped into exercises a bit too hard ended up needing to sit and relax in the baths."

Philomène absently rubs at the bridge of her nose with one hand, giving a faint nod to the explanation. "And this young lady and her chirurgical skills was able to assist, I presume? Well, she has already demonstrated that she rather likes to get to the point of things directly. I trust you have since recovered, young man?"

Aimée grins as she retakes her seat, telling Philomene, "I give him a clean bill of health." She takes her wine back and takes a sip before asking, "Is something the matter? Does it bother you that I am… affectionate?"

Aidan takes a seat at one of the empty seats at their table, "She took wonderful care of me many times over. But now I'm back into fighting shape which is a good thing I believe."

"Love as thou wilt," Philomene quotes offhandedly, lifting a shoulder and her glass to drain the last of her wine. "You have every right to show affection, young lady. Lord Aidan, your employment is settled now, then? I believe when last we met you were to become a blade, but were not yet acting in that capacity, am I correct?"

"And another pawn for family alliances, but not yet allied I believe," Aimee supplies. Her own wine is half full at this point, and there are doodles on the notebook in front of her. "And thank you Philomene, Lady Philomene. I rather think Lord Aidan has enjoyed my rather affectionate nature thus far, but I would hate to drive off a pleasant drinking buddy."

Aidan nods a moment as he listens to Philomene's question, "Yes my lady I'm a blade for my house now." He nods towards Aimee, "And that as well. I mean I'm the son of the last comte before my sister became the Comtesse de Delaunay. So I'm amazing pawn for alliances."

"I assure you, I am not driven off," Philomene insists, granting a faint smile before she steels her expression completely and moves to rise. "However, I have taken up enough of your time, for which I thank you. Good evening, my dears."

Philomene leaves, heading towards the Noble District [O].

Philomene has left.

"Well I hope you a wonderful night Lady Philomene, and do tell me if you need a healer at any point," Aimee answers, rising for a moment as Philomene does too. Once the elder has left she sits back down and turns to Aidan with a grin, "And what would you like to do Aidan, stay here for a drink, or take our wine elsewhere?"

Aidan smiles a bit as he reaches out to hold her hand as he looks around the cellar, "That I suppose is up to you. I'm a bit hungry so I'm all for getting some food in my belly."

"Well I suppose I can wait long enough for you to eat before I put something else in mine," Aimee purrs before topping her glass offand gesturing for someone to come and take his order.

Aidan smirks a bit and nods, "I suppose you could wait a bit. I mean I need the food in my belly for stamina and whatnot right?" He grins some as the server comes over, "I'll have the stew thank you. And a sweet red… wine."

Aimee takes a moment to order a plate of charcuterie for herself and fresh wine, the same white she already has. "Of course, especially if you want to prove you can compete with the likes of Lady Theodosia?" Aimee laughs brightly and takes another sip before saying, "So, tell me about your family? I feel like I've learned about your personality, and I am… rather fond, but not so much about the rest of the life that made you… you?"

Aidan smiles a bit and shakes his head, "I'm sure I can easily compete with the likes of Lady Theodosia… In the fact that I'm the hunter and you're my fox." He grins a bit as his drink comes out soon after he'd ordered it and hmmms some, "Well… I was shipped off around ten to become a ward for my mother's family and learn the way of the blade and war. I'm actually trying to learn about them myself since I've been so long away from them here."

"What of your mother's family, the kin you were raised with?" Aimee asks gently, shifting forward in her seat. She grins a touch at being called his fox, and turns her notepad around so he can see the doodle of vixen there, playing in the snow.

Aidan smiles some, "They were hard on me. I was there to learn the blade and serve my house and the crown in battle. So I spent most of my time getting educated between history and war…"

"And? What did you do for fun? What do you enjoy when making your own, other than women of course," she asks, entirely aware of his interest in that area. "Do you have favourite areas of study, or…" Aimee shrugs and takes a piece of meat when it's brought to her.

Aidan chuckles and shakes his head, "I'm honestly shocked I wasn't sent to become a Casseline to be quite fair. But history I love history and I've been known to dance at a few dances in my time." As his food arrives he looks at it and smells it longingly, "As far as what I do for fun? I actually rather love listening to music. I can't play it a bit myself but it's amazing to listen to."

Aimée smiles and suggests, rather softly, "I will have to play for you sometime. I'm… I'm a reasonable flautist. I'll never compete with the talents of the Eglantines, but I enjoy what I play. For myself, so many of my own interests are channeled into the Salon. I like growing things, herbology, and learning new things and skills. I like riding, and… If I get a chance, I can lose myself for a day in a forest, just walking."

Aidan chuckles, "I'm… Not a good rider. I'd like to learn but there wasn't a need I showed promise with sword and stealth so they stuck me on the ground as a scout."

Aidan adds, "And I would love to hear you play as often as you'd like."

Aimée bites her lips together for a moment, before leaning in and telling his more softly, "I will playfor you, and sometime, I will ply for you while I am on you so you can feel the music move through me." Leaning back she opts for a bit of cheese from her plate next. "And I can take you riding, though I'm hardly an expert, I just like to get out fo the city sometimes."

Aidan smiles a bit as he reaches over to brush his fingers across her cheek and nods, "That sounds perfect. And I'll gladly go riding out of the city with you. I suppose I should find me a horse at some point."

"Or hire one for an evening. I'm sure the Delauneys have a horse or two for use by the family as well," Aimee answers, "You can borrow one, or take a carriage if you take me up on my sailing offer?"

Aidan looks around the cellar and nods a bit, "I suppose I'll have to go sailing with you when the weather clears a bit. Just pray we don't get boarded by pirates right? And yes the Delaunay have horses and a carriage I can use if I need."

"The weather matters less for saling for what I was thinking. I thought I would take you out just in the bay where the sailboat is kept, and let you feel what it is like to fall asleep amongst the waves," Aimee answers. She finishes the small pile of sliced sausage from her plate.

Aidan hmmms a bit as he starts to eat through his stew and nods, "When could we set sail? I don't have anything pressing for the next day or so…"

"Pick an evening. We can leave after supper, be there soon enough, and set sail for a half hour into those protected waters, and then we can see if you have sea legs or not," Aimee suggests.

Aidan chuckles and shrugs, "Tonight works for me. Or tomorrow night." He chuckles at the thought of sea legs, "Or the ability to sleep with the… rocking."

"Well, let me send a message to my brothers, and when you finish your stew I will take you for a spin," Aimee answers. She writes something down on her notepad under the sketch of a vixen, and then leaves for a moment. The paper is passed, and then Aimee returns, taking a big swig from her glass.

Aidan nods a bit as he digs into his stew keeping barely to this side of properly civil with the speed he eats his food. "So how much will you tease me if I do get seasick?"

"Not nearly as much as if you don't," she answers back, her hand running slowly up his thigh under he table.

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