(1311-06-29) A Dragon Departs
Summary: Drake says goodbye
RL Date: 13-09-2019
Related: None
philomene drake 

Maison des Herbes

In contrast to the gaily painted yellow door with its fragrant pots of vibrant green herbs which guard either side, the interior of this house is austere to the point of severe. The whitewashed walls bear little to no decoration, if one precludes the single, almost full length mirror in the main room, and the tiny, framed pencil sketch of a pair of horses beside the door. The front door enters directly into a spartan salon, equipped with a single dark leather sofa and a comfortable chair in front of the fire, where a square section of the rugged brown carpet has been stripped away to facilitate drying out firewood or cleaning out the grate with minimal upkeep.

To one side of the room, an opening leads through to an equally minimalist dining room, containing no more than half a dozen stiff backed wooden chairs and a table that could comfortably fit only four of them, and from there a door leads to the small kitchen and on to simple quarters for a single servant. On the other, a plain staircase leads upwards, the carpet laid in a strip down the centre, with bare, unpolished floorboards visible to either side, to a pair of small bedrooms and a cramped privy. Where furniture has been placed, it is mismatched and looks more as though it's been bought and dumped in the closest available spot than that any sort of thought to interior design has been paid.

When looking out of the windows, you see: It is a summer morning. The weather is warm and drizzling.

The big wedding has been over and wedding guests have scattered again. The Bhodistani party has moved on to Somerville lands, others have gone home. Drake and Rajiya have packed up to spend some undetermined time in Draguignan to make themselves known to their people and learn the ropes of ruling them. Zebras, monkey and other animals travel with them, much to the relief of everyone at Rousse Mansion. And so they time has come for Drake to say goodbye to his few friends in Marsilikos, which brings him to Philomene's door one morning with a box under one arm.

Also much to the relief of Philomene, who's been keeping herself scarce while the Rousse contingent has taken over the city as much as possible. Even during the festivities themselves, she's been making her own party in the metaphorical kitchen rather than join the masses, only poking her head out just about the requisite number of times to be acknowledged by Drake so he can't think she's completely stood him up. Now, though, absent the throngs of people, she's got a warm smile on her face for the Draguignan and gestures him into her home with a wide wave of her arm, a slightly ironic bow, and an offer, "Wine?"

"Always.", Drake grins and wanders into the house that'S almost as familiar as his own to him by now. "I know you will miss me terribly, but I'm afraid the time has come for this dragon to return to his lair.", he explains a little grandly as if he rehearsed that more than once on the way here. "To make it easier, I brought you a few parting gifts."

"Oh, my dear boy, it's gift enough that you're leaving for good," Philomene retorts as she flicks a hand towards the sofa and limps over to the sideboard to produce wine and glasses. "Promise me you'll never come back and make me the happiest woman alive?"

"I'll be back next month in that case.", Drake assures her and sets the box carefully down on a table before he flops into the couch. Apparently he is expecting her to unpack it herself. "Wasn't it just amazing though, the wedding? Talk of the town! Those Bhodistani, man, dripping with jewelry and colours… mad!"

Philomène eases her way back over to him, flips both glasses upright on the table, and begins to pour rich, deep red wine from the bottle. "Bit gaudy, wasn't it?" she agrees with an easy smile. "I have to say, though, did they empty Bhodistan completely?"

"It's a frightfully big country.", Drake sighs and shrugs, "The Jadeja clan are just one of many rulers and apparently not even that important. So I don't want to know what the really important places look like. I have to say though…" He sighs. "I got rather partial to Bhodistani cuisine. I've asked Rajiya to make sure that one of their cooks follows us to Draguignan. It'll raise some eyebrows there I'm sure." Or singe them off with their spices.

Philomène nudges over one glass, settling down after a moment, face freezing in that careful neutral expression for the second or two it takes for her to sit down, before it becomes animated again. "That should keep her happy, anyway," she agrees, taking up her glass for a sip and apparently quite wilfully ignoring the box in front of her. "It was a good ceremony, though," comes the allowance, along with a brief flash of a fond smile for the young man. "I do genuinely hope that everything goes well for you. May your wheat grow high and your rats shit gold."

Drake lifts his glass to that spirited toast and takes a sip. "No wheat up there, alas, but I'll take it all the same for our vineyards and olives. Rats we do have plenty." He takes another sip and sets the glass down to look at Philo earnestly. "So you enjoyed it? Didn't see as much of you as I had hoped."

"Feared," Philomene corrects him. "You didn't see as much of me as you had feared." She shakes her head, settling back in her seat and unbuttoning the top fastening of her jacket in the summer heat. "But no, I think there were plenty of people there to draw attention, to dance, your animals to entertain. I was content to observe."

"I did see you around my strip—- zebras.", Drake points out, trying to learn the right word and use it and looks excited like a child. "They're awesome aren't they? The stripes are crazy. At first I thought they were disappointingly small like ponies, but they are spirited beasts. I don't think I'll be able to ride them."

"Spirited is one way to describe them," Philomene agrees, grinning now. "Little shits. I think breaking one in to ride would be a good challenge, and you should do it. Thirty ducats says you've broken ten bones before you have one tamed."

Drake narrows his eyes at her and shakes his head. "If anything I'll get a groom in Draguignan to try. Commoners are welcome to break their bones for me.", the noble says easily, then decides to change the subject. "So what will you do when I'm gone? Will you miss me?"

"Like a hole in the head," Philomene insists, deadpan. "I suppose my regular wine quality will go down, and my regular company quality will go up. You'll always be welcome to drop in any time you make it back to the city, if I'm here, or back to Gueret if you happen to be in l'Agnace."

"I have no idea what I might possibly want in Gueret, but I'm sure business will occasionally me here to Marsilikos.", Drake replies and cocks his head slightly. "I've shown you the way to Draguignan. Come visit some time, will you?"

"If I've nothing better to do with my time," Philomene allows, pausing to sip from her wine. "You know, like alphabetise my collection of belly button lint."

"Ew.", Drake replies dryly and shakes his head. "But yes, I suppose your on-going social whirl here will leave you with little time for excursions into the hills. Well, if you cannot be bothered, send a note and I may be persuaded to send you some new wine in autumn. I can't wait to take part in the harvest."

"Send my compliments to your mother," Philomene adds, this perhaps being the only polite thing she's offered since Drake came in the door, but then she did seem to show a perverse pleasure in getting on with Drake's mum when they visited.

"From one cranky old lady to another? Can do.", Drake grins and empties his wine cup. "So any last secrets to share before I leave?"

Philomène considers this for a while, cradling her cup in her hands. "Last secrets? To be happy? Keep your own space aside somewhere. Don't let 'I' become 'we' in everything you do, or she'll drive you nuts."

"Oh, hell, no.", Drake assures her quickly, "She'll be doing stuff at the mansion, doing the books and the correspondence and such, while I'll be out and about. I will also keep up my training of course. Never know when a war breaks out and a young dashing hero is needed.", he grins lightly.

"If you're needed, we're all doomed," Philomene retorts, finishing her wine and sliding the cup forward on the table beside the still untouched box.

"Bah.", Drake responds, "We can't all rely on a single old woman with a wonky leg and a bad mood." His eyes follow her move of the cup towards the box and move back to the woman herself. "You wanna open it when I'm gone, so I won't see you cry?"

Philomène half smiles. "What's in it, onions?"

"Poison.", Drake replies with a roll of his eyes and juts his chin forward in a "go on the!" motion.

Philomène flexes her knuckles, then draws the box in closer, eyes fixed on Drake as she begins to open it. "Poison? Oh, you shouldn't have. I'll only end up immune to the stuff, and then where will you be next time you want to knock me off?"

"I'll send the zebras after you.", Drake promises with a smile. As the box is finally opened, it will reveal a choice of goodies: A bottle of Dragon Blood Wine from Draguignan, a selection of insanely hot Bhodistani spices, a book in fine leather that promises to tell the full story of Saint Hermentaire and the Dragon that gave Draguignan its name and a small painting of the happy couple, Rajiya all exotic beauty, Drake all…. ginger.

Philomène smiles as she grasps the wine by the neck, lifting it to hold it up to the light. "If this is poisoned, then it'll be worth it," she decides, setting it down on the table and taking the book to leaf through for a moment or two before she looks back to her guest. "Thank you. Thank you, Drake. I'll drink this and read this, and… burn this," she adds, tapping the picture of Drake with one fingernail.

"If anything, it'll be the spices that off you.", Drake promises and chuckles softly when she says to burn the picture. "Really? I thought you'd be happy to use it for archery practise. But whatever makes you happy, Mylady." Gifts given, wine emptied, the young Vicomte rises to his feet.

Philomène raises a brow as he stands. "You're not stopping for a bit?"

"Should I?", Drake asks, "Are you going to entertain me with… song? A story?" He sighs. "Listen, you wicked old bat, I'll miss you, so don't make this harder than it should be."

"Feelings, pah," Philomene scoffs, taking a moment to draw herself to her feet, hands resting on the table and gaze resting downward at the gifts. She rolls her shoulders, looks up, and offers the young man first her hand then lifts it and widens her stance to instead offer a full arm to him. "Get the fuck over it," she insists with an exaggerated scowl.

"Thanks. Amid all the snark you heaped on me there was the odd bit of good advice I appreciated.", Drake admits and happily steps close to wrap his arms around her bony frame and hug her tightly for as long as he possibly can before getting a knee in the groin.

There isn't a knee to the groin, just a faintly amused smile and a fond arm around his shoulders, until she decides that enough is enough, leans back a little to eye him, and she gives a nod towards the door. "Go on, your wife's waiting for you. Good luck. Be well, Drake. Try not to do anything too stupid."

Drake smiles weakly. "Thanks. Same to you. Especially the doing stupid things part. If I come for a visit, I'll send a message ahead to you, so you can run for the hills." Then he hovers a little, before he turns on his heels and heads out very quickly.

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