(1312-06-21) Unintended Consequences
Summary: Two Trevalion lords who are both soon to be wed compare notes and discover some of the ways in which dynastic politics — much like manure — can roll downhill.
RL Date: 21/06/2020
Related: Previous scenes with these characters, including Wallowing in Grief.
augustin hugo soleil 

Rose Garden — Trevalion Residence

A wrought iron gate opens to lead one inside a small and intimate rose garden. A high stone wall shrouds the garden from the outside, providing a quiet, private escape from the bustle of the city'ss noble district. A sweet floral scent of roses perfume the air. Roses of every size and hue grow abundantly here, creating a serene and lush space for quiet exploring. A pathway of stepping stones leads around, branching off only once near the back to lead to a tall weeping willow tree. The foliage of the willow serves as a curtain, providing a discreet hiding place from the rest of the garden. Hidden amongst the shadows under the tree is a small stone bench, only big enough for one or two people. While kept neat and trimmed along the path, the roses are mostly left to grow wild among the various beds, making one feel as though they are inside a fairytale.

Directly in the middle of a garden is a small gazebo, painted white. It is covered in vines of roses. While small, it can fit one or two people comfortably and provide shelter from the elements.

Taking advantage of the sunshine today, and the otherwise unoccupied garden where the scent of the roses permeates the air, Hugo, the littlest Trevalion is stripped down to his shirtsleeves and sprawled out on a small patch of lawn with one bare foot bent up behind him in the air, and the other absently running his toes against the cooler grass. There's a large, unfolded chart of some sort in front of him, all yellows and blues with a myriad of arcane inscriptions, curves and symbols which must mean something to him, but are baffling to the uninitiated. He's got a rolling rule in one hand, and switches a pencil and a pair of dividers between the other hand and his teeth as he measures, then sketches a line, then makes a note in a small pad, then goes to take another measurement or bearing.

It seems that the new heir is not the only one seeking some enjoyment in the sun. More dressed than Hugo currently is but still not exactly dressed up, Augustin enters wearing a light linen shirt and trousers, a coat thrown over his shoulder and his ever-present curved sword the only concessions to being seen in public. He walks with his newly rumored and announced betrothed, the two of them speaking quietly as they make their way in to the warm garden.

Soleil is perhaps the most clad, in a very pretty golden gown with a romantic cut, trimmed in blue and purple, and accessorized with sapphire jewelry. She is barefoot, though, and she holds the door for a moment so that the ginger kitten can slip out after them and go stalking in the garden on his own. She has a dreamy smile for her betrothed, but she is not unaware of the ducal heir, and she turns her blue-violet gaze to him with an easy smile. "Lord Hugo," she addresses pleasantly. "How are you?"

The answer to that is that Hugo is clearly in a little world of his own, as the question startles him enough to break the end of the pencil on the pad where he's jotting figures. Still, either he has no love for pencils or he's genuinely pleased to see his cousin and the soon-to-be cousin in law, as the remains of the pencil go behind his ear so he can pull the dividers from his mouth and greet the pair with a huge, dimpled smile. "The couple of the moment! Good to see you, and congratulations, Augustin, on your finest catch of the day!" He sets the tools of his trade aside and half turns so he can beam up at both, revealing a significantly paler front of his neck than the pinkening back of his neck, but enough years at sea have tempered his d'Angeline skin so it's unlikely to stay too red and will probably tan, the bastard.

"I've certainly heard enough talk of us in the city that it seems we might just be that," Augustin allows, offering a bow to his cousin the heir. "Good morrow, lord lieutenant. Thank you for the congratulations. I hear that you drove for a particularly hard bargain in the marriage negotiations, specifically where certain felines were concerned," he comments wryly, watching the cat stalk away for its own adventures. He seems fairly unbothered by the sun as well, but of course he has his own years at sea and abroad. "Although I don't think I so much caught her as gently drew her away; the sun itself is not hooked like a salmon," he offers with a smile down at his betrothed.

The sunshine is Soleil's element, and she revels in it radiantly. Her skin has that soft golden glow to it, warm and lovely, and the sunlight shimmering off her golden hair makes it all the more bright and brilliant. She lifts her face towards the light and takes a deep breath, almost like she is recharging in the light of her source. "I am not a fish," she says with a merry laugh, though she sounds delighted in her own way. "He has offered me what is more like a prism, to refract and reflect, to throw rainbows around the room."

Hugo lifts one hand, palm up and shrugs a shoulder. "What can I say, no cat, no deal," he insists with as much solemnity as he can muster, that being not a whole lot. He is not a young man given to deep introspection or cynicism, and there's only so long he can keep his natural buoyant cheerfulness from bubbling to the surface. He absently pokes a finger in his ear, twitching as a fly or mosquito or something of that ilk buzzes him close, then pulls himself to sit upright, cross legged like a tailor. "True enough, the sailors follow the dazzling sun, not the other way round. Has father signed off on everything now? It's all official?"

Augustin grins. "Even those of us who get dragged along with the sailors have to chase the sun. I've just made it easier by finding my own," Augustin agrees, before he smiles even more brightly at the question Hugo poses. "There are certain things that are being finalized by the two families attorneys, of course, but we've had the letters of approval. All that remains is to finalize the details of the actual wedding," he acknowledges. "Guardianship of the kitten will, no doubt, be its own codicil to the formal agreement."

"The two ducs will send letters back and forth, I'm certain, but really, we just need to decide if we'll wed here or at Rouen or… I don't know where else, but there are possibilities," Soleil points out with a happy laugh, leaning in to Augustin for a moment. "I suppose early fall, perhaps? I shall continue as Second of Le Coquelicot until then, for it seems terrible to leave them so suddenly, and besides, it was our Bright Lady who brought us together."

"Definitely here," Hugo insists, wagging a finger at them. "For as long as my ship's here I can't go swanning off all the way across the country, and if I miss your wedding I'm going to be particularly cross. Besides, the weather's better here, and, Soleil, do you even know anyone in Rouen? Wedding here, party here, and then you can go and deal with business as needed in Rouen. You can't go and get married hundreds of miles away and leave me here with no kitten, can you?"

"She knows at least one person in Rouen, assuming that she doesn't go off and get there first," Augustin points out, but shakes his head. "I'm certainly not opposed to a wedding in Marsilikos; it's been more my home than Azzalle was for much of my life, all things considered. Besides, it would be a shame to start out by making Lord Hugo cross," he offers as he looks to Soleil, eyebrow raised.

"My grandmother is here, it's true, and packing her across the country for a wedding would be terribly inconvenient and difficult on her. And then she'd be rearranging someone else's furniture, and it'd all be a mess," Soleil concedes with a charmed laugh, winking at Hugo, then turning to hug Augustin fondly. "We'll just get married here and have a grand party."

"With beer, and dancing, and as many of your colleagues from the Night Court as want to come," Hugo presses, dimples deepening as he pictures in his mind the image. An evening, maybe September. Good weather, warm night. Music. And most of all, dozens of incredibly attractive young ladies to impress. He stares off into the middle distance for a moment or two, before shaking his head and laughing his way back to the present. "We could commandeer a ship, you know. I bet we could arrange it between us. Have the whole thing, dancing and all, on deck out in the harbour."

"My sisters are here as well, and it is easier for the people who will want to come from Rouen to come than for all the interested parties to move out there," Augustin agrees, putting an arm around Soleil with a smile down at her. "Is it technically commandeering if we have the legal authority to do it?" Augustin asks wryly, chuckling. "That could be quite an event. I don't know how public you were thinking of?" He asks Soleil.

"We'll do the ceremony small — that's the important part but the part that bores people to tears, because it's really just a lot of us staring at one another, smitten with love, and making vows in a formal way — and then we'll party large. People prefer that, because the wine will flow, the music will play, everyone will be happy," Soleil recommends brightly, looking up at Augustin before glancing to Hugo. "I promise to keep Granny from hitting on you too very much."

Hugo adjusts his collar, grinning. "Ah, you know how it is. Old women love me. Just try to stop her from pinching my cheeks is all I ask. You know, I'm supposed to be the Duc some day now, and it doesn't help to have an army of silver haired terrors flocking around me telling me how cute I am. It's… um… undignified."

"If people want to drink my wine, they can listen to me telling the world how much I love you," Augustin grumbles good-naturedly, before he nods. "But fine, we can let them off the hook. Especially since it's Lord Hugo's idea, that means we can send the bill to Uncle Louis, yes?" He asks wryly, looking over to Hugo and chuckling. "I will always take too much indignity rather than an overabundance of dignity. A superabundance, I think, is what causes my father to be the way he is."

"But, Lord Hugo, the Balm adepts love her. They absolutely crow over her," Soleil replies with a merry laugh, leaning against Augustin as she addresses his cousin. "Besides, it's not your cheeks she's going to pinch. Unless you mean your ass cheeks."

"Oh, my word," Hugo responds to that, looking rather horrified at the thought. "I'd better have a boat ready to escape her clutches, then, if it comes to it. Or a pair of steel undergarments."

Augustin chuckles. "I definitely think it should be the latter, and I wish to specifically see them before the party so that I can picture exactly what is happening at all times. You will be a fashion icon, my lord; and future generations can keep the undergarments as a literal icon of your bold style."

Soleil is laughing so hard at this point that she's almost crying, shaking her head as she considers Hugo's suggestions. "Just politely ask her to stop, and maybe… water her wine a little, because she'll forget that you asked her to stop," she recommends, giggling the whole while. "I have five uncles; two are Eglantine and one is a priest of Naamah. Granny takes this very seriously."

Hugo draws the pencil from behind his ear and flings it casually at Augustin in protest. "You know, if you, on your wedding day, are looking for a pair of steel underpants, then I think you're definitely misguided about the whole idea of marriage."

Augustin laughs as he snatches the pencil that is flung toward him, and tosses it back to Hugo. "I'm not looking for steel underwear on my wedding day, Lord Hugo, I'm looking for you to have them on my wedding day. I will happily shed whatever small clothes I am wearing as quickly as I can on my wedding day, which I imagine will be much harder for you when you have to work the buckles. But it will keep Soleil's grandmother from pinching too hard, at least."

"It's not like he'll be inexperienced in shedding his clothes with his bride at that point," Soleil points out with a twinkle in her blue-violet eyes, grinning with a measure of amusement at Hugo and his pencil flinging.

"Maybe that'll be enough to distract your grandmother, at least for a time," Hugo replies with an easy grin as he goes to rescue the pencil from the grass. "You know she'll be demanding lots of little Soleilings as soon as possible."

"Soleilings?" Augustin offers wryly. "Augustlings rolls a little bit better off the tongue, but I don't doubt her grandmother will see them as Soleilings. We're going to raise an entire generation of blonde Trevalions, further cementing the damage done," he offers, glancing upward to his own hair. "I'll be incredibly inexperienced shedding wedding clothes with my bride, however. We may have to practice."

"She wants girls," Soleil warns Augustin with a soft laugh, winking at him. "She had six boys. I have two brothers. You owe her a great-granddaughter, I promise you." She pulls away gently. "I need to go see to something. Please make sure The Cat does not get locked out in the garden." She nods politely to Hugo. "It was good seeing you as well, my lord."

"Boys, girls, what matters is that they grow up to be proper sailors," Hugo insists. "None of your layabout marine infantrymen, please." He grins more broadly, secretly (or not so secretly, given that his face is always an open conduit to his feelings) rather proud of his famous cousin. "Teach them to hand, reef and steer before they're grown, like any good Trevalion."

"Mmm, they can become sailors so long as their grandfather stays away from their careers. Or is dead," Augustin says blandly, but returns the grin wryly. "I'll teach them what they want to learn, and what their hearts pull them toward. We can take pride in many myriad things, it does not exclusively have to be the sea."

"Maybe not exclusively," Hugo allows, "but if there isn't salt water in their veins, then I'd be questioning if they're Trevalions at all."

"Mmm. I love the sea, it's boats that I'm not a huge fan of," Augustin allows, shrugging. "Although who knows if that would be true if things were different. They will know salt water, worry not, and they will no doubt spend their time splashing in the ocean quite happily. I just don't want to repeat the sins of my own raising."

"You make Uncle Martin sound like a monster," Hugo points out as he tucks his pencil behind his ear again. "I'm sure he did his best. Even if he is, frankly, a little terrifying."

"I may do my father little credit, but he has built up little credit with me in turn," Augustin allows and then explains, shaking his head. "It may be I am too harsh on him. But the last time I saw him was when I'd come back to the capital from La Serenissima and my run in with seemingly every hired assassin they could throw at us. He waited…days, before springing on me that on his decision I was to be affianced and married. Our yelling match led to the young woman's brother deciding I had done her a disservice, and challenging me to a duel. Fortunately he was not skilled at all, and I could end it by disarming him repeatedly." He sighs, looking out across the garden. "I am here because of our inability to not fight with one another, and yet it is here I found Soleil, so perhaps I do owe him more than I give him."

"Um. Without meaning to be indelicate," Hugo hazards, sucking on his teeth. "Is that a thing? I mean, if I shouted loudly enough, do you think I could get out of this thing with Simone? Don't suppose you'd go fight a duel for me, would you?"

"Well," Augustin allows, with a sigh. "It was more the vehemence with which I protested that bothered him, and the fact that in the rumors and retellings that got more and more so. I regret what I did." He looks to his cousin, considering him. "Yes, if you went and shouted at her parents enough, it would likely be broken off. And if you needed me, I would fight in your place; although that's not considered a particularly becoming look for a Lieutenant," he offers wryly. "But I also regret what happened, and likely made an enemy for life. There are likely more delicate avenues of approach we could consider to break it off amicably."

Hugo wrinkles his nose. "Ah no, probably not a good idea, then. Her father's the admiral, and I'd like to think one day I might yet command something more than a model boat in the bath. I don't think he's an enemy I can afford to make, even if Simone has all the personality of a limp lettuce leaf."

Augustin blinks once, and then a second time. "That's…awkward," Augustin says with a wince. "I hadn't heard the name in the rumors going around. The woman that my father arranged for me to marry, that caused the duel? Was her older sister, apparently. So I will apologize if my feuding with my father created a difficult situation for you; or if my father had anything to do with arranging it."

Hugo pulls a face which would be comical under different circumstances. "Oh…. oh good grief. Yeeesss, I can see that wiggling out of that one might be a little more difficult than originally planned. It also explains why Lady Chimène's sinking her hooks in and not letting go. I thought it was just to make sure she's got her finger in every pie, but it makes a lot more sense if she's terrified I'm going to get out of it, too."

Augustin winces and nods. "Yes, that is likely a part of it then, making sure that another Trevalion doesn't get out of marrying them. For the record, I had nothing against the elder sister specifically; I didn't even know her. I just did not like being ambushed out of nowhere while still recovering from being literally ambushed out of nowhere before," Augustin shakes his head. "But you see what I mean about unintended consequences."

"Well, with luck we can put it off longer, at least," Hugo suggests, spirits never dampened for very long. "And by the time they start insisting, maybe I'll be off to the New World or the Southern Cape again, on my own ship, under my own sailing orders, so I can take my sweet time coming back."

"And one is not Royal Admiral forever," Augustin points out. "And if he retires, the political pressure to do the marriage may be lessened to the point where it could be…altered. And if not, there's always a consort; you would not be the first to marry for politics and consort for love," he allows. "I am sorry you're in the position, and if there is something that I can help with I will, although I assume their brother has been studying since last time."

"If I have to marry a lettuce leaf to get my own ship," Hugo admits candidly, "then sign me up. Any salad you choose. Having the admiral as a father in law has got to be good for something."

"One assumes. Having the former for a father never did much for me, but that was a personal choice," Augustin says with a chuckle. "I remember getting my first command, and I understand the longing. You'll get there. They can only ignore talented officers so long, even if the Admiralty is particularly good at doing so. I still harbor hope some day of ending up Royal Commander, or at least Commander of the Order."

"If I don't get back to sea soon I think I'm going to burst," Hugo confesses, shrugging a shoulder. "It was a novelty to begin with, being here with my ship laid up, doing all the appropriate noble things, the parties, the dinners and all that. I don't know how you've stuck it out here for so long, though. We're not designed to stay in one city all our lives."

Augustin chuckles and shakes his head. "I itch to go back and wander, and go back to the service. Until I met Soleil, the happiest I'd ever been was when I was serving on the border in Camlach as a young man. Hard work, little comfort, but doing something important and meaningful." He shrugs. "You get older, and you begin to see the appeal of a soft bed and the same surroundings week to week. And…La Serenissima burned me out, in more ways than I understood," Augustin explains. He looks down at his hands, and the sword on his hip. "It's how I met Soleil, dealing with the dreams."

"But you're, like, twice my age," Hugo points out, not intending to be unkind, but in the way of young people everywhere immediately dismissing anyone more than a few years older as completely out of touch with his situation. "I should be out there, not sitting here, drinking expensive wine and laughing politely about granny's penchant for pinching bums."

"Yes, you should be worrying about foreign grandmothers pinching your bum. I get it," Augustin allows, shaking his head. "Also I'm fifteen years older than you, not twice your age, and would be happy to remind you of the difference if you'd care to spar some time," he finishes wryly. "You will have time to get out to sea again. I remember many a lieutenant who hoped for a war, and the new commands it creates."

"Ah, you are both still out here," Soleil discovers as she slips back out, and The Cat makes an appearance, stalking over to her as she moves in the direction of the two Trevalion men. "I'm sorry about earlier. I hope you didn't miss me too much," she says softly, pausing to pick up the cat and cuddle him for a moment.

Hugo grins a little, waving the man off. "Ah no, wouldn't want you to break a hip at your age, you know. Ah, I know I'm just griping and I should be counting my blessings," he admits, looking up as Soleil's voice drifts over to him. "Sorry, I've been monopolising the poor man's time. Did you know it's his fault I've got to marry Simone Rousse?"

Augustin grins. "You know how chatty we can be," he offers wryly, before sighing. "Yes, we were partially discussing the sins of the past. My last duel was because my father tried to arrange my marriage to Simone's older sister Ianthe, and my rejection of that was of sufficient vehemence to their brother that he thought he would try his luck. I didn't realize that they had gone on to Hugo."

"Oh, I'm so sorry," Soleil says with a little shake of her head as she strokes The Cat and resumes standing by Augustin, well within arm's reach. "Look, it cannot be so bad. She is close in age to you, at the very least. Perhaps she will be pretty. If she needs… a little advice on how to please a husband, I would be happy to aid her, as I have aided so many novices and adepts in the past. And really, just get her pregnant and send her off to Azzalle. Then in two years, repeat." She laughs softly to herself. "And if you need advice on how to set boundaries with your sister-in-law-to-be, I can also aid with that. There is an art to telling rich and powerful people 'no' and making them go away."

"An art that doesn't involve a sword, take note Augustin," Hugo teases goodnaturedly. "And she is. Pretty, I mean. Of course she's is, she's a Rousse. I'm just worried there's nothing more to her than a pretty face, you know? All the personality of a wet weekend in Kusheth. She might be perfectly lovely, though, and I'm worrying for no reason."

"I was trained in exactly one art, forgive me for using it," Augustin offers piously, returning the tease, although he snorts at the description of wet weekends. "Normally when one is stranded by a wet weekend in Kusheth, you spend the time in the bedroom. Also an option." He smiles. "Yes, Soleil could teach her a variety of exciting things to make it better, and give her more of a personality if need be. But yes, I wouldn't borrow trouble—meet her first."

"Really, the worst that can happen is that you provide her with the most underwhelming fifteen minutes of her life which leads to giving her the privilege of giving birth to the heir to the duchy of Azzalle," Soleil suggests mildly, still gently stroking the ginger kitten in her arms. "But Augustin is right. She might be perfectly lovely and you're fretting for no good reason. You can always make the most of a political marriage, if you try."

"And I will," Hugo admits, letting his shoulders sag. "You know, duty and all that. I'm pleased for the pair of you, though, and I know you likely came out for a pleasant wander in the gardens." He begins gathering his chart and instruments together, then pulls himself upright in a single smooth movement. "You look good together. He's damn lucky to have you, Soleil."

"Thank you, Lord Hugo," Soleil replies with a radiant smile, watching the young man gather his things together. "It will work out. You will see. You will manage. I will help."

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