The Alphabet Witch (wilowisp) wrote,
The Alphabet Witch

Snippet: Fool

Phillipe knocked on the door to the chambers that his father had given over to the Dauphin's retinue. As prompted as ever, Loussan answered the door, his pert and eternally put-out face somehow made all the more sour by the trials of the road.

"May I help you, Lord Dorym?" Loussan asked, keeping himself positioned firmly in the middle of the doorway. No matter how clearly Aubin stated that Phillipe was persona familial, his manservant continued to hamper every entrance Phillipe made into the Dauphin's private quarters. Apparently here in Belgrew was no different from back home in Ecade Sol.

"I'm hear to ensure that His Grace is prepared to formally meet with my father in the Grand Hall," Phillipe answered back. He didn't know why he continued to play at courtly niceties with Loussan. Originally, he had thought that perhaps it would make Loussan warm to him, and they could stop with the confrontations, but that had not been the case.

With a dry sigh, Loussan stepped aside and allowed Phillipe to enter.

There were three rooms to the quarters that had been supplied - nothing compared to the spacious wings of the Palais that Aubin inhabited, but comparable to the Count's own rooms here at the keep. They were fortunate that Aubin's uncle had been convinced to send only Loussan and one other servant to tend to the Dauphin while at Belgrew. There would not have been room for much more.

"His Grace is well prepared, I assure you , Lord Dorym," Loussan intoned dryly.

"I can damn well speak for myself," Aubin said, stepping out from his private chamber. Phillipe's face drained of all color. "My dear Phillipe, are you well? You look a fright!"

There were... feathers everywhere. Too many feathers, and they all clashed with the furs, and the yellow and green ribbons. And Phillipe had no idea what that... thing around the Dauphin's waist was supposed to be, but it seemed both vulgar and childish. It was an abomination.

"What are you wearing?" Phillipe manage to squeak out in the midst of his own battle between horror and laughter.

"The traditional garb of nobility among your people," Aubin replied, somewhat indignantly. But then his eyes looked over Phillipe's uniform of simple, clean leathers and wool, and panic crept into them. "Which is not what this is at all, is it?"

"It looks like something that Saint Ferity's Fool would wear on the Holy Day. Back in my grandfather time," Phillipe confirmed, talking slow walks around the room to view the spectacle from all angles. "Is this truly what the Ecadian think the Belgrine dress like?"

"It is an impeccable recreation of historic Belgrine formal attire," Loussan insisted. "The Dauphin can hardly be held accountable if your people have fallen out of tradition." He looked as if he wished to say more in the costume's defense, but Aubin held up a hand to silence him.

"It seems we are as woefully out of touch with our Belgrine cousins as my uncle feared," Aubin said, the polite and political answer always ready at his tongue these days. "Phillipe, this is all I brought for such an occasion as formally greeting your father the Count. What do I do?"

Phillipe held back a derisive snort. In Aubin's mind, perhaps he had only brought one outfit, but the extensive wardrobe that had been carried alongside them this whole way spoke differently. "First, we get you out of this," he told the Dauphin, ushering him back into his private chambers. Again, Loussan's protests were silenced by Aubin's forceful dismissal. In fact, Aubin shut the door behind them.

"I should have asked you before I planned on this peacock of an outfit," Aubin mourned as they both worked to unlace the overly complicated knots along the gloves.

"Why didn't you?" Phillipe asked. "After all I have told you about Belgrew, all you've seen me stumble through while trying to adjust to Ecadian customs..." The gloves where off, and Phillipe began to untangle the collar from the million ribbons and feathers.

"I wanted to surprise you," Aubin confessed, with that rare blush of embarrassment that he was allowing through more and more when they were alone. "My uncle may have sent me here, but you are the reason I want to make a good impression. I wanted to show you that I was invested in it."

Phillipe paused, his fingers resting on the back of Aubin's neck. How he wished that they had more time to sit in sweet stillness like this. But his father, Count Dorym, would be waiting, and a gracious host was not left to wait.

"You brought other riding leathers, I suppose?" Phillipe asked as he brushed the moment aside and set them both to task again.

"Of course. The ones I wore on the journey are soaked utterly."

"They will do nicely," Phillipe responded. When Aubin began to object at how coarse they were, Phillipe said, "They are much finer than most people here have ever seen. And despite how wretched you felt yesterday when we arrived, you were still a dashing sight to most. Plus, they are practical, and mean you are ready for a hunt at any moment, both things that the Belgrine respect."

Aubin had nearly shed everything at this point, except for a gold token around his neck, which Phillipe saw and quickly plucked away.

"And you should NOT wear this!" he said, placing the swan medallion off to the side. "It is the symbol of my father's house."

"I thought it would show solidarity," Aubin called out, as he fumbled his way into the next set of riding leathers - beautiful forest greens and rain cloud purples. "You're wearing one."

"You are not of his house. You are of his leige lord's house. To wear that would have indicated you plan to usurp his home into his own. It's a complicated mess, and not easily explained, and I'm sure my father wouldn't have taken it that way, but it would have sent a lot of his men to bristling. You should wear something with the Ecadian Sun on it."

Aubin had no shortage of trinkets, and it was only a few moments later when he produced two pins with the blazon of Ecade Sol in fine gold filigree. "What would it mean if you were to wear both the swan and the sun?" he asked Phillipe, coming in close to allow him to secure the final straps.

"It would be highly unclear what you intend if you did that, Aubin," Phillipe said. His eyes were intent on the final touches when Aubin's hand guide his gaze up.

"No, I mean you, my heart. What if you wore your father's sigil as well as mine?"
Tags: fiction, romance
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