dinner & diatribes
« on: June 02, 2019, 11:37:19 PM »
They were welcome here, Ziauddin reminded himself. Queen Sofia Araya had said exactly as much, in precisely as many words. You and your sister are welcome to stay with us. In fact - I insist. It will give us a chance to get to know one another, and you said it yourself: You don't have a permanent home here in Shalador - not yet, anyway.

Sofia had said the words, and Ziauddin had heard them clearly. The Queenling didn't seem interested in mincing words or sending mixed signals. The challenge, of course, was to make himself believe her. Any of the things she had said. That he and his sister were welcome, that Sofia had interest in getting to know him personally. That this could be home.

That last bit seemed especially ridiculous. Undesirable, even. The only homes Zia had known were pitched tents and palaces as cold as the people housed within them. That was aside from Viviana's various residences, of course - but those didn't count, anymore, did they?

It wasn't a matter of this place being home, but the opposite: It wasn't home, and for some reason, that…was what made it appealing? So long as he and Kalyani had one another, they could make any place suit their needs. Couldn't they??

And that wasn't to say that the Queen's residence was unimpressive. She and her uncle and cousins shared a handsome home just outside the main thrum of the city, at least for the time being - until she had to take up full-time residence in another Court, perhaps, or maintained one of her own, which would require different accommodations, depending on the specifics of the area she governed. That was entirely too much to think about, right now. He'd only just gotten started on a list of renovations to make to the Queen's family home - and whether he'd be kept around long enough to make them, let alone to see Sofia rule…

Ziauddin swallowed dryly, glancing for the umpteenth time to the sister at his side with a look of nervous anticipation as they approached the stairs he'd been sprawled across mere hours before. What personal affects he had were split between his cabinet and Viviana's places, still. He hadn't had the heart to take them all, wanted the excuse to come back knocking on her shiny-new-door, and try to find something wrong with it.

Lifting a foot to take the first step in silence, the Warlord Prince paused, then lowered the foot back to the ground, and turned on his sister fully. They'd made the trip mostly by foot through the city, savoring the soft briskness of the air, and taking the time to process in resounding silence - or wordlessly, at least. The city was loud, and Zia couldn't decide whether the constant buzz was soothing or further distressing, just yet. Evening had done little to quell the din, though the combination of the dinner bell and residential area in which they now stood helped considerably.

Taking the Priestess's shoulders beneath his palms, Ziauddin gave a slight squeeze, and looked at her directly, dismay slowly seeping into his features, dampening the effect of the rest of his extremely polished exterior.

"Is this - ? Do you think - ?" A frustrated sigh punctuated the half-questions, neither of which Ziauddin actually knew how to finish. "Maybe we should wait? Leave a note and come by tomorrow, see if Viv -" He couldn't finish that thought, either.