Thirteen is in his room, thoughtfully picking up his books and possessions and swallowing them.
Phoenix knocks quietly.
Thirteen "Come in."
Phoenix comes in. "Packing, are you?"
Phoenix "You and Zee have been fighting."
Thirteen "Have we?"
Phoenix "Um, she thinks you have. That's good enough for me."
Phoenix hangs batlike from a chandelier to avoid being packed up by accident.
Thirteen "What have we been fighting about, and why?"
Phoenix "Where are you going?"
Thirteen begins the careful process of eating three badgers.
Phoenix "Um, she seems to think that you're trying to demote her."
Thirteen "I have a friend I must call on in the West. There is business to be done."
Thirteen raises an eyebrow at Phoenix. "I believe it is apparent that I have no designs on the Throne of the Sunlands."
Phoenix "Sure, sure. But are you RIGHT?" She picks a handful of oranges out of the fruit bowl and begins peeling them, tossing the skins out the window.
Phoenix "I have friends in the West too. Sometime we will have to have a little get-together."
Phoenix "Because she seems to think differently than you regarding this topic."
Thirteen attempts to respond with a badger in his mouth, sighs, swallows, and turns to face Phoenix.
Thirteen "What am I to do about it?"
Phoenix shrugs, drops an orange, and catches it. "I dunno. Just, you know, it's on my mind is all."
Phoenix "See your friend maybe. Zee might blow over in the meanwhile."
Thirteen "Why did you come to talk to me about it if you intended merely to mention it and leave?"
Phoenix "Hm. Let me think that over for a moment." Phoenix takes a big juicy bite of orange and chews contemplatively.
Phoenix "So, supposing that you were some other person. Lucent or Raksi or Herons or whatever."
Phoenix "Why might I be coming to tell you things?"
Thirteen "I believe we have already established that I do not understand you, Phoenix."
Thirteen "Zahara does not trust me."
Phoenix "Sorry, I was just voicing my thought process there...more thinking to do..."
Thirteen "What actions can I take to make her trust me? She will interpret them as the activities of an enemy, regardless of what they are."
Phoenix "That's a good way to look at it."
Phoenix "Distressing, though. I guess I just wanted to let you know how I feel about things."
Phoenix "I've been gossiping with Imm, too...I said to him, I think you're all acting to the limits of your ability here, and it's unfortunate that it's NOT GOOD ENOUGH."
Phoenix "I'm going to try and keep lines of communication open even if you lot start avoiding and not speaking to each other, so I'd like to know a bit more about your whereabouts."
Phoenix "Or have some other reliable contact method."
Thirteen "You have the ring, do you not? I will always be available."
Thirteen "What would be good enough?"
Phoenix "What? I have some things I like to wear."
Thirteen reaches out impatiently and grips Phoenix's hand by the golden ring she wears on one finger.
Thirteen "Have you forgotten this?"
Phoenix looks again at the ring. "Is that...?" She stares at it and it glows briefly. ::HELLO???::
Phoenix ::Hi. Sorry.::
Phoenix "I see! Thank you."
Thirteen "Is this a joke?"
Phoenix "...no? The rings don't appear in the books."
Thirteen "I had not realized that you had truly forgotten."
Thirteen lets go of the ring.
Thirteen "My questions are not idle, Phoenix. I have done the best I knew how, regarding Zahara. If I have erred, it is a failing of my understanding, not my will."
Phoenix nods. "Don't worry. It'll turn okay like it always does."
Thirteen "Does it?"
Thirteen "I have not observed such."
Phoenix "Some things are still turning."
Thirteen "It seemed...necessary, to divest myself of my responsibilities to Zahara as a monarch, and replace them with my responsibilities to her as a friend."
Thirteen "This process is yet ongoing."
Thirteen "I am sorry if her being my master was fundamental to her conception of existence."
Thirteen "I fear that being masterless is fundamental to mine."
Phoenix puts her head in her hands. "I have to think. Go away."
Thirteen "This is my room, Phoenix."
Phoenix "Oh, right. I'll be in the library, then."
Phoenix trudges out.
Thirteen sighs, and eats another badger.