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Lucent strides accross the corridors of the Cascade, purpose clear on his face, cape red as his fury trailing behind him, nearly knocking out two servants as he makes his way to the room of a certain infuriating Necromancer that shall not be named.

Varanim Varanim, who has only recently finished un-tidying her room, rounds a corner with a distinctly cranky look on her face, and nearly bumps into Lucent.

Varanim "Ugh. You."

Lucent "YOU." He points in a most accusing manner. "Are you out of your mind?!?"

Varanim "I'm beginning to think so, because I can't imagine a rational world in which someone would send MAIDS to invade my room."

Lucent "It was an unholy mess! It had to be cleaned. How can you even get yourself ready to talk to Crow amidst that unholy mess? You are a Solar, Varanim, a Princess of the Universe, and it is time you started ACTING like one. And that involves NOT threatening poor, innocent, cute servants!"

Lucent "They are not attunned to the Manse! They spent hours meandering the corridors! You might have scarred them for life if I was not there to soothe them! Do you have any idea how hysterical the poor girls were?"

Varanim "Leaving aside a whole raft of obvious lines about unholy messes being appropriate for necromancers..." she visibly struggles for a moment, then lets that one go, "I always act like exactly what I am--it's one of my chief joys in life. If your servants are so atrociously bored that you can't imagine useful things for them to do--note that invading my privacy is nowhere on this list--possibly

Varanim you should learn to make do with fewer of them."

Lucent "And you prefer to leave on that mess? On that twilight of things? Do you really PREFER that?"

Varanim looks like she has a fierce headache coming on. "Are you extra insane this month, is that the problem here? Reading trashy romance novels will rot your brain, you know. What are you TALKING about?"

Lucent looks agape, "... novels? Wh-what are you talking about?"

Varanim "Oh, nothing, it must have been a spell-crossed choice of words on my part. Try to focus on the point here, which is how sending your maids to ransack my room was a terrible idea and you're never going to do it again."

Lucent The color drains from his face... and then he grits his teeth. "SPRING told you, right? He ate that damned book!" He punches the wall. "That does not mean a thing! It is not like the heroines in them would ever threaten cute professionals like you and your Abyssal boyfriends do!"

Varanim throws up her hands. "I don't know which is less rational: your apparently unironic attempt to use romance novels as a viable model for human behavior, or your fixation with the idea that I shack up with Abyssals. In case you hadn't noticed, they're all as tediously pretentious as the lot of YOU, they just use a slightly more practical color scheme. Not interested!"

Lucent looks away from her, "And that is why you were acting like a lovesick puppy and doing everything that man asked? I do not care that he helped you before, they are Abyssals, there must be a catch! He gave you that... that ARM!" He spats out, turning back to her

Varanim stands still for a moment with her mouth slightly open, staring at him. "Is... that what this is about? I want to be absolutely certain I'm hearing you: you're upset because, in an operation to restore Imrama's thoroughly scrambled Essence, I followed the directions of the doctor in charge?" She takes a step closer, eyes narrowing.

Varanim "And you read THAT as the behavior of a... 'lovesick puppy'?"

Lucent appears confused for a moment, as if juggling things... "YES! It was the way you did! You could have slapped him, said something sarcastic, been nervous and skittish about him, you are GOOD at that! But no! You did not! You just did everything he asked without question!"

Varanim Varanim's eyes glitter. "With the life of your friend at risk, none of you could think of a single doctor to call besides the Abyssal necrosurgeon. That says something about you, Lucent, not me."

Varanim "And after deciding to pay the Bloodletting Physician of Peerless Caliber, and trusting Imrama's life to his hands, you expected me to--what, botch my part of the operation? You think I'm incompetent as well as... wait. You think I have a thing for the Doctor?"

Lucent "We TRUSTED your recommendation! And we saw to what shady place that took us!" Two steps closer to her now, far too close. His eyes lock on hers' a storm of liquid gold, turning almost red. "I... you do NOT, right?" He asks, question, recrimination, ultimatum, hopeful, so hopeful of a 'no'.

Varanim grits her teeth. "I mentioned him because he did a fantastic job sawing off my old arm and replacing it with the new one. In most parts of the world, that doesn't qualify as a date."

Lucent looks as if the weight of the world as lifted off his shoulders. "And in most parts of the world scaring away a gift of servants is not a sane attittude!" He says in a most grudging apology, "How was I supposed to know?"

Varanim "Oh, no, you're not finished that easily. You think--you actually think there's something so broken in my head that I'd fall madly in love with the flesh-mechanic who grafted me a new arm so I'd properly fit in a Monstrance?"

Varanim "Is that what you imagine that makes you smile so wide when you're splashing around naked with the Empress? Even for aristocratic decadence, that's twisted."

Lucent "I HAVE seen women fall in love with men that all but raped their bodies and souls, so yes! I thought! But I was wrong, so what does i--" His mouth hangs agape, once again, shocked, and his hand reflexively holds her arm to stop her from running. "That was completely INNOCENT!"

Varanim "Well then, it sounds like everyone is innocent of everything--happy endings all around!" Varanim tries to throw her hands up, is stopped by his hold on one arm, and jerks viciously. "Look, I don't care, enjoy your naked frolicking with everyone from here to Stygia. And think whatever you need, if it'll help you avoid future displays of temper like the one at the operation."

Lucent holds her arm, preventing her from moving even an inch away. "I did that because I thought he... you know! You could have TOLD me. Why must you make everything so hard, damnit? You could just... just..."

Varanim "Just what?" she hisses, eye to eye. "You think I'M the one making this hard? You think I asked for you to..." she flails for a moment, "to bring me dresses and flowers and--" She breaks off, catching her breath. "Damn it, why can't you just..."

Lucent "I give it..." His voice is hoarse, face crimson as his face, "...and you crush it, you chase it away." Hand on her other arm, so close, lips opening... "Damn you, damn you..." So close. So close. Holding her so she could NEVER get away.

Lucent "LORD LUCENT!" shouted a voice down the corridor! "Are you there, m'lord?"

Varanim Varanim's face is caught between nervousness and--something else, the anger all drained away. "It's not..." she starts to say, her voice much softer than usual. Then she stiffens at the distant call. "Your public," she says instead, her eyes going distant.

Lucent The voice sounds again, somewhere down the corridor. His breath is still heavy, hot on her, "It is..." his lips touching. "...so far..." The servant's voice, but to Varanim it sounded closer, his arms around her, now, not on her arms.

Varanim Varanim's hands rest on Lucent's shoulders, tightening. "In about three seconds," she breathes, laughing a little or maybe her voice is just shaking, "that servant is going to see something you can't take back."

Lucent could barely understand, drowning that voice in his lips, a kiss as furious as before, opening her shirt, a buttom falling down. Breaking the kiss, his breath on her neck, something like his anima, warm sunlight all over...

Lucent "LORD LUCENT! Oh, THERE you are!"

Lucent ... and Lucent was almost accross the corridor then, breath coming labored, face so red, shaking... and looking at the servant, furious "WHAT is it?"

Varanim spins to turn her back to the servant, trying to straighten her shirt without making it obvious that's what she's doing, which is harder than it might sound.

Lucent The servant, a woman, looks from Varanim to Lucent, oddly, and fearful at the Solar King. "W-we managed to f-find her, m'lord. Crow-Devours-Flame. Y-you wanted t-to know, right?" she tries to look away, noticing the buttom, "I-I'm not interrupting anything...?"

Lucent "... oh." He shakes his head emphatically. "No. Nothing. We were just... just... just..." He tried to straighten up and making his voice not sound labored, aroused. So hard. "... having another damned argument." He waves it away, "But I am NOT letting you goad me again, Varanim."

Varanim doesn't turn around, but her shoulders stiffen and she tosses her head back a bit as if slapped. "Of course not," she says after a long moment, her voice dry as a desert. She tucks her hands in her pockets with abnormal care and begins to saunter off down the hall. "I'll go put on my work face, shall I?" she says, still not looking back.

Lucent walks the other way, "Yes, try to look PRESENTABLE for a change." He strides the other way, not sparing a second glance at her, and only one last to the servant, to be very, very quiet about whatever she thinks she's seen.

Varanim doesn't glance back or dignify that with an answer. She rounds a corner and slumps against the wall for a moment, shaking, then slowly straightens and continues on to her room.

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