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Tomcat and Princess
(2013-02-27 - 2013-02-27)
Hung over and exhausted from the previous night's celebration of the liberation of Fluorgis, Ivo is napping in the garden when the Shard Seekers' newest guest, Annalise, stumbles across him. She seems to have found herself among an unusual cast of characters -- though it turns out she's not so normal herself.
Ivo Galvan "...uuh..."

Ivo Galvan, Shard Seekers big brother figure and not-so-secret mischief maker extraordinaire, looks in little state to be either this fine morning, lying on his back on the grass of the garden behind their headquarters, cloak folded over his head to shield his eyes from the desert sun. Shirt unbuttoned and limbs akimbo, even the burns he suffered due to Maira's 'outburst' last night don't ache as much as his head right now. After working all night and showing up late to the dance, then getting immolated for his troubles -- though he deserved it, of course -- the knight-errant went on to party as much as he could before the festivities wrapped up.

"...mission... accomplished."

And now he's paying the price.

Still, though his eyes are hidden, and he groans softly from time to time, the young swordsman's lips are upturned in a faint smile. It's been a long road getting here.

But at last, the Shard Seekers are in business.
Annalise "Sounds like you had a long night too. Honestly I think the wine suspect." murmurs a voice, feminine.
Just above where Ivo lays on his back bends the cloaked girl from the night before, the hood over her head but several pale blonde locks to one side pulled out from inside the hood. Her deep blue eyes blink calmly at him, and the mask... is gone. The mask she had been wearing the night before having disappeared, her identity is open and the young girl simply watches Ivo with passive curiosity.
Ivo Galvan "...Hm?"

Ivo stirs at the sound of an unfamiliar, pleasant voice. He pauses for a moment, laying where he is, before he reaches up and idly flips his cloak back away from his eyes, brushing it back to provide a better cushion and revealing his now soemwhat unkempt dark hair and heavy-lidded blue eyes, tilting back to look up at the blonde above him. His slight smile broadens subtly and, languidly, he crosses his arms behind his head.

"Better than the long nights I've been having," he replies amiably, sounding good-humored despite his condition. "I'll take pretty girls at a festival over old engineers in the bowels of the earth any night of the week." Just the thought that he won't have to spend interminable hours in Fluorgis's Crystal Room fills him with a relief that almost outweighs the hangover... almost.

"You must be one of Reize's friends." That's why he's the strategist. No, honestly, it's a safe bet that almost any girl who shows up here is one of Reize's friends. "Ivo Galvan, co-founder of the Shard Seekers. Charmed... unless the dreamlike haze that surrounds you is just because of my squinting." His smile broadens more, though he doesn't stop squinting. That sun is /bright/. "Did you enjoy the celebration, Milady...?"
Annalise He was like a cat. A very smug and self-confident cat lounging in such a way that anyone knows that he considered himself the boss of his domain. And his smile only proved that. She listens for several moments before Anna lists a pale brow at being referred to a Reize's friend, but the flattery is neverending. "The first time I met him I knocked Reize off his feet." she murmurs. It wasn't a lie. "I'm not sure if you could call us friends, but at least we're civil and that's the most you can hope for with anyone." Her sapphire blue eyes blink lightly before she straightens the curve of her back so at least she wasn't kneeling over Ivo. "It was different than I'm used to, but I hear that it was a night worth celebrating."
Ivo Galvan "I'm not at all surprised. I'm sure you floor men all the time." Ivo sounds amused, not flirtatious. No doubt he's imagining all the likely scenarios in which Reize was knocked over, or onto Annalise, or onto some other poor girl /by/ Annalise-- with Reize, the possibilities for romantic comedy are never-ending. Ivo's constant enabling of such situations is hardly even necessary, though it does play some part.

"Oh, I don't know about... ouch..." The alleged adult -- he's not a teenager, so by Shard Seekers standards, he's practically ancient -- pushes himself into a sitting position, causing his head to start aching all over again, but he weathers the storm and at last manages to look at the mysterious blonde face to face. "...about that. Keep your hopes high, Milady. That's what staves off the darkness." His tone is light and playful still, but that doesn't sound quite like a joke. "If he trusts you enough to bring you here, you're closer to friendship than you think." He neglects to mention how easily Reize trusts people.

"Yes, we and the city had plenty to toast to. The sky, for one." He points upward toward the blue expanse, indicating a distinct lack of the dark and forbidding clouds which had shrouded Fluorgis for the past month. Then he pauses, and grins. "Or are you new in town? It was just a few days ago that this city survived a great battle. The repairs will take a while longer." More side-quests for them, anyway. "The hunger of the Heartless is never sated, it seems..."
Annalise Annalise lifts a pale brow at him again. He was certainly an interesting one. "My hopes high? About what?" He goes further into explanation and her sapphire blue eyes narrow curiously at him for a longer moment still before she tilts her head at Ivo. "That might be true, but I'm not even sure if I trust him yet. Or you for that matter. With as many assassination attempts on my life as I've had, caution is a necessity." Not to mention she's never had a friend before, let alone multiple friends. But that in itself she isn't putting much hope towards. It softens the blow of disappointment. Another thing she's had to live with.
When Ivo points towards the blue sky, Annalise glances up as well. A clear blue sky with nothing of a sort odd or strange to it. "Yes, very new. Not even a day, actually." Her dark eyes blink again and she glances down at the older boy. "I heard about the battle too. Not the details, but that you had survived and were victorious. Very admirable and commendable. No doubt after this you'll be in search of more shards, now that the city is safe?" Does she seem too curious? Really she's just trying to make conversation.
Ivo Galvan Urgh, on second thought, maybe he'd better lay down again. With a little sigh, Ivo, as though depleted by the mighty effort of lifting his arm to point skyward, slowly sinks back down onto the comfortable grass, resting his head on his folded-up cloak again, the high collar of his shirt rippling in a faint cooling breeze. "Well, feel free to assassinate me," he groans. "Otherwise the monster rampaging around inside my skull might break loose." Hopefully, she will take neither of those statements seriously.

"You'll see Reize's purity of heart for yourself, Milady," he continues, tone calmly confident, half-closing his eyes to watch the play of light filtering through his eyelashes. "I'm another story, of course. I wouldn't trust me for a minute, if I had any sense." He sounds like he's in a good mood, despite his hangover. Well, considering how much the Shard Seekers have accomplished, he may have a right to be.

"Mmn. No doubt," he replies lazily to her last question. "The Mark One seems to be working, but... well, I suppose we'll be field testing it either way." Failing to elaborate on what the 'Mark One' is, beginning to drift back into slumber, Ivo's body continues to relax. "All the countless worlds are out there waiting... for now, though... this one is..."

With a ghost of a smile, he trails off.


Oh, he wasn't asleep yet?

"...should I just keep calling you 'Milady', or...?"
Annalise "Don't even joke about that." Annalise murmurs, her voice kept perfectly even though she doesn't look at him. She could have reacted worse, she supposed, but he probably didn't realize the extent of an assassination attempt let along multiple over one's lifetime could effect a person's outlook. It probably never even occur to him. Parting her soft lips with a mild breath, the cloaked girl turn just slightly before lowering herself to sit on the ground with an almost practiced, regal grace. "Of course I do. I'm just not sure how ignorant he is. That's what can get people killed."
Anna lifts a pale brow once more as she turns her head, giving Ivo a sideways glance when he warns her about trusting him. More likely than not it was just a way to keep her on her toes, but still she makes a note of it. "If Reize formed the Shard Seekers alongside you, then he must have a reason to trust you. Or are you saying that even that trust is misplaced?" As relaxed as he appears to be, it was difficult to even say if Ivo would even answer her questions. Not that they were anything more than passing curiosities. He just seemed to fall into a dozing state. "If I gave you my name, would you even remember?"
Ivo Galvan "Hm..."

Yet another woman who doesn't appreciate Ivo's wit. Well, not everyone can have good taste. If Ivo detects her tone, he doesn't show it, and he doesn't stir as she seats herself down next to him. "Oh, Reize is ignorant alright," he confirms without hesitation, though his words are slowed by his half-asleep state. "That's what his friends are for." His faint smile widens again, if only for a moment. "A heart like his attracts worthy individuals. Myself excluded, of course."

For some reason, her interrogation brings another smile to Ivo's face, this one lopsided, and he deigns to open his eyes for a moment to look up at her. "You're too serious," he chides. "Women mustn't be too literal-minded. Bantering is an important survival skill." Socially, at least. But it doesn't have much to do with men or women. Ivo just likes to banter in general. He is an equal-opportunity banterer. "Hrmm... questions like those tire me out." It's obviously a convenient excuse for his being so tired to begin with. "Decide for yourself whether I'm trustworthy, Milady."

He's beginning to doze again already when she asks her last question. "How rude," he drawls, despite not sounding offended at all. "Don't they teach you to introduce yourself in response to an introduction in Princess School...?"

It's a joke based on her attitude and demeanor, but Ivo may, in this case, be a little closer to the mark than he himself realizes.
Annalise Annalise gives him a brief flat glance before she exhales a breath and glances back up at the clear sky once more, pausing with thought. "I probably am." And she has plans to change that. She promptly shrugs a slender shoulder at him, not really caring one way or another about his thoughts on his own trustworthiness. People are always biased when it comes to themselves in any case. However, Ivo's following words give her enough pause that she begins to wonder if he actually knew something or if he was just stupidly lucky. What are the chances that anyone in this realm would knew who she was? They weren't even in her kingdom any more.
Watching him for a silent moment longer, the cloaked girl silently pushes herself to her feet, her small hands lifting from under her plain brown cloak to lightly brush back the hood of her cloak, allowing a waterfall of pale blonde hair to cascade over her shoulders like a sunlit waterfall. Brushing back the folds of the cloak just enough to reveal the full skirt of her gown, her sapphire blue eyes blink slowly at Ivo as she lightly pinches the skirt just enough for a smooth curtsey. "Princess Annalise Lancastrian, of the Castria Kingdom." she murmurs lightly while she formally introduces herself. "Not princess school, no. However I did have an etiquettes tutor. Though I suppose I'm being a bit too serious again."
Ivo Galvan Ivo, on the verge of passing out, abruptly opens his eyes at the young woman's acknowledgment of her over-seriousness, and for the first time she seems to surprise him, one dark eyebrow raising as -- still squinting a little against the sun, but not as much -- he grins up at her. He thought it more likely that he'd be scolded. It seems like this girl is an interesting one.

Turns out, more interesting than he realized.

Ivo's met more than a few princesses since the loss of his home world. Once Annalise has spent more time here, she'll likely understand. As it is, spurred on by her formality, with what strength he has Ivo forces himself to one knee and -- still smiling -- turns his previous lackadaisical posture into a passable version of a knightly bow, all without ever having to actually stand up. "And you have been taught well, your highness. Forgive my earlier jests." When he pulls himself together and starts sounding serious, Ivo actually seems rather reliable.

Then he has to reach up to stifle a yawn.


Ohh, and this headache is just too much.

"...okay, no more courtly formality until the afternoon..."

Ivo slumps back down, seemingly convinced he's sufficiently met the quota for respecting royalty. But then, there are all too many lost princesses. Best not to ask what happened to this one's kingdom, not in his current state. It's likely the same that happened to everyone else's.

"Well, serious or not," he concludes in a soft voice, eyes closing as he nestles into his folded cloak, "you're welcome here for as long as you like, Princess. The Shard Seekers HQ is open to you..."

His voice trails off again.

"...especially... if you know any hangover cures..."

They don't typically teach those in etiquette school, Ivo.


Ah, too late.

This scene contained 11 poses. The players who were present were: Ivo Galvan, Annalise