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[personal profile] from_the_west
this one's...well, start of the pride, really. lugh meeting delande. i should up icons for them at some point that is not tonight because it took me forever just to get a posting window. >=\

*****

The one they'd sent was distractingly beautiful--and young. The first part made him suspicious of what Titania might be up to--the second made him wonder what in the infernal waking dark was Oberon thinking.


A marriage match, most likely.

"You were blessed enough to be snared by their mother; may the rest of us be blessed enough not to be taken by her children." Lugh said a-loud to himself. Then he saw her take down the veil covering her hair and protecting clothes and skin alike from the dirt kicked up by travel, and he dearly hoped his impromptu words would hold.

"Which daughter is this?" He inquired of whomever wished to answer.

"Delande." was the immediate answer echoed from several directions. Granted, the answer wasn't much help to him, but apparently this one already had the interest of his fellows--and he could not find fault in them for it.

"Se maith." He said, making his decision. "We will welcome her as any other guest--we've a reputation to uphold, tá?"

He saw new grins sparked and old grins spread a trifle wider.

"...Of hospitality." He added, just to make sure they were all standing on the same side of the shield.

****

She found him later, as he suspected she would, late in the evening after the wine took hold. Lugh was familiar with the southern thinking that truth and wine walked hand in hand--everyone was, t'be honest. The idea was far older than the scholar that many humans on the other side of the veil attributed it to, older than that scholar's entire race, nearly as old as the drink itself.

So he grinned, when she poured a cup for each of them as she reclined, completely graceful and supremely at ease, just outside of arm's reach. Close enough to suggest a conversation where others would not be welcome; not so close as to enable him to touch her with his fingers without moving. Privacy, without intimacy.

"You may not wish for me to be so honest, tá?" He asked dryly, watching her pour.

"They say you have a very long tongue, Samildanach Ri. I am making sure that none of it stays dry, tá? We have many things to talk about, and I'd hate for it to become tied in a knot before we are through."

...So this would be the way of it. Very well.

"Many things are said of me; never once was a loss for words ever mentioned, tá?" He said. There was an idle warning laced through the colors as well as his words, if she cared to see and hear.

"Nil hea, but if it were convenient for you, you are likely not above using something trite and all-too-commonly said, like beauty, as an excuse." She said, eyeing him over her cup. "As every other man that fancies himself a poet in my presence."

"Ah, but I have seen such beauty that would bring swords to the hands of some Sideus Cadaen, to destroy that beauty before the pain it would cause; and bowed the heads of some others, that they be part of tending a universe that could bring forth such perfection, and tears to others still, that such would pass and never come again!" Lugh explained, making an expansive gesture. "I have found poetry suitable to encompass this and more; I would not dream of insulting that beauty by holding silent before you, nil hea."

Delande blinked at him over the cup. His smile never dimmed. To her credit, she didn't throw it at him. Interesting. Her mother would've, and likely would've followed the wine cup with a curse on him and all his daiv, too.

"...You insulted me."

"Tá?"

"Tá, you did." She said, tilting her head. "I don't think I've ever been insulted before." As if fascinated by the concept.

"Please forgive me, dear, I am not a one-sided man--I am one that gives what is given! I had no idea it was your first time, I'd have been more gentle, tá? How do you feel?" He patted the remaining space on the pillow beside him. "I could kiss it better, if you like."

"Actually I wish to throw this cup at you, lay the most horrid curse upon you that I can muster, and then go directly back home and leave you and your people to rot on the end of a Norther spear." She informed him brightly.

Good to know she hadn't fallen too far from the tree. All was still right with the universe.

"May I ask a personal question?" And then he continued before she could tell him no-- "Where is there room on you to be hiding a Norther spear? They're easily twice your own height, and I'm sure even a young lady of your talent and vigor has her limits, tá?"

Another flare, but otherwise, she didn't react as he'd thought she might. Her control and determined focus was admirable, for one so young. "I am not here to trade insults! The Northers are coming. They'll cross the mountains soon. I was sent to see if there was interest in combining forces to keep them out."

He leaned back a bit, wryly amused. "You say you are not here to trade insults. Yet, you also say that your aithre wants us to keep the Northers out of the land that he stole from Nuada. Choose a purpose and a course, Faerever, and stick with it."

"There is no insult, Samildanach-Ri. Aithre-Ri is offering to help you keep the Northers from overrunning all of Tirnanog Main, as he helped you once before to defeat Balor."

"Let Us make something very clear, Princess." Lugh smiled a terrible smile. "Twas not Oberon that found the stone for my shot. He did not draw back my hand. He did not hold Balor's head still nor keep his eye from blinking when I shot it through the back of his own head, and slew his army by his own power. Twas not your father that did help me defeat Balor, nor anyone else; it would have been done with or without his armies, and the land he stole from Nuada-Ri then, was still stolen from Nuada when Balor murdered him, and it is still counted as stolen now, with my Nuada's death avenged and the crown on my own head."

Delande stared at him for a moment, and then finally, he saw her temper.

"Feel free to come and take it back, then! You will have it for all of a day, if that, before Bjarthor the Norther Ri comes with his wolves and takes everything, down to your precious isle!" She snarled suddenly, and rose and left him, without waiting for dismissal.

Lugh reached for the wine, in order to refill his cup. At that very moment, she returned, only to snatch the jug away, along with the cups, and flounce off again.

He looked after her for a moment, blinking, and then laughed, and said her name again, softly, spreading the sound of it through his fanned fingers, studying the colors of it. Delande. Bright-sparking fire of the gods, indeed. This should be interesting--nearly as interesting as the Northers actually having someone mad enough to claim a crown, or at least, the rumor of one.
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