July 24, 2013

In Which Florian Is Plagued by the Vicious Falsehoods

April 11, 1182

"Not like that! Like this!" Florian swung one leg about, turning in the process, body pulsing with the imaginary--yet catchy--beat. The chicken just kept pecking at the ground. They did say that talent couldn't be taught, but this particular pupil wasn't even trying. "You're not even listening, are you?"

The chicken clucked, head bobbing out-of-time as it strutted away on its two left three-toed feet. In hindsight, Florian ought to have known that the donkey would have been a better bet. "Good riddance. You're a terrible dancer anyway."

And--figured--the bird zigged and zagged somewhat, the best moves it had managed all afternoon.

Eh. He could take or leave the chicken. The fact remained that it was a perfect day for dancing. The sun was out and the snow was gone, but the April air was still crisp enough that overheating was no issue. Tetran Keep itself was a sleepy sort of quiet, with Sparron up and about and going over the accounts, Camaline having taken the kids to a play-date at Veldora, the baron still away on his out-of-the-blue mystery mad dash to Dovia. Florian was alone, but not lonely. And no one was watching.

"Florian?"

...or maybe he wasn't alone. Well, not like he'd ever really cared about people watching.

The baron unlocked the inner stable gate and pushed through, an attractive woman trailing with an infant in hand. Odd. Doorstep baby season wasn't due to start for a few weeks yet. "Florian, what are you doing?"

"Well, I was trying to teach that chicken a new dance I made up." It clucked again; he glowered, though a pause in his moves was not in order. "But it's a useless piece of meat. You should have it for supper tonight. How was your trip? And hello, pretty lady!" he added for the woman's benefit. Damn. If only he could have showed her a couple moves instead of the chicken.

"Good to see you again, Florian," she replied, stiff but cordial.

And not entirely honest. "'Again'? I think I would have remembered you."

She frowned, bottom lip sinking to a beautiful pout. The baron was a less attractive brand of unamused. "Well, you must not have. You met Renata when she was here last June, remember?"

Last June? Nope, he'd been around all of June. Surely he would have noticed and recalled any ethereal beauty who'd turned up. "Forgive me, my lady, but if I have ever seen you in my life, it would have been during my teenage years, in a dream, and naked."

The woman's eyes narrowed. In near unison, the baron's lip twitched. "Might I request that you not make such comments about my wife?"

"Your what now?"

He looked at the lady again, then back to the baron. Back and forth again. Had he just heard what he thought he'd heard? He'd thought he'd heard... "What? Really? When did this happen?"

"Last June."

June again? Whatever his game was, the baron needed a new angle. Florian damn well remembered June--and he would have remembered the baron getting married in June. July, maybe not so much... but June? Fuck, June might have been yesterday. There had been no weddings yesterday.

Not that he'd been told, anyway. "You got married and you never mentioned it?"

"What are you talking about? I told you the very next morning." No. You. Did. Not. "And I've mentioned it several times since. How is this a surprise to you?"

"We did debate keeping it a secret, but we opted against it." Renata, though Florian did not generally make a point to disagree with baronesses who weren't Medea, was wrong. They had, very clearly, opted for it. "Octavius told me that pretty much everyone in Naroni knew--and of course, everyone in Dovia knew once I started showing."

Well, that explained the baby. "So you got married, and you had a kid, without even giving me fair warning? Damn it, you'd better not be expecting any wedding presents from me after this!"

"You already gave me a wedding present!" The baron groaned, though Florian could not for the life of him figure out why. If he'd given any presents in June, he would have recalled what they were; somehow, he doubted that the baron had been the recipient of that pink toy rabbit. "As for the baby, I didn't know about her myself until just before I left, but surely Sparron or Camaline or somebody would have told you why I'd gone?"

"Nope. I just assumed that you were on a quest for some superior magic mushrooms. In my mind, you were wearing a red hat and jumping on turtles." The baron blinked. Florian supposed that one was justified. "I have no idea why. But no--nobody said anything about you having another kid. And nobody said anything about you being married either."

"For Christ's sake, Florian--I told you a thousand times if I told you once."

"But you didn't tell me once!" That's what I've been saying this entire time!

"I told you many more times than once!" Vicious falsehoods. The baron sighed--good. Florian would take that as an admission to his horrendous lies. "God, I don't have time to deal with this. We need to make some adjustments to the nursery. Prior's still sleeping in his big boy room just fine?"

Florian scowled. "I don't know, I'm not his parents. Not that anyone tells me anything these days, apparently."

"Oh, shut up. We tell you everything." Hmph. Said the man who had never once given an answer to the question of Holladrin's breasts sans corset. "But anyway, one of the stablehands said that Thetis was here a few days ago, dropping off some old baby booties for Clia? Thank her for us, all right?"

Well. Now that stung. "Thetis knew? And she never mentioned it?"

NEXT CHAPTER:

5 comments:

Van said...

Looks like the Blogger/Photobucket combination is picking fights with Firefox again. *sigh* Everything looks to be there in Chrome, though. I have no doubt that this will reconcile itself, but it's still annoying.

Just as a heads up, Friday's update may have to wait until Saturday.

morgaine2005 said...

OH MY GOD. The FLORIAN!!!!! Excuse me while I die laughing!

I don't even know where to start with this. "Doorstep baby season wasn't due to start for a few weeks yet"? Or how about, "Hello, pretty lady!" which put me completely in mind of Fezzick in The Princess Bride. Although the Florian-Fezzick similarities pretty much end there ...

Or how about trying to teach the chicken to smustle? You're KILLING me, Van!

And I cannot wait to find out how it is that Florian doesn't know/has no memory of Octavius getting married. I see Florian as having the type of memory that is more apt to hold onto things than let them go. You never know when something might be useful and/or embarrassing.

Preferably embarrassing, knowing Florian. ;)

But I did check, and there seems to have been neither hide nor hair of Florian back in June ... so it's possible he was never told ...

Tee hee, can't wait to see where this goes. :D

Van said...

Glad I could amuse. XD

Originally, Florian was just going to be smustling by himself, but that deco chicken was in the shots, so I figured I had to use it somehow... :D

Florian has an excellent, excellent memory for little details, particularly little details of the embarrassing variety. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if the things he forgets tend to be big.

But yep, we the audience didn't see Florian then, so it's possible that Octavius and Renata are just messing with him (or think he knows, but are wrong). Thetis will probably be the litmus test, since I can't really see her pulling such a stunt on anyone.

I have been looking forward to this little mini-arc for a while now! It will span to the post after next. :)

Winter said...

She came! Yes!

Does Tetran Keep even have guards, or do they just stick Florian out front to dissuade people from bothering to attack? I love that man so much.

The Super Mario reference was hilarious. Fast forward about eight hundred years and Florian is probably haunting the halls of Nintendo, smashing consoles and demanding his cut.

I can't wait to see where this mismatched memory arc is going!

Van said...

Yep! :)

Florian could be a security system in his own. XD But I do think that every castle has at least some guards on payroll, especially the major Keeps, even though the odds of anyone wanting to invade Naroni are not exactly high.

Perhaps Florian is why the majority of Wii titles seem to be gimmicky cash-ins on preteen pop-culture? I don't think the Ghost of Florian would bother making any claims to those. XD