Duty Is Heavier ...

Title: Duty is Heavier …
Emitter: -
Characters: Sandra, Rioghan
Place: Student Center - Steranko Institute
Time: Sept 30, 2010 - Evening
Summary: Rioghan comes to Sandra baring flowers and an apology. Sandra explains her understanding of duty and is given what she considers … a gift.

_( 1st Floor Student Center - Eastern Grounds - Steranko Institute )__
As you enter the first floor of the student center, the visitor's center is immediately on the right, with a campus map displayed on the wall next to it. To the right is the school's book store, with various little chotchkes with the school logo, snacks, school supplies, and books. Further back is an arcade, with a few pinball machines and video games, though most of them have been replaced with pool tables. There's also a small snack bar that sells hamburgers, pizza, and the like for those that don't want to leave their fun to head to the dining hall.

Dressed in her typical skirt plus shirt, Sandra has an added edition to her costume this day. Around her neck is a scarf, with a color matching her skirt, wrapped loosely, lightly, with a little 'poof' around her neck.

The young woman sits by herself, currently, a book open as she peers at it with an arched eyebrow as she turns the pages, shaking her head. "Interesting," she notes softly to herself as she continues to read what appears to be one of Yeates books of Irish Tales and Folklore.

Rioghan has been emersing himself into his studies now that the new school year has begun. Sunrise to sunset, with breaks for meals or his duties as a Student Advisor, he's gone back to his near obsessive levels of training. Then there are the meetings with Mr. Murphey and the trips off campus to take into consideration. In any case, it hasn't been deliberate avoidance that has kept him away from Sandra. Rioghan isn't one to avoid things that need to be addressed, so, having finally aquired a bit of time to himself, he has sought out Allesandra Job to speak with her.

The young archer enters the Student Center, having been pointed that way by a few other students as to Sandra's location. He's dressed in a blue flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up, layered over a white t-shirt, and jeans. Although, he is carrying a trio of yellow tulips wrapped with a white ribbon around the stems. Rioghan moves over to Sandra's table and stands before her, waiting to be acknowledged. When she looks at him, he lowers his head and extends the flowers to her.

As is typical, Sandra has found the book fascinating, and is oblivious to many things around her. It takes a moment before Sandra blinks, noticing a shadow cast partly over the table. Arching an eyebrow, Sandra looks up at Rioghan. Then she is studying his expression, before peering at the flowers, then looking back at Rioghan. "Mmmm, no roots. Perhaps I was overzealous giving Jonathan flowers after he was injured with the roots still intact," she notes mostly to herself.

Then Sandra offers a warm smile and motions for Rioghan to take a seat. "I hear Mister Murphey has been keeping you quite busy of late," she notes with warmness in her tone. "Actually, I've been meaning to talk to Mister Murphey. If I have made a promise to protect you, I should know what is acceptable in your culture and what is not…"

Rioghan doesn't look up straight away, keeping his blue eyes downcast. "I'm glad that you're better, Sandra," he lilts in a quiet tone, "I thought that… I was worried about you." He raises his eyes at her motion and takes a seat, gently laying the flowers on the table between them. "You gave flowers with the roots still attached? In a pot?"

He grows quiet again, briefly, then offers her a smile. "Mister Murphey would probably be more than happy to cover every bit of our history that might interest you in the slightest. Probably to the point where you'd be wishin' you had not asked him in the first place."

Brows knit as Sandra watches Rioghan, his mannerisms seem off today. "What is wrong, Rioghan? Have I already offended you?" she asks curiously, smiling absently down at the flowers.

"No, not in a pot. Just with roots attached. Someone mentioned giving flowers, but forgot to mention cutting them and buying them from someone who sells flowers," notes Sandra with a shake of her head. "Jon was gracious enough to say nothing, though when I told Liv she giggled and explained matters to me."

The young man blinks, then, shaking his head quickly. "No, Sandra. You have not offended me. You could never… You've done nothing wrong, please understand that. It is I that have wronged you, Sandra." Rioghan reaches forward to take one of her hands into both of his if she'll let him. He studies her hand for a moment, closing his eyes to enjoy the feel of it clasped between his, and then looks up at her. "As much as I would like for there to… to be more between us, I'm afraid all that I can offer at this time is friendship. And I have done a poor job at offering that."

Indeed, Sandra lets Rioghan take her hand, and her eyes lock onto his. There is a moment where Sandra seems to want to look away, but forces herself not to - the only hint in her expression of any other emotion.

Suddenly, Sandra is standing, still holding Rioghan's hand. "Walk with me?" she requests, motioning towards the stairs leading to the second level of the student center.

"Of course," Rioghan says, rising back to his own feet to follow Sandra up the stairs. He is quiet, and it is no wonder that Sandra noted something different about him. He's unusually formal today, not that the Irish youth isn't normally more formal than nearly all of his peers, but there's something about his demeanor that says he's doing something he feels he has to. Behaving in a way he feels he must. That 'weight of the world' on his shoulders that he had when Sandra first met him has returned, rather than the young man who had begun allowing himself to truly begin to relax with her.

Something's up.

But he moves easily enough after Sandra up the stairs to the second level.

_( 2nd Floor Student Center - Eastern Grounds - Steranko Institute )__
The second floor of the student center is divided by a wide hallway with a low nap grey carpet. The walls are painted eggshell white, giving the area a slightly industrial feel. On the east side of the building this is alleviated by posters covering the walls, advertising various on campus clubs. Appropriately, this side of the building is taken up by various sized meeting rooms used by the clubs, as well as the office for the on campus newspaper. To the west of the hallway are the schools administrative offices.

An eyebrow arches even further as Rioghan follows Sandra, rather than walking beside her. Considering this, Sandra walks over to the railing, so that she can easily view the world below. Then the Atlantean Princess reaches out a hand, looking behind her, and holding it out to Rioghan. "Come," she asks softly.

Then Sandra turns her attention back to the students below, waving her other hand. "This … is like a clan. You have your immediately family, and as head of the household, you are responsible for them and the rest of your clan," notes Sandra with a nod of understanding. "Their concerns, their needs, their protection falls to you. But there is more," she notes softly.

Blue eyes draw towards to the door, watching it. "You are king, you are responsible for all of the Thuatha, as you have said. Not just one clan, one house, one family. It is a weight that will break you," she notes before turning back to Rioghan.

"I swore an oath to protect you, Rioghan. And I take my oaths seriously." Sandra watches and studies Rioghan for a long moment. "Above all else, Rioghan, and whie I had allowed myself to be cursed by Hope and desiring it to be me, but … you must find someone who understands this. And is willing to /SHARE/ that responsiblity with you, to take part of that burden onto themselves. You cannot do this alone, Rioghan. And if I must assist you as friend alone, understand, I will still do so. I will not have you shattering under the weight that has been so wrongly thrust upon you so early."

Rioghan moves to join Sandra at the railing, resting his hands on it as they look down at their peers moving below. He's silent, listening to her. A quiet warrior, not quite a man and prevented by duty from being the teenager that he is… still very much a child by the standards of his race, and yet… "I know," is all he says, the words lilting and soft.

He looks at the Atlantean Princess, appreciation for her, affection, more in his eyes that he's trying to hold back. He gives her hand a soft squeeze and looks back down below. The flowers he brought are still on the table they were at, along with Sandra's book. Undisturbed and holding their table as other students pass by on their way to get snacks or play games. The Otherworldly prince speaks, "I should release you from your oath, but I don't want to. It's selfish, but I want you by my side. I…" He shakes his head, "I told Kelly Ryan that it could not be because of politics, and the same is true for you. As much as I would like it to be… and though I'm to be king of my people once there is a coronation…" If there is a coronation. "…There are some that might still consider me an outsider, because of my father. Even though the marriage between he and my mother was political, arranged. He still wasn't Tuatha. My mother was well loved, all four cuige respected her, would have followed her to the death and many did… but it's complicated. They are looking to me, but at the same time I know my worth is being weighed, measured."

There's a slightly self-depreciating smile, "I'll likely go down in the histories as 'The boy king of Chiarrai' when it comes to it. My people are very long-lived. Tell me, Sandra, if you had to wager a guess as to Larkin's age, how old would you think him to be?" He pauses, then answers, "He's ninety-eight. A year older than my mother was, and still considered young by Tuatha standards. So when you say that this has been thrust upon me early… you've no idea how right you are. But he's been doing his best to prepare me, to get me ready, and slowly increasing the number of Tuatha that know I still live. So that we can prepare. And already there is…" He turns then, reaching out to run a finger over the ring that he gave to her, "Bas nios eadroime na cleite, dualgas nios troime na an sliabh." Rioghan sighs and releases the ring, reaching a hand to cup the side of Sandra's face in an intimate gesture, his blue eyes searching hers. "Could you stand by and be a friend if I have to marry another?"

Blue eyes watch Rioghan, sinking in his face, drinking of it deeply. As the hand is cupped t her cheek, Sandra sighs, those eyes closing as she takes in a deep breath. "My father is … close to one hundred and seventy-five in the timings of the surface world," she notes to Rioghan. "And he looks the same age as Mister Murphey. So no, I could not accurately have guessed he is that old," is noted, before Sandra smiles, "I would have said he was older than he is."

Sandra reaches up, brushing fingers over Rioghan's hand, and closing her eyes briefly with a shuddering sigh. "If I must, then I must," she notes softly, before looking up at Rioghan again. "I will be by your side, in any capacity that you wish me… just know, my heart is with you always." Sandra offers a sad little chuckle, "I always knew I would marry for political reason and that my heart would not be satisfied. Now I know for certain," she offers with a shake of her head. "I am by your side. There is no where else I want to be. And Atlantis, the full weight of the kingdom, will be behind you, Young Rioghan of the Tuatha, as the rightful king of Chiarrai."

Rioghan closes his eyes, leaving his hand touching Sandra's face. Then he opens his eyes and leans forward, resting his forehead to hers, blue eyes meeting blue like the sky meets the ocean. "And mine with you," he says, tone somber, "Chaill'gra." He leans in the rest of the way, pressing his lips gently to Sandra's. It's a gentle kiss, tender, heart-felt, a little tentative, and then he pulls back and says quietly with a small smile. "The first one should have been yours."

Surely Rioghan can feel the quiver that runs through Sandra at the kiss, her eyes having closed, she knows not when. And as he pulls back, they remain closed as she exhales slowly. "That… that is a kiss?" she asks in a breathy whisper, before looking up at Rioghan, reaching out to squeeze the man's hand with an awed and tormented gaze. "My heart stands still," she murmurs, her lips curling upwards slowly. "This … this is a gift beyond joy you've given me, Rioghan. I … I do not know how to repay you. I can only say inadequate words… Thank you."

"You don't have to repay what is freely given," Rioghan says softly. The young man rests his forehead against Sandra's his own lips climbing up a little. "Aye, that was a kiss," he says quietly. "I should go get something to eat. Will you join me?"

Fingers play over Rioghan's hand softly, tenderly. "Well, be that as it may, it is only fair I should return a kiss to you … sometime," Sandra says, almost … playfully. "You are not married … yet," she notes to him.

"But not right now." Considering, Sandra stands there for a moment, before she smiles at Rioghan. "I would like that very much. I believe I shall. However, you must tell me more of your myths and legends and history. If I am to keep my oath … well, there is so much I need to learn. I'll just have to spend a good deal of time with you and Mister Murphey, I fear."

Rioghan chuckles, stepping back and… sliding his hand down to clasp Sandra's. "And so I am not," he says, feeling better about how this conversation went in the end. "I can tell you more tales over dinner." He releases Sandra's hand, however to offer her his elbow instead in a more courtly gesture, to lead the way back downstairs. Their things are gathered up, the flowers and Sandra's book, and then it is off to the Dining Hall arm-in-arm that the two go.

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