What You Can't Have

Title: What You Can't Have
Time Period: August 130, A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Everything may not be going according to plan, but at least one half of the conniving Banes siblings doesn't know that.

There's been a growing tension, a nervousness, in the Saxon house. For a long while now. But it's been a different sort of tension recently, one that's culminated in Patience doing more to appease her husband recently, which would cause her to feel even further downtrodden on any other given day, it's however been made more bearable by new circumstances. Circumstances that have put a bit of a spring to her step as she makes her way from her home in Kingsley, to her brother's. When she arrives at her door, she has to take a deep breath to steady herself. She raises her hand with the intent of calmly knocking on the door once. Maybe twice.

Instead, there's a quick succession of something like ten raps of her knuckles, excitement getting the better of her. She was not named Patience because it actually reflected on her personality.

It takes all ten of those raps before Patience can hear any sort of sound coming from within - unsurprisingly in the form of a crash of soft wood on a much harder floor. It's been just a year since Arthur had managed to "acquire" the home of his own - won after hustling a man who could no longer afford to live there out of the ownership - and still sometimes it seemed like he didn't yet know the way around the building.

"Coming, coming, keep your knickers on!" is shouted just audibly, followed by a less audible curse and what may sound like "Yes, I figured it was her, Fake". Bolts are undone, and despite that warning, the door suddenly flies open, revealing a weary looking Arthur. He leans elbow and head against the door frame, rubbing his eyes with the other before sliding on his glasses. "Hello, Patience," he says with a hint of a smile. "Come here to bother me about the kids or to go shopping again?"

"Not at all!" Patience is all smiles when her brother opens the door. Which is odd, because this is about the time she'd be fixing him with a look of concern and ask him exactly what he's up to that's got him looking so haggard. "Can't a little sister come to call on her wonderful older brother? Invite me in!" she half-requests, half-demands cheerfully.

"Someone's awful cheery," is noted with an almost suspicious tone, Arthur watching his sister for a moment. "If you're trying to game me, you know it's not going to work." Except it might. It depends. Really. "Alright then, come on in." Stepping aside, Arthur waves Patience in. Fake sits on a banister, talons dug into the wood as he watches the pair of them in the entrance. Arthur's fingers drum on the door frame a few times before he finally pushes away, facing Patience. "So, what brings you by, then?"

"Game you? I would never." She doesn't even play at offense. See? Not trying to game him! When he steps aside, she sweeps into the home. "Hello, darling," she murmurs in Fake's direction. Wealth agrees with her, to say the least. She's dressed well, and it isn't just because she's used her magic to make it so.

Married life, on the other hand… For all that she fakes it for strangers, her brother knows better. It hasn't agreed with her at all, but she swears all that privilege makes things easier. Despite the trouble, she seems not to have a care at the moment. "Offer me some wine," she dares, gaze narrowed mischievously.

The door is closed behind Patience, Arthur turning slowly on his heel to face her when she makes her next request. "What in the world has gotten into you?" he inquires as he starts past her, doing a half turn as he heads to get food and drink. A finger points a her, motioning a few times as his eyes narrow. "You're on to something, and I don't like it. Either way, I don't know that I have any wine left, but I can pour you a pint, if you'll actually drink it this time." Fake continues to watch from the banister, turning his attention towards Patience for just a moment.

Patience laughs and follows her brother, shooting a conspiratorial look to his familiar on her way past. "A pint?" she asks, "Oh, no thank you. I shouldn't." She pauses and then smirks. "Well, I can't." Her head tips to one side and she watches Arthur's face to wait and see if he catches on.

"You came all the way over here to ask me for something you can't have?" Arthur asks incredulously as he pokes his head back into view, an absolutely puzzled expression across his face. "You are absolutely daft," he remarks, completely oblivious. "Did you come over here just to chat me up, then, and brag about what you can't have? You're in too good a mood for Lord Byron to be making demands of you…"

Patience tries very, very hard to keep a straight face in the wake of Arthur's absolute ignorance. But slowly and gradually, a wide grin takes over her face. "Oh, look at you," she begins, an unmistakeable note of teasing in her voice as she approaches the man and starts straightening out his clothes out of habit. "You're so bloody cute."

Scrutinising him for a moment, she reaches to adjust his collar, and its appearance by adding an illusory bow tie. "And utterly without a clue." She tugs this quasi-imaginary bow tie between her thumb and curled forefingers on each side. "There. Now you look proper. My brother, the teacher." And she's positively brimming with pride over it, as she always is.

"Oh, really, a bow tie? Always a bow tie!" Arthur rolls his eyes at he looks down at the illusory piece of clothing. :If you must accessorise me, at least use a regular tie. It looks much more professional." He huffs a bit as he moves to take a seat, drink in hand. Fake lifts off the banister, barely manuvering past Patience as he makes his way to perch on the back of the chair. Hand against chin, elbow resting against knee, Arthur looks puzzled, lost in thought as he looks on ahead. "Without a clue?" he repeats, mostly to himself, eyes moving up to Patience. "A clue of what? Why you're here bragging about not being able to-"

And he stops, eyes widening a bit as he sits up a bit, pointing at Patience. "You!"

"Bow ties are cool!" Patience defends, but waves away the magic, settling instead for a real tie that brings out the colour of his eyes. He can have it his way this time. She watches him as he puzzles out why she's here acting the way she is.

And when he comes to this shocking revelation, she lets out a squeak of delight. "Me!" She catches herself, hand fluttering to her stomach. "Well— Us."

With a snap of his pointing finger, Arthur hops up and out of his seat, arms outstretching in a manner that barely avoids knocking Fake from his perch. "Patience Elvira Banes, you amazing woman, you! Would you look at that!" he exclaims as he walks up to her, arms around her. For all the times it can be hard to tell what Arthur's really thinking, the hug seems genuine enough. "Next time you have news like this, forget what I've taught and just bloody say it. I hate guessing games." Yes, Arthur's aware of the irony. No, he doesn't dwell on it. "I'm… surprised, to say the least," he says once the initial bit of excitement has passed.

Patience throws her arms tightly around Arthur in return. "Byron doesn't even know yet," she whispers excitedly. "Hell, nobody knows. I haven't even told Mum. She suspects, though. She's smart. She knows I've been trying." She leans back and shrugs her shoulders. "Only took us three years to manage it."

An errant strand of hair is brushed out of Arthur's face by his endlessly doting sister. "You're going to be an uncle," she tells him. "Oh, the very best uncle. You'll be positively brilliant at it."

"Too smart for her own good, sometimes. And trying? So, I'm the last and first to know, then?" Not that Arthur would have really cared - in truth he probably would have dismissed such news as boring and gone back to whatever he was doing. Nor does he really care - but his sister doesn't need to know that. "I guess it's too late to ask if you're sure about this, then. Ah, well."

He rolls his shoulders a bit at his sister's appraisal, the energy level slowly returning, at least for him, where it had been before. " An uncle. I'll be an awful Uncle and you know it, I'm just not the type. Not that I have much choice, I figure."

"You'll be wonderful! You tell such stories." Which is both insult and praise in one neat bundle, but reads mostly like the latter in this case. Her own excitement is slowly beginning to wane, however, and Patience fixes Arthur with a serious look. "You'll be wonderful because that's what I want for you."

What she says in words is entirely different from what she says in meaning. Which is that she means for him to stick to this honest life he's claiming to lead. Patience smiles again, "No, you really don't have any other choice."

"You're the storyteller, not me." Arthur seems firm on this fact, his expression flattening a bit as he looks down at his sister. "Best I can do is entertain with a well picked pot or an over enthusiastic wall clock." He heaves out a sigh as he turns and returns to his seat, slinking down into it.

What his sister wants for him is rarely what Arthur wants for himself, and the look on his face says that's all that's on his mind at the moment. "I'll give it a go," he concedes in a quieter voice, looking up at his sister from his seat. "For you. I suppose I'm still paying off that favour, aren't I?" This said with a smirk - a joke.

"It will mean a lot to me." Solemn, she pulls up a chair so she can sit across from her adoptive brother. "Things are going to get better now." The promise is more for Patience herself than it is for Arthur. "Once Byron has an heir, he'll have less to worry about. And I'll of course have an irrefutable claim to a share of the business, being mother of that heir."

Pale green eyes settle steady on blue. "Pregnancy was hard on Mum. I'm going to need you a lot more in the coming months than I have in a while. I mean, I could hire someone to help me out, but…" Patience smiles tightly, and it doesn't reach her eyes. "I don't trust anybody else."

"And you trust me? I thought you'd learned better than that," is both a joke and not, and stands somewhere between an amused tone and a dismissive one. "I think you're stronger than mum, personally. But if you need help, you know you can ask me." For most things, at least. "You make a good point, though. About the heir." He leans back in his chair a bit more comfortably, relaxed. The point she makes is what the goal was all along, after all. "We'll cross bridges when we come to them, though. Unless you need something from me now?"

"Just your promised support." He's right, of course. For all that she trusts him, she knows that she can also trust him to be dishonest. "You're the only one who knows why I got married. So yeah. I trust you. Even Mum and Dad think I'm in love." The opposite could not be more true. "Do you know he told Dad he's crazy about me when he asked if he could propose to me?"

Patience leans forward, a conspiratorial air to the wry smile. "I'm good." Tricking her husband into loving her. Unfortunately, now he's just crazy, if you ask her opinion. Or rather, if she chooses to be honest about that opinion. Lower lip is drawn between teeth and worried at for a moment. "Do you think I'll be a good mum?"

"Sometimes, I think you are too," Arthur admits, quirking an eyebrow up at Patience, "So, yes, I'd say you are good, dear. To be honest, by now, I'm a bit surprised that hasn't all worked out like some ruddy fairytale or something." Fingers dig into the armrests of his seat and he pushes himself back up, standing just milimetres away from Patience. "If anyone'll be a good mum, Patience, if you. An' that, for once, is the honest to god truth. I mean, you have Mum to look to if you ever need any tips, too. I think you're pretty well set. I think we all are, really." Meant on so many levels, as slowly Arthur moves to her side and drapes an arm around her shoulder. "So, we can't have a drink. That's our usual way of celebrating out."

Some of that seriousness is banished by Arthur's assurances. "Thank you… Even if I'm rubbish, at least Mum'll be the best gran Cheshire's ever seen." In typical fashion, she's ready to downplay her own strengths, when she isn't being cheeky. Which she is by the time he's sidled on up. "I knew this baby thing would throw a spanner into our lifestyle," she quips, eyes sparkling.

"Come off it, you'll be fine. I think you just have to worry about Fake. Poor child might be scared witless of him." It's the other one that Arthur worries about, the father. While neither particularly struck him as the parenting type, Byron far less so than Patience. "You're much more excited about this that I would have thought," he notes again - particularly considering her apparent admission about not being in love with Byron, even after the last few years. "Well, you're the one we have to… watch out for now. You pick the celebration. Just you and me. We can do something with the families later."

"I wasn't scared of him," Patience points out, kissing the air toward the bird. "Was I, darling? Not at all." Oh, the trouble Arthur would be in if his sister could actually communicate with his familiar. "I'm ready for this," she admits. "It's the logical next step, isn't it? Besides, that was part of the way I wormed myself into my dear mother-in-law's heart. I promised to populate Cheshire county with a brood of little Saxons."

But it is cause for celebration. For all that there's more to it than it would appear on the surface, she is happy. "Will you take me dancing?" Patience asks with the utmost seriousness. "Byron never takes me anymore." She smiles tightly, "It's an activity reserved for nights at the pub with his whores."

"You weren't a baby, and he was just a sparrow then," Arthur points out with a grin, craning his head over towards Fake. "Oh, shut up. You're horrifying and you know it, you prat. God forbid you be in the mood for- fine, fine." Arthur lets out a long sigh, shaking his head as he looks back to Patience. "A brood. Lord. Is that how it's going to be, then?"

He purses his lips a bit as he tilts his head at Patience. "He makes you dance with his whore? Euphemism or not, Patience, there's some things I don't need to know. Ever. Please." He taps his hand down on her shoulder twice, before pulling away a bit and motioning towards the door. "But sure. Come on, let's go dance. It'll be a grand time."

"It was your idea, this marriage thing. You really should have considered the consequences." She'd never let on that she's doing anything but joking about this. This was her con, too. One she embraced and has to see through, for better or worse. "Tell him, Fake. This whole brood business has him at its root." Which is also not a euphemism, surprisingly.

Patience winces and makes a disgusted sound in the back of her throat. "No, stupid. He only dances with whores now. I'm meant to stay at home and simply wait for him to stumble back at night. It's a miracle he gets any business done at all, I swear. I'm half convinced he'd have lost control of the trade after his father died if not for me." A shudder runs through her body. For a moment she considers accusing him of having said that to dissuade her from wanting to go dancing at all, but she can't let him wiggle out of it this easy.

Accepting his hand, Patience rises to her feet. "You should ask them about it sometime, your friends." The whores. Same difference. "Not about those activities. Stop reading into everything I say. I'm the virtuous one, remember? Just… Ask them how much Byron likes his drink. You should join him sometime for a pint. See if you can get him talking. I could use the ammunition."

"Just making a joke, I promise," Arthur replies with a quick laugh. "I can't truly believe he loves you, if that's the case, though," Arthur almost seems to grumble the words out as his expression sours just enough to be noticeable. "I could always tell them not to, you know. I'm sure I can offer up more than he can, in the end. I have as much on them as I do everyone else." He pauses, looking back at her with a large grin. "Whores are a chatty bunch, after all, if you can make it worth their while. And that is not a euphemism."

The idea of taking Byron makes Arthur feel a little sick, but he tries not to show it, instead just shrugging. "Or you could just let me into his room one evening while he's out. But sure. I can get him out for a night, if you want."

"I think he was in love with the idea of me, at first. Then the chase ended, and…" Patience's mouth turns upward like a smile, but the whole tenor of her conversation is too sardonic for anything so genuine. "Well, now I'm pregnant, so. I'm still doing something right." She does manage a laugh about whores being a chatty bunch. "No, no. Let him talk to them, and they can talk to you in return. It works out rather well for me that way, actually. I don't need the romance. Not anymore." The attempts at a smile fade entirely. "It was fun while it lasted."

But his offer to be let into the room causes Patience to stop in her tracks. She place a hand against his chest and fixes him with a gaze, and a seriousness reserved only for the most dire moments. "That's my home, too. Trust me, brother. You don't want to know what goes on in there." It's doubtful she means just in their bedroom. "Just talk to him. I'm curious to know how he… behaves with you. It will be very telling."

Patience heaves a great sigh. "I promised myself this visit wouldn't be about business." Their less than legitimate business. To her knowledge, the last con they'll ever run. The only con either of them is running. "You're out of that game anyway. So let's just forget about it for now. I want you to spin me about the floor until I'm dizzy."

"Fair enough," Arthur is willing to concede, dipping his head a bit. "No more business, simply fun, then?" He releases Patience's hand, clapping his own together and pointing at the door. "Come on, then!" he says as he looks back at his sister, motioning her on with the other hand. "If he can't give any fun to be had, then I'll do it instead. How's that sound? I'll be a nice relief for us both, I'm sure. A break from the droll life of marriage for you, and a break from the droll life of teaching for me. Yes! I think that sounds fantastic."

"Fantastic," Patience repeats and moves toward the door. "Sounds like a plan." She stops alongside her brother so she can get up on her toes and drop a kiss on his cheek. "Thanks for sharing this with me. Just act surprised when Mum tells you." She grins slyly at that and pulls open the door to let herself out of the house, expecting Arthur to follow on her heels.