|A Father's Prerogative|
|Summary:||Garett and Sela have some catching up to do.|
|Date:||19 August 2012|
|A Room, Seagard's Inn|
|It's a room.|
|August 19, 289|
It was perhaps a point of contension when Mistress Gytha — the old, jovial, almost grandmother-like chaperone that was assigned to Sela — announced they were heading to Seagard. That meant saying goodbye to all her little friends and grumpily packing up her belongings for the long ride to the port city. She hadn't seen her father in a long time, and that was just not how it was done — or so Gytha said. The pair arrive in Seagard without much fuss. Sela's fat little pony trots merrily beside Gytha's old mare, making them a rather odd couple of riders. The mistress is chatting merrily about the reconstruction of the neat little port town, and Sela is nodding with dutiful regard. "Yes, Mistress Gytha," she chimes occasionally. When they finally arrive to the inn, Sela is certain if the old maid comments one more time on the neatness of the hewned stone, she might kill her. It is some relief when they enter the inn and head up to her father and stepmother's rooms. Sela adjusts the white and midnight blue dress before Gytha knocks on Garett's door.
Garett still seems like seawater. He hadn't been in his room very long, as evidenced by the one large duffle that's been uncerimoniously tossed on his bed. Dried salt cakes his boots which he's currently in the process of pulling off. Over a week at sea has given him something of a grizzled, scruffy look. No point in shaving on ship. The armor, which wasn't needed in any fashion had already been brought up to the room, contained in a small crate. But flanged mace Guilt is set against the wall by the edge of his bed. That, during his trip, was carried on him. Just because the Ironborn had been driven back, didn't make them any less of a threat.
With a grunt, he manages one boot off by the time he hears the knock. Rubbing at the bags under his eyes from nights of swaying sleep, he lurches up to his slightly now-off balanced feet and moves to open the door. He blinks by the sight of his daughter. "Sela." He rubs at his face in an attempt to wake up. "Please, come in."
"Papa," Sela says cheerfully, those big and blue eyes brightening with her own smile. She does not curtsey even as Gytha does, stepping forward with that innate grace to stand up on her tiptoes to press a kiss to Garett's cheek without a care for the scruff. Briallyn's influence and her own recent lessons have definitely left their mark on young Sela Hill. Those boy's clothes have been traded in for dresses — even if they are lightweight and simple affairs with very little embellishing. Her dark curls are a bit neater and pinned back out of her freckled face. There is something a bit more grown-up about her instead of the broody smallfolk girl presented to him months ago. Her nose wrinkles a bit, and her Northern tones note obviously, "You smell like fish."
"Better than looking like one." Garett guesses at, tone unsure, beginning at the title granted to him. But he musters up a smile for her, then inclining his head to Gytha. "Mistress Gytha. Thank you for looking after Sela during my unplanned trip." Faithful service is always paid by Garett, just ask Bri's handmaiden. Producing a pouch, he takes a small handfull of silvers and sets it into the older woman's hand. "Take the rest of the night to yourself. I'd like to spend some time catching up with my daughter." Taking care of that, he gives another nod and smile before quietly closing the door. "You two were quicker than I thought. I didn't think the message would reach you so fast. Haven't had the chance to really clean up after arriving in port." Dropping back down into a chair, he looks up at her. "I'm sorry about all this. Probably the worst timing I've ever really run into."
Gytha bubbles brightly at the silver and the night off, bustling out with a kind of cheer that is too young for her old bones. Sela looks after her with a touch of amusement, but as the door shuts and provides the two with privacy, the bastard girl looks back around to him. "It's alright," she says with the smallest shrug. It takes her a few moments before she decides to sit down herself, claiming a chair adjacent to his. The skirts are still a bit new to her, and she has to awkwardly smooth them out once she is seated; her feet tuck under the chair, boots hooking on the lower rung. "I wouldn't say it is the worst timing ever… bad, but not worst." She offers him a reassuring smile. "And I think Mistress Gytha was trying to get through Stonebridge before tensions get too high," she offers as explaination to why they got here so fast. There is a brief pause of thought before she offers a small smile. "Who gets to catch up who first?"
"I've only heard whispers of that, most of the details I'm going to assume were cut apart before actually reaching the Crag. Something about the Charltons and the Naylands probably fighting over my sister's claims and.." he says in a flat voice, puncuated by the roll of his eyes, summing up his opinion on the matter. "No matter." He looks at the dress, then her up and down. "Didn't expect to see you in a dress unless you were tied to it. But. I think we have more catching up on than just the past month or so. We really didn't get a chance for that when you first arrived, did you?" he observes, scratching at the scarred portion of his face covered by dark blonde face stubble. "But, we'll let beauty before age start right now. Besides, I think hearing what you've been up to would more entertaining then me describing time in a ship then family members discussing house matters."
Sela laughs, almost awkwardly. "I've noticed nobles like seeing other nobles, even half-noble bastards, in dresses. And Gytha says I look better, though I won't let her get rid of my breeeches. You can't climb around in a dress." Thieving fingers twist themselves up together, and Sela looks aside as she considers his questions. "It's alright. S'not like there is tons to talk about when it comes to the Finger." She pauses before she starts talking in more present terms. "Well, I've met some friends… a girl, a bard actually, named Aylene. She wanders all around the cape with Master Faulon. And she's got this beau named Nathaniel Corbitt," there is a hint of distaste in her tones. "He's a bit of a sop, honestly. A noble wannabe," she says to the bonefide noble, though she only blushes vaguely at that comparison. "I mean, a cliche noble wannabe. I don't find you a sop," she defends, perhaps weakly. Toying a bit of fabric, she continues onward. "And there's another girl named Catryn Taken." Crimson starts to rise on her cheeks as she tries to casually note, "And this boy… named Darek Boldt. He's from the Bracken, and he's a squire… He plays the fiddle."
The Westerlord knight chuckles a bit. "Heh, cliche. Yeah, I've seen a few like that. Oh, but if you were to ask any other noble, they'd probably say something overly stuffy and complimentary, but they probably think I'm a sop too." Garett replies, humor touching the corners of his mouth. "I liked your breeches just fine, by the way. Practical. Useful. Maybe other nobles should worry more about their own children than thinking how mine should dress. As long as you don't prace about nude, what you wear is your choice." Listening then to her list off the people she's met, he watches her with a slow, casual look. Until about the end. After she's done, he nods. "Sounds like you've got something of a motley crew going on. Bri hasn't mentioned any trouble yet, so either you're good at keeping it low key, or there hasn't been any at all. And we both know what Ser Tristan's response is to the word 'trouble'." Getting up for a moment, he turns to work his way through his duffle. "So," he continues even while sifting through belongings. "I suppose this Darke Boldt, then." he considers. The large mace he named Guilt, blackened steel and forboding sit against the end table, which just so happens that Garett taps an errant finger against the armor spike at the handle. "Has he tried kissing you yet?"
Sela brightens, though the corner of her mouth lifts with a smirk — the exact same smirk her mother would wear. "I'm not sure they would appreciate me speaking on your behalf, Papa, but I can direct them to you if they start giving me shit." Her big, blue eyes shine with happy amusement — a warmth for her father with his approval of his breeches. Then she offers a small laugh. "I dunno if they are really my crew. Aylene wanders about everywhere, and Nathaniel the Sop is a courier for the Terricks, so he's also constantly on the move." She watches him begin to shift about his belongings, and the tapping to the armor spike incites that smirk again. "He has," she says a bit cautiously. "He kissed my cheek… first."
"Nobles are always spouting shit, it just depends on which ones spew the least. Usually those are the ones worth speaking to. The rest more often then not have their either too high in clouds or buried in sand." This is probably the reason, one of many, that Garett has so few friends within the nobility. "Either way, you have people to spend time with. I'd rather running about with people then by yourself. Idle hands and whatnot. The confirmation of affection causes his finger to stop tapping. "That so?" Another nod. "Bold, I should say, especially when I've already made it clear of your acknowlegement. I'm assuming I haven't met the boy yet considering my absence?"
"He is a very nice boy," Sela says reproachfully. "He's training to be a knight." And by her tone, she believes that striving to be a knight ranks him above other common boys. She picks a bit at her skirts, and shakes her head a bit to his question. "You haven't met him… not yet. You can though, if you want to." She worries at her lower lip, gnawing on it a bit. "I've kissed another boy before. Up at the Flint's Finger. And Darek is a lot nicer than he was, and he has tried to look out for me when I'm around and Mistress Gytha isn't about." She clasps her hands together firmly, keeping her gaze focused on him owlishly.
"I would." Garett replies, turning around with a slender bundle in his hands. "I've never been given the oppurtunity to be a protective father. Not an overly protective one mind you, but one none the less." His lips thin out at that statement, maybe regret. "Whatever you've done in the past at the Finger, is not for me to judge. I didn't know you then. And who you choose to court is your choice, Sela, not mine. Seen it far too often happen to decent people. But I can promise you this; who you want is something you will make on your own. Wether or not I approve, I will have to accept that. That doesn't, however, give you a free ride to whatever you wish. It's something I had to learn the hard way, so the same will be for you. But if you like this boy enough to tell me about him, that just means that you have the courage to voice it and belief that he is as good as you say he is. Some daughters don't even give their father's that, easier to just hide it." Retaking his seat, he hands the bundle over. "Now, some might gasp at a gift like this, but I want you have it, even if it means hiding it."
It's nothing extravagent, as anything Garett gives usually has a point behind it. And this is no different. It's a dagger. Nothing large, fit more for a young man than an adult in size. Six inch blade with a silver handguard and leather-wrapped handle. "Keep it under your dress, strap it to your thigh, I don't care. If war is to break out then…" he pauses. "..things can happen. And I won't see my own daughter defenseless."
"I don't know if it's courting," Sela fumbles with the words a bit, that blush riding up her cheeks "I do like him though. Don't love him," she points out. "But like him. We're both bastards, just not the same kind. His father was a traveling mistrel, and he wants nothing more than to prove himself as better than just a barmaid's bastard son." She actually smiles a bit. "I don't want to keep things from you, Papa. Uncle Tristan always said that an honest confession is better than a deceptive plea of innocence." She beams a bit, as if she knows Tristan will be proud that she has managed to actually heed something he said.
Then there is a gift. She subconsciously touches the necklace that he gave her last time, but this gift is not exactly the same. She reaches for it cautiously, unwrapping it with earnest interest. She blinks at what is inside. "I… don't even know how to use one of these," she says cautiously as she picks up the dagger carefully by its hilt. She looks it over, and then up at his words. "I can throw a good punch… if that helps…"
"It does, but if I've learned anything over the course of my life, Sela, is that the only person you can depend on is yourself, especially when it comes to your own safety. With exceptions. Tristan and Thanos is an exception. Bri is an exception. Desmond is an exception. Kamron and Saffron are exceptions, but considering the amount of people that I know personally, it's a very small number." Touching the handle with a finger, he taps it. "This is only for a dire situation. When your life might be in danger. Keep it secret and keep it safe and should you ever wish to know, I can teach you how to use it. I've taught Bri for the same reasons I offer it to you. Because guards can be…unreliable at times and you won't often have that luxuory. And I won't always be around." Leaning back, he gestures lightly. "Although if you like to throw around your fists, I could always invest in a pair of sap gloves for you."
Sela sits up straighter in her seat, blinking several times at his words — perhaps focused on the weight of them, the care and caution in them. She frowns a bit. "Of course," she says agreeably. "I will keep it secret and safe. I promise." She cradles it gently in her lap with a definitely sort of protectiveness. She looks up toward him with a slight purse of her lips. "Are you and Briallyn," she begins cautiously, "are you staying here in Seagard for a longer while? I know Briallyn's cousins are up at Highfield. I have seen Lady Katrin," though apparently been too scared to actually approach the noblewoman.
"Maybe I'm too bitter of an old man." Garett muses softly, an old mixture of new and old Garett. "I shouldn't be telling you things like this because things I hope will turn out better for you than they did for me. Friends are worth having and keeping close. Cherish the time you have with them, because it always may change. Because change, my dear is always happening. It's unfolding right now over Stonebridge." He sighs, as if dispelling some dark thought. "Umm, yes. I was in the process of trying to request an audience with Lord Mallister on the idea of buying a home here. I enjoy Seaguard, it's a bit like the Crag in it's own way. Secure, and the Mallisters seem content to watch the growing situation unfold. No reason to get into a fight that's not yours." The name makes him lift up his brows a little. "Lady Katrin I hadn't heard from in some time. I'll have to talk to Bri and see what she'd like to do. Nothing is set in stone. Not for some time yet. Is there something on your mind about that?"
Sela softens with a smile. "You're not bitter, Papa. Not yet. I don't think Lady Briallyn will let you get bitter. And you know if I write back to Momma about that, she'll just send Tristan back down here so we have a real example of a bitter man." She offers a brighter smile that illuminates her eyes. There is some affection there as she wraps up her new dagger in a bit of skirt, covering up the blade. She chews a bit on her inner cheek before she tilts her head a bit. "I like Seagard, but I've been spending a lot of time in Highfield. I want us to have time together," and she seems very honest in that sentiment, "but, my friends… and Darek… are up at Highfield, and I want to go back soon. Maybe you and Briallyn could come with me? You could meet Darek, and Briallyn could see her cousins."
Garett scoffs in a chuckle. "No doubt about that. I should write her. Lania, I mean." he says, slightly wistful. Amnesia keeps him from doing, and Lania is still one of the many memories that doesn't come to him yet. Maybe the man would feel it too much of an insult if he couldn't remember the mother of his child. "I don't know if I should go to Highfield right now. I don't want anyone to think I'm allying with Danae. I don't even know the woman and I don't want to give that idea with the two of us in the same place. But. For you, I'll give the matter some thought. I don't want to keep you from your friends. Though going with the intention so Bri can visit her cousins, Ilaria especially…that could work. I like the idea Sela, but let me consider it. We've both done more than our fair share of traveling recently, and I think I'd just like to sit down in one place for a bit. You could always have this Darek boy come visit you if you two fancy each other so much. Who's the knight he's squiring under?"
"She would like that," Sela says. "Momma, that is. She never said anything wrongful about you." She offers him the smallest, reassuring smile. Then she clasps her hands in her lap as he speaks on Highfield, and she starts to frown just a little bit. "Perhaps if you came up under the context of visiting with Briallyn's family… but I understand." She twists her lips a bit at his suggestion, but she answers the question first. "Ser Jac Caddock," she offers. "He was also brought up at the Bracken… Darek says that he squired under his father first, but Ser Jac's papa died and so he took on Darek." There is a pause. "But, I don't think he can come as far as Seagard. He's… his knight is also the Captain of the Guard at Highfield, and with the tensions between the Charltons and Naylands…" The words are left to hang there.
"I know that name." Garett says after a moment. "The weekend after the melee here, a week or so before you arrived. Yes, I met the man. Came off like a bard almost. Seemed to be a decent man between the ears. Like I said, I'll give it some thought, but if this is something that's important to you, I will try to go with you to Highfield. But yes, I can see how he can't really leave if his mentor is Guard Captain. As much as I wish I could move about without notice and as much as I hate to create some kind of damn story just to go along, most nobility is always looking for an ulterior motive. It's annoyning." Before he allows himself to start a rant on the matter, he shakes his head, smiling at her. "Nothing you need to worry about. We'll discuss this more in the morning. But for right now, it's been a long trip and I could use the rest."