|A Peaceful Place|
|Summary:||It turns out there really is nowhere a woman planning a wedding can go for some peace and quiet.|
|Lichyard — Four Eagles Tower|
|The stone here gives way to more carefully tended grass and the plots of the deceased members of the Terrick family. Headstones dot the area with flowers clipped and placed at a few of them. To the side, built into the wall, is a locked gate that descends under the castle to the crypt where the House Lords are entombed.|
|15 October 288|
It's a little overcast in Terrick's Roost, rain almost threatening to dampen the spirits of those just beginning to arrive for the wedding. The keep is bustling now, last-minute preparations underway for the rush of guests keeping everyone busy. Usually, Anais can be found zipping from one end of Terrick's Roost to the other, seeing to last-minute details and smoothing ruffled feathers when she can. Every now and then, though, she manages to make an escape. This time, she's moved to the Lichyard, though the presence of a Banefort guard and handmaid at the entrance let anyone know where she is. Quiet, she stands near the locked gate that leads to the family crypts, looking in with a pensive furrow of her brows.
It is an odd place for a bride to be to find a quiet moment, but Avinashi Ruhi makes no complaint as her investigation as to the whereabouts of Anais Banefort lead her to the Lichyard. She is in her usual bright silks, dark blue and silver today, anklets chiming a cheerful counterbeat to the sad and solemn rhythm of this place. Still, she makes her way through the graves and over to where Anais stands. "A strangely peaceful place, the graves of those who have gone before us," she offers by way of greeting.
Anais looks over at the chiming sound, a faint smile touching her features when she recognizes the other woman. "It is," she agrees, letting her hand trail down the cold iron of the grate before she steps back. "It's…Well. It's a way of trying to mentally adjust to everything. If all goes well, and as planned, then one day I'll be buried here. Hopefully one day in the distant future, of course," she adds, smile quirking once more. "Was there something you needed me for?"
"Of course," Avinashi agrees for burials and distant futures. "No, my lady, nothing. I only thought I might, perhaps, offer what services I may to you. I know that with the wedding so close, there is little that remains to be organized and carried out, but if there is any task in which I might assist, I only wished to let you know that I would be most willing."
"Oh." There's a flicker of surprise across Anais' features, her brows rising slightly, before she looks around, as though something is going to present itself in the middle of the lichyard. "I don't know," she muses. "I mean, it always- Well, it seems like everything's in order until it suddenly isn't," she explains, smile tight. There's a moment's pause, and the smile fades to uncertainty. "Did Jacsen send you?"
Avinashi smiles faintly as she shakes her head. "No, my lady, he did not. I make this offer freely and without instruction. I shall certainly be at your disposal if something that is in order… becomes not in order."
"I…appreciate that," Anais smiles crookedly to the other woman, letting out a soft breath and glancing toward the entrance to the lichyard. "I think the wedding things are all right for now, though. It's why I thought I might slip away for a bit. I hadn't been here yet. And I thought that maybe if I could get into the mindset of being a Terrick, then maybe…" She trails off, lifting one shoulder in a rueful shrug. "Jaremy was easy to understand. Jacsen seems to be a bit more complex."
"I cannot say, my lady," Avinashi replies softly as she studies the crypt before them. "I did not known the young lord over well, though I do feel I know Lord Jacsen enough to suggest that perhaps I understand him."
"Do you?" Anais reaches up to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear, then lowers her hands to wipe them at her skirt. "Can I confess myself envious?" A smile touches one corner of her lips, wry, as she steps away to wander through the stones of the yard, fingertips brushing over them as she passes. "Any advice?" she asks over her shoulder.
"If you like, my lady," Avinashi says with a small nod, "though I offer, that perhaps you may wish to confess yourself fortunate instead. As I have said, my lady, any task in which you may need my assistance…" Her lips lift a little for the request for advice. "Honesty and sincerity are traits which my lord greatly admires and which he finds difficult to see in the majority of those with whom he must speak to and work with. If you can offer him such, you will win his admiration and, in time, his trust."
"… whose trust?" Jacsen can be heard to enquire, just on the edge of polite volume, though quite visible to eyes turned in his direction. The softer earth of the lichyard, as opposed to the stern stone of courtyards and tower interiors, make his passage less obvious than it os often wont to be, and he espies both women with a small smile upon his lips. "Forgive the eavesdropping. I heard tell you were both here…" He lets the rest speak for itself.
"So I must extend my trust to him first," Anais mumurs, smile quirking, though she ducks her chin. Whatever she might say about that, though, is cut short by the arrival of the man himself, her gaze snapping up even as a flush brightens her cheeks. "My lord," she greets, fingers closing on her skirts for a flick that suggests a curtsey without much else in the way of motion. There's a glance to Avinashi, considering, before she looks back to Jacsen. "Your trust, actually."
"An evesdropper's trust, it so seems," chides the Dornish girl, even as she turns and offers Jacsen a curtsy of her own. "You have interrupted two women in important conversation, my lord. But we shall, of course, forgive you as you bring the pleasure of your company. You are well, I do hope?"
"Whatever would you do with such a thing?" Jacsen asks with a light touch of humor in his voice, his steps slowing as he comes nearer the two of them. He smiles as he glances between them, though it's Avinashi's rebuke that makes him chuckle. "I appreciate that you would forgive me for so egregious an invasion. Seeing you both, I simply could not resist myself."
Anais quirks a brow at Jacsen's question. "Build something, I suppose," she answers, watching him. "I hope everything is well with you?" she asks then, just a little awkward with caution. "No disasters that need our immediate attention, I hope?"
The answer to 'what', Avinashi leaves to Jacsen's bride-to-be. "Then do not resist, my lord, but join us and give us a little cheer to brighten this somber place. Barring," she nods courteously to Anais, "any pressing disasters, of course."
Jacsen glances about the lichyard, and then back to the two women, shaking his head lightly. "Cheer, to this place? Hmm. I was wondering what could have brought you both out here… surely it is not the only place to find decent discussion today?" He lets out a slight breath and shakes his head. "No disasters, nothing like that. Jarod is home, thank the Seven, and now we focus on the nuptials on the horizon. But no disasters."
"I saw him," Anais nods to Jacsen, smile easing slightly. "He seems…At peace. It was reassuring." She glances toward the gate to the place where the lords and ladies of Terrick's Roost lie then. "I've passed this place so many times," she explains. "And I thought…I thought that as I'm going to be here for the rest of my life…I thought that maybe spending a little time here would help get me in the right mindset for- For everything. To remind myself that this is my home now. And will be."
"Not the only place," Avinashi concedes, "but a fine and private place, certainly. And like as not, a place where one is not likely to be intruded upon. Or rather," she chuckles, "less likely."
"Mm, I've put that notion to the test," Jacsen remarks to Avinashi, smirking slightly. Though it is fair to say his expression sobers some when he addresses Anais. "That does not seem like a bad idea. I don't come here often, but when I do, it is fair to say that it is a… grounding experience. As you shall one day rest here, along with myself, and Seven willing those of our blood… it should not be so foreign to you." He smiles again, lightly. "If you can manage it, at least."
"It's a pleasantly quiet place," Anais laughs softly to Jacsen's last words, smile slipping crooked. "If nothing else, I will be happy to be here if only because anyone who comes with something urgent for my attention may at least speak softly when they arrive here. It makes a difference, you know," she adds with a smile for Avinashi. "I'd rather hear the emergency in a quiet tone than shouted from across the courtyard."
"And be required to see to the mending of your own ears as well as whatever catastrophe it was in the first place," Avinashi agrees, smiling softly. She studies the crypt thoughtfully. "So interesting, and different, each time I look on these places. To imagine bodies set in the ground."
"How are the remains of the dead tended where you come from?" Jacsen wonders of the Dornish woman, leaning heavily on his cane as he takes a step forward, needing to shift some of the weight put upon his legs. "I can see the merits of hearing of such here, though I wonder if it is not quite the place? The dead are meant to be past their troubles, having finally earned some rest. We'd not want them to feel burdened, should they be listening?"
"All the more reason for people not to bother me," Anais smiles crookedly to Jacsen, winking at the lord. "Perhaps they'll just stand outside, anxiously boiling over wondering when they'll be able to catch me to inform me of…Honestly, I can't remember what the most ridiculous so-called emergency has been so far. Probably something to do with the type of stitch on the chemise. Or which tapestry to hang in the bedroom." But she's easily distracted by tales of Dorne, turning her attention to Avinashi once more. "Is it burning?" she asks, curious.
"Just so, my lady," Avinashi agrees. "We burn our dead and scatter their ashes across the river. A traveling people mark no graves."
"A tapestry emergency? For staff you bring from a place as dire named as Banefort," Jacsen remarks with no small amount of humor, "You would think they might have some sense of what requires urgency." His lips quirk. "Unless, of course, Banefort earns its name from the wrath of its lords and ladies over the state of their wall hangings…?" He chuckles quietly at that, and nods at Avinashi's explanation. "That seems to make sense, especially given how holy you hold the river to be?"
"Everyone loses their heads when it comes time for a wedding," Anais shakes her head with a sigh. "It's the only possible explanation. Well. That, or that they're…" A smile touches one corner of her lips. "To be fair, they may be hoping to distract me from any real worries by trying to keep me busy with these sorts of things. Or maybe they're hoping to slowly break me in on being the lady of the keep. Whatever it is, everything does seem to be sufficiently under control."
Avinashi laughs softly, shaking her head a little. "Some mysteries must remain so, I think. The preparations of weddings among them." There is a small nod for her people and the river. "Just so, my lord."
Jacsen glances over his shoulder back the way he came, before he rejoinders, "I'd take the reprieve, if that is indeed what it is, Anais. I imagine that before long, you might find yourself wishing for a bit of wedding preparations to occupy your time. But then, there are always children to be had, I suppose…" He grins slightly, looking to the Dornish woman. "I recall you having notions for such young Terricks, did you not? Stories and the like?"
Anais's cheeks color slightly at Jacsen's words about children, hidden by a duck of her chin and a hand tucking her hair behind her ear. "And the beach, of course. And soon there will be the building of the docks. And perhaps, with the docks, more ships to fill them." She looks up once more, smile touching one corner of her lips. "I'd like to learn more about shipbuilding."
"I seem to recall having mentioned something of the like," Avinashi agrees with another faint smile. She glances towards Anais then and nods. "I have never seen the great ships built. I will enjoy witnessing that."
"I do quite hope the next few years require a great deal of understanding about ships, great and small. It will be a sure sign that the docks have been a worthwhile investment for the Roost, one which we could sorely use of late," Jacsen remarks, shifting a bit on his good leg. "You know, I do have some matters I must be about before long," he tells the women, "But I could use a measure of time from both of you, as it can be found, in the next day or two. Try to find some time, won't you?"
"Of course," Anais says quickly to Jacsen's request. "Any time. No one has any trouble chasing me down for less enjoyable things," she adds with a rueful smile. "I'd be glad to- to spend a little more time with you." There's a smile for Avinashi at the mention of ships, though that's on hold just for the moment.
Avinashi's only reply is a dip of her head and a soft "My lord." Such things are viewed by the Dornish girl more as orders than requests.
Jacsen tips his head to the women, smiling. "Well. I do appreciate your permitting me to interject so in your conversation. I look forward to speaking some more to you both, and soon," he tells them, before he turns and heads out of the lichyard, leaning a bit heavier than usual on his cane.