|A Promise Made|
|Summary:||After what by all accounts was a disastrous conversation the morning after Martyn got drunk and said things he maybe ought not to have - but needed to say all the same - cousins Martyn and Nedra speak again, though this time without the percussive maintenance.|
|Date:||15 October 2012|
|Related Logs:||Survivor's Guilt|
|Roof Terrace - Four Eagles Tower|
|This is open to the air except for the rookery at the opposite end of the open walkway. Parapets and crenellations are about.|
|Mon Oct 15, 289|
Afternoon, and as usual when Martyn tries to do some thinking, he's found himself a high place to do it. So he's currently pacing around on the rooftop terrace, a piece of parchment in each of his hands for now. Off to the side, he has some writing equipment, but it's left there for now as he keeps on pacing, eyes on the two pieces of parchment for the moment.
"No, I really -don't- want to take in some fresh air," Nedra is saying, arguing really, with Duncan as he is tugging Nedra up the steps to the roof top where he happens to know that Nedra's cousin Martyn is taking the exact same air that Nedra is saying she has no interest in. "I was fine, and there's a canvass that I need to finish before the paint starts to set - -" which is as far as she gets before Shalla interrupts, "But you weren't painting, miss, you were thinking about it, mi'lady, you said so yourself." Group effort, go team Mallister? Bah!
Martyn keeps on pacing for a few moments, until the sound of voices seem to get through his thoughts, and he comes to a stop. Hurrying to fold both pieces of parchment together and pocketing them, before anyone can really see them there. Looking around for a few moments now, then focusing back on the steps. Looking a bit unsure of what to do now, it would seem.
Nedra is tugged, gently - mind - but tugged all the same, up the last few steps and through the door to the rooftop, protesting every inch of the way. Only the fact that Duncan has been one of her guards nearly all of her life keeps her from really taking some sort of issue with it, but when the guards are as much like family than not, it's tough to treat them any other way. With Shalla's encouragement either the Mallister woman emerges in the fresh air with a exasperated expression upon her face. Then promptly stops dead in her tracks as she spots Martyn.
Looking a bit unsure of what to say, or do at the moment, Martyn remains quiet for a long while, before he offers a bit of a nod to Nedra, studying her quietly for a few moments, before he finally speaks. "Hello, cousin. I hope you are well today?" It's spoken rather quietly, and perhaps a touch more politely than what's needed between relatives.
Nedra is silent for a long moment, lifting her left hand to touch her fingertips to the locket that she wears, a gesture usually designed to help remind her of her temper and better manners. A slow breath is taken as she notices how Shalla and Duncan ever so casually hustle over to the far end of the roof top terrace and pointedly occupy themselves observing the scenery. Chickens! "As well as can be expected, Ser," is said finally in return, her voice carefully measured and even.
Taking a few deep breaths, Martyn studies Nedra a bit carefully, before he takes a few slow steps forward. "I," he begins, trailing off again as he takes a few deep breaths. "It would seem that what I told you the last time we met upset you, cousin. And for that I'm sorry." Another brief pause, before he adds, "While they are the truth about how I have been feeling lately, I should never have…" Trailing off once more, he takes a few more steps towards his cousin, attempting for his gaze to lock onto hers, if possible. "Can you forgive me for that?"
Nedra has her hand curled now around the locket and studiously avoids Martyn's gaze at first. "You mean what you say," she says in return. "You wish that Kamron had not intervened. You wish that you had not returned from the war. You wish you had died. You mean it," and she lifts her eyes at the last to look into Martyn's. "You mean it. And there's no getting around it. You wish you had died."
Martyn doesn't look away or anything as he lets out a bit of a sigh. "Not all the time. Some days, I'm… Some days I am glad he did what he did, I truly am." A brief pause, before he looks down to the ground very briefly. "But then other days, most of them after waking up from that nightmare I told you about. Those days I wish I had. And I try to ask myself why I survived, when so many others, so many better men than me didn't." Another look to the ground, this time longer. "I wish it wasn't so, but it is."
"I can't help you, Martyn. I can't fix this. No one can. No matter how much I want to help, no matter how much i want to listen and understand, there's not a thing I can do - by the gods I cannot do a blessed thing! - but no one can do a blessed thing to help you, Martyn. Only you, you alone, can decide to live your life. Decide to make it a life worth living. A life worth looking back upon, in old age, and deciding that it was well done. that you had done more good than bad. That you had loved, and been loved, in return. That when you die the number of people who come your passing is a crowd of family and friends, of colleagues and old confidants and more. That you made a mark, Martyn. Not one of grandiose design and fanfare, but a mark that impacted those of us who love you. But only you can mak that decision. So until you do, unless you do, then every day alive is just you biding your time, marking your time, until you die."
"I know," Martyn's voice is barely above a whisper as he speaks, one hand reaching up to wipe at his eyes for a few moments. "And I will do whatever I can to be able to make it like that, although it may take a long time, maybe all my life." His voice still that low, before he glances around again. Taking a few more deep breaths, he grimaces a little bit. "Like I said, I don't know if I ever will escape the nightmares about what happened, but I hope that in time, I will be able to live with them in a much better way, without all the self doubt and guilt about what happened. But the only thing I ask of you, and the rest of the family, is that you will understand that those days will be there, and that I will try to find my way of dealing with them." A brief pause as he reaches out to put one hand on her shoulder, should she let him. "You have already done one big thing to help, even if you may not have realized it…"
"Only if you start talking to us, Martyn. You have to start talking to us, you have to let us in. You can't keep retreating behind this wall of silence and leave us guessing - and sometimes guessing wrongly - what it is that's clattering around inside that skull of yours. You have to start communicating," Nedra replies, her voice intent, letting Martyn rest his hand on her shoulder as she stares up at him. "You have to let us in. Only you can do this, but that doesn't mean you have to do all this work without company. We'll be a blessed cheering section, Martyn. IF you let us."
Martyn pauses for a little bit as he hears that. "I will try. There are just some times when I don't know how…" A brief pause, before he adds, "How much… How much of what I told you have you told the others? Your brother, Saffron and Muirenn?" Spoken rather quietly for now. "She wants me to come back to Seagard for a while…" Is it a change of subject, or just because he remembered it right now? Who knows.
"I will not hide this," Nedra says quietly in return. "I will not hide this and have you step of the roof some night and blame myself for the rest of my life for NOT sharing what you've told me. Do not ask me to take that burden, Martyn."
"No, of course not," Martyn asks after a few moments of pause, the hand on her shoulder tightening its grip for a few moments. "Just… When you tell them, let me know, so I can be ready for when they come to talk to me about it?" Spoken rather quietly now.
Nedra worries at her lower lip with her teeth for a moment before she nods slowly, "I will," is promised. "On the condition that you swear, that you swear to me Martyn, that you will NOT step off the roof top or in front of charging horses or anything deliberately bid to end your life in the next few days. Swear it, or I'll have no choice but to go to Kamron and Saffron right now."
Martyn keeps silent for a long while, taking a few deep breaths. "I swear that I will not do anything to deliberately end my life like that," he says, voice quiet but solemn for the moment. That done, he lets out another breath, before he looks around the rooftop again for a few moments. "I should go back down and write a reply to the letter from my sister. I will have to take a day or a few days to finish up some business here, thanks to another letter from Seagard, but then I should be going back home as she asked me to." Letting go of the shoulder, he leans in to give Nedra a hug now. "Thank you, Nedra…"
Nedra hugs Martyn in return, his promise drawing the tears she'd been fighting to the surface and it's with her face pressed against the front of her cousin's tunic that Nedra cries quietly. Weeping for her cousin, for the life that he didn't want to live, for the life he might have had, for all of the things that never came to pass. The toll that war exacts it not merely upon those who fall, but equally upon those who return home - forever changed - and those that remain behind, waiting for a loved one too return, and mourning the ones who never do.
She's not the only one weeping, since Martyn is weeping as well at the moment, letting the tears fall freely at the moment. After a long while, he starts to gently try to move away, to pick up the writing equipment and head down to his room.
Nedra watches Martyn go, the breeze making the tears cold on her face as she wraps her arms about herself. Once the door closes behind Martyn she turns away, staring blindly out over the parapets at the city sprawled between the tower and the ocean, alone with her worry.