|Summary:||In which Jaremy and Jarod make up.|
|Related Logs:||They All Barge In|
|Roof Terrace — Four Eagles Tower|
|A roof with a view.|
|Thu Sep 01, 288|
It's early morning in Four Eagles Tower, a little after breakfast. Ser Jarod Rivers is on a mission this day. That being, to track down his elder half-brother, one Ser Jaremy Terrick. He does some scouting around the castle interior, then ventures out to check the stables and the training yard. He'll find him eventually.
Jaremy is finally found sitting by himself on the rooftop terrace. Sitting in a chair with a mug of water and the remains of his breakfast, he leans back to enjoy the view of the lands that stretch over the town below. Quiet and thoughtful, he seems to have been doing this for quite some time, at least since breakfast.
Jarod is not a quiet creature, so his heavy, loping footfalls serve as fair warning to his entry onto the roof terrace long before he actually spots Jaremy. Which he does. Though he hesitates a moment before approaching him. "Hullo." The greeting is decidedly less easy and spirited than standard for him.
Torn from his hypnosis, Jaremy turns his head to gaze at his brother through a few wisps of bangs. Eyes settling into recognition, he quietly nods his head and motions to the chair beside him. "I was cruel and angry when we last spoke." He blurts out, eyes turning back to the view before him, launching the conversation into orbit. "I was…frustrated with you and our siblings. It does not excuse my behavior."
Jarod untenses, just a little, when he's offered the chair. He goes to drop himself heavily into it. "Aye. That got pretty ugly. I was rather frustrated with you myself. Won't say I don't wish I'd put it different, though. It didn't help anything. Sorry." Rather than looking at the view, his own focus is on his brother. "Are we all right, Jaremy? I mean…are we going to be all right, you and me?"
"I think so…" Jaremy trails off, sitting forward to rest his elbows on his knees. "…though you may be right about the proxy for the duel, I can't bear the thought of losing you for my mistakes." He pauses, turning to watch his brother once again. "I apologized to him, you know, sincerely. I told him of how I compromised parts of myself that I could never forgive. He walked away loudly protesting that I was rude to him when I was not. When you and Jace and Lu circled about me, all in disbelief as if I must have fucked it up again…I exploded. I've struggled with enough failure that it has become a product associated with me, with my own family, and I lashed out. I'm sorry."
"I'm not claiming Lord Ser Anton wouldn't kill me as well, Jaremy, he would," Jarod says. "Except I don't think he'd actually feel obligated to take the field if it were me instead of you, as Oldstones has even more to lose if the duel goes tits-up for him than the Roost would, and against one of his knights I know I can hold my own. I mean, I won't claim it'll be so sure a thing as maybe I put it to Lu or Jace but…I'd have a fair shot, that's all a man can ask for in a fight, and it's not a bad way to die, clean and honorable combat against a fellow knight like that, in defense of the honor of your house and brother. Seems the only honorable way to do it that leaves us some hope the contest might go our way. And I…" He swallows, green eyes rather wide and stricken. "…I don't want you to die, Jaremy."
"I don't think that either of us wants anyone to die Jarod, which is why he hasn't dropped the duel outright. He wants an offer. It's precisely why I became furious when you three acted as if I was some mad fool. If he wanted his duel for honor, why wait?" Jaremy leans back in his chair, letting out a sigh. "And if I proxy at this duel I am sure he intends to call publicly at my wedding tourney, he will have succeeded in spoiling our name in front of our guests from the Westerlands. If he doesn't I am sure the Naylands will be happy to take up the task. Boy hides behind bastard brother…" He scowls. "…damn the lot of them. We had peace. If there were only something short of signing something precious to us to Anton that would slow this. How did he learn of the letters to Kings Landing anyhow? Our room was sealed."
"Jaremy, we told him," Jarod says, sounding surprised this is even a question. "Either father or Lucienne, I figure, as they were the first to try and talk him down. Had to come from us first to for us to claim any sort of honesty and keep it from falling any worse on this House than it did, especially after that business with our spy and their castellan. The way this was done, my fair lord brother…it was not done in secret. It's plainly known in King's Landing, and I'd bet silver against copper the King sent a courier to Riverrun as well as here, with questions about our…questions." He grimaces. "You'd rather he have heard of your query from Hoster Tully and call us about before all the Riverlands rather than in our own House?" He shrugs. "And it wouldn't be hiding. It's your right to ask for a champion in a duel. You've obligations beyond a fight. I don't. It's my duty as a sworn sword of this house to put my life before yours, in fact. Seems simple enough to me. Besides, it may not even come to that. It's Lucienne's hand Lord Ser Anton wants, and killing one of her brothers would be a poor way to seal a marriage pact."
"Then why does he seem to think I have taken accusations and spread them all of the way between here and the Landing? That is simply not true. Do I trust him? No. Did I send word requesting validation of his patents? Yes. Did I send a rider to investigate Oldstones? Yes…but what I did not do is spread my theories or suspicions about outside of these walls. I understand why he should be mad, Jarod. What I am trying to say is that he is currently operating under an enhanced version of what I have actually done." He turns back to his brother, reaching for his mug of water.
"Jarod, if I am to rule this place one day with you as my most trusted above all, then say what you feel and advise me. I have been out-maneuvered. Are you saying I should stay low and prepare for you as my champion? He has no fear of you, either."
"I think it all just got…blown out of proportion," Jarod says. "By you and now by him. I mean, I know how I'd take it. If someone came to father or Lord Mallister or someone asking for 'validation' on whether I was truly a knight. or whether I'd been making some false masquerade all these years. Even if they didn't have bad intentions…well. I know how I'd take it." Another shrug. "I'm not saying we should trust the Knight of Oldstones. We still know very little about the man, and all of us - not just yourself, this fault's on all in this House - rather wasted the opportunity to try and figure him out while he was in our halls and calling us a friend. Where it would've been easier. Now…it is what it is. We've just got to deal with the fall out. As for my advice…stay low, most definitely, and take Jace and Luci's lead on how to approach him. There's nothing you can on your own do that'll actually make this better, if the way you and Lord Ser Anton parted is any indication. We don't even know if there'll be a fight yet. This all might be getting worked up over nothing. Might be he just wanted to scare you a bit, and has gone back to Oldstones to lick his wounds and cool his head. As for my championing you, if it comes to it…Jaremy, it'll be on you as to how to handle that at the end of the day. It's not a matter myself or father or the Naylands or anyone has any say in. Do know that I'm willing, though, and I'd consider it an honor, my fair lord brother."
"Fair enough. Seven, if the worst we walk away from this with is an angry lord of Oldstones and an angry letter from the king, then we should count ourselves graced. Bad enough already we had to deal with Valda and the Naylands, I would rather just move on to the wedding and be done with it. One thing…" He reaches out to slug his brother in his arm. "…for sure is that before I end up having to duel my own brother I am going to keep my head low and pray this simmers down a bit. So stop thinking me a fool, okay? I stopped making things worse the moment that letter came, now I am just trying to control the damage, as are we all."
The slugging gets a laugh, and playful - albeit still rather hard - elbow in return from Jarod. And finally seems to bring the last of the tension out of him. Physical violence somehow means everything is OK. "I don't think you a fool, Jaremy. And I swear to the Seven, I wasn't trying to slight you the other day. I know you've had a rough run of it - with Isolde and Stonebridge and this business with Oldstones, and Amelia Millen…" He shrugs. "…we do all just want to help, even if there's no good way through some of it."
"Amelia…Fuck…" Jaremy sobers a bit, running a hand through his long, brown hair. "I'm sorry for what I said. The thought of watching her swing makes me want to throw up. What kills me the most is that proof of her innocence or at the least her loyalty could have been secured by her bringing this Howard man into a trap with us. Like myself…she took too much into her hands. Now I fear we are hanging someone that may truly love us…" Leaning back, Jaremy folds his arms across his chest. "…I am going to visit her soon, Jarod. To say goodbye."
"Jace and Lady Anais don't think you should see her," Jarod says. Though his tone suggests he doesn't quite agree. "I don't know. I still feel like she's driven you to do things that've hurt you, Jaremy. Maybe not intentionally but…it is what it is. For my part, though, I felt like I needed to square things with her. And I think we have, between us, much as things can be squared. I understand why you'd need to say proper goodbyes. I don't truly doubt that she loves us. Or that she was driven to do…the awful things she did by Lord Rickart. Doesn't change that she did them. It's just…I'll not claim it's righteous, but it's law, and we can't remake the law for town girls we favor. It's all sad and awful, and I feel sick about it myself. I wish, like a lot of things lately, it'd been done different. But…it is what it is." That seems to be all he can think of to say for a moment, and he looks off over the wall, at the countryside below. When he speaks again, he's not looking at Jaremy.
"What you said the other day to me about that…Jaremy, I don't really know what you think of me. But…I try very hard to be a good man, and to do honor to my knightly vows, even if maybe I'm not what many would call a picture-book knight all the time, I do think I live a life by them, in my way. I really do try, at least. But I'm not perfect and if you don't respect me then…I'm sorry about that. Because aside from our lord father there's no man's respect I'd care to have more."
"Jarod, no, don't think that. I do respect you I was just…trying to hurt you." Admitting it, at least, seems to pain Jaremy greatly. "Over the last few weeks there have been times that I have wished that I could run and find some cave and bear the shame I feel in silence, and clearly rushing out to save face has cost me. You…are my blood and my brother, through and through. You and I are closer than I am to Jacsen, and I suspect always will be." Jaremy laughs softly, reaching out to plant a hand on Jarod's shoulder. "Make the eight. Live. Breathe free and crack the bones out of life and drink from the skulls of your enemies for all I care, Jarod. I envy your freedom, and always have. If I weren't always so concerned with living up to Father I would have joined you at the Rockcliff. Instead I sat and talked with the girls. Fuck…that was the worst sometimes. I was amazed they didn't think i wanted men."
Stealing his arm back, he pauses for a sip from his mug. "I listened to Amelia because I thought she knew more than she was telling. She told me Isolde had sent a raven to King's Landing, so I sent one of my own, fearing that a finding from Stonebridge would be considered suspect. The Stranger himself could have led me by that carrot on a stick, and so I blame not her, but myself. I wanted to expose Ser Anton, because I saw that smoke and wanted to protect the Roost, us, Lucienne, Isolde, all of them…from a dragon I thought I could finally fight. Fuck, Jarod, I am such a fool…"
Jarod clasps Jaremy's hand warmly before his brother withdraws it, a broad smile breaking across his face. It takes him a moment to summon up anything to say. "I do understand. Needing to prove yourself. You think I don't feel like that? Every single day? Prove I'm not just some bastard puppy whose father's sense of honor and obligation
brought into this Tower? Prove I've something to offer House Terrick. Jace feels like that, too, in a different fashion. Does it in different ways, but it all amounts to the same thing. We're real different, him and I, but we understand each other very well so far as that's concerned. We just want to serve this House, Jaremy. To prove we're as good and able to serve it as any other man, even if you have to add the half-men of us together to make a whole Terrick." His grin turns rueful, and he chuckles.
"You think I've never envied you?" Jarod shrugs. "Never been jealous? I wish I can say I never did, but I'm not that fine a man. It's…human, I guess. To want what you can't have. It'll twist you up inside if you let it. Make you do things…be things you aren't real proud of at the end of the day. I mean…fuck it, Jaremy. People look at you, and they see Prince Fucking Charming, young lord and honorable knight, who the fair princess always seems to fall in love with at the end of the story. If you can't live up to that…well, you're just human. Nobody could. What you are isn't so bad, though, to my thinking. I still like you, at least."
"Well…that prince charming image is fading a bit, and not just because I am to be wed. At least I don't hear our people singing that bloody song so much. It shows they still have care for us all and trust us. That…is the truth of what we are. Prince Charming or no I have a duty to our people to be smart, vigilant, and just and for a short while I lost myself. I never want to lose sight of the whole game board again…" He trails off, slugging his brother once more in the arm, laughing aloud. "So you envied me? You bloody filtered do you have any idea how badly I want to join you in the grand melee this time?"
Jarod gets a very rueful chuckle when the Brothers Terrick ballad is referenced. "I don't think it's so bad. It's just a joke. Not a real nice joke, but nothing to draw blood. I was telling Jace…what I think the three of us should do is, go down the Rockcliff, buy the house a round, the sing the fucking thing one of these nights. I mean…fuck them, right? The way I figure it is, if the world wants to make a joke at your expense, you should turn it around, make it first. That way it can't hurt you anymore." As for the grand melee, he shrugs. "There's nothing actually stopping you from doing it, you know. I mean, father and Anais would have good arguments why you shouldn't, and they're likely correct. But at the end of the day, you're a grown-up knight. You can pick your battles. But you're also a lordling, with other obligations. Just…it is your choice, ultimately. Most things in life are, I figure."
"Not so bad? Not so bad??" Jaremy's eyes widen pointing a finger at his brother. "That ballad is great for Jacsen, mind you, but terrible for me. At least you get the decency of being labored on about being able to put it to a woman. How is that not so bad? There's smart…fucks everything…" Jaremy points to his own chest. "…and then there is dumb and feckless. There is nothing good that an be construed from that. Though maybe we should pull that stunt at the tourney. Invite the Crakehalls to it, as well as the Camdens and drop a bit of coin to kill that song like you say…" He grins, quietly rubbing his goatee. "I want to be healthy on my wedding night. Truly. After what I have put Anais through she deserves to not be disappointed."
"Yes, it's quite a boon to me, I spend so much time balls deep in every wench in the Riverlands, I'd fuck my way through Ironmen and Naylands and everyone else storming the castle without my knowledge," Jarod scoffs. "Wanton and reckless isn't so grand to be either, Jaremy. It's also not *true*, and I know it's not, but I'm not so stung by it that I can't have a laugh at myself a bit. Your bit isn't true either, and I figure our people might actually respect you more if you laughed about it in front of them. Anyhow. Think it over. If nothing else, the three of us desperately need to go drinking together. You and Jace especially. It's been years since he and I parted ways in Seagard. Been even longer since he left home with me to squire. The pair of you have got to get to know each other again, and neither of you are the same man you were when we were boys of fourteen."
"Then let's three head to the Rock." Jaremy replies, rising to his feet. "Before this blasted pre-wedding trap you're setting for me and before the tourney. There is little thinking it over. I have spent too long as the knight or the young lord or the man of the Roost that it has been far too long since I've just been myself and a brother. We will have guards mind us and herd us back to the Roost when we are done, and we'll sing that fucking song until our people are ready to punch whoever hums a single bar of it. Deal?"
Jarod beams that big, boyish grin of his at that, extending a hand for shaking purposes. "Deal! Trust me, my fair lord brother. It'll be fun!" That's usually an ominous statement from him, but he's plainly looking forward to it.
"That's what I'm worried about…" Jaremy replies, his mitt clasping Jarod's for a hard shake, sealing in his first night of hard drinking with Jarod and Jacsen in a prostitute friendly environment in…ever. "…now leave before I change my mind about it, you shit."