|Apology Not Accepted|
|Summary:||Back home in the Mire, Rafferdy tries to mend things with his sister. At least she doesn't hit him, this time.|
|Related Logs:||The Last Dance|
|Grand Hall — Fortress of the Sevens|
|The Grand Hall is furnished as one may expect for a family that has funneled their treasury towards more practical uses, though the room is certainly deserving of the name. This massive hall is large enough to host a feast for more than one hundred people and still seats the Lord's throne at the head of the room upon a dais. Black iron hangers hold a pair of silver, candle-lit chandeliers in a line from the main doors to the throne. Two doors lead off near the throne, one on each side of the head of the room while a spiral staircase has been built into the wall on one side by an armored door.|
|26th Fifthmonth, 289 AL|
Having missed supper taking out her aggressions in the practice yard, Rowenna strides into the fortress stripped to her shirt and breeches, her head drenched from a dunk in the rain barrel. She scrubs a hand through her dark curls, headed — apparently — for the kitchens, likely to see what she can forage for a late meal.
Rafferdy steps down the stairs, falling in line just behind his sister. He's wearing a pair of simple brown slacks and a blue long sleeved shirt, a dark brown doublet over that. He's dressed like a commoner, but is quite clean and proper otherwise. "Ro. Can we talk?" he asks softly.
"That depends on what you have to say," says Rowenna, continuing on to the kitchen and leaving Raff to bring up the rear. "And if you're actually Rafferdy Nayland. I didn't know you owned anything with sleeves."
Rafferdy does indeed follow her. He glances at his sleeves, and he smirks, "I hate the bugs in the Mire," he explains. And since he's NEVER in the Mire, it makes sense no one would have seen him in sleeves. He sighs, "I want to… Ugh…" He shakes his head, and rubs his temple, "I'm sorry."
"You sure as fuck are," says Rowenna, flatly, invading the kitchens and sending the staff scattering to give the nobility their space. She cuts herself a few thick slices of bread. She smirks mirthlessly. "You know, I thought it was weird how intensely and insistently interested you were in the nature of my relationship with Gedeon Tordane — but honestly? Even though I told you it was none of your business, it was only because discussing things like that with my brother was creepy. It never occurred to me that you were digging for dirt to fuck me with."
"I wasn't." Rafferdy shakes his head, and he leans against the counter. He has a black eye, and a rather bruised jaw still. "I don't expect you to believe me, but truly… I was digging because I wanted to know. At the time… I had no intent to ever do anything with it."
Rowan laughs outright, stabbing the knife into the cutting board. "Really? Really, Raff? That's how you operate? You think it's okay because you — collect information and make assumptions… and it's OKAY when you use them later, because you didn't intend to at the time?" She takes a bite of bread, chewing and swallowing. "That's pathetic."
Rafferdy shakes his head, "That's not what I said, and it's NOT what I meant." He sighs again, "I'm not going to have a conversation with you where I try to justify things, or explain it away. You aren't going to believe me, but you are the ONLY sibling that I feel like maybe understands me, and that I understand. I'm sorry."
"So I'm your favorite," says Rowenna, folding her arms. "That's sweet. I shudder to think how badly you've fucked over the others."
Rafferdy purses his lips, and shakes his head. "You are my favorite," he says, confirming it. "You shouldn't be. It's a relationship entirely based on your deception posing as my brother, but… yes. You're my favorite."
"I lied, Raff. I did. I surely did. I told a big, whopping lie, and I kept on telling it for years — " she steps up to him, jabbing a finger at his chest. "But never in all that time did I take something I knew — or thought I knew — about someone I loved… and spread it as malicious gossip, harming them beyond repair. Everyone already thought I fucked Jarod's brains out to get him to knight me — so now the story is I spread my legs for anyone I serve? Thanks for that, Raff. Thanks ever so. And fuck you."
Rafferdy shakes his head, "What I'm TRYING to say, Ro, is that we're all Naylands. And what that means, is we all do fuckin' STUPID things because we're all so desperate for some kind of approval or affirmation from our damned father. We're all selfish, Ro, and we all make mistakes because of it. I wish I could take it back, but I can't. And it's not as bad as you're making it out to be." He furrows his brow, "What exactly did Riordan say I did?" he asks, a little confused. "Because I'm starting to think he's playing us against each other."
"Oh, horseshit. Seven, isn't there anything to drink down here?" Rowenna turns to raid the cupboards, finally pulling down a flagon and sniffing the contents. She winces. That'll do. She takes a swig, going on, "He told Jarod that you'd spread a rumor that I was fucking Gedeon Tordane when I was his squire — in an effort discredit Gedeon. Who is dead and no longer figures into this damnable game — in that, at least, I hope he's happier now." She shakes her head. "And honestly, I don't give a fuck why you said it, Raff — only that you did. That you cared more about the primary aim of your ill-conceived plan than the fallout." She stands up straight. "Let me be perfectly clear, brother mine — there is no excuse. Slandering the family is fucking unacceptable. And if you do it again to me — brother or no — I will have more satisfaction from you than just a few bruises. Do you understand?"
Rafferdy furrows his brow, "Gedeon actually figures into the game quite a lot, what with Danea and that unborn child." He shakes his head, "But you're right. It doesn't matter why I did it. But, I didn't spread some rumor all over Stonebridge. Make no mistake, it wasn't like that. I told ONE person. Riordan has actually told more people than I. A LOT more people than I. If he were really so concerned about your honor, he would have ONLY told you and Jarod. Instead, he has our whole family now thinking that you MIGHT have laid with Gedeon." He shakes his head, "I'm sorry that I did it. I've admitted it was a mistake. You are my sister, and I feel like fucking shit about it, because I DO love you more than the others. But I will NOT let you, the girl that secretly married a Terrick and gained knighthood as a man, lecture me on the unacceptable nature of making our family look bad." He stands up a bit straighter, "I'm more sorry than you could ever believe for this, Ro. I had hoped this morning that you might actually show me some of the same forgiveness I've shown you. Maybe one day you'll be able to forgive me." He then turns to go. "I'll leave you be until that day."
"Whether Gedeon was fucking me, King Bob, or a dozen little boys — none of that weighs upon whether Lady Danae's child is his legitimate heir. And if you don't understand that — Seven fucking help you, Raff. Stay out of politics and in the common houses where you belong." Rowenna takes another swig from the flagon. "I've heard your apology. Maybe when I'm less furious with you I can accept it. In the meanwhile, don't come asking me for any confidences, and don't burden me with yours. Whether it's because you're duplicitous or stupid, you can't be trusted."
Rafferdy shakes his head, turning around and beginning to explain the matter of Danae, "That's… Argh." He gives up. He sighs and purses his lips, nodding a moment as the irony that the girl who insisted to him she was a boy for years tells him he can't be trusted plays through his mind. He then simply offers quietly, "I'm glad you had a more forgiving sibling than I have."
"You need to stop laboring under this delusion that you're special and misunderstood, Raff. It's fucking annoying. In case you haven't noticed, you're not the only sibling who's forgiven me — but you're the only one who doesn't seem to give a damn about my reputation." Rowenna pushes off the counter and moves to leave the kitchens, having lost her stomach for bread.