|At Their Feet|
|Summary:||On Remembrance Day, siblings-turned-rivals seek out common graves.|
|Related Logs:||Any logs about The Tordane Letters or Riverrun|
|Northern Flood Fields — Stonebridge|
|Through small foot paths north lead to flood fields, some rolling hills but treachours areas where the rivers filter in to create small marshes. The area is hard to navigate if one has not traveled it before. A few scrub trees mark the landscape but on the higher hills stands of majestic beeches and oak offer shade and canopies for weary travelers.|
|4 December 288|
Remembrance Day brings people to all sorts of places and calls up all sorts of memories that are otherwise tucked aside for the rest of the year. Today, they bring a lean, blond-haired young man to the graves of his father and half-brother, graves he's only stood at but once before. He's brought two small bundles of flowers, one laid at the feet of each statue. Gedeon himself has dropped into a cross-legged sit before them, and with his elbows resting on his legs, he's leaning forward, hands laced together, lips resting against his knuckles. He still, quiet, deep in thought.
Allowed back to Stonebridge if for but a brief time, Isolde is glad of it. It means home and land more forgiving than the swamps of Hag's Mire. Fingers grip at the reins of her horse as she draws closer to the two graves, spotting the figure even from afar. The escort with her of swords draws up as she hesitates where they have stopped short. "Ser Aylesworth, with me, but keep back as we approach." He nods as the others remain and the Lady of Stonebridge draws her mare closer.
She stops off to Gedeon's right, still astride her mount with a motion for the Ser to stay back a few feet. The colors of house Tordane adorn her and the saddle blanket in all its glory. Her emerald gaze fixes to the graves a moment before speaking. "It seems like just just a few months ago…it's only their faces that time steals though. Not always the loss."
His head lifts and turns a little at the sounds of horses and voices, but he cannot be surprised to see Isolde here on such a day. Indeed, Gedeon only offers her a quiet nod before return his gaze to the statues. "Time steals nearly everything if one only waits long enough," he replies softly, "but you know, even after so long and after everything that's passed, there are moments where I still forget they're gone."
"Forget, or hope that they are not?" Isolde says and remains astride for a moment or two. There is a grimness to their interaction but she draws a breath. "Would you help me from my saddle?" She asks of him, lifting a gloved hand to push back the drape of deep Tordane green from her head. She shifts and unhooks her foot from the right stirrup to be ready to dismount on the left. The Ser tenses a moment, watching Gedeon closely and than the lady as if he may well speak against it but he holds his tongue for the time.
"No, I only… something will strike now or again, and I find myself thinking, 'I should write him, he would like this story,' before I catch myself." Gedeon straightens up into a stand and approaches Isolde, offering his hand and shoulder to help her down from the saddle and leaving the Ser beside her to think what he will.
Smiling faintly at that, Isolde lowers her hand to rest on his shoulder and her other to his hand. With most of her weight in the left stirrup, she descends to claim her own footing. "Thank you." She smooths her dress, withdrawing her hands from him. "A long ride from the Roost, and you here so early." She remarks and then looks to the flowers he brought. "There are many things my father would like to hear. You know he loved a good story. Most of all, he would like to know where you went after the battle."
"Of course," Gedeon murmurs for his assistance, releasing Isolde as she gets her footing and moves towards the graves. "I was here for the celebration last night. I thought to stay a while this morning or perhaps a little longer." His smile, when it comes, is small and sad, "Perhaps if he was still here to hear the tale, I might not have gone anywhere at all."
"I am sure he would still have listened, had you decided to stay. He often gave me silent counsel, but it was worth just speaking to him." Isolde looks to Gedeon for a moment, her eyes lingering before she draws a long breath. "I know he would have liked it, if you would have come back. I often thought you would, I had no word otherwise." She removes her gloves, hooking them to the thin belt at her waist.
Gedeon studies Isolde in silence for a moment. "Your world was always simpler than mine," are the words he finally settles on, and then, "I did come back. Just very differently than I expect you imagined."
"Not always…" Isolde's smile fades finally and she looks back to the graves. "And very differently. Not quite the same." She nods her head to that and then turns, moving back to her saddle bags to pull out her own gifts for the two graves. Embroidered lengths of fabric to settle over the graves in deep green, the yellow scrollwork in the house crest. "You can help me set them over their graves…" She offers while she smooths them halved over her arm.
"Nothing ever is," Gedeon replies softly for 'not quite the same'. He nods for the offer, though, holding his hands out to accept whatever parcel of cloth she'd like to offer.
Isolde motions for him to follow, taking one edge of the drape for him to take as she steps to the other side of her brother's grave. She starts to smooth her side. "Oh yes, sometimes it is the same, but if you had come back the same that would be a little more …surprising. Tell me, where did you go? After the Trident?" She asks of him, moving about for their father's grave.
He follows her motions, laying out the other side of the green and yellow blanket before easing away the wrinkles and tugging the corners straight. "Braavos," is Gedeon's answer when it comes. "I had thought that was common knowledge, now."
"It is..but it is nice to hear it from you. Rather like catching up if you will." Isolde says and then offers the other half of the next drape to settle over Geoffrey's grave. "So why Braavos?" She asks, smoothing the edge of the cloth down slowly, taking her time. "I would never have guessed you were there.." She says in honesty.
He accepts the second blanket. following her steps and shaking it out over his father's grave. "Because Lord Valentin had accepted me as a squire and that's where he was going. And, just at the time, it seemed as good a place to run away to as any."
"Accepted…" Isolde says the word as if it were the one thing that made sense. Give a twist of the fabric on her end, she gives a raised shake as well to keep the fabric smooth as she lets it lower to the grave's top. It is with extra care that she adjusts this one. "Run away….I wish it was not seen as that. But I can not blame you for that choice. My mother would not have made it easy for you. But there were others, Ser Wayland, trusted knights of my father's that would have made sure you were given the right place you deserved at our father's home."
"I am sure you truly believe that would have been so," Gedeon says, running a hand lightly over the cloth and twitching away the last of the wrinkles on his side before he steps away.
"I do." Isolde's brows furrow and then she shakes her head, plucking a strand of thread from the green cloth. "I had always hoped you would come back, I did not expect it when you did." She then gazes at the face on the grave, not the most precisely chiseled but honoring the man within no less. "There is something I wished to give you, no matter the outcome of the decisions made. I would have had the sworn bring it with had I known you would be here."
"Well, another time, then," Gedeon replies, stepping back and dropping back into a sit to return to peering up at the graves while settled so. "Truthfully, I came early because I thought you might not arrive until later, and I wasn't sure how you would feel, seeing me here."
"And in honesty…" Isolde hesitates, "I am not sure yet how I feel." She admits and then watches him take a seat rather comfortably. She remains standing for her part and lifts a hand to wipe fingers to her brow. "It's easier earlier in the day for me, right after I wake. I find I tire as the day goes too far on." SHe then adds before asking, "How long are you wont to stay in Stonebridge?"
Having just sat down, Gedeon seems willing enough to ease back to his feet at Isolde's words. "Then I'll go," he answers, "and leave you you to your privacy." He brushes his hands lightly over his pants, easing away bits of grass and dirt. "Perhaps a day or two," he says of his stay in Stonebridge, "no more."
"No, stay." Isolde motions for him to sit. "I have had many a year to speak to him. I think you deserve this day." She is already moving for her horse as well, smoothing her own drape back up atop her head. "Meet me here tomorrow than, I will bring you what I wish to give you." She says, turning to face him.
Gedeon remains on his feet as Isolde moves back towards his horse and then nods slowly, his gaze on her wary. "As you like," he replies softly. "Tomorrow, then."
Taking a moment to get astride, she smooths her riding skirts into place and takes the reins of the mare, drawing her back a step before looking back to Gedeon. Isolde nods her head. "Tomorrow…speak to them today. Yesterday was for secrets…today is for truths." She says. Her gaze lingers and then she brings her horse about.
Gedeon huffs a small, sad laugh for that. He waits until Isolde has gone before, once again, returning his attention to the graves.