|Summary:||The Young Lord Terrick pays his final respects to his lady mother.|
|Related Logs:||Battles of Women|
|Chamber Corridor — Four Eagles Tower|
|This corridor runs over the entrance hall below, murder holes in the floor to be able to attack those below. Very small windows as this is mainly the rooms for guests and the family.|
|Wed Feb 15, 289|
Dread. That is the particular emotion that has been stalking about in his heart and head like a caged predator, as assured of its inevitable strike as the distant realization that his swift trip inside and up these stairs will cost Jacsen dearly on the morrow. It's impossible for anyone in the hall to miss his coming, the climb up the stairs a particularly arduous one, his cane thumping heavy with each step. When he crests the staircase the Young Lord glances about, looking for someone with news, his stomach clenched tight.
The servants are loathe to be the ones to deliver such news to the Young Lord. When he first arrived, one of them hurried ahead, and the girl is just slipping out of Evangeline's chambers when Jacsen crests the stairs. It's only a few moments before Anais follows behind her, wiping her hands on a damp cloth. He must be able to see it. If everything were fine, she would say it immediately. But instead, she steps forward, holding her hands out to her husband. "Jacsen," she murmurs. "You should have a seat."
Jarod follows close behind Jacsen, step heavy with a similar sort of dread, so he doesn't even have to seemingly hold himself back much to match his half-brother's slower stride. He says nothing, just standing beside the trueborn Terrick and waiting. There's a touch of deference about his manner that he usually doesn't show when only in the presence of his siblings. His grim expression falls even further when Anais comes as she does. He reaches out to place a hand on Jacsen's shoulder, if the young lord will allow.
Hope, ever fleeting, seems to find little in Anais' arrival upon which to hang, and it shows in Jacsen's eyes. They want to close, but he cannot seem to look away from his wife, or perhaps the door she exits from, and perhaps it is a blessing that Jarod was there in that moment to steady him with a hand upon his shoulder, as the true born Terrick's arm shakes atop his cane. "Gods, no," he murmurs, too loud to go missed by his brother or wife. "No, no, no…"
"Yes, Jacsen," Anais says softly, reaching up to cup his face between her hands. "I'm so sorry." There's a glance toward Jarod, then back to her husband, trying to offer what support she can. "She lost the babe. There was too much bleeding, and no way to stop it. Lucienne is with her. I held her hand. She did not go alone." It's all she can offer, the words fading out. "I'm sorry, Jacsen."
Jarod clasps Jacsen's shoulder firmly. He'll steady his half-brother as much as required. He does his best to steady himself as Anais gives what news she has to give. Though he does flinch, visibly, at the word 'go.' He looks down at his boots.
He pushes away his wife's hands, not yet ready or willing to let anyone insist upon his heart, which holds by the last vestiges of hope that this was not so, that after everything else, the Gods could not let it be. Away from his wife's hands, and his brother's as well, Jacsen staggers towards the door Anais has come out of, steps as fragile as they have likely ever been. "I…" Words fail him as he sinks against the doorframe, leaning his shoulder into it.
"Jacsen, don't," Anais pleads, moving quickly to try to get between Jacsen and the door. "Please, it's…You don't need to see her this way. Let the ladies clean her up. You know she wouldn't want you to see her at anything less than her best." The hand at his chest is as much to hold him up at keep him from entering the chambers.
Jarod lets Jacsen go, lumbering over to lean his back heavily against the opposite wall. Arms crossing along his chest, like he's sort of physically drawing in on himself. He clears his throat roughly, looking at the floor some more. Though he does glance up at Anais as she holds Jacsen back. What he thinks of that is hard to tell. He doesn't join her in trying to stop his brother from going in, though.
"And Lucienne?" Jacsen's eyes, glittering with the tears that he refuses to shed, narrow just a fraction on Anais. "I know you mean well, but you presume too much," he tells her, his voice thick with the emotion he has yet to let loose. His eyes lift, over his wife's shoulder to espy his half-brother on the other side of the doorway. "I'll see her now." Whether he means his sister, who lives, or his dead mother, is unclear. What's less uncertain is Jacsen's making to move past his wife and into the chamber where Evangeline Terrick drew her last breaths.
"Jacsen…" But Anais doesn't have it in her to fight her husband over this, and as he steps forward, she steps aside to let him through. Within, there are servants seeing to cleaning up the mess of death, wrapping up bloody sheets, trying to make sure the Lady of the Roost maintains her dignity in death as she did in life. Anais takes a step back from the door, looking to Jarod. "She wanted you to know that she was sorry, Jarod," she says quietly. "That she did care for you, and was proud of what you'd made of yourself."
"Seven, Luci…" Jarod mutters. Shifting like he's about to leave his post of wall-leaning. Looking up at the doorway, beyond which is his father and lady wife's chambers. But, ultimately, he just stays where he is. At Anais' words, he shakes his head. Which is the only gesture he seems capable of for a moment. Though he finally says, tone rather rough, "I was sorry, too. Though neither of us had any reason to be. Was on her grace that I was provided a good home here, and she did look to see me raised right, in her fashion. I don't think I entirely realized how difficult that was for her, until recently. Wish I could've told her…thank you."
"I can't imagine she didn't know, Jarod," Anais murmurs, reaching out to set a hand to his arm. In much the same awkward position as Jarod, she lingers outside in the hall with him, waiting for Lady Evangeline's children to say their farewells to their mother.
Jarod waits as well, largely silent, arms still crossed but not ungrateful for Anais' company. He'll wait until the trueborn Terrick children are through with saying their farewells.
~ Time Passes ~
When Jacsen comes back out of the chamber, his face is drained of most of the emotion that had built up in it, and he seems more exhausted than anything else, using a hand to steady himself on the doorframe, the other still clutched about the top of his cane. He says nothing, his eyes closing for a moment.
Anais pushes away from the wall when Jacsen emerges, hesitant. After a moment, she steps forward to offer a hand in support, staying silent. Her eyes search his face, trying to gauge what she should do next.
Jarod leaves it to Anais to support her husband, though he does look up at Jacsen as he emerges from that room. "Sorry," is all he says, tone low and still rather rough.
"I think I need a drink," Jacsen says, after a long pause, letting his wife support him however she chooses. "We…" Another pause, breath drawn deep and ragged. "… must go to Seagard, father can't find out from some letter. And Jaremy… I should write him at the Wall. How will we get a message there?" He looks up at his brother, somewhat blank-faced.
Anais closes her eyes when Jacsen speaks of going to Seagard, though she makes no protest. "We'll send ravens," she answers his question. "If haven't a chain who'll get their ourselves, then we'll borrow from the Flints, who can send word to Winterfell, and to the Wall from there." She moves to the side away from his cane, offering an arm in support.
"Flint's Finger keeps up relations with the farther North. Perhaps one of the Flints with the army can hand it off to a courier for us," Jarod says. As to Seagard. He frowns some. "I'm going that direction to rejoin the army anyhow, Jace. Don't worry on it. I can leave in the morning, come to it. I don't want this delivered to him by raven. Or worse, through rumors from travelers on the road. Lots of traffic from the Roost to Seagard, with the war on, but if I ride fast I can stay ahead of it."
Jacsen shakes his head at the thought of Jerold finding out by raven or rumor. "No, he can't find out that way," he agrees, drawing a breath that is meant to steady him, though it only seems to do half the job. "It's better if you go, I'm… not fit for it," he admits, to the surprise of no one.
Anais manages to hold back her relief when Jacsen says he isn't fit to go, giving his hand a brief squeeze. "I'll go set up the drinks," she says quietly. "And then I need to speak with Maester Gwyllam. I'll make sure the…mechanics of things are seen to. If you need me, I'll be in the reading room." She leans up to press a kiss to Jacsen's temple, letting it linger for just a moment before she steps back again. There's a look for Jarod: 'You got this?' as she starts to move away.
Jarod gives Anais a somewhat long look as she rushes off, but he just nods to her. He does. "Could do with a drink myself. The roads are pretty clear, Jace, and it'll still be a bit before the armies sail. I'll ride ahead but…might do our lord father good to see you."
The Young Lord reaches for his wife, his fingers holding to her, reluctant to let go for a few heartbeats, but ultimately releasing her. "Drinks," Jacsen says, his voice unable to part with the sadness that threads through it. "I'll… We'll worry about all the rest on the morrow. Don't rightly care so much, just now."
When Jacsen reaches out for her, Anais steps in once more to wrap her arms tightly around him, offering what support she can. "Drinks first," she agrees. "I'll meet you up there." She draws back only slowly, still searching his features carefully. "I love you," she finally offers, reaching up to cup his cheek, her hand lingering even when she turns away.
Jarod watches Anais turn away, looking half about to say something more on that, but he finally just nods to his brother. "Drink'd be good." Though he'll more likely just have one, and watch Jacsen drink. He will be up early (or, he simply won't sleep) to leave with the sunrise.