|Before the Ride Home|
|Summary:||Lucienne waits to go home. Jarod waits to…not go home.|
|Related Logs:||Laying Waste to Bandits Afoot|
|Somewhere Away from the Bandit Hole — Terrick's Roost|
|A place with a log to sit on that's not in a hole.|
|Mon Jun 04, 289|
Lucienne is among the kidnapped ladies that trickle into the main camp with their respective rescuers - wrapped in a blanket for modesty's sake, her face is still dirty and smeared with bandit blood from her first fierce hug with Jarod. Shock seems to have set in, and the Terrick girl is quiet, watching the bustle of servants preparing food and waiting for her turn with the Maester. There's a perfectly good log for sitting on nearby, but Luci prefers to stand, or else she hasn't noticed it.
Jarod hangs about near Lucienne, also muddy and bloody, but for him it's a less unusual state. He looks sidelong at her, and takes a skin off his belt and offers it to her. It contains wine, not water. "We should sit," he says, gesturing to the log.
Lucienne hangs a long look on that offered skin, before sneaking a hand out from under her blanket to steal it from Jarod. She bobs her head once, a jerky nod that agrees with idea of sitting, and takes a deep swig from the skin before shuffling over to said log. The strength of the alcohol makes her wince. "I just want to go home," she says in a small voice, croaky, and gathers her blanket more tightly about herself.
"You'll be home soon enough. Just a matter of time now," Jarod says, planting himself down next to her. "Luci, I…" But he doesn't know quite what to say to her. So he just sits for a moment, folding his big hands on his knees. "…thank the Seven you're safe. I don't know what we…" He had to amend. "…I don't know what our lord father and the Terricks would do without you."
Lucienne draws another large muthful of wine from Jarod's skin, swallowing it down too quickly and coughing as it burns her throat. She doesn't quite know what to say either, so she just looks at her brother, her eyes wide and sad. "You should…" No, that doesn't seem right. Should what? She offers the wineskin back.
Jarod takes the skin and drinks. He swallows without any trouble, but he's more used to post-battle drinking than Lucienne. "What should I do, Little Luci?" he asks soft, canting his head to regard her. The question's gentle and half-wry, but there's a seriousness underlying it. Seriously, Luci, wtf should I do?
Lucienne frowns lopsidedly at Jarod, and heaves a gentle sigh. "You should be coming home with us, too," she says quietly, as if the lack of volume might take the sting out of her words.
Jarod is not stung by them. If anything they make his green eyes brighten some, though his face remains a little sad. "I would like nothing more than to go home, Luci. But I can't. Not after the way Lord Jerold dismissed me." A pause and he goes on, half-defensively, "Wasn't my choice to leave like that."
"But it was your choice to lie," Luci argues, her frown deepening to a scowl. "You could just say sorry, and come home."
"Everybody lies, Luci." Jarod says it low, and doesn't look at her when he does. He takes the skin back for another drink. "Rowenna and I were only punished when we stopped lying." He looks at his hands for a beat longer, then tries to bring his gaze back up to hers. "I wish…" Probably a lot of things. More than he can really fit into words. "…I wish we'd told you before it came out like that. And I wish you'd been home when it did, and that Jacsen would've been stronger and…I don't know that it would've a difference, though."
"Of course you were only punished when you stopped - while you were lying, nobody knew," points out Lucienne, annoyance creeping into her tone. She adjusts her grip on the blanket about her shoulders, tucking herself into it tighter. "You can't change what you did, but you can change what you're doing now." She ducks her head, trying to make eye contact.
"And what would I be at home now, Luci?" Jarod does meet her eyes. He seems half-looking for something in them, but he doesn't seem to expect to find it. "Lord Jerold's made it plain he'll not have me as a knight. What would I do with myself? Be kept and pitied? What would Rowenna do with herself there, after everything? We wanted to stay. I wanted to stay. I've never wanted anything more than to serve the Terricks honorably except…" He shrugs. "…I've taken one thing, in all my life, Lord Jerold didn't approve of, and he stripped me bare for it."
"You could be my brother, and Rowenna could be my goodsister, and you could… I don't know," admits Lucienne, helplessness in her eyes as she looks at Jarod. "You could be sorry for lying to us all these years, and you could ask him to take you back. You shouldn't have lied. I don't understand why you boys all keep… you keep doing these stupid things!"
"I am sorry for lying. And I'm sorry that…it was easier before the war. And before Lady Evangeline…" Jarod swallows and looks away from her again. "…I knew it'd hurt but I didn't think it'd be…I didn't want to be just another wound for the family. Maybe I thought it'd matter less to him because I was…" Pause. Shrug. "…I don't know."
Lucienne's voice has gotten a little louder than strictly necessary. "You've never mattered less," she shoots back, staring at Jarod's profile as her anger flashes. "When have you ever mattered less? Never. You've never mattered less than any of us."
"Yes, I think I know that now," Jarod mutters. He sounds like he actually believes it, too. Fine time for him to figure it out.
Lucienne shoves her shoulder into Jarod's, because sometimes physical violence is the only way to make yourself feel better. And it does make her feel better, for her anger subsides at least a little. She sighs a long, exasperated, weary sigh. SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGH.
Jarod understands physical violence better than he understands other things, so the shoving makes him smile. He reaches an arm around her shoulders. Unless she bites it like the poisonous viper she is, of course. "Will you come and visit me sometimes? In Stonebridge?"
Lucienne snuggles up to Jarod, scootching over on the log to get a little closer. Not in the incestuous way, though. She feigns contemplation for a long moment, before allowing him a sulky: "Maybe." It is a long ride, after all.
"You're so mean, Luci," Jarod says with a snort. He doesn't really sound like he minds, though. "I can perhaps come to town sometimes. To the Roost. Not to Four Eagles. Not after the way I was received last time." When he came with a party of Naylands. There's hurt in his tone, but it's mixed with wounded, stubborn pride. "Maybe some day, though. Hope so."
"I know," Lucienne replies proudly in response to being called mean, resting her cheek up in the crook of Jarod's shoulder. "If I'm ever allowed out of the tower again, I'll come visit you." The prospect of being over-guarded seems to weaken her spirit, and Luci's smile disappears again.
"Just take a knight with you. We're not good for much, but we're skilled at hitting bandits," Jarod replies. "Man's got to have a calling, after all." He drinks again, then offers the skin back to Lucienne. He'll wait there with her until Hardwicke grumps along to over-guard her.
Perchance, the older knight happens along quite quickly, riding toward the camp at a brisk canter. Hardwicke slides out of the saddle, hesitating to approach, perhaps reluctant to interrupt? When Lucienne's dark eyes alight on him, though, she smiles, and cuddles into Jarod one last time before scrambling to her bare feet. SORRY BUTTONS YOU ARE ALL BUT FORGOTTEN NOW.