Page 118: Bending
Summary: Jarod discusses his love life with Anais. There is alcohol involved.
Date: 10/11/2011
Related Logs: The Same Old Argument; many others
Anais Jarod 
A room with a couch.
Thu Nov 10, 288

Jarod has done his duty by the Terricks as they've required his guardship during the trip to Riverrun, but he's largely avoided the main retinue when they've been on their 'downtime' in the rooms Lord Tully has provided. Perhaps due to the large amount of enforced company with Lady Evangeline. Whyever the case, he's explored the taverns, markets, forests and practice yards of Riverrun from top to bottom. So it's maybe a little less expected than it would be back home at the Roost when he comes skulking around the area where they've got Lord Jacsen housed. He looks, well, exhausted. Intentionally so. Like he's spent several hours in the practice yard and then topped it off with a run. Perhaps around the entirety of Riverrun itself. He's red-faced and sweaty and still panting as he noses around the noble quarters.

Anais can hardly blame Jarod for trying to avoid Lady Evangeline. No doubt she's loitering in the rooms she shares with her husband for exactly that reason. There are a few sets of clothes spread out on the bed, both hers and Jacsen's, and she seems to be giving them some very serious consideration. When Jarod arrives, she looks up from the clothes, quirking a brow at the picture he presents. It's all the question she asks, though, not saying anything just yet.

Not seeing Jacsen directly, Jarod just sort of collapses in an available chair and spends some time inhaling and exhaling. The picture he presents is fairly ragged, though perhaps that's just because he's plainly exhausted himself. It takes him a second to notice Anais. And then he does. He blinks. "Oh. Afternoon. You…umm…seen Jace about?"

"Once or twice," Anais answers, dry, before she turns back to the clothes, picking out a pair and setting them aside. "I think he

"Once or twice," Anais answers, dry, before she turns back to the clothes, picking out a pair and setting them aside. "I think he's gone to speak with some of the Mallister men." She starts to fold up the other clothes, smoothing them carefully to keep them from wrinkling. "And what've you been up to? Hiding from a mob? Or Lady Evangeline?"

Jarod snorts a half-laugh at that, though he doesn't smile quite. "We seek not each other's company generally, and we're both happier for it usually. Only so many places she can go in Riverrun, though, so simpler all around if I remove myself from them." As for what he's been up to, that gets a non-answering sort of shrug. "Went for a run." Obviously. "There anything to drink about?" He grunts himself to his feet, to start a pre-emptive search for it.

"I think there's some water over by the window," Anais nods toward a tray. "There should be a little bit of fruit left as well." The folded clothes she places neatly in a trunk, closing the lid gently before looking back to Jarod, perplexed. "Looks like it was quite a run."

"Water?" That so wasn't what Jarod had in mind. But he shrugs and goes over to pour himself a glass. Which he gulps, almost without bothering to pause, right there. He gets himself a second and takes it back to re-collapse in his chair. "Aye. Guess it was. Needed to clear my head out. That'll do it. You just…dump all your energy into it, until you empty yourself out. Thought about finishing off with a swim, but you don't want to run out of…everything out in the middle of deep water." He sounds like he speaks from experience.

"No," Anais agrees quietly, and while there's something of experience in her words, there's a certain sadness as well. "No, that doesn't end well." She tucks a piece of hair behind her ear, then moves to settle somewhat more gracefully into another of the chairs, watching him quietly. "So…was there a reason you were trying to exhaust yourself?"

"Tried it at sea by the Roost when I was thirteen," Jarod replies, after another gulp of water. Which probably doesn't answer the intent of Anais's question, but that's the reply he goes with. "I was pissed off about…something. Stupid little things that make you mad when you're a child. Just…started swimming, to see how far out I could get. Was the grandest feeling at first. Peaceful, but really focuses you at the same time, you know? Then the water started getting heavy and my arms got more tired than I'd ever figured they could get. Turned around, but I didn't have it in me to make it all the way back. Thought I was going to drown. Would've, likely, if my lord Uncle Revyn hadn't swum in after me."

"I'm familiar with the sensation," Anais smiles faintly, a slight curve at one corner of her lips. "Also with the currents near the Banefort that you can more or less ride to shore if you're too tired." She settles back in her chair for a moment, just watching him. "So…you'd really rather talk to Jacsen than to me, I imagine."

"I didn't want to talk at all. I wanted to run," Jarod says with another of those laughs that doesn't contain much of his usual good-natured humor. "For Jace, I'll confess I came wanting to drink." He shrugs. "But I don't figure he has time to get terribly stupid with me just now anyhow." While the water may not be precisely what he wants, he gulps it anyhow. "You still cross at me? For what happened with Lady Evangeline back at the Roost?"

Anais seems to consider her response for a moment, just watching him. "Yes," she finally admits. "And I know it's childish, but you're about the only person I'm actually allowed to be angry at, it seems," she sighs, pushing up out of her chair and moving back to the trunk. Once there, she retrieves a small flask, though she arches a brow warningly as she offers it over. "This is the dreadful pine stuff from home, so take it easy."

"I'm convenient that way. Everybody's allowed to be angry at me. Thanks," Jarod says with a laugh that's rather warmer. He takes the flask, and sips. He downs it without grimacing, though it's probably a near thing. It is, indeed, dreadful pine stuff. "Anyhow, sorry. That wasn't about you, you know. Not on my part, nor on hers, either."

"No?" Anais grimaces faintly, settling back into the chair once more. "I don't know. It certainly felt personal. And even if it was personal at you, you're my friend, and that makes it personal to me, too." Idly, she traces a finger along the arm of the chair, digging a nail into the detailing. "I just…I don't know. I guess I expected that you'd have my back, is all."

"There was nothing improper about what Lady Evangeline did," Jarod says with a shrug. And another swig. "Can hardly take the Lady of the Roost to task for requesting propriety from those who live in her house. I don't know how it is with your lady mother and Cayt, but I know he came to live with you lot when he was near-grown. Perhaps that made it…different. I don't know. I never felt it was my place to ask him."

"I don't think," Anais says slowly, taking the time to choose her words carefully, "That my father would accept her telling /other/ people how to treat him. But then, I'm not sure it means the same to them as it does to your mother." She frowns slightly down at the arm of the chair. "They care for each other, but my mother has always been content with what she has. She doesn't feel threatened by his dalliances."

"My mother's dead, Anais, so I'd not know about that, either," Jarod says with a shrug, and another drink. "She was the daughter of the steward to the Old Lord Terrick. My grandfather. They were both my grandfathers, I suppose." He snorts. "I got the impression my mother and my lord father sort've…that they were sort've together, in that fashion, off and on before he wed Lady Evangeline. And I guess they didn't stop. I never really asked about much more than that. I don't figure it's a story that reflects too well on either of my makers, so I'd rather not know it. My mother was a respectable woman, my lord father wouldn't have acknowledged me otherwise, and he's done right by me. That's what matters in the end." *re*

Anais watches him closely as he speaks, considering words both said and unsaid. And when he finishes, she simply nods. "If that's how you feel," she murmurs, then looks back up, smile quirking with a hint of amusement. "So, would you rather talk about whatever you were trying to work out with your long run now?" she asks, putting more cheer in her voice than really belongs there.

"I just realized I never really explained it to you," Jarod says. "Everybody at the Roost knows how I came to be, of course, but it's all old business. I think the whole matter embarrasses her, so I try not to, as I can. The Lady Evangeline's been very good to me over the years, in truth. She's made a place for me there. I'd not have had one if she hadn't allowed it, though I'm sure Lord Jerold would've provided for me in some fashion. Perhaps a stipend while I lived with my mother's kin. But I was raised with his trueborn children instead, and given many opportunities I'd not have had otherwise. So I mind my place around her. Figure it's the least I owe her." As for the run. Drink. "It's a long and stupid story I'll not bother telling. Short of it is, there is a woman who makes me happy, but I think she'd rather someone else made her happy. So I've left her to that." Drink.

"Ah." Anais still watches him as he drinks, though she presses her lips together for a moment. "I'm sorry. That must be difficult for everyone." She's quiet a moment, then repeats. "Rather someone else made her happy," she muses. "So…her head's telling her that this someone else should be the right person for her, so she wants to really care for them. Whereas at the moment, /you/ make her happy, but she feels like it's the wrong choice?"

"I don't know what in seven hells she thinks of me, or him," Jarod says, rather bitterly, though he's too properly tired to be really angry about it. The running did its job there. "I'm just tired of women who've got their minds on someone else when they're with me." Drink. "I thought she…guess not, though. People always want what they can't have, Anais. You ever noticed that?"

"I have," Anais agrees quietly. "It's…the way of things." She quirks a brow then, tipping her head to one side. "Really, though? I wouldn't think you'd have that particular trouble. I mean, you're just…" She raises a hand, waving it vaguely toward him. "Honestly, I don't see anything wrong with you as yourself. WHich I'm sure is terribly improper of me to say, but I'm going to say it anyhow."

"I will not tell anyone my brother's wife said that to me, no worries," Jarod says. "Not that the spirit isn't appreciated and all that, m'lady." Still. Drink. Drink. He considers the flask again, but finally just extends his arm to pass it back to Anais. "Thanks for the…what in seven hells *is* that, anyhow?"

"The Ironmen call it the Drowned God's piss, I believe," Anais answers cheerfully, reaching out to take the bottle back. "I don't know what it's rightly called, though. All I know is it has something to do with pine, and you could strip paint with it. Actually, I think if you ferment it long enough, you /can/ strip paint with it," she muses, considering the flask and shaking her head. "Jarod, you are a good man. And I have no doubt that there are plenty of women who would be interested in you for you. Although, if you're /serious/ about finding one, perhaps you might play less of the playboy," she offers as advice.

"It is tingly," Jarod observes, with general approval. He's gotten rather mellow off it. He stands, steadying himself on the chair as he does. He is not quite properly drunk, yet, but the stuff is doing his coordination no favors. "Uh, tell Jace I'm looking for him. Sometime. I think I'll just get cleaned up and…sleep. And that's bollocks, you know." He points at Anais. "I bloody well tried with this one, and she got bored of me because I treated her with some…propriety. Nah. I think I had it figured out before."

"Oh, Jarod." Anais moves to stand as he does, offering a hand toward his elbow. "It's not about /propriety/. Seven bless, that's the last thing a woman- Well, all right, I can't speak for all women, but the last thing I want is to be treated with perfect propriety. It's like- It's like if I gave you this amazing sword, but I told you you had to hang it on the wall and never, /ever/ use it."

That is apparently not a way Jarod has thought of it before. He thinks about it. And frowns. Looking rather sad suddenly. "Aye. Oh, fuck." A shrug to Anais. "Pardon me. But…I get your point. That's an excellent point. Damn."

"Mmm. Fuck and damn indeed." There's that funny hitch in Anais' voice that says she doesn't use the words /often/, but she's familiar with them. "Propriety is duty, Jarod. Propriety is the thing you have to do, whether you want to or not. No woman wants to feel like a duty. Like you can't be trusted with her. Like…you can't just be yourself. For myself…" She trails off a moment, looking around the room. "I can't think of anything more hurtful than being treated as impersonally as propriety requires by someone who loves me. Because while propriety is all about treating everyone a particular way, regardless of who they are inside, love is…love is /only/ about who they are inside. Does that make sense?"

"I'm not impersonal!" Jarod says, snorting at the idea. "Not like I act like she's Lady Evangeline or anything…seven hells no." He shakes his head. So much. No. "We're friends. And we slept together. Lots of times." He might be kind of drunk now. "I just think she's…she's doing things that'll make her unhappy, even if she can't see it now, and she gets all hurt if I tell her that. But nobody else is bothering, and that's just going to hurt her more."

"Which is very noble of you, Jarod," Anais agrees, smile slipping crooked. "But from experience? No woman wants to be told she's doing the wrong thing. At least not more than once. I'm not sure that's just women, either. If she thought it was going to hurt her, she wouldn't be doing it, right?" She sits lightly on the arm of the chair, hands folded in her lap. "Have you tried telling her that you'll be there for her no matter what the outcome is?"

"So what? If you were about to walk over cliff and fall on jagged rocks and get all broken to bloody pieces, and that's what you wanted to do, it'd be loving for Jace to support that? Because that's insane. Women are insane," Jarod concludes. "I mean, no offense, but you are, or you'd not have been mad at me in the first place. M'lady. Though you're less insane than the one I'm on about, so that's good on my dear brother. And of course I've told her that. She doesn't seem to want to hear it. I think she's knows she's walking over a cliff and it pisses her off to be reminded of it."

Anais shifts, settling an elbow to her knee and propping her chin on one hand. "There's a difference between being insane and having different priorities," she points out, though she seems more amused than upset. "If you think she knows she's walking off a cliff, have you asked her why she feels like she has to?"

"Because it's what she wants, more than anything else in the world, and she can't have it, but the world hasn't picked her up and thrown her around enough for her to figure that out yet, and it's going to be awful when it does," Jarod says. "It's not that I don't kind of admire it. I do. She's real brave. She doesn't just roll over and cower at life, she takes it by balls. It's beautiful. And stubborn and naive as seven hells. You don't bend a little in life you just get broken, you know?"

Anais wrinkles her nose slightly at the last. "Women are expected to do a lot of bending in life, Jarod," she points out. "I just had that discussion with Avinashi. About Lady Evangeline, for that matter," she adds with a brief, rueful smile. "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken, and all that. The thing with bending is that once you start, it's hard to stop. And if you bend long enough, you get…stuck that way. Like a reed in a basket that stays curved even if you take it out of the weave. That can be frightening."

"I bend. I'm real bendy. I don't complain about it. Ask Lady Evangeline how good I am at bending." That turn of phrase makes Jarod laugh. A lot. "So…you think I'm stuck?" Also. "You and Miss Avinashi were talking about bending?" He blinks some as he pictures that. Possibly not in the way Anais quite meant. "Huh…"

Jarod adds, extending a hand, "Can I have your tree liquor back? It's real good."

Anais quirks a brow, smile crooked. "I'm not sure you need more of the tree liquor, Jarod," she notes gently. "And…if you want me to be honest, then yes, I do think you're a little bent, Jarod. Mostly in the sense that you've been shaped by your world. And I can't say that's a bad thing. We're all shaped by our world to some degree. And it's a desirable trait for many people. But some of us…some of us want more. Some of us want to do some of the shaping."

"Am I really that bent?" Jarod asks Anais, plopping down again, on a sofa this time. "You think? If you'll pardon me, m'lady, I think most people who don't want to bend, haven't been asked to very much, which makes them think the world's going to bend for them easier than it actually will. That is what I think." He pauses. "You think I should unbend?" Because gods forbid he be displeasing to anyone, even her. "You know what I think? I think there's a conspiracy between women, where you all get together and decide how to drive us insane, and you and her are in on it. I should play around again. That was never this complicated. Seven hells, even Iz was never this complicated. I mean, not that I ever thought that was going anywhere but she appreciated me, at least."

Anais quirks a brow at the mention of Isolde, but apparently decides that's best not to pursue. "I think if what you want is short-term happiness, Jarod, then you should absolutely play around again," she agrees after a moment. "As long as you're okay with the idea that your lady may not be very happy with you, and you might lose out on any chance to her get back."

Jarod enjoyed the pine liquor enough to pursue it, however. It seems to have gotten him off on a tangent. "Now speaking on bending. That girl. Iz, I mean. I guess…maybe that's why we got so well as we did. We're both kind of…benders." He makes a vague hand gesture. "She's just been bent by…worse people than me. I feel for her, Anais, even now. She's got herself into a place where she's not making any of her own choices, y'know? Ever since Lord Geoffrey and her brother died she's just been this…thing. This castle. That everybody wants. But that's not like wanting a person, you know? I think even Jaremy was like that, a little. I mean, I know people talk about them now that's he's gone off like an idiot about how they were this great tragic love story, but that's bosh. They were just…it was like it's what was supposed to happen. Everybody told them they should be in love for all those years and I think she just kind of…went along with it. And then he didn't even take her - and I totally could've bent her, I tell you what, if I hadn't seen his big stupid face every time I went to do it - until she was somebody else's and it was just…spiteful. But I'm sure it makes a good story in Jaremy's head, if nowhere else." Suddenly, he snaps his fingers. "You know what? I have a great idea!" He's very excited about his idea.

"I get the feeling there are a good deal of stories in Jaremy's head that don't have much to do with the truth," Anais murmurs, though it's mostly to herself. All the talk of bending doesn't so much earn a response, though his idea gets a quirk of her brow. "What is your great idea, Jarod?" she asks carefully.

"I was just thinking that if you combined the way my…let's call her Nommy," Jarod says. "A lot of the way she acted, with a little of the way Isolde acted…you'd have the perfect woman." He clasps his hands together, as if doing this combination process physically. Which makes him grin. "They should be friends, you know? Maybe they can get together and teach each other how to bend…more. Or less. I mean, depending on where it's needed." All his talk of bending is accompanied by hand-flexing, to illustrate his point.

"Women aren't like drinks, Jarod," Anais smiles crookedly, shaking her head. "You don't just mix them together until it all goes down smoothly. And I'm afraid the not-bendy types of women usually don't much care for the bendy types. And then the bendy types get their feelings hurt."

"Well maybe they should be more like drinks, then," Jarod says, firmly, like he's discovered some revolutionary flaw in womankind that he will now fix. "But all right. That's probably not going to happen. So…" He squints at her. "…what should I do?" Just in general, maybe. He's wandered around to a variety of points.

And that is the difficult question. Anais is quiet for a long moment, trying to figure out her way around it. "Without knowing the lady in question, it's hard for me to say, Jarod," she finally answers. "But I think no matter what she's like, the first thing you have to do is decide what you want. And then decide what it's worth to you."

"Nobody knows what in seven hells they want," Jarod proclaims with a snort. "But, aye, fine, whatever. I really tired." He remains prone on the sofa. "It all right if I wait here for Jacsen?" And pass out on their couch, plainly.

Again, a pause, but though Anais shakes her head, it's with a small smile. "Of course," she replies. "After all, you're family. Ser Jarod." There's a glimmer of amusement in her voice as she pulls a pillow and a blanket from the chair, bringing it over to him. "Make yourself at home."

"You're a good goodsister, m'lady," Jarod says, chuckling at his play on words - such as it is - and curling up.