|Boons of Kinship|
|Summary:||Ser Jarod Rivers asks a boon of Lady Isolde Nayland, in his inimitable fashion. It prompts her to call him a bullheaded fool.|
|Related Logs:||Many Rivers to Cross; The Rivers Boys; Considering Terms; Many others.|
|Outside the Sept — Riverrun|
|Mon Nov 14, 288|
Ser Jarod Rivers once again finds himself at the sept at Riverrun. Though, again once again, he doesn't go inside to pray. Rather he waits on the outskirts, arms folded, for one he suspects is praying inside. He's clean and pressed today, all freshly shaved and shined up in Terrick livery. He has not been swimming.
Having lit her candles to the seven and prayed before them, she is gathering herself and Asha so that they can return to her chambers. "I think it would be best to try to mint tea today. Perhaps it will help." The maid nods as they walk together towards the exit. Isolde is lost in though, her gaze angled downward that she doesn't yet see Jarod. Rather it is her maid that clears her throat and whispers softly. That draws her head up and the Lady slows and finally stops not far from him. "Ser Jarod. All together today I see. You clean up rather well." She says with some humor, a smile to him and Asha hangs back.
"My Lady Isolde." Jarod moves to meet her and flourishes her one of those bows he must spend hours practicing in front of the mirror. He's wearing the purple-and-gold sash at his swordbelt today, and he's got it down so it flares when he straightens up. The compliment earns a boyish grin from him, though his green eyes are still serious. "I fake togetherness passing well on occasion. Have you a moment, m'lady? I would ask a boon of you. Or the time to hear it, at least, from one who might've been your family once upon a time."
The rather embellished movement earns a smile all the same and Isolde listens, a brow lifting at his request. "Yes, of course…" She hesitates and then nods to Asha. "I will be along, the Ser can escort me the short distance." Answering with a faint reply, Asha is off and past Jarod to return ot the chambers while the Lady remains. "Family still if think on how much time we have spent together. But ask of me what you will." She says to him, making a motion of her hand.
"But we're not family, m'lady," Jarod says, sadly but not unkindly, as he falls into step with her. He'll go where she leads. "Blood is blood. What made us family was promises, and friendship, and those're things that can be broken easier than I'd have thought a year ago. Or a week ago." He pauses a beat. "But perhaps something of it remains. Tell me, m'lady? What is Ser Gedeon to you?"
Continuing their slow walk from the sept, Isolde draws a breath and lets her frown barely take hold upon her lips. Green eyes flit over to the Knight and then forward again. "He is my half-brother, Ser…as I have told him. We were not raised together but he was a brother nonetheless." She clasps her hands before her. "Why do you ask, Ser Jarod?" She wonders.
"What does that mean to you, m'lady?" Jarod asks. "I don't mean to be vague but…he is your brother. Blood of your blood, or at least you plainly believe him to be, and were raised to think it so, which makes it good as true. Do you mourn the distance between you? What would you do to repair it?"
"He is just as you say.." Isolde says and then looks away. "But it also seems that many of those that were to be my family, as well as my half-brother think I am not even blood of his blood. His documents would indicate as much…would they not? Or are you telling me they are false and untrue?" She looks to Jarod, slowing to a stop. "Jarod, what is it then? Am I his sister or am I not? You told me family is by blood and bond, we are not so because of the broken marriage. But now you wish me to tell you yes, of course I would wish to repair it. But yet there still sits those in judgement who would claim I am not my father's daughter and sunder any ties of blood with Ser Gedeon." She says this calmly, plainly but watches him. "I would repair it. I have told Gedeon that no matter what is to come, he is my brother. We do not share a mother, but we share a father."
"As for Ser Gedeon's letters, I know not what they are, and I begin to think it unlikely any ever will," Jarod says. "You ask me if I believe them? I say yes. But I can't claim I know it for fact. The writing upon them has been said to be that of Lord Tordane but more than that Iz…" He lets out a long breath. "…I want to believe. Despite all the love I hold you - and I do care for you, always will - I want them to be true. And whatever Ser Gedeon is, whatever he and I are now, and I'm not sure what if anything remains between us…" There's traces of anger there, and a bitterness that's very unlike him. "…he is a Rivers. And of all the things he said to me these past months, the one thing I believe with no doubt is this. I was the first person he showed those letters to when he returned to the Riverlands because he knew I would know what they meant to him. That his lord father thought him good enough and worthy enough and loved him well enough to be a Tordane, and wanted him to have what was Tordane. And you know what? Even if every word of it is some vile forgery - and I've seen no proof it is - I'd still want to believe that might've been true." He sighs. "But who knows what Lord Tully will say. You were right when we spoke before. His side and yours present documents that say the opposite and are both highly suspect, and with very little to prove them save the words of Ser Gedeon and Lady Valda, neither of whom I'd call an unblemished source. So I know not what'll come out of this. But I ask, that if it's decided in your favor, and you remain the Lady of Stonebridge, you remember your brother. And you think on doing something for him that might begin to repair something of the kinship you hope to have."
Isolde remains still, unreadable during his words and hold his gaze unerringly. "You want to believe, because perhaps bonds and love are more a name. More than Rivers." She lets out a slow breath. "When he brought them to me, I was so torn apart by what I read, that after all these years the only time that I was able to see him was because he wanted to bring me…those.." She makes a motion in the direction of the sitting room of Lord Tully. "To have Terrick taken from me first…then to have my brother, who I wished to return to me before all this…bring me that." She quiets again and forgets her words. "I have no doubt there is no love lost now between myself and those that once doted on me as one of their own…I envy Gedeon that." She gives him a wan smile and it fades again. "If I do remain the Lady of Stonebridge, Jarod…if I do…I will do what I can for my brother. I am sure he will not wish to come near Nayland lands…but my thoughts are of him too." She exhales and gives him a faint smile, "I do not love my mother as a daughter should..and I have no others but him. Though I think despite those years together, they were very strained, I do not think Gedeon ever felt a sibling to me, thanks to his father's wife. He did not grow within a household of acceptance as you did."
"It's funny, that. I always figured the main reason I grew up accepted within the Terricks was because of my siblings. Maybe Jaremy most of all, Seven help him." Jarod speaks of his wayward brother with both frustration and fondness. "We were all so close in age, him and Jace and me, and we played together and knew each other as brothers before we knew we were on half-so. And they loved me, and I think having the heir look upon me that way…it made it all right for me to have a place there. But, aye. I'm not saying I hold you responsible for Gedeon's lot. I am a lucky bastard, and Lady Evangeline's house was not Lady Valda's. As for Ser Gedeon…I am not sure what remains between us. We are not brothers. We never were. But he is still my kinsman in the Riverlands, and if this all goes well for you with Lord Hoster, Iz, there is still something I think you can do for him. Perhaps you're the only one who can. And I think you owe him it, and you owe it Lord Geoffrey Tordane."
"If my Lord Father was not around, I was lucky to be able to spend time with Gedeon and Geonis was always far too busy. Was it ever a wonder why I loved the Roost so?" Isolde listens though, lifting a brow. "What do you think I can do for him, Jarod? I will gladly hear it.." She says, though her curiousity blooms at a wonder as to what has sundered Gedeon and Jarod so. It seems she can not keep quiet about it either, "What has torn you two apart?"
"Those were happy times," Jarod says, not bothering to try and mask his regret that they're done with. Her second question will go unanswered. But he cuts to the point finally with the first. "I want you to support Ser Gedeon's legitimacy. I want you to assist him in getting Good King Robert to name him a Tordane. It's no threat to you, the name. Not if you're still held as Lord Geoffrey's trueborn daughter. Even a legitimized bastard is last of any line. But he'd have the name. And even if you don't believe his letters - and I don't think you can assuredly call them false, much as you'd like to, whatever Lord Hoster says - I think you know Lord Geoffrey would've wanted him to have it."
Her brows furrow at that and Isolde closes her eyes. "There has been talk of this…but it undecided yet. My husband likes it not as it puts us at risk. If I am declared Lady of Stonebridge and rightful daughter, Gedeon becomes a Tordane. It would be a matter of killing us to have him succeed and I am not yet beyond believing that Gedeon is being used." She says softly. "I can not promise Jarod, this decision is not just my own, but I will think on it. Whatever the case, I am giving Gedeon's father's sword. I have no use of it, and though I would have given it to a son if I were to be blessed with one, he is the last remaining son of Geoffrey's and it is rightfully his, no matter his standing." She says. She falls to silence.
"You know what, Iz?" Jarod says, taking a deep breath and dropping his voice very low. "Fuck what your lord husband thinks. Fuck what Lady Valda wants. You are the Lady of Stonebridge and it is within you to push for this. Whether you shall or not is beyond you, but is within your power to speak for it, and you can shape this. You can try to shape the world, just a little bit, if only for Ser Gedeon, who you call your kinsman. It's the right thing to do, you know it'd be right, and it would keep the Tordane name alive, even if they didn't rule Stonebridge, when your Nayland children are grown and have Nayland children of their own. And even if it doesn't work, even if it all comes to nothing and the Naylands ruin it and… - fuck it! - at least you've tried. At least you've not just let things happen in order to make things easier on yourself. Because then you'll just lose what might've actually mattered." He's really, really gone off on a tangent and he's flushed as he finally realizes he's ranting and stops. Face flushed, both with emotion and embarsassment. "Umm…all right. That…a lot of that wasn't about you. It's…it's good you're giving him your father's sword. It's something."
The sudden rush of words, low as they are is still something of a surprise. Isolde's brows draw together and she shifts on her feet. Her own cheeks flush a moment and her eyes become cool. The Lady remains still, even as he calms himself. There for several long silent moments she just looks at him. "I suppose you have the measure of it…'easier' on myself.." It could be a bitter thing to say, but she at least keeps some of her tone in check. "Because this has all been..so easy." Her chin lifts and she lets her gaze break from his to look elsewhere. Green eyes stare level through the air, the Lady doing quite well to keep composed. "It's all just a big game…." SHe murmurs to herself, as if observing something before looking back to him. "I am glad you approve of something I seek to do, Ser Jarod."
"Oh, sweet seven…" Jarod says, placing his face directly in his palm for a moment. "Iz…m'lady…I'm sorry. That was uncalled for and I don't think any of this is how you wanted things and…I am just going to not talk to the women for awhile. Entirely. That would…probably be best for everyone concerned." He pauses a beat and adds, "Umm…this was more of a personal errand for me, I'm not here in any…official capacity for my family so…don't hold that against them. Just me. Things being held against me I'm quite used to."
"If it was your family that wished to talk to me of such things, Lord Jacsen would have sought me out, but considering how our last talk went.." Isolde watches Jarod, her gaze narrowing a moment. "Not talking gets you in even more trouble, just as a bit of information for you." Despite his apology and subsequent guilt, there is obviously still a sore welt remaining from the outburst. "We spent much of our young lives together, I am glad you are comfortable enough with me to express yourself." She keeps her tone light as she seeks to mend the slight cracks. SHe pauses and trains her gaze on him. "I find it almost endearing you think a Lady's word weighs so very much to the Lords of these lands. Noble by birth but every father curses the daughter born that is not a son and heir." She says in a manner of explaining. "You need not convince me to want to give care and love to what is still half-blood to me. From the sounds of it, you have yet to understand how women themselves look at you and do you know me so little that I carry such…animosity to hold something against you?" Then another pause and she says to him. "You spoke for Gedeon and out of no gain of your own. What has come between you two?"
"Talking and not talking both seem to get me into trouble, if different kinds of trouble, m'lady," Jarod says ruefully. "I'm unsure what other options are left for me. I mean you no ill by it. I'm not sure I would've handled anything you were dealt differently, in your place. And I'm told there are a great many things I don't understand. Thanks for not holding it against me, at least." He cracks a quick, boyish grin. "The matter between Ser Gedeon and myself is a personal one, and one I think does neither of us any credit, so I'll not speak on it. And not let it add to the reasons you think us both asses. We're but men. Just…very different sorts of men. Always were, even when we were boys of thirteen. But he's still my Kinsman in Stonebridge, my fellow Rivers. And he has a chance at something I have always wanted, but'll never get. And…to say I tried to do it, I suppose. Perhaps it'll come to nothing and not matter. But I gave it a go. That's something."
"Asses? Not exactly the term I would use..perhaps bullheaded fools." Isolde offers. There is a breath drawn and she sighs. "Truth is just as I have told you, sadly my word has little weight. Men will speak with men and pay little mind to what we women say. I can write, but it will not likely come to anything without my Lord Husband's name beside mine." She tells him. "Otherwise, you can very well go to him with the same case you gave to me and see if he is convinced to do just that."
"Oh, I don't think I'll be having this conversation with Lord Ser Ryker," Jarod says, again very rueful. He clears his throat. "Worry not. Anyhow, m'lady, that is my boon, and I asked only for you to hear it. I maybe should've written it down first. That sometimes helps me not…make a bullheaded fool of myself. I hope whatever comes of this it makes you happy, in whatever way you can find it for yourself. I shouldn't keep you any longer."
"Worry not…" Isolde almost half laughs but keeps herself from doing do so. "Jarod. You have a kind heart, just be careful of it." she looks towards the direction of the Water Tower. "Would you mind escorting me back, you look such the part that I hate to walk without you." She smiles for him, the coolness that had been much akin to her mother's has passed and melted.
"Yes, I'm a good man," Jarod snorts, laughing. Mostly at himself, from the sound of it. He clears his throat again. "So I keep being told, at least. Not sure quite what I'm getting out of it. Aye. I'll walk you back." And he will, of course, so far as she needs an escort, his own manner settled back into companionable and friendly. His manner was never cool. If he's capable of such a manner, few have seen it.