|Summary:||Kittridge and Rosanna make a pact after Nicodemus leaves.|
|Date:||May 26, 2012 (OOC Date)|
|Related Logs:||The Promise, Conviction, What You Can't Take Back|
Lady Rosanna Groves is missing. This is not actually a terribly uncommon occurrence at the moment, but this time she has been missing for longer than usual, and since sometime that evening. A quiet, little redheaded ball, she's curled in the best tree in the orchard, one that has always provided an excellent view of the sunrise from the vantage of its branches. Her shift is a bit of a mess after climbing the tree, as is her hair, and she has the look of a little girl who's been crying quite a lot — for anyone who can find her, that is.
Tracking down Rosanna has become a common activity for Kittridge as well - while they generally try to give her time to come back on her own, lately, it's good to know where she is, and other than Day, he is generally best at finding her. It takes a while to locate the right tree, this evening, but eventually he wanders up to the base of it and, after a moment of contemplation, begins climbing up to join her.
Rosanna startles from the view of the lightening horizon when she hears her brother approaching. She holds her body stiff and wary until she sees who it is, and even then there is a certain sniffly remove. But she says nothing as he climbs up to join her.
It's a quick climb when you're full grown and tall to boot, and soon Kit is perched on the next branch over, legs dangling. For a while he just sits quietly, watching the view with her. Eventually he says, "This is a nice spot."
Rosanna rubs her little hand under her nose and sniffles again. She eyes him a moment, still wary, and then finally says in a small voice, "It's my favorite."
"I can see why," Kittridge says, nodding. He reaches into a pocket and pulls out a handkerchief and passes it over.
Rosanna eyes the handkerchief next, but just for another moment before she reaches out to take it and rub at her damp face with it.
Kittridge waits until she takes it, and then crosses his arms against his chest again, and leans against the tree trunk, silent.
The silence extends for quite a while as Rosanna sniffles and dabs with the handkerchiefs. Finally, though, in a tiny, quiet voice, she asks her brother, "Why did you let him?"
"I couldn't stop him," Kittridge replies, just as quietly, head lowering to look down at his hands, "I tried. I didn't know what else to do."
"You were supposed to bring him home," Rosanna says in a more accusatory voice that trembles more than a bit.
"He was supposed to come home," Kittridge replies, tightly, "This is HIS fault. It's not mine. I tried."
Rosanna wibbles a bit, then looks back down at the handkerchief in her hand and says nothing.
Kittridge sets his jaw and looks away, shoulders hunched angrily. "This isn't my fault," he says again, voice thick, "I tried. Alright? I tried."
Rosanna's eyes water right back up at that, and her voice breaks audibly as she speaks again. "Don't yell at me."
"Don't blame me!" Kittridge retorts, upset but not yelling, "Everybody blames me and it's not fair. You think I didn't want him to come back? He's my twin. He abandoned me as much as anybody. More than anybody."
"Stop it," Rosanna cries, tears leaking freely from her eyes to trace lines of wetness down her cheeks. "Stop."
"You stop it," Kittridge says, somewhat nonsensically, "Stop blaming me. Blame him." He curls even more tightly in on himself against the trunk and discreetly rubs his cheek against his shoulder, glaring at the view, now.
"Stop being mean," Rosanna pleads with him, holding the handkerchief up to her face as she watches him with watery eyes. "You're being mean."
Kit's jaw works like he wants to yell, but he doesn't. He just keeps glowering, like if he just glares hard enough he'll be able to start crushing things with his mind.
"It's not my fault, either," Rosanna says in a smaller voice, curling up on her branch like she can just disappear.
"Course it's not," Kittridge replies. This is obvious, right? No? He leans over to look at Rosanna all curled up, and sighs. He unwinds and climbs around to her branch to gather his little sister up into a big hug whether she wants it or not. "It's not any of our faults, Rosie. It's just his."
For all her arguments, Rosanna makes no effort to resist being pulled into the hug. She wraps her little arms tightly about his waist and presses her face to his shirt. "Why didn't he come home? He promised me."
"I don't know," Kit replies quietly, holding her tight, "I don't know, Rosie. I really don't. He just decided he couldn't. I don't know."
"He's awful," Rosanna declares, her voice a mumble against his shirt. "I hate him. I hope he never comes back."
Kittridge doesn't seem immediately sure how he wants to reply to that, frowning for a minute before agreeing, "He is awful. I hate him right now, too." He rubs her back in a soothing, brotherly fashion, and says, "I think we need to try to stop thinking about him."
Rosanna sniffs another few breaths, drawn close to him, and then whispers, "Okay."
"'cause he just makes us sad and angry, and I don't want to be sad and angry forever. And I don't want you to be either, Rosie," Kittridge says, "So… it's just us, now. We don't need him anymore."
"We don't," Rosanna agrees, her voice finding purchase with his support. "We are perfect without him, and I will grow up and be a lady and have a castle."
"Exactly," Kittridge agrees, and encourages, "We can still have all kinds of fun without him, you and me and Day. Maybe even Stafford sometimes when he's not feeling too grown-up," he jokes. "And you'll grow up and be the most beautiful lady in the Riverlands and have a giant castle."
"Sometimes Stafford has fun," Rosanna says, perhaps newly loyal to what brothers she has left, even those that are a little more serious. "I'm going to marry Barristan Selmy and be queen," she reminds him. "You can be in my Queensguard."
"Course he does," Kittridge agrees, "He used to be lots of fun," he says, "But now he's trying to be all responsible." He makes a bit of a face, but smiles a little, and more at Rosanna's plan. "Can I be captain of your Queensguard?" he asks.
"You may be Lord Commander of my Queensguard," Rosanna says in precise correction. "But you won't be able to get married."
"Of course, Lord Commander," Kittridge says, smiling as he's corrected. "Who wants to get married?" he shrugs, "So long as I can still do fun things. I won't have to be too serious, will I?"
"Only about protecting me," Rosanna says with a sniff more dignified than — sniffly.
"I can do that," Kittridge agrees. He smiles, and ruffles her hair, though at this point it may actually be more helpful than not. He offers her his hand, and promises, "I'll always be serious about protecting you, Rosie. No matter what."
Rosanna looks up at him as she slips her small hand into his larger one, her brown eyes still watery and rimmed in red. But she smiles at him. "Promise?"
"I promise," Kittridge replies solemnly. "I'll always be here to protect you." He cracks a smile, "And make sure you get your castle fit for a queen."
This time when Rosanna buries her face against Kittridge's side, there's something a bit calmer about it, a bit more grateful. She squeezes tight in the circle of his arms.
Kittridge squeezes her tight right back, and then even tighter, picking her right up off the branch in a bear hug, complete with growling noise. "Come on," he says, "I'm starving. Let's go get some breakfast before I'm tempted to eat you instead."
Rosanna squeaks and squeals as she's gathered up into a growling bear hug. "Don't eat me!" she exclaims. "I will never let you on my Queensguard if you eat me!"
"But if you're in my belly you'll be easier to protect!" Kittridge cries in return, "Nobody will be able to get you in there!" He makes more bear noises and tosses her over his shoulder, holding tight as he climbs down.
"Noooo!" Rosanna squeals, though there's laughter in her voice, and she doesn't really struggle all that much to be tossed over Kittridge's shoulder. "I'll tell on you!" Logic, it is not her strong suit at this age.
"You'll have to yell real loud if you're going to get heard from inside my stomach!" Kittridge replies, and then hmmmms loudly, "That will be awkward. I bet you'd always be interrupting me, wouldn't you?"
"Yes!" Rosanna declares stubbornly. "And I would kick you inside, too. And give you indi — indi — stomach cramps."
"Ow!" Kittridge complains as they reach the ground and he starts walking back through the orchard, "That's not very nice of you, when I'm keeping you all safe and warm! I guess maybe I'll just have to find some other way." He sighs heavily, and then swings her down off his shoulder and then right back up, so she can sit on his shoulders this time instead of being draped over. "Oh well," he says, "I'll think of something."
"I don't want to be safe and warm in your stomach," Rosanna whines before she's settled more comfortably on his shoulder. "I want to be safe and warm in my castle."
"Oh fiiiiine," Kittridge says, "I guess we can do that instead. What kind of castle do you want, then?"
"A big one," Rosanna says promptly. "With — towers."
"A big one with towers," Kittridge nods, "Alright. Where should it be? In the forest? On a mountain? By the ocean?"
"Yes," Rosanna declares. Emphatically.
Kittridge laughs. "Alright. In a mountain in a forest by the ocean. Got it. With lots of big towers. Maybe we'll find somebody rich to build you one just for you, just how you want it," he grins.
"Okay," Rosanna agrees with this idea. "Who is rich enough?"
"The king," Kittridge says, "The Lannisters. Maybe the Tyrells or the Martells," he says, "Or some prince from the East!"
"Prince from the East!" Rosanna picks from this list of possibilities.
Kittridge grins. "Prince from the East it is," he says, "With all kinds of gold and jewels and elephants and tigers and things," he goes on.
"I want to see an elephant," Rosanna says longingly. "And tigers. And a dragon."
"We'll make sure your prince brings you one of each," Kit promises, "Except maybe the dragon. But lots of elephants, and tigers, and… other animals. All the best ones."
"Can I have a menagerie in my castle?" Rosanna asks him.
"Of course," Kittridge agrees, "A menagerie, and a moat, and giant gardens, and an orchard, and…" he goes on listing things, with Rosanna's additions, of course, as they head home.