|Comfort and Hair|
|Summary:||Desmond rescues a fainted Tiaryn, returning her to the inn and providing comfort before he has to abruptly leave.|
|Related Logs:||Eschaton of Stonebridge|
|Stonebridge - on the way to the Inn, and inside Tia's room there.|
|Evening. Stonebridge square. Followed by inn! and then Tia's room.|
|29 April 289|
Desmond has taken it upon himself to take Tiaryn back to the inn himself. Well, with her handmaiden and guard trailing along. He has refused help, cradling her limp form close as he makes his way down the paths from the stone bridge towards the square, expression grim.
Tia has been out cold for a bit, however long it's taken Desmond to decide to take her back to her room. And for as far as he's gotten. The only sign she's alive the rise and fall of her chest as she breathes. The maid and guard, not her usual, but the secondary ones, and they might be fretting, but they're not interfering. It might not even be noticeable when her eyelashes flicker. But when her head moves, her breath coming out in a sigh, and then her body stiffens, that might be noticeable. Especially as her breath is suddenly drawn in, in just that way that usually precedes an ungodly earsplitting screech.
A damn good thing they're not interfering! Desmond is in all-out protection mode here. Thankfully the usual crowd of the square is thinned due to the recent duel, but he cannot reach the inn before Tiaryn stirs and inhales sharply. In that split second, he panics, and can't help but tighten his hold. "It's all right, Lady Tiaryn! You're safe, don't be frightened!"
Tia's eyes have gone wide, she's being carried somewhere by a stranger, it's dark, and well, this is NOT the last thing she remembers. Thus her own panic. As she starts that screech, the sound not starting out so earcurdlingly loud, the sound of the voice and her name sinks in, and her screech cuts off, as her arms reach to hold tightly, instinctively, for a moment. Her head tucks in against Desmond's shoulder, and then she seems to recall what she's doing and pulls back far enough to look up towards his face. "Desmond?"
Desmond fears, for a moment, that his skull might crack from the sound, even if it's not ear-splitting. He winces, resisting the urge to drop whatever it is that is screeching. No, he holds onto her, and continues to rush for the inn. "Y'… Yes, m'Lady. You fainted. I'm taking you back so you can lie down somewhere other than the filthy grass." He manages a weak smile at her, now that her exclamation has drawn stares.
But at least her exclamation now has gone silent, and she is listening. And recognizing him. "I was in the grass?" she asks, sounding bewildered. "But - the last I remember was - Oh." She stops there, swallowing, her arms tightening their hold on him for a moment. "I was - watching the duel," she says slowly. Her expression is haunted again, her eyes shutting against the visions that are suddenly in front of her. Her maid and guard are there of course, keeping up with Desmond's quick steps. No doubt there'll be a rumour about this one, but at least the Maid is there, so it's not really improper, is it?
Desmond couldn't care less of whatever gossip stems from him helping a lady to a bed. Can't be any worse than what had been revealed post duel! "Yes, you were. I fear it was a bit too much for you." Nudging past the inn patrons, he heads up to Tiaryn's room and presses his back against the door to enter, catching her troubled expression. "It's all right," he assures softly. "It's over. Try not to dwell on what you've seen."
Tia at least hasn't yet tried to run away screaming. Okay, it was close. But she's let him carry her the rest of the way. The maid waits for him to get the door open, though she has to grin as it seems Desmond knows which room is Tia's without it being pointed out. "It's not - quite - you don't understand," she says softly. Once inside, it's just the same as any other room in the inn, and there is a noticeable lack of that little book that Tia confiscated. Since she doesn't have it any more. She shudders, but manages to keep to the here and now, even as the guard closes the door behind them.
Desmond kneels to lie Tiaryn atop her sheets, gently, pleased by the grin he caught. "I don't understand? What do you mean? You," he points to the maid, "Kindly fetch some water." Pulling a chair from the table, he sits beside her, face a picture of worry.
The maid actually just stays right where she is. Tia looks at her and then smiles. "Ask Levy to get it please?" she says, and the maid does unbend enough to go to the door and ask the guard to go get some water. Then she closes it again, but she's not leaving the room. She stays over by the door, out of hearing range, but not out of sight. Just doing her job.
Tia takes a breath, and then she looks over to Desmond with big tear filled eyes that are not crying, not quite. "Ser Gedeon lost," she says. "Didn't he?"
Desmond bristles a bit, eying the lingering made. But he shrugs it off, drawn to Tiaryn's watering eyes. "Now now… I hate to see you weep…" He slowly inhales, mulling over his choice of words. "Ser Gedeon was indeed defeated, m'Lady. I fear I didn't know too much about him, but it seems you had. I'm sorry." Of course that shan't be enough, he knows, but he'll try.
"It - just - " Tia sighs, since she's not sure how to explain this one. Her hand goes to her abdomen, her eyes close and she shivers abit, then moves to pull the blankets around her, feeling cold. "I did not know Ser Gedeon really well. I only spoke with him a time or two. I know Lady Danae only a bit, but - Desmond, if I was watching the duel on the bridge, did I faint? At the end of the duel?"
"You…" Desmond rubs the back of his neck. "You fainted after Lady Danae revealed herself to be Ser Gedeon's wife. She was speaking to Lord Roric. This has… complicated a lot of things. Ser Garett was most displeased. I mean, more than usual…"
Tia blinks and then she says, "Oh. That. She was wearing white and red, and carrying a sword," she says after a moment. "Like a figure from a heroic tale of old." But then the tears well up, one slowly sliding down her cheek. "But it - I don't think that's why I'm upset. It - did you know that I got injured, when I escaped from the keep?" The total non sequitur is followed by another tear. "I got speared in my stomach, and Mistress Senna and the maester had to stitch me up. It was - not pleasant."
"Lord Einar told me a bit more about you," Desmond nods. "Don't cry, m'Lady. Surely you do not still ache from it - ? Ought we get you a healer? Or… did the duel bring back bad memories?" The squire keeps his palms on his knees, as much as he'd like to take her hand.
Einar did? Gods bless him. "He did? Oh. You talked to him about me? What did he say?" It's almost enough to distract her, that. Cause wait - they were talking about her behind her back? Hey … "It doesn't hurt any more, and I don't think the healers can do anything for the ache in my heart," she says, her words getting even softer. "I can see them falling, see my nephew ahead of me, as they stab him again and again, his feet kicking as he tries to get away - " she starts, but now she does start to cry, the bandaid torn off the old wounds in earnest.
"Lord Einar mentioned you only in passing. We spoke highly of you," Desmond nods. He closes his eyes as Tiaryn describes the horror she still relives, fingers curling. "That must've been awful, but know they are serene now. You needn't remember the suffering." He's a bit out of his element here, but he remains at her side, finally taking the cup of water and offering it.
Tia can't take the water while she's sobbing, but she does reach a hand out towards Desmond, needing to just have some sort of contact, even if only a little. "It takes time," she says soflty, once she can speak again. She struggles to control her tears, but it's not an immediate thing, taking time for her to regain hard won control. "Everyone tells me it just takes time." Eventually, she raises her hands to wipe at her eyes, though she doesn't bother to even try wiping her cheeks. She then notices the water, and takes the cup that is offered. "Thank you, Desmond. Thank you for being here and listening. I am sorry - you shouldn't have to. I'm sure it's just nothing really, compared to what squires and knights do. But it's still changed my whole life."
Desmond takes Tiaryn's hand and gives it a comforting squeeze, stroking her fingers with his thumb. "I'm sure you're tired of simply waiting for it all to go away, m'Lady. All you can do is try and keep yourself occupied. It… might be best if you avoid tourneys." At her thanks, he smiles grimly, shaking his head. "Witnessing bloodshed is never easy. You never get used to it. You simply learn how to deal with the… effects." Then he adds with a gentle grin, "I'm not leaving until your eyes dry, all right?"
"It's strange. I didn't think I needed to avoid anything. I was watching my good-cousin's men as they trained, and that was not so bad." Though of course, training is not quite the same as an actual battle. She does manage a sip of water, though she leaves her hand in Desmond's hold, more than glad about the comfort he's offering. "I'm glad you're here, but don't let me keep you - Don't you have a hill to climb or something?" she asks, managing a weak joke.
"It would help," Desmond nods, and manages a faint smile when she thanks him. Then laughs, "The hill can wait. I think they've dubbed it Desmond's Hill. I shan't leave you until I'm sure you're going to be all right. And, well… Training and war are two different things. You mustn't let your mind wander if you can help it."
Tia has to pause at that. Wait, he does know Tia, right? Oh well, perhaps not that well yet. "I think the only way I can do that is with music," she offers slowly. "At least the only way I recall at the moment." She takes a breath and another sip of water, and then she squeezes Desmond's hand before she lets go, so she can try again to wipe her eyes. maybe successfully.
"My head hurts," she murmurs, and the maid moves over to stand by the pair. "Do you want your hair down, m'Lady? Begging the Lord's pardon," she says. Tia looks a little wistful, but all she says is, "In a bit, thank you, Bethy. I don't want to cause Lord Desmond any trouble after his kindness. If you could get some warm water and a wash cloth?" she asks. Bethy curtseys and moves to the door. She steps outside for a moment.
Desmond moves his hand back to his lap, somewhat reluctantly. "You can let your hair down if you wish, m'Lady. It's no trouble. I'm concerned for your reputation but I'm a bit more concerned with how you're faring." He remains leaned forward in his seat, arms crossed and resting on his knees. "Music has always helped me. Do let me know if you ever want to head out into the woodlands and play your harp a bit, I'd be most honored to be your audience."
That gets a big smile from Tia. "Always," she says simply to the last. "It's more a matter of finding when you have time to accompany me than anything else." The harp is over to one side, but she ignores it for now. Her hands rub at her eyes, but then she sighs a bit, and dries them on her blanket. She reaches one out towards Desmond, as he sits there. "Are you okay?" she asks, softly.
"Am… /I/ okay?" Desmond's small smile broadens. "Why would you ask that? I'm fine. Perhaps a bit… rattled. We're going to be dealing with quite a few problems in the coming days. But I'm nothing more than a squire, hah. It's all on the Lord's shoulders." He takes her hand again, patting it gently. "Feel any better?"
Tia nods her head. "Yes, you. You look a little - I don't know, upset isn't the right word. Maybe worried?" She changes her position a bit, as the door opens and the maid returns, having left them alone for all of three minutes and fifty nine seconds. She has a bowl of warm water and a cloth with her. Here my lady," she says, bringing it over. Tia uses her free hand to soak the cloth and then wipe her face. She doesn't take long, just a swift thing to get rid of the tear stains and help her feel a bit better. "Alright, Bethy, if you think it proper, go ahead and take my hair down," she says next. She's not letting Desmond go though, at the moment.
"Worried, yes. I'm trying to remain cheerful! But I hate to see you distraught." Alas, their privacy is broken by the returning maid. "There, you're just as angelic as ever," Desmond praises when Tiaryn finishes. "Don't worry about me. I've endured my knight's training… If there's one thing I'm good at, it's being resilient."
The maid actually has to think about it for a long moment. Then she moves to start unfastening Tia's hair, deciding that with her here, it's just not inappropriate enough to worry over. Tia turns so that Bethy can work on her hair without having to stretch or sit on the bed. And she gives Desmond a wan smile, though this time it does reach her eyes. "You have cheered me up, you know," she says. "Though should I be worried that I am compared to your knight's training? Or is that just the rest of the circumstances?"
"Oh no, I… I didn't mean that!" Desmond is quick to assure, suddenly nervous. "I mean't… well. Yes, circumstances. M'lady, should I let you rest? I don't want to overstay. Nor do I want rumors to spread about you." It's easy for him to openly watch certain things behind his shroud, but he still averts his gaze, respectfully.
Tia's light brown - blonde hair is very wavy and curly. It's a wild mop that it's a wonder the maid can ever get to behave. And as it comes out of the updo that it has been pinned into, the waves fall down her back, well down to where she would easily be sitting on it, were she not already sitting. Thick luxurious tresses. Tia just closes her eyes for a moment, as the worst of the pins are removed - sheer relief for a moment, and then her eyes open in a flash. "Oh. Desmond. I'm sorry. If you are uncomfortable - you don't have to stay. I will be - I'll be okay, I promise."
Desmond can't really look away for very long. He is a hot-blooded youth, so he steals a glance. A glance that isn't quite quick. Tiaryn may notice his cheeks flush a bit. "I'm not uncomfortable," he murmurs, rubbing his neck. "You really are a beauty, you know." Perhaps he's a bit more flustered than he lets on, as he stands abruptly. "I have to get going, but I'll check on you very soon, all right? And if you start to feel uneasy, have your maids fetch me and I'll be more than happy to keep you company."
Tia's cheeks go a bit pink at the compliment, and as Desmond rises, she too gets to her feet. The maid thankfully has finished with the top of her head, so she doesn't lose hair, just gets a protest out of Bethy. "Alright," she says simply. "May the gods keep you safe, and I'm sure we'll meet up again, before long." Her hands are at her sides, as she doesn't actually reach out to touch Desmond at the moment. Cause well, he does seem to be uncomfortable, to her eyes.