|Don't Fear the Reaper|
|Summary:||Garett isn't as scary as he looks. We promise, Darek.|
|Related Logs:||Who'll Stop The Rain?|
|Private Sitting Room, Oak and Ash Inn|
|Small, simple, but rich.|
|27 August, 289|
Maybe it's slight paranoia, or maybe it's just the idea that he doesn't trust anyone(which is still paranoia), but Garett has no real idea of going outside right now. At least, not when things are at it's busiest. It could be that sitting in his room would be the easiest thing to do for him, but in itself would suggest that he has something to hide. And not that he does, there's just the idea of not wanting to deal with flapping tounges. So might as well bite the bullet and deal with whatever may be. To this conclusion, he can be found in a sitting room at a writing desk, qwill in his hand and scribbling. There's another book next to the one he writes in, one years older and open to pages of writing.
Darek has a good ear to the ground, and a healthy respect for not pissing off big men who come within a septa's whisker of winning a grand melee. And so when he gets a couple minutes off training, instead of immediately going for the daughter, he hunts down the father. He's all sweaty again, but at least this time he's wearing a shirt, even if it's a sleeveless one. He's also got a rather battered old fiddle with a red sash for a strap in addition to the sword at his hip. The fiddle is slung behind his left hip, the bow hanging idly from a blunted metal hook on the sash. Knocking once on the door, the squire waits to be bid to enter, and when he does, he peeks in a moment, and only then steps in, "Ser? You said you wanted to see me at some point?"
Damn that Kamron. Garett likes to tell himself that that the Mallister's axe gave him a better range than his mace, but that's not really an excuse. At least it's given him a friendly rivarly with one of the few men in the Riverlands worth calling friend. But it was romantic and sappy and…well, he'll give rival that win. Just this once. But no more of that, as Darek arrives. Looking up from his writing, he sets his qwill in the inkwell, waving the squire in. "Master Boldt, not out with Sela? I'd imagine the two of you would glued to the hip. Come in. And close the door behind you." Standing, he moves to a pair of sitting chairs. "Train too much and your arms will be useless on the field." he observes, starting to pour a glass of water for the young man.
Darek glances out behind him at the mention of Sela, as if expecting her to be right outside the door, perhaps at her part-time job serving tables at the inn. She isn't, however, and so the squire steps into the room fully, closing the door behind him as he's bid, "No-Ser. Figured I should probably give you what you wanted first. Only one chance to make a second impression, right Ser?" There's a bit of forced joviality in the question, and the young man pulls up the hem of his shirt to wipe his face off a bit, then lets it fall once more, "If you'd tell my Ser that, Ser, I'd be much obliged." There's a smirking grin behind the words, that comes close to casting a dimple into his cheek. "I think he might be trying to tire me out so I can't actually get to the field, Ser."
"Is that what you want, Darek?" Garett asks. "I can understand Ser Jac's reasoning in that, if that's what the intention is. But if all mentors did that, I think we'd run out of knights after too long, wether by battle or age." Glass poured he extends it over. "I never hid my squires from battle when I knew they were prepared. If you ever meet Ser Desmond Westerling, ask him about running up hills." he notes, a small grin dancing across his lips. "But, yes, I did want to speak to you, though I didn't think it'd be so soon. You seem to be a lad with a decent head on his shoulders, and I wouldn't think anything more of the issue. However, this involves my daughter, a young girl that I never realized I care so much for. Devoting one's life for the protection of people, it feels almost selfish to feel the same for a singular person. That also makes me a bit more protective than I'd like to be." He gestures between them. "Which is why we're speaking now. Now, I'm not going to sit here and judge you, make you defend your feelings. But I do want to talk to you as men, and I'm going to talk to you like a man considering, well, what you're going to see in the coming weeks and months, there won't be any going back. So, I take it you know about Sela's past?"
Darek nods his head, "Yesser. The field's about the only chance I have to make a name for myself, get knighted before I'm gray." The reference to his luxurious mop of hair causes him to pull the fingers of one hand through it, although his smile deepens, piercing his cheek with that dimple at the mention of running, "I think I might be able to tell Ser Desmond stories of running, Ser. Ser Jac's a firm believer in it, as his father was." He quiets down then, listening to the other man's words. They melt away that smile, leaving him with a sober, serious look that ill-fits his face, "Yesser. I spotted the brand. I think I'm one of the reasons she wears gloves so much. So long as she doesn't take nothing from me, my knight, or no one who can't afford it, I don't much care what she's done before, Ser."
"It's because of that is why she's here." Garett replies. "That, and my old mentor thinking that was I was dead, which was then corrected through a series of letters written by a friend, Ser Thanos Mallister. Anyways, upon hearing about my second time coming back from the dead, Tristan thought it best that Sela would be better off in my care. A daughter I didn't know I had. At the time I didn't know the mother or how I felt about her, though those memories have…resurfaced. Slightly." Explanation given, he leans back in his chair. "I can understand your eagerness to prove yourself, but don't be too hasty in that. For Sela's sake, I would see you come back. With all your limbs intact. As for Sela's previous life. I'm giving her a chance to redeem her past life of theiving. And so far, I think she's done well. No one has alerted me. So either she's been behaving or she's just gotten better. I like to believe the former rather the latter." He chuckles at the idea of 'those who can't afford it' otherwise known as nobles. "But what of you? What are your intentions with Sela? Is she a passing fling? Or is it something more? Because of either way you answer, there will be reprucussions." He pauses. "That's a strong word, but it's true, but I'll leave the cavet that not all of them are bad."
Darek reaches his left hand back to tap idly on the body of his slung fiddle as he listens to the other man's story, "Believe you me, Ser, I want to be back with all my limbs intact too. But when you're a common bastard, Ser, you don't get many chances." He waggles his fingers a moment, "But I wouldn't be much good as a fiddler without one'f my hands, so you won't see me taking any risks too big, Ser." And then the hammer drops, the question comes out, and Darek's mouth dries up of its own accord. "Uh…" He casts about for something to delay the answer, settling on the glass of water, and takes a couple of quick sips, buying him a bit of time to think. "I mean… I like Sela, Ser. I like spending time with her. Runnin' around, talkin', playin'," one finger taps his fiddle again to explain that last word, "All that sort of stuff, Ser. It's not just the…" he blinks once and goes with, "…kissing I like, Ser, if that's what you mean." How's that for a non-answer answer?
Garett nods. "War is hell, young man. As I said, there is nothing glorious about it. You might think the house you serve is right, and that's your right to have. This is the only time I'll speak my opinion on the matter. And that is, as Danae Tordane's brother, a sister I have no memory of save for pages in a journal written by myself with no recollection of writing them. I think she's manipulated a great many people for her own petty ambition. The Naylands may deserve everything that's coming to them, but no matter what happens, the people of Stonebridge will suffer the most. The Naylands may be collective asses, but they did treat the people well, so I can say that much. As for Charlton," he shrugs. "A political move to gain more power in the Riverlands. Supporting Danae's claim is only a means to an end, it doesn't mean it's the 'right' or 'just' end. Again, in the end, I don't care about that. I dread for the smallfolk that will left homeless and the ones conscripted into service against their will. The nobility involved will not lose, certainly not the Charltons and the coffers they contain. The people, not the nobles, but the people of Stonebridge, Darek, they will suffer the greatest of all. And -that- is what the greatest travesty is. And I don't believe for a moment that the nobility care anything what happens to them. Well, not all, of course, but most."
With that said, and Darek's answer given to the more important question, he is quiet for a moment, sitting in his chair, just looking at the squire, scarred face is mask of stone. Then, he nods, more than able to read between the lines. "Alright. I had assumed as much. You're what? Sixteen? Seventeen? I was fifteen when I bedded with Sela's mother. Out of wedlock and a offense to the Old Ones. But I don't reget it. Sela is my greatest gift that I don't deserve. That said." he pauses, having to drink from a glass of water. "It's expected. And I, cannot hold it against you. Because I've done the same thing. What I wanted to hear was you be able to man up and accept what you had done infront of me. And…you've more or less said as much. However," and his tone does get a bit grave. "She ends up carrying a child and you run or you want nothing to do with her after that? I -will- take it out of your hide. You want to fuck my daughter, I can't stop you. I can threat and yell all I want, but I can't stop you. I know, because I didn't let being yelled at stop me either. You're both of age to take accountability of your own actions. And if you want to be a knight, young man, you will understand that. And if you force yourself on her, when she says no, and I find out, you won't see the outside of a healer's home for over a month. Now. Do I make myself clear on that aspect?"
Darek nods at first, "Seventeen, Ser," and then he realizes what the knight has figured out, and his eyes widen, his mouth opening to protest, but he can't make the words come out. Instead, he takes in the tirade, then draws in a long, slow breath, scrubbing back his hair and holding it a moment before he lets the long locks fall about his head once more, "I'd never force a girl, Ser. Ever. And I'm doin' right by Sela, Ser." He takes in another breath, then presses on, "Before we…" and there he has to take a sip of water, "…before we lay together, I made sure she had access to moontea, Ser." There, he's admitted it. "Wouldn't have it any other way, Ser. She and I've made pretty good lives for a pair of bastards, but neither one of us is ready to make one."
Garett just nods at this. "Good man. I had a feeling you weren't as dumb most squires your age." He shakes his head. "No, I can't hold it against you. I know what it's like to be young and, well, in the throes of young…affections. If I were a lesser man, maybe I would hold it against you and deny you to even look at my daughter, let alone see her. But I won't do that. Sela has the freedom to be the woman she wants to be, as long as she doesn't get her other hand branded. Now, I won't bother talking about marriage. I know what it does to two people when they're pushed or forced into it. Just…" And finally a bit of that sternness fails. "…I wanted to get know my daughter before she started seeing boys or young men." A humored chuckle. "I wanted that chance to be a father to her. An oppurtunity I was denied through ignorance of her exsistance. And perhaps, Master Darek, I'm a bit jealous of you. I think she might share more of who she is with you than me. I think she's still skittish around me. And I only can say I'm sorry so many times."
Darek flashes that mischievious smirk again, "I'm sure you could keep me away, Ser. Not so sure you could keep Sela locked up tight though." There's a bit of pride there, well, more than a bit, really. Gah! And there's the M-word, and he blinks, shakes his head a bit, then relaxes a bit as the bigger man does, "You're her Da, Ser. She's not gonna share everything she is with you just because of that, Ser." Maybe he's got a low opinion of fathers in general. "And I think I'm still a bit skittish around you too, Ser. Might be you, not her, Ser." He gestures a bit toward his chest, "Might be a commoner thing too, Ser." Speaking of repeated titles, "Shows she's been brought up right, if she's all polite and a little distant from a noble knight."
"I'm aware. Children, I've disovered, tend to hide a many great things from their parents. I guess perhaps it's a sign of either inexperience or ignorance to think that I could be her friend and her father at the same time. It's a wholly new thing to me. I would lamet how I wish I knew about her years ago, but there's no point in regretting. I understand why Ser Tristan did what he did. But I have never in my life, that I can remember grown to love someone so quickly. I think only someone's child can do that." He manages a smile at the younger man. "Titles are trivial thing to me, Master Darek. A man is a man is a man. Which is why I'll never be popular with other nobility because I'd rather spend my time with commoners."
Darek nods his head, "Bet you didn't share everything with your Da either, Ser." He shifts a little at the mention of love, but grins again in response to the other smile, "And I appreciate it, Ser. You've been a lot less… uh… liable to beat the fuck out of me, than I thought you might be." Looking a little abashed, he adds, "Uh… the thing with hanging out with commoners a lot, Ser, is we're not used, that is, most of us aren't used to being around nobles. And you all can get us chopped up right quick if you feel like it. So we walk around like we're on broken glass in bare feet."
"I never really got the chance, truth be told." Garett admits lightly. "I don't…remember much of him as a child. Maybe I remembered more before my accident. Ser Tristan was more of a father to me, but I don't hold malice against my own for that." A wry grin follows. "Why? Because you think I have to hold up some vaunted idea of honor and chastity? Please, if the majority of the noibility practiced what they preached, then maybe. But the fact is they have more of a 'do as I say, not as I do' mentality. What they do behind closed door is no different from anyone else. Sure, there's exceptions to that, but the idea of a faithful marriage, on either side, is at times silly. For every couple that stay true to each other, there are two more that aren't." Then, he gestures at Darek. "Why do think I don't advertise it? It just makes them wary. I guess, being a knight, I was sworn to protect the people. And during the rebellion, more often than not I met more honorable men that should've been knights through their actions than the ones who already were and acted like animals. But as you were saying. I don't expect Sela to share every little secret in her life with me, I wouldn't want her to. I just. Want her to trust me. I have a lot to make up for. If I do? Well, we'll see."
Darek shakes his head slightly, "Because of that whole 'do as I say' shit, Ser." As the squire seems to be getting more comfortable around the knight, his language is definitely getting worse. "Gets sometimes so you can't even make a joke around a nob — most of 'em, at least — without them getting upset. You know, I said some noble lady was real pretty in front of some noble guy who was all smallclothes-twisted about her, and he punched me." There's a pause, and a cocky grin flashes across his face, dimpling his cheek, "Well, he tried to. Three times. Eventually I just let him." He grunts slightly, "And Sela… she don't trust so well. Guess that's what happens when you get burned early on." And the squire waggles his right thumb to show what he means by 'burned.'
Garett just rolls his eyes at the story. "Please. You know why he punched you? Because he knew he didn't have a shot. It's embarrassing display of maturity, no matter who your parents are." Then he grings a bit. "There's a lovely sense of accomplishment that you'll experience once you become a knight, Darek. When the grand melee comes at a tournment, you can beat the shit out of a noble and not get in trouble for it. Trust me, I've squared off with more than a few who liked the run with the mouth. There's nothing more satisfying than making them shut their yap about it. And they can't say shit no matter what because, you -beat- them fairly. At least, until the next tourney." Nodding at the non-verbal note about burned, there's little he can do but shrug. "Ser Tristan was trying to teach a lesson. He was…a bit harsh in his methods, but his heart was in the right place. The ones he cares about the most is usually the ones he holds the highest expectations to. I know she doesn't trust easily. That's why I'm not pushing anything on her. Why I was fine negotiating how long she could be here. I want her to spend time with you, but I have to keep her safety in mind."
Darek waggles his fingers up toward the keep at the first comment, "Meh. He's been up at the keep still chasing her around. So he still thinks he's got a chance. Fuck if I know if he does or not, but he's a Mallister, and they're supposed to be all top of the heap on the Cape, even if they're all busted up after the Rebellion." By context, that would be the Greyjoy Rebellion. Apparently Robert's is far enough back to be the secondary one. His smirk redoubles at the mention of the opportunities presented by the melee, "I could take 'em now, if they wouldn't sic their damned guards on me, or if it wouldn't make Ser Jac look bad." There's a slight pause at the worry from the knight, and the squire takes in a long, slow breath before he lets it out again, "I asked her to come along with the levies when the march… with the baggage train, that is. Before you got here, Ser. I can keep her safe, and it ain't like the Naylands have a chance. There's gotta be more'n twice as many of us as there are of them."
"Let him, it's really not your problem. It'll become if the lady who he's chasing after starts to tickle her fancy. And I say that not just because I'm Sela's father, but more because that's something you really, really don't want to get involved in, from a sanity standpoint." Garett replies. "Leave it for the ring, young man. Rather not see you get cut down because you mouthed off to someone who think they're so important. And even as Ser Jac's squire, making him look good as an instructor has always been…well, respectful. At least, if you've been treated right." Then he frowns a little. "I know you mean well, but war is the last thing I ever want Sela to see. I don't even like talking about it in her presence. Too much blood on my own hands. Like I said, doesn't matter if you outmatch the Naylands, the reasoning is wrong. I know you don't agree, what your house is doing. It's greedy. Just as was for the Naylands to steal Stonebridge during the Ironborn attacks. Doesn't make it right. And stay away from my sister, for your own sake. That woman has no care for anyone but herself. She craves money, power, and little else."
Darek waves off the idea of a noble lady looking at him, something a little frantic about the gesture, "Father save me, no, Ser. Noble ladies are a whole mess of trouble that I don't need. Good way for a common bastard like me to get shortened by a head, Ser." That little burst of panic washes away, and he grimaces at the mention of Sela seeing war, shrugging a little helplessly, "Seemed like a relatively safe way to keep her close by, Ser. I can watch over her if she's close by. I can't do that so well when I'm down Stonebridge way and she's still up here." Grudgingly, he adds, "Not that she really needs me looking after her, Ser. She can take pretty good care of herself. Real scared of the law though. Even when it's on her side." He shrugs again at the warning about the nee Westerling woman, "Lady Tordane doesn't even know I exist, Ser. And I'm fine keeping it that way. I want to make a big enough splash to get my spurs, but not big enough to get everyone looking at me. Cursed hard to have fun then."
"No, she seems to do just fine taking care of herself. Doesn't stop me from worrying." Garett agrees. "And not to blow my own horn, but I think I'm pretty capable myself of looking after her. And…well, I understand your intention, but if she does get herself in trouble, I have a bit more sway at her from being punished for it. I don't like saying about using my own title and influence for personal gain but…having children makes things a bit different. I guess," he drinks from his glass. "I've never really gotten a good chance to really spend time with her. Like I said, you've spent more time with her than I have. As soon as she arrived, I was called away to the Crag for house buisness and I didn't have it in me to bring her along so soon after her journey from the Finger. So, I can tell if we're going to have any contention between us, Master Darek, it'll be that. But when you come back, I'll be the last person to stand in the way of you two seeing each other. I give my word on that.
Darek nods at the mention of using sway for protection, "I've got a little pull because of Ser Jac — with the guards — but it ain't like havin' a noble to look out for you, noser." There's a moment's pause, and the young man frowns thoughtfully, an expression that looks utterly out of place on his youthful features, "May be that Lady Tordane's in Stonebridge after this, and Ser Jac'll still be up in Highfield. I'm sure you'd be welcome up here, or The Roost if you like that better. Give us both a chance to spend more time with Sela, Ser."
"Considering my lack of desire to have anything to do with my sister, I'll be where she's not. If she feels that her claim, no matter how ridiculous as it is, warrants the deaths of innocents, I want nothing to do with her." Garett utters, shaking his head a bit sadly. "Besides, as it stands I was trying to broker a home for Bri, Sela, and myself. Give my daughter and wife a proper home. The Roost, well, seeing how two friends of mine are getting married in soon, I have to be there anyways for the celebrations. And seeing how the Roost is rather close to Seagard, I'm willing to make concessions in that."
Darek blinks at the idea of a Garett getting a home, tensing up again after having relaxed so much, "You're going back to the Westerlands, Ser? After all this talk about not keeping her away from me?" A bit of anger starts to bleed into the young man's face and voice, but the words are coming too quickly now for much emotion to catch hold of them, "She's doing real well here, Ser. She's making friends. There's this little blind bard that she's good friends with, and this soppy-ass courier that's mooning over the bard, and… and… and me, and…" He's searching now, "And I'm sure there's other people around The Roost, and Stonebridge, and Highfield, she's spent a lot of time in all three places now." Because to a teenager, weeks are 'a lot of time.'
Garett blinks at him like he just grew an extra head. "What are you on about? Wait, did you think I planned on taking them back to the Crag? No, no, not like that at all. Seagard. Not the Crag. I have no intention of going back to the Westerlands. I'll go north before I venture back to the Crag. Too far out of the way for my liking. I don't mean to give the wrong idea, but that's something you don't have to worry about. A three hours ride from the Roost, I don't think will be too much torture on you, will it?"
Darek takes a breath he probably should have taken before, then lets it out in a slow hiss like a kettle losing steam. Shifting his feet in embarrassment, he notes, "Sorry, Ser." He scruffs at his hair, "I just… well, I should've thought before I spoke. Or listened, or something." Shuffling his feet again, he shrugs, "Seagard's not too bad, Ser. Assuming the Mallisters don't come pounding in on the fucking Nayland side, shouldn't be too bad getting down there, especially given what Ser Aleister's doin' for the Terricks."
"I doubt it. Considering the animosity between the Naylands and Terricks, so by proxy the Mallisters, they don't have any reason to." Garett shrugs. "And while I doubt the character of Ser Aleister considering what I've heard about him, you can bet the reason why he's done what he done for the Terricks is so they -don't- get involved." Just because the Westerlord loathes politics, that doesn't mean he doesn't know how it works. "Don't worry about it. An honest mistake." Setting his hands into lap, he stands up. "Well, I think we've gotten everything out that we needed to say. And we know where we stand. And I'm sure your Ser is looking for you by this point."
Darek shrugs slightly at the questioning of Ser Aleister's character, maybe bristling a little bit, but doing his best to hide it. Still, he's willing to nod his agreement at the mention of political gain, "Even if they were stupid enough to join in on the side of the guestright-breakers, they won't do it now. So he's just saved lives with some food, yeah?" The mention that Jac might be after him has Darek looking up toward a window anxiously. He relaxes just a bit at what he sees, and lies with a smile, "Yeah. I should be getting back right away, Ser." He's totally going to go see Sela, and not his knight, but it's a really good excuse to get away in time to do so. He starts back toward the door, then stops, turning, bowing his head and saying hesitantly, "Uh… thank you, Ser. For being understanding."
Garett returns the nod. "And thank you. For being good to my daughter."