Page 293: Family Ties
Family Ties
Summary: Locke and Benedict discuss putting an end to their wandering lifestyle as they beat each other with sticks. Rafferdy briefly appears.
Date: 08/05/289
Related Logs: Death Of The Dying Seal, Punch Drunk Love Minus The Drunk, Honest Men, Better Off
Benedict Locke Rafferdy 
Northern Flood Fields — Stonebridge
Through small foot paths north lead to flood fields, some rolling hills but treacherous areas where the rivers filter in to create small marshes. The area is hard to navigate if one has not traveled it before. A few scrub trees mark the landscape but on the higher hills stands of majestic beeches and oak offer shade and canopies for weary travelers.
IC Date

Unexpected beatings and secret lordships aside, the days in Stonebridge are beginning to settle into a routine, now that Locke and Benedict have been there long enough to begin repeating things. The early mornings find them in the floodfields, up on one of the hills and away from the marshes, training. Then it's breakfast, traveling through the town and listening for what rumors or gossip they can. Then, late in the afternoon as the sun begins to lower and the day starts to cool, it's another round of training before dinner. So the pair are now, Benedict in his usual black clothes and leather jerkin, a pair of wasters resting on one shoulder, as knight and squire make their way to the spot which has become their favored sparring grounds.

Already Locke is pulling at his own jerkin, trying to yank it off, if only to gain some respite from the humidity that clings to him, more than the leather does. "I know it's going to hurt." the lad states as he's taking off his scarf and tossing it down before he is looking back towards his knight and now lord. There's a bit of a sigh as he's reaching back for the jerkin, so as to pull it back on. "You have to be miserable." he notes to Benedict before he starts stretching himself out.

"Oh, I told you about that wench I spoke to? The Mallister bird?"

As they reach the hill, Benedict lays down the wasters and bends down to hook his hands around the toes of his boots. "The Mallister bird? I don't think so. You can take your jerkin off for now, put it on when we pick up the wasters. Better hot than dented."

"Or a rib cracked. Worst fucking thing." Locke states before he's nodding and trundling back to grab his scarf, and jerk off his jerkin again. A grin there, as he moves to catch up to the knight. "Yeah, Some tall lady that serves em." A shrug as if that should suffice for a working descriptor. "Well, She said that the Terricks should get Stonebridge.." a raise of a brow. "Because they deserve some good luck."

Benedict lifts his head, blinking over at Locke. "I don't… think the Blackwood is looking to measure the situation based on who most needs the luck," he opines with a quirk of a smile, "Women are ever wistful creatures, though."

"They're only good for two or three things, my Lord. Cooking, Fucking, and more Fucking. I imagine." Locke states with a scratch of his chin. "And when I asked about the rumors and the duel, the harpy told me-that She wanted to know my thoughts on something-that I DID NOT WITNESS." And he just shakes his head. "I bet you she was looking." the lad says as he continues to trudge along.

"Hey, now," Benedict scolds as he straightens up, "that is hardly a chivalrous view of women. They are to be protected, courted, treated as the fragile and delicate things they are. It's not their fault their sensibilities can be so maudlin. It's their nature." Scooping up the wasters, he holds one out for Locke. "Had enough of stretching?"

Once the stretching is done, the Squire moves to get his leather jerkin into place, and lace what needs lacing. There's a faint laugh given to his knight. "Well, those are the reasons you protect em. Fragile or not, Ser. You have to admit, they are good to look at, and you can imagine all else they're good for as well." And with that he holds his hand out for a waster. "Right."

"Imagining may be one thing. Speaking bluntly on the subject, another," is Benedict's opinion. He lifts the waster, curling two hands around it as he would his blade, and rocks back into a defensive stance. "Right," he repeats Locke's word. "Have at me."

And extend of his arm, as the waster is held. "I like my sword better." he states, before he is looking back to Benedict. "These things feel so damned heavy and not like the smooth thing I got." A twist of his wrist, and both hands clasp at the hilt. "Right." A nod and the squire raises and holds his blade above his head, with both hands. His style chosen. "Have at you." Locke says, before he steps in, going down to strike at the man's shoulder.

<COMBAT> Locke attacks Benedict with Waster but Benedict DODGES!
<COMBAT> Benedict attacks Locke with Waster - Moderate wound to Chest.

"That's why we use them," Benedict says. "Well, their heft and the fact we can't cut each other to bits with them." His waster moves to block Locke's swing, pushing past it to jab at the boy's chest. "If you can fight smoothly and cleaning with a weapon you find unwieldly, imagine how much better you'll be with the blade you prefer."

The hit rings true to his chest, and Locke, staggers out of the way for a second. A cough and he looks back towards his knight. A scowl hitting his face, as the waster is brought back up. "I guess so." he grudgingly accepts. Eyes looking to benedict as he changes his stance. Blade staying low. "Though it doesn't feel right. Not weighted..You know the whole us not chopping one another to bits…Is nice."

<COMBAT> Locke attacks Benedict with Waster but Benedict DODGES!
<COMBAT> Benedict attacks Locke with Waster but Locke DODGES!

"I like all my fingers," Benedict agrees, moving forward as Locke takes a step back. He swings and there's a *clack* as wood strikes wood. "Good!" the knight approves.

"As do I Ser, and there's Alys of the Stones, who likes my fingers as well." he states with a big toothy grin. This time He is quick to parry the strike coming for him. A twist of his wrists, as he starts to circle around his knight, the sword kept low, and still in the style consistent of the blade he uses. Locke narrows his eyes a little. '"So what, are we doin' bout your family?"

<COMBAT> Locke attacks Benedict with Waster but Benedict DODGES!
<COMBAT> Benedict attacks Locke with Waster - Serious wound to Right Hand.

"I don't know, yet," Benedict admits for his family, circling as Locke circles, blade up, gaze watchful. He anticipates the next strike, meeting Locke's waster in a way that gets the boy's hand good and smacked as well. "Tighter form," he instructs. "What would you think about staying in the Riverlands?"

That clack on his arm, has the boy bringing his hand down, and shaking it off with a grunt. "Fuck me." the squire says as he steps back from the circle. Taking time to shake out his wrist, before he is looking back to Ben as to his question. Locke is silent for a moment. "I'd be fine with that. Less likely we'd be stabbed to death in our sleep here."

<COMBAT> Locke attacks Benedict with Waster but Benedict DODGES!
<COMBAT> Benedict attacks Locke with Waster - Light wound to Chest.

"Then I think… I think I might like to try to go home," Benedict answers. He waits until Locke has recovered from his whack to the hand before taking up his 'blade' again. The boy's waster is tapped to the side and his town baps lightly against Locke's jerkin.

The next pass just brings a growl from the squire as his attack is knocked away, which again leads him to hacking furiously at his coach again. Locke of course comes crashing back in, as if that would unseat his trained knight. "Would it be home for me, ser?"

<COMBAT> Locke attacks Benedict with Waster but Benedict DODGES!
<COMBAT> Benedict attacks Locke with Waster - Moderate wound to Head.

Charging, with anger as fuel, isn't the best of moves, and Benedict reminds his squire of this with a sharp rap on the side of his head. "Focus," he says. "Stay in control. And yes. I mean, yes, if I went home, I'd still want you as my squire. If you'd still have me as your knight."

"You keep hitting me. How am I to focus?" Locke spits back before he's catching his head, and tossing his waster down for a moment. "FUCK." yes it does hurt when you get smacked around with a dull blade. Grumbling the squire goes to pick up his waster. "Am I ever going to be as good as you?" He asks, one brow raised to Benedict as he tries to get in a better position for the next strike.

"And of course I would. You're all I got, Ben." Earnest before he swings his blade.

<COMBAT> Locke attacks Benedict with Waster - Critical wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> Benedict attacks Locke with Waster - Moderate wound to Left Arm.

"You won't if you keep—" but Benedict's words, and whatever taunting witticism they held, are cut off as that swing catches the hedge-knight right in the gut, winding him and causing him to double over. He barely noticed the half-block he made or the jab to Locke's arm. Setting down his waster he holds a hand up. "H….alt," he croaks out, and then a bit more firmly, "Halt. Ah. Well done."

"Keep getting hit? Or angry?" Locke breathes out as he slinks back, his arm hanging low there for a moment. Dropping the waster at the word Halt, like a drop divesting itself of a bone. Licking his chops he watches the knight for a second, before a smile of approval shows. "I though that move would be fine. Should I live long enough to be a knight- I imagine I can have armor that'll withstand a risk like that." Though he pauses. "Unless the other fool has an axe."

"Quite a few axes last war," Benedict agrees, carefully straightening and rubbing at his belly. "That's going to be quite a bruise. It was a good move. Let's stop there for now."

"Yeah, I noticed that on Pyke an On Harlaw.." he says as one hand moves to rub at his leather clad arm. "Hopefully in the Riverlands, Lords prefer spears and swords. Them I know how to dance with." He says with a toothy grin, before dropping to sit down. "So where would our new home be?" And there Locke, cocks his head.

Benedict drops down beside his squire, flopping onto his back and peering up at the sky, "Well, if they'd take me back, and that's a very large 'if'… Kingsgrove is where we'd go. It's beautiful there. All green, with an orchard that's taller than the houses. Drops apples every September."

Locke lays down on the grass, leaning back as he turns his head to regard the knight for a moment. "That'd be a fine life. Better than what we've had sailin' and fighting."said with a wistful sigh. "I'd eat myself full of apples. An' hunt. Hunt a lot.."

"Kitt loves hunting," Benedict agrees with a soft smile, "so you'd have fine company and a good spear. The woods are full of creatures to catch and eat. Hart, rabbit, boar." He winces, rubbing again at his stomach though his smile grows. "Fight like devils, though, boar."

"Only fished my small life." he notes before sitting back up, propped by his arms. Even them that are going to be smarting for the next hour or hours as it might be. "I've heard that. Never seen a boar though." Locke admits. "But I figure they're called boar spears fer a reason."

"Mmm. Tusks are nasty weapons when they're wielded by a thing twice your weight and four times as angry," Benedict says, his voice nearly fond. "Almost as good as fighting-… well, makes you know you're alive, hunting boar."

"I figure you could use a tusk like a knife then eh?" A grin riding easy before Locke is looks back towards Benedict for a moment. "Sort of like killing a man?" A grim reminder of his squire's background creeping out right there in that damned creepy moment.

"You could, though it's not so sharp or useful, if the boar's not behind it. But in a pinch, aye," Benedict agrees. His faint smile falters for Locke's creepy analogy, but it doesn't seem to shock the knight or, really, be too far from his own thoughts. He nods. "Near as like," he agrees softly.

"Like those hairy bastards did with the stag's antlers." Locke chirps up before he is looking back towards his Master. As the smile falters Locke lays back down for a moment. "I think I'd like that." A beat. "Huntin' boar. If you're having to hunt something. Might as well hunt something that fights back ever now an then. Only fair right?"

"Only fair," Benedict agrees, pillowing his hands behind his head. "Locke, you know, we're not so far from the Saltpans. Not nearly so far as we used to be. Have you any mind to go and see your family, let them know you're well?"

"Ayup." he agrees, before that next question knocks the squire silent. Holding his breath he looks back over towards Benedict for a moment, one hand coming up to reach over and poke Benedict once on the chest with a stern. "No." as if that would dissuade any further conversation. However, Locke not one to let things lie, merely pushes at it. "They think I'm dead. It'd bloody ruin em if they weren't dead themselves."

"Why?" Benedict asks, grunting for the poke. "I mean, why would it ruin them? I would think, if I had a son and lost him, I should like to know he yet lived."

"I suspect the Merchant said we were all dead." he simply states, before he is crossing his arms there, now laying further in the grass. Pushing his back down as if he could melt into the terra firma itself that way. "I just don't want to do it." Locke adds.

"Well, I won't force you," Benedict replies, watching his squire. "Seven know I'm hardly one to talk. But, if you ever find you change your mind…"

"Then we'll go together," he states with a glance back towards Benedict. "I just." and he's quiet again, taking time to pluck up and flick away grass. "I don't want them to see me like this."

Benedict nods a little before returning to his study of the clouds in the sky. "Then we'll see what we can do to make lives, here," he answers after a moment. "Ones you would be proud to share with them."

Locke looks up to that for a moment. "That'd be alright." he finally states as he pulls himself up and brushes the grass he's been plucking off his personage. "So." he says looking back towards Benedict. "Why can't you say your sorry?" Oh yes this is exactly when the hard questions should be focused on your knight.

Benedict blinks over at Locke, brows furrowing a little in confusion. "Pardon?"

"You heard me." Locke spits back before pausing. "I mean. Ah. Ser." And there he holds his breath for a second. "Not trying to be rude Ser, but if we're to stay here with our family. Why can't we say we're sorry? You know? And bury the hatchet an all the like?"

"I didn't say we couldn't," Benedict answers, one brow lifting. "I mean, if Kitt and the others would have me back, I suppose that's the first thing that ought to be said."

"Well why wouldn't they?" he asks back a brow raised to the knight. "You're their family. An no matter how much you fuck up. Family always loves you." And there Locke stares intently at Benedict, his jaw tightening. "Right?"

"Locke," Benedict promises quietly, "You will always have family." He's quiet a moment, holding the boy's gaze, before he speaks on, "And I… yes. I think there's a good chance they will. But I hurt them badly. For a long time. I may not, that is, they may not consider me family, any longer."

Rafferdy wanders out into the flood fields. He has a long bow over his shoulder, a quiver of arrows on his back. He's wearing brown leather pants and a brown leather doublet, looking like a common hunter. He emerges from the wooded hills, noticing the knight and his squire, and he smiles, offering a little wave, "Good evening. I'm uh… I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt…"

"I know." Locke replies as he looks back towards his knight. "I've got you. That's it." Family, or so in the boy's head, that is what accounts for things. "Well, if they don't. Then pardon my words Ser, but fuck'em." A sniff before he is pausing and letting his voice drop. And with a raise of his head he notes the fellow in leather and all come up towards them. A grunt and Locke sets up a bit further, where as Rafferdy waves. Locke eyes, and spits.

Benedict blinks for the splitting, one brow raising. "Friend of yours?" he asks. Taking in the man's simple garb, he lifts his hand in a wave that's a bit more congenial than his squire's. "Hallo, master," he calls. "No luck in the hunt, today?"

Rafferdy shrugs, "Not so much." He glances at the squire, a slight brow furrow at the spit. "Have I done something to offend your squire, Ser?" he asks, glancing back to Benedict.

Locke raises a brow before he is looking to Benedict "Don't know 'em." A sniff and he is tilting his head back towards Rafferdy arms crossing over his chest. "Just didn't think there'd be much game up here, given the Hill's not too protected."

"Well if you don't know him and he's caused no offense, then I expect better manners of you, lad," Benedict answers his squire, that lifted brow lifting higher. To Rafferdy, he says, "No, master, seems not. Only he's not always as welcoming of strangers as a knight-to-be ought."

Rafferdy smiles, "It's alright." He gives a friendly not at Locke then, "No worries, friend." He looks back at Benedict, "I'm Galen. Galen Timberson." He looks back at Locke, "You're right. No game at all, that I could find." He shrugs, "It's alright, though. I came more to get away than to shoot dinner."

Locke nods for a second before he is looking back towards Benedict. A snort, and he's rolling back to grab up his scarf, moving to place it at the back of his neck for protection from the sun. Already a slight change in the wind can be felt, and the squire looks up. "Could be rain." a nod to that before he's looking back To Rafferdy. "Oi, as my knight says. I am not always as welcoming. Somethin' I should work on." a sniff. "What you gettin' away from?"

"Well met then, master Timberson. I'm Ser Benedict Lawson, and this is my squire, master Locke Septswood," the hedge knight offers. "Join us for a spell if you should like." He glances at Locke and then over at Galen, quiet as he waits to hear the man's answer to such a question.

Rafferdy moves to sit in the grass beside them. "Thank you, Ser." He smiles again at the two men, and he shrugs once more, "This mess of who shall rule." He shakes his head a bit, "Seems to be all anyone speaks of right now. Duels and death and babies and scheming and -" He waves his hand, dismissing it all, "Ugh. It's just land." Letting out a little sigh, he offers, "I should think every noble in town has pitched the idea of being given the city to that Tully fella by now."

As the other fellow seems to fall silent and become occupied with the weather, Locke looks back towards his knight. "So.." his voice not loud enough to disturb Rafferdy/Galen/Whatever. "You said I have family. I always will. Fine." a quick glance. "But you do too."

"I hope so," Benedict agrees with a faint smile. "We'll see if they want to keep me. I guess, at least one of them does." He reaches a hand out to ruffle the boy's hair.

Locke laughs and would roll about, like a puppy, save you know, it's unmanly, and there is another dude here. Instead he coughs and lightly elbows at Benedict. "They better. I can't imagine anyone being pleased to see us again on the Stones."

"Were they ever pleased to see it? I think the distinct lack of pleasure was nearly entirely the point," Benedict muses, grinning over at Locke for the way the boy laughs.

"I think in one tavern they were Ser. You treated their soiled doves like fine ladies an' I think I was enthusiastic enough to wish I had money to pay." A chuckle there from Locke. "Eh." quiet he draws, eyes going down to his hands. "I'd just like us to have a home. Ser. A real one."

He chuckles at the memory of that particular brothel. "Not sure how much I trust myself with one," Benedict confesses for 'real homes', "but it's something you deserve. So, I'll make it work."

"Psh." Locke says, with a faint grin. "It's not about trusting yourself. Everyone deserves one. Even arseholes." A chuckle before he's looking back to his knight. "And so do you. Remember that, ser." And with that he is rising to gather the wasters. "I suppose we should report our findings to Lord Blackwood, sometime."

"Before he heads off to Riverrun in as much disgust as he came," Benedict agrees, pushing up and into a stand. He stretches, and grimaces a little when his stomach protests. "Going to feel that damn stab for days." Tossing Locke a grin, he adds, "I think there's hope for you yet."

"He always seems like that. As if the world shoved a stick right up there an is ever twisting it." A snort. "Though given what I've heard here, them Naylands and Terricks are likely the hands or the knobs on the stick." Wasters grabbed he looks back towards Benedict. "Thank you ser. I look forward to bein' an efficient, and chivalrous knight."

"Mmm," Benedict agrees, his smile shifting into a wry smirk. "We really do have to work on that second bit, don't we."