|Far From Perfect|
|Summary:||Katrin and Rafferdy take a moment alone to talk about Raff's family problems.|
|Related Logs:||The Last Dance, Dances in the Common Tongue|
|The grass is mashed from the knights and their horses, but it's late, and most of them are gone to the dances.|
|25th May, 289|
Katrin leads Rafferdy away from the town, back toward the open grounds of the Tourney fields, concern written across her features. "Are you alright?" she asks quietly.
Rafferdy walks with Katrin out onto the dark grounds of the tourney. They're nearly empty as everyone is at one of the two parties tonight. He shrugs a little as they walk. "I don't know," is his answer. It's short and simple.
"We have not known each other long, but you can talk to me," Katrin says quietly, walking alongside Rafferdy. "What passes between us is private, and for no other ears. Because in that amount of time… I don't think I've ever seen you like this. I am not even sure how to describe it."
Rafferdy laughs a little at that, "Seen me like what? Getting my ass beat by a girl?" He tries to force a smile her way, and then tosses his arms in the air a bit. "I'm kind of feeling like everyone else in my family has done far worse than me and has gotten away with it, and this one little thing I did is being treated like the worst thing ever." He shakes his head, "I'm supposed to be the Nayland that gets away with things. I don't…" He shakes his head, "I don't know what to do with this."
"You do not let it get to you," Katrin says firmly, offering up a bright smile. "From my observations of you, you are far from perfect, but you care for your family. Do not forget that part, even when it looks as though they have turned their back on you. It is not forever."
Rafferdy shakes his head, "You don't know my father." He sighs, for about the hundredth time, looking back towards the lights of the dance. "The worst part is Ro and Jarod are probably the only family I actually LIKE."
"Then talk to them about it," Katrin suggests. "If you spoke true and gave your support to them, then they should at least allow you to offer your side of it. Perhaps you did wrong, but you do not have to let that be what holds you down."
Rafferdy purses his lips, and stares off into the darkness, considering her words. After a long moment, he looks at her and simply offers, "I'm sorry my past ruined your evening. This wasn't how I wanted things to go."
A smile lights Katrin's eyes. "How did you want things to go then?" she asks, sounding more amused than upset by the turn of events.
Rafferdy offers another little shrug, looking off again, a bit melancholy. "I hoped to dance with you. Slow. Close. Show my family I actually CAN be respectable with a noble lady. Show your family maybe I might be good enough to be seen with you." He looks down at his boots, "I'm not used to things not working out my way."
"That would have been nice," Katrin murmurs, expression wistful. "But you are what you are. We cannot change that. But I have already shown you that I think more of you than beyond just being able to go through the steps as a respectful nobleman."
Rafferdy nods, "Sure, but," he looks into her eyes, and lays his hand on her cheek. It's perhaps more calloused than fit for a non-knighted noble from years of archery. "What you think doesn't matter when the day comes that your father betroths you."
"If it had not been for the accident, I would already be a member of House Frey and perhaps with child," Katrin muses. "Perhaps the Seven do watch over me." Her hand, far smaller and softer than his, lays atop the one resting on her cheek. "You. My knowing you has made me question my place and my purpose for the first time."
Rafferdy furrows his brow a little, "That's… That's not necessarily a good thing, Kat." He looks very empathetic to this. "Whatever this outsider path is that I flirt with, it's not for everyone. If you're a good noble Lady, I would feel terrible for somehow inspiring you to do otherwise."
Katrin laughs quietly. "Then I would think that our association together can only go so far," she muses. "We can smile and flirt and even kiss, but there is little else that could happen. For you to be the type of man my father would likely agree to be my husband, you would have to give up who you are. For I to be the type of woman you would have any desire to settle down with, I would have to turn my back on my family and the traditions I was taught. It seems unfair, don't you think?"
Rafferdy caresses her cheek with his thumb as his hand continues to rest on the side of her face. "What would you have me do, then?" he asks.
Katrin takes in a slow breath. "I don't know," she says softly. "One day at a time, right? That is our only option. See what happens. Perhaps my father will simply choose a husband for me and I will be sent far from here and we will never see each other again."
Rafferdy shakes his head, "I should think that would be unacceptable." He chews his lip a moment, "Maybe I could go talk to your father. Buy him an ale. Maybe play him a song. Get him good and lit and then just explain to him how fantastic I am." He smiles.
There is a moment of silence before Katrin looks up at Rafferdy. She's looking for answers of some sort in his eyes. "Do you care for me?" she asks. "Genuinely and truly." She gives a teasing smile. "Perhaps we should run away together," she suggests.
Rafferdy laughs, "Run away." He glances upward at the night sky, then back to her eyes. "There's something I am an expert in." He slowly shakes his head, "I don't want that." He takes her free hand in his own free hand. "We've not known one another long, to be fair. But, I've spent my life moving from place to place, woman to woman from night to night. I've loved them all, but I don't know that that is the same as being IN love." He furrows his brow a bit, "But, recently, I've had this… itch, you know? It's time. I need to have something in my life that is stable. And you?" He smiles then, "You give me pause."
"To be singled out amongst the dozens of women I am sure you have had," Katrin teases. "I do feel so incredibly honored." She looks up at Rafferdy. "Our options are limited," she admits. "What we can do without causing yet another scandal to your House, that is."
Rafferdy shakes his head with a smirk, "I'm not worried about MY house." He leans forward and places a gentle kiss upon her forehead. "I'll come up with something," he assures her.
With a smile, Katrin wraps both of her arms snugly around Rafferdy, leaning in against him. "I trust you," she says. "So long as I have any say in my life, I can promise to be loyal to you until the day I am given to another."
Rafferdy returns her hug, "I'm not a great catch, Kat," he reminds her. "I've never really done this before. I'm going to screw up. I want you to know that so you don't have to punch me in the face later."
"A lady never punches," Katrin responds primly. She shakes her head. "Perhaps this will end in a glorious fire that brings nothing but tears. But for the moment, I would like to believe that happiness could be within my grasp." With a smile, she leans in and presses a brief kiss to Rafferdy's lips.
Rafferdy returns the kiss, and he smiles. "It's late. You should get back to your Septa. They'll want to flog you for me," he jokes. "Sorry about the arrow, by the way. I'm sure you've heard by now, the rain has given cause to cancel the archery tourney."
Katrin shakes her head, "Hold on to it," she says. "Use it for something that will surely bring you honor in everyone's eyes." She frowns. "I want to stay with you," she murmurs. "But you would never allow that, would you?"
Rafferdy shakes his head to her question, "Not if you are to be different from the others. And I would like you to be." He gives her a smile, and leans once more, to give her a gentle, soft kiss on the lips. "Sleep well, Kat." And with that, he moves to walk back towards the tower.
"And you, Raff," Katrin replies with a smile. "Will I see you again before you leave to return to… wherever?"
Rafferdy looks back at her, "You will." He smiles, and then heads off.