|Farewell For Now|
|Summary:||Kittridge tries to be nice to his bratty sister before the army leaves for Seagard.|
|Date:||February 9, 2012|
|Related Logs:||The reclaiming of the Roost and plans for Seagard.|
|Guest Room — Terrick's Roost|
|It's nice, probably.|
|January 19, 289|
Rosanna has done her utmost to be the proper lady in this perhaps her first long-term excursion into society outside of Kingsgrove. It is enough to be rather exhausting for a girl of her age, and she has retreated for the moment to her borrowed room. The grey tabby curled on her lap is a familiar sight that she quite fervently refused to part from back at home, and she strokes at Barristan's ears with a slowly affectionate graze of her fingers.
Kittridge has spent a lot of time at the sort of meetings and councils he generally shirks as much as possible at Kingsgrove, coordinating things and observing preparations, etc., etc. It has kept him busy, and for the most part unable to keep an eye on his sister as much as he had perhaps planned. Freed at least briefly from troop movements and supply chains, he knocks on her door and calls, "Rosanna? Are you awake?"
For a moment, she just levels a narrow gaze on the door and that voice beyond. Then she finally looks stubbornly back down to Barristan as she strokes her finger under his chin. "Yes," she says archly.
Kittridge hears that tone, and rolls his eyes, beginning to sloooowly turn the knob as he leans his temple against the door and asks, overly-patient, "Can I come in?"
The next pause is even longer. Point-making longer. But eventually, Rosanna sighs in a long-suffering manner and says, "Yes."
There is another round of eye-rolling from Kit at that pause, and he turns the knob a little further, almost threatening, but waits until she FINALLY agrees before actually opening the door and entering the room. He shuts it behind him again, and walks over to lean against the edge of a side-table, and bend forward to reach for the cat. "Hey, Barristan," he says, ignoring the sister holding him, and scritching at ears, "How're you liking the Roost, hmm? Bold enough for you?"
Rosanna glares at Kittridge when the tabby betrays her by stretching his neck towards her brother's promising fingers and offering a renewed purr. The little lady makes no move to begin conversation, stroking a hand slowly down the cat's side now that his head has been distracted.
Kittridge rewards Barristan's treachery, scratching and petting ears and head and chest. "Yeah, it's no Kingsgrove, I agree," he says to the cat, as if they're carrying on a conversation only he can hear, "I'm sure it's nicer without armies around it and part on fire, too, of course. And yes, the cliffs are pretty striking, I agree. Their coastline's probably a bit more interesting than ours. Do they? I guess that makes sense, town-mice would taste different than our forest-mice. I'm glad you're expanding your palate."
"Stop that," Rosanna finally complains, her nose wrinkling. "You're not actually talking to him."
Kittridge glances up, lifting a brow. "Well that's not very polite," he says, "You interrupted him. I'm sorry, Barristan," he apologizes to the cat, "You're right, her manners do still need some work."
"He wasn't saying anything!" Rosanna argues, scooping the cat up closer in her arms and angling away from Kittridge to try and separate them.
"Maybe you need to get your ears checked," Kittridge retorts, giving the lobe of one a flick. "Hey!" he objects as the cat is taken away, "Fine, then, I guess YOU just have to talk to me instead, since you won't let Barristan and I finish our conversation." He looks at her expectantly.
Rosanna glares at Kittridge for a moment as she smushes poor Barristan to her chest. At least he's a good sport about it. "What do you want to talk about?"
Kittridge gives the cat a sympathetic look, seemingly immune to his sister's glares. At her question, he shrugs. "I don't know. What do you want to talk about?"
She considers him a moment longer, then looks back down to Barristan and resumes stroking his ears. "Lovely weather we've been having," Rosanna says with pointed civility.
"Not too bad, I suppose. Roads should be decent, not too muddy," Kittridge replies. "Have you had a chance to meet either of the ladies of the Roost?"
"I have met Lady Anais and Lady Lucienne," Rosanna says with a hint of pride. "They are both very gracious."
"Good," Kittridge nods, "I'm glad to hear it. I'm sure they'll have much to do, but you should observe as you can, and maybe if the Lady Lucienne heads back to Stonebridge you and your guards can travel with her."
"And here I thought I was to lock myself in my room and never move outside of it once you and the others are gone." Rosanna sniffs idly as she strokes a finger along Barristan's face.
"Well, that was Barristan's idea," Kittridge replies, blithely blaming the cat, "He's all for keeping you confined to the closet under the stairs at Braeburn for at least another year or two, but I talked him out of it. It was a very tense argument, so I hope you won't start it up again. He and I have only just made up."
"Barristan would want me to go wherever I want, because he loves me, but he doesn't actually have opinions about it because he is a cat and you are just making stuff up to be obnoxious," Rosanna says with a stubborn set to her mouth.
"Me? Make things up to be obnoxious? Why would I do a thing like that?" Kittridge replies innocently, "I can't imagine I would, unless having an actual conversation with you were unreasonably difficult because you were being sulky. But that would never happen, would it?"
"I am not sulky!" Rosanna immediately argues. "Just because I don't want to talk to you because you and everyone else are going off to war and never coming back." No, that's not sulky at all.
"Right, that makes so much sense," Kit snorts, rolling his eyes, "I'm going off to war and never coming back, so you're going to sulk at me and make me talk to your cat, instead. Great plan, Rosie. And definitely not sulky at all."
Rosanna catches a hint of a quiver in her bottom lip between her teeth, then suddenly picks Barristan back up to shove at him. "Fine," she says. "Talk to Barristan. I don't want to talk to you. You just want to make me agree with you so you feel better."
"Make you agree with me about what?" Kittridge asks, confused, and not just by the fact that there is suddenly a cat in his hands. Hi Barristan. He lifts the feline up to look, big-eyed, at him for a second and then sets him down on his lap to pet absently.
"About leaving," Rosanna snaps, standing to brush off her skirts briskly and turn away a few steps. "You want me to say it's okay and like you for it and be nice and — all of those things."
"You don't have to like it," Kit replies, calmly continuing to stroke the cat's ears, "I don't like it. But you have to understand. We have to go. There isn't a choice."
Averted from him, Rosanna scrubs at something unseen across her cheeks before lifting her chin and looking back at him. "When will you come back?"
"I don't know," Kittridge says, shoulders lifted and dropped, "Hopefully a couple weeks at most."
Rosanna says nothing to this. She sits on the edge of the bed, her hands twisting in her lap as she looks down at them.
"It's a big army," Kittridge says, passing Barristan back as Rosanna retakes her seat, "And we're meeting an even bigger one at Seagard. We'll outnumber the Ironborn by a fair bit. It should be about as safe as war can be."
Rosanna takes the cat back into her arms, but only squeezes him briefly before setting him down to let him entertain himself. Quietly, she replies, "Okay."
"I have to go, but I hope I'll be back soon," Kittridge says, "Along with everybody else. I promise to keep an eye on Brynner for you," he says, teasing lightly.
"I don't care about Brynner," Rosanna mumbles in an obvious lie.
"And Dominick," Kittridge adds, "And Tommas and Day… will be there to keep an eye on us," he says, smiling crookedly, "Probably more than the other way 'round."
"I can't believe you are stealing Day, too," Rosanna says just a little sullenly.
"I am not stealing Day," Kit retorts dryly, "I have zero control over her. She said she was coming and I couldn't talk her out of it."
"You probably didn't try very hard," Rosanna supposes with a dignified sniff.
Kittridge frowns at her, "I did too. She does what she wants, she doesn't listen to me."
"She should listen to me," Rosanna says with a grouch in her voice. "She's my governess."
"I'm not sure that's how the governess/governed relationship works," Kittridge replies, "But it is what it is, Rosie. You can either be mad at us for doing what we think we have to, or you can be nice, just in case something does go terribly wrong."
"If something goes terribly wrong, me being nice isn't going to make any difference," Rosanna says, her gaze flittering over to him.
Kittridge arches a brow. "You won't be glad that at least you weren't mean the last time we spoke?" he asks.
"Well—" Rosanna flushes with a general — lack of response to this. Then she says, "What nice thing should I say?"
Kittridge shrugs. "I don't know. Just stop being sulky and mad at me. Be mad at the stupid Ironborn for their stupid invasion, or something, instead."
"I am mad at the Ironborn," Rosanna says a bit breathlessly. "I hate them more than — than anything else."
"Don't be that mad," Kittridge says, glancing sideways at her, a bit concerned, "That doesn't sound healthy. Just… everything's going to be fine, alright? Kingsgrove is pretty much fine, we'll all be back in a couple weeks, and things'll go back to normal, you'll get your stay in Stonebridge and everything. Alright?"
The sullenness melts a touch to a more vulnerable uncertainty beneath, present in Rosanna's gaze as she looks at him. Finally she nods and says, "Okay," in a quiet voice.
"I promise I'll do everything I can to come back, and get everybody else back safe with me," Kit adds, "I'm not just… leaving. I'll do whatever it takes to come back. So long as you and Barristan promise to be gracious guests while I'm gone," he adds, trying to lighten the mood a shade.
Rosanna takes in a breath only touched slightly with unsteadiness. "I will be the perfect guest," she tells him firmly. "So will Barristan."
Kittridge nods. "I know you will. Otherwise you'll have everybody scolding you when we get back and find out. Everybody but Brynner, anyway. Day will make up for him." He smiles, and reaches over to give her a hug, accompanied by appropriate brotherly bear-hug noise. "Alright. Sweet dreams, Rosie. Don't let Barristan stay up too late. I'll see you soon."
Rosanna sniffles just a bit into that hug, but mostly buries any hint of tears into the solidity of his shoulder. "If you die," she says, "I will kill you. Just remember that."
"I will definitely keep that in mind," Kit promises. He pulls back and smiles, giving her shoulder a bit of a squeeze as he stands. "Be good. Have fun. I'll see you soon," he repeats, bending to give the cat a pat and a, "Good night, Ser Barristan," on his way out.