|Favor for Favor|
|Summary:||Rowan and Jarod settle some favor-related matters, and revel in being home.|
|Related Logs:||Some, Lady Anonymous and Favors in particular|
|Stables and Kennels — Terrick's Roost|
|The Tower's Main Stables are nestled into the corner of the courtyard near the portcullis to facilitate quick, easy exits when required. The rear of the structure is backed right against the interior wall of the castle with the heavy wooden roofing gently sloped down towards the slate out front, the floor of the stables kept to dirt. Thick wooden beams are plunged into the ground and serve as a base for the walls between each stall. Hay serves as most of the flooring in the area with a large stack of it off to the side. Each stall has a thick layer on the ground to serve as bedding, with most of the space dedicated to horses though a few have pens of dogs and hounds. An enclosed structure at the end serves as dry storage for riding equipment and saddles.|
|Sun Feb 05, 289|
It's good to be home. However scarred and burned, the Roost retains that dear familiarity, and its people their character. It's the sweet spot between darker days, when the bonhomie of having suffered together and faced a common enemy overcomes all the petty differences and squabbles between neighbors. The Ironborn are gone, and though battle still looms large for the fighting men of the Riverlands, for the common folk the shadows have fled with them. Many pints are raised to the health of Lord Ser Jerold and the memory of Lord Ser Jason in the Rockcliff. The hounds hunt, the farmers sow, and children can be seen and heard at play — though perhaps under a more watchful eye than before, and not as far from their doorsteps.
For Rowan Nayland, peace has always meant the stables. Not simply her small room above it, but the sound and scent and soul of it, warm and alive. Relieved of a typical, errand-heavy schedule in these strange days, she spends her free time as she always has — tending the horses and hounds, or simply enjoying their company. Right now, it's a little of both: she sits in the kennels with Rebekkah, her favorite bitch, sprawled across her lap. What started out as a session of claw trimming seems to have devolved into a belly rub, and Bekkah the Hound twitches a hind-paw at the air from time to time, making doggy whines of bliss.
Jarod has been out riding through the morning and afternoon, but he's returning now. He leads his sturdy brown courser, Symeon, into the stables and over to his stall to get the horse settled. The sound of doggy whining draws his gaze in that direction, and he spots Rowan. Grinning and chuckling at the sight of her and the hound. "That sounds like a happy bitch," he calls.
Rowan flashes a grin, lifting her chin in greeting but not disturbing Rebekkah's sprawl. "And who better to know what that sounds like than the Sword of the Tower, eh?" The double entendre's been around almost as long as the song.
"That is what the ladies call me," Jarod says with a laugh and roguish wink. Once Symeon's stowed, he strides over to play with Rowan and her hound. Flopping down next to her and patting the Rebekkah's head. "Feels good, doesn't it? Being back home. Even…different as it is. Way the town is, and with my lord father gone at Seagard. Still it's…home."
Rebekkah laps the air with a long, broad tongue, attempting to bestow kisses of greeting as she's patted by another adoring fan. Rowan laughs, scritching the hound's flanks vigorously and leaning a shoulder against Jarod's. "Yeah," she agrees, voice and smile both soft. "It does feel good. I was just — I don't know. Reflecting, I guess. On everything. All of — life, I suppose. It's been amazing."
"And what'd you get out of your…reflecting?" Jarod asks, tilting his head to regard her. He looks thoughtful himself as he looks at her, idly reaching over to flick her short dark curls. Big grin on his face.
She turns her head to look at him, studying his face — the warm green eyes, slightly askew nose, broad smile — and she smiles back, helplessly. "Just that. That it's been amazing. And I've been blessed. No matter what happens when we're called to the next battle — I think I'm at peace." She smirks at herself, dimpling, and lowers her lashes, resuming the belly-rub when Bekkah paws at her face for attention. "As close to it as people get, anyway."
"Me, too," Jarod says. That's all he says for a beat, playing with her hair some more. "I almost feel guilty, things being as hard as they are right now. On my father, on Jace but…it's not that things're easy I'm just…happy." He clears his throat. "I've been thinking. While we're at liberty we should do…something. I don't even care what. Go fishing or hunting or camping on the beach or…doesn't matter. Something fun. What do you want to do?"
Rowan takes a quick look around, then leans in to kiss him, smiling against his mouth. "Camping on the beach sounds like heaven. Two days — maybe three? We can fish in the surf and swim and cook on the fire… oh!" She brightens with childlike excitement. "Can we bring Bekkah? I think she'd love it."
Jarod kisses her back without really thinking about it. It's only after they've done with that that he remembers to look over his shoulder. Seeing no one, he laughs. nodding. "Two days. Can't take too many, there are things I should see to down in Stonebridge, and you should practice at cavalry drills more before we're called…wherever but…two days'd be real nice. Sure we can. She can hunt with us or…whatever."
Beaming, Rowan frames his face in her hands and kisses him again. "When can we go? Tomorrow?" Rebekkah, meanwhile, sighs heavily as she — very astutely — notes she's not the center of her girlperson's universe, at the moment. The big, brindle bitch rolls to her feet and stretches, yawning hugely.
"Tomorrow'd be good…" Jarod mutters around the kiss, before he just gives himself over to returning it. He laughs at the yawning from the dog, once they've broken. "Your bitch is jealous, I think."
Rebekkah decides to ham it up, settling down and putting her head between her paws, making with the proverbial puppy eyes. She heaves another sigh. "Awww, Beks," Rowan laughs, turning her head a bit to croon at the hound, though her forehead still touches Jarod's. "Separate but equal, sweet girl. I can love both, just — very, very differently." Speaking of which, she threads her fingers with Jarod's and turns her face towards him again, nibbling his bottom lip. "This is good," she murmurs, breathing him in.
"This is the best…" Jarod mutters, laughing as his bottom lip is nibbled. Once they break he leans over to nip at her ear, playfully. "Umm…Rowenna…" He pitches voice a little low as he uses her girly name. "I wanted to ask you…would you mind if…" He sort've oafs his way along. "…that favor you gave me…when I didn't know it was you…back before the Stonebridge tourney…would you mind if I wore it? When we go to the Iron Islands, I mean. I mean, it's fine if you'd rather I not, different times and all…"
"Will you mind if I carry yours?" she asks softly in return, tracing the curl of his ear with a fingertip and brushing her lips across his jaw.
Jarod blinks. Twice. Like his brain, as it often is, is reorienting itself from some place he'd had it firmly entrenched in. "You've still got it?"
Rowan blinks as well, then laughs and nods. "Of course I've still got it!" Duh.
"Huh." Jarod blinks again. Before giving his head a little shake, perhaps to physically jar the reorienting. "I mean, of course you can. I'd be honored if you did. Huh…" He leans in to kiss her again, to stop himself from 'Huh'ing more as much as anything else.
Laughing still, she returns his kisses, arms sliding around his neck before she catches herself and draw back. She glances sidelong, then suggests in a murmur, "We should probably find a better place, if we're going to… keep this up." She grins.
"Uh, yeah, guess we should," Jarod says. "We can go up to your room for a bit." He stands, brushing some hay off his trousers. "I…I didn't figure you still had that. The kerchief I gave you, I mean. Thought you'd have tossed it after Riverrun and everything. Couldn't blame you. I just…I figured I'd made you so miserable you'd want to get rid of everything we'd been…"
Rowan stands as well, placing a hand over his heart. "You never made me miserable. We just… we were hurting each other. We weren't working. And the harder we tried, the worse we made it. I never — how could I have been angry at you? For what? For loving me? For being you, which is why I loved you in the first place?" She shakes her head, smile faint and sorrowful. "I was angry with you for about three seconds. After that… I was just sad."
"I wasn't being me, though. Not really. I…" Jarod spends a beat thinking, like he doesn't even know where to start. "…and I wasn't loving you very well. Or myself, for that matter." He reaches over to muss her short curls. "Most of the time. That day I gave you my mother's handkerchief though…that was when I realized I loved you."
She leans up to steal another kiss. "I think that's when I realized it, too. That you loved me." She grins, adding, "And in case your question hasn't been answered in the subtext: Yes, you may wear my favor."
"Well, all right then," Jarod says, when she gives him leave to war her favor. He keeps playing with her hair. "I should've said it then. Don't know why I didn't. When I finally did it'd been too long and it was all…at exactly the wrong time. We never could manage to be in quite the same place."
Rowan nods. "We both did a lot of ungainly flailing," she agrees, tilting her head as his fingers play through her hair. "I think…" She hesitates, a superstitious flicker. To name one's good fortune is to unmake it, so the stories go. "I think… maybe we're in the same place now. Or… a lot closer, at any rate."
"Feels good, wherever we are," Jarod says, twining one of her curls around his finger. "Anyhow, let's get up to your room."