|Summary:||In which Jarod gives one, of a sort, to 'Rowan.'|
|Related Logs:||None in particular|
|Courtyard — Four Eagles Tower|
|The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.|
|Sun Oct 16, 288|
It's early in the day, the heat of the afternoon just now getting to the point where it's driving the castle's fighting men off the practice fields. Ser Jarod Rivers is just returning from that now, still in the leather jerkin he favors when working sword forms rather than practicing heavier exercises in full armor. He looks quite abused, sporting an impressively blackened right eye and a smaller cut on his upper lip where someone made a not-entirely-unsuccessful attempt at splitting it. His stride is jaunty enough for all of that, however.
Ser Jarod's ex-squire finished her set not long ago, but not her labors, striking the dummies, targets, and abandoned practice weapons from the courtyard. She's damp with perspiration, dark ringlets limp, a smudge of dirt along her jaw — a fairly standard state for any well-utilized squire. At present, she's heaving straw-stuffed practice dummies back into storage, pausing a moment to arch her lower back and wipe the sweat from her eyes. In catching her breath, she sees Jarod, gaping a moment then laughing and shaking her head. "Holy mother of fuck, Rivers," she calls out to him. "Hope you gave as good as you got. What happened to you?"
"Hullo, Rowan," Jarod replies to his squire with a bright, boyish grin. Or an attempted one. It's aborted at a half-smile with a wince, to avoid straining the split in his lip. He swaggers over to join her. "Oh, stop it. It's not so bad. I've taken worse on any odd morning." Not quite true. He doesn't always come away from daily exercises looking like he's emerged from a tavern brawl. "Now then. I'll tell you. But before I do, two things. I was entirely in the right, and you should see the other bloke." That is not an uncommon way to begin a Jarod Rivers Story, alas.
"Queen Cersei's testicles, you have," retorts Rose/Rowan, cheekily. She knows a knight's 'night before' bruises when she sees them, versus the 'just walloped on the field' variety. The initial — and familiar — disclaimer makes her laugh. "Of course you were, and I'm sure he off somewhere crying for his mother. And what did this poor moron do, to bring down the Sword of the Tower?" She grabs another dummy by the belt and heaves it through the shed doors.
"I guess you'll hear it sooner or later. The asshole's a sworn sword to the Valentins, as I understand it," Jarod replies. He doesn't insult the man with any particular venom. If anything, he sounds quite merry. "Ser Alek Coope. Don't know if you've met him or not, he seems just arrived in town. Probably for the tourney. Don't know what business he was on before. Anyhow. I guess he came by the castle and was *decidedly* rude to our Luci. Refused to introduce himself when she asked his name - stranger wandering about the castle and all - then suggested that if she wanted to speak with him, they might speak in her room." He snorts. "Can't abide some wandering knight speaking to my baby sister that way, now can I?"
Rose shakes her head. "Haven't met him," she says, tossing the last dummy after its straw-stuffed brethren. "Squire's always the last to know and all that rot." She shoulders the shed closed and leans on the door, pulling her wet hair back and holding it atop her head so the breeze can cool her neck. Ser Alek's reported transgressions have her gaping again, then uttering an incredulous laugh. "Well, I certainly hope he looks the worse, and by a lot! I might have to kick his arse myself — " she rolls her eyes and sighs, amending, "— with my Ser's permission, of course. Which Gedeon isn't likely to give. So I'll just live vicariously through the beatings you give the lout." She claps Jarod on the shoulder. "Well done! Can I at least watch, next time?"
Jarod laughs at that, putting an arm familiarly around Rowan's waist. More familiarly than perhaps looks exactly normal between knight and ex-squire in the courtyard. Which Jarod seems to remember after a beat, and he somewhat awkwardly claps the 'boy' on the back and withdraws his arm. "I'll let you know if I feel obliged to do it again. Get you a good seat. Though I think we've settled matters." With face-punching, clearly. "He doesn't seem a bad sort, really. Though I don't think he's spent much time around high-born ladies to know how to act in front of them. Didn't seem to care much for nobility, really. Gedeon says he and Lord Ser Anton squired together when they were both just common boys, so I suppose he's like not to've served in a real court even dubbed as he is."
The squire clears her throat and reciprocates a good deal of manly back-thumping, the flush of her cheeks easily explained by the work she's just finished. "You think the best of people," Rose observes, rubbing the back of her neck and shifting her weight a bit awkwardly. "If this Albert fellow came up the same as Lord Anton — well, all I'm saying is Lord Anton somehow managed to learn civility out of court. So it's obviously possible." She bites the corner of her bottom lip, glancing over Jarod from head to toe. "So…"
"Lord Ser Anton's had to learn to be…well, a lord. I imagine things're a little more…informal at Oldstones itself. I'm not sure they've any noble ladies there at all, with the place rebuilding itself as it is. Anyhow, Gedeon set Ser Alek a bit straighter on what was expected of him. Don't think it'll cause further trouble. And if it does…" He winks his non-swollen eye. "…I can always give him another lesson in etiquette." Again, with face-punching. "So…" He looks at Rowan looking at him, idly reaching up to scratch the back of his neck. "…you going to be taking part in the tourney, after Jace and Lady Anais' wedding?"
"Of course!" declares Rose, beaming. "I can't wait to have another go at Lord Mallister's boy. I got lucky that last round at Stonebridge — wasn't a bit fair. I expect he'll hand me my ass this time around, but he's going to have to work for it." She's terribly enthusiastic, even eager, about her impending beating. "M'still undecided about the joust. I'm sort of bollocks with a lance, still, and I'd hate to be put out of the melee before it even started."
"I'm bollocks at it, too, but I figure I'll take a turn or two until they knock me off. See if I can maybe earn some coin, if nothing else. More opportunity for that at lances than at the melee. Besides, there're knights in the Riverlands more bollocks than I am, might as well give it a go." Jarod chuckles, shrugging. "I've never jousted before in tourney. Jaremy was always the good one with a lance. Never wanted to compete against him, even if he was better than me, it'd have been…well, I never felt like I should get in the way of that for him, y'know?"
"I know," says Rose, softly. She's silent a moment, then asks, "When he finally comes home and I break his face, you'll visit me in the dungeons, won't you?"
"I don't figure you'll get much opposition in breaking Jaremy's face. Might've done him some good if I did it a few more times when we were boys," Jarod says. Though overall his tone about his wayward brother is still warm and fond. "Anyhow. The tourney." He's a little nervous. "I was thinking…I've got something I was thinking you might hold onto as…a good luck charm, I guess? I mean, you don't have to but if you wanted…it's not like that kind of thing actually helps mind but…y'know…thought it might be nice…"
Rose blinks. Her lips part, she blinks again… then she beams and blushes. "Oh," she says, darting a quick glance at the few people who are still about — far away and not paying the knight and squire the slightest bit of attention… but still. "A little extra luck never hurt anyone," she observes, still smiling. She glances back at the shed behind her. "Do you think you might've lost a dirk on the field?" she suggests, raising her eyebrows a little. "There's a lost and found bin in the shed. I can show you, and you can have a look." She doesn't wink or nudge, quite, but the eyebrows arch a little higher.
Jarod gets a chuckle out of that, but he shakes his head. "It's up in chambers, actually. With my things. It's umm…I'll just show you." He shrugs, almost shy, in a very Jarod Rivers sort of way. "C'mon." He turns on his heel to head back into the castle on that note, inhaling and exhaling once as he goes. Like he's preparing himself for…whatever.
She snorts and blushes, coughing into her fist and then falling comfortably, casually into step. "Right, then! Off we go…"
Jarod is silent as he half-jogs back into the castle and ushers Rowan into his room. They get a few looks, but none of much interest. Ser Gedeon's staying not far from here, after all, and it's not as if Rowan Nayland is an unusual presence in Ser Jarod's vicinity. Once inside, Jarod closes the door behind him and proceeds over to his closet, where he spends some time shoving things around. It's stuffed in the back amid his general mess, whatever he's trying to get at. He finally withdraws a box. More of a trunk, actually, though small enough to carry without much fuss. He unlinks a ring of keys from his belt to open it, as apparently he keeps whatever-it-is locked, in addition to stuffed in the back of his closet. This keeps him occupied for awhile.
Once the door's shut and they're reasonably private, Rose laughs — it's decidedly feminine laughter, though abashed. "I didn't expect you to have it on you, by the by — I just wanted to drag you into the shed and snog your brains out for the thought." She strolls over and sits on the edge of the bed, reaching over to absently stroke Ser Mew.
The cat looks up from one of his many, many naps, butting his head toward Rowan. To insist upon affection, even if he was getting it anyway. For Jarod's part, he chuckles briefly, though for once he doesn't have a verbal rejoinder to Rowan's snogging comment. He finally opens his box, sorts through (rather carefully) a mixture of papers and bits of cloth and even the odd flash of what looks like jewelry. Then it's shut again. He's procured a handkerchief from it, soft white linen with a border of purple embroidery around the edge deftly done to look like lavender flowers. Apart from that it's plain, save the letters 'L.B.' stitched in a rather good representation of calligraphy in one corner. Jarod holds it between his fingertips, offering it to Rowan in that half-unsure way. "This was…umm…my mother's," he says. "I mean, she made it. I figure…it's white. It looks kind of Kingsguard-y, if someone asks about it. It's not a real favor but…umm…anyway. Here."
It might be difficult to tell, immediately, what she really thinks of the gift — though one could easily call the care with which she takes it from him reverent, her fingertips tracing the embroidery. "Landra Bevins," she murmurs as she reaches the initials. When she looks up at him, finally, there are tears in her eyes. "Jarod…" Speechless, she kneels up and does what she meant to earlier — snogs him senseless. Her cheeks are damp and she tastes a little of tears, but there's no mistaking the passion and the tenderness that course from her mouth to his.
Jarod just starts talking - mostly nonsensically - to fill up the quiet when Rowan first takes the kerchief. Because quiet can only be bad. He flushes, "Sorry. Forget it. You don't have to take it. It was a dumb idea. Just forget I…Oomph…" And then he's kissed, which shuts him up. He laughs, more with relief than anything else, as it appears this is some indication she might like it. He flops back on his bed so she can have her way with him properly. Which dislodges his cat, much to the beast's displeasure. He doesn't notice. He's content to do some heavy making out with her for a minute, until it dawns on him that she's crying. He reaches up to brush his fingers against one cheek, frowning. "Is…what's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong," Rose husks, an audible lump in her throat, tears matting her long, dark lashes. "Nothing at all. It's a beautiful, beautiful favor — I'll wear it next to my heart in every battle. With pride." She smiles. "Never made a girl cry by doing something absolutely, perfectly right before?"
"No…can't say as I have, actually," Jarod replies, with some of his usual glibness back. He seems bemused by the idea that such a thing is possible. "Huh. Well, anyhow, I'm glad you like it. It's nothing so pretty as all that. I've got some that're more…complicated, I guess, but those'd be harder to explain. I went to Fairmarket to see Master Bevins when I was…fifteen or so. When I was squiring at Seagard, but before the war. He gave me some of her things. She was good with her hands, I think. I mean, as far as stuff like embroidery and drawing and the like goes."
"Well, then, there's a first time for everything," Rose retorts with an abashed smirk, ducking her head to scrub her damp face and eyes against his shoulder. She kisses the side of his neck softly, resting her head against him. "It doesn't have to be extravagant to be perfect. It's something precious to you… and giving it to me — there's far more meaning and feeling in that than any sparkling bauble." She turns her face into his tunic, inhaling the leather and sweat and maleness of him. "And besides that, you giving me a favor for battle is perfectly fucking adorable." Her lips curve in a grin at the base of his throat. "I could eat you with a spoon."
"Huh…" Jarod is content to marvel at his achievement of doing a thing correctly for a moment. "Fancy that…women are so odd…" The perfection safely ruined with that comment, the laughs, kissing the top of her curly head. And then nipping her ear. "Could you now? Let's give that a go, then!"
Rose snrrks. "We are not so odd at all. You're just — " she kisses the tip of his nose, " — a little thick." She kisses his lips, and grinning wickedly, proceeds to make a long, slow, sweet meal of him. The spoon never comes into it, but that's probably just as well.