|Fed Up With The World Itis|
|Summary:||Jacsen and Lucienne catch up in the reading room.|
|Related Logs:||Jaremy logs. I may or may not fix this with links.|
|Reading Room, Four Eagles Tower|
|The room has a large glass window and seat that looks out partially over the cove, in daylight hours the sun provides illumination to the room. Other stools and chairs linger in small groups as shelves along the walls are littered with scrolls, books, letters and documents. The contents are a modest collection of local records, histories, and literature offered to both the family and guests of Four Eagles Tower. And Lucienne's handmaiden.|
|2nd October, 288|
The afternoon stretches on, and here in the reading room things are quiet. The sun's light, diffused by many a cloud that threaten rain outside, washes in through the window to illuminate the room in a dull, depressing sort of a way. By the window, for the light is strongest there, Lucienne sits with a book, her lips twisted into a frown of concentration, her brows knit down as she scans the text - but by all appearances, she's cured of the strange illness that seems to have swept through the ladies of the Roost this last week.
Granted, some understood the illness better than others, but Jacsen had come by only for a brief few minutes, turned away for the sake of his sleeping sister. Whether or not she'd actually been at rest was hard to tell. Her brother is certainly not at rest these past few days, and today is no different. Jacsen makes his way into the library, with a slender volume beneath his arm, leaning heavy on the cane that keeps him upright.
She doesn't look up, nor reach to mark her place on the page with a finger, nor make any other small movement that might indicate she's noted Jacsen's arrival… but Lucienne does lift her voice to carry: "Any word from Jarod?"
"Nothing, yet," Jacsen replies as he crosses the carpeted floor, his book set on a surface he passes with little regard beyond that it does not tumble to the floor. "Though I hope to hear something soon. It's been more than long enough."
Lucienne emits a soft sigh at that answer, her eyes falling closed with the disappointment. Her hands move to rest atop the open pages of her book, and she rallies herself to open her eyes again and look up to where she expects her brother to be, only a slight adjustment needed to place him. "Are you… how are you?" Her lips press thin, something of concern in the expression.
He is near the window now, his eyes overlooking the gloom-shrouded cove beyond, his hand firm atop the cap of his cane, leaning hard. "Am I what, dearest Enne?" Jacsen asks, looking over his shoulder at her, gaze thoughtful.
Lucienne tilts her head as she studies Jacsen studying the landscape outside. "Are you alright, is what I was going to ask," she says after some hesitation, brows lifting as he looks back to her. She attempts a smile, just a tiny twitch in the corners of her mouth.
"I imagine that I am, for a given sort of being alright," Jacsen says with a humorless quirk to his smile, glancing back to the pane of glass. His eyes track to her reflection in it rather than paying the cloudy day beyond much more attention. "I might ask you the same," he tells her, "Hattie had said you came down with something quite suddenly."
"A terrible case of fed-up-with-the-world-itis," Lucienne explains of her downtime, with a little more vigour to her smile. "I think I'm recovered now, though. Thankyou for stopping by to see me, dear heart." She drops a look to her book again, one hand peeling back to reveal half-sentences that make no sense without their beginnings. "I didn't inconvenience anyone too terribly, did I?"
He shakes his head slightly. "No, I don't think so, though we were all felt to be bereft of your fair company," Jacsen concedes with something of a warm smile, seen more in his reflection within the pane of glass. "I am glad to know it was nothing that a spell of peace and quiet couldn't see to righting." He heaves a small breath. "I wish I had better news for you than nothing, Enne."
Lucienne draws in a long breath that predictably flows back out in another sigh. "I wish you did too, quite honestly," she tells her brother as she leans back in her chair and closes the cover of her book with a soft thud. "But you don't, so let's not dwell on that. How is Anais?"
"As agreeable as I expected she might be," Jacsen concedes, with a manner somewhere between being pleased with that notion and disturbed by it. "While our Lord Father has not yet called me to him and said the words, I think there is little doubt now as to how this all will play out." He shifts on his good leg, slightly, still standing there and leaning upon the cane.
"Little doubt," she repeats, glancing down at her hands. They wrap about her book, securing it so that she might press up and out of her chair, leaving the tome behind on the seat and then bridging a few of the steps toward the window. Lucienne peers after her brother as she says, "And that brings me back to my question, then, Jace. How are you?"
Her brother's head lifts, his eyes tracking her progress in the window. "Uncertain," Jacsen concedes, after a moment, his reflected eyes matching Lucienne's own, or perhaps it is her reflected eyes matching his. "I feel very… uncertain of things, Lucienne." There is an intimacy in that confession, as if he would offer it as such to few individuals, if any others at all.
She reaches out a hand to him as she draws near enough, aiming to trace it from his shoulder down to his elbow in a gentle sweep. Lucienne takes another deep breath and nods a couple times, shifting her gaze from Jacsen's reflection to the man himself, now that she's close. "What can I do?"
Jacsen's eyes fall to that hand upon his elbow, and lift to favor the owner of such a delicate hand with his deep blue eyes. "Tell me that this is for the best, Enne. That she will make a fine wife, and I a fine lord, and…" He draws a quiet breath, and shakes his head. "This is not what I wanted, to be the replacement for my errant brother. To take what he finds unworthy of his own efforts."
"You, my dearest heart of hearts," Lucienne begins, so confident in her words that she smiles tenderly to accompany them, "Will make the finest lord that Terrick's Roost has ever seen. You don't need me to tell you that, my love." Her hand sneaks gently back up Jacsen's arm, pausing to squeeze gently. "And Anais… she had best make you the finest wife in all the Riverlands, Jacsen, or I'll…" Not finish that threat aloud, apparently. Lucienne shakes her head. "This is for the best. It's terrible, and it might be difficult, but it's for the best."
"How I might manage without you, my dearest Enne," Jacsen wonders, with a quiet shake of his head. "Did I truly endure all those past few years since you left Seaguard to return home? I wonder how." He smiles a touch, his eyes drifting over his sister's features. "I will do all I might to make true your words, you know. I love the Roost too well to do any different. The Roost, and those that call it home."
"You did," says Lucienne, smiling fondly up at her brother. "You managed just fine without me - flourished, even. And you will again, when next we're parted, my love." That prompts a hint of sadness in her eyes, and she bites down softly on the inner of her lower lip. She's quiet, then, for a long moment, her hand falling away from her brother to rest by her side instead.
Jacsen reaches out to catch that hand with his before it can go to far, and offers it a gentle squeeze. "We will never be so parted, I promise you, that years might go by as they did without enjoying the bonds of kinship we share," he tells her. "Oldstones is not so far, after all. We shall all find a great many excuses, you, Jarod, myself… perhaps even Jaremy in time, to see one another. I promise you of that."
Lucienne shifts a look out the window at the bleak sky, possibly finding some comfort in the way it mirrors her mood just now. "It's closer than Riverrun, I suppose," she allows, eyes searching out the window a moment longer before returning to Jacsen. "I hope, though, that you'll help me make something more than a timber hall of the place, even if you can't yourself visit all that often."
Jacsen's eyes lift to hers again and he nods once. "Know that should you wear the title of Lady of Oldstones," he assures his beloved sister, as he draws her hand up high enough to kiss its knuckle. "I will do all that I can to make that title one envied, that your sons and daughters are sought after, that Terrick and Valentin might become as Terrick and Tordane were in days past."
His words draw another smile from her, or perhaps it's the kiss to her knuckles - either way, Lucienne is comforted enough that the darkness about her softens. "Closer," she corrects Jacsen gently. "We'll be closer than Terrick and Tordane ever were. And without any sour grapes to spoil the wine, hmm? I wonder how fares the Lady Valda these days. I imagine she feels rather uncomfortable in her tower, if the rumours are true."
He nods once. "We shall be kin," Jacsen affirms for her, letting go of her hand that he might raise his hand to the side of her face, a light and fond touch. "And Gedeon shall earn the name Tordane, and his children shall marry of mine, or yours, and all three families will rule here, together, and prosper. This is my hope, Enne, and one I shall make true by whatever means I have at my disposal."
Lucienne continues to smile, even moreso for the tender caress to her face. "And mine. Whatever you need of me, you know you've only to ask, Jacsen. I'll always be a Terrick, as some handsome young lord once reminded me." She reaches with her released hand to clasp it atop his own on her cheek.
"A smart young lord, that one. You should keep more company like that," Jacsen tells her with much of a laugh in his voice, and something of the heaviness in his chest coming off in a quiet release of breath. "Thank you, Enne. I… think I needed your company, your thoughts, more than I realized."
"I intend to, whilst I'm still within company-keeping distance, anyway," Lucienne retorts, her smile dimpling. More seriously, though, she tilts her head up to her brother to add, "And I, yours, Jace. If ever Hattie tries to turn you away from my door again, please don't you let her. Or anyone else, for that matter, you hear?"
His thumb draws across her cheek, while remaining warmed by the hand she's placed over his own, and he smiles. "I will keep that in mind, dearest," Jacsen promises. "And…" He searches her face. "I wish to ask you something, but I do not know if it is kind to ask," he admits, chewing faintly on his lower lip.
"Oh?" Lucienne, curious as she draws her hand from the back of Jacsen's palm to his wrist, lifts her brows. "You can ask," she encourages him, nodding faintly.
Jacsen's hand finally drifts back to his side and he nods. "It's Anais," he explains, after a moment. "I… was hoping you might speak with her," he shares with his sister, "And… help guide her some. If she is to be my wife, and I am to keep her close, she will need to learn a bit better how and when to share her thoughts, and how to make herself amenable to my moods." He lets out a breath. "I don't expect anyone to do the work for me of acclimating to this woman, I just… think there might be some things she could take easier from a fellow woman, watching from the outside, than perhaps from myself." His forehead crumples. "Is this making sense, Enne? I hope I am making sense."
Lucienne's expression seems to break immediately at the mention of Anais, her eyes snapping closed, her lips pressing thin, her jaw tensing as her teeth clench. "Alright, okay," she mutters lowly, her head beginning to shake before her eyes open upon Jacsen once more, "Yes. Yes, you're making sense." Her shoulders shrug, and she looks at the window again - not out it, this time, but at her reflection in the glass. "I think that any attempt on my part to educate the Lady Anais Banefort will be poorly received, Jace."
He frowns, not for the sake of her answer, but for the unspoken reaction she has to his words. She can see some of the confusion play out across his face in their reflection in the mirror. Whether or not he knows why, he can tell plainly enough that he's upset his sister. "I… forget I asked," Jacsen suggests, raising his hand. "I'm sorry. It was a poorly thought out question, clearly."
"You should hear the way she speaks about Lili, openly, as though it's nothing," Lucienne says to the window, one of her hands stretching up to rub absently at the side of her face so recently touched by her brother. "I've no desire to earn her ire similarly." She sighs, a heavy thing, her chest heaving with the effort. "Perhaps you should ask her to consider asking my advice, if you'd have her hear it. It's not my place to instruct her so, unbidden."
"I did not mean to put you in such a position, I thought she might… Anais knows how much we all regard you, Lucienne. I thought she might regard things differently, but you're right that it would be wrong to risk it," Jacsen concedes with a shake of his head. "I do not find Liliana to be the most easy woman to deal with at times, but I have little tolerance for how she's been treated. That is the sort of thing I wish to have Anais learn about. She's a clever girl, no doubt, and brave… but too bold by half. I'll shut her out before I'd suffer her trying to overstep me, in public or private. I'd rather find another way."
Lucienne transfers her palm from her cheek to Jacsen's shoulder, seeking to… reassure him? Reassure herself? Her eyes lift back up to search out his. "I hope for your sake that it doesn't come to that, my love. Maybe I can… somehow… I don't know. I want you to be happy. Even… I just want you to be happy." She withdraws her hand to run her slender fingers through the lengths of her hair with a deep breath. "Let me think about it, about what I can do."
His lets out another slow breath with that hand upon his shoulder, and ends up gently nodding for his sister's suggestion. "I will speak with Anais about it, find some way of suggesting she seek you out," Jacsen tells her. "She can hardly take poorly to advice she asks for, isn't it so? And if you have some other thought on the matter, well, I'd hear that too." He glances over his shoulder and at the door of the reading room, adding, "There are some things I should probably see to, Enne. I'm glad we had a chance to talk."
"Good luck with that," Lucienne bids a little wryly, her smile returning a little lopsided. "Go, go on. I've a book I should be reading, too. I'll see you at dinner." She presses a kiss to her fingertips, then brushes it to her brother's cheek affectionately before retreating to her chair and her book.