Page 212: Friendly Machinations
Friendly Machinations
Summary: Deirdra has some ideas for Rosanna's immediate future.
Date: February 14, 2012
Related Logs: A little bit of Plans of Attack, maybe, but mostly the reclaiming of Seagard.
Rosanna Deirdra 
Gardens — Tordane Tower
The rose garden of House Tordane is about three hundred square feet and hemmed in by walls about eye level to keep out the attention of wildlife. Bees hum about the area and around the stone archway which has seen the flowers grow up over and nearly encase in solid vine. The scent is sweet, mixing with the air coming off the water to produce an atmosphere some might find extremely calming. Stone benches have been chiseled out and placed along the path for visitors to relax on.
February 14, 289

The gardens are safe enough that Rosanna's guard is not even immediately visible, even if he's likely close by. The youngest Groves is exploring what the gardens have to offer leaning close to sniff this flower or inspect this plant. The slight wrinkle to her nose suggests that she finds something lacking.

"You're ironically named, if you haven't a care for roses," is the dry observation from Rosanna's companion. Though it's said with a smile. The joke, such as it is, has a trace of warmth beneath it. While the lady's guard may not be visible, Mistress Deirdra Colmes accompanies the girl on her botanical wandering casually enough.

"I like roses," Rosanna argues back as she straightens up and smooths a hand down her skirts. "It's just so — I don't know. It's not like the groves at home."

"I never knew much of flowers, so I cannot comment," Deirdra says, eyeing a rosebush in a critical sort of way. As if trying to judge it, despite a lack of botanical expertise. "But…no. This isn't Kingsgrove." And, when she speaks of it, there is a touch of homesickness in her tone. She was born and raised in Seagard, and is still in many ways its creature. That she's never particularly tried to hide. But she's been five years amongst the Groves now. "Are you missing home these days, my lady?" The question is almost gentle.

"Of course not," Rosanna says with a bright laugh that is only the slightest bit forced. "All I've ever wanted is to see other places. Now I finally get to."

"Of course not." Deirdra repeats it in that ever so slightly dry sort of way. "Well. No one ever truly stops longing for their home. I am years gone from Seagard and I still think of it. Particularly in these last days." The composure in her tone never falters, but it's not so casual as she speaks of her true home just now.

"You could go," Rosanna suggests, a touch too casually. A hand lifts to trace lightly along the edges of a flower. "Everyone else is."

"I have thought of it," Deirdra says. "Though it would do little good. I've received word from my family, at least. Those still in the city. My younger brother is a guardsmen at Seagard castle. His letter claims he's fine, though one never knows with men." She sniffs. "Still, it was written in his hand, so I can conclude he was well enough to pen it, at least. He will get along without me for now. Besides, I have my duties here."

"Oh." Rosanna glances over at Deirdra, as if never having considered the existence of her family before now. (Clearly Deirdra popped out from nowhere.) "I'm glad he's well, Mistress."

"Did you think I sprang fully formed from the ground five years ago, my lady?" Deirdra asks Rosanna, lips crooking toward the slightest of amused smiles. Not that she speaks often of her life before then. To Rosanna, at least. There are closed-door conversations between herself and the other members of the household occasionally that touch on matters a 'dancing instructor' doesn't generally delve into. "I was birthed and raised in Seagard. My father, Seven keep his soul, served as castellan for Lord Maxon Mallister. And Lord Jason, briefly." She bows her head, and there is a trace of true sorrow in her voice when she adds, "Seven keep him as well."

Rosanna catches her bottom lip between her teeth at the mention of Lord Jason, worrying at it a moment. There is less sorrow there, but there is concern. "What do you think it's like there now?" she asks Deirdra curiously. "Without him?"

"Lord Jason was…an extraordinary man," Deirdra says. Tone all of admiration. "I am sure matters are very difficult now. But, it will endure. A House is not one man, my lady. Or one woman. It is the sum of many parts." That slight, very slight, smile returns to her lips. "I danced with Lord Jason once. Did I ever tell you that?" She hasn't.

"Do you think Lord Patrek will succeed his father well?" Rosanna asks next, before Deirdra's latest morsel of information catches at her curiosity. Smile small but warm on her lips, she asks, "Was he a fair dancer?"

"Time will tell, but Lord Patrek shows already great…potential," Deirdra comments on the new lord of Seagard. As for the old. "I was a but a girl. Younger than you. Just fourteen. And Lord Jason not yet married, though he would be before the year was out. He was quite fair, yes." Her smile grows a touch. "Though I was better, of course. We danced a waltz, to the music of a harpist. I was only one of many girls he danced with that night, of course. Though I was the only common-born one which he favored with it so. I was, I shall admit, rather taken with him." She laughs at her own girlish folly.

"Well." Rosanna considers possible responses to this, perhaps a touch baffled at the idea of her dancing instructor in the blossom of girlish youth. "I understand he was very handsome in his youth. I'm sure many girls fancied him."

Deirdra laughs a rich, almost cackle-like laugh, at Rosanna's bafflement. "I didn't spring from the ground nine and twenty either, my lady." Very dry. And she must be thirty by now, really. She's spent the last two years being 'nine and twenty.' "Lord Jason was very handsome, yes. It is a trait among Mallister men. Have you had occasion to meet Lord Patrek?"

/That/ catches Rosanna's attention. "No," she says on the breath of a sigh. "I wasn't able to before he left with the Army for Seagard. Does he look much like his father?" Her interest here is clear.

"Oh, yes, I would say he bears a strong resemblance," Deirdra says. "Though he's not come into his full height yet. Still, he shall in time. The Mallister men are known to be quite…well set up. I assure you, Lord Jason was. I have been thinking. With the change in rulership of Seagard, it might be a good idea for the Groves to present themselves to Lord Patrek. Representatives from your family, at least. It is always better for a lord to know those he rules." She smiles at Rosanna. "And for him to know them, in all their loveliness."

"Do you think my family hasn't already?" Rosanna wonders, trailing closer in the warmth of the garden. "Since they've been at Seagard, I mean." Soft eyes intent and with a certain banked eagerness, she says, "Do you think I should go?"

"I should think our new liege lord has met your elder brother, at least," Deirdra replies. "Still…it might not be a poor idea to do something more…official before the armies depart from Seagard. If your parents think it is a worthy idea, of course. While Ser Kittridge is quite a fine young lord and knight…" She smiles that thoughtful smile again. "…I suspect Lord Patrek may find you a more fetching ambassador for the Groves. Besides, it is well to plant seeds to build…alliances when the ground is still new."

An irrepressibly pleased smile touches the corners of Rosanna's mouth. "Do you think so?" she wonders a touch eagerly despite herself. "I would — do my best to be pleasing, Mistress. I would try very hard."

"I'm sure you would," Deirdra says, turning to Rosanna with a very proud smile on her face. She idly smooths the younger woman's hair. "Let us write to your parents about your going. The roads are safe enough now with the Ironmen defeated, and I'm sure you would like to see your brother before he departs again. Perhaps there will even be dancing while you're at the Seagard court. The castle could use some merriment, I suspect."

"Really?" Rosanna says, all bright smiles and eager eyes. "I'd so much like to go. I'd love to dance at Seagard." Or possibly anywhere.

"And I would love to see you dance at Seagard. With Lord Patrek," Deirdra says, almost warmly, though there's also a look in her eyes as if the wheels in her head are spinning. They are, at least, spinning in a direction that seems to appeal to Rosanna. "Why don't you go write your parents about it right now?"

If it's visible in Deirdra's eyes, it's possible that Rosanna doesn't /quite/ catch it. Her smile widens, crinkling her eyes. "All right," she says. "Thank you, Mistress." She turns — not to run off, because that would be unladylike — but to leave with a definite spring to her step.

Deirdra follows Rosanna, at an even more stately pace. Head high, smile of faint triumph on her face, wheels still clicking thoughtfully behind her eyes.