|Friendship And Favors|
|Summary:||Anais meets a mystery man in search of a favor in the market at Seagard.|
|Related Logs:||Not particularly.|
|Market — Seagard|
|Lots of stalls full of pretty stuff.|
|June 16, 289|
The Terricks aren't exactly swimming in money at the moment, but that's no reason not to shop and meet the sort of people who wander through a market at a tournament. Anais is doing just that with her guard and handmaid in town, pausing here and there to speak with a merchant or look over the goods offered at a booth. She seems to be in relatively good spirits, looking over some ribbons at a cloth merchant's booth.
Just one of the new, unfamiliar faces who have arrived for the Tournament, a clean shaven, rather boyish looking young man moves through crowd, a had casting shade over his face. His clothes are rather nondescript, and indeed, there is nothing that really marks him as anything other then just a curious prospective buyer, among many. And if he glances a bit more at the people then at the wares, well. It's quite busy this morning. "Excuse me, m'lady," comes the familiar voice, as he sidles up near the Terrick lady and her escort after giving a bow appropriate to a man of lesser station. A rueful glance is given to the pair of servants, maid and guard both, since they'll recognize him. But apparently, he seems to trust their descretion. Rather then focusing on the lady, however, he moves his focus to the items displayed before them. Ooo, what a lovely bolt of wool. Very pretty.
"Oh, of course. I'm just look-" Anais looks up from the ribbon to smile at the stranger, only to blink in surprise when it turns out not to be a stranger. "R-" She cuts herself off, looking around herself before she looks back up at him. "What are you /doing/ here?" she asks in a whisper. She's trying to look serious, but she can't help the faint smile that touches one corner of her lips, twitching despite her best efforts.
He can't help but smile boldly at her reaction, and those his eyes are all about the cloth before him, they peek sideways at Anais. "I'm here for the… wool. Aren't you? My lady." Laughter all but dances on his tongue, even as he endevours to maintain a respectful outer appearance, schooling his features and keeping his voice low and diferential as possible. "I take it you heard that the Lord Regent would not be in attendance then?"
"I did," Anais murmurs, reaching out to finger a braided ribbon as she shoots a look his way. "And I thought goodness, how very smart of Lord Riordan. Forgoing a tournament to see to his unstable lands." Still watching the people around him, she kicks half-heartedly at his foot. "I suppose I should have known better. Really, though, what are you doing? Please tell me it's not spying on Mallisters."
"I do not think that he is all that reasonable a man," the disguised knight says, really straining against breaking into laughter at the soft kick, "Of course not, my lady. But it was either this, or actually try and be reasonable. And if you know me at all, you know that given my current guests, it would only be a matter of time before I lost my temper and do something really rash." Bescause taking a bunch of Charltons prisoner was totally the most rational thing. Yes. Oh look. Pretty ribbon.
"Mmmm," Anais hums, amused. "Well I hope you can remain unnoticed until you return home. Otherwise I've a feeling you may return to something even less pleasant than what you left. You're not actually going to ride, are you?" She takes a few steps down, toward a more cluttered display of fabrics that offers better cover.
The disguised man waits a few moments to peer over his lovely ribbon, before apparently deciding not to buy it. Soon enough, his path takes him back near the lady to continue their murmured, completely accidental conversation. "Me? Not at all, m'lady. I am noone. I hear tell that we might be seeing some mystery knights in the lists, though."
Anais glances to Riordan for a long moment from beneath her lashes. "Clearly it's not that Jaremy was stupid. The armor is possessed, and drives whoever wears it to flights of dangerous fancy." And still there's that flicker of a smile, as if she can't quite help herself. "Be careful. Keep your helm on. If the Charlton's find out the cat's away, you're likely to find your home taken over by mice when you get back."
The man just smirks ever so lightly as Anais' speaks her first words. It must be the item, whateveritis, in front of him. Highly amusing. "There are arrangements made, for a speedy return, if it comes to it. Though I think any who thought to find the house utterly devoid of cats may be disappointed. My cousin has fiercer claws and teeth then I."
"No argument there," Anais agrees, rueful. "Someone once told me he'd put a price on my life, actually." She lines a few ribbons against her sleeve, considering the array of colors as she glances back toward Riordan. "Well. I'm glad to see you, all the same. And glad that someone is still enjoying themselves. And I wish you enough luck to perform well in the tournament and keep yourself a proper mystery."
"I doubt it," the man murmurs, raising his eyebrows at whatever he is looking, and shaking his head slightly. "He would not stoop to such things, I think." He glances to her, but only briefly, adding, "Nor would I let him." He pauses for a bit, moving to inspect a new item, before he says, "I am glad to see you too. Under better circumstances then the last time. How are you?"
Anais has to pause a moment at that question, carefully re-rolling the ribbons and looking through a container of pins. "I…am improved," she finally answers. "Exhausted. With several greater battles still to come, I think. The last few weeks have been difficult to say the least. But I think I'm now better-equipped to face what is to come." A faint smile curves, and she looks up. "Things with Jacsen are better," she explains. "Though with the rest of the family, worse."
The Lady's 'mystery' companion takes that all in with a nod, glancing aside at her for a moment. And though his smile is small, it is genuine. "I am glad," he murmurs, meaning it. "As for the rest… they will learn to appreciate what you bring to the table, or rue the day, in the end." He seems rather sure of that. "I suppose it would be inappropriate if one of the mystery knights were to ask for your favor, then, hmm?" he asks, his lips quirking, threatening to break into a larger smile. Probably hard to tell if he is teasing right now or not.
There is a moment where Anais hesitates, considering that. But eventually, she has to shake her head, smile sad. "If things were different, I would. And even if no favor rides with you, I hope you know that my friendship will. But I, ah." She winces slightly, cheeks flushing with embarrassment. "I might have threatened Jacsen that I was going to go and have an affair with a Nayland in the midst of an argument, and I think it would probably be best if he wasn't reminded of that."
A sudden and sharp sound comes from the man, drawing a look from the stall vendor. The man's hand goes to his mouth, his body shaking, and mostly just comes across a big coughing fit. Mostly. Still, he excuses himself from those nearby, and comes to a stop the next booth over, looking at trinkets. Assuming the lady follows him after a moment, he murmurs in a slightly hoarse voice, "I, uh… did you really?" There actually seems to be tears in his eyes.
It's a few moments before Anais extricates herself from the stall, moving on with a quirk of a smile. "I might have a little bit of a temper," she murmurs. "And he'd said something very hurtful about you and me. So. Yes. I did." She watches him from beneath her lashes, sheepish. "But I imagine you can see why, after that, I'd have some trouble convincing him that I gave you a favor out of friendship."
Seemingly caught somewhere between amusement and sympathy, the mystery man focuses rather intently on the trickets nearby. A portion of them are carved figurines, some done in bone, some in wood, some in stone. Picking up a white bone swan, he murmurs to it, "I knew there was a reason I liked you." The swan. Yes. "However, I understand, m'lady. I have a habbit of causing trouble of late. I would prefer someone that I count a true and dear friend be well clear of that, if possible." He pauses, putting down the swan in favor of a red stone frog. "M'lady, though I can't speak for the Lord Regent, his days possibly being numbered as such… for myself, if you ever need anything, you've but to ask. For what little that may be worth."
"I've too few friends here to take any of them lightly," Anais assures the man with a small smile, letting it deepen a bit when he picks up the frog. "But I did tell you I'd be no Lyanna Stark. If there's no lady with a free heart to give you a favor, send a message to Nina before the tournament," she concedes, taking a step away to brush a finger over a golden lion. "I can't send you anything personal, but I'll find you a token. Of friendship."
"And I would never wish to be a Prince," the man says, with a quirking grin of his own, nodding his head. He smiles at the offer, shaking his head. "Not all knights ride with favors all the time, my lady. The truth is… this time, I am riding for me. Anyhow, I brought a token or two with me, of times past, that will serve in a favor's stead." He seems caught by the frog, in truth this time, and eventually fishes into his clothing for coin enough to pay the stallholder for it. "But perhaps you would accept one for me." He sets his newly bought frog on the table, rather then giving it to Anais directly, however. "Besides, I'm not letting you get off that easy. You still owe me a nameday gift." And, just like that, he offers a polite bow to the Lady, and moves to head back into the market crowd. "Be well, Anais," he murmurs, very softly, as he passes close to her as he takes his leave.
"Ride well, Ser Stranger," Anais murmurs as he passes, reaching past the veil of her skirts to give his hand a brief squeeze. "Sometimes it's best to do a few things just for yourself. Then there's more of you to go around for all the other demands on you." The mention of a nameday gift brings another smile, and this one lingers as she remains in the stall, looking over the wares and slipping the little stone frog into a pocket.