|Go Home, Bastien.|
|Summary:||Bastien comes to check on Aeliana and the two politely clash at odds.|
|Braeburn House, Kingsgrove|
|Past thick copses of oak trees, a long treelined avenue that ended with a well manicured green lawn, and Braeburn House itself. It was a fortified manor house, rather than a tower or a keep, built in stone and wood on four sides, with a small lily-covered moat circling it. The bridge across the moat was made of old stone in gentle arches, the water greenish beneath them on either side, filled with frogs and tadpoles, and small fish, with white waterlilies in bloom floating as they would. There was just enough space for a single wagon to roll across, or for a pair of riders if they weren't shy about being close. Once free of the shadows, the road ended in the central courtyard and little garden, with quaint facades facing inwards on every side.|
|October 4th, 289|
Very rarely does Bastien move quickly, the large Charlton often preferring the simple liesure afforded to him by his position. Even more rarely does the man's face show worry. Today finds the man in these exact two peculiarities as he rides at a gallop atop his destrier, flanked by two men-at-arms in Charlton colors. A simple chain shirt covers his upper torso, hidden partially beneath a blue and yellow tabbard which bears the symbol of their house. The man looks to have been dressed for travel, though his untied boots hint at a definite sense of hurry.
As the three men approach Kingsgrove and Braeburn, their gallop slows to a trot so as to not cause alarm. A greeting is given to the unfortunate soul that decides to intercept them, and the large knight quietly mentions Aeliana's name in the hopes of finding his sister sooner. Eventually, he's pointed towards Braeburn house by a helpful lad, and makes his way in that direction. Halfway across the bridge, he dismounts, leading his horse by the reigns.
Beyond the fortified manor itself, sitting on a patch of green near enough the moat to feed the fish within it which..is precisely what the lady is doing; settled out on a blanket on the grass, with a borrowed book near her side and a small array of light fingerfoods in the form of a fresh sweet bread and a small cluster of grapes. Not too far off, but well within both sight and earshot linger the lady's Septa and handmaiden, while her own guards lounge comfortably in the distance away from the afternoon sun.
The sound of riders draws her attention away from the sleek dart of fish however and towards the trio that appear in Highfield colors. Aeliana's own colors, as are those of her guards, are not blue and gold. They are the green and gold of Hollyholt sworn and birthed. When she realizes precisely who it is that is approaching however, Aeliana lifts her arm and offers a little wave in greeting; though the reason for her lazily lounging is apparent in the form of a very wrapped and still swollen ankle.
Making his way across the bridge, Bastien looks about with that worried gaze. The moment he spots Aeliana, his reigns are tossed to the closest man-at-arms and the knight takes off towards his sister. "Aeliana!" His deep voice rings with concern and relief at the sight of his sibling, and as he approaches his run slows to a jog, and relaxes to a walk before he's only a mere few feet from the wounded Lady. "You're alright. I was worried sick. They told me you were missing and with everything going on at the Roost, I…" The flood of words taper off into nothing as the man falls to his knees and reaches forward to take his sister's face in his hands. "By all the Gods that be, you're safe."
The expression on Aeliana's face is one of baffled surprise with the concern in her brothers tone and more with the vigor with which he approaches. It turns into a more expressive look of shock when all but falls to her knees before her and reaches out to claim her face. With swatting hands she shoos him towards release, "Bastien. Bastien calm down. I'm fine. I merely turned my ankle is all, nearly broke it from what the Maester tells me, but I am fine. The Roost was notified the very day that it happened. I can only blame the….one who knew it for not feeling as if it were information that needed to be shared." She sighed, disappointment in the tone and on her face with the way she rolled her eyes. Not at him, but those who should have known better. "What're you doing out away from Ceinlys, anyway?"
Before he can be shooed fully away, the large man leans in and places a loving kiss against his sister's forehead. Maaaaawm, staawpit. Lowering his hands, Bastien's demeanor starts to relax at the sight of his sister safe and sound, though a small concerned look is given towards her ankle. There's really not much for him to say on the matter, and after a moment the man's eyebrows curl indignantly. "Ceinlys is safe and under guard at Highfield. I decided to pay you a visit and meet these Terricks with whom Aleister has made so many dealings. You can imagine my surprise when I was informed that you had not returned from your ride. I will have to inquire why I was not informed to your safety sooner." The large man's anger is directed away from the young woman as he looks back towards the bridge he crossed to enter Braeburn. Shedding it, he basks in the relief of knowing she's by his side and within the realm of his protection. Like a loyal hound laying down to rest, he lets out a huge sigh before simply smiling at Aeliana, one of those things reserved specially for his siblings. "How goes your recovery?"
There's an indigant little huff, for his kiss, but she tolerates it; nose wrinkling in disapproval all the while. There were…other words resting on the tip of her tongue as well, but they like so much else became censored when Bastien was around - unlike Aleister, who could at least control the Erenford, Bastien was beneath her, protector and by doing so, her creature. A pity that. "Well it's good that she's safe," was supplied instead, with a charmingly sweet little smile that was meant to put him at ease. "And good as well that you've a chance to travel on your own. Though I daresay you were not informed because I am not your concern. Your duty is to another. I have my own knights and with my men at arms, remain ever well protected," gently explained. "But I am recovering quiet well, thank you."
Settling back into the grass, Bastien draws a leg up towards his chest as he listens to his sister talk. "Aeliana, if I had the world resting on my shoulders, you, Aleister, and Robben would still remain as my primary concerns." The young man's brown eyes shift slowly away from the young woman, lingering on the moat that surrounds the Braeburn. "My duty is and always will be to the well being of my siblings. Let the seven kingdoms burn, let my fortunes squander, I need nothing but you three." His dramatic words are spoken in a nondramatic tone. For all the man says, he might even be speaking the truth. "Can you honestly blame me for trusting no hand other than my own to keep you perfectly safe? It is what I was raised to do, Aeliana. It's my purpose." The seriousness of his face softens ever so slightly at word of her recovery, though the way Bastien looks at the settled water makes it apparent the man's currently a bit inside his own head.
Need nothing but the three of them? "Then you are a fool, Bastien. Because when you do naught but focus on within, you miss the world that is going on without," it came with a sad little sigh, as Aeliana shook her head. "Still, if you find some peace in your purpose then…I am not sure that you could be taught ambition if it hit you over the head with a hammer." When what she wanted to say, was that if his family were truly his concern, he'd not spend his time tailing about someone that wasn't as if he were no more than a puppy dog. "All that matters is that you're happy," and it was a lie. Aeliana loathed those who settled for less when there was always more.
The knight's head sinks ever so slightly. "You're starting to sound like father, Aeliana." Placing his chin on his knee, the young knight does not look back to his sister. Instead, he watches the moving grass and is silent for a moment. Finally formulating his thoughts, Bastien speaks. "I've the ambition to see my family happy. So what if I do not strive for the fleeting power of courts and kingdoms? What use is there in being a Lord or a King when you've nobody you can truly trust with your life? I wish for you, Aleister, and Robben to always have somebody you can break bread with, without worry that the wine they serve you is poisoned. Am I perfect at this? No, and I likely never will be.." A whistful sigh is given as Bastien's eyes raise towards the skies, taking in the sight of the clouds before he continues his train of thought. "You are angry with me. You think me a nuisance…"
"Shall I apologize for an opinion that I have held since I was old enough to realize it was all a game? I can not, Bastien; though I hate the way seeing you sad looks. Yet…you are a clever man, you must be. Do you think that you make yourself someone who can be trusted by tying yourself so very closely to someone who isn't family? Who's creature are you, Bastien. Are you with Aleister and I, or does your mind like your sword, belong to her? An unknown in all save for that our brother likes fucking her and her life's ambition seems to be marrying him? The power of courts and kingdoms, it's not fleeting. It no one cared, if our father's didn't, do you think we would have the splendor to live in today that we do?" Calm that voice, patient, understanding. "I'm not angry. Disappointed, but not angry."
"I am her sword on Aleistar's request, Aeliana. I make sure the woman does not die, that does not mean she holds my loyalty." Narrowing his eyes, the young man seems to take the implication as an insult. "Were brother to ask me to lay her low, I would do so without hesitation. Would you prefer I be your sword? Or Robben's? Is that what this is about?" A frown etches its way into his face as Bastien's gaze finally slides back towards his sister. "It was Alisteir who told me to protect Lady Ceinlys. Nobody else." As for the rest of her words, he chuckles wryly before breaking eye contact once more. "You can convince yourself that it is not fleeting, but you know better than most that power breeds jealousy. If it were not the case, Charlton would have no enemies."
Aeliana threw her head back and laughed at the very implication that she might want his skill to her name instead. "Look at me, Bastien, do I look like some childish fool? I do not want my brother trailing along at my heels as a protector. I would never manage to accomplish any business at all then. But you're no more than a handsome fool made of brawn if you think that it's only power that breeds jealousy. A good sword arm can, or a simple smile, a pretty ribbon that you have and someone else doesn't. Still, I did not mean to offend you. And as you are family, you have my love by right. It does not mean that I will ever agree with you." And her smile was polite, but it did not lend warmth to her eyes. "Now. Tell me. Am I to expect you to be in Kingsgrove for long, or is this a short visit, hmm?"
A flash of fire lights behind the young man's eyes as Aeliana's words pound against his resolve. "Shut your mouth, girl." Never before has the man raised his voice to her, and never before has he spoken in such a rude manner to her. Bastien's eyes lock onto Aeliana's own as he turns towards her, a rage rising from beneath his normally quiet and caring demeanor. "For all the love I have shown you, you treat me like a rag to be tossed aside at the moment its use is gone. You are my family, and I care deeply for you, but I will not be treated like a dog to be kicked when you are displeased with its manner." Sliding towards her slowly, Bastien's voice holds a venom to its words. "I love you, Aeliana. If you even remember what the word love means. I will likely one day die to keep the fire of your life lit. When your beloved power is fleeting and the swords of your enemies are at your throat, it is I who will stand before you and strike them low so that you can continue to chase your dreams of insubstantial worth. My loyalty is not sold, nor bought, and it is born of a devotion that no steel can break. Yet, I refuse to be walked upon. You will show me some god damned respect, Aeliana."
One slender brow climbed high, when Bastien told her to shut up. It remained so, even as she met his gaze and held it with a steady calm that never once wavered nor threatened to. "You will not use that tone with me, Bastien. Nor will you lean at me in such a manner that conveys both with tone and look a threat. I will not suffer a scene on the lawn of someone else's House because you do not have sense enough to control your temper," quiet, so very quiet those words and casual as if she were discussing no more than the weather. "I suggest you leave, Ser Bastien. I am quite finished with this discussion."
Pushing against the grass beneath his body, Bastien rises to his feet and looks down on his little sister. The fire is not gone from his eyes, and despite what few onlookers their tiff might have garnered the attention of, the young man seems reluctant to simply drop this at her request. "A threatening matter? You have known me for how long and you're just now suddenly worried about me hurting you? Maybe you should be, with the way you've disrepected your brother's love." Looming over her, Bastien closes the distance between their faces by taking a knee. "You will never speak to me the way you have today, do you understand me, Aeliana? So help me, I will not stand for it any longer."
Aeliana sits undaunted on the ground beneath, one hand smoothing idly against the folds of her gown. "I suppose you would find it insulting, to have your purpose questioned but somehow it is perfectly alright for you to belittle mine. It is for age to set the example and yet, which of is is causing a scene? Do you continue to press the matter, Bastien, then you will not have to worry about me speaking to you at all. Though I confess it is nice to see you acting as a man for once, instead of a sop, I suggest that you find a new direction for your temper before blood becomes the only thing that binds us."
"You speak disrespectfully towards me and its perfectly fine, but the moment I stand up for myself I'm causing a scene?" Placing his hand on his knee, Bastien leans in and lowers his voice. "For the sake of that reputation which you love more than your brother, I will not beat you in front of your servants. This does not end here, the wrong which you have committed agianst me will be righted. If you will not accept me as a loving brother, than you will have to accept me as a brutal protector. As for the length of my visit, I was going to head home to Highfield as soon as I was able to learn with my own eyes that you were okay. You see, I planned around you because I actually give a damn about you. I don't know if I could say the same for the way you feel about me." Unrequited sibling love seems to be Bastien's biggest trigger. "Now? Now I want a moment of privacy with you to further discuss this horrid attitude with which you would throw my love in my face with."
"When you do it in such a manner as to cause a scene, then yes." Aeliana replied simply. "And you will not beat me at all, or I will write to Aleister as to how you have tried to ruin my reputation and I shall write to our Uncles." Harold and Keegan. "You may have my apologies instead, that our opinions are at cross purpose, but I am not going to change mine. Nor will I grant you any such privacy. Good day, Bastien," where the last came clipped and the woman made a faint gesture to indicate her servants. It was the Septa who neared first, giving a low dip of courtsey to Ser Bastien before she offered her lady aid to see her up to her feet; while Rayleen came after, with intentions to see that the remains of the lady's outing were cleared up properly and not left. Even her guards came drifting closer; expressions unreadable while the girl gave a faint wince as she wobbled up to her feet. "Give Aleister my love when next you see him."
As the rage starts to subside, Bastien takes a few steps forward towards Aeliana. "Look, I'm sorry. Why must this be so difficult?" Her servants are packing everything up, and its quite apparent that the young man has little time left in the company of his sister. "I want your respect, Aeliana. I want you to appreciate me, as I appreciate you." The man is at a loss for words, and as he looks upon his sister in her foul mood, his teeth grind together. "You, Aleister, and Robben were the only ones who actually seemed to care that I existed, when I was growing up. You know that, don't you? Father despised my mannerisms and considered me weak, the rest of our cousins were no different…" He looks at the ground, unsure where his words are taking him. "You are one of three people with the ability to actually hurt me, Aeliana. I only became as strong as I am because the lot of you gave me the incentive to do so." Running his fingers through his hair, he leans in and simply shakes his head. "Just…know that I have said the things I have said today not out of spite, or hate, but because I want something from you. Something more than money or prestige. I want you to care." With that, the young knight steps away from Aeliana and turns away, ready to leave her to the rest of her day.
But he doesn't appreciate her. Nor the way her mind works. She is, perhaps, too much like their Father, because she does consider him weak. His sword is strong, but not his mind. It's hard to find too much to respect in that. Still, the world needed men such as he'd become to fight for the ambition that drove the rest of them. "I respect you, Bastien," Aeliana said it sweetly, as if he'd worn through her stubborn nature, small shoulders slumped in defeat while she kept an arm wrapped through her Septa's for balance. "They were silly to have thought you weak, you aren't. You're a wonderful protector. But you are more good to all of us in Highfield with Ale and Rob than you are here. Go home, Bastien. You'll be happier there." And she would be happy to have him gone; there was no move at all made to stop his departure.