Page 196: Healing Scratches
Healing Scratches
Summary: Hardwicke and Harlyn talk of what's passed.
Date: January 29, 2012
Related Logs: The Iron Eagle: II
Hardwicke Harlyn 
Seagard Castle — Seagard
A sad place without JMal :(
January 29, 289

There is certainly much work to be done, and Hardwicke is seeing to his own duties, but for now he is rather — lost in thought. He stands out of the way, looking at the spot of the so-recent duel that felled the First Guardian of the Riverlands.

Harlyn is wandering. It's a fitful, ginger kind of wander, where his left shoulder's held up high and his bandaged hand is held against his ribs, while his right hand dangles free and restless at his side. Why, maybe it's the sort of wander a shameless young gangle of a lord gets to, rather than an - er, seasoned man of … 22. Unchartable as his movements seem to be, he's angling roughly in Hardwicke's direction.

It takes him a moment to notice, but he is not entirely without awareness. Hardwicke glances over before any collisions might occur, the tip of his chin stiff. He holds himself as upright as he always does, with no overt sign of injury, though his armor might cover something. "Ser."

Harlyn draws his wander to an abrupt close and dips his head. "Ser."

Hardwicke glances over what he can see of Harlyn with a brisk, assessing gaze. "You've come out the other end one again," he notes. "How did you fare?"

Harlyn glances searchingly across Hardwicke, but lacking obvious injuries to mark, he only marks his own with a glance down. "Little more than a scratch. Yourself?"

"Nothing I won't heal from." The slash of Hardwicke's smile is tight and grim.

"All that matters, isn't it?" Harlyn clears his throat and lifts his right shoulder in a shrug. "At least the Ironborn are gone."

"They're gone," Hardwicke agrees quietly, though his gaze slides back for a moment to that dueling locale. "Everything has its price."

"True enough." Harlyn follows Hardwicke's gaze. "We probably don't know quite what the price is as yet."

"I imagine the King will be determined to show the Ironborn the price for their actions, at least." Hardwicke shakes his head and looks back to Harlyn.

Harlyn thins his lips together. "Well, wouldn't want to get too comfortable, would we?" He exhales, tight, then looks back at Hardwicke. "How's the marriage?"

Hardwicke snorts. "She's in Terrick's Roost, Harlyn. What else is there to say?" His scrubs a rough hand through his hair. "I suppose there's the possibility that I managed to leave her with child on our wedding night before I left," he says a bit dryly.

"A little hope to hold onto," Harlyn says, with cheer that's too abrupt to be real.

Hardwicke scowls at him and his fake cheer. "Fuck off, Harlyn," he grumbles.

Harlyn holds up his good hand in surrender. "More than I have, Ser."

"And why's that, anyways?" Hardwicke looks him up and down. "Don't they try to marry you noble sorts off early?"

"I have elder brothers to marry off first, I'm sure." Harlyn says, raising his chin. "Besides, chances are that if I drag home in more than one piece, I'll have a bride duly thrust upon me."

"What a burden," Hardwicke drawls, eyeing him.

"Now now, you can settle down and have nice children with a nice wife. I'm required to carry on the line. Takes all the fun out of it." Harlyn clears his throat and, "Ah, do you know anything about that Oldstones knight, that Alek fellow."

Hardwicke bristles at the mere mention of it. "He's a cad," he says flatly, "and an ass. What of him?"

"Well." Harlyn flicks up his fingers. "Perhaps it's nice to know it's not just me he's being a cad and an ass at."

Hardwicke pauses, his gaze slid elsewhere, and is quiet a moment. Then he clears his throat and continues, "Aye, well. What was he doing this time?"

"I'm not entirely sure. But he's been tailing me and talking about how people ought to be able to do whatever they want. It's very odd." Harlyn glances at the duel site, frowning mildly. "Very."

"I'm sure that /he/ enjoys doing whatever the hell he wants," Hardwicke says with a hint of bitterness.

Harlyn glances over at Hardwicke. "Oh? Did he flaunt it at you, too?"

"Practically begged me to strike him, the way he was flirting with Belle," Hardwicke growls. "Knew she was spoken for."

"Did you strike him?" Harlyn asks, slow and curious, then shakes his head. "Of course you did. I don't understand what he is trying to provoke. Or why you, or why me. Perhaps he's provoking everyone."

With Harlyn answering his own question (in an accurate manner), Hardwicke just snorts. "I don't know," he says, "and I don't care."

"I suppose after all this is over, he'll have less opportunity to just stroll into my camp. All right." Harlyn nods to himself. "Context is good."

"He'll go back to the pile of rocks and sex himself to an early grave," is Hardwicke's estimation.

"I suppose there are worse ways to go …" Harlyn pauses. "Oh. You mean by - dueling due to all the sex."

"I suppose I mean something." Hardwicke scrubs his face again, then blows out a rough breath. "Fuck. I have things to see to. I'll see you." He jerks his chin in a half-nod and turns to go.

"See you," Harlyn repeats with a small dip of a nod. He remains standing where he is, looping his good arm across his chest.