Page 108: Homework
Summary: Just because Rowan is injured doesn't mean Gedeon plans to let his training slide.
Date: 31/10/288
Related Logs: Melee At The Roost, On The Mend, Stay With Me
Rowan Gedeon 
Sept Garden — Terrick's Roost
Behind the Sept is a small garden that runs nearly to the edge of the cliffs that fall right down into the forthing sea more than two hundred feet below. The ground has been tilled and turned to help the soil produce a small amount of vegetables as well as fruit-producing shrubberies. Flowers have been encouraged to grow up trellises along the back and side walls of the Sept.
31 October 288

It's a beautiful, cool morning in the garden, and Squire Rowan, who cannot be kept abed despite all threats and efforts, is kneeling in a bed of flowers, pulling weeds. Light duty is all she's allowed, and really all she can manage without a great deal of pain. Breathing is still something of a chore, and must be carefully measured as she goes along. Despite these difficulties, Rose is looking fantastically improved for the sunshine and purpose, however humble — eyes bright, complexion pink, attitude industrious and meditative. If she's spent the night weeping, there's no sign of it.

Industrious and meditative, pink cheeks and a slightly more healthy glow are all good things. A squire who thinks she can trick her own body into healing faster by ignoring its protests as much as possible… is less of a good thing. So Gedeon appears, and makes his way out into the garden with a thick stack of books and papers in his arms. He's been a regular visitor since the first night Rowan came to the sept, though he has been careful to be scarce during those times that Jarod might choose to visit his lady fair. Just now, the blond knight allows his quiet footfalls to announce him. That and the muffled *thump* of a stack of books and papers being set down beside the weeding squire.

"Good morning to you, as well," Rose says, smirking as she finishes digging out a particularly entrenched root system. She tosses it on the pile of plant refuse she's already extracted, pulling off her gloves and shading her eyes to look up at her knight. "Am I to do your accounting now? I'm worse with numbers than I am with needlework — you'll wish I hadn't."

Gedeon eases down into a crouch, smirking faintly. "You think just because you've managed to crack your ribs, break your fingers and put an extra hole in your lung that you can get out of squirely duties?" he asks with a huff. "This," two fingers taptap on the top of the pile, "is training, ser squire."

Rose lights up, surveying the daunting pile of parchment and tomes with new-kindled interest. "Really?" she asks. "Really, really?" She looks like she might kiss him for delight, then grabs the first book for closer inspection.

It's a book on stances and swords. The one beneath it seems to be on jousting. The papers are written in a hand Rowan might recognize from the occasional secret note slipped to her once upon a time. The thicker works have pages marked. The single pieces have a couple paragraphs or, occasionally, a diagram drawn on them. On the bottom of the stack are more pieces of parchment, though these are blank. "You're going to read these," Gedeon says, "and you're going to write for me, in each scenario, what the next move ought to be."

She smiles as she flips through the pages, then smiles a some more, biting the corner of her bottom lip — and flushing, perhaps recalling the last thing she read written in that hand. The instructions abruptly call her back to the now and she nods, dark curls bobbing. "I will," she agrees readily, casting a quick glance about before pecking a kiss to his cheek. "Thank you so much. I positively adore you." If he'd come expecting to ruin her day? He seems to have done just the opposite.

One brow lifts for the kiss and the sheer delight. Gedeon had not, it seems, expected reading and writing to bring about this sort of glee. "Well," he clears his throat, "that's unanticipated. Good. I'll expect some progress by tomorrow, then."

Rose laughs, shrugging very slightly, range of motion a bit limited. "Make no mistake, I'd rather be on the field, but even I know that's not possible. This, this is wonderful. It's something I can do towards knighthood, so my time as an invalid isn't a total waste — Seven, you've just ransomed me back the next month or so of my life!" She looks suddenly worried. "There's enough material to last that long, isn't there?"

"If not, I can get more," Gedeon says with a dismissive shrug. "Or make it up. Let's see if you can manage your way through this lot before you start worrying about more. This is a chance to practice some of those skills you opt to ignore, most of the time. Forethought. Strategy. Think about each scenario before you write, right?"

She nods again, warm and grateful. "Thank you, Gedeon," she says, softly. "I will. You won't be sorry for the effort." She looks down at the book in her lap a moment, closing it and running her fingertips over the cover, then up at him. "Have I ever thanked you? I probably haven't. Not thanking you sounds like something I'd do." She tucks a curl behind her ear, smirking sheepishly. "For… all of this. Everything. The cost and care and risk of taking me on. For believing in me still, maybe even more, when you found out… For championing me. I'm sure no one's delighted to have me at Oldstones, and you — had to have put yourself out there for me." She looks down again, shoulders lifting in another tiny shrug. "Anyways… Thank you. Belatedly. What you've done, what you continue to do, means the world to me. It really does."

"A couple times, but I'm not sure you were entirely aware you were doing so," Gedeon muses, somewhere between wry and teasing. But, his expression becomes a bit more solemn as Rose goes on and he nods a little. "You're welcome. If you would like to show your thanks through action, there's something you might do for me."

She can't help it. Her mind goes there, unbidden, and it makes her snrrk and blush, grinning like an idiot as she looks away. "Right," she clears her throat and composes herself, still blushing a bit, but taking a breath and visibly resolving to be serious. "Yes. I mean, of course," she shakes her head. "Anything. Name it." She nods.

Gedeon breathes in and then out again in a faint sigh. "Ser Alek Coope," he begins. "He has very set views on how a squire should comport himself. I would appreciate it if, when he foists those views on you, you do your best to nod and smile and say 'yes ser'. He is the sort of man who doesn't bother actually looking at a person until he thinks he's made his point, first."

Rose… looks exceedingly disgruntled at this, chaffing at the very thought of kowtowing to Ser Alek. Her jaw tenses and twitches and her nostrils flare as she breathes in — yet finally, she nods. "I give you my word," she says, hating every syllable. "That I will treat Ser Alek with the utmost respect and deference."

"Good," Gedeon agrees with a small nod, "because if you can win him over, the man can teach you skills I haven't yet mastered. This, too, is part of your training. Patience. Restraint. You'll need these things, Rowan. You, more than most."

She wrinkles her nose, but nods again, seeming to have turned a rather acquiescent new leaf. "Yes, Ser."

"Thank you," Gedeon replies softly, perhaps more for that surrender than for what she's surrendering, exactly. He offers her upper arm a light squeeze of his hand. "I'll leave you to your weeding, for now. We'll start talking about these, tomorrow." His hand leaves her arm to press down on the pile of papers and books. "I'll leave these near your bed."

"Gedeon — " says Rose, drawing a breath to say more… then biting the inside of her lip. Pensive. She looks down at the books, his hand on them, frowning a little. Another breath and she's quick to smile, though it's wry. "Sorry. I'm not sure what I meant to say. I just — " She shakes her head. "I'm glad we're friends again," she concludes a bit lamely.

His own smile may be a little melancholy, though it is perhaps the first one Gedeon's offered her in some time that isn't bitter. "As am I," he says as he gathers up the squire's assignments. "Afternoon, Rowan."

"Good afternoon, Ser," she replies, softly. She watches him go, then picks up her gloves — and immediately throws them down again. "Fuck," she whispers, frowning and blowing out a breath. "Just — fuck." She rubs the back of her neck and chews on the jumble of her thoughts for a moment, then dons her gloves and attacks the earth with her trowel.