|How to Cure a Hang-Over|
|Summary:||Ser Jarod gives the Lady of Stonebridge some helpful tips on how to go about that. They talk about other stuff, too.|
|Related Logs:||Many Rivers to Cross; Broken; many others|
|Somewhere between the Godswood and the Red Fork — Riverrun|
|Nov 12, 288|
There's a not-unpleasant chill in the morning air of Riverrun that might be unusual for those who live inland, though less so for those on the coasts. The rivers that surround the castle give a briskness to the dewy air…at those times when they aren't blanketing it in humidity. Fortunately, this is one of the brisker days. And Jarod Rivers is up early to enjoy it. Or perhaps up late, as he's only now headed back toward the castle. His path takes him by the entry to the godswood, though it's unclear if he's going in that direction. He is…soaking wet. Dressed in drenched and dripping green tunic and dark trousers. He looks for all the world as if he'd dunked himself underwater. Which, given that he's coming from the direction of one of the nearby rivers, isn't out of the realm of possibility. He's alone. And he's singing to himself, along with snatches of whistling. He doesn't have a bad voice, though he's slowing down the tune so it sounds like he's doing his best to make a jaunty drinking song rather depressing. "//…Pressed at the border…pressed at the border…o what's a poor father to do?…" Topped off by a return to whistling.
Standing just inside the Godswood, giving the distant red leaves, Isolde keeps her space respectfully. Dressed in a plain white gown, she is enjoying the fresh air and obviously not minding the cool air. It's as if she has yet to fully ready herself for the day, Asha having drifted off into the wood, exploring. It is the singing that makes the Lady turn from her spot where she is resting and when he passes by the opening. It is not what she expects, especially a wet Jarod. Seeing so many Terricks is nearly like being at the Roost and it steals some of her smile. "Ser Jarod.." She speaks up nonetheless. "Making yourself at home?"
Jarod stops abruptly in mid-whistle when he hears his name. And spoken by a very familiar voice at that. He stops in his very wet, muddy tracks. "Fuck my life…" he mutters, very low, under his breath, and hopefully not loud enough for it to carry. Though her smile is returned with a grin that comes quite easily. And is highly self-deprecating. "Tried swimming in the Red Fork?" From the looks of him, he did it fully-clothed. "Bit brisk. Excellent cure for hang-over, though, if you're ever in need of something like that." On that note, he sweeps a flourishing bow to her. "My Lady Nayland. Been awhile."
"I must say I have not…had the chance." Isolde says and lifts a brow at the flourishing bow. "It has been a long while. I trust everything is well..hang-over and all?" She ask sof him kindly. Her smile remains but there is a paleness to her as a hand lifts to wipe at the side of her neck. She takes a step closer, still giving him the distance she thinks he needs but her movements are slow, careful.
"I don't strongly recommend it, but some occasions sort've demand it," Jarod says, smile taking on a rueful crook. "I am…" He trails off, like he's not quite sure how to answer that question. "…how're any of us these days, really? My problems, like all good hang-overs, are of my own making and stupid besides, so I'll live. There're many with great concerns than mine these days. How're you?" His own tone is friendly. He can rarely bring himself to be less than that. Though he watches her with a mixture of sympathy and thoughtfulness.
"We all make our own webs…in some small way.." Isolde says and gives him a gentle, understanding smile. "I will keep that in mind though, about the water..as for me. I fear I am just unwell most days of recently. I can't explain it, but it's just a faintness. I think I may understand how my dear cousin feels." Her gaze flits to the movement that may be Asha but the handmaiden doesn't show herself. "What are you concerns then? Great or small…they are all heavy."
"Oh, I don't want to talk about it," Jarod says heavily. "Short of it is, there is a girl who I love well, or tried to, though apparently not in a fashion she liked very much, and so she's decided to love another." He shrugs, though despite the attempt glibness this is plainly a matter that's cut him deep. Ser Rivers wears his heart on his sleeve, so when he tries to conceal something it's usually rather fail. "That's the world, I suppose." His eyes follow her flitting gaze, and he suddenly becomes aware of their relative privacy. "How fares your lord husband? I heard of your coming to Riverrun, but the Lord himself I've not seen."
There is a dear measure of sympathy of her own for him and Isolde does not press to be told more, "That is all you can do…JArod..one day you will find a woman that longs for the way you love her. You should not change for another.." But with the talk of Ryker, she smiles anew, though faintly. "This was his home…I think it still is.." She admits. "I think if were not for my how ill I have been, he may have rushed here ahead of the others and might not ever leave….I think I shall be hard pressed to ask him to leave. His first wife is buried here." She explains. "He has taken the time given to him to visit and be with those he calls family. At least one of us can have that, yes?" There is a measure of resignation in the way she talks.
"And your father, how is?"
Mention of changing makes Jarod snort. And frown. But he apparently was serious about not talking about it, because he doesn't pursue the subject beyond, "You're kind to say such, Iz." He falls back into first names easily enough, propriety aside. "Come, the morning's cold if you're feeling unwell. I can walk you back toward the castle, if that's where you're headed. You and your maid." Wherever she's lurking. "My lord father's…" Again, it's not quite a question he knows how to answer. "…this last year has been difficult for him. The loss of Stonebridge and the whole Jaremy…" Pause, like he's trying to find just the right word. "…disaster." Yeah, that'll work.
"It's truth, not kindness. You are a good man, Jarod." A dip of her head and Isolde is shaking her head. "The air suits me well..it actually cuts through the nausea that I fight…" She hesitates than, with the mention of Jaremy and Stonebridge, her eyes darken and she graciously hides her own feelings as best she can on the matter. "I understand…it's been hard for many, but harder for a liege lord. I would ask you to send him my regards…but I do not think he would want them." Asha can be heard but not seen. "It's a blessing to see Lucienne again..and you."
Jarod smirks. "So I keep being told, much good it does me," he mutters, as to being a good man. "Is rather nice out here. Different than the coast. Fuller and greener. This is beautiful country. I wish I were seeing it again under better circumstances, but I'm trying to enjoy it all the same." That last makes his smirk curve back into an easier, boyish smile. "It's good to see you again, too, Iz. Seems longer than it's been. Amazing how much can change in a few months. Little more than half a year ago we were all in Stonebridge, and you were not quite the Lady Nayland yet."
"Things change rather swiftly…perhaps in the next couple of days, they will change again." Isolde says, her smile remaining. "It is a name besides..I am still Issie.." She states. "And the land is beautiful here, I agree. I would mind a longer stay." She admits. "When we were younger, our world seemed as if it would always be that way, but sadly it never could..we grow into duties and must take places that were once our predecessors. Sometimes I dream of our younger years…how simple it was. It seems like we wasted that time.."
"Does, doesn't it?" Jarod says, rather wistful himself as the conversation turns that direction. "I wish I could go back to it often these days. You and Luci playing around the Roost together. Jaremy and Jace and Gedeon and me all were preparing to be squires together, like we were all going to be heroes out of stories. You know, I never really even thought about what it'd mean to be a knight. It just seemed like this…shining thing, this prize, something that'd make my lord father proud of me. Then after the Trident…it all happened so quick and I just…was. And I didn't feel any different. Not because of that, anyhow. Felt different in lots of other ways, but those I didn't care for."
"He is proud of you…that you can be sure of. And wars…wars are evil things, made of blood and iron, greed and power. It doesn't give life to a man but takes part of him instead. I wish you had been knighted before all that, I wish none of it had happened.." Isolde gives a faint short clipped laugh. "Then we wouldn't be here and some things wouldn't have changed…and your father might not be so pained as he is and I would have a family yet." It is a long look through the godswood, as if in memory.
"I've tried to serve him well since," Jarod says. "He's said he's proud of me for how I've carried it. That's the part that matters to me, I suppose. It's just another title without that." He nods somberly on the evils of wars. "I think Jaremy was always a little…jealous? I don't know if that's even the right word. That Jace and I went and he didn't. Even though it left Jace minus a leg and me…well." He shrugs. "You know how I was after I came home. Everything just seemed…" He sighs. "…changed, the same yet different in a thousands little ways that made me feel wrong in my own skin. I've meant for a long time to thank you for your kindness to me in those days, Iz. Made things…easier to get my head around, I suppose."
Smiling as he speaks, Isolde nods her head faintly. "Jaremy had different dreams..and fighting enemies were always foremost…" Like he is doing now. She lifts a hand to the side of her neck, looking a little drawn. "There is no thanks needed. I needed your kindness as much as you say you needed mine. The Roost and you…I do not think I had ever been happier after the loss of my brother and father."
"I was happy as well, for a time," Jarod says. "It was easy, you and me. Even if bits of it were probably not my brightest of ideas." Not that he sounds terribly remorseful. He winks, and laughs. "I think because we're both the sorts of people who…we try and make things easier on other people. Which I don't think does us ourselves so well a lot of the time, but I'm not sure I'd want to be any other way. Or know how to be, now." He frowns some at her words, the Jaremy bit at last. "Iz, may I ask you a question and request an honest answer? If you'd rather I not tell my lord father or siblings I can do that, but for my own peace of mind it's a thing I must know. Has Jaremy tried to contact you at all?"
"Bright ideas or not…it felt right. I smiled and that is all I wanted." Isolde says and looking as his countenance changes, she gives a shake of her head. "Tell them all you like, but I can barely speak to anyone..except those at the Mire. If he did, I never heard or I never got the message." There is a long breath drawn and she adds, "I wish he had not been so foolish…before I was at the Mire…I sent him a letter, asking him to take his steps with care…" There is a bit of frustration there in her eyes and she says softly, "Out of everyone, I trust you and Luci…this..all of this. It's just a game, I am a piece and everyone, even your brother wants to move me." It shows in those words, in the last and there is little she can do to hide the pain in her gaze for the briefest of moments before she breaks her gaze.
"Jace's got to think on the future of the Roost now, and that future's wrapped up in what happens with Gedeon, and yourself, and Stonebridge," Jarod says. "He's far better-made for being the young lord than Jaremy ever was. But, aye. It's a game. Has been since Lord Geoffrey's death for you, I suppose. I am sorry for that, Iz." He looks off into the trees, thoughtful. "You know, it's funny. I don't mean funny like a joke, I mean…" He shrugs. Perhaps thinking the definition unnecessary. "But I think back very often on the night Ser Gedeon came to me in Stonebridge, with his letters. Before he took them to you."
"I am sorry for a great many things, but it does not mean it is ours to be sorry for.." Isolde tilts her head to his last and furrows her brows. "And what is it you think of exactly?" She asks him curiously, perhaps a bit uncertain if she wants the answer. A thought of her visiting him after her knowledge of the letters makes her flush with guilt.
"How different all this would've played if I'd done what was properly my duty, as my father's sworn sword, and taken them and Gedeon directly to Lord Jerold," Jarod replies. "There are things that make me wish I'd done it different. Someone did poison Gedeon and…and Rowan…" Ahem. "…in Stonebridge, Iz. And the septon you gave those letters to - Septon Josse told us - is dead in a way that looks real unnatural, though so far as I can see it can't be proven one way or another.
"Then why did you not?" Another answer she may care not to hear. Isolde rubs at her fingers, remembering well the ill tidings that came with the letters to many. But her green eyes remain locked on him, wishing for answer she may actually not want.
Jarod has no trouble meeting Isolde's gaze. "Two reasons, I figure. Firstly…if it were me and Jace, or me and Jaremy or Luci…in a situation like you and Gedeon were in…I'd like to think we all have enough care for each other to try and…handle it, in some way, between ourselves, at least to try and keep it so it wouldn't hurt the other of us so bad. I guess I thought that's how you and Gedeon would deal with it." There's disappointment in his eyes, perhaps, at that. Whether it's aimed entirely at her, or in part at Gedeon, or even at himself, is unclear. "Secondly…because you were my friend, Iz. And, even though I do think the truth of what's in those is important, whatever it is…I guess I didn't want to be the one who'd done that to you."
"I was too…shocked, too scared..and I can not say now that I am not scared." Isolde says faintly, her gaze leaving his to consider the open air in thought. "I did not mean for anyone to get hurt, I wanted answers..I want the truth. The truth in it's entirety died with my father. No matter the outcome of this..someone will not be happy. And there will be balm to soothe what will come." She draws a breath and looks to Jarod. "I have spoke with Gedeon…I let him know that I have no ill will towards him..that he will always be my brother no matter the Lord Tully's choice." She hesitates, a wry, sad smile pressing her lips. "In truth, I do not know what I will do at either outcome..I will lose so much in both cases.."
"That's not entirely true. Lady Valda knows. Though I don't expect the truth out of her," Jarod says. "And some in the Westerlands might be able to tell something that's helpful. Those who were with Lord Geoffrey when he was at Banefort. Or the Crag. For my part I don't expect, if the truth is to be known, it can be decided just in this week. Though that may be all any of us have left with it." He looks at her sidelong at that last, pauses a long beat and says, "If you could have anything in the world right now, no matter how impossible it seemed, all you had to do was want it bad enough and it'd be that way for you, what would it be?"
"She knows, but who here trusts her? It is her honor that is under inspection too." Isolde states before drawing a slow breath. "I wrote away to these places and was shunned for it. There was little known, my father was there…but so little is known." It is his question though that makes her blinks and finally draw out of her thoughts of the letters. "Happiness…though with how muddled things are, I am not truly certain what that would be anymore. Perhaps it would be easier to be Isolde Rivers…then no one would want me move me or claim me." There is a twinge of a smile at the corner of her lips.
"Perhaps it would," Jarod replies with a grin. "There are worse lives than a lucky bastard. I speak from experience. There's much my brothers have that I've been jealous of, at times. But both Jaremy and Jace have said to me they've envied me that freedom. Gedeon said to me back in Stonebridge that he'd see there was still a place for you at Tordane Tower, if it ended up he got his lord father's land. I've no reason to think that's changed. From there…you could do as you pleased."
"But I…" Asha breaks free than and stumbles upon them and hesitates. Isolde restrains her words and swallows them as she forces a smile to her lips. "Milady..Ser.." The young chambermaid intones as she looks between them. "Are you ready to return, my Lady?" SHe asks of Isolde and there is a faint nod from her, "Yes…yes. I think so..the Ser was giving me some company. Pleasant conversation." There is a renewed smile but there is something unsaid there that needs to be and Asha nods her head, moving towards the exit. "Go on ahead..I will be along in the hall shortly." Isolde says to Asha who scurries past Jarod with a faint look at his wet clothes and then is moving to wait for the other. Taking a step forward as if to follow, Isolde slows as she nears Jarod. "Thank you."
Jarod flashes Asha that bright, boyish grin that he seems able to call up on command, even if his green eyes are still lacking in good cheer. The expression moderates, just a bit, as he turns back to Isolde, but it's still a proper smile. "Thank you for the company, m'lady. Always very pleasant." And with that, he flourishes her another bow, reaching out to take her hand on the way up. And, if she allows, raise it to his lips to kiss her fingertips. He must practice these knightly gestures in the mirror. He's all mummer's show flare about them.
Isolde hardly shies at his touch and the smile she had placed quickly for Asha finally warms. "You will find her..and she will be a lucky woman for it, Jarod." She lingers a moment and then withdraws her hand to rest back at her side. "Try not too drown if you swim again…" She adds as she takes the steps past him to join Asha on the walk back to the water tower. Green eyes briefly look back at him from over her shoulder before Asha moves towards her and begins asking of what she would like readied.
"The not-drowning part I've basically learned," Jarod replies. "Takes awhile, but I do eventually learn from experience. Take care of yourself, Iz. Hope matters work out for you, however this falls." He's off toward the other tower, on that note, where the Terricks and Company are housed. Whistling 'Lord Jerold's Lament' yet again.