|How to Run Away Very Slowly|
|Summary:||Jarod and Lucienne discuss his ambition to flee for personal growth. Also the Valentins, and whether they are good or bad or something inbetween.|
|Related Logs:||Terrick Siblings Meeting for why Lucienne is upset; Second Time Around for why Jarod is perturbed|
|Jarod's Chambers — Four Eagles Tower|
|The bar is open.|
|Wed Dec 21, 288|
There are still a few hours before dinner but the main 'business' of work around the castle is generally concluding. Jarod's found some time to head back to his chambers. He's seated at his writing desk, armed with a cup of wine, going over a patrol schedule. And squinting at it and scribbling on it. He's ever-so-serious about the task.
There comes a knock upon the door, each rap a sharp staccato at odds with the quiet volume; a girlish knock, but not a particularly friendly one.
Jarod perhaps can't read friendliness in knocking, as his response is a jovial, "It's open."
Jarod might wish he's learned to speak doorknock by the time he's through with his guest. Lucienne pushes the door open, slipping in through a small gap and snicking it closed behind her. She stands tall and straight, her expression businesslike in a nod to her knock. "Jarod." She is anything but jovial.
"Luci." Jarod looks a touch concerned, if not precisely worried, by her anything-but-jovial manner. Perhaps he assumes it isn't aimed at him. "Sit down. I haven't tea, but there's water if you want something to drink. And wine, of course." It's a Terrick sibling room. The bar is always open. He stands, ready to attend her should she want one of those drinks. "I take it you spoke with your lady mother? How'd it go?"
Of course, he doesn't have tea. Lucienne swishes over to claim a seat, speaking her choice of beverage quite crisply. "Wine, please." Rather than some easy pose, she sits straight as well, her hands folding in her lap as she waits for a cup to occupy them. "I did. The Naylands gave their word that Jaremy will go to the Wall. They've asked nothing in return, that the Lady Evangeline is aware of." The end. Perhaps this scene is finished.
"That easy?" Jarod can't quite hide his surprise as he pours her some wine. He even manages to find her a clean cup. He takes it to her when he's done, then sits at the chair at his little writing table again. "I will admit, I have little trust for Nayland affection or mercy. They are not the sorts to give such things freely. But if she's any promise at all that he'll live…thank the Seven." And he does sound truly grateful for it. He just sits for a moment, letting that sink in. "Can we see him, before he goes?"
"That easy." Lucienne sits primly whilst Jarod is about the business of fixing her drink. "My lady mother says the same; we shall just have to wait and see. I told her I would pray on it." She accepts her cup, clean as it is, but holds it simply without imbibing for the moment. "I didn't press her to ask, Jarod." Is it a little chilly in this room? "Perhaps you might do that."
"If she'd speak with me on it. I'll ask her, though I don't figure I'll have so much luck as you." The chill from Lucienne is slowly beginning to dawn on Jarod. He sips his wine, looking at her, a vaguely puzzled expression on his face. "Is something else wrong, Luci? I mean…Jaremy's not dying. Probably. That's rather good news…isn't it?"
"It's wonderful news," deadpans Lucienne. And then she indulges herself a sip from her cup. The only outward sign of a wince at the taste is a tightening in her jaw, though that could be for something else. "I don't have any other news."
Jarod doesn't drink light wine, so the heavy red stuff might be jarring to one not used to it. He continues to regard his sister and look confused. Then, slowly, something seems to dawn on him. "Jace talked to you." It's not really a question.
Lucienne's response to that is just to tip her cup back again. This time she takes a longer pull, her eyes squinting tightly shut as she forces herself to swallow the stuff. It's not particularly dignified.
Jarod sighs. Heavily. And takes a drink. When he's swallowed he asks, "What did he say to you that's got you so cross at me? As I don't imagine I'd quite agree with how he put it."
"That you're running away to join a mummer's troupe," says Lucienne quite seriously, still caught up in her wine-induced wince. She blinks her eyes open to set them, dark and unamused, upon Jarod for his response.
Jarod snorts. "That's not quite what I'm thinking on." He takes another drink of wine. "It's a little premature to start talking on this, really. But…since Jace's made an issue of it now. Can I talk to you about this, Luci? And will you listen to me, please, and not just call me an ungrateful bastard who's running away in copy of his irresponsible elder brother?"
"I don't know, Jarod," Lucienne says, dripping with cold sarcasm. "Can you talk to me about this? Or would you rather just leave a letter pinned to your door before you go?" She eyeballs her cup, but is hestitant. Stuff's rather strong, and she's rather not.
"You really think I'd do that, Luci? You really think that's me?" Jarod just regards his half-sister, green eyes a mix of hurt and a touch angry at the suggestion.
"This whole family has just become one great big bunch of dirty little secrets," announces Lucienne, ignoring that look from Jarod and tipping back her cup once more. Burn be damned, she takes a gulp, which prompts a closed-lipped cough in her throat.
"We're none of us children anymore, Little Luci. I wish we were more times these days than I can count. World just seemed…bigger and easier to get a handle on all at once, when I was a boy of thirteen. Maybe those secrets were always there and we just didn't see them." Jarod tops off his own wine cup before looking back at his sister. "I've no intention of disappearing in the night. I am not my brother. But…" He trails off, looking down at his hands. Struggling to find a way to say what he wants to say. Finally he just outs with it, though his tone is low, and he still doesn't look at her. "…I am not very happy in my life here. I haven't been for a very long time, I don't think. I just…put it away. Inside me. And replaced it with being grateful, and being content and finding…easy pleasure. But after everything with Jaremy, and after Riverrun and…everything…I faced up to it and I can't put it away again now."
Lucienne seeks to soothe her cough with another mouthful of wine; the result is predictable, another round of coughing, this time more audible. She covers her mouth with the back of a hand, and sets the cup aside, for fear of spilling the remainder on her skirt as she heaves for air. This, all over the top of Jarod and his little story of happiness or lack thereof. As he finishes, she is conveniently composed enough to roll a hand at him in the air, as if bidding him to continue speaking. "And?" She croaks out, her shoulders still hunched.
"Might want to slow down some with that. This isn't summerwine." That's Jarod's first comment as his eyes tick back up to his sister. He regards her again, no longer any trace of anger about him. Though he does seem frustrated, and a little sad. "What do you dream your life'll be, Luci? In five years? Or ten? What do you figure you'll make of yourself by then?"
Lucienne spends a few beats getting her breathing rhythm right, her brow wrinkling into a scowl at the advice on drinking; so that's what it feels like to be on the receiving end of such an instruction. She folds her arms crossly against her chest. "I'll be a wretched old hag in a timber hall with a thousand children and a husband off in Braavos or some such, sating his bloodlust," she replies, with some dramatic license. "That will be my life, while you're off enjoying tourneys and returning home to a comfortable spot in Lord Jerold's keep."
"Were I you, I would not resign myself to being wife of the Knight of Oldstones yet. For I grow less and less sure you would be well cared-for in that Timberhall," Jarod says. And his tone is dark on that, though he does not pursue that subject just now. "And why, Luci, does that make you so angry? The idea of me doing well at tournaments? At seeing a bit of the world. At getting a bit of…something, I don't even know what…that is my own, and not given to me out of Lord Jerold's nobility and good heart? Why, Luci, is it so wrong of me to want things for myself?"
"Well then, I'll be a wretched old hag in another keep, with a thousand children and a husband who'll likely care little for anything other than my dowry," Lucienne quips back, incensed. She grits her teeth, dark eyes shooting daggers at Jarod for his questions. "Angry? What makes me angry is learning that you're leaving from somebody else. That you can flit off at your leisure for whatever pursuit you desire, Jarod, that only makes me jealous."
"I didn't want you to hear it that way." And Jarod does sound apologetic about that. He stands, but only to go and kneel by where she's sitting. Looking up at her. "I have talked about this with Jace and with our lord father because I am their sworn sword and my life is not entirely my own while that is so. But it's too…soon to start talking on it with anyone else. I wasn't ready. I don't myself know what I will do. The tourney circuit calls to me because it's a way to see the world and make a bit of money, and perhaps win some glory for this house. And myself, I'll not deny. Though I will say, many proper noble sons do the tourneys for a couple years, and they are not chided for it. It is a point of pride, and I do not understand why I am different." That said, he goes on, more thoughtful. "But really…I just need some time to…figure out who in seven hells I am when I am not…serving someone else. Perhaps Seagard. That would still be to Lord Jerold's cause, after a fashion, and I think Lord Mallister could find work for me. Or maybe Fairmarket. Master Bevins owns a part of a merchant company there now. I know little of my mother's kin, and that has never sat well with me." That may be the first time in years he's uttered the word 'Bevins' in her presence. For all he acts around his siblings most of the time, he might as well not even acknowledge his blood has another side to it. "Jace had five years in Seagard to make himself into the man he is, on his own terms. I shall not compare myself to him. I cannot even imagine how hard those years after the Trident were. But I think he is…more able to accept his place here because he knows who he is from that time. I do not, Luci. I am not even sure what I want save to be…something other than the puppy of Four Eagles Tower, the Terricks' well cared-for pet. Would I not serve our father and brother better if I were a man on my own terms?"
It's a long speech to sit through, seething with anger and jealousy as Lucienne is. Her feet edge back under her chair, evident only in the tiniest shift of the fabric of her dress as Jarod kneels by her. It's somewhere between 'Seagard' and 'Fairmarket' that she reaches to reclaim her cup, though she has the grace to allow Jarod to finish before she drains it. In one large gulp, the rest of the liquid is gone, and she stares (blinking rapidly and gagging inwardly) at the bottom of the empty thing. "You are different," Luci insists, finally, in a shaky sort of voice. It's just the wine. "I thought… I didn't… Rowan's back here now, Jacsen says. When I went to Seagard, Jace was there. And now I'll go to Oldstones - or wherever else I go - and there'll be no-one. And you said - you said you'd always protect me, Jarod. I thought you - I - what was in that wine?" All of a sudden light-headed, her cheeks flush a rosy shade that's got nothing to do with embarassment and everything to do with intoxication, and her eyes are glassy in their stare.
"Easy now…" Jarod does not seem to know whether to laugh at or be concerned about his intoxicated little sister. So he just reaches up to try and muss her hair. As he does. "It's…wine. Strong wine. But…aye. Rowan's back. And we should on that, too, Luci." He takes a deep breath, and lets it out long. "He was released from his service by Ser Gedeon. Why, he would not tell me the whole. But I gather…it was not a good parting for either of them. And I do not think it was a purely personal matter."
"It is strong wine," admits Lucienne, darting her brown eyes between te empty cup and Jarod. And back to the empty cup. And back to Jarod. "Did Rowan do something wrong?" She ducks belatedly away from the muss of her hair, reaching up to smooth it back down. She sounds concerned, and frowns to match.
"I don't get the impression it was that, though he will not precisely say," Jarod says. "He says the details of it would break his oath to Ser Gedeon, which he took when he went to serve the Valentins. I gather he was privy to…things in their house." And he sounds troubled imagining precisely what those things might've been. "Either done by Ser Gedeon or bid done on the whole by Lord Ser Anton. And I gather that, whatever he saw there…Rowan could not abide that place anymore. Or abide himself within it, if that makes any sense."
Lucienne, whose opinions of the Lord Anton have long and famously been different from those of her brothers, frowns. "What kind of things?" Her cheeks are hot, now, and she lifts a hand to dab at one of them with her cooler fingers.
"Rowan promised me that it was nothing that threatened the security of the Roost. And he said that if you did wed Lord Ser Anton you'd be…he thought the Knight of Oldstones would not harm you. For he would maintain you, as an object that was valuable to him. But that is as far as he went. And he admitted he would prefer to see you go to someone else. And so would I." Jarod idly reaches up to a hand to brush one of Lucienne's flushed cheeks with the back of his hand. "Lord Ser Anton told me once that he strove to evaluate his life…objectively. Without any view to attachment. And he, and Ser Gedeon, and those other men like Ser Alek who walk his halls, they have been mercenaries these last years, and Seven knows what they have done in Braavos. They are men who take what they want, and once they have it I am not sure they treat it very well. Now…" He looks down. "…perhaps some women like that. Find it attractive or exciting or…I don't know. But you deserve better than that, Luci. Better regard."
She smiles at his touch to her cheek, for his hand is cooler too, and it's a lovely tender touch. "Of course he won't harm me," Lucienne scoffs, after Jarod's explanation. "No more than any other man like him would. He lives in a timber house, Jarod, I'm not blind to that. He treats me just as I ask him to. I know none of you like him, but maybe you'd feel differently if Jaremy hadn't messed up our courtship."
"There are many aspects of the way Rowan was treated in that house that I do not like," Jarod replies to that. "And I will never quite forgive myself for letting him go so rashly that he was forced to land in that place. But. That is done. After nearly half a year, I do not know what to make of Lord Ser Anton except that he is, perhaps, not a good man. What that means to you, I know not. I only ask that you keep your eyes very open to the way things are in his Timberhall, and ask yourself if you could live with yourself and you children being there. And if the answer is no…there's still time for our lord father and brother to find you another lord. It need not be him. Please just…promise me you'll look at him carefully, and that you'll think on this."
Lucienne's brow wrinkles as she frowns, and she reaches out a hand to set upon Jarod's shoulder. "I don't… I don't think I understand. Maybe I should talk to Rowan. Ser Gedeon says the Lord Anton is an honorable man? He's said it to me. Several times." She sends a distracted look back to her cup - it is still empty.
"I do not think Ser Gedeon or Lord Ser Anton's definition of honor is the same as it is known in our lord father's house," Jarod says. "But, aye. Perhaps you should. Rowan lived with them these months, and I think he never felt it home. There is much he likely cannot tell you. Remember he was Ser Gedeon's sworn squire, and those oaths still cover what was done while he was in that service, even released as he is now. But he can give you a first-hand account of what that place is, at least, and perhaps you will know better if you could live with it or not." He eyes her cup. "Do you want more wine?"
"Because they were sellswords?" Lucienne wonders, tilting her head. "I… maybe I do want some more wine. I just… you would leave us here, for your own ends, but for Lord Anton to go, is dishonorable?"
"It isn't that it's…" Jarod takes her cup, and rises to get more wine for her and himself. His own is just topped off. He's probably lost track of precisely how many cups he's had, as it just keeps getting refilled when it's low. "…I do not think they treat what they have with kindness, or with much regard for it, except as it services them. In…whatever fashion they desire at a given moment." He hands her the refilled cup of wine, then returns to his old chair. "And I those in the Valentin house are perhaps willing to do things for their own advancement men like our father are not. Whether you can live with that, I suppose is up to you. But I would not be easy with the idea of you making your life in the Timberhall, as I know them better. This I admit."
"Do you have some water to mix with it?" Lucienne, despite her rosy cheeks, isn't keen for a repeat of the throat-burn. "I… think I understand a little better," she ventures slowly. "But, perhaps I disagree? Our part in the Stonebridge case wasn't simply for the good of Gedeon. Would Lord Jerold have backed his claim even if the Naylands were still certain to retain the vassalage after?"
"I don't know," is Jarod's reply to that, as he goes to fetch her a cup of water as well. "I don't know if he would've even heard it had Jaremy married Isolde and things gone as intended. None are purely good in their motives in the world, Little Luci. Even our lord father. But…" He delivers her that cup. "…that does not mean the limits of all men are the same. I figure it's a matter of learning what you can live with, and what you cannot abide."
Luci sneaks a little sip of her wine before Jarod returns with the water for mixing. Just a little sip, therefore just a little wince. "Thankyou," she says, pouring one into the other. She daren't swish it around, for fear of losing the lot on her skirt. "I understand that. I just don't… know, what he's done that's so abominable. None of what I've witnessed? Maybe… maybe Rowan can tell me. Maybe I should just ask Anton himself."
"Speak with Rowan. I am not even sure if what drove him from that house was done by Lord Ser Anton or Ser Gedeon himself," Jarod says. "As for the Knight of Oldstones himself, I would be careful. I do not want to give him insult. And I would not have him think Rowan has spoken on more than he should. Just…watch. And listen. And decide if you like the way he treats you or not. While you've still time to decide it." He drinks of his own wine.
Lucienne drinks down what water won't fit in her cup of wine, then starts in on the diluted stuff. She smacks her tongue against the roof of her mouth at the changed taste, and promises, "I'll talk with Rowan, but so far, I couldn't fault Lord Anton. I really couldn't, Jarod. Except, perhaps, that he finds me far too amusing and he laughs too often."
"He wants to charm you, he'll show you the facet of himself he thinks will please you best. Men are rarely entirely themselves with women," Jarod says. "Anyhow. Back to what we were talking on before. I spoke with Lord Jerold about wanting to see a bit of the world beyond the Roost, and promised I'd give it a year at least. See how I felt when Remembrance Day comes around again. There are things I'd like to see settled before I go. The whole matter of Stonebridge. And I would not miss your wedding, whoever it might be to, if I can. A few other odds and ends." Vague shrug.
"Well he's very charming," admits Lucienne, blushing a little deeper than just that wine-induced hue. "He's good at being charming." She seems to recall her former anger, though it's dulled a lot by her indulgence, and as Jarod shifts gears back to his wanderlust all she does is frown. "I - just stop keeping secrets from me," she says, plainly. "If you're going to tell Jacsen something I said not to, tell me that. If you're going to run away, tell me that. I don't like finding out all these things from Jace."
"When I run away I'll give you plenty of warning," Jarod says dryly. "I'm much more polite than Jaremy." He grins, though his eyes are still serious. "Will you still love me, Luci, if I am not always around to protect you? If I have my own life, in some regard, that doesn't just serve you or Jace. I'd want you to be a part of it, whatever it is."
"I will still love you if you let me keep Buttons while you're gone," grants Luci, after another generous gulp of diluted wine and a funny face made. It's certainly easier to down, the more one drinks! "But Jarod - if I really need you, I mean really, really need you, you wouldn't forsake me, would you? For the sake of a tourney or some exotic eastern girl in your bed?"
Jarod flops out of his chair, rolling to kneel by her again. He laughs as he does it. He's a bit buzzed. "If you really needed me, I wouldn't forsake you. Promise. If, when next year comes around, you or Jace are truly in some bind you cannot get out of without me, I shall not just run off. And if you ever call for me while I'm gone, and it's at all within my power to come, I'd come riding back as fast as I could. I just…cannot live my life only for others, Luci. Not anymore. It's not making me someone I like very much. Agreeable as I may be to those around me."
Lucienne giggles as Jarod moves toward her, her feet floating off the ground in the whimsy of the moment. She grins. It's such a rare thing, her grin, it almost looks out of place on such a prim and proper face. "I promise I will never tell you I really really need you unless I really do," she says, not at all solemnly. "Or unless I almost really do. I might pretend, if I miss you too much. Will you forgive me?"
"Never!" Jarod proclaims, though he's grinning and laughing as he says it. "Never ever, in this life or the one after." He's plainly not serious, of course. He's Jarod Rivers. Of course he will forgive her. He can't even really pretend otherwise.
Luci giggles some more, then drowns her giggle in a gulp from her cup. This is so that she might abandon the cup on the nearest surface, and reach out to yank Jarod up with her by the collar as she stands - she'd like to claim a hug, thankyouverymuch. "This is very good wine," she tells him on the way up.
Jarod laughs as he's sort've pulled upright, hugging his sister warmly. "It is. Maybe I better walk you back to your room. So you don't…stumble into a wall or something. Tricky, these tower walls."
"Let's do that. Celine is going to scold me, I bet," Lucienne titters. "I'd better leave - no. Finish this." And she does release Jarod to tip back the last from her cup. No doubt it'll be a long walk back to her room.