|I Knew You'd Come|
|Summary:||Anais meets Riordan after the rescue.|
|Related Logs:||Bandit logs|
|Field — On the Road|
|Where people gather post-rescue.|
|June 4, 289|
Among the chaos of people returning and greeting their loved ones, women kissing, tearful women, and care for the injured, there is a small island of quiet that consists of Anais Terrick. She's dressed a bit unusually, in a man's tunic and an extremely baggy pair of breeches, but her hair is down, and surprisingly clean, given the state of most of the captives. The Terrick guards and knights around her seem to be giving her a measure of space, and she faces away from most of the crowd, looking out toward the woods and nibbling on an apple provided by someone thoughtful. Despite the fact that she stands alone - or perhaps because of it - there's a certain fragility to her careful, aloof posture.
Returning from a rather awkward conversation with Lucienne Terrick is Ser Riordan Nayland. A very changed Ser Riordan, in point of fact. Dressed in leather armor that has been lightly slashed at the abdomen, with a bit of dark stain around the cut, the real changes are to his features and his posture. His normally clean-shaven, boyish face has the growth of several days on it, and has a somewhat unhealthy palor besides. Dark shadows under his eyes and other factors bespeak of lack of sleep and of food. And, for those who know the symptoms of certain Maester remedies that supposedly keeps the mind sharp and the body awake, there is a light shaking to his hands, and a glossyness of his eyes. So it is that Riordan almost doesn't see Anais, except for nearly bumping in to one of her encircled guardsmen. After apologizing to the man in a weary murmur, his eyes slide to the woman, and he pauses there, taking in the sight of her in silence for a moment, before he croaks, "Lady Anais."
Anais turns at her name, and for the first moment, it's as though there's no one home inside. It takes a moment for the lady to creep back into her own eyes, but once she's there, she manages to summon up a faint smile. "Lord Riordan," she greets him quietly, almost sympathetic at the sight of him. "From the looks of you, I assume the girl ran for Stonebridge first?" she asks, sounding somewhat satisfied at that.
At the acknowledgement, Riordan will move through the circle of guardsmen, unless they try to bodily stop him, so that he might speak to her without needing to shout. Not that either the Regent nor the Lady is likely able to accomplish such for long, in their present conditions. "My cousin's maid? Yes," Riordan confirms, simply. He continues to study Anais for a moment, before murmuring, "I am sorry it took us so long."
"Good," Anais smiles faintly, almost absent. "I told her to go to Stonebridge. I knew…" That smile slips, rueful as she gestures vaguely to the lord. "I knew you'd come." The irony of that statement in contrast at her surprise to find her husband here is not lost on the lady. "And that the Roost didn't have ten dragons handy, let alone a hundred, and that the levies might be useful," she admits more practically.
Riordan, for his part, seems caught somewhere between the awkwardness of their last meeting, and well… almost pleasure, at her words. Letting out a light cough after a moment, he offers, by way of apology, "If they'd asked for less, I might have been able to convince my Lord Father to let me gather the money, and we might have been able to free you sooner." He pauses, before noting wryly, "Not that they'd have gone free long enough to enjoy it." There's a certain grim practicality all his own as he makes that statement.
Anais' smile lingers, even if there isn't quite full force behind it. "You came. I'm not feeling particular about how or when, given that you came before they lost what order they had and did something worse than smack a few people around." She pauses, then adds in a softer tone, a bit more genuine. "Thank you. For everything."
The smile, however lacking in force, is enough to bring a similiar one to the Regent's face, though it too is a tired thing. He simply nods, wordlessly to Anais, holding her gaze for a moment. Then, his smile lessening a bit, he says, "I hear your Lord Husband shall be taking you home. I hope… that perhaps you may find some comfort in him, after your ordeal." Not that it should have taken this type of ordeal to get him to offer it, his tone implies. But it's a subtle implication. If only because he is too tired to put much force behind it.
And there Anais' smile falters, as she half turns to seek out Jacsen's form in the crowd. "He- He has his own ordeals to recover from, I think," she says quietly, though it sounds as though she's trying to convince herself more than him. "I'll be fine." It's a small, brave sort of smile that she summons up, forgetting the apple in her hand as she reaches up to tuck her hair behind her ear.
Riordan's hand moves out, instinctively, to stop Anais from getting apple in her hair. At first, it's clear he didn't even realize what he was doing, but when his brain finally catches up with him, around the time his fingers touch her wrist and threaten to linger there, he takes hold of the apple and murmurs, "Allow me to hold this for you, my lady." Withdrawing his hand, likely with the apple, he then turns to follow her gaze towards the distant figure of her husband. Then, turning back to her, he simply nods. "I hope so," he says in truly genuine to reply to her brave statement.
Anais stills at that touch, relinquishing the apple without a fight. "He seems to be well again, at least," she murmurs, a hint of hope in her voice, though it's a small thing. "Better, at least. I'm…sure he just needs some time to recover from his illness and the shock of hearing about this." Absently, she brushes her thumb over her lower lip, then drops her hand to wipe it off on her borrowed breeches. "And he blames himself some for not being able to be a part of the rescue."
Riordan makes a sound of noncommittal within his throat at the opinions of Anais' husband, though he makes no comment of his own on the subject. He simply idly holds the apple in his hand, looking at the lady for a moment. "My sister Roslyn and my brother Rutger will be taking over the negotiations with Lord Jerold," he finally blurts out, in a murmured voice.
"Oh." Anais is quiet as she watches him for a long moment, smile rueful. "I suppose that's for the best for most of the people involved," she admits, even if there's a note of regret in her voice. "Your sister…" She turns, looking out over the ladies. "I just spent three days stuck in a cave with some of the most ridiculously selfish, self-centered, whining, entitled women I've been forced to keep company with in a long time. Your sister was a relief. You should be proud of her."
"Most of the people," Riordan agrees, with a similiar smile of the rueful bent catching lightly upon his lips. The smile, though remaining small, takes on a bit of bemusement where Anais speaks of her former cavemates. "I am always proud of her," he says, simply, as regards his sister. He looks towards the general direction where both the Nayland women are, his sister and cousin both, and lets out a small sigh, mostly relief in it all being over with. Then, looking back to Anais, he lets out what might sound like an odd comment. "At least I have not made you cry." He pauses then, perhaps remembering the last time they saw eachother. "Well, today, anyhow," he adds a touch wryly.
Anais' smile quirks. "The past few days have been hard on everyone, Lord Riordan. I imagine there are a great deal of tears on all sides right now." To which she refuses to add. "My mother…" She pauses, closing in on herself just a bit as she tries to balance the sharing with her need to maintain some walls at the moment. "My mother said that the time to cry was when everything was over, and then only when you were with someone who could afford to lend you strength."
"I suppose that is true," Riordan says with a small nod, before looking back at the direction he came. Namely, wherever Lucienne and Hardwicke have gotten to. "Did she also say how you should never pull a knife on a woman who has just been held captive, even if it was only to cut off a swathe of cloak for a kerchief?" The words are regretfully said, if wry. And indeed, there is a big chunk of cloak missing from the bottom of his cloak.
Anais chokes, not quite able to hold back the choke of laughter that comes unbidden at those words. "Oh. Oh, you didn't, did you?" she asks through the hand that covers her mouth, hiding a flash of a more genuine smile. "Oh, Riordan. When was the last time you slept?" There's amusement there, and sympathy. And gratitude for a moment of humor in the darkness.
"Well, only after I confused and assaulted her with a flurry of words. That is what first made her tear up and sniffle, which is what prompted me to…" Really, Riordan does feel horrible about it. But he is also sleep deprived, so right now, the humor that spreads off Anais is far more infectious.
Anais chuckles softly, holding her hand over her mouth until she can keep a more appropriate expression for more than three seconds. "I wouldn't fret over it," she finally says in a low tone, only half lowering her hand. "Luci could probably take offense if you breathed at the wrong second. Especially right now. She's spent the last three days being incredibly weak. If taking offense is the only thing she can do and have control over, she'll do it."
"It probably doesn't help that the last time we spoke, I called her childish and pigheaded. Or… something to that effect," Riordan notes quietly and even more ruefully. "Hence the need to speak to her just now. I did not want it to effect negotiations." He pauses, then shakes his head. "It's odd though. I remember her being so much more together, refined… well, honestly, the woman I remember is alot more like you. But then at the Tournament… Well, I called her those things for a reason. Even if I shouldn't have."
Anais considers her words for a long moment, looking toward where the other woman sits. "She's had some big changes in her life in the last few months," she says quietly. "Perhaps she's still trying to accommodate them." That's as nice as she can manage at the moment, though. Drawing a breath, she looks back to the lord. "I should see to my horse," she says quietly, smile flickering. "But…thank you. I knew you would do everything in your power to see us safe."
Riordan simply nods to Anais, at her words. But rather then responding to any of them, he simply extends his hand, offering the apple back to her. "I hope we shall see eachother again soon, my lady. In better circumstances," he murmurs to her.
Anais reaches out to reclaim the apple, letting the weight of her hand press against it for a moment in the only tactile thanks she can offer. "Better circumstances will be very easy, I think," she murmurs, rueful. "Go home," she urges then, a note of humor in her voice. "Sleep. You've earned it."
"And you, Lady Anais," Riordan says, returning the pressure to the apple for just a moment, before he withdraws his hands. And, giving her what bow he can manage along with a tired return smile, he turns, and takes his leave.