|It Shouldn't Be Complicated|
|Summary:||Rafferdy and Rowenna speak about the past and love.|
|A Room at the Inn|
|The room Rowenna and Jarod have rented.|
|30th Apr, 289|
It's early evening, the day after the fateful duel that claimed the life of Gedeon Tordane. Rowenna is in the suite at the Crane's Crossing that's been paid for with the family's largesse (via cousin Rygar) — fit for a Nayland, and far finer than she and her displaced husband could afford on their own. She stands before a mirror in a black gown, frowning at her reflection. She pulls it off (already in breeches, beneath) and pulls on shirt and tunic, also in black, then goes to look at herself again.
Rafferdy gently knocks upon the door. He's dressed really rather poorly today, doing his peasantry look that he so often employs. Today it's a pair of loose fitting trousers, tied with a rope belt low across his waist. His shirt is a billowy cotton tunic, cut loose and deep at the neck. He knocks a second time, perhaps a hair too quickly.
Rowenna blows out a breath, glancing with irritation at the door as the second knock comes hard upon the first. "Pushy! Keep your shirt on!" The door is yanked open, and she blinks at her brother. "Oh! Shit, Raff," she smiles a wan and weary smile. "Sorry. Come in."
Rafferdy smiles widely, "I might be more comfy with my shirt off…" He chuckles, and steps inside. "Ser Jarod said you hoped to see me before you both moved on to… wherever."
"Save that for the ladies," snorts Rowenna. She does, however, embrace him in fond greeting. "I just wanted to thank you," she says, sincerely. "I don't know what you said to the Old Man, but…" she shrugs. "It was a better reception than I'd dared hope for." She shakes her head. "Frankly, I'd no hope at all. I was — still am — a bit shocked to be a Nayland again."
Rafferdy gives her a bit of a hug in return, and he nods, "I was worried you might be too Nayland to ask his forgiveness." He smiles, "I'm glad you weren't." He shrugs, "You're welcome."
Rowenna drops to sit on the bed, shrugging. "I know what I did was wrong — I hated the lying. It felt… I don't know. Penitence felt right. I don't know that there's any other way I could have gone about it, but… that doesn't make it less wrong." She wrinkles her nose. "I guess sometimes 'wrong' is just the only option, and you have to suck it up."
Rafferdy nods, "I guess so." He walks over and sits beside her. "I hadn't been to the Mire since… well…" He scratches the back of his neck, "I guess since I left to squire 9 years ago." He shakes his head a bit, "I can't say Father was very hospitable."
"Heard you out, didn't he?" says Rowenna, leaning her shoulder against her brother's. "What'd he do, make you sleep in the stables? Not feed you?"
Rafferdy rolls his eyes, "Same old. I just…" He sighs, "I don't know. I keep thinking one of these times he's going to give me some kind of…" He tosses his hands a bit, "…approval or… something." He sighs again, looking at his boots. "He makes me feel like I'm eleven." He looks at her, "I hated being eleven."
"Absolutely nothing to like being eleven," Rowenna agrees. "Rotten age." She puts an arm around Rafferdy, mussing his already mussed hair affectionately. "He listened to you. That's a start. Means he respects what you have to say more than he lets on, I think."
Rafferdy furrows his brow, "I wish I believed that." He smiles when she tussles his hair. "I'm sorry about Ser Gedeon," he offers to her, a bit quietly, looking at her with sincerity. "I know you squired under him for a time."
Rowenna takes a deep breath and nods. "Thank you," she says, first, acknowledging the condolences. "I loved him." That's said simply enough, though the rest is apparently painful for her. "But there are some things love can't fix. Or overcome." She smiles faintly, then, however melancholy. "I chose the right Rivers, in the end."
Rafferdy stiffens a little, "Loved…" He tilts his head a bit, and then he stands, "The hell…" He shakes his head, "So, what… did EVERYONE know but ME!?!?"
She stares at him a moment, shocked at the outburst, then laughs. "Oh, for fuck's sake, Raff," she sighs. "No. A very few people knew — a couple of them found out by accident. Gedeon was one. No one in the family knew — save Rowan. So there you have it."
Rafferdy huffs for a minute. Like an eleven year old. He slowly rubs the bridge of his nose, shaking his head a little. "Were you and… Gedeon… you know…" He makes an awkward face, like he's trying to ask if they did it.
Rowenna snorts. "And how in the fuck is that any of your business?"
Rafferdy shrugs, "I don't know! Just… You said you… loved him, so…" He looks both very panicked by this awkward conversation, but also determined as if he deserves for no reason to know. "…I'm just… asking because… Did you…?"
"I might tell you," says Rowenna, archly. "Just as soon as you make accounting to me for everyone you've fucked since we were kids."
Rafferdy is now completely awkward about this whole thing, and actually paces a little, "You're- No! You're my little sister! That's… weird!" He waves his hand her way, "And I don't think we have time, anyway." He shakes that thought off, "Look, I just… You said you loved him, and so I'm just wondering if you loved him like a squire loves his pal the knight or if you loved him like kissy kissy blah blah gross love?" He makes a silly face, ogling eyes her way, "This isn't complicated. Why is this complicated?"
Rowenna catches the giggles, shaking her head. "I don't know, Raff. Why is it so complicated?" She shrugs. "You said it yourself. It's weird. There's just some shit siblings don't need to know about each other." She makes a silly, ogly face. "So stop asking."
Rafferdy stops fidgeting, and he slowly nods, dropping his hands back to his side. "Fine." He slowly smiles at her, making rather confident eye contact. "Can I tell you something stupid?"
She grins at him, wide and warm. "Of course you can tell me something stupid, Stupid."
Rafferdy smiles again, "I'm glad you aren't Rowan." He laughs a little, "I mean, I have ENOUGH idiot brothers. It's nice to have a sister again."
Rowenna snorts again, though it's good-natured enough, and stands to grapple her brother into a hug, mussing his hair once more. "I'm not sure what difference it makes, save that it's weird to talk about sex. But thanks, Raff. It's nice — making honest bonds with the family, again."
Rafferdy smiles at her once more, and returns the hug. "Anyway… I'm glad your home. Even if we don't know if you're staying." He gets a little more serious, "Do you know what you two are going to do? Is Jarod still sworn to his House? I heard he was stripped of his horse and gear."
"I've no idea, to be honest," says Rowenna, grimacing faintly. "We've still Seagard's censure to face. Then… I suppose we'll see what we've got left." She shakes her head. "It was pretty brutal. Lord Jerold stripped him of everything but his blade and his title, which I gather only the gods can rescind."
Rafferdy sighs, "So, then, is he a hedge knight? I'm… not sure I follow the legalities of it all. He was stripped of equipment, but not name or title. So, is he still a knight for the Rivers family but just can't do the duties until he saves the money for the armor…?"
Rowenna shakes her head, helplessly. "The legalities of it escape me, as well. I guess he's a free lance, now. Same as me."
Rafferdy shakes his head, "Well, not the same as you. To some, you aren't a knight, you're a woman. To others, you're a knight for House Nayland." He smiles, "Anyway… I'm assuming you still have your equipment and horse then?"
She nods, not looking particularly happy about it. "I still have all that's mine — I bought it with my own coin, or won it at tournament. Jarod's…" Rowenna shrugs, raking a hand through her hair. "I guess a lot of what was his was a gift from his father. Privilege of his House and whatnot."
Rafferdy furrows his brow, "They even took his horse?"
Rowenna nods again, sadly. "Like I said. Brutal."
Rafferdy shakes his head, "Damn." He sighs, and he shakes his head. "I'm glad we got better for you." He smiles a bit, "I need to get back to the tower, but… Promise me you'll let me know when you know where you'll land?"
You give Rowenna a cookie.
"I promise," says Rowenna, kissing her brother's cheek. "Be good, Raff."
Rafferdy laughs at that as he heads out the door. "Hey! It's me!" He winks, and is out down the hall.