|Summary:||Jarod would like Rowan to be a little less honest with his family.|
|Related Logs:||Well Met By Moonlight|
|The Green, Terrick's Roost|
|The Green is a large field of deep green grass, nearly flat, that runs along the base of the towers. The road into town runs along the far edge, hemming it in neatly to a confined area where beyond a line of trees serves as a subtle windbreak. This area is most often used for drilling or practice for the guards but also serves as home for festivals, tournements, and another other gathering that might require the space for a large number of the local residents. A well-trodden path winds around the side of the wall and moves towards the coastline.|
|20th of Eighthmonth, 288 AL|
It's not long after sunrise and, if Ser Jarod Rivers is up this early, it's a safe bet that he's taken to the practice yard to hit something with a large, blunt metal object. Which is what he's done. Dressed in a leather jerkin rather than full armor - he's using a blunted blade and just wants something to cushion any blows that land - he's having a go with one of the Terrick retainers. A newer one, given that he's not going full-tilt and seems to over-match the slightly younger man anyhow.
The girl called Rowan Nayland has come down to the green for much the same reason. Ser Gedeon isn't nearly as early a riser as she — but then, what knight doesn't sleep in sometimes? The hours before dawn and just after truly belong to the squires. She carries her armor and practice blades, dagger and rapier added to the longsword she's always used in the past. At the edge of the yard, she pauses to watch the combatants, smile faint and bittersweet, putting down her gear quietly as possible — not that the two can hear much over their own clashing. Dropping into the large, felled tree — ancient and worn smooth — that stands in for seating at the edge of the green, she stretches out her legs and continues her observation. Finally, laughing, she cups her hands around her mouth and shouts, "Oi! Keep your sodding guard UP, Haden!" That's a lessons she's had to learn over and over again, herself. "He's going to cleave you like a block of wood, man!"
They can't hear much before Rowan starts shouting. When that happens, however, Haden is distracted. And Jarod 'rewards' him for it with a swinging arc that undercuts his knees, and grounds Haden nicely. "That thing you did right there? Don't do that," Jarod advises, blunted sword lowered to lift his opponent's 'visor'. "Yield?" Yield Haden does, and Jarod offers him a hand up. "I need a breather, mate." Haden nods and takes his leave, going to de-gear himself. Jarod goes over to where he's left his waterskin sitting, in a pile of his stuff not far from Rowan. He opens it and takes a long moment to gulp, gulp, gulp.
Rowan grins at the succinct advice, though she's whittled it down to a smirk by the time Jarod comes near. She tilts her head, watching him until he's done drinking. Saying nothing.
"So, you've made my little brother's acquaintance." It's a statement from Jarod rather than a question, and it's the first thing he says to Rowan once he's done gulping. He approaches his ex-squire, close enough where they can talk without being loud.
Rowan dips her chin, acknowledging that with a faint smile. "I have. I like Jacsen. It's good that there's someone here now who can look after you lot, instead of poor Lu having to do it all on her own."
"Jace is the best of us," Jarod says simply. There's fierce pride in his voice as he speaks of his ever-so-slightly-younger half-siblings. And a note of protectiveness as well. "What in seven hells did you say to him?"
She frowns at his tone, then raises an eyebrow. "I said a lot to him. We talked at length. How about being more specific?"
"The things specifically that made him know that I'm lying to him about the reasons I released you from my service," is Jarod's level reply to that. "I know you didn't tell him the whole idiotic tale, or else he'd have brought it up much less gentle with me, but he didn't just let it pass."
Rowan looks away at that. "I'm sorry if I caused any trouble between you, with that," she says with quiet sincerity. Looking up at him again, she goes on, "I started to tell him the — what we've been telling people. But…" She frowns. "Listen, I don't want to lie when I don't have to, Jarod. I know it doesn't make me less a liar, but — he's your brother, and unlike Jaremy, not a complete fool. So… I didn't tell him the truth, because I promised I wouldn't, but I didn't lie to him, either. I just told him… that I couldn't tell him."
"For someone who keeps so many secrets, Rowan, you're fairly awful at it," Jarod says with a snort. "If you'd been squired to a brighter knight the last four years, you'd not have lasted a month. Look. I don't like keeping this from my family, but it's necessary. I like lying to Jace even less than most of them, one reason being that he catches on quicker. He's not a fool, Rowan, and he thinks I was wrong to release you, given the present situation between us and the Naylands and the advantages of having you as a ward. And he ain't wrong about that, but it's what it is. And it wasn't trouble, really. He told me he knew I'd fed him a pack of bullshit, and I told him I'd given my word as a knight I'd keep what was between us to myself, and he dropped it. But he won't stop thinking on it. I'll ask you to not wrap him up in your troubles. He's got more important things to deal with. He also doesn't owe the figment that is Rowan Nayland four years of friendship, and there are several good, logical reasons to take you back to your family. If he did keep your secret it'd be for my sake, and I don't want to put him in that position, so please don't feel obligated to purge your soul to him."
Visibly stung, anger and hurt light her eyes. She swallows. "Gods, you make it difficult to be kind to you," she whispers. "I've never known you to treat anyone the way you treat me. I suppose the extent to which you disdain me now is a reflection of how much you cared for me once. So that's something, bitter as it is." She takes a breath. "I didn't want to lie to Jacsen. That doesn't mean I'm incompetent or stupid or a fool. He's kept after it, but I've simply told him that if he wants the truth, he'll have to ask you. You're a fine creature that hates me for lying, then insists I lie when it's not even necessary. I hate me for lying, as well, and that is why I won't do it when it's not absolutely essential. As few as those times in my life are that I can be truthful, I will."
"I don't hate you for lying, Rowan, I…never mind," Jarod mutters, shaking his head. "You just put me in an uncomfortable place. Jace and I…we went through a lot of things together and…there's not much we can't talk to each other about, I'd like to think. I figure that's like you and your minstrel brother off wherever. Except now there's this, and he knows there's this. Just…be a bit less…honest with my family, please. Because it's just going to fall back on me to explain, and you know I can't."
"They were my family, too, once," Rowan whispers, looking down at the dirt beside her right boot. "But… I… understand. I thought you might tell Jacsen the truth. I thought — he might be a good confidant for you, one that you aren't — angry with for keeping secrets about me. I know you're upset with Josse, especially about the Lady Anonymous fiasco. I thought — " She smirks faintly. "Thinking clearly isn't my strong suit. I might try doing less of that." Taking a deep breath, she stands. "I… before this conversation, like all our conversations, went horribly awry — I'd meant to render you an apology." She pauses. Words are such delicate things. "When you offered… me help, and sanctuary, should anything go wrong at Oldstones… I wasn't very gracious. And I know it was done out of love. Now, anyway. I should have known it then. I… just wanted to thank you." A line draws between her brows. "You're a good man, Jarod. The best of men. You always have been."
She stoops to gather her gear. "I should — it's early yet. There are — there are other things I could be doing."
"He can't be my confidante, Rowan, that's not fair to him," Jarod says. "And I'm not upset with Josse. He did what he figured he had to do. But, yes, the Lady Anonymous fiasco…that wasn't a kind thing to do to a person. I know you don't think like that because you're seventeen and so-called love is a fucking mummer's tale you get to invent in your own head but…that wasn't kind of you." He says it rather quietly. "I know you didn't mean to hurt me, though so…just forget it and don't mention it anymore and we'll not think on it." As for the last, he shrugs. "I'd not be much of a knight if I didn't offer sanctuary to a lady in need, if it came to that. And I don't hate you, Rowan. I just wish things were like they were before. But they aren't, and you're not what I thought. Maybe we can be friends again one day. Just…aye. I'm sure you've got much to do."
"I'm eighteen," Rowan whispers, crouched with her arms full of gear. Might as well come out with everything, right? "And love isn't a fucking mummers tale to me. In a mummers tale, no one feels like they're missing a limb — no one hurts like this. And I'm — " she keeps her head down. "I'm sorry. So sorry that I hurt you. I didn't realize I was being unkind. Like everything else, it started out innocently. But I meant every word. Every single word."
"Apology accepted. Let's just forget it happened and put it behind us," Jarod says, not looking at her as he says it. That statement kind of ignores a good portion of what Rowan said, but he seems keen on doing that at the moment. "I'll see you later, Rowan. Don't rely too much on the point in your fencing, and remember to keep your guard high." That said, he goes to put up his blunted blade. He'll wander off somewhere.