|Liquor Makes Everything Better|
|Summary:||In a desperate bid to repair bitter and ill will between herself and victims of her tongue, Briallyn seeks to make amends with Desmond Westerling when a certain jawesome Knight appears.|
|Related Logs:||Wine and Tears|
|The public stables of Stonebridge are quite large and even have a distinct area for visiting nobility to store their steeds while visiting Crane's Crossing. Saddles are stored within an interior building and out of the elements where services are offered for everything from repair to shining. Feed is supplied as well to make sure that the charges are well cared-for.|
|1 April, 289 A.L.|
Desmond doesn't /need/ to care for the horses, as the stablehands are certainly paid to do it. But here he is, leaning over one of the half doors, clipping his roan stallion's whiskers. "The sooner we start on that damn envoy, the better, Biscuits. No, blast it!" he shooes a much younger stableboy away, "I'm not giving you any tips, go on!"
The azure-and-gold clothed figure's face is obscured initially by the downcast eyes, eyes fastened upon the pages of a book in well groomed hands. The book itself is small in size with fine, aged pages. Trailing behind the woman is a slightly taller individual dressed in simple livery in the Haigh colors, another woman with a timid sense about her. Without glancing up, the younger, shorter woman steps about messes yet to be taken care. "Adelia, please find my…" Her faint voice trails away, and Briallyn blinks, glancing up from her book with a startled expression widening those tumultuous green eyes.
Aw hell naw. Desmond eyes Briallyn in something like terror, then looks to Biscuits, gripping the horses's jaw as if he were addressing someone who was in serious peril. "Biscuits, I'll be back later." He pats Biscuits' cheek. "You be good, don't let those other horses boss you around." And with this, Desmond grabs his satchel off the nearby nail in a post and adjusts his boot, hopping on one foot as he makes for the exit.
Desmond's treatment of the horse softens her expression, whether he sees it or not, and then, clearing her throat, Briallyn steps directly into Desmond's path to escape. She's not tiny, but she's small enough that she does little to block the entirety of his way. "Squire Desmond," she says quite calmly, even as she's biting the inside of her cheek. "We need to speak." A certain urgency creeps into her voice, and she snaps the book close in a rush to put it away. The cover is strangely floral, overly elaborate, with flourishing script. Hands free, she lifts one to forestall his escape, the split azure sleeve revealing finer gold muslin beneath. "Please. For the sake of my cousin."
Desmond is stopped short of leaving, teetering and trying to get around Briallyn. "Wh'…" He grunts, thwarted, and falls still. "For your cousin," he sighs. "What is it that you want, Lady Briallyn? I must go back to my mother and clutch her before I pass out."
She relies on the assumption that Desmond has no desire to touch women, or else grow extremely uncomfortable. As soon as his feet shift, she steps into his path, peering at him intently. "I am sure your mother will weep for your absence," Briallyn quips, somewhat mollified as she draws a deep breath. "I want to.." She stifles a sigh, glancing downward at Desmond's toes awkwardly. "Apologize. Yes, I want to apologize. For speaking with you in the manner that I did. It was unnecessary, and you were.. right." Her voice, normally smooth with a hint of humor, is stilted as she practically stumbles over the words in spite of her sincerity.
"Apologize…? Wait, you? Truly?" Desmond cocks a brow, then begins to smile, hands settling on his hips. "My Lady, my face is up here. I was right then? You should not have spoken that way to your cousin," he nods. "Well… What of Ser Garett? Are you going to apologize to him too?" Assuming he remembers anything…
"I know where your face is, Squire," she replies cooly, but just a hint of red creeps into her face. She shifts lightly upon her feet, restless and nervous both, and tilts her head to look up at Desmond with no small hint of defiance in the gaze she directs brashly at his face. "No, I should not have spoken that way to Ilaria. She is dearer to me than she is to you, of that you can be sure." Briallyn seems on the verge of saying something more, but pauses, instead selecting to remain quiet for a span of time as if selecting her words carefully.
"Apologize for.. what? I suppose perhaps apologizing for breaching his personal space without invitation, but I do not intend to apologize unless I mean what I say. Which is to say.." She flubs it, biting her lower lip sharply. "Which is to say that I do regret offending his sensibilities, but I do not regret.. er.. sitting on his lap." Bri's eyes narrow speculatively as she meets Desmond's eyes, as if daring him to say something else. "Besides, does he even remember it?"
Desmond folds his arms, staring Briallyn down. Perhaps unsuccessfully. The look she gives him makes him falter. But he's uneased, this is his teacher they're talking about, and he's not keen on having him annoyed or distracted. "You've no business with him, all right? We're just here to guard his sister and the envoy. You can sit on anyone's lap. Why his? I don't know if he remembers it, I haven't seen him since he left. Wine bottles all over his room in the inn, though."
What a good time for Garett to step into the stables then. His horse is big, beautiful, Fresian warhorse with black hair that shimmers with a bluish sheen when struck by the right ray of sunlight. This is where the Knight keeps the majority of his things, preferring to keep it in the stables near a horse that's trained to bite anything that isn't him. Which is why it has to be him that daily cares for him. So when he steps inside, while he doesn't hear anything that's being said by Briallyn and Desmond. And when he does, and it all sinks in, he raises his hand to pinch the bridge of his noise, eyes shut. So yeah, it's clear he remembers last night, and while some details might be fuzzy, you don't forget something like that easily. Though it wasn't for a lack of trying on his part.
He doesn't look completely like a bag of smashed ass, but it's clear he slept in the same clothes from yesterday, but the slightly rumpled look they have to them. And while he doesn't reek of wine, there's the faint linger scent of fermented cherries. So yeah, he's already been drinking today, but it's not like that's some kind shock to people at this point.
A hand half-raises, fingers curling into a fist, and she even has the sense to fold her fingers just so. As volatile as the remark incenses her sense of dignity, the motion of lifting her hand freezes and she drops the offending limb limply against her side. Instead, the hand lands upon her hip and the fingers dig sharply into the luxurious deep blue silk. "A cruel thing to say, Desmond, to think that I am so flippant with my affections." Briallyn sounds like she's struggling to contain her temper, biting off each word a touch sharply amidst the sounds of grinding teeth.
"I happen to rather.. ah.. like Ser Garett. He isn't smothered by all of the nonsense here. Why do you have any business worrying about such things? I should think that it's up to-" Her voice dies away at the thud of horse hooves striking the ground behind her, and although she hasn't a clue who the rider is, her frame stiffens visibly and she half turns to seek out the mysterious figure. "-Ser Garett." Briallyn says with a slightly strangled note to her voice, and his expression is enough to give her wide-eyed expression a crestfallen cast. "Ah. I see."
"It certainly /seems/ you're flippant," Desmond counters, apparently still bitter about her insults. But he calms himself, as per Garett's past instruction. Temper. He doesn't catch the motion of Briallyn's hand. "I worry more for you than anything else. You… don't want to get involved."
The stablehands step away as that warhorse trots in. "Why if it isn't the knight himself," Desmond grins, "And sweet, sweet Regret. Lady Briallyn wishes to apologize, Ser."
Regret. That's the name of the horse. And knowing Garett, that's probably saying more about himself than about the actual horse. A private joke at his own expense, perhaps. But the horse flares it's large nostrils when it steps inside. "Whoa…whoa…easy, old man." he says gently to his mount, perhaps said with more emotion to the horse than he ever would to an actual person. Swinging himself off, he carefully leads the Fresian to it's stall, closing the gate after he's secured inside, satisfied with a bag of oats, giving random stablehands dirty and violent looks. Seems to be the horse only like the Knight handling him.
"Apologize for what?" Garett says. "There's nothing to apologize for. What's done is done. I hold no ill will for happened last eve. …from what I remember last eve. Only a a group of young adults letting their emotions get the better of them." Pause. "That's not an insult, only the truth, I think we can all be humble enough to admit our own folly in the matter. If you two need to speak and apologize to each other, that is on both of you, but I don't require any words like that. Believe it or not, I was once implusive and brash like that. But, to put both of your fears to rest, I don't look badly upon either of you. However, Desmond knows better than to let his temper get away from like it did, so I'll be expecting something out that. That large hill I spotted on the outskirts of town? Guess who will running up both sides until he collapses?" It's so hard to tell if there's humor or sarcasm in what he says. Probably not, but you never know.
It's clear from the initial paralysis that freezes every muscle in Briallyn's body that she expects a blow, verbally, that never comes. Her expression rapidly becomes one that best reflects her perplexed state, eyes following Garett's motions even as she listens intently as he speaks. The turmoil carefully kept from her fair skinned, sculpted features is unconcealed in the moss green depths. "Ah.." Bri murmurs under her breath, wetting her lips. Some of the stiffness melts away, though she remains standing with appropriately pristine posture. "That is.. rather insightful, Ser Garett." What does she do, now? She shoots a glance of confusion towards Desmond.
"I may be a woman, but I've no desire to be seen as.. as an overly emotional prig, Ser," she finally manages. "And if your Squire can outrun me, I would dare him to give it his best." A familiar grin lurks at the corners of her mouth, even as that lilting voice remains sternly serious. "And I shall not attempt to invade your personal space without invitation, Ser. If propriety is your concern, I've permission." Briallyn's gaze slides reluctantly away from Garett to fall upon Desmond, awaiting the squire's reaction to /that/.
Desmond averts his gaze, watching some stableboy wrestle with an unruly steed. He shrinks as Garett calls him out, shoulders slumping. Humor is never expected, and Desmond stifles a hissing groan when he's ordered to run up and down a hill. "Yes, Ser," he nods stiffly, trying quite hard to avoid openly leering at Briallyn through the mesh. It's clear he doesn't seem to understand what she means. "Permission?"
With an extended arm extended, Garett leans forward, staring at the ground, brow knit together in throught. Or frustration. Looking up, he caresses the side of the Regret's head, a faint smile on his face and look of…respect? A look that one old soldier gives to another. Who has seen hell one too many times. But when turns to face the pair again, whatever slight look of…whatever that was, is gone. "Desmond, this is not a punishment, this is a lesson. One that you learned yesterday. When you lose your temper, when you give into rage, you are no longer in control of yourself. You cannot make rational decisions. You are too young yet to understand a controled rage. Instead of a torch, you are a brush fire. You will learn it, but not at once and not today. You must know calm before you know anything. That is why I'm making you run. I want you to think about that."
Now looking at Briallyn, he just. Sighs. Not because he's fed up with her, maybe he just doesn't understand why he's the focus of attention. Obviously it's not something he's used to. Nor desires. "Lady Briallyn." voice thawing only just so. "Do not trouble yourself with me. For your own sake. You are a lovely woman with a bright heart, it is commendable. But there are better men to give your affections to." So while he doesn't react to things she said, he's more perceptive than he shows. "Old broken-down Knights are beneath you." And that seems to be all he needs to say of it because, he looks over at Desmond again. "I won't stop you from racing Desmond, however. Maybe a slight to his manhood would make him push himself to the level that I know he is capable of. He has more talent than I ever did at that age."
"Yes. I am to see that any pursuit is worth my time. Exercising free will, you see," Briallyn says softly, ribbing Desmond verbally. The smile on her lips falters in favor of something more serious, and she glances towards Garett. "I may not have much sense, but I have some, be it ill spent or not. And I can judge for myself where my time and efforts are best spent." Her tone lightens, almost playful. "The trouble with young Knights is that they haven't yet learned caution. The older, broken down sort are better at not getting their arses shot off with arrows." Carefully, the impetuous youth begins to roll back the undeniably expensive sleeves of her dress, tucking them to keep the loose silk from catching wind. "Is tripping allowed, Ser? What about rocks? Or is it a flat footed sort of race?"
Desmond softens a little, brows knitting. A brush fire, huh? He nods again, standing at attention. "Yes, Ser." Though he certainly yearns to know more about this controlled rage… Garett praises him, though, and he lifts his chin, smiling broadly. But he still has to race a girl, a rather violent girl. "What kind of races are you used to, m'Lady?" He scoffs. "I'm sure this means I can't throw rocks back at you. Tch. Ser, am I dismissed?"
She's not getting the picture. None of the 'thig guy is more trouble than he's worth' signs are being flatly ignored. Even saying as much isn't helping. Garett sighs, shaking his head. "If you so wish to punish yourself." he notes dryly, then picking up a belt that had been laying over the gate to Regret's stall. It's a blacksmithing belt, apparently the Knight has some kind of hobbies. "There is condition to this. Since I am getting the idea that the Lady Briallyn for some reason enjoys my presence, for reasons that I will probably never know, I am inclined to allow her that as she seems to be dictated at every turn by family. That said," he looks at Bri. "If you so wish to join us, I will require that the two of you," his finger darts between the two. "learn to play nice with each other. Lady Briallyn, Desmond is my squire and a good man, no matter what you might think of him. It is simply a shame he has never gotten the respect that I feel he deserves. Desmond," he eyes now go to the squire. "She might be impetuous and brash, but hasn't that always been our stlye anyways? When have we ever paid attention to the status quo, save when it was demanded? I figured you of all people would enjoy more people like that. Now," Slinging that belt over his should, "If you two are quite down exchanging death stares amoung each other, my squire has a run to complete."
The smile directed at Desmond is evil, but you know, in a somewhat playful way. At Garett's words, however, the smile is carefully wiped from her features and she stands just that much straighter. "On the contrary, I do think Desmond is a good man," Briallyn begins with dead seriousness. "Too good, perhaps. But, I can agree to such terms." To her credit, despite the wolfish smile fighting fiercely to turn up the corners of her mouth, she manages to maintain decorum long enough to finish securing her sleeves. "And I run races where the goal is to win. My brothers were competitive. I had to slow them down in /some/ manner. My legs are shorter!" Bri's fingers are deft at rearranging her hair, pinning it securely against her head with the combs despite its length.
Desmond twitches, torn between the praising and the proposal. Or order, rather. But he's not about to oppose, and he shan't grumble, he knows better. Garett is apparently growing weary of the games. "Too good, hmm?" Mildly confused by that, he shrugs it off and meets Garett's eyes, half kneeling in respect. "I'll be off at the hill then, Ser. With her. Playing nicely."
"Good. Then I'll be by shortly" Garett says mildly, shaking his head as he leaves. "Gods…" he mutters more sourly than usual. "Think I was better off on the Islands sometimes. At least there you don't have to with as much…" he gropes for the words. Finding none, he shrugs. "…this." he decides, gesturing broadly to the stable, and probably, the city at large. And yet, Briallyn is still there, that's a bit unexpected. "So." he states, stormy eyes taking her again. "Have you always been such a pain in the ass?" That vague sense of humor? It's there, sensed only by the slight change in voice that sounds like a different kind of frost on a peice of metal.
"To hear my mother tell it, I came from the womb a harridan. I'm the reason she has a faint heart," Briallyn admits with a dry chuckle, but it's difficult to tell whether the statement is jest or not. She gives a short shrug of her shoulders, intimately aware of the lack of Desmond, or her cousin, and shifts slightly to lean against the post securing a stable door. "Is there another way to be? I suppose I could be more like my cousins, like my father was wishing. Lady Cherise does not approve of my behavior. I am unladylike, she says. If being a Lady means that I have to be timid, or scheme while smiling at those I have a distaste for…" Bri makes a short-lived gesture, and an embarrassed grin flashes teeth. "I do dig more holes than a bloody farmer, though."
"No, I suppose my cousin would not approve." Garett replies, adjusting the belt thrown across his shoulder to take a seat on a nearby bench, away from her post-leaning. Don't need to get accused of crap again. "Very much the lady. I certainly won't speak ill of her, she's family, though I cannot say I have spent too much time with her. As well, I'm sure she probably thinks the same of me. But then again, my attitude is more often expected of someone of my station. It is not an excuse, however. But, if I were to speak of my opinions on womanhood, I am sure I would be shunned all the way back to the Crag, and perhaps even farther. Which is fine with me, I have no urge for that kind of companionship and if luck smile on me, no woman in her right mind would be interested. I am happy with that. I am happy with solitude. My talents are made for taking life, not nurturing it."
As she listens to him, she chews the inside of her cheek, even if her visage remains outwardly calm. "That's a shame. They were eager to ooh and ahh over you yesterday," Briallyn muses with a hint of.. something in her voice. "Anyway, I am not in the habit of talking about what I hear. Well, unless it's from someone I don't really have a liking for. You're safe enough, and I somehow suspect that our opinions are not so far opposite on that count." A pause, and the grin she's been struggling to suppress appears against her better judgment. "Somebody has to mend your clothing, ensure you eat well, and.. Other things that.." The grin falters, she coughs. "I cannot imagine why you are so obstinate, but I don't wish to pry. Okay, yes, I do, but.. boundaries." To demonstrate, the youth draws a line across the muck and hay at her feet with the toe of a slender leather boot.
"Things I already do myself?" Garett replies simply. It might be odd, but he does talk to her. Probably because he realizes that she's not going to go away and it's easier on his own sanity if he just tells her, rather than having her constantly pester him about it. "When you enter the military, all of these are either taught to you, or afforded to you. You learn on your own to mend your clothes, or you pay a seamstress. You take your rations, or when out in the field, you are to fend for yourself, which means you kill, clean, and cook whatever you can. As for the 'other' things you talk of, you're an adult, if you want to bring that up, you're certainly of the age for it. As for myself, those things are taken care of at a local brothel if I am so inclined. Which, for the record, I haven't been. Not lately at any rate. I have my reasons for shunning that kind relationship. Not that I do it in some grand gesture of defiance to my family, my parents gave up on me long ago, so that's no concern of mine. It's something I never cared for because…"
And he falters. He hasn't been looking at Bri, his eyes are focused elsewhere. "My ideal woman is nothing how most are. I live a life of violence and death. And I must be attuned to that, for better or worse. No woman has strength to deal with that. Any Knight that marries, they don't speak of the things they do, if only out a sense duty to protect their 'fragile sensibilities'. If I were marry, or to at least take a lover, it would not be for the simple pleasures of the physical." A bottle of wine is taken from his backpack that sits next to him, and not bothering with a cup, drinks straight from it. "My life is one death and strife. I came to terms with that a long time ago. If I truly loved a woman, I would not want her to have to live with that, that there might come a day where I do not return. Because I will tell you Lady Briallyn; I know I will not live to see old age. When I die, it will not be in bed. But again, I have made my peace with that."
"The trouble you will find yourself in, Ser Garett, is that the choice isn't entirely up to you," Briallyn says quietly, studying him in the relatively dim lighting of the stables. "Oh, you may have some choice in the marriage part, depending on whether or not the head of your House approves, but I don't think you, or anyone, gets to decide who loves them, or doesn't." She glances down at her hands which are fidgeting restlessly, interlocking her fingers with a muted sigh. "Your wars are not the first to be fought, though I am sure you are courageous enough on the field. Women have always lost husbands to battle, and will when you're long dead and buried. Yet, here we are. The proverbial we, of course," she mutters.
"I'm young, I know, but I've already lost in war. My brother Mercer never came home, and we won /that/ war. I think it almost destroyed my brother, Gryffith. All of us, really. My father told me once that it's what you do while you're alive, and that worrying about dying serves no purpose after the fact. We'll all do it some day, and the best we can hope is to make sure that we didn't waste the time we had. He said that to my brother. I don't think I was supposed to hear it." A soft snort punctuates Bri's words, and her fingers tighten.
"One of my few fears." Garett cracks a small, incredibly bitter smile. "That I would be forced in a marriage that I never asked. I'm not so blind to know that it doesn't happen every day, but I loathe the idea of happening to me. Call me a hopeless romantic if you wish, but I suppose it's a guilty pleasure of mine. I'm sure that Danae or Dyrion will secure the family line, there's no need to worry about me. And I'm pleased with that. Or the idea of someone caring about me that much when I feel nothing to them. Maybe that is why I would always prefer to in the field, on some battlefield. Everything makes more sense there. You know who you are and you know who your enemy is. You know what's required of you and you understand and accept that your life may end here and now." Another drink from the bottle, eyes narrowing to coldly stare at some innocent stable post across from him.
"War takes from all, no matter the age. Fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, and those are just the ones who choose it. And there are those who are the innocents, where the war comes to them…" Closing his eyes, he can't finish that sentence, finding solace in the bottle of wine yet again.
"I am sorry for the loss of your brother. A father should never have to bury their own child. But your father sounds like a wise man. He's not wrong. The Seven only gave us one life to live, for as long and as short as it may be. Enjoy it while it lasts. I tell Desmond I do not wish him to become like me. He could truly be great. I could not bear it were he to be too much like me. I admire his heart." His head droops a little between his shoulders. "A man who seems to hate almost everything. Gods…when did this become a celebration of pity on own behalf?" He takes a deep breath in, as if trying to get slight, barely noticable shake of his left hand to go away.
Spouting wisdom may be something Briallyn can do, but she's at a loss. Perhaps naively, she takes a few cursory steps closer to the man, eyes studying him with brutal intensity, scouring his frame. "There's hope for you, yet," she suggests with a hint of amusement in her voice, even if there's trouble in those dark green eyes wisely hidden by shadow at her approach. "You're not a pitiable man, Ser Garett. And you sell yourself short. Desmond is a good man, you claim, but you brush aside his judgment of seeking a proper Knight under which to train. It's you, isn't it?" Carefully, she comes to a short stop before him, fingers still tightly interlocked and braced against one hip. "I'm sorry for the loss of my brother, too. He was a good man, but there are many alive today because of him, and surely that's worth something, too." Briallyn's voice holds a hint of sorrow, but it passes. "How many have you saved? You say you don't nurture, I would say you merely have a different way."
"For every person I have saved, another has died, by my own hands." Garett counters. "Every family that is protected, another one suffers a loss that will never be replaced. I have tried to justify things to myself, but there is none." For a moment, he doesn't seem to notice her standing nearby him until the her shadow passes over him, causing him to look up. "Does one have to die so that another to be saved? Is there a balance that must be kept and are we are merely tools to something to enforces it will? Or is this just 'how we are'? That we wage war simply because we can?" The Knight apparently not just some rank-and-file soldier, but something of a philosopher. Then again, it could be the wine talking.
Obviously, he has no answer by the way he drinks again. "I don't know why I'm speaking of this. Would it surprise you that I think you a bit more mature than Desmond? Well…" he catches himself in rememberance of last night's debacle. "Well, perhaps in other aspects. Not things a teacher can tell his student, at least. He has to have faith in me or the training will not stick." Shaking his head, he leans his elbows off his knees, back laying against the wall. "Hope?" he scoffs. "You'll excuse me if I don't share the same sentiment." Then he tilts his head at her. "Why does this matter to you, if I may ask? We have spoken for, what? Three days now?"
"Man is another predator, like the wolf. Some can pretend to be lambs, but that's just a wolf in sheep's clothing. One might wager to say that those are the women, and the men are more honest about what they are." There's a certain playfulness to her voice, as if trying to rouse a laugh. "I don't know how the world works. I know that we decide what is ours, and we protect it no matter the cost. And when its safe, when we find peace, we want more." Quietly, and without asking, Briallyn settles next to him, carefully arranging the layered gold and rich azure skirts across her lap and beneath her. If nothing else, it gives her something to do with restless hands. "I'm not the most religious sort. Oh, I was forced to attend Sept with my family, but I think I've seen enough not to swallow that particular draught easily. The Gods, if they're there, don't seem to care about men so much as we care about them."
She grimaces at her lap, wincing at the words as they leave her lips. "I'm.. sorry. I didn't mean to.. That is, if that's your sort of-" Reaching up with a groan, her hand presses against her brow, and Bri shakes her head. "You remind me of my brother after Mercer died, and one of the few bloody people in this city with any sense in his head." Under the shade of her hand, her green eyes flit to the bottle in his hands. "But, you drown it with drink. You're not dead, Ser Garett. That is something worth celebrating."
"Oh, there more than a few women are quite vulpine in their own right." Garett makes an effort to muse lightly. The glimpses are few and far inbetween, but at least they're there. "I don't think anyone really knows how the world works. Or if we are are even supposed to know. And even if we did, would that really change anything." At first, he thought Bri was going to land right into his lap again, and to be truthful, he does freeze up slightly. But much to his ease, she only takes a seat next to him, which is, for the moment, acceptable. "So it pobably not surprise you that I after as much as I've seen, I have lost my faith? I think I can recall the exact moment too."
"I remember awaking in a battlefield, the pain in arm rousing me from being broken." He points to a particular spot on his left bicep, the arm she's closest to. "And waking up with a mouthful of blood that I don't believe was my own. It was raining. It felt warm against me, could hear hitting the plates on my armor. When I sat up, there was just, desolation. The smell of it, the—" he cuts himself off, like he's known to do, only staring at that bottle. "I thought to myself no deties that cares for us would let this kind conflict continue." Another look at his bottle. "There are reasons why I drink."
"There are reasons everyone drinks," Briallyn muses quietly. "Well, everyone who drinks having a reason, I ought to say." Her green eyes slide down his arm, briefly taking in the wine bottle. They close briefly, brow furrowing, and its easy to glean from her expression that she's imagining his recollection in her mind's eye. When she speaks, they do not open. "Let us presume that there are Gods. For even a moment, we could think they might even be apathetic, or worse. Malevolent. We could never know, could we? Either our actions are our own, directed by our own will, or they are not. In one case, it means that everything we do is at least in part our own responsibility, even if we discount the fact that most actions are merely reactions to other.." She utters a nervous laugh, she almost sounds embarrassed.
"It is a great responsibility, but also freeing to think we direct our own actions. That what we do is ultimately our choice. But, if it isn't.. If everything we do is at the direction of some puppeteer, malevolent or otherwise-" Briallyn pauses, turning to glance upward at Garett's face with hooded eyes. "Then, why, for the Seven's sake, worry? We're either free, or we aren't. And if we aren't, it doesn't matter. If we are, and your actions are judged necessary for your survival, for the survival of your brethren in arms, then you punish yourself despite the good will of others."
Garett listens carefully to Haigh's words. He might even seem agreeable to her opinion on the matter. Maybe he has similiar viewpoints. Another look at the bottle in his hand. To know you have crutch, to know you try to block the things in your mind, what's to stop him from continuing to do so? For most of this time, he hasn't been looking at Bri, far too caught up in the conversation to really be looking at anything in general. A thousand-yard-stare, one could call it. But fianlly, he looks at her, and it might be the first time he let's a real, honest expression out. And that one cannot be anything else but pain. "Why?" he echoes her question. "Because I want absolution."
As he turns to look at her, her expression is almost unreadable. Those green eyes are almost black in the darkness of the stable, and she doesn't shy from his stare. Hide emotion from her face as she might, that gaze is in turmoil. "From who?" The question is whisper soft, and Briallyn leans in quietly, close enough to smell the liquor on his breath. She doesn't recoil, returning his stare intensely, though her own breath is shallow.
"From the Gods, or yourself, Ser Garett? You could find a Sept, right this moment, that would assure you that you've committed no sin. The only person who can absolve you of what you've done is yourself. Let the Gods sort it out when you die, if they're there. You aren't bloody likely to hear from them yourself, unless you're a loon, and you're much too sane for that. You're on the winning side, that's enough to absolve you in any Septon's eyes." The young woman doesn't move, still leaning forward, but she looks meaningfully downward towards the bottle in his hands. "I wouldn't tell you not to drink; I wouldn't presume. If you're looking for absolution, you won't ever find it in a bottle. You'll just go through life without really living. And what a shame that would be, trying to forget the person you are."
There's a very low chuckle that rumbles out from Garett's chest. "Your heretical sense of humor I think would set your cousin's hair on fire." he notes, sounding like maybe he enjoys that kind of thing. But that's what you get for being jaded. That said, he sobers swiftly, so easy to fall back into his natural role. "Myself." he clarifies. "I'm not looking for approval from people in the sky that may or may not exist. I'm not here to please them. And if I am, may I be struck down because I doubt I would want to live in world where my actions are not my own. No, I've sinned, many times to many people. And I will do so again, because I know myself well enough to know most of my limitations."
Maybe he leans in just slightly as well, whatever fragrance on her is pleasent. "I know myself, that I will not stop." he says coldly, perhaps banefully. "But. Nothing else makes the faces I see—" icy voice going lower and leaning a bit more in. Maybe he just might enjoy her company, who can tell with him. But, something snaps behind his eyes and after a shake intake of breath, he has to lean away, having enough strength to not bite frobidden fruit. "Thank you for the advice, Lady Briallyn. But thankfully, these problems aren't yours. Your words though, they were heard."
He leans closer, and Briallyn is perfectly still. It would seem that even her breath is frozen in her lungs, for she takes none when their noses are near to touching. With any luck, he doesn't see the way her eyes glaze, the dark pupils dilated within the ring of rich green. And then he withdraws, his words ringing in her ears, and Briallyn blinks, drawing in a sharp, unsteady breath. "No," she says more than a little shakily, catching her breath. "Maybe they aren't, but no man's an island, Ser."
Still shaken, Bri tucks a few escaped wisps of mahogany hair behind an ear, something to do with a slightly trembling hand. She's said her piece, and she gives a soft laugh. "Are you going to share, or are you going to drink it all? Because, if you are, I don't think I can carry you back to wherever you sleep.. Which.." She trails away, sniffing at him gingerly. "Smells suspiciously like your horse's stable." The air is somber, and Briallyn attempts a wicked smile.
Besides the breathing of concentration, which is perhaps a bit more than what it usually, Garett has to swallow hard, hand closing into a fist. "I have to be, my Lady. For the sake of my family, for my sister, for Desmond, for everything. I was meant to carry this burden. I don't even know why I am speaking to you about this. I don't…" he manages to get out, then shutting up, more than happy to offer the bottle up, but only after he takes a somewhat unchivarlous chug from it to steady his nerves. Not like he's not buzzed enough. No sober Garett would be almost making with with young noblewomen half his age.
"You have yet to see me not in control of my own faculties. I have been told I can walk very well, but I never end up in the same place twice. And no, I would think it would look rather poor on either of our parts if we were stumbling through the streets drunk. I'll tie my own noose, thank you very much. I won't take anyone else down with me."
"Ser Garett, I very much doubt anyone is going to blame you when I am nearby. I am a much easier target than a gallant knight." She takes the bottle from him, affecting as much a curtsy as one can while seated. "Why, thank you, Ser Knight." Before Garett has a chance to change her mind, Briallyn bravely, but recklessly, lifts the bottle to her lips and begins to drink. Really drink. No ladylike sips, not careful swallows, but emulating the Knight himself. She chugs several deep draughts from it, as much as she can, until her body revolts from the sudden influx of volatile liquid and she sputters. Bri lowers the bottle, coughing softly to clear it from her throat, eyes watering ever so slightly until she regains her breath and her composure.
"Yes, well, you will understand if my trust in people is not ever at it's best." Garett pointes out in rather pragmatic fashion. "I think given the options, the demure, noblewoman or the Knight and then notice how they are both under the influence, who do you think offered first?" He jerks a thumb at hims weakly. "Why do you think a Lady always needs someone else in their vicinity about? I would guess no man can be trusted being alone with proper Lady. Speaking of…" he looks around, trying to find some guard or handmaiden or -anyone- just so a repeat of last night's events are not repeated.
When she takes, he opens his mouth to perhaps warn…oh, too late. "Maybe you should…ah." Then he waits for the reaction he's expecting, which he doesn't really resist the chuckle and snort that comes from him. "Word of the wise; don't try to match drinking wit with someone who has been doing ever since you were a child. No reason to start to fast right away."
Warmth sets in immediately, and she grins at him widely. "Oh, I'm not trying to match you, Ser. I'd die of poisoning before that would happen. I was just going to make sure I got a decent bit before one of two things happens. That you regret giving it to me and take it back, or that my beloved coz walks in and spoils everything." The handmaid that accompanied Bri is suspiciously nowhere to be found, unless someone were looking about outside, and then she might be spotted hovering about the entryway, wringing her hands. "She's outside. You see, I pay much better than does Ilaria's brother."
With a small snicker, she tilts the bottle again, and she appears to have learned better. She takes a few more drinks, smaller than before, and gives a minute shake of her head. "Ser Garett, I will plead guilty should your honor come into question. My family, at least, would never blame you. I'll just say I wrestled it away from you. That's feasible, mm?"
"My honor could be tarnished and would not damage my reputation as a soldier." A hand is waved dismissivly at the idea. "The only thing that would happen would I get a lecture from sister, possibly thiny veiled threats from your family for supplying you with alcohol, and for the betterment of all, most likely I would be shipped to some outpost far away. Though if they really thought it such a slight, they could always throw to guard the Wall, killing hordes of Others wherever they appeared." Watching her drink, there is a gleam of amusment in his normally cold eyes. "I won't let blame come on you. I wouldn't be following my duty as a Knight otherwise; to protect."
"Ah, yes, your cousin. I'm sure she already has somewhat a negative opinion of me. Possibly that I am some kind of lecherous old man, here to take advantage of you. Hmm, wouldn't be the first time, I suppose."
She barks a laugh, genuine, heart felt, and maybe helped along by the sudden alcohol filling the pit of an empty stomach. "Oh… Wait, were you serious?" Briallyn titters for a moment longer before wagging a finger almost at Garett's nose. "Ilaria knows better. She thinks very highly of you, and she thinks I am an irreverent, spoiled girl who was raised by a pack of wolves. Brothers, I mean." She gently sniffs the contents of the bottle, still smiling. "Not always the most savory lot, either, and I'm sure Katrin thinks I'm some flipskirt."
There's a sharpness, then, to her voice, a hint of anger. "We're here to be wed, eventually, though /your/ cousin thinks I'm a nuisance. Swears to the Seven I'll wind up with whoever I deserve. I think she meant it as an insult." She sounds ready to crow with laughter, but it's abated, and her cheeks are slowly taking on a rosy glow. "Nonsense. Ilaria and Katrin will likely wed before I do, both being such upstanding Ladies. I just hope it's to men who deserve 'em. Well, Ilaria, anyway. Kat can eat dirt. Maybe I'll be a spinster."
"And this is because of how you act? How you present yourself?" Garett asks, flicking his wrist in a gesture to ask for that bottle back. "I have no idea about any of that. You'll understand if I go personally out of my way to either ignore or not pay attention to these social games that so many people play. I am a soldier, I have no time for it. And it sounds to me like you don't either." There's a humored scoff that follows that, as if he really took a moment to think about that. "If so, you may of won some respect from me."
"My cousin? You mean Cherise, correct?" Shrug. "I can't tell you anything about her, besides the handful of times I have met her in my life. I knew she was here when Danae asked for me, but little else than that." Suddenly, he looks back at her. "Would that bother you if they did? Is marriage such an important matter in your family? You are not lacking for looks, surely."
"If they married before me? No. The trouble is, I am the only daughter of my father. Lord Brynmore sired four sons before I was born, and my mother didn't have the strength for any to follow." A wry twist of her mouth, and in her words, there is a slight warmth that smoothly slurs several of the words together. She seems to melt against the seat, a soft sigh escaping her as the bottle rests in her lap with a very loose grip upon its neck. "Fortunately, my father is not quite as troublesome as is the fathers of my cousins. I have.. I have some breathing room. Some, but I'll not escape that fate forever. You'd think looks would matter, but they don't. Oh, they help. The improve your prospects, but even I know my behavior, as it were, is more of a deterrent than the face of a drowned rat."
Leaning backward, she glances up into the darkness of the rafters overhead. "My father doesn't expect an amazing match for me, I don't think, and Lady Ceinlys seems to think I ought to find my own way." She makes a soft hmph sound, a close-mouthed laugh, and closes her eyes. "Ah, to have my life. Nothing ever wanting. I've never known hunger, no real fear, unless you count charging boars, and I've always had everything I wanted. With the caveat that some day, I'm expected to 'do my duty'. And should I feel guilty? Knowing that there are people starving, dying, working themselves to death, and my biggest complaint is.. Not enough freedom." Bri's voice, soft and blurred as it is, does sound truly regretful, and her eyes slide shut, brow furrowing. "That must seem so petty to you, Ser."
"No offense by what I say, but in my experience, parents are always more concerned with the sons they have. They will continue the family, they will inheriet the family name, house, holdings, whathaveyou. It is one of the things I happy about, being the second son. The heir and the 'spare', as it were. Being the latter, I am quite content with. Dryion can play head of the family when my parents can no longer do so and the more to him." Garett says, he too leaning back, reaching over to try and pluck that bottle from her lap before she spills the rest of it's contents over herself. "So it is your brother that are why are the way you are? The tomboy that you seem to be?"
Quiet for the moment, he can hear the crip of crickets begin to chirp about them and a few hoots of owls and only now does he believe that it's too late for the run that he told Desmond to do. Looking at his 'competition', he suspects she'd make it twenty feet before faceplanting into the grass. "You keep mentioning this Lady Ceinlys, but truthfully, I have no idea who she is? Relative of yours, I would have to assume." When she brings up the matter of freedoms, he tils his head, possibly in mild surprise. "Petty? Perhaps, but it's not entirely your fault. If there anything I have enjoyed, it has been the freedom. Well, when I was not in the middle of a conflict. Not much is expected of me. I cannot tell you how you should feel about that. Do I feel guilty for the lives I take? Yes, more than you will ever know. But should you feel guilty for the privelege you were born into? That's not for me to say. I would say that you should appreciate what you have, because it could be so much worse. I have lived very poorly at times and sometimes lived very well. There are aspects of both that are appealing, but then again, if you work for what you want, the results are always more worthwhile. I feel if you given something without effort, the reward feels…cheapened."
He is not far wrong. Briallyn remains leaning backward for support, and tilts her head forward, eyes still closed. Mostly because the room, at this point, is lurching in an unsettling manner. "Mmmm.. Mmmhmm. My mother was too tired, my Septa too timid, and my father too busy teaching Gryffith how to be a Knight. My brothers didn't mind my company, not even Gryff. Until I was older, and then, only Einian and Trystre could bear the thought of fussing with a girl, and even then, no wrestling. No foot races. No play jousting." She makes a soft sound beneath her breath, and sitting up is less than ideal.
She leans, leans, and leans until the only reason she doesn't fall over is because she meets the resistance of Garett's shoulder. "Maiden's merry drawers, how do you..? Mmph." Briallyn reaches up and places her slim fingered hands on either side of her head as though that will help. "Now, then.. I.. uh. Wait, what we- Yes. I'm not a tomboy, or maybe.. I am? I don't mind dresses, I don't mind pretty things. I mind frivolous things. Lady Ceinlys is my cousin, the daughter of the Lord of Broadmoor. More important than I am, you see? She's a widow, but has insinuated herself into becoming Castellan of.. Damned, I don't remember. Somewhere."
Doing the polite thing, Garett listens to the slurring words of Bri as the mulled wine finally starts to slam into her. "Well, if you ask me, you turned out fine. Damn the rest of whatever anyone else thinks. That is how I lived my life, my Lady, and besides whatever demons I have to deal with, they are my own, they were not given to me by whatever social graces I have had to tolerate. I will be me before I am made to adapt to being like all the others. Seems to me you apply that to yourself. Just remember, there are always limits, and as you already know so well, it is very easy to dig yourself a hold that you cannot climb out of."
When she slumps against him, he stifles a laugh. "How do I remain standing? By working out every day. And having a lifelong relationship with wine, you become immune to it's effects unless you truly imbube too much." He sighs, looking about, then lifting the bottle to look through it's green glass, taking note that she killed the rest of it, but a few swallows at the very bottom. Which he's more than happy to take. "Well, I should probably get you home before your cousin sends a platoon after you."
For such a man that is built and trained to kill, he is surprisingly graceful, when making the attempt to ease one arm under neck, and the other under the back of her knee, trying to pick her up since she doesn't seem to be the ability to do so herself. Though, he will of course stop if she resists.
"I am the best at digging. Just the /best/. You don't even know, this one, I told Ilaria that…" Luckily, Briallyn completely doesn't finish that thought, shaking her head and muttering something completely unintelligible. "I can't, I can't," she resists. Verbally. She has about as much strength in her body as a newborn babe, and doesn't take notice when he attempts to lift her. "I have to race yer Squire, or he'll thin' I wimped out!" Being lifted is a different matter, and she draws a sharp breath as she stiffens abruptly in his arms. "Wai', wha'.. I.. Oh." Her dark green eyes, still mostly closed up until that very moment, have snapped open. Wide open. Whether they comprehend anything meaningful is another manner, as they're quite glassy. "That isn't necessary, Ser," Briallyn says, deliberating over every single word for the sake of enunciation. "I can walk. Really. I swear. You feel really.. warm."
"Yes, I am sure you would be an absolute -terror- up and down that hill, would you not?" Garett deadpans, making sure his hands are in all the right places and that her skirt isn't going to flare up. "No, to save your honor, my Lady, I will simply him that…" Tilting his back and forth, he seems to be looking up an excuse. "I will tell Demond that you got called away a family matter. A gathering, I will say something." Leaving his backpack next to Regret's stall, he starts to make his way out of the stable.
"My Lady, I have been a frequenter of taverns, alehouses, and inns for a very long time. I know stumbling drunk when I see it. And you, would not make it too far, and I doubt even you would want to explain just how you managed to dirty or tear your dress, yes?" he explains simply, cradling her in his arms. And even for a man who has been seen drinking for the majority of the day on and off, he has surprisingly good coordination, carrying her like she weighs very little. There's an odd gridning sound that comes from his left as he walks as well since her head is so close to it.
"I would beat him down the hill," she murmurs, her breath tickling his ear as she laughs, and even her laugh is muffled. "But, only because I likely rolled to the bottom." Briallyn relents, muttering a few choice, impressive, curses. As they near the entrance of the stable, the maidservant is hovering there and stares at Ser Garett as if he's grown a second head as she catches sight of Bri curled up loosely in his arms. "I twisted my ankle, Adelia," the youth says, with dignity, though only half the words are heard since her face is nearly plastered against Garett's neck. And slurred, heavily. The woman looks skeptical, but the man is a Knight, and she diverts her gaze submissively after muttering an appropriate 'm'lord' and dipping a curtsy to fall in line behind him.
Resistance is minimal, and she isn't heavy, not comparatively, despite being nothing more than dead weight. And in spite of the scent of stale sweat, horse flesh, and liquor that sticks to Garett's skin, none of it seems to keep her from drifting off, face blessedly hidden against his shoulder and neck.
"I could not let her just stumble her way home and make the injury worse. If you would allow me to carry her home, it would be my honor. I gave her a bit of wine to dull the pain." Garett says, putting on a rather stoic face for the handmaiden and explaining, or at least attempting to, her slightly slurred speech. Upon giving permission, he nods at her politely before beginning the track to where she happens to be saying. "Oh, I can already imagine the look on whoever opens the door. I will hope that you will be awake when that happens, just so I do not have to face the ire of that alone."
Yes, he could certainly smell better, and he hadn't really considered the idea that he'd be carrying someone home after they tried to play ball with someone who drinks like it's his reason for living. "And if you had," he suddenly brings up the hillrace. "How would explain the marks on you from it? That you tripped and fell down a stairwell filled with door handles?"
"Of course, m'lord. I didn't mean to imply anything, Ser," the handmaiden, a timid woman several years Briallyn's elder, and taller besides. Despite a subordinate roll and downcast eyes, the woman can't help but glance at the Knight's mumbling, staring at the back of his calves with mild surprise. However, she can still feel the jingle of heavy coins in her pocket, and it keeps her from asking anything. Nobility business isn't hers, and the Lady isn't in any immediate danger that she can see. Briallyn mutters something thickly against Garett's neck, unintelligibly, and lifts a hand to rub at her eyes with less than ideal coordination. She misses the Knight's face by about an inch.
"Uh-huh." is Garett utters, not restraining his amusement. "Next time you want to go traipsing about a stable and twisting your ankle, I may not be around. I will hope this teach you a lesson." he notes, the usual coldness, while frosty, is dryer when it comes to wit. He continues onward. At some point he has to shaker slightly. "I won't know where I'm going unless you point me in the right direction." then having to turn his neck a little at the continued breathing on it. "Gods, you're passed out." he suddenly realizes shaking his head.
"Am nah," she mutters with a giggle of pure stupidity, and she is not a native giggler. The sound sounds strange coming out of her, and the answer to where they're going is not immediately forthcoming until several minutes later, when she abruptly points… upward? The hand crumbles, dropping like the dead weight it is to dangle over the side of Garett's arm. At no point during this does her breathing alter in any way. The handmaiden clears her throat discreetly, and directs Ser Garett down a particular street.
It could be said that there's a bit more humanity in Garett when he's dealing with someone that pretty messy right now. Probably because he understands that more than most people do. That said, he's gone from ice cold to…chilly. He even laughs when she points upward, jerking his arm a little to get her arm to flop back over onto her lap.
At the directions given to the handmaiden, he nods. "My thanks, madame." before continuing on. "I will be expecting next time that if you want to share a drink, we will have to do so in a better setting. But I do think that I could tell you just about anything and at this point, you would believe it. Like, I once killed six men with a single arrow. And a spoon."
The handmaiden's quiet sound of disbelief is drowned out by the strangled eruption of laughter, mercifully muffled against Garett's skin, as Briallyn starts laughing nonsensically. It takes several actual minutes before she's calm enough to do more than snort, giggle, or hiccough. When she recovers, somewhat, head still filled with fluff, she mutters. "Really? Why a spoon?" At the handmaid's urging, they turn down another street while the woman's head swings this way and that nervously, seeking out anyone who might be keeping a closer eye than would be preferred.
"Well, our company was attacked by a group of bandits during meal time." Garett starts, seeming to be more in his element when asked to recite war stories. Seems more…human, perhaps, than an emotionless statue. "So naturally, we had no weapon or armor at the ready when it occurred, only those patroling the perimeter. Overrunning those quickly, we had to rush to get to gear. In my haste I had yet to let go of the spoon I was carrying. The arrow I managed to get when I took from a post it had been shot into. So with an arrowtip and spoon being my only weapons, I fought my way back to my own weapon. I will not go into details, but a great of close range fighting. One's throat is quite susceptible to a metal spoon, if enough pressure is applied." Of course, he does expalin this rather easily, like it's the same as the weather.
@emit Susceptible is a better word than gullible for her state, and his explanation makes perfect sense to an addled mind. She makes small sound, and her arm, one of which is slung across his shoulders, pats limply at the opposite shoulder from the one her head lies upon. "Gallant knight," she murmurs affectionately, snickering thickly at the imagined scenario. "Do ya use pot lids for shields, too?" A smartass to the bitter end, and she has the audacity to laugh at her own joke, nearly tripping over her tongue saying it. With each step, she is jolted just a little, enough to keep her in some state of wakefulness, even if not fully.
Susceptible is a better word than gullible for her state, and his explanation makes perfect sense to an addled mind. She makes small sound, and her arm, one of which is slung across his shoulders, pats limply at the opposite shoulder from the one her head lies upon. "Gallant knight," she murmurs affectionately, snickering thickly at the imagined scenario. "Do ya use pot lids for shields, too?" A smartass to the bitter end, and she has the audacity to laugh at her own joke, nearly tripping over her tongue saying it. With each step, she is jolted just a little, enough to keep her in some state of wakefulness, even if not fully.
For once, he actually flushes just barely at the idea of being gallant. Or maybe it's just the way she said it. "Well, no, we only give the pot lids to the new recuits. If they preform well, we upgrade them from a butter knife to a steak knife." he quirps, humor dry as ever. There's something about the way she laughs that causes him to laugh in unison with her, lightly, like an odd chuckle he's not used to, but it's there. "Anyways, once we had finished with them, needless to say, dinner was thouroughly runied. However, bandits are the type that, while not having an abundance of food supplies on them, they do tend to carry quite a bit of mead. So, it wasn't a totally wasted night."
The woman leading Garett, out of necessity rather than preference, comes to a short stop before a looming, multistoried building that appears to be an inn of decent means. "Don' worry," Briallyn is murmuring, unawares of their destination and their arrival, patting his shoulder awkwardly. More of a brush of her fingertips, really, given that his shoulders are too broad to properly pat him. "M'good with arrows, I'll protect you from brigands." The ridiculousness of that statement isn't quite lost on her, and she manages another delighted laugh made husky by alcohol. And then, the stillness finally reaches her, and she cracks her eyes, blinking owlishly. It takes some time for it to process, but once it does, Bri makes an anguished, mournful sound.
"Oh, then I shall worry not, then." Coming up to the front of the rather large house, the Knight help but look up athe grandeur of it. Coming from something of a poor House and a poor family, he is not really used to this, having never been near them like, nevermind actually inside. Looking about for guards or others, he is a bit at a loss as in what to do, swinging himself and her about. "I will take her inside, if need be." he offers quietly. "Unless, there is already something being done about it." No, not a situation he's actually been in before. "Yes, you are home, my Lady. Stay off the ankle for a bit. You should be fine in a day or so."
It's not exactly the equivalent of having cold water dumped on you, but the sudden realization of the situation is enough to stir some sense of alert in the fog of her mind. Her fingers, upon the hand stretched out across his shoulders, dig into the shoulder with a surprisingly fierce grip. "My.. ank- Oh, yes, right," she mutters, blinking at the brightly lit lanterns carefully employed outside the establishment. And yet, Briallyn doesn't relinquish her grip, or realize that she has one. The handmaid glances around nervously still, like a rabbit expecting the pounce. "Yes, yes. Best if done quietly," the woman agrees, sounding truly fearful as she very quietly presses open the great door leading into the establishment. Bri utters a soft curse, buries her face in Garett's neck on purpose for the first time since being lifted. "Should I get the Lady something to drink?" It's a polite question, but also an urgent question, on the part of the handmaiden.
Could Garett actually be looking out for the young noblewoman's welfare? Probably, it's part of what being a Knight is all about. Carrying her inside, he will follow the handmaiden wherever she leads him. "Yes. Water. And a strip of cloth. Her ankle will need to be wrapped to support the weight until the soreness subsides." No, it's not like he hasn't had this happen to him at all. Damn gopher holes while marching. The arm that cradles her shoulders pats lightly against, as if for emotional support. Her fingers that dig into his neck don't seem to get any reaction. She could probably dig deep enough to draw blood and she would mostly be politely asked to stop. Pain tolerance, good thing to have.
None of her family appears to be in the vicinity, though a number of guards, off-duty or not, are loitering about and offering Ser Garett some rather inquisitive stares. "Of course, m'lord," the woman says, before darting away quickly to obey and disappearing into the recesses of shadow that can no doubt be a kitchen related area. At that point, Briallyn, stiff as a board in Garett's arms, begins whispering conspiratorially into his ear. There's still a distinct slur in her voice, and no doubt a little madness, but bleak humor, as well. "There aren't many of them, are there, Ser? I'm sure you could take them, and then we could flee as fast as possible in the other direction. Or.. You could. I don't.. feel so well." Her voice is hushed and rough as she speaks, and as she falls quiet, Adelia has reappeared with a smooth wooden cup and a number of strips, likely from rags.
Looking about, Garett is starting to realize the kind of situation that this is turning into. And the kind fallout it's probably going to cause. He can hear his sister and cousin yelling now, and it's already going to give him a headache. Well, nothing is going to help that now. So, carrying her to the nearest padded couch/bench/whathaveyou, he gingerly sets her down. Making her one of legs is extended, he looks around first. "I am going to wrap her ankle, with her permission." he states, kneeling down next to her. Noting the water, he looks at Bri. "Drink." he tells her. If there's one thing he's learned from countless nights drinking, water tends to not make one feel as fuzzy. "She is probably going to ask for something rather greasy in the morning to eat." Oh, he's just waiting for the guards to snicker hearing that.
Briallyn grudgingly goes along with the story, as it is the best cover that she could possibly think of. Maybe a better story would come along later, but it has yet to occur to her. She is pliant as he sets her down, relaxing only enough to allow ease for him to do so. "I'm not thirsty," she complains, even as she lifts the cup to her lips to obey. She drips water over her chin, as the cup has some mild difficulty reaching her mouth, but she drinks it after a time. She chokes on the water quite promptly at the ribbing between the guards, their voices lowered, but the tone is enough to discern their intent. Adelia pretends not to notice, and primly tucks back the first several inches of the Lady's hem.
Her shoes reveal a great deal about her; no slippers. Leather boots, worn leather, and fitted well to foot and calf, no heels. They're the boots one might wear for hunting, for flexibility, and tread. Briallyn tilts her head to stare up at the ceiling with glassy eyes, her flushed face hiding any blush that might stir from having the dress lifted to expose the 'injured' ankle.
Garett would like to be surprised by the whole boot wearing noblewoman, but for some reason, after speaking with her for as long as he as, this isn't a shockingly new develoupment. But after doing this very kind of procedure for himself and other wounded soldier who were actually injured and not just making up some excuse to get away drinking, he knows how to make it look rather belieable. The boot is carefully taken off and set aside. "No arguing, please. Drink." he states again to her.
Taking the strips of cloth, he takes her ankle in his hand, lifting it enough for her heel to rest on his knee. His hands are calloused. Warrior's hands, used to being wrapped around the handle of a weapon, or straping armor to the body. Hands that injured and hands that have killed. Hands that, as the man himself says, know much guilt and regret. But he works fast, incase someone of actual relation shows up. He actually has to take off his signet ring and set it aside, as it was getting in the way of his work. The wrap starts at the bottom of her foot, and is start to be around the ankle, going so far as the lower part of her calf for support. It's tied down a bit tightly, to give the idea that her ankle was actually twisted.
She glares at him over the rim of the wooden cup, but offers no argument as the man works magic on her supposedly twisted ankle. Briallyn grunts softly at the applied pressure, tries not to think about his hands during the process, fails and grins like a bloody fool. "Ser Knight, thank you so much for caring for my Lady," Adelia says, stepping more firmly into view to block that of the guardsmen who are staring at the trio rather intently. "I should've been there, but I was taking a bit of air. Horses don't always agree with me." Dark green eyes, still glazed, slip back and forth slowly over the woman and the Knight. "Aye, Ser Garett," she mutters, mouth half full of water. "Thank you." She tries to sound as sincere as she can, but the grin is just ruining the effect of her words. Glancing down at her foot, Bri wiggles her toes within the light woolen stocking. "Is it supposed to be that tight?" She inquires in hushed tones.
"It was nothing." Garett replies. "And let her family know that I will tate total responsibility for her injury. I was not watching her close enough when she tripped. I should have been more watchful." he replies cordially. "As for her demeanor. I am the one that gave the wine. I had thought it would help dull the pain of her ankle. I wasn't aware of how little she was able to handle. Agian, that is my folly and will bear whatever is due to it. Worry not, I understand that feeling. Stables are not the most pleasent of places to be around."
Now looking at Briallyn, he nods. "The pressure is required to prevent too much swelling and so you can walk better, taking some weight off that leg. Like I said, it wasn't a bad sprain, but be careful. If you no longer feel sensation in your toes, loosen it until you can. But, you should be fine." Finally looking about, he realizes just where he is again. "If there is nothing else, I should probably take my leave."
It's about the time when she starts to slosh that she finishes her water with a face, and shoves the cup clumsily in the direction of Adelia, who is standing at her elbow. "Don't be daft, Ser," she says with her usually prickly attitude, but the effect is ruined when she shakes her head to clear it of the spinning room. "You can only protect someone so much. Some times, you can't protect them from themselves," she says, wagging a finger humorously. It seems Briallyn might make an attempt to stand, but as the room begins to swim, she wisely settles back down before she can fall over and truly hurt herself.
Wetting dry lips, she peers with her usual inappropriate intensity at the man, taking in his clothing, the total state of his person, and a sly idea occurs to her even through the fuzz coating her mind. "Aye, that is best. I should retire, but I feel I must offer you some recompense for aiding me." That shit-eating grin is not an unfamiliar one, but it's a little crooked and toothy from drink. "For the evening, the least I can do is rent you a room with bath and meals enough to get you through the morning hours. And drink, to replace what I took." Delicious bait, that, given the quality of the place. The alcohol in particular.
"Well, of course, but I pride myself on the my skill. I suppose something of a perfectionist." Garett notes inreponse. In the process of bowing to those present like the good Knight that he is and his task for the night finished, Briallyn decides to throw him a curve that he clearly wasn't exactly expecting. And it truly befuddles him, looking at something at a loss. Which is now -twice- that this woman has managed to get that look at him, so unvery like him.
"I, ah…are you sure?" he manages to say after just standing there for a moment. "I mean, I have no desire to impose on you or your family." But then she mentions the quality of alcohol, which in turn would mean the hard stuff. The good stuff. The kind of stuff that would actually make a real impact on him. And even being noble, that's not something he really ever gets the oppurtunity for. "That's er, quite the gracious, but…again, I have no wish. So as long as the Lord of the his house has no issue with it…" He's probably covering all his bases by saying and to some extent, her's too. Then again, this idea is so alien to him, he hasn't really acted like a noble in a long time. And it shows. That's what you get for being off and fighting wars for far too long.
"Imposing on my family?" She arches a fine mahogany brow at his words, and then snorts softly. "Unless you planned on sharing a room with one of us, I can't see how that would impose…" She seems to realize the implication of her words, and doesn't quite finish the thought. The worst of it has already escaped her mouth, and the guardsmen are quite alert, watching the interactions between the two with perfectly unreadable expressions. Internally cursing, she flashes Ser Garett an awkward smile, face still flush. "It's no imposition, Ser Knight. None at all. You deserve a decent bed for the night, I insist." Not that he'll know what he's sleeping on once he's had it in at the bar. She unties something at her waist, and removes a small velvet purse from just beneath the edge of her corset.
Humming under her breath, she tries, and fails, to count out the appropriate sum. Approximating it instead, she reaches out, misses, reaches out again, and snags Garett's hand. "A proper Knight, and noblewoman, deserves better," she says more softly, staring at him for a moment before dumping a number of silver coins in to his hand. The purse isn't empty, and it's quickly returned to its place. "Do take care of yourself, Ser Garett, won't you?" Briallyn finally makes a definite attempt to rise to her feet, and the stumble isn't faked. Her balance is hardly adequate, even though she slurs only every other word instead of drooling on herself. Adelia is there, however, to offer a shoulder for Bri to lean on.
Garett knows enough that it would be improper to say no to such an offer, even under the circumstances and Briallyn is going out of her way to point out that it isn't a problem." Though he blanches a little her, wide-eyed at some of her other comments, suddenly more keenly aware of the number of eyes that are now probably watching his reaction. But he's trained well for reason, and just like the other guards there, he's quite able to look very statuesqe. He doesn't fight her taking his hand, looking down to hear the clink of coins that fall into his hand. "Thank you, Lady Briallyn." he says, before snapping out of that frozen state and reaching for her in a flash. But with the handmaiden there, he comes up short. "I will let you retire then. Take care of your ankle."
"Thank you, Ser. Take care of yourself, and get some rest." Her voice is firm, even if it's softly fuzzed by a tongue still redolent with alcohol. You'd think with an expression like that that she was heading for the gallows. She gives Garett a distinct 'save me!' glance before ducking her head, her shoulders slump, and she begins the long, uncomfortable walk towards the stairs. Briallyn is quite good at pretending her ankle is twisted, leaning heavily into Adelia for actual support. Fortunately, the woman is taller and broader than she and supports the young woman all the way to the stairs, standing firmly behind her as she takes what seems like ages to disappear from view. The guardsmen, still watching like hawks, seem to relax and begin talking within mere moments of Briallyn's disappearance with her maid in tow. More than a few glances are given Garett's way, and they share a couple of chuckles. Truthfully, soldiers are the worst sorts of gossipers.
And Garett knows that, giving them both looks that suggests 'yeah yeah, yack it up'. But he has nothing to hide. Bri was brought back all in one peice with her innocence intact. As much as he'd like to look over his shoulder to make sure she's really playing off the injury, better to decide against it and as he leave and the door shut behind him, he reaches up to run his hand over his face, an odd 'blaugh' sound puttering out from his lips. It's only at that point that he blinks, and looks at his as he's in the process of walking away, suddenly realizing he didn't take back his signet ring after finishing with Bri's bandanges. A ring that's still sitting inside the manor, on some couch. Letting out an actual audible groan, going back now would look horrible, like it's an excuse to see it again. With any luck, maybe she picked up. Can't worry about it now, so might as well retreat back to the inn.