|Mothers and Matriarchs|
|Summary:||Jacsen is mothered over.|
|Related Logs:||Ties That Bind, A Quiet Moment, Catching Breath|
|Great pillars rise above the occupants of the room, the ceiling arching across the structural supports in a lovely feat of construction. The north and south walls have expansive windows that filter in sunshine during the day while ornately designed torches provide light at night. The room is large enough to host a great feast for quite a number of people but the tables are typically kept elsewhere. The Lord's Throne is at the west end of the room on a dais with a high, circular window that brings in the setting sun with the late afternoons.|
|1st day of the 1st month, 289 AL|
As the day draws on, Jacsen stands in the throne room speaking with a pair of guardsmen, ostensibly about the recruitment efforts amongst the small folk. Though it might have surprised yesterday, today most seem not to blink an eye at the Young Lord in a breastplate, with a sword buckled to his side. Some might even take some small comfort in it. He braces himself up with the assistance of his cane, as ramrod straight as he can manage to be.
Where other ladies wear the distress of the siege in varying degrees, Evangeline does not, the picture of a Lord's wife in a dress that falls elegantly over her small frame. The soft velvet is already black, taken from the back of a closet of a woman old enough to have mourned others before, and like to mourn others again in this same dress. What other duties may have kept her away are escaped from, a meal carefully made up of that which they are serving the smallfolk, plain but filling and more of it, for the Terrick heir. She bares this herself to Jacsen's side instead of sending a servant, the fall of her fingers on his arm light enough not to be felt. "I am sorry to interrupt, but I have need of my son," she says to those guardsmen.
Jacsen cuts a glance towards his mother as she nears, a small if warm smile winning over his otherwise serious expression. "Good job, both of you," he tells the guardsmen as his mother closes with him, and the both of them are certain to over Evangeline their proper respects. When she bids them go, they glance at the Young Lord, whom affirms his mother's instruction. "Go, find your dinners and we will continue this in the morning." The men depart without much of a look from him, his attention already turning to Evangeline. "You have me, my lady," he assures her. "Is everything…?" Nothing is alright, that much he knows, but catches the expression a heartbeat too late to speak differently.
"We exist much as we did an hour ago, or the hour before," Evangeline answers to the abandoned question, rather deft in the way she turns the touch on Jacsen's arm to trying to guide him to a table. "But you have again missed a meal, and you will be no good to anyone if you work yourself to sickness."
With the throne room mostly vacated at the moment, Jacsen seems inclined to let his mother guide him how she will, his posture slipping a touch without the eyes of expectation so prominently upon him. "I didn't mean to," he assures her, frowning a touch as he draws out a chair and lowers himself laboriously into it. He settles for a sincere "Thank you", beyond that.
The food is set before him before Evangeline finds her own chair, arranging her skirts deftly even as she sits. "Would you care for wine?" she questions with a small, acknowledging flicker of a smile for the thanks. "You do well with the men."
"A small cup, if you'd please. But only that. I'd really rather not run out for a time…" Jacsen, whom is notorious for skipping meals, or only picking at his food, is very deliberate with the meal put in front of him. Whether the renewed work has given him an appetite, or the prospect of potential starvation compels him, he does begin to eat. The compliment from his mother draws a small smile again. "I am doing what I can, as my lord bid me. I am glad you think as much."
The process of summon wine is a small one, a gesture made slightly to a well-trained servant where Evangeline catches one. The servant disappears and her attention turns back to her son with a mild smile. "I do, my love. You inspire men, and with Ser Hardwicke so injured and distracted, it is best that you are there to guide them," she murmurs with a lift of fingers to smooth at a patch of hair on her son's head. "Hard times do well on you."
He's as grateful for the wine as the meal, taking a small sip before returning to the food. "I have been fortunate to watch both my lord father and Lord Jason in my years, and hope to have learned a great deal from them both," Jacsen explains, though it's clear the praise is itself well taken. "But what's this about Ser Hardwicke being distracted? I know his wound was serious, but…"
"Pain can be quite distracting to us all. And women to you men, especially pretty enough ones that will sit by your bedsides as you recover," Evangeline answers with a touch of quirked, warm humor to affectionate words as she tweaks a lock of hair softly and fetches up her own glass. "Has your lord father spoken to you further on your task of training the men? He made mention that it is to be put in Ser Hardwicke's hands?"
Jacsen's brow climbs as he reaches for the wine, his eyes considering his mother over the rim of the cup. "You're referring to the Beckett woman he's taken up with…?" But it's the latter comment that earns most of his attention, along with an attendant shrug, "It makes sense. He's the Captain of the Guard, and a knight sworn, with years of experience. He's more suited to such work than I, for all my willingness to do it."
Nodding only with the slight, soft incline of her chin as her glass presses to her lips, Evangeline only murmurs an agreeable, "Perhaps, but I do not think you should be discounted so easily, my love, my dear." A pause fills a brief moment, gaze finding Jacsen with a slide of dark eyes over his features. "But then, you are my blood, so I may be biased in believing that you are up to any task put to you."
"You think… I'm being discounted in this?" Jacsen wonders of the Lady of the Roost, the same woman he calls mother, setting down his cup in favor of the simple fare put out before him. He scoops up another mouthful, and goes on chewing as he ponders Evangeline.
In a slight shuffling motion and a quiet tone, Aubra slowly makes her way through the entrance to the Throne Room from the kitchens and down toward where Evangeline and Jacsen are seated. As she get to a fairly close location, she clears her throat slightly, offers a little bow to both of them, and speaks up. "M'lady, m'lord." She looks at each of them in turn.
"I only worry at it, as a mother will fuss over such things. It is simply how we are," Evangeline answers, her glass again raised to her lips for a healthy sip of the liquid before her attention is caught by Aubra's approach. She almost smiles, the touch of it, as she questions, "Is that not so, Aubra?"
The meal, not terribly large, is mostly finished by the time Aubra joins the pair of Terricks, and so Jacsen has little trouble in setting his spoon aside for a handkerchief that might blot the food from his mouth. "Evening, Aubra," he offers with a faint smile. "And do not worry so much, my lady. I trust in my lord father's judgment."
Bowing her head, Aubra offers a little smile to Evangeline. "As you say, m'lady. A mother would do just about anything for her children, including worry all the time and fuss over the smallest of things." She tilts her head to one side. She opens her mouth as if to say something, but start to hesitate. "M'lady…m'lord. I know it is not my job as to enquire about such matters, but might I make an enquiry?"
"We speak only of the matter of training the smallfolk, that Lord Jerold has commanded Jacsen to," Evangeline answers for the woman, nodding at a chair in an invitation to sit. "I am sure you would be of a mind of me, that Jacsen is capable in anything."
Jacsen is decorated quite differently than usual, wearing a breastplate and a sword at his hip, evidence of the new duties put upon him by the Lord of the Roost. "If you agree with my mother," he warns, albeit kindly, "Then know I will think you both far too idealistic." His lips quirk a touch as he reaches for his wine. "But I shall do my best at what is given me, that much I can swear to."
Aubra makes her way, as her pace is wanting, to the offered chair and sits, resting her weary bones. "We've both seen you grow, m'Lord Jacsen. I would agree with m'Lady of the Roost that you can do anything. You just need to put your mind to it." She responds firmly, eyes staring at Jacsen with intent to go along with her words, as if to say she means every single thing she has said. Which she usually does anyway, unless she's obviously joking around. Taking a deep breath in, she looks at the two seated about her and she says, "I know it has not been long since the Ironborn first attacked, but I am wondering, has an envoy been sent to them to speak about these matters?"
"I doubt an envoy would be met with much but steel and death, Aubra, but it is for Lord Ser Jerold to decide. He knows of what they come for, and it is not something we can give," Evangeline says as she sips at her wine, a murmur of words that hold tension at the topic.
Jacsen shakes his head slightly at Aubra's question, and his eyes seem to signal agreement with Evangeline's assessment. "They do not come for such things that can be talked over, I'm afraid. Now it is simply a matter of whether or not we can hold on to it long enough for relief to arrive, or if we shall not." He tips back his head and drains the rest of his small cup of wine. "I mean to see to it," he tells them both, with a meaningful glance for each, "That we shall." He sets down his cup, the heavy bottom thudding on the table with a sense of finality.
"Of course. I know that all of you are doing whatever you can to keep us all safe." Aubra bows her head, blinking her multicoloured eyes slowly. "I should care to offer my services in this matter, if they be needed, however. I might be met with steel, as anyone may be. However, I have served this family long, and I've knowledge that may still yet be of use to this family. Both in matters of having Ironborn and their lives and in other regard. I would like to offer this knowledge to use against the Ironborn as best I can." She sighs. "That is my piece in the matter." She offers a wide smile, which is eerie in its own way, to Jacsen. "I know you, your Lord Father and Lady Mother here shall do all that is possible to see us through.".
"And with such a reminder, I must return to my own duties. There is much to take stock of and many mouths to feed." This is a polite excuse as the lady stirs to her feet, the fall of black velvet skirts rustling as Evangeline straightens them under the careful smooth of fingers. "See that he rests properly please, Mistress Aubra," she says of her son with a nod, glancing towards Jacsen for a moment before she fills his cup again.
He reaches out a hand to cover his cup, a polite refusal of the wine. "I've some work yet to be done, my lady, though I shall think of rest and another cup to send me there in good time," Jacsen promises his mother, and Aubra by the cant of his eyes.
"M'lady." Aubra stands and offers Evangeline a little bow. "Should you be in need of anything, m'lady, be sure to send for me. I'll be around." She makes to look at Jacsen, eyeing the young man. "Do not work yourself too hard, m'lord. I'll be around to check in on you, to make sure you get your rest. You need to be at full strength, now more than ever." And with another bow, she starts to putter off.