|One Of Us|
|Summary:||Riordan and Jocelyn converse about what it means to have family and friends.|
|Related Logs:||Scandalous Harpies|
|Fortress of the Sevens — Hag's Mire|
|Within the heart of the ancestral keep of House Nayland|
|Tue May 29, 289|
It's late, in the Mire, though not especially ridiculously slow. Still, most have likely found their beds… but not Riordan Nayland, or at least not yet. Having spent a longer time then he intended in the stables after the family gathering, it is only now that he slowly makes his way through the Fortress of the Sevens to find his quarters.
Jocelyn couldnt sleep after the family meeting. Her mind would not rest. She had went to her chamber as her Cousin had directed her too, but she couldnt stay put. Perhaps it was the Nayland in her that made her disobey as she did. With her Ladies Maid she moved through the halls. She wasnt exactly pacing, but she wasnt going in any particular direction either. Letting out a sigh she says to her Maid. "Its a wonder I dont feel more lost in this Family, Gilda."
Even hear, in the halls, the songs of the Mire at night can be heard. The frogs, the bugs, the birds. It is all music to Riordan's ears, and already the effects of that song, and the effects of having spent time with his horses, have clearly relaxed him. Gone is any lingering tension before, and all that is left is a slightly weary, but otherwise light hearted man. And as he hears a voice break the noise of the Mire, he turns the corner and comes across his cousin. "I felt the same way when I first came back from Harrenhal," he tells her, not bothering to apologize for coming in the middle of a conversation between his cousin and her maid. He simply nods to the latter, and gives a warm smile to the former.
Startled, Jocelyn turns at the voice of her Male cousin. "Oh its you." she says and breaks into a small smile. "I'm glad of all people it was you that heard that and not your brother." she says and turns back to where she was looking towards the sounds of the frogs. She sighs softly, "I'm sorry cousin, I did mean for you or anyone to hear that remark." she doesnt meet his gaze and instead stands where she is, unmoving.
"Yes, he's fun, our Rutger, isn't he?" Riordan asks, with a rather wry smile. But then the smile lessens, and becomes a small, understanding, warm thing. Taking his cousin by the hand, for now ignoring her made, he draws her towards the nearest window. "Don't apologize. We are all family, and we all love eachother… but that does not ensure we shall always like eachother, or agree. And it can't be easy, coming to a place of strangers, and yet knowing that you should love and respect them." As they take their place by the window, he leans against the sill, looking outside into the night, and gives Jocelyn's hand a squeeze. "You hear that? That's the sound of home, Cousin. Seven years spent largely away from it, and when I came back… that was how I knew that I belonged. How I knew that these strangers were still my family, the people I remembered sometimes only faintly. For even when the people change, that sound that each of us were born to… it remains constant." He pauses, before amending with a wistful smile, "Well, that and Roslyn. However much either of us had changed when apart, our letters kept me connected to this place, and to her." A realization occurs to him, and he regards his cousin, asking quietly, "You did not have that, did you?"
"It sounds like the sound of a foreign land, Cousin." Jocelyn tells him as he takes her hand and guides her over to the window. She isnt smiling so much now, but the warmth in her face is not all gone. The squeeze on her hand returns her gaze to Riordan and she squeezes in return. "No. I didnt have that. Nor will I ever, I dare say." she say in reference to the connect that he had with his sister. Now she frowns and she looks out the window, "I never recieved letter from my family. Not ones of warmth or longing. Mustly if I got a letter, I feared someone had died. It was only to inform me of something that as a Nayland they had deemed me to know about."
"Really?" Riordan asks, looking surprised at her comment about the sounds of the Mire. He shakes his head, and after another squeeze he releases her hand, and turns back to the window, both hands on the sill as he listens, and considers. "I'm sorry," he finally says, glancing back to Jocelyn after a minute, truly meaning it. "I… I wish I had known. Mind you, my handwriting is not nearly so neat or readable as my sister's… but I would rather you had put up with that then the lack of connection to your family." He offers up another small, wry smile, but one that is apologetic and sympathetic as well. "We must truly all seem mad, then. Especially after tonight."
Perhaps she wasnt being completely truthful when she said a foreign land, but she would not take back the statement. She was in a mood it seemed. "You've nothing to be sorry for, Cousin." she lets her hand drop to her side when he releases her hand. "You didnt know." she sighs and leans a shoulder against the wall beside the window. "I think that is why I feel so lost sometimes amoungst you all. I want so desperately to fit in, to be one of you, to be part of the family, that I forgot I've not really ever been apart of it. Or at the very least, not when it mattered." there is a pause. "I've missed so much…" she says softly. "You do not seem mad, you seem interesting. All of you do."
Nodding slowly, Riordan shifts to lean against the wall on the other side of the window, leaning his head against the wall and looking at Jocelyn. "The truth is, it's been a long time since our family has been whole. If it ever was. Family is the most important thing to a Nayland… and yet, we have all drifted apart, I think. Some of us to page and squire, others to foster… then duties, and scandal, and… Dear Seven, but I just want a day, a single day when it is just family, and friends, and nothing else." Riordan says all this quietly, pitched just for his cousin, his tone just a tad wistful. "When we aren't just putting on airs of support, but actually doing it. Just… being there for eachother." And then Riordan breaks the wistfulness with a sharp chuckle. "Sweet Seven, but I'm waxing rather maudlin. But yes, I suppose we are rather interesting, aren't we?" He considers Jocelyn with a light smile. "You yourself are rather interesting too, cousin."
"Dare to dream, Cousin." Jocelyn retorts and snickers when he speaks of them all being together. Family and friends alike. "You should know by now, we dont have friends. We just have people that we happen to get along with better than most." She turns so that her back is against the wall and her head can rest there, if she was being honest, she'd never had a real friend before either. And if her comment said anything, it hinted at that. She was having a loathing day it would seem. "Interesting was putting it lightly, Cousin." a small grin lifts one side of her mouth and she turns to roll her head to look at him again, "I am not interesting. How can a mute be interesting? I say so little."
"In that, Cousin, you're wrong. Family always come first… but friends are important. They make life more bearable, more fun. My best friend is my sister, Roslyn, it is true… but I also have friends outside the family as well." Riordan says this disagreement gently, but with surety, even as he studies his lady cousin from their casual leaning positions on either end of the window. "A friend isn't someone you like. It's someone you trust and who makes life bearable. Someone you can count on to be there for you, and who can count on you." He pauses, perhaps catching something in her tone. "Surely, you've had someone like that, have you not, Cousin?" The comment about her being a mute has him raising an eyebrow and smiling in clear disagreement, but for now he seems focused on discovering the answer to his question, before going in to why he thinks Jocelyn is interesting.
Jocelyn listen and nods along to her Cousin, having seen Roslyn and Rio togather, she well knows that they are close. Even after tonight it would be able to be known. She chooses not to answer his question and just lifts her brows and then lets them drop as she takes her gaze from his again. "You are lucky, Cousin." she says after a long pause. "To be so sure of many things. To have your sister." there an underlying tone in her voice that cant be placed just now. But she says nothing else than that, she lets the rest settle in the air.
"And you have your brothers," Riordan reminds, gently. And then, as if realizing just who Jocelyn's brothers are, he ammends, with a warm smile, "And you've your favorite cousin." He gives her a wink and his most infectious of smiles. BOYISH CHARM. "The rest will come with time. And in the meanwhile… do you know why I find you interesting?" he then asks, teasing her with his question.
Jocelyn gives Rio a look when he mentions that she has her brothers, she actually laughs, "The ones that have not even come to greet me since my arrival?" she asks him in return. "Yes, I have brothers." and that infectious smile works and she is grinning once more. "You win, Cousin. You've caught my curiosity, why do you mind me interesting?"
Riordan practically beams, having won Jocelyn over once more - and thankfully making up for putting his foot in his mouth a few seconds before. "Well…" he begins, dragging out the answer for a moment, before laughing, and giving Jocelyn her answer. "For one, there is the way you just seem to fit in. You know when to be quiet and learn, and when to speak up and say the right thing. You have a great sense of humor, but are careful as to when to reveal it. You make me feel at ease, like we've known eachother for years, even though we've only recently become reacquainted. And you do all of this without being disengenious. You are careful… but I think you are also genuine, at least with me. And that is something that I think is rather lacking, these days, and something I treasure greatly." A warm smile continuing to grow as he speaks, he pauses only briefly, before adding, "But all of these qualities also makes you very dangerous, I think, and I rather pity the man who you will one day call husband." It's not an insult, but rather praise, because he trusts that Jocelyn will turn her husband to the Nayland cause in a very short time indeed, whoever he may be. "Oh, and there is also the way you can cure hangovers…" Mustn't forget that.
The praise and well meaning things that are said about her truely bring Jocelyn to a lighter mood. She was different, it was true, but perhaps, as Rio had just pointed out, it was not at all lacking and all the more dangerous and made her fit in all the more than she realized. Without warning she leans across the window sill, and with the witness of her maid not all that far she kisses her cousin on the cheek. "Thank you, Cousin." she says softly when she pulls back from him. "I think I needed to hear just that." Taking a step and then two back away from him after her comment. "I feel lost at times and I need someone to pull me back to reality so that I may focus and i feel you've done just that." She glances at her Maid and then back at Rio, "I think I should return to my chambers now before my Maid faints from the kiss I just bestowed upon you." she says teasingly. Indeed, the Maid was wide eyed and trying not to look horrified by the act of kindness at Jocelyn had just displayed to her cousin. She pushes off the wall beside the window and turns to face her Cousin, "To answer your earlier question, Cousin, you are the closest I've ever come to having a friend." And then she is on her way, "Come along, Gilda. Do stop that prancing, it bothers me so…"