|Only if the Tides Turn|
|Summary:||Tyroan and Anathema converse while dealing with seasickness.|
|Date:||13 September 2012|
|A Boat, Out at Sea|
|It's the cabin of a boat.|
|September 13, 289|
That Northern wife has been watching her husband pace like a swampcat while she took her tea. Unlike most highborns, Anathema disdains such things as sugar and milk — they interfer with the tealeaves. She has been drinking tea quite a bit while at sea, and her stomach has been quite sour. She had finished sipping away the rest of the seeped water by the time her husband cursed, and she smiles that simple curve of lips above the brim of her teacup. "I would have preferred to ride," she confesses as her smile turns to grimace. "But, you are right. There is little time to sweep around the whole of the Riverlands."
Tyroan spent the first few days of the voyage turning his stomach inside out, but the feeling has subsided by now, leaving him merely grumpier than normal. "Pain in the ass either way, Ana." He lets out a soft grunt, glancing around the cabin, "Where'd I put that bottle of brandy, anyhow? Sit around outside a room for weeks, and now I find out Stonebridge is under attack. Enough to drive a man to drink." Which, of course, is probably why his wife has tucked the bottle away somewhere a little hidden. Not that Tyroan drinks too much, but he certainly doesn't need a drink now.
"I'm not the brandy's keeper," Ana says patiently as she sets her teacup down carefeully in it's saucer. Chocolate eyes example the shapes those sodden tealeaves create, though she is careful to turn the cup as not to upset the shadowy shapes. She is quiet for a moment before she looks up at him. "Unless the tides change, Stonebridge will not fall before we arrive." She then slips to her feet, the lengths of skirts falling into place about her long legs. She sweeps forward, almost gliding with easy grace until she can place a hand on her husband's shoulder.
Tyroan starts to haul himself up again, then grunts to himself and shakes his head, settling back into the chair and folding his hands over his stomach, "Well fuck it then. If it's going to hide…" He falls silent as she begins to study the leaves, frowning in anticipation. He may not believe in the old gods she does, but after nearly three decades, he trusts her word on things. When she pronounces the fate of the town, a tight smile stretches across his leathery face, "Good. Then there'll still be a chance to throw those wolfsheads back." Which is to say, 'a chance for me to make sure those wolfsheads get thrown back.' When she steps close, the old soldier looks up, "You're not just saying that to calm me the fuck down, are you, Ana?"
"Tyroan," Ana's contralto implores with a touch of warmth, "I would not see you upturn the boat as you pace and snarl about like a caged cat." Though she does smile a bit, bowing her head. "But if the whispers say, the whispers say. I would not feign that to bring you comfort, Husband." Now she steps across their tiny cabin toward the porthole. She pauses half-way along the walk, reaching to brace her hand against her stomach as it gives a terrible turn. She braces herself by widening her stance. "Godsdamn this wretched boat," she hisses.
Tyroan snorts, "The only thing I'm liable to overturn is the damned captain if he can't get some more speed out of this tub." He nods and makes a vague gesture of understanding and apology at her mention of the whispers and their purity, and then he too goes a bit green at the ship's lurch, "Gods damn it…" One hand clamps down on the arm of his chair, the other reaches up to grasp the forearm of his wife to steady her. He's not leaping to her defense like a newlywed fool, but he's certainly going to provide a bit of a steadying influence. "I'm burning this fucking sow of a boat as soon as we land." The grouching has no heat behind it though, just pro-forma complaints to cover the sudden return of sickness to his stomach.
As Tyroan braces his wife, she sinks bodily onto the arm of his chair. Her hand graces across his shoulder with a ghostly touch, fingers gripping his opposite upper arm to keep steady. She is breathing steady through her nose, as if afraid that to open her mouth will encourage her stomach to roil once more. Her gaze is cast down to him, and she offers him a tense smile. "I will hand you the match," she says, her voice still green. Then she touches her husband's bald head — a fond touch, a touch to perhaps sooth him. "I did not think that Lady Danae's claim would hold so much water, so much blood."
As the ship steadies onto its new course, Tyroan loosens his grip on his wife's arm, patting her knee instead. "No. Neither did I. I thought Lord Tully," there's a familiar note to the name, which might not be surprising given that he's a contemporary of Hoster, "would be focused enough to see through that lie. I mean, who the fuck gets pregnant on their wedding night?" He snorts again, settling back in his chair and putting up with the head-rubbing without complaint, "More likely she had her men fuck her black and blue to make sure she got pregnant." A low chuckle rises from his lips, "How funny would it be if the brat came out looking like my headstrong nephew?"
"I didn't," Ana states dryly as she continues to rub the palm of her hand against her husband's head. There is the slightest curve of amusement in her smile. "You found me to intimidating that night." Her humor is cool, though there is a smallest glimmer of amusement in her dark, earthy eyes. Her hand settles back on his shoulder a moment before sliding back into her lap. Her gaze turns out toward the porthole. "But, Isolde's issue did not survive. Our daughters both were heartbroken by the news…" Though perhaps not Ana. Not out of cruelty, but out of her own motherly pessimism.
Tyroan scoffs at his wife, "You read tea leaves at our wedding table, and were listening to voices I couldn't hear during the bedding. No shit I found you intimidating that night." He nods at the mention of Isolde's failure to produce a living heir, "It happens. At least our Lady Tordane — Nayland, whatever — can still produce children. Unlike the late son." His hand pats idly at his wife's knee again, grumbling softly, "It seemed like such a sure reach at the time."
It is perhaps Ana's laugh that dismisses all the strangeness, for it is so warm and muscial as wind through reed. "You are lucky the Gods found you so worthy, or perhaps the bedding would not have happened at all." There is a slight smugness to her tone, and this is perhaps something they have said to one another countless times before. She touches the hand at her knee as it pats her knee, perhaps the percussion almost disquieting as the boat continues to cut through the western sea. She stills his hand against her leg, and she looks down into her husband's weathered eyes. "The Crane was destined to return to his father's nest," she says, "but destiny is never assured. But, then we would not be racing now so you can partake in a fourth war."
Tyroan snorts loudly at the first statement, "I'm lucky you found my worthy, Ana, or you would've just gotten even stranger until I was limp as a dead frog." The mention of destiny causes him to bunch up gnarled shoulders, and let out a long hiss of breath, "The Crane's never fucking left its nest. It's just gotten a Harpy for company, Ana. And I'm getting too damned old to argue with Rickart. So I'll march with the Naylands this time, damn it." There's a pause, and he looks up to his wife, letting that tight smile twist his lined face again, "So long as the tides don't change."
"You know I don't believe in luck," Anathema says with a bit of a smirk at the corner of her lips, though she does twist her fingers gently with his. "But we are blessed." Then she raises his knuckles to her lips, pressing her lips to them once before she casts his hand aside. Breathing in steadily through her nose once more, she dares back to her feet. "My worries are what sort of Mire and Stonebridge we will be returning to. I saw the Roost after the siege of the reavers… will our home be the same?" After almost thirty years, Ana has managed to call the Mire home.
Tyroan snorts back at his wife, "And you know I damned well do." The question draws a hum of thought from the elder knight, however, and then he shakes his head a bit, "Doubt it. No profit in burning the Mire town, at least not for Lord Frey. No profit in burning Stonebridge either, but the Charltons may have paid out the ass to make it worth Lord Frey's while to let them take it." He shakes his head again, "No. The Mire will survive. Whether we'll have to grow back some hands to grasp with again is another question altogether."
His snorting response is met with a simple smile. She crosses the small cabin to their belongings, sliding her fingers into a small clutch of papers and books for her own journal. She glances toward her husband as he speaks, and there is a momentary frown on her lips. "We have the same concerns," she confesses in this private place. "Not only will my husband be going to war, but we might be helping your brother clean up the mess his children have made."
Tyroan presses one hand to his stomach as his wife turns about to fiddle with the papers on the desk, swallowing hard to push away the last remnants of that seasick lurch. "Oh yes, our nephews have made a bad situation so much the worse. I'm starting to think that there's something wrong with that Isolde girl. First the Terrick crow goes mad, and now Riordan and Rutger." He makes a dismissive gesture, then leans forward, pointing the desk, "In that second drawer on the right, Ana. That's where the brandy is." Evidently, he still wants it. Then again, Stonebridge is definitely enough to drive a man to drink.
Ana sighs, though it is accompanied by another soft smile. She tucks her journal under her arm before she carefully slides open the drawer. From it's confines she removes the bottle of brandy, and she pauses by the lipped shelf to remove two glasses. She slips back toward him with her journal under arm, the brandy, and the two glasses. She offers both snifters off to him before she pours them both a moderate amount. Her gaze lifts to her husband briefly. "Perhaps. As memory serves, she is quite beautiful. Beauty causes men to do terrible things," says an arguable beauty herself.
Tyroan collects the glasses and holds them for her to pour, doing his best to steady them against the roll of the ship. "Beauty isn't what makes a claim wstick, or a marriage." He pauses then, a bit of his gruffness pushed aside as he looks up to his wife's features, holding out one of the glasses, "I'm not saying it doesn't help a marriage. Or that it hasn't helped ours." Once the glass has been taken, he lifts his own to his lips, taking a swallow, "I think it's ambition though. Stonebridge means being a bit out from under Rickart's thumb. And maybe even a chance to challenge whoever takes over the Mire after Rickart for leadership in the house." He snorts again, dry amusement filtering through his tone, "Plus there's the fact that they all want to dip their wick in the pretty, and that seems to make most men terminally stupid."
Anathema flashes him a quick smile before she settles into her own seat. "Young Riordan is to marry Isolde now that Riker's babe is born." There is a heaviness in her voice, as they had only just left their own daughter's side after a terrible stillbirth. She takes a substancial drink from the snifter, holding the swallow in her cheeks briefly. Then she shakes her head a bit. "Though if what I hear is true… the denial of guestright and trial to a noble…" She breathes out a sigh before she takes another swallow. "Perhaps only young Rowan had the right idea…"
Tyroan tosses back another mouthful of the brandy, shaking his head and letting out a low sigh of pleasure, "When's Rickart's favorite boy ever had anything that his brother didn't want?" He waves dismissively a bit, "I'm sure most of that shit's been inflated by the Charltons. I swear, for fucking holly bushes, they sure grab a lot. Should put some damned hands on their heraldry." Says the Nayland. Letting his head hang over the back of his chair, he lets out another loud breath, "Hells, do you mean Rowan or Rowenna? Maybe this whole generation's fucked up save our children, Ana. Maybe they are too." Maybe Ty thinks at least one of them is already but isn't going to mention the momma's boy in front of the momma. "The whole Cape. Everyone between fifteen and thirty-five. Bah. Fuck it." He finishes off his brandy, then hauls himself up to his feet, "I'm going to go walk the deck, see if I can get some fresh air without puking my guts out."
Tyroan frowns at the sulkiness from his long-time wife, but merely stops a moment inside the door, turning back, "Riordan made it what… 27 years before he got fucked up?" A very dry grin indeed spreads across his lips, "There's still plenty of time for our children to fuck up themselves." He shakes his head, "I wasn't trying to insult any of them, Ana, and you know it." Setting aside his glass, he crosses his arms over his chest, "So what's really the problem?"
Almost embarassed at her own sulkiness, Ana refuses to look her husband's way. Instead she focuses on the far off corner of the cabin. She considers his question for a long moment, fingers toying idly with the snifter. "Before we left the Goodbrooks, I received a letter from Aeron. Falliah is dead. A sickness of the lungs, according to the healers of the clan." She finally casts a glance toward her husband, those dark eyes holding within them a pit of sadness. "He has decided to return home."
Jiselle pages Tyroan and Anathema: Good, because I've never done combat on this game and it intimidates me. And also because I won't work on the files until tomorrow, but I figure by the end of the day I will have stuff submitted.
Tyroan's blunt features harden into a frown at the news. "Fuck." He presses the knuckles of his right hand into the palm of his left until they pop loudly, one after another. There's a long silence as he thinks this over, then he nods, "Good that he's returning home, to his family." He steps forward then, reaching out to place his hands on her shoulders, "Didn't really know the girl." She, of course knows that, especially since the man never met her. "How's he taking it?" He might have a gruff voice, but he softens it as best as he can.
One hand reaches up to touch her husband's on her shoulder. Ana does not look his way at first, speaking in a thick voice. "He's heartbroken, Ty," she says in the softest of whispers. "He married a girl he loved. That would break any man." She finally casts her gaze up to his, her dark gaze holding a touch of sorrow. "Think ill of him, but he was happy up there in the mountains." She breathes a soft sigh, looking away and closing her eyes.
Tyroan snorts a little at the mention of thinking ill of his son, for all that it's closer to the truth than much else, "I don't think ill of him." He's not just lying to his wife there, he's lying to himself to some degree as well. "I think he's a stubborn fool, but what the fuck else would you expect from us?" He pulls gently on her shoulders, awkwardly trying to draw her into him, "And we'll do what we can to take his mind off…" He casts about for a moment, then settles on, "Things." He's never been a good one for comforting, usually tending more toward the 'rub some dirt on it and walk it off' school of injury treatment — for injuries physical or social.
Anathema casts him a smirk at his snorting reply, though she does not see fit to argue with him about it. There is something almost endearing about the awkward way Tyroan tries to comfort her, so she does not resist him as she sweeps in to press her cheek against his shoulder, face turned into his neck; her arms rest loosely around his mid-section. "I expect nothing more from my Bootleather husband," she murmurs softly to him as she casts a bit of a warmer smile. It does not last long as she sighs once more. "We will have both sons and Merida now at home… a warm blessing."
Tyroan pats her back gently, squeezing just for a moment, then releasing her and rubbing down her arms as a dry smile spreads across his face, "A warm blessing? Don't even know what the fuck you'll do with that, Ana. All your blessings are supposed to come out of the cold, aren't they?" Clapping his hands lightly on her elbows, he drops his hands away, "But yes. It'll be good to have all three of them home at The Mire." He pauses a long moment, thinking, then grunts again, "Going to be hard on Aeron. Have to…" there's another thoughtful pause, "…take him hunting."
Anathema laughs that warm, reedy laugh once more. She reaches up to touch her husband's cheek. "Do not scoff my blessings. The Gods do not possess a large enough sense of humor." The comfort her husband provides is enough, and she begins to step away to put away her glass. "A good thought, Husband," she says, almost teasing him with the faintest arch of her brow. "Though perhaps not take our other son as well? He is not a stupid boy, he knows who you favor more." She sets the glass aside, looking over the slope of her shoulder to him.
Tyroan scowls at that a bit, "Aeron didn't come home, Ana." He may have been amused before, but he's definitely serious now. "His duty was here in the Riverlands, and he didn't come home. Of course he'll always be my second favorite son." Shaking his head a bit roughly, he notes, "And he always had your favor, there was never any doubt of that, either. He hears your gods, and your compliments."
The weight of his words seem to fall on her shoulders, and they slump a bit. "The North called to him, Ty," Ana protests, though this is an old fight. "You married a woman of the Flints. It is not his fault that the North is in his veins." She sighs heavily as she crosses her arms at her chest, which is perhaps a poor time to dedicate her entire balance to her feet. The boat lurches a bit through a rough wave, and she stumbles a bit. It causes her to scowl. "I hate this fucking boat," she snarls with a sudden lash of anger. "I demand solid ground underneath my feet!"
Tyroan lurches along with her, one hand going to the back of the chair he was just sitting on and the other to his wife's arm, "Fucking hells." He nods his distinct and definitive agreement, and once they're both steady, he presses one hand to his stomach and swallows hard. "I'm going up to the deck, and I'm going to yell at someone until I find out what the fuck is causing us to lurch about like a drunken whore. And if it's a person's fault, I'm throwing them over the fucking side." And with that, he turns and moves to stomp out of the cramped little cabin.
"Do not fall overboard yourself, Husband! I dislike a cold bed!" The aging woods-witch calls after him. Anathema resigns to their meager bunk in the wake of his leave, bracing a hand to her flippant stomach. She looks after where her husband has gone before she slumps heavily back into the fall of pillows and blankets. "Gods, save me from the seas. The Drowned God seeks to swallow us whole," she murmurs as she rubs at her stomach.