|Plans of Attack|
|Summary:||Rosanna and Day discuss more feminine arenas of battle.|
|Date:||January 24, 2012|
|Related Logs:||The general invasion, etc.|
|Lady Rosanna's Chambers — Braeburn House|
|January 18, 289|
It's the night before the Groves household leaves for Terrick's Roost, there to join Frey army and put their small — but necessary — strength toward the liberation of Seaguard. Despite the anticipation of travel, the rhythms of bed time are much the same as they've ever been. Rosanna sits before the looking glass of her vanity and Septa Day, a wrapper belted over her shift and her golden hair in long plaits, runs a brush in long, soothing strokes through the young lady's auburn hair. "I understand there are several ladies at the Roost of an age with you, my Rose," says Day as she grooms her charge. "Lady Lucienne, the youngest sister, and Lady Lilianna Camden — even the new Lady Terrick, Anais, formerly of House Banefort. You should find them pleasant company, I think."
Rosanna sits with her hands folded, the better to bank her burgeoning excitement on this the eve of travel. "Will they like me?" she asks, only to just as quickly say, "Of course they will." She closes her eyes as the brush passes through her hair, her smile faintly self-assured.
"Of course they will," Day agrees, smiling warmly. She sets the brush aside and comes to sit on the vanity bench with Rosanna, wrapping an arm about the younger woman's shoulders. "Look how lovely you are," she says with pride. "Your manners are beautiful, your speech clever, and you are — if I do say so myself — well-versed in many, many different topics. Lady or Lord, you shall have whosoever you choose eating from your hand."
Rosanna leans into the embrace with a pleased noise somewhat akin to a giggle. Setting her cheek against Day's shoulder, she says in an innocently considering voice, "Young Lord Patrek Mallister is at the Roost, is he not?"
"He is," says Day, gazing at their combined reflection. "And he's a lovely young man, they say. Fair to look upon and kind. He's Lord Jerold Terrick's own squire, and I'm told the Lord Terrick is a man of principle — he wouldn't have chosen the young lord as his own simply to please the Mallisters." She tucks a lock of hair behind Rosanna's ear. "Your meeting may be brief, for I am sure they will want to ride as soon as we join them. But perhaps you might ask he carry something of yours, all the same. Since you're of an age and he has such an excellent reputation, it wouldn't be unseemly that you were fond of him even ere you met."
Day's smile dwindles just a little — it remains, though it's a touch sad. "My Rose… I won't be able to be with you, at the Roost. Though I'm sure you'll scarcely miss me, with Deirdre there and so many new friends."
The curve of Rosanna's smile is thoughtful and considering. "Maybe," she says in an airy, careless tone that does not entirely mask the warmth of humor in her eyes. It fades with Day's next words, her brow furrowing with immediate displeasure. "Why won't you be there?"
"Your brother will need me, my love," says the Septa, stroking Rosanna's hair. "And Brynner, and Tommas, and Dominick — they could be hurt, and I don't trust just any camp follower to put them back together again properly." She sighs, swallowing softly. "We lost Nic, and there was nothing — I could do to prevent it. I won't lose anyone else in this family. I can't."
"We didn't lose Nic," Rosanna says with immediate heat. "He left." She looks away from both Day and the mirror, her fair skin flushing in contrast to the faint darkness of the freckles across her nose. "You shouldn't be going to battle. Ladies don't get to battle."
Day winces faintly, taking a breath. "He left," she agrees. "But he wouldn't have, had it not been for the war. And now — " She reaches to Rosanna's hand. "I'm not going to battle, Rosebud. I'll be safe behind the lines. But Kit, Brynner, and the others — they are going to battle. And if they're hurt… I need to be there for them."
Rosanna presses her lips together in unhappy silence, the conflict between the obvious truth of Day's words and her stubborn disinclination to accept them clear.
"I will miss you sorely, you know," Day says, propping her chin on Rosanna's shoulder. "And I will write you every day — who else will have such consistent and current news from the front?"
Rosanna sniffs, refusing to like what will come to pass, even if she can't change it. "Brynner would write me every hour if I asked him to."
Day smiles warmly. "He would. And I can see him now hunkered down in the mist of furious battle, Ironborn reeking of fish and blood swinging their wicked, double-headed war-axes to and fro. And here's one about to smite our poor squire, an over-handed blow that will certainly cleave him in two as the boy scribbles his hourly missive." She clutches Rosanna in her anxiety, going on, "And then he holds up a hand, our Bryn, and says — 'WAIT!'" She pauses, glancing from side to side. "And that's certainly not a request the Ironborn savages hear very often, so… they do. All frozen and peering at Brynner like confused hounds. And Bryn scowls at his parchment, then turns to ask the nearest brute, 'Oi! How d'ye spell radiant?'"
At this, Rosanna finally does laugh again, giggling in a vain, pleased sort of manner. "Well," she says approvingly. "He should spell it right, when he's praising my beauty."
"He is very careful with his spelling," Day notes, kissing Rosanna's cheek now that she has her girl smiling again. "Though his penmanship needs a little work. But no boy can be expected to have so fine a hand as a lady, however they try. Unless they're Maesters or something similarly monastic, and what fun are those?"
"Brynner has no need of good penmanship," Rosanna says with another haughty sniff. "He's just a commoner, even if Kit's been nice enough to take him on."
"Well, if he ever takes it in mind to write the lady of his heart, penmanship will certainly make his sentiments more legible," says Day, drawing Rosanna's long hair back to plait it into the sleeping braids that will gives it fullness and bounce in the morn.
"He doesn't really need them to be legible, does he?" Rosanna says with a certain amount of dryness. "I mean, it's not as if everyone in the world doesn't know." Tipping her head slightly as Day begins to braid her hair, he says, "I don't know what he expects to happen."
"Possibly a miracle?" Day says with a shrug, fingers deft and quick as they go through the familiar motions. "Possibly nothing. To be in love, my flower, even unrequited love…" she trails off a moment. "Love is its own joy. It's a flame that needs little very little to sustain it, and the pain of it, too, is…" She laughs at herself finding herself at a rare loss for words. "It's complicated, for certain. But I'm fairly certain that in Squire Brynner's case, he expects nothing, but hopes."
"Well, he shouldn't," Rosanna says primly. "It's unseemly." Of course, this doesn't stop her in wildly encouraging it when she cares to.
Day smiles down at her fingers as the continues to braid. "He shouldn't," she agrees. "But he will, so long as you encourage him. And you should be careful," she advises, gently, leaning over to kiss Rosanna's cheek, braids finished. "You may miss him sorely when he finally comes to his senses."
"I do not encourage him," Rosanna claims instantly. Likely a sentiment she's expressed before.
"You know you do," replies Day, gently but having none of it. "And it's perfectly natural. Beauty needs a way to stretch her wings. It's a very powerful asset," she stands and offers Rosanna her hands to rise. "You need practice if you're ever to understand the full scope of its power, how and where to apply it."
Rosanna takes Day's hands with a warm squeeze and rises from the vanity. "Am I beautiful enough for a castle?" she wonders with warm wist.
"Easily," says Day, returning the squeeze of her hands. "Ladies far less beautiful have won themselves castles. Kingdoms, even. And not simply by happenstance. If you can make a man love you, he's yours to command." She kisses Rosanna's forehead. "Now, it is past bedtime — for both maidens and crones."
With that reassurance at hand, Rosanna fills with a comfortable self-assuredness as her governess puts her to bed. Noble young ladies need their beauty sleep, after all.