|Playing at Ladyship|
|Summary:||Rowenna attempts to for the approaching ball, then she and Jarod end up trying a different game.|
|Related Logs:||Dance at Seagard for the fancy party they don't attend; Wine, a Woman and Song for the bar-hopping gone awry-ish.|
|Tent — Seagard|
|Canvas. Shoes. Other throw-able items.|
|Mon Jun 25, 289|
It's the day of the ball, though still several hours from it. Jarod is nowhere to be seen. At the tent they've shared in the Nayland encampment, at least. Perhaps out having a few final pints with old war buddies from his Mallister squire days, or engaged in sword practice and acquiring a few more bruises. He's a man, after all, and it's not like 'getting ready' involves more than dunking himself in a barrel to get marginally less smelly, and then putting on a more-presentable-than-usual tunic. He will no doubt wander 'home' soon enough.
Getting ready for Rowenna, these days, is more of a production — and she doesn't entirely trust herself to get it right. Especially the cosmetics. She never does that. Yet tonight, she's sitting before a mirror, an array of small paint pots and powders and brushes before her, frowning at her reflection. Her gown is exquisite, her curls artfully pinned up to display her neck, with a few pulled free here and there to frame her face. There's a cloth on among the small arsenal of womaniness, as well, smudged with pink and red and black. Apparently, she'd been at this for several attempts, and wiped her face clean each time.
Jarod actually manages to slip into their tent with a modicum of stealth. He's not overly dirty - or drunk - so gods knows how he's been spending his day. For a moment he just stands here, watching her. Expression both very fond and highly amused. Finally, he can't contain himself, and snorts a laugh at her cosmetic efforts. At her! Not with her…probably.
Rowenna starts, eyes wide, and turns to give Jarod a look that could kill. Or at the very least maim. She picks up a little pot of — something — and throws it at him. "How long have you been there?" she demands. "You — you complete horse's ass. Yes, I'm sure this is hilarious. Go — die in a fire!" She stands and looks for something else to throw at him.
"Now that's an unkind thing to say, my lady!" Jarod says, still laughing. He tries to pivot all light-on-foot swordsman to dodge her pot of cosmetics but…he doesn't. He just turns, so it hits him square in the shoulder. Breaking against his big, solid self, and covering his left arm from shoulder-to-elbow in…goop. Of some variety. "Ow!" So, of course, in a grand display of maturity, he looks for something to throw back at her. One of her shoes is handy. A ladylike one. "Your face is hilarious."
"Don't you THROW my SHOES at me, you — " Rowenna oofs! as one of her shoes hits her squarely in the sternum. That's it — she goes after him with a hairbrush and an expression of deadly intent.
"Well don't throw…this…at me!" Jarod says, though his indignity is spoiled by confusion as he pokes at the paste coating his arm. "What in the seven hells is this, anyhow?" He sniffs it. And then, swipes some on his finger to taste it. Which makes him make an "Ugh" face. He's preoccupied with that, so her hairbrush strikes him quite squarely on the side of his face. "Seven hells woman!" He holds his stinging cheek. "Truce, truce, godsdammit! Dunno what you're pissed off at me for, anyhow." Apart from sniggering at her and throwing shoes.
"Really?" Rowenna says, compeltely losing her — well, no, she lost her cool already. She flails her arms in big circles of what the fuck. "You have no idea. Who the fuck do you think I'm trying and failing to tart myself up for — Patrek Mallister?"
"You're not failing, you're tarted up just fine!" Jarod protests. He doesn't flail, but he does yell. "And it damn well better be for me! Lord Patrek's a virgin, you know. Nice lad, but he'd not be much fun. And don't go waving your arms around. You've not call to be mad at me, you know." Though it's just a hair pre-defensive.
"I try to do something nice for you — something that's difficult and I already feel stupid about," she says, holding out one hand as though to weigh that part of the argument. "And you laugh at me." She weighs that in the other hand. "No, you're not at all being a big veiny cock, what was I thinking."
Jarod groans. And he does look remorseful, at least somewhat. "I wasn't laughing at you, I was…laughing with you?" It doesn't sound terribly convincing. "I mean, you look lovely. I think you look lovelier when you aren't painted up, but you put on the costume of a lady fair well, when you try it. Even if getting ready to do it makes you look like you're trying to pass a stone." He steps toward her, and reaches out to try and take her hands in his. "Sorry if I was a big veiny cock but…your face was pretty funny. All…nrgghhh, powder or something."
Rowenna gives his shoulder a good, hard shove, knuckling at her eyes with the other hand. "Don't touch me," she says, sullenly. And sniffles. "I've got something in my eye." She sits at the mirror again, wiping her eyes when she can find a clean spot on the cloth. "I should have just had Senna do it when she did my hair."
"Sorry," Jarod mutters, crossing his arms along his chest all contrite. Actual contrition this time. "I just mean to say, you're pretty without it. I think women look odd when they're all made up, and it gets all over a man's face when you kiss them and it's just…nrgh. Rowenna…" And he does try the touching again, a hand to her shoulder this time. "…you don't have to do this for me, you know?"
At least she doesn't swat his hand away. She shrugs, but not to shrug him off, just… yeah. "Well, I guess that's a good thing, since I'm bollocks at it." She reaches a hand up to cover his, lashes lowered. "Sorry I — snapped like that. I just… it's… I've been at this a while. And I was ready to break something." First thing to present itself, apparently, was his snickering face. Well timed! "Jarod, I — " she turns in her chair, looking up at him. "Look, it's very sweet of you to say I don't have to — whatever. But I've known you a long time. Lyla, Isolde, all the tavern girls and whores — you have a type. And — I don't really look much like it. At all."
"Rowenna…" Jarod tucks one hand under her chair, to gently tip her face up toward him. "I can barely remember the names of most of those girls." He doesn't sound particularly proud of it. "Isolde was always just a picturebook fantasy, and Lyla…well, we were just sort of…there with each other. In between being there with other people. I didn't love them. I love you. I love your big dark eyes, and the way it feels when you've got your long, strong legs wrapped around me, and I love the way your ass looks in tight breeches. And I rather like kissing you without getting oil or tree sap or whatever in seven hells this stuff is all over my nose."
Rowenna listens, blinking those big dark eyes — and finally laughs at the end, flashing a wry grin. "I — yeah. I have no idea what the fuck is in this stuff, either. Some of it smells pretty weird." She brushes back a curl, sighing. "Do you like the dress, at least?"
"You're beautiful," Jarod says. "You can play dress up lady pretty well, when you put your mind to it." Teasingly, he reaches up to tug on one of her dark curls. "You know it's not the stupid dresses - not that you don't look lovely! -" He adds that so, so hastily. "I mean, you don't look stupid. I mean…fuck." He just starts again. "…it's not you playing at ladyship that's been fun these weeks it's just…having you on my arm, in front of people. In public. And not having to feel like it's anything to be ashamed of, or that we've something we have to hide. Which I'm sure you figure is boring, compared to how exciting…other blokes were about secret affairs and whatnot…" Shrug. "I mean…there are things I miss about when you were playing Rowan, but not being able to have my pretty girl on my arm isn't one of them."
She stands and cups his face in her hands, smirking and looking abashed. "Sorry," she says, softly, brushing her lips against his. "I guess I just discovered 'trying too hard' — and, since we both kinda hate it, I should probably stop." This time, her smirk is against his lips, and slides sweetly into a kiss.
Jarod kisses her back. In a decidedly improper fashion. That takes him awhile. When he finally breaks he says, "I was actually thinking…I know there's the ball and everything, but…maybe we could go somewhere else tonight?" He suggests is half-tentatively. "There're still a few places in Seagard I wanted to show you that I didn't get a chance to. I thought we might that night with the lads but…" Shrug. "…don't think your dress would fit too well there, though. Doesn't matter. We can go another time."
Rowenna wrinkles her nose a little at 'the lads' but doesn't say anything. She quickly shakes her head, however. "I don't care," she says. "How my dress fits in. I don't care if ale's spilt on it or someone pukes on my silly shoes or we get caught up in a barfight while I'm in a ballgown, I — " She sighs, smoothing her hands over his tunic. "That's all so immaterial. I go to balls because either my family expects it or you seem to be looking forward to it — and furthermore, you're wrong. Being on your arm is never boring."
DUMP: Dominick has made some minor modifications to the database.
"I was looking forward to dancing with you," Jarod says. "Don't care where we do it. It's one of those things I always wanted to do, but never could, when you were a fake-boy." He cants his head sideways at her. "Are you terribly cross at me, for not taking your part with Ser Kittridge? Maybe I shouldn't have asked you along at all it's just…I didn't really think of you as a lady for stuff like that, you know? And I guess I forget that other lords…do."
"I probably shouldn't have worn a dress," Rowenna says wryly, concerning last night's fiasco. "I — wasn't thinking, either. It's not your fault. I guess I thought it was just — for people, you know. Not for men to do manly things they can't do around women. I wasn't expecting ladies to be there, but maybe… I don't know." She shrugs. "I don't think of me as a lady for things like that, either. Clearly others do — to an extent they're not willing to get over." She shrugs a shoulder. "It stung a little. Especially Kittridge and Kamron. Like I was more leper than lady. I mean, they weren't even… kind." She shakes her head again. "But I'm not mad at you. I don't need you to stick up for me — I can handle myself."
"They're decent they just think a lady should be treated in a certain manner. So do I. You just…don't qualify as a regular girl." Jarod has totally invented a new category in his head to put Rowenna in. This is how he functions with things he can't pound into the square holes in his brain. "I still forget that sometimes. I mean, like I said, I don't miss you being Rowan Nayland except…I hope we can still fight together again someday. And go out and do stupid stuff together. You're still my best friend, you know?"
"How they treated me," says Rowenna, "making me feel shunned and unwelcome? Isn't how you treat a lady. Any lady." The last bit makes her smile, however, big and warm and wide. "And you're mine," she agrees. "We'll do all those things again — maybe even tonight!" She steps back. "Give me two minutes to get out of this gown and into something tighter and breechier?"
"If that's what you want." Jarod beams. He seems enthused about the idea, for his part. "I've enjoyed Seagard. Been nice to drink with the Mallster-sworn again, and see my family in ways that aren't so fraught. I still don't feel like I quite…fit in Stonebridge. Or anywhere else, for that matter. I think we fit each other, though. I mean, I feel like we do."
Rowenna nods, her expression one of perfect accord. "Home isn't a place," she tells him. "It's you." And she goes to change.