|Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens|
|Summary:||Tommas cheers up a younger Rosanna after the loss of her brother.|
|Date:||January 30, 2012 (OOC Date)|
|Related Logs:||None so far.|
|Stables — Kingsgrove|
|283, after Robert's Rebellion|
A missing Rosanna is not terribly uncommon in the months after the end of the Rebellion. With her brother gone, she is prone to the occasional tantrum of protest and slipping her keepers to hole up someplace hidden. They've gotten less frequent as time passes, but something has set her off today, though she's made her hiding spot in the rafters of the stables a bit imperfect with sniffling. She needs more points in stealth.
A seemingly unaware Tommas enters the stable with a sunburn across his nose and a low whistle on his lips, incidentally one of Rosie's favorite singing tunes adapted to his slow, warbling whistle. The big man looks much the same as he did prior to his knighting, a few new scars crossing his arms but little more, but today he carries a large basket in his hands that has been covered with a blanket. Even as his thick footsteps guide him beneath the rafters, he carries the basket as if it might contain something infinitely delicate and precious.
The sniffling stops a bit abruptly when Rosanna catches the sound of Tommas's whistling. She burrows a bit more out of sight amidst the hay and various items stored up in her hiding place. Of course, she can only hold her breath so long before she sniffles again.
The whistle carries on it's way as Tommas moves closer, spiraling high and low through the cheerful round of the chorus as he stops and settles the basket on a stool. Now that Rosanna is closer, she can her small sounds almost like squeaks from the basket and spot some movement beneath.
Another sniff comes from above, and then quiet, and then — a soft rustle of movement, as if edging slowly towards the sound. Like a sneaky ninja of sneakery, Rosanna peeks her eyes over the edge to try and get a look at what's below.
Tommas casually moves around the edge of the stool so that his broad shoulders do not block the sight of those sniggles from above. Then careful as can be, he peels back the edge of the blanket covering the basket to revel three grey and brown and black balls of fur. Kittens. Tiny as can be. The grey one one sleepily blinks open an eye, mouth opening in a soft, 'mew.' "Ain't ya darling," he says softly to the wee thing, drawing a big finger over a velvet soft ear. "Pity."
The quiet gasp that comes from above is definitely audible, that irresistible sound of delight at the sight of the tiny balls of fluff. She ducks her head back immediately before she gets spotted.
They are so very tiny. The kittens are just old enough that their fur coats have settles and their blue and gold eyes open to peer curiously at the world. Tommas tilts his chin down to hide his smile somewhat, drawing his finger along the grey's chin with a long wee purr from the little one. "I brought you all the way up here for the Little Lady to see ye and she isn't here. I was hoping she might take a shine to one of ye," he informs the kitten.
Once again, Rosanna edges over to the lip of the rafters and peeks her gaze over. Then she scoots back. "You're just trying to make me come out," she says stubbornly.
"Oh," says Tommas, looking up towards the rafters with a vague look of surprise. "Is this where you've scurried too to then, Lass? I might like like you to come out, but this poor knight can't command nothing of a lady." He gently eases his fingers under the kitten and lifts it into his palm with nary a squeak of protest. Grey settles into the curve of his hand and curls up in a sleepy ball.
Again, Rosanna peeks, and this time her eyes go wide. Kitten. In palm. She makes another quiet noise and finally emerges. She toes carefully around for the ladder before moving with eminent care and slowness down. Look, this part is harder than going up, and she is bitty.
The big man very carefully lifts up the kitten, curled so snuggly in his palm up so that she might better see it. A soft smile curls Tommas's lips as Rosanna finally emerges and looks for the ladder. Her slow descent is watched with the utmost care of a guardian, he moves closer to catch her in case of any slips on those thin rungs. When she finally comes in arms reach, a arm is armed around her waist to gently lift her off of it and set her on the ground like a princess — if she'll allow him to.
Rosanna offers a little squeak of surprise, but no noise or movement of protest. She settles delicately back on the ground and smooths down her skirts, which are a bit helplessly rumpled and scattered with bits of hay. Flushing in embarrassment at her appearance, she says, "You won't tell, will you?"
Rosanna is settled with even greater care than Tommas took with the kittens. He sweeps hand delicately across the crown of her head, smoothing her hair and removing a bit of hay, before bending on one knee. A knight to his lady. It levels their height greatly. The corners of his eyes crinkling with a smile, he says, "Never, my littlest lady."
Rosanna sniffles again and passes a hand delicately under her nose. She worries at her bottom lip with her teeth and then asks, "Can I see one?"
"Of course you can, lassie. I did bring them for you. Would you like to hold this one?" Tommas offers, lifting his palm so that Rosanna can get a better look at the grey. "Or do you want to see one of the others?"
Rosanna leans in to peer with wide, enraptured eyes at the kitten in Tommas's palm. "He's so little," she says, not quite answering the question. "What if I drop him?"
The grey kitten opens a an eye with a sleepy blink under Rosanna's observation. He spreads his paws and stretches, letting out a tiny yawn. "He's delicate, aye. But you're gentle lass and you can give him a pet if you like, he's very soft," Tommas explains, rubbing a finger against the grey's belly as it stretches. "You just need to hold him gentle-like. This here is a sleepy fellow, he shouldn't wriggle much to trouble you."
Rosanna gnaws on her bottom lip some more, then cups her hands together and holds them out for kitten depositing.
Reaching out, Tommas gently shifts her arm into a crook that she might be able to hold the kitten like a baby. "Your hands aren't quite as big as mine are, Lass," he reminds with a slow smile. He then tucks the kitten into her grasp. "You just hold it like one of your dolls. Isn't he a soft bit?"
Rosanna takes the kitten in the crook of her arms as delicately as if it were a newborn baby. "He's so soft," she coos as she strokes at his little grey ears.
"Aye." The big knight watches her with a soft smile, rocking back slightly on his heels as she strokes the kitten, who purrs happily at the attentions. "I think he likes ye," Tommas says.
Slowly, Rosanna's teary face spreads in a slow smile that is completely won over by the little fluffball in her arms. "He's so cute," she says, scratching her finger under his chin. "Can I keep him?"
"Of course you can, lass. So long as you wouldn't prefer one of the others. I'm fair certain that your lady mother would have my spurs if we snuck you all three," Tommas suggests conspiratorially, blue eyes warm with fondness.
Rosanna sidles over to the basket, peering in even as she keeps careful hold of the kitten in her arms. She starts gnawing on her lip again at the bundles of fur. "How do I pick?" she asks, lost in all the cuteness.
Dusting off his knees, Tommas rises slowly from the ground. It gives Rosanna some time alone with the adorableness that is the basket of kittens, before he joins her quietly. "Well," he says, scratching his nose. "The best I can figure with something like this — you pick whichever one makes your heart warmest to look at. That'll be the one that's meant for you."
"That's a very romantic way to pick a kitten," Rosanna says in a sniffly disdainful sort of manner that seems to borrow words beyond her age. "What if my heart is being silly?"
Tommas's laugh is steady and dry in response to her disdain. "Aye. I suppose it is at that. Kittens'll be a bit like a lo— friend you might have though. The fondness ye show them will be directed back at you," he says thoughtfully. "If you treat any of them the way you treat that one in your arms, they'll love you endlessly, lady. There's no way your heart can make a silly choice."
"Maybe," Rosanna says a bit doubtfully. She carefully sets the kitten in her arms back into the basket, as if to attempt to make an objective choice. Her voice is very quiet several long moments later when she asks, "Do you think Nico made a silly choice?" Her soft brown gaze doesn't leave the kittens.
Her stern objective deliberation over kittens is met with gentle amusement from the much older knight, a smile quirking Tommas's mouth as he lets her have all and any time she needs to make her choice. The question is unexpected though. He gives his beard a scratch, humming thoughtfully. "It is not for men such as me to question the choices of lords, lass. I am sure that your brother thinks the choice he made was the right one — whatever his reasoning. But for my part…aye, I do."
"I think so, too," Rosanna whispers, still not looking at him as she picks up a different kitten to cradle. "I think his heart told him to do it because his heart is silly, and he wasn't thinking about the family or — or me." Her voice cracks a little.
"No lass. That was not his heart that was speaking to him, but his pride, " Tommas disagrees, watching Rosanna with sad eyes. "Pride can be a deadly thing. It gets the head thinking only of it and if the two of them get loud enough, you can't hear your heart. No matter how loudly it protests."
Rosanna squeezes the kitten, who mews in early protest, her eyes shiny with tears. "How could he leave me?" she asks in a quavering voice.
"Oh, Rosie," Tommas breathes softly. There is barely a heartbeat of hesitation before he has bent down and gently scoops her up in his arms, tucking her close as she holds that kitten. It's a move he used to do far more often when she was a much smaller lass. "I don't know. I don't know what could drive a man to leave all that matters, but I can promise you that he'll regret it."
There is a quiet little hitch of whimpered breath muffled against his shoulder when he gathers her up, and for a while Rosanna just burrows into him. This kitten is a bit less of a cuddler, though, and starts wiggling after too long of containment. "You're a bad kitten," the little lady declares against Tommas's shirt. "My heart is not picking you."
There, there. Keeping the lady safe and secure against his broad chest, Tommas strokes a hand along her hair as he hums a low lullaby. It's okay. He's got you. A unfettered chuckle curls from his throat at Rosanna's declaration, he says, "No. I think this one may be a mite frisky. Would you like to take a look at the other one now?"
Rosanna pulls back with another quiet sniffle and nods. "Okay." She sets the friskier kitten down with its siblings. She considers the last one, but that grey tabby just keeps making eyes at her. But, because she is making a fair, objective decision, she picks up the last to hold it close.
"Okay." Rosanna is set back on her feet, although Tommas pulls her closer for a final cuddle before releasing her. The grey tabby mews softly as the little lady picks up his sister, placing his paws on the edge of the basket as he looks up at her.
Oh noooo grey tabby. Rosanna cuddles the kitten sister as best she can, but she keeps looking back at that lonely grey kitten with longing in her eyes. It was meant to beeee.
The sister kitten is an amiable sort, less squirmy than the other but not as docile and cosy as the grey. The grey who looks back to Rosanna with an ever so plaintive mew. Tommas watches the whole interaction quietly, leaning in to give the grey one a pat.
Rosanna gives her a good chance to win over her heart, then puts the kitten abruptly back into the basket. "I want the grey one," she declares firmly.
"Then he is yours, little lady," Tommas says, scooping up the kitten in his palm to offer it to Rosanna. The kitten perks up and pads to the end of his fingers, looking to get closer to her. Mew!
Rosanna gathers the kitten up with a firmly possessive curl of her arms. "Good," she declares. "I shall name him—" She falters, unsure. "I haven't decided yet."
The kitten purrs in a warm rumble, rubbing its face against the fabric of her gown. "I think you can take a little time to name him," Tommas says thoughtfully, bending back down to tuck the other two kittens into the basket and fold the blanket over them. "He already knows he's yours."
Rosanna brings the kitten up to press her cheek against his soft fur. "Okay," she says. "I want him to have the perfect name."
"Alright. I am sure you'll know the perfect one when you pick it," Tommas agrees, picking up the basket of kittens and tucking it under his arm. "Now then, little lady. Would you care to walk with me a while to see if we can't find a place for some of these other little ones? Or would you rather go and freshen up?" He wonders with a smile directed at Rosanna.
"Where will you take them?" Rosanna wonders, watching the basket curiously. "I should go to make sure you don't give them to the wrong people."
"Well, that would be a great help," Tommas says slowly, adjust the basket in his arms as he slowly begins to toward out of the stables. "I think the frisky one might find a good home in the kitchens, Jillyan was saying they've got a few fair mice. He seems like a pouncer-sort. Don't you think?"
Rosanna makes a great show of wee-Rosie consideration as they begin their journey. "Perhaps," she says in an airy tone once again stolen from older women. "You're lucky you have me to advise you." And off they go to pawn off adorable kittens on an unsuspecting public.