|Rivers No More|
|Summary:||Ser Tordane and Ser Nayland share a drink.|
|Related Logs:||Most of the Gedeon/Jarod kinda-hate-but-kinda-love-each-other-more logs. Directly follows Spit Rather Than Swallow|
|Pavilion — Outside Stonebridge|
|A stump and a box and a bottle of mead.|
|Fri Apr 27, 289|
The night is quiet and pleasantly cool, and Ser Gedeon whatever-the-fuck is sitting by a fire outside of his tent, eating from a bowl of hot stew. There's a pot of it hanging over the flames. The blond ser's attention is on the fire, occasionally lifting to follow those sparks that pop and float away.
Ser Jarod Whatever-the-Fuck has found his way to Stonebridge. After settling his things, and his wife, at Crane's Crossing though, he made his way out of town again. To Ser Gedeon's pavilion. His approach has no stealth to it. When he's within ear-shot of the tent, he places two fingers between his lips and lets out four sharp, high-pitched whistles. It was a 'battle cry' he was fond of on the Iron Isles, and he doesn't seem to have tired of it yet.
Gedeon glances over, squinching one eyes shut as he hears that sound. "For. Fuck's. Sake," he mutters once Jarod's near enough to hear said mutterings, "Could you have picked a call any more persistently annoying? Hello, Rivers. Pull up a… well, a stump." He nods to the sad ex-tree that serves as a sitting place.
"No, don't think I could've. Perhaps that's why I'm fond of it," Jarod says, pulling up a stump and plopping down. He flashes Gedeon a grin that still retains some boyishness, though it's a bit too self-mocking to really qualify now. "Was in the area, thought I'd best come over and offer my congratulations. Ser Tordane."
Gedeon chuckles, rolling his eyes for Jarod's pleasure of the irritating. "Thank you, it's.. well. It's something, isn't it. No matter what, suppose I'll be remembered now. What brings you to Stonebridge? Family duties or simply brimming curiosity?"
"You could call it family duties, yes," Jarod says wry, regarding Gedeon a beat before saying anymore. "You've not heard, have you?"
"Heard?" Gedeon asks, brows lifting. "Heard what?"
"About my dismissal from Four Eagles," Jarod says, starting at what he likely perceives is the easy part. "Rowenna and I told the truth of who she was, and what was between us, to Lord Jerold. He took it poor. Having been lied to more than any other part of it, I think, though he wasn't precisely pleased with the other parts."
"Oh," Gedeon murmurs with a nod. "Well, I suppose it must be a relief to have it done, though I'm sorry your father took it so badly. And, how are the pair of you holding up? Where will you go, now?"
"He stripped me of my spurs as well, and my other knightly honors, including my armor and horse," Jarod says. "Everything save my sword. I knew it might happen like that. Can't say I didn't understand what I might face." As for how they're doing. "Well enough. We just came from the Mire. Lord Rickart was more gracious to her than I expected." A pause and he adds, "My wife is glad to hear that you are Lord Tordane, and her sentiments are with your part in the upcoming duel. Though she does not wish to witness it herself."
There is a small nod as Gedeon hears of Rickart and of Rowan's choice in avoiding the duel. And then the nodding stops, and he cants his head as one particular word catches and clicks. Gedeon opens his mouth, closes it again and simply stares down into his stew and shakes his head. "Well," he murmurs calmly, "congratulations. Does that make you half a harpy, now?"
Jarod watches Gedeon long, before simply saying, "Thank you." He shrugs. "Guess it does. Lord Rickart's letting her keep her name, for now, so I'm technically Jarod Nayland." He snorts. "I think I'll just keep styling myself Ser Jarod Half-Eagle. I rather like it, and it pisses fewer people off. If we've children I suppose they'll wear the Nayland name, though, and I figure I can live with that."
"Mmm," Gedeon murmurs. "Well. Congratulations." He frowns, "No, wait, I said that. I mean, I don't know, something else polite. My warm regards to your wife or somesuch. I guess we all have new names, these days."
"I don't require empty pleasantries on it from you, Gedeon, so if you don't mean it just say nothing," Jarod says. "I'd like to think we owe each other more respect that sort of pretense. Anyhow. That's not why I came here." He fishes around in a satchel he brought with him for…something.
"I'm glad you're happy and that she is," Gedeon replies. "Truly. You both deserve happiness and, probably, each other. It was just a shit way to tell me."
"Was there a non-shit way to tell you? Save perhaps her doing it herself, but I don't think she's quite up to that. Someday, perhaps." Jarod's fishing finally produces a bottle. Hard glass, and the liquid inside has a pale golden tint to it. Mead, from the look of it. The sort common on the Iron Isles.
"'Gedeon, Rowenna and I got married, I thought you should know,' would have been considerably better than blah, blah, blah, WIFE, yes, thanks," the blond knight replies. He makes no comment on that someday or on Rowenna Rose Rowan, either, opting to study the gold in the bottle, made molten by the firelight. "Is that from the islands?" he asks. "That stuff wasn't bad at all."
"It's not to everyone's taste, but I rather liked it," Jarod says. "Sweet, but not so saccharine as summerwine, and with a better kick. I liberated a few bottles from Harlaw and the Pyke. Thought we could share a drink." It's asked a little tentatively. "Or I can just leave the bottle. Perhaps my last gift to my kinsman in bastardy and all that rot."
"Please," Gedeon scoffs with a snort. "stay. Drink with me. If this does end up being the end of me, I would have things peaceful between us."
"I would as well. Didn't feel right just letting it end without a word," Jarod says, opening up the bottle. "You got something we can pour this into? Or we could just pass the bottle back and forth, I guess, but we're both poor at sharing. Besides, it's harder to toast that way."
"I've cups in the tent. A moment." Gedeon stands, leaving the stew by the box that serves as his seat. He slips into the pavilion and out again with a pair of simple, clay goblets. "Not very fine or fancy, but they hold wine well enough. Bit like us, eh?"
"Rivers cups. I like it," Jarod says, raising the bottle and motioning for Ged to hold the cups so he can pour. Presuming that happens and Gedeon doesn't punk him, he gets the mead flowing. "I figure we'll always be that, whatever the world calls us. Funny, how now I feel like part of me'll miss it."
There is no punking. The cups are filled, one passed over to Jarod. "More to growing up a bastard than the name, same as anything else, I suppose," Gedeon muses. "I don't think I'll miss it, though, and I doubt you would either, except the one you've got instead is 'Nayland'. Jerold must have been simmering over that thought."
"I think he'd have been lighter with both of us if she'd worn any other name," Jarod says. "Though he did say there'd always be a place in his household for us, though I don't think I'll ever serve him as a knight again. They're still my kin, however pissed they are. Hers are still hers, whatever she's done. It's far more than I expected." He gives his mead up a swirl, and raises it. "So. We need to toast this up proper." He clears his throat, takes a deep breath and…starts singing.
"If you should fall from Warrior's grace, where no septon can relieve you, if you're buried 'neath a stone, but the Seven won't receive you…" His baritone - always a fine one for rousing songs like this - trails off, but he seems to expect it to be picked up.
"Must be something," Gedeon muses softly, "to have a famly like that." He smiles wryly, lifting his cup to tap it against Jarods. "Let me go, boys. Let me go, boys. Let me down in the mud, where the rivers all run dry," he obliges, his voice rough but capable, at least, of hanging onto a tune.
"Aye. They're all of them better people than either of our lord fathers'd like to admit, I think. I figure I'm still a lucky bastard, though the world'll not see me as such anymore." Jarod chugs his cup of mead while Gedeon's singing, then pours himself another fast, so he can pick up the next part. "This land was always ours, was the proud land of our fathers, it belongs to us and them, not to any of the others. Let them go, boys. Let them go, boys. Let them go down in the mud, where the rivers all run dry…"
While Jarod sings, Gedeon drinks. He cottons on to the way this ritual ought to work, holding his glass out for a refill as he takes his verse. "Bury me at sea where no Stranger's ghost can haunt me. If I rock upon the waves, then no corpse can lie upon me. It's coming up threes, boys. Keeps coming up threes, boys. Let me go down in the mud, where the rivers all run dry."
Invented ritual though it is, they both fall into it easily. Jarod downs his own second cup fast while Gedeon sings, then holds it out for a refill when he picks up his part of the tune again. "If I should fall from Warrior's grace, where no septon can relieve me, if I'm buried 'neath a stone, but the Seven won't receive me…" It's left for Gedeon to finish it.
Jarod's glass is refilled while Gedeon gulps now his own, grimacing for the speed required as Jarod brings his own verse short. With a quick cough, he finishes, "Let me go, boys, let me go boys…" he pauses, glancing at Jarod to see if the other Rivers should like to join him in singing the final line, "…Let me go down in the mud, where the rivers all run dry!"
Jarod drinks, wavering a little as he sits back on his stump, and laughing. "Seven hells, I love that song! Fuck. This stuff kicks when you down it that fast, don't it?"
"Yes, but I think that's true of anything," Gedeon muses with a slightly sloppy smirk. He tilts his goblet, peering into it. "Tastes better after you've had a couple glasses, though. Doesn't stick in my throat so much."
"It's honeywine, it's supposed to be sticky. But stickier things are always more fun," Jarod opines, still laughing. He pours himself another cup - as there's still a bit left in the bottle - but he doesn't chug this one. "Good luck and Seven save your ass in that duel, Ser Nee Rivers. I'm not sure whether it'll fuck my family more if you win or lose, truth be told, but I hope you pull it out."
"Well, it'll definitely fuck me more to lose," Gedeon says with a smirk, "I'll do my best to keep it from fucking your family if I win. Unless you mean your new family. Then, yes, that would fuck them." He has a swallow of wine. "Did I say fuck enough, just then? Fuckity fucking fuck fuck."
"I don't think you said it quite a fucking-nough, my fucking lordship," Jarod chuckles. "And I wouldn't be so sure about that. You get your castle, there'll be women of the finest breeding lining up from here to the Westerlands to the Vale and the North for a chance to fuck…your castle."
"And just my castle," Gedeon agrees with a smirk. "Gain a little land and a name, and suddenly, your past is of no concern if you are unwed. It will be… well. Interesting. Don't know what I'll make of it." Glancing at Jarod he adds, a bit more somberly, "Don't let them put my head on a pike."
"I won't," Jarod promises. "Where would you like to be layed down, if it comes to that?"
"The flood fields," Gedeon answers softly, "Where my father and Geonis are buried. Not… not with them, I don't mean. Just somewhere there."
Jarod nods. "Iz would likely consent to it. Her word should be the final one, though people'll act as if it's not, and she'll comply. I wish she'd been less…agreeable. About everything. Everything might've been different."
Gedeon nods. "Pyre, then, if the fields won't have me. I don't think anyone would protest to much for that." He closes his eyes, tipping his head back to swallow the last of the mead in his cup. "Isolde has always been agreeable. Always. She just never realized it."
"I'll speak to Ser Riordan about the fields. He seems a decent man, and you are Geoffrey Tordane's blood. That matters. Blood always matters, maybe more than it should." Jarod looks up at Gedeon, suddenly laughing again. "You know, her and me fooled around some after I came home from the Trident. Never fucked her, though. Sort of wish I had. If she was going to end up ruined anyway, I'd have given her a much more fun ride than Jaremy."
"Ah, well, well done then, if not as well as you'd've liked to," Gedeon chuckles, leaving thoughts of his death as easily as he raised them. "I don't think I did know that, how old were you?"
"Seventeen mostly, though it went on until a little after my eighteenth nameday," Jarod replies, sipping on his mead. "It was all a lot of teenage bullshit. Kissing in shadowy corridors and groping by the sea and dreaming on things that probably would've made both of us unhappy if we'd actually tried to follow through on them. I used to wonder if I could convince my lord father to let me marry her, with how much Jaremy was fucking around. And then I'd have been Jarod Tordane." He laughs. "Gods, we would've been a complete disaster. I knew her mother would never consent, though, so it didn't matter. We were never supposed to last, though parts of it were a lot of damn fun."
"Jarod Tordane," Gedeon snickers. "Ye gods, you just made my eyes cross. But… seventeen. I was going to say, she never mentioned to to me, and she never kept secrets of that sort very well… but that was after I'd gone." He shakes his head again. "Strange world this is."
"Aye. After you'd gone. It was a funny time. Jace was in Seagard, everybody else at home was either older or hadn't gone to war at all. Not that she had but after she'd lost your father and Geonis and with nobody at Tordane Tower really except Lady Valda…it was like she understood, in a way, what it was like to need to get out of your own head." Jarod shrugs. "We were kind to each other, more than anything. Say what you will about Iz and me, we're not unkind. I think that's why we can still call each other friends, after everything."
"No, you're not unkind," Gedeon agrees softly. "Never intentionally, at any rate. She was unkind to me, sometimes, without meaning to be, because she was silly and spoiled. Just a little girl, really, when I already had to be something other than a silly, stupid little boy. Her heart was good. Is good."
"Need to be more than good, though, or else I don't figure you're much. At least to yourself," Jarod says. "Well. She'll always be the Lady Nayland, whatever else she is. I hope she's happy in that life." He takes another drink, and laughs. "I think she's technically my goodsister now. Gods, life is strange."
"Yes, and technically, she's not really mine, anymore," Gedeon agrees with a wry smile. "Life is. You think if somebody had said you'd be married to a Nayland who was also your squire and I'd be fighting in a duel that would decide the fate of Stonebridge, you ever would have believed it? I'd have laughed myself sick."
"That sounds pretty stupid and mad when you put it like that, don' it? Seven fuck us, Nee Rivers. Hopefully just hard enough so it's fun." Jarod laughs again, nursing his mead some more. "You know what else is funny? In Seagard, when we talked about Jason Mallister, you said you'd not have taken that duel."
Gedeon considers and then he laughs, placing a hand over his eyes. "Fuck me, I did, didn't I. Well, and here I am. The gods have a sense of humor."
"They do at that. They do at that," Jarod chuckles, shaking his head. "I don't figure you had any way around it, though. You could've used a champion but…Stonebridge is what you're about. Where you want to build your life. If your champion lost, what would you do?"
"Better it was me that lost, in that case," Gedeon agrees, "and better it's me that won, in any case. So, it made enough sense at the time."
"Aye. You win, at least you did it yourself, even if the taking might be ugly. That'll matter to a good many people," Jarod says, finishing off his mead. "Fuck. I should go, while I can still walk. Maybe not straight, but what the fuck's the fun in that?"
"Be careful," Gedeon advises around a grin. "Bridge. Don't fall in."
"Falling in's the other half of the fun. I can swim!" Jarod says, standing up. He offers Gedeon a wobbly version of a knight's salute (minus any sort of weapon) and starts back in the direction he came. Singing as he goes. "Let me go down in the mud, where the Rivers all run dryyyyyyy…"