|Summary:||Ser Jarod and Lady Anais hash things out after the latter's scolding by Lady Evangeline. The conversation deteriorates quickly.|
|Roof Terrace — Four Eagles Tower|
|This is open to the air except for the rookery at the opposite end of the open walkway. Parapets and crenellations are about.|
|Thu Nov 03, 288|
Anais has been many places since her showdown with the Lady of the Roost. None of them, markedly, have been the solar. Most of them have been out of doors in some way or another, and at least on the border of propriety. There is, it seems, some rebellion in the newest Lady of the Roost. At the moment, she's made her home on the roof, sitting inside one of the crenellations and quietly weaving a braid of some sort in her lap.
Jarod has been looking for Anais, though he left a good space of time between the confrontation between her and Lady Evangeline before he started looking. The roof is a place he favors himself when he wants to think - and achieve some privacy - so of course that's where he looks interrupt her. He clears his throat so his appearance isn't a surprise, though his clomping footsteps probably signal his coming before even that. "Lady Anais? That you?"
"No," Anais calls back from her little hidey hole on the rooftop, not looking away from her weaving. "It's just a sparrow. A figment of your imagination." Of course, she did speak up, so she can't be entirely averse to company.
Jarod approaches Anais' hidey-hole. Casting a look around as he does. "Is your handmaiden about?" Not that that's the question he dwells on. "Anyhow. I was hoping we could talk on what passed between you and Lady Evangeline."
"Oh, on what passed between me and Lady Evangeline?" Anais echoes, looking up and arching a brow. "Were you there? I suppose I must have forgotten, what with the thundering silence." She's quiet another moment, looking back down at her weaving. "Nina's gone to get some more thread," she answers belatedly. "I'm almost out of the red. So if you're worried about your mother's concerns about you spending time with a married woman who apparently /isn't/ family, then maybe you should come back later."
"What did you expect of me, Anais, to lecture to lady wife of my natural father on courtesy?" Jarod asks, with no small trace of irritation. "I'm sorry for the way she spoke to you, but you didn't make it any easier on yourself. And speaking of that…" He pauses, taking a deep breath. "…I'd consider it a favor if you addressed me as 'Ser Jarod' from now on, at least in from of Lady Evangeline. It would make things…easier for me."
Anais looks up again at that, more quickly this time. Hurt. "Really?" The ribbon falls to her lap with her hands, and she shifts a bit, turning away to look out at the lands. "Well. I suppose that's one more win for Lady Terrick the Elder." She swallows, jaw twitching against words unsaid.
"It is her house, Anais," Jarod says with a shrug. "One I have had a good life in these past more than twenty year, largely by her good will. She is not an unkind woman. I think I can vouch for that better than most, though she loves me little, or my life would've been a very different thing. And so I mind my courtesies, as she asks me to mind them. That's not such a hard thing, I don't think."
"No. She only asks that you not treat me as friend or family," Anais replies quietly, pressing her lips together. "Only a small thing. Who am I, after all?" She rubs the woven ribbon between her fingers, quiet for another long moment. "Not an unkind woman at all. She only makes me feel as though I'm an unwelcome failure in the house I've married into because I'm not a master of the needle. That isn't unkind in the least."
"It's not about you, Anais, it's about me," Jarod says with a sigh. "And of course we're still friends. And family. Just…don't act like it around her, all right?" That is probably not the best way to explain it, but it's the one Jarod goes for. "I'm more formal with Luci and Jace in her presence, neither of them mind it. And it's not that she thinks you're a failure. She's just…particular, about the way she thinks the household should be minded. And you're to be her 'heir' someday, as Jace is to our lord father. She probably just wants to see that you'll be able to do the things she does now."
"Well, I /can't/," Anais snaps. "I can't sew, because I can't /see/ to sew, all right? And it's stupid anyhow, and boring, and takes forever to accomplish anything." Quickly, she dashes a hand across her eyes, looking away. "But apparently the only things she cares about are sewing, and having babies, which happen to be the only things I can't do on command."
"Umm…" Jarod gets very uncomfortable when Anais dashes her hand across her eyes. He approaches her, awkwardly, to offer her a pat on the shoulder. "There, there." He means well. "Umm…I figure the babies take more time than you both've had." That's all he has to say about that. "What…what do you mean you can't see? To sew?"
"Well I told her that, too, and she was already talking about trying to give me something to make it happen faster!" Anais exclaims, voice cracking. "As if I'm too stupid to even figure /that/ out and clearly we must be doing it wrong since I haven't gotten pregnant in the last two weeks." She sniffs at his question, wiping the heel of her hand at her eyes once more. "I mean I can't see close up. I'm fine with distance. Great with distance. Sea eyes, my father says. But I can't see things that are close up."
"Aye, you can shoot just fine," Jarod says, brow furrowing, like he can't quite puzzle through the disconnect. "What do you for writing? Or reading and the like?"
"For reading, I can use a stand," Anais explains. "You know, if I set it at enough distance, I can see it all right. It still gives me a headache to do it for long, but I can do it long enough to get it done. For writing…" She looks up, twisting a faint smile. "That's muscle memory. Lots of practice. You can use your sword after someone punches you in the face, can't you?"
Jarod chuckles at that. "Aye. It's just a matter of learning the forms so well they're instinct when you're being punched. I guess maybe it might be the same." He tilts his head at her. "You talked about this with Jace? I mean, I understand why you haven't with Lady Evangeline…" The scary. "…but he'd understand, and he could make it so she wasn't so…fixated on sewing, maybe. It's not like that's all she does."
"I told him. He told me I /must/ make up with his stupid mother," Anais replies, wrinkling her nose. "And I told him that I told her that I'd see her in the solar when she had one kind thing to say about me, and I meant that. I just-" She trails off a moment, taking a deep breath. "I don't want to set a precedent where she can bully me, Jarod, no matter how she does it. If I let her start now, she'll never stop. And she's not so old that she's going to pass away any day now."
"About your eyes, is what I meant, as to having told him," Jarod says. "Though I do figure you should tell her as well. She'll understand about the sewing. It's not of such importance, I don't think. She's just trying to find a place to start with you, I figure." As for being bullied by Lady Evangeline, he just shrugs. He's fine with being bullied by he, for his part, so he can't really support resisting it. "She's only trying to do what she thinks is best for the household, Anais. And she doesn't know you yet. She'll become easier with you in time."
"Yes, I told him about not being able to see." Anais reaches up to tuck her hair behind her ear, though that set in her jaw lingers still. "Right now, I think that she thinks what's best for the household is driving me out of it or crushing me under her heel. But I don't let Ironborn do it, and I won't let her, either."
"That's not true, Anais, or she'd have pressed for the marriage not to happen," Jarod says. "She just…wants things a certain way. Trust me, it's easier if you just go along with her. She's not a bad woman, as I said, so it's not as if minding her is awful. Anyhow…" She gets another awkward pat on the shoulder. "Just think on it. And Anais…?" He plainly has a parting question, but seems uncomfortable to ask it.
Anais just sort of eyes Jarod for a long moment, brow arching. "You're afraid of her," she finally says, tipping her head to one side. "So you just go along with whatever she wants so she doesn't do something to you." There's another pause, and she shakes her head. "I'm not good at that." And then she sighs, meeting his gaze once more. "What is it?"
"I am not afraid of Lady Evangeline," Jarod objects. And it does seem true…so far as it goes. "And there's nothing she could do to me now. I'm a man grown and sworn to Lord Jerold's service in my own right. But as I said before, I'm mindful that I owe a good deal of the way my life was here when I was a boy to her, and I try to pay her the proper courtesies for it. And of course you're not good at it, *m'Lady.*" The title's a little pointed this time. "And no, I don't want her to think of ill me." It's less fear, really, than wanting for approval. He sighs. "I was just going to say, it's probably not necessary to mention her going on about the whole 'Ser Jarod' business to Jace. Though I'd appreciate it if you'd mind it around her it's…well, not like he needs t know she made an issue of it."
Anais crosses her arms over her chest, watching him with a narrowed gaze for a long moment. "You shouldn't let her treat you like that, /Jarod/," she replies quietly, placing her own emphasis on his name. "You're family, whether she likes it or wants to acknowledge it or not. And I thought you were one of my first true friends here. Someone who was a friend not because I was going to marry them, or their brother, or bring an alliance. Someone who was a friend because maybe he just…Liked me." She turns away the, hiding her expression with a shake of her head. "Fine. If you want to- Fine. /Ser/ Jarod. Perhaps you should be about your duties, /Ser/ Jarod."
"I'm not her family, Anais. And that's all right. She's never treated me poorly for it. I thank the Seven each day I was a Rivers in her house and not a woman of the kind of Lady Valda's but it…it is what it is. Doesn't mean we aren't friends, or family.." Jarod lets out an exasperated breath. "Fine. Seven hells, women! Why do you…are you just put together inside in ways that make you think it's better to make things harder on yourselves?" But he seems to realize, albeit too late, that turning the conversation in the direction of complaining about women was not the best course of action. "Er. Yeah. I have duties. I'll see you later." Time to flee.
"Maybe you feel a reason to be grateful to her, /Ser/ Jarod, but the woman's done nothing for me but make me feel like an imposition, a failure, and a disappointment, so no, I /don't/ feel like making it easier on her," Anais snaps at Jarod's departing back. "And I'm not sure I want to make it easier for you, either, so just- just- go away!" Like he isn't already.
"Why in bloody seven hells do they keep yelling at me. I'm right about things…" Jarod mutters in a wounded fashion to himself as he retreats. Though retreat he does.