|Small Comfort in a Cave|
|Summary:||Sofya and Lucienne talk as the sun rises on rescue day.|
|Related Logs:||Bandit logs.|
|Dank. Gross. Full of noblewomen and their retainers.|
The sun is still below the horizon, though the threat of sunrise is there; unfortunately, inside the bandit hole the illumination of the sky cannot be seen. The sound of water trickling down the rocky back wall is strangely soothing when nobody is talking over it, and - having stretched her neck gently - Lucienne is awake, her eyes wide open and staring at the earthen ceiling as she simply listens.
The mud around the rock wall squelches under bare feet as Sofya reaches into the trickling fall of water to draw herself a drink. Her hands are carefully cupped and she lingers until she has drunk her fill and just a little past. Then it is back through the damp mud, feet retracing her path as she settles back near Lucienne with a soft 'thud'.
Only as Sofya thuds back down beside her does Lucienne turn her head. Unable to summon a smile, her expression is dull, not that much of it can be seen in the darkness anyway. "This should be our last day," she whispers without conviction, without hope.
"It might could, my Lady," Sofya agrees in a hush, taking advantage of the angle of someone's sleeping body to stretch her legs out in front of her. She leans her head back up at the wall, closing her eyes with a soft sigh. "There is still until evening. Nothing is guaranteed yet."
Luci sighs a long breath out through her nostrils, peering through the dark at Sofya. "Best not to get our hopes up," she supposes in another whisper, wrapping her arms about herself in a hug. Dejectedly, she turns her face dow toward her lap, her legs crossed up, the mscles tingling with sleep.
Wiping a damp hand against the thin fabric of her shift, Sofya lightly smooths a hand over Lucienne's hair in an attempt at comfort for the young woman. "It is best to wait and see, Lady Lucienne. If we are too wrapped in pity we might miss any opportunity that comes. Your men and those of the other ladies wish your safe return," she says in a soothing whisper, low voice gentle. "If nothing else, they will have your vegence if they cannot have your safety." There is some comfort in that, slight as it might be.
Lucienne tilts her head toward Sofya's touch, her eyes drifting closed. She's quiet for a moment, the only sound from her a slight labour to her breathing, until: "You shouldn't even be here." She opens her eyes, turning her face up slightly to glance apologetically at the other girl.
Gentle fingertips stroke over Lucienne's head, following the curves of her scalp with a delicate yet firm touch in even drags. The quiet hum of a lullaby builds in Sofya's chest as she does. It is husky and too soft to awaken the other sleeping ladies, but Lucienne might recognize it as a Riverlands tune. "Mhmm?" Her hand pauses only briefly in Lucienne's hair as she turns her head upwards towards her. "While I cannot say I do not wish I was elsewise, my Lady. It is perhaps for the best being as your regular ladies maid has a babe on the way. Mother save her from any harm befalling it."
Another long pause, and Lucienne turns her face away again. "That's very kind of you," she says, something of admiration, perhaps, in the expression that accompanies her quiet words. "That game you play, with your hands and the cloth, where did you learn it?"
"More practical than kind, my Lady," Sofya replies with a slight shake of her head head as she resumes stroking her ladies hair. One life versus two. One yet unlived. "The…? Oh. You mean cats cradle? My mother taught it to me when I was a small thing. I think she figured that if my hands were busy with a bit of a puzzle then I'd be getting into fewer things, at least till I was big enough to mind a needle and some thread."
"Cat's cradle," repeats Lucienne, mostly to herself. "Why is it called 'cat's cradle'? — When we return home, we should sit in the solar and sew some, Sofya. My mother was spectacular with a needle, Seven rest her."
"You know, I asked her that once and she couldn't give me a straight answer. I have to think though, that it has something to do with the way the wool — you commonly play it with balls of wool or a bit of twine, my Lady — twists between your fingers like it would tangled in a farm cat's claws," Sofya explains with a soft note of amusemnt in her voice. Her hand never stops its gentle pattern as she speaks. "Was she, now? Are any of those lovely bits about the Roost by her hand?" A few such pieces are named, no doubt a fair few hangings and bits of embroidery have caught her keen eye. "I should like that very much, my Lady."
That explanation of cat's cradle resonates with Lucienne, and she responds with a thoughtful 'hm'. As for the tapestries - a few of those named are not Evangeline's handiwork, but another few most certainly are, and a proud smile curves Luci's mouth. "Yes," she says, "So should I. I've much need of practice, so many more stitches yet to learn." Another small sigh escapes her. WHO WILL TEACH HER EMBROIDERY NOW, SOFYA.
"She was remarkably skilled," Sofya compliments honestly, picturing all that beautiful work again. Her hand stills in Lucienne's hair to pick out a bit of dirt that has clumped its way in there before she resumes her gentle strokes, errantly finger-combing it as she can. "I could teach you any that I know which you do not, my Lady?" She offers lightly. "I surely not so skilled as the Lady Terrick was," or in the very least it would not do to /say/ she is, "But I know a fair number."
"She was," agrees Lucienne easily with that sincere compliment. She folds her hands together comfortably and settles them into her lap, frowning slightly as she notes all the dirt underneath her nails. "Do you? That would be well, Sofya. I… there's a large tapestry my lady mother (Seven rest her) was working on, and I should so dearly love to finish it someday. As I sew now, though - I think the Lady Evangeline might rise from her grave to chastise me." The Terrick girl smiles fondly, perhaps recalling such an instance.
"It would be the fine work of a daught to finish what her mother had begun, my Lady," Sofya answers honestly. "Although…" A slight smile curves her lips, fingers carefully combing out a knot in the lady's thick, dark hair. "I think we should all be forever ripping stitches. It is a fine thing to aspire to, that."
Lucienne mmms softly, holding her head carefully still as Sofya works through the knots in her hair. "Perhaps, once it grows a touch lighter in here, you might teach me cat's cradle? I should like a distraction from the…" She sends a guilty glance around at the collection of sleeping women, and settles on: "Things they all keep harping on about."
"Of course, my lady." It is a promise made with a slight smile that goes unseen in the dark of the whole. "It is a game that can be played with two, I am certain that by late afternoon you'll be beating me," Sofya teases lightlly. Her fingers smooth the untangled locks of hair. "For now, you should try to get some rest if you can. This day will test all our tempers readily enough,that it would not do to be rash because of lack of sleep."
That little moment of joking almost prompts a laugh from Lucienne, but a lack of sleep and food tempers it down to just a hint of amusement on her exhale. She smiles, too, and adjusts her posture to lean a little on the maid's shoulder. "Some rest, yes. Thankyou, Sofya - I hope you're not too upset with me for dragging you into this mess."
Unseen smile dark, Sofya whispers, "No, my Lady. Not with you." She withdraws her hands from the Terrick lady's hair and angles herself into a more accomodating angle a head to be settled against her shoulder. "Now. Sleep." Shhh. Hush. Morning will come soon enough.
Luci allows her eyes to drift closed, relaxing against Sofya at her response. Sleep will take her shortly.