Page 165: Small Mercies
Small Mercies
Summary: Jacsen finds Anais after the gates are sealed.
Date: 29/12/2011
Related Logs: Invasion logs.
Anais Jacsen 
Kitchens - Four Eagles Tower
The kitchen is usually alive with activity but for the latest hours of the night. Stone counters with wooden tops line the interior except nearest the large brick ovens. Open fire pits in the center have iron bars across them for grilling as well, the hot surfaces on the other side of the room from the tables in the center used for final food preperation. Huge cabinets have been carved out of the walls to store the dishes and utensils for serving the meals to the House Lords and Ladies. The few exits lead towards the Servant's Quarters as well as the Throne Room and Entrance Hall.
December 29, 288

Anais has been quite visible throughout the attack, at least to those within the keep itself, and so Jacsen can be easily directed to where Anais is doing her best to aid the defense of the walls. She's speaking quietly with the servants, doing her best to smile reassuringly, though if he's observant, he'll notice the way her hand is fisted in her skirts to keep it from shaking. There's a bow and a quiver over her shoulder, apparently forgotten, and while her hair is windblown and smeared with blood over one shoulder and along one side, she seems unharmed.

Even amongst the chatter that goes on, it is hard to ignore the sound of Jacsen's cane, precise and sharp, as he crosses into the kitchen in search of his wife. It's some mixture of kindness and patience for their lessors, though in what admixture it is hard to say, that he waits a moment for her to finish before he says, "Leave us."

Relief crosses Anais' features when she turns to find her husband there, her shoulders slumping for just a moment with the force of it. "Jacsen," she sighs, reaching up to tuck her hair behind her ear and only then noticing the blood on her sleeve. "It's not mine," she says quickly. "I'm…fine. Liliana. Liliana tried to stay back and fight, and…She was injured. I don't know how badly."

He waits for the room to be vacated of others before he lets the concern truly show on his face. "Seven, Anais…" Jacsen begins to cross the distance towards his wife, her assurances not doing much to ease the consternation on his face. Likely there is more than concern just for Anais that causes such. "I'm glad you're alright, though I don't know what you were-" he stops himself, and reaches out a hand to touch the side of her face. "Stubborn women, the both of you."

"I never-" Anais pauses, lips quirking briefly as she turns her cheek to his touch. "I was going to say I never left the keep, but I did run out to help Lili the last few steps in. The bells…something must have been wrong. We hardly heard them. When we heard there were reavers, though, I rode straight back." She steps closer then, wrapping her arms tightly around him and burying her face against his chest. "I may be a stubborn fool sometimes, Jacsen, but I know reavers, and I know better than to try to fight them myself."

There's a fondness in his tone despite the chastisement, his blue eyes flicking over her features as he considers Anais. "I can scarce believe what's happened…" Jacsen does not remove his hand from her features, holding there warmly. "Has anyone else been wounded seriously? What else did you see from your vantage, Anais?"

"Ser Hardwicke," Anais answers, drawing back to answer him. No doubt there's still fear beneath the surface, but she does her best to cover it, control it. "Ser Coyn was supposed to return from the Banefort this morning, but I didn't see him anywhere. I don't know if any others made it back inside the gate." She half-turns, as if she could see the gate from here. "They jammed it, Jacsen. How did they get a chance to jam the gate?"

His hand does fall away when she turns to look elsewhere, resting with the other on his cane's cap. "I don't know, Anais. Save to think they had someone already here, whom was willing to sabotage…" Jacsen shakes his head a touch, the thought clearly not sitting well. "Whether it is out of loyalty to the Iron Isles or because of more mercenary desires, such is as hard to say. How bad is Ser Hardwicke's wounds?"

"I didn't see much." Anais shakes her head as well, raising the back of one hand to her brow. "I came to make sure everything was ready for the defense of the walls. They don't usually stick around, but they drove us back here too easily not to make an attempt at the walls. If they think us weak, they'll press us."

Jacsen frowns a touch, nodding. "We've prepared on the rooftop, men ready to shoot at any Ironborn that think to test the walls," he remarks, giving a hint to where he's spent his time during the attack. "And what of my lord father, Anais? I could only make out a bit of him from so high up, and little to his state." It's clear he knows the man is not injured, but he worries all the same for his lord and sire.

"Safe, so far as I could tell," Anais answers without hesitation. "He helped Liliana through the gates." She reaches up to push a hand through her hair, the hand shaking in the aftermath. "I've never been that close to a raid," she murmurs, drawing a careful breath. "At home, we- We can see them coming better, and we know sooner, and we can be all locked up by the time they arrive and-" She closes her eyes tightly, trying to get a grip on herself.

He reaches for that shaking hand, seeking to take it in his own. "I've never been in a raid, but…" Jacsen's fingers are warm, strong, and certain. They do not shake. "Our men did well, especially taken so unawares. They shall not have the element of surprise on their side should they think to attack again," he assures her. And then he is drawing his wife close, seeking an arm about her slender frame, no matter the bow and quiver she wears.

Anais' arms wrap tight around her husband, drawing strength for only a moment. "I'm glad you're safe," she murmurs, eyes closing briefly before she draws a deep breath and steps back. "Right now, though, we have to see to the safety of the Roost. See to your father. I'll make sure the stores are appropriately rationed and that the healers are supplied."

His lips brush across Anais' brow before they are separated by a measure of space, and words of duty. "I want an update on how we're provisioned, with expectations on how long they can hold out… And figures on any casualties and wounds, as soon as you can provide them. Be careful, Anais."

"I will be," Anais promises, smile quirking with a soft laugh. "I've survived many raids. As have most of the men who came with me," she adds. "They'll be glad to offer counsel on the Ironborn if you'll take it. You be careful as well, Jace." She reaches for his hand, her own grip firmer now. "If anything happens to you, I might be forced to just start shooting from the walls."