|Stand by Me|
|Summary:||Tommas and Day discuss concerns about Rutger and the results of a Barristan Selmy vs. Mistress Belte cagematch.|
|Related Logs:||An Element of Truth|
|Guest Room — Tordane Tower|
|The room next to Rosanna's.|
|May 7, 289 A.L.|
It is early in the morning when a knock comes on the door of Day's chambers, late enough for the Septa to have arisen and tended to herself, but not so late that her young chage would have been roused. It is the gentle but resonant rap of careful hands. The large Groves sworn stands awkwardly in the hall, positioned as best to not obscure the passage of others as they tend to their own dutie in his standard garb. Tommas's hammer is absent from his belt, considerate of their hosts as to not bear arms while within their home.
Day is indeed up, her habit of rising before dawn dictating her sleep patterns even here, dressed and ready for the morn. She smiles broadly at the broad-shouldered fellow in her doorway, looking surprised at the visit but distinctly pleased. "Tommas!" She beams — though she keeps her voice down, as her room adjoins that of their young mistress. "How lovely to see you. I'm just having a bit of breakfast — will you join me?"
"Day," Tommas greets with genuine pleasure, features spreading in one of his bright eye-crinkling smiles for the Septa's warm greeting. "You're a sight, yourself. And please?" The big man ducks a bit, angling his careful way in through the door at her invitation and shutting it behind him with a gentle click. "Our Rosie not got you running ragged with her name-day business, is she?"
Grinning, Day makes him a heaping plate from the tray that was brought up for her — even the servants are served when they're guests of the Naylands, it seems. Eggs and sausage and toast and fruit and cinnamon porridge. "She does, but I'm learning to delegate. Especially considering how… exceptionally attentive her suitor is, I hesitate to be apart from her for long."
"I hope Merel is helping you with all that as needs be?" Tommas inquires with a rise of his brows, reaching out to snatch a bit of sausage from Day's tray with a grin. Shameless perks of knowing someone for awhile that such poor manners are. "Aye, you say delegate but I'm sure you've got your eyes on everything that slips your way. You're too smart for else." The mention of Rosanna's suitor draws a less than fond look to his expression. "He's not been bothering her, has he? That was part of why I wished to see you this morning — glowing face aside — I have been hearing things from Lord Kitt that make me a bit nervous."
Day hands him the plate and stands wayyyy up on tiptoe to kiss his cheek. "You're very gallant to an old spinster," she says, sweeping her skirts out from beneath her as she seats herself at the small breakfast table. Glowing face aside, however, her expression does turn a little pensive. She pours him a cup of strong, black tea. "I'm sure there's nothing to worry about. Or, rather, I am making sure there's nothing to worry about." She shakes her head. "I was displeased that Kit gave the man permission and let him know as much, but…" she shrugs. "He assured me it's just permission to come calling — not a betrothal or a… promise of anything." She wrinkles her nose. "He's not even close to good enough for her."
Tommas bends just a touch to make it easier for the darling Septa. "No more than the prettiest spinster I know deserves," he jibs lightly, settling himself with care on one of the accompanying chairs. "My thanks," he says for the tea, finishing his bit of sausage in a nip and taking a sip without complaint. Years of tea parties with the littlest lady have made him a fair hand at properly holding the delicate cup, no matter how ridiculous it looks in his large hands. "Well, I don't think any man with rumors so black as that is a good match for our girl…but better to have the time to figure out the Lord behind it, if you can, like I told Kitt." He lifts a shoulder in a shrug. "I ain't fond of it neither, but if you need me to watch when you can't…" He'll be there. "I don't like this Stonebridge business in general. I don't get the games people are playing, although," he pauses, voice dropping quietly as he regards Day seriously, "Both the Lord and myself think it might be wise to be prepared for the worst in regards to taking our leave. If this boils over…we don't want to be in sight of it."
"I've had our bags packed since that awful duel," the pragmatic septa assures him, pouring a cup of tea for herself. "We've been remarkably sheltered at Kingsgrove, I think. All of us. The vying for power, the politics afoot here — despite that it's what I've been trying to prepare Rosanna to survive, all these years, it makes me remarkably uneasy to suddenly be in the thick of it. And this…" she gestures vaguely, "…is a backwater, compared to so many other places. The houses are small and poor, scrabbling. Were Rosie to wed Lord Mallister, for example, or fulfill some even loftier ambition — the scale and scope of the game would be tenfold this." She sits back and sighs,
"Bless your heart," the giant replies, breathing a sight of relief at the Septa's response. A line of tension visibly abates from his broad shoulders, Tommas lifts his cup to take another sip as Day day elaborates. "I suppose…this is all above an beyond me, Day. I'll do my duty forever, but all I know is I don't like it. I'm glad the wee lass has you to back her race, because we'd be well and bloody screwed otherwise. I just don't want to see her drowned in that Mire." He frowns a little, shifting the small cup in his palm.
"I don't think Kit has any intention of letting Lord Rutger have Rosanna. I know I don't." Still, she doesn't looks entirely comfortable. "If Kit tells Lord Groves he mislikes Rutger — that's really all it will take, I think. Rosanna is willful, though, and… drawn to the him. She promises me she doesn't fancy herself in love, but lust can be powerful by itself. We all need to keep a careful eye on the situation."
Tommas sputters a slurp of his tea at the mention of lust. "Surely the wee Rosebud isn't so old as that, is she?" The older man looks…pained to say the least. "I trust the Lord Groveses decisions with the best of my heart but—" He shakes his head.
"She's ten and six, Tommas," Day reminds him mildly. She takes another sip of tea. "But…?" she encourages, gently.
"She needs to stop that growing up business right now, it's worse than my sisters," Tommas grumbles, collecting a napkin to dab at the bit of tea that slid over the edge of his cup with the spit take. "But…I don't like it. I know it's how the nobles do it and all that, but I don't like it one damn bit. No matter how pretty his castle is."
"It's not very pretty — not nearly so pretty as he is. It's in a bloody swamp," Day notes, setting her tea in its saucer and spreading some apple butter on a slice of toast. "She's not going to marry him — unless she does something very, very stupid and leaves herself with no other choice. She can do better. Much better." Shaking off another twinge of misgiving, she says to Tommas, "I'm doing my best, Tommas. To keep her safe. To remind her what she's worth so she keeps herself safe. I promise I am."
"It's got nice frogs?" This is a legitimate point of interest in Tommas's book, although it is unlikely that it is one in Rosanna's. He smiles softly a Day's following words, setting aside his own tea so that he might lift a hand and reach over to gently clasp the Septa's shoulder. "No one is saying you aren't, lass. All I am telling is that I am here to help, however you need me." Okay?
Day nods, smiling softly and putting a hand over Tommas'. "I appreciate that, Tommas. Deeply. Your friendship's been such a boon… through some of the darkest times of my life. This," she gives his hand a squeeze, "this I am confident we can all get through."
His large hand gives her shoulder a gentle squeeze, corners of his eyes warm with affection. "You just let me know who and where, Day. If I'll whallop some sense into that Lord of ours for you, I don't feel no shame putting it elsewhere." Tommas cants his head a touch lower, meeting her eyes with a grin. "I am sure we can."
She nods, tilting her head so she can touch her cheek affectionately to his hand — then she reclaims her tea. "I think the most interesting thing about being in a House that's located at the center of its town is how much one hears," she observes. "It's like all the news and gossip are handed you on a silver platter with meals." She hesitates a moment, "There's one I wanted to ask you about, actually. A rumor."
Tommas draws back his hand to collect his own tea as well, picking it up carefully. "Aye? Which one, Day? There are more of those than I can keep track of these…uh, well days."
The septa frowns slightly, her aspect hesitant. "I — " She takes a breath. "Kit got in a fight recently, didn't he? In a bar."
Tommas blinks, furrowing his brow as he sips a spot of a tea. "You know, I heard that and I can't say I saw him wearing any wear from it when I saw him last. Someone probably said something he didn't like about a lady."
Day nods slightly. "Except he said — someone heard him say something about six years having past." She lifts her tea but doesn't bring it to her lips. "That's… rather specific, don't you think?"
"Six years'd put us…into that gods damned war, wouldn't it?" Tommas squints a little, math was never his strong suit.
"The end of it, anyhow," says Day. She shakes her head and sips her tea. "I thought that, too — someone giving him grief for the Groves being royalists, but… like you said. He didn't have a mark on him. And in the kitchens on of the cooks was talking about how the fellow he was — pummeling… never fought back. It's just…" she shakes her head. "Nothing. But odd that he didn't mention it to you."
"Could have been…maybe they didn't want to hit a Lord. I sure wouldn't, were I the one mouthing off about a Royalist Lord too near to him. My knighthood aside, Day," Tommas pauses and shakes his head. "You don't strike a Lord." He polishes off the rest of his tea, lifting a hand to rub at the back of his neck. "Lord Kitt was in a bit of a funk, which is unusual…" Nothing about a bar fight.
"Of course," Day says, looking enlightened — and inexplicably relieved. "Of course, they wouldn't want to hit a lord. That makes complete sense. For a minute I thought…" She laughs softly and shakes her head. "I'm sorry. My imagination gets away with me sometimes."
Looking at the Septa, Tommas peers at her curiously for that relief and lets an easy smile break across his features like a ray of sunlight. "Too long thinking like the Nobles, Day," he teases. "You forget the rest of us don't have the same graces and thinks like duels."
Day chuckles, smiling warmly back. "And thank Seven for that. It's exhausting, looking at life like a cyvasse board."
"Aye? I wouldn't have the brain for it, not if I tried," Tommas admits with a low chuckle. "I tried getting airs and graces and my ma would box my ears with that ladle of hers."
Day winces at the mention of Missus Belte's ladle. "First time I ever saw her go after someone with that, I didn't even realize a ladle was what she had in her hand. It was an absolute blur."
"You ever put a Belte woman in the field, she'd get herself a knight a sight quicker than I did," Tommas quips lightly, likely making cold sweats run down the necks of all the knights in vicinity.
"Doubtless," laughs Day. "Cooking supper with one hand, smiting evil with the other, all while on the birthing chair making more giants. Top that, Barristan Selmy."
"I think my ma'd stopped, if she'd had more my size. You've met my siblings, they aren't half my size. She would give Barristan a go though, never you have any doubt on that," Tommas crows proudly.
Still laughing, Day agrees, "She would, indeed." She sighs, smiling and draining her tea. "The Mother's as fierce a totem as the Warrior, without a doubt."
"I don't deny that, Septa. Not one lick. I have always been more of a man to see to the Smith, myself," Tommas admits lightly.
Day smiles. "That makes sense to me. You've always had a gentleness about you — you might be built for breaking things, but your soul is all about putting them right."
Tommas simply smiles at that. "Kind words from a kind lady. You'll get me blushing, yet." He sets his tea cup down in its saucer, casting his eyes towards the slowly creeping sun in the distance. "Speaking o' putting right, I best be seeing that our Lord isn't making himself any new friends." He brushes his hands against the front of his jerkin and ducks his head in a nod. "Thanks Day. Speaking to you always sets my mind at ease, we'll keep the little lady out of the bog yet."
Day stands and embraces him warmly. "It's always good to see you, Tom. Thank you."
Big arms wrap around the slim Septa to return her hug, before Tommas lifts her off the ground with a grin. "Always. Day." He sets her back down on them gently, shooting her a final smile before heading