Page 174: Survivor's Guilt
Survivor's Guilt
Summary: Being summoned by Einar with information that the Lady Tiaryn is beside herself, Corrie comes to reassure the woman with faith and gentle words.
Date: 1/8/289
Related Logs: All the Stonebridge/Tall Oaks falling logs. Follows A Horse of a Different Colour
Tiaryn Cordelya 
Guest Suite — Tordane Tower
A modest room but with a large high bed that is set with four posts in rich mahogany. A blue rectangular rug is angled in the center of the room. A chest for storing the visitor's goods is at the foot of the bed and a grey blue cover settles over the bed. A hearth to the right of the windows which rests between it and the bed is done over with a iron screen meant to be removed when in use. A pair of chairs rest near the window and about a small circular table set with a candle. On the same wall as the door rests a low chest of drawers, a basin for water and a few wooden mugs rest there for use.
Saturday, January 7th, 289

While it's oft sometimes a struggle to get Corrie out of the gardens or away from her daydreaming on the parapets, when the maid came and said Lady Tiaryn was in fits, tears, or whatever emotional state was described by Einar, Corrie came running. She's a touch breathless, shooing the man and maid from the room though she's ordered a tea service and privacy otherwise. She steps into the room, looking about with worried, pale green eyes, protective and fierce as she braces herself for what she might see. "Tia…?"

Tia's face is all tear streaked, though she's not crying at the moment. She is standing, just inside the room, where Einar brought her too. And then he backed out, along with Adara (Tia's new maid). Neither one quite sure what to do, they're both relieved when Corrie shoos them out. Tia's fingers are clenched into fists, and she turns to eye Corrie with a look of sadness on her face. "I'm sorry, Corrie," she says. "I didn't mean for them to have to wake you too." Early morning, it is, though the fighting men have just left not so long ago. "I just - the horse. It's - it was Dafydd's."

Dafydd. It takes Corrie a moment to remember who that was, one of the Lords from Tall Oaks, a distant relation and only through marriage but she'd met the man once or twice. The younger woman's features knot up a touch as she tugs off her cloak and tosses it aside casually, hoping it remains on the chair where she's thrown it but she doesn't much care. "Oh, Tia… Don't be sorry. I was doing nothing of use anyway. Dear, you can call me any time, I promise…" She murmurs gently, reaching for the woman's shoulders. "At… at least you have his horse? You have something of him to…remember him by." Though she knows those words sound hollow at best.

A distant relative to Corrie, through marriage twice removed. But to Tia? "My youngest brother," she says, not moving away from Corrie's touch. "The one who was closest to my own age. I used to follow him around as a child, and watch him as he'd figure out new tricks to do with his horses. He raised Gethin - that's the horse in the stables - from a foal." She stops there, each word on the edge of tears that are no longer falling. "I just - every time I move it feels like something is slapping me in the face."

Oh gods. The explanation of just how close Tia and Dafydd were just clutches at Cordelya's heart. She can't even imagine losing any of her siblings, much less those to which she was nearest. "Oh… Tia…" It's all she can even think to say for a few moments. Gingerly, she begins to guide Tia over to the bed, her thin arm closely wrapping around the slightly shorter woman's shoulders and now holding on for dear life. "…Then he saved your life. He and that horse of his. If he had not trained him, hadn't loved him, and hadn't cared for you so dearly… you would not be here. That was your brother's gift, dear…" Corrie whispers softly.

Now that is a point that will comfort Tia. Later. Dafydd she knows would want her to live and to be happy. Of that there is no doubt. Still, right now, it's just too much for Tia to bear. She lets Corrie guide her to the bed, the tears again beginning to flow. Though Tia is getting a little bit tired of crying, she can't quite seem to make herself stop. She's going to spend many long nights crying, she has a feeling, though hopefully not so much in front of everyone so they pity her. "He would say that too, I think," she manages after a long moment. She does sit down on the bed, wincing slightly.

Cordelya tugs Tia just a bit closer, letting her sit or lay down as she wishes. Her arm never leaves her shoulders, though her fingertips reach up to slowly start smoothing through Tia's blonde locks, brushing them back from her forehead and gingerly letting her nails massage down against the lady's scalp over the back of her head. It's a gesture meant to be both physically and emotionally calming, to soothe away the headaches of hard crying. "He would. You cannot tell me your brother would not have sacrificed his life for yours in a heartbeat, if it meant he knew you could live… Be safe… make yourself family again? Your being here alone will give him peace now that he is with the Old Gods…"

Tia just blinks, staying sitting for the moment. She'd snuck out without the new maid, go figure. Ran into Anders and gave him the information he was wanting about Tall Oaks. Or as much as she could. She at least manages to ease her crying, so that it's just occasional tears instead of the hiccupy sobbing that soaked Einar's shoulder earlier. "I can be strong," she says, though she doesn't sound too sure of that. "My brothers - they did, Corrie. They did sacrifice - " Her words are a whisper, and now there's guilt starting to add into the mixture. "But how do I make myself worth that sacrifice? I'm not - I can't."

Sitting is just fine, it lets Corrie have a touch more access to the woman's hair and back. Her soft, feather light touch never really ceases, just a constant reminder there is someone else here with her, and that she is loved. "Can be? You -are- strong, Tia. You rode on a horse for hours and hours, half dead… a journey that would have killed most women and many men. You clung to life, to your brother's steed, so you could keep your family's memory and blood alive. You got to us and you held on to life even tighter. You're healing… body and heart. But it will take time not to be… wounded, on all levels. Just because you are aching now, doesn't mean you are not strong… And it certainly doesn't mean you are not worth the sacrifice. You are here, and the Gods would not have given you that strength if it didn't mean something."

Tia's sure that Corrie's right, and Anders, and Einar, but right now, she's just feeling low, small, miserable and it's hard to see the morning for the depth of night that she's feeling. "I'm sure you're going to be so sick of me, Corrie," Tia says. She's seated on the bed, Corrie beside her trying to comfort her. Tia's face is totally tear streaked, and there are occasional tears sliding down her cheeks. "Gethin, that's the horse's name," she says. "And Dafydd had given him away." Which means honestly that Tia is also pretty darn sure that Kathryna has not survived, regardless of what the Harlaw woman did or did not do.

A touch of confusion crosses Corrie's pale features. "Given him away? Why? How… did he return to you? That… truly sounds like the Gods blessing, for such a strange set of circumstances to bring you to us. Especially if Gethin no longer belonged to your family." The logic of it all seems to quietly shock and awe Corrie, just further proving to her that the Gods do have their ways. "And I'll never be sick of you… Tia…" She breathes out quietly, tightening her arm just a bit against her shoulders, "I have no family here either. Yes, most are still at Greywatch, but I do not know when… or if I will see them again. My husband marches to war… the whole world has gone to chaos. You are the closest thing I have to blood as well. I will always want you at my side as long as you are willing to stay. Perhaps the Gods saved you for many reasons.. not just to continue your family's blood?"

Now that actually gets Tia to reach her own arm out to return Corrie's hug. Carefully, cause she's still got that healing stitched up stomach, which by the way is starting to get a little bit itchy at times. But the thought that Corrie needs some comforting too brings Tia a little out of hte mire she's worked herself into. "I - Corrie, promise me you'd tell me, if you needed me? Even if I'm in a silly fit of tears? Or something." Cause Tia knows she's self absorbed right now, and it's just occurred to her that Corrie might be just as lost and sad, almost, as Tia is. "We can do this together. And Einar will help."

Cordelya smirks just a bit at the comment of Einar, slightly shaking her head. "He is your goodbrother. Mayhaps you both are closer than he and I… I have not found the young man to understand much that isn't blades or war… or perhaps that's all he wishes to understand. I hope I am wrong. But, if I am not… you are here, and I am here, and we have each other." Otherwise, Corrie makes no comment about needing Tia or not being totally steady herself. There is a slight distance to her eyes, a hint of guilt or self-doubt, but she doesn't express it in words. "And right now… we have to get you well."

Tia almost laughs at Corrie's description of Einar. "He's - still very young," she says, though he's not really /that/ much younger than she is. Five years, but a lot can happen in five years. "I don't know if I will ever be truly well again. But - Oh." A pause and glance around. "Corrie, the dress I was wearing when you found me. What did you do with it? There were some things stuck in the hems that I would not like to lose." She doesn't say what, just now, the thought only now occurring to her. She's getting tired finally, having slipped out to try to walk off her insomnia, which is what started this whole thing. She finally is at least no longer crying. Over a horse of all things. But it is Dafydd's horse.

"Oh! I have it… folded, I thought to clean it but realize there were… Things in it. Possibly things you did not wish wet or damaged. Once you have everything you need, we will see what we can do about cleaning and repairing it." But the tone of Corrie's voice doesn't give too much hope. The dress was in poor shape. Still, it says something about the long, thin woman's mind, sharply intelligent and aware, even of little things like letters sewn into seams of a gown. She's just that observant. And, speaking of observant, she can see that slightly heavy growing nature of Tia's gaze. She gives a slight smile and leans over to kiss her forehead. "Now, however…it is impossibly late. Or early, depending on your definition. You need rest and I could probably use some as well. Anders is gone, we shall have to keep each other warm. Off with the dress." And she's standing, quickly undressing herself with full abandon. Straight down to her chemise.

Tia relaxes at the news that the dress is safe and Corrie is keeping it so. "Thank you, Corrie. You are a god-send," she murmurs. Wait, dress? She moves slowly to unfasten her own dresss, the wounds from her escape healing nicely but still there to be pulled, to itch and to drive her crazy. They are getting better, quite nicely. Tia gets the dress loosened, but has to stop a couple times during the process. Still eventually she is in her chemise, and she carefully puts herself into the bed, giving Corrie an unexpected yawn. "Oh. My. Excuse me," she says, her voice sounding as startled as she is feeling. "I'm suddenly so tired." And she didn't even eat or drink anything, so it's not that Corrie drugged her, is it?

The brunette is rather quicker than Tia right now, quite adept at removing clothing without a maid — for whatever reason. Once down to her chemise, Corrie reaches over to gently assist Tia with the last few stays and ties on the dress, she carefully putting aside Tia's more than her own. Now, both women down to their small things, she unfolds the bedding from the bed and shoos away the maid. Apparently, that tea isn't needed after all! "It's… all a part of the process. Healing. Give into it, Tia, you need the rest. And I will be here when you wake, I swear." With that, Corrie climbs straight into bed with the woman, opening arms to help her settle in.