Page 288: The Misfit Guard
The Misfit Guard
Summary: Alek and Rowenna meet in Stonebridge. Past misunderstandings are cleared up, potential job offers are discussed.
Date: 03 May 2012
Related Logs: Everything in the past with Rowan & Alek, plus A Drunken Knight for Alek joining Danae's service.
Alek Rowan 
Common House - Stonebridge
The Common House, located at the intersection of the docks and the town proper, provides a roof and more for travelers that arrive via land or water. The warm interior is kept so by a large hearth at one end of the room, the subtle hint of peat at the edges of the smells within. The main room is large and provides for long tables and benches over the planked wooden floor. Clay pitchers stand ready to serve the customers with multiple kinds of refreshment. A few whores work as waitresses for the visitors, providing companionship at the rear of the building where the more well-off visitors stay. Those of the lower classes are welcome to sleep on the benches or on the floor near the hearth.
May 03 289

Women in tight pants. They're used to it on the Iron Islands. Wouldn't bat an eyelash in Dorne. In Westeros, however, it causes a palpable stir in the population of your average bar. Rowenna Nayland, still dressed in men's clothes (though perhaps better tailored to her form, now less concerned with concealment), isn't the most curvaceously gifted woman in the Riverlands, but now that she's stopped playing boy it's difficult to see how she ever got away with it. The shape is subtle but unmistakable — and Squire Rowan was always far too fucking pretty. She enters the tavern dressed in mourning black, blade at her hip, refusing to look down but, by the same token, not provoking confrontation by meeting anyone's eyes. Apparently all the wants is a drink, or perhaps simply to find out if such a thing is even possible, in this new reality she's gone and created.

Alek isn't your average man of Westeros, given his predilections already run counter to what many in the Riverlands would hold as proper and he's usually to drunk to care. There is certainly men that would be willing to throw down in this room, but they are stayed, at least for a moment, by the call the Blacksword makes over to Rowenna and perhaps the sword he so clearly knows how to use on his hip. "Ho, Gedeon's former squire," he greets, sweeping his hand to an empty chair next to himself, seeming unimpressed with her form. No appreciative glances for her.

She blinks, turning and squinting at Ser Alek of Oldstones. "Coope," she says, nonplussed. She glances at the empty chair, but only hesitates a moment before joining him. "I didn't know you were in Stonebridge."

"Outside of it really, with the Lady Tordane, but it is the closest place to get a good drink," Alek replies flatly, the curve of his brow dragging upwards as he watches Rowenna for a moment. Eventually, he adds aprops to nothing, "So, I see now why Geds was so fucking protective."

"I like to think he'd have objected to you beating on his squire regardless of gender," reply Rowenna, mildly, reaching out to casually snag the wrist of a passing serving girl. "I'll have what he's having. Thanks." She hooks an arm over the back of her chair, lounging. "How is she?"

"Squires get beaten all the time. He wouldn't have objected as much if you weren't also where he was getting his dick wet, I'd imagine," Alek drawls in dry implication, even if his words are not subtle. Fingers splayed over the top of his glass, it likely isn't his first because he seems to just be nursing it now, in his drunken state. "Do you care? If you'd cared about Geds and his widow, you'd be there with us."

Her jaw tenses, dark gaze turning sharp and flinty. "I was there when he died," she says flatly. "On his side of the field." She breathes out, silent for a few beats, as though counting. "Lady Tordane doesn't know me from the Builder. It didn't occur to me that she'd want every busy-body in Stonebridge, particularly her husband's ex-lovers, hanging about."

Laughing dryly into his cup as he lifts it to his lips, Alek murmurs in wry self-deprecation as he answers, "Danae needs anyone she can get, that isn't just a drunken knight and a half septon." But then he is leaning into the bar, settling his drink with a particularly idle twist of glass as he flicks another look over Rowenna. "I didn't call you over to fight, in any case. I called you over so you wouldn't have to. You've had enough men beat on you before."

"By my invitation," points out Rowenna, her tone equally dry. "It's not as though I was anyone's victim, however much this new spirit of chivalrous deference makes you almost pleasant." She glances up and nods her thanks to the girl who brings her… whatever Alek's drinking, then raises the mug for a swallow. "If she wants to add a disgraced knight of indeterminate gender to her retinue, she does have a soft spot for misfits. Is she a collector?"

"I believe I lobbed that punch at your face the once without an invitation," Alek drawls dry, the corner of his lips twitching upward in easy humor. It is whiskey that he seems to have a prefernce for currently, strong enough to keep him well-plastered. "When you're disgraced yourself, I don't think you get so choosey about the company you keep." He slides a dickish look between them, silently drawing the conclusion that he is obviously not being picky.

"I never was," retorts Rowenna, still mild as milk. She can handle her drink well enough, it seems. There's no coughing or other theatrics at the burn. "I loved him, you know," she says simply, also without drama. "And I would see his son inherit Stonebridge, the last true Tordane." She laughs softly and without mirth. "Even now, I'd see that done." A deep breath and a soft shake of her head. "I'll need to talk to Jarod about it. But I have a feeling he'll feel the same."

"So did I," Alek agrees, words pronounced with care so as not to so much as slur them as his fingers tighten in their carelessly affected drape. He adds flatly, "And I believe you. She would, as well."

Rowenna studies the drunken knight from across the table, nodding slow. "I know you did," she says, voice soft. "Anton too, Seven damn him. I might have hated or resented you both, at one time or another, but we did have that in common — I always knew."

Weight braced against his forearms as Alek leans forward to talk quieter still, there is still some amount of humor as he drawls, "I could careless of how you may have felt about me, or even still do. But, we could use another knight. Two, if you bring that young boy you call a husband." He pauses. "It's the last thing he wanted."

"I know," says Rowenna again, taking another swallow of her drink, lashes lowering as she studies the grain of the table. "It's the last thing we'll ever be able to do for him. I do feel that. Keenly." She blows out another breath, rubbing her right eyebrow. "I'll see what Jarod says. That's all I can promise. We're a package deal."

"Buy him a whore if you have to, but if you loved him—," Alek starts dryly, though he only ends up cutting himself off against to drain the contents of his glass with a slow shake of his head. Then he's pushing to his feet with easy grace, for all that he sways slightly once he's on them.

She follows him with her eyes. "Don't 'if' me, Coope. It pisses me off. We both loved him. Let's accept that as given and go from there." Another drink. "I'll see you soon."