|The Morning After|
|Summary:||Jarod is hung over. Rowan helps. Sort of.|
|Related Logs:||Many Rivers to Cross, To Forgive and Forget|
|Ser Jarod Rivers' Tent, Stonebridge Tourney Grounds|
|Knightly stuff. Camping stuff. Bedrolls for knight and squire. Lots of empty wine bottles.|
|31st day of Seventhmonth, 288 AL|
Jarod is in his tent. He returned there after the melee to get his hurts tended and then never left, whatever post-competition celebrations were afoot. He is presently still unconscious. Sprawled on his bedroll on his stomach, snoring. All the wine he brought with him is gone, though from the look of him he managed to get as much use of it as humanly possible.
With the Tournament over, there are certain things that can be prepped for leaving, however long they might linger. It's likely, if they remain, they'll be moved into guest quarters at the Tower or an inn; a good squire prepares in advance for these things. And Rowan is. Loudly.
CLANG! Goes the armor. CRASH! Goes the cookware. And when this fails to fully rouse — and properly pain — his knight, Rowan pops outside to borrow one of the semi-feral cats that are the plague of all human settlements. Before Jarod has a chance to open his eyes, the irate fleabag has been tossed onto his sleeping form, hissing, claws out.
Good morning, sunshine.
The clanging and crashing draws groans from Jarod, but not actual consciousness. The cat, however, wakes him. "Fucking seven hells…" He tries to flail when it's tossed onto his bare back (the only top he's wearing is the wrapping of bandages around his midsection, but he can't properly turn over. Both due to his injury and being really, really hung over. So he sort of ends up in a flailing wrestling match with it that involves a lot of rolling and waving of arms. He finally does manage to accidentally give the cat a solid enough whack to dislodge it, sending it across the floor of the tent with an irate, screaming hiss. He props himself up to just stare at the thing, wincing and blinking. "What the fuck did I do to you?" Rowan is not yet noticed.
SPLOOSH! A bucket of cold water hits Jarod in the face.
"Oh! Gods. Sorry." Rowan — who neither sounds nor looks sorry — says. "Was aiming for the cat." The very same cat he gives a bit of chicken from his own breakfast and ushers gently out of the tent. "Things are everywhere. Didn't see it come in."
"FUCK!" All Jarod can do is take the water in the face, boggling at Rowan. As much as one can boggle with eyes as blurry as his, that is. Not that he moves, from his now soaked pillow. He even puts his head back down on it, burying his forehead in the coldness. Which he actually doesn't seem to mind. "Rowan, you bugger, watch what the fuck you're doing. And…go do it somewhere else for awhile. I'm trying to die."
"I think the herbalist has some hemlock, if you'd like me to make a nice tea to help you along," says Rowan in a lusty, cheerful (LOUD) voice. Hellish, high-pitched CLINKS rattle the air as the empty bottles of wine are tossed into a crate. "Sorry, Ser. There's nowhere else for this to be done. Have to be ready to move, you know. Camp's coming down, now the tourney's over."
"Over?" Jarod blinks, head coming up again. "Is it morning already?" This had somehow escaped him. He looks to his wrist, where he still favors his gold-ribboned favor, green eyes widening. And then his head falls back on his pillow. "Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck…"
There's a sudden pause in the loud noises as Rowan hesitates and considers Jarod's misery. He steps softly over, frowning, crouching to get a better look at the knight. "Something the matter?" His voice is much softer, now
Jarod just repeats obscenities for awhile, not answering Rowan. Finally he manages to roll his head so his face isn't buried in pillow. "I told you, Rowan. I'm dying," he snark-quips. "Of course something's the matter. I fell on a giant Wall and broke my side and then that fucker…" Whoever that particular fucker is, he trails off before naming him. "I've got a lot on my mind, Rowan. I'm trying to think it through. My head hurts."
Rowan sighs, perhaps not finding revenge nearly as sweet after the initial rush. "You didn't mean to stand her up, did you?" he asks with a melancholy sigh. Then, taking Jarod's arm to help him up, "Come on, you lump. Let's get you out of your wet things. You can have my bed while I dry out this one."
"No I…wait." Jarod blinks at Rowan, though his blinking eventually narrows. "Stand who up, Rowan?" The question is asked rather pointedly.
Rowan replies, leveling a look back at Jarod, "Lady Nameless. Are you going to help me get you up, or am I going to have to undress you myself?" He sighs. "Butcher's boy came by earlier. Had a message for you. He gave it to me instead."
Jarod doesn't move. He just lies there like a lump. A glaring lump. "And you opened it? You read my letter?" He sounds decidedly humorless about that. Funny, given that he read the others aloud to Rowan and Jaremy both, but there it is.
"There was no letter," Rowan replies softly, standing and pacing away to get some dry clothes. "He said to tell you… She waited, but she understands. And she won't trouble you again." He doesn't look at Jarod as he speaks, his voice careful and precise. "That's all."
"Oh. Oh…fuck…" Jarod mutters, pillow-facing again. He seems, if not content, then at least very committed to just laying there for awhile and moving as little as possible. "Rowan, go find Septon Josse. See if he's got any more of that tree-bark tea stuff he gave me last night. I'll not strike the tent until the afternoon. If the Stonebridge guards have a problem with that, they can just dismantle the thing around me and me and my bedroll'll stay here happily and bask in the open sun."
Rowan sighs. "Bloody sodding fucking hells," he mutters, striding over and bodily rolling Jarod across the tent, one shove at a time, like a felled tree. "Off. The wet bed. You bleeding idiot. You'll get an ague, and then what good are you?"
"Fucking seven hells, get away from me!" Jarod at least has the presence of mind to stumble to his feet before Rowan can roll him on his broken side. "That was comfortable, I'll have you know. Gods. If it wasn't for these damned wrappings I'd see if I could go find a lake to jump in. And possibly not come to the surface again. It's quiet down there, and I'd have naught for company but simple fishes."
Still crouched like a skinny gargoyle, Rowan props his chin in his hands and looks up at Jarod with a complicated mixture of sympathy, exasperation, and rue. And something akin to heartache. "Go lie on my bedroll," he instructs again, pushing himself to his feet and tossing the dry clothes at him. "When you're changed. I think Josse is giving services at this hour, but I'm sure there's some of that tea around. Be good and I'll make you some." Empty threat, it seems — the lad's already in the process of fetching the kettle, good Jarod or bad Jarod.
Jarod takes the clothes but doesn't put them on. He slings the tunic around his shoulders like an overgrown scarf and goes to collapse on Rowan's bedroll. He groans again, but stirs no more and will not until shoved again.
In the interim, while Jarod dozes, Rowan makes tea and drags the wet bedroll out into the sunshine, hanging the sheets and blankets to dry. He's industrious, using this time to make more headway on the packing, as well — though all this is done far, far more quietly than before. And no more irate animals make an entrance. Finally, likely far too soon, the squire coaxes Jarod awake, a mug of strong, bitter black tea in hand. "Oi. C'mon, you. Sit up."
Jarod groans, and sits, taking the tea and giving it a sniff. "It'd be better if we had some wine to put in it. Hair of the dog and all. But that's fairly gone now, so I'll take what I can get." He gulps it, wincing at the temperature, but he glugs it without pause. He is /slightly/ less dead than he was before Rowan began his quieter cleaning efforts. "Thanks, lad."
"Of course," says Rowan, softly. He takes the mug with gentle hands so Jarod can lie down again. "I'm sorry. About all the noise earlier." He's not going to own up to the cat. Ever. "I thought… when the butcher's boy came by… I thought you'd gone and bollocksed it up on purpose."
Jarod pulls his shirt on when he's done with the tea, not immediately collapsing again. Though he remains sitting. Squinting up at Rowan in a narrow, vaguely perplexed sort of way. "Well what's it to you if I did or didn't?" He shrugs. "No offense, lad, but what I do not with this - if there's anything to be done anymore - is nobody's business but mine. And Lady Anonymous, but she's not here to give her opinions on the matter."
Rowan shakes his head, brushing dark curls out of his eyes. "That's… not true. Actually." He sighs, treading lightly, frowning as he chooses his words. "I mean… it is. But it isn't. What you do is your business, and you can choose not to share it with me, but you can't… you can't pretend it doesn't affect me. It does. As much as it does Josse or Luci or Jaremy… or anyone else who loves you." He looks down at the mug in his hands, then back up. "This isn't just another woman, Jarod. She's not a whore and she's not an idle fancy, either. She's real." He swallows quickly, taking the mug and going to refill it from the still-steaming kettle. "Anyhow, so — fine. S'none of my business. Doesn't mean I don't want you happy, and I that I won't want to kick your ass when I think you're doing something wrong."
"I don't ask Josse or Lu or Jaremy all that they hold private, Rowan, and they don't ask it of me. And I don't ask you for it, either, so I'll thank you to call me a friend and do me the same courtesy. And, thankfully, this does *not* affect them. Or you. Or my father, or anyone else but me and her, I think now. I'm a lucky bastard, and that usually means I can fuck as I please, with the odd exceptions. It's down to me and some maid armed with pretty words. Your friendship I appreciate, but that doesn't give you leave over my life. As for real…" He shrugs. "I'm not so sure about that. It's my experience you don't sneak about and ask for moonlight trysts if what you're doing is real. It all sounds fine and romantic in a story, but all it means for real is you're doing something you're ashamed of, and nothing fine for anyone comes out of that."
"Ugh," says Rowan. "Just — ugh. I didn't ask you all you held private — matter of fact, I didn't ask you anything. Except that one time that we're not to speak about, and that turned out well. So I think I've learnt my lesson. You appreciate my friendship as long as I know my place. Which is nice and convenient — for you." He brings the fresh mug of tea over, handing it off. "And I've no illusions about having leave over your life. Don't have it, don't want it. I made a simple point: Your happiness and/or misery affect the people who love you. You're the one who's turning this into something… strange." He frowns. "Gods — you're such a… such a boy." He stalks toward the tent flap. "I'm going to fetch Josse. He should be around, now."
(Exit squire, fade scene.)