|The Sparrow and his Little Bird|
|Summary:||Jac talks to Alys in the Sept at Terricks Roost. About her betrothal, Alric, and his Squire Darek.|
|The Sept at the Roost|
|The Sept of Terrick's Roost was never a grand spectacle, but has been hit especially hard by the occupation. Recent repairs have made the sept usable, if in less glamorous fashion: the broken roof has been replaced with thatch, the broken statues with cruder clay representations, the smashed windows boarded up. The few surviving pews have been supplemented with simpler seating. On the floor is lain out with a bright seven-pointed star in representation of the Gods, defaced by hammer and chisel and not yet restored.|
|Wed Jul 25, 289|
Never before has Jac been in such a sorrowful-looking Sept. He stands at the center of the seven-pointed star, looking down at the defacement with a bit of tightness in his chest. "I bet the gods don't even visit this place," he says in a sigh to no one in particular, even if one of the Septas praying at the Mother casts him a cautious look. He clears his throat, nodding his head to her in both respect and apology. He slips into a pew now, trying to look a bit more unobtrusive. As he settles, he reaches to pull the chain out from around his neck, looking down at the feminine ring that had been strung around his throat for so long.
Alys had arrived with her maid in tow, she wanted to see the recently reopened Sept her self. She stands at the door, quietly she listens to Jac as she places thumbs a piece of silver. "If the Gods visit men on the battlefield, Ser Jac, they will surly visit here." Striding forward slowly she takes a knee in the clay likeness that is supposed to be the maiden; setting the coin and lighting a candle at her feet. A nub of wax at best, everyone knows that the Roost is poor, it stands to reason its Sept is just so if not more. She eyes the most devout as he is seen milling about the remenance of a once, asumingly, peaceful and lovely place. She rises and does the same for the Mother and Crone in kind before going to sit next to Jac at the pew. "What sorrow troubles my song bird?" She says thoughtfully.
Jac glances up toward Alys, and he offers her a small smile. "I suppose, Milady, that you speak the truth. I just would think they would want to find comfort in a Sept, and it feels so… not." He watches her as she goes about her prayers, fingers twisting together a bit as he waits for her to join him. The knight looks up toward the altar of the Seven, only averting his gaze to her once she sits. He rubs the ring between his fingers, looking down at it. "You love your father, don't you, Milady?" He asks her, looking over at the petite redhead.
"They do." She says simply, "That does not keep them from those who wish to pray, Ser Jac." Alys smiles lightly. "I have read of simple septs, old septs, like that of the Starry Sept, ornate septs like the Great Sept of Baelor. Though oddly enough I find Riverrun's sept the one I would like to lay my eyes on." Alys closes her eyes for a moment and recants. "Riverrun's sept is made of sandstone, set amidst gardens. Painted marble images represent the Seven." She opens them again and looks to Jac. "A garden, how lovely." She smiles, only turning it half crooked at his last question. "I will always love my father, Jac, I might not agree with everything he says or does, but I will always love him. Even when they seem to do what they think is best, it might hurt, but it is what they have to do." She arches a fiery brow. "Why do you ask?"
With a dutiful ear, Jac listens to the girl as she recants the description of the sept. He actually starts to smile a bit. "I've seen it," he admits. "When I was with the Brackens. I took my wife to Riverrun when my daughter was just born. I promised her that I would show her where the Red Fork and Tumblestones met. She found it quite lovely." He then shrugs his shoulders a bit at the answer to his question. "Just… been thinking about my own father lately, Milady. Do you know that we haven't actually spoken to one another since King Robert's Rebellion? My mother would always write on his behalf, but he never actually…" He gestures a bit with his free hand while he continues to rub at the ring. "Your father is a good man, a strong man. I hope you always speak to him."
"You have?" Alys' icy eyes glitter, "Ah, the watergate, yes?" she smiles at his fond memory. "I bet she was. It is impressive to say the least. Riverrun would be it's own island if they open the watergate. A hard place to lay siege, formidable to be sure. I would think it is lovely too." She nods as he speaks about his father. "Yes, you asked me when King Robert's rebellion was when Darek brought you the news." Alys looks half sullen at his last. "My father… he used to confide in me, he allowed me at his meetings asked me every now and again my ideas. Since I first left, however, he has spoken to me like I was that of a child instead of the woman he knows me to be." Alys sighs, "And now this business with Lord Alric." she deflates, "He doesn't trust me, not anymore. Still, I hope we always speak. I always enjoyed his words and company." and admits ruefully. "I am sorry you did not know such attentions, he should not have taken you for granted, Ser Jac. Despite him, you are a fine man, and a fine knight. I pray you never forget that my Song Bird." Alys says softly with an equally soft smile.
"Fathers change as their daughters age, Lady Alys," Jac says gently, offering her a soft smile. "They get more worried, more protective." He begins to pull the ring back on around his neck, the chain falling heavy against his chest. He looks out toward the altar once more, considering the young girl's words for a time. "Lord Alric… the Fenster." He glances over toward her. "You fancy him." He offers his charge a small smile, quirking up a brow. "But, you are betrothed to Lord Perrin." He chuckles a bit. "Now, I see what's going on. I had wondered, but it is not my place to ask."
"I suppose, at least that makes the most sense." Alys blushes lightly. "Yes, I have known Lord Alric for years. We used to sit together in the library with the maester before father sent for teachers from Oldtown. Then we would come across each other there when we got older." She half chuckles, "We were no more than friends then. I was six and ten when he left for two years on my fathers business. Did not see him again until shortly after we arrived in Stonebridge. Suppose that happens when someone looks half a child when you last meet, and a woman grown the next."
Her chuckle softens and a sorrowful expression sits on her face. "It was not long after we met again father announced the betrothal. That flame never had a chance, alas." Although her words are true there is a bit of pain on that porcelain face, she turns up a smile nonetheless. "Aye, that be what it was, ser. Never fear to ask, if I do not want to tell you, trust, I would not." She eyes the ring on his chest and simply gestures to it, feeling she needs no questions for that.
Jac listens to the girl's woes, tilting his head a bit. He offers the girl a small smile followed by a gentle chuckle. "And its not like nobles to marry for affection, Milady." He rubs at his jaw a bit. "I'm sorry that the flame was snuffed out too early, but you at least will have a good friend in Lord Alric. Those are important." And probably not what the girl was wanting to hear. He looks back out toward the crude statues of the Seven — the strange silhouette of the mother, the rather frightening figure of the warrior. He considers them for a long moment before he casts a gaze back toward her. "But, I hear that you are not pleased with the match with Lord Perrin…"
"To that I know, Jac, and have seen to be true. Love matches are so rarely granted. I had thought Lord Alric a good match, being an heir and all." She nods with a bit of a smile. "You are correct, Lord Alric will always be a friend to me." The statues, crude in design, catch Alys' eyes too, the Crone, a bent backed woman with her lantern fabled to light the way with the light of wisdom, is where her gaze lies. "No, ser, I am not. Not only because he is my mother's nephew, that is not too odd, but that it is a second son." Alys' face twists up into a bit of confusion and disbelief, "And for what, loyalty? My father married Lord Haigh's sister, there should be enough loyalty there. Why not a cousin for this task? I felt as if my father loved me not, or thought less and little of me. I felt I deserved better than that, I have been groomed to be a lady of a house, married to a Lord, not a good-sister to one. I felt my life and all the work I have put into it, wasted." she sighs.
Jac listens to the woman's words, and he looks up toward the crude thatching of the roof. He stares up there for a long moment before he releases a small sigh. "I'm very sorry, Milady. Perhaps you could talk to Lord Perrin. If neither of you want the match, perhaps something can be arranged." He glances toward the girl, tilting his head. "Have you spoken to your father about your disappointment, about your capabilities? Perhaps if he knew you felt able to run a household, he would look to find you one." It is not much, but what else could the common man offer?
"I… I can't, ser. I did speak to father, he bid me to do nothing to stop the marriage to Ser Perrin. Lord Alric was there to plead with me. If either of us do anything to end this match…" Tears brim her lower lids, threatening to flow forth. "He knows these things, what I am capable of, he saw to it with my teachers." Alys' cheeks turn a deep crimson and then she blurts it out. "If we do anything at all, he will strip Alric of his title and father of his lands." she sniffles lightly biting back the tears while she worries her lip.
"Oh, little bird," Jac says as he spies those tears. He offers her a small smile. "No tears. They must never see you cry." He would touch her head, give her comfort — but she isn't his daughter. What he does do is offer her a little bow of his head. "Then you should wait to see what happens, Milady. Perhaps Lord Perrin will be good to you, and the match won't be so bad." He tilts his head a bit. "I'm expected back to check in on Squire Darek," he looks her over. "Will you be alright?"
Fight she does and tears do not fall, thanks in part to Jac. A cold tone to her voice comes forth. "No, they must not. Nor will they." Alys takes a deep breath and tears her glance from the Crone. "One would hope he is, but you know the way of second sons. Always vying for their father's attentions, trying to be better than their heir brothers. I only hope you are right." She sniffs back one more time and all threat of tears disappears, well, all but a slight pink to her cheeks. "I will be well, Ser Jac, Matty will see to it. I thank you." She says as she pats the mans hand. "I hope that squire of yours has not caused you too much trouble." This makes her smile, a weak thing but a smile it was either way.
Jac offers her a wry smile. "I tend to be right, little bird… and if I'm wrong, you can blame it on my old age." He slowly starts to sweep up to his feet, brushing his hands back across his head. He glances down toward the girl at the mention of his squire with a slightly rumbling laugh. "He is going to need help with girls," the Knight warns. "I sense I will be having to deal with more broken hearts than actual trouble. Maybe he'll actually find a girl he can care about, and that will tame his ways."
"Uh oh." Alys says with an amused grin, "Does the boy need a lesson on how to speak to a woman?" she chuckles. "I could speak to him if you like. Thankfully I do not take offense so easily, so long as words are said in private and not for all of court to hear." Alys thinks of her last encounter with the lad. "Mayhaps we can find him a lady to catch his fancy and hold it."
Jac chuckles a bit, rubbing his hand back against his long hair. "There is a blind girl I think he might be taking a fancy to, or at least appreciating. I've not heard of any other genuine interests." The Songbird shakes his head. "Perhaps I will have him speak with you, Milady… but let me first see just how much trouble the boy will get into." He offers a quirk of his lip to her before he bows. "May the rest of your day bring you brightness, Milady." He then begins to step away toward the Sept doors.
"Very well, Ser Jac, all you must needs do is ask and it shall be done. The blind one eh? I remember her, she had a sweetness about her. Hmm." Alys ponders as Jac continues to speak, she dips her head to Jac. "May the Seven ever light your way and shine upon you this day and and always, Ser Jac." Alys rises after the man leaves, striding back over to the Maiden to lay another prayer.