|The Three of Us|
|Summary:||Arabella heads back to the Flint camp|
|Related Logs:||A few hours after Words Unsaid|
|Large clearing with lots of tents. A big pvaillion and multiple smaller ones, also a cook fire and the foundations of a small manor.|
|Thu 10 Jan, 290|
Bella had left. It bothers her to no end that she had left when they needed her the most. Her own way to deal with the guilt and heartache that caused was to return. A lone figure walking from the direction of one of the barriers, a basket on her arm, a white, wilted flower in her hair from the morning spent picking flowers to try and soothe her troubled mind. Her steps are not as confident as she would like for them to be, the stride slow, gait unsteady. Would that she could change the fact that she had ever left… without hesitation, she would. The guilt flares into her eyes at the silence that greets her, no longer a camp divided but a… holding pen. Faltering slightly as she nears, she has to stop and remind herself to breathe.. Placing the plague cloth over her features, she continues on, searching for… life.
Einar is one of the very few people in camp not stretched out on a cot in the large pavillion. His small, personal tent is still pitched a little way away and it's from that that he emerges as Arabella makes her way back to camp. He's not expecting anyone, or anything to approach, so he doesn't look in that direction as she heads to refill a waterskin in his hand. His cloth is loose round his neckas is his habit when he's not in the actual pavillion itself and he looks like he could do with at least a weeks sleep.
Almost immediately after his departure from the tent, Bella spots him, mostly because she had been looking. He looked so tired and that sent a sharp fissure of concern in the Fenster. "Lord Einar.." Her voice is soft, uncertain of her welcome. "If you will allow me to remain, to help, I will give you my word, I will not desert you again"
Einar turns as he hears the hail, looking faintly confused as he does so. "Lady Arabella," he greets after a moment's pause, before a quieter "you shouldn't have come back." Not a reprimand, a mere statement of his opinion of returning to risking exposure to a deadly infection once safely away from it. Something else in his brain then kicks in though and he gestures towards the cookfire and logs, hospitality such as it is. "There's pottage if you're hungry, Mistress Ragny made it earlier."
Bella braces herself for a rebuke that does not seem to come. Her shoulders relax and she offers a tentative nod behind her mask, taking every precaution now, knowing she was healthy while not knowing the state of the others. "I had to. I am a healer." Walking over, she remains standing, "I ate, thank you." After another brief moment she looks at him, studying. "Would you allow me to get the water for you while you rest?"
Einar nods silently as Bella gives her reason and then again as she declines the food, it's not Westeros' greatest cuisine but then he's not feeling any particular desire for anything else right now. Or that even, but he did tell Ragny he'd try to eat something. Glancing down to the waterskin in his hand and then back to the Fenster he shrugs once and passes it over. He'd rather do it himself but doesn't particularly feel like the disagreement that might ensue. "You remember where the supply is?"
"I do.." Surprised, Bella takes the skin, having expected him to decline. "I will not be long. Please, eat something, you look tired. I am here for the duration this time." Walking over now, to get the fresh water, she notices the not so subtle reminders of how much has changed.
It takes only a little time before there is fresh water in the skin and Bella makes her way over, silently offering it to him before sitting beside him. "What has been going on?"
Einar shifts up as Arabella sits, to ensure she has enough room and accepts the waterskin back, although he doesn't drink from it. Not yet. Setting it to one side instead he glances round the camp a moment then answers, "there about twenty of us left here, it's mostly just a case of waiting to see if any can pull through this and then.." He pauses a moment as he massages his forehead, "then clean up and go home."
Twenty.. Such a devastating number to the young healer and the flinch when he relays the information is directed more inward than outward. So much guilt washes over her and again she asks herself, why did she leave? This was not the time for self indulgent thinking, this was far from being about her, this was about the people. The sick ones, the healthy.. Einar, where did he fit in? Tilting her head to the side as she quietly regards him, the tiredness, were those circles under his eyes? Did his cheeks look a little gaunt? "You will go home." Her voice suddenly breaks the silence that was gathering around them. "Whether you call Highfield home or you return with your people." Positivity, right? "Would you mind if I look over the notes again?"
Einar never considered Highfield home, a temporary base of operations yes but never home. Home was in the north and this was the south, the northern edge of the south perhaps, but the differences were still marked. "Stranger willing," he replies with a faint nod, "although we beat the odds, three in four is what they say and almost one in two walked away. I think perhaps having two sets of Gods watching over us has paid dividends." As for the notes? He glances over towards the pavillion which, for now, seems quiet, "Mistress Ragny has them. I am sure she wouldn't object though."
What was it Dania had told her? Reaching for the skin she had just given him, Bella lifts it, opens it then offers it, all in almost one motion. "Drink up," she tells the Flint. "You have to be hydrated. We all do." Including herself in it as much for his benefit as for her own. "We need the strength for when this is finally over." Stranger willing, she silently agrees. With an encouraging smile she listens to his statistics and nods, not needing to force the brightness in her eyes. "One in two. Half.." Still too many for a healer to be satisfied. Even one was too many. The mention of the healer has her glancing towards the pavilion, "I should go relieve her some, take over some of her duties for her…" a brief pause has her swinging her gaze back to Einar. "How is she?"
Einar takes the skin, although he doesn't drink from it yet, but neither does he set it down. "I know," he answers with the slightest of nods, "and I will. I take it you have your own?" There are plenty about camp if needs be, but he can't guarantee there being no unpleasant side-effects to using one of them. Following her glance back to the pavillion he thinks for a moment then answers openly, "tired. It's been a long few weeks for her and she's taken most of the strain of it I fear."
Bella notices him not drinking it, "Please, Einar, drink some." What can she do if he will not? With a rueful smile, she nods, "I am sure I will find something to use, I brought nothing except my herbs with me when I returned." After a brief pause in which she looks back towards the pavilion, she nods, listening to his words about the healer. "She is so dedicated, I admire her." Her gaze falls to the ground beneath her feet as she contemplates a moment before asking a question. "What is it like up North? What do you like best?"
Emerging from the ominously quiet pavillion, the common healer steps out onto the grass of the clearing, wiping the back of one hand across her sweat-dampened brow. Were her ears burning, with the two out here speaking of her? Maybe. Or maybe she just wants some fresh air, if only for a while. It's so empty here now. The formerly exciting prospect of the development now lies desolate; a ghost town in comparison to only a few weeks ago. Aside from Ragny herself and the two by the fire - and of course the unseen guards patrolling a 'safe' boundary - there's really no other activity. So, naturally, she drifts toward the fire and the seated pair. Surprise is evident upon her tired features. She'd thought the noblewoman had left, with all the others. Had she been mistaken?
"It might not be a bad idea to see if those on guarding the road could find you one of theirs" Einar replies. looking to the water skin in his hand before raising it a little to indicate what he's talking about he adds "I really would hate for you to be brought low by this because of such a small thing." He'd offer his, but that's not an option anymore really. Anything further he might say is cut off as he spots Ragny's approach and he shifts a little further along the log to ensure that there is room for her should she choose to sit. A move which also happens to put him that bit closer to what warmth the fire is offering. "Mistress," he greets with a slight smile, "Lady Arabella here was just wondering if she could read over the notes again." With that done, he does drink, talking is thirsty work after all.
"I will walk back down there in just a bit, probably in the morning more than likely, I will be fine for the remainder of today." Bella glances towards the direction she had come from and in her peripheral she catches sight of the healer and offers the woman a tentative smile. "Mistress, what is there I can do to help you with? I.. came back. I apologize for leaving when you needed me the most and I would like to try and make it up to you. What would you like for me to do?"
Einar accepts Arabella's answer with a faint nod, he'd prefer her to go sooner and not risk it, but she's said she'll go get one and he's not sure he has the energy to spare to push further. While Ragny's update was probably for Arabella's benefit he nods his understanding of it anyway then takes another swig from the water skin. Stopping it and setting it down for a moment he glances first to the fire and then to the two women. "It shouldn't be long now," he offers, meaning until those who manage to pull through can go home as well, the alternative meaning not occurring to him until a couple of seconds later. hmmm. Mostly to Ragny, although not at the exclusion of Bella he then adds, "I think I might try and get some sleep soon, while it's quiet."
Watching the healer as she still has the energy to even curtsy is an amazing thing. Offering her a kind smile, she removes the plague cloth from her face, reaching out to gently pat the woman's hand. "They may not be my people, Mistress, but they are people just the same. Are we all not the people of the Gods?" The question, mostly a rhetorical one just lingers there a moment as she reaches out for the notes, accepting them with gratitude. "Thank you. If you like, I can continue them." Looking between Einar and Ragny before her gaze settles on the notes once more, looking over the numbers between now and the day she left. Einar's words bring her back to the present and she lifts her eyes and nods rather solemnly. "Perhaps not, but the next few days will not be of grim acceptance, there has to be a spark of.." Hope?… "life left enough to fight." The words are not for those in the pavilion, those too far gone to remember what life was like before the sickness. They are meant for the Flint lord. "Sleep is a good idea, my lord. I will stay up tonight and read these notes, keep the fire going and help with the sick. Mistress, would you like to get some rest also? I have had the benefits of a few good nights in bed."
At first, it seems as though the commoner might argue, denying she has any need of respite. But, as moments pass and she think on it.. she relents. "I.. suppose I could take a nap. Just an hour or so." Worrying at her lower lip with her teeth, Ragny eyes Arabella consideringly. "If you are certain, m'lady. As for the notes.." Her glance strays to Einar, with a wan smile. "I think it'd be best if you were the one to continue them, indeed, m'lady. My reading's rather slow.. and my writing twice so." A weary sigh precedes her attention moving, inevitably, toward her own small tent, set slightly apart from the pavillion. "Just an hour or so.." she repeats, mostly to herself. As if to convince her conscience that it is acceptable.
"We should probably both take the opportunity to rest," Einar offers to Ragny, part in backup to Arabella's suggestion and part to note that he's paying attention to what the common healer had said previously. Picking up the water skin again he attaches it to his belt and then takes a few moments to enjoy the warmth of the flames before pushing himself slowly to his feet. Nodding towards the notes he then adds, "I'm sure that between us we can ensure that nothing is missed."
"Yes, Mistress, I am. An hour or so," Bella agrees in a soft spoken voice, the concern in her eyes visible though she tries to hide it, certain it would not be welcome. Holding the notes a little tighter, she looks back down at them, hearing more in that confession than maybe is correct. Was the healer as sick as the rest? "You have done great work here mistress, such dedication. I hope I can continue it, helping you along the way until it is time to go.. home." Somehow feeling as displaced as the Flints, and perhaps that was why she had such an affinity for these people who were in strange lands, much like she had been when the Charltons had split loyalty and she had to leave her home she had known most of her life in Hollyholt. Realizing she had drifted off again in her own thoughts, she brings herself back once more, smiling at Einar. "It would be a good idea, they are all going to need us all to be strong. I will just go to the pavilion now and care for them. You both rest." Refastening her plague cloth and donning her gloves, she stands, tucking the notes into her basket. "The three of us, we will make sure nothing is missed."