|They All Barge In|
|Summary:||Jaremy comes calling on Lucienne after Anton leaves. The rest of the Terrick Three barge on in at will.|
|Related Logs:||The Courier, Apology #1, Apology #2, Apology #3|
|Girly. Neat. Tidy. A fireplace. No fire though. A bed, some chairs, nice rugs, lots of pillows.|
|27 August 288|
The Knight of Oldstones has left the Roost, and the sun grows weary of shining upon the land. As it slips, at last, below the horizon and dusklight abounds, Lucienne is to be found in her chambers. She is just finished bathing, donned a new dress, something looser and more experimental, the pale lavender folds of fabric twisting down from two pretty matching brooches clasping it atop her shoulders. She is seated by herself by the fireplace, which is not lit, brushing out her own hair with a silver-handled wide-tooth comb in preparation for her handmaiden to see to her braids.
Ending the silence of the moment is the sound of knuckles rapping at the outside of Lucienne's door. Jaremy has been seen little as of late, allegedly having a small chat with Ser Anton before he took his leave of the Roost. Tired and nearing the need to sleep, himself, Jaremy leans against the doorframe, rapping a second time.
"Hattie," says Lucienne, in an effort to bid the girl leave the turning down of her bedsheets and see to the door. She does - it creaks open to reveal her short, plump self with plain dark brown hair and an admiring smile as she recognises the man who knocked. "M'lord," she greets him, dipping deep into a curtsy and bowing her head, speaking without rising. "Your lord brother, the Young Lord Jaremy, milady." Lucienne doesn't rise either: "See him in?"
As Jaremy is granted access to the room, the young lord nods softly to Hattie, whispering a greeting to her. Still dressed for the day, he steps over to his sister near the fire. He's quiet, more quiet than he normally is. Without asking, he seats himself in one of the chairs near the fire, lost in thought. "How are you this evening, Lu?" He asks, not yet looking to her.
Hattie's head stll ducked, she smiles self-importantly for the greeting from the Young Lord… and then returns to turning down the sheets. Lucienne watches her brother take a seat, watches as he doesn't look to her, watches his unusually quiet demeanor. She sets her comb to her lap, and reaches out a hand toward Jaremy, hoping that he will clasp it. "Better than my dear lord brother, I expect," she murmurs softly.
His eyes crook towards her hand. Spotting it easily, he reaches out and wraps his fingers around hers. Turning in his chair, he leans forward slightly, resting his elbows on his knees. "Lucienne. I should probably start with you. I should probably try to make you understand so that you won't think long of your brother as a fool…" He brings her knuckles to his, kissing softly. "…you're my sister and I love you. For whatever reason, when I've left, you must always remember that."
Lucienne turns, too, taking her cues from Jaremy. She smiles a delicate, sweet little expression as theirs hands meet, and lifts her eyes full of concern to her brother. "Jaremy." It's softly chiding; why would his sister think anything otherwise? "I know that you love me, as I love you. What are you talking about, 'when you've left'?"
From his position near the fire with his sister, hand in hand, Jaremy is leaned forward in a pose of confession. His hair hangs down as does his head, quietly speaking with her from a chair he's positioned across from her. "In the last three weeks, Lu, I've lied, I've sent a spy to Oldstones, and I've broken many of the ethics that I swore to uphold. For this…in all reality…I've become something that I hate. You must understand this." He pauses to wet his lips. "I believe with the fullest of my heart that Ser Anton is our enemy in disguise and yet I cannot prove it. In trying to find proof I've destroyed myself and a part of our house." He looks up. "Anton doesn't want apologies." He says simply. "He is claiming, without reason, that I accused him of crimes to King's Landing. He means to gain large from us, or try to kill someone he knows to suspect him in the process, which leaves me with much to think about."
For her part, Lucienne is turned in her seat to face Jaremy, the warm little smile previously curving her lips now gone without a trace. In its place is a rather concerned-looking frown, and her gaze to match hangs on her brother. She's quiet for a good long moment, well after he's finished speaking. When finally she finds her voice, it quakes a little, and she must pause to clear her throat before continuing. "I… Jaremy. — I only wish my dear brother has sought counsel before acting. I would have counselled you, Jaremy. I will now. I don't believe you think with a clear head on this, brother, please. We would not… /I/ would not want to lose you."
The conversation within is interrepted by a loud knocking at the door, done at a jaunty 'Rap-raprap-rap-rap' rhythm. That'd be Jarod, unless somone is copying his standard knocking cadence.
"Sought counsel…" Jaremy replies grimly, his eyes lowering to the floor where he shakes his head softly. Huffing softly, he looks back to her face. "Lucienne…he believes I have accused him of crimes to King's Landing, after after a much labored apology and his recourse that he wants me to 'try harder' to grovel at his feet I politely asked him exactly what he'd heard and he'd acted as if I'd spat in his face." He lets go of her hands, rising to his feet. He looks towards the door. "It's open!" He calls out.
Hattie, Lucienne's handmaiden of choice, has now finished turning down her lady's bedsheets, and moves to the door to see Jarod in without needing to be asked - the Young Lord's cue is enough. "Jaremy," says Lucienne again, in a beseeching tone. "He has every right to feel as though he's been spat upon. An apology… it should be given without qualification. Either you are sorry or you are not, brother. Please, I beg you, do not think less of your dear sister for seeking to counsel you now. I would do anything for you Jaremy. Anything you ask, and much that you wouldn't dream of asking." She flits a glance to the doorway to see who else comes knocking this evening.
Jacsen arrives from the TP Rooms.
Jacsen has arrived.
Jarod opens the door and slides in, closing it behind him. "So…I just spoke with Lord Ser Valentin as he was leaving the Roost." He winces. "Jaremy…you know he's considering calling for a duel, right? I mean, not that he said he was set on as much when he left but…I don't think it was just bluster, in terms of it being on his mind."
"Fuck Anton, sooner or later one of you is going to listen to me for a change instead of assuming that I'm pissing on everything as I pass." Jaremy replies to the two of them harshly, moving to stand against one of the stone walls with his arms crossed about his chest. "I went to talk to him. I issued him a heartfelt apology. He asked what I would offer to avoid this fucking duel he so desperately desires and I offered to champion his cause on the letters and see that justice is complete in the matter. He claimed that I must be some piss-poor apologetic because we should have given that before, and that my family must not care much for my life if that's what they counseled me to offer. He claims I've greatly grieved him by spouting accusations and speaking of crimes against him all the way to King's Landing, which I did not do. So I politely asked him out of concern as to what in particular he'd heard and he apparently deemed that I'd acted as if I wasn't sorry at all. I even told him as much that I needed to understand what he thought I'd accused him of."
He flattens his lips. "When are any of you going to listen to me?" He bites down hard on the words. "He doesn't want the matter resolved. He's using this as fucking leverage!"
"I take it the conversation did not go well," is Jacsen's nearly toneless entrance to the conversation, his cane tapping lightly as he steps into the chamber and joins his siblings, not thinking anything of coming through that open door. His eyes shift between brother, sister, and brother, seeking confirmation of what he certainly suspects is true.
Like a good and supportive sister, for that is what she is, Lucienne rises from her chair to listen as Jaremy rants. Her silver-handled comb clatters to the floor, but it is not a concern for her at present. She is wearing a new dress, a pale lavender wrap of a fabric folds secured with brooches at her shoulders, and as she stands it becomes apparent just how it exaggerates the gaunt wispiness of her short frame. As Jaremy's lips flatten and he issues that last, sharp statement, her eyes start to glisten, but she resolutely refuses to cry, rolling her slim shoulders back to stand taller. She looks to Jarod for help, and then Jacsen as he enters, unsure of what it is she should reply.
"Jaremy." Jarod's tone is rather more firm and serious than usual. "I'm not here to open up wounds about your behavior in this. I figure, it's done, going over it again won't fix it, best just try to salvage it as we can. But my brother, if it were me, I'd do the same. I mean, by your action you insulted not only Lord Valentin's honor, integrity and standing as both knight and lord - and all the vows and responsibilities of both imply - but you insulted his father as well, who fought hard and won his titles upon the field of battle and was raised by the king and Hoster Tully in honor for it. My fair lord brother, who I love, I would kick your ass very hard if you'd done such to me. Anyway. That's getting off point. Hullo, Jace. Just in time."
Jarod offers his younger brother a quick nod, though it's not accompanied by a grin. "Anyhow, Jaremy, more practically. I have faced Lord Ser Anton on the field and…he will kill you. And I do not mean to slight your skills as a swordsman or a knight but…he will kill you, probably quickly and efficiently and impressively for the onlookers. So…if we all agree that you not dying is the basic goal - which I think we all can - I think I've come up with a way to handle this." He stands up straighter, lookin prepared to launch into this thing he's come up with. He has a plan. He is so very proud of his plan.
"Well then if you've an idea that doesn't involve the lot of you weeping over my grave when you realize that Anton never was our friend, then by all means have at it, Jarod." Jaremy sneers from his position alongside the wall. "I am telling you straight, all of you, that he urged me to 'try harder' with my offering to him for compensation for this slight that mind you no one has reported to him, not that we're aware of. So someone's fed him information or not, fine, he knows but if none of you heard me right, hear me again. He is speaking as if I have accused him of crimes to King's Landing when no talk of these 'theories' of mine have I taken past these walls. Not in a raven and not in a letter. We either have spies in our midst or he's found the intelligent play in risking…" Jaremy puts a hand to the back of his head. "…being bound by honor to kill the heir of Terrick's Roost unless we pay him what he deeps proper respects for an accusation he is exaggerating. I sent King's Landing to verify his patents. He's claiming I sent to King's Landing to accuse him of vague crimes that he won't himself vocalize. Now is the time for us to get ahead of him."
Jacsen's brow knits as he listens to his brothers, a sympathetic glance spared his sister, to whom he begins to cross the room for. "Truly, Jaremy, have you not heard a word Jarod is saying? Though I doubt you meant it, you did gravely offend the man. To share words with him, allow him to remain in our home, and speak politely to him as Lord Anton Valentin," he shares, "While you send off ravens because you suspect the man is not what he says? That is a grave offense, and especially so to one who's claim to such nobility is as fragile as his." He reaches for Lucienne's hand and gives it a faint squeeze, as if to reassure his sister. "But Jarod is right," he notes with some gravity, "The matter is done. And I suspect it cannot hurt to hear his plan."
Lucienne draws in a deep, long breath, and breathes it out ever so carefully slow. No sighing. No crying. She gives her hand to Jacsen willingly, tugging him closer to her as she listens, her eyes wide with disbelief. Silent she stays, though, waiting to hear this grand plan.
"Jaremy, you are wrong, man up and accept this, mate," Jarod says. "Anyhow, onto my plan. And let me get through this, please, all of you. My logic is sound, and this is completely going to work." That was ominous. "By honor you really can't refuse a challege like that if it's put to you by another sworn knight. However, it's unseemly for lords and heirs to titles to engage in duels to the death. There's simply too much at stake. It goes beyond a quarrel between men might, and even if the contest is won cleanly it can disrupt lines of inheritance and throw Houses into disorder when the loser…well, dies. So, you've got to have a champion stand for you. You've that right, and it'd be no slight upon your honor, as you've obligations beyond this particular fuck-up. For my part, my fair lord brother, I'll glady fight for you, should this duel come to pass." He does pause, but he does not actually appear to be done.
Jaremy pans his gaze across all of their faces, eyes slowly scanning them. Quieted, he lowers his breathing to a slow, snail's pace as he considers each and every one of them. He looks to the side and lets out a quiet, depressed laugh. "Right…" He says, shaking his head till his gaze finds the wall across from him. "…I'm wrong and he's been talking about a duel for how long? I come to tell you that he did nothing at all to avoid this being the conclusion and you all immediately assume I've done something to fuck this up? I tell you that Anton is making demands at this point, using his as leverage and you immediately assume I don't know what I'm talking about? Why, because I listened to Amelia of all people? You know what, Jarod? I wasn't the one that was fucking her that's going to end up hanging her. No…" He looks to his half-brother. "…I'm not going to give you that. Let's hope the lot of you don't have a hard time apologizing to him for having to bloody his blade on me so that you can get on with the marriage while you all know damn well that the matter of who's poisoning and killing the gods-damned septon is still unsolved."
"I should rather think we look at the same folk who've sent a whore to spy on us, and a man to kill your betrothed," Jacsen remarks at his brother's last, his voice low, "And not so much the man who thinks to leverage you with a duel after you spit on his name." He lets himself be drawn closer to Lucienne, leaning on his cane when he settles beside her. While that suggestion of his is voiced lowly, it is the next that is spoken clearer. "Let's hear the rest of it, Jarod, though I suspect we're not going to like it."
Cowering in the corner, Hattie sees her lady's distress… and her lady's brother's comfort offered. She begins the skirt the room quietly, hoping to make it to the door in time to slip just outside and wait in the relative saftey of the hallway. Lucienne, for her part, just droops her shoulders and shakes her head at Jaremy, looking utterly betrayed.
Jarod's tenses at the bit about fucking, and hanging Amelia. His jaw setting, and a hint of red creeping into his cheeks. Unclear if it's anger or embarassment. "I really wish you'd stop giving me good reasons to hit you, Jaremy. It's getting harder for me to stop myself, and I do not actually want to do that. Anyway." Deep breath. Mainly he addresses Jacsen and Lucienne now. "The way I figure it is, if Jaremy elects to field a champion, Lord Ser Anton will as well. Not that I think he doubts his ability to win such a contest, but why chance it? The fate of Oldstones is far more thrown into chaos than the Roost if he's the loser here. He's more obligations on him than Jaremy. And I'm confident I can hold my own the better against any of Valentin's retainers. I don't think he'll field Ser Gedeon, what with the Stonebridge matter unsettled. It doesn't *have* to be me who does it, though I figure his brother standing for him would satisfy the gravity of the insult far, far better than another House retainer. Still, any sworn sword in this House would be honored to fight for the life and honor of him. I mean, I'll be slightly *less* honored if he keeps on like this, but I'll still do it."
"Right." Jaremy says flatly, watching the three of them converse without him. He returns Lucienne's depressed, betrayed look, quickly turning it towards the floor. "Seems you three have a lot to speak about, by all means if you need any more of my input I'm sure the Lord of Oldstones will be available to tell you all what's happened." Jaremy replies, heading for the door. "What was that about being together, united, Jacsen? You said something about that a night before. Perhaps I'll not allow this proxy in the duel and provide the three of you with a good deal of unity in my absence." He pauses near the door, looking back to them. "I should have taken one of you with me. At least that way he wouldn't have been able to sniff at the wind and convince the lot of you that I gravely insulted him again." With that…he disappears into the hall.
Jacsen watches as his brother turns and departs the chambers, his jaw setting tense. "We were united, brother," he says, his voice too soft to carry beyond the three of them, touched with an acute sadness. "Until you saw fit to read volumes betwixt the words of a man, forgetting your own misstep almost as soon as you'd made it." He heaves a sigh, and his shoulders sag some, that proud tilt to his chin lost as the fight begins to drain out of him. "He is not the brother I remember, not as I hoped to find him," he tells no one, and everyone, in particular.
"Enough." Lucienne holds up a hand in the unversal 'stop' motion as she speaks. Unsatisfied with the strength of her tone at that first, she repeats, a louder and more insistent exclamation: "Enough!" She breaks from Jacsen to wander crossly back to her chairs by the fire and retrieve her comb from the floor as Jaremy exits the room. As she straightens, it's Jarod she hones in on first. "What if he /does/ field Gedeon, out of spite? Would you slay him? Or would you let him dance around you with his Braavosi tricks and jab you to your very end? I will /not/, Jarod. I will /not/ stand by for that to happen. Lord Anton came here looking to take a wife, any fool could have seen it. And Jaremy's heart was in the right place, though he cannot begin explain it himself. As is mine, brothers." She lays her comb atop her breast, the polished silver handle gleaming beneath her hand. "You will offer him my hand," she says, in a tone not to be trifled with. "Because if you do not, dear brothers, I will do it myself."
"Jaremy, come the fuck off it…" But Jaremy's gone before Jarod's somewhat imploring profanity can really reach him. He sighs, looking between his brother and sister, shrugging a little. "That perhaps could've gone better." Understatement, that. "I didn't mean to wound his pride further I just…I do actually think this is the only possible way around this that does not involve Jaremy ending up dead." The idea of which plainly grieves and somewhat panics him, however glib his choice of words might be. "I mean, if you two have a better idea have at it, but there's no getting out of the duel entirely if Lord Ser Anton presses it. Luci…" He takes another deep breath, letting it out slowly. "…that's not how it'd go." Not that he offers any evidence of this. He doesn't really know.
There is a frown on Jacsen's face, one that deepens when his sister takes her leave of him and stalks across the room, leveling her ultimatum at both brothers. "You… will do no such thing," he tells Lucienne, his voice very careful, reined in as he says such, "You are not some bargaining chip, to be thrown at Lord Valentin because Jaremy is so insistent on being a godsdamned fool!" He looks to Jarod, as if to demand his assistance in making his case. "This is House Terrick, Protector of the Cape of Eagles, Lords of the Roost. All of this…" He shakes his head. "This is beneath us. I care little for wounding Jaremy's pride, now," he says, and steps back to lower himself onto the edge of Lucienne's bed. "Not when he seems so set on wounding our very honor, and our future besides."
"Then you would cut down our friend, Jarod, and Terrick would lose any hope for regaining Stonebridge," says Lucienne rather shrilly. "If I were Anton, I'd think it a smart way to have my own back for such an insult." Little Lu lifts her chin up defiantly in a display rarely, if ever seen from her. She sets her free hand childishly to her hip, her comb held stoutly to her chest as she turns her fierce brown eyes upon Jacsen. "I /am/ a bargaining chip. But I am also a smart and capable woman, and I believe Anton to be a smart and capable man. From Oldstones, we would have a new vantage. A place from which to observe the Naylands, who intend to trade there. A reach beyond Seagard, with access to Fairmarket. A step closer and a step surer with the Banefort. And most importantly, Jacsen, none of our brothers would die over this idiocy. Do not deny me this, dear heart. What else is there? To save me for Stonebridge? Is that what this is, has Gedeon said something to you?"
Jarod goes to sit next to Jacsen, in the spot Lucienne just left. Not looking at either of them, shoulders hunched and arms folded on his knees. Parts of that argument with Jaremy plainly stung him more than he'd likely admit. It takes him a second to wind himself up to look at Lucienne, though he does it. "I'd not cut down Ser Gedeon." They can draw their own conclusions about what the means, as far as the outcome of a duel between the Knights Rivers. "Lord Ser Anton does want a marriage pact, Lu, but that may not be enough to stop this duel. He's a knight, and his honor has been questioned before the whole of King's Landing. He may not want to leverage anything, whatever Jaremy thinks. He may just want satisfaction. In any case, Jace is right, you're *not* some bargaining chip, not like this, and the threat of blood is no way to make a marriage. If you are to be matched with the Valentin…it can't be like this."
"You would have been a fair match for a man like Edmure Tully, Enne, a lord with hardly a palisade is nigh beneath you. But to offer you in response to the threat of a duel? No, we could not." Jacsen shakes his head quietly. "I'd told Lord Ser Anton… Jaremy acted on his own, but of late recognized his error. That he'd been so full of grief at his loss of Isolde, full of uncertainty at the loss of Stonebridge. I told him, accept the hand of friendship we are offering, accept a ward from amongst our cousins, accept material support, skilled hands for the sake of building his fort… and at the end of that path we'd walk in friendship could be this match with you, Lucienne." He shakes his head. "He seemed warm, some, to my candor, and my offer. But he hesitated for the sake of knowing Jaremy's mind first…" He runs a hand through his hair, and lets out a slow breath. "And all the while, Valentin and Terrick dance to the jig Nayland plays. How much longer do we let our brother make a mess of things?"
"At the end of that path, Jacsen, there will be fairer and younger maidens to tempt the Knight of Oldstones, and he will have his fortress and we will have lost our opportunity here." Lucienne huffs a breath, and drops herself dramatically into a fireside chair, her legs dangling over the arm in a most improper way and the back of it obscuring her face. She wriggles her toes. "Not to mention, our treasury is not inexhaustible. We would run ourselves into nothing, for nothing. You all are impossible."
"Jaremy maybe shouldn't talk to Lord Ser Anton alone again," Jarod suggests in an 'I am making a vast understatement' sort of way. "Lu…my Little Luci…like I said. It doesn't have to be me who proxies for Jaremy if you're going to get all sentimental." He offers her a slight smile. He's touched by the whole not-wanting-him-to-die thing. "Though I would be the closest answer to the insult, as Jaremy's brother, and satisfy it enough that Lord Valentin would likely balk less at the idea of a proxy. Still, Jaremy can pick his own champion, and perhaps wants none of me if how we left it tonight is any indication." Any traces of a smile fade, and he drops his eyes back to his calloused hands.
Jacsen's frown deepens. "And you both carefully ignore my question." He shakes his head slightly. "Marrying Lord Valentin does not stop our brother from the next strange theory or poorly-crafted bit of advice," he tells his sister, before he looks to his brother, "Nor does another dying in his stead ensure he will suddenly act as we might wish it. I love you both, and am glad to know you love our brother so well as I do, but none of this solves the very real problem that our father's heir seems… less than able to navigate the periphery of the station he will one day inherit. Ignore that, and whatever the three of us sacrifice, those that remain will be dealing with a similar problem a year or three down the line."
"You ignored mine," says Lu indignantly from behind her chair, pointing her toes. "Are you saving me for Gedeon, for Stonebridge? I know you two are close, Jace." Her whole manner seems to have reverted to that of her eight-year-old self. "As for Jaremy, I know not what to do anymore. Speak with him further, I suppose. Understand his mind better. Hope that his betrothed has better sway than we do?"
"Jaremy already offered to step aside following this debacle. Maybe Father'll take him up on it if things get worse, maybe he won't. Not for us to say. Jaremy said he'd do better, and I think once the sting of this fades and he's wed to Anais Banefort, he will," Jarod says. Looking up from his hands and over at Jacsen. "Jace, I love you, you could never say anything I won't forgive, and you know me better than perhaps anyone alive. But if this is going to turn into a conversation about how to work against Jaremy, you can go fuck yourself, because I'll have no part of it."
Jacsen lifts his fist and thumps his brother rather hard in the shoulder, at that. "And you can go fuck yourself, for suggesting such a damn thing," he grumbles, though there is no real weight of anger in him for it. "I am a true and loyal brother, and that will never change. I'm just hoping you'll stop worrying about dancing on eggshells for the sake of Jaremy's feelings. Say what he needs to hear, and to hell with worrying about stinging him, that's what I'm after." He glances over at Lucienne, and shakes his head a bit. "Well, maybe not you, as he cannot be mad at /all/ of us, but still… and no. It's not that I've plans with Ged, though it'd be a fine match if he were given his birthright… but that is a long way off, too long to hold on other avenues for the sake of. Besides, it might do to see if we can't find him some Nayland girl, one not so mired in the same ill vapors that have made the rest so contemptible, to take the edge off losing the Stonebridge."
"Stop swearing!" Lucienne's exclamation is delivered as she arches her back to peer around the other side of the chair at her brothers. "I still think the best solution here is to offer my hand as a salve. It doesn't need to be an immediate thing, the wedding, but if you leave Lord Anton to consider your offer of timber and men and whatever else that is not the wife he desires, I can almost guarantee you all he will come back looking for blood. I spoke to him. I know." And having declared that, she ducks back behind her chair to resume brushing out her hair with that pretty comb.
"Fuck you, you asshole." Jarod thumps Jacsen back with a fist of his own, rather hard, though he's not really trying to hurt him. He plays rough. He's laughing as he does it, and it ends with him trying to put a bro-y arm around Jacsen's shoulder. That takes any of the tension, and some of the ill-feeling that's hung over him since the argument with Jaremy, out of him. Lucienne's chiding for swearing earns an abashed shrug. "Sorry, Lu."
His stronger, much more able brother gets a bit more hell from Jacsen before he joins in the amicable laughing, the release of tension that seems visible in his frame. "Sorry, Enne," he mutters when they are chided. He lets out a long breath, and finally admits to the room, "If you want the truth of my hesitation, beyond proprieties' sake, Enne? I'm not completely convinced that there isn't something wrong about Lord Anton, or Ged, despite my love for him. Something in how Gedeon carries himself, how he is the last person to seem to even mention this claim to the Stonebridge, or what it might mean to him… and in how Lord Ser Anton accepts willingly friendship and beneficence from Hag's Mire, when the same Naylands have stolen his own knight's letters, letters that prove him heir to a fine holding." He looks between the two of them. "No whiff of discord with those he knows to be liars, and thieves, against his own man, and yet he talks of dueling over a slight to an honor he likely forgot about across the Narrow Sea. All the while seeking so desperately to marry a Terrick. There is still something that does not add up, and I'll not commit your hand to him without understanding what it is that I'm seeing."
Lucienne continues to blithely brush her hair, inspecting the ends as she catches them up in her comb. She listens, behind her chair, her feet still dangling over the edge where they can be seen to stretch and flex. "A man who has nothing accepts whatever he can," she supposes. "But even if you're right: keep your friends close, your enemies closer."
The rough-housing is plainly just what Jarod needed, as he's in a much better frame of mind after he and Jacsen have elbowed at each other for a minute. "Well, we had an opportunity to get to know the man that we rather wasted. That's not all Jaremy's fault. We all should've spent more time figuring him out while he was under our roof and more than willing to be our friend. And we…know he's a real nobleman so…we've got that figured out." He shrugs. It's a joke.
Jacsen fixes his brother with a stern look. "You know, you're much smarter than you act, Jarod." Somewhere between a compliment and a criticism, he leaves it at that. "Not a man with such an easily bruised sort of honor, Enne, I think. But mayhap you are right, and it is nothing. I just mean to say that our brother is not /wholly/ unreasonable in his concerns. Just almost certainly unreasonable." That said, he doesn't waste much time in following it with a question. "How did things go with the Nayland man, Ser Bruce?"
Lucienne emits a soft 'mmmm', not willing to commit anything further to the conversation about Anton. Or about Jaremy. She'll just continue to brush her hair and flex and point her toes rhythmically whilst she listens to Jarod answer their brother's question.
"I keep telling you about my unappreciated genius, little brother. Glad you're starting to believe me." At mention of the Nayland man, Jarod gets more serious again, though the earlier tension stays gone. "Well, at least to start. He doesn't seem anymore…what I mean to say is, if he didn't know what Amelia Millen was to the Naylands before he left us the first time, there's no indication he's been told anything more now that he's back. I told him the broadstrokes of her admission to the murder, though nothing of the spying. He didn't even press to have her hung anywhere but the Roost. He agrees with the rightness of Terrick justice for a Terrick citizen for a crime done on Terrick lands. So that, at least, I think is settled. He's speaking with her tonight, so we'll see if more mess comes out of that, but frankly I'm more than a little interested in how she puts things to him. And how he takes it, going back to his lordship. He strikes me as a good man, and the ugliness of that tale I don't think'll sit well with him, if she doesn't just feed him a simple lie to avoid more dealings with the Naylands."
Jacsen nods once at that. "I'm rather curious as to how he responds as well, please make a point of letting me know?" He asks that as he reaches for his cane, pushing up to his feet and shuffling over towards his sister. He reaches out a hand to lightly tickle at one of his sister's dangling feet. "Come now, let us all be done being dour or sullen or silent for the evening. There's no Lord of Oldstones about, so precious little to be done about this all anyways."
"That's the problem, Jace," pipes up Lucienne as he tickles her foot, trying to jerk it away. Ticklish! "There is no Lord of Oldstones about to put this right. And none of you want to, anyway. I just don't think he'll accept what you're offering."
"You know, I don't think the four of us - all four of us - have had a proper evening together since the pair of you returned from Seagard," Jarod says. "We should. Once Jaremy's removed the large metal prod from his ass and stopped being mad at us. Or we've stopped being mad at him. I forget precisely what direction that quarrel's running at the moment." To Jacsen, he nods. "Aye, I'll let you know. But I don't want to think about Amelia Millen or even Ser Longbough, either. It all circles back to dour, and my little brother is right, we can do better than that."
It's clear Jacsen tries hard not to let his sister's retort diminish his mood. "Remy offers to abdicate, Jar to die in his place, and you sweet Enne to marry this mysterious Lord," he observes. "What a sacrificial bunch, the lot of you. I wonder what that makes me, that I've not yet offered up some for the cause?" Jacsen smirks. "Mayhap they could make use of my other leg." But yes, despite himself, he'll try to tickle her again.
Lucienne sighs, and sets her comb in her lap again. "He's not quite as mysterious to me as to the rest of you," she says simply, summoning a smile. "Maybe I want to marry him. He's fair to look upon, after all. Perhaps, with the help of my good brothers at the Roost, I could be the Lady who sees Oldstones from a ruin to a powerful entity." The tickling makes her dissolve into giggles, though, and she swings her feet back round to the floor and pushes herself from the chair - taking care not to drop her comb this time. "Jarod already said he'd come visit me in my timber hall."
"Smarter than the rest of us?" Jarod suggests to Jacsen, as to what that makes him. "But we knew that already. You're still an asshole." He elbows his brother again. All in love. "Sweet seven. Did you guys ever figure we'd end up in anything remotely like this? Any of these bits of madness. Back when we were kids?" He, plainly, did not. He nods firmly to Lucienne. "Damn right I will. If it comes to that, you'll not be able to get rid of me. I'll make a nuisance of myself to the common girls of Oldstones, and we'll all sit around a fire in the timberhall and tell funny stories and be family. Wherever any of us end up. That's how it'll always be."
Jacsen seems pleased enough with his sister's devolution into giggles, and leaves her be insofar as her sensitive foot is concerned. "Ah, you would want to get married, so that when Jaremy does his duty and foists an heir out of Anais, father will be free to turn his attention to me, and I can be wed off to some crannoglord's daughter in the swamps or the like, where I can no longer pester my eldest brother with my counsel." He grunts faintly at that. "No thank you." It's Jarod's words that resume his smile, and he chuckles. "Come to my swamps, won't you, good Jarod? You might find some swamp girls to your liking there."
"I'm not sure that we'll have any common girls at Oldstones," Lucienne tells Jarod amusedly. "But you feel free to gift us some of the smallfolk from here, won't you?" Abandoning her comb to the chair, she wanders across the room purposefully, to her bed. "When I was a girl, you all listened to me better," she jokes as she flops there, right next to Jarod. Then she scootches up toward her pillows. "Won't Lord Jason want you back, Jace? At some point. You did so well there."
"I'll go with you as far and long as you'll have me, little brother, and maybe they'll write another fine ballad about us," Jarod says. "I could do with a bog maid, I think. You know what they say about frog girls, don't you? They can jump farther than…" A look over at his little sister. Oh, she's still there. He does not elaborate on what 'they' say about frog girls. Blushing some. "That's untrue, Little Luci. I listen to you much better than I did when I was a boy. And I don't tie your hair in knots anymore. I've matured admirably."
Jacsen seems content to slip into the chair Lucienne abandoned, thereby finishing their oblique switching of spaces. "He might, Enne. I acquitted myself well, I think, in his service," he points out, "But after all of this…" He shakes his head some, and lets out a breath, it is clear it is not something that he dwells on with much positive thought. "I don't know that he will ask me to return."
Lucienne leans back into her pillows with a soft, contented sigh. Or maybe that's a soft, 'I'm ignoring Jarod and his crass language' sigh. "Well I'll have you both at Oldstones, more fool Jason Mallister. Together we could take that ruin from ground and fashion it into something great, don't you think? Like one of those adventures you boys would leave me behind for when I was just small. You could help me design an impressive fortress."
"Lord Jason Mallister is a man who remembers those who've done good service for him, Jace. I suspect he'd have you back if that's where you truly wanted to be," Jarod says. "But in the meantime. You're back home. And Lucienne isn't being sent off to be Lady of the Timberhall yet, and we aren't off to the swamp to conquer frog maidens. And Jaremy's…somewhere here. Presumably, still. We hope. Would the pair of you rather be anywhere else, really, even despite what a mess some things are right now?"
"Enne? Can you swat our dear brother? He's entirely /too/ optimistic with cheer," Jacsen requests with a laugh, sinking back against the chair. "We should try to do a dinner, or something, like you said Jarod. Something before the wedding, just we sons and daughter of Jerold Terrick." As soon as he's said it, though, it seems to bring a question to mind. "Can I ask you both about our father's ward, Lady Liliana? What do you make of her?"
Lucienne cranes her neck to look over toward Jacsen, and shakes her head. "Uh-uh," she replies, with a grin. "He's too close, and in this mood, if I swat him he might tickle-tackle me or pull my hair." As for the Camden ward, she lays her head back down to suppose, "Lili's alright. She likes you, Jace. She thinks you're fairer than Jaremy, even fairer than dear Jarod, you know." Cue the girlish giggle.
Jarod grins, in his most cheeky possible fashion, at Jacsen. "Aye. We should do that. Lady Liliana?" He considers that for a moment. "While she's been in the household these past two years, I can't say we're very familiar." Which may not be terribly surprising. Jarod minds his propriety pretty strictly around noblewoman he isn't related to. "She's…she strikes me as a funny one, really. Doesn't seem quite comfortable in her own skin, though she serves as a lady of the house well enough. Likely she misses Tall Oaks, which is very different country than this. I'd likely feel just as much an outsider if I had to spend two years in her wood, no matter how good the folk there were to me. Why do you ask? I know she got into some bickering with Lady Anais. I hope there hasn't been further trouble between them." At Lucienne's answer, however his brows arch upward at Jacsen. "You like her?"
The youngest of the brothers holds up a hand in a slight, dissenting motion. "It is not that, why I ask. I've spoken with her some of late," Jacsen remarks, "And she's been hard pressed to hide some… I do not know that sadness is the word, perhaps regret… she's been hard pressed to hide her regret for how she thinks we children of Lord Jerold view her. She claims to consider herself family, and that father treats her the same, she told me she held him as fondly as her own sire." He looks between his two siblings. "I wonder at whether we should include her, in some fashion. Tall Oaks shall never put knights to the field for our cause, but that is no reason not to deepen the friendship between our houses. And that besides, she seems rather fond of father and his Roost."
"If you want to," says Lucienne in the sort of tone that would usually be accompanied by a shrug - far more candid in the company of just her brothers. "I've never been given cause to dislike her, but Jaremy might feel different. I wasn't there when she told Anais off, but people all over the castle were talking about it for a good few days after." A beat, and she adds an agreement with something Jarod said: "She's certainly an asset to the household. Industrious girl, even if she's not as obedient as she should be."
"View her?" Jarod seems rather puzzled by this, shrugging an actual shrug to go along with his tone. "I don't view her in any disfavor, as I said, but I figure I've no cause to view anyone uncharitably. Well, most anyone. Anyhow. All right by me if you want to, Jace. More the merrier and all that, and all that. Speaking of Tall Oaks and deepening ties, I'd not mind visiting the place if we ever have cause to. I got on well with their Captain of the Guard, Lord Dafydd Camden, while he was here." 'Got on well' seems to imply he's been made a member of the Jarod Rivers Fraternity. Admission is cheap and open to pretty much anyone who is nice to Jarod over a skin of wine. "He also seemed interested in building up their garrison some, which makes me think maybe they tire of complete neutrality."
"It's only a notion, Enne, as I know the girl has not been the model of perfect propriety…" Jacsen agrees, pondering his sister whom lays upon the bed, "But it is not as if we can afford to cast many stones in that regard of late? And besides, whatever her failings, she is a ward to our home. I just think not to alienate her, if possible. It might do us all well." He stretches a bit in the chair, giving a faint yawn. "But I like this idea of visiting Tall Oaks. Maybe they've some forest maidens, Jar? My last trip anywhere but here or Seaguard was to Lannisport, and that some few years ago. I'd like to come along, if you make the trek."
"I wholeheartedly agree. Like I said, Lili's alright by me." Lucienne rolls onto her side, the folds of her dress's neckline falling open enough that she sees fit to adjust them. "Don't be marrying me off up there, please," she begs, half sincere.
"It's near the North, little brother. Maybe we could venture up and do some hunting in the summer snows while we were in the area. Find us some bearskins." Jarod concludes that with a merry wink to Jacsen. He may mean something more by 'hunting' than going out with a bow and shooting forest animals. "Aye, you'd better. It'd not be any fun on the road without you. And fear not, Lu. Even Oldstones offers us more than Tall Oaks likely would, though they seem good folk and if they want to keep to themselves…well, the world's a place where I can't say that's not appealing."
"I should think Tall Oaks has few and far between when it comes to pacts of marriage," Jacsen assures his sister with a warm chuckle, "And even I could not be so cruel as to sentence you to a life of indecision." He affects a far less eloquent voice than his own when he says, "Well, my dove, wait… did you say you prefer to be called doe? I'd not want to offend… oh, yes, yes. So like I was saying my doe, my dove… I like this red jacket very well, but the blue jacket is just worthy of merit…" He devolves into a small snicker, after effecting some caricature of a Tall Oaks' man, unable to choose one side over the other.
<FS3> Lucienne rolls Marksmanship: Failure.
Quietly, and slowly, Lucienne gathers up one of her spare pillows. She sits up to do this, and twists it behind her ever so stealthily… and then tosses it fair at Jacsen. Fortunately for her brother, it misses by a country mile, hitting one of the other chairs by the unlit fire. "Ahhh! I should've spent more time throwing rocks than picking herbs as a girl," she laments with another giggle.
Jarod devolves into chuckles over Jacsen's imitation of fashion neutrality, his shoulders shaking. "I imagine the choice over salt or pepper for their venison takes hours to resolve. Whoa!" He ducks low in his chair as the pillow flies, not that it's in any danger of hitting him. "It's not too late to start, Lu. We can spend some time in the practice yard. I'm still technically lacking in a squire, so I've plenty of instruction time if you want to learn how to fling large, heavy objects at things. Call it preparation for marriage."
"You should have," Jacsen agrees with a grave sort of nod, once he's ducked the threatless pillow, and laughed his fair share. "But like Jarod says, you could learn a few things for that marriage you're so desirous of. Teach her how to throw large logs, Jarod, at least in the Timber Hall she'll never run out!"
<FS3> Lucienne rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.
Lucienne's mouth forms a large 'o' at her brothers' responses, as though she's scandalised proper. "That's /it/," she declares, reaching for another pillow to hurl at Jacsen, this time crawling down the bed to drag it a little closer. Better for her aim - proven when she tosses the thing. "And /you/, Jarod," she accuses playfully, interrupting any mirth he might be indulging in at his brother's expense with an attempt at tackling him. Slight thing that she is, she really hasn't a chance there.
Jarod is indulging in a lot of laughing at Jacsen's expense. There's even some pointing involved. So he's not precisely on his guard at the moment, and is easily tackled. "Seven hells!" This just makes him mirthy-er, and he ends up toppled from his chair, largely at Lucienne's mercy, laughing in breathless, braying guffaws.
DUMP: Caytiv once had the sister of the database.
Jacsen throws up his arms to block the pillow and barely manages with the laughing, "Curse you, you log-chucker you!" He's laughing even harder when he sees Lucienne topple their big, strong brother from his chair. "And she can cut down the big logs too, look at her Jarod! Forget Lady, she's Queen of the Timber Hall!"
Surprised by her success at overthrowing sturdy Jarod, Lucienne grins and gives a victorious, "Ha, ha!" Down on the floor, she pins him with two hands and mock-sneers, "Do you yield, Ser?"
"Piss…off," Jarod gasp-chuckles in Jacsen's general direction, still cracking up too much to do anything properly defensive. He blinks up at Lucienne, getting his breath back, though he's still laughing a good deal. "All right, all right, I yield. Show me mercy, my lady, and spare my life."
Jacsen laughs some more, and slaps his good knee with humor. "The mighty Ser Jarod Rivers, felled by his lady sister! Now that is a story worth writing a song over, Jar! Hmm, how would it go…"
With a satisfied nod and her grin still intact, the gracious would-be Queen of the Timberhall draws her hands back, allowing Ser Rivers up. "I don't know that he's hard enough for me to take with to my timberhall," she sniffs to Jacsen as she scrambes to her feet and starts fixing the front of her dress up. "And you, you're a bit too insolent for my liking. Maybe you both can serve in the kitchens, if I'm to be a gracious lady…"
"I have a feeling it's going to make me sound far less impressive than the last one did," Jarod says, getting to his feet with a grunt, still chuckling. "But I will serve however you ask of me, Lu. Though I should probably clear out. Get some sleep. I'll need to find Jaremy on the morrow to apologize for…offering to die for him." He snorts. "Have to wind myself up for that, I suspect."
"Wind yourself up enough to toss an explanation for your lame-legged brother in there?" Jacsen asks after Jarod, as his knightly brother announces his intentions. "Let him know it's precisely because I love him that I argue as I do, and that no matter what… we stand by him?" He shakes his head a bit, yawning again, this time into the back of his palm. "Because we do, no matter how he might feel."
Lucienne wrinkles her nose. "He's just feeling precious," she defends their absent brother. "You would be too. I'll speak to him as well, in my gentle sister way." As opposed to her eight-year-old sulking sister way, most probably. "Now out, the both of you. And if Hattie's still in the hallway, would you send her back in? I can't sleep with my hair all messy in my face."