|Time To Move Forward|
|Summary:||Jacsen and Lucienne discuss a few things, including a letter from Jason Mallister.|
|Related Logs:||Jaremy logs, I guess? Stonebridge logs? Lots!|
|Courtyard, Four Eagles Tower|
|A courtyard. Seriously.|
|11 October, 288|
The morning is still fairly young, the sun not yet high enough in the clear blue sky to make the out of doors uncomfortably hot; Lucienne is up and about, picking flowers from one of the vines that snakes up the support columns by the stairs and placing them gently into a basket slung over her arm to avoid bruising the delicate petals. Looking bored as buttons, Hattie has decided to sit right in the way of traffic coming and going - only, there's not so many people coming and going just now, lucky for her.
Well, at least one bit of traffic of note makes his way, one Hattie can hardly claim she did not know was coming, from the rhythmic tap of his cane upon the floor. Jacsen, looking as refreshed as he has in a while and with a smile on his face, and makes his way for Lucienne. "Good morning, my dear," he calls, his voice not so pleasant as to seem strange, but certainly warm.
Hattie makes a concerted effort to control the peevish twist to her features as she shifts out of the more comfortable spot and into… a spot equally comfortable and yet out of the way. Lucienne pauses mid-nestle of one of her flowers to look over her shoulder and beam a bright smile at her brother, right as he greets her. "Morning," she says, equally warm. "Do you think I've picked too many of these? I hope the column doesn't look too bare."
He shakes his head a bit, giving first the basket and then the column a glance. "I'm no gardener, but I'd say you've left enough on the vine for appearances," Jacsen supposes, shrugging with the shoulder not put to leaning on his cane. "What're you picking the blooms for?"
"For my room," Lucienne admits guiltily, settling the last flower in and ducking her head to inhale a breath of the very faint scent from the basket. "What brings you out into the daylight?" She turns, then, away from the column to better face Jacsen with her rosy smile.
"You," Jacsen admits easily enough, offering his arm towards his one and only sister, his lips curving with pleasure. "Shall we talk, my dear Enne? You wanted to hear about Lord Mallister's letter…"
Lucienne offers her basket out, not to Jacsen, but to Hattie. Unlike her lady, the girl is not in the best of moods today, and a gentle 'ahem' is required to gain her attenion again. She scrambles up and grabs the thing, and Lucienne latches onto her brother's arm and nods. "I did, I do. So tell me, then? Shall we sit somewhere?"
He nods in the direction of one of the various benches that adorn the courtyard, and slowly leads his sister in that direction. Jacsen's pace is as measured as ever, for the sake of his leg. "Of course, I mentioned he would be attending the ceremony here, and looked to conference with father and I on a great number of issues," he begins, "And he did mention the matter of Jaremy…"
Lucienne's own steps are measured, as ever, for the sake of her brother's leg too; such a stately pace suits her, anyway. "I look forward to seeing him at the wedding," she says, though it's that last matter that earns her curiosity. "I suspect he was as disappointed as we are?"
"He was, of course," Jacsen agrees with a dip of his chin, "But he was also… sympathetic. More than I expected he would be, Enne. Enough that I wonder if he did not…" He frowns a touch, and shakes his head some, casting his blue eyes across the courtyard. "He would not be the first to tell me that this was for the best, and find comfort in that fact."
"There would be no sense," Lucienne supposes in a serious, contemplative tone, "In telling you otherwise, at this point. Would there? What's done is done, and will be done by the end of the week. Still, I'd believe those opinions to be… sincere. However ill it might be to provide them, considering he's your brother." She turns her face to look up at Jacsen, her smile grown thin and wan.
Jacsen's expression is not so thrilled at the notion either, though he soldiers on in sharing the contents of the missive, pushing aside thoughts of now distant Jaremy. "Most notably, he spoke on the topic of Gedeon Rivers and his letters," he remarks, footsteps coming to a slow halt as he guides his sister to the bench, and helps her to sit before he'll move to join her. "He has written to Lord Hoster Tully, advising his liege to request the letters for his own personal viewing, and for safekeeping."
She sits, settling her skirts just so as Jacsen joins her, the discord filtering out of her expression as he continues. Her smile, even, returns some measure of brightness to her eyes, and she allows herself a long, relieved sigh. "That is some of the best news I've heard in weeks, Jacsen. Have you told Gedeon, yet?"
"He was the first after our Lord Father," Jacsen confirms, setting his cane to rest on the side of the bench, before he turns what measure he might to better face Lucienne. "He makes a clear point, though, that Lord Tully might not see Gedeon as rightful heir, and might seek blood in other Tordane relations, or even Freys, but it is a start. And if the worst is true, and the letters are destroyed? Think of how that must make the Naylands seem before the Lord Paramount of the Riverlands himself."
"It is a start," echoes Lucienne, nodding again up at her dearest brother. "Hopefully the whole mess will be put to bed swiftly now, however it so works out. We can honestly say we've done our part to help, even if Gedeon doesn't end up a Lord." A fact that brings her some comfort, apparently. "Lord Jason didn't happen to provide any insight as to how he felt the matter would fare with Lord Hoster?"
Jacsen shakes his head. "He gave no such impression, though I think he might be more candid when he is here in counsel with father and I," he suggests, "And left to his letter only those sentiments he was willing to openly state, including his lack of confidence in Lady Isolde and her husband. All things considered, it was the best we could have asked from Seaguard."
The news regarding the current Lord and Lady of Stonebridge see Lucienne's brows lifting, a little surprised. "He said that, in a letter?" She hums a thoughtful note. "Well. It does sound a promising response, then, and I'll take heart in that, my love. One less thing for you to worry about?"
"My efforts are not restricted simply to that, but it does ease my worries a touch," Jacsen admits, nodding his head quietly, even as he reaches out for one of his sister's hands. "And leaves me with some hope, for the first time in a while, that this might end well for us and ours."
"It does seem as though we're due a bit of luck," offers Lucienne, hopeful. She splays out her fingers that Jacsen may twine his in them, shifting a fond look down at their two hands joined. "Is Jarod back yet? I've not seen him about. I wish he'd just come home, honestly."
"Word is that he should be, very soon," Jacsen admits, his fingers easily slipping between Lucienne's and squeezing with a gentle strength. "If word of his passing is reliable enough, anyways." He looks down at their hands a moment before his eyes lift to his sister's face, and he admits, "I hate to say it, but… I think I am ready to make some peace with things. Jaremy has left, and when we know him again, it will not be as it was before. Love him we will, but he has abandoned and lost his place here. It's…" He draws up their hands, and presses a kiss to the back of Lucienne's palm. "It's time we moved forward."
The first is good news, and is met with a soft curve of a smile; it is the second that wipes it clear, to be replaced with a frown. Lucienne's brown knit into a scowl, which she attempts to fix on Jacsen as she lifts her head. Something about it softens, though, perhaps as he kisses her hand, or perhaps as she looks into his eyes and admits, "I don't think I will ever forgive him for leaving the way he did… but you're right. We need to move forward, now, without Jaremy."
Jacsen, gravely, nods once. "He hurt us, Enne, and it won't be something easily forgiven or forgotten, though Seven knows we ought to try," he offers, squeezing her hand once more. "But we can't let what's come before to draw us away from what is let to be. When he is known to us again, then we shall cross that bridge. Until then, let us look to other things."
"If he is known to us again," Lucienne corrects, her tone a little bitter. She draws in a deep breath that's released as an equally deep sigh, and summons her smile back, however small. "Other things," she agrees. "Anais seems excited about her father arriving soon. Have you spent much time with her, lately?"
He frowns a touch at his sister's insistence, but he does not correct her. Instead he draws a breath and shakes his head some at her question. "Not much, a bit here or there, but I admit there's been so much occupying my time, and hers besides…" Jacsen sighs. "I suppose I should have. Still should, given the chance, it's just…" He shakes his head. "I'm embarrassed to say, Enne, I'm not quite sure how I should be to her, when we are together."
Lucienne lifts a shoulder in reply, her eyes darting momentarily away from her brother. "I suppose that depends on what kind of wife you'd like her to be, Jacsen."
"A good wife?" Jacsen suggests, clearly uncertain on that subject, his shoulders rising and falling in a shrug. "I don't know, Enne. I did not, a few weeks ago, think I would be having a wife any time soon. I'd not given it much thought, honestly."
"I did not, just a few months ago, think I'd be married off to a timberlord, either," says Lucienne, as though with no sympathy at all for her brother. "But you will have a wife, within the week, so you should make time to think about it, my dear heart. Do you want her affection? Do you want her counsel, her comfort? Would you rather she keep her distance and simply provide you with children? I hear Ser Rygar Nayland hasn't seen his wife in years."
His frown returns, deeper. "I know that, Enne, and do you think I am not sympathetic to your situation?" Jacsen keeps his hand with hers, and even squeezes it faintly to show that, despite his ire, he is not wroth or the like. "I cannot be Ser Rygar," he answers, after pausing for a quiet breath, "Away from my home, leaving my wife to run my household. The Roost will need a hand, firm, upon it… and that hand should be of Terrick blood. I suppose if I am to be near her, I would want a wife that is at least somewhat fond of me, that I might trust."
"I've made peace with my situation," she retorts, shrugging again, unaffected by that frown and Jacsen's tone. "Anton is pleasant, and he rides well enough, and I have what he doesn't, what he needs for his hold." Lucienne suppresses something of a smile. "I think often of what I would want from my future husband, and how I might gain it. I can't… think of anything, myself, that you might have in common, but you should spend time with Anais. Get to know her, that you might figure out the same."
Jacsen shakes his head slowly and glances at some place off in the distant quadrant of the courtyard, where the activities of the morning are still only being to unfurl. "Yes, Enne, I hear you. Speak with the woman, and get to better know her," he repeats, his eyes cutting back towards Lucienne. "There is little other choice than that, it seems, if the Roost is to be anything but a cold place in years to come."
"She…" Lucienne bites down on her lower lip, her expression suddenly more tender, her eyes fixed upon Jacsen. She hesitates before speaking again, offering his hand a squeeze similar to those he's bestowed upon hers. "There would never… there would never be someone who I would say measures all that you deserve, my dearest heart. If you don't want Anais to be your wife, maybe you should… look at her sisters. Talk to our father. The alliance with the Banefort is important, but I doubt it needs be with that particular daughter, if she unnerves you so much."
He smiles a wan smile at that. "She wishes to be Lady Terrick too much, I think, for any such last minute renegotiation of our terms," Jacsen stresses, "Even if I were to find a Banefort more agreeable, I will have earned a tenacious foe in Anais. And I cannot say there is a Banefort more suitable… She is intelligent, she is beautiful, young, and will owe all that she has in this world to me. That is not so terrible." He shakes his head, chuckling without humor. "Perhaps it is just that I am spoiled, Enne. She will wish to be my advisor, and if I am wise I would accept that, but I think she will kick and scream all the while I show her how I would be advised. She is proud, perhaps too much." His eyes lift to favor his sister's. "I need simply amend myself to this, and see it done."
"I can imagine the names she might call you," Lucienne says with a guilty smirk at the thought. She shakes her head, too. "She is nothing like a Terrick lady," says one herself, "But that is not necessarily a bad thing. I suspect she would have been a far better match for Jaremy, but I'm sure, given time, she will learn how to be heard by you, my love. You will grow fond of her, and you will trust her, and you both will make fine rulers here." A deep breath follows, measured long and slow, and Lucienne's lashes fall to her cheeks for a moment as she finds her smile once more.
Jacsen draws a thoughtful breath at that. "I suspect you are right, about her and Jaremy," he says, "And I pray you are right about the rest." He draws up his sister's hand, and presses a kiss to the back of it. "I am glad, whatever comes, I know I will have you, my dearest Enne." He lets out a huff of breath, and lowers his hand with hers, looking out over the slowly rousing morn.