|Who'll Stop the Rain?|
|Summary:||Garett comes for Sela and meets Darek.|
|Date:||26 August 2012|
|Related Logs:||A Father's Prerogative|
|The expanse of landscape here was (and in parts still is) breathtakingly beautiful. Lush grass fed by the nearby waters of the rivers and smaller streams, while further to the west, the meadows fade into the shade of dense forest. It has been disrupted, though, by the construction begun some months ago that continues still, turning a pastoral landscape into a budding noble seat. Irrigation ditches are complete, a lumber mill buzzes with activity, and a new fence encloses housing and a village that is now well underway. Most prominent is a motte and bailey, which is newly finished and protected by a moat and a drawbridge that is lowered from a small gatehouse.|
|August 26, 2012|
Sela Hill is wandering about the freshly-laid streets of Highfield. She is back in her boy's clothes with a woven hat capped over her curls. She walks with her hands in the pockets of her breeches, and there is a thoughtful purse to her lips. Much of Highfield is in a state of newness with streets, buildings, and the motte-and-bailey keep still looking rather untouched by time nor conflict. There are levies everywhere though, and even now it appears they are preparing to march. She walks alone today, Mistress Gytha elsewhere perhaps — or possibly ditched by the sneaky little thief. She hums a gentle dirge, filling in the chorus now and then though not trusting her own voice.
Garett didn't want to leave Seagard. Finally started to get settled in his accomdations and being told that it wasn't going to be too long before he could start negotiations for a home in the city when the growing tension surrdonging Stonebridge, Hag's Mire, and Stonebridge is just getting worse. That urged his departure and arrival in Highfield, a hard ride under his feet on Regret, the large and imposing black fresian warhorse. Having stabled the horse a bit ago, he now walks the streets, all knowing exactly what to look for. A bounding about burnette in a boy's clothing. There is no happy look on his face. It is instead by a weary one, boots and the lower portions of his surcoat covered in dust from the ride.
There is something about blood being thicker than water, which means it must carry some inner alarm system. It is as if she senses her father's presence, and looks up from her idle walk with a quirk of her head. She searches about the crowds that move lazily through these streets until her gaze falls on the Westerling Knight. Almost at an instant, she feels a sudden bit of panic in her chest. She looks around nervously as if trying to locate one or two people — Darek perhaps, maybe even Gytha. Then she sets her jaw a bit as she starts to intercept her father. "Papa!" She calls out to catch his attention, though it is not joined with an immediate smile.
With a sniff, Garett jerks his head toward the familiar voice of Sela. Like her, that voice, new as it still is, rings within him like the reverberation of a clearly rung bell. Adjusting the cuff of his sleeve, he strides toward. There isn't really a frown on his face, but it's clear by his posture that the Westerling isn't really messing around right now. He wouldn't just show up without giving pior warning. "Sela." he replies, making a beeline toward her.
Fingers twist up around the interiors of her pockets, and she continues her approach to meet half way along the path. She holds her frown at the posture and expression on the knight's face, and she purses her lips a bit. "You don't look all that happy to see me," she says cautiously as she stands before him, the little slip of a girl having to look up to hold her father's gaze with her own.
"Not at you, Nightwing." Garett says. The nickname, one he started giving her after hearing about evening activities, perhaps a way to suggest that he really is't mad at her. "Perhaps annoyed at what I have to do. Acting like an actual father." Setting a hand on her shoulder, he tries to lead her off the hustle and bustle of the street. "I didn't want to come after you like some kind of doting parent. You're growing into a woman of your own and I doubt you very much like the idea of me chasing after you, but this time, I want you to understnad why I've come."
Sela blinks several times at the words that come from her father, and her brows knit sharply together. "Come after me?" She starts to question before her face opens up with understanding. "You're here to take me out of Highfield," she says suddenly, and she shakes her head a bit. "Because of what's happenin' over at Stonebridge." Her lips tighten up a bit. "But, Darek will be leaving soon," she starts to object with a small quiver in her voice. "This… but Papa…"
Garett nods. "Glad you keep your ear to the ground." He can only hold the look at Sela for so long, before he has to look away, a glimpse of guilt on his features. "Yes, I've come to take you back to Seagard, Sela. For your own safety." he holds up a hand just in case she starts to argue the point. "I know. I know, it sounds like I don't believe you can take care of yourself. I know you can." Looking back at her, he puts both calloused hands on her shoulders. "But war is coming, Sela. And I will not see my daughter wrapped up in it. Not while I breathe." Then, he takes in a breathe. "This Darek, does he care for you? Do you think he wants you to see what can and might come to pass?"
The little thief grimaces, though she does not shrug away his hands so easily. Her gaze does fall away, and she shoves her hands ever deeper in her pockets. "Of course he cares for me, Papa," she says in a dismal whisper. "But… he… this could be the last time I see him." Her voice has the smallest hitch within it. "I saw what happened after the reavers rebelled… Momma had to look after widow after widow as their husbands' bones were brought back." There is a strange maturity about her now, though she still looks absolutely downtrodden by these words.
"Do you think I enjoy this?" Garett says. Not accusatory, just, helpless perhaps. "You have found someone that you care so much for to spend time with that," he pauses to grin at her a litlte bit. "That you'd rather spend time with him than me. Which I don't find as a slight. I was that age once too. I mean, that's kind of the same reason why you're even standing here." Then falls to one knee, if so he can get on equal level with Sela, literally and figuritivly. "But what would you have me do? I want you to spend time with him, but I also want to keep you away from this selfish madness that's taken over sane minds." He looks at the ground for a moment. "If I gave you one more night, would that be agreeable?"
Sela blinks at him owlishly as he kneels down to look into those tear-filled blue eyes. She hastily rubs her hand against her nose, sniffing hard as if ashamed to be seen in such a state before the Westerling knight. Her gaze is cast despondently around the township as if she is trying to gather her thoughts. "Can we not stay until the Charlton and Haigh levies march?" Which would be a lot more than the one night that he has offered her. She looks into his own eyes with a bit of hopefulness.
Garett is being the villian he has no urge in being. Where most fathers would command and demand this and that of their children, the Westerling does not. Will not. Seeing the weeling up tears, a calloused thumb from far too many years of holding a weapon gently moves to wipe them away. "I did not consider how deeply you felt about this boy." he says quietly. "I should've asked more questions and I should've taken it more seriously than a passing fling." His lips thin out. "You ask a great deal of me, Nightwing. It doesn't matter how long you stay, he will leave and there is little you or I can do about that. Neither of us has a right to deny a squire his right to prove himself as Knight. I will…" Steely blue-grey eyes dart away, as if to ponder. "I will consider your request tonight. But it is equally unwise for me to be here. I have no desire to give anyone the idea that I'm siding with my sister or the Charltons. I'm here for you."
With war now on a deadline, Darek Boldt is nearly always off on some errand or another when he isn't training. Even his playing at the inn has trailed down to almost nothing. Right now, he's running. Well, at this point in his circling of the township, he's merely trotting, heading back toward the keep at something just over a walk. Sweat glistens on his bare chest beneath his simple gray vest, although he's wiped it off his face with the wadded up shirt of simple, neutral-colored linen in his right hand. He holds a half-empty water-skin in his left hand, slowing as he spots a sniffling Sela with some big guy kneeling down in front of her. Anger flashes across his face, and he shifts his shirt into his left hand along with his waterskin, freeing that hand to clench it into a fist as he approaches the pair.
Those almost too-blue eyes stare steadily into Garett's as he speaks, and she flushes a bright red at the seriousness he suggests between her and Darek. It's not like they have spoken about it before. With a nod of her head, she rolls her shoulders a bit under his hands, but not to relinquish her shoulders from them. "All right," she says reproachfully to his promise to consider her request, and she presses the heel of her hand against one of her eyes to cease the threat of tears. For Garett, perhaps, he can see what she would have looked like five or seven years ago — childish and small. The look is not allowed to linger as she glances up to catch sight of an angry-looking Darek. It inspires her to hastily dash away remaining sadness as she puts on a small smile. "That's Darek there," she points out to Garett, nodding her head to the squire. She blinks a bit. "He looks mad."
"No matter what happens, I promise I will try to make it up to you." Garett says quietly. Make up what is left unsaid, but most likely it's the same thing it's always been to him; the loss of so much time between the two. Trying to be a good dad is hard. When she speaks up about Darek, it gets him to change his gaze, raising back up to his full height to stand next to Sela. So probably it wasn't just some guy kneeling infront of her. Especially if they carry some similiar features between the two. "That's him?" he watches carefully. "And of course he is. Boyfriend never like the father. It's a guy thing, dear."
Darek is smart enough to hesitate a little before taking a swing or anything like that. He looks between the rising man and the now-almost-smiling girl, and goes with a quite-eloquent, "Uh…" His right hand relaxes, and he tucks it behind his back for a moment before he raises it up to scrub his fingers through the sweat-darkened curls of his luxurious mop of hair, "I…" He looks to Sela, then Garett, and back, "I don't think I know your friend, Blue-eyes." There's a pause, and he shrugs a little, holding out his right hand to the taller, scarred man — even if it's a bit hesitantly — "I'm Darek Boldt, squire to Ser Jac Caddock, Captain of the Guard."
Oh, good. Darek doesn't try to punch Garett. Sela offers the squire a cautious smile even as she nods up to Garett. "I know," she murmurs to him. "Boys never liked Uncle Tristan." But now, she focuses on the squire as she offers him a gentle nod of her head. "Uhm, Darek… this is Ser Garett Westerling of the Crag… my father." She gestures to Darek at his introduction, letting the two men go about the normal exchange between father and suitor. She gnaws a bit on her inner cheek. "He's here to take me back to Seagard," she provides reproachfully.
"So you're Master Boldt then." Garett steps forward, the visage of the scarred knight looking him up and down, in a way that only a knight can. "The one who's apparently stolen my daughter's heart." He looks down at that hand for a moment, then shakes it in his own. The grip isn't crushing in some masucline effort to prove a point. But like anyone who's fought in the ring, it is like iron. "The date is not set in stone just yet, Sela. As much as I came here for you, I did want to make the effort in meeting him." he says over his shoulder at the younger Hill. Then back to Darek. "I wanted to see for myself the young man who's interested you so much."
Darek starts to smile at the introduction, and then he freezes a moment at the descriptor, "Ah…" And then she adds the bad news, "Shit… really?" And then he realizes that he just cursed in front of the noble father, "Shit, I shouldn't have said…" And then he just clamps down on his tongue, turning bright red with embarrassment. He might have tried to crush the bigger man's hand to show that he's totally manly like, but he's a bit distracted with thinking about what an ass he's making of himself. "I mean, it's a pleasure to meet you, Ser Garett. Miss Sela hasn't said much about you, but what she's said's been good, Ser." Wait, 'stolen her heart?' Dark eyes widen as he looks back to Sela, a quizzical look flashing across his features.
Sela blushes a rich crimson once more at her father's words, and she offers him a hopeless, "Papa…" Her gaze lifts toward Darek as he flashes her a quizzical look, and she shrugs her shoulders helplessly. She shuffles her feet a bit as she looks up at Garett. "I know, I know," she replies in regards to when they will be leaving, though her shoulders fall a bit. "In my defense," she says hopefully, "I told him quite a bit. I didn't talk about the shipwreck though, because I only know what everyone else tells me."
Garett waves a hand in dismissal. "I jest. I don't really ever get many oppurtunities to embarrass my daughter and I suppose you could say I'm making up for lost time." He doesn't look to worried about the slur. "Spare me. Your language isn't going to offend me, Master Boldt. You have more than enough to try and impress me, but really, there's no need. You make Sela happy, that's all that really matters to me. And if she's willing to make so many trips to Seagard to see you, I have to believe that she is. While I might be a little bit jealous that it means I see less of her, that doesn't really matter." The topic of the shipwreck, he just shrugs. "Considering I have no memory of that, dear, I know just as much as anyone else does."
Darek gets his hand back in full condition, "It's… uh, good practice, Ser. And I kind of need it, I guess." Once more, he scrubs his hair back from his face, holding it there as he tries to recover from his blush, "And yeah, I'm real fond of" he hesitates a moment, as if trying to figure out what to call the girl there in front of the imposing, scarred father-knight, "Miss Sela." Glancing over to her, he flashes a bright smirk that throws a dimple into his cheek, "Seems she's been talkin' a good bit about me though, Ser."
"Darek… I think Papa is okay with you calling me just Sela," the thief offers the squire with the smallest quirk of a smile. Then she breathes out a careful exhale, tilting her head to provide both men with a small smile. "I think Ser Garett was surprised enough to hear I existed, I didn't want him to be surprised about… you too," she offers with a hopeful lift to her voice. Now she offers Garett a bit of an awkward glance. "A week," she offers up to him now. "And if you don't want to stay here, the Roost isn't that far away and it's safer. But, I'd like to stay here for a week longer."
"Look, if there's one thing you want to be comfortable with, Master Darek, is that I'm pretty loose on titles and whatnot. Hell, I only do it when I know I should. People tend to focus more on the title than the person in front of them." Garett states, looking between the two. "I assumed as much. We didn't even have to speak much about you to get the idea that there was something going on. It wasn't that hard to figure out. I know your name, what you do, who you answer and that you've kissed her." Then he pauses, looking directly at Darek. "And that's -all- you've done, I hope?" The Westerlord seems to be pretty easy going. Well, almost about everything. "Because that's something you and I will have to have a talk about at some point." Oh, and that'll be some talk. But once that's said, he changes gears, going back to Sela. "Making demands of your father now, eh Nightwing?" Now it's back to good-humor.
Darek worries first about Sela's statements, "'Stay?'" He looks back to Garett, "You're taking," He pauses again, but sticks with, "Miss Sela away from Highfield, Ser?" Apparently he's going to stick with titles all around. "It's not likely to be safe out on the roads. Especially not around Stonebridge." Then he rushes through the next words, "Not that I'm sure you couldn't protect your daughter, Ser." And he lets his hair go, corking his waterskin and slinging his now-sweaty shirt over one shoulder. And then Garett's question catches up with him, and he clears his throat, going a bit red again, "Yesser," he lies. He's not bad at it, but he's not excellent either. "Of course, Ser. Whatever you'd like to talk about."
"No demands, negotiations," Sela offers with a small smirk. "I would rather stay until the armies march, but you said so yourself that's too long. So, I'm proposing a week." She crosses her arms at her chest, lifting her chin with a kind of noble air. Maybe she has been paying attention to all those lessons Briallyn has been suggesting. Though, she does blink several times as she realizes her father has asked Darek a rather important question. She blinks a few times as she looks over to Darek with wide eyes. She chews a bit at her lip though as she regards the squire.
"I know. And they won't be in the coming days, nevermind I have a feeling Sela is trying to get as much out of me as possible. Right now, the roads are safe, but as the days pass that's going to be rapidly changing." Garett replies. "So here I am in a rather unpleasent position. Either I take my daughter away for the sake of her safety. Or we stay, which could jepordize my ability when speaking with the Malisters. I don't want anyone getting the idea that I support this war." A look between the two of them. "Which I don't. No offense to who you serve, Master Boldt, but this madness will not end well for anyone. And my being in the same city that my sister has decided to stay in, will not look kindly upon me. I'm trying to stay out of the affair." Rock and a hard place, causing him to turn away to think, setting his hands on his hips. "Knew I should've sent a letter to Kamron, told him what I was doing." he mutters lowly. Any indication of Darek lying goes over Garett's head, his mind on enough things at the moment. "I see Bri has doing her fair share of speaking with you." Sigh.
Darek points with one hand up toward the keep, "There's a Mallister right up there, Ser. Or at least, there was one until like a day or two ago. So they can't really get upset at you for staying here. Besides, I mean… you've got family up here." He casts a smile at Sela, "Besides Miss Sela. And there's another Mallister who's been running around a lot. Even a Banefort too. Besides, we're totally in the right." He is apparently quite sure of the righteousness of the Charlton cause, even if it's only been his cause for a few weeks. "But yeah, The Roost's a fine place to stay. Nice inn even. And they're not gettin' involved in the tussle." Plus it's like… hours and hours closer than Seagard.
"Please," Sela almost pleads to Garett with the support of Darek. "A few days then, something." She gnaws a bit more at her inner cheek as she folds clasps her arms behind her back. There is a small bit of hope in those too-blue eyes. "And I would very much like to stay in the Roost instead of Seagard. I just… I want to be close. If something happens to Darek…" She looks over toward the squire, and she frowns a bit. "If something happens, I want to be closer…" She then frowns up at him, ignoring the Charlton pride from the boy she is so fond of. "You can still think about it," she offers.
Garett's eye twitches. Anything about Baneforts and Mallisters in Highfield is suddenly forgotten, as raw nerve was hit. And there's something that bubbles up in the man. Something bitter and angry. And he looks down at the squire through hard and unflinching eyes. The Old Garett. Shades of Ser Tristan Stark. "There is -nothing- 'right' about war. Nothing right or noble about it." he suddenly bites out. "Something you will learn very quick the first time you gut a man." There is restraint, for the sake that this is Sela's well, 'close friend', he stops short of going wholly off on the teen. "When we kill each other for petty gains and because someone may or may not be carrying an heir, who suffers for it more? The people do, not the nobility you serve. Remember that while Stonebridge burns." Each word is dropped with edge of a cold steel sword forged in the north. "You do not know the horrors of war, Squire. But you will. There is nothing glorious about it."
At that point, he turns away to look at Sela. "I like him, Nightwing." Odd to say given what he just said. Maybe somewhere deep down, in recesses of lost memories, he remembers what it was like. Perhaps he's trying to help, prevent what he became for so long. He didn't even realize his hand was clenched so tightly, that knuckles pop audibly. "Four days, Sela. You have four days. It is all I can give before the roads become to severe to travel. And I will stay with you until then. And if you are so damned and determined to stay at the Roost then, we'll do so together."
"I need…to clear my head. I will return shortly." Garett states, stalking off.
Darek blinks and starts back a little from the hard look and words. He straightens up a moment, opening his mouth to respond, and then apparently sees the better part of valor and closes it again. "I'm sure I will, Ser." The compliment draws a blink, and he looks over to Sela at the allowance of four days, a dimpling smile exploding onto his face, "Hey, four days ain't bad." He watches the big knight stride off, and he sidles over to the little thief, "Huh. He likes me. Who the fuck would've guessed it." There's a pause, and he looks after the departed knight, "Wait… how 'with' you is he gonna stay? That could be a real ball-buster."
Once, she heard Uncle Tristan and her mother arguing about this once in the kitchen of their hovel in the Finger. Robert's Rebellion, when the Starks were being called up to aid their Baratheon brothers. Now she knows for certain that her father squired with the Stark knight, and it makes her frown deeply. She looks over at Darek with a hopeful glance, praying he will not spur this conversation on further. Though when her father provides acceptance of the boy, she blinks several times. It takes that smile a few moments to blossom, but when it does, it does so gently. "I like him too," she confirms before her smile redoubles. "Four days," she says with a firm nod. Then she, like Darek, waits for the knight to stalk off. She purses her lips as she looks over at him. "He'll give us some time together, Darek," she promises as she reaches out for his hand, squeezing his fingers. "If I knew you were gonna be coming back alive, four days would be fine," she says in a bit of a hush.
Darek returns the squeeze of fingers, adding a smirk, "I'll be fine." Youthful confidence, sure, but he certainly sounds sure of himself, "Who knows, maybe when I come back I'll have my spurs." He gestures serruptitiously toward the departing knight, "Whatever your Da says." His smirk broadens, "Speaking of… Nightwing? I know some sops'd call your hair raven-wing an' all that, and you like to run around at night, but where'd that come from?"
Sela does not look as confident. "Maybe," she offers, however, as if she does not want to burst the boy's bubble over this. She looks after where her father had gone too, and she frowns a bit. "Maybe." Then at the mention of the nickname, she looks back around toward the squire. "It's more about how I like to move around, and when… it's like I have wings, he says." She offers him a small smile that threatens to bring on the faintest blush. "I still like yours too," she offers him with a small quirk of her chin.
It's at this point that Garett stalks to come on back from wherever he had been. Only this time he's puffing on a pipe, probably needing a borrow a flame from a latern or candle somewhere. He always smokes when he needs to calm down or when he generally desires to think over something important. This time, it's a bit of both. Only this time as he returns, he hangs back a bit, if only to give them space. No rush, of course.
Darek grins, "Good. 'Cause I like his, but it's his. I've gotta have mine." His hand squeezes hers again, "You think he'd like me better or worse if he heard me play? Something about him thinks I shouldn't try the traditional stuff." The young squire's free hand snaps a few times, as if sparking thought, "The new stuff though. My stuff. That's more like what he'd like, I think." He flashes another grin, "I like that he isn't the traditional sort." The poor kid doesn't seem to have noticed that the knight has started wandering back.
While Darek hasn't noticed, Sela has. But, she is quite good at paying attention to the world around her. She casts a glance toward Garett before she settles her attention on the squire once more. "I think he would like you all the same if you played for him," she says helpfully. "And no, I don't think Papa is very traditional. I think, maybe, once… he was. Everyone I've talked to says that he's changed a lot, since his accident. Maybe he use to like traditional, maybe he doesn't now." She smirks. "Maybe you should ask him what he thinks he might like."
"Change is a constant we must all abide by." Garett says quietly. "I remember a great deal since my accident, Sela. The staggering size of the Wall, the smell of your mother's hair. The number of dead after the Trident. Some times, you see the way things are and you cannot abide by them. Cannot agree with them. When you look at soceity and ponder why things are and know that it could be better." he states, puffing thoughtfully. "We only know what we are taught, what we're exposed to. And until you learn that there's more, one doesn't have the chance to grow, to change. If Master Darek here thinks me different, he's free ask to why I feel that way." Puff puff. Another look between the two. "But. I can give you two time to be alone if that's what you wish. I, heh, I remember what it was like." Beat. "For the most part."
Darek tilts his head slightly, "Accident? Is that what caused the…" And he makes a gesture with one hand, as if painting the knight's scar on his face. He starts a bit as Garett speaks up then, and the squire turns back toward the knight as well, trying to snatch his hand back from Sela's. Granted, she's already admitted that they've done more than that, but oh well. "It's just that I think I might have a chance to play tonight, if you want to pop down to the common room of the inn. You can see if you like the way I play."
At Garett's input, Sela smiles over toward him — especially at the memory of her mother's hair. It causes her to offer him a shy smile. Lania Shale is perhaps the one part of the Flint's Finger that she misses the most. She offers Garett a thankful smile before she glances over toward Darek. "And I bet you're hungry anyway," she offers helpfully. "Less sea fare than Seagard," she says with a smile, "but they have good food here all the same. Venison stew is their best." Even if Darek tries to escape from her gasp, she holds gently to his fingers as if to encourage him not to escape her.
"There is nothing wrong in holding her hand." Garett points out plainly. "If I were to deny my daughter the right to see you…what would that make me? A damn hypocrite, that's what. Her stepmother and I…we really have no room to talk." And that's about the closest he's going to say pretraining to his and Briallyn's pre-martial activities. "Pending our little conversation, Master Darek, you'll abide a simple a few things. One. You make her cry, you answer to me. You hurt her, emotionally or physically, you answer to me. There's more to that, but those are the basics. If you can abide by that, you, for now, have my blessing. But don't feel ashamed for feeling how you do, so let's just get that out of the way right now. Because she," he looks down at Sela, "is the most precious thing in my life. Better than I deserve. Now," Got that out of the way, didn't he. "You said something about playing? I've heard your mentor play once and I'd say if you do half as good a job as he, you'll be doing well for yourself."
Darek doesn't press the issue of retrieving his hand, slipping his fingers back into place between hers. He blinks at Garett's half explanation, starting to smile in interest — an expression that is cut off rather quickly by the laying down of the law. The squire draws himself up under that list, nodding his head, "That's not what I do, Ser. That's the last thing on my mind." He squeezes that thieving hand, and he adds, "She's yelled at me a few times," it's said with a wry smile, however, and he adds, "But we work it out, Ser. And yesser, I'm a fiddle player. Probably the best one west of The Twins, truth be told. And I can promise me, you've never heard anyone play like I do."
There is certainly a curious spike of a brow toward her father, but his words instead settle her into a bright smile that causes that pale, freckled face to brighten like the moon. She offers Darek's hand a gentle squeeze as the Knight proposes his rules to the squire — though 'proposing' seems like too weak of a term. As Darek accepts those terms, the strangely quiet thief finally releases a small exhale before the corner of her mouth quirks. "Uncle Tristan taught me to throw a punch and kick the nuts… don't you worry too much about me, Papa." To be called precious though, is something that only softens her expression further and she nods in agreement to Darek's self-assessment.
"Not worrying about you is like telling water not to be wet, Sela." Garett responds. "I'll hold him to his word like I would any knight, since that what he strives to be. He and I will have a more…private conversation on that before he leaves, but for now, it'll do." Leaning over, he places a kiss on her forehead. "The Old Ones favor you today, Sela." Then he gestures at Darek. "I'll leave the playing to you, then, since you seem rather eager on doing so."
Darek glances over at Sela with a slightly horrified expression as she suggests the idea of kicking in the nuts, particularly suggesting it in relation to him. He steps a little out of the way as Garett steps close, but he doesn't loose the girl's hand. "I do. Like to play, that is. And you've heard Ser sing? I haven't, not really. He keeps talking about it, but never goes into it." There's a pause, and then he glances over to Sela a moment, then back to Garett, "You follow the Old Gods too, Ser? There's a place nearby…" And he glances to Sela again, slightly questioningly.
Sela brightens at the kiss that is placed upon her forehead, and her eyes gently close to accept such a gesture. "As you say, Papa… but you do scare him right silly," she says as she casts a glance toward Darek as if expecting him to debate that fact. She is grinning broadly before the vauge questioning causes her to purse her lips a bit. "They've not yet built the Sept here, and Darek… is very dutiful with his prayers," which may come off as slightly odd considering his reputation, "so, he made a Sept in the trees." She offers Garett a knowing grin. "It's not the godswood, but…"
"I was raised in Winterfell, so yes. From what I do remember of my childhood, I was given to the Starks at a young age. Seven or so and I stayed there until I was sixteen. They were, more my family than my own. If Ser Tristan hadn't left to travel, perhaps…" he looks at Sela. "..things might've been different." Going back to Darek, he nods. "I do. I share it with my daughter and my wife. Everyone else? Well, I've been called heathen enough in my life. Besides, it's a private thing, connection to the Old Ones. But I've always though that faith, no matter what faith it is, should be a private matter. I'm not the kind to preach and tell people they're wrong. Their belief is their own." He smiles. "A kind gesture, building a sept in the woods. One day, I'd like to take Sela to the godswood in Riverrun."
Darek looks down at his boots for a moment. "Uh… I thought the Seven, and the trees, it would be sort of like a godswood too, since Sela…" He glances over at the girl, "You know… follows the Old Gods. I mean, it's not a weirwood." The squire blushes a little, then brushes back his hair and looks up to the knight, raising his gaze to meet the taller man's eyes, "I wanted to know something more about how you all saw religion. I mean, Sela's seen me pray…"
"He prays to the Mother," Sela says, her voice almost tattling. After all, it's strange for a boy such as Darek to be praying to the god that women often do. She shakes her head a bit. "It is very much like a godswood, Darek," she reassures him with a small smile. "But, there is something about the weirwoods…" She shakes her head a bit as a flush rises up her cheeks a bit, as if shy about her own faith. Now she looks toward her father. "We could go see the one up at Flint's Finger," the little thief offers, perhaps a bit too casually, "I'm sure Momma would like to see you again." Parent trap, anyone? What would Briallyn say!
"It is not something I can really explain to you, Master Darek." Garett replies. "As it is different for everyone. But when you sit beside the weirwood, there is a sense of peace, I suppose. You don't kneel and actively pray in your mind. One sits next to the weirwood and…meditate I suppose. Quiet contemplation of your life and things you have done. You think about nothing, but also everything." He shrugs a little. "It's hard to explain. There are no holidays, no texts, no times of prayer. This is why it tends to vary from person to person. You simply go to the godswood when you feel you need to. There are a few things which are frowned upon. Like incest, kinslaying…bastardy." He doesn't look at Sela at the last word, but he sets a hand on her shoulder. "But we are all not perfect, and even in that, I don't regret it. Never once." A wane smile is given to Sela then. "Perhaps, but I think that's something I should talk about with Bri first. Don't want to get any ideas."
Darek responds to Sela's tattling with a far-too-quick response, "For creation! Music, curse it, Blue-eyes." Still, the complaint is more a tease than a real complaint, and he quickly looks back to Garett, "Sept's sorta the same way, except you can talk to the gods there, and they can hear. They don't always answer, but they can hear." The list of crimes causes him to nod a bit, then grimace at the last point, adding his own, "And breaking guestright. By the Old Gods and the new, yeah Ser?" There's something almost a little pointed about that statement, as if it were a little bit of a nudge.
Her shoulders square a bit as the so-called taint of her blood is listed amongst those crimes, but she does not seem terribly worried by it. She has been very lucky so far as almost no one has cast down scorn upon her heritage, but smallfolks rarely do. Sela offers Garett a small smile, which almost collapses a bit by his response to journeying to the Finger. "Oh, of course. I was just thinking that… Momma would like to see you." It is left at that from the Hill girl before she glances over toward Darek with a small, warning smirk. "Troublemaker," she mumbles, though it is easily heard by both.
"The Old Ones are all about us, even now." Garett says to Darek. "Every tree, rock, stream. Far too many to count and to name. I think they listen, but they don't answer perhaps because I think we should live our own lives on our own terms, rather than appealing to them for intervention. I don't know, I'm not a holy man, far from it. Again, a man or woman's faith is their own. Not anyone else place to judge for that, because I don't think there's a right or wrong choice." He smiles at Sela. "I want to visit Lania, Sela. I've seriously considered. In time, we will both go. There are just things I have to make sure of before I do." It's at that point that he stifles a yawn. "I've had a long day riding and I need to find a bed. Nightwing, I'll have a room waiting for you at the inn, alright? I'm sure Master Darek here will do a fine job looking after you." He eyeballs them. "And yes, the rooms will be next to each other." As if to imply, 'I better not hear anyone but her in that room'. That done, he nods at the squire. "It was good to meet you. We'll have our talk when I'm more awake. Then he moves to embrace Sela, leaning down to whisper something in her ear before breaking away and heading off for the nearest bed to pass out in.
Those unspoken words about her rooms do cause a rather brilliant blush to turn her cheeks red. "Papa," she implores him with a touch of embarrassment. Though she does smile as he embraces her, and the whisper only causes her to beam a bit brighter. "And I, you," she murmurs in response, giving him a soft kiss to his cheek. Then she steps back to give him room so he may depart with ease. She clasps her hands behind her back, watching the old knight step off toward the inn. She casts Darek a cautious look before she gnaws a bit at her inner cheek. "Do you think Ser can give you a couple days with light duty?"
Darek shrugs slightly at Sela's accusation, "Takes one to know one, Blue-eyes." He listens to Garett's explanation of his faith, and he nods his head, "I can understand that, Ser. Rest well." And then he catches the implications, and his eyes widen in a bit of panic. Thankfully, the knight has already turned away, and so he can't see the panic, and probably can't hear the ragged exhalation from the squire. He looks over at Sela, scrubbing back a handful of hair, "Probably not. But fuck if I can't sneak away now'n then." He steps close, reaching up with one hand to tilt her chin up so he can bend down to bestow a carefully-restrained kiss on her lips, murmuring, "And there's no fuckin' way your Da can hear you if you wanna sneak outta your room."
The little thief offers the squire a small smile as that panic sets in. "Easy there, Squire," she teases him as he steps closer to him. The kiss is returned with the same softness, though she looks to melt away some of that retraint. "I've got some good news," she murmurs to him as she slips her hand across his back so she can press a small kiss to the side of his jaw. "Since he's gone onto bed, I don't have to sneak nowhere." There is a threat of a dangerous laugh on her lips before she presses her lips to his once more.
Darek laughs lightly, easing up a great deal now that the knight-father is gone again. "Easy where, Blue-eyes?" He shivers a little at the kiss on his jaw, then gets his left hand behind her head, returning the kiss with the previously-restrained heat. When he lifts his head again, he laughs softly, glancing around from under his lowered bows, "You know we're out here in the middle of the street, right? So we'd better sneak away from here. It'll be a whole lot easier than sneaking away from a knight next door." And then he moves to swing an arm around her shoulders with a grin.
Her own arm slips around his waist as he draws her close against his side. She buries herself neatly against his hip, fingertips sliding along the lean length of his opposite side. "To the cabin? Or should we just find a dense shadow to hide in?" There is a warm teasing in her voice as she starts to lead him off along the street, opposite to where her father had disappeared.
Darek laughs softly at the question, "I'm sure we can find a couple of shadows between here and the cabin." He squeezes at her shoulders, "You know, your Da looks terrifying, but he's not so scary. Not once you get to know him." There's a pause, and as he saunters off with the little thief, he adds, maybe just a hint of worry in his bravado, "Right?"
"Right," Sela reassures him with a low touch of laughter in her voice. She says nothing more as she is lead off into the shadows of the township and onward into the woods.