|Who's Your Daddy?|
|Summary:||Sela Shale meets her supposed father and his incredibly young wife.|
|Date:||25 June 2012|
|Related Logs:||A Ghost From the North|
|Courtyard, Seagard Castle|
|Look. Its a bunny wabbit.|
|June 25, 289|
Ser Tristan Stark had found Sela indulging in the commoner celebration of dance and drink — and it was evident she had indulge in both. Tristan was able to catch her before she got too involved with a freshly poured mug of ale, which is probably a good thing. Like most fifteen-year-old girls, she broods at him as he guides her through the rebuilding streets of Seagard, and places her in a little courtyard within the outer cloister of the castle. He would have preferred to have cleaned her up and dressed her proper, as she's still in her riding britches and boy's clothes. He did encouage her to brush out her hair, which is somewhat of an improvement. Now she sits on a stone bench surrounded by late season lilacs, She worries at the brand on the webbing of her right hand between her forefinger and thumb, rubbing it with a kind of desperate hope she'll one day rub it right out of her skin.
Tristan gruffs lowly. "Next time I'm not letting you out of my sight." the old Stark says, looking down disapprovingly at Sela. He folds his arms over his broad chest. "I'm not going to introduce you to your face with you half in a lush." Looking up at the castle he waits. Good thing he didn't go in there.
As for Garett, he's moving after the courier to meet up with whoever left a message a for him. He's still dealing with a slight limp to his left leg, but it's not so bad that he has to use a cane for it. When the courier stops, he bows at Tristan, then scrambles off. The Westerling stands there, looking at the both of them. "Ser Tristan." he bows deeply, out of respect for a man belonging to one of the Great Houses. "I…" he grits his teeth. "I think I remember you. I'm sorry, head injury, my memories are not what they have been." But at the moment that follows he looks at the girl next to him. "Is she?" he trails off.
"No worries, lad. Thanos told me all that had happened to you in his second letter. It's regretfull, truly, but the fact that you're still standing says much about your hardiness and my training. But, you're not here to see me, are you?" Looking down at Sela, he gives her a little nudge to get to her feet. "Sela Shale, Ser Garett Westerling."
Sela casts an upward, sideways glance at her Uncle Tristan, and she offers him a temporary scowl. "At least you've got nothing to say about the boy," she says in a half-grump, though she only realizes once she's said it that perhaps Tristan had no idea about Nathaniel. Her could-be father gains an ounce of her approval as he arrives just in time to stall any chiding about the young girl and the older boy. She looks up as he comes limping in, and she clasps her hands solidly together to hide that branded 'T' in her right hand. Her brilliant eyes are critical of the man, taking in each of his features with a stern quality. The first words her father speaks earns him a slight frown. She is nudged to her feet, and there is an awkward stall from the girl before she offers a rather dismal curtsey. "Milord," she offers, uncertain.
"She's lacking in manners, Garett." Tristan says, continuing to frown at Sela. It's this gurgding affection he has for the girl. "And she's a bit of troublemaker," the old man doesn't exactly refer to the T brand, but it's not like he doesn't already know. And for the sake of his already grey hair, he ignores the comment about the boy she may or may not of danced with.
For Garett's sake, he just looks at her. "Sela…" he tries the name out for a moment, looking her over. "That's…a beutiful name." he finally says. The Westerling is a tall man, and probalby imposing, giving the scar on his face, so he kneels down to eye level to her. "It's good to finally meet you." he says softly. "I'd like to say that I've always thought of you, but…someone," he doesn't look at Tristan, but he's read the letters, "…thought it best that I never know about you. Because he'd know what I'd do if I did." His eyes are kinda like here, but where her's are bright and radiant blue, his are stormy and a bluish grey, but carry the same brightness. "But. I'd like to get to know you now, if you'll let me."
"Thank you," Sela says automatically to the compliment of her name, though she does cast a slight glare up at Tristan. "I do not make trouble," she says quite hastily toward Garett, the excuse flying quite easily. "It just finds me, Milord. I honestly never seek it." Lies, lies, lies, but what do you expect from a fifteen-year-old girl. Her uncle is given a despairing look, pleading with him to stop giving away all her secrets. Then she sets her gaze back on Garett, those wide eyes full of inquisition. "That's okay. They thought it best I not know about you either, Milord." She holds his gaze for a long moment once they are of even keel, and her own eyes have a strange sternness to them. A Northern chill, as it were. "Though I did hear stories… now and then. You fought with King Bob."
"King -Robert-" Tristan remarks harsly, giving Sela a flick to the ears. "Oh, she's a troublemaker, Garett, don't let her innocent and sweet disposition fool you." he states plainly. "But…" he sighs a bit, bobbing his head back and forth as if in regrettable acceptance, "..she's a good girl when she's not. But I've had to pull her ass out of a fire more than once. Sometimes literal."
Garett can't help but laugh at that. "Heh, King Bob. That's good." He titls his gaze when Tristan levels his gaze at him. "Yes, yes, I know better, but at least she's got a sense of humor." That said, he looks back at Sela. "None of that. None of that 'milord' crap. At least, not right away. 'Ser Garett' will be just fine. 'Father' if you're feeling frisky, but that might be a bit too much in such a short while. But, I've learned that you're going to be put into my care." He pauses, as if trying to gauge her feeling on that. "Speak honestly, Sela. I prefer that over properness. Is that what you want? I have no intention of taking you away from your mother if that's what you want."
"Ow!" Sela yelps at the reprimand, and in its wake she looks a touch reproachful. She rubs her right hand against her ear, that stark white 'T' of scar tissue standing out in the dim of the night. There is a sullen moment from the young girl before she meets the eyes of her father once more, especially in the wake of Tristan's words. Its not as if she had hoped that her reputation wouldn't follow her, but did he have to make such a fuss about it right now? "Ser Garett, then," she options. At the question, her eyes flit up toward Tristan as if he should be the one answering that. She was happy at the Finger, but it was the wrong kind of happy. Even her good mother said so. "My mother is good, and right," Sela answers, a bit round-aboutly. Though she does look up toward Tristan, meeting his gaze briefly before averting her own. "But, I can't go back to the Finger."
It takes Briallyn a short time to seek out Garett, having sought him out after his departure from the castle. A few servants are briefly interrogated before the youth ferrets out his 'hiding' place. The Lady comes upon them at a brisk pace, not quite running, not exactly walking. Her slender fingers had lifted the hem of her skirt, revealing brocaded burgundy slippers that match the deep maroon and gold of her low-cut dress. Gliding over the ground in a rush, and having had a few drinks of wine, her fair face and sculpted features are lightly flushed. Dark green eyes the color of aged moss are vivid, and there is clarity there untarnished by drink. She looks of an age of the young woman trapped between the pair of men, barely older at all. "Ser Garett," she says with marked relief, halting short of the trio and letting her elaborate skirt drop to the ground at her feet.
Tristan sighs a bit, an earth-moving sigh. "Mistress Lania is a good mother and faithful retainer to house Stark, but perhaps a bit oblivious to her daughter's activities, but not to me." he states evenly. A harsh 'uncle', but a fair one. And well, he wouldn't be here if he didn't actually care about the girl. "Part of was Lania wishing for Sela to meet you. You two were close during your squiring, even if you don't remember it. She still speaks fondly of you, even if it's not out of love. She remarried and seemed generally happy. So no, Garett, don't go thinking she still pines for you. I think you can both chaulk it up to a time of two young people in throws of…" he grunts, "…urges." Then, hard, stern and flinty cobalt blue eyes take in Bri, bowing. "Lady Briallyn Haigh, I presume." Yeah, he's new in town.
"Ah, I see. If Garett sees the mark on Sela's hand, he makes no note of it. "Well, I didn't think she would. It's been fifteen years. Long to keep feeling like that. I'm glad she found happiness, though I wish I could at least remember why she and were friends." Looking back to Sela, he smiles. "You're to be put in my charge until the day you find a suitable husband, I think that was the biggest reason to having you come here, besides, well, seeing me. We have…well, hells, we have a lot to catch up on." At the approach of Bri, he stands up. "Make it out of the gathering, love?" he asks before gesturing at the other pair. "And it's Lady Briallyn Westerling, Ser Tristan. We've gotten married in the time between letters. Bri, Ser Tristan Stark, my mentor and….Sela Shale, my daughter."
At the length of compliments from her uncle Tristan, Sela finds herself mollified. There is something in his tone that draws a bit of a smile on her lips, and she looks a bit more at ease. When she looks back to Garett, she does wrinkle her freckled nose up at the idea of a suitable husband/ — what does that even mean? Though she does offer him a smile — Lania's smile if the poor dolt could even remember it. It actually calms all those hard Northern edges, bringing a softness to her wide-eyed expression. "We do Milo—" And she stalls herself. "Ser Garett." There does seem to be a half-heartbeat where she almost called him father, but it appears she is still finding her bearings with that honorific. As Lady Briallyn comes into sight, Sela straightens up quite considerably — but it will take some time before she could rival the noblewoman's poise. She spares Briallyn a clumsey curtsey, though she does bob her head gently. "Milady."
It's one thing to know about Sela, and another thing to see her in the flesh. In spite of that, Briallyn's composure remains perfectly polite and cordial; she's a noblewoman, regardless of her passions and unladylike behaviors. "Ser Tristan." Being a Stark, the man is afforded a deep, graceful curtsey; practice has made the motion fluid and smooth as she draws herself out of it. The Lady rests her hands upon her hips and surveys, with unhidden curiosity and intensity, the young woman barely younger than herself. "Sela Shale," she says more carefully, more thoughtfully, as if tasting the name and pondering whether or not she likes it. It is, perhaps, a strange contrast to see the knight married to a woman only a few years elder his own bastard daughter.
"If there's nothing else, we've made a long journey from the Finger and I for one could use some rest. I'm not as young as I once was, but. It was good to journey again, even if it was a short one." Tristan says, managing a small, whistful smile on his face. Ah yes, the wanderlust the Stark had for an untold amount of years that Garett once spoke of. At least it's not hard to figure out where Garett got his initial dour personality. "I'll hope to see all three of you again before. I'll be speaking to you all individually and what I personally expect." Then he looks at Bri in specific. "And I'd like to speak to you about the political climate in the Riverlands, my Lady. Because I know Garett's attention span on such things is about as long as a minnow, though I expect nothing less of him on that end. If only take the news back to Winterfell with me." While the Starks may not care all that much of the goings on, it's never a bad thing to at least know what's going on. Even if that means that can collectively not care about it.
"We…er, we really don't need to worry about that right now, do we? I think I've had enough of marriages and bethrothals for one week, and I'd personally rather get to know my daughter before deciding she needs to be carted off." Then he looks between Sela and Bri, trying to gauge how that's going to go. "We may be staying in Seagard for a time, Sela. I can have a room at a local inn reserved for you. Did you…er, bring anything with you? YOu know, besides my old mentor?" he grins, looking over at Tristan, who snorts in respond. A bow to the Stark. "I would say it's good to see you again, Ser Tristan, but…well…yeah. I hope that maybe speaking with you again might bring more memories to light. But no, I won't keep you from your rest."
Envy touches her features at the sheer grace of the curtsey that Briallyn provides, but she tries to swallow that down before it starts to turn her edges green. About a hand shorter than Briallyn, she feels even more diminutive though she tries to elevate her chin a bit. There is a bit of strangeness in the comparison and contrast between the two — though Sela is fixating on the contrasts. She is clasping her hands hard behind her back to hide those dingy nails, and she abruptly wishes Tristan had made her change into a proper dress — she shifts self-consciously in her breeches and climbing boots, giving the tunic a tug. A glance is afforded to her uncle, though Garett manages to speak her mind before she can. As Tristan goes to leave, Sela is allowed to indulge in a brief lean against the familiar Stark before she is left with two very unfamiliar Westerlings. "Oh, yes… um… some," she offers in a weaker note. "I do have more clothes." She avoids Tristan's eyes with great care as she casually notes. "So, we won't be traveling back to the Roost with their retainers?"
"Yes, my Lord. I do not know everything, but I know enough that it might be of use to someone," is all Briallyn replies with to the Stark knight. Another curtsey is afforded the man as he excuses himself from their company, and if the Lady notes the young woman's well hidden discomfort, she makes no commentary upon it. "We will not be returning to the Roost immediately. It is in dire need of repair and we do them no favors by giving them more mouths to feed." There is a distinct disappointment in her voice, as though she wishes were not the case. "Though, we may pay a visit or two to see what aid we can offer." There is a pause, and Briallyn's eyes shift between the pair, noting the similarities, the differences. "I cannot think that traveling such a distance so quickly was pleasant," she observes carefully.
Balls to that, before Tristan turns to face Sela before he leaves. The Stark probably used to be a larg, imposing man, but like Garett war, wars that took place before the rebellion took place. And like that, his body had taken the brunt of that damage. He doesn't hobble or limp or look even hunched over, but his body suggested he used to be peak fitness. Doesn't mean he still can't hold his own in a fight, of course. Looking down at girl, he wraps her up in large hug. "Be a good girl, Nightlife." he utters to her, using an old nickname. "Don't give Garett too many grey hairs. And I expect you to write to me and your mother. Monthly. I didn't spend coin on your tutelage for nothing, even if you don't use it all that often. Give them a chance, if I didn't trust Garett, you wouldn't be here." Breaking away, he offer the two Westerlings a bow, nodding before looking at Garett. "Treat her good, lad. Both of them."
Such an imposing with an equally imposing figure, Garett can only bow and nod as Tristan's departure. Catching back up with Bri, he likewise nods at her. Lot of nodding going on. "Right, we're not too keen on going back to the Roost, for that exact reason. The Terricks have enough to worry about without looking to feed a couple Westerlings plus one more." Going back to Sela, he smiles at her. "I'll make sure they're set away with your room when you find it." He has to take a seat on that bench that's nearby, his leg can only take so much not being fully healed. The limp is still there. "I don't have anything on me to give you, Sela. There is gift I had gotten for your arrival, but, well, I didn't know you'd be here so soon. It's only been a few weeks since the letter was sent." He pauses, toying with his hands. "I know this is a bit awkward. For all of us. I don't expect us all to get along right off the bat, but I want to at least try and be a decent father, even if I have no experience with it."
Sela clings to that hug for a long, desperate moment. His words of encouragement are met with quiet, obediant nods, and she offers him a frail smile in the end. "I will try," she mutters at his beseeching for her to behave. When he steps away, she turns back to the Westerlings. Awkward doesn't even begin to sum-up the expression that builds across the Northern girl's face, and she flicks her nails together idly behind her back. At the news of the Roost, she draws a faint frown on her lips. "Why is it in need of repair?" She asks, glowing with earnest innocence to anything that has happened this far below the Finger. Her gaze slides over toward Garett briefly before the observation from the new Westerling. "Uncle Tristan— " Because damn if she ever will remember to call him 'Ser' — "wanted to make the tournament. One of the horses lamed, so we did not make it until today. He said he thought you would compete." There is a speculative look in her eyes, particularly at that limp — though it smooths out soon enough. She looks as if she wants to stay more, but has no idea where to begin.
"Ser Garett finished in second place to Ser Kamron, who gave him a good working over, more enthusiastically than he ought to have done," Briallyn says softly with no small amount of pride, mixed with gentle chiding, in her voice. "It's why he can't bloody walk straight. You ought to see his chest, he's the color of—" And then she remembers that the young woman, her peer in age, is not a familiar noble Lady. It's a common blooded girl, not a negative in and of itself, but also Garett's daughter. Her perfect facade of comportment is cracked by the blush that creeps into her face. Clearing her throat, the Lady ducks her head. "What is the state of your clothing, Miss Sela?"
"I'm sure he did, he always did like a good tourny, even if I was carrying most of his arms for the better half of my training." Garett replies, blinking. He does that whenever he gets a new memory that unlocks from the lockbox that his head. This blank look of surprise when he realizes that's a new. "Err, sorry." he says when he comes to. "Too bad he couldn't see me compete, it would've been a great to see how his training had impacted me. Maybe when there's another in the Finger, I'll go there to compete with the hopes that he'll come south for it." He ducks his head in the mild chastisment from Bri. "Yeah well, I'm glutton for punishment, what can I say." he opines before stage-whsipering to Sela, "I mean, look who I married." he states, grinning stupidly, then spouting a "I looooove you." sweetly to his wife. The matters of clothing, well, not his forte. But he does look her over. "You look a bit tired. And there's no need to rush into anything. Would you like anything to eat or drink before I show you to your inn?"
Keen interest reflects in her wide gaze as Sela listens to Briallyn tell tale of Garett's act in the melee, though the sudden blush causes her to blush almost empathically. This sudden rush of red redoubles as Garett bestows affection on his bride. She turns her head a bit aside, finding some interest in a near by thatch of grass. When Briallyn asks her question, she clears her throat a bit — a slightly dubious look given to the noblewoman's own attire as she considers the well-worn garments she has brought along with her. "I can't complain about them, Milady," Sela offers, even if she really honestly could lodge a number of complaints. At Garett's assessment, however, her shoulders fall and she nods gently. "No, Milord," she says habitually, correctly with a lame, "Ser Garett." She steps forward finally, no longer rooted before that bench. "A bed would be nice."