|With New Eyes|
|Summary:||Cordelya and Anders receive a gift from 'home'.|
|Date:||31 January 2012|
|Flint Campsite - Private Pavilion|
|The temporary residence of Lord and Lady Flint at Seagard.|
|January 31st 289 A.L.|
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” ― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
The Flint Campsite, while still happy for their victories, is a touch more somber than some of the others. It's shrunk, so many men lost, and morale over the severe injury of their leader was low. Fortunately, that's being fixed today. With the slow, weakly mobile return of Anders, people have a bit more heart. While her husband goes around to the little campfires and tents in attempts to boost his men, Corrie's actually taking a few moments to help herself. No more sleep for today, but she ate earlier and she's got a basin of hot, hot water in the back of the master tent, a makeshift screen put up so she can almost make herself clean again. It's a desperately needed, delicious little luxury and has gone a long way to making her feel more human.
The coming of yet another horse and rider, given the constant to'ing and fro'ing of knights and squires, pages and couriers about the neighbouring camps, is not at first a sight to cause any undue alarm. Indeed, even as the new arrival draws her mount to a halt, only a few of those nearby even bother to glance beyond the flint colors, pinned in the form of an embroidered badge upon the saddle-blanket of the plain palfrey. Dismounting in a smooth motion, landing lightly in the grass, Orlagh pauses beside the creature to cast a thoughtful look over her surroundings, taking stock of the air of doom and gloom that seems to have settled like a fog over many of the familiar faces she might otherwise approach, one hand resting lightly upon the shoulder of the dun-colored mare.
Being still is hardly smiled upon, in a servant, though. Briskly, she turns to untie a weighty saddlebag with deft fingers and heaves it down into her arms, leaving the horse in the care of a ruddy-cheeked squire who approaches, thanking him with a distracted smile before hurring toward the main tent. Oh, tents. There's nowhere to knock, on a tent. So, instead, the tall blonde girl pauses just outside the draped flaps and calls inside, following a soft clearing of her throat. "..Lady Flint..?"
The voice, that of another woman calling her name, isn't immediately recognized. The tall Young Lady of the house blinks in momentary confusion as she looks up from her make shift bath, suddenly quite thankful she was mostly finished and mainly just lingering with her feet savouring the last few moments of heat in the water. "Uh… Just… just a minute!" Corrie's mezzo voice calls lightly, her Crannog accent ever slightly clear on her words, even months after being officially a Flint. The reed thin woman slips out of that basin where she stood and quickly brushes a towel over her form — probably sadly more dirty than her clean skin is, but that's the reality of war. She at least manages to pull on her mostly clean chemise, though the ends are coloured like dun from all the mud and running about, before she ducks her head past the screens. "Aye? … Ah… can… can I help you?" She asks somewhat awkwardly, shyly almost. The visitor has quite caught the strange woman off guard.
Taking that as leave to enter - because surely no noblewoman would be improperly attired, at such an hour? - Orlagh steps smoothly through the tent's opening, parting the flaps with a hand. Blinking, she lets her eyes adjust to the dimmer illumination of the interior, even as she replies, cheerfully. "My apologies for disturbing you, m'lady.. I've been sent with an urgent message for your husband. And.." Now accustomed, she looks about the interior of the temporary abode, already noting in her mind what ought to be tidied, or mended, or just plain tossed out. "..I've a few necessities for you also, m'lady. If it please you to receive them. If not, I can return later..?" The girl lets the question hang in the air, allowing all the proper decision-making power to the noble Lady she addresses. And she doesn't presume to venture deeper inside the tent without invitation; merely waiting by the threshold, her saddlebag still held in her arms.
"If you have clean underthings in that bag of yours, I think you could do a jig on my grave and I would not complain." Cordelya confesses with a small, hopeful moan to her lips as she comes out further from her screen, mostly covered. Mostly. The thin material of the old, dirty chemise doesn't really hide everything it should, but then she's all skin and bones right now anyway. The week of giving care at multiple sick beds have hollowed out her features and already skinny body. There's just no softness left about Cordelya Flint at all right now, simply all bones and height. She gives an embarrassed sort of smile, her brown hair down and damply wild all about her throat and mostly bare shoulders. She looks like some creature that just crawled out of the sea, not a proper noble lady. "…It's… don't you… Aren't you in service to my lord's sister? I remember your face. Has she ridden in worry for him? He is much better now, I assure you both."
For all her practice in not seeing things, as is befitting, the servant's blue eyes widen and soften all at once at the sight of the young Lady. If she's taken aback by the rather odd figure of speech, it doesn't show, particularly as she lowers her gaze, setting down the weighty bag with only a soft sigh of relief. How fast and hard has she travelled, to get here? Demurely avoiding staring at Cordelya, given the woman's obvious discomfort in receiving an impromptu guest, Orlagh busies herself instead with loosing the knots that bind the neck of the linen sack. "I do, my lady, most certainly. I thought you might have need of such. And some dresses, also. Though.." Capturing her lower lip between her teeth, she dares a glance up now, only fleetingly, to eye the noblewoman's heartbreak-skinny form. "..I can alter them for you, m'lady, if they do not fit."
Straightening, Orlagh's features break into a pleased smile as she shakes out a dress by the shoulders. A lustrous teal velvet, with beautiful embroidery to decorate the square neckline and cuffed sleeves. She holds it up for the woman to see, watching for her reaction with obvious anxiety. Still, she dips a curtsey, even with the garment aloft, and nods gently as she replies to the question posed. "Yes, madam. I was in the household of the lady Liselle. But her ladyship is not here, I'm afraid." Just me. That goes unsaid.
A brief moan of happy relief escapes Corrie's small mouth as she hears that the woman does have some clean things. It's only tempered by the feeling of those fleeting, flickering looks at her too-thin frame. There's nothing like another woman to make a previously unconcerned girl feel self conscious. Corrie tries to shake it off and passes another warmer smile in the woman's direction. "Ah… it is no worry. I'm certain I'll fill them back out after all this mess is finished and we all get back to a more normal routine." The dress receives a long look, though it's a new chemise and some underthings tht Corrie desperately wants, especially with just having almost bathed. She'll feel normal again, if just a few hours.
"Oh, Mistress… that is… it's lovely…" She murmurs as she looks the elegant, proper lady's gown over, but it also draws a frown to her lips, "But… I am still elbow deep in injuries with the Lords. I fear I would… stain the dress within minutes of wearing it. Perhaps we should save that for… for once the boys are both up and around." She shakes her head, hooded, deep worry in her exhausted jade eyes. But there is no time to dwell on it. She begins to shimmie herself into a pair of bloomers quickly, and strips out of her old chemise without much care. They're both women, after all! "Still… I thank you and the Lady Liselle for these things… I… You must forgive me, I forget your name. Gods, I am not myself now… I am sorry."
Oh this is going to be a job. Draping the gown in a fold over one arm, seeing as it shan't be required, Orlagh pauses only for a split-second as the noblewoman simply strips out of her filthy chemise, already stepping forward automatically to catch it midway between flinging fingertips and floor. "Orlagh." she offers, by way of simple answer; a contrast to Cordelya's almost frantic scramble for propriety, and accompanied by a genuinely warm smile. "Just Orlagh, my lady. I sincerely doubt I've done aught to earn a Lady calling me mistress. I'll set the dress aside for now, then.." Even as she says it, her blue eyes are wandering the rather untidy tent, 'Where??' being the question she doesn't trouble the woman with. "..and I'll see to it that this is cleaned up. Always useful to have a spare." She indicates the filthy chemise. Gods knows how she's going to get that white again. Maybe she'll just dye it black.
Quietly setting things away, as promised, the girl then turns and breathes a quiet sigh, before continuing. Maybe her pleasant chatter will go some way to soothing the noblewoman. One way to find out. "Please, m'lady.. let me help you. It's why I'm here, after all." Snatching up the deliciously clean linen of the fresh chemise, she gathers the fabric up easily and holds it aloft, the easier for Cordelya to slip her waifish arms into. "That, and to see that you're well fed, m'lady." There's more meat on a skinned rabbit!
A job is one word for it. There are many things that Cordelya does which she still doesn't even -realize- isn't quite proper for a lady. She's just her and will probably always BE her (much to Orlagh and Liselle's no doubt chagrin). Corrie falters just a bit, not entirely certain why the woman is helping her into such things, but she's eager to get dressed so she doesn't protest. She slips into that fresh chemise with a happy little sigh, her eyes closing drowsily for just a heartbeat or two as she inhales the scent of fresh linen. Clean linen. Clean bodies. It's been so long since she felt that it feels like years, not weeks. "…thank you, Orlagh… I don't know why you're here, but thank you." Corrie confesses softly.
A few more heartbeats of just enjoying that sensation and then she pulls back, moving to grab at the old, nasty peasant's dress that she was wearing for her work. It will still have to do, as she won't soil the nice things she was sent. "And I am fed fine, there's just been little time. I needn't help, really…" She pauses then looks up from the laces of the old, dirty dress. "…Why -are- you here without my goodsister?"
The expression on Orlagh's face is, frankly, one of comical horror at the notion of putting those filthy rags over a freshly laundered chemise. "My lady.." she begins, even starting forward as if to stay the woman's hand. But she masters the impulse. Pressing her lips firmly shut and into a thin line for a moment, she meets Cordelya's gaze, then looks down to the still bulging saddlebag on the floor nearby. "..I've another dress, m'lady. Several, in fact. Wear one of these, it doesn't matter if it gets.. messy." Shaking out some skirts of perfectly nice charcoal grey wool, she also snatches up a black bodice to go with it. Nothing fancy about them at all but a vast improvement on peasant's attire. She offers them out in her hands almost beseechingly. Cordelya never has to know they're actually her own things. "..your thoughts of others are truly so kind, m'lady. But you still represent a noble House. It would not do for me to let you wear such things. Please?"
She leaves it to the noblewoman to make her choice. Blinking a few times, with her wide blue eyes, Orlagh seems uncertain for the first time. "I thought you knew, m'lady..? I've.. been sent to enter into your service. That of your Lord husband and your own household. The Lady Liselle thought.." Whatever the Lady Liselle thought isn't voiced in the end, as the girl opts instead for, "I've come to wait upon you and your family, Lady Cordelya. That is why I am here."
The plain but clean gray wool skirt and dark bodice are given a touch of a look, Cordelya generally faster in mind than she is right now, it doesn't actually hit her why such plain clothing would be among the bags the woman carries. Still, the thought of being able to change her whole outfit is irresistable and she nods almost immediately. "Of…of course. That… that's perfect, Orlagh. Thank you… Gods, thank you, truly." Corrie confesses warmly, tossing away the rag of a brown dress she had been wearing (something else that will have to be picked up off the floor, no doubt!). She reaches over to slip the skirts across her head, making all motions to get into the things herself. She's just not really accustomed to taking help. Though she does have a maid, she and Niamh make more herbs together than they actually perform the proper duties of lady and servant.
Then Orlagh actually explains what's going on and Cordelya just blinks in confusion. She must REALLY be tired, not to read behind the hesitation in the maid's words. She pauses, staring in a moment of confusion before shrugging it off and giving an apologetic smile. "Well, Orlagh, that is… lovely. I will have to thank her. Though, in truth, I have a maid come with me from the Crannog. I… I don't suppose she's the sort that really is oft seen about court." Ahh, a few pieces click in there. At least a bit of the picture. "Well, no. I did not know. The help will be nice, I suppose, but I am sorry you had to be sent here to see this all. This place is no place for a delicate woman's eyes. I worry that the Lady Charlton came south herself…" She sighs deeply. More people to fret over.
Orlagh's eyes trail briefly in the flying wake of the discarded rags, before returning to the Lady. She halts a slight forward motion as Cordelya shimmies herself into the skirts, letting it pass for now. The bodice, though, she plainly intends to help with, seeing as it will need snug lacing. Holding it open for the woman to slip into, she offers a warm smile in return, letting the conversation flow smoothly, seeing as they are alone in the tent. "My apologies, madam.. I assumed it was a prior arrangement, myself. And it is true.." She steps a little closer, quietly, to see that Cordelya need not stretch at all for the bodice. "..this is hardly a place for a woman of any standing. But your intentions are admirable. It is an honor, quite honestly, to have been chosen to attend you, even here, in such a place. I only hope I can make things a little easier." Shaking aside a stray wisp of white-blonde from her cheek, she continues pleasantly. "I've even a little knowledge of simple bandages and poultices, my lady. If there is anything I can do.."
There is something about walking, and taking it for granted simply isn't going to happen again. Not as far as Anders is concerned, anyway. There is a breath of relief exhaled as a whole amongst the Flint's area to see their Young Lord up and moving; not abed and giving rise to rumours that perhaps he is paralyzed and unable to move again. Laughing is heard from without, loud voices calling— and while words may not be discerned, the fact that they are amused, almost happy is easily heard.
The flap of the Flint 'abode' is pushed up, and Anders moves in… slowly, and once the flap is set behind him, he moves even more slowly, allowing some of the strain to show upon his face. That is, until he realizes there are some within.. and he stops in his tracks… a blonde attending his lady. His jaw drops slightly; he recognizes the blond, doesn't he? Lise.. and.. Orly.. Orlagh. The last two years, the maid has been as a wisp, flitting here and there on her lady's errands. And now.. Anders stands, now clearing his throat softly, as if his entrance wasn't noted?
It's been weeks since Corrie's even been in a bodice, the thought of tieing herself up in one makes her hesitate, but at least it's loose fitting enough with what weight she has dropped that she shouldn't be restrained from moving. So, the Lady Flint allows the maid to actually do what she's here to do, namely help her get dressed and look half proper for the camp and nobles beyond. Corrie slips her willow thin arms through the sleeves and turns, pulling her damp brown hair away from the ties so that Orlagh can carefully begin to lace the thing. "Not too tight, dear, please… I need to bend and move." She insists quietly, but it's the only order that she gives during this dressing process. Oh, other than, "And call me Corrie. Please. At least… in private, it's Corrie."
And then her husband is just THERE. She didn't even hear him coming through the flaps, which possibly goes to even show her that her mind isn't as sharp as it once used to be. All this lacking sleep and stress might actually be taking it's toll upon her. She gives a faint smile to him, "Hello, love… your sister apparently sent a gift south for us… Mistress Orlagh here has been… gifted to attend me in these hard times." There is a careful neutrality of Corrie's voice as she explains the woman behind her, as if she still can't quite figure out how to feel about it. "And she brought clean clothes…" That, however, is said with a deep thankfulness in her tone.
Gently nodding in understanding, the girl sets to drawing the lacing of the bodice through the eyelets, leaving plenty of room to breathe and move, just as the Lady requested. Still, she does offer only a soft denial at the further mention of formality. "I ought not to, m'lady. Not that I am not grateful for your kind offer but.. if such a thing were to become habit, I may mistakenly call you by such in public." And that, apparently, simply wouldn't do. But she doesn't dwell on it, either. It was, after all, a nice thought. "..if you have the time, m'lady, I could braid your hair back.. to keep it from your face while you work? It seems a shame to have it clean only for it to be tangled again." She's glancing up at Cordelya's pretty hair as she says this, her disembodied voice only politely suggesting the idea.. not demanding it, of course.
As the noblewoman addresses another, though, Orlagh pauses, tying a snug bow at the small of the Lady's back where the lacing ends. Realising to whom the words are directed, the girl promptly sweeps her skirts to either side of her hips and drops to a low curtsey, almost taking to a knee on the floor with the motion. One would think she had been caught in the midst of some wrongdoing! But it's merely habit, in the presence of the heir of the House she serves. Waiting until some semblance of explanation has been offered for her presence here, she adds a soft-spoken, "M'lord." And those blue eyes stay firmly downcast, leaving the couple to any additional discussion they might have.
"My sister.." Anders stops only as long as required to find a stool by the map table, and he sits down, slowly and carefully, the measure of pain flickering across his face before it's hidden in a stoic mask. His gaze moves back to the maid, and it lingers there for a long moment. This is what he's used to, truth be told, and he waves a brief hand to signal that she can indeed rise. Another moment passes before he looks back to his wife, his brows rising, "And new clothes. How kind of the Lady Liselle to think of you," his tones are dry. "But," and here, he brightens, "that suits you, my Lady." He returns to Orly, and looks consideringly at her, "Is there message from my father, Orlagh?"
Cordelya was just rather getting used to the feeling of hands behind her, and the thought of getting her hair braided, when those hands and that little body is just… Gone. Corrie blinks in confusion, turning behind and not even seeing Orly there either. Then she looks down. What?? The confusion in Corrie's features is all too clear as she looks from the deeply curtseying Orlagh and then back to Anders. Was this common? Corrie just blinks again, trying not to look as strangely amused as she is, but there's almost a small, uncomfortable chuckle to her lips. She's not accustomed to such formality in the least. "Uh…" She offers haltingly, frowning down to Orlagh. Her lips part to tell the woman to stand, but then she stops. Maybe this is what Anders wants? She then looks back up to her husband, brow furrowed. Finally, she just adds to the woman, "A braid would be lovely. They know to send for me if he gets worse, so I should hopefully still have time." She watches Anders with even deeper worry in her brow as he sits, but she doesn't reach out to help him. He must rebuild muscle on his own, even if he can now feel her eyes critically studying his neck. "Yes, your sister was most kind, especially to send along clothes in which I can work." She nods to the more plain skirt and bodice.
Rising, following the permission in Anders' gesture, Orlagh still only shyly meets the thoughtful gaze of the nobleman when she's addressed; a brief glance aside passed to Cordelya as if apologetic for confusing her. And for the abrupt diversion of her attentions. The girl doesn't claim credit for the garments she has brought with her, though she does smile faintly, bolstered perhaps by the Lady's obvious pleasure in such a simple offering.. and her husband's apparent approval of the same. That's a promising start.
"No, my Lord.." she replies, with a gentle shake of her head to emphasise the words. "..I am afraid I have no message from your father. I do have a letter from her ladyship, however..?" The unspoken question that lingers in the air is plain enough, to one accustomed to such things. Does he want it now, or later? "I was told it was urgent, m'lord. And personal." That perhaps explains why, then, that she has kept it close. Reaching to a pocket in the folds of her skirts, Orlagh draws forth a parchment, still firmly sealed, and settles it lightly, almost reverently, in her hands, awaiting further instruction. To Cordelya, she affords another warm smile, implying that she does fully intend to get to that braiding task… once her injured husband's requests are met.
Anders catches Corrie's confusion, and there's something of a smile that is worn; not necessarily for his lady wife's sake, but.. this goes a great distance in easing his mind. It's right. He would nod, certainly, but such action really is beyond him at the moment. The talk between the lady and her new maid really doesn't require his input, but there's a .. curiousity in how this meeting will play out, now that he knows about it. And, of course, he can't help but wonder what his sister is playing at… but whatever her game, there'll be no victory for her right now, at least. "You have time, my lady. There are other chiurgeons about, and a maester. Let them call specifically for you if they wish you to attend him."
And it's back to Orly, and he allows his gaze to linger once more, before he holds his hand out in offer to take the letter from her. "I admit to surprise in your presence, but I won't turn away your aid when so freely given by your lady," is given evenly. Anders rises once again from his perch, slowly and carefully, "Attend your lady," comes first before his voice rises to address Corrie, though his attention is still upon the maid, "My sister is indeed.. considerate, and thoughtful." He smiles tightly, and now turns his eyes to his lady wife, "What else did she send?"
The simple pleasantries of people who have been trained to be utterly noble and proper from the moment they were born seems to completely baffle Cordelya. She's always been her own sort, the Reeds not quite so proper and courtly as any other family of the north, much less the south. She stares at their interactions with a slight cocking of her head like some confused little bird. For just a few heartbeats, Cordelya actually seems to catch onto the fact that she's maybe been doing many things dramatically wrong and this is exactly how right they should be done. Her husband seems comfortable with it. Natural. It drives Corrie into silence and gives them time to discuss. Finally, she clears her throat a bit, remembering to respond to her husband. "Yes, my lord. I… I will wait for now, the Maester is with him I do think. There is time." And then she's giving Orlagh and awkward little smile. "The braid would be lovely, dear." She murmurs simply, coming over to silently sit on one of the folding stools so her hair will be easier to reach. And she doesn't even have to be told to sit down! Then she gazes back to her husband. "She sent clean underthings…" The real priority in Corrie's head. "And some lovely, lovely dresses. I would hate to ruin them with treating wounds though."
With another curtsey, not so low this time, Orlagh crosses the floor in a few brisk strides to place the sealed letter into Anders' waiting hand, even mustering a quiet smile and a grateful downward flit, again, of her eyes in response to his not immediately dismissing her. "M'lord." Thus far, things seem to be progressing well enough between she and the noblewoman. Certainly she returns to Cordelya without hesitation, moving back to a place behind the waifishly thin Lady. A glance is passed to that stool in passing, however, before Cordelya, astonishingly, thinks to seat herself. "…of course, m'lady. Enjoy a little respite." She speaks very softly, little above a whisper, to prompt Cordelya to this outlandish notion. Nearby, the heavy bundle the blonde wrestled from atop her horse, having hauled it all the way here, still waits to be unpacked. There's a brief flicker of worry in the girl's eyes as she realises things have been left unattended.. but then, she still has much in the way of tidying and organising to do, here. And the Lord Flint instructed her to attend the lady, for the time being. "If you please, m'lord.." She speaks up, even as she's gently drawing the woman's still slightly damp tresses back to her nape, beginning to carefully rake her fingers through the length. "..I had not thought to finish unpacking, as yet. There are further gifts.. from home." Chancing another smile, she can't help but give away some of the surprises. "I brought some books. To amuse you, in your recovery, m'lord, and to perhaps entertain the Lady Cordelya, should she ever take a moment for herself." Obviously Orlagh has numerous intentions occurring to her - not least perhaps preparing some food. But for now, she quiets, having passed on what was required of her.
"There is more than enough time, my lady." The fact that Corrie remembers to sit brings a soft chuckle, and Anders watches his lady wife, tucked in the simple dress intended for a maid. He hasn't seen the other dresses, but he can only imagine the distress of Orly to get Corrie to wear something that would look somewhat proper. Of course, that makes him immediately wonder what would be less proper than the maid's dress? And he searches the immediate area, only to have his gaze land upon… oh.. yeah.
The letter deposited in his hand, now that Anders has found the item in question, is given more of his attention, and his eyes flicker from the parchment to the newly arrived maid, and remains there. "Books?" He leans forward a little, curious now as to the titles.. and pleasantly surprised there was thought in that area. "That is perfect, Orlagh." He chuckles, and steps back, the letter played with between his hands. "I think with books, the Young Lady will find more time for herself."
Now that the women, lady and maid, get busied wiht the doings of bringing Corrie's mane under control, Anders can take a step back and find a place to lean before he opens the parchment, breaking the wax seal first. Unfolding it, he recognizes his sister's script, and gets to reading it. It must not be long in that he's finished soon after he begins, and something of a quirked smile graces his face. He doesn't mention it, however, instead putting it in a pocket of his within his tunic. "I'll have a man finish with your horse, Orlagh.. bed it down." There are, after all, hierarchies to the whole 'maid' and 'servant' thing…
One of these days, Cordelya will remember why it's so nice to be a noble woman. Being in clean clothes, skin and body bathed, having eaten a good meal today and slept more than two hours? Well, she's starting to actually remember why! Especially sitting down. There are Maesters to care for Aleister, are there not? She could just sit here, close her eyes, let someone else braid all her long, wild brown curls and forget all those aches and worries over sickness which she cannot seem to defeat. For once in a very long time there's a comfortable, non-protesting silence from the Young Lady as she just lets her head lull a bit and Orly's fingertips do their magical work. The mention of books, however, makes Corrie blink awake again and smile a bit.
"Books? Oh… your sister is a godess among women. It has been so long. We owe her great thanks. And you too, Orlagh, for riding so far south so fast. Please do not tell me you did that on your own? The roads are of such a danger these days." Really, Corrie simply doesn't seem to hear herself sometimes. Or maybe she really simply thinks the rules don't apply to HER. Curiosity included! She stares at her husband as he reads that letter, eyes practically trying to bore holes through the parchment she's so curious. "And what does your sister say, Andy?"
Calmly enthralled in her task now, Orlagh divides the Lady's thick tresses into sections of roughly equal width, still working gently with her fingertips so as not to snag or pull. But even the coming motion is undoubtedly pleasant for the noblewoman. Draping one of these lengths over each of Cordelya's shoulders, the maid permits herself a smile as both husband and wife express their pleasure at the news of what has been brought.. and probably at least a little to do with the latter's concerns, even if she doesn't say so outright. "The roads are safe enough, m'lady.. far moreso, I would wager, than an encampment by the sea. Truly, madam, you ought not to be without a chaperone in this place. At all times." She adds that before Cordelya can interject, though her words remain politely uttered. "I worry for your safety." Nothing like a little subtle cajoling with a dash of guilt-trip to perhaps bend the woman's thoughts that way.
With deft fingers, Orlagh begins to braid one of her divided sections. But a telling flush of warmth does steal across her cheekbones, when the topic turns to the books waiting in her bags. "I confess, m'lord, I.. have no idea what they are. I hope they are to yours and the Lady's tastes."
It is nice to be noble, to enjoy the finer things that perhaps others simply.. can't, or don't have access to. Baths included. Maids to tend to hair, clothing and safety of their ladies.. it's just right. Anders raises his brows in question as Corrie inquires as to the content of the letter. "She send her regards from home and prays that she is not forgotten." Casual, conversational letter. Unless, of course, the reader is the elder brother.. and then all sorts of things may be read into it. The last thing Corrie needs, however, is the hint of stress from home.. home being Flint's Finger.
Anders finds a good place to lean as the women utilize the stool, which is fine. He needs to remain standing to strengthen his muscles, and once he does lie down for the night, he'll be good and tired, and ready to sleep the sleep of the dead. He won't take the part of the maid against the lady, but he also won't gainsay what's been said either. Instead, he lets it lie as it is and addresses the books, "Any books are welcome, Orlagh. Nights in camp turn to drinking and stories, which is hardly proper for your Young Lady. Now, with the arrival of other ladies of her station and your books, she will be able to pass her time without concern."
There is the small voice in the back of Cordelya's head that says she's totally being tag teamed here! Though she couldn't read between the lines earlier about Orly's reason for being sent south, with the quiet insistances between her husband and the maid that she start doing things a hint more properly again, it starts to dawn on the elfin woman exactly what's going on here. She gives a little sigh and a half laugh. "Now, to both of you… I… beyond appreciate the dresses, and the books, and the bits of civilization that the Mistress here has brought to the camp. But I am not going to cease my actions or stop caring for Lord Aleister while he is injured. Once this braiding is done, I must take my leave to return to him, you must understand. But welcome, Orlagh. I think you will find things are a bit different here than up north." There's the Cordelya that Anders married. As strongly stubborn as her heart is good and sweet.
"I would not presume to keep you from the work you take upon yourself, madam.." murmurs the girl, soothing in reassurance as she braids with ease, twisting and manipulating Coredlya's hair into a work of art. "..I would only request that you do not go to it unattended. I am more than happy to accompany you, in the absence of one better suited. Though, I understand that your established servants may be more skilled in healing than I." Twining a few braids together, she draws the upward, sweeping the noblewoman's lustrous mane from her nape and into a rather fetching bundle. "That being the case.. if it please you, m'lady, I shall remain here in your absence and see to anything further you may need. Something for supper, later, perhaps?" Tilting her head, Orlagh smiles absently as she chatters to her new mistress. "I saw some of the squires brought in some rabbits. I could make a stew?"
It takes surprisingly little time, all told, for the woman's hair to be transformed. It's fit for a courtly feast, let alone tending bloodied and boorish soldiers! Stepping back to survey her work, the girl gives a subtle nod of approval, before her blue eyes roam over the slightly topsy-turvy interior of the tent. "Madam." she curtseys toward Cordelya, respectfully. "M'Lord." And the same to Anders. And with that, she's excusing herself, briskly turning her mind to setting things straight here.
This seems like a good a time as any to begin the discussion as to exactly why Orlagh's presence is a good thing.. and part of that is by bringing up that which he wished earlier. "Corrie," Anders begins, his good humour still in place, but he's serious in his words. "You will return to him when you are called. The Maester and Mistress Senna also attend him." In that, he'll brook no disagreement. "He is our friend, yes, but you have a place.. and that place is with me. I care not for the rumours that have begun to swirl because of your lack of regard in such, and I bear it for the show of support that is necessary and right.. but I do not like it." Jealous of the time? He pauses for a breath at Orlagh's request for dismissing herself for other duties, and gives a brief gesture, before he returns to his lady wife. "Up north, you would have received the same.. an education in our family and house.. and what is expected of a future Lady of Flint's Finger. But, we are here, and that education will not wait. We will not do things 'differently' than up North. I will not give up our traditions and beliefs because of southerners. It's even more important that we do not than any of our men.. or women. They rely upon constancy, and if that is not given them, what do they have?"
It's the first time Corrie has had her hair fixed since she escaped the Roost, in truth. Part of her thought she might never get the knots out, but the cleaning and the maid's fingertips have done wonders in truth. Other than the plain gown, she very much looks the lovely lady of FLint's Finger and not the ragged peasant woman and healer she once pretended to be. Even if she has lost weight, not so much as her husband but then she didn't have all that much to lose! "Thank you, Orlagh, you have been sent from the gods…" Or, well, from her husband's sister, but it's close! And then Orly is slipping off into the other parts of the tend to unpack and leaving Cordelya alone with her husband who is discussing matters so grave her head is suddenly spinning. How did this day of victory at his being able to walk turn into her being lectured on all the good work she's done here? She stares up at him, true perplexion crossing her pale, hollowed out features.
"…What? But… Am… I am … I'm a lady, Anders. I am and I can be. When we are at court, of course I will always be your lady wife… but here I am a chiurgeon. I am better than that damned Maester and you know it! Would we really risk your friend's life for a show of propriety? Andy… I am your wife. I love being your wife and I want to make you a good lady… but I want to serve you as more than a pretty face and a body to bear you an heir!"
"You are my lady wife all the time, Cordelya. Not just in court. They look at you all the time and judge us by what they see. They see propriety or they see boorishness.. and it doesn't matter when." Anders searches briefly for another stool on which to sit and doesn't find one, so remains standing.. for the time being. Until it's time to sleep. "I know nothing of the kind, Cor.. maesters study this all their lives. Years.. and years. It is conceit to say you're better. You may be? But do not ask me to choose.. right now, a maester tends him and you are here with me." He can't stay in one place, however, and the Flint lord begins to pace, albeit slowly. "I did not marry you so you would be just a pretty face and a body to produce an heir.. but I will admit, I do expect those two things. I married you because I knew you.. or I thought I did. There are some things that I just don't.. and won't ever approve of. But there are some things I simply will not stand for.. and one of those things is your friend Jael. I will not have someone around you that will not heed my words."
His words completely shock her. Now that her husband has gotten his wits and a bit of strength about him, he's turned far more controlling than Cordelya ever expected. She stares at him in blind shock, her stomach falling down through her shoes. She lets him finish his statement, not quite so stubborn that she will interrupt her husband, but she doesn't look happy about it. "…You've always known me, Anders… I haven't changed. You know that I will help those that are sick and injured far before I help myself. You know that I have to go back and help that man!" She insists firmly, though the comment about Jael makes her frown. "I…I do not know what to make of Jael. I do not know why she is here but… I'll talk to her. I'll tell her she must obey your word or go, that is fine… but I beg that you do not chain me to a marriage bed now! Gods, Andy, if I wasn't here you might not be up and walking yourself! The fact I am the woman you married, that I -am- stronger and more than someone just here to make you an heir, that is half the reason you are up and well now!"
Controlling.. more like trying to take some control back? At least in his eyes, anyway. "Help those who are sick and injured, Corrie.. and leave my bed to do it." Anders stops his pacing, his gaze landing upon his wife and remaining there; all the pent up frustrations seem to be coming to the surface, and he seeks to take hold of each one. "You will go back to Lord Aleister, but when you are called to do so." It's repeated, and he's said it.. over.. and over. "As for Jael, she made it clear that she was watching you for your father. That implies there is either a concern in my ability to support you, or a distrust of your actions, I don't know which. I do not wish to know which it is because neither is particularly welcome." He exhales softly, a cough following behind as he seeks to get rid of some of the liquid that had settled in his lungs while abed. "The fact that I'm alive and walking, I will attribute it to you, yes. However.. Corrie.. you're married, and the fact you married me means you're not going to get that freedom you want. You have to understand that. If I was anyone else, any other son of a noble, it wouldn't matter as much. At all. But one day you will be the Lady of Flint's Finger."
The strong argument that was just about to come to Cordelya's lips about Jael and returning to Aleister slightly dies away as Anders at least admits he's walking and well because of her. She shakes her head slowly, swallowing those emotions back down her throat, trying to grab control of all that is happening around her, when it feels like everything is just slipping away. "Yes, I'm your wife, and I was here to save your life, incase the worst happened, and it almost did! Now let me help save your friend!" She insists firmly. But she hates fighting with him. She crosses closer to him, reaching up to grab his shoulders, gentle but firm, staring straight up to his eyes. "I am your wife, Anders, and I love you. No matter where I go… what I do… I am going to come back here. To your bed, your tent… your side. I am going to give you so many children you won't know how to handle them all, dear! I promise… but you must let me be the woman you married… You said yes… Yes… to marrying -ME-…for a reason. Now look at me and tell me you'd still want me there if I was some quiet, shy girl who stuck to your side like glue and didn't speak until spoken to?"
She squeezes his shoulders again. "I love you, Andy, and I know you probably don't love me back… you probably never will. But half the reason I love you is for your fire, and I think that's why you care about me. We will have stronger children than any house this side of the great seas. Smart… and passionate, and strong. But that's because of who we are…"
"I like a normal life, Cor. I want you respected by the other ladies. I want to be able to duel a man who speaks harshly to you knowing that you said nothing that would warrant their scorn. I want heirs.." Anders looks around for the newly arrive Orlagh, and raises an arm to gesture in the blonde's direction. "There is nothing wrong with doing what you should. It doesn't mean you have no brain." He exhales and looks at his wife, brown eyes fixed firmly upon her, "You have to adapt, Corrie.. to refind where your place it. It is the nature of marrying into a house, and marrying so high. You will have arguments with my sisters, disagreements with my Lady Mother.. but you cannot do everything you have. I am sorry.. but I cannot do all that I had once either. I have set aside a great deal, and I do it willingly."
Anders presses his lips together tightly and exhales in a long sigh. "I'm tired. I'm going to turn in to bed.. here." And he actually doesn't expect that she'll be doing the same. He fully expects that she'll leave to attend Aleister..
Those words draw her eyes and he can see something within her break. Be it her heart or her will, it's not entirely clear which, but he's definitely snapped something with his harsh words. Cordelya swallows those emotions back down her throat, blinking against a fresh brush of glassiness in her eyes. "…Let me help you with those things, my lord… and I will come to bed, if you will have me." She whispers quietly, some aching behind her tone, none of that passionate love there, but obediance at least. "If he turns poorly, they will send for me, you are correct. Until then…" She will be here. Quietly, she turns to assist him with his clothing, and she will take the help of Orlagh or his fingertips with her own ties. But the wild mare has at least stopped bucking. For tonight.
Anders can hear the change in tone, the shift of her manner and mien.. and there is a moment of hesitation before he turns back to her to allow her access in order to help him with his clothes. "I would never turn you away," is given in quiet answer. He has his tunic and breeches.. boots. And to lie in his own 'bed' with his wife? It'll be one of the better nights he's had since turning his path south. "They will.. and have Orlagh hang your dress where you can reach it easily." The lights need to be turned down, and even if he can't hold his wife properly, in his arms, at least he'll have her beside him.
There is still a change in her, something different and turned. Possibly not pleasantly so. These are the realities of marriage, often far more miserable than theirs has been until now. "Yes, my lord…" There is just a touch of weak thankfulness that he's at least allowing her to hang her dress near, acknowledging that she might have to go and perhaps giving tacit permission that she can if Aleister needs her. But, while things are quiet, there is one place she'd rather be, and it's here. She disappears into the front of the tent to get assistance with her dress from Orlagh, and to give the quiet indicaton it must be hung. When she returns, she's just in her chemise and underthings, a frail stick of a woman now. Both of them have been through so much. She slips up onto the mat with him, studying his face quietly. A bit more of her own emotion already returns. She cannot kill her heart for long, even if she thinks that is what he wishes. "…And I would never….ever wish to be in a bed that is not yours… or resting somewhere that is not your side, Anders. You should know that." She whispers quietly as she settles into the pillows.
Anders does care for his bride, he really does. He wants her to share his bed, and would rather her than anyone else. While Corrie's up front, he's in the back, climbing into his camp bed, and under the covers. He exhales a shuddering breath; pain.. and maybe a touch of over-exertion. He's going to be sorry come tomorrow. With her climbing into bed with him, he moves over a little.. and just.. can't get his arm around her to curl in. Once down, he really can't move much. Nor does he want to in fear of shooting pain. "I know, Cor.." His eyes are open, staring towards the ceiling. "I know. And here is where I want you." He falls silent a moment before, "I'm sorry I can't hold you like I should.."
"Don't be sorry, lo… Dear. Don't. Just… take care of yourself. We will have other nights to hold each other." Corrie explains softly, but she shifts her body instead, wrapping around his side. She drapes her arm across his waist, shifting her body downward a bit so her head rests fully on his undamaged, chest, no where near his neck. He might not be able to hold her, but she can hold onto him, and hold she does. "…Rest, Anders… rest." She whispers, and then falls into silence, for whenever sleep will take either of them.