07.30.3013: Good Hearts and Good Friends
Summary: Aelewen hears the news about Agnes and Jarek, and comes to congratulate her friend. Agnes finds out some things she somehow missed all those years.
Date: 30 July 2013
Related: None
Aelewen Agnes 

Agnes's Apartments — Khar-Mordune, The Spine
This room is as simple and efficient as the woman who resides in it. The stone walls are mostly unadorned, save for a few photos of family. The small sitting room has a fireplace with her grandfather's shield mounted above it, and several trophies won in tournaments upon the mantle. Comfortable chairs in gold jacquard are set in front of it, with end tables for setting books or drinks beside them. Behind them is a long table and chairs, used primarily for tactical planning, if the maps scattered on it are any indication.

Through double doors is Agnes' bedroom. The bed is large and simply adorned, with the golds and deep browns of House Peake the primary colors. Nearby is a desk, with a stack of real paper on it, along with pens and a docking station for her datapad. The furnishings are Spartan, clean, and unobtrusive. Another doorway leads to her private bath and wardrobe.

30 July 3013

Agnes is in her quarters in the Netherkeep, working on two days of paperwork she'd set aside to attend the Saimhann party. She looks to have just recently showered, and is in a chemise with a bathrobe tied tightly around her tall frame. She's seated at the table in her sitting room, hair still wet, clean of any makeup whatsoever.

And there comes a knocking on her chamber door. Beyond which stands Aelewen, dressed in her usual worn hunting leathers but with a big smile on her weathered face, bright enough to wipe a few years off her appearance. She has a bag that clinks with the sounds of bottles in it in one hand.

"Come!" Agnes calls out, expecting a servant or maid or some such. Or her brother perhaps. Her feet are bared, crossed at the ankles towards the lit fireplace. It's always a little chilly this deep beneath Khar-Mordune.

"I totally picked it" comes Aelewen's rusty voice as she steps in, smiling brightening a little further as she spies Agnes, then points an accusing finger at the taller woman "And he denied it…" she says in mock accusatory tones as she gently puts the bag down.

Agnes looks up, surprised at the voice, and breaks into a broad smile. She rises and blushes, dipping her head and shuffling her feet. "Apparently he has harbored an affection for me for nigh on a decade, Aelewen. And he though Iwouldn't want him." She eye rolls. "Have you seen that man? Handsome, kind, a brilliant warrior, and most of all, a dear friend."

Aelewen is not usualy the most huggy person, but their are exceptions and her lean but strong arms are flung around Agnes to hug her tightly, and not just knights have strong arms. She lets go after a moment and smiles "You deserve someone like that Aggy" she says sincerely as she steps back and clears her throat, eyes suspicously bright for a moment "So how did it happen?"

"Don't get too far ahead of yourself, Aelewen. We still need the permission of Trentin and Lord Erek. I don't expect my brother will be an issue, but Jarek is a young lord and as such, his father may have other ideas," Agnes warns. She returns the hug gently, always careful of her strength. She looks at her friend and offers her a seat before the fire, taking one herself. "He came to check on me the day after the wedding, since there was so much teasing, to make sure I was all right. And he confessed he'd been smitten with me for years. He is so damnably restrained though he did not make a move on his feelings. So when he brought it up again at the party, I just shouted at him to kiss me already." She turns beet red.

Aelewen nods as she lifts one of her broad shoulders in a small shrug "Can't say I know Erek all that well…" she admits as she finds a place to lean against and considers "…but Saimhann aren't big on politics if I remember rightly. They are big on being warriors, and few finer Knights than you Agnes" she says with a glance over towards her and a smile "I am sure it will work out, a lot of people care for you. So if there is anything I can do. I might not care for politics but I am the sister of a High Lady afterall. Much as I try to forget it" she adds with a wry snort.

"I think I trust in the Six to guide me in this, Ael. If this is right and meant to be, it will happen," Agnes says quietly. "And I don't mind taking things slow. I have a lot to learn about love and courting and being a wife." She looks over at the bottles. "Did you bring me a present?" she asks with a grin.

"I was a pretty poor wife to be honest, but we ended up getting along well" Aelewen says with a faintly wistful smile "Children turned out well so…oh yeah" she says as she picks up the bag "Champagne is supposedly traditional, but I didn't quite think it suited either of us so…" she pulls out six bottles of the finest Aelewen ale "…hopefully you approve?"

"I definitely approve. My head is still spinning, I need some of that to set it right again," Agnes laughs. She grabs a bottle and uncaps it, pulling a small ottoman over to put her feet on. "Children, yes, those will be expected. I am actually looking forward to being a mother, I think. I always did well with your children, and your sister's children."

Aelewen does the same with one of the other bottles as she shifts to actually sit rather than lean "I always thought you would make an amazingly mother Agnes" she says sincerely with a fond smile "Although means you will be off the battlefield for a while. I mean with the amount of injuries you take…" she says with a faintly teasing hint to her smile

"Most likely, although we could use a surrogate. I just don't know how I feel about that. The first at least, I'd like to carry myself. But at the same time I feel like I would be neglecting my duties on the field. I never thought this would actually be an issue. I expected to die in this war before I was ever tapped for marriage." Agnes sips her ale and smile. "But I'm glad of it nevertheless. I have been alone far too long, Ael."

Aelewen nods slowly and thoughtfully as she considers, something seming to trouble her a bit. She pauses, holding her ale between two hands as she looks up "I, well you haven't had any companions at all have you Agnes?" she says, doing her best to be delicate about such things, and looking a touch uncomfortable.

Agnes blushes deeply and clears her throat. "No, I haven't. In fact Lord Jarek was my first kiss." She's not quite the 40-year old virgin, but she's close. She presses the side of the bottle to her cheek as if to try and tame the red rising there.

Aelewen ahhs softly, and pauses for a moment. She seems oddly tense as her gaze shifts away "I would love to offer you advice…" she says at last "…which would possibly embarass you more. But…" she pauses here and then shrugs "You may have heard rumors, although neither of us are much for gossip" she adds whilst lifting her up ale and taking a long sip "Anyway lets just say me and Ari loved each other very much as friends, but not each others tastes in bed"

"Oh…dear…" Agnes murmurs, taking a loooong pull from her bottle. "It's not like I don't know what to do, Aelewen. I read, I watch movies. I just don't have any experience. I assume Lord Jarek does. He is a very handsome man afterall. I am sure he will teach me," she swallows, "things."

"It's a little bit different to books and movies Agnes" Aelewen says as she clears her throat "Anyway he seems like a decent man, and for all his families reputation he seemed fairly gentle as well" she says with a smile returning "Main thing is from my experience, if you are good friends it can work well. Lets hope I don't have to head up into the mountains to kick his father on your behalf" she says with her usual crooked smile returning

Now Agnes looks really worried. "I'm going to be horrible at it, aren't I?" She pinches the bridge of her nose and sighs. "I can only pray for his patience with me."

Aelewen shaking her head reaches out to lay a weathered hand on Agnes's shoulder and squeeze gently "Main thing I can tell you is to relax. But any decent person will be understanding…" she says, her voice soft and reassuring as she gently pats the other woman's back "…and practice makes perfect, and can also be fun" she adds with a soft chuckle "Just always be honest with each other, and don't be shy about telling him what works and what doesn't"

Wait. People talk to each other during sexcapades? Agnes goes a little pale. "I'll do my best, and I'll do my duty, either way," she says in a small, squeaky voice.

Aelewen's lips twist a little, but she fights off the urge to laugh, instead she hugs the other woman gently for a moment "Agnes I have seen you stand before a wall of hostiles and not flinch. You can do this…" she says with just a gentle note of teasing in her voice "And try not to think of it as duty, if two people love each other it can be amazing" she says, voice a little wistful as she leans back away and takes a long swallow.

"Did you ever," Agnes asks, "with someone you loved?" As she clearly was not inclined so towards her husband. She sips her beer, returning the hug.

Aelewen lets out a long slow breath as she looks down at the bottle "Yeah, before I was married. She didn't understand and left when the engagment was annouced" the tall archer shrugs her shoulders and offers a smile before nudging the other woman with her elbow "But enough of that, we should be celebrating not digging up old stuff" she says with a smile "And you giving me some children to look after and play with"

Slowblink. "She?" Agnes asks, as if such a thought about Aelewen had never remotely crossed her mind.

"Er what I said about me and Ari?" Aelwen says looking back to Agnes a moment and then chuckles softly "It wasn't because he didn't tall tall tough women, or me pretty men…" she lifts one shoulder in a small shrug "I mean, it was kind of known at the time. I guess you were a little young back then Agnes. And after twenty-five odd years of being faithfuly platonic they died away"

"Oh. OH!" Agnes exclaims. "I never knew. I apologize if I ever tried to fix you up with a man then, Ael. How did I miss this all these years?" she looks a little shocked, but not off put at all. "Why didn't your father just wed you to a woman? Lady Una and Lady Tiriel were there last night and they seemed very happy."

"They needed an alliance with Ari's branch, and he had no eligable sisters" Aelewen says with an easy shrug "And like I said we were faithful for the sake of the children. So not really much to pick up on. I mean what you were about nine I think when we were married?" she says with a shrug "It worked out, I am just glad you have found someone who loves you in all ways"

"Your life isn't over, Aelewen, just because Ari's gone," Agnes notes, giving her friend a sincere look. "Don't stop looking for love. You are free of obligation now, you've done your duty, now you can have fun."

"Hey I am supposed to be here to congratulate and reassure you Agnes" Aelewen protests as she gently nudges the other woman again, a soft chuckle soon turning into a smile "But thank you. You have a good heart" she says quietly "That will be rewarded…"

"One can only hope," Agnes says with a grin. She lifts her beer. "To good hearts, and good friends," she toasts.

Aelewen lifts her bottle up to chink it against Agnes then a grin crosses her lips "Did you really yell at him to kiss you?" she asks, barely fighting off laughter as her sharp blue eyes dance with gentle amusement as she looks at her friend.

Agnes giggles quite girlishly. "I did. I really did. I can't believe it myself." She clinks bottles then sips her some more.

Aelewen laughs compaionably as she puts an arm around Agnes's shoulder and squeezes "Good on you Agnes" she says as she lets go, then her crooked smile turns slightly wicked "So what was it like?" she asks with an arched eyebrow.

Agnes lets out a wistful sigh, and looks into the fire. "It was like time stopped, and the universe righted itself for just a moment, in all the chaos we live in." Poetry from Agnes? That's new.

Aelewen was lifting the bottle up to drain the last swallow, but she stops at Agnes words "Good gods…" she says with a somewhat wistful smile as she puts it down "It must be love, it has turned you into a poet Aggy" she says, eyes suspicously shiny for a moment again as she hugs the other woman in a rare moment of impulsivity. Although not that rare tonight it seems.

Agnes returns the hug. "I can't believe I just said that myself. I feel silly. But happy. And nervous. And worried. And I expect this is what most normal 12 year old girls feel like when a boy they like likes them back."

"From what I have observed it doesn't change -that- much as they get older" Aelewen replies as her bottle finaly finishes it's journey and she drains it to the suds "And not sure if it is reassuring or not, but imagine how he is feeling. I mean when someone he has loved from afar yells at him to kiss her…" she says with a grin "…I can't tell you how happy I am Agnes"

"Thank you, Ael. It means a lot to me to have you in my life, and having my back out there in the trees when the Hostiles come." Agnes grimaces a little at that. "Now, more than ever, I want this war ended before my children need to fight it."

"I feel the same way about my children and grandchildren. Now don't I feel old" Aelewen says with a soft chuckle "I swear though, all these weddings are going to send me broke" she grouses but her eyes are still happy "I have three daughters to dress, and Charlie inherited her father's love of fashion. And I am going to have to equip my youngest as a Knight. At there is one wedding I will be happy to spend on though" she says with a grin as she steals another bottle from the bag.

"Oh no," Agnes says, looking stricken. She chews her lower lip and looks at the fire again. "I'm going to need more dresses and…things like that. Shopping is much, much worse than facing Hostiles."

"Be brave Sir Agnes. Stay strong" Aelewen says in her best command voice, managing to keep a straight face for a little while at least. Laughing softly she claps the other woman's shoulder "We can go back to that shop, I think the woman will behave herself now"

"I hope so, and she really did know how to dress me properly," Agnes admits. "I do not think I want a tabloid-worthy bachelorette party though. I'm thinking more along the lines of a nice relaxing spa day, what do you think?"

"Much more pleasant to me. I am glad none of my daughters have wound up at one of those so far. They mostly seem to have too much sense. Although Char is a little naive…" Aelewen says then looks to Agnes with a smile "Children are a joy. Mostly…" she says then holds up her hand with her weathered skin and heavy callouses "I think the attendants would flee at the sight of my hide though"

"That's what they're paid for, Aelewen. They'll have you looking fresh as a daisy and ten years younger in just a few hours, if the ads are correct," Agnes teases.

Aelewen chuckles softly and shakes her head "I think they would have to use some kind of sandpaper" she informs the other woman gravely, although her eyes are amused "I mean moisteriser is what happens when it rains on you out in the field isn't it?"

"I think they use lasers and such these days, rather than sandpaper," Agnes quips with a grin. "And apparently water dries your skin out more from the outside. Need to put it on the inside by drinking it instead. Who knew?"

"Being shot by lasers sounds so much better" Aelewen says with a crooked smile. She lifts her bottle up for a long swallow as she considers "I suppose this means you will be fighting with them. Now who am I going to hide behind, er protect…" she quips with another smile.

"I fight wherever I am needed, Aelewen. And I doubt Jarek would ever forbid me from defending my birthplace. I expect he will come along to help, honestly." Agnes smiles at that, reminded further of what a good man he is. "Though hopefully he's not off writing King Emund a message to the effect of 'neener neener' or anything."

Aelewen looks at Agnes and starts to laugh helplessly, barely managing to set aside her bottle before dropping it "Well if it wasn't some kind of teason maybe he really should" she says as her laughter dies down "As he certainly has come out ahead. Also if all goes to plan you will be High Lady Saimhann in due time…"

"Lady Saimhann. I'd never imagined anything like this, Aelewen. After realizing Emund was just being nice to me, I expected Trentin to find me some sub-vassal or non-main line vassal lord to wed. This is beyond any expectations. I'm going to need to brush up on some administrative things for sure."

"And most importantly he makes your earth move, or well stop" Aelewen says as her face brightens again "Or possibly both. If ever anyone deserved this though, it is you Agnes…" she says with another nudge "Don't forget that"

"I don't think anyone is going to let me forget it, Ael. I was in the tabloids, for the Mother's sake!" Agnes exclaims. She was never remotely interesting enough to be in them prior.

"Well I meant in a good way. Eh tabloids" Aelewen says derisively "Still I wonder who gossiped. When I was young and foolish you didn't tell anything to the newsies. Or you didn't get invited back" she shrugs one shoulder and lifts her drink up for a long swallow.

"It was bound to get out. Servants, the power failure, people climbing up columns to try and get the lights back on. The kiss and proposal was just the tabloid icing on the cake for any guests or servants who witnessed," Agnes murmurs. She curls her toes as they warm up from the fire. "When's your next deployment?" she asks.

Aelewen nods slowly as she considers, then lifts her beer up to sip "Soon, might be able to make Chiron's squiring but off to the field after that. A lot of them out there" she says as her expression hardens a little "So far my lads are okay, but only a matter of time"

"I need to get him field ready fast. At least he has years of experience with the military. I don't have to worry about him spooking or not following an order. He just needs to learn some new techniques, etiquette, command structure," Agnes notes. "He's a good kid. Well young man I suppose."

"They are look like kids now. Welcome to middle age" Aelewen teases Agnes, but there is some feeling in her voice. Still she playfully nudges the other woman "I know I don't need to tell you to do your best, but his sister and him are practicaly family to the Arboren"

"Lorelei is a lovely girl. Incredibly sweet. I haven't met the other brother yet. Chiron had the one quality that most young squires lack. Respect, not just for others, but for his family and himself. I think he'll do very well," Agnes muses. She looks at the clock. "I should probably get to bed soon, Ael. I have drills tomorrow with the Peake Infantry."

"Yeah I was lecturing my lads on going to bed early and here I am" Aelewen says with a low chuckle. She finishes her ale and neatly puts the two in a bin "But my youngest ran in with this on their pad and…" she trails off and hugs Agnes tightly again "I wish you all the joy in the world lass, you deserve it"

Agnes rises to hug Aelewen, tight, squeezing hard, but careful not to break the willowy Arboren. "Thank you Ael. Thank you so much."

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