(121-04-01) Throw a Dog a Bone
Throw a Dog a Bone
Summary: Ser Kane seeks out Ser Laurent— sort of— who finds the hedge knight a unique place amidst the Tyrells.
Date: 01/04/2014
Related: Horses and Hounds

Sphinx Street

This long street runs along the West side of the Honeywine River. It is wide, and the large paving stones are well-maintained. The rows of genteel houses that line it are broken up on the West of the street by alleys and wynds, and on the East by a few small riverfront gardens, each occupied by handsome twisted old apple trees, flower beds, and a stone bench or two.

To the North, Sphinx Street ends at The Citadel — it gets its name from the two great green stone sphinxes that flank them. To the West lies the Champion's Way, a wide street leading to the Tourney Gate, and the tourney grounds outside the city. To the South stand the seven towers and seven domes of the Starry Sept, and beyond that, the guildhouses and the harbour, with the Hightower's blazing beacon above.

Before evenfall, the lovely Sphinx Street of Oldtown is cast in a glow, energetic around the edges given the storm in the warm air. The apple trees whisper and the flower gardens sway in a calmly building breeze. Even the stiff hedge of one of the fine manses rustles— no, it's only a passing dog scraping at this anf that, some skinny, patchy mongrel wandered up from who-knows-where. Abruptly, it points its rear to the sky and starts accusing the greenery in a high-pitched bark, alerting everyone in the vicinity to the very important fact that there is something in the bushes, trespassing. A proven fact, as a string of groans, curses, and snapping of twigs immediately follow. A man's voice, nearly level with the ground. "By the— Seven— do you have no common decency— "

Ser Laurent Tyrell sits astride a pristine white palfrey draped in the green and gold of his house, accompanied by a pair of men-at-arms, also mounted, though on steeds of less obvious quality. His attire is nearly a match for that of his men, hard leather armor stamped with the arms of his house, though where they wear purple cloaks he wears none. He scowls when he sees the dog, a common enough sight, and is about to dismiss the mangy creature when the commotion starts.

A man in the bushes, that's another matter altogether. He slows the palfrey to a stop and lets his hands cross on the saddle horn as he calls out a challenge to the stranger. "Ho there! What's this, now?" His voice is rough, his tone hard. The men-at-arms stop a horse's length behind their captain, following his lead.

" — now look what you've done you mutt — go on! Go on!" The trespassing culprit (so the dog's opinion would have it, though it clearly does not belong here either) rolls out of the bushes, proving himself to be a man clad in piecemeal armour and curly brown hair, now spattered with foilage debris. His cape spreads out over him like a great, flamboyant quilt, crafted of numerous fabrics of different makes and colours: dark red, purple, blue, and black. The dog prances about him, yapping, until Ser Kane the Capricious, Capacious, Comical or Colourful, stands, bearing the red-enameled, flourishing designs of the armour he wears over his chest.

He brushes off the sleeves of his surcoat as he looks up at the Tyrell as naturally as can be, as if he wasn't just rousted from somebody's garden by a stray dog and doesn't resemble something of a patchy stray himself, albeit with a good deal more flair. It's only after a second that his hooded eyes widen with actual recognition on the man upon the palfrey. "If it isn't the Thorn!" He bows his head, twigs and all, with an added flourish of his arm and bending of his knee. It doesn't last long. "Dogs, hey? Rascally mutts."

"I've never had any love for strays," Laurent growls. It might be an agreement of sorts; judging by his tone, it might also be his opinion of the man before him. "You know me," he says, dark eyes narrowing in the long pause before he adds a tentative, "Ser." A lift of his heavy brow turns the title into a question before he goes on, "But I do not know you. What brings you to…" His gaze drifts to the bushes, and to the Garden Isle beyond, and there is the space of a deep breath again before he asks, "…to our hedge?"

"The thorny Tyrell. Of course, Ser. It's a rare tourney without a sighting. I am Ser Kane," he bows his head in introduction; there's a slight flair even to that. "The Colourful. I met your cousin, the Lord Pansy, as I came into Oldtown." His voice is pleasant though it takes a more business-like turn; so, too, does his worn but handsome face, though seriousness does not suit him well with greenery in his hair. "He was eager to suggest I seek you." Garvin likely did not mean for Kane to camp out in anyone's hedges to do so, but Kane leaves that part quite out.

"The Jackanape Knight," Laurent says with a nod of recognition. "How in seven hells did I not recognize you?" The tall Tyrell knight shakes his head, swinging one leg over the palfrey to slide out of the saddle. "Take my horse," he calls to a man-at-arms, "I'll be along shortly." Then it's an appraising look at Kane, and another nod of agreement. "So you did," he says, "My lord cousin was eager that I should meet you, as well. To find you a place in our employ, said he." The pair of men-at-arms leads his horse off, and the Thorn settles in, arms crossed in front of his broad chest, to talk to Ser Kane. "So. What precisely am I to use you for, Ser Kane?"

Kane glances up and plucks a twig and leaf from his hair, looking at it with an ah of revelation and squint of his eyes. "My diguise," he explains in jest; clearly, this is why Laurent did not immediately recognize him. He strolls a bit more onto the road proper as he speaks to the man, crossing his own arms as much as possibly across the bulk of the armour he must sleep in. "Well," he considers, "I have every respect for the Tyrells. It would be my honour to serve, were the task suited to a knight of my— " he smiles, comic mischief in it, " — standing." His smile is crooked but true, not put upon as one might expect of the Jackanape Knight. It might hit a wry note if it weren't so easygoing.

Laurent turns to stroll alongside Kane, glancing at the man sidelong every so often as they walk slowly down the street. "We have need of a master-at-arms," he says with a shrug, "But I saw you against Ser Ballard Swann, and again when you faced that Arryn bastard with the slack face. I think drilling our armsmen, Ser, is not where your talents lie." It's said roughly, but not unkindly. An observation with no sugar coating at all. "So tell me, Ser Jester, what use do I have for you? Lord Garvin is keen that I find some."

A smirk dwells in one corner of Kane's mouth at Laurent's observation. He doesn't take offense, only taps a finger — slightly grimy, lodgings considered — to his lips and remarks, amused, "I once posed as a master of music; it was several days before anyone realized I couldn't play a single instrument. But I would not think to put your men through such a debacle, you're right, I'm no master-at-arms. Surely your family's in need of a sword, if not a master?" He waves a hand easily, "Naturally, I would take no offense if you sent me packing, but I wouldn't want to disappoint Lord Garvin."

"No, you're a clever man," Laurent says with a shake of his head. "A sharp mind, and a good enough hand with a sword." With a skeptical glance Kane's way he adds, "And no doubt my cousin would enjoy your company. He's a frivolous sort." If he were serious before, he's doubly so when he suddenly asks, "Do you think you're up to the task of keeping Garvin from throwing stones in his own path, Ser? He has a knack for it."

Ser Kane may indeed be a smart man — even with his frivolous repute — but upon Laurent's query he squints, all creases around the eyes in thought, weighing pros and cons of every interpretation he gleans from the man's words, and finds reason to question. He tips his head slightly toward the Thorn. "I expect he does. I could be, I could be," he agrees first, stretching his arms out in front of him, hands linked leisurely in contrast to Laurent's seriousness, but, "What exactly would such a position entail?"

Laurent turns to look down on Kane, frowning. "Likely finer clothes," he begins sourly, "Which House Tyrell will provide. And no end of free drink, while you're close to Garvin," he goes on. "The company of lords and ladies as frivolous as any you've seen, I'll wager." He doesn't care for the job at all, himself. "It needs a man who can turn a barb aside with his tongue, Ser. My sword isn't a fine enough tool for the job. And it needs a man as can remind Lord Garvin to be discreet," he adds heavily. And though that might seem to say it all, given the prevalent rumors, Laurent isn't one to leave something unsaid. "This is the Reach, isn't it? No one complains about a bit of buggery, behind closed doors. But left to his own devices, my good cousin tends to flaunt it." That's all said ver matter-of-factly, as is what follows. "If I hear that you've said I told you this, I'll name you a liar, Ser, and demand that our swords tell the truth of it."

For part of Laurent's response, Kane looks down at his attire; the flaking paint and flourished designs, leather and fraying fabrics; what, get rid of this piece of art? For the most part, however, he's listening intently, quite able to lend a serious ear and give the words their due consideration. His eyebrows lift at Laurent's candor, but he seems utterly unbothered. "I wouldn't want your sword at my neck. Even absent a threat, you needn't any reason to name me a liar. Now, a smartass and a silver-tongued bastard— " the hedge knight grins, "those'll stick good 'n' true. I know how to weave a story into reality, and if that story need be Lord Garvin behaving, as far as his public's concerned, well." His eyebrows rise and fall, shrugging clearer than his shoulders under plates of painted steel. "Then I'm at'cher service."

"The Smith's singed shorthairs, Man," Laurent complains at Kane's reluctance, "At least have it taken to an armorer, won't you? Lord Garvin won't abide your kit looking so shabby." He shakes his head, frowning as he imagines his cousin pouting at the sight of it. "If you can see your way to looking the part, and think you can defend him in the court of public opinion," Laurent says evenly, turning that same thoughtful frown down on The Jokester Knight, "Then you have a place in our house, Ser Kane, and I'm glad to have you. No doubt Garvin would have some oath from you, which will be a foolish thing, and which he will pay generously for for as long as you serve him." For his part, Laurent doesn't seem at all offended at the thought of Kane milking his allegiance to House Tyrell for silver. "I don't give a damn for your oath myself, so long as you serve him loyally. So we'll tell him I brought you on as… What, then?"

Kane thrusts a fist a few times against his armoured chest, watching a few flakes of paint fall off with a grin that suggests he perhaps does not care so much after all. Reference: smartass. Clever blue eyes twinkle to take in Laurent's blunt assessments. "Personal guard? Sword and advisor? No, no, best leave advisor out of any title," he adds — self-deprecating but with a toothy smile.

"Right," Laurent agrees with a heavy nod. "He'll be less keen to take your advice, I think, if you're his advisor. You'll be his personal guard, and… Have you any skill as a playwright?" Laurent's brow lifts as the question comes out of the blue. "Could you feign any? Help him there, and he'll be eager for your advice, Ser. He's passionate about that theater, and a fine playwright on his own. He would appreciate a fellow…" He gestures with an open hand, searching for the phrase, but lets it go when he can't find it.

"Artistic soul!" Kane fills in, swooping into one of the small travel pouches at his belt — such sleight of hand, what he's snatched can barely be glimpsed before he's flinging them straight up into the air. Two bright green crab-apples, juggled for two speedy rotations before he puts one away, a short performance in consideration of his stern-faced audience. "I spent a time in a mummer's troupe. I've a whole barrel of tricks. You never know what may pop out." He takes a bite of the apple, squinting at the sour juice. "I like a good theatre, hey. Icing on the cake."

Laurent watches the display, scowling though it's a fine show. There's even a grimace to finish, when Kane bites into the sour apple. "Well," he says sullenly, "My cousin owns the finest theater in Oldtown. No doubt he'll want you to see it. It's an impressive thing." And though Laurent is dour, even surly, there's an obvious fondness in him for Garvin. It colors his opinion of the theater as well, as it does anything that Garvin takes a hand in. "The two of you ought to get on well enough, I think. He'll likely want you to teach him to juggle, I think, if you show him that you can. So mind that."

"I like him," Kane says easily, "A funny fellow, isn't he? But in a good way. Not like me, I'm an ostentatious ass of a man," he says with a grin and an eye near to winking; he's undampened by Laurent's dourness, but he does not go so far as to wink at the Thorn. He throws the minuscule apple core over his shoulder; it lands rather neatly out of sight into greenerty as though aimed. "My gratitude, Ser." The formal niceties don't come quite so easily as juggling, but the roving hedge knight, evidently soon to not be so bereft, is sincere.

"Serve Garvin well, whether he likes it or not," Laurent says, steering their path toward the bridge to the Garden Isle, "And you'll have my gratitude, Ser. I love Garvin," he says easily enough, "Moreso than ever I loved my own brothers. He is a good man, but he can make it difficult enough to see." A couple more long strides in silence and he adds, "I'll show you the manse. We'll find you rooms here, if you'd like. Though I've no doubt Lord Garvin would see the choice left to you, should you prefer to remain at…" He trails off, looking to Kane, and decides he wouldn't care to hazard a guess. "Wherever you're keeping yourself."

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