(121-04-04) A Squire by Any Other Name
A Squire by Any Other Name
Summary: Magden can't be a knight… where does that leave her?
Date: 04/04/14
Related: Related Logs

It's later that same day at Castle Blackmont — evening, now — and should Ser Tameron go to check on the state of his horse, he will find it well cared for — better, possibly, than it's ever been. Clean, combed, and brushed until he shines like a newly minted coin, the beast has been accommodated in a stall that's equally clean, furnished with fresh and fragrant hay. His hooves have been trimmed and re-shod. His tack is oiled and hung. Good water and sweet mash of oats — there's really nothing for which the animal lacks. He's probably living better than Lord Blackmont's men.
And if he's looking for his squire, he'll find her asleep in the stall next door.

Perhaps Ser Tameron was looking for both. He steps quietly into the stables after dinner ends with a basket of pilfered food. He fetches an apple out, offering it up to Horse and taking a moment to rub the stallion's velvety muzzle as he crunches on his treat. Then he peers down into the stall beside his horse, regarding the sleeping girl in silence for a long beat. Then, quietly, "Wake up. I brought dinner."

One bright, blue eye snaps open and she sits bolt upright, blinking, frowning — muzzled and confused. There's a knife in her hand — she was sleeping with it, it seems, tucked beneath her in the straw. She returns it to her boot and rolls to her feet. She looks like she's had a bath, and though there's straw in her hair, it, too, is clean. The smell of the pilfered food makes her stomach growl, audibly. "Thank you," she says, once she remembers her manners.

Tameron nods and then gestures with his chin to come out of the stall so they can seat themselves on a couple squares of straw set out handily for such things. He sets the basket down where the two bales meet and plunks down onto one.

Magden steps out of the stall with the awkward, leggy grace of a foal. Funny how a girl so short can still be leggy, but she's built mostly of limbs. She perches on the opposite bale, tucking a leg up beneath her. "Have you eaten?" she asks, wrinkling her nose and crossing her eyes at a bit of straw that, caught up in her hair, comes suddenly into view. She snatches at it and tosses it aside. Meh.

"More or less," Tameron replies, flipping open the basket cover to reveal a bowl of spiced beef curry, a skin of water, two more apples, and some sort of sticky, flaky confection that looks to be make of thin layers of dough soaked in honey.

She snatches up an apple and takes a huge bite, chewing with her cheeks pooched out. Apples, water, and the flaky, honey-soaked things — they're a hit. She doesn't look twice at the main course, however. "I don't know what this is," she says of the pastry, after a long time of otherwise silent chewing and lip-smacking, "but I think I could eat all of it." She pops another bit into her mouth, licking honey off her fingers. "All of it. In the whole world."

A corner of Tameron's mouth can't help but twitch upwards. "But none of the curry in the world," he supposes, glancing down at the untouched main. "Don't like spicy?"

Magden shakes her head. "I like spicy," she corrects, shrugging. "I just don't eat meat."

Tameron's brows twitch down in confusion. She might as well have said she doesn't believe in fingertips. "Why?"

She looks down at her sticky fingers, shrugging again and buying herself some time by cleaning them off with her mouth. She drinks from the water skin again, wiping her mouth on her sleeve. "I don't like killing things. Not when I don't have to."

Tameron looks down at the curry, considering. "I don't think not eating it is going to bring it back," he points out at he regards the cubes of beef in their sauce. "There is something I should tell you."

Magden rolls her eyes. "It shouldn't have had to die. I'm not going to justify the killing by eating it." And you can't make her, Tameron Sand. So there. She looks pensive, though, when he prefaces a 'talk.' "Does your knight hate me?"

"Then you'll just leave its death with no meaning at all," Tam supposes. Then he quickly shakes his head. "No. Ser Osric does not. It's only…" his lips press together into a thin line before he puffs out a sharp, irritated breath, "girls can't be knights.

Magden looks annoyed and not at all like she agrees with what does and does not give death meaning, in this case — but she ceases to argue the point. Instead, she looks perplexed at what seems to be vexing him. "Is that what you want from me?"

"Well it… usually, that is the way it goes. Page to squire to knight," Tameron explains. "But they will not knight you, so being a squire… it's meant to be training. For knighthood."

"So that's why you made me your squire," Magden says, seeking clarity. "So that I'd become a knight."

Tameron's mouth opens and then closes again, and he frowns down at his knees. "It's a good occupation," he says. "A sworn knight is protected by a House, does not lack for food or shelter, uses violence only to protect and defend."

Magden shakes her head. "I'm sure being a knight is a very good thing," she assures him, sounding genuine. "But is it why you made me your squire?"

Tameron's quiet for a while longer, looking down at his palm with its healing, shallow gash. The thumb of his other hand presses over the scab. "Because you were lost. And it was me that found you."

She nods. "That sounds like a good enough reason, to me," says Magden, softly. "I don't need to be a knight."

"You'll be taunted," Tameron feels obliged to warn her. "called names. Called worse than names."

"You make it sound like that's never happened before," says Magden, dryly. "Can I hit them?"

"Only the other squires," Tameron replies. "I'll have to hit the knights."

She smirks, eyes mischievous. "That sounds fine."

Tameron's gaze flicks up to meet Madgen's in quiet query. "Yeah?"

Magden nods. "You said…" she begins, "that you'd protect and defend me as one of your own, against all foes… until I'm released from your service, death takes you, or the word ends. And I said I'd serve you, the same." The has a pretty good memory. Or maybe the words actually meant something to her. "I don't need to be called squire for that — unless you want to." She shrugs. "I don't need to be called anything."

"That was the squire's oath," Tameron points out. "Squire's what it made you, whatever it gets called. Probably be simplest to just keep calling it what it is."

Magden nods again. "As you wish, ser. Just so you know… to me, it only means what it means."

Tameron nods in return. "Well," he allows, "that was the more important bit."

And she nods one more time, leaning down to rummage the last apple out of the basket. "Then I think we're fine." Crunch.

Tameron lets his hands turn so his palms can rest against his knees. "Well," he murmurs, "then good." He sits straighter and draws in a small sniff. "Can you eat more? I didn't know about the meat. Then, might be best to make an early night of it. We ought to try this training business, come morn. Do it right, if we're going to do it." Even if, by definition, that's impossible. LA LA LA.

Magden smiles. "No. I mean — no, thank you. There was a lot of that flaky stuff dipped in honey." And she ate it ALL. She cleans up quickly, putting things back in the basket and standing to offer it back. "Tameron," she starts, then adds, "Ser. I'm…" She seems at a loss, finally saying, lamely, "I'll try to make sure you don't regret this."

Tameron smiles faintly before offering a small nod. "I know," he agrees softly. "And, I don't. Come on. You're a squire of House Dayne, now. You've a room in the keep for the night. No more stables."

She blinks. "I do," she says, wondering. Then she blushes. "Sorry. I didn't know." Suddenly self-conscious, she brushes herself off and checks for any remaining bits of straw. "Will — uhm — can you show me where?"

Tameron stands and gives a crisp nod. "Course. This way." As if 'leaving the stables' wasn't the obvious first step. He leads Magden into the keep and to one of the higher levels. Down a hall towards where the servants sleep. There is a small room, simple and plain but with its own bed, wash basin, chamberpot and hearth. He opens the door. "Just through there."

Magden pokes her head in and looks around, hesitating a moment before stepping inside. She drops her pack near the hearth. "I sleep in the bed?" she asks, after a moment's hesitation.

Tameron tips his head again, less surprised by the question than he should be, perhaps. "This room is yours, tonight. You sleep wherever you like in it."

"Oh." She eyes the bed, then nods. "All right." A quick flash of a smile. "Thank you."

Tameron nods, taking a step back out of the room. "Good night, Magden Quick."


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