(121-04-04) New Duds
New Duds
Summary: In which Magden gets better clothing and she and Tameron ride to Blackmont.
Date: April 4, 2014
Related: Choosing Battles

Morning comes to Dorne and Tameron doesn't waste any sunlight. He's awake before the dawn, washing his face and packing up what little be brought into the inn. He heads down to buy a light breakfast of bread, butter and juice which he tucks away as well for a little later. Then he heads into the stable to see about finding his… well. His squire.

Madgen Quick doesn't seem to sleep much, either. A good omen, for a squire. When Ser Tameron Sand steps out into the courtyard, she's already out in the greying dark, standing on a fencepost only slightly more slender than she. The slight breeze catches the ends of her rag wrappings and tatters, lifting and ruffling them like the feathers of a broken bird. She has a staff — a good, thick piece of wood suited for the shaft of a longspear — held out before her, as though she's using it for balance, until it begins to turn, end over end, in her hands. She spins the thing so fast it whistles, then flips it back over her shoulder and under her arm, repeating the exercise on the other side of her body. On one foot, the other leg drawn up like a crane, she sweeps the legs from an imaginary enemy, brings the end up to catch them under the chin, and reverses in a flash, bringing the staff crashing down on their head. She ends with the staff tucked up neatly against her side, then switches feet without so much as a wobble.

Well, now. Tameron pauses in the courtyard, standing still as he watches Magden put herself through her paces. Hardly the fare of a proper squire, but Tameron was under no illusions there was anything proper about Magden Quick. He stands still and keeps quiet, so as not to interrupt.

She runs through the routine on the other foot, rooted steady as a pillar of stone, then does a showy dismount, launching herself into the air, twisting, tucking, and sticking the landing several yards away. The way she stays down on one knee, for just a beat, seems to give a phantom crowd their cue to stand and cheer. Madgen unfurls to her feet, bowing her head slightly to the waiting knight. "We're going now?" she asks, simply.

He watches in silence and, unlike the phantom crowd, he offers no applause after Magden dismounts. "Clothes," Tameron answers, "then we're going. Breakfast?"

If the lack of real-world adulation disappoints her, she doesn't say or show it. She shakes her head slightly. "I'm not — I don't need to eat much." Or often, it seems. Probably more like she's simply unaccustomed to it. The body adjusts. "Clothes, then."

Tameron nods, fishing into his coin purse to assess what can be spared from what he brought. He nudges those out of the rest and then heads for the meager marketplace this drizzle of a town has to offer. There's a single clothier and from him Tameron buys two boy's tunics, two trousers, one belt and a single pair of sturdy boots. Coins are exchanged and he passes the items over to Magden. "Go and change. Leave the rags behind." A pause. "Or burn them."

She doesn't thank him for the clothing — in fact, she sniffs rather haughtily at the notion she should burn her things. They served her well enough, thank you. She disappears just around a corner, finding herself a spot between merchant's stalls that's hidden from view, and makes quick work of changing, all the same. When she returns, she's a very different creature. Still nearly strange as the one that left, but different. If she was made of rags before, she's now made of sticks, thinner than the weapon she has doubling as a walking stick, her collarbones and the knobs of her ulnae in sharp relief. Her long, pale gold hair is pulled back in a long, rather tangled tail. She still needs a bath. The clothes are, small as he tried to buy them, too large. The tunic slides off to bare one shoulder and the belt is wound thrice around her wisp of a waist. No suggestion of hips or breasts distorts the lines of her clothes. Still? There's a suggestion that she might clean up nicely. Beautifully, even. With those over-large eyes and her pointy chin, exotic and fey.

Tameron regards the creature that emerges from between the two stalls. Not exactly a butterfly where a caterpillar once stood, but… something different. Something that makes his gaze slide from her toes to the top of her head in a manner a little more than simply assessing. Which makes him jerk his gaze away and frown down at his pack for a moment before he draws out the bread and butter and pushes them at the girl. "You'd snap in the wind. Eat. I'll get the horse ready."

A good squire would protest that making ready the horses is her job — but she's not a good squire. Not yet. And all this squiring business, new and — just weird — isn't nearly as appealing as food. Which she turned down once to be polite. Not this time. She takes the bread and tears off a huge bite. "There's been a lot of wind," she says, her mouth full. "I'm not broken, yet." But whatever. NOM, NOM, NOM.

Perhaps the relative word is 'yet'. Tameron takes his time in a stable getting tack and saddle on the horse, checking his hooves for any injuries and take him to the trough for a final drink before leading him out into the courtyard. It's time enough for someone to finish off the bread and butter, if someone wished to do so.

Someone did, indeed — and yet someone, nevertheless, scrupulously set a portion aside. Almost half. Maybe a little less. No one's perfect. "Here," she says, offering it back to him. It seems, after being fed by him the night before, she's not the kind to let him be hungry the morning after. It's something.

Tameron accepts the half a loaf but breaks it in half again, tucking into one portion and returning the other to Magden. He chews and swallows before he asks, "What else do you know how to do?"

Magden shrugs, but she accepts and eats her quarter loaf without argument. "What do you want me to do?" she asks around more bread. She can do a lot of things, apparently. Let's narrow it down.

Tameron gives a shake of his head. "Don't work that way," he explains before taking another bite, chewing and swallow. "But I meant fighting, and…" a hand lifts to gesture in the direction of the post she was perched one earlier.

She tics an eyebrow. "What doesn't work what way?" Magden looks at the post, as well. "Staff. Sword and spear. Throwing knives. Climbing?" She pauses a moment, then smirks. "Juggling. But what I do best is fly."

Tameron's brows lift a little, though his expression is more skeptical than impressed. "Fly," he repeats blandly. "How's that."

Magden smiles faintly, lowering her lashes and revealing the flash of a dimple on her cheek. Oh, look! Bread. Nom, nom, nom. "Maybe I'll show you, someday."

Tameron has no comment. He finishes the last of the bread and waits until Madgen's done the same before climbing into the stallion's saddle. Then he leans down, offering his waif of a squire a hand up.

She makes quick, efficient work of lashing her staff to the saddle, then accepts the hand up, mounting so lightly that he barely has to pull at all.

Tameron settles Magden in front of him, his arms draped to either side so he can keep easy hold on the reins. He clicks his teeth softly and presses his heels to the horse's side. With a flick of his ears, the horse sets off down the road and towards Blackmont Castle, visible in the distance.

Magden is easy in the saddle, unafraid of the horse or the height, and doesn't even seem to need the pommel, her hands resting, lightly curled, on her thighs. "Why, then, are we going to the Manwoodys?" she asks, turning her head slightly to glance at him.

"Find out about a stolen girl," Tameron says as the horse rocks them gently as he walks. "It's more complicated than that. Ser Osric will better explain it when we meet him at Blackmont Castle."

She's quiet a moment, frowning. "Does it need to be more complicated than a stolen girl?" Then, with a bit too much interest, "Are we going to kill the men who took her?"

"Need has nothing to do with it," Tameron replies. "Just is more complicated than that. She's Lord Blackmont's wife. We think a hunting lodge was razed and those within slaughtered that she could be taken." He considers. "Eventually. But not alone."

"She was with the dead men at the lodge?" Magden wrinkles her nose. "They'll want something for her. Otherwise they'd have left her to be found dead. Or ruined."

"Yes," Tameron agrees. "Or they don't want her at all. They just want the war her absence will bring."

She glances back at him again at the word 'war.' That's a big concept, one that turns her grave rather than dreaming of glory. She turns her eyes forward again. "Men are so stupid," she says, softly.

"No," Tameron replies quietly. "No, I don't think they are."

"No?" Magden shakes her head slightly. "Do you think men who want war are wise?"

"I think men who want war want war," Tameron replies, "and use what wits they have to bring it about."

"Even stupid men can be cunning," argues Magden, still quiet. "They often are."

"You can't be stupid and cunning at once," Tameron argues, "anymore than you can be wet and dry at once."

Magden huffs a sigh. "You can. They are. I'm not." She glances at him again. "This conversation is stupid."

"You're not stupid or you're not cunning?" Tameron asks. With a tiny quirk of his mouth, he adds, "or you're not wet?"

She nudges a bony elbow back into his ribs, a little laugh escaping her before she can tamp it back down. "Shut up."

"Mmm," Tameron murmurs, a smile curling his mouth, though it's safe enough with Magden facing forward and unable to see it. "I think you mean 'Shut up, ser‘.”

Magden laughs again, grinning in fact, though it's safe enough with her facing forward. She doesn't make the correction, but she does elbow him again. It's all rather companionable. And pleasant.

Tameron obligingly grunts for that jab, and if they ride on in silence, that, too, seems companionable.

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