(121-04-28) Reunion of Undearly Departed
Reunion of Undearly Departed
Summary: Having been apart for some months after Gidion sent Hellan and their children South upon rumours that he helped a brother of the Night's Watch escape, Stark man and wife have words.
Date: 30/04/2014
Related: The Riders

Tent - Camp - Somewhere in the Westerlands

The tent is dark and dismal. When Hellan lights a lamp, it's only moderately less so; dark and dismal with a cast of flickering, tempestuous firelight, as moody and whispering as the voices outside. News of Iron Islanders with a Hightower banner coming to lend aid are making their way through the camps; perhaps not the only newcomer to stir interest.

She didn't direct him to the tent in which she stays, but she expect him to find it; expects someone to direct him there, as she sent Landur, the reluctantly loyal man-at-arms, to 'help' him settle in, a thinly veiled excuse. Letting her fur-trim hood fall around her shoulders, Hellan's back and dark hair, partially braided and curling out of its security, is to the tent entrance and she's gleaned a much-needed flask of wine.

Landur would find himself in a world of grump and bastardy talking most like. Gidion was in no fine mood before arriving camp-and his own sudden appearance here amongst kin seems to have set rankles up anyway. Some men likely glad to see him well enough-others with their own ideas as to what happened to the Lord. Not so much. He has his horse seen to and a man to see to his weapons. Still he lingers by fires and eats-drinks his fill. He takes his time before stalking round to the tent that houses his wife, amidst the murmurs of other men from the North.

His hand almost seems shaky when it comes to the entrance, before flap is drawn and he shows himself in. He is a little leaner than he was before, and his hair grayer. But, it is him-that much is certain. For the longest time he watches Hellan, before turning to close the flap behind him. "You look well." which could be a lie, or he's not seen people in some time.

She doesn't seem to notice that he's been there until he speaks. A light, inelegant sound escapes her, distantly scoffing at the concept of looking well. Yet when she turns to be fully in view of her husband, Hellan wears the rings of tiredness under her eyes like badges of pride, war-time scars; she is no less for them. The lamp's light catches on the hint of silver in her own hair. Conflict catches in her eye, too, and she pushes it aside. "You look older," she states, utterly neutral until she carries on: "Do traitors age faster, then? Is that the look of someone who's spent time in the dungeons?"

A grunt returned before he is moving further in and closer. His cloak is unpinned and shrugged off, as grey material is tossed to the camp bed. In the good days this motion was the end to the day-something to expect, and now the gesture feels alien and hollow. His hand moves up to rub at his jaw and have fingers scratch through his hair. "I feel older." he adds before he is looking up at her. A flash of something in his eyes, though it doesn't carry out. "Watch your tongue. As I am alive and breathing you can see I was found no traitor." bitter and bitten out. "No traitor."

"Then you had better fully explain yourself," Hellan is quick and sharp on response; though cold, her voice does not hold the threat it could, however, when she adds, "before I cut you fully from ear to ear." She moves to sit on the edge of the camp bed by the pool of grey that is his cloak, out of necessity; the tent is only appointed with sparse practicality, ready to move in the morning. The careful slowness in which she lowers speaks to another necessity; she'd been standing too long. Riding longer than that. An expert at containing her winces, a ghost of one passes her lips all the same. "We had no idea if you were alive or dead," she says rigidly. "I kept Genevra from the most of it."

Gidion looks over at that and three the full fury, cold and baleful that was hidden is unleashed in one singular look. "If you could hold your arm straight, I am sure I would be worried." the venom is cold, but there. Already loveless-his own stress on such of the partnership likely not helping now, or ever before. When she sits he watches, but doesn't move to help. A sign of respect to what strength she has, or had. He'd not belittle her now even in private by stooping to coddle. "I can't write, you know this." And there a tight line is formed. "I hunted him down after you left, once the rumors and back tongues got too much." a grimace given before he's reaching down to fiddle with his sword belt. "Took his skull back t' Lord Cregan, I did-though word was enough by then. I acted too late-but I did not hide him." And there he turns to look back to the flap. "I told him to leave on, which was too much courtesy."

One of her own icy glances shoots up to Gidion, intense for the intellect that combines with the emotion behind it; what's more indistinct is which statement, exactly, it was for. There are too many. By the end of his news, her head has lifted higher in consideration, deigning to give it some measure of worth. Tenuous, in the moment, after so long without knowing what became of him. Hellan unabashedly takes a long drink of wine, speaking as it still wets her tongue. "Lord Stark gets a skull and what do I get for all the days you've been gone?" Her distinct, precisely pronounced voice escalates. "The knowledge that your first instinct was some misguided altruism for a deserter of the Night's Watch over your family?"

His hand shoots out, though it is not for her throat or personage as one might expect. Instead it is held just so for the flask she keeps draining. All this talking leading to parched throats and dry tongues. Or likely it is the riveting commentary on what is treasonous or not. "You get me." simple and plain-but then Gidion is not known for long sentences or epic monologues. Though with that next bit, he is coming down, close into her personal space. "He was a man I bled with and Oathed with, sworn brother or not. I owed him a life" he says with a snarl. "And I gave it him in a chance to be caught or killed. He chose th' later."

Hellan passes the — now woefully light — flask through the small space without her gaze moving from Gidion. Understanding, too, is passed between them, however instinctively Hellan may not want it to, clearly linging staidly to the anger and judgments she'd had time to solidify like an even greater barricade than the walls she always rises. "You killed him," she says more quietly, less coldly. The brother was a man Gidion bled and Oathed with, and he killed him; at least that is no meaningless thing. She looks toward a thin wall of the tent. "And now; what becomes of us now. Has the law forgiven you … are we to return home?"

"I had to." Gidion says before a small swig is taken and flask passed back over. "He broke an oath and used his chance. The Old Gods wold not have frowned on that." Or so he believes. A roll of his shoulders, and he feels older as he looks. Moving he comes to sit down on the bed- as iic the wee cot could handle such a load. "No." he ads before looking to her. "Law has forgiven me, and there is nothing keeping you from returning. But, I am to stay and recruit for the Night's Watch."

Hellan sinks as the cot does with the addition. "Stay? Stay where?" There's some edge as she reclaims the flask, yet it's a practical enough question as they're poised any solid point on a map on the way to Crakehall. "Away from Winterfell. Sounds to me a good deal more like a productive exile than forgiveness." She drinks, emptying it, and briefly glances from side to side as if hunting down more, or someone to yell at to make more appear, but settles. Into thought.

"I've been told I can return when the fires cool." Which will likely be some time still. "In Oldtown. The reach has knights and the Watch is sorely lacking in leadership. They've seen quite a number of desertions-and so I'll be sure to add what I can. It's better than taking the Black." he adds with a glance over and then he leans back. "I will see my children grow." And finally Gidion looks over. "Thank you for keeping' Genevra from it."

Subtle motions of Hellan's head denote her listening, understanding, barely noticeable were it not for the tent's shadows moving on her pale face. A deeper nod and a more stoic press of her lips is all the welcome Gidion receives. Enough. Folding over the empty flask on her lap, her hands tighten, restraining — perhaps some part of her still wishes to strike him. The other part says evenly, not looking, "It's good you're here for the battle."

The retraining is taken for tremor and some form of small kindness is given in the extending of his hand over to catch hers, but briefly. Gidion does not look to her, but simply looks ahead. For her words or wish there is a grunt. Able. "Aye." he agrees. "I'd hate to miss the fun."

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