(121-05-13) Dying and Living
Dying and Living
Summary: Hellan and Gidion.
Date: 13-18/05/2014
Related: Wildlings

Second Floor - Sailmaker's Manse
Appletree Wynd

Hellan has been confined to her bedchamber; so soon after her husband has returned from imprisonment in the North, she's become a prisoner here, one of her own making; or perhaps it's the gods that are to blame, or her body. The call of the wildlings brought her far from the relative safety Oldtown and all the way back, and she has her own war wounds; unlike the warriors in the host, hers bled no new blood, and she lifted a blade to no one.

The regal Stark lady barely moved from this bed, the simply appointed room becoming her world; blankets cover her lap, now, and a pillow keeps the stiff poise of her back in place. A wooden board crosses her hidden legs, balancing a quill and ink and parchement on which to write, but nothing but a smudge has graced the page. She's pale as death; it makes her statuesque face an ivory one, marred mildly by redness under her eyes, which stare at a corner as animated as glass fitted into her sockets. Barely any light makes its way in; only an array of candles burn. The lamp has gone out. Out of her reach, and past a servant's notice since she's been banning their presence when, in fact, she speaks at all, it remains unlit.

For his part Gidion comes and goes like a ghost. He shows sometime late in the night, his body warm as fire, thanks to the whisky and ale that fuels him. Wherever he is gone during the day no one talks of. The servants haven't a clue as Gidion is a man who keeps his lips shut and his words to himself. Even as regal woman rests and tries to come back to her health, those same named servants have been murmuring different stories.

When the door opens bringing in fresh air and with it a darkened stranger, who seems more key to lounging in the doorway. After a few minutes he comes futher in-his hand going back to pull the door closed behind him. Boots scuffle along the floorboards as he starts his way over to the bed, his head down and bowed, allowing for unkempt hair to fall as it may. Familiar weight is applied as he sits down-something small and smooth in his hands. There's a slight chuckle-but nothing said

Until this:

"This reminds me of our first night together. You wanted it dark when I fucked you..Lilkely cause.." and there Gidion draws a line along his own belly, jagged and rough, before it falls flat. "Still you looked alive then. Passion of it's own thing." And then he turns barely to look over at her. "Now you seem a corpse in a cave or a tomb." A brief pause. "Are you dying?"

She pays him no mind, at first. Might watch him from the corner of her eyes; her gaze moves not, so she might not. If it weren't for the fact that the rippled feather quill in her hand is slowly set down to cross the parchment like a barricade against writing at all, she could easily be dead now, a finely poised corpse, as Gidion so eloquently said, face so motionless.

Until. The side of Hellan's mouth twitches roundabout 'first night', instinctive, involuntary like a tic; knowing his line of thought. The motion seems more than it is when the candle light plays flickering tricks on her face. It's always playing tricks on her face. She's often in such dark, her expressions enigmas. "We're all dying, Gidion." Her voice, naturally deep, is made moreso from lack of use all day. There's barely any morbidity to her tone; isn't death just a fact of life. The side of her thumb scrapes against the surface of the parchment, the scratching sound revealing its roughness where it looks so smooth and pure. She looks to him without moving her head. "You've never asked me that before."

A sign of life. The tic showing there in his face, and he looks back to her-that smooth thing in his hands, worried over by calloused fingers before he's grinning himself. There is fondness for that memory and many sweet others easily attached to this sort of light, but then he's more showy of his emotions. If she were to play him in cards she'd read him finer than any man could. There's a sigh there. Soft and sad, but it's gone as he coughs and clears his throat, before coughing more. Something likely caught down in dark and dank cells that won't kick off..

"So I've been told, dear. Each ring in a weirwood tree is closer that I come to bein' ash or wormfood." added with a bit of macabre certainty. As for her own declaration, and he's looking back to her there-his own eyes in sharp study. "You need to drink." Water, or something. As fr words he sniffs. "Never had to before. I knew the answer."

"You couldn't have known." There's a sharpness to Hellan's voice that's sudden, suggesting she didn't mean for it to be so, yet she does not take it back; she never does. The turn of her head is subtle, but places her gaze more fully in line with Gidion. It harbours knowledge, that gaze. Of herself. Perhaps of death. Secrets that she tries to hold. "Only the gods knew that." A shift of her shoulders trails uncomfortable life down her body and she pushes her back slightly against the pillow, her mouth forming a slightly bitter line. The item in her husband's possession draws her attention, but she can't seem to focus in the dimness— or is, at least, uninterested; her gaze again drifts, distant. Then, quiet, tight: "I'm just tired. It was a long journey."

"I could tell from looking at you. My own father withered out like a dead weed, an you, even in your sickest didn't look close to him." Gidion announces before he is moving to place the small thing he has been worrying over into the woman's lap. On top of her parchment. There's a brief stare before he is looking away again. Much easier to address these things without looking at one's wife.

"Aye it was. And you were on the field, even if I didn't see you swing an axe." his own grin is not lasting. "I'd like it." he begins and then stops.

"Just don't die yet." Gidion gives out finally. "I know I'll not fill your belly again, but don't. Not yet."

Hellan studies Gidion rather than whatever it is he's placed on her parchement; thought fills eyes that had gone distant, bringing them present although he doesn't look upon them. Emotion stirs, but the line of her brows is stern. Slowly, her jaw moves up and down without a parting of her lips to form words.

"'Don't die yet'," she repeats, rerouting from her first intent, and goes on speaking as though to scold in— arguable— jest, "You are so sentimental, Gidion." The smile that appears is a touch too edged with that same bitterness, and quick to wither. She goes somber; more hushed. "I should like not to die." A rare admittance, for it acknowledges that she could. Her gaze has turned down. "You are saying," Hellan ventures, "that now, I look like your father. That you think I am dying. What choice do I have, if that's the case." Realizing upon a delay that something interrupts the clean slate of her parchment, her fingertips trail toward it.

"Fates be fucked." Gidion states before he is looking back over to her as he rises up off the bed. "You look close to him. Close enough for me to ask after." he admits before he's now leaning across to place his lips in her hair before drawing back. "I like your company-and I'd be sorely pressed to find anyone who comes close. We were a good a team." he adds. Compliments in his own way, in case he does not get to say them again. Eyes follow to trail over where they line up on the small wooden carving. It's just a bear made of wood. He'd done similar for the children when they were young, though this one has more detail for fingers to worry over.

"I'll come earlier tonight. And I'll stink of cheap cider before I crawl in close." A lick of his lips. "Eat if you haven't. Drink. If they take you, then you're taken and I cannot fight it." there is likely the Gidion she is used to. A brief laugh. "Maybe I'll just lie with your corpse." And he looks to the paper, and back. Question which would come does not. Instead he seems to turn as if to go.

Hellan closes her eyes upon the kiss of her head, weighed heavy by the words it seals. When they open, they're fixed upon the small bear through the rest of Gidion's words. She turns it in her hand; her other hand joins it, working over those carved details contemplatively. She stands it up as if a child's toy, made to pretend to gallop across the page like a line in a storybook, but it stays still. She's nearly distracted, captured by the emptiness of the page; it earns her own wordess questioning. "Gidion," she interrupts his turn, a near miss with a hoarse voice. A pause hangs in the still air, a thank you that doesn't come. Perhaps didn't exist in the first place. Another trick of shadows. "… I should like to see a maester."

He stops when she speaks. It's how he is, like some shiftless tree wasting, or some shadow that refuses to close with the close of day. Instead he lingers bait there and looks up. One hand moves to rub over his beard and mouth before he is turning back around to look towards Hellan. Eyes slide from the parchment clean and even to his wife, who's something-something between life and death. There's a swallow and he nods."Aye, I suspect you would.." he murmurs. "Now?" likely trying to patch the urgency here.

Hellan grasps for no such urgency. Instead, her head turns away from Gidion in a gesture that almost looks forlorn; it's not given enough time to even begin resting against the pillow before it turns back. She faces him — as best she can, from this bed. "Soon," is her middle-ground to urgency. "Maera is acquainted with the archmaester …" She swallows; it's dry, parched as the paper in front of her. Her fingers crawl up the wooden bear without looking at it. "Make sure, whoever it is, that he comes quietly, and makes no fuss. There is no point for anyone else to think I am dying."

Gidion nods after a time, and then he is raking his hand up through his hair. "Aye, I can send someone to fetch him-Just give me the name and I'll see a boy sent." Likely if for some reason his wife is dying he will not be off scampering to hunt down some old wretched archmaester. "I can see that some water is brought up..or tea." he adds almost at a loss for what one is to do in such a situation. "You should try and drink something-or eat if you've not."

"I don't … " she answers, and her words nearly fall to murmur, as though losing the strength or care to place effort on the words. "… recall his name." Similarly, another layer of tiredness settles over Hellan when she's made again to think of food or drink; either seem a large chore to presently consider. "You have said," she points out, though it's dull, and she concurs eventually; a nod, she will, and even that is a difficult acceptance of help. She takes the bear in her hand, now, and squeezes it tight, pressing her thumb to the carved body; the tension translates all the way to her pale face. She sits there, just like that.

"Alright." Gidion says as he leans into the doorway, letting frame support his own as he watches his wife there on the bed. Clearing his throat he speaks up again. "I'll make sure any maester comes..I know there's a green healer down the wynd-I'll bring him till some damned chained man comes." And he peels back a bit, before lingering half in and half out in the hallway. "I'm sorry." is all he says before ducking out entirely.

In her husband's absence, Lady Hellan looks upon the parchment and some distant remembrance abruptly strikes her; she stares at its blankness and words might as well etch themselves in front of her eyes. She purposely upends the inkwell, dangling it upside down and letting vicious dark splotches spill and pool together, whimsically obliterating the letter's potential. Barely, the bedridden woman has the wherewithal to set the plank of wood on which it rests aside without knocking it over as the urge — fierce, frustrated, and grasping through her exhaustion — strikes. Once her lap is empty, Hellan slowly turns on her right side, set to stare at the wall until the next sound at her door.

Realizing she's still clutching the bear, she unfurls her faintly ink-stained hand and stares at that instead in the bedchamber's dying dimness.

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