(123-10-14) Have You Ever Seen a Gold Fish?
Have You Ever Seen a Gold Fish?
Summary: After Ser Brynden almost knocks Emmeline off the edge of a bridge, the two stand for a time discussing fish and background before heading off to the Quill and Tankard.
Date: Friday, October 14, 2016
Related: Happens right before Local Lap Sitting Customs

The sun has but begun its arc across the sky, but it has already cleared the clouds from the crystal clear sky. A warm breeze catches Emmeline's light tresses and dress as she crosses the Starry Street Bridge. Walking at a slow pace, she shies aside to avoid impatient passers. As she drifts near the edge of the the bridge, she glances down. Head tilting, she pauses to stare with bright interest into the water below.

Stepping over from the direction of Hightower Street, Brynden is looking like someone who just needed to walk, with no particular thought about where he'd walk. Not really paying too much attention to his surroundings, the Hightower knight's course happens to take him over towards where Emmeline's looking into the water. Is he even aware that course could be a collision course?

Too transfixed by the secrets of the water below, Emmeline pays as little attention to her own surroundings. But she is stood far off to one side, so surely there is no danger. Right? Except as she peers over the bridge's edge, a mere nudge could send her over. But as Brynden bumps the young barmaid, with a squeak, the lithe girl twists and gasps at the fabric of Brynden's clothes to keep from falling.

There's a reaction as he bumps into the girl. Brynden reaches out almost blindly to try grabbing a hold of her and keeping her from falling. He doesn't really know where his hands are reaching for, only that he needs to try stop this fall from happening. More of an instinctive move than anything else.

The hand snags Emmeline by the collar of her dress, behind her neck, tugging her back from the edge. So though she twists and clings to the dark leather of the knight's jacket, his quick reaction is what keeps them both from falling. Emmeline stares up into Brynden's distinct features in wide-eyed shock. But realizing the high quality of his garb and the noble edge to his stance, she releases his jacket at once and stammers, "For-forgive me, my lord!" She'd likely step back and topple over the edge yet were it not for his secure hold.

Taking a few deep breaths, Brynden blinks a few times, as if to clear his vision. Not letting go of the girl yet, he pauses a few moments as he hears her speak. "Hey…" he begins, before he lets out a bit of a breath. "Don't worry about it. I hope you will forgive me as well, for not paying attention to where I was walking?" A brief pause, before he adds, "What is your name?" Offering her a brief smile as well. "It's okay."

Still held as if by the scruff of her neck, Emmeline folds her arms against her chest, gazing up at Brynden with deepening shyness. She nods at his reassurance and offers, "Emmeline. I- I work at the Quill and Tankard. Um. Since last week."

"The Quill and Tankard is a good place," Brynden replies. Taking a few steps back, pulling her with him, to avoid any of them falling over the edge, he lets go of her. "It is nice to meet you, Emmeline. I'm Brynden. Ser Brynden Hightower." A brief pause, before he adds, "I must apologize for not paying too much attention to where I was walking." A brief grimace, before he adds, "One of those times when thoughts blacked out the surroundings, I guess."

Emmeline maintains a graceful footing, slinking across the cobblestones as Brynden guides her from the edge. Released, she dips into an apologetic curtsy. "No. Thank you, ser. I was watching the glint and flicker of fish. Silver and drifting." She drops her gaze, as if embarressed by her fascination for them. "They're soothing. Can be." She peeks back up at him. "Do you go often to the Quill and Tankard?"

Brynden nods a little, with another brief smile. From the looks of those smiles, it would seem they have not been the norm for him, lately. "Fish, hmmm? Those can be quite fascinating, that's true. I find watching a stream itself can be quite soothing too. Especially if you go somewhere less crowded." A brief pause, before he nods at the mention of the Quill and Tankard. "I used to go there often, but lately not as often as I would like, I fear."

The understanding he shows seems to reassure her. A soft smile brightens her young features as she gazes up at him. "Oh. Well, um… if you come, I'll make it so you get a tankard on the house, or at least on me. For keeping me from falling, and- yes, for being so kind. S'the least I can manage. Thank you." She pauses, hesitating. "Have you ever seen a golden fish?" she asks softly, so that only he might hear.

Brynden looks about to say something, but instead, he simply nods. "Thank you," he offers, before he adds, "I will have to make sure to visit, then." At the question about the golden fish, he goes thoughtful. "I can't remember having seen one in a river, or anything. I'm trying to remember if I have seen one in a pond in a garden. Why? Have you?"

Emmeline tilts her head, but accepts the simple thanks. Her soft smile lingers, shining without guile. "Yes. In garden ponds, but a few times in the rivers. Some fish speckled with gold and others in full golden armor!" She pauses and with an impish laugh, she bites her lower lip. "You're humoring me, aren't you? I can speak of more than fish, I promise."

As he listens, Brynden smiles, before he is unable to hold back a bit of a laugh as he hears her laugh. "Actually, it helps me taking my mind off… other things," he replies with a smile, before he adds, "But you said you has worked at the Quill and Tankard for a week or so? What did you do before that?"

Emmeline bows her head, peeking up at Brynden. "Before that, worked at a different tavern. Not so good a place. But- but it took me in, so- so I don't mean to speak bad of it. It wasn't /so/ bad." Though the look of unease as she mentions it suggests otherwise. Quickly, she shies away from the whole question by asking her own. "And you, ser? Have you been a knight in this city long?"

Noting that look of unease, Brynden raises an eyebrow briefly, but he doesn't say anything right now. Nodding a little, he pauses a little. "Well, from I was nine until I was knighted, around the time I was eighteen, I lived in Darkdell, with House Vyrwel, but aside from that little period, I've lived here in Oldtown, yes."

Nine years in Darkdell doesn't seem so short a time to Emmeline, but the girl has only just turned 18 herself and looks younger still. "Oh. I've been to Darkdell. Twice. Once long ago, and then not so long ago. I… I travelled with a troupe of mummers, you see. Before I came here. Until three months ago."

"You have worked as a barmaid for three months, then travelled with mummers before that?" Brynden studies her carefully now. "Seems you have an interesting life story, for someone so young. Where are you from, then?"

Emmeline flushes under Brynden's careful scrutiny. She drops her gaze and shakes her head. "No, I- it's not so interesting. Just stumbled into this or that, wandered here and there. I'm just a barmaid. And- and I don't mind to be keeping you, ser. Thank you again for keepin' me from fallin'." She peeks back up at last. "You're kind."

Brynden nods a little as he listens. Offering her another smile, he adds, "To be honest, you're not keeping me from anything. Except going back to the Hightower and losing my mind at the moment, I guess." As he's called kind, he smiles, "I try to be, but after all, I'm just a man, and we all have our good days, and bad days."

Emmeline returns his smile with a lingering hint of shyness. "Yes. I know those too. But… in the Hightower, perhaps the thought of golden fish, glinting and sleak, flowing, will help keep your mind. Hope it will. Um. If not… come to the Quill and Tankard?" She bites her lower lip, still smiling.

"I'm afraid, if I go back there now, I would need more than fish to keep my mind," Brynden replies, expression a bit distant for a few moments. Shaking his head once more, he smiles, "The Quill and Tankard sounds like a good place to go, to keep my mind off things."

Emmeline bites her lower lip still, but her smile fades. A hint of concern shines in her eyes as she studies the man. "Then… then come with me. It is time soon for me to be there, I think." At her sides, she clings to the fabric of her skirt. Shifting, twisting side to side slightly as she watches him, she adds, "We have drinks to both clear and cloud the mind, whatever medicine you need."

Brynden nods a little as he hears that. "That sounds like an excellent idea. Lead the way," he offers. There's a hint of a smile for a few moments, but it disappears again right after it arrived.

Emmeline smiles back up at him. And it lingers as she dips into a curtsy and with a fluid twist, scurries off down the street, leading him to a place of healing… of sorts.

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