(120-12-04) Swapping Spit
Swapping Spit
Summary: Maera and the wounded Aeron discuss the Vuk problem over brandy.
Date: {$date}
Related: Spice smoke and Eyes

The Hightower

The great tower is all of white stone, ancient and beautiful. The lower parts are quite wide and grand enough for any castle. There are two stories of the widest and lowest one, five in the slightly smaller section above, two above that, and another five in before the narrowest part of the tower soars upwards to the stony cage that houses the beacon fire.

Every lower tier's top has a circular balcony-garden on the roof-space left unoccupied by the narrower tier that rises from its center. There is plenty of space inside for gracious suites of rooms for all purposes, though those in the highest tier are considerably smaller. The second and third tiers are the best, with the widest windows and palacial arched ceilings.

There are wide gracious staircases in the lower parts of the tower, and on one side, ramps that allow wagon-loads of firewood for the beacon to be hauled up. The tall thin top tier is too narrow for this and has an ox team on a treadmill at its base to power the lift for the wood. The narrow stone stairs up there are often treacherously steep.

Keep guards will escort visitors to a modest and small room several flights up in the Hightower. It's spartan decoration; a bed, table and two chairs, and a large trunk. Aeron's weapons and armor rest in a stand. An arrow slit provides light during the day and oil lamps and a candelabra at night.
Aeron sits up in the bed in breeches. A large bandage covers the stab wound below his left breast and is wrapped around his chest. He looks desperately bored and is staring at one of the light lamps, even though there are several books scattered around him on the bed.

Maera follows the guards into the room, and moves over to sit at the chair next to Aeron's bed without being invited. "Perk up. I've brought you some Tyrosi Brandy." She holds out a skin for him to see before she squeezes a bit into her mouth before passing it over to him. Her hands will fold primly over her lap. "How are you?"

Eonn comes in after Maera, armed and armoured as he usually is in public. He seems properly under control, though, patient and quiet. He does tilt his head a bit to look at the bandage on Aeron's chest, curious.

Aeron perks up a bit when he receives visitors. "Hello, Maera," he says, not sounding that worse for wear. He nods to Eonn, then smiles eagerly at the brandy. "Oh, thanks!" He happy accepts the skin and takes a swig. "I should be okay as long as infection doesn't set it," he says. "I'll die of boredom before this gets me." He takes another swig and passes it back to Maera. "How're things at the sept? Things still fucked up over there?"

"Don't know. I'm honestly a bit afraid to show my face there." Maera takes another swallow of the wine, and holds the wineskin up for Eonn to take. "Things went…ah, sour after you were taken away."

Eonn smiles at that. "Drink more," he tells Aeron. "It holds off infection." He has a swig himself and hands the skin back to the Targaryen. Evidently this is an informal visit.

Aeron accepts the wineskin back from Eonn and winks, "So do whores. I don't suppose you could sneak one up to help?" His expression falls, his brow burrowing a little. "Sour? News hasn't spread fast up here."

"It's nothing. A personal matter now I suppose." Maera shakes her head and lets out a tsk, "Now, what sort of whore wants you to bleed all over her?"

"Some people," says Eonn, "Say exactly the opposite about whores." He looks amused. "Why would it be hard to bring one up here, though? Do the Hightowers forbid you them?"

Aeron tires to sigh dramatically, but winces slightly at the sudden tightening of the bandage. He takes another swig of brandy from the skin. "The kind of whores that like stags. If you're only intending to tease me with news, Maera, at least strip down to your bloomers first." He grins slightly past another swig of the skin and passes it back to the Lady Mormont. "Oh, I don't think the Lords Hightower would really care as long as it's not in poor taste. My cousin Iggy on the other hand…. I would rather not awaken the dragon."

"I would, but everyone knows I wear smallclothes made of chainmail." Maera gives Aeron a wink, "It's why I jingle so much when I walk." She lets out a soft gust of air. "Oh, well…it's funny in how horrible it is, really. You know how one of the sailors swallowed the Mother's eyes? Well, my swornsword's idea of retrieving the eyes was disembowling a man and leaving him alive long enough to finish him off in front of the Sept where all could see."

Eonn raises his eyebrows, and seems about to ask Arn a question, but then Maera explains and he is silent.

"Don't tell me it was Vuk," Aeron says. The grin he wears from the smallclothes joke twists into a slight grimace. "Well, were the Mother's eyes retrieved at least?"

"I don't follow the Seven, but I imagine recovering the aspect of mercy's eyes in such a manner would taint them." Maera shrugs. "I don't know what to do. Everything the man touches he fucks up."

Eonn just shakes his head and makes a little hrumphing sound, evidently of assent.

Aeron beckons again for the skin of brandy. "The Septons will get over it. I just hope his Grace doesn't feel the need to intervene." He looks over at Eonn. "Well, I suppose you can always keep Vuk as a scullery maid until he's house broken. Or if you don't want to deal with him, bring him here and release him from your service." The tone and expression he directs to Eonn hints at Vuk's fate for the latter.

"He's gone." Maera says. "I told him to turn over all of his weapons, and he crept out in the middle of the night."

"Oh, he wasn't that courteous," says Eonn. "He crept out before my eyes."

Taking a sip of brandy. "If he's smart, he's already left for the Wall," Aeron says. He shifts in his bed to change his position.

"If he's smart?" Maera snorts. "The man is as dumb as a box of hammers, and twice as destructive."

Eonn nods. "Would they want him, even there?" he asks. He sounds curious.

"He understood the consequences for his failure," Aeron says simply. "If he hasn't left to take the Black, then maybe he's spending the next few days between a whore's legs." He nods to Eonn and tosses him the skin. "The Crows take whatever they can get."

"What do you mean to do to him?" There is no concern in Maera's flat voice.

Eonn catches the wineskin. "Takes them, yes," he says. "So I have heard. But do they keep them?"

Aeron shrugs at Eonn, "I've never heard otherwise. Maybe they eat the failures and grind their bones into bread." He looks at Maera and shakes his head, "It's probably best that you don't know."

Maera asks, "Do I look like some frail maid who will swoon at the idea of violence?"

Eonn smiles at that. He give Aeron a wry look, as if the man's suggestion that Maera wouldn't want to know strikes him as a bit silly.

"Very well," Aeron says to Maera. He shifts on the bed, leaning to the lady Mormont. "First, he will be subdued and brought to a cell and shackled where he will be watered and fed." He smiles slightly, "Then I shall take off his left boot and remove his little toe and wrap it in a little piece of cloth. Then I will take the cloth and send it to King's Landing on a raven. When it arrives there, it will be fed to our dragons. Though, being such a small morsel, it will be mixed in with larger pieces of meat, I'm sure. Next, I will cut off another toe and wrap it in a cloth…." He stops and cocks his head a little, "Shall I go on describing how I will carve each piece off of him?"

"I think I get the picture." Maera says with a serious-as-death expression on her face. "I wish I could say that I am sad for it, but I'm not. He's mad, and there's naught that can be done for such a sickness."

"Seems a lot of effort," says Eonn, taking a drink and tossing the wineskin back.

"So did getting him a second chance," Aeron says and fumbles the catch of the wineskin. He passes it back to Maera. "So, what other news? What sailor I knocked out have to say?"

Maera takes a drink of the brandy before saying, "I don't know. They were all turned over to the City's Watch." She puts her lips to the skin for another drink before handing it back to Aeron. "Those that lived, anyways. I believe that was only three?"

Eonn shrugs an 'I don't know' sort of shrug.

Aeron nods and drinks from the skin once again. He gets still a moment, and then breaks out into laughter. He manages to swallow the brandy completely before spraying it all over.

Maera gives Aeron a long look, and uses her hands to try and brush brandy droplets off of the front of her gown. "Did Balerion say something amusing?"

Eonn raises his eyebrows. Now that is something he probably really does want to ask about. But he also knows better. He's quiet, seeming relaxed.

"No," Aeron says and shakes his head. A wide smile refuses to recede. "I just realized that we're sharing a skin," he wipes his mouth and kisses the air a couple of times. He gives Eonn a sideways glance and waves his hand at the man. "Yes, you've been drinking from it, too. Don't ruin this for me."

Maera's eyes roll. "And that's funny because..?"

Eonn smiles at Aeron. "Of course not. It's not at all the same with me."

"Well because…" Aeron begins to explain and his smile ever so slowly wanes. "Ah, I'm just going to stick with we swapped spit."

"Oh Aeron." Maera says softly. She stands up from the chair, "We ought to let you rest longer, aye. And maybe I'll send you a suprise." She lowers her voice conspiratorly, "Perhaps of the spit-swapping kind."

Eonn nods slowly. "The question is, will your cousin notice if I bring such a gift?"

Aeron grins at Maera. "I think I should get stabbed more often." Then, tossing the skin to Eonn, he says, "Undoubtedly. I'd rather you two not get on her bad side on my behalf." He gets a serious expression on his face and looks at both of them for a silent couple of seconds. "Thanks. Both of you."

"Sneak her in as a servant." Maera shrugs before asking Aeron, "You do you like them in pretty wrappings?"

Eonn nods. "Quite. I'd have to put a cover over her. And we can leave the Lady Mormont out of it, of course. I think I can probably survive her ire?" He looks to Aeron as if to confirm that.

Aeron thinks on it a moment and nods his head at Eonn. "Pretty wrappings, not-so-pretty wrappings, they all end up unwrapped," he says with a grin. "I won't limit your creativity."


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