(514-08-17) Hoping For Happiness
Summary: At the annual summer berry picking, Caerwyn struggles, Creirwy contemplates, and Morag simply hopes for the best.
Date: 08.17.514
Related: Berry Picking event logs.
caerwyn morag creirwy tria 

The berry bushes along the Nadder are plump and ripe and ready for picking. Noble and commoner alike are out to enjoy the warmth and the chance to not worry for a day. And of course, there's the expectation of what delights may be enjoyed from the bounty that is harvested from the bushes.

Morag is near the family party, a basket strapped to her hip to deposit the results of her efforts in. Now and again she looks over her shoulder as if to check on the whereabouts of her siblings.

With everything that has been happening the timing could not be more perfect for Creirwy. She's come out to join in the picking, a basket tucked against her side as she carefully picks the berries, concentrating on getting herself a nice handful or so from one bush before she looks up and around at all the others that have coming out to pick berries.

Tria had been out hunting and had gotten distracted. Her horse is grazing on the grass nearby while the redhead is seated on the grass using the time to restring her bow. When she notices the others, she glances over them, perhaps certain they are nobility. It's then she realizes where she had seen a couple of them before, the Beltaine celebration. Finishing off her bow, she hooks it back on her saddle and starts approaching.

Where is Caerwyn de Burcombe to be found? All the ladies want to know. For a moment there, the second eldest Burcombe (the title of eldest belongs to his twin sister, Catryn, by an hour) was meandering about, looking blissfully clueless and slightly disgruntled, the perfect anti-hero bad boy. Tousled dark hair, slightly pinched expression from being a faint bit annoyed at the heat, he had turned to Morag, told her he was going to get a drink and that he'd be right back, and was consequently gone for the extended period. Of course, it suddenly became a game of 'find the Burcombe', as the manor matrons dispatched all manner of barefooted children to 'I Spy Caerbear with my Little Eye'. Ultimately, though, it is a little boy who finds Caerwyn, shirtless while sipping hooch from a flask and sitting on the middle bough of a tree hanging over the Nadder, looking half-asleep and 'can't be bothered'. Since the Burcombe was found, the resulting search game became a new one: 'Throw berries at the Caerwyn until he falls out of the tree'. It is at the moment that Creirwy makes her way onto the grassy fields that Caerwyn jumps off his perch and proceeds to gather up two of the escaping children, wriggling and shouting as he storms off. "Where's your mum?" He roars, two squirming bundles under his arms, as he trudges back towards the area main.

Morag is typically in the habit of leaving Caerwyn to his own devices - well alright, that's a lie. She's usually pretty fretful over his more self-abusive behaviors, but she seems resolved in the understanding that just short of directly endangering his life (and thusly, Burcombe's succession) there's not a lot she can do for him. So she pays no mind when he wanders off, and the time slips by without her really noticing that he's been gone for a long while.

At least until she hears him roaring like an ogre, at which point she straightens her back and turns, peering through the bright sunlight at the oncoming figure and the squirming appendage-tiny peoples.

It's always an adventure…truly. Creirwy was very clearly not expecting to see Caerwyn drop from a tree, shirtless, and child-nap two poor kids. She stands there for a few moments, looking slightly bemused and uncertain that she's even really seeing what her eyes are telling her that she is seeing. She gives herself a shake, watching it all with very clear amusement now, a faint smile appearing before she lifts a hand, not waving towards him but instead towards the figure that she's fairly certain she recognizes, Morag.

In another moment, a volley of berries fires at Caerwyn, who instantly drops his hostages on the grassy ground and turns to the new threats to his dominion of the River Nadder. At that moment, though, he spots both Morag and Creirwy, equidistant from him at two angles. He starts to raise his hand to wave at Creirwy before looking down at himself. Naked. Ah. He simply gives a gruff nod at Creirwy and then picks his way towards Morag instead. "Baby sister, did you send these wee folk after me? The Morrigan's own Furies, the lot of them," he says with a grunt as he settles down. In a lower voice, he leans forward to whisper something to Morag. "… I apologized to the Tisbury girl the other day, brought her one of the puppies from the kennel and made me introduction." It's not particularly veiled or soft, but he does turn his gaze back to the approaching Creirwy. "A shirt! A kingdom falls for the want of a shirt!" He roots around the picnic basket that Morag and her minions have undubitably prepared, and finds his tunic, which he struggles into. Rising, he clears his throat. "M'Lady Creirwy de Tisbury. You've met my sister, Morag of Burcombe?"

"Would I do a thing like that?" inquires Morag, her tone mild. It's honestly hard to tell if she's the one responsible, and at times one may feel affirmed that she is indeed the sister of Catryn the Cruel, particularly in moments like these. She lifts her hand in turn at Creirwy's approach, asiding to Caerwyn, "That seems a wise course, especially as it's like she'll be coming to stay on a more permanent basis." Oh, surely Roaman has informd him by now. She steps forward to hold her arms out, inviting Creirwy into a friendly embrace if so inclined.

"I have, we met that first night." Creirwy replies, not even making a single comment about the shirtless nature he was finding himself in a moment ago, she simply takes the entire thing with graceful amusement. She moves towards Morag when she steps forward, her smile sliding from amusement to something far more straight-up warm as she shifts her basket to one side, moving to return the embrace one-armed, "It's so wonderful to see you once again…I was starting to consider making my own trek down the river to pay you a visit."

To Morag, Caerwyn only replies with one word: "Yes."

Adjusting his tunic slightly, the Burcombe brother turns to Creirwy and clears his throat. "Well, perhaps you can experience some Burcombe hospitality firsthand. Will you break bread and drink wine with us?" He pauses before gesturing to the tankard. "This year's crop is sweet and perhaps you could, uh, sample the first of our berry wine." He pauses awkwardly - usually predisposed to making innuendo comments or saying something snarky, Caerwyn is at a loss on how to be a gentleman. He is gruff and stilted instead, but he gestures. "We've smoked meat and barley bread, if you'd like, m'Lady Tisbury. And the River Nadder is wonderfully cool this time of the year, in relation to, well, everything else. If you care for a swim." He arches one lofty brow and flashes a smile, before turning to Morag. "'Rag, I… uh, should, uh… busy myself somewhere else, maybe?"

Morag turns a baffled look on her brother. "Why?" Then, with a small purse to her lips, "I think you ought to stay more or less right where you are. The idea of inviting Creirwy to join us is a lovely idea. Will you?" This she asks of the woman in question, noting, "We've bread and cheese. Which if you add a few berries to, is quite luscious." Morag for her part gives Caerwyn a pointed look and then moves to take a seat at the picnic spread, hefting her bag over her shoulder and resting it against her side. "I might take off my shoes!" she declares gaily, adding, "Come on then, both of you. Creirwy, I heard Caerwyn brough you a puppy? Do you like it?"

"I'd be honored to join the both of you." Creirwy replies, smiling a little more easily for the moment before she sets her basket down within easy reach of both Morag and Caerwyn. At mention of taking off shoes she takes that as an invitation as well, reaching down to grasp one of her boots and give it a tug before she sits down, the boot dropped onto the ground next to her. She then adds her second boot to the first before she leans towards Morag, murmuring somewhat quietly to her, "Should I tell him that he doesn't have to be so very…umm…proper." It's a better choice of word than stiff and awkward, but his unease is pretty hard to miss. She then straightens, turning a smile towards Caerwyn at the question of the puppy, "He did, and I do. So far he's managed to chew on at least half the furniture, and drive cook mad by constantly sneaking into the kitchen. I feel I shouldn't laugh, but it's hard not to, he seems to be very enthusiastic about it all."

"I…" Caerwyn looks solemnly at Creirwy and then at Morag's pointed remark, smiles uneasily. "I've got to head back to Burcombe to meet with father. He says he has something for me." He glances once more at Creirwy - and it's obvious that there's something gutwrenchingly wrong here. Finally, he straightens up and then adjusts his tunic. "I beg my pardon, sister. The heat, it doesn't do me well." He's suddenly gone pale, as if he had seen a ghost. Once more, he looks at Creirwy — and then he lets out a little sigh. "M'Lady Tisbury, forgive me. I am not myself. And I do not know when I will be." He brushes off dust on his tunic before leaning towards Morag. He whispers something in her ear, his voice clouded with anguish.

Caerwyn whispers: "She has the same coloring as… you know. Brigid help me."

And with that, Caerwyn tears himself away - it might be construed as rude for any other youth, but one can be rude when in pain. And it's clear there's angst roiling underneath the pale surface.

Morag watches as Caerwyn walks away, and lets out a little sigh. "I'm sorry." she says to Creirwy softly, admitting with an air of resignation, "He's a great deal of work, my eldest brother. I wish circumstances weren't so difficult for everyone involved."

Creirwy manages to maintain a smile for a little while longer, at least until Caerwyn's left, then that smile bleeds away into something more like a frown of confusion. She watches him leave before looking back towards Morag, "You don't need to apologize. I just wish I knew what to do to make this all easier…I…know that it isn't ideal. Or that this is not what he had planned. But that doesn't change the fact I keep feeling like I'm doing something wrong."

"You're not." Morag says firmly. "He's just stuck, is all. Marriage is a complicated business, and it's just that - a business. We often cannot control the way we feel, and even when we can, some are better at it than others. Caerwyn isn't good at it at all. I'm hoping," Morag takes a breath, "I'm hoping there will be enough about life with us that will be good that there is still happiness in your life."

"Other than constantly feeling like I'm doing something wrong I don't see that it will be a problem…being happy." Creirwy replies, her eyes flicking towards where Caerwyn went, then back to Morag. "I know it's a business, and I don't expect it to be easy. I just wish that there was something I could do to make things easier, in some fashion. When he came to apologize we had a moment to talk about things, and I feel that it was a good discussion, and that it moved us forward, but today suddenly feels like we've gone backwards instead." She shakes her head a bit, her hands lifting to her face as she leans forward with a sigh, her voice muffled by her hands, "How can I unstuck him a little? So that he doesn't feel so uncomfortable, at least?"

"I'm not sure." Morag admits, adding ruefully, "Maybe it's me. I…I helped him, you see. With the other girl. Not for anything untoward you understand, but I helped them communicate, and perhaps my wanting to be happy so badly, to move on, well…maybe it pushed him back a few steps." Morag looks unhappy, her hands dropping to her skirts. "I think the smartest thing might be for me to stay out of it where you and he are concerned, and focus on being your friend regardless."

Creirwy glances up towards Morag at that, then she reaches over for her hand to give it the quickest of squeezes, "You have been so very kind, and welcoming. I couldn't ask for a better friend than what you have you been to me so far." Creirwy then reaches for the basket, pulling it over to offer some of the berries, "I'd still love to know what I could do to help him relax. I know he said he was used to a more…romantic way of things, not this business-like nature. But he really could relax, I'm not going to be upset at him for not being properly stoic."

Morag laughs. "Maybe you could invite him to come see the puppy? Spend time with him, do things…but make it clear that there's no expectation. It's just for company." She smiles with relief. "I'm so glad. I mean, that we're friends. Growing up, I didn't spend a lot of time with children of commoners, but I'm not quite like my siblings."

"Expectation?" Creirwy's brows inch upwards a fraction before she nods, taking the suggestion quite seriously before she smiles a little. The expression is strangely empathetic. "I spent time with my siblings when I was younger, but I don't think I'm very much like most of my family. They all are very comfortable with who they are, and I worry that my grandfather's reputation will haunt me."

"His child, your parent? From the wrong side of the blanket?" hazards Morag. "You seemed to imply it, but the truth is, I'm terrible with subtlty."

Creirwy shakes her head, glancing down at her hands, one thumb rubbing against the side of her other hand as she thinks about how to phrase it in a way that might not sound too bad. Failing that, she simply admits to the situation, "My grandfather was executed for betraying the family."

Morag considers a moment, and then reaches out, attempting to curl her hand around one of Creirwy's. "I'm sorry it troubles you so. But you are not your grandfather, and surely your family realizes that?"

Creirwy smiles faintly, letting Morag take her hand, "Oh, they do. But I've still always felt that it's still at the back of everyone's minds….my father has shown that he is nothing like my grandfather, and it has helped." She looks momentarily ashamed before she confesses, "I've always been afraid of people thinking I was like him, though."

Morag cocks her head. "That sounds to me like you're hanging onto something you have no need to." Morag admits. "Do you ever wonder why it's so much on your mind when it comes to others?"

Creirwy's brows furrow in thought at the question, then she nods, "I have. I figured that it was just knowledge of how precarious reputations could be…but maybe it was something more than that. Why do you think I am?"

"I don't know." Morag confesses with a rueful smile. "But I know that a lot of people have plenty to say about my family name. And you know what? It doesn't stop any of them from doing as they see fit."

Creirwy smiles a bit at that, a little of the tension easing out, "I envy those that feel they can do as they see fit." She twists her hand around to give Morag's hand a tight squeeze. "I really do think that I will be happy in your family…if I can get your brother to relax some I'd consider my life complete."

"I hope he will." Morag says. "I really do. And I hope it can at least be happier, in the meantime."

"I can be honest with you, can't I?" Creirwy wonders, chewing on her bottom lip for a moment before she seems to simply assume that she can, "Your brother is very handsome, and he's been very sweet. I don't think apologizing comes easy, and the fact he made the effort means quite a lot to me. I know how lucky all of this is for me, and I'd do nothing to upset this arrangement. So I am going to take your advice, and invite him to spend some time with me, without any expectations. He seemed interested in learning something about falconry when I mentioned I hunted…that and the puppy, I think, are good places to start. Don't you agree?"

"I do." says Morag. "And I'm going to think about how I can help you to puzzle through your feelings about your family. I don't have the right of it yet, but perhaps I shall seek the advice of the Great Mother and she will give me some insight."

"I love my family." Creirwy is quick to say, and there is bald truth to the words. No matter how worried she is of upsetting the balance in things, she does love her family. "And I am almost certain I will love those in my new family as well."

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