(514-09-18) Brother Returns
Summary: Martyn returns to Baverstock Manor from the Siege of the Red Castle and finds his sister in a mood.
Date: 514-09-18
Related: http://knightlytales.wikidot.com/log:514-08-17-siege-of-red-castle
catriona martyn 

Some of the men have been away seeing to the business that men see to in these times and this world. Hardly a surprise that for the women left behind, there’s still the anxiety and worry that this will be the time a particular loved one doesn’t come home. Perhaps that’s why Catriona’s been a bit of a bitch lately. No one’s said it to her face, of course. But the staff who’ve found themselves at the sharp end of the tongue for simple things that, only some days or weeks before, would hardly have found a mention, likely whisper amongst themselves about it. The tenants, too, have likely noticed — although even Catriona in a mood is likely to handle tenants more sweetly than staff. Whatever ‘sweet’ constitutes for Catriona de Baverstock, anyway. She’s riding now, returning from a visit to a few of the local tenants to discuss their incoming crop and share the news of the slightly better prices she’d secured in Sarum. As always, her station as a Lady is only discernable by the quality of the cloth she wears, and the particular cleanliness of her hair and face and hands. She wears a long tunic-dress of hunter green over light brown underpinnings and sleeves. It’s cinched at the waist with a simple leather belt with a simple brass adornment. Her hair, as always, is braided back and hangs down almost to her waist. She has a satchel worn across her body, and rides side-saddle with considerable ease and comfort. Approaching the manor, she pulls the horse — a bit harshly — to a stop. When a groom steps up to see to her saddlebags, she snaps a little. “No, nevermind all that, there’s nothing of note in there and I’ll see to them later. Just get it all off him and see him groomed.” Bitch, indeed.

Approaching the manor from the opposite direction, Martyn looks a bit tired, but then again, who would not look a bit tired while returning from dealing with that kind of business. Most of the bags are handled by his squire, who happens to be following on the horse behind the knight. There’s a brief pause as he brings his horse closer to the manor, unable to hear his sister’s words t the groom. “Seems like someone is in a bit of a mood,” he offers, words kept a bit light as he starts to dismount. A brief look around, before he adds, “Home, sweet home!”

As Maryn cannot hear her words to the groom, so too it is unlikely that Catriona can hear his words to himself. But when he sighs that he is home, it’s enough to turn her eyes in his direction. And those bright blue eyes widen significantly. “Martyn!” she declares, and it’s the sort of declaration that might make the man think that he’s in trouble for something. Like she’s caught him up to no good or something. Or perhaps that she’s just turning her bitch onto him. The dark-haired woman slides off her horse without waiting for the groom to assist, landing with something of a ‘thunk’ in the dust. She stumbles a half step forward, but keeps her feet. Then she’s turning toward Maryn, crossing the area with a quick step to rush into him for a hug … at some speed and with some force, it might be added. “Why didn’t you send word that you were on your way home?!” she demands. One might almost think she were cross with him!

“Hey…” Martyn begins at that declaration, smiling momentarily. As she comes rushing towards him, he smiles, although he almost stumbles a bit as she comes in with such force. Hugging her, he pauses a little at the words. “I wasn’t sure which would reach back here first, the word or me,” he replies, words keeping calm now.

“You ought have sent something back immediately,” she scolds him, stepping a little back from the hug. She looks up at his face now — are her eyes damp? They don’t always glisten that way, though it might help catch a man of her own, if they did. They’re brighter for it. “And you’re filthy,” she notes, reaching up to comb her fingers through his hair a little, trying to get it organized. “But not bloody, anywhere. Are you?” There’s concern there, and the bitch in her voice seems to be fading, while the sound of the concerned sister is overtaking her tone.

Martyn pauses as he hears that, nodding a little. “I will have to remember that for the next time, Catriona.” A brief pause as he looks to her, smiling a little. “Are you crying, little sister?” At the mention of being filthy, he grins, “I’m sorry I didn’t want to stop to jump into the river,” he replies, before he shakes his head, “And no, I’m not really bloody no. I took one wound, but it has been healing well. All in all, everything went rather well.”

“Crying? Hardly, it’s the smell of you that’s brought tears to my eyes,” the woman counters in that way she always does — it sounds so very serious, and yet for those that know Catriona know that this is how she teases. She steps back from her brother to wipe at her eyes a little and dispel the evidence. “You took a wound? Where? We’ll have to have it looked over, I’m sure you’ve not changed your bandages at all. And then we’ll have to get you cleaned up. You can’t go through the manor, sitting in the chairs and laying around, getting dirt on everything.” You’d think they didn’t have a mother to nag them already, these particular Baverstocks.

“Hey… You’ve missed me that much, hmmm?” Reaching out in an attempt to ruffle her hair, Martyn grins. “I took a wound, nothing major. And the bandages have been changed. What makes you think I’m not being careful about such?” A brief pause as he hears the part about needing to get cleaned up, he smiles, “I won’t be getting dirt on everything. We’ve been through this before, right?”

Ruffled — oh no! Catriona is sure to give her brother a glare for that, reaching up to brush her hair back into place as much as she can. “I…” No doubt she’s trying to come up with some witty retort. He can’t care for himself! He’s clumsy! But even she can’t take her teasing much further, and perhaps that’s because some of the anger seems to have gone out of her. “No, of course you’re careful with your wounds. You’re a man grown and a knight besides,” she concedes. “You’ll eat at least, won’t you? It wouldn’t take them long for some bread and cheese and a few bacon rashers.” She continues to fuss with her hair as she speaks.

Martyn grins a bit at that glare. “I’ve missed you,” he says, as he offers her another grin. Nodding a bit as he hears the question about eating. “Some food sounds quite good now. It has been some hours since my last meal,” he replies. “How has things been back here?”

Dirty or not, Catriona seems content to take her brother’s arm and move to lead him toward the manor — after she’s given out a few orders, of course. Cheese melted over fresh sliced toast, with some bacon on the side and some dark ale. What man could say no to such a meal? “I’ve missed you too,” she confesses. “And I am finding as I age I worry more and more,” she admits with a sigh. But that topic she sets aside for now. “According to some of the tenants we might have a slightly better harvest than anticipated, so I’ve been discussing with father how much we move to market at these prices we’ve set. He is of the opinion we hold some back in case it is a particularly difficult winter but ….” she trails off, looking up at her brother. “No great adventures. Nothing as what you have done, you have seen. Tell me, what’s happened? What news of your business?”

One of those that can’t say no to such a meal is Martyn. Smiling as she leads him towards the manor, he nods a bit at what she says. “Worrying is only natural,” he replies, offering her another smile. “Better harvest than anticipated is a good thing.And I can see the reason of wanting to hold back some in case the winter will be rough.” At the rest, he smiles a bit. “There was a big battle, but the interesting thing was when we got to the castle where King Belinans had hidden away. Some of us got into the castle and opened the gates for the others, then we faced the king himself. Sir Idris de Bodenham and I faced him in battle, and we managed to make him yield.” A glance back towards the packs the squire has been unloading. “He had a fine sword…”

Well, that story is enough to make Catriona stop and turn to face her brother. “You … faced a king yourself?” She asks, making sure she’s heard and understood the story correctly. “And he yielded? Martyn…” she seems at a loss for words, looking over him once more — as if he’s suddenly a grown man where a boy stood before her. “That is positively extraordinary. And who is this Idris? I don’t believe I know him. He is well, also? You both ended this day healthy?” Swords be damned!

“He was a traitor against the High King, but still a king,” Martyn replies, before he nods as he hears the rest. “It was strange. But he came out after many of his men had fallen, and someone had to face him, so it ended up being us.” Another brief pause, before he adds, “Sir Idris is the younger brother of the head of the Bodenhams, I believe. Skilled knight, if a bit… I don’t know. Pompous or something. And while nobody in such a battle ends it fully healthy, I think most of us in the group took far less wounds than most other people that fought on that day.”

Still bewildered, Catriona shakes her head a bit and then leans up on her toes to kiss her brother’s forehead. “How very proud of you I am. And father … his heart will burst to hear it. Few men can say they have experienced the yielding of a King!” She sighs, her grin widening to one that threatens to crack her face in two. “You really are a man and a knight, I daresay.” A touch of teasing perhaps, before she goes to slide her arm in with his again. “Let’s see you fed, then, at least. Dear brother.”

Smiling, Martyn leans forward a bit as she kisses his forehead. “Thank you. I only did what was expected of me, as a knight, though. But I’m happy you are proud of me.” As he hears that teasing part, he offers her a grin. “How nice of you to notice,” he replies, words spoken quite lightly, before he nods again, “Lead the way.”

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