Nar 17, 228: A Break from Happiness

A Break from Happiness
Summary: On an early morning the two Ruxton brothers engage in a long overdue conversation about politics - and Ruthgar's issues, regarding Aemy.
OOC Date: 20/07/2013 and 21/07/2013 (OOC)
Related: Several, the as of yet unposted Council Log, In Need of Practice and Victorious Return of the Bruised
Players:
Ruthgar Robben 
Battlements, Darfield Castle
From these ramparts of gray stone, you can look down upon the Gateway to the East through arrow slits and holes in the wall for pitch or other hot liquid to be poured through. The sky ranges above the flat expanse of battlements. Torches are lit in small alcoves to keep them from the elements yet still casting light around the battlements. The deep blue night sky is clear and cloudless, and the stars glitter. A brisk breeze blows from the northwest. The only exit is back down.
Nar 17th, 228

A wonderful morning it is indeed, the sun is rising on a sky that is so blue it almost blinds the eye. And what place to welcome such a morning might serve better than the battlements of Darfield Castle, even though the usually so brisk breeze does not have the usual effet today. Before one of the arrow slits, one hand resting against the cold stone of the battlements for support as he leans a little forward, is a young promising knight, a noble scion of House Ruxton. Although he wears a casual attire as it is early in the morning, a red tunic and black breeches with a slender sword hanging from his belt of leather - more to stress his status as a knight than to actually be used, Ruthgar's grey eyes are wide open as he appears to study the Gateway to the East from his position, the fingers of his hand tapping against the wall while his unmoving gaze is actually aimed somewhere much farther away - or maybe he is just in thoughts, as usual.

Stepping out from the castle itself, Robben looks like he's not been awake for too long so far. Looking around, he pauses for a few moments as he spots his brother, heading a little in that direction, keeping quiet for now. He glances out to the sea and such for a few moments, letting out a bit of a breath now. He has brought no weapons with him at the moment, as he just looks around for now.

Ruthgar shifts his weight as he studies the people at the Gate to the East, his fingers moving at a slightly faster pace against the cold stone of the battlements. Maybe it was the sound of steps, or even of the breath that left Robben's lungs in what almost sounded like a sigh; suddenly the younger Ruxton turns, the thoughtfulness fading from his features at once as he recognizes his brother. "Good morning, Robben. I wasn't aware you were already awake?" His tone is friendly, his gaze though maybe a bit lacking of a family member's warmth as he studies Robben for a moment, swiftly noticing the absence of steel, although not commenting on it. "What a… pleasant surprise."

"Ruthgar. What are you doing up here this early?" Robben replies, offering a smile to his brother now. "And I more or less just woke up. Figured I'd need some fresh air, without disturbing Aemy," he replies. Glancing out into the distance again for a few moments now. "It's a lovely view, isn't it?"

"Suppose I woke up even earlier and couldn't get back to sleep?" Ruthgar replies to Robben, raising a brow. "Seems we had the same idea." He pauses, his glance shifting to the arrow slit again for a moment and biting his lip as he hears Robben's explanation, especially the latter part. "Aye, a lovely view. I have been wondering, brother, what the council will decide. About Laniveer, I mean." Its is then that Ruthgar's grey eyes are back on his brother. "Now that the first battle has been won, and the bruises are almost healed… Maybe the King will decide to pay them back in their own coin. Invade their lands, so there is peace, once and for all…" There is a hint of insecurety in his smile that stays only momentarily on Ruthgar's features, given that he is not versed in the high arts of politics at all. "What can you tell me, brother? And what is your assessment of the current situation?"

"It seemed from the meeting we had a few days go that the first thing will be to rebuild Westgate and fortify our borders, brother," Robben replies after a few moments of pause. "There was some talks about the Laniveers being willing to send an ambassador down here too."

"Oh?", Ruthgar replies as he hears Robben's words. "So peace will have to rely on words again? As reassuring as these news may be, I am quite surprised that the Laniveerans should be so easily subdued - in one single battle. All this willingness to send an ambassador even…" - he gives a low snort - "Who tells us that this ambassador can be trusted?" His hand brushes over the pommel of his sword in what appears a casual gesture, before he admits with a sigh: "Well, it seems sensible to seek this course of action. And I am sure the Council will know what to do. But… thank you for sharing this information with me, brother." A wry grin is offered, before Ruthgar's gaze returns once again to the Eastern Gate. "The war is over more swiftly than it began. And now dull weeks of idle waiting will follow…"

Robben looks out there again, before he adds, "Two battles, brother. Don't forget Father breaking the siege back home while we took them out on the field." A brief pause, before he adds, "And I don't know if the ambassador can be trusted. But one thing that can explain how much they are willing to put into the peace would be how important that ambassador is. The ideal would be a sibling of their King or something." A brief pause, before he adds, "For now, brother."

Ruthgar listens in silence, tilting his head to one side as he hears Robben mention their father. "Aye, you're right. Yet it seems a little… all too easy. I don't know if it makes sense, but… I have a bad feeling about this." He shrugs, his gaze lowering for a moment pensively. "Or maybe… it is the knight in me that yearns for another chance to prove myself, to the King and the realm. It is hard to excel in times of peace, brother, for one such as me." A dry chuckle follows as Ruthgar's grey eyes once again connect with his brother's gaze.

"There is something strange about all of this, yes." Robben offers a bit quietly, as he hears that, moving over to put a hand on his brother's shoulder, if allowed. "You will have your chance to excel, brother." A brief pause, before he adds, "Personally, I hope it will not happen for a while yet, so that I can be here and welcome my child into the world while it's still peace."

Although he does neither flinch nor withdraw from his brother's touch, Ruthgar's gaze shifts for a moment to the hand on his shoulder, before he raises it back to Robben's face with a light shake of his head. "It looks like I won't get that chance soon." is his simple reply, when the Ruxton heir's next remark makes him turn away for another time, making it impossible for Robben to see his face. "I understand you very well, brother. At least this one good thing will result from all these peace negotiations." Then, after a short pause he looks over his shoulder back at his brother, while his arms are crossed before him. "How long, do you think, until your child will be born?" The tone is casual, but underneath that layer is a low grumble of some deeper sentiment.

"Not much more than two months, I believe," Robben replies, before he studies his brother carefully. "What's wrong, Ruthgar?" There's concern in his voice as he speaks now.

"Two months do not seem that awfully long, brother. The odds may seem in your favor. Peace negotiations, I would expect them to go on for a while. For even if they might not aim at peace eventually, they buy us and them a bit of time." Ruthgar frowns slightly as he notices Robben's attentive stare, and turning towards him again he stares back for a long moment of uncomfortable silence, before he lowers his gaze. "Nothing." he says in reply to Robben's question. "Nevermind. It's of no importance." The words come out flatly, almost like a sigh.

Robben doesn't take his eyes off his brother at the moment. "If there's something troubling you, it is of some importance, after all," he replies, a bit quietly. "And if there's anything I can do to help, you know I will do what I can, brother."

Ruthgar's gaze is on his hands fidgeting with his belt, as if he were avoiding his brother's stare on purpose. He listens in silence though, a low snort escaping him as soon as Robben has finished. "Nothing's troubling me, brother. Nothing that could be changed." He chuckles but there is little amusement to be found within, while he quickly glances here and there to make sure noone is near to overhear them. When his grey eyes focus on Robben once again, all that fake cheerfulness has left his demeanour, his gaze no more clouded by a facade he usually is such an expert at upholding.

"You can't do anything to help, brother, because…" - Ruthgar runs a hand through his dark brown locks, as he searches for the right words - "Because… you know…" He sighs and shakes his head, deciding to start anew. "I am so happy you have found such a good match, and that it is graced with -" he hesitates - "love. I remember you were a little… worried how things would turn out. The thing is… I've known Aemy for so much longer, and during that time in Lakeshire… ever since that time she has a special place in my heart." Ruthgar exhales deeply, as the tension starts to leave him. But the pain in his grey eyes remains. "I… had to accept that things are as they are. And I am happy for both of you, as she… returns your affection. Yet,… to see her with you like that is not easy, brother. Maybe I just need to get used to it."

Looking about to say something now, Robben stops before he can say anything as he hears Ruthgar explaining the situation. "I…" he begins, before he goes quiet again now. "Does she know?" he asks, after a few brief moments, before he adds, "And I'm not really sure what more to say. But thank you, for being happy for us even when it's hard for you." He glances around now for a few moments. "I hope you will find similar happiness at some point, Ruthgar. You deserve it."

"I don't know if she knows, and I'm not sure it matters." Ruthgar replies with a low grumble, not used to the unusual heat of emotion boiling up inside of him. "What matters is that I can cope with the situation. Don't be offended if I should ride out on my own on some days, or even go for a solitary walk on the battlements. Let me have a break from your happiness now and then, and I'll be fine." Robben's last remark elicits a dry chuckle from Ruthgar, although the hint of a smile suggests he is grateful for his brother's hope. "Maybe. Some day." he replies, casting Robben an almost mollified glance. "Forgive me. I shouldn't have bothered you with this."

Robben nods a little as he hears that, "Of course we'll let you have those breaks, brother." There's a brief pause as he hears the rest, before he suddenly reaches out to ruffle his brother's hair a bit. "There's nothing you need forgiveness for, Ruthgar. You are my brother, and your well-being is important to me as well. Never forget that."

A grin spreads over Ruthgar's features when Robben ruffles his hair, and his hand darts forward to pay his brother back in the same coin, just like they did in older days. "I know." he replies, as he places his arms around his brother for a hug. "As yours matters to me." is offered after a pause, as the younger Ruxton lets go of the older. His composure seems to have returned, the heat has left his grey eyes, leaving them cold and assessing like they were before. "We Ruxtons need to look after each other. Faithful to the End."

Hugging back as he's hugged, Robben nods before he lets go at the same time as his brother. "That we need," he replies, before he adds, "Thank you, brother." And he goes back to looking out into the distance for now.

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