Sess 33, 229: To Each Man His Shortcomings

To Each Man His Shortcomings
Summary: Ronan visits Kierne after his adventure in surgery; finds him predictably moody but surprisingly sober.
OOC Date: 18/03/2014
Related: All manner of infirmary scenes.
Kierne Ronan 
The Infirmary!
Sess 33, 229

Kierne is lucky to be in a center of culture and wealth right now, with skilled physicians to ply their trade in beneficial butchery, re-opening him along where he'd been stitched up and even cutting further to identify the source of the bleeding and tend to it. Now he's sporting a mild fever as he fights the aftermath of the procedure, but he's in less pain, is able to keep down some hearty beef broth, and, well, he's a kid. He'll bounce back. They're good at that. Sometime around dawn the prognosis shifted from dubious to optimistic.

Ronan has been in and out of the infirmary several times today to look in on Kierne and to ask after him. The Duke has had too much to attend to so he hasn't sat in all night and day by Kierne's bedside, but he did speak with Nylie and others about his squire's condition and progress since the night before.

Now it is that the Rioga has come back again. He has spoken low with a healer who informed him that Kierne was still resting. The Duke had refrained from asking to see him while he slept, but now Ronan eases around the partition curtain and as quietly as he may, takes a seat. Only to watch the lad, not saying a word that might wake him.

He himself has changed out of his armour, bathed, and now wears a doublet in deep blues. Ronan is still armed and his own wounds are bandaged, not visible. He has a few bruises and scrapes but nothing serious that can be seen. He gets as comfortable as he might in the chair and waits, watching the young Kincaid and thinking.

Kierne sleeps remarkably peacefully for one who's been through what he's been through. A sweat of fever sheens his brow, but he doen't have any fits, nor even move at all but for the slow, even rise and fall of his chest. He's never been a snorer, and he hasn't started now. A good six-hour nap after the break of dawn brings him to the top of his sleep cycle, then slipping easefully out of it, transitioning placidly and without complaint from slumber to wakefulness, turning his head such that his shaggy cheek reaches pillow, then opening his eyes. They take a moment to focus at the proper distance to register his Lord Knight in attendance upon him, then that he, to all appearances, has survived his second round of getting his guts cut at. He lifts his fist to his chest once more in a salute to the Duke. Still here, still at his service.

The Duke is indeed here and though he closed his own eyes briefly, for prayer or for rest, he opens them when he hears that faint tell-tale stirring. A faint smile eases his normally stern face and quietly, Ronan returns the salute with his fist laid over his own chest. Without bothering to stand. He studies Kierne's face before he rumbles low, "It is good to see you awaken. I have brought casks of Sutherland wine for the healers and when you are allowed a cup, I have bid them give you some." In moderation and under watch, of course.

Kierne smiles when Ronan smiles; even feels the vague tickle of laughter, the sad laughter of someone who can't quite believe he's alive, but no laughter ensues, the giddiness fading into a sad sort of gratitude as Ronan speaks of his offering to the healers. "You must think me a terrible drunkard," he thinks aloud, the sort of thing he would normally certainly think to himself but probably not give voice to. "I suppose I am, at that. I wish I were a better squire to you, Sir. You are deserving of far better than I. You treat me so very kindly. I hardly know how to deserve it." And his eyes grow misty in a moment of high emotion.

"You seem to be, lately. It is something you and I need to discuss. However, this isn't the most ideal time I think." Ronan leans back in his chair, his weight making it creak in protest. He raises up a spurred boot and lays it over his knee. His spurs which were muddy yesterday are now clean and very likely he cleaned and polished them himself, since Kierne and Rosley both have been down. "You are, and can be, as good a squire as you wish to be. It may not be easy, but a man should always strive to make himself what he desires he /should/ be, and if he but applies his will firmly enough, he can overcome anything within himself, if he has the self discipline. It is up to you who you wish to be, Kierne, and no one else. Not I, not your father, not even the Gods though they made us."

He didn't come here to lecture his squire. Ronan fingers the golden rawl of his spur and then idly spins it, "For the most part, I am pleased with you. You have a few things to work and I shall help you. I am hardly a perfect man myself. I have my own faults."

Ronan smiles a little, "Perhaps /you/ can help me to work on my own short comings."

Kierne hates his own proclivity for drink; unfortunately being sober is so dreadfully tedious that some days it's all he can think of, to get a drink in him. And it never does stop at one, either. But he lives, and under the influence of stronger stuff than drink, at present, and so that talk can indeed wait. "Blasphemy," he whispers, at Ronan's claim to have imperfections, a breathless little bit of jest, then, "If you can stand to polish this rough-hewn rock before you, it is the least I can do to return the favor. You know you must only ask what you will of me, Sir. If I can manage what you ask of me, I will do so."

A chuckle escapes him, "Only I can change myself. Still, others to … remind you, to give you support to do the right thing can be very … helpful. Roslin already reminds me I must rein in my temper, and not let my pride cause me to do foolish things, as I have done more than once before." Ronan is wishing he had a strong glass of Sutherland red about now himself. "I have never had a head for politics, Kierne. The King's Court here in Darfield is … as tedious and frustrating hell to me as any Inouv himself could weave. I loath being here, yet I found something of value here that I needed. We must endure many things for the greater goals, sometimes." A shift of Ronan's bearded jaw, a bitterness in his mouth.

"In any event, I wish to get to the bottom of your … particular issue and better understand it. You hide things from me, Kierne. It is difficult for me to help you if I do not know what eats at you. You name me kind but I am a harsh man, and I know I demand much. I have laid hard into you, and am overdue perhaps to do so again. But first, we must mend your body before we may attend to the rest."

"You may beat me, but you do not hate me," Kierne replies. "In this you are kinder than those who let me do as I please without rebuke, but look at me with detestation," he comes to explain the kindness he has found in Ronan. "And if your only flaw is to hate the banality and hypocrisy of politics, then let me tell you I count it among your merits to be so." He registers a little swallow when accused of hiding things from his Lord Knight, and thus must have one hidden thing in particular in mind, but he doesn't speak of it, just now.

Ronan let's out a slow breath, "I only beat you when we spar and you happen not to do well. I've sent you to redo work time and again you didn't do well enough, or chewed you out, shouting in your face many times. Nonetheless, it is true that I'm fond of you. You have a good heart, Kierne, and you try. You aren't lazy nor stupid."

What is important just now is that Ronan not tire Kierne. The lad is doing well, able to speak, but the Duke doesn't wish to push him too far. So he only shrugs and smiles, "Is there anything you wish for? That you would like brought to you, or anyone you wish to have visit?"

Kierne looks briefly to the corner of the screen behind which he and his Lord are secreted. And since Ronan has opened the door, he steps through it, giving his Lord Knight one of the secrets that he holds. "There is someone," he replies. "My girlfriend, whom, if you can manage to arrange her visit without undue damage to her reputation, I would dearly care to see." It's hard to manage visits inside the palace without stirring up questions, after all. He and she must have been particularly sneaky, without even a whisper of a rumor floating about the place as to their relationship. And, what's more, the boy gives off the general vibe of a fellow head over heels for some girl when he speaks of her in his semi-drugged state.

"When Lord Caedmon Kilgour lifts the lockdown on the castle, I imagine that shouldn't be difficult, assuming she is willing to come and it isn't far." Ronan isn't the least bit surprised to hear Kierne's confession about having a sweet heart, "You will have to let me know who she is, that I may try to arrange it. Is she in Darfield or Sutherland?" Well, poppy does have a habit of making people say things they wouldn't, or won't remember too well later.

Rosley of all people shows up to scratch lightly at the privacy screen. Ronan moves to stand, giving his injured man servant a careful look over. Rosley bows and has his left arm in a sling, "My lord, the first wine cask has been opened. Would you care for a glass?" He focuses on Kierne and the elderly common born man smiles, "I am so pleased to see you, Kierne." Ronan nods, "Aye, bring me a glass of the red and ask if Kierne may be permitted half a glass or watered wine." Rosley doesn't linger but bows slightly and removes himself to see to it. Ronan retakes his seat to hear Kierne's answer.

Kierne feels tears welling at the corners of his eyes once more to spot Rosley with his arm slung so. It's no secret the squire is quite fond of his companion in service to the Duke. "And I, you, Rosley," he answers with a widening smile. "I'll be alright for a drink, thank you," he quite uncharacteristically turns down the offer of a libation. Maybe he's trying his best to turn over a new leaf? Or he's just so rarely sober that at present he can see back down that path, and prefers the vexation of being dry to the ubervexation of not being able to drink to his content. "But some water would be pleasant, if you might manage," he asks quite humbly. When Rosley retreats, he watches him go, then looks back up to his Lord Knight. He hadn't known at all about the lockdown, but he's hardly surprised to hear of it. "She is within the castle, she is a servant to my kin; my cousin Faerinia's handmaiden," he confesses blithely.

"Then that couldn't be easier. The lady Faerinia is a healer and your cousin. She would be permitted to visit you. No one would think anything of it if she left her handmaiden behind to keep watch over you, Kierne. Not as long as she herself is willing and makes arrangement for other women to accompany her when she is elsewhere." To protect Faerinia's already questionable virginal reputation. Ronan has no idea that the handmaiden isn't noble, or disfigured, so that will be something else to discuss later once he finds out.

Rosley returns shortly after with a cup of Sutherland red for his Duke, and a cup of mild tea for Kierne, "It's mint without honey. Why boil water to make it safe to drink and not go ahead and make tea? I can ask after something else if you don't want it." It was a bit of a challenge for him to carry both glasses at once but he managed it without spilling. The old man brings it around to help Kierne with it if the youth needs assistance to prop his head up.

Kierne smiles a crooked little smile as his Lord Knight seems keen on arranging for him to see his lover. He even pinkens at the cheeks, not really blushing, but coming into a warm flush to think of her visiting him. Boy's got it bad. "If it's possible, I'd be very grateful, thank you, Sir," his voice drones in a faintly sleepy manner, but he draws himself to wakefulness and pastes on a smile when Rosley returns with tea. Now, his last few memories involving the drinking of tea are thoroughly associated with intense stomach pains and vomiting, so he is decidedly not eager to partake. But Rosley, dear, sweet Rosley managed to make him a cup of tea with one hand, and for that Kierne will not for all the world holds dear tell him that the thought of drinking it makes him quite ill. He reaches out to take it with a grateful nod, and allows himself to be cradled by the older fellow, sipping at the tea and finding it, gladly, to be less of a tea-flavored tea and more of an infusion, the flavor profile not quite triggering the gag reflex he was expecting. Tea proper might well be ruined for him forever. "It's perfect, Rosley. Thank you."

Rosley is pleased to be of service. The mint tea isn't very strong either. The old man servant takes a seat by Kierne's bedside opposite of Ronan and tries not to think about his mangled arm he might well never use again. "It is good to see you awake, lord Kierne. I was afraid for you."

As for himself, Ronan tastes his wine, knowing Rosley tasted it first. "I will see it is done tomorrow, Kierne. Presuming the Lady Faerinia has no objection." The Rioga observes Kierne with the tea and the young man seems to manage it well enough. "We won't stay much longer and tire you out. You will need to rest and in a few days, you will have more strength." Gods willing.

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