Title: Fences
Time Period: November, 134 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Mrs. Ross decides to encourage something that may or may not be there.

Noon at the market brings out a decent crowd, mostly because people are hungry and there tends to be food about and readily available. While the chill is slowly creeping in, the sun peeks behind the clouds and proves that the day may not be all wind and cold. Most are fetching food and heading off to whence they came, but a few linger here and there to shop.
Mairi's finished most of her deliveries for the day, but as usual she's brought extra supplies—in case someone's in dire need of fresh milk or eggs. There tends to be someone who's forgotten or decided to hunt some down, so she lingers in the market.

Seated on the back of her wagon, Mairi nibbles at a hunk of bread, likely her lunch, as she watches people move to and fro. Her hair, for once, is pulled back out of her face. She nestles down in her coat and the yellow scarf she wears whenever the wind kicks up a little, but she's otherwise not distracted from contemplation of Dornie's residents.

Whatever crowd there tends to be at the day's market consists of the usual brigade, be it a grocer or a buyer; Jorn, on his periods of freedom, will stop by here and there, taking his time and putting on a relatively friendly face. On the other hand, when he is on duty, he plasters on a more passive look, and is at least one weapon heavier than he ought to be. Regardless of who he is with, or what he is actually doing. Dina desired an escort, and with Jorn being unoccupied at the manor for a time, has wholly commandeered him.

He cuts an impressive figure amidst the day-crowd, to say the least; most are used to seeing the ivory white cape about town at all sorts of hours, and the slight heft of armor, sword, and firearms under it. Usually not pressing a wider path for the Ross matriarch, however. Jorn's attention is drawn here and there as he strolls with her, though by the sake of his duties he does try to keep his eyes from roaming and his expression from becoming too engrossed with the calm.

Edgar didn't need him and Dina intended to go peruse the market, see how the locals that don't generally come under her philanthropic hand are doing. So she dragged Jorn along. There might be wool that he would want for a project, who knew. But the both of them are there, Greets-The-Sun flying high above them, scissoring from roof to roof and keeping up, chattering with his mage as he goes.

Alongside Mairi's wagon is where they are walking, a wool wrap firmly about her shoulders to ward off the incoming fall chill, pausing with a hand on the cart and regarding the widow. There's a dip of her head to Mairi directed at Jorn, a raise of brows. Was this the lady? A waggle of brows accompanies the look.

The quiet chirp of a sparrow might be almost unnoticed in Mairi's wagon, but it's enough to cause the widow to peek back into her wagon for a moment with a smile. She hurriedly sets the bread aside in a nearby basket and hops down from the back of her wagon at the sight of two potential customers. She brushes crumbs off of her skirt hurriedly before turning to face the two of them.

"Is there anything I can help you with?" Mairi offers with a friendly look. Jorn is noted, of course, as it's hard not to take note of the man and he is offered a nod of greeting. Her eyes aren't on him long, however, as his presence makes the woman's presence more significant—she's aware of Jorn's position with the Rosses which means she'll be paying close attention to the woman. "I have fresh milk and eggs, if you are interested. Might have some other supplies left as well, though I could check for you."

Jorn tries not to shop for himself when he is playing escort- honest. As they come up on the wagon and Dina gestures, he blinks almost dully at her for a moment before his mouth cracks and shuts again. The brow-waggling, however, causes him to grind his squarish chin. Dina! How insufferable. Still, it's not much of an answer, and he does not say anything edgewise. Best to plead that he refuses to incriminate himself. The Mrs. Ross seems to like this game, seems a shame to ruin it.

The bodyguard gives Mairi one of his smaller smiles of greeting, a flicker amidst the rest of his face as he crosses his wrists behind his back.

Fine. Be that way. The roll of Dina's eyes is faint and unseen by anyone but Jorn for it's gone by the time she's facing Mairi. "Mrs. Fairbairn," the welsh soft and comforting. "I have no need of them, we have already been earlier. I came instead to visit. How are you doing? The animals on the farm?"

Mairi offers a return smile to Jorn, albeit brief, her friendly expression instead directed towards the Ross. "A visit is always appreciated, Mrs. Ross," she replies honestly. "I am well, thank you. Things have been busy, but the animals are well. Thankfully none of them have fallen ill and I have been in good health myself. I am certain that I'll be ready for winter's storms."

A skittering of little feet preempts a couple of small children running past the cart and down the market, and in trying to not catch further eye-rollings at him, Jorn tilts his head to watch for a moment. He does frown at the mention of storms. "The green-tails have been restless this summer. It is hopefully not a portent." Jorn intones, though he seems to realize he probably should not have spoken out of turn, lifting a gloved hand to clear his throat into the fist.

"Jorn Wartooth, this is Mrs. Mairi Fairbairn." Where Mairi lives is tossed out, information to be snatched up if Jorn should want it. "Widowed three years and still, she runs her farm. A strong woman. I've a query for you, if you've a few minutes with which to answer. If somehow, you to have electricity out, in your home on the farm, what would your thoughts be?" Dina's familiar is gliding down, coming to a sit beside the sparrow but there's no conversation forthcoming yet from him as he settles in, crest high and feathers ruffling as he preens. "I hope not either Jorn. My bones would not sit well with a severe winter."

"He and I have met, before. I do believe he is a fan of blackberries," Mairi replies, though she doesn't give any sort of explanation in terms of her meaning. Dina's query, however, has the widow a little surprised. "The idea has never really occurred to me, it's not something I've ever had the luxury of or considered in my means. I suppose there would be some use for it—it would allow work to be done on days the light fades quickly without risk of tired eyes. Mending and such is hard to get to on those days, as I've much better use for the daylight then a few holes in an apron."

The sparrow carefully observes the other bird, head cocked to the side, but he makes no move to react other than a quick observation, and the sparrow does not startle easily. Instead, Stalwart just continues to look around, observing whatever comes in his range of sight.

There it is again. Jorn looks quietly at his boots for a passing few seconds, while Dina tells him something pointedly all about Mairi. Truth be told, he didn't pay much attention to her last name when he first met her- he may have had learned it since, but regardless he nods his chin. Another smile appears for Mairi- a sheepish one. Blackberries, yes.

"I had the feeling it would be of more use to farmers, than to me." Being that their work is their livelihood. He tilts his head slightly down, to look at the redheaded woman. "A light outside could help keep something from creeping up and stealing." See what he did there? Of course.

"It would be a massive undertaking, and just a thought, something to explore. But Jorn is right. It would be useful for more than just better light than that of a candle or a lamp," Dina nods, adjusting her wrap, looking away from the pair and towards the market proper. "Jorn, I see something over there that has caught my interest. I don't need you, I'll be in sight and be right back. Stay. Maybe you need some eggs yourself?" The older woman doesn't even deign to take no for an answer, just starts off to a few stalls over, presumably to look at some things, touch, hold pick up. Matchmake. Widows need protection you know.

There's a small laugh from Mairi at the suggestion of things creeping up. "Aye, a light would help with that. It would certainly help my aim with the pitchfork," she points out, though she peers towards Dina as the older woman heads away from the pair. "Is she being serious when she speaks of the electricity? It is honestly not something I'd ever thought about." It's a musing comment, but not something she dwells on as she looks back to Jorn. "Have you been well?"

"A while back, she was asking me if I might like to have it. I live too far out to have it be practical, though she seems sincere about her wanting to give something to everyone." Which could, truly, be taken a few ways. Jorn unwinds his hands from behind his back, keeping a lurking eye on Dina as he converses with Mairi. "I have."

"I trust you have been? I do not come to the midday market enough to know, are you here most days?"

"She is very kind," Mairi says, a chirp from the wagon seeming to be an agreement from the sparrow within. She leans lightly against the wagon, a nod given towards Jorn. "More frequently than I have been. I was told by a friend that I should get off the farm and be more social, so I've tried to come to market and bring supplies to town. It is long enough away for anyone to just come out to the farm so I've decided to make it easier to come be social. It's also good for business for there to be a friendly face around."

While there's no sound from the sparrow, Stalwart is given a quick, sharp look from Mairi, though it's gone by the time she looks back towards Jorn. "I would imagine you keep near the Rosses with most of your time."

Jorn bends at the waist, leaning over to look into the wagon for the source of the chirping. It must be her familiar, for her non-reaction to be the only real one. He nods to her explanation. "So you keep good business in town? No worries?" As she looks away and looks back, he remains still and listening.

"Most. I do have a room at the manor, but I have a cottage in the forest, as well. It is enough for me, when I am in need of it."

Stalwart hops up to the edge of the wagon to peek back at Jorn when he investigates, but otherwise the little bird makes no move to interrupt the conversation. Mairi glances in Dina's direction, then nods towards Jorn. "My business in town is good. It keeps me busy, but I have found enjoyment staying in town longer. I am not worried about my work." Perhaps that means there are other things that worry her, or perhaps the farm is her sole focus of worries.

Jorn has the sudden feeling that he is being scrutinized by a sparrow, and so tries to not look directly at it. He seems to accept Mairi's words with a bit of salt, looking like he is inwardly debating the cause of her worries, in fact. "It took me some time to become used to town. I spent so many years moving about, I was never able to see things." He finally replies, tone a bit too somber for the gay afternoon. "So, I hope that you find even more joy in Dornie proper."

"Not good to always stay locked away," Mairi says, then gives Jorn a gentle smile. "Since I am able to make the time to be in town, there is no reason not to. It is good that you can enjoy Dornie proper as well since you are settled. I imagine it must be a joy not to travel so much. I have never travelled, so I cannot say for sure."

"I find myself missing it, sometimes." Jorn's browline deepens, and it is clear there is something else at work. "But it was not travel to see the world, it was travel to conquer it." Which, incidentally, brings him much too close to how he came here in the first place; he recognizes it, and decides to steer clear, all the while putting a hand to his neck to scratch under the back of his collar. "I am glad that you did not stay in your shell. The marketplace would be poorer for it."

Mairi rests against the wagon lightly, giving a small bit of a nod. "Well, perhaps you'll get the opportunity to travel again sometime," she says. His comment does give her cause to smile. "I wouldn't say it's a shell so much as it is a bubble. It's easy to forget about things outside of my farm when I'm so busy inside of it. It's only when I'm outside that I remember there are other pleasures in life than my work."

What a pressing matter, imagining Mairi in a bubble. It does well in keeping Jorn from finding out that he's gotten himself stuck, but only for a couple breaths before he looks about to speak again- and he doesn't, quite yet. The unwillingness to be the fool wins out for now.

"It happens to the best of us. I am glad that my work is virtually my life." Okay, maybe not the best thing to think of, anyway.

"Is it really work when you enjoy it?" Mairi asks, a glance given to the sparrow as it carefully hops back into the wagon. "I'd imagine you must enjoy your work if you are content for it to be your life. It's what I wanted to be, how I can be useful, and it's a boon to see the fruits of my labor being useful to the world. Someone's happy from my hard work, even if it's just for a meal." She looks back to Jorn. "Don't let yourself be fenced off too, far too easy to get lost in work and forget that there's more to life."

"I suppose it is hardly work if I have gained a family. Be that as it may." Jorn confides this quietly, his eyes going off of Mairi to find Dina amongst the stalls. His wrist meets a palm behind his back once again. "I prefer a fence, to bubbles. One can always fasten a gate."

"You're lucky in that," Mairi's comment is likely directed towards the concept of family. "A fence is good. It keeps the good things in and the bad things out. Mostly. The rest you can scare off with a pitchfork." The last part is said with a straight face, though it doesn't remain for long and cracks into a grin.

Jorn's laugh is not as deep as one may expect, and it has an almost melodious quality to it. He gives Mairi a slightly less reserved smile as one breaks onto his face, splitting a sliver of white between the scruff of his jaw. "I only suffer pitchforks when wielded beautifully."

More than enough time to talk, yes they have had. Which may be why Dina is making her way back over, a wrapped parcel tucked in hand, skirts swishing across the ground as she makes her way back to the pair and the familiars. Whether Greets-The-Sun has been playing translator or spy, who knows. "My apologies, I saw something, but I'm back."

It's hard to tell if someone's blushing when it's chilly. Rosy cheeks can easily be accounted for in the cold. However, a tiny smile from Mairi at the comment is more than enough of an indication before she turns to Dina upon her approach. "Welcome back, Mrs. Ross. I do hope you've found what you were looking for."

Birds can be menacing spies, if they want to be. Luckily, Jorn forgets these kinds of things until it is too late. He will undoubtedly slap himself later on for keeping on as he did. For now, however, he remains blissfully unaware, tipping his head to Dina. "Lady.."

"Would you like to continue on?"

"I would. I need to drop by the school, then we need to be off to the plant." The package itself is passed over to Jorn so that he can take it. Proffered in fact and likely it is for him. "I found exactly what I was looking for Mrs. Fairbairn. I do hope that the day finds you well. If you have need of anything, please don't hesitate to come up to the house. Or seek out Jorn. I am sure he would help you in our name. For now." For now, there's a tilt and dip of her head in respect and with just a hesitation to see if Jorn will actually follow, starts off in the direction of where the school is.

"Thank you, Mrs. Ross, it was very kind of you to stop by. Your offer of help is most appreciated," Mairi replies, dipping her head low as a polite response and farewell. She offers a small smile towards Jorn as a farewell on his part, though her gaze is quickly caught by the sparrow hopping up next to her on the wagon.

It wouldn't be the first time that Jorn finds himself holding a lady's parcels. Why, he is virtually a walking piece of furniture as it is. He takes it gently enough, ready to follow Dina when she moves away; but not before giving Mairi a farewell virtually in tandem. "Good day." With the passing seconds he seems to have gotten more stoic, and when he finally does begin to tail after the elder Ross, he is as straight-backed as from before they found themselves stopping at the wagon.