Love Thy Work

Title: Love Thy Work
Time Period: December 28, 134 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: For a change of pace, it's someone else doing the rambling.

"You're welcome! Remember to take the tea three times a day, and let us know if it helps."

There aren't often feminine voices near the stables at mid-day and less often those giving such advice are even more rare of an occasion. The voice comes from outside, and a peek through the open barn doors reveals its owner, a petite girl speaking to Geoff, one of the other hands, who is holding a plain-wrapped package and thanking Cordelia, his voice too low, too gruff to be heard as clearly as hers.

She smiles and pats his arm before turning away, the gray deerhound trotting along with her and wagging its tail.

The chill in the air has given some of the men their fairshare of the sniffles, so the fact that one's seeking aid doesn't surprise Cas so much as the voice, and the sounds of a dog that can be heard over the usual music of the stableyard.

Peeking his head around the edge of the building, he spots the familiar dog and the owner of the voice and smiles, shoving the remainder of his lunch into the wrapping for his pocket for later and jumping down off the edge of the fence.

"Hey there Argyle," he speaks first to the dog as he gets closer, waving fingers in a friendly 'no weapons here' gesture, before looking over at the girl. "And Cordie, right?"

Geoff has meandered off, perhaps in search of hot water for tea, and Cordie turns at the voice. Argyle lumbers over, sniffing at the sandwich in the pocket but not too impolitely, and wags his tail for pettings.

"Hi," Cordelia says, reaching up to push hair out of her eyes as the wind tangles with it. "How are you, fisher guy?" If she's forgotten his name or if she is teasing him, it's hard to tell. "How's the arm?" is asked as she reaches for Argyle to pull him back from his quest for lunch meat.

The quest doesn't need to be detered long as Cas reaches into his pocket and unwraps the package to pull out some dried meat strips that made up the meaty part of his lunch. There's also cheese and bread, but it's something that could easily be saved for later. Or mid-work snackings. Which is why he prefers it to the stews and other things. "Here you go," he says, holding out the strip and reaching to pet the dog between the ears while he eays it.

When he looks back up at the girl he's smiling, perhaps at the nickname, or maybe he just loves animals that much. "The arm's doin' good, thanks. It's healed over enough it don't even hurt when I wash it, now." There's a mild glancing over as if to add on well not much to the end of that. Possibly developed a bit of a bruise. "I traded the fish for a good amount, too, so I'd say I came out better than the rock. Maybe I can convince someone I got the scar fighting off a troll. Probably one person in town who'd believe me."

The verbose answer earns a smirk from Cordelia. "Try that one on my cousin Constance," she says with a shake of her head. "She's very excitable and loves anything that makes the world seem more exciting and dangerous and dramatic than it really is."

The dark-haired teen moves to a fence to sit, pulling her boot up to retie a loose lace. "I mean, there's plenty of danger and excitement, but when you find it, it's usually not the good kind, and you'd rather everything be dull and safe," she muses, then smiles a little wryly. "Or maybe that's just me. I think safety is completely underrated."

There's a tilt to his head while he moves back to the fence to prop himself up on it again comfortably. Cas looked interested at the mention of her cousin by name, but it's the adventure that attracts most of his response. "Oh, definitely, I find safety and stuff to be way nicer in life. I'm definitely not the fighting type, that's why I work with horses."

He looks over his shoulder to a few of the horses that are exersizing freely in the yard near the stable. Most of them are trying to graze up what's left of the grass, very little, or just staying close to each other to socialize.

"Especially at places like this, where there's a bunch of other people to protect the horses." While he hides. But he doesn't say that. It hasn't had to happen yet. "I'll leave danger and adventures to the stories. And men who turn into bears."

"Men who turn into bears, it turns out, like to knit by cozy fires just as much as grandmothers do," Cordelia says with a fond smirk for the one man she knows who turns into such a creature.

"I don't mean that I want to live a dull life either," is a non sequitur, but she's returning to an earlier point, her brow knitting and her eyes solemn. "I mean to make a difference, and to make things better for the world, and you can't be afraid or cowardly to do that. I wish sometimes I had a power like some of the others do. Being able to turn into a beast probably wouldn't help me in what I want to do, but maybe something else. To understand how someone feels or where they hurt, with just a touch… to know when the next storm is coming… some of those things might be useful." Her voice grows wistful.

From his initial look, he disbelieves the image of bear-men knitting by the fireplace. At least for a moment. Then he's looking away from her as if trying to picture it. Whatever it is Cas is picturing seems about to make him laugh. But that doesn't last long, or escape his lips, cause he looks back at her as she speaks more.

"Really? Is that why you're helping the Lady Aislinn?" his voice, despite the smile of a moment ago, is soft and curious, even a little impressed as he braces his place on the fence with his hands on either side and his feet on a rail below for balance. "I don't know much about… that kind of stuff, but— I think you could do just as well without them."

Why she is helping Aislinn is a complicated story, and she fidgets with her gloves to come up with an answer. "Kind of?" she hazards, looking up at him through dark lashes and a lock of hair that's fallen back into her eyes. "I want to help people, and do good work in the world. I want everyone to be safe and have a roof over their head and heat and light and good health. It shouldn't be a luxury. It wasn't, back in the time before. Poor people had those things too, or so I hear."

She bends to retie her other boot, fingers deft enough despite the gloves. "I'm helping because I want to do something that means something, and my mother arranged it… she wants me to do something practical, so I suppose it's a compromise," Cordie explains.

"I think if there were a lot more people in your position who felt that way, the world would be a lot better," Cas says in a serious way, still looking at her with a expression. From he mild widening in his eyes, to the set of his lips, he's impressed rather than mocking. "I mean coming from a family that lives in places like this— you'll have a lot, but you want to use it to help people."

A hand raises from the fence rail to rub the back of his neck as he looks away, as if he has an itch there at the hairline. "Explains why you helped me for little more than a dog treat."

Her cheeks flush and she folds her hands in her lap, peering down at Argyle below who has lain down in the patchy snow. "I didn't do anything but have the luck to be born in a family that's … like mine," Cordelia says softly — neither with embarrassment nor anger. "It's just luck, and there are others who have the poor luck to be born in hovels or worse. It's just chance, and it's not fair, and the only thing I can do is take that birthright and try to do something good with it."

She looks up again and smiles; the embarrassment comes now, after the passionate little speech. "I'm sorry. I kind of tend to ramble when it's something important to me. I should let you get back to work, Fisherman."

Of all the things that ends up making him laugh genuinely. Cas flashes teeth that are cleaner than most people in his position might have and a dimple on his cheek as he says, "I'm usually the one who's apologizing for rambling. I get the same way about the horses. I could tell you all about their quirks if you spent a few hours with me." Though he doesn't expect anyone to sit through all that.

"It's good to love what you do, and it's better than some things you could love. I wish I had a way to help people, but most I got to offer is fish for someone's table and a horse that won't ever bite or kick unless threatened." His smile softens as he nods. "Really, you don't have to apologize. All I need to do right now is keep an eye on them until they're ready to go back inside." He nudges a thumb behind him at the horses that are in the small pasture. One of which happens to be taking a watering the ground in a rather unattracive way. "Listening to you is definitely a bonus."

"That is a help, I'm sure. Horses are very, very important to Dornie," says Cordelia earnestly. "And fish is important, too," she adds in an afterthought, then smiles before hopping down from the fence.

"Unfortunately," she says, reluctance coloring her words, "I do have work to do, and mine isn't eating lunch in a pasture at the moment. I have another errand to run and then I need to get back to my aunt and finish up for the afternoon," she explains, looking up to the sky to gauge the sun's position. "It was nice to see you again, and this time without any blood."

It takes a few moments, til she's obviously about to leave, before Cas slides down off the fence in a familiar way. He probably sits on them all the time. He leaves one hand on it, as he looks back at her. "Not that I mind the Fisherman thing— it's better than Stableboy. But you can call me Cas."

Definitely no blood, but he does have muck and mud on his clothes this time. Clothes that look as if they might have been patched more times than would be recommended for clothing in general. But at least it also looks warm.

"Good luck with the— helping. I hope you don't have to see much blood today at all." A strange farwell, but one he says with a smile.

"Cas," she repeats, nodding and making a note of it.

Argyle is up on his feet, waiting expectantly for their walk to continue again. "Blood isn't so bad, as long as it's stoppable. It doesn't bother me." There's a quiet confidence in her words that says this much is true.

It isn't the blood that bothers her — it's the pain and the dying, especially when it's something she knows could have been avoided, or something that would have been curable if only they had more resources.

"You have a good day. Be sure Geoff drinks his tea, won't you?" Cordie calls over her shoulder as she begins to walk toward the road.

"I'll even brew it for him if he hasn't taken it like he's supposed to," Cas says with a grin, though there's something of a joke in the way he says it, like he may not actually follow through with the whole thing. "See you later, Cordie," he says, holding up his hand in a wave as he does, before pointing at the dog.

"You take care too," he says, as if the dog could understand him. After a few moments of watching them walk, he looks back behind him to the horses and carefully scales the fence to get to the other side. For his own job now that the distractions have passed.