Title: Rossling
Time Period: December 27, 134
Characters Appearing:

Summary: During regular duties, however bore-some, Jørn finds a moment to fetch his Rossling to home.

The steady incline of duties given to new recruits into the militia is a smooth one, generally; and after that time, it evens out into what each man or woman knows themselves able to handle. There are some times in this initial lifespan that find doubling up to be profitable. Most things will get finished twice as swiftly, and with twice as many eyes. This is not the case for patrols, or toting around messages between posts. It is the latter that Jorn (plus one) has found himself with; materials and letters needing delivered here and there, easy going with or without a horse. Perhaps, however, his plus one being Algernon, it is to further familiarize the other man even further with the plain life that is Dornie. At least once, Jorn has been stopped by a greeting or a beckoning to an open window to exchange a few words. Plain, indeed.

"It is just down this way." The day is closing, and so are the shops along the waterfront. This includes the culmination to Cordelia's day, which happens to fall between deliveries being made. They still have a few to make, but such things are aimed for hightown, where she must be taken regardless. "She should be ready." Jorn walks alongside his mare, reins in one gloved hand. Kuu carries a half-emptied saddlebag on her side, and the bored sway to her muzzle gives away any importance of questing whatsoever. Horses just don't care. Kind of like Honey Badgers.


Comfortably bored in the saddle, with the warmth of a horse that isn't his to keep him company, Algernon shifts in time with the dun beast's plodding pace beneath him. Eyes initially on Jorn as often as they were anywhere else, he's since been lulled into the kind of idle distraction that the white of a flawless winter landscape tends to beget.

Breath puffed slow past the low brim of his hat rises in his wake, any potential complaint stifled into silence that is either aloof or companionable, depending upon one's take. He's kept his distance where Jorn has made conversation with the locals, acknowledgement granted with a lazy tip of his hat from afar. Occasionally a forced smile.

Work is work.

He can be a mail delivery man.

As if on cue, the door of the apothecary opens; Cordelia slips out, a smile on her face as she turns to say goodbye once more to Aislinn inside. It's feigned however; as soon as the door is closed, Cordie's face crumples. She is not aware she has an audience just yet, or she would have forced herself to remain stoic longer.

Her small boots scurry down the steps to the ground below. Tugging on her gloves, she then wipes her eyes as she turns to look at the water and then the road. Seeing Jorn and the stranger who accompanies him draws a small gasp, her cheeks flushing with embarrassment for the tears. She turns away to tuck her hair into her hood and wipe her eyes once more, hoping that perhaps the two men didn't notice, and hoping that at least they'll have the grace not to ask.

A deep breath is taken, her slim shoulders rising and falling, before she turns around and begins to trudge her way toward her escort(s).

In most cases, aloof and companionable is all the same for Jorn. He has kept an eye on Algernon as an instructor might; willing to let the man wing it, but also there should something go awry. He pauses in the road to watch the door of the second floor flip open, and the girl step out. The change on her face puts one onto his, and his passive blue gaze wrinkles slightly at the edges. Hm. A frown comes when she gets caught with her embarrassment, though when Jorn presses himself and Kuu onward, he does not choose to bring what problems have happened into the spotlight. Later, likely.

When they get near, Cordelia is received by the mare with a swish of the tail and a bobbing of the nose. Jorn, being without a muzzle or a tail, brings his arm up to put one hand behind her back. Protective, but only just enough to seem commonplace. Embarrassing her further wouldn't do at all.

"This is mister Fogg. We were making some deliveries. We have a few more on the Reach." 'I thought that you might like some company' goes unspoken. "This is Cordelia Ross." He makes a proper introduction, before he forgets, wagging his palm between the pair of them.

Ross and Rowntree, Rowntree and Ross. "Pleasure to meet you, Miss Ross," does not sound rehearsed or otherwise strained; Algernon's address is (naturally, respectfully) affable from on high, in following Jorn's familiarity and tone. Also in following, he declines to remark upon crumpling or evidence of — sensitivity. To an unknown source.

His eyes linger, though, appropriately blue in cast to blend against chill weather until they flick away to check that his original assumption was correct: Jorn noticed and deliberately has said nothing.

…Very well, then.

Dark eyes seem dry but for where the tears have dampened long lashes, and to her credit, she's done a good job of swallowing whatever emotion had overcome her, given her tender age. "Hi," she says to Jorn, reaching to pat Kuu affectionately before turning to the newcomer.

"Mr. Fogg," she repeats, and then smiles, a slow but sweet thing. A gloved hand is offered to the stranger. "It's very nice to meet you, sir. How are you liking our town?" The question seems earnest, and she watches him for his response as if she cares about his opinion, given that she is a member of both of Dornie's reigning clans.

As much as Cordelia is still a child, Jorn has an inordinate tact with her; perhaps he has deigned to practice such manners on a child over the years, because children are far more forgiving of social faux pas. He waits with one palm on Kuu's saddle while the Rossling offers Algernon her hand, curious enough of the moustached man's reaction to both the name- and to the politeness, even if wary- of a child. Jorn finds he can tell a great deal about a person, when he closely regards how they treat all forms, not just 'lower' ones.

His waiting puts a nit in his horse's mood, and the dun creature lifts her head so that Jorn may scratch under her neck. He does so reluctantly.

Her hand is offered, and Algernon only has a fraction of a second to look at it and blankly think about how much he does not want to remove himself from horseback before his reluctance will be made inherently obvious by the delay. Therefore the deep breath he takes to bolster himself into propriety is the same one he takes to lift himself smoothly down into a dismount. Some stiffness in one knee follows him down, not enough to hamper him taking her hand up in his glove.

"It strikes me as unwise to ground a judgment in such limited experience, but for the short term," he says, also earnest, also polite, "I've found it to be quite captivating." His smile has more to do with a cinch at crow's feet than it does his mouth, though there is a twitch up at the corner somewhere in there. "Mister Wartooth's spoken very highly of you."

If there is any sarcasm in the comment, Cordelia is too naive and of limited experience to pick up on it, and she smiles at the seeming compliment of the town and then of herself.

"Mister Wartooth is highly biased and a silly bear, but thank you very much for listening. I'll let you decide if I've earned any of his good comments," she says, dipping her head before withdrawing her hand. "As for Dornie, I haven't really been many other places, except for the outskirts, but it's home. Where do you hail from, Mr. Fogg?"

Jorn is perfectly fine in his petting of his horse, up until she calls him silly bear. He leans out from behind the mare's head, scowling just enough to allow it register. At first he does not seem to want to say anything on the matter, and then he does- though it still does not come. The tall man grits his teeth, promising a silent note of scorn for her later. He has an image to uphold, in some respects, and being a tenth babysitter is bad enough. Not that he dislikes it.

A silly bear. Algernon's brows lift, all Is he, now? in uneven tilt and a look sideways after the Mister Wartooth in question. Don't be bashful, Jorn. Says the look.

We're all friends here.

"South," Fogg says aloud an awkward beat later. Vague in answer to a question that he hasn't actually been asked previously, for whatever reason. 'Awkward,' in the sense that it may be a sensitive subject. He arrived with the gypsies. So far that's been good enough. "Yours is the largest settlement I've seen. Certainly the most organized." He smiles that smile again, decades too late for a decent Godwinning.

To the scowl, Cordelia gives her best ingenue impression, one that could possibly put her cousin's acting to shame. "Well, we're certainly glad to have you here," she says; from another girl, with another air or disposition, it would seem ostentatious and perhaps patronizing, but it seems Cordie is entirely in earnest, a warm and sweet tone to her words despite Algernon's awkward pauses.

She gestures to the two men and the road. "Don't let me stall you in your errands, or interrupt your work."

The northman all but purses his lips white, at Algernon's look over at him. Bashful ain't the half of it. He seems more embarrassed, than anything, setting about to fidgeting with the saddle. He does catch Algernon's pause when asked about where he was from- and it sounds familiar, much like when he had first come to Dornie, and answered 'North' whenever asked the same. A tricky thing, origins.

"I am to take you home." Jorn intones a moment after the girl tries to wave them off. "I mentioned that we are going the same way- it will not be a problem?" He won't be bothering her if she insists upon going off on her own, though he always has uneasiness about looking the other direction.

A nod stands in for a thank you, flattery shed like the black swing of his coat sheds the cold. Introductions made, pleasantries exchanged, Algernon glances after Jorn's reminder and takes it as a prompt to saddle up again. The younger man's embarrassment isn't lingered on. Passing amusement.

Boot to stirrup, right leg swung over from behind, he settles back onto his matching mount and bumps into enough of a trot and halt to make it clear he has no intention to force the issue. Wartooth is the senior officer on site.

And she asks questions.

"It's fine," says Cordie; while she's been known to be stubborn and go her own way at times, it's usually not so late or dark or cold as it is now. "I only meant… we can go."

Third parties make normal routines so awkward for some reason.

She adjusts the bag she carries over her shoulder and approaches Kuu, letting Jorn help her mount the creature. Once on, she is quiet, as promised; there's a faraway look in her solemn eyes that Jorn knows comes with a hard day's work, that such a look comes when she's lost a patient or is soon to. She won't speak of it in front of Algernon nor in front of her family at dinner; she'll take the sorrow to bed with her and wrap herself in it like a blanket tonight.