|Celandine's Chronicle (celandineb) wrote in cels_fic_haven,|
@ 2015-10-12 14:47:00
|Entry tags:||swordspoint ficlets marie|
Swordspoint ficlet: Marie Remembers [Marie, general]
Title: Marie Remembers
Characters: Marie, Ginnie, original character; in absentia Richard, Alec, Hugo, Jessamyn, Willie
Summary: A young neighbor asks whether Marie remembers her most famous lodger, Richard St. Vier.
Note: For just_ann_now, who said, "How about someone's (a Riversider, or maybe a noble on the Hill?) reminiscences of Richard and Alec, as hazy as that may be?"
"St. Vier? Of course I remember him. Rented rooms from me, didn't he?" Marie settled herself more comfortably. She had had to find a new cushion for the chair last month, when the ancient ochre velvet finally gave way and spilled its wool stuffing across the room.
"The ones upstairs?" That was young Jem from around the corner.
Marie nodded. "That scholar St. Vier had said that one had been the music room once. I don't know about that. St. Vier used it to practice. That's why the plaster is all falling off on one side."
"It's falling everywhere," someone murmured, but Marie couldn't tell who had spoken.
"Do you want to repair it?" she snapped. "It's no worse than any other house in Riverside. Better than many."
Silence followed that remark.
"Anyhow. By the time he rented my rooms, he was already making a name for himself. That was when he still did weddings. He disliked them, but they paid well. Once he had the reputation, though, he never did another wedding."
"I heard he never took a job that required him to attack a woman," Jem said.
"That's right. Not that there are ever too many of those, from what I hear. Hugo wasn't so choosy, but he only did women twice, as I remember it."
"Three times," said Ginnie Vandall without looking up. Her once-red hair was faded now and streaked with white, her hands busy with needles and yarn.
"Three, then," Marie corrected herself. "Still not many, when you're talking about a dozen years or more of being a swordsman. But St. Vier never did any. Maybe because of Jessamyn, although he hadn't done women before that either."
"Who was Jessamyn?" asked Jem.
"St. Vier lived with her before the scholar came along. He killed her."
Jem's thin sharp face went pale, his freckles standing out livid on his cheeks. "Really?"
"Really," Marie said. "No one ever knew why. He wasn't crazy like the scholar, but no one would ever call Richard St. Vier entirely rational. Not that that made him different from any other swordsman. They're all mad, more or less."
She half-expected Ginnie to disagree with her, but the other woman said nothing.
"Can I see the room?" Jem asked.
"No. It's rented again, isn't it?" Marie softened when she saw his disappointment. "But I have something he left behind. It must have been his, although I never saw him wear it, nor his scholar, but I found it after they were gone."
She pulled off the chain and let Jem look at the medallion, a rose in pink gold set on a field of silver. If Nimble Willie had been there, she would never have taken it off, but he'd been dead these four years, and her eyes were still sharp.
"That's enough." Marie slipped the medallion back under her bodice, where it couldn't be seen. "Now go, the lot of you. Ask Ginnie about St. Vier next time. She knew him too."