They've been married nearly two years when Lynet follows her husband into exile.
They were sent away with a map, a solid horse with a little wagon, and whatever could have been scrounged up without creating the impression that Gaheris was being given anything more than the murderer of the High King's sister ought to have been given.
Lynet had been at court when her husband slew his mother. She wasn’t sure what had happened, or quite how, just that he and all his brothers had come back in one ragged gang and gone straight to Arthur. And within half a day the verdict had been issued.
Once the sentence had come down, they'd been given two days to leave court. Lyonors was half-beside herself, and cried almost as much as she cries when Gareth goes away questing. Ragnelle was quiet and solid and smiling, as always, and when they were left alone for the span of a few minutes she'd shoved a little bundle into Lynet's hands, full of seeds that Lynet knew would not be like to fail. Her cousin, quiet Laurel, competently stowed all the linens in the little wagon and put to rights anything that Lynet couldn't manage herself.
Lynet takes all of this in, quietly, more quietly than they'd probably expected of her. It's not such a punishment, really, sending a man to where he wants to be.
The cottage is barely a cottage, and though there is furniture, it isn't much. They open it up and Gaheris sets to checking the roof. The place is filthy inside, but clearly someone's been sent ahead to see to the thatch.
"Christ," she says, loud enough for Gaheris to hear her through the open window.
"God's breath, woman, what's the matter now?"
She can hear his grin; she keeps her back to the window, because she can hear he's coming down the ladder. "They fix the roof, but it's past them to do so much as raise a hand in here?"
"You'll not be a kept woman, here. You might have to do some work for once."
He knows perfectly well that Lynet doesn't let anyone wait on her, even when it's offered.
"Can only hope my poor excuse of a husband can keep us fed."
"I can't shoot, God knows, but I can set a snare. Even I get lucky now and again."
Lynet had been set on not smiling, but she can't help herself. He's laughing, now, and he must be in high spirits to joke about luck. She turns and leans into the window sill, "I've yet to see it. Don't I but wish you'd brought me luck."
Gaheris comes up to the window grinning like an idiot. "Would that I'd been lucky when it came to wives."
"You had your choice, but you didn't want the pretty one."
He kisses her, then, hard. Takes her face in his hands and it seems that here, in exile, he doesn't tremble as much. Surely no one thought she'd be happy out here, nowhere. She warms all over.
Eventually, she pushes him gently away. "Keep on that way, and we won't get anything done."
The place is dry, though things are rough and dusty, and the hearth is in no fit state, so Lynet sets to. She sweeps all the dust from the floor outside. It would be a lie to say that she's cross about the work -- she's more than a little worried about how she'll keep her head, so isolated. Even she isn't sure she'll know what to do with herself without her sister or cousin or her husband's brothers and their wives. Orkneys are like that, tight-knit even when they hate each other, and since she'd wed Gaheris she hadn't had much time to herself. She’s worried she’ll be lonely. She’s never been lonely in her life.
Lynet sets up a clothesline, takes the linens they've been allowed to bring with them and hangs them out to air. The few pieces of furniture the cottage has to offer aren't anything to brag about, but they seem to be sound and sturdy. They're not so covered in dust, which tells her that they'd been brought in ahead of their arrival. Arthur’s done them more kindnesses than they deserve. Lynet is sharp, there isn’t much she misses; the family understands too well what’s happened. Arthur included.
She has so many things to think about that it's almost hard to focus on what can be done with the rest of just today. Lynet wants to plan out and cast ahead, so much so that she almost feels she could get it all done today. She clears the floor, sweeps out the rest of the dust, and then works to drag the straw-filled mattress -- as if you can call it that, it's really kind of a glorfied blanket stuffed with hay -- in from where it's been out in the sun to freshen.
Lynet knows that most everyone thinks she ought to be ashamed. Lynet knows that when they were wed, everyone talked about them -- about whether Arthur had forced her to marry Gaheris (he was mad, they said, and besides, he was a knight in name only and that only because he was the High King's nephew), about whether she had had her sights set on Gareth (foolish, really, Gareth and his sunny disposition would hardly be a match at all). She knows most people at court hear their constant bickering and assume they’re not happily matched. She knows that no one outside the family thinks she loves Gaheris.
None of these things matter to her. She loves him with her life, and then some.
He comes in with two hares, smiling and more confident than she's ever seen him. "Thou see'st, now, that I can feed thee."
"Aye," she says, half smiling. She hasn't told him, yet, that she’s likely pregnant. "So I see. I suppose I ought to get used to eating scrawny hares, then."
He leaves them outside the door. He'll dress them in the yard, no doubt sloppily, but that's all right. "Art cross with me, wife?"
"Always and ever." She's covered in dust, her skirts stained with soot, but she goes to him anyway, slips her arms around his waist. "An thou hast a reason I ought not to be, I'll reconsider."
Gaheris cups her cheek in one of his thin hands. He isn't shaking. "I've a reason."
"Oh? Pray tell."
"I love thee." His voice is so soft -- he's watching her with the kind of reverence that sometimes makes her unsure of herself.
She kisses him, then, because she has no other way to answer.