August 19, 2013

In Which Abrich May Have Enough Time

August 29, 1182

Not being an heir--and, therefore, not needing his own--Abrich hadn't thought he'd be one of those men who spent every minute of their wives' pregnancies hoping for a son. He'd never even liked those men. It was obvious to anyone who'd paid a shred of attention to any pregnancy that a woman had no control over whether she had a boy or a girl. And the world needed women just as much as it needed men, didn't it?

But logic be damned, Abrich had wanted a boy since Meraleene had told him she'd missed a course, and not because he didn't want a daughter.

He didn't want the name.

His mother had already insisted on him holding off naming a daughter for her--"Can't have too many Celinas so close together!" she'd told him and Rona both after Xeta's little girl had been born, though Rona had her other plans anyway--and had his wife not been Meraleene, it likely wouldn't have been a problem. But with his mother's name out of the question, then the default choice was... her mother's.


The woman he loved who was not his wife. What dreadful curse was upon his head, Riona sharing her name with his long-dead mother-in-law?

"She seems to like you." But as usual, Meraleene was shy to even look at him. He didn't dislike her--he supposed he even liked her, maybe--but the poor woman got the sense she wasn't loved. Maybe one day he'd get there, but not any time soon. What was wrong with him? He'd never had a chance with Riona, yet still, he yearned.

He couldn't name his firstborn after a woman he yearned for, not if that woman wasn't her mother.

"She kind of looks like a..." He stopped, trading a look with the baby. There wasn't a next word. He'd hoped to find some resemblance to some common-yet-adorable object, something they could call her instead of her official name, but nothing came to mind. She just looked like a baby.

"She looks tired. Maybe put her in the basket."

He owed it to Meraleene, so he did as he was told and put their daughter to bed. "Night... sweetie." Perhaps he could make someone up for a namesake? A beloved aunt? No, if Meraleene didn't know that he had no aunts, surely his mother would set her straight...

"Abrich? Can we talk about her name?"

Shit. Here it was. "All right."

She beckoned him to the bed with a finger and he answered with the slow shuffling of a prisoner en route to the gallows. Here it was. Riona, Riona, Riona. Poor Meraleene would never even know.

"So," she started, waiting just long enough for him to join her on the bed--but not long enough for him to get comfortable. That would have been about another decade. "Arydath guessed that the baby would be a girl, and I've heard how accurate she is, so... well, I've kind of been calling her something in my head a while now."

No surprise. Abrich had been calling his son 'Dalston'. "All right..."

"You don't mind?"

Did he have the right to? Surely he couldn't give his reasons? "It's fine. Whatever it is, I..." He swallowed. God, he was going straight to hell. "...I already love it."

"Great. Danthia it is, then."

...WHAT? Had she just said--? "...Danthia?"

"Yes, for my stepmother." He knew that. What he didn't know was why. Not that he cared. "I know, I know, it would be more conventional to start with my mother, but I never knew her. Danthia is the only mother I've ever known, and I've always wanted to name my first daughter for her."

Huh. If the second daughter was Celina, then... and if there were a few sons in there as well... then that made Riona the third daughter. If Meraleene even wanted Riona. Would the third daughter give him enough time? More so than the first, at least. "Danthia..."

"And I know that Tivie named her baby Danthia, but they've been calling her Dani since she was born; I was thinking we could use Thia as a shortened name for ours?"

"Thia." His little Thia. He would have been happy with any name but Riona, but even with all those hundreds of names to choose from, he couldn't think of one he liked more. "Thia it is."



Van said...

Can't swing a cat without hitting a baby this year... :S

Mimus said...

Oy, that´s just mean! You can't throw unsuspecting cats at innocent babies! XP

Looks like his wife saved Abrich a lot of mental trouble here. Hopefully without even knowing it.

Pen said...

*shields own cat from hazardous babies*

Talk about awkward! But I think was struck me more was how little Abrich knows his own wife for the possibility of a Danthia to not even cross his mind.

On a related yet unrelated note, where can I find Abrich's hair? It needs an upgrade.

Pen said...

I should really read comments before I hit publish. That one sentence is so not a sentence. :p

"I think I was struck more by the fact that Abrich knows his wife so little that the possibility of a Danthia never even crossed his mind."

Van said...

Mimus: Fair enough. XD

Meraleene did Abrich a huge favour here, and you're right, she probably doesn't know it. I'm sure she's figured out that he's hung up on someone else, but she probably doesn't know who; she and Riona run in different circles.

Pen: Hazardous babies. XD

It's true, Abrich does not know Meraleene very well. They've been married a while now, but not much about their relationship has changed. They seem to be cordial, but not affectionate.

Abrich's hair! It was a relief to see that Helga hairs don't Pooklet too badly, since I still have plenty of those lying around.

Pen said...

Yesh! Thanks, Van. I was thinking about Nymphying it. I've never Nymphied anything before, and I use the female version of that hair on occasion for my scruffier ladies.

Van said...

Nymphy does have nice textures! I haven't downloaded any of her stuff in a while because I like having the Pooklet colors to match, but I do love those textures. :)

Anonymous said...

Ooh, Nymphied hair? Sounds awesome ...

However, in regards to the post ... I must admit that my primary thought when I first read this was, "Oh, she's THAT Riona's daughter." And I'm glad that Meraleene named her firstborn for Danthia for reasons that have nothing to do with Abrich. I can't help but imagine that Danthia was an awesome mom to all of her daughters, biological and otherwise. Oh, and her sons too. ;)

As for Abrich ... Jiminy Cricket, get over it already. You're married and you have a baby now. AND Riona is not. Interested. Try to focus on other things, Abrich. Yes, the heart wants what it wants, but ... geez ...

Lastly -- is that my selfsim holding a baby??? :-O

Van said...

Yep, Meraleene and her twin sister are the younger, not-so-scandalously-conceived daughters of the ill-fated Riona Andronei. :S

Danthia's been nothing short of awesome with all of her kids, step and biological alike. Riona might have been a good mother too had she gotten the help she needed, but Meraleene doesn't remember her at all. The name might pop up on a later daughter, but the first woman Meraleene wanted to honour is the one who raised her.

Yeaaah, it's about time Abrich moved on. But some people are ridiculously bad at the whole "moving on" thing. :S

And it would seem so, yes.

Pen said...


If I had known how easy it is to Nymphy, I would have been doing it ages ago. :o

Van said...

Ooooh, that looks awesome! :D

Winter said...

Abrich, Abrich, Abrich. I could see if maybe Riona was unhappy holding out some hope, but there's just no chance.

Meraleene made a great choice. If, in the future, she wants a Riona, maybe having one that isn't THE Riona would help Abrich get over himself. Or maybe it won't, but hopefully he'd be able to put his feelings aside when it came to a baby who didn't choose her own name.

Rather nervous about the preview pic.

Van said...

Yeah, there's no chance in hell that the Riona thing is going to happen. All Abrich can really do now is kick himself for not making his feelings known before Izzy came along (probably wouldn't have helped anyway; I can't really see Riona being interested in Abrich even if there was no Izzy) and move on.

But yes, Danthia was a good choice for the baby's name. As for a future Riona... well, I can't imagine the name would change the way Abrich feels about the kid, but it would be pretty awkward if he doesn't get over this by then.