August 23, 2013

In Which Searle Gives the Only Gift

September 2, 1182

It wouldn't be long now.

Searle was alone, but that was as it should have been. Who would he want here, anyway? His wife was dead. His mother was dead, half his siblings were dead, the other half and his father a kingdom away. He'd seen the baby before Morgan put her down for the night, saddened not to have more time with her, relieved that she would not remember losing him. His uncle and aunt and cousins had seen him as well, but none sat with him and he didn't blame them for it. Time would go on with or without him, and so would the toils and patterns of daily life. They were needed elsewhere.

His uncle had taken the liberty of summoning his children. Tivie had called to make some last attempt at peace--still not at arm's length, but if the tear in her eye hadn't just been a speck of dust, more grieved than he deserved. Landus had tagged along; he hadn't spoken more than he deemed necessary, but that was probably for the best, as was Cladelia's last parting mutter of 'Goodbye, Uncle Searle'. Neither would ever know, and they were better off for it. The poor little baby would be better off too.

No one would miss him much.

But he hadn't expected to die having remembered what joy was, and Viridis had given him that. She'd given him eight happy years. She and the baby, her little namesake, had given him ten happy days. She'd even gone with a peaceful smile on her pale face, hand squeezing his until she lacked the life to hold. Though she'd hoped otherwise--and he never thought anyone would hope such a thing about him--he'd known then that he would join her soon.

So he'd given their daughter the only gift he could, the only gift he could give Viridis before reuniting with her. His daughter would not know him, but one day, maybe she'd know that he'd spent his last days escorting her out of lonely, sickly Carvallon and into Naroni, where she would grow up in the care of her doting grandfather, with no shortage of aunts and uncles to spoil her and cousins to play with. Viridis had given him happiness.

The least he could do was pass that along to their baby.

She'll be all right, Viridis. His cloudy eyes drew strength from the thought, the multicolored blur of a room taking shape as they cleared. If he squinted, he could almost see her.

She'll be all right. She'll be happy.

NEXT CHAPTER:

15 comments:

Van said...

Sorry for the drabble post.

Penelope said...

It's not drabble, he's dying! Or at least, he thinks he's dying. This is all very relevant action.

*shakes head* Self-pitying Searle, right to the very end. "No one will miss me! My baby will be better off never having known me!" Viridis might have made him happy, but she sure didn't seem to make him a better person. And was it really eight years? *blinks* Time flies when you're having Naronies.

I do hope the baby is healthy.

Van said...

Searle is and was and always will be who he is, but I think Viridis made him feel more than that. :/

Yep. Eight years. :S Weirdly, the birthday of both Viridises was also Viridis and Searle's anniversary. August 10th is apparently a significant date for this little family.

As of right now, the baby is healthy as far as anyone can tell.

Mimus said...

I'm not sure if this is only self-pity he emits here. To me, it also sounds like regret for not having done more for the people around him and thinking that it would be his punishment to not be missed, even if he is wrong about that.
And he probably thinks that his youngest daughter is better off without him, because he doesn't have much confidence left in his parenting abilities, seeing his track record.

I think Blogger capitalizes so many of my words because I write from Germany. I have red squiggly lines under almost every word, too, because the system doesn't recognize the english words. xD'

Mimus said...

I'm not sure if this is only self-pity he emits here. To me, it also sounds like regret for not having done more for the people around him and thinking that it would be his punishment to not be missed, even if he is wrong about that.
And he probably thinks that his youngest daughter is better off without him, because he doesn't have much confidence left in his parenting abilities, seeing his track record.

I think Blogger capitalizes so many of my words because I write from Germany. I have red squiggly lines under almost every word, too, because the system doesn't recognize the english words. xD'

Mimus said...

Damn, why is there a double post now?! >.<
I take everything back, it's all Blogger's fault!

Van said...

Sometimes, the only good thing about Blogger is that it's not LiveJournal. :S

I do think Searle has always had some degree of regret in him--not necessarily for his actions, but for the people who got hurt because of them, particularly his children. And yep--based on the others, he really doesn't have much reason to believe that he'd be a good father to little Viridis, even if his main problem there was always a lack of trying. :S

Peeennn said...

I cracked up at the blogger gods striking again! Is anyone else having this problem where sometimes you'll go to a blogger page and the sidebars, footers and other assorted widgets will be vibrating up and down? Am I the only one who is seeing this? I don't know if it is some sort of incompatibility with Chrome or what. But I would hope that they were compatible since they were made by the same. freaking. company.

Van said...

Vibrating widgets? Wow, that's weird even for Blogger. :S

I have, however, noticed that Blogger and Chrome do not play nice. I generally use Chrome for most things I do on the internet, including reading Blogger sites, but I find I have to post from Firefox, or else my formatting gets all messed up. But yeah, I've never understood it because they're both Google.

Not that Google has ever paid much attention to Blogger. Maybe that's its problem. Blogger is a neglected middle child.

Winter said...

Searle, Searle, Searle. If this is the end, you did do the noble thing in bringing the baby to Severin.

If Viridis is his "I see dead people" vision, then maybe he's come a lot further he thinks. The old Searle would have seen Riona if he had any say in the matter.

Van said...

If this is the end, then I agree. He did the best he could for his daughter, the only child his wife will ever have.

He did make progress in that sense. He was able to move on from Riona, eventually. If he'd seen anyone but Viridis, he might have shocked himself back to good health. :S

Mimus said...

"If he'd seen anyone but Viridis, he might have shocked himself back to good health."

Why, oh why do have the mental image of Searle suddenly going: "Gah! Mother!" and jumping out of bed? xD'

Van said...

XD XD XD

Probably because that's definitely what would have happened had Cladelia shown up! ;)

morgaine2005 said...

Oh, Searle. :( Seriously, nobody (except for Viridis) is sitting with him? I would have thought that Severin would be there, just on principle ...

Or did he take a turn for the worst much sooner than anybody was expecting?

*sigh* Well ... at least he got the baby to people who will love her more than anything. Even if Viridis can't raise her daughter, she's with the people Viridis would want her to be with. (I certainly wouldn't have given her to the Androneis ...)

Farewell, Searle, if this is farewell. At least you'll be with Viridis.

Van said...

I debated whether or not someone ought to have been there before I shot the posted, but I ended up just going with Viridis. Somehow, given who Searle is, it just seemed more fitting.

I guess I'll say that Severin was otherwise occupied with something that couldn't wait. That's as good a half-assed Watsonian explanation as any.

Searle did get his daughter to people who will love her to pieces. And you're right, Viridis would have wanted her daughter to be with her family if something happened to both her and Searle.

Funny that you bring up the Androneis, because I'm actually supposed to shoot a post with Searle's sister Celina this weekend, and it will deal with a ton of that family's baggage. I may need to put a trigger warning on that post. :S