August 10, 2013

In Which Sparron Is Thrown the Ugly Word

July 4, 1182

It was late enough that most of the household had retired, but not so late that Sparron felt any immediate need to turn in himself. Some nights he would have tried anyway, but tonight he didn't and he wasn't sure why. He felt like sitting. It wasn't a reason, but that was it. There was nothing stopping him from going to bed, but he didn't want to.

He'd already spent too much of the past week in bed as it was.

What was wrong with him? Well, apart from everything he already knew about. But what were his problems in the grand scheme of things? Jeda and the girls were here for the week. Jeda, finally getting a break from the awful marriage and the stifling figurehead role and the constant stone cold baby-making sex with Ietrin. The girls, finally getting a break from the distant father who ignored them and used the full names no one else did and had probably forgotten that Gennie had a birthday coming up. Sparron ought to have been making more of an effort for them.

Ah, but what good was that now? He'd seen his sister in nieces whenever he'd been up and about. He'd made the girls laugh, even Dea--Dea! Dea, who rarely laughed at anything. God, she was so like him in some ways, and that scared the hell out of him. If he had any prayers left in him, they were for Dea. And her sister, and her mother.

And maybe that her father would drop dead.

"Oh, good. You're awake."

He caught his sister stepping into the room out of the corner of his eye. She was already dressed for bed, hair loose like she preferred it, feet bare if he could tell by the sound. Once upon a time, seeing Jeda like that hadn't been such a rarity. "Now that we're adults, are we still allowed to visit each other's rooms in the middle of the night?"

"I don't see why we wouldn't be. You're my twin." The way she kicked the door shut tacked on an 'and I don't care either way'. "I miss you. I wish I could see you every day."

"Then move back here."

She sighed and he cursed himself. He'd been both joking and serious, but he knew it was more complicated than that. He should have known better than to pretend.

"I can't." She clambered over the back of the couch and took her seat with a leap. It was one of those little things she made a point to do when Ietrin wasn't around to tell her not to. "I'm the queen now. And I know I don't have any real power, but there will be a scandal if I leave, and I don't think Ietrin would write me off like Roderick did Geneva. He'd want his revenge, and he'd know where to find me.

"And he'd come after you..."

"I could take him." He doubted he actually could, but it seemed like a good brotherly thing to say. Though a good brother would have been able to take him--not just fantasize about taking the bastard with him when his thoughts took a turn for the dark. "I could try, at least."

"You don't have to try." She probably knew better than anyone that he wouldn't have been successful if he did. I'm sorry, Sis. "And I don't know. Maybe things will get a little better soon."

"Why would they get better?" Hadn't she learned by now? Nothing ever did.

But she had, and she knew that--he could tell by the way she shifted, the cushion behind her lifting with her back, a soft rustling sound from the one beneath her. That didn't matter. Something had to have happened to make her say that. "I'm late."

She was neither enthused nor anxious; she was simply stating a fact, one plus one, the sky was blue. Sparron frowned, not sure what to make of it. "How late?"

"Two months?"

Two months. May. If he thought hard enough, he thought he remembered her dashing out during a visit, apologetic afterwards but powerless against the nausea. "That's late."

"It is." Her chin reached for her neck, the rest of her head following in a slump. But he thought, briefly, that he caught a smile. "I told him; that's why he let me come here for the week. Maybe it was too soon to mention it, but I had to."

"You did." Why had he said it? She knew that. Why couldn't he just... he didn't even know. Not make it worse, maybe. "So... he'll leave you alone for a while. And if it's a boy, he'll leave you alone for even longer. That's what you meant when you said things might get better, isn't it?"

"Might." There it was, that ugly little word that ruined everything. Sparron reached across the couch and took Jeda by the hand, but as always, it wasn't enough. She may not have even felt it. "He says he needs a boy, but he doesn't, not really. He has brothers, and daughters, and cousins. He just wants a boy. That doesn't matter. If he wants a boy... well, he'll do everything he can to get one. If he wants a boy, then I need a boy."

NEXT CHAPTER:

17 comments:

Van said...

Promise--the next post has nothing to do with babies or pregnancy.

morgaine2005 said...

YAY! Jeda is off the baby-making hook for the foreseeable future! Two months is a long time to be "late"!

But ... I don't know whether to hope for a boy or a girl. On the one hand, QUEEN DEA! On the other, Ietrin leaves Jeda alone. On a third hand, Jeda needs to learn to stand up for herself, and another daughter combined with Ietrin being insufferable might give her the impetus to do that.

At least, even if this pregnancy doesn't work out, she's fulfilled his condition ...

*fingers crossed for Jeda and her kids with one hand, flip of the bird to Ietrin with the other*

Van said...

You're right. Whether it's a boy or a girl, Jeda did fulfill Ietrin's "get pregnant before the end of the year" condition, and with plenty of time to spare, too. He didn't say anything about it having to be a boy (granted, he may have figured it was a given, but still).

That said, if it is another girl, Ietrin could easily pull that crap again, and Jeda may not get so lucky. :S

But who knows? Maybe a third girl for Ietrin to ignore and guilt her for would be the breaking point for her, and Ietrin would be on the receiving end of a decade's worth of pent-up frustrations.

And whatever parts this new sibling comes out with, the chances of him or her being a better potential ruler than Dea are slim to none. ;)

Orilon said...

Just for Jeda's sake I hope this is a boy, even if it does remove the potential for Queen Dea.

Van said...

It's not impossible that Jeda could have a boy and Dea could still be queen one day. ;)

morgaine2005 said...

*bites nails* I just hope that this means that Unborn Prince hasn't rolled an early death date, because Jeda doesn't deserve that. If Ietrin actually bothered to love this kid the way a child should be loved, and not just as Son and Heir and Extension of Myself, I'd say Ietrin doesn't deserve that. (Anything else you can do to Ietrin that doesn't involve other, nice people suffering, however, is still fair game as far as I'm concerned. ;) )

Mimus said...

Meh, even if it is a boy, he doesn't need to die in order for Dea to become queen. As long as Ietrin dies before the potential prince is old enough to rule (for example while he's still an infant/toddler), he can be easily "hijacked" in order for his oldest sister to become queen, even if it were only to rule until her brother is of age. But with help from the other nobles, Dea could have a fair chance to become the queen permanently.

Van said...

Morgaine: I don't roll death dates before they're born, so I can't say much about how long the new little prince/ss will live (though I do have some plans for them...).

As for Ietrin... eh, I don't know how much he'd love a son. It might be like a Mordred/Gawaine relationship, where his son is his heir and he has to teach his son how to succeed him, and it's mainly all about duty. But who knows, maybe he will have a shred of genuine affection for one of his kids with Jeda.

Mimus: Indeed, there are plenty of scenarios in which a little brother would not necessarily stop Dea from becoming queen. He could become king at a young age and have Dea as a regent who eventually gets the main job. He may decide that he has no interest in ruling and may abdicate. He could become a monk. He could be impotent or sterile. He could be a prick like his daddy, and Severin and Lorn may actively plot against him and in favour of Dea (Octavius would be torn because they're both his grandkids). Even if there's a little XY gestating in Jeda right now, the future's hardly set in stone. ;)

Also, I don't think I've seen you around here before? Welcome! :)

Mimus said...

Hm, I honestly doubt, that "he" - assuming, of course, that it is a boy - could become a prick with Jeda's (and Octavius'?) influence. And I have no doubt that Severin would plot to get Dea on the throne anyway, if only to throw a wrench into Ietrin's plans.

Thanks. :)
But I am actually the anonymous who commented on "In which Laralita finds nothing in the violet". xD'

Van said...

That is true--any theoretical son of Ietrin would have plenty of influence and genetic material that didn't come from his father.

And that does sound like the sort of thing that Severin would do. XD

XD XD I was wondering who posted that comment! Good to have a name to the words now! :)

Mimus said...

And considering how well Ellona's son Kaldar seems to have turned out despite being around Ietrin at least part of the time, there is still hoping.

Well, it wouldn't be surprising after the pirate incident. xD

Yeah, last time I wrote, I hadn't noticed that I could use a penname. *facepalm*
I tend to overlook such things.

Van said...

That is very true! Kaldar is a bit of a scamp, but his heart is in the right place, and I don't think anyone who knows him well doubts it. :)

Things like the pirate incident sort of seem like what Severin does for kicks. XD I guess we'll have to wait and see what he does if this little one is a boy.

No worries! Blogger isn't always the most intuitive of sites.

Pen said...

*pops out of hiding*

Did you do something to Sparron? He looks sort of smoldering in this post.

Van said...

I did change his stubble a while back, when Hat's Pooklet'd versions came out; his hair is Volatile, but the stubble is Incendiary, layered with a brown Maxis stubble overlay I whipped up forever ago in a friend's game.

That shirt also tends to make Sims look good, I find. ;)

Winter said...

Have I said I love these two? Sibling relationships always get me.

I've discovered I love Jeda more than I hate Ietrin. The last thing I want is for him to get anything he wants, but Jeda deserves to have him off her back. She shouldn't be afraid of being locked up or have whatever else done to her so Ietrin can go chase his spermless whale. Here's a prince who doesn't become king (for non-tragic reasons!)

Winter said...

Here's to^, says the mass-commenter.

Van said...

I'm glad you love reading them, because I love writing them. :)

I'm with you there. As little as Ietrin deserves to have his way, Jeda doesn't deserve to be treated this way, and whatever stops that the fastest... well, that's what's needed.