December 3, 2013

In Which Lonriad Endures the Seconds

December 13, 1183

"All right, I know what you're going to say, and before you say it--no." Lonriad set himself down on the empty side of the couch and looked over at his chronically self-loathing, false-guilt-ridden best friend. Ashe sat hunched over, one hand to his temple and that elbow on his knee as a result, the other arm slumped pathetically over his lap. Sometimes, Lonriad had to wonder if some dark part of him fed off of broken people, and if that was why he kept pulling Ashe up every time something or another got him down. "No, it's not your fault."

"But--"

"No buts." Lonriad fiddled with his wedding band, a couple second thoughts about bringing Ashe here floating about. Asalaye had taken their younger two for a play date at Riona's place, but as far as he knew, Sevvie was home. If Sevvie ventured into the front rooms and caught sight of Ashe, his first thought would be to ask if Yvanette had come along with him--and if he caught them discussing her, he'd want to know why, to the point where he might upset her later. If he showed up, Lonriad would have to tell him to mind his own business, as if that ever helped.

But they were here now, so... one step at a time. Hopefully Sevvie was occupied elsewhere. "It's not as though they warned you before. You didn't know about this until after Yvanette was born."

"But I should have figured there would be some sort of catch." He slouched forward a little further, drooping like a wilted flower. "Maybe I did, on some level. You know how nervous I was about having kids, but Rona was so excited..."

"Lots of people get nervous about having kids, and lots of people get excited. Trust me, I was both." He was still! Asalaye had recently taken to hinting that their ratio of sons to daughters could have stood to be evened. "You didn't know."

"That doesn't make it any less my fault."

"It does in this case. Really, you didn't even know what was going to happen to you, much less any kids you had. Hell, you probably went into that pond thinking you weren't going to have kids either way, didn't you? I mean, you were never into men, so it's not like you would have wished for Rona's happiness, then gone off to marry some blacksmith or steward or someone."

He figured Ashe might have reacted to that--and might have needed the change in mood--but he just sat there, not so much as a shrug of acknowledgment. "Ashe?"

Still nothing. It was a long, painful string of seconds before he finally spoke again.

"What am I going to tell Yvanette?"

NEXT CHAPTER:

5 comments:

Van said...

I started a random string of character "fortunes" as a December bonus on my Tumblr. Here are the first two for anyone who's interested:

December 2: Severin, Raia, Octavius, Ashe, Isidro
December 3: Sparron, Falidor, Riona, Rona, Florian

I won't pimp any more of these in comments, but they'll be showing up on a mostly-daily basis for the rest of month.

morgaine2005 said...

Sounds like a fun December!

And oy, poor Ashe. Of course he's going to blame himself for this. But I'm with Lonriad: this isn't his fault. Or at least, it isn't anything he could have reasonably foreseen.

And yes, the temporary kitten transformations are annoying at the moment, but I'm sure Yvanette will eventually learn to control them -- so things should get better for her.

As for what Ashe tells Yvanette ... well, why not tell Yvanette that she has magical powers, and when she gets bigger, she'll learn to control them, and for right now, all the adults in her life are going to take good care of her until she learns.

Maybe that might work?

Van said...

It's true, there's no way Ashe could have guessed that this would happen. Lonriad's right about that, but Ashe always believes the most self-deprecating option. :(

It might take several years, but Yvanette should eventually learn to control the transformations, even if they're a pain in the ass now. There's a light at the end of this tunnel; it's a little faint, but it's there.

That would be one of the better ways to tell a five-year-old that the transformations aren't going to let up, methinks. I guess we'll see if Ashe thinks of it.

Ekho said...

Silly silly Ashe, I wish they would all be a little more positive about it. I mean, what can they do now? Sitting around sulking isn't going to help Yvanette, and if Ashe is regretting having kids so early - he's regretting having Yvanette!
At least Lonriad is there.

Van said...

Optimism doesn't run too strongly in the Torgleid family, unless maybe Darry got a bunch of positive genes that are otherwise unexpressed.

Sulking isn't going to help, but now that they've heard Deian's take on it, I'm guessing Ashe is operating on the assumption that nothing else will either. :(

Lonriad is probably the closest thing Ashe has to a guardian angel.