December 5, 2013

In Which Yvanette Waits Up

December 13, 1183

Yvanette was supposed to be asleep.

Her mama had tucked her in hours ago for about ten sleepless minutes before Aspen had toddled in and tried to climb into bed with her. Winter had heard the squirming and came in just after Yvanette had pulled her sister up, and Aspen insisted with the few words she knew that Yvanette was sad, and with a hug that she wasn't going anywhere until everything was better. Winter had called for their mama, who hadn't been thrilled; Aspen still slept in the crib, and their mama didn't want her sleeping in a bed without a person on either side, so she'd brought the both of them to her room for the night.

Her mother and sister hadn't taken long to fall asleep, but Yvanette was as awake as she'd been that afternoon. She didn't think she could sleep until her papa came back.

So she'd left the bed, placing her pillow on Aspen's other side just in case. She sat in the front room, like she had back when her papa had gone away all that time, when Darry was a baby and before Aspen was even born. She still didn't know what exactly had been wrong back then, but she did know about this time.

This time, it was her. And this time, she didn't miss his return.

"Yvanette?" Her papa shut the door behind him and slumped back against it. Yvanette slipped off the bench and squinted. If she had to guess how he looked upon seeing her... maybe surprised? At best? He didn't look happy. "Sweetie, what are you doing up?"

"I couldn't sleep."

"Aww, kiddo. Come here." He stepped forward and spread his arms. Yvanette ran for the safety of a hug--but though she felt safer, she didn't feel any better. "Did you have a good day today?"

"It was all right."

"Good." He kissed her on the head. "But you need your sleep. I can send for some warm milk if you think that will help."

"I don't know. I'm not thirsty." And she wasn't tired either. Or maybe she was, but she was more curious than tired. Or not curious, but maybe worried. What was that word her mama used? Anxious?

That was it. She was anxious. "Can Deian fix me?"

"Fix you?"

Her papa let go of her, but his eyes didn't. They were a little more than surprised now. "Sweetheart, you're not broken."

"So he can stop it?"

He didn't answer.

That usually meant something bad. "He can't?"

Her papa sighed. "Aww, it's not all bad news. He said you'd be able to control it eventually."

"When is eventually?"

Eventually was a long time. That much, she got. "I don't know. I'm sorry, baby."

I'm sorry. Her parents were saying that a lot lately. But there must have been something... surely? If magic existed, then why couldn't it help her? "Do you know any other magic people?"

"I wish I did." That was a 'no'. This was forever.

Forever. She'd spend her school days running from the classroom at inopportune moments, teachers scolding her for running away, kids making up cruel lies about why she did it. She'd do the same in university, only missing harder and more important lessons and having to avoid her housemates as well.

She couldn't have sleepovers. She couldn't go to dances and parties. She probably couldn't have skills or hobbies or a job, and even Sevvie wouldn't want to marry her. She couldn't have babies. What if they were kittens? She couldn't have kittens!

And with so many thoughts at once, she couldn't even cry.

"But we're going to take good care of you, all right? Until... until eventually. And even after that."

Yvanette tried to nod, but she couldn't do that either. They'd have to take care of her for a long, long time.



Van said...

A hasty post for a sluggish day.

Anonymous said...

Poor little kid. :(

I wish she'd tell her dad what was bothering her -- that she thinks that she's never ever going to be able to control her magic. And that's not what Deian said, and that's not what I believe. And I don't think Ashe believes it either. I think, if he knew how worried she was, he might be able to work a little harder, try to figure out what triggers her transformations, and maybe then they could sort-of figure out how to avoid them.

(Also, I can't help but wonder if Aspen's magic is starting to manifest as well. She knew Yvanette was sad and wouldn't leave until she was better, hmmm? That sounds mighty suspicious to me.)

I really hope Yvanette gets a handle on this soon, or at least gets a little less stressed. :( She's going to be fine, I know it, but ... good luck convincing her of that, I guess.

And I think she should give more credit to Sevvie. He's a Kemorin, that kid. Kemorins don't let little things like sex/gender, prior engagements, marriages, questionable pasts, crazy priests, and probably even kitty transformations stand between them and the ones they love.

Van said...

Deian definitely did not say "never", but I guess that Ashe saying Yvanette would be able to control it eventually wasn't enough to make her believe it, the poor kid. If she told her parents about her fears, they'd kick up their efforts another notch or ten, but I don't know if she's likely to say that any time soon; she does seem to feel needlessly guilty about the whole thing, plus she doesn't like talking about it, even when she really should. :(

But with time, even if there's no pattern to the transformations... eventually, she should be able to figure out how to control them. Deian did say that most people with these problems did, after all, and not all of them may have been told that they would (granted, who knows the size of the pool Deian's citing here). She's in for a rough haul, though.

I don't expect that Aspen's magic will manifest until after Darry's (he's older, plus she has weaker magic than he does, since Ashe would have lost some between the two conceptions; likewise, Darry's is weaker than Yvanette's), but there's absolutely a reason as to why she reads people so well years before she'll ever learn to read words.

Sevvie is a Kemorin! If he does want to marry Yvanette when they're older, and if he suspects that she wants to marry him (I think he'd back off if she didn't), he absolutely would not let the transformations stand in the way, even if Yvanette couldn't control them at all. Marriage is the least of Yvanette's concerns at this point, though.

Ekho said...

I think Yvanette will be fine, yes it's going to be tough but at the end of it she'll be stronger than most. Interesting thought whether she'll 'have kittens' I think it will be interesting to see when she's all grown up, if the magic will fade or pass on? I understand it has faded from Ashe after his transformation, but Yvanette is carrying the magic genetically, right?

Van said...

It will be tough, but at least her magic didn't manifest in some way that's bound to kill her. It may take many years, but she should eventually get to a point where she can say she's okay.

I haven't thought much how the magic is passed from parent to child. I don't know if it goes all the way down to the genes, or if it's just an environmental thing. But all of the Torgleid kids will be going to university and probably won't be reproducing until they've graduated, so I have a ton of time to figure that out.