March 27, 2014

In Which Asalaye Is Guided

January 14, 1185

It had been years since Asalaye had cleaned sheets, and she did not envy whoever would next clean hers. Or Lonriad's, as they would be by then--she wouldn't be using them, so what point was there to lay claim?

He'd sleep in another bed tonight. He wouldn't want to sleep in her deathbed so soon after she died, which was just as well because the sheets would be in no state for a living soul. Her extremities had grown numb, but enough feeling remained between her legs to know the blood was still flowing. By the time they moved her body, they'd be better off burning the sheets than washing them. Lonriad could afford better sheets anyway.

She wondered if he could comprehend just how filthy his hosen were bound to get now that he'd climbed into bed with her. Regardless, she was grateful that he had.

"My father went to get the children." His voice was barely more than breath, but it shot loud and clear in her ears as if blown forth from a trumpet. "The older three, anyway. The new little one's with Nanalie."

Her baby. She hadn't left the bed, but they hadn't denied her a look. Her fourth-born, a little black-haired beauty, dark like her father. She'd only held her once. Poor darling. "Name her for my mother?"

He nodded. His shaking chest beneath her head betrayed a brewing storm, but he did well keeping it together and she appreciated it. She didn't want to go out to his sobbing. "They're just in the next room. Nanalie will hear the children come in; you'll get to see the baby too."

Once more. She wouldn't even get to see which nose had won out. "She looks like you so far. I hope she has your nose."

"I hope she has yours."

If the dead had windows to the future, she'd know soon enough.

A figure stood at the side of the bed, though Lonriad didn't notice. Blue skirts, olive skin, soft, wavy auburn hair. Her mother. So this was how the dying went, guided by the dead.

Just a few minutes, Mama. If she thought it hard enough, there was a little more life to grasp. The children will be here soon. Just let me say goodbye.



Van said...

Stats test tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Penelope said...

"Good luck on your exam," says Penelope who is crying.

:( :( :(

Alix said...

You made me cry on my birthday. :'(

Asalaye and Lonriad were one of my favorite Naroni couples. This was a very sweet send off, though, even if too soon.

Good luck on your test!

Orilon said...

Good luck on your test.

Asalaye :(

(She was the last person I expected to die.)

Ekho said...

Okay, even though I'm sad she's going, I love the way you did this. To be guided by her mother - who went the same way - is lovely. I really hope Lonriad is okay after all this, and I hope the new baby doesn't feel guilty for her mother's death when she grows up.

Van said...

Woah, did not expect four comments upon returning from the shower!

Pen: Thanks! And sorry. :(

Alix: Ack, sorry about that! :(

They are a great couple--very well-matched, very playful, lots of banter and nose jokes. I'll miss Asalaye. :(

This update aside, happy birthday! Hope it was a good one. :)

Orilon: Thanks! And, again, sorry. :(

Ekho: Aww, thanks. While I don't think we ever actually saw Honora and Asalaye together, I figured it had to be her who guided Asalaye out, and not just because Asalaye hasn't lost very many loved ones.

Lonriad will need some time to recover, but I don't think he's the sort of person who would blame his problems on an infant. If little Honora ever blames herself, I'm sure her daddy will be quick to tell her otherwise.

Penelope said...

But is Lonriad the type to blame this on himself? :\

Van said...

Possibly. :S

Winter said...

Shades of Severin and Alina. I hope Lonriad holds up better than his father did in this situation. In fact, I hope having Severin nearby might make some difference. And he does have the baby to worry about, too, which might help in a weird way.

Van said...

Lonriad has always been the son who was most like his father, conduct in romantic relationships not being an exception. :(

It's true that if Lonriad starts to slip, he does have Severin to whip him into shape; he's been there, after all, and knows what mistakes not to make. Having Honora should help too. When Alina died, I think Vera was... six, or at least almost? In any case, Severin's kids were all old enough to keep themselves occupied during the day, which might have deprived him of a well-needed focus to an extent.