March 23, 2014

In Which Sparron Hears the Halfway Song

December 31, 1184

"Well." Searle finished smoothing his cowl, then reached for Sparron's hand and squeezed. Sparron tried not to think too hard about the possibility of having forgotten to lock the door. "That's one way to relax before a party."

"Tell me about it." It was Sparron's father's turn to host the New Years' Eve party, which had inspired even more anxiety than parties usually did--and that said something. Jeda and the girls had been around all week, which helped somewhat--and getting Hollie away from Ietrin for a while put one source of stress on hold entirely--but that did nothing to change the fact that every lord and lady and knight and all of their children would be here tonight, drinking and dancing and making noise, and maybe even engaging him in conversations he wasn't itching to have.

But Searle and his family had stopped by early. Lettie, of course, was visiting with her mother and Camaline and Jeda. Dea and Rennie got along quite well, so they'd gone off to library, leaving the pesky little siblings and cousins to play in the yard. And of course Sparron's father was still going over the preparations for tonight with Florian.

That left Sparron alone with Searle.

And that? Had admittedly not been the worst way to start the end of the year.

"It's odd to see you smiling."

So that was why his mouth ached. "Yes, it feels strange."

"Then stop."

"No." Who knew when he'd get another opportunity? "Last I checked, it wasn't illegal."

"Perhaps it ought to be." And yet, Searle couldn't have possibly looked less happy than Sparron himself must have. How was it that his laugh had commandeered his voice? The sound was halfway to song. "That looks painful."

"Not the basis by which legality is determined, Searle."

"I know, I know." Lips settling to a twinkle-eyed half-grin, Searle let go of Sparron's hand and took a step back. "It's just strange to see you in a good mood."

"Good strange?"

Searle shook his head. "Wonderful strange."

Wonderful. Even if things had been well for the past while--with Searle, with his mind, with his family for the most part--Sparron found reluctance in throwing around such words. His solace had always been in caution, and what merited caution more than the crushing force that was optimism, that most treasured agent of disappointment? 'Wonderful' risked too much.

But he supposed the past months had been... 'nice'.

"You know, I never thought I'd say this--" God, his own voice didn't sound right. How did people speak while smiling? "--but this year wasn't awful."



Van said...

Next up... 1185.

Ann said...


"How did people speak while smiling?" Practice, m'dear. ;) You should get some.

Van said...

Heheh. XD

Penelope said...

lol Sparron with his "nice" and his "not awful". But Searle knows him well enough to be able to interpret Sparronese. ;)

Van said...

It's true, Searle generally knows what Sparron means. Except when he doesn't.

Winter said...

I missed these two. Hopefully a good year follows a not-bad one!

Van said...

At this point, I wouldn't say that's impossible. ;)