June 8, 2014

In Which Roddie Makes a Start

December 28, 1185

As of two days ago, Roddie was uncle to a grand total of nineteen nieces and fourteen nephews. Thirty-three kids in total, though 'kids' could be a stretch for some of them. Alina Wythleit, his eldest niece, was his junior by a mere thirteen months. Even Alya, at twelve, didn't really feel like a niece to him, and not just because they were too close in age. Roddie had been an uncle since he was barely more than a year old, when he'd scarcely known what an uncle was, much less how to be one. The nieces and nephews closer to his age? Well, they'd always be more like cousins.

But the little ones were a different story. The more recently they'd been born, then, tautologically, the older he'd been--and the more of an uncle he'd felt. So never before had he felt like such an uncle as when he'd been handed this newest one, Riona's youngest boy, and he didn't think that was just a result of his having grown up.

Truth was, he'd learned one hell of a lot from Ilvina. Severin de Cervantes was the first of his siblings' children to have been born since Roddie had known her, since he'd learned just how cruel the world and those in it could be. He'd been relieved to hear that Riona had delivered a boy--not because he'd wanted a nephew over a niece, but because he couldn't promise a niece anything without being stifling or patronizing. He couldn't promise her she'd be respected, or even treated half-well. He couldn't promise her that no one would ever try to deny her an opportunity, or that no one would want to force her to be something she wasn't.

But a nephew...

"You're going to be better than that," Roddie promised him. "You're not going to be like Ilvina's father or Isidro's father or any of the other creeps out there. You're going to be good. You'll be assertive enough that no one will walk all over you, but you'll never push another person's boundaries like that. Never. You're going to be good, and people will like you.

"Because you're going to respect them."

Severin only blinked because he hadn't in a while. He was already listening. "You're good."

"How do you know? All he does is cry and sleep."

Alya. Damn, he'd been so focused on the baby he hadn't even noticed her. "Shit. Sorry."

"It's fine. I just got here." Her eyes shifted to the baby, mouth morphing to a grin. Her new brother's birth had been the first she'd been allowed to witness. From the little he knew of birthing, Roddie would have guessed it was a scarring thing to watch, but it wasn't the first time he'd suspected Alya of being tougher than he was. "I just wanted to say hello. I'll leave you two to whatever you were doing."

"Stay as long as you like. It's not like you're bothering us."

"Well, I'm not concerned about bothering you," she assured him, stepping forth to coo over the baby. "But this little one's new. He needs to get a glimpse of the world without being bothered. Don't you, Sevvie?"

"You're not bothersome. But maybe he does need to be bothered." Because who couldn't be bothered by certain things? Like what happened to Ilvina? Not the sort of person Roddie wanted his nephews to be, that was certain. "There's a lot out there to be bothered by--that we should be bothered by."

Alya frowned, dark eyes shading over as they often did when sorrow struck. It was a sad sight, but she got it. She never did need much explained. "That's true."

"But between you and me and your parents, I think he'll turn out fine." Maybe that was wishful thinking. But it would happen if Roddie had anything to do with it, and the worst thought in the world was that he personally could do nothing. Was it somehow out of line for him to want a jump-start on improving the world? It couldn't have thrown a loop to some cosmic plan, his wanting a slightly better foundation for when his own children came to be?

"And maybe he'll help with the world overall. I mean, he's just one baby. But that's a start, right?"

Alya nodded. No, she never did need much explained. "Have to start somewhere."



Van said...

This was one of those posts where I took the pictures, completely forgot about what the post was supposed to be about, found nothing helpful on my bare-bones outline, and just sort of wrote blindly from the pictures. *sigh*

Oh well. 1185 is now over. At thirty-seven posts, it's not the longest year Naroni's ever had, but it... kind of felt long. Not that I have too much planned for 1186 yet. I think I only have stuff into February so far. :S

Ekho said...

Oh Look! Another Severin!! :D
Very cute! Sheeeesh, Severins got a lot of grankids, I mean geez! AND they're still coming :P
I like Roddie, he seems quite mature for his age, and I like his sense of duty for his family.

Van said...

Sooooo many Severins... XD

And yeah, the older Severin does have a ton of grandkids. Crazy thing is, he and Nora could still theoretically have more children (though I think the very thought of another one could kill them both, and I'm inclined to agree there).

Roddie is quite mature, and his acquaintanceship with Ilvina has only added to his perspective. I don't think we need to worry about how he'll grow up.