February 8, 2016

In Which Had Trades Musings on Knowledge

March 17, 1198

"So... what do you think it'll be? Boy? Girl?" Had asked mainly for the sake of asking something. If he'd been asked as a young father who of all the boys he knew would be the most likely other grandfather of his first grandchild, he wouldn't have considered Fenrick Wythleit as a possibility. Fenrick wasn't that much younger than he was, if he forced himself to remember that, but he'd never quite shaken the fact that one of his best childhood friends was this man's stepmother; in that way, he'd somehow lodged Fenrick in mind with the next generation.

This was ridiculous, as there was particularly youthful about Fenrick. Had didn't dislike his daughter-in-law's father, but he struggled to name a more serious, almost grim acquaintance off the top of his head.

"I see no reason to guess. All that matters to me is that my daughter delivers safely."

"Ah, yes, of course." Fenrick did, at least, have his priorities in order. "I didn't mean to imply that anything else mattered more. I was just curious as to whether or not you had an inklings."

"On what could I base an inkling? It's not as if we can see through Geneva's skin and seek the telltale signs."

"Huh. Wouldn't that be something if we could." Had smirked, remembering something Raia had once said about an idea that bats saw by sound. If that same principle could be somehow applied to a developing fetus some day... "Could be useful, knowing beforehand. Then again, I'm sure there are some who'd use that knowledge the wrong way."

Fenrick shrugged. "The same could be said of most knowledge--all about who uses it and how."

"I suppose you're right there. Perhaps for Hal's sake, it would be more immediately useful if we could see through doors." Arydath had had to lock it to keep the silly boy from intruding on the birth--and try as he might, Had hadn't been able to pry him from the keyhole. But better silly boy than a careless husband?

"Can't say I blame him," Fenrick agreed, coming the closest to smiling that Had had ever seen from him. "No one ever told me quite how tough this would be, waiting for my daughter to give birth. It was tough enough waiting for my wife to give birth. You just... you never know when it will go wrong. Knowing for sure that all will be fine? That would be useful prior knowledge."

Had nodded--but, the sight of Fenrick's wife on the stairs, spring in her step and grin on her face, was ample assurance of the favorable outcome. "Eilyssa?"

"Had. Fenrick." She finished her descent and kissed her husband on the cheek. "Geneva did wonderfully. She and the baby are both in excellent health."

Fenrick sighed. "Thank God."

"Definitely." Hal, no doubt, had burst into the room at the first possible second. Winter and Arydath probably stood at the foot of the bed, Winter with a hand over her own growing middle. As for Geneva and the baby, they must have been cuddled up together in the bed, like Lyraina had been with Hal when he was new.

And Had?

Had was a grandfather. Happy as he was, he doubted he'd ever be used to the idea. "Thank God indeed."

Eilyssa traded smiles with him and Fenrick both, then nodded toward the stairs. "Come along, you two. Come and meet your grandson."