March 17, 2016

In Which Dora Doesn't Have an Answer

January 10, 1199

"You know, we invited you and Rina for lunch--not for a house-call," Dora teased Severin as she lifted her now-awake infant son from his crib. "You could have just stayed downstairs with Adonis and Rina and your children, rather than coming up here for me."

"I could have." He shrugged--just as he could have, Dora supposed, not bothered coming at all. "But I know you didn't have the easiest pregnancy. If you have anything to talk about, I figured it might be easier for you if you didn't have to ask in front of Adonis."

"Why? Adonis is proving himself a fine father, and you know how he doted on me when I was expecting."

"I didn't mean to imply the opposite of either; just that husbands and fathers tend not to look at their own wives' pregnancies most rationally. Just ask Rina how on-edge I was when she was pregnant."

"You're always on-edge." Perhaps she didn't spend enough time with Severin to fairly make that call, but she knew it was the right one. Her baby boy beamed up at her from his place in her arms, nothing but love in his blue eyes. Other than the expected fatigue of taking care of infant, he hadn't given her any trouble at all. "Ceidrid is a very good baby--and it wasn't as if I was dreadfully ill when I was pregnant."

"No, but you were... out of sorts, I figured." Severin sighed. "Adonis mentioned that you woke often throughout the night--usually in something of a state."

Dora shook her head as she wiped a bit of drool from Ceidrid's mouth. "Oh, that wasn't anything. Just... well, not even nightmares, really. Vivid dreams."

"Dreams." He frowned. Severin was a physician, and a man of science. 'Dreams' weren't his realm, nor were they likely a thing he considered to be of much importance to anyone. "How were they vivid? Bright images?"

"No, as if... as if I'd actually been there. Like they were memories, sort of--but they weren't." At least, she didn't think they were. But, the most troubling thing about the dreams had been the realization of just how little of her life she could clearly recall. "Or if they were, they weren't quite clear enough to ring any bells. Flashes, mostly. I couldn't even make out any faces."

"Hmm. You might have more luck mentioning that to Orrick than to me--though, I suppose his being your boss might complicate that." Severin shifted his gaze down to Ceidrid. He didn't much like children as a rule, but the look was more of inquiry than contempt. "You and Adonis both have blue eyes, but I don't think his are either of yours."

"They're not. We're not sure where they came from, really. My father had my eyes, and my mother's were green." She remembered their eyes. But they'd named the baby for Ceidrid's father. She couldn't remember the name of her own.

"You know, they look a bit like a few of my siblings' eyes," Severin muttered, squinting.

"Well, given how much you all keep talking about how much I look like Alyssin, maybe we really are distant relations."

"Maybe--but my mother says Holladrin and Octavius got her mother's eyes. Alyssin definitely takes more after our father."

"Oh." So that wasn't an answer, then. And Severin kept staring at the baby, frown curling. Surely she didn't suspect her of being unfaithful to Adonis--did he? "I wouldn't--"

"I know."

Still, his own eyes--green, teal green, like his mother's, like the eyes she kept seeing in her dreams--never left the baby's.