April 12, 2016

In Which Celina Judges the Ease

September 8, 1199

"You wanted to discuss something with me?" Celina asked her son-in-law, rather at a loss for what he might have possibly wanted. They had remained on good terms since her daughter's death, and he'd proven a capable father to her grandchildren. Most casual requests he could make of her would have required little fanfare, likely by letter or slipped into conversation when they saw each other next. Even a larger favor, such as minding the children if he were to leave the country for a couple weeks, wouldn't have merited an unexpected in-person visit.

"I did, yes." Nythran dropped his hands from his hips and took to tugging at his sleeve. He was not a nervous sort of man, so the tic raised some degree of alarm inside Celina's head. Surely if something had happened to one of his children, he would have been at their side?

But he smiled. The children, thank God, were fine. "Uh... you're probably aware that I've been spending a lot of time with Cladelia lately."

"I had noticed, yes." She did live in the same castle as her daughter-in-law, after all. "You've been quite a comfort to her since Searle passed. Thank you for that."

"In truth, she's been quite a comfort to me as well. My children like her as well, and their children. Holladrin in particular worships Lileina."

"I see." She did, now. At least, she thought she did. "Nythran, are you thinking about marrying Cladelia?"

"I--" He coughed out an anxious chuckle before the answer proper. That, in itself, was answer enough. "Well, I don't want to make you uncomfortable--you know, since I was married to your daughter, and she was married to your son. I still miss Riona, and I know Cladelia still misses Searle, but..."

"But it's easier to miss them together than it is to miss them on your own."

Nythran nodded. "Exactly."

"I understand. And I hope you know that I want both you and Cladelia to be as happy as possible--and that both Riona and Searle would want the same."

"So... you'd be all right with it, then?"

"Of course."

"Well! Uh... thank you." A spark in his eye rather less than subtle, Nythran's mouth fell to a sheepish grimace. "I don't know if I could have been all right with it if I were in your position, to be honest."

"For your sake, I hope you never have to find out if you would be." Both Ovrean and Holladrin, she hoped, would live the long lives their poor mother had been denied. "But I can't think of a better stepmother for your children than Cladelia--or of a better stepfather for her children than you."



Van said...

Fun fact: eye drops drain through sinus cavities and to the back of the throat, apparently. If possible, use prescription drops in the vicinity of food or drink...

Mimus said...

Hmmm, never noticed that. But then again, my mother's the one to use them more often...

It's always practical to marry off widows/widowers that married into the same family. There's no excuse for the stepparents to resent their stepchildren (assuming there ever is an excuse...).

Van said...

In this case, yeah, it's definitely practical. The kids are already cousins, so they were familiar with each other even before their surviving parents became mutually interested. And their mutual grandmother is still alive, so she's around to make sure that no stepparent fails to step up (not that either Nythran or Cladelia is at much risk of that, methinks).

Winter said...

Cladelia and Nythran seem well-suited for a second marriage. Affections appear to be within the same range, so little chance of disappointment, and they have losses and family they already share. And I'd agree it's a practical thing as regards the children. Having the new stepmother and step-siblings be already related and in the family minimizes the resentment factor of outsiders seemingly trying to force their way in and take someone's place. Best wishes to the happy couple!

Van said...

They are quite well-suited. Neither feels disproportionately stronger than the other, and you're right, the family connection is already there and there's little room for resentment. Except, as Nythran worried, from Searle and Riona's family--but, Celina has no interest in begrudging her widowed children-in-law for their romantic choices, and her other children will follow her lead there. :)