June 19, 2016

In Which Celina Is So Near

December 20, 1200

"Aydelle, I'm so sorry I couldn't get here yesterday." Yesterday had, of course, been the day when Gennie had been down for the count with the migraine of the year--and with the nanny down with a bad cold and everyone else being as busy as they always were, Celina had been the one stuck watching baby Jadin all day. Yesterday had also been the day when her mother had dropped by, mentioning that Camaline was at Aydelle's, as her labor had begun. Of all the rotten timing. "I had my nephew..."

"It's fine. It was my easiest labor yet, and it might have looked odd had you shown up. I don't know if my daughters have any idea that we even know each other, so your not being there might have saved you some prying questions." Aydelle let out a soft, tired laugh. Celina sort of knew Aydelle's daughters--mainly through family connections with their husbands, truth be told--and surely Aydelle's daughters had some idea of their mother's less-than-conventional love life... but, yes, Aydelle was probably right. Hanna, at least, couldn't let a question go unanswered, and Leina was probably too conventional to make a convincing show of indifference.

"Kid has your eyes, by the way."

"...Oh." So... it probably was hers, unless Aydelle had been sleeping with one of her mother's relatives or one of the royals. And King Roderick's surviving sons, at least, were all in Dovia now. "I, uh... well, I suppose I knew it was a possibility." But dear Lord--the thought was a lot to get used to!

"I don't doubt it--but I have another odd thought to throw your way, if you think you can handle it?" Aydelle arched a brow in a bid for permission. Fairly certain that nothing could require the same mental adjustment that her being both an eighteen-year-old mostly-woman and a father did, Celina nodded. "All right, I don't know if your mother told you, but your half-siblings are indeed Camaline's. They were conceived with the help of the Naron, but Deian himself told Camaline that all the children of two women would be girls--something about the factor that results in boys only being produced by males.

"So you can imagine my surprise when my baby turned out to be a boy."

How insufficient, then, the scope of 'fairly certain' was. "So... what am I, then?"

Aydelle shrugged. "You're whatever the hell you want to be. Maybe your mastery of your own body expands beyond what even you yourself are aware of."

"Maybe. That would make sense, given everything else." Still one hell of an idea to get used to, though. And a hell of a difficult explanation if she ever saw fit to tell Marsden.

"Anyway, he's just upstairs; do you want to see him?"

It wouldn't have made things any easier if she didn't. "All right. Could you bring him down while I put away my hat and cloak? I'm wearing a tunic underneath. I kind of thought the first time he saw his father should be... well, as his father."

"If that's how you feel." Aydelle winked as she turned around and made for the stairs. "Do what you have to do. I'll just be a minute."

She waited for the last hint of a trailing nightgown to vanish, then removed her winter garb and draped the cloak over a nearby chair, hat dangling from the corner. She picked the braids out of her hair, then sighed as her body morphed--head to toe, inside and out, blood and all its little mysteries included.

"Ready?" Aydelle called from upstairs.

Ready. Or, as close to ready as possible. "Yes."

Sure enough--grey eyes, clear as day, even from several feet back. "My father's name was Fardred, and I wanted to honor him, but I thought it somewhat cruel to stick this little fellow with that name. So, this is Farr."


Farr. So near.

"Hello, Farr."



Van said...

All in all, not the worst post I could have posted on Father's Day?

Also, say goodbye to the year 1200!

Winter said...

Definitely not! Celina's already a better father than, say, Karlspan the Absent. And she makes a pretty good-looking dad, too, so...

Interesting to hear that her transformation extends to the genetic level! I wonder if it's something that will be passed on to a degree, like Ashe has to his older children? What's fun for an eighteen year-old, dyed-in-the-wool Kemorin could be horrifying to a little kid who doesn't know what's happening. As much as Celina seems to be taking advantage of her powers, I'm kind of hoping it doesn't pass on. There's no way to be sure a kid would be another Celina and not a Yvanette.

Van said...

Haha, yeah... Karlspan does have the bar set pretty low. XD

Yep! When the idea for this storyline hit me, I kind of decided--just to differentiate from the Xeta/Camaline kids and any other same-sex pair offspring the Deian and Co. may deem to aid in the conception of--that Celina's second sex chromosome was "variable" depending on the gonadal state at any given time. It just seemed like the right move given the origin of her powers.

I haven't decided whether or not the "variable" chromosome will be passed down, or whether it will be fixed to whatever it was at the time of conception. At this point, for the sake of not running the risk of repeating storylines, I'm leaning toward the latter option. Naroni could benefit from more Celinas, but no one deserves what Yvanette's going through.

S.B. said...

I felt the same way reading this and wondering just exactly how far the genetic transformation went and if there was an age when it appeared, like puberty. It would terrify a small child and make them vulnerable to the worst kind of bullying.

Aydelle is a treasure.

Van said...

I suspect Celina would have always been able to transform at will, but it never occurred to her to try until puberty. That was probably for the best; you're right that a younger child would have been terrified, and that terror and confusion would have made for increased exposure risk... and therefore increased likelihood of bullying. :S

At this point, I have no plans for Farr or any other child Celina might have to inherit the ability.