June 24, 2016

In Which Rona Cannot Quell

January 12, 1201

"Morgan, what's the matter here?"

There clearly was a matter here. Rona and Morgan got along well enough, but not to the point where it wasn't odd if just Morgan--not Lonriad or Yvanette or Sevvie--invited just Rona--not Ashe or any of the children--to come over. Certainly not to the point where the messenger delivering said invitation had to leave his exhausted horse at the trough in the stables and was panting and sweating by the time he himself had scaled the front stairs, or to the point where the message included the words 'at once'. Not 'at your convenience', not even 'as soon as possible'...

At once.

"Thank God you're here." Morgan sighed. She was otherwise as composed as ever, but there was an air of helplessness about her that Rona hadn't seen before--and that, clearly, Morgan herself didn't have to cope with often. "It's Yvanette."

"She's not still sick, is she?" Rona bit her lip as she pulled off her hat and let her hair fall from its hasty side buns. Yvanette had been ill the past few weeks, but it had been the creeping and wanting fatigue-and-nausea sort of ill, more of a nuisance than an actual concern. Besides... if it were that, surely Ashe would have been summoned too?

"No--well, yes, but that's not it. She won't come out of her room. Not for me, not for Lonriad, not for any of the children. She might have come out for Sevvie, but he left at the crack of dawn on some mission for Lord Severin and he's not back yet. But I figured that if there was anyone else she'd be willing to see, it would surely be her own mother..."

"I hope you're right." Rona untied her cloak, only to have Morgan take hold of the back and help her slip out of it. "Do you have a key to her room?"

"Yes, on the desk." Morgan jerked her head toward the steward's table as she folded Rona's cloak. "Neither Lonriad nor I thought it right to intrude if she didn't want to see us; I hope that was the right call."

"It probably was." Knowing Yvanette, at least. Rona made for the desk and took the key, then shot Morgan a last look. The other woman remained collected, yet alert; Rona doubted her own capacity to keep herself to the former quality. "I'll let you know how it goes."

As best I can, anyway, she added to herself in afterthought as she hurried down the halls to Yvanette and Sevvie's room. Morgan would have been told about Yvanette's transformations by now, but it was uncomfortable enough for the girl to know that even her own parents talked about them amongst themselves.

She reached the door, a chorus of sniffles sounding from the other side. In inept mimicry of her mother's gentle touch, Rona knocked. "Yvanette? Yvanette, sweetheart?"

A choke. "M-mother?"

It was the closest to permission she would get. She unlocked the door to the sight of her daughter--still in her nightgown, face in her hands, tears streaming from behind them. Her baby. She's been melancholy most of her life, but a scene like this was another thing entirely.

"Yvanette, what's wrong?" She pulled her daughter into her arms, rubbing her shoulder with what aimed for a soothing motion but probably just made it worse. "Everyone's worried about you."

"Mother, I don't--" Yvanette gasped back another sob and dragged one sleeve across her eyes. "I think I--I can't--"

"Yvanette." Rona laced a hand through her daughter's soft curls and brushed them from her face. "Take your time."

"I... I..." She haltered, fighting a sob--and losing. "...I'm late..."

Rona froze mid-stroke. That... had not been a thing Yvanette had planned on. And not without reasonable concerns--concerns that weren't likely to be quelled. How could she comfort her? Was comfort even possible? "That... doesn't always mean anything."

"But it could! And with my luck--" Yvanette's shoulders pulled together, boxing her body to a shaking, shrinking mass. "I mean, I don't even know how long... What if I've already hurt it? I can't go nine months without--"

"I know. Just... remember that you don't know for sure yet, all right?" Was there no other comfort to be found? Not in her mind, anyway. Not in her heart. People were too optimistic when they said that everything always turned out in the end. "We could send for Arydath, if you like. She'll know right away whether or not you need to be concerned--and if something's amiss, she'll probably notice that too."

"M-maybe..." Yvanette bowed her head in resignation, no doubt in shambles at the thought of yet another person having to learn her secret. "I guess there's not much ch-choice, is there?"

Not much choice. A dismal thought at the best of times, and downright agony in the worst of them. "Let's just... see what she says."



Van said...

Brexit. Trump. Orlando. Future civilizations will be referring to 2016 as "The Year Humanity Fucked Themselves".

Ann said...

If there will be future civilisations, or at least civilasations descended from us humans... After all we're working hard on making that a virtual impossibility.

Poor Yvanette. :( She doesn't need that kind of stress, but it was bound to happen. I'm not convinced it will turn out bad however. Maybe her child will inherit her power though. (Maybe she'll have a litter...) In any case I'm hoping for the best. *sends good vibes*

Van said...

Yep. Might be the dolphin people, majoring in Human Studies at the University of Atlantis... :S

For Yvanette's sake, I hope it's not a litter! o_O One baby will be enough for her to worry about. But you're right; this doesn't have to end with the worst case scenario.

Ann said...

Heh, though the dolphin people might not choose to stay on this damaged planet. "So long and thanks for all the fish" and all that.

Yeah, not hoping for a litter either. Poor Yvanette! But maybe worrying about a baby could do her some good? Though I guess she'd worry most about being an unfit mother... *sigh*

Van said...

Only a matter of a few billion years before the sun explodes anyway.

Possibly! Once the baby's here, that will be a huge weight off of her chest; her main worry about children has always been the effect her transformations might have on them in utero. :S

S.B. said...

I don't suppose there's any possibility that her transformations could have no effect because the baby/babies are transforming along with her?

I haven't kept up. For the first time I'm doing more than giving money to try to hold back Trump and I've been busy. I'm doing phone banks. Going door to door and harassing people. Sitting outside grocery stores to register voters. I am tired of feeling scared and shy and consider my failure to do anything I can as making me complicit with his win. I am terrified.

Van said...

If nothing else, there's no evidence to suggest that it's impossible at the moment. Yvanette actually got pregnant in late November (I suspect she isn't overly regular as a result of the stress in her life), so she's almost definitely transformed since conceiving.

That's okay! Holding back Trump is infinitely more important than keeping current with Naroni. It's terrifying enough to think that man might be president even as someone who doesn't live in the States; I can't imagine how it must feel to be down there in the thick of it all. o_O

Winter said...

Humanity is why we need fiction more than ever.

So, this is exactly what Yvanette didn't want. It does sound like she plans on keeping the baby, though? I'm sure Arydath will present all relevant options, but Yvanette isn't giving off the same vibe that Rina did in the early days of her pregnancy. Knowing Yvanette, she's at least half-expecting to give birth to a kitten or a litter. Being able to do something 'normal' and 'right' might be helpful for her? Which... yeah, this pregnancy has to go well if she's keeping it. No unnecessary drama!!

Van said...

Indeed. And why I'm baffled as to why strict realism is a requirement for many people in regards to fiction. o_O

Alas, despite Laveria and Arydath's pioneering efforts, abortion is still controversial at best for most Naronians. :S So, while I'm sure Arydath will present it as an option, I don't think Yvanette will go for it. Birthing a kitten is probably Yvanette's primary fear, either that or some complication of a human fetus in a cat womb.