July 25, 2016

In Which Ashe Places the Higher Priority

August 27, 1201

"You know, I can't remember the last time I heard someone was looking for me and it didn't turn out to be you two." Deian's rocky features squirmed in disgust, but not without some hint of sadistic pleasure. Whatever he truly felt about their presence, Ashe didn't have any worry to waste on Deian. He and Lonriad had made for the forest in silence, the sounds of the wind and the leaves and the mewing grandchild in Ashe's hands more than enough conversation.

If anyone could restore the baby's human form, it would have been Deian. And, frankly--Deian had to be able to. If he couldn't, Yvanette would never forgive herself for the fate of her child.

Nor would Ashe forgive himself for the fate of his.

"Look, we don't have the patience for your shit right now." Thank God for Lonriad's dauntless, stupid boldness. "Yvanette--"

"Gave birth to that kitten." Deian yawned. "She's lucky, really. You humans have the hardest time of labor; I'd guess that shooting this tiny thing out of a cat's cunt would be more akin to defecating."

"Never mind the labor! Can you make it human again, or not?"

"Do you really want me to? Think of how easy this thing would be compared to a human baby. It would probably have a better life, too, judging by what wrecks the rest of you are."

"That doesn't matter. It's a human baby." Even if its tail hung between the gap of his hands. Even if its hind claws dug into the his palms, if each individual fur asserted itself on his fingertips. Ashe could no more betray his daughter by believing her firstborn a cat than he could push the sun back eastward and make the day begin anew. "Isn't a human supposed to live as a human? Even if by some fluke it happened to be born something else?"

"Hmm." Smirking, Deian ran a narrowed gaze down Ashe's form from top to bottom. Christ, those eyes might as well have been unwanted fondling fingers. "Is that the sentiment you soothe yourself to sleep with, little girl?"

"Hey!" Lonriad's bark was enough to jerk Deian's focus back to him as Ashe sought refuge in the sight of his grandchild's borrowed body. How small and cold a body it was. How fat and healthy the child might have been from a mother who'd had a father other than him. "You shut your fucking mouth about that. If you haven't lived it, you don't get to say what's what."

"And that's the tone you take with someone you want performing magic on your grandchild?"

"When that someone is you? Don't be surprised."

Ashe looked down at the baby again. Who cared what the hell he was, or what Lonriad thought he was or what Deian thought he was. All he wanted to be just then was someone with a happy daughter and a healthy grandchild. "It's fine, Lonriad. I don't care what he says about me. I just want him to help the baby."


"No. I want to go back to Yvanette with good news. I don't want to think about what she'll do to herself if we don't." A rudimentary purr rocked the tiny spine, its shiver amplified on the joints of his hand. A baby, in want of its mother. A mother, in fear for her baby. The rest of the world could have been on fire and it would have meant nothing to him. "Deian, I'll never ask anything of you again if that's what you want, but please do this. Please. Just save my..." It occurred to him that he hadn't checked. He took one hind paw between his thumb and forefinger and pried the legs just far enough apart to see what was between. "...my grandson."

Deian studied him again, frown firm. Then, he sighed. "You used to be much more fun to play with, you know that? Fine. I do know one way I can help--but, given that this is your daughter's energy at play here, I should warn you that it might affect her too."

Then--no. No... it was Yvanette's decision. She'd made it in a trembling whisper as she'd placed her son in his hands. "She said-- she said she wanted you to do whatever it took."

Lonriad, probably more on what would have been Sevvie's side--and Ashe's side too, if he were honest--of placing Yvanette as the higher priority, gave a reluctant kick to the ground with the toe of his boot. But, he said nothing. Perhaps placing Yvanette as the higher priority was more about respecting her wishes than anything else.

"All right, then. Now, I can't make the cat aspect go away, exactly--but I can separate it from the body, providing that the mother has exercised her powers enough by this point. If she hasn't, I suppose we could try again some other time. Though, granted, I'm just speculating in regards to Yvanette's case, since this is really only done on lycanthropes, but... well, I suppose we'll just pat ourselves on the back and call it science, shall we?" Deian winked. Eyes like that weren't much more accommodating solo than they were in pairs. "Any chance either of you are aware of the concept of a familiar?"



Van said...

Lonriad, son of Severin, son of Lonriad, son of Severin, son of Lonriad, son of... Roderick.

Ann said...

Wait, what? So Yvanette and wee Lonriad will each get a cat that's somehow part of them, but isn't? Still confused...

Nice pattern there though. ^^ And good thing it's not THAT Roderick. ;)

S.B. said...

A familiar that's kind of like a horcrux instead of a 'witch junior' animal? An aspect that persists, separated and outside the body but still a bodypart that can't be killed without the bigger/human part dying as well? I've probably got it wrong. Lonriad did the right thing to challenge Deian, but so did Ashe. Poor little baby.

And yes, interesting pattern.

Winter said...

I was wondering how the tags would go when we ran into a firm duplicate xD

Having not even bothered to check the kitten's sex was so very Ashe, as was Lonriad taking a Kemorin stance against injustice even when it's not helping anyone. I'm glad Deian still finds doing favors for the humans to be helpful and/or useful in his quest to please the ancestors because I was honestly worried about what Yvanette would do if this problem stuck. Mothers worry about their babies being healthy under much better circumstances, and here she's fulfilled what would be a stupid fear for any other woman. Hopefully the familiar situation will work out without complications!

Van said...

Ann: Deian didn't spell out everything here, so no worries about confusion. Things should hopefully be somewhat cleared up in the next post.

Haha! No, that Roderick would be a little young. Plus, as inbred as the Dovians may be, I don't know if there's much chance of any of them fathering their own uncle. o_O

Beth: At this point, that seems like that most likely possibility.

Neither Ashe nor Lonriad were in the wrong here. Sticking up for your friends is good. So is getting to the point and leaving personal drama for later.

Winter: XD It seemed like the most logical thing to do when it got down to it was to throw the Roman numeral on there. But those will be strictly for tagging purposes. I'm not clear on the exact rules for using numbers in names--whether they have to be an unbroken string or they start over, what relations can use them, whatever--but if we assume the simplest path and go with a straight paternal line, this little guy would be at least Lonriad III.

Deian gets to be helpful as long as I have no story ideas that involve him actively not being so. His off-the-scale blue-and-orange morality is a big help to me there. XD

Yeah... whatever Yvanette's response to her baby being stuck as a cat forever would have been, it would not have been pretty. At best, she would have probably sequestered herself off somewhere so as to not ruin anyone else's life or some logic like that. At worst, she would have killed herself. :S

Ekho said...

I did read the previous chapters but I'm pressed for time these days so I didn't get a chance to comment :(
I'm guessing there will be some twist to this, I mean, Deian will add some evil/amusing spin on him aiding them. I almost have to wonder if they could just wait and see if the baby turns back by itself - I mean, if the baby changed WITH Yvanette then wouldn't it be plausible that it also possesses her shapeshifting ability? And she couldn't exactly control it at that age either, so it could be possible however - I'd wonder on the lifespan of the baby in kitten form :S
Still, a familiar sounds like a good result to all this, I hope!

Van said...

No worries! There's no comment roll call here. :)

It's never a bad idea to be cautious around Deian. Suffice to say this will have some sort of consequence, but depending on how many other things are going on in the story at any given time, it might not be too severe.