November 24, 2016

In Which Celina Invokes the Sisterhood Angle

March 2, 1203

"Oh my God! Aspen! Can you believe it? I finally get to go to an actual university party!"

Celina's older sister, as she'd expected, gave no hint of finding this impressive. Aspen had less than a month left at the university; she'd been able to attend an actual university party every week for four years. And Aspen didn't like parties much anyway.

Celina, however, did. Quite a lot, actually.

And a university party! With guests who were--well, a little older than her, maybe, but closer to her age than her parents'. And no one who was liable to rat her out to her parents if she happened to have a little more wine than she was typically allowed, or if she happened to bring her acquaintance with some handsome young man to a lip-on-lip level. Not that she made a habit of that, mind.

But oh, to keep the possibility open!

But Aspen pursed her lips. So unfair, really. Celina understood that Aspen didn't like parties. Why couldn't Aspen understand that Celina did? "Do Mother and Father know you're here?"

"Of course they do! Darry brought me here, in case you haven't noticed him standing there!" Though, now that she thought about it, he hadn't said all that much since they'd arrived on campus. Had he even spoken at all on the ride over? Here she'd thought they'd had such a nice conversation. "Darry made the convincing case to Father that it would be better for everyone if I attend my first university party while I still had two siblings on campus and one who still had friends there. Wasn't that sweet of him? Darry, you're my knight in shining armor!"

She turned around to pay her eldest brother a grin and a squeal, whipping back to Aspen just in time to see that her sister wasn't quite so enthused.

"Two siblings on campus? It's not enough that Darry and Dally go with you, but I have to go as well?"

"What can I say?" Darry swooped in before Celina had a chance to answer--possibly a first. "Father insists that she'd be better off if there's a responsible big sister around to balance out her two big idiot brothers."

"But it's my last term! I have so much work, and I have to prepare for the island, and--"

"And you're running out of time to spend with your family! That's partly why Father let Celina come."

That... was probably true. Celina forced herself to keep smiling. "That's true. If you insist on leaving, you can't expect us to just stay away."

"But--"

"Nato will be there." Darry smirked. "Falidor made sure of it."

"I'm not talking to Nato. We agreed that we both have our own problems and it's easier if we don't have to deal with each other's--and that was no big deal, since we weren't friends anyway." Aspen tugged at her braid, agitated. "Nato hates parties even more than I do."

"But he's there, since it might be his last chance to see you before you leave. Isn't that sweet?"

She snorted. "He's probably only going because it's the last place his mother would think to look for him."

"And it also happens to be the last place he'll get to see you." Celina widened her eyes and swayed about in search of that oh-so-important balance between adorable little sister and nearly-grown woman desperate for her first taste of independence. The Nato argument might have been something Darry made up in his head, but sisterhood was real. "And it might be the last place I get to see you too. Please? I never ask you for anything."

"Ugh. Fine." Her sister curled her mouth to a short-lived scowl, then took Celina by the arm and yanked her inward. "But the second somebody throws up, we're leaving."

NEXT CHAPTER:

5 comments:

Van said...

Blogger changed its interface again. I expect a headache in the near future.

Winter said...

The update is horrible! "Hey, let's stick the reading list into the sidebar of the last blog edited and call that a home page!" How is giving me less information an improvement? Gah.

Aspen... really? You still want to go to Medieval Leper Island? Because your mother was right about them burning your body - you just might not be dead first. I'm hoping this Torgleid party scheme will do something to divert Aspen away from her wish to die of a hideous disease or be executed for sorcery. I know the unused powers are a problem, but there has to be a middle ground. And if she can't see it, this is one situation where I'd actually back her parents imposing some Medieval authority. She doesn't know there's a modern-minded author writing her story ;)

Van said...

I'm pretty sure Google's policy on redesigns is "Okay guys, we have to change it up every now and then, but it doesn't actually have to be better, so don't feel like you have to try too hard".

As shitty as party schemes tend to be 99% of the time, I don't think anything can make Aspen's plans any worse, at least. The unused powers are a problem, but it doesn't have to be all or nothing--but, for whatever reason, she just hasn't found the middle ground, or hasn't been motivated to look for it.

empireofmeliora said...

You know, I'm rather baffled that Aspen hasn't tried to contact the Narons on this issue. They manage to solve Yvanette's cat problem, so it's probably possible that they'll be able to help her, too. And it's not like she has to deal with whatshisname, maybe she'll run into his wife instead.
But I'm still in favor of slapping some sense into her, too. She could just ask someone to give themselves a papercut and heal that. shakes head*

Van said...

I get the sense that Aspen's not a fan of asking for help. Plus, if the illness has to go somewhere, the Naron might not be able to offer any satisfactory options.

Sticking to minor injuries and illnesses seems to be the way to go on a logical level. I think Aspen's issue there, though, is that she seems most inclined to want to help the people who are the worst off (which ordinarily wouldn't be a bad thing, but when it's at the expense of her own health...). She's also probably gone through enough grief over her powers to have something of a death seeker mentality.