So, from time to time when standing in the shop, I get visitors.
is one frequent visitor, and sometimes she brings her children along to visit their "aunt T".
I like these interactions, because they're very ordinary, but life isn't always about exciting things.
Small spoiler: contains a portrait showing.
You smile at Atarah.
Atarah pauses at the door frame, rapping her knuckles against it though an Atavian boy darts in and straight to your legs. "An T!" he says with a laugh. "Ha, hey T. We bothering you?"
"Not at all!" Teani responds, ruffling the boy's hair with a grin. "Come on in. I've just been arranging things on new shelves in here, so I could use a break."
Atarah shifts the smiling Grecht boy on her hip and proceeds towards the counter. "Savas has been asking about you, so I told him we'd see if you had time for a visit." the Idreth says with a smile. Calix leans off of his mothers hip to smack his hand on the counter, giggling loudly about it. Clearly irritated by it, Savas leans up and yells, "Stop it, Calix." Atarah looks up at you and exhales softly, shaking her head. "Savas." is all she says, while he skirts his way around your legs in an effort to not get in trouble.
Teani smiles at Atarah as she listens, watching indulgently at the event playing out between the siblings. "So, you've been asking about me?" she asks Savas, turning around and simultaneously ushering the kid around the counter in an almost protective way. She pulls out a rag, dunks it in a bucket of clean water and wrings it out. She hands it to the boy, then takes one of her own. "Let's see if we can make the counter all sparkly and shiny again after your brother's sticky fingers, hm?" She starts polishing one side of the piece of furniture, pretending to be very diligent until the boy starts helping out, then turns to Atarah and relaxes her own work a bit more. "How are you doing? They're keeping you on your toes, are they?"
Atarah watches silently while almost grinning. She laughs quietly while nodding at you, "You have -no- idea. The jealousy is crazy, and amplifies by a hundred when Fezzix is at home." she says just loud enough for you to hear. Calix starts to bounce on her hip, so she hands him a plush teddy bear that he promptly inserts into his mouth. "Tell me what is new with you, from dealing with my boys to dealing with the rogue idiot, I'm craving adult interaction." she says with a laugh.
Making large circular wipes across the counter, Teani bends down to one side to inspect Savas' progress. "You're -good- at this!" she says approvingly, then instructs, "Don't forget the small carvings near the bottom." With that out of the way, she looks back at Atarah. "Well... turns out I'm going to be a grandmother," she begins, chuckling a little. "Not quite sure how I feel about it, but far better this time than when they scared me with the false alarm."
Atarah beams broadly at that while moving in to hug you with her free arm. "Congratulations!!" she says happily, Calix deciding to reach out for you at that exact moment. "Im excited for them." she says while pulling back, though the toddlers arms are still extended towards you. "You'll be great, look at how much Savas loves you. You'll get to spoil a grandbaby for days and then give him or her back!"
Teani chuckles, nodding her head. Indulging the toddler, she reaches out for him too. Once he is situated on her hip, she pulls out a golden sun pinwheel from behind the counter, handing it over and gives it a small blow to make it turn. To Atarah, she says, "Yeah, easy enough, and it's really good for them. I think they've wanted children for a while now." She takes a deep breath, then smiles at Atarah. "And Vash has moved into the house now, referring to it as ours. We've had some deep, serious conversations about things, but it seems like we're both on the same page about what we want and what we feel."
You lift a golden sun pinwheel to your lips and blow carefully, the blades catching and rapidly beginning to blur into an eyecatching flash of yellow.
Her eyes widening at that, Atarah tilts her head with a wide grin. "Well do tell!" she urges. Calix giggles loudly, clapping his hands and kicking his feet at the pinwheel before resting his head on your shoulder in awe. Savas hears the commotion and notices Calix's placement, narrowing his eyes. "An T, An T!! Come look, look at my job. I so good at it!" he urges, moving over to tug at your fur to pull you over to him. Atarah shakes her head and exhales softly, mouthing 'jealous'. "I dont know what else to do about it. We've both tried talking, punishment, I dont know anymore" she says quietly.
Teani doesn't waste any time at the call and moves around the counter. Crouching down, with Calix held tight, she inspects the work of the older brother. "Wow!" she says, her tone of voice impressed. She reaches out and -almost- touches the surface. "I don't think I've ever seen it so shiny," she says, smiling at Savas. Turning to the toddler, she says, "You'd do well to take after your brother, you know," though it is quite obvious that the smaller child won't quite understand. Looking back at Savas, she asks in a serious tone, "Can I trust you with a special mission?"
Savas smiles a crooked smile at your praise, leaning down to inspect just as close as you are. Atarah leans up on her tip toes to watch the scene unfolding, Calax giggles at the attention and returns his head to your shoulder. Savas nods eagerly at you and puffs out his chest. "Is it a secret?" he asked excitedly while leaning in close to whisper "Im a Syssin, like my dad."
Annabeth arrives from the south.
Annabeth nods her head at Atarah sagely.
Atarah gives Annabeth a peck on the cheek.
Teani shakes her head at the eager boy. "Not a secret, but it is very important," she explains. "You see all the fine clothes in the shop here? Well, I have some intruders eating them up! Pesky little bugs, they are." To any adult it would be obvious that she is putting on a show to engage Savas in an activity of some kind, but she does her very best to form her mission as something very serious, almost like a quest for a hero. "If I promise to guard your little brother, will you help me find and kill those evil critters?" she asks the boy next to her, while hugging the baby, Calix, closer.
Annabeth leaves to the south.
Savas lights up at the mission, reaching out to place a hand on you. "I will protect you and get them bugs, An T" the boy proclaims while skulking off on a hunt. Atarah lifts a hand to cover her mouth, hiding her grin but still chuckling. "Smooth, T." she murmurs from behind her hand.
Teani nods at Savas and watches as he scampers off. Straightening up and hugging Calix close, she grins triumphantly at Atarah. "It's still possible to trick him with things like that. For you, though, I think it's more important to find a balance," she explains. "I can totally understand that it's difficult. Savas needs to know that you love them both, even though Calix requires a bit more attention these days because he's smaller. Making sure that he gets these kinds of missions, or a sense of being important without you necessarily having to hold his hand constantly, might do the trick." She glances over at a corner, where the boy is crawling along the wall, smacking a hand down at all kinds of small bugs daring to show themselves. Looking back at her friend, she turns to different topics. "And yes, some serious discussions. Like him not being interested in adopting Amarita, because they don't have the same kind of connection as I do with her. It's reasonable and completely understandable. Right after he said that, he asked me what my thoughts were on kids in general, and marriage, just so we were on the same level."
Atarah nods her head and exhales softly. "We try. Fezzix takes Savas fishing so they have their one on one time, Savas goes with me to 'help' in the shop. He gets his time. He threw an all out fit the other week, both boys were laying in bed with me while I read them a story, Calix kicked Savas squirming around, Savas pinched him." she pauses, lifting a hand to pinch the bridge of her nose. "Calix was screaming, Savas was screaming, it was a mess." the Idreth explains, glancing back at the slaps to the floor. She leans in close to you, "Savas has an issue with how much Calix resembles Fezzix. I think he is upset that he looks like me, when Calix is the spitting image of Fezzix." she says quietly. Taking a deep breath, she leans back. "Same page is good... did yall discuss perhaps getting married?"
"Well, if all else fails, you can always whisper to him that he'll forever be my favorite," Teani says with a grin. "Oh, and I think Atavians will have an easier time camouflaging and blending in with others. A good trait when you're a Syssin spy. There are too few Grecht about." Taking a deep breath, she settles Calix on her other hip. "Well, I was worried that he'd have the same opinion about those things as with adoption, but it turns out he mostly wanted to check if I'd be angry or upset with him if he suddenly decided to propose." Her expression turns into a crooked smile the further she gets in her re-telling.
Atarah chuckles softly, nodding turning to glance at the six year old crawling about on the floor. "We'll get there, just needs to understand that he's loved no matter what." Turning back to her friend, she cant help but grin a wicked grin. "Should I start preparing myself for a wedding?" she asks with a grin. "Im glad you've found him, T. You deserve to be happy."
"In time," Teani says cautiously. "We're not rushing things. He knows I love him, and he's told me he loves me. We'll just have to wait and see what comes next. I'm in no rush. I just enjoy being with him, and hearing of his adventures. He's so enthusiastic!"
Atarah's mouth turns up as her face breaks into a smile.
Atarah laughingly says, "And loves pink socks."
Teani lets out a laugh, hugging the boy in her arms close. "Yeah. I think it's mostly because knows I'm not much for the color and he likes teasing me," she says. "Oh, I drew him, by the way. I was bored and he wasn't around, so I had to conjure an image of him from memory." With careful moves, she tries to hand over the toddler to his mom so she can reach under the counter for a leather journal with portraits.
Atarah takes the tiny Grecht into her arms, cradling him close. "My sister...brother...whatever, has taken up calling Calix 'Green Bean'." she says with a wry smirk while watching you move to get the portrait.
"Sister, brother?" Teani asks, raising a brow as she starts flicking through the tome after placing it on the counter. "You mean both Kani and Nene?" Finally finding it, she pushes the tome over towards Atarah. "Ah, there it is. What do you think?"
Atarah shakes her head while stepping closer to the counter to look at the portrait. "Wow...Teani. You've outdone yourself, its fantastic!" she says with a broad smie. Glancing up from the portrait, she smiles wryly. "Kani had a bit of a reweaving mishap and well... she's got a goatee and other things that you and I dont." she says softly. "It's uh.. quite the sight."
Teani runs a finger down the portrait, smiling happily. "Yeah, I'm quite pleased with it, to be honest," she says. At the news of the mishap, she chuckles. "Seems to be something that is happening quite a bit lately. Xavin had a similar accident and is now trying out life as a female while pondering how to undo it." She glances over to one of the racks, where Savas is curiously tracking a beetle across the floor. It seems to be carrying a morsel of food towards a crack in the wall, but before reaching it, the insect's life comes to a very abrupt end, having be smashed to death by the young boy, who then procedes to sit next to the crack and wait for its friends.
Atarah follows your gaze to her son happily squishing bugs on the floor, with his best bright, crooked smile. She just chuckles softly before turning back to her dearest friend. "I was unaware of that... though... wow. I do not envy them at all. I walked into Kani's house and drew my dirk before she...he told me what was happening."
"Hah! I can imagine that being a bit of a shock," Teani says while putting her journal away. "How's the mission going," she calls out to the boy, making a point to lean in and give Calix a peck on the cheek as Savas looks over her way. "Did you find where the evil things are coming from?"
Savas leans his head back against the wall, grinning towards you. "Yes ma'am, there is a crack... but I will get them!" the small Atavian proclaims with a laugh. Atarah glances back to you and chuckles. "You certainly did find a way to keep him occupied." she murmurs while glances down at the tiny Grecht fighting sleep in her arms.
Teani nods seriously in Savas' direction. "You're my savior," she says, then turns back to Atarah and the smaller child. "You know you can send him my way if you need some time to relax. I can always go cricket hunting with him on the plains or something," she says, reaching out to ruffle the little one's head gently. "Looks like this one is about to tap out."
Calix grunts softly, throwing his leg out over Atarah's arm to dangle as he makes himself comfortable against his mother. Savas perks up immediately, starting to stand next to the crack, though throwing himself down and yelling "Gotcha!" in the process. The loud noise startles the boy in Atarah's arms, who immediately begins to fuss. "I want to go cricket hunting, An T!"
Noticing the infant's mood change because of the noise, Teani gestures at Atarah to take care of that as she rounds the counter and moves over to Savas. "We'll have to wait until Spring. No crickets in the snow, you know," she explains, then looks down at the smashed bugs on the floor. "Wow, you've been busy. How many did you get?" she asks the boy, crouching down next to him to poke his latest kill.
Atarah bounces the tired infant in her arms trying to settle the boy down. Savas glances over to his brother before proudly showing you all of his kills. "I got lots of them An T!" he says proudly. "I think Im going to take the boys home for a bit, T." Savas immediately starts to turn red, "I dont want to go momma. Im helping An T. Take Calix home and leave me."
Teani frowns at Savas. "And who will guard your brother if you don't go with them?" she asks the young boy admonishingly. "You found the nest, and you can come back here and keep helping me kill the evil bugs all Winter if you like, and then we'll go cricket hunting when it warms up a little, but there are evil people around, so now you have other duties, young man." She counts out a few gold coins from a pouch at her side, then hands them over to Savas. "There you go, my hero. For your hard work." She stands up, winking at Atarah. "I'll see you around, alright?"
Savas sighs and nods at you. "Yes ma'am, and thank you." he tells you while looking at his feet and dragging himself slowly to Atarah. "Thank you, T. We'll catch up soon." she tells you while leaning in for a hug.
Atarah gives you a peck on the cheek.