Jun. 24th, 2015

iambetadraconis: (Default)
The day was sunny, though the air had the scent of rain in it as Rabastan and Elea walked up to the house her friend Merissa now lived.

"It's been a while since I was here last. I do hope Merissa is doing well. And her family, too. Gosh, I wonder what it is she wanted to tell me?"

Elea knocked at the door, while Rabastan stood at the base of the steps, waiting. From inside he could hear both Merissa and her husband talking, then sounds of footsteps getting louder as they approached the door.

"Elea!" Merissa almost shrieked as she embraced her friend. "I'm so glad to see you!"

"Me too! How was the vacation? And your parents?"

"Excellent! You really should go - the food is marvelous! And my family is just fine! In fact, they wanted me to tell you 'Hello' for them. Oh, hello Rabastan. Come on in. We were just about to put some tea on, and I hope you'll have some."

He nodded, and went inside. The scent of tea leaves and something fruity wafted out of the kitchen, and he secretly hoped there would be more than just tea today.

"Rabastan! Good to see you, lad!" It was Gillan, Merissa's husband, heading over to give Rabastan one of his trademarked bear hugs. "Althena bless you, you're looking thin! Merissa? Think you could throw something in the oven and feed him up so he doesn't starve?"

Rabastan chuckled; this was becoming a favourite joke between them. Merissa laughed, too, and headed into the kitchen, with Elea tailing behind her.

"I'll help."

"Come, lad. How's about you take a seat in the sitting room while the ladies catch up over tea?"

He'd barely sat down, when the impulse to eavesdrop on Elea and Merissa came to him. Gillan hadn't gone into the sitting room, but instead to the wine cellar to get himself a glass of spirit.

That meant he was alone. For now.

"You're kidding, right?" he heard Elea exclaim. "Really? Oh, this is wonderful news! We'll need to throw a party for you! And Gillan as well."

Party? What for?

"How long has it been? When did you find out?"

Now he knew what the answer would be before Merissa said it.

"Just over three months, and I only found out about a fortnight ago when I saw the healer for what I thought was just a regular illness."

"Well, it's certainly not some 'regular illness', is it?" Elea ribbed.

So. Elea's best friend and former roommate was in an expecting way. Which meant he'd have a new baby to fawn over and spoil.

It was something he couldn't help. Children always brought out the paternal in him.

He smiled to himself and stopped listening in, just as Gillan entered the room.

"Y'know, it's not polite to listen in on private talk," the beastman said, startling Rabastan back to awareness. "Here. Have a drink. The tea ain't ready yet."

Rabastan stammered something, then took the glass. It had a heady scent of spices, nuts and a vague hint of honey.

"Bought it while we was on vacation. Locals are real proud of this here liquor. Say that it was the best year they'd had in ages." He paused. "G'on. Drink up."

It was. Well. He was certainly going to remember this one for a while yet. Not that it was unpleasant, or bitter, or sweet. Instead, it was something he couldn't put his finger on, but if he ever had it again, he'd know it at once.

"Good, huh?"

Rabastan nodded, and handed over the empty glass, feeling the alcohol work its way though his body.

Must be one of those "one glass" drinks, unless you're of strong constitution. And Gillan certainly is.

Alone again, and despite Gillan's remark about poor manners, Rabastan found himself listening in to the conversation in the kitchen. Merissa was busy chopping up something, while Gillan rinsed out the cups and began looking for something in the pantry to add to the meal.

It looked like Rabastan and Elea were staying for dinner. Which pleased him. Merissa was a fine cook, and he always enjoyed supping at her house.

"Gillan? Could you go outside to fetch some herbs from the garden?"

Rabastan knew what that new tone meant, and Gillan was to excuse himself while Elea and Merissa talked about something only the two women were supposed to talk about. A word of agreement, and Gillan headed down the hallway, past the sitting room, and then out into the gardens behind the house.

"Oh, I don't know," Elea's voice began. "It's just... Well... I don't know if that's a choice I want to make just yet."

"You're not getting any younger, and neither is he. Especially he. And you've been together for a few years now, too."

"Yes, I know, but..."

Her voice trailed off.

Getting old? Being together? What was it they were talking about that made age and time together such a big deal?

"I've always known you as the most decisive person, back when we were still sharing a house together with the others. Anything you set your mind on, you went after. I don't see this as anything you would ever hesitate on."

"We're talking about a major decision, Merissa. Everything else I chose to do or not do weren't even half as big as this. I just don't want to decide now."

"And when do you plan to decide? The longer you wait to ask him, or for him to ask you, the less time you'll have to make any decision at all."

Things got very quiet for several moments, and Rabastan thought that Elea or Merissa weren't going to talk about it any more, but...

"Merissa, you know how I feel about these things. With minor decisions, there's always the option of changing your mind. But this isn't some minor decision. And I want to be sure—absolutely sure—when I make it that I'm making what will be the right choice for me. I don't want to find myself, ten or twenty years later, wishing I'd thought about it more."

A pause, and a deep sigh.

"I just don't know if it's the right time or the right choice yet."

"Just don't wait too long, then."

The chopping sound resumed as the back door opened, and Gillan came inside. Rabastan quickly adjusted his expression to that of someone studying the room they were in, but Gillan didn't peek his head in to see what his guest was doing.

"Hope these are what you want, love," Gillan said from the kitchen. "'Cause I ain't goin' back out. There's a storm comin'"

"They're perfect, dear. Set them over here, please."

"Should I ask Rabastan to help out?" Elea inquired.

"No. I'll be done soon. Why don't you go join him in the sitting room while I finish up? I'll call you when it's done, if Rabastan's nose doesn't tell you both first."

Using the time it would take for Elea to reach the sitting room, Rabastan got up to look at one of the bookshelves for something to read.

"Find anything interesting?"

"Not yet."

He heard her sit down, and try to exhale as softly as she could in the hopes that he wouldn't hear.

"You sounded excited earlier. I take it that whatever Merissa said was something good?"

"Better than good. She'll be having a child soon, and I know how much you adore children."

"That is good news."

Giving up on finding anything in the bookcase that would serve as distraction, he moved over to look out the window. Sure enough, the sky had darkened, and the first rumbles of thunder could be heard even by people with normal hearing.

Elea must feel as if there's a storm inside her, given what she and Merissa were talking about...

Speaking of Merissa, the sounds of her footsteps told him she was heading their way.

"We're almost done. How's about you two come to the kitchen now, and we can talk about my big news there?"

Both grateful for the distraction from having to start a conversation, they left the sitting room to join Merissa and Gillan for dinner, while thunder growled overhead...

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Rabastan Lestrange

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