It is nearly six-thirty. Threnn has been in labor since just before noon. Present in the room are the Bittertongues, Annalea, Haemon, Fells and Tarquin. Visitors and well-wishers have been banished to the Rose’s common room for several hours now.
Thenia al’Cair was an exception, but as time has gone on, the woman has grown increasingly fretful. Deeming this unhelpful to Threnn, Annalea finally ushers her mother out of the room, closing the door gently but firmly behind her.
* Bricu fidgets.
* Haemon sighs.
Well. That’s one thing out of the way. I’ll be hearing about it for the next ten years.
She’s gonna be a fuckin’ mess Annie.
You want her to be a fucking mess up here or down there?
As long as yer mum don’t bring it up every year from now… Down there is fine.
I personally would prefer she not be here to upset Threnn. Speaking of which,
Threnn, are we up for another few laps around the room?
* Threnn grimaces.
Careful now…careful, jest. Don’ -hurt- her none. …more.
Ought to have built me one of those hamster wheels.
Ah, the lad kens ‘is business.
I should look into that. Portable running wheels for expectant mothers. I expect I would lose all my patients.
There’s a touch mair at it’n jus’ havin’ ‘em walk circles, innit?
Nah. They’d want to keep them for losing the baby weight after.
I would merely expect they would be insulted, actually.
* Threnn sighs and gets to her feet anyway.
* Haemon helps.
* Fells rushes to help, anxious.
Oi, love, yeh…
* Tarq stays the hell out of the way.
* Bricu watches his wife get surrounded by help.
Yeh know, I thought she’d be…I dunno, lyin’ down or somethin’?
Think tha’s fer the later, Bric. Mean, innit?
Myst’ries ay childbirth.
I think, auld boy, thit by the time this eve’s done wir both ta ken mair’n we ivir wanted.
s’all part o’me plan for omniscience.
Walking helps. Gravity. Really. It works this way.
This helps make her comfortable. And um.
Och. Distractin’ sounds more like it.
* Threnn eyes the men from where she’s propped up between Haemon and Fells.
Wouldja rather concentrate onnis?
* Fells gives Bricu a Look.
How long until we throw them out?
Strewth, I’m just concentratin’ on me lovely wife s’all.
‘s long as they’re not channelling my mother, they can stay.
Now there’s a terrifyin’ thought.
I can picture it now.
* Haemon leads Threnn around the room, slowly.
* Threnn makes a slow circuit.
Oi, missus, yeh alright?
* Threnn grits her teeth.
‘s fine. Nature.
* Fells winces at her grip, but squeezes back all the same.
Don’ fret, we’s here.
Awright, Threnny, jus’ another couple, eh?
* Threnn takes a few deep breaths.
If only, Tarq.
They’re closer, though. Least there’s that.
* Bricu absently reaches for his tobacco pouch, which is not on his belt.
S’a good thing, then, right?
It is. The more frequent the contractions, the closer we are to the birth.
Think so. Means she’s eagerer ta git free.
* Fells frowns.
Sorry. Not jest out, like…
Oi. Fellsie. We got it.
* Haemon pats Fells. It’s the “Okay, that’s enough” pat.
* Fells sighs.
* Threnn looks up again.
You, uh. Do I keep going?
You can lie down again, if you would like. At some point, I should likely see if you are dialating.
* Fells looks a smidge uncomfortably.
Not all’a us gots t’look, though. Ayeh?
Sweet Light, I hope not.
No. The fewer eyes, the better, really.
* Bricu grumbles.
yer damn right…
I volunteer ta stay here an’ study the wall.
No offense, Threnny.
M’kinda with Tarq onnat part.
Then we are all agreed, I believe.
* Haemon grimaces briefly, then returns to smiling placidly.
* Threnn starts steering back towards the bed.
* Haemon helps!
* Fells hobbles along.
Here, now, there…
* Threnn settles back down onto the bed.
Missus, yeh want for anythin’?
* Haemon takes out his pocketwatch, still silently counting from the last contraction.
* Fells rearranges pillows, more for wont of something to be useful doing than anything.
No, I’m all right, I think.
* Threnn closes her eyes as another hits.
* Haemon tucks his watch away.
Oi, Fellsie, mind if I scooch by yeh?
Five. We are progressing nicely.
Nono, ‘course. Here.
* Fells steps away, her eyes fixed on Threnn.
…looks like it hurts…
It’s the rumor.
* Fells winces.
Yeah, I can… confirm it.
Should I not mention it will likely get somewhat worse?
* Fells bites her lip.
‘s what they say.
I…I don’t got a thing t’say.
They also say it is entirely worth it. Shall we see how we are doing?
I could juggle.
Do card tricks.
Yer gonna git smacked inna tick, Tarquin.
Oh, it’s not every mother who has her very own entertainer. I like this idea.
Yeh got a trick that’ll make the birth easier?
* Annalea rolls her eyes at her sister and gets a sheet, for privacy.
Ferget adventurin’ an’ makin’ money the hard way Tarq. Yeh can get a bunch o’ professional card sharks t’do tricks
As a sleight of hand artist, perhaps you could pull the baby from behind her ear?
I do, but it comes in a brown bottle an’ it’s prolly no’ recommended by medicine.
‘member a time when it was…
Actually, at this point, the baby is no longer being fed so much by mother, so….
So I could waddle down to the Pig and have a pint?
* Fells does not see the jest.
Hypothetically. The larger risk would be the baby falling out and cracking its head on the pavement on the way.
Och, next lap, just down the stairs.
I agree, s’completely unacceptable.
* Bricu blinks.
A pint. What’re yeh thinkin’?
Whiskey does’na come in pints.
That’s an image I didn’t need Shad…
* Bricu whispers to Tarq.
* Tarq snorts laughter and claps Bricu on the shoulder.
* Threnn snickers at Tarquin.
Oh. Oh, ow.
Yeah. Small one.
* Haemon straightens the sheet over Threnn.
* Fells looks confused.
They come in sizes?
Big ow, little ow.
All right, no more joking from me. You lot are free to continue. Laughter helps.
* Fells tries.
* Fells doesn’t do well.
Yeh heard the one ’bout the twa Stormwind boys wha’ went ta see the priest?
* Haemon crouches at the far end of Threnn.
* Annalea watches over Haemon’s shoulder.
Pardon me, apologies…
‘s all right.
There’s these couple City lads. Let’s say it’s Robert an’
In the int’rest ay bein’ familiar, eh?
So they go ta confession at the Cathedral, ta talk ta Father Mackenzie. An’ Robert’s first.
* Haemon reaches and peers, still muttering apologies under his breath.
So he goes up ta the booth, an’ says “Forgive me, Father, for I’ve sinned. I had carnal knowledge ay an unmarried woman.”
* Threnn tries to see what Haemon’s doing, even though that’s physically impossible.
…brilliantly fuckin’ timed there Tarq….
s’like the Light inspired yeh
An’ Father Mackenzie frowns an’ sighs, wi’ great disappointment, an’ says “Ah, my son, it grieves me ta hear this. Wha’ was the poor lassie?”
An’ Robert goes “I’m sorry, Father, I kinna tell yeh thit, I dinna wanna shame her.”
So the auld Father, he thinks ’bout lassies he knows from the young Bell’s neighborhood. “Was it, uh, Susan Creely, my boy?”
“Nah, father,” says Robert, “I kinna tell.”
* Haemon emerges from under the sheet.
About three inches. We should be crowning soon. Sorry to interrupt, do continue.
“It’s virra important, me lad. Wis it-” nothin’ ay it, Shad – “Darce McKearn?”
We will see the baby’s head start to appear and push through.
should’ve fuckin’ known that bit.
S’pose it’ll be a few years at least afore they put ‘er oan the throne, Bric.
At the least.
* Annalea snorts. “I think Robert *did* fuck Da–”
* Annalea shuts up.
* Fells blinks at Anna.
Anyhow. Robert says “I’m sorry, Father, I kinna say either wey.”
* Fells grins.
couple… only a couple.
An’ Father MacKenzie sighs. “I should know, for the benefit of her soul. Was it…”
* Tarq pauses and looks over at Annie, grinning slyly.
* Annalea puts on her angelic face.
* Tarq keeps a perfectly straight face.
* Haemon fails not to laugh.
* Annalea blinks.
* Threnn blinks.
Yeh see, he wis tryin’ ta think ay lasses that’d…anyhow!
Robert still will’na tell ‘im.
* Fells snickers.
* Bricu snorts once, trying to keep from laughing. He glances once at Tarquin then keels over with laughter.
So fin’ly Father MacKenzie gies it up. “Aright, my son, I kin respect thit. So I’ll need yeh ta say ten Verses ay Pentinence an’ spend six hours in the church garden. Go an’ sin na more.”
An’ Robert walks out ay the booth an’ back ta the pew , an’ his brither asks “Aright, Robert, what’d he gie yeh?”
An’ Rob says “Ten verses, six hours in the garden, an’ three names.”
* Tarq clasps his fingers together and grins.
* Fells shakes her head, laughing.
That ain’t -right.-
* Threnn bursts out laughing.
* Haemon grins, ducks under, and calls out from within the sheet. “Three and a half!”
…is thit a measurement, or did I miss yin?
That was a measurement.
I think it was a joke, boss.
Sorry, I should specify. Inches.
* Fells holds her fingers apart, about yea wide.
* Haemon extends his arm out from under the sheet. It’s about thiiiiis far.
* Fells cocks her head.
You umn. You doin’ a’right there, Threnny?
Oh. I thought there wis a lass ay only half-doubtful virtue in the joke I fergot.
If yeh dinna mind, I’m gonna pretend thit’s what it wis.
You are welcome to.
* Tarq nods. It might just be his wardrobe, but he’s looking slightly green.
They wait. One hour, two. The contractions start coming closer together, lasting longer. Threnn’s in pain, but managing. Bricu and Fells take turns holding her hand, relieving one another when the need to fidget grows too strong. Tarq lounges, tries to keep everyone’s spirits up, and covers up his own nervousness with wisecracks.
Meanwhile, Shad begins to frown.
* Annalea glances towards Haemon.
* Haemon frowns. Deeply.
Anna, I think I need my buzzbox.
Fells, would you–it is in my bag…
* Tarq ‘s gaze snaps over to Haemon.
* Haemon stands up to stretch slightly.
* Threnn pushes herself up to her elbows.
The head disappeared. It crowned, and then it retracted. And I have no idea what it is doing, so I would like some advice.
Fells, overwhelmed by the circumstances, faints. (aka, internets go splat)
* Annalea helps Fells into a chair and retrieves Haemon’s buzzbox in her place.
* Tarq finger-drums on his knees, eyes flickering between Haemon and Threnn.
Bloody hell. Shad, who’re yeh callin’?
* Haemon takes it and awkwardly dials a frequency, glancing over at Bricu. He puts the thing down as quiet as he can.
A, ah….an acquaintance. More experienced than I.
* Haemon turns away from Bricu.
Calling the baby hotline, that is all, no need to worry.
* Bricu smiles at Threnn
Shad’s callin’ fer advice.
An’ *just* advice.
Gonna keep everythin’ runnin’ smooth
* Bricu glances at Haemon
* Haemon mutters quietly into his box.
* Threnn squeezes Bricu’s hand, hard, as a contraction hits.
* Bricu doesn’t stop smiling.
It’s all right missus. S’allright.
* Annalea touches Haemon’s shoulder.
* Haemon turns around.
* Annalea nods towards the bed, trying not to look too alarmed. There’s blood.
* Haemon frowns slightly and crosses back to check, taking the box with him.
Threnn, are you in pain?
* Tarq keeps his face mask-still, fingers folded in front of his chest.
You talking intensities again?
Because ‘s fairly constant.
Are you currently feeling any -new- brand of pain. Stinging.
* Threnn nods.
* Bricu looks around the room, then back at Threnn. His smile fades.
* Haemon frowns, and looks at Bricu.
You said anything, right?
Just gimme the fuckin’ name.
* Haemon pauses.
Slightly better than’ some fuckin’ Legionnaire’s name. Fine.
Anythin’ goes wrong…
* Haemon nods and goes back to the box.
She’s a professional.
…she can probably hear me.
Never lost a baby. Not in a thousand years, she said.
Heard it all afore.
* Bricu mutters, “except for the ones she killed.”
* Tarq gives Bricu a deadpan stare.
She is in her way. In the meantime, I want to try something…
* Haemon kneels on the bedside, pushing Threnn’s shoulders gently to the mattress.
Try to keep your spine straight, please.
…or a mother.
Let me know if this hurts more.
* Haemon presses gently on Threnn’s abdomen.
* Threnn shrieks. That’s a yes.
* Haemon releases immediately.
* Bricu pales.
Okay, so, not that then.
* Tarq hisses a muffled curse.
* Haemon grabs a rag from his bag and disappears under the sheet again.
Tarquin, will you let her in when she arrives?
Guessing that didn’t work?
* Threnn pants that.
Indarra arrives a few minutes later, true to her word. She ignores pacing family, friends, and visitors in the guest room, making haste towards the steps. Her knuckles rap upon the door.
I am not seeing anything. I am going to try to patch you up a bit here, all right?
Whatever you have to do.
* Tarq steps over to the door and, with a quick glance over his shoulder at Bricu, opens it up.
* Bricu nods.
* Tarq smiles blandly.
* Indarra bows low, murmuring a “hello”. She’s in priestess robes with a huge white pearl on a gold chain around her neck. There are no shadows on her hands.
* Threnn tries for some dignity.
* Bricu says a quick prayer.
* Tarq steps back and shuts the door.
Hello Threnn, everyone.
* Haemon emerges discreetly.
* Indarra brings a medical bag to a small table, keeping her eyes downcast.
* Annalea makes room for Indarra’s things.
* Bricu watches Threnn.
Just so we’re clear, Haemon, Threnn, I lack magic this evening. I’ve found a way around shadows, but it keeps me shut off from all of my power.
* Indarra taps the necklace at her neck.
* Haemon nods.
I can handle healing. And I appreciate you coming.
I did make a promise.
* Indarra smiles faintly.
Can you… I mean, without, you still can…?
* Threnn gestures at herself.
Most of my births require very little magic.
. . . Yes.
* Indarra makes sure she sounds confident.
People been doin’ it a virra long time without, eh?
* Haemon glances at Tarquin, and does not precisely agree.
I tried what you said, Priestess, and it just seemed to induce pain.
* Indarra finds water, and washes her hands meticulously, scrubbing them until they’re pink.
All right. I’ll take a look with you in a moment.
* Haemon nods, and steps back to wait. And fidget.
Is there something I should do? Or…?
* Bricu squeezes Threnn’s hand.
Tell me a story.
* Indarra smiles at her and approaches the foot of the bed.
* Bricu closes his eyes.
What kind of a story?
* Haemon moves to stand somewhere between Indarra and Bricu.
How about something from your childhood, a happy memory. When you have to breathe through a contraction, do so, but let’s hear a story.
* Bricu fidgets.
* Threnn lets her head fall back a moment while she thinks.
* Indarra lifts the sheet and peers beneath. “Apologies for the hands, but at least the water was warm, hmm?”
I… yeah. Thank you.
When I was ten, the, uh. The Bells. They were here. Did you meet them?
They must be some of the gents downstairs I passed.
* Indarra applies gentle pressure and motions Haemon over.
* Haemon steps over quickly.
Bricu, if you’d be kind enough to mop Threnn’s brow? Cool water. She’s likely over warm right now.
Decent lads, they seem.
* Annalea gets a bowl of water and brings it over to Bricu.
Where are the clean cloths?
They’re… they are. We were nearly raised together.
* Annalea passes some over.
* Bricu takes a clean cloth and dips it into the water. He rings it out then mops Threnn’s brow.
So I was ten, and Anna was…
* Annalea watches Threnn.
You were seven. The Bells were nine.
* Indarra waits for another contraction, one of her hands – still clean – coming out to rest on the mound of Threnn’s stomach.
* Annalea nods at that. “All right.”
They sent us — our parents, that is — to Goldshire, before it was…
* Threnn cuts off, groaning.
* Indarra watches beneath the blanket and nods. Her eyes flick to Haemon.
* Haemon tilts his head questioningly.
Keep a monitor on the babe if you would?
* Indarra stands, swaddling her hands in cloth to keep them hidden from Threnn.
Is she all right?
* Haemon nods and places his hands over Threnn’s abdomen, concentrating.
Keep telling the story, Threnny. They sent us to Goldshire.
* Bricu says softly, “for the love o’all that’s holy, would one o’yeh do somethin’ fer her godsdamned pain.”
* Haemon ‘s eyes flick to Indarra.
I have some herbs, if you do not think it will be a problem…no blood thinners.
As long as they don’t tire her. If it’s served in tea – perhaps cold tea, as she’s warm – I have no objection.
* Indarra looks at Bricu and Threnn.
…Goldshire. We had to buy something there, nails from the blacksmith.
* Haemon nods.
Shad, tell Kara t’get the water ready fer tea an’ some ice
Anna, you would do best with it. The goldthorn and peacebloom mix?
* Haemon rises.
I will return with the water shortly.
After the tea, I’m going to start maneuvering you Threnn, with Haemon’s help. Your daughter’s head is through, but her shoulders are having trouble moving through. It’s nothing to worry about, it’s fairly common, and we have many, many options to make this easier on you. All right?
* Haemon listens to the last bit of the instruction before darting down the stairs.
* Bricu simply nods.
Story. Continue please.
* Annalea sorts through the herbs, finding the goldthorn and peacebloom.
* Indarra washes her hands again, trying to shield Threnn’s eyes from the pink pool growing inside of the basin.
Nails. John says the smiths in the Dwarven District don’t use the right ratios.
* Bricu mops threnn’s brow, smiling weakly.
* Threnn smiles at Bricu. “Did you know that? About the dwarven nails?”
No. No I didn’t.
Hnh. That’s odd.
* Haemon returns swiftly with two cups, a pitcher, and a bowl of ice chips.
Wonder if it’s aught ta do wi’ dwarven construction?
Dunno. Might be –
* Threnn grits her teeth again.
* Haemon sets the cups and pitcher of water by Anna’s work, and hands the bowl off to Bricu.
* Bricu leaves the damp cloth on Threnn’s forehead, taking the bowl with a fre hand.
* Bricu looks at the basin of pink water.
* Annalea sets about steeping the tea.
* Tarq is doing his best not to look like he’s hovering nervously.
* Bricu is clearly hovering nervously
I’ll need one more set of hands.
* Indarra looks around at the room, towelling of her hands.
The nails, maybe they work better in colder weather, yeah? Up in Kharanos?
One more than mine?
But here, ‘s…warmer. And… something.
* Fells sputters, her eyes blinking at random intervals.
* Indarra smiles at Threnn.
What do you need?
No, s’Naiara’s birthday still.
No, but you could help deliver a present. Welcome back.
* Tarq quietly facepalms.
* Fells sits up, pressing the heel of her hand to her temple.
Anna, I need you to lift her legs if you would, to her chest as far as you can get them. Haemon, I’d like you to continue monitoring the babe? And press gently on her lower stomach. I’m going to gently pull and try to get her past the pelvis that way.
We’ll need to coordinate this if not the next contraction, the one after.
* Threnn ‘s head swivels towards Fell’s voice.
Past the pel…
* Fells blinks.
* Haemon nods, and takes up position at the side of the bed.
* Indarra returns beneath the sheet.
So Stormwind nails are far superior, Threnn.
Good to know.
‘lo, Fellsie. Might not want to come around… Oh, this isn’t dignified in the least.
I’ve learned something today.
* Fells wobbles a bit.
Oh, oh -damn.- There’s sommat comin’ outta ya.
Not Stormwind nails.
* Threnn sounds like this is the most important point in the world.
Huh. I’m no’ sure I kin admit thit.
Yeh could advertise off ay it, likesay.
* Indarra waits expectantly, looking at both Haemon and Anna.
“Get Proper Nailed In Goldshire!”
‘s a joke there, too, only, never thought of it till just now.
* Threnn lifts a hand to point at Tarquin.
Stole my joke.
* Bricu mops Threnn’s brow.
* Haemon bites his lip. Now is not laughing time. He nods at Indarra.
He is a professional, Missus.
‘s gotta be at least a day in the Stocks, isn’t it? Stealing a pregnant woman’s joke?
Anna, are you . . .
s’a huge fine.
* Fells stares incredulously.
* Indarra pokes her head over the sheet to peer at Annalea.
I gots t’still be outta it.
What do you need, Indi?
* Annalea brings the cup over to Bricu.
Get her some tea, and then lift her legs to her chest if you would.
* Haemon raises an eyebrow at Fells.
* Annalea comes around and places her hands on Threnn’s legs.
Tell me when.
* Fells pushes herself to her feet.
I can — I can help, m’here! M’here.
Next contraction hold her steady.
* Fells repeats, convincing herself more than the rest.
Threnny was telling us that Goldshire nails are far superior to dwarven nails, Fells.
* Indarra adopts the nickname and keeps her voice steady.
* Fells gawks.
So they sent us to get nails — NOT nailed. We were ten. And nine. And seven — and we went to the blacksmith’s.
So you and Anna were in Goldshire getting nails. What happened next.
* Indarra ‘s head disappears under the sheet, waiting for the next contraction.
* Tarq doesn’t even snicker at that.
And he was there, at the forge. That’s where blacksmiths work. And –
* Threnn ‘s voice climbs until she’s not really speaking anymore.
* Haemon presses gently on Threnn’s abdomen.
Breathe Threnn. Breathe.
* Fells covers her mouth.
* Annalea pushes Threnn’s legs to her chest, gaze flicking between Threnn and Indarra.
when the fuck is she gonna be able t’drink with yeh lot pushin’?!
She can’t drink during a contraction. Threnn, I want you to push.
Is this one over?
* Indarra pulls her head back up.
* Indarra looks at her.
Oi, drink this.
I figured as much.
* Indarra pulls her hands out, grabbing a towel to mop up the blood on her skin.
* Threnn uses Bricu for leverage and sips at the tea.
* Fells ‘s eyes go wide.
* Haemon gives Fells a warning glance.
* Fells offers him a quick smile. All good! Really!
Next contraction I’m going to pull her, and you need to push. Haemon, watch the bleeding if you would.
* Haemon nods.
Anna, same thing.
Keep talking to us Threnn. So he was at the forge . . .
* Annalea pats Threnn on the arm. “You’re doing fine.”
I never thought I’d say this, but ayeh, I wanna hear ’bout the nails in Goldshire.
Bugger that love. Scream if yeh want ta.
The forge. Oh! The forge. He was making this sword.
* Indarra washes her hands one last time. She runs her sleeve over her own forehead and smiles, returning to the foot of the bed.
Fells, why don’t you get a blanket ready for the baby?
* Indarra tries to give the young woman something to do so her eyes don’t fall out of her skull.
And it was the most beautiful sword you ever saw. Not a king’s sword. A soldier’s.
Blanket, surely. No troubles.
Ask Kara. She’s got clean linens too.
We have some already. Stack on the chest over there.
He was finishing it as we came in. Got there just in time to see him quench it.
* Fells turns to the indicated chest immediately, all too glad for the distraction.
* Indarra tucks her head beneath the sheet, waiting and watching for the next contraction. She’s prodding, but she’s doing it as gently as she can.
Everyone else wanted to go see the bard at the Lion’s Pride. I stayed and watched him make a sword.
* Threnn looks around.
‘s it. ‘s… not a very good story, is it?
s’fine story love.
It is an excellent story. And educational.
If you don’t finish it I’ll be most disappointed.
Is that what inspired you to become a blacksmith?
* Indarra still sounds grossly matter-of-fact.
* Threnn doesn’t answer. Another contraction hits.
Breathe through it Threnn, and push.
* Haemon pushes down on her abdomen again.
* Fells grabs up what seems to be the softest of the lot, rushing to Indarra’s shoulder.
Threnny, s’fine, yer doin’ -so well- c’mon…
* Annalea resumes pushing on Threnn’s legs.
* Indarra reaches forward, her hand actually wrapping around the baby’s head and a bit underneath. She begins to pull her forward, trying to move her past the pelvic bone.
* Bricu squeezes Threnn’s hand.
* Threnn just pushes. She’s shaking from the effort.
och, love, just push!
That’s good, Threnn. Excellent. Keep pushing now.
* Fells holds her breath, staring openly.
* Threnn pulls in a ragged breath and does it again.
* Indarra gets a grip and she smiles. There’s a give. One shoulder is past. With another gentle tug, on the second push, the second shoulder slides past.
There we have it. One more, Threnn. Just one more.
* Fells holds the blanket to her mouth. Wait no, the blanket’s for that tiny thing right there.
Oh, sweet gods.
One more love. Just one more fuckin’ push.
* Fells drops beside Indarra, blanket outstretched.
C’mon Threnny, yer near there, s’damn close…
* Threnn pushes once more, grabbing at Bricu’s hand.
* Indarra smiles as there’s a cry on the air. The baby’s abdomen is through and the rest of her presents itself shortly thereafter, sliding free of her mother.
Lovely job, Threnn. Lovely, lovely.
* Fells leans in, catching the tiny being that slips into the world more carefully than she’s ever done a thing before.
Och. yeh hear that love?
S’our wee girl.
* Indarra lifts her head out from the blanket, smiling at Haemon and Anna.
Is she all right?
* Fells nods dumbly.
Oh damn she’s amazin’.
* Annalea eases off of Threnn’s legs.
* Haemon smiles back, asking after the bleeding in Darnassian.
* Fells laughs once.
No fuckin’ secrets.
* Indarra replies in Darnassian.
* Threnn strains to see.
An’ Fellsie. our girl.
* Fells rises on shaky legs, bringing the babe over to the proud parents. Or close.
Indy, the umn, cord…thinger…
* Haemon nods.
* Indarra pulls her hands free. She’s got blood on her lower arms, her dress. It’s fair everywhere. She mops at herself with towels and returns to her bag.
Bric, promise, I’ll jest be one tick here…
* Indarra looks at Haemon.
You can heal it off.
If you’d be so kind.
* Indarra motions at the cord.
S’our wee one there.
* Fells grins up at him, bright as day.
* Haemon moves underneath the sheet, separating the cord and letting Fells go with the child.
So bring her o’er here, please.
* Fells brings the bundle to the head of the bed.
* Tarq lets out a long breath, discreetly making his way over to the foot of the bed.
Sommat you two oughta meet.
‘s all right, love. She’s coming.
* Haemon sets to healing. There’s plenty to heal.
* Indarra goes about scrubbing her hands off in the basin.
* Bricu looks at Fells.
Congratulations both of you.
I’d like t’hold our wee one. now.
Or give her to her mum.
* Fells holds the swaddled thing out to him.
Easy, love. ‘s all right.
Was waitin’ on ya t’take her. Here.
* Annalea edges closer to Bricu, one hand dipping into a dress pocket.
Bricu’s lookin’ forward ta bein’ an oe’rprotective father.
* Bricu takes his daughtger.
* Bricu smiles at his daughter, and beams at Threnn.
Gonna have yir work cut out fir yeh, but.
* Bricu leans in closer to Threnn
* Threnn seems to be counting fingers and toes.
* Indarra begins repacking her things quietly, keeping to herself on the other side of the room.
* Fells steps back, arms wrapped around herself and smiling like an idiot.
Do I get to say hello to my niece?
Thank yeh, Indarra.
Yeh can see her when her mum is done cooin’ an’ holdin’ ‘r.
You’re welcome. I wish you both joy, and Elune’s blessings.
Meanin, Annie, yeh prolly wanna get a room fir the night.
* Threnn looks up from staring at the baby.
* Indarra glances up, already wrapping a cloak around herself.
Oi, hold our wee one love.
You are more than welcome.
* Threnn smiles tearily.
* Indarra swallows somewhat shakily.
I do think this is . . . in Haemon’s capable hands now so I will take my leave.
* Indarra bows, her bag clutched to her chest.
* Tarq strolls over to Indarra with excessive casualness, and opens the door.
Walk yeh out just a tick, will I?
* Haemon leans out from under the sheet to bow to her.
I’m glad you were here.
* Fells doesn’t even know when she -got- here.
Thank yeh Shad. Fells.
* Fells nods.
* Indarra smiles and makes a Darnassian blessing with her hands, motioning at the child. She walks past Tarquin with a small nod.
Don’ mention it.
* Haemon smiles at Bricu, and ducks under to finish up.
* Tarq follows Indarra out, quietly shutting the door behind him.
* Haemon pops his head out a moment later.
Do you want to keep the placenta?
* Fells backs towards the door, so she doesn’t have to take her eyes off of them.
What did she just–fuck no—do?
Don’t think… no.
All right. What did who do when?
She delivered your child?
* Annalea bends over Threnn, her fingers coming out of the pocket. She touches the baby’s forehead, lips and heart, and whispers something in the tiny girl’s ear.
She just did a blessin’. What kind o’blessin.
* Bricu makes a sign against the evil eye, just in case.
* Haemon blinks.
* Bricu smiles at Annie.
It is one I am familiar with seeing from the Temple, though I am not aware of its precise meaning. If it is ill, then surely the Temple has been out to get me for decades.
It was a good one.
* Haemon emerges fully, hands and extras wrapped in cloth.
* Annalea steps back, towards Haemon.
As long as its a good one.
She’s beaut’ful. Y’done -so- good, Threnny.
* Fells leans her back on the door.
Aye, yeh did love.
So tha’s the name.
* Threnn nods.
S’loverly. Y’named her well too.
Bricu picked the name.
Aye. Och, I suggested it. We agreed on it.
You two gonna be a’right? Can I tell Laz?
* Threnn smiles.
* Haemon wipes his hands clean. Clean-ish.
‘course you can.
go let everyone know
* Fells laughs.
* Tarq pokes his head back into the room at that.
Wis ’bout t’ask oan thit, actually.
Yessir. Twist m’oomph.
* Fells is bumped out of the way with the door’s opening.
Guessing they’ll all be swarming when –
She should rest for a bit yet.
Give her a half hour at least before the masses are allowed in.
If yeh dinna mind – sorry, Drachmas – sure eno’ thit lot downstairs is twitchin’ wi’ anticipation.
Oi, one at a time.
no one’s holdin’ her yet.
Ayeh, ta be sure. Tell yeh what, Bric’ – gie’ me the honor ay announcin’ it at the floor, an’ I’ll do the job ay keepin’ the greedy buggers out until yir say-so.
Think Haemon might’ve meant me, love.
Let ‘em have the night, Tarq. I — aw!
I did, yes.
* Fells frowns at him.
* Threnn smiles.
Don’t care what shad meant. One at a time for Threnny an Naiara. No one’s holdin’ her but us.
Oi. Go tell yer man.
You can both carry the news down there if you want.
Just be careful my mother doesn’t bowl you over.
* Fells gives Tarquin a good poke in the ribs when she passes.
* Tarq snorts at Fells.
Noooooo, let him, he’s the ruttin’ head’a the red an’ black. ‘sides, I wanna tell Laz.
Tell yeh what. I’ll tell ‘em ’tis a lassie, an’ then yeh tell ‘em they dinna get ta see her yet.
* Haemon gathers the various bloodied cloths from by the basin.
They’ll love thit.
* Fells grins at him.
Oh yer awful.
Like they’s gonna listen t’me, I’ll git -trampled.-
I try. First, but -
* Tarq swivels back over to the bed.
Mind if I say a quick ‘ello?
‘course you can.
Aye. Fells did. Yeh should too.
Naiara, this is tarquin. yer gonna have his job one day.
* Fells is so pleased.
I will withdraw to allow family time. The bleeding should be stopped. If not, Anna, I imagine you know herbs better than I. Call if you need anything, I shall be downstairs after cleanup.
* Tarq leans over, studying the tiny pink thing with a somewhat ludicrous grin on his face.
Shad, thank you. So very much.
* Haemon smiles.
My pleasure. And apologies.
* Annalea stands up on her toes and plants a kiss on Haemon’s cheek.
Hell of a job.
I kin hear the world tremblin aready.
Everythin’ went well mate. Nothin’ t’apologize fer.
* Haemon purples a bit.
* Tarq straightens slightly to look at the proud parents.
* Fells grins.
* Haemon heads downstairs to offer the placenta to anyone who gets in his way.
Bittertongues, yir oan vacation.
Oan account ay a job well done.
OI! Shad. Get rid o’it completely!
* Haemon calls back. “Yes sir!”
Och, that’s particularly brilliant o’yeh
* Threnn grins at Tarquin.
Least I could do, eh?
* Fells nods to the family and ducks after Shad.
Give us a shout when yeh kin tolerate the visitors.
Yeh did more than that. Aye we will
Give us a moment ‘for teh thunderin’ crowds, eh?
I’ll hauld the stairs at swordpoint, if yeh want it.
* Tarq sketches a bow to the suddenly-a-trio of Bittertongues and backs towards the door, picking up his hat along the way.
Kept me smiling. ‘s more than you think.
* Tarq has no response to that. He just shrugs, tips his hat, and exits.
* Annalea watches the new family for a moment, then simply nods and follows Tarquin out the door.
* Tarq shuts the door firmly, then reaches into his pocket and produces his cigarette case, looking like he’s found religion.
Och, missus. yeh did..och. yeh…och.
* Threnn settles the rest of the way back against the headboard, exhausted.
Aye. We all did.
But yeh two did the most.
An’ the best.
Like her mum.
* Threnn smirks.
‘s just flattery right there.
I’m gonna need all the words I got, two beautiful ladies an all….
* Bricu pulls a chair near Threnn’s bedside. The paladins marvel at their daughter, at a loss for words.