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Old May 14, 2017, 11:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[Demios] Your Feet Will Take You Where Your Heart Is (Dante)

Mid Spring, Era XXIV

The suns were already all above the horizon when Niven stood erect and wiped the sweat from her brow, leaving a smudge of dirt where she rubbed the liquid away. She was covered in dirt from her fingertips to her elbows, the sleeves of her brown dress rolled up above her elbows. She let her arm drop back to her side and took a look at the garden bed she was working on. Some animals seemed to have thought her garden made a nice Rosyun and Niven was out there trying to make order out of it again and do so before it got too hot out.

The house was quiet. Dante was at the docks working, the twins and Chariras were already at Schola for a few candlemarks already and Niven was taking the opportunity and enjoying her time out of doors behind the house working on her latest pet project. Kala could be anywhere, but Niven didn't concern herself. The dracon who looked like an elf was more than capable of taking care of herself.

Juno was enjoying his favourite past time, chasing seagulls, and he was running along the shore, leaving little paw prints in the wet sand before the surf came and washed them away. At his barking, Niven turned towards her pet and smiled, shading her eyes with her hand. She chuckled to herself and then turned back to what she was working, arms akimbo.

The fertile volcanic soil was perfect for her new past time and Niven found a love and talent she'd not previously known about. She hadn't realized how much she would enjoy bringing life to plants and feeling the earth between her fingers. If only her mother could see her now. The thought brought a sad smile to Niven's lips, but she didn't well up and start to cry like she used to.

As the cycles and months had passed, slowly her grief was being assuaged. The children had been a great part of that, but Dante had been key. Being with him again, having him to talk to, be vulnerable with and his arms to cry in had been invaluable to her and paramount to her recovery. She had returned a few months ago, gaunt and emotionally destroyed. Now, steady meals had brought back her curves and a healthy look to her pallor, and while she wasn't 100% emotionally sound, she was at least a good 75% of the way there.

Satisfied with her progress on the one half of her garden bed, she wiped her hands on her apron before grabbing her hand spade and her rake and moved towards the other end of the garden bed. Kneeling down, she started to rake and dig to bring order back to the bed. She started to hum an elvish song about Carmelya as she worked.
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Old May 15, 2017, 12:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The brightening was warm. It was a nice change after the chill of winter. A large person stood, facing forward on the ferry as it approached the docks of Demios. His cloak was whipping in the breeze generated by the motion of the ship, but it didn't affect his hood. He stood casually, like he was used to standing on a ship. As the vessel reached the docks he shouldered his knapsack and skipped off the ship to the dock.

He strode purposefully toward Demios and it's familiar sights, sounds and smells. None of which were as familiar as when he passed by his father's warehouse. He noted that his father's fishing fleet was still out for the brightening. No doubt his siblings that still lived at home would be in schola. He smiled at the memories he'd had in the organized and clean warehouse. His dad, if nothing else, ran a tight and organized ship... err warehouse.

He headed toward his childhood home, excitement and anticipation speeding his steps. It had been a long time since he'd seen his mom and he couldn't wait to catch up. In a short amount of time he saw the top of his home. As he climbed up the hill he grinned. He just couldn't hold it in anymore. He raced toward the house. The front door flew open, "Mom! Mom! Are you here?!"
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Old May 15, 2017, 01:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It was Juno who noticed the visitor first. The scent of the family member carried on the breeze and reached his nostrils first and his head turned sharply as he bounded back towards the house, barking like mad. One of his people was home!


It was the barking that had Niven look up from her work to see her dog racing towards her. She stood and shaded her eyes to look at him again, confusion written across her features. ‘What’s gotten into him?’ she wondered.

Juno ran past her and started scratching on the back door. Still unsure, but slightly alarmed, Niven wiped her hands once again on her apron and headed towards the back door. “Alright, alright!” she said to her dog as he scratched and whined at the door.

Upon opening the door she heard someone call for mom. Her heart jumped into her throat. Could it be? She ran through the kitchen, into the foyer calling, “I’m here! I’m here!
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Old May 15, 2017, 02:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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At Niven's call a large grey cloak clad individual enveloped Niven in a massive bear hug. She couldn't see his face under his cloak, but by his size there could only be one child of hers. As he released her from her hug and stood up straight, he pulled back his hood. A young Vysstichi elf, very large for his race, with a military haircut.

"Serale Mother," Jar said softly. He gave Niven his boyish smile and hugged her again, "Sorry I couldn't get her sooner." He hugged her again then stood back and saluted her.

"Private Asunder reporting for duty ma'am," He gave her a big grin. "How have you been Mom? I sure missed you. Sorry I couldn't get back here sooner. I had to wait for leave and all that."
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Old May 15, 2017, 01:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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In a flash of gray, Niven was engulfed in the arms of who could only be Jar. She smiled as she pressed her cheek to his chest, wrapping her own arms around his muscular frame, and breathed in the familiar scent of her son. Joy rose up within her at the very feel of him. She couldn't be happier that he was home once again. The house seemed so different with the triplets out in Telath.

As he released her, Niven smiled as she looked up and she gave a slight chuckle as he removed his hood to reveal his new haircut. It suited him, but it would take Niven some getting used to.

Vedui, my son,” she replied to his greeting, matching his tone and decible. He smiled his adorable smile and Niven’s heart melted and she felt a rush of love for her child whom she had missed.

She laughed as he saluted her. She saluted him in return and said, “At ease, soldier.” He apologized a second time for not coming sooner, and she shook her head. “It doesn’t matter I’m just happy you are here.

Things were rough immediately following my return,“ she admitted, “But things are much better now. Your father and siblings have all seen to that.” She smiled up at him, to show that she was ok now.

"I can’t believe how grown up you all got in two eras!” she said, holding him at arms length to get a good look at him. “How’s military life? Is it everything you wanted it to be?” Her green eyes searched his face for confirmation that he was happy in his current vocation.
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Old May 16, 2017, 03:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Jar laughed at his mother's going along with his antics. Then he smiled at her response, "It's good to be here."

Jar grinned, "Yeah, Dad's pretty good at helping people. I'm glad you're ok. Father mentioned that it might be nice if I came by so I have."

Jar looked embarrassed, but was still smiling at what he took as a compliment. "Apparently a diet of fish is good for me," he explained. Then recovering from the embarrassment, he struck a hero pose and flexed, showing off his muscles.

"It's a lot like being home. It's structured and orderly. You get close to your squad like family," he replied looking as if he was far away. "The guys are difficult to deal with sometimes. They..." his jaw clenched for a moment, but then he relaxed, "took some getting used to. Unlike with family you have to earn their respect." He turned and looked at Niven grinning again, "But everything is great now."

He tilted his head to the side, "So have you heard from MJ or Kel?"
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Old May 16, 2017, 09:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Niven wasn’t surprised to see that racism had found her Vysstichi son, but she was sorry for it all the same. As Dante had said, people seemed to blame the darker races for all their issues, whether it was legitimate or not. She was pleased that he’d worked it out with his brothers in arms. “And now that you have their respect, you are a part of different family. Hopefully one that will have your back, as your father and I no longer can.” Niven smiled weakly. Jar was doing what he wanted and that made her happy. It didn’t take away the nervousness of not being able to protect him herself to ensure his safely. But he’d been able to survive on the streets and he was now an adult. She had to let him be free to make his own choices and write his own story. Didn’t mean it was easy.

Jar mentioned his siblings and Niven smiled. “We’ve been back and forth to Jaedaxia a few times to check on the business there and to see MJ. She’s doing quite well, thriving on the sea as we always knew she would. She, too, has earned the respect of her crew.

Kel...” Niven trailed off and looked very sad. She bit her lips and then continued. “Kel we haven’t heard from,” she said, looking quite upset. “MJ says he went off to do something in secret and made her promise not to tell. He writes her though, so we know for the most part that he’s ok. But it’s difficult not knowing for sure. I worry about him.
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Old May 16, 2017, 10:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Jar nodded, "They do indeed. We haven't seen any 'real' combat yet, but I'm sure something will come up soon. It always seems to, but like father says, 'Don't go looking for trouble or trouble will find you.'" The Vysstichi was still grinning, "Has Father always seemed so old?" Jar gave Niven a wink, "Don't tell him I said that. He'll trounce me again," Jar finished still smiling.

Jar listened to Niven explain about MJ and Kel. At the mention of his brother he shook his head. "I don't know what got into him. He just wasn't the same after you left. I think..." Jar looked hurt and a little worried, but then took a deep breath and continued, "I think he still remembers his birth mother. He didn't talk about it much, but he always seemed more comfortable when you were around. I know he loves father, but... I don't know. Once you were in our lives Mother I don't think he could handle being here without you in it." Jar gave her a wincing sort of half smile. "Sorry if that hurts you. It's just my opinion," Jar finished and gave Niven's shoulder a squeeze.

"So enough about that! You hungry? I'm starving. Should we get something?" As if on cue is stomach grumbled and he gave Niven the famous puppy dog look.
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Old May 16, 2017, 10:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Niven’s heart sank as Jar explained what he had observed about Kel. She hadn’t meant to hurt him. Another wave of regret washed over her. She couldn’t help but take responsibility for Kel’s feelings. Leaving their family to go on without her hadn’t been an easy decision. She and Dante had talked to all of their children before the decision was made, and while Kel looked miserable, they all had so she hadn’t thought too too much more about his reaction to the news. Now to hear he’d not taken to being able to handle day to day life with her absence....

Jar apologized if she’d been hurt, and Niven gave him a distracted smile. It had hurt, as unintentional as the infliction of it was. Finally finding her voice, she gave her son a more sincere smile. “It’s better to know than to not.

The change of topic was welcome and Niven’s smile turned from sad to warm. “Rosyun wasn’t that long ago for me, but I’ll have a snack while you eat,” she said. She patted his stomach and felt his well defined abdominal muscles. “Can’t have my soldier going hungry, now, can I?

As they walked into the kitchen, a thought struck Niven. "We should find Kala and let your father know you're home," she said with a smile, knowing full well that Dante would want to see their son as soon as possible. The Slirosian knew that he missed the triplets more than he let on. He may not say it out loud, but Niven knew him well enough to be able to sense his feelings, especially when it came to their children.
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Old May 17, 2017, 11:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Jar looked concerned at his mom, "Yeah, that's true. I don't know when he'll let us know where he's at, but at least you can rest assured that thanks to Dad he knows how to take care of himself." He tried to smile reassuringly, but it was obvious he was worried as well.

At the mention of Rosyun Jar grinned again. "Excellent. Can't have me eating alone. It's rude," he replied knowing how much stock Niven and Dante put into good manners. He flexed when his mom patted his gut. He couldn't let her think he was flabby. Plus a part of him liked to show off a bit. With a smile he headed toward the kitchen as Niven mention Kala.

"I was wondering where she was at. She didn't show up when I was calling for you," he looked back a little worried. "Should we look for her first?" he asked his mom.
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Old May 18, 2017, 12:08 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Niven laughed at the worried look on Jar’s face. “Have you ever known Kala to be unable to defend herself? I’m sure she’s fine, just running a few errands and will be back in the next candlemark or so. Let’s face it, with your little sisters and brother almost all grown up, there is really not much for her to do around here during the brightening. I say if she wants to take some time and leisurely do whatever she needs or wants to, she should!

The elf grabbed herself an apple and some water and allowed her son to get whatever he wanted. Lets be honest, he was a male and there wasn’t a young adult male alive who couldn’t sniff out food like a bloodhound.

So,” Niven said, sitting at the table with her snack. “What else is new and exciting in your life? Any women struck your fancy?” She winked at him and then took a bite of her apple.
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Old May 20, 2017, 02:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Jar still looked worried, but then he smiled, "You're probably right. I'd almost feel sorry for the person who tried to tangle with her." He gave Niven a half smile and his cheeks flushed a bit. He then grinned and headed to the kitchen.

After raiding the larder like a Viking pillaging a poor coastal village the youth reappeared with a heaping plate of food, most notable of which was a multi decker ham sandwich. There were other things too, like an apple as well, and some carrots. Jar also brought out a pitcher of milk and a glass. "Mmm..." he said between mouthfuls "MMmmm, dis ish sho musch better than..." he swallowed "...military rations." Then he attacked the meal again.

At Niven's question Jar swallowed wrong and started choking. After a coughing fit that left his eyes watering and his face almost as red at the apple he had on his plate, he finally got the issue under control. "Mmm," he started again then cleared his throat "...I uh..." he looked really, really embarrassed, most notably by the fact that the redness of his face stayed localized in his cheeks.
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Old May 20, 2017, 10:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Juno, whose tail had been wagging so hard his entire body wagged with it, danced around the pair looking for some affection of his own from the young Vysstichi. He was excited to see him too!

As Jar brought out food from the larder, and sat down at the table, Juno sat beside him, his drool making a little puddle on the floor before his front paws. The dog was acting like he was never fed. Niven gave him a stern look, and he laid down at Jar’s feet, looking properly admonished for begging, but still not leaving in hopes that Jar might slip him a little something or that something might fall.

Niven smiled as Jar dug into his sandwich. “I can imagine,” she said, her amusement on her face. “Though I feel between your father and Kala, you’ve been more than spoiled when it comes to good cooking. You are always welcome to come home whenever you can, even if it’s only for a good meal and not the company.

Her eyebrows raised as she watched her son choke on his food. Little chunks flew through the air and landed on her. She looked down at her dress and then back at him. “I see,” she said, brushing the bits off to the floor, an amused look on her face. “So who is she? Tell me about her. Where did you meet? What’s her name? When do we get to meet her?
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Old May 20, 2017, 11:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The youth absently patted Juno's head as the dog bounded about. Jar, understanding being always hungry, slipped a small piece of ham sandwich to the dog. "Here you go boy," he said sympathetically. His mother's comments on his being spoiled about food only brought a confused look on his face. His head tilted to the side in a familiar fashion. "Huh?"

Jar proceeded to look mortified at how he'd coughed food all over his mother. He stood quickly, almost tipping over his pitcher of milk and grabbed a napkin and tried to help Niven clean herself up. "Well..." he looked really nervous. About that time Kala walked into the kitchen. Jar's face was already blushing and his eyes turned soft and twinkling. He smiled goofily at Kala and waved.

Kala brightened and waved at Jar giving him a kind smile. She smiled and waved at Niven as well. She then took the groceries she was carrying into the larder. Jar's gaze followed her like Juno watching a sandwich. When she emerged he quickly looked away and completely focused on his sandwich. Kala felt a shift in his mood and looked a little hurt, but smiled at Niven and quickly wrote down on her slate board, "Need anything my lady?"
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Old May 21, 2017, 10:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Niven was completely miffed at her son’s unwillingness to speak about his love interest. She furrowed her brows, cocking her head slightly and giving him a questioning look. It had never been a problem before. The children were always fairly open about who they were interested in. His change in countenance, however, she did not miss as a Kala joined their party.

The Silrosian’s eyebrows rose as she watched Jar’s face change as their former nanny entered and his eyes followed Kala to the larder, his goofy smile never leaving his face. All the pieces started to fall together. ‘Oh.....my...... god!’ she thought, the idea itself quite a shock to her. Her surprise at this turn of events was evident on her face as she watched her son hide his attentions from the dracon-in-elf-seeming upon her re-emergence from the cold space in their home, her green eyes wide.

Her gaze shifted to the draconess as she asked if there was anything she needed. “Um...*ahem*,” She coughed slightly, her initial shock melting away. She smiled warmly at Kala. “No, I think we are fine, Kala, thank you.” Niven stole a glance at Jar. “But why don’t you join us?
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