from_the_west: ([mac lugh] alistar - the faerever)
[personal profile] from_the_west
a bit more, that follows this. an appearance is made by wee!alistar.

*****


She sent out an open summons for someone to bring her a platter with bits of meat, bread, fruit on it--she had no inkling of how fussy an eater the child might be.

She set him on her bed, with his blanket and her silk, sucking his fingers, his eyes all reddened and tear stains tracked down his dirty face. "Grane?" He asked, and stuffed his fingers back in his mouth again.

"I'm so sorry, bebe." Delande told him gently, "but I think you'll be happy here."

There was a soft tap and a girl handed the platter over, heaped high with more food and more varieties of it than Delande entirely had in mind, and of course Brenan refused it entirely; he twisted his head away, fingers still firmly planted in his mouth.

"You're much too tired to eat now? Poor Bren. I'm going to wash you and put you in something soft and lay down with you and sing until you sleep."

He protested the undressing, and cried through his bath, however warm and pleasant the basin full of water might be. She made it brief but thorough, and the lavender-scented water was dingy and gray and full of bits of leaves and other debris he'd collected on his journey when she was done. He continued to cry softly through being wrapped up again, nice and warm and dry, and kept fussing through the point she laid him down and lay beside him, because he was quite miserable now, even a little feverish, his limbs trembling and mostly uncontrolled, and he likely had no clue that relief lay in rest.

Finally it was an act of will, subtle and gently layered through her song, that got him to sleep.

She lay there a bit, stealing rest while she could, and taking a moment to see what would be changed by this, before rising and going to find her first son.

******

Alistar was learning his letters--or at least an attempt was being made to teach him his letters by a bright blue-feathered child of an older schooling-age equivalent; this one had apparently not chosen a gender, as the first wave of faery-born did by that time, and most of the rest during adolescence, if they bothered at all. It had already found a certain expression of patience that was the mark of certain of their elders, along with a compulsion to teach, though. It had also appeared to have staked out Alistar as a its own to shepherd at some point over the last two moons, but Delande had yet to catch its name.

The young prince was not an easy pupil; his attention wandered everywhere, as did the rest of him, and he was constantly singing. At the moment he was making musical commentary on the letters' resemblance to various farm animals in a cheerful warbling lisp.

Delande's appearance got a cheerful "'Lo, Madi!" and an even more long-suffering look from the would-be teacher. This one in particular seemed to like beads, though, and Delande kept a small, odd selection of them from Avalon on her person. She handed over a few that were various bits of blue sky ranging a few shades lighter and darker than the youngster's feathers, complete with clouds slowly drifting, and the fravashi gave a bird's trill of delight and vanished.

Delande picked up a stray feather from the vacated seat, sat down, and handed the bright blue feather to Alistar, who took it, scrutinized it very carefully, and then laid it aside, before continuing to manipulate the letters on the page into crude animal shapes with his fingers.

"I have a surprise for you." Delande told him.

"Tá?"

"Tá."

The warbling and willful re-shaping of ink did not cease. He'd already learned that a surprise later was not necessarily an improvement on an interesting activity now.

"I brought you a little brother." Delande added.

He still did not pause, but his face twisted in contemplation. Finally he asked, "What kind of brother?"

Delande grinned. "What do you mean, what kind of brother? Sidhe, like you and me."

"Ni." Alistar corrected impatiently. "A girl or a boy brother?"

"All brothers are boys, Aly-garto. The girls are called 'sisters.'"

"Oh." She doubted he actually retained that, but one never knew--she hadn't expected him to retain the fleeting information that there was a lizard with many teeth that lay in rivers in the south, either, but he still liked it when his mother sometimes twisted his name into one. "Can I play with him?"

"Tá. After he naps. He's new, and we're strange to him, so he may not be easy to play with at first."

"Se maith." Alistar said. "Tell me when I can play with him." Then he added a very dramatic cry of -- "Ada nil! I messed it all up!" complete with an exaggerated palm-to-forehead gesture; Delande chuckled and reached across the table to help him coax the inked letters from where he'd accidentally brushed them on the table, back onto the scroll. They spent the next bit of afternoon reshaping the ink back into proper letters again, and Delande taught him a new song, of their names and all the sounds they made.

She supposed she might find it in her to get back to court eventually.
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