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    Change of plans

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    Curtana
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by Curtana on 09/01/13, 08:27 pm

    "Only a little," Aleyn said. "I still don't think it makes a whole lot of sense, but I get that that's how things work for people like you." He fiddled with the edge of the pillow. "It can't alldepend on you, though - the fate of Nerath, all that. If you... if you were still married to Jacinthe, for instance, he couldn't marry you to someone else, and he'd have to make all those alliances and whatever without you."
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    elanya
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by elanya on 09/01/13, 08:42 pm

    He took a deep breath, keeping his thoughts calm. "No. It doesn't all depend on me, and I'm not the only one he'll call on, either. I don't know what it would be like if....the situation were different. It might have made it harder for him to find the support he needs. But it isn't different. And because this is a Thunderbolts thing, he can't keep me out of it, or it will all look...weak. I know he'll try to give me as much time as he can but..." Vedran paused again, trying to keep himself relaxed, to meet Aleyn's eyes. "There's a chance that... if he can make an alliance... it will be before we go to Nachtur. In case anything happens to me..."
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by Curtana on 09/01/13, 08:52 pm

    "That's even worse than thinking about you getting married," Aleyn said unhappily, tangling his fingers between Vedran's. "Let's not talk about that now. Let's just deal with the... the inevitable stuff instead. Was there more you needed to tell me about alliances and all that?"
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by elanya on 09/01/13, 08:55 pm

    He tightened his fingers around Aleyn's, looking down at them, and shook his head. "No... Give me a minute?"

    He glanced up guiltily before grabbing the bottle and taking another long drink of the sour wine.
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by Curtana on 09/01/13, 09:06 pm

    Aleyn waited for Vedran to finish his drink, but waved aside the offer of more for himself. He was trying to think about what he needed to say, to make it come out right and not sound like demands or arguments, and probably more wine wouldn't help at this point. "I understand you can't marry me," he said at last. "I meant it when I asked, even though it was something I blurted out without thinking, and if things changed and you suddenly could, I'd do it in a heartbeat, but... I know it's not going to happen. But... for me to be able to do this, stay with you through all this, I think there are some things I need. And you always told me I shouldn't let you, or this situation, make me unhappy, that I should say what I need, so ... I have a few thoughts. And maybe we can't do all of them, or not right now, and it doesn't mean I'm going to leave if you say no to something... but it's things that are important to me. Is that okay to talk about?"
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    elanya
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by elanya on 09/01/13, 09:18 pm

    Vedran put the bottle down slowly, listening to Aleyn, his unsettled anxieties spoling his calm. "It's okay, just... I mean,I don't want to think about marrying *anyone* right now, because, I keep thinking of how it will all go wrong, and that I'll be all crazy, and ruin eveeything, what we have and... I know thins is important and I want to listen, I do, just I need a minute, or I'm, I might not understand right and... can I just lean on you for a bit, first?"
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by Curtana on 09/01/13, 09:30 pm

    "Of course," Aleyn said, moving to give Vedran room to cuddle up to him (or as much room as possible on the narrow bed, anyway). He closed his eyes, breathing in the comfortable, familiar smell of him, and was patient. It gave him more time to formulate his thoughts anyway, although it was a little harder to put together coherent sentences in his head when they were this close...
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by elanya on 09/01/13, 10:42 pm

    He curled up with his head against Aleyn's shoulder, but he could still hear Aleyn's heart beating, and he closed his eyes and let the sound calm him, the warmth oh his body, his smell... His patience. With the wine in his system, he felt dozy, not caught up yet on sleep from the past few days. Once he felt more relaxed again, he uncurled his fingers, splaying them across Aleyn's stomach. "Okay," he said without moving, "I'm listening. What do you need?"
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by Curtana on 09/01/13, 10:50 pm

    Aleyn took a deep breath. "Well... the first thing is also the one I'm least sure about how it would work best, because I don't know all the details of how you meet the ... what should I call them? candidates? The women, anyway. There are probably all sorts of formal dinners and meetings and things you have to do to make it proper. But I'd like the chance to meet them too, at least any that seem like ... like serious prospects. Not meet them in passing, or with a hundred other people around, but actually sit down and talk with them, maybe over dinner or whatever is ... appropriate. With you there too, of course," he added. "So that we all get a sense of whether we can get along and... and be friendly."
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by elanya on 09/01/13, 10:57 pm

    He nodded against Aleyn's chest. "I want that too, if we can..."
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by Curtana on 09/01/13, 11:05 pm

    "I know you probably won't make your choice just based on what I think," Aleyn said. "Honestly, I'm not sure how that works, and I know there are probably a thousand factors that go into it, and not all of them are up to you. But if she's rude and horrible to me, or sniffy and stuck-up and doesn't even want to talk to me... well, I hope that would be a big strike against her."
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by elanya on 09/01/13, 11:10 pm

    He nodded again, but he hadn't felt capable of asking his father for more details when he'd brought it up, and he didn't really know what his thoughts were on the process. "No one like that," he agreed. He needed someone he could get along with, and if they couldn't be civil to Aleyn it would be a large strike indeed.
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by Curtana on 09/01/13, 11:23 pm

    "Okay," Aleyn said, a little relieved that his first request had been well-received. "The next thing, I understand maybe it couldn't happen until after ... after everything was settled. But I'd like to be able to go out with you, the two of us in public, without having to be worried all the time about how it looks. I don't mean to rub it in everyone's faces, or to flaunt what's going on, but..." He paused, thinking about his next words. "I know that sometimes noblemen will... acknowledge? is that the right word? a mistress or whatever. Or sometimes that it's kind of an open secret that people know but don't talk about? I don't know how it all works," he admitted, "and I don't want to make some huge scandal. It's not even the secrecy that bothers me, really - it's not anyone's business but ours, after all. It's just how it makes us act with each other - all tense and worried about other stuff when we should be enjoying spending time together. It felt so much more relaxed and normal when we were in Ahkas, and I'd like to try and make it more like that here too. If you have ideas of how that could work, I'm happy to listen."
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by elanya on 09/01/13, 11:30 pm

    That one gave him a little more pause - not that he didn't want it too, but because he was a little less certain how to proceed with it without it disrupting their lives, or other people's lives... "It will take time," he said after a moment. "But we can get there. There will already be talk..."
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by Curtana on 09/01/13, 11:41 pm

    "Is there? I don't even know where to look for that sort of thing," Aleyn said with a bit of a chuckle. "I guess I'm not surprised, though. I mean, half the people around my old neighbourhood seem to have heard, just because I brought you over for breakfast that time." He hugged Vedran closer for a moment. "I'm okay if it doesn't happen overnight. I'd just like it to be something we're aiming towards. I mean, surely if people get used to seeing us together, it'll stop being interesting and gossip-worthy after a while, right?"
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by elanya on 09/01/13, 11:49 pm

    "No, I mean.... I haven't seen anything, in the broadsheets... But if you stay behind..." He furrowed his brow. "I don't want to have to be more careful, now, but... But you'll have plenty of reason to be at my house, I guess. I don't know. Eventually though, you're right. Once...everything's settled, it will become less interesting, in time." If people in Aleyn's neighborhood were talking about it, it might only be a matter of time. What was most frustrating was that it really only mattered how things *looked*, not what he was actually doing.
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by Curtana on 10/01/13, 12:01 am

    "Vedran, I have the feeling if I stay - whenI stay - that we'll both be working so much I'll be over at your place for totally innocuous reasons all the time. And if sometimes those reasons are to remind you to sleep, perhaps by dragging you into bed, well... that's part of my job as your, uh, valued teammate." He planted a quick kiss on Vedran's forehead.
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by elanya on 10/01/13, 12:04 am

    He smiled. "I know. We work well together... but they'll still talk, even if they're guessing or making it up."
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by Curtana on 10/01/13, 12:14 am

    "If they're going to talk regardless of how subtle we think we're being, and make up stories even if we don't do a thing, then I for one vote for just doing what we want. Within reason, obviously," Aleyn said with a sly smile. "No making out across the table at fancy restaurants, hm?"
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by elanya on 10/01/13, 12:28 am

    He sighed. "That's the difference between... just talk, and an actual scandal. Talk I can manage. Scandal is... Nosey broadsheet writers showing up at your mother's house and pestering her about what I take in my coffee. I can't risk that by just....doing what I want, or we want, right now."
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by Curtana on 10/01/13, 12:37 am

    "I know," Aleyn said gently. "Like I said - I know it's not something we can do overnight, and I don't want to make a spectacle of ourselves. But once things are more settled down... well, maybe then we can test the waters a little and see how the reaction goes? Maybe it won't be as bad as you think," he added hopefully.

    He hesitated briefly. The conversation had been going well so far, he thought, and he was reluctant to press Vedran too far too quickly, but maybe it was better if he just got everything out now. "The last thing I want to talk about is kind of more... about our feelings, and all that, although there are some practical aspects to it. If you don't want to talk about that side of things yet, I can wait, but... I'd like to say what's on my mind, if you can handle it."
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by elanya on 10/01/13, 12:40 am

    He took a minute to listen to Aleyn's heart again, beating more nervously now, before he nodded. Listening he could do.
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by Curtana on 10/01/13, 11:31 am

    Even with as much thought as he had given this issue - not just today, but sporadically over the past month or two - it was hard to know where to start. "I guess first I want to say that I'm not unhappy with how things are now, or with what you've been able to give me... I know this is hard for you, and I think it's gotten a lot better even just in the, what, four months we've been seeing each other, and I'm glad of that. So I don't want any of this to sound like a criticism." He paused to give Vedran another little kiss on the temple.

    "It's more about what's going to happen after... after you get married. About things that I'm scared of having happen, and that I think would make me unhappy if they did. I know we can't predict how things will go or what the future will bring, but I feel like I need to make it clear what I don't want, at the very least. I don't want to feel like a side-note in your life. I guess that goes along with the 'being able to go out together in public' thing, and also with the 'I need to be able to deal comfortably with your new wife and she has to be able to deal with me too' thing... but it's more than that. I know that you'll have new obligations, and maybe so will I, if things work out with adopting, but I want to know we'll still make time for each other. And that could be doing things all together with families, and also just with the two of us. It might be that when we go on the road - assuming we're still doing that - will be some of the prime 'two of us' time, and if so then I want to make that count. So... getting more comfortable with tents might be important," he said with a little smile.

    "I think the thing I'm scared of," he continued, "is becoming the person you go to when you need ... something. Sex, or comforting, or advice. And not otherwise, because of being busy or because of how it looks, or because it's inconvenient... But I need to be able to go to you too when I need any or all of that. And for our relationship to not be just about that stuff. And I need to know that even when times come up where we can't be together, that we're still... together in our hearts. Does that all make sense? If it does, I have some thoughts about how we could maybe help it happen."
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by elanya on 10/01/13, 12:29 pm

    Vedran lay there for a while, not saying anything, his brow creased slightly as he thought it through. It wasn't that anything Aleyn was saying was surprising, it was more that those were the same fears he had - that he would take advantage of him in some way, maybe without realizing or thinking about it, or that he wouldn't be able to be there for him, or give him what he needed...

    Eventually, he turned over so he could look up better at Aleyn. "I want that - I want all of that. But I'm scared of making promises I can't follow through on, because I don't know how this will go. And I'm scared, to, to go to someone and say, well you have to live with all of this, when I'm... I have to live with them and.. I already have so many.. problems with me, and I don't know what they'll think, or if they even want any of this or... I just... I want it but I don't know if I can. I don't want to say I can, and hurt you if I can't, but I *want* it.."


    By the time he finished speaking, he was tense again, and laid his head down on Aleyn's chest.
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    Re: Change of plans

    Post by Curtana on 10/01/13, 01:29 pm

    "All right. I'm glad you want it too, that's important to me." He could feel the tension in Vedran's body, and so he just held him close for a little while, waiting for him to calm, while he tried to put together what he wanted to say next.

    "I do think you'll have to say these sorts of things to ... whoever... before any agreements are made. It's better to know up front where any problems might be, on all sides. If she can't handle it - any aspect of it, I mean - then there's still a chance to change plans before either of you are..." He mentally scratched out the word 'trapped'. "...committed to anything. No one should be going into this carelessly or blindly, including me. I know you know that too... I just wanted to remind you how this time will be different, and hopefully much better, if we handle things right."

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