spinastoryshallwe: (why hugging what)
[personal profile] spinastoryshallwe
GW2 Norn drabble thingy!

Title: Family

Lavina’s ten when she meets them outside, not wanting to remain in her empty house. There are three of them, two boys and a dark-haired girl. One of the boys is around her age with white hair and red eyes playing a game with the girl. The girl is wearing some of the brightest clothing Lavina’s ever seen—vibrant reds, oranges, and greens. Eye-hurting colors, Lavina thinks. The girl looks like the oldest of the three strangers, a pre-teen if not a full teen yet. The third kid, sitting on the fence between her house and then next, laughs, brushing his dark hair back.

“Maeryn, come on. It’s not as much fun if you’re so far behind me,” the other girl calls, resting a tan hand on one hip.

“Give him a break, Skadi!” the boy on the fence calls, laughing. “You’ve got more practice with this.”
Skadi replies with a rude gesture, a smile on her face.

Ah, Lavina thinks, they saw me. She takes a step back, not sure what to do with Maeryn’s stare.

“Do you want to play too?” he asks, tilting his head.

Do I…? Those people haven’t come back for a while, so it’s okay if I play with others, right? Slowly she nods. “How?”

With a laugh and a smile, Maeryn, Skadi, and the boy on the fence explain. She spends the rest of that day playing what they call tag with them, not minding going back into her lonely house that night since she could play with them again tomorrow. They ran inside the house next to hers when a man and a woman called for them.

She’s twelve when their father asks her to stay with them. “Why?” she asks, furrowing her brow as she fixes her ponytail. “I already live next door, Drott.”

He sighs, running a hand through his white hair. “My wife and I can see, you know. The lights are only on in your house when you go back there after we call our kids in, and we’ve only seen your parents a few times in two years.” He rests a hand on her shoulder. “It’s not uncommon for parents to leave their kids alone while they go off hunting or adventuring, but we can’t let you continue to be neglected. You’d be sharing a room with Skadi for a while—we don’t have quite enough yet to give you your own room.”

Lavina frowns, looking at the ground. This was too much, if he wasn’t serious. Why would he be serious? “I don’t get it. Why?”

“We thought about waiting until we finished making furniture for a room of your own, but that was too long to wait. You’re already a part of our family, you know.” Drott held his other hand out to her, tanned hand palm up. “And it’ll make it a lot easier for you to do things with my other kids.”

Ah. He is serious. “What about the furniture in that house?” Lavina asks, staring at his hand.

Drott smiles at her, “If there’s something you want, we can move it. Like you said, that house is next door. We thought you might not want to be reminded of that place though, so we were just going to leave everything there unless you wanted to do something with it.”

After a moment, she takes his hand. He pulls her into a hug, and she smiles against her shoulder. He pretends not to notice the hot damp spots under her face.

When Skadi returns from hunting with her brothers and mother, the two girls decide that Lavina gets the lower bunk of the bunk bed in their room. Later that night when Lavina’s trying to sleep in the unfamiliar room, Skadi leans over the side of the bed, her dark hair falling in braids around her face with her green bandana removed. “Lavina’s a mouthful,” she says, yawning. “My brothers and I’ve been thinking about it, and…can we call you Lav’? Or Lavi or something?”

Lavi smiles and nods into her pillow. “I’d like that.”

Skadi grins and settles herself on her bed again.

After she stops hearing Skadi’s movements, Lavi whispers, “Thanks.” She falls asleep before she can tell if Skadi heard her or not.

She’s fifteen and laughs as the brothers get scolded by their mother for being too loud. Skadi and Drott are on a hunting trip to get more meat for the winter and to trade with other families for other supplies. She smiles at them from her chair and wonders how she thought that it was fine to live without a family if that family didn’t return.

The people she lives with now are more like her family than her birth parents ever were.

Skadi and Drott return hours later with meat, and Lavi helps them prepare it, wincing at Skadi’s ever brighter clothes.

“Are you trying to look even more like a chili pepper?” she asks the older girl, blinking to try and get the colors to stop hurting her eyes.

Skadi just grins, “I like it. Help me with the next piece?”

With a sigh and a little smile, Lavi does so.

It’s not long after she turns thirty that the brothers and their mother are late coming back from a hunting trip. The four children—she counts herself now—live nearby, but they come back to help Drott and his wife hunt sometimes.

After some arguing, Skadi and Drott decide to head out to find them, Lavi deciding to stay behind so that they have someone waiting for them too. They’re going to be okay, she thinks to herself, they got lost or something and it’s taking them a little longer to get back. I won’t be left alone again, not for long. She clears the kitchen counter and gathers up clean cloth, just in case, while she waits for the others to return.

A few hours later, they stagger in with a bloody Maeryn leaning on Drott to walk. Biting back a curse, Lavi moves to help Drott with Maeryn’s wounds.

“Where are we?” Maeryn asks, eyes not focusing on anything.

There’s a lot of blood around his eyes, Lavi notices, something sinking in her gut.

Skadi looks between him and sighs softly. “Maeryn, we’re at Da’s place.”

“Oh. Who else is here? You are, and Da helped, but there’s another.” Maeryn frowns.

Lavi starts wiping some of the blood off of his face gently. “Who else would it be? Have you forgotten?” she asks, trying not to cry and not to make a joke.

“Lavi.” He almost laughs. “Remembering isn’t the problem. Seeing is.”

Lavi’s older now, both Maeryn and she joined the research division they had been talking about, and she spends a good portion of her time at her desk next to Maeryn’s. It’s not common for the division to have multiple people in one room, but after they explained, those in charge agreed.

Unfortunately, not all those in the division agreed with that decision. Lavi sighs, standing up from her history book with annoyance. Someone was here to pester her brother about being blind again.

It’s a new person at least. “I said, why’re you here if you’re blind?”

Maeryn doesn’t move, continuing to write his notes. “My handwriting is probably better than yours.” He smiles slightly, “And besides, I doubt you’re my type.”

The man huffs and leaves the room.

Lavi looks at Maeryn and laughs. “He wasn't."
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Cai

November 2016

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