Chapter 160: Shahin
And we, we are the conquerors
We are the soldiers, we are the lovers
That's why we fall in love
That's why we believe in love, that's why we marry

"Did your mother RSVP yet?" Shahin looked up from the guest list at Emrys, and shifted her position, again, trying to get comfortable.

"Yes, I finally got it. That's the last of the important people, at least."

She nodded. "Regine just RSVP'd for her and… Ambrus."

"So, who are we still missing, then?"

She glanced at the list again. "Two of my aunts. Two professors - Valerian and Fridmar - and a half-dozen students, including Yngvi, which is stupid, he'll be there."

"Good enough to plan the seating, then. I've got a diagram of Maureen's place to start from."

"Sounds fun." She tried laying down on her stomach, and frowned. "Toss me a pillow, Xav?" The girl looked up from her position at the desk in the corner and nodded, reaching over to the bed and pitching a pillow down it to Shahin. "Thanks, sweetie." She settled herself a little more comfortably. "So, how are we doing this?"

"By which you mean, how much do we really want our normal families to interact with our friends and teachers here?" Emrys replied without a backward glance at her interaction with Xaviera; they'd all become more accustomed to each other in the past couple months, and although there was clearly still some tension, there had been no major eruptions. Recently.

"Whose family is normal?" she asked dryly.

"You know what I mean," he chuckled. "I'm not at all sure I trust some of the students around them. Or the teachers, for that matter. On the other hand, if we just drop them all together at their own tables, they'll be isolated and bored stiff."

"Mmm. I don't really want to get my mother and your mother all that close to each other. And I'd put my aunts up against anyone here except maybe the Second Cohort…. Maybe with the professors?"

"Our Mentors at least, sure. I'm glad Linden will be busy enough not to need a table seat."

"Don't want to find a place to put him?" She tilted her head, "or don't want to risk a half-sibling nine months after the wedding?"

"More the latter," Emrys sighed. "Still, I hear he's a great musician, and I'm glad Ty got him to agree to do it."

"Me, too. I didn't really want to resort to my Aunt Alberta's flute-playing." They'd made all kinds of deals, with all kinds of people, to get everything prepared. Shahin had been aware, on some subconscious level, of the amount of work and planning that went into a wedding, but actually doing it was something else altogether. It seemed there was always another detail they hadn't thought of, and something else that had to be made, or paid for, or bargained for.

The dress she could - and would - handle. The music, the food, the location, the invitations, all that had been bargained for. On the suggestion of their Mentors, Lady Maureen had been retained to help with the planning, preparation, and venue; there was no church in the Village, but they weren't intending on a church wedding, anyway. Shahin would walk down the aisle to Professor VanderLinden's harp playing…

"Flowers," she exclaimed abruptly.

"Flowers," Emrys echoed. "Well, Ty's the best in the school with plants, but we already owe him one, and I'd rather not have too many open favors out there. You've been getting pretty good though, I bet you could do them yourself."

"Hrm." She hadn't thought of that. She grabbed her Greek lexicon, flipped through for a moment, and then stared at her fingers. "Meentik huama ??????."Grass was easy, and a pile of green stuff appeared across her hand. "Aistrigh huama ??????, ??????." The grass in her hand slowly twisted and changed, growing into a calla lily. She smiled triumphantly, and Emrys grinned at her. "Awesome. It'll take some time for quantity, but you've got it. Valerian's classes are paying off."

"She's a good teacher," Shahin agreed.

"With that and fire…" Xaviera commented quietly.

Emrys nodded. "Master of Kwxe and Huamu. Drake said they used to call them Warmages, back in the day."

Shahin looked down dryly at herself. "I don't feel much like a war-anything." She still had moments where the cravings were too much, moments where she had to go sit quietly in a dark room to keep from breaking down.

"We're still learning, too. He's talking about in twenty, fifty, a hundred years."

She shook her head. "I'm still getting used to thinking about ten years in the future, much less a hundred." She looked down at herself again. "He'll be a grandfather himself, then. Great-grandfather, the way Addergoole does things."

"In fifty, likely. We'll make it work, though. And who knows - this place might not even still be here."

"I know we will." She reached over and squeezed his hand. "We have to survive our wedding, first."

"Surviving it shouldn't be too hard at least, unless Wren or Nydia decide to poison us," he joked.

"I'm not sure Nydia's up to 'decisions,' and Wren's looking to get rid of those." She shook her head. "Seriously. I thought what I did for Phelen was weird and creepy enough…"

"To each their own though, right? Who was it she wanted, Elfred?"

"Yes." She chewed on the end of her pen idly. "The two of them seem happy together…"

"She knows what she wants. It's no worse than asking for the other direction - better, maybe."

"Better," she agreed quietly. "So that's her taken care of, or will be." She looked back at the seating plan. "Anyone you want to mess with?" she asked, with a sudden sharp smile.

"Mess with?" he laughed. "Like how?"

"Oh, I don't know. Put them in a not-untenable-but-uncomfortable seating arrangement?"

"Wasn't there a list of people we were kind of obligated to invite but don't really like that much?" Emrys grinned.

She smirked back at him. "Yes, yes there was."

"I'm not on that list, am I?" Xaviera joked. At least, Shahin was fairly certain she was joking.

"No, we wouldn't have been obligated to invite you." Emrys, she knew was joking. Probably.

"Do I still have to come up with a gift?"

"No one has to..."

"I Belong to you," she complained, although it still sounded mostly jocular. "Everything I own is already yours." She had a thoughtful look as she trailed off, though, that made Shahin wonder if she should worry.

"I wouldn't worry about it," Emrys shrugged.

"Back to the tables?" Shahin suggested.

"Speaking of tables, actually, we never did decide what we were going to put on them. What kind of centerpieces and favors are we going to put together? We need to make a decision and pick something, we've only got another seventeen days to assemble them."

Shahin frowned. "It should be something that represents us," she began.

"You can't set the tables on fire," Xaviera interjected.

"Well we could," Emrys mused jovially.

"The more human guests might object," Shahin pointed out dryly.

"So what do you suggest, then?"

"I hadn't gotten there before you two started setting stuff on theoretical fire."

"Put that aside, then."

"Fire, ice…" She smirked tiredly, "does sum us up nicely. That and 'black.'"

"Well, candles are traditional, as part of the centerpiece at least. We could make ice candles?"

She smiled at him, filled with sudden affection. She'd never pictured him the wedding planner sort. "Yes. Yes, I'd like that."

"We just need a waterworker then. Someone who can preserve, and control wouldn't hurt."

"Kai's really good with water. I wonder if she can preserve…?" Of course, Kai hadn't been too thrilled with the whole wedding thing, either.

Emrys nodded. "It won't hurt to ask her, at least. That's good, she probably wouldn't charge us either."

She couldn't help but laugh. "Mercenary."

He spread his hands and shrugged. "Lots of people are, around here. Anything we can get on good will alone is a bonus."

"Mm," she agreed quietly. "Seems that's in short supply, that's for sure."

"It hasn't been too bad, though, putting it all together. Most people have been pretty reasonable. It's going to be great."

"Yeah…" What little she'd pictured her wedding, growing up, had never involved bartering favors to set it up. It hadn't involved a dress to deal with a slowly expanding waistline, either, or their mutually Kept girl listening to them plan the whole thing.

She reached over and squeezed his hand. It hadn't involved him, either. "It will be," she smiled. "It has to be. It's us."


  Copyright © 2009-2012 Lyn Thorne-Alder with Elasmo. All rights reserved.