Perplexing the Innocent [14 Chirreb 4261]
Last year this day or so, I was told how to get to my first classroom, including sneaking through the dean's window. Some of the other new students were sent on different paths, including through the sewers, and, naked, through public spots. I thought to myself (and many first-year students thought out loud) that it would be better not to do that traditional prank. At the time, though, I was looking forward to doing that to this year's crop of new students.
Now ... A very shiny blue-green Herethroy boy asked me where the Green Tile classroom was, and I just pointed to Sprowlween Hall and said, "Third door on the left. There's a green clay tile on the door."
He looked a bit worried. "That's all?"
He stode off, looking very wary. The wind of his passage, or the approaching thunderstorm, knocked my romantical hat off. Seeks-Lamps dashed off and caught it, and teased me about not being sufficiently tradition-spirited to give proper directions.
If I'd been a bit faster with my tongue, I'd have said that I am being swatted around far too much by older and more powerful forces myself, and that I don't really feel amused to pass the favor on. Probably just as well I didn't think of that at the time, though; she might have taken it poorly.
We went to the Pavilion of Splendor to check on people.
Thery is still unconscious, hammered to paper by getting forcefully dragged back to life so often, and with a big sewed-up baby-sized gash in her belly.
Yarwain looks ragged and acts ragged. He is trying to learn how to take care of a helpless baby and a helpless wife, with a marauding countess on the loose nearby. Fortunately there are many experienced people around. Unfortunately some of them are Thery's parents, among others, who are dearly and instantly and delightedly fond of Ficina, and not nearly so fond of Yarwain for getting their daughter pregnant and as-good-as-abducted and many-times-dead and all. We abducted Yarwain for a quick lunch and some same-species backrubs on the boardwalk. (From Ghirbis and Esory, of course.) This helped some.
Levande looks ragged and acts ragged too. Ficina has not really figured out how to do anything but cry. In particular she has not figured out how to nurse, exactly. If you put her in the right place (with her body under Levande's arm and head at Levande's bosom) and tug her tail 'til she starts to open her mouth to squeak and shove her head against the nipple, she'll sometimes clamp down on it and start lapping and actually get some milk. Sometimes she will realize that this is a good thing, and keep going for a while. Sometimes she will realize that this is a good thing, but try to breathe the wrong way, and choke on the milk, and start wailing, and you need to pet her a few minutes 'til she calms down and you can try again. Sometimes she will not realize this is a good thing, and start wailing, and you need to pet her a few minutes 'til she calms down and you can try again. The nurses can get it right almost every time, so Ficina is getting plenty.
Levande and Yarwain almost never get it right. "You flinched!" -- "No, you pushed too soon!" Levande didn't realize that she would be working so closely with Yarwain when she put herself into this position, and they are grating on each others' nerves -- and then sprinkling the freshly-grated nerves with arhoolie vinegar.
The nurses noted to us that married couples always do that on their first baby. Of course, Levande and Yarwain aren't married, nor do they even like each other very much. That can't be good, can it?
Ficina, the Little Fig, is far cuter than her name might suggest. She's usually wrapped very tightly in blankets, or being held by Yarwain, a relative, Levande, Iska, or someone. Her eyes are two wide shiny drops of cave-water. She twitches her whiskers left-then-right, just like Yarwain. That's about it for Ficina herself now, at least the parts I'm concerned with. I suppose there'll be more later.
I hope in the end that she's worth all the trouble. Which is a terrible thing to say about someone, especially someone even more innocent of things than I am, but several people that I care about have had many bad months because of her, and I don't think it'll be any better now that she's here. She was conceived as a weapon against Levande, and Levande is trying to turn her and use her against Yarwain.
Well, I suppose I need to go work on my own career of being used as a weapon against Vae, and do the preliminaries for the nendrai class.