(OOC note: this isn't you. It's not you either. OK, well, one bit of the general Cani customs is you, but no item or situation in the story refers to anyone or anything out of it.)
When I got home from Threeze, the apartment was full of Cani, evidently busy with their party. "What party is this?" I asked Anoof, who met me at the door.
"Welcome back, Sythyry. Do you know how Spirshash got his name?", said Anoof.
"I never asked -- I suppose he picked it himself. Orren usually do. Why?"
"Oh, surely he picked it himself. Because he's very good at spear fighting."
This did not please me greatly. "Anoof? Did he kill Tillissa or Oostmarine?"
Anoof giggled. "No, he didn't kill anyone. Havune will be better in a day or two."
I expressed disbelief; Anoof expressed certainty. I expressed bafflement; Anoof expressed complexity of events. I expressed confusion; Anoof expressed unhappiness. I expressed a desire to enter my home; Anoof expressed the opinion that the fault was only slightly mine and that thus I would be allowed in. Havune, on the couch in his bandages, expressed that I had charged him with a more difficult task than he had expected. Leiska expressed amusement and that Havune had had his fun as well.
Here, then, is the story from the Cani side. I am sure that I have to go get Spirshash's side as well.
|Date||Cani side||Spirshash side|
|Nivvem 20||"You know this part, Sythyry". Oostmarine and Tillissa break up in a terrible fight. Spirshash tries to stay with both. I leave for Threeze, telling Havune to keep an eye on Spirshash.|
|Nivvem 22||Spirshash, Oostmarine, and Tillissa reconcile and break up (in some configuration or other) every hour on the hour.|
|Nivvem 24||Spirshash and Oostmarine come over to the apartment for the third time to complain about Tillissa, who has abducted various of Oostmarine's memorabilia, and destroyed many of them. Oostmarine is deep in his tears, and greatly in need of comforting. Havune notes that Tillissa could also abduct their common funds. Spirshash runs to the bank to prevent her (or, to preemptively abduct them himself); Havune continues to comfort Oostmarine. On the way back he is distracted into a kite-flying contest by Strenata and does not return for two or three hours. By the time he returns, Oostmarine and Havune are taking Tethezai's best advice -- and mine, according to Leiska -- about whom one should be intimate with, and how. (Leiska didn't sound terribly happy about this, and Havune had his tail between his legs as best as I could see with the blankets.) Spirshash is furious. Oostmarine curls up and refuses to say a word. Havune apologizes with dignity for letting Spirshash see it, but not for the deed-in-progress itself. Spirshash says with a big smile, "There is one thing you can do." Havune eagerly says, "I'd be glad to!", expecting delightful excitement too large for his own bed. "We shall duel, then. With spears," says Spirshash. Havune realizes just a touch too late that he has misread Spirshash's mood considerably; he attempts to evade the event, but only gets the promise that the duel shall be merely to first blood.|
|Nivvem 26||The duel is fought on the campus duelling ground. Havune pays for the healer. Havune decides to let Spirshash stab him without defending particularly, so that the duel shall be fast and so that Spirshash shall be satisfied. Havune does not realize that Spirshash is actually quite good with the weapon. Spirshash strikes very hard indeed, and subtly, damaging Havune's entrails in some horrid way. The healer earns zir pay, but cannot heal Havune entirely at once; Havune's injury, with the spell on it, will recover in some days of rest.|
Havune is resting at home. Everyone he is engaged to is there tending him, and preparing for First Day in this way or that. They are generally somewhat annoyed with him. Cani are hot-blooded and liable to be lecherous, but ought to have more of a sense of responsibility -- to themselves; to their fiances, and to the miserable, emotionally vulnerable Orren that was put in their care. Anoof in particular said some variation on "If you wanted that put there, you should have asked me." Leiska, who was to be Havune's mate, still plans to be Havune's mate; also she repeatedly and fiercely pointed out that the laughy rumors of this duel will hurt her chances of getting a good husband. "And knowing Havune's tastes, you're going to need a husband and a half, Leiska," said Narngi. I do think Havune has lost a great deal of status in his family-to-be over this.
No Cani thought of it as Havune being disloyal to the family-to-be. I had to ask several times to understand this properly. They (this social set -- it is different elsewhere) have various customs about who is allowed to do what with whom when. Since the engagement is not yet formal (strict fidelity is required during the period of engagement, though neither before nor after), and since Oostmarine was obviously not someone that might get married in (and in particular, he wouldn't be more married to some other family member, who should get to couple with him first), it's not out-and-out wrong. But the Cani did think that Havune displayed rather poor judgement to do it, worse skill to get caught, and abysmal wits to get speared.
So now I am sitting with Tethezai and Dustweed at Café du Fronde. Their opinion of the story is slightly different -- Tethezai is angrier with Havune than any of the Cani. She thinks that Havune was particularly bad to her old friend Anoof, and, since Anoof refuses to be furious for himself, she is furious on his behalf. "Even though they're the same species?" I teased. She just looked hurt at me. It's a distinctly unhappy day when you can't tease Tethezai about transaffection matters.
Now I must go visit every Orren in town. (1) I want to hear Spirshash's side of the story, and see what Oostmarine and Tillissa are up to. (1) Strenata and I, last week, had agreed to see some First Day things together tomorrow, and I will watch her troupe dance. I must find her and see if she's gotten engaged to seven counts from Pountyfrount or something in the last week, or whether our date is still on. And find out what her name is today. And, of course, (1) I need to be told some things by Floosh now that we are out of Threeze. And, finally, (2) I would like to drop in on Real-Eel and Vingi, on the off chance that I can get a report of some Orren who had a calm and pleasant week without Flokin stepping on them or anything.