One Day at a TimeStarted by Tristan Essair at Jun 12, 2019 10:05 pm
Einmanudur 18, 76
For once, it'd seem it was House Essair taking care of Kassandros, instead of the other way around. Merenwen was fussing over him, a lot, but nobody that knew anything was surprised by that. Leon, it seemed, had become about useless, and Lycaon, Surya, and Inetkaes had been taking over kitchen duties. So far, it seemed they were doing fine. Tristan had decided to keep doing what he'd been doing. After all, the horses still needed to be fed, and let out to pasture. They seemed to know something was wrong because they were more skittish than usual and seemed to be making nervous sounds more frequently. Tristan couldn't say he was surprised.
This morning, he'd gone out and scattered hay for the horses, and then made sure the water trough was filled and headed back in. Merenwen had asked for more clean water (ensuring Kassandros and Thetis were getting liquids), so he'd gone to deal with that. Once upstairs, he got Merenwen the bucket of water, and then shuffled over there, where Sandalio was and settled down next to him.
For a moment, he wasn't entirely sure what to say. What did someone say, here? Tristan wasn't sure there was anything on the list that qualified as something someone could say here and not sound patronising. On the other hand, he felt like he ought to keep an eye on him. Because Sandalio was pretty darned good at making things like this his fault, and moping about it. But Kassandros knew about this, a long time ago. Tristan didn't doubt for a moment that he did. It was what it was. If nothing else, there was a good, solid chance that Kass would pull out of this, and that was better than it might've been otherwise.
"Did you go down for breakfast?" was what he decided to ask. It was possible he hadn't, and Tristan did want to remind him that the clause about eating three square meals a day wasn't null just because Kassandros wasn't awake to enforce it and Leon wasn't paying attention. If anything, it was more important, because if they fell apart the second Kassandros wasn't there to keep them going, it just proved that he needed to take care of everything.
If he survived this, Tristan would rather he knew the house would manage without him for a bit here and there. It might nudge him into taking longer breaks more frequently.
It was nice, seeing the way the House pulled together to take care of Kassandros after everything that the other had done for them. Sandalio did just sort of wish that the circumstances it happened under weren't quite so dire but it was.... well. It was a little too late for that.
All they could really do now was wait and see if what Leon had done would be enough to save him from the damage that Marcus had done. Sandalio was hopeful and yet... well. He was trying not to get his hopes up too high because it would hurt all the more if something went wrong from here.
... Eventually he was going to have to tell Cygnus that he didn't have to stay on the other side of the room like he had been. Sandalio wasn't sure that the third Essair sibling realized that he didn't actually hate him. Didn't necessarily trust him entirely, but Cygnus had been trying, and as long as he was trying Sandalio didn't really mind him. Besides, Kass loved him. Maybe he'd do that later today. The thought was interrupted at least partially by Tristan's entrance to the ward.
Sandalio glanced over at Tristan as the other settled down, offering a slight nod in acknowledgement of his presence. At first he didn't say anything. There wasn't much to say, maybe. But then Tristan asked that. "I did, yes." Kassi would be upset if he learned that Sandalio hadn't been taking care of himself. Besides that, making one of the people who'd taken over kitchen duty have to come and find him was really just making more work for them and that wasn't very fair.
"How are you this morning?" It seemed like a good thing to ask. He hadn't really done that since the chaos that had been the day they brought Kassi home. Sandalio was a tiny bit embarrassed to realize he wasn't immediately sure how long ago that had been, even.
He'd, ah, figure that out in a few minutes. Probably.
That was a good thing, then. Tristan didn't have to remind his brother of something that should be fairly obvious, but Tristan did recognise that things would be difficult for a while. The road to recovery was, perhaps, a bit long and winding this time. Tristan had faith in Kassandros. The blond was one of the strongest people Tristan had ever met. That was fairly impressive, given the number of people the Macenian might describe as strong he'd met over the years.
"Well enough," Tris answered. "The horses are overly skittish, now, but otherwise not more of a handful than typical." Not by much, anyway. He did have to admit some minor trouble getting Starstrider out of his stall, but it'd seem Marina making fun of him for it made the gelding change his mind. No sulking for him today, huh?
It'd only been a day, now. Tristan was almost afraid to ask after how Sandalio was holding up, but it was important, all the same. It wasn't as if he didn't want to know. Except, he also wasn't sure he wanted to know. He also wasn't entirely sure his brother would be fully honest with him, but he supposed he'd never find out if he never asked.
"So, how are you holding up?" It was unlikely anything in this house would ever be the same again. This was, of course, the hardest blow they'd ever faced, but they were facing it together, at least, and Icarus was doing fine so far, taking the lead where Kassandros couldn't anymore. They'd make it. It turned out, House Essair was about as damned stubborn as their head of the house was. Tristan would be surprised, except it wasn't terribly surprising. It seemed almost deliberate, on Kassandros' part, but what did he know?
Mm. Well, it was a little unfortunate about the horses being more skittish than normal, but then again animals did tend to have a knack for understanding the emotional ambiance around them. And that uh, that ended in trouble, sometimes. Because, of course, you couldn't really reason with a horse and they were awfully large creatures to be throwing their weight around in distress.
"I'm glad they're not being too much worse than normal." That was good. "Hopefully things calm down soon." It being easier for Tristan would be nice. But it had only been a day, and that wasn't very long for things to have changed, so he was just trying to keep that in mind. It would get better, they just needed enough time.
"As well as can be expected." Sandalio thought that was, perhaps, a stupid question all things considered, but he did recognize that Tristan was just trying to check on him because he was probably worried about the way Sandalio was reacting. Of course Sandi was upset. And he felt like if he'd just been faster maybe... maybe they wouldn't have nearly lost him. But it was too late for that and all he could do was hope that turning him into a were was enough to save him.
Sandalio sighed and sat back a little. He wasn't immediately sure what to say. It sort of... felt like there wasn't anything to say which wasn't really accurate but... mm.
Actually. He was supposed to go wander around Asheron at some point. Kassandros had told him too, and there were usually good reasons for that. And if he thought about it, Sandalio knew they were missing a sibling so it made sense that Kass would send him there... if... the missing brother was over there. And honestly maybe he should take Tristan if only because like, if their missing brother was there Tris would want to know too, probably.
Uh. He'd get there, eventually. Yeah. "The waiting is always the worst part."
That wasn't a surprising response. What was surprising was that he didn't seem to be doing quite as much moping as Tristan half-expected. On the other hand, it was only the day after. If Kassandros took long enough to wake up, it may eventually become very notable moping. Then, if ever they got there, it was possible everyone would be in some stage of either moping or concern, either one, and no one would be surprsied by this.
Yeah, so it was. It was sort of like the whole house was waiting on the edge of their seat, and kind of. At least, proverbially, they were. Things either worked out or they didn't, though, and staring at it, proverbially, wasn't going to make that hurry up and decide. Nor was it going to make things work out, either. Still, he understood it. On the other hand, he wondered if doing something else might not be a better idea. It'd make the days go a bit quicker, at least, and maybe the wait wouldn't feel as long.
Time was all relative, anyhow.
"It's because you're waiting," he said. "Whenever you can, I'd try to do something time-consuming. Focusing on something intensive will probably make the days crawl a bit less." At least, that was the best he could come up with, and it was worth a try. The worst that happened was, a little extra productivity occurred. "We're only a day in," Tristan mentioned. "Not terribly interested in you going a little nuts by the end." He was just saying.
On the one hand, he knew that. He knew that Tristan was probably right, and that doing something would probably be infinitely better than watching Kassandros lay here, doing nothing because he was still in a coma. And he knew, logically that his presence or lack thereof would make no difference in the long run of if Kassandros recovered or not. That didn't make it any easier to walk away.
Just like knowing that he'd done exactly what Kassandros wanted him to do, and that he'd done the best to bring help to the other didn't make Sandalio feel any less like he'd failed in his duty to protect him. Sometimes these things just happened, he knew that. But he still felt like he should have done more, somehow. Like he should have been able to save him from being injured so badly that they didn't know if he'd ever wake up.
And it felt like leaving him while he was like this was even more of a failure, despite knowing that here, this deep in the heart of the manor it would be incredibly difficult for anyone who meant him harm to reach him. There were many guards - some of them weres - never mind the ilim. Someone who wasn't supposed to be here would certainly be noticed, and yet he felt like he had to stay here, just in case. In case something came along to try and finish the job.
In case something terrible happened and Kassandros faded instead of recovering. In case Kassandros woke up, because of course Sandalio wanted to be here if and when that happened.
"I know you're right." Sandalio said quietly without looking at Tristan. "But I... haven't wanted to leave his side." It was silly, he knew that but that didn't change how he felt. Doing something would help, but finding something intensely consuming enough that he was actually distracted by it... that would require leaving. "And I know it doesn't really matter I just..." He shook his head slightly, letting that statement trail off.
Oh, there all the feelings were. ... oh, crap, there they were. Tristan knew they were in there somewhere. You didn't deal with something like that and not feel anything, that just wasn't how things like this worked, and if it was, he supposed he'd be concerned. Because this was a little too major for someone to ignore. Shock happened, though. It fortunately didn't seem that they had that reaction on their hands, because despite the fact he hadn't said much at all, he'd said a lot all the same.
Tristan wasn't so great at feelings. Mostly, he ignored he had any at all, because often they were more of a hindrance than anything. But he did at least recognise one shouldn't ignore things this big, and it was probably a good thing, he hadn't had to prod too much before Sandalio started talking about it, at least a bit. Still, now that he'd found it, what was he supposed to do with it? Because nothing he said would really make this any better, and he knew that. Honestly, Sandalio probably knew that, too.
Instead of saying anything, right away, he just scooted a bit closer, and leaned on his brother's shoulder, somewhat hugging his side. Maybe he had no idea what to really say, because anything he could come up with sounded stupid, or patronising, or both, but he was here, at least. And he could either just be here, or listen, if Sandalio decided he wanted to ramble more than that.
"You know," he eventually mentioned. "I've never had occasion to know if it's true or not, but I hear people in comas can hear things and people around them. Maybe you're onto something. Maybe you being here'll help him find his way back to you." Certainly, it couldn't really hurt. "I can probably help find stuff to occupy your hands with, at least." Little things he could get done without leaving here, those certainly existed. He might even end up learning something new, and that wasn't really so bad.
A couple of the horse bridles needed to be fixed, for instance.
It was... nice. Just having Tristan there with him, not necessarily trying to make Sandalio feel better, but just being there. Mm, partly because there wasn't much that he thought the other could say that would really make him feel better, but the presence was nice. The support and the reminder that even though things kind of sucked at the moment, he wasn't alone. And that alone was a powerful thing to be reminded of, honestly.
Sandalio had been alone, in some ways, in most of his houses. Had made few connections with the blood fighters because it was... usually not wise to get attached to blood fighters. After all, the arena was a death trap.
Being out of the arena was a strange thing, but it was nice. And being here, reunited with his brother, that was nicer. Still, he didn't say anything else. There wasn't a lot else to say. At least, Sandalio didn't think there was. He was upset, but of course he was. It would either improve, or it wouldn't. Only time would tell.
"That's a nice thought." Sandalio didn't really know if he believed it because the world very rarely seemed to actually follow through on anything that seemed so nice as that. But it was a nice thought that maybe some of the things Sandalio said to Kassandros would make it through, and that maybe Kassi at least knew that he wasn't alone, and that they loved him very much and were waiting for him.
"Hm. That sounds like it might be nice." Maybe? If there were things he could do that didn't require too much movement or leaving. Something to do might be better than just sitting here the whole time. It wasn't like he could help with the paperwork, after all.
"Ah. But Kassi did say something about going to Asheron a few days ago." Just, putting that out there after a moment or two. "And I should probably do that soon." Actually saying that instead of just thinking it seemed like a good idea.
At least it was, and Tristan had managed to say something right on accident. No, he didn't imagine much, in this situation, was going to really make him feel better. Nothing short of Kassandros waking up would do that, but then he'd probably spend the time immediately after fretting and fussing. Something told Tris the blond wouldn't be bouncing back from this one quite so quickly.
"I've got a handful of horse bridles that need to be fixed," he mentioned. "Asheron?" Tristan's eyebrows furrowed together, a bit. "You don't think he's sending you after Roland, do you?" That might be nice, though, having Roland around, too. Tristan would have to remember how to tell them apart again, for sure. By now, he likely had forgotten the little subtle differences between them.
"Next he's going to point us at one of our parents." That'd take a miracle, though. Tristan was fairly certain neither of their parents were around to find, as most likely, they'd died a long time ago. Of course, given they were enslaved, it was possible their parents had been, too, but if he remembered correctly, they were fairly important in Macenia. At least, as important as Macenians got. It was probably more likely they were dead.
Hm. Well Sandalio wasn't really sure how good he would be at leatherworking, but he could probably learn. He wasn't bad with his hands or anything, after all. And it would probably be nice to have something to distract him from all the things going on in his head. ... Sandalio wasn't entirely sure when he'd gotten so many feelings but they were... very much present and they were difficult to ignore.
... Well. He had a few ideas, and Sandalio wouldn't necessarily say he would want to be rid of them. Just, ah, they were also maybe slightly inconvienent because it was hard to get anything done when he was too busy feeling like he could have stopped this if he'd just been better at his job.
"I could certainly try to work on those. May need you to show me how once though." To... you know avoid causing damage or making them dangerous to use by not doing it quite right. Bridles were rather important bits of equipment and if there was a flaw it could be quite dangerous. Then again, Tris had probably been planning to do that for just that reason. So, kind of a silly thing for Sandalio to have said but uh... too late.
"Maybe. I can't really think of anyone else that he might be sending us for." Sandalio didn't think he had any other kids. Then again he hadn't really been aware he had Estelle so it was possible that he was incorrect in that belief. Still. And that didn't seem likely - sending them after their parents. After all, that had been some time ago, and there was a high likelihood that their parents were dead instead of being enslaved somewhere. It was possible but Sandalio thought Roland was more likely.