[RO] no time for emotion

”Did you see it?”

They rode together in a silence that was finally broken by the sound of Iomairs voice. Together he and Ciryandil patrolled the edge of their territory, making sure that none crossed the divide that separated their clans from one another. The ride had been meant to act as a distraction, but both boys could think of little else besides their ailing sister. Vinitharya had gotten worse and though healers visited often to confer with their mother – who prayed and prayed and prayed – there was no sign of her recovering.

Iomair had dove into his work – producing for the first time his official blade. It was crooked in places, but he had never felt so proud.

Ciryandil shrugged his shoulders, ”I mean, you won’t shut up about it.”

He kneed his horse and squinted through the trees, ”It’s quiet tonight. I thought we’d come across something – like a lonely Lorn or a sneaking Taur.” He shrugged, ”But there’s nothing.”

Once, Ciryandil had been the favorite. Iomair could remember idolising his older brother and his determination to accomplish so much – but something had changed. It had begun with the delay of his first shift, and then as time wore on his path had led him toward drink and women – both concepts that Iomair didn’t fully understand.

There was no time for him, as Tairnean spent every waking hour passing on what he could. There was the family’s history and what is meant to be Aegan, and sometimes Tairnean even went so far as forcing Iomair to work iron with him, muttering prayers as they strained against metal and fire in ode to Dúr. It was these times Iomair liked most, when his body sang with fire and metal, the flames licking his hands and forcing him to pay attention.

Grainne was busy with Vini and it left Ciryandil dangerously free to do as he pleased.

”Father thinks that one day these borders won’t exist.” Iomair licked his lips, smoothing frost from his whiskers in the cold, ”I think that’s a bold idea, don’t you?”

Cyryandil threw back his head and laughed, ”Something terrible would have to happen to unite us all.” For a moment, Iomair thought that perhaps he was talking about their family – Vinitharya at their centre – but he continued on, barely pausing for air. ”And that will never happen.”

”Yeah, I guess.”

”We Aegas love our tradition too much. You know, one day you’ll grow up to be just like Father.”

Iomair made a face, ”I doubt that.”

Cyrandil laughed, ”He already has a wife picked out for you, you know that?”

The soldier laughed, ”Yeah right. I haven’t heard about this-“

”You need to work on your eavesdropping skills brother.”

He paused to glance at Iomair, ”They want to do it… well before…”

They both struggled to avoid each others gazes, but they knew what it meant.

They picked snow from their cloaks and made to turn back, pressing their heels to their mounts so that they could race through the snow. They came into the cabin shoving each other and laughing, brushing ice from their legs and cursing at one another in a language older than the mountain itself. Heat seeped through them both, and it took a moment for them to realize that everything was wrong.

They were greeted with silence. Dead, frigid silence.

When they came into the room it was too late.

He realized that the air was stifling, as if no one had opened the door for hours upon hours to let the fresh air in. He could see Vini laying between his parents, her features slack – her hallowed cheeks finally at peace beneath the curls of her beautiful hair. Grainne was silent, save for the trembling of her shoulders and occasional gasp that escaped her mouth.

Iomair thought that he had never seen his father look more like the very mountain that they lived on, his features still and stern as stone.


Ciryandil was shocked. W-We're too late."

She looked so peaceful there, her hands carefully arranged across her thin breast. Like this Iomair couldn't see the pretty blue of her eyes, but he swore if he listened hard enough she was breathing, there was still time.

He felt himself collapse to his knees with a gutteral cry that sounded like the wind being knocked from his body. Ciryandil was silent but offered a hand that clasped to the younger mans shoulder stiffly.

"I didn't get to-" Iomair crawled to his sisters side and rested his hand against her own, willing the tears to disappear from his eyes as he struggled to speak. Grainne turned her face into her husbands shoulder, a keening wail beginning in her throat.

set for during Iomairs childhood! Poor Vini died Regcry

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