[P] i'll wait with you in another place and time
Time had seemed to bring his little ersatz family together again, closer than it had ever been before. He saw it in the closeness between Saga and Ierian, the lingering touches that seemed to drift further than they had before. The Songthorn man seemed to have finally accepted the love that the dappled woman had for him. It made his heart swell, for he too had a deep love for Ierian. The man had practically raised him, without any prompting, that what had made all the difference to Evariste. He'd been there for him without ever being asked, teaching him vital life skills and imbuing him with the confidence that had moulded him into the bright, respectful man that stood before the Songthorn's door. Things had been bubbling over in his mind and the Erynson had finally summoned the courage to approach Ierian. He didn't know why he felt so torn on the short stroll over from his mother's house to the Songthorn Brother's residence. For so long he'd spent hours upon hours wishing that his father would return and that he would be able to prove himself as Evariste Eryn and all would be well again. Alas, that had never happened, and he'd long since moved on from such childish follies. For a long time, he'd considered himself to just be another fatherless figure among the masses of his siblings (Losse and Meril excluded), but times had changed, and it did him no favours to hide from his own feelings.

He swallowed hard upon facing Ierian's door. He felt so small against the large wooden portal, although he knew it was almost no different from the door that lead to his own home. Maybe it was just the gravity of the situation, though he knew there was nothing to be afraid of. 'Ierian..?' Evariste called, a dark knuckle rapping against the wood, 'Can I speak to you..? I-if you have time that is...' In valuing the man himself, the Erynson valued his time greatly, for though he'd never opted to enter into the medical profession himself, the tutorship he'd received had still been incredibly valuable. Sewing wounds had been transferred to sewing garments, knowledge of herbs had transformed into the ability to grow and use them in his crafts. But, perhaps most of all, it was the tenderness that Ierian had shown to him that had been the greatest influence. The D'Angelo woman's elder children were a jaded, steely bunch, almost as wry and all-seeing as Saga herself was. But as one filtered down through the ranks of their little family, one could clearly see where outside influence became a greater part of that sibling's life. It was most evident in Evariste, Losse, and Meril, for they had had father figures lurking around whether Saga liked it or not. Esyllt had fallen under the unfortunate umbrella of being her mother's only daughter, and Evariste thought to himself that there was no outside influence that could save her from that.

ooc [+531]
If there was anyone to watch him at this instance, they could be forgiven for mistaking him for a monster hunched over a sorcerous brew that he stirred with a long wooden spoon in a blackened cauldron. The truth, as it often turned out as soon as one examined Ierian further, let alone let the gentle giant speak, was far more innocuous. He was making a stew and a delicious scent was filling the space. Cooked dishes weren’t entirely widespread, but with what he knew, and with some practical tips from certain members of the pack, chiefly the recently joined Celaeno Bonecarver, Ierian’s were getting better.

It was a blissful time that he could preoccupy himself with such a thing as opposed to his work as a healer. Although of course there’d be room for it on this day as well. He was simply fortunate to have the time to spare. Although it was a pretty big cauldron. Perhaps there’d be a chance to share with family later down the line.

A knock at the door, seemingly, served as an answer to this wish that hadn’t yet turned to a prayer. Though the smell of food somewhat overpowered that of the visitor through the door, Ierian still recognized the identity of the unexpected guest.

“Ah, Evariste.” He said before opening the door. Perhaps, in fact, even before the boy could properly hear him. Still the creaking floorboards conspired with his limp-laden gait to announce him coming to the door. It opened, the doorframe very nearly unsuitable to let the man through. But then, Ierian hadn’t been one too proud to duck or crouch in response to a world not made to his scale. He wondered sometimes if among The Gone there were any people of his stature.

“Come in, Evariste, come in. I have time and nourishment alike, if you would have it.” And he beckoned the boy inside, hand outstretched to usher him into the Songthorn’s humble abode. The smell of medicinal herbs was this time accompanied by that of his cooking. “Make yourself at home, young Soul.” And at that, the giant headed over to the cauldron. His kitchenware was devoid of decoration, but served well enough. The clay bowls were of sturdy make and soon filled with the recently made stew, then wooden spoons clacked against the table as he set the humble feast for his guest.

“I trust your siblings are well, and your mother?” To be fair, there were only so many days that Ierian wouldn’t spare the time to find these things out on his own. But one also had to admit that outside of Saga and Evariste only so many of the D’Angelo blood would take the time to personally visit him. Even young Esyllt seemed to gravitate towards influences different from the Songthorn. It caused him little recognizable discomfort. After all, as the little ones grew, their life became resplendent with choices, with independence.

“Ah, but you said you wanted to speak to me? Does something trouble you, Evariste?” Even seated he was enormous compared to his guest, but the imposing figure spoke softly and built himself a reputation of a peaceful Soul.
Was it too late to run? Yes, most definitely, because the moment that thought flew through his mind, the door has been opened, and throw the widening crack Evariste could see the man he had come to visit. He was quick to wipe the gormless look of terror off of this face as soon as he'd glimpsed the man's scarred maw, and now he wore that soft, polite smile that he usually did.

'I never say no to a hot meal.' he replied warmly as he stepped through the door, lowering his head. While he was nowhere close to reaching the heights that Ierian did, he was still a little too tall fir through most doorways without stopping just a little. Whatever the Songthorn man was brewing up smelled incredibly appetising. He certainly preferred a warm meal, though he saw very few of those given that his mother had quite the opposite opinion. Their little hovel as Evariste loving called it, didn't even have a kitchen so much as it had a table shoved into one corner. He couldn't even remember if their old house had had one either and he certainly only remembered very rare occasions when he'd seen his mother heat up food of her own free will, let alone actually cooking. Still, each to their own. He'd never go as far as to claim that his mother was wrong for preferring to eat her food raw.

Fortunately for his nerves, Ierian's question was easy to answer and served to calm his nerves a little. 'They're good. I think... Honestly, it feels like I hardly see them these days. We're all up to... something different, I guess.' He took the whittled spoon in hand and dipped it into the contents of the clay bowl before bringing it to his dark lips. Yep, it was as delicious as it had smelt. 'I imagine you have a better idea of how mom is than I do.' He smirked at his lunch before he was daring enough to catch a glimpse of Ierian's honied eyes. Perhaps it was a little forward of him to joke about such things, but it genuinely was one of the most interesting developments happening in his life.

'A little, yes...' The Erynson admitted, his dark ears flattening against his head. 'I've... I've decided to travel to the Citadel with Ramsey and Caspar...' Evariste couldn't decide if this part of the conversation was the hardest part, or if that awkwardness of his forthcoming request would trump his departure announcement by a country mile. Judging by the uncomfortable wriggling in the pit of his stomach, it would indeed be a lot worse. It wasn't even that he thought Ierian would say no, it was just merely the gravitas of such a question and the strange feeling of sudden infancy that he, an almost grown man, felt about asking such a thing. Surely a young man shouldn't be concerned with such matters of the heart. But... after all, weren't those the very central values that Ierian had instilled within him since he'd been a young child?

ooc [+589]
Wise, Ierian thought, to accept the meal, forgetting to admit that he was beginning to take a glimmer of pride in his cooking. Even if, from time to time, the only acceptance he got was that the food was consumed in the first place. Whatever the case, in him Saga could find a man capable both of consuming raw meat and of preparing it for a proper dinner table.

Just as Evariste sampled the food, so too did Ierian. It had the flavor of a satisfying meal for certain. The mushrooms tied the dish together well and judging by the expression of the boy in front of him they both shared a favorable opinion of the dish. A few more spoonfuls made their way where they were meant. The old wolf showed a fine appetite. But at Evariste’s joke he somewhat unexpectedly sputtered right into the spun, mercifully only sending the droplets back into the bowl.

“I ah… that is… Well, it is not false, but you know well I cannot be on constant watch.” But he certainly could be there enough for Evariste to make the statement. And he had likely given enough food for such rumors to many more across Saga’s extensive family if not the pack at large. Tread lightly as he might, Ierian was not beyond notice.

Wiping his muzzle clean and regaining his composure, he got to continue the meal, but slowed down as Evariste’s expression distanced itself for the smile at the old Songthorn’s awkward admittance. So then, perhaps the subject that he sought Ierian out for was not one to be taken lightly. He had already lowered his spoon and left it dipped into his portion of the meal when Evariste informed him of his decision.

“Ah…” Ierian averted his eyes from the young Soul momentarily. The one thing he knew of the Citadel was that it was very far, useful as it may have been for the Realm. He’d certainly never been there, but from the journey he’d made at least once to the north, the land of Casa di Cavaleri, with other members of the pack, he knew such journeys to be taxing. To think that Evariste was about to undertake such a thing. When he looked back at him, it was as if his face was not entirely decided on which expression to settle into.

Concern? Reassurance? Sadness? Thoughtfulness? Some blend of them all perhaps, a complex weave of doubts and certainties. Would he be alright? But of course he would. Would he be gone long? Most likely. Would he be still be here to see Evariste return…?

“Well… It is an undertaking you have chosen, Evariste. It would be a journey to outmatch any that I have made.” Perhaps not the journey from Slave Lake, but then, that was taken by Ierian not of his own volition. Not to mention being carried out largely by Bellad, his younger brother all but dragging him along while consciousness would revisit him only briefly.

“And… what of your further plans then? What do you intend to do there? Will you-…” This last question he’d begun to voice before thinking it was perhaps not entirely fitting to direct at Saga's son. But then, was his concern, his involvement, anything surprising at this point? If anything it had been even more blatant than the slowly shrinking distance between the old healer and the former Ursarchon. And so he finished the previously cropped statement, eyes thoughtful.

“… Will you be gone for long, Evariste?”

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