Who: Nova and Akemi
Where: Silverfield Hold, Honshu Territory
What: Nova is slowly recovering.
Though the Healers have been strict about what Nova may and may not do, and the Headwoman only too happy to oblige them, they have at least let her leave bed this afternoon and supplied her with the record of the past fortnight’s goings-on in the Hold. Out in the main room of her quarters, she’s sat by the fire with Phoenix draped along the back of the couch, the gold watchful and alert – and eyeing the array of food that’s been left on the small table in the hope of something catching Nova’s interest enough for her to eat without needing to be told to. She has, at least, poured some tea, though she’s not got as far as paying too much mind to the little cakes, biscuits and sandwiches.
Akemi has been coming and going throughout the day, as she’s gone to Fort to settle some affairs, and then went on to Honshu for a transfer interview that B’lian had required prior to deciding if she and Maozeth could move to the Weyrhold. She’s still dressed in her riding leathers, her hair twisted and braided tightly, which makes her features far more sharper than normal. Her sharpness eases as she comes to find Nova and her smile is flashed across her face. “It’s good to see you out of bed.” She steps closer to kiss the top of Nova’s head.
Nova looks up from the small pile of paperwork in her lap and lets a faint smile briefly settle at one corner of her lips as Akemi presses that kiss to the top of her head. Phoenix offers a quiet chirp of greeting from where she lies, her tail hanging down over the greenrider’s shoulder in a silently possessive manner. “What did they say?” Nova enquires, moving to set the paperwork aside on a spare spot at the table’s edge. “Fort’s Weyrwoman sent her… condolences… which I imagine is a matter of politics. And an offer for Zaimika and Zio to visit for a week or so, which seems less so.”
Akemi is quietly thoughtful as she takes in what Isolwyn has extended. “I imagine they are more… interested in the children than politics? She doesn’t seem like the sort to leverage them for gain. The kids.” She moves to find a seat. “B’lian seemed pleased with the copy of my reports I shared and from the letters of recommendation I received from my wing leader.” She settles her two forefingers against her lips for a second and then lowers her hands to her lap. “How are you feeling? I still… have not found where he,” she has refused to use his name, “has gone.”
“Her Blood is better than mine. Her own daughter would wield more influence than Zaimika, if it were to come to that, so I doubt her interest is in using the children for anything.” Nova looks down into her lap. “It isn’t as if I’m much use to Zaimika or Zio at the moment.” She takes a deep breath and looks back up at Akemi. “…Zio asked where he was,” she quietly admits. “I couldn’t lie and pretend he was coming back, when I won’t have him in this Hold again. And I’d warned him when I knew we’d conceived that if he ever did anything to hurt Zio, he’d never see him again. …I told Zio that he had to go and live in a Weyr, because of Veruth, and couldn’t come back.” How she feels, she doesn’t manage to summon words about. “I’m glad it sounds like B’lian will be accommodating.”
Akemi’s features shift into cold, angry, lines as the subject of her brother is brought up. “His failures will haunt us for some time. I hope Akio realizes all he has done to you and the children. I am not certain he will be able to.” She sighs and shakes her head, looking away from Nova as she gathers herself into a calmer place. “With him gone, the children need you more than ever. You are doing enough being here for them.” She reaches out to simply hold Nova’s hand, not knowing what else to say,
“He will not care what he did to me. It was deliberate, and I thought it was misguided frustration for too long. He intended from the very start to take Silverfield, and me, my people, the children… the one I lost… We were the price he was happy to pay.” Nova stares hard at her knees, her features kept all too still, then manages to turn her hand so that she can press it palm to palm to Akemi’s. “He said it. He meant to sacrifice me for his own gains. Except, to him, it was no sacrifice. And I’m not a good enough person that I don’t want him to pay.” She shakes her head a little. “One of my distant cousins has said he wants to send three of his children here to be fostered. He thinks they’d be good playmates for Zaimika and Zio.”
Akemi tips her chin towards her chest and remains silent as Nova once more reminds her of her brother’s actions. She closes her eyes and sighs softly before she shakes her head and lifts her head to turn her attention back to Nova. “He sacrificed me more than once. So I should have known he had not change. Again, I apologize. For everything.” She squeezes Nova’s hand. “I’m sure the children would love to meet their cousins and get to know them. That would be something positive for them during all of this. Would it be a burden to you at all?”
“What he did isn’t your fault. You aren’t responsible for what he chose to do. And it was a choice; it wasn’t something that just happened. He intended it, with the both of us.” Nova’s gaze is distant as she stares down at their hands. “Their father thinks I need more family around, and says he regrets he didn’t do anything when… //my// family died. Then, he could be meaning to take advantage of the fact that, as I think is quite plain to everyone, there won’t be any more heirs than Zaimika and Zio. I can’t trust anyone’s intentions any more.” She reaches her other hand to absently smooth fingertips along Phoenix’s back. “She’ll fly soon, so hopefully I can distract everyone with eggs.”
“My blood is not Silverfield. You had only ever had the request to produce heirs, and you have. If you wanted another child, Nova, I would find a way to give you one,” Akemi’s tone is soft and her wording careful as she watches Nova closely. “Your cousin’s intentions are not clear yet so we will wait and see where he takes them. For now, let’s focus on getting you well.” She reaches across to wrap her other hand around the one she’s currently been holding. “What Akio has done is not something anyone can recover from quickly.”
Nova tucks her feet up onto the couch and curls in against Akemi’s side. “…I would never ask you to do that,” she murmurs. “It would be no better than what they asked of me, and look at what that’s done. If you want children, then that’s another matter… but I’d never ask for my sake.” Her jaw set, she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, then leans away only enough to retrieve the plate of small cakes on the table. “Though I will ask you to help me eat these.” Selecting one, she rather mechanically starts to consume it, content with quiet and Akemi, until she inevitably drifts to sleep without intending to.