(abira & leah)
Leah: Aunt Abira! *squeals and hugs her, and then pauses* …don’t tell me it’s not lady like to squeal, I know.
Abira: *chuckles once, hugging her back* And when I was your age I did a lot less ladylike things than squeal.
Leah: *slow grin* Well–
Abira: *holds her hand up* No, I don’t want to know.
Leah: *chuckles* …right, sorry Aunt Abira.
Abira: *a bit softer* How is he, anyways?
Leah: *confusedly* How is who?
Abira: *arches an eyebrow*
Leah: ……….you know everything.
Abira: I’ve heard that.
Leah: It’s really aggravating.
Abira: I’ve heard that too.
Leah: I mean really, truly–
Abira: *chuckling* So he’s that well, is he?
Leah: Very well, yes. *head shaking trying not to be amused* Whomever you’re talking about.
Leah: *asks a little quieter* How did you handle it?
Abira: How did I handle–
Leah: I know, that my mother won’t make me marry anyone I do not wish to. But at my age, everyone is staring at me…I am surrounded by sharks.
Abira: Ah. *quieter* Well, I suppose I handled it by knowing it what was right for me.
Leah: I suppose that makes sense. *quieter* And I also realize that she still believes I will get married and–
Abira: …is it a fault that she should want you to fall in love?
Leah: Well no, but–
Abira: And as for all your suitors, surely there is one…
Leah: *frustrated exhale* Meaning Willas?
Abira: *admits* I had heard a rumor.
Leah: Again, I rather wish you knew less.
Abira: *brow wiggle, but says seriously* What did you answer?
Leah: What did I answer? You mean to his generic statement of wonderment when I expressed surprise that he assumed I should be telling him my deepest thoughts as he presumed I realized he was hoping I would consider marriage?
Abira: …rather convuluted.
Leah: A bit, yes. And I said I had no considered it and would not, which I think does count as an answer. To his entirely unasked question.
Abira: You know he will not give up, of course.
Leah: *frustrated groan* Yes, well, I could always take my sword and just-
Leah: *exhales and rubs her forehead and then says in a different tone* Why did you ask about him?
Abira: *quieter* Because I thought you might want to know that soon–soon here having the meaning of a few hours–he will not…officially have to hide.
Leah: Hide what? *brow arches, hand on her hip*
Abira: *tiny smile*
Leah: ….you. know. everything.
Abira: Oh this I only guessed this afternoon–if I had not heard the strangest tale from two children on my way here–
Abira: And even then I would never have known except, I mean, it makes sense actually, considering his family and a few other scattered incidents and your sudden defensive attitude about them–
Leah: Why won’t it be a secret any longer?
Abira: Well…it can still be if he chooses–
Abira: *hands her Damocles proclamation*
Leah: *spends at least a minute reading–almost seeming to savor every word, her mouth hanging open and then she looks up in surprise, saying very slowly* …this is…
Abira: I know. *with the tiny smile*
Leah: But he’s saying–
Abira: Yes. *now wider smile*
Leah: He’s…but how…
Abira: There’s a bill, I authored it anonymously and gave it to another committee because–well, let’s put it this way, it stands to reason that this is going to be unpopular by…
Abira: And as such, it is helpful to give myself political cover while–
Leah: While Uncle Damocles stands up and proclaims that centuries of law are about to be undone because it was all bloody bullshit to begin with.
Leah: *arches eyebrow*
Abira: *chuckles in spite of herself* …Yes, that rather summarizes it.
Leah: *is perusing the document wide-eyed, starting to beam* The study it refers to–when was it commissioned? How was it commissioned?
Abira: *with a tiny grin* Well if, by commissioned you mean…when did I start secretly tracking down and convincing to trust us, while Damocles covered me and Maeve wrote it?
Leah: The three of you did this?! *going round-eyed and looks up again*
Abira: *nods, and then admits quietly* We weren’t the ones taking the risk, every one we uncovered…they were the ones in danger.
Leah: *nods softly* Of course. How long have you…
Abira: Nearly twenty years ago. *exhales* It…took a long time to complete and then, I had to make sure we had the votes…
Leah: Twenty years? *lowers the proclamation, holding on to it tightly and then she says softly* …oh of course.
Abira: *the tiniest smile* …yes.
Leah: *rubs her forehead* Rowland’s…
Abira: *presses her lips together and nods just once, gesturing they should sit down and says softly* Has Mitchell…
Leah: …told me it was true? *smile flicks* I suspected as much regardless. *softer* I remember Rowland as well. *falters a moment and then says quietly* …it all really had that much of an impact, didn’t it?
Abira: *nods, rubbing her forehead* On my brother, you mean? *tiniest laugh as she says teasingly* Oh sometimes I rather wondered…
Leah: *laughs* Mother has often said.
Abira: *lips flick and she nods*
Leah: *quieter* Do you think that Rowland…
Abira: *as Leah trails off she tilts her head and says softly, immediately* No, I don’t.
Leah: *arches an eyebrow in surprise* What do you think then?
Abira: *pauses* Do you remember…the Lady Rebecca? The real one, that is?
Leah: *nods once immediately* Of course. She died when the dragon attacked our village.
Abira: *nods quietly* Yes…and then Rowland…he was gone in the following weeks?
Leah: *tilts her head* What is it? *looks at her expression and then her jaw drops* No…oh Lord, Really?!
Abira: *smile flicks softly* Oh they were very much in love.
Leah: *grinning* Well that is…that…is brilliant! So you believe they..
Abira: *nods* I believe they found somewhere to be together, yes. *quietly* As they could…not be here.
Leah: *quieter* Do you believe with this proclamation they may return?
Abira: *shrugs a shoulder* I don’t know…depends how far they are, if they are going to hear it…
Leah: …of course. Though I rather think…this is going to be…heard. It’s drastically changing…
Abira: *firmly* It is meant to. It will not fix everything, not by a long shot. It might even make things worse, as I know already how many of our fellows will receive it. But it will be a step. It is long–centuries really–over do, and it is the right thing to do.
Leah: *nods* I agree with all you have said. …ecstatically really.*grinning* …and I will be glad to be able to say so freely, finally.
Abira: *soft* That may be dangerous.
Leah: No more dangerous than any of this has been. And it is past time they know they are not unsupported…
Abira: *grins* Very true.
Leah: That there are people who knew all along how truly ridiculous it was and that it would get better. *exhale* That we are not all ignorant bastards, basically. That people know they are not monsters, they are the same as us. And that they should not have to live in fear, but rather be open with their fellow kind at least. That there are still people who know they are good, and true, and loved.
Leah: *beams and looks down at the proclamation and then looks back up* May I take this to him?
Abira: *nods suddenly* Of course you can. *leans over to hug her and kiss her cheek* I’ll be inside.
Leah: …don’t, tell them I’m going to him, yet–
Abira: *smile flicks as she laughs* To who?
Leah: *breaks into a wide grin, and then takes off at a run*