Manorian, pregnancy/angst. Still-born witchling. She completely shuts Dorian out, only speaking to Asterin, even though she urges her to let him in. Break me. I need it.
As you wish, BFF.
Dorian had come to her door like clockwork. Every day for the last week, he had gone the moment he woke up, right at noon, just when the sun was beginning to sink behind the horizon, and at midnight. It wasn’t like he had been sleeping well, considering. Sometimes he just sat outsider her door to make sure she was still there.
Manon hadn’t gotten out of bed. She wouldn’t talk to anyone, except for Asterin. Dorian thought that he would be the one she’d go to, that she would cry on his shoulder. But, she didn’t.
It was making the situation worse for him, though. He needed her. He needed her presence, he needed to feel her, see her, love her.
Asterin would come out every now and then, to either gather something that Manon needed or to give Dorian updates.
Typically, they were not what Dorian wanted to hear.
She’ll be okay, she would say, eventually. Give her time.
He didn’t have time, though. Or, maybe he had it, and he was just too broken to give it to her.
“Manon,” Asterin’s soft voice came from her doorway. “Dorian’s –“
“No,” she answered, shortly.
Asterin didn’t say anymore as she closed the door behind her. She simply wandered over to Manon’s bed, laid down next to her, and took her hand.
“You should talk to him,” Asterin whispered, after a moment of comfortable silence. “He’s hurting too, Manon.”
“I don’t want to talk to him,” she said, emotionless.
“Because he doesn’t understand,” Manon shook her head, emptily. “You do. You sit here with me in silence, loving me, comforting me, because you understand. Dorian will have questions. Dorian will have pain to let out. I can’t…..I don’t want to hear it. I can’t. Not right now.”
“I do understand,” Asterin agreed, turning toward her friend. “I also know that if I could have had him with me during then, I would have.”
Manon didn’t need to hear her say who he was, she already knew. The Hunter.
“It’s okay to let out emotion, Manon,” Asterin smiled, wistfully. “It’s okay to scream. It’s okay to cry. It’s even okay to smile, and it’s okay to begin your path to peace. What happened was horrible, and I would never wish it upon even my greatest of enemies. Unfortunately, as you know, this life is often unfair. Tragedies happen, but we must lean upon those who love us in order to heal.”
“I love you,” Manon replied, quickly, snappily. “Can’t that be enough for right now?”
“I won’t push you to do anything you’re not ready for,” Asterin agreed, for her sake. “I’m only stating what is true.”
“I’m ready for a nap.”
And that was it. Asterin stood by her word, as she always did. She wouldn’t push Manon, because she knew that wouldn’t help. She knew Manon better than anyone, and she knew what Manon needed, but she also knew what Manon needed to hear.
Asterin shut Manon’s bedroom door softly behind her. Dorian was sitting in the hallway, as he often did in the recent days, his back leaning against the wall. Asterin had never seen the young King so distressed, for he had black circles under his eyes, a beard beginning to form, and it looked as if he hadn’t bathed in days.
His blue eyes shot to the witch, but one look from her timid smile told him all he needed to know. “Let me guess, she doesn’t want to talk to me?”
“Give her –“
“Time. Yeah, yeah. I know.”
Asterin sat next to her closest friend’s husband, and just as she did for Manon, she took Dorian’s hand in hers. “I know what you’re going through.”
Dorian didn’t act surprised. Manon must have told him the story before.
“I’m glad she has you,” Dorian said, instead. “Especially now. I don’t want you thinking that I’m ungrateful for the love and support you’ve shown her.”
“I know,” Asterin smiled, squeezing his hand, once. “I think she’s getting there, Dorian. I really do. Losing a child –“
As soon as she said the words, Dorian’s face fell. Biting his bottom lip, he shook his head. “I can’t imagine what it’s like. I feel pain, I feel an ache in my chest that can never be filled, but….I wasn’t carrying it.” He scoffed. “It. We’ll never even know if it was going to be a boy or a girl.”
“What did you want?”
Dorian was silent for a moment as Asterin watched him, then he glanced at her. “It never mattered to me. I would have loved either the same. If it was a girl, I would have wanted her to be just like Manon.”
“And, if it was a boy?”
Dorian laughed, and this time, there was no malice. “I would have wanted him to be just like Manon, too.”
“You love her.”
“Yes,” Dorian breathed. “More than I ever thought possible.” He rose to his feet, and held out a helping hand, which Asterin graciously took. “So, I will give her time. Until then….”
“You will have me to speak to,” Asterin offered.
Sapphire eyes teared up as Dorian looked away, and nodded. “Thank you.”
“Let me know when you want to punch something,” Asterin called after him once he had begun to walk away. “Or scream. Or cry.”
He nodded, politely, before shutting the guestroom door.
Asterin stood in the hallway, in the middle of two broken souls. She could hear Manon thrashing in her sleep behind one door, and Dorian quietly sobbing behind the other.