(1866-06-11) The Time Has Come
The Time Has Come
Summary: Alina goes into labor, so the menfolk sit around and talk and drink. They really get the better end of this.
Date: 1866-06-11
Related: Related Logs (If there aren't any, use None. Don't this entry leave blank. If there is a log, use full URLs, like logname)
Alina  James  Corvin  Lucas  Gabriel  Cesare  Artos  

l'Saigner Manse - Rovilon
Room description
Juin 11, 1866

The l'Saigner manse was quiet. Perhaps too quiet, though the l'Saigner were not, by nature, noisy or boisterious folk. Still, the halls were silent except the occasional footfall of servant or Wraith. The handful of house guards were patrolling the outside perimeter of the manse and grounds, leaving the quieter (and bluntly, more skilled) Wraiths to guard the Duke and his children (mostly his heir) themselves.

Big Pie leans against a wall in the upper hallway, twitching his nose slightly. Something seemed off, but he wasn't sure what. He eyed the door to the Duke's study, where the man was esconsed with a parcel of papers. Last Big Pie had looked in, the Hawk had been scowling. So he hadn't looked back in since… best to not have that scowl directed at you.

Corvin Fremont has simply been making fairly standard rounds this evening, but he too has perhaps noticed the strange degree of stillness that enveloped the Manse. Given that his father was well accounted for, he decides the better bet is to peek in on his sister, though he's mindful to do so quietly, lest she be managing to get some actual, sorely needed sleep/rest.

Alina's room is quiet, too, the young lady's presence noted by a lump under a light violet blanket. Her breathing seems to be coming easy and slow— she may finally be getting the rest that had been eluding her for days, if not weeks. That it was midday meant little; the midwife had been clear, whenever Alina could sleep she would, regardless of what time of day it was.

Her room was disorderly… for her. A pair of slippers lay haphazardly on the floor. Empty vials that once contained healoil were strewn on her bedside table. Hairpins and ribbons were lain upon her desk without care, one even having fallen to the floor.

Evidence, too, that her betrothed had been staying with her as many nights as not were apparent: a cloak in l'Corren colors hangs off-center on the back of a chair, either forgotten or left purposely by its owner… who would likely be back for it that night. The midwife had first been steadfastly against Alina having Gabriel spend the night, but it had been helping her sleep. So the midwife relented. Grudgingly.

In fact, it was almost odd that Alina was sleeping so soundly on her own, in a room that was untidy.

Corvin frowns a bit, moving into the room and ever-so-quietly starting to tidy up a bit. But more so he tries to take a gander at that lump under the covers. Just eyeballing, of course, not actually lifting them..at least not yet. In the long and short of it…he's trying to ascertain whether it really IS Alina under those covers.

A small noise comes from the lump, and a shift in position, revealing if it isn't Alina, it is a woman roughly as pregnant as she is. Another noise, and then the breathing evens again, though slightly faster, to perceptive ears.

Corvin moves over to the bed, pulling back the cover a bit and speaking quietly…but not so low as a whisper, seeking to rouse the clearly-pained Alina, "Alina? Are you all right, sister?" It certainly doesn't sound like it, so…best to make sure.

Alina takes a moment, but her eyes flutter open. She mumbles something incomprehensible first, then awakens enough to see… "Corv'n?" she asks. Then she winces, a hand moving to her stomach. "Mm… something… something is wrong." She's not entirely cogent, but what awareness she has looks pained and frightened. "Get the witch. Please. Get her."

Lucas is returning to his chambers from the manse grounds when he spots Alina's door standing ajar. He pauses and peeks inside. "Alina," he begins before spotting Corvin and adding "Brother, is something wrong?" he frowns as he asks it.

"I'm not sure. Go get the midwife and tell Big Pie to inform Father something's amiss with Alina." Corvin replies to Lucas, gesturing for him to make haste, not angrily or panicked, but definitely concerned. "What is it Alina? What's hurting?" He pulls the covers back a bit more to make sure there's no bleeding or the like. Or at least not any massive hemorrhaging.

Lucas nods and is gone. Finding Big Pie first he sends him to alert the Duke then running down two steps at a time he goes downstairs to bring the midwife.

Alina grimaces, shivering as the covers are pulled away. Her skin is pale and sweat-slicked. There is no blood, at least not of yet. "I feel like I'm…" she gasps suddenly. "…being stabbed."

The Duke beats the midwife to the room by virtue of being on the same floor. James l'Saigner pushes the door open, his face concerned yet somehow still cold. "This would be a better time for her mother to be here," he states calmly. "Corvin, in my study there is a bottle of whiskey. Please retrieve it and take it to the sitting room, and have someone sent to Gabriel." He pauses. "And have someone else bring glasses."

The midwife rushes into the room. "One's mercy, everyone out." She sizes up Big Pie. "Except you. I need two maid servants to act as runners, and the first needs to go to the servants quarters and wake my assistant. Go."

Alina whimpers, moving to sit up. "What's wrong?" she asks.

The midwife pushes her back down. "Lay put girl." Her hands move to Alina's abdomen, and she hmms. "It's beginning. A little sooner than perhaps it should but twins want to come early most of the time." She tsks at Alina. "From what I'm feeling this may be a long day and night for you, my lady. I don't think they'll be quick."

Corvin, again without any sign of panic, nods to James and steps away, giving Alina what he hopes is an encouraging smile, before adding, "If you need anything else, just send for me." And with that, Corvin steps outside, gesturing to a Servant and speaking briskly but not harshly, "Send a messenger to Lord Gabriel l'Corren, informing him that his children are being born." He points to another one, "And you, get a few glasses and bring them to the sitting room." And with that, he moves to the study to retrieve said bottle of whiskey, noting with an upraised brow that it's quite the expensive distillation.

Lucas arrives a step or two behind the widwife and peers anxiously over the woman's shoulder at Alina. What ever he's thinking it's lost behind the bland mask Lucas often wears when in the company of his kin. As Corvin is sent out and the midwife begins barking orders he looks over to his father, "Should we go to the sitting room then?" he asks. "Or stay with Alina?"

"Sitting room," James intones before the midwie can snap at the younger l'Saigner lord. "They tend to not want anyone unnecessary around for it." He pauses. "Which will include their father, should he recieve the message in time to show up." He gives Alina a look and a nod. "You'll be fine," he states… more and order than anything else, then ushers his sons out of the room so that the servants can come and go as the midwife demands.

"I do not drink often, but when there is a birthing— all three of my children's, in fact— I find it welcome. Come," James states coolly, as he makes his wake to the sitting room.

Once he and both his sons are there, he lifts the decanter and pours out three tots of whiskey, handing each of his sons one and taking the third for himself. He is pleased to see there are extra glasses— wise in case Lord Gabriel and perhaps others were to show.

"Well then…to Alina and the Babes' health, I suppose." Corvin notes, lifting the glass and smiling just a bit. He moves to seat himself, casual in the company of his sibling and father, when it's just them. "I know you're not exactly the sentimental sort, Father, but who were you sharing drinks with when Lucas and Alina were born?"

"Indeed," Lucas agrees lifting the glass given to him by their father before taking a sip. "So, what do we do now? I understand these things can go for days," he asks his father, who after all had experience with this sort of thing. That thought causes him to frown, not for his sake, but for Alina's.

Gabriel was on his way to check on Alina when a messenger gave him word. He heads to the l'Saigner manse and once there is escorted up to the room where Corvin, Lucas and James are presently. He offers a bow of his head to the Duke, and then to Lucas and finally Corvin. He waits for a moment and then goes over to a seat and plops down. "I was coming to check on her… but I'm not exactly sure how to handle this now." He admits a little reluctantly.

"Viscount Andre t'Corbeau," James replies to Corvin's question after raising his glass to the toast and taking a sip. "Both times. He was a good friend of mine, and often enough was in Lonnaire, though admittedly, it was usually on business." He smiles slightly. "A truer friend I could not have found. The Duchess abhorred him, of course, but that is her right." He shrugs. "With Lucas, Baron Louis t'Maren was on hand as well, but that was a stroke of luck. He opined that perhaps Lucas might become a knight. I took his words as they were meant: complimentary and as praise. Of course, I was not going to waste any of my children on knighthood…"

He glances to Lucas. "Well, we will not wait for days, but the first hours tell us much, from what I understand. We'll know if it will be days, at least, and if it will go poorly or well— ah! Lord Gabriel!" he greets the young knight as he enters the sitting room. He pours him a glass of whiskey and hands it over to him. "Well then," he says, "you are not alone in that. Every new father has no idea how to handle it." He muses. "I suspect since you were already on your way, the servant we sent may indvertantly summon your father." He chuckles dryly. "That shall be interesting."

"Heh, I rather imagine it would be." Corvin replies to James suggestion that Cesare's arrival might be imminent, but he glances towards Gabriel and nods, sipping from his whiskey and looking a bit thoughtful, "But yes, Viscount t'Corbeau. I should have guessed." The man was almost as much a father to Corvin as James was!

"Then let us hope it will be quick," Lucas says before the story of Baron t'Maren's suggestion brings a smile to his lips. "Did he really?" he asks his father with a bit of a shake of his head. "I am glad you didn't take that suggestion to heart."

When Gabriel enters he nods in greeting to the man and sets down his drink. When Gabriel is seated Lucas pours a healthy tot of whiskey into one of the extra cups and presents it to the man. "I suspect you'll need this," he offers with a smile that is not-unkind.

Nodding, Gabriel reaches out and takes the whiskey offered by James and then takes a long sip from it, letting the liquid burn down his throat. He glances up and offers a nod of thanks. "Interesting, yes." He murmurs with a slight smile. He takes in a deep breath and then looks up at Lucas, who offers more whiskey. Hell, may as well. "My thanks." He takes that glass and sips that as well. "I would feel less nervous, no that's not the right word… apprehensive. Yes, I would feel less apprehensive if I were fighting a man to the death right now."

James shakes his head, a knowing glint in his eyes. "Yes, well… death is easy. Living is what is difficult." A touch of philosophy from the Duke of l'Saigner? And why not?

"I suspect my daughter has more pressing things on her mind than apprehension," he says with gallows humor. "But do not worry, Lord Gabriel. I wouldn't have let you near her if I didn't think you were up to whatever challenge she could present you with."

A laugh comes from the doorway of the sitting room. "Is that what you're telling my son, then?" Duke Cesare booms, looking far more merry than any of the other men in the room. He looks somewhat out of breath, as if he had rushed over when he heard— for he had. "I am quite glad our manses are near each other, James. I've gotten old."

"You have," James replies dryly. But there is a hint of a smile on his lips.

"Gabriel! This is a happy day for you. For all of us! I get to become a grandfather again, and— James, are you going to offer me some of that whiskey?" There's laughter in his tone.

James snorts, pouring the other Duke a tot. "Wasn't sure if you'd want it," he jokes dryly.

Gabriel offers a slight smile at James, rather bemused by the remark. When his father comes into the room, he stands to greet the man. "Yes, father. It is something I am happy for, it's just… well, I feel a little lost. It feels like I have a thousand questions and no answers right now." He sits back down, chuckling as he empties one of is two glasses of whiskey. "The hell of it all is that most people only have to deal with one, there is going to be two. I guess it will give me a greater appreciation for what you and mother had to deal with with Michael and I."

Lucas inclines his head to the Duke when he enters but makes no further greeting. Indeed the youngest son of Duke James seems to be content keeping whatever thoughts turn inside his brain to himself.

James takes a sip of his whiskey. "Could be worse," he points out. "There could be three. Though I've never heard tale of a mother surviving a birthing of that size brood, so I am glad it isn't." He muses. "A coin says they are just twins, and not true twins," he says in an attempt to lighten the conversation.

Well shit, Gabriel had never considered anything more than two before, and even that he hadn't given much thought to. Nodding, he offers up a slight grin. "I will take that bet. I say they will be true twins. Regardless, I do hope one is a boy. "

James shakes his head. "I hope they are both boys, true or no," he states simply. "Else my daughter will need a second castle just to have space for all the dresses she'd stick her daughters in."

Cesare chuckles warmly. "I hope they will be healthy and robust, either way," he says diplomatically. "And we should begin discussion of the wedding, James. Sooner would be better, of course. And as soon as I got word of Alina being… well, alive… I send word that Gabriel's cloak should be made and quickly. No more false deaths or wars to put it off."

Gabriel glances between the two dukes, smiling. Both of them wanted two boys, well he had to admit to himself that the idea to teach two sons how to use a sword was quite appealing. "Frankly, Your Grace, I find myself wondering where she plans on putting some of her own things when I do eventually move in. Of course, she has already threatened to redo my entire wardrobe, so I guess that is something to look forward to." He glances over at his father and nods. "How soon were you thinking, father?"

James snorts. "I am sure she has," he comments acerbicly. "As for your things, well, like all must when they wed, there are sacrifices that must be made. She'll have to share her space with you, and if that means cutting down on her dresses, then…" he shrugs.

Cesare lifts a brow, then looks to James. "I would say sooner than later. As soon as possible." His expression makes it clear he is leaving the 'when' up to James as the host. "After all, you will want to be near your sons, I'm sure… and possibly making more," and Cesare grins. "I'm glad you are pleased with each other, though. That was my fondest hope with your match. You needed someone to care for, Gabriel, and she needs a protector."

James smirks slightly at that last, but says nothing, though his eyes do flit to his sons before settling on Gabriel. "You've done a fair job protecting her until now," he concedes. "So I have no doubts you will continue to do so after you've wed."

Cesare pats Gabriel's shoulder. "Don't think I've missed where you've been spending many of your nights of late," he says with a lifted brow. "I can't condone it, but nor will I say I'm entirely unhappy about it."

Artos arrives, having gotten word, so the usually stern-looking baron appears a little less prepared than usual, what hair he has is a bit of a mess and not wearing court finery, and ink spots are fresh on his fingers. He does give a short laugh, as it is one of the rare times that he is not the only knight present in the l'Saigner manse, though he gives the two dukes and the others a polite nod, "Your graces, sir, my lord, Master Corvin, I came as soon as I got word, though that might appear a bit obvious."

Gabriel finishes off the second whiskey and puts both glasses down, nodding. "I only did what honor demanded of me. Rest assured, should anyone wish to harm her, they will need to step over my corpse in order to do so." He gives James a serious nod at his words before looking up at his father, giving a little smile. "I assumed you would not mind as much, given her condition, father." He glances over at the newly arrived Artos and offers the man a nod in greeting.

Cesare looks seriously at Gabriel. "Her condition was a fine excuse to allow it, but truthfully, son, I am just pleased to see you happy. Or at least trying for it."

The Duke of Murnord reaches out to grasp Baron Artos's hand. "It is good to see you here!" Cesare says warmly.

Duke James greets his brother-in-law with an offered glass of whiskey and a clasped hand. "Baron," he says simply. "I'm glad you've come."

The perhaps uncharacteristically silent Corvin's brow tilts almost imperceptibly as Alina's "need for a protector" is spoken of, but of course he holds his tongue, and that's the only bare inkling of any discontent that appears, quickly smoothed away with another gulp of whiskey, and shortly thereafter by the arrival of Ivan, who makes his proper courtesies to the distinguished guests before moving over to murmur quietly in Corvin's ear. Corvin nods to the man, and rises to his feet, bowing to those assembled, "Please forgive my departure, Your Grace, I fear routine matters don't cease even in the midst of those that are anything but." He smiles politely, and at a gesture from James to indicate he is indeed dismissed, Corvin turns and heads out of the room, adding a subtle hand gesture as he goes that would indicate to James that yes, it is actually a routine matter. He gives Artos a smile and a respectful nod as he passes him on the way out, as well.

A loud shriek of pain echoes from upstairs, followed by another and the muffled sound of sobbing. A few moments later, one of the servants the midwife had appropriated slips into the room and murmurs something to James.

For a moment, a raptor-like scowl of fury crosses his face. Then he says coldly, "Then do as she asks and do not come to me for permission, wasting time. Go, now. The t'Andalucci manse is not far. Run."

The girl squeaks and departs quickly, as James rises to his feet. "There have been… complications. If you will excuse me for a short time, I will go and see for myself and return momentarily."

Artos grasps Cesare's and and gives a nod, using his other to accept the whiskey from James, who is next to receive a grasped hand. "It was no bother, just more of a surprise. Lucia and I came as quickly as we could. I just apologize for the ink and less-than-formal attire." He shrugs and takes a sip, giving Corvin a nod of farewell. Sadly, this time for relaxation and conversation hits a snag when the shriek hits, and James' strict instructions to the midwife. The t'Acuto sets his cup down for now, giving James a nod, "If there is anything you need from us, simply say the word and it will be done."

Artos' arrival is met with a raise of a glass from Lucas, before the young wraith detaches from the wall to greet him along with the two Dukes. "Uncle, it is good to see you," he says in earnest before he turns, his eyes following Corvin from the room. "Hm," he murmurs to himself before taking a sip of whiskey. "Come have a seat, uncle," he says as he turns back to Artos, "Anyhow-" he begins before being cut off by the scream. "Shit," he curses and when James leaves the room he says to those who remain "I am not quite sure what a host is supposed to do in a time like this," he admits, looking about the room uncomfortably.

Hearing that there may be complications causes Gabriel to sit up in his seat and watch James depart with a frown. "I… I take it that this is not a good thing, then?" He slumps back into his seat, rubbing at his forehead. "Should I go to her? Should I give the people who know what they are doing room to handle things?" He looks longingly at his empty glasses, half tempted to go down an entire bottle right about now.

Cesare puts his hand on his son's shoulder. "Stay here. The healers will have it in hand, and do not need a worried husband underfoot." He smiles grimly. "When your mother had Louisa, there were some minor complications that had the midwife worried. But everything turned out fine. Bringing in a healer or two is just likely a precaution, son." He hands Gabriel his glass, still half full. He glances to Lucas. "Don't worry too much on hosting, Lord Lucas. We'll just keep discussing things until James comes back with any solid news." He gives the young man a fatherly smile. "Until then, worry will do no good."

"Agreed, best to stay out of their way, being in there would likely be more of a hinderance than a help," Artos says with his nicest tone, "Best we can do is pray this is just an overreaction and that the One grants an easy birth." He takes the offered seat and takes another sip, "But yes, worrying does us no good." The baron looks to Lucas, "Indeed, join us, take a seat."

Gabriel glances up at his father, nodding. "Thank you." The words meant for both the drink and the reassurance. He takes a small sip and closes his eyes, trying to let the concern wash right through him. He remains quiet as the others speak.

"As you say, your Grace," Lucas says to Cesare, glad to be freed from having to fumbled for half-remembered courtesies at a time like this. "It's alright uncle, I prefer to stand," he answers Artos. Stand and pace it seems, as the young man begins to prowl the edges of the room like a caged mountain cat, though in doing so he does stop to re-fill his glass.


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