schizoauthoress: (A Spark in the Dark)
[personal profile] schizoauthoress
Title: Mornings
Author: D.L.SchizoAuthoress
Rating: PG
Spoilers: none really
Warnings: mild language
Prompt/Fill: Any, any, the more you love someone, the more you want to kill them
Word Count: 2957
Summary: Prince Trian keeps getting rudely awakened.

Note: My interpretation of Trian Aeducan and his relationship with his siblings is probably pretty skewed away from canon or what BioWare intended. Pre-game timeline, naturally, but leading into a Dwarf Noble Warden world-state.

Word of the Day: obtest, verb:
1. To supplicate earnestly; beseech.
2. To invoke as witness.
3. To protest.
4. To make supplication; beseech.

Mornings
Three Terrible Things to Wake Up to, According to Trian Aeducan (and one that wasn't so bad)

A) 9:25 Dragon

Crown Prince Trian did not recognize, right away, who was yelling as he was rudely woken from sleep. Part of it was because they were down the hallway and rather far from his bedroom door, and part of it was because -- as he realized while tugging on his lighter leather armor -- the person was female. Trian was not in the habit of making females scream.

He grabbed one of the short swords hanging on the plaque beside the door and stalked forward toward the sound of the disturbance. As he got closer, Trian recognized the shrill tones of Larisa, the castle housekeeper, overriding another female voice's protests. They must be in the area near his younger siblings' rooms.

Trian resisted the urge to sigh. He was starting to get a clearer picture of why he'd been awakened so early. He kept his sword up in a guard position, though, just in case he was wrong.

"This... is... so... unfair!" The sobbing protest was coming from a blonde woman seated on the floor. One hand was holding up the top of her dress, which had been torn open in a single, extensive rip. The other was wiping at her streaming eyes.

"Unfair!" Larisa exclaimed, affront clear in her voice. "You dare talk about fairness, you... you thief! You slattern!"

"What," Trian asked, in a tone that made it more of a command for information, "is going on here?"

"Prince Trian!" Larisa whirled to face him more fully. She thrust a hand toward him, and Trian caught sight of a suspicious sparkle in the torchlight. In a moment, he recognized it as the tail-end of a thick gold necklace chain, with the claw-like clasp. From between Larisa's fingers, a familiar diamond pendant protruded -- Trian knew that there was a twin of that pendant, and a larger, more complex version, hidden in the housekeeper's fist. "I found this... this woman in Prince Bhelen's bed chamber. She was stuffing this down the front of her dress!"

"It... it was a gift!" the blonde whimpered, dropping her hand from her face into her lap. She glanced upward toward Trian -- he caught sight of the brand on her cheek as she did so -- and cringed upon seeing the weapon in his hand.

"A gift, indeed," Trian replied dryly, "a gift from my king father to Bhelen's mother. I doubt very much that he would give it to you... unless there has been a betrothal we were unaware of?"

The woman flushed at the question. The scar on her cheek remained paler than the rest, standing out even more starkly. Her eyes avoided all of them. "N-no, my prince," she stammered. Everyone knew that King Endrin was considering several politically advantageous marriages for the youngest of the princes, though Bhelen was only sixteen right now. He would never stand for his son trying to elevate a casteless woman by marrying her, though he would probably allow Bhelen to take such a woman as a consort afterward.

"Prince Bhelen may have brought you here and filled your ears with pretty promises, but there are consequences for stealing." Larisa said. Trian nodded slowly at the reminder.

"We would be well within our rights to demand your death," the crown prince said solemnly. The noble hunter gave a whining, wordless protest, but that wasn't what gave Trian pause. A light cough followed his statement, and Trian looked away from her into the dark eyes of his middle sibling. Gylaw was similarly attired in only the leather layer of his usual armor, though when it came to weapons, his hands hovered near the two daggers on his belt instead. Gylaw frowned at Trian.

The blonde noble hunter cast miserable looks at the others in the hallway, finding no outward signs of sympathy. She knew it was a gamble to ask for it -- some of the dwarven nobility would harden their hearts and deny it, just to be contrary, if some lower caste or casteless dwarf dared beg for leiniency following a crime. She bowed her head and whispered, "Yes, my prince."

"I assume that my brother has been compensating you for your... time," Trian said. Larisa opened her mouth to correct him, and Trian slashed his free hand in a gesture of silencing. The housekeeper shut her mouth into a scowl that she directed at the casteless woman instead. "Is there some reason that his coin is now inadequate?"

Trian knew that he would be getting a sob story, possibly only partially true if not a complete fabrication. But, he decided, seeing the way that Gylaw nodded approvingly and smiled, it would be worth it. He would already be dealing with Bhelen's unhappiness over his little playmate being at the very least banned from the castle. No sense in earning his middle sibling's displeasure as well, by being merciless.

All in all, not the best way to start a morning.

****

B) 9:27 Dragon

"My dear child," King Endrin said heartily. Neither Trian nor Bhelen looked up, long since made aware of the fact that such fond address was never for the two of them.

Gylaw did raise their head from their breakfast plate of roasted cave beetles, and gave their father a pleasant, attentive smile. "Yes, Father?"

"It has come to my attention," the king said, with a bit of pomp, as the family was not dining alone but hosting several nobles that morning, "that the birthday you will be having next week is your twentieth."

Gylaw raised an eyebrow. "That is true."

"A milestone of age," King Endrin observed. Lord Bemot was watching now, looking slightly confused. Trian almost felt sorry for the man, who had traveled back from Kal-Sharok so recently, and gone into trade talks that lasted all through last night only to be roused for an early morning meal with the promise of further meetings afterward. The king continued, "and one that ought to be celebrated. We shall have a feast!"

Trian stabbed a slice of bronto sausage with his fork, and stuffed it into his mouth to stop the protest he wanted to voice. King Endrin had arranged for no such feast on Trian's twentieth birthday, two years prior. Their king father's favoritism was getting even more blatant as time went on.

"Father," Gylaw said, in their usual calm and reasonable tone, "I have not even graduated from the Academy yet. Surely an achievement such as that, rather than simply surviving another year of life, is more suited for a feast?"

"I think it's a wonderful idea, Father!" Bhelen exclaimed before King Endrin could answer. Trian glared at the youngest prince, who noticed and smirked back at him. Trian was sure that Bhelen was just as irritated as he by the idea of yet more attention being given to their middle sibling. Perhaps more, because Bhelen was not nearly as apprised to Gylaw's own -- equally annoyed and uncharitable -- view of King Endrin's favoritism. But Bhelen was a master at hiding his feelings and ingratiating himself with others. It was a skill that Trian had not yet acquired, even at age twenty-two.

"Thank you, Bhelen," King Endrin said, before turning his attention back to Gylaw, who had risen to their feet. Gylaw crossed their arms over their chest defensively.

"I would much rather," Gylaw noted unhappily, "that any celebrations wait until I am no longer a student and can be named a full officer. Father, can't you see that it would be... unseemly?"

"In what way?" King Endrin asked, frowning.

Gylaw sighed. "Isn't it rather arrogant? It sets me apart from the other officers in training--"

"You are a prince! You are already apart from them--"

"And you want to distance me more?" Gylaw scoffed. "There is no sense in that!"

"Father," Trian said softly. He could see that Gylaw was entrenching themself even futher in trouble, from the way that the king's expression was edging toward a full-strength glower, and knew that he would have to rescue the younger prince. He spoke carefully, sure to avoid using pronouns for the middle prince, as he had done for a year so far. "I am sure that Gylaw appreciates your kind thoughts, but Military Academy graduation will be in a mere seven months. If you delay the feast until then, it will allow our steward the extra time to plan a truly worthy celebration." He hated giving their father an opening to make even more of a fuss over Gylaw, and was sure that Gylaw felt the same. But better this than two barely tolerated feasts in Gylaw's honor.

His attention diverted from Gylaw, King Endrin was able to see past what he considered Gylaw's 'ungrateful' behavior. The king rubbed his chin thoughtfully, probably considering the ideas he'd had for this prospective birthday feast and contrasting them with what they would be able to pull off with a planning period longer than a single week. After a long moment, he nodded slowly. "Perhaps you are right, my son."

"I do not mind waiting," Gylaw said. "I do not mind at all."

King Endrin nodded decisively. "Then that is what we will do. When you have graduated and are ready to serve in Orzammar's defense, dear child, we shall celebrate that."

"Thank you!" Gylaw gave Endrin a bright smile as they sat back down again. They turned to direct that smile at Trian, too, and he nodded in acknowledgement. As upsetting as King Endrin could be, Trian could hold no grudge against his younger sibling, who had never asked for and rarely taken advantage of their favored position.

Neither of the elder princes noticed the ugly look that flashed over Bhelen's face at their moment of solidarity.

****

C) 9:28 Dragon

"What a surprise to see you here!"

Trian came awake and blinked a film of sleep from his eyes. What was Durran doing, speaking so loudly?

His second continued to speak, on the other side of Trian's bedroom door. "Lady Jaylia, you're very early! The prince is still asleep!"

All thought of falling back asleep was banished at the sound of that name. Trian sat up, or tried to. A heavy arm flung across his chest kept him pinned. Trian huffed with annoyance, but his lover's only response to that was to press his face against Trian's neck and sigh in his sleep.

"Bruniv!" Trian hissed. "Wake up!"

It took more prodding and squirming from Trian before Bruniv -- a terribly heavy sleeper, Trian was learning -- even began to wake.

"Hm? What?" Bruniv mumbled. He took a moment to kiss Trian's neck, which usually Trian would be fine with, but...

"No, my lady! You shouldn't wake him!" Durran cried, sounding a bit panicked. "Prince Trian was up late last night and he needs his rest!"

"We overslept!" Trian said, finally able to get out from under Bruniv's arm. Bruniv blinked at him, and glanced toward the bedroom door.

"Isn't that locked?" he asked.

Trian practically leaped across the room to make sure it was. He winced as the deadbolt rasped against the stone and clicked loudly into place.

There was only silence in the hallway outside. Trian could just imagine Jaylia Helmi's glare -- after all, if the bedroom door was just being locked, that meant someone was awake in there. Just when Durran had said Trian was still asleep.

"Shit." Trian hissed, realizing his mistake for what it was. Thinking quickly, or as quickly as one could when roused so unceremoniously from well-earned sleep, he rattled the door, and repeated his curse louder, "Shit!" before throwing back the deadbolt.

He pushed the door open only enough to stick his head out. Jaylia, looking altogether too fresh and put together for the hour, put a hand to her mouth as her cheeks flushed red. It was, after all, altogether improper for her to see him in a state of undress -- the fact that their families were in bethrothal negotiations notwithstanding. Well, it was her own fault for showing up outside his bedroom door before breakfast.

"Durran!" he barked at his second, ignoring the lady. "I'll be taking breakfast in my rooms. I'm not up to dealing with anyone from the Assembly this morning."

And before Durran could reply, Trian retreated back into his bedroom and shut the door, locking it again.

Behind him, he heard Bruniv chuckle.

"Yes, I'm sure that was hilarious."

"You'll have to tell her sometime," Bruniv pointed out. "If only to be fair and let her take a lover of her own."

"It's not her business. Not until, or if, we are ever married." Trian said. He stalked back toward the bed, still upset with himself. True, most people wouldn't see anything wrong with Trian taking another man for a lover, but he got to be private about so few things in his life. And Bruniv Meino was worth keeping a secret -- someone who got to see the more thoughtful, romantic side of him, who would never judge him for it.

Bruniv made a sympathetic noise and reached out to tug at Trian's arm so that the prince was seated on the bed again. He wrapped his arms around Trian's waist and kissed his neck again. Trian couldn't resist relaxing at the affectionate gestures.

"I'm sorry. I know you want to keep me to yourself for now, dearest."

"I'm not ashamed of you..."

"Hush, I know." Bruniv said softly. "The Assembly would love to have any reason to cast doubt on you. They don't appreciate you like I do."

Trian snorted. "I think it would be exhausting to try getting them to do that."

"Oh... you!" Bruniv huffed and swatted at Trian's leg.

****

D) 9:29 Dragon

"You're sure he doesn't have any... 'guests' in there?"

"He's not you, Bhelen; and besides, I checked with Durran."

Trian lifted his head from his arms, and rubbed at his forehead with irritation. He felt indentations in the skin, from resting his face against the vambrace on his right arm. He'd fallen asleep in his armor. At his desk.

Again.

He'd spent such long hours at the Proving Grounds yesterday, as demanded by his responsibilities. And though King Endrin disapproved of his studies of the fragmented surviving maps of more far flung Deep Roads territories, Trian was determined to figure out the best route to reclaiming another great thaig from the darkspawn. He'd simply spent too long at it last night.

A few loud knocks sounded on his bedroom door. He didn't want to answer them, but he forced himself to his feet and shuffled over anyway.

"Brother! Today of all days, you can't sleep in!" Bhelen called out.

"I'm the crown prince," Trian grumbled to himself, even though it was a lie. "I can do what I like."

The younger princes could do that. Bhelen was so charming and well-liked that people would let him get away with anything shy of murder, and might even forgive him that if pressed. And kind-hearted, sweet-tempered Gylaw was adored by many of the lower caste people, not to mention the favored child.

Trian could barely open his mouth to comment on something without someone, usually the king, getting displeased about it.

He unlocked the door and threw it open without warning. Gylaw's hand, raised to knock on the stone again, fell through suddenly empty air before Trian caught them by the wrist.

"What's all this about?" Trian demanded gruffly.

Gylaw smiled at him. Bhelen smothered a laugh in one hand, no doubt reacting to the state of Trian's face.

"Happy birthday, Trian!" Gylaw answered. They slipped from Trian's grip and put that arm around his shoulders.

"Did you forget?" Bhelen asked. To Gylaw, the youngest prince said, "I bet he forgot."

"I..."

"He did!" Bhelen crowed.

Gylaw laughed. "Good thing we didn't." They patted Trian's cheek with their other hand. "Go wash up and change. I'll take your present to the feast hall instead."

"Oh no," Trian said, with a smile, "if there's presents, I want them now."

"So impatient!" Bhelen teased. He turned and went down the hall, to where it turned a corner. Gylaw tightened the grip of their arm, turning it into a half hug, and Trian returned the gesture fondly. In a moment, Bhelen came back with a large box in his hands.

"It's not anything live, is it?" Trian asked suspiciously.

"That was one time!" Bhelen protested.

"Once was enough," Gylaw said. "But no. It's not alive."

Trian took the box, surprised by the weight of it. He set it down on the doorstep and lifted the lid, gasping as he got a first look at the contents.

A magnificently crafted maul lay within. Trian ran an appreciative hand along the handle of it, then looked up at his siblings. Gylaw and Bhelen both beamed back at him.

"It's beautiful."

"We commissioned it for you a year ago. It took them that long to make it perfect."

"Do you like it?" Gylaw asked.

Trian lifted the weapon in his hands, and found it wonderfully well-balanced. "I like it very much. I hardly deserve such a gift."

Gylaw snorted. Bhelen flapped a hand dismissively.

"Of course you deserve it, Crown Prince Trian. Now, go get washed up at least. I can't wait to see Father's face when you walk in and put that on the table."

Trian smiled. He'd never do such a thing; it was a breach of etiquette. But... if it would amuse his younger brother...

He glanced at the maul. He already didn't want to leave it behind, even just for a meal.

Gylaw sighed. "Go, already."

Trian went, giving a few practice swings of the maul once he was back in his bedroom proper. His siblings weren't so bad...
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