I was Born the Unloved Twin
It is something AM in the morning. I don't even know what time it is but it's a ridiculous hour to be awake.
Apparently it's an emergency. Enough for grampa to be dragging me home ASAP at this unholy hour but not enough to truly panic nor force me awake. This little of body of mine needs a lot of sleep, just as much as any growing toddler.
I find myself zoning in and out, mostly asleep as I get lugged around since I was carried out of bed. The bed being the nest I've since gathered and grown from the initial sleeping quarters Gable set up for me.
By the way, said room has since been invaded as of the other night. Obviously my sleeping space is the best, full of pillows and blankets. Gable didn't even have time to set up sleeping cots for those two kids before they saw my nest and jumped in. Of course, I wouldn't give it up that easily. Somehow it ended up in a sleepover arrangement.
That's not really an issue with me. Not only am I a modern person with sensibilities from another century, I'm just a small child. Sharing a room is no big deal either way.
Isn't it only prudes with too much free time that gets their panties in a bunch over this kind of stuff?
At the time Gable gave me a gesture that seems to say, 'Good Enough', before retiring for the night. Though we both know he actually went out to see grampa and the rest of the troops. Maybe go check up on Yuna, I never did find out what kind of effect that butterfly bite was. Hope the kid's okay.
I can hear Lukas occasionally snoring, he's even harder to wake up than myself. Ah, then the little hand leading me around must be Amar. What a reliable kid despite being sleepy himself. Do we really have to move? Can't Gable just float us around?
"Sorry little ones, you can all go back to sleep in a bit. Grab everything you need and meet in the kitchen."
I'll take that as a no on the floating thing. On the way out he personally slaps Lukas further awake, gently of course. Definitely Amar doing the dragging then. He somehow shuffles the both of us to the washroom to freshen up.
I'm going to miss magic pluming.
The boys weren't carrying much stuff originally. Just the clothes on their backs and a small enchanted nap sack. But now they're leaving with a whole new set of casual clothes.
Gable was disgusted over the fact that neither boys have pajamas or something else to wear besides their outdoor gear and armor. I'm not sure how but he got even faster at clothes making.
It may also be my fault for getting him hooked modern crochet patterns and such. But hey, wool sweaters for everyone! Mot the worse thing that could happen. Great time to play around with upcycling scraps.
Yesterday Gable was having another, though not very visible, panic over Lukas.
"I have to get a whole wardrobe for him...he's not gonna survive winter in those shoes.....does he even have another pair of socks...."
All that and more were muttered during our crafting time yesterday. While there are plenty more things to be done in prepping the troops for the trip back, without enough of his introverted homebody time Gable would get very very irritated.
Let's avoid that disaster.
Besides, crafting is very stress relieving and Gable seems to need as much of that as he can get. At least it was a very productive time. The boys were extremely happy to receive the sweaters and soft pajama bottoms. And yes, they got crochet socks too.
At first, they were confused as if the concept of gifts were an alien thing. Once they figured it out though they lit up like Christmas trees.
To be fair it's not as if they're mistreated in the camps. It's just not very child-oriented. Amar has too many hand me down knives and Lukas does have spare socks, he just either loses or ruins them easily. They don't own very many comfort items. Luxurious like PJs made for them are entirely new experiences.
What sob stories.
You wouldn't be able to tell looking at the shuffling sleepy messes they are now. Even with new clothes, no one is carrying much, especially me with my space cheating bag. So we each grab a
pillow and drag along a blanket or two...or three. Upon arrival to the kitchen, we promptly fall back asleep at the table.
I suppose I could wake up if needed but I don't need to, right? Just a few more minutes.
Gable appears out of nowhere again, this time with a pot of oaty porridge and prods us to eat. By 'he' I mean the floating bowls and spoons, self scooping fruit and something sweet into our portions. I still don't know what time it is but the slightly sweet smell rouses me enough to sleepily munch.
One full bowl is enough for me this early but the bowls say otherwise, seemingly refiling itself.
I mumble, pushing away the bowl to Amar, who finishes it easily with barely a blink. Which isn't actually that fast seeing how his eyes aren't even open. Lukas, on the other hand, looks to be face first drowning in his own bowl. Is he sleep eating?
It's too early for this.
"Wakey wakey! Are we all up and ready!?"
Hearing no responses besides our sleepy groans, grampa scoops us all up, blankets and all and runs up the stairs. The little bits of skylight shows no light at all, not even twilight.
It's way too early for this.
"Set them in the circle lines, it will be done in a bit." I can hear Gable saying.
Before I notice it I'm on the ground again, gentler than the previous times' grampa straight out just dropped me. Well, it doesn't matter because if no one needs me I'll be snuggling back to sleep, surrounded by blankets and warmth.
"My Lord! The Lord Commander has returned!"
"Father you're back! Thank heavens. Where is Rosalia? And sir Gable? Pardon, my rudeness, welcome to our humble home."
Huh? When did I get back to the mansion? Is this a dream?
The dream servants are all rushing up to stand in procession in front of grampa and Gable. Dream father is gliding down the stairs, looking very regal and very tired all at once.
Where am I in this dream? On the floor in a blanket pile right? Yes, this is much more comfortable spot to be, even though Lukas does snore a bit. It's very soft and warm, I'm just going, *yawn* sleep a little bit more.
"But father, where is my daughter? I thought for sure she was with you....what is that?"
Halfway into dreamland again my outer blanket was cruelly ripped from me, exposing to me to lamp lights and the harsh waking world. This disruption does not bother Lukas at all, the boy dead to the world snoring but Amar being directly underneath me in the blanket pile jolts half awake.
In the next moment I'm lifted into the air, but the familiar clean scent of bergamot and gunpowder surrounds me and I relax.
"Father, what have you done to my child?"
"Eh? I didn't do anything."
Making myself comfortable again, I can feel father's long fingers inspecting my cropped hair, ghosting over any scrapes and bruises that haven't healed fast enough.
It's fine, kids get roughed up all the time. Don't worry so much, this is normal you know. Also, stop poking that bruise on my shoulder, it's still fresh from some stray elbows.
"How is she right now?" asks Gable.
Father let's out a sigh, readjusting me in his arms. It doesn't sound very good.
"It's not life threatening they say but it's getting pretty bad to be honest. The fever just won't subside and it's been going on for so long. Thank goodness you're here. Come, Maria is with her right now."
That definitely doesn't sound good. My thoughts can only go to one thing.
Is it Lilyanne again?
She must have gotten sick again. I have been actively trying to ensure she's a healthier child than she was last time around but I'm no miracle worker. Her childhood illnesses is what it is with her weaker constitution. I'm honestly surprised she hasn't gotten any serious fevers or such thus far.
She must have taken a turn for the worst if we're suddenly here. I assume Grampa finally got his mail had Gable magic us here. Can he do that? I have no idea but I don't doubt it. In the past grampa has strange means of getting from place to place.
Wait why did Gable come with us? He never came to see Lilyanne before last time around.
"Down the hall and through here, they're in Maria's room. "
"Ronald, hold the boys, keep the kids out here while I examine her. I repeat keep all the kids out here."
"Mmm I know, I trust you ."
"Nothing ever is but for you, I'll take my chances."
"You're a terrible gambler."
Why does it feel like these two are flirting? Grampa I get but Gable? They're giving me idiotic couple feels...It really is too early for this.
"So then , where do you disappear off with my daughter for all these weeks hmm?"
"I'm going to get these boys settled! Off I go now!"
How very smooth of you grampa. I sleepily wave them off as he makes his escape. See you later guys.
Then it's just father and me in the hall. He looks down at me warily, expression crossed between relieved and uncomfortable. His hold isn't painful or anything but his stare is.
"You're far too young to be gallivanting with boys."
"Far too young. Not till your debut at the very least and even then you're too young. Rosalia, do you understand?"
Is father accusing little old me of seduction already?! I'm two! What is this?
"I'd ask about your time out but you look to be in fine health, snuggling with strange boys. Which one of them was it? Or did they both cut your hair, damn brats. Rosalia, I'm telling you this now that if a boy pulls your pigtails it's because all males are terrible beasts with impure intentions and you should keep far far away."
"Father I really don't think this is necessary. And I like my hair, though it was an accident"
"Don't ever trust when a boy says it was an accident. Remember besides your grandfather and I, you are not to trust any nasty boys."
I'm getting the shovel talk already? I'm two! To which I have to repeat out loud.
He gives me a look that says it doesn't matter and I'm dumbstruck. I really don't know how to make it more obvious that this isn't an issue. Besides friendships and relations between genders aren't necessarily inappropriate. Isn't father just being absolutely sexist and ridiculous right now?
"I'm engaged to a boy you know? The one you set up. "
"One that is no threat, thanks to the Goddess. No, I shall not have you frolicking with beaus till you're well into adulthood, even then there will be no 'frolicking' nonsense. Understand?"
"I really didn't think this would be an issue yet, they really do grow up so fast."
"It's nothing like that! Besides I'm engaged, worry about Lillyanne!"
Father's handsome face seems to be going through a stroke as he considers the very feasible idea.
Really I'm not an issue at all, Lilyanne's the one with the insane amount of admirers and suitors in the future. We'll be having the entire household staff beat them off with brooms.
I personally vote that we replace the brooms with swords for better effectiveness. Or at least enchant to brooms for more attacking power. Perhaps some of those semi-automatic crossbows? I'm sure grandpa could spare some to help preserve his precious granddaughter's peace and honor.
"About Lilyanne, Rosalia your sister ...has always been weaker. So it's been..."
"Don't worry father, I know she's sick again. Lilyanne will be fine."
She always is, despite all the scares in the last life she always made it. Weak but she survived. The dark circles under his eyes and the haggardness that dampens his usual grandeur must be from caring for Lilyanne and mother. In the past, if Lilyanne got sick then so would mother, more from over worrying than anything. That would then, in turn, affect father and then the whole household would be in hysterics.
How troublesome, I recall the times where the staff even forgot to feed me during those spells. Just because one twin is sick doesn't mean you should starve the other to that point.
Well, that shouldn't be an issue in this life, I wonder if George's acne improved. Did the kitchens figure out the crab recipes without me to boss them around? Did they test the soap yet, did those even make it back safely? What about our research status on pizza dough and finding the right yeast? I have so much to do and so much to show everyone!
The door creaks open and Gable leads a wobbly mother by the hand. She looks absolutely awful, even worse than the week after giving birth, She's lost so much weight even her bountiful bosom looks underwhelming! This is not the blushing Maria Ventrella, a beauty and socialite in her prime.
"Rosalia, is that you?"
I should be asking you that mother!
"I found her barefoot and ill alone in the woods, she must have been out there for days. You've raised such a strong little survivor Maria."
Mother all but leans on father for support, touching me all over. Her eyes and hands inspecting me in a manner much more frantic than father's earlier check up. She grips my hair so hard, too close to the scalp, that it actually hurts quite a lot.
"What did you say?"
Father's hold on me tightens even as he supports mother with one arm.
"Oh, Gable I didn't know. Rosa honey, mama and papa are so so sorry. We should have watched over you better, shouldn't have let papa take you off just like that."
Huh, when did this get to me? Shouldn't we be focused on still sick Lilyanne here? Where did this all come from? I look over to Gable with confusion, what is he playing at here?
"You two are still so young, but you're parents now. Your child's first line of support and defense is you. Maria, you know best how your papa gets, how much he forgets. Rosalia is not Ronald, she doesn't have his constitution nor his gifts, she doesn't even have yours. Don't put her through that unreasonable pressure. "
Mother doesn't even bother hiding her sobs, emotional as ever. It's just...never been directed towards me? I don't know what to make of the situation.
"You're doing so well Buttercup, you're leaning."
"Thank you Gable, my dear kind Gable you're always too good to me."
"Maybe I have spoiled you a tad too much when you were growing up." Gable teased, no bite to his words at all.
"Thank you, thank you for watching over my Rosa."
He wipes away the tears on her red face with a familiarity that must go very far. It's too tender of a scene, what a dangerously good looking man. Father you need to be more careful, you won't be able to win against such a rival! I mean Gable would never but I am just stating the obvious here.
Instead, father doesn't mind it at all and thanks Gable graciously for 'saving' me. Sounds a little too dramatic, it was just a few days sleeping in trees and a cold. I'm very glad Gable found me when he did but I probably would have still gotten by.
"I really am fine though, we should get back to Lilyanne."
Gable gives me the usual pat on the head and that mysterious smile as always. Ah, he really means it when he wants me to 'try' to 'face' my family. I don't get what that entails though. Oh well, we'll just have to see day by day.
"For Lilyanne...I think I may have figured out the source of her fever."
"Dear Gable! Are you serious?"
"Is that really true? Is there a cure for her?"
Oh thank god, it feels really too uncomfortable having so much of the attention on me. This is more back to normal. Gable really is amazing though to have diagnosed Lilyanne's mysterious illness. He's not even a doctor, well not in the traditional sense, he's much better.
"I have to say that no, there's no cure for what she has."
Father's face starts to fall before Gable continues.
"But there is a way to manage her condition and allow her to live like a normal child, least till she's strong enough to control it herself. Rosalia, this is where we'll need your help."
Huh? Back to me again?