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Inseparable (attn: Con)


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Life couldn't have been more perfect in Arette's opinion. She and Con had been married for two blissful weeks, they had their own house where to spend their late evenings quietly and in privacy and tonight Sofia was staying Con's mother so once the girls just went to bed, they had the whole house for just themselves. The said children snuggling on the sofa beside them were definately getting close to the state of getting retired to their room for the night. Rana and Cina had shed their towels after bath and despite her warnings about catching cold, they sat there stark naked. She just couldn't understand their desire to go about without clothes but after Con had convinced her that it would do no harm, they had reached a compromise that the girls could do so after their daily bath.


She put aside her embroidery when her daughters prattled again about how they had been separated earlier that day and how scared they had been. This had to be the fifth time tonight but it had been an upsetting experience for them. "Aww poor dears. I'm sure that it was really frightening. Mmm, yes. But you know that grandma didn't do it on purpose. And she told me that you Rana wanted to go with her even though Cina was still napping. And you always tell me how big girls you are. So there will be times when you need to be apart from each others for a moment."


"No mama, we no be ever be apart", Rana told her stubbornly clutching to Cina. "Yes, we be always together", Cina piped in turn hugging her sister back. They were just so awfully cute that she had to smile and squeeze Con's arm affectionally for giving them to her.


"Of course you will be together honeys." Light, how to explain it. Maybe she didn't even have to as it would come with time but she wanted to at least try. "But when you grow bigger you will just have to do some different things that require you to be apart. Like if I needed Cina's help here at home and then grandma needed you Rana. And then when you are even bigger, you will get married and have your own homes."


"No, we be living together."


"That is possible, just like your aunties Nyxia and Zona live together. But you might have to marry brothers then like they did." She glanced at Con who had grown oddly attentive. She was fairly certain that she knew what he was thinking and she definately felt the same. They were just little girls and the time when they would be women was so far away. And even then they would always be her babies and it would be hard to let them fly off the nest. Maybe when they were twenty. Or twenty five. Or never.


Her suggestion made the girls giggle as if she had said something funny. "No mama, we be marrying Luca."


Now that she did not find amusing at all. "Luca is going to be old when you are of the right age. And what is that talk about we? You'll be both having your own husbands."


The girls just laughed, a sure sign of bedtime approaching. "We did already be asking him. We be marrying Luca."


"What?", Arette shrieked absolutely scandalized. She was going to have Luca's hide for encouraging Rana and Cina like this. "That is just not done."


"Whoops, it did be a secret." More giggling. "Luca did tell us to no tell you, Mama."


Turning to Con, Arette was breathing heavily through her nose. "Con, say something. You have to talk to your daughters."


Arette Stavros

Upset Mommy

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  • 3 weeks later...

Listening to his wife and daughters, Con couldn't help but wonder if Arette was letting the stress of hiding Sofia get to her.  Admittedly, hiding a royal personage in ones home from a pretender was a stressful experience and certainly not for one of the faint of heart.  In particular, Sofia could be rather trying and it was Arette who was the one to deal with her.  At the same time, his wife could perhaps relax a touch, because she was entirely too worried about what their daughters thought their futures would be while they were three years old.  Light, he couldn't even remember what he'd thought he'd be at three, certainly not what he'd become.  The only thing he knew for certain was that his twin and he had thought they'd be together forever just like his own daughters, life had taken care of that for them though.


It was nearly impossible, but Con managed not to burst out laughing as the girls both proclaimed they were going to marry Luca.  The shriek which echoed when Arette found out that Luca had told them he'd marry them forced him to turn away for a moment so he didn't betray the grin on his face.  Luca was impossible at times, but Con knew full well what had happened.  Luca had known the girls would tell Arette, and that Arette would be suitably scandalised by the prospect, and had probably anticipated Arette going to him to have a few words about what she thought of the situation only so he could laugh harder at having managed to tweak her nose.


He managed to turn back to Arette and his daughters in time to catch Arette's demand to speak with their daughters with a straight face.  Light, how hard it was to stop himself from laughing.  Setting down his book, well, not so much his but one of Arette's, he scooped up both of his daughters, one in each arm.  They were beautiful children, especially with the mischievous looks on their faces.  The face was usually to be found when Con was asked to step in and speak with them, as if it would soften him before he said anything.  It was fortunate, and unfortunate, that it nearly always worked as well.


"Now girls, it do be time for you to be going to bed an-"


"But Papa!"  Both of them at once, Con had already anticipated that.


"-nd!"  Noting the pair were silent, Con added.  "I want you to be putting on your towels and do be finding Luca, he do be out there with Bernd and the others.  I do be wanting you to tell him that if he do be wishing to marry, he do be needing to see me in the morning.  You also do be needing to tell him that he do be needing to bring a long, wooden box with him."


"What do that be for, papa?"  Cina was the one to ask, her eyes wide.


"He do be knowing when you do be telling him.  After that, straight to bed.  Alright?"


"Yes papa!"


Kissing the pair, he handed his daughters to Arette in turn seemed to be a touch charmed by the kisses and the goodnights she got before they collected their towels, wrapped them around themselves, then joined hands as they ran out of the room to inform Luca unknowingly that Con had seen something happen and that it was in Luca's best interests to let it go for the moment, and that Arette wasn't amused.


Speaking of which, his wife didn't seemed to happy with him.  Of course, that could have had something to do with the fact that Con was outright laughing at her.  "Luca do be getting you well and truly, you do be knowing that don't you?" That didn't seem to mollify her, but Con simply reached over and hauled her onto his lap, his arms around her waist.  He wasn't going to let her gather any momentum, so he began kissing her even as she tried to scold him.


Con Stavros

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It was most suspicious the way Con kept turning his back. Usually he did that only when he was having trouble keeping his face straight and this was just not a laughing matter. He did manage to pull himself together and she fully approved the message Con sent to Luca. The threat of disapproving father was usually enough to deter even the most overeager unwanted suitor. She wasn't quite as amused by the girls going out in just towels but it was just their men and they were like family. She had to hide a grin with her hand when Cina wondered what the wooden box was for and the goodnight kisses from the girls softened her a bit more.


The moment the girls were gone, Con was laughing at her. She was taking it much better these days but being the subject of ridicule was the surest way to rile her up. Her husband seemed to be pegging it all down on Luca playing a prank on her and likely he had but she was more concerned about it being originally the girls' idea.


"Don't you laugh at mfph..." She did her very best to not respond the kiss and when she was allowed to catch her breath, she still tried to give him an earful even if with slightly less force. "This is not amusinmpf..." Alright, her will might be weak but he was playing underhandedly. After a moment of wonderful smooching she realised that little eyes and ears were present again and pushed away from Con with a blush. "Your mother and father were just... ahem... Bed time!"


Thankfully there were no protests tonight and she and Con tucked each one girl under the blankets and gave goodnight kisses to both. As they withdrew back to the sitting room, Con likely expected her to continue about the topic but she had expressed her opinion already. And she was going to teach Luca herself and think up some clever revenge for him since that seemed to be the only language Tower Guards and other soldiers understood. Propping herself again on her husband's lap she spoke instead of a topic that had been in her mind since their wedding.


"They are awfully cute aren't they? Were you and Mia as insistent on always being together when you were little? Some say that twins have a special connection between each others but is that true? You... well, you haven't spoken of her at all since... lets see, not since we met again. Do you miss her? A happy reunion could be arranged thanks to Telcia's wonderful gift." She tried to keep the slight frown of displeasure off her face. She hated making Gateways because the largest she could create was the size of a dog to walk through. But this was really important and she would do anything to make her husband happy.


Arette Stavros

Exiled Keeper

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Tucking Cina in her bed, she seemed highly amused that she had caught her mother and father out.  Not that she understood why they had been caught out, but Con could remember having done such things himself as a child.  No doubt Arette would have something to say about it when they returned to the sitting room, or so Con thought as he kissed Cina on the forehead.  Swapping places with Arette so he could kiss Rana's forehead in turn.  Leaving the pair to go to sleep, Con braced himself when they returned to the couch as they had been before.


Yet that wasn't what Arette had chosen to talk about, and Con wasn't sure he liked the topic that had been chosen.  He loved Mia, always had and always would, she was a part of him as much as he was a part of her, but things didn't feel quite the same, they couldn't be.  He had done a terrible thing to her, and she in turn had done a terrible thing to him.  He didn't blame her though, he had left her no choice, why she ended up choosing to...  Well, that would be something he would learn if they ever met again.


"She and I, I don't think that would be such a good idea."  Con most certainly did not, oaths were oaths and he wasn't going to push her again, test her word as a Tower Guard.  "I'm a fugitive of the Tower, if Tower Guard find me I am to be arrested and immediately dragged back to Tar Valon for desertion.  If Mia and I are in the same room, then she do be required by her oath to be arresting me and taking me to Tar Valon, I no be doing that to her."  It didn't sit well with him, but they had been slowly seperated over the years until they could function seperately.  Even if they missed the link they had once shared much more closely.


Arette had almost managed to forget about the idiotic warrant as the Tower likely wasn't actively searching for Con anymore. With all the recent events in the world there were far more important things to use their sparce resources on. For a moment she was at loss what to say but there just had to be some way. "Well, what if she were... hmm... approached with the possibility and she decided to take it anyway. If she says no, then no damage has been done. You haven't seen each others in three years." And Mia should definately meet her nieces and it would be wonderful if she could be reunited with the rest of the family too.


"Arette."  A warning tone, and not one that he used often.  Feeling her stiffen at her name being spoken so, Con sighed as he realised there would be little leaving it alone without leaving Arette confused and a little hurt.  "The last time I did be seeing Mia, well..."  Reaching for the bottom of his shirt, he lifted it up with one hand and used his chin to secure it.  Lowering the hand down, it drifted below his chest until it found a particularly ugly scar, flesh didn't knit together nearly so well on its own, or so he'd found repeatedly since he'd left Tar Valon.  He tapped the scar a few times for Arette's benefit.


The way Con uttered her name was a definate warning to be on her guard and she eyed him questioningly. Her suggestion did side step a bit around honour but that wouldn't have usually elicited this strong reaction. She gasped when he pointed at the scar and eyed it with dismay while running her fingers over it in a soothing caress. "Why that flaming goat-kissing..." How could she have hurt her brother like that, Tower Guard oath or not. "Oh Con, I am so sorry. What happened?"


"She do be having an oath, an oath do be an oath."  Con hadn't blamed her at all, it was his fault.  "No one did be guessing after I reached Altara that I would be strike west for Amadicia instead of east towards Illian and my old home.  Mia did be catching me around the border after I did be assisting some of the Children of the Light who did be attacked by bandits.  Bernd, Leon and Luca be amongst the survivours.  Mia did be catching up with me, did be demanding that I do be surrendering.  She no be wanting to hurt me, did be wanting me to return with her, did be saying everything could be blown over."


"But it couldn't, and I no be able to be returning because I could no be serving the Tower again.  So I refused, she do be drawing her blade and attacking me, I think she did be hoping I'd draw mine so she would be beaten and that way be given an excuse to not be taking me back, but I no be drawing my blade on her.  Couldn't be avoiding her blade forever, but she no be finishing me.  Next I do be knowing, I do be with the wisdom, Mia did be taking me there then did be leaving.  We no be seeing each other since."


Con's story gave Arette shivers and she felt so bad for him and Mia both and she was certain that her sister-in-law was feeling horrible about it too. And in the end she had spared Con and hadn't take an advantage over his state and dragged him back in ropes. "That is really awful", she exhaled feeling disheartened. "How would you feel if your roles would have been reversed? I know that she is agonized over it. Maybe you could write to her at least and say that you are not holding it against her."


"Our roles no be reversed."  Con wasn't about to indulge in what if's, it wasn't in his nature and to be honest he already knew the position that Mia was in.  He didn't envy her it at all, and the thought of it was one of the few guilty feelings he had about leaving Tar Valon behind.  "I no be able to contact her, if it did be known that she did be receiving letters from me and likewise, it would be bad.  She no be trusted as it is, she do be the twin sister of a deserter, I did be ruining her chances of advancing in the guard because of that.  The Guards might be knowing better, but I no be thinking the Aes Sedai be willing to let her rise in rank.  I did be ruining that for her, and other things besides, and if I do be contacting her I simply do be making it worse.  There no be much that be done about it now."


Con's words made Arette frown with distaste. If the Tower Guard really were such a petty organization that they would hamper a capable woman's progress because of what her family had done, Mia would be better off without them. But she had made her choice and likely she felt like she had to make up something on behalf of the Stavrosi. She wondered if very many Sisters even remembered Con Stavros anymore. Those who had been Sitters during Iussi Dyfelle debacle likely did and same with those who were especially prickly about the Tower's face. She had to admit that as a Keeper she would have been quite inflamed about such a desertion of a prominent Tower Guard.


"I still maintain that you could send her a word once. A missive repeated verbally from word to word by an Aes Sedai wouldn't be that suspicious." She arched an eyebrow at the look Con gave her. "And no, not by me. I am no more welcome in Tar Valon than you are", she reminded tersely. "But Helena has no known association with you so she could do it." That wouldn't be quite everything but Con didn't need to know about it all. Her plan could very well work and even if Mia would be unable to meet her brother, she could give her something at least. It would just have to be done sneakily if Mia's reputation really was so tarnished.


"No."  That Con definitely wouldn't do, and it was indeed one of the other reasons he never sent anything to Mia, and most likely why Mia had never sent anything to him.  It was...  "There are things that Mia and I no be able to share with others.  This do be one such thing, there are things that other people no be understanding and it no be shared with them."  Frowning, Con shifted Arette in his lap as he studied her.  "Why do you be so worried about this?  Its something that no be able to be dealt with, it just do be having to wait and be letting the wheel weave as it do be weaving."


He did have a point, having someone else carry the word about something this private was about on par of having someone else deliver your love letter verbally. That was the last suggestion then but it didn't mean that she would put the issue off her mind. Cupping his cheeks, she regarded him with a sad smile. "I am worried because I love you, Con, and because she is your twin sister who you haven't seen in three years and who you miss. But you might be right about having to wait. I won't bring Mia up again until it is possible. I'm just wondering why you didn't tell me until now and only when I pried. Are there other things that I might find out some day in a similar manner?"


Con sighed before kissing Arette gently, it wasn't that he deliberately hid things from Arette, well, unless he was sworn to do so.  It just didn't occur to him to talk about them, that was not what he did.  He'd come a ways from how he had been, but there were some things about him that would most likely never change.  It would be like asking him to be like water instead of rock, it was a fundamental part of him that was who he was.  "Probably, but you no be needing to worry."  He was about to say something more when he noticed the book sitting on the couch by itself.  Smiling, he reached for it and handed it to Arette, an old memory but a good one.


The kiss was meant to be a diversion and maybe an apology too and Arette accepted it as a latter one. She knew that Con wasn't a very talkative man but still it could be quite frustrating from time to time. It just meant that would need to do a bit more digging work from now on. She arched an eyebrow at him when he told her not to fuss about it. "Worrying is my middle name sweetheart and it is my prerogative as your wife." But then he handed her the book and his second attempt at diversion worked much better than the first. Since Con had been reading earlier all by himself and he always read the bedtime stories for their daughters at her insistence, she opened the chapter where he had finished and continued the story in her melodious voice. Afterwards there was no reason to resist his kisses and the freedom without Sofia resulted in laughing squeals of protest when she was unceremoniously slung over his shoulder and carried to the bedroom.

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