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Jan 27, 2023 12:51 PM
war for velgarth
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Awwww. Vanyel smiles at them, and then keeps explaining all the various monuments and statues around the place. There's one of Savil too. He gets a bit choked when he describes that one. 

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Someday, maybe, there'll be a way to get back the people who died before Mandos was helping. But that day might be very far away. He pays attention to the descriptions. He admires the city. He asks after Stef, and Treven and Jisa, and Karis and Arven.

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Stef is well. He's enjoyed all the songs he got to write about the war and is now moving on to songs about Foundation and new developments in Valdemar, he's probably going to write a whole song cycle about the people coming back now. 

Treven and Jisa, believe it or not, have two children now, both little girls, and Jisa is pregnant with her third! She's hoping for a boy this time. 

Karis and Arven only just got here, from Karse, so they should swing by and ask them directly! 

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They should!!

 

The children give Maitimo lots of feelings. Love and happy and - a bit impatient and wistful -

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Telumë glances at him, reaches out and squeezes his hand. 

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Once they're done the basic tour, Vanyel leads the back around. 

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Queen Karis is sitting on a bench surrounded by flower gardens, while a small child with abundant jet-black hair pulled back into pigtails plays in a sandbox. 

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"It is good to see you both well."

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She stands up, beaming at him. "We are so grateful to be back! I am very pleased to see you again. And Telumë - thank you, so much, for all of your work - words cannot express it..." She ducks her head. "Arven? Will you come here and say hello?" 

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Telumë has gotten a lot more practice at interacting with kids in the last decade. He crouches down so his eyes are level with Arven's, asks her some questions about how she likes Haven and whether she has new friends here, then accepts an offer to join her at playing in the sandbox for a few minutes. 

I hope you are not too bored, he tells Maitimo ruefully. Small things like this are so memorable for children, I think. 

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Bored? Never. Just - missing home. And - and looking forward to seeing you with ours, someday.

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Telumë looks up, surprised, but smiling. Someday. 

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And they can do a circuit of other people they should meet, including Treven probably, and maybe Dara and Jisa and Stef and Melody none of whom he's looking forward to seeing but several of whom might be awkward to conspicuously not.

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Treven and Dara will have lunch with him as a sort of informal politics type meeting. They're friendly and warm and do not mention anything about the events of a decade ago, or give any hint that it's on their mind at all. Mostly Treven has lots of questions for Telumë about his country; for many of them, Maitimo knows the answers, and Telumë sometimes looks over to indicate that he can explain it better. 

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This is fine and not too horrible.

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Jisa doesn't seek him out, after, but Stef does, wandering up casually while he and Telumë are in one of the gardens. "Hey. Lovely afternoon out." 

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"Isn't it? You have weather, here, our dome is lovely but it makes it a bit same-y. How have you been."

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"Doing well! Making sure Van takes care of himself. Trying to assuage his vanity about getting old, he hates that. Writing lots of songs. You?" 

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"Won't Lórien fix that for him? He was at one point vaguely amenable to curing aging for humans on some kind of idiosyncratic individual basis which I would expect to at least include Vanyel."

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"We haven't been back to Valinor. Not being able to Gate in and out is frustrating. I reckon we'll go at some point, but it's not like he has any health problems from it, he's just being self-conscious." 

And Stef osanwës him privately as well. If you're worried I'm still mad about the dam, I'm not really. It was a long time ago and you did it for understandable reasons which no longer apply. I showed great restraint and avoided writing any songs about our heroic escape, even. 

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Well, I wouldn't particularly have counted 'I was mostly trying to kill you in order to condemn the whole universe to eternal torment' as a mitigating consideration but - I appreciate it. And apologize for trying to kill you.

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Apology accepted. Er, I did want to say that Jisa's not mad at all and hasn't been for a long time, but she's - probably going to avoid you unless you demonstrate that you're fine with her company. She feels very bad about the events surrounding the interrogations. 

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He gestures at his husband across the room. I forgave Telumë.

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Fair enough, I didn't say it was reasonable of her to feel that way. You and Telumë are getting along all right nowadays, then? 

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He's not very hard to get along with, these days. He's best friends with everybody in his city. He sounds very proud. 

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