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The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)

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Offline Firesblood

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Idryius was not alone for long; there was a knock on the door, and then Victor stepped inside.  Spotting Idryius sharpening the blade he had given him, he closed the door behind him and made his way towards where the man was sitting. 

“I saw Beka go.  Are you going to be alright here, or shall I find another place for you to stay?” he offered.  He hadn’t wanted to offer it again in front of Beka; likely she would have insisted that everything was fine, but Victor wanted to hear it from him and give Idryius a chance to make up his own mind.


Offline Jabbathejack

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Idryius looked up as Victor entered, nodding briefly before he turned back to the blade.
"I'm not expecting it to be easy." He did not look up as he replied, turning the blade to check the edge. "Not for either of us, but I don't think your son would give me any peace if I were anywhere else."

He looked up finally, watching Victor. He expected disapproval, but he expected that no matter what he said. Some situations were impossible no matter what way you looked at them and Idryius felt as if he was caught in the middle of it.


Offline Firesblood

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Victor nodded, glancing in the direction of the door.  “No, I don’t imagine it will be,” he agreed.  If he was disappointed he didn’t show it.  It made sense, Samuel wanting to be close to Beka.  Had it been him in that position, he doubted he would have given much of a choice in the matter either—he’d have wanted to be near his wife. 

“If you change your mind…if things get too hard, let me know.  I’ll find a different place for you to stay.”  He offered, frowning.  “Truth be told, I’m a little relieved.  None of us relished the thought of Beka being here on her own, with her time so near.”

He fell quiet then, watching Idryius sharpen the sword.  “Once you’re settled, come speak with me about work.  I’m sure you’ll want something to do with your time?”


Offline Jabbathejack

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Idryius looked up at the mention of work, giving Victor his full attention.
"That would be appreciated."

He sighed lightly, setting down the blade.
"Beka would have me do nothing, I had to argue about helping make my own bed. I might still be adjusting to my circumstances, but I am not completely incapable. I expect to work for my keep. The sooner the better."

Idryius spoke with a determination that would not be denied.
"I'll start tomorrow." He didn't even bother asking what it was that he'd be doing.


Offline Firesblood

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“She’s probably just concerned by the fact that you’ve got a sword wound that you’re still recovering from,” Victor said, rubbing at the stubble on his chin.  “Find me first thing in the morning.  We’ve got milling, smithing, hunting, some farming—pick which one you think your skills would fit best, and I’ll find a place for you.”

Victor made a sound and dug about in his pocket, producing another healing potion.  “Speaking of, I thought this might help.  It will certainly make it easier on you tomorrow, and maybe it will give you some room to move with Beka.  If she sees that you are alright, she might be more inclined not to fuss over you.”

He extended the potion to Idryius.  “I best go before she get’s back.  She’ll think I’m trying to interfere.  Think about what you want to do.”


Offline Jabbathejack

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Idryius frowned lightly.
"It's healing well." It was true; he was surprised just how quickly the wound was knitting together, even with the few potions that he had taken for it.

In truth, he had been closer to death than he had let on. If he had still been human, he would not have been able to defend himself when they'd been attacked by the raiders.

He took the potion, setting it down on the table between them.
"Thank you." In all honesty, he did not think that he would need it.

"I've done smith work before when I was younger. That and hunting." He shrugged. "Whatever you need the most."


Offline Firesblood

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Victor nodded, halfway to the door.  “Aye, I imagine you could help with both.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Victor took his leave and the house was silent once more, with Idryius left to his own devices.

--

The next few days were trial and error, but there was room for Idryius’ adjustment.  Beka was quiet and did not speak much unless he spoke first, but that was normal for her even before Idryius had been put in Samuel’s body.  She spent much of her time working, scrawling on rolls and rolls of paper, reading from a strange motley of old parchment, scraps of paper, and even the scribbled-in margins of torn book pages. 

Victor found Idryius work with the blacksmith.  Many of the people of the village seemed tolerant enough of him, reserved, but not unkind.  The blacksmith had plenty of work for him; they spent much of the time making nails, and tools of a wide variety, as well as repairing armor and weapons of those who made up Victor and Lor’s traveling company. 

It would take time, but so far things were relatively mellow.  The village had it’s own easy, quiet pace for now, but that would eventually change when Victor and Lor prepared to leave again.  Lor was set on visiting the College in Winterhold, hoping that perhaps they would have answers for how she could get her son back, so no doubt that would be soon. 

At the very least, Victor ran a buffer between himself and his wife, so Idryius had yet to suffer her attention since they had arrived.  Currently he was walking home with Idryius, having showed up as the smith was closing down his shop for the night. 

“How are things working out?” He asked conversationally. 


Offline Jabbathejack

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Idryius worked hard over the next few days. It felt surprisingly good to have something definite to keep him occupied and certainly, the blacksmith, a Nord named Rolich, looked like he needed his help. He found out that one of the men who had been killed had been his assistant. On the first day, Rolich watched him like a hawk, but he soon discovered that Idryius knew what he was doing, especially when it came to blades and armour. Eventually, the Nord left him to his own devices, only giving light conversation as he worked on his own project.

He felt as if he was constantly watched, even if they didn't comment on what he was doing, Idryius could not escape the fact that he was a prisoner, albeit without shackles. If he tried to leave, no doubt, they would track him and hunt him down, bringing him back. He did not attempt it.

On the third day, he could stand the unspoken tension no longer and he took his claimed blade and headed out in the middle of the night, finding a quiet place to run through his sword forms. There was something calming about the ordered movements that he had practiced so much when he was growing up. It made sense that he would fall back on one of the only coping mechanisms that he had been allowed whilst growing up. He made sure that he only did it in the dead of night, when everyone else was asleep. It made more sense that way. Less questions to answer.

For the most part, the villagers left him alone, although he was aware of the distrustful stares. He could hear the hushed conversation that he was not meant to catch, hearing his hosts's name mentioned often. It was to be expected. He was an interloper, after all.

Idryius looked up as Victor approached; strangely enough, his hosts's father was the one who treated him with the most respect in the entire village. He nodded as he washed the soot off his hands, preparing to head back to Beka's house.

Idryius shrugged rather than answer directly. Of course, Victor only had to ask Rolich how he was doing. He probably already had. This was simply as an opener to conversation and Idryius felt that he had to oblige.

"Working on a few things. Basic work mostly."


Offline Firesblood

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“That’s a start,” Victor commented, staring ahead of them as they walked.  It would take time for the novelty of his presence to wear off; right now, people were only just beginning to understand that Samuel was not himself, and the story of what had happened had been passed behind closed doors and whispered back and forth until everyone was aware of it. 

Things would eventually die down, but there was nothing that could be done to speed up the process. 

“Rolich says you’re not bad.  He’s glad of the help,” Victor said, glancing at Idryius. 

Victor spied Lor standing in front of Beka’s house, waving a couple of women inside.  “Ah.  Well, looks like its time,” he muttered quietly.  When they reached the house, Lor offered a small smile.

“You might want to find another place to bed down,” Lor said, glancing back at the door.  “She went into labor a few hours ago.  Nymala says it will be a long night.”


Offline Jabbathejack

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Again, Idryius shrugged.
"He's not had me do anything too taxing."

He paused, seeing the women enter Beka's house. He remained at a distance, nodding as Lor spoke.
"Then I'll find somewhere else to stay."

Not that he had any idea where else would take him. That was not their problem and he did not bother them with it.
"Good night."

He turned and headed back towards the forge, knowing that there was at least a space for him to hunker down in.


Offline Firesblood

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Victor took a few steps to catch up.  “Hey, wait up now Idryius,” the man said, glancing over his shoulder at his wife with a grimace.  “She will likely be here until it’s done.  You can bunk down by the fire in our home, yes?”

He wasn’t sure exactly where Idryius was headed for the night, but the offer was out there.  He didn’t know if it would be accepted, but he thought he’d try.  “We’ll have some bottles of mead or ale if you like.  How long has it been since you’ve had a drink with another person and swapped stories?”


Offline Jabbathejack

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Idryius paused, waiting for Victor to reach him.
"If you're sure...?" He frowned, not sure if he wanted this or not, but it was better than curling up in the corner of a cooling forge.

He almost declined, but it was the offer of the drink that checked the words before they had left his mouth.
"I can't remember." He shook his head, dropping his gaze. "Before."

Before he was resurrected into the body of Victor's son. He relented, turning to follow Victor.


Offline Firesblood

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“I am,” Victor said firmly.  Victor wasn’t the sort to offer if he wasn’t, but Idryius still had much to learn about him, having only really had contact between Tsarin’s cave and their village—none of that time had been comfortable for either of them.  He was all too aware, however, of the reluctance to involve Idryius in the village.  If he took the first step, then perhaps they would eventually fall in behind him. 

Clapping a hand on Idryius’ shoulder, Victor led the way back to his home—the hall was not so big as others, but there was room enough.  Truth be told, it was far too quiet after the death of their other son in Tsarin’s lair.  Victor was sure that this was part of Lor’s madness; they had lost both of their sons in this last endeavor. 

Their home was an austere affair; lightly furnished and clean of any clutter, with fresh rushes recently spread over the stone floor.  A fire blazed in the fireplace, filling the large space with warmth.  There were none of the usual trappings—no trophies, no relics for viewing, no displays or décor on the walls.  Even the furnishings were understated, lacking artistry in favor of simple functionality.  Stairs at either side of the hall led up to a second level and a series of rooms above, though all of the doors were closed. 

Victor gestured to one of the chairs sat before the fire, and ventured into the kitchen, returning a few moments later with a small keg, a spigot, and two large iron mugs.  He set all of it on the long table at the center of the room and tapped the keg, passing a filled mug to Idryius promptly before settling himself with his own. 

“Where do you hail from, originally?” Victor asked, hoping to start some discussion.  He didn’t know anything about Idryius, save for what little he had shared when Victor was searching for appropriate work for him.   


Offline Jabbathejack

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Idryius could not help but feel a touch of trepidation as he stepped across the threshold of their house. With the essence of the missing sons all around him, he felt even more like an interloper than ever. He looked around them before he settled down in the offered chair; the lack of decoration was actually something that he found to be more comforting than not, himself preferring functionality before aesthetic in all things.

"Thank you." He spoke softly as he accepted the mug, taking a slow sip. It was decent.

"Originally?" Idryius looked up with a frown. "Solitude. But I haven't been back there in a long time."

He shrugged.
"Probably not much point in avoiding it these days. Everyone I knew then would be long gone by now."


Offline Firesblood

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“I’m sure the city has changed a great deal since you’ve last been there,” Victor replied.  Really, it had been many years since he had gone beyond those particular gates, back when he was still a Prefect in the legion; Hircine’s blessing did not mix well with large cities.  Things very rarely stayed the same as they remembered them for very long. 

“I’m from Cyrodiil, myself.  Not too far outside of Skingrad,” Victor said, taking a swallow of his mug. “I was a Quaestor during the Great War, at the Battle of the Red Ring.”  He grimaced, wondering if Idryius had been alive for any of that business.  His lover had been ancient and Idryius had mentioned meeting him when they were young, so it was possible he had missed the great war entirely. 

“Nasty business, all of it,” Victor sighed.  “But I suppose that’s the nature of war.  You fight like a man who knows his way around.  Did you serve?”