8

“How is he doing?”

Sheieh looked up at him with a start, winter-grey eyes a tad wide in a face that was angular and sharp even for a Grey Soul Healer. Hair the color of silver with darker grey lowlights fell to his waist in a single long braid, a few wisps of fringe framing his gretkewq and the gretluos lines that spread out from it making it look like a snowflake. The same snowflake pattern danced and twirled in his gretluos where it marked his right upper arm down to just below the bend of his elbow. Sheieh’s power was a cold snap of ice and snow against his skin, a gentle warning that the Dhaoine who controlled it was much more powerful than he let on. A fact confirmed by the gretluos that also marked him along his spine and around the upper half of his left bicep. Though only Lílrt had seen those last two sets.

It was a wonder Relyt hadn’t recognized what Clan Sheieh hailed from and what it meant that he’d bowed his head to the Gret’yinl as Guardian. Though his little brother wasn’t known for his situational awareness so it really wasn’t a surprise; after all he’d failed to notice until it was too late that Rhyshladlyn had been on to him from nearly the moment the Qishir had walked into his tent and told him their shared Anglëtinean had been reborn. Of course, it also helped that Sheieh was the only survivor of his Clan after a raid by Xitlali’s army had killed everyone else and that said Clan had been reclusive beyond what was normal for the Grey Soul Healer race even before that raid. But even so, as Gret’yinl Relyt should have recognized the taste of the power that was given back to him by all his people. Should have gotten a taste of what and who Sheieh was and realized the great honor of having him as Guardian.

But Relyt was blind while being able to see perfectly. It was one of his more annoying faults.

“How is your charge doing?” he rephrased when all he got was those wide eyes. You knew I was here, did you think I wasn’t going to come question you? Honestly. 

It physically hurt to swallow the laugh at the way the other male visibly collected himself with a jerk and bowed his head as he touched his left gretluos with his right hand. At the sign of great respect, Lílrt raised his eyebrows. The only reason he stood higher than Sheieh in any sort of ranking was by virtue of being the Anointed One and also the blooded brother of Gret’yinl Relyt Greymend, but otherwise, Sheieh bowed to no one save Relyt. He was powerful enough, high born enough, that had anyone known who he was, it wouldn’t have been demanded of him.

“He fares well if a bit shaky.”

He glanced at Relyt who moved among his people, among their people, content and clear-eyed, Healing those who needed it and speaking kindly to those who brought him an issue. The only time Lílrt saw a glimpse of who Relyt truly was, who he would be if the mind spell hadn’t stolen his memories, was at Temple when he greeted his people. It was the only time he saw why the Many had Marked him as Gret’yinl, why it had decided that Relyt was capable of handling the power needed to lead the Grey Soul Healers from the era of reclusivity and secrecy they had existed in for thousands of years to the light of day, to a new way of thinking, to something better than what they’d had before he’d left the Cold North and went in search of his Key, of the Qishir who had called for him as Steward.

“Explain.”

“He still smokes the g’hitshé root but not as often as he should to keep up appearances that he’s addicted to it. He’s having moments where his clarity is terrifying but it passes quickly enough. The Many be thanked that none of those moments have happened outside of the privacy of our rooms.”

He looked at Sheieh only to find him looking at Relyt, those winter-grey eyes hooded but intent, missing nothing. It was one of the reasons he’d chosen Sheieh for this work, very little made it past one of the Ice Walkers Clan, especially a Silvermend.

“What are these moments of clarity like exactly?”

Sheieh’s eyes narrowed at Relyt, as though he were trying to remember examples, as though he were trying to see hints of those moments in the current face Relyt wore.

“It’s like he knows why his fellow doesn’t trust him, why he threatened to kill my charge if he crossed a very certain line. Or rather he recalls the emotions behind those memories but not the memories themselves. Those times are the hardest to calm him down, he’s nearly inconsolable, but I’ve managed it.”

He hummed and looked back at his little brother, wondering at the warm, spiky knot that settled in his stomach, that felt like it was slicing along his ribs and nipping at his spine. Guilt or something else? 

“I see no signs at present, g’agsha. It seems that he is holding together well enough here. Though that is usual for him. It’s only after a heavy discussion with or about his fellow or whenever the Grey Qishir is mentioned in depth for long enough that he breaks down. And only in private, though there have been near misses.”

“Good. Keep me apprised,” he turned to leave having already risked too much by staying here as long as he had but after Xitlali had pulled her forces from Imèn World’s borders because she’s a bumbling twat and Shiran’s Watchtowers waking from whatever slumber they’d been in for the last seven hundred and fifty years, he had to see Relyt. Had to make sure that the spell he’d placed on everyone in the Grey Court and in the Steward Corps that day was holding. “If anything worsens or changes, contact me immediately.”

G’agsha,” he stopped but didn’t turn and look at the other male, just tilted his head to show he was listening, “what is going on with regards to Shiran?”

He wanted to lie, gods aplenty knew he wanted to, but he couldn’t. Not in this moment, not to this Dhaoine. Because there were no secrets between him and Sheieh, they were too close for that, though I wonder if that closeness remains as strong as it was before this assignment. Sighing softly, he turned his head just enough to meet Sheieh’s eyes and answered, “I am not sure yet. But fret not, I will soon and I’ll keep you updated.”

Sheieh nodded as he touched his left arm again before he moved through the crowd towards his charge, gently reminding him that dinner must be had before the kitchens closed. Gave manners to all those gathered as he begged leave of them to ensure their Gret’yinl ate and drank appropriately. Watching them for a brief moment he felt a pang of jealousy for the easy way they spoke to each other, for the way Relyt seemed to brighten and lean into Sheieh’s touch on his arm. The way the younger Soul Healer seemed to focus completely on Sheieh as he spoke, seemed to watch him as the shorter male turned and spoke to the other Soul Healers gathered around them.

But he shoved the feeling away and buried it deep. Buried it and the knowledge that he recognized the emotion that shown from Relyt’s slate grey eyes whenever Sheieh wasn’t looking. Because it was the same look Relyt had given Rhyshladlyn and it made his stomach revolt and his skin crawl. But he didn’t dwell on it. Just took a deep breath, let it out slow, and continued towards the exit.

He had other things, better things, to do besides mourn a relationship he’d never had with his little brother or the Guardian he’d assigned to protect them all.

9 thoughts on “8

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