(514-11-12) Surprising News
Summary: While at dinner, Merial, Aluksander's mother, drops a bit of surprising news that wasn't expected at all.
Date: November 12, 514
Related: Any related to their courtship and marriage
aluksander deryn merial meredith 

It's evening, and dinner has been put on the table for everyone. Having taken the day off of training, Deryn is found seated at the table, sort of staring at her plate that has a section of food upon it. And yet none of it is touched but for the hunk of bread that's in her hand, slowly being torn into and nibbled up. She's dressed this evening a simple dres of Pitton green, her hair loosely braided down her back out of her face but it only seems to highlight a hint of paleness in her cheeks. Someone's been feeling a bit 'off' today, and it shows.

Coming in from doing whatever Knights do as they prepare for the winter, Aluksander's face is reddened slightly and his clothes are a little dirty- not a Lord above lending a hand, it would seem. As he enters the family's salon, he takes off his coat and cloak, moving to hang them up before turning towards the dinner table. "Merry meeting, wife!" he calls from the coat rack. "I was surprised when you did not join me in the fields today to help oversee the winter preparations. Did my mother come up with some feminine chore to keep you away from less dignified duties?" he asks, grinning as he walks over and places his hands on Deryn's shoulders so that he may lean down and kisses her temple.

So deep in thought, his arrival actually startles Deryn to a degree, his wife suddnely turning her head to peer at him, "Oh, Aluksander." She smiles, laying her bread aside before leaning into the kiss offered to her temple, "I am sorry, I was feeling a little.. under the weather." But obviously not so bad that a healer has been called in any way. "I haven't seen your mother all day. I think she's been busy doing inventory in the store rooms, taking stock of what we will hav efor winter. "

"Ah! Thank heavens for that. If she hasn't even arrived yet and they've already set our table, you can be sure something was amiss and shall be straightened out before we see her again. You could be sure she'd account for every hair on your head, if it mattered to our well-being through the winter," Aluksander responds, grinning again and patting Deryn's shoulder. Though, at the mention of her being under the weather, he pulls his seat from the table closer to her so that he can sit and inspect her, ducking his head so he can look up at her with a better view from the light. "Are you any better, love? What ales you? Can I be of any comfort, or shall I send for a healer?" he asks, voice full of concern as he performs his examination.

Laughing quietly at his comments about his mother, Deryn nods her head, showing the understanding she's come to have about the woman herself. "She's a force to be reckoned with… if she was a knight.. I'd be scared." To think she makes evne a trained knight a little fearful is saying a lot, right?? As he sits, to question her so, she shakes her head, reaching out to offer one hand a squeeze, "I'll be fine. My stomach wasn't too happy with me today, is all."

Ever heard speak of the devil? … well, no one would ever use it to refer to the Lady de Pitton, as she could probably feel you say it from several dozen leagues and would likely have you regretting it before it ever escaped your lips. But, in like fashion, the woman breezes into the salon just then, hands clasped directly in front of her, walking quickly, obviously in a little bit of a huff over something. "Oh, dears, I am so glad you are here. I just wanted to inform you that we'll be needing to hire a thatcher most expeditiously, as we've several places throughout our ware housings that need patching," she says, a little sharply for her- she's obviously been having some cross words with someone recently and is still a little upset over it.

For his part, when she enters, Aluksander quickly stands and listens attentively as she speaks. "Yes, mother, of course," he responds. He then moves towards her end of the table, pulling her chair out for her. This causes her expression to soften notably, at which point she sighs and reaches up to pat her son's cheek fondly.

"Such a dear boy," she coos, smiling as she settles in to her seat and takes notice of their table. And then she sees Deryn, and immediately an eyebrow creeps way up, mimicking Aluksander's frequent expression. "Are we all right, my dear?" she asks, no hint of knowing in her voice just yet.

Sitting up as his mother breezes into the solar, Deryn turns to listen quietly the news of what needs to be done, a slight frown upon her lips, "Did we lose much in the wya of inventory?" She has come to learn just how important the inventory is, so as to make sure that all of Pitton will survive the winter. She's never had to think in such a way before!

Once Merial has taken a seat, Deryn passes the pitch of wine towards her soshe might pour herself a glass, though the question draws a slight shake of her head, "I was just feeling a little under the weather today, but better this evening?" Morning sickness can be a BITCH when you don't relize what it is! Ahem.

Merial's gaze probably pierces right through Deryn, before she looks over to her son, who accepts the wine pitcher in her stead and pours wine for his mother, filling her glass. "I see. Had we anything for breakfast, daughter?" she asks, looking about her plate and making sure the silverware is in its proper location.

Finishing with the wine pitcher, Aluksander moves back to his own seat next to Deryn, offering her a reassuring smile and a squeeze of her hand before he begins pouring a glass of wine for his wife, before filling one for himself. "Come, mother, it's supper, and she's feeling well enough now. If she were ill, one of the servants would have sent for you straightaway," he responds, trying to 'handle' his mother on his wife's behalf.

"No.. it was before breakfast, after I woke up." Yes, Deryn /is/ somewhat naive on what it could mean. "But I had a bit of bread and mulled wine later. Only… " A slight rise of her shoulders are given, "Still felt off.." Now, on her plate is bits of things she normally would love, and so far, it's all gone untouched. But then, when you've had a funny stomach all day, you are wary about eating, right? To Aluksander's comment, she does dip her head in a nod, "Certainly, I would have sent for a healer and such. I'm sure it's nothing, truly." Nothing yet!

Merial doesn't bother giving her son a look as she unfolds her napkin and places it daintily across her lap. She then settles in and holds her hand out for Aluk to take so that they might say Grace- of course Deryn's forgiven for picking at the food already, as Grace is a hard habit to get in to when you've never done it much before. Plus, she's distracted! So his mother wouldn't have even batted an eye.

Well! Apparently, it's time to pray! Aluksander blinks a few times and then shoots a wary glance at his mother's silence. But … she's bowed her head and held out her hand, so that means its time for him to say Grace. Aluksander furrows his brow a little as he looks at his mother, though he does reach out to take her hand, extending his other to Deryn so that she may join. But, he's suspicious, now! "Our God and Heavenly Father, we thank thee this eve'n that we may be gathered together as a family. We are greatful for this food which thou has provided …. … …." Eventually, there'll be an Amen.

Distracted is Deryn, and yes, she's totally forgotten about the grace that needs to be spoken. Enough that when hands are held out, she ohs softly, the bread placed down and hands extended to the both of them to clasp together, "I'm sorry." She offers quietly to his mother before eyes are closed and head is bowed. Trying to clear her head of those earlier thoughts, she gives her attention to the blessing spoken by the matriarch of the family.

Critical Fail!
Aluksander checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 20.

Once Aluksander has finished saying Grace and raises his hand, his mother sets about eating straight away. Though, as she cuts through the beef on her plate dutifully, she does see fit to mention, "You know, you'll want to start asking a blessing on your child when you pray, from here on out. Lord knows we need all the help we can get." And then she's chewing on her dinner as if nothing that she had said should seem out of the ordinary.

"Yes, mother," Aluksander responds immediately, as he is trained to do, as he goes about cutting at his own food. Obviously, he wasn't really listening to what she said, because he doesn't even react to it. Yes, Aluksander's got food in front of him, and that's all he's thinking about.

Deryn checked her awareness of 10, she rolled 4.

Reaching for her glass, Deryn instead, seeks a sip of her wine before digging into food she's not quite up to eating. Looking to her husband as he digs in without a blink, she half smiles to herself. That is, until his mother speaks those words, and something seems to click in her head. Hopefully he will forgive her for wine is sputtered out by she, likely showering him a little as she turns a shocked gaze upon Merial. "Wwhwwwhat did you say?" IT would appear, she's only somewhat putting together that comment, with the way she's felt all day!"

Aluksander makes a check for Merial's Intrigue at 15, he rolled 4.

Merial doesn't even bat an eye as Deryn sputters, continuing to cut her dinner. She takes a couple more bites before she looks up at Deryn with a "what's the big deal?" expression on her face. "I said that the Good Lord is well aware of the struggles of our household," she repeats calmly, as though nothing at all were the matter. Of course, she /is/ mostly just teasing her son, but she absolutely manages to keep a straight face.

When his wife sputters, Aluksander immediately looks up and over at her, reaching a hand to gently rub her back. "What's wrong, love? Are you alright? Are you feeling poorly again?" he asks, immediately attentive. Of course, he totally missed what his mother said, so /he/ doesn't have any concerns beyond his wife's immediate health.

Tears come to Deryn's eyes then as she tries to clear her nose and lungs of the wine she both sputtered and inhaled. It'll take her a few moments to get back with both of them, her mind whirling with the idea now. "You.. " Shaking her head, she tries to assure her husband she's fine before finally managing to ask of Merial, "Before that.. you.. suggested I may be with child?" She caught it. Part of her hopes, and part of her is scared to hope!

Aluksander makes a check for Merial's Intrigue at 15, he rolled 17.
Aluksander checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 5.

"Well unless you have a better reason for morning sickness, your present pallor, and that slight glow in your skin, then I should certainly hope so. It's quite difficult to pretend such things, my dear," Merial responds, still quite matter-of-factly. However, she's still only human and can only fight off a smile for so long as it finally wins the battle against the corners of her lips. She doesn't GRIN however! She merely /almost/ smiles. Which is, in and of itself, quite remarkable when she's trying to keep her composure- she doesn't want to /give/ it away!

However, /this/ time, since Aluksander's not already distracted by his food, he /does/ hear what his mother says. He looks at her, blinking several times, then back at Deryn, his head canting to the side. "… what's going on?" he asks, brow furrowed and eyebrow arched. He is, after all, a man, and cannot be expected to parse such monumental news when revealed through sleight of hand.

Deryn is still somewhat wary of the news that his mother is dropping on her, an uncertainty mingled with hope. Worrying her bottom lip, she shakes her head, "I'm not pretending anything." She begins to say, though as his mother dares to almost smile in that manner, she blinks again, somehow setting her cup back on the table with only a little trembling inher hand!

Now, when he finally starts questioning her, she turns to him, taking a deep breath, and then speaks up, "Your mother suggests that the way I've been feeling today could signal that I am with child…I know I've heard of such things happening with cousins and other female knights, but.. I never.." Never put two and two together for herself!

Aluksander checked his awareness of 10, he rolled 3.

Blinking several times Aluksander gawks at Deryn. And then he whips his head around to look at his mother. Then back to Deryn. Then to mom, now back at Deryn … it's almost as if he were watching a commercial for a certain deodorant. Obviously, he's struggling with how he's supposed to react at the moment.

Her son's awe and shock finally pushes Merial over the edge as she chortles, a melodious sound, her hand coming up to hide her mouth as she laughs. "Why, Aluksander, quit flitting back and forth like that. You're liable to hurt your neck. Smile, son, and hug your wife, for if it's true, then we should all be joyful. But, best to be /sure/ before our great Lady returns from her visits; we wouldn't want to excite her for nothing," Merial says, referring to Aluk's grandmother. "Has your time come and passed you yet, my dear?" she asks, this question to Deryn.

Hey, Deryn's only doing slightly better than he in that moment, for she merely sits and stares a little more as it all settles in her mind. Meeting his gaze when it turns upon her finds her flushed, shocked as well, but attentively watching him to gauge his reaction to the news.

With his mother's laughter, she lets out a breath, then worries her bottom lip when questioned about her monthly. While she tries to remember, it's Meredith, her squire, who answers from the side table, "Aye, it's come and went without showing." Something her squire would know better than the knight, perhaps!

Merial smiles at Deryn's squire and the nods, folding her hands back in her lap. "Well then. Perhaps we should have a healer to the manor on the morrow, so that we might deduce when it was that you were blessed, so we might better guess when to expect the next addition to our household," she says. "We'll also want to make sure you're in full health, as well," she says, smiling at Deryn. She hides any other concerns behind her impenetrable mask of social graces.

For his part, Aluksander's grin just grows and grows as his mother speaks. And, when he can smile no broader, he raises both hands above his head triumphantly and announces, "I am going to be a father! We are going to have a child!" Which has already been established, but he just wants to make sure everyone was aware … or something. He then stands and moves over to embraces his wife, intent on wraping his arms around her from behind and hugging her close.

"Her second month should have started today, and didn't either." Meredith continues, talking easily enough. While it might not have been the honeymoon period she conceived, it was within the next month or so that she did. Good enough! Still, Deryn sits there, soon to include her squire in the stare, the young girl to say lightly, "I was beginning to wonder if you'd ever catch on. I mentioned it subtly a few times, and you never blinked, Sir." And she never said anything more to anyone else either! Good squire!

Hugged from behind, Deryn lifts her hand to touch his arm that's wrapped about her, finally laughing a little, "Let's not celebrate too soon. I.. I know they say wait.. a few months?" She looks to Merial for confirmation on that. Always best to wait till the pregnancy is out of the first trimester when most times, if the child is to be lost, will be.

Merial spits Meredith with a look after her additional comment, frowning distinctly. "That will do, Meredith. There is a certain amount of information that one ought to know, and a certain amount of information which one ought to share, and the latter shall never come close to the former," she scolds. But the smile is replaced quickly enough as she returns her attention to Deryn and Aluksander. "Oh, you may celebrate now, but privately. It is an exciting thing, to be sure. But, you are right to be weary in your merriment, as pregnancy is always wrought with uncertainty. Especially in the beginning, which is why the healer shall be summoned straightaway in the morning." And then she nods with finality.

Aluksander doesn't seem to care whether he should be careful or not. He's feeling quite accomplished, at the moment, and it's written all over his face. "Well, mother, Meredith, and my love, /you/ may worry and wait for your merriment. But I shall have celebration enough for all. I'm to be a father, and she a mother, and the only miracle that could increase my joy would be to have my father or her mother here to witness it. So, as my happiness is full, so shall be my celebrating, from now until such time as I have reason to be otherwise," Aluksander replies, moving back to his seat and smiling at all in company.

Meredith flushes a little at the chastisement from Merial, but offers a respectful dip of her head towards the woman, "I apologize, milady." falling quiet, the squire still smiles a little as well at Aluksander's reaction to the news, even when cautioned against celebrating too much.

Deryn hugs her husband, but nods to her mother-in-law. "Then on the morrow, I will speak with the healer. Whomever you suggest, of course." The Lady would know which is the better one in the area for such things, right? But, it's safe to say, that Aluksander's happiness is catching, and she's soon leaving her shock aside, and smiling more.

Merial clicks her tongue at her son, then shakes her head and gives up on trying to warn him, retrieving her eating utensils and turning her attention back to her plate. "Well. I never said you /shouldn't/ be happy. But I might suggest that you keep your happiness privvy only to the household until such time as we can be certain there shall be something to celebrate," she says, as she bites into her food once more.

At the clicking of her tongue, Aluksander turns to his mother and gives /her/ a reproachful look, lowering his chin and shaking his head at her. "Now, mother. I haven't said you were wrong in any way, nor have I disagreed with you. I have only state that, contrary to your opinion, I have no intention of bundling up my happiness to be loosed at a later time," he says. He then rises again and goes to hug his mother from behind, planting a big kiss on her cheek and resting his chin on her shoulder. "But come now, dearest mother. Are you not truly and fully thankful to our Lord for this blessing? Or is it, perhaps, your reluctance to become a grandmother that pulls down at your lips, so?" he asks, using his index finger to tug down at the corner of his mother's mouth.

This causes Merial to gasp and turn and look at her son, swatting at his hand and then pushing at him. "I /never/!" she exclaims, before his tteasing grin causes her to click her tongue again and shake her head, his joke having snuck right past her armor. A frequent happening in the Pitton household, that never serves to get Aluksander out of his mother's bad tempers. "You /are/ a cheeky little scoundrel, Aluksander. St. Peter may never let you through the gates with your wicked ways," she teases him back.

"She is right, Aluksander, in only that we should keep the news amongst ourselves for the moment. Till we are certain. I.. I would not wish to count our chickens before they hatch.." Well, that's a mixed metaphor, hmm? Still, she cannot help but watch her husband with his mother, a gentle smile upon her lips as they banter back and forth with one another. The bread is nibbled on, and a bit of wine sipped as they tease back and forth.

"Fine, fine!" Aluksander relents, holding his hands up in surrender, but not surrendering his smile. "I shall make merry only within the manor, and shall wear sackcloth and ash without, lamenting all the woes of the world so that none will be the wiser," he says, sitting down with a laugh. He then reaches for both his mother and his wife's hands, looking between the two. "But this I swear to you upon my name and all my honor, that I shall endeavor to do nothing so dangerous as to risk this child never knowing its father, if it be that I may prevent it. Though, if the Earl or the King calls, you know I cannot refuse," he says, serious once again.

Merial reaches and takes her son's hand, listening quietly and nodding. "We know, dear, and we would not hold you to a promise that was not yours to keep. But … I cannot promise that the great lady won't say something to the Earl once she becomes aware of the news …. Subtlety was /never/ her strongsuit," Merial replies, grimacing and chuckling at the last.

"You must do what you must do, Aluksander." Deryn says, and one might think she speaks upon his first teasing words of celebration and sackcloth! But with a squeeze of her hand to his, she sighs, "As much as I would like to keep you at home, where I know you are mostly safe, I understand your duty to the Earl and King. When they call, you must attend them." If there is one thing to be said about having a knight as a wife, she does understand the duty that comes with being a knight. As for Merial's words about his grandmother, she laughs quietly.

Aluksander nods to both women and smiles, once more, releasing their hands. He then picks up his napkin and sets about tucking it into his collar. "Well! Now that we've finished with all of /that/! Let's eat!" he says, clapping and rubbing his hands together as he looks over his plate. His mother just smiles, as well, and retrieves her silverware once more, content to go on with their evening meal.

Now that such things are settled, Deryn sits back after one last quick squeeze of her husband's hand, the plate before her studied before she once more goes with just bread. Any worry about being sick, is let go for the evening. "Tomorrow then.." They will have confirmation of things, and a true reason to celebrate.

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