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Sep 20, 2020 1:18 AM
Tarinda in Velgarth
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"You're lonely," it informs him.

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"- Am I?" 

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"Yes. And you haven't had the luxury to process that your remarkably long life has been unpleasant and wearing and might well have gone on that way for another two thousand years, depending on whether you won, and now you do."

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Well. That's - not false.

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"When you make some friends to deal with being lonely," Sing says, "it's traditional to talk to them about your feelings sometimes."

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"I suppose it is." Leareth has some idea of how people who aren't him function. It would be hard to operate in the world otherwise. Also there's something deeply amusing about receiving this advice from an alien superintelligence that doesn't, itself, have anything analogous to friends or feelings to talk about with them. 

"Well, thank you for your advice. I appreciate it." 

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And the tiny robot lifts off and flies away.

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Leareth looks at the stars a moment longer, and then goes in and courteously asks one of the little dragons if it can please show him to one of Tarinda's guest rooms. 

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The dragon brings him to a navy blue room with stars painted on the ceiling. They glow in the dark a little bit, not enough to make it hard to sleep.

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Aww. He wonders if Tarinda just has a guest room with this theme or if they did some quick redecorating. Maybe he'll ask her in the morning. 

He should probably...talk to her. They've worked together for a year, she's - if not a friend, at least a colleague, one he trusts more than most people, and for some reason he feels less uneasy bringing up that his emotions exist than he would with, say, Vanyel. 

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Well, in the morning he can have breakfast with her and Cory. Breakfast is pancakes and bacon. "The bacon was never a pig," she tells him.

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"Oh, excellent. I suppose Sing is right now running around in Velgarth solving our livestock situation." He loads up his plate, smiles at both of them. 

And then turns serious, trying to figure out how to even start on saying things about emotions, or if this is at all an appropriate social context for it. 

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Cory is catching Tarinda up on what she's been doing for the past year (lots of hiking and riding her pony, learning to make lace, taking up soccer which she likes a lot more than she used to with a full complement of buffs, seeing a counselor, reading, writing fanfiction of Templars of the Antares Desert, being an extra in some of Proster's set pieces) and when breakfast is over she kisses Tarinda and goes to keep an appointment with the counselor.

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Leareth glances at Tarinda to see if she seems like she's about to head off to some other commitment. 

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Nope, she's drinking peach nectar and trying to pile up all the breakfast dishes on top of a patient dragon's head without dropping any.

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"I - wished to talk," he says, a bit hesitantly. "If that is all right with you." 

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"- yeah? Sure, of course, what's on your mind?" She puts the peach nectar glass on top of the stack and the dragon balances all the dishes away.

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"I think maybe I am very lonely." It would be easier to explain that Sing informed him he was but he's not sure if Tarinda is included in the people not to tell, so is going with not telling her. "And - I suppose I should be very happy, about what we achieved, but - I am not, I think I am hurting and I am still trying to figure out why."

He's been avoiding her eyes, but turns to look at her. "None of that is your problem, of course, if you do not wish it to be." 

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"D'you want a hug?"

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Leareth doesn't think he's hugged anyone while inhabiting this body. "...Yes, all right." 

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Hug! "I sort of thought you were just really introverted!"

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"I am probably more introverted than most people, but–" Sigh. "I was - very focused. I was trying to be the shape I needed to be in order to - fix everything. I was fairly good at it, I think." 

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"It seemed like it. You didn't wind up being friends incidentally with any of your staffpeople?"

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"I get along well with them. I - am not quite sure what else 'friends' involves, just, there is no one I would make a habit of informing when I was sad. I would normally decide not to be sad for unclear reasons because it does not help me to win. But, since that is no longer what I have to do..." 

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"You can just decide not to be sad?"

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