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Sep 22, 2021 3:48 PM
someone needs to tell first age exalted ellie and fate that you're not supposed to select the same person for all of "bed, wed, behead"
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She sticks her tongue out, then joins the laughter. 

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All in all, a very good night. But Elathea will need to be leaving soon...

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A good excuse to start their honeymoon... And quite a few experiments with their new gifts...

Their honeymoon drags on very, very long - even once Gleam is (temporarily) satisfied with her wife's body, she wants to explore parts of Creation she hasn't seen, vacation, get ideas...

She's just as industrious as her wife, though, even if sometimes in a more artistic way, so this inevitably spills into project ideas - and, as Elathea's work on geomancy picks back up in the region Gleam secured for her, Gleam starts finalizing ideas on combining sorcery and wyld-shaping.

Not all of these experiments pan out - their most successful one isn't immediately useful, either. It's a working to extend the lifespan of a non-Exalted mortal, but requires tying them to an Exalt - it came out of a tangent from trying to reverse engineer their bond's original working. 

Still, it's the sort of thing other Exalts are interested in, and the couple can pick up a few favors and even new friends in trade. 

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One of their new allies is a Sidereal, Chosen of Secrets, who had introduced herself simply as Shochi. Gleam's been acquainted with her for a little bit, but she's ever been at best on the periphery of Elathea's awareness - 

Still, she approaches them over their working, requesting simply that they bind her to her future daughter, giving the girl the potential for Shochi's own longevity. She's confident it'll work - and she makes quite a good ally, after.

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She stays in their lives, here or there, after her daughter's birth - of course, Elathea and Gleam can refine their working a bit better if they can follow up on the people affected, but Shochi is a good business contact, and perhaps on her way to becoming a friend. 

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(The very cute baby helps. Gleam ends up attending any meetings involving Shochi far more consistently than she does others - she almost invariably spends them playing with Shochi's daughter, who Shochi apparently brings everywhere with her.)

(Gleam's always liked kids - she'll buy gifts for the servants' children on holidays, the crowning glory of her realm if you listen to her is how nice it is to be a child there, she's the honorary auntie of basically every single child one of their harem graduates has had... But she's hesitated to get attached, usually, to children who will someday die before her.)

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(The free Lunar babysitter doesn't exactly discourage Shochi from befriending the couple.)

 

"Your wife's good with kids," she tells Elathea one day, when Gleam has wandered into the garden to play tiger-gym.

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"My wife has a talent for anything she decides to put her mind to," Elathea replies. "But I think she truly enjoys children."

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"She doesn't seem the type to put her mind to things she doesn't enjoy."

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"Perhaps not. There are, however, degrees of enjoyment."

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Hum. "Are you two likely to want your own, someday?"

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"That's not something we've discussed."

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Smile. "You might want to, before your wife wanders home with some adorable orphan or another."

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"Hm." She looks thoughtful. "I will consider it."

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Heh.

And: back on track to the business discussions they'd come here for...

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Indeed.


Later, when the Sidereal has been seen safely off, Elathea is cuddling with Gleam. "You seem quite fond of our friend's daughter."

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"I am - she's really cute, and super curious, she wants to grab everything and stick it in her mouth - and she's getting pretty speedy at crawling, though now she's wanting to climb everywhere - luckily Shochi's already secured everything so she can't pull furniture over... She doesn't quite have enough coordination for tiger rides without being strapped on first, but I bet she'll be up for that soon, too."

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Elathea chuckles and pets Gleam's hair.

"And you seem quite fond of the alumni's little ones."

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Giggle. "Yeah. They're all just..." Hand wave. "I mean, kids are fun. They haven't learned to be all serious yet."

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Pensive hum.

"Shochi warned me I should be careful of you coming home with an 'adorable orphan' one of these days."

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Innocent expression! "I bring home a kitten I found on the street once..."

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"I make the count four kittens, two puppies, six birds, and a squirrel and a half."

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"Half squirrels don't count; you can't teach them tricks."

(The other squirrel was absolutely taught tricks.)

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"Nevertheless, it was a... memorable experience to wake up to."

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