Andarien Aldrich

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Re: Andarien Aldrich

Post by Nara-pyon on Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:52 pm

Almost Ready …
Location: The Tent, Makshim, Shiezin, Arkandia
Date: Early Stirring, 119 of the Fourth Age
 
Andarien waited for Shoneah and Jassin to go out hunting for the morning before he made his way to his uncle’s workshop to see the final product he had requested. It was exactly as he had designed it, and though he had been aware that Daeron was quite skilled as a carver, he was beyond impressed with the result.
 
It was the frame for a tabletop clock, carved from a single piece of elm. There was a circular hole where Andarien would place the clock face, of course, and part of the back was hollowed out for the cogs and gears. The rest of it was skilfully carved: at the top of the clock, about the top quarter, were carved with heads, each of them about fist-sized: in the center, Andarien and Shoneah, and going out from them, Eon, Zeus, Ponydash and Xipil. The rest of it was carved with things that represented both of them: gears and tools for Andarien, and tree limbs, leaves and feathers for Shoneah.
 
“Whoa,” he breathed, turning it around slowly in his hands and looking it over. “That turned out a lot better than I thought it would …”
 
Daeron grinned widely as he watched his nephew admire his work. “I’m glad you like it. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything like it before.”
 
Andarien beamed up at his uncle. “Thanks, Ada-tol. If ever there’s something you need me to make for you, you just tell me, okay?”
 
“Will do,” Daeron promised.
 
Andarien wrapped the frame in its cloth and cradled it in his arms. “I’m going to see what Cael thinks about either painting it or staining it or whatever. But I think I know why he said painting it might not be a good idea.”
 
Daeron nodded his agreement. “You would completely lose the effect of the wood, the beauty of the grain. I agree, staining it would be better.”
 
Andarien grinned. “Thanks again, Ada-tol.”
 
“You just make sure to let us all know what happens when you give it to her,” Daeron winked at him. “Now go on, she won’t be out forever.”
 
Andarien promised that he would, and then he went off in search of Cael.
 
The mage was in his studio, painting, when Andarien tracked him down. Andarien stood in the doorway, waiting awkwardly, unsure of what to do. He didn’t know if he should knock on the door frame or say something, but he didn’t want to startle Cael while he was working.
 
He was the one who was startled, however, when Cael, without looking up from his work, said sharply, “I know you’re there. Just come in.”
 
Andarien couldn’t explain why, but suddenly he felt his stomach muscles grow tight. “Um …”
 
Cael looked over his shoulder, and when he saw Andarien, his eyes softened and his shoulders relaxed. “Sorry, Andarien. Come on in.” He set his brush down and pivoted on his stool to face Andarien properly. “What can I do for you?”
 
Andarien clutched the clock frame closer to his chest. Cael had changed quite suddenly, and he wasn’t sure what to make of that, any more than he knew what to make of his suddenly tight stomach. He just didn’t know what to do now.
 
“Ah …” Cael pushed himself to his feet and rubbed his eyes. “I’m sorry, Andarien. I didn’t mean to be so sharp. I just … had a bad morning. It’s nothing to do with you.” He smiled. “So, come on. What can I do for you?”
 
Andarien cleared his throat, and his stomach unclenched slightly. “Um … yeah … Ada-tôl finished the frame, and I thought … um …”
 
Cael’s demeanor changed again. His entire face brightened, and he clapped his hands together. “Wonderful! Let me see it. Come on.” He gestured for Andarien to bring it closer, and Andarien unwrapped it carefully as he approached. Cael took it from him and ran his fingers over it. “Wow … that’s pretty incredible.”
 
Distracted now, Andarien moved to stand next to Cael so that he could see it just as well. “Yeah, it’s even better than I thought it would be,” he grinned, finally relaxing. “I’m really happy with it. And I think I understand why you said before that it wouldn’t be worth painting. But will you still stain it? You did say you would do that …”
 
He looked at Cael anxiously, and Cael chuckled. “Of course. I did say I would, after all.” He grinned at Andarien. “The same as the tall clock you made? The dark walnut?”
 
Andarien nodded, excitement growing in his chest. “Yeah. How long d’you think it will take?”
 
Cal looked at the frame again. “Three coats … three days,” he said, nodding decisively. He looked at Andarien. “What do you think?”
 
Andarien nodded. “I’ll be done the rest by then. It’s been a while since I could work on it, Shoneah hasn’t been gone much, but she’s out hunting today, and I think I heard Jassin and Lashrael talking about going out for a few days and asking her if she wants to go with them, so … I probably can get it done before she gets back.”
 
“Wonderful!” Cael beamed. “Then I’ll get started right away, and let you know when it’s finished.”
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Re: Andarien Aldrich

Post by Nara-pyon on Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:37 pm

Location: The Tent, Makshim, Shiezin, Arkandia
Date: Early Stirring, 119 of the Fourth Age
 
It had been a busy few days for Andarien, but despite his busyness he had missed Shoneah quite a bit – especially at night, when he had to once more get used to sleeping alone. At first he just laid awake, staring at her side of the bed; and it was only after he hugged her pillow and could still smell her scent that he was able to drift off.
 
During the days, he hardly had the time to miss her: almost every waking moment, he was working on completing the clock he wanted to give her. Every piece had to be custom made, as none of the other clocks he had made – the standing floor clock or the pocket watches – were the same size as this one; and if even a single piece was the wrong size – even by the smallest amount! – it would make the entire thing useless. And this piece, more than any other, had to be perfect.
 
And that was the easy part. Designing the face of the clock was going to be the difficult part. He wanted it to have some sort of design as well, but something simple, something that would not take away from the design.
 
The day before he expected Shoneah to return, he had it: a creamy face, with branches – also pale, a creamy green, barely different from the background itself – poking in from the outside, as if gazing between some trees in a forest, but with only a few leaves on the trees; and the numbers would be in Gaian numerals – which both he and Shoneah recognized easily – and each numeral would have a single leaf somewhere in its design.
 
It sounded more complicated than it was, and even though he hadn’t finished it the day he expected Shoneah back, he wasn’t worried. He wasn’t going to rush this. If it took him longer than expected, so be it. On the other hand, just so that she wouldn’t see it if she did come back earlier than expected, he was working on this part in Cael’s studio. It was Cael’s paint that he was using, and the artist had even offered to give Andarien some pointers, which the youth had accepted eagerly. After having practiced on other bits of metal, he was confident that his project was going to turn out exactly as he wanted it to.
 
He was still painting the branches when Cael joined him in the studio. He noticed Cael almost immediately, but, as he had done for the past few days when he had been working, he ignored him. Cael often came to watch him, and rarely had anything to say. Andarien expected this time would be no different.
 
He was wrong.
 
“She’s back, and she’s looking for you,” Cael told Andarien quietly. “What shall I tell her?”
 
Andarien lifted the brush and looked at what he had accomplished, comparing it in his mind to what still needed to be done.
 
“Has she washed yet?” he asked, looking over at Cael.
 
Cael shook his head. “Not yet.”
 
Andarien smiled. “Then if you could keep the brush from drying for a few minutes, I’ll go see her and finish up when she goes to wash, kay?”
 
“Of course.” Cael smiled and took the brush from Andarien. “Just don’t be too long, now.”
 
Andarien just grinned and shrugged.
 
As he headed towards his and Shoneah’s room, he felt giddiness spread through him. It was more than excitement. He couldn’t explain it, couldn’t even dream of putting it into words, but he felt alive again!
 
Shoneah was in their main room when he entered, in the process of sorting things from her bag. She turned around when she heard the door slide open, and, seeing Andarien enter, she smiled widely.
 
“There you are,” she murmured, holding a hand out to him.
 
Andarien reached forward and took her hand, but he didn’t stop there. Without even knowing what he was going to do, without thinking about it, he strode forward, put his other arm behind her, pulled her close, and did something he had never done before.
 
He kissed her.
 
For the briefest of moments, Shoneah froze, surprised by his actions; but when he started to pull away, it was she who stepped forward again and kissed him.
 
Andarien’s head was pounding, and he suddenly felt very warm, and when their lips parted again he lowered his head slightly. His cheeks burning, he tried to murmur a soft apology. He didn’t know what had come over him. He hadn’t been in control …
 
“Hey,” Shoneah interrupted him. She ran her fingers along his brow, and he looked up at her, his cheeks still hot. She was smiling, though, and he took heart from that fact. “Don’t ever apologize for doing that. Not ever. Not to me.”
 
Now his ears felt like they were on fire, too, but he simply smiled widely at her and whispered, “Welcome back.”
 
She laughed softly. “I don’t believe I have ever felt so welcome anywhere before,” she teased him. Her eyes sparkled. “I think I like it.”
 
Andarien chuckled and took a step back as Shoneah turned and reached for her bag. “I know you’re eager to hear about my trip,” she grinned at him, “but I’m going to wash first.”
 
“Yeah,” Andarien smiled, “I figured you would want to wash first when you got back.”
 
“Second,” she corrected him, her eyes bright. “First of all, I wanted to see you.” After making sure she had everything she needed, she leaned over and kissed his cheek. “I’ll be back in a bit,” she promised; and with that, she headed out.
 
Once she was out of the room, Andarien took a deep breath to calm himself.
 
All right, he told himself, now I think I understand why people like kissing and hugging and stuff.
 
He only hoped, as he headed back to Cael’s room to continue with his painting for a while, that he would still be able to concentrate. Because now, more than ever, he wanted it to be finished.
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Re: Andarien Aldrich

Post by Nara-pyon on Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:40 pm

Location: The Tent, Makshim, Shiezin, Arkandia
Date: Early Stirring, 119 of the Fourth Age
 
When dinner was over and Andarien and Shoneah were returning to their room for the night, they were still discussing the revelation that Huron was in fact Hikaru, and that he, like them, was Gaian.
 
“I can’t imagine being away from home – or anything from home – for over three hundred years,” Shoneah murmured sympathetically. “I mean … I found Eron within hours, and there was some comfort in knowing I wasn’t alone. And then finding all of you … but even that was hard until I allowed myself to enjoy where I was.”
 
She looked at Andarien as she waited for him to open their door. “And now … I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have you. I mean … to be truly alone for as long as Hikaru was …”
 
Andarien smiled warmly at her and motioned for her to go inside. “I’m glad I can help,” he said quietly.
 
He followed her inside and slid the door shut again behind them. Inside the room, his eyes flickered briefly to the cloth-covered item on a shelf and then immediately back to Shoneah.
 
“It is interesting how quickly things can change, though,” Shoneah went on, running her fingers through her hair. “I do want to go back home someday, but …”
 
“I’d like to go with you,” Andarien told her, smiling widely.
 
Shoneah smiled back at him, her silver eyes shining. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. As much as I miss my family, I couldn’t imagine going back without you.”
 
Andarien’s grin widened and his heart began to race, his hands to shake. He couldn’t pinpoint exactly why, but he knew that it was time.
 
He took a deep breath.
 
“Shoneah,” he murmured, “I have something for you.”
 
She blinked. “Oh?”
 
He nodded and beckoned for her to come closer, as he was the closer one to the shelf where the clock was. He had finished it the day before, but had hoped to put a bit of thought into asking.
 
When she was closer, he reached up and took the clock down from the shelf, pulling off the cloth once it was safely in his hands. He watched her eyes light up, and he grinned and held it up for her to inspect.
 
“I thought it might be a good way to … well, to show us as a family,” he murmured. “If … if that’s what you want.”
 
She looked at him sharply, and her eyes began to sparkle. “Are you asking what I think you’re asking?”
 
Andarien felt a blush climbing in his cheeks. “Um … yeah … do you wanna … will you … marry me?”
 
Shoneah laughed – a giddy laugh, not an amused laugh, Andarien was relieved to note (and why was it he could only tell the difference with her and no one else?) – and then, with a suddenness that took him by surprise, she put one arm around his neck and, careful of the clock between them, pulled him to herself and kissed him.
 
When she let him go again, he looked at her anxiously. “Does that mean yes?” he asked hesitantly.
 
She laughed again, and this time she was both giddy and amused. “Of course it means yes,” she grinned at him.
 
He beamed at her. He tried to think what he could say, but for the life of him, nothing seemed appropriate. His emotions welled up inside, exciting and terrifying at the same time.
 
“Come on,” Shoneah giggled, taking the clock from him with one hand and putting her other arm around his waist. “Let’s get ready for bed and talk about this.”
 
“Yeah …”
 
Still grinning foolishly, he followed after her.
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