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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Needy (Everan)

What do you do when you're stuck at your S/O's apartment during a rainstorm and far too fabulous to walk home in the rain? Apparently, if you're Phillip that is...this.

“If you just so happen to think that I’m going anywhere in that storm then you are dead wrong.” Phillip points out vaguely gesturing in the general direction of the front of the building. “Nope, I’m just going to stay right here.” He adds sitting down on the tiled floor of the bathroom. “You’re just going to sit there?” I ask, giving him a curious, and slightly mischievous look. “Precisely, it’s not like the view isn’t...nice.” 

I sigh “well, don’t say you didn’t ask for this.” and reach over grabbing him, the water practically drenching him and pulling him into a kiss. Phillip braces himself on the edge of the bath as I tear at his shirt trying to get it off. If he cared it didn’t outwardly show and once it’s off I practically drag him back with me, as he awkwardly tries to scramble over the side without getting hurt and sit him in my lap. Aside from a light hit on the ankle, he’s fine. 

At times I think this is a dream, and if it is, it’s the best dream I’ve ever had. Phillip closes his eyes and leans against me with tiny whimpering noises against my neck. How long had he been waiting for the right moment to do this? Thinking about it for a moment, being stuck at your significant others apartment during a particularly rainy day really was the perfect opportunity. 

Finally parting again Phillip looks at me with a desperately needy face that just makes me want to kiss him again and again. Gently I pat his cheek and if possible pull him even closer “you’re so cute.” I tell him giving him another quick kiss. Phillip smiles and blushes slightly. “You know, there is something we could do...other than kiss…” Phillip remarks glancing toward the door leading back out to the bedroom and back at me with a mischievous look in his eyes. I lean back and look at him “Needy” I say with a slight laugh and Phillip moves against me “Oh come on! What else are we going to do? The waters getting cold, my clothes are obviously either beyond repair or in desperate need of a wash, and you’re already naked! And it’s raining!! And let me tell you I am not walking home in that...and with possibly a lack of a shirt.” Phillip explains rather dramatically, hand motions and all. Ah, typical Phillip, why am I not surprised. 

“Are you listening to me?” He asks slightly slapping my cheek to draw me out of my thoughts “Yes, you don’t wanna walk home, waters getting cold, shirts torn, etc.” I reply “And you’re going to make up for it.” He says lightly bopping me on the nose with a finger. I sigh “Alright alright I will.” Phillip claps and moves to get up. “I’ll go get things ready.” I watch him as he leaves the room, leaving his soaking wet pants behind to not get everything else wet, after all, the bathroom floor is tile.

“Well look at you, tied up and useless. Not much different from normal but the rope is a nice touch.” Phillip rolls his eyes at the remark. “Will you hurry up already?!” That makes me laugh, he really is needy, and with nothing better to do I’m happy to oblige.

“That was...fun.” Phillip remarks, exhaustion clear in his voice “I think we might need another bath, eventually.” He murmurs into the pillows half asleep letting me at least preliminarily clean him up. “Can I move you for a second? I need to change the sheets.” Phillip makes an annoyed sound but allows me to move him regardless, placing him in a soft chair as he quickly falls into a semiconscious state once more. 

“Good to see you’re awake.” I say moving a lock of hair out of his eyes “What do you mean? I’m obviously still asleep.” He replies, eyes still closed but with an ever so slight grin. I pick him up and deposit him back into the bed climbing in after him. “Well that’s one way to spend a stormy, rainy and overall dreary day.” I murmur stroking his hair softly as he curls up with his head against my check. “Mmhhmm...do it again another time?” I make an amused sound “You really are insatiable...but, yes.” Phillip makes a gesture of triumph before falling into a deep sleep. 

As Phillip sleeps I’m left alone with my thoughts, not unlike I usually am in times like these, listening to the rhythmic pitter-patter of the rain against the roof and the windows, with the occasional thunderclap as I too slowly drift off to a deep and dreamless sleep.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 Year in Review

Well, it’s that time of year again, we’ve somehow almost made it 365 days around the sun and oh boy was this a monumental year. Most of it was spent joking about how with economic collapse, a pandemic, dictators rising in the world, and more it’s definitely the 20s for sure! If I were to ever recap a year, this is absolutely the one to do with all the crazy things that happened, so without further adieu, let’s get started!!

January:
I wrote the 2019 year in review that you can read Here
We had an ever so cheerful chat about prognosis that you can read Here
I decided to actually start to write more frequently on this blog again and have so many WIPs and scheduled posts still to do since I had finished the first semester of senior year
I finished applying to colleges and got some decisions!
For the first time in awhile I participated in an art friend’s draw this in your style (that was pretty out of my comfort zone!) that you can see Here
Since the Witcher is one of my favorite series I made a sticker design, and my first animation with everyone’s favorite bars, Jaskier! You can view that on my Instagram (please give me a follow I’m more active there and I really appreciate the support) Here
While not being a very big Harry Potter fan I decided to do a little painting of Ginny that I then turned into a digital painting! You can see it on my Instagram Here  And on my redbubble  Here
I opened commissions! If you’d like custom art please feel free to reach out! You can view the information about commission pricing and such Here
For the first time I submitted my art to an auction, and it sold! The auction was for the bushfires and did quite well. You can see the piece that was entered Here
I launched my own Australia fire relief project and was able to raise about $30 for bushfire relief. I still have a couple of stickers left over if you’re interested! You can see the cute koala I created Here
After on and off work I finished another character design for my comic, you can read about her Here

February:
Instagram shadowbanned me so I took the time to improve my sketching and took a trip to NYC during February break. You can see what I did during my two weeks of being shadowbanned Here
I made a huge inchstone and walked around NYC BY MYSELF and went to see a friend who I hadn’t seen in over a year and a half! Also got a ton of cute stationery :) and are lots of good food
I redrew a sketch of Anna that I made when I was just starting to learn to draw, you can see the much improved re-drawn version on my instagram Here
I reposted my commission info on the blog so all you you could see it. You can see that post and the accompanying commission information Here
The fellowship and I took an excursion for lunch a couple of times when classes got canceled and had a lovely time just hanging out before coronavirus took over the world

March:
I celebrated my birthday in Quarantine, you can read about that Here
I compiled a list of handwriting tips for children with disabilities, you can read my tips (many from personal experience) and tricks for writing Here
I participated in March Meet the Maker on Instagram for the second year in a row, you can see my favorite post (and all the rest) on my Instagram from the month of March Here
Finally after a solid couple of years I finished my entire Morrowind painting series project and posted them all together, I’ve linked my favorite but please check them all out, I worked so hard on them! You can find my favorite painting in the series Here
After months of waiting I had my neuropsych evaluation and had a horrible headache for the two days after the testing was completed, and therefor missed my last two real days of school :(
Coronavirus intensified in the US and Massachusetts closed down

April:
School reopening was canceled, school moved to online learning with no April break
After getting back into the swing of writing I posted a short domestic fluffy drabble, a super cute short read! You can read it Here
Schools were closed for the remainder of the year, you can read about my thoughts on it Here
I finished up posting my Morrowind series, you can see the final painting Here
Since quarantine wasn’t finishing up anytime soon I decided to paint baby Yoda and Mando just for fun along with a few other paintings that have become personal favorites you can see it Here
I posted the first page of my comic!! You can read it Here

May:
After a lot of procrastinating I finished 2 silly Morrowind comics. One can be found Here
With a lot of help from staff a graduation parade was planned for June 6th with a ceremony in July
I started writing a lot more due to the quarantine and finished a number of WIPs and posts which will be posted at some point eventually
I finished illustrating my first book in remembrance of a little girl who passed away from cancer in february of this year for her family

June:
The graduation parade happened! Which can be found
It was official, I’ve been sick for 6 years. You can find my thoughts on that
I launched my art website/shop, you can visit it  here 
America and the rest of the world finally started to change the ways of systemic racism though there was a bit of civil unrest and borderline chaos at times as it coincided with a pandemic that was by no means over
I lost my summer job and had to navigate unemployment for the first time

July:
I wrote even more, and worked more on updating this post, as well as going through the archives and getting rid of some older posts that are not really relevant any more 

The pandemic showed no signs of stopping nor did protests and discussion about racism in the US

School officially decided we would start remotely after a previous attempt at putting together a hybrid model of schooling. International students who were unable to leave campus would be allowed to stay

August:

Due to severe dehydration and abdominal pain I ended up in the ER not once, not twice, but three separate times, including two days in a row because of a less than ideal resident who sent me home with no fluids.

School started remotely on August 24th and I officially began college after a couple of days of very boring remote orientation

September:

Classes picked up and math is absolutely not my strong suit

We celebrated Deaf Awareness Month with a special etsy shop update and charity sticker/print

I spent most of the month doing classwork or calling doctors offices about continued abdominal pain

October: 

A much awaited halloween shop update

I participated in TES Inktober 2020 you can find them on my instagram @thedisc0panda

Midterms happened as did many more doctors appointments

I miraculously passed math


November: 

The United States had an election

I explained how I passed math, and the question of if my technical failure at math was due to a lack of knowledge or a math related learning disability, or perhaps both

I finally finished some fluffy borderline sin for friends? Also binge watched the Mandalorian season 2 while friends were home on thanksgiving break the first time we had gotten together in some way shape or form in about 9 months

December: 

Finals happened and now we are off on Winter break until February with January term being optional I plan on taking a class on Digital Design Fundamentals

The annual holiday fic post feat Anna and company, Valan hates the cold

I shared my culture paper that talks a bit about how disability has shaped my culture and the way that I experience the world around me

The COVID19 Vaccine was approved for emergency use in the United States and hope was finally in sight in the new year, but with holiday travel as expected cases get worse before they get better. Nonetheless, the holiday season was a welcome time of happiness

2020 was arguably the worst year for the world on the whole that I have ever seen, here's to hoping that in the new year things will begin to get better and we can begin to heal as a people from this exceedingly dark year.

Until next time,

Max




Saturday, December 19, 2020

On Culture

 For my first Sociology and Anthropology class paper we had to write about our culture and what makes it unique, as well as what goes into the concept of culture. Since disability and the like are very much a part of my own unique world and its culture, it is mentioned a bit (more like quite a lot) in my paper, and I thought I might as well share it here, and see what you all think. As always, comments on any of my posts (disability from personal experience or through creative writing) is greatly appreciated and makes my day. 


   


    Culture can be defined as dynamic shared patterns of norms, beliefs and symbols. Throughout the world and its history, many different cultures have developed. Each individual throughout their life develops their own culture and group of beliefs and practices. My culture and my family's culture is really a mixture of many different cultures and their beliefs from a mix of ethnicities.  For a bit of context; my immediate family is made up of two ethnicities mainly, and within those, three different cultures. Those ethnicities are Anglosaxan, to be specific English and Irish, and Ashkenazi Jewish, in particular Austrian-Hungarian, possibly with some Polish and Czech on that side as well. 


My father is a first generation American, born to a former British Royal Pay Corp Officer, who lived through both world wars after being born in 1909. My grandfather had his house bombed during  World War Two. My grandmother was a Vienese Holocaust survivor who fled her home by herself at 19 to Jerusalem.


 Born to a well to do Jewish family in Vienna, where her father was the head of the Austrian Wine Company, my grandmother was the second of three children.She had an older brother, Heinz, and a younger brother, Eric. During the 1930’s my grandmother was sent by train that was turned around while trying to cross the Hungarian border. She was then successfully sent by boat to what was then British Mandated Palestine, during the six week journey someone stole her only coat. My grandmother got so sick on the boat trip that took three weeks longer than expected, that when she arrived in Jerusalem, the lady she was staying with thought she was a frail old woman until she gave her a bath and realized that she was only nineteen years old. Heinz later met up with her there as he had left first, while Eric went by kindertrain to a Kibbutz. The three children did not see their parents or step mother for ten years, as the adults had fled to the United Kingdom.


 While in British Mandated Palestine my grandmother met my grandfather who was an officer in the British Royal Pay Corp, stationed in the Middle East, they later went to London. Heinz stayed behind with his family in Israel, and his son still lives there. Later on, the rest of the Austrian side of the family moved from the United Kingdom to the United States and settled in Massachusetts. Some extended family also settled in Canada. The exception being a great great uncle, Erwin, who after being ratted out by a neighbor was sent to the concentration camp Auschwitz. He later escaped having been granted a weekend pass out of Auschwitz, and took the opportunity to flee. He fled to China, with his wife and mother, with the help of Presbetaryian missionaries, and worked as a doctor in a hospital outside of Shanghai. He was one of the last western doctors in the Shanghai area hospital where he worked when the communists came. He then briefly returned to Vienna, and then eventually came to New York and New Mexico before finally settling in Michigan. 


  My mother's family, by contrast, has been in the United States for at least a few generations, are Irish Catholic, and have deep roots within the city of Salem, MA. The city where my mother, her siblings, and their parents all grew up. There is even a distant relation to John Trumbull, the first governor of Connecticut under both British and American leadership. For both sides of the family, heritage and family history are very important and stories are passed down from generation to generation, particularly on my father's side. The belief that Israel has the right to exist as much as any other country, and Zionism in general, is another very important belief on that side, as the entire family would have been annihilated had they not fled to what is now Israel, and the United Kingdom, and I would not be writing this paper.  


Culture also includes a person's values that they and people around them harbor. In my family, education and more specifically  the education of the whole person is a key important value. As well as the fact that intelligence comes in many different forms. My grandfather for example was unable to finish university at The University of London, but was awarded a prestigious award in music theory and was highly intelligent, able to solve a rubix cube with mathematics, and worked on some of the first computer programs at John Hancock that were still in use after he retired. 


Since  I was born extremely prematurely  much of my early childhood memories are taken up with early intervention services and therapies of various sorts, mainly physical therapy as a preschooler, and occupational therapy during my elementary school years. In both cases, I had very nice, respectful, and understanding therapists; who were willing and eager to adapt things so I could succeed. I have been in the special education system since the day I turned 3 years old and was eligible for an Individualized Education Program, also known as an IEP. Before that, I received services through Early Intervention. 


During my time in primary and secondary school I encountered a mix of teachers all with various ideas about education. For the most part, many teachers were willing to accommodate my needs and make the needed changes so I could access education in a fulfilling way that educated not only the intellectual needs but also the other functional skills I would need in life. Other teachers though, had a very cookie-cutter approach to education, that one size fits all, neurotypical or not, and that was that. Those teachers ended up with a sit down from whoever was my special educator at the time with a thorough read through of my IEP and all of its various components, accommodations, and if applicable, modifications. 


Self advocacy with diplomacy was a major skill I learned when dealing with such teachers, my special educator and parents being the major socializing factors, as they have always encouraged me to speak up when something is not right, and to use my skills with self advocacy to politely demand changes when needed. I also learned self advocacy during interactions with my medical team, which is a vast group stretching out over three separate hospitals, with many subspecialities. My core group of doctors consider me to be the “real” head of the team, while one doctor is the officially labeled head of team, they allow me, and even encourage me, to have a very involved role in decisions about my healthcare, even to the point of helping with research about my own conditions, which was something I did last summer. The research was then submitted to the National Institute of Health’s rare and undiagnosed disease center. It was also sent by my head of team to doctors and medical centers around the world for opinions and to ask for insight about what could be the cause of my variety of complicated symptoms. 


Aside from education a major value to my family is to be exposed to diversity and many different types of people. My parents deal in antique oriental carpets, with the rug market being centered in New York City. They have been taking my brother and I to the city with them on business trips since we were very young, we essentially grew up playing, or napping, on the large piles of carpets, going for dinner with other dealers and clients, and getting to know the people around the market, many of whom have very interesting stories.


 In particular, there is one office that has a few different dealers and their helpers in it after they lost their old building and offices in the 2008 recession. The office in New York City is likely the most diverse place one could visit. The owner, Yosef and his cousin Abraham are Mashedi Jews, or Jews from the Iranian city of Mashed, though the family fled to Israel when Yosef was a baby. Yosef and Abraham, and Yosef's son, Rohni, who used to work with him before going into the jewelry business are all Orthodox Jewish. Additionally in the office you can find Nader, who is Bahai, his sister in fact teaches in the nursing department at Lake Forest College. There is also Rahim, who is Muslim, and is in charge of cleaning and rug repairs, he has a group of South American women who are Catholic, and a Tibettian or Nepalese woman who help him with the repair, as well as various helpers to move the rugs, many who are either Middle Eastern or Sorth African. There are also of course, the other dealers and customers who come in and out of the office, further diversifying the mix. We like to joke that it is one of the most diverse places you will likely ever go to, and diversity is a very important value to us, as it helps expose you to the broader world and the many different customs, values, and beliefs of other cultures.  


Growing up going to antiques shows and the Art and Antiques Dealers League dinners we learned how to behave and what was expected of us for social norms when out in public. My brother and I were oftentimes the youngest children at the League dinners, and other events. Norms can be defined as the social expectations of acceptable behavior we should do. Unlike many children who may grow up going to child friendly restaurants only, and behaving without any regard for politeness or having meltdowns when required to sit still and behave, my brother and I were socialized by our parents at fancy restaurants from a very early age, and thus we learned to behave as such. Politeness is an important social norm that allowed us to go to events and places that most children would not be taken to.


Another social norm that goes hand in hand with politeness is cleanliness. As a result of intergenerational trauma, the children of Holocaust survivors, and the survivors themselves, as well as the grandchildren of the survivors, often exhibit traits of hyper-vigilence and extreme cleanliness. In my family, we poke fun at ourselves and jokingly refer to it as “the mr. clean gene”, as it is a trait, along with punctuality, that has been passed down through the generations. In fact, there is a picture of my great grandfather with my grandmother, my great aunt and uncle, and a few others at a picnic after they immigrated to the United States. He is wearing a starched white shirt, and would notoriously get very upset if there was even a wrinkle in it. 


This trait goes hand in hand with the need for cleanliness and devotion to a germ free environment after my birth, especially because I was born at the end of RSV season, a virus that can be potentially fatal to infants, especially premature ones. My primary care physician told my mother that anyone who comes into our home after I was brought home from the hospital after spending the first four months of my life in the neonatal intensive care unit and the special care nursery step down unit, that everyone must immediately go to the bathroom and wash their hands. While I am now at less risk of getting sick, that norm has been ingrained within our routine and continues nonetheless. If you enter our house, first you take your shoes off, then you go and wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and water, though with the coronavirus pandemic we have obviously not been having any visitors the past six months. 


We often follow social norms in an effort to fit in with society and be respected by our various peers. When we are with different types of people our behavior changes accordingly to the type of people we are with. A person behaves very differently with their close best friends than they do with their parents or a group of strangers, this is called role fulfillment. Norms can either be social or official and written into law. Sometimes people collectively ignore the law because of social norms, for example: speeding. Social norms can be incredibly powerful in that sense.  Norms can be confining in their limitations of what is “normal” or “right”, but can also be very helpful, if not freeing, in their ability to help people navigate society, especially a society that may be complex or confusing. By following social norms we are able to understand our place in society and the larger world we live in.


Additionally we use social imagination; the ability to see the relationship between one's individual thoughts or life and the broader society when thinking about culture. We are able to make connections between our own experiences and the shared experiences of others within our culture, while also acknowledging the differences in those experiences. We avoid imagining ourselves as isolated individuals and think critically about our place in the broader world. 


To conclude, culture is a group of dynamic shared patterns that include norms to help us navigate and understand the world, common beliefs that are shared by those within our unique culture, and symbols that are important to our culture. Different cultures have their own sets of values and beliefs. Many cultures intersect at different points, though they may be otherwise quite different to each other. 




Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Holiday (Anna)

Summary: Issy gets a bit lonely with only a ghost for a consistent companion, Luckily Anna and Valan are ready and more than willing to make the holidays a bit better :)

QOTD: How do you spend the holidays? I usually spend it with friends or my cousins at their house, it’s much less anxiety inducing than spending it at home, and generally more fun.



While the weather in Skyrim might be dreadful most of the year, it does make for a nice holiday atmosphere, I think to myself wandering the streets of Solitude as the snow flurries down. Valan on the other hand seems to disagree, mumbling to himself why he ever came to this gods forsaken country, holiday or not. “Which would you rather have; ash Storm, or snow storm?” I ask, curious to know the honest answer. “Neither. I’d have neither.” He replies pulling his coat closer “Can we go inside?” I hold the door open for him “After you.” 

“Dunmer weren’t made for boats or extreme cold. Ash and magic giant mushrooms are one thing, but this kind of weather is another matter entirely. I don’t understand how the Skaal live so far up north on Solstheim…” he trails off looking around the shop, as best he can in the low light. “Have you gotten the twins presents yet?” He asks examining an object, I nod, and go down the list of who’s left.

 “What about you? Have you done all your shopping?” I ask in reply, he shrugs “For the most part. Sammie is easy to shop for, just get Language books, Yuuri a new set of paintbrushes or something, Kit is fine with just money, and I think the Sero siblings could both due with some time off. Lin I still need to get something for, and Ling I got a new pair of pants.” He turns around with a small dagger “Do you think Issy would like this?” I shrug “I guess so but you’ve known her longer, and have better taste in knives.” He tests it’s weight and feel before deciding. “How much is this?” He asks the shopkeeper. “14 septims, but since it’s the holidays you can pay 10.” Valan rummages through his pockets and eventually finds the 10 coins. 

“Well that’s paid for. Now what to get Lin?” I think for a moment “Well, she’s a former professional ballerina right? Does she still dance?” I question and Valan nods “Well then get her a pair of ballet slippers. You heard Issy ranting the other night about how quickly they can run down.” 

As I finish my sentences the door opens and none other than Isabelle walks in, shaking the snow off of her dark hair and cloak. “Oh hi guys...didn’t expect to see you here.” She says hiding something in one of her cloaks compartments. “We’re trying to figure out what to get Lin. We thought maybe ballet slippers? Though I doubt they sell them here…” I explain and Issy’s eyes light up “Well then never fear Issy is here! I have to get Alex a new pair of pointe shoes anyways, there’s a shop down the street. We can look there.” 

We pay for our goods then follow Issy down to a shop near the gates. “I never knew this existed.” I say to no one in particular as we wander into the small shop. Issy picks out two pairs of shoes “What’s Lin’s shoe size?” She asks Valan as she looks through the boxes “She’s tiny so I’d guess a size 5 or so.” Issy gets two boxes “Alright that was easy. Pointe shoes for Alex, regular slippers for Lin. Both of their sizes were available.” The two of us nod in admiration as Issy goes to pay “That was easy.” Valan whispers to me. Issy comes back tossing Valan the box containing Lin’s slippers “Ok let's go get food now.” Issy says holding the door open for us. 

We get back home to find Farkas and Runa in a rather competitive game of chess, while Sofie sits nearby looking at books with Vigilance, the dog. Issy puts down her packages before going over and looking at the chessboard, and moving a few pieces before walking away “you’re welcome.” She says as she leaves and wanders into the kitchen. Valan sits playing with the dog in the meantime. After critiquing the rather blandness of our pantry at the moment with the current flu season Issy eventually whisks something up for dinner that isn’t entirely terrible, the upside to living in Cyrodil I guess…

The storms gotten worse by evening and is potentially dangerous to go out in. “Why don’t you two just stay the night? Not exactly the best idea to go out right about now…” Issy and Valan look at each other, Valan shrugs and they turn back to me “Alright.” They say in unison. Issy gives vigilance a pet as he sits next to her “Better than spending the holidays alone.” I barely hear her whisper to herself. I feel bad for her sometimes, but this time of year provides little time to dwell on the fact. At least she’s happy with us. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

You need a nap! (Farkas)

Did anybody catch that Witcher reference in the title?

It’s sickfic time :)) 

Epilepsy + fevers and sleep deprivation generally doesn’t = a very good situation...



“Noooooooo” Anna whines, hiding her head under the pillow. “You have to get up, Len.” Anna Shakes her head “Noooooooo!!” She half whines half yells from under the pillow. With a sigh I sit back down on the bed and manage to practically  wrench the pillow from her arms “Why don’t you want to get up?” Anna turns her head and looks at me, giving a less than pleased look “Tired.” She says simply “Well, you can take a nap later, but first you really need to get up.” I pause and look at the clock “We have things to do today, remember?” Anna simple smushes her face back into the mattress and groans

With an extreme amount of reluctance, and no doubt a solid amount of regret Anna does get up eventually and slightly cheers up having had something to eat and a shower, but still remains quite tired and doesn’t exactly mince words during our meeting with Jarl Elisif...or a number of other people we happen to cross paths with. And, After business is dealt with, immediately trudges home to go take a nap. 

Steve had stopped by for a visit in between teaching and concerts and stays for dinner which causes Anna to ever so slightly become a tad bit less grumpy. By about 8:30 Steve comes in from the room where he and Anna has been playing with Vigilance holding a crying and seemingly quite upset Anna. “I think somebody needs to go to bed.” Steve says handing her over to be “You want to go to bed?” I ask and get a sniffle and a nod in return. “Alright, come here cutie.” I take Anna while Steve returns downstairs and helps clean up what little cleaning is left of tonight’s dinner, what a helpful fellow. I can see why he’s well thought of where he lives. Giving Anna a quick bath, her medicine which being still rather upset no doubt due to sleep deprivation she nearly throws back up, and finally put her to bed. 

After a few minutes of consoling Anna calms back down and quickly falls asleep. Waiting just a minute or two more I quietly slip out of the room, turning off the light and shutting the door before going back downstairs. “Overtiredness?” Steve asks and I come back down, I nod “Probably, she’s been waking up with nightmares every now and then, and we’re in the middle of allergy season.” Steve makes a small humming sound in reply “I was wondering why I was sneezing so much on my way over, that explains a lot.” With a slight groan he stands up, even with me standing on the first couple of steps the difference in height is quite apparent. 

“Well, I should probably get going, it’s getting late and I don’t really feel like dealing with zombies and the like.” While draugr are similar enough, from Issys recounts Zombies sound far more terrifying...particularly the headless ones “Goodnight then, thanks for coming over, it was good to see you.” I tell him as he puts on his shoes and he smiles “You too.” He pauses and gives vigilance a pat on the head “and you too buddy.” He says to the dog, who wags his tail and barks happily before running off downstairs, I guess it must be time for animals to go to sleep as well. 

Being as quiet as possible I go back upstairs and get ready for bed myself. Anna lays sprawled out clutching her stuffed bunny, but seems content. With careful maneuvering I move her just until I’m able to crawl into bed, and then she returns to her sprawled out position, just this time with an arm and a leg sprawled out over me instead of the bed...but, I’m not complaining, it’s too late for just a thing. Content, and tired enough I lay down and within minutes fall asleep. 

The peaceful silence of the early morning is shattered when I hear a scream. Instantly awake I open my eyes and sit up with a start to find Anna sitting up and shaking slightly. “Len...you okay?” I ask lightly touching her shoulder and she flinches with a slight scared noise, until she realizes it’s just me. Then the scared expression on her face turns sad as tears begin to stream down her face “Did you have a nightmare? Flashback?” I ask wiping away a tear. Anna nods with a whimper and begins to cry more. I hold out my arms silently and with a small noise Anna crawls into my lap, burying her face against my shoulder, continuing to cry. “You want to talk about it?” I ask running a hand through her hair and get a shake of the head in answer. “Okay, that’s fine.” I reply, and after a moments silence Anna offers up one word of explanation “Helgan.” I think if I were arrested for something I didn’t do and nearly had my head cut off before a dragon attacked I’d have nightmares too, not that I don’t already have them, that is. 

After some time Anna stops crying for the most part and instead simply sits there silently trying to calm her breathing. It must be two or three in the morning, at this point. “Do you want anything to drink or eat?” Anna nods and signs “milk” a glass of milk it is then, if we have any left. Carefully I set Anna down beside me and with a quick pat on the head, get up and go downstairs.

To my luck, and somewhat surprise, there is in fact a bit of milk left, just enough for a glass now and cereal in the morning. Vigilance comes upstairs curiously having head the noise to investigate, and follows me back upstairs, tail wagging excitedly when he sees Anna and walks over to the side of the bed, sitting down. “Here you go.” I hand Anna the glass which she slowly drinks in between petting Vigilance. Eventually he seems to get bored, or tired, and returns back downstairs to his dogbed. 

“Feel like talking now?” I enquire, Anna shrugs “Just the same old playthough of events, don’t know why it made me so upset this time.” I look out the window, the sky is beginning to ever so slowly lose its blackness and then a deep navy instead. “Well, usually when we don’t feel well, allergies, cold, stress, sleep deprivation, whatever, we tend to have weird dreams. That’s all I can offer for explanation.” Anna nods “Makes sense. Allergies haven’t allowed for easy sleep the past few weeks.” Whiterun has a fairly mild allergy season, but Solitude, being in a wooded area is a different beast entirely. 

Having finished her milk, Anna yawns sleepily and lays back down. “Did that help?” I ask falling back against the pillows, and get a sleepy nod in return. “That’s good.” Anna gives me a small half asleep smile and curls up against me, much calmer than before. For the remainder of the night there are no more disturbances, Anna sleeps peacefully while I remain in a dreamless light sleep, with pockets of deep sleep every now and then. 

Morning comes late, quite late. To the point I’m not even sure it would really be called morning...who knows, it might be afternoon already. I make a mental note to get the clock fixed before looking down as a feeling of dampness registers. Of course, it’s Anna, who sometimes drools in her sleep, mostly due to a bad habit of sticking the knuckle of her thumb in her mouth as she sleeps every now and then, not exactly sucking her thumb, but similar. Likely a peculiar sort of self soothing habit I guess. Thankfully I tend to keep a small washcloth on the bedside table for moments like this. With a bit of careful maneuvering I place the cloth between Anna’s head and myself to keep from further making a mess. 

Laying there I watch the patterns of sunlight as they change on the ceiling and take the time to relax and look around the room. I’d never noticed how ornate the handles on the dresser really are, or the way the curtains ruffle with any slight gust of air. 

Having gotten distracted, when I look down again I see a sleepy but curious pair of silver eyes looking at me. “Hi there.” I say running a hand through Anna’s hair and get a small noise in reply as if to say “hello” back at me. “Are you hungry?” A shake of the head. “Thirsty?” Another head shake. Hmmm, that’s not good. “Not at all?” A third shake of the head. “You should at least drink something, even if it’s just a little cup of water.” Anna whines slightly. Refusal to eat is surprisingly common, but refusal, and adamant refusal to drink is a bit more concerning. Sitting up with Anna in my lap I take the unattended cup of water that had been left by the bedside and hold it up to her. “Just a tiny bit?” I ask moving the cup closer, in reposnse Anna turns her head away and I frown, putting a head to her forehead briefly. It’s a bit warm, not burning, but enough to check. Putting the cup back on the table I move Anna off of me “You, stay here. I’ll be right back.” I say as I go to hunt down the thermometer. 

“Aaaand you, my friend, have a fever...a hundred and one, fantastic.” I say sarcastically  looking at the set of numbers, Anna frowns. “No wonder you don’t want to eat or drink...but you need to.” Anna frowns even more, her entire body seeming to droop. “C’mon, lets go get you something to drink.” Anna doesn’t get out of bed and instead holds out her arms as if to say “carry me?” With a slight eye roll, I oblige, picking her up. “You really are spoiled Anna, I hope you know that.” I get a faint sound that I think is a laugh in reply, along with a grin and an affectionate, if slightly painful headbutt against my shoulder. 

With a fair amount of coxing a a small bit of bribery, Anna does eventually drink, and finishes both a cup of water, and a small bowl of chicken broth with some vegetables mixed in...and a teaspoon of rather disgusting medicine, before giving up and refusing anything else for the remainder of the morning and early afternoon. 

Fevers combined with epilepsy can be a confusing, and potentially dangerous situation. Even a low grade fever makes Anna just a bit...out of it. Lethargic, temporarily regressed, irritable, all kinds of less than ideal things. Add sleep deprivation, allergies, and nightmares the previous night into the mix for an even less than ideal situation. Having finished her soup, Anna pushes it out of the way and replaces its spot with her head laying on her arms. “Still sleepy?” I ask. “No.” Anna says softly, the only real word I’ve heard out of her all day. “Your head hurt?” I get a slight head shake in return “tired.” As I have since learned very well, there is a clear and distinct difference between being “sleepy” and being “tired” while similar, they can be vastly different. “Do you want to go lay down again?” Anna pushes herself upright again “Shower first.” That sounds like a good idea, they tend to make her a bit more alert, and in general are rather helpful when fevers and the like make you rather sore. 

Slowly and with a few near falls Anna walks back upstairs by herself and takes a brief lukewarm shower. She looks a bit better, but still isn’t acting quite normally yet “You….need a nap!” I say jokingly sitting on the edge of the bed which gets a small laugh out of Anna. “But I didn’t say you sounded like a pie with no filling!” Anna retorts. A full sentence, and a coherent one too! That’s an improvement for sure. “I know, but still, you should rest. You look like you need it.” Anna gives me a look “what are you saying I look like then?” I smile slightly “Someone with a fever that needs to break before said someone has a seizure.” Anna makes a small noise “true.” She says before laying back and grabbing her stuffed bunny to cuddle “I’ll be downstairs if you need me...don’t build a pillowfort this time instead of resting.” Anna makes a face in response “fineee” she sighs and tosses her bunny up in the air before catching it “you’re no fun.” She mutters. “Only because you have a fever.” Anna huffs and rolls over pulling the covers over her head. “I’ll come back up to check on you in an hour.” I say getting up, Anna gives me a thumbs up sticking her arm out from under the covers, and I shut the door as I go downstairs. 

I find Anna fast asleep when I return, though drenched in a pool of sweat, and upon checking her temperature again, thankfully the fever has broken. I let her sleep for awhile, taking the time to read a bit of one of the books laying on the desk in the “to be read” pile, until Anna wakes up on her own. Anna rolls on to her back and sits up with a slightly disgusted noise, wiping the film of sweat off her arms. “Feeling better?” I inquire, and Anna looks over at me before nodding. “Except now I’m really in need of a shower...yuck.” I shrug, putting the book down “We needed to change these sheets anyways. You go shower, I’ll do that.” Anna throws the covers back and climbs out of bed “Sounds like a plan.” Anna grabs a set of clothes and heads off to take a shower, looking much more steady on her feet than a few hours ago, and leaving me to change the sheets in the meantime. 

“Sorry for being whiny.” Anna apologizes over dinner. “No need to say sorry, if I had a fever in the middle of allergy season and was already sleep deprived I’d be whiny too. I’m glad you’re feeling better.” Anna smiles in reply. “I guess we learned the power of a nap then?” She asks-

“Yes we did.”

“Yes we did indeed…”

Monday, November 16, 2020

So you like...this? (Anna)

Fluff prompt: “even when you’re annoying the fuck out of me I still love you”

I- I have no explanation for this...blame my friends for wanting steam/fluff and some very specific requests from some artist/writing group chat friends. Consent is a fun topic to explore particularly when you have two Aces who do their own sort of thing.

Fluff, enthusiastic consent, light choking(?), Riften is a horrible city, Farkas needs a nap, Anna likes waffles, that’s really all you need to know.

“Riften really is an ugly city.” I remark as we walk through the streets. Run down houses, except for the blackbriar estate, the temple, and the keep. Skooma addicts wander the docks, the gardens are in desperate need of some weeding, the market is one of the few places not entirely horrible. “Of course it’s awful, it’s Riften. What did you expect?” Farkas more replies than asks. I shrug, in the words of Issy, anything’s better than Bravil, Cryodill. 

The two of us eventually get to our little house on one of the nicer side streets. Farkas turns to me “If you don’t mind, can you go wander around for a bit? I want to be alone.” It’s a simple enough request, and so I agree. He goes inside while I wander the market stalls, there’s still an hour or two until closing time. Between allergy season and a long trip it’s no wonder he’d want to be alone for a little bit, but eventually things start to close for the night and I have no choice but to head home. “Do you know you’re not the last Telvanni?” I ask brand-shei as he packs up for the evening, dusk is beginning to fall slowly. “No, but I don’t know anything about my homeland except for my father’s diary you found.” He replies locking his cash box and slipping the key in his pocket “Well, if you’d like to meet any more, Master Neloth sends his regards.” I hand him a letter Neloth had asked me to deliver and he thanks me. “Anyways, Goodnight, Anna.” I give him a slight smile and begin to walk home.

Slipping in through the backdoor unnoticed I silently slip upstairs. Closing the door I place things down as quietly as possible, and think of what to do now. It’s too early for dinner, and I had gotten home before I’d intended. So, I pick up the book I’d been reading from the nightstand and continue where I’d left off, reading aloud to myself. 

I guess I had been perhaps a bit too loud as rather suddenly the door is opened and before I know it I’m pulled from my position on the bed and dangling slightly above the floor trying to pry myself free. “So, all it takes is some fingers around your throat to shut you up? Why did nobody try this earlier.” Instead of being worried about the hand around my neck my mind wanders to a very different emotion making my face begin to feel hot and no doubt turn bright red. Having stopped struggling Farkas puts me down, still holding me in place, but allowing air. “Something wrong?” He asks and I pull on the grip around my neck “You could stop choking me, for one!” I feel my ears begin to turn red and heart rate start to race. Once free I take a few steps back and rub my neck, it doesn’t quite hurt as much as just feels odd at this point. “What was that about?!” I ask confused and slightly agitated, Farkas simply stares at me until it registers, I must have been too loud while reading. I’d forgotten werewolves have particularly attuned senses, some more than others. 

I turn around and look in the mirror with a gasp. The tight grip had left reddish-purple marks on my neck which  would no doubt be hellish bruises tomorrow. If possible, I feel my face and ears get even hotter. No wonder it felt so...odd. Farkas approaches slowly and looks over my neck “You like them? I can make more.” I turn around so quickly I nearly fall over, eyes wide “What?! N-no, why would you say something like that? I certainly d-do not want you to make...more.” I throw a hand up to cover my neck protectively.

 His expression seems to have turned more to mild amusement rather than annoyance or anger and he grins stepping forward as I go back until I’m backed into a wall, glancing up every now and then shyly while focusing my eyes on anything else in the room for the most part. He reaches out a hand to brush mine away from where it lies guarding my neck, and I let him much to his surprise. With a curious, almost slightly confused look at me his hand is placed where it had been previously, fingers finding their former marks and squeezing down ever so slightly. Despite my efforts I let out a small gasp, and look up finally. “You like it when I choke you, Anna?” Sheepishly I nod, still a bit hesitant to actually admit it. The urge came up from time to time, mostly watching him fight. Agile, yet strong, but without the brutish force found in many warriors. Even with no real sex drive...how could someone not desire this? Instinctively out of want my hand comes up to rest on his wrist, an unconscious symbol of “more” and he seems to take the hint, Pushing me against the wall hard enough to rob me of air and wedging a leg between my own and pressing, unable to make any sound I simply tighten my grip on his wrist and try to calm my fast beating heart. Of course, knowing me, and even if we do like to be rough every now and then, there’s no fun in having the other pass out from lack of air before any of the real fun actually happens, and so he carefully monitors my expression and eventually lets me take a few breaths, pressing against me once more causing me to moan softly while trying to catch my breath. 

I hear him ask a question, but I’m too distracted and light headed to understand it. I mumble a reply, too preoccupied with other thoughts and feelings to form a complete sentence. “Well, Len? Tell me what you want, you want more?” I nod quickly and in a moment I’m tossed on to the bed as if I weigh nothing, which in the scheme of things, isn’t all that far off. Propping myself up I watch as he removes his shirt, always a marvelous sight to see and I try to keep from staring, trying to ignore the internal screams for more as he walks toward me. But with the look I’m given, it seems like those internal feelings will get their wish…

I sit up fully and brush the stray hair out of my eyes as he approaches me, still trying to catch my breath. A hand comes to toy with the laces at the front of my dress, and slowly begins to undo them, the garment coming looser as more are undone until with the slightest brush of a hand and an ever so slight sly smile, it falls off my shoulders. I kick the remainder of it off, leaving it on the floor to pick up later...whenever later comes, that is. 

Being lightly tossed again to a better position I try to calm my breathing and stifle a noise as my neck is lightly bitten, not hard enough to hurt, but it’ll definitely leave a deep mark by morning. Overcome with want I mumble incoherently until my throat is once again grasped, letting out only a tiny gasp as a hand runs down my side. After a long and particularly frustrating trip, this was everything needed and more. Skyrim’s roads don’t exactly make for easy traveling, especially during a civil war. 

Every touch practically makes me jolt as my head falls back against the pillows and I silently plead for more. Weather telling by my skin flushing or as the muscles in my legs contract he seems to know if things keep up the way they are, they might not last so long after all, and so he slows down loosening the grip on my neck for a moment with a slight laugh as I make a noise of disappointment. “Well you’re certainly eager. Come on, tell me what you want, I’ll allow you.”  Taking deep breaths while I can helps with the lightheadedness and I’m a bit more able to form a coherent thought, but with the impatient look I’m getting it’s short lived and I mumble out a reply, still slightly embarrassed. “What was that?” Farkas asks with a wolfish grin, hand lightening up as if he’d let go and I grip it to stop him “That’s what I thought.” 

Using the once again tight grip on me he rolls over to flip out positions, silver eyes twinkling in the low light. His hand lets go of my neck and allows me to sit up, instead it wanders along my thigh and causes me to let out the most pathetic little moans no matter how hard I try. Though...at this point I’m a bit surprised I can make noise at all. Laying back, putting his hands to rest behind his head Farkas looks up at me “Well? Touch yourself, put on a show, it’s what you do best anyways.” He remarks, and I think to myself if I’ll ever be able to perform again without those words ringing in my head and feel my face grow hot. 

Drawing myself away from that amusing yet slightly nerve wracking thought I comply with the request nonetheless. I’ll really need to get some new underwear after this, I think to myself...I think these definitely count as ruined, perhaps they’ll clean up in the wash? If my hand hadn’t been pulled away I would have likely done myself in then and there and I let out a slightly annoyed whine in protest. Farkas sits up again and wraps a hand around my throat once more and before I can register redoubles his efforts, the combination makes me begin to see stars and my lower body spasms erratically, the sign things usually have come to their end, but with a fiendish grin he simply continues until it’s happened again, and again a third time before finally stopping as I seem like I’m about to pass out. 

Once the grip on my neck is released I roll over falling against the pillows, body twitching through aftershocks and gasps for air. Farkas looks at me, propped up on his side no doubt admiring his work of what would be livid bruises and deep marks come morning. Understandably sore and exhausted I roll over with my face in the pillow once getting my breathing back to normal. “Len?” Farkas asks after a few minutes too long of silence “Mmhhhm?” I reply exhausted “Did I break you?” he asks “mhm.” I nod against the pillow “That a good thing?” I nod again “mhmmm…” Farkas lays back down, content enough with my answers. “Do you have any dresses with a high neck?” He asks with a slight chuckle. I extend an arm out and lightly punch him in the forearm “Fuck youuu” I mumble which only makes him laugh again “What, you want another around?” I look up at him pushing myself up slightly “I think, to be honest, I’d die.” 

While resting and recovering my bearings I must have fallen asleep briefly as when I wake up again I’m in a chair “Glad to see you’re awake again.” I scoff “What do you mean? I’m obviously still asleep.” I reply, getting a slight smile in return. “Alright, time for bed.” He murmurs scooping me up and placing me back in bed, having changed the sheets. “You’re going to sleep too right? Not gonna go off and do some werewolf thingy while I’m asleep?” Farkas shakes his head and climbs in next to me “Nope, I’m tired too.” This is by far the best part, after everything is over, just laying around not doing much of anything while waiting for sleep.

“Why do you like being choked?” He asks running a hand through my hair as I lay against him, looking out the window at the lights of the town. “Because it’s fun...why do you like choking me?” He shrugs “Because its fun…” he mumbles. “Sorry for getting upset earlier though, allergies, wolf blood which as you know from Vilkas can sometimes lead to a short temper, particularly bad headache, travel, and being in Riften don’t all make for the best combination, especially when you add in what could be counted as unnecessary noise…” I give him a quick kiss on the cheek before laying back down “Understandable. And besides...it turned into something positive. Feel better now?” He nods “Much better.”  We stay there silent for a while until eventually my memory cuts out, I must have fallen asleep. 

When I wake again it’s much later than usual with a blot of sun in my eyes, I’d forgotten that window faced the sun. Even that, the annoying light is only the second thing I noticed, the first being an otherwise cold bed which makes me feel just a twinge sad. Thankfully that doesn’t last long as the door is opened and then lightly  kicked shut. Farkas stands holding a tray and smiles at me, holding it up for me to see. “I thought you’d still be fast asleep, you alright?” He asks setting the tray down and sitting on the edge of the bed “There was absolutely nothing worth eating in the cupboards downstairs so I went over to the market and got things for breakfast.” I sit up to examine it. There’s some fresh bread, eggs, breakfast potatoes, and a waffle in the shape of a mouse, along with two cups of water. Maybe a trip to Riften didn’t have to be so bad, afterall, this did come together quite nicely. Farkas tilts my neck slightly to look at the aftermath of last night “how are you feeling?” He asks gently pressing on a bruise that causes me to flinch “Sore.” 

Having taken a few bites of waffle and sips of water, and decided that my legs were in fact, far too sore, and sitting up wasn’t really doing it I flop back down with a sigh. Clearly he’s still in “care mode” and likely “feeling a bit guilty mode” after last night, if I wanted to I could get away with just about anything right about now. “Feed me? Please?” Farkas sighs, but doesn’t say no, ripping off a small piece of bread and offering it to me, and then a sip of water. He had gotten food for us to share but seems far more interested in me than feeding himself and so I grab a piece of bread and hold it out for him to take, which he does and eventually does actually eat something. 

In addition to breakfast it seems that wasn’t the only thing he’d gotten up early to get, as while the dress from the previous night was intact, one from Windhelm not as such. “Considering I have a tiny bad habit of occasionally ripping your clothes, here. Thankfully they’re easy enough to find.” The dress makes me realize I’ve yet to get dressed and am still in nothing but a camisole and underwear, though I’d have to get up to get dressed. Carefully I attempt to get up, and do so like a newborn deer, nearly falling had I not been caught. “Help me get dressed?” I ask brushing a stray hair out of my face and look up at him with a slightly embarrassed grin. Luckily, he agrees, probably because it wouldn’t have been fair to say no when he’s the reason I can hardly stand on my own two feet, along with dark bruises covering my neck, legs, and arms. 

Having gotten dressed, with help I stay there for a moment and give him a hug, which he returns with a kiss against the top of my head “Even if you annoy me sometimes Len, I still love you.” He whispers softly, and that’s something that always makes me smile

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Homesick (Farkas)

Since today marks the nine year anniversary of Skyrim’s release, to celebrate, have some slightly rushed (at the end mainly) cute if slightly sad at times fluff. Happy ninth birthday Skyrim!


“You notice anything odd about Anna recently?” Valan asks sitting back in his chair and crossing one leg over the other. “How do you mean ‘odd’?” I ask, though I have my thoughts of what he implies. “I’m not entirely sure, to be honest. Behavior wise, I guess. A bit sort of...sad. Withdrawn, distracted, you know.” He replies. As I'd suspected, my thoughts were correct. “A bit, as to why, I have no clue.” I make a mental note to breach the topic later. 


I find Anna sitting on the rooftop balcony of her alchemy tower, looking out over the lake and at the mountains in the distance. With a sigh I sit down next to her and we sit in silence for a few moments. “The iliac bay is beautiful this time of year…” Anna says abruptly, to who she’s talking to exactly, to me or to herself, I’m not entirely sure...I look at her as she continues staring out at the scenery with a blank but slightly sad expression on her face. “Anna?” I ask, and she looks at me “Are you homesick?” 


With that question I may as well stepped on a landmine. Anna’s eyes well up with tears and she nods slowly, whimpering  before bursting  into sobs...Poor thing. I hold out my arms as a silent way of saying “I’m here if you need a hug” and Anna crawls over and into my lap. “Do you want to visit your parents?” I ask carding a hand through her hair and get a sniffle and a soft “uh huh” in reply as Anna buries her head against my shoulder and continues to cry.


We stay there for some time, Anna and I, sitting on the balcony of the tower. Continuing to sob, Anna clings to me as I sit quietly allowing her to cry, attempting to calm her down, and occasionally asking a question or two. For the most part, I just sit there running a hand along her back as the other keeps her stable and look around at my surroundings. The midsummer nights allow us to stay there long after it would have normally gotten dark. 


Eventually, Anna falls asleep from exhaustion, or normal tiredness, or perhaps a combination of both. My attempts to wake her are futile, nor do I have the heart to want to wake her. Instead I simply pick her up and carry her back downstairs. I place Anna carefully on the bed, making note of the time and plan to wake her in half an hour. As Anna sleeps, I call her parents and inform them that she misses them quite a lot, and would like to come visit, as usual, they’re quite happy about the possibility. 


“Hey, you, wake up.” I gently shake Anna’s shoulder and she opens her eyes sleepily. “You fell asleep up on the balcony. Do you want anything to eat? Have you had dinner?” Anna shakes her head. “No as in not hungry? Or no as in I haven’t eaten dinner?” Anna responds to the second one and sits up sleepily. 


While it isn’t much, Anna downs a couple of pieces of toast and a glass of water, along with her medication. Not exactly a full meal, but better than nothing. Having finished Anna returns back upstairs and flops on to the bed. “If you’re going to go to bed you should probably take a bath first, or at least just change your clothes?” On that note Anna rolls over with a slight groan “right, forgot about that.” She gets up and trudges over to the dresser, getting her clothes and going to take a bath. The door closes for a moment before opening again “Um...would you mind helping me?” Anna sheepishly asks, poking her head out. “Get undressed? Eh why not, it’s not like I haven’t done it before.” I reply and Anna opens the door “Buttons are hard...“ she mutters closing it behind her. Fine motor skills, apparently a skill in need of quite a bit of continued work. 


“You’re right, these are difficult.” I murmur fiddling with the buttons on her shirt before eventually getting it undone, after that it comes off easily. Having gotten undressed the rest of the way herself Anna climbs into the bath and spreads out with a sigh “You know, despite the heat, a warm bath is quite nice.” She remarks with a slight smile. “So, why have you been so homesick lately?” I ask leaning against the wall. Anna shrugs “Not entirely sure. Do you ever have those moments where you’re like ‘fuck, I really miss home!’ Or is that just me?” I cross my arms “I doubt it’s just you, but considering home is never too far away, considering whiterun is situated in the middle of the country, can’t say I’ve experienced it myself. Valan probably does though, he was wondering about you earlier today when I ran into him.” Anna nods “you’re probably right, I’ll have to ask him.” She says swishing the water around. “On a different note entirely...get out, I’m going to get dressed.” And on that cue, I take my leave, closing the door behind me to allow her some privacy. 


After getting dressed Anna writes a note to ask Valan about what he does when he misses home and leaves it on the bedside table for tomorrow before crawling into bed and promptly falling asleep again. I on the other hand, stay up for about an hour longer before going to bed. 


From what I remember, Daggerfall is quite a nice city, though I’ve only visited a few times with Anna. In a way, it reminds me of Whiterun, but far larger, and situated right on the Iliac bay. If you squint while on the docks, you might be able to very slightly see Hammerfell across the bay. I sift through memories as I lay there waiting for sleep to take me. 


When I wake up in the morning I find Anna curled up against my side, but already awake, if barely. “Did you sleep ok?” I ask carefully picking her up and placing her on top of me, I get a sleepy nod in return. “Still sleepy?” Another nod and she closes her eyes again. I glance over at the clock, it’s only quarter past six...we must have been up until nearly midnight with how late the sun was out. “You can go back to sleep, you know.” I tell Anna, moving a stray piece of hair away from her face. Anna makes a small noise and her entire body seems to melt against me, no pun intended with the heatwave, and promptly goes back to sleep. I set the alarm for nine and close my eyes again, even if I don’t necessarily sleep, the additional rest is nice.


Anna wakes up promptly at nine o’clock, a few seconds before the alarm in fact and turns it off quickly. “I really hate that noise, you know.” She says turning it off. “Why? Because it means you have to get out of bed?” Anna nods with a small smirk “Precisely”. 


It takes a little more than a week before we arrive in Daggerfall, including packing time and negotiating with Aelas mother to very generously babysit for Sofie and Runa, though I’m sure those two are more than fine on their own given their past circumstances. The city is much as I remember it, if not the same. Anna’s parents as always are happy to see us, and are very gracious hosts. Anna seems to enjoy herself, and we run into some old friends while we’re there. Overall, the trip is a success in all accounts. 


“So, feel better since we went to visit your parents?” I ask Anna one night after we had returned. Anna nods sleepily and moves closer toward me “It’s nice to know the city hasn’t changed much while I’ve been gone.” She says leaning her head against me and closing her eyes, but then lifts her head up again and looks at me “It must be sad- not having parents…” she murmurs. I shrug “What I think is if you never knew them, it’s not quite as sad. Besides, Aelas mother, Tilma, and the rest of that lot became a sort of makeshift family, it’s the least they could do- really.” Anna tilts her head curiously “Do you miss your parents?” She asks, I shake my head “Never knew them, like I said. So, no- I don’t.” I explain, we’ve had this conversation before. Anna stares at me for a moment, before turning her head to look out the window “The iliac bay is much prettier than whatever lake that is.” She says with a slight disgusted tone which makes me chuckle slightly. She looks back at me then “what? It’s true!” She says throwing her hands up. I pat her head slightly “I know, I know,  the bay is very pretty, with the Direnni tower, too. Skyrim is mostly woods, tundra, and plains or mountains- great if you like the wilderness, not so much if you’re more metropolitan.” I say with a smirk “And considering you started running the other way the first time you saw a skeever- I would put you in the second category.” Anna huffs and sits up “They’re basically giant rats! Who likes giant rats? Not me!!” I think the combination of sleepiness and mild opinionated annoyance masks to her that I find this entire conversation to be rather hilarious. “Alright, enough about the wilderness and giant rats and lakes- time for bed.” I wrap her in a tight hug and lay back down, Anna becomes quiet and closes her eyes- but not before one more sarcastic comment. I must admit- I’m not surprised. The earlier conversation does make me think though, I must admit, and having thought about it more I stand by the notion that it really does take a village to raise a child, or children in the case of twins. It’s understandable, the questions, but it does make one think about their circumstances. 


Sometimes I wonder how it is Anna truly ended up in Skyrim, it’s a harsh and unforgiving land, with its fair share of harsh people, if not downright evil ones. It’s easy to see why she would long for home in a place that’s about as open to outsiders of any kind  as The Camonna Tong is to non Morrowind natives. While she’s adjusted well overall, homesickness is certainly understandable. And with that thought late at night I finally fall into a deep and dreamless sleep.