Unspoken ThingsStarted by Seiko at Oct 19, 2019 6:33 pm
If nothing else, it was nice to know things weren't as awkward between her and Zian as she'd been afraid of. And the boys did deserve to know their father, and he deserved to know his sons, even if things between them never really worked out again. She thought they were both mature enough to be able to manage for the boys' sakes, but the impromptu tea date hadn't ended terribly.
If she could get them to calm down a little about firebenders, maybe the boys might even like him, and if Yori wanted to adopt him, maybe that'd be a good thing. He could use a steady male figure in his life. They all could. Once, that person was Surya, but, well, they'd gone different ways in the end, and now Surya had his own problems.
In any case, she did have to find him. She wandered along the outer boundaries of the palace, her hands clasped behind her, keeping one eye out for Zian. The good news was, he sort of stood out, at least to her, and finding him wasn't as difficult for her as it might've been for someone else. Except maybe his sister... Seiko was fairly sure his sister could probably find him as easily as she could.
Zian was doing sort of a looping patrol around the outer edge of the palace. Sometimes perimeter checks were good, and it kept the guards on their toes because he eventually would catch them if they were doing something they weren't supposed to. Sloppiness would get them removed, as the palace security relied heavily on stopping intruders before they got inside.
He'd made it back to his starting point though, and was just about to head into the main bulk of the palace for a bit to review a few other areas when he spotted Seiko. Mentally, he considered if he could afford to take the moment or two, and decided that he could, since he'd checked the inner areas first today, he had just been wanting to recheck with the newer rotation.
"Hey, Seiko." He greeted warmly. "Were you looking for something?" If so, he didn't want to distract her, after all. But, if he could help, then that would be good too.
He found, after spending time with her that day in the tea shop, that he did actually miss her. That was... not surprising. They'd been reasonably close, and with Yan poking him about a girlfriend it wasn't surprising that he was remembering what they had and missing it. But that was a long time ago, there was a high likelihood that things wouldn't really be the same.
It'd been years, and people changed, after all.
Ah, and there he was. That was easier than she'd been expecting. Or maybe the truth was that it'd happened quicker than she'd been anticipating, and now she had to actually deal with this. She'd intended to, of course. She just... mm. Due to varying circumstances, he'd missed all of their childhoods.
It wasn't really ideal. But they did deserve a steady male role-model in their lives, and she hoped getting to know Zian would help Yori learn not to hate the firebender in him. After all, it wasn't good for him to hate a part of himself, but she was a waterbender. She didn't really understand what it was like for him, and she knew that, but tried anyway.
Anyway, she smiled in response, and then seemed amused. "Ah, you actually," she answered. "If you're busy right now, I can come back later, but I was hoping I could distract you for a bit." They uh, should talk. There were a few things that he deserved to know, if nothing else. And maybe he'd want to hear a little more about the twins after she told him those few things.
Apparently, she really liked talking about them, so filling in some of the blanks and telling him about his kids wouldn't be too hard. They weren't kids anymore. It wasn't quite the same as him being there to know them for himself, but she hoped it helped.
Oh. Well, that was easy enough then, now wasn't it? On the other hand, he had to wonder what she was looking for him for. It was no matter, Zian could probably handle anything that Seiko could come up with. She had a good heart and was a good person. There was little Zian felt he needed to fear from her, even if their relationship never did become what it might have been once.
"Not particularly busy, no." Zian said after a moment, offering her a small smile. "I was going to check on the internal guard postings, but I did do that earlier and I'm probably just being paranoid." So there was that and he could at least freely admit it. It was also something to do when he wasn't working his way through patrols with the newer recruits or just generally running through his own firebending sets to keep himself on the top of his game.
"Something you wanted to talk about? Or something you wanted to do?" He wasn't sure which, but figured it was probably one of the two, just based on context.
Sometimes he needed a sounding board, and it was possible Seiko was the same. Or maybe there was something completely different that Zian didn't know about. Either way, really. Some of the tension in his shoulders did seem to fade though, because this was Seiko.
He did seem to be good at being paranoid. Seiko didn't say that, just smiled a little. For some reason, she was nervous, and she really couldn't tell you why. It wasn't like - well, maybe this would be just a little bit weird. It was what it was. At this point, there was no real turning back, because he deserved to know, and so did the boys. ... twins. They weren't exactly boys anymore.
"Um..." How best to do this. She thought that over for a few seconds, and then just reached out, grabbed his hand and pulled him in a seemingly random direction. Mostly, she was just after somewhere relatively private and quiet they could talk without too much concern of random interference. It wasn't like she had any idea how this conversation was going to go, and besides, maybe it was really just something between the two of them.
Ah, looked like here should be okay enough. She stopped right there, then, taking a moment to mull it over a little. "I actually don't think there's an easy way of telling you this, so I'll just come out and say it," she said. "I hope you wanted kids, because you have two. The twins are yours." He hadn't properly met them just yet, but they weren't completely unfamiliar with one another, at least, and it was a start. "I haven't told them, yet. They think Yori's father is theirs."
But, well, they looked a lot like Zian. They had his eyes, even. It'd be hard to miss it, whenever they did meet properly, and it seemed they could at least get along with each other, so them becoming familiar with one another might well be unavoidable. Besides, he did deserve the chance to decide if he wanted to be in their lives or not, whether they decided to try rekindling old flames or decided to leave it be.
Zian allowed himself to be led away without any sort of a struggle. So... she wanted some privacy or something. He didn't mind, there were certainly some topics better handled alone, and maybe she didn't want the other guards to know her business. That was completely fair.
Eventually, they came to a stop and she was still quiet for a bit, apparently thinking over what it was she wanted to tell him. And... then she finished speaking and Zian just blinked a few times in surprise and confusion. Processing... processing... that took a moment or two to really sink in, but Zian thought that was probably fair since he hadn't even begun to think about such a thing.
And he'd thought more than once that he'd rather wait to have kids because he didn't want them to grow up the way he had. Ah...boy. Okay. He blinked a few times and took a deep breath, releasing it slowly.
"That was... not quite what I was expecting." He finally said first. "But I think... we can manage to work through that." Probably? Oh man. Okay. "The twins are mine." He repeated slowly. Okay, processing was still a thing, but he was dealing with it, he thought. So two of the sons she spoke so highly of, they were actually his.
Well, that was something to make him wonder if she spoke about them to him specifically to give him a window into who they were first. "How do you think they're going to take it?" It was a genuine question, obviously she knew them better than he did, and the time it took her to answer would give him a little more time to process and think his way through this.
It just... he just needed a minute or two, that was all. Then he'd be okay.
She was sure it wasn't. For a while, even she wasn't sure that her guess was correct, but it was the only logical possibility, merely because it wasn't as if she'd had a lot of boyfriends at the time. Just one, and he was it. She'd suspected for quite some time, and then the boys turned out looking a lot like him. Not exactly, but very similar.
"I... not badly, I don't think," she answered, frowning a bit in thought. "Neither is very fond of men. They... have some issues borne of Yori's father, but, just be you. They'll warm up to you eventually." The only really unfortunate thing was, Entei was almost Zian's moral opposite. Takeshi wasn't, but he had learned not to see certain things because his twin was Zian's moral opposite. That was part of the trouble of raising children in wartime. They picked up some interesting traits along the way. It wasn't like she could undo it now, though, and besides, Entei might mostly be morally grey, but he was rarely cruel without reason.
"I meant to tell you," she mentioned, "a long time ago. The invasion of the Earth Kingdom just started moving faster, I completely lost track of time, and then Surya and I were leaving. It's an explanation, not really an excuse, I know." Things should've turned out differently, but hindsight was perfect, or so they said.
She didn't think? Zian was quiet, letting her finish her thought without his interruption and taking the moment to consider things from his side for a little longer. She didn't think they would take it badly, but they weren't very fond of men and had specific father figure issues because of Yori's father. Okay, that... that wasn't great because it certainly hinted that something had gone wrong there. Zian didn't like it, but clearly the situation had already been taken care of.
But they'd warm up to him eventually, she thought, if he was just himself. The good news was that Zian wasn't great at being something he wasn't, so the task wasn't particularly hard.
"It's fine. I understand." Zian said quietly because he did even if he didn't really like the fact that it had taken this long for him to find out. "I just hate it, you know? Because I didn't have a chance to know them at all when they were younger." And that was sad to him, in a lot of ways. Even if he hadn't wanted to raise a kid during the war, he would still have rather known than not and all.
"I look forward to getting to know them now though. And I'll just... take it slow and try to be a friend first." They were all adults after all. They didn't really need a father figure at this stage, and maybe it was better to let them decide if that's what they wanted from him first before he tried and ended up alienating them.
Yes, that was an unfortunate side-effect. Seiko didn't think he'd missed much, but she was probably a little biased, and didn't say it. Things were hard then, and she thought it something of a blessing he'd missed it. Then again, it might've been less difficult if he had been there. Everyone had their own problems back then, and no one had an easy time of it, it wasn't just them, and Seiko knew that.
"That'd probably be the best idea," Seiko agreed. "They're... well, they have issues with morality, I should probably just come right out and say it. Entei does whatever it is Entei wants to do, and Takeshi looks the other way. Probably another lovely gift from Yori's father. He may also still be around, but if he doesn't mind his own business, I'll just stab him and be done with it. I don't think I killed him before." Well, that was something of a question because she couldn't say for sure she didn't. Not that it really mattered. She'd deal with him if she had to later.
"He uh had a penchant for drinking too much and losing his temper. That was part of why I decided to leave. The change in scenery seemed like it'd help the boys heal." And maybe that was all that needed to be said. Things hadn't been quite that simple, but if he wanted to know, he'd ask, she figured. It was depressing enough already.
It'd take time, she was sure. But maybe given that time, someday, they could be something of a family. The war was over, and while its effects still lingered, the overall state of the world was much better. She just hoped Entei in particular hadn't turned into someone that couldn't find a place in a post-war world.
Zian inclined his head slightly, accepting what Seiko said there. It wasn't ideal by any means, but they would see just how loose the morality was and how well Zian could tolerate it. It wasn't his place to try and correct them, and that was something he would have to remember. "Maybe you should have." Dryly. "From the sounds of it, no one is particularly better off for his presence." Just piecing together what Seiko had said so far left Zian with a pretty unpleasant picture of the guy, that was for certain.
"Did it help them heal at all?" It was clear they had a lot to heal from and the Fire Nation probably had a lot of wounds for them both. Perhaps it wasn't for the best that they'd ended up carried by fate back to the very place that they had started out in. He wanted to ask, but he wasn't sure... that it was his place, and he wasn't sure what to ask, exactly.
On the other hand, that statement alone painted a pretty clear picture. "I know it isn't really for me to be sorry about, but for the record, I am. You deserve much better than that kind of treatment."
It would take time, but making friends with the boys was a good place to start like Seiko had said. Probably they had deeper issues with men, probably Fire Nationals in general, and a father figure would go rather instantly amiss given what the last one had done and become. Zian could respect that, having had a less than perfect relationship with his own parents.