04_after: (out of focus)
Quatre Winner ([personal profile] 04_after) wrote2010-10-17 05:52 pm

After Conversations with Dead People; OOM

When Quatre gets back to his suite of rooms at home, it's nearly midnight local time. He changes into his suit of navy silk pajamas quickly, before shutting the door behind him and walking down the library stairs in bare-socked feet (he doesn't turn the lights on, even though the stairway zags back and forth; he's been walking these stairs for 19 years, now).

In the solarium, he spots seven-year-old Janei curled up with a book (The Shadow Maze, so he can't fault her taste) in one of the armchairs, having snuck back out of bed after everyone else left the main rooms. He takes the book gently out of her hands, causing her to stir, and puts the book's ribbon in to mark the place before tucking it into his left armpit. He half-wakes her with a quiet whispered come along in French, and picks her up with a little effort as she wraps her arms around his neck and legs about his waist. In a couple of years she'll be too big for this, but for now he manages to sneak her back into her room without waking her parents.

After he's dropped Janei and her book off, with a kiss to her forehead and a quiet (only half-meant) admonishment, he leaves Wardah and Laurent's suite of rooms, to take the stairwell at the end of the wing.

At the top of stairs, he turns left down a side-hall and ends up at a door with a whiteboard, which is currently empty except for a collection of lyrics from Cheche’s favorite song of the moment.

He raps on her door, and settles back to wait.

It only takes Cheche about a minute to open the door, dark hair pulled back into a sloppy ponytail, wearing her pajamas and reading glasses.

She takes a brief look at him and grabs his hand, dragging him into her dimly-lit front room.

She closes the door behind them.

Her hand drifts up to his face to get a good look at him once they’re standing inside, and her mouth turns down slightly with concern. She pulls him into a hug, which he returns gratefully.

"Are we going to need tea?" she asks to his neck after a minute.

Quatre shakes his head, slightly, and pauses. "Maybe white," he says, changing his mind, and lets her go.

He sits on one of the barstools by the counter, and watches her ready the teapot. As she's adding the leaves, he says "Have you — ever wondered if Father loved you?"

"Quatre...." Cheche turns to glance at him, and bites her lip slightly before glancing back at the pot. "I think he loved me," she starts, quietly, "but because I was his daughter. I don't really think he knew me, or really any of us younger girls. I think — maybe he thought he knew you, but I don't know if he did." She turns, now that the tea is brewing, to look at him better. "Why?"

"I – had a dream," and he can't quite look at her. "We were talking and – he was angry, Cheche, he – he was right, I mean, but – he was so disappointed."

She rounds the edge of the counter, and pulls him off of the barstool into a tight hug; Quatre returns it, and after several moments lets himself start to quietly cry.

It's all right, with Cheche. She's the only sister young enough that they really grew up together, that their relationship is really that simple.