The Ballad of Brian (draft)

All the while, Flurry’s eyes held an obvious thoughtfulness about him.  More intent on listening to others than adding his own words.  Brian wanted to sign him up for some holiday organizing too.  Might help him feel part of the community.  But he knew it wasn’t his place.  It might not be what Flurry wanted.

Brian wanted to perform labor for the community because there was labor to be done, and he could help do it.  He wanted to help the community he was a part of.  He didn’t want Flurry to think he hard to earn his way into it.

Aside from his father; and frankly, even his father once he calmed down; he was a Snow Elf, which apparently meant he was to be treated well.  And aside from that, he had no home or even a family of his own.  Non-Snow Elves (was there such a term?  Brian would ask Alvar later) wouldn’t turn him away.

~~~

Later, at dinner, Alvar announced Flurry’s arrival to the whole community.  There was quite a lot of excitement from the older Elves, and much admiration from the younger Elves.

[describe announcement? along the lines of “my dear grandson has been blessed with a companion from the great goddess Bliza” or something like that]

[turn into a scene later. have brian be surprised they organized so quickly and huffy that nobody asked him to help]

[also i’m starting to think that this should be from flurry’s POV??? especially with the ending i have in mind]

[basically, Flurry wants to go traveling and while he wants to travel *with* Brian, he knows Brian is trying to establish himself. plus he’s still feeling a little anxious about being rejected earlier (he has like 3 memories and brian running off is one of them)]

“Oh, there you are!” Brian said, having found Flurry at last on the balcony.

It was a full moon with many stars out that night, yet despite such beauty glittering in the sky, Flurry was gazing out into the world.

“I’m sorry about them,” Brian said. “It’s embarrassing, having everyone fussing over you all the time.”

“Really?” Flurry signed. “It was kinda nice, actually.  I can see why you want to help everyone so much.”

“Really? You actually like that kind of thing?” Brian asked.

“I don’t remember having anyone fuss over me before,” Flurry signed, and then started fiddling with their scarf.

“No one? At all?? Not even Bliza???”

Flurry shook his head, “Not that I remember.” He then turned around. Away from Brian.

Brian leaned over the railing.  As much as he wanted to know more, if Flurry wasn’t up for speaking right now, and especially on such a topic, he’d respect that.

“We can go inside, if you want,” Brian thought of Flurry’s hands, in particular. “It’s pretty cold tonight.”

“It is? Oh.”

“No, wait, I didn’t mean we had to go back in.”

Flurry stopped, watching him.

“I’m just saying,” Brian clarified, “if you wanted to…”

“You can go back in if you want,” Flurry signed. “You need to be warm, I don’t. I think…”

“You think?” Brian asked. Maybe some people needed others fussing over them.

“I don’t know. I don’t feel cold…”

“Why don’t we both go back in? Until we know for sure.  Just because you’re a Snow Elf… Well, there is such as thing as it being too cold to snow.”

Flurry considered it.

He eventually nodded, then followed Brian in.

That night, Brian watched as Flurry stared at the ceiling.  They were both in bed, and Brian was ready to sleep.  He imagined Flurry felt the same.  But there were clearly a lot more things keeping Flurry up than Brian.

Flurry left the bed.

“Are you okay?” Brian asked immediately.

He couldn’t see what Flurry signed.

Brian snapped the lights on.

Flurry’s eyes remained shut and covered under their arm for several minutes.  Brian winced.  If Flurry wasn’t feeling well, they weren’t feeling any better thanks to him.

“I’m going to sleep in my room tonight,” Flurry signed, once their eyes adjusted. Hopefully. Brian hoped Flurry wasn’t powering through for his sake.

“Is it something I did?” Brian asked. “We don’t have to talk about it right now, I just want to be thinking about, if I did.”

Flurry’s silence and avoidant gaze was all Brian needed to know.

[add part about Conrad and the housekeeping staff having prepared a room for Flurry… somewhere]

[writing is all about having pieces of a puzzle and making the pieces that connect them. or noting that you have missing pieces and working on a different section of the puzzle]

The next morning, Flurry didn’t show up for breakfast.  Conrad said that they’d elected to take it in their room.

Brian tried to go on with his day as normal.  Maybe Flurry needed space from all the people at dinner?  A lot of their Human guests weren’t used to having communal meals either.  Not ones where everyone intermingled like Elves did.

Every word Brian heard about Human schools made him shudder.

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