mnt_raph: (Default)
[personal profile] mnt_raph
Maintaining a healthy Work/Life balance isn't easy for anyone regardless of who you are and how you define Work and Life.
If you're Raph, Work is: verb simultaneously defending and protecting two entirely different worlds while somehow managing to keep your efforts as secret as possible from what you define as Life.
Life: noun Abigail.

It's not easy what you're doing. Not the fighting, that part is easy and always has been. It's the lying and sneaking that seem to be getting to you. You remind yourself you do it because you have to. You do it to protect her and her world. You do it because the lie that brings a smile is so much better than the truth that usually results in screaming, and not the good kind. You do it because you love your Life.

But somehow even that doesn't change the fact that every day it gets harder and harder to maintain the lies. The stress of maintaining them builds and builds and you often find yourself wanting to pull your hair out and scream. Then you laugh and remind yourself, Good thing you're bald. Then you do what you always do and push the frustration down deep inside. You use it to fuel just one more all night scout mission or just one last after-hours Security shift, until you've all but burned yourself out entirely resulting in yet another day of you still being in bed even though it's well past lunch.

Date: 2008-11-19 06:47 pm (UTC)
the_lioness: (Mischievous)
From: [personal profile] the_lioness
Fresh from a mandatory training session in the new open-air court they'd built for the Riders last year, Grace and Jamie tumble into the main hall, while Thom follows at a more sedate pace, mentally reviewing the sword forms Alanna had just shown them. Distracted, he leaves the door open. Alanna shuts it firmly, smiling at the back of his head.

"Go on in," she tells them, glancing at the sweeping staircase that dominates the entrance. "I'll see if your Uncle Raph plans on gracing us with his presence before nightfall."

Judging by the drawn curtains and cold candles in his room, the answer to that question is no. Alanna rolls her eyes in the darkness, sneaks inside and very carefully stretches out on the edge of the bed beside him, hands folded beneath her head.

"RAPH!"

She braces herself for the inevitable flailing.

Date: 2008-11-19 07:01 pm (UTC)
the_lioness: (Sly)
From: [personal profile] the_lioness
Excellent. He's up!

Alanna grins as she crawls to the edge he'd just thrown himself off in a spectacular mess of bedclothes and fists, and peers down.

"Mithros, why did you do that? It can't be good for your back."

Date: 2008-11-19 07:11 pm (UTC)
the_lioness: (I'm watching you)
From: [personal profile] the_lioness
Good thing there isn't a lady present.

A quick reach down to pat what she thinks is the top of his head and Alanna returns to her former position, wiggling to make herself comfortable.

"Be glad. I could've let the triplets loose in the room. You know what they're like after they've been outside all morning. Wolves are more civilized."

It's a subtle reminder that the day is moving on without him.

Date: 2008-11-19 07:31 pm (UTC)
the_lioness: (Hunter)
From: [personal profile] the_lioness
Alanna continues, untroubled by his muttering.

"Your only salvation was that I thought Abigail might be here." Beat. "How is Abigail?"

Date: 2008-11-19 07:41 pm (UTC)
the_lioness: (I am up to something)
From: [personal profile] the_lioness
And out of sight. If he tries harder, maybe his general aura of menace will reach Alanna and give her pause, but probably not. She considers herself impervious.

"Ah," she says, lips twitching. "Well, someone has to step in and make sure your side is adequately pained. I'm only too happy to oblige. One moment. I'll find something sharp to poke you with."

Rustle, rustle.

Date: 2008-11-19 07:58 pm (UTC)
the_lioness: (Aloof)
From: [personal profile] the_lioness
Alanna, who hadn't really moved much, raises an eyebrow as she takes this in.

"Are you ill?" she asks calmly.

Date: 2008-11-19 08:45 pm (UTC)
the_lioness: (Calling your bluff)
From: [personal profile] the_lioness
A shrug.

"The day was in danger of being over before you ever got out of bed. In my experience, that means you're either sick or sulking. In some rare cases, both."

Date: 2008-11-19 09:09 pm (UTC)
the_lioness: (Yeah right)
From: [personal profile] the_lioness
"Because we're accustomed to shouting the place down all night long," she says wryly.

Why must men scratch so? It had been one of the hardest parts of pretending to be male. That, and maintaining the fiction that she could pee standing up.

"Well, you're up now. I was hoping for a word before I left."

Date: 2008-11-19 09:33 pm (UTC)
the_lioness: (Champion)
From: [personal profile] the_lioness
"By choice," she snorts.

Standing, Alanna wipes her hands on her dusty breeches and turns serious.

"I might be gone a while, this time. We're hunting big game. Adam and Myles are due to take the children to Corus next week, then to Pirate's Swoop for the summer training camp. I'd feel better if I could leave Olau in your hands."

Date: 2008-11-20 03:27 am (UTC)
the_lioness: (Neck)
From: [personal profile] the_lioness
Monsters she wants to say, but doesn't.

"Anything that looks wrong."

In every sense of the word.

"And I have another favor to ask," Alanna adds.

Date: 2008-11-20 06:02 am (UTC)
the_lioness: (calm)
From: [personal profile] the_lioness
Next time, Alanna will be more considerate and splash it on his face for him.

"Until they leave, if you're with the children and something happens, will you take them to Milliways?"

There's no particular urgency behind the question; her tone is even, relaxed. The lip biting, however, is an old tell.

Date: 2008-11-20 09:25 pm (UTC)
the_lioness: (Flat look)
From: [personal profile] the_lioness
"Something dangerous," she replies, low and tense. "In whatever form that takes.

"Will you?"

She holds his eyes.

Date: 2008-11-20 09:42 pm (UTC)
the_lioness: (Calling your bluff)
From: [personal profile] the_lioness
Alanna's expression doesn't change for a long moment, then she grins.

"I knew I could count on you." She walks to the window and idly flicks a curtain aside. "What about Abigail?"

Sneaky Alanna is sneaky.

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