Can I Meet Him? (jp: Cuylar, Darrica [NPC]) 2/7
"Do you want him to know?" he asked. It would probably complicate things.
Darrica thought about it, staring at the floor. “I-- I know it sounds stupid, but I don’t want to hurt Sela,” she said in a small voice. “And-- if he knew, she would know.”
"Do you need help?" asked Cuylar. As much as he was angry at his father, he was not going to let this affect his mother. Though he could not, of course, escape the growing prickle in the back of his head about the story his parents told him about his birth mother. It seemed a lot less plausible now than it did when he was young.
The half-nod was reluctant, and Darrica was flushed, still staring at the floor. “People talk,” she said in a small stiff voice. “I don’t-- if you’re a rider maybe things are different but here-- people talk.” She didn’t sound entirely sure what she was asking for except somehow to make it stop. “People aren’t-- they’re not kind to kids born.. Like that.”
"Or their mothers?" Cuylar asked. He reached out to touch her hand again. That was surely a reason they would make up a story like needing a surrogate…
The kindly touch seemed to spur a thought, and Darrica looked up suddenly and bit her lip, hesitating. “You know-- you know it could have been you,” she suggested in a very quiet voice. “If--- if you wanted.”
Cuylar nodded. That would be the easiest way to go about it. As long as they could convince his mother he had been at that Gather. And that if he were drunk enough, he might have ended up in bed with a woman.
And he would be lying if he said he was not having the same thought.
"Have you ever considered becoming a Healer?" he asked her.
“..Me?” She looked at him confusedly. “I’m.. too old, aren’t I? You have to study a really long time for that. And be clever.”
"It's never too late," Cuylar smiled. "And I think you're plenty clever. Would things be easier for you if you and Riccard could come to the Weyr with me?" he asked.
Darrica blushed, looking him up and down. “You mean-- I suppose if you were looking after Riccard then I-- that would be all right--” From the tone of her voice and the way she was looking at him, the part where he wasn’t interested in women was yet to be absorbed.
"I've never had to clean up after my Dad before, but… well. He's been there for me. And I don't think he would have left you alone like this if he knew about Riccard. At least… well. He would have done something," said Cuylar. "But whatever he could do or could have done, what I can do is better."
"I'll tell everyone he's my son," said Cuylar. "And he'll never know any different. I… well, I bet he'll look a lot like me. What do you think?" Leaving home would not be easy. But staying there would be harder.
Darrica was quiet for a long minute, hands still twisting in her skirt. “Would.. We have to get married?” she asked finally.
Cuylar smiled and breathed out a bit of a laugh. Nothing mean-spirited.
"Darrica, I am very, very gay," he said. "We can be good friends. I hope we will be. And co-parents. But you can have a whole fresh start. You won't owe me anything. Except… except maybe one thing. But you can say no."
He was a rider and riders were into.. Odd things. Darrica went very red, her eyes very wide, her hands clenched around the material. “What is it?” she asked in a whisper.
"Riccard," said Cuylar. "Would… would it be OK if we called him Cuyric?" he asked, and he bit his lip, looking just about as nervous as she did.
Darrica considered that very seriously. “He is very little still,” she said after a minute. “I-- I don’t suppose he’d know. And-- it’s good if your name has your father in it. It shows he wants you.”
"Can I meet him?" Cuylar asked with a bit of a shy smile. He was not going into this with fear or hesitation. Ever since he had bonded with Arden, well… He had wished he could have a child of his own. And now, it seemed fate had been content to grant him that wish.
Fate and his dad's insatiable sex drive, anyway.
“It’s probably a good idea,” Darrica agreed. She looked at Cuylar shyly. “Will you tell Se-- I mean, your mother?”
"I will," Cuylar assured her. And he might just tell her a story she could believe a little more readily than the Gather excuse. After all, she would not blame Darrica for concocting a story to save face. "And if you want to start moving your things, you can pack up whatever you'll need while I do."
“..Now?” It had yet to sink in that her life was changing now, immediately.
"If you want," said Cuylar. "I won't make you go all at once if you'd rather stretch it out. But I think it would be better for you if you just take the plunge and go. I don't think your, uh… neighbors are going to be excited to treat you any better after they know it was a rider who fathered him."
That made sense and she nodded. “I’ll have to get Ricc-- I-- uh--” She hesitated trying to remember the suggested name. “Caylic?”
Cuylar smiled and nodded. "Cuyric," he corrected gently. "If you please. I'll talk to my mom, and then I'll meet you… well, actually, where should I meet you?"
“I can meet you at the Infirmary?” she volunteered. “If-- if Sela won’t mind.”
"She won't mind one bit," Cuylar assured her. He touched her arm gently and said, "I'll be with you every step of the way. You're going to be OK, and I'm going to take care of you and Cuyric both."
“..Okay.” When life changed, it changed quickly. Darrica nodded and then stood up. “I’ll get my things. And Cuyric’s.”
"I'm really very excited to meet him," Cuylar said, and his excitement at the life-changing decision he had made far overwhelmed any other emotion. "And to introduce you both to Elphith. I'll see you when you're done, OK?"