08.29.3013: A Childish Argument
Summary: Ellinor and Nikomachos have an argument about children.
Date: 29 August 2013
Related: Follows shortly after Hostiles on the Lakeshore
Nikomachos Ellinor 

Ellinor and Nikomachos' Apartments, Royal Tower, Landing
The main room of the small suite is centered around a large vidscreen on one wall and wide windows overlooking the northern coast of Landing on another. A couch and a pair of chairs are turned to face the vidscreen, and the remaining walls are lined with shelves of books and films. On the opposite wall from the vidscreen is a pair of double doors leading into a study that has evidently been a little crowded by the addition of another person to the quarters.

A double-sided desk runs down the center of the study, and the left side of the room includes a map of the Haven System with a red drake for a sun and an armor rack holding a draconic suit of Defender Armor. The far wall from the door holds an extensive weapon rack including spaces for several swords, a series of daggers, and a shattered length of tourney lance. That piece of lance is on the far right of the weapon rack, alongside an armor rack holding a gold and bronze fiery suit of Defender Armor. Behind that side of the desk is a painting of the Plains of Ares, the paint electro-treated so that the grass waves as if caressed by the wind.

Beside the vidscreen in the main room is another door that leads back to a neat, tidy bedroom with a four-poster bed, wide windows along the same wall as in the main room, and a walk-in closet and bathroom on the opposite wall.

29 August 3013

Nikomachos was just supposed to be going on a light patrol along the banks of the Great Lake… they even brought along young squires. Of course, the Hostiles make a mockery of plans, and so when Niko returns to the apartments he shares with his wife, it's with a pressure bandage about his temple. There's only a touch of blood on the cloth at his left temple, which suggests that the wound isn't too bad, especially given how head wounds usually bleed. Still, he's in good spirits, already changed into his usual jerkin, shirt, and leather pants combination, "Ellie, you home?"

"I'm here!" Ellie calls from the bedroom. Her footfalls are soft, though still an audible whisper against the floor as she approaches the door to the adjacent room. She pauses within the doorjam, slumping against it a bit with a small arch of her brow. "Casual patrol, huh?" She asks, offering him a bit of a smirk. It isn't that the woman isn't concerned — she is concerned, but it is softened by a touch of dry humor all the same. She is dressed in a pair of light, floofy pants that accent her silhouette and a simple tank top — lounging wear obviously.

Nikomachos turns his paces in the direction of the call, meeting her in the doorway between living room and bedroom. He shrugs a little helplessly at the dry question, leaning in to press a light kiss to her lips, one hand resting on a hip for a moment, "It wasn't too bad. Sol took far worse, although he'll be just fine. We jumped a group of Soldiers hauling shelters from the Great Lake, and then some Scouts jumped us." The hand not currently warming her waistline rises to gesture idly to his brow, "It's just a scratch. Caught a spear to the helmet and the inside of the helmet smashed into my temple."

Ellinor perks a bit as he steps up to her, and the hand at her hip causes her smile to brighten a bit more. She tilts her head up to receive the kiss, and it is returned in kind with a touch of heat in the depths. Then she sobers. "I'm glad to hear that you're okay… Sol came through alright too, then?" She frowns as he gestures to his brow, and she steps closer to give it a look over. She gently touches the skin around the bandaid. "You sure you're okay? You went to the infirmary, right?"

Nikomachos's fingers tighten at her hip at the feel of that heat returned in the kiss, but then loose again as he straightens up, only to lean forward again to allow her to example the bandage, chuckling softly, "Yes dear, I went to the infirmary. Lady Elodie looked me over briefly on the way back, and I was looked at both in Phylon and the Palace Towers. I'm just supposed to stay awake for a few hours to make sure I don't have a concussion." He nods at at the other question, "He'll be fine. Mending for a while, but fine. And how was tea with your mother?"

"Well… usually, that also means no rigorous activity," Ellinor teases him, her lips quirking with a grin. "I suppose you'll have to sleep on the couch." Then she smirks a bit at mentioning tea with Evony. "Oh, neither of us actually had any tea. It got cold while we were arguing again over the whole grandchild thing. I told her that I preferred a surrogate, she reminded me that I will have a closer bond with the newborn if I bear it, I told her she was being stubborn, and we went back and forth for about an hour until I gave up and went for a walk." She smirks. "Why?"

Nikomachos snorts indelicately at the first point, "It's just a precaution. I don't have any actual injuries." And then she brings up the topic of the 'tea,' and he grimaces, nodding slowly, "I figured it might have been something like that." He lets that sit for a long moment, his shoulders tightening a little before he nods, doing his best to let the tension flow out again, "Just curious how bad the day was. And so when you said she was being stubborn, she said the same thing about you, right? Because that's how these things usually go, in my experience. And then after that, things just tend to go downhill rather quickly."

Ellinor narrows those pale green eyes a touch at her husband. "I like that my rational approach to the subject of childbearing is considered stubornness. I shouldn't be off the field for the ten to twelve months that pregnancy and post-pregnancy would require…" She flexes her jaw a bit, crossing her arms at her chest. "She is the one who has no idea what she is asking me to do." Then she tilts up her chin a bit, looking quite, well, stubborn.

Nikomachos shakes his head, "It's absolutely rational. I quite agree." His right hand comes up to brush along her jawline, "But rationally, she's asking you to do something that she's already done five times, right?" He steps back, reaching for her right hand with his left, to start to drift back toward the couch, "I know we should be looking for a surrogate now. Because you're definitely too valuable to be kept off the battlefield." He shifts his feet a little, looking a touch uncomfortable, and he drifts into silence for a long moment as he settles down and moves to pull her to sit alongside him, "Which is why I've been keeping quiet. But there's just something… I don't know, something that feels a little like a rejection… which I know it isn't."

Ellinor takes a step back at his words, blinking a bit. "Rejection?" She asks, a touch of incredulousness in her voice. "Niko, are you trying to tell me that you are taking my desire not to waddle around for months with a giant pregnant belly is a rejection?" She frowns a bit, turning away from him to step further into the room. "I want you to really think about that before you answer," she warns him, a touch of anger in her voice.

Nikomachos flinches at the reaction, "Look, I told you that I know it isn't a rejection, Ellie." And there's him sitting and her standing over him, but he doesn't rise up, instead leaning forward to rest his elbows on his thighs, "I'm just telling you how it feels, just a little. Because it's saying that the war is more important than our child." The Valen-turned-Sauveur keeps his voice carefully calm and even, "But like I said, you're more valuable on the battlefield, and I understand that. Which is why I think we should find a surrogate."

"Then you can fucking carry it," Ellinor snaps off instinctively, though then she breathes out a sharp breath. She crosses her arms at her chest, dropping her gaze away from him. Her nostrils flare a bit, and she releases a slow exhale. "And it isn't saying that," she says with a low-simmering and hurt voice. "Would you take a year from the War just to totter around and wait for a baby to finish gestation and you to recover?"

Nikomachos recoils from the snapped words, his brows lowering slightly. His right hand clenches tightly, "Ellie… I'm not trying to have an argument here." He draws in a long, slow breath and lets it out again slowly. "I don't know. I can't know. And I'm not asking you to do it, Ellie." Frustration paints across his features, and he straightens up out of his seat on the couch, rising to his feet, "I'm just telling you that the fact you didn't even consider it is a little hurtful."

"Why?" Ellinor says, her anger still present in her voice, but not as harsh as it once was. She steps forward a few strides until she drops heavily into a chair across from the couch. Her pale green eyes stare across at him, her jaw tightening a bit. "Why does it hurt you? Our child won't be any less ours… both of our genetic materials, a child that is just as you and me as it would have been if it was in my womb. Why does it hurt that I didn't even consider being the one to bear it?" There is frustration and confusion equally weighed in her words. "Think of how hurtful it is to me that you want me to be stuck here for twelve months."

Nikomachos shrugs his shoulders, "I don't know why, Ellie." He watches her moves over to the chair, leaving him the one towering over her, just the position he doesn't want to be in. Scrubbing his right hand back over his hair, carefully avoiding the bandage around his head, "There's just something…" his hands pinwheel, looking for the right words. "I think perhaps I'm being a stick-in-the-mud Valen, looking for the traditional approach." Letting his hands drop back to his sides, he turns his gray eyes toward her greens, "I respect you as a knight, Ellie, but just like the rest of the people I love, I want to protect you. Perhaps not as desperately as your Mother, because I haven't asked you to carry the child yourself, and I won't. But…" his shoulders rise and fall in a helpless shrug.

"But you want me to," Ellinor says heavily. "You want me to carry our child myself." She looks aside, crossing her arms at her chest as she stares at a bit of carpet. "Fine," she says after a moment. She shrugs her shoulders a bit. "Between Mother's stubbornness and you being hurt… I'm tired fighting every step of the way on this. I'll carry the child, and you can fight the war. There."

Nikomachos shakes his head, "No, Ellie." He moves over to hold out his hands to her, palms up, "That's not what I want. I want you to be the woman I loved enough to bother Father in the midst of his planning a war in order to marry." One foot shuffles out to nudge one of her feet, "And that woman is a knight and a fighter. I wouldn't dare take that away from you, Ellie. We'll look for a surrogate starting tomorrow."

Ellinor doesn't look sated by his words. She looks up as he nudges her foot, and she frowns deeply at him. "Yeah… okay," she says, though her voice is quite disheartened. She reaches up to rub the corner of her hand against her mouth, and then she shrugs her shoulders a bit.

Nikomachos keeps his hands extended for a minute longer, then lets them drop, crouching down into a squat before her. His forearms rest on his knees, his hands dangling idly as he now looks up to her, "I'm sorry. I should have just kept quiet." One hand rises slightly, as if reaching out to her, then drops his hand away once more, "I love you, Ellinor Renna Sauveur. The you who rides into battle alongside me and hunts drakes in her spare time. And I'll never ask you to give that up."

Ellinor lifts her eyes a bit to meet his eyes as he squats down before her. She stares at him for a long time in the wake of his words, and she sniffs hard at the threat of possible tears. She brushes her fingers up against her jaw, tucking a loose bit of dark red hair behind her ear. "I love you too," she says after a moment. "I just don't want you to feel like… our child is lesser because of how we decided her or him to be born. Or that I'm not a good mother because I decide to fight the front lines as long as I can." She shrugs her shoulders a bit, and then she reaches out to gently touch his shoulder.

Nikomachos shakes his head, "Our child will be ours because of our genes, and because we will raise him or her. I know that it doesn't matter whose womb he or she gestates in." At the touch to his shoulder, he turns his head to press a kiss to the back of her hand, one of his hands rising up to rest on her knees, "And you will be a wonderful mother. After all, someone will have to teach our child how to spit and curse." A flicker of amusement breaks through the grey clouds of his gaze, and his lips curve upward at one corner into a dry grin, "Because heaven knows that no proper Valen would think of teaching their child those sort of things."

Ellinor offers a small smile which quickly grows into a laugh. "Yeah… there's a lot more than that, that Valens would never think of teaching their child to do," she gently teases him. Then she releases a soft sigh, reaching down to gather up his hand. She starts to rise out of her chair, crossing in front of it so she can pull him to his feet. "Come on… bed," she say softly to him. "We both need some sleep."

The majority of the tension bleeds out of Nikomachos' body at the laughter, and nods, letting her pull him up to his feet, "Like lift heavy objects, or wear something plain, or drink beer straight from the bottle, or… I'm sure that the Khourni have a full list." Leaning forward, he lifts a hand to caress her cheek and draw her lips up to his for a gentle kiss, murmuring, "I guess that means that I don't have to sleep on the couch tonight?"

Ellinor tilts her head back a bit, and she accepts the soft kiss to her lips. Her lashes flutter shut over her eyes, and she releases a soft sigh of breath through her nose. When the kiss ends, she flashes a smile up to him. "No… I will let you sleep in the bed… this time…" She starts to step back toward the bedroom, leading him along.

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