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 Knocking on Doors Only to Kick Them Down
Alistar Hund a level Drow/Elf from Alluum

He was beginning to hate stairs. He could understand the whole " elevator's are for the weak." sentiment but this was absolutely insanity. His mother must take some perverse joy in making students climb these wretched flights of stairs, it was the only reason he could think of. He had always thought of himself as athletic, he didn't wake up before dawn to run for the sightseeing. Sure watching the sun come up was nice but so was shaving time off his three mile run.

This was a whole other demon. His legs were burning and while he was use to ignoring it, he could not ignoring this. This burn did not taper of into a dull throb, no it grew worse. He had hoped that his legs would have gone numb but he was not so lucky. Hell even his lungs were burning and the cadence of his breathing was shot.

Sweat had began to form between his shoulder blades and with a angry growl he all but ripped off his cloak. The thing had become constricting the last few flight of steps. Still he had yet to stop, alternating between running and trudging up the blasted things.

Seeing the end in sight gave him the energy to take the steps three at a time. Upon reaching the landing he stood, short of breath, staring at the door to his mother's penthouse. The door was open enough to let a thin sliver of light through. He wasn't really sure if she was even in her room but he knew he was not traipsing down those stairs. He would wait till hell froze over if that's how long it took his mother to get to her room. He hoped she was, it would mean that all the cursing he had done while climbing this death trap of a tower wasn't for nothing.

With his breathing back to normal, he wondered how to proceed. While doing so, a red feather fell from his hair landing on the floor at his feet. He stared at it like it was a foreign being before bending down, the leather straps that kept his khopeshs in place on his back protesting the movement, to pick it up. He really needed to retool them to make them fit better.

Mind made up on what he was going to do, He strode forward. The door it the wall with a resounding crack as he kicked it open before striding through the entry. The feather twirled in his fingers as he took in his mother's facial expression and the rest of his surroundings. Nonchalantly he asked " So what should I call you? Mother, Constance, Assassin Extraordinaire, or should I just make up a nickname for you?" His voice suddenly became laced with rage. He hadn't meant to get emotional but seeing her here just brought all the questions he had as a child up until now to a head. Course it didn't help him any that his imposing six foot four frame was taking up the entire doorway. "Do you even want anything to do with me? Maybe I should have started with that, yeah. You could also answer the question on why you never came around, you're the class head of the erasers but that doesn't mean that you couldn't have dropped by every once in a while. Do you even know the state dad is in? Have you spoken to Arwen at all? Do you even care?" His voice rose an octave " And why the hell does Hangman's Point have so many freaking flights of stairs, goddesses, are you try to kill us off slowly?"

His breathing had become ragged once more as he stared that her and as quickly as his rage had come it left, leaving him drained. He slid down the door frame, pulling his knees to his chest and resting his head on them. " I'm sorry. I didn't want to meet you like this. I didn't want to explode like that. I wanted to have a civil conversation. I want to have a relationship with you. I'm not really sure how to act around you. You didn't directly acknowledge me as your son in my exam and while I'm extremely glad that I have made you proud that little fact still hurts." He let out a bitter laugh, everything had gone wrong in a matter of moments and he couldn't turn back time. A soft strangled cry came from him a few second later as he bit back a whimper. His voice trembled " You must think me weak for acting like this."

@overlord pony . 779 words

Notes: I'm sorry he's having a crisis, originally. he was only suppose to kick the door down and stand there smiling like a jerk. However, he decide to do this.

Alistar is Offline
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150 years
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Male [he, him]
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Constance Dreamweaver a level 1 elf-necromancer from Alluum
The guest room was immaculate. No cobwebs in sight, no wrinkles in the bedspread, the expensive (priceless, really) Anbrian paintings were hung with care; even the gold of the chandelier sparkled. Constance took in the orderly, small room and took in a deep breath. Sometimes, she had to ensure herself that the maid she hired to keep most of her home in order was really doing her job. The woman had never given Constance a reason to disbelieve her – in fact, quite the opposite; the lethargic, one-winged angel had only ever done an immaculate job.

It was just nice to take in something clean; neat; orderly. Martha was only ever tasked with cleaning the part of the penthouse that Constance didn’t live in. It was nice to step out of the lived-in portion of her home every once in awhile to get away from the carpet stains, the mountain of liquor bottles, folders and overflowing ashtrays. Living in a mess had an effect on a person. It wasn’t a good one.

She ran her finger along the wooden doorframe, then glanced at it: clean. A smile spread across her lips; Martha never disappointed. Constance decided that a raise was in order, maybe a few more sessions of tea as well. On top of being an excellent maid, she was an excellent houseguest.

Loud cursing from the stairwell caught Constance’s attention. Evidently, her main door wasn’t shut. Probably her most recent guest. She rubbed her wrists absentmindedly as she walked from the guest room and down the marble hall. It was too early in the day for her to have properly dressed into any of her outfits, and walking around without clothing that weighed several pounds left her feeling strangely lightweight. As she neared the door, she held her forearm across her chest, keeping her pink robe somewhat closed, and she began to lean to the side to look through the crack.

She never did get close enough to discern if anyone was even standing outside when Alistar burst through the heavy door. He glanced at her, then started talking. No, not talking, raging.

Constance stared up him, wide eyed, and drew her robe together while he yelled at her. She barely took in what he was saying. In all reality, she nearly forgot about her own son’s admittance into the academy. She only remembered Arwen’s, which had, admittedly, been much more traumatic for her. Alistar had worn a disguise, kept Constance in the room – Arwen came in as herself, and her mother had left. The present situation wasn’t dissimilar. Alistar gave Constance no time to react, and she was still trying to process what he was doing in her home, yelling at her, when he stopped yelling and slid to the ground against the doorframe. He talked some more, this time, about how he thought he fucked up.

Alistar was almost an exact copy of his father physically, but Constance knew where he inherited the pessimistic attitude.

It took her a few moments. Probably long, drawn out, uncomfortable moments for her son, as she struggled to tie her robe. Her hands were shaking; her body processed the entire thing before her mind ever had a chance. She crossed her arms and held her hands in her armpits.

”If that’s weak, then I wouldn’t be where I am,” she said. Even her voice wavered. ”I—“ she stuttered, then tried again. And again. And eventually she stopped. She knew what she wanted to say. Alistar was blunt, to the point, and by all means, it should have been easier to speak about how she had fucked up with him than it had been to try to speak to Arwen. Their conversation had been tense to say the least. There was no real release of emotion from Arwen or Constance. They had simply floated toward each other, then away from one another.

Alistar, though, he sought her out. He did what Arwen had had too much self control to do. By all means, she should have been able to do something, to say something, but, instead, she hadn’t moved from her spot and still stared at her son with the same wide-eyed horror that she would have exhibited if she had seen her husband walk through the door.

In fact, for a small moment, as he burst in, she had thought he was Xerdonis.

She wanted to explain why she did what she did, to tell him that she knew what she did was a mistake, that he had every right to be mad.

Her entire body felt like it was shaking. Her skin crawled.

”Do you even care?”

She had asked herself that countless times, even though she knew that she cared. If she didn’t, she could have slept at night, she would have never started a hedonistic lifestyle, she would have never tried to repress every thought of caring away from her mind. But, hearing her son, her own son ask that with such hostility; she turned away from Alistar and wrapped her arms tighter around herself. There was no reason to think that the day she met her grown children that they would ask the question – in fact, she had envisioned it many times, but the harsh reality of it left her feeling mostly empty and cold.

She halfway expected tears to come, but they didn’t. She took in a deep, shaking breath, exhaled, and turned back to look at Alistar.

”You can call me anything but Connie,” she finally said. ”Come in.”

Constance turned around and walked toward the grand set of doors at the other end of the hall. She kept her arms wrapped around her sides until she made it to the door and opened it to the lived-in part of the penthouse. The magenta carpet was dingy, and the dark wallpaper sucked in the light from the candles. Her tea table was in its usual state: liquor bottles neatly placed in the center; tins of soft, powdery drugs laid out; manilla folders piled up haphazardly. There was the addition of a deck of cards as well, and clothes strewn about the floor around the table closest to the door that led to her bedroom.

She sat down in her usual chair, behind the main mass of folders, and reached for one of the bottles at the center of the table. Her arm shook as she raised it, and she allowed her fingers to brush the cool glass of a bottle before retracting from it. The tears came then, but not in a drove, just enough to spill over and leave glittering lines down her cheeks. Her makeup from the night before ran with them, and she made no effort to wipe her face.

”Sorry for the mess,” she mumbled. It wasn’t just an apology for the sorry state of her living quarters.

@Alistar Hund with 1149 words

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Alistar Hund a level Drow/Elf from Alluum

"Flying off the handle never leads to anything productive brother, it clouds the mind, and makes those on the receiving end defensive. Brother, patience. You're so cool headed when you fight with your swords....Why can't you embodied that with those that wear on your patience, that try to cast you aside and leave you downtrodden because of our heritage? Think before you act." He had been graced with charisma but he had not been graced with his brother's unflappable calm or his sister's way of defusing a situation. He was Alistar. He was the loose cannon, unable to stand down in a fight. He was the silver-tongued trickster looking for a leg up because he was going to show everyone that he was more than the slurs that were thrown at his face. He was a was a little boy looking for the approval of his mother. He knew who he was at his core and he knew how to hide it. Shore it up with a cocksure attitude and learn to cut to the core with words of malice. Throw them off the scent of weakness. Make them fear. Play with their emotions. Cloud their minds with the vices of their choice.

Shut them down.

That was easy. He wanted to lash out as he looked up at her still form, her standing there in shock. He wanted to say something that oozed sarcasm. Her silence set him on edge. Finally, she spoke and he relaxed, choking down the words that threatened to spew forth in that moment. She turned away wrapping her arms around herself giving him permission to call her anything besides Connie. He chuckled a grin formed on his feature and all at once it faltered. He rose, silent and followed his mother past the immaculacy of the penthouse to a place that breathed life. Granted it was dark, stained, in shambles but in the center of it all was order. His eye’s flicked to the tins, red, purple,white and then to the liquor. Nodal and Ifuru, likely the last was Chak or some other substance. He watched as she delicately raised the bottle of liquor, the waver in her arm and then the tears falling as she placed it back down.

“Sorry for the mess.”

He had yet to move from where he stood taking everything in. He swallowed and undid the clasp that held his Khopeshs, letting them fall to the floor without a care. He said nothing as he crossed the small distance, rounding the table, to where his mother sat. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders his head resting atop hers. “The mess doesn’t bother me. The drugs don’t bother me. The liquor doesn’t bother me. My mother’s tears do. Father use to tell us stories of you. You were always larger than life in these stories and it was what drove me to pick the Khopeshs, among other things. I came here a saw the larger than life version, here in this moment, I am seeing a person and I am not disappointed. I’m sorry for barging in and yelling at you. Mama, please don’t cry.”

@overlord pony . 526 words

Notes: ahh yeah.....

Alistar is Offline
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Constance Dreamweaver a level 1 elf-necromancer from Alluum
Constance felt a tension within herself while she watched Alistar. He was looking around, taking in the disaster of the room – unbeknownst to him, it mimicked the disaster her life had become. Every element of herself was laying out for him to be examined. The drugs – painkillers, chak, ifuru, nadol – were out in plain sight. Thousand oolm bills with her face on them were placed oh-so-carefully next to the lines of inhalants; syringes were also very carefully placed next to tins of yellowish powder and vials of clear liquid. Bottles, scattered haphazardly about the room, but showing some semblance of order atop her tea table. Scattered clothes. Dirty dishes. Stains. Folders.

Drugs. Adultry. Alcohol. Work.

Casanova always told her she had an addiction. Xerdonis said the same thing. In those brief years in which they were happily together, Xerdonis had always tried to save her from herself – to lock up the alcohol, to put away the cigarettes she was smoking in too high of a place for her to reach. It might have worked. It did work for a few years. It certainly worked while she was pregnant.

Her fingers folded in against her hand.

Their apartment was unremarkable, temporary. The carpet, the walls, the ceiling, the cabinets, and counter were all the same uniform shade of beige. Neither of them had ever made an attempt to make the apartment appear homelier – after all, it was only their home during the summertime months between Evercrest terms or holidays.

Xerdonis had been away on a mission, leaving Casanova and Constance alone at home. He was due back any minut—the door opened, and he came in. Exhausted might have been the correct word; even his long, silver hair looked like it needed rest. His dragon, shapeshifted into a miniature hippogriff, trotted in after him.

“Hey, it’s good you’re not dead,” Constance said. He looked up and smiled at her, kicking his boot off to the side. Constance walked from the kitchen to the foyer, then grabbed her husband around the waist. He knelt down to her height and kissed her.

“I love you,” he said as Constance pulled away. She smiled and played with the end of his braid.

“I love you too,” she said. “And our kid says they love you too.”

Xerdonis’ eyes went wide, and his mouth dropped open.

“Oh my gods!” His open mouth turned into an open mouthed smile, and he wrapped Constance into a hug. Over her shoulder, he said, “We’re naming it Xerdonis Junior.”

Alistar dropped his swords to the ground, pulling Constance out of her reverie. She blinked to refocus her vision, then noticed her son crossing the room toward her. Through the mess, around the table. He was quiet, and moved without any haste, without any of the anger she had seen from him before. It made her nervous, uncertain of his motives, and she became aware of her trembling, as if she were expecting a blow.

She flinched away when he touched her, although he harmlessly placed his arms on her shoulders. He put his chin on her scalp. Her breathing intensified, perhaps becoming audible to Alistar, as she sucked in big breaths to attempt to calm her quavering body. As he talked, her breathing became more strangled, and she finally raised her hands to her face, holding them under her eyes to catch the tears.

I don’t deserve this.

She wanted him to yell. She wanted him to scream, to throw something at her, to hurt her in any way for what she had done to him – for what she had done to the optimistic drow that was her husband. She wouldn’t have stopped him.

But, kindness? No, she absolutely did not deserve any kindness for what she had done.

“You should be disappointed,” she snapped, pushing his arms off of her and grabbing one of the bottles by its neck as she stood up. “You should be disappointed that you had to come halfway across the country and be accepted into the most prestigious school in the fucking world to see your godsdamn mother. You should be disappointed that she never… ever…” She choked on her words, a sob escaping her, even as she waved the bottle about. “That she never fucking bothered to come around. That she left her perfect family behind… for what? For this!” She motioned grandly around at the mess.

“I don’t deserve your kindness,” she spat. “You have every right, every reason to hate me.”

The bottle shook in her trembling grasp, although she made no move to take a drink from it – she had only grabbed it out of habit. She slammed it down onto the table, then glanced over at Alistar, her hair falling in front of her face to only partially disguise her tears.

“Why would you ever want to idolize me?” her voice was much softer, broken; she sniffled. “Look what I did to you. Look what I did to your father. He needed me. You needed me. No story about how ‘great’ Mommy is can fix that! I didn’t even fucking keep his name.”

She wasn’t embarrassed of having a family. She never did understand why she did it, why she decided to make it a secret that she had a husband and children. For years, she had been Constance Hund, until one day she wasn’t, and she played like a happy single woman empowered by her own sense of self-worth.

Ha. Self-worth. How many times had she specifically picked a mission just so she could commit assisted suicide? Each time, she resurfaced, bloody, bruised, broken, but unfortunately alive. Alive so she could eventually have a conversation with her grown-up child whom she had abandoned years prior.

Fuck you too, Annika.

@Alistar Hund with 968 words

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523 years
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Alistar Hund a level Drow/Elf from Alluum

She snapped at him, throwing his arms off of her, and grabbed a bottle of liquor before standing. She was raging but not at him rather herself. He let out a breath, waiting for her to finish. The silence settled around them as he fought to collect his thoughts. He drew himself up to his full height from where he had been leaning across the chair.

“Mother, When we were younger and going to school the kids there bullied us unmercilessly. Instead of blowing it off like Alphonse or trying to find a common ground like Arwen, I fought tooth and nail. I came home bloodied and bruised. I learn how to get under people’s skin and rile them to the point of snapping. When dad started homeschooling us I dove headfirst into the study of the humanoid body and all that it entailed, but I soon grew bored with the routine and started sneaking out at night. I fought for no other reason than the fact that I wanted feel the sting of flesh hitting flesh, the money that came with it was just a bonus. Later a supplier of various vices offered me a job and I took it. The Jackal became my street name, not sure where it stemmed from, but I digress. During my time on the streets I learn a thing or two about reading people. So I’m going to take a stab at you.”

“Like most who are users you’re running from something and I wouldn’t say it’s us, rather your memories. Killing someone must take a toll even if that person deserved to die, they stay with you, right? They invade your dreams, your thoughts…. Casting the world in a shadow? It’s easier to drown it out than to deal with it head on. But unlike most users, mother, you have a fire within you that pushes you forward, to kick and claw your way to what you want. I don’t think you meant to leave us behind in your quest to drown the memories but that at some point you took stock of yourself and wonder if we would take you back. Would we even tolerate you? And on that thought you turned away, unable to bear the thought of us rejecting you because you do love us. You love father.”

He took a breath and ran his hand through his hair. “When I came home after school bloodied and bruised dad patched me up. His first words were always ‘you’re so much like your mother.’ and my younger self never really understood why he would say that. I wasn’t a hero. I wasn’t the one who had helped take down the rebellion. I was a kid who had gotten in a fight because someone had slighted me. I was the dealer that enjoy watching those who had once spurned me beg for a hit. Now, I think I understand but I’ll let you riddle that out. "

@overlord pony . 495 words

Notes: He went out on a limb.

Alistar is Offline
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150 years
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Male [he, him]
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Constance Dreamweaver a level 1 elf-necromancer from Alluum
There was silence. Had her words changed his mood? Was he angry? There was no outward change in how he looked, although he had moved from the chair she had been sitting in. Now, he stood tall -- looking like the spitting image of his father when Xerdonis had been in his youth. When Constance and he had first married and spent that fleeting half a century together before parting.

Death do us part, she thought acidicly. She had, she supposed, died in a way. Constance Hund was certainly long dead, gone with a whisper, her name like an eroded statue blown away by the sheer force of wind itself. If she met Xerdonis that day, they likely wouldn't have even known each other.

Or they would have connected. They could have touched. Held hands. Press their foreheads together, whispering, "I love you"s.

Tears pooled at the corners of her burning eyes and fell. Alistar wasn't exactly like Xerdonis. He had inherited some of her own features -- his hair color, the most obvious -- but his remarkable resemblance to his father was enough to yearn for the man whom she had not seen in over a century.

The silence was broken as Alistar began to speak. He spoke of his school years, of how he had been bullied by his peers. How Arwen and Alphonse dealt with it; how he dealt with it.

She knew she should have expected her children to be picked on in school. Elf-drow hybrids weren't treated kindly by elves or drows; the other races might have been more tolerant, or, perhaps, as children did, they would fall into the habit of spitting mean words at who was different. Constance had no formal schooling, aside from Evercrest, to compare Alistar's story to, but she had taught enough students to have a basic understanding of the system.

It was hardly surprising that Xerdonis would have taken the triplets out of public school if they'd been treated so badly by the other children. Homeschooling... it fit him, actually. He'd always been the caring type, the quiet sort of nurturing jokester, and he had never backed down from mentoring a student. In fact, their combined experience in mentoring had led to their decision to have children. They both knew the risks, that their offspring would inevitably end up bullied and broken, but they had been confident in their abilities to thwart any sort of trouble that would befall their family.

Well, they had been wrong. At least Xerdonis had been, in entrusting her with becoming a parent, a role model. Where was she? The top of Hangman's Point. Wealthy beyond compare, all the power she could ever want, but miserable.

Alistar's psychoanalysis of her was, frankly, laughable. From his starting line -- branding her a "user" -- she had a nasty, thin-lipped smile on her face and she shook her head with every word he said, no matter if it were true or not.

"Killing someone must take a toll," was perhaps one of the most understated things she had ever heard, and, while she did have to admit some kind of truth to the fact that murdering people had a negative impact on her psyche, she knew it wasn't what she was "running" from. The faces in her nightmares, the ones that whispered to her when she was high -- they weren't the reason for "running."

She was her own reason for running. She was so disgusted with herself. Maybe, yes, maybe it had to do with the murders, but it ran deeper than that. There was something deeply imperfect about herself -- even when she had been happy, she still hated something about herself.

Alistar talked about how Xerdonis always said he was similar to her. She bared her teeth in a sneering grin. Just like Mom.

"Xerdonis was, is, right," she said. "There is no doubt that you're my son." She shook her head and pushing stray hairs out of her face. She wasn't crying anymore, but wet trails still stood out on her skin. She pushed herself off the table, swaying backwards, still grasping her bottle.

"You're wrong, though," she continued. "About me. You only know some romanticized version. Some kind of happy person. War heroine. Doing good for her country." She cleared her throat, then upped her voice an octave, "'Why isn't Mommy here?' 'She's busy saving the world.'" She scoffed; rolled her eyes.

"Look at me," she gestured to herself, down at her robe and her bare feet, "do I look like someone who could save anything? For fuck's sake, Alistar." She shook her head and rolled the bottle neck between her palms.

"This all happened because of money," she said. "Oh, there were good intentions, sure, give you all a good life. Try to do good, bring in enough oolms to keep the family afloat." She laughed cruelly. "Well, I got what I fucking wished for, didn't I?

"I can lie and tell you that I didn't have the time, but you and I both know that isn't what happened." She shook her head, tapped her nails against the bottle. Looking back, she didn't even understand her own lack of action. There had been plenty of time to go see her family, even when she claimed that there wasn't. She could have done both -- been a class head and a mother -- but somewhere along the line, she had decided against it, consciously or no.

Alistar had so graciously caught her up on his own life’s story. The thought crossed her mind that she should have been more concerned about her son falling between the cracks, turning into a drug dealer, learning to manipulate people just because he was bored and partially because he had to. A good mother would be upset with him.

She wasn’t a good mother.

"After I became class head, my entire life became letters, talk shows, press interviews, what I would change about the eraser class now that Greenwich was gone," she said. "I was right underneath you most of the time. Just a couple floors down from the penthouse. Too busy." She spat out the words like they were poison. "With all the money in the world, it was easy to make myself feel better about what I was doing to you by buying things. Dresses, tea, alcohol." She shrugged, waved the bottle, then threw it to the ground. It landed with a loud thunk, but didn’t break.

"But, you know what? Those things don’t make you happy. Drugs, though, they probably do, don’t they?" She walked back over to the table and stuck her fingers into a tin of white powder. She pinched it between her thumb and forefinger, and held it up to her face. "They don’t. Nothing makes you happy except for the thing you’ve lost. I wish I would have realized that earlier." She wiped the powder back into the tin, then looked at Alistar.

She opened her mouth, then closed it. I’ve been actively trying to kill myself for the past hundred years, was probably not the most appropriate thing to say, regardless of how she felt.

"You were right about one thing," she said. "I did decide that you wouldn’t tolerate me coming back. It had been too long before I realized my mistake. A couple decades to realize that, hey, abandoning your family is bad, that, surprise! Material things don’t make you happy."

@Alistar Hund with 1246 words

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Alistar Hund a level Drow/Elf from Alluum

She wasn't getting it, but then he supposed he wasn't making the message clear enough. Reading her wrong shocked him, it wasn't everyday that he was wrong about how an individual worked. People were simple, most of the time. but then he usually had time to sit and watch them to get a handle on how they ticked. He had just barged in with his mother case. He was also realizing that his mother was self loathing and self destructive. In hindsight he should have caught on a little faster, maybe that would have helped clear things up. He couldn't say he expected that to be the case but then he had kicked open the door knowing nothing or near to nothing about his mother.

He sighed, running his hand through his hair causing more red feathers to fall. He really needed to work on tying them in better. " Mother, you're not getting it, but then I guess I've been speaking in riddles." He moved towards her and hugged her, picking her up in the process. " When it comes down I don't care that you were gone for decades, even if it was for shitty reasons. I wish it was different but that doesn't change the past. What I care about is finally having a relationship with my mother. Which is what I've wanted for a long time. I am going to forgive and forget, because at the end of the day family is all you have in the world. So stop trying to push me away and make me hate you because it's not going to work. I accept that this is you and all that that entails, so deal with it."

@overlord pony . 283 words

Notes: He's going to love you Constance whether you love yourself or not.

Alistar is Offline
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Constance Dreamweaver a level 1 elf-necromancer from Alluum
Constance watched across the room with a terribly cold, empty feeling in her chest. Alistar sighed. He ran his hand through his hair, and some of the red feathers intertwined with it floated to the floor. They weren’t special, but Constance’s good eye followed their slow descent to the carpet, where they landed silently on brown stains on the otherwise brightly-colored fibers. He was impatient. Indifferent?

She wanted him to hate her. To loathe her until the last breath escaped his body, to curse her until his last days. Her fingernails dug into her palms; she let her gaze drift from the feathers back up to Alistar’s face.

Riddles? No, he had been perfectly clear. In the first moments in Constance’s home, the things that she had barely caught him saying – he cared. Maybe he didn’t hate her, but that, that would come in due time. There was only so much someone could take before they broke, before any last shred of hope they had for someone was gone.

What would be his breaking point? The unsent letters? The adultery? The copious amount of drugs and alcohol that she had to be under the influence of to function?
Just because he didn’t mind at first didn’t mean he wouldn’t mind later. He’d walk into her room one morning, maybe notice that it was freezing cold from her open window. She’d be slumped in her chair in front of her vanity, eyes crossed, mumbling, drooling, naked, lost, and he’d find himself not caring. The shock factor would be gone from seeing her too stoned to move one too many times. Even Casanova’s initial panic had receded into worried gazes; eventually, she would stop caring too. People could only take so much before they had to do what was best for themselves. It was just a matter of time.

She didn’t notice him crossing the space between them; she was too lost in her thoughts. He wrapped his arms around her, and, due to their difference in heights, he ended up lifting her off the ground slightly when he hugged her.

That was an odd feeling. A familiar one, maybe. She didn’t return the gesture. The simple warmth from his body, her very own son, had a profound effect on her. Up until that point, it was almost like conversing with a wraith, some kind of long-forgotten shadow that had been sent to torment her. It could have been a nightmare, one of the surreal ones that she could have woke up from and forgotten; but something as facile as a hug was enough to change the cold, empty feeling inside her to something different. Something that was physically painful.

Constance didn’t want him to hate her.

It was a simple realization. While he spoke, it became even more clear. Perhaps more than anything, he wanted a mother. A real, tangible maternal figure in his life – it was something Constance could relate to, having never had any real ties with a strong, motherly figure in her life. It had been too much for Constance to ask for, but it didn’t have to be for Alistar; however, she knew she could never go back to being Missus Hund. She knew that she could not be the woman she promised to be when she had married Xerdonis; she couldn’t be the mother she promised to be when she told him about the pregnancy; and she knew, even more than that, that she could not be the role model that she promised to be when she held Alistar and Alphonse in her arms while Xeronis cradled Arwen.

The time to hold any real parental relationship with any of her children had passed. They were past that stage in life. She had already let herself down on the promise to “always be there,” to “work together” with Xerdonis to raise the triplets. They were raised. They were adults, all three of them.

Tears welled up in her eyes once again as she realized just how much time had passed. Even to an elf, a century was still a century. Most humans lived shorter lives than that. Full lives. She sat around nursing her depression and tending to anything considered “hedonistic.” It was almost impossible for her to think of anything before that time; a time before the war.

For not the first time, she wished she was a human, simply so her suffering could have been long gone; so her body would be buried beneath the earth or scattered throughout the skies. Perhaps as she progressed quickly in mental age as a human, she would have been able to reconnect with her children before she died. Or maybe she wouldn’t have even made it to old age.

Alistar sat her down, and she wiped her eyes with the back of her ruined hand.
The truth of her earlier thoughts came bubbling back to the surface. She wiped the tears off onto her house coat, then looked up at Alistar.

”You say that now,” she said, ”but what about in a hundred years? Six months?” She shook her head. All he knew was Constance Hund, from stories told by her faithful and beautiful husband. She struggled to put the thought into words, and eventually looked away from Alistar, down at the ground.

”You may think you don’t care about what I do,” she finally said after a few moments. ”You can say you like me the way I am, that you just want to have a mother, but it won’t take long before you do care. Everyone cares eventually.”

She took a few steps away from him. His vicinity to her was beginning to become unnerving; she felt another pang of something similar to pain run through her body.

”Just don’t get your hopes up.”

@Alistar Hund with 970 words

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