for [ profile] mini_nanowrimo

Totally not what I was intending to write today, but Crowther and Iros were talking, and Turnspit heard it. A wee bit graphic at the end.


Turnspit woke in the night, chill despite the layered blankets. Iros was not beside him, but he could hear voices talking in the night. The aughisky and their dislike for open flame meant it was colder than he wished, as they had laid no fire. He snuggled deeper in the bedroll, and listened as he waited for sleep to claim him.

"So, what will you say to the Brewster?" Crowther said.

"That Turnspit is my Dog."

"And you think your Lord will take that, and accept a murderer at your heels?"

It wasn't murder. Turnspit wanted to yell. Even Lord Brewster said I had been wronged, that they were wrong... but she sent me to the clockwork anyway...

After a moment, Iros replied, "I ride with a Slew. Magpie owns my allegiance, not the Brewster."

"But your Slew rides for the Brewster."

"And for the Stormbringer. I could always appeal there, if Brewster is difficult."

"You aim high. Stormbringer would be Prince, if the Queen came back."

Iros snorted at that. "Maybe. Stormbringer certainly would like to be Prince. But I was born on the holding, so I have a connection, and many of my Slew overwinter on there."

"You'll get sympathy?" Crowther sounded dubious.

Iros snorted again. "The Lord Stormbringer has no sympathy. Justice, reason, and the hard road are all one looks for there."

Crowther went 'hmmm'. Turnspit didn't feel any more confident. Everyone – every human – spoke of the Lord Stormbringer as if he were a monster in the cupboard. And the aughisky barely spoke of him at all. He did not want to have to appeal to that Lord, if the Brewster did not accept Iros' claim on him. I wish I knew more of aughisky custom; if there is any law we can use to stay together...

"My reasons are good. Turnspit is my Dog, a good Dog." Are you trying to convince Crowther, Iros, or yourself Turnspit thought. He knew he wasn't an ideal companion for an aughisky, or even a very good one. He was an alien, a war-captive, and a condemned man, and now Crowther was pointing it out.

"He's prone to illness. Weak. Spavined. He's keeping us slow."

"Lurcher isn't much faster. It's just the winter idleness; they'll work it off." Iros paused, then went on, "Turnspit isn't weak. He's brittle, like branches in winter; he'll be better with the spring."

"A lot of faith in a Dog that is barely more than a feral. I'm amazed he ever ate from your hand. You made a ridiculous choice in him. Male, brought from the Wild, and full of clockwork. A more inappropriate selection I can't imagine," Crowther chuckled.

"He's like snowmelt to me, like a well that never dries. I could be a raven before, flying on the wing, and knew the weather. But I was never a horse, could never make the rain come down. I would not give it up to sit at the feet of the Queen come again."

"Stand down, Iros," Crowther soothed, "If he's strengthened you so, you must keep him, over the Lord Brewster's objection if you must. I wouldn't have chosen a male Dog," Crowther's voice turned merry, "but a cock up the arse once a twelve will calm almost any human male down."

Turnspit winced at that, and pulled the blankets up over his head. He didn't really want to hear more. Would that he could sleep.

Iros said nothing.

"Don't tell me you are not? You two certainly make enough noise."

"Turnspit doesn't like it," Iros chuckled suddenly, "and I certainly don't miss it. He's only shy with others, not with me."

Turnspit wished he had a pillow to hide his head under and stop his ears with, instead of just Iros' folded jacket.


From: [identity profile]

Heh, at least Iros is very upfront about his liking for Turnspit. *grin*

From: [identity profile]

Yes, Iros is. He's aughisky, and pretty guileless when it comes to his relations with other people.

And Turnspit really is modest -- he freaks out if Iros is too affectionate in front of people, especially women. Plus, he's got his home culture thinking imprinted deep; even though he can't remember anything, he still reacts as if he were there, and what he and Iros are doing would be scandalous, to say the least.

From: [identity profile]

I got some valuable info from this about aughisky. Thank you.

From: [identity profile]

Glad to help. I'm trying to reveal things naturally, through the characters. I know this can be a little frustrating, especially because I hop around in time and in who's POV I'm using.

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