Minor Details

Maurice sighed. Just what the situation needed. More magic.

"Saw them, looked at them and left them behind. Strange but they didn't seem to be all that dangerous or interesting."

He wondered if it was too late to pretend that none of this was happening and go do some more hunting.

Kevin tore his eyes away from the water yo give Maurice a sharp look. His gaze slipped over the four of them and he fell into a smirk. "Not in themselves, no. I highly doubt a pixie will burst from any of them and try to eat your face. Nor do I expect them to turn out to be more useful than ordinary flowers. The timing and fashion and oddity of them, though, is troubling. I understand Mary has finally begun labor this morning. Are you aware that Portia refused a healer?"

Harold's brow furrowed deep at that last question. So Mary was suffering for Portia's ego after all. "No. I wasn't." His tone rang with stifled anger, not at the man before him, but the woman who had been barring him from keeping his partner safe. He stole a glance back the way they came, towards the daffodil circumscribed home. But what could he do? Suddenly shove a midwife through the door and demand her admittance? "What else are you aware of that we prob'ly aren't?"

Kevin snorted with amusement. "A great many things. On the subject of things that actually relate to this subject, not much, I expect. I've been trying to decide if it's worth jamming my staff in the door to see what she's hiding, or if we're all better off waiting until she actually asks for help. Mary will need help, of course, eventually, even if everything somehow unexpectedly goes well. The rub is in trying to decipher women, which never gets any easier, no matter your age or power."

Apparently, Fionn's feet hadn't been following his mind's reasoning: Upon the elder mage's command, they stopped, nearly causing the young mage to overbalance.

Feeling warmth begin to creep into his face, Fionn took a slow breath before slowly turning back towards Kevin's perch.
He listened to Maurice's reply - and felt a frown beginning to appear on his face as the elder mage smirked. The frown deepened upon hearing the information Kevin was passing on and Fionn nodded slowly to himself when he thought about Portia's refusal of admitting a healer. "So that's why the old bat..." he murmured to himself.

Harold's anger brought Fionn's attention back to the present and he threw a quick glance at the militiaman before returning his gaze to Kevin. While Harold's words evoked dry amusement in the elder mage, Fionn felt a stab of... amused annoyance. The annoyance quickly evaporated, though, as Kevin responded with surprising candidness, sharing his thoughts and worries.

"Are Portia's wishes more important than Mary's safety ?" Fionn asked, partly of Kevin, partly himself. "Had I known that there's neither midwife nor healer there, she'd have had to do more than slam the door in our faces to keep us out. By the time she asks for help, the situation might very well be beyond help. Mary might be beyond hel--" With the faint, clicking noise of teeth hitting teeth, Fionn fell silent. Moron! The plan had been to calm Harold down, not stir him up even more !

Vincent silently shrugged at the suggestion of him getting indoors. And while the others moved away from the curious flowerbed, their aloof companion slowly made his way after them.

So it was with a purposeful delay that Vincent brought up the rear and joined the conversation. The look on his face gave away his opinion on the matter, You should have let me try..., but he remained silent.

"Margaret has made it quite clear to me that birthing is women's business." Kevin was obviously not pleased with this, and he turned back to the water. "My interference is not welcome, no matter the circumstance, until asked for. Hannah didn't want to press. She said, and I quote, 'Portia has a good head on her shoulders'. Our esteemed healer is convinced she will be summoned when she's truly needed." His opinion of that was equally clear, disdain heavy in his tone.

"No one else who lives in the house is in there with them, you know. All of them are out, working on something, even Richard, and wouldn't be persuaded to go back. If that isn't suspicious, I don't know what is."

"From what I've been told," Fionn began keeping the males from a household away is a time-honored tradition... but keeping away everyone, on the other hand..." The stocky mage shook his head and fell silent for a couple of breaths.
"Portia seemed strangely worried." Fionn added slowly, before looking at Harold, seeking confirmation "Though I'm not terribly familiar with her, I'd expect someone so worried to have a healer in the house for the birthing..."

"A week ago, I overheard Richard saying he wanted to be in the house for the birth. He was worried about Mary, said she didn't seem quite right, so he wanted to be on hand in case anything went wrong and he might be able to help. At the time, it was his understanding Portia would allow it, as would Mary herself." Kevin scowled a little. "This morning, he has no interest in being there."

Maurice shrugged.

"Well I'm torn. I'd kinda prefer to drink more cider or..." and he twists his lips as he gives a sideways look at Vincent wondering just how he'd go about getting them inside.

"..or asking Richard what he knows." he finishes rather lamely.

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