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Saga - PT You Must Be Garazeb; or, Dinner with the Trilashas (pre-Siege of Lasan; family humor; mush)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman , Apr 4, 2020.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: You Must Be Garazeb; or, Dinner with the Trilashas
    Era: Saga–PT (pre-Siege of Lasan)
    Characters: Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios (age 21 or 22, as a senior cadet in the Honor Guard), OCs
    Genre: One-shot, family humor, a little mush
    Summary: Zeb, at this point a senior cadet in the Honor Guard, meets his sweetheart’s family for the first time… and everything goes wrong.
    Notes: Companion piece of sorts to Dinner with the Orrelioses, and part of the Lasan Series. Once again, many thanks to @Raissa Baiard for beta-reading and helpful advice. @};-

    A gold-orange afternoon sun hovered languidly over the Gosrrallan Mountains of Lasan's mid-northern continent, casting a lazy glow on the clay-tiled cottages of the mining village of Flowstone Vale. On the front porch of one of those cottages stood Second Corporal Garazeb Orrelios of the Lasan High Honor Guard, his sideburns carefully trimmed and his armor impeccably polished. He double-checked the address against his wrist comm.

    Yup, this was it, Four Maznaberry Lane. Her house.

    After smoothing his uniform vest and checking that his medallion and insignia were perfectly straight, he took a deep breath and activated the door chime.

    Zeb was somewhat puzzled by the sounds he heard next. First, there was a sort of a nervous clattering or bustling sound that seemed to come from an open upper window. Next came an oath in a male voice, probably from somewhere on the ground floor. Then the sound of heavy, probably also male footsteps clomping toward the door, which swung open.

    “ ’Afternoon.”

    Zeb was really puzzled now. Who was this scruffy-looking fellow, and where was Shulma? For the Lasat male that was now standing in front of him —similar to him in size and probably also age, sporting a raggedy ruff of a beard and heavy, scuffed dark gray coveralls—was not quite what he had expected. Though, honestly, he had not been sure what to expect.

    “Good afternoon,” Zeb replied, placing hand over fist in greeting.

    “Guess you must be Garazeb.”

    “Yup, Second Corporal Garazeb Orrelios, reporting for—” He checked himself and decided to go with simply another “Yup.”

    “Chornogar. Shul’s brother.”

    Ah, all right, then, Zeb thought wryly to himself as he replied with,“Ah, er, how d’you do?” He extended his hand, which his interlocutor took and immediately released.

    “Mmmph. C’mon in.”

    Chornogar led Zeb inside to a small, sparse, but comfortable sitting room with a conversation circle and a few chairs. Then, without looking back at his guest, he clomped over to a staircase ascending along one wall and barked, “Shul! He’s here!”

    The clattering sounds from upstairs intensified suddenly. Zeb ran over behind Chornogar just in time to see Shulma’s face appear and disappear at the top of the stairs. “Oh! Zeb—I—I’ll be down in just a moment, all right?”

    “Yeah!—Okay!—” Zeb called out, his heart leaping at the sound of her voice. But before he could do or say anything else, another young male Lasat came bounding toward him from the hallway. He was similar in age and stature to Chornogar but with slightly darker purple-gray fur, and he wore a grease- and soot-splotched apron over his coveralls.

    “Hey there, I’m Chornozod,” he offered, placing hand over fist. Even with the gesture of greeting, Zeb noticed he wore the same gruff expression as Chornogar—literally the same expression, he observed, noting the family resemblance.

    “Garazeb. How d’you—”

    “Good. So, everything’ll be ready soon, the roast prongbok calf has just a little longer, Mama’s still workin’ on the squash fritters, and Papa should be home soon, I think there was some alarm in number sixty-two he had to check out, right, Chorg?” (“Yup,” Chornogar grunted in reply.) “And Shulma’ll probably be down soon, she’s just gettin’ ready, so yeah, just make yourself at home on the conversation circle, I gotta go check the roast, so guess I’ll see you in a—”

    “At least offer him an ale!” called a clear, commanding female voice down the hallway, above the roar of a kitchen fan and the spatter of sizzling oil. And that’ll be her mother, thought Zeb to himself, smiling. Despite the age of the voice, it had the same ringing richness as the one he knew and adored.

    “Er, oh, yeah,” Chornozod backtracked. “Ale?”

    “Yes, please.”

    Chornozod disappeared down the hallway again. With a sigh of resignation Zeb retreated to the sitting room, where Chornogar was now sitting, silent and bolt-upright, at the far end of the conversation circle. Zeb seated himself at the opposite end, still feeling somewhat nonplussed. Sure, Shulma had mentioned her brothers to him before plenty of times—he knew they were four dust seasons older, twins, and miners like her father. And sure enough, they were dressed like miners, and lived in a mining town, and all that. But they were still so… different from her. She was beautiful, soft, learned, refined—and they were… well, more like miners. It was the best way he could put it.

    Then again, Zeb considered, siblings could be pretty different from each other. He and Priska were both Honor Guards, but their eldest sister Zefora was a weaver, their second-eldest sister Signi was a government computer systems administrator in Lira Zel, and of course Shai was Shai. So maybe Shulma was more like her mother, just as he was like his? Not that he would know; he hadn’t seen her mother yet, just heard her.

    But never mind that. The most important thing was, when was Shulma finally going to come down? He could still hear her moving about upstairs; his heart fluttered with each rustle and each floorboard-creak, simply knowing it came from her. Didn’t she want to come down and see him? What was keeping her, anyway? Was it one of those female things? Meanwhile, that charming brother of hers was sitting there across from him, not saying a word and looking as though he was bored out of his mind…

    It was almost a relief when Chornozod reappeared with two tankards of ale. “Sorry about that, there was a little grease flame-up I had to take care of, and then the pastepies almost burnt, and after that I had to go downstairs and broach a new keg, and the roast’s almost done now, just gotta get the firesauce ready, so yeah, enjoy.” He handed one tankard to Chornogar and the other to Zeb, then disappeared back down the hall before either of them could thank him.

    Well, guess we’ll see what effect this’ll have, thought Zeb, as he raised his tankard in Chornogar’s direction. “Health and honor.”

    “Yup,” replied Chornogar, raising his tankard perhaps a millimeter. Then both drank, and there was silence for several moments before Zeb attempted conversation again.

    “So, er… Shulma tells me you’re… er… a miner.”


    “That… must be… interesting.”


    “What do you… er… mine?”

    “Usual stuff. Copper. Tin. Stronch. Quoro.”

    “Er… stronch? Quoro?”

    “Strontium and quorodium, if y’like the fancy names.”

    “Got it.” Well, ask a stupid question, Zeb thought to himself, and there was silence again as each took another drink. Zeb cast about in his mind for what to try conversing about next, finally settling on “Nice ale, this.”

    “Basalt Mountains Brownblack.”

    “Basalt Mountains, eh? I’ve got a commanding officer from—”

    “Don’t care for it much myself, but it’s Chorz an’ Pa’s favorite.”

    “Ah,” Zeb said again. For his own part, he found the stuff quite tasty—it had a rich, nutty flavor—but he didn’t press the point and simply took another sip. So much for that topic.

    What else was there to talk about? Weather? No, not like it ever really changed up here in the mountains, anyway. Food? Definitely not, with all the tantalizing scents wafting in from the kitchen; Zeb’s stomach was already growling fiercely as it was. Shulma? Hmm… worth a try, perhaps. What kind of Honor Guard wasn’t afraid of taking a little risk…?

    “So… your sister.”


    “She’s really… I mean, she’s quite a… quite something.”


    “I’m… very, er… very glad I… know her.”


    All right, scratch that idea, then, Zeb thought to himself as he sipped again. And of course Shulma still hadn’t come down, her father still wasn’t home, the meal still wasn’t karabasting ready, and apparently there was nothing to do but sit there waiting and drinking ale in utter boredom and silence. Some end-of-week dinner party this was shaping up to be.

    Then Zeb heard the sweetest sound he had heard that evening.

    Footsteps on the stairs. And not heavy, clompy ones, either—graceful footsteps and the rustling of a dress. Zeb put down his ale, got up (noticing Chornogar twitch his ear in irritation but not caring), and headed straightway for the stairs. For Shulma—beautiful, radiant Shulma in a flowing, high-bodiced red-pink gown with her ring-medallion in her hair!—was just coming down, smiling like the growing-season noonday sun, and those eyes and those stripes… well…. just…

    “Hello, Zeblove. Hello, Chorg.”

    “Shulma… hey there.” Zeb beamed as he came up to her and took her by the hand.

    “Took ya long enough,” called Chornogar from the sitting room.

    “I know, I’m sorry. I couldn’t find my headache pills.”

    “Aw darlin’, y’feelin’ okay?” Zeb leaned closer and squeezed her hand more tightly. He heard Chornogar mutter something about “you an’ your headaches” but resisted the urge to pound him to a quivering pulp.

    “Yes, I’m fine now, thanks,” she replied, squeezing his hand back. “I think my currents were just somewhat… aflutter at the prospect having you here.”

    “Heh heh, sorry about that.” He smiled and took her other hand.

    “Oh, no worries.” She drew closer. “I’m so glad you are here.”

    “Er… yeah… same…” He pulled her a little closer, and their lips touched in a kiss (aw yeah, mmm…).This time he thought he heard a snort from Chornogar, but he most emphatically did not care.

    And then there was the ratchet of a door latch, a very loud, gruff cough, and an equally loud and gruff “Well. This must be Gazareb.

    Shulma and Zeb separated immediately and spun to face the figure that had just entered. It was a third male in coveralls, this time late-middle-aged, with a graying beard and several white hairs in his cheek stripes. He was staring at Zeb with exactly the same stern expression Zeb had seen on Chornogar and Chornozod—and Zeb could tell immediately that he was—

    “Hello there, Papa,” Shulma said, going over to him and giving him a nuzzle and a kiss on the cheek before gesturing to Zeb. “You are correct. Well, almost, because this is Garazeb.

    “Er, how do you do, Master Trilasha,” said Zeb, placing hand over fist. “Pleasure to meet you.”

    “Likewise, likewise,” grunted Shulma’s father, his face still stern even as he made the same gesture. Tense silence reigned for a few moments as he looked from Zeb to his daughter’s glowing smile, then over to Chornogar in the siting room (whose face was buried in his tankard in an unsuccessful attempt at stifling laughter), then back to fix Zeb with the same stern, silent stare…

    And in that moment, just as Zeb stood there casting about for what to say to that stern, silent stare of Shulma’s father, all chaos broke loose.

    FWOOOOM! came a sudden loud, fiery roar from the kitchen. There was a clatter of frantic activity, a shout of “KARKIN’ KARABAST!”from Chornozod, and another of “What in the Bogan’s own chaos were you thinking?!” from his mother—and thick, acrid smoke began billowing up the hallway.

    “FIRE! QUICK! GET TO SAFETY!” All of Zeb’s Honor Guard instincts kicked in at once as he sprang into action as he hustled Shulma and her father toward the front door.


    “GO! I GOT THIS!” Zeb roared as he pushed them out the door, then grabbed a protesting Chornogar from the conversation circle (minus his ale) and hustled him out the door as well. “HOLD ON! I’M COMIN’!” He tore down the hallway into the billows of smoke—

    —and slammed headlong into a figure tearing up the hallway.

    A middle-aged female figure in an apron and a now rather sooty lime-green dress, wearing glasses and a long necklace of colorful stones, who smoothed her hair, breathed out a long sigh, and spoke in a semi-familiar rich, ringing voice:

    “You must be Garazeb.”

    * * *​

    Once at least some of the smoke had cleared, six hungry Lasat stood attentively around the dinner table. Stretching one hand out over the victuals laid out there, Shulma began the benediction:

    “Ashla of all being, source of all life, sustainer of all living: be in these fruits of Lasan now set before us, that through them you may live in us. By the meat, strengthen us; by the wine, gladden us; by the produce of the land, brighten our eyes.” With a solemn gesture she traced the Triangle of the Warrior, Child, and Fool in the air. “Sovereign Spirit, for this sustenance, eternal honor and blessing.”

    “Eternal honor and blessing,” repeated the assembled company (Zeb first and most heartily of all).

    And with that, they all took their seats on the benches surrounding the table and tucked into their dinner. Such as it was, at least: squash fritters, pastepies stuffed with mixed minced tubers, aromatic gravied greens, the traditional end-of-week wine cordial, and—as the centerpiece—about a third of a roast prongbok calf. The other two thirds still sat atop the kitchen grill in a strange, foul-smelling amalgam of black char, brown grease, and whitish foam, victim of an unspecified mishap (about which Chornozod pointedly refused to provide further details). Fans were activated in an attempt to dispel the burnt smell, opened windows admitted chill but fresh mountain air, and a small, rudimentary cleaning droid whirred about performing its duties.

    Except for disjointed snatches of conversation about the weather, conditions at the mines, and various family members’ experiences during the day, all was quiet during the meal. Almost too quiet, Zeb considered; at his own family’s end-of-week dinners the house was always packed to bursting with relatives and ringing with laughter and conversation late into the night. Shulma and her mother asked him a few questions about his own day at the military academy, and he said a few things about exercises and maneuvers and upcoming examinations—but, as with every other topic, the only responses from the father and brothers were “yup” and “mmmph.”

    Under other circumstances Zeb would have found it all a little awkward. But tonight it came as a relief of sorts; some peace and quiet wasn’t a bad thing after all that had happened that evening. For one thing, he was hungry and only too glad to concentrate on eating. The roast, though a bit on the done side, was not at all bad and was accompanied by a quite respectable smoked-pepper firesauce that went well with the geniper-berry wine cordial. (He made a mental note to report on it to his father; Nerezeb Orrelios was himself an accomplished grill master.)

    For another, Shulma was right there beside him. Beautiful Shulma, eating her supper quietly but contentedly, so happy and at ease among her family members even with all her differences from them. He could just catch a whiff of the scent of her hair—that spicy-earthy-sweet scent he loved, which tonight was combined with a slight smoky tang. And was that her foot he could feel beside his own, under the table…? Well, an Honor Guard knows how to seize an opportunity…

    The rest of the family were chewing silently. Zeb skewered another piece of meat, then stretched his toe over to stroke hers. Karabast, she was soft, like velvoid… He ventured another nudge, this time with two toes, this time a little further up...

    —and felt her graceful toe caress his ankle in return! He jumped and dropped both his fork and the piece of roast in mid-bite, jostling the table so that all the plateware and cutlery on his side clattered noisily—and noticed that every eye at the table was now fixed on him.

    “Er… erm… sorry…” he ventured, gobbling another piece of roast as if doing so would make him invisible. Oh karabast again, they noticed, didn’t they…?!

    Then, of all people, Chornozod spoke. “Oh, did RMB-4 run over your foot?”

    “Er, yeah, that’s right!” Zeb’s face brightened. Whew, that was close! “Yeah, that must’ve been it!”

    “Yeah, sorry about that, it does that sometimes. We really gotta get its sensors cleaned.”

    “Aw, no worries, no worr—” Zeb stopped short. He knew he had just seen Shulma’s mother wink and smile at her father, and her father wink and crack a thin smile back—

    —but then Shulma squeezed his hand and his foot and turned to smile at him through those bright emerald eyes of hers, and it didn’t matter. “No worries at all.”

    * * *​

    Later, after dinner, Zeb and Shulma sat on the back deck, feet interlaced. His hand rested on her knee, and hers stroked his lower arm, tracing its swirling stripes. Together they gazed out over forested mountainsides, inkblack mountain pools, and peaks ascending into starry darkness. Nocturnal birds called watchfully in the distance, and now and then a convor gave a plaintive hoot.

    “Oh, Zeblove!” she sighed, nestling her head against his shoulder. “What an evening it’s been!”

    “Heh, yeah, it’s definitely been… somethin’.”

    “Chorz would choose tonight to spring his latest grilling experiment on us, the silly thing!”

    “Aw, no worries… it wasn’t half bad, really. Nice smoky firesauce.”

    “Well, you’re very kind to say that. Usually there’s much more of it and much less of the smoke.” She smiled wistfully, eyes downturned. “And I hope things weren’t too awkward for you with Papa and Chorg, either. They’re just… like that, I fear.”

    “Aw, they were just fine. Nothin’ I couldn’t handle.”

    “You’re very kind to say that, too. But they’ll get used to you. I think Mama quite likes you already.”

    “Heh, well, that’s awful nice of her…” Zeb trailed off with a sheepish chuckle. He wasn’t sure whether he wanted to mention to Shulma—who at that time had been outside to avoid the smoke—that his first meeting with her mother had been almost knocking her down while barreling back through the smoke-filled hallway.

    “What is it, dearest?”

    “Aw, nothin’, nothin’.” Maybe sometime, he decided, but not just yet. “Just… that’s awful kind of her, that’s all.”

    Shulma relaxed against him. He slid an arm around her, drawing her closer and inhaling the smoky tinge that still hung in her hair. For a few moments they sat together in silence, listening to the distant birdsong.

    “Well, at least we have some nice quiet time together, now, after it all,” she said at last.

    “Best part, if y’ask me.” His voice was a husky whisper. “No offense to your family or anythin’, but…”

    “Absolutely none taken.”

    And they leaned toward each other beneath the mountain starlight…

    ...when suddenly the deck door flew open with a thunk-whoosh and the gruff, stolid voice of an indeterminate Trilasha brother shattered the silence:


    Gosrrallan Mountains: Fanon, first named in Sparks and named after the historic mining town of Goslar, Germany.

    Shulma’s parents and brothers are of course also OCs and have come up previously in Sparks, Light of Lasan, and Shaman, Traveler, Oracle. Her parents’ names are not mentioned in this story, but they are Ormgar Trilasha and Yokheva Barzellati Trilasha.

    Shulma’s prayer is fanon, of course. The gesture of the Triangle that she traces is the creation of Raissa Baiard; see our Lasat fanon post.

    Nerezeb Orrelios, Zeb’s father, is Raissa Baiard’s OC (as always, I thank her for the loan), and his grilling skills are also mentioned in Raissa’s The Beginning of Honor and my Dinner with the Orrelioses.

    RMB-4: Fanon. As is probably obvious, it is a not very originally named GFFA Roomba-type droid.

    pazaak: a card game that comes up in KOTOR, chosen here just because I wanted something recognizable but different from sabacc.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2021
    Ewok Poet, divapilot, Kahara and 2 others like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_dancing] [face_dancing] Delicious, of course!! What a different tone from the dinner with Zeb's family. He's right how everyone in the family has different personalities, but sheesh! Shulma the beautiful and warmhearted in a family of taciturn miners! [face_laugh] Very happy to see this posted! [face_love]
  3. Kahara

    Kahara Chosen One star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    YAY IT'S HERE IT'S HERE! [face_dancing] Been looking forward to reading this one, and it is indeed a breath of fresh air this weekend!

    Liked the lead-in, with the scene-setting of the beautiful landscape, serene and unaware of the minor chaos that will soon commence. :p

    :p Oh Zeb! He really wants to make the best impression on Shulma's family -- she's so important to him, it's impossible not to have some nerves about meeting them. And of course, Chornogar starts things out on a certain note, which turns out to be kind of typical of the Trilasha men. :p

    Yep, a real conversationalist! [face_laugh] I just like the mental image of him sitting there as metaphorical crickets chirp and Zeb struggles for words. I get the impression that Shulma's brothers (and later her dad) are not being like this to be unfriendly, though they don't know what to make of Zeb yet. But it sure does make for an awkward footing to start on! And poor Zeb, all of his attempts to start a conversation with Chornogar fall flat so completely and utterly. I'm sure the weather would have done much the same.

    Aww, it's really endearing how eager he is to see Shulma. And his pondering of the question of why-she's-late, and is it some mysterious female thing? [face_laugh] Those mysteries of the universe! :p

    :D Chornozod has his own charm too, frazzled cook that he is. I love how he's constantly juggling four problems at once. Poor guy, he just wants to perfect that roast prongbok! And of course, just as umm, effusive, as the rest.

    [face_love] Totally smitten! I love how his mental description of Shulma is pretty literally glowing. :)

    Nuzzlecats! [face_love] But whoops, timing... ;)

    [face_laugh] Oh dear. Oh my. Poor Gazareb, I mean Garazeb. [face_rofl] What an introduction!

    :p Yup this is some quality meet-the-family social awkwardness. Finest possible vintage. :D

    [face_rofl] Oh no! I guess at least that breaks the tension -- in a way. :p You know it's bad when Yokheva pulls out the Bogan's own chaos. [face_laugh] And for Zeb, of course his Honor Guard training kicks in and he goes into full protective mode -- though in this case it means a near-collision with Yokheva as he tries to reach the emergency. Oh my. This just isn't his day! But it seems like in the end, no harm was done except to the roast. :)

    :) Even with everything, there's still so much caring and goodwill to go around in Shulma's household. (Taciturn or not. :p) And a slight change of plans doesn't spoil the dinner, though it does turn it to a bit more of a 2/3 vegetarian feast. The blessing is beautiful, and the food sounds delicious even if not as planned!

    Sounds like a proper Redwall meal, Lasat-style! :D

    [face_laugh] Oopsy! Well, there goes keeping it subtle. Subtle isn't really Zeb's middle name anyway. ;)

    [face_love] Yup, nothing to worry about here. Though I think Shulma's mom and dad know something... :p

    So it is, but I think Yokheva can tell he's a good one! :)

    Perfect! @};- I love the serenity and beauty of the quiet night outside as Zeb and Shulma cuddle... and the inevitable (LOUD) interruption. [face_laugh]

    A Roomba droid! :D And kudos to Raissa's fanon and character contributions as well! I'm always so impressed at how the two of you have crafted this 'verse. =D=

    Thanks for sharing such a heartwarming and hilarious tale -- like I said, it's a real mood-lifter. @};-
  4. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh but I have been looking forward to reading this piece since you first mentioned your intention to write it, and it was certainly more than worth the wait! What a fun, heartwarming addition to your 'verse, and quite the moment to have captured for Zeb and Shulma! [face_love]

    Aw, but he is just trying so hard! I grinned such a grin for the mental image of Zeb all fancied up and looking his very best, every inch the Honor Guard at attention trying to make an impression on Shulma's brothers. Trying, at least, which seems easier said than done!

    Oh boy . . . what a chatty fellow he is, and certainly a personality at odds with Zeb's own gregarious family! I don't blame Zeb one bit for feeling so discombobulated. Small talk can already be hard enough when both sides are trying. Just what do you say to that?!

    Aw! Zeb is just so, so in love and it shows! But what a vision he has coming down to meet him. Shulma, as always, is something ethereal - compared to noonday sun and as radiant as light (I loved Kahara's insights here!) - next to her more grounded home and mining family. But she's clearly Zeb's sun too, and his simple joy for everything she is gets me every time. [face_love]

    What an introduction! Oops! [face_laugh] :oops:

    And double and triple opps here! Oh Chornozod, he was trying so hard to have everything Just So, only for it all to quite literally blow up in his face. Bogan's own chaos, indeed! :oops: 8-}

    But Zeb's instinct to protect and his training kicked in here in spades, even if it does result in him barreling Shulma's mother down in his effort to help. What an introduction! Though he feels a bit sheepish about it now, that's going to be a family memory with many chuckles associated with it over the years to come, that I have to imagine! [face_love]

    Just lovely! Again, you are absolute aces with the spiritual side of your Lasat fanons and lore. This blessing was gorgeous to read. =D= [face_love]

    I liked the ambiance you were able to set up here! There's still warmth and affection here, it's just different from what Zeb is used to. It really juxtaposes just how out of sorts Shulma must have felt - and certainly did feel! - when she had dinner with the Orrelioses! And the dinner still sounds wonderful, even slightly singed - I betcha Nerezeb is going to have fun comparing recipes with the Trilashas coming up! Oh, both families meeting, now that is going to be a treat! :D

    My first thought was oh please don't let that be the wrong foot! [face_laugh] But never to fear - even if poor Zeb did end up flustering himself there. :p This was such a sweet, flirty moment - and from Shulma, no less! She too has a mischievous, playful side that really shows itself around Zeb. Which is just how it should be. Ah, young love. [face_love]

    [face_love] [face_love]!!

    Of course Shulma's parents know what's what. [face_laugh] I loved that little glimpse there. That only added to the warmth of the family meal - of which Zeb is certainly fast becoming a part of. Just lovely.

    And a wonderful moment alone for our two lovers as they take a moment just to bask in each other - until they are interrupted by a mystery one of her brothers, of course, which has to be a mark that Zeb has passed whatever very silent criteria he was judged by! Congratulations, Zeb, and welcome to the family. [face_laugh] [face_love]

    This was such a fun, beautiful vignette! Congratulations for persevering over DRL and being able to finish this in the first place! Well done, again! I enjoyed this very much, and can't wait to see what you'll be able to share with us next. =D= [:D]
  5. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    What a sweet little peek into the beginnings of an epic love story. It's so hard reconcile the happy vignette here with knowing what will happen to them in the future. Sometimes it's just better not to know.

    This is a classic "fish out of water" story where the brave soldier, used to going into mortal danger, is faced with his most terrifying excursion yet -- the girlfriend's parents' house. He sure isn't getting much encouragement (or feedback for that matter) from Chornogar:
    Ouch. Painful! Can't say Chorg is the life of any party, huh? At least Chornozod is a lot livelier. All three siblings are so different! The quiet, stoic one; the friendly, enthusiastic one; the gentle, spiritual one.
    Each family has their own way of doing things. Divadaughter has her family's house, which is usually just my husband and me, and she has her boyfriend's house, which is his mom and dad, five brothers (all with significant others), two grandchildren, two dogs, a cat and a parakeet. It's like night and day.

    I think it's the memories of these simpler, sweeter times that help Shulma and Zeb later as their stories unwind. I can imagine Zeb on the Ghost, thinking back to that sweet dinner and the lovely conversation on a starlight back deck, and it sustains him; reminds him that things weren't always desperate and forsaken. And the same goes for Shulma. Hopefully their reunion can bring them back to some new version of that starlight back deck.
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all so much for reading and commenting! :)

    Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed! :) Yes, very different family dynamic here than in Zeb's much larger, more boisterous family. Shulma did turn out pretty different from her brothers (which is something I sought to portray at least a bit in "Sparks," too), but that's often how these things can go, and it makes for an interesting dynamic to write!

    Thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed this--and I have to say, I too am glad and relieved that I was able to finish it! :)

    Thanks! I have a fairly specific landscape in mind for this region of Lasan, one that's a bit of cross between the American West and Southwest and the Harz region of north-central Germany (with a touch of the Ozarks thrown in). And it is indeed definitely a case of "if those serene, rolling, forested mountains could speak..."! :p

    Oh yes, he's got a bit of an uphill battle with Chornogar's taciturn responses, doesn't he! That right there is a signal that he's up against something very different from what he might have expected. (Of course, he probably didn't really know what to expect, anyway!)

    Yes, you're probably right about that, because that's how it goes with that kind of taciturn type--and it doesn't help that Zeb is so totally unused to that type! (Still was kind of fun to write the awkwardness, though, in its way! :D )

    There I was kind of intentionally hearkening to Feel Safe at Night, when much later in their relationship he's impatiently waiting for her in a totally different context. ;) Just goes to show that Zeb is always going to be Zeb, with that little bit of hotheaded impatience that's part of why we love (and Shulma loves) him so much! :D

    I kind of wanted to make him different enough from Chornogar, talkative but in an awkward and a bit one-sided way that's still just as unaccustomed to Zeb (who's used to people being talkative in the context of actual conversations and hobnobbing). But at the same time, I think he also kind of relishes bustling around and juggling multiple problems at once! (Perhaps because that way he doesn't have to actually converse... :p )

    Yes, that's both of them, all right! The moment he's been waiting for, as the sun rises and all the birds burst into song, etc. :p (And of course she dolled herself up for him a little! ;) )

    Oh yeah, "whoops, timing" turns out to be the theme runnig through this entire story, doesn't it! :D

    Yes, mega mega d'ohs here, on a number of levels! [face_laugh]

    Yep, it's almost hard to say who's feeling more awkwardness here, Zeb or Ormgar! :D

    Well, something had to break the tension, and heck, why not an apparent all-out catastrophe! :D I kind of hadn't originally expected this story to be of the "everything goes wrong" type when I was first planning it, but that's how it turned out, and I have to say it was really rather fun to write it that way, even if I do feel kind of sorry for poor Zeb and all he goes through! And it was a fun excuse to let him go all protective and Honor Guard on everyone--prime chance to impress his sweetheart and her family, of course! ;)

    Thanks so much! The Trilashas are a caring and close family at the end of the day, even if they are quieter about it and express it differently from the Orrelioses. And as to the meal, it's all about making the most of what you've got, of course: "Who is rich? One who rejoices in one's portion."

    YES, YES, YES, REDWALL! :D :D [face_dancing] I loved those books and their scrumptious food descriptions--they've definitely become an influence on me every time I try to describe food in my stories!

    Definitely isn't, definitely isn't! :D Lasat footsies, and especially Zeb ones, are not going to end up being subtle footsies, of that you can be sure! :p

    Oh yes, they most definitely do! They were twitterpated young sweethearts once themselves, after all! ;)

    Oh, she certainly can! It would have been completely obvious what he was trying to do, and she's an understanding sort anyway. :)

    Thanks! Yes, once the "everything GOES RONG" motif started, I just knew I needed to end with another "whoops, timing" moment like this one. :p Because after all, it's not like these two will never again have an opportunity to kiss! ;)

    Thank you so much, as always! Always fun to get those little touches in there; I feel like they add a lot to the world. And I have been so blessed by Raissa's collaboration; I'm essentially standing on her shoulders with everything I do in this 'verse of stories. @};-

    Well, you are most certainly most welcome, and I am so glad that this little story brightened your day! It was a day-brightener to me to have it finished at last, too, especially with the way everything has been going! :)

    Thank you so much! With all the stress from the quarantine and such it took much more time and energy to finish than I had planned, and I got stuck on a lot of silly stuff I shouldn't have gotten stuck on, so I feel extra proud of myself for bringing it to completion. I'm so glad you liked the result!

    Oh yes, easier said than done for sure, and you just ever know how hard it will actually be until you're there! :D

    Oh yes, totally agreed there about small talk! Zeb's so used to a chatty, open, gregarious environment that it just kind of stymies him to be here in what's pretty much the polar opposite. He gave it the old Honor Guard try, at least! :p

    Aw, thanks! I won't lie, it's so much fun to write them like this, so young and in love and starry-eyed. Zeb never does anything halfway, so I always figured that this is pretty much exactly how he would be as a young man in love! <3

    Oh yes, again, "oops" is one of the pervading themes of this story, isn't it! :p

    Hah, yes, "Bogan's own chaos" is pretty much the size of it! When it rains it pours, for sure! :p

    Definitely will, as well as one of those things he will wistfully remember much later, after all the destruction and loss. =((

    Thanks so much, I'm glad you liked this! I always knew I wanted to begin the meal with Shulma saying the blessing--both as a way for her family to acknowledge her spirituality and talents, and as yet another opportunity for Zeb to get all starry-eyed as he comes in as he so quickly and enthusiastically responds. <3

    Thanks again! This is definitely a warm and caring family, too, again, they just have a different way of showing it. And as the guest, Zeb is naturally going to especially feel that difference. Though I too can see the families eventually hitting it off--including Nerezeb and Chornozod hobnobbing about grill recipes (and perhaps eventually collaborating on some of the cooking for a Very Momentous Trilasha-Orrelios event...). Definitely a story I hope I can write at some point!

    YOU KNOW, I seriously thought about going the "wrong foot" route with this scene! [face_laugh] But then I felt that maybe I'd had poor Zebby suffer enough--because what a "d'oh" moment to have FOOTSIES DISCOVERED! :p And yes, like Zeb, Shulma's definitely got her playful side, which is one of those many things that draw them to each other!

    Yep, even her gruff miner dad was once a Young Man in Love--both Ormgar and Yokheva have been there and recognize all the signs, every single one! They're not fooled by this RMB-4 business--but that turns out to be AOK. :)

    Oh yes, and even if the interruption was... somewhat of a jar when it took place, it will certainly be memorable story material for later, and you're absolutely right that it wouldn't have happened if there wasn't some feeling of familial acceptance on the part of that indeterminate Trilasha brother! :D

    Thank you so much as always, Mira! :) Again, I felt really glad to be able to finish this, too, what with everything that's been going on. It is good indeed to be back in the swing of this 'verse, and you can bet there will be more! :)

    Aw, wow, "epic"--why, ma'am, you make me blush! [face_blush] But in a good way--I'm so glad you have been enjoying these stories. That juxtaposition was indeed part of the point of this story, in a way: to show their happy times from the past without any forebodings or premonitions of the later destruction, simply because they must have had those happy times, and during those times it was indeeed better not to know. @};-

    Oh yes, not even the grimmest battle or the most dangerous tour of duty can compare to Meeting the Fam! Zeb will need all his Honor Guard courage for this one! :p

    Yep, Chorg is definitely a polar opposite of the garrulous Orrelioses! :p And yes, they all did end up pretty different from each other--which, again, was kind of a fun dynamic to work with (partly because it's one with which I have experience in my own family).

    Oh, absolutely, I can believe it! I still am not totally used to the dynamics of the Findshusband's family after almost 19 years of marriage. It can be a lifelong adjustment, but also one where the spouses/partners take on the role of "halfway point" to each other in the most loving of ways. <3

    Yes, EXACTLY. SPOT ON. @};- I definitely imagine both Shulma and Zeb thinking back to these sweet moments in their later separation and exile (to call it what it is), and that is indeed the role that will later on be served by these moments and memories where it was "better not to know." And again, that, in the way, is the point of this whole series of stories. But yes, their reunion will definitely bring them back to new sweet moments like that starlight back deck--and there shall be stories about those times, too! [face_love] Thanks so much again, as always, for reading, commenting, and just generally being here for these stories and these characters. <3