|Taliesyn Robards is a punk ass book jockey (bookphile) wrote in helgashill,|
@ 2014-01-10 22:12:00
|Entry tags:||gawain robards, taliesyn robards|
WHO: Gawain, Cecilia, Idris, Tali, and the original Mrs Robards, aka Gawain's mum
WHERE: The Glass Slipper
WHEN: Friday, Jan 10, 2002. Evening.
Mary Robards did not fail to notice the looks exchanged between the hostess and all four other members of her party. They were barely in their seats before she shot out "so which one of you had a tryst with the hostess?"
"Not me," said Idris and Tali simultaneously. They shot each other a look. Tali, one of surprise, and Idris, one of annoyance.
Mary looked around the group. Her eyes narrowed. "Who's missing?" It came to her. "Cecilia, I see you've lost one."
Cecilia sighed and signalled for drinks, stat. She had chosen to hold their little dinner in a public place in the hope of her mother-in-law moderating her tongue, but it seems that was a futile exercise. (It wasn't because she didn't want Mary to know they'd had to downgrade accommodations. Well, she was sure the older woman knew, but knowing and actually seeing were two different things. A cottage with only two bedrooms? Heavens.)
She gave her husband a firm nudge. Gawain immediately cast a muffling charm upon the table. Much better than a silencing charm, he thought, given that any nosy people confronted with silence would give up, whereas if they were confronted with speech just on the edge of hearing, well, that really drove them nuts. It was so easy to spot the eavesdroppers.
"Cary's not lost, he's just...he works abroad."
Mary gave a great sniff. "He might as well not be here. I've often said any more than two children is an extravagant luxury. And personally, I would have you thought you'd know better, given the horrendous-"
"Mother, would you like to see the drinks list?" said Gawain, plonking it down in front of her.
"Oh yes, thank you, darling," she replied, as Cecilia's eyes rolled out of her face. Mary barked her choice at the waiter and handed the list over, hardly read.
Gawain's attempt to distract his mother from her train of thought hadn't succeeded. She launched straight back in. "I suppose you had to make up for the deficiencies of the second."
It wasn't until Idris snickered that Tali realised they were talking about him. His face coloured. "Oh, um..."
"No, don't bother answering. I wasn't talking to you and I didn't ask for comment," said Mary. She fixed him a gaze that made him wish he could slowly sink his whole body down into his shoes. "I see you haven't grown. You could be 6'4 if you didn't slouch."
Tali blinked. He very much doubted that. "Uh..."
"You said not to comment," he replied helplessly.
"Yes, don't bother any more, you had your chance and you missed it," said Mary. She turned to bend Gawain's ear. They were still talking about him, behind his b- well, right in front of his face, actually. Tali wished Gawain had left him out of the audible range. He didn't need to hear about his deficiencies in expanded detail, complete with opening statements, a series of irrefutable arguments and then a conclusion for every point made, with Idris's chuckling acting like music to add atmosphere.
The entrees came and Tali half-heartedly thought his mother's dislike of her mother-in-law - she used a variety of glamour charms to appear much younger, once somebody had told Cecilia they thought the two were peers, that person has never been seen since - would override her own tendency to nitpick at his life, but he was wrong. Cecilia kept a stony face through one glass of wine but the first sip of her second saw her smile. Betrayed.
Mary started on his lack of love life and nobody corrected her. Tali frowned. Surely, they knew? Tali had a brief moment of panic that his relationship had passed them by - OK, so he hadn't taken Romilda to meet them or anything, but that was because they'd already met, on numerous occasions previously - when he remembered they had to know, they'd both embarrassed him through the journals because of it.
Apparently his identity as a lovelorn entity was just so right it was stronger than reality. He poked at his meal listlessly.
"Tali's got a girlfriend, actually," drawled Idris.
Tali's head snapped up. His elation was shortlived.
Mary snorted. "That won't last."
Oh, now it was so much worse. Before they were talking about theories that, while hurtful, weren't true. Now they were talking theories that were both hurtful and could very well come true.
Tune out, he told his brain desperately. Tune out. Pretend Watson's got a feature article in the pets section of the Sunday Prophet and you've got to submit an interview with him. Yes, pretend you're talking to Watson.
'How is life treating you these days, Watson?'
'Any thoughts on what it's like to be a corgi in the 21st century?'
'Does it bother you that I always win at tag because you can't jump fences and I can?'
'When am I going to let you in my room again? Well, when you learn to face the wall when my girlfriend's getting dressed. It's rude to stare.'
'Do you like Dot better than you like me?'
'You know, sometimes I envy your life, Watson. 100% leisure time, plenty of food, toys, freedom. I envy you a lot.'
'But then I remember you had your testicles snipped off, so you know, I actually don't envy you at all.'
Tali was awoken from his reverie by wine splashing down his front. He leapt out of seat. "What the hell happened?"
He glared at Idris. "You did that on purpose!"
Idris rolled his eyes. "Why would I do that? Besides, you knocked it over yourself."
"You bumped me!"
"Well I'm used to sitting next to Cary. Not my fault you're all elbows, is it?"
Tali began pulling his shirt out of his trousers. Mary grabbed his arm and hissed, "Not at the table. Go clean it up in the bathroom." She gave him a shove in that direction.