Welcome Home

Title: Welcome Home
Time Period: June 122 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Dina welcomes another Ross into the manor after tragedy has left her an orphan. A dirty, stand-offish orphan.

There's to be another person in the house.

Not that Dina minds. The last year had been filled with Cordelia's infant cries, the heir apparent to the Ross dynasty, should anything befall Edgar. Children once again in the house it would seem as Adler informed her of the impending arrival of Bridget, his niece. Someone she had only seen at familial functions and only had a brief memory of something all limbs female and yet most decidedly not feminine.

As was indeed the case here at this moment. Aunt and Niece facing off in more informal sitting room, peering up and over to the girl probably no older than 12.

12

She remembers when Edgar was 12. Personalities so set in stone, not so malleable. They're waiting for the room for her to be finished, Dina having already seen to making sure that as much of the girls belongings could be brought and put in place. "I'm sorry" She offers up, quietly, softly. "For the circumstances that has brought you here in a more permanent fashion. But know, that this is your home now and I expect you to think of it as such, and treat it as such Bridget"

It's a big place. She and her father lived among the militia in something just above squalor. Not because they had to, but because he was a simple man, and she a simple girl with few demands. She has a small bag at her feet, with a few special belongings in it. No clothes or dolls, but a certain treated kelpie skin bearing a scar— the trophy of her father's revenge — and a small, light sword her father had been teaching her with.

She may be… something of an odd child.

She sits across from her Aunt, her clothes caked here and there with mud and not fitting entirely well, with her shirt hanging off a shoulder and her hair a messy halo about her head. She nods mildly at the condolences. She's heard that a lot. But the latter part of her words has the girl tilting her head before she scans the room as if giving it a once over.

"Ain't like home. Feels like it'll echo if I speak too loud," she says, not unkindly, but… unpolished. Impolite, but not by design.

Yes. Mud. It's taking all of Dina's will to not wish to go and dunk Bridget in a big tub right this moment.

We do have a room for that. I like to go into that room and sing, when I know no one is around. Or scream" As if the proper looking woman across from her would even be thought to do such a thing as scream. "I can take you there if you like. Show it to you so that you'll know where to go" So that Bridget can take off to there and scream, when she needs to.

"your room won't be so fussy and if you don't like it, we can always so into the market and find stuff to make it more to your liking Bridget. I want you to feel welcome here. Really I do." She'd say it'd be nice to have a girl in the house but… somehwo she's doubting that she'll ever see the young thing in a dress unless she's been knocked unconcious and tied into it. "Do you want to see your room?"

Bridget lifts an arm, using her sleeve to wipe her nose as she sniffles slightly. But her eyes are on Dina, measuring in a way that's just a little too knowing for her age. But then, she's not been raised like the other children. Not to mention the way death has hung over her youth, shooing away whatever carefree time she might have otherwise enjoyed.

"You scream." It lingers somewhere between a statement and a question, but laced with disbelief either way. She hasn't talked much with her Aunt over the years, or much of anyone else for that matter, but that image breaks with the impression she has in her mind of the woman.

"I don't need much, Aunt. Just my things." The market was a special trip for her, and usually for necessities. But she nods her thanks all the same. "I would," she says, of her room. "Are there pets? We never had pets." Give her until she's comfortable, then Dina's home will get flooded with frogs and slugs and whatever manner of nature she can lure into following her home.

No confirmation as to whether she does indeed scream or not. Just her, rising from the couch and gesturing to the door. 'Someone will bring your things, to your room. Let me show you" An offer of her hand for the young girl if she's inclined to take it, if not, it's dropped. "Edgar does not know I do this. I think it would shock him to know such. We will keep it our little secret yes?"

Her other things, she's content with letting the household staff handle. But her little bag with the sword hilt sticking out, she grabs that up and holds it close to her as she gets up to come join Dina. She glances to the hand, her brow furrowing for a moment, like she might protest she's too old for hand holding. But her hand reaches out anyway and wraps around Dina's tightly. She looks away for a moment as tears well up in her eyes, and she blinks them back, taking in a deep breath before she looks back to her aunt again.

"I know how to stay quiet, Aunt," she says, a conspiratorial promise.

"I suppose you do" Dina's free hand dives into a pocket in her skirts to produce a hanky, taking a corner to wipe at eyes before leaving the room. Out of a pocket sticks a nose, looking up at Bridget rom the folds of Dina's pocket. Little claws dig into fabric before making the leap to the girl and her pack. Greets The Sun wanting to take a look around for himself. Dina glances down and smiles. "Bridget, meet Greets The Sun. He doens't often come out to be seen. Vain little thing that he is.

Not vain. Comes the masculine voice heard only by Dina but he settles down on his haunches to look at the young girl. "You cna touch him, he will not mind"

Bridget sniffles a little more, but when the familiar pops out and jumps for her, she startles a little, but curiosity is swift to follow as she peers at him. There's a touch of hesitation, but she reaches for him, to pet the strange creature. "Hi. Nice to… meet you." She looks back to Dina, just to check that she's doing it right. Some of the militia had familiars, but not many would let a little girl play with them.

No object forthcoming from Dina who only smiles as she attempts to usher them forward and keep moving. To you too. From Greets The Sun which Dina translates for the girl. "He says he has an itch, behind his left ear, could you scratch for him? You can pick him up to do it. He will not bite" Through the halls they go in the mansion that the Ross's reside in.

The girl follows along, seeming to be a little steadier with something to distract her. Bridget picks up the familiar, but still watches him carefully as she moves a finger to scratch him. "About there?" Of course, at this rate, she's going to end up forever lost in the manor, given that she's only following Dina out of the corner of her eye while her attention is on Greets The Sun rather on the path from place to place. "What do you do, Aunt?" She's not genteel enough to know if that's a rude question or not, but it seems no one filled her in on the family business.

"I help your uncle Adler at the plant. I plan for the town. I spend my time helping those not so fortunate as to have been born or have been married into the Ross Family or the Rowentree. I take care of my family and I am ensuring that the school in town, remains running so that everyone will grow up with at least, a chance to read and better themselves" Who knows what might be fostered from out of those ranks or what intelligence might be lurking with just a nudge from the right people.

"You will be expected to go there, but after, well" They'd discuss that with Adler. "You will have many choices" Greets The Sun twitches his whiskers in contentment as Bridget gets just the spot and gives a little shiver shuddder, tamping his feet even as they come up to the room in question.

At stepping in, even the footsteps echo in the room with little furniture, used mroe to store excess things than actual use. Dina waits till they are in, to close the door behind them. "You first?"

"I know how to read," Bridget claims, and it's mostly true. But there's a kneejerk reaction against school that's been bred deep into children for millennia. "Seems like you keep busy, though," she remarks as she comes up to the door to her new room.

She doesn't quite smile at the familair's antics, although her attention is there right up to the moment she realizes they've crossed a threshold. But she looks up and around the room, her expression mild, but curious all the same. She steps deeper in, listening to her own footsteps as she turns a circle to really look it over.

It must meet with some approval, if only in the I don't hate it fashion young adults have, because she sets her bag down and actually walks away from it. She steps over to the windows, to unlock and push them open. It's a good view from up here at the manor.

Greets The sun jumps off the pack, gone in a flash, likely to explore the room or back to her pocket, hide under skirts, who knows. He's rarely seen when he's a mouse. Dina moves to join the pre-teen at the windows and look over the town. "You will never forget them Bridget. Know this. That as long as I am able, should you ever feel like you cannot remember them with the clarity as if it were just yesterday you saw them, you are to come to me. I can do that, and will do that for you, if you like" She rests a hand gentle on her shoulder, squeezing it to give meaning and reinforce her words.

Bridget's hand rests on the window frame as she looks out, although it's hard to say if she's really looking at anything in particular. Maybe just the water beyond the town. She doesn't flinch at the touch, which is progress, but there's a lingering silence before she puts a voice to her answer. "I can't remember her face. I was so young, you know," she starts matter-of-factly, but that tone wavers and cracks as she continues on, "just… the smell of the sea, the feel of her fingers on my cheek. A distant voice. But to be honest— just sometimes, I wish I could forget how he looked. Toward the end."

Her breath shudders with that confession, and the otherwise stoic young girl falls into a heap on the floor, her dirty hands pressing against her eyes as her throat seizes around a sob. Her body shakes with the effort of trying to keep herself from crying and failing rather miserably.

I's a taste of the echoes, the sounds intensified in this room and Dina's skirts rustle as she falls with the girl, catch her arms around her and bringing her close. let the both of them ease down to the floor. She flattens a hand carefully around Bridget's temple, smoothing away hair from her face. "Maybe some day, when you are older, I can do that. But we should always remember the good, with the bad. For it is how we lived. But I can help you, with part of it"

She works then, magic seeping into memory, Dina searching back for something of Bridgets mother, the memories flickering against eh back of her eyelids as she searches for something iconic, something good between daughter and mother.

When she finds it, it's heightened, preserved, made more crystal clear in the young girls mind. THe feel of the womans dress, the smell of her hair and sound of laughter. 'There you go. Grasp that and hold it close my dear"

When Dina catches her, holds onto her, it's a bit of mothering that's far distant from Bridget's experience, but she turns to cling to her all the same, to weep against the woman's shoulder. The sound ricochets around the room, doubling back on them in the echoes in a display the girl has probably not let herself do thus far.

When the memory of her mother bubbles to the surface, it doesn't stem the tide, but changes the nature of the girl's crying. It's some time before she can get herself back under control, and while one hand still holds onto Dina, she uses the other to wipe at her face. It really only makes her look a little dirtier, smudging her face, but she does it anyway. "I'm— I'm sorry," comes out in a stilted staccato, filling the room with something other than her own crying. Anything but.

"Never. Be. Sorry. You are a Ross. What we do, we mean to do. We are without regret, without fear and a good cry when it is needed and deserved, is nothing to be ashamed about." She wipes her thumb under Bridgets eye's, trying to make her look a little less disheveled. "Now, brighten up. We need to see your room still, then I think, perhaps, they have made something special for you in the kitchen. I will introduce you to Cordelia too"

The girl looks up then, brow furrowed at first, but as Dina helps clear off her face, Bridget nods. Someday, she'll get used to the idea of her last name meaning something important. But for now, it's just enough to get her steady. She clears her throat as she pushes herself up to her feet, hands brushing her clothes as if she might be trying to clean them. But it's hopeless.

"I am hungry," she says, at length, and with a touch of a sheepish smile. Just a touch. "Thank you," is added as if she only just remembered what the words are for. But they seem to encompass more than the offer for food, but rather a host of kindnesses she hasn't quite digested yet.

"I am too. As is Greets The Sun. He is always hungry. You'd thinkt hat a mouse wouldn't need to eat so much, such a small stomach, but he eats enough for a horse" Mock the familiar. That she does, even while gently patting her skirt pocket. "come. Cordelia waits, maybe Adler will join us. Either way, let us harry off before our stomachs rebel and decide to mutiny!" Time o go learn the rest of the house.