A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #34849  by Antony Katoracov
 
Antony was skeptical, on both accounts.

"So what happens now? Doesn't Anca still have her own blade? So now what, they have two? Gavril somehow manages to... I don't know, manage the entire business and his job besides? Gavril?"
 #34858  by Adrian Katoracov
 
"Perhaps that is something you should discuss with Gavril himself," Adrian remarked, beginning to lose patience with this thread of the conversation.

"However you feel about the circumstances, Gavril is now in charge of the order. Nothing you say to me here will change that. If you have issues, I suggest you take them up with him."
 #34860  by Antony Katoracov
 
So that was that, then.

Antony raised his eyebrows briefly, but he did not say anything as he picked up his stirring son from the crib and rocked him in his arms for a moment. Eventually he handed the boy off to his grandfather before taking a seat on the sofa again.

"Constanta will be pleased," he remarked, finding at least some silver lining in all of this.

"And I know mother is over the moon about your retirement. Have you found some new hobbies yet?"
 #34867  by Adrian Katoracov
 
Adrian was pleased with the change of subject, but not nearly as pleased about that as he was about holding his most recent grandchild. He held Horatiu delicately, as though the babe might shatter in his hands.

"Oh, Dominik showed me some of his picture books the other day," he eventually answered, once the question registered in his mind.

"They are quite entertaining. Gavril lent me a few that I have been reading here and there."
 #34871  by Antony Katoracov
 
This gave Antony pause, and he studied the old man.

This was it, wasn't it? His father was well and truly going mad.

"Pare rau," Antony held up a hand, as if asking for pause. "Isn't Dom getting a little old for picture books? And what are you doing reading them, for that matter? I mean, no judgement, if they're good then they are good... just wondering, that's all."
 #34875  by Antony Katoracov
 
Antony gave his father a very blank stare for a moment as he tried to understand. Thank God the old man was holding his newborn grandson, because otherwise Antony might have feared for his own health if Adrian had decided to lash out. Instead of judgement, however, he narrowed his eyes in thought and considered what the man was saying.

Picture books...with men in pajamas...who fight crime...

What in the hell was he talking about?

"Banda desenata," Antony finally declared, a chuckle escaping his throat.

"Comics. You're reading comic books?"
 #34892  by Antony Katoracov
 
This, almost rather suddenly, made the younger man burst out into laughter.

When was the last time he had laughed like that? At something so... mundane? Their lives had been tied up in this curse and this oath since before they were even born, and so much of Antony's life had been hanging in the balance because of it. And now they could... laugh. Father and son, and then grandson too. Was it only temporary?

"I'm happy for them, you know," Antony remarked after a moment, though his eyes were on his son.

"Anca and Gavril, in spite what I may have made it sound like. And I'll be happier still if they somehow manage to survive a year of marriage without first killing each other, especially if they have any other children. I imagine it will be a bit strange for Dom, though, having Anca of all people as his mother. He might want some company to suffer with."

This made Antony chuckle in spite of himself.

"It does at least seem as if everything is falling into place for them, I suppose."
 #34897  by Adrian Katoracov
 
"Everything is falling into place for us all, finally," Adrian replied. He could hardly take his eyes off of his grandson.

"We all have a chance to be a real family for once. They can be happy together, maybe give me a few more grandchildren while I'm still around to enjoy them. There is no limit to the amount of love you can hold in your heart, Antony. Do not ever forget that. It can be easy to lose sight of that when you have other concerns. Always remember the things that truly matter, and do not take them for granted."
 #34898  by Antony Katoracov
 
This was very much not the man who had gone to break the blades just weeks before.

Antony stared at his father, glad that the old man was distracted enough to not see the look on his son's face. Talking about love, and family, and being happy... this was not the Adrian Katoracov that Antony had grown up with. A part of him was as jealous as always, angry that he had been robbed of such an experience as a child.

But his own children would get to know this man, and a very different life.

"If I know Anca and Gavril, they won't want to take any time off," Antony managed eventually, a sort of misdirection from the fact that he was not sure what to say. Whatever he felt, whatever he wanted to say... his father may have been at that point in his life, but Antony was not. Not yet, anyway. The best he could do was... well, what he was about to say.

"They are welcome to the house in Greece, after the wedding. The weather won't exactly be tropical, but... it is something, and I imagine they could both use a vacation from everything. Will you tell them?"
 #34911  by Adrian Katoracov
 
The offer was unexpected but welcome to hear coming from his son. Adrian kissed his grandson's forehead, stood, and gave the child back to his son.

"That is very generous, Antony, and I am certain they will appreciate it. I will let them know. Now, I should probably get back to the house. There is no doubt something I should be doing to prepare for tomorrow. Stop by whenever you get the chance and maybe we can enjoy a glass of brandy together."
 #35156  by Antony Katoracov
 
Definitely not the same man Antony once knew.

"I look forward to it," he chuckled, shifting Horatiu as he held him.

Antony saw his father to the door, though he watched out the window as the old man made his way back up the hill. Was this just going to be their new normal? Polite conversations, invitations for drinks, and Gavril in charge of things?

The new year was going to be a strange one. Antony was not certain he was ready for it.