It was still dark when Rhaenys opened her eyes. The room was quiet, apart from her husband’s loud and deep breaths. Harry had her back to her so she couldn’t see his sleeping face. Instead she turned slowly to look at the other side, at her daughter’s crib. Vaela was asleep to, laying on her back, one hand over her head.She is getting too big for this crib. Rhaenys observed. Soon we will have to move her to Aenars room…
She was itching to redecorate this whole house, it screamed for a change but Harry wouldn’t hear about it. It was his childhood home, the house were he grew up in… She figured he would change his mind when he sees his children sharing a small room next to theirs, or when Vaela starts school and no one can get ready in time because they have only one bathroom.
She moved again and lay on her back. She was very careful not to disturb her husband but Harry didn’t even stir. He always did have a deep sleep, one not even crying children disturbed. Their son was the same, ever since he was a little baby. Sometimes Rhaenys wished they were as lucky with Vaela.
She just lay there like that for some time, envying her husband and daughter for their peaceful sleep. It calmed her a bit, just laying in bed and listening to Harry breathe. She didn’t dream this time but she was plagued by nightmares so much lately that every time she woke up it came back to her, the horrible feeling they brought with them, the pain she felt…
It first started shortly after she transferred to the army, around the time she got pregnant with her daughter. The army approached Rhaenys while she was working at the Langdgrab Science Facility, they needed her to work on a top secret project and she kind of didn’t have a choice in the matter. Even now, years later she is still sure it was her old boss Urte who arranged this, the two of them didn’t really get along but she couldn’t prove it, and in the end it didn’t matter.
The army assigned her to work on some new plane designs and a few months into it they assigned her with an flying instructor, when she was designing the damn things she would need to learn to use them.
And that is when the nightmares started. It was always the same setting. She was lying on the ground, it was a desert of some kind, the heat was unbearable, she could recall it vividly even on a cold night such as this. And there was sand, sand everywhere around her, on her face, in her mouth… In the dream she knew she was dying. The plane she was flying had crashed and she was lying inside the debris. All she could think about was her little boy, her first son, Aenys, but he was a toddler in this dream, a mix of Aenar and Aenys if she had to guess…
She shivered. She had been in the army for years now and the project was almost done. It was time to leave. She pushed of the covers and got up. Surprisingly she wasn’t alone in the kitchen.
She found Donovan, Harry’s brother’s husband sitting at the counter with a cup of coffee. “Rhaenys! I din’t wake you, didn’t I?” “Oh no Donnie, don’t be silly, I walked halfway across the room before I even noticed you.” Donnie smiled. “Take a seat, there is more coffee if you want.” “I sure do, it’s going to be one tough day.” Rhaenys replied pouring herself a cup and walking over to join her brother-in-law.”Why are you up so early?”
“Well, the daycare opens, or reopens, in a few hours and I couldn’t sleep. I have only two kids confirmed for today but it’s still messing with my nerves…” Rhaenys smiled softly at him. Before marrying Hazel Donovan had been running a daycare in his old house but since he moved in with them there was just no space to reopen it. Instead he and Hazel had a building made next to the house and Donnie was very busy working to get it ready so he can start working again.
“Well Vaela loves the new place, Harry tells me she constantly tries to get away from him and sneak in there. I’m sure the other kids will like it too.” Rhaenys said with a smile and Donnie smiled back. “Thanks.” He replied. “I needed to hear that.”
“Now tell me, how are your sisters?” Rhaenys asked politely taking a sip of her coffee and Donnie lowered his own cup sighing heavily. “I talked to Lacey last night… She is good… They are good… She was named prom queen on the winter formal… She is seeing someone, she says she is happy.” “That is great news!” Rhaenys exclaimed. “I’m still not sure…” Donovan replied. “The two of them living with him…” “He is their father.” Rhaenys reminded him softly. “You are right… It’s just… I’m being overly protective I guess.” “And that is perfectly fine.” Rhaenys reassured him. Donnie just smiled nervously before speaking again: “It’s almost dawn, I’m going downstairs, I need to get dressed.”
Rhaenys watched him go away. It felt nice having someone to talk to, get her mind of things. Being alone only brought back the terrible feelings, she felt the memory of the terrible dream resurface again baring its fangs into her skins, clouding her thoughts…
She knew she needs to talk to Harry about all this, it was a big thing and they did share everything but there was no time, he won’t be up until Vaela is and that could be hours from now… And she had made her decision.
She came home around noon to find her husband in the kitchen, there was a pot on the stove and Harry was moping the floor. She stood there watching him for a while, observing as his strong muscled hands moved in rhythmic motions.Her daughter was near by playing with a little pink bunny, there was nothing that girl liked more than bunnies, she had a whole bunch of bunny toys, all colors, materials and sizes.
Rhaneys walked in slowly startling the both of them. She smiled and walked to Harry first, kissing him lightly and then she moved to kiss her daughter’s head. Vaela looked at her shortly, a little puzzled but she said: “Hi, mummy.” And then proceeded on to play with her toy. Her father however stopped everything he was doing and looked at his wife with a quizzical look.
“Rhae, it’s the middle of the day. What are you doing home?” Rhaenys took a deep breath before answering. “I quit my job. My clearance was revoked immediately and I had no choice but to come home.” She was smiling but Harry didn’t respond in the same manner. He just stood there looking at her, a mixtures of surprise and worry evident in his lovely green eyes.
Rhaenys approached him touching his arm softly. “I know it’s big. I know I should have talked to you before… It’s just… That job was awful. You know I hated it and I couldn’t stand even a day working there any more… It had to be today, it had to be now.” Harry still didn’t speak. “It was killing me Harry. The idea I was designing what was effectively weapons, means to end people’s lives, or alien’s lives… Or however we… they would fight again… It was killing me… It was giving me nightmares… I…”
“It’s okay.” Harry said softly. “You don’t have to explain yourself to me. I know you did what was right, what was best for you, for us.” Rhaenys smiled and hugged him tightly. “They just let you quit?” Harry asked while he stroked her hair. “Just like that?” “Well the project I was in charge of is pretty much complete… The main work at least, one of the junior scientist from the team can take it from here.” Harry nodded. “I love you.” He said. “I love you too.” Rhaenys replied softly.
“What now?” Her husband finally asked and Rhaenys shrugged. She looked over to her daughter who was still playing, oblivious to the world around her. “I can help around here, with the kids, you’ll have more time to paint and… I’ll look for something else.” She added with a smile, not moving her eyes from the tiny human before her.
“You think they’ll let you come back? At the Science Facility?” “No. I mean I don’t know… But I don’t want to go back anyway. It’s time for something different I think.”