written for Kat (treanz-alyce) because she is fabulous! her prompt was "unwanted advice".
The night before her wedding, Lianne sleeps in her childhood bedroom.
It's a good match, politically and economically. Maren has culture, unlike uncouth Scanra or slippery Tyra. They have color and spices and newfangled dances. Her wedding will truly merge the two countries, for they are to be wed in Tortall and travel to Maren in a grand caravan of royalty and worldly goods.
It's not as grand a marriage as Kally made, empress to Carthak and doted on by Kaddar, and it most likely won't have the solidity of Roald and Shinko, but it will be be fine.
The night before her wedding Thayet slips into the room to see her, not yet teary-eyed, saving her sadness for a later date.
"Lia," she says, using a nickname from fifteen years prior, "are you awake?"
Lianne is awake, as well as somewhat cross. "Mama," she whispers, "I need to sleep, please. The wedding is in less than twelve hours."
"I'll just take ten minutes of your time," Thayet says, sinking down onto an ottoman. "Really, Lianne."
"Very well." Lianne sits up in the bed, drawing the covers around her waist. "What do you want, Mama?"
Thayet takes the moment to examine her, pretty sharp-boned face and her father's eyes, as well as a gentleness around her cheeks and chin that Jonathan said came from his mother. She is an amalgam of genetics, no feature she possesses belonging to her alone. She lacks Kalasin's intelligent grace and Roald's calm, but thankfully is rid of Jasson's baying heart and Vania's wickedness.
"To talk. I did the same for Kalasin before her wedding, just gave her some advice, mother to daughter."
"And she emerged relatively unscathed," her middle daughter mutters. "So I suppose that I'm listening."
Thayet knows she must approach this delicately. "Lia, it's been noticed- the seamstresses informed me, when doing your final fitting, that your wedding gown is somewhat tighter around the middle than it ought to be."
"That's the style, Mother, a tight waist that then flares around the hips. I'll look charming enough for most everyone, and the dress is low-cut enough to thrill anyone else."
Thayet raises an eyebrow, suddenly becoming more queen than mother. "You know very well what I mean, Lianne. The fit is not off because you've all of a sudden developed a distinct stylistic flair, and I daresay it isn't because you're sneaking down to the kitchens every
Lianne's face changes, is now something to behold, ugly and twisted, full of Jonathan's simmering rage and Thayet's K'miri temper. "So what if Prince Galthain and I became acquainted before the absolute deadline of the wedding contract? That isn't a sin."
"Not particularly, but you and I both know that the culprit isn't Galthain. I thought I had warned you, I thought you knew better-"
"Well apparently I didn't," this unknowable version of her daughter says. "It's not like Maren won't be grateful for the heir. They aren't known for their fertility. The royal line keeps going from cousin to cousin."
"And what will you do when the baby has red hair, or purple magic, or George's gods-cursed nose?"
"For one," Lianne says calmly, "black hair is dominant over red, and even if not the prince's mother is auburn-headed. Secondly, I doubt anyone will care overmuch about the color of the baby's Gift, if it even has it. And third, Alan doesn't look a thing like Baron George, as much as they're related."
Thayet stands up, and the ottoman moves backwards with a screech. "Well it looks like you've got everything planned out all tidy and neat."
"Yes, so it does seem," Lianne says coolly. "Mama, I really do need to sleep. Weddings are tiring."
"Is this revenge?" Thayet asks. "For taking you away from Alan?"
"No," the princess says, after a moment's consideration, "it's so I'll have him with me when I'm gone."
"You're making a mistake," Thayet warns. "I'll leave you now, but know it, Lia. This won't end as you hope."
"Nothing ends how I want it to," she says. "I'll see you in the morning."