The morning sun lit up the charred ruins of what had been their home. A handful of elves were working on the construction of a new house, placing stones down for the foundation, measuring out wooden planks, dragging away burned-black trees to clear space for a garden. Inkyrius sipped coffee from the cup e had brought and watched the people at work, shuffling eir feet every now and then to keep the cold from settling.

Aarindarius had said that e and the children could stay in the tower as long as they wanted, also after they finished rebuilding the house, if need be, but Inky honestly couldn't wait to move out. The dusty tower, with its smell of books and spell regents and magic was like torture to stay in. The children didn't seem to notice much, but Inky did suspect that they hadn't quite understood what had happened yet. Or maybe they did, and just didn't mind it that much. They were more or less used to having only one parent, anyway. Maybe being around something that reminded them of their absent one was actually comforting to them.

Inkyrius, on the other hand, did not want to be reminded. Or rather – e probably would have liked to be reminded of only the Vaarsuvius e used to know. Thought e knew. But the smell of books and magic only called forth memories of black robes, pink dragons, fire and blood and acid, and eyes glowing pink and hard and the words "I still need to fix everything"

Inkyrius could have lived with the Evil tendencies. E knew eir mate, after all, that part didn't come as much of a surprise. Those six words, however, had made Inky realize that e was a second priority to Vaarsuvius. Always had been, probably.

E drained eir cup and looked up at the sky, feeling more clearheaded than e had in a long while. It was better to realize now than later, Inkyrius supposed.