When Rilian was a child, his father sang him silly songs and told him stories from Far Away and Other Lands and for all much of it didn't make sense, he still loved and remembered them.
He loved his mother, but his father told the better stories, and it's his father he thinks of now, with the chair cold under his skin, and he hopes his mother is not letting him worry too much--not too--oh
(see a fine lady upon a white horse)
He'd forgotten for a moment, and he's sick to think he could forget, and he's sick to think his father is alone and he's sick to think of how long he must have been here, and how long his beard has grown.
She's there, and he's sick to see her, and to feel her touch on his cheek and his neck, feather-soft and barely there at all
("Why, a young man I did know, once--a king, he might have been-- a princely stature he had about him.")
and he's sick at her words that he doesn't understand.
It's always dark here, even with the fires, and the Earthmen blend with their greys and browns into the shadows in the halls and the tunnels, but in here it's white and light and cold like ice, and she should stand out far more in her green
(like poison like a snake like emeralds on a city wall over the rainbow even if Father can't explain what a windstorm has to do with that like nausea)
gown than she does, fitting in like silver and white and ice is her second home, and he can't breathe even now for her laughter that's oh-so-pretty and oh-so-musical and oh-so-cruel is filling his mind and his chest and the room and he smells something too sweet and hears her voice murmuring about it being rather a family affair, in a way, and he's sick and doesn't know why and
he doesn't know anything, as he sits and shakes and opens his eyes to see his lady with her smile that's so gentle and directed at him as she tunes her mandolin.
"Oh, cariad, was it very hard for you this night?"
She is concerned, and her worry warms his heart as he assures her, trying not to sound weak, that he's far better now, especially with her there, and she smiles and he doesn't think to wonder at the way the endearment makes the hair on his neck stand.
Her hands are kind as she unshackles him, instead of calling for one of the Earthmen, and as he stands the Knight pulls her into his arms and her green kirtle wraps about him like--
(lying on the grass as his mother brushes his hair back and promises that after dinner she'll take him to the tower to look at the stars but there are no stars only lamps and pretty dreams, sweet prince)
--a warm blanket and he breathes in her perfume and smiles while she hums.
(and she will have music wherever she goes)