" What's that?" William asked.
" I'm following through on burning Prima's old name," Nova said, watching it. " I want to make sure they all know that even with me as Lyena, that rule is still in effect."
William sat next to him.
" Will people like Diurn pay notice to it?"
" ... Probably not. But if he wishes to challenge my authority, he's welcome to add another scar to his collection."
" Flight to Ruxiam-1 is at noon, tomorrow."
" Yes. Kaama informed me."
" He keeps talking about being glad that you're leaving, so that means that he's actually quite upset about it, right?"
" ... Who knows. It's none of my business how he feels, anymore."
William leaned against him.
" So whose room... are we sleeping in?"
The fire crackling more; warm light cast around, smoke flowing up a chimney. Grate between. Ink disappearing along with paper.
" It's Ifrit's," Nova said absently. " I have to have it as my own. If I slept anywhere else when I'm home, they would throw his things away."
William thought about it for a moment.
" We fucked in there," he said.
" Yes. We did."
" Doesn't that bother you any?"
" Not so much as it bothers other people. I've grown used to living this way."
A moment of silence.
" What do you think of my misery, Wille?"
William sighed, melting against him a bit more.
" You're so lucky, Nova. You have... a family. People who know you. A name that you've always been called by. You were held close and cherished by someone. What I had as a child... was nothing at all."
" ... Is it really so enviable?"
" You existed, even since the day you were born. What isn't there to envy about that?"