Title: Desk Set
Author: Eldraug (email@example.com)
Rating: PG-13-ish for innuendo and some rooning. AU. You’ve been warned.
Pairings: Oh, the usual ones. Lots of Terzian and Cobweb loveliness
Beta: ME! So all the errors are mine! Mine, mine, mine! Pre-read for quality, however, by the amazing Tolliel and the wonderful Taelin. Sloppy Wolfie snogs to you both.
Summary: The desk in Terzian’s office speaks of its life at Forever.
Author’s notes: I read a piece called Porcelain Memories over at Forever and it had me in stitches for hours. Then, I thought, ‘Well, if the toilet can write its memoirs, so can the rug in Terzian’s office.’ So I wrote Carpet Talk. Then I got requests for more so I figured the desk would have some stories to tell. I also messed with events – Terzian didn’t die and actually got on with Cobweb after he returned. Call me a romantic, but . . .
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Everything belongs to Storm Constantine. I don’t even own my brain that keeps coming up with this idiocy. That still belongs to Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation. For another $4000, it can be mine! Please don’t sue me. It’s truly not worth it.
There is no stick of furniture in this house more important than me. I am the loveliest, the most useful, and the most expensive – no matter what that snotty divan in the corner says. My purpose here is simple . . . to serve my tiahaar in any way he sees fit. In doing so, I have recorded the history of not only this house, but of this tribe, and of this land. Tiahaar Terzian would be at a loss without me, his trusted confidant. I am the only one who has seen him at his best and at his worst.
I bear silent witness to my lord’s life.I have been in this house longer than my lord and his consort, longer than Wraeththu have roamed the earth, and many centuries before my last lord had even been born. I am what used to be termed an antique. I prefer the term experienced. My place in the house has never changed in my long existence. I have always been here, overlooking the fields in front of the huge glass doors that lead out to the balcony. Tiahaar Terzian likes, as my former lord did, to open the doors while he works — as long as it isn’t too windy of a day.
Today, as every other day, my lord sits at me, his feet propped up as he gazes at the far wall. I wonder sometimes of what he thinks when he stares. Sometimes I can feel him tremble ever so slightly then begin to work again at a frantic pace. Other times, I can feel him relax suddenly and then hear gently snoring coming from the chair. Today, he is doing neither. Today, he is going over the account books for Galhea. He taps his pencil against my edge while the does the math in his head. It does get a little annoying because he taps harder when he grows impatient with his own slowness. Math was never his strong point. That would be Tiahaar Cobweb’s forte . . . among other things.
Ah, Tiahaar Cobweb. My lord’s consort is a har of great beauty and great skill. He keeps this house running like a well-oiled machine and makes it look so easy. Tiahaar Terzian figured that out the week that his consort was recovering from the birth of their pearl. Oh, what a mess! I was sure the entire house was going to come down around our ears. The househara were in a state as Tiahaar Terzian didn’t understand the routine and tried to run them as he runs a platoon. After they all stormed in here and threatened to quit, he decided to go seek help from his consort. In his own quiet way, Tiahaar Cobweb had the house running smoothly and seamlessly again in a matter of hours. That’s how he does things – silently and seamlessly. Tonight, after my lord is sound asleep, Tiahaar Cobweb will pad into the office and settle behind me with a cup of coffee and redo the books that Tiahaar Terzian is working on right now. My lord’s clever consort has even learned to make his numbers so much so like my lord’s that even he cannot tell the difference.
Though I am a very functional piece of furniture, unlike the uppity rug in front of the fireplace, I also get to see the fun side of my tiahaara sometimes. Tiahaar Terzian says I’m just the right height for making his Webby sing with delight. It usually starts with Tiahaar Cobweb coming in and sitting on a pile of papers that has his chesnari’s attention at the time. They will flirt back and forth for a while, Tiahaar Cobweb absolutely driving his chesnari mad with desire. Eventually, I will find Tiahaar Cobweb lying across me with Tiahaar Terzian standing at the end of me with his consort’s legs wrapped around his waist. Aruna, for them, usually takes all afternoon and sometimes extends into the evening. Sometimes they will break for dinner by the fire, but soon I feel the slight weight of Tiahaar Cobweb on me again and then, the steady, rhythmic pushing from Tiahaar Terzian against one side of me.
I have never experienced the weight of another har. Tiahaar Terzian would never roon another on me – only his Webby. It’s very strange. He will roon about anything that stands still, but lying across his desk is an honor only for Tiahaar Cobweb.
Other things, I have, unfortunately experienced. Swift was a menace as a harling, tracing the intricate carvings on my legs with red permanent marker. Later, he would do his lessons at me when his father was away. Oh, that harling and ink was an experience! I don’t know who was covered more – me or him. To this day, Swift can’t work on anything without spilling ink at least once. Somehar should hide his pen and give him pencils. Forever.
Once I had ridded myself of Swift and his ink, I thought things would return to normal. I was wrong because Tyson came along. What a mess of a harling! Tyson has no interest in doing his lessons. He was more interested in carving his name in my pencil drawer with his penknife. Tiahaar Terzian about put him through the wall when he found it. As Ty grew, I found him coming to me more and more. He would sit for long hours and brood while staring out the window. Tiahaar Cobweb gave him a diary when he turned seven and every night Ty would creep into the office and write in his diary. As he grew, his touch became lighter though his heart never quite gained the lightness of Swift’s.
Always though, late in the evenings, Tiahaar Cobweb would come to me and go over the books for Galhea. It was our little secret, but I often wished his consort could see him – a slight har in a robe too big for him, his dark hair piled up on top of his head and held there with two pencils. He would make his neat, little numbers carefully in the account books, correcting Terzian’s math or doing the accounts himself when his consort was away. He would make a little clicking noise when he came across particularly bad figuring or he’d mutter something about “carrying” and “borrowing”. After several cups of tea, he would sigh gently and turn off the desk lap, after replacing all the pens to their proper drawers and the books to their shelves. He is such a neat har! Tiahaar Terzian sees Cobweb the beauty. I see Cobweb the brilliant. It’s two sides of the same har that were as different as night and day.
The door opens and I hear Tiahaar Cobweb bringing lunch to his consort. They speak in low, hushed voices as they eat; Tiahaar Cobweb perched in Tiahaar Terzian’s lap. I know from experience that the account books will soon be forgotten as they wile away the afternoon in the throws of aruna – first here then by the fire. Account books can wait, hara sometimes can’t. I will bear silent witness to their love as I have these many long years. And later, when the house is quiet, Tiahaar Cobweb will slip into the office and settle at me to correct his consort’s math. Things don’t change much for me, which is fine. I will gratefully serve my tiahaara now and in the future. To have a purpose is the greatest gift a piece of furniture could receive – to have a purpose and to be useful. For all its sameness, my life is very full.