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Felicia Harding

[1837/1838][EN] These feelings, they come and go fast

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Friday the 2nd of March 1838 - in the evening - Eric and Vasilisa's house

 

The polyjuice potion wore off right after they closed the door and perhaps on any normal day Felicia would be grateful to feel like herself again, but as it was she felt so unlike herself of late that she hardly felt any different. Instead of herself she just felt... exhausted. Uncomfortable. Frustrated. And maybe a little angry. Maybe a lot angry. Maybe unjustifiable angry, which only made it worse, because the last thing she needed to add to the list of things she felt was guilty

 

She kicked off her shoes and left them near the door, instead of putting them away like she usually did, and started working on getting the dress off. They had been at a party right before, a party she didn't even have to have gone now, at the end of her pregnancy she could easily use that as an excuse, but somehow exactly because of that Felicia had made herself go anyway. She told herself it was because Lissa would've gone, but it was more that she was making herself do something she would've done otherwise. And normally she wouldn't have minded standing next to Eric, gossiping with Lissa's friends, playing the games, but today nothing was right and she had still made herself go and now she regretted it and regretted regretting it.

 

And the dress wouldn't come off, because she couldn't reach the buttons, so Felicia did the only nonsensical thing she could think off: she turned towards Eric, still standing obliviously at the door, and bit at him: "You know I'm not your wife, right? Because I think you forgot, the way you acted towards me today." 

 

What was his great crime of the day? Oh, nothing serious. She had asked him a question and he had been a little too lost in thought and had just replied with a simple yes, dear, in that bored tone he used specifically for Lissa. And normally she would've been fine with it, teased him a little, but today... Well, today nothing was right. 

 


 

Private! 

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The whole being a serial killer thing, together with being a lawyer and combined with being a Legilimens, meant that Eric Silvershore was, as things went, pretty good at picking up moods. It simply paid to be attuned to the things people were leaving unsaid, the emotions they were reluctant to express. It was necessary to ensure that you could work with them, because to work with anyone you needed to basically always know a little bit more than they did, than anyone did, because in no job could you afford to be surprised. It meant that you could work them, too, because knowing what mattered to them, knowing the words unspoken meant that you could play them like a fiddle. Or better than a fiddle. Eric had zero musical talent and would never have mastered that as well. Anyway. It was also a requirement, pivotal, vital, haha, to survival. Theirs - because if they knew more, if they were hiding something, if you could not be assured of what they would do they became threats and unpredictable ones at that and those you had to deal with straightaway - but most crucially your own. Not noticing a mood change was how you got yourself dissected. Post mortem if you were lucky. And Eric was a perceptive, but not habitually lucky guy. 

 

So Felicia’s little tantrum didn’t come entirely out of the blue... but it came as much out of the blue as it could. Because while he had noticed that she was growing steadily more annoyed with him, that she was boiling over, that she was uncomfortable and unhappy and everything basically ‘un’... he had no honest idea as to what he’d done. He hadn’t been trying to piss her off. He’d been actively trying to not piss her off. Because, you know, she was going through a lot, in the body of his half dead wife in the relationship with her erstwhile stepbrother slash torture tutor and oh yeah carrying his twins, at his suggestion, to escape his father’s wrath. And that was pretty heavy and so he was willing to accommodate the fact that she occasionally didn’t feel that brilliant.

 

But then, if you didn’t feel that brilliant, why come to a redundant party in your so manieth month of pregnancy anyway?

 

He’d told her she needn’t!

 

And he should respond with understanding. And he should try and get the edge off. And he should just let this go because he wasn’t working on two other living beings right now. But the way she mentioned Lissa kind of hurt. Because that was the worst mistake he’d ever made. “I’m aware of who you are, Felicia,” he therefore said quietly. “Why don’t you sit down, I’ll get some tea.”

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It would've been easier if he had snapped back, in all honesty. Then she hadn't needed to feel guilty or even possibly chided, but she could've just yelled at him without any sort of remorse.

 

Well, current remorse. She'd feel guilty about it a few hours later, late at bed, when she couldn't sleep and he was lying next to her and she would realize that no matter how frustrated she was, she still loved him and that it wasn't his fault she asked too much of herself. But that was later.

 

Right now, she was just angry that he was calm and she was not. 

 

"I don't want tea," she said, balling her hands, realizing she sounded like a toddler. And that just made it worse! Being angry was already horrible to begin with, but then constantly realizing she sounded awful did not help her mood. "I don't even want to sit down, I just want..." If only she knew what she wanted. If only what she wanted was achievable right away. 

 

So she stormed into the living room and flopped on the couch. And still couldn't get the dress off. 

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Right. Perfect. She didn’t want tea, and she didn’t want to sit down, and she certainly did not want to inform him of what in fact she wanted, from him or the world in general. How delightful. She had started the comparison with Lissa and he abhorred it, but he had to admit that in the way she’d put it and the way she was acting now it was almost forced upon him, because she was being as petulantly unreasonable as his nearly-late wife could be. There was still a world of difference, though. Because Felicia he loved. Even when she was being petty and unreasonable. A part of him could appreciate the courage that took, the stubborn sense of self, and another part of it could just chuckle about it because, well, it was kind of funny. With Lissa he’d had neither of those reactions. Nor had he had the one, at least not until the end, where he had wanted to console her. Where he had wanted her to be happy and okay. With Felicia, there was nothing he wanted more in this world, which made the entire context completely different. Yes, most decidedly, his life had improved for the better. 

 

Even if there was still the off chance that this time Felicia would make him sleep on the couch tonight.

 

She hadn’t wanted to sit down, but she did so anyway, and in line with that logic Eric quickly and magically made her a cup of tea. What? The principle was sound. 

 

“Let me know when you figure that out, yes, dear?” He asked with a small smile. And then he got out his newspaper and immersed himself in an article on the market for kettles.

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Yes, fine, Felicia had sat down anyway, because her feet hurt and at least sitting down she felt slightly more comfortable than standing still, but that didn't mean she wanted tea, Eric. So she stubbornly glared at the cup.

 

What she wanted? To feel comfortable again. To have her own body back. To be able to move and walk without being out of breath. To be able to reach the buttons on her damn dress. 

 

When would she get that? Not soon. Even if she gave birth right this very second, which there was no sign of so far, it'd still take a few weeks, if not months, for her to get back to normal. And even then... she was Lissa in most situations.

 

With a deep, slightly dramatic sigh, she leaned back in the cushions. Men were so lucky, they got all the fun bits and none of the bad ones. Eric didn't have to carry two babies around, Eric could take off his own clothes with ease, Eric felt comfortable, Eric wasn't being a petulant child. 

 

"I don't want tea," she finally decided. "I want something to eat. Do we still have any fruit left?" She tried to get up, but somehow quite couldn't figure out how to get back on her feet. "Never mind," she muttered darkly. 

 

Her life was the worst. And yes, she could ask Eric for help, but the whole problem was that she wanted to do this without him. For now. 

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Of course, it was true. Guys had it easy. Or at the very least, they had it much, much easier. Because everything Eric was dealing with, (dealing with quietly, by the way, for voicing his fears and concerns was still, even with the love of his life and the person he was sharing that life with a couple of burnt bridges too far) the worries about being a parent, the worries about the birth, the stresses of the pregnancy and of the constant mood changes, the worries about whether he’d be any good at being a dad and to what extent he’d approximate the dad his father had been to him (and to what extent he wanted to), the worries about whether he would constantly pose a danger to his sort of wife, to his children, the worries about how he would be able to talk to three year olds when this was the kind of debacle that befell the sentences in his mind…

 

Yeah, you see, Felicia was dealing with all of those too and then she had two humans growing in her tummy to boot.

 

So he got it. He did. And so he went to get her all possible sorts of fruit and set them in front of her. “Here you go. I can ask the elf to get something else, if…” If you don’t want this mountain of assorted fruits but would prefer another mountain of assorted fruits, essentially. “If you want. It’s no trouble.”

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Oh, Eric was positively probably the most helpful person ever now. He tried to get her whatever she wanted, even if she was making no sense at all, and then he would simply try to predict her wishes. Felicia was grateful for the fruit, she really was... but she was also quite sad. Because here he was, her perfect not-entirely-husband, and she was the most awful not-entirely-wife in the whole world.

 

So she started crying, while eating grapes. 

 

"I'm awful," she decided, between the tears and the grapes. "I am just absolutely the worst person in the world!" How could he stand her? She was utterly helpless, always in a bad mood and stuck in an awful dress she couldn't even get off! But thankfully, she quickly realized exactly how she could make herself feel better. Quickly, she wiped away the tears and looked up, pleading, to Eric. "You should yell at me. I'll feel better!" 

 

At least, that's what she thought at the moment. 

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