A Portrait of Adler - Part 2 (Day 1 - Late Night)

OOC: JP from Sail and Wanderingwolf.

“Fantastic,” she replied. Kettle set to boil, the nun pulled up a chair opposite the medic. “I’m curious about Dorian Adler’s youth: what were you like at twenty? I’m sure there was university and such, but what about after--your transition into your practice?” Ly settled in, eyes attentively on his as she listened for the whistle of boiling water.

“Well,” he cocked an eyebrow, “hope that tea’s got a bit of caffeine.” Adler settled into the chair, crossing his legs to get comfortable. “At twenty, Ah was in University...chasin’ a bachelah’s in biology. Didn’t start med school til twenty-three,” he tilted his head. “That was tha beginnin’ of mah ‘serious young man’ phase. Yah see, Ah idolized mah fathah...he was a respected physician, a man of lettahs...who eased a prominent medical career when mah mothah died tah be more present in our lives. He spent his days as a country doctah an’ gentleman farmer...tah give a good life tah mah sistahs an’ me.” A wan smile crossed Dorian’s face. “And he succeeded,” the medic nodded as he met Lyen’s attentive eye.

“Ere go, when Ah was college age, Ah was hell bent tah emulate tha man. Ah lived in tha campus library, pestered mah professahs….especially mah poor chemistry teachah,” he grinned at memories untouched. “Ah got mostly good marks, which made mah application fah med school an easier process….that an’ tha fact Ah was Lawrence Adler’s son.” He looked up from his memories. “Not much else tah tell about age twenty,” he shrugged. “Life was one big textbook...except fah holiday visits at home an’ such.”

It was like a photograph settling into focus. Each piece of Adler’s life by his telling livened the image, making the contrast stark with his yearning to be like his father, saturating it with the colorful bindings of his books. But one fact took more focus than the others, though it was a simple statement of fact.

“Your father sounds like a remarkable man. I’m sorry to hear about your mother; it must have been really difficult for you three. I lost my mother, too, when I was young. How old were you?” There settled a knot between her brows as she returned the medic’s gaze.

“Eight,” Dorian’s gaze trailed across the galley. “She died in childbirth. Mah fathah saved tha baby...mah sistah Melanie.” His expression settled into its’ professional neutrality.

Lyen was quiet, her eyes on the table between them. It sounded like Dorian had either made peace with it long ago, or that he had yet to walk that path. “I’d love to meet Melanie. Is she still on Hera?” Ly watched the careful look on Adler’s face, a face stating fact, not feeling. Behind them the kettle began its whispering whistle. She stood, bringing the pot, two cups, and two strainers on a tray to the table. With two hands, Ly poured the water over black tea leaves into Dorian’s mug, and repeated the task for her own. The nun cleared their places and returned to her seat, folding her hands around her cup.

Dorian accepted the cup, sliding it before his place at the table. He gave it a gentle stir to assist the steeping process.. “Ah don’t know where she is. Haven’t seen her since just aftah tha Browncoats surrendered.”

That sparked a curious thought in Lyen, “Not since the war… Did you fight?”

“No,” the doc replied. “Ah was in med school, third year, when Ah got tha call tah come home. Browncoats had retreated tah our valley, an’ Fathah was tryin’ tah get us packed up an’ gone before tha Alliance showed up. Ah made it home just in time fah tha war tah land on our doorstep. All we could do was hunker down an’ wait it out.”

“That must have been frightening,” she surmised. “I hope you all weathered the storm unharmed. Thank you for sharing with me,” Ly added with a gentle smile. To know more of Adler was a privilege: a man she looked up to for his even keel and desire to learn the ways of peace and harmony.

“Of course,” he responded with a formal bow of his head. Adler concealed his private sense of relief that the Sister’s questions had ground to a halt. Those days in the Serenity Valley after surrender were not a tale he preferred to tell. The doc took a gracious sip at his tea, opting to remain in place for awhile longer.

The nun rose from her seat. “I’m off to bed. Tomorrow promises to be a busy day. Let me know if there’s anything you want me to pick up for you in town.” Placing her cup in the sink, she disappeared down the stairway to the deck below.

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