Right now, I have a lot of thoughts about Ailin and his hearing loss so that's what I'm writing. I was amused to see the next WIP being on the 27th when I was setting it up (so it would be set up and I could share it with a BR); it made me think of a conversation with my therapist- "Well Christmas is just another day to me." "Yes, even so, you have enough food, right?"
Now as I'm writing, I'm managing to cause detail issues that'll mean re-writing in Vala's Story, although that's totally fine as I'm figuring out stuff about Ailin here so I can show what I need to in her story. Here, we've switched to Adan's POV; she's Ailin's twin, also fluent in ASL, but her hearing is fine. In the structure of The Queen's hierarchy, Prisca is Adan's dominant and the 4 share a bedroom.
"Adan, sweet, I know you and your brother sign a lot, but interpreting is a different sort of thing, isn't it?" Kaya asked.
"It is, my Lady, but I would offer you two thoughts: if you don't want me to go for simultaneous interpretation between you and him, I'd have an easier time, and also you could write if you would prefer. Professionally speaking, interpreters tend to work for thirty minutes to an hour, depending on the demands of the situation and a bunch of other facts, my Lady."
Kaya nodded. "I want to keep this conversation short and to ask you and Prisca to join us in the pool after this. Do you mind interpreting? And we should agree on title use while you're interpreting, shouldn't we? Well an interpreter's supposed to be like a tool, so you'd only use a title if the person you're interpreting uses one, right?"
"I could do that, my Lady, although I must admit that I'm not sure where my Lady is at the moment. She went off somewhere in the house, telling me just to hang out here with Ailin, maybe an hour ago."
"Before we start, I'd like you to get Prisca on the intercom."
"Yes, my Lady." Adan got up from the bed, smiling at Ailin as Kaya pulled him between her legs and cuddled him. Studying the intercom panel, she pushed the button for the whole house. "My Lady Prisca, my Lady Kaya would like you to talk to you on the intercom." She waited beside the panel. Why wouldn't he let us say something sooner? Look at our Lady loving on him!
Prisca's voice came suddenly over the intercom. "Sweetheart, does Kaya still want me?"
Adan pressed the answer button. "Yes, my Lady."
Kaya took over at this point. "In about twenty minutes, I'd like to take the twins to the pool. Are you free to join us?"
"I'm just down the hall in Tommy and Simon's room. Be there in a moment," Prisca answered.
Adan returned to Prisca's bed.
"Sweet boy, why did you hide this so long? It's not like dealing with hearing loss would get you punished," Kaya cried out.
Positioning herself so Ailin could see her, Adan translated Kaya's words into ASL.
With halting signs, Ailin replied, "Manly men wouldn't be deaf, my Lady."
"Love, love," Kaya murmured as she kissed his cheeks.
"Brother, you know your hearing loss doesn't affect your gender," Adan signed. She wrinkled her nose. "And this is why family aren't good terps."
"What do you mean by that?" Kaya asked.
"I just put in my own thought there, rather than just interpreting your comment, my Lady."'
"Hm. But I'm sure Ailin knew it was you talking rather than you interpreting me? What if just act like the family we are? Like you could just sign brother before your own comments?"
"Well since we're not at the doctor or anything important outside our family, I guess that's okay, my Lady," Adan replied. Switching to sign, she said, "Brother, I'm going to try to interpret in a more family like way."
"OK," Ailin signed.
"Why do you want to wait to tell The Queen?" Kaya asked.
No beating around the bush with our Lady.
"He's still getting Vala ready. And LGBT Pride is coming, my Lady. Can't we wait until when we're all together, like he said at the last stable meeting?"
"You know he'd rather know something that's wrong so he can help. Sweet, are you so overwhelmed that you're dropping my title so much?"
"Sorry, my Lady." Ailin's face scrunched up like he was about to cry.
"No, no. Tell him he's not in trouble. You're not in trouble." Kaya hugged him. "We might not be following exact interpreter protocol, but I know you're not supposed to talk in the third person like that."
"Hey, what's up?" Prisca said after opening the door and heading into their room.
"We're not going to keep it from Prisca too?" Kaya asked Ailin.
Ailin rubbed his face for a moment before shaking his head. His head bowed, he started to sign. "My Lady, Adan's been helping me to bluff my way through hearing loss for months now. I... I'm not ready for us to tell The Queen yet, my Lady."
Prisca held out her arms and lifted both her eyebrows as she'd no doubt seen the twins do at many a point while signing.
A tear streaked down Ailin's cheek as he nodded.
Prisca caught Ailin and Kaya in a big hug. She stepped back and sat on the bed behind Adan. "Why and how long do you want to wait to tell The Queen?"
"Just until he comes to the mansion in a few days, my Lady, just so I don't have to struggle over the phone or beg someone else to tell him for me," Ailin replied in more certain and emphatic signs.
"Signing and Adan interpreting is working much better than you guessing at what you only half hear, isn't it?" Kaya asked.
"Sweet boy, what do you think about a different hairstyle for you?" Kaya asked.
Brushing a hand over his head, Ailin appeared to be considering Kaya's question.
Don't try to guess what our Lady wants. Give your truth. Adan clasped Prisca's hand where it rested on her stomach as she waited for someone to say something. She relaxed back into Prisca's embrace when he started signing.
"Maybe something that would allow me to show off hearing aids, if my hearing can even be helped by them, my Lady?" Ailin smiled hopefully. "Maybe get enough cut off that we could donate my hair, my Lady? Do you think The Queen would say yes, my Lady?"
"I think he'd be open to it, but are you thinking a buzz cut? I would miss your curls." Kaya pouted.
"Not that short, my Lady." Ailin shook his head. "Might we look online later so we can print out a picture when I ask The Queen, my Lady?"
"So we're going to wait until after Vala's collaring and maybe a day or two for settling in?" Prisca interjected?
"Please, my Lady," Ailin signed with huge gestures.
"And you'll just keep relying on your partial hearing and Adan's help until we tell him?" Prisca continued.
"And writing when we're in your room, please, so Adan isn't having to interpret all the time, my Lady?" Ailin batted his eyelashes at Prisca.
"Sure. Erik is away. Let's go get in the pool naked."
Adan took Ailin's hand in hers and led him into the hallway to wait on their Ladies. Thank goodness my Lady took it better than I hoped.
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