Gin is not home yet. She went out a lot those days, and taking in what those last few days have brought, he does not expect her to be back before morning, or maybe the next day.
The river almost runs red, those days, and the shadows huddle together in fear of her wrath.
Steffit does not rage. He does not pray. He does not cry.
It is the only thing that still makes sense. He knows how to fix a broken ring. He does not know how to fix his family.
He’s not quite certain what Cosimo does, he suspects he quietly takes over some of Gin’s workload, since those days he leaves early and comes back late. Fyr is about as well as any of them is, but Steffit can tell that having not only them, but his other family here as well, it does him good.
Nil, on the other hand...
It is late and he does not expect anyone to be in the workshop, but there is a light on and the sound of work covers him like a blanket, softening the sharp edges of reality just a fraction.
There are flowers on the floor, and it takes Steffit a moment to realise they are not cut, but made. The petals curl and spin as if in invisible wind, gems and metal catching light in a illusion of life. There are some that were cut to thin, or too small, obviously earlier attempts, but as he gets closer to where Nil sits, they become increasingly life-like, stunning pieces discarded on the floor in a show that would make Nimbohr’s nobility weep.
Steffit moves among the pieces, and sits down heavily on the station next to Nil. There is a moment of quiet, when he stops polishing another piece for a moment, eyes never leaving his work.
Steffit says nothing. There is nothing he can say, so he just passes Nil a fresh polishing rag from his other side, and gets to work.
Gin comes back only in the early afternoon, bits of dried blood under her nails, and neither of them asks.
The dinner is a quiet affair.