“What are you doing up here?” Fitz didn’t expect to find anyone on the roof of the Chemistry building.
“Looking at the stars,” comes the acerbic response, as if there could be any alternative. Fitz’s friend could not have carried a chaise lounge to the top of the building and gotten onto the roof without a key, could he have? “And…waiting for you, I suppose.”
The Fool waves at a second unfolded chair to his left.
“So you knew.”
“I hear things. I wasn’t sure.”
“They’re going to take her away from me,” Fitz whispers, so that his voice won’t crack. He doesn’t move.
“I won’t let them.”
Gray eyes, too bright from the light of the moon turn to appraise Fitz. “You would fight Nettle? She’s invested as much time and effort into her sister as you have, Fitz. It’s not unreasonable.”
“She’s my daughter,” Fitz says, and this time his voice breaks.
“Congratulations.” The Fool looks back up at the stars.
Fitz lets out his anger with a sigh. Taking it out here is useless. He makes his way to the empty chair and sits down on it sideways. Instead of looking up to the sky, he takes in his friend–stretched out on the chair, in mock repose, frowning at the sky as if it’s betrayed them.
Fitz decides that the Fool probably did scale the side of the building with both chairs on his back. It would be fitting.
“The explosion wasn’t my fault,” Fitz tries, starting again.
The Fool doesn’t agree or disagree, but just waits.
Fits finally relaxes into the chair, and looks upwards. A hunter and his dog, a chained princess, and too much space between them. He closes his eyes.
“I have nowhere to go. I slept in my office last night. Eda and El, Fool, if I didn’t have tenure I’d probably be out of a job, and then they’d never think me fit to be a father. I’ve ruined everything again, haven’t I.”
“You’d finally have time to spend with her though,” the Fool says, and Fitz can hear the joke on his friend’s lips. “Ah well, I guess I owe Riddle a new set of cufflinks. I had faith that you’d figure it out on your own. Nettle is angry with you Fitz, yes. But taking Bee is her way of inviting you to stay with them. If you want your family perhaps fighting is the wrong answer.”
Fitz sits silent, chastised.
“Riddle needed a better pair of cufflinks anyway. I expect you to help me pick them out by the way. You should probably come home with me tonight though–” Fitz opens his eyes to find the Fool directly above him, bridging the space between Orion and Andromeda in the sky. And smiling, hopefully. Fitz reaches up to trace a shadow on his friend’s face, and lets himself feel it too. Hope.