"Stop treating him like he is broken," Jo'qan said and Vega frowned, surprise creasing her brow. "He is coming to terms with losing someone who was permanent in his life. He needs to know that he has not lost you, your relationship together, too." That made sense, she knew that. "But Pappa, I'm always 'orrible to him." Jo'qan gave a low chuckle. "Then be so now. Let him know that you are here for him, that you love him and will support him. But other than that? Be you and him, Eva."
Vega frowned as she tried to word what she said. In the end, she couldn't do so to her satisfaction. "But Pappa, me an' him is mean to each other. I mean, I am fond of him, yeah, he's like a brother, I suppose." Jo'qan appeared very good at the raise of a single eyebrow. Vega ignored him and carried on, apparently oblivious. She wasn't oblivious at all, they both knew it. "Whatever he's like, Pappa, an' I'm not goin' there at all an especially not with you, but we are just.. I mean, I call him a wart." She couldn't do that now, because she didn't mean it for a moment and the thought of saying something hurtful was just dreadful. Yet, at the same time it was who they were and what they did together.
"I guess, if I'm not bein' mean to him an' he's not teasing me then we aren't bein' us an' he doesn't want to lose us," Vega sighed. "Pappa this is all grown up and adult an' I don't like it." Jo'qan looked at her and he smiled a slight smile. She really didn't understand what she was feeling, what was happening, he thought. Had the boy's mother not just died, he'd be planning to have a word with Arlo and hope that he was less oblivious, but he did not and would not ever wish to intrude on grief.
"So, what are you suggestin'? That we should get back to messin' about and huntin' and adventurin' an' stuff?" She looked at him in some surprise but, also, at the same time it made sense. Sort of. Vega leaned against her father again and smiled as he hugged her tightly. "I think we will leave soon, Eva. Take the ship and leave."
"Because you have a life now and it is not with me." Vega's head shot up and she looked at her father in horror. "Pappa, don't say that I'm..." she fell silent as his finger touched her lips. "I realised something this night, Eva. You can not live my life and you can not live your mother's." He seemed rather melancholy at that prospect. "You must live your own. It is a beautiful life. You are not biqaj, nor are you sev'ryn. You are you and you are both. Me and her." His hand moved and put a piece of her hair behind her slightly pointed ear. "Biqaj are flawed, arrogant and self-involved. Physical creatures and seekers after pleasure but not in touch with our calm, not able to access our wisdom. Sev'ryn, they are calm and they are wise, but they can not enjoy life in the way that a Biqaj can. You are both and neither."
He nodded towards the tent. "Whatever you decide, Eva, you have my blessing. But when I am here, you will not find your familiar."
Vega looked at him, surprise shifting the colours in her eyes. "Pappa?"
"Do you think I do not know?" Jo'qan shook his head, his expression one she had seen before. "I will leave and you will find the other half of your soul, my daughter. Dream with me sometime, though?"
Vega's eyebrow shot up and she was about to ask a question but her father shook his head. "Another time, Eva. Come, lets get some food ready so that he does not starve when he wakes, or we do not force him to endure your cooking." Vega couldn't hide the grin and she set about helping her father, considering that for all that she knew that it was the right thing to do, for him to leave, she didn't want him to.
He didn't want to, either, she knew that. But it was right that he did.