“It is good to have you back, Nissy,” said Mansemat, glancing over his shoulder. “There’ve been all sorts of reports I’ve been hoping to go over with you. Important, dramatic developments!” The Dark Lord of the Plains opened the door to the Chamber of Ineffable Unpleasantness.
“Hey!” said Morgaine. “And you couldn’t go over this stuff with me? Your twin sister? The Queen of the Netherworld?”
“You are not the Queen of the Netherworld,” stated Mansemat. “And I have attempted to discuss these things with you. On multiple occasions. Only to have you ignore me. For various reasons. Most notably that time two weeks ago. When you replied that you had ‘serious business’ to attend to, and left the Castle dressed as a dancing girl.”
Morgaine stood on her tiptoes in a futile effort to look Mansemat in the face. “Well, if you had only indicated it was something really important, of course I’d gave gone with you.” She considered it. “Except for that time two weeks ago. That was cuddle time for me and Despi.”
Mansemat nodded ruefully. “Well, that explains the dancing girl outfit, I suppose.”
“Yep, we were playing ‘Slaves of the Harem’,” said Morgaine. “She was the blushing ingénue, and I was the jaded mistress showing her the ropes--if you catch my drift…”
Mansemat rubbed his temples. “Morgaine, I didn’t need to hear that.”
“Oh, like you haven’t heard worse things,” said his sister, gesturing to Nisrioch.
Mansemat glanced at his elder brother and sighed. “Point.”
Nisrioch smiled at the pair. “You know talks like this are part of what I’ve missed in my absence.”
“Yeah, we miss all the petty bickering too,” said Morgaine, rolling her eyes.
“It is more than petty bickering,” insisted Nisrioch. “This is the language… of family.”
Mansemat stared at his brother. “So it’s… lots of petty bickering, then.”
Nisrioch looked at the pair, then dived forward and hugged them. “With love! With LOVE!”
Morgaine and Mansemat looked at each other worriedly, then returned the hug. “We have got to remember not to let you take long vacations,” announced Morgaine. “You get maudlin after them.”
Nisrioch sniffled. “Only if we get to keep you from drinking thirty times your own weight at parties.”
Morgaine’s eyes narrowed. “Touché.”