[Completed] A moment of respite
Despite of the fact that Maeve missed home, she made a point to enjoy what Antiva city had to offer; her sun and beautiful views which made a walk always worth it

She was in her eight months of pregnancy, and more than walking she waddled around the city, knowing that now Dubois was not on her back, and that her only risk was to go into labour too soon. Maeve was taking it especially easy; sleeping a lot, talking breaks in walks and eating especially healthy as if she was preparing for a marathon.

In fact, it was time for one of her breaks, there was an old man sitting on a bench “Hello, do you mind if I sit next to you? Usually, I would not bother an stranger but my back is killing me” she asked offering her most charming smile.
Alfred was tired, he was feeling every one of his years in triplicates these days. Frankie running off, having to track him down, then finding out he'd lost his memories. Then there was the family drama, always the family drama. Sometimes he felt like he was butler to a circus. Nothing seemed to go as planned, but then when there were Crows in the background pulling strings, how could things go as planned. He still wasn't sure how he felt about young Enzo already becoming King, but he respected the decision because what else was he going to do. He just hoped that Enzo was up to the task.

Eventually he found a bench to sit down on, as he reflected on his life and what had brought him this far. The choices he'd made in Orlais all those years ago, the people he'd left behind. The life he'd taken up upon finding himself in Antiva. When Maeve spoke to him it took a moment to even realise someone was speaking to him, as soon as realised she was speaking, she smiled warmly.

Ah yes my dear, please, rest your weary feet. Despite all his years in Antiva, his Orlesian accent still shown through, just not as thick as it used to be.
“Thank you” she said sitting next to him, fanning herself a little with her hand. Despite of that she had enjoyed the warmth of Antiva the previous months, now it was getting a bit too much for her Orlesian roots.

“The accent is familiar, are you from Orlais?” asked Maeve casually as she turned her head to look at the older man “I have seen few people from the country here, most of the ones that left due to the blight moved to Ferelden, or at the least, the ones that I know” she commented. If he didn’t want to answer to her question it was okay, but she was genuinely curious “My name is Maeve Valathrian by the way” her name wasn’t very Orlesian but to be fair apparently her grandparents were from the Free Marches.
Alfred smiled warmly as the girl asked him a question. Questions about his accent weren't uncommon, he was used to it. He shook his head slightly at the comment about people fleeing the blights. Terrible things really, he might not have any love loss for Orlais. He didn't wish a blight on anyone. 

You hear correctly. Though I left quite a long time ago now. It feels like it's been many lifetimes since I last set eyes on Orlais. Not that there's anything wrong with it, mostly. I guess you could say I was disenfranchised in my younger days after the war with Ferelden. He paused and then continued. Lovely to meet you, I'm Alfred, Alfred Jucani. So are you here because of the blight? He asked.
“Countries are just pieces of land rules by people, it’s normal to not feel attachment to a place you left so long ago” said Maeve, the brunette with an understanding tone. “I am attached to my country because my brother is there, and my lover and I have made a life for ourselves there, but Antiva is quite the lovely country to make a life”

“Exactly” she lied, not wanting to talk about Dubois with an stranger “but maybe we shall return if things settle down a little, I’d rather give birth at home. I don’t want the stress of handling a newborn on top of handling it in a new place”
Alfred nodded at the remarks about countries just being pieces of land. It was quite accurate. As she talked about her family in Orlais, a dull ache pinged his heart. He'd left people behind when he left Orlais. At the time, he was so focused on leaving he thought little of it, but as he got older, the pain of regret became acute. He hadn't just left his country, he' run away. He smiled warmly and tried to brush those thoughts out of his mind.

I was never blessed with children myself, though the family I work for I just about raised their children. I can definitely see the appeal to wanting to have them at home and not in some foreign country. He'd been with Frankie pretty much since the man had been born, more or less. It was so long ago now. He thought of Frankie like a son, and he thought of Frankie's kids like he would if he'd had grandchildren. Even if he was part of staff and not really part of the family, it didn't stop him from feeling that way.
“Well raising children is hard, no matter if it’s your own or not” she said with a chuckle “I am not sure about how I am going to do it myself, even if I had a very good role model in my mother, who happened to deal with twins, I think that I can’t see myself in the role yet” she was in the middle of her pregnancy but the idea of motherhood still sounded hard to her “Any advice for a newbie? I’ll take any tips at this point” she half joked. At this point she had more faith in Lucien's skills than on her own, for Makers' sake she was a former bard, she had even killed a few people how was she supposed to be a nurturing mother?.
Well, Frankie was already a toddler when I came into the picture, but I was there when his little sister was born, quite an age gap that. She had quite the set of lungs on her. I'd say the first couple of years at least are purely dictated by the baby. Once they can walk and talk, that's when things really take off. Straddling the line between loving and stern. Sometimes it's a bit like going to war. You have to be strong and unwavering in your convictions or else they'll sense weakness a mile off. Well, minus the literal blood shed of course. He said with a chuckle. He wasn't sure how helpful he was being, but it felt good to reminisce about the past.
“I have done my share of stupid and wild shit on my teen and early adult years and I feel that according to what you are telling me, having a kid is going to be the hardest challenge in my life” she said putting her forehead on her palms. “Admittedly, I was lucky to have a good mother that was a perfect model of what I would like to be but it’s hard to see myself doing it as good as she did” she said with a sigh.

“Well, it definitively sounds like war. Luckily Lucien has been nothing but supportive. I can’t imagine how my mother did considering that my father was not in the picture” it was a bit of a private detail but unimportant enough in order to avoid important details of the backstory.
It’s definitely easier with a supportive partner. Frankie’s parents were, well his mother at least, my she was. I’m not sure there’s any way to put politely what she is. The staff were more hands on than she was, shame really. I always say a child has a much better shot at life having at least one loving and hands on parent. Of course their father was busy with being king. He hadn’t meant to name drop, after all the who wasn’t as important as the general circumstances, but it was hard to talk about the circumstances without mentioning the who.
“Having a kid doesn’t make you a parent. My mother raised me alone without barely enough money to raise one children, let alone two and I had a better childhood than some people that I know that was way better off than me” said the brunette with a nod. “My, that’s quite the curriculum, to help raise the kids of the monarchs” said Maeve impressed.
It feels like a thousand years ago that I stumbled on that job after arriving in Antiva. It definitely wasn’t the life I had imagined for myself when I was younger. It was a lot more fulfilling than my life in Orlais though. I suppose in the end that’s really what matters He said with a shrug and a soft chuckle. Now if he could just find Frankie, he was proving harder to find without his memories.
“Oh I know a thing or two about ending up doing nothing similar to what one expects from life. If anyone had told me five years ago that I would end up marrying a noble and pregnant with a child I would have laughed a lot” and yet she couldn’t have imagined a better life from this.

“Talking about my husband I was supposed to meet him after my little walk so I should be heading home. A pleasure to meet you and thanks for sharing your seat with me” she said with a smile before getting to her feet.
Alfred smiled politely and nodded, I won’t keep you then. It’s been a real pleasure having our little chat. I should probably get back at it as well. He felt like he would never find Frankie, but he was like a dog with a bone, he wouldn’t give up, no matter what. Alfred headed in the opposite direction of Maeve and continued his search.