1 pointSometimes he cursed the days that bled into each other one after the other. When he had something to do the time was well spent and the inability to sleep was a blessing. But when the holidays approached it left him with endless amounts of time to check the main road and see if he was coming. For the hundredth time that day alone he found himself too distracted to do anything more than listlessly fiddle with his lab equipment. The holidays were always a hard time for him. What was a feast to a man who barely ate? What was snow to a man who hardly felt the cold? In these times he rarely felt the spirit that everyone else was infused with. The only ones who brought a modicum of that cheer into his empty eyes were his family. His wife had long lost her sympathy for his seasonal gloom. Soon enough she would start baring her teeth when he wasn't looking, then it would turn to growling and finally a demand to just stop fretting. For his own sanity and hers, he had thrown himself into a new task of preparing the small feast for the two, hopefully three, of them. If nothing else the chopping blade demanded your focus. Vegetables were diced, almonds slivered, potatoes chopped, steamed and mashed and mixed with an unhealthy amount of butter. "He's not coming." Selris finally murmured, setting the bowl down with a resolute thunk. His wife would look up and narrow her eyes, silently demanding an explanation. "You remember the last time we saw him, the argument... HE hasn't written a letter in months. I know he's going to blame it on me-" Before he could go into a full rant, he was struck in the back of his head with a wooden spoon. "...Fair enough but you know I am right." He sighed, offering a soft smile under the threat of another bonk. Satisfied, his wife turned back towards the fat bird on the flame. Dusk was falling and the meal in its entirety had just hit the table when three soft knocks sounded at the front door. The two of them sprang from the table to answer it, moving in sync towards the entrance. The door swung open wide to reveal the travel weary orc. His armor was scuffed, his eyes tired, and more than a few patches of his exposed skin were covered in dirty bandages. Before he could even begin to offer an explanation or a muttered, awkward rant, he would find himself embraced by his parents. Appearances did not matter, neither did the latest feats. In that moment, the family had become whole once again. For one evening, the arguments could rest. "Welcome home, Gunny." The Father murmured softly, ushering the young orc inside out of the cold.