Unexpected Inspiration Relationship: Adair & Feren


"What 'us'? There was never an us, it was always just you and what you wanted to turn me into. Maybe it's time to leave the past behind and stop fooling myself that I belong where I don't."

-Adair to Feren, a few months before Colorweaver (Book 1)

This week's moodboard theme is "poison" and the relationship Adair once had with Feren can certainly be described as poisonous or toxic. They met as kids, when Feren's family moved to Adair's small town in the middle of nowhere. I answered a question from Feren's POV once, so I'll use his words to describe their past:
I’ve known Addy since we were kids back in Sagewood. Small town, not a lot of kids, and the ones there didn’t like us much. I can’t imagine why they didn’t like me, but Adair was always so much of a wimp. He was too slow to keep up with the group when we went anywhere, he was too afraid to climb things, he can barely swim, he was too quiet and always had his head in the clouds, and all he ever wanted to do was draw things. I’d say he was the kid always picked last, but half the time that was me. We were two of the only Artisans living in Sagewood and while I don’t think this made much of a difference other than everyone thinking Addy’s drawing obsession was weird, it meant that me and him were thrown together a lot because our parents were friends. Well, okay, maybe not friends exactly because his parents always thought my parents were too odd for Artisans, but since mine were the only other ones around for miles, they didn’t have much choice but to be social with them. So Addy and I ended up having to mutually avoid our parents’ awkward conversations and we got to talking and he really wasn’t as bad as I’d thought he was. He’s actually pretty sweet and he at least put up with my company, unlike any of the other kids. I probably wasn’t as nice to him at the beginning as I should have been, but whatever. It worked out. We basically became friends because neither of us fit in with anyone else.
When they got a little older, after Adair's magic manifested and he was apprenticed to Feren's mother, their reluctant friendship turned into quarrelsome dating. With Adair on the path to becoming an arcane cartographer and Feren not having any magic of his own, Feren decided to follow tradition and began training to become his sentinel-intended. (Sentinels are the bodyguard/spouses to Artisans who have magic.) While they had reached something of an understanding and Feren was no longer Adair's bully, he remained incredibly bossy. Adair never seemed to do right in his eyes. Feren, of course, thought he himself was perfect and could do no wrong. They argued constantly about Adair-- he wasn't Artisan enough, he didn't follow tradition enough, he didn't dress nicely enough, he didn't care about the things Feren felt that he should take an interest in. They argued constantly about the future-- Adair wanted to travel because as a cartographer that would be a requirement, Feren wanted to live permanently in the capital city. On an almost weekly basis, Feren tried to talk Adair into choosing another career so that he wouldn't have to leave a comfortable life by living on the road. Feren's greatest desire is a life of leisure where he doesn't have to actually do anything... and this ended up including becoming a sentinel.

The one time Feren's role as bodyguard was tested was one time too many. He couldn't do it. It was too hard. By the time Feren dropped the path of sentinel-intended in favor of an easier scholarly career, Adair had had enough. He'd tried so hard to see past Feren's bossiness, his bad attitude, his grating personality, but for every flaw Adair overlooked in Feren, Feren loudly ranted about five of Adair's. Feren renouncing the role of sentinel-intended gave Adair the opportunity he'd secretly wanted for a long time. He walked away and didn't look back, even burning the sketchbook that contained drawings of his ex-boyfriend. Feren, however, never gave up hope that someday he would get Adair back.

CONVERSATION

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