Hera was, to say the least, in need of some form of entertainment. Scrolling through social media wasn’t it. So, she sought out sapient interaction…more on the unconventional type.
She made her way to a room she knew well, the Jarl of Vakrestrender’s. She knocked on it a few times.
Jørgen was laying on his bed, watching Akerø and the Moon. Finally able to take a moment to himself, dressed in his pjs. The knock on the door startled him, he jolted upwards on the bed in a somewhat panic state. Simple knock can drive his heart to a blind panic, the anxiety-ridden boy have a sigh, calming himself down before he spoke “Come on in Esta.”
Esta was always a bit of a insomniatic, just like Jørgen was. Though she usually just woke up her girlfriend, sometimes she goes to him. Usually she doesn’t knock however unless he locks his door. Which we always did outside of his castle.
Hera opened the door and walked in. “Not who you were expecting?” She walked up to him.
Jørgen paused the anime, turning his attention to Hera. “Well, no but a pleasant surprise anyway.” He gives a charming smile, “What brings you here? Can’t sleep?”
“More on…I’m bored.” She chuckled, gesturing to the bed, “May I?”
“Absolutely. I could put on a different show or a movie if you like.” He gives the offer to Hera.
“It’s fine…I could watch what you’re watching,” She sat down next to him on his bed.
He gives a joyful clap. “I was really hoping you were going to say that!” He presses play on his tv. Returning his attention to the anime. Clinging on to his pillow, basically hugging it.
She watched with him. She found it interesting, but a bit mundane. Oh, if only life was like that. Eventually, she found her arm on the Jarl’s, near cuddling.
Jørgen didn’t find it strange or weird. Akuanists have always been a feely touchy bunch, always ready for a hug or a group cuddling session where they talk about each other’s positives and how much joy they bring to one another. He let go with one hand of his pillow to rest around Hera’s shoulder. Still focusing on the tear jerking anime before him.
“It’s so sweet…” Hera let out as she watched with him.
“It really is.” He says in a sappy voice, emotionally charged from the show. Small tears crawling down his cheek as a romantic anime ready to play the next episode. He clings onto both his pillow and Hera. They binged the series together, him virtually crying as every single emotional and heartfelt episode played. Every time the moon spoke to the main character, he cried. Every part where Akerø’s family was discouraging him from talking to his true love drew tears from him. The episode where Akerø’s dad died was especially hard on him, sobbing into Hera’s shoulder like an emotional elf he is.
Hera would be lying if she said she didn’t cry a bit. But it was Jørgen who was the real sobfest. She comforted him as he sobbed into her.
With tears in his eyes, “Such a good show…”
“Indeed it is…” She said, ruffling his white hair, fighting the urge to kiss it so bad.
He wipes his tears with his sleeve. Resting his head on Hera’s shoulder, giving a soft sniffle. “S-sorry I was a bit teary eyed with some bits.” He gives a weakly says, his tone rough with emotions.
“No, it’s okay, I get it,” She smiled. “Al’Illah, you’re so beautiful with your eyes sparkling with your tears…” she blurted out.
He gives a weak laugh, “You sound a little bit like Esta.” He gives her a gentle kiss on her cheek. A meaningless statement to an Akuanist.
Not being Akuanist, Hera understood it differently. So he was interested in her! She pulled his face closer to give him a peck on the cheek.
He looks at the credits, not really noticing Hera’s reaction to his Akuan greeting. Resting his head on top of hers. “What did you think about the show?” He asks, in a slightly uneasy tone, still shaken from the emotionally powerful anime.
“I…loved it! It was so great!” Hera grinned.
Jørgen smiled as well, for a completely different reason. He looks at the time, then looks back at Hera, “Well we could watch another show or movie. Then again it is pretty late, I don’t want you to stay up too late now.” He gives a concerned look to the Emira.
“I’ll be fine…I actually want to do something else now…” She inched closer to him.
He gives a questioning look to her. “Do you want to go get snacks or something?” He didn’t quite understand what Hera was suggesting at.
“I…want you.” Her fingers began to crawl up Jorgen.
“W-wait…” His mind started working again. “Hera… No.”
“Hm? What do you mean?”
He gives a sigh, “This isn’t right.”
“What isn’t right? I don’t get it.”
“Listen, you are adorable but…”
‘Sweet spirits, why did she have to ask but what?’ The elf thought to himself, “It’s just, is this really the right situation? You just became the Emira of Sayyed.” He tried to reason with her.
“You know the only person who would care is my family? The rest don’t.”
Maybe just her family would care about this, but how would she hold up against the whole Norgsphere ripping her to shreds, desiccating every part of her life and social media history. Jørgen is more than just a figure in Vakrestrender, but he’s important across the Urth. For all Akuanists, the Valkyr media influence, for LGTQ+ people in Norgsveldet. There isn’t a single piece of his life that isn’t ripped to shreds looking for dirt on the Jarl. He gives a uneasy sigh, “It’s… alot of things at play Hera.” He gently holds her chin, in a kind and soft fashion.
“I…” She removed herself from the Jarl’s hold. “I shouldn’t have come here. I’m sorry.” She stood up before making her way towards the door.
“Wait…” He says in a polite tone, trying to make sure his friendship with her stays intact.
“Hm?” She turned around.
He tries to speak, but it comes out in a depressing sigh. “It’s not if I don’t… have some feelings for you. I’m just worried about how…”
“Have you seen how the media speaks about me? Not the Norgsveltian National News, but the more online, the right-wing side of things. I have spent most of my reign making sure people are not harmed by being near me, I don’t want their harsh words, their hatred starts to be directed towards you…”
“I…I’m…I’m sorry.” she sighed.
“Don’t be, I had a lovely time watching anime with you.” He gives a soft smile. “I understand if you want to leave now, but if you want to say. I be more than happy…”
Encouraged by his words. She sat back down next to him, saying nothing as she put her head on his shoulder.
He was relieved, giving her a small pat on the head. “Do you wanna pick the next thing to watch?”
“Yep! Can I show you a Sayqidi drama this time? You might have heard of it from the time you’ve been here.”
“Absolutely.” He says in a chipper tine, hands her the remote and resting his head on top of Hera’s head. It wasn’t anime, but if it made Hera happy, he would power through it.
Hera grinned and took the remote, looking for something for both of them to watch. It was a teen drama, featuring her own sister as one of the protagonists. “It just got released recently but everyone’s been talking about it. They say it’s relatable.” She leaned back.
Oh spirits, it’s a teen drama. What foul evil has he wrought into this world in order to be punished by watching child actors and 30-40 year olds dressed up freshmen in high school attempt to be dramatic. He can feel sanity tearing from his soul and cast a drift into the ocean of mediocrity cinema.
However he kept his charming smile up, refusing to let Hera see how he really felt about it. She seems to be quite happy picking this show out and it hasn’t even started yet. “Should I order some snacks?” Said in a kind tone, ruffling Hera’s hair.
“Absolutely!” She smiled, her eyes still glued to the screen.
He reached over onto the landline on the nightstand. Before dialing room service, he looked over towards Hera. “Want anything in particular?” He folded his legs, sitting criss crossed on the bed.
“Hm…I’ll have whatever you’d like.” She grinned.
“Popcorn it is then.” He gives a polite smile back to her. Dialing room service to order popcorn and boba tea. “It will be here in a few moments, shall we start the show?”
“We can watch anime again if you’d like!” She smiled.
He tilts his head, asking in a polite tone. “I thought you wanted to watch this show?”
“Oh, it’s fine…I’d like to watch what you want to watch,” she handed him the remote.
He simply rolls his eyes. “Nah, I’m interested in it now. You said it everyone is talking about it right? Might as well see why.” He gives a warm smile.
“It’s petty teen stuff, I don’t think it’s interesting to an oldie, right?” She teased.
He looked a little surprised. It’s not often people call him old, not even in Valkyr with its large kemonomimi population. “Huh, never been called that before. First time for everything I guess.” He shrugs his shoulders, “Though I guess if you really consider yourself that old.” He jokes back.
“To be completely fair, most of the population here are in their teenage years, so it technically is everyone,” She laughed. “But do you want to put on something?”
“Nah this is fine. I can totally hang ten with the youth.” He holds on to his back “Oh oh my back.” He gives a poorly performed old man voice.
Hera almost burst into laughter. “Alright then!” She faced the TV once more and continued with the drama.
The Elven Jarl kept his legs crossed, watching the probably silly show. Wait for the room service to arrive with the popcorn. “Is this in Staynish?” He asked politely, “If it is, could you see if they have it in Norgsveltian? I fear my Staynish isn’t the strongest.”
“Most Sayqidi dramas are in Staynish nowadays, so they’re international. But lemme check…” She scrolled through the subtitles and found a Norgsveltian subtitle option. “Oh here!” She turned it on. “You’re lucky to have it.”
He gave a sigh of relief, “Thank the spirits then. Most shows don’t have a Nys’tat’en sub but at least there is usually a Norgsveltian around.” He gives a smile, hearing a knocking at the door. He gets out of the bed, to answer it. “Popcorn and tea is here.” He says taking a large bowl in one and trying to hold the two cups in his other.
“Ooh!!!” Hera got on her knees and clapped her hands as she saw the large bowl of popcorn and the boba. “Thank you!” She smiled.
He returned to his seat, taking a sip of his boba tea and still didn’t quite like the flavor of it but he suppressed his reaction with a smile. “So, your sister is an actor on top of her royal duties?”
“To be quite honest, she doesn’t have much responsibilities unlike me and Hakim. She appears when she needs to appear, and that’s enough. She’s an actress, yes.” She responded, taking a sip of the boba tea.
“Interesting, quite different from where I’m from.” He tilts his head at the TV screen. Pushing away the thought of family again despite him being the one to bring it up. “I’ve been in a couple of films, mostly as a camo or a random background voice actor.”
“Ohh…I should watch those!” She giggled.
“Well, if you ever watch This Commoner Cannot Be This Cute, I’m the voice of the genetic male student #32.” He gives a laugh, “And a few other random bits, what can I say. I have a hard time saying no to people.”
“Oh, is it good? I should get to watching it!” Hera tilted her head.
“It is Vakrestrender most popular Vakrestrender show we have ever produced. Even the people in the Southern Coast enjoy it. It’s quite big in the more Norgsveltian speaking world.” He beams with pride at his people’s success with it.
“Oh, I should watch it, then!” She smiled.
“Without a doubt you should.” He reaches over to get a handful of popcorn.
“Yep! But anyway, back to the show?”
“Absolutely.” He gives her a ruffle of her hair again and returns his focus to the TV screen.
Hera leaned back and watched the show. It was, to her, enjoyable. The colors told the story, so did the costumes. Fashion played such an important role in all Sayqidi dramas. Each character had their own unique style. Zahra’s role was very 90s in its style, and she was one of the main cast.
Then they caught up to the scene where Zahra’s character, Aminah, broke up with her boyfriend. And boy was it a ride.
The show wasn’t completely awful. It had its own unique flair to it, an interesting style choice with characters having their own unique style which was similar to Valkyr style of animations. Catching to the part where her name broke up with her cousin? No, it was her boyfriend. Definitely her boyfriend, maybe? The subtitles went far too fast for him to read and understand. The Staynish spoken was far quicker than what he was used to.
He reached over to grab another handful of popcorn. Pull back he catches a glimpse of Hera staring intensely at the show. “I assume you are enjoying the show?” His face leaning forward to look at Hera.
“Oh, it’s good.” She leaned forward as she heard her sister call someone a “Good for nothing himbo”. “OH DAMN” She jumped back.
He leaned back laughing slightly at Hera’s reaction. Taking a sip from his boba tea. He didn’t quite understand what was going on or the term himbo was. Probably just some random Staynish insult that doesn’t translate well into Nys’tat’en or Norgsveltian. “Yeah good himbo!” He gave a cheer.
Hera couldn’t help but snicker at his reaction, but she kept silent as the scene ended and it transitioned into a scene where Aminah is gossiping with her friend in the bathroom.
He titled his head, at the scene trying to read the subtitles faster now. He just gave up all together to understand what’s going on and made up a story in his head with what is going on. Clearly this whole show was just an infomercial about… something. As long as he was a good friend, almost little sister was enjoying herself watching the show. He can enjoy the show as well.
She looked over to Jorgen and noticed that he probably didn’t understand what was going on. She paused the show and looked at him. “Are you okay?”
“Of course.” He gives a charming smile of a man who has no idea what is going on but still is enjoying himself. Taking another sip of his tea. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine…but I was just hoping if you understood what was going on.” She tilted her head.
“Not a word.” He smiles like an idiot. “I’m still enjoying myself though.” He reassures Hera.
“Oh…I’m sorry…” She looked down.
“It’s fine Hera, you don’t need to understand something to enjoy it.” He gives her a comforting look.
She smiled. “Would you like to continue the rest of the episode? It’s getting REAL good.”
“Of course I would.” He smiles back, “Though one thing, I hope you can explain one thing to me about this show.”
“Oh sure! What is it?”
“What’s a himbo?” He asks in a questioning tone, tilting his head to the side.
Her eyes widened. “Well it’s…uhm…”