Nobody said anything else for a moment, as if they were waiting for the words to echo in the room, to remind them that yes, someone had actually spoken those words. Given the sorts of uncomfortable discussions and subjects that usually followed them, as well as the potential fallout, this response was to be expected.
Reppy looked at her briefly, before returning her gaze to the book she had open and giving a slightly moody-sounding response. "About what?" she asked, as if she knew exactly what the answer would be.
"You," Morwen said softly, uncomfortably shifting her weight from one foot to another as she stood in the doorway to the library's study room. "Something's been bugging you lately. I can tell."
Reppy let out a quiet, noncommittal grunt, turning the page of her book as if she were done with the conversation already. Morwen sighed, then walked over and gently pried the book from Reppy's hands, setting it down on a nearby table before settling down onto her lap sideways, legs hanging over one of the armrests. "Don't give me that look," she said as she tried to make herself comfortable. "We promised we wouldn't hide things like this from each other."
"I don't want to talk about it," Reppy said quietly, tone firm. She looked away from Morwen, towards the study's fireplace, the light flickering in her eyes.
Morwen frowned. "Sweety, I just spent a lot of money renewing your license for you after you told me two weeks ago that spending some time flying again would fix things up for you. I really don't mind spending ridiculous amounts of money on things you want, but please don't lie to me - or yourself - about what you want and need, because it clearly hasn't helped enough, if at all, to have been that simple. I'm not the only person who's noticed you've been having a down spell lately, either," she added.
Reppy looked back at her uncomfortably, waiting.
"Saki and Leela are both concerned about you," Morwen explained. She paused for a moment, then continued. "So is my mother. I know she wrote to you after she got home. She told me." She reached over and took Reppy's hands, squeezing gently. "She really likes you, Reppy. And not just because I do."
Reppy responded after a moment, her voice hesitant. "She wouldn't if she knew."
"How things started."
Morwen frowned again. "It wouldn't change anything, and you know that."
The reply came back with a suspicious, half-distrustful expression. "How can you know that for certain?"
"This is my mother we're talking about, Reppy. She's more tolerant than I am." Morwen sighed. "Almost to a fault, given some things she's been poking and prodding me to think about doing."
Reppy wrinkled her nose a little, knowing exactly what the so-called things were. "If you say so," she muttered, leaning back in the chair and saying nothing further. Morwen sighed gently, then reached one hand up to stroke Reppy's cheek gently with her thumb, silently tracing the red markings that were all that visibly remained of Cruoris. Reppy closed her eyes, relaxing under the touch. Both of them seemed content to stay like that for a while; by the time Morwen decided to try again, she'd lost track of how long they'd been sitting there.
"Please talk to me, Reppy," Morwen asked quietly. "Tell me what's wrong, and let me help make it better."
Reppy remained silent for a moment, then opened her eyes and nodded slowly.