Aidan had heard this statement, spoken in varying stages of sobriety, more than once over the course of the evening. The speaker in question was a very straight laced woman. She was in her early thirties; the bun of lavender hair had since been loosened in her various flailing and periods of weeping, and her golden eyes were bloodshot with a combination of crying and booze.
Her name was Suika Kawamiya ('M.D', she would drunkenly add on.) She'd just found herself retired. Without so much as a warning, she was gone. Removed. And it obviously hurt. And not the normal hurt, either, Aidan heard. It was the hurt of premature retirement; the sort that came with spats between Players, misunderstanding and the like.
Of course, she wasn't alone. The Majin crew had reserved a table in the back; their game went down tomorrow, and those that could drink were currently getting shitfaced, and those that couldn't were watching the others and talking about the 'good old days'.
But he wasn't worrying about them. Gayle Edgerton - the one with mouths in her hands, creepy little bitch that she was - had taken on a waitressing job for kicks, and was handling them. So he worried about the sobbing wreck in front of him, instead.
"Darlin'," he said lamely, even as she hiccupped through another sob, "You can't do this to yourself. You'll end up like ol' Kou-chan; glaring at anything that has blue hair and says 'da'. And no body here did anything to you, you know. You just gotta accept that in our world, shit happens a lot more then it should."
"But I don't understand!" she said, which had only been uttered slightly less often then her protest about fairness. "His player helped create me! He had his hand in my making! Why did he turn around and not want me anymore?"
"You've never seen white trash parents, have ya? They make ya and leave ya. Just like any teenage daddy who has a baby."
The word 'baby' just made her cry harder.
Aidan sighed. He wasn't going to do any good at this. He, after all, was part of the problem. He has now not only outlasted his wife, but Suika as well.
However, a shadow fell over them both; a tall, imposing figure with wild blue hair stood quietly behind the weeping woman.
Aidan recognized him immediately, "Hello, Maester."
"Barkeep," Seymour Guado said, before taking a seat besides the just-retired character. "Wine. White. I trust your judgment."
While Aidan went to pour his drink., Seymour turned his attention to the woman at his side.
"Oh my, such tears," he said, offering a kerchief from somewhere within a billowing sleeve. "And for what? A retirement? A sudden one?" Suika nodded to his questions as she sniffled, lip quivering and face blotchy.
"Now, what's the fuss then? I know very well you're not down for the count," Seymour said. "Our player loves us. Each and everyone one of us. We are a labor of her creative faculties. And she never just lets us go. Not at all."
She calmed slightly, as he spoke, his soft voice soothing where Aidan's was not.
Even as Aidan set down Seymour's drink, the maester continued to speak in those low, gentle tones. "You see, she's thinking of retiring me. Did you know that? You're not alone, you see. She's unsatisfied with how things are going, and so she's going to take me out of activity. And it happens. It doesn't reflect you, or me; it only reflects the things we cannot control. Our environment, if you will. Other players, acts of god, and the like."
"Really?" she asked, her golden eyes blinking. "But doesn't that upset you?"
"No, not really," Seymour said. "Do you know why?"
"Because she will never forget me," Seymour said with quiet certainty. "She's already got other things for me. I will go on to a new game, perhaps. Or maybe she'll simply let me live through her fanfiction. I've got a story now, you know."
"Yes," she said hollowly.
"And do you know what else?"
"She's working on one for Chichiri and Kouran. In new lives, in the real world." He smiled as her eyes began to widen. "It's been in planning for sometime, though. Our writer does get so busy, so distracted! It's hard to keep up with what she's doing, sometimes."
"Do you think… she'll use me, maybe?"
"I think it's very possible," Seymour said.
She was thoughtful a moment, her sobs quieted. She seemed to accept the possibility, before she asked, "Is something wrong with me? Is that why he didn't want anything to do with me anymore?"
"I don't see anything wrong with you," Seymour said. "Might as well ask what Yuna sees wrong in me. We'll never understand it. And maybe we aren't meant to. It's hurtful, yes, especially considering how involved he was in your creation, but… Suika, it happens. And it hurts, and it will hurt for a while, both you and our player, but it doesn't mean you're to blame. He has his reasons, whatever they may be. And we may not like them, but we must accept them."
Suika nodded quietly, and set her glass down taking up the maester's handkerchief to wipe her eyes again.
"I'm sorry I made such a fuss," she said to Aidan, who simply shook his head.
"S'okay," he offered. "I may be in your shoes sooner then you think. 'specially if the fractures keep happening there. It's just not a good place to be, a lot of the time."
Suika smiled wanly, but Seymour did not allow her to wallow to long.
"To the retired," he said, lifting his glass. "May they find peace, or move on to something new."
"At the very least," Suika said. "We'll always have Haven."
"Indeed," Seymour said. "Indeed. At the very least."