In the lazy time after dinner, with everyone lounging around the living room, Remilia sat jotting in a notebook with a pencil, a thoughtful frown on her face. Presently she looked up and said,
"Meiling, what would you say your function is around here?"
Meiling, who was in her customary spot in front of Sakuya's place at the other end of the Ottomane, craned her neck to look up and back at the mistress of the house, her expression quizzical.
"When I go to Paris," Remilia explained, "I expect I shall have to make an accounting of my household for the government—explain to them who lives here and what roles they play. Obviously I'm the head of the household, Benjamin is my fiancé, Flandre needs no particular title, and Sakuya is... well, Sakuya is many things, but for bureaucratic purposes I've chosen to call her the housekeeper. But you, I don't know... I think 'housekeeper's snuggle bunny' lacks gravitas."
Sakuya unsuccessfully suppressed a bark of laughter; on the other sofa across from her, Lena didn't bother trying, while Flandre giggled and Gryphon more decorously snickered.
"I know!" said Remilia, brightening, before Meiling could get over being flummoxed and attempt a reply. Applying her pencil, the vampire went on, "I'll put you down as my huscarl. People around here used to have those, long ago, and I like the sound of it."
Sakuya eyed her narrowly. "I'd say you're enjoying this entirely too much," she said dryly, then went on with a warm smile, "but I enjoy seeing you enjoy yourself too much."
"The heck's a huscarl?" Meiling wondered.
"Medieval chief of security, more or less," Gryphon said.
"Oh." Meiling considered that, then nodded, smiling. "Could do worse."
"From the sound of it, you almost did," Lena pointed out.
"I fail to see how being my snuggle bunny is anything other than a highly honorable office," said Sakuya with exaggerated dignity.
"Fair point, well made," Lena conceded.