Sunday, September 18, 2011
Chapter 10: The Long Game
"I need to tell you something," he says, his voice quiet, hesitant. She leans closer into his embrace, ready to accept whatever he has to say. Her trust is given to him unearned, he thinks, and that strengthens his resolve to tell her everything. "I'm not entirely human," he says, not the easiest words to speak.
Amelia looks up at him, smiling, like she's playing along with a joke, "What are you, then?"
"I'm not joking," Thierry says, "I'm part fae. My grandmother, Jennicor Tricou, was a fairy. She married a human man, and her daughters are half fae. My father..." Thierry hesitates here, but then continues. It's time for all the truth, "He is part fae, as well. He was a shaman once, he lived a long time ago. My mother resurrected him."
Amelia's mouth opens and closes a few times while she thinks about what to say. "I guess it makes sense," she says, "It explains a lot about your family."
"I've always known the real you, Thierry. This...heritage...is just another detail. It doesn't change who you are."
"You still love me?"
"I will always love you," she answers. She turns her face to him, pressing her lips against his. "Does being part fae give you any special powers?" she asks.
"I can sense other fae creatures. Like you, for instance. Somewhere in your ancestry there's a flower sprite."
"My uncle says his great-greatgrandmother married a man whose mother had green skin," Amelia says, "I always thought he was making that up. But maybe that's the flower sprite?"
Thierry nods, "I would think so. There is one more thing you need to know. Zhenzhen isn't human, either. She's a fox spirit."
"She's never claimed to be a normal child," Amelia says, "She says she was a spirit inhabiting a doll Li Feng inherited from her mother. She says she was sent to by Sun to protect her daughter."
Thierry frowns, "No one sends fox spirits anywhere; they go where they will. And they don't normally take on the role of protector. They are tricksters, and they can be dangerous. Keep an eye on her, let me know what she does. I have sought aid from my fae relations, but I have not received a reply yet."
"Why don't you go play with Li Feng?" Hawke asks, not pausing his song.
"Li Feng doesn't want to play with me," Zhenzhen says bitterly, "She wants to make new friends."
Hawke smiles indulgently, "It's normal for her to want to have more friends. I'm sure she'd love it if you joined her."
"I like being with you, Hawke. I like listening to you play."
"All right, you can stay up here with me," Hawke says, "Just as long as you stay quiet."
Moth brought Thierry a return message from Summerdream. "She says she'll meet you by the standing stones, at night." So Thierry risks curfew, an alien concept to the fae, to meet with Tania Summerdream, his Grandaunt.
"You seek my aid against a fox spirit?" Summerdream says when he approaches her, "What has this fox done to you?"
"Not to me. To the family of my betrothed," Thierry explains.
Summerdream frowns, "A human family?" Thierry doesn't need to answer, she sees the truth of it in his eyes. "Is the fox breaking any laws? Fae laws?"
"She's...behaving oddly, for a fox," Thierry answers, "But no laws have been broken."
"Explain this odd behavior," Summerdream requests.
"She's taken the form of a human child, and has attached herself to a female child. She claims to have been sent by the child's deceased mother to protect her."
"That is odd," Summerdream agrees. "Tell me about the males in this family."
It would seem like an odd question, unless one knows about fox spirits, who normally take the form of lovely young women, to seduce men, feeding on their energy. "There's only one, an adult, the father of the child the fox is attached to. He is my betrothed's uncle," Thierry adds, emphasizing his personal relation to the human, hoping that might sway Summerdream's sympathy.
"You could ask her," Thierry suggests.
Summerdream laughs, "I'm curious, but not enough to intercede. Perhaps she seeks to gain the man's trust through a relationship to the child. It is unusual for a fox to play such a long game, but time changes us all, and we get bored of our old games.
"I don't want the fox to hurt my betrothed's family," Thierry insists, "But I cannot stop her without aid."
"You ask me to protect a human family from a fae spirit who is only doing what is in her nature?" Summerdream says, "You must know I will not side with the humans on this."
"They have fae blood as well. There is a flower sprite in their ancestry," Thierry says, playing his final card.
"Perhaps if you would count those of us with diluted blood as part of the fae, your numbers would not dwindle, but grow as well."
"Do you remember what happened when I last helped a human, trusted a human?" Summerdream demands, angry, "I adopted the child Jon Smith, hoping to forge an alliance with the growing tribe of humans. And he seduced my sister, ran off with her to the human realms. Jennicor lived as a human, and died as one. Contact with their kind makes us less, not more."
"And yet here I am, your sister's grandson, asking for a place amongst the fae," Thierry says.
"If I help you, there will be at a price," Summerdream says.
"There is always a price. What would you have of me?"
"One hundred years, to learn your fae nature and truly take your place among us."
Thierry rocks back on his heels. Enbracing the fae side of heritage is one thing, but leaving behind his human life is not what he wanted. "I will pay that price, if it comes to it," Thierry agrees, "But as the fox is biding her time, then so will I. If I have need of you, will you come?"
"I will," Summerdream says, "And if I come, will you return with me, and live amongst us, for no less than one hundred years?"
"I will," Thierry says.
Li Feng catches her sabotaging the TV. "Why do you do stuff like that?" Li demands, "Why are you constantly trying to make trouble?"
"You'd better not tell on me," Zhenzhen says. It isn't much of a threat, but Li Feng has always been easily cowed.
Zhenzhen isn't any fonder of automobiles than she is of televisions, but learning to drive is an opportunity to be with Hawke.
"I know everything about you and Sun," she reminds him, "I know how much she loved you, and I know you dream of her still."
"I don't want to talk about that, especially not with you," Hawke says.
"You forget, I'm not a child. I've taken this form, so I can protect Li Feng. But I've lived far longer than you, and I know more about love than you can imagine."
"I'll be fine, Mom," Amelia insists, "It's time for you to move on. You've waited a long time to be with Thornton."
"Keep your eyes on that Zhenzhen. She's up to no good," Eleanor warns.
Amelia nods. She hasn't told anyone what Thierry told her about Zhenzhen, but whether she's trickster spirit or just a rambunctious teen, she is a troublemaker who must be kept in line. Hawke won't discipline her, so the task will fall on Amelia once Eleanor is gone.
"You're too hard on her," Hawke says, "Everything will be fine here. Don't worry bout us."
Eleanor isn't worried, she's leaving Amelia in charge.
Zhenzhen has finally gotten rid of Eleanor, but Amelia and her halfling lover have taken her place as watchdog. This game is going on too long, and she grows tired of playing, waiting for the end game. It's time, she thinks, time to make her move before the halfling can interfere with her plans.
Generation 2 officially starts. A reminder of the roll: Single parent, 2 kids. Military career. Opportunist (I've been doing this for Amelia since her childhood) and Live Your Trait. I'm using Amelia's Athletic trait for that. Everyday she swims, works out and/or jogs.
Her traits are Friendly, Brave, Athletic, Handy and Loves the Outdoors.
The single parent rule allows a spouse/partner before the birth of the first child, so Thierry will be living in the house for a short time. He'll be unemployed during that time.
His traits are Dramatic, Excitable, Inappropriate, Light Sleeper, I forget the fifth.
Zhenzhen has technophobe as a trait, so she is able to sabotage the TV. She came with that and Party Animal and Angler. I gave her Flirty as a teen trait, in keeping with the Fox Spirit MO.
Eleanor was moved out into Thornton's house. They got married and I moved them into his old penthouse. Then SP moved them back into the house next door. *shrug* I guess Eleanor really wants to keep an eye on her brother.
Posted by yangthecat at 8:12 AM