Wednesday, November 28, 2012

1.17 - Absolute Pin

Evandrus snuck back into his house through the bedroom window and changed into his pajamas. He'd seen all of the missed calls his mother had left him. And he really didn't feel like being shouted at. It was too loud in the house already without her anger rattling the walls.

"Evandrus? I've been looking all over the house for you. I almost called the cops. Where have you been?" Illdrid asked, her voice wavering with emotion, as she rushed to embrace her teenage son. She was angry. But mostly, she was relieved that he made it home safely..

Evandrus sighed. So much for convincing his mom that he was happily napping in his room. "Look, mom. I'm sorry. Sometimes all the noise makes my head feel all buzzy. I just needed some alone time. Honestly...I just took a walk and fell asleep on a bench. I didn't realize it would cause a panic."

Illdrid accepted his explanation with a curt nod. "Just tell me where you're going. Or the next time you'll be in big trouble!"

Evandrus slunk back to his bedroom, feeling an odd mix of relief and guilt.

It wasn't long before the other teens also arrived home. Kari had to return to her own house before curfew, but Percy didn't seem like he was in any rush to leave.  Dagon was happy to have Percy with him, but he felt something haunting his boyfriend that Percy didn't seem too keen on sharing. Elisedd's cries interrupted Dagon's dark thoughts before he could delve too deep into them. "I'm going to put the baby to bed," Dagon said. "Make yourself at home."
Pensively, Percy wandered through the small house. Someone was occupying every room. He just needed to get somewhere and think. He opened Aoife's bedroom door, only to find her napping. Percy exhaled an exasperated string of curses. He turned around to leave, only to find Dagon's Aunt Shae blocking the doorway.

"Are you alright, son?" she asked with a kind smile, her eyes probing into him knowingly.

Percy pursed his lips, unsure of how to respond. He felt like Shae could see right to the core of him. "Did you ever feel like a secret would just eat you apart?" he finally responded when the silence between them became too much to handle.

"Secrets, no. But there have been other feelings that felt strong enough to rip me apart. Now I am a stronger person for it. Would you like to discuss your secrets?"

Percy seriously considered it. But Dagon's cheerful whistling prefaced his entrance, causing Percy to shoot a silent look of panic to Dagon's aunt.
"What's going on in here?" Dagon asked, his glance shooting quizzically between his boyfriend and his aunt.

Percy made a goofy face in response in an attempt to break the tension. Luckily, it worked. Dagon laughed and made his own ridiculous face. Shae started at the two boys incredulously.

Aoife groaned and shot out of bed. "Really, people? Is there a reason we are all congregating in my room while I attempt to nap?"
They all looked at her sheepishly, but were spared from answering by Illdrid's call to dinner. There hadn't been enough soup for their guest, so Illdrid had whipped him up a plate of pancakes.

"Whoa, pancakes! We never get pancakes at home," Percy said. Shae tried to ignore the shock and excitement in the boy's voice, but she couldn't help thinking that something was terribly wrong at his house.
Dagon's thoughts were along the same distressing line as his aunt's. He ate his soup in silence, even as Aoife tried to ply him with friendly banter.
Percy and Dagon cuddled on the couch until Dagon felt himself drifting off. He kissed Percy on the forehead, said his goodbyes and wandered off to bed, leaving Percy alone in the living room. Percy sighed and snuggled against the rocking chair. Finally he was alone. He drifted into a peaceful sleep.

Evandrus woke up around 1:00 am. Unable to fall back to sleep, he heeded the siren's call of the computer games in the living room. He walked past Percy without giving him a second glance. It wasn't any of his business what Dagon's boyfriend was still doing here. Besides, it was level grinding time.
The following morning was Saturday, and Percy was gone by the time the rest of the house woke up. He and Dagon were supposed to have brunch together, but Dagon couldn't get in touch with him. Aoife sensed his distress and suggested they go to the fair. Percy could meet them there whenever he called back. Dagon accepted reluctantly, and it seemed as if his reticence was justified when Aoife talked him into being goalie to her kicker.

Dagon leapt after the ball as it sailed through the air. And he missed. Every. Single. Time. "Come on, Aoife. Do we have to keep playing this stupid game?"

"I guess we could check out the inside attractions. Looks like it's about to rain anyway," Aoife responded, glancing up at the darkened sky.
Once inside, Aoife managed to convince Dagon to try his hand at rollerskating after seeing one of the townsfolk gliding gracefully around the rink. Unfortunately, neither teen possessed the sort of skill required to exhibit that level of grace. After his third tumble, Dagon took off his skates and skulked upstairs. Aoife decided not to follow him. All of her attempts to cheer him up had failed.
Turns out, all Dagon needed was a snow cone. The sky was exploding with rain and hail; Percy wasn't answering his phone calls; Aoife was showing him up at soccer. But all of that melted away with the taste of sugary ice.
Meanwhile, Evandrus decided to take advantage of the bizarre weather. This time, he let his mother know he was leaving. Even he wasn't sure where he was going to go, but it seemed as good a day as any to go for a swim. Evandrus took off at a sprint, exuberance filling him as tiny pebbles of ice bounced off his skin.
He threw his clothes into a small heap beside the lake, shoved his feet into  a pair of rubber flippers, and waded cautiously into the murky water. It was warmer than he had expected. He made a few experimental strokes deeper into the water, but swam back to shore when something slimy slid up against his thigh. Maybe it wasn't such a good day to go swimming, after all.
Even though swimming didn't work out for him, Evandrus was loath to return home so soon. He decided he'd just take a nice long stroll through the neighborhood. He avoided the main roads and all of the people on them, slinking through people's backyards. Outside of one house, something odd caught his eyes - a vampire conversing with two fairies. There had been an influx of fairies recently, ever since the war in the Realm. But Evandrus only knew of one vampire who lived in town. Slow realization coursed over him. He was staring at his father.
Before he could give it a second thought, Evandrus marched up to the vampire, rage coursing through his veins. "You! Father. You know what I think of you? You're a vile, stinking, slime ball," Evandrus sneered.

James paled, if that was possible. Here was his son, flesh and blood, before him. "Evandrus," he whispered, hoarse with emotion. "I know you felt abandoned. I never mean for that to happen. I love your mother. And you. I would give anything to be with you."

Evandrus' eyebrows knotted together. "Spare me your feelings. You abandoned us."

"I did not abandon you! I did what I thought was right," James replied before launching in to the entire story of his relationship with Illdrid - the first night together, Dagon's near kidnapping, James' attempts to protect Illdrid by staying out of her life and the subsequent argument that led to him keeping his distance.
Crestfallen, Evandrus wandered away from his father. In the span of a few moments, his whole life had been sent into disarray. His father had turned out to be something of a hero, and his mother, while certainly not a villain, was not without blame in her loneliness. Unable to contain them, Evandrus burst into tears.

James came up behind him and put a hand on his shoulder. "What's past is past. Whatever happens between your mother and I, you have my word that I will be here for you. Now, friends have information that may be of great interest to you."

"Evandrus, this is Melody and Al. Guys, this is my son, Evandrus."

Melody looked the young boy up and down, trying to discern for any signs of deception. "Are you sure he's safe, James?"

James nodded. "He's on your side. His mother and aunts were the ones who were banished from your world."

Al arched his eyebrow. "So your family started this whole mess?"

"What mess?" Evandrus asked. He hadn't been given any information from his mom about banishment or fairies. He thought they were just relatively normal humans like everyone else - with the exception of Aoife and Elisedd.

Melody sighed. "Your grandmother mated with a human. She had two halflings and try to raise them as Fae. When the Elder Council discovered the deceit, your grandparents were executed and the halflings were expelled here. Then my brother, Drest decided to start a war. Those of us who could escape took refuge in this world. But I think Drest has been captured. I'm trying to gather some troops to get him released. Not that you will be of any help. Part fae, part vamp and you don't have any powers. It's all the stupid human in you. Disgrace. "

"Melody," James said, his voice a sharp warning. "I wouldn't want Evandrus to be a part of this, anyway. Like I said, I'll help where I can. Leave his family out of it."

Plans were hatched while Evandrus attempted to follow along. It seemed very complicated. More than anything, he wished he could go back to his childhood dreams of being and all powerful king. At least then, he'd have his own army of soldiers to command.

As much as he wanted to stay, he knew he had to get home before curfew. So he said his goodbyes, wished the best for them all, and ran home to tell his mother everything he had learned.

He didn't exactly get the welcome reception he was hoping for. "What do you mean you found your father and he's helping out in some war? Are you crazy? He's a vampire. He could be dangerous!" Illdrid shouted, her heart full with heavy feelings of loss. She wasn't really angry at her son. She was angry at James. She was angry at herself. She was going to be an elder soon and she had nothing to show for it but a string of men's broken promises.

Evandrus tried to calm his mother down, but he didn't really know what to say. He didn't understand the complexity of the situation. And when his mother stomped into her bedroom and slammed the door, Evandrus was left bewildered and alone, wondering just when the role of parent and child had been reversed.
By the time Aoife and Dagon got home from the festival, the house was filled with a tense calm. Evandrus and Illdrid had retreated to their respective rooms and Shae was at work, leaving the twins to play quietly by themselves. When Aoife saw Diarmuid playing with his toy xylophone, she sat down to help him bang out some notes.
She knew it was his birthday and that they hadn't spent a lot of time together, so she scooped him into her arms and let him nap with her in the rocking chair. There was an eery silence in the house, but Aoife tried not to let it trouble her.
Luckily the mood seemed to shift once the cake was brought out. Illdrid was still pensive. But Dagon was genuinely excited that there wouldn't be anymore smelly potty chairs or diapers in the house. He wouldn't have to shift through a fridge full of baby food jars. Plus, he really hoped that at least one of the twins would share his interest in art. It would be nice to have a boy family member to bond with, since Evandrus was always so distant.
But Evandrus defied his own loner personality when Diarmuid climbed into his bed. "Okay, kid. I'm going to read you something to help you fall asleep. It's a logic book. I'm sure you won't think it's very exciting. But you might need to be a master strategist one day to fight off the fairy hordes."

"Oh! E! Tell me more about fairy hordes! Will they have magic tricks like Elisedd?" Diarmuid asked, his voice trembling with excitement.

"We can discuss the fairies later," Evandrus said. "Now we must learn the art of strong defense."
"Hey, Dag. I'm sorry I made you do all those sporty things today. I was just trying to cheer you up," Aoife shouted over her mother's attempts to fix the broken plumbing in the kitchen.

"It's no problem. But I still haven't heard from Percy. I'm going to go try to call him. Night, Aoife," Dagon replied, the ghost of a smile playing at his lips.

Elisedd took out a mop and cleaned up after his mom's mess. He appeared to be doing something helpful, but really he was just biding his time until he was alone with Aoife. With his larger body came larger wings and a strong current of magic. And he knew just the fun trick to pull with that magic.
He didn't have long to wait. While his mom was cleaning up in the bathroom, Elisedd took his change. "Hey Aoife! What's blue and white and cold all over?"

"What?" Aoife said, grinning at the impish tyke.

"You!" He exlaimed, blowing a stream of frost into his sister's face. But, unexpectedly, she blew it back at him, reversing the spell. He shivered uncontrollably. Why didn't it work?
Aoife used every ounce of willpower she had to remain in human form. Her baser instincts were straining to take over. But this was her little brother, not an enemy, so she took a deep breath and began shouting on the exhale. "Don't you ever, EVER play that trick on me again, you little bratt. What would you have done if I had morphed into my wolf form and tried to maul you?"

Elisedd pondered the question seriously for a moment before answering, "I believe I probably would have died. But the marks left would indicate a wolf attack, so at least the evidence would be enough to prosecute you."

Aoife shook her head, wondering how he was already so smart. Must be the genius trait at work. "Get out of my face before I call mom and have her prosecute you!"

Elisedd scurried out of the room but shouted behind him, "Persecute! The correct word there is persecute! Unfair treatment!"
The next day was Illdrid's birthday. Still feeling down, she decided to go shopping to cheer herself up. They had managed to amass enough to redecorate the living room. She'd be happier with a second floor expansion, but she still had hopes of seeing that at some point before dying.

She found everything she needed at the consignment shop. She paid extra to get her purchases delivered. And then she left. It was still early. And there was one more place she wanted to go.
James let her in immediately, trying to avoid the effect of the harsh sunlight on his skin. Before he could say anything, Illdrid began her rambling. "I'm sorry. All these years wasted. We could have been together. And instead, here you are looking exactly the same and tonight I will be an old woman. And then I will never be loved by anyone again. What a wasted life I've lived."
James chuckled. "You've lived a wonderful life, and you will still be beautiful even in your old age. I, too, am sorry. There have been many wasted years between us, and I fear you won't like what I have to say next. I intend to help the rebel forces fight the Council in the Fae Raelm."

Illdrid didn't lash out at him. She let him explain his plan and accepted that it meant more time apart. But he promised he'd return to her when the war was over. And this promise, Illdrid believed.

Even after her visit with James, Illdrid still had plenty of time to unpack her new purchases before all the kids got home from school. Evandrus was the first one inside. He barely noticed the change and sat down to research rebellion tactics in an old war strategy textbook.

Elisedd was the next to come in. He put his hands on his hips and surveyed the room. "Good job, aunt Illdrid. I like what you did with the place." Then he sat down and started doing his homework.

It wasn't the reaction Illdrid had been expecting, but everyone else oohed and aahed appropriately, so Illdrid felt better about the job she did.
While everyone was preoccupied with all the new stuff, Illdrid retreated to the bathroom to have her final birthday in peace.

Challenge notes: Illdrid is old and I am sad. Generation one is pretty much complete. Single with help, Check. Five kids, check. Military, check...and almost at the top. Busker was my actual roll for the second profession but I modified it to be a "professional" woohooer. Illdrid got around much less than I had expected. She made less than 6000 simoleons in her chosen profession. I should have just kept the Busker roll! Anyway...hobby or obsession, check! Illdrid took up both guitar playing AND cooking. And finally, multi-cultural. Mostly check! I technically failed because of Dagon, but I did my best.

So, all the kids are growing. And I am pretty sure Diarmuid is going to be the heir. He hasn't gotten much camera time, but hopefully now that he can be more interesting, he will be.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

1.16 - The Allure of Young Love

"Mom! You'll never believe what just happened!" Aoife said, her eyes lighting up, her hands a flutter of activity. "I met this girl in school today, and she wants me to be her date to the prom tonight. She was SUPPOSED to go with Percy. But then she and Percy broke up because they're both actually gay! Crazy, right? Anyway. I think it might be fun to go and dance and you know, she's cute. Plus she wants me to go in my wolf form. This is going to be awesome."

Shae just nodded and smiled as he daughter went on and on. She was happy for her daughter, but in her excitement, she couldn't even get a word in. Illdrid sat silently at the table, hoping the eldest children wouldn't get their hearts broken so soon. Love could be so fickle, especially at such a young age. She thought about James and wondered what he was doing. Maybe she should call him. It had been so long. Danger no longer seemed to lurk around every corner. Perhaps he would forgive her childish outburst from so many years ago.
Aoife and Dagon were the first to get picked up by the limo. They left enough room for their respective dates. A nervous silence hung in the air between them. Would it be a night of disaster and shame? Or a fairytale they'd both remember forever?
Meanwhile, Evandrus decided to age up by himself. He didn't want anyone fussing over him or trying to ply him with cakes, asking about his wishes. He just calmly stood in his bedroom and let the sparkles overtake him.
Things didn't feel much different as a teenager. Although, the realization dawned on him that maybe his goal to become royalty was a bit ridiculous. Instead, he decided he would write books. About a king. There might be dragons. He could illustrate them, too. The thing that made him most excited about his new life goal was the fact that it would enable him to live alone in a cabin somewhere. He could be that hermit who shouted at kids to get off his lawn. He endeavored right then to grow a mountain man beard. It was only fitting.
Dagon strolled out of prom that night, unable to keep a smile from his lips. It had been magical. He had danced the night away with Percy, and by the end of the night, their relationship was official.
As soon as he got into his room, he hung the picture of the two of them on the wall. He had attempted to take a serious and romantic picture, but Percy was determined to be silly. It was so like him. And it turned into a better photo than Dagon had pictured.
Aoife had a surprisingly good time, as well. Despite only being a freshman, she was voted prom queen. Dagon suspected it was because everyone was intimidated by her wolf form, but she was so happy, he didn't relay his suspicions to her. She had danced the night away in Kari's arms, and whether it was the magic of the evening or possibly the spiked punch, she agreed at the end of the evening to be Kari's steady girlfriend.
The next morning at breakfast, Dagon couldn't take his eyes off his little brother. It was weird seeing him so much older. "Did you have an enjoyable birthday, Ev?"

Evandrus shrugged. "It was a birthday. I find the whole party thing tedious. But I had a pleasant evening alone. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get ready for school."

Dagon and Aoife exchanged bemused glances. Evandrus was just as strange as always.
Evandrus made sure to sit alone on the bus going to and from school. He couldn't be bothered with his peers. They could never possibly understand him. And he didn't really want them to. Life was much more interesting played out in his mind than it was in the real world.
That evening, Aoife and Dagon decided to hit the local karaoke bar. Aoife remained in her wolf form. She really enjoyed the way people just gave her everything she asked for when she looked like that. As soon as they walked in Mick's, the previous karaoke singers dispersed, leaving Aoife and Dagon to take up the mics. Their atrocious howling sent the patrons grumbling out into the streets, holding their ears. But the two teens had fun.
"Well that was fun," Dagon said to Aoife afterward. "Do you think we should have invited Evandrus? I know he doesn't like people much. But he IS my brother."

Aoife shook her head. "Nah. I don't think he would have had much fun anyway. But next time we SHOULD make it a double date! Percy and Kari would love this!"
Aoife was right about Evandrus. He didn't need a night out on the town to have a good time. He was immersed in his own little world in front of the computer screen. One everyone in town would be reading his books. He was sure of it.
The following morning, Aoife and Dagon invited Kari and Percy back to Mick's. Since it was so early, they had the place to themselves.

"I heard this place was kind of lame. So you better be prepared to show me a good time!" Kari said, playfully poking Aoife's shoulder.

"Oh yea, you hear that from all your preppy cheerleader friends?" Aoife retorted with a smirk.

"So now we're onto the stereotypes, are we? Alright! I challenge you to a game of know, if this dump even has a pool table. AND...I want your cousin to be my teammate!"

Aoife burst into laughter. "Sure thing, sweetie. You can take Artsy Dagon and I'll have Sporty Percy. This will be a real competition!"

"Aaaand the town bike steps up to the plate!" Aoife shouted as soon as Kari stepped up to break.

"Hey!" Percy said, glaring at his teammate. "Don't call her that. Besides. This isn't even the appropriate sport!"

Aoife 's lips curled as she rolled her eyes. "I'm just trying to throw her off her game." She turned toward Kari. "You know I was just joking, right?"

Kari chuckled. "Like I would take anything you said seriously!"

Despite their team's combined talent and Aoife's distraction attempts, they lost to Kari and Dagon. Aoife did her best to accept defeat gracefully, but it was really hard to do while Kari gloated.
Percy was a much better loser. It certainly didn't hurt that Dagon didn't particularly care about winning. Actually, all he really wanted to do was sing. "Come on! Let's sing that Gaga song!" he said, pulling Percy by the hand to the karaoke machine.
"Oh wow. We were awful!" Percy said, beginning to giggle.

"Come on, we weren't that bad," Dagon replied. But after stealing a glance at Percy's dubious expression, Dagon recanted his statement.
Kari and Aoife remained upstairs, but their attention was no longer on the pool game. "I demand a rematch," Aoife whispered throatily, as she pulled Kari into her embrace.

Kari's eyes widened. "Whoa there. Don't you think we're moving a little too fast?"

"I think we'd be moving too fast if I were to suggest we do some hardcore canoodling in the deserted photobooth," Aoife replied, her eyes sparkling with mischief as she inched closer to the aforementioned device.

"Yea? Well this bike is feeling a little speedy. Care to hop on?" Kari managed to choke out in between giggles as the two girls stumbled behind the curtains.
"It's nice having alone time," Dagon said as he slipped his arm around Percy's shoulders. They were sitting on a couch near the pool table, trying to ignore the suspicious sounds coming from the photobooth.

Percy smiled. "Yea. Our houses are both so full of people. I enjoy the quiet."

Dagon nuzzled Percy's neck. "Have you told your parents about us?"

Percy pulled Dagon closer, catching his boyfriend's lips with his own. Dagon half-heartedly attempted an objection. But he could tell Percy wasn't quite ready to talk about his family life. So he let the subject drop and let Percy guide their kisses.
At home, Illdrid was starting to worry. She knew that Percy and Aoife were out with their partners. But she couldn't get in touch with Evandrus. He wasn't in his bed when she woke up. And he wouldn't answer his cell phone. She was seriously beginning to consider calling the police.
Evandrus would have to come up with some sort of excuse for why he was missing. His mom would never believe that he just decided to take a nap in the scrapyard. He just needed some alone time, and it was comforting being surrounded by a bunch of inanimate objects, so much so that he just happened to fall asleep among them.


Chapter Notes: Phew! Once they hit childhood, those kids just started growing so fast. I'm really going to miss them all when they have to move out. Evandrus is my favorite. Unfortunately, he doesn't fit next gen's he'll be gone once he hits adulthood. :( I'm thinking one of the twins will be heir. But I want to see how they turn out as children before decided for sure.