This is to Dulcinbradbury‘s commissioned prompt “A rescue that happens long after the physical need for it has passed. (But it’s just as necessary all the same.)”
Author’s note: This is set in Addergoole, my webserial, which in turn is set in my Fae Apoc setting (Landing Page (LJ Link)) – the Year 8/9 stuff happens several years after the serial’s main timeline.
In this setting, a twist of magic allows people to Own (“Keep”) other people in a mind-control manner, which often is imposed on new students via trickery their first year. Also, Dyfri is a merman of sorts.
Dyfri hadn’t been able to help Evie last year. He’d done everything he could to get to her first, but Calvin had grabbed her, Owned her, and that was, as they say, all she wrote. Calvin being what he was, she’d soon been forbidden to talk to him at all, and he’d stayed away so as to not make life harder on her. He couldn’t, he knew, take Calvin on in a flat-out challenge. He’d struggled with a way to make it happen, but the bigger boy wasn’t stupid enough to come into the water, where the bias in the fight would have swung the other way. So he waited, and swore a lot, and plotted.
Calvin, like most Keepers in Addergoole, wouldn’t hold on to a girl more than a year. The teachers got really unhappy about it, and so did the other students. So on the last day of classes, Dyfri waited, and was there when the asshat kicked Evie out of his room with two garbage bags of stuff.
“Let me help you carry that?” he asked, as gently as he could.
“Go away, Dy,” she answered tiredly. “I don’t need this.”
“Just a bag, Evie,” he countered, and, raw from the crying she’d obviously been doing, she agreed.
A bag, that day. Dinner the next week. He treated her like a feral animal, plying her carefully with simple, innocuous things: food. A walk out in the Village. A sarong his mother had, inexplicably, sent from Hawaii. Every time, she’d tell him to go away. Every time, he’d coax her into one small thing.
It took half the summer for her to invite him into her room, cautiously, an invitation laden with assurances that he wouldn’t touch her without her permission, wouldn’t hurt her, wouldn’t work magic on her. The door had just closed when she turned on him, pounding her fists against his chest.
“You didn’t stop him. You just stood there. Just let him take me. Just let him…” Her words broken down into sobs as Dyfri took the punches and the accusations, knowing he deserved them all. “You…” another sob, and then, in a tiny voice they would both, later, pretend she hadn’t used, “hold me?”
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