In a crew with my Keeper this year… Cya’s smile didn’t falter. “I don’t mind at all. Hop in, Pan. I’m Cynara du’Red Doomsday, Yoshi’s mother.”
The boy – if he wasn’t a relative of Leofric’s, she’d eat her hat – looked a little startled, but he got into the back seat of the car, letting Yoshi load his luggage. Double mistake, but then again, most kids hadn’t been raised by Boom.
“Doomsday?” he asked, as she got back into the driver’s seat, Yoshi riding shotgun. “Yoshi, man, you didn’t tell me your mom was in Boom.”
“No-one asked.” Her son still had that dead tone that she remembered far too well from other Kept, other years. She wasn’t entirely certain this Pan would survive the drive home.
Well, her crew being what it was, she was very good at hiding bodies.
Once they were on the long, straight stretch of highway headed home, she muttered a quick Working under cover of a well-timed coughing fit from Yoshi. The boy in her back seat wasn’t going anywhere now. “Talk to me,” she murmured to her son, gentling it just enough to not be a command.
Yoshi squirmed. “It… I know what everyone was talking around?” He offered uncomfortably. “And some of the stuff your Kept du jour have… well, like the one guy, with the nightmares?”
Cya tightened her grip on the steering wheel. Njörðr’s time at Addergoole had been… well, nightmare-inducing. “I’m sorry we couldn’t tell you,” she said softly, instead of all the things she wanted to say.
“Well,” he squirmed uncomfortably. “I knew about Keeping. I mean, with your Kept du jour… Somehow Tethys caught me anyway.” He held up both hands, presumably to keep Cya from Finding the bitch right now and ripping out her guts. “Mom… She wasn’t. I mean. I’ve heard stories. She wasn’t like, like Jordy’s Keeper. I mean, no scars. And she already had her two.”
Slowly, Cya unpeeled one hand from the wheel and offered it to her son. “There’s more than one way to be a horrendous Keeper, hon. Ask your Uncle Leo, sometime, maybe.”
Panlong, in the back seat, had latched on to one part of their conversation. “Kept du jour?”
“Oh, yeah,” Yoshi grinned, with feigned casualness. “Every year, Mom picks up a new Addergoole grad and Keeps them for a year. Last year was a bunny.”
“New…” Pan moved for the car door, only to realize that he couldn’t. He paled slowly. “I’m fucked, aren’t I?”
“Look at it this way,” Yoshi said, with cheerful malice that suggested he was quoting something, “it’s only for a year.”
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