Meeting the Family, More of the Story of Addergoole Post-Apoc (@inventrix @cluudle)

This is actually a storified chat-log from a chat RP with @inventrix after
Separation Anxiety (LJ) Boom!/RP timeline/ Cynara
Parting Advice, and Mother Bears (LJ)
Mother-Son Bonding (LJ)
Kept du Jour (LJ)
“Are we killing this one?” (LJ)

Content warnings: implied past abuse.

“Idu Intinn” is a, um, magic spell meaning “Know Mind;” in short, surface telepathy.

By the time they reached the Ranch, Panlong was collared, nervous, and very confused-seeming, in part, Cya was sure, because Yoshi couldn’t seem to settle on a way to treat the older boy.

Leo, shirking chores, appeared next to the car as if summoned to help unload, half-Masked as he tended to in fuzzy-antler season, his ears and tail showing but not his antlers. Cya smiled at him as she got out of the car and popped the trunk; Yoshi, still Masked, and Panlong, still un-Masked, followed her out of the car, looking various shades of unhappy.

Leo stopped dead in his tracks, and Cya’s heart sank. She’d expected some reaction, once she told the crew. Not on sight. She did this every year – didn’t she?

Leo glanced between Pan and Cya, looking super-suspicious. “Who’s this?”

“Leofric sa’Lightning-Blade this is Panlong oro’Cynara,” she introduced them formally. “Pan, Leo.” At some point, she’d need to learn the Name Pan had earned. Not today.
Leo, still watching Panlong warily, inclined his head in a brief greeting. He then, pointedly, said nothing to him, instead turning to Yoshi as they unloaded the car. “So, how’d it go?”

Panlong was clearly fighting his instincts with his terror and common sense, and did not turn his back on this bigger buck as he moved as Cya directed. She kept both eyes on him and muttered a quick Idu Intinn, just enough to let her follow the conversation from beyond normal earshot, reading the conversation from Yoshi’s ears and eyes.

“It went,” Yoshi answered carefully.

“…I see.” Leofric was clearly not pleased with this answer, but didn’t press the issue. Instead, he made a tense gesture at Pan. “Friend of yours?”

“He was in a crew with my Keeper,” he answered slowly. “I thought Mom might like him.”

Oh.” Leo managed to put enough hostility into that one syllable to level a small country. “Well. It looks like you were right.” The boy is still here, after all. For the moment.

Yoshi winced a little bit. “Mom probably wouldn’t like it if you did permanent damage to him,” he muttered sotto voce

Cya was conveniently in line of sight, still, but not in earshot. Panlong, on the other hand, hovering between her and Yoshi, could hear just fine. She noted the way he flinched forward and deemed it an acceptable level of twitchiness. He deserved some nerves for what he’d done to her son.

“Only permanent?” Leo kept his voice down to the same level and looks up at the kid, grinning. “That’s easy.”

Yoshi shook his head. “I know why I don’t like him. Why don’t you?” This time, it was quieter, quiet enough that a slowly-sidling-away Pan could only hear that SOMETHING is being said.

Cya was glad for the Idu, wanting to know the answer. She moved closer to Pan, to put a hand on his shoulder, and pointed out where he needed to put things – Yoshi’s things in his room, Pan’s things…

“Hunh. Hallway closet for now.” She was not going to be sharing room or bedspace with this one. Certainly not right away.

Outside, Leo considered the question thoughtfully. “It’s complicated,” he finally settled on.

Oh, good, Leo. Complicated. Cya sighed again. This was going to get messy.

And then Yoshi made it messier. “I’m all for more reasons to hate him. Is it ’cause he kinda looks like you? I mean… Mom’s brought home your half-brothers before.” Yes, dear. About fifty percent of the time. Or nephews, or great-nephews.

Leofric tensed and shot Yoshi a sharp glance. “Why did you think Cya would like him?”

There was a pause while her son considered her answer. Cya studied the boy, antlers, blonde hair, that chin she knew so well, while waiting. He shoved his suitcases in the hall closet, and looked out at the car like it was a war zone.

“She has a type.” Two types, thank you. Possibly three. “And, well, I wanted to fuck with him. Getting him under Mom’s collar seemed a good way to kill two birds with one stone.”

Cya chuckled, and then had to make it a cough.

“Go on,” she snapped at Panlong. “Keep moving.”

Leo’s fingers twitched in a barely-repressed reflex. “What did he–” He cut himself off mid-sentence and exhaled loudly. “If you feel like talking about it…”

Listening, Cya felt her glare at the boy deepening. What did he do, indeed.

Yoshi’s breaths were getting shakey. “Not yet. Thanks, Uncle Leo.” He smiled uncertainly. “Pan wasn’t the worst of it, but Mom doesn’t ever Keep girls.”

Oh. Oh. Some bitch was going to die a messy, bloody death. A slow one. Pan, seeing the look on her face, backed up slowly towards the closet.

Leofric looked like he was going to say something, then just smiled crookedly. “No, she doesn’t.”

Oh, dear. Cya wished, momentarily, for a deeper Idu, but she wouldn’t do that without his permission.

Yoshi’s face twisted in worry. “Uncle Leo…?” he asked nervously.

“It’s okay.” His smile looked a bit forced and uncertain to Yoshi’s eyes, like he wasn’t sure it was the right response. “You talked to your mom about it, yet?”

Hardly. She frowned, and resisted the urge to shove the boy in the closet.

“A little. I mean, Pan was in the car, so there was only so much. And… she’s my mom,” he adds uncertainly. “She sounds like she gets it, but can she, really?” He sounds like he’s not sure he wants to know.

Oh, son. She bit her lip and went for the next load of luggage.

“Yes.” It was a very definite yes. “She does.”

“I’m not sure I want to think about how Mom knows that sort of thing.” Yoshi squirmed uncomfortably; listening in, Cya did, too. “She said you might… get it?”

Leofric glanced away, looking conflicted. “…I might. If…” He trails off. “Whenever you want to talk about it, I’ll… try.” It was time to break this conversation up. She grabbed Panlong and steered him towards the others with another chest.

She paused by the pair, son and beloved, meeting Leo’s eye. He gave her a twisted half-smile, almost apologetic, then gave himself a shake and inhaled deeply, exhaled slowly. With that, he was back to normal-for-Leo. He smiled at her again, a real smile but with an edge. “How’s the new boy doing?”

“Terrified. Rightfully.” She kept looking at him for a moment. “Don’t kill him, Leo.” It was almost a request, almost a plea. And then she couldn’t stand it anymore, and hugged him, tightly, fiercely.

He hesitated, then hugged her back carefully “I won’t kill him.” And, as an afterthought; “I won’t let Zita kill him, either.”

“Thank you, Leo.” She pretended not to notice the death look he sent the boy, and added, instead, “if I thought he was un-redeemable, he never would have survived the drive home.” And that, she made sure Panlong heard.

For a moment, Leo’s smile looked almost bitter. “I figured.”

“Are you mad at me?” she whispered, confused by the bitterness.

“What? No, of course not.” He was obviously confused by the question, so she tried to explain.

“You’re getting that way where I don’t know where you are again,” she muttered in his pointed ear.
“Where…? I’m…” He trailed off, then glanced at Yoshi and away again. “Sorry.” It was just barely audible. “But I promise, you haven’t done anything wrong, and I’m not upset with you. Okay?”
Looking at his face, she knew it was going to have to be enough right now. She nodded, and then, still up against his ear, she whispered, “I love you, Leo. I always will.”

His arms were warm around her for just a moment. “Anything else need to be brought in?”

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62 thoughts on “Meeting the Family, More of the Story of Addergoole Post-Apoc (@inventrix @cluudle)

  1. Is it bad I started humming, “This is the way we scare the kept, scare the kept, scare the kept…”? (To the tune of… some kids song. Google shows one that’s “Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush. So early in the morning.”) I’m still thinking it would be wonderfully (and uncomfortably) ironic if Panlong ended up eventually marrying into some part of the extended Boom clan.

  2. Context request for the clueless: What is Leo’s relationship to Cya and/or Yoshi, by blood or by choice? And what’s the Boom clan? (I gather there’s a big household, but of … relatives? Crew? Kids? Friends?)

    • Here is a bit of earlier sceneage – In short, Leo & Cya were Kept by Owners of the same crew their first year (part of it, at least), and have been quietly in love with each other ever since, complicated by things like 1) Leo’s gay, 2) Leo’s Keeping Zita, 3)Cya’s also in love with Howard, who sleeps with everyone, 4) Cya keeps bringing home Kept. Leo fathered Yoshi’s little brother, probably by magical insemination, at Cya’s rather firm insistence: “Leo, sigh, are you ever going to get around to your second kid? Damnit, come on, I’m having your baby.” Boom! was the original crew – Howard, Zita, Cya, and Leofric. On the Ranch where they all went when the world started ending are also Howard’s sometimes-girlfriend Magnolia & her two children, Shiva’s three children, one of them Howard’s son, but not Shiva, who vanished to fight in the war, Lily’s two children, one of them Howard’s daughter, but not Lily (fighting the War), and Gaheris, Cya’s Kept at the time the world ended, along with all of their kids, for a total of 13 children.

      • O_o Does Leo remember anything before Addergoole? How can one be in love with someone who has that little *self*? Why is Leo Keeping Zita? I mean, yes, they’re committed to supporting each other, but the whole crew is, to at least some extent? What does Addergoole (administration) do when someone is close to graduating years-wise but hasn’t had a second, or even first, kid? Especially a female student? Says a lot for Howard and Boom! that his exes(?) are willing to leave even their unrelated kids in his/their custody. Did Gaheris opt to stay after his year with Cya expired?

        • Kids: The administration simply makes it clear you’re there until you have your two. Sometimes it takes more than four years. Howard is a pretty awesome person. Certainly more of a father for Shiva’s three than either of the other fathers (neither Shiva nor Lily ever dated him, oddly). I think Cya loves the Leo that was, and keeps hoping he’ll come back. I leave the questions of Gaheris & Leo to their players.

          • Do they have to be born, or just conceived? Would handing a genetic sample over to the Addergoole administration for later use count? Do many students wind up with more than two, during their school years? How did Howard wind up fathering (some of) their children, then? Ouch.

            • Conceived. And, iiish. I think you have to provide the wherewithal for both halves of the genetic mix, or accept a clone and convince someone to carry said clone. Very few end up with more than two. Mea has three in canon timeline, but she’s a fertility goddess by Change. Well, Lily doesn’t like guys, so went to a good friend to provide magical insemination for one child. Shiva pounced Howard after the first dance, but had her hands full of Kept and didn’t Keep hi. Ouch?

              • Shiva pounced Howard after the first dance, but had her hands full of Kept One can have more than one Kept at a time? (Though if you’re actually being responsible about them, that could be a lot of work.) Ouch?: Cya loves the Leo that was, and keeps hoping he’ll come back It doesn’t sound like there’s much anything of him left to come back.

                • One can have as many Kept as one wants. One can’t daisy-chain it – a Kept can’t Keep. Two people can mutually Belong, and then have Kept together. Mutual belonging is roughly marriage, as Keeping is roughly dating, in their society.

                • He’s there! Mostly. Hiding. Hiding very well. I think in another fifty or a hundred years he might even consider coming back out

        • Zita and Gaheris are my characters. Zita’s Change makes her mentally ill. She needs a Keeper she trusts to constrain her from killing anyone (who doesn’t deserve it), and she trusts Leo the most of anyone in the world. Their mental small-fuzzy-animals compliment each other – they are superheroes together. Gaheris is Kept by Cya for more than one year – the apocalypse disrupts her schedule. Once she lets him go, he sticks around. We’re not sure where that goes, but at the time of this story, he and Cya are boyfriend and girlfriend with no promises between them.

          • What’s Zita’s Change? (Change, not power?) Is her grip on reality any better than Leo’s? How did Gaheris wind up Cya’s Kept? Collected after graduation some year, or something less standard? How’s he dealing with her subsequent Kept?

            • A Change is a way to say ‘physical characteristics and innate power expressed by adolescent Ellehemaei/elves.’ Like ‘catgirl’ or ‘grows antlers’ or ‘vampire.’ A lot of this makes more sense if you read, because a lot of the worldbuilding is revealed slowly over there. Zita’s Change is a brownie, so she’s tiny, goblin-esque, and elf-fickle. Unless placated by a benevolent relationship with a, roughly speaking, master, she’s prone to extravagent vengeance and gestures of goodwill. As she grew up human, she prefers not to go around killing people’s cows by way of revenge. So, she passes herself from Keeper to Keeper. Her power is domestic telekinesis. Her grip on reality is probably better than Leo most of the time, but he and she basically agree on morality. Evildoers beware! And when she’s off her meds, so to speak, his grip on reality is better than hers. Gaheris ends up Cya’s Kept by being collected after graduation. He deals with her subsequent Kept by sleeping in another room sometimes and investing in soundproofed walls so everyone has chances of privacy sometimes. Here: That’s his introduction and everyone moving to the Ranch.

              • Ah, I’d thought Change meant just the physical changes, though powers tended to turn up at about the same time. I would … rather not read most of the website, I suspect. It’s a fascinating world, but a whole lot of not my kink. (I suspect I give a bit of a headache. on that front.) So the mention of biting people’s faces? Her brownie change comes with lots of sharp little teeth and a tendency towards gnawing on people who annoy her? Off her meds being without a benevolent Keeper, or …? Would a stable non-Kept relationship help her at all? Seems a bit unfair of the kids, since he didn’t choose to be there.

                • Zita has sharp, venomous teeth. She’s eventually fatal if you’re not Ellehemaei, paralytic and horrible if you’re immortal. And yes, she does bite. Off her meds – a glass of milk in the morning keeps her stable. A Keeper helps. She enjoys being Kept, so asking if a non-Kept relationship would be nice is a bit like asking if she’d really like a snorkel when she doesn’t like coral reefs. You mean the kids teasing Gaheris? They weren’t really that bad. Just ribbing-the-babysitter levels, not ‘locking you in the basement’ levels.

                  • Re. the kids – Yoshi, I think, has always had a bit of an issue dealing with the fact that his Dad was his Mom’s first Keptie. Ribbing the subsequent ones – and really, the one before Gaheris was a pill, so he got some of that trouble – is how Yoshi deals with it. Viddie-in-my-head (note: Viddie is more Trix’s character than mine), at that age, follows Big Brother around. Yoshi is very good at being big brother

                    • Why? That seems pretty much par for the course for Addergoole kids. Who was before Gaheris? D’awwww. 🙂

                    • it might be, but this is Yoshi-as-a-kid, not knowing about Addergoole or that that was normal. Before Gaheris was someone whose name I forget, but both kids (probably all three kids) call him Useless.

                    • I suspect it didn’t really help that his younger brother’s dad was 1) not ever one of Cya’s Kept, and 2) around a lot more often.

                    • Good points, both. At least his dad is friendly with his mom and around occasionally — that might be better than average for Addergoole kids.

                  • Is that treatable, or are you just screwed if she’s already bitten you? That’s a vastly amusing and terribly appropriate feature/bug/something for a brownie. Mmmm… maybe? Turns out I hadn’t read nearly all the way through it yet.

                    • It’s a magical poison, and thus curable by magic healing. Conviniently, healing is one of Zita’s best spells. If she wants you to live, anyway.

                  • It’s very effective — on people who just walked out of a school that taught them the hard way how this sort of thing can get them hurt. Aigh why don’t they know better? But she’s also got that power for picking ’em, and there are far worse people they could run into, so …. but still, aieee!

                    • Yes. She picks the ones that are vulnerable, she uses mind control to nudge them, and some of them, I think, are thinking the world outside will be safer.

        • Howard and Boom!’s biggest draw is that they are fiercely protective and a very, very dangerous crew for their relative (for fae) youth – and that the fact that they still are a crew after graduation. They have a more-or-less self-sufficient ranch on which to shelter from the apoc, and you’ve got 6 aggressive and/or dangerous to mess with fae to protect the kids. Beats leaving your kid with your Faded/ordinary human relatives while you go off to fight the War, for sure 😉

          • Given the general level of jackassery among the fae, the kid might be less likely to be Kept and/or emotionally abused with a faded/human family — though possibly Boom! has promised to take care of them in good faith.

            • Ah, Boom! does have a standing code of “don’t be evil”. Which…. usually works, Cya’s Keeping of Panlong being an exception (and that was because Pan abused one the crew’s sons). Shiva and Lily were mutual friends of various crew members, so yes, they do trust their kids to be raised well. All the 13 kids Lyn mentioned are “Addergoole” children, meaning that they will have to go to Addergoole around age 15-16, so they’re going to get that same rough-but-in-a-limited-environment education on Keeping, etc. before they’re Adults.

        • “Does Leo remember anything before Addergoole? How can one be in love with someone who has that little *self*? Why is Leo Keeping Zita? I mean, yes, they’re committed to supporting each other, but the whole crew is, to at least some extent?” I hope you are ready for a long answer because this is going to be a long answer! 😀 Leofric basically has what could be termed DID (a thing I struggle with portraying accurately when relating his thoughts). He remembers everything, but he has the memories largely compartmentalized to different personalities. His pre-AG memories are basically irrelevant to him now. He never had a really good relationship with his mom and he didn’t really have any friends back home, so it wasn’t hard for him to drop his “past life” entirely. Depending on which him you’re talking to, he’ll either have no idea and not care, or he’ll be able to remember it in a sort of vague way, the way you remember things that people have told you happened but you can’t actually remember on your own. Leo Keeping Zita is a complex symbiotic relationship. There’s Zita’s side, which Wystie gave you. On Leo’s end, he needs the relationship/responsibility to stay roughly synchronized with actual-reality. In the original apocalypse spec-RP we did (and I am not sure this chain of events is “canon”), he actually signs Zita over to Howard’s Keeping while he is off fighting evil and within 24 hours is so out of touch with reality that, I believe, he kills an innocent fae, thinking he is The Enemy simply because the story needed an epic battle. If you’ve got any more questions, I’m here all week. 😀 ~Inventrix

          • Err … glad to’ve made your day? Should I hide now? Yes, I’d … okay, I’d gotten the impression he was thoroughly dissociative, but I wasn’t sure he had anything as coherent as a set of personalities, or if he had an archetype (or maybe a few?) that he rebuilt around as best he could. On the other hand, the bits I’ve read about him so far have mostly not been him having good days. Does he know that, about the innocent fae? Why does he hate/want to kill Pan, if not over what he did to Yoshi? Is he seeing a could-have-been-self that he disapproves of? Straight-up jealousy about Cya? It sounds like she’s brought home younger bucks as Kept before …

            • No hiding! I won’t bite. 😀 Hmm, built around archetypes is the best way to put it. His “normal” is built around a character trope (anime hero in short). Most of the scenes I’ve played out with people are, yeah, bad days. He’s not usually that incohesive. There are a few stories of him at more normal on my writing blog if you’re curious. No he doesn’t know and if it winds up canon, probably no one really will. Weeell, you have to remember that the “not because of Yoshi” is Cya’s judgement. 😛 He doesn’t really want to kill him, but it’s a combination of straight-up jealousy, protective herd leader instincts, what happened to Yoshi and insecurity.

              • 🙂 I read through the thread pointed out, which showed him at least a lot more functional, if not necessarily a lot more coherent. “Loose cannons” does not even begin to cover he and Zita together, dear my goodness. Silly point of view complications! He’s insecure about … Cya’s attention? It sounded (later) like neither of them thought it would actually work to be lovers, even without the social complications of the rest of their crew?

      • <nod> That there was also RP activity in the universe I’d noticed; I hadn’t — haven’t — figured out which characters were involved with that (beyond the ones just specified, and possibly Penny), or how those stories interact with the canon of the written-by- storylines.

        • We did a forum-based RP for a while. In short: the forum RP was not canon. But some of the characters have been ported into canon.

          • Is the assumption that RP would become canon unless there were issues/conflicts, or that it was non-canon unless specifically pulled in? I assume that the bits you’ve cited here are now canon?

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