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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