What they Needed

For Friendly Anon’s prompt.

Addergoole has a landing page here


About 15 years before the current storyline: 1984

Maybe what they needed was romance.

Ambrus watched the women sitting in Mo’s Tavern, drinking beer and looking at each other – and the other men in the area – uncomfortably and uncertainly.

They knew what they were there for. Regine’s invitations were nothing if not explicit, her contracts even more so. But it was one thing to sign a paper, especially for a liberated woman who wanted a child without a man, and another to be staring at a tavern full of other egg-or-sperm donors, full of strange people with strange bodies, and think that you would be, by someone else’s choice, going to bed with one of them. It was like a key party with someone else arranging all the keys.

This was, of course, nothing new to Ambrus, but for these women, he imagined it had to be different.

When he had first come here, he had simply done what – and who – he was told to, plying his powers to make things a little smoother. And after that debacle with Rachel, he’d stopped really even talking to the women, beyond what was needed to arrange the act.

There’d been four more women and two more children, as far as he could remember, since that debacle, and, looking at these miserable women, he had to do something. If it blew up in his face again… well, then it blew up in his face again. It wasn’t as if any of these women would be sharing custody of his children with him anyway.

“Who’s up on my dance card?” he asked Maureen quietly. She consulted her book of such things, one eyebrow raised at him in question.

“You’ve got Adelberta – with the owl markings? – Jacqueline, over there, with the pointed ears? – and Saatchi, with that lovely dark skin and equally pointed ears. And Ké, of course, although we both know that’s never going to happen.”

“Luke would kill me. Twice.” Ambrus twitched. “And not in a fun way. I think Jacqueline.” Saatchi was beautiful but a bit intimidating; Adelberta was flat-out terrifying. “So, can I talk you into one of those little chocolate tortes? And a bottle of that sweet port?” The roses he could get from the garden; Valentina wouldn’t mind as long as he asked. And for the gift… a bracelet. One of the new denizens of the village had skill working gold; Ambrus could trade a favor.

He looked at the woman, leaned over her drink as if holding onto it for warmth, and smiled. Maybe what she needed was a little old fashioned romance; roses, chocolates, wine and a little box wrapped up brightly. He could give that to her.

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16 thoughts on “What they Needed

  1. I do want things for Ambrus to get better and stay better… (I realise that may not be in the plot, but you know what I mean.)

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