Welcome to Addergoole

For Friendly Anon’s Prompt.

Addergoole has a landing page here.

Directly after Reunion (LJ)

I’ve been trying to write more discrete stories and less trailing-off scenes but this bit refuses to go that way, sorry!

In the end, it was Aelgifu who cleared her throat. “You’re a bit early.” She gentled her voice as much as she could, knowing that behind her, Io and Callie were trying not to panic, and not to scream. “School doesn’t start until September.”

The boy squirmed. She could remember Ib – the nightmare in the back of the dances, the he-always-seemed-so-normal creep in the halls. She could remember Callie’s nightmares. This boy had none of that. He was just a kid, not that much older than their kids. “I know,” he admitted weakly. The small group – it had just gotten bigger, again, Ivette and Joffe from one direction, Kendra and… Uberto? from the other. Worry about that later. – the whole group was staring at him. “What?” If the boy squirmed any more, he’d come out of his skin.

“I’ll be back,” she murmured to Io. She moved forward, putting body-language distance between the growing crowd and herself, putting herself on the same side of the invisible line as the boy. “You look rather like someone we used to know.” She kept her voice both quiet and non-confrontational, and kept walking, encouraging him to walk with her with a hip-turn and a warm smile. “Can I buy you something from the soda machine?”

“What? Uh, no, thanks, I have some cash.” He pulled a few bills out of his pocket. “So, uh, that’s why everyone’s staring? Mom said I had some brothers I’d never met… I’m Vilmar, by the way.” He had the Addergoole-wince at his name down already.

“Aelgifu.” She shook his offered hand. “So you’re here early…?” It was easier than answering his question, at the moment.

“Yeah, uh. My mom.” He frowned, rolling his shoulders forward. “She’s got plans for the summer…?” He sounded as if he was trying it out, to see how it would work. Ayla chose to pretend to believe him, and countered with a cheerful lie of her own.

“Well, I’m sure the Director won’t mind you showing up early. We’re here for the ten-year-reunion,” she added.

Vilmar’s glance, first at her, and then at the other women there. Women who, she realized, had almost universally Masked as their teenaged selves. His grin was nothing like his possibly-brother and entirely like a teenaged boy. “Hunh. I might like this school.”

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