This story contains magic and references to Addergoole but no slavery, sex, or violence.
For rix_scaedu‘s Commissioned Prompt.
Dodger is from When the Gods Attacked..
Bethseda hadn’t meant to eavesdrop; it was just that the eaves and everything under them were her, and, like anyone, when her name came up, she paid attention.
So when Clare and Tobias started talking about her, and about houses that might bite (She would have been offended, but that grandmother who had become a castle? She’d heard some disturbing rumors about Grandma), and, more than that, when they had started hinting at what they thought they might be, she had devoted a little attention their way.
When they had mentioned Dodger, she knew she had to pay true attention. He had stopped by her place a time or two, the itinerant Crime Dog, and she always welcomed him with open doors and a warm bed. He had, learning what she was, tried to Mentor her – only to be pleasantly surprised to find out she was already an Adult, with her own Name and her own responsibilities.
(He had suggested she Keep someone to handle the sweeping and the errands. She was still considering it, but, unlike some of her classmates, she couldn’t very well go out to the bars looking).
If these two were “Students” of Dodger’s, they were going to need help. He did a good enough job at slapping down the basics, but basics was all he handled. And with a war going on… no wonder these kids were a little lost.
“I believe I can be of assistance,” she suggested. She thought probably Sana could as well, but it wasn’t her job to out people.
Tobias answered the door, uncertainly and very cautiously. “There’s no-one out here.”
“It seemed rude not to knock.” As a shrugging would be very disorienting for everyone, she settled for a sound like a chuckle. “I’m sorry. I know it can be disorienting to not have a face to talk to.”
“Do you have a face?” Clare glared at Tobias when he tch’d her. “It’s not a rude question. I don’t think it is…”
“I had one, once; this is my Change, after all. But now… not that you would find comfortable to look at, I’m afraid.”
“I knew it. You eat people.”
“No, I really don’t. I generally take in sustenance from the rain and the ground, more like a plant than a mammal. It was strange to get used to.” It had hurt, and she’d been sick over and over again. But she’d gotten used to it. “But I adjusted.”
“When you put it that way…” Tobias was clearly thinking of something. “It makes our Changes really not seem all that bad.”
“To!” Clare was half on her feet. “You can’t tell her that!”
“I think she already knows. And she did say she could help.”
“We don’t need any help.”
“We need something. We know how to not die. Barely. I think we can do better than that. Think about the fight we saw, when we were leaving Philly… if the monsters and the angels are the same sort of thing…”
Now they were beginning to understand. Bethseda made a noise of agreement. “Then you can learn to be an angel, yes. And I can help you learn.”
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