Addergoole, year 39-ish. Luca Hunting-Hawk, Mike Linden-Blossom (VanderLinden). In response to this Addergoole fic by Rion.
Backstory: across several other stories, Mystral, a second-generation student in Addergoole, asked Luke to father her second child. He agreed, and has been visiting the daughter (his first daughter!), Chavva, regularly ever since.
The world ended around Year 17 of Addergoole (2011, June, is when it began), in something Luke refers to here as the Fae War.
Luke and Mike are both teachers at the Addergoole school, and 2 of the co-founders.
“You should build her a house.”
That was further out of left field than most things Mike said, but Luke – who was packing to visit Mystral and Chavva – knew what his oldest and most obnoxious friend was talking about.
“She has a home.”
“You’re in love with her.”
“What’s that have to do with the price of tea in China?” He did not want that wound poked at, thank you, most especially not by Mike.
“Is it still there? China, I mean.”
“In a manner of speaking.” China had gotten hit – not harder, but differently – by the Fae Wars that had nearly destroyed their planet. “They lost more people than we did in the cities, but their farms don’t look much different.” And if Mike could be distracted long enough…
“You should take me there sometime. But you should build her a house, too.”
“Mike. I fathered her daughter. That’s not…”
“Listen, Bird-Brain, I’ve known every time you’ve ever been in love. Every. Time.” Even Luke could hear the edge in his oldest friend’s voice. “And you are in love, mister.”
“She’s a child.”
“She’s not. If she was, you wouldn’t have fathered Chavva on her.”
“I have grandchildren older than her! Great-grandchildren older than her!”
“And I’m more than twice your age. Get your head out of your ass.”
Luke glared at Mike. “So what if I love her? She’s never given any indication of anything like that.”
“Of course not. That’s not what she asked me for.”
“Dead gods’ nuts, Luca. If you don’t ask the girl, I’m going to.”
“…fine. Stay away from her. I’ll talk to her.” And be rejected, just to soothe Mike’s pride.
She beat him to it.
His wings flared as she talked. He wanted to pull her close to him and protect her. Take care of her. He wanted to tell her what was in his heart.
You’re just not ready. Wil had chided him more than once. You’re not ready for an adult love, and I am. Never mind that she was younger than him.
You never say anything. Ké had been angry at him already, but that had been the end.
Say something! Mike’s voice was louder than even his daughter’s.
“I want to build you a house.” He blurted it out, feeling more like a two-year-old than someone with nearly three centuries under his belt. “A big house. Strong.” His wings flared, and he pulled them back close to his back, wondering how, exactly, he could be such an idiot.
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