This is written to Rix_Scaedu‘s commissioned prompt.
“I think you should know that I’m going to hate you forever.” Sullivan shot off an Abatu working, one that had taken some practice to perfect. The collar he’d been wearing for a year vanished in a spray of fireworks.
“You’re more than welcome to hate me for as long as you want.” Vilhemina’s voice displayed irritation for the first time in the entire year. “I, for one, am not going to miss our relationship at all.”
“That’s two of us.” They shared a child. That would make things awkward, anywhere but Addergoole. Anyone but the fae. Being in Addergoole, being fae, they had a creche and the Law to handle that.
What did make things awkward for them, however, was that their parents, Sullivan’s mother and Vilhemina’s father, were chatting, chatting, as if they didn’t have a care in the world. As if they didn’t now share a grandchild. As if they hadn’t set their kids up for this awkward situation.
“Mom?” Sullivan called. It sounded a little bit pitiful, and they both knew it. In a moment of tired camaraderie, Vilhemina called out, just as sadly.
“Dad? My summer’s burning up.”
“Coming, coming.” Vilhemina’s father bore the guilty look of a parent putting themselves first. It was a look Vilhemina already knew from the inside.
“Sorry.” The little abashed mutter could have been to Vilhemina, or it could have been to the parents hurrying over. “It’s just, this place…”
“Oh, is this your son, Allana?” Vilhemina’s father was suddenly smiling. “Well, I guess we’ll have cause to see each other again, then, won’t we? What Cohort?”
“Fifteenth.” Sullivan muttered it uncomfortably, shoulders hunched. “Three more years.”
“And my Vilhemina has two more. Wonderful.”
“Yeah. Wonderful.” They shared a glance. This had potential to get very, very awkward.
“And maybe we can see your little friend Sullivan’s mother again when we drop you off.”
“Dad, did you seriously call Sullivan ‘my little friend?”
“Well. He’s rather little. And he’s your friend, right?”
“I’m really not sure what world you live in, Dad, but if you could ship some of its drugs over to this plane, it would be awesome.”
“What? What do you mean?”
“Do you have any idea what kind of school you’re sending me to?”
“It’s an elite boarding school.”
“Not the bullshit answers, Dad. The real ones. The truth about Addergoole.”
“Well. Um.” Yeah, no answers were coming out there.
“Right. So, let’s not talk about my little friend anymore, okay? Not that little. Not my friend.”
“You two seemed close enough when we picked you up.”
Vilhemina shook her head. There were some situations where it really just wasn’t worth it, trying to talk to her father. “Look. I just… don’t want to be involved, okay?”
“I know you think your old man can’t still get it on…”
“No, no, it’s not that at all!” Not with Mike VanderLinden as a professor, it certainly wasn’t. “It’s just… look, Dad, can you trust me for once?”
“Well, I think you’re being silly, but all right. Whatever Allana and I do, we’ll leave you out of it.”
That was the best she was going to get. “Thanks. Thanks.” It would have to do.
A school year is a long time to ignore someone. It’s longer when you share a child, even if neither of you really quite want to admit that you have that kid. Sullivan kept running into things that just screamed Vilhemina, in places that should have been safe. He Kept someone for three weeks, thinking that that would help, somehow, like washing the taste of her out of her mouth. All it did was make things worse.
A school year is a long time. The wait for your parents can seem even longer, especially when it’s you and your former Keeper waiting at the end. Especially when those parents show up in a car together.
Sullivan and Vilhemina shared a glance.
Sullivan sighed. “This is going to be bad, isn’t it?”
“Well… yeah. Yeah, it is. Have you told them yet?”
“No.” Sullivan shook his head. “Have you?”
“No. I didn’t want to admit…”
“Yeah, that too. And they seemed so happy together.”
“Kids! Good news!” Vilhemina’s father bore a smile that could only lead to badness. “Allana and I have had a long talk, and she’s agreed to marry me. We’ll be moving in together this summer, as soon as we get you two settled in.”
They wanted to be surprised, they really did. Somehow, however, neither of them could manage it. The two of them shared another glance.
“We should go to Maureen’s, first, shouldn’t we?” They’d been doing a good job of pretending they didn’t have a daughter together. But if they were going to have to pretend they were family…
“Yeah.” Vilhemina sighed. “Yeah, we should.”
“What?” Vilhemina’s father looked very perplexed. Sullivan almost felt bad for him. Especially when Vilhemina began.
“You see, Dad, when a Keeper and a Kept don’t like each other very much…”
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