Addergoole, sometime after year 9
“I don’t, uh…” He wasn’t exactly uncomfortable, something more like amused and a little awkward. “I mean. That is. Girls…?”
The last time this had come up, he’d gotten punched. Not by the girl; by her brother.
This woman – this girl? This Valkyrie with the horns curling out of her head and eyes like shadows themselves, she just smiled at him. “Conveniently, I don’t do guys.”
“But you…” He gestured out into the hall, where the horned girl had grabbed him by the braids and held a blade against his throat until he’d said he was hers, not the pretty little fairy’s (the one with the pixie haircut and the butch look to her). Turned out hers meant some sort of sparkly mind control, which was making the whole I don’t do girls. And…. she doesn’t do guys? thing a little more complicated.
“Well, I figure, this way, neither of us are disappointed. Besides, Annabella – the pixie – isn’t so good at taking no for an answer.” She patted his shoulder. “We’ll work it out.”
“Easy, easy. Yeah, it hurts. The Changes do. We’ll get you to Dr. Caitin, and she can help you. She’s got the best drugs. Come on, I don’t think I can quite carry you. Up to your feet… oh. Well.” The next words, he was pretty sure were a Working, but he couldn’t process them. “Change of plans.”
“Uh? No nice drugs?” His…. his everything hurt. Even his eyeballs hurt.
“Nice drugs second. First, merboy, we’re getting you into the water. If you can, hold on to my shoulders or neck. This is gonna be hard.”
He held on tight. His legs weren’t working, but she just scooped up his – his tail? His tail and carried him, swearing the whole way, to the grotto pool.
He dropped in with a splash, and suddenly, nothing hurt anymore.
“You know how we used to joke, what happens when you cross a fish and a ram?”
“That’s a hell of a way to say hello to someone after twenty years.”
“It’s only been five. There was that time in -”
“It’s a figure of speech. Hello.” There were maybe five places left on earth where one could openly be a merman, and he was living in one of them. He bowed from the waist, the rest of him flapping happily underwater. “I. I’ve missed you.”
“Likewise.” She sat down on the side of the water. She was Masked, but it didn’t cover the gauntness to her cheeks – or the way she was smiling. “So. I have someone for you to meet.”
“Not like the last -”
“No, no. I promised I was done fixing you up with people. No.” She gestured behind her, and a lovely young woman walked out from between the dunes.
She had sea-green hair in braids and a slight scattering of scales over her forehead and collar bones. She had eyes like the deepest underwater shadows and two small blue horns like a swordfish’s weapon jutting from her head.
She was beautiful.
“Our daughter. Turns out, when you cross a fish and a ram, you get something awesome.”
Looking at the beauty that they’d made, he couldn’t help but agree.
Written to Rix_Scaedu’s prompt:
What is the relationship between these three?