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Addergoole Forum - View topic - Fanfic!




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Fanfic! 
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Post Re: Fanfic!
She’d left the envelope in the mailbox; it gave her longer to get away, and sealed the two notes inside separately.


Eryk, Nibibizhiw, Keira-Lani,

I’m sorry I dashed out without saying goodbye, but I hope to be back before you have time to miss me.

If it’s a while before I return, know that your mother loves you more than anything. I would not have left you at all, but there are evil things out there and they need to be stopped.

I’ be back as soon as I can.

Mom

~
Mags, Howard,

I’m sorry. I know you’ll be good to the kids and I know you’ll be pissed at me. But cy’Luca aren’t the most efficient warriors out there and…

…and I love them all. Sit on Leo if you have to, do what it takes to keep him there (I recommend hawthorn shackles, but I’m like that). I’ll do everything I can to return; if I don’t, as long as money works DJ’s got an account for each of the kidlings and if it stops working, there’s a suitcase of gold coins under the bed. Don’t ask where it came from.

I love you both. Please forgive me,

Shiva, the Cat Who Walks Through Walls.

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Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:28 pm
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Post Re: Fanfic!
((Filler post in case someone wants to tuck in an interlude))

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Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:53 pm
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Post Re: Fanfic!
Zita had taken over the kitchen, as was both entirely predictable and her right, so Magnolia and Cya were planting a garden. The kids had been “helping,” with various levels of willingness and efficacy, but it was a beautiful day out, so they’d sent them off to play; somewhere in the barn, there were kittens.

“You know,” Magnolia murmured, eyeing a Gaheris sent, much like the kids, off to play and reading under a tree as a result, “for all your preparedness, Cya…”

The mink-girl followed the jaguar-goddess’ line of sight, and laughed. “It’s really hard to pack boys, you know, and Howard’s cranky enough about the one.”

“Howard’s always cranky about any man bein’ around that ain’t him. It doesn’t make playin’ round-robin with his bed any more entertaining.”

“I know. But really, I can’t keep more than one ‘rescue project’ around at a time, not and have space or attention for my kids. And, like I said, they don’t pack well and they have a pretty short shelf life.”

“I can never tell if you’re joking or not, Cynara Red-Doomsday.”

“Truth be told, Mags, I’m not always certain myself.” She planted another seedling and watered it. “Damn. Gaheris…?”

He looked up from his book hopefully, and sighed as he saw the empty watering can she was holding up. “Meentik yaku,” he mumbled.

“Thank you, hon.” She turned her attention back to Magnolia. “The gender ratio’s going to be a bit screwy, but we’ve always managed before.”

“We’ve always had a bigger pool to pull from when we had to, too.”

“True.” She shook her head. She wouldn’t say anything about the way Adorlee had been sniffing around Gaheris; it wasn’t her place to tell Mags how to raise her kids. Mags wasn’t Crew. But…

She squeaked, annoyed at herself, annoyed at the way Gaheris looked up at her sad-weasel noise. She focused, intently, on the tiny sprout the other woman had force-grown from a seed in her stash, setting it just right in the dirt, murmuring the earth loose and porous around it. To the tiny squash, she said, “my Kept have always been the only ones I could trust to be faithful to me.”

“Trust me,” Magnolia murmured, as she coaxed the little plant taller, stronger, pulling weeks of growth in a few minutes. “I know the feeling.”

She would, wouldn’t she? With Howard… “And here we are. You know, for normal people, three women and three men would be a decent ratio.”

“Normal people would never be able to handle our love life. And there’s the kids to think of, too.” She chuckled throatily. “Howard wants to put a chastity belt on Dora.”

“And what do you think about that?” Cya asked neutrally. She hadn’t packed chastity belts, hadn’t packed birth control, either, except the vastly multi-purpose condoms.

“I think she’s a daughter of Linden-Blossom and my daughter, and when she’s ready, she’s going to be ready.”

“Mm. That makes Eryk her nephew, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, yes it does.” Magnolia frowned. “And Nibbles and Yoshi aren’t old enough yet…”

“Not nearly,” Cya answered firmly. “And Howard’s been like a daddy to her her whole life, hasn’t he?” Damn. “Damn. We need a bigger gene pool.”

“We need to get through the next few weeks, first,” Mags pointed out quietly. “More people will come, even if they just come and go.”

Cynara chuckled ruefully. “Come and go,” she echoed. “Story of my life.” She thought about what she knew about the lovely, graceful woman in front of her. “Story of our lives.”

“Mm-hrmm.”

They were quiet for a moment, setting plants in the ground. Screw save the world, Cya wanted to be sure they saved their little corner of it.

And that meant making things peaceful with Magnolia. “You’ll have to smooth Howard’s… feathers….” she offered, “and I’m not going to push him into anything he doesn’t want. But I’ll rescind Gaheris’ fidelity orders.” At least until they could import a few more people. “And… threesomes are still fun.”

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Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:53 pm
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Post Re: Fanfic!
Leo scooped up his two children after dinner for stargazing out on the nearby hills, claiming some rare time alone with them. It had the benefit of being completely true without actually telling the others anything. He never had learned how to lie.

The trio lay on the grass, pointing out stars and constellations to each other - little Ruki outdoing the two males with little effort. After a little while, Leo reluctantly pulled their attention back down from the sky.

“Viðrou, Sigruko. I need you two to promise not to tell anyone what we’re about to talk about.”

The children looked at each other nervously. Their father never used their full first names; not even on the rare occasions he was angry at them. And promises, he had told them over and over, were serious things. Never promise something unless you’re absolutely sure you can - and will - keep it.

“Why?” Viddie finally ventured.

Leo smiled ruefully at his son. “You have to promise first.”

“We can’t even tell mommy?” Ruki asked.

“Not even mommy.”

Viddie was the first to give in, with Ruki unwillingly following suit. Leo immediately gathered the two into a tight hug. “I’m gonna be going away for a while.”

“Away?” Viddie looked up at him in alarm. “But I thought--”

You’re not telling mommy either, are you,” Ruki broke in accusingly.

Leo sighed. “No, Ruki-love.” He rested a cheek on the top of her head. “I have to go, and she has to stay here. If I tell her, one of those isn’t gonna happen.”

“But you always take her with you. She’s going to be really mad.”

Leofric chuckled softly, hiding the stab of guilt. “Not this time. It’s my job to make sure she’s safe. If she comes with me, she probably won’t be.”

“You won’t be here to protect her if you go.” Ruki frowned.

He hesitated. “Sometimes,” he replied softly, “you have to sacrifice things for the greater good. The others... They can take care of her for me.”

“But if she doesn’t go, no one’s going to make sure you’re safe,” Viddie pointed out.

“Oh, I’ll be fine.” Leo’s son was right - he was Cya’s son too, after all. But Leo couldn’t admit his own vulnerability; not even to himself. Especially not to himself.

Instead, he grinned at them. “The forces of evil walk the earth! It’s time for the hero to go save the world.”

“Daddy... you’re not really the hero.” Ruki’s familiar disagreement lacked emphasis. She was hoping the reply would be different. Just this once.

Leofric just held her close for a long moment, looking at Viddie. The boy solemnly looked back, obviously thinking Leo was being incredibly stupid but realizing arguing would be pointless. His expression was just as transparent as his father’s.

Leo smiled faintly at him, a sliver of amusement tinging his expression as he answered his daughter. “Of course I am.”

He didn’t know how to be anything else.

The small girl just sighed, evidently coming to the same conclusion as her brother. Leo let the silence hang a little longer before gently turning their attention back to the stars.

-----

It was very late when the three returned to the house, the children mumbling sleepily as Leo tucked them into bed and watched them almost instantly fall asleep. He padded quietly over to where Zita slept, being careful not to wake anyone.

The tiny woman was as light a sleeper as ever, however, stirring and blinking up at him groggily. “Leo...?”

He placed a finger over her mouth in a hushing gesture, smiling reassuringly. “I just put the kids to bed. Go back to sleep.”

Murmuring a faint protest, she obediently sank back into slumber.

He slowly let his hand fall away and stood there, watching her sleep, long years of practice letting him ignore the pain of guilt.

-----

In the morning, the red Mustang was missing from out front and a short letter had replaced the pair of katana against the living room wall.

Leofric du’Lightning Rod, by signing this document, passes all rights and responsibilities of ownership for those of his possessions remaining on the property of 3-X ranch to Howard sa’Bulldozer.

Howard sa’Bulldozer, by signing this document, accepts all rights and responsibility of ownership of aforementioned possessions, until he should pass said ownership on to another.


Underneath was a single signature, Leofric du’Lightning Rod

P.S. I’ll be in touch


Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:27 pm
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Post Re: Fanfic!
Zita's shrieking fury woke the entire ranch and probably all the wildlife for a mile around that morning.

Howard was out of bed with a towel around his waist and a shotgun in hand so fast he wondered later if he had suddenly acquired buli hauma to get through the walls. Zita was already headed down the drive by then, and Cya was bolting out the door after her.

A piece of paper attacked him, flying in his face and flapping there with righteous indignation (how a piece of paper could manage that was another thing he wondered about later) until he snatched it out of the air and read it.

"You sonuvabitch, I'll bulldoze you, you..."

Some of the children were in the room. Viddie and Ruki were in the room, looking pale and worried but not nearly as confused as they should be. Mags was two seconds from ripping the paper out of his hand to find out what happened.

Howard snarled a tempero unutu and signed the paper with the pen that slapped into his hand before passing it to Magnolia. He fixed Viddie and Ruki with his glance and they went paler.

"Leo made you promise, didn't he."

The wretched expressions were answer enough.

"Sonuvabitch. Alright. Dora, darlin', Zita's Gran is in charge-a breakfast and yer in charge-a makin' the other kids help her and gettin' 'em to eat. Vidhrou, Sigruko, I promise I won't leave the ranch without you today. Now go eat."

With a rumble like a distant landslide, he stalked out the door and trotted down the drive after Cya and Zita.

"Zita," he bellowed once he was outside, "Don't leave the ranch without me! No bitin' fer the next ten minutes! And no murderin' Leo 'less you heal 'em up so I can kill him too!!"

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A female mercenary who insists she's a man, a naive young magician, and interesting times ahead.


Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:36 am
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Post Re: Fanfic!
Zita couldn’t even think how to answer that stream of orders, so instead she hit him. Howard could take a hit from her, at least until she brought out the tables, and so she pounded, fists of impotent fury. For a change, she kicked him in the shins, for the thousandth time angry with him for not having toes to step on.

Zita might be nominally sane at the moment, but she did enjoy violence, at a visceral level, enjoyed it and wanted to rip into Leo with her teeth, turn him a lovely green shade- it would feel good.

Slowly, she calmed, or at least ran out of strength to hit a wall.

She stood there slowly shaking, staring at the sunrise. She’d belonged to Leofric for years. Quite a few years, now, actually, more than she really knew how to deal with. The slim black-haired woman had built a good bit of identity – reality – around Leofric, and she didn’t have much reality to spare. Reality was a scarce resource, to be doled out sparingly and harvested carefully, kept safe and locked away for important moments.

On the other hand, she thought slowly, maybe this wasn’t a situation that needed to be handled with reality. Zita could do more without reality, sometimes, than she could with it. Yes, she thought, that was a good plan. A plan with potential. Reality could go hang – Leo and Shiva and – and everyone else, they could all go hang.

Eventually Howard hugged her.

Distantly, she registered, "I promise, when Leo returns and we've beaten some sense into him, to return you to him." He added, "Whether he comes back on his own or we drag him back here by one of those fuzzy lil antlers."

Who said I wanted you to? A part of Zita asked, though another argued, Yes, yes, please.

“Right,” she said, slipping out of Howard’s arms and heading into the kitchen. There were cleavers in the kitchen.

The other thing in the kitchen was, however, Zita’s grandmother.

“I told you to watch out for that boy,” Grandma said in friendly tones, pressing a mug of coffee firmly into Zita’s hands. Zita sat by the counter, wishing that her grandmother considered her a dangerous maniac and not her daughter’s baby girl. It would make this so much less… less….

“Bit of a flitter-gibbet,” Grandma added, stirring the stove thoughtfully. “Sweet, but….”

Zita winced, but Grandma didn’t continue in front of the children. Thank god. Thank god for coffee, too, there was just nothing like it. Seeing Ruki’s face after having her grandmother deconstruct Leo’s flaws as a person… Zita didn’t think she could live with that. She wasn’t sure her grandmother could live with it, either. Her grandmother didn’t have a great way with words.

Bambi hovered, Zita watching her out of the corner of her eye as she finished her coffee.

Well. What was the point of having minions, after all, if you can’t use them.

“Bambi, sweets, I want you and your sibs to get my travel things together,” she told her daughter, who made some sort of face – Zita didn’t really have time to worry about it. She was watching the clock, counting down from Howard’s orders. Well-trained, her little girl did as she was told. That was a good child.

Zita knew, distantly, that she should cross-check with her Crew, but Leo wasn’t there and when it came down to it, it was a very personal decision, what to do about this.

The question became, what to do about Howard. The first option that occurred to her was, naturally, to knock him unconscious and take him with her. As these things went, it would probably be easy, though Cya and Magnolia would not appreciate that, and Zita’s talent was the sneak attack, not head-on confrontation with girls playing with hawthorn and geas.

And then Zita's grandmother gave her bread to knead. Damn it.

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Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:29 am
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Post Re: Fanfic!
[[placeholder for Shiva interlude]]

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Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:37 am
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Post Re: Fanfic!
Gaheris had found pants.

Cya planned. It was, more or less, what the crew had her around for. So, she planned.

Once she was sure Zita was focused on Howard, Howard on Zita, the children on Zita’s gran, she went back to the hayloft where she and Gaheris had been sharing, up until the screaming, a very nice morning.

Only realizing as she saw her Kept in said pants that she, herself, was starkers, Cya started looking around for the same. "Leo took off," she explained.

Gaheris looked adrift. "Why?"

"Because he thinks he's a bloody hero and wants to save the world," she snapped. "Shiva did the same stupid thing yesterday"

Gaheris shut up, silently handing Cya her bra.
"Thank you." She felt more demi-human once she had a bra and pants on. "We're going after him."

He smiled worriedly at her for a moment, and then turned to dig around in the straw for further clothing.

"I'm a Finder," she explained, coming up with a shirt... nope, that was his. "Here's your shirt."

He took it, hand lingering on hers, expression nakedly needy.

“I’m sorry I ran off,” she murmured, stepping close to him and wrapping her free hand around his bare chest.

He made a soft sound, wrapping a free arm around her and stealing a kiss.

She grinned at him. "We won't be long. Leo's good but he's not that good. Are you all right, staying here with Magnolia and Zita's Gran?"

He brightened. "Yes, Cynara."

You could see the moment when it occured to Gaheris that he'd be babysitting, though, an almost tangible 'oh shit they're going to eat me.'

Cya patted his shoulder. "It'll be fine. Just stack them in order of precedence so you only have to deal with the top layer." As yesterday's conversation with Mags came to mind, she added, "just a warning, though..."

"What's up?" He asked, overly casual.

“Mm, you first," she grinned at him.

With a huff of breath, Gaheris leaned his head on her shoulder. "I don't want to save the world."

"Good." She patted his shoulder approvingly. "I don't want you to save the world."

He wrapped his arms around her firmly for a moment. "You were saying?"

"Mm. In the unlikely event that Adorlee is a virgin, I will not be able to protect you from Howard's wrath if you... divest her of that."

He coughed a laugh, and kissed her.

“Smart man,” she grinned, one long kiss later. “We won’t be long.”

She left him enjoying what might be his last moment of quiet for a few days and went to find Howard.

She grabbed three go-bags on the way, the tidy backpacks she kept ready with three days’ food and necessities, cornered Howard in the living room and shoved his pack into his hands.

“We drive in shifts, we”ll catch up with him. Are you seriously bringing the kids with us?”

"I promised," he answered ruefully. "Couldn't stand the guilt, and mebbe if I can aim it at Leo instead, it'll help bring him to his... well, connect him with reality a bit."

There was really nothing that'll bring Leo to his senses. Not since about the second week of Addergoole, twelve years ago.

Cya nodded tersely. "Okay, I'll have Viddie grab their bags. You throw the water case in the trunk and I'll grab the milk cooler for Zita."

"Got it, and I think I saw where you left the other case-a energy bars..." He packed as instructed.

You're a pleasure to work with, Howard." She headed off to round up the children, leaving Howard to round up the Zita.

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Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:37 am
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Post Re: Fanfic!
Salt Lake City was a disaster. Leo leaned against the wall of a narrow alley, murmuring a healing spell on himself as he ruefully eyed the bullet in his hand. He’d been expecting to find a monster or god or three. He hadn’t been expecting terrified humans with guns. If he could just find a way to convince them he was on their side…

No, they didn’t need to be convinced. They just needed to feel it. What do people feel about a hero? Hope. Faith. Confidence. Stepping back out of his hiding place, Leofric began to chant softly.

They smiled. Confused, terrified and often injured as they were, the moment they looked at him their faces lit up. Leo ignored the fact that he was doing it to them, that it wasn’t real - it was real. He was their hero.

The so-called god found him first. Leo fought back a scream as his arm suddenly twisted, snapping and cracking as bullets flew wildly. Gritting his teeth at the pain and ignoring his attacker’s condescending taunt as he approached, Leo spat out “abatu tlacatl matia!”

Leo’s arm fell to his side, limp, as the other suddenly screamed and clawed at his own face. Aiming for the eyes was a technique of Zita’s for fighting bigger and tougher opponents (which meant everyone). Disintegrating them, however, was his idea. If they couldn’t see, they couldn’t aim. Fighting a new god single-handedly, Leofric couldn’t afford to play nice.

Taking advantage of the free moment, Leo killed the pain receptors in his right arm with a gasp of relief. The rain of bullets had stopped - whoever was being controlled must have run off when the spell broke.

Rowan sword in hand - off-hand - he raced towards his enemy, stumbling and almost falling as the ground suddenly buckled wildly beneath his feet. Spells! He had to stop the spells. He’d completely forgot - someone else usually did that part.

Jumping up onto a nearby car to get away from the ground, Leo arced lightning into his opponent as a distraction and thought quickly. You can’t cast spells if you can’t speak, so all he needed to do was get rid of his voice. He chanted under his breath.

The blinded god coughed, choked, and grabbed at his rapidly ossifying throat as Leofric lunged.

-----

Leo left the decapitated body lying under the mid-morning sun, slowly putting his arm back together as he returned to his car. (Which, fortunately, was still waiting for him.) He was grinning wildly, high on the adrenaline of victory. He would find them all, he would destroy them all, and the world would be safe again.

A terrified human screamed, but a soft incantation later smiled gratefully. Her hero. Their hero. The hero.

-----

As the car coughed to a halt, sixty miles away from Reno and several hours past the adrenaline, Leo regretted not getting gas back in that last town. The station in Utah had been abandoned as well, but it hadn’t been difficult for him to trigger the switch to activate the pump. (He was going to miss everything being electronic.)

He stood next to the Mustang, frowning at it as the late afternoon sun beat down. He would have to leave the car behind; the next town was too far to make pushing it practical.

“Well, it is the end of the world. Time to do things old-school.” Leo grabbed the bag of food and water he’d picked up at that abandoned gas station, slinging it over his shoulder. And, with a friendly pat on the hood of the car, he started walking.

A wandering swordsman. He'd been waiting a long, long time for this.

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Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:44 pm
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Post Re: Fanfic!
Howard took the first shift driving. Cya was their Finder and he wanted her to stay well rested as long as possible. Zita and the kids were packed in the back seat, and looking at all the nervous tension in his rearview mirror, he gave Zita one more order.

"If you bite someone in the Crew, you gotta heal them within half an hour or when they pass out, whichever comes first. If you bite one-a the Crew's kids, you gotta heal 'em within five minutes."

The less-than-thrilled look Zita gave him in the mirror prompted him to add, "And no bitin' a Crew member while they're drivin' a vehicle."

Satisfied that he wasn't going to crash them into a ditch due to sudden venom attack, he returned his attention to the road and Cya's occasional prompt.

"Uncle Howard?" It was Viddie that spoke up awhile later.

"Yeah?"

"Why didn't you go after Nibbles' mom, too?"

"Well, she's got that travelin' trick. We'd never catch up, even with Cya's directions. Yer father, on the other hand, is stuck drivin' like the rest-a us, and thank God fer that."

Satl Like City really was a mess. When they drove through it, that mess included several agitated groups of people - policemen still attempting to do their job, the start of an angry mob, confused onlookers - centered on a decapitated former godling.

"He isn't here now, but that has to be Leo's work," Cya commented as they drove past without stopping. Even if they had had the time to investigate, none of them liked the looks of the mob forming.

"Well, good. One less wannabe god and we're gainin' on the wannabe super hero."

"Daddy is a hero," Ruki volunteered abruptly.

"Well, hun, he needs a few reminder lessons in heroin' then. Even super heroes got secret bases and pretty much all-a 'em got sidekicks, and yer dad's gone and fergot both this time."

They did stop when they found the red mustang.

"Idu unutu... yep, outta gas," Howard confirmed. Cya looked professionally offended at such a simple oversight, but not at all surprised.

"With any luck, we'll catch him before he hits the Reno city limits."

_________________
Strong Heart
A female mercenary who insists she's a man, a naive young magician, and interesting times ahead.


Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:06 am
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