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Addergoole Forum - View topic - Fanfic!




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Fanfic! 
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Post Fanfic!
Late June, 2011, some big city in the midwest:

“…meanwhile, a woman calling herself Aphrodite, the goddess of love, has scheduled a press conference in Las Vegas. Diane, we’re not certain what the significance is, so many would-be deities appearing worldwide all at the same time. The Pentagon has issued a statement, simply declaring that they don’t believe that these people represent a terrorist threat. The White House and fifteen other national governments, including China, Russia, the UK, France, and Saudi Arabia, have issued statements denying any claims of sovereignty made by these people; Iran has issued a statement denying their existence and calling this all a publicity stunt by the United States.”

“Thank you, David. We’re receiving reports of rioting in Cairo, New York City, and Los Angeles, and, just in, some sort of dragon-like flying dinosaur over Seattle. If you had summer vacation plans to any major metropolitan area, it may be time to change those plans.”

Cynara clicked the TV off, frowning. The first report, that could have been a rogue Nedetakaei. Even the first few could have been just a wayward cell of the fuckers. But this… this was something more.

“We’re moving again, aren’t we?” Viðrou sighed.

Next to him, his big brother Yoshi flopped melodramatically against the couch. “We’re moving again,” he confirmed. “I packed up when they first started talking about Thor.”

“We could stay?” Viddie offered hopefully. “I mean, we have the nice big basement and stuff.”

“You know Mom’s gonna want to move. Besides, there’s gods walking the earth. That can’t be a good sign. They’re sticking to major cities so far, so it won’t be long before we have our very own deity.”

Cya listened to them, not sure whether to be proud, irritated, or both. Yoshi had certainly inherited his father’s temperament… she should call Cabal. “We’re moving,” she confirmed. “You’ve got a week or two, or until there’s a god on our doorstep, whichever comes first. That means pack, Viddie.”

“Do we have to take the refugee?” Yoshi complained, wrinkling his nose. “We could just, I dunno, feed him to the god?”

“I thought you liked this one?” The last one had been a complete waste of space, but she had a soft spot for the half-brothers of her sons’ fathers.

“He’s not bad,” Viddie allowed, “but he’s just sort of helpless. He just wanders around the kitchen looking lost.”

“Well, I do remember teaching your father how to boil water,” Cya teased. “Not everyone raises their children to be competent adults.”

“Yeah,” Yoshi grumbled, “other kids don’t have to make their own dinners.”

“Well, other kids end up like our refugee, don’t they? Two weeks, and I want you all packed and ready go to in a week. Now shush, I’m going to call your uncles.”

They shushed; they were good boys and, watching the muted coverage of dragons over Seattle, they knew something was really wrong.

Howard answered on the fifth ring; Cya wasted none of either of their time with extra pleasantries. “It’s Cy. It’s time for that ranch, Howie. Tell me where to wire the money.”

He chuckled and rattled off an account. “I’ve got my eye on three different sites but I'm going with the most remote of those now.”

“Remote… sounds like a very good idea. I gave the kids packing; if you call Zita, I’ll call Leo.”

“Check.” They hung up, and Cya spent a moment staring at her phone. She’d been preparing for this day her whole life, but she didn’t quite feel ready. None of her plans had involved reborn gods storming the cities.

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Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:09 pm
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Post Re: Fanfic!
Elsewhere in the same city:

The phone beeped as Leofric pushed the “End” button, staring absently at the wall. The war, huh? Well, Ruki’d be safe with Cya and the boys for the trip to the ranch - wait, what ranch? “Shit, I need directions.”

“Daddy? What did Aunt Cya want?” Sigruko was watching him curiously over her book.

“Huh?” He looked at his daughter blankly for a moment, switching mental gears back to his immediate surroundings. “Oh! Yeah, that was Cya. We’re going to visit Howard!” He grinned cheerfully at the young blonde girl and headed into the kitchen. “Better pack quickly, Ruki. You don’t want to get left behind!”

“But that’s not supposed to be until next month, daddy.” She gave her father’s back an exasperated look, sounding older than eight. “It’s not July yet.”

“New plan! Go pack!” Leo scooped his cellphone off the counter, scrolling to Zita’s number. She was in Vegas - he didn’t know why. He never remembered when he did ask, so he didn’t even bother asking anymore. But! That wasn’t important. The important part was that she was in Vegas and Vegas was not here.

He tapped out a quick message as he went back into the living area:
stay put i’m coming to get you

Sigruko was still sitting there, definitely not packing and looking stubborn. “That’s not fair. I hate doing things at the last minute.”

“Sorry Ruki.” He ruffled her hair and crouched down next to her, ignoring her glares. “We don’t have a choice this time. The dragon’s aren’t gonna wait for you to take your time, you know.”

Her anger dissolved into surprise, then back into exasperation. She gave a melodramatic sigh. “Daddy,” she began patiently. “We are not being chased by dragons.”

“Oh really?” Leo grinned mischievously and turned on the television, flipping to NBC.

Just like Cya had said, the news was sounding off about gods and dragons. Not that he hadn't believed her. It was weirdly vindicating, somehow, hearing normal people talking about his world.

Leo watched his daughter as she stared at the television in silence, her expression of cynical disbelief slowly fading away into well-masked nervousness.

“We’ll be fine.” He kept his voice gentle, giving her a one-armed hug and a reassuring smile. “Make sure you pack all your favorite stuff, okay?”

“Okay.”

Once he was sure Ruki was out of sight in her room, Leo silently mouthed “yes!”, accompanied by a victorious fist-pump. He shoved his phone back into his pocket, bouncing excitedly around the apartment as he started packing. The war! It was finally time, time for the Epic Battle against the Forces of Evil! And he, Leofric, he was going to take them down, side by side with his friends and companions. Hero time!

-----

Half an hour later, everything important had been packed and shoved haphazardly into the car, the electricity had been turned off, and Ruki was sitting quietly on the sofa and hugging a small deer plushie.

“Okay, into the car! We’ve gotta get you to Cya’s before they leave.”

“...Me? Aren’t you coming?”

Leo looked down at his daughter. She was trying her hardest to look calm, unaffected, and like she wasn’t about to cry. He smiled gently and dropped down next to her, giving her a tight hug. “I need to go get Zita, Ruki-love. I’m gonna meet you guys at Howard’s new ranch, okay?”

She hugged him back, sniffing quietly. “...Promise?”

After a moment, Leo sat back and looked at her seriously. “I promise I’ll meet you and Cya at Howard’s after I get Zita.” The air twisted strangely with a faint pop. He grinned mischievously, tapping her lightly on the nose. “Besides, don’t you remember? The hero never dies.”

Sigruko looked relieved, then exasperated. “Daddy, you’re not really the hero.”

“Of course I am.” He patted her head indulgently and stood up, herding her gently out the door. “Come on, to the car.”

As the door closed behind them, Leofric didn’t glance back even once.

_________________
"Rationes magorum non se interpone, quod callidi et celere irascere sunt."

~ Enthusiastically Unstable; Eloquently Retrotech ~

A font of occasional and specific wisdom.


Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:29 pm
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Post Re: Fanfic!
Zita stared out the skyrise window at the neon-edged cityscape of Las Vegas, one hand pressed against the chilly glass.

"You elope one time and the world goes and ends," she said, honestly feeling rather sulky about it.

"Well, to be fair, love, it was also bigamy. Trigamy?"

"But... but... I like trigamy."

"I like trigamy, too, hon. Since the world's already ended, want to make it quigamy?"

"Is that even a word? But, yes. Absolutely."

In her pocket, her cell phone vibrated. Zita took it out, flipping it open with a thought, and clicked into the new message from Leo.

"Damn it. I guess I'm not getting out of town while the getting's good, after all," she said to the room at large, ignoring with long practice the stab of want/lonely/want that came of being away from Leofric.

ok she texted back, and flipped her phone closed with a snap. The ground shook distantly, rattling the blue and white vase on the hotel table. Zita unpinned her hair and put her face on, favoring her companion with a wild, pointy grin.

"Let's get married."

-----

The sunset over the desert was fucking amazing, if Zita might say so herself. She was wearing a tiny red silk dress and this orange thing she was drinking was to die for. Nothing was wrong with this picture.

Granted, she wasn’t entirely sure how her day had turned into a wild, sprawling party full of pretty people and drinks and a lot of them weren’t really wearing very much, and she’d lost him – her? – she thought it had been a her – a few hours ago, swirling off to wait in attendance on Aphrodite, who was damn amazing, but actually this wasn’t too out there in terms of Zita’s life. It’d all work out.

Anyway, Leo was coming. Nothing could be wrong if Leo was coming.

The fae had taken over one of the biggest casinos as her palace, filling it with worshippers who caught her fancy. It hadn’t been worth it to fight, and Zita had always sucked at the mental tricks anyway. Everything just felt good.

A tiny corner of her mind, the patient, practical part that wasn’t high on being in love, was glad her collar didn’t look much like a collar. Blending in with the herd seemed like a good idea.

Hey, she had a cell phone! Neat. It was pink, and Zita fiddled with it contentedly, snuggling a tall, dark woman wearing leopard print.

Calling Bambi, the display read.

“Mom? Hi?” The voice on the other end was low, softly girlish.

“Bambina, sweetheart!” Zita exclaimed, surprised. “How are you?”

“…I’m okay, mom, but the news-”

Zita interrupted pleasantly.

“Don’t worry, don’t worry. How’s grandma? How’re your sibs?”

“They’re okay. Mom, where are you?”

Zita looked around the marble courtyard, red-lit by the falling sun, pausing to lick her svelte companion, who giggled.

“Mom?” Bambi asked from the phone, voice high and uncertain.

“I’m… around,” Zita informed her daughter, pleased with this brilliant observation. She raised the phone to her ear, turning the speakerphone off.

“Um. Mom. I think you need to find someone, like Uncle Howard or something. Can you do that? Please?” Zita felt, distantly, she should recognize that wavering, choking tone.

“Leo’s coming to get me,” she murmured into the phone, a secret secret just for her little girl. “Hide, sweetie. There are beasties in the dark.”

The phone sobbed, and Zita listened to the beep beep beep of the disconnect for a while.

-----

When the nice fellows from cy’Luca killed the monster, Zita was curled up by the throne in a dress covered in pink sequins, with pink feathers in her hair. She stretched, waking up from a dream, and smiled at the boys.

“Hey, guys. How’s it going?”

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Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:29 pm
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Post Re: Fanfic!
"Don't give me that shit, you know and I know ain't no one actually lived there since '08, so sure I can move in this week." A pause for grumbling on the other end. "Hey, you seen the news lately? Yeah? Well, yer gettin' yer fee up front and yer seller's gettin' a helluva a down payment, so I don't see what the problem is. Yeah, I thought so. Alright, that'll do. Thanks."

Howard muttered under his breath as he shoved the phone back in his pocket, only to have to go fishing in his other pocket when his second phone rang - the one preserved with quipa with a restricted number, the one Cya had called him on earlier today.

"Zita Grandma"? But I just talked to Zita on her cell, and she sure weren't in Jersey...

"Howdy," he answered it.

"Uncle Howard?" The little girl's voice was high and wavery, pushing down something awfully unhappy.

"Bambina! Are you alright, hun? What's the matter?"

"I'm worried about Mom. She called me but she didn't say where she was and she sounded kinda drunk or something? Or maybe she forgot her milk, and there's stuff on the news and I don't know where she is and she started talking about, um, beasties again and..."

"Easy, hun, it's alright. I just talked to her. I don't think she fergot her milk, but she is off... well, did she say anythin' else? How're you doin', sweetie?"

"Um. She said... she said something about Uncle Leo coming to get her, and then, she told me to hide." A very worried little girl.

"Oh, hun. Yer hidin' in plain sight, livin' with yer gran, you hear me? You and yer siblins, y'all stay put with yer gran and you'll be just fine. Just stay away from the City, alright? You and yer siblins stay put 'less yer Mom, me, Uncle Leo, Auntie Cya, Ms. Shiva or Ms. Magnolia come and get you. You understand, hun?"

"Yeah..."

"I know it's scary, sweetheart, but it's the safest way, and I know you'll keep an eye on yer siblins fer me. I think Leo's bringin' yer Mom to visit me. I call you when I know fer sure, and you can call me any time on this phone, alright?"

"Okay... But what if... what do I do if there's a monster, Uncle Howard?"

"Stay out of sight, and don't make any promises to it. We'll get you," he says firmly. "Stay with yer Gran til then. And if you do get lost..."

"Stay put and say everyone's secret names when the sun goes down so you can find me."

"That's right. Don't worry, hun. Yer Mom's a clever gal and so are you. Now scoot 'fore yer Gran starts fussin'."

"Yeah. Thanks, Uncle Howard."

"Don't worry 'bout it, lil gal."

Howard stared at the phone for a long moment after Bambina hung up, hoping she was far enough away from the mess in New York City, hoping they had time to send someone to get her and her siblings...

He scrolled through the contacts list on the quipa phone until he found the name he wanted and hit send.

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


Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:34 am
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Post Re: Fanfic!
Cya studied Leo’s packing job ruefully. “Some things never change. Viddie, get your sister settled up in the spare room for now, then help Yoshi unpack the car. I’ve got a few words to say to Leofric.”

Once the kids were bundled out of the living room, she looked the lanky blond man up and down. More than a few things didn’t change. “I’ll take care of them,” she murmured. “We’ll be at Howard’s. You… you do what you have to do, and then…” she let her voice get steely, “then You. Come. Back. To them.”

Leo looked at her in surprise, then laughed ruefully. “You too? Man, not even Ruki has faith in me. I must be an awful dad.” For a split second he looked sad; sad and guilty, and both vanishing with a quick shake of his head. He grinned at Cya. “I promised her I would. I promise you the same thing.”

She hugged him fiercely. “You’re a wonderful dad, Leo. You’re just... very predictable. I’ll take care of her while you’re gone. I promise.”

“Promises right and left today, huh? Well, it is the end of the world.” He pulled away, looking serious. “She’s scared, Cya. Try to keep her distracted for me?”

“With Viddie and Yoshi around, I don’t think distraction will be a problem,” she teased. She could hear the thee of them thudding down the stairs. “It’ll be okay.”

“Thanks.” He grinned again, cheerful and excited. “I better get going, it’s a long drive to Nevada.”

She stayed out of the way while the kiddos said their good-byes, she and Yoshi finishing detangling the mess of Leo’s packing. She’d told the boys they could have a week for good-byes. That should be just enough time to get Ruki re-packed properly and outfitted, and get everything loaded into the van and car.

And get The Refugee packed, since she couldn’t trust either him nor the boys to pack his stuff properly (she’d caught Yoshi explaining to the poor guy that “she sized the box for you, see? That way you won’t be in the way on the drive and can just nap. I’d throw a blanket in, though; the last guy got splinters.”)

“Why…?” she asked herself, but she knew the answers already. The sex was great, for a year, they were more reliable or faithful than any of her long-term lovers could bring themselves to be, and they needed it, needed someone to coach them back into normalcy. Besides, it was like getting a dog for the boys to play with, but self-walking and they didn’t tend to widdle on the carpets.

“Come on, sweetie,” she coaxed as she headed into her bedroom; the Refugee was reading on her bed, the trunk half-packed on the floor in front of him. She’d only had him for a week, having ambushed him right after his graduation. She wasn’t sure he was done sulking over that yet.

“Where are we going?” he asked. “All Yoshi said was ‘we’re moving again.’”

“We’re going to Howard’s ranch, once he finishes buying it.” She started reorganizing his packing, wondering how anyone got to be twenty-one so completely helpless in anything but Working.

“I could stay here, keep an eye on the house for a while,” he offered hopefully. “Your kids hate me. Your crew probably will too.”

“Ah, Gaheris.” She patted his shoulder companionably. “They don’t hate you, darling, and neither will the crew.” Howard probably would ignore his very existence, and Leofric, well, Leo would be off rescuing Zita, probably from herself. “They’re just getting used to you. Now… there’s a crate full of water in the kitchen, the blue one is yours, and then the blue tub full of food.” She made shooing gestures at him. “You’d think you’d never seen an apocalypse before.”

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Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:54 pm
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Post Re: Fanfic!
Leofric was speeding. Accelerator against the floor, he gripped the steering wheel of the red Mustang as if trying to choke the life out of it. Oh, he’d been driving fast before, cheerfully flying down the empty highway across the plains. All he needed to do was pick up Zita and let the adventures begin!

That was before Howard called. The details of the conversation were vague - lost in the sea of things Leo couldn’t remember. But the one thing, the one important thing he’d gotten from the call was that Zita was in trouble. Right now. While he was still hundreds of miles away.

If anyone so much as touched Zita - his Zita - he was going to kill them. He would find them, he’d hunt them down and make them--

Rule 1: No killing

“Shut up! Damn it!” Leo slammed a hand against the door, the car almost swerving off the road. What if he was-- no, he would make it just in the nick of time. He was the hero. That’s how these things work. It’s how they have to work.

-----

Running out of gas in the middle of nowhere finally forced Leo to stop, calm down, and think. Even then it was a while before enough of the rage and fear drained away to leave him capable of coherent thought.

He leaned back against the newly-dented car, staring up at the starlit sky. If Zita... no, he wasn’t going there. Zita would be there, waiting for him like he told her to. Because he told her to. Right now he just had to get there, to where she was waiting. Which meant he needed gas.

Pulling his phone out of his pocket, he looked thoughtfully through his contacts before clicking “call”. Backup might not be a bad idea, either.

“Hey, Tolly. … Yeah yeah I know, look I need gas and some cy’ree backup. Zita’s in Vegas. … What? No I didn’t. Is it really Aphrod-- never mind, I don’t care. I’m out on I-70. … Sounds familiar? Let’s say yes. Can you come? Please? … Good, okay. I’ll call Richard, you know who else is in the area? … Plan? Who needs a plan? … Okay fine, I’ll think of something. Just... hurry, okay?”

Leofric ended the call, staring into the distance for a long moment before dropping his gaze back to the car. Two swords lay against the front passenger seat; one sheathed in black, the other in white. The black-sheathed sword was high-quality steel, specially crafted for him and him alone.

The white one, he was going to use in Las Vegas for the very first time.

-----

The casino was full of confused and terrified people. People wondering what had just happened, people staring in fear at Leo and his bloodstained wooden katana. Normal people, normal humans, every single one in the way. He strode through the room, desperately searching the crowd for one small dark-haired woman. Zita was here somewhere, he knew it. She had to be. She was... she was right there, smiling in a sparkly pink thing of a dress.

“Zita!” Leofric ran to her, dropping his sword to the ground and pulling her into a fierce hug. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry I took so long. Are you okay?” He held her at arm’s length and looked over her worriedly.

Zita smiled at him, ignoring their surroundings. She didn't seem injured, and her eyes didn't have that glazed look that came with mental destruction. “You're here. Anyone hurt?”

The tension drained out of him in relief and he smiled back. “Yeah, I’m here.” He glanced back at the others. “Nothing serious, no. But we should get out of here.”

“No kidding,” Zita agreed, wrinkling her nose. “Can we blow it up, before we go?”

Leo blinked in surprise and looked around the rapidly emptying casino. Slowly, he began to grin. “Yes, yes we can.”

_________________
"Rationes magorum non se interpone, quod callidi et celere irascere sunt."

~ Enthusiastically Unstable; Eloquently Retrotech ~

A font of occasional and specific wisdom.


Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:09 pm
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Post Re: Fanfic!
Over the next couple days, Howard paused occasionally to hope that Leo remembered to tell Zita to call Bambi back when she was sensible again, but he had his doubts. Least he knows where the ranch is now, if it takes 'em awhile to get back Again, he had his doubts about how well Leo would remember, but he had emphasized that it was in mountainous part of Wyoming. Nothin' else, Cya can Find 'em from there.

He'd left Lily a message - Got a ranch, moving out there with the kids and Crew. Go get 'em Pricklypear - and the address but he hadn't heard back from her yet. Well, she was a Marine, he didn't expect to hear from her much at all when there was a big fight brewing.

Shiva and Magnolia were up to speed on his Crew's plans now, too. He grinned, remembering Mags hollering at him for choosing the ranch "out at the ass-end of nowhere, and don't start in about how Ah've got quipa, it's still gonna be hell getting anything fresh to market." Getting fussed at by Magnolia was so much more fun these days.

He and Cynara exchanged more phone calls, as she got ready to join him for the big move.

"The barn isn't big, but it's plenty enough room to stable the livestock me and Mags have already."

"You said they had room for over a hundred cattle."

"Yeah, but cattle gener'ly live outside..."

"I still think I should bring another generator for the barn."

"Yeah, sure, get one - don't hafta be too big - and it'll be good back-up fer the one up there. Get some plans fer windmills, too."

"Okay, I already have plans for a bigger house, since there's only the one small place and a cabin up there right now, right?"

"Well, the land's hilly 'nough that a place big 'nough fer all-a us might be hard to footprint, so get plans fer a coupla cabins, too."

"Got it. Sharing the two bathrooms will suck for awhile, but at least with the tents we'll have room for everybody."

"If you booted yer latest rescue project..."

"His name is Gaheris, Howard."

"Yeah, well, just keep him outta my way 'til he's useful."

"Of course."

Gaheris he thought after that particular conversation. Bet he'll be 'nother idiot - course he is, if he got hisself Kept after Addergoole. Well, mebbe she'll be ready to sleep with someone with a spine by the time we get up there...

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


Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:18 pm
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Post Re: Fanfic!
Zita dozed in the car, drifting in and out as she watched the desert fly by. Not literally flying, she couldn’t lift a car just yet. (Zita had a great time with the Harry Potter series, especially the flying car and the rampaging dustbins.)

Her head had started pounding, aftereffect of too much mind altering and a hasty patch job. Her thoughts drifted.

“Zita? Zita, something bad is about to happen. Zita, we need to leave.”

“Leo told me to stay put.”

“…fuck.”

“You go on. I'll see you around.”


-----

The car overheated somewhere in Utah, before they had to make the decision to take the highway through Salt Lake City or head straight east and try to figure out the back roads. Zita spent a while muttering over the engine and cursing her lack of detailed knowledge of car mechanics, swearing to herself she was going to find a damn car repair manual just as soon as she could. It was like being blindfolded, only not nearly so fun.

Her cellphone had stopped working. Zita didn't know if it was local or national, but the lingering need to call her daughter and apologize nagged at the edges of her mind. Really, what was the point of having an Owner who doubled as a convenient battery charger when you couldn’t get any bars?

They took US-40, but they could still see the glow from the northwest off to their left, so they kept on driving through the night. The stars were very bright as Zita told Leo about her week, just to keep herself awake and the car on the road.

“…and I got married again,” she said, just to see if he was paying attention.

"Uh-huh," Leo replied absently, then did a double-take. "Wait, what? Again?"

"Twice," Zita said happily.

"Tw... Geez Zita, how many times has it been now? Three? Four?" He looked over at her, more amused and exasperated than anything else. "Who was it this time?"

Zita mumbled something that sounded a lot like Green Eggs and Ham.

"Do you want me to make you tell me, again?" he teased, turning his attention back to the road.

"Last time was embarassing!" Zita protested.

"Okay okay, I'll drop it. For now. You know," he mused, giving her a sidelong glance. "Later we'll be at the Cowboy's new ranch. With all the kids..."

"I'm doomed." Zita sounded rather happy about being doomed, overall.

"Pretty much." Leo sounded just as happy.

-----

After a while, they switched places again, and Zita drifted off to sleep in the midst of a wonderful plan to train all the children as a little army, dress them in green and set them to Capture The Flag exercises with Cya and Howard as the flags.

She wasn’t really sure what to think, as they finally crossed into Wyoming. It was a beautiful summer day and their trip had been painfully peaceful – at least compared to Vegas. Birds were chirping. Bees were singing. That kind of thing. It seemed a fake peace, a temporary thing. The gas station attendant at the last gas station had been stuffing powerbars in a backpack as they left, thrown off by something they’d said. Zita couldn’t quite figure out what – she and Leo really did try to act normal, at least enough to not set people running for the hills. It’s just sometimes you’re right in the middle of congratulating someone for his epic dragonslaying talents and you want to finish your sentence, you know? Before the damn things started flying around in broad daylight, people had had the courtesy to assume she was talking about a videogame.

Sometimes she had been talking about videogames, and people had still acted like they needed to put a little distance between her and her blond friend. It was patently unfair.

Bored, Zita turned on the radio and fiddled with it, ending up on a classic rock station.

It’s the end of the world as we know it (And I feel fine)

Leo laughed abruptly. "I feel fine too. How about you, Zita?"

“Yeah. Yeah, I’m good.”

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Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:35 pm
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Post Re: Fanfic!
World-shifting while carrying children was exhausting. World-shifting while carrying three children and their Faded Gran was the most work Shiva had ever done.

She’d gotten her three to the ranch first; no-one begrudged her that. They might begrudge her what she did next, but they wouldn’t have to know, would they, until she was gone?

She was moving this lot in small jumps, resting well in between, trying to ignore the hysterics the very impressive old Italian woman was doing a very good job of hiding, letting Zita’s oldest bring her water and ply her with energy bars. When she was done with this, she’d sleep for a week.

…she’d sleep for a day, and then be gone before someone thought to pin her down to a promise. She wasn’t gonna sit this one out.

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Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:31 am
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Post Re: Fanfic!
It turned out the Refugee could drive. Ruki could, too, but even with the world ending, Cya wasn’t going to let an eight-year-old maneuver the packed van; for one, if she did, the boys would insist on taking turns, and she didn’t trust them behind the wheel yet. For another, the police were out in force and looking very nervous. They wanted to be effective, and they were woefully without ways to do so.

But Gaheris knowing how to drive expanded her options. She shoved him behind the wheel of a loaded U-Haul, towed her car behind the van, and rotated the kids between the two vehicles.

It was slow going, in large part because Cya insisted on stopping at every gas station to top off the tanks. She took advantage of the stops to buy and fill another gas can and two quarts of oil, and bribed the kids into patience with the stops by allowing them to stock up on unaccustomed junk food and candy bars. They’d never be hurting for food, not with Magnolia and Howard around, but she had a feeling they’d be short on M&Ms and Milky Ways pretty quickly.

The stops let them swap kids, too, which had the advantage of not leaving the Refugee with any one kid for more than half an hour at a time, and the disadvantage of giving Yoshi one shift in three to harass the poor kid (“kid;” ha, he was twice her son’s age. And yet…)

“How’s he doing?” she asked Yoshi, after their fifth stop.

“I gave him my peanut butter cups and a soda, so he’s kind of hyper,” her most mischievous of sons grinned. “I don’t think he likes me much, but he’s doing that thing they do where they try, because it’ll make you happy.”

She winces. “Well, it’s better than the thing they do where they can’t stand anyone else getting my attention.”

“That was really only that one guy. Whatshisname, the redhead.”

“Nilam,” Ruki offered. “He wasn’t that bad; I think he was just scared. A lot of your friends seem scared when they come home with you, Aunt Cy.”

“That’s ‘cause Mom is scary,” Yoshi grinned. “Also, she brings home wusses.”

She felt like she ought to argue, but she really couldn’t. The boys she brought home were nothing like sweet Howard or even Leo – men like that wouldn’t be so easily roped into Belonging and wouldn’t need what she offered, either.

Ruki chuckled. “They learn, though. Even Nilam.”

“We’re all going to have a lot of learning to do,” Cya commented solemnly. Traffic was letting up, the further out of town they got.

“Are we really going to be camping out all summer?” Yoshi asked.

“Well, at least for a little while. We have the van, and the tents, so it’ll be like when we went to Yellowstone last summer.”

“Even the bears?” Ruki clutched her deer plush a little tighter.

I don’t think Fiala’s going to be around. Cya swallowed the comment, remembering, with a smile, Leo facing down the big mama bear who’d just wanted their leftovers. “I doubt the bears, at least. We’ll be well within the ranch.”

Yoshi chuckled, laughed, and, before Ruki and Cya’s eyes, started flat-out guffawing.

“What?” they both asked at the same time. Remembering she wasn’t five, Cya didn’t say “jinx.” Ruki, who had never really been five, didn’t either.

“It’s…” he gasped, still laughing. “You, with the refugees… Uncle Howard, with the Ranch…”

Ruki giggled, catching on before Cya did. “Oh, Yo-yo, oh!”

Cya waited patiently. Eventually, one of them would stop laughing enough to explain to the slow grown-up what they were on about.

“All the guys… and the ranch….”

She facepalmed, glad for the slowing traffic. “Heh. Don’t tell you Uncle Howard he’s starting a Dude Ranch.”

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Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:31 am
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