December 1, 2013

In Which Ashe Doesn't Feel Better

December 13, 1183

"You know, when you accompany your friend to seek answers from a cannibalistic demi-god, you kind of expect that it will be a one-time thing." Lonriad was probably staring at him, disbelieving as he'd been when Ashe had shown up at his castle earlier, but Ashe just kept looking at Deian... who, in turn, glanced over Lonriad, amused. "At most, maybe two times. But this is starting to seem just like any other Tuesday."

"You're the one who said not to go alone, aren't you?" Deian reminded him on Ashe's behalf. It wasn't too cold yet, but Ashe had to make an effort not to shiver. Of all the thoughts that might have made him less comfortable than he already was, the notion of Deian reading minds brought a particular dread. "But if I wanted to eat either of you, I would have done so years ago. You both bring much more amusement to my heart than you ever could to my taste-buds." And of course he licked his lips anyway. "Now, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this is about your daughter?"

Ashe dug the toe of his boot a little deeper into the snow. At least he didn't have to say it. "Yes."

"Her magic manifested."

That, he would have expected Deian to figure, though there was a little relief to be found in his apparent failure to know the specifics, even if it did mean that an explanation was necessary. "She, uh... she got bitten by a cat some months back, and ever since then, she..."

"Spontaneous animal transformations?" Deian's brows drooped as Ashe nodded. "Pity. I was hoping for something a little less mundane. But ah, maybe the next one. Are the transformations at all regular? Any identifiable triggers?"

"Not that we've noticed, no." But maybe it was worth hoping that there was something, something they'd overlooked. It would calm Yvanette somewhat if she was aware of what brought on the transformations, especially if it was something she could avoid. Somewhat. Not enough. "Can you stop it?"

"I could--but trust me when I say you'd rather I didn't." Deian practically chuckled it. If Ashe hadn't known the creature's might--and if his arm hadn't frozen anguished like the rest of him--he would have drawn the knife in his boot and flung it hard upon such careless delivery. "Latent magic wants to manifest. It wants to make itself known. If I rid your daughter of her kitten transformations, the magic will still be there--and this time, it might want to assert itself even more obviously."

"And that might be more harmful to her."


Ashe sighed. His poor baby. Going by her spirits these past months, this one was harmful enough--never mind the incident with the well. If Darry and Aspen had to deal with this too, he only hoped their magic took the most purely beneficial forms possible.

If only it wasn't too late for Yvanette. "So she's stuck with this forever, then."

"Yes. But if it makes you feel any better, most do learn to control such things eventually, though it may not happen until her adulthood."

It didn't make him feel any better, and he suspected Deian knew that. "God damn."

"Now, now. Don't be so hasty." In his usual sadistic, self-amused way, Deian smiled. "It's a condition, sure... but it doesn't have to be a handicap."



Van said...

I don't know how it's December already, but good riddance to November. Not going to miss it at all.

Ann said...

You know... Call me crazy, but there's a part of me that actually likes Deian. For all that the rest of me is pretty much terrified of him. ^^
At least he's not beating around the bush with the bad news.

Lonriad is really collecting points with me though. I mean, it takes a lot of guts to keep coming along to meet a certain cannibalistic demi-god when you don't have as personal a stake in it as the friend you're accompanying.

Also, while I am feeling bad for Yvanette that she has to be singled out like that (at least until her sibs' magic manifests), but I'm really glad there's no way she'll lose her kitten transformations.
Oh, all the possibilities!

Van said...

Deian does have his certain charms, at least now that he's not murdering people right left and center.

But yeah, Lonriad's continued willingness (or insistence!) to accompany Ashe on all these visits is admirable. He's more than redeemed himself in Ashe's mind, though I doubt Ashe would tell him that short of a near-death experience.

Luckily for Yvanette, it's only a matter of time before Darry's magic manifests, and then Aspen's. But for now, yeah, she's going to be pretty alone. :(

If and when she does learn to control her transformations, though, things could go from angsty to interesting...

Winter said...

Deian's appearances are always enjoyable in a sick way. Ashe is at least the second human (he has formed a quasi-relationship with. Watching the Dovians live their little lives comes off as one of the small pleasures of his existence these days. He half-helps Ashe, and Ashe is more likely to come back again and give him five minutes of amusement. For sure, Deian is a jerk but an interesting one.

It's a pity about Yvanette's situation. It could be useful later, but it's mostly just dangerous now. I'm hoping there will be someone in the know with her at all times, at least for now. Having an ally with her when this scary thing happens might help her accept this thing she can't change.

Poor Ashe looks so miserable in the preview!

Van said...

That's a pretty good summation of Deian's attitude toward the Dovians these days. Now that his gods aren't too big on sacrifice and genocide any more (for now), Deian mainly gets his kicks through his interactions with help-seeking humans, giving them just enough to go on that they might possibly seek him out again.

It's really a lucky thing that Rona will be working at the school, since Yvanette will be starting in January. She'll be letting Camaline and the others into the know about Yvanette's problem, so no teacher will every scold her if she runs out of class with no warning and disappears for a while (and Rona being a teacher would probably stop most kids from bullying her to her face, though there will likely be a few rumors about her and sadly, she may learn of some). And Lonriad knows, so that's at least one parent of a frequent playmate, and her grandparents and aunts and uncles (er, those who are old enough to get it, at least) have probably been told already. Darry and Aspen have also been told, even though they can't really get it at this point, and Winter knows too. I'm guessing her closer friends will also know eventually, whether she tells them or they find out otherwise.

For Ashe, that's really saying something. :S

Ekho said...

It's not a handicap at all - I mean, yes she'll probably grow up resenting it, but one day her talents might save her life, or the life of someone she loves. I really hope everyone that learns of her ability is supporting and that no one gives her a hard time of develops a fear of her - the last thing Yvanette needs is people treating her differently.
As for Ashe, I know how he's feeling considering everything, he must feel like its all his fault, and he will share Yvanette's pain until the end.

Van said...

Oh, it could very well become a useful ability, though Yvanette probably won't see it that way unless she at least learns to control it. Deian is right in that she could have gotten stuck with a lot worse.

No one who knows presently has given her a hard time for it (well... the well thing aside), but it's eating at her self-esteem regardless. She really thinks something's wrong with her, the poor thing.

Ashe definitely thinks it's his fault. We'll see more of that in the next post. :S

Penelope said...

OMG, Lonriad was so quotable in that first paragraph. *bwahahaha!*

Van said...

Lonriad is a real gem sometimes. :)