Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chapter 21: Never Lose You Again

Kyle signed up for ballet classes after school, and comes home from his first lesson dying to show off his new plie skills to his mother.

Shelly is less than impressed. "Why couldn't you sign up for scouts?" she complains, "Ballet is for girls. Or sissies."

"Is not," Kyle protests weakly, but his mother has turned back to her TV show and stopped paying attention to him.

Elliot isn't at home to appreciate his son's new dance moves because he has an early show at Doug's Hangout. While he's doing a simple Walking into the Wind mime, he feels a sudden, sharp stab in the back and collapses onto the floor. Unable to move, let alone perform, Elliot is rushed to the hospital.

They let Shelly in to see him as soon as the examination is done.

"I slipped a disc," he tells her, "It may get better on its own over time, or I may need surgery. Either way, it's finished my career."

"Do you remember what you said about why you weren't pursuing a career in professional sports?" she asks in an accusing tone, "You said there was a risk of career ending injuries. So, you basically gave it all up for nothing."

Elliot had expected a more sympathetic reaction from his wife, some show of love and support. Instead, he gets this. "Shell, I had a lot of reasons for not choosing to go into professional sports, the main one being to do what I actually wanted to do."

"You did what you wanted and it ruined you!" Shelly sobs, "Now you'll never be anything but a failed acrobat."

"I'm in a lot of pain here, Shelly," Elliot says, his voice and even as he holds himself through sheer will. When he gets no response, he just sighs. There's no point in telling her how he feels about the abrupt end of his career and the pain the doctor says he will likely experience for the rest of his life, she filters out anything that isn't directly about her.  "They're going to release me as soon the paperwork is settled; why don't you go out front and check on that?" he suggests, to get her out of his sight for awhile.

"We're here," Moth announces as he leads the small group up the cobblestone path to a man who stands waiting for the, by his front steps. Farrell, Aouregan and Pearl had met up with Moth in the woods not far from the MorcuCorp lab after their narrow escape. The fairy promised he'd secured them a safe place to hide in a town called Drake's Hollow.

"My name is Ariel Hawksquill," the man introduces himself, "Moth tells me you seek sanctuary. Come inside. We've been waiting for you."

Ariel introduces them to his wife, Noelle, and gestures for them to sit on the couches of the front parlor of his old Victorian home.

"Drake's Hollow was once a nesting site for a family of dragons," Ariel says when they are all seated, "Though dragons are magical creatures by nature, like the fae, their magic only manifests in two ways; first, in their ability to shift forms..."

"I knew it," Aouregan cries out, interrupting, "I knew the dragons were more than they seemed."

"Indeed," Ariel smiles wryly, and then continues without missing a beat, "And secondly, in their ability to cast powerful protective wards. Though the dragons who nested here are long gone, tens of thousands of years gone, the wards they've placed on this land remained. Greatly weakened, of course. When the dragons were here, no human would be able to find this spot, intentionally or by accident. Now, of course, we can, but it's extremely difficult. People who know of the place, even those of us who were born here, have trouble finding the way in, even with maps to guide them."

"You're saying that will be enough to keep MorcuCorp from finding us?" Farrell asks doubtfully, not wanting to rely on the magic of thousands of years gone dragons for his and Aouregan's safety.

"No, not at all," Ariel answers, "But it provides an excellent base for Moth and Tansy and weave their protective spell around you. Maintaining a glamour of that magnitude for your entire lives will require much of their energy; doing it here means they at least don't have to build it from scratch, they can just strengthen and focus the residual magic left by the dragons' wards."

Ariel sounds scholarly and learned enough, Farrell thinks, but all this talk of dragons and magical wards is still hard for him to swallow. "Tansy?" he asks, not recognizing the name.

"I'm surprised Moth hasn't mentioned her," Ariel laughs, "He's been quite smitten with her since he came to our little village. She is fae, like he is, and has volunteered to help him hide you from your pursuers. Tansy is young, but very powerful."

Farrell glances at Pearl, who nods at him with a grim frown. Working for MorcuCorp has made her more accustomed to accepting these flights of fancy living side by side with hard science. And apparently Farrell is going to have to accustom himself to it as well. MorcuCorp will never leave them alone, never stop looking for them, and his only recourse is to take shelter here.

"It's getting late," Noelle observes, taking her husband's hand, "I'm sure our guests would like sometime to themselves. There will be time for history lessons later."

They both have so many questions they want to ask each other, and so many things they want to say, but, finally left alone together in the Hawksquills' guest room, Farrell and Aouregan exchange no words as their arms wrap around each other and their lips meet in a tender kiss.

They make love clinging to each other, clasped together, to never be parted again.

"Tell me about our children," Aouregan breaks the blissful silence, twining her fingers into his.

"They're amazing," Farrell sighs happily, "They both look mostly like you; Aourora is your image in miniature. Shadow has my hair, but your eyes."

"Why Shadow?" Aouregan asks, "Is that a common name now?"

"I had to come up with names on the spot, when my brother asked," Farrell explains, "We can change it if you'd like."

"Does he know his name yet?" Aouregan asks.

Farrell smiles, "He does. He likes to say it, too, extending the first syllable, like, Shhhhaaaadow," he says, imitating the way his son pronounces his name.

"Well, I wouldn't to change it on him," Aouregan says softly, her eyes brimming with tears.

"I'm sorry," Farrel says, "I should have put more thought into naming him. After Aurora, I just kind of got stuck for ideas."

Aouregan wipes the tears from her cheeks, "That's not it," she says, "It's just, I've missed so much. I've never seen them, or held them..."

"I'm sorry about that, too," Farrell sighs, "I should have been there before MorcuCorp got to you. I should have paid more attention to the dates, the calendar shift..."

"Don't," she whispers, "Don't blame yourself. My brother handed me over to the Landgraabs, and they handed me over to this MorcuCorp. You aren't to blame for any of that."

"But I could have..."

"It doesn't matter now," she says, squeezing his hand, "We're together again, and tomorrow we'll have our children back with us."

Farrell eventually falls asleep, but Aouregan has spent more than enough time in dreams recently and doesn't join him.

Getting out of bed, she stands by the window, looking out at this strange new world with it's smmoth, black roads and bright lit houses. She had hesitated to come here, when Farrell asked, but she was brought here anyway, kept locked away, and her children taken from her. There's no going back now, she knows, not while the Landgraabs hold power. No, this world is her home now, this world her children have been raised in. For their sake, and for Farrell, she will learn to love it here as much as she loves them.

Farrell wakes, the bed empty beside him, and jolts up, looking for Aouregan, afraid that MorcuCorp had stolen in and taken her from him once again.

"Come away from the window, my love," Farrell whispers, pulling her towards him, "Neighbors here are closer than you're used to, and the stay up much later."

She folds her arms around him, and the fear of waking to and empty bed followed by the relief of finding her still in the room with him finds expression in one long sob that wrenches out of him,  "I can't lose you again," he whispers, lips pressed to her neck, "I will never lose you again."

In the morning, they breakfast with the Hawksquills, discussing their plans for the day, and for the future. Farrell will go back to Storybrook with Moth to pick up his children and bring them here. Aouregan will stay with Noelle, who will find her some clothes and introduce her to the basics of modern living. Pearl and Ariel will begin house hunting in the neighborhood for the couple, and for herself.

"I want to go with you," Aouregan says as Farrell kisses her goodbye. "I don't like to be away from you, not so soon."

"I know," Farrell sighs, "But it's safer this way. I can slip in and out of town without much notice, but if I drive in and then take off with a strange woman, the whole town will start talking. It won't be long, I'll br back to you before you know it, I promise."

Farrell looks for his brother first thing, and finally finds him sitting on the floor of Kyle's room.

Farrell takes a seat beside Elliot, and hesitates before speaking. He'd practiced several ways to tell his brother that he's leaving town for good, but all the practice does him no good now that it's time to say it in person. Before he can get started, Elliot surprises him by telling him about his back injury and the end it's put to his career.

"That's awful," Farrell says.

"I'll get through it," Elliot sighs, "I'm having a harder time dealing with Shelly's reaction to all this. She's been acting like this something that happened to her, you know? I'm never going to be the basketball star she always wanted me to be. And, I'm wondering, did she ever love me at all? Or did she just latch onto me because I was a jock in high school?" Farrell stays quiet, so Elliot continues, "And she's putting this crap on Kyle, too, giving him a hard time because he wanted to take ballet."

"You didn't ask my opinion, but...I've never thought she was right for you," Farrell admits.

"Well, how was your symposium?" Elliots asks, changing the subject.

"What?" Farrell asks, and then remembers that he told Elliot he was going out of town for an inventor's symposium to cover his absence while he was infiltrating MorcuCorp's lab, "Yeah, there wasn't any symposium. I was rescuing my wife from MorcuCorp."

"You should have told me the truth; I would have come with you," Elliot chides his brother.

"That's why I lied," Farrell explains, "It turned out to be a trap. If my mother weren't a highly trained ninja assassin, I'd be locked up in a secret lab right now."

Elliot glances over his shoulder at Farrell, "You know how crazy that sounds?"

"Believe me, I know. I'm still not used to the crazy enough yet that I've stopped questioning it."

"But you got your wife back?"

"Yes," Farrell says, "MorcuCorp is still after us. They'll always be after us. So we're going to have to live in hiding. I'm just here to get my kids and say goodbye."

"Just like that?" Elliot asks.

"I don't have a choice," Farrell says, "I'll miss you."

"I'm not letting you go like that," Elliot says, "If you have to go into hiding somewhere, I'm going with you."

"Elliot, you can't just uproot yourself like that," Farrell protests.

"Why not?" Elliot answers, "My career is shot, but I've made enough to support us all wherever we go. My girls are too young to have grown roots here, and Kyle has just started school, he doesn't have any close friends yet to be torn away from."

"And Rochelle?" Farrell hesitates to ask.

Elliot's lips set in a hard frown, "You're my brother, Farrell. I'm not losing you. If Shelly can't see that..." He doesn't finish the thought, he doesn't have to.

Farrell nods, "I won't say no to you. But, I have to leave today, and I can't leave directions behind for you. If you're coming, it has to be now."

Elliot finds Shelly out in her vineyard. "I have news," he says, "Farrell has to move away, out of town."

"Oh, that's great!" Shelly enthuses, "Finally, we can have the place to ourselves!"

"I want to go with him."

"What?" Shelly's enthusiasm changes to petulance, "No. I'm not leaving."

"Shell, he's my brother, my family. I want to go with him."

"Look, I've put up with him living with us, I even put up with him dumping his bastards on our house, but now that he's finally leaving, there's no way I'm following. N-O!"

"We don't all have to live in the same house," Elliot says, "I just want to be in the same town as he is."

Shelly's eyes narrow into slits, "You love him more than me," she hisses.

"I never wanted this to be a contest between you. But, he's my brother, Shell. If you loved me you'd be more supportive of my decision."

"And what about my vineyard?" Shelly asks.

"You complain all the time about the work and that it hasn't paid off the way you wanted," Elliot points out, "Maybe it's time you found something else..."

"Maybe it's time I found someone else," she snaps back.

"Seriously, Shell? That's where you want to take this?"

"You're the one who's leaving. I'm not going anywhere, Elliot. You want to be my husband, then you stay. If you go chasing after your brother, then you do it without me, and I move on to find someone who'll put me first."

"Fine," Elliot says, "Stay then."

"What about the kids?" Shelly asks, "There's no way you're leaving me to raise three kids on my own."

"I'm not leaving my children," Elliot says, "They're coming with me."

"Then that's settled," Shelly says, turning her back on him in a huff.

"That's it?" Elliot gasps, "You just let your children go like that? You won't even fight for them? Do you even care about them?"

"Just go if you're going, Elliot," Shelly snarls.


  1. Argh! I seriously want to smack Shelly ><

    But this chapter was beautifully written, as usual! I love the way you take your pictures.

    1. Thank you, Tsuki! I'm sure a lot of people would love to smack Shelly.

  2. Is it wrong that after this chapter I really don't think I'll miss Shelly all that much? (If at all) I think both Elliot and the kids are much better off without her.

    Switching your roll from Elliot with Shelly + Farrell to Farrell and Auregon + Elliot was just genius. Absolute genius. Didn't see it coming until that last line with Shelly agreeing to give Elliot custody. WOW.

    1. Nah, that's not wrong, Cece.
      I'll miss Shelly, but only because she was a fun character to write. But Elliot and the kids will be better off without her. Growing up with someone who has rigid expectations of you is really hard on the self-esteem.

      I originally intended to stick with Elliot and Shelly, and have Farrell rescue Aouregan but keep them separated to hide her from MorcuCorps, but the further I got into it, the more I realised I had to do it this way. Luckily for me, pushing Elliot and Shelly to the breaking was easy, she was set up from the beginning as a bad partner.

  3. I see what your doing here. The ol' switcheroo. Nicely played.

    Shelly is a terrible, terrible person, but if it's going where I'm assuming, I'm going to miss the "What the hell is wrong with this 'person'?" moments.

    I hope Aouregan adjusts. And that Moth and Tansy get some mention. And that guy from last chapter with the kablewy that I've forgotten how to spell his name... And I'm done. Oh and Teal.

    1. Yeah, I did a switcheroo, lol. And I'll miss having Shelly to kick around.

      I'll probably get to have some fun with the medieval person in the modern world theme.
      Moth and Tansy will get more than mention, they live in this town I'm moving too, so they'll be around. Suchandra will be back as well.

  4. I had kind of suspected this is the direction you were taking the story but I still feel so sad for Elliot. He put so much into his marriage and taking care of his family and supporting his crazy ass wife. And all she cares about is what her ideal life should be instead of realizing she has it all.

    I'm totally with Cece in saying that I will not miss Shelly one bit. Good riddance. I just hope she doesn't come crawling back later, trying to convince him that she misses him. Benefits of living somewhere you can't tell anyone about and that is hard for humans to find.

    1. Yeah, I feel bad for Elliot as well. He had to make a snal decision about Shelly, because it was either stay or go immediately Farrell and he chose to go. But he did put a lot into that marriage, and it's going to hurt for awhile. But in the long run, he'll be better off without her.

      LOL, definitely living in a magically protected town will have the side benefit of warding Shelly off.

  5. The Hawksquills! And Tansy! =D Names I recognize.

    I'm honestly sad about Shell, but it was all excellently written. *jealousy of Melissa's talent* Really, I feel terrible for Elliot.

    1. Yes, I brought in some Dayspring characters. =D I've pretty much retconned that legacy out of existence, since it never got past gen 1. Now that I've figured out how to reduce the lag that killed that and the Roman legacy, I guess I could have picked them back up, but too much time has passed.
      And this legacy now is sharing some themes with the Dayspring story, with the magically hidden town, so I decided to pull in some of the characters.
      Tansy's personality will be much the same as before, but her look is completely different. I made her from mixing the genetics of Tania and the current Auberon (I used a totally different base for him in Summerdream, and here. Meri Dayspring actually, lol, with some adjustments).Tansy is a nice blend of them both, and then I changed her skin, hair and eye colors, because I decided fae genetics allowed more mutation.
      I kind of want to bring Nyx and Erys back as well, but I don't want my town overrun by fairies, so we'll see.

      I feel bad about Shell, too. Once I decided she would have to go so I could reunite Farrell and Aouregan, I started pushing her character to express her worst side, but if I had stuck to the original plan, she probably would have become a better person over time. I feel really bad for Elliot as well, and their kids.

  6. I'm sad that Elliot's marriage has turned out so badly, but I am so glad the kids will be with someone who loves them. And I love the switcheroo. Very smart :-D

    1. Thanks, Ishi. I think it's definitely for the best that Elliot's kids be raised away from their mother. Sad as that is, she was bound to criticize them wheneve they failed to met her expectations, and with her dislikes children trait, she was constantly shooing poor Kyle away from her. Being around her would do more damage to them than growing up without a mother.

  7. Yay, I'm so glad that you've done a switch! Shelly doesn't deserve to be a mother anyway or to have such a loving husband as Elliot and I'm sure Aouregan will be more of a mother to them as their aunt-by-marriage than Shelly was :) (Poor Elliot though *hugs him*)

    I'm also glad you're bringing back some of the characters from your Dayspring legacy :)

    1. Thanks, Ali! You called it in your comment last chapter. Shelly did spit on what she had, and didn't deserve to keep it. It is sad for Elliot, but hopefully he'll get over her and move on.

      It just seemed really fitting to bring in some of the Dayspring characters to Drake's Hollow. I'm glad people remember them, as it was such a short lived legacy.

  8. I know I shouldn't be, but I am cheering inside for Elliot. He will be free of that nasty witch!
    I am so happy that Farrell and Aouregan are safe and have found a sort of haven away from the bad guys for a bit. I can't wait to read more. :)

    1. Thank you, Zhip!
      I think it's fine to cheer for Elliot. He's not cheering himself yet, because this is not how he wanted things tobe, but inthe end it will be better for him and their children that he gets away from Shelly.

      I'm happy for Aouregan and Farrell, too. It's been a difficult road for them, but now they are together.

  9. My excitement for Farrell and Aouregan getting to be together far outweighs my anger towards Shelly. I think Elliot will do just fine without her. And at least the kids won't grow up to be psychopath serial killers. At least, I hope now.

    1. Elliot will do fine without Shelly. He'll probably need some time to get over her, but in the end it's for the best. And Farrell and Aouregan get to be together. =D

  10. Nope, I'm not sorry one bit for Elliott's career or wife loss - good riddance and brilliant way to switch the roll to fit the roles! I reeeeally didn't like Shelly from the very start, but the way she treated her kids was the absolute last straw for me. I've been rooting for her to get offed for awhile haha!

    I look forward to the person-from-past-living-in-present culture shock Aouregan will experience, in a fun way of course.

    I also cannot wait to see how Aurora and Shadow turn out!

    Oh and Kyle in ballet is adorable. Shelly's stupid to think sexy men aren't ballet stars, have you SEEN those tights?! O.o

    1. I'm not sorry about losing Elliot's career at all. Once he'd made enough money to fund this move, I was officially done with his career. I'm also going to be scratching all the SHT careers off my list for future rolls and I'm not adding any stage lots to Drake's Hollow.

      I'm really happy I decided to trade Shelly off for Aouregan. I did have fun writing her, but it was time for her to go.

  11. Well, I didn't see that coming. I won't miss Shelly. I hope her grapes shrivel up and die. I'm looking forward to seeing how Aouregan adjusts to modern life!

    I hope the move goes well and that everybody gets some peace and quiet in Drake's Hollow...at least for awhile.

  12. Yep, totally genius about the Couple +1 switch! Adios, Shelly!!

    1. By this point, no one was sad to see Shelly go. I am glad I made that decision, especially since it wasn't the original plan.

  13. Ah, you switched the heir, no wonder the original was looking more like a sidekick! Well-played. Shelly's so awful, forcing gender roles on her son!

    1. Yeah, it was an unconventional move, and not what I'd planned, but switching heirs was the way to go in this generation.
      Shelly was a pretty awful mother.

  14. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but for once I recognized my poses. *squeal* you used the wtf pose and talk to the hand. I love it. That's the first time I've seen the talk to the hand used period me or otherwise. I made it on a lark.

    Okay, back to the story. I'm not surprised in the least about Shell's reaction to any of this. I'm still very nervous about Farrell escaping with his children, but I can't read anymore today or I'll have a panic attack or something. Loving this so much.... almost as much as Summerdream. :)

    1. You didn't know it at the time, but you made the talk to the hand pose for Shelly, lol. It's so her. And wtf is the only rational response to Shelly.

      Thanks so much, mypal, I'm so happy you are enjoying this. =D

  15. I knew Shelly was a bitch! I knew it!!

    I'm glad Elliot is following his brother, he'll be better off living with them. The moment when Farell pulled Aoreguan from thw window was my favorite in this chapter. It was so sweet. <3

    1. Shelly is a total bitch, and Elliot is better off without her.

      And Farrell is finally reunited with Aouregan. =D
      Thanks so much!

  16. OK, in theory I should feel sorry for Elliot - but hah! Double HAH! She does not know what she is missing! And So sweet that Fareell got his love in the end!

    1. LOL. I know, the happiness of being rid of Shelley outweighs the sadness fr Elliot.In the long run he will be better off without her. I feel bad for the pain he feels in losing her, but really, he can do so much better, for himself and his children.
      And Farrell has finally been reunited with his love. =D

  17. I - for one - am terribly glad she didn't fight for them. Shelly will do nothing but hurt her children, and her husband, because they aren't real to her. The only person she really believes is real is herself. D: Grrr, I hate her so much right now....

    That being said, Elliot could have given better reasoning for following his brother than - I want to. lol

    1. Yeah, I do think it was for the best that Shelly let her kids go, because she really was just a bad mother all around.

      But you are right, Elliot just up and telling her he want to leave was kind of sudden. I don't think he would have done that if their marriage wasn't already falling apart.

  18. I'm glad Shelly is out of the picture. She just got more annoying and heartless with each chapter. I feel sorry for Elliot though. He seemed to really love her, so I'm sure it was a slap in the face when she wouldn't go with him. Farrell and Aouregan are so incredibly adorable. I can't wait to see the reunion with her and her children.

    1. Shelly was really way too self-involved to ever be a good wife or mother, or even a good person.
      The break up was hard on Elliot, but it was for the best. He could do so much better, for himself and his kids.

  19. That Shelly is a real piece of work. She never deserved Elliot--her heart is as plastic as her face! Glad he is going to have a chance at finding love with someone who accepts him and will love him for who he IS not who she wants him to be.