11.2 Faeries (Again)

by Matt P.

Tania smirked at Gavin’s words, and moved back toward him. He flinched slightly, and then looked disappointed in himself that he had. He glared at her as she reached up to brush his cheek with the back of her fingers. “So the Son of Niall remembers. You have the smell of the old High Kings in you. You do Niall of the Nine Hostages credit by knowing your lore.” She looked back to Morgan and raised an eyebrow. “Do you think he’d be one of yours or one of mine?”

Morgan shrugged. “Hard to tell. He has some of our heritage but it’s faint. We’d likely let him decide and honor the decision.” She gave a little smile. “Don’t be too proud we can smell Tara on you, young man; there are thousands of O’Neills running around Europe and America, after all.”

It occurred to Walter that he had never actually seen Ashland take that long to respond to some new stimulus or situation, and he probably should have timed how long it took her. “I’m sorry, you’re an adult and you just said the word Fairies and that’s a real thing?” She asked. Somehow Walter could tell that she was pronouncing it wrong. “In the words of Mark Twain, what the fuck are you talking about?”

Walter snorted. “Welcome to my world. Somehow you think after you’re told that Vampires are real that nothing will be surprising, and then you get something that completely rocks that. Although I did it in the reverse order, to be fair.”

Gavin was staring at Tania with a look that was trying for confidence and had settled on a combination of fear and resentment. “My grandmother was from Derry, and she’d tell me stories when I was a babe,” he answered.

“I thought you were Catholic,” Taito asked, the last to recover his wits, looking like he was wanting to cross himself as he spoke.

Gavin managed to give a smile. “Grandma always said when you’re from Ireland you go to Church on Sunday, but you don’t enter a Fairy ring. God is all powerful and all knowing, but you don’t piss off the fair folk either.”

Morgan nodded appreciatively. “Good advice,” she allowed, before her eyes tracked back to Ashland. “The Faerie—and it is properly Faerie, not Fairy,” she explained, although to Walter it sounded more like a difference in attitude than pronunciation, “Are the protectors of this city. By custom and law it falls within our domains, and we will not be divested of that interest simply because your petty little concerns.” Walter felt her let out a little trickle of her power, just enough to set her hair moving as if in a slight breeze. It was dramatic as hell, he had to admit. “Are we clear?”

“Never let it be said that I can’t see when I’m licked,” Ashland offered, although there was an element of grudging to her acceptance. “I’ll stop trying to kick you out of the room, ma’am.”

Tania grinned, and backed away from Gavin. “She didn’t even sound sarcastic when she said ma’am, so I’ll restrain myself from saying good girl. I’ll let the others know they can come back in,” she offered, walking to the door and looking for all the world like the cat that ate the canary.

Ashland did manage to give a scowl to Tania’s back, which Walter took as a good sign and he thought Morgan allowed because they were sisters. “Do we need a cover story for why there were gunshots?” She asked sensibly.
Morgan shook her head. “No one else in the building heard anything thanks to our magic,” she explained as she moved back to take a seat. She raised an eyebrow as Ashland, Taito, and Gavin all gaped at her.

“Magic doesn’t exist,” Ashland managed a moment later, walking toward a chair as well and pulling it out to sit down in.

“Aww,” Morgan offered with a teasing smile to Walter. “And here I thought you two hated one another. But you’re both deeply into willfully denying what’s right in front of your eyes.” She offered it with a kind of sweet exasperation, and Walter rolled his eyes only to find Ashland doing the same.

“Call it ‘sufficiently advanced technology,” Walter told the woman. “It drives them crazy and helps keep your sanity in place.”

That was the last thing that any of them said on the matter of Faeries or magic as the rest of the station filtered back in. They got some odd looks, but since Taito had the presence of mind to pick up the discarded bullets and pocket them they didn’t get much more than that. Leah Silverman looked a little grumpy as she came back in and went back up to her displays. “Can I proceed with my presentation, Marshal?” She asked, pointedly looking to Walter for permission. When he nodded, she pulled out a map.

“It turns out that the Morrison family had an old cabin outside of town they purchased before their deaths and never used,” she explained. She put a picture of the cabin on the table. “The Reverend’s adopted family sold it and used it to pay for her college, and it was later purchased by a trust. That trust turns out to be run by the Reverend herself, although it apparently predates her ordination.”

“How did we find it?” Walter asked, reaching out to grab the picture and looking it over. “Nice place.”

Leah reached for another document, sliding it out on to the table. “We got a text message to our anonymous tip line with the name of the trust on it, which lead us down that rabbit hole. Bryant was working the tip line and thought that the text was odd enough to track down, so he definitely gets the salt shaker for this week.”

Ashland raised an eyebrow, and Walter leaned over. “The BPD officer or employee with the most inspired moment each week gets a gold salt shaker for some reason none of us really understand any more, but its highly coveted.” He looked back to Leah. “Do we have a team ready?” Now it was Leah’s turn to nod.

“Alright, let’s get out to the cabin,” Walter ordered, standing.