9.7 Again and Again

by Matt P.

“Ok, this is getting ridiculous.” Antigone said with a shake of her head, her mouth forming a moue of displeasure. “Siobhan gets a magic dog, and now both of you are Faerie princesses?” She challenged them, before she looked back to her father. “I get a car right? I mean it’s only fair.”

“I thought she was the funny one.” Tania said, pointing to Siobhan.

Walter, for his part, didn’t look amused. He leaned back against the car and let them debate about who was the funny one for a distracting moment, people pitching in theories because they were otherwise shocked by yet another revelation about the mysterious sisters. But not Walter, who was working his way down from a fairly apocalyptic frown.

“Can I tell you how tired I am of doing this?” Walter finally said after several long seconds of thinking about it. “I mean this, specifically.” He looked around to the people, the cars, even how they were standing. It had all become very familiar, and at that moment that really pissed him off. “Every time something crazy happens we come back together and talk it out, and we find out a little bit more that you haven’t told us. Again and again.” He was keeping his voice mostly under control, but there was definitely heat in it where there hadn’t been before.

“Forgive me…” Tania said, her voice low. “But I didn’t know we were required to give you a brief history of our lives for your approval.”

“Give me a break, Tania…” Walter began.

“No, really.” Tania continued, forcing her voice over his. “Would you like to know the name of the first boy I had a crush on? The first time I bled, the first man I killed?” She asked. “I don’t know where you were born, what you regret, or whose blood you have on your hands; why should we be at such a disadvantage.”

“He was born in Colorado.” Siobhan piped in helpfully, but Walter shot her a look and she didn’t say anything else.

“That would be relevant, Tania, if we kept turning up things from my past.” Walter responded, his voice dropping down in to a little bit of a growl. “If the killer targeted people born in Colorado, or retired soldiers, or had turned out to be the brother of the first person I ever shot then my life would be relevant. And if it had happened you all would have had a briefing on your desk talking about that. But it’s not my life, it’s yours.” Walter stopped there, but looked down at his hands pointedly as if to demonstrate the lack of information there.

“Walter…” Morgan began, but once again it was Tania who interrupted.

“Where in the last seven centuries would you like us to begin?” She asked heatedly. “And what makes you think that you have the right to ask us any of this?”

“How about we start with why these people keep trying to kill us? And why you keep revealing this information in tidbits like you need ratings during sweeps week?” Walter’s voice was rising in volume now but keeping the lower register. “How about this: Why is your father trying to take over the world, what does he want, and why the hell we didn’t know about that before?”

Tania started to rear up and move toward Walter, but Morgan physically took her by the arm and forced her to stop instead. The dark haired woman shook her head, and Tania glowered but said nothing. “We have done this before, Walter, and I’m sorry.” She said genuinely. “But we are a people of cobwebs and shadows, and we rarely come out and tell the whole truth. We don’t lie, but we don’t exactly write memoirs either.”

Walter gave a slow nod, obviously working on tamping down his anger just a little bit. “And that’s…fine, I guess, up until the point when we get attacked. But we are getting attacked, and we are getting hurt, and the fact that they haven’t killed a whole crapton of us is a miracle. But once again they are attacking my children, Morgan.” Walter said, gesturing at the girls in question. “And it’s become long since apparent that isn’t going to stop. So I need you to tell me right now what you know, and not leave anything out.” The last bit became more of a person appeal than Walter would have wanted, and he looked meaningfully in to Morgan’s eyes while he said it.

She sighed, looking down at the ground, before she looked up. “We’re not princesses, not really. The Faerie courts are more…elective than that in some ways. And significantly more Game of Thrones. We’re not our father’s only children, and while there is some prestige it is hardly the defining requirement for holding power. We spent a number of years on the sidelines, and more years than that margianalized and afraid. And we’ve also spent a lot of years since then not in the spotlight trying to figure out what was going on.” She looked back up then. “We didn’t know it was him for sure, and we still don’t—but those were his tactics for so many years, and it fits.”

Walter considered her for a long moment, and the fact that he wanted to say more was written clearly on his face. Siobhan and Antigone exchanged a look and sidled a step back away, before Walter breathed out slowly.

“Ok. Let’s talk about the scary chalk circle, and we can figure out the rest later.” He said, as his eyes caught Gabriel’s for a fraction of a second.