aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
After Decision, after ID.

Ora watched the decision flow over Silas' face and body, his fangs vanishing, his smile coming back. There wasn't that much to watch, but after this many years, she knew her mate well enough to see the shift.

A blind man could have seen the possessiveness as he welcomed her former Kept into their house. Ora didn't mind. Silas had a right to be possessive when someone was challenging his right to their family.

She looked Adder up and down as he entered their property. The boy looked thin, wan, grubby. Worn down. "You said the world was falling to hell." She would never have the arch skill with language that Silas and his late family did, but she could put make herself sound calmer and more innocent than she was. "What about yourself?"
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
After Step-Father, after Old History, after At the Gate, after Fathers.


Charity case. Hunter-Hale didn't question his father.

Nor did he question his mother. "I'll be right down, darling." Her voice sounded both tinny and icy over the intercom.

He turned back to the guy claiming to be his father instead. "So you're Adder." He didn't look like much. The way his shoulders rolled forward, the way he kept looking at the ground; he looked like a beaten dog, one really hoping someone would throw him a bone.

Hunter-Hale wanted to feel sorry for him, but his parents had taught him the dangers of that. What they hadn't taught him, the end of the world had.

("You little shit," the man had screamed at him. "Do you know who I am?"
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
Just for fun.


Year 28 of the Addergoole School

Hunter-Hale was just barely fourteen, and all his sisters and one of his brothers had headed off to school, when the man with a face like his rang the bell at the front gate.

(The world had started ending more than ten years ago, but his mother was a doctor and both his parents rather clever, and in their little corner of the city, the electricity still ran, most days.)

It was Hunter-Hale's turn on the gate, so he answered it, his gun ready but not aimed. Standing on the sidewalk, rucksack over his shoulder, was the face he saw in the mirror every day.

"Hi. I'm here to see my son, Hunter-Hale?" He even had the same sideways smile Hunter-Hale had borne his entire life.

He did not shoot the interloper, although it was tempting. He pushed the intercom button, instead.

"Dad!" He hollered. "There's a guy at the gate who says he's you!"

While he waited for his father to show up, he stared at the stranger. The stranger, clearly confused, stared back.

"You look like me." The other man broke the silence. "But you've got Ora's eyes."

Hunter-Hale coughed. "Look. I know, reasonably, that my dad can't be my biological dad. I remember meeting him, sort of, when I was a baby. But even if you look like me - that's a pretty simple Working, isn't it? - you're a stranger. Who happens to know my name and my mom's. Which makes you a creepy stranger."

"And your mother taught you not to talk to strangers?"

"My mother taught me not to invite strangers over our threshold, and to shoot if threatened. Actually." He grinned, because it felt good. "My father taught me that part."

"But I'm..."

"Sit tight. My dad'll be here soon."

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