The parentals had some Real Talk with their kiddos; some questions were answered, some weren’t (yet)…turns out Pili wasn’t the vast source of past info that we’d hoped he’d be (le sigh).
Also Pili had a mysterious talk with his (apparently vampiric) nephew, Anubis, that didn’t make tonnes of sense, but sort of threw off some kind of ominous vibes.
But that’s okay because it’s time for teens? Yaaay.
“Do you have any idea how many billions of microorganisms are breeding on this table as we speak?” Coltsfoot frowned at the surface of said table, as though he could clearly see the legions of evil, fornicating, bacteria.
“Yeah, so, you know, maybe don’t lick it then.”
Colt wondered, not for the first time, if Cousin Oly was a little bit slow.
“That’s not going to help,” he pouted, “bacteria can teleport within a two meter radius..three if it’s snowing.”
“Don’t worry, Colt, they clean the tables after every guest!” Selene gave him what she hoped was a reassuring smile.
“But what sort of anti-bacterial cleansers do they use? They’re not all equally effective against the aggressive strains of Escherichia–”
“So anyway, I’ve been practicing that astral stuff that Cousin P was telling me about, and DUDE, I finally did it; I totes walked right into some rando human’s dream about eating donuts!” Selene could nearly feel the vibration of Oly’s enthusiasm in the space between them.
“They should really just list their disinfecting agents on the back of the menus, for guest peace of mind,” Colt added.
“Is that safe though, Oly?” It seemed like every time they spoke, there was some new cool Dreamwalking technique her friend was learning, “I mean, you haven’t even mastered dreaming in colours yet–”
“If I catch an infectious disease from the table, you guys will report this place to the proper authorities, right?” Colt looked over to his cousin for reassurance, “I would totally do it for either of you.”
“I see what you’re saying, Lena, but it was only for, like, a minute tops,” Oly tried not to let Selene’s skepticism ruin the moment, “I mean, you know, Cousin P was super stoked when I told her.” Okay, maybe that was borderline shade, but weren’t best buds supposed to be stoked for each other?
“At this point it’s probably just safer to come back at night and burn the whole place down…”
The sting of Oly’s words hit their mark, but Selene tried very hard not to show it on her face, “oh Oly, I am pleased for you; I just worry, that’s all,” and maybe (but only maybe) there was a teeny tiny little part of her that was extra worried because of Persephone’s involvement.
“Persephone is just a kid, like us,” Selene reminded her friend, “how is she such a vast authority on obscure Fae magic anyhow?”
“Dude, I don’t know, she just is, okay? I didn’t, like, ask to see her diploma or anything.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to spoil your excitement,” it really wasn’t the time or the place to be having arguments about magic anyhow, seeing as they were sitting in a human café, “I just…have a bit of a headache; I should order a glass of water–”
Coltsfoot scrambled up from his seat, “I’ll get you a sanitary one!”
“You know he’s totally into you, right?”
“I hope you’re not mad at me, Oly; I really do think it’s so amazing that you’re learning all these new things…I’d even like to help, if you’d let me.”
“Er, no offense man, but you’re…you know, not magic, how–?”
“But you don’t need to be magic to have dreams, right? You said it yourself! You were able to join some donut person’s dream,” Selene felt her heart rate skitter, “maybe you could try joining one of my dreams.”
“You, er, want me to show up in your dreams?”
“S-sure,” why was it suddenly so warm in the café? “I mean, what are best friends for?”
“Yeah, right, heh,” Oly shrugged, “I mean, I’ll ask Cousin P if it’s cool–”
It was like having a bucket of ice dumped on her head, but Selene didn’t want Oly to think she was jealous of Persephone’s…mentoring. Because she absolutely wasn’t.
“It’s so nice how you and your cousin are friends now! I remember not that long ago when she was following you around and you were always so mad about having to hang out with her.”
“Totally, I mean kids are massive dicks though, right? Even me,” there was something a bit unsettling about Oly’s smirk, something that made Selene feel exposed, “but me and Cousin P are cool now; she’s alright…still a bit creepy sometimes, but that’s P, yeah?”
“Persephone is…unique,” Selene allowed, as graciously as she could, “I guess that’s why Mosi likes her so much, well, I mean, it doesn’t hurt that she’s also really pretty…”
“…I mean, do you think she’s pretty, Oly?”
“Yeah, I guess, if you like that tall, slender, ethereal perfection kind of thing.”
Oly’s weird little smile melted away.
“Lena, you and me…we’re friends, right? Like–”
Coltsfoot interrupted by dropping into his seat with an audible thump.
“I’m not getting my water am I, Colt?”
“Um, we may have been asked to vacate the premises…immediately.”
“I can not locate my favourite beaker…”
Artemis turned the page without looking up at her brother, “how is that my problem?”
“I-I thought perhaps you may have borrowed it?”
“Is that Master Claudorio’s ‘Theorum of the Dead’?”
“Go ahead…have a seat.”
“Is that not that a rather advanced manuscript?”
Artemis sighed theatrically and swung her legs over the edge of the bed.
“What do you want, Mosi?”
“About what? I’m pretty sure your favourite beaker didn’t just up and wander off; you’ll find it eventually.”
“The beaker was a ruse, I’m afraid.”
“You don’t say.”
“I need to consult with you on…females.”
“I have exhausted every avenue; please believe that I come to you only as a final resort.”
“Mosi, for the last time; I’m not going to try and help you bang Persephone–”
“I don’t think you comprehend how desperate the situation has become!” He moaned, “Artemis…do you have any idea what the pubescent male body–”
“Omg, I’m begging you not to finish that sentence.” Didn’t this kid have parents to dump his shit on? Or, like…the internet? “Can’t you just cry and jerk off like normal?”
“Wha–I do not–that is preposterous! YOU, are prepos–”
Mosi shot up with a huff, “never mind!!”
“Good luck with your beaker,” she called after him.
“Thank Goddess I don’t have a dick,” his research had really gone downhill in the last few years, but whatever, Artemis had more important things to worry about than the state of her brother’s junk.
“Hey gramma,” she smiled at the woman in the painting, “so far ‘Theorum of the Dead’ is kind of underwhelming, but I’m only half way through…maybe Mosi is right, Goddess forbid; maybe it is a too advanced, or maybe my Latin is just a bit rusty.”
“I sort of feel like I’m wasting my time with these books though, you know? It’s all just dead ends and circles,” the same high handed nonsense and long winded tedium over and over again.
“I mean legends and rituals are all fine and dandy, but they’re really not getting me anywhere useful,” she’d long ago exhausted her father’s collection of tomes, and was nearly through all the offerings that the closest human libraries had to offer.
“If only you’d talk to me, gramma,” she couldn’t help the note of frustration that crept into her voice, “I saw you, I know I did! Where did you go? Why won’t you come back? Why won’t you help me?”
“Don’t you care about us? Don’t you care about your son? He’s been gone for so long, and I don’t know why…”
“What do you mean, gone?!”
Artemis stood rooted in place behind the archway, startled at the anger and fear in her mother’s voice.
“Not dead, but beyond the reach of any here; I am sorry for your loss, Cassandra.”
“Just like that?” Whoa, did mom just snarl at the guy with the creepy eyes? “You show up out of the blue, and tell me my husband is gone forever, but at least you’re sorry for my loss…where is he? What did you do with him? I know what you are.”
“What I am, is his nephew, and a protector of the blood…”
“Fuck you AND your damned blood,” mom was really hulking out now, “I don’t give a shit about your stupid, Goddess-damned Amazon legacy crap; I JUST WANT MY HUSBAND BACK.”
“Would you believe me if I said I would return him to you, were it up to me?” His voice was deep and steady, even against the hurricane of her mother’s anger, “I offered to go in his place, but he feared Her wrath, and rightly so; Pili did what was best for his family, as he has ever done–”
“YOU don’t know the FIRST THING about what is best for MY family, vampire.”
“It is my family, also, Cassandra, and it has been mine for ever so much longer than it has been yours,” was his smile a touch smug? “We must all do our duty, or be given the opportunity to rise to the occasion.”
“What does that mean?! Stop talking in bullshit and tell me what that means!”
“One day, your son will be called upon to do his duty to this family,” Artemis swallowed a gasp at the man’s words.
“My SON?! Do you think you can just waltz in an take him from me? You think I’d let you? We’re under the protection of The Woulding Witches here!”
“Let me assure you, if I meant to take him by force, there is precious little you or your guardians could do to stop me without considerable preparation; one of the many perks of being an ancient vampire.”
“Are you threatening me? How dare you!”
“Not at all; you have 7 years, Cassandra, to fill his ears with poison against me,” he didn’t seem super worried about it, but he probably didn’t know Mosi was a huge mama’s boy.
“You think you can steal my husband and threaten my son and there won’t be consequences? Guess again, monster!”
“7 years, Cassandra; use them wisely.”
The creepy man paused to look at her on his way out, “Artemis,” he said it with an odd sort of warmth.
“How do you know my name?” She squeaked.
Whatever, like anyone could come up with an articulate question after being greeted by a smarmy ancient vampire who probably killed your dad and wanted to steal your brother.
“We’ve met before, a long time ago; but you were older then.”
Artemis really hoped this loser wasn’t into temporal displacement too…whoa, is that why he wanted to take Mosi? “That doesn’t make sense!”
“Does it not?”
“And time’s almost up, gramma,” she murmured at the old painting.
The teens are here! Hormones. Angst. Awkward fumbling in the dark…we got it all! Don’t get me wrong, kids are a lot of fun, but teens are where they really start to look like individuals (omg, pre-teens plz EA).
I wasn’t able to squeeze Persephone and her ethereal perfection into this chapter, so here you go:
Persephone trying to be mysterious and fey: “HAPPY SIMMING!!”