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  1. #171
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Riff

    His eyebrows likely spoke loud enough to be heard across the room. He was glad Clare had cleared things up, otherwise he'd have thought that the brothers just had a disagreement that got out of hand. No, this was a much worse scenario - and honestly, more like what he'd expect from Declan. He wasn't a violent guy, so it was actually tough to imagine him losing it and throwing down with his sibling. But, this bad situation seemed to have a silver lining.

    "Wow. Huh. Well, I'm glad he's safe and going to taken care of by two such excellent folks. What's his name? How old?"

    It may have been a bit on the nosy side, but if Declan and Clare were suddenly expanding their family, Riff wanted to know about the kid. Despite the circumstances, he was excited for them. He hoped that they didn't think that was too strange. It was just that...he knew so many families who started out by helping one kid and those people had all turned into his extended family. It felt like it was happening all over again and Riff couldn't help but throw himself into the idea.
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.

  2. #172
    Declan McDermott and Clare Murphy

    "His name is Elijah," Declan replied. "He's sixteen. Rough age to making this kind of change, but obviously he can't stay at home under the circumstances. I'm honestly pretty shocked my brother did this. He's been getting more unstable lately, but I didn't think he would... this is beyond anything I thought he would do. He found out Elijah is gay, and decided to respond by beating the crap out of him. Social services asked if we could give him a safe place to go, and of course we will. He's my nephew, after all."

    "We're still planning on Scarlet and Natalie living with us," Clare explained. "You probably remember, from the school in Switzerland - they used to be my students, before they were sent there. So our family's going to be bigger than we expected."

    Not that they minded - but they were going to find a bigger place to live. Their little apartment was going to feel pretty crowded if they tried to squeeze in three extra people for long.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  3. #173
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Riff

    "Yes, you've got yourselves a houseful for sure! It's gonna be great!"

    Of course, after that, he wasn't sure what to say. The circumstances that brought those children to Declan and Clare were so hard. Going into detail would only bring that up. Sure, they'd have lots of happy memories soon enough, but they were just getting going. Unsure of how to proceed, he thought maybe continuing with positive things for a bit might be suitable.

    "Heh, speaking of houses, we'll be in the market soon I hope. Maria already has a job and I started my hunt today."

    They ordered off the small menu and over the meal Riff explained the events of the day before in more logical succession. He finished off with the day's finale - which still floored him. Gilda's forgiveness in the face of so much hurt was inspiring. It reminded him that he should make sure to ask James to go for coffee or something in the next little bit. Still, he knew the whole story wasn't over yet.

    "How did things go with your mom after, Clare? I hope things are settling down a bit now. I mean, with the hybrids out of the spotlight, the members who were upset should be feeling better now, right?"

  4. #174
    Declan McDermott and Clare Murphy

    Declan and Clare both congratulated Maria on her job, and Riff on starting to look for work. They promised to keep an eye out for houses that might be coming on the market.

    Clare cringed slightly when Riff asked about her mother. "Things are... still not good," she admitted. "I don't think anyone is really feeling better. The people who were concerned about the hybrids are upset that they're still out there and mad that my mother won't do anything about it. Meanwhile, my mother's authority has been challenged, but there's very little she can do about it without starting an all-out brawl, which she can't afford. Everything is still simmering under the surface. Nothing was really resolved, and I'm afraid it will blow up soon. And my mother is convinced Isaac is going to retaliate against her, even though I've assured her he has no intention of it."

    "There... may also be another problem," Declan said carefully. "The Cold Iron Brotherhood."

    "They totally dropped off the radar after what happened in Switzerland," Clare explained. "It may be good that they've calmed down a little, but having them completely off the grid is worrisome, because we have no idea what they're up to."

  5. #175
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Riff

    He let out a long breath. "Whoa. Nazi werewolf pack. Fae civil war brewing. Evil overlords moving around in the shadows. We've got our work cut out for us." Realizing that sounded a little negative, Riff quickly added, "Of course, we're hoping to track down that pack real quick. And I think your mom should have a meeting with Isaac after we do - she'd feel a lot better, I bet. Isaac's a good guy and really doesn't want a fight with anyone, let alone the Fae. Honestly, Maria and I were kinda hoping that just the opposite would happen. That maybe the Pack and, like, your people, could be...you know, friends. Friendly. It'd be cool. And just think, if that happened, then we'd all be better prepared to face our enemies! Win-win!"

    The Lycan's indelible cheerfulness was probably borderline ridiculous. Was it crazy to just put that dream out there? He thought Clare and Declan would get it, but Isaac's explanation of how the Fae community ruled here still rang in his ears. Still...if he didn't tell anyone what they were hoping for, how could they even begin to seek change?

  6. #176
    Clare Murphy

    "I'd like that too," Clare agreed. "My mother... isn't quite there yet. It's not that she dislikes Lycans. She's just afraid. For so long, the Fae way has been to assume anyone who is different than we are poses a threat. And, to be blunt, that has often proven true. But can't live in fear forever. There aren't enough of us to survive on our own. If we don't make a change, our days are numbered anyway. So if Isaac is open to cooperating... I'll work on it. I think my sisters will too. I can't make any promises for my mother, but she's not completely immune to reason. She may come around."

    As if summoned by their conversation, a blonde woman of indeterminate age entered the restaurant, looking around in confusion as if she had never entered a restaurant before. Which, in fairness, she almost certainly hadn't.

    "Mother?" Clare was shocked. She had never seen her mother in a public place frequented by humans before. "Uh... come sit down."

    Iphigenia sat awkwardly beside Clare. "I... I have some information," she said. "For Isaac. I thought it was best to tell you, instead of him. And... this is where you were."

    "Okay," Clare said. "What's going on?"

    "Our scryers have a lead on some of the members of this new Lycan group."

    Clare continued to feel off-balance. "You were looking for them? Why? I thought you weren't interested in Lycan affairs?"

    "Well, I can't have Nazis running amok all over my island, can I?" Iphigenia asked archly. Then she added with a bit more feeling, "And I thought it might be a step toward making amends with Isaac, if we helped."

  7. #177
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Riff

    It was the same thing Isaac had told him, but it was still hard to hear coming from Clare. At least she and - probably - her sisters were on board with the group hug vibe he was going for. It was a start. Hopefully they could just keep making progress...

    Riff was initially a bit shell-shocked to see Iphigenia in the flesh after seeing her solely in his mind's eye. Fortunately, his surprise kept him mute long enough for him to catch up to the conversation. And there it was - the next step. Hope brimmed in his heart, though he was keenly aware that a misstep at this stage could set things back for centuries. He felt Maria's presence at his side, took a breath, and dove in.

    "Um, pardon me, if you will...uh, your...Ladyship? But if I might ask...what do you think you need to make amends with Isaac for?" His question was posed innocently enough after a rough start, but he rushed to add, "I mean, the last I talked to him he wasn't actually upset with you or anything."

    'Just a little disappointed.' he finished, in his head.

  8. #178
    Iphigenia

    A faint smile curled Iphigenia's lips at Riff's form of address. The smile wasn't mockery, but rather pleasure that he had made the effort. And in fact, his guess was surprisingly accurate. The strictly proper form would have been 'my lady,' but this was close enough.

    "My people caused difficulty for Isaac," Iphigenia explained. "They interfered with matters of his Pack, when we had made an agreement not to do so. Fae do not lightly break our word. And I..."

    She looked away, looking a trifle embarrassed. This part was hard to admit.

    "I failed as a leader. It was my duty to keep them in line. Not only did I fail to do so, but I didn't notice that my orders were being disobeyed right under my nose. I can't imagine Isaac is thinking very highly of my court at present. I would like to remedy that in some small way."

  9. #179
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Riff

    It must have been hard to admit, he thought, even as he nodded to indicate his interest. He couldn't imagine what it might be like to try to run a Fae court - particularly when members were actively working against your rule. Just like anywhere else, free will was a problem - despite everyone's interest in having it for themselves, it being present in others was often troublesome.

    "I don't think that means you failed. It just means that you aren't a dictator - and I think that's a good thing. In the end, no one we wanted to see protected was injured and I think that's the part that Isaac counts as being most important too." He wasn't sure if Iphigenia would find that reassuring or not, but it was the best he could come up with. He added, "Thanks for lending a hand with finding Auguste's pack. Hope we can catch them before they cause any more trouble for anyone else."

    He paused. Should he say it right to her face? That would probably be the most effective way to go about it...

    "And afterwards I really think you should meet with Isaac in person. You know. Have coffee or something. Gilda makes really good pie. Just sayin'."

  10. #180
    Clare Murphy

    Iphigenia nodded her thanks to Riff's kind words... but seemed ready to object when Riff suggested meeting with Isaac.

    "No, he's right," Clare said. "You have a lot of reasons why you don't want to do it, but the bottom line is you're scared of Lycans. Just like you're scared of humans, and Fae who aren't from our court, and anyone else you haven't known for five hundred years. I don't blame you for that. Bad things have happened to our people in the past - you're not wrong about that. But this isn't going to work anymore. If we keep this up, we'll diminish more and more as we pull further away. We can't do this alone. There aren't enough of us, and we aren't strong enough. We need to find allies. I was scared of Lycans too. Riff was the first Lycan I ever met, and I was terrified that he would... I don't know, eat me or something. He's been nothing but kind, though. And Isaac has been nothing but patient. They've given us no reason to fear them. We need to stop making up reasons ourselves."

    Iphigenia was clearly deeply angered that her daughter had called attention to her fears in front of strangers. She couldn't very well argue against any of what Clare said, though.

    "Fine," she finally replied. "Riff, arrange a meeting with Isaac for me once this is over. I will attend."

    Clare gave Riff an apologetic look that said Please just go with it! It was not appropriate for Iphigenia to order him around... but it was habit, and she had agreed to do what they wanted. Clare was afraid that if they pushed too hard to get her to change her tone, she would change her mind about cooperating at all.

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