The first of the short stories is up :~) These aren’t canon, and will be compiled on AO3 at some point. I might not be posting the rest here, so check the tumblr if they’re something you’d like to see.
Written from of Athena’s point of view, the Bearer’s first day of school.
I am staring straight down the part in your hair, and my eyes are wet because I hadn’t estimated the imbalance between the finality of this first goodbye and the briefness of this last moment.
You turn in my lap and wipe the tears from my face with warm hands. “It’s only school.”
How strange it is, to reach out to you when I’m in need, only to discover that you need me back far less than I’d thought. I look at you and I want to stand between you and all the world; but you can’t ensure against the future. Upon attempting to pin down my hope and prove it, I found that it was hollow.
“I know, baby.”
You burst forward out onto the porch like a seed from a crackling, overripe pod. It’s warmer out than I’d expected, and the white edges of the potted lillies crisp and curl. You, red cheeked and pulling at the collar of your coat, one hand in mine, the other swinging like a soldier’s, singing—
“Dum spiro spero, While I breathe, I hope,”
Your courage is new, and clean. You’re brave enough for anything: crawling off of staircases, speaking without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth, watching with dinner plate eyes as the world reveals itself to you in bits and pieces. Fragments.
At my worst, your glassy-eyed vulnerability and willingness to love people, all of them, every one, exasperates me and makes me want to hurt you–just as an education, a pre-caution.
I want to protect you from what will come, from everything, even if I understand, on some level, that to love is to enter into the inevitability of one day not being able to protect what is most valuable to you.
You turn, pressing your cheek to the window of the bus as it pulls away to wave at me. I watch your face until it becomes smaller and smaller, a forlorn speck, then rounds the bend, and disappears.