Slayers Fan Fiction ❯ When Will You Be Home She Asks…We Both Know We Have No Clear Answer to Where My Dreams May Lead ( Chapter 1 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
« When Will You Be Home She Asks…We Both Know We Have No Clear Answer to Where My Dreams May Lead”-Corrinne May

AN: I do not own Slayers or the song,Fly Away. All chapter titles are from Corrinne Mary’s song, Fly Away.

“Hey, how about a game of dominos?”

Lina sighed, “What do you think I am, eight?”

“What do you want to do, then?”

Lina gritted her teeth in annoyance. Lunch had just ended. Her sister would be home any moment. Most likely Luna would have found out about the projections she just made. Lina was a nervous wreck, but was doing her best to cover it up. Her mother must have had a sixth sense, and was pestering her with question. Just like she always did when she knew something was wrong.

“I want to finish reading my book.”

“For someone who wants to read you sure are staring out of the window a lot.”

Lina groaned, and then stood up a little straighter as she saw Luna come in to view down the road. She tensed as she realized she looked livid. Well, it was her own fault! It was the only way Lina could think of to get back at her. She put her book down and decided that she was going to meet her destiny with dignity. In the rule book of living with the Ceiphied Knight for an older sister (written by Lina Inverse), the first rule was to never show her just how petrified you were of her.

*****

“Remember when our days off were something that we looked forward to?” Asked Hawk Inverse as he handed his wife a soapy plate.

Tori Inverse nodded as she remembered lazy days spent reading the girls stories about history, myths and legends. Images of long walks in the woods with Luna and Lina running races to see who could get to the big oak tree first flitted through her mind, along with memories of Luna showing off her prowess with a sword while trying to keep Lina from blowing up the house. “What I can’t figure out is where it went wrong.” she said as she dried the plate and put it in the cupboard.

“The cigarettes.” He said.

Tori shuddered. When Lina was seven she decided she had had enough of Hawk’s smoking. So whenever he would light up she would start gagging and choking. After finding that her theatrics earned a deaf ear from her father, she decided to sell his stash of tobacco. That got her grounded from the library for a week.

That day, Lina was sulking in the living room as Tori cooked dinner in the kitchen. She thought nothing of it when Luna asked her sister what was wrong. “I got grounded for selling Daddy’s tobacco.” Lina explained as she kicked her legs back and forth.

“So, another failed venture.” Luna said. Lina bristled.

“I’ll just have to find another way!”

“You’ll never get him to stop with the way you’re going about it.”

“Oh. So I suppose you know another way.” Lina replied caustically.

“I do!”

“Do not!”

Tori shook her head and called the family to dinner. Privately she wished her daughters success in their venture to get Hawk to quit a habit that drove her insane. Her effort through the years had certainly been futile. She would have thought twice had she known what Luna had in mind.

After dinner was over and the dishes were washed they all sat in the living room together. Tori was relaxing with a good book as Hawk rolled up a cigarette and put it to his lips. He grabbed a match, struck it, and as he brought it to the cigarette, a loud popping sound rebounded through the room, followed by Hawk’s screams.

Lina screamed, and rushed to cast a healing spell, Tori fast on her heals. Once she was certain that Hawk would be okay, she cast a nervous glance at Luna, who sat on the couch reading a book as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Surely Luna couldn’t cause a cigarette to explode. Tori figured she must have been connecting dots where no connection was warranted.

Until it kept happening. Hawk could put it to his lips, but as soon as he lighted it, boom. So he became accustomed to walking around with an unlit cigarette in his mouth. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that Luna, who could channel her willpower into ordinary objects, was the culprit. But what could they do about it? She was the Ceiphied Knight. It was the first, but not the last time that they felt intimidated with their older daughter’s power.

Luna wielded power that was terrifying to think about. And her sense of morality was not human, it was that of a God. And for whatever reason, sometime after the incident with the cigarettes, Luna had started to see it as her duty to keep her precocious younger sister in line, which Lina resented.

One day when Lina was eleven Tori was drawn to Lina’s room by the sounds of her shouting. “Let me go!”

Tori was stunned by what she saw when she got there. Somehow Luna was preventing Lina from leaving her room by creating some invisible field. “You can go to the guild after you clean up your room.”

“What’s going on?” Tori asked, remembering a time when both girls would stiffen when she asked that question. Now Luna seemed rather unperturbed.

“Lina’s room is a mess, and she needs to clean it up.”

“What business of yours is it how Lina keeps her room? It’s not yours. Now let her leave,”

“The Ceiphied Knight cannot live in filth!” Luna retorted. “I will let Lina go once it is clean, and not before!”

Tori ended up getting to work far later than she would have liked after getting into a screaming match with Luna. Eventually Lina decided to back down and clean her room. Tori felt powerless. What do you do when your children become more powerful than yourself?

She loved Luna and was proud of her. She had slayed a dragon with a butter knife. She was an accomplished swordswoman and rather industrious. While most teenagers would have lounged about the house, when they became strapped for cash Luna took a job at a local café and handed over her wages to her parents, without being asked. She was the type of daughter that you loved to brag about. But it was also hard as hell being her mother.

Especially as Lina was suffocating under her. Lina, who had casted her first spell as soon as she could talk and who at the tender age of thirteen was a Sorcerer’s Guild member. She was studying spells that blew Tori’s mind and was a terrifying power in her own right. And still her power was but a birthday candle to Luna’s flame. Luna eclipsed and dwarfed her, and Lina resented it.

Worse, Tori was starting to suspect that Luna was bullying her. And Tori was starting to see that her warped sense of morality was starting to leave its imprint on her younger sister.

It was made evident that very afternoon when Luna had come home for work and started to scream at Lina. Apparently a patron at the restaurant had informed her that Lina had taken projections of her taking a bath and sold them. Luna was as mad as Tori had ever seen. Lina was defiant and insistent that she did it to bring in some extra cash. While it was true they were hurting, Tori suspected that her reasons ran deeper and struck at a need to get revenge.

How else do you strike at someone who is overwhelmingly more powerful than you? By humiliating them behind their back.

Hawk was furious. He usually had an even temper (it was usually Tori who lost it), but the projections had crossed a line. Tori felt unusually defeated. All she could focus on during the confrontation was that Lina seldom looked at either of her parents. Instead, she was focused on Luna. While she did her best to mask it, she was positively petrified.

It added to the uneasy feelings that Tori was having and trying to shake off. Just what was happening when she and Hawk were not around?

Tori eventually stepped in and grounded Lina from the library for a week. Then she and Hawk took a walk to cool off. When they got home, Luna was sitting on the couch looking like the cat that had swallowed the canary. Lina, meanwhile, was in her room and refused to come out. Not even for dinner.

That was when Tori lost it. “Young lady, we are having dinner as a family, so get your butt out here and eat!”

Seconds later a sulky looking Lina came out, slammed the door and sat down, arms folded tightly across her chest. Her eyes were puffy and slightly swollen, as if she had been crying. Dinner began in a strained silence. Hawk was still mad at Lina. Tori was mad at all of them. Only Luna seemed unruffled. “So,” Tori asked as she scooped mash potatoes into her plate, “What did you do while we were gone?”

“I punished Lina.” Luna said nonchalantly as she cut up her steak.

Lina’s eyes remained fixed on her plate as she tensed. Tori dropped her spoon as Hawk put his hand to his forehead. “Luna, what have we…”

“Now Mom, do you honestly think that a week away from the library is a fair punishment for violating my privacy so? I took care of it. And now Lina knows not to do it again.”

“What have we told you about punishing Lina?” Hawk asked, exasperation dripping in his voice. “You’re her sister, not her parent!”

“Well, someone has to keep her in line. You two can’t, she’s too powerful. Sorry Mom, but she surpasses your talents. She has to fear someone.”

“And she fears you all right!” Tori snapped as she took another look at Lina, who had gone pale, her jaw clenched. “What do you do to her anyway?”

“Nothing too bad. Don’t you worry.”

“What happened, Lina?” Hawk demanded to know.

“Pass the potatoes.” Lina muttered.

Tori felt her eyebrow twitch uncontrollably. Lina would never talk about it. But it knotted Tori’s stomach. And the worst part was that she and Hawk felt so powerless against Luna. Save splitting the family apart and keeping Lina away from her, what could they do?

And so they ate in an awkward silence. Memories of happier times when the girls were smaller ran through Tori’s mind. She tried to pinpoint the exact moment that Luna and Lina’s relationship changed from being close and sisterly to punitive and distant, when family time moved from being pleasant to awkward.

Hawk handed her another soapy dish. “Don’t worry too much.” He said. “It will get better.”

“No, it won’t.” Tori said. “We have to do something. We keep doing nothing and it gets more and more out of hand.”

“Well, what do you suggest?” he asked.

The answer was on the tip of her tongue, but that organ had stopped working. So silence hug awkwardly in the air as they finished doing the dishes and went to bed.

******

Lina waited until the house was silent before getting out of bed and getting out her knapsacks. She could not take it anymore. She had to get out on her own. She was never going to amount to anything with Luna blocking her way. So what if she could cast a Dragon Slave? Luna could kill a dragon with a butter knife. So what if she was the youngest Sorcerer’s Guild member? Luna’s powers went beyond that. And Luna would not let her forget it.

Once, when they were younger, they had been close. That changed when Lina came home one day, triumphant over having cast a Dragon Slave. From that day forward Luna had decided it was her duty to make sure that she didn’t get too big for her britches. Every day she had to remind Lina that she was not the most powerful human in the world. Hell, she wasn’t even the most powerful human in the house. It was humiliating!

And stifling. Lina needed to get out of town. Make her own name, instead of being known as Luna’s gawky kid sister. Lina knew she would never be able to convince her parents that this was for the best. She could see it already. Her mother would say she was only thirteen, and just a baby. Her dad would say may be if she had Luna’s powers then they’d let her go, but as she was just a sorceress.

Lina shuddered with rage as she shoved her clothes into the knapsack. She piled her books on her bed, desperate to get as much space between her and her sister as possible that night. So immersed was she in packing that she did not notice the sound of footsteps coming from the kitchen. It wasn’t until her bedroom door slammed open that she realized that she was not the only person awake in the house.

*****

Tori was still fretting about what to do as she lay awake in bed while Hawk snored beside her. She eventually abandoned sleep as a lost cause and got up. Her husband did not so much as stir. She put on her robe and made her way to the kitchen, lost in worry.

Heavy thoughts burdened her mind as she opened the cupboard to grab the tea when she heard a sound coming from Lina’s room. She turned her head, and noticed a dim light glowing from underneath the door. By its cadence she recognized it as a light spell. She set the mug down and tiptoed over to her younger daughter’s room and opened the door.

Lina spun around and her hand flew over her heart in shock at the sound of the door opening. It took Tori no time to recognize the look of someone who had just been caught doing something they knew was wrong. She glanced around her room, and noticed five knapsacks, one filled with clothes. Another was filled with food. A third with money. The other two were empty. Lina’s mantle was spread over the bed. Her room looked like it had been ransacked, something the drove Luna to the brink of insanity. What was unusual was the stack of books piled on her bed. As if she hadn’t gotten around to packing them.

Lina stared at her mother, her hand over her mouth, her red eyes wide. Tori finished her survey of the room, and met her gaze as she put two and two together. “Going somewhere?” she asked with a calmness she did not truly possess.

Lina put her hand down and at her side, where it balled into a defiant fist. “You can’t stop me!”

Tori studied her. She was shaking slightly. They both knew it wasn’t true. She could wake Luna and put an end to Lina’s journey before it had even begun. But in her gut she knew that would be the wrong thing to do. Lina would only grow to resent her. She felt a noose loop around her heart as she realized that she was going to have to let her baby, who was still a little girl, go far sooner than she would have ever wished.

Doing something was easier than saying it. Resolutely she walked over to her bed and started to help her pack. She did not see the stunned look of relief on Lina’s face, but she could feel the tension leave the room. “When will you be home?”

“I don’t know.” She replied, her voice slightly shaky.

Tori grabbed the mantle, and not for the first time silently admired Lina’s magical ability as she tied the knapsacks within it. “Make sure you write. We want to know that you’re safe.”

“I will.”

“And get a post box somewhere, so I can write to you.”

“Atlas City.” Lina said quietly.

Tori felt as though she was carrying twice her body weight as she lifted the mantle off and put it on her younger daughter’s slim shoulders. She fought back tears as she brushed her crimson locks back and wondered when she would be able to do this again. She had to say something, let her know that she did not want her to leave. But it had always been hard for her to put her feelings into words. “I want you to be happy. Even if it means I have to let you leave to do it. Besides, maybe this is what you need, to get out of Luna’s shadow and find your own light.”

She watched as Lina bit her lower lip and blinked away tears. Unlike Luna, who Tori often wondered where she came from, she knew Lina. She understood her. Her younger daughter was so like her thirteen-year-old self it was eerie. Lina’s looks were hers. Lina’s manner was hers. Hell, even her difficulty owning her emotions was hers. “Do you have everything?” Tori asked.

Lina nodded. Tori put her arm around her and together they walked out of Lina’s tiny bedroom and into the living area, towards the front door. The cool night air was slightly jarring as they stepped out. “You don’t want to wait until the sun is up at least?” Tori asked.

Lina shook her head. She was scared her resolve would wane if she waited that long. “It’s time.”

When she was Lina’s age, she would have struggled against the tears that now cascaded down her cheeks. She pulled her into a tight embrace before letting her go off into the night. She stayed on the porch until she could no longer see her silhouette on the horizon and then turned to go back into the house, which suddenly seemed empty. That was when she realized that Luna had been watching them silently from the living room the whole time.

You Can Fly So High, Keep Your Gaze Upon the Sky