Persuasion, an Addergoole fic
Addergoole, year 39-ish. Mystral sh’Aikia, Gabriele. 963 words.
“We need to talk, principessa.”
Mystral sighed. No matter how old she was, no matter how distant from the situation, no matter what she did, in the end, her father would show up out of the woodwork and try to complicate her life under the guise of making it better.
“What is it this time, papa?” She’d picked up the Italian term, and it had seemed to please her father. Both children were napping, though neither of them were young enough to require it, and Myst couldn’t say that she wasn’t fine with the matter. Chavva had been visiting with her father all day, and Icarus had been helping Akakios chop wood.
Mystral had played the mother and sat somewhere where she could see Chavva, talk to Luke, and still watch Icarus with his father, with a drink in one hand and her eyes usually on Luke.
“It’s about…well, I’m fairly certain you can guess what I want to talk about.” Her father had been visiting for the time being, seeing what he could do to help her get set up. Fionn had been here as well – and it had been nice for Fionn, Luke, and Chavva to all be there at once. She’d enjoyed the distance from the family, though it wasn’t a great deal.
But Gabriel, being Gabriel, was never too far away.
“If you’re here to talk to me about Luca, I’m not sure what you’re expecting me to say.”
“You’re worried.” Mystral froze, not looking at her father. “Principessa, la mia tempesta, talk to me.”
“I’m not worried about anything.”
“You’re lying.” She sighed, not saying anything. Gabi took the silence and continued through it. “Mystral, tell me what you’re thinking before I go and find it out myself.”
“I’m not worried,” she retorted. “I’m simply thinking to the future.”
“Which is what?”
“That in time, Icarus will go to school, and then Chavva after them, and it will be significantly easier at that point for Luca to see his child. It must be inconvenient for him to come all the way out here. I’ve made trips to him as well, of course, but regardless.” She stared into the middle distance, sipping her drink.
“And you think that now that Luke will be able to see Chavva at school, he won’t come to see you anymore? You seem to live in this perpetual state of worrying about him.”
Now Mystral was getting irritated. “I told you,” she emphasized, “I’m not worried.”
“Does he know?”
She would feign ignorance until it killed her. “Know what?”
“That you fell in love with him the first time you saw him with your daughter – and again the first time she spoke to him – and again, every time you see them together?”
Mystral’s breath had caught in her throat, and try as she might, she couldn’t get everything behind her ice facade. “Papa… I highly doubt that Luke is interested in–”
“How do you know what Luke wants? What he’s interested in? You’ve read his mind on the topic? I believe you have the Words for it.”
“Father.” Mystral was horrified. “I would not, in my darkest thoughts, even contemplate reading Luca’s mind without his explicit permission.”
“Then how can you claim to know how he feels? Let Luke make his own decisions before you make them for him – and let him make the most informed decisions possible. Do you remember the stories of Leo and I, the year that he Kept me?”
The girl paused. “Yes.”
“In your opinion, if I had been open, and told Leo far earlier on that I cared for him, and wanted more than anything to attempt a relationship with him – even after my Change – do you think think we would have had a smoother time of it?”
Mystral scowled, her father’s logic – as always – irritatingly accurate. “Yes.”
“Then tell Luke.” Gabi emphasized each word. “Tell him you love him, and tell him you want him to stay. The worst that can happen is that he tells you that he doesn’t want something long term with you beyond Chavva – but tell me, la mia tempesta. Is a lifetime where he slipped away, both of you mourning the loss because you never told him…better than a life in which you may have had the chance to live years or more at his side?” He leaned in, taking Mystral’s hands and setting his forehead to hers. “I nearly lost the man I love more than my life because of fear – that in the end was unwarranted. I don’t want the same to happen to you.”
“Papa…” She was desperately trying to hold onto her composure, but she was slipping, closing her eyes and feeling tears escape down her cheeks.
“I know it’s hard, tempesta. I know how hard it is to fear the worst. But please – for everyone’s sake. Talk to Luke – as soon as you can. Don’t let this wait. I won’t make you promise…because I trust you now. But please.”
“Ja…yes, Father. I will. I assure you, as soon as I can, I will talk to him.”
Luca…I don’t know how evident I’ve made it, but I wanted you to know… You’ve been so much to me these past years, and… I’ve truly grown to care for you. More than I think I expected, even coming in with a bit of a schoolgirl crush. And…well, I know that in time, you’ll be able to see Chavva at school, and won’t have to travel out to see her out here. But…I…
I hope you’ll still come visit. I…I’d like you to keep visiting. And…perhaps…if you’d like to stay…I’d like that too.
I’d like that a lot.