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Moving to Savannah was a great idea, all in all, but it's still new territory, and I don't know the streets, plus I have no idea who the local bigwigs in the supernatural world are. I mean, I met a few vampires whom I staked, but just the usual type. Anyway, this makes things difficult when you try to find an Oracle.

Finding Cordy and helping her still feels a bit unreal. I'm so happy she's still alive; and then I also want to hurt Wolfram and Hart, badly, for doing this to her. But most of all, like I told Harry, I can't stop thinking about the child. Last night I dreamt of Quortoth again. That hasn't happened in a while. Only I wasn't me, I was Father. And there was Emily, and I bound her to a tree, and she cried with Jasmine's voice, and I told her it was for her own good and then when I looked back at her it wasn't Emily or Jasmine, it was a baby I had never seen, and I knew it was Cordy's.

So I have to find out. Whether the baby is alive, and what they did with her. Harry gave me the tip with the tarot reader, so that was where I started today, at the occult shop down in the square. Cue lots of touristy stuff but also some things I think Wesley had back at the Hyperion, and I remembered all the rituals, and how I always hated magic. Lots of incense, too. The smell nearly made me sick.

I asked for the tarot reader, who was a Mrs. Dupont, big woman, around fifty, and she took one look and said she wouldn't read the cards for me.

"You shouldn't exist," she said. "You know that, right? It's bad luck, touching the destiny of someone who shouldn't exist. Something. Something made of dead things, which should be dead. Unnatural."

I said I didn't want to know my future, I needed to find an Oracle. "Not just a seer. An Oracle who speaks for the Powers," I said, and felt stupid, plus I was sure she'd think I was just a tourist looking for some mumbo jumbo. At least she probably wasn't a fake. Given what she said to me. Or she had made a really good guess.

"Ah, but there aren't many Oracles left," she said. "There is a war, don't you know. They want something from me if I dare to contact them. Why should I give anything, hmmmm? What would you give me?"

Figures, I thought, Harry was right, and offered half of the cash I still had, because I thought I'd need the other half for the Oracle. If the Oracle was anything like the last one, that is. Mrs. Dupont snorted.

"You're not serious," she said.

"I get get more," I said, though I hate asking Harry for money. But it was about the baby, and that's more important.

"That, dear boy," she replied, and I got chills when she called me that, "is not what I meant. No, my sweet. What can you give me that matters? Let's see. How about a strand of hair from your beloved? A piece of skin from your father? Some drops of your blood?"

"No," I said without thinking. Which wasn't just because of magic, though I figure if she's the genuine article and a witch she could do some spells with that kind of thing. No, I just remembered what the lawyers did with my blood last time they got their hands on it, and I'll never forget that creep Griffin and what he did to Harry. And how he framed him for his own murders. Maybe I've watched too much tv, but I can just imagine some genetic samples turning up somewhere. For all I know, Mrs. Dupont is a W&H mole.

Or she could be my only way to contact an Oracle.

"Well, well, well," she said. "Tight, are we? I'm on a budget, too, honey."

"Isn't there anything else..." I said, and in the back of my mind, I heard my father - guess which one? - tell me I shouldn't waste any more time. I was stronger than her. I could grab her and break her fingers, for starters, until she called an Oracle for me, and no one could stop me.

The incense felt even more sickening. I could hear the girl crying again, the one in white who had Darla's face in the end when I dragged her to her death, and I remember all the times those people went to Jasmine's suite in the Hyperion, so happy she had chosen them.

She looked me up and down. "How are you at lifting weights?" she asked suddenly. Which was the weirdest thing, but it stopped me from thinking about broken fingers and how fragile and easy human beings are, and I said I was good. Then she asked me to carry some boxes for her to prove it, which I did.

"We need someone in the store who can handle the heavy stuff," she said. After all the you-are-unnatural declarations earlier, this was so, well, normal that I was just stunned and stuttered.

"You - you want me to work for you? In a - a magic shop?"

"Pretty, strong and dumb," she said. "Sounds like a bargain to me. Work here for seven weeks, dearest, don't ask me to read the cards for you or help you in any other way, and don't bring destruction here, and I'll call you an Oracle. I promise."

And then she laughed. "Of course, you'll have to trust me. I could be lying to get a shop boy for free. Am I, hmmm?"

I still hate magic, I thought, and the smell here makes me sick even when it's just ten minutes I'm here, plus how would I know if anyone lies to me about something important? Usually I want to believe them so badly I can't tell.

But right now, she was the only lead I had. Maybe I'd find another. Maybe not.

"Okay," I said. I don't think she stopped laughing for eons. Then she told me to start with the storage room.
abetterlie: (Default)
Cordelia is pregnant.

I felt like the Beast had another go at me together with Angel in a very bad mood when I read that, so "suckerpunched" is putting it mildly. And at first, I couldn't figure out why. I love her, I want her to be happy, a non-demonic baby is great, she's adult and married and wealthy, so I should be thrilled for her and busy looking for presents or something.

But instead, I took Bailey and went out to the Central Park and sat down on a bench and stared, and at some point, I started to cry.

It moved, I had told her when she put my hand on her belly, and I could feel it, her, our child.

Of course it did, she replied and laughed. That's what babies do when they're happy.

Jasmine's gone, I know that, I accept that, I even get it's better for the world and everything. It was horrible experience for Cordelia and this one will be good. Emily is gone. I'm just kidding myself when I think she might come back once she has grown up and can control her powers, or that I'll figure out a way to get to that dimension without dying. But I think of Jasmine and her beautiful smile and the way Emily put her hand in mine and Cordy pregnant and the two of us sharing that and sensing the child for the first time in her, my child, and I couldn't stop the idiot tears.

("Gone". Look at that. Stupid prettifying word. She's dead because I killed her. Our child.)

It's like the last of her is being replaced and erased as if it never existed, I thought, and I knew that was stupid but I still thought it, and Bailey put her head on my knees and tagged and wanted to go and walk some more, and I stood up and did.

Maybe later I'll come up with some honest way to say congratulations to Cordy - she always could see through me when I lied - and stop being selfish and dumb, but right now, I still feel like shit.
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It was the first time Connor actually exploited the possibility of having a jet at his private disposal. Phillipp was as non-committal as ever, but seemed to look amused in a friendly way, so maybe he was warming up to Connor, unlike Harry's butler, Bernard, who still radiated dissapproval. The jet wouldn't stay in Boston; Harry, it seemed, had planned flight lessons. It would return whenever Connor wanted to get back to New York.

He was nervous, excited and hopeful at the same time. After some days of pondering the prospect of pregnant Kara, Connor was determined to make this the occasion where he wouldn't fail her. He'd be a good brother and uncle. And given that she had told him her choice of names for a boy, the chance of persuading Kara to let him pick the names for a girl was certainly better than non existant. He knew about girl babies, after all, and anyway, whoever the jerk who got Kara pregnant was, the irresponsible git didn't seem to be around to compete for the honor.

Calling Kara on the cell phone as soon as he arrived so Angel and Darla wouldn't know he was there, Connor arranged to meet her at the coffee shop where they had managed their first peaceful conversation back in autumm. Being there first, he put the teddy bear he had bought next to him and hoped Kara didn't object to stuffed animals as well as living ones.

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abetterlie

July 2010

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