Continuing from yesterday, I decided to write what happened next, thanks to the mix-up with Aria’s unwelcome match. I have to admit, this scene is one I’m looking forward to writing for real someday. It’ll be wonderful to get to it, and know all the major conflicts are over for them. That doesn’t mean there lives are perfect, mind you, but the problems after this are mostly doable. Mostly.
Anyway, as to be expected, having Sokola there added an extra layer of fin to this scene, and fixed a couple of problems Wren encounters in the real version. Specifically, making sure they get home while Mama’s reconnecting with Daddy. *wink wink* Enjoy the story, everyone! And I look forward to seeing you the last 2 days of the week.
“It is nice that you wish to come with us as I teach the girls about helping the less-fortunate.” Aria commented, leading her daughters, as well as a curly-haired elf girl, through the small wooded area which separated the Irlich village from the refugee camp. “It sets a wonderful example to the girls, to see you thinking about those who are not as lucky as you have been.”
“Aye.” Sokola replied, staring at the little elf. She was beginning to wonder if she was even stupider than she had once been, the way she skipped though the trees and babbled in that weird language all the time. Then again, it tended to be the ones you had the most in common with that you dislike the most. If it were not for the knowledge of what was to come, she would have turned back by now.
Wren trailed behind them, staring at the woman her mother insisted was her sister, despite a resemblance in neither appearance nor personality, and obviously being too old to have been birthed by her mother. It made her wonder if she was from some harlot her father had been with prior to seducing and then abandoning Mother. Regardless of her origin, something was up with her today. The Sokola she knew would never give up adventuring to gods-know-where for the day in order to do charity work.
“Here we are.” Aria announced, looking around the camp with a smile. The elf ran off into the crowd, as if she ran the place. She bowed at one of the demons and said in memorized Common “How are you today?” The demon replied, talking about how wonderful their day was so far. The elf stared at them and smiled, though obviously not fluent enough to comprehend the reply fully.
Wren took a look around, before walking off to help a group of women with something, holding a slightly-past-basic conversation with them as she did. Without a second glance at Sokola, Aria also walked off, leaving Sokola on her own. Looking around, she was lost, having no idea where Vaughn was. She wandered off, trying to see if her Daddy-summoning powers also works for Daddy-finding.
“Sokola?” a very female voice asked. She turned around, surprised to find someone who knew her other than the three she arrived with.
“Sokola, it has been ages!” Ianthe stated, coming over and throwing her arms around the young woman. Ianthe looked aged, though not old. Her black hair seemed thinner, and her clothing was more conservative, now that the air was no longer 100 degrees on a cold day, but she was still every bit as beautiful as when they last met.
“Hullo, Ianthe.” Sokola said, hugger her back. “Where Vaughn? You seen him?”
“Oh. Yes, I believe I know where he is.” Ianthe nodded, taking her arm gently. “This way. I’ll show you where he usually is. Perhaps you can also say hello to Severna!”
Sokola smiled. Not only would she get to see her Daddy, but she could see Severna as well. Before she reached the destination, however, she discovered someone else had beat them to it.
“Aria!” the little elf girl’s voice carried over the heads and voices of demons, humans, and children in between. She babbled incoherently, with Aria’s name interspersed. Leaving Ianthe’s side, Sokola fought through the crowds to figure out why her Mommy’s name was being shouted. When she reached the centers, she found her parents standing face to face, with Elf Girl hopping up and down between them. Wren stood behind Aria looking shocked…and somehow angry.
“Vaughn…” Aria whispered, pure love in her eyes. She took a step further, as if she did not believe what she was seeing.
Vaughn’s eyes looked dark, however. Sad. “Aria.” he replied. “Good to see you again. Would you like to talk a bit?”
Aria smiled, laying a hand gently on his arm. “Yes, I would love to talk. Might I ask where you live?”
“Just a few rows back.” he replied, as if it didn’t matter. “But, why don’t we just stay out here? Nothing we can’t say around our friends, right?”
Aria’s face dropped. She stepped closer, holding his muscular arm in her small hands. “Vaughn…” she said quietly, though Sokola could hear it easily. “I know you don’t really want to talk with me. After all these years…I know we both want more than a chat. Why are you hesitating? Do you…do you not love me anymore? Is it because I am old?”
“No…” Vaughn said, sliding his arm from her grasp. “I still love you, Aria. With all my heart.”
“Then why?” she asked, louder.
“Because, Aria.” he stared. “You’ve moved on, and I should too. I don’t want to be the one who holds you back from being happy in your new life.”
Aria shook her head. “I do not know what you mean.” She stated. “I…I have not moved on, I assure you. I miss you every day.” She swallowed, and added softer, “Especially at night…”
Vaughn shook his head. “It’s fine, Aria. I understand. You don’t have to make me feel better.” He told her with a sad smile. “I saw you last week. And I want you to be happy with him. From now on, we can just be friends.”
“Last week? I don’t…” Then Aria’s eyes grew wide. “Oh, Vaughn… This is just a misunderstanding the master thought I would be happy with another human, to help me forget you. But, I broke it off right away, telling them I was not interested. Please, understand. I love no one but you. Desire no one but you.”
Vaughn shook his head. “Aria, don’t lie. It isn’t like you. Let it go, and move on. I will learn to, as well.” He took a step back and began to walk away. A tear slid down Aria’s face as she stared after him in shock.
Sokola flared her nostrils and crossed her arms. She was pissed. “OY! Daddy!” she called after him, chasing after him and grabbing his arm. “Dun you dare make Aria cry when I done so much ta get you back tugether!”
“Sokola, it’s over.” he said sadly, shaking his head. “She’s moved on. I’d be an asshole to try to trap her.”
“Yer bein’ a asshole now!” she yelled at him. The demons stared at her in shock. “Go kiss Aria and den go make babies wiff her! She love you, and you’s making her sad.”
“Vaughn…” Ari said, stepping forward. “What can I do to prove it to you? Please, tell me.”
“Go.” was all Sokola said, stepping back. Her parents stared at one another again for a long time in silence.
“Aria…are you sure?” Vaughn asked.
Aria smiled and wiped away her tears. “As sure as I’ve ever been.” she told him. “I love you more than life itself. You and Wren were the only things that kept me going all these years.”
Vaughn shook his head. “But…I don’t understand. Why would you pick me over a human? You use to always talk about how much you wished you could be with a human, and how you’d never be able to after you were kidnapped.”
“Because, my husband isn’t a human.” she said, wrapping her arms around him. “And neither is my daughter’s father. Of the love of my life.”
“Oh?” Vaughn asked, his tone becoming more joking as he learned to trust that Aria was still his. “And what are they all?”
“Oh, you…” Aria laughed, pulling him down to kiss him. When they finally broke off, she sighed, “Sokola…will you make sure the girls get home alright? And…tell Wren to begin packing her things. I believe we will be moving soon.”
“Aye.” Sokola nodded, turning around to walk back to her little responsibilities. Although it was sweet to see them back together, she didn’t want to think about what was about to happen.
Elf Girl was jumping up and down, babbling, apparently overjoyed that Vaughn and Aria were together, too. Wren, however, looked furious.
“Sokola, who is zat?” she asked, shaking,
“Dat our Daddy.” she said, grabbing both girls’ arms. “Now, let’s go.”
“Zat monster is not my vater.” Wren insisted, resisting.
“Aye, he be.” Wren told her flatly. “Unless Aria got raped. You don’t wanna hope fer dat, do ya?”
Wren was silent.
“Now, come on! We’s gotta go.”
“I am not leaving vithout Mother.” Wren told her.
“Den you’s gonna be here all night, ‘cause I don’t fink dey gonna stop ‘til then.”
“Mother is not stupid enough to-” she began, before remembering that her mother had to be ‘stupid enough’ to have relations with that demon for her to exist. Sighing, she followed her (supposed) older sister out of the camp. “Already. But I pray to the gods he does not hurt her!”
“He won’t.” Sokola said defensively, then laughed. “No more’n she wants him to, at least.”
Wren winced, disgusted. Sokola wasn’t too happy about talking about her parents; sex lives, either, but it was worth it, to get the reaction from Miss Priss. She laughed harder, and continued to lead them home.