Chapter 12: JamianDiscuss
They say you're flawless, with lies you've never heard
Jamian woke slowly in the dark, unfamiliar sensations intruding on his sleeping consciousness one by one – the slick, smooth feeling of the sheets underneath him, the thick, velvety quality of the darkness, the scent of flowers mixing with something deeper, like leather.
It was the mix of scents that finally woke up him, and the soft humming somewhere off behind him. He was sleeping on his side, too... the tail! His eyes flew open -
- to darkness. Something was covering his eyes, some sort of blindfold. Panicked, he reached to push it off of him -
- and whimpered as the brightness nearly blinded him. Blinking made his eyes water, but didn't seem to dim the brightness any.
“Oh, you're awake!” That was Ty's voice, although it sounded... strange. “Just keep your eyes closed for a couple minutes, Jame, and I'll dim the lights. Okay?”
It sounded like a very good idea. “Okay,” he muttered, and pulled the blindfold back down over his eyes. It had caught strangely on his forehead, and, eyes firmly shut, he used his fingers to explore.
Up at his temples – where he still expected the throbbing pain that was, miraculously, gone – were two matching protuberances, about the length of his thumb and twice as wide at the base, curling back nearly against his skull. He felt around the base – they were definitely part of him, coming out of his skull.
Jame, your skull is splitting open. He remembered now, Dr. Caitrin showing him a mirror. The little horns were slate-grey at the base, by his skull, nearly white at their tips. They felt smooth, but ridged, as if they were made of hundred of tissue-thin layers of mica; the tips were razor-sharp.
“Where am I?” he finally thought to ask. He remembered the doctor's expression – calculating, pleased, but still with professional concern for him – and Ty's expression, concern and something like pride and some other, strange, dark thing. He knows I'm really a freak now, but still, the last thing he remembered, after the sugar-sweet little pill Dr. Caitrin had given him, was going limp into Ty's arms, and the soft feel of a kiss on his forehead.
Remembering that, he blushed, and sat up – carefully, that tail was awkward! - just as Ty answered. “Careful, don't move too fast. Dr. Cate's little blue pills can make you awful light-headed.” He felt hands on his shoulders, and let them guide him to a leaning position against the headboard. “You're in my room. In my bed, to be specific.”
If he could have blushed any hotter, he would have; he settled for an inarticulate whimper of protest instead.
Ty giggled, but he sounded a little defensive. “You were out cold. I couldn't really get you into your room without coming in myself, so I brought you here instead.”
He must have carried Jamian here all the way from the doctor's office. “I'm sorry,” Jamian said contritely. “Thank you.”
“It was nothing,” Ty demurred, suddenly sounding shy. A light clicked twice. “There, the light is nice and dim now. You can take off the blindfold.”
He fumbled with the blindfold, surprised to find it a thick, soft sleep mask. What would Ty need with something like that, down here where the sun never shined? He removed it, having less trouble with his horns this time – he had horns! – he had to pause for a moment to touch them, reassuring himself that they were, indeed, really there, before he finished removing the blindfold and blinked up at Ty through the dim light.
And gasped, shocked and embarrassed. “Where’s... Oh.”
The girl standing next to the bed, looking down at him, with her elaborately coiffed blonde hair and her plum-red dress – she was good-looking, gorgeous, and for a moment Jamian was mortified that a pretty girl had been in the room with him and Ty, watching him. Then, as the girl’s face fell at his reaction...
“Ty,” Jamian said, gulping a little, trying to fit the pretty girl in front of him into his image of Ty.
He – she – Ty – smiled shyly, and ran a hand through her hair. “Is it too much?” she asked.
The nervousness was too much. He expected Ty to be the brave one, cocky and self-assured. He didn’t know what to do with this new Ty. “No, no, you look...” what did you say? “you look great.” The smile was back, and he smiled, relaxing a little. “It just surprised me.”
Ty blushed, ducking his – her! – head a little bit. “I didn’t want to shanghai you with it. It’s just that there’s the dance tonight.” She looked back to Jamian, grinning. “That’s why I showed up at your door this morning.”
The bottom dropped out of Jamian’s stomach. “The dance?” He looked at the sexy little dress Ty was wearing. No-one would ever be able to tell she was a hermaphrodite... except everyone knew already, didn’t they? He shook his head slowly. “But... what ...”
The transformation of Ty’s face was lightning-quick and as painful; from a cheerful grin to an angry frown, eyes full of sudden tears. “What will people think?” she finished his sentence, ice in every word. “Oh, I don’t know. That the Daeva happens to not be a narrow-minded bigot. We can’t have that, can we?”
He scrambled backwards from this new side of Ty, only to find himself against the headboard. “Daeva? Bigot? What?” But Ty had already turned away, and wasn’t listening anymore.
“Shit,” Jamian murmured softly. What were you supposed to do when the girl started crying? “Ty?” He touched her shoulder awkwardly. “Ty, I’m sorry, I’m an idiot.”
“You’ve got that right,” she sniffled, but she didn’t turn around.
Jamian resisted the urge to snap at her, and tried cajoling instead. “Remember... this is new to me. I’m a... ‘out there,’ anyone who knew what I was thought I was a freak. Which consisted of my mother, my stepfather, my brother, and my best friend from elementary school, by the way. So... being open about it all is...”
Ty turned around. Her eyes were a little red, but she was beginning to look more like the Ty he knew. “You’re an idiot,” she said, but she was smiling enough that Jamian couldn’t bring himself to mind. “I get it.”
He was just glad to have her back to herself again. “Would..” He gulped, and bit the bullet. “Would it offend you horribly to take an idiot to the dance with you? An idiot who has no idea how to dance?”
The smile lit up her face, and Jamian relaxed. “I suppose I could handle that,” she laughed, “now that you’re coming around. We might make a non-idiot out of you yet.”
Then her smile slipped, and dropped into a frown. She touched his forehead – his horns – lightly, and the frown deepened. Jamian watched her, his stomach dropping again. “Jame’,” she said slowly, “people are going to stare at you at the dance. Well, anywhere around Addergoole.” He could just barely feel the touch of her fingers spiraling up the horns, and she was looking off into the distance, biting her lip.
Then she looked back to Jamian. She looked serious, a little awed, and, maybe, a little sad. “It’s not going to be the sort of ‘look, a freak’ staring you’re expecting, but I know you’re going to have a hard time telling the difference.”
“Then...” He didn’t know if he wanted to know. He took in a deep breath, and let it out slowly. “Then what?”
Ty smiled at him sadly. “Daeva,” she murmured softly. “Callavanaei.” She shook her head at Jamian’s blank look. “Of course you don’t know. Um.” She bit her lip and looked off at the wall, seeming deep in thought. “What most of us are, here, are mixed-breeds, not pure bloods. The faerie version of mutts.”
“Faerie!” Jamian yelped. Ty shrugged, grinning at him.
“Relax. It’s a word... like ‘mutant.’ Neither are accurate, both do a decent job of pretending to explain us. “
“Faeries,” Jamian muttered again. Ty hissed impatiently at him.
“You,” she said, “have a tail and horns. I have... um.” She blushed. “A tail.”
“You have a tail?” It wasn’t visible under the dress... it had to be shorter than his.
“Stop interrupting, I’m lecturing you. You’ve seen Luke’s wings. You’ve seen Eriko. What makes the word ‘faerie’ so hard to swallow?”
“Faeries aren’t...” he frowned, “aren’t real. None of this is supposed to be real. And faeries are supposed to be... I don’t know. Light and fluffy.” He grimaced. “Not... demons.”
“We can use ‘demons’ if you want,” Ty shrugged, “but people get sort of uptight about that.”
“Faeries works,” Jamian conceded. “Sorry.”
Ty smirked. “Where was I?”
“Faerie Mutts. Right. That’s us... Me, Magnolia, most of us. What you are – what you look like, at least, is purebred...” she made a small noise, and frowned. “Damned geas. Suffice it to say, you’re special.”
Jamian frowned. “People are going to stare at me.... Because I’m special? Because I have a tail? Ty... that's fucked up.”
Ty grinned cheerfully. “Welcome to Addergoole.”
Copyright © 2009-2010 Lyn Thorne-Alder & Elasmo. All rights reserved.
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