Monday, October 31, 2011

1.6 - The Red Bandit

The kids are at school and Jake woke up early for once. Aarun takes this as the perfect opportunity to share some of his worries with her. 
“I know they’re friends but everytime I see her with that no good criminal I keep thinking of Reina and what happened to her. I wouldn’t be able to handle the guilt that came from failing her as a guardian! How am I supposed to keep them apart?”
Jake hates how he treats all criminal activity as if its the worst thing in the world, and tells him that.
“What do you mean, Jake? Criminals are scum and should all be locked up. I-”
“I’m a criminal.”



His expression says it all. “W-what?”
“Where did you think all the money was coming from, Aarun? I go out every single night with Thaddaeus and the gang. We rob, we cheat, and I don’t feel guilty about it. Without the money we would have lost the girls to social services years ago.”




“I’d... had my suspicions.” He says at last. “But I thought maybe you were just working as a maid or babysitter or something. Something you were embarrassed about. I did consider that you were a petty thief once but I just swept the idea under the rug. I didn’t even want to think about it.”
“I’m not a petty thief.”
“I didn’t mean it as an insult, hunny. I mean its not like you’re a thug or something right?”




“A-actually I’m a con man.” His face goes blank so she continues her confession. “I outrank Thaddaeus these days. I pick the targets, I run the hit, and my people would do anything to protect me. I’ve turned the gang from a bumbling mess of characters to a carefully calculated hit group that I’m quite proud of.” 
Aarun seems to finally be understanding her. “You’re the Red Bandit. I can’t believe I never saw it.”
Jake almost smiles. “Seeing as there are only two redheads in town... yeah. I can’t believe it either. And really, Medina’s too much of a pussy to be a thief.”




There’s an awkward silence between them while Aarun sorts out his jumbled thoughts. Eventually Jake can’t stand it anymore and speaks, voice almost breaking. “Are you mad at me?”
He pulls her in for a hug before her tears can start. “No. Never. I understand why you did what you did, and I love you all the more for it. Just promise me from now on, no more secrets.”
“I promise.”




When Malinda is doing her homework outside there’s only ever one reason for it. Her aunt and uncle are having some “alone time”.




“Momma and dad are in there?” Nadira asks as she and her sister get off the bus.
Malinda nods. “Yeeep. And they’re being LOUD this time.”




These guys really need to find a new house. One with bedrooms.




Eventually Aarun leaves to go work on a case about some missing apples and Jake takes her pre-work nap. So Malinda is left babysitting the rowdy twins.




Once the twins are in bed she always takes a cab to the library to work on her stories. Fantasy and Sci-fi are her forte. She gets story ideas from everything around her, if she didn’t write them all down she’d blow up!




To ensure she stops breaking curfew, Aarun and Jake buy her a computer. (Yes... the girls do sleep in the living room)




Aarun makes use of it himself during cases to hack data networks and the like. 




Speaking of criminal activity...




Nagina brings a friend home from school. Kennis Enmity. He’s a hottie.




On his way home from a particularly vexing case Aarun catches David running into the library and decides to follow him inside. 
“Linda’s at home.” He tells the younger boy, startling him. “Jake and I bought her a computer so she can stop breaking curfew.”
“Oh.” David mutters. “I uh... I guess I’ll just go home then.”
He tries to push past but Aarun stops him. “Listen... I think maybe last time we spoke I was a bit hard on you. I don’t care if you’re a criminal. My niece sees something in you worth caring about and I trust her judgement. But if you hurt her I will make you see stars, got it?”
David smiles. “Yes sir. Understood.”




When he gets home he grabs each of his girls and gives them a big hug before sending them off to bed.





And finally Malinda:
“Listen... if you want to be David’s friend or girlfriend or whatever I’m fine with it. Just... please be careful. And talk to me if anything ever happens. I swear I’ll try to be supportive... I’m just new at this whole raising a teenager thing. I don’t want to make my father’s mistake and lose you like he lost my sister.”




Jake’s at work when he gets home, but he’s waiting for her the next morning when she wakes up. “I love you.” He whispers.
“What happened?”
“Rough case last night...” He won’t let go of her. “I keep thinking of what would happen if I ever lost you or any of the girls. I’d be a mess. I just can’t handle a pain like that.”




“You won’t lose us.” Jake promises. “Not for a long, long time.”
He smiles and kisses her. 



---

Originally I was going to have a lot more of the "fish kid" case in this chapter but then Buckley mentioned that she hadn't finished that case yet and then I realized other people may not have done it either so I cut that sub plot out and just left Aarun's priority shift. It seems a bit abrupt to me, but eh, he's gone through a lot since being disowned.

They FINALLY have enough money for a new place so I'll be moving them next chapter. 

P.I. + Opportunist Lifetime Reward = $$$ (1000 a case, actually)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

1.5 - Criminal

Malinda loves moths and butterflies. How wonderful would it be to be able to fly away into the sky? She heard a story once that moths were really just the souls of children who died in their sleep. They came back as moths to keep other children safe in the night. Could this moth be the soul of a child?



David’s family moved into the town proper and live only a block from the park where she caught her moth. So she rushes over to show David her find and tell him the story. 




... She isn’t the only one visiting today.




Naturally curious, Malinda decides to ask Grim if the story of moths being souls is true. He laughs at her curiosity and speaks so she alone can hear him. "Moths carry souls, yes, but not of the deceased. They are the souls of fae youth who ventured to this plane and were trapped here when the worlds were sealed."


Malinda doesn't understand everything he's saying but the spark of creativity is lit and she can't wait to go home and write down all these ideas!




David is furious when he gets home and finds his grandfather dead and his best friend talking to Grim.




“Woooah. David, your grandpa was old. It was his time! We can’t just live forever, y’know! Then the world would become overpopulated and EVERYONE would die! Think about it!”




David does and soon enough these little geniuses are talking about rising population numbers and over crowding. Malinda expresses a shiver of worry so David pulls her in for a hug. He even ignores the disapproving stare his father is sending him while he does it.




Nagina tried to steal Nadira’s bunk. Nadira uses the closest weapon she has. A pillow.




Nagina won’t give in without a fight.




Jakelene just ignores the screams coming from behind her. 
“OW! MOM I THINK NADI BROKE MY NOSE!”
“If there’s blood be sure to clean it up before your dad gets home.”




Birthday time!




Um so... Watcher’s in love. I swear I actually just MC’d a baby for Reina and Thaddaeus and then aged her into toddler when I started Neverglade. Never looked at her through CAS. I’m impressed.




David’s aged up as well.




They meet at the local pool and he asks her to hang out with him. Not a date, just two friends going out for dinner and a movie together. 




Aarun meanwhile has been working on a case that involves something about tomatos. Shipments have been going missing so local thief, Sheridan Enmity is a good person to ask for information. Unfortunately he needs a bribe.




“Sapphire.” Sheridan tells him.
“Traxius?”
Sheridan shakes his head. “Nope. The little one. David. He’s got a job at the grocery store so he’s been helping with the caper. Trying to make a name for himself early or something.”




For the cash, Sheridan even points him in the direction of the local diner where he passed David on a date with a cute little girl. Aarun heads over there, takes one look at the couple and inwardly groans. No matter what he does, this is going to suck for him.



“David, I don't remember Linda telling me she was hanging out with a Sapphire today.” 
The young blond turns around as Malinda looks at the ground. “I’m sorry sir, I didn’t realize she needed to have permission to hang out with her friends.”
Aarun glares. “No. But she does need my permission to hang out with a criminal.”




David doesn’t say anything to that but does head towards his car. He pauses at the property line and looks back at his friend. “I’ll see you in class, Linda. Unless your uncle has something against homework now too.”




Aarun sighs when he sees the tears in Malinda’s eyes. “Hunny, he’s a criminal just like his father. I don't want-”
“My father is a criminal too.” She reminds him. 
“But you’re not following in his footsteps by stealing from an employer.”
“His family is different than ours.” She answers softly. “David wants to get out of his life, but his dad won’t let him. He’s a genius and he wants to help people. Think about that before you turn him into the police. Please.”




Later that night he dusts the grocery store for prints and finds David’s prints in a number of places they shouldn’t be. It would be so easy to stop this rising criminal before he learns to cover his tracks... but Malinda’s sad eyes won’t leave him alone. Could he really put a kid fresh out of childhood behind bars? 
No. He decides at last. He wouldn’t be able to live with himself. He’ll let David go this time, and pray that the kid will smarten up sooner rather than later.










---
Won’t lie. I’ve had Britney Spears’ “Criminal” stuck in my head all week. It’s pretty much the theme song for Malinda’s story arc. Don’t think that’s too much of a spoiler. It’s pretty clear that she and David want to be together.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

1.4 - Playmates

*Cue Rockstar music*



Aarun doesn’t spend much time at home, and Jakelene knows David’s dad from work. She doesn’t mind Malinda hanging out with the little silver haired boy.




Malinda’s just happy to have a friend. She knows David is evil but she doesn’t hold it against him like most of their classmates do. 




David’s dad calls Malinda’s parents shameful, and her uncle and aunt weak. He’d prefer it if his son associated with children of a higher economic state, but David doesn’t care. He likes Malinda. She always forgives him when he loses his temper.




That said, David isn’t Malinda’s only friend. She met Cynthia VonHagen at school.




Cynthia’s mom is expecting another baby, shown here in maternity wear and failing at chess.




Malinda: shown here looking adorable and owning Bea at chess.




Aarun catches Thaddaeus hiding in the bushes by the house one night and loses his temper (So what else is new?).
“I just want to talk to her!” Thaddaeus yells. “She’s MY daughter and I haven’t seen her since I gave you guys custody! Just let me see her!”
Aarun asks him to leave before any of the girls hear the racket and get spooked.




Too late. Malinda was washing dishes by the door and heard the whole thing. It hurts her to hear her uncle fighting with her father, but she doesn’t leave the house. If Uncle Aarun doesn’t want her to talk to her dad then there must be a good reason for it.




Oh FINALLY they’re aging up.




Nagina as a child.




Nadira as a child.




Malinda’s first day out with her cousins doesn’t go exactly as planned... while the twins partake in a rousing game of chess-




- Malinda’s stuck working on homework.




Nadira hates that Malinda’s on the honour roll and works so hard to maintain it. Her good grades mean their parents will expect similar grades from the twins. Greeeaat.




Malinda really is happy that her cousins are finally her age... but with her teen birthday so close she’s a bit more excited for that. 
“Can you believe it? I’m going to be a teenager soon! And then I’ll go to prom, and have a boyfriend and live happily ever after! I can’t wait to grow up!”




“Boys are stupid.” Nadira mutters, shooting the grin off Malinda’s face. “And you’re stupid for liking them. Besides, David’s evil. You can’t actually want to date him.”
“I like David.” Nagina says, coming to the rescue. “When he visits he used to play with me and he never stole my candy. He can’t be evil.” 
Malinda doesn’t smile. “Y-yeah... you’re probably right, Gina.” It’s clear the damage is already done.




After their chores are done Malinda pulls Nagina in for a hug. She doesn’t say anything but Gina just smiles and pats her on the back. Malinda isn’t the strongest person in the world, nor the most charismatic. But when she’s trying to say thank you Gina can understand her.




Nadira meanwhile takes the distraction as an excuse to steal the top bunk. She doesn’t need hugs. Or friends. 




---
I’m considering renaming this Sabo: The “We’re all bitches” Random Legacy. 

Sort of spoiler for next chapter: Teen Malinda is BEAUTIFUL... then again so is child Malinda. <3 Considering she was an "instant baby" and I have yet to look at her through CAS I'm amazed. I shoulda let Reina and Thaddaeus have more babies. Ah well.