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26 January 2010 @ 08:22 pm
033 Light: 048 Life  
Title: Darkness Overwhelming
Fandom: Mystic Force
Pairing: N/A
Rating: 15
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary/Warnings: Somewhere, all wishes come true. Slannen talks history; Clare turns Nick's world upside down.
Word Count: 1534 / 52 682
Author's notes: My table is here.
Two chapters, since I missed the weekend.







033 Light

Slannen looked…old, when he answered the door, worn out and almost haggard. Nick glanced over his shoulder at Zoe, waiting at the base of the stairs; she was carefully not watching him, staring out across the garden.

“Slannen, we need you to do something,” he said quietly.

“Greetings, Nick. How are we? We’re fine. Thanks for asking. How’s the Gatekeeper?”

Nick grimaced, shaking his head. “Yeah; sorry. Clare’s fine. Has Phineas been here?”

“The rebellion? Yes. We know what’s happening. We will be ready to fight.”

“Ok. Leelee swiped the Snow Staff. I need you to hide it.” He pulled the Staff from his belt, holding it out.

Slannen took two steps back. “You want us to hold that?”

“It needs to be hidden, somewhere we can get it when we need it. And I don’t want it. It keeps talking to me.”

“It talks to you,” Slannen said slowly, reaching out to touch the Staff.

“It doesn’t actually talk. I just know stuff. It’s creepy as hell, and I don’t want it near the girls.”

“This is Udonna’s Staff. It should speak only to her.” Slannen was studying him intently.

“Well, I can’t explain it. Will you take it?”

“Who are your parents?” he asked suddenly.

“My…what? They’re not in town. I was just passing through.”

“But you know who they are?”

“Slannen…”

“It’s important.”

Nick sighed, glancing back at Zoe before answering. “Yes, I know who they are.”

“Your real, true parents.”

“I’m adopted. What does that matter?”

Slannen smiled, taking the Staff from him. “When you need this, it will be here. Nick.”

“Slannen, what…”

“Later. Take your girl home. The Staff will be here, ready, when it’s needed.”

Nick studied him for a moment before turning away, jumping the steps to join Zoe.

“Nick?” Slannen called after him. “Ask Clare about the Light.”

“The light,” Nick repeated. “I will. Thanks, Slannen.”

“He’s creepy,” Zoe muttered.

Nick smiled faintly. “Little bit, yeah. He’s a good…Elf, though.” He eyed her as they walked. “You should have stayed out with the Rangers.”

“No.”

“Zoe…”

“It’s just him and me now.” Zoe looked up at him. “He told me that.”

“Yeah. Alright.” Nick nodded. “Maybe we just won’t tell him you could have stayed outside.”

“Maybe,” Zoe agreed. “What was he talking about, the light?”

“I don’t know. But I’m going to find out.”







048 Life

“We were about to send out the rescue party,” Xander said in relief when Nick and Zoe came back in. Zoe went straight to him, wrapping her arms around his waist; he blinked in surprise, awkwardly returning the hug. Zoe was thawing, but she was not usually tactile.

“We had a little adventure,” Nick said wearily, passing the supplies to Maddie and slumping onto the nearest flat surface.

“Well, the rescue party was me and Vee, so I’m glad you’re alright,” Chip said cheerfully. “Drink?”

“I would kill for something to drink. Thanks, man.”

“What adventure?...Zoe, you wanna let go? You’re crushing me a bit.”

Zoe shook her head, still firmly attached, and he glanced at Nick, who shrugged helplessly. “Alright. I’m gonna sit down, so can you work with me?”

“Leelee nabbed us up at the field,” Nick explained. “There was some super secret mission for the rebellion, and she wanted me and one of the Rangers from outside.”

“You took Zoe on a mission for Leelee’s rebellion?”

Nick winced, glancing at Zoe, who volunteered, “One of the Rangers stayed with me. A Red Ranger.”

“Carter?” Chip asked.

“Yeah, I guess.” She’d relaxed her hug some, but she was still gripping tightly to Xander’s top.

“Clare?” Nick said thoughtfully. “What’s the light?”

Clare knocked over the saucepan, flushing. “Oh! I’m sorry, Maddie, I didn’t mean to…”

“Clare,” Nick repeated.

“Slannen said it was important,” Zoe said quietly to Xander. “He said to ask Clare.”

Clare was staring unseeingly at the mess on the floor; Maddie had risen slowly from her crouch, watching her. “Nick?” she murmured as softly as she could, taking one very careful step backwards.

“Is it that big a deal?” Nick asked, hunkering to begin sweeping the pieces of saucepan together.

“The Light’s dead,” Clare said hesitantly, watching him without moving. “Why did Slannen…”

Nick explained the mission, the Staff and Rootcore, tidying all the time. Maddie came back with a cup that she pressed into Clare’s hand, tugging her closer to the fire to sit down.

“The Staff talked to you,” Clare said, staring at the cup. “Slannen’s right, there’s no way…”

“Who’s the Light?” Xander asked. “Or, what’s the Light?”

Clare sighed, taking a drink before saying, “Udonna was married before the War, the first War. Her husband was called Leanbow, and he was the greatest warrior in our land. And Udonna was the greatest witch. Their son had the potential to be stronger than either of them. But Leanbow died in the war, and Bowen was lost.”

“Your mom died too,” Nick murmured. Realising they were listening to him, he raised his voice to add, “Leanbow’s sister?”

“Udonna. Niella was Udonna’s sister.”

“Ok, that’s interesting,” Chip said slowly, “but why would Slannen want us to know?”

“He asked if my parents were really my parents,” Nick added sharply.

“Udonna’s Staff should respond only to her. Even my mom couldn’t make it work.” Clare was watching Nick steadily.

“I have parents.” Nick’s voice was low and warning.

“Adopted,” Zoe said quietly. “That’s what he said,” she added defensively when Xander twisted to look at her.

“Look, hang on,” Vida said quickly. “What happened to—Udonna’s son?”

“She gave him to another knight, a man she and Leanbow loved dearly, while Leanbow led the Knights and Niella and Udonna to battle. Daggeron was to protect him and bring him back afterwards, but the Knights and Niella fell and Udonna never saw Daggeron or Bowen again. There was no trace of them, anywhere.”

Vida turned to Nick. “You’re adopted?”

“I was adopted out of Reefside. That’s four hours north of here.”

“Adopted out of Reefside doesn’t mean you weren’t found here,” Vida insisted.

“No! I have parents, alright? I have a family.”

“Bowen’s my cousin,” Clare said softly.

“Clare…” Nick groaned.

“Alright,” Xander interrupted. “Nick may or may not be Bowen; it doesn’t really matter now. What about the rebellion, Nick?”

“It’s on hold. Until Leelee and the others find out who’s supposed to be holding the wands. She’ll let us know what’s happening.”

“Right.” He glanced down at Zoe. “You ok?”

She nodded, still nestled against his side, and he looked up at Nick. “Nick, can you go break up a few more tables? We’re running low on wood.”

“Yeah.” Nick nodded, pushing to his feet. “I can do that.”

“I’ll come help you,” Clare offered, but Xander shook his head.

“Chip, you go. No, Clare. Stay here for now.”

Clare glared at him, stalking into the furthest corner. Chip slipped out after Nick and Vida shifted to sit by the fire.

“Maddie,” Xander murmured, and she moved around to sit next to him, on the other side from Zoe.

“Help me,” Xander said softly.

“You’re doing fine.”

“Nick won’t hear any more.”

“He won’t hear any more now. He might later, when he’s settled.” She glanced at Zoe, raising an eyebrow; Xander half-shrugged, careful not to upset her.

“Explains a few things, though,” he said idly.

“What? Oh, Nick? Yeah.” Maddie nodded, looking away towards the door.

“I didn’t mean to make him angry,” Clare said, dropping beside them. “I just…it’s like Bowen’s come back to life. Udonna would be so happy.”

“We still don’t know for sure it’s true,” Xander warned her. “And you’d better leave Nick alone until he’s processed it.”

Zoe wriggled out from under his arm suddenly, heading for the stack of paper on one shelf. Xander frowned, watching her, and Maddie said quietly, “Is she ok?”

“It’s the quiet that’s bothering me. Zoe doesn’t get quiet, she gets even.” He shook his head. “Yeah, she’s fine. You ok, Clare?”

“Well, I’m kind of angry,” Clare said lightly. “But we’ve all agreed not to hold anything against each other, right?”

“If you’d gone with Nick, you’d have made him angry enough to run,” Xander told her. “Not deliberately, I know, but you’ve just turned everything he knows to be true on its’ head. He needs to think about it for a while.”

“He’ll be lucky to think about anything with Chip along,” Maddie pointed out.

“He doesn’t have to think about Chip. Chip’ll provide both parts of the conversation.” He looked back at Clare. “I’m sorry I yelled at you. He’ll come to you when he’s ready; just wait for him until then.”

Clare nodded, rising and dusting off her skirt. “I should get something cooking. Nick and Zoe haven’t eaten yet.”

“Yeah,” Xander agreed with a sigh, scrubbing at his face. “Zo! Clare’s just getting you something to eat, alright?”

Zoe nodded without looking up from her paper and Xander turned to Maddie. “I’m going to get some rest. If anyone else turns out to be anyone’s long lost son or cousin or brother or parent, make them wait for a while, alright?”

Maddie laughed softly. “I will. I promise.”