This side story takes place eight years prior to the Land of Myth arc. It does however contain spoilers for some of the twists to date. Please bear that in mindÂ if you haven’t read the main story yet. You have been warned.
Side Story One
Lydia was sticking the little net into the rock pool with the boundless enthusiasm of a young child. Sonia watched her eight year old daughter with a smile for a few moments before shouting broke out behind her. She turned with a sigh to chide Daniel and Karen, who were squabbling over the sandcastle they were building. Mediating between warring children was part of the family holiday experience that she hadn’t missed.
It was the first time Matt had managed to find time to use for a proper holiday rather than the odd long weekend without his absence being questioned. This playing dead thing was more awkward than she’d realised it would be when he came up with it. It was necessary, though; the Lavernes knew what she was. There was no way they would have stopped pursuing her if they knew that she was alive. It was a good thing Matt was so good at turning suspicions and distracting attention. Their mundane cover was flimsy, but he made sure no one would look at them twice.
“She’s really terrorising those crabs isn’t she?” Matt had returned from the toilets with Andrew, who was clutching his hand firmly. “Perhaps I shouldn’t have bought her the net.”
“She’s enjoying herself,” Sonia said. “She reminds me of Sal at that age, she has that same unquenchable curiosity about the world. She’s certainly more like her than your cousin. I think we named the wrong daughter Lydia.”
“Sonia,” he said in a soft warning tone. “You know we can’t…” he trailed off meaningfully.
Sonia sighed to herself. “Have a little faith in yourself, M-Mike.” She winced as she stumbled over his assumed name. Even after six years, it still felt wrong calling him by the name he used when he was with them â€“ which, thanks to his strong spatial secondary, was more often than it might have been. Most nights, in fact.
“I do, Sonia, but I know my limitations as well.” He let go of Andrew’s hand and sat down on the towel beside her. “Surely, better safe than sorry.” He smiled at Andrew who was staring at his parents curiously.
“What are you…” Andrew began and then shook his head in confusion as the question slipped from his head.
Sonia sighed and gave Matt a resigned glare as he patted the youngest of their quads on the head. “Why don’t you go and help Karen and Daniel with their sandcastle, Drew?”
“Okay,” He ran off to join the others, and the argument over the design only got louder.
Did you have to do that? she asked mentally even though she knew the answer.
You know I did, he replied. That’s the other reason we can’t discuss this aloud. It’s not good for the kids to be nudged too much, but they’re still too young to know. They’d let something slip.
I know, but I don’t have to like it. And our Lyd is still more like Sal than she is your cousin Lydia.
I know but she’s going to be an extraordinary pyrokinetic and it’s kind of a family tradition. We should stop this now, you sound tired already.
I am tired already. Sonia reached out and took his hand. We should confide in Sal. I’m sure she could help with my problem. It’s been six years and it’s not getting better on its own.
I wish we could, but I don’t want anyone else to know. The more people who know, the more likely it is it’ll slip out.
I know, but she could help, and I miss my fami… Sonia trailed off as a the onset of a dull headache suggested she’d overreached herself again. We’ll talk about this later.
Matt gave her a worried look as the headache leached across to him with her words. I know a couple of Wild healers who would have no idea who you are. I’ll get them to have a look when we get home next week. You really should have started to recover after all this time. He found her painkillers in her bag and passed them over to her with a can of lemonade.
“Thanks.” She swallowed two of them. “I think I’ll take a nap if you can handle the kids on your own.”
“Of course I can,” he said. “I’ll wake you for lunch.”
“Thanks.” She closed her eyes and dozed in the warm sun.