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Obligations - The SWAT Kats Fan Fiction Archive

Original SWAT Kats Story

Obligations

By DJ Clawson

  • 1 Chapter
  • 5,840 Words

Abi learns more about her vilthurility as the visions grow worse, and Jake has a decision to make about taking care of her.

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Author's Notes:

This is a quickie Abi story in my “Children of the Stone” series. If you have not read the other stories, please seriously avoid this. The current order is : “Children of the Stone,” “Awakenings,” “X-File #10-1115,” and “Safe Haven,” which this takes place a few years after.

“You are my friend, so I will go with you.”

– Dagwood, “seaQuest DSV”

———————————————————————

“Obligations”

Almost as a cardinal role, Jake hated university affairs. Sure, he was required to wear at least a kilt, jacket, and tie to work every day, but he despised the formality of a tuxedo or extremely nice jacket. He despised the whole event, with everyone acting like millionaires (including the students, of whom only the richer tail-kissers attended), too much champagne going around, and the general classy atmosphere that made the ex-mechanic cringe. Abi, thankfully, was a bit more adjusted, have been to more than a few Academy meetings with her archaeological company.

“I look okay, right?” he tugged his collar nervously — more than usual, thanks to the index cards with a speech written on them in his pocket.

“Fine, Jake. Fine,” Abi assured, giving his paw a tug affectionately. “Now where is that history professor you wanted me to meet?”

After introducing Abi and watching her engage in some uninteresting conversation concerning Italian Renaissance art with the history teacher, Jake found himself to be bored again, and silently scanned the crowed ballroom for Professor Manchester — one of the few teachers who would give him the time of day and was actually beginning to respect Jake, despite his reputation as a rather young and inexperienced professor.

“Professor!” an eager young voice called out, and Jake was somewhat surprised that half the people in the room didn’t look up. He looked up to see a few students of his, a group of English boys on scholarship in Oban, coming towards him.

“Hey — your tie’s on right!” one of them, Jamie, pointed to it. Clothing neatness was a rarity with their favorite teacher.

He smiled confessingly, “My wife did it. So . . . did you guys come for the scotch, or to hear me speak?”

“Do you want to know, professor?” replied a second, taking a sip from his glass.

“They should do something about this European drinking age,” Jake muttered still, grinning.

“Aw, ‘ave a shot, profes’,” a third, with a different accent from a different region of England piped in. “It’ll ease ya up before yer big speech.”

“You know . . .,” he stared rather intently at the bar. “You guys just warn me if my words start to slur, okay?”

“‘course, professor!” they chimed ecstatically.

*********************************************************

Abi didn’t exactly wonder as to why Jake dreaded these affairs so much, as she’d rather be home as well instead of sitting around and worrying if Chance was acting mature enough to sit for Sarah that evening, but she couldn’t help but get remotely interested in what this Professor — Davidson, if she’d caught it correctly — had to say. For some reason, she managed to get so involved in historical fact that it allowed her to forget her migraine for a while.

Rather suddenly, as he was going into detail about a book he had written on Michelangelo, she felt a painful, familiar feeling hit her like a good whack on the back of the head, as her view of the professor in the seat next to hers was blocked out. Closing her eyes in an attempt to suppress the vision — which it now undoubtedly was — she twitched in her seat and struggled to see straight in front of her again.

“Dr. MacIsaac? Are you all right?” his tone was genuinely concerned.

“No,” she admitted. “It’s just a migraine. I’ll just get a drink and it should pass.” She rose from her seat, praying it would. Inside, she knew she was overdue for a Coming*, being they were now about once a year or more, but it was rarely so sudden and maybe she could stall it. Abi knew from experience that alcohol could lessen or even delay visions, because Frith would not send her any prophetic messages if the meanings would be diluted by an intoxicated state or she would not be able to efficiently remember them later.

But when she tried to stand, the vision came again, and whatever sight she had recovered to see the ballroom around her instead of the picture in her mind was lost again. ‘Damn!’ Abi found it hard to keep her balance. ‘I take it it’s a bad sign if I can’t make it to the bar to *get* any alcohol . . .’

“Are you sure? You don’t want to see a doctor?” Davidson was now seriously worried, helping her sit down again.

“No, no — it can wait. You see, my husband is one of the presenters, and I can’t bother him with — ” she was cut off yet again by another painful vision.

“Take it easy,” he comforted. “Stay here, and I’m going to get him.”

Abi nodded as best she could. Every vision seemed to be more and more abrupt, and serious. This obviously was a lot more than just something random sent to her, and the only question was whether she could delay it with a few shots of whiskey long enough for Jake to give his presentation. Getting to her feet carefully, she exited the ballroom. She had to get away from the crowds and the noise if she was going to be able to get anything straight. Abi settled on one of the dark-wooded, velvet chairs in the hallway outside of the main room, and tried to concentrate on the faded black-and-white pictures of University graduates on the wall across from her.

The vision, however, persisted. She lost most of her sight of the world around her, sinking into a level of semi-consciousness, and was glad she made it out in time. Even that concerned thought ceased until she heard Jake’s voice penetrate her impaired hearing.

“Abi?” opening her eyes, she was able to see double — the current vision, and her husband’s worried face as he bent down in front of her and tried to catch her attention. “How do you feel? Professor Davidson said you were sick — ”

She caught no more. It was drowned out by the prophecy, and her head reeled forward as she groaned in agony and gripped the sides of her head. Jake’s voice became even more distant than previously, but she still partially felt his paws reaching out and pulling her in, letting her rest her aching head against his chest and whispering soft words. There was a very far-away “wait with her” spoken, probably to Davidson, as Jake momentarily left her side.

*Coming – as explained in “Awakenings” a series of prophetic visions

**********************************************

“You want me to *what*?”

“Cover for me — please,” Jake placed the notecards from his pocket on the table in front of where Manchester was sitting. “You don’t have to read the speech — just tell Bain and give him these.”

“What’s the matter?” seeing he was serious, the English professor looked at him, noticing the worried look on his face.

“My wife is sick — I have to take her home,” he responded firmly, and Manchester nodded.

“What’s wrong?” Manchester’s slightly-clueless wife asked. “I have some aspirin, if you — ”

“No, no — it’s not that,” Jake hurriedly grabbed his coat. “Thanks a lot. Oh — and I might not make it to early morning meetings tomorrow. Bye.”

Manchester shrugged, and turned to his wife, “She’s been sick before.”

“Really? What is it?”

“He refuses to discuss it at all. But I recall him being called rather abruptly out of a class several times to go to her. It might be cancer, or another disease of the sort.”

“But she was *fine* when she got here — I was talking with her — ”

Manchester just shrugged again.

*******************************************

Abi was rushed back to full consciousness when a familiar liquid was eased down her throat. She smacked her lips, tasting the whiskey, and felt the vision fade into the shadows of her mind, but did not entirely disappear.

“Hey,” Jake spoke soothingly, helping her to her feet. “Feel better?”

“I-I’s not . . . Jake, it’s not going to last . . .”

“I guessed as much,” he kissed her on her forehead, clutching her shaking paws in his. “It’s okay — we’re going home.”

“W-What about the presentation . . . someone could give me a ride — ”

“Nah. I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be doing it, anyway. Bain’ll come up with a good filler,” feeling her twitch nervously, he allowed his wife to lean heavily on his side as they walked out to the car. “I think it’s more important for me to be with you right now.”

***********************************************************

Chance had, for the moment, his claws full. He had caught Brian chewing on the TV remote again, while he had turned his back for a moment to tell Sarah it was bedtime.

‘I wonder how Jake does it with a kid that’s awake more than twelve hours,’ he thought, snatching the chunk of chewed plastic from his son’s tiny claws, “Hey! C’mon — I need this!”

“Clicker go click-click, Daddy?,” Brian squealed, imitating the motion required to use the remote, as if he still had it in his claws.

“Not if it’s in your stomach, it won’t,” Chance reminded, picking up the tiny gargoyle and holding him up with both claws. “Now — you leave my stuff alone, okay?”

“Wha’ ’bout Unc’ Jake’s?”

“His, too.”

“Wha’ ’bout Aunt — ”

“Abi’s, too. And Sarah’s. And the other gargoyles’,” he rolled his eyes, setting him back on the ground beside a set of wooden blocks. “Here you go, kiddo. Mess around — just don’t swallow anything, okay?”

“Mine?” Brian eagerly held one block up.

“Yes, yours. Knock yourself out,” Chance left him, turning to glance up the stairway and see if Sarah had changed for bed yet. It was rather convenient, having everyone in one house now. Jake had been lucky to get it, too — from an old couple, overlooking that valley that Ecuador supposively lived in.

Chance’s ears perked up as he heard the front door unlock, then creak open, ‘Now who could that be — ?’ Quietly, he made his way back through the kitchen and to the front hall. Jake emerged from the open door. His tuxedo jacket was off, his sleeves rolled up, and the tie hanging loose on his neck. Held protectively against himself was Abi, who looked as to be in a state of hysterium.

A silent glance passed between himself and Jake, and he nodded in understanding, “You want me to get the typewriter?”

“Yeah,” carefully, Jake helped Abi to the kitchen table. “Is Sarah in bed yet?”

“I sent her up to change a few minutes ago. Should I tuck her in?” Chance opened the hall closet, and removed a large typewriter.

“I’ll do it,” he kissed Abi again, helping her now up the stairs, whispering comforting speech to her as he went. Jake helped her into the bedroom to remove her dress, changing into pajamas and a bathrobe. Abi was stiff, with a blank stare most the time and little response to his probing. He continued regardless, aiding her way back down the stairs again to the kitchen table before running up to kiss Sarah good night.

“Daddy?” In bed, the three-year-old did not sit up, but he could see from the hallway lamp’s light that shone in her dark room her eyes were wide. “Home?”

“Yeah,” he sat down beside her on the bed. “I’m home a little early. Mommy’s sick.”

“Go ta the hospi’al?” she had a touch of a Scottish accent, which undoubtedly would grow thicker as she was more and more exposed to the accented people outside her immediate household occupants.

“No. But you can’t bother her, okay? You need to leave her alone for now.”

“‘kay,” Sarah flipped on her side, pulling her covers in tighter. Jake helped, tucking her in. She probably didn’t remember Abi’s last Coming, when she was still just an infant, but she might recall this one.

“Did Chance tell you a bedtime story?”

“Yeah — ’bout the SWAT Kats.”

His eyebrows perked up, “Oh, really?”

“Better than books,” she giggled.

‘I’m going to have to have a discussion with him,’ he thought. “Good night, honey.” He kissed her on her cheek.

“G’night, Daddy.” Sarah closed her innocent eyes, and the sight still made Jake filled with awe.

***********************************************************

By the time he got downstairs, Jake could hear the sounds of the typerwriter keys pounding furiously. Abi had discovered, with Thoran’s guidance, that the main reason for Coming was for them to be written down. Even in her often comatose-like state, separated from the material world by her visions, she was still able to hammer out both English and Lopine words, often a mix, on clean paper. One did not save a prophecy on a hard drive, however, and their family computer’s control switch rested in the “off” position while she banged away at the creaky typewriter model.

“You staying up with her?” Chance watched as his friend went for the coffee machine.

“I have to — first night is always the worst. Someone has to watch her,” he was referring to the times when the visions were too painful or distracting to type, when the subject was particularly disturbing. At those times she (or Thoran, though he often flew off into the outdoors for a few days when his came) could often become blindly violent, working herself into a destructive rage against the pictures in her mind, and she was completely oblivious to the world around her. Not much stopped her from, say, hurling a chair into the wall, and less prevented someone standing in the way from getting smacked.

“Make sure you get some sleep, bud,” Chance reminded. Abi rarely slept during her Comings — only from exhaustion, or when they slipped sleeping pills in her tea — and he was often up all night with her. “You can wake me up if you want someone to watch her.”

“I know, I know,” Jake poured himself a cup of coffee, and settled down in the seat next to Abi. Every time she would wince in pain and have to stop typing, he would rub her paw and assure her. Sipping his coffee, he braced himself for a long night.

************************************************************* ***

“Where is he?” Dr. Buchanan glanced at the watch on his pudgy arm impatiently. He was standing with Charles Manchester outside of Jake’s office, which was still empty, despite the fact early morning faculty meetings were long-since over, and students had already begun to arrive in their respective classes.

“Maybe he’s not coming today,” Manchester suggested.

“Then he shoulda called fer a bloody sub. It’s too late notice now — one’a us’ll hafta do it,” the overweight, lowland professor groaned. He was not particularly fond of Jake, but there wasn’t much he could do about it with his relatively lower position in the teacher’s hierarchy, as opposed to other members who were positively set on kicking the young American professor out of the department for good.

“Here he comes,” he motioned as the topic of their discussion hurried down the hall.

Jake was a mess. His kilt wasn’t pressed as it usually was, the shirt was nearly disheveled to the point of being out of dress code, and his tie was worse than usual. His fur was particularly mangey and unbrushed. He pushed passed them, with a semi-polite “‘scuse me” as he hurried into his office to collect his class notes.

“That settles that,” Buchanan muttered, and turned away snidely, towards his own classroom.

Manchester did make a motion to do the same, but stopped himself and entered Jake’s office instead, “Are you okay?”

“Me?” Jake looked up from his desk, now a sea of papers. “To be honest, I didn’t exactly get a lot of sleep last night.” None was more like it. He was up well into the early hours, when Abi began thrashing around, holding her and trying to calm her as her body racked with sobs from the pain, telling her he was there, and it was going to be all right.

“Is your wife better?”

“No — no, she isn’t. She’ll probably still be sick for another few days,” he gathered up a pile papers. “Look — thanks for last night. How did it go?”

“Bain’s explanatory speech was perhaps laced with a bit of anger towards you, but otherwise . . . we filled it. The other speaker took up some time some time, thankfully.”

“Who was it?”

“Umm . . . I believe an American by the name of Lt. Riker — from Megakat City. He was here to talk about an enforcer exchange program with our local squads, and university recruits — ”

Jake spit out his coffee, mostly over his notes. That old rookie who found out his identity — he surely would have recognized him! He was suddenly very, very happy Abi’s Coming came when it did.

“Know him?” Machester had seen the reaction.

“Something like that. Listen, Charles — please — could you tell Bain’s secretary I need subs for my review sessions? I can only stay for the classes — then I have to go home for Abi.”

He nodded, “I understand. What does she have, might I ask?”

“It’s . . . complicated. Very, actually,” picking up a stack of notes, Jake hurried out of the office.

************************************************************* **

Chance was looking through a series of performance reviews, written with his own paws, on his current squadron. Training the local enforcer trainees in a base near Oban wasn’t a half-bad job, better than a shipping company at least. The only problems were working out his schedule so he was home before sundown, and avoiding the pesky brass members who bothered him about his unwillingness to do night flights.

Still, the sound the typwriter’s keys banging against the paper was getting to him, and he put down the reviews. Abi was into her fourth day, and thankfully there was a lot less hysterium and violent swings left in her, her body now exhausted. The bad news was it showed to signs of letting up, and was beginning to take its toll on the people surrounding her. Jake got little sleep each night and was desperately behind on his work. Thoran and Chance could watch her in the later hours, but during the day no one was home, and they often sent Liam or Angus Wallace over hourly to make sure she hadn’t destroyed anything. Angus served her lunch, which she rarely ate until Jake returned home over his lunch hour to feed her. Most were unaccustomed to handling a vilthuril, and were for the most part disturbed by watching a married, normally-sane, female historian turn into a mentally disturbed psychopath.

Wandering downstairs, he found Abi in the living room, where the typewriter had been moved so. Jake was on the couch, himself grading papers and sipping coffee. He looked tired himself, struggling to stay awake — not surprising, considering the hour.

“How’s it going?” Chance sat down beside him on the couch.

“She’s been quiet lately, but it still isn’t stopping,” his partner shook his head. “Why would Frith want her to be in so much pain?”

“She’s probably wondering the same thing herself,” Chance watched the clueless curator. “When are you getting to bed?”

“I-I have to stay with her. What if she gets violent again, and I’m not — ?”

“She won’t,” Chance assured. He was more concerned about the dark circles under Jake’s eyes. “Get some sleep — you need it more than she does.”

“No, no . . .,” Jake shook his head furiously. “I *have* to stay with her . . . I don’t think I could live with myself if I didn’t — ”

“Okay,” Chance patted him on the shoulder for support. There was no use talking him out of it. “I’m turning in. ‘Night.”

“‘night,” he muttered, and turned his attention back to Abi and his magazine. Jake yawned, rubbing his eyes that burned as he tried to focus on the printed page. Damnit, he was tired. Chance shutting out most of the lights on his way up didn’t help.

Slowly, he felt himself grow groggier as what seemed like hours progressed, and his eyelids began to drop. Reasonably helpless to it, he glanced hazily up at Abi one more time before the comforting darkness engulfed him.

************************************************************* **

The two emotions Abi was still capable of feeling amidst a Coming were anguish and helplessness.

These were not visions she could fight. Hours she spent, like a zombie, laboring over the typewriter until her fingers were soar. Better her fingers than her mind, and she kept working. During these tedious hours Abi Sinian-MacIsaac lost control of her mind, and whoever sent her the visions took over. Only in fleeting moments, when her brain was given a break, could she be elevated from her trance-like state and think freely.

But between that ‘back-to-earth’ period and the actual Coming was a half-helpess state she and the people around her feared most. While she was so intoxicated by the constant flow of visions, she could not — thankfully — feel real pain. That, however, was the first thing to come back before everything else in her mind was freed. So before she had rational thought, she had awareness of the pain. That was when she grew violent, angrily and blinding thrashing out at whoever or whatever was in her way.

And that was what she was sinking into now. The visions were stopping, though she knew not for good. The torture returned, as her body was able to let loose the tension built up in her trance state.

‘End the pain,’ this was a more conscious thought, and her rational mind was returning earlier than usual — but not exactly allowing her to act with caution. The three words were really all she was able, in her befuddled state, to concentrate on.

End the pain!

Picking herself up, she could barely see Jake sleeping peacefully on the couch. She wandered around quite a bit, having trouble seeing or reacting to what she saw, until she made it into the kitchen. The pain did not lessen, but her thoughts grew more complex. ‘Wouldn’t that be nice? No more wierd witches, no more prophecies, no more hiding them from my family . . .’

And, somehow, the words ‘my family’ were not able to have enough impact or meaning as her paws felt around the counter and found the knife rack.

************************************************************

Jake was dreaming of witches, Sarah, and Ecuador when a loud *ring* broke into his fantasy world, “Who the — ?” He reached out, fumbling for the phone, and picked it up.

“What — who is it?” he mumbled groggily, sitting partially up.

“Jake? This is Sensei.”

‘Dan MacAugh? Calling *now*?’ Confused, he struggled to open his eyes and be more awake, “What is it?”

“Oh, I just — ”

“Holy — ,” Jake broke out. Upon focusing his vision, he noticed in the partial darkness the trail of blood from the kitchen, in through the living room, and into the bathroom. “Oh, *shit* –!”

“Should I call back?” MacAugh was perturbed.

“Y-Yes — we’ll talk,” he slammed the phone down, spining around to find Abi’s chair in front of the typewriter vacant. In fear, he followed the trail into the bathroom, slowly opening the door . . .

Jake gasped, “Oh my G-d . . . ” He instantly knelt beside Abi, who was unconscious from blood loss, wrapping his arms around her and insanely muttering in her ear that it was going to be all right, holding her wrists to try and stop the bleeding . . .

************************************************************* **

“This is better . . . G-d, we should’ve done this from the start. We should have brought her here . . .”

Chance just patted his friend on the back and shrugged, “It’s in the past. It happened, and we got over it.” They were speaking in a lower tone, so the little girl tagging along at her father’s side couldn’t hear.

“Professor MacIsaac? Mr. MacFarlane? This way please,” the doctor, an American with a funny-looking grey goatee that Sarah said made him look like a goat, led them down the hall.

Jake continued, “I should’ve realized I couldn’t take care of her any more . . . Abi wouldn’t have done it if she were here — ”

“We don’t know that,” Chance reminded, passing a mental patient on his left who was rather mindlessly wandering the hallway, aided by a nurse. The institution personally gave him the creeps, but he could put up with it. But those bright white and yellow walls somehow made him nervous. Sarah said upon entering that the place was a little *too* bright, maybe *too* happy.

“And the Coming wouldn’t have been delayed while she recovered — she wouldn’t still be in it now — ”

“Dr. MacIsaac has made progress in the past few hours,” the doctor babbled. “She can speak clearly, as of about half and hour ago, but she keeps complaining that her ‘visions’ are coming back.”

‘They probably are,’ Jake thought silently. Really, he didn’t care what the doctor could scientifically tell him about Abi’s condition. This guy couldn’t understand the significance of the writings produced by it, or that the state of vilthurility was not curable. But the doctor could try all he wanted for all Jake cared, as long as he didn’t hurt her in the process, as long as he watched over her better than the husband himself could.

Abi was outside, on the back lawn path, when they found her. She was dressed in a thick bathrobe over her hospital attire. Her hair and fur were both messes, and her face was still traced with lines of age that weren’t typically there, but she was still able to carry herself with an air of weak dignity as she embraced him.

“How’re you feeling?” Jake asked, stroking her hair and feeling comforted by the way she nestled in his chest.

“It’s stopped — only for a few more hours, but it’s stopped. It’s almost over, thank G-d,” she released him, and knelt down to Sarah’s level. “And who’s come to see me?

“Mommy!” Sarah cried out in delight as she hugged her mother, but found she was not able to pick her up as Abi usually did. She recalled her father saying her mother was weak, and it had something to do with the bandages on her wrists, but she didn’t understand.

Abi stood again, patting her daughter on her head affectionately but facing Jake, “The doctors — they don’t understand what’s going on.”

“Of course not. And they’ll probably try to study you,” he explained. “That’s why I didn’t want to bring you here in the first place. But that’s not what’s important now, because they can obviously watch you better than I can.” His expression softened further, “They’ll probably release you after it stops, but I’ll come up every day — don’t worry — ”

“I know,” she smiled. “I know.”

***********************************************************

It was well after the end of the Coming did Thoran glide up and over the sanitarium’s plaster walls, landing outside the window of her room and slipping in. It was risky, but, well — it wasn’t as if any patient’s cries of discovery would be taken tremendously seriously.

Abi let him in; she was one of the few patients allowed to have an open window (most were nailed shut). She was registered with only minimal security, now that she had stopped having these “visions” and was slowly beginning to return to an exhausted version of her usual self. They were all happy to learn she would probably be released in a fews, provided there was no relapse.

“Relapse? After *that*?” Thoran shook his head fiercely. He was seated on the bed, with Abi in a rocking hair beside it, playing with the fringes of her bathrobe.

“No — it’s over,” she muttered knowingly. “G-d — how bad is it going to get? I didn’t want this to get out of hand — ”

Thoran frowned hesitantly at her question, and she probed him, “How bad — ?”

“You have to understand me, Abi, that I am not speaking from experience when I discuss this with you,” he opened with, and she immediately sensed his uneasiness. “You have known me as, say, ninety percent leader and gargoyle, ten percent vilthuril. It takes very little time out of my yearly schedule, really. As it has been with you so far.”

“I am a special case. I was leader of the clan before I became a vilthuril, else I probably might not have become leader. I thought these visions were just something I could get done and over with every year or so, and go on with my life most of the time as if they never happened — it was the only way to hide it from the clan, after all. But several years after my awakening as a seer I discovered a book, written by a vilthuril dawg in the 9th century. He told me what a normal vilthuril went through, and that my prophecies were abnormally few and far between, with my duties as leader of the clan and Frith taking pity on me. The dawg knew me from his own visions, and wrote it for me. He said that the majority of my visions — the ones I have delayed all of my life — will probably come when I am relieved of my position, and Sevian takes over the clan. I will probably retire for that purpose, in fact. Most gargoyle leaders don’t.”

“So what’s different about a ‘normal’ vilthuril?” Abi asked, not quite sure that she wanted to hear the answer.

“It isn’t so much that the Comings get particularly longer and more painful, though they undoubtedly have been doing so recently. It is that your vilthurilty will begin to affect the rest of your life, not just the few day period of the Comings. Your more minor visions will become more periodic and often.”

“Physically,” he continued with a heavy sigh, “being a vilthuril will not speed up the aging process, thankfully for me or I would not be here now, but your hair is likely to go white shortly. The roots are coming in now.”

He pointed one of his heavy claws at her hair, a piece of which she prompty plucked and gasped as she noticed the silvery-grey tips.

“Mentally — that is rather unpredictable. Your memories — of anything from your life — should remain intact, and your ability to memorize those odd-knowledge facts you love so much to collect may even be amplified. In that sense, your work will probably not be affected very much,” the gargoyle shrugged. “But socially, everything is a different story.”

“Is this going to get harder to hide? I mean from people like my mother — ”

Sadly, he nodded, “She will eventually notice that something is wrong . . . maybe when she sees the slash marks . . . and I imagine you will have to tell her.”

Abi bit her lip. The last thing she wanted was for her mother, an Americanized Jewish “Yenta” with a crabbier side, to know her daughter was mentally insane, or at least think that. Abi had hid it for so long because she seriously doubted she could ever convince her she was some kind of prophet. Her father was a different story, but she could never seem to find the right time to tell him. But Thoran was right — one would figure something out, probably her mother, and go to the other almost immediately.

“G-d,” she said out loud, to herself. “I didn’t want this to happen — I thought I could control — ”

“There is nothing to control. Frith has control,” Thoran stated. “There is nothing to worry about. Jacob is a good husband. He will watch you when even I cannot.”

He continued to comfort her late into the night, when she had curled up in his arms and cried herself to sleep. He wished of brief moments that Jacob was there, because the son of Ecuador always had a calming effect on her — more than being hugged by a huge, monster-like creature, at least. Still, there were many things Jake couldn’t understand. It was amazing how a scientist of history, a fact-finder with such a thirst for knowledge about the past, could be reduced into a mentally-unbalanced, hysterical she-kat when she learned too much about the future.

Thoran sighed again, easing her head front his arms to the pillow, careful not to wake her. The period of hiding and denial was over for the vilthuril kat, but acceptance could only make the future less of a strain to face. On his way out, he wished her a good night’s sleep; he certainly wouldn’t have one.

The End

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