Cutscene 27: Precautions

(Note: Sorry y’all! I severely overestimated my ability to keep up with writing this month. Normal updates resume today.)

Nico followed his nephew and the human into the living room of the house. It looked just the same as every other Overcurrent home he’d been in, architecture-wise. Not that he’d been in many and not for centuries. Still, if there was one thing the Overcurrent could be counted on to do (or not to do, as the case may be), it was to keep from changing things that worked fine. Even the pieces of furniture and their placements reminded him of those days when this city was young.

Speaking of young…

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Note: Sporadic summer updates

Last week’s update (Sidequest 3.7) doesn’t have a date listed for the next update. After much thought, I’ve decided that I am very unlikely to successfully keep to a weekly schedule for updates in July. I’m going to be traveling a few times and working later hours between, so I’m likely to be burned out during my free time. I’m hoping to keep to a vague, every other week kind of schedule, though, since I don’t want to get in the habit of not updating entirely. Normal updates are likely to resume in mid-August once regular hours and the vacation block go into effect at work.

Sidequest 3.7: Done

“Do you think he’s alright?” Aubrey asked.

“I doubt she’ll kill him,” Zane answered. “Angry as she is, she must still realize the benefit of having a relative in such an important position.”

“Maybe,” Aubrey responded.

“You don’t think so?” The demon asked.

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Sidequest 3.6: Fake blame train

It had been a few days of ceremonies and speeches to honor the deceased. None of which Zane had attended since there were a good many people uncomfortable with his presence. Not that he was interested in going to any of them anyway. It would have been more of a blessing if that didn’t mean he was stuck in a room with Aubrey, Nico, and the little drake every time that Risa, her siblings, Liam, and the dragons attended one of those events. William and Ami had (together and separately) stopped by often enough to make it bearable, at least.

Of course, ceremonies weren’t the only things that the Overcurrent Council was spending its time on. Their speaker’s death left a rather desirable position unclaimed, a fact which lead to a considerable amount of squabbling over who should take his place.

It was something like déjà vu for him. The arguments, as relayed to him by Risa during rants, were more or less the same ones he’d heard while he was helping Tobias take the speaker position for himself. It felt strange to be observing all of this from a distance. He felt antsy, like he should be planning ways to kill someone. He chose to direct that energy towards Zephyr. The dragon didn’t seem to mind whenever he caught wind of what Zane was thinking when he stared at him like that.

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Sidequest 3.5: Darkness and dragons

The house had been crowded and noisy, but the particular combination of personalities had made the rest of the day surprisingly pleasant. Not that Zane had spent much time socializing with the rest of them. He’d stayed close at Risa’s side half because he’d missed her and half as part of his ongoing efforts to prevent her from becoming more attached to the drake. The drake, for her part, seemed to enjoy his irritation. He half-wondered if that wasn’t the real reason that she was staying so close to Risa.

Said little drake lifted her head to look at him when he sighed and stood up. She was curled up on the pillow next to the one Risa was using. His pillow, technically. Risa had been asleep too quickly to notice that the drake took his spot next to her. It was probably for the best since she would have just wound up teasing him about his replacement. Irritating, yes, but no more so than having to face the fact that he was actually starting to see the drake as part of their life together.

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Sidequest 3.4: Reunited

Risa was in the city again. The same city where he was. That he was still not able to be at her side irritated him more than he’d give Friday the satisfaction of admitting. He fought back the snarl he felt rising in him as he thought about Risa. He bristled when he heard a laugh from the other side of the room. Perhaps he hadn’t been as successful at keeping a neutral expression as he’d thought.

“Why, whatever is the matter, dear beast?”

Cackling. This was the first time he’d ever thought that was a good word for someone’s laughter.

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Sidequest 3.3: Reaching the gates

Risa shifted back into human form after landing in the field near the Reinvale gates. She stretched an arm overhead, gripping one wrist with her other hand, then switched arms. Maybe that would keep it from being obvious that she was eyeing her uncle’s graceful “shifting while landing” move. Why was he so stupidly good at not falling on his face?

She heard a chuckle from her right and turned to glare at the dragon that had retaken human form. Zephyr smiled at her, then turned his smile past her to Nico. “Phoenixes are always so graceful.”

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