Julie (decadentdream) wrote,

The Gathering - Chapter Five

Title: The Gathering
Fandom (is so, include details) or Non Fandom?: Non Fandom (ie. Original bro!)
Chapter Number: Five
Word Count: 2,073 Words (Wimped out and finished early haha :$ )
Rating: M (due to language & adult content... not entirely sure where this thing is going)
Summary: In 1692 a group of witches sacrificed their powers to prevent death. Almost 3.5 centuries later, these powers have befallen new generations. Those that would be heroes are lost. It is up to those who are left behind to save themselves & the world they're in.
Author's Notes: This is WIP of my own doing which has like a zillion characters being introduced (and I'm still going) so you might need to hang on a bit for me to get into the meat of that summary *Crosses fingers she'll still be going with that*

Chapter Five

“Here you go,” Alisha said, handing the white porcelain cup to the young girl sitting on the couch in her home. “Chamomile tea. Should calm those nerves.”

“Thank you,” Penny said, taking a sip from the cup and placing it within her hands, relishing the warmth on a cold night such as tonight. The Bell’s house was certainly warmer than the street had been outside, and she was not about to knock back something that would heat her internally as well. She glanced towards the doorway.

“You’re worried about more than a mid-term,” Alisha observed.

“Oh, that doesn’t worry me,” Penny responded. “It’s not that hard yet.”

“That’s a really admirable thing, following in your mother’s footsteps,” Alisha said. Penny smiled faintly. “She would have made a great lawyer if…”

“Do you know when Justin will be here?” Penny interrupted. “I just thought… well, I was hoping he’d be here with Chris.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t know where he is.” Alisha thought for a moment. “He did mention something about a skate final tonight.”

“Yeah, the street skate finals. He wasn’t competing, Rob was. And they weren’t there, I already checked. We were all supposed to go.”

“You skate?” Alisha asked with surprise. Penny nodded.

“Since I was about ten. Chris let me get on his board and showed me a few moves. I was going through hell back then. He gave me a distraction from it all.”

“Christian’s a good boy. I’m glad he and Justin are friends.”

“It’s lucky you moved here then.”

“Lucky, perhaps. But I knew this was where we belonged.”

Penny crossed one ankle over the other, shifting forward in her seat as she placed the cup down onto the coffee table. Just being with Alisha reminded her of all the things she didn’t have – a warm and caring mother; someone to love her, to look after her. Someone who wanted to give her the best in life and would encourage the best from her. Her world was a hollow shell without her parents, and although her uncle tried his best to look after her, he couldn’t give her everything she needed. He could barely even maintain the semblance of a normal life. Without Charlotte, Michael was barely keeping it together. And there was no chance she could ever live with her Uncle Stephen – it would be just like living on her own day in, day out. He struggled even to take care of himself.

“What’s it like?” Penny asked. Alisha looked at her quizzically. “Being able to see the future?”

“Most of the time, it feels like a curse,” Alisha answered with a serious undertone. Penny blinked and lowered her gaze. She had been convinced that it was. Her mother had the same magical power that Alisha bore and she couldn’t understand how her mother had not been able to predict and avoid her own death. Surely she wouldn’t have just let something like that happen and allowed her daughter to lose the only mother she’d ever known? She wouldn’t leave a nine year old girl to fend for herself and cause her more grief after the loss of her father voluntarily. Penny couldn’t make any sense of what happened, no matter how many times she thought it over. “You see things that you hope don’t become a reality. Murders, suicides, destruction, disaster, devastation. You see complete strangers in the worst moments of their lives. You see people you barely know having to battle against their own demons. But then there’s also joy, and happiness, and laughter and light. And blessings you never thought imaginable.”

Footsteps thundered down the stairs as Maximillian Bell followed down a young golden Labrador puppy bearing a slipper in its mouth. Claws scraped along linoleum flooring as it escaped into the kitchen, circling around the centre counter and back out the door again. It paused in the hallway, looking back towards the man in pursuit, brown cloth still fastened between its jaws.

“Chase, you give that back!” Max demanded. “That’s not for you to chew on!”

As soon as he was within grabbing range, the dog moved once more and dashed back up the stairs. Penny and Alisha both glanced towards the doorway as Max vaulted up the staircase, following within an inch of the young pup. Alisha smiled.

“I wouldn’t have met him otherwise,” she continued. “It was fate I was even there. My family was holidaying in Miami. He was a messenger boy at the time trying to pay his way through college. It was so hot that summer that all we felt like doing was staying inside out of the sun. I was lying on my bed watching the fan lazily turn over my head when I was hit with a vision of a man with deep brown eyes and a smile so wide you couldn’t help but find it endearing. He was the most amazingly attractive man I had ever seen, and yet I had never met him. However my premonition revealed to me that this man was not walking into a good situation. All that beauty was ripped away as his face was torn to shreds, stripped to pieces by the mirror they shattered with his head. And while he lay broken and bleeding on the floor they laughed, and poured alcohol on him, and set him alight. I could not let this happen, not to a man that I felt was inherently good both inside and out. And though my parents would have greatly disapproved, I redressed and snuck from the room, heading down to the seediest bar on the waterfront. It was no place for an eighteen year old girl. And it was no place for him either. There had been a Latin fiesta on that night and I knew that was the moment this tragedy would happen – my vision had shown me the happy hour occasion chalked on the board by the bar. I swear it felt as if I sat on that stool all night before he appeared, but when he did and I took his hand, he just knew that something was not right. The place still went up in flames that night, but he didn’t because we were safely on the other side of the wharf. I’d like to think that no-one fell into his place, but things don’t usually happen that way. Events still play out if they are meant to; it’s only the minor details you can change.”

Biting her lip to keep from shedding a tear at the thought of what that could mean for her mother, Penny lowered her head further and allowed the soft wave of her hair to fall across her eyes. Chase sped down the stairs once more, the slipper no longer in his possession, and leapt with one great stride onto Penny’s lap. Raising her arms, she ensnared the puppy between them and pulled him close, burying her face in the fur at the back of his head. Max paused towards the bottom of the staircase.

“Finally, someone captured the beast,” he said, breathing heavily.

“He’s not a beast, Max,” Alisha chided.

“He’s worse than Justin was!” Max declared. “And he doesn’t have that astral tele-projection thing.”

“Chase is a dog, not a magical child,” Alisha reminded him.

“Right. And just as much trouble,” Max said. The front door opened and he glanced towards it, watching the two boys hobble into the hallway. “Speaking of scraps… did you fall off your board again?”

“Yeah,” Justin answered.

“No,” Alisha countered, rising from the armchair. She made her way through the archway and stopped, folding her arms as she inspected the two young men before her. Christian and Justin shrank back. As kindly as Alisha looked, being a teacher allowed her to command an authoritative presence, and she was inflicting it upon them right now. Turning to avoid eye contact, Justin shrugged out of jacket, his position giving Alisha a clear view of the bump rising just left of his temple. Instantly she slipped into mothering mode and rushed over to him, worried he had been seriously hurt. Her fingers brushed the side of his head and he ducked away. “You need ice for that.”

“I’m already cold, I don’t need brain freeze,” he complained.

“You don’t need a lumpy head either. C’mon,” she said, grabbing his arm and hauling him towards the kitchen.

Christian followed a step or two behind, pausing in the archway as he saw Penny sitting on the couch, Justin’s Labrador puppy cradled in her lap. He didn’t need to see the action; he could hear Justin seething as his mother pressed ice to his head from a whole room away in the hallway.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, more accusingly than with any real surprise or confusion.

“I didn’t want to be home,” she said. “And I was trying to find you if you must know.”


“He’s… not in a good way,” Penny responded, trying to put it delicately.

“David?” Christian queried. She nodded. “What happened?”

“I don’t know,” she replied, picking at small sections of Chase’s fur. “I just didn’t want to be there.”

Forehead creasing, Christian dropped his guarded demeanor and moved into the room, taking a seat across from her. Leaning towards her, he lowered his voice. She may have become suddenly very interested in fixing her gaze on the Labrador’s fur, but despite not looking at him she was still listening to him.

“Why did you leave?” he asked. “What was he doing?”

“Cursing. Slamming doors. Throwing… things. Something broke.” She looked up at him. “I don’t have locks on my door, but even if I did he could still get in. He scares me, Chris.”

“I know,” Christian agreed emphatically. “Why didn’t you go to Rain’s?”

“She’s at the club with her parents. And you’re the only one who can reason with him, Chris. Where were you?”

“Rescuing that one,” Christian said, nodding towards Justin as he stumbled through the door with a bag of ice pressed to his head, flopping into the armchair beside Christian and moaning audibly.

“Oh, man, it feels like he cleaved my head in two! How did I not feel this before?” Justin wondered.

“Adrenalin,” Christian answered, his attention quickly switching back to Penny. It seemed like a reasonable answer, so Justin dropped his head back against the top of the armchair and let the discussion go on without him. “Did you go to the park?”

“Only to look for you. You were supposed to go with me, remember? And Claire and Rob and Seb were there, but none of them had seen you. Rob won, by the way.”

“We missed the finals?” Justin shrieked, lifting his head up and looking at Christian, holding the bag firmly against his head. “You said we wouldn’t miss the finals, dude.”

“How was I to know you’d get kidnapped and taken halfway across town by two assassins?” Christian returned.

Justin sighed grumpily and returned his head back to its resting position. He couldn’t argue that their plan had gone awry… or been an utter failure at that. And all they had to show for the night’s efforts were a few bruises, bumps, and chafe marks.

“Were they trying to kill you?” Penny asked with concern.

“No it was just mistaken identity,” Christian explained.

“And they let you just… walk away?” she prompted.

“We came to an agreement,” Christian said. There was a grunt of protest from the blonde boy next to him. “You won’t have to worry about David anymore.”

Penny frowned, turning her attention back to the dog in her lap and scratching it under the chin. As much as she feared David, she didn’t like the acquiescence in her cousin’s tone. Justin didn’t seem to approve of it either. And if something were to happen, she would no doubt find herself falling into the middle of it again. All she wanted was a little bit of peace and normalcy, but her life only seemed to be an ongoing magical war. Two feuding brothers did not help the cause.

“At least there’s one good thing about them,” Justin mused, referring to the Phoenix witches they had met earlier. “They’re professional enough to sit down and put together a whole bunch of info without randomly going around and handing out smackdowns.”

“Except to you,” Christian pointed out.

“Except to me.”

Tags: fic, the gathering

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