A Family Reunited

Nameless

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Oct 22, 2015
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It was 4 AM when Valerie got a call from her mother. Her phone had to be rang about three times before she finally woke up, and when she heard Valencia's voice on the other end, all the drowsiness from being woken up so early quickly went away. She almost screeched in delight and perhaps even cried a little. They had a short conversation only because Valencia was about to board a boat to Manta Carlos, but they got to talk about the most important things, which were Valencia coming to the island, when she expected to arrive, and why, including how long. Valerie was too excited to tell her mother much, at least clearly, but Valencia was told that Valerie had found her father. Unfortunately, her mother had to board the boat, which jammed cellular signals among other things for a variety of reasons, mainly to keep hidden.

Once the call ended, Valerie scrambled to find Tucker. In her excited state, she couldn't quite remember whether she woke him up in bed, found him in his study, or in the middle of checking on her, but what she does remember was rapidly talking to him about her mother's call, and told him everything she knew. Coherency may not have been a big part of it, but she was more than happy to repeat herself. She acted a lot like a child who got everything she wanted, which was not a bad comparison.

She couldn't stop thinking about it for two days and her sleep suffered. She kept checking the call records on her phone to make sure that she wasn't just dreaming, and would always giggle whenever she saw her mother's name on there. On the third day, a day before her mother's arrival, she finally collapsed in the middle of the day in her bed and slept until a couple of hours until Valencia's ship would arrive. She was fully refreshed and ready to go meet her.

Now on the pier, Valerie restlessly paced, looking out to the ocean to see any ship that approached. She was familiar with the ferry that brought her here, and all the other ferries that docked at her home island, and when she saw the very familiar patterns on a ship so far away that it looked like a spec for the human eye, Valerie squeezed her father's hand and hopped in place, barely able to contain herself. "She's almost here! She's almost here!" she'd chirp happily.

@Hyper
 

Hyper

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The past three days had not been great. Tucker was only half awake in his study when Valerie had rushed to him that one morning, the usual spread of books and scrolls he was trying to make sense of in front of him. It was hard enough to decode the words that were on the papers, much less the words that kept spilling out of the girls mouth as she sped through her sentences. He had to tell her how many times to settle down and say that again but slowly as if he was trying to be sure he wasn't imagining what he thought she was saying. Valencia was on her way to Manta Carlos. The news had woken him up better than the half empty cup of coffee on the corner of his desk. (He despised coffee, but desperation sometimes called for it.) Even so, he couldn't let Valerie see through the shock it gave him, worried that it could dampen his daughter's bright mood. She was certainly happy about the prospect of having her family together after so long; he couldn't ruin that for her too soon. The next few days flew by... rather slowly. Occasionally, he found himself drifting in the middle of a lecture, or even when he was reading up for his other research projects. He would never say it out loud, but as the day crept by, the anxiety slowly built up. The last time he saw Valencia was over two long decades ago -- he wasn't sure how he was supposed to greet her. Funny thing to worry about when you're a 700-year old mage, he joked once to himself, but when there were emotions at play, he was always at a loss. At one point he also joked that confronting Mikhainon seemed so much easier than thinking about the scenarios of face her. Did he get any sleep since the news? He wasn't even sure, he wasn't even sure how it was already today but he somehow managed through the previous days and also somehow managed to drag his heavy feet to the pier with his daughter in tow. (Or if he would be honest, Valerie was the one doing the dragging.) Tucker seemed serene, from an outsider's perspective -- hell, even to Valerie, he would have probably come off the same way -- but that was only at the surface. He wouldn't let it show, he kept his vitals in check -- Valerie didn't need to know his hands were growing cold at the thought of meeting her mother after so long. He exhaled quietly as a ship came in sight, thankfully drowned out but Valerie's excited chanting. He could only let out a laugh, convincing enough not to show his nervousness through. "Alright, alright, Val. Settle down; they're not here yet," he told her, tugging lightly at her hand in response. The ship docking felt like it took forever, especially right next to his daughters excited chirps, but he was determined to stay collected through the whole thing. How bad could it possibly get, after all?
to hell and back again
 

Nameless

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She was overflowing with excitement! The months flew by for her since she got here, and a lot of things happened, but this was definitely going to be the best moment yet! To her father's reassurance, she nodded, but couldn't stop being restless as she watched the people begin to filter out. "Oooooh! I can't wait! I'll look for her in the sky!" she'd tell her father before taking off, doing her best not to kick up too much dirt. From her bird's eye view, she could see most of the people that have yet to walk onto the pier, waiting for the people in front of them to move out. "Mom! Mom! Hey it's me!" she'd holler as she circled the where she spotted her mother's array of colorful feathers. "Valerie?!" came an excited chirp from the crowd. A flash of color streaked out from the crowd and collided with the harpy in mid-air. The two of the spiraled upwards before two wings with entirely different patterns extended for the two of them to descend safely, right in front of Tucker. He would her very uncontrolled laughter and giggles as the two harpies got closer to the ground. When they landed, the extended wings wrapped around the two bodies as mother and daughter hugged it out. Once that was done and the hug ended, Valerie hopped behind her mother and guided her gaze to Tucker. "See?! I told you I'd find him!" "V-Valerie... I..." She was completely out of breath. Tucker would be able to see the stirring emotions behind those eyes. Sealed away, pent-up, and left to rot, hopefully, with time. Valencia wanted to slap him first and foremost. And that's what she ended up doing. Right across his face. "M-Mom?!" the daughter cried out, taken by surprise. But then, Valencia just wrapped her wings around him for a big hug. However, it wasn't the hug Tucker would have remembered. It was riddled with longing. And while her face was out of sight of her daughter, Tucker would be able to tell that she was trembling, her emotions getting the better of her. After a quick moment, broke off the hug and stepped back, not yet turning to Valerie before she wiped off the tears from her face. "I'm sorry, I didn't know what came over me. It's been so long. And you've just never told me..." Valencia shook her head and smiled shyly, looking down to avoid eye contact. "It's been a while... Luca..." When she did find it in herself to look up, she noticed the gash on Tucker's face, and her eyes widened with alarm. "YOU'RE BLEEDING!" she yelped out in a panic. "U-Uhh... I know! H-here!" She put her hand on the gash as a green glow appeared from her palm. It would numb the area of any pain until the wounds closed. The younger harpy, while initially shocked, was yet again at the verge of shouting out loud, her happiness overflowing. "Family hug!" she'd finally cry out, pulling her parents in for aforementioned family hug. With nearly the same enthusiasm, Valencia threw her arms open to accommodate the family. Valencia's heart was slowly sinking yet at the same time her heart rate rose as warmth flowed towards her cheeks.
 
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Hyper

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Partially, distracted, Tucker could do nothing to stop his daughter as she took to the sky, managing only an almost muted "Val, wait--!" before she was already far from spoken hearing range. He sighed, shaking his head as he almost visibly curled back. As he heard his daughter calling out Valencia's attention, he knew it was only a matter of minutes before she needed to face her. Tucker straightened himself up, his hands folded behind him with a hand on a tight grip on his wrist, as if he was easing himself for the meeting. Nervous? He wouldn't say that he was but he might as well be. The mage stepped forward, meeting the giggling pair as they landed back on flat ground. He managed to muster up a rather meek smile when Valerie had guided her mother's gaze too him, faltering for a second when he saw the look in her eyes. He couldn't blame her. Which is why the moment her hand made contact with his face, he couldn't find it in himself to be angry. He just stood there, wordless even when she wrapped her wings around him. It almost felt like she was looking for something with the way she had hugged him; perhaps wanting to as -- was it real? Was Tucker confused? A bit. He didn't return the hug though; he wanted to -- maybe to ease her trembling just a bit. He could care less about the sting he could feel on his cheek (he would have guessed her claws had dug into his skin). If anything he wanted to hug her back, say he was sorry for leaving her behind, but none of those happened. He spoke not a word. Valencia broke away and spoke first, and it took Tucker a few moments to say anything in response. "I haven't heard anyone call me by that name for a long time," he managed to say. Typical of him. Even then, the way he'd said it wasn't the usual way he did. There was no smugness; no pridefulness. If going by the tone of his voice, it was almost like he'd missed being called that; he missed the sound of her voice saying that name, fake as it was. "I'm sorry too." he continued, "I didn't know how else I could explain to you before and I figured it would have been easier if I just left things that way." Evidently, he figured wrong. "Valencia," he called her name, asking her to look up. He waited for her to do so, but before he could say more after, she went into a panic. Knowing her, he had no way of talking over her, letting her reach out her hand to his wounded cheek. He managed a soft laugh, forgetting just a little bit of his initial anxiousness. "You know you don't have to do that," he said, putting a hand over hers. Even though he had said that, he didn't tear her hand away and only held it that way until the glow faded out. Or at least, until Valerie remembered herself and cried out for a family hug. Tucker could really only laugh at his daughter's antics. He ignored the sinking feeling for just a moment, for once allowing himself a hug with his family. Tucker was first to pull himself out of the hug, prying himself off the tangle of wings of the harpy pair without trying to push them away. "Right, so," he began, pressing his lips together and trying to get himself out of the sentimentality of their reunion. For a moment, Valerie got to see his father again like when she'd first met him: reluctant and rather distant. He turned a smilewards Valencia, but it was nothing like the smile she would have remembered. He was hesitating. "You must be tired from the trip, shall we head back so you can rest first?"
to hell and back again
 

Nameless

I'm under your bed
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Oct 22, 2015
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Valencia... The older harpy felt happy about him remembering that name. Most of her simply thought he had already forgotten. The suddenness of his departure made it seem like her name wasn't going to be important to him in the decades that followed. Yet, she didn't feel any surprise. Perhaps part of her knew, or at least hoped that he still thought of her. She sure kept thinking of him, more than she cared to admit. Raising Valerie took her mind off of it, and it would seem that she was close to forgetting him when she found the strength to let go of most of the stuff that held any sentimental value between the two of them. Until, that is, Valerie stumbled on her most precious mementos and it all came barging in. Not only that, she had decided to find him, and Valencia knew, from the look of her daughter's eyes, that there was no stopping her. If she tried, she would have been in much more danger. Now that part of her was glad, even though the rest of her felt sick. Would he blame her if he found out that she had tried to hide everything they were from their own daughter? Valerie and Luca had spent enough time together. He would have known already. But she wasn't going to let herself feel guilty over it. She knew she had her reasons, and not all of them were selfish ones. "I can't help it... I work with doctors. The habit rubbed off." Valencia's answer came off like a nervous lie. All of it was true, but the motive was something else. Her hand froze for a moment on Luca's cheek before she allowed herself to relax, just letting herself feel the warmth of his palm. When the hug ended, the harpies let out a soft, chirping laughter before Valencia turned towards Luca again. Her face carried a tired smile. Both from the trip and the emotional stress she was holding back. "Yea, but it's nearly impossible to feel tired when a harpy just can't stop bouncing." "I can't help it!" Valerie flashed an innocent grin at both of her parents. Valencia prepared for this. When she heard that Valerie found her father, she wasn't so sure. Rather, she was hoping it wasn't real. Then just a few days earlier, she was rehearsing in front of the mirror exactly what she wanted to say to him. She would have been accommodating, smiling a practiced smile and remained strong as a bastion. There would have been a speech on how she missed him, and part of that speech was a bit where she would have poured a heavy dose of guilt on him. It was friendly, perhaps with a hint of malice, but she would have delivered it in that friendly manner. None of that happened. Seeing him made her blank out and now that she remembered those sessions speaking to herself and pacing around the cabin, the time had long passed. It would be awkward to bring that up now. "I should... probably get my luggage first though," "Oh! I'll carry it! Can I?!"
 

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