There was ultimately an untimely intrusion floating about in the air through the agape doorway; a light mist of distress had settled in the white and gold decor of the room. Sun bathed the canopy bed's white cotton sheets and the rustling figure nestled within the cushions. Her hair lightly framed a gentle, wizened face, grey eyes adjusting to the brightness that so impregnated the room. A hand lifted slowly to brush away strands of loose, blonde hair in a vain attempt to see. Her eyes settled on the man standing at the doorway, gait cautious and wary and his hands wringing each wrist—a nervous tell.
"Carys," he said, quietly intoning the worry that furrowed a brow, "how is he, darling?"
The question hung in the morning air, anxious and impatient. Carys lifted herself from the encasement of soft, warm sheets, a hand resting on the protruding stomach that shed the covers. "As wonderful as I can imagine, Dearheart," she paused, watching the man's eyes shift under her gaze, "Rodrick, if there was something wrong I would tell you, you know that?"
A nod was his only response, silence lifting from his lips. "Of course," Rodrick finally replied, "I just want to make sure everything goes as according to plan, dear." He moved toward his lover in an attempt to alleviate his pains. The smooth blankets wrinkled at the mild pressure, a hand running across the silky fabric. Gripping at it, Rodrick was visibly frustrated in quiet contempt for himself.
"Everything will be perfectly fine," she cooed, running a hand through the snow white hair on Rodrick's head. She gripped the tufts, caressing the strands, before trailing down to cup his face, wrinkled by the storm of emotions at the edge of his mind. "Have you settled on a name?"
"Errol," he muttered, "Errol is his name."
"That sounds beautiful; he'll have to live up to that."
The moon lifted high in the starlit canvas, letting a soft glow graze the mahogany floors of the building. It did nothing to alleviate the intensity that clawed its way inside the home, manifesting in a pacing man, the sharp pat of his polished boots chiming through the corridors. The only calm that purveyed was through a corner near the window; a young woman, pastel yellow sundress hanging from her petite frame, leaned against the wall and stared intently at the stars. Her hair laid upon her shoulders in obsidian waves and a steely look graced her focused hazel eyes.
Rodrick drew his gaze from the marble floor, gliding up the cream white ballet flats and sundress to the pearls that laid upon the woman's collar bones, just barely tightened around her neck, and to the intense features etched across her visage. A cough left his lips, eyes shooting downward once more. He spoke in a hushed tone, "Are you hungry, Talia?"
She shook her head, "For the fifth time, no."
"Are you not nervous?"
Another shake of her head was all her got. Rodrick let the conversation, if there even was one to begin with, slip into the night again. There was a sharp tug at his heart every time his eyes fell onto the neatly decorated, wooden and gold-trimmed door that led to his wife's bedroom.
As if anticipating it for more than the few hours Rodrick had waited, the door creaked open. A man, tall and slender, with a face just as so and a noose hooking to give him the features of an exotic bird, stepped outside of the frame. He looked exhausted, eyelids half closed as he snapped off the bloodied gloves in his hands and stuffed them inside the white coat he wore. The look on his face was all Rodrick could seem to register; the doctor's lips moved, yet only a hard ringing pounded against his eardrums. Talia had averted her attention toward them, almost surprised to see Rodrick push passed the man and into the darkened room. She muttered an apology to the shocked doctor, making her way into the chamber, as well.
"C-Carys?" he mumbled, sight blurred by the tears edging to break free, "Darling, I... darling... is Errol... is he..." Rodrick's voice trailed as he slowed to a halt, noticing the carriage by the bed, sterile and cold steel reflecting the small crack of moonlight that slipped past the closed curtains. A hand was hanging precariously on the edge, moving slowly, exhausted and with an occasional languid thrust, Rodrick could hear the wheels careening across the marble floor. Talia had politely closed the door, her eyes on the floor and her features refusing to twist into any kind of emotion.
"There's nothing we can do?" a whimper echoed in the room an almost infinite amount. Rodrick seemingly answered his own question in the silence that wilted into a soft sobbing from the father as he fell to his knees.
"I... I killed him; he is my responsibility," Carys murmured, her voice coherent, but very uneven. The cryptic message was left unheard. A thud sounded, her hand hitting the side of the bed as it lost its grip on the edge of the carriage. It crossed the threshold from bed to window, hitting the wall with a very audible bang. Seconds later a cry rang from inside the small walls, abruptly silencing any sounds made from the party.
Slowly, uncertain of even his own movements, Rodrick stood. He couldn't remember closing the gap between him and the crib, taking long strides that faded from memory. Deathly quiet and with as little movement as possible, Rodrick let his eyes fall on the crying figure. The baby was pale, eyes a bright greenish blue in the moonlight. There, sitting under it, broken wings of pure white, and a visibly glistening pool of red beneath them. At his father's gaze, they vanished in an instant, and at his touch, the child stopped his whining. The look in the child's eyes was more than knowing, and the pale complexion didn't lift; Rodrick could feel the ice cold texture of his skin, colder than the stare the baby was giving him.
"Errol," he mumbled, turning as if expecting an echo. Rodrick froze in pure shock, only subconsciously able to keep his grip on the baby gentle. Talia stood above the bed, looking at him with a stone face. Further looking, he received nothing but an empty stare and a mild gesture as she turned her gaze to the bed's occupant. There was a chill that crawled through him, trying to break from the mold of his skin and spring from his mouth in hurls of vomit and gasping breaths. Fear kept him from looking for the longest time, but the soft gasps would soon stop and he would forever regret it.
She laid in the cushions, paler than the baby within his arms and even icier to the touch. Tear stained cheeks weakly drooped, the eyes that shed them red with aggravation and staring pleadingly at the man standing just a few feet away. The hand that hanging just over the bed was twitching, too weak to actually beckon Rodrick over. He came regardless.
"Carys..." Rodrick mumbled. She shook her head, eyes lowering to the child now staring at her. Rodrick lowered himself so that Errol barely hovered inches away from his mother. Talia stiffened at the gestures, unnoticeable. "He has your eyes," he said, shakily. Carys nodded, faintly stretching her chapped lips into a smile. There was a brief pause before she mumbled something incoherent to the baby, Errol acting almost as if he understood. The child looked away, nestling into Rodrick's arm to drift off into sleep just as quietly as he'd entered the world. Carys did the same, smiling at Rodrick before turning her head to Talia and smiling just the same before drifting off.
The two remained where they were, silently staring at the motionless figure. All that was audible was the child's soft breaths and the rustling of clothes as he took the long collar of his father's jacket in his hands.
"What was she like?" Errol dropped from his perch on the window sill, hitting the ground with a thud. The snap of his shoes resounding in the foyer of a very quaint, wooden structure.
The look that stretched across Rodrick's features flashed irritated concern, but he was always cautious when treading such territory with his son. Talia had left quite awhile ago, her exit very hushed and quick to avoid Errol's curiosity.
"I keep telling you: like any other mother," he said, evading the question whilst sounding as matter-of-fact as possible.
Errol shook his head in protest, grabbing a book from the shelf to his right. He turned to stare pointedly at his father who only barely looked up from his reading glasses. Silence took hold, the crackle of a fire the only audible noise in the room. "You're telling me she was an exhausted milk-maid who did nothing more than nurse me and died? That was her only purpose? To provide and whither away, right?" he retorted, voice low and accusatory.
Rodrick stood from his seat, setting the book on the end table next to him. A sudden fire caught inside the man, and he gripped the end of his jacket to refrain from yelling. His shaky voice betrayed his cool visage, "Don't you dare talk about your mother that way, Errol. I am not above physical—"
"Above physical what?" the door shut with a click, the chain lock sliding into place. Talia made her way to stand near the fire, a leather satchel hanging from her shoulder.
The air stung with contempt, the chill draft that swept through from the previously opened door whipped at the fire. It blazed, crackling to further life above the burning logs, their shadows licking the ends of the wooden walls. There were no words left to say after Talia's abrupt entrance and Errol made his way toward one of the two rooms in the house. Rodrick kept his gaze down as Errol slid past, releasing a breath he'd been holding at the slam of the bedroom door.
"You treat him as if he killed her," Talia chimed in after a brief pause to absorb the silence. She moved to set the satchel beside her father.
"Did he not?" Rodrick turned, glaring down at his daughter. She gave no acknowledgement toward the thinly veiled insult, only stopping momentarily, as she bent down, to look up at him. The satchel's strap slipped from her grasp and she turned toward the bedroom in which Errol disappeared into. "All of it is here?" Rodrick called out to her.
"It's not going to save him," she mumbled coldly, vanishing into the dark room.
Candlelight, though dim as it may be, illuminated the small room and it's handful of furniture. A desk sat in the middle, below a picture window that was tinted with frost. There were only two beds with same sized yew chests that contained an assortment of clothing. It was ordinary, the room, wooden walls that were no doubt the standard material for the building itself. There was a faint smell of moss and paper that stained the air just as the chill did. It was an unadulterated confined space with various piles of books gathered from various nations and printed in various languages, all naturally drifting from the tongues of each member of the household. No doubt, the books were the reason the air smelled so archaic and akin to a scholar's personal library. It's what the house radiated, as the family was filled with avid knowledge seekers and scholars by nature.
In the chair near the candle's dim fire sat Errol, his nose buried inside the book he'd retrieved from the foyer. Talia had situated herself on the bed, staring intently at her brother. She wasn't one to speak, but when it was her turn to reply she did so in the most direct manner that she possessed.
"How are you feeling?" Talia asked, adjusting herself in a more comfortable position on the bed.
Errol shook his head, unwilling to respond.
"How are your wings?"
In frustration, he unfurled them, let the broken bones and molting, red caked feathers stain the wooden floor beneath him with the bloodied, mangled pieces. They vanished quickly, painfully absorbed through the muscles in Errol's back. They were the only signs of his unnerving sickness, the only signs that told whoever asked that he was intended to die, but stubbornly hadn't.
Talia didn't further her questioning, turning her attention to the door. The silence was more than welcome for the both of them. The two dipped into the night's shadows, as if their existence had long been forgotten, unable to rest easily with the steady noise of determination and frustration emitting from the study across from them. The workings of a father desperate to save a doomed life, selfishly holding on to a woman long dead. She was undoubtedly within the child, and if he were to let him go, then he was to let her go; the two were one in the same, and oddly enough, there was an odd sense that Errol wasn't as he was portrayed to be. Angel's didn't have souls, much less not ones gained from another's life and especially not ones that slowly deteriorated in a self-destructive nature due to the unique physiological processes that went on under the skin of the supposedly holy beings.
Talia's words stung clear and truer than she could have intended.
This was how he could survive for more than a century among humans. Their war, their cruelty deeply affected him to the point where he staid locked inside his family's home for weeks at a time, much to his father's liking. Errol would always look at his sister, watching in mild envy as emotional trauma slid of her skin like water. Arms folded and lips taught, she stared intensely at the torturous disembowlment of Christian men at the hands of merciless Roman cavalry. He had flinched, looked away, and began an urgent walk home under Talia's unfazed brown eyes. The nausea was dizzying, only alleviated as he bent over the terrace's railing to hurl the minutia he'd eaten that evening.
But here Errol was, for the tenth time in a row, watching the terror amidst the center of Rome's famous Colosseum. The first few times he'd done just as he suspected: Errol had shaemfully spilled his guts on the side of the road before making his way home, pale and shaking. That phase had, luckily, blown past, but he could't stop the violent tug at his stomach and the flinch at every hack, slash, and cry of pain. Everyone cheered their slurs of damnation cast upon the repentant Christian martyrs, minus a quiet, still traumatized Errol. They cried in sinful glee as the gates shot noisily up, releasing the plebeian roman man's favorite sport of death: the lions.
Half-starved and visibly beaten, the creatures always rushed out in varying states of despair, crying out in dismay at the pain stabbing sharply at their emaciated undersides. The persecuted and guilty knew their fate, but even from where he sat, Errol could make out the pleas running in tears down their grimy, bloody faces. In split seconds of brutal moments, sharp rows of teeth clamped down in a panicked ferocity. Balding manes shook violently, shredding skin and vigor with alarming ease. He could feel his stomach churn, could feel the rip of flesh and muted cries of agony. Every quiver a breaking bone that tore away like the claws of every beast in the sanguineous sands. This was how he would die to the world around him, a necessity to its already nihilistic perception. So quick to dive into such corruption. Yet, as he sat there, abandoning the mute cries of innocent men and women, something deep inside him cringed, winced, cried out in protest to humanity's careless genocide.
A shallow breathing filled the dim lit room, along with the uneven pounding in his ears. The cushion of the feathered pillow and the tangle of linen blankets was a heated gorge of suffocation. Errol's hand glided over the material, slowly out of necessity. Long fingers, frail and lacking in color, very much the state of his whole body, gripped the sheets as a sharp pain shivered from head to toe, down the deep sinews of his muscles, taught against the thin, pale skin. Bloodshot eyes, the soft blue irises growing dark and constrained, darted from the sole window to the oak door to the side. He'd lost count of the days that passed, replacing them with the number of visible stone bricks that surrounded him. At that moment, there was a strong desire to reach out and run from the bed he'd been confined to.
The sickness that trailed above him had gone untreated for the past year or so—again, he had lost count by now. His family had grown desperate, rarely able to check on him for fear that he'd passed the night before. Errol had hardly slept, blending night into day in the darkness. The town around them, untouched by the plague now ravaging Europe, had begun to suspect something of his absence. Their voices were hardly audible when they voiced their concern, but those choice words, of which had risen more than a few decibels, directed at his father in angry panic rang clearer than his ragged breathing. They were scared, more than scared, they seemed as if cornered by their own fear and a cornered animal could be ferocious in its terror. Talia had finally convinced their father that leaving was now a priority. They were gone before the light of done touched the stone walls.
Under the guise of flora, Rodrick became as panicked as the townspeople. Talia's worry did not show, however—it never did—but, under Errol's scrutinizing gaze, below the slight furrow of a brow and the flicker of her brown eyes, he found the crack in her resolve. He thought nothing of it; what was there to think under the spell of a hot fever?
The next day Rodrick's chemical prowess reunited his mind with quiet sanity. Errol was on his feet by the hour, though unable to register his father's faltering gaze. When Errol smiled his heart raced, ears pounded and muffled the hushed voices around him, and a deep sense of guilt washed over him. His only son resembled his mother more than he'd care to notice and much more than he could generally bare; he couldn't stand the softness in his child's cerulean eyes.
And Talia—Talia watched from afar what was slowly eating away at her father's fragile mind and body. Errol saw the subtle tightness in her features at this realization, it was hard to notice under the stone guise. However, he'd come to know her better than he'd like, better than their father, in all of his denial, even attempted.
This was Rodrick's way of coping—his only perceived way. Talia had protested only once and left brooding inside when her father did not comply to her demands. He knew that she was far from stubborn, but was unable to determine the extent to which she would continue to belie his control over her. The girl was an enigma he had no time for.
The plague had come to a head, and he, knowing the extent of his powers, continued to profit off of curing those who could afford it. The act itself would have been abhorrent to him a thousand years prior, but his goal, his desire, slowly shrouded the mind, morals and sanity with it, of Rodrick, the supposed Merlin of London, England. He unknowingly made a place for himself among the political ranks of the dying monarchy. Errol made sure it staid that way.
A swift crack resounded through the tight walls of the alleyways in which he'd been chased down, followed by the falling clang of plate mail. Two more rattles came mere seconds later, the iron plates stained a shining crimson. They hadn't noticed the mild sting that tugged at their midsections and paid no heed to the poison that bid their blood to flow unhindered from their open wounds. All they had focused on was the leather and wool clad male striding through their post, plunging the same daggers into their royal charge's spine, who then fell before the parade of people lining the streets. He was gone in the gasps and screams of surrounding people, soft padded shoes trailing through mud clod streets. Rodrick was granted title of grand magistrate, unopposed, two days later. Errol's smile had long vanished with it.
He'd long desensitized himself to save the sanity he long ago locked away. But there had always been a hidden flinch that shied away from mindless cruelty. As his father climbed to power, Errol soon found that glimmer of humanity fading, and before he could regain his composure it was gone. And Rodrick knew it, gleefully so. Talia had since watched aloof as what was left of her family began to crack under pressure; she waited for the sand to come falling through her fingers.
There was a subtle change in his mood at the turn of the century. The Renaissance, the general turning point for humanity, had a deteriorating effect on Rodrick. He was less broken than when she died, but from his daughter's eyes he'd reformed differently; the pieces were in the wrong places, some missing entirely. Errol had also changed, becoming more distant, less reactive. Any sign of the curious, stubborn young man a millennium prior was all but gone. A sense of helplessness, unbeknownst to her, washed over; numbness had settled deep in her chest. They were slowly poisoning themselves and Talia quietly watched.
Errol's eyes drifted to the stage, purposefully ignoring Talia's burning gaze. He'd been reluctant to tell her, much less show her his sudden fascination for Shakespeare. Talia had simply demanded he taker her to the next showing. Judging by his body language, Errol had long given up on reading her expression; all she did, or seemed to do, was quietly stare at him when he turned to glance. He determined that she felt the same about Shakespeare as she did about countless other things. In short, it was a mistake to expose her to one of his interests.
Their walk back home was silent, as usual. it was then that he had determined to push her away. It wasn't out of malice, or as a vendetta for some past misdemeanor; it was determined from a psychological stand point. Talia was already long gone by then and it would be a waste of time to keep trying to reach out. She was less forward about it than his father, but her passive aggressive nature, however subtle it seemed, had become too familiar to him. He was tired, and staring down at the cobble roads made him lurch forward on his toes out of exhaustion. Looking at his sister now, it all felt like a lost cause—a cause in which he was undoubtedly tied to. He'd push them as far away as he could, but ultimately they would never truly disappear. There was a need for them Errol would always have, no matter their cruelty, their insensitivity, their carelessness. He no longer resented his disease; he resented his family.
"Have you ever thought to let me die?" he quietly asked.
"No," was her simple response. He didn't spare a look because he could tell she hadn't reacted as he'd expect a normal person should.
He insisted, though, with his words, at least, "Why?"
Errol finally lifted his gaze. She was staring at him, tilting her head to give a small visual of where her thoughts dragged off to. There was a sudden, brief moment where he stopped and she quickly mimicked his actions. Noticing this, Talia gave a shake of her head and continued onward.
Errol let out a sigh, watching her leave before glancing to his side. An older male gave a knowing smile, boring into his blue eyes as he whispered something into the rain scented breeze. Errol blinked, understanding, but not hearing as the words simply seeped into his subconscious.
"You'll know soon enough."
This was a new, clean slate in their lives; he convinced himself that they were simply starting anew. here, Rodrick's power fluctuated with the weather patterns and what these people considered savages—a target was a target regardless of origin. However, what he didn't realize was that they had discovered the foundation of a haven between two worlds. The only reason his family had a mind of their own was because of what he radiated, but what he could do was nothing compared to what this budding city had haphazardly stumbled upon. The Spanish called it the fountain of youth, El Dorado, the French called it the Garden of Eden, the English called it Roanoke, but his kind, who tripped out of the woodwork, called it Purgatory Heights. And then they vanished, under a thin veil of caution and scrutiny before they could finally reveal themselves to the world, once more. They began a clean slate, but they were far too addicted to their own personal corruption to truly start anew.
There was a perpetual wetness that surrounded the haven, as if the shroud of rain and grayness either dulled the area enough to warrant a perpetual sense of dreadful triteness in the city or to truly shield it from greedy travelers. Their home stood in the midst of the budding city, blending into the surrounding buildings and trees. His father paced a ragged trail through the living room's oak floorboards. Errol amused himself with a thought: this was how his father would gain back all of his work, status, rank, money, and mind. he sat at the end of the room, near the bookcases, in a red cushioned arm chair, a bemused smirk glaring on his features.
"What?" his father barked, still pacing. His hair had a layer of gray itching at his head's sides.
Errol locked his long fingers together, simply shaking his head, "Nothing, father."
"Do you find joy in this?"
"No, father," Errol replied, his smirk growing.
Therew as a sudden pause that hung in the air, especially in Rodrick's brisk movement. he was staring almost astonished at Errol's lips, still curled in a smile. Gray eyes darted up to his son's blue ones, noticing the spark of biting playfulness in the deep cerulean swirls. He exhaled briefly, now noticing the breath he held, and cast his gaze downward. Errol kept the expression, confusing his father's eccentric response with a silent surrender.
"Where is your sister?" he finally broke, turning around shakily, his voice equally so.
Errol kept himself seated, turning to face the door with his elbow rested on the arm of the chair and a hand now masking the amusement. It was alarming how much he enjoyed watching his father squirm. However, he shook his head and muttered hoarsely, before clearing his throat, "She didn't say where she went."
"She never does," and with that, Rodrick left, climbing the stairwell and disappearing into the woodwork.
No realization had dawned on Errol how much he purveyed his mother through any form of enjoyment that addled his features. From the curve of his lips to the spark that ignited in his eyes to the formation of every identical wrinkle and line that sat mockingly in his expression. And when he laughed, it worsened the ache in Rodrick's chest. He counted himself lucky that Errol was quiet enough to keep the boisterous, though lower in octave, cackle to a breathy, barely audible chuckle and subtle grin. It all began a chain of merciless thoughts all scrambling into ways of repressing Errol's jubilation into livid scowls that more resembled his father and his brooding visage, or to simply task him with a suffocating amount of work to make sure he was either miles away or too busy to enjoy himself. It was acclimating himself to this viciousness that caused Rodrick to relish in his son's torment and absence. Errol simply bared it because he knew what his father was doing, just not exactly why. And Rodrick continued giving him life support, not out of fear for his son's death, but out of fear of inevitably losing all sense of who she was. He knew she would torment him a thousand fold, most likely more, should he ever let their child die for his cowardliness, selfishness, and lunacy.
Only Talia had broken him of his mindless thinking. She stood at the doorway to his bedroom with everything he'd asked for. In her satchel, she had the necessary paperwork, documents, contact info that he needed, as well as the materials he dreaded seeing every few centuries, designated 'Errol's medication' in the bag it was contained in. She was looking at him expectedly before finally dropping the supplies onto the bed's white cotton sheets.
"He's smiling. Why?" Talia asked, simply.
Rodrick shook his head, organizing his newly acquired items, "He enjoys torturing his father."
She paused briefly, searching his face in that solitary moment. He looked at her in confusion. "Like father, like son," was all she muttered before slamming his door on her way out. He stood there dumbfounded.
Haze Firm for Humanity Legalities was how it all arose. Under both the suppression of Purgatory Heights and Errol's anomaly, Rodrick had willingly gone under the guise of a human lawyer, usually unseen by the populace. Centuries later they'd be asking why he was still alive and why he was on the verge of becoming venerable. He didn't want speculation and suspicion. That was usual what his children were for, as he loathed getting his hands dirty. When it came to shadier dealings, that was where he became a metaphorical germaphobe a hypocrite. The latter had already been self-established and he was more aware of the face, just willingly ignorant of it. And Errol simply prompted to blend in, hoping to possibly make a life for himself aside from the work piled upon his father. Talia did just the opposite and, though she was always watched from afar, she kept as close as possible to the two of them.
Though very few went into the established building itself, Rodrick somehow made it larger than he should have. Of course, knowing him, it was better Errol leave it be. He did as he was told and moved on out of necessity. There was nothing more he wanted out of his father, only what was required. It was more than obvious the man was on a downhill climb, but cutting ties completely was out of the question. His father knew this and only took advantage of such a thin tether, when it was absolutely necessary. Any other time would be detrimental to the both of them. His purpose was to keep his son alive and abusing the situation, the silent contract, between them would mean that the death of his son and the failure of his multi-thousand year plan, piled upon since the birth of Errol. It was absolutely out of the question that he go against his son's wishes as they asked just enough from the both of them, and that was perfectly okay. It was then that he knew the extent of his son's will and just how far he could push without completely breaking it. But, that was all he truly knew of his offspring—Errol only ever showed the surface, only ever gave the minimum required of a very personal answer. He denied just how much control Errol had over him.
There were too many variables to ever judge anything at that particular moment. It was simply a waiting game in that point of time. But, looking down at the contract info laid across his newly made desk, Rodrick had plenty to keep him busy in the inevitably long time frame. All he'd need to do was plant the thought, the idea, inside a very networked group of individuals. From there, it would spread like wild fire and by the turn of the next few centuries, he'd have quite the following to fall back on, in which, when the time called for it, his plan would finally come to fruition.
There was a simple guise, a ruse; Rodrick hid in plain sight among everyone, in a sense. He'd smile and tell them, right to their unknowing faces, lie after lie after lie. It was alarming how much he began to truly believe those lies, and Errol saw it. By a few years of taking advantage of innocent people, fishing malicious fallacies, about his kind nonetheless, and casting them upon the unwary human demographic, he'd stirred up an unwarranted self-hatred deeply rooted to his people, his origin. For what he was and what he'd been doing, he'd attributed it to the rest. Like Errol, he was a rare case in that he was granted a freedom in its own sense millenia earlier than those filing into this mythical city. In his search for a purpose in his son, he'd bred more hatred in himself than anything else. In a sense, he was livid with envy for those who had newly acquired their false humanity and for his son who'd gained a freedom he could never comprehend. However, his purpose hadn't changed, he'd just grown more selfish—he'd gained another purpose that empowered the first with a fervor he could have never imagined. Now, with his recently concocted plan, Rodrick determined that only a few were allowed such freedom and he was among them.
Blue eyes gazed up in mild concern from the book in his hands. Errol had been sitting quietly in the leather chair, now watching Rodrick closely. His hours fluctuated with the sunlight and, judging from the lit candles and moonlight filtering in through the windows, his firm had long closed. His father was now attempting to socialize with him, a rare occasion that caught Errol off guard whenever his father's good graces shown upon him.
Rodrick chuckled, signing a piece of parchment laid upon his desk. "She'd told me a dozen times why she wanted to sue her husband, something about being possessed, but continued to claim it wasn't for the money," he began, "as if I'd gone daft between her feverish explanation about exactly how rich he was, why she thought he was possessed, and why she wasn't suing him for the four thousand dollars because she just wanted his money."
"And you're telling me this why?" Errol responded, a brow arched.
"I thought it would interest you; it's funny," he explained, pausing in his actions to look up at Errol.
Errol sighed, dipping his head to bury his noise in the book, quite literally. "Am I not living up to your preconceived notion of who I am?"
"Why would you ask that?"
"Because you're acting as if you've known me all of your life."
Rodrick's eyes widened in bewilderment, head tilted and eyebrows furrowed at the accusation. He sat in silence for a brief moment before letting his question leave his mind, "And have I not known you since you were born?"
"You've simply convinced yourself—you fed yourself lies," Errol stated, setting his book down and interlocking his fingers over his torso.
"And you think you can say that to me? I'm your father for God's sake."
"You're stating something not inherently connected to one another."
"You state that, just because you're my father, that you must know who I am on a mental and spiritual level. This is not the case; it's a logical fallacy, like your life. I'm not being irrational or stubborn when I say that you have no idea who I am," Errol explained further, standing from his seat. The calmness dripping from his voice was extremely intimidating, off-putting.
"I've always been there for you, Errol—"
"You've been there, no doubt, but you're never involved in anything. You push me away, and I always let you."
"I push you away?" Rodrick asked. The way it came out seemed even more incredulous than Errol's berating. It was as if he was the child and he was just now realizing it.
"You are simply a necessity," Errol said, his face as stone cold as ever. He then turned, opened the door, and walked out. "For now," he nodded over his shoulder before gently shutting the door.
Rodrick sat stock still, the sudden shock washing over him in torrents.
He was not his father: careless, obsessed, delusional. He was not his sister either: zealous, enigmatic, suppressed.
He had his humanity, in spite of everything he'd done and even though he was anything but human. The glue that held their family vanished over two millenia ago, sinking deep into every exposed niche of his mind. She entrusted him with such purpose, and all his life the only thing he truly feared was failing her and proving what she'd done wrong. he wouldn't allow himself to die until he'd found that purpose.