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Flying in the Face of Fate Season 4

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This had been planned for a few weeks, and Micah had to admit that he had almost forgotten about it. It definitely didn’t cross his mind when he invited his Mama to come and stay, and it was only a few days ago that he remembered and instantly panicked.

He definitely couldn’t invite her to a semi-date-semi-breaking-up-with-a-hookup. It was a weird enough situation as it was, without adding a parent into it. But on the other hand, he also didn’t want to abandon Karsi for a day.

In the end, like she often did, Karsi sorted it all out easily. She pulled him over into a hug, kissing his forehead gently before fussing his hair that he had just spent all morning getting perfect.

“I’ve been meaning to have a walk around the city anyway. Not that I don’t love walking around with you, of course, but this way I can go at my own pace.” she teased, and Micah made sure to look up at her in an exaggurated pout. He knew she didn’t mean any harm, that she didn’t mean to be cruel, but it was always fun to pull a cute face and help her realise that the joke she had made landed correctly.

They had walked into the city together, anyway, Micah almost skipping along next to her as she walked. Her greataxe was still strapped across her back, no matter how much Micah insisted that it really wasn’t necessary in a place like this. “You never know what’s around the next corner.” she had responded, reaching up to tap the head of the axe with a soft smile. Micah knew it was a saying passed down generations, and there was no chance of changing her mind on it now.

It was also why he had taught himself to cast using his voice, as well as his lute. Not that he would ever admit that. Then he would never be able to get his mother to shut up.

They had parted ways in the main square, Micah hugging Karsi close for a moment, and agreeing they would see each other back at the house before dark. Not that Micah didn’t trust Karsi could take care of herself after dark, he was just worried about anyone who might be stupid enough to start fighting with Karsi. He didn’t want to have to deal with her killing a load of people in a strange town, or put that responsibility on Lin.

He had agreed to meet his definitely not date in a cafe just off the main square, and made his way over there quickly. He wasn’t late, but Micah had always liked being on time, and to turn up late today would just seem rude. So he easily wove his way through the busy streets - it looked like the sun was bringing people out in droves - before he ducked into the cafe.

A quick glance around told him that she wasn’t there just yet, and so he managed to squeeze his way to the last table in the corner, waving to the half-elf behind the counter as he did. They waved back, Micah had been in here many times before with Lin and Caelan, so even though they weren’t on first name terms they definitely knew his face.

Luckily it wasn’t that long after he had sat down that he heard someone call his name, making him look up from the menu and over to the door.

Sarita was wearing slightly more conservative clothes than the last time he had seen her, a long flowing skirt around her waist and a long sleeved croptop that covered all but the smallest strip of skin across her stomach. He stood up to wave to her, watching her weave her way through the tables towards him.

As soon as she was close enough he pulled her into a hug, tail thrashing excitedly behind him as he did. Even though he wasn’t really looking for a romantic or sexual relationship with her, he definitely still wanted to keep the friendship there if he could.

“Lunch is on me today, what do you want?” he asked as they sat down back down, passing the menu over to her with a grin as he got himself situated, pulling one foot up under the opposite leg and wriggling to let his tail free from underneath him.

Once they had ordered he made sure to take a deep breath, sipping his coffee before sitting back to look at her.

“So. I needed to talk to you about something.” he started, putting his coffee down and watching her carefully over it.

“Oh?” she asked, still bright with the very tips of her ears twitching in curiousity. “Is that why you brought me here, to give me bad news?”

Micah laughed brightly, ears dropping a little. She saw through him much easier than he thought

“Well… maybe? It’s more of a… I’ve really enjoyed this, doing this, with you. It’s just… I’m in a relationship now, and so I really can’t pursue this one? As much as I have been, but I still…”

“Wow, are you about to pull the ‘we can still be friends’ on me, Micah?” Sarita teased, but her face told him that it was all in jest. “But that’s great! I’m happy for you, I really am. Who’s the lucky person, anyone I know?”

Micah let out a sigh of relief that he never even knew he had been holding, laughing brightly and relieved.

“I was, in fact, about to let’s just be friends you. But I really do want to, if you’re okay with that.” he started, before he started to almost bounce in place. This had gone better than he ever could have anticipated. “And yes, actually. It’s Lin.”

Sarita’s eyes widened with genuine surprise, and Micah suddenly panicked that he wasn’t supposed to be telling people about their relationship. He was sure Lin was out, he had mentioned it, right? More than once. His ears automatically dropped out of fear, a pure panic that he had just done something… so horrible.

“You’re dating the cult member? Does that mean you’ve become part of the cult as well?” Sarita asked, and Micah let out a relieved breath. She wouldn’t be acting like this, joking around like this, if he had just outed him.

It had been a joke they had been having for a while, that Lin was part of some evil cult that met in the woods at night. It was stupid, and childish, and obviously not true, but it was an incredibly fun inside joke anyway.

“Oh yeah, forgot to tell you I’m a member of the evil cult now, sorry.” Micah joked back, and Sarita hid her face behind her hand as she laughed.

“Well, remind me never to follow you into the woods at night in case I get recruited as well.” she grinned, before taking Micah’s hand in hers gently. “But in all seriousness, Micah. I’m happy for you. But if he ever hurts you, I am going to hurt him back.”

And Micah couldn’t help but laugh brightly at that. Yes, Lin was useless and wouldn’t stand a chance against anyone, but from what he had seen of Sarita she was a sweetheart who wouldn’t hurt a fly.

“Honestly, Sarita, I think you would really like him. You both love your books, and music, and going on a tangent about something for hours at a time. I could introduce you to him, if you would like? I’m sure you would both get along like a house on fire.”

Sarita hummed quietly, as if she was really thinking about it. After a few moments she shrugged a little, bringing her hands back towards her so she could drink her milkshake.

“Maybe, but don’t you think that it might be a little awkward, what with me being an acolyte for the temple that he shunned? It might sour the relationship a little, no?” she mused, before sticking the straw back in her mouth to take another long sip.

And that made Micah hum a little. He was pretty sure that Lin wouldn’t write her off entirely just because of the God she worshipped, he didn’t seem like that kind of a person, but then again Lin really didn’t seem to him like the kind of person who would completely abandon and possibly anger one of the Gods. That was an incredibly stupid decision, and Lin wasn’t a stupid person.

“Well, how about we don’t tell him you’re an acolyte for Einke? He doesn’t need to know, and that will take away the possibility of him turning on you for it. Although, trust me, Reets, he’s a sweetheart. He really wouldn’t judge you for it.” he made sure to add, wanting to make sure he didn’t put across the wrong impression of Lin from the start.

“I think… I would be more comfortable for not telling him about my profession.” Sarita laughed, nodding to herself a little. “I can just tell him I’m a librarian. It’s technically true, after all.”

“Wow, I’m telling you, two nerds like you? You’re going to get along like a house on fire.”

 

It seemed like only a few minutes after she had walked into the cafe she was leaving again. Sarita had honestly meant what she said, she was fine with a continuing friendships with Micah. He was fun, and bright, and… Okay, she would be lying if a small part of her wasn’t concerned about what Lin Chasso could do to him.

She had already lost a friend to the monster on the hill, she couldn’t bear to lose another.

She spotted Jun coming the other way as she made her way to the temple, waving excitedly and breaking into a jog to meet him. He simply raised an eyebrow at her, but let her fall into step with him easily.

“How did your spying mission go?” she asked brightly, just to have Jun shush her and look over his shoulder as if there was someone following him.

“Sarita, shut up.” he hissed through his teeth, quickening his pace up the road to the temple. Sarita rolled her eyes, having to almost jog to catch up with him.

“Jun, slow down. You’ve got longer legs than me. And you know we’re not really spies, right? No one cares. Micah headed back home, and was sure that is mother would too. And she really doesn’t seem like the kind of person to be able to sneak up on us. She looks as bulky as you.”

Jun let out an annoyed breath, but at least he slowed down as he looked down at Sarita with a frown.

“But still, we shouldn’t talk about it out in the open. Wait til we’re inside, with Aire, and then I’ll tell you everything.”

 

“So she’s his Mum?” Aire asked curiously, ears already perked up. They were back to sitting in the attic, this time all cross legged in a circle on the cushions that Sarita had smuggled up there to save her knees.

“She is.” Sarita replied, pulling some of the takeaway food that Micah had insisted on buying her out of her bag to share around. “Her name is Karsi. She’s Micah’s mother and knew the oldest Chasso sibling from the war. Micah talks a lot. Get him started and you can’t stop him.”

“Sibling?” Aire asked, ears perking up in interest. “I thought they were all boys?”

Sarita shook her head, laying the food out in front of her. “All assigned male at birth, yes. Hiroki was genderfluid, apparently. Not out to his family but out everywhere else. Didn’t like being called a brother.”

Aire nodded in understanding, before looking over to Jun. He was eying up the food being laid out, but wasn’t making a move to eat any just yet.

“His mother - Karsi, was it? - spent the entire day walking around the markets. Didn’t seem to spend much money, just taking everything in. She did buy some lunch down in the poorer district, and threw some money to some of the beggars out there. And then got some things from the herb stand but I didn’t quite see what. And then after a while she headed back up towards the estate. Didn’t really see anything suspicious, apart from it doesn’t seem she’s leeching off the Chasso riches the way that Micah is.” he ended, sounding somewhat disappointed he didn’t manage to find out any more information.

“He’s not leeching off the Chasso riches.” Sarita interrupted, shooting Jun a look. “He’s dating Lin, and that obviously gives him priviledges.”

She paused as both Aire and Jun looked at her, and she couldn’t figure out why for a moment, before…

“Oh… I buried the lead there a little, didn’t I?”

“Just a little, Reets!” Jun exclaimed, ears pinning back. “What do you mean he’s dating Lin?”

“Well, dating is a thing where…”

“I know what dating is, Sarita. I’m just saying we’re sending you to meet up with a psychopath’s boyfriend! That’s going to stop right now!” Jun continued, bristling with what Sarita tried to tell herself was concern.

“I’m positive he doesn’t know anything about it.” Sarita insisted, taking a bite out of one of the cakes he had bought her. “He started off joking about him being in a cult, and he still does, and I am sure he wouldn’t do that if there was a risk I would start to actually believe it. If there was a chance that it would bring heat onto him. Add to that that I’m pretty sure if he wanted to manipulate me he would have kept taking me to bed, not break it off and friendzone me. And anyway, he’s invited me back to go meet him.”

“What?” Jun shouted, and it made Sarita roll her eyes. “Absolutely not. No way. You’re not going in there. That’s how we lost Gar, and we’re not losing you too.”

Sarita opened her mouth to reply, before Aire got there before her.

“Unless... “ she started, looking up at Sarita with a quiet hum. “Reets. Do you feel safe going in there? Do you honestly trust this Micah, with your life.”

Sarita thought for a moment, about the way Micah smiled, the way he spoke about his mother, the upbeat way he seemed to live life.

“I do, Aire. Completely.” she responded honestly.

Aire took a moment, looking down at the floor as she debated. Sarita had never see her so conflicted, and she didn’t know if she ever wanted to see her like this again.

“Then I believe we may have our offer for the Drachs.”

“I’m sorry, what?” Jun spluttered, seemingly lost for words for the first time in his life. Sarita wasn’t quite sure if she enjoyed it. Maybe if the subject matter was less serious she would hold it over him the next time he was being smug.

“The upper classes run on information, and on the rumour mills. And there is no one on this planet who controls more of those rumours, and that information, than Albion Drach. If we told him that we had a direct line into the Chasso household? Well… that could be a powerful bargaining tool.” she explained, and Sarita and Jun looked between each other.

“Or it could get us all killed.” Jun pointed out, but he already knew he had lost the battle. Because Aire was right, giving the Drach’s a line into the incredibly private Chasso mansion could be worth all of the information they could ever possibly dream of.

“All of this could get us all killed.” Aire sighed, leaning to pick up one of the quite frankly ridiculous finger sandwiches that Sarita had brought back with her. “We’re already a man down. We owe it to him to at least make sure that his life wasn’t in vain.”

Jun sighed, looking up into the vaulted ceiling as if he had a direct connection to Einke from there.

“Okay. Give me some time. I’ll figure out how to get in touch with them. But… this seems like a terribly bad idea.”