1:27 – How to tell him

“Mom?”

She snapped out of her own thoughts as she heard her daughters voice. She knew she had wanted to talk to her, but as she had been out when she came home, she had ended up thinking about that serial killer instead. She knew she could probably find him, but it would once again break several rules.

“Yeah?”
“Dad said he had mentioned I wanted to talk to you?”
“About a certain young man?”
“Yeah..”

“Yeah.. I mean.. I really do like him.”
“But?”
“Well he is like me.. an orphan, just no one adopted him. He still lives at the orphanage..”
“And?”

She could guess where this was going, but she wanted her to come out and actually say it.

“I eh…. well, we have room, and I thought maybe he could stay here?”
“You mean, the boy you have a crush on, in my house?”

She heard her shuffle her feet again.

“Yes.. ?”
“Well.. living here comes some pretty strict rules for the two of you.. and, have you thought about.. well the other things?”
“Yes.. I figured I’d tell him.. if he believes and handles it, then ask?”
“And you will keep to the rules I will set for this?”
“Yes, I just feel so bad that he has to live.. well there.”

“Okay.. if he takes it well, and he can accept who you are and what we are, then he can live her, if he so wants to. But I will not have you end up a teenage mom, we clear?”
“Yes.”
“You know it is a lot to ask of him, to accept all this?”
“I did?”
“You were also a child, children accept these things much easier.”
“I think he will.”
“Well, I hope you are right.”

She watched her running back innside the house, hearing the tell tell sign of a phone being used. She most certainly wasn’t wasting any time in getting things rolling.

“Just hope that was the right choice.”

“Almost done.”
“And then you will tell him?”
“Yep…”

She noticed the sigh, she knew this would be one heck of a talk. He had already been over a couple of times, but she still hadn’t gotten to the actual talk done, he always wanted to do something, and she always let him do it.

“How about a game of hoops?”
“No Seamus, I really need to talk to you about something.”
“Oh.. yeah..”

She took him with him out on the terrace and sat him down. She wasn’t quite sure where to even begin this talk. So she figured she would just start from the top, and take it from there.

“You are just joking now.. right?”
“No.”
“You mother is a reaper.. daughter of death? Death is your grandfater.. and you have two uncles who are.. a God and a merman reaper?”
“Yeah.. and two nephews who are probably demigods..”
“You know how ridiculous this sounds?”
“Yes.”
“And you still tell me this bullshit why?”

She stopped the minute he called her story bullshit. Up until then she had almost thought he had believed in her.

“Because.. if I was to ask you to live here with us, this is things you would need to accept.”
“Right.. Sorry Rae.. but just no.”

She could feel her heart sink as he stood up, shook his head and left the apartment without another word.

“Well.. that could have gone.. better..”

“How is she?”
“As well as can be imagined?”
“She did the right thing though.”
“Yeah.. I oddly thought she might be right about him, that he would accept it.”
“He still might?”
“I guess.”
“Did I?”
“What?”
“The first time.. did you tell me?”
“No.. I ehm.. faked aging..”
“Oh.. yeah.”

She sighed, she wanted the best for her little one, but she also wanted it to be done right. She had done it wrong so many times that she needed to do this right.

“I guess..”

Their talk was stopped by the sound of the doorbell.

“Who could that be?”

“I’m sorry I left like that.. but it was..”
“Overwhelming?”
“Yes..”
“I know it is a lot to believe in.. but I can prove it.”

She pulled up her phone, flipping through some of the pictures, to one of the latest her uncles had sent her.

“These are my uncles, Christian and Hayle.”

He looked at the picture for a while. One of them looked very human, but the other..

“So Christian is Uncle Chris.. the reaper who works with your mom, and is a merman?”
“Yep.”
“He looks.. human.”
“Well, so does my mom.”
“And Hayle?”
“He is a Ice dragon, he took human form to well.. test out human life and entered by uncles bachelor…and the rest as they say is history.”
“And he is?”
“Pregnant? Yeah.. one of the perks of being a god I guess.”

She heard how he took a deep breath, trying to take it all in, and not just shake his head at it again.

“And your dad?”
“Human, just like me.. but…”
“But?”

She could almost hear fear in his voice as she added the but to that sentence. She took his hand, before continuing.

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3:3 – Feels like a vacation indeed

It was starting to feel quite a lot like a vacation. They were keeping an eye open for the spirits the locals talked about and of course the mermaid thing, but other than that, it really just felt like they were on vacation together. Lazy mornings getting coffee at what had become a favorite coffee shop by now, then just exploring the island at their own leisure.

“I was told there was a thing in town today.. fire festival or so..should we?”
“Well I don’t see why not.”

Neither of them noticed the small light that moved through the house, both much too focused on getting changed and heading out.

“I think we found the place.”
“Yep.”

They had been told about these island festivals that happened quite often. Toshi’s biggest hope was still to see a turtle hatching event that they had told him about, but for now he was simply enjoying what he did get to see.

“Oh look at that.”
“Your going to try it aren’t you?”
“Of course I am, it looks like fun.”
“If you get burn wounds from that, you are so on your own.”
“Pfff.!”

Not that he had to worry all to much about it, Toshi had more than enough control to handle the fire things more than well enough to actually have the people there start watching him and cheering.

“Show off.”
“I didn’t expect to you know.. get a crowd.”
“I know, just when you are that talented, it happens.”
“Oh ahaha!”

They stayed at the festival for a while, before deciding to just go for a walk around the island to see more off it. They kept finding new spots every time they were out and about, so it had become a bit of their thing by now.

“Wow.”
“This island has so many little gems like this”
“Come on, lets go for a swim.”

The water was so clear they could easily see the bottom off it, Toshi testing if he could dive all the way down while Derek simply swam around before floating on his back for a bit.

“Toshi?”

He looked around realizing it was a bit since he saw him come up for air last. Looking around he suddenly felt someone grab his leg and pull him under.

“Oi!”

Toshi just chuckled as they both surfaced, before he found himself with a face full of water.

“Pff, it was funny!”
“Right… so is this though!”

“Okay, okay I give!”

It was hard to beat Derek and the splashing game when he really wanted to win it.

“I am starting to like this vacation thing.”
“Yeah?”
“Pretty sure I have some to spare, with not having had any in like 300 years.”
“Just a little.”

“I think I am enjoying the fact that you have your vacation too.”
“So its a win win then?”
“Yep.”

As much as they both tried, the fact that they knew they could be called back at any time was dwelling in the back of their minds. Mostly they tried to send reports every day on findings and hope that them not having found what they wanted meant they got to stay longer.

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1:26 Life as we know it

Raelyn was doing good in school, and still had the love for the computer and the games she could play. Although they sometimes feared she was on it a little to much, they had agreed that as long as her grades were good, and she kept a social life outside as well, they would let her have her fun.

“Did you hear it too?”
“This boy?”
“Yes, I mean..?”
“Well.. now this is new for you, you look like you want to find him and interrogate him already.”
“Eh..”

She chuckled, it was rare to see Ilari like this, but he was protective off their daughter, but to this extent? It was both funny and a bit endearing really.

“Seamus wasn’t it?”
“Yep, he has been mentioned now a few times.”
“You know. .that’s one thing we never thought off yet?”
“What?”
“Do we tell well.. you know.. “
“Oh.. yeah.”

“I guess she will have to decide that one.”
“Probably for the best.”
“She will be an aunt soon too.. whomever this boy is.. is in for a bit of a shock if she decides to tell him everything.”
“A good test of his character then.”
“True.”

He noticed how her look changed as they were talking about futures and what would come.

“Oh no.. you don’t get to do that.”
“Oi!!”

“Sorry.. but I ehm..”
“Work?”
“Yeah.. “
“I’ll go fish for more info on this Seamus then.”
“As long as you don’t push it..”
“I promise I won’t”

She knew it would soon be a new round of birthdays, and then… She shook her head, she had promised them both to not keep doing this. And they had a point in it, she was the one who’s work was telling everyone it was natural, so it was a bit silly that she herself was struggling with it happening to those close to her. It made her wonder if her dad ever struggled with it, when it came to her mom.

“Crap..”

It was another one that wasn’t on the list, and she knew what this meant. Same method of murder.. deep in the forest, handsome young man. Oh man she hated serial killers.

“I guess I should tell him.”

She looked at the man in front of her, who looked at his own body with a look she knew.

“But why?”
“I wish I could tell you… but I can’t.”

He turned and looked at her, his eyes full of questions. Putting an arm on his shoulder, she walked him off, answering as best she could and guiding him on his way.

“Why does anyone feel like it..”

She sat next to the body after having called her husband, and told him where to find it. Serial killers were something she hated, they took lives long before they were meant to go.

“I know you hate these..”
“You think I am right?”
“Sadly yes.. we will issue a bulletin and tell people to be carefull, and not to walk alone.”

He pulled her to her feet, making the needed calls, and they waited for the ambulance and the crime techs to arrive.

“How do you stumble on these Ilari?”
“Had a random caller.”
“Lucky bastard.”

He looked to the side seeing his wife standing there. He knew he was the only one that saw her, and he had to admit part of his skyrocketing career was of course her. She would tell him if something was about to happen, or like this, had happened.

“In all ways possible.”

As everyone left, they were standing there alone in the forest.

“Come on.. let’s head home, I think our daughter might want to talk about a certain someone.”
“Oh?”
“I’ll let her explain.”

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1:25 Happy birthday

“Thank you again Grampa, for letting me go!”
“You are most welcome.”
“Would you read me a bedtime story?”
“Sure.. I can tell you a story from long ago?”
“YES!!”

She loved his stories, she never knew if it was something that had happened, or if it was just something he invented, and she had to admit, she didn’t really care all that much. All she knew is that they were wonderful stories.

“Hmh.. I guess I’ll continue that story later huh.”

It was odd having a child around again. It had been so long since his own daughter was this small, and he had to admit, he kinda enjoyed it.

“Shame you grow up so fast.”

He looked over at her as he left the room, it would be hard in the end, but he hoped that it would be a good thing.

“OH MY GOD! Uncle Hayle?”

The dragon looking at her was smaller than she had imagined, but she remembered them telling her he could change size.

“Yes, welcome little lady.”

“Now, go innside, I’ll be there in a minute.”

She put her hand on his neck for a second before running innside, her eyes growing wide as she saw just how big it was.

“Sooo, is it anything like you hoped for?”

She spun around seeing her uncle there now in the form she would normally see him.

“Its better, it’s HUGE!”
“True, then again, it did use to house a dragon.”
“Are they here?”
“No sorry.”
“Okay. .so I can run around and look at everything?”
“Yes.”

Raelyn spent hours running around the castle, trying to see and find every little secret place.

“Oooh!”
“Well, what is a birthday without your favorite cake?”

“So… any more wishes?”
“Yeah.. but that’s my secret, or it won’t happen.”
“True.”

She smiled as she blew out the lights. Her mother looking at them all with her husband holding an arm around her shoulders. He knew this hurt for her, but she didn’t want to ruin the day with her moping around.

“How about dancing?”
“Dancing?”
“Yes.. I saw there was a dancefloor!”
“You should ask your Chris for that.”

She turned her head and looked over at Hayle. He had told her his husband was a really good dancer, but it had never really occurred to her to ask him to show her.

“I see you dance too.”
“Not as good as him though.”
“Now then birthday girl, ready to dance?”

“Oh my god….”

She had to admit that when it came to dancing, it was clearly Chris she had to go too.

“You are a natural at this.”
“Can you teach me more?”
“Anytime you want, well almost.”

He looked over at Hayle who had a look to him that he recognized.

“You see.. I have a dragon over there, who wants me to dance with him.”

Nat chuckled, she had also noticed the jealous look he had sent Chris, he wasn’t actually used to him dancing with someone else. And even though he knew that it was just for fun, he couldn’t quite control it.

“I’m sorry Uncle Hayle, I know you would have wanted him to dance with you.”
“Erhm..”

She smiled at him, before pushing Chris over to his husband, finding her father and dragging him to the dance-floor for a bit. In the end though, it was time for them all to head back home.

“Thank you, this has to be like the best birthday ever!”

Hayle smiled as they left his home, and headed back to their other home. He had to admit he had fun most all day long.

“See you later then little lady.”

They waved as their ways parted, Raelyn telling her parents and grandfather about all the things she had discovered in the castle while running around.

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3:2 – Vacation time

“I thought you said you’d be good..”
“I am.”

He couldn’t really argue against that, but it wasn’t the rest he knew the doctor had ordered.

“I only said I’d be good tomorrow, I did not say when.”

Toshi grinned, although he did worry some, he also didn’t really mind him going against the doctors orders, at least not this first day. He generally had a hunch she knew Derek way to well to know he wouldn’t fully listen.

“So.. what now?”
“Well, there is a beach in walking distance, how about we go here, and then ask around, see what the local people say we should go?”
“Do they have food here?”
“Hmmm, no it’s just a small beach. I’ll make you breakfast after a quick shower.”

Derek watched Toshi leave the room, the sound of the shower next door reaching him, leaving him to just lie there, giving Ollie a pet who had curled up at the end off the bed.

“It’s good to be home Ollie.”

He only got a slight purr in reply, but like always he decided these purrs were the cat’s way to agree with him.

“I have to admit.. I miss your cooking way to much when I am at base.. I am going to have the cook there hire you.”
“As if that would work.”
“I can try right?”

They had their breakfast, Ollie had his special meal of the day, and they were just discussing their trip out.

“You sure you want to try that?”
“Yes!”

Derek shrugged his shoulders, watching Toshi speed around on the water having fun with the jet ski rental they had found. He wouldn’t have minded, but he did keep the doctors words in mind. She was following his progress with the watch he had one, and she would know if he had it off for too long.

“Snorkeling?”
“Yep, that I am sure they will say okay too.”
“Why not.”

He had to admit it really was beautiful where they were, they had done a pretty amazing job cleaning the place up. What neither of them managed to notice though, was that they were being watched by a Dolphin while they swam around.

At the end of the day, they found themselves just relaxing at the beach. They honestly hadn’t done much asking around, and just for now, it really did feel like a vacation more than anything.

“I guess this is what it is like to have a vacation?”
“Pretty much”
“I think I might like it.”
“Well you might just have to ask to have one a bit more often then.”

“No signs of mermaids or spirits though.”
“Nope, seems like a good excuse to stay a while longer?”
“We have at least a couple of weeks you know.”
“Good.”

Toshi had really missed the weekend visits, and as much as he knew that if he wasn’t sick, he would probably be on a mission somewhere most the time, he wasn’t quite prepared for how much he had gotten used to him being around in the weekends.

“Just in case though.. should we head over there and talk to some people?”
“Hmh.. I prefer here, but I guess it would be handy.”
“At least to see places we can go to see, I am sure this place has several hidden things.”
“True, lets see if there are some good spots.”

It was pretty much a case of doing just what they said. They found the locals more than happy to share places they should go and see. They made sure to note down directions, and of course add some extra questions if there really was anything to this thing they heard about spirits and mermaids. The answers they got were about as diverse as could be expected. Some clearly believed in them, while others seemed to believe it was just old superstition.

“Well, I guess we have enough places too see.”
“That volcano seems.. interesting.”
“Kinda risky?”
“Exactly.”

Derek smiled, he knew that it could be dangerous, but he had always wanted to see one that wasn’t really going to wipe them out just for looking at it.

“Okay.. it’s clearly time to take you home.”
“Meh..”

Toshi sighed, he had wanted them to stay here for longer, but he did notice the look Derek gave him. It was the look he had when he needed to rest and would probably be asleep for quite some time.

“Come on then, let’s get you into bed.”

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1:24 – Growing up

Just like she had promised, she distracted Hayle while Nat and Chris had some work related stuff. She knew what they both were, and that Hayle know too, so it was just their way of letting the two off them have fun while they did a quick job.

“I hear a rumor that you will have a birthday party soon?”
“YEAH!”
“So, this of course comes with a followup question, what do you want for said birthday?”
“Can I wish for anything?”
“Of course, I can’t promise you it is doable though.”

She knew exactly what she wanted to wish for, and she also knew it might not be possible, but she just had to ask.

“Is it possible to visit your castle.. and just see inside?”
“Hmh… I’m not sure actually, I have to ask some people, including your mom.”
“Okay.. and if that is not possible.. can I see your dragon-form?”
“I’ll see what I can do, deal?”
“Deal.”

They walked around the beach for a bit, picking up some trash that her mother had told her to always do, and finding some sea shell’s on the side as well.

“Ready to head home?”
“Yep!”
“Did you really ask Hayle to see his castle?”
“Eh…”
“I said yes, but only if the gatekeeper, Hayle’s siblings and your grandfather says yes.”
“Okay!”

“DAD!”

She had no time to wait for him to get innside the door when he came home. She simply had too much to tell him, and of course maybe getting to see Hayle’s castle was on top of that list off many things.

“You think you can put in a good word for me too?”
“I’ll try!”

He knew it was basically against the rules for a human to go there, but with Hayle being the ruler there, and Chris and Nat knowing the gatekeeper, the only one that could really say no, was death himself. And he had a hunch, even he would find it hard to crush a little girls biggest dream.

“So if grandpa says yes.. then we can?”
“Yep.”
“You think he might say yes though?”
“Maybe, he can be a bit stubborn.”

Raelyn nodded, she knew very well the rules, and that mortals were not supposed to be visiting the realm of gods. But when it was her uncles home, then how bad could it be?

“So young lady, I was told you had something you wanted to ask me?”
“Yes.. but first, dad said you were good in this game, can we play?”

He had been surprised when they told him about their plans to adopt a child, specially because it would just be another thing for her to loose. But after meeting Raelyn, he had an almost instant change of heart.

“But of course, and then you tell me what it is you really want right?”
“Yes.. but first, I want to see if I can beat you at this!”

“I think we both need more practice… “
“I think so too.”

She looked over at the man sitting next to her. She knew who he was, her mom had told her everything, but it was a sometimes a little odd to sit there next to death himself.

“So..?”
“Well.. Can I go to Uncle Hayle’s castle for my birthday.. it’s the only thing I wish for.”
“Hmh.. you do know that’s not the realm of the living yes?”
“Yeah.. but Uncle Hayle said it was possible..”
“He did huh.. “
“If you said yes.. and everyone else said yes.”

“And you promise to do everything your uncle says, keep to the rules and so on?”
“Yes.”
“Then little lady, I will agree. But if you break the rules.”
“I won’t I promise!”

“THANK YOU!!!”

He got wrapped into a hug, before the young girl sped off to tell her parents and then call her uncles.

“If every decision was this easy huh?”

He looked over at Nat, who nodded. It was actually quite nice to have the occasional easy decision. With everyone saying yes, then her visit to Hayle’s castle would be no real problem.

“What?”
“Nothing.. “
“That look my little one, does not tell me nothing.”
“It’s not important.”

She felt her fathers arm around her shoulder. Like most times, he knew her well enough to know this was hard on her.

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3:1 – The Islands of Sulani

He was, like most times, the first of the two to arrive, leaving Ollie to check out their surroundings, and him to do some basic quick cleaning around their vacation home.

“I wonder, is this really a vacation Ollie?”
“Mrow.”
“Yeah… “

He found it hard to believe that it was just a vacation they had been sendt on, it didn’t fit things, specially knowing until now Derek had never had a vacation in over three hundred years.

“How is it, you are always here earlier than me?”

The voice had Toshi turn around just as he was about to head back innside after a small walk around their house to see what was what.

“Because I don’t have a doctor over my shoulders?”
“Hmh, true.”

Before he had the chance to say anything else, he found himself pulled into a kiss by the man he had missed for over a month now. The doctor denying him weekend leave, something about Derek not relaxing enough when he was away.

“So?”
“What?”
“Is this really just a holiday?”
“Of course not, but mostly it is.”
“Mostly?”

He explained that they had a task alongside an order to enjoy some time off, but it was really quite simple, and that was to see if there was anything to the rumor of Island Spirits, and mermaids. Neither was a high priority though, it was more if they noticed it.

“So.. as close as were likely to get to an actual holiday?”
“Pretty much.”

“Mermaids though?”
“Is it any less likely than spirits?”
“Eh.. I guess not…”

As much as Toshi didn’t want to admit it, he really didn’t believe much in either of thise things. Normally they always found that these things were just stories.

“I vote we keep it vacation mostly, and if we stumble on to something, we take it from there?”
“Sounds like a good plan..”

“I guess I can change into something a little less warm.”

There was plenty of things he would rather do right now, but he also rememebred the doctors last words before he left.

“Doctors orders.. sorry.”

He pulled away a bit Toshi tried to hint at wanting something more, a slight dissapointment on his face, but he accepted it. He knew he was probably part of the reason off why he wasn’t allowed to visit for a month.

“Yeah, still me.”
“Morwe.”

He smiled at the cat, before he checked out the house as well. It was pretty much a perfect little place to have a holiday.

“Doctors orders huh?”
“Yeh, more rest, less.. well you know.”

Toshi’s eyes rested on the many scars on Derek’s body. They still looked mostly the same, and he just had to admit he had hoped they would start to look different soon.

“Don’t look so worried their healing.”
“They.. don’t look much like they are.”
“They are, it’s just…”

He stopped, knowing this was not things he could talk to Toshi about still, but he wished he could. He would love to explain why they took so long so he would stop worrying so much.

“Complicated.. I know.”
“At least we get a holiday, so not all bad?”
“No, and this place, it is beautiful.”
“Yeah.”

Sulani was very different from the jungle, and with all the work done by those living there, alongside conservationists, the island had been opened for tourism to help them clean it up even more.

“So, what do you want to do?”
“Hmh… “
“Don’t say sleep…”
“Well, there is sleep, but I think I would just like to look around, and see what we find?”
“I think that sounds good, I found they have a coffee place here and all.”

“I though you were under doctors orders.”
“She isn’t here is she?”
“No…”
“I have missed you for a month.. I’ll be good tomorrow.”

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1:23: Visiting the uncles

Nat watched as Rae ran around the beach, finding seashells and testing if the biggest ones could make sound. She had allready lived with them for three years now, and she most certainly couldn’t imagine life without her.

“Mom, come help me!”

They had visited Sulani many times, Rae loving it just as much as her parents did, and to top it off it was the home of her uncles and their cat.

“Mom?”
“Yeah?”
“How old is Felix really?”
“Old.”
“How old?”
“Too old.”

Rae nodded, that answer always meant the same, that someone was bending a few rules here and there. Neither Hayle or Chris could imagine loosing their cat, so they had found out about some treats that would keep him young.

“Can we take a picture to show dad?”
“Yep, ready?”

Nat picked up her phone, taking a picture of Rae, before letting her sendt it to Ilari who had to stay home to get some important work done.

“Okay.. now we make one!”
“Uncle Hayle!!”

Nat left the two to make a sand sculpture, finding Chris, somewhat unsurprisngly in the water not to far away from them.

“What should we make?”
“Hmh.. how about a dragon?”

“This is so cool.. will it really be a dragon?”
“I think so.”

Hayle just smiled, whenever he was around Rae he got the same feeling that his husband had jokingly called him having a biological clock. He knew they couldn’t adopt, there would be some very hard things to get passed after all.

“Hayle?”

“Got ya!”

The sound of Rae pretty much filled the beach as Hayle swung her around holding her over his shoulder.

“Okay.. picture to send to dad?”
“Sure.”

She quickly sent the picture before looking around to see if she could see her mom and her other uncle.

“I know where they are, come on!”

Much like Hayle had guessed they found her mother hand his husband being all silly in the water.

“Say Uncle Hayle?”
“Yeah?”
“Will you and Uncle Chris have kids?”
“Hmh.. don’t really know yet.”

He dropped her down, watching her run into the water to join his husband and Nat. The question still lingering in his head.

“I think you might run a risk of Hayle running off with her soon.”
“I doubt she would mind.”

Chris chuckled, he could see them play easily enough, and seeing Hayle this happy made him happy too.

“Someone is getting very good at swimming.”
“I had a good teacher.”
“Indeed you did.”

Chris smiled, Nat retreating from what she knew would be happning next.

“No tails allowed!”
“Awww!”

Once again, Rae’s laughter filled the air as the splashing war went from careful splashing to Chris cheating and using his tail.

“You cheated.”
“I did, sorry.”
“So technically I win?”
“Yeah.”

She ran over to Nat who was standing with Hayle close by. She knew they would have to leave soon, but she hoped they could stay just a little bit longer, even though she missed her dad being there with them.

“You okay mom?”

Nat nodded, noticing the look she got from her daughter. She was almost to cleaver and way to in tune to how she was feeling. Seeing them all so happy had a way to make her mind slip into the many questions about the future, but she shook them away again.

“Yep, I think I just got ringing in my ears from someone laughing.”
“Pffff, that’s not even possible.”
“Are you sure?”

“Now.. I need to borrow your mom for some boring work stuff, would you mind distracting Hayle?”
“Consider it done!”

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1:22 – Becoming a family

They quickly learned some things about Rae, she was smart, almost scarily smart, and the computer quickly became her most favorite thing in the house.

“Is the cake ready?”
“Yep!”
“Cool.. are they coming too?”
“Chris has to work, but Hayle said he would try and come by.. I think he is a little shy.”
“Shy?”
“Yeah, you are the first child he will actually meet.”
“Oh..”

Rae loved the idea of her uncles. She had met Chris, but Hayle had oddly enough stayed at home with some random excuse.

“Uncle Chris told me Uncle Hayle has horns.. does he?”
“Yeah, he can choose to now show them, he can even turn into a dragon.”
“WOW!”

As soon as Ilari came home, he found himself dragged into the kictchen and ordered to blow out the candles that had been put on the cake waiting for him.

“Why the rush?”
“I want to taste it.. it’s been standing in the fridge all day!”
“Ah.. well, let’s have cake then.”

He looked over at Nat, who just smiled back at him, even though she hated the fact that he was aging, she knew it was something she had to deal with.

“So.. how is the cake.”
“Awesome.. will you teach me mom?”

Nat was still getting used to being called mom. She knew Ilari was looking into the family she came from, but info was hard to find due to them being locked with this cult. The cult was well known for being nice to it’s children, but what the truth behind it all was, that was something no one really knew.

“Of course, it is a very old recipe too.”
“How old?”
“Very old, I’ll teach you, and someday you can teach it to your kids.”

Rae nodded, before going back to her cake piece who magically seemed to vanish in seconds, leading to the question of her having another one.

“But that is the last one, we can save some for tomorrow.”
“Okay!”
“Besides, maybe Hayle wants a piece..”
“Yeah!”

“Oh my god, you have horns like mom said!”
“Eh.. yeah.”

Hayle had been a little surprised by the immediate hug he received from the new resident of the house. Nat had warned her she had a slight obsession with meeting her dragon uncle, but he wasn’t quite prepared for just how many questions she had.

“Can you turn into a dragon?”
“Yes.”
“Now?”
“No, I don’t want to ruin the house..”
“Awwww… can you show me someday?”
“Sure.”

It was odd how good it made him feel so see Rae just smile at him before dragging him with her into her room, showing him all the new stuff she had gotten, and asking him more questions than he thought possible.

“Uncle Hayle?”
“Yeah?”
“Can you fly when you are a dragon?”
“Yes?”
“You think…”

He knew what the rest of that question was. but he also knew that him saying yes without talking to some other people first would probably be a really bad idea.

“I think we better ask your parents about that one.”
“But if they say yes?”
“Then let’s just say maybe?”
“Okay.”

Hayle watched her as she gave him some of his doll’s to join her in a bit of play, and he once again found himself wondering what it would be like to actually be a parent.

“Did you and Hayle have fun?”
“Yes, and I asked if he could fly, and if…”
“If he could take you flying?”
“Yeah.. can he?”
“Maybe when your older.. Hayle in his dragon form isn’t like his human one.”
“Oh.. “

Rae remembered Nat had told her about it. And how once Uncle Chris had to go all the way to his home and bring him back as he had forgotten to come home.

“Rae?”
“Yeh?”
“Not that I’m complaining, but..”
“Why I want to call you mom and dad?”

Nat nodded, and for the first time since she moved in Rae got a seriousness over her that she hadn’t seen before.

“I never really had a mom and dad.. back there, everyone just cared for us kids and I don’t think I could point out who my parents actually were.. if that makes sense?.”

With that a bit of the puzzle fell into place for Nat, although Rae had always had what she needed, she never had the feeling off family.

“Why did you choose me?”
“We both remembered you, and well, who want’s to deal with diapers anyways right?”

Rae chuckled, getting a hug, before she ran off to get her backpack and head off to school.

Nat just waved from the window watching her run to the school bus. Having Rae was certainly going to be nothing like she had expected, and she loved it.

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1:21 – Adoption

Much like Ilari had mentioned, adoption took it’s time. They were being screaned for more things than either of them could ever imagine. Which of course meant that it took time.

“So.. you met her?”
“A couple off times, she remembers Ilari.”
“And you?”
“Nah, she never saw me. I took care of.. well almost everyone in her family though.”

Hayle just nodded, he was still curious to what this kid thing was.. or tiny humans as he had called them when he had seen them at home.

“I think she will like it here.. but should I well.. you know?”
“Nah, we plan on being honest with her from very early on, she deserves to know.”
“So no hiding the horns?”
“Nope.. but we’ll need a bit off time before you visit.”
“Of course.”

“HAH!”
“Oh come on.. how can you keep winning every single time.”
“I’m just better than you both, that’s all.”
“I am so sure you are sneak practicing with my dad..”

Ilari just chuckled, he had some play sessions with her father, this was true. But mostly he just loved to game, and he was very good at it.

They had prepared the kids room for her first visit with them, while they were waiting for all the paperwork to finally go through, she was allowed to visit and stay with them if they want too.

“Yeah.. I like it here too.”

It was her secound weekend with her hopefully to be adoptive parents, and she was loving every minute off it. The orphanage was full of people, rush, hustle and bustle. The quiet of the apartment and the feeling of home was something she quickly came to love.

“Can I join you?”
“Yes!”

“Can you play this one?”

She handed Nat a doll, as she sat down next to her to join her in her play. She had found her somewhat scary at first with her red eyes, but it only took her a couple of hours to realize that the eyes were nothing to be afraid off.

“But who is this?”

She had allready learned one thing about this kid. Her imagination was absolutely fantastic, and she could make up the grandest stories in minutes and have both her and Ilari just listen to her as she spun her tales.

“Do I have to go?”
“Yeah, but just for now, hopefully next time it’s forever.”
“I hope so.. I don’t like going back there.”

Her words made Nat almost want to go there and tell them she would just stay with them until the papers were done and then make it official. But she knew that wasn’t the way it worked.

“I know, I don’t want you to have too go back there, but to make sure you end up with us.. we are going to just have to do our best, right?”
“Yep!”
“Come on then, best not let them wait.”
“Okay.”

Just a week later, the papers were all in order, and Rae finally moved in with them for good this time. As soon as everything was in order, they also started talking to her about some off the things she would need to know.

“So.. when will I meet Uncle Chris and Uncle Hayle?”
“Soon, but there are a couple of things we need to talk about first.”

Rae looked over at Nat with a somewhat questioning look. Nat had been slightly against telling her everything at first, but Ilari had convinced her that it was better to be honest than let it become a big thing.

“Remember I told you we were a bit different than anyone else?”
“Yeah?”

“Wait.. is that why I saw you that day?”
“You saw me?”
“Yeah.. you were standing next to someone.”
“Hmh… “
“I wasn’t supposed to see you?”
“No, only the one about to die should see me.”

She was amazed at how easily Rae had taken to everything she had told her.

“Maybe.. I was supposed to die?”
“I honestly don’t know, but well, what do you think I mean, about everything?”
“I have the coolest new family ever!”

Nat just chuckled, she really hadn’t expected it to be this easy, and she knew some questions will come eventually, but she now felt like they would easily handle it when the question arrived.

As soon as Ilari stepped into the huse, he found himself confronted by Rae who had all kinds of questions for him that she had come to think off after Nat left for work.

“So.. my grandad is death.. as in the dude from the bible?”
“Yeah, is that scary?”
“No, it is soo cool!”
“Want to know a secret?”
“Yes!”
“He is very good at playing games.”
“Ooooh!”

It was hard not to smile seeing her happy face as she told him all the things he allready knew, but that she just had to tell him because she coud not wait to meet everyone. It did made him wonder what kinda family life she had before this though.

“Ilari?”
“Yeah?”
“You think.. I could call you two mom and dad?”
“If you want too.”
“Okay”

“Night little one.”
“Night dad.”

He smiled before turning off the lighs. It really made him want to check up on her previous parents when he got to work, she seemed to eager to replace them. But it could just as easily be avoidance off her past, and something he would need to know how to best handle.

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