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[personal profile] steahl
Who: The Nix, The Alumni, and Simon Lee
When: Some time in happy AU from Maison land!
What: There are those who never forget, and even quiet little things may be terrible at times.

~They, themselves, had just gotten back. Simon couldn't see Jo, really, for the ring of fully armoured elves with bared weapons and expressions somewhere between hysterical fear and grim resignation. He had his hands behind his head, fingers laced together, generally doing his best not to look insane or more dangerous than usual.

It did not seem to be working, from what he could tell, but he could stand like that until someone told the Alumni that they could stand down.~

Books, in the natural course of library life, were to be stamped. They were stamped when they left her care, yet one more layer of insurance upon them, and stamped when they returned. Stamps were a record. Records built trust and showed trends so she might know who to worry about and who to find reassuring.

None of it really helped, she still watched young things leave with her treasures in hand and got the shivers every time, but she was better than she had been. Patterns helped. Stamping was a pattern.

Except today her stamp wavered and fell from cool fingers as she felt the stir and sing of her hair. Her carefully woven fabric. The suit she had made Simon so long ago was finally home...

...and she could only hope the man returned with it.

The stamp vanished before it hit the desk, tucked away safely with her other tools. The student waiting to be allowed exit with a history book gaped as the desk followed the stamp. "Stay," she managed. A single word fighting past the rising hope in her chest. "Reassure them."

Perhaps that was a harsh task to lay on a second year student, or perhaps it was a confusing one since she couldn't bear to stay still long enough to explain what she meant. In the normal course of things she should shoo the children out and lock the library before venturing forth but...

...but Simon could be back and that meant there was no time.

No time at all.

What if he had found but a single foothold? She knew him. His codes, his rules, how he chose to define himself now. If he had managed the merest crack in the reality that had stolen him away he would push the missing student ahead of himself. He would place a child before his own well being and that was right, that was honorable and true, but if even one friend could manage to get to his side before the window closed?

Everyone might come, and stay, home.

And so there was no time. The gaping student was left to shiver in place as the walls grew shadowed, the entire library swimming into a hidden space as The Nix flowed out the door. The door in, the door out, neither would be found. Nor the library itself should any venture through a wall. It was safest elsewhere right now and any poor students left inside could gain understanding by questioning the last soul to see the librarian before they were all trapped.

They were not lost, after all. Nothing in a Nix's care ever was.

Granted, things could be taken through force. Having Simon, wrapped and held safe in her own working, ripped away? Oh how that had brought terrible, shivering nightmares back upon her. None of the elder teachers in Schutzhafen rested easy, the Nazi's had left far too deep a mark on all of them, but her nightmares were quiet, haunted things.

With Simon gone the nightmares had been of flame; of men in harsh black masks and harsher hands, with hair far too short, too weak, to save anyone.

She had thought, hopefully, that she had left screaming behind years and years ago. She'd been wrong, and that was why she bled like ink along the halls. A cool, dark presence seen in the corner of the eye; a flicker there and gone again. Running, in as much as a nix ran, toward where he should be.

If, somehow, something else had come wearing his suit she might be forced to something drastic. Shaking an intruder came to mind. Shaking until their teeth rattled and all their thoughts ran like water from their lips so all could learn of Simon's fate.

It wasn't, precisely, that she was a violent thing. Far from. Shaking someone simply seemed so very therapeutic in the books she read. If she reached where the missing physics professor should be and there was another...yes. She was rather certain she would shake them.

Inconsequential thoughts kept her from panic as the campus seemed to stretch. Why did every distance seem much greater when delay could mean the end?

And why, when she drew closer, was there a forest of silvered steel and grim fae?

Oddly the sight made her smile. The Alumni would not be nearly this tense if Simon were not back among them! Granted, it was still disturbing to know how little they trusted him even now, but...

...she could fix this. The greatest way to avoid carnage and bloodshed, even when you were certain the friends you came upon wouldn't turn on one another avoid it altogether. His Majesty would never forgive her if she wrapped his guard away, but that was not her intent. She was a small thing, nimble, and determined. Weaving through the crowd was easier than it should have been; her hair half hiding her to keep them from quite catching hold as they reached to grab her back.

They were not going to stop her; and holding a nix took far more than they were willing to offer up at the moment.

She had to bop and duck through more than half the guard before she caught sight of Simon's hands, there above the crowd, laced atop his familiar hair. Yes, yes, and yes she knew the line of his skin even from such brief glimpses and the tearful, happy laugh that slipped from her lips was closer to a sob than anything joyous. That sound hurt in such a healthy way. Like lancing a wound or draining off a poison, it let the worry and fear ease somewhat.

The crowd around her didn't share the sentiment but then...they always knew that The Nix was quite, quite mad. She could no more deny that than she could deny the tears that came when she broke through the last attempt at restraint to teeter at the edge of clear ground around Simon.

Ah, it always hurt to be near him to a degree. Her hair was already lifting and weaving on the faint, heated draft around Simon and the warmth was pressing against her lips and face every time her hair moved uncomfortably but what did that matter? He was Home.

And the best thing she might do for them both was hide them until the Alumni were feeling less...twitchy.

The idea that she could hide Simon was laughable. Easier to hide a volcano as it's bright flame beckoned through the night for miles, but then he'd always been reason enough to exceed. The hiding was fragile, she could feel the edges bowing and breathing, but it held. That was what mattered. It held and it was enough to give them both a pocket of peace. A respite.

A tiny space where she didn't dare draw closer, but where she felt safe enough to fall to her knees in a puddle of relieved, tired hair. "Thank you. Oh thank you so much for coming home Simon." For coming back. For coming whole and himself...for if he were not himself the alumni, much less her, would have fallen far too easily. What else was there to say now? He had returned to them. To her no matter that the last thought was a fragile, deluded statement. Still, better to live on hope than to be alone. "I missed you."


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