The day was still fairly young, but Fin was already a full bottle in as he lay sprawled out on the floor, surrounded by notebooks and crumpled up paper. He'd stolen several cushions from the sofa, and they propped him up slightly as he stared at what he'd written- Only to rip the page out a moment later and crumple it up as well, tossing it to lay with the rest of his failures and piles of poor prose.
There was a half empty wine glass within reach, and soft music
filled the flat as he lit another cigarette and rolled onto his back, staring up at the ceiling. His head ached, his body even more so, and he closed his eyes for a long moment, as if he could will that pain away by simply shutting it out.
, the voice said, and it had been long enough since Fin had last heard it that it genuinely startled him. ...Except this time, it hadn't been in his head. he was sure of it. It echoed around him, rather than inside, and Fin sat up slowly, wincing as his filigree and fae blood heart began to pound.
"Who's there?" he called softly, forcing himself to his feet and swearing softly when he knocked over his wine. Though the spill of plumb coloured liquid onto fine white carpet wasn't enough of a distraction to stop him from noticing the way the mirror over the mantle filled with thick black smoke. It was unnaturally dark, and it slowly spilled out from the simple silver frame, curling downwards and covering the floor.
The sound that accompanied it was... Haunting. There was no other way to describe it, and the creature that followed it through the mirror was like nothing Fin had seen- Which was saying something, since he'd been privy to quite a bit now. It was tall, perhaps even taller than Will, it's hair silver with skin like an oil slick. Black, and yet anything but. The light turned it blue, then green, shimmering and undefined. It was... Beautiful.
It was terrifying.
"Finlay Alexander Flynn, mortal, bound to Willy Silver," it said, voice low and deep, a rich sound that vibrated through his bones.
Fin said nothing at first, but eventually nodded.
"It wasn't a question," the creature assured him, observing him, then tilting its head. "You don't know me?" it asked.
Fin shook his head slowly, and took another step back. "I feel I'd remember if we'd met," he said slowly, choosing his words carefully.
"Your mind is limited by mixed blood," the creature replied. "I forget, mortal minds do not work like ours, and though you were always more fae than mortal, you still suffer their flaws. I suppose you were so small, your mind wasn't ready to recall things yet- Even things like me."
Fin opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again, looking truly baffled. "...I don't think I'm terribly fae at all," he assured it, though even as he spoke, he found himself thinking back to what his sister had told him
. "Are you... Do you know my family?" he asked suddenly, wondering if this was what Pippa had meant about their family being different.
It felt like a stab in the dark, but the creature seemed pleased, and nodded. "I do not only know them, I am a part of it."
Again, Fin looked baffled. Sure, weird things seemed to happen all the time around here, but this... This was quite out there.
"....No, no you're- You're the voice from the cave. ...You're the thing that- You did this to me. You threatened Will!" he added, growing annoyed. "You don't just saunter out of a mirror and tell me you're my third cousin after something like that."
The creature cocked its head to the right, then frowned. "I did no such thing. I met you in the cave, through strange magic that allowed me near enough to reach you without causing alarm, but I have made no threats. ...I am also no cousin. I'm your grandfather, Tevaughn, and you should show me some respect."
Fin stared at him, silent, then furious. "Causing no alarm? YOU KILLED ME!" he shouted.
"I had no way of knowing you had been altered already, or what the blood of your lover would do when faced with mine. ...I can fix it though, if you'll allow it," Tevaughn replied calmly.
Fin laughed, sharp and unpleasant, his lip curling and his brow creasing. "Oh, yes, because being fixed always ends well for me. What is it then? Another deal? More magic? ...I have been so many things, altered so many ways- I don't even remember what it was like to be just me anymore."
Tevaughn studied him for a long moment, reaching to touch him, then going still when Fin drew away.
"No deals,' he promised softly, waiting for Fin to calm before saying anything more. "I can't make you mortal again, but I can improve things. ...However, there is much you need to know before you agree. ...You were never meant to stay in this realm so long, Finlay, but your father, my son, he was- Stubborn. He didn't want to return, and you were so fragile."
Tevaughn sat down, and the smoke began to fade. "Your father was supposed to bring you home before you turned eighteen. As a mortal you were fated to die, but as a fae you could be cured. ...You needed to be cured. Surely Willy has told you- That you were chosen. That you were fated to meet?"
Will had, more than once, and every time Fin hard rolled his eyes.
"Together, in time, you will make a very powerful pair- But only if you allow me to undo what has been done to you," Tevaughn continued.
Fin was silent for a long moment, his mind slowly stitching together everything that had happened over the past few years. Every detail, every trouble, every odd occurrence and the unlikely amount of odds he and Will had faced. What had felt like chaos before, suddenly made sense.
"You threatened him though, the other week, I heard you, in my head. You said he was to meet you in battle- Or you'd destroy his heart," Fin said quietly.
Tevaughn frowned, shaking his head. "I assure you, I did not. ...But it does mean that things are progressing faster than I thought. People are going to fear you, Finlay, and they will do anything to stop you before you are healed. ...Please, I beg you Finlay, allow me to make this right."
Fin knew he shouldn't make any more rash decisions. After all, it was rash decisions that had left him as he was. Dead, in pain, suffering. ...A mess of a being, not dead, not alive, struggling with a temper and a sickness that ate at his soul. However, here and now, Tevaughn's words made a certain amount of sense. Something inside of him could feel the truth there, and the darkness in his gut was... It was quivering. It was afraid. It knew it was done for.
Perhaps he'd regret it later, but Fin would always be Fin. It was as though he couldn't help himself.
"Alright then. Fix me."