He quite liked living with Pippa, if he was honest. His sister had a rhythm to her life that was easy to fall into. Beneath the madness and the chaos that was her flat, she had an order to her life that he envied. She woke early, went for a run, had her tea and did her yoga. She had work hours and 'office' hours, and then a set time where she had her dinner or called it a day. She wasn't shy about chasing him out of the flat when he was in the way, and had split her office in half so he could have a place to sit and write. In the evenings they watched old films together, and Pippa would often entertain him with stories of her travels and her many cases.
It was new, and yet it felt right. There was something about the way their magic reached out and intertwined, the way they could have whole conversations without saying a word. It was comforting. It was home.
They also seemed aware of the same things, like the way the air just smelled wrong tonight. The way the clouds hung too low, and the mirror seemed to be watching them. Wordlessly, they exchanged a look filled with a shared knowledge that tonight wasn't going to be like any other. Something had changed, something was coming.
"We should get out of here," Fin said finally. "We both know something's on the way, so why are we sitting here? Why are we just waiting?"
Pippa was silent for a moment, then wet her lips with a flick of her tongue. "Because we already know what it is. We've felt it before, we just didn't know what it was then," she added softly.
"I don't know what it is now, Pippa," Fin insisted, looking confused.
Pippa tilted her head, watching him with a confused frown. "You didn't feel that? ...It felt like loss. It felt like... It felt like when father died. I think- I think whoever comes through that mirror is only going to have one thing to say. They're going to tell us grandfather has passed," she said softly. "It makes sense. Why he came to us recently, why he reached out. He knew he was running out of time."
Fin was silent for a moment, then exhaled with a shiver. "And what if you're wrong? What if they're coming to kill me again?" he asked.
"Then we fight," Pippa said calmly. "But running isn't the answer, it'll only prolong the problem.
They were both silent for a while after that, Pippa returning to the book she'd been reading while Fin tried not to drift off to sleep on the sofa.
It was midnight when the mirror began to ripple and sing, a fair skinned creature stepping through just as Fin woke and sat up in his seat and Pippa reached for a knife she kept hidden nearby- Not that she had a chance to grab it before the creature froze them both in place.
"I'm not here to quarrel," it said, pushing violet hair back from it's face as it observed the pair. "I come with news, and the need to set things back on their right path. Your grandfather is dead, and you, Kelly Pippa Flynn, as the eldest of your remaining bloodline, now wear his title. Ruler of the trooping fae. Forgotten Queen of the Wilds."
Frozen from the neck down, Pippa frowned and tried to stand. "If that's all you've come to say, why freeze us? We hardly knew our grandfather, and Forgotten Queen hardly sounds like a title worth getting upset over."
The fae glanced at Fin then, a sadness in his eyes. "Because there is still unfinished business. Before he passed, your grandfather managed to broker some peace- But there's a price. There is always a price."
Fin tried to struggle, but he couldn't move at all, even as his heart began to race.
"Things must continue on as they were intended to be. The Forgotten Queen in power, and The Blind Prince at her side. You both fill the roles you were meant to play, and the fighting ends. Together you restore power to the wild fae, create a balance in the lands that has been missing so long few even recall it- And Finlay may return to his Seelie love if he chooses- For a price I don't think is very high."
"Don't," Fin said finally, his voice soft and broken. "Please don't."
Pippa wasn't nearly so meek though, fighting the magic that held her in place. "If you hurt him, I will end you!" she warned, her voice a low rumble that seemed to shake the whole flat.
"So it must be then, I accept my fate for what I must do," the fae said softly, reaching out and covering Fin's eyes with his hand.
The first time he'd gone blind, it had been pure pain, with strange shadows and faint lights. The doctors had been able to help a little, restoring it to a point, but that hadn't lasted long, and soon it had just been... Dark. This time- It was different this time. The world went dark, but only for a moment. In what felt like an instant his magic took over, reaching out to study the room for him, and painting a portrait in his mind. It wasn't perfect, but- It was something. Like living in some strange and twisted little picture book.
A small mercy.
He could hear Pippa swearing and yelling, his magic offering him a taste of the anger on her face as the fae retreated to the mirror. He couldn't focus though. It was all a soft blur or images. More a Monet than a Sargent.
The spell broke, and he felt Pippa reach his side before his mind could catch up and show her there.
"Oh god, Fin?" she said quietly, her hands shaking even though he could tell she was trying to sound calm.
Reaching out, Fin touched her face, his hand going still as the image became clearer. Suddenly she was photo realistic in a sea of spilled paint.
"It's okay," he said quietly. "I'm okay, Pippa. ...I think- I think it's finally over."