Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Chapter 75, 12/31/19

This is the place to post all your General Roswell fanfiction. Any Canon fics, which pick up directly from any episode of the show and that focus on Max/Liz, Michael/Maria, Isabel/Alex or Isabel/Jesse, Kyle/Tess, or all the couples together! Rule of Thumb: If Max healed Liz in the Crashdown in September 1999, then your fic belongs here. If it picks up from the show in any way, it belongs here.

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cjeb
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Update, 5/26

Post by cjeb » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:25 pm

Just a quick " HEY " and good night, just to let you know I'm still here......

Thanks,
Charlie
"I didn't step out from behind my tree,my kids cut er down and dragged me out kicking and screaming"

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Kathy W
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Update, 5/26

Post by Kathy W » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:23 pm

cjeb wrote:Just a quick " HEY " and good night, just to let you know I'm still here......

Thanks,
Charlie

Hi Charlie! Sorry it took me so long to see this. Contrary to what it looks like, I'm still here too, and so is my husband. He is recovering, and I hope to be able to get back to writing soon. Thanks for still being here!

KathyW
BRIVARI: "In our language, the root of the word 'Covari' means 'hidden'. I'm always there, Your Highness, even if you don't see me."

silverwolf
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Update, 5/26

Post by silverwolf » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:09 am

Hi

I just wanted to give you a bump and let you know I have been a loyal lurker since the very first Birthright story. (So yeeeeeears!!!!!)

I hope things have smoothed out in your real life, it seems like it has been a very rough year. Anyways, I just wanted you to know that your writings have brought me a lot of joy through some tough times in my own life.

Thanks!

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Kathy W
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Update, 5/26

Post by Kathy W » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:19 pm

silverwolf wrote:Hi

I just wanted to give you a bump and let you know I have been a loyal lurker since the very first Birthright story. (So yeeeeeears!!!!!)

I hope things have smoothed out in your real life, it seems like it has been a very rough year. Anyways, I just wanted you to know that your writings have brought me a lot of joy through some tough times in my own life.

Thanks!
Oh, my...you have no idea how happy this makes me! *cries* The very first book? (What, in retrospect, I should have called a prologue.) That is very much yeeeeeeears! It's great to meet you, and I appreciate your patience. It has indeed been quite the year.

I owe everyone a thank-you for their patience as it is (obviously) taking longer than I expected to get back into the game. I underestimated how much had been put on hold, and how that would affect everything months out. My husband is greatly recovered, and life has begun to settle (thank God for small...large?...favors), but I find myself not even remembering where I left off. :shock: I have begun the process of reacquainting myself with my own story, which is fun in some ways because I haven't seen it in a while, and nervewracking in others. I assure you I am not abandoning it, but I'm reluctant to rush back in without due diligence. I want to do justice to our beloved characters and to those who take the time to read this.

So--the Shapeshifters Series will return in 2019, but I can't say exactly when. I will try to update my progress at least monthly. Until my next visit, I wish everyone a happy--and healthy--New Year!


KathyW
BRIVARI: "In our language, the root of the word 'Covari' means 'hidden'. I'm always there, Your Highness, even if you don't see me."

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Kathy W
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Update, 9/9/19

Post by Kathy W » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:19 pm

Hi everyone! I haven't forgotten this. The writing process has begun, and I hope to have a new chapter up "on time", i.e. by the end of this year. It's been a long way back, and it's still in progress, but at least it's progressing. My husband is still with us and largely recovered, and I am eternally grateful for that.

See you soon!


Kathy
BRIVARI: "In our language, the root of the word 'Covari' means 'hidden'. I'm always there, Your Highness, even if you don't see me."

keepsmiling7
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Update,9/9/19

Post by keepsmiling7 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:05 am

Good to hear in from you Kathy......we'll all have to reacquaint our selves with the story, but we are thrilled you will be returning.

silverwolf
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Update,9/9/19

Post by silverwolf » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:53 am

Yay! So excited! I am glad your husband is doing better.

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Kathy W
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Update,9/9/19

Post by Kathy W » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:13 pm

*Waves*. So good to see you both! I have needed to reacquaint myself as well, and I'm having fun doing it. I have so missed these characters! Thank you for the well wishes, and I'm looking forward to being back. *heart*
BRIVARI: "In our language, the root of the word 'Covari' means 'hidden'. I'm always there, Your Highness, even if you don't see me."

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Kathy W
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Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Chapter 75, 12/31/19

Post by Kathy W » Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:44 pm

My goodness, but it's been awhile! I was aiming for a new chapter by the end of the year, and it looks like I just made it. :P Many, many, many thanks to those who hung around during this unexpected (and unexpectedly long) hiatus, which miraculously had a happy ending. I'm still climbing back, but I'll get there.





CHAPTER SEVENTY-FIVE






November 25, 2000, 3:00 a.m.

Parker Residence








The clock read half past three when Courtney carefully climbed out of her makeshift bed on the floor beside Liz Parker. Liz was asleep, curled in a ball and completely unaware that her guest had just slipped through her window onto the balcony. The stone felt cold on Courtney's feet, and the wind was unusually bracing, but she didn't mind because she felt nothing short of fabulous. Having spent so many years in a husk that was dying, she'd forgotten what it felt like to wear one that wasn't. Husks took their energy from the host, and dying husks sucked more energy than usual, meaning one needed to eat more and sleep more to keep up with the higher energy requirements. She'd grown accustomed to feeling hungry and tired all the time, so to have that magically disappear was...well...magic. The small snack she'd had hours ago was sticking by the ribs, as the humans liked to put it, her skin was soft, clear, and not peeling, and a few hours sleep had left her energized and ready to run down Main Street. It had been a long time since she'd felt ready to run anywhere, or able to climb down a fire escape with ease like she did now. The door to the Crashdown was open, its bell disabled. Just like he'd promised.

"You're alive," a voice noted from the dark recesses of the deserted cafe.

"Points for observational skills," Courtney said dryly, sliding into the booth. "What's this?"

"I wasn't sure what you'd be in the mood for," Brivari answered, indicating the spread before him, an impressive array of sandwiches, burgers, fries, a milkshake. "New husks need feeding, if I remember correctly."

"How do you know that?" Courtney asked warily.

"I make it my business to know everything possible about my enemies," Brivari said. "And my allies. In case you're wondering, you're an ally."

"I'm wondering more about the food," Courtney said. "You cook?"

"Oh, for heaven's sake," Brivari groused. "Future Zan said the same thing. Of course I cook. And you need to eat."

"Yes, Dad," Courtney teased, thoroughly enjoying the resulting scowl. But for all that she wasn't feeling hungry, it turned out she was; all it took was one bite, and the dominoes fell. Two burgers, one and a half sandwiches, a heaping plate of fries, and a chocolate milkshake later, she finally slowed down.

"How are you feeling?" Brivari asked.

"Like a tick about to pop," Courtney answered contentedly, suppressing a burp. "But a very satisfied tick."

"I meant the husk," Brivari clarified. "How does the new husk feel?"

"Fantastic," Courtney sighed, pushing away the empty milkshake glass. "It's exhausting wearing a dying husk; you just can't give it enough energy no matter what you do. I haven't felt like this since...well, since I can't remember when."

"You certainly just gave your new husk an awful lot of energy," Brivari said with a faint note of amusement. "I never thought you'd eat all of it."

"Hey, I left half a sandwich," Courtney said. "And this is only for the first couple of days, while it settles in. After that, I'm good. I hope."

"You 'hope'?" Brivari repeated. "Is something wrong?"

"No. Not yet," Courtney amended. "It's too soon to tell. It's only been a few hours. I have to give it at least a few days."

"Still, it's encouraging that it's behaving as expected so far," Brivari said. "And you were considering not trying it. Aren't you glad you did?"

"You're skipping over the part where it was touch and go for a while," Courtney noted.

"A 'while' is a bit of an overstatement," Brivari said. "More like a few seconds."

"Very long seconds," Courtney said soberly. "What did you see?"

"It appeared that the release of the husk's seal propelled you backwards more violently than we'd anticipated," Brivari said.

"And I couldn't see very well," Courtney admitted. "Maybe it was the water. Or the shock. Or maybe I've just been looking through human eyes for too long. It cost me precious seconds I didn't have."

"You were never in any real danger," Brivari said. "The princess saw to that."

"Yeah, what was that all about?" Courtney said. "Liz and I conked out so fast tonight that I didn't have time for a replay, but Vilandra and Zan were all wet, and Zan was going on about her having 'done it'. Somebody did something because I felt someone push me, but how did they get down there so fast? Hybrid speed?"

"Only one of them was down there, and she did it the old fashioned way," Brivari answered, "by jumping in only seconds after you did. She was ready and waiting the second you ran into trouble."

Courtney digested that for a moment. "She didn't trust it," she said finally. "She didn't think it would work."

"And she was right," Brivari noted. "Zan dithered for a moment, trying to figure out why his sister had jumped the gun before going in himself. He was halfway down and nowhere near close enough when you needed him."

"Well, what d'ya know," Courtney said softly. "Vilandra to the rescue. Again. God, I wish Jaddo was here to see this. His head would explode."

"Indeed," Brivari agreed. "Of course, the hybrids had no idea you weren't in any real danger. I could have reached you faster than either of them."

"But that would have meant coming out of the closet," Courtney said, "so it's good you didn't have to. Go princess."

"When you were first thrown backwards, I thought you would recover, but you didn't," Brivari said. "You struck me as disoriented. Did something else happen?"

Courtney stirred the straw in the now empty milkshake glass, not looking at him. "I...wasn't prepared for what it would feel like. To not wear a husk, I mean. All of a sudden, I was short, and my hands were too big, and my head felt heavy. It threw me off. I've been this size, this shape for so long now...it was like all my directional indicators were misfiring. I reached for things and missed, or I grabbed them and couldn't hang on. You grip differently with big, long fingers. It makes me wonder what will happen if I ever make it home and don't need a husk any more. Will I even know how to be that shape again? I'll have to relearn how to be...me." She paused, suddenly self-conscious. "I'm sorry, I...I'm going on about something that really doesn't matter. And must sound mighty dumb to a shapeshifter."

Brivari was quiet for a long moment during which Courtney kicked herself for being so candid. What had made her do that? One didn't whine to the King's Warder, and one certainly didn't emote to a Covari. Despite the rush of emotion from a near death experience and a brand new husk, she really did need to learn to keep her big mouth shut. There would be plenty of time to unload to Dee later.

"As it happens," Brivari said suddenly, "I understand perfectly."

"Right. Thanks," Courtney said, eager to put that part of the conversation behind her.

"I do," Brivari insisted.

"Look, it's nice of you to overlook my oversharing, but this is overkill," Courtney said. "You can stop pretending to be empathetic now."

"I'm not pretending."

"Can we...can we just pretend I didn't just blurt that out?" Courtney said in exasperation. "I mean, I appreciate the help figuring out how to switch husks, and all the lurking to make sure I didn't kill myself, but—"

"I haven't changed shape in ages."

Courtney blinked. "What?"

The clock ticked in the dark, empty restaurant. Outside, the street was devoid of cars. Street light spilled through the front windows, doing little to illuminate the furthest dark corner in which they were seated. Brivari's face was in shadow, only barely visible, and when he answered, his almost disembodied voice was strained.

"I understand your reaction," he said slowly, "because I have held this same shape for quite literally decades."

"O….kay," Courtney said uncertainly. "Um...not to sound flip, but...so what?"

"So I'm not certain what it would feel like to be in my native form again," Brivari said. "It's been so long that I, too, am out of practice."

"But...you've used other forms," Courtney said. "You've at least had to adapt to other shapes. I haven't. I've looked like this since 1959."

"I stopped shifting not long after that," Brivari said.

" 'Stopped'?" Courtney repeated. "No, you didn't. I've seen you wear different faces a million times, or blend into the wallpaper, or—"

"Superficial changes," Brivari said, "none of which required me to change my basic shape. Only the wrapper was altered. The candy remained the same."

"With the 'candy' being...what, exactly?"

Brivari's features briefly became visible as he stirred in his seat. "When I change shape, my internal organs don't essentially change. They remain the same, but are either compressed or stretched, depending on the shape I'm taking. All that disruption is why our senses are so compromised, why we can't taste or smell."

"Oh," Courtney said faintly, at a loss for how to respond as an already awkward conversation veered suddenly more so. She'd never given so much as a thought to Covari biology. No one on Antar gave a thought to Covari biology, or Covari anything, for that matter, except perhaps those responsible for their production. Covari were a manufactured race, widely despised and mistrusted, and certainly not considered sentient beings. Except that they were, and she knew that, having befriended one and worked with two more for years now. Antar had it wrong.

"I've made you uncomfortable," Brivari said. "I apologize."

"No," Courtney said quickly. "I mean, yes, but...never mind. Go on."

"I'm afraid you're not the only one 'blurting' tonight," Brivari said ruefully. "Your experience struck a familiar chord. Enough said."

"No, not enough," Courtney protested. "Look, no one ever spends so much as a millisecond thinking about what makes a shapeshifter tick, and we should—Malik taught me that. You were willing to out yourself tonight to save my life, so I owe you one."

"Safeguarding my Ward's allies is my responsibility," Brivari said, "not an excuse to put you in an uncomfortable position."

"Forget 'comfortable'," Courtney said firmly. "Screw 'comfortable'. We both left 'comfortable' behind a long time ago. You're all alone out here now, with a very short list of people to talk to, so the least I can do is listen. You were talking about what happens when you shift. I have no idea how that works, so teach me. Did something change because you haven't shifted in so long?"

For a moment, Courtney thought he wasn't going to answer. It was unprecedented, this, a conversation about biology between two very different species. As much as she'd initially recoiled from having it, upon reflection, they were part of a small group who had been exiled here for decades. Strange as it may seem, it was quite possible she had more in common with this Covari than with members of her own race.

"You could say that," Brivari answered finally, "in a backwards sort of way. What changed is that a long time passed where nothing changed. That is not the usual state of affairs for a shapeshifter."

"And what does that mean, exactly?" Courtney said. "Do you feel different somehow, like I felt different when I took my husk off?"

"I feel...settled," Brivari said slowly, as though searching for the words that would describe what he was feeling. "Everything has had a chance to function longer than it ever has before, and...well, let's just say I never knew what this felt like. And I don't want to give it up." He paused. "I made a life for myself, you know. Went to Hollywood, started making movies. Built myself a profession, one I enjoy, one where no one is shooting at me unless it's with a camera. I got out of the monarchy business. I didn't miss it."

Courtney said nothing, afraid to break the flow. She'd known Brivari had been posing as a Hollywood producer, but he never talked about it. She'd always considered it no more than a front, an alias, a place to hide, and a good one at that, if ironic; a master of illusion hiding in a place where illusion was everything. She'd never considered that he might actually like it.

"And then Liz Parker was shot," Brivari continued. "I have nothing against the girl, but there's many a time I've wished she'd stayed dead because it dropped all of us back into the mess before any of them were ready. They're old enough to be dangerous, but not old enough to be useful. The timing—"

"Sucked," Courtney finished. "Absolutely sucked."

"That," Brivari agreed. "And I found myself resenting the whole reason for my existence, and wondering if I even wanted to go back to that existence. Can't I just get the king back on his throne and then retire to Earth?"

Retire? Courtney thought incredulously. To Earth? To anywhere? A laugh bubbled up inside her, pure hilarity, and a moment later she was shaking with laughter, and the slowly brightening sky outside allowed her to see he was at least smiling, if not laughing along with her. "Oh, my," she gasped, one hand to her new husk's chest. "Oh, that's just...I mean, the humans go on and on about retirement, about saving for it, and health care and how to keep themselves from going stir crazy. Guess you wouldn't need Medicare."

"I certainly hope not," Brivari said. "But seriously, you should think about it."

"What? Retirement?"

"No. What you'll do when all this is over."

"Don't you mean 'if'?" Courtney said.

"No, I mean 'when'," Brivari said firmly. "We won't be doing this forever, so think about it. And take this," he added. "You'll need it."

Courtney stared at the phone he'd pushed across the table. "What's this?"

"What's it look like? You destroyed its predecessor to protect me, and that courtesy did not go unnoticed. The least I can do is replace it."

"But...if they find it…"

"Then they find it," Brivari said. "We need a way to contact each other, and you need a way to contact your Second. That's more important."

"Ava won't like it," Courtney warned.

"Ask me if I give a damn," Brivari retorted. "I appreciate you stepping carefully, but how long do you plan to sleep on Liz Parker's floor? It will be a long time before they trust you, and you won't get there by endless kowtowing. You lead the Resistance. Act like it."

Stunned, Courtney took the phone and nodded wordlessly. "And you can start with where you're going now," Brivari continued. "I'll bet you were heading right back upstairs, weren't you?" He leaned in closer, his features clear now. "Is that where you really want to go?"







**********************************************************






Proctor Residence







Dee startled awake the way one always did when a loud noise jangled them out of a sound sleep, like slamming into a wall and seeing stars for a moment. Beside her, Anthony slept peacefully the way he always had, through infant cries and all sorts of other things. Oh, to sleep like that in times of crisis; it was hard enough to pull off in times of peace, what with trips to the bathroom, or one or both of them snoring. It took her a moment to register what had awakened her and reach for the phone. The number was unfamiliar. This hadn't better be a wrong number, or she'd kill someone…

"Hello?"

"You were asleep?" an ironic voice said. "I thought you stayed up till, like, a million o'clock."

"Courtney?" Dee said, swinging her legs over the side of the bed. "It's four in the morning! Where are you?"

"Outside Rath's apartment," Courtney said.

"They let you go there?" Dee said, surprised.

"No. I decided to go there."

Uh oh. "What's happened?" Dee said sharply. "You sound...odd. And whose phone is this?"

"Mine," Courtney answered. "Brivari gave me another one." She paused. "I put the new husk on."

Dee's breath caught in her throat. "And?"

"And I feel wonderful!" Courtney exclaimed. "For the first time in ages, I'm not dragging, and starving, and...well, I'm hungry, but that's to be expected with a new husk, and—"

"So you're okay?" Dee broke in, unable to wait a moment longer. "It's working? You're all right?"

"I'm not only all right, I'm better than all right," Courtney said happily.

"Oh, thank God," Dee sighed, sinking back against the pillows. "For a minute there, I thought this was a death call."

"A what?"

"Never mind," Dee said, breathing easier now. "So how did you manage it? I was at Max's last night, and he asked me about you. I tried my best to convince him you should have a say, without actually saying that, of course. Damn all this skulking!"

"Relax," Courtney said. "It worked. He left it up to me."

"But how did you do it?" Dee said. "There aren't any pressure chambers around here."

"Water," Courtney answered. "As in deep water, as in the pool at the high school. And Vilandra. Without her, I'm not sure it would have worked."

"Isabel?" Dee said in surprise. "Not Max?"

"Isabel," Courtney said firmly. "And Brivari. He helped me figure out how to do it, and stood guard in case it didn't work. We've moved past the 'traitor' stage."

"It's about time," Dee said darkly.

"And then he got mad at me for 'kowtowing' to all of them," Courtney said with a chuckle. "So this is me, not kowtowing. Wanna have dinner later?"

"Do I!" Dee exclaimed. "It seems like forever since I—"

"Told me I wasn't welcome in your house?" Courtney finished.

Dee sighed heavily. "I'm never going to live that down, am I? Well, I suppose that's only fitting. I was so mad at Mama when she threw Brivari out that I didn't let her forget it for a very long time."

"Karma's a bitch," Courtney agreed. "Say 7 o'clock, my place?"

"Your place? You're going back to your house?"

"Why not?" Courtney said. "Brivari's right—I can't sleep on Liz Parker's floor forever. I told Mr. Parker I went home because of family troubles, which actually isn't too far off. Now that the hybrids know about me, I can come back, even go back to work; he'd take me back in a heartbeat. I can even see you because Zan knows we know each other, even if he doesn't know you know." She paused. "And there were way too many 'knows' in that sentence."

"Wow!" Dee said, bewildered, the prospect of being able to openly see Courtney having not occurred to her. "I...I hadn't even thought that far."

"I hadn't either, but I agreed to be a liaison between Brivari and the hybrids," Courtney said. "The best way to do that is to have an official role here in town, and there's no better role than the one I had."

"My goodness," Dee said softly. "Can it really be? Not only do you not have to hide any more, we don't have to hide any more."

"Isn't it amazing?" Courtney agreed. "I think I'm going to love this."

"You and me both," Dee agreed. "What about Michael?"

"What about him?"

"Don't 'what about him' me," Dee said firmly. "You're not standing outside his place because you're delivering pizza!"

"Rath is a big boy," Courtney said. "I won't push, but I also won't hide under a table. He'll figure it out. And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to climb into bed with him."

"Courtney!"

"Kidding!" Courtney said unconvincingly. "I just want to show him my new husk. See you at 7. Oh, and can you bring those little garlic biscuits? I love those!"






*********************************************************







Copper Summit, Arizona







The street was deserted as Brivari strolled down Main Street, every shop closed, not a car in sight. It had been quite literally decades since he'd been able to do this, the town having long been ringed with alarms which could detect the infrared signature every Covari emitted. But a system pervasive enough to be effective took power, and as equipment aged and human civilization provided no suitable replacement, power had been in shorter and shorter supply. As the years had passed with no new crop of husks surviving to maturity, the maturation chambers that were all that stood between the Skins and death needed every bit of power available, causing what the humans called a "catch-22"—continuing to allocate power to the alarms kept Royal Warders away from a crop which would grow more slowly, perhaps too slowly, while devoting all resources to the husks would help them grow more quickly, but also place them in harm's way. The compromise had been to shrink the footprint of the alarm system, moving the perimeter back further and further until only the town center had been protected, a strategy which had worked...until it hadn't. They'd expected Royal Warders, but no one had expected hybrids, especially hybrids accompanied by the leader of the Argilian Resistance.

Brivari paused in front of the carcass of the burned out building which had housed the most recent crop of husks. The building itself would have been just a front, with the important part below ground, and he picked his way through the remaining shreds until he found a staircase leading into the earth. At the bottom was a scene of utter devastation, one of broken maturation chambers and dead husks. Courtney had only meant to destroy the harvest, but the compromised systems had been fragile and, crucially, linked. The resulting loss of power had taken out not only the husks, but the remaining power grid, including the alarms, which was how he came to be standing here, unseen and unmolested. The blow Courtney had dealt had been devastating and definitive; that some of it was down to luck subtracted precisely nothing from the personal risk she had undertaken by voluntarily marching back to the place where the equivalent of a wanted poster for her capture hung on every wall. The Crown would be forever in her debt.

After a last look round, Brivari climbed back to the surface. As satisfying as it was to see their enemies' hopes smashed to smithereens, the fact remained that those enemies were still with them, for a time at least. A stroll through town brought him to Malik's old house, the one appropriated by Nicholas when he'd arrived, and the only one sporting an inhabitant.

"Wondered when you'd get here."

Brivari smiled faintly. "Am I tardy?"

Seated in a lawn chair on the front porch, Greer shrugged. "Maybe. Not payin' much attention to the clock these days, or the calendar. Too much of a downer."

"Understandable," Brivari allowed.

"Well, don't just stand there," Greer said. "Come up and set a spell."

"Are you sure?" Brivari said.

"Hell, yeah. No point in not being civil. Beer?"

"Please," Brivari said.

Greer heaved himself out of his chair and into the house, leaving a trail of skin flakes in his wake. Brivari brushed more flakes off the neighboring seat and settled into it. It was a beautiful day in Copper Summit, all sunshine and warm weather. Across the street, a cat which looked very much like the one Malik used to feed prowled beside a bank of bushes, chasing something small and no doubt tasty.

Greer reappeared. "Hope you like Guinness."

"No one knows beer like the Irish," Brivari said, accepting the bottle. "My thanks."

They drank in companionable silence for several minutes as wind blew leaves onto the porch and the cat caught whatever it was chasing, accompanies by shrill squeals. "So," Greer said at length, "I'll wager you've done the tour."

"Oh, yes," Brivari nodded. "First stop. Dreadful stuff. You lost every single husk."

"Right. Like I'm supposed to believe you're crying in your beer."

"Believe it or not, I've always found it difficult to celebrate the loss of my Ward's subjects," Brivari answered.

Greer stared at Brivari in disbelief. "Hell, you're serious, aren't you? We were never Zan's 'subjects'. That's why we overthrew him."

"Unless I'm much mistaken, one needs to be the subject of a king in order to overthrow him," Brivari noted.

Greer snorted softly. "Good Lord, you really were a lawyer in another life. For someone who's so broken up about losing 'subjects', you've got a funny way of showing it."

Brivari shook his head. "I didn't do that. Courtney did."

"Don't remind me," Greer said darkly. "Would've been better if you'd done it."

"I'm flattered," Brivari said.

"Don't be," Greer advised.

Minutes passed. The cat's prey had escaped, and the angry tabby had resumed the chase. "So where is everyone?" Brivari asked.

"Gone," Greer answered. "They don't have much time left, so they went to settle their affairs and say their goodbyes. We've been here a long time; bunch of 'em are married to humans, some adopted kids. It's real sad."

"Oh, of course," Brivari agreed. "Especially for the humans."

"They'll be okay," Greer said. "Everyone had aliases and jobs. Their families will get life insurance, social security, pensions. The human safety net is pretty decent, at least on this part of the planet."

"I'll bet Washington never saw this coming," Brivari said dryly.

"Hey, Vanessa worked for 'em for ages," Greer said. "I mean, I know she wasn't actually working for them, but she had to work for them to a certain extent to keep her cover. They got a lotta good years out of her. They owe us."

"What a curious argument," Brivari murmured.

" 'Curious' or no, they'll be payin' us for decades," Greer said, "or at least the ones we leave behind. Who are all human, so you could say we're even."

"You could," Brivari allowed.

The sun continued to beat down on the porch. Across the street, the cat pounced again, only to howl with indignation when its paws remained empty. "So what's your take on this treaty business?" Greer said. "You for it, or against it?"

"Undecided," Brivari answered, declining to elaborate on future versions of his Ward or alternate timelines.

"Khivar wasn't crazy about it either," Greer said.

"I believe that's the point of compromise," Brivari said.

"Maybe it's the point, but it still stinks," Greer said flatly. "So if you're sold on compromise, why aren't you all for it?"

"Isn't it obvious?" Brivari said. "Because it stinks."

Greer burst out laughing. "You know, I always wondered if you and me didn't have more in common than we thought," he chuckled.

"Oh? How so?"

"Well, for starters, we both work for morons."

"Zan wasn't a moron," Brivari said. "He was young, too young for the job. And would that be Nicholas or Khivar you're referencing?"

"Both," Greer sighed. "And I suppose you're right. Guess we were all morons when we were younger. At least Zan had a chance of growing into something better."

"Until your morons assassinated him," Brivari noted. "Is this the part where I ask you why you supported morons?"

"Hell, you know why," Greer shrugged. "It was a faster path to power. Sometimes you gotta hitch a ride on an ass to get to higher ground."

"And how's that working for you?" Brivari asked.

"Can't say just yet," Greer answered. "Jury's still out."

"From the looks of this place, the jury not only rendered its verdict, it packed up, went home, and left on vacation a long time ago," Brivari observed.

Greer took a swig of his beer. "Well, you know what they say. Looks can be deceiving."

Brivari's own bottle paused halfway to his lips. "Meaning?"

"Meaning I hate to tell you this," Greer said regretfully, "given that we're so tight 'n all at the end here, but...you might be too late."

Brivari's hand tightened on the bottle. "Too late for what?"







**********************************************************







Guerin Residence






The clock radio clicked on. Michael's eyes never opened as his hand shot out, whacking the snooze button and silencing whatever idiotic announcer was blathering today. Even half awake, he knew today was a day off, but he always left his alarm on, partly out of laziness, partly because he was afraid that if he turned it off, he'd never remember to turn it back on, and partly because he absolutely loved hitting that snooze button over and over and over. Five whacks and 45 minutes later, he finally opened his eyes.

"Morning, sunshine."

Michael's head swung left. There was a girl on his floor, a girl dressed in his sweatpants and his t-shirt, curled up with the afghan Mrs. Evans had given him and one of those useless sofa pillows which seemed to be standard issue for middle class households.

"What the hell are you doing there?" Michael demanded.

"Hello to you, too," Courtney said dryly. "Keep slobbering over me like that, and I might get the wrong idea."

"No, I mean what are you doing on the floor?" Michael translated. "Why didn't you get in bed with me?"

Courtney's eyebrows rose. "I thought that was a bit...forward. Even for me."

"So you slept on the floor?"

"Yeah," Courtney shrugged. "When I wasn't gazing adoringly at you, that is."

More awake now, Michael pushed himself up on his elbows. "Does Max know you're here?"

Courtney shook her head. "Nope."

"Does anyone know you're here?"

"Nope." She paused. "If that bothers you, I can go."

"Are you kidding?" Michael said. "Don't you dare."

Courtney broke into a wide smile. "Yes, sir."




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I'm not all caught up yet, but I hope to have Chapter 76 up by spring, if not sooner. Fingers crossed!
BRIVARI: "In our language, the root of the word 'Covari' means 'hidden'. I'm always there, Your Highness, even if you don't see me."

keepsmiling7
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 2385
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:34 pm

Re: Birthright *Series* Season 2 (CC, TEEN), Chapter 75, 12/31/19

Post by keepsmiling7 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:36 pm

Congratulations, you did make it back. But do we have to wait until Spring for more??

Who doesn't like Guinness?
Will Brivari get the King on the throne then retire to Earth??
Why is it too late??
You left us with lots of questions here.
Thanks

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