“Give it back!”
“This has no reason at all to be so amusing.” Fulton said with a laugh, shutting one eye and shooting a piece of ice out to hit the knife from Hadlee’s grip. She’d been throwing it up from his hand and blasting with it a little air just to keep it from Aziz’s reach.
Aziz shot him a smile and picked it up from the ground. “But you should leave him alone, Had.”
Hadlee stuck her tongue out at Fulton as she walked over to sit across from him. “Not my fault that he hasn’t sparked yet.” She said. “If he could shift, then he would be able to
Aziz bumped his arm against her shoulder. “It’s because I’m a shapeshifter and you two are primaries.” He said. “And I’m a late sparker, whatever.”
Hadlee grinned, leaning her head against his shoulder. “You’re adorable when you whine, Azzi.”
“Hey, cut the couple stuff out when I’m here.” Fulton said. “We agreed you two don’t get to be cutesy when I’m around.”
“Get a girlfriend and you won’t have to feel like a third wheel.” Aziz said. “And we can’t help it. We’re just naturally cute together.”
Fulton rolled his eyes. “You say get a girlfriend as if it’s that easy.”
Hadlee shrugged. “You know, I do have friends I could set you up with.” She said. “You are cute.” Aziz hit her arm. “Oh poor you, I picked you over him.”
“Fulton didn’t ask you out.”
“Fulton also doesn’t want to ask you out.” Fulton said. “I don’t want to set up a date, I want to find a girl and ask her out in person.”
Aziz laughed. “Get with the times Fulton, everything is online.”
“Expect for us.” Hadlee said, sitting up straight from Aziz. “I think that it’s sweet. We didn’t meet online, Aziz.”
“Damn, you have no clue how to take a joke.” Aziz said. “Do whatever you want, just don’t run out of time Fulton. Well, if you want kids.”
Fulton smiled a little. “I do want kids, but we’re 16, we have like 150 years left.” He said. “I have plenty of time.”
“If we get married, we have to have like ten kids.” Hadlee said. “What else are we supposed to do?”
Aziz shrugged. “I don’t know, missions?” He asked. “When our kids grow up, we get to retire. Isn’t that what tethons do? They travel around when they retire?”
“No clue, ask my dad.” Fulton said. “He knows like everything about humans.”
“Your dad is the coolest.” Hadlee said. “Aziz, you’re so lucky. I bet that Ayden will help you train when you spark. Lion and panther. That’d be awesome.”
“We don’t know if it’s a panther.” Aziz said.
“Oh no, it’s just a tiny black housecat with yellow eyes.” Fulton said. “Of course we know.”
“Exactly.” Hadlee said, running a hand through Aziz’s hair. “But in the case that you are a housecat, I bet you’ll be a super cute kitty.”
Aziz laughed, laying down on the ground. “It’s so strange how the ground can look beautiful, but feel like shit.”
Hadlee laid down next to him and then moved a little, turning so some of her was resting on him. Fulton laughed a little when they started bumping and goofing off with each other. Aziz and Hadlee had gotten together not long before. It was the problem with being a trio. He had become the third wheel by default.
“Hey Fulton!” Ayden called, waving over for Fulton.
Fulton looked over his shoulder to Ayden, a little thankful that he had an escape. “Got to go. Talk to you guys tomorrow.” He said, jumping to his feet and hurrying over to Ayden. “Yes Dad?”
“We’re heading over to mainland.” Ayden said. “It would be nice if you came with.”
“Alright, alright.” Fulton said. “Why did you even want to open a book store in Alaska? What’s wrong with Zinamora?”
“There’s nothing wrong with Zinamora, it’s just that I find humans interesting.” Ayden said. “I think you would find them interesting too.”
Fulton shrugged. “Maybe.”
Ayden gave Fulton a smile and place a hand on his shoulder, giving it a squeeze. “Trust me Fulton, they’re fascinating.”
Fulton didn’t understand why Ayden liked the human world so much. It wasn’t interesting to him, but his parents loved it. Since they lived in Zinamora, taking care of the shop on mainland was a hassle. They had to go back and forth all the time and Fulton got dragged alone often. He picked up a book, reading through the back of it with a little laugh.
“Humans are very amusing.” He commented.
“You’d be surprised how many of these stories are written by guardians.” Shabina said. “Not every story is completely made up.”
Fulton rolled his eyes. “Why waste time writing about it when we live it.”
“Careful what you say, things slow down when you get older.” Ayden said. “It’s fun to pursue a hobby or to write for money. It’s fun.”
“Not for me.”
“We were going around to explore. If you want to stay here, you’ll just have to take care of anybody that comes by.” Shabina said.
“I’ll stay.” Fulton said. What did they even need to explore? What was there to explore at all? The town was tiny. Shabina and Ayden told him how to use the cash register in case anybody came in and left to explore.
Fulton didn’t expect anybody to go in, so he wandered around, picking out a few books and reading the backs of them. Most of the books he had read in Zinamora were always related to magic. They were more informational than fictional or fantastical.
He was surprised when he heard the door open, looking up from his book at a girl as she stepped in. She looked like she was ten years younger than him. It didn’t seem like she should be alone. He paused when she stared at him. “Can I help you?” He asked after a while.
“Oh no, I’ll just look around.” She said, walking towards a few shelves. “Are you here alone? You don’t look 18.”
“It’s my parent’s bookstore.” Fulton said. “They’ve just gone out to explore around.”
She laughed a little. “I don’t know many people that need to explore this place.” She said. “Are you new here? I don’t think I’ve seen you at school.”
Fulton pressed his lips together. He would have just lied that he was new, but he wasn't going to go to human school and he couldn’t imagine why anybody would ever want to move there. “No, I’m not new. Just home-schooled.”
“Does it get lonely?”
“No, I have friends.”
She nodded, pressing her lips together. “I like your hair and your eyes.” She said. “I assume the highlights were to match your eyes?”
Fulton had to think about her comment for a while. To him, highlighted hair and weird eye colors was just normal. Looking at her, he could tell her hair was just a plain black and her eyes blue. It almost reminded him of Aziz’s hair.
“Yeah.” He said. “I thought it would look cool.”
“Well, it does.” She said. “I’m Luna.”
Fulton grinned a little, moving his hand out to shake hers. Her hand was so tiny. “Fulton.” He said. “Were you looking for anything specific?”
Luna nodded, turning around and picking out a book. “School project, it’s easier to buy it than to wait three weeks for it at the school library.”
Fulton laughed, walking around the counter to the register. He picked up the little scanner, reaching for the book Luna had picked out. He scanned the barcode on the back and watched the register pop up the number.
“13.23.” He said, looking over at her as she fumbled with her pocket.
“I hope cash is alright?” She asked, handing him over a ten and a five-dollar bill.
“That’s fine.” Fulton said, taking it from her and pulling out the tray of change. He hesitated, trying to figure out how much to give her back. Math had never been his strongest subject. That had always been Hadlee’s thing.
He figured it out and handed it over to her. “Want a receipt?” He asked, trying to figure out how the machine was working. He didn’t know anything about it, but his parents had told him to ask. He pulled a little bag from the dispenser and dropped the book in.
“No, that’s alright.” Luna said, reaching for her bag. “Thanks Fulton.”
He smiled, watching her turn and leave. He didn’t feel great about being a cashier, but at least Luna had been nice about it. His parents got back a few minutes later and he excused himself to leave, almost running back to Zinamora to see Hadlee and Aziz.
He went towards their normal practicing spot, hoping that they might still be there. He took in a breath of relief when he saw them aiming disks at the tree. “Hey, look who’s back.” Aziz said, beaming as Fulton ran over. “Why the happy face?”
Fulton smirked. “I think I met a girl.”
“No way.” Aziz said. “I never thought I’d live to see the day that Fulton Sutton met a girl.”
“Do we know her?” Hadlee asked, walking over. “Primary or shapeshifter?”
“No, you don’t know her.” Fulton said. He was positive that they wouldn’t know a human. Much less a little human girl. He was going to have to wait some time if he was going want to date her, but his aging would slow down and hers wouldn’t. “And she’s neither. Not a primary or shapeshifter.”
“She’s neither?” Hadlee asked. “What is she then.”
Fulton rubbed the back of his neck, feeling his face growing red. “She’s a human.”
A crack of thunder pulled Fulton out of his dream. He sat up, taking in a few deep breaths. He looked over at Luna, smiling when he saw her. Ayden had been right. He did find humans interesting.
When he had met Luna, she had to be at least ten years younger than him, but when she was aging past 18, his aging slowed down. By the time they had met, they must have been close to the same age in human years.
He leaned over and kissed her cheek, pushing her hair behind her ear. She moved, keeping her eyes closed but reaching up to take his hand. “What are you doing up?” She whispered, rubbing her thumb over the back of his hand.
“The storming outside woke me up.”
Luna yawned, moving onto her back and opening up her eyes. “Alright, well did you have to wake me up?”
Fulton chuckled, leaning down to give her a kiss. “I would have to if I was going to kiss you.” He said. “I’m going to grab some water. Go back to sleep.”
“You don’t have to tell me twice.” Luna said, giving him a half-hearted smile and then another kiss. Fulton watched her head droop back onto the pillow. He shifted out of bed with a yawn and left from their room.
The mansion always felt different at night. Most of the lights were turned off, making the place feel scary. With the storming outside, it felt worse. It almost felt as though the storming was tormenting them. Nick had died because of a storm.
Fulton knew that he wasn’t going to be able to go to sleep anytime soon. Luna wouldn’t notice if he got back late. She’d be asleep by the time he got back. Fulton walked towards the front doors, picking up his jacket from a hook and pulling the hood over his head. He checked his pocket, just to double check that he had his boat on him.
He walked down to shore, keeping his head down and peering out over the water. He tossed his boat out and climbed on, already feeling it rocking back and forth to the waves. “Seek shore.”
The boat started up, directing itself towards the shore at mainland. He tried to protect his head from some of the rain, but he wasn’t very successful. Fulton hopped over the side once he had gotten to shore. He was going to walk towards the book store when he saw something off from the corner of his eye.
Fulton changed his path and walked towards it, trying to figure out what it was. He gasped when he noticed the lion. It had seemed to notice him beforehand. “You’re Ayden, aren’t you?” He asked. “How the hell is it that I come here and you’re here too?”
Ayden shifted back to his human form. “We think alike, Fulton.” He said. “When you’re feel sad, you go somewhere familiar.”
Fulton scowled. “Why are you here then?”
“I’ve had trouble sleeping since Nick... well, you know.”
“You have had trouble sleeping?” Fulton asked. “He wasn’t your kid.”
“He was my grandson, we were still family.”
“What do you care about family?”
Ayden sighed, shaking his head. “I’m not going to argue with you, Fulton.” He said. “I know that it was a mistake to leave, but I can’t change that.”
Fulton squeezed his eyes shut. He didn’t want to talk to Ayden about it, but another thing he had been finding weird was that he had dreamt about Ayden too, not just Luna. “Why did you do it?”
“Fulton, I told you, I didn’t mean to leave, it—”
“No, not that.” Fulton hissed. “Why did you take Nick in the first place? Why didn’t you try to stop him? Why didn’t you do something?”
“You know the answer to all of those.” Ayden said. “If I had known, I would have tried to stop him, but I didn’t know that he was going to try to leave.”
Fulton wiped the tears away from his eyes, turning away from Ayden and going towards the water. He had tried to be calm about Nick, but it wasn’t fair. Why Nick? If Ayden hadn’t gone and fucked everything up for them, Nick wouldn’t be dead.
Why hadn’t Nick just waited? He should have known they were trying to come up with a plan to get them out. Why didn’t he even mention it? Rehan had to know, but he hadn’t said anything about it. If just one person had helped Nick out, he might not had wound up dead.
He didn’t want Nick to be in Zariya, but at least Zariya was better than dead. Ayden walked towards Fulton with his arms crossed. “I’m sorry that he died.” He said. “But it’s not my fault.”
“Yes it is!” Fulton cried, turning to look at him with his tears starting to roll down his face. “If you hadn’t taken him to Zariya he never would have died.”
“We’re playing that game?” Ayden asked. “If you had told him he was a guardian beforehand, he would have been able to protect himself.”
“What do you know?”
“I know that you’re holding Nick back. You can’t protect him by hiding things from him.” Ayden said. “Nick has the potential to be the most powerful guardian in years. If you try to keep it from him, he’s never going to get there.”
“Do not tell me how to raise my kids.”
“I’m not telling you how to raise him, I’m telling him how you should train him.” Ayden said. “You know that I can train him better than Alvis can. You know that better than anybody.”
Fulton clenched his hands into fists. He swiped his hand around, pausing the rain in the air. “Alvis has been teaching him plenty.”
“Look at what you’re doing right now.” Ayden said, pointing up at the water that had been collecting in his grip. “Alvis is only a shapeshifter.”
“You are too.” Fulton said, looking up at the water. He shut his eyes when he realized what Ayden was getting at. He’d taught him almost everything as a shapeshifter. He swiped a hand to the side towards the ocean. The water he’d held in his hand scattered as it moved.
“I can teach him. Better, faster, stronger.”
“Not in a million years.” Fulton snapped. “It doesn’t matter. He’s gone.”
Ayden shook his head. “You should have let me.”
“Did you expect me to trust you?” He asked. “You’re Zariya. If you had really wanted to train him, you shouldn’t have left.”
“I didn’t mean to hurt you when I left! I was thinking about what was the best for me.”
“You left because you were a coward!” Fulton shouted. “You couldn’t face that Alvis was better than you and you didn’t come back because you were too afraid to apologize!”
“No. I’m done.” Fulton said, turning away. “You ruined our family when you left. If you had wanted to fix it, you wouldn’t have done it years ago, but instead you got my son killed.”
“You cannot blame all of your family problems on me. I made a mistake. You make them too.”
Fulton shook his head, walking away from Ayden. He was not going to talk about Nick or Sky with Ayden. It wasn't his fault at all. Ayden was the one that had left. He had so many years to fix it, but he never had. It would have taken just one apology.
Everybody had been expecting him to come back. If he had apologized for it, then things might not have been so messed up. It seemed ironic that after so many years, he was trying to repair things when he figure out about Nick. Ayden was nothing more than a liar.
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I don't really think this fits that well with the prompt, but I did enjoy it!