|The Magical Education of Liza Stutler
Author: skarletfyre PM
20 years later, Dave's life is falling apart. His wife is dead, his daughter is a loose cannon and knows nothing of magic. Horvath chooses this time to make his grand reentrance into his life, setting his sights on that which Dave treasures most.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Humor - Horvath & Dave S. - Chapters: 16 - Words: 42,565 - Reviews: 35 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 12-02-10 - Published: 09-04-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6299006
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: The Magical Education of Liza Stutler
Rating: M, for language, mature situations, drug content, underage drinking, possibly ideologically sensitive material, and all that crazy stuff I'm so fond of.
Summary: Twenty years later, Dave's falling apart. His teenage daughter is a loose cannon and knows nothing of magic, his wife is dead, his career is failing. Horvath chooses this of all times to make his grand reentrance, setting his sights on that which Dave treasures most.
Disclaimer: I do not own, nor am I affiliated with Sorcerer's Apprentice or Disney or any of it's associates. I'm also broke, so suing would be pointless.
A/N: I would like to credit kenobigirlliz for letting me go ahead with this. It was her story, 'Dave's Daughter,' that inspired this, and I recommend it to all interested. It's pretty good.
Nothing was the same after Becky died.
At the much-too-young age of twenty-four, she was diagnosed with stage four melanoma. That mole on her back wasn't really a mole at all. Two years later, four years after they'd married and three years after they created a beautiful baby girl, Rebecca Elizabeth Stutler passed away, leaving behind her loving husband and young daughter.
That was fourteen years ago.
David was falling apart. His career at NYU was suffering because of his insomnia. He was only forty and he was already losing his hair, his wild dark locks now streaked sporadically with grey. His naturally wiry frame was now wasting away, except for his gut. His fellow professors, and even some students, had commented on the dark circles under his eyes, and the increasing pallor of his skin. The dean had approached him only last week and asked him if he needed some time off. Dave had just shook his head, forced a smile, and said that he'd be fine. He'd been tempted to drink on several occasions, but had resisted for one reason.
However, the urge grew stronger every passing day. The sweet little girl with the wide blue eyes and angelic smile was fading fast, buried under the caustic, cynical teenager that now occupied the room at the end of the hall. When Becky died, she'd been too young to understand. She hadn't even had time to know her mother, form a relationship with her. Maybe if she had, she wouldn't have turned out like this.
At only seventeen, Liza had frown lines etched lightly into her face, thought lines into her forehead. Her outlook on life was bleak, to put it gently. She was a firm believer in conspiracy theories, severely distrusted all forms of authority, considered the government to be corrupt and untrustworthy, and hated anything to with conservatism or bigotry. She was a pessimist in all respects.
Ever since she was little, and possibly even more so now, Liza had been entranced by fantasy novels. At age six, she completed the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but only after reading The Hobbit. Then she'd discovered the Harry Potter novels, and then the Dragonlance books. When she nine, she hit upon the big ones, the ones Dave had been dreading: the Arthurian Legends. She was fascinated by them, and used to run around the house in a backwards bathrobe, pretending she was a powerful sorceress. Even now, Dave could sometimes catch the corner of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe poking out of her backpack.
He found it gut-wrenching.
Dave hadn't told Liza about magic. He'd planned to, before Becky died, when she was old enough to understand and could control it. Becky's death had changed things. Dave hadn't used magic in almost twelve years. He'd abandoned it. After all, magic couldn't save Becky, so what good was it? Morgana was gone, Horvath hadn't been seen or heard from since that night in Battery Park, and Balthazar had moved back to England with Veronica. The old master and apprentice hardly spoke now, mostly because they disagreed on the way Dave was raising Liza.
Balthazar thought Dave was being foolish, only focusing on the negative aspects of magic instead of taking the positive ones into account. He felt that Liza had the right to tap into her potential and know what she was capable was, to know that there was more to life than this meager existence. Dave had stoutly resisted, and he had his own reasons which he refused to divulge to either Balthazar or Veronica, no matter how many times or ways they asked it.
Liza was growing up too fast as it was. She had been for a while, and Dave didn't like it one bit.
When she was fifteen, he'd found birth control pills in her bag while trying to help her find her cell phone. The fight that followed was one of the worst they'd ever had. A neighbor had even come over and asked if he needed to call the police. Dave had slammed the door in her face. The police never showed up.
Recently she'd begun to come home smelling like booze and smoke. Not tobacco smoke, either. That had been the cause of another big fight. She denied doing drugs, claiming that one of her friends had been smoking on the car ride home. Dave knew instantly that she was lying. She was very good at it, something that often worried him more than it should, but he was her father. He'd raised her. She still had the same tic in her jaw when she was lying as she did when she five years old, telling him she didn't break the flowerpot. The same one she'd just whacked over with the broom. He would give anything for her to lie to him about broken flowerpots again.
Another new development in her personality was her increasing interest in political activism.
Two months ago, her Health class had taken a field trip to a Battered Women's Shelter and spent the day there. When she came home that evening, there was a spark in her baby blue eyes that was usually only reserved for her books.
A few week ago, she'd almost been arrested for partaking in a protest supporting Gay Marriage that had gotten out of hand. She'd come home with a black eye and a broken hand, which she said she got by punching the cop who was trying to handcuff her and running away. Dave hadn't gotten any sleep that night, or for the rest of the week.
It was past midnight now, and she still wasn't home. He'd considered setting a curfew, but figured she'd probably just move out altogether if he tried. He didn't want that. Gods knew what she got up to when she was out. The night before, she'd staggered through the door at quarter to three, her hair a mess, and collapsed face down onto the couch where she'd spent the rest of the night. He still didn't know how on earth she kept her straight A's in school.
Dave stared down at the stack of papers in front him, still ungraded. His red pen was running low on ink, and the words were starting to run together. He should have been in bed hours ago.
And she should have been home by then, too.
He sighed in resignation, rubbing at his bleary eyes. He groaned and let his head fall with a thunk onto the kitchen table.
The blue tinged smoke of a marijuana cigarette wafted slowly around the room.
Liza followed it's progress with her red-rimmed eyes, watching it float this way and that, thinning out as it climbed higher. It passed through a beam of moonlight, reminding her of the time. She should have gone home at least two hours ago.
The tattooed arm tightened fractionally around her hips, the man next to her shifting in his sleep. She looked at him, taking another drag off the joint.
Jared wasn't her boyfriend. He wasn't even technically her friend. She'd met him at the rally the other week, and the two had started talking. She was delighted by his passion for what he did, and his belief in making things right in the world. He was a couple years older than her, but that didn't bother her at all. Nor did his multiple piercings and tattoos. He said that each one had a meaning, and a reason. She knew that was bullshit and he was just trying to get into her pants, but she'd let him. She liked him. He was sweet, albeit a bit intense.
She looked to her right in the other side of the bed. Jillian was fast asleep, her freckled face tilted up towards Liza, her white-blonde hair falling lightly into her closed hazel eyes. Liza resisted the urge to brush it away and kiss her. That would just wake her up. She didn't want that.
She wasn't sure about her feeling for Jillian. They'd known each other for about a year now, having met in their Explorative Art class, which, thinking back on it, Liza found to be a little ironic. Jillian was a painter, and a damned good one. She'd painted Liza a few times, submitting them for school projects. She'd gotten top marks, but always said it was due more to Liza's beauty than her artistic talent. She'd later submitted the paintings to local art galleries, and had gotten some very good reviews on them. She kept the nudes and semi-nudes for her private collection.
Liza wasn't a lesbian, nor did she consider herself bisexual. She didn't quite know how to define her sexuality. She was attracted to people, not to a gender. She enjoyed being intimate with someone, or just being in their company, without having to pin down her feelings. Jillian was gay to the core, and had only agreed to join them that night because she could be with Liza. She'd actually hit Jared when he'd tried to kiss her. He'd backed off, content to watch the two girls enjoy each other. He'd gotten his turn later.
Liza looked up to the ceiling, blowing smoke rings. They were at Jared's, of course, only a few blocks from her apartment. She seriously thought about just rolling over and going to sleep right there, but knew she'd never hear the end of it from her father when she came home.
He meant well, and she knew that. He was just a little anal sometimes. He'd never gotten over her mother's death, and had never been in another relationship. She worried about him sometimes, feeling a little bad for the hell she'd put him through these last few years. Then she'd remember all the times he'd shouted at her, grounded her for minor offenses, tried to control her life. He'd pretty much given up this last year, but every once in a while he'd snap. It was never a pretty sight.
She reached back and scrunched out her joint on the wall, the ashes falling onto the pillow next to her. She made sure they wouldn't set it on fire, then gently removed Jared's arm from her waist. He grunted in his sleep, but didn't wake. She pulled back the covers and wriggled out from between her two lovers, careful not to disturb them. If she did, they'd never let her leave.
She crawled off the end of the bed and tugged on her jeans, not bothering to find her panties. She'd get them later. Her bra, however was another story. From the pictures she'd seen, she had her mother's figure, which was rather curvaceous. Bras became necessary at age twelve, and were even more needed now at age seventeen. She found hers draped crookedly over the lamp on Jared's desk and slipped it on. Her t-shirt was balled up at the foot of the bed, wrinkled and dusty, but still wearable. She shook it gently before tugging it on, in case there were spiders hiding in it.
She gathered her bag from it's place by the door, then turned for one last look at the sleeping forms. She'd get hell from Jillian for leaving her there, but she couldn't very well take her home, now could she? Her dad would probably have a seizure.
Liza hesitated for a moment, then quietly crossed back to the bed and kissed Jillian gently on the temple. The short girl smiled slightly in her sleep, but otherwise didn't stir. Liza exited the grimy apartment as silently as she could and walked out into the night.