Well, this is topical. Sorta. I've been working on this since the ball dropped on New Years and it happens to be ready when the sin kids (or abominations. Whatever name floats your boat) are starting to make more appearances in the category. They're as fascinating as the concept behind them is fucked up.
But they're interesting as characters and there's a lot of story potential in them. It's a new way to look at the original loudcest pairings, anyway. That's why I wrote this; the whole "Happy ever after" thing strikes me as stupid anyway.
Onto the Story
Even in the middle of summer, southern Michigan was still chilly, and even more so at 2 in the morning. The Royal Woods bus terminal was one of the only places still open and busy. Buses were either pulling in or leaving, and crowds of people were moving between them, the bus terminal, or the parking lot.
Among the throng of people leaving for the parking lot were two brunette youths- a girl and a boy. The girl was the taller one, with soft long hair that trailed down past her shoulders. She was dressed in a simple long purple skirt and button up jacket. A piece of jewelry hung out in front of it- a silver necklace with a large depiction of the Protestant cross. She carried two duffel bags in her left hand, and the right was firmly holding on to the boy next to her.
He was at least a foot shorter, although his abnormally short and poofy hair, with a purple bandanna wrapped around it, seemed to add an inch or two. He was wearing blue jeans and short sleeve black shirt with the logo of a band on the front of it. He'd forgone any kind of coat, and the only other thing he was wearing was a vest that had clearly been made out of a jean jacket. He was carrying a guitar case in his free hand.
As the two walked, they passed a poster advertising a show in the coming months. Royal Wood's very own Luna Loud would be coming for a show in her hometown. The famous rocker, anglophile, and party animal would always return every few years and do a free show for the city that had given her her start. Everyone viewed as humble for it, remembering her roots even though she traveled both the states and Europe to play at whatever venture would take her, big or small. Her love of the lifestyle was well known.
What wasn't as widely known was that she was the mother of two children- a daughter and son named Lyra and Lemy. Sure, journalists caught a whiff or them every now and then, but most of the attention was always on their mother. No one really expected her to have children when, in the entirety of her decade career as a megastar, she hadn't had a single boyfriend or relationship.
But she had to have someone at home. Who else was going to put her to bed when she stumbled in and passed out on the floor? Or help her get over a hangover?
But rather then sitting in a hotel or motel room waiting for their mother, both of them were instead standing on the edge of a parking lot in Michigan while she was all the way in California. The reason they were here: Family. They'd been sent to stay with a relative- their uncle Lincoln.
It was far from the first time they'd stayed with family; their mother had sent them here to stay with her plethora of sisters- their aunts- and their children- Lyra and Lemy's cousins- numerous times over the last couple of years, just never their uncle. Sometimes it was just because of a demanding tour. Sometimes it was because of a trial or scandal. Other times, through the haze of rock n' roll and partying, their mother would realize how her kids were frustrated with the constant traveling, dodgy lodging, and lack of contact with people their own age. Whatever the reason, she'd shell out for them to travel up north and stay for a few weeks with family.
Amazingly, their mother managed to function without the help during these separations.
Their aunt Lori was the most senior of their aunts, and the only one not living in Michigan- she lived in a wealthy suburb near Chicago. They'd been sent to stay with her more often than any of their other aunts. A very respectable woman on the outside- married to a good husband and holding a job as a high-level manger in the city. Although judging by the wine bottles Lyra had noticed around the house, she liked to indulge in the demon drink.
She was always at work though and didn't seem to have time for, or an interest really, in her niece and nephew. Her husband Bobby was a very kind and conversational man when he was there though. Most of their days there, assuming it wasn't a school year (the two of them were homeschooled, something constantly moving across state lines mandated) were spent with their cousin Loan. She was 15 like Lyra, although a few months younger, and nearly a spitting image of her mother. She was a very shy girl though, wanting to stay inside with her cousins rather than go outside. Over three visits in the last two years, Lyra had noticed her develop a small twitch. She's mentioned it to her parents on the last visit, but only her father seemed to be concerned about it.
Lori was the only respectable one though. The rest they'd stayed with were like their mother- loose women who'd opened their legs when they were young and were now single mothers. They were decent women in their own right, but they still were what they were.
They're only stayed with their aunt Leni once. She was a famous fashion designer and spent a lot of time traveling. They'd gotten a chance to stay with her when one of their mother's European tours happened to match up with her being in Europe for a month-long fashion event across different countries. She was a very sweet and happy woman. Very generous, too; Lyra had spent much of that stay making sure Lemy didn't spoil himself on candy. She was a bit…well, Lyra wasn't sure if she could say it in a polite way, but she wasn't very capable- except for fashion; the abundance of handmade clothes the two had returned with was a testament to that. She had a team of assistants to drive her around and make sure she was always where she needed to be. Still, she was so kind Lyra couldn't help but favor her and not judge her for her situation.
Her daughter Liena has just as kind, if not more so. The oldest of their cousins, she almost completely took after her mother in appearance and personality, although at only 16 she was just as tall as her mother and a little bulkier. Even if they'd only stayed with both of them once, Lyra would honestly say it was one of the best visits they'd ever done. Lemy tended to keep quiet on what he thought, but it had clear he enjoyed it too.
Those were the only two aunts of theirs, or least that they visited, who didn't live in Michigan. The rest did.
Their aunt Luan was always an experience to stay with. The woman made a modest living as a in person and online comedian, and she was always telling jokes. Actually, she seemed to talk more than she stayed silent. But she absolutely loved pranking. And since her own daughter Liby was aware of all her material, her best targets were her much more naïve niece and nephew. Visiting her house was like walking through a minefield- there could be a airhorn behind every door, a whoopee cushion in any chair, super glue on any surface. Liby was much quieter and milder than her mother, but even she'd pull a prank or two at their expense. But she had to admit there were times they laughed while they were there, and none of the pranks went too far. Their aunt and cousin enjoyed having the two over, and they always managed to leave kind of wishing they could stay.
Their aunt Lynn was a similar case. Had Lyra ever met a woman who so embodied the sin of pride so much? No, and she probably wouldn't either. She was very enthusiastic about sports and fitness, as would be expected of a school gym teacher and sports coach, but she took it a little too far. She was very active in general; a morning at her house started before the sun rose. Always trying to get Lemy and her involved sports or to join her in her exercise routines.
Her daughter Lacy was like a miniature version of her. Actually, both of them were pretty short; Lyra had been as tall as her aunt the last time they visited, and she was probably taller now. So the raw strength and energy they always had was surprising, and eventually always started to annoy. But it really was cute in Lyra's opinion to sit back and watch the back and forth antics between mother and daughter. And when their own mother had often been too busy to do things with them, it was nice to have someone trying to. Lemy had even shown a brief interest in sports, at least before his smaller but older and far stronger cousin had given him a seething hatred for them.
The only other aunt they had stayed with was their aunt Lucy, a very peculiar woman who Lyra admittedly wasn't too fond of. She had black hair, unlike the blond and brunette of most the family and was a stay at home writer. She was even more distant to them then Lori. She didn't say much at all really. She was kind of like Lyra in a way- they kept their nose in books. Although the subject of hers was more… morbid. She was not, as Lyra had feared for a time, satanic. She just had an interest in the macabre, which wasn't much better.
Lemy didn't seem to be that bothered by her though, probably because her daughter Lupa was the only one of their cousins he got reasonably along with. It didn't seem to be the fact they were the same age as much as it was that they both liked to complain about things. How a 9-year-old learned to be so cynical, she didn't know. Bad parenting, she assumed. Lupa had white hair, something Lyra had been told popped up in their family tree about once a generation, and was more talkative then her mother, but only to make more snide remarks. The two did not get along.
They had other aunts they'd never stayed with but that their mom talked about and Lyra had actually met when she was little- Lola and Lana, twins. Luna apparently wasn't in contact with them like her other sisters and wasn't sure where or what they were doing. Lisa, a world-renown scientist both Lyra and Lemy had seen on the news. Apparently she'd cut herself off from the rest of her family, something Lyra found both understandable and heartless. And lastly, the youngest of her aunts, Lily. She actually would've still been a teenager like her nieces, living at home with her parents.
Her parents; Luna's parents; their grandparents.
Lyra had stayed with them once -or maybe she had many times before and just couldn't remember- when she was only five. Or rather, her mother had gone to stay with her parents for a while and took Lyra with her. She remembered that time vividly though. Her uncle, aunt Lucy, and all four aunts she hadn't met had still been youths living there. She couldn't really remember what her grandparents looked like, but she remembered they had been very kind people running a loving home.
Very good people. She felt sorry for them having to go through realizing most the daughters they'd raised so caringly ended up as whores.
She'd never been sent to stay with them again though. Lemy had never even met them. Actually, her mother had kept both of them (Lemy had been born soon after that) close by her side for the next couple of years, always on the road. Whenever Lyra had brought up staying with them, her mother had deflected the question or just told her they couldn't take them right now, so she'd eventually stopped asking.
Maybe they'd had a falling out.
But now, for the first time, they were going to stay with their uncle. No idea why their mother had decided this only now. Lyra didn't know a whole lot about him except that he wasn't married. Their cousins had apparently visited him a few times, but they didn't say much. Her mother had mentioned that when her and her siblings were all children, he was always a peacekeeper. Very selfless.
Lyra's mother had even insisted to her that they use to be close. "Totally. When you were a baby he used to help me all the time." Her mother had only been 16 when she had her, so of course she still lived at home with most of her siblings. "He changed you diapers and fed you. One of the first words you learned to say was his name."
So he wasn't exactly a stranger, at least to her. But she'd still hold her judgement till she met him. For that though, they'd first actually have to find him. He was a distinct man though- he had white hair, after all. Her eyes swept across the parking lot while Lemy stayed slumped on the bench.
There were plenty of cars parked, but only a few people moving around. She was looking for anyone who looked like they were waiting for someone.
Her eyes settled on a man in jeans and a jacket sitting on the trunk of an old sedan a few rows into the lot. The yellow glow from one of the light poles was reflecting noticeably off his hair. His white hair.
"Come on." She went back and grabbed Lemy's hand.
"You find him already?"
"I think so." She'd been a bit annoyed her mother hadn't even given her a picture to help. Then again, how many people had white hair?
"Excuse me?" Lyra spoke up. The man looked up and jumped up even before she spoke again. "Are you Lincoln Loud?"
"Lyra and Lemy?" He guessed. His voice was kind of high and scratchy like he didn't use it much. Not as bombastic as their mother or some of their aunts, but not deadpan or flat. When Lyra nodded, he tried to say something else but tripped over his words.
While he stuttered out a greeting, Lyra observed his face and the dark lines under his eyes. He was still in his 20s, but he did look older. Lori's husband had the same effect about from hard work. But so did their mother from her party lifestyle.
"It's…great to meet you guys." He finally managed.
"We're happy to meet you too." Lyra returned. Beside her, Lemy rudely yawned.
"You guys must be tired." Their uncle realized. "I'll take those for you." He motioned to their bags. They handed them off and watched as he put them in the trunk.
"He seems nice." Lyra commented.
"I guess." Lemy shrugged.
"Either of you hungry?" He asked as he climbed into the driver seat. Lyra climbed the front passenger seat and Lemy the back. "There are some places that are open all night." He offered.
"I'm fine, thank you." Lyra declined. She was more looking forward to bed then food. She glanced back at Lemy, who just gave a small jerk of his head no. She responded with a jerk of her head to the seatbelt he hadn't put on yet. He glared back at her but obeyed.
"So…" Their uncle tried to make conversation as they drove out of the parking lot and started heading further into the city. "How's you mother?" He asked.
"She's fine." Lyra responded. "She just got a contract for another major tour." They suspected that was part of the reason she'd had them come visit family.
"That's great." Her uncle nodded. "She still with Sam?"
"She's in rehab."
"Oh." He trailed off awkwardly. Lyra decided to save the conversation by asking him what he did for a living.
"I draw comics." He said. "Mostly for websites though." He gave a small, remorseful laugh. "People don't buy regular comics that much anymore." He admitted. Lyra nodded. It sounded like a decent profession.
"You know, some of your cousins come and visit me sometimes." Their uncle told them. "So you might get a chance to see them."
"Hopefully." Lyra nodded.
"That's a nice necklace." Her uncle had noticed the streetlights reflecting off of it. "You're religious?" He asked.
"Protestant." Lyra answered. She'd been religious for several years now. It all dated back to when she was nine. During a show in Memphis, they were staying in a hotel. She'd happened upon the bible in the bedside table and, with nothing else to do, decided to read it. She hadn't understood everything that it said, or even finished it, but she'd found it interesting. Scary, but interesting. From then on, she'd check whenever they stayed in another hotel. There wasn't a bible in every one and some of them were different, but she'd still read them. By happenstance, she encountered and talked with a traveling pastor at another hotel just a few months later and she was devout from that day on.
Sadly, no one seemed to find this interesting. "Nonsense, love. Let blokes have their fun." Her mother had said when Lyra tried to warn her about what her partying and debauchery would lead to. None of her aunts and cousins had shown any interest either. Well, her aunt Lori had smiled and patted her on the head and told her to be sure to share what she learned with her mother, but there seemed to be sarcasm in her words. Luan had broken out a few blasphemous jokes and Lupa had outright mocked her. Lemy hated it just by the fact she wanted him to read another book on top of all the school ones they had to read.
Her mother must've noticed, though, because the necklace was a gift for her 12th birthday.
"Ah." Her uncle acknowledged. "I think our family's religious. Catholic…I think. You'd have to ask your mom though; I think our parents use to take them to church before there were too many of us."
"Hmm." Lyra acknowledged. If they were, clearly most of them hadn't taken any of the message to heart.
"You play guitar?" Lincoln addressed the next question to Lemy, who hadn't said anything yet.
"No, I just carry the case around for fun." He snarked back. Their uncle twitched at the comeback and Lyra turned around in her seat to fix her little brother with a stare. Lemy squirmed and uncrossed his arms. "Yeah, I play." He admitted. The guitar was one of their mother's old ones she'd passed down. Lyra hadn't failed to notice that his dedication to the instrument only seemed to apply when their mother was around. Lemy was content to just watch tv till their mom came in, at which point he'd pick up the instrument and strum out a few notes. She wasn't an expert, but her mother had said his playing was "pretty rad". He'd been practicing more and more recently without their mother present.
"He's just tired." Lyra tried to excuse his behavior.
"Your mother used to shake the house with her playing." Lincoln chose to ignore the snark and reminisced. "Even after we soundproofed her room, the neighbors would complain about the noise." His smile faded slightly. "Sorry, you might not have many chances to play. My neighbors might complain."
"I'm used to it." Lemy shrugged. Enough angry hotel managers hammering on their door because of one of their mothers impromptu practice session had taught him the better part of discretion.
The rest of the ride passed in silence. Lemy was so tired he fell asleep and Lyra chose not to distract her tired uncle who'd occasionally take a hand off the steering wheel to rub his eyes. A half hour after leaving the bus terminal, they finally pulled into a parking space on a street lined with several apartments.
"Mine's over there." Lincoln pointed to the third building ahead of them. He offered to carry their bags while she got Lemy. She carefully picked him up from the back seat and followed her uncle down the side walk and into one of the buildings. His was on the second floor.
Following him through the door, it opened into a small hallway that went left and right with a living room directly in front. Her uncle pointed down the left hallway. "Kitchen is to the right. Bedroom is down there. I'll sleep in the living room while you guys are here." Lyra headed down the hall, careful to keep from bumping Lemy's head against the wall.
"There's only one bed, but I got a sleeping bag one of you can use." Her uncle offered as he set their bags down in the doorway.
"It's fine." She assured him, glancing around the room as she entered. Nothing out of place- just a bed, closet, and dresser. She set Lemy down on the left side of the bed, making sure to do so carefully while Lincoln went to go get the guitar case he'd left the first time. Her little brother in bed and her uncle outside, Lyra took the chance to walk around the small apartment to make observations.
It was reasonably clean. There wasn't any tobacco or alcohol anywhere she could see. Most of the space in the living room was taken up by a computer and large desk against the far wall covered with paper, files, and drawing utensils. From what she could tell, it looked like the house a modest and hard-working person. No red flags.
The front door opened again as Lincoln came back with Lemy's guitar. Lyra followed him as he set it in the bedroom. He paused, seemingly exhausted from the work.
"Thank you." Lyra nodded.
"No-" He paused to yawn. "No problem." It was late. As interested as both parties were in getting to know each other, it was something best left for the morning. They bid each other goodnight.
Unlike Lemy, she wasn't content to sleeping in her regular clothes. She retrieved a pair of pajamas from her luggage and headed for the bathroom, passing her uncle carrying a blanket retrieved from a closet to the living room. When she emerged, the living room light was already shut off. She returned to the bedroom and stored her clothes and necklace.
But there was still one last thing to do before she went to sleep. She knelt beside the bed and, like every night before, said a nightly prayer. She thanked God for looking after her and asked him to do so again. She asked him to look after her mother, too. Whatever her qualms with her, she was still her mother and Lyra respected her on that fact. There had been a time she'd carried both her children on her hip. And even if she was more distant to them now that they were more independently capable, it was still obvious in her actions that she cared about them and paid attention to what they did.
"And my father, wherever he may be." That was something she'd only added in the last few years. She wasn't sure why she kept in her thoughts a man she'd never met, a man who'd abandoned both her and her mother. It was a subject Lyra hadn't breached with her mother for the longest time, assuming it was the norm. Even after she'd gotten curious, she'd held off because she assumed even her mother didn't know- that it just happened as part of her lifestyle. But eventually, Lyra had asked.
The answer had been about what she expected- her mother had no idea who Lyra's father was. But she'd seemed ashamed to admit it. For a woman who lived so loosely, it was an unusual show of humility. Lyra hadn't pushed the matter further or brought it up again. Be he a good man or bad, the Lord would watch over him and onto him a deserved fate.
"Lemy's father too." That man was just as much an enigma. The most she could say she knew was that he lived in Michigan- Looking back her mom had gotten pregnant with Lemy during the time Lyra stayed with her grandparents, or so she was fairly certain. Probably an old friend she'd "hooked up" with while she was in her hometown. As far as Lemy knew though, they had the same father, but only because he was thankfully naïve in such matters.
She glanced up at the sleeping boy. When you spent so much time traveling without a single home, you got particularly attached to the things that were consistent. She appreciated that it was family. Sure, her mother was scarce most the time and Lemy liked to act out just because. But she still loved them. She didn't mind being a caretaker to her mother and a surrogate mother to her brother. You had to look for the little things that gave happiness.
She climbed into bed and pulled the covers up over both of them. "Goodnight, Lemy." She said. Her baby brother was still fast asleep, and after a few minutes she too was lost to dreams.