Disclaimer: I don't own your mom… And I hang out with the guys too much…
So… I felt bad about not posting anything for St. Patrick's, so I put myself on the job, held my other projects (LOTS of other projects… I can't even remember some stories I already typed…) and got down for a little one-on-one with Jez and Morgy. (And i know it's a week late ok? You don't havta rub it in T.T)
Just a shot at a progressing relationship, and little tidbits of information there for you. Because everyone wants to get a piece of the luck o' the Irish. ;}
Luck of the Redhead
"Now." Uncle Bracken looked at the two tween vampires with a sort of happy look in his eyes. "Do you two know about St. Patrick's Day?"
"Um… it's a day for a saint?"
"That's right Jez."
"But… why?" Morgead Blackthorn, his black mop of a head still a little too big for his still growing, eight year-old body, asked. "There are lots of saints. Why a whole day, celebrated for a guy named Patrick?"
"He was a special saint." Was Bracken's only formless reply. "He did a lot of miracles. Became Ireland's patron."
Jez pouted to protest. "But I'm not Irish."
"No." Uncle Bracken consented, "But you're a redhead."
She blinked, cocked her head.
Morgead stayed silent beside her. Sulking. Bracken knew the boy would much rather watch paint peel than hear an old vampire talk about a national holiday he really didn't care about. And he couldn't blame him, because Bracken couldn't really care less either.
He was just doing this for the observation. And for the purpose of bringing the two kids closer together. He saw how they acted around each other. He wasn't stupid.
For their sake, he repeated:
"It's a day for a special saint—an Irish saint, Ireland's very own patron. St. Patrick."
The two didn't squirm. They listened. As intent as they would in a hunt.
"St. Patrick's day is a very well celebrated holiday, going from a purely Catholic day to a feast day to a folkland day to just a celebration of Irish culture. On March 17. That day, people all over the world—from America, to Canada, to Ireland herself—decorate their homes, paint, and wear green."
"Why green?" Jez flipped her messy hair (when was the last time he made her brush it..? A month?) and looked at it. "Why not red?"
"Because Jez," she was getting more impatient and stubborn by the day, Bracken thought, she'd be just like her mother in no time, "green is one of the colors of the Irish flag. Ireland's nickname is the "Emerald Isle". Green is the color of spring, the shamrock—"
"What's a shamrock."
It didn't sound like a question. More like a plea from the boy to shut up.
But Bracken answered anyway.
"A shamrock is a three-leafed clover."
"I thought four-leafed ones were the lucky ones."
"They are—but shamrocks are the symbol of the holiday. St. Patrick used a shamrock for each of his sermons…"
He lectured them some more. About shamrocks, about green—about St. Patrick's Day themes in general.
He noticed how they made no move towards each other. Barely talked.
That year, Bracken made note of the way they talked to each other. Friendly, an uncaring attitude towards each other. Nothing more. Like a mutual relationship in the ecosystem. They hung out with each other because they had to. Birds of a feather flock together. Young vampires with no direct parents did too.
The friendship was based purely on survival instincts.
Maybe his hunch about… about it was wrong.
For the next two years, he left them alone. They were just friends (more or less). Friendships dies eventually. For vampires, they die even faster.
But the friendship didn't die. It lasted three more years.
In that third following year, Morgead and Jez were twelve and eleven. Both were acting more open. And Bracken saw better interaction (injury-related or otherwise).
This year, he decided to repeat the session he had last year. Mostly because Jez was whining and moaning about how St. Patrick's Day was—and he quotes—"SOOOOOOOO BORRRRING!!!!"
Morgead, with his hair grown out to the tips of his ears and his face almost fully grown out of the baby fat—like last last last year—was sitting silent beside her. But—unlike last last last year—there was the faint hint of a smirk on his lips.
Bracken towed them to the living room they used the last year. The one with the yellow rug and beige couch.
"Now," he said, "what do you want to know about today?"
"When it ends." Jez groaned, already pressing a pillow to her face.
Morgead rolled his eyes.
Jez made noises behind the pillow. Gurgles. Bracken guessed they weren't positive.
"Why do we even celebrate it?"
"Would you rather stay in school?" Bracken challenged.
She gave a groan, muffled by the patched pillow she wore as a face mask. "I'd rather sit on a desk doing nothing than sit in my house doing nothing."
He saw no logic in that. At all.
He lectured them again, and this time, he got into traditions.
"They drank and drank and drank at this time of year—"
"Sounds fun." Morgead's sarcasm seemed to have fully developed, Bracken noted, unpleased with the fact. "What a way to celebrate a holy day."
"Back in the day, it was. They'd bring out a bottle of whiskey, and then, before you knew what hit you, you'd be dancing around in green suspenders and a top hat. Sometimes, they'd bring a priest along to supervise."
"A priest?" Morgead snorted. "Why in heck would they do that?"
He threw a hand up. "How stupid were the Irish, anyway?"
Jez threw her hand at him. "Shut up! Let 'im finish the story."
Morgead's eyes flashed. "Make me."
"Maybe I will!"
Bracken watched this with a scientist's eyes. Observe. Analyze. Conclude.
In that year, Bracken gave a little—just a tiny bit—consideration into his theory.
They sat at the same spot, on the same date, in the next year. Jez and Morgead were already listening to her uncle's stories, no questions. With last years' success (they stayed up debating over why Chicago always dyed its rivers green and why, after, actually, Morgead and Jezebel stopped bickering), they were on the couch first thing Jez got off from school (Bracken didn't know where the thirteen-year old boy spent his time, but he always managed to find his way over to their house the same time Jez did, which, in actual fact, just led Bracken to lean in on his theory all the more).
"And there are lots of activities for St. Patrick's." Her uncle continued, "There's one with a scavenger hunt for a four-leafed clover—they aren't the symbol, but, they say that if you find one, you'll be able to find a leprechaun. And his pot of gold.
"Now, gold coins were very valuable in Ireland. They foretold good luck to whomever lucky soul managed to find on. Brilliant luck—tremendous luck if a leprechaun himself gave it to you."
Jez's eyes flashed with amusement. Clearly, at twelve, she thought she was too old for this. But she proved just how much she loved—or at least valued—her uncle by playing along. "How do we find a leprechaun, Uncle Bracken? I want good luck."
Morgead so very subtly elbowed Jez. "Don't be selfish. Me too."
"Well. It's hard to find a leprechaun. The best way is to find a rainbow and follow it to its end."
Jez pretended to think about it. Morgead immediately shook his head, "Too much work. And my gagging reflex would act up."
"Hm…" Now Bracken was the one pretending to think about it. "There is… one other way. From a couple stories."
Jez and Morgead waited.
"A redhead could be kissed. And if the two lovebirds had luck ahead of them, a leprechaun would appear."
Morgead slapped his forehead. Jez fell back on the pillows.
Silence… with a heavy cloud of awkwardness….
Bracken would never admit it, but he smiled at the situation.
The two gave sideways looks when they were sure the other wasn't looking.
"Uh… no thanks." Morgead finally said. "Such a rip-off. I'd rather kill her for it than kiss her."
Jez nodded vehemently. "What he said." They were both trying to hide their simultaneous blushing and gagging.
That year was the year Bracken knew for sure they were somehow… connected. Not by it though. Maybe.
But he saw the glances Morgead gave her. He saw the way Jez tried (or not try… he didn't know if she knew) not to meet them.
He wasn't stupid.
The next year, Uncle Bracken told the two now-teen vampires more about the holiday. Morgead and Jez had gotten older, more mature. Fourteen and thirteen, respectively. They were both still growing in some ways, and yet already grown in others. In the stage where childhood was missed and loathed at the same time.
Bracken thought he would regale the two with folktale stories this year.
"Now." He began—like always. "St. Patrick's real name was Maewyn, born in Wales, around 16 when he was sold into slavery—"
"Yes Morgead. They had slavery in Ireland." Jez interrupted.
"I wasn't saying anything."
"But you were thinking it."
Bracken cleared his throat. The two teenagers broke their glare-off.
"As I was saying," Jez rolled her eyes and Morgead placed his palm on his propped knee to hold his chin. "He was sold into slavery around 16. Before that time, he was a pagan—"
"That means: person who believes in a lot of gods." This time, it was Morgead who interrupted.
Jez shook her head. "I know what it means."
"Because I just told you."
She hmphed. "Shut up. I'm not an idiot. I know stuff, Morgead."
His eyes sparkled with thoughts and thoughts of comebacks. "Well you better start acting like it, Jezebel."
"I bet my pinkie has a bigger brain than you."
"Oh yeah. And your head's fat too." Jez snickered. "We should pop it. I love the sound of hot air whooshing by."
"Don't you ever shut up?"
Black hair tumbled into fiery green eyes as Morgead stood up. "You know what, Jezebel?"
Jez snarled up at Morgead. "Do you know what, Morgy?"
"If you don't want to listen, just say so." That was Bracken. As much as he enjoyed their fights (entertainment in real life was very rare for the aging vampire) he really just wanted to get his story over with.
But woe is he. Because Jez and Morgead both looked at him, and at the same second, at the same moment—right down to the same tone in their voices—they said: "So."
Bracken told them: "I'm telling it anyway; Morgead, sit down."
Reluctantly, he did, though not before giving Jez a certain finger behind his back (Morgead must have thought he couldn't see, but Uncles knew everything).
"All right. So he was a pagan. But during his six-years in captivity, the young boy became closer to God. When he was finally released, he was convinced that converting the other pagans of Ireland was his calling." Bracken waited, but when no sign of interruption was evident in either of his audience, he spoke on, "That's the general background to Patrick the Irish saint.
"Now leprechauns," he said, "are trickier. They are fairies of Irish folklore, beings of imagination—"
"We're beings of imagination."
Jez slapped his shoulder, none too gentle either. "Shut up Morgead."
"—but before the 20th century, a leprechaun was much more than that. It was a spirit. One that had helped the Irish people more than they realize. And even though they were important, the little tykes were still portrayed as being ugly little sprites with red hair for beards and a thirst for blood—"
Morgead barked out his laugh. He kept laughing for seconds to minutes.
"What?" Jez asked, smiling despite herself. "What's so funny?"
He snorted. "Hear that Jezebel?" he said between chortles, "It's you!"
Jez's face froze into her smile.
"I'm going to kill you."
"Jez," Bracken tried. But it was too late. Even if he wanted to (which he really didn't) Jez already knocked Morgead against the sofa arm and pinned him there.
"Oh no, a leprechaun-vampire!" Morgead shouted to the skies as Jez grabbed a pillow—almost tore it in half she did—and proceeded to smack him with it. "Oh, God! I see the beard!"
"Morgead you terd—!"
Bracken Redfern never did get to finish his lecture that year, but somehow, watching the two go at each other like that, he felt like he already finished his purpose. He left the two alone, chuckling his way to the library.
Whether or not they were connected by some supernatural force was irrelevant. The standing point was:
No other pair of friends would be as close as these two already were, binding cord or not. Not by a long-shot.
Bracken closed the door behind him.
From the couch, Morgead was heard trying to get out of a pillowy-death grip.
"Shouldn't you be—" choke "—stuffing your pot of gold somewhere?"
"Oh—" squeeze "—I know exactly where to stuff it Morgead."
Author's Note: They say the world has only two types of people. The Irish and the ones that wish they were.
:} Not Irish… so I guess I wish I was xD
Well... Not my best, but posted anyway. I only really liked the last two lines xD Hope you're not too disappointed.
Review, and I'll know my two hours wasn't put to waste… … … :)