Summary: Still recovering from their experience in New York, Fi and her family take a another trip to visit Molly's parents. Fi wants answers from her grandmother, and Molly realizes that she needs to believe in the paranormal.
A/N: And here I am again, thanks to Ares' Warrior Babe, who renewed my obsession with So Weird. Unlike my other stories however, this will not be an action-packed, super-long epic. It WON'T be because I'm working on way too much other stuff to start that again (so I keep telling myself, over and over). This is just another post-Twin story that tries to answer some questions that were never addressed. It'll be ten chapters max, but I have a feeling it'll be even less than that.
"Maybe I should do another load of laundry before I go..." Fiona Phillips muttered to herself while she held up a wrinkled and dirty shirt. They'd been home from New York for less than two weeks, and Fi was realizing that she hadn't been doing laundry as much as she should have. It had been easy to just throw whatever she had that looked decent into a bag, then plan to wash the rest when she got back.
However, she hadn't counted on their mother deciding to make a trip to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Both Fi and Jack had been more than a little surprised. Previously they had only seen their grandparents every couple of years, if that, and they had just visited not even a year ago. The siblings had come to the conclusion that their mother was trying to work out her relationship with her parents, after the progress she had made with her father last time. That in mind, they tried to show enthusiasm and support for the idea, even though they would rather be catching up with their friends at home.
The shirt was tossed into her hamper. Fi looked around for more stuff to pack, then noticed her CD player wasn't in her room. Oh, right, Jack borrowed it when he went running this morning, Fi thought. A quick glace into the hallway showed that her brother was just walking up the stairs. "Jack!" Fi yelled, with the hope he would hear her before he went into his room.
Her brother to stopped like he'd been about to run into oncoming traffic, make an abrupt turn, and dash to her front door. "Fi! Are you okay?" he exclaimed.
"I'm fine," Fi assured him. She resisted the temptation to roll her eyes, but it took some will-power. He'd been extremely jumpy and protective of her ever since The Incident, as they were calling it, in New York. "I just wanted to ask for my CD player back so I can pack it."
Jack let out a sigh of relief. "Fi, don't scare me like that! When you shout my name makes me panic!"
"You heard me calling from my room. How could I be in danger if I'm in my room?" Fiona argued. At first she thought he was sweet for worrying about her, but after more than a week of this behavior, it was getting on her nerves. Fi supposed it didn't help that, if she was honest with herself, his anxiety over her safety mirrored her own.
Slightly embarrassed, Jack absentmindedly scratched the back of his neck as he stood in her doorway. "I don't know...look, just don't do it, please?"
"Okay, I won't," Fi retorted, some annoyance in her voice. When went to go back to his room, she called, "And don't forget to give me back my CD player!"
Fiona shook her head as she went back to packing. Her fall over the side of that building had really shaken her family, which wasn't helping her get over her own fear. While her family was just in shock from the one event, Fiona had the knowledge that the demon, or whatever it was that had pushed her over was still out there. It was pretty unlikely that the demon was satisfied with just terrifying her. She was sure that it was out to kill her, and was just forming another plan of attack.
The idea scared her so much that she could barely sleep at night. How was she supposed to live knowing that some supernatural creature wanted her dead? How was she supposed to feel safe until she knew it was destroyed?
Her father had said that evil couldn't hurt her since he was protecting her. But it didn't change the knowledge she had gained that supernatural forces wanted her dead, and weren't going to stop trying.
Startled by her mother's interruption, Fiona dropped the t-shirt she'd been holding. "Mom! Uh, hi."
"Are you okay, baby?" Molly asked, not for the first time that day, as she entered the room and sat at the edge of her daughter's bed. "Sorry, didn't mean to scare you."
"Trust me, it takes a lot more than that to scare me these days," Fiona remarked, the demon still on her mind. When her mother frowned and lowered her eyes, she didn't say any more on the subject. Of course Fi had told everyone that an evil creature had pushed her off the roof. And of course, neither her family nor the Bells dared to believe her. Since no one else had been able to come up with an explanation themselves, they quickly rejected Fiona's story without much discussion and tried to move on from the whole ordeal.
Especially her mother, who almost yelled at her every time she brought it up. This angered Fiona, so their relationship was a little tense at the moment. "What do you want, Mom?" she asked. She attempted to keep the resentment out of her voice, but her words still sounded harsh.
Molly let out a deep breath and looked up at her daughter. "I know you're mad at me, but...I don't know what to say, baby. I'm sorry, but I can't believe you. I just can't. You're...you're asking me to believe that some evil being attacked my daughter...I can't go there, Fiona." She then lowered her eyes again. "I couldn't for your dad either. It's too much."
"But don't you get it? I'm afraid for my life here," Fiona cried. She could feel her eyes moisten, but fought back the tears. "You're my mom. You're supposed to make me feel better."
Upset, Molly shook her head. "No, I....I've been there before, okay? I've tried to believe before! It's a scary place, Fiona! When you're faced with a world full of evil...you never feel safe. Never. The only way to preserve your sanity is to go back to thinking that none of it is real."
"That's great for you," Fiona retorted, sarcasm and not an ounce of sympathy in her voice. "But some of us can't do that."
Molly surprised her by nodding in agreement. "I know, baby. But...I just can't. I'm sorry, and I hope you'll accept that." When Fiona didn't say anything, she began to leave, but she stopped at the doorway. "And I know this doesn't help, but...please try to go easy on your brother. That day...really affected all of us."
No kidding, Fiona thought as her temper spiked. But she fought it down and simply nodded. When her mother left, she did her best to distract herself by packing.
As her mother drove to their grandparents' house, Fiona was resting her head on her seat with her CD player and her headphones on. Much like when she first found out her and her dad's shared passion, "Another World" was on repeat. It was her comfort song, the one that connected her to her father when she needed him. And it was safe to say she needed him more at that moment than ever before.
While she had been elated to finally contact her father, the more she thought, the more she realized it hadn't been enough. Even though they had only had five minutes together, if that, Fiona was berating herself for not asking him something. At least her father had given her the clue that the demon had been one that was jealous of the living. Then again, how much of a clue was that, really?
There was a bump in the road, which distracted Fiona from her thoughts. She looked up to see that her brother, in the front, had the passenger seat back and his eyes closed. Her mother seemed tired, but she was staring at the road with her eyes forced wide open.
Fiona glanced at the window and was relieved to see that she recognized their surroundings. "We're almost there, right?" Her question had caused Jack to open his eyes and look around as well.
"Yeah, baby. Start waking up, Jack," Molly replied. She then paused and let out a deep breath."Okay guys, I know things have been tense with us lately. And I'm not asking you to get over...what happened right now. But can we at least pretend that everything's fine? I really don't want them to worry...especially your grandpa. He's still recovering from his heart problems."
"Well, yeah. I wasn't planning on telling them that their only granddaughter almost fell from a Manhattan skyscraper," Jack agreed as he sat up in the seat.
Then he glanced at Fi, and Molly met her daughter's eyes in the rear-view mirror.
Of course Fiona was not okay with this. She had wanted to talk to her grandmother about everything and get her input. While not a practicing witch, Grandma Kathleen had to have some knowledge of the spirit world from her mother. But since she couldn't say that, Fiona just replied, "Yeah, I understand."
She could always corner Grandma Kathleen one night when her mother and Jack weren't around.
Though she clearly wasn't sure if Fiona meant it or not, Molly still seemed a little more relieved. "Good. Thanks, baby."
Ten minutes later they were pulling into the grandparents' driveway. Before Fiona even opened the door, Grandma Kathleen rushed out of the house towards the car. "Finally!" she exclaimed. Even though Jack was closer, she pulled Fiona into a bone-crushing hug. "Oh my goodness, I was so worried about you, love."
"See, Kathleen? I told you the girl was fine," Colin said. He was much calmer as he walked up to them, and proceeded to give Jack a brief hug in greeting. "Good to see you, Jack."
"Hey, Grandpa," Jack greeted, but turned to stare in bewilderment at his grandmother.
Fiona was doing much of the same while she tried to reassure her grandmother of her well-being. "I'm fine, Grandma," Fiona said after she'd managed to break away. Even though she had an idea of the answer, she still asked, "Why were you worried about me?"
"Oh, ah..." Kathleen trailed off, suddenly aware that everyone was staring at her with confusion. "I know this may sound a wee bit loony, but a couple of weeks ago I just had the strongest feeling that you were in trouble."
At that, Fiona glanced at her mother to get her reaction...and received another surprise. Molly's jaw had dropped in shock, her grip tight on a suitcase handle. It seemed as if she had suddenly realized something, but didn't want to believe whatever it was.
Which only made Fiona come up with about a dozen questions. Of course, Fi knew that Grandma Kathleen must have had a premonition of her fall. But why would her mother jump to that conclusion? Did she secretly believe what Fi had been telling her all along, that their family had witch blood? Then Fi's mind flashed back to that first night in New York, when her mother had admitted to getting psychic feelings. Was her mother recognizing that maybe Grandma Kathleen had the same ability?
Sure, some might say that she was basing a lot on her interpretation of her mother's facial expression. But no one ever accused Fi of thinking small.
To disrupt the mounting tension, Kathleen waved a dismissive hand. "Listen to me, making a big deal out of a little feeling. It must have been my mind playing tricks on me, because here you are, safe and sound!" She gave Fi another, quicker hug, then moved on to her grandson. "Jack! Give your old grandmother a hug!"
Fiona leaned against the car and watched the reunion. Jack dutifully returned the hug. But Fi was more interested in how her mother and grandfather greeted each other. Last time they were there, it had been nothing more than a stiff acknowledgment. So Fi was relieved when, even though there was still some tension, Molly and Colin gave each other a brief hug and at least seemed happy to see each other.
Finally, it was Fiona's turn to hug her grandfather. "Missed you, Grandpa!" As they broke away, she asked, "How are you feeling?"
"Just fine, Fiona. It takes more than some heart problems to bring this rock down," Colin assured her, then grabbed a suit case out of the trunk to prove his point.
After each of the suitcases had been taken by someone, Kathleen headed back towards the house. "Come along, then! I've got fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies just out of the oven!"
"Right behind you, Grandma!" Fiona called as she felt her stomach grumble. At the promise of snacks, Fi and her family automatically quickened their pace. They were ready to relax after that long drive.
Fiona and her brother had gasped in unison at the sight of the huge pool table that was sitting in the middle of their grandparents' finished basement. The felt was a dark green, and intricate, swirling carved designs covered the sides and legs. Colin grinned at his grandchildren as he positioned the full triangular rack in its position at the end of the table. "She's a beauty, isn't she? A local bar was getting rid of it, really was a steal."
"It is beautiful," Jack replied while he moved closer to glance down at the carving on the side. "I just didn't know you were a pool player, Grandpa."
Colin shrugged. "Your grandma was buggin' me to get a hobby, to 'help me relax.' She's still worried about my heart, you know. So I knew the guy at the bar who was selling it, and decided that billiards would be that hobby. I've found I have quite a knack for it."
"Well, be ready to defend those words. Jack crushes everyone at pool," Fiona spoke up. She liked the game too, but had never beaten her brother...much to her annoyance. Except for a few times when he scratched on the eight ball.
At that information, Colin seemed disappointed. "Oh. I was looking forward to teaching you kids how to play. I didn't realize you already knew."
"Yeah, the Bells have a pool table in their basement. Fi and I have been playing since we were little," Jack informed him, then frowned in sympathy. "Sorry, Grandpa."
Solely to make her grandfather feel better, Fiona said, "Well, we could still use a few pointers."
"Speak for yourself, sis," Jack replied, a smug expression on his face as he put a hand on Colin's shoulder. "Look at it this way, Grandpa. At least now you don't have to feel guilty about beating us. Or trying to, anyway."
Thankfully, Colin wasn't upset further, but laughed and grabbed a cue. "So that's how it's going to be then. Alright, Jack, prepare to prove your worth."
"I sense a challenge in those words, and I accept," Jack replied as he also took a cue from the rack nailed to the wall nearby.
Fiona laughed, then slowly made her way to the stairs. "I've got winner, okay? Let me know when you're done, 'cause I'm going to go catch up with grandma," she called. While she normally loved to watch pool, she had a feeling there would be many more opportunities to do so during the week.
And besides, she wanted to check if her grandmother was alone so she could ask her some questions.
After Jack and her grandfather assured her that they would tell her when the game was over, she ran up the stairs. She heard voices coming from the kitchen, so she headed that way. It was where she expected them to be, actually. Her mother and grandmother liked to have their private talks in the kitchen every visit. But they'd already been in there a little while, so Fiona didn't mind that she would be interrupting.
On a hunch, she stopped just short of the doorway and stood off to the side so she wouldn't be seen. Yes, it was eavesdropping. But Fi was curious if they were talking about Grandma's "feeling" she mentioned earlier. If that was the case, she knew the subject would instantly change the second she walked in the room.
"...Ma, I told you, Fiona is fine," Molly was saying around a mouth full of chocolate chip cookie. "Just let it go, alright?"
But Kathleen wasn't convinced. "No, I won't. You're hiding something from me. I sensed it the minute you got here." There was a pause, then she quietly added, "Look, Molly, you know I was never as...involved in our family's abilities as your grandmother was, but lately..."
"Ma, stop it!" Molly almost shouted, her mouthful of cookie swallowed by then. "I've been having this argument with Fiona ever since we got back from New York, and I refuse to spend my week here having that same argument with you!"
About to retort, Kathleen hesitated when she'd taken in her daughter's words. "What happened in New York, Molly?"
Thrown off, Molly replied, "What?"
"You said 'ever since we got back from New York,'" Kathleen answered calmly. "I'd like to know what you meant by that."
At a loss for words, Molly could only stare, her mouth slightly open. Fi took that as her cue to enter.
After she'd worked up her courage, Fiona stepped into the kitchen, which instantly caused the two woman to turn their attention towards her. "She's talking about..."
"Fiona, don't!" Molly interrupted, her tone harsh.
But Fi ignored her. "She's talking about when I was pushed off the top of a Manhattan skyscraper," she finished. Her grandmother gasped in horror, and her mother put her head in her hands. "By a demon."