Title: A Mother's Love
Theme: #31 - Home
Realm: Devil May Cry
Characters: Sparda, Eva, Dante, Vergil, the Fire
Genre: general, family
Warnings: Violence, Character death
Summary: The upbringing of Dante and Vergil, seen from Eva's point of view.
Notes: I don't know what came into me. This started out as something completely different, and then I just kept on writing on and on.
Another note – the year thing is mainly just for you guys to have a relative idea of the time that passes by. I don't think that they grew up with our modern state of years; I don't know what Capcom thought in terms of time. So humour me.
I usually don't do this, but I felt the need to update with a few bits and pieces as it gave more flesh to the story.
Dedication: This story is for my mother Eva (yes, I know the irony of this), who never hesitated in giving birth to me despite a potential refusal from my dad. Thank you for twenty-three years. I hope you'll be here for many more years, and live to see when I decide to give you grandchildren. I bet you'll have fun in tortur- errr… I mean, loving them. I love you, mom. I'm sorry for causing you so much trouble and worry.
A Mother's Love
In a small two-storey house a fire had licked the building walls and made its destructive path throughout the building. Gone through the pale blue wallpapers with the tiny rose pattern on it, climbed its way up the narrow staircase just right by the kitchen, going higher and over that eight step that creaked whenever you stepped on it. The fire had consumed the thick Angora carpet that kept its owners feet warm during cold winter nights.
It burned through the twin bedrooms that were the exact mirror images of one another. Finally it had devoured the master bedroom, the beige curtains a memory long gone, as was the sturdy queen sized bed and the wardrobe that had held more functional than fancy clothing.
By the window there once had been a desk and a chair. Nothing of importance really occupied it save for a small blue notebook and a reservoir pen.
As the fire had reached the notebook and started licking at the pages they began to turn. Page after page of neat handwriting was unravelled, and a story unfolded, just like anyone else.
December 24, 1962
Sparda didn't want me to have the boys. He said they would be my death. Said that he didn't know what demonic atrocity would come forth. All he knew was that I would die. With certainty he said that no human could outlive the birth of something demonic, that it'd eat me from the inside and leave my body a torn and broken shell. That was the way of the demons. That was why so few demons were born, but when they bred it wasn't one or two, it was in tens and twenties. He didn't say that last part; I found it out later.
I don't know why, but I said that I'd rather die if it meant that the fruit of our love would live and perspire.
He wept then. I watched him fight to stay in control, to have him rave or scream at me, but somewhere deep inside I knew that he wouldn't do such a thing. He cherished that part of me. The one that wouldn't give up, that will. He treasured my love.
For another seven months I grew, and I became as if one with my belly. I rubbed it with scented oils; spoke to them, though at the time I thought it only was one, and all in all I dare say we lived in symbiosis. Every night I sung, though I truly don't have much of a singing voice. Perhaps I should have spared them that.
Finally I was so large that I couldn't walk properly, only take a few steps before I had to sit down. I joked with Sparda that his child would have me bedridden for the rest of my life, but it didn't have the effect I hoped for.
His grin was grim, and he fought not to say anything. Throughout the entire time I watched him struggle not to show the pain inside.
Then came the day when the pain begun.
It was in the middle of December, a storm howled outdoors. Later on I learned it was the worst storm in three decades. Things had been torn apart from the sheer force of rain, snow and hail that wouldn't stop thundering down until two days later. At the time, I didn't care. I was too busy screaming in pain.
I cannot express how I was torn apart, the blood, the feeling of something fighting and clawing its way out of my body. I admit it, I was terrified, and I nearly blacked out from it all. Something told me I needed to stay awake, to not fall down, and I crawled to the bedroom, all the while leaving a bloody trail in my wake.
Within minutes Sparda was there. He'd been away on some mission, had been gone for weeks, but as if by magic he knew what was going on and was by my side. He'd brought a woman with him, someone he told me knew of birthing and of what he was. She was old, her hair mostly grey and skin wrinkled, but she was competent. For ten hours she kept me alive, until realizing how she could save me and quickly deciding on that a caesarean was needed. I was so gone with pain by that time that I didn't care, I just screamed that I wanted it out now.
Another five hours later and I passed out, but not without knowing that I had two healthy baby boys.
And now three days have passed and I'm bedridden again and have nothing better to do than to lie in bed and read these silly little romance novels that make me gag with the sheer cheesiness in them. I entertain myself with my boys; there truly can't be anything better than to hold them close, inhaling their sweet baby smell. They're so soft, so human. And dear Lord I had no idea that I'd get twins. It came as a shock, first hearing one cry, then just minutes later the wailing of another. But after those few first shocky minutes I found myself laughing through the pain, the tears.
"Y-yo-you could," I remember saying, panting between the screams, "told me, you annoying bastard."
He'd just shrugged his shoulders. "You never asked."
Typical of him. I really should have seen it coming. I dread that my boys will behave like him.
Oh, my boys. They're perfect. Ten fingers and toes, soft rosy skin, and just a tiny wisp of white hair on their heads. I could write a novel on how beautiful they are, with their blue eyes and long eyelashes and all of that, but… it feels so natural to have them here with me. This was meant to happen. I decided to call them Vergil and Dante. La divina comedia – or as it's called in English – The Divine Comedy has been a constant companion during the pregnancy, and I don't know why, but the names stuck. Sparda gave a cryptic smile when I told him, but in general he's acted as proud as any. I can't always tell what's on his mind, but I think that he's happier of that I'm alive than that he cares of his children. Don't misunderstand me, I can tell that he loves the boys, but he was convinced that I would die. So was I.
Being alive after that pain… I am surprised. But still I don't regret when I said that I'd rather die than to let them die.
I recall grabbing the front of Sparda's coat (he hates it when I do that), just when he'd arrived, that he better take care of my child, or I'd haunt him until the sorry day that he died.
I don't think he'd ever heard me speak so coarsely, since "it's not becoming of a lady to talk like that", but that time he learned that just because I am a sophisticated woman doesn't mean that I don't know how to cuss like a sailor.
It brings a smile to my lips when thinking of that.
Oh, Dante needs me. He's crying again. So needy.
March 19, 1963
Today I learned I cannot give birth to any more children. I should have seen this coming, what with the birth of the boys, but after visiting the doctor today after almost a full month's period I learned the harsh truth. My womb is so badly damaged, "as if something had taken a bite out of it" that I'm scheduled for surgical removal of my womb in two weeks time or else my life would be at risk.
I don't know how I should feel. A part of me isn't surprised. Another part is crying. A third part thanks God for that I have my baby boys. I don't blame them for this, even though I know they're the cause for this.
April 2, 1963
Everything went fine. Or as fine as one now may call this. I am now truly a barren woman. Sparda tries to hold it all together while I can't be there.
April 25, 1963
April 25, 1963
I know they're not quite human, that darkness within growing stronger for each day, but it's so easy to just push those thoughts aside and hold them in my arms, inhaling their human scent, feeling the love and warmth they emit.
February 5, 1964
It's been three months since last I saw Sparda and honestly I don't know what to do. I try to take the days as they come, but with two toddlers it's hard to relax. They always seem to find a way to scare me half to death. The other day Vergil fell down the staircase. Frightening thing is that he didn't make a sound. He just sat there on the floor and blinked a few times, looking up the stairs and then back to where he was, as if wondering how he'd gotten there.
I'm lucky that the only damage was a few bruises.
Oh Sparda, I wish you were here.
May 28, 1964
May 28, 1964
You know how mothers always say that their children are special? Mine are. It sounds silly to say, but there is something with them, something I haven't really wanted to acknowledge but which grows stronger by the day. There's something in their eyes that speak of the knowledge of an adult.
Funny thing is I see it more in Vergil than in Dante. I feel like there's some burden that Vergil carries, and truly I don't know what it is or what I can do to help him. It drives me mad sometimes, because a child – my child – shouldn't have the look of someone who has seen too much. The only other person, save Sparda, that has had that look, was my brother after coming back from war. Days later he'd taken a gun to his head, the images too strong. I don't want that darkness in my darlings.
But what can I do other than to be there those few times when he cries, hold him and promise him a better day? I'm lying to him; both he and I know that, which pains me even more. That Vergil knows… I, oh God, what should I do?
December 21, 1964
They're two today. They grow so quickly! I can't believe it's been two years. Feels like yesterday when I held them against my chest for the first time.
December 28, 1964
December 28, 1964
Christmas is finally over. It was a disaster, really. Both boys had a cold and mild fever. I spent the major part of it feeding them chicken-soup and wiping their noses. Thankfully they've been sleeping a lot. Heaven knows it's a pain to take care of two sick kids at the same time.
February 13, 1965
February 13, 1965
Somewhere deep inside I know that I'll die for these two boys, have in fact known since I learned I was pregnant. Sparda has never said it in as many words, but I know there are things out there for him. And what better way to hurt him than by hurting his family?
All I can do is try to make sure that my baby boys survive.
July 5, 1965
July 5, 1965
I feel a little silly when I look back at what I've written. It's like I'm addressing someone else, even though I know that I'm the only one who'll ever read these pages. Perhaps, in many years, one of my boys will read this, but I doubt it. This is my comfort when there's really nobody I can talk to, my way of staying sane, if one now might call me that.
Sparda came back last night, but left again early this morning. The boys were asleep by the time he arrived, and I watched him stand in the doorway to their room, a peaceful expression on his face as he studied his two mostly human boys. Or well, as far as I can tell they are. Some stroke of luck has had them inheriting my set of genes, the only thing from their father the silver hair and ice-blue eyes.
I smiled softly and went to stand by his side, kissing his cheek. I don't know why, but his face grew sad. When queried about it he just shook his head and mumbled something about an old man's fears.
I sat down by Dante's bed. He wore a bright red pyjama with darker red fire trucks painted on it. He had yet again tossed off his blanket and lay sprawled all over bed. Tucking a few strands of hair behind his ear I corrected the blanket and rose to walk over to Vergil's bed just on the other side of the room. He had his own room just on the other side of the wall, but for some reason both boys grew restless and screamed until that they were in the same room. Sparda never had an answer to that one.
Vergil never needed to have his blanket corrected, he very rarely moved in his sleep, but I caressed his side through the covers.
Sparda spoke them, and I gave such a start that I almost woke Vergil.
He said that every day he thanked whatever higher mights there might be for the boys and me. Something in the way he spoke let me know that this was the last time I'd see him.
I'm not ashamed of saying that that night I held him as if my life depended on it. But when waking up he was gone.
And now it's been two weeks and I haven't seen him and damnit I'm crying again. I swore I'd never let him make me cry, I knew from the start that this wouldn't last. How could it? A demon and a human, however human that demon might seem nature was clashing so violently that it was obvious this was temporary. Simply put – an impossible equation meant to end in disaster.
Then why can't I help but crying?
August 30, 1965
The boys are what keep me alive. Were it not for them I don't know what I'd do. I love them too much to do something drastic.
November 18, 1965
November 18, 1965
The pain inside will never end, I know that. He'll never come back. But I know that I have to go on, continue living, if nothing for the boys. I won't say that I feel okay, because I'm not okay, but it feels easier now than before.
December 21, 1965
The boys turned three today. Had a little party with cake and colourful presents. Vergil found the wrapping more interesting than the content. Dante ended up wearing most of the cake on his face. Despite it being just the three of us we had a good time. I am however considering putting them in kindergarten. They need the presence of other children.
Or maybe they don't. They seem to be handling themselves rather fine just by themselves.
June 12, 1966
Sometimes I marvel at their similarities. I can watch them play in the garden I can tell how they move as if one. They communicate without words. It's hard for me to admit, but sometimes I feel a little jealous of them. A few months ago I entered the garden while they tousled. As I made spoke and alerted them to my presence their heads simultaneously snapped to look at me. For a moment there I felt a complete alienation from them, as if I was some strange creature they didn't know what to do with. Was I prey or predator?
They exchanged a look and something seemed to transfer between them because then Dante (always Dante) grinned and ran (more like tried to run with his chubby little legs) towards me while Vergil hung back and watched us with those cool blue-grey eyes.
July 24, 1966
July 24, 1966
There was a storm last night, and this morning I found Vergil curled up in Dante's bed. This is the fourth time I've found them like this, all the time when there's been thunder outdoors. I'm beginning to think that one of them is scared of lightning. Or perhaps it is the both of them?
September 9, 1966
Dante came running into my room earlier today. His face was flushed with colour and he grinned like a maniac. His hands were behind his back.
He produced a painting, which I can tell he'd painstakingly tried to look like me in the garden. Naturally, it looked like something a three-year old might produce. A stick figure with some flowers in bright colours. And grass, let's not forget all that green in the painting. He'd thoroughly used the crayons I'd given him yesterday, and had paint all over his face and hands.
I kissed him and gave him a big hug, saying that it was the best present a mother could ever get. Now for the past hour or so I've heard him tell Vergil to do the same.
We'll see if he'll be able to get his brother to do so. Personally? I think Vergil will be hard to convince.
September 10, 1966
September 10, 1966
Vergil was gone for several hours today, and I grew nearly frantic with worry when searching for him. Dante couldn't tell me anything, but during those hours he stayed relatively calm, which led me to believe that Vergil wasn't in that much of a pinch. Call me insane if you feel like it, but I know there's something with those two that let's them know what's going on with the other. Late afternoon, a rather warm day all in all I might add, a calm Vergil appeared on the doorstep.
I was so relieved to see him that I just held him and told him to never, ever run away like that again.
He didn't say anything, just patted my back and trying to squirm away. That's when I noticed some half-wilted tulips in his hand. Without a word he held them out to me, his face frowning when I didn't immediately accept them. He chewed his lower lip for a moment and that was when I hugged him again, thanking him and said what a wonderful boy he was, only that he shouldn't worry me so much when going someplace.
I don't know how much he grasped, but afterwards he looked pleased, as if he'd done something good. Of course he had!
November 15, 1966
November 15, 1966
Ever since that time the boys drop me a present every now and then. Dante always come with paintings and proudly display them to me.
Vergil on the other hand just leaves a flower here on my desk, and I often don't find it until hours later. It seems like they're watching me as closely as I'm watching them, because every time I get down and weary they deliver their little presents and make me smile. They're both keen on me being happy. Why, I have no idea. I just love them all the more, trying to ignore that a child almost four years old shouldn't possess this kind of knowledge.
Oh Sparda, if only you could see what your boys do. You'd be so proud.
March 2, 1967
March 2, 1967
Dante is out in the rain again. Why he insists on this crazy behaviour is beyond me, I've tried every means available to keep him indoors or at least clad properly for the weather, but he insists on running out in the rain in whatever clothes he's wearing, not settling until he's thoroughly soaked. Then he'll run back inside and try to get Vergil drenched by hugging him. At least one boy is sane enough not to do this, and Vergil mostly gets upset and shoves him away. Somewhere around here I'll usually step in, or else the two will fight until there's bloodshed.
Ah, right, that's pretty much the worst problem I've had with them. Fighting until there's no tomorrow. A few times I've tried to separate when they've gotten into a fight, but only with me ending up bruised and battered. Lately though, I've tried a method that seems to be working. Pouring a bucket of water over them, then, when they're momentarily busy in staring at me snatching one of them, leading him to his room, telling him to stay there and contemplate what he'd done wrong. Then back to wherever they'd been fighting and fetching the other twin, repeating the same process.
I don't know if this is the proper behaviour, but it's what I can think of.
But oh, Dante, whatever shall I do with you? Locking the doors and windows has no effect on when he wants to get out into the rain, he'll find a way around it, and then he always end up having a cold that has him bedridden for a week or so.
October 8, 1967
October 8, 1967
Oh God. Oh God, oh God, oh God. I- I don't know what to say. I'm crying again. The boys are asleep and I'm allowing myself this little breakdown in the early hours of dawn. I'm biting down on my hand to not let out any sounds.
He was here.
And why didn't he wake me up? Why did he just leave me a short note along with the twin gifts? They're heavy, solid gold the both of them. A large red gem placed in it, the same he'd worn around his neck, only it was split in two. A name engraved in each of them, the names of his boys.
I held them close to my chest, crumpling the paper in my hands and almost tearing it to pieces in the process. It's still warm, as if he left only minutes ago, and it hurts so much.
Why couldn't he just let me forget?
October 11, 1967
For the first time in years I went to church. It wasn't anything fancy or such, I just sat in the little chapel and prayed, the serenity just what I needed at that time. I hadn't said anything to the boys about what had happened earlier, and had somehow this morning managed to convince them to have a babysitter over. A local girl who's pretty dimwitted.
But it bought me a few hours for myself. And I don't know why, but I was drawn to the local church, and before knowing it I sat there on the wooden bench, deep in thought. I thought long and hard on the relationship between Sparda and myself, went through all that had happened up until this very moment. I pondered on whether this behaviour with me breaking into tears even after two long years without seeing him really was sane, or if I should move on. What really bothered me was that we'd never really said goodbye, that there always had been some unspoken telling of that he might be back someday, even though my brain said that he wouldn't be back.
He always kept me waiting, and never said whether or not he'd be back. Surely he hoped to be back, but perhaps he couldn't, or didn't want to interfere. I've never gotten that part straight, and if I saw him again I don't know whether or not I'd kiss or kill him.
October 12, 1967
October 12, 1967
For the first time since they were newborn the boys shared a bed with me. Or more like it, I woke up with Dante on my right side and Vergil on my left. Sometime during the night they'd snuck into my bed. I don't know why I hadn't woken up, but I was grateful for their company.
I made them pancakes for breakfast just to show that I appreciated it.
May 1, 1968
May 1, 1968
After much deliberation I've decided to put the boys in school. If nothing else they need the education. And since they're in the local school it's only a ten-minute walk from our home. They're under strict orders not to talk of their father. Not because they should be ashamed of him, but because the wrong people might get ideas from it.
August 30, 1968
Dante hates school but is well liked by both teachers and fellow classmates. No surprise there, really. And Vergil seems to hate the other kids but absorbs the knowledge from the lessons like a sponge. No surprise there either.
January 7, 1969
Today I met the woman who'd helped giving birth to Vergil and Dante. She came to our house, knocking on the door. Vergil was the one who opened, I was in the kitchen with Dante making cookies, but the moment I heard her voice I asked Dante to go play with his brother, ignoring his whining of that Vergil was no fun to play with.
She hadn't aged a day since last I'd seen her, but this time I noticed that she actually was a bit shorter than me, which is a miracle since I'm only 5,4.
Another thing I was aware of was the large wooden crate she carried, seemingly as if it weighed nothing. It was larger than me by almost two feet and at least two feet thick. For a moment I dreaded what I'd see inside, but she smiled reassuringly.
Apparently it had been in her possession for four years, with strict instructions of that it should be delivered to me some time after the boys had turned six years old. She also said that if possible he would have delivered it himself, but he was unable to do so.
Naturally I questioned her of Sparda's health, but she just shook her head and said that last she had heard there was some struggle on the other side of the world.
I still remember what she said on why he hasn't contacted me.
"I believe that he is trying to lead the trace away from you three. Coming back here is dangerous for you."
In one sense it had calmed me because it reassured me in that he still cared. In another it upset me that he felt the need to protect us. It's selfish of me, since I know that he probably has reason to believe that we are under a direct threat, but I want him here with me, not someplace on another continent.
Oh, right. She had brought that crate. After some digging I found a crowbar and she helped me pry it open. Inside lay two things. One of them was a box roughly three feet long and perhaps four inches wide. A small note on the box read "Yamato." Opening the box I saw an ô-katana, the handle white and black while the sheath ran bluish-black. Some form of golden band was tied to the sheath, but I don't know much about Japanese weapons, or weapons at all for that matters.
But truly, after lifting out the box with the ô-katana I saw what really ought to have gotten my attention from the start.
Nestled in between hay lay a huge two-hand sword, roughly cut with some sort of skull at the point where the handle met the blade. Anyone would be able to tell that this was the reason for the large crate.
It creeped me out. The note next to it read "Rebellion."
I just stared at these "gifts" with a blank look on my face. What the…?
She said the boys would know which weapon belonged to whom, that they'd been crafted specifically for them.
All I could think was why would I put a weapon into the hands of my children?
I admit it, I was upset and ordered her to leave my house and never return. I sealed the crate and hid it. Why would he make weapons for his kids? Why? How could he put something lethal in the hands of a six year old?
January 22, 1969
January 22, 1969
Vergil came over to me when I made dinner today. He said he'd already finished what little homework he'd had, even read another book, and now he wanted my company. And for some time he sat on his favourite chair and watched me bustle around the kitchen.
"Why won't you give us our swords?" He suddenly asked, and I dropped the bowl I was carrying, making it shatter on the floor. I delayed answering by getting a dustpan and sweeping up the broken glass. "We know they're in the house. They're calling to us."
I glared at him and told him that weapons were no things for children to play with. He snorted, and I remember this so clearly because it was the first time he actually stood up to me.
"For the moment we are young, but I know you know what dwells inside of us. Dante can't tell as clearly as I can, but one day there'll be changes. It might be tomorrow, it might be in ten or fifteen years, but it will happen. To have what belongs to us makes it easier to stay sane."
And with saying that he rose and exited the room. After that I sat down on the floor for almost an hour, until that Dante and Vergil entered the kitchen together. Dante was bustling with energy and joking around. Vergil listened with half an ear, but behaved like he always did. Like a six year old human boy. A somewhat bored boy, but all the while showing no signs of the intellect of an adult being.
What should I do?
January 29, 1969
January 29, 1969
I caved in. The boys have the swords. If it makes their lives better then so be it. Though I truly do not understand this. It's so foreign to me. Sparda has more insight to these matters than I do. But if I find them playing around with them then sanity be damned. I am not having two dead or injured children in my house.
December 21, 1969
December 21, 1969
Today I gave the boys the pendants and kissed them both on the forehead. Sparda's note only read "give them when you feel it's necessary." They had plenty of other presents as well, but this was something I told them to never take off. For a moment I read surprise in Vergil's eyes, but in the next it was gone. He seemed... confused?
February 25, 1970
They're coming. Tonight we're leaving for an unknown destination. God, when she showed up on the doorstep to deliver the news I felt a part of me die. So much for safety. So much for staying away.
Oh, Sparda. I'll keep our boys alive. And, heaven forbid, if something happens to me, it's your job to make sure they grow into fine young men.
I'm leaving this journal here for the chance of you ever coming here and finding it here. I don't know why I'm leaving it behind as I truly don't want this in the hands of the wrong person, but this is my memento of these seven years of peace. Of knowing that I've given all a mother can give, or at least so I hope.
All my love
The flames continued their destructive path, growing by the minute until that the pages were nothing but charcoal. By the time the fire trucks arrived several hours later, the house was mostly cinders, the only thing left the fireplace that once upon a time had been in the living room. The fire hadn't discriminated in what it had consumed. Be it wood, stone, flesh or bone – to the fire it was all just the same.
The notebook never did tell what happened to the woman and her offspring. The search-and-rescue team never found anything that told of any survivors, nor of any deaths, all trace burned away.
Had anyone asked the fire, why one now might feel the need or capability to do such a thing, it could have told of the demons that had come. Armed with weapons so ancient that they had fallen out of the knowledge of human mind they had come, slaughtering everything they could lay their eyes on. The woman had been slain, the action witnessed by the younger child who had avoided a gruesome death by chance of hiding in plain sight. Later on, just minutes before the fire would have started its course in his path the child escaped through the kitchen backdoor, the echoes of the woman's shouts of "run" still clear in the air despite her corpse growing colder by the minute on the kitchen floor.
The elder of the two silver haired children had also been struck down, but unlike his mother he hadn't been torn to pieces. But indeed, the eldest son of the betrayer Sparda had been slain and taken to places unknown by the fire.
Until the fight against the water hoses became too much the fire gave one final roar, igniting the unlocked weapon safe and all of the ammunition held in it.
AN: For a few final notes for those of you that are picky in canon-verse. In DMC 1 both parts of the perfect amulet are made out of gold. For some reason Capcom decided to change this for DMC 3 so that Vergil's half is made from gold and Dante's in silver (perhaps referring to who's the eldest?). I'm sticking with the original version, because… I think it's prettier 8D. Also, my memory regarding DMC 1 are a little rusty since it's 3-4 years since last I played it, so any mistakes I've made I'm blaming on my poor memory.
An ô-katana is (according to our precious Wikipedia) a longer katana than the traditional one, and I believe that Vergil's is one of such. If you look at Final Fantasy VII's Sephiroth and his Masamune, that katana is a typical example of an ô-katana… or well, a decidedly longer version of one. I don't think I've ever actually seen a real katana that's 6 foot long.
Also, in this story I've only picked out a few entries from Eva's journal. Mostly because if I had them all we'd have a 120 page essay about everything and nothing at all, most of this repetitions.
My head canon Eva is a lady more at home in renaissance Italy than in modern day New York (or whatever place you feel like placing her in). Until this story I've always referred to her as "lady Eva" because well, that's what she is to me. I hope she's a liiiittle more modern than that in this story.
There's an endless bout of references to my other stories in this piece. Straight out of my mind I can name "Rain", "Photograph" and "My loved/Hated Mirror Image."