This was a story I thought of one day when I was sitting with my Daddy and sister. I hope you like it and, depending on how much feedback I get, hope to continue with this story. Thanks for reading.
Rest and Reminisce
They walked silently to their room, which was not far down the hall, both in their own thoughts. Liz the most.
Red could see that she was a little upset. Coming down the hall he could feel her body temp rising gradually like it did when she was distressed. What she was troubled by he was not sure. Perhaps it was... thinking about what they had gone through a little over nine years ago still made him uneasy. He knew it was much worse for Liz. Times like this he wish he could take her into his arms and whisper it would be alright. But he knew she needed a few minutes to calm down. He watched Liz reach the door first, slipping around the opening door to be the first one in the bathroom, on the other side of the room.
Liz was upset. Liz was well aware of how high her temp would leap whenever she was emotional, so when she walked to the shower, she turned it to as cold as it would go. Jerking off her shirt and pants, she tested the water she stepped in with a small gasp, then a sigh, as steam started rising off her shoulders. Reaching for the shampoo, to squeeze some into her hand and slowly massage it into her scalp, Liz's thoughts turning to Red. He was a great...man... for lack of a better word. How fast time has flown. She absently wondered what was the turning point in their relationship.
Liz outright smiled. Thinking about hers and Reds conversation right before they left to go up against Rasputin.
Red roughly waved his hand over his face.
"I wish I could do something about this." My heart clinched at the slight pain in his voice. Then his attention was on me, a slight smile tugging at his lips.
"But I can't. But I can promise you two things. One: I'll always look this good."
Looking away I had to smile at that.
"Two:" My eyes were back on him as his tone changed.
"I'll never give up on you... ever." At first I was speechless.
"I like that." It was all I could say around the lump in my throat but it seemed enough for him. He smiled.
Liz's mouth came up in a half smile, running fingers through her hair. Then her memory fast forward a little and she shuddered despite the humid bathroom.
In the darkness I heard a voice. The voice...sounded familiar...what was it saying? I followed the voice to consciousness until I could feel...I was lying on the cold hard ground against an even colder wall. Wrapped in only a silky blanket of some kinds. I opened my eyes and saw...Red. He looked so worried crouched over me.
He went to stand and I reached out to use his hand in order to help me stand too. Pulling him into a huge hug, I held onto Red for support since my legs were not cooperating very much. Feeling his nose nuzzle my hair just above my ear, I laid my head against him. Listening to his breathing, slowly and deeply his breaths came in and out.
"In the dark I heard your voice." I slid my head towards him. "What did you say?"
"I said, 'Hey...you, on the other side - let her go." He turned to me and I him. "Because for her I will cross over, and then you'll be sorry!'"
Liz signed, resting her head against the tiled wall and letting the frigid water rush over her feverish skin. Liz smiled at the memory of some of the 'dates' they went on after that.
Then the smile fell again. Clutched fist rested on the tile in front of her face.
Reds was trying so hard not to put all his weight on me but he was lousing his strength quickly. I guided him behind the goblin, slowly shuffling our feet, until we entered a strange room filled with huge jars. Suddenly Reds legs went out, almost bringing me down with him, sending his massive body to the floor.
"Red? RED!" I slid to his side as his eyes closed.
NOT HIM! OF GOD PLEASE! NOT HIM!
It had been years since I prayed. But then and there I poured my whole soul into it.
OH PLEASE, GOD! NOT HIM!
"Anung un Rama..." Something hissed. I slowly looked up to see... an Angel? Raised Catholic, I had learned about Angels when I was little, but this thing...it had wings and the basic human body but... it was gray and black and... no eyes. Or at least not where a human eyes. This... Angel...had eyes along its wings.
"You know that name?" I whispered. It slid a few steps forward.
"And yours...Elizzzzabeth Sherrrrman. At last...I have been waiting for you both, I am his death and I will meet him at every crossroad."
Waiting for us? What was this thing? Was it really an Angel?
"Can you save him?" I could not bring myself to speak above a whisper but it seamed to hear me just fine.
"It is for you to decide. It is all the same to me, my heart is filled with dust and sand." Slowly bringing its hands to its breast then tilting its hand as if letting invisible sand slid from its palm. "But you should know, it is his destiny to bring about the destruction of the Earth... not now,...not tomorrow but soon enough. Knowing that, you still want him to live?"
I had heard this before. Rasputin had said as much when he exploited Reds feelings for me in order to use Reds' key of a hand to bring about the destruction of Earth. That was it, the turning point at which Red chose to not do what he was meant to do... wasn't it?
Suddenly it was in front of us.
"So, chiiiiild...make the choice. The worrrrld...or hiiiim?"
"Him." I did not even have to think about it. The Angel leaned back but did not seemed surprised.
"The time will come, and you,...my dear...will suffer more than anyone."
"I'll deal with it." Anything to save Red. "Now save him."
"It is done." The Angel held up its hand to reveal the piece of spear between its fingers. There was not even blood on it.
"I have done what I can, now...give him a reason to live.
"A reason to live." Fingers smoothing back the soaked hair along the base of her neck to get the last of the soap. Liz's eye caught on a small rubber duck in the corner of the shower. Her hands came up to rub her face as her thoughts turned to her girls.
Twenty Minutes Before
"Say good night girls." Liz pointed to Nuala with little Ada already asleep on her shoulder. Two little bodies, dressed in princess nightgowns hurry to obey. Lyla shyly grabbed Nuala's leg.
"Night sweaty." Nuala smoother down her hair. Roxy took Trevor and Rossa in one big hug.
"Night!" They in turn hugged her back then Roxy and Lyla switched. Lyla taking time to hug each of her cousins in turn and Roxy hugging both of Nuala's legs.
"Alright girls." Roxy and Lyla waved one last time before taking their mothers hand and following her down the hall.
"Get to bed girls."They scurried under identical Disney Princess bed covers.
"We are!" They said in unison.
"Good night girls." Liz reached for the light switch.
"But mommy!" She turned back to her daughters. Roxy was out of her covers, sitting at the foot of Lyla's bed, Lyla along side her.
"What is it now, Roxy?"
"Daddy was suppose to tell us a story."
"Da on' wit da 'olden a'my." Lyla put in. Liz sighed in defeat.
"It's the 'Golden Army', baby girl. Think about your words before you say them." Liz signed again. Red promised the girls if they ate all their vegetables that he would tell them the story of the Golden Army before bed.
Then, a few minutes ago, Red had to go talk to Uncle Abe.
Pinching the bridge of her nose she made a spot for herself between the girls.
"Daddy did say that didn't he." She mumbled to herself then so her girls could hear her. "He is going to be a little late. Do you want me to tell you?" Roxy shook her head.
"Uncle Abe and Aunt Nuala said Daddy tells it the best." Liz knew it was going to be a long night. Lyla cocked her head to the side.
"Do oo know da 'tory, mo'y." Both their tails flicked back and forth in excitement.
"Yes I do, baby girl."
"Daddy told you already?" Roxy got on her knees, playing with her mother's dark locks that were so similar, though much shorter, to her girls.
"Well." She scooped Roxy onto her lap, careful with the tail, golden eyes staring. "Not...really. Well... some of it. I was...kind of there. At least for some of it."
"oo were dere!" Lyla hopped on her knees, bobbing her mother and sister up and down.
"Talk slow, Lyla." Lyla nodded eagerly.
"Yes, baby girl, I was." Liz scooped her other daughter also onto her lap. They were both small enough to just fit. "It was a long time ago. That was when mommy was helping get monsters with Daddy."
Liz watched as Roxy's golden eyes fell.
"The TV said Daddy is a monster. Does that mean we are monsters too?" Liz was lost for words, glancing over her girls red tinted skin and equally reddish small swishing tale. It was still up in the air if they would inherit their fathers horns or not.
"N-No." Liz pulled her girls closer. There was a long silence as Liz buried her nose in her girls' dark hair. "There are two kinds of monsters and you girls, and your Daddy, are not either one." She whispered.
"Two. Kinds. Of. Mon...sters?" Lyla got a big smile on her face. Liz squeezed her.
"Good job, baby girl. Yes, one type is those bad creatures who eat people. Like the ones Mommy use to help Daddy get." Liz thoughtfully tucked hair behind her daughter's ears. Loving how they got the silky texture their father has. "And the other... are... people...or beings who... take pleasure in killing people just because they can or where told to."
"And then there is the Billy Bob Monster!" Red dove at the bed, scattering the girls. Both of which half screaming half laughing, trying to get away.
"NO DADDY! NOT BILLY BOB!" Liz jumped away so she would not be in Reds path when he cornered the girls. Red caught Lyla with his right hand, pinning her to the bed while he tickled her. Roxy almost got away. Almost. But her laughter was soon to be joining Lyla's.
"And here is his twin brother Willy Bob Monster!" Roxy was down. Both girls equally suffering from the growling tickle monster. Liz sat on Lyla's bed and watched her Hunk, and what a Hunk he was, tickle the giggling girls until they were out of breath.
"Ok. Billy Bob and Willy Bob are full now." Red sat heavily on the bed, arms to the side, playing tired. Both girls jumped in his lap and he pulled them close to nuzzle their necks.
"Story now Daddy!" Red fixed Liz in a half grin over his daughters' heads.
"You were waiting for me?"
"I offered to tell them about the Golden Army but they wanted you." His smile widen, making Liz's heart skip a beat, as he pulled his girls closer.
"Is there pictures with this story Daddy?" Roxy bobbed up and down, tale swinging back and forth.
"No. This is a very special story that your Grandfather Broom told me when I was little." Both girls quieted down at the mention of their grandfather.
"Alright then." Shifting his girls to a more comfortable position, he loudly cleared his voice.
"It is said that at the dawn of time, man, beast, and all magical beings lived together under Aeglin, the Father Tree. But man had been created with a hole in his heart, a hole that no possession, power, or knowledge could fill. And in his infinite greed, man dreamed of-"
"Daddy, what is 'greed'?" Red looked down at his daughter, opening and closing his mouth a few times, before Liz stepped in.
"It is when you want to keep everything for yourself and do not share."
"Like. Roxy. And. Cheetos?" Roxy swatted at her sister who dodged it easily.
"I share." Roxy pouted. Lyla gave her sister an 'I was just kidding' smile and Roxy could not help but giggle back.
"...man dreamed of expanding his dominion over the entire earth. The blood of many an elf, ogre, and goblin was spilled in their war with man, and King Balor, the one-armed king of Elfland,-"
"Oo dat, Daddy?"
"The 'one-armed king'." Roxy hushed her sister, turning back to Red. He continued.
"King Balor, the one-armed king of Elfland, watched the slaughter in dread and despair. But one day, the master of the goblin blacksmiths offered to build the king a golden mechanical arm-"
"What is 'mechanical'?" Roxy turned to her mother this time. Liz could not help but smile at the look on Reds face.
"It is like a machine, baby girl. Like a computer or car." Roxy nodded her head and turned her attention back to Red.
"Golden mechanical army, seventy times seventy soldiers, that would never know hunger, and could not be stopped. Prince Nuada begged his father to agree.
"Build me this army," the king said.
So, a magical crown was forged that would allow those of royal blood to command the Golden Army, if unchallenged.
"I am King Balor, leader of the Golden Army. Is there anyone who disputes my right?" And in his throne room, no one challenged his word."
"So the world was changed, and the next time the humans marched, they felt the earth tremble beneath their feet and saw the sky darken with monstrous shapes."
"What. Kind. Of. Monsters. Are. They. Mommy?" Liz was a little surprised.
"Well…ah…I guess… the kind that kills just because they were told to." Roxy tilted her head to the side. A very confused look on her face.
"Computers were killing people?" Red snorted and Liz's lips twitched.
"No, baby girl. These monsters were a lot bigger and… had a lot more stuff in them than a computer. With arms and legs and such."
"Mommy, how do you-"
"Do you want me to finish the story?" Red sounded a little exasperated, and Liz was relieved at his intervention. His daughters nodded vigorously and settled down.
"The Golden Army had no remorse, felt no loyalty or pain. And King Balor's heart grew heavy with regret. So he called a truce and divided the crown in three pieces, one for the humans, and two for himself."
"In exchange, man would keep to the cities and the magical beings would own the forests. This truce would be honored by their sons and the sons of their sons until the end of time. But Prince Nuada did not believe in the promises of man. And it is said that he went into exile, vowing to return the day his people needed him most. So the Golden Army lay dormant, locked inside the Earth, waiting. And there it is to this day, awaiting the day the crown is made whole again. Silent,...still,...and indestructible."
Red slowly looked from one girls face to the other.
"… aaaaaand...THEN!" Everyone else in the room jumped. "Hundreds of years later, Prince Nuada returned from exile and..." Liz cleared her throat and Red glanced up.
"It is getting late, Red." He straightened his spine.
"... I will tell you the rest when you are older."
"Daddy!" They jumped up in protest.
"No. Mommy is right, it is waaaay past your bedtime and..." He glanced over at his wife. "Mommy will be mad at me if you guys do not get up when you are suppose to. Now off to bed."
Roxy snuggled under her covers and Lyla scurried over to her bed. Liz pulled the covers down then pulled them up to Lyla's little chin.
"Why. Are. My. Eyes. Different. Mommy?" Liz was a little taken aback.
"That was just how you were born baby." Liz smoothed a hand over her little stomach. Red was done tucking Roxy in and came over to stand by Liz. Lyla eyes started to water.
"But. Sissy. Has. Eyes. Like. Daddy. Gold-en. I dana ave 'nyones eyes." Her lip puckered up. Red sat on the bed, behind Liz, looking into his daughters sea green eyes.
It was true they did not expect her eyes to turn out to be green but, with all the unusual things they have seen, they were not totally surprised.
"Uh...Yes you do." Liz wiped away a tear that escaped to run down her daughters cheek. "My...mother... had green eyes." Lylas face brightened.
"Yes ma'am." Lyla giggled when Red tapped her noise with a massive finger. "Now come on little monkey and go to sleep." He pulled the covers tighter around her tiny body. Each child received a kiss goodnight from each parent before the tired parents turned out the lights and closed the door.
They would be eight years old in a few month. She jerked the water off and stepped out of the shower. Quickly Liz toweled herself dried and pulled on black night shorts and shirt. Snatching up a brush to run it through her hair in slow deliberate motions. She caught a red mass in the corner of the mirror.
"What did Abe want?" Red cautiously stepped further into the room. Testing how tense she still was.
"You know. Education. Nuala said ever since Trevor turned six, Rossa growing like a weed, and Ada starting to talk, Abe has talked nothing but starting a school for the kids. He offered to teach the girls too, wants them to come over for a few hours each day." He came over, leaning a hip against the stone counter.
"He is trying for it more with the girls turning eight and all when normally kids start school at six."
"Our girls are not 'normal'."
"Ain't that the truth?" He folded his massive arms over his even more massive chest. Liz always felt so small beside him. She brushed her hair thoughtfully.
"I think it would be good for the girls to get an education. It will better prepared for out there." Red glanced at her. "Though I do not want to take the girls out there... until I am sure they can handle being… different." They were silent for a time while Liz finished brushing her hair and went to brushing her teeth.
"What were you telling the girls when I came in?" The toothbrush froze in Liz's hand. Glancing at her husband in the mirror she sighed, spitting in the sink then rinsing out her mouth.
"Remember a few nights ago when NEWs6 was reviewing the top ten stories of the decade." Red smiled.
"Yes. The time you blew me out of the Art Exhibit building was number three." He got a little annoyed look on his face. "Better than the Earth God chunking cars." He grumbled.
"Roxy must have heard it... when they called you a monster." Red took a step closer, the grin replaced with worry.
"Hey." His hand came up to run up and down her arm in a soothing motion. Liz played with the toothbrush in her hands before putting it away.
"She wanted to know if that meant they were monsters too."
Red took her into his arms and held her close.
"What are we going to do Red? I know we cannot keep them here forever but... I do not want people to call them monsters." His nose slid just above her ear, pulling in her scent.
"We cannot change what other people may think about them, but we can sure as-"
"-sure as HECK can make sure our girls do not think they are monsters. We will do the best we can, Liz. Other than that...what else can we do?" Liz turned in Red's embrace to place a passionate kiss on his lips before snuggling into his warm chest.
"I love you."
"I love you too, babe."
"Don't call me babe." Liz growled. Reds whole chest vibrated with his chuckle. They stood there for a time, just holding onto one another.
"Yah ba-" Red grunted when Liz punched him in the solarplex. "I mean...yes, hun."
She smiled, snuggling into his chest. Red waited for Liz to talk, but she was not sure how to ask.
"What is it Liz?"
"Do you miss it? The B.P.R.D. I mean." Liz felt his chest heave in a sigh, pulling her even closer to have better access to her ear.
"Some times." He nibbles at her ear. "But nights like this...I don't."
Liz shuddered, feeling his lips pull back in a lazy smile.
"When... you never told me...what happened when you... died?" He was a little taken aback. Red cocked his head to the side. Staring off into the distance.
"I remember...was in a dark place... I saw... heard... your voice." Liz waited for him to continue. Reds eyes focused on her face. A soft smile spreading across his face. "You called me a big ape."
"Then you told me I was going to be a father." I looked at him then. Dark brown meeting golden. Liz sighed, leaning her forehead against his.
"You brought me back, Liz." Liz's face burned. After all these years she still blushed when his voice dropped to that husky rumble.
"I did not want the babies to-"
"Mommy? Daddy?" Red jerked his head and Liz peered around a massive shoulder. Standing in their bathroom door, with a little blanket tucked under an arm, was Lyla.
"Lyla, baby girl, what are you doing up?" Red watched as the love of his life tenderly scooped their daughter into her arms. Who would have thought, when he first met her, that this hard woman could just melt at that one word. Mommy.
"I couldn't sleep."
"Why is that?" Red walked up and smoothed the hair down her back. Lyla laid her head on her mothers shoulder, hitting Liz in the face with her blanket when she wrapped her little arms around her neck.
"Scary Elves." She whispered. Liz pushed the fluffy red blanket aside to fix Red in a 'Great Job' look. He threw his arms in a 'what did I do' his mouth working. His hand gesturing to him then her then him again still not able to come up with a good excuse. Finally he sighed in defeat.
"Oh come on." Red scooped Lyla up swinging her around piggyback style, her little legs protruding out on each side, before bobbing towards the door. "Daddy will take care of those 'Scary Elves'. Say night to mommy."
"Night mommy!" Lyla giggled before they were out the door.
Liz's heart warmed as she watched her Hunk bob their giggling daughter on his shoulders …then…
"And you,...my dear...will suffer more than anyone."
Liz's legs gave out, landing her on the bed, as tears filled her eyes. As soon as they were out of the room Liz let louse the tears that single phrase crossed her mind again.
Liz laid on her side and curled her knees to her chest, letting the silent sobs rake her body. She tried to stop when she felt a warm arm encircle her, and pull her against a familiar massive body, but they kept coming. She pulled the massive hands even closer. Cradling them under her chin. Gliding her fingers carefully across the back of the hand, down the wrist, up the arm a bit, then back. She stopped at his wrist.
"Where is father's [beads]?" Liz felt his heavy breath on her neck.
"Lyla." He nuzzled her neck. "She would not go to bed because she was scared so... I let her sleep with fathers [beads]. Told her they kept me safe when I was fighting monsters."
Liz half smiled. She turned to Red and pulled closer. His hand slid up and down her back in a calming motion.
"What is wrong?" He murmured in her hair.
"What world did we bring our girls into?" Liz mumbled.
Red did not have an answer so he didn't.
"I did not know your mother had green eyes." He felt a slight wetness on his chest.
"She didn't." Liz's body shuddered on a sob and Red held her to him.