Gifts

Summary: At the Genetic Opera, Shilo finds herself too nervous and afraid to talk to Rotti Largo and runs to Blind Mag's dressing room for support from her godmother.

Disclaimer: I do not own Repo! The Genetic Opera, unless we're talking about a copy of the DVD or the soundtrack.

Pairings: Shilo/Blind Mag

Author's Notes: This is the cute Shilo-gets-her-first-kiss-from-her-idol fic that I wanted "Voice" to be until my muses ordered me to get Shilo and Blind Mag in bed so Mag could have consensual sex once before she died. So yeah, this is the not-PWP Mag/Shilo.


Shilo ran blindly at first, with no destination in mind. After years of being sequestered in her bedroom with only her father for company, she had never had the experience of walking through a crowd unattended. Earlier that day, she had had Graverobber to guide her through the crowd at the Italian-style faire, but the masses of people attending the Genetic Opera dwarfed that crowd. Trying to push her way through that crowd, she thought she had been feeling the others' bodies pressing in on her until she realized that it was actually her lungs seizing. Running was a horrible idea when her body was rebelling like that, of course, but the only thing on her mind was the fact that she had to get away from the crowd.

Her mad dash ended up bringing her near the dressing rooms, which were substantially sized, mobile trailers. And suddenly she had an idea.

Her godmother was in one of those trailers.

The idea of trying to find Rotti Largo in this state seemed impossible. If he saw her so afraid, so panicked, he might think her unworthy of being the poster child for GeneCo's blanket blood disease treatment. If she could talk to Mag first…they'd only met once, but Mag seemed to care about Shilo, so maybe she would have some kind words of encouragement.

The trailers were labeled with their owners' names, so it was easy for Shilo to locate Mag's. The only entrance was, of course, flanked by two GeneCo henchwomen. One of them cocked her sidearm as Shilo approached.

"Please, I need to see Mag. She's my godmother," Shilo begged.

"No one is allowed entry," said one of the women stonily.

Shilo began to cry. "Please. I'm not lying. She really is my godmother."

"Leave, now," ordered the other woman.

The door to the trailer swung open, and Mag strode out, clad in a sapphire dressing gown, obviously having been interrupted in her preparations for the performance. "What's going on here?" Her voice was so uncharacteristically harsh Shilo flinched, but Mag's voice softened when she noticed her shaking goddaughter standing only a few feet away. "Shilo?"

"Mag!" Shilo raced to the singer, and any doubts she had concerning whether or not Mag would be willing to help her were assuaged as she felt her godmother's thin arms encircle her tightly, gentle hands brushing over her hair.

"Hush, little one," Mag soothed. "Your god-mom's got you." Then she spoke to her two minders. "Give us privacy," she snapped, her tone suddenly antithetical to the soft way she had just spoken to Shilo. The henchwomen said nothing in reply, and so Mag turned away from them and led Shilo into the trailer, one arm around the girl's waist.

Mag's trailer was spacious, but not as luxurious as Shilo had expected. At the far end was a vanity with a mirror where Mag ostensibly had her makeup done, a small table piled high with sheet music stood against one wall, and in one corner there was an air mattress covered with a blanket. As soon as the door to the trailer was shut, Shilo tried to speak despite the fact that her throat was thick with tears. "I'm s-sorry to…intrude on you…w-while you're t-trying to get ready…"

"It's all right. I'd welcome company right now." Mag led Shilo to her vanity, withdrawing a facial tissue from a small packet and lightly dabbing the tears from Shilo's cheeks. Shilo kept clinging to Mag's arms, so Mag quickly discarded the tissue and led Shilo to the air mattress; Mag sat down cross-legged and pulled her goddaughter into her lap. Overwhelmed with relief at Mag's kindness, Shilo threw her arms around Mag's neck and buried her face in the woman's shoulder. "What are you doing here, little one?" Mag whispered, stroking Shilo's face, her neck, her arm.

Shilo had never been touched in such a way before. Her father hugged her and kissed her forehead, of course, but he never held her like this. What Mag was doing felt much more maternal, but there was also a quality to her caresses that Shilo couldn't place but was immensely comforting.

"Give me a second," Shilo choked, still fighting to stop crying. Now that Mag was holding her, she felt much more at ease; despite being more comfortable, she knew she could cry in front of Mag and she wasn't sure if she wanted to weep out her fears or try to calm down.

Mag gently rocked Shilo back and forth, kissing her hair and cooing soft nothings. She's so nice, Shilo thought, letting her eyes drift shut. Her relaxation didn't last long, though; Mag began running her fingers through Shilo's hair, and her wig came loose. Mag gasped lightly and Shilo flinched, expecting Mag to recoil; instead, she felt Mag's palm resting on top of her hairless head.

"Shilo? What happened to your hair?"

"It fell out when I was little," Shilo whimpered.

"Your father mentioned you were ill. Was it your disease that made your hair fall out?" Mag probed.

"Yes." The tears Shilo had been trying to stifle erupted, soaking Mag's dressing gown. Mag didn't complain. "I have a blood disease."

"And it made you lose your hair?" Mag sounded surprised.

"It made me lose my hair and it made me stop growing early. If my heart rate gets too high or I start breathing too fast, my blood pressure goes crazy and I can pass out or go into shock. Or I could die."

"Then it sounds like maybe you should try to calm down." Mag brushed the back of one hand against Shilo's cheek. "Try to breathe as deep as you can. Straighten your spine…no, don't tilt your head back; it will constrict your airway."

Shilo obeyed, and her head stopped spinning from lack of air. "Mag, how did you…?"

"I'm a singer. I know how to breathe." Mag used one hand to cradle the back of Shilo's head and guide it to her shoulder again. "So…if you are so sick, why did you risk so much to come here?"

"Because Mr. Largo told me to."

"Mr. Largo? You mean Rotti?" Mag's voice took on a sudden edge.

"Yes. He called me and said if I came to the Genetic Opera, he would give me my cure. A cure for all blood diseases that GeneCo developed. He said I could be the 'poster child of progress…'"

"Poster child!" Mag burst out. "No!"

"Mag, what…?"

Mag cupped Shilo's face in her hands. "Did not hear anything I said earlier today? Do you have any idea what will happen to you if you become GeneCo's 'poster child?' You'll become exactly like me!"

"All I ever wanted was to be like you," Shilo murmured.

"GeneCo will rip out your soul and make you their puppet like they did to me!" Mag shouted; Shilo's ears rang. "It is better to be sick or blind or…or dead than to be GeneCo's puppet."

"I'm…I'm sorry," Shilo whimpered, tears beginning to leak from her eyes again.

The sight of Shilo crying seemed to snap Mag out of her anger. "No…I'm sorry I lost my temper that way. If you really are as ill as you say—and I believe you—then I can see why you would want to be cured. But…if you do indeed go to GeneCo for your cure and they get their claws into you, you have no chance of living with integrity and honesty. Not if you get sucked into…into GeneCo's web of corruption."

Shilo thought Mag looked as if she might be about to cry as well.

"I didn't know GeneCo was so…so awful," the girl whispered. "Why didn't you tell me this before?"

Mag smiled bitterly. "I didn't want to frighten you. I wanted to…to focus on the positive, to show you that recording of your mother, and to encourage you to follow your own ambitions instead of what anyone else—like GeneCo…or your father, with the way he keeps you locked up—wants you to do."

Shilo nestled her head under Mag's chin again; Mag returned her arms to their original positions, one beneath the bends of Shilo's knees and the other wrapped around the girl's back. "So…what do I do? Could I…do you think there's any way I could take my cure but turn down any promotional deals? Just…after I'm better, never have anything to do with GeneCo again?"

Mag was quiet for a moment. "I would tell you to avoid GeneCo at all costs…but it is your life. And I include myself in the set of those who should not make decisions for you."

"Thank you," Shilo sighed. She was quiet for a moment then, and Mag did not interrupt her silence. "I…I want to get well. I want to ask Mr. Largo to give me my cure and then leave me alone. I just…I just have to risk it. It's either that or die an old woman in my room having done nothing. I just want to go outside!"

"It certainly is a risk," said Mag softly. "But I understand why you have to take it."

Shilo made a sound that even she couldn't identify as either a laugh or a sob. "I wish Dad had told me about you earlier."

"Me too," said Mag tenderly, brushing a hand down Shilo's arm. "I wish I'd been there to watch you grow up. Maybe I could have convinced your father not to keep you locked up in that…sepulcher of a house. All the pictures of your mother lining the walls are so…eerie. It's like it's a tomb for both you and Marni."

Shilo turned her head so her face was nearly buried in Mag's neck. "I don't want to leave," she whispered.

"What? I thought you wanted to get out…"

"No, I mean, I don't want to leave you." Shilo closed her eyes. "I…I know you just wanted to prepare me for what could happen, but…I'm scared. I was scared before and I'm scared now. I just want to stay with you."

Mag could feel Shilo trembling. "You have every right to be scared. But if you really do want to take this risk…you have to be courageous."

"I know. I must be brave. But I…" Shilo choked back a sob. "Can I just stay right here for a little while? Please?"

"Of course," Mag soothed. Of course, Mag had to be ready for her call time, but she didn't want to make Shilo any more nervous, so she said nothing about a time constraint. Instead, she began to sing, a lullaby that she'd known since she was very young, with lyrics about needing to go to sleep so one could be awake early enough to hear the mourning doves beginning to sing. She went through the song twice, and heard Shilo stop crying and felt her relax slightly, but afterwards she could still feel the girl shaking in her arms. "You're still afraid, aren't you?"

"You have such a beautiful voice," Shilo whispered. "I used to…I used to dream about hearing you sing. And I'd never thought you'd sing just for me."

"I'm sorry I couldn't…"

"It's not your fault," Shilo interrupted. "I love hearing you sing. It is comforting." Shilo pulled back slightly from their embrace to meet Mag's eyes. "Can you sing something else for me?"

"I'd love to." Mag moved one hand to cup Shilo's cheek. For a moment she paused, trying to think of another song to sing for Shilo, but something gave her another idea, something about the admiration in Shilo's eyes despite her fear… "Shilo, I know of something else that might help you relax."

"What?"

Mag could hardly believe what she was about to say. Surely it was inappropriate. "I…hope it does not offend you. And you may feel free to refuse." Shilo looked at her expectantly; Mag inhaled deeply before speaking. "I have a gift for you, if you will accept it."

A tiny smile appeared on Shilo's face. "What is it?"

Mag was suddenly quite aware of her heartbeat. "Would you accept your first kiss from a used, broken husk of a woman like me?"

Shilo's eyes widened. "Don't talk about yourself that way…but oh, Mag, do you mean it?" The girl's voice was hushed with wonder.

"You might think me strange, but I have always found kisses to be comforting," Mag admitted. "And yes, I do mean it."

"I would love to get my first kiss from Blind Mag," Shilo sighed.

Mag slid her hand from Shilo's cheek to the back of her neck and leaned down, pressing her mouth firmly to Shilo's.

Shilo had never kissed anyone before. The sensation of Mag's soft, delicate lips against hers was entirely new; when Mag pulled away slightly, Shilo almost made a noise in protest, wanting to savor the new feeling more, but then Mag's mouth was on hers again. It wasn't just a little peck; it was a real kiss, warm and sincere.

"How was that?" Mag asked carefully when they broke apart.

"Wow," Shilo breathed; Mag's cheeks colored slightly. "Will you kiss me again?"

"Of course."

This time Shilo struggled to sit up more, so Mag wouldn't have to bend down as far. Shilo let her eyes drift shut as Mag's lips caressed hers, threading her hands through her godmother's silky hair. She thrilled as she felt Mag begin to stroke her throat and chest, still reveling in the tenderness of Mag's kisses, aware of a wave of soothing lassitude coursing through her body.

After what seemed to Shilo to be an exceedingly pleasant eternity, the kisses came to a natural end.

"Better?" Mag queried.

"Much." Shilo smiled serenely up at Mag. "Thank you so much. I'll never forget this."

"You're welcome, little one." Mag helped Shilo to stand and readjust her wig.

"I still can't believe I got my first kiss from Blind Mag," Shilo grinned, the widest smile Mag had ever seen on her face; but after a moment, the smile vanished. "Wait…you said those kisses were a gift for me. But is there…is there anything I can do for you?"

Mag took one of Shilo's hands and kissed it lightly. "Do you feel ready to go talk to Rotti?"

Shilo looked into Mag's extraordinary eyes, which glowed slightly for a moment. "Yes."

"Then…" Mag squeezed Shilo's hand. "That can be your gift to me. The knowledge that I was able to help give you the courage to get your cure."

"I thought you were concerned about me getting involved with GeneCo at all."

"I am. But I also hope you can become well without getting embroiled in their depravity."

On an impulse, Shilo hugged Mag tightly. "Thank you," she mumbled.

Mag kissed the top of Shilo's head. "You should go," she said as tenderly as she could manage. "I have to make my call time. And you need to chase your hope of becoming well."

Shilo took a step back, looking up hopefully at Mag; understanding what the girl wanted, Mag tilted her head forward and gave Shilo a final kiss goodbye. Mag walked Shilo to the door of the trailer, holding the girl's hand.

"Good luck, Shilo."

"Thank you, Mag."

Mag gave her goddaughter one more quick embrace. "Chase the morning," she whispered into the girl's ear, then gently let her go, still holding one of Shilo's hands.

Shilo stepped out of the trailer. Just before the door closed, Shilo felt her godmother's hand slide out of her grip, but she managed not to flinch as the door clicked shut behind her. She took a deep breath, briefly touched the tips of her fingers to her lips, and took a step forward.


A/N: I just took 2,628 words to describe "Shilo gets her first kiss from Blind Mag." No wonder my default original fic format is the novel.

If you liked this, please check out my other Mag/Shilo fics. So...basically all my other Repo fics, I guess.