AN: This was 7 pages long! Yay! :) Thanks for being patient with me!
14. Sabrina's Mystery
The warmth came first. Comforting without being smothering, it reminded her of a late December evening, of drinking cocoa and lying beside a crackling fire. The smell of pine was there, too. She inhaled, letting it fill her lungs. How long had it been since she'd had a proper Christmas with her family? At least two years.
At least two.
Her next discovery was not as pleasant; her bed was decidedly uncomfortable. She didn't know what it was, but it didn't quite feel right. Her pillow, especially, was bumpy in the oddest places.
When had her mattress become so flat?
Yawning, she filed the concern in the back of her head as something to bother her father about later. Daphne needed to be woken, breakfast eaten. Strangely enough, Sabrina found she wasn't very hungry. Not even a slight craving for some toast. Frowning a bit, she shifted in her sleep. She'd think about it later.
Her eyelids fluttered open some minutes later.
Ten seconds later, she was rubbing them furiously.
Why the bloody hell was it so dark?
She never closed her curtains; the sun ought to have been streaming into her room for hours long passed.
Stumbling blindly for the light switch, her fingers grazed her walls (her dad really needed to repaint them) and her feet kept tripping over various objects she'd left lying around the floor.
"Ow! I think you just stepped on my face, Grimm."
"What are you doing?"
"Finding out what your shoe tastes like. Now there's something I can pop off the bucket list."
"Puck, I am not in a good mood."
"Well, considering its two in the morning, I didn't really expect anything different."
And then, despite the fact that she still couldn't see her hand in front of her face, it all came flooding back to her.
Her father was going to murder her.
"I can't believe we fell asleep!" She exclaimed. "This is a stakeout!"
"You know what you need, Grimm? A dictionary. 'Cause I'm not sure you know what that word means."
"Good. You can replace the last one you ate."
"I can't believe you're still going on about that. It was ages ago…"
"As I was saying." He cleared his throat dramatically. "Face it. You don't even know what the problem is. Sinbad's not even at the marina at this ungodly hour, and he isn't going to give you any straight answers anyway. You're at a dead end."
"This was a waste of time, wasn't it?" the girl asked dejectedly.
"And you didn't even tell me how bad of a plan this was!"
"I did. You, as I recall, were too stubborn to admit it was anything less than the best plan in the world."
"Whatever," she muttered.
"I'm not very good at them."
"That's the excuse everyone uses."
"Are you accusing me of being unoriginal?"
"It depends. Will there be serious repercussions?"
"That dictionary has gone to your head."
"You are what you eat."
"Fair enough," she shrugged. "Should we go back?"
"Yeah, yeah. I'm not your personal taxi, you know."
Sabrina had not been thinking, two days ago, when she'd suggested staking-out the marina. She didn't know what she'd expected: suspicious-looking people clad in black sneaking around, maybe a sign proclaiming "Illegal Activities Being Practiced Here".
Something, though. Something.
Now there was no other option than to confront her mother and ask her about it, point-blank. She worried about it constantly.
"What are you so scared of?" Puck wondered at one point. "I'll go ask, if you want."
"No!" she rounded on him, "It has to be me."
"Because—because—How should I know?"
And that was the problem, really. She didn't know anything. She didn't know what she was supposed to be asking about, didn't know if it even existed outside of her own head. It was maddening.
"Daphne, have you noticed anything odd about Mom lately?" Sabrina asked her sister one morning (breakfast was their truce time. After that…well, all bets were off).
"No," the little girl said, sipping her orange juice and simultaneously watching the SpongeBob episode she'd missed yesterday.
"Nothing?" Sabrina pressed, "She's not unusually quiet or anything?"
"Jeez, Sabrina," Daphne said, more to the TV screen than to her, "Everything's fine. Ever since we moved here, we've been fine."
"And you don't find that boring?"
"I mean, I miss everyone, sure. I miss Ms. White, and Granny, and Uncle Jake. Elvis, of course, and the mysteries, too. But…not as much as I thought I would."
"Oh. Okay." And they left it at that.
Was she really so desperate for something to happen, Sabrina wondered, that she was actually inventing everything? Charming had said something about that when she'd first met him, the girl remembered. Something about trying to solve a mystery that wasn't even there in the first place.
Was that her, now?
Granny had called a couple of night ago, and the entire family took turns talking to her, asking how Ferryport Landing was (much the same as it always was, the old woman chuckled), how Mr. Canis and Red were (holding up nicely) and whether there was as much trouble as they had expected (no, not much at all, she assured them—they took this to mean she was currently juggling at least three cases).
Sabrina heard these accounts second-hand. She was certain, more than anything else, that the moment she heard Granny's voice would be the moment she would finally break down and admit that the happily ever after she had always imagined for herself was not very happy after all.
And more than anything else in the world, Sabrina Grimm hated being wrong.
Her mother was sitting at the kitchen table, magazine in one hand and coffee in the other. Her hair was in a messy bun, the kind she wore when she was too lazy to bother with it. Sabrina liked it best that way.
"Is there something….something I should know about?"
Her mother lowered the magazine and placed the coffee cup in between them.
"What do you mean?"
"Just…I don't know," she said, "You've just seemed a little strange lately."
"Have I?" Veronica asked, fingering a loose curl of hair. Sabrina couldn't tell whether her mother's voice was truly curious or slightly defensive.
"Am I overreacting?" Sabrina wondered. "I feel like I am, but if there was one thing that Granny managed to teach me is to go with my hunches. Sorry, I—oh." The last part was spoken in a whisper.
"Are you all right?" Her mother asked.
"The boat. I just realized."
"All those weeks ago. You said we were getting a boat from Sinbad. But you never mentioned it again."
"But there's no boat, is there?" Sabrina pressed. "Is there?"
Her mother opened her mouth, but then closed it. It was several moments before she spoke.
"This wasn't supposed to happen."
"What wasn't?" Sabrina demanded.
"I promised your father no more mysteries. At least until we get settled."
"But you did, anyway."
"Frankly, I don't even have all the details yet. Let's just say Sinbad's been having some problems with Long John Silver."
Sabrina shuddered; her last encounter with Silver was still seared into her memory.
"Listen, you can't tell your father."
"I know," Sabrina smiled wryly, "I don't need another lecture about the dangers of magical objects."
"Exactly," Veronica muttered.
And they left it at that.
It should have felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of her shoulders.
And it did, at first. Her mind felt clearer, the pounding headaches vanished, and she finally managed to yell at Puck properly for eating the dictionary (her heart hadn't been in it before).
Then, if anything, she experienced a relapse.
It became all she thought about. She constantly ran through scenarios, through possible ways she could drag Puck into another stakeout.
It wasn't healthy.
But for Sabrina Grimm, the mystery hadn't really started (not yet).
AN: I'm making an effort to make my chapter longer! :D
To my amazing anonymous reviewers!
Guest: Sorry if that was confusing! The story isn't finished yet!
PenguinLoverGurl: Puckabrina forever! :D