Title: when you turn your eyes, i promise i won't care
Fandom: Lost Girl
Pairing: Bo Dennis/Tamsin
Summary: Odin is calling, but Tamsin refuses to answer.
Disclaimer: Lost Girl does not belong to me. No infringement intended.
Word Count: 6,510
A/N: Set after 3x08, so expect spoilers. This is my first time writing for Lost Girl, and for some reason I felt like I'd never written a fanfiction in my life while writing this. So if it seems a bit off, I apologize, but I guess it might take me a few times to work out the kinks of writing for this fandom. I literally have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to the dawning or Valkyrie mythology. I just made a bunch of shit up. I decided to have Odin and Freyja be a team, like the mother and father of all Valkyries, and Odin decides what souls he wants for Valhalla and then Freyja signals her daughters to go collect them or something. At any rate, there may or may not be a sequel to this. I don't know yet. But I hope it's not too awful, and I hope you enjoy. Unbeta'd, so all mistakes are my own.
Title from "Can You Discover?" by Discovery
The Wanderer. It's a sign—the calling card of her people. Of Valhalla. Of death.
It is a representation of the life she's lived for the past three hundred years. She has no place in this world. Valhalla is her home. The battlefield is her domain. Death is her gift. It is her curse.
There was a time when Valkyries were revered, respected. When great warriors would whisper a prayer that they might die honorably and be chosen to walk the halls of Valhalla for eternity. When the name struck hope in the hearts of men, rather than fear.
Tamsin was not fortunate enough to have witnessed such a time. Instead, she was born into a world where the name Valkyrie was all but forgotten, and only invoked in curses. Her fate was to live among mortals and Fae, lying in wait until someone worthy was ready to cross over, and then escort them to Odin's domain. After that, she was forced to move on. Always more battles to be fought. Always more souls to be claimed. She couldn't have stayed in one place even if she'd wanted to. Once others discovered what she was, they cowered from her in fear. As if her very presence was a sign of death.
And it is. She is not called by the Wanderer. She is the Wanderer.
There is no place for her within the Light. There is barely a place for her within the Dark. She has steeled herself against friendship, against love, against home. She had long since abandoned the idea that she could be good. A person with abilities such as hers can't possibly be good. And then this merger between the Light and Dark happened. Bo happened. And she thought…
She thought maybe, for once in her life, she could just rest. Be happy. Have friends. Do good. Be the person she's always wanted to be but never could. She thought maybe, just maybe, she could love someone without signing their death warrant.
She should have fucking known better.
Tamsin never asked for any of this. She never asked to be what she is, never liked it, but at least she could handle it. She never asked to get sent to this stupid town and be forced to play nice with Dyson and his stupid Light friends. She certainly never asked to be thrust into the gravitational field that is Bo Dennis. She hates Bo. Hates her for being such an enigma. Hates her for dragging Tamsin into all of her shit, for getting her to let her guard down without any effort whatsoever. Hates her for putting Tamsin into this godforsaken position. It's bullshit, all of it.
She turns the tarot card over in her hand again and feels sick to her stomach. There is no question as to what this means. Odin has decided his next target. Freyja has called her to action. And it is Tamsin's job to answer. The thought of escorting Bo between worlds, of placing her spirit in Valhalla, of the looks on her friends' faces when they realize that their beloved Succubus is gone makes Tamsin retch. Dyson, Kenzi, Trick, Lauren—they will all blame her. Hate her. She'll hate herself. Bo has managed to claw her way inside of Tamsin's heart in the most horrendous way. She is the first in many years to care about Tamsin, to believe in her. She is the first ever to make Tamsin believe in herself.
Tamsin snarls and slams her fist into the wall.
If it's Bo's time, there's little she can do to prevent that. But she can remove herself from the situation, ignore her duty and turn away. If Bo must be taken to Valhalla, it won't be Tamsin who takes her.
Odin is calling, but Tamsin refuses to answer.
It's pure weakness that takes her to the Dal. If she had any sense about her, she'd pack her shit and leave right away. But she can't. She already has too many ties to this place, and she feels the urge to linger, if only for a little while longer. She wants to do what she can to see Bo safe. If she has to miss the dawning, at least she can try to make sure that Bo survives it.
The bar is deserted, and Trick is obviously surprised to see her. He eyes her warily. It's something she's used to by now, being regarded by a bad omen. The only person who doesn't look at her that way is Bo, and the thought makes Tamsin's heart clench. She'll never see those kind eyes again. One moment more, one warning, and then she'll leave this place forever.
Tamsin slaps the Wanderer card down on the bar in front of Trick. His eyes widen at the sight of it.
"You know what this is," she says, and it's not a question. He's a wise old man with a lot of knowledge. He knows the sign of the Valkyrie.
"Where did you get this?" he asks fearfully.
"You know where," Tamsin says testily. She doesn't have time for him to play stupid.
Trick's eyes dart around the bar as if he expects someone to be listening to them. He motions for Tamsin to follow him, and leads her downstairs into his office, closing the door for good measure.
"When did you get this?" he asks, staring down at the card in his hands as if he's afraid it might bight him.
"Two days ago, after Bo's dawning invitation," Tamsin replies.
Trick shakes his head. "It can't be. You've got it wrong. It has to be someone else."
"It's not someone else!" Tamsin snaps. "Odin is calling Bo to Valhalla, and he expects me to take her there. Probably during the dawning."
"Why are you telling me this?" Trick asks suspiciously. "You're not allowed to reveal your intentions to anyone but the fallen warriors."
"Yeah, I'm not exactly new to this rodeo," Tamsin says, rolling her eyes. "I know the rules. And I don't give a shit. Bo is the only person in this miserable, stinking world who's made me fee like—" She chokes on her words and closes her eyes against the tears stinging them. When she opens them, Trick is looking at her with a mix of sympathy and surprise that makes her want to punch him. "I will not take Bo to Valhalla."
"What are you going to do?"
"I'm leaving. Today. The only reason I'm here is to warn you that Bo is marked. If I don't take her, Freyja will send someone else to do it in my place."
She sees a dagger lying on a table nearby and reaches for it. Trick looks at her warily again, but she ignores him and uses the blade to cut off a lock of her own hair. She extends her hand to Trick.
"Take this and give it to Bo. If any other Valkyries come sniffing around between now and the dawning, this will reveal their true nature to her," she says firmly. Trick takes the hair and holds it tightly in his fist. "Make sure she's ready, Trick. I don't know what the dawning holds for her, but I have a feeling it's going to be the hardest thing she's ever faced. Don't keep spilling this bullshit to her that everything's going to be okay. She needs the truth, or else she's going to die."
If Trick wants to argue with her, he decides to hold his tongue for now. "Where will you go?"
Tamsin swallows hard against the lump in her throat. "I don't know. Away from here. I can't…"
She takes a deep breath and tries to compose herself. Trick takes pity on her.
"Thank you, Tamsin. You're a good friend to Bo," he says sincerely. Tamsin scoffs.
"No I'm not." She turns toward the door and stops. "Tell Bo I…"
Whatever she's going to say gets lost in her throat. She shakes her head and leaves Trick's office before she has time to break down completely.
She doesn't notice Kenzi pressed into the shadows, processing everything she's just heard.
It's sad, she thinks, that almost all of her personal belongings can fit into one duffle bag. When she leaves, there will be nothing to mark her place, no trace to say that she was ever here. Maybe it's better that way. She tosses her bag into the back of her car and slams the door shut.
"You were just going to leave without saying goodbye?"
Tamsin sighs and closes her eyes. Of course it couldn't be that easy. Of course she couldn't just pack up and go without any further agony. Of course.
"What are you doing here?" she asks tiredly, turning around to face Bo, who stands with her hands on her hips and a belligerent look in her eye. "You should be training for the dawning."
"Yeah, I was," Bo says with irritation. "And then Kenzi came home and told me about the conversation she overheard between you and Trick."
She swears in something old and Norse, and language no longer spoken in this world. Fucking Kenzi.
"Were you ever going to tell me?" Bo asks, and her voice sounds wounded. It's a sound that Tamsin can't bear.
"What do you want me to say?"
Bo takes a step closer and Tamsin tries to back away, but there's a car in her way and nowhere to go.
"I want you to tell my why you're trying to run away right now, when I need you the most," Bo says angrily, and she is so beautiful when she's angry. "You are the only one who's been straight with me about this whole dawning thing. You said that you thought I could do this."
"That was before I knew you were marked for Valhalla!" Tamsin yells, fists clenched at her sides. She can feel herself breaking apart from the inside. She tries to steel herself against it, but it's futile. Bo has always been able to find the weak spots in her and chip away at them. "You don't get it, Bo. This isn't something that you can just slip through with luck and a little help from your precious Scooby Gang. This is death knocking down your door and creeping in underneath it when you don't answer. You can't escape it."
"Well if that's the case, why are you leaving? If the Valkyries are going to take me anyway, I'd rather it be you," Bo says.
Before she knows what she's doing, Tamsin pushes away from the car and invades Bo's space, her face inches away from Bo's.
"I will not sit here and watch you die. I won't," she spits, eyes blazing angrily.
"What are you so afraid of?" Bo whispers challengingly.
It's weakness. Pure weakness. Their mouths crash together, but this is not like the Brazenwood kiss. Bo is ready this time. She holds her ground and kisses Tamsin with something close to fury. Tamsin's fingers grip Bo's shoulders with enough force to bruise, but neither of them seems to notice. There is only Bo's mouth, Bo's scent, Bo's soul, which reaches out to her own and resonates deep within her chest. Tamsin allows herself to have this, these few seconds of unadulterated bliss, before she tears her mouth away and breathes heavily against Bo's face.
"Let me go, Bo," she pleads. "Please let me go. If anyone can survive, I know it's you, but I can't take the risk of being here. You have to let me go."
There are tears trailing across her cheeks. Tamsin doesn't know the last time she cried, especially not over a mark. Bo's thumbs caress her face, gently wiping them away.
"You are a good person, Tamsin, even if you don't believe it," she says softly.
"Just don't fucking die," Tamsin growls, and when she turns away to get into the car, Bo lets her.
She grips the steering wheel hard, takes a deep breath, and drives. She doesn't look back.
The dawning is almost upon her, and Bo has never felt so alone in her life. She and Lauren aren't really speaking. After Bo screwed up and missed Lauren's banquet, Lauren screwed up and fucked some guy. Some scientist. Someone who understands her in a way that Bo supposes she never will. She loves Lauren deeply, but she can't help but wonder if she was a fool for ever thinking that they could make it work. The odds were always against them. Human and Fae. Human and Succubus. Scientist and warrior. One more failed relationship to add to a very long list. Maybe that's her curse. Maybe she'll never be able to make it work with one person. At least she managed to keep herself from killing Lauren during sex. At least she's grown that much.
Dyson is resolutely avoiding her. He has his love back, of this Bo is sure. He's trying to be chivalrous or some bullshit. Whatever it is he's doing, Bo doesn't have time for it. Her life is on the line, and she's so fucking tired of people trying to tell her what's best for her. As if she isn't capable of knowing what's best for herself. As if she isn't allowed to just go for what she wants. As if she's never allowed to just be happy on her own terms.
So the only people she has in her corner now are Trick, Kenzi, and that Stella woman. And Tamsin. Always Tamsin.
But Tamsin isn't here now, and Bo feels the loss so acutely that it's hard for her to even focus on the last hours of her training. Which is stupid. If Tamsin were here, she'd tell Bo to get her shit together and fight. Fight like she's never known anything else in her life. She's not sure when Tamsin went from being someone she hated, someone who was trying to get her thrown in some horrific Dark prison somewhere, to being an anchor. Someone who Bo feels like she can look to for strength at the worst of times. Someone who loves her. And Tamsin does love her. Bo knows that now. It's something she can focus on. She doesn't know what the consequences will be for Tamsin abandoning her duty as a Valkyrie, but she has made this sacrifice for Bo willingly. The least Bo can do is try to make sure she stays alive long enough to say thank you.
"We can't come with you," Trick warns her gravely. "Once you're in there, you are truly on your own."
Bo looks down at the locket she wears, the one that Trick gave her the day Tamsin left. It has a lock of Tamsin's hair inside, which has been useful in spotting out the several Valkyries that have miraculously appeared at the Dal over the past few days. She knows it won't protect her when she's actually in the arena, but it is another thing that Tamsin has given her that no one else can. Something she can keep close. Something to remind her that she can survive.
"On my own. But not alone," she says resolutely.
"That's right Bo-Bo! You're gonna kick some ass and then we're going out for ice cream. And alcohol."
Bo laughs and pulls Kenzi close to her. Kenzi, who has been the greatest friend that Bo could ever have hoped for. If she dies in this dawning, she will not regret any of the time spent with this woman. With any of them, really. They are her family.
"It is time," Stella tells her.
She kisses Kenzi on the crown of her head, hugs Trick fiercely, shakes Stella's hand. And that's that.
Yes. It is time.
The arena is deserted and poorly lit. Bo looks around at the cracked stone walls, the dirt under her boots. She thinks maybe she should have worn more sensible shoes. On the other hand, if she's going to die today, she at least wants to look good for it. She has her priorities in order.
"The Fae seriously need to come out of the Dark Ages. This place needs the Extreme Home Makeover team," she says to herself. Wit has always made her feel better in times of grave danger. She doesn't think there's enough wit in the world for this, though.
"Welcome Bo Dennis, Succubus," a disembodied voice booms. "This is your dawning. Here you will either evolve into the Fae you were born to be, or descend into darkness for eternity. You will face your greatest fears and weaknesses in this arena. Your courage, strength, and resolve will be tested to their limits. You are allowed only the tools presented to you here. Good luck, and may you be victorious."
"What the hell is this, the Hunger Games?" Bo says, rolling her eyes.
A spotlight shines onto a rack of weapons behind her. There are swords, knives, axes, bows, and even throwing stars.
"No guns, of course," she mutters.
A noise at the other end of the arena catches her attention before she can choose her weapon. Out of the shadows, a figure appears. Bo's eyes widen. She was expecting something huge and snarling, something that could break her in half without even trying, possibly with horns. She was not expecting…
Herself. The thing she has to fight, the test of her dawning, is herself. But of course it is. What has she been doing all of these years if not battling herself, her true nature? There is a monster inside of her, and somehow these people have made it real and set it in front of her.
Bo's doppelganger is visibly stronger than Bo herself. It has incredibly defined muscles and murder in its eyes. Its glowing, blue eyes. Its nails are horrifically long, more like claws than nails, really, and when it smiles, it is a terrifying grin full of sharp teeth. Suddenly, Bo understands. This is not her. This is what she will be if she fails this test. This is what has been trying to claw its way out of her for the past few weeks. This is her devolution. And it has a very large sword.
Bo turns to the weapon rack and pulls out two particularly sharp looking knives. Speed and intelligence are her greatest weapons, as Tamsin reminded her in Brazenwood the other day. Brute strength will get her nowhere, especially not against that thing. She takes a deep breath and walks toward the center of the arena where the Under Fae is already waiting for her. Its breath rattles and sends a chill through her.
"So do we shake hands, or—"
She just barely has time to lift her knives against the sword that comes town on top of her. She was right: this Under Fae is strong, too strong, actually. But it is also fast, and seems to be able to anticipate all of her moves before she even makes them. She only gets maybe two hits in while her doppelganger attacks her relentlessly. She doesn't know how much time passes, but she feels her strength waning quickly. She has a huge slice in her left arm where the Under Fae's sword caught her, and her head is spinning from a particularly hard punch to the face.
Don't play nice, Bo. This bitch definitely isn't going to. Get dirty.
It's Tamsin's voice in her head, and for a moment Bo wonders if Valkyries can somehow communicate through telepathy. But they can't; it's just a thought, just Tamsin telling her to get her ass up and keep going. Bo summons her strength and kicks the Under Fae's feet right out from under it. With a yell, she takes both knives and plunges them down into the thing's stomach. It roars in pain and crawls away from her.
"Is that it? Am I done?" she calls out.
Her voice echoes around the arena, but there is no answer. Dim lights come up all around the sides, eradicating more of the shadows. Bo wishes they wouldn't have. She is horrified by what she sees.
There are people chained to the walls. At least twenty of them. Frail and dirty, some of them are unconscious. Others look terrified. Bo feels her breath catch as she realizes that the Fae would never do this to their own people. There is only one race that they treat like nothing more than a food source.
"Humans," she whispers, sickened.
She notices the Under Fae pulling itself towards one of the humans, a young girl. And before she can do anything about it, it is feeding from her. She watches the blue light leave the girl's mouth until she slumps over, dead. The Under Fae stands, walks to another human, and repeats the process. Bo is paralyzed with dread. She watches the thing feed from two more humans before it turns to her, a hideous smile on its face, completely healed.
"Shit," Bo mutters, and that is the last thing she thinks before the fight begins anew.
It's a bloodbath. It could take an hour, or maybe it's only ten minutes, but the Under Fae systematically beats the shit out of Bo. She barely has time to think before another blow lands, and she can't remember feeling so drained in her entire life. She needs to feed. And there are so many helpless people nearby, just begging her to take their chi. She would be doing them a favor, really. The Fae are only going to keep them locked up or kill them in some other way. At least if she feeds from them, they'll die with a smile on their faces. And if she doesn't do it, she will die.
No. This is exactly why Bo didn't choose a side when she first discovered the Fae. She chose humans. She will always choose humans. It could easily be Kenzi chained to those walls, or Lauren, or any one of the people she knew from back home. Somewhere out there, someone is missing these humans. Wondering where they are, if they're okay, or dead. They will never know the truth. But she will not be the one to take their lives. She is better than this. Even if it means she has to die.
She barely feels it when the Under Fae drives the sword into her. All she feels is relief. Relief, because in the end, she made the right choice. She did not let the Fae change her. She is still Bo, even to the last.
Tamsin was right. She wasn't ready. She couldn't escape death. She feels the blood seep from her body into the dirt beneath her while the Under Fae stands over her, and all she wants to do is sleep.
She wishes Tamsin were here. Tamsin would make this easy. She would hold Bo's hand and tell her to be strong, to embrace what's coming for her. She would look down at her with those haunting eyes and that pretty smile and Bo would know that everything is going to be okay. She would gladly let Tamsin lead her to Valhalla if it meant she finally got to rest.
Her vision starts to go dark at the edges. If this is what death feels like, it's not so bad. She can handle this. She's ready.
Miles away, Tamsin feels like she's been punched in her chest. The call of a dying warrior. The call of Valhalla. She can't breathe for the pull of it.
Bo. It has to be. The timing is perfect.
Tamsin falls to her knees and clutches at her chest as if she can make the pain go away. A sob escapes her lips. Bo failed. She did everything she could, left the one person in the world that she cares about, and it didn't matter anyway. Bo is dying. She is dying without Tamsin by her side.
Tamsin growls and stands. Her body shakes with fury, with pain, with regret. She has stood by too many times while great people died in her arms. She will not stand by while the person who matters most slips away from her. With renewed determination, she stops fighting and allows the call of death to pull her away from this place, back to the battlefield. Back to Bo.
There is a white light, and God it's blinding. So cliché, too. Bo even manages an eye roll at how predictable it is. Out of the light steps a woman, and she is beautiful. She wears dark leather, and her hair is long and blonde. Her eyes are pale. She looks like…
"Tamsin?" Bo asks hopefully, but her voice is barely even a croak.
"No, my dear," the woman says with a kind smile. "I am Freyja, mother of Valkyries."
"Are you here to take me to Valhalla?" Bo asks weakly.
"Yes. Do not be afraid, Bo. You are a great warrior, and you will be given a place of valor among your kind in Odin's Great Hall," Freyja assures her. Her eyes dart to the wound in Bo's stomach. "Your time is almost near. Give me your hand and I will guide you to your resting place."
Bo reaches out with what little strength she has towards Freyja's outstretched hand. She is ready to go to Valhalla. Her new home.
Suddenly, there is a light even more blinding than the one that Freyja stepped through. It explodes into the arena, kicking up dust and almost knocking Freyja backwards. Bo doesn't have the energy to move her head, to see what's happening. But then she doesn't have to. Tamsin enters her field of vision. She is glowing, and she looks fierce and beautiful. She situates herself between Freyja and Bo, covering Bo's body with her own like a bird protects its prey.
"I knew you wouldn't abandon me," Bo breathes. Tamsin spares her a glance, a mix of pain and love flashing across her face, before she turns back to Freyja with hard eyes.
"You will not take Bo to Valhalla," she says firmly.
"You know that's not how it works, my dear Tamsin," Freyja says with a hint of sadness. "There is only one way to save Bo now."
"And I invoke it," Tamsin says immediately. Freyja is taken aback. "I invoke my right to refuse the call of Valhalla, the call of my father, Odin. I invoke my right as Valkyrie to save this warrior and take her as my patron, my protector."
"Are you sure about this, Tamsin? You know what happens if you choose to do this," Freyja says seriously.
"Yes," Tamsin says. "I accept the consequences."
Freyja sighs and nods. "Very well. I allow you to invoke your right, and I withdraw the claim on this warrior's soul." She looks at Tamsin with a mix of regret and pride. "I hope this act will finally bring you peace, my daughter."
And then she is gone. Tamsin turns to Bo and puts a hand on her dirty, bloodied face.
"Bo, you need to feed off of me right now or you're going to die. Do you understand?" Tamsin says.
Bo nods, barely, and Tamsin lowers her head and kisses her softly. It takes a few seconds, but then the hunger kicks in, and suddenly Bo is gripping at Tamsin's sides, drawing the chi out of her in waves. It is the strangest thing Tamsin has ever experienced, both immensely pleasant and painful at the same time. She feels herself being drained from the very core of her being while all of her nerves scream with pleasure. If Bo doesn't stop soon, Tamsin will die from it. She doesn't care.
Bo rips her mouth away with a gasp and Tamsin slumps over, completely exhausted.
"Tamsin!" Bo exclaims, holding her close. Tamsin's face rests in the crook of Bo's neck. She smells like war. Bo brushes some of the hair back from her face and rests a hand on her cheek. "I'm so sorry. Are you okay? Look at me."
Her eyes flutter open to see utter concern etched on Bo's face. The amount of joy she feels at seeing that face, alive and well, is almost enough to make her forget that she can barely even hold herself up right now. She saved Bo.
"Don't worry about me. I'm fine. Just go kill that fucking thing," Tamsin croaks.
The Under Fae, the dawning—Bo had almost forgotten about all of it. She almost wouldn't care if it weren't for the fact that she actually does have to kill it if she wants to make it out of here alive with Tamsin in tow. She doesn't quite understand the details of what Tamsin did, doesn't know what it means for a Valkyrie to protect someone marked for death like that. But she knows that Tamsin did it for her without hesitation. And then gave Bo almost all of her chi without hesitation as well. Tamsin saved her life twice today. The least she can do is kick that Under Fae's ass.
She lays Tamsin down gently and promises to be back soon, at which Tamsin manages an eye roll. Bo runs to the weapon rack and draws the nearest sword. She is buzzing with energy from the kiss; Tamsin's chi is still the strongest she's ever tasted. She feels like she could fight a thousand of these Under Fae and not break a sweat.
The creature advances on her, snarling viciously, sword in hand. Bo meets its first strike with her sword. She pushes the thing away and swings. Her sword hits the Under Fae's near the hilt with enough force to knock it out of its hands. It looks at her, and for the first time, she sees something like fear in its eyes.
"I am nothing like you," Bo says confidently.
She swings, and her sword slices through the Under Fae's neck with ease. Its head hits the ground with a sickening thump and rolls away several feet. The body falls soon after. Bo stands over it triumphantly, sword dripping with blood.
"Congratulations, Succubus," the disembodied voice from before says. "You are victorious. Your dawning is complete."
Bo feels the world shift under her feet, and then suddenly she is back at the Dal. Kenzi, Trick, and Stella all jump up at the sight of her.
"That's it?" Bo pants. "I was expecting a trophy or something. A cookie at least."
"Bo, you did it!"
She's almost knocked back by the force of Kenzi's hug.
"Yeah," Bo says happily. "I almost didn't. If it hadn't been for…"
She suddenly remembers Tamsin, and spins around to find her lying unconscious on the floor. Bo falls to her knees beside Tamsin and reaches out to brush the hair back from her face.
"Trick, she needs help. She let me take too much of her chi," Bo says worriedly.
"Here, put her on the couch," Trick offers. He clears the books scattered across it off as Bo lifts Tamsin in her arms and carries her over.
"How the hell did she get into your dawning?" Kenzi asks.
"I don't know," Bo says reverently, stroking Tamsin's cheek. "But she saved me."
"What do you mean she saved you?" Stella asks, confusion etched on her face. "Fae aren't allowed to interfere with the dawning."
"Valkyries can," Trick says knowingly.
Bo nods. "I was dying. A Valkyrie named Freyja came to me. She was going to take me to Valhalla, but then Tamsin appeared. She told Freyja that she wanted to make me her patron." She turns to look at Trick, brows furrowed. "What does that mean?"
Trick's eyes are wide with surprise. He shakes his head as if he can't believe what Bo is saying.
"It means that Tamsin made an incredible sacrifice for you. It's something she should get to explain on her own, once she has her strength back."
"I'm going to stay here with her," Bo declares. She lifts Tamsin's head enough so that she can situate herself on the couch and then gently rests it in her lap. She runs her fingers through Tamsin's hair.
"We should leave them to recover," Stella suggests graciously. "There are post-dawning celebration plans to be made."
Trick nods and leads them out of the cellar. Kenzi stops by the door and turns back.
"I'm glad you're okay, Bo-Bo," she says. Bo smiles.
"Yeah, me too."
Kenzi closes the door behind her and Bo looks down at the Valkyrie in her lap. Tamsin—her savior.
There will never be enough time in the world to repay the debt.
Tamsin wakes slowly with a pounding headache the likes of which she hasn't experienced since that time she was a bodyguard for the Kitsune. She groans faintly and shifts, but her head is lying on something solid. She opens her eyes to find herself resting in Bo's lap and feels her heart flutter stupidly. She hates the fact that Bo reduces her to a schoolgirl with a crush.
"Hey," Bo says with a soft smile. "How do you feel?"
"Like I let a Succubus drain me dry," Tamsin replies, her voice cracked and dry.
She tries to sit up, and finally accomplishes it with Bo's help.
"So judging by the fact that we're not both dead, unless this is a special kind of Hell, I assume the rest of your dawning went well," Tamsin says once she's settled.
"Your chi super-charged me. I cut that bitch's head off within five minutes," Bo says with a hint of pride.
Tamsin chuckles. "Awesome. Glad I could be of service."
Bo's smile falters as she looks at her friend. Tamsin raises an eyebrow expectantly.
"Tamsin, you saved my life. Twice. I don't know how to thank you for that," Bo says seriously.
"Yeah, well, I decided that I like you better when you're not dead," Tamsin says uncomfortably. Her eyes dart around the room, looking anywhere but at Bo. Bo reaches out and takes Tamsin's hand in her own, forcing Tamsin to finally look at her.
"What you said when you stopped Freyja from taking me to Valhalla, about taking me as your patron. What did that mean? What did you do?" Bo asks.
Tamsin sighs heavily. She had hoped that she wouldn't have to explain this to Bo, that she wouldn't remember any of it. She still hasn't fully processed what it means herself, though she knows the consequences of saving a warrior's life.
"Valkyries have the right to save one dying warrior in our lives, if we want to," Tamsin begins slowly. "Most of the time we don't stay in one place long enough to get attached to people, and if we do, we're usually smart about keeping our distance. We don't make friends or take lovers because we're naturally attracted to the strong ones, the ones who might be marked for Valhalla. But every once in a while, one of us screws up and gets too close. I guess this time it was me." She pauses for a moment and tries to decide how to continue. "If someone we love is marked, we have a choice. We can either accept fate and take them to Valhalla as Odin demands, or we can invoke our one-time right to save a fallen warrior. But in doing so, we give up everything that we are."
"Wait, what?" Bo says with alarm. "Like you're not a Valkyrie anymore?"
Tamsin presses her lips into a thin line.
"I'm still a Valkyrie, technically. But I've forsaken my family. I'm never allowed to return to Valhalla. I'm still genetically Fae, so I still have my immortality and some of my strength, but most of my powers are gone. I'll probably never see Odin or Freyja again, and my sisters, the other Valkyries, will be forced to shun me. When I die, my soul will go… wherever it is that souls go when they don't go to Valhalla."
"Tamsin," Bo says sadly, "that's your family. Freyja is your mother. Valhalla is your home. And your powers… why would you give that all up for me?"
Tamsin smiles wryly and squeezes Bo's hand.
"The invocation is our right to protect someone we love. In exchange for saving that person's life, we essentially put our own in their hands. But my life was already yours. I would rather spend the rest of my days without my clan, without my powers, than live in a world without you, Bo." She huffs out a laugh and shakes her head. "God, you bring out my sappy side. It's disgusting."
Anything else she might have said is cut off by Bo lips pressing against her own. Bo moves across the couch and essentially straddles her, kissing her with a fierce passion, with gratefulness. Tamsin can't help but sigh into the kiss. She thinks she'll probably never get tired of this feeling, of Bo surrounding her so completely.
"Thank you," Bo says sincerely, resting her forehead against Tamsin's. "I don't know how, but I'm going to make sure that your sacrifice wasn't in vain."
"Just try not to get killed," Tamsin says. "And try not to get me killed with you."
Bo chuckles. "I think I can do that."
They stay like that for a few minutes, breathing the same air in silence, before Tamsin clears her throat.
"Listen, just because I saved you, it doesn't mean that I expect anything from you. I know I'm just one in a long line of people who would throw themselves in front of a bus for you or whatever. You're with Lauren, and Dyson has his love back, and I can't compete with either of them. Which is fine. I'm just glad you're alive."
Bo sighs. Tamsin's right. It is complicated. Regardless of what's going on with Lauren and Dyson, she still loves them both. She doesn't know how all of this is going to play out, or how she even got lucky enough to have three incredible people in love with her. But she almost just died, and she survived her dawning, and there's supposed to be a party to celebrate that, and Bo doesn't really want to think about any of it right now. All she wants is to stay here with this amazing woman who saved her life until someone comes and pulls her away to deal with some urgent matter or another.
"I don't know what's going to happen in the future," she admits, and Tamsin casts her eyes down and swallows. "But it isn't the future yet. And right now, there is no competition. It's just the two of us. All I want to do is enjoy it. And maybe kiss you some more."
Tamsin's grin spreads slowly across her face.
"I think I can live with that," she says, and kisses Bo again.