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infant_savant in wetheinvincible

NY: 52nd and Park: Marylou and Aoife

Aoife has her share of chores. They have a cleaning service, but Marylou expects her to keep her room tidy, put her own clothes away, help with the washing up. Today, as Marylou is out, and the dry-cleaning has just been delivered - by a startled young man who didn't expect to have the clothes signed for by a six year old - she's putting Marylou's things away as well as her own.

She doesn't have much - kids clothes are usually designed to be machine-washable, after all, but Marylou had seemed insistant that she needed some 'nice' things - Aoife thinks the other things she has were nice enough, but she does have to admit that cashmere just feels nicer.

So, her stuff is away, and she's just hanging Marylou's silk shirts, when she comes across one that's familiar. She flips the cuff back before she goes to put it in the closet - and frowns at a faint brownish stain on the thread. There's nothing on the fabric - it must be a different fibre.

She can't think of many things taht would stain like that - and she remembers the last time that Marylou was wearing that shirt. but, having looked at the faint mark, brows knitted, for a moment, she hangs it in the closet, shuts the door, and takes the plastic bags to put with the recycling.

So, when Marylou comes home, she finds Aoife sitting on the sofa, laptop in - surprisingly - her lap, the tv tuned to Anime Network.

Comments

"Because of the colour," she says,strike one "because anything else would have come out more easily."Strike two. "Because I saw the blood on you when you came out, and it's the same shirt." Strike three. And she's out.
She looks at Aoife.

Carefully.
Oh, she's perfect.
"You're not a normal little girl, are you? You've got a gift too, don't you?"

That gets a smile.

"Do you really want the truth, Aoife? I'll give it to you... but remember that the truth has a responsibility."
"If it's a gift to be clever."

And to know things that there is no, absolutely no way she could know. not very often, though. just often enough.

"And the truth is more important than anything."

It really, really is.
"Then you tell me, truthfully, what you think happened."

Very calm. Almost... proud.
"I think," just as calmly, "that he's dead."

She doesn't think, of course. She knows.
She smiles.

"And."
"That's all."

She does not smile. She just looks serious.
She looks at Aoife.

"There's more. I can tell. Come on, now, dear. Don't you think I had an idea when I asked you?"
Aoife wrinkles her brow.

"What more is there? You killed him, he's dead, and I hope no-one will ever find him, because I like living with you."
She beams.

"Very good."

An eyeroll.

"And of course no one will find him. I hope you think I'm competant enough to clean up my own mess. After all, how can I be a good parent for you if I can't even keep myself out of jail."
"I would have thought so."

Aoife regards her again, eyes narrowed.

"Don't you mean guardian?"
She rolls her eyes with a grin.

"All in good time. Though you can't really think I'd let a bright girl go to some pathetic soccer mom who couldn't possibly give you the kind of tools you'll need for your developement..."

She runs a hand down Aoife's hair with a warm smile.

"You think I tell anyone about things like this? Of course not, sweetie."
Aoife snorts at that, rolling her eyes in response.

"Soccer mom, indeed. Are you. . ." She bites her lip. "Are you really going to keep me?"
She nods.

"I knew from the very first day what I wanted... but I didn't want to push. I wasn't about to force you to stay here till I thought you were comortable, that it was what you wanted." At least, I didn't tell you till now.

Another hand through her hair.

"But... for me, you're already my little girl."
Aoife smiles, and slips sideways a little onto the sofa, so she can worm her way into Marylou's arms - the first really spontaneous affection she's shown. Hand-holding is different - this is a proper hug.

"Just as long as," comes a voice slightly muffled by Marylou's shoulder, "I don't have to call you Mom."
Los Angeles: The Beach

December 2006

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