The Fae Worlds

The Attack

A hand grabbed my arm. Before I had any real idea what was going on I found myself being tugged outside, by someone I soon realised was a very insistent Blake. Not fighting wasn’t so much a choice, but more something I did purely out of confusion, because being in a place like the convention I was at was more than a little unusual for him. Once we were out he didn’t stop tugging. That, however, was when I stopped letting him tug, instead stopping where I was and staring at him. He turned to look at me then. When his eyes met with mine I could see the mix of emotions in them, but the main one was fear.
“Come on.”
“Blake…”
“Getting you out of here is more important than any argument you might want to have with me. I know I’ve made some terrible choices. Believe me.” He raked a hand through his hair. “We aren’t far enough away.”
Fear flooded through me. “Tell me now what’s happening.”
“Lou…”
“Teddy’s in there. If you think I’m going anywhere without him you would be very wrong.”
Not waiting for an answer I turned back to the building. Standing where I was meant I was able to see the explosions rip through certain parts of it, and then I was falling, the effects of them hitting me, but Blake was right there. “Do you know where Teddy was?”
“We split up. He wanted to see things I didn’t.” I raked a hand through my hair. “All I know for certain is that he’s in there somewhere.” Biting down hard on my lip I looked at Blake. “Your brothers.”
Even though it wasn’t a question he nodded. “I didn’t find out until it was too late. They knew I’d stop it.” He looked at the building. “Finding Teddy will be easier if we split up, but I don’t want to do that. If I lose you…” He ran his tongue over his bottom lip. “This wasn’t me. I never would have done something like this.”
“I know.” Standing, I looked at the building once more, trying to remember where things were. Where the things Teddy would like would have been. “You don’t have to convince me you aren’t like your brother’s, Blake. We’ve been through too much for that.”
Looking relieved he took hold of my hand. “Nothing we see in there’s going to be nice. I’ve never gone into a building that’s just been bombed before, but I’ve seen more than enough films, and I’ll say now that you don’t need to go in with me. I will find Teddy. You know that.”
“He’s my responsibility.”
For a moment he was silent. I could imagine what he might be stopping himself from saying. Blake was someone I knew too well not to have an idea of what was going through his mind right then. “Nothing I can say will be enough to convince you to stay out here, will it?”
“No, Blake, not when Teddy’s in there. I promised my sister I’d look after him.” I shook my head. “I’m doing a terrible job so far.”
“Don’t do that. You had no way of knowing what was going to happen.”
“Maybe not, but this isn’t exactly unheard of. Other places where all the races gather have been hit before. Bringing him here was a risk I should never have taken.”
“Stop that. If you think like that then Teddy’s never going to have a chance of living a normal life.”
I laughed. “He’s never going to have a chance of living a normal life, Blake. Instead of living with his parents, the way an eleven-year-old boy should be, he’s found himself living with an aunt barely older than him.” I shook my head. “Taking him on was the only thing I could do, bit that doesn’t make this any easier.”
“Let’s find Teddy, and then we can deal with this.” Blake squeezed my hand. “For what it’s worth I would have made the same choice. He needs someone who can accept him for who he is.”
Blake, the guy who’d be so much against mixing bloods that he’d ended things with me when I told him I was taking on Teddy, had just told me he’d do the same thing. I stared at him. “Who are you, and what did you do with Blake?”
“Someone opened my eyes to everything.” He smiled. “Come on. Let’s find Teddy. The sooner we can get out of here the better.”
Nodding, I let him lead me back into the building, where the first thing I was hit by was smoke. Then the sounds. Crying. People moaning in pain. Some people talking quietly. What I wanted to do was help them all. I had healing skills, and there would be something I could do for them, but Teddy came first. Once I’d found him I could think about helping those who needed it. Although by then the emergency services… I realised that was the sound I’d expected to hear the whole time we were outside, but it hadn’t come. No sirens at all.
“How did they stop them?”
“Magic, Lou, and there’s nothing I can do about it. At some point someone will break the wards, but until then there’s nothing we can do.”
“You could get through the wards due to your blood.”
“I could, and I would have made sure you got out of them too. With Teddy, if I knew he was here, but you were the only one I was certain of.”
“When we find Teddy the first thing you do is find a way to break those wards. I’ll do what I can to help people here.”
Unwilling to give Blake a chance to respond, because I had a horrible feeling I knew what he was going to say, I started moving. Finding Teddy was the only thing I cared about. As we made out way through the smoke, the bits of broken everything, and some people that looked more like they were bodies, I weaved a quick spell to make finding my nephew a little easier. It didn’t make it simple. Not in the chaos. Before the explosions it had been fun chaos. Following them everything was different, but, far sooner that we expected, I saw the blond hair of Teddy. He was kneeling down by someone, and I could feel the power he was using. I couldn’t help smiling. Of course he was trying to help someone. Then, before I had a chance to say or do anything, he was blown backwards.
“No.” I shook my head, running over to him. “You doing okay?”
He nodded, pushing himself so he was sitting up, and looked over at the girl he’d been trying to heal. “What happened?”
“There are certain magics that can stop us from being able to heal. Whoever built those bombs made it so there was nothing the healers here could do to help.” I glanced back at Blake. He shook his head. Finding out he hadn’t known about that helped, and I turned back to Teddy. “We are going to have to turn to human methods, so head to the nearest bathrooms. They all have first aid kits in. I’ll stay with her.”
“Lou, she’s in a lot of pain.”
“Fighting through that magic is possible, but hard. If I can do something I will.” I kissed the top of his head. “Go quickly. If you see someone you recognise tell them what we know. The faster we get the knowledge through the building the easier this is going to be.”
“I can do that.” He smiled at me, his face sooty. “I was lucky. I was far enough away that I was safe from the explosions. I still got knocked to the ground, but that’s nothing in comparison to what happened to some of the people who were closer.”
Biting down hard on my lip I studied him. “I’m glad. You deserve some luck. Now go.” Standing, he scampered away, and then I turned to look at Blake. “Do what you can out there. By now Willow is probably close by, and she can help you. Having you there will definitely help her.”
“Yeah, it will, but I’ll be disowned.”
“Do you care?”
“Not as much as I did. I’ve got nowhere to go, when it does happen, but I still came here, to get you out.”
“Stay with me, until you’re sorted. I’m not saying we’re going to be able to get back together, because there might be too much water under the bridge, but I can at least give you a roof over your head.”
“Thank you.” He kissed me. “I still love you. Never stopped.”
Responding, even if he hadn’t moved before I had a chance to regain my composure, would have been an impossibility. Shaking my head, telling myself it didn’t matter, I turned to the girl Teddy had been trying to help, and looked down into her pain filled eyes. “Hey, I’m Louisa. I’m going to do what I can to help you.”
“What happened to Teddy?”
“Magics he wasn’t equipped to cope with.” Most people weren’t. I’d honed my skills, with River, knowing what was possible in these sorts of situations. “There is a chance I will be able to work through it, but I have no idea how strong the fae were who created those bombs. All I can do is my best.”
She nodded. “I understand. Do you need to know what’s wrong?”
“Do you know what’s wrong?”
There was a moment when she just stared at me, and then she shook her head. “All I know is I hurt. I tried to help Teddy, because he told me he could do more if he knew where the worst of the pain was, but I’m not sure if I told him exactly what he needed to know.”
“Understandable.” I stroked my hand over her forehead. “Okay, this will be easier for both of us if you close your eyes and try to relax. You might trust Teddy, but you don’t trust me, and that’s not going to be a problem, as long as we both go slow.”
Fortunately for me she trusted me enough to do as I said. When her eyes were closed I let myself drift into a trance state, something I was only doing in order to circumvent the magic that was supposed to stop me, although there were no guarantees. It was possible I still wouldn’t be able to do anything. Biting down hard on my lip, the magic almost stronger than I was, I pushed myself through it, pain flooding through me as I did. I wasn’t going to let that stop me. Instead I focused on the girl in front of me, an innocent who should never have found herself in such a horrible position. The way her body was told me she’d been close to the bomb when it went off. How she’d not been sobbing with pain was beyond me, as it seemed like her entire back had been burnt. The only logical explanation was nerve damage, but the burns didn’t seem that bad, so she was just far stronger that most kids her age.
When I opened my eyes again, having done what I could to fix the damage, she was staring at me. “I could feel it. Everything you did. It was like having a cold hand go over the bits that hurt, and it was nice. Better than the pain.” She went to move, and I gave her the space she needed. “Every part of me feels better than it did before.”
“Good.” I smiled, before turning to look at how many other people there were who needed me. “I think I’m going to need a couple of runners. I’m not going to be able to do everything alone. You want to join forces with me and Teddy?”