||[Mar. 24th, 2005|08:48 pm]
The Nancy Tribe
((Warning: this is VERY VERY long. You might want to read this for reference to understand what's going on!))
Autumn had slipped into winter almost without my noticing. The soft, damp air of October had cooled, grown sharper, and begun to settle into frost. In the mornings when I went to get my paper, my breath sometimes misted. Soon, on particularly wet mornings, my leg would ache, the cold seeping into the scars.
It had been a strange year.
Back in January, I would never have expected… Well, any of this. I found out the girl I was in love with was somebody else, and that I could never have her. I had sex with a man for the first time in ten years, and it made me realise that maybe I did have some things to be confident about, after all. And I realised that the person I really loved was someone I’d never seen eye to eye with, and who I’d once suspected of conspiring to steal my job. Throw into that a spell which turned me into my younger self for a night, and kidnapping and subsequent rescue of a slayer, and the horrible death of someone who made me question everything I knew about the Council, it is little surprise that I am so tired. And in no mood for further surprises.
A nice, quiet end to the year, that’s what I wanted. I’d booked a surprise for Lynn – a week in a beautiful Scottish castle for Christmas. Council connections are worth having in such situations. We’d sit by a log fire and drink whisky and draw comfort from one another. My dear Lynn needed a rest, that much I could see. She was stretched so thin that I feared she might snap.
Thinking about this, I made my way home and was soon settled into my study, The Sunday Times resting on my armchair for when I had finished my paperwork. I’d always said I’d never be the kind of man who worked at the weekend, but here I am, shuffling paper. And really, it’s not so bad.
There was a knock on the door.
“Come in,” I called, not looking up, as I was in the middle of wording a rather complicated letter in the demon tongue Kraal. Maybe I should have Ieuan look at it. I heard the door shut softly, and I looked up, and felt myself freeze.
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