When Maddock Ainsley gets involved in a rescue operation with his unit things go horribly wrong and his life is forever changed. Can the newly minted Merida cope with being a girl and a teenage super hero?
Author's Note: Well it's now officially Saturday, so here's chapter 14 of MSPD. I hope you all enjoy, and thank you for supporting my stories. ~Amethyst.
Chapter 14: The Aftermall
*Earth to Merida, come in Merida,* Tasha’s voice slipped into my confused mind.
I shook my head to clear it and removed my hand from my cheek as if it had been burned. “Stupid! Why the hell did you let him kiss you like that?! And why didn’t you break his fucking arm when he did?!” I thought to myself bitterly, going over the events in my mind once again. “It didn’t even set my powers off… probably because it wasn’t an overwhelming negative emotion I guess, I’m more confused by it than anything. Conduit was actually a nice guy, and he didn’t totally creep me out like that guy on our previous shopping trip. I think I might have even… liked it.”
By this point the girls had half-dragged me to the food court where we all chose what we wanted for lunch before finding a free table. I had decided on a Big Mac, fries and a Coke from the McDonalds, but both the order and the walk to the table were made in a somewhat distracted state. It was one thing to mentally appreciate a person’s looks, I mean people do that all the time right? I had done it more than once before today, but actually being attracted to Conduit and acting like an idiot pretty much since we met? I had never had any gay leanings before this. “And you still don’t,” I told myself bitterly. “You’re a girl now and your bloody Archetype probably changed your orientation when it changed your body. You haven’t been attracted to a single one of the hot girls you’ve seen since you changed.”
“What’s wrong Merida? You’re all distracted and you haven’t even touched your food yet.” Mei suddenly asked in concern.
“Nothin’ I’m fine,” I tried to assure my sisters, taking as big a bite of my burger as I could with my tiny mouth, followed with a few fries and some Coke to wash it all down. From the looks they were giving me not one of them believed me so, with a weary sigh I decided to get it over with. “Ummm, sorry girls, I ahhh… sumthin’ ‘appened while I was out usin’ the loo,” I stammered uncertainly as I tried to explain without letting on to the twins that I had been searching for gifts for them. “I stopped a’ the jewelry store… ‘cause I was thinkin’ o’ maybe getting’ a few new piercin’s in ma ears an’ was lookin’ tae see if they ‘ad anythin’ cool fer earrings. I kinda thought… I could rock the punk look ya ken? Anyway a supervillain an’ some guys wi’ guns tried tae rob the store while I was there.”
“You foiled a jewelry heist?!” Vanessa hissed excitedly, barely able to keep her voice at a level where passersby or people at nearby tables wouldn’t overhear.
A few more bites of my burger and a sip of Coke later I gave an uncertain nod. “Well, ya see… there was this guy an’ he asked ma advice on’ somethin’ so I ‘elped ‘im out an’ then I was aboot tae leave when he grabbed me an’ hid me behind a display case as the thieves came in. He ‘ad powers too an’ we stopped the gunmen bu’ Electro-Cute go’ away. Anyway, we cleared out afore the cops showed up, an’ then he thanked me fer the ‘elp an’… kissed me.”
“Whoa! He kissed you and there’s not a smoldering crater where he once stood?” Tasha asked wide-eyed. I glared at her and she looked down at the floor. “Sorry Mer, but we all know what happened last time and… there’s your condition. So unless you were totally crushing on him there’s no way… OMG You were crushing on him?! That’s why you were standing there looking dazed and touching your face!”
My face burned in embarrassment as I looked at the floor and scuffed my foot nervously. “I dinnae ken… ummm maybe?”
“Oh damn, she’s got it baaaad,” Vanessa teased. “So are you going to see him again?”
“I doubt it, some stoopid crush is the las’ thing tha’ I need right now, ‘sides he lives ‘ere in LA and we’re goin’ tae be movin’ soon. Wit’ any luck I will ne’er ‘ave tae see Conduit again,” I grumbled. Then I filled my face with more of my burger, grumbling around it, “Stoopid jerk anyway, tryin’ tae protect me when I didnae need it, like I’m some ‘elpless wee lass.”
“I dunno about the helpless part, but…” Vanessa started to say, apparently having understood.
“Dae no’ say it ‘Nessa, I really dinnae need tae be reminded o’ how weak an’ small I look now.”
Shu and Mei both stood up and grabbed my arms possessively as Shu nodded and said, “Yeah, Merida doesn’t want to think about some stupid boy, especially when there’s other important stuff to do and talk about.”
“Uh-huh,” Mei quickly agreed. “Now that Merida decided on a look for herself we have to see what we can buy her today, and try to get her those extra piercings she wanted.”
“I am such an idiot, can I say anything today that isn’t mind-blowingly stupid? Now I’m going to have to go along with this. Way to set yourself up Merida, why couldn’t you have just said something else, or better yet nothing at all,” I mentally berated myself. “Now it’s either make the twins think I’m all eager to be a punk rocker or let Tasha and Vanessa grill me endlessly about Conduit and talking about my feelings. Fuck it, let’s rock and roll.”
I hadn’t been completely lying when I said I was considering adopting a punk look. The style is actually kind of cool and looks pretty badass, even on girls. I even liked the music too, so maybe I could find some t-shirts from some of my favorite bands like The Beastie Boys, The Ramones, Green Day, Bikini Kill, The Offspring, and Dropkick Murphys. Besides, combat boots don’t really go with a lot of styles but I could manage it with a punk look. I could even live with short skirts as long as I could wear something underneath them and get some made with the Ainsley clan tartan.
“Well, wot are we waitin’ for then? Shouldnae we be shoppin’?” I think we’d need Mom ‘ere fer the piercin’s though, since I’m obviously no’ eighteen yet.”
“Wait, what? You want to go shopping for girls’ clothes?” Tasha asked, her jaw hanging and her eyes bugging out slightly in shock.
“Ummm yeah Mer, I kinda thought we’d have to twist your arm a little more for that, or give you some more time,” Vanessa agreed.
“Wot, a girl cannae wan’ tae look ‘er best?” I countered, enjoying teasing them for once. “I think I kin live with bein’ a girl as long as I kin dae it on ma own terms. If’n we dinnae ge’ anythin’ too girly, childish, or o’er the top I’ll be okay. I may even be open tae some o’ those things later once I’m more used tae bein’ who I am now. Let’s stick tae Punk fer now though, an’ maybe a few Goth things if they kin work wi’ the look I’m goin’ fer.”
We all quickly finished our meals and then set out on the quest to find me clothes to wear that I didn’t feel too ridiculous in. We didn’t have the money to buy all that much, but we planned to make it go as far as we could. First we stopped at the dollar store for some cheap packs of black nylon stockings that I wouldn’t feel bad about ripping. Then we made our way to one of those large second hand clothing chain stores where I was lucky enough to score some old tour shirts from Green Day and The Offspring, and a black and white Bikini Kill crop top that were all in good condition. We also managed two zip-up hoodies in black and dark green, two plaid skirts (a little shorter than I preferred with a mid thigh hem and a tartan pattern that was close to the purse I had bought earlier), a black denim jacket with the sleeves ripped off to form a vest, a pair of classic black and red high top sneakers that looked brand new, two pairs of light blue cut-off denim shorts and three pairs of distressed jeans; one pair of black low-rise and two pairs of skinny jeans in light blue.
We tried to actively avoid the section of the mall that the jewelry store was in, just in case the police had been a description of me. Vanessa checked it out on her way to the bathroom, where she took far too long, even if she was wetting her tail and skin too. Apparently the store had been cordoned off and the police were inside. Not long after Vanessa got back Tasha took the twins to do the same, and I had to wonder if they were pulling the ‘sneak away and buy Merida a birthday present’ this time. Soon though, we had stretched the money we had to the limit and took the bus home. Vanessa looked longingly at the board shop before we left, but decided to hold off for now since we didn’t know anything about the town we were going to be moving to yet, for all we knew it could be in the middle of the desert.
The rest of the day was fairly sedate. We had an early dinner and then Mom had Mei lay down in the scanner bed in her lab so that she could have scans running when our sister inevitably tried to anchor something to our reality once again. We didn’t have to wait long, since as soon as she was comfortable she gave me a long intense look before saying, “I think I’m gonna summon Fawn this time. An Animal Fairy could help me control some of my animal summons better, and Merida might need her later.” With that cryptic remark her power flared and she passed out, leaving a naked Fairy fluttering in front of my face.
The fairy that had appeared practically right in front of my nose was slender with tanned skin, bright amber eyes, freckles, and long light brown hair. She was also very naked at the moment. Suddenly she just grinned at me and exclaimed, “Hey! I think that you’re the one I came to the mainland looking for! I’m Fawn and we are going to have so much fun together!”
“Ummm… o…kay?” I verbally stumbled in sudden confusion as the pixie grinned, flitted onto my shoulder and then took a curious look around.
As I stared at the fairy on my shoulder Fawn’s attention seemed to fall on Mei in the bed, her expression changing to one of concern as she turned to look back at me. “Is she going to be okay?”
“She’ll be fine.” Tink reassured her. “Bringing one of us to the mainland just makes her really tired.”
Fawn seemed to finally notice the other fairies and let out a squeal of excitement. “Tink! Peri! You’re here too?!” She zipped over to the other fairies and gave them an exuberant hug as the three began chattering like old friends.
“Hey Mom, ya think we kin make Fawn some clothes?” I asked as she was looking over the readings from the scanner bed mumbling something about quantum entanglement.
“Sure Merida, I’m going to send these results over to my tablet anyway.” She entered something in the control panel really quick and then took me and Shu over to the computer attached to the costume maker. With Shu’s help, and reference images of Fawn from the different Fairy movies, she was able to come up with a few different outfit options for the fairy, once her dimensions had been scanned. The first was a simple amber colored sleeveless tunic, ruddy brown three quarter length pants and an elfin shoes, and a green belt. There was also a long sleeved shirt that matched the pants that she sometimes wore beneath the tunic. The other outfit was an orange-and-amber dress that she didn’t even wear shoes with. Fawn seemed even happier than before once six of each of the outfits had been produced and the other fairies had finished helping her braid her long hair. And when I say long I mean long, going by scale it was at least as long as mine had been when I activated and even in a tight braid it nearly reached her ankles.
During the day Mom had come up with tiny little houses for the fairies and had made three of them anticipating the arrival of a third. It was only a bedroom with a small closet and a bathroom, but they had comfy little beds and the bathrooms had a sink, bathtub, and toilet. The latter had been designed to disintegrate their wastes and such and had a small basket of tiny tissues beside, while the sink and bathtub both had running water that was purified and recycled from a small reservoir. It even had tiny fairy sized towels. The houses weren’t much, but they would give the fairies a bit of privacy when they wanted it and bathroom facilities more suited to their small stature.
Once Mom had introduced the fairies to their new digs I offered to help take the little houses up to the twins’ room. Mom quickly pulled me aside though and said, “Ya might wan’ to think about puttin’ Fawn’s house in yuir room fer now, jus’ keep it outside the energy shield over yuir bed.”
“Why would I be doin’ tha’ Mom? She’s Mei’s fairy.”
“Is she? Yes, she is one o’ Mei’s creatures an’ there is definitely a strong connection between the two, but look how she reacted to ya and think about how Peri has been with Shu. Those two have hardly left one another’s sides even after Mei awoke this mornin’. Mei created Tink’s twin no’ just fer Tink, but also fer her own twin to have a pixie pal. Now she’s done the same fer you. She even said that you might need her. She’s somehow linked these last two fairies not only with herself, but individually to you and Shu at some level as well. So take her house into yuir room and get to know yuir new friend better.” The last was said in a tone that would allow no arguments and with a slight smile.
So I ended up spending most of the evening in my room on the temporary fold out cot that had been set up in place of my bed, getting to know Fawn. She seemed to be a bit of a tomboy, was very fond of animals, and seemed to be the good-hearted and happy-go-lucky sort. She was also funny, with a mischievous streak a mile wide. We talked, played a few games and I told her a bit about myself too, and she seemed to think that my constructs might lend themselves well to playing pranks once I had better fine control over them.
I found myself genuinely liking Fawn, and with her being a wild child type tomboy we had quite a few things in common. I think the best thing was that she wasn’t after me to be a girly girl, she just took me for who I was and seemed to like me. She wasn’t exactly a girly girl either so it worked well and we complained to each other about why other girls felt the need to get all dolled up just to do everyday things. She preferred being comfortable to being fashionable and didn’t fault me for being the same. She even had me loosening up a bit and trying to relax, letting go of a small measure of the military discipline that had been instilled in me for so long.
I didn’t recall falling asleep, but I did remember vividly another set of terrifying dreams, including flashbacks of my Activation and scenarios where I lost control of my powers and killed everyone around me. I woke up panting, crying, and screaming as once again the world around me exploded and the anxiety attack seemed to take away my ability to breathe. I was still sitting there in the air sobbing and gasping for air when a tiny, calm, and caring voice reached through the terror that had gripped my heart and mind. “Calm down Merida, breathe slow and deep and open your eyes. I’m here for you.”
I managed to get myself breathing again. I was still crying and sniffling, but the voice helped me to calm down considerably from where I had been at before and even through my force field I could sense someone holding my hand, or at least two of my fingers. Then when I opened my eyes I saw not only the ruined remains of the cot scattered around us, but also Fawn; still trying to speak soothingly to me, hugging my fingers for dear life, and surrounded by a familiar red glow. Confusion seemed to relieve me of the last vestiges of my emotional outburst as I stared at the glowing fairy, since I was fairly sure that I hadn’t put that force field on her. I wasn’t the only one staring either. My explosive awakening had once again woken everyone but Mei and they were all staring at Fawn, especially Tink and Peri.
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