- It’s finally Friday. Person A and B have had a busy week, person A has been working late and person B had to stay away for their work. They long for each other’s company and are glad when they find themselves watching an old movie all cuddled up together.
To the fae, Chise reminded them of a robin. The redhead had a pure sense to her that reminded the creatures and humans around her of innocence. She had the ability to explore the world around her at any given moment. Part of her longed to see the wonders she hadn’t discovered and meet the different parts of fantasy. Despite the endless amount of possibilities for Hatori Chise, she chose the domestic part of mystical life. Back to her “nest”, in a sense.
But more importantly, back to the Child of Thorn.
Chise often willingly left her house to meet new people and fae. She’d experience new struggles and of other people’s lives and conflicts that she hadn’t seen before. She befriended many and was beloved by various types of creatures around her. Despite being hunted by the portion of prey, the fae’s Robin was always protected. By both Pilum Murialis and of her familiar, Ruth.
Said familiar was currently walking beside Chise in his dog form. The redhead was currently walking through a trail in the forest located near their home. They had been away for only a mere week, but to Chise it felt like an eternity. She had left the house to visit the college and meet the other teachers interested in her position. Her visit was heavily protested by Elias but ultimately decided when she gave him her trademarked puppy eyes.
She was grateful they went, for they met new friends and learned many things, but a longing feeling had been in her chest the moment they left. She was used to feeling this way but the sensation had grew rather cold overtime. Chise felt completely restless by their last day there and was all too eager to return to home. To return to him.
Elias Ainsworth was much in the same position.
As observed by the Silky before, he was rather quiet and secluded when Chise wasn’t home. Despite granting her dismissals and being relatively okay with parting, he clearly had issues when she wasn’t there. He was often at conflict with himself and found that anything and anyone around him was a complete and utter bore. It was a feeling he disliked greatly.
Elias was always up-to-date on his apprentice’s whereabouts. The necklace around her neck was both a useful tool and an emergency tracker he had given her the day they met. He’d check where Chise was from time to time and would find himself rather eager whenever she was in his direction. He found himself longing for her return and waiting rather patiently for her to come back.
It wasn’t a sight the fae were used to.
His visible cold feeling gave neighbors an uneasy atmosphere. It was a refreshment to his previous days that hadn’t been good in the first place. He kept his self control to a minimal but his desires would often diminish around Chise’s presence. She was a balance to the creature and she was the speck of light encapsulated in his darkness. He needed her as much as she needed him. The two were aware of this fact but it remained as a silent message between them.
Elias Ainsworth browsed through the book held in his gloved hands with disinterest. He was well informed of the content within the pages but held it for the sake of keeping him preoccupied. He had absolutely no plans for the day and decided to check on Chise’s progress while she was away. The books she had stacked in her room were ones he went through with her ages ago.
He set it down back on her desk and exhaled. He made his way into the dining room and took a seat at the head of the table. Silky gave him a brief nod as she disappeared into the kitchen to prepare lunch. Elias leaned back in the chair and took a glance outside the window. Various birds tweeted in the summer scene and Elias could make out the couple of pounds in his backyard.
“Hmm.” He mused to no one. “The koi fish look rather hungry.”
A feeling in the pit of his stomach was telling Elias that the whole scene was rather pathetic. He was an ancient sorcerer that was normally occupied with his own business and refused to care for anyone that didn’t interest him. Yet here he was patiently waiting for his student to return from a week trip that he let her go on.
The magus shook that thought off and turned back to the table. It was carved mahogany with a shade of light brown. He had replaced the previous table after moving into the house many years ago. He preferred interior taste as a mix rather than the ancient, decorative style the previous owner had. The poor thing was so hold that it had splinters on its sides.
“Elias? I’m home!”
The creature of thorn perked up at the feminine voice. To any bystanders, it’d have reminded them of a puppy when their owner was home. He turned to exit his chair until he heard Chise’s footsteps running into the dining room. When the redhead’s eyes landed with his, she lunged forward and wrapped her arms around his frame.
She exclaimed, “Elias!”
At the sound of her voice, the Silky peeked into the room. She found Elias and Chise hugging on the chair and quickly went back into the kitchen to retrieve more tea and sandwiches. Silver briefly made her way out afterwards and offered it to the two of them with a bow. It was a silent gesture of gratefulness that Chise was back from her trip. If the brownie had known of her return sooner, she’d have made a much bigger lunch.
Chise let go of Elias and took her share. The redhead ate it as fast as it came and gulped the green tea in her cup. The magus beside her was far too occupied with the sight of Chise to have eaten his. He set down his plate on the table and gave her the warmest greeting as he had before.
He said, “Welcome home, Chise.”
The teenager wiped her mouth with a napkin and gave the magus a smile. The look she had told Elias that she had plenty to say about her visit. Ruth took a seat next to her in his human form and leaned forward on the chair. He was mentally preparing himself to explain any detail Chise would miss out or if she’d have held back on anything. It was a rather unnecessary part of being a familiar but the redhead’s honesty needed some improvement.
She said, “Thanks, Elias. The trip was really interesting. Mind if I tell you about it?”
“Not at all.” He replied.
He sat forward in the chair and gave an attentive look to Chise. It was a signal for her to go into story and explanation about her trip to the college. Chise adjusted herself on the chair and leaned over to him. Elias eyed her with interest.
She began. “There were a lot of teachers and students there that were really interested in magic. I met with Tory there and he explained more to me about the classes and the college. I was really flattered they invited me and all, but what I thought most while touring was about our lessons.”
“Oh?” Elias tilted his skull. Chise nodded.
“Yeah, I saw some of the topics they were teaching and it was stuff that you and I already went over. I feel that the place wouldn’t have challenged me enough and I declined everyone’s invitations of staying. Again. I mean, I couldn’t have said yes without your permission as it is....I know you already said no to them but they were pretty persistent.”
“She didn’t join any clubs or anything, either.” Ruth added beside her. “I made sure she said no to all of the offers.”
Chise bit her lip and looked away from the magus. She said, “I did accept one thing, though. They offered me a gift when I told them no to joining. What they showed me was just too cool to refuse. I hope you aren’t mad.”
The redhead turned to her familiar and motioned for him to get what they brought. Ruth grabbed a stack of CDs out of nowhere and placed them on the table. He slid the cases over to Elias. He eyed them for a few moments before deciding to pick the stack up and quickly glancing over through it. The cases themselves were brand new and still wrapped. He picked one up and glanced at both sides of it.
He asked, “Movies?”
“Yeah!” Chise exclaimed. She caught her excited tone and cleared her throat. “I mean...we can throw them out if I can’t have them. These are recent disks of some old movies. I thought you’d like at least one of them so I brought them with me. Do you see any that interest you?”
Elias looked back down at the pile. He decided to read through the summaries on the back of the cases and took his time going through them. Whilst the magus occupied himself, Chise was twiddling her thumbs and nervously tapping her boot on the chair. Ruth caught onto her uneasy demeanor and watched Elias intently. He had no idea what the magus would think of them. The selection was rather....dark.
After awhile of browsing, Elias set down the last DvD. He said, “More than half of these are about monsters eating humans. Are you sure you want to hear my two cents?”
“Y-Yeah.” She rubbed the back of her head. “These movies aren’t meant to offend anybody, but....I realize they haven’t quite had their research on this. If you don’t like them, just tell me.”
Elias let out a rather amused noise. Chise was about to inquire about it until he held up a single case. Her green eyes read the title and she suddenly felt embarrassed. In his gloved hand was the movie ”Beauty and the Beast“. She couldn’t quite remember why she accepted that one. She wasn’t a big fan of Disney films as it is.
“I noticed you picked this cartoon,” Elias explained. “This summary is rather...brief. Is it any good?”
“I haven’t watched it for awhile, actually.” Chise leaned forward and took the case from him. She observed the summary for herself and chuckled. “You’re right, though. There’s always a lot more to a movie than its description. It’s pretty good in my opinion.”
“Then let’s watch it.”
Elias suddenly stood and took the case from her hands. He started walking out of the dining room without a word. Chise only had a few seconds to realize the situation and caught up with him soon after. He was heading into his library with the case clutched in his hands. Ruth was following the two with interest. He hadn’t seen the movie himself but, judging by Chise’s thoughts, it was probably hitting closer to home for her than he’d think.
The magus entered the room and unwrapped the case. He took the CD out from its spot and entered it into the player. A tv was placed atop one of the mantles and a player was right below it. The dust and cobwebs that had been on the screen magically disappeared. It was a rather old model of a television but was still recent considering the years. Chise eyed it before turning to her fiance in confusion.
She asked, “Elias? You have a TV?”
He nodded but said nothing. Instead, he sat on one of the benches across from the mantle and patted the spot next to him. Chise took his invitation as she took a seat next to him and let Ruth sit beside her. The three were watching the screen as it suddenly started to play previews. The sound sounded a bit outdated but Chise wasn’t going to complain.
“I guess I just never noticed it.” She shrugged. “This library of yours is always dusty, Elias.”
“I suppose it was just hiding.” He replied. “I don’t use it often because the neighbors around us are always curious about how this technology works. The few times it was on, I had plenty of aeriels blocking the screen. I suppose they’re not going to be a bother now.”
Chise mouthed an ‘oh’ as she turned back to the screen. She got up from her seat and pressed the buttons to skip to the menu. She then hit the play button and quickly returned to her seat. Disney movies were always so loud and had musicals in every corner of the film. She was secretly hoping that Elias wouldn’t mind it and get uninterested in the middle of the movie.
When they were a quarter into the movie, Chise decided to look at Elias’ reaction. She discreetly turned during one of the songs and eyed his skull. His pupils didn’t have much expression but they were locked on the screen. She could only assume he was intrigued in a way. A smile came onto her lips soon after and she turned back to the screen.
“So this girl is an outcast ’cause she likes to read?” Ruth bluntly asked.
Chise turned to her familiar and nodded. He rolled his eyes in return and murmured something about cliches under his breath. Elias said nothing and Chise took a moment to think about the movie. Disney movies were always about love and expected turns of events but that was the fun of it. She supposed it wasn’t Ruth’s forte but she was clueless to Elias liking it or not.
She turned to him and nudged his shoulder. She asked, “What do you think so far, Elias?”
“I’m not thinking much, if that’s what you’re asking.” He replied.
Chise opened her mouth to ask him further but soon shut it afterwards. There wasn’t much use to questioning him about something he probably wasn’t too familiar with. Instead, Chise decided to take advantage of this silence. She quietly slipped into Elias’ lap when he wasn’t looking and held onto the end of his robe.
The magus noticed almost immediately and looked down at her in surprise. She expected him to push her off but instead felt his gloved hand rest on her back. Chise looked up at Elias but only found the sight of his jaw return to her. His fingers were rubbing her shoulder blade and a rather satisfied feeling came to her.
Chise closed her eyes and leaned forward into his vest. She gently placed his robe over her shoulder and nuzzled the texture of his necklace. He was really warm. And since she’s seen this movie before, it wouldn’t cause any harm if she fell asleep just for a bit. The trip back really tired her and she found the best place to rest was in Elias’ lap. He made no move of protest so she took it to advantage and started to fall asleep.
“Don’t ever pick another Disney movie, Chise.”
The redhead perked up at the sound of Ruth’s voice. She sat up in Elias’ lap and turned back to the screen. Two words were placed in the middle of a black slide. It read: ”THE END“. A few seconds after, the credits started to roll in.
Chise rubbed her eye and looked around the room. How long was she asleep? Movies were usually about 2 hours. She must have been out cold before Ruth said something.
She turned to look at Elias and found him staring at the floor. He looked a bit troubled. She rested a hand on his chest and rubbed the bottom of his jaw. He felt the contact and lifted his skull gently to give Chise some room to get out from his lap. The redhead almost hesitated to do so but got up anyway and turned to him.
She asked, “Is something wrong, Elias?”
He looked at her in thought. He rested his skull in his hand and exhaled. He said, “The way this movie portrays magic is rather boring. I liked the rose element but the whole ‘curse’ nonsense just seemed as a forced aspect. It’s a dull spell to have someone cursed with a misguided look, you know. Especially when you give it a cure.”
“Is it?” Chise tilted her head. “I didn’t know you could do that in real life. I suppose, with my curse and all, it’s possible.”
Elias’ eyes traveled around the room for a moment. That troubled look came back to his eyes. He added, “I also found it a bit odd on how they portrayed that beast. He was accepted by everyone once he got turned to a human, but was beloved by that girl beforehand. She seemed rather happier once he looked more like her.”
Chise took a moment to recall the ending and nodded. She said, “Oh, yeah. Belle broke his curse and he turned back to a handsome human. I always thought it was a lame ending, to be honest.”
“Do you think....” His voice was low. “...That you’d be happier if I was human, Chise?”
Her mouth immediately went agape at the question. Even Ruth was a bit startled at the sudden idea. The redhead immediately shook her head and waved her hands in front of her. Elias leaned back at her reaction and was still giving her a doubtful look. Chise felt something in her chest warm her. How.....Why would he even say such a thing!?
“Of course not!” She finally exclaimed. “I like you the way you are, Elias. And I’m really happy with how things are now.”
Elias seemed more calm but wasn’t fully assured. Chise let out a rather aggravated sigh and looked to Ruth for help. When she found he was no longer in his seat but in her shadow, she groaned. She ran a hand through her hair and tried to gather her thoughts. Maybe this was why Elias locked himself in his room sometimes to figure out what to say.
She took a deep breath and said, “Elias, don’t worry. It’s just a movie. I’m sure that life doesn’t work out like that and all. In fact, I think you’re even more handsome than that beast.”
Immediately, Chise slapped a hand over her mouth. She didn’t mean to say that. Sure, she was thinking it, but it wasn’t supposed to come out! A panicky feeling suddenly came to her as she turned back to Elias. He looked rather surprised and was staring at her. She saw him take a breath.
“I-I mean!” Time to save herself. “The beast looked nothing like you, Elias. You’re really different than him. Plus, you’re not cursed. You’re you!”
The magus didn’t look convinced. Chise wanted to bury herself when she watched him get up from his seat and walk over to her. She hid the blush coming onto her face and covered her eyes with her hands. She felt his robe circle around her and she peeked through her fingers. He was covering her from something and she felt Ruth panic in her shadow.
He asked, “Do you really believe so, Chise? That I’m attractive to you? I’m supposed to be scary, after all.”
She found nothing or anyone around her besides him talking to her. Ruth’s presence was absent and she heard her own voice inside her head. Her mind was repeating the word ‘yes’ and nothing was protesting against it. It was the bare truth that she’d been trying to hide all along. He always had been aesthetically pleasing to her. Compared to all the creatures she’d seen in the fae world, Chise found her husband to be the most attractive of them all.
Without hesitation, she replied. “Yes.”
Elias took her reply in for a few moments. He soon scooped her up by the feet and rested Chise in the crook of his arm. She held onto his skull to balance and he nuzzled the side of her face rather happily. That had been the reply he was hoping for.