My sweet, wonderful readers :D I beg some indulgence from you all. I was talking with one friend about the twins and how with them I'd stumbled over taboos I didn't even realize existed. I talked with my BR and then moves on to poking my "Irish friend," as I differentiate Tara Finnegan from my other friends; how sad that she's my only Irish friend... at least that I know of. So I'm spending some Mondays with the twins' and their back story. I can't truthfully predict when active sex scenes will. But here is some Vala-related fiction to enjoy after the marathon that was the June Spanking A to Z challenge. D
(Updated with some thoughts from Tara and some other editing, 7/5)
Ailin glanced at the IRA men standing beside Aunt Margaret. How dare they show their faces here.
Adan shook her head. Don't, brother.
Dad whispered into Margaret's ear.
Ailin patted his mother's shaking shoulder. "He's in a better place now, Mam." He looked at her neck; he couldn't stand to look at Aunt Margaret's tear-strained face again.
Mam caught Ailin's hand and held it in both of her small ones. "Aye. And soon shall we too."
Ailin glanced to the right, waiting until Adan met his gaze. He arched a bright red eyebrow.
Adan shrugged before returning her attention to the priest. She made a small shake of her head, her red curls shaking against her back.
"After the funeral dinner," Mam whispered and joined Adan in a return to reverence.
Adan blinked. "Ah, when do we leave? Where are we going?"
Dad nodded sagely. "Packin' the limit of what can go on the plane in baggage, then selling all else off. The tickets give us three weeks."
"Just three weeks?" Ailin raged. "How're we supposed to say good bye to friends, to everything we've known in just three weeks?"
"Don't you raise your voice at your dad!" Mam's expression held the thunderclouds of an angry Irish woman. "And think of your aunt. I just got her to sleep."
"We'll have each other, brother." Adan grabbed one of Ailin's hands and held tight. "You won't have to say bye to me."
Ailin breathed in deep, his eyes closed as he focused on the connection to his sister. "But I never said I'd join the fighting. Why are you punishing us by moving us to the States? Have you tried seeing if we can just move south? Live in Ireland proper where we belong?"
"Goin' to the US is easier," Mam explained as she caressed her twins' joined hands. "Besides we already have all the visas lined up. Uncle Sean and Aunt Lucy are speaking for us all. And how can you think it all about you, Ailin? Do you forgot all your younger siblings and cousins?"
Ailin glanced at the scared faces peeking between the slates in the stairway. "I'll be up to tell stories in a moment. To bed with all you!"
A pounding of little feet sounded on the stairway as the youngest O'Briens' ran back to their beds.
"Mam, Dad, do you know yet what the limits on baggage is? Will we have to go buy bags?" Adan questioned, smiling when Ailin's shoulders slumped down to their normal.
"Good girl." Mam nodded. "Two suitcases per adult, teen, and one fer child under 12 years of age. Then we can each have a carry-on. You and I'll set out to the discount store tomorrow to add to what we already have."
"This is for the good of the whole family," Dad announced as he sank into his rocking chair. "We've lost too many to the fighting."
"But Dad, that very chair that you worked so hard to make won't be able to go with us!" Ailin pulled his hand free of Adan's grasp.
"Sure some things will have to be left, but I've already gifted this chair to Father Finnegan. We'll make our way. New York has one of the largest populations of Irish people outside of Ireland. We'll be okay."
Ailin shook his head and hurried up the stairs.
"And they all agreed that Fionn mac Cumhaill was too smart." Ailin smiled, the joy reaching his eyes as little James snuggled down into his pillow.
"Everyone be quiet now even if ye're not asleep yet." Ailin rose from his stool and crept out of the room.
Adan reached in to flick the light switch, casting the room into darkness. She'd already changed into her flowing flannel night gown with the lace edging that brushed the floor as she walked.
"So was that keeping the peace or agreeing with them?" Ailin frowned at Adan as they moved down the hall to their bedroom.
"Must you try to be the rebellious son just 'cause you reached sixteen years of age?" Adan countered.
"Must you be the perfectly obedient daughter?" Ailin turned on their bedroom's light and hurried to his side of the room. He flopped down on his bed.
"Hey." Adan sat on Ailin's bed beside him. "Dad and Mam have thought this through. It might feel scary and horrible now, but there's Irish and there's Catholic churches in the States. Dad was right when he said we'll be good there."
"Will we have to go to public school there, where we'll be teased for our way of speaking?" Ailin looked up at Adan. "There we'll have an accent."
Adan snorted and then blushed to the roots of her hair.
"Oh drop it. Mam's not here to lecture your un-ladylike behavior." Ailin sat back up before lowering himself to the side of his bed.
Adan joined Ailin in kneeling.
They prayed, "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord art with ye'. Blessed be the fruit of thy word, Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed are ye among women. Pray for us sinners now and at the day of judgment."
"Mary! Susan! Link hands with me and each other," Adan called out as the little ones followed behind her off the plane terminal. She smiled at Ailin as he caught James and Fynn.
Mam, Dad, and Aunt Margaret ended the group, their arms full of the carry-on bags.
"There should be chairs by the customs spot. Get all the children there while we deal with passports," instructed Dad.
Ailin and Adan nodded before guiding the little ones to a few rows of plastic chairs bolted to the ground.
"I wonder if we'll ever feel like Americans," Ailin murmured under his breath to Adan.
"It'll take time, brother. Have a little patience. There'll be lots of surprises here." Adan leaned over to kiss Mary's forehead as the brown-haired girl settled herself into a plastic chair.