Oct 23, 2019 7:44 PM
smol Anise starscapes and runs away
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"I'm clumsy. I always have bruises. So nobody believes me when I say not all of the bruises are from being clumsy."

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Veronica nods, gazing steadily at her. "So you flew away."

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"Did you meet Imani?" asks Veronica. "The little unicorn."

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She brightens immediately. "Yeah!"

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"I thought so, since you picked the pew right over her dishes. Did you know that folks like Imani used to be like you and me? Magical girls."

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"I could turn into a unicorn???"

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"I don't think you should do it right now! See, girls who turn into unicorns are pretty neat, but they're different from how they used to be. Not the same person any more, even though when we know their human names we think it's nice to use them."

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"...Oh. Okay. I won't. Unless somebody tries to make me go back. I'd rather be someone else than back there."

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Veronica nods. "That makes sense. What I was thinking was, I could bring you down to the police with me, and we can try to get you out of that house good and proper, the legal way. And if that works, that's great, you get a better family and you're safe. And if it doesn't work..." She sighs. "I can put out twice as many dishes, if that's really what you want."

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"I don't wanna be someone else but I'm never going back. Usually the police just take me back. Can you make them not do that?"

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"I think so. Maybe we can convince Imani to come with us as a visual aid."

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"Imani!" calls Veronica.

Imani flies down from the rafters that hold up the chandelier and lands delicately on her rear hooves on the floor, then clops down onto all fours.

"Come with us?" Veronica asks.

"Brrrt," says Imani.

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Anna-Charlotte pets Imani again. 

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And Veronica leads them out the front door of the church and down the street.

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It turns out Anna-Charlotte's guardians had called the police to report her missing a few hours after she flew away, and the police are very glad she's found, although when she reacts emphatically against the concept of going "home" the police are a lot more inclined to listen, whether because they don't know her guardians as Pillars Of The Community like the ones back there did or because she's got an adult backing her up now or what. They call CPS, who come to interview her privately and also have a doctor look at her bruises and take x-rays. CPS agrees that she is not to be sent back right now and will be following up by investigating Anna-Charlotte's guardians; in the meantime, Anna-Charlotte, who is EXTREMELY opposed to being parted from the one adult she's fairly confident is on her side until this is resolved, can stay with Veronica for the moment if Veronica agrees. 

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"Yes, that's fine with me," agrees Veronica.

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Anna-Charlotte hugs her. 

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Veronica hugs her too! Imani has gotten bored and flown off at some point.

Veronica's house is three doors down from the church. She lives with her wife Tabitha and two cats, Abigail and Paladin.

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Ooooh. Do the cats want to be petted. 

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Abigail does. Paladin is more skittish. Veronica and Tabitha murmur softly to each other in the next room.

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Anna-Charlotte pets Abigail. She does not want to touch someone who doesn't want to be touched. 

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Eventually Veronica plunks a plate of various cheese and grapes and strawberries and some little ham cubes and crackers on the coffee table near where Abigail is purring at Anna-Charlotte. "Hungry?"

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