May 18, 2021 5:00 AM
Teddy, recent orphan*, works through new powers, a new school, and grief.
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"Well honestly I sort of had to get intrigued down here in the first place."

Dark clouds have reasserted themselves now that the high-five is accomplished.

"I think I'm gonna head out, do some heavy personal thinking in a place that's less subterranean. It's been kind of a day! Not just because of this."

She turns back.

"This was actually not the worst way you could have dealt with having a really weird secret about me. Just keep me updated. I've got your back if you ever need it." After that, Teddy's gone. Stairs, evening light, one million loops around the nearest circular path. Teddy runs until it stops feeling, at all, like her mom is staring at her judgmentally from a dark corner. (About an hour.) The trance gets so deep after a point that even Vic shuts up. Then Teddy retrieves the Sword and her other stuff from a bush and goes to Whitman.

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She can get back to Whitman without any trouble. Housemother Wolfgang is sitting at the entry desk, and waves at her when she walks in without looking up from her papers. "Evening, miss Terentin."

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"...You used to be a villain, right?"

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That makes her look up.

"By some definitions. I never killed anyone or took money from anyone who didn't have it to spare. Where'd you hear that?"

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(Is it murder, if it's mercenaries? It's not Vic talking, it's a memory of Leo. Vic is affronted to share the mindspace.)

"Around." Teddy looks... well. She looks morose. But more to the point she looks like she wasn't expecting a response, or maybe even realize that she was talking to another person. "Sorry. Um." This is an unusual amount of hemming. She schools herself. "You know how students are. Gossip. Nothing bad." She schools herself. Come on. "Sorry, I'm a little woo-woo, dead parent stuff."

That really ought to be more of a lie than it was. It's Vic this time. Pretending people are dead rarely helps.

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"Ah." Wolfgang looks pensive. "I suppose that if I ask if you want to talk about it, you'll say 'no.' I've rarely met a teenager who wanted to discuss their family situation with a matronly ex-bankrobber."

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"Well, not in the common room, no." Which is a yes, actually.

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The Professor stands and heads into her office, encouraging Teddy to follow.

In her office, she takes out a small tin of cookies and offers Teddy one. "Have a seat, dear."

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Hm. Teddy hasn't had pity cookies since the funeral. She sits. Sword goes politely across her knees.

The whole story comes out eventually. She starts with just the Dad stuff, how he died kind of out of nowhere from a brain embolism, how a flock of lawyers breezed in and started making decisions. But Mom ends up in the room somehow, like she always did. "I thought she just left, like, ran off." Didn't she? "Do you know how often I had to think about mutants up until he died?" What does that have to do with this topic? So the truth comes out like that, in little bits, strafing around the big secret until Teddy can stand the plunge:

"Rampant. My mother is a supervillain, and she'd hate how I pronounced her super villain name just now, and she left me!"

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Professor Wolfgang listens, making only the most clearly necessary sympathetic noises and otherwise keeping quiet.

Eventually, when the time comes, she speaks up. "You shouldn't have had to go through that. I'm very sorry you did anyway." She considers Teddy. "Would you like... a hug."

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"...No." Teddy is covered in workout effluvia. Also, hugs are something that you earn. Victoriatus is technically obliged by his nature as a spirit of victory to see the logic in this. It's probably fine. "But thank you. This is, apparently, a pretty common, um, thing. It just isn't great. Anyway!" She stands smoothly. "I have had such a day. I need to sleep for one hundred years. And shower."

And presumably tell her roommate about this, since it would be weird to tell, like, a teacher but not your new friend. Ugh, maybe tomorrow. Shower time.

"Sorry for, like, leaning on your villainy, I guess. I don't really know what got into me."

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"These things happen. I encourage you to talk at some point to someone you feel comfortable with. ...about this and in general."

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Nod.

Shower time! Teddy retrieves her shower accoutrement through a truly unlikely level of stealth, sliding across the creakiest Whitman floors with minimal noise and maximum slideyness. Teddy waits outside her dorm's door until she senses a moment, and then soundlessly pushes the door, just so, closing it just-as-so behind her. She has no right to be quite this good at stopping juuuuust outside of Parvati's line of sight, but she does. It takes forever, like five entire minutes, but at the end Teddy has her little shower caddy and headed to the bathrooms, with her roommate none-the-wiser. (Or possibly just weirded out, but with a great poker face.)

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Parvati waves at her when she returns from her shower. "Oh, you took a shower! That must be why I didn't see you when I got back," she hypothesizes.

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"Must be."

Your truly pointless stealth mission will forever go unacknowledged. I may be sick. Victoriatus manifests a golden laurel-wreathed bucket of some kind.

Teddy assembles a bowl of fortifying macadamia nuts and explains the whole villain mom deal to Parvati, this time including the bit about Leo and his gang of unorphans.

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Parvati is fretfully sympathetic. "I'm so sorry - um - I guess what I'd want to hear in this situation is that I don't think any differently of you and I won't - be weird about this? Except I'm not sure what your definition of being weird about this would be, so I can't promise that, but if I end up being weird about it just let me know and I'll stop? God, that sucks. Um, I don't - do you want a hug? Sorry if that's weird."

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"Hug me! Go for it!" Whilst hugging: "Also please be weird about it it's so weird!" Stop thinking about how cool Parvati's parents are!

I rather like them as well. Victoriatus is (pretending to?) take tea with the Devals, so long as they're on her mind.

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Parvati hugs very firmly and adds her wings to the process in a way that enhances it greatly. "It's really weird, yeah. I mean - if my mom turned out to be a supervillain - no, that's dumb. If somebody I trusted, who was not a religious sixty-year-old vegan with low bone density, turned out to be a supervillain... I'd have to, I guess, re-evaluate a lot of stuff? -I think Whateley has free therapy if you want help with the processing stuff. I'm always here to talk but also I'm fifteen and teenagers giving each other mental health advice kind of feels like the blind leading the blind."

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