"Hawke residence, Beth speaking," is the answer, and Thistle lets out a broken sob into the phone. She's already crying. Fuck. "Hello?" Beth repeats.
"Bethy, it's me," Thistle replies, and hears the gasp of joy from her sister.
"Thist? Hi! Hey, holy shit, it's so good to hear from you!" Beth sounds so happy, and Thistle's heart breaks. She sobs into the reciever again, trying to cover the sound. "Thistle? Are you okay? Talk to me."
"I miss you. Fuck, I miss you so much, Bethy. And Mum. And Bodahn, and the goddamn dog," Thistle says, trying not to cry any harder.
"Thist," Beth says, and her voice sounds so sad that Thistle has to sit down. "I miss you too. I keep sleeping in your room. You should be here, you-" Beth cuts herself off, but she knows what Beth was going to say. That she should be at home. Beth is a hedge. Their father was a hedge. It was her mother that insisted Brakebills was the better option.
"If I did come home...if I..." Thistle starts, but can't finish. She was in, wasn't she? What her father and her sister couldn't do was be here. Shouldn't she be here for them?
"Thist. I love you. I miss you so much all the time, but you're in! You're going to learn so much! You..." Beth trails off, and Thistle can hear where Beth was going with it. She has heard the same speech from her mother, so desperate for legitimacy.
"Yeah, Beth. I know. I...I'm sticking it out. For you. And dad," Thistle says, her heart already feeling too heavy to carry.
"Are you happy?" Beth asks.
Thistle is silent. She was silent until she got a hearing aid, so she guesses that it's no different to Beth anyway.
"Because...if you aren't...Thistle, you should come home." Beth's words are so against their mother's that Thistle reels. "You know as well as I do that magic doesn't have to come from that stupid place, and I want you here. I want my big sister here! I miss you, and the dog is miserable, aren't you?" Thistle laughs when she hears a mournful little howl from Ariel. "What do you want, Thist? Do you want to be there?"