Nico’s face absolutely lights up when he sees Topaz. When he couldn’t stand to see Gem, Nico would spend time with his granddaughter as their homes were close to each other. He saw Nalin and little Prim only on birthdays, he knew Topaz well enough to have taught her their heritage.
Nonetheless, it breaks Nalin’s heart when his grandfather goes straight to his older sister without so much as giving him a ‘hey-how-are-you’.
“Grandpa!” Topaz almost breaks back into tears as they embrace. She’d lost hope of ever finding anyone from Moonlight Falls when she was on the road. But to see her grandfather in front of her... “How did you find us?”
“I never stopped looking!” He tells her. “The morning the snow stopped I went to Gem’s home to look for you all and he house was completely empty! As soon as I learned what Gaia had done Coral and I began the search. Your parents left Moonlight Falls early on after Fox’s birthday, and Coral and I left not long after. Julian helped us get a foothold in a new town and I could hardly believe it when he told me his step son’s girlfriend looked like the photos I’d shown him of Gem.”
That was lucky, Topaz thinks. But she can’t really believe for a second that this meeting wasn’t set up by one of the gods. Did she do right somehow?
Before she can ask anything, he pulls away and smiles at her. “Listen, Coral and I are living in Monte Vista now. It’s a fair trip from here, but I want you to come home with me. You and Zahara and Prim if she’s here too. I’ll be able to keep you safe, I promise.”
Topaz doesn’t consider saying no for even a second. “But what about Nalin and Winter?”
“Winter’s alright? That’s a relief. Her mother was still living in the Falls last I knew. Married to your uncle Ayden. They can come too if they want.”
Nalin excuses himself first chance he gets.
Winter doesn’t need to read his mind to know something’s wrong. Nalin knows her well enough to know when she’s worried about him.
“I’ll be alright.” He tells her, trying to keep from crying. “My grandfather hates me. That’s all. Not a big deal.”
Winter takes a moment to listen upstairs, tapping at Nico’s carefully closed off mind. Her presence is light enough that he might not even notice she’s trying to read him. But at the very least she does get a little bit of feeling, just from the spike in his emotions. “I don’t think he hates you. I think he’s just... distracted? That’s all I’m getting from him. I can see he’s excited to see Topaz, he keeps seeing her face and a male face that looks similar to her.”
“That would probably be my dad.” Nalin explains.
“Oh. Well, he really loved your dad. I think he feels bad for not spending time with him.”
Nalin smiles and pulls his wife closer. “I know. Dad used to say grandpa was bad at interacting with people. That’s why he was never around.”
“He wants you to move.” Winter points out after a moment longer. “He wants all of you near him, you, Prim and Topaz. He just can’t put it into words. Topaz is going to go, and I think I’d like to if you want to stay with her. The triplets will be growing up soon but they don’t have a real attachment to here.”
“I do want to go.” Nalin decides, surprising himself. “I think a move will be good for everyone.”
He focuses hard on thinking about anything other than the glare his grandfather gave him the moment they saw each other.
With Nalin, Winter and Topaz ready to go, there’s only one Sari sibling left to make a decision.
“I... I don’t know.” Prim manages when Nalin fills her in on Nico’s request. She was out spending the day with her girls, she’d only just found out Cruz was sending them to boarding school. She should be excited to go, to get away with Cruz and his aging wife. But... she doesn’t want to go. Appaloosa Plains has been home to her more than it ever was for her siblings.
Could she bring herself to let her family leave and stay in a town that has nothing to offer her? She’s given herself a name here, but if a good name? The grocery store chooses her produce over anyone else’s, but around town she’s still known as that teenager mother who was considered unfit to raise her own daughters. She should leave, she really should.
But if she does, will she ever see her daughters again?
“Daddy says you were going on a trip!.” Blossom says as soon as she sees her mother. “Are you coming with us to school? Daddy said only kids were allowed to go!”
“I-I’m not going on a vacation.” Prim clarifies. “I’m moving out West, to a place called Monte Vista. I might not be about to see you and Zal for a long time. But you’ll both be at school anyway, right? So you won’t miss me.” Please don’t miss me.
“But daddy said he was going to marry you.” Its said in a whisper, like its a secret. “He said we had to go to school, and when we cam back you’d be together and you’d be happy. He promised.”
Prim isn’t angry, but she is disgusted. How dare he promise their daughters things that just can’t happen.
He won’t look at her. “So I hear you’re taking off.”
“So I hear we’re getting married.” She shoots back. “I don’t remember you even proposing.”
“I’m starting to be glad I didn’t.”
Maybe there really isn’t anything left for her here. “Goodbye, Cruz. I’m leaving for Monte Vista with my siblings. Take care of yourself.”
With Prim’s mind made, all that’s left is to make preparations for the move. And, of course, to get past a few final birthdays.
Soon to be heartbreaker, Hawk.
I have not slept in 36 hours. I feel as cranky as Iris looks. Gosh I love her.
I'm thinking of writing a page to explain the different gods and goddesses and "mythical" creatures in my lore. It'll either be before the next update (which takes place in Monte Vista), or before Iris becomes a teen. Lore won't have as big an impact in her story as it has in other generations, but it'll be a lot easier to understand if I remember to write a guide.
Hey Becky, did Nico ruin it to your expectations? I think I love making him into an idiot a bit too much. : )