YULE- PART II
Aurora was ever so glad to meet her daughter’s doppelganger’s son, Blaize. The young boy was certainly surprised to see her in the flesh although his mother had delicately explained to him of who she really was. He was unexpectedly warm and accepting, immediately rushing to her side and hugging her and he called her grandma and it simply seemed to fit and so she adopted the title merrily (despite being too young to be considered a grandmother).
She regretted having to be apart from her own daughter but knew it was a fair bargain considering she would not be spending time with her Protector Leal. Being away from Leal was physically, emotionally and even psychically exerting but Aurora had already accepted their circumstances in stride.
Being apart from Leal only meant that Aurora could overindulge in work easily falling back to her work addiction patterns which her daughter’s doppelganger also mimicked. According to Avery, her own parents were modeled almost perfectly to her and Leal which was why it was so easy for both she and her son Blaize to accept them as family. Aurora felt honored and happy- she knew that if Avery had not accepted her tagging along with her, she would not have survived the Yule festivities on her own.
Interestingly, Avery introduced Aurora to the woman that had adopted her and turned her into the kick-ass Protector she was- the Director herself, Director Aurora Alison (who had adopted another name in D1). This was an older version of Aurora from another timeline who had chosen not to interfere with her Protector’s life and had instead dedicated her life to her work.
She was ruthless and completely logical at all times, avoiding any emotional decisions or actions when she could. Her decision to adopt Avery had been strategic- Avery was a powerful second generation Traveler from two very powerful witch family bloodlines. With proper training, she had been transformed to the Department of Defense’s top notch Protector that she was.
The Director was a reflection of what Aurora’s life could have been had she chosen not to meet Leal. Aurora wondered whether she had truly made the right choice in meeting her destined Protector. According to the Director, her Leal had gone on to achieve many accolades in his life and had even married into a very esteemed family (the Kanda family) and lived to have children of his own. In that timeline, Leal was a grandfather and retired from service as a Protector earning the coveted Golden elite status. Aurora wondered if she had left her Leal alone, would he have been happier?
“Mom, I know what you’re thinking about, and no, dad wouldn’t have been better off if you’d never met,” Avery later spoke to her over a glass of Lotus wine once Blaize was put to bed.
“The Director is what I could have been… She is exceptionally brilliant and accomplished; she’s logical and has taken full advantage of her scientific mind’s capabilities. What have I done for Leal that is of note other than bringing him pain and misery?”
“You gave dad purpose, mom. See the Director likes to pretend that she made the best choice by claiming dad married well and had a family and all that but the truth is, Leal isn’t truly happy, all that is a facade because he never knew her; you know how the Protector’s Bond works. You can live a perfectly normal life without your Protector pledging their life to you but it is but a half-life. Leal followed everything he was supposed to; he met a girl, convinced himself that he loved her, proposed, married her and had kids with her. He dove into everything in the hopes of feeling fulfilled but nothing can ever fill that void, Aurora. Nothing,”
“How do you know all this anyway?” Aurora asked her.
“Because we’ve met before- with that Leal. I was curious so I took some liberties, visited him from time to time, I couldn’t help myself. Whenever he saw me, he had the impression that he met me somewhere before or something like that. He looked so lost, Aurora, and so sad… Like he was missing something he could never hope to find, he felt like something was perpetually eluding him. The Director’s decision wasn’t made out of logic- it was made from fear. She was afraid that Leal would be everything she ever wanted and more, terrified that she would be happier than she dared be… Scared that her life really could be like a fairy tale and so she convinced herself that she did what was best for everyone but she’s broken too. It’s made her one hell of a Defense Secretary but she is basically soulless,”
Aurora nodded but then sighed and placed her face on her palms. She begun to cry and Avery consoled her as best she could.
“The evil Aurora has always been onto something… I am weak. I retreat and hide wherever emotions are involved. I never wanted to meet Leal in the first place. I felt it was interfering with the great destiny he was always meant to have. I mean, I’m an Alison witch- our family name is stained and- and all that. Besides, he just always seemed like a loose end- like something the Entity could use against me and it did use him and it was just as I had thought- it destroyed me…”
“I never wanted him to get mixed up in all this. Now he- he is damaged and it’s my fault. His family detests me- they could barely take in the fact that we have a daughter together and I don’t blame them. He has so much potential- he could have chosen any other woman had he never learned of my existence…”
“Avery could have had a better mom… And I… I am so weak, I just let my father’s murderer walk away… I watched my own mother continually lose her mind and I had the power and the means, even the desire, to destroy that monster that took dad from us but… I couldn’t… What is wrong with me, Avery?”
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are truly the strongest woman I know, Aurora and Leal is a better man for having met you. His destiny is far greater than any other destiny he would have otherwise had if he’d never met you and all that hogwash of family stereotypes and all is just superstitious nonsense…”
“Leal was chosen for you for a reason. In the entire universe, the Creator saw only he being fit to be your companion. It doesn’t matter what his family or anyone else has to say about you two, it can’t change that fact of life so be happy and be in love anyway. Don’t give into despair. That’s just what the Entity wants…”
“You walking away from the easy way, from revenge that was so richly deserved, that just shows how strong your will is. Avery will appreciate having such a strong woman to emulate as she grows up to be the woman she is meant to be,”
“If I can somehow find a way to make peace with the Protector’s Bond I share with Leal and somehow we find a way to make it work, can you reconsider giving Emre a chance?”
Avery was stunned to silence.
“If you think about it, he could come here any time he wanted, if he so desired but out of the great love he feels for you, he has chosen to stay away even though he wants to be with his son as much as possible,”
Avery sighed. “It’s complicated, mom,”
“No, I think the correct statement is we’re complicated women, Avery. You are me just as much as I am you,”
Avery nodded acknowledging that fact, leaning onto the shoulders of her mother’s doppelganger and then promptly falling asleep…
TO BE CONTINUED…
Hey there? Didn’t catch the previous entry to this Special Series? Worry not, find the link posted below;