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Exiled to the Couch
Omake Fic: Putting the Bite in That Story
Omake Fic: Putting the Bite in That Story
Only one more Cress story after this one and I'll have enough to keep Tome of Eldritch Omake going all the way through October (since I like to alternate between Cress and non-Cress stories). If I'd have used "Home-Baked Goodness" as one, I'd have had it already...
~X X X~
"Ah!" Cressidor Blan-Virgine yelped sharply, interrupting her mothers' flow of dinner conversation. Both blonde women swiveled their heads in the girl's direction.
"Cress, what is it?" Amoretta Virgine asked.
"Are you all right?" Lillet Blan said simultaneously.
The seven-year-old made some very interesting faces as her tongue sorted out the contents of her mouth so she could swallow the bite of sausage and egg noodles she'd been chewing. That done, she reached up and daintily plucked a bicuspid from between her lips.
"My tooth fell out!" she protested. Cress was trying very hard not to cry. It didn't
, though the empty spot in her jaw did taste a little of blood and stung slightly when she probed it with her tongue, but she was really worried. It took a lot of effort to keep her composure; she kept thinking of the beggars she'd seen in the streets of the capital, or of the elderly, with their gap-toothed grins.
"Oh, no! Lillet, can it be fixed?" Amoretta displayed her fear more openly than her daughter.
"Probably, but I don't think it has to. Cress, dear, has this tooth been loose and wiggling for a while?"
"Mm-hm." She felt the first hint of tears beginning to well up in her eyes. Lillet, though, gave her a gentle smile and leaned over to cup her face.
"It's all right, Cress. This is supposed to happen."
"Mama?" Cress blinked in surprise. Lillet nodded.
"Humans are born with two sets of teeth. Their first set comes in when they're babies, but when they get bigger, those teeth fall out and their adult teeth grow in. You're right at the age when that starts to happen. It's just a sign that you're growing up into a big girl."
"Then why do some adults not have their teeth?"
"Because adult teeth can be lost, too. They won't fall out naturally like baby teeth do, but they can be knocked out in a fight or accident, or a disease like scurvy can make it happen, or tooth-decay can make a tooth sick so that it has to be taken out."
Cress gulped. None of those things sounded very good.
"Mama, are you really,
sure this is okay?"
"Yes." Lillet nodded firmly. She paused, though, for a second and said, "In fact, there's a story in some villages that if a child puts the tooth under their pillow at night when they go to sleep, a fairy will come to take the tooth and leave a penny in its place."
Cress blinked in surprise.
"I've never heard that story," Amoretta said curiously. Lillet half-turned her head towards Cress's other mother and for a brief instant there was a very sharp look on her face, but the smily was firmly in place when she turned back to her daughter.
"That's right. Maybe you should try it tonight."
Cressidor looked at her mother dubiously.
"Are you sure, Mama? Why would a fairy leave a penny for my tooth?"
"Who can say? You know, though, how stories about the fae people work. They never take something from humans without leaving something in return. Sometimes the bargain seems really unfair, either in their favor or in ours, but there's always a trade, whether it's a changeling for a human baby or doing all the household chores for a bowl of milk."
"Ha! I only wish that last one was true!" said Gaff, the family's elven majordomo, wheeling in the cart with the after-dinner coffee. "If you know how to get a parlormaid to be happy to do all the cleaning, let me know, huh, Lillet?"
That made all of them laugh, and Cressidor tucked the tooth away in a pocket of her dress so she wouldn't leave it behind. After all, while her family was very well-off, a penny of her own was something else entirely!
~X X X~
"Lillet, I've never heard of any such story," Amoretta said after dinner, once Cressidor was off playing with her dog in another part of the house, "and I read that entire book of faerie legends that you complied when you were still a Royal Magician."
"You read that? I didn't know you were interested in magical legends."
"I'm not, but you wrote it."
"I'm always amazed how you can say things like that so bluntly, even after being with you all these years."
"It's true, though. Anything you do interests me. But," she added, the smile vanishing, "that doesn't change the question of where that story came form. You just made it up right then, didn't yhou?"
"I did," Lillet admitted."
"You lied to our daughter, Lillet!"
"It wasn't a lie, it's a childhood custom, like Santa Claus delivering presents on Christmas." Lillet remembered the discussion she and Amoretta had had about celebrating that custom when Cress had first turned old enough to understand the concept of Santa. When it came to honesty, Amoretta was a shining star, but that purity created trouble sometimes when it ran into questions of tact and manners and other socially mandated untruths.
She wasn't convinced this time, either.
"Santa Claus is celebrated by millions of people across the continent. Not letting Cress believe in Santa would deny her the happy memories and shared cultural experience of her peers. There are good reasons to go along with that. This tooth-buying fairy of yours isn't the same at all."
"Did you see how scared she was, though?"
"I was worried, too. I didn't know about humans' teeth changing, though I suppose it makes sense. An adult's teeth wouldn't fit in a child's mouth."
"Not just about that, but when I told her why it was that adults lose teeth. I think that's one of Cress's personal fears."
"Losing her teeth?"
"Some children are afraid of the dark. My little brother—Rob, I mean—hated spiders and was afraid that they'd drop down on his face while he slept. It is kind of a creepy thought, having some sickness that makes your teeth rot out of your mouth."
"So you made up the story to distract her?"
"Uh-huh. After all, there's another twenty-seven baby teeth to go, so I wanted to give her a happy thought instead of a scary one to associate with it." She watched her beloved think the explanation over with a bit of anxiety. Amoretta always took such matters seriously and was willing to hear Lillet out, something that in and of itself the Mage Consul considered an incredible gift (and one that she herself didn't always return when her emotions ran high), but it didn't mean that the beautiful homunculus always
This time, though, fortune, or providence, was on Lillet's side.
"All right, Lillet, I see your point, though if it comes up again I think we should work with Cressidor to help her overcome her fears. It's not good if they keep preying on her."
"I agree, but hopefully it will be a one-time thing."
"I hope so, too."
Lillet broke into a sudden smile.
"I wonder if Cress will tell her friends about this? Who knows; maybe it will start a new legend!"
"I don't think she will unless it actually comes true."
"Well, of course it's going to come true! I'm certainly not going to give our daughter false hopes."
~X X X~
The two-foot-tall figure's insect-like wings glistened and sparkled in the verdant light of the magical Rune. Her expression, though, definitely did not suggest flowers and rainbows as she hovered, fists on hips, leaning forward slightly towards her summoner.
"Would you mind repeating that?" she said, tapping her foot on empty air. "You summoned me here to do
Lillet smiled innocently at her.
"If it wouldn't be too much trouble."
So Lillet created a mythical figure, eh?
Interesting phobia for Cress, it would definitely be a problem at this point in her life! It's always nice to see how Amoretta and Lillet have slightly differing views on parenting, as is realistic, but that they are still essentially on the same page
. Very sweet story!
Anyone else dreamt of teeth falling out by the mouthful? :x
Another very sweet story - I can imagine Cress trying to stay up to catch the tooth fairy in action too hehe
Also, LOL'ed when I read the line about her going off to play with her 'dog'... as if it really was just a normal dog :P
Nitpicks (that you'll pick up on anyway before posting to ff.net):
"smily" --> "smile"
"yhou" --> "you"
Yeah, I've had that @_@. Apparently, it means that you're concerned about your appearance? A nice humanizing aspect about Cress--she's not some angel-child (although she
an "angel's child"!
) who is perfect, but might be a little vain about her appearance underneath her niceness, which is very normal.
Ooooh, here I kinda thought it was a dream about the horrors of having had braces then losing the now-expensive-teeth
(On a roll here dc, keep those damnable puns coming
fanfiction.net for this month's Tome of Eldritch Omake chapter
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