Not All People Get Along, No Matter How Much You Might Want Them To
When Diana had come up to Isaac and asked him to come meet a mage who needed to be shown how the Pillars worked really fast, Isaac hadn’t expected it to be one of the guys Seth had shown to him in the Web.
Mick was a tall, polite southerner who looked like he could break Isaac in half and smiled like he’d hold Isaac’s hand to stop him from getting cold, and was wearing an illusion spell that would have been impossible to see for anyone who didn’t have access to the entire Web. Isaac wondered how he’d managed it when he apparently didn’t know where Shadow was.
Though that, when Isaac showed it to him, turned out not to be true. “Most people have a bit of a harder time than that,” Isaac observed, watching Mick touch it.
Mick smiled. “I’ve had a few lessons of my own since I left the academy.”
“Lessons that taught you to use all three Pillars?”
“Among other things,” Mick said, giving a shrug. “Look, I’m sorry for wasting your time. I know how busy being a student here is, and I’m sure it’s worse if you also have to teach every passing mage to use an extra Pillar. I just didn’t want to have to explain my whole life story to Diana to justify already knowing what you were going to teach me.”
Demons experimented on them, Seth had said when he’d shown Mick and his boyfriends to Isaac. “I get that,” said Isaac. “You don’t have to tell me your life story either, but can I ask one question, just out of curiosity?”
Mick looked at him, just for a second. “Sure.”
“Did you make that illusion spell yourself?”
Now Mick looked at him for a longer second, but eventually he nodded, reaching into his shirt and pulling out an amulet. “Yeah,” he said. “I did.”
Isaac nodded. “That’s really cool.” He reached out and touched one of the Elements, Water. He watched Mick watch him do it, and smiled at him. “It kind of turned out that the chosen one wasn’t supposed to help everyone use all three Pillars. I’m supposed to overcome the fivefold division of magic. But it looks like you already did that, huh?”
“Yeah, I guess I did,” Mick said, shifting like he was sitting on a nail. “It wasn’t my idea.”
“It wasn’t mine either. I got turned into a ghost for a bit because of it.”
“Yeah. It’s interesting because at first, everyone thought I was special because I could use all three Pillars. Then it turned out they could all do that. Now everyone thinks I’m special because I can use all five types of magic. But now you can do that too. Maybe the chosen one thing really is bullshit after all.”
“I don’t know, you were born with the power, weren’t you? I think you’re at least a bit special.”
“I think you are too,” Isaac said.
Mick shrugged. “I’d rather not be.”
“Me too,” said Isaac. “Being special sucks.”
“Yeah.” He was obviously uncomfortable.
Isaac smiled. “Listen. When I was a ghost, I saw you, and your boyfriends too. I know this is probably going to freak you out and stuff, but…” Isaac shrugged. “Seems shitty not to tell you. You guys and I are probably on the same side of some prophetic bullshit that’s going to happen someday.”
“You had a vision?” Mick asked. “Like, a prophetic one?”
“Oh, God no,” Isaac said with a laugh. “I’d never make a prophecy even if I knew how. Way to ruin some poor guy’s life in the future.”
“Tell me about it,” Mick said, leaning back. “So, what, then?”
“A friend was showing me around while I was all ghosty. Took me to see a bunch of people who were fighting the same people I’m going to have to fight. You and the prince and your other friends. You all seemed like my kind of people, and not just because you’re hot and nice. I don’t know.” Isaac sighed. “Sorry, I shouldn’t be doing this to you. It’s not fair. I just…I’m a terrible chosen one. I don’t keep secrets very well, and when I try it doesn’t work. So I thought it was only fair to tell you.”
“No, it’s okay,” said Mick, tugging at his collar cutely. “I’m glad you did. And I’m glad to know the chosen one is you, and that you’re going to be on our side while we save the world, and stuff. I…think I would have enjoyed the academy a lot more if I’d been here while you were a student.”
Isaac grinned now. “Oh, I know you’d have enjoyed it more. I’m a great entertainer. Maybe I could entertain you and your boyfriends someday, meet you all, uh, properly.”
Mick snorted. “Maybe.”
“Which reminds me, tell Wes I said hi.”
“You know him?” Mick really didn’t seem put off by all this, which was promising. Isaac guessed that after being experimented on by demons, he probably just took weird stuff in stride.
“We met a few years ago, he passed through my village.” Isaac shrugged. “I don’t know if he remembers me, but I remember him. Anyway, I just thought maybe we could…hang out sometime. I don’t know any other magic users who are…like me.”
“I know a couple, I could introduce you,” Mick offered.
“I was talking about you.” Isaac wondered who the others were, though.
“I know, but…”
“You don’t want to be special, I remember. You used to use Light and Dark but not Shadow. You spent your whole time here with everyone telling you how special you were, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, I did,” said Mick. “And it sucked.” He was looking down at the floor.
“Yeah, I know. Can I tell you what I know about being special?”
Mick sighed, picking at his sleeve, but he nodded. “Sure.”
“It sucks less if you make people stop looking at your special and start looking at you. I know I’m making that sound really easy, but it’s also not as hard as it seems.” Isaac paused. “I don’t know. I know we don’t know each other. But I’m the specialist fucking person this academy has seen in centuries, and I used to think that had ruined my life. But I’m happy with that now because the people who matter don’t care about that, they care about me. Most of them always cared about me. I just thought they didn’t.”
Mick was quiet for a second. “I think you’re a lot more outgoing than I am, Isaac.”
“Maybe. But I think that a lot of people like you and care about you, and none of that is because of how magically special you are. So there’s no real reason to pretend you aren’t, right?”
“I…” Mick sighed. “I really didn’t think I’d learn much talking to you.”
“I have that effect on people,” Isaac said. “Chosen one power.”
“Okay. Thanks. I really do have to go. I promised a meal with one of my old teachers. But maybe I’ll see you sometime?”
“I’d like that,” Isaac said. “Thanks for wasting my time.”
“You too, Isaac,” Mick said, and he left the classroom they’d been using. Isaac waited a second so he didn’t have to awkwardly walk with him after saying goodbye, then followed him out.
He headed back for the dorm, wishing it were spring not because he minded the cold, but because he wanted it to stop getting dark so early. “Hey,” said Nicholas, appearing behind him just as he’d opened the door.
“Hey,” said Isaac, turning around and kissing him in the doorway. “What’s up?”
Nicholas shrugged. “Just killing time until supper.”
“Me too. You want to come up and hang out for a bit?”
“Sure,” Nicholas said, putting his arm around Isaac’s waist, then pulling it away when that made it awkward to walk up the stairs. They held hands instead, and Isaac pulled Nicholas toward his bedroom. Skip and Peter were in there on their respective beds, both reading. “Hey,” said Skip. Peter waved absently, not looking up.
“Hey,” said Isaac, dumping his bag on the floor. “Homework?”
“Yeah. No sex allowed, we have a history test tomorrow and we’re studying.”
“Sure,” Isaac said, sitting on his bed. “We were just going to hang out for a while. We can be quiet.”
“We could study too,” Nicholas suggested. “We also have a test in healing magic.”
“Yeah, but like…next week.”
“Just read with me.”
Isaac sighed, but pulled his book out of his bag and went to sit on the bed. Peter put his book down and started packing up his stuff. “We’re going to be quiet,” Isaac said. “Promise.”
Peter shook his head. “You’re not bothering me. I’m going to go to the library.”
“Are you sure?” Isaac asked. Peter seemed off. “We can leave if we’re…”
“It’s fine,” said Peter. He stood up, books under his arm, and headed for the door, which he used Dark to open.
Isaac didn’t think it was fine. Something was bothering Peter. “I’ll be back in a second,” he told Nicholas, getting up and following Peter out of the room. He pulled the door shut behind him. “Peter.”
“I’m fine, Isaac,” Peter said, obviously annoyed. “I’m allowed to leave the room without it being a whole thing.”
“Of course you are. But I feel bad if you’re leaving because of us. We really can go somewhere else if we’re bothering you.”
“It’s not…” Peter let out a long sigh, closing his eyes. “You’re not bothering me. You’re not doing anything wrong.”
“You sound like you’re trying to convince yourself of that.”
“I’m, it’s nothing,” Peter insisted. “It’s fine. I just…”
“I don’t like Nicholas,” Peter blurted out, and Isaac blinked. “That’s all. I don’t like him. He was horrible to you for such a long time, he made you feel like crap and I know that because I was the one you talked to about him. And now it’s…” he gestured at the door. “Now it’s like that never happened and I just don’t forgive people as easily as you do, Isaac. You can date whoever you want, including him, and I wouldn’t try to stop you. But he used to make you feel bad on purpose and now you’re doing everything he tells you and I just don’t want to watch you do that, so I’m going to the library.”
“I’m not…doing everything he tells me,” Isaac protested. “What are you…”
“You didn’t want to read and you’re going to do it because he told you to. You laughed at me when I suggested you try sleeping with a girl and then did it when Nicholas egged you on. You just, you just do everything he says because he’s started being nice to you.”
“Hey,” said Isaac, feeling himself get hot in his stomach now. “You make me sound like I’m a dog or something that just obeys anyone who gives me treats.”
“That’s not what I meant.”
“It’s what you said, though. I do everything he says because he’s nice to me. I know he used to be a jerk, it was me he was doing it to. He was confused and scared and thought it was my fault. He got over it. We were all scared at first and took it out on people, and we all forgave each other. I know I’m not as smart as you, but I’m not stupid, Peter.”
Peter looked away. “I never said you were. I don’t think you are.”
“No, you just think I’m naïve and too forgiving, I know. But people change.” Isaac couldn’t help but see Nicholas laid out on Klaus’s table as he said that.
“I know that.”
“So what’s the problem? You expect me to believe you’re really just holding a grudge?” Isaac watched him for a second. “You think Nicholas is going to hurt me again.”
Peter looked up, knuckles white on his cane. “Yeah,” he said, after a minute. “I do. I think next time he’s scared or confused or upset he’ll take it out on you. He’s done it before and he knows you’ll forgive him.”
“You’re wrong.” Nicholas wouldn’t do that. Nicholas wouldn’t hurt Isaac. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Peter turned around. “I’m going to the library. I’d appreciate it if he didn’t sleep in our room tonight.”
Peter didn’t answer him. He just walked away and left Isaac alone in the hallway.
4 thoughts on “Chosen One, 94”
…I mean, Peter may not be right about Nicholas, but he isn’t exactly wrong, either. Nicholas might not hurt Isaac of his own will, but “his own will” plays less of a role in what he does than most people (thanks ever so, Klaus.) And even without that, he’s being used to hurt Isaac (seriously, fuck you, Klaus.)
Yep! And of course, Isaac knows all of that even if Peter doesn’t, which I think was a large part of why he was so upset about what Peter was saying, because he’s very sure that Nicholas the person wouldn’t hurt him, but is very sure that Nicholas the homunculus will if so ordered.
So yeah, fuck Klaus.
Nice bait-and-switch with the title and the conversation with Mick.
Thank you! 😀 I was very happy with that one.