Sister Secrets

Kavanaugh Farm - Kitchen

The largest room in the farmhouse is sparsely furnished with a roughly hewn blue-streaked pine table and only four matching chairs. The walls carry a soft green hue, the floors white ceramic tile. Cabinets and cupboards are pine with wrought iron handles, the counter top fabricated of smaller white tiles. Under the window is a large double sink, opposite of which is a door. The kitchen contains everything a respectable kitchen should have — range, icebox, dishwasher and several small appliances.


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Corrie Jean

Moving to London was supposed to mean seeing the family less, but in the last several months Corrie has been heading to the farm whenever she's had opportunity. This time, there's a purpose to her visit. To dig out the old family books and go through to see if there's anything in there to actually help with vampires — beyond that which Rosalie already helped her with.

Several of the books are spread across the kitchen table now, and it's making an odd picture. Corrie has always been the one to shun the book work, the extraneous studying. But she seems quite involved in flipping through each book to scan the pages and jot down notes as to what may or may not help.

Thankfully dinner has been served and cleared. Dishes have been done. The older Kavanaughs have either gone home or gone to bed, and things are fairly quiet at the moment. Even Duke is at full rest under the table, snoring and kicking every once in a while.


Moving to London was supposed to mean seeing the family less for Jean, too. And yet… somehow, she still manages to end up back home at least one weekend a month. Occasionally more. It's hard to give up access to the family grimoire collection, after all. Even if she does occasionally have to bribe or sneak her way in to see it, these days. (It all depends on the subject. Amazing, really, how protective Rosalie is of it all — never mind Prudence.)

Coming in from a late evening walk, Jean pushes her way in through the back screen door. It squeaks and protests, old as the house and in need of a bit of oil on its hinges. She shrugs out of a jumper, hanging it over a peg, and kicks her shoes off on the mat to avoid tracking mud in with her, and thus attracting her mother's ire. Upon discovering her sister hunched over the table with dusty old tomes surrounding her, she arches a brow and pads quietly up behind her to peer over her shoulder.

"Whatcha doin'?"


Did she know Jean was out? Did she forget? Corrie nearly jumps at the squeak of the door, having figured she was alone for the remainder of the night. The tensing in her shoulders eases as she focuses on the voice of her youngest sister, realizing that she's apparently not the only 'night owl' this evening.

"Nothing," comes the reply, systematically closing the book she was skimming through. "At least not anything important." Twisting just enough to peer over her shoulder she asks, "Still in the habit of sneaking and peeking, hmm?"

But it's not as though Corrie is upset at all.

"Look, about last Friday… I know we were supposed to have lunch, but something came up." Someone anyhow. "I'll make it up to you next week."


"Hey," Jean protests good-naturedly, a grin on her face, "if I didn't, I'd never learn anything." The problem with being the youngest is that everyone feels the need to shelter you. That gets old long before you do.

"Yeah, I wondered what happened to you. Not even a phone call?"

Undeterred, she picks up one of the nearest open books and starts skimming the page. "Studying up on monsters? Geez. Seems to be a trend, these days."


"I left a voicemail." Granted, not one rife with details. "I was going to take you shopping on the weekend, but wound up here instead." Corrie is about to snap the book shut, but allows her to peer through it if she wants.

"It's not as though the family line has much left in the grimoires about them, really. The more important pages are missing." Which means any spells that may have been available are long gone, either torn out to pass on to lesser family members or unwanted due to them being offensive rather than defensive.


"You noticed that too, huh?" Jean says with a wry smile. She lays the book back down on the table, leaving it open to where Corrie had it. "Ever wonder just what's missing?" She does.

All the time.

It's no wonder she's going into archaeology.

Still, her wry smile clears into something a little more impish. "Shopping's good," she decides, however. "I'm good with that." She heads over to the counter, now, to set a copper kettle on the stove. "Tea? It's still chilly out. And you can tell me why you're reading up on monsters."


"I've got a fairly good idea."

The remark comes with a glance toward Jean, then a curious tilt of her head. "I have the perfect place to shop, actually." It's about time Jean was privy to the more decent areas of the Undercity, on the off chance she'll need to pick up a spell or locate a charm she wouldn't be able to find in the family stores.

"Hmm? Oh, tea would be lovely, thank you." Without glancing back at the books on the table, several further notes are jotted down. "Vampires, to be more precise, and because I've run into one." Corrie is smart enough to keep her voice low in case Prudence was keeping herself awake to wait for Jean to return.

"The information in here is likely not much better than something you'd find in fiction, really. About the same as I'd find in Glynis' shop." That is to say, nothing that would really help.


Now's probably not the best time to tell Corrie Jean's already been to Undercity… and probably not one of the better districts, is it? Ah, well. That time will come.

"As long as you don't make me try on five different outfits, we're good," Jean replies easily, setting the water to boil. At the revelation, however, Jean blinks and turns to look at her sister. A slender brow arches.

"You've run into one? A vampire?" She doesn't sound nearly as skeptical as she perhaps should. Instead, she sounds concerned.

That's likely a good thing, really. Better than unconcern. And it means that her voice is kept low, as well.

"Depends on where you look in Glynis' shop," Jean replies, moving about to collect the cups and fixings needed for tea. "Where is it you ran into the vampire? Surely not at the shop."


"I know where to look," Corrie says with a grin. "I was going to her shop when you were still skinning your knees, if you remember."

Doesn't mean she's not got Glynis looking via her contacts for further information.

"Passing through the underground near Bayswater Road. Not too far from Spellbound, actually." The book she's been going through is put aside, and another of the grimoires opened up. "Goes by the name of Aidan. Undoubtedly not his real name, but be careful of any blokes named that, yeah?"

There is a hand rubbed over her face, and she exhales a sigh. "Don't tell Mum. She's still not forgiven me for signing the boys with one of them. This may just give her a heart attack, or throw her into hysterics. Rose knows, but not hardly the half of it. The only reason I'm telling you is that he was in London and I'd rather he not be bothering you."


Jean flashes Corrie a brief grin. "Yeah, but she didn't change my nappies."

Her expression grows more serious, however, as Corrie mentions the vampire bloke. "Y'got a description to go with the name?" she asks, pulling out a chair and sitting down for a while, while the water boils. "Could be any number of blokes out there named Aidan, don't you think? Helps if I know what I'm looking for." A beat. "To avoid, I mean."

No. Actually, as foolhardy as Jean can be (in her sisters' eyes, at least) she wouldn't actually go seeking out a vampire. And if what she knows or finds out can keep Min away from them, too, so much the better.

As for Prudence: Jean scoffs. "Corrie. D'you really think I've survived this long in this house without learning what to and what not to tell the family? Especially Mum?" Another beat. "Though, really… You brought the man here? Are bleedin' daft? I mean… telling Mum, yeah. That needed to be done. But, bringing him into the house? Gone suicidal, are you? Or just matricidal?" Her tone is a mix of exasperation and teasing. She's serious… but she knows her sister wasn't actually trying to kill their mother — via heart attack or any other way.


"Mid twenties, dark hair, pale blue eyes, deceptively charming demeanor. Well dressed. Designer clothing I think." Corrie wrestles with telling Jean the rest of it, but holds off for now. At least until she verifies what Dr. Watson is or how he plays into the whole mess.

"I'm not daft, Jeanie. I did not bring the man here. I mentioned Ilfracombe offhand, mentioned Mum, and the wanker called my bluff." Through it all, she's smiling though. Seems that maybe, just maybe Corrie doesn't actually mind that one. "His mum was a witch, you know. I'm surprised Mum's not gone off to Wales to verify that, honestly."

There is a far off look in Corrie's eyes briefly before she shakes her head. "I meant to tell her before he showed up at the door, there just didn't seem to be a good time for it until we were alone."


"Mm." Jean backs off on that, now. She has to concede, given Prudence's temper, that finding a good time to tell the family matriarch about such things is always difficult. Still, the goofy smile on her sister's face causes the younger Kavanaugh to cant her head curiously.

"His Mum was a witch, was she?" she echoes. "Meaning what? He's suitable 'date' material? I saw that piece in the variety rag, you know. Lisa MacKenzie took great delight in pointing it out… Right in the middle of Dr. Watson's lecture!" Only a little mild outrage there. She shakes her head, rolling her eyes. "Keep that up, and Mum will decide I'm the sane one."


Corrie rolls her eyes as well. She can hardly help it. The incident took place a while before the article after all.

"Good lord, Jeanie, do you believe everything you read in those trashy magazines?" Raising her brow, she shakes her head and then laughs. "At least it was a decent picture of him, and no one said a bloody thing about dating him. It was business, the same as it would be for any other contact I brought to the area. It's not as though I was giving him a bleeding lap dance, now was it?"

Attempting to turn the conversation, she smiles a little slyly. "I can see why you wax poetic about the man now. He's quite dashing, isn't he? I imagine his lectures are fascinating. Does he talk of Egypt often?"


Jean laughs, then, and has to pull back from laughing so loud as to attract their mother's attention. "No. You just took him to the seediest bar in Ilfracombe for a bit of pole dancing!"

Her mouth snaps shut, however, at the mention of Dr. Watson. It doesn't stay that way, though. As her eyes narrow, she peers at her sister. "His lectures are entirely fascinating. Where did you meet him?" The words come swiftly, mild suspicion in them. She knows her sister. And that sort of dig comes from personal knowledge.


"Need I remind that it's only in the last few years that it's become increasingly seedy? It used to be the best pub around here, I'll have you know." It may be aging her a little, but businesses do change hands. "Though apparently I will need to be careful about relaxing and letting loose. Ilfracombe is just not a place you'd expect paparazzi jumping out at you."

Corrie's sly grin deepens just a little. "It's not important where I met him." It isn't really, it'd be far more embarrassing to relay the story of the knight-errant and the less than thrilled heroine. "And there's little need to get jealous, Jean. Honestly. Though I am quite curious as to his Egyptian lectures. Have you got notes with you this weekend?"


Jean snirks a scoff at the suggestion she's jealous, and doesn't bother to rise any further to that dig. Instead, she frowns, though it's not so much a sullen frown as it is a puzzled one. "Why are you interested in Egypt?" she counters. "Yeah, I got some notes with me, but they're not the Egypt ones. He was actually waxing on about India, this past couple of weeks. What the Vedic myths teach us about ancient Indian society. I've got a test end of next week on everything this term. Egypt was first term." A beat. "What's going on, Corrie?"


"I've not got a bloody clue."

Corrie shakes her head again, then glances down at the books. "I'd love to know why these pages are missing. If they were spells or simply stories and notes."

Rubbing her hands over her face, she offers her youngest sister a smile. "Honestly, I've just taken up an interest in Egypt. I figured you'd have information so it'd save me a bit of surfing time is all. With Amber Bardot signing on with the firm, and the boys getting a record contract, I've not much time for the internet these days."


"Just promise me you'll be careful in the city? Don't go wandering off with Min. Don't go looking for trouble? I've got a feeling that there's something larger that we're not entirely privy to, and that we're both liable to get into a spot of trouble if we're not careful."


"Well, I'm not going to hole up and hide any more than you are," Jean replies with a shrug. She rises, now, to pour the water for tea. "But, yeah. I'll be careful." Her nose wrinkles. "I think there's something else going on, out there, too. Hanged if I know what, though." Of course, she is a sucker for a good mystery. She's not, however, given to (what she considers) stupid or unnecessary risks.

Setting the tea to steep, she brings the mugs and the pot over to the table, finding a place for them amidst the books.

"Have you tried talking to Glynis? I know she doesn't always tell us everything she knows, but she's usually pretty good at shedding light on what things she can."


"I know you're not, just be careful. I've not got a lot of free time to go saving you and Min from your adventures. Mr. Russell is already irritated enough with me for that tabloid splash." Corrie runs her fingers along one of the torn pages in the book and then wrinkles her nose.

"It's odd, but I'd almost say they were torn on purpose, but with haste. Not as though they were carefully removed like some of the spells were."

Shifting aside some of the books for the younger Kavanaugh, she sighs.

"I've tried. She's either extremely busy herself, or avoiding answering any questions. Have you actually seen her in the shop lately?" Messages have been left. Both via telephone and written. Little response back as of yet.


Jean shakes her head. "I haven't. Though, she's left me the odd package or two I didn't actually request on occasion." She shrugs now. "Usually nothing more than old memoirs she thinks I might find interesting because of my studies." True… and not true. Some of them promise something 'more'. The problem is, Jean doesn't know just what. If Glynis is trying to tell her something, she's being bloody obtuse about it.

She lets out a long sigh, now… the releasing of pent up tension she didn't realize she was harbouring — even after her walk.

"I wonder what she's up to…"


Corrie considers the memoir gifts and cautiously asks, "Have you read them yet?" Beat. "Jean, are they from grandmum's line or have you gotten that far?" If anyone in the family would be able to figure that out, the budding archaeologist would.

"I've an idea." Beat. "It's not anything awful, if that's what you're thinking. It's simply… working with a group of others. Not that I'm at all privy to what it is she's attempting to accomplish." Or has accomplished? "I'd still love to have a chat with her. If you manage to speak with her before I do, please let her know I'm looking for her?"

A glance to the teapot, then back to her baby sister. "How are things with Min? After the last scrape I pulled you two out of…"


Again, Jean scoffs. (She does that a lot with her sisters.) "Corrie, please. That was months ago." She rolls her head a little, however, and takes her mug in her hands, cupping it for the warmth. Blowing lightly over the surface of the water, she then takes a sip. "Min's fine," she says slowly. "You know, hanging in there. He's got a lot he's dealing with, right now. Keeps him busy." Not a lie. Except, perhaps, for the omitted information about trying to deal with being a werewolf. And, god, but there's no mention whatsoever of their recent foray underground.


"Good. I was a bit concerned with him then." It is a good thing to hear that the boy (God it makes her feel old to even think that) is doing well.

Reaching for her own cup of tea, she slowly pulls it toward her. Careful not to spill any on the books. "I'd ask you to promise to contact me before any of your new daring adventures, but I highly doubt you would." Beat. "Though if you do wind up somewhere and you need help, you call me, alright?" In the past where there might have been a lengthy lecture, there's just a simple sip of scalding tea. Then a wince afterward. "I mean that, Jean. You or Min. If he needs help that you can't get for him, let me know. I'll see what I can do." Corrie may be suffering a bit of paranoia, a bit of motherhen syndrome, but she'd rather ensure her sister is safe than throw her into the midst of things.

"Oi. Be careful of a man named Gideon Reese as well. Bloody arse that one, even if he weren't a sorcerer I'd be warning you off."


Jean gives a wry smile that's partially hidden by her cup as she takes another sip. "Who the hell is Gideon Reese and why the hell would I end up running into him?" A beat. She catches up. "Unless, of course, he's one of the sorcerers that runs that outfit you sold the boys to, eh? And you're afraid he'll come after me?"

She snirks. "See, this is why Mum's right: You should just avoid sorcerers."

She leans back, setting her cup down. "Look, if Min and I get into any real trouble, I promise, I'll call." She just doesn't say when she'll call. First or last, it'll depend on the trouble. Not, mind, that she's got all that many other resources. "I doubt we will, though, you know? Not unless Min goes and does something stupid." Which is usually how it works.


"There is a possibility that he might if I irk him enough." Corrie bites her lip. "Reddish blond hair. Muscular. He'd not be at all difficult on the eyes if he weren't such an utter arse."

There is a longer beat now. One in which she toys with her tea cup for a moment.

"Jeanie… mum had a liaison with a sorcerer in her youth."

There. Now she is no longer the only one to know that. It feels as though a world of weight has been removed from her shoulders.

"You and I both know that's how Min generally works. He does something daft, you follow, then I've got to clean up the mess."



Jean looks up at Corrie, blinking. Forget Min. "I'm sorry?" Her hand flutters in front of her face for a moment. "Did you just say that Mum — our Mum, Mrs. I-Hate-Sorcerers-With-A-Holy-Passion — had a… //liaison — do you mean affair? She had an affair with a sorcerer? Our Mum? Are you sure? How do you know?"

C'mon. You can't really blame the kid for being skeptical.


"Before dad, I'm sure. I didn't exactly ask her for the full details." Just enough to realize that Prudence wasn't exactly joking about the matter.

Corrie stares at her tea, and sighs. "She told me, Jean. After Rhys dropped by. She had a bit of a flustered moment, and let it spill. I can't exactly tell Rosalie, and despite how close we are in age it's not as though I've been real chummy with Christian or Caitlyn since we were tots."


Jean blows out an incredulous breath… and nods slowly. She can understand what her sister's saying. She doesn't much talk to the others, either. Partly, it's age. Partly, it's attitude. A generation gap doesn't even begin to cover it, some days. "Bloody hell…" she sighs. "It's no wonder Mum's so adamant about it, then." She shakes her head lightly, glancing to her sister. A part of her, actually, is inordinately pleased that Corrie would talk to her like that. It makes her feel just a little more grown up. (Hey. She's only 20.) "What did she say about it?"


"Simply that it was a youthful indiscretion and she made me promise that I wouldn't make her mistake. That I wouldn't mention it to da. Then she tried to set me up with Mrs. Mitchell's grandson." Corrie snorts, then sips from her tea again.

"Adamant as Mum is, it's not really her place to decide where our hearts land is it?" Beat. "Not that I'm at all interested in the sorcerer. I had a rather nice lunch with…" Beat. "Someone else the other day. Hence the cancellation." Friendly but nothing much more to it.


Jean arches a brow, now. Somehow, she really doesn't entirely believe her sister. Not at all interested in the sorcerer? Uh-huh…

Still, growing up with as many older sisters as Jean has, the girl's learned when to push and when to back off. (Which doesn't mean she won't push mercilessly when she wants to.) At this moment, she's willing to bide her time — if only to keep from getting dug at about her antiquities professor. "Someone else the other day?" she picks up on, instead. "You hesitated. Dish."


"Slightly older, brown hair, blue eyes… decent bloke." One that Jean knows all too well and will get irritated with her for seeing for lunch. Corrie allows another sip of her tea and then gently queries (ignoring all other conversation for the moment), "How many offensive spells do you know, Jean? How many ways do you have of protecting yourself when you're adventuring with Min?"


Jean allows herself to be distracted for the moment — but that doesn't mean she doesn't file the information away for later. "Offensive spells?" She scoffs for a moment. "C'mon, Cor, you know Mum frowns on that sorta stuff." Just as much as she knows that every one of her sisters has at least a couple of suitable offensive spells.

Still, looking at her sister's face, at the genuine concern etched there, Jean gives a wry smile and deflates a little, letting her youthful bravado slip away. "More than Mum knows," she admits. "Less than I'd like." A beat. "Though, I did pick up a wicked wind spell a few weeks ago. Maybe we can trade?"


"Mum may frown on it, but that doesn't mean you've not had Glynis show you a few." Corrie shifts her eyes and shakes her head. "How about I just offer my own books up to you if you promise to keep your bleeding mouth shut about it all?" She'd really rather that Jean be able to handle herself if she needs to rather than having to bail her out if her own situation is precarious.

"If you need to trade, enlighten me as to the Egyptian lectures Dr. Watson provides, and let me be privy to your notes, just to satisfy my curiosity."


Jean gives another wry smile, now. "Yeah. And Glynis has suggested she'd teach me more, if I wanted. I just don't know what I've got to trade her to make it worth her while. It's not like I'm rolling in money and can afford to buy any spell that comes my way." Student loans are a bitch.

Still, she smile genuinely at the offer. "And, my lips are sealed. You want to share your books, I'm up for that. I can get you my notes from lecture — do you want the a/v files or just the transcripts?" Kids, these days. Everything on computer. (And she sits right in the front row with her computer and its minicam.)


"The a/v files," Corrie says with a laugh. "I'm sure ogling poor Dr. Watson would make the information far easier to absorb." There is a little tease there. While everyone else in the family may be rooting for Jean and Min, Corrie's picked up on the not-so-subtle-little crush.

"I'm sure Glynis would teach you more simply because of who you are. She'd not expect anything in return. But you're welcome to my books. Just drop by the flat sometime and feel free to read or copy to your hearts content. I've got no qualms with sharing. Though I warn, they're not as involved as the grimoires Mum has, or those that Rosalie is keeping watch over."


"And not everything in them is above board."


Let the family root for Jean and Min all they want. They're barking up the wrong tree, when it comes to Min. But, Jean doesn't ever tell them that. For now, their illusion keeps her mother from riding her like she does Jean. You'd think, with the brood she's already got, the elder witch would be content with the fact that she's already got grandkids to carry on the family tradition. Regardless, the chances of Min and Jean getting together are even more remote than the chances of Dr. Watson dating a student. Which, really, is saying something.

Still, Jean arches a brow somewhat at her sister's suggestion that some of what she has is 'dark magic'. "You know," she says after a moment, "we ought to catalogue these books here. Copy out the remaining spells and compile them into something less fragile." A beat. A wry smile. "And less proprietary. Though I doubt either Mum or Rosie would go for it."


Corrie taps her notebook twice then shakes her head. "Most of the spells that are in them are ones you've learnt in your pre-teen years. The rest are simply stories. Exposition on various creatures or monsters our family has purportedly met in past eras. I've got most typed into documents on the laptop, though there are a few that Rosalie refuses to let me see."

That, more than anything irks Corrie.

"Needless to say I've gone searching for what's missing. I don't keep everything digital, mind. That's far more dangerous than having it written out and kept safe." Viruses, hacking… it'd keep their histories and grimoires prone.

"I'm not Mum or Rosie, am I?" To that point, Corrie's got her suspicions on her oldest sister anyhow.


Jean, however, is probably the family's best sneak. (The youngest usually are.) She leans back and considers that. "Can you give me copies?" She also the considers the stories. "I don't think we should let go of those stories, Cor. At least, not entirely. I know a lot of them are edited or read like fairytales, but…" She gives another bit of a smile — at once wry and rueful. "Well, let's just say that once you've had a few hours of listening to Professor Watson, you'll understand better. He says that even fairytales and nursery rhymes can provide insight into the past. Not just mindsets, but grains of truth that can sometimes conceal the most remarkable clues to not only how people lived and thought but the challenges they faced, too. It's like reading through dusty old law books. Laws typically get written after they become necessary. They're not usually pre-emptive. And, if they are, well, that says something, too."

Kid's been in university too long? She's starting to sound like an academic.


"Should I be asking Professor Watson for lessons then?" Corrie waggles her brows at her sister, then laughs. "Everything has some connection with the past. It's whether there's any truth in it that's in question."

Having forgotten the tea except as something to fiddle with, the older Kavanaugh sister falls silent. She considers what she's heard. What she knows.

"Beyond what you know about his teaching practices, do you know much about Dr. Watson, Jeanie? I mean, who he is or where he comes from?"


Jean gives Corrie a funny look, now. "Oh, come off it, Cor. Don't tell me you're second-guessing my professors, now, too?" She actually scowls. "This Aidan guy really spooked you, didn't he?" She's genuinely concerned, now. "What the bloody hell happened?"

There's just no way Professor Watson could be one of the 'bad guys'. No way. That's Jean's surest conviction. If he turns out to be a bad guy, well, then… well, then she's going to give up and become a nun… or something. (Can witches even become nuns? Probably not.)


Corrie snorts gently. "Hardly. I'm more or less interested in his personal history. I could care less what his issues are with the law. Really his ancestry is what peaks my interest most."


"For heaven's sake. I simply had lunch with the man. It's not as though I'm interested in him beyond what you can tell me of his family history. I'd hate to find out he's related to a sorcerer. I'd begin to think I was cursed is all…" Though she's not gotten that impression of him. There is still something about the man.


Jean sits up now. "Wait." Brown hair. Blue eyes. Slight older. Her eyes widen. "Corrie!" She pushes back from the table in a huff. "You blew me off for a date with my teacher? You jammy cow! His personal history?" She paces the kitchen now, torn between outrage and incredulity. "Corrie, I swear, if you tell me you've got a crush on my history professor I will knock you into next week." She jabs a finger at her. "You can't date him. That's not fair, you hear me! It's not fair."


"I've not got a crush on your professor. It was merely curiosity in regards to a few things." Corrie finishes up her tea then slides the cup toward the pot. "Jeanie, if I were interested in your crush I'd have a bit more class and actually be forthright with you. Honestly."

Closing up the books, she tucks a few stray strands behind her ears and then laughs. "I've no intention on dating him. It was simply a lunch to thank him for helping me with something. I spent the entire time talking up my baby sister."


"I do not have a crush on him," Jean automatically retorts. A beat. "Not a real one, anyway." She's not pouting. Honest. She's just… put out.

Gracelessly, she returns to sit in her chair. "You spent the whole time talking about me?" She can't help but ask.

Quickly, though, she pushes that away. "What was he helping you with?"


"Please. You do have a crush on him, but I won't tell anyone if you don't." Corrie doesn't appear to be in a hurry to rush off to call a certain Dr. Watson after all. She's still sitting here, now tidying up books and tea.

"Granted not the entire time was spent on you. A rather good portion of it. I'm proud of you, Jeanie. Whether it ever appears like it or not. I just wish you'd take a few less risks." It's not as though her sister actually is Lara Croft.

"A situation that arose. He proved rather informative." No point is worrying her sister all the more.


She could be Lara Croft. One day. Give her time.

(Though, ok. Maybe she'll skip the whole destruction-of-priceless-dig-sites bit. Mostly.)

"You're proud of me?" Jean can't help but grin a little at that. Apparently, she likes that.

"It doesn't much matter if I have a crush on Dr. Watson or not, you know. He's at least ten years older than me. Maybe fifteen." A beat. "But, you try watching him three days a week for two years and see if you don't find him ace, too." Reproachful much?

Even so… "What situation, anyway? What were you doing? Asking him about Egyptian vampires?"


"Closer to sixteen," Corrie points out gently. "And I've not got to keep my eye on him day in and day out for two years to find him… 'ace'." There's no doubt that she finds the man attractive.

"Something like that, though more or less just curiosity as I've said. Ease up, Jean."

Corrie carries the teapot and her empty cup toward the sink. She doesn't empty the pot on the off chance Jean would like more. Though she does wash out her cup and place it carefully on the drying rack.

"Of course I'm proud of you. Everyone else has stuck around home, but you? You've never been one to let that hold you back from your dreams. It takes a great deal of courage and perseverance to see those through, you realize."


Jean reaches for her tea and swallows more of it. It's easier to drink, now it's cooled down. "Why is it," she wonders, now, "you and I are the only ones willing do that?" Her head cants. "I mean… I love the others. A lot. But, why is it we're not willing to stay home and play it safe when everyone else is?"


"It's the independent spirit. The streak that says that staying here, farming… as much as we love it, it's not for us." Corrie could say the same for accounting. Sheep herders. Bar owners. None of it is what she wants out of life. "It works for the others because it's comfortable for them. For me… I like working with expanding technologies to help promote those in my care. For you, you're seeking out a life mired both in the past and the future. They accept it. They just don't understand it."

That's Corrie's late night take on it. The reasoning.

"Middle and last. I've often thought Rosalie wanted more out of life than what she's got, but she's afraid to tell Mum. She wanted to make Mum happy, you know?" Parents tend to pay less attention to the middle child, and the baby? Well the baby can get away with anything, really.


Jean nods to that. "Middle and last," she echoes. "We're not Rosie or the twins — earmarked. And Row and Jo have their families." Sure, ok, Jordan is just engaged… Still. Doesn't change the fact. If any of the other were to break the mold, it'd probably be Jordan.

She lets the night settle, and pours just a little more tea to warm up her mug. "I promise I'll be careful, Cor. But, I won't be other than what I am." Wise words for one so young. "One of these days… I know it'll get me in trouble. Probably with the family. But… I need to do it my way, y'know?"


Corrie nods once, very slowly. "Things may change in the future, but honestly, I'm happy enough to leave them to their families and find my own path." It's not at all strange for Corrie to say such to the youngest. Her older sisters all have their own families to deal with. Those closest to her in age, excepting Christian, who's too afraid to tell their Mum exactly who she is, have all but forgotten about her.

"I should head on up shortly. Morning comes all too soon these days, and I've yet to find anything useful in the grimoires." A glance is returned to the table and she sighs. "They're all yours for the night, Jeanie. Just make sure Duke doesn't decide they're delicious."

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