I was surprised that Madeline had taken us to a German restaurant. I was expecting Italian, or French, hell possibly a sushi place based on her dress. But nope, she drove us down to a sizeable place named Knoedel and Kraut (or Dumplings and Kraut for people not versed in Central European cuisine), sat down, ordered herself a pint of beer and a wiener schnitzel, and let me and May pick what we wanted. The contrast of a brunette Jessica Rabbit chugging a beer out of a pint like it was her first drink of water in days was interesting. The moment she finished the beer, she slammed the pint down on the table with such force, I was worried she’d smash the glass!
“Okay Lily, sweetheart, darling, baby girl, my delightful niece.” Madeline began, leaning forward on the desk a bit. “On a scale from Shinji’s dad to Van Hohenheim, how fucking shitty was Arthur at parenting?”
“So you’re going with emotional neglect and using his child in a war on one end, and abandoning his family to pursue a noble goal resulting in him not being there during a crucial moment of his sons’ development…” I held my cheek in contemplation, May shaking her head a bit at the question, with Madeline letting out a sigh of relief.
“Oh thank fucking christ you’re a weeb and understand my language.” Maddie laughed a bit, easing up in her chair.
“Yeah, I got ten years of a good life with a supportive parent and a pair of lesbian grandmas showing me old movies and shows and games. So, to answer your question… It was like being raised by a T-800. And not a reprogrammed self aware one. A T-800 that was trying to make me a T-800.” I replied, still half looking through the menu, figuring out what to order. I mean, schnitzel is good, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted to see what else they had available first.
“Yeah fuck I can barely begin to imagine what he did based on what grandpa and dad did. Those dudes tried so hard to make me the heir to the Donnellan name but like, that name is fucking worthless. I’m probably the first person on this side of the family to do something actually worthwhile!” Maddie called a waiter over for another beer, but this one she was taking her time with. “So, Miss Lugubra, why are you claiming to be a great grandmother to my niece while looking 27?” Maddie turned her gaze to May, smirking a bit.
“Maddie, may I call you Maddie? As I said, I’m leaving it up to Lily to reveal the details of that.” May tilted her head towards me to nail her point home, leaving Maddie to roll her eyes a bit.
“Okay Lily, what’s the deal with our local butch here?” Maddie asked, taking a sip of her beer. Now, I could have been an asshole and blurted out the answer that could result in a spit take, but I patiently waited for Maddie to finish drinking before I spoke up.
“May’s a succubus. There’s like, a hundred greats that should be before grandmother, at least. And all her descendants are lesbians, that’s why I joked that being trans runs in the family on mom’s side, because it literally does.” Maddie gave me the cockiest smile one could muster up, in response to my answer, one that screamed ‘sure, kid.’
“I’m not going to deny that May isn’t smoking hot, because damn woman you’re a head turner-” Maddie quickly glanced May’s way while complimenting her “-but a succubus? As if magic was real.”
“I realised I was trans two weeks ago, after spending a week being able to turn into a succubus and back into my… birth body, let’s say. Hormones don’t work this fast.” I gestured to myself, pointing out specific parts of me. “Or this effectively. I didn’t go on blockers when I was 10, Aunt Maddie. Dad didn’t let me, despite it being offered to all ten year olds.” I sighed, and thought for a second. Oh, right, I had this move to offer as proof. I looked around, making sure nobody was gazing our way, before I held my fist up, conjuring the firepaw. Maddie’s eyes went wide upon seeing that, and she went for her beer, taking a solid glug of it. I turned the firepaw off very swiftly after that. “Succubus power. For SOME reason-” I shot a glare at May “-it’s cat themed.”
“I was Lucifer’s Lioness when they bust out of Heaven and claimed Hell as their own, and Amber inherited those feline traits, which means her line inherited them, what can I say?” May shrugged, taking a sip of the sparkling water she had ordered.
“Wait Lucifer uses they/them pronouns?” Maddie raised her eyebrow.
“Yeah they’re genderfluid and really fucking hot like how dare they be that attractive. Also, spoilers, you do have a spot reserved in Hell when you die, to just, like, hang out in and party with Luci, not as punishment.” I shrugged while smiling awkwardly, which had the intended result of Maddie sighing in relief, again.
“Oh thank fuck for that now I don’t have to worry about my eternal soul or anything. Why though? Does Lucifer own our souls for protection or something? Is that why I couldn’t sell it to get transformed?” It was at that moment Maddie’s thought were interrupted by our food reaching us. Maddie’s Schnitzel with baked potatoes, May got a blood sausage with kraut and some bread, and Me? Bratwurst, fries and fry sauce, as in mayo and ketchup. Once the server walked away, I got ready to answer.
“Yeah, protection from having them stolen.” I dug in. The sausage was nice and juicy and the fries were crispy outside and fluffy inside, just perfectly made. Well, still didn’t top the fries I could get from The Question, but that was the home cooking difference, ya know?
The Question does count as Home Cooking, Clark and Olivia are found-family. Anyways, with our food delivered and her question answered, Maddie dug in as well, before she visibly stopped to think, asking another one. “I wonder where Arthur went. Isn’t suicide a sin, or something?”
“Depends on reason for it, usually you get therapy in Hell for whatever you dealt with if you do it.” May answered, being the one aware of all the goings on down below.
“Plus the suicide was a coverup from a fallen angel. I… kicked dad into Hell when he visited me yesterday. Further details of his status upon being sent to Hell are not appropriate dinner talk though.” I took another bite of my sausage, and Maddie stared at me in awe.
“You sent Arthur to Hell?! Alive?! Holy fucking shit my niece is a badass, I never stood up to my old man like that. Shit, now I want to know what he’s enduring down there! Any way to find out?” To answer Maddie’s question, I took my phone out, and asked Bournael for the details. The text message he sent me back painted quite a disturbing picture. I showed the text to Maddie and May, May hissing and Maddie simply going “Ouch. I’d give him three more months to learn and if he doesn’t, ask the fallen angel dude to make Arthur a trans guy, just to nail the point home.” I sent her comment to Bournie, who sent back a sticker of a shrugging raven.
The conversation continued after that, most of it focused on me and Maddie venting about our relationships to my dad. Maddie was coming at it from the position of the older sister that the younger brother ended up being not only disappointed, but disgusted with, while I went at it from the position of the abused child. With every sentence Maddie told me, I was less and less surprised about the amount of alcohol she was imbibing. She was on her fifth beer, so two and a half litres of beer in her system, and she was still completely reasonable and understandable.
The kind of alcoholism that lets you build up such an immunity is something you really develop after decades of trauma with no other escape. And I understood why May had been drinking sparkling water the whole night. Somebody had to drive Maddie home. Although, I wasn’t sure if alcohol hit succubi the same way it hit humans. I had asked May once the night was over, and she shrugged, saying she had sworn off drinking ever since the 1960’s. She did mention drugs only worked on us if we wanted them to, which she figured under some less than fortunate circumstances. The dudes never walked away on their own feet from said circumstances.
The night ended with a decision of what to do with my dad’s remains. Maddie really wanted to finish the collection of pissing on the graves of the men who hurt her growing up. She had my great grandfather and my grandfather already done, leaving only my dad to complete the three generations of fuckery she endured. And thus, I agreed to grant her wish.
The moment I returned home, I fell right into bed, checked the time, and checked when my appointment was the next day. And with those questions answered, I passed out.
And I’m pretty sure I gave Mrs. Fahrenheit an existential crisis when my therapy session began. We started by reminiscing about the start of my childhood, about my mom. Then we moved onto the heavy stuff that dad did. And then I just blurted out all the supernatural historical reveals I got from May and Bournael and Lucifer and Leonard and Katka and all the other people now in my life that had some connection to magic. And it felt good to let it all out. To just yell it out, to write it out, to draw it out. By the end of it, there wasn’t really anything left to reveal, nothing left on the table to discuss. But of course, a single session isn’t good enough to cope with everything. So we prepared a plan for how to address my PTSD, my generational trauma, any anxiety I still had in me.
Good thing I really had no other stressors to deal with now, and could focus on therapy.