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“Where is it!” She screamed into the Archives Hall as she was pulling books from the shelves to look behind them. “How could it just be gone?” she turned to look towards the ottoman that was following her. “Did you hide it?” When it shook itself in the manor that meant no she sighed. “I know of course you didn't. I just can’t believe I lost it. I never lose anything.” She muttered to herself as she sighed moving to a map of the city looking it over. “I should use a locator spell to find it.” She said as she moved to pick up the dagger. Cutting her hand open as she repeated the words in latin watching her blood make a trail from the library past Evermore borders to a town that seemed just beyond the border.
“How in the hell.” She muttered softly before she picked up her bag after wrapping a cloth around her hand and tossed her things in her bag. Without much thought to let him know she was on her way. She porteled herself into Wyatt home. In his kitchen as she looked around and called out. “Wyatt! I need your help!” She called out as she pulled out the map and placed it on the counter there. “Something bad has happened!” She called out hearing the pounding of his footsteps she knew he was here. She raised her other hand to her lips and bit down on her thumb nail.
When she heard his foot step closer she dropped her hand forgetting her other one was cut open as it was bleeding through the cloth wrapped around her hands. “So there is this Artifact that Malva asked for and when I started to look around the hall for it I couldn’t find it. So Locator spell naturally and well.” She pointed it out. “It was stolen from the hall somehow and seems to be just outside of Evermore. Will you come with me and help me get it back. Then maybe help me figure out how someone got into the hall without me knowing.”
Wyatt ported into the Archives as only a handful of people could do. He appeared inside of the room Penny and him would often hang out in. It was a sitting area far and away from the rest of the hubbub of the building where others were milling about doing their research or stowing away their magical items in their assigned rooms. The lounge had once been a place he and Winston would sit for hours talking about their travels around the world, including all the artifacts the older man would've sent him to try and track down and keep safe in the Archives. Now it was a place for the former keeper's daughter and Wyatt to continue on.
He strolled over to the small refrigerator they kept in the room and paused for a few moments to decide on water or beer. Beer won out pretty quickly. He placed the bottle to his aching head, enjoying the coolness against his skin. "Hand's okay," he replied as Penny came over to inspect him. Wyatt lowered the bottle once she was near and eyeing what her handy work did, noting her eyes moving to his neck which was undoubtedly sore. "It was worth the pain and I've hit guys with tougher skulls." He smirked for a brief moment and held the Helm out to her quietly while the thoughts of what might've transpired between her and Fred played out in his mind. Thinking about what he might've made Penny do without her realizing it was worrying. It was also making him furious all over again.
"Owe me?" he scoffed and shook his head, walking over to sit down in the worn, brown leather chair that was melded to his figure now from sitting in it for so many years. "You don't owe me anything. Well, maybe some more time helping me with translations, but..." he trailed off, jokingly. "I've been helping to keep the Archives safe for a long time. You know I'd do anything to make sure everything inside of it remained out of the hands of jackasses like Freddy. Even so, I'd hope you know I'd do anything to help you out, Archives related or not."
He didn't exactly know if bringing up the topic on whether or not she was as lonely as Fred had mentioned was right just then and instead of trying to find the words, Wyatt used the bottle opener that he attached on the side table next to his chair, tossing the cap in the glass bowl that had become a decorative piece with dozens more inside. Taking a drink eased his sore throat and was more refreshing than he realized he needed. "Do you remember anything? He could've gotten more out of the Archives. You may have literally handed artifacts over with a smile and never knew what you were doing. You might not even know they are missing."
Penelope reached out and touched the bruising that was forming along his neck and gave a gentle frown on her lips. She was disappointed with herself, and the fact she let her weakness lead to him getting hurt by her nonetheless. She gave a pathetic chuckle at his words knowing he was trying to sooth her worries and upset over what she had done to him. “I’m sure you have. I really know how to pick out the weak ones huh?” Taking hold of the helm she moved to place it on the table staring at it for a long moment. She had so many questions to ask but knew all would be answered once the library downloaded Fred consciousness. She knew there was a worst case scenario but was sure that it hadn’t gone that dark. Her protection charms were still intact on her bracelet.
As she settled back down her fingers moved to the set of bracelets that were around her wrist as she played with the charms in her thought. “Translations I can do in my sleep.” She said as her eyes seemed far away, not really looking at him as he tried to ease the tension with his jokes. She would welcome them any day but today there was a sinking rock in her gut. Finally she let her eyes move to him, the underline topic was there. It wasn’t something she ever truly planned on talking about, especially with him. “What in my life isn’t Archives related?” She said with a shrug of defeat of her shoulders. “Can’t even…” She trailed off as she looked off down the long hall that seemed to go one forever.
“Yeah I know you are there for me.” She finally said as she gave a huff before moving across the room to pick up a large book from a podium. Crossing the room to the table she had sat across from him before placing the book down on the table. “I am downloading his consciousness as we speak.” She said in a matter of fact manner that was cold for the usually boho free bird that she was. “I know, which means it's Inventory time. Which is something I had been putting off. Which is very unlike me.” She felt a sharp pain in the back of her head as she tried to focus on why she had been putting it off.
“Stupid.” She muttered to herself as she sighed moving to sit on the table with the book opened to the first page. “I can’t believe I let human needs get in the way of what my father protected for the world.” Her face held an expression of anger and upset but towards herself. “I…” She said as her head hung in defeat for a moment. “Dad would be so disappointed.” She said softly before reaching into the book pulling out a screen that held every magical item the hall held in what seemed like a never ending list. Becoming quiet her eyes started to glow red as a second form of herself that was an illusion and fully red started to move towards the first item on the list.
Wyatt remained quiet while she stepped into the untouched waters of the subject that seemed to be something she had no intention of talking to him about. Still, she danced around what she was really feeling. He tried not to take it personally, as this wasn't about him, but he had always thought Penny would confide in him about anything. Everything. He supposed that was stupid though. Everyone had their own personal things they never shared with others no matter how close they were. Maybe he really wasn't around enough like he originally thought, way too caught up in his own shit that he'd forgotten to check in with one of the only people that really mattered to him.
He watched as Penny moved about the room, going into Keeper mode. When she finally stopped was when Wyatt decided to move. The diviner stood, eyeing the projected image of Penny moving about the library to begin the inventory she had apparently put off. He quietly moved in front of her and placed his hand on hers. "Hey Batsy," he said quietly, waiting for her eyes to become their normal pastel green again and focus on his. "Your father would not be disappointed in you. He would be so proud of everything you've done here and what you continue doing. Hell, he'd be giving me the earful for not watching out for you. We're supposed to watch out for each other, right? You and me."
He sat next to her on the table with the beer in his hands, looking down into the darkened glass. "This place," he began, looking up finally and glancing around to a portion of the enormous collection that spanned only this section of the building in wonder. "It's a living, breathing thing. It takes a lot of fucking work and time. It's a huge responsibility, which your father knew." His gaze came back to hers again. "He hated the idea that he never got to have you in his life. It was his biggest regret. He would never put this place above you and he would never want you to not have a life of your own. It took him years to get a hang of this place, Pen. No one is expecting you to master it overnight or even a thousand nights. Not me, not Malva, not your dad. You can have a life and still be a Keeper. I'm no Winston, but your pops did trust me to hold down the fort when he wasn't around. You need to give yourself a break. Breathe some air beyond this stuffy place sometimes. It's the only way you'll really still feel sane and love this place like I know you do for years to come."
Wyatt slid off the table and took a sip of the beer before smiling to her. "Plus, I'm not really giving you much of a choice here either. Seriously. I'll babysit the Archives a few days a month while you go off and do whatever or whoever it is you want." He glanced down at the screen for a moment. "And I'm gonna crash here more too so you'll be so fucking tired of me that you'll want to go out just to get away from me." Kissing her on the head, he backpedaled to find the next item on the list. "Also, you seriously use too much magic for mundane things. You're like a Nazi for walking now." His smile grew wider to her before turning to go rifle through some tomes on the wall which were next on the list.
Penelope could feel the slight feelings he was having about her dancing around her romantic life, in the end she wasn’t sure how to express to him that she was lonely but not lonely when it came to friendship. He filled that void fully, but lonely in the romantic sense. One that she had only recently started trying to fill because she took her responsibilities of her life running the Library very seriously. “Well it doesn’t matter in the end, After all this the dating door is swinging close and being locked. I clearly can’t be trusted to not let the wrong person in here.” She sighed, she should have known better after all no one had ever shown interest in her past what she could provide them. “The real question though is, how did he know I was the Guardian of the Hall.” That train of thought was unlocking a scary idea of events that could unfold.
She couldn’t focus on that now she needed to make sure there wasn’t something vastly more dangerous missing. As Wyatt pulled her out of her thoughts, “Yeah Robin?” she said, focusing on him, feeling his words tug at her heart strings. With a soft sniffle she cleared her throat and nodded towards the person who she was closest to in this world. “Yes we are meant to watch out for each other. You and Me. You are about the only person I would trust with my life Wyatt.” She gave a soft smile towards him before reaching up to mess up his hair. “Besides he wouldn’t give you an ear full, he knew I was so hard to keep an eye on as is. Let alone when I don’t express my feelings and emotions. I put myself in this position, I know that.”
Looking around the massive hall they were sitting in knowing this place was forever shifting and moving to keep itself hidden in the folds of magical essence. Her eyes moved back to him as he talked about how her father wouldn’t want her to not have a life. Yet with everything that just happened, how she had attacked him she gave a snort from her nose. “Maybe I should be like my dad and find someone who will disappear on me and we could just astral project and date that way.” She said in a joking tone to try and undercut the amount of uncertainty that was rocking her being. “I wasn't a Winston for a long time in my life, Wy. So I understand but I want to be the Keeper that honors my Father and all he did. I know I can’t do it alone and I am rather thankful that you have stayed by my side this whole time. I know Malva puts a lot of faith and trust in me also. I just can’t fathom letting any of you guys down and yet today…” She trailed off staring at the place that had long been her home now.
“You are more Winston then me Robin, May as well change your name to Wyatt Winston.” She finally after a long quiet moment looked back at him. “Maybe I could convince Malva to hang one night and you and I can go to a carnival or something fun. Right now I don’t trust myself alone outside the library or hall.” She admitted in a shy tone. “I appreciate you being so willing to do so Wy, but the thing is activities are better when you have a friend.” She pointed out, “Besides the doing whoever is really on the backburner for me after all this.” Expressing the trauma that was radiating through her in the fact she had attacked him under another's control was far too much for her to handle. Being under another's control period brought flashbacks of the coven she was once a part of.
“You have a room for a reason, as if I am going to get tired of my best friend.” She rolled her eyes to him with a smile in return as he placed a kiss on her head. “I am not a Nazi for walking! This place is as large as Australia. Astral me is faster!” She called over her shoulder before moving to create another three versions of herself levitating from the table she was one. The versions of herself that set out to find all the items and give a report on their state. One of the versions just stood near Wyatt. “If you want to report to that version of me I can keep note from here.” She spoke through the red outline of herself.
Wyatt continued listening to her as his hand moved over the shelving to find the tomes, his fingers gliding over the old coverings of very ancient books. They finally stopped on the decaying volumes of writings he was looking for and his head tilted to read the dead language of their titles. Damn, was he rusty. He suddenly noticed the red glow of one of the projections she had sent out moving slowly next to him which straightened him up to give it a once over. Wyatt made a disgusted face at it, sticking his tongue out slightly. "Nazi!" he yelled in response, noting her eyes were closed as she concentrated across the room. His finger moved up towards this version's nose as if picking it, watching as his digit passed through the projection. He snorted and bit his bottom lip to hold back the laugh knowing she would yell at him any moment.
His eyes moved back to the task at hand while he took another sip of the beer which was quickly becoming empty. He noted all of them were still unassumingly there when in reality, the power within them could cause catastrophe. A breath released through his nose, happy to at least see they were still here, but there were plenty more artifacts to go. "Pizza..." he said under his breath. This was going to be a while and he was already feeling his stomach grumble. Plus, they still had to talk to that toolbag which had stolen the helm in the first place. The pair was going to be here for the long haul and pizza would fuel them.
After calling the order in and grabbing himself another bottle, Wyatt continued on with the list. So far, so good. Everything was where it should've been and he was currently standing in front of a black orb that swirled with even darker black and blue waves of color. Some diviner in the middle ages had been able to predict future outcomes with it while he was alive, but once he died, the ball also went dormant. However, when something truly terrible was going to happen in the world, the orb would sometimes come back to life for a few moments before going dark again. Wyatt didn't look long upon it. Doing so gave the person a searing headache every time and he wasn't about to add to the pain he was already dealing with from their earlier encounter. "Pain in the ass," he muttered to it, covering the orb with the black satin cloth that normally lay over it again. It was there. That's all he needed to know.
"How's it going on your end?" he said, turning from the glass case just in time to have one of the projections pass through him on its way down the hall. A noise of disgust followed by a curse or three came from him and he did a little dance in response as if to get the feeling off of him. It was like spiders suddenly crawling all over his skin. "You did that on purpose!" Which he totally deserved, but still. Giving another shudder, Wyatt came up to look at the list again to see where he needed to go next, but noticed she seemed perplexed by something. "What? What is it?"
"There will be no going inside of me!" he protested. "No matter how much you want this sweet ass." His eyes glanced over the list to all the things that were marked off as being here still which was relieving, but they had a whole lot more to go. A whole lot more. Maybe the projections weren't such a bad idea. They needed all hands on deck for this and those hands were limited to just them for the time being. It wasn't like everyone in the coven was allowed to wander around this part of the Archives. There were too many dangerous items around. There were also a lot of tempting ones too. Not that they didn't trust the whole of their brethren, but sometimes those artifacts would call out in a trance-like fashion which could be disastrous. It was why Winston only trusted him and Malva, but also because if anything should go awry, he knew exactly where to look first.
Wyatt noted her face of concern that still didn't seem to wane. "Come on, spill it," he persisted until she revealed that a beginner's spell book was missing. He shrugged, not really giving it second thought. "Prob a noob who is just learning the ropes. Some kid who just went through the ceremony and figured out if they were light or dark." He continued glancing to the list to see what was next until the so-called doorbell rang. "Finally." Before he could even offer to be the one to grab it, Penelope was off in a rush. "Uh.. okay." His brow forwarded in confusion as he watched her hurry out towards the common area where all the other diviners were before looking to the projections about the space he was left with as they eerily stood frozen like floating, translucent puppets, waiting for their master. "Not creepy at all."
He put the beer down and jogged through the halls as the bell sounded again. "Honestly, dude, you don't realize how big this place is," he muttered to himself before reaching the side door as instructed. When he opened the door, Wyatt was more than a little surprised. "You're not a dude at all." The young teen girl stood there with a confused look, clearly annoyed at having to wait as long as she did for him to arrive. "Thanks." He gladly took the extra large pizzas that was hot to the touch and tipped her before turning to head back inside. The smell of the food was too enticing for him to wait and he carefully balanced the boxes while grabbing himself a slice and stuffing it in his watering mouth.
As the diviner made his way back to the lounge, he took an abrupt halt when he came to the hallway in which the cells were built into the building. The small magical jail was void of any residents minus the one they'd just captured. Fred sat on the floor completely still with his eyes closed as if in meditation. Perfectly unbothered with his current situation as a prisoner. Wyatt glared at the man. His green hues turned dark and he wondered if there was anything he could get out of him yet that didn't require magical force. "So, Fred. You ready to talk yet? Or does staying here until you rot sound like the ideal?"
The man only smiled widely at his voice, but his eyes remained closed. "Has she figured it out yet?"
"Figured out what?" Wyatt suddenly felt a pit in his stomach.
Fred sneered, finally opening his eyes to meet Wyatt's. "I'll take that as a no. When she does, she'll know where to find me." His eyes closed once more as if to go back into the tranquil state which made the diviner's jaw grind in frustration.
He turned heading back towards the lounge as his mind went into overdrive. Something larger was at play here and it made his whole body tense not knowing the endgame to Fred's ultimate plan. They needed to finish going through the inventory if there was any hope of figuring out what it was Fred was after while in the Archives.
"What I miss? Find anything?" he asked coming back into the room and seeing Penelope focused on the inventory book in front of her. He slid the boxes across the table and sat down, pulling the oil stained lid of one open to grab another of the slices. Pen seemed even more confused then when she went hurrying from the room before which only increased his curiosity on what was going on in that head of hers. When she turned the book towards him, he glanced at the unfinished list, noting the items that were amiss from the inventory. His finger slid down the pages and for all the things that one could take in this place, some of the ones unaccounted for seemed odd in choice to steal.
Wyatt looked up as she explained her thinking on the commonality of the items that were gone. He took a large bite of the pizza and considered her words. This did seem very personal to Penelope or her family, but it still didn't yield any actual clues for them to go on. His attention shot from the log to Pen as she mentioned her former name. He hadn't heard her use it since the first time they'd met and he'd had to explain who he was to Winston and the Archives once the former Head had passed. Hearing it out loud almost felt as if breaking a pact of secrecy between them to let it out in the open even though it was only the two of them there. It was like speaking of an entire past life of hers which made him go down a road that only seemed logical.
"That's it, though. It has to be someone from your previous life. Before you came here to Evermore." He brushed off his hands to remove the crumbs of the crust and grabbed another beer. "There's no one else that knows about what happened except those of your prior coven, right? And me, obviously," he popped open the cap as he continued thinking out loud, taking a sip as his thoughts formed.
"I spoke with Fred," he admitted more quietly and glanced over to Penelope. "He's acting rather cocky despite his current lack of freedom. Like he's waiting for you to realize what's happening. The bastard taunted me, well, you." Wyatt's eyes lowered to the book again while the puzzle pieces tried to fall into a place where he could see the larger picture. "Fred's human, right? He wouldn't have been in or known about your coven. Maybe he's working for someone who does because that person would be recognized by you if they showed themselves. Someone from the coven or those who had dealings with it." He stood, taking another slice of the pizza and feeling more than a little motivated to make Fred talk now by whatever means necessary. Penelope's past had been matters of life and death, including that of her father, his mentor. If this had to do with her family and by extension his because of what she and her father meant to him, he was not going to be patient much longer. "We need to get him talking. Bring the helm and put it on if it'll make it sooner or I'll give him some painful incentive to tell us what he knows."
Her mind was on a roll and he didn't know what she was even talking about for most of it. Penelope had told him bits of her past. The really important events and parts that truly mattered to understand where she'd come from and what happened to her and of course her father. Wyatt never pushed for more than that. He knew it was something she wanted left in the past and he was happy to oblige knowing exactly what it was like to not want to relive horrible moments of one's life. He had his fair share of those tucked away into the dark recesses of his always occupied brain.
Time traveler thing? Nope, he was definitely lost by then. Wyatt was silent, letting her work through all her theories. He knew quite well it was best to let someone talk everything out sometimes to get it out of their brain and released into the world to better sort it out. Make more sense of it. Of course, that didn't mean he was able to keep up with it all either. So he waited, taking it in anyway and storing it away in case something came to light that could be tied to her thinking later on. All of the appropriate reactions passed over his features to coincide with this as well, but mostly it was just that of confusion.
The part he did understand real well was her point to make him talk. He was definitely on board for that by whatever means were necessary at this point. He took a swig of the beer as she listed off her two theories, the first making him choke on the drink, forcing him to wipe his mouth with the back of his sleeve as bits of the liquid attempted to escape. "A baby?! Seems a little extreme, Pen. Talk about playing the long game. Nah, my money is on number two. Whether it's directly from him or someone else he's working with. I'd bet my Tang jade sword on it," Wyatt chimed in, eyeing the potion as it was brought over and smirking at her question for him. "Hmm, I'd like to have a moment to persuade him beforehand if that's good with you."
He grabbed his beer and followed Penelope through the halls until reaching the cells. "Oh, he'll talk. One way or the other." Fred still remained with his legs crossed and in his meditative position, a smug grin sitting on his face. Once the entry was made open for Wyatt, the prisoner's eyes opened and looked up towards the diviner who wound back to punch him in the face. Fred toppled over out of the seated position and spit the blood that came from his lip. Wyatt shook out his hand and smirked. "Okay, I'm good. Give him the potion."