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Ever since coming to Evermore, Anivia found herself going into the city often, being able to feel ever Niveis made it impossible to not want to go towards a certain tug to someone who she hadn’t seen in a long time. Someone who had no idea that he was working with his own Niece. Kaldre Frostbourne her last living sibling someone she envied for his freedom to do what was right for him. She hadn’t even told Caspian, or Rhydian that he was there in town. She found herself standing on top of a building staring down at the pawn shop time to time wanting to talk with him. She wondered if they would ever be back to the way they use to be before that fateful night that caused the tribe to fall apart.
One evening that she knew Lucia wasn’t working, Anivia made the choice to go and just see her brother with her eyes, carrying a special blend of tea she use to make for the siblings back when they were closer. She wondered if he would ask her to leave or welcome her, what kind of tension would be there between the two. Anivia walked along the sidewalk her hands stuffed into the pockets of the coat she was wearing even though the cold was comforting to her, she wanted to look as normal as possible. She moved through the door of the pawn shop after standing outside of it for a long pause. She found herself reciting what she was going to say to him over and over again.
As the ding of the door opening and closing drew her attention up to the bell for a moment she moved deeper into the shop. She paused as she walked up to the counter and looked down to the jewels that sparkled back at her before she saw his reflection in the glass of the display. She pulled her gaze up and stared at him for a long moment in silence before she cleared her throat and let her eyes look around the random items around “Seems like you have done rather well for yourself Kal.”
What was this so weird to her was it just all the time that had passed? Was there deeper issues she was picking up on that neither of them have admitted to the other. “When Luica told me about working here I was worried.” she paused for a moment “Was worried you would not want your niece working with you.” Her eyes moved and rested on her younger brother. “How is your life? Anything exciting you want to share with your older sister?” she looked down to the cups she had in her hand that she had forgotten about “I brought you my special blend you use to like.” she said setting it down on the counter in front of them.
Since the day that Daehyun had walked into the little pawn shop, Kal had been waiting. By now he’d seen his sister’s face in the papers, he knew exactly how all of this was going to play out, part of him was mad that they’d chosen the place he had made his own, the other knew it was the smartest decision she could have made for her people and commended that. It was a never-ending cycle for the Niveis, the part of him that wanted the best thing for his sister and the part that wanted no part in the tribe and it’s leadership. He’d been debating whether he should be preparing to leave the city, but he figured he owed Via at least a conversation before he did.
He’d been trying to work up the courage to go up to the mountaintops and face his sister, tell her he was sorry for the way he left her behind that night but he just hadn’t been able to do it, maybe that made him a coward but it was what it was. And so he had continued his life as though nothing had changed, though he wasn’t stupid enough to close his eyes to the happenings in the city. It was late evening in the city, he was dusting around the shop and preparing for closing time, he tended to stay open pretty late so that vampires and the likes could drop in if they so wished, besides he lived here so it wasn’t like it was going out of his way and if he wanted an evening off then he was free to do so, beauty of being his own boss.
He had just headed back behind the counter when he heard the familiar bell sound and the door opened, he thought nothing of it and mumbled a welcome to the figure before he went back to organizing the display to the side of the desk but then he heard her voice. Everything came rushing back just from that low and calm voice he recognized as Via’s instantly. It had been 4 decades and yet in the blink of an eye, he was back standing on the familiar icy island in his mind. The male was speechless, his mouth agape as he dared to look back at her.
He remained stuck there as she spoke about Lucia, though his eyes widened a little as she mentioned the word Niece “Niece…” he trailed off completely thrown by what she had said “You?” he managed to get out before shaking his head in almost disbelief, how had he not seen it, Lucia looked so much like Via that he felt dumb for not figuring it out for himself “Damn that makes more sense than I was expecting” he stated and blinked a few times. Honestly, he was glad the counter was separating them, the barrier just giving him a little bit of sanity to cling to. He rested his hands against it, all of this suddenly felt very surreal to him.
So this was how she wanted to play things...well it was more civil than he’d been expecting so he couldn’t really turn her down on it “Tea huh?” he asked with a raised brows “After 40 years your first thought is on tea” he gave an amused laugh but shrugged as he walked over to the counter, lifting the part blocking her from getting through and then sweeping his arm towards the doorway behind him. He felt his heart racing a little, almost in shock that this was finally happening. “You’re making quite the big statement in Evermore” he commented noting the fact that her face kept showing up in Evermore daily “Done hiding I see” his tone didn’t really show any judgment either way, more commentary than anything.
Reaching the kitchen he rested his arm against the tabletop as he turned around to face her for a moment, cutting the politeness out “I’m glad you’re well” he started with, at the end of the day, she was his sister and a part of him would always worry for her wellbeing.
Anivia took in her brothers agaped mouth as he looked to her, surprised as if he never thought she would be the one to take the first step in meeting him. To be honestly she wasn’t one to make the first move but maybe she need to be different. Maybe if she was different her brother would have stayed around. A selfish part of her wanted him around once again. She wanted to let him know that she wasn’t going to interfere with his life the best she could. Though her photo showing up everywhere was making that rather hard on her. She had never expected to be the talk of the town, yet it seemed in Evermore when something new came to town it was to be known.
So here she was trying to make a peace offering the best way she could. As his eyes widen she realized that she had spoken of Lucia. She didn’t mean to throw him off about that but she nodded slight “Yeah I manage to procreate with someone image that.” she let out a weak chuckle and then sighed softly. “She is far better than I ever will be.” She smiled slightly “Guess that means you see apart of her mother in her then, because all I see is Caspian her father in her.” She said honestly, being here was surreal four decades was a long time since they had last seen each other.
Anivia looked down to the cups of tea she had made and gave him a slight shrug almost so faint that most wouldn’t have noticed it. “Well I figured it was better then showing up with nothing.” she gave a slight chuckle before picking up the cups and moving behind the counter to follow him through a doorway before giving him the cup as she looked around taking in what she could and gave a heavy sigh “I never wanted to make a show of us showing up. I was hoping to stay quiet and observe the town and make sure the tribe could find a home here but that woman at the Evermore Daily is persistent, not in the good way either.”
“With that being said.” she moved sitting down as she lifted the cup to her lips taking a sip for the warm tea as the honey soothed her nerves slightly. “The tribe is settling in well, working together to build cabins and moving out of those tents we all have been so use to.” She said as she crossed her legs. “Have a rather eclectic group now, people from all around the world.” she said as she looked back to him taking in his spiky hair he had now. “A few are even choosing to live in town so I am sure you will notice them.”
She took another long sip from the tea and then sat it down as she gave a shrug “The tribes needs have always come before my own. They deserve a safe place to live, that isn’t an isle in the middle of nowhere. There were so many more of us then you could have known.” she said looking to his hands. “So many of us dying out of not knowing who they were.” She made a face before she shook her head. She had never even told Kal about how she could feel ever Niveis around the world. “Being locked away on the isle was not good for any of us.” she said honestly “Fùqīn (Father) was wrong about that.”
“Xiǎo dìdì (little brother),” her hand came to rest over his for a long moment “I reached out because I…” she took a deep breath looking into his eyes for a long moment “I know that we didn’t see eye to eye on everything but I want to try and be a family. I didn’t come to Evermore to run you out of town. You were here first and if you wanted me to I would leave with those who would follow me.” She said honestly “But you have a Niece who could use her uncle. A sister who could use her Xiǎo dìdì back in her life.” she said softly to him.
When Kal had pictured what his reunion with his sister would be like, this was far from what he imagined, staring back at her from the other side of the little store that he now called home. But as he looked back at her, he didn’t feel any of that resentment that had always carried since everything that happened with their father, really he just felt happy to see her. He had missed her more than he could or even would put into words. Kal, however, knew it wasn’t as simple as just falling back into place, he wouldn’t fall into that trap again.
Throughout the whole time, Kal just kinda had a dumbfounded look on his face, as though he couldn’t believe that what he was experiencing was real, especially when the raven-haired female mentioned Lucia and pieces started to fall into place in his mind, he chuckled with a shake of his head realizing how his reaction looked, though really he was just clicking together the facts in his mind “She’s got your stubborn streak that’s for sure” he commented thinking about the relentless way the young girl had gotten herself a job, always going that one step further than those around her.
“I mean if we wanna be technical, it should be me that shows up with a peace offering, I was the one who walked out on you after all” he held her gaze for a moment, he still wasn’t proud of the way he had done it but he knew he had made the right choice for his own sanity, he wasn’t any use to anyone back then, even now, 40 years later, he still wasn’t certain he’d fully recovered from all that happened. He cleared his throat as she spoke of her intentions about her presence in the city “Evermore isn’t really the quiet type style, they’re pretty arrogant here” he shrugged, not the worst thing he supposed, it was a sanctuary after all.
Kal took one of the mugs she offered, sipping at the warm liquid, as he did so a nostalgic smile graced his lips, it was like he was taken back to nights on Unyak, the two of them sharing the tea as they just talked, things felt so simple then, before the uprising, when Quilo was still with them. “Daehyun stopped by the shop” he commented revealing that he did indeed know where they were living “The mountain tops were a smart call” he commented with a half shrug, he’d learn to deal with the heat, though he had to admit the winter time was welcome right now. The way Kal was speaking was in terms of commentary but not involvement, he wanted no part in the decisions she made “Would have moved up there myself but one lone guy on the mountain screams weird” he chuckled softly “Besides, business is much better here in the city”.
“I’m not gonna lie to you and say I’m not pissed that things have worked out like this” he admitted as he took another sip of the tea and set it down, Kal had never been the angry type, he was very good at civil conversation and keeping his emotions in check “After everything that happened I stopped wanting any part in what I was” he shrugged softly, still didn’t “Didn’t need that reminder you know” he breathed a long breath “And with the rest of you here I fear that I won’t be able to live in this bubble any longer”.
But when her fingertips hovered over his, he turned his palm upwards, gripping gently around her thumb “Father was wrong about most things” he agreed on that much, their father’s entire ideology was something that Kal had never wanted any part in. The dark haired male sucked in a breath as she asked him for a chance to start over. He wanted that, of course he wanted that but he knew it wasn’t that simple, his lips parted a little “That’s a lot to ask” he commented, though his grip remained steady against her hand “I know it’s not your fault Via but being around the tribe” he swallowed a little “Seeing you” he added “It brings all of that pain I’ve tried so hard to get past to the surface” he wanted to stay, he just didn’t know how to handle that conflict inside of him.
It had been a long time and yet this was a moment she had always wondered would happen. The two were vastly different from the other. Anivia was far more serious especially as time went on, where as Kal in her always was the carefree spirit out of the Frostbourne siblings. It was strange how just being around him again brought a wave of peace and anxiety. She missed him deeply, especially since he missed out on being the fun uncle while Lucia was young. Yet being a Frostbourne you couldn’t help but not trust something that looks to easy or too good to be true.
She watched him react, in shock, to the fact he was an uncle. To the very girl he had hired to work in his shop. She probably should have broken the news about that a little softer but Anivia hadn’t been one to beat around the bush when it came to things like this. She couldn’t help the chuckle that left her lips and gave a slight shrug “I like to think she got the stubborn from her father, but we both know you are right.” She gave a light shake of her head remembering just how much Lucia reminded Anivia of herself. “Frostbourne blood seems to be strong.”
She was quiet for a long moment, still thinking about how Kal left stung since it was a confusing time for them both in different ways. “Neither of us were or are perfect she said softly. I get why you left. If I was you I would have done the same.” she said softly, because she truly understood why he left. The lost of love drove people to different end. “I can tell it’s not quiet. Though I guess before when it was just you in the city it may have been easier to hide what you are. Since no one even really knew of our kind. The looks I receive,” she gave a slight shrug “Well not everyone is accepting of something they don’t understand.”
She liked that he smiled at the taste of the tea she use to make for him while they had deep conversations. Unyak wasn’t all bad, but the time for the past to be just that, the past, she wanted to leave the bad behind and focus on what could be the good. Her eyebrow raised at the comment of Daehyun. It didn’t surprise her though, he was loyal but did what he wish even telling Anivia she doubted her second in command. “Yeah I thought so as well.” she said quietly, “I can see how it would be off putting for you to explain why you live in the mountain alone.” She was sure people figured it was weird there is a whole tribe of people up there now.
She gave his shop a quick look around the shop, “yeah a few of our tribe have found some work, though they were the ones that were born outside of the tribe life.” she said as she caught the little trinkets her daughter made. “And my daughter though her father is an outsider of the tribe so she is really curious of what is out there.” she chuckled softly at the thought of her daughter and how she march to her own tune.
Her eyes rested on him fully when he expressed that he was in fact pissed that they had shown up, the way they had. She looked to the cup for a long moment, Kal had always been better then she at a young age at keeping his emotions in check, with time she developed that skill yet she knew she couldn’t hid the sting that affected her face. She nodded thinking about how inconsiderate she was being, she was mostly a bad memory for him. “I would hate for you to leave because of our arrival.” she sighed as she ran a finger against the mug. “I had thought about coming myself alone, but…” she let out a heavy sigh “Hard to stop a whole tribe from following.” she said honestly.
As his hand took hold of her thumb she looked to his hand for a long moment. She nodded softly at him as he muttered that starting over was a lot to ask “I know.” she said softly as their hands held there. She took in a soft breath as she looked deep in his dark hue that almost match hers. “I just…” she let out a soft breath as she placed her other hand over his. “I know it's a lot. It's a lot for myself to take in… just don't leave. If not for us. But for Lucia? She has always wanted to get to know her uncle.” She gave a small smile almost so small it was easily missed. “If it proves to be to much in time, we will move on, the tribe has grown use to the nomadic life.” She said squeezing his hands trying to keep tears out of her eyes.
Now that he was actually thinking about it all, everything made so much sense. Lucia was so much like her mother that he was almost kicking himself for not seeing it earlier. Strange how she had ended up in his shop of all places too, despite the fact she had no idea who he was or if she did then she was stellar keeping things under wraps. “We're nothing if not relentless” he commented with a chuckle, he was the last like their father that way though, after all, he was the first one to run and give up, something Via would probably never do “She's a good kid, you should be proud” he meant that, he'd never met someone quite so driven at her age.
He nodded, no one on that isle was perfect and how could they be when you considered the life they were forced to lead and the people they were related to. Especially Kal and Anivia who lived under the same roof as the chief for the majority of their lives “I still don't feel great about doing so, especially without saying goodbye” he nodded a little, that part was selfish of him, he knew that but it was the only way he managed to actually go through with it “People hate and fear what they don't understand” he pursed his lips a little, as much as he wanted to just forget what he was, he couldn't “So you have to make them understand sister” he nodded gently, she was the only one that would be able to secure their people a standing in the city, that was a lot of pressure he was sure.
He could almost flashback entirely to the hut they lived in on Unyak, how they would talk into the late hours about anything and everything, though mostly about Quilo and what he would be doing or thinking if he was there. The two of them tried to keep their brother's memory alive in every way they could. Seeing her, made him ever his brother's face and smile and reminded him of just how much he missed him. “Well they'd probably just assume I'm mad and avoid me but I really can't see myself in a straight jacket” he teased with a half smile, no living in the city had worked out for him quite nicely and he liked living here now. Though he was a little jealous of the climate they would get on the mountain.
He nodded a little as she spoke about work, it seemed like they were really intending to make a real home here and he couldn't blame them for that. “Well if you want to fit in here then starting with blending into the community will help” there were very few people here who knew what he was and those who did kept their mouths shut “Sounds like your daughter is braver than you Via” he teased with an amused smile in her direction, he didn't mean it offensively, of course, he was just a bit of a joker.
He felt bad for being mad at her but he also couldn't stop the way he felt about everything, he knew it wasn't even her fault, if she hadn't been the one to take over leadership of the tribe then someone else would. Maybe that would have been easier for him because then he could hate whomever it was and be done with it. “They deserve the chance at life, I got 40 years” he admitted with a weak attempt at not being completely selfish. It wasn't like he deserved freedom any more than any of the others, he had just reached out for it faster and pushed harder. He bit his lip, but could he coexist with them either? He didn't have the answer to that.
The small amount of contact between their hands spoke a lot, as hard as this was for him he imagined it was probably harder for her, not only had she lost one brother, she'd been left by another and she'd had to take on the responsibility of the whole tribe. He felt for her, he really did. His heart hurt a little as she all but begged him to stay, to be in her life even for the smallest part again “I'll think about it okay and if I do decide to leave then you have my word that I'll come to you first this time” he owed her at least that, though he did want to get to know Lucia now he knew who she was. Seeing that Via was almost crying as she squeezed his hand he sighed softly and let her go “Don't cry over me” he asked her though there were tears in his eyes too. He got out of his chair and crossed the distance so that he could wrap his arms around her and hold her tight “You are always the stronger of the two of us” he murmured into her shoulder he just held there for a few moments, closing his eyes and enjoying it for what it was.
“I chose to believe we are resilient not relentless. We are not cruel for no reason, at least not use.” she gestured between the pair of them. “But rather able to bend when needed or stand our ground when needed.” She said as she gave a gentle smile at the thought of Kal taking pride in his niece. “She honestly takes after her father more in my opinion.” she gave a slight shrug of her shoulder for a moment. Lucia always had a way about her, being a rather good balance of Caspian and herself. Her dark gaze rested heavily on him as he spoke of his leaving. She gave a gentle smile as she let out a breath that had snowflakes twisted with it. “I don’t wish to hold it against you Kal, in the end I would have done the same if I had not been named as the new chief.”
Her eyes went back to the tea to rest heavily on the lid, “I am trying to make them understand brother.” she gave a gentle swallow as she raised the tea to her lips drinking from it for a long moment. “Our Firebird counterparts did not make it easy for them to trust. I find that people who know what we are, cross the street when I walk down it.” she sighed lightly. It was summer after all so hiding her markings were hard in the warmer weather. “I am just hoping I can make them see we are not as mad as those before us.” Anivia eyes held on Kal for long moments, Quilo and Kal always looked like twins to her so seeing him made her heart ache she could feel he was carrying a longing in him as well. She wanted to do something to remember him but she wasn’t sure what yet so she let her mind linger for a moment.
As she was lost in her thoughts on how to honor Quilo, she was caught off guard by his joke which caused her to laugh, covering her mouth with her hand. “Oh come now if anyone in this town could pull off the straight jacket look, Its you Kal. You always knew how to make anything look good.” she shook her head softly as she lowered her hand from her mouth. “With that being said though, you may live in the city but the mountains are always just a visit away if you ever want to stop by for a visit.” She gave him a gentle smile as she was honest when it came to her invite she would enjoy seeing him among the tribe again. She knew many had missed him like she had.
“Lucia is brave, like her father.” She nodded at the statement with a chuckle knowing he meant it as a joke, though it didn’t make the statement any less true in many ways. Though Anivia knew she wasn’t unbrave after all she still manage to get the tribe off the island and travel the world with them all until they had arrived in Evermore to settle down once more, but not be unknown to the world. “She is the best thing I could ever ask for in my life.” She spoke softly “She makes me want to be better in every way.”
She gave him a soft smile to him and shook her head lightly. “Just because I was Chief didn’t mean I had no life Kal.” She said as she waved her hand in the air for a moment. “I was able to meet people like us from all over the world and manage to find love for a brief moment, I had a beautiful daughter, uprooted the tribe and traveled the world until finally settling done here in Evermore.” she chuckled slightly as she looked past him for a moment. “Was it hard? Yes. The Tribe had their issues with me having a casual lover like our father.” Anivia spoke his name anymore at that point. “They disagreed when I wanted my number two to be someone outside of the tribe.” She said as she gave a few examples. “But look at them.” She said as she leaned back in the seat for a moment. “They all have become open in ways they were never allowed to be before.” With a knowing smile she looked deep into his gaze. “I found happiness when I could but I also found a purpose Kal. I guess that is what has kept me going and still keeps me going.”
“The only thing that has been missing is the only piece of my family I have left.” She lost a brother, a mother, and lastly took her father's life. She never expected to lose Kal but she understood why he needed to leave. She was honest when she said, she would have done the same if the roles had been reversed. She didn’t want to let him go again, that was her selfish desire, to have her family back together. She gave a faint smile in the face of victory that he was going to stay at least for now. “I can handle that.” she said as she didn’t force him to hold her hand as he pulled back, she opened her mouth to explain she couldn’t help it but then he was there wrapping his arm around her in a hug. She felt as if she was a block of ice for a moment as she blinked making sure it wasn’t a vision then her own arms came around him. She held him tightly as she took a deep breath, closing her eyes to keep the tears that wished to fall locked there. “Crying because I love my brother doesn’t make me weak.” she said softly as they embraced for a long moment.
Anivia couldn’t recall the last time the pair had hugged, had they ever shared such a long hug before? All she knew was that she didn’t want to let go now that she finally had him back in her life. She finally pulled away and whipped her eyes to make sure not to let her tears had fallen. “I was thinking maybe we could work on something to remember Quilo together. After all I think it would be nice if we had something together.” She said as she returned to her seat after a moment. “I told Lucia stories about you and Quilo, she kinda looks up to you both.” she gave a slight smirk as she finished the last of her tea.
He laughed softly and shrugged, he didn’t think the word relentless screamed negativity, just an accurate reflection on people who worked hard for what they wanted without giving up. “You were always better at adapting than I was” he responded candidly, he wouldn’t say he was good with change, if he was then he’d have found a way to stay with the tribe rather than taking off. The younger Frostbourne leaned back in his seat, expression showing his curiosity as she spoke about Lucia “Well I wouldn’t know, never met the guy” he chuckled “Daehyun doesn’t seem to like some of your new members though” he noted with an amused look, though Dae didn’t like many people so it wasn’t majorly surprising to him.
Kal pursed his lips when she said she would do the same thing “Yeah well you were always the destined leader, the whispers were there before father was taken off the board” she had always been considered the ‘true leader’ by those who believed in placement of tattoos as a sign of a chosen chief. Not something he personally put much faith in though. He did understand the predicament she was in though, Phoenixes didn’t have a good rep in this city, in fact, they had quite literally been chased out of it so a species who looked like them weren’t going to have the warmest of welcomes “I suppose that will only come with time” he commented as he looked up towards her and seeing the twinge of sadness in her eyes he pressed his lips together, seeing her did remind him of a lot of the pain he’d tried to bury over the last 4 decades.
It seemed easy to joke with her though, which was surprising considering how long they had been apart but when she laughed, he echoed her elation with a smile of his own, he missed that smile a lot, it was rare but it was definitely beautiful. “Well true, I am known for my rather outlandish fashion sense” he responded with an amused chuckle “Might be a bit of a hindrance on actual practicality though” he shrugged his shoulders and crossed his hands over his shoulders like a straight jacket would do and wrinkled his nose as the restricted movement. Her offer to visit the mountains was kind but he knew he was unlikely to take it up because it might send a message he didn’t want to give “Are you are always welcome in my” he pulled a thoughtful face “humble abode” he chuckled softly.
The way that Anivia spoke about Lucia, it was so different from the person he knew 40 years ago, he never would have dreamed that having a family was one of her goals or that it would develop her and move her forward as a person. He’d never even considered it himself, figured he’d remain a lonely hermit and avoid commitment for at least another century. But there were good people in this city, he had learned that over time but especially in the last year so maybe there was hope for happiness for him yet “She’s certainly brought a little brightness to mine too” he admitted with a chuckle, he’d never really clicked with any of the applicants for the shop until he met her.
Kal shrugged a little “Everything connection to that island is just representative of everything I lost for me” he spoke pretty bluntly, he knew she didn’t feel the same and that was why he had been the one to run and she had been the one to say “Maybe I only see it as the prison father made it to be” he wouldn’t go back there, he hadn’t even been tempted fully once since he left because every time he thought about it he remembered the pain he went through. He was glad she was able to make peace with the life she had been dealt and that she had managed to find some level of happiness where he couldn’t. But he did feel some pity for her, because no matter how much she said otherwise or made peace with it, her life would always be chained by her responsibilities “And I know, I just, wouldn’t have been able to give things up like that” which made him selfish, he knew but a lot of people were selfish.
He smiled gently over at her and nodded a little, he understood her want to be around her family and they had both had a lot of time to heal their wounds. His loss had taken him to a pretty dark place and he had suffered from depression on and off for a long time, not something you told someone just after you reunited though, not really something he told anyone unless they were at his support group meetings. He nodded when they agreed to meet in the middle, it wasn’t like he wanted to take off but he needed time to adjust to everything, to get his mind around what his reality was no. When he hugged her, he just stood there for a moment, holding her tight and taking in the moment, after a moment he felt her tensed state fade away and he squeezed his eyes shut as he leaned against her shoulder “No but I always hated seeing you cry, Nia” he murmured softly using the name he used for her when he was too young to say her name properly.
Kal was never really a tactile person when he was younger and nor was Nivia so the shared hug felt a little strange to him but also nice. When she pulled back he smiled gently at her but at the mention of their brother, it faltered for a moment. It was really hard for him to hear his brother’s name and think about him “I wouldn’t even know where to start” he answered honestly as he looked up at her “Feels like a lifetime ago and yet like yesterday too” he blinked a few times wondering if that made any rational sense to her “Does she know who I am?” he asked her curiously, if she did, she was very good at hiding it.
Anivia gave a look around his shop for a silent moment as she shook her head “Little brother, you have adapted just fine without me.” She gave him a soft smile as she looked him over, noticing how his style was much different then the clean cut ways their father would force upon them. It dawned on Anvia that Kaldre have never known Caspian. That this whole part of her life he knew nothing about. It made her sad, “Caspian is a little dramatic but he cares for Lucia and that is what matters most.” She gave a gentle roll of her eyes and a chuckle. “Dae is very vocal on who he dislikes, It's nice to see a side of him that is fearful all the time.” She remember well how the other Niveis feared Coldren. “It's a lot of change.”
“Destined.” she had heard the word often through her life, “Or cursed? I guess its all about how you look at it at the end of the day.” she looked to him with her dark gaze. “Who knows, I just hope I am doing a better job at bringing peace and not fear.” That had always been her message even if she showed that she had a dark side ripping out her own father's heart. Anivia cleared her throat and nodded as she took another sip of tea in an effort to calm herself. “Time, though I am hopeful we can show we are not like our firebird counterparts of old.” he had heard the horrible stories all her life, and as she roamed the world with the tribe.
She enjoyed the fact that their wasn’t that tension she was worried about. Being around him brought back the best parts of her youth. Though it made her chest ache missing their brother. She did enjoy seeing him smile replacing the last memory she had of him, the tears that he had and the anger. “It's very fitting to only you.” she smiled as she mused softly. “I like it, makes me want to add some color to my hair.” not that she ever would, it was a fun idea. “I do plan on stopping by more often if that is okay with you Kal.” She knew he said she was welcome but she also didn’t want to step on his toes. “If you don’t want me here all you have to do is feel it and I will excuse myself.” it was the advantage of the Niveis link.
Anivia smiled brightly as he said that Lucia had brought some brightness to his life also. “You don’t know how that makes me feel.” She had worried that Lucia would never know her uncle but somehow her daughter manage to find him on her own. Anivia couldn’t help the wince that came to her as he spoke blunty about their home. It was true they had different viewpoints they had been through a lot in different ways. One thing they both knew was lost that fateful day. She watched him talk about how he couldn’t give up what she did. “We are build different Kal. You shouldn’t have to give this up, what you have, and what you want. I would never ask you to give that up.” She said looking at him with a heavy gaze “One thine I am not is our father, I would never demand you be anyone other than who you are. I love you for you.” she placed her hand over her heart. “Doesn’t make you selfish to lead your own path to your own beat.”
She closed her eyes tightly as she hugged him tightly, she wondered how long he was or is holding on to that darkness. She wish she could ask more but she was sure this was best for now. Learning to be in each others life was going to be so much more different now. She almost laughed in his ear at the old name and squeezed him tighter until they broke the long embrace. Seeing him smiles so gentle at her made her only see one person, his mother. Though not wanting to ruin the moment completely. “She knows you both. I figured she should know her uncle just in case anything ever happened to me someone would have to be able to get the news to you.” She shook her head. “I never thought she would find you now on her own, but I think she may have overheard me talking before settling her. Or she doesn’t realize.” She chuckled softly. “I can’t read the girl sometimes. She likes her secrets and I try not to pry unless I feel she is in danger.”
After he left Unyak he did everything to change his life, to make himself a new person, it was what he felt like he needed to do to move forward from everything he was put through, it was experimental mostly, falling in love with different cultures he discovered, being able to wear whatever he wanted and not be constantly told how a person should be. Maybe he went a little wild with the freedom “I did what I had to do” he responded candidly, he didn’t want to leave behind the person he used to be but it seemed like the only thing he could do to really feel like he was moving on. By the way she talked about Caspian caring for Lucia and not for herself he got the clear message that the two of them were certainly not together anymore “Dae is usually right too” he responded with a chuckle, he was opinionated but usually pretty quiet about it, at least that’s what he remembered of the elder Niveis.
“Good change I hope?” he was impressed that had actually made it off that damn island if he was honest, for a while it really did feel like they were completely frozen in time, as ironic as it sounded so it was pretty surprising to him when he found out that Anivia and the rest of the tribe was in Evermore but now that he thought more about it, he was proud they had made it this far and he was optimistic that things could be different, that here, any of them could find the life they wanted. “Probably a little of both” he responded and shrugged “I couldn’t have done it” he was adamant about that, even if he was the destined one, he couldn’t have pulled the tribe together as she did. “It doesn’t help that our kind were theirs originally, or at least some of us were” he bit his lip “I’ve been keeping a low profile, most people assume I’m an Initia” which worked well enough for him to live the life he wanted in peace.
Kal wasn’t sure what he was expecting this particular reunion to be like, he knew it would happen eventually, he trusted fully in the fact that one day he and Anivia’s paths would cross again, perhaps he even looked forward to it. Because he’d had 40 years to reflect on that day and how he left things, he’d had that time to process what happened and make some peace with it and now he was in a lot better place than he ever was before “Oh I could definitely see you rocking the electric blue” he teased with a laugh, he had tried a few different colors in his hair but the jet black color seemed to suit him best “Sure, I’m usually here and if I’m not then I’m never usually far, work and home in the same place and all” he laughed softly, he wasn’t complaining. As if on cue, his white fluffy cat Ivy entered the room and came over to hop up onto his lap “And Ivy is always here to hold the fort” he smiled brightly, she was a real sense of good in the younger Niveis’ life.
Meeting who he now knew was his niece had been good too, he liked having someone around in the shop, especially to talk to the customers because he often had a lot of them and Lucia had really taken to the haggling and dealing with difficult customers thing. He had to help on valuations sometimes but that was to be expected at first. “I know you wouldn’t, which is what makes you so much better than him” he nodded, he wanted her to know he thought that, that he didn’t think she was some kind of monster for taking over the tribe, it was his own morals that made him walk away but he would never judge anyone that stayed “It makes me a little selfish” he added to her words and smile “But I’ve learned to live with my decision to put my own wellbeing first” he nodded “And now I feel I’m in a place where can start figuring everything else out” his mental health still wasn’t perfect and never would be but he felt like he was handling it better now.
Just having her hold him close for a few seconds meant everything though, he felt like he’d been doing everything alone for a long time but the moment Anivia walked back into his life he was suddenly reminded that he’d never really been alone. Her laugh at his nickname made him smile brightly before he pulled away from the hug slowly and Ivy made her way across the table to investigate this new person who was getting close with her owner. “Don’t mind her, she acts like a diva but if you scratch behind her ears she’ll love you forever” he chuckled softly and nodded a little when she spoke about knowing both of them, of course she was talking about Quilo, he bit his tongue and grimaced slightly at the thought “But I guess she wouldn’t know what I looked like” he was curious to know if it was a coincidence or Lucia had purposely tracked him down but he supposed he would need to ask her himself “She sounds like another young Niveis I once knew” he gave her a knowing look and smirked slightly.
Anivia understood that he had to do what he had to do when it came to his leaving. She had only wished back then she could have done the same. Yet she had her place and role to serve. “Dae has grown to speak his mind much more than he once did.” She said honestly as she gave a shrug. “Everyone has a voice under my leadership.” She gave a soft smile with slight pride in herself. “I like to think of everything as good change. Years ago I couldn’t imagine any of the elders to leave the safety of the Isle.” She said honestly, “I think outsiders coming in helped ease them into leaving all they had come to known behind.” She knew it was a struggle but she also knew it was what they all needed. “Probably a little of both.” she agreed with a slight chuckle. “You have done well at keeping yourself hidden.” She commented on the fact no one knew he was a Niveis. “Smart idea to let them assume you are an initia especially since our lines are close. I am hoping to sooth over the pain the phoenix left.” She just hoped she did so diplomatically.
Anivia was thankful their reunion was one of happiness more than upset, she was worried that her brother would hate her for being in the town. “Oh yea? I wonder how I would look with Electric blue hair.” she tried to picture it on herself. It wasn’t something she could picture clearly but then again she was so used to her dark black hair. “Convenience of living where you work.” She looked towards the fully white ball that entered the room as he talked and she smiled slightly wider at her. “Well isn’t she beautiful.” She said as she reached over to pet the top of Ivy head. “When did you get her?” She asked looking up to him. When Kal stated that she was better than their father she felt tears sting her eyes. It meant more to her when he said it then when anyone else said it. “You have no idea what it means for you to say that.” She said softly as she reached up whipping away the stray tear. “I’m so proud of you finding your way all alone Kal. I don’t think I could ever be more proud of you. You did what you needed to do, and it may have taken a long time for us to come back in one another's lives but I think we have both grown into the people we were meant to be.”
Anivia scratched behind Ivy ear as she came across the table to her. Enjoying the little fluff ball making her long for an animal herself. She wondered if Lucia would want a house cat also, or maybe a bird. “She only knew the paintings done of all of us with him.” She said softly as she shrugged. “Think she manage to get more information out of Caspain as I had sent him once or twice to check on you over the years.” she admitted to him with a slight sorry look crossing her face. As she chuckled slightly, “I like to think she takes after her father a lot more than me but sometimes I can see it.” She shakes her head. “I like to think she will be better than me though. She is wild at heart and will leave her mark on the world.” She was quiet for a moment before she looked back to him. “When the time comes for me to sign the treaty and the the city accepts us as Niveis do you think you will tell others about you?”
Kal lifted a brow as he glanced over at her and nodded slightly “That’s good, you know how much father appreciated people having their own opinions” his voice was dry clearly implying their father had zero tolerance for any opinion that wasn’t his own. Kal’s opinion was that living collectively wasn’t a particularly desirable way of living and that everyone should be able to decide whether they were or weren’t part of the tribe. That tended to be a more controversial suggestion and he understood the will to have strength in numbers but he also felt the desire to be free. “It’s not as hard as you think, this city, everyone is just constantly busy, if you don’t stand out, no one really notices you” though arguably from the way he dressed at times, he did stand out but no one seemed to care enough to bother him. “I wouldn’t know the first thing about political standings though, hell I avoid reading Evermore Daily most days” honestly, if was given the chance to give up being a Niveis and become a human, he would probably take it.
“Like you were ready to take over the world of course” he responded with an amused chuckle when she asked how she might look with bright blue hair “Though you don’t need the hair to do that” he winked and shrugged his shoulders, she’d always had this drive to do better and be better and he saw that in her almost immediately now, even though they had been apart sometime now. “The other convenience being that food is literally always accessible” he sounded like he was joking but he was actually pretty serious. Seeing the way Ivy instantly took to Anivia made him smile, she had always been a pretty good judge of character “Must have been about a year ago now, my therapist suggested some company might be good” he nodded slightly knowing she might be surprised that he saw a therapist, or that he was open to talking about it. At first, it had been a thing he wanted to hide but it had really helped him so he tried to be open about it. Seeing Nivia cry made him want to reach out and comfort her but instead he moved into her eyeline and smiled “You should know that I think you’re doing great, truthfully” he nodded slightly “Just because tribe life isn’t something I want for myself, it doesn’t mean I don’t see everything you’ve done” he nodded, she was right, they were both where they needed to be.
“Oh those paintings were awful, they could never get my nose right” he complained with a chuckle and shook his head slightly, then again, he never wanted to sit still for them so they always rushed through his past because he was always horribly restless. “Oh so you were spying on me huh?” he raised his brow in her direction and chuckled, he was definitely intrigued by this Caspian guy, especially because she didn’t seem to be able to stop talking about him “So where did he come from exactly?” he raised his brows questioning, he had to admit, he was interested to know more about the man who had won his sister over. “God forbid she be anything like the leader of her tribe right? The horror” he gave a mock roll of his eyes because Nivi needed to give herself more credit as a role model, he’d always looked up to her so. Her next question did make him go quiet though “I’m not ashamed of what I am” he clarified “But I also don’t have particular interest in shouting about it to the world either so” he licked his lips “It depends if they cared enough to ask” that was where he stood on it all though he wasn’t sure it was what she wanted to hear. “Well I really hope you find what you’re looking for here” he nodded slightly “I have” he had discovered a lot about the world in the last few years.
Anivia nodded as she let out a soft chuckle, “I would say I value the opinions and lifestyles other Niveis have brought to the tribe. In order to give those who are from outside the tribe more of a voice I made my second in command an outsider for that reason.” She said as she ran her finger along the cup gently. “So that their voices could be heard and understood from a perspective that was not mine or the tribes.” She let her eyes flicked to him and back down. “I even have given others now that they understand the outside world more the chance to leave and leave their life if they wish. Who knows maybe the tribe will all leave at some point.” She gave a sad sigh at the thought but then focused on what him again. “I guess I see where you are coming from as long as I keep the glowing in control no one notices me from another citizen on the street, though truth be told they would rather be stuck in their phones then looking at someone like myself.” She gave a slight chuckle remembering someone had ran into the first time she stood on the streets looking up to the buildings. “Well the Evermore Daily is interesting, seeing as there are two sides to it. Those like us can read and then those who couldn’t because they don’t know. It is rather interesting.” She did note as it did draw her in some. “You avoid it?” she asked.
Anivia shook her head and chuckled. “Take over the world look you say? I can barely keep the tribe together the world would be in disarray.” She joked back as she thought for a moment about it. “Maybe one of these days I will do it, to have a little fun.” Though it wasn’t a word that she used often, it wasn’t something she really allowed herself to have. “Ah yes our trips down to get food instead of trying to figure out how to grow things has been rather wonderful. Though Dae complains about the poor fish selection which I agree is poor but I had to stop them from fishing the lake dry.” She gave a soft sigh at the thought. “What is a therapist?” she asked as she looked to him and then back to the cat with a smile. “She is a really beautiful animal. There are foxes on the mountain that let me play with their Kit’s sometimes.” Her teary eyes meeting his as he spoke of how she was doing great did bring a smile to her lips. “Thank you Kal, it truly means a lot for you to say that. I think you have done great for yourself also, I mean look what you have put together without help from anyone, a business, a home. You have found your way.” She smiled at him with a gentle smile. “I am proud of you Little brother.”
Anivia chuckled at his complaint about the paintings of old. Ones she had hanging in her home right at that moment. “Your nose looks fine, at least they didn’t give you a lazy eye.” she chuckled as she was picturing them in her head even though she looked at them many times. “I wouldn’t call it spying. Just making sure you were living your life.” She tried to make it sound less invading before she cleared her throat. “He came back with the first groups of scouts I sent out to find other Niveis, he wanted to learn. It's in his nature to do so.” She said as she leaned back in the chair she was sitting in. “He taught me things and I taught him things. Before I knew it we were lovers.” She thought about the moment before clearing her throat and sipping the drink. “The Elders saw it as me falling in his footsteps so I ended things as quickly as they began. Got Lucia out of it, which just made me want more for her.” She chewed on her inner cheek for a moment. “He has been around helping since, he comes and goes as he pleases but helps if I ask him to do something for me.”
Most would not understand the relationship she had with her ex lover, hell sometimes she didn’t but she knew that he had her back. Anivia chuckled and gave a slight shrug. “I think part of me fears if she takes after me she may take after him.” she admitted quietly as she looked to the cup. “I always fear that I will become like him, though I have things set in place to prevent that, doesn’t stop the fear.” She admitted freely, she always feared of becoming like her father. Double checking her actions in more ways than one. “I hope you find that person who cares enough to ask and cares enough to stand beside you.” She said to him as she smiled softly with a gentle nodded. “I feel like this is where I am now, and I hope that we can have more visits in my time here. I would like to not fall so out of touch again.” She said as she reached out placing her hand on his once more.