shallowness: Margaret Hale of North and South adaptation sitting at desk writing (Margaret North and South writing)
[personal profile] shallowness
Family Business. Fandom: Ondine (2009)
Rating: PG. Characters/Pairing: Ondine, Syracuse, Annie (Ondine/Syracuse)
Summary: She found a family she liked and grew to be a part of it.

Disclaimer: I don’t own these characters or profit from this fan-written fiction.
Author's Note: 639 words.


Family Business: shallowness


Once upon a time, a woman came from the sea and lived with and loved a Landsman and his daughter.

*


She is and always will be Ondine to Annie – Syracuse sees she doesn’t mind and slips between her two names. After all, the priest didn’t marry him to ‘Ondine’. His eyes light up whichever name he uses and that’s what matters, that and that his voice is never slurred. But with Annie, it’s always Ondine. She already has her Ma, although she only visits her now. When she comes home from Maura’s, she sometimes looks drawn and pale and sits reading a book.

Ondine’s eyes meet Syracuse’s then. Sometimes, she knows he wants a drink or to punch something. But they have Annie and Maura doesn’t. For Annie, he stays sober. For Annie, she doesn’t call Maura a bitch. Much.

*


They are woken by Annie’s screams. A nightmare. Syracuse is fastest to her bedroom, waking her up, soothing her.

“Where’s Ondine?”

“Here, Annie, here.”

And that’s when Annie calms down. Syracuse carries her to their room and she sleeps between them. They keep silent watch until sleep overtakes them.

The nightmare is that Ondine will be taken away by force by the bad man that Annie saw at his worst.

It helps her guilt that Annie didn’t – doesn’t – want her to leave.

*


They live in the house where all that happened, because it’s big enough, although they’ll always keep the house where she lived a few steps away from the sea.

“It isn’t the same house. You’ve really brightened it up,” the neighbours say to her and Annie.

*


Syracuse is out fishing when Annie comes out of the bathroom and says.

“My menarche has happened.”

“What?” she asks, as she so often asks Annie, who runs far ahead of them all.

“My first period. It’s come.”

She watches Annie carefully. She seems calm, which suggests she believes what she read from books, not what she’s overheard at the school playground. Still.

“I’ll go to the pharmacy for you then. I won’t be long, I promise.”

They talk a little about it over sugary tea.

When Syracuse comes home, she’s cuddling Annie on the sofa as they watch TV. He’s worried until Annie bluntly says, “It’s women’s business, Da.”

*


When the doctor and the nurses say it’s all right, they start the swimming lessons again. Syracuse isn’t allowed to come. They go down to the bay and strip to their underwear. There’s a scar for Annie’s new kidney.

“So, we’re back to sea business,” Annie says.

“Yes,” she agrees and then smiles. She holds Annie’s hand as they wade in.

*


After a long lesson – Annie’s getting good – they’re lying on the raft, talking about Alice in Wonderland, which Annie insisted she read. Annie is talking the most, she’s basking in the sunshine.

“Is that Da?” Annie asks.

She opens her eyes and looks towards the land, as there’s no sound from a boat. It is.

“Did you tell him to come?”

“I thought it was time he got to see that you can swim.”

“You could have said.”

“Is it okay?” she asks. It’s too late now, they can’t make him turn and go back up the path to his car.

Annie thinks about it and nods.

“Come on.” She scrambles off the raft and does a front crawl until the water is too shallow. Ondine follows her slowly behind her, letting them have their time together. The doctor said at the last check-up that the swimming was helping Annie.

When she comes out of the water Syracuse is looking at Ondine. His gaze warms her in ways the sun cannot.

*


“Once upon a time—“

“Was it a good time?” Annie asks.

“Yes,” her father says, looking at his wife. “After a bad time, it was a good time.”

FIN

Feedback is very welcome!

(no subject)

Date: 2013-04-15 09:10 pm (UTC)
mapofyourhead: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mapofyourhead
I serioulsy adore this. Great job!

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