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Rosalind can’t help the sigh that escapes her when Joshua reminds her how little it takes to bring people to fear those with powers, and while she wishes more than anything it wasn’t the case, Rosalind knows that nothing can be done to change how quickly people fear. The only thing that can be done to change it is to show people that there isn’t anything to fear anymore.
The unintentional comment that comes to Rosalind fills her with an unwanted sadness over the lack of freedom they have. The fact that a kill switch can literally be planted in Joshua’s head at any moment, or that her wings could be cut off is beyond humane or right. [i [#f08080 “You have nothing to be sorry for, it’s not your fault that this world ruled by humans is corrupt and unjust to those who are born with magic in their blood. Freedom of choice is something we all deserve. Come with me to the willow tree tomorrow night, I want to show you the world we are fighting for, the one that’s bright and filled with the sun and moon for all and not just a select few.”]] She urges, feeling the strong desire to bring him along, to have him see her at her best without fear of being overheard of misunderstood.
Joshua watched her leave, and go to the librarian he already knew was there. He said he’s fine another book, so he wandered back to the section he needed and scanned over the titles. Something with pictures for the project. He heard her voice in his head and had to suppress a smile.
[i ‘I won’t, I won’t. No peeking from me. But yes, there are people that can control a person fully. Like I said, it’s incredibly rare. But it’s the scary story people tell about psychics to make sure we’re kept under control. That if we aren’t we could control others and misuse our powers. Most of us wouldn’t really. Still, a few have and that’s all it takes, isn’t it?’]
Joshua found a book that looked likely enough and flipped it open to take a look and see if the pictures looked right. He hated doing this project, and a little of that irritation seeped into his shared thoughts, leaking more than he meant to share. [i ‘Fortune tellers, con artists, not exactly the greatest history but at least they were free.’] When he realized she could hear that too he shut the book quickly, trying not to show that he felt a little embarrassed. He hadn’t said it out loud exactly, but it still felt like unintentionally saying something out loud,[i ‘Sorry, didn’t mean to.’]
Isabella nods to what he's saying aloud while trying to keep up with the words shared but not spoken. She pushes herself off of the ground and walks towards where the librarian is lurking in the shadows. [#f08080 "Oh! Mrs. Fitzgerald I didn't realize you were right there, you startled me. Good timing though, would we be able to use the copier machine to be able to add some pictures from the books to display some of the more archaic jobs our respective peoples have had, just to be able to show them exactly the kind of awful things we've done in the past?"] She asks, doing very well at keeping how vile she finds her words from her tone.
[i [#f08080 "So your telling me that there are psychics that are able to control people entirely? I didn't realize that there were people able to do that. The most the Crown would be able to do is to influence the emotions of those sired to her to better assist her, but that's as far as that goes. And thank you for not going further into my memories, it'd be best if you only see what I allow you too, I'd hate to have to reach badly to you."]] she says in a mildly teasing tone towards the end, doing her best to remain playful but honestly threaten him if necessary.
Joshua nodded,”I think so. We should ask. I need to check a couple more things on human psychics, so how about you see about scanning and I’ll meet you at a computer downstairs.”
[i ‘A lot. Talk like this. I could go looking through your head more for memories. But I won’t, promise. Some of us can move things with our minds. The most powerful levels are able to control people. Sometimes it’s minor, like suggestions, or altering someone’s mood to calm them or agitate them. S class can do all of that but on a scale that’s pretty scary. They can completely control other people, and don’t need to get close or touch them. They’re incredibly rare. And if they misuse their powers it can be pretty scary.’]
Joshua seemed to have an easier time holding both conversations, and as he talked to her with his mind he pushed himself to stand and rubbed his leg as if it had fallen asleep, which it sort of had. [i ‘Be careful no one notices we’re doing this. I can get in big trouble for talking to you like this. We can always talk more later.’]
The librarian finally peered down their aisle and Joshua tried not to look at her, instead flipping to book he did have open as if he were checking something and mumbled,”Yeah, if we’re using pictures I definitely need something else.”
Rosalind wasn't surprised when the librarian shows up, Joshua seems really good at predicting whose going to show up and when. She can't help but try and process what Joshua just told her about S class psychic's, wondering what all they can do.
Hearing his voice out loud again startles her a bit, and it takes a second for her to remember how to respond properly [#f08080 I think so, I'm not 100% sure, but I think I've written down all of the different jobs fae creatures had in the old days, especially the ones that are completely archaic, I think it'll make a good addition if we are able to include some pictures in a power point, do you think the librarian will allow us to scan some of these pictures?"] she asks, playing dumb to the fact that the librarian stands a few feet away from them but just out of Rosalind's sight.
[i [#f08080 so what all can a psychic even do?"]] she asks, knowing that she can't just let that conversation go despite it being tricky to hold both at the same time.
Once she was ready it was time to pull the energy from her. She wasn’t fighting, actually helping him, but it still felt wrong to be pulling power from her. It was warm, almost too hot as it flowed back to him. It was hard keeping it moving to him instead of letting it just slide to her. He felt more energetic, but he could tell it was hurting her and draining her of vitality she should have.
He let her decide when to stop, and when they did he had to hold onto his energy to keep it from just flowing right back to her. He opened his eyes and looked at her. Psychic levels. He gave a tiny nod, looking over her face. She had lost the glow, looking much like she had before. She seemed just a bit more lively, but hopefully no one would notice.
[i ‘Sure. Psychics are ranked by our power, which roughly determines what sort of restraints are on you. The higher the rank, the more restraint. E is technically the lowest class, and is mostly useless but also barely restrained. Then comes D, C, B, A, and S. S is the Special class, none exist now. It’s not only psychics, a lot of human abilities get ranked like this. Anyway, A class psychics get the kill switch every time, and some B class get it too. C class and below don’t usually. We’re supposed to strive for A class. Just A class. They never tell us to try for S, because they’re really afraid of S class psychics.’]
He could feel someone coming up and stopped, reaching to see what he felt off them. Suspicion, irritation. [i ‘Someone’s coming.’]
He realized they were just sitting in the corner holding hands and staring at each other. He let go of her hands and picked up his book on psychics,[i ‘Act natural. I think it’s the librarian.’]
“I think this is a good start, but I want to check if there’s anything else we could use. Do you think you have everything you need yet?” Better to talk than let the librarian figure out he’d been speaking with her telepathically. The teachers and administrators generally didn’t like psychics doing that when not authorized. Best case scenario they intentionally gave you a headache.
He had been right about it being the librarian, she had come up and was peering down the aisles to see if anyone was causing trouble up here.
Rosalind nods, [#FFC0CB [i "I'm willing to give it a shot, temporary pain verses constant pain. I'm open for it. Anything to keep my wings."]] Rosalind does her best to focus on the magic flowing through her. This is the best she has felt in a very very long time, but she knows that if she continues to feel like this she's putting not only herself but Joshua in trouble, and it's one thing for her to risk punishment for herself and another to risk it for someone else.
She can feel the magic flowing through her, like particles of sun rushing through her veins, she focuses very hard on pushing it out, ridding herself of those particles. The feeling of the magic flowing out of her and back into Joshua reminds her greatly of the pain she felt when they took bone marrow from her spine. The pain feels like fire flowing from her veins and back into Joshua.
Whether it's the pain causing hallucination or an actual light, Rosalind notices a bright yellow light glowing from their joined hands, reminding Rosalind very strongly of the pixie dust hidden in the heel of her shoe.
When the pain finally stops and Rosalind is closer to how she was before but definitely cured of her sun-sickness, she looks back up at Joshua [#FFC0CB [i "So explain the levels of a psychic to me, or talk about anything to get my mind off of that pain."]]
So bonds like this were mostly normal for her kind. Though clearly this was beyond what was normal. He gave a little smile,[i ‘Purebred. I’m not sure what that means for psychics. We don’t really have that concept, just power tiers. I’m a C right now, barely, but if what you’re saying now is true I might be an S. They’re incredibly rare. We don’t have any right now that I know of. Everyone freaks out when they do find one, their power is terrifying. It’s why people are so afraid of psychics. An S psychic misusing their power can do a lot of damage.’]
He could feel that she was afraid, and he had to keep grip on himself to stop that fear from seeping too much into him and becoming his fear. Joshua gave her hand a reassuring squeeze and rubbed the back of it with his thumb. He glanced down the empty aisle, half expecting the librarian even though he couldn’t sense her up here.
[i ‘We’ll figure this out, Rosalind. Don’t worry too much about me, let’s worry about you. Those wings are too pretty to get cut off. Now, I’m feeling tired but you are glowing quite literally. If it worked one way, it can work the other.’]
That was how psychic links worked. It could function to send or receive thoughts and feelings. So he figured the rest might work like that, or close enough. He met her eyes and gave a half smile that betrayed his worry, which tinged his words through their link as well,[i ‘This probably isn’t going to feel great, but work with me. I think I gave you some energy, so now I need to take it back. That should stop the glowing so no one finds out, and we’ll be safe for now. Do you think you can do that? Then we can keep reading without the librarian seeing anything.’]
Rosalind filtered through every inch of Fae magic she knows about, searching through the tales her grandmother had told her, through the legends of old that never touched paper. The true stories were never written, only shared verbally, for true power comes in names and written words.
Then it hits her, like a tone of bricks [#FFC0CB [i "A Maiden is able to connect with several different magical creatures, they typically have several life bonds, usually meant to be tied and created in more intimate ways. I've been away from my family so long I had no way of knowing when I would truly come into the power of being a maiden or anything like that, or when the unfortunate ties would start to happen or what would cause them. If you deprive a maiden, mother, or crown of their natural bonds for too long, they tend to just happen. So in this case, because of how powerful both of our magic is, just happening is the way it would happen. Your the only pure bred that I've been around except for Farley in gods know how long, which means your the only one I could make a life bond with."]] She sighs, glancing to the door worried that the librarian will show up any second now.
[#FFC0CB[i "They don't even know the full extent of my blood line, they just know that I'm purebred. My family was apart of this isolated village still located in Europe, I was separated from then when I was 10, kidnapped by these men in military uniforms, and brought here. I've been in the system ever since. If they find out, they'll take my wings and everything else for experiments. Farley, and now you, are the only ones that know the truth. I guess my whole trusting you without really knowing you thing comes from the instinctual need to create a life bond with any supernatural pure bred I could get my hands on."]] She drops her head into her hands, shaking slightly with fear.
[#FFC0CB [i "I'm so sorry to drag you into this mess, I didn't mean to do this, and I don't know how to reverse what I've drained from you, let alone how to make it go away. If we could just speak to my grandma, she could tell us what to do."]] She can't help the few tears that spring to her eyes as the reality of all the pain she's about to be in comes crashing down.
With a trembling hand, she reaches out and grabs his hand [#FFC0CB [i "We have to find a way for you to take it back. We're going to need more books."]]
The link was a strong one. Joshua leaned back, tilting his head back against the wall. His head was feeling a little fuzzy, but she was coming through crystal clear. Clear and warm. They had to do something about that glowing. He felt the worry about losing her wings, and himself worried it might very well be worse.
Her confusion turned to understanding and he looked at her,[i ‘What?’]
She went for a book and he watched, curious. He wasn’t feeling much like moving. It felt like he’d been hit by a truck, and he wanted to sleep. [i ‘What does tying our life sources together mean? How did we even [b do] that? It sounds kind of serious.’]
The answer was apparently in a fae book. He thought it was prettier than a normal book, and handled it carefully when she handed it to him. Joshua leaned over and tried to read, mostly skimming over for what seemed important.
[i ‘It’s a bond then. A powerful one, nearly unbreakable. Lifelong.’] He stopped reading, his head throbbing a little. He looked at Rosalind, finding out the rest he could do in a minute but,[i ‘How did we manage to do that by [b accident]? It looks like this life source binding is pretty strong, and strong magic takes effort. Doesn’t it?’]
It was good they weren’t going to be overheard, but they didn’t have a lot of time. Sooner or later the librarian would come and check on them and then she’d see the glowing Rosalind.
Rosalind sits there, completely and utterly stunned, trying to process what had just happened. She had been touched by psychic's before, on several occasions growing up, it was how they kept the young kids in check, but never had anything like that happened to her before.
As the words flow through her mind, she realizes that Joshua isn't moving his mouth. As she sits there she reaches out to him, feeling the psychic connection that just appeared as if it was a physical part of her body, something tangible and nearly unbreakable.
She sits there for a few more moments before nodding her head. [i [#FFC0CB "I'm alright, and I have to agree, you are the most powerful psychic I've ever encountered before. I don't know what just happened. I feel very warm, like I just spent the past few years dancing in direct sunlight."]] she sends out to him, looking down at her skin.
She stifles a gasp when she sees how brightly her skin is growing [i [#FFC0CB "I've got to get rid of the glow, if they see it they'll know something happened, they'll take my wings, or worse."]] she looks around bewildered for a moment before realizing what exactly just happened. [i [#FFC0CB "You've got to be kidding me"]] she puts her head on her knees for a moment before pushing herself up and walking back to the Fae history book case. [i [#FFC0CB "I think we just tied our life source together."]] She scans the book shelves looking for one on fae magic.
After a few moments of searching the shelves, Rosalind brings out a large book that has a deep purple glow coming out of it, and almost as if she already knows what page she's looking for, Rosalind opens up the book to the page about binding Life sources. She passes the book over to Joshua to read it.
She wasn’t talking, which made Joshua think she would decide not to tell him afterall. He could feel some turmoil, the kind where someone was thinking hard. It reminded him of test taking, how people thought hard and he could feel it.
He took a seat when she motioned to, figuring they might go back to the project. He wasn’t sure where to start, and he wasn’t sure she did either. Her hand laying over his came as something of a surprise, people generally didn’t do that when they knew what he was.
He didn’t have a chance to dwell on it, because in his head she hit like a ton of bricks. She was so powerful, he could feel it. It took him a moment to realize what was happening, that she was glowing. That boost of power he was seeing in her was coming from him, he could feel his own tiredness faintly, swept under a current that was her. Her thoughts and feelings flooding his head.
Joshua had found her to be fairly open and easy to read before, but actually touching her was overwhelming. There was some focus, skipping lunch in the middle of the night, and old tree and a secret hidden under it. It was a huge secret. One that could get a good chunk of the school killed.
He hadn’t realized how warm her presence felt until she took her hand away. The warmth lingered, but left him feeling cold and drained. He gasped, as if he’d forgotten to breathe while looking in her mind. He thought he might really have stopped breathing. She was intense, not like the human teachers he practiced with.
She was afraid. Joshua could still feel Rosalind in his head, which was feeling very much a jumbled mess. Not exactly a headache, not yet anyway. He met her eyes, rubbing his hand where hers had been. His answer was breathless and nonsensical,”Me. You. That’s.”
Joshua shook his head, as if that might clear it. It didn’t help much. It was like something had been amplified. He could hear a mumble, or a buzz. Mostly coming from below them. He looked at her again, this time reaching for her with his mind. She was close, and had just touched him, so it wasn’t too hard.
[i ‘That is what a psychic does. You’re the most powerful person I’ve seen. Are you alright?’] He put his finger to his lips,[i ‘Can’t get caught.’]
After a pause he added in a whisper, still trying to catch his breath,”You can’t take it back. I’m sorry.”
That had left a mental link. And he was pretty sure that was a pretty powerful link. His head felt raw, like a rug burn. She was powerful, and if he was nearly as powerful as she theorized, then it was no wonder that was so intense. He figured any possible subsequent attempts wouldn’t be quite so intense now that a link was there, but it would still be a bad idea to try in front of anyone. Especially considering how she looked. She was stunning, giving off a warm feeling. Meanwhile his face had lost what color it did have, as if he’d given some of his vitality to her. If the school figured that little side effect out, they'd be separated immediately.
Rosalind couldn’t help but want to tell Joshua what was happening the following night, the kinds of trouble she truly was in. Far beyond the kind that she’d lose her wings for, closer to the kind that she’d lose her life for. Here she was having to trust Farley’s judgement, choosing to let something slip in front of Joshua means that she wants him involved. Why, Rosalind would never know. She can’t help but tap her foot nervously for a second before gesturing for Joshua to take a seat beside her.
Rosalind sits in silence for a few moments, hearing nothing but the sound of magic flowing out of the books that line the shelves. She looks over at Joshua and without knowing why, puts her hand on his, allowing him clear access to her thoughts.
The moment her hand touches his, a sudden surge of power rushes through her, igniting a power within her long since buried. The heat the bubbles in her skin exceeds the kind of heat she feels while standing in the sun, it knocks the wind out of her. Her hand remains practically glued to his though, unable to remove it. The blue tint in her skin falls away completely, finally revealing Rosalind in her true glory, bright and warm, her hair even seems to brighten significantly at the touch of his skin.
All the while her every thought and emotion are open and available for Joshua to sift through, laid out on the table without any static or fog distorting the information.
What he would see is Rosalind skipping lunches several times a week, taking walks outside and finding her way through a deserted part of the school to a very old and very large willow tree. The bark responds to her touch, parting way and revealing an underground building almost as large as the main three buildings of the campus. As Rosalind would walk through the halls of these locations showing quite a large part of the population passing through as well. Protest plans are laid out, some of the teachers lead vast discussions with multiple different species. Even some of the guards walk around down there doing their best to keep everyone’s anger in check. As her hand touches his, she shows him the large underground rebellion she’s been a part of since coming to school.
When her hand is finally able to be removed, Rosalind’s eyes are filled with tears and she’s pushing herself as quickly as she can away from him [#FFC0CB “What the hell was that?”]
Even watching them act friendly Joshua could still feel something like a conflict in the air. So that was their magic clashing? “Oh, I see.”
He looked back and forth between them while Farley talked about their history class. That sounded like what he expected from the class. More about how wonderful the current system was. His curiosity was piqued when Farley told Rosalind about something happening at two am. What was happening tomorrow night by the oak tree? Rosalind clammed up, but Joshua wanted to know.
Joshua followed her to the corner,”So, what’s happening tomorrow night?”
He wasn’t sure if she would answer, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to press it. Technically he could probably find out if he just grabbed her arm or something, but he didn’t want to do that.
The grim look on Farley's face is quickly replaced with a smile as Joshua approaches, and when he clearly is trying to diffuse the situation between Farley and Rosalind, they can't help but break out into laughter. Farley waves Joshua off and realizes the hold on her own magic, revealing the truth of the situation.
Rosalind walks over to Farley and pulls her into a big hug as the kind and soft cold flows around from Farley. "It's good to see you again Rosie" She says giving her a quick hug. "You too Farley." She says stepping back before looking over at Joshua. "Joshua, this is Farley, she's like me, just from the winter court. Our natural auras clash against each other, so it typically makes psychics believe we are enemies." Rosalind explains, gestering between the two of them "But our races have come a long way and we've realized just how much we need each other to be able to survive, since then the winter and summer courts have been best of friends." Farley explains, eyes going a little wide for a moment before her and Rosalind share a quick glance between the two of them.
"So your working on a project together, let me guess Magical History 2 right? It was the only class I could enjoy at first, but they eventually begin to push heavily how important the structure is of forcing us to work as slaves to the humans after midterms and it kinda sucks all the fun out of it." Farley says leaning against a table and looking between Farley and Rosalind. "Anyway, I'm glad I found you Rosie, it's gonna be tomorrow night at 2 am near the oak tree. Don't be late." She says waving her hand behind her as she heads out to leave the top floor of the library.
Rosalind becomes stone like, staring after Farley before slowly turning back to Joshua. "So you were saying about jobs that Psychics can have, right? We should get back to work." Rosalind says in a calm and even tone, heading back to their spot in the corner.
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