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 What Are You Going to Do About It?, [Rand/Fi]
Fiona Ward
 Posted: Feb 15 2013, 7:58 PM
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She called ahead, give her that much. Well, 'ahead', in that she called him from the sidewalk outside Moons to make sure that he was home. When he admitted that he was, Fi just flat out begged him to let her come up and see him.

She turned up on his doorstep in jeans and a sweater and tearstains, carrying a slouchy bag that had clothes overflowing out the top of it. "Flynn's gone. Something happened in Alaska and he and his sister and brother just drove off north. He says he'll send for me 'when he can'." She glared up at Rand like it was all his fault. "That it's too dangerous right now. To go to Luke and stay safe." She stood there breathing hard, looking at Rand and clearly expecting him to fix it.


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Randall Burch
 Posted: Feb 15 2013, 8:38 PM
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He was both surprised and not that she'd called him and wound up at his door with a poorly packed bag. Why, he had no idea, but it just seemed like the sort of cosmic joke that the universe liked to play on him of late.

Standing in the doorway in jeans and a worn, plain, dark green tee, feet bare, he let her go through telling him, sort of, what was going on before ushering her in, taking the bag from her and pulling her into a hug.

"I'm so sorry, sweetheart," he said, because he honestly had no idea what else he could do besides offer comfort. He was fairly certain that following the Koches and shooting Flynn would be frowned upon.


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Fiona Ward
 Posted: Feb 15 2013, 11:15 PM
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She got her arms around Rand's neck and just dangled from him, the swan wasn't exactly feather-light but she certainly didn't weigh as much as even her skinny frame looked to be. Eighty pounds? Seventy? It was like her body was made up of something far less dense than flesh and bone.

"If I go back to the swan house I'll have to go back to donating blood." She wasn't quite mumbling it into his shoulder, tragic-ingenue style, but you could tell that she was having to control the urge. "I hate it. I hate letting them have me like that. Use me up and throw me out. I hate it." She truly didn't see any other options. She couldn't stay in the swan house and be a parasite, taking and giving nothing back. But she'd been so close. With school, with Flynn. So close to getting out from under it.


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Randall Burch
 Posted: Feb 16 2013, 8:46 AM
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"Shhh," he said, running a hand over her hair and her back in slow, comforting circles. He didn't know Fiona all that well, but enough that he didn't much try to keep himself from saying, "You don't have to go back to that if you don't want to."


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Fiona Ward
 Posted: Feb 16 2013, 12:16 PM
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She wiped her eyes on his shoulder. It was probably something about the nature of swans, that when Fiona cried, even when she really got going, it was all trembling lips and fat crystal tears, no running nose or flushed face or ugly hiccuping. It was one of a handful of things that made the swans seem truly Other.

"I can't just live there and not contribute. It wouldn't be right, they already saved me once. And, and," her breath caught, she rested her cheek on Rand's shoulder and tried to calm herself. "And if I'm doing that, maybe I can manage to stay in school. I really like school, Rand." Like he was going to maybe judge her harshly for that.


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Randall Burch
 Posted: Feb 16 2013, 12:53 PM
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He couldn't tell how prettily she was crying since all he could see was the top of her head, and pretty or not, all tears were wet. He felt that bit when she wiped her face on his shirt.

"You should like school," he said gently, still rubbing small circles over her back a bit awkwardly. The only other young person in his sphere wasn't really big on physical affection so he'd had little practice. "School is the most important thing anyone can do." He honestly believed that. "But I don't much see why staying there is you're only option for staying in school."


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Fiona Ward
 Posted: Feb 16 2013, 1:08 PM
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She pulled back enough to look at him, finally stepping back a little and offering him a wibbly smile of apology. But what she asked was, "What are the other options? I've been trying to think of another job I can do that would make enough money to pay for school and pay into the house, and I just don't have any skills. Not that kind." What was she good for except to fuck or bleed? In the end it seemed even Flynn hadn't been able to think of anything.


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Randall Burch
 Posted: Feb 16 2013, 1:16 PM
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Instead of answering her right away, he asked, "How were you paying for school while staying with Koch?"

Judging from what she'd asked, he must have been paying for it, but he didn't want to assume. Except he was already assuming.


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Fiona Ward
 Posted: Feb 16 2013, 1:31 PM
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"I paid tuition and books out of the money left from donating. They paid a lot for it, even after I bought clothes and stuff there was enough left for community college. But that money's almost gone."

She tugged at the hem of her sweater, pulling it all out of shape as she tried to steady herself out enough to think instead of just crying. "I suppose I could...do you think they'd let me just do it for a couple of weeks and then stop? Do enough to earn the money for another semester, maybe some living expenses, and then I could just concentrate on school?" It sounded almost bearable, in the way that people can talk themselves in to amputating their own limbs with a utility knife.


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Randall Burch
 Posted: Feb 16 2013, 2:03 PM
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"Community college is cheap compared to University," he said, thinking aloud more than anything. "You haven't used your grants yet," a shot in the dark, but he'd wager it was true. "That should be enough to cover classes. Books are cheap if you know where to look."

He started pacing, as he did when he was thinking. "You can do that and stay at community college or you can go to U Dub for free, if you feel up to a bigger school and classes. I don't think it would be a good idea to stay in the dorms though."


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Fiona Ward
 Posted: Feb 16 2013, 2:22 PM
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"Wait?" She sat down on the sofa and watched him move, the heaviness of his tread. Rand was a tremendously solid person, it was one of the reasons she'd imprinted on him as hard and fast as she had done. "How can I go to the university for free? How does that work? And no, I don't think I could do the dorms, unless they have ones that are all-girl and all-younger-students?" Which wouldn't keep all boys out of it, but would at least help. The thought of being homeless, in a way, had her eyes stinging with tears again, but she refused to let them fall.


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Randall Burch
 Posted: Feb 16 2013, 7:04 PM
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He stopped, and looked down at her. "Children of staff get to go for free. I'm almost old enough to be your father. A bit of fudging on paperwork and we can pull that off, if you like. Or we can work on getting you your Pell Grants and other financial aid. But you have options, Fi, you don't have to do the swan thing."

He hated the swan thing, quite honestly, and would happily do anything he could to keep her from it.


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Fiona Ward
 Posted: Feb 16 2013, 7:49 PM
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What he said had her bottom lip trembling, she bit down hard on it to stop herself. "You would do that?" Not 'can', Fiona pretty much figured that Rand could do anything. But that he would help her at all was more than she had the right to expect, that he'd offer even offhandedly to pretend to be her father was making it very hard not to start crying again.

"I don't want to do the swan thing. It's disgusting and it hurts and I thought I'd never have to do it again." She was tugging the hem of her sweater again, trying to keep herself calm.


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Randall Burch
 Posted: Feb 16 2013, 8:05 PM
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"You don't," Rand said soothingly, moving to sit on the coffee table so he could take her hand between the two of his. "You don't have to do anything you don't want to. You can stay here if you like," he'd already committed to it in his head, just like that, like he had to Colin, who had the use of the second room.

"My...son," he gave a wan smile, he just kept fathering people he wasn't actually related to, maybe it was a thing with him, "Sometimes uses the extra room, but he doesn't have to. You can stay here if you want, or we can get you a small place of your own." He was committing to a lot, he knew, without talking to Shiloh, but he didn't see how she'd have a problem with it.


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Fiona Ward
 Posted: Feb 16 2013, 8:18 PM
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"I want to stay with you." Instant, ardent, and wholehearted. "I love the swans, I do, and Luke and Dallas and Pop and everyone, but I want to stay with you." Where it's safe. She looked up at Rand with a gentle worship that she wouldn't even know how to hide. "I'll...I don't know, I'm sure I can do something around here that's not donation. Sweep floors, answer phones, mend fantasy lingerie, I don't even care." She laughed a little at herself, gusty and overwhelmed.


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