Brotherly affection and Her Name is Nobody
Author’s note: Due to an unexpected emergency at the office I have work a lot of overtime the coming weeks, this means a probable reduction to one update a week. I hope to be able to increase this again once the workload winds down. My thanks for the reviews and recommendations. Chapter 42: Brotherly affection and Her Name is Nobody
“Dr. Meier’s office, Geraldine Yancey.”
“Good afternoon, this is Henrietta Fulton, calling for President Lassiter.”
Geraldine smiled. “I’m putting you through now. Just a second.”
She pressed a button on her phone. “Simon, the President’s secretary on the line.”
“I’ve got it, thank you Gerry.”
Simon cleared his throat. “Good afternoon, Mrs Fulton.”
“Good afternoon Dr. Meier. The President can speak with you now.”
“Thank you Mrs. Fulton.”
There was a short pause and then an elderly male voice, still strong, spoke. “Simon, I’d say good to hear your voice, but so far the only times you’ve called here it meant ritual sacrifices and rampaging demons…”
“The new Grand Magister would deal with that sir. And as far as I know there are no major problems right now.”
“I see…yet I doubt that you’re calling to pass the time.”
“I-I…I need a favour.”
There was a moment’s silence. “What sort of favour?”
“An FBI agent discovered the supernatural.”
“Ah…Simon…I won’t destroy someone’s career…I’ll have someone talk to the man.”
“Errr…actually…I was wondering, if the Grand Magister agreed, if you would consider appointing her to the Directorship of Special Operations West Coast.”
“Holy…Simon, I can’t just appoint some greenhorn to a directorship, even one that is thought of as a dead end.”
“She isn’t a greenhorn. Her name is Clarice Starling, the Bureau is trying to make her quit, and so help me something Mr. President; they had better not succeed.” Simon’s voice rose in anger.
“Starling? She should have enough seniority to be told the truth? Why didn’t they?”
“I don’t know…hence my call. Sir.”
“Simon, you could have sent a letter and it would have been dealt with. Why the hell, pardon my French, are you calling in a favour for this?”
“I want her to feel safe and realize someone has her back. That I’ll be there for her.”
“I thought you were involved with a woman called Joyce Summers?”
“Are you keeping tabs on me, sir?” Simon asked coldly.
“Simon, you’re being emotional. You’re date was front page news for almost every New York newspaper. And yes, I’m curious enough, and you are important enough, for me to remember your alleged lady friend’s name.”
“I apologize, sir…it has been an emotional few days.”
“Accepted. Now what’s your reason?”
“Sir…I’d appreciate if you never told anyone this…”
“Clarice is my half-sister. My father raped her mother when she was fourteen.” Simon said in a very calm voice.
There was a spluttering noise as the President apparently spat out a quantity of fluid.
“I see. You want to protect your father’s memory?”
“I burned him in effigy and couldn’t care less about his memory. Clarice and her mother are the only ones who can make the decision to go public with this.”
“Ah…Yes. You’re right. Give me a minute. Mrs. FULTON!!!”
“Yes Mr. President? You do realize we have an intercom?”
“I need a number and a password, straight to my desk.”
“Yes sir.” There was a momentary silence and then the President chuckled. “I’m making up the next password, Henrietta.”
“Ah but sir, everybody can guess Swordfish…”
“I hear you get no respect from your secretaries either, sir?” Simon said with a smile in his voice.
“Not a whit. It’s just the normal switchboard number, but the password is hickory-dickory-dock.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Simon…I’ve got a favour to ask to.”
“Yes, Mr. President?”
“Stay in the reserves. I’ll talk to the Chiefs, cut you some slack. You and I both know that you’d just get drafted if you did not volunteer anyway…stay in the reserves and spare us the trouble.”
“Mr. President…oddly enough for the first time since I joined I actually have something to fight for…and I need to talk this over with Joyce.”
“Very well. I understand. Will I ever get to meet his paragon who brought to his knees the most eligible bachelor of the East Coast?”
“Probably sir…thank you.”
“Take care, Simon. And congratulations on your fine sister.”
Simon chuckled as the President rang off.
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The girl with no name came to in a bright room that smelled like a hospital. Her wrists were cuffed to the rails on the sides of the bed she was on and she tensed. A woman with auburn hair sat by her bed, tears running down her face as she looked at the contents of a photo album.
“I know you’re awake.” The woman said. The girl with no name studied her carefully.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Arlene Ellis.”
“And? What do you want?”
“I want for you to be as happy as you can be…to be safe and feel loved and wanted.”
The woman took out a piece of burned paper and showed it to the girl with no name. “This isn’t true. Your mother loves you.”
“Then why did she give me to the Rosses? Why did she let me become the slave of those little bastards! Why did she never show any interest in me? Why did she abandon me!?”
“When you were given up for adoption…the Rosses were different. The first four years, they were loving, doting parents. After that…”
“That’s not an answer. Why did she give me up!?”
“Because I was stupid.” Arlene looked at the girl who had no name and the girl could see the deep grief there.
are my mother?”
“I-I don’t deserve the name…but I gave birth to you, yes.”
“Because I didn’t take care of you, like I should have. Because I gave you to the Rosses…I should not have stopped checking up when you were four…I should have let you know who I was, been a part of your life…” Tears flowed down Arlene’s face as she spoke.
“Why are you here now?”
“Because I knew you were in trouble. I-I had to try and help you.”
“I wasn’t in trouble. They were in trouble! All of them! I’d have taken them all on!”
“NO!! No…every time we use our Power for evil, we lose a bit of ourselves…You...you would have gone mad, insane. There would have been nothing left of you.”
“And? I’m nothing now! No one loves me, no one cares.”
“EVELYN PHILIPPA AMANDA ELLIS!! You will cease this behaviour at once.”
The girl reared back into her pillows as the harsh voice spoke from the doorway. “What? Who?”
“Mother! I’m talking to my daughter!” Arlene said angrily.
“And? I’m talking to my granddaughter. Evelyn, you will become visible right now.” Cecilia ordered.
“But…I can’t! Nobody can see me! I’m invisible! I do not exist!”
“Nonsense. Look.” Cecilia took a cup from Evelyn’s bedside and dropped it, then made a slight gesture with her hand and the cup stopped mid fall.
Evelyn gasped. “B-But…”
“Magic, dear. Your mother has visions, which is how she knew you were in trouble. Now I want you to close your eyes and think of what you look like visible.” Cecilia’s voice had become gentle.
“No. I’m invisible. No one knows me, no one loves me.”
“Evelyn…Evy…Please. I want to see what you look like…all I have are the pictures I got the first four years…and the ones I took before I gave you…gave you up.” Arlene pleaded.
The girl in the bed laughed maniacally and the handcuffs were pulled taut by invisible arms straining. “Like you care! You don’t care! You can’t care!”
“Evy…look.” Arlene took the book and laid it next to the indentation that showed her where Evelyn lay. “Here…that’s you just after you were born. You weighed six and a half pounds and were fifteen and a half inches long…you had the cutest little tuft of red hair. I know what you looked like…please…let me see what you look like now.”
Arlene showed page after page of pictures, but they ended when the little red head was four years old. Every note, every letter, every photo, had been carefully preserved. A single crayon picture had been inserted, showing two red headed figures. A picture of a young girl in a younger Arlene’s arms was beside it.
“T-that…I broke the law then, I wanted so badly to see you…I wanted to hold you one more time. The Rosses had never seen me…It was my last chance…”
There was a flicker of light and suddenly a thin, painfully so, girl lay on the bed. The roots of her auburn hair, the same colour as Arlene’s, were showing, having grown out, the rest was a dirty, streaky black. Her face was frightfully pale and lightly freckled; obviously she hadn’t been in the sun for months or weeks. She wore dirty jeans and a red t-shirt and a holey black sweater. Her sneakers were worn and had mismatched laces. Her blue eyes flicked between the women in astonishment.
“I-I… Why can I see myself…”
Arlene very carefully took the book from the bed. She undid the handcuffs as Evy looked on in astonishment. Then she very carefully sat down on her daughter’s bed. And then she hugged her daughter. And cried.
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Evelyn Philippa Amanda Ellis sat on her bed in the clinic while a tall, dark haired doctor with a white coat over his summer suit asked her questions and poked and prodded her. He’d listened to her heart and lungs and looked into her eyes, nose and ears. He’d tested her reflexes and now she was sticking out her tongue while he used a depressor and checked her tonsils. He said his name was Simon and that he was her Aunt Joyce’s boyfriend. Evelyn Philippa Amanda Ellis eyed him carefully for any attempts at ignoring her, but he smiled at her gently.
“I’d feel better if we did a couple of blood tests. Would you mind?”
“Do we have to? I don’t like doctors and needles very much.”
“Well…we don’t have to, but if you’ve picked up a disease while you had to manage on your own, I would prefer to know about it sooner rather than later.”
Evelyn Philippa Amanda Ellis nodded thoughtfully. “Okay…I suppose you’re right. Where’s my mother?”
“Giving instructions to her mother as to what is appropriate clothing for a girl your age.”
“Well you can’t keep wearing this, so Arlene, your mother, is buying you clothes. But your grandmother is going to do that actual buying.”
“I wouldn’t think so. I think she wants to take you shopping soon.”
“Oh. That would be nice?” The girl seemed confused by the notion.
“Well, I hope so…you seem to be a bit malnourished, but that’s not surprising. We’ll feed you up pretty soon. First you need to clean up and then we’ll get you settled.”
Simon took out a clean syringe and quickly and carefully drew four vials. “Sorry about that…I need a lot for the tests I’d like them to run.”
“It’s okay…I’m kinda hungry?”
“Your mother will take you to Joyce’s, and my, house. We don’t know exactly where you want to stay, but I do know Arlene doesn’t want to let you out of her sight.” He smiled and she tentatively smiled back.
Arlene came in and walked to the bed, sat again and hugged Evelyn Philippa Amanda Ellis as if she never wanted to let her go. “I love you Evy, my wonderful little Evy. Is she healthy, Simon?”
“Well, the blood work still needs to be done and she needs to be fed, but she’s in much better shape than Kit.”
“Yes. Kit. Kit Holburn.”
“But she went to live with her mom! She has to be safe! Her mom loves her!” Evy exclaimed fearfully.
“Yes…Evy…Kit’s mother…died. And Kit had to live rough, even rougher than you did, and for longer. And to eat she bullied people at school to giver her money. And the other children, led by Dawn, that’s our youngest, resisted. And then some of them attacked Kit. So Kit is in hospital. And she will get better, but it will take time.” Simonn said carefully.
“And what will happen to her now?” Evy asked tearfully. “Who will love her?”
Simon grinned. “Well, you for one. And Joyce and I are going to be her foster parents. And we’ll probably adopt her later on.”
Evy looked at him. “Oh…that’s good. And me?”
Arlene hugged her again. “I’m never going to let you go again. Where do you want to live?”
“I live in Chicago, but if you want to live here I’ll try and find a job in Sunnydale.”
“What do you do anyway?”
“I’m a professor at the University of Chicago, I teach Paleo-biology and Archaeology.”
“I’m also a Major in the Army Reserves.”
Evy grinned. “So you outrank that bastard Ross?”
“Language Evy, no matter how deserved, a lady expresses herself with dignity. And yes, I do.”
Simon gave Arlene a look. “Do what I say, not as I do?”
“Huh?” Evy looked at him and Arlene blushed.
“Let’s say your mother sometimes uses less than lady like terms.” His pager went and Simon dragged it out. “Ah…I’ve got an appointment. I suggest you take Evy home and discuss what you want to do. Evy, Arlene, I’ll see you later.”
He strode out of the room and Evelyn Philippa Amanda Ellis looked at the woman who was her mother. “I’d like a shower…and to see Kit.”
“Then come on, we’ll get you one and then do the other.”
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Evelyn Philippa Amanda Ellis stood under the hot shower of the main bathroom of 1630 Revello Drive, her Aunt Joyce’s house. The water ran down her body and into the drain. It took with it the dirt that had gathered as she lost more and more of herself. It took with it what little was left of Marcie Ross. All it left was a girl called Evelyn Philippa Amanda Ellis. And she didn’t know who that was. Evelyn Philippa Amanda Ellis started to cry, heaving sobs wracking her thin frame. After the third sob there was a knock and a worried voice called out.
“Evy? Are you alright? Evy?”
“I’m no one! I’m no one!”
The bathroom door opened and Arlene rushed in, tore aside the shower curtain, jumped into the shower and dragged Evy into her arms.
“You are Evelyn Philippa Amanda Ellis, Evy Ellis, your mother is Arlene Ellis, your grandmother is Cecilia Ellis, and your aunts are Clarice, Joyce and Charlotte Ellis. Your cousins are Buffy, Willow, Xander, Celia, Dawn and Kit. You are named after both your grandmothers and you are called Amanda, that means beloved. You are Evy Ellis. You have a name and you are loved.”
The water ran down both of them and Evy felt it seep between them, the who-ness of her mother seeped into her and she felt she belonged. She felt her tears fall down her cheeks even under the hot shower and she saw her mother’s tears and worried face. She felt her sobs stop and took a deep breath.
“I am Evelyn Philippa Amanda Ellis. I am Evy? I am Evy!”
“Yes…you’re my little Evy.” Arlene hugged the girl again and then stepped back. “Mom got you some clothes; they’re in Buffy’s bedroom.”
Evy reached out and dragged Arlene back. “Don’t leave!”
Arlene hugged Evy and petted her hair. “I’ll be right out here…I won’t leave. But do you really want me to wash you?”
Evy looked a bit abashed. “No…Sorry.”
“Don’t apologize love…I haven’t washed you since you were a baby…But I think you might have outgrown it now.”
“Okay. You won’t leave?”
“Right here.” She pointed at the closed toilet. “Don’t worry.”
Arlene took of her wet clothes and sopping shoes and put them in a pile. She took out a towel and dried herself off, then wrapped the towel under her arms and settled on the toilet seat to wait for Evy to finish.
She could hear the mutters from behind the curtain. “I’m Evy? I’m Evy?”
After a few minutes she rose, reached through the curtain and touched Evy’s shoulder gently. “You are Evelyn Philippa Amanda Ellis. You are my Little Evy.”
“Yes. I’m Evy.”
“Now you need to get out of there before you prune up. C’mon.”
Evy turned off the shower and stepped out, accepting the small towel her mother held out. She dried her hair with it and then took the larger towel and dried the rest of herself quickly. She followed Arlene to Buffy’s room and put on the new, clean underwear and then the new, clean jeans, shirt and sweater.
“These are nice…”
“Mom does have taste…even if she believes we should all dress like nuns.”
Evy touched her still damp hair. “I need to brush this…” She eyed Buffy’s brushes.
“We can use mine, its downstairs, come on.” She led Evy to the basement and the room she was staying in. She sat on the bed she was using and gestured Evy to sit down by her, picked up her housewife and took out her brush. “Here.”
“C-can you do it?”
Arlene looked pleased. “I’d love to.” She took a comb out as well and started to comb and brush the badly dyed hair. The dye had faded and Arlene wondered if it could be removed. Evy seemed to relax at the quiet ministrations.
“You sleep here?”
“Yes, it’s one of the guest rooms.”
Evy looked at the other bed opposite the one they were seated on. “Can I sleep here, with you?”
“Yes. Oh yes.” Arlene said fervently.
“Can we put the beds together?”
“You’ll hold me when I’m scared? Or lonely?” Evy asked in a little voice.
“Can I have some chocolate?” Now the girl sounded hopeful.
“Your grandmother bought quite a lot, Joyce and Simon have a lot too…and Kit told me what you like.” She halted her brushing for a moment and took a bar from her purse and handed it to Evy, who took it eagerly and started to nibble.
“Can I give some of this to Kit?”
“No, Kit was injured and she has a special diet, she can’t have too much chocolate yet. But it’s your bar, if you want to share, you may.”
“This is all mine?”
“Yes Evy, all yours.”
Evy closed her eyes, savoured her chocolate and smiled as she felt her mother brush her hair as if she was the most important thing in the world.
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Evy looked up at the hospital and then at her mother. “And this Aunt Joyce is there with Kit?”
“Yes. She visits every afternoon and evening at least. Kit will be allowed home from the hospital tonight”
“Oh…Can we go see her now?”
“Of course. Come on.”
They went inside and Arlene quickly led Evy to the suite where Kit was staying. She knocked and a young voice cheerfully called out.
They went in and Evy gasped. Kit was bandaged and had cast on her arm and yet she looked happier than she had ever done at the Rosses. She wore a nightshirt with some sort of yellow rabbity mouse thing. “K-Kit?”
“Marcie? They found you! They found you!” Kit started bouncing but a tall blonde woman in a blue grey pants suit stopped her.
“Kit, don’t bounce, remember your stitches.” She said with good natured exasperation.
“Yes Ms. Summers.” Kit quite cheerfully took the mild admonishment. “Can she hug me?”
“Of course. But no bouncing.”
Evy went to the bed and hugged Kit gently. “Hey Kit.”
“Marcie…” Kit buried her face in the older girl’s shoulder. “I missed you.”
“I missed you too squirt…but I’m Evy now. Evelyn Philippa Amanda Ellis.”
Kit gave Evy a searching look. “Okay…Evy.”
“So, how are they treating you?”
“Awesome! I’m gonna get my own room, and Ms. Summers is going to take me shopping and I’m gonna go to St. Ursula’s and, well, I’ll have to wear a uniform for that, but I’m still getting other clothes and I’m gonna have a brother and sisters and they’re nice!”
“That’s good. That’s very good.” Evy smiled. “I’m probably going to move to Chicago.”
“Oh…that’s really far away.” Kit said sadly.
“Yeah, but that’s where she works. But she’s going to take me shopping as well and I don’t know where I’m going to school yet.”
Arlene looked at the scene and started mentally composing a letter to ask for a year’s sabbatical. She noticed both girls grew tired and when they fell asleep together she left the room to place a call.