Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: puzzleprompts: March 2018: All Categories
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Creature Feature: Fairies
Power Hour: Control of Air
What's My Line: Specifically "A monster finds life within/A darkness inside" although there are several ways it fits with the song
Adulting Sucks: Dougie dealing with taxes in a chatroom
Classifieds: Government Agent
Mother Nature: Wind
Random Object: Shield
Random Descriptor: Square
Warning(s): Character Death, AU
Word Count: 1,898
Date Written: 30 March 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Marvel Comics and Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
“You shouldn’t stay cooped up here forever,” Amanda had told her today, as well meaning as ever, when she’d dropped in between flights. “There’s so much to see in this world! So much adventure, so much beauty! You should let me take you with me, or at least let me book you on a flight that will take you somewhere . . . somewhere that’s completely different from here!”
“I don’t want to be somewhere that’s completely different from here,” Meggan had murmured, both unwilling to upset her friend and unwilling to leave this land. Over the years, this Scottish island had become a part of her as much as the moors in which she had grown up had been. She couldn’t picture living anywhere else, although she knew Amanda was right. There was plenty more to be seen and experienced than what she had right here, especially what she had left after Brian and Lady Moira had died and nearly everyone else had left. She saw that every day on the telly, but she also witnessed all the horrible things that happened in the world because of humans and the hatred that continued to boil between them and everyone they failed to understand, rather they were other humans, mutants, or animals.
“She means well, you know,” Doug had told her just a little while ago, looking up from the chatroom in which he’d been waiting for something she didn’t quite understand. There seemed to be something that needed doing with the government that would make certain this land remained theirs. Meggan didn’t understand it, but she knew Dougie, especially with his computerized brain, would be able to resolve whatever the issue was.
Alistaire had also stopped in briefly today, and Meggan suspected that whatever the source of turmoil Dougie was experiencing in trying to protect their land from the bureaucrats had been brought to his attention by their old friend. She’d picked up extreme sadness and grief from Alistaire, who was looking older than she could ever remember him appearing, and it had been bothering her ever since. Meggan breathed out, watching her exhaled air mingling with the cool, night air all around her. That wasn’t the only reason why she was upset.
It wasn’t that she didn’t think about leaving, either. She did, nearly every time she turned on the telly and there weren’t more humans killing more innocents, but she couldn’t imagine her life beyond this little island any more. She dipped low over the ocean and let her true form be seen. Fur sprouted from her smooth flesh. Her fingers and ears elongated, her fingernails sharpening into deadly claws. The Fairies flying over the ocean saw Meggan’s wolf, screeched, and ran. They were the same Fairies with whom she flew and played tag and other games so many nights, but in this form, they wanted nothing to do with her.
Just as the world wanted nothing to do with her, she thought, sinking down onto the shore. Her hairy feet dangled in the cold water, but she didn’t feel the chill. She felt little of the outside world these days. Temperatures had never really bothered her unless she let them, and tonight she was far too deep in her own thoughts, her own memories, and her own grief to notice anything so trivial.
Leaning down, she reached out with a razor sharp claw and tapped her reflection. Only her Brian could have seen beyond the face of this monster within her and loved her. Only her Brian could have loved her, someone so simple of mind and yet so beastly of appearance. Tears trailed down Meggan’s face. She wrapped her arms around herself and rocked back and forth on the craggy shore. By the Gods, how she missed that man!
Her grief surged up within her until she felt like howling, and after only a moment’s hesitation, Meggan let herself go. She sobbed and howled uncontrollably. On the mainland, the cops would have come after her. Other agencies very well may have come, too, and locked her away behind bars, but out here in the middle of nowhere, there was no one to judge her, no one to condemn her, no one to see her tears or to offer comfort . . .
Or so she thought until, looking up at the moon, Meggan caught sight of something else glowing and turned to see her husband’s name spelled out by tiny, magical bodies. One of the larger Fairies, one Meggan recognized from her crown, as holding a high rank approached on a light breeze. “We miss him too,” she told him, holding her hands out before her. “He was our hero as well as yours and man’s. He protected us all.”
Meggan blinked through her tears and looked again at the Fairy Princess’ cupped hands. She frowned as she puzzled over what she held out before. It was a small, colorful square, but as the Fairy drew nearer and her light dimmed a little so as not to hurt Meggan’s eyes, Meggan realized she was looking at a miniature shield in the colors of the Captain Britain Corps. “We give this to you in his honor,” the Fairy spoke, holding out the shield.
Meggan took the tiny thing with trembling fingers and then gasped and fell back in surprise as it grew. It expected until it was the normal size for a human, or a mutant, to hide behind and then finally ceased its glowing and changing. The Fairy hovered over Meggan and the shield. “You are all that is left of him now.”
“He -- He has a sister,” Meggan murmured, although she wasn’t sure why she mentioned Betsy.
“She is not the same,” the Fairy told her. “We have watched this Elizabeth. She may be British by birth, but she is otherwise little like him. She is certainly not like us. She could not even see us when we danced before her on one of her visits here. We meant to entertain her, but she looked right at us with unseeing eyes.”
Meggan nodded slowly. “Not all can see the Fae folk,” she whispered, reaching a hand up to unconsciously tug at her own, pointed ears. She had never had trouble being seen unfortunately. For her, it had been just the opposite. She’d never been able to hide or protect herself properly until Brian had come into her life.
“But you can, Meggan. You are one of us and one of the few who remain of Excalibur. We know that Witch today offered you a way to leave our isle. We humbly ask that you remain. Stay with us, please. Guide us. Protect us from man.”
Meggan’s lips spread slowly into a trembling smile. The Earth had felt her pain and doubt, and She had sent forth some of her favorite children -- and some of Meggan’s as well. She had always liked the Fairies. They were pretty and sweet, kind and giving, and she could remember times when she was little and they had been all she had known as a family. They had helped her and guided her when she was little. They had done what little they’d been capable of to protect her. Without them, she would not be here now.
No wonder she didn’t want to leave Muir Isle! Meggan thought suddenly. This land was more than just her home. This little island was one of the few places left in the modern world where magick still ruled and was strong, where the Little People could still be seen dancing every night, where creatures like her, who were neither completely human or mutant but were more than either, still belonged.
“Of course I’ll stay!” Meggan exclaimed. Tears were still trailing down her face, but they had slowed. She smiled through them. “Of course I’ll stay!”
She reached out with her Elemental powers and brought the wind to her. She stood and sprang from the ground, her fur and claws disappearing. She felt good again, and because she felt good, she appeared that way as a bonny, young, beautiful lass. Her ears were still pointed, but other than that, she looked normal. She looked normal, and she felt normal. She felt . . . almost whole, as whole as she ever would, she realized, glancing at her new shield, without her beloved Brian beside her.
Joy spread amongst the Fairies. They exclaimed in their tiny, high-pitched voices, clapped their hands together, and flew all around her. A few stopped by Meggan’s face to caress her cheek with their whole, teeny bodies in their version of a hug. She was still loved, Meggan realized. She was still needed. And she always would be.
And that, she decided, was the most important reason for her to stay right here for the rest of her life. Lady Moira had turned Muir Isle into a refuge for those who were different, and in her absence, and in Brian’s, it would remain just that way. Only now the ones who flocked to her here would not be mutants.
They would be more of the magical nature, Fairies and Werebeasts and other creatures more like her than any mere mutant or human, and of course, the animals, Meggan thought, flying low and looking over the animals who prowled the island at night, safe from the eyes and guns of mankind. She spied a fox with her cub and a young rabbit with her family hiding and trembling underneath a bush. Muir Isle was still a sanctuary, and as such, it still needed a hero. It still needed her.
She flew high and proud underneath the silver moonlight, and she smiled now for she both knew that she was not alone and at last understood exactly why this land called to her so. She knew also that Brian, who she felt certain was watching over her still, would be proud. She paused, feeling a presence in the night wind, cocked her head, and looked at the empty, black sky again. The wind held a presence so strong that it was almost as though she could reach out and touch her husband.
She reached out and caressed empty air instead, but in her mind and heart, she could feel Brian’s face. She could feel every inch of his handsome, smiling face and remembered it as vividly as if she had gazed upon his beauty just yesterday. “I miss you,” she whispered, tears again filling her blue eyes. “I love you!” But she would live. She would live right here amongst the Wee Folk and the animals where she belonged, and she would make him proud.
A triumphant cry hurtling from her lungs, Meggan shot higher into the night air until she looked like she might kiss the moon itself, and then she came back down more slowly, drifting on the night breezes and looking over her people, watching for a chance to help and waiting for when she would be needed -- and she knew she would be. She would be needed, and she would be here for them all, a protectoress, a heroine still and in her own right, the successor to her husband’s brilliant, brave legacy and a lass still so much full of love for Brian Braddock that she could scarcely help but to make him proud. And the stars, and Brian, smiled down upon her.