"My birth father's awful." "Girl I could tell you stories."
In other words, I realize I have two female OC's with Daddy issues that probably would never even interact if it weren't for those reasons, and now I can't get aged up Opal and aged up Naomi spilling their stories to one another simply because no one else is around out of my head.
In the Cafe
In hindsight, maybe it wasn't a good idea for Opal to wonder away from the hotel alone in Camelot. After dark, on her first night there no less. In all fairness, the seventeen year old didn't really know what she was doing. She had woken up to her parents arguing in low voices, about her father. About whether or not they should have invited him on the trip. And she knew they weren't talking about Garvey.
Daniel. The name tasted like vomit in her mouth, felt like broken glass skittering up her throat and onto her tongue. She barely even noticed when it started to rain on her, because really, it fit her mood.
"You okay?" A voice asked, making Opal turn around. Behind her, under a blue and white umbrella, stood a girl about her age, that looked kind of familiar. She was probably an Ever After High student as well.
Opal's lack of response caused the girl's brow to furrow. "Come on." She lead Opal a few doors away. "There's a cafe here. I rarely go into it, but it's never very busy, though it's open twenty-four hours." She spoke gently, kindly, as if afraid something would set Opal off.
"I don't need anything from the cafe," Opal tried.
The girl glared. "At the very least, you need to get out of this rain. Clearly your a stranger to Camelot, as you don't look familiar and my...relatives get around so I've at least seen everyone here." She still spoke calmly.
Opal let the stranger guide her to a booth with menus. "You gonna order this time milady?" An older man called out.
"Perhaps, I'll let you know." The girl said graciously, earning a grumble from the man as he headed into the kitchen.
"Now, whatever led you to stand outside in the rain at night in a place you aren't native too?" If this had been anyone else, Opal was certain they would have been yelling, but something helped this stranger to keep her cool. In many ways, that was more unsettling.
"Something on your mind?" The girl pressed. Opal bit her lip, then nodded. "Listen, I don't know if this will help, but I am the ward and "niece" of the king and queen. If someone's harmed you, I'm sure I can get them to help take care of it."
"It's nothing like that!" Opal was quick to reassure, recognizing a strange fire lighting in the other girl's eyes.True, someone had harmed her and was on her mind tonight, but there wasn't anything this girl could do about it, no matter how well connected she was.
The girl got quiet, thinking. "My name's Naomi, and...I can be a pretty good listener if you need that." She seemed reluctant as she introduced herself, but she did seem sincere. Opal echoed the introduction before she grew silent again.
"My birth father's awful." Opal let slip after a few minutes.
This girl...Naomi laughed. "Girl I could tell you stories." She said, surprising Opal.
"Why don't you?" Opal figured it might be good to hear about someone else's paternal problems.
"I tell you about mine, you tell me about yours, deal?" Naomi held a hand out, suspended in mid air. Opal stared at it for a second, before giving it a firm shake.
In the Family
"My mother was Lady Morgause, King Arthur's half sister and Morganna's sister. Basically, it was her role to just have affairs with certain people and mother certain people, before getting her head cut off. She tried to only have the children with people she was supposed to, Jeremiah tells me that she didn't want to subject another child to the destiny, the gossip, the disapproval that she had to face.
But life doesn't work like that. My mother was nearing the end of her life when she had me, and at first she was happy. She knew her beheading was coming and she didn't pass her destiny onto someone. But then, one night, she had a...one night stand with someone she wasn't supposed to. And wound up pregnant with his child.
Naturally she freaked, but after staying hidden until she had me, she left me at a village, thinking that maybe the people there wouldn't know about who she is. But sadly, she was wrong. The king searched far and wide for a possible heir, and the woman who looked out for me for the first seven months of my life informed him what happened.
Of course, Gwyneth is the type to be paranoid, so they had to run DNA tests. All Arzh told me about the tests was that it proved I was his half sister's child and that no one else was around to take care of me. I thought, all this knowledge was enough.
But Jeremiah provided me the key to the chest where the results of the DNA tests were kept. He knew I was curious, I for one still do not know how the head groom got a hold of such a key, but I opened the chest and looked at the results.
My father..." Naomi's voice caught. "My father is a traitor. He started out as a knight, but was not chivalrous. He hated to do the right thing, tried to kill his own brother, killed many knights and people without just cause, and made many claims that he would not hesitate to "force" himself on an unwilling woman. Which is what he did. That's how I exist. It's also why Arzh didn't want me to know about it. He didn't want me to know how I came to be."
"Naomi, what aren't you telling me?" Opal asked. This was bad, hearing that her father was such a scoundrel, but something inside Opal told her there was something else, something worse.
"My father...is Agravain. My half brother." Naomi bit her lip. "I found that out a few months ago."
Opal felt simultaneously sick and enraged. How could...No one was really that messed up were they? Well, she was in Camelot, a place famous for it's affairs and pretty much every main character was related somehow, so maybe she shouldn't be so surprised but still!
Opal took Naomi's slightly trembling hand and gave it a squeeze, unsure of what else she could do. "I'm sorry."
"It's not your doing by any means." Naomi smiled somewhat bitterly. "Now it's your turn. Tell me how awful your birth father is."
Not exactly (grand)father of the year
"I was adopted after my mother took her own life after being imprisoned. Biologically, I guess, my adoptive mother is my half sister, but I really don't like to think about it all that much. I had a pretty good childhood, ignoring the fact that my cousins kept trying to separate me and my sister because my birth mother was a villain, but still, I was happy.
When I was nine, Mom decided it was time I knew my birth father. She had told me I was adopted by them and that they would always love me and take care of me, so it wasn't a shock at all when she told me that she was taking me to see my birth father.It was kind of a shock when she told me that because I was adopted by her, he was also my grandfather. I mean, I knew who my mother was, but I didn't really put two and two together. I had never meant my grandfather up till that point, never even heard from him
Dad was against it from the start. He told Mom over and over that I was happy with them, why invite more pain? But Mom told him that every child has the right to at least know who their blood family is, and meet them if they can. (She also informed me, however that all I had to do was tell them I wanted to leave and she'd let me."
Opal grew silent. Naomi wiped the tears off the other girl's cheeks without saying a word, still clutching Opal's hand in her own. Opal took a deep, shuddering breath, before continuing in a small voice."My father, my father....He told me that I was scum. I was a misbegotten half breed, that he wished I'd died with my mother. He called me a bastard, a word I did not know what it meant until later, and I was nine! Never minding I was his daughter, I was nine!"
Naomi gave Opal's hand a squeeze. "He threatened me, and when Mom tried to pull me away, he threatened her. Dad had to punch him so we could leave. I knew Mom felt bad about what happened but it wasn't her fault. It was just who he is. I haven't seen him since."
"But..." Naomi pressed.
"His threats still echo with me, I still worry sometimes if he'll fulfill them." Opal started crying, not sobs, just cascades of silent tears.
What makes a father
"Hey!" Naomi called. "I believe we'll take two vanilla milkshakes!" The man behind the counter grumbled, but obliged, knowing he couldn't refuse the king's ward anything she wanted, or he risked being closed down. (Or worse.)
Naomi waited until the drinks arrived, holding Opal's hand in her own as she rubbed circles with her thumb. When the milkshakes arrived, she spoke again, hoping to touch on a lighter subject, but also to make Opal feel better about this man she feared.
She had it worse than Naomi did, she realized. Her awful father was still alive, there was still a chance he could go after her. Then again, she did live in a loving home where her guardians acted like parents rather than like guardians.
'This isn't a competition Orcades!' She mentally scolded herself. They both had it bad.
"You said you had adoptive parents right? Are they good to you?" She pressed lightly.
Opal caught her breath, rubbing at her face half-heartedly with one hand as she picked up the shake. "The best. Mom never forgets a birthday, spends the whole day just with me or Fauve depending on who's birthday it is, always praises my accomplishments, is always there to listen, and Dad, Dad protects me. He's always ready to stand up for me no matter who might be giving me a bad time, he always knows what to say to make me feel better, he never compares me to Fauve, he even calls me his swan." She took a long sip of the thick creamy goodness.
"Then they're your parents. Regardless of who may have fathered you or given birth to you, there the ones who've been there for you, and loved you, and provided for you. Not the woman who killed herself or that man who threatens you. You have a family. A family that will love you and protect you no matter what. There's nothing that man can do to you if they have anything to say about it."
Opal's adoptive family sounded like the family Naomi used to have fantasies about. It seemed wrong to envy someone who came from that background, but Naomi did.
"What about you? You're the ward of the king and queen. Are they good substitute parents for you?" Opal asked in a small voice, looking a lot better.
Naomi doesn't want to delve into this topic, but anything to distract Opal. So, here goes nothing.
"They protect me from villagers who want to do me harm. They feed me, they keep a roof over my head, they pay my tuition for Ever After High."
"That's not what I asked." Opal said forcefully, ending Naomi's rehearsed speech about Arzh and Gwyneth. "I asked if they were good substitute parents to you. Which meant do they love you? Going by what you just said, I'm guessing probably not."
Naomi wanted to defend them out of habit, but she couldn't, not with Opal's dark blue eyes fixed on her. "Do you have any sort of parent in your life?" Opal pressed.
Naomi smiled softly. "So you do have a parental figure!" Opal said accusing. Naomi sipped her drink as she tried to think of how to say it.
"He's more of a grandfather figure. He's the head groom at the castle, Jeremiah. He doesn't treat me like a lady, but rather like a kid. A normal kid. He doesn't bring up who my mother is, unless I personally ask him, and he makes me feel like I'm actually good at something that's just me, that I'm not a fake butterfly to fill the shell others need filled." Naomi cut her ramble short by taking another drink. She didn't realize how much Jeremiah meant to her, she knew his grandson meant a lot to her, Jeremiah himself, was a surprise.
"Seems like a good father." Opal commented. "However bad our biological families are, it's more than made up for with our chosen families."
Naomi shrugged. "Hey, listen, um..." She wasn't sure what she was doing, only sure that Opal was the only one other than Arzh and Gwyneth, (and possibly Jeremiah) who knew about her father, and that it helped to talk to someone who sort of understood. And she wanted to have that again.
"I'm a student at Ever After High, if you're ever upset, even if it's not upsetting enough to send you out in the middle of the night in the rain, and no one else can be there for you, just call me, okay? I'll try to answer." She offered this, losing her composure because she didn't really know how to get a friend (other than co-parent an orphaned horse with them) and she was hoping she was doing this right.
Opal stared at the offered slip of paper with the number written neatly on it, making Naomi even more sure that she had done something wrong. Then Opal smiled. "Thanks. I'll text you saying this is Opal later, okay?"
When Opal left, Naomi reached into her purse to pull out money for the two shakes. "Leave it m'lady." The man reassured her. "It's no trouble."
Naomi was confused, but thanked the man as she herself left. The man just shook his head, gladder than anything that the young girl that he had meant nearly seventeen years ago, had finally made a friend.