“You told me once that you weren’t like me, I never imagined...” She trails off as his arms wrap around her waist protectively, holding her close. As if scared she’d run away now that she knows he isn’t completely human. “Why didn’t you just tell me?”
“I was scared you’d think I was crazy.”
“Dorian, I know you’re crazy. That doesn’t mean I’d leave you.”
“I wish I’d known that earlier. I was beginning to make myself sick over this.”
“So how old are you anyway?”
He smiles, matching her gaze with a mischievous glint in his eyes. “300, give or take.”
“And yet you still can’t pick out normal furniture? Fantastic job, love.”
“Hey my mom was as eccentric as they got and my dad... is as weird as the fae can be. Don’t blame me for that.”
She was just teasing, and kisses him so he’ll shut up. All his father’s visit has done is show her that she really did get a good catch. And she’s not going to let him go.
Neptune watches from afar. Teleporting across the world takes a lot out of you. And he’s hungry dammit.
While River heads upstairs Dorian sits down next to his father, waiting for him to speak.
“When I told your mother I wasn’t human she shot me six times in the chest.”
Dorian hasn’t heard this story before. “Was there any other reason for her shooting you?”
“She was just about to pop with you and your sister, and I only told her because I was being called back to the fae world.”
Now this story Dorian’s heard before. “Can you really blame her for wanting you dead?”
“No.” Neptune sighs. “You’re doing the right thing son. I’m proud of you."
"So you'll allow me to stay here with her? As a mortal?"
Neptune scoffs, giving his son a knowing glare. "Do I truly have a choice? You've already made up your mind, Dorian. I won't lose another son to pride. I will support your decision."
He finds her upstairs, dressed in something he’s never seen before.
“What were you and your father talking about?”
Dorian smiles, pulling her close. “Just how awesome I am. He’s decided to let me stay here with you.”
“He could have taken you away?”
“I’m his son, and half human. If he called me away I wouldn’t have been able to resist. That’s why I called him here to meet you.”
“Oh Dorian...” Her voice almost breaks, partly from worry and partly from relief. She hadn’t realized how close she’d been to losing him.
He holds her close, his lips so close to her own. “Don’t worry love. I’m not going anywhere now. I promise.”
She pushes him away, instead leading him towards the bed. His clothes are off instantly as she crawls on top of him. “No more secrets from now on, alright?”
He nods obediently. “I promise.”
They take things slow... at first.
But the temptation is too much for Dorian, and he takes control quickly. Never hurting her, but unable to hold back after wanting her for so long.
Worn out, he lays next to her, one hand across her body holding her close. “Hey River?”
“Hm?” She asks, half asleep.
“We promised no more secrets, right?”
“I hate your job.”
She smiles to herself. “That’s not a secret.”
The following morning Dorian feels as if he’s on top of the world.
Neptune happily brings him back to reality.
“I think there’s something about your River that you should know.”
And suddenly, the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach is back with a vengeance. “... Okay?”
“She’s the descendant of another of my sons. Aquarius, I believe I mentioned him to you before.”
Dorian’s face says it all, but after the initial panic he manages to calm down enough to do the math. “So... she and I... I mean, the relation is too far to matter, correct?”
“Oh completely. When I first found Aquarius’ descendants they were already three generations removed. I’ve been watching over their family ever since but ventured to be with your mother while River’s grandmother was still just a child in Starlight Shores. If I’d realized her relation sooner I would have told you instantly.”
“Does this epiphany change your opinion of my relationship with her?”
Neptune shakes his head. “Of course not. If anything this makes me happier. River’s ancestors were always dear to my heart, but when they stopped knowing me I felt as if I should no longer interfere with their lives. Not only have you found them again for me, but I know you will take good care of her, and she will take good care of you.”
Dorian smiles in relief but that relief is short lived.
“However far removed River may be in number, her blood may still be strong. Her great-grandmother was a werecat of pure blood and you know their speciality.”
“Green eyes hide power.” Dorian mutters to himself, remembering what had attracted him to River in the first place. “But River barely recognizes her abilities. All she uses them for is stealing. She doesn’t realize she could transform if I showed her.”
“She may not, but if you have children...” Neptune trails off, knowing Dorian understands.
In the silence Neptune’s thoughts turn to children. It’s been so long since he held a child in his arms. It would be nice to be a grandfather again. “When you and River have children please call for me. I would like to see them for myself... to see if they require training I mean.”
Dorian knows the look in his father’s eyes. “Go have an adventure father. I’ll be here with grandchildren for you to spoil with gifts when you return.”
And with that, Neptune is gone. And Dorian spends most of the evening trying to explain everything to River.
“So let me get this straight. We’re... related? In some strange convoluted way?”
“Far too distantly for anyone but my father to know, love. And I don’t see what the big deal is. You sister just married her second cousin didn’t she?”
River visibly twitches. “Yes... but I mean... watcher, just how old IS your father?”
“He was here long before the humans were created, and mother gaia was still just imagining the world into being.” Dorian’s so used to this explanation since that’s all he was ever given. “I don’t know much more than that. But does this truly bother you so much? My father was quite happy when he realized I’d managed to find the strain of his family who had disappeared off the face of the planet.”
At last River smiles, moving into his arms. “I’m not bothered, Dorian. Just surprised. This is all so much for me to understand in such a short amount of time but I swear I’m trying. And nothing will ever make me stop loving you. If anything my inner hopeless romantic is just calling our meeting destiny now.”
Dorian can’t hide his smile as he steps back. “I’m so glad you think that way, love.”
He pulls out the ring he’d been hiding ever since their first date. “Because the way you’ve reacted to everything just helped me realize I want to spend the rest of my life with you. River, will you marry me?”
Her squeal of happiness is answer enough.
He barely gets the ring on her finger before she’s in his arms. “I’m so happy Dorian, thank you. I don’t know what could possibly make my life any better right now.”
Dorian has one idea. But getting River to talk to her family again might not be as easy as he hopes.
This chapter also could have been titled "necessary exposition". Glad that's over. But just for the interest of those who may not have read my Sabo legacy, this is how far removed River is from Neptune:
Neptune -> Aquarius (married my Gen 3 Sabo heir) -> Raindrop -> Jacob -> Mackenzie (first to rekindle the relationship to Neptune) -> Paris -> Briar (last to know of his fae ancestry) -> Melody -> Serena -> River.
Briar's wife was a were-cat and was supposed to be able to transform, but again, glitches plauged that generation and I was basically just trying to get through things long enough to get to Melody. I threw plot out the window.
I love these two <3