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Story [Highlander] Bring forth the children ~ Darius

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Hazel, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Hazel

    Hazel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2010
    Title: Bring forth the children
    Summary: Christmas with Darius
    Disclaimer: Highlander does not belong to me. I just like to play with it.
    Author's notes: I wrote this years ago for the Highlander Community and just dug it out from the depths of my computer, so I decided to polish it a bit and post it here.

    Intro to Highlander:

    The Highlander franchise is about imortal humans. They are skilled warriors (most of them) that roam the Earth since the beginning of civilization and can only be killed by cutting off their heads. Their immortality is triggered by a violent death and from then on they do not age - that is why some of them look like children.

    Darius's story is complicated so it's easier to look it up here -

    Bring forth the children.

    ~ Paris, Christmas Eve of 1786 ~

    It was early in the morning and Darius was standing at the gate of the Saint Joseph Chapel, waiting to great the five children who were running across the courtyard, closely followed by the huge wolf-like dog that always shadowed them.

    It was that time of the year, the one he always looked forward to, between the Winter Solstice and the New Year celebrations, when the Circus Giovannelli came to Paris looking for an audience for their shows and, during that time, the circus’ children spent their mornings at the chapel, with him. It had been so for many years and, he hoped, it would be so for many more.

    The carriage would come back later that afternoon to pick up its passengers, but in the meantime they would spend what he expected to be a quiet time by the fire, exchanging stories and learning from each other. After all, the circus people led such interesting lives and traveled so much, and it had been decades (how many?) since he had left the safety of holy ground. And it was always nice to be surrounded by the young.

    As the group entered the chapel, took of their capes and coats and tried to calm the excitingly barking dog, Darius waved to the carriage that had dropped them of, shouting a “drive safely” to the man inside and sending him on his way, just before leading everybody towards the back of the church, to the door that led to the rectory, and then to the warm of the kitchen, where he had prepared a meal for them.

    As the children settled around the wooden table, Darius looked for the big cow bone he had saved the previous night and immediately offered it to the grateful dog.

    “Papa says you’re spoiling Luka, Father Darius, he’s becoming hard to contempt.” Noted Antonio as the dog quickly bit and carried the bone to the corner on the right side of the fireplace, the place he had already claimed has his own.

    “Ah, I’m just trying to make a friend. Besides, it’s Christmas, and Luka is such a good dog, he deserves a present too!” Replied Darius with a grin. “I bet you are all hungry.”

    “The boys are always hungry!” Answered Giovanna, the youngest of the bunch.

    “And the girls are not?” Quickly her brother Giuseppe snapped back.

    “Come now children, let’s not start with the bickering.” Interrupted Darius while bringing out the pots of jam, along with the slices of warm bread that Brother Hugh had baked earlier that morning. “Would you all like some tea? It is tilia with orange leafs, a bit of star anise and it’s sweetened with honey. Any volunteers? It’s delicious!” And as the suspicious looks began to emerge on the young faces he added, “Come now children, be brave, live dangerously! Claire?” Darius insisted, turning to one of the oldest children and hoping she’d set the example.

    “Oh, well, what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, right!” Claire replied, accepting the challenge.

    So Darius poured the hot beverage into Claire’s cup and waited until the 9-year-old girl took a sip. “Well, what do you think?”

    “It is delicious!” She agreed. “Oh… Father Darius, we’re supposed to tell you that we have to leave a bit early today, just after lunch, because we have a very, very special show to prepare for tonight. And we would like it very much if you could come to see us.”

    Darius wasn’t surprised with the invitation (it came every year) and he certainly wasn’t surprised that the children were working on Christmas Eve, after all, it was a busy time for the circus, only surpassed by New Year’s Eve, and the children were a functioning part of the show the circus put on. Still, he was surprised that this particular show should be even more special than the others, so he asked:

    “Is that why you all are in such a frenzy state? What’s so special about this show?”

    “It’s at the Chateau de Versailles, for all the royal family and court. Uncle Giovanelli is putting together the Nativity Play for them. Or, at least, the circus version of the Nativity Play, with clowns as wise men. We’re going to meet Queen Marie Antoinette and I get to be the angel.” Claire added.

    “And what a wonderful angel you’ll be,” said Darius, smiling again.

    “Claire would make an even better corpse!” Teased Giuseppe.

    “Watch it, shrimp!” Samuel got to his feet suddenly in defense of his adoptive little sister.

    “Hey, hey, hey, boys! Sam, calm down! Giuseppe, be nice! Christmas is not a time for anger.” Darius called out as he stretched his hand to grab Samuel’s arm just before he punched the younger boy. Unfortunately, Darius, couldn’t do anything to stop the kick Claire had aimed at Giuseppe’s chair’s leg, and the boy ended up on the floor along with his chair, causing Luka to look up and away from his bone.

    Has Antonio lifted the chair back up again, Darius and little Giovanna helped the 8 year old boy to get back to his feet, checking to see if he was alright, which he was. “Alright, no harm done. You two…”, Darius added angrily looking at both Sam and Claire, “don’t ever do that again! You are all family, you should always stand by each other, and you don’t strike your brother. And you, little boy…” he now turned his attention back to Giuseppe, “you shouldn’t say such things about a sister. You wouldn’t like it if those remarks were aimed at you.”

    “But it’s true. And didn’t you say, the other day, that we should always tell the truth?” Replied Gioseppe, trying to get back to the role of the victim.

    Darius felt a headache coming up. Oh, how he loved to be surrounded by the young.

    “I DO NOT LOOK LIKE A CORPSE!” Claire screamed back at the younger boy, with her eyes starting to flood with incoming tears. This was definitely a delicate subject for her.

    “Alright children, that is enough! Gioseppe, new rule, you should NOT tell lies, and you should refrain from telling the truth when you know they will cause pain to others. And Claire does not look like a corpse, so that is not truthful! Now, and until lunch, in order to get you kids in the right mood for your Nativity Play, you will read from the Second Chapter of the Gospel of Luke, which tells us about the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Samuel, you may start.”

    As the children read, Darius found himself thinking about how, as their lives were so completely different from those led by other youngsters, their behavior was so much the same. Even Claire’s. Although it was true that she did not look like a corpse (after all corpses usually had bluish lips), she hardly looked human. With her pale silvery hair and her pale white complexion, she did resemble more an angel. But only if one disregarded her eyes. These were strange in colour, with the blue transparent irises and the reddish pupils, she looked more like an ancient spirit than a normal person. Even at that day and age, only in the circus could someone like Claire be completely accepted has an equal. Darius was glad that that particular circus had found this particular child before the ignorant world could do any damage, as often happened to people like her. At least, this way she would have a chance to grow up happily and, most of all, safely, and even the occasional taunting from the younger children would eventually become a treasured memory of her childhood.

    As promised, the carriage returned as they were finishing lunch. The children then said goodbye to the priest as they left the rectory, and once more Claire repeated the previous invitation to Darius.

    “So, will you come to see the show tonight? We can send the carriage back for you when it’s time or, if you prefer you can just come with us now. We’ll let you watch the rehearsal.” She added, hopefully.

    “It is tempting, but I can’t, my dear girl, I’m very sorry. As with you and the circus, Christmas Eve is also one of my busiest times of the year, so I’ll have to stay here. Maybe some other time. See you all tomorrow, and Merry Christmas to you all!”

    And, as the carriage drove away with the children and dog inside, through the falling snow, Darius stood once more at the gate of the Chapel, waived a goodbye at them and hoped the girl and her family wouldn’t be offended by his renewed rejection of their invite, but then he was so used to staying on holy ground, that the though of leaving made him somewhat nervous. So, he would postpone his leaving of this safe haven of his for a time where it couldn’t be helped.

    One day, Claire would understand.

    He would have to keep an eye on that girl.

    - End -
  2. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Another very interesting viggie. I loved the feel of this fic - winter and circuses and Paris with Versaille waiting in the wings. This had a great out-of-time aura to it. And Claire here fascinated me as much as Darius did. [face_thinking]

    Thanks for sharing these, Hazel. [:D]
    Hazel likes this.
  3. Hazel

    Hazel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2010
    That out-of-time aura you mentioned is exactly the feel i always got from Darius, so i'm glad it came across. :)

    As for Claire, I had a plan to write her diary for the challenge and take the chance to properly introduce the Highlander fandom here. I might still do it...

    Thanks again Mira_Jade! [:D]
  4. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh awesome! If that diary ever comes about, you'll have a reader here. :D
    Hazel likes this.
  5. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 20, 2002
    Hmm, very interesting! I'm curious as to what made Claire that way and what will become of her.
    Hazel likes this.