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Past Abandoned by TalgoM Past Abandoned
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She wished she could explain why she had come here, all she wanted in the world was to leave it in the past. There were no tears to be shed anymore and she had nothing left to mourn for but herself. Maybe it was because they had been moved here and she felt she had to see the place that had been found for them. If only to know what to avoid in the future.
Why did she agree to this, to have them moved so close to her? She hadn't really even known that she was agreeing. She had merely been nodding to the suggestions that had been thrown out to her in an effort to get her life back in order. She wished she had heard them when this idea was presented, she could have told them how sick it made her.
She looked around her at the other headstones of lost Legacy members; they were all unmarked, their names memorialized on a plaque inside the house. But these two had not been members of the Legacy; still she was glad their tombs were also left unidentified. The scowl that thought brought to her lips was the only sign of her anger.
She brought them no flowers, or any other tribute. She said no good-byes. Having found them she just turned away and walked back towards the house.
He wondered if the talented young woman knew that she was being observed. Her eyes never looked up at the house, her stare intent on the ground at her feet. No she did not know. It had been four days since she had been brought to the island and slowly he had watched her come alive. Despite the fact he still sensed the lingering sadness within her he had seen her battling to not let that win. She was forcing herself to move past the pain and start a new life. He wondered to himself if that was healthy. Rachel seemed to think she needed to talk it all out rather then just avoid it. He hated to think that he would have to force her to look at that pain again but if she were to move forward she would have to. He liked her immediately and found himself thinking he would to do anything to help her.
He let the drapes drop back down to cover the glass and turned to the two in the room with him. A smile found its ways to his lips when he saw the face of his chosen son before him. His handsome features were as serious as ever and he didn't really seem to be too happy that he had been called here.
"Thank you both for meeting me. Philip I really appreciate you staying." He knew that the young priest was uncomfortable in the house but he did seem to be lingering of his own accord as much as due to Derek's request. "I realize that she seems much better but I'm unconvinced it's not just an act. We need to do everything we can to help her. We need to get her to work through the past." His voice, laced with a thick Dutch accent, betrayed his deep concern for the woman that had captivated his heart so quickly.
"Well I understand Rachel's part in tha', but " Philip started but Derek didn't let him finish.
"When Nick and I were interviewing the neighbors trying to get information about what she was like before all of this we learned why you would be a big part of her healing process. It turns out she was raised very Irish Catholic, Philip. One of the neighbors even mentioned that she waited until she was nearly seventeen to receive the rite of Confirmation. She said she had to be sure, not do it only because someone told her it was time. I think you'll be a great help to her" Philip nodded. Derek felt sure of that part of her healing, but was worried about the other side. "Truthfully you may have an easier time then Rachel. After seeing psychiatrists her whole life and them not having done much for her she might be a little standoffish with Rachel."
"I haven't really seen that in her yet. She seems to be very open, friendly." Rachel defended without really thinking about the fact that he was probably right.
"And it might just be a cover, a way to avoid the questions. If we think she's doing okay why would we bother bringing it all up again? I'm not saying that I have any idea how she's going to be reacting but we need to be prepared for anything. The important thing right now is to help her move away from that house, to help put that behind her." Derek stated in his most even and logical tone.
"She has to face what was done to her Derek, trying to just forget won't help her in the long run." Rachel argued. "We can't be sure of everything they did to her but for her to withdraw so much within herself, we have to assume the worst." Rachel let her voice fall with the last words.
Philip's expression suddenly turned sick. He hated to think that a young girl could be tortured in such a way by her own parents. He knew that it happened everyday in the world but that knowledge had never made acceptance come easier. In the time he had spent with Tangye over the past few days he had seen that she was a sweet young woman with a dry sense of humor. She had also surprised him several times with her insight and intelligence. 'You and Nick, something happened there didn't it? Something you two can't work through.' Her words came back to him from the night before in the library. She had been reading in a chair and just blurted the statement out. It had surprised him but when he looked at her he had seen only kind understanding in her stunning eyes. He really did like her and knew she had much to offer. She just didn't deserve to have so much of a once bright future robbed of her.
"I know Rachel, but one step at a time. Alex and Nick know more about her right now then either of you do so let me tell you what we've managed to learn from those who knew her. Tangye Mauveen Gaarlihn was an intelligent and friendly teenager seven years ago. During high school she had been active on the school's softball team and helped coach a team of neighborhood children on the weekends. She even did some volunteer work for an after school program. She had a job at a local restaurant since she was sixteen, worked with the school's drama department building sets, editor of the school's literary magazine. An honor role student on her way to Brown in two weeks, when her parents died. She had everything in the world going for her." He paused thinking how much of that had been unjustly robbed of her. Forcing himself forward though he continued. "Though, all those who knew her showered praises on her, they also all pointed out the same thing about her personality. She just made people uneasy at times; she seemed distant or tried to be. She felt she needed to keep a guard up at all times." Derek looked back up at their concerned eyes.
"Those descriptions don't really seem to match do they?" Rachel's soft voice asked.
"No they don't. People said she behaved as though there were two people inside her. One so carefree, the other constantly on edge. Watching for something to strike at any time." Derek sat back down at the head of the table, wishing he could resolve all the conflicting emotions he had been feeling. He knew that he was compelled to care for the girl, but was also fearful for the effect that overwhelming concern could have on his work in the Legacy.
"Her sight?" Rachel asked still not entirely clear on what she could do but knowing it was very different from the abilities that Derek, Alex and her own daughter had.
"Right. Most people seemed to accept it though. It was a tiny thing in comparison to all the wonderful things she did for people. They just allowed her the eccentricity." He stood up and crossed in front of the table, leaning against it when the laughter floated into the room. All their eyes grew wide with surprise and they slowly made their way into the main hall of the house.
Tangye had Kat in her arms and she was tossing the little girl around so easily it was surprising considering the size of her frame. She had Kat upside down on her shoulder and was spinning her around, until a noticeable stumble from dizziness crept into her step. She flipped Kat back to her feet but they wouldn't hold her and she tumbled onto the hardwood floor in a fit of giggles. Tangye's face was lit up with pleasure at the girl's giddiness. Kat got back on her feet and held her arms up begging for Tangye to do it again. The opportunity presenting itself Tangye began tickling Kat. She then scooped her up under her arms, flipping her so her head rested on her chest, body over her shoulder and began spinning again.
Philip, Derek and Rachel also began to laugh with the girl's, none of them able to contain it. It was obvious this was how Tangye was supposed to be, laughing and at ease. When Tangye was sure that she would fall over she again flipped the younger girl to her feet, collapsing back onto the stairs. Kat was gasping for air at this point but managed to get back to the young woman, climbing onto her lap despite the relatively small difference in their sizes. "That was so much fun, better then airplane even."
"I used to love it when I was little too." She saw the look on Kat's face immediately. "Not that you're little Kat, I just meant petite." She touched Kat's little nose making the child giggle again. "But you do have to be careful you don't want to get sick." She made a funny face at Kat, scrunching up her nose and forehead as much as she could, bringing out just another fit of laughter. Suddenly Tangye noticed the other adults watching them. "Uh-oh we've been busted. Sorry if we interrupted your meeting, I caught Kat by surprise."
Her blue gold eyes stared up at them and Derek was taken back by those eyes. They were beautiful without a doubt but disconcerting at the same time. They seemed to know so much but hide so little. He wondered how she had come about all that knowledge. Was she that observant, taking in so much of the world silently, never letting anyone know the things she saw, or was it something else? Had she been taught somewhere along the line, by the spirits that she said littered her childhood?
"You didn' interrupt us, sorry if we disturbed you two ladies, you seemed to having a good deal of fun." Philip fought back his concerns and approached the pair on the steps. He lifted Kat up off of the lap she sat in, noticing the slight discomfort it was causing Tangye.
"Uncanny knack with her tail bone." Tangye grinned as she rubbed her thigh where Kat's bone had been digging into her. She leaned forward, elbows on her knees, her pinky finger quickly finding it's way into her mouth. A habit she had since childhood that she had never been able to break.
"Tangye can we do it one more time? Please?" Kat's blue eyes were wide as she stared at her new friend.
"Kat I need a little break, my legs feel like spaghetti now." Her tone started Kat laughing again.
"Kat honey I know you have homework to do, why don't you go into the library with Philip, I need to talk to Tangye for a little while." Rachel kissed her daughter's smooth brow. Philip nodded and started to carry her off but halfway up the stairs Kat struggled out of Philip's arms and ran back to her new playmate. Throwing her arms around the girl's neck she placed a quick kiss on her cheek.
"I'm so glad you came to live here." She said so sincerely that it nearly hurt Tangye with its honesty.
"Me too, Kitten." She replied even though Derek wasn't sure she was being entirely honest by her subdued tone. Kat let go and went running to Philip, taking his hand and letting him guide her up into the library.
"Tangye if you feel up to it I would like you to talk with Rachel, you can use the morning room, I'll make sure no one disturbs you. I should check on Alex and Nick's progress with the disturbances." He stepped back and went up the stairs into the library as well. Slowly Tangye's eyes looked up at Rachel who was just smiling at her.
"Unavoidable?" The grin barely touched her lips but Rachel saw it. She felt something for the girl. Having a vague notion of what may have been done to her was bringing all of her mothering instincts to the surface. She had a soft sense of humor, had been drawn in by Kat so quickly and her child's attachment had also developed rapidly. Plus, there was a sensitive understanding in her that was rare to find. But the pain hadn't had much time to recede, still right below the surface, and seeing it there made Rachel's heart ache.
"Eventually, but if you don't feel up to it " She wanted to make sure the woman didn't feel pushed into anything. Rachel knew she was very fragile right now and didn't want to do anything to shatter her tenuous strength.
"Might as well get it over with now." Tangye patted her legs and stood, leading the way to the morning room a look of resignation on her face. She quickly sat down on the divan pushing herself as far into the corner of it as humanly possible, her legs pulled up tightly against her chest. Rachel watched as the thin little pinky finger found its way back into her mouth. The stunning blue gold eyes, that grabbed a person's attention before they even realized they had noticed the girl, darted anxiously around the room. Finding nothing there worth her trepidation the young woman relaxed in the smallest way, her fists unclenched and the fingers regained some color. Her soft brown hair hung down to frame her slightly childlike face. Rachel quickly saw what it was in the girl that Nick had described to her with such a surprising passion after first meeting her.
She was not a classic beauty, her face would never have the honor of gracing magazine covers but she was an accessible sort of beauty. Her hair was a soft mixture of colors, red, blonde, possibly even a little black but predominantly a lovely brown. The combination of colors made it shine though and catch the light in interesting ways. Her face may have been a little too round but the sincerity of it reached into ones heart, and when she smiled a small dimple graced her left cheek in an endearing way Rachel couldn't put into words. Her mouth was not too full or red, the upper lip lifting slightly higher then was typical, but the turn of a smile lit up the mouth. Her nose was small with a gentle upsweep near the end of it that reminded Rachel of her own daughter's nose. In many ways it was a child's face but her eyes made perfectly clear the fact she was not a child. Thick brown eyebrows shadowed them but did nothing to hide the radiant color. A stark sky blue and around the center a distinct ring of gold. No one would ever mistake them as an in-between color like hazel, but possibly green at times. They were large and anxious eyes that had seen too much but the clarity of them could snatch a gasp from almost anyone. All of this defined her beauty, but she had probably doubted it many times in her life since it was not classic. Still the elements worked together to form a yearning to know her in the heart of anyone who studied her.
Rachel took a place in a leather chair near the divan, but choose not to invade the girls space. She knew the woman didn't fear her, or really any other living person. She only was afraid of those that could exist in shadows, those that could appear from nowhere. Leftovers, remnants of lives lost that had no way to escape or chose not to. Those were the monsters that brought the trepidation to her eyes. She was surprised to find that she almost didn't want to hear how Tangye had been hurt, worried about what her anguish would do to Rachel's own mind.
"Sorry, that's my fault." Her voice mumbled around her finger. She pulled it out, wiping it on her loose sweatpants.
"Pardon me?" Rachel was surprised by the expression of guilt but could tell Tangye was sincere in her confession.
"Your concern, the fear of knowing what I do, or has been done to me, I'm causing that. I don't mean to, I promise. I try to keep to myself." Rachel started to object but Tangye interrupted the doctor. "Not socially, well yeah that too, but I try not to make people feel things they don't." She sighed unsure of how to explain.
"I doubt that you are wholly responsible." Rachel responded honestly.
"I am glad, it's a relief to know you want to care Dr. Corrigan " She spoke shyly.
"Rachel." She corrected absently.
"What I'm trying to say is a lot of the reason that you're afraid to hear what I have to say is that I'm unconsciously putting it there." She was struggling to explain but didn't want to be interrupted. "You may really care, or want to, but I'm feeding it. I don't mean to, really." She was defending herself, apologizing for something that Rachel didn't even understand. At some point it had been made very clear that what she was doing was wrong. From all they had learned about her family prior to her parent's death she doubted it was a childhood lesson. Once the Gaarlihn family had been happy and well adjusted. Her parents had been loving and proud of their growing daughter's many accomplishments in ways they couldn't express. Then with their deaths they became the torturers of their child. Rachel shuddered to think what made that change, and couldn't help but think it could happen to others. She had always wondered if perhaps someday Kat would get more chances to see her father and brother through her Sight. Now she found that she feared that happening if they too could be changed.
"You don't have to apologize, but I must say I don't understand." She leaned forward and Tangye was struck by how kind the face that studied her was. This woman had definitely found the right calling; her concern for others was so obvious.
"When I'm distracted, or upset, any high emotion situation, my mind wanders outward. I can put an emotion in your head or just increase it's power if it's already there when I try to. When I'm emotional I just don't realize I'm doing it. I've been thinking a lot about I guess I'm just helping you feel it." She could not even say it yet. Her eyes were filled with regret.
"I don't think that's entirely true, I've been feeling this way before we even met." Rachel hoped she could reassure the young woman that she wasn't to blame but by the determination in her eyes she saw that no words she had would succeed in doing that. Tangye had clearly accepted her guilt long ago and there would be no swaying her away from it, no matter how sincere someone was.
"Just let me know if it starts to overwhelm you, that's probably me." She was so sure of it, so sure the blame for Rachel's reflexive maternal concern belonged to her. Again a pain struck Rachel for the girl, for her agony, but she didn't voice it or let it show on her face so not to worry the younger one. Tangye again sent her nervous eyes on a patrol of the room but still found nothing.
"The house is safe." She nodded but it was clear she didn't believe it.
"Listen Rachel, I'm gonna be okay. There's gonna be highs and lows, sometimes stupid things will hurt and it will be hard but I am going to get past this. I was taught a long time ago to be a survivor." She sat back in the divan. "I'm beginning to think that all the lessons I got as a child weren't just random but were designed for very specific purposes."
"Lessons?" Rachel asked, confused.
"Yeah. When I was young spirits would visit me. They taught me things; life lessons I guess you could call them. Among other things. I just see now that without those lessons I wouldn't have gotten out. But I had them and they'll pull me through. I'm not about to lose now." She said with absolute conviction.
"I'm glad to hear you say that." She paused deciding it was best to just get on with their talk. She knew that she had to be very careful with the woman's emotions, she couldn't push too hard. Everything had to move slowly and at a pace Tangye was able to deal with. "To start with Tangye I'd like you to tell me just what it is you can do. The talents you possess, and how long you've known about them? Have they changed recently?" She asked carefully not sure what Tangye was ready to discuss.
"Um, I don't know what the proper terms for any of it is but I've heard Derek and Alex both call it the Sight, I guess that's what I have." She said it like it was a condition; an illness long ago diagnosed. "I don't know how theirs works but I see them."
"Them?" Rachel asked, trying to gently pull the girl out.
"Spirits, the dead. I don't know how much Derek told you. They've always been a part of my life. My mother," the wince was involuntary, "she always thought it was strange when I was little that I never had the same invisible friend for more then a few days. I tried to explain to her that they weren't invisible, that they were real people, but I was four or five at the time and they just thought I didn't understand real." Rachel mentally noted the scowl every time she referred to her parents, never calling them mom or dad but always reverting to something more distant. She also clearly recognized the resentment Tangye still held for not being believed all those years ago.
"What changed that?" Rachel asked, her doctor's interest taking over.
"I think I was five, there was this one lady, she was old, ancient to me back then. I never knew my grandparents so I didn't have much of a reference for older people." She sighed thinking of where to begin and how best to explain the moment when her parents were convinced their child was different, that she had a clear understanding of reality and fantasy and that for her the former was just more. "We were at the market one day, there was a horrible noise outside, it terrified me, a crash and grinding sound that tore through me. My mother ran outside to see what happened telling me to stay where I was. I was so scared and then there was this older woman beside me trying so hard to comfort me. Telling me it was okay, that I'd be fine but I couldn't go outside. She was so kind to me. She just held me as I cried. She came home with us that day, I tried to tell someone about her but they wouldn't listen. In the car my mother told me what had happened. There had been a car accident and several people had died. But I didn't care about that, I wanted my mother to see the kind old woman who had helped me but she just wouldn't.
"The old woman, her name was Dorothy, stayed with me for nearly six months." Rachel didn't fail to notice the smile that had formed. She knew already about the woman Tangye was speaking of. Had read her journal entries about her but found she enjoyed the look of joy suddenly in the young girl's eyes that the memory seemed to evoke. She wanted to let her remember a good time for a few minutes.
"After I was put to bed at night she would tell me stories about herself, about where she had grown up, about her family. Her husband who she was looking forward to seeing again so much, her grandkids who she always said she was going to miss seeing be born someday. They were the most amazing stories, I wanted Dorothy to stay with me forever and tell me stories. After a few weeks she told me I wasn't be fair. That I had to let her go. I cried so hard that all she could do was comfort me and stay.
"She'd watch over me all day, whisper secrets in my ear that would make me laugh at 'nothing' and she taught me the best games. She watched as others came into our lives, but they always left us. One day I noticed the sadness in her eyes when one of the others said goodbye. Not like the sadness of a goodbye, but something else and I asked her about it. She told me she wanted to see her family again. That she loved me dearly, with all her heart but I had to let her go. I didn't understand and she explained it.
"She said when I had heard that crash I cried out and she had felt me. She had agreed not to go on the journey that she should have and went to me to help me instead. In some way I had managed to ease the pain she felt in the accident by being there with her, taking some of it to myself. I had felt her pain and she needed to help ease it. She told me that I had taken some of the pain away from her by being there and she couldn't just leave me after that." Tangye paused and looked at Rachel for a reaction, surprised that the woman's face didn't hold the look of disbelief she expected.
"That was very brave of you, kind." Rachel congratulated her on instinct. She felt she had to, wondering if anyone ever had understood how brave this woman was. "Go on."
"When I grew attached to her I wouldn't let her go and she couldn't get away on her own anymore. She said she didn't understand at first but over the weeks she had grown to. I was able to push my mind out into others, that was why we could talk without anyone else hearing our secrets. I could see into others minds and affect them, ease their pain like I had with her, but I seemed to be better at it with people who were already dead. She said I saw things that others didn't, she didn't know if the two were related or not, but I saw what was left of a person when they died. All of my 'invisible friends' were souls trying to move on. Hers was the only one I held onto so tight that it couldn't get away. Once I knew I let her go, she promised to watch me, but " 'Some promises aren't kept,' she thought sadly. Looking back up a Rachel she smiled sheepishly.
"A few days later my parents were reading about the trail of the drunk driver who had killed Dorothy and I told them that was my Dorothy in the story. They didn't believe me but when I was able to tell them things about her that I couldn't possibly have known they started to. After all I couldn't read yet, as far as they knew, so there was no way I knew what the article said. It took time but eventually they did believe, they never wanted to but they did, years later. That was one of the happiest times in my life, with Dorothy. I never felt that loved again really. When I was sixteen I found her son and went and told him that I was with his mother when she died. That she had told me how much she loved him, that she would miss him, but she was happy in a way because she got to be with Thomas again." She didn't know what else to say and wiped away the tears. Rachel watched her awestruck by the flood the story had come out as. She reached out and gently put her hand on the girl's leg, her eyes full of admiration. "I'm alright, I miss those days though. Innocent times when ghosts would tell me wonderful stories, play games with me and tell me they loved me. For seven years I prayed for Dorothy to help me "
"She couldn't Tangye, but I'm sure she's been watching you. You were her granddaughter after all." Tangye looked into Rachel's completely sincere eyes. "Relationships are rarely defined by blood alone." Tangye nodded.
"Quite a story in answer to a simple question, huh?" She smiled a rueful little smirk at Rachel but the weariness was evident on her face.
"Tangye we don't have to do this all today." Rachel informed her.
"No it's okay. I'm surprised to say it, but it is okay. Dorothy was always a wonderful memory, and telling someone about her is a good sort of hurt, you know? I miss her but I'm glad she got to be happy." She took a deep breath to fortify herself and regain her control over her emotions. "Anyway that's what I can do, I see spirits before they move on, some stay longer then others. I can project my thoughts and read others, but I don't do that, it's wrong. Rather rude invasion of privacy." She looked back at Rachel trying so hard to seem relaxed. "Next question?"
Derek sat at one of the tables in the control room staring at the book before him. All it had in it was a long list in various handwritings. It told the tale of the Legacy in names. He had added to it so many times as the Ruling House kept him updated to changes in the many houses. They kept it so they would be able to trace the families who would be passing on the Legacy. In the rush of the past week he hadn't even thought to check the log. He had been given his answer through a dream but now it was written out for him. As he stared at the one name the certainty sank in.
Charles Mauvus Gaarlihn.
He had been a member of the Legacy when Derek's own father had been young, left when he was in his mid-fifties due to his son's anger at the Legacy. Derek tried to recall anything his father may have said about the man but the references were vague at best. He had been a troubled man, deep compassion not only towards living but the dead as well. The one thing that stood out was when Derek remembered his father telling him that Charles was never able to get over his guilt for having to banish anything to hell. Odd then that he should choose to stay with the Legacy and that it would instead be his own son who ended their ties to the organization.
He would have been Tangye's great-grandfather, a man she had never known. He would never have known that he had someone to pass his Legacy onto since he died nearly twenty years before she had been born, only six months after leaving the Legacy. His own son had died four years before Tangye was born and with him the secret ties to the Legacy had obviously also died.
Yet now she was here, where she belonged.
Minutes turned into hours, the oppressive rage she had felt at Tangye's parents spirits had subsided as the girl was drawn away from it. Rachel was shocked when she realized the woman had such an effect on her, even if she didn't do so consciously. Knowing that though terrified Rachel all the more. What had happened in the old three-story house to make it so utterly impossible for the girl to control what she projected? She resolved to put some focus back in the discussion despite how much she was enjoying the stories that Tangye was telling of her childhood friends.
They had been numerous and Rachel was surprised by how many Tangye still remembered with such clarity. Most had only been there a matter of days or weeks, a few slightly longer, but none had a stay rivaling Dorothy's. None had loved her with the depth that her spirit grandmother had. But the blue gold eyes were beginning to strive for more stories, for memories she could relate to avoid the topic she knew she was really here to discuss.
"Tangye, tell me something, were there good days, do you have happy memories with your parents?" Her eyes were quickly lost in shadow and did one more check of the empty room. Her finger subconsciously found its way back to her mouth.
"They're dead now." She proclaimed quickly. Rachel's heart ached again, that bright light that had been shining in front of her vanished.
"Tangye, you have to separate your parents from their spirit forms." She shook her head weakly.
"That was their souls Rachel, I've been around this long enough to understand that." She averted her eyes refusing to look at the doctor anymore.
"But was it always like that? When do you remember first seeing them after they died?" Rachel tried for a different approach.
She struggled with the words that didn't want to come. She reminded herself that she was strong and that she was not about to let anyone beat her. Certainly not after her success just days ago. Finally she forced it out. "When the police came to the house, they were standing behind them smiling at me. I thought they had come to say goodbye," she swallowed back the bile in her throat, "then they came into the house, didn't ever leave. I remembered what Dorothy had told me, that I had been keeping her there and probably didn't even realize it. I thought maybe I was doing it again so I tried to push them away, they wouldn't go." She bit down on her finger harder and Rachel reached out pulling it out of her mouth afraid she would hurt herself. She was glad she did it when she saw the dark impressions the teeth had left that would obviously form bruises.
"The neighbors said at first you would still go out, that they took you to doctors but you wouldn't speak." She gently prodded.
"They told me not to, that no one would understand it, they'd think I was crazy and lock me up somewhere. I was pretty damn sure I would go crazy by that point." She forced the words trying not to let the hate show in her voice. "They boarded up the house when they felt me trying to push them away. Told me I was their daughter and they would never leave me. I was theirs, only theirs, no more invisible friends necessary because now I had them." She pushed her hair back out of her eyes. "They were jealous of all the spirits I had seen and spent so much time with as a child. They had shared me in life but refused to after."
"So when they came back they were always " Rachel wasn't sure how to put it and Tangye jumped in with the word lingering in her mind.
"Evil?" It wouldn't have been the word that Rachel chose but she didn't argue. "No I guess not. At first they just loved me, wanted to protect me. But that didn't last, with time that became possessiveness. Scary possessiveness. It wasn't natural, no one else could be given a piece of me." She seemed to remember something and rushed the rest of her thought, "then it just got worse."
"What changed?" Rachel pushed a bit more; Tangye seemed resolved to talk now.
"I did." She answered simply. "I kept growing up despite the fact they were stuck at one age and wanted me to be too. That seemed to anger them and they wanted to find a way to stop it. Possessiveness became obsession, and that made me start doing anything possible to get rid of them, anything. I tried to destroy them in anyway I could." She gave a weak little laugh hoping it worked to combat the tears pushing at the back of her eyes. Her next words came out rushed. "I burned their things, spent hours at a time trying to push them out of the house, out of my sight. I prayed, God I prayed. I begged to God, to any relative that would hear me, to Dorothy. They just clung on harder, once they loved me " She wept into her knees and Rachel couldn't resist the urge to go to her. She wrapped her slender arms around her and just held onto her. "Obsession turned to hate, to anger. That was all they were at the end."
Rachel waited until the young woman regained her composure after several minutes before posing her next question. She could feel the exhaustion in every bit of Tangye's body but needed at least one last question answered. "How long? When did it become anger?"
"I was almost twenty-one I think." That was four or five years ago Rachel thought as horror swept over her. "Right after they got rid of him " She mumbled it and Rachel wasn't even sure that she heard her correctly but she couldn't ignore the comment.
"Who?" She was surprised that the small urgings were all it really took to get the girl talking, obviously she wanted to unload but couldn't do it alone, she would have given up long ago if no one had asked her the next leading question. Tangye slowly gathered herself together and stood, she began pacing the room as though she was trying to keep ahead of something. She pressed the balls of her hands into her eyes to push back the remaining tears. Then clinched her fists at her side, flexing and releasing them over and over again. She seemed to be struggling even more with her emotions, deciding between anger and anguish. She finally turned to look at Rachel carefully.
"I it's hard to talk about it." She stated weakly.
"I understand." Rachel nodded kindly and was surprised by the sudden laugh it evoked from Tangye.
"I have heard that so many times in my life I can't even count them all. It's like they teach you that the first day in medical school and just engrain it into you after that. But there's a difference Rachel. A big difference between wanting to understand and actually being able to." Suddenly some of the apprehension to doctors that Derek feared seemed to be rearing its head. Rachel was a little shocked to see it. Tangye had been so open, seeming to be willing to talk to anyone up until this point. Now her light eyes seemed almost bored with Rachel's efforts.
"I'm sorry Tangye. If you're not comfortable " Rachel tried to get the comfort back between them.
"That's it, that's what I don't like." She pointed at Rachel anxiously. "That always drove me crazy. You had been doing really well until you started to talk about them, don't blow the progress."
"Excuse me?" Rachel was now shocked. Such a turn around in what, seconds? Tangye almost seemed to be openly mocking her now.
"You were talking to me Rachel, two minutes ago you were just talking, not analyzing. I'm sure I'd make a great test subject or paper but I refuse to be that for anyone." She stated with resignation.
"I don't expect you to be." Rachel defended herself.
"Listen, I've seen a lot of doctors over the years, and I was fine with that so long as they tread carefully. I don't need a bunch of psychobabble, or trite expressions of sympathy while you mentally note every word I choose. This might surprise you but two hours ago I could have convinced you I was fine, that none of what happened bothered me. Trust me I could have." Rachel nodded finally realizing what the woman was saying. She had been listening to her, asking her questions, as nothing more then a curious party. Someone who seemed to genuinely want to get to know her. At the first sign of the doctor in Rachel though, whether it had been in her words or merely the tone, Tangye withdrew.
"I'm sorry, it's old habit." She sincerely apologized.
"Better, but still a doctor saying. You have the inclination down better though. More convincing. All I'm saying is, I've had my fill of doctors and, noble though the profession might be, they don't do anything for me." She dropped down into a chair across the room.
"Suddenly I don't feel very sure of how to proceed." Rachel admitted with a little laugh.
"Ruined the magicians tricks." Tangye mumbled seeming to remember something.
"What?" She asked surprised.
"Dr. Berton, Nick told me you talked to him." Rachel nodded, still confused by the odd expression. "He said I was like the person in the audience at a magic show who knew how all the tricks worked and could ruin it for everyone else. He told me I managed to make him throw out everything he learned in school; I could see the psychiatrist in him coming from a mile away. I just don't respond well to it. He made me go to a group once, 'kids with social issues', or some such gibberish." She inserted absently, seeming to be amused by the whole memory. "I kept warning the others that he almost had them snared in his net of doctor talk. Doctor kindness."
"Doctor kindness?" Rachel was curious now. Nick had accused her of the same type of thing on more then one occasion but Tangye seemed to have a more in depth understanding of it.
"The type that's not even really skin deep but looks good on the surface. That expression of ultimate kindness and understanding that you just know they can't really have but you buy into it because you want to. People will believe a lot of garbage just to feel like they're making headway with their problems." It was quite clear from her casual air that she did not fall into such a category.
"Thanks." Tangye now openly laughed at Rachel's jokingly offended tone.
"No offense." Her bright smile lit up the room.
"Surprisingly none taken." Rachel admitted.
"I'm just letting you know Rachel I'm not a quick fix." She added.
"No trite expressions or false sympathy?" Rachel smiled back. She was complicated and Rachel found she admired that. She didn't see her as a challenge to her medical or psychological training, just as someone that would constantly present new surprises to those in her life.
"How's it coming?" Derek looked over Alex's shoulder to the computer terminal.
"Six disturbances in four weeks, all in the same neighborhood." She keyed in at the computer and a map popped up onto the screen. Closing in on the suburban area outside of San Francisco, six points indicating the locations of the disturbances they were asked to look into. "The latest was last Thursday."
"Man said a ladder was yanked from under him as he was cleaning the gutters. He heard a voice but couldn't make out what it was saying. Thought it sounded like a woman." Nick contributed.
"Which fits. All the other reports indicate some violent behavior and the sound of a woman's voice. No one seems to be able to understand what's being said though. And they can never seem to find a source for it." Alex elaborated for him.
"So you don't think it's just neighborhood children playing pranks?" Derek suggested just to be the Devil's advocate. And by the look Alex shot him he could tell it worked.
"These aren't pranks Derek, it's reckless endangerment. Some of these people easily could have been killed." She said it defiantly, not willing to let this be swept under the carpet the more she learned.
"But does that entirely discount the local kid theory? I mean kids today are a bit more violent then in my day. Or certainly yours anyway Derek." Nick couldn't help but laugh. The precept just raised his eyebrows at the younger man but chose not to give him the response he wanted. Alex controlled her chuckling enough to proceed.
"I think so. This just doesn't seem like local kids. There doesn't appear to be a trace that someone was nearby when the incidents happened. Two of them happened inside and all the doors and windows were locked, no sign of forced entry. The area though is what disturbs me though. The six reports cover a nine block radius." Alex again switched the screen to show a more detailed image of the map.
"So whatever it is doesn't seem to be attached to a single locale." Derek nodded.
"But it does seem to be the same thing, 'whatever it is'." Alex sat back in her chair waiting for Derek to say something.
"Nick what have you been able to find out?" Derek turned, his professionalism fully up now.
Nick taped at his keyboard changing the screen in front of Derek so that it scrolled through random newspaper clippings. "At least thirty people have died in the area in that past ten years alone. Most seem to be old age or natural causes, but nothing seems to strange. Without a better idea of what we're looking for "
"I know it's difficult to identify why this is happening." Derek sighed heavy in thought. "But due to the violent nature of these 'visitations' we can't really ignore that it's happening. So far we've been lucky and no one has been killed, we don't know how long that will last. This spirit, or whatever, clearly doesn't have much concern for the preservation of life." He patted Alex on the shoulder letting her know he was completely on her side despite his comments.
"So what do you suggest?" Nick asked curiously.
"Keep digging, maybe you'll get lucky." Derek shrugged at Alex, really not knowing what other choice they had. Nick rubbed at the back of his neck showing his fatigue while Alex immediately plunged back into the work. He waited a few moments watching them both before retreating from the control room.
"They've certainly been down there awhile." Philip surprised Derek when he spoke from the far corner of the library. He sat in one of the comfortable leather chairs, a thick volume in his lap.
"Yes, hopefully that's a good sign." Derek agreed. "How's the translation coming?"
"Remind me again why I'm doing it?" Derek laughed lightly at the inclination in Philip's voice, the sound verging on humor.
"You like to keep busy during your visits, and you know we can always use your help." Philip shut the book and turned to Derek, now serious.
"What's going on here Derek? I get the feeling you're hiding something from us. Something about Tangye?" Derek was amazed by Philip's intuition. He had been gone so long, longer this time then any of his other 'breaks' yet still the sensitive man was perfectly in tune with the mood of his friends. It had been the trait Derek always admired and envied in Philip the most. His instinctive ability to just know when something was happening, and when he would be needed.
"Nothing bad, don't worry. Tell me Philip, what do you think of her?" A brief smile touched the often times too serious face of the priest. That expression gave Derek his answer.
"I like her. It's hard to put into words but I like her. And I think we've only scratched the surface with her. She has a lot to offer. You plan on asking her to join the Legacy don't you?" Philip asked gently, not wanting to push past the bounds on him.
"With time, yes I think so." Derek suddenly felt he needed someone to bounce his thoughts off of and there had never been anyone better to do that with then Philip. "The night before Nick went in the house I had a dream. I heard the warning she had given us that day to stay away but there was something else too. Another message, from another person."
"Really? Why didn't you mention this?" Philip wasn't really surprised to find Derek had been secretive yet again but he did want a justification. Just remembering that fear he felt for Nick during the time he had been held in the house, the uncertainty if he would see him again, brought the pain back to Philip fresh.
"I didn't know if it would help, or what it meant. I didn't have confirmation until today." Derek answered as he sat down across from his friend.
"Confirmation? What did you find out?" Philip leaned forward, now intrigued to the mystery.
"In the dream a man came and told me that Tangye was mine now. He meant the Legacy, not me specifically though. Ever since we first got involved in the case I felt like we were looking for the missing piece of something." Derek strove to explain in the easiest way.
"And now you think it was the Legacy?" Philip asked.
"Now I know. The man in the dream was Charles Mauvus Gaarlihn, Tangye's great-grandfather. I thought there was a chance that it was but I couldn't be sure. I just found his name in the log." Derek sighed. "He left the Legacy shortly after my father joined, they only worked together for a few weeks but My father had great respect for him. He said that Charles personified what the Legacy stood for. That his would be a proud line." The memories of his own father's words had been slowly coming back to him throughout the day as he recalled more of what he knew about Charles. Derek had always assumed his father said it to remind him what the Legacy should be. A family history passed down through the generations, remaining strong in the families that truly belonged. Knowing what he now did about his father he had to wonder what the man really meant.
"So she does belong here." Philip sounded relieved.
"Yes." Derek nodded in agreement.
"But what happened? Why did he leave the Legacy?" Philip realized what Derek had said. If he had been so dedicated why would he ever let go of his ties?
"His son, Eric I think his name was. He hated the Legacy, believed that it was a cult that had stolen his father or something to that effect. He thought his father had been brainwashed into wasting his life, throwing away good opportunities financially to stay here and serve nonsense. That was the story anyway. Charles left to try and repair his relationship with his son, reports are it never worked, then he died six months later." Derek said sadly.
"Tangye doesn't know any of this?" Derek shook his head. "She deserves to Derek. She probably feels like and outsider, an intruder. She already told me she thinks she's using us. She needs to know none of that is true." Philip said the words anxiously, wanting the young woman to feel comfortable and this could be just the key to getting her to that.
"I know, but slowly, Philip. She has so much to face right now, I think we need to take all steps slowly. Including revealing her ties to the Legacy. She may not even want to stay." Derek prayed that wouldn't be the case. Charles had said she was theirs now and he hoped she would be willing to go along with that.
"You don't know her yet." Philip sat back in his chair. "I think you give her a cause and she'll fight like a tiger. You'll have a lot on your hands, but I can't doubt her intentions." Philip smiled, relaxed. He had seen the fire in her eyes, so much like Nick's, and knew just what Derek was getting into. But he also was sure that this was where she belonged; yet Derek was right, with time.
It had taken some time but finally Rachel had managed to get Tangye talking again, she had let Tangye tell more stories about her childhood, the days she looked back on with such fondness. During those tales Rachel had just sat back and listened without making a single mental note of what she was hearing or any of the other things that Tangye accused doctors in general of doing. And Rachel found it easy to just listen, to just enjoy the stories of such carefree days. Finally, Rachel wasn't even sure how, they had returned back to the subject they had left on. The 'him' who her parents spirits 'got rid of.' Now there was a new sadness to her expression, an older ache that had sunk in deeper possibly then any of the others. She had resumed her pacing in the room and was finally forcing out the words that her instinct seemed to fight to keep back. Her voice was low and Rachel had to strain to hear it.
"Did you ever have a best friend when you were younger that you loved so much it made your heart break to even think of them? Who you looked at and weren't entirely sure what type of love you were feeling for them?" A smile touched her young lips at the thought of that person in her life. "I could have gotten lost in his eyes, I could have found myself in them." She whispered the odd sentence then glanced at Rachel. Though the tears threatened to return it was obvious the thought of this person erased a tiny bit of the pain she knew and had lived with. "That person is the most important person in the world, no great lover, no parent, relative, not even a husband or wife could measure up to the type of person I'm thinking about, unless they become one of those. But I think in some way it always starts as that friendship. The one where you realize that they know everything about you just because they do."
"You were very lucky to have someone like that." She meant it, from Tangye's expression she could tell the feelings she had for that person in her past had been something that had saved her.
"Yeah I was, and I knew it too." She looked at Rachel out of the corner of her eye as though she were waiting for Rachel to say the wrong thing, put on the wrong expression and halt this. Finally realizing she was looking at only genuine concern and interest she sat down on the divan again. "I had known for years how lucky I was. I met Brian when I was eight and over all the years we were friends he was it's hard to put it into words. We'd have these long talks, about everything possible, I loved those talks. Then there were times when we would just sit in silence because there was nothing we needed to say, we already knew. He was the first person I ever told about the things I saw beside my parents, the only one until now. Childhood was great, as teenagers we began to wonder if there could be something more between us. We never really tried though. Never had the chance. My parents died." She spoke slowly and with great fondness, but her eyes couldn't hide the loss she felt.
Her jaw clamped down. "He stuck by me for three years. He'd come to the house, even when they were trying to keep him out. He said he wasn't going to just let me fade away, that he loved me too much. He wouldn't know what to do without me. I heard him, it broke my heart but my parents, the things they said, they were threatening him. I couldn't tell him I loved him too." She struggled to keep her voice strong. "I miss him so much Rachel but they kept him from me, they said I wouldn't be shared with anyone and they made him leave and wouldn't let him back in. It was like, I died, a part of me, the part that had always meant the most to me. They tried to scare him off but he ignored all of it to get to me, to feel like he was protecting me. He couldn't protect me and eventually I lost him. I miss him so much." Her voice finally betrayed her and broke. The tears flowed again, not of anger this time but of a very genuine loss.
"But it doesn't have to be this way, the Legacy can find him, bring him back to you." She stated jumping out of her seat. She didn't even think how that would effect Nick who had made no secrets of his growing feelings for Tangye. Or at least feelings he wanted to explore for her. She just wanted to help the desperate figure before her who shook her head.
"No, it's too late." Tangye turned away from the doctor, not wanting her face to betray her as well.
"Tangye, if he loved you then it's worth a try. I'll go tell Alex his name and she can check around, find out where he is now." Tangye started to say something but shook her head unable to voice it. "Don't give up that easily, you're parents are gone now, what more can they do?" She crossed and took Tangye's hand then hugged her tightly. She didn't see the look in Tangye's eyes that said that, though, they could do nothing more they had already done enough.
"Brian Matthew Hulsey." She whispered. She hadn't said his name in years and for some reason even mentioning the name attached to her friend made the pain that much worse.
She let Rachel led her from the room numbly, feeling like she was merely going through the motions of action. Just as she had when she had agreed to have their bodies moved to the island, so disgustingly close to her. In the main hall she stopped before going up to the library, though Rachel kept walking and slightly yanked her hand not knowing Tangye wasn't moving anymore. Her blue gold eyes staring intently out the front windows. "It's raining."
"Yes." Rachel replied absently wanting to get to work.
"I haven't felt the rain in five years. You talk to Alex, I want to go outside." She tried to sound happy about the idea but it wasn't quite convincing. Rachel wasn't sure about leaving the young woman alone but Tangye's weak smile assured her somehow that she would be fine. Rachel nodded and watched her go out the door before quickly making her way to the control room.
"Alex." She was glad to find the woman at the computer terminal; she felt a surprising urgency to locate Brian for Tangye. She knew it wasn't really very different from the desperation her male colleagues had felt in wanting to rescue her in the first place. She just wanted to find a way to make things better for Tangye after so much time had been engulfed in pain.
Derek and Nick both looked up and could immediately read her concern. "Is Tangye okay, where is she?" Nick jumped to his feet when Tangye didn't follow Rachel in.
"She's fine Nick, she wanted to enjoy the rain. I think she needed a little time to gather herself up." She answered him quickly wanting to get right down to the work of finding Tangye's friend.
"What did you find out?" Derek's calm voice asked the logical question but Rachel just ignored him.
"A name of a best friend, someone I think can help her through the readjustment. She seemed to love him dearly." She didn't fail to see Nick wince at the mention that this friend was a he, but that too she managed to ignore. "Alex see if you can find out anything on a Brian Matthew Hulsey, he'd be about twenty-five, grew up in Tangye's area." Alex immediately started typing and Rachel refocused on Derek and Nick though she occasionally looked at the screen for results.
"Rachel, what did you find out?" Again Derek posed the question; Nick just stood silent with a sick look on his face.
"I know what she can do, what her Sight shows her. I know that she desperately wanted her parents to leave, tried to make them. She said that they got worse over time but wouldn't really reveal any specifics about what they did to her. Mostly she wanted to talk about her friends during her childhood. The spirits that visited her and taught her. She thinks they taught her so that she would have the strength one day to endure whatever happened to her. Looking at her I have to admit they may have done just that. She's incredibly strong, after all she went through I'm a little surprised she's holding up this well. It will be a hard road of recovery, they hurt her badly but " Rachel spoke quickly, rambling off the information.
"That wasn't hard." Alex interrupted her. "Brian Hulsey, moved to San Francisco when he was eight not far from Tangye's neighborhood. Born 1973 " Alex turned her dark eyes up at Rachel. "Died 1995."
"What?" Rachel ran to stand behind Alex to read the information for herself.
"Says here his body was found dumped in a local cemetery. The grounds keeper found it on March 16th early in the morning. He was severely beaten and showed signs of suffocation. No witnesses, no fingerprints, no physical evidence of any kind on the body. No one was ever arrested for the crime." Rachel closed her eyes tightly.
"She said it was too late. I thought she just meant " Derek put a comforting hand on her shoulder, his eyes could be so kind at just the right moments.
"We should go tell her." He said softly.
"She knows Derek. She probably watched as her father killed the boy." Nick heard Rachel's words and felt his stomach lurch with the thought that Tangye had to endure so much. As if her own torture hadn't been enough they had taken from her one point of life that fought to endure in her life.