Title: Familiar Issues
Sequel to: Hocus Pocus
Characters: Chloe, Ellen, Lois
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: When alone in the house with a still injured Lois, Chloe has to deal with an attempt to avenge the death of the witch who'd tried to kill Kate, and discovers that she may be more to blame than she realized.
A/N: The information on humans going into heat can be found on the World Science website: www.world-science.net/othernews/071027_e
"So I asked a friend, Bobby Singer, if he'd ever heard of anything like this before." Ellen Harvelle declared as she sat down across Chloe at the dining room table, the house to themselves and Lois, who was still very much drugged up and sleeping in her room. "Apparently that witch's claims aren't so farfetched." She slid over a document.
Picking up the document, Chloe frowned as she realized that it was a print out from the World Science website.
***Humans go into heat after all, strip club study finds
Oct. 28, 2007
World Science staff
Mammals go into heat. Except for humans, of course—it’s just for animals. Right?
That conventional wisdom seems to be wrong, a group of researchers has found.
The scientists collected evidence from some locales where sexual heat is most regularly on display, strip clubs. And they measured it with a tool that rarely lies in gauging the value people place on things: money.
Heat, or estrus, is a regularly recurring time period during which females are most sexually receptive and attractive to males, corresponding with the time at which they’re most capable of conceiving. Human females have no obvious estrus, leading to biologists’ traditional assumption that it was lost during human evolution.
But in a study published the Oct. 27 issue of the research journal Evolution and Human Behavior, the investigators found that such a cycle does continue in us.
Surveying strip-club lap dancers, who perform erotic dances for cash, they found that tips vary by an average of 45 percent depending on the time of the month, corresponding to the length of the ovulatory cycle. That’s the one-month cycle in which a ripe egg is released from the ovary, becoming available for fertilization.
During peak times of the cycle lap dancers made $335 per five-hour shift on average, compared to $260 during typical periods, the researchers found. During menstruation, the women made only $185 on average. The peak earnings during a crucial phase of the cycle could only lead to one conclusion: females were in heat, the investigators said.
“These results constitute the first direct economic evidence for the existence and importance of estrus in contemporary human females, in a real-world work setting,” wrote the researchers, Geoffrey Miller of the University of New Mexico and colleagues.
By comparison, they found, dancers using contraceptive pills, which suppress ovulation, showed no earnings peak.
The team collected its information through a website where 18 dancers recorded their menstrual periods, work shifts, and tip earnings for 60 days—a total of 5,300 “lap dances.”
"I'm thinking that your magic is enhancing the natural heat of your body, and paranormal creatures with enhanced senses are picking up on it and reacting." Ellen declared in a straight-forwards way, although a slight hint of awkwardness could be noted in the manner in which she held herself. "I've asked Bobby to do some research and figure out a way of dealing with this or every time you go into ovulation we're going to have attacks from paranormals."
Chloe groaned at the idea of some total stranger knowing such an embarrassing thing about her. "Thanks Ellen."
"You don't look too grateful." Ellen scoffed.
"I am." Chloe took in a deep breath, unable to look the older woman in the face. "But it's...embarrassing."
Ellen's lips twitched for a second before her face went passive. "Don't worry, kid. If there's anyone who can find an answer for this problem its Bobby Singer, you're in capable hands." She rose and patted Chloe's back as she passed. "If anything, we could always get you on the pill. According to the printout that should help lessen the effects at least."
"I am on the pill." Chloe mumbled, gazing down at the printout.
Ellen flinched. "You don't say."
Chloe groaned and rested her forehead against the table. "Just when I think my life can't get weirder."
"We'll get through this, just you see." With that encouragement Ellen left, humming to herself as she closed the door, leaving Chloe alone taking care of Lois while everyone else were out.
Chloe sighed, looking at the print out once more with a pout. So apparently she was magically enhancing the scent of her heat and if the witch Ellen had killed was telling the truth, the paranormal creatures were reacting as if she were a female dog and they male dogs. That explained the whole werewolf incident some time back, and she paled at the thought of how badly that could have gone, but this wasn't just limited to werewolves. Vampires, ghouls, shapeshifters...other paranormal creatures...the insinuation was that all sorts of supernatural beings were scenting her and being drawn towards her. The witch had also made it sound as if this was a normal thing that she should be going through and that she was an idiot for letting it last this long.
Did this thing get worse if it lasted longer?
How did she 'end' it?
She thought of the werewolf...and of the incident while she'd been helping Adam look for a ring. That hadn't been a werewolf, the encounter had been more like one would have with a vampire or something similar.
Also, the witch had said that any of the creatures that'd gotten too closer had been killed by the others...
Her family were in danger.
Sighing, Chloe tapped her fingers against the table's surface, wondering if she shouldn't just leave until she could find a way to deal with this. It wasn't right for her to put the others in danger like this. She knew they'd disagree with this plan but the more she thought about it the more appealing it seemed. It wouldn't be forever. If this Bobby Singer person couldn't find a cure or something she'd go out and search for someone in the magical world, a fellow witch, who could explain things better to her. It would be interesting hunting down another witch, it was something she'd never been interested in doing before, but for the first time Chloe could feel the loss of not knowing another like her.
Suddenly the lights in the house began to flicker, causing her to push to her feet rapidly, her seat falling backwards and crashing on the floor as energy flooded throughout the house, causing glass and windows to break. The force of the mini explosion sent Chloe to the ground as she tried shielding her face with her hands, grunting as she hit the ground hard, knowing she'd have bruises later.
A scream came from upstairs.
Still a little shocked and dazed by the blow, Chloe pushed to her feet, cutting her palms with the broken glass as she dashed out of the kitchen and up the stairs. She tripped and fell face-down on the steps, only just managing not to hit her face as she pushed forwards once more, stumbling down the hallway and throwing open Lois and Adam's room door, seeing her cousin arched off of the bed, levitating, trapped in tendrils of living water.
The door slammed shut behind her.
Sensing movement Chloe turned to the darkest corner, seeing a woman emerge. She was in black, eyes inhumanly blue, a blue glowing orb high on her forehead, wild brown hair in a messy style.
"Took you long enough."
Chloe snarled and flung her arm out, a burst of fire swinging towards the newcomer.
Those eyes went nearly white before water appeared out of nowhere and killed the fireballs, emerging in steam. "Now, now, is that how you welcome visitors?"
"That's how I welcome people who attack my family!" Chloe replied, eyes narrowed.
"Oh, so it's okay for you to kill but not others?" The female sneered, lips pulling back to reveal neat, white teeth. "You killed Malcolm, and you're going to pay for that you stupid little bitch! I'm going to make you watch as I kill this girl, and then I'll kill you, much slower."
"No deal." Chloe replied, stretching her arm out to her side before swinging it towards the woman...the bed Lois was levitating off of flying towards the newcomer viciously.
A wall of water rose and the large bed broke into thousands of pieces.
Chloe threw up a shield around herself before remembering Lois, and in a split second sent the shield her cousin's way, shielding her from the backlash of the debris. She took a hit herself and slammed against the wall, flinching in pain. She only had a second to roll out of the way as the woman raced at her, slamming her fist into the wall, leaving a hole where Chloe's head had once been. They turned to face each other, circling, searching the other for any visible weaknesses.
"The only reason I killed Malcolm was because he threatened my family and friends." Chloe finally spoke, eyes narrowed.
"The only reason Malcolm threatened them was because you were so stupid! You still are! You still haven't done a goddamned thing about your heat!" The other woman growled, her visage trembling for a second, showing a glimpse of something inhuman hiding behind the human facade before she was humanoid once more.
"I didn't even know I could go into heat!" Chloe growled right back, refusing to be intimidated. "I'm not a natural born witch and I didn't ask for these powers either! I don't know a damned thing that's going on!"
"That's obvious." The female sneered in disgust. "Stupid bitch."
Chloe's fists clenched in her fight to keep from attacking. "I don't have any fight with you. Leave my family and friends alone and I won't kill you."
The woman laughed, and it wasn't pretty. "You killed my family. Eye for an eye."
"He was your brother?" Chloe froze for a second.
"No." The woman snarled, apparently pissed off by the very question. "He was my master, my savior." The orb on her forehead began to glow intensely. "He was so powerful, he could have chosen any other, more powerful creature for his familiar, he didn't even have to choose any! He's not a woman, he doesn't have the heat, but he saw a lonely, deformed creature and took pity on her." With every word her emotion grew, the water tightening around Lois threateningly, tears filling in the woman's eyes. "He gave me this form so that I could escape the cold, lonely water, could be amongst people without them rushing away in disgust! He gave me the ability to be out of water without the weakness of being trapped. He gave me life. He gave me freedom. He gave me me!" Tears were falling down her face now as she glared hatefully at Chloe. "And you took him from me."
Chloe saw the visage of the woman fluttering once more, giving seconds glimpses of what she truly was, but nothing was more revealing than her eyes, and the intense agony she felt deep within. The blonde's eyes widened as she whispered: "You were in love with him."
The creature flinched as if she'd been struck. "You're so stupid. So ignorant." She shook her head. "How could you have killed him?"
The witch bit her bottom lip, preferring for this creature to believe she was the murderer and not know the truth about Ellen's part in her master's death.
The brunette sneered, shaking her head. "If anyone should have died it should have been you. You are the one disrupting the balance by taking so damned long to choose a familiar!" She snarled, her teeth seeming more like fangs than teeth now. "If you hadn't just picked one instead of hiding away like some damned princess in her castle then they wouldn't have gotten so desperate! Every day the heat continues is a day they go more and more insane! This is all your fault!"
Chloe's eyes wide. "Familiar?"
"Yes, familiar." The woman declared. "Only the strongest witches of the purest bloodlines have them." She raised her chin, standing tall. "A familiar whom the witch can draw strength from, whom will protect the witch, the one chosen to be with the witch forever until the day she or he dies."
Chloe watched the woman before her, tears starting to fill her horrified green eyes as all fury and anger in the creature melted into bone-crushing anguish.
"He wouldn't have really hurt your family, he just wanted you to pick, to make things right. The balance needed to be restored for the good of all." Tears were making their way down the creature's cheeks as her voice cracked. "Malcolm---Malcolm was in his own way trying to help. A couple of creatures, Nommo, Vampire, Troll, Jorogumo, Chonchon and Totoima to name only a few species, have put out a reward for the dispatch of the ones you claim to love."
Chloe's eyes widened in horror. "What?"
"Stupid woman." The brunette whispered, shaking her head. "Stupid, stupid woman."
The glamor disappeared for several seconds before returning, but not before the blonde had finally gotten a good look at what was before her.
"You're a kappa."
The Kappa in human disguise raised her chin. "I am."
Chloe eyed the creature, before softly asking: "Why weren't you there that day?"
Pain crossed those inhuman eyes as she looked away. "He didn't want me there."
Chloe brought her hand to her heart. "He loved you too."
The Kappa turned towards her, agony and hatred in her blue orbs. "You took him from me."
"I'm sorry." Chloe whispered, hundreds of emotions warring inside of her. "But if he had only come to me directly and told me of this without hurting those I loved or threatening them it wouldn't have happened." She took a step towards the female. "Bad things happen to those who hurt the ones I love."
Her gaze went to Lois, meaningfully.
The Kappa sneered, tightening the water's hold on her unconscious cousin.
"If you leave now I won't hurt you." Chloe promised, meaning it. "But if you don't stop this course of action I will have no choice but to kill you too."
The Kappa chuckled. "Then so be it."
Chloe's eyes widened as she suddenly realized something. "You didn't come here to kill me." She gasped. "You came so I would kill you."
The Kappa's eyes filled with tears again. "You took him from me." Her lips trembled. "I can't be all alone again. I can't."
"You don't have to be." Chloe whispered.
"I know." The Kappa whispered back before turning her attention to Lois and her eyes began to glow as the water covered the brunette's face, drowning her.
Realizing she only had seconds to act, Chloe raised her hand and the orb on the Kappa's forehead shattered, water beginning to pour out of it as the hold she had on Lois ended. Chloe sent the mattress under her cousin as she free-fell through the air onto it, and as the Kappa turned to Chloe, a piece of broken wood held high, the blonde sent another fireball, this time towards the broken orb oozing water. Her aim was true, the heat of the fire completely evaporating the little water left.
The Kappa collapsed.
Chloe hurried to her, staring down at the Kappa as it slowly breathed its last breaths. "I'm sorry."
The creature didn't seem to hear her, turning her head to the side, a tear falling down her face before a smile touched her lips. "Malcolm?"
Chloe looked in the direction the Kappa was, seeing nothing.
The smile was radiant as the Kappa laughed and cried, gazing up in adoration at what seemed to be nothing but air. "You came for me."
Chloe brought a hand to her lips as a sob escaped, tears making their way down her cheeks.
"I know I promised...please don't be mad. You know that for a Familiar, life loses all meaning the moment their witch dies." The Kappa whispered, closing her eyes in ecstasy as if a lover had touched her cheek. "I was so lonely without you." Tears fell. "I love you too."
Chloe sat on the floor, watching the dying Kappa, who seemed so incredibly happy as she raised her lips for a kiss...before her limbs and head hit the floor as all life left her.
The Kappa's body melted into water and soaked into the floorboards.
"Chloe?" Lois' voice whimpered as the brunette sat up, conscious once more. "What happened? Why does this place look like it's been through war? Why am I soaking?"
The blonde continued staring at the wet stain on the wood.
"Chloe?" Lois sounded worried. "What's going on? What happened?"
"We were attacked." Chloe whispered, wiping at the tears in her eyes as she cleared her throat and stood. "I took care of it."
Lois frowned as she looked up at her. "Are you okay? You look..."
Chloe could guess how she looked as she reached down and helped Lois up, mindful of her cast. "Let's get you out of these clothes."
"You're trembling." Lois whispered, turning to her. "Chloe what's wrong?"
Green gaze going to the wet stain on the floor, Chloe couldn't keep the tears back any longer.
Confused, Lois nevertheless held Chloe tightly as the blonde broke into sobs.-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-v-Dear Lois, Adam, Kate, Ellen and Jo
There's too much I don't understand about myself or my powers...or what comes with my powers. Too many people have gotten hurt because of my ignorance and I won't run the risk of something happening to any of you, I'd never forgive myself if you all were hurt because of me.
With me gone the 'threat' you all pose is gone so you should be safe from the paranormals.
I've gone to search for a witch who can explain things for me, and I have a lead I want to check up on. I'll be just fine, don't worry about me. I can take care of myself, and I swear that I'll call soon and let you know how everything is going and that I'm okay. I don't plan on just disappearing on you guys. I just couldn't tell you this in person because Lois would find a way to convince me to stay, and I can't do that.
There is too much I need to know.
Try to stay out of trouble while I'm not there?
I'll get in contact soon,