May 11, 2021 10:22 AM
slayer karen confesses killing vampires to priest!macalaure
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Cool, they can work on that too! And on stances more combat-oriented than karate lessons for nine-year-olds, generally.

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This sounds like a very good use of time. Her form improves considerably.

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This seems pretty important so they can go until she's getting tired or her sister is expecting her home.

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Azalea honestly doesn't expect her home at any specific time, but eventually they will hit the hour when Karen feels like she's in danger of missing dinner if she doesn't head home soon.

"Oh! Also. Azalea wanted me to invite you and your brother over for dinner later in the week, presumably to discuss the slayer thing, is there a day that would be good for that?"

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"Whatever works for you, I don't have a real job here yet and doubt I will by the end of the week. - Michael's got his singing things on Wednesdays and Saturdays and Sundays, I think."

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"OK! Thursday then, Thursday's good. Thanks so much. - what's your name, again?"

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"Good question." He pulls his driver's license out of his pocket and examines it studiously. "Alex," he announces. 

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" - you know, Gabriel would be funnier, but OK. I'll see you tomorrow?"

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"The guy who makes our identities banned elaborate in-jokes after the incident in the 1980s. Tomorrow sounds great."

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"That's probably fair of him. I'll see you."

She heads home and tells Azalea that Real Dinner should happen Thursday. She reads her books. She considers whether she should tell Azalea more and whether she should tell Alex more and whether she should tell -

- she actually has no idea what Zeke would do if she announced that that she's getting serious training in vampire-killing now, and that she has a new trainer-person whose attitude towards not-currently-violent vampires is not really something she feels comfortable gambling on. Probably not try to kill anyone directly, if only because it sounds dangerous. Probably he'll just leave town and make her somewhat sad about that. But he could tell someone else. He could buy a gun. She likewise has no idea what Alex would do if she told him that she's friends with a vampire; probably ask her if she's sure that he's not committing any murders, and given that she actually technically isn't, quite possibly kill him.

She can maybe just not mention either to the other, but this seems unlikely to work very well long-term unless she just never talks to Zeke again, and even then Zeke might worry that she's dead and come check on her.

Why is protecting people not really simple, like just always running into burning buildings to save trapped toddlers?

Possibly she should get some advice. Who does she know who cannot go killing people after being asked for advice on the subject, even if they think that someone really needs to be killed?

She checks her parish bulletin and confirms that St. Mary's very conveniently has 7:30 AM confessions on Tuesdays, and that she can probably make it from there to school by 8:00 AM if she runs the whole way. St. Mary's probably also has other priests who ever do things, but it's worth a shot. Or, like, maybe it's not, maybe confessing that you're scared that your decisions are going to get your confessor's brother killed is a terrible thing to do to someone, but she's going to do it anyway, because maybe she is terrible when she's afraid that she's going to get her friends killed.

She's at the church at 7:10, mostly because she can't very well invite Father Michael to dinner while she's confessing, and can't very well wait until 8:00 and be late for school, so she has to catch him on the way in. If he happens to be the priest on duty today at all.

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He is, and is in fact there already, sitting in the first row and singing. This was already fairly obvious when he led Mass but he has a truly astonishing singing voice.

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Wow.

She'll just. Sit in the back row and listen and try to catch him when he has to stop and move to the confessional, rather than having to make any decisions about whether and when she should interrupt him while he's doing that.

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At 7:29 he goes on over. 

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And she is there, having rehearsed what she's going to say continuously for the past fifteen minutes.

"Hi! Sorry to interrupt you, I just wanted to say that my sister wants to talk to you and your brother about stuff and do you think you could come over for dinner to this address this Thursday at seven?" She has a slip of paper with her address on it.

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"Oh! Yes, absolutely." He takes the paper and puts it in his pocket and opens the door to the booth.

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Cool cool cool. 

There is one person in line; she waits for them to finish and then enters herself.

"Bless me Father for I have sinned. Maybe? Probably at some point. It has been six days since my last confession. I have a problem."

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" - all right. Welcome, what's going on?"

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"So the reason I didn't end up dying when I was first - activated? - is that after I got jumped by the first vampire a different vampire came by and explained vampires and slayers to me and told me what research to do and how to kill vampires and how to protect myself from them, and I totally thought that he was trying to get me to lower my guard so that he could kill me later, and I guess I don't know one hundred percent that he wasn't doing that, because it's hard to know something like that, but in terms of his actual actions he's just been super helpful and without him I'd probably be dead and we're sort of friends now, and he's not a good person or anything but he's not, like, killing anybody, I don't think, although technically I haven't had the resources to one hundred percent confirm this? And I talked to Alex about how I want to find a way to stop vampires without killing them, and he seemed like he didn't think that was a totally stupid idea, so I don't know that if I told him about Zeke he'd want to kill Zeke, but I also don't know that he wouldn't, and then Zeke would be dead, because Alex is way more terrifying than Zeke. But also I usually talk to Zeke about how I'm doing and I think if I don't get back to him soon then he'll wonder if I'm dead or something, and I'm not super good at lying to people so I think if we get to talking again then I will probably end up mentioning Alex, and probably Zeke would just leave town then, where I guess he would maybe just start killing people again so actually maybe that's a terrible outcome, but if he doesn't then I don't want Zeke to like panic and buy a gun and try to shoot your brother before your brother can decide to shoot him? And I'm really really really sorry about giving you all of this information in a context that means that you can't act on it and have to just hope that I make responsible decisions, because I know that if I were in that situation that would be super horrible to experience, but also I don't want anyone to die, and I thought that to make that happen I should probably ask someone for advice who is not fifteen and who cannot unilaterally decide to kill people based on the information received in the process of giving advice."

She takes a breath and sighs heavily.

"Also I lied to my history teacher about forgetting to do my homework."

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"Having a list in advance of safe explanations that aren't lies is a good way to avoid lying when you have a secret to keep. It's hard to do in the moment. If you get a planner, and don't use it, then you can always say 'I didn't write it down in my planner'....

Of the things you described, I am by far the most concerned that Alex will kill your friend while going around killing vampires that are wandering the streets at night, as I take it he doesn't currently know that there's a reason to do that selectively. If you tell him how to identify your friend I am confident he won't kill him. Given that, I think it might not be a good idea to tell your friend. It sounds like it might disrupt him out of an equilibrium where he isn't murdering people. - why do you think he isn't murdering people?"

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"Because he said he wouldn't kill anybody if I didn't kill him, and it sounded fake, so I shadowed him for a few nights a few months ago, and he doesn't really hunt or anything? He breaks into the butcher shop after hours and steals, like, cow blood. Obviously he could have a way of knowing when I'm watching him, or could kill people only sometimes and happen to only kill them during nights where I haven't been watching him, and I should really check on him more thoroughly now that I can, but he was - sort of helping me help other people not die?"

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Nod. "I think Alex might follow him longer but that seems like a reasonable amount of checking, for the resources you had."

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"That makes sense. I'll... tell Alex, then. Thanks."

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"Of course. Ah, say your act of contrition -"

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She says her memorized act of contrition and resolves to do better. 

" - oh, do I have to do a penance thing? For the lying?"

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"Say three Hail Marys."

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