Who: Aine and Grian What: A reunion When: Saturday morning? Where: Aine's cafe, Mariposa
Aine disliked autumn and winter, but only because they reminded her of her sister. It was hard to be a seasonal deity anyway, since half of the year you subsisted on low energy. But Aine made do. She had her cafe and her flowers and her greenhouse. And she had her friend Joseph, who she was getting to know a little better every day. At home, she had Robin Goodfellow to keep her company.
Signs of autumn were everywhere, however. The leaves inside the cafe's courtyard had turned red and yellow and they had fallen. Aine had spent ages sweeping them up. The days were colder and less and less people ate in the outside areas of the cafe anyway, despite the heaters which attempted to make the tables more hospitable. Aine liked that it was less crowded so she could escape outside every now and again. Being inside was suffocating. And it was there in the courtyard where she was resting on her break, when everything changed.
The thing uppermost in Grian's mind, ever since she'd arrived in the city, was to find her sister. And when Liam had told her that Aine had been looking for her for a long time, well, she couldn't wait a moment longer. And he was even helpful enough to provide her with an address. She'd have to make him something amazing as a thank-you.
She found the cafe fairly easily, though the city had changed a bit since she'd been there last. It looked like a lovely spot to sit and have a coffee, she'd have to come back sometime soon. But right now, her focus was finding her sister, and telling her she was sorry. Truth be told, she didn't even remember why they had fought in the first place, it had been so long ago. She just wanted to start again.
Making her way into the courtyard, she took in the table and chairs, most of them empty, people most likely driven inside by the colder weather. And sitting at one of the tables...
Aine heard her name and she looked up. Normally she would have assumed it was a customer or co-worker, since her alias, Anya, was pronounced so much like her real name. But she knew the voice without ever needing to look up at all, and she felt Grian's presence like the pull of gravity.
She was out of her chair in seconds, rushing to take her sister in her arms so she could hug her tightly. "Grian!" Aine whispered into her sister's hair. "You came back."
Grian hugged her back just as tightly, almost not daring to believe it was really Aine. "Of course I came back," she whispered back. "You know me, I can't stay away for too long."
She pulled back, her hands on Aine's shoulders, just looking at her for a moment. It had been far too long since she'd seen her, and, in her mind, the first order of business was apologizing.
"Aine, I'm sorry," she said, taking her hand. "For starting that stupid fight, for leaving you, for...for everything, I guess. Can you ever forgive me?"
Aine didn't care about the fight. All she knew was that she hadn't felt complete since Grian had left her and now her sister was here and she was never getting away again. Grian was her other half. Aine needed her.
"I forgive you," Aine said easily. "I don't even remember what I'm forgiving, just don't leave again." Aine squeezed Grian's hand and she held it close to her.
Grian let out a shaky laugh. "Neither do I," she said, squeezing back. "And I promise, I'm not going anywhere any time soon."
She smiled, a real smile, and said, "So, what have you been doing all this time? We have so much to catch up on, it'll probably take us a year."
"We have a year or many," Aine replied, her unusual speech patterns more familiar to Grian than anyone. "Come and sit!" Aine pulled her sister over to a table and then she hunkered beneath the heater so it would warm her frigid skin. Inside she was already warm.
"I've been here," Aine said softly. "In this cafe of growing things. And I have a pixie!"
"We do indeed," Grian agreed, following her sister to the table and sitting down. She saw how Aine gravitated to the heater and said, "If you're cold, we can always go inside. If it would make you more comfortable."
"And all the growing things are lovely," she said, taking in all the different colors and varieties. "And you have a pixie? How exciting! Oh, I haven't seen one for years, what's he like?"
Aine shook her head, fine now under the heater. She liked the growing things and she knew her sister liked the cold. "This is my favourite place in the city except for Central Park. And the pixie isn't really mine. His name is Robin Goodfellow and he is this tall," she said, showing Robin's actual height. "He lives in my house. I have to get him a house in my house that will suit him!"
"Alright then," Grian said easily, relaxing in her chair.
"That sounds like fun!" she said. "I bet he's lots of fun to have around. And you might be able to find him a house in a toy shop? I don't know where else you might look."
"Toy shop is smart!" Aine said with a grin. Her sister was back. It was unbelievable in the best way. "Winter Sister, you must come home with me. Where are you living?"
Grian smiled back, pleased she'd been able to at least help a little. "No one has called me 'Winter Sister' in so long," she said softly. "I've missed it. And if you would like, of course I'll come home with you. I don't really have a home, right now. I guess I...I didn't really think about it."
"Stay with me!" Aine was quick to say, because she didn't want to let Grian out of her sight. With her sister here she felt whole. Complete. "Stay with me and the pixie and we will be whole again."
"But of course I'll stay with you," Grian agreed, not wanting to do anything else. Now that she'd found her sister again, nothing was going to drag her away.
"Whole again," she repeated. "That sounds wonderful. I still need to meet the pixie, and I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be."