Tag Archive: Stevie

Interesting, huh?

All heads turned toward the door as one of the couriers entered. “Whoa,” the boy said. “Afternoon, Investigator Morrissey. I was called to come for a pick up.”

“Good afternoon,” Morrissey replied. He pulled out his files and handed them over to younger man. “These need to get to Commander Hartley. This needs to get to the Chief.”

“Will do,” the courier said. “Be back later with replies.” His eyes danced as he took the folders and he winked before scampering out the door.

“I take it you know him?” Emery said wryly.

“Stevie,” Morrissey said, pointing at the door. “He’s been a courier since before you joined the team. He’s not a magician but he’s… interesting.”

“Interesting?” Emery repeated.


Though it had taken them quite sometime to find Arturus, it took them almost no time at all to make their way back to the party. Once they reached the ballroom, Emery waved a hand at the older man to stay outside the door. “I’m going to get Morrissey,” he said softly.

Then he entered, leaving Miles to stay with their witness. As he crossed the threshold, Emery realized that finding the older investigator was going to be a task that was easier said than done. He wondered briefly how the servant had found the man earlier in the night. Then he saw Stevie and made his way over to him… or her since that was how the messenger was dressed.

“Hey, Emery,” Stevie greeted.

“St – Miranda,” Emery said. “Have you seen Morrissey? I need to tell him something important.”

“He’s around here somewhere,” Stevie said. “Dance with me and maybe we can look while we’re on the dance floor.”

Emery blushed but took the other boy’s hand and led him out onto the floor, suddenly glad that he was dressed as a woman. As they danced, both watched the crowd that surrounded the floor for signs of the senior investigator. It was Stevie who spotted him.

“He’s heading out into the garden with that guy that’s always hanging around with the governor,” he said as the dance ended.

Emery bowed and scampered over to the door Stevie indicated. He walked quietly and carefully out into the garden, hoping the senior investigator wasn’t in any kind of danger.

Emery watched the couple head out into the garden together. They seemed an unlikely pair on the surface, but Emery could feel the kindred spirits that dwelt within each. It was times like these that he remembered the other use his gifts had. So often he dealt with trauma – fear, anger, hopelessness, injuries and death – that he often forgot that he could feel the remnants of positive emotions as well.

“What are you doing?” Stevie asked softly.

Emery startled and then glanced away as he replied, “Feeling… I can sense the emotions of people around me – differently than Miles but similar. I get impressions of the actions that prompted the emotions – and are prompted by it.” He glanced back at the door the couple had left through. “He’s gonna kiss her.”

“Leave be,” Stevie said, chuckling slightly. “Give them some privacy, no more mental snooping. To think you’d analyze even that.”

“Habit,” Emery said with a shrug. “I’m a forensic mage. We analyze everything.”

Emery stepped from the car onto the tiled walkway that led up to the governor’s mansion. All around a sharp wind shook the late-blooming flowers and early autumn leaves of the garden. “Morrissey, this place give me the heebie-jeebies. It’s bad enough we have to come to one of these fancy-pants parties, but does it have to be creepy too?”

“The atmosphere is rather pleasant, Emery. Stop complaining. Try and make a good impression,” the supervisory agent said as he led Stevie toward the mansion.

“Right,” Emery muttered as he shoved his hands in his pockets.

“Hands out of your pockets.”

Emery rolled his eyes but did as he was told. He followed Morrissey into the house and relaxed as the creepy feeling suddenly left him. He darted a glance at Miles and the younger boy merely shhok his head. He’d felt nothing.

“Did something happen out there at some point, Morrissey? I think I was picking up on trauma.”

“It’s the governor’s mansion, Emery. I very much doubt that anything untoward had happened on the grounds.” Morrissey led the way towards some warden officials to greet them and introduce the brothers.

Emery frowned and glanced back at the door they’d entered through. Something back there was very wrong.

“Why do we have to dress like this?” Emery groused, fussing with the bow tie he was wearing. He sent Morrissey a fierce glare.

The older man sighed deeply and walked over to his young colleague. Batting the other’s hand away, he straightened the tie, saying, “The Governor wants to show you off to of his supporters. You and your brother are the youngest people to ever be accepted as deputy investigators and it’s something to be proud of.”

“Something we should be proud of,” Miles pointed out, taking off his glasses and slipping them into his pocket. “I don’t remember the Governor standing beside us and holding our hands while we took our exams. I don’t remember him helping us study for them or helping us keep up with our class work.”

“Yeah,” Emery agreed. “We did all the work and he’s getting the credit?” He shook his head and growled, “It’s the same with everything else we do.”

Morrissey rolled his eyes. There was very little he could say in reply, since they were right. Their achievements were amazing and that the governor was basically putting them on display implied that he was somehow responsible for that. He was trying to show that his policies on the education of mages were working. However, both Emery and Miles had worked hard to get where they were and that had very little to do with being forced to attend the Academy.

The investigator chuckled softly, wondering how the governor’s constituents would react if they were to learn that the boys had actually been largely home-schooled in their gifts. He shook the thought away and glanced over at Miles.

The younger of the brothers was shrugging into the long hooded coat that he wore almost habitually. “Hat,” Morrissey reminded him as he noticed that the accessory was still sitting on the table.

Miles sent him a dark glare and Morrissey smiled in response. Emery hated ties, claiming that he felt like he was being choked when he wore them. Morrissey couldn’t help but wonder what Miles had against hats. No matter what propriety dictated with regards to a situation, the boy refused to wear them unless someone forced the issue.

The two men stared at each other for several minutes before Emery sighed explosively. “Dammit Miles,” he snapped. “Just wear the damn hat! It’s not that big of a deal!” He slapped the tweed cap down onto his brother’s head and whirled on his heel to stalk out the door.

Miles glared, removed the hat and straightened his hair. Muttering under his breath, he replaced the accessory and trailed along after his older brother. Morrissey tried not to laugh as he followed them out to the waiting vehicle.

Stevie was waiting in the car and winked at the three of them as they slid into the seats. Both Ballard’s gave him incredulous looks and Emery mumbled, “What the hell?”

Morrissey chuckled softly. “You look very pretty, Stevie,” he said, gently kissing the boy on his cheek.

Stevie’s pale blond hair was caught up in a fanciful coif, with ribbons trailing down from it. He was wearing a floor length gown that had a frill of lace at the collar. His long slender arms were bared, except for a shawl that was wrapped around his shoulders. “Thanks,” the boy said, smiling warmly. Anyone looking at him would be hard-pressed to realize that he was not a pretty young girl.

“Why do you dress like that?” Emery hissed, leaning closer to the other.

The courier shrugged slightly. “Only way for me to go to this thing on Morrissey’s arm,” he said in a whisper. “Besides, everyone thinks I’m a girl, right?”

“Only people who don’t really pay any attention to you,” Emery grumbled, flopping back against the seat.

As the driver pulled away from the curb, Miles turned a quizzical eye on the young man. “How do you…” he began uncertainly, but trailed off without finishing the thought. Instead, he waved a hand at the other ambiguously.

Stevie chuckled, understanding instantly that Miles was trying to ask how he could wear the gown and appear feminine. Setting a hand against the bodice, he whispered, “It’s padded.”

Morrissey sighed lightly and wrapped an arm around Stevie’s delicate shoulders. “I wish we didn’t have to hide it,” he murmured gently.

Emery nodded slightly and Stevie shrugged. “It’s accepted for the most part, but not if you work for the government,” he said quietly. Smiling at Morrissey, he whispered, “What you do is too important to jeopardize and I know how you feel. That’s all that matters to me.”

“Okay,” Emery sighed. “You two are adorable and all, but this is getting a little too saccharine for my tastes,” he grumbled. Glancing between the couple, he said, “What’s this thing going to be like, anyway?”

“It’s a ball, Emery,” Morrissey stated matter-of-factly. “They’ll have food and music and there’ll be dancing. You two will get introduced around and girls will want to dance with you.”

“I like dancing,” Miles said, taking off his hat and setting it on his knee. At a quirk of Morrissey’s eyebrow, he grumbled, “What? I’m hot!” He rolled his eyes and muttered, “I’ll put it back on when we get there.”

“Alright,” Morrissey agreed, smiling faintly. It was a reasonable compromise.

“I don’t see the point,” Miles grumbled. “I have to wear a hat to go from the house to the car and the car to mansion. It’s less than five minutes total. Why bother?”

“Because it’s proper and you’re supposed to be proper young gentlemen,” Morrissey explained patiently.

“We aren’t gentlemen,” Emery countered, grinning mischievously. Sending his brother a sidelong glance, he asked, “Are we?” Miles’ only reply was a soft chuckle.

Morrissey looked out over the pre-dawn city and listened. For once, everything seemed completely silent. Ordinarily, he could hear cars or the sirens of emergency vehicles. Rarely birdsong woke him. Today everything, inside the apartment as out was still. He glanced over at Stevie, still sleeping.

He smiled as he thought about the sheer luck that had brought the young man into his life. Soon he would wake his partner. For now, he could sleep. For now, all was still. Morrissey settled in a chair to watch his lover sleep, a satisfied smile on his face.

Monica Ferris

an author with many hats

A Land of Curiosity

From the files of Shynian Intelligence

Heather's Fancies

tales from the enchanted gardens and shadow hollow


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