A/N: Bits may be a little out of sequence from how they end up in the finished chapter. The bunnies always get stubborn when I get near the end of a story.
“So Richard’s still got his head buried in the sand?” Simon leaned back in his own kitchen chair, calculating what it might take to get Ja’far to just throw in the towel and rent an apartment next to his. Maybe with Tiburon a door or so over. Or maybe they could ask Malachy if anyone in the neighborhood might be selling a house. Sharing the same apartment would be too pushy, even he’d admit that; but in the same building? All of them would feel better being near enough for emergencies. “Damn. I would have thought… he’s a lawyer, he’s faced evil in and out of the courthouse. And he’s dealt with law enforcement-” Er. Oops.
Three looks across his kitchen table. Amused green, patient red, and exasperated gray.
“Damn it.” Simon rubbed at a threatening headache. “I hate to say it, but some things were a lot simpler when kings were the law.”
“You don’t want to go back to a time like that,” Malachy said quietly.
“I said it’d be simpler, not better,” Simon admitted. “I guess it didn’t really hit me how out of the ordinary what we’re doing is. At least until I had memories to compare it to. I keep thinking Alan shouldn’t have to deal with Richard on top of everything else… and I guess that’s because when Sinbad was his age, there – wasn’t anyone left to tell him you can’t be responsible for yourself.”
Ja’far flinched a little, and sighed. “I know that mindset. Believe me, I know.”
“So how did you handle it, this time around?” Tiburon leaned forward, curious.
“Badly,” Ja’far bit out. “And it wasn’t the same. Everyone in the Magnos Clan knows we have to hide from the law. Avoiding law enforcement when there’s a magical problem to deal with – it’s what we do.”