((OOC: Long!post is loooooooooong. Sorry about that. They won't all be like this, I promise. The recap-factor comes up just this once.))
Ever since a conversation
she'd had with one of the experts she corresponded with, Zea had been turning over in her mind the idea that soon she would have to go home. She'd been enjoying her life in Doma a great deal. Her life had changed drastically and it had been nearly a year and a half. Such a long time.
This city had seemed so immense and foreign to her, and it seemed like she'd been so young. It wasn't even her age. She'd been so uncertain and insecure, trying to piece together a family for herself. Always walking on eggshells, certain that if these surfaci
learned where her interests and expertise lay that they would turn on her.
But that hadn't been the case. When she began her search for her father, she'd taken a mercenary job to try and make connections with people who might know him. It had gone poorly, but she'd made friends, people who didn't scorn her when they realized what sort of work she did and what sort of person she was. Maybe surfaci
weren't so oversensitive after all.
After that, she seemed to make friends quickly. People she was certain would hate her, be disgusted by her... they continually surprised her with their loyalty and consideration for her. This had come especially clear during the events that finally brought her to her father, the one and only time they'd ever spoken. They'd risked themselves for her sake, because they didn't want to see her in danger. Whether Zea herself feared death, it meant a great deal to her that there were now people in her life who were happier having her where she was.
There was Sorune, who whether he realized it or not had taken the space in her life that her father had never occupied. Always concerned and supportive even he plainly didn't approve of her choices, the druid had worried her at first. She had placed him first on the list of people who might hate or even kill her for doing her work, and as it turned out he'd become one of her most trusted allies.
Solis and James, two men who seemed at times that they couldn't be more different. She and Solis hadn't shared much on a personal level, and she certainly couldn't assume that a man of his age didn't have a past of his own to deal with. Just the same, he'd always treated her with respect and the highest regard, and from a man of his integrity and compassion such a thing meant a great deal.
And then James. At first it had been something of an oddity that he and Solis could tolerate each other at all. He'd been one of the first people Zea had met upon arriving, and almost immediately he'd frustrated and intrigued her at the same time. The boy had so many irrational prejudices, so many reasons in his own mind to dismiss or write off other people, and an impressive dedication to the glorification of... well, himself. But that wasn't all there was, and she hadn't realized it until her friends had come for her and she saw how worried he had been about her, some girl he barely knew.
In the end, James had complicated things the most. She'd nearly been killed by a group that would have literally torn her essence apart to get what they thought they wanted, and he'd refused to leave her side for a while afterward. To be more precise, he'd insisted upon living on her front porch to make sure nothing happened to her again. He seemed more than happy to simply sleep on her couch if he could be sure he was wanted there. It was startling, but not unwelcome.
Eventually things had gotten still more complicated. She found that she didn't mind having someone like him around all the time. He was the only living person she spent that much time with, discounting direct relatives. Sure, he annoyed her or offended her on a fairly regular basis, but it was also always clear that he held her in high esteem. As time passed, they became closer... at least physically.
It hadn't seemed like a big deal at the time. He was half-demon, she was raised among demons, and in most cases such things didn't actually have any meaning. Such pastimes were recreation at best and predation at worst, so Zea didn't assume that it would matter what they did. Maybe she was more human than she thought she was. Again and again she thought maybe she didn't belong where she'd been raised, because she wasn't handling this like the good demon she could have been.
Things were getting too close, too personal. What's worse was that her familiar knew it. John was better about these things lately, but the spirit was jealous and with good reason. His place at her side and in her heart was in serious danger of being usurped and John was not the only one frightened by the possibility. Things weren't supposed to be like this, and something had to stop it.
Zea did what she had done last summer and left a note on the kitchen table. She needed to go home for a while. She would write back if she decided she was going to stay. In that case he could keep the house, she'd summon her garden out of the basement bit by bit, and none of her pets or test subjects should give him any trouble.
Whether or not she needed to be alone, Zea knew better than to travel to the Netherworld
alone. She'd spoken with a few people about going to the Netherworld with her to work on a couple of projects. Unsure if they'd forgotten about her plans, she sent a message to a few potential travelling companions. It was short notice, but perhaps one or two people were still available. She sat on the edge of the fountain where she'd offered to meet her travelling companions, kicking her feet against the stone impatiently.
((OOC: Edit: Forgot to remove my signature! D'oh!))