This is my fanfiction/short story that takes place immediately after the end of Flashback. It is Sokeefe so if that bothers you don't read it, and if you read it anyway, don't hate. --TrickyZbear
The word echoed through her head, getting louder and louder, bouncing and ringing until it focused on one thing. A beautiful pair of teal eyes.
How could she tell Fitz?
"There's no way we won't be matched," he had said.
Sophie Elizabeth Foster is Unmatchable.
How could she have let herself hope?
Somewhere deep inside of her, something snapped.
"Why?" she asked, her voice hard and emotionless.
"We don't know," she matchmakers told her.
"Is it because the Black Swan won't tell me who my parents are?" she continued, a hint of bitterness slipping in.
"We don't know."
Sophie stood up abruptly. "I'm leaving. If I'm unmatchable, then there's no reason for me to still be sitting here." She knew she shouldn't speak to them like that, it wasn't their fault, but she couldn't bring herself to care. She felt cold. Numb. She walked stiffly to the door, opened it, and continued down the hall. She walked brusquely past the seats full of beautiful elves and looked for Grady and Edaline.
"Sophie?" Her adopted mother said.
Sophie turned and realized she had walked right past them. The numbness disappeared with a snap. She choked on a sob and rushed to her, resisting the urge to collapse in Edaline's arms and cry.
"Sophie, what happened?" Edaline asked, running soft fingers through Sophie's hair.
"I'm...I'm...I can't...not here...not now. Just take me back to Havenfield."
She scrunched her eyes closed to hold back the tears and only vaguely felt the feathers whisk her away as Grady light leaped them home. She felt bulky arms pick her up and smelled goblin musk and dimly realized that Sandor must be carrying her up to her room.
There was a knock on her door and she pulled the covers down so they weren't covering her head. "Come in," she said, her voice hoarse.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Edaline asked, coming over to sit on the bed next to Sophie, placing a tray of mallowmelt in the space between them.
"I'm Unmatchable," she whispered.
"I know. We're worried about you, Sophie. You've been in here for three days. Fitz is downstairs. He wants to know why you weren't at Foxfire today."
Sophie froze. "Tell him I'm sick. Tell him something. Just make him leave. I can't talk to--"
"Can't talk to who?" asked a crisp, accented voice that made her heart skip a beat.
She shook her head.
"Okay. Why weren't you at Foxfire today?"
"You can tell me, Sophie. You can tell me anything."
Her heart fluttered, her stomach flopped, and she said, "I'm Unmatchable."
"You're...You're what?" Fitz said, confusion evident on his face.
"I'm Unmatchable," she repeated, the words barely more than a whisper.
"No. No, you can't be. There's no such thing. You..." he trailed off, apparently at a loss for words. "You must be confused," he finished. "Or...Or maybe it was a misunderstanding...or a nightmare! Yes, it was a nightmare! You didn't go to the matchmaking office. It was just a dream Sophie!"
She gritted her teeth. He thought she was making things up! "It wasn't a dream, Fitz!" she said.
Edaline stood and walked to the door, saying, "I'll let you two talk." Sophie watched her leave, unsure if she wanted Edaline to stay or go.
Fitz's beautiful teal eyes hardened. "If this is you're way of letting me down easy..."
"No! Fitz, I like you. I really like you. You know that!"
"Then...I can't be a bad match, Sophie! Think of what it would do to my family! I'd be the only Vacker to ever be a bad match! Think of the gossip and the scorn...especially from the other Vackers! It would ruin me, Sophie."
"Fitz...Fitz, what are you saying?" she asked, hoping he wasn't implying what she thought he was.
"I'm saying." he shook his head. "I'm saying that I can't be a bad match. I'm saying that we...we can't be...a thing."
Tears pooled in her eyes, and she didn't bother to blink them back when he said, "I should go. I'm sorry, Sophie. I really am."
And with that, he left.
"Fitz," she said to his back as he walked sadly down the stairs.
"Fitz, I thought...I thought..." she couldn't bare to finish the scentence. She'd thought? She'd thought he would what? Not care that they would be a bad match? She hadn't thought. She'd hoped.
Sophie's heart ached at the loss of something that had barely started. Her eyes burned from the tears and she longed to go back in time to that perfect moment under the panakes tree, before all this mess with the matchmakers had happened.
In the matchmaking office, something had snapped. She had felt it in her chest, heard it with her ears, and she knew--she knew--something had changed. But what? She had no idea.
"Sophie? Can I come in?" said a voice from her doorway. She propped herself up on her elbows and glanced at the doorway. It was Keefe. "Or is now a bad time?" he asked.
"Yeah. You can come in." She hoped she didn't sound to depressed, then decided that she didn't actually care.
He sat on the end of her bed, giving her space, but still close enough to grab her hand and send a warm breeze through her head if her emotions got too out of control. "You missed school today. I thought I should come check on you and make sure you weren't running off to do something without me." He flashed his trademark smirk, but she could still see the worry in his eyes.
She looked at her hands. She was clutching the teal heart pendant that Fitz had given her, unsure if she wanted to reverently keep it forever or snap the chain and fling it in Fitz's reputation loving face. Her hands curled into fists.
"Are you okay there, Foster? You're flinging some strong emotions my way." He fanned the air.
"No," she mumbled.
"Did something happen between you and Fitz?" he asked.
It took about thirty seconds for him to get the rest of the story out of her. Unmatchable, Fitz's rejection, all of it.
"You're unmatchable," Keefe said when she had finished.
"Yep," she mumbled. "And Fitz decided that was the end of it." She spat his name like it was a bad word. She looked one more time at the necklace in her hands, and flung it across the room, where it smacked into the wall and slid to the floor.
"So Fitzphie's really over?"
Her heart hurt, but not as much as it had before he got here. Keefe made it easier somehow. "Yeah."
He twined his fingers with hers. "I have wanted to tell you something for a long time, Sophie. I--"
Someone cleared their throat.
Sophie looked up. It was Wylie, Linh, Marella, Dex, Biana, and, worst of all, Fitz. She wasn't sure who had done the throat clearing, but she assumed it was Fitz, especially when he said, "Are we inturrupting something?"
"Yes," Keefe said at the same time as Sophie said, "No."
I was actually able to write more today! Here it is!
"Linh's been worrying about Tam," Wylie said. They were sitting on one of Havenfield's couches, and she felt extremely uncomfortable squished between Keefe and Fitz. "We were hoping you and Fitz could telepathically contact him."
Now that she looked closer, she noticed that Linh's eyes were red and puffy, and her usually sleek black hair was tangled and dull.
I haven't told them, if that's what you were wondering, Fitz transmitted, and she flinched at having him in her mind. I thought you might want to. Plus, it would make things awkward.
Yeah, like it wasn't already awkward. "I guess we could try," she said, trying to make her tone light and hopeful. She was dreading having to do anything with Fitz. She had taken her cognate rings off after he had left--they had hurt to much to look at. She hoped he wouldn't notice. She took off her glove and reached for his hand. When he saw her ringless thumbs, the hurt in his eyes was impossible to miss. She didn't care. Not in the slightest. His rejection made her chest hurt. He should feel guilty. Let him hurt. He deserved it.
She thought those cruel thoughts down as he entered her mind, and had trouble bringing herself to meet his eyes. They were still beautiful, but they no longer made her heart flutter. Instead, they came with a fresh throb of pain. She felt Keefe pull her other glove off, and a blue breeze swept through her head, calming the hurt, and rage, and despare.
Fitz had the grace to look apologetic as he transmitted, So, how are we going to do this?
Like when we contact Silveny,she decided. Loud, and insistent.
His head bobbed in a slight nod, and then they both transmitted as loud as they could, Tam! It's Sophie and Fitz, can you hear us?
She spread her consciousness as far and wide as she could, searching for his mind. She wasn't as familiar with his as she was with Keefe's or Fitz's, but she hoped she'd know it when she felt it.
They repeated the call several more times, and just as Sophie was about to give up, there was a soft reply.
Sophie stood up. "Well, it's my life. You already had yours! I'm tired of being your little puppet! Go find someone else to boss around!" The words tasted sour on her tongue, but she didn't apologize.
Forkle winced. "Miss Foster, please think about this for a moment."
She ignored him, starting up the stairs to her room.
"No," she said coldly.
The next day she found herself standing at the entrance to Foxfire, preparing for a long day of awkwardness around her friends after her blow-up at Mr. Forkle, and an even more awkward telepathy lesson.
She was able to avoid Fitz until lunch, though she wasn't sure if he was also avoiding her.
At lunch, she sat next to Keefe. That...whatever it was that had snapped in the matchmaking office longed for him, and she wasn't feeling like trying to spare Fitz's feelings. Marella looked surprised, but Biana gave her a look that screamed we need to talk.
Sophie looked away. She pretty much stayed silent for the rest of lunch, and when Dex asked if he could come over after school to test some gadgets, she only nodded.
Then came Cognate training. She didn't think she could face Fitz. So when Keefe asked her to ditch with him to go to the secret mentor cafeteria, she agreed.
So sorry i've been ofline for sooo long! I've had a really hectic week, but i'm back, so here's the next part!
Three minutes after sessions started, Sophie was starting to regret her decision to ditch telepathy. "What if there are mentors in the cafeteria?" she asked, hoping for some way out of it.
"All of the mentors will be teaching," he said, flashing his trade-mark smirk. "They only use it between sessions and during lunch and studyhall."
She tugged on a loose eyelash. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure. Don't worry." His smile faded. "Plus, you deserve some butterblasts after..." he trailed off, and Sophie noticed a small crease between his brows before he shook his head.
"I cannot believe I let you talk me into this!" Sandor muttered.
"I can't believe it either," Sophie admitted.
"Give me one reason not to drag you back there."
"That's easy," Ro burst in, breaking her glare-fest with Bo. "Because if Fitz says one wrong word I'm betting it she would unleash all her elf-y anger on him, which would be worse."
Sophie winced when she realized that she was probably right. She didn't want to inflict on Fitz, but she'd already come close to it during lunch when he had had the nerve to glare at Keefe when he sent a blue breeze through her head.
"We need to talk," Biana said, jogging to catch up to Sophie in her slightly frantic rush to leap home.
"What's there to talk about?" Sophie squeaked.
Biana rolled her eyes. "Um, the fact that my brother was a complete jerk, and that it possibly ruined your relationship?" She looked pointedly at Sophie's thumbs, where her cognate rings no longer sat.
"I don't know what you're talking about," she mumbled, hiding her hands behind her back.
"Sophie, it's really obvious that something's changed between you and Fitz, and knowing Fitz, he probably didn't deal with a breakup well."
"Ugh, fine. But can we talk at Havenfield?" she said, catching sight of Fitz. He was coming straight for them.
Biana barely got the word out before Sophie had pulled out her home crystal and leaped them away.
"So what happened?" Biana demanded when they reached Sophie's room.
Sophie winced. "I registered for the match."
"That's great. That seems like it would make Fitz really happy, so what made you do that?" she asked, picking up the teal heart pendant. Its chain was snapped, and the heart was cracked. She thought that would be precisely how her heart would look if it was a necklace.
Biana blinked. "You're what?"
Sophie squeezed her eyes shut. She was really tired of telling people this. But if she was honest, it felt good to tell another girl. "I'm unmatchable," she repeated. "And it's all the Black Swan's fault." She squeezed her hands into fists.
"I'm so sorry, Sophie," Biana whispered, pulling her into a hug.
Suddenly, Sophie couldn't hold it back anymore. The flood gates broke, and the tears came. As she sobbed onto Biana's shoulder, the words she'd been trying to ignore pushed their way out. "He...He told me to trust him," she sobbed. "And when I did, he...He hurt me! I told him the truth, and he accused me of making things up! He...he hates me Biana!"
Biana just held her tighter, letting Sophie's tears soak her Foxfire uniform.
"And...I just feel so guilty and selfish! Linh lost her brother and I"m worrying about matchmaking! But...He said we would be matched..."
When the tears finally subsided, Biana said, "My brother doesn't hate you, Sophie. He's just over-reacting. Give him some time to get over himself and he'll come back and apologize. I'm sure of it. And..." she cleared her throat. "Don't worry about Tam. He can handle himself. We'll figure this out. I promise."
Sophie nodded slowly, squeezing her eyes shut. "It's just, I don't know if I can forgive Fitz." The ache in her chest throbbed at the words, but the thing that had snapped at the matchmaking office seemed to...encourage it almost. She knew the words were true. "He.... I don't know, Biana. I just don't think I can forgive him this time."