The triumphant heroes took their bows and the screen faded to black. Wu shook zir head. “That was…”
“Classic.” Trevor spoke quietly, trying not to wake the child curled up in his lap.
“Not the word I was looking for. And I’m not sure how it got on your ‘Evil Overlord’ list. That trash compactor was never intended as a death trap.”
“Come on, the explosions? The laser beams you could see? The aerodynamic starships? You don’t see vids like this anymore.”
“For which blessing, I will make a large donation to the next artistic fundraiser that hits you up for money.”
Trevor shifted, preparing to stand.
“Would you like me to take them to bed?”
Trevor shook his head and pushed himself up out of the person-eating couch. Ho’neheso stirred, opening their eyes to look at him a moment before snuggling back into his arms. “You’ve stood in for me too often the last few years. I’m grateful, but Ho’neheso needs me to step up and be their father again.”
Wu followed him as he carried them carefully to their new—and well protected—bedroom. “You never asked them to change their name.”
“No.” Trevor laid his child on their bed and pulled the covers up. “They lost so much already. As long as I could keep them hidden and out of the limelight…”
“And what of you? You no longer need to hide who you are.” They started back down the hallway towards Trevor’s rooms. “Taking an Anglo name made sense when you wanted to move unnoticed in North America. Even with the First Nations reclaiming so much of their land, Anglo is still the ‘norm’ north of Mexico.”
Trevor grunted. Wu only stated the obvious when zi was building towards something big.
“You will be remaking the world in a new image. As you once remade yourself. But is Trevor Frederickson the man who should be remaking the world? Or Ma’evoto?”
“Does it matter? I’m me, whatever I call myself.”
Wu shook zir head. “Deborah has some interesting things to say on the importance and meaning of names. And I believe some of the First Nations have similar beliefs.”
Trevor let himself collapse on his bed. ”Wu… just drop it. I can’t think about this right now.”
Wu said nothing. Trevor’s thoughts circled endlessly. Setting up ‘Trevor’ as a fake identity. The last time his saw his father. The day he read his obituary. The… No matter how hard he tried he couldn’t push the pain and the memories away. A sob caught in his throat.
With hard learned patience, he steadied his breathing. I control nothing if I cannot control myself. Stepped back from the painful memories and watched them. Looking for the meaning that tied them together. The belief behind the pain.
“Ma’evoto is dead,” he finally whispered, “They named him dead and did the rites. I walked away from that name, from that life. I killed him. There is nothing to go back to.”
“We live in an age of magic. Your servant would be honored to find a necromancer to resurrect him.”
Wu knelt beside him, hand outstretched. Trevor sat up and rested a hand on Wu’s head. “What would you ask?”
“Only this. Does your soul does bleed for the loss of who you were? Tell your servant it does not and I swear by the heavens I will never speak of it again.”
“I…” Trevor couldn’t say it. “I can’t answer that.”
Wu’s head bowed further, hir hand pulled back to hir heart. “As you will.”
Trevor’s fingers tapped against the bed, quick and discordant. Never before had he refused Wu an answer. It was his right. But he had never…
He pushed himself up and began pacing the room. On his third circuit, Wu stood.
“With permission,” the dragon said, “your servant will retire for the night.”
Pacing wasn’t helping. The buzzing in his head grew worse. “Yes, go.” Another circuit before Wu reached the door. Quickening his steps brought him to the door as Wu opened it. “I’m sorry.”
Wu bowed. “Your servant will do all zi can. But I cannot fight your demons for you.”
“No.” Trevor smiled. “Zi can only precipitate the battle.” He stepped back from the door. “You can go if you want. But I would rather have you with me while I fight them.”
Wu closed the door. “Then I will stay.”