Six years working with child protective services should have taught him to keep a straight face even when confronted with the weirdest situations, but the social worker has to admit that he’s struggling right now. He looks down at his papers for a moment and then back up at his visitors.
No, the pointed ears are still there. So are the just slightly sharper teeth in their hopeful smiles. In fact, they look exactly the way they do in the stories. Right down to the emerald green eyes.
“Excuse me,” he says, nervously clearing his throat. “Could you go over that for me one more time?”
“Certainly! We would like to apply to be foster parents.”
“Right...” The social worker looks anxiously from one of the couple to the other. “But...but you're fae.” He really doesn't know a way to be delicate about this fact.
“Oh you noticed!” the one on the right says. (The couple introduced themselves as Mr. and Mrs. Peters, but he doesn't remember who was who and as far as he is concerned their appearance gives him no clue whatsoever.)
“Well, yes,” he says uncomfortably. “And this being the case, I did wonder...”
The Mx. Peters (surely that can't be their real name) on the left nods understandingly. “Of course, it's quite alright, we do understand. But you see, the whole changeling thing doesn't really appeal to us at all.”
“Taking care of a human child sounds wonderful!” their partner smiles brightly. “And we have plenty of room to love one or two more! But we simply refuse to give ours away, and that is regrettably a big part of the changeling business.”
“Your children?” the social worker blinks.
“Yes,” the parents beam proudly. “Two of them,” one of them adds. “A wee one of barely four summers and our eldest, who is nearly eight.”
The other smiles enthusiastically. “It is preferred for foster parents, is it not, to already have children of one's own?”
The social worker pulls himself together. “Yes,” he says. “Yes it is.” Parents are parents, aren't they? And if he forgets about the teeth, and the ears, and the intangible feeling that his carpet might start sprouting daisies, these two are giving off practically nothing but parent vibes.
“So you'll consider us for the programme?”
He nods. “Yes, certainly, I will. Just—” He clears his throat. “We will need to visit your home fist, to verify your circumstances.”
“Of course!” the parent on the left agrees.
“That should be quite alright as longs as we remember not to offer refreshments,” their partner nods.
The social worker nods along and silently scribbles a discrete little note on their file. He is going to have to have a talk with his supervisor about this. And another thing—
“I will need your full legal names for the forms,” he says, looking up.
The two fae meet his eyes with silent stares.
He swallows. “...a legal name for the forms?”
The radiant smiles return.
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