Two more lonely people Part 7
Summary: “you made me love you! I tried to fight it for both our sakes! You can’t just pull away the moment things get tough!”
Pairing: Bruno Madrigal x fem werewolf! reader
Warnings: age gap (Y/N is 24 and Bruno is 50) swearing, porn with plot, PinV, eating out, emotions, any others let me know please.
Word count: 3761
Masterlist PT1 Next
Nervous excitement thrums through the air as the last touches are made to the newly rebuilt casa Madrigal. Tomorrow is the big day. Nearly two months and the home is nearly whole again.
The new tiles on the roof shine in the sun, the glaze catching the light just right and each stone making up the wall sitting strong under the weight of the building. The only thing missing from the rebuilt casita, is Isabela’s flowers and plants blooming in every crevice, bringing colour to the house. You know that, if they get their gifts back, your friend will make short work with fixing that. Even if it makes you sneeze a thousand times, you grin.
Birds sing in the trees nearby, telling unknown stories to each other as you watch from your seat next to Bruno. He wanted some time away from everyone and you found him sitting with his back pressed against the rear of the building, his mind so lost in thought that it took him a moment to even notice you there. To your surprise he asked you to sit with him when you offered to leave him alone.
He told you he was scared, and you listened as he explained. He’s scared that the moment the doorknob is placed on the front door, the magic will return with his gift. He wants casita to be itself again and for everyone else to get their gifts back if they want them, but he doesn’t want his. It’s always felt like a burden. People would beg for their fortunes to be read then scream hateful slurs at him when the bad ones came true. He doesn’t want to go back to that.
you reminded him what Alma had said though and it seemed to ease his thoughts a bit. If his own mother said that as long it makes him happy, he could never see another fortune again and it wouldn’t matter because that would be it. you also joked about charging an extra peso every time someone did complain if he did go back to doing it, but he just said he’d feel bad.
You’ve been sitting together in silence ever since, not bothering to move, just enjoying the nature that sits behind el casita and each other’s company. The birds the bugs and the other creatures making noises in the trees as you both just listen.
His hands hold yours close as you lean toward each other, his thumb rubbing soft circles on the back of your hand while he plays with your fingers. You’re not sure what to think of such a peaceful moment with him. It’s sending tingles of joy through your body, but the back of your mind is screaming that these are the moments you’re meant to avoid. To protect your heart and his from the inevitable destruction of whatever this is.
“I should probably start heading home.” You mumble as you pull away from him. You don’t even notice the sad sinking look that crosses his eyes as you rise from the ground. “I need to pop to the market and the butcher for some things before it gets too late”
“Will I see you later?” he asks, stumbling to his feet to follow you around the side of the house.
“I don’t know. Mama asked me to do some chores while she’s out tonight” you tell him. “Then Dolores and Isabela are coming around for a few hours. You’ll probably be asleep by the time I’m free.”
“Oh, uh yeah I understand. I’ll see you tomorrow then.” He smiles as you glance at him over your shoulder.
“See you tomorrow.” You smile turning the corner to make your way home.
You needed a moment to breathe and think, to let your mind translate your feelings. Maybe you shouldn’t have gone this far? Visiting him practically every night, teasing him, and fucking his brains out. Surely that’s not a recipe for feelings to develop… right?
Maybe it’s time to stop? To find someone else to release some tension and move on so neither of you can get hurt. He deserves a human not a beast. It’ll be better for the both of you. Your father’s harsh words echo in your mind, constantly reminding you that you’re just a monster. You know everyone in town would despise you if they knew the truth. They’d probably hunt you down with pitchforks and guns.
Why does the thought of leaving him hurt so much though?
You’re not really listening to your friend’s conversation as you braid and un-braid Isabela’s hair over and over. Your eyes are unfocused, and you barely hear any other word, just going through the motions with your hands in her long dark hair.
“[Y/N]?” Dolores calls out with a tilted head, finally bringing your mind to the present.
“Uh yeah, what?” you ask, shaking your head of your dark spiral.
“We were talking about what you wanted for your birthday party?” Isabela tells you, turning her head enough to see you but not pull her hair from your hands.
“that’s still over a month away… and as per usual I don’t exactly want a big party…”
“We know you’re not fond of big birthday parties… but! Maybe we can have something small at casita. invite a few people around our age.” Isabela says as she leans back to squish you on the bed. “abuela would never be opposed to holding a party.”
“si maybe you’ll find someone you’ll like!” Dolores smiles.
“Oh, it must be so painful for you to witness me live my life without a man to bed.” You sigh dramatically, covering your face with your arm. “Oh, how do I live without a man telling me what to do with my life!”
“[Y/N]!” Dolores giggles, flinging a pillow at you but hitting Isa instead.
“Maybe I should marry Isabela, so you’ll get what you both want, me in a relationship AND in your family!” you joke, wrapping your arms around Isa, squeezing her. You barely notice her cheeks darken but you chock it up to frustration with you. “Seriously though. You gotta chill out with that shit. Life doesn’t need to be about relationships, and you know why I’ve not been seeking a permanent one. This is my formal request for you to literally never mention it again.”
“Ah! No! I said never! You have your boyfriend; Isabela can get anyone she wants, and I can choose whether I get one at all.” You stop her, with a raised eyebrow as you release Isabela from your hold.
“fine” she squeaks “but we’re still gonna have a party for you!”
“Fine.” You huff. “You know I was actually thinking of talking to someone at the celebration tomorrow but now I don’t think I will since you brought it up. Think I’ll just sit in a corner and sulk, make you feel bad.” You tease.
“noooo” Isabela and Dolores groan in unison, both sporting playful smiles.
“Yep! That’s what you get” you grin. You love your friends so much.
The sun has long since set and you want to go see him. Isabela and Dolores left about two hours ago, and you’ve been laying in bed staring at the ceiling since. All you’ve been thinking about is him. The hopeful look in his eyes at the prospect of you sneaking to his tent. He’s probably asleep though…
Eventually you lose the battle and leave your home. May as well have one last time before breaking it off for the better. You lie to yourself, pretending it doesn’t hurt just to think of.
The street is silent as you make your way barefoot along the cobbled stones, the chill of the ground sinking into the soles of your feet and the night air flowing through your dress. Different snores echo around you, each one coming from a different window. They’d have no idea if you shifted right now and ran through the town covered in your white fur. The only signs you’d have ever done it would be the massive paw prints made in the dust.
The night animals call out from the tree line as you walk around the side of casita, and you wonder if they’re warning of you. Can they sense the wolf hiding underneath your human form, ready and willing to hunt them down? Are they warning of a human or a predator?
“I’m surprised you’re still awake.” You say quietly as you reach the tent, the flap hanging open revealing Bruno laying on his cot, talking to the rats on his bare chest. The lantern on the stool beside him fills the tent with flickering orange light, fracturing the darkness and making him clear in the night.
“[Y/N]!” he says, launching upright, practically sending the poor rodents flying. “You came” his smile melts your heart and breaks it at the same time. You don’t want to hurt him. You should never have let it get this far. You hope that what you’re seeing isn’t really what you think. One last one then you’ll let him find someone better.
“What are you still doing awake?” you ask him as you close the opening of the tent and take a seat on the cot next to him.
“I um heh… I was hoping you’d come.” He smiles shyly, looking away from you. “I was waiting up”
“Mmhmm and I told you I probably wouldn’t.” you smirk, trailing your finger up his arm, leaving goose bumps in your wake. He was waiting for you even though you said you weren’t coming.
“But you did.”
“So hopeful.” You hum as you press him down onto his cot and straddle his hips. “What should I do with you hmm?” you ask him. His eyes darken with lust as you grind your heat against him, the layers of cloth preventing any real friction but making him gasp at the pleasure anyway. “Perhaps I should make you beg first?” you accentuate each word with the movement of your hips, watching as he becomes a horny mess underneath you.
He moans your name as his breathing becomes laboured and his heart races in his chest, singing out in your sensitive ears. You grip his wrists and pin them above his head, moving your face mere inches from his with a smirk on your lips. Your nose brushes against his as you grind your clothed cunt against him and He chases your lips, desperate to taste you but groaning and rutting against you as you pull away just enough for him not to catch you. He’s a mess beneath you, hungry for whatever you’re willing to give him.
“you’re gonna be so good for me, aren’t you?” you whisper as you pepper kisses on his neck and shoulder, smiling at his accepting nods. Everything you do draws desperate little gasps and delicious moans from the man beneath you. Perhaps it’s a good thing if you end this tonight. There’s no way you’d be able to hide this from Dolores if she gets her powers back.
You climb off him and smirk as he groans and thrusts into nothing, watching you with dark hooded eyes as you trail your fingers down his chest. You want to commit this night to memory, every moan, every breath, all of him.
His eyes trail hungrily down your body, taking in everything as you pull off your dress. He looks like a man desperate for water in the middle of the desert, pleading with his eyes for what he’s seeing to be real. He doesn’t care that he might down if he takes too much.
He licks his lips as he watches your hand dive slowly to your clit, rubbing sensually for him to see. The sight of his tongue makes you clench around nothing and excitement sparks in your gut. You weren’t sure what you wanted to do with him until you saw that. With a mischievous smirk you move toward him and position your dripping pussy above his face, your front facing down his body. If you wanted to, you could lean forward push down his pants and take him in your mouth.
“Show me what your mouth can do, and I’ll think about touching you properly.” You hum. Without second thought he wraps his arms around your thighs and pulls you down onto his mouth, moaning into your wet cunt. Your breath catches as his nose rubs against your hole while his tongue plays with your tiny bundle of nerves.
His stubble scratches out a delicious warmth around his dutiful tongue and you try not to grind down on his face as your lewd moans fill the tent. His moans would be just as loud if not for the fact they’re sinking deep into your wet heat. Your mouth falls open with curses and prayers as his tongue dives into your hole, licking at the juices practically pouring out of you.
He grinds into the air, his straining cock desperate to be touched as he feasts on you. Leaning forward you place your palm upon his clothed member and his grateful groan vibrates into your clit. The sight and the feeling making you cum, coating his face in your release.
“Pl-please” he begs as he lifts you off his face a little.
“Please what, Bruno?” you ask, pulling your hand from his needy cock, trailing your hand up his stomach just to tease him a little more.
“I need… please.” He gasps. “I need you.”
“Need me to what?” you smirk. You know he doesn’t like saying it, his face turns red at just the thought of saying these things out loud.
“Please. I ne-ed to be i-in you.” He begs in a stutter.
“you’ve been so good for me, and since you’re clearly desperate, I think I can do that.” You tell him, your voice triumphant as you rise to change positions. He yanks his pants off and lifts his pulsing member, making it so all you have to do is line your self up. “Fuck, Bruno.” You gasp as you lower yourself onto him, his cock quickly filling you completely. You taste yourself on his lips as you set your pace, moving desperately with your hand on his throat. His length dragging against your walls and hitting your G-spot everytime.
“Mi cielo. Mi vida” he whispers into your mouth, his green eyes closing in ecstasy as he gasps. You don’t pause your movements, but your mind freezes at his words, staring at him with your heart racing in your ears. You feel his release fill you, coating your walls in white, but your mind is lost, repeating the names over and over.
You climb off of him and grab your clothes, pulling them on a bit too fast for his comfort.
“Are you okay?” he asks, watching you in confusion as you seem to be rushing to get the fuck out of there and away from him. You’re sure it looks bad to him. Hell, it looks bad to you and you’re the one doing it.
“Um yeah. I’m fine.” You lie. “Just remembered that I left a candle lit in my room.” you tell him, peeking out the tent then rushing off without another word.
You know it now. You fucking love him and it’s gonna hurt like a bitch to leave.
What the fuck am I gonna do?
The magic is back. it burst to life, filling the house with life the moment Mirabel placed the doorknob into its home. He felt his gift return, which he hated, but for the first time he’s tempted to look into his own future. Wanting to know where his life stands with [Y/N], especially after how she ran off last night.
He’s been standing in the same corner for pretty much this whole party, only walking away from it to get a drink or food. he’s been watching her, wishing he could talk to her ask her why she ran away like that. He’s not sure he can though, at least not openly, not out here. Dolores has her power back and [Y/N] is surrounded by others around her age. He didn’t realise she had so many friends, she spent most of the last month with him and his family. He was staring to think she didn’t have friends outside the Madrigal family.
“I swear they have no tact.” Isabela muses as she follows Mirabel to their uncle, shaking her head as she stares at the people around [Y/N].
“What do you mean?” the younger girl asks. “hola, tio Bruno.” She smiles at him before turning back to her sister.
“Them all vying for [Y/N]’s attention.” She says gesturing to the group of four men and three girls including [Y/N]. “Could they make their crushes anymore obvious. They’re all flirting with her, trying to one up each other and honestly it’s painful to hear” he would never have thought that from the sight of it but hearing his niece say that… he’s never considered himself a jealous man, but it flares to life knowing that.
“I’m surprised she’s even been listening to it…” Mirabel shrugs, not really caring about it. it’s all he can think about now though. “You been enjoying the celebration tio?”
“Um yeah, yes. It’s nice being back with my family” he answers, his heart racing, scared that he’ll give himself away. He just needs to know. “Why wouldn’t she be interested?” he asks, pretending to just be curious.
“She doesn’t see a relationship in her future.” Isabela tells him sadly, swirling her glass of wine. “we’ve tried but she still sees a monster when she looks in the mirror. She knows she’ll pass it on if she has kids…” he’s starting to suspect his niece has also had too much to drink, her words too honest.
“So, she’s not been in a relationship?” he asks. She seemed fine being with him pretty much every night for the past month. Her confidence out matches his tenfold and he loves it. he loves her.
“she’s been in relationships; she just doesn’t let them get too far.” She tells him and he watches as the girl in question smiles at one of the other girls, leaning toward her in a way he hates. He has tight fight himself from going over there and pulling her away, claiming her as his. “Last guy who said he loved her hasn’t heard more than a few words from her since.” She says taking a sip at her wine.
That’s why she’s doing this… he’d called her his life and his heaven, and she freaked out. He’d found it in himself to start telling her how he really feels, what he really wants and she’s backing away. And it fucking hurts.
He needs to talk to her. He can’t just let her go like this. She’s the best thing he’s ever had. He loves her more than he even thought he could.
“See you tomorrow” you call out as you leave Isabela’s room, stumbling toward the stairs. You know you drank too much, and way more than you usually would but you needed something, anything to distract you.
You tried not to think about Bruno, to only pay attention to the cute girl that was flirting with you but all you could think about was him. And the fact that he was staring at you pretty much the whole time. You don’t want to hurt him, you’re not worthy. He’ll be better off without you.
You focus super hard on not falling down the steps as you approach them but squeak as you’re pulled away, stumbling up a different set. Bruno’s hand is wrapped around your wrist as he pulls you up into his room, making you stumble when he lets you go.
“What were you doing with those people today?” he asks once the door is shut, and you look at him confused, tapping your ear and gesturing to mean Dolores can hear what the fuck are you doing? “She can’t hear us in our rooms.”
“Nice to know…”
“What were you doing?” he asks again after a breath.
“I was just talking.” You shrug, trying to play it off. You never thought of him as the jealous type, or the type to push so hard for something he wants. You know he can you just didn’t think he would.
“You were flirting.” He states, irritation curving his eyebrows.
“Does it matter?” you ask, leaning against the wall and watching the falling sand instead of looking at him. Your head spins with regret and wine, you really did let this get too far. You didn’t want to hurt him. You fucking love him.
“Yes.” He snaps.
“Why? You said you didn’t know what you wanted.”
“Well, I lied.”
“Well, I don’t….” you start.
“Maldición [Y/N]! I’m in love with you!” he shouts, aggressively wiping away a tear. “it hurt to hear from Isabela that not only were you flirting with them but were planning on ending things with me without a word.
“You told Isabela?”
“no. no, of course not.” He sighs, running his hand through his hair. “She was drunk and told me about a boy you’d been seeing and that you just left him without a word when he told you how he felt. And that you’ve done that with all your past relationships…”
“Did she tell you why?” you frown, your eyes watering and heart aching. “no one knows what I really am except for your family. they deserve better than me. You’re the first person I’ve trusted because you know completely what I am, and fuck! I’ve fallen for you hard, but you deserve better than me too!” you cry out. “You deserve better than a monster.” He freezes at your words, staring at you with wide watery eyes.
“If there’s one thing, I’ve ever been sure about…” He finally says, shaking his head as he steps close to you, his warm hand cupping your cheek, thumbing away a tear. “you’re not a monster and I could never do better than you.”
You pull his ruana, yanking him close, your lips colliding with his as tears stream down your cheeks. His right-hand threads into your hair and the other pulls you tight to his chest, un-willing to let you go.
You don’t want to breathe if it means pulling away from Bruno ever again.
A/N: hope you all liked this chapter! Got me in the feels and I was the one that wrote it! remember! Like and reblog to share the love!!!
two more lonely people tags:
@pink-hufflepuff @kyriekurokami @goblinenby @fraujar @ducks118 @lemonbaby @sylum @life-hater39 @abelbai000 @sarashitposts @sweatyroadcowboyjudge @mother-dragon-and-her-hatchlings @elysiadjarin @multifandombtch @insanitybyanothername @inthewindsomehow @gloryekaterina @anactualvelociraptor @originalsoulcollector @hlxoos @tangerine-kitten @psychomanias @nectamburne @mary-wolf @wo1fwitch @jesuisravenclaw @shaddow-darkcloud @ryou-cosmos @puck-the-puppy @totofranken @butchcupid @mintymonicalei @azeret-mirror @a-gay-cryptid @cl0vr @tigreost @kenzi-woycehoski @acdassenza @coffee-cupps @krazyk99 @small-town-wayward-daughter @unstableyetloveable @nikt-wazny-y
Tiles on the Roof
An Encanto Fanfic
“Outside the House”
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(v) sort through, collect, ordain (religious); masculine singular past participle ordenado
Padre Juan Flores doesn’t mind being the priest in San Ambrosio. In terms of parishes, it’s one of the more easygoing ones for the most part.
Confessional gets a bit weird, though.
“So I impersonated a priest again and I’m not one hundred percent certain that’s a sin but it might be. Papá and Abuela don’t like it, I know that. I got your hairline right this time, though.”
“I have a weird urge to slack off and I hate it. What if Señora Ozma needs me to reroute the river again?”
“Some of the most terrible gossip from around town has reached my ears. I don’t know whether to feel guilty or to warn you about what’s likely coming your way or both.”
Mind you, his own prayers have been a bit strange in recent decades. Gathering his thoughts has never been harder than it was in the first few years.
Lord, a little guidance on the teenage girl in the marketplace who is doing miracle healing? I literally saw someone get their finger reattached this afternoon. Do I need to write to someone in Rome about whether it qualifies her for sainthood?
Lord, I prayed to you for a little rain for my flowers and one of the Madrigal triplets stormed by in a huff and suddenly I was in the middle of a thunderstorm. Are you trying to tell me something or was that just an unhappy coincidence?
Lord, we’re quite clear on the non-efficacy of pagan magic, right? And of course pride is a deadly sin but is there any way you could let me know exactly how clearly pagan magic is false and thus diminish my worries about going completely bald within the next three weeks please??
At least he’s doing better than poor old Padre Antonio Juarez in Macondo. God, the guy’s a gibbering wreck in some of his letters.
(nf) group of musicians, band, sash
They’re new in town. They’ve been there long enough for a few things to sink in, like how “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”, but a lot of it still is new to them.
Gustavo, Carmen, and Tomas are musicians at heart and by trade. Of course they hear the song, and if it’s strange then, well, isn’t this exactly the right place for it? The young lady has a talent—she’s just being modest. Take an accordion, Señorita Madrigal, tell us what we already know! You’ve earned it!
Oddly, she still seems too shy to talk about her gift.
(She does give them the accordion back, mind you, even though she plays it well.)
(v) complain, grumble, quarrel; masculine adverbial present participle quejando
Osvaldo is more than a little frustrated by the growth of his belly. Not that he’s vain, you understand, it’s just...well, Bruno Madrigal doesn’t have the best bedside manner in the world.
“I mean, you will grow a gut, that’s, you know, that’s here in the sand, it’s just that, well, think about it like this, you’re gonna enjoy a lot of good food!”
...look, just because he does, doesn’t mean he wants to know that he’ll have to face the consequences, alright?
(The Family Velázquez have given San Ambrosio some of its best shoemakers, but they’re as bad as the Quinteros when it comes to pettiness.)
It's not exactly like Mariano thought this was a good way to get close to the Madrigals. He's a fifteen-year-old boy, sure, and has had more than a passing interest in girls for a while, but, you know, he's also a fifteen-year-old-boy and babysitting is the last thing on his mind. But Mamá wanted him to give it a try.
"All so busy, the Madrigals," she told him, trying to tidy him up. "And what with poor Mirabel having no gift and her father trying to do what he can around the village, they really do need some help. Besides, it will help smooth things over when it comes time to marry Isabela."
Mariano, youngest of his siblings and generally happier playing the lovelorn fool than upsetting his mamá, shrugged and went along with it.
Let the record state that he was not prepared for this.
Mirabel’s terribly high level of destructibility and propensity for accidents are matched only by her compete disregard for her own safety. At six years old she's already quite precocious (precoz), which Mariano's book Mil palabras que un poeta debe saber defines as "having developed certain abilities or elements more quickly than is usual for one's age" and which Mariano has privately defined as "making up for the natural magic of the Madrigals by trying to do everything at once". Honestly, as a temporary carer he's kind of wasted.
As a big brother figure to Mirabel and occasionally Camilo, though, he's not had quite this much fun in years. And it's not even about impressing The Fair Isabela anymore, he just…likes these kids.
(Mostly. Except when they play that twin trick. That's just being deliberately unfair.
"No, I'm the real Mirabel! Can't you tell?"
"Hmm, that depends. I think that your glasses are just the wrong shade of green, your hair microscopically less bouncy, and you don't walk quite right. You kind of shuffle around instead of dancing."
"No, no, I'm really me! Mister Mariano, you're not being fair."
"I wonder…what did you tell me about Luisa and the bookshelf the other day?"
"I don't remember! What did I say? Anyway, how do I know you're not Camilo pretending to be Mister Mariano? Don’t you trust me?"
"Oh, no, not the wobbly lip, you’re not allowed to be cuter than me...okay, okay, let's all take a deep breath and all twirl back into our proper forms in three…two…onnnnnnnnnnnnne—oh. Alright, I'm sorry, Mirabel. You win. It's getting harder to tell when you act so much like Camilo, you’ve gotten really good at imitating his walk."
"I have?" Shoomp. "Aw, nuts. You nearly got me."
"Mira, Mira, get in here, I got Mister Mariano to make the face again!"
“Yay, we win!”
This calls for an impromptu tickle fight.
“Scoundrels and tricksters! Betrayed by my two best amiguitos! What next?”)
Camilo becomes cooler and more distant as the years go by, but Mirabel he's always been friends with even though she finds his well-crafted “galán distinguido” act to be kind of dumb. She doesn’t even make fun of Mariano for wanting to be a poet—neither do Dolores and Luisa, but they’re about the only ones among his (rough) age-mates who don’t and Dolores is good at keeping secrets (including her own) while Luisa literally doesn’t have time to waste commenting. He’s pretty sure even Isabela doesn’t like his work, although she never gives him a concrete answer one way or the other. The poets talk about love as a time of great passion, but they never say anything about not having small talk.
(Maybe it’s kind of expected that you shouldn’t do it, that it diminishes the romance and then the marriage somehow. His mother and father only really discuss business together, after all, not really anything emotional. And their romance is still talked about in the village. Maybe Isabela is just practicing for that.)
“Dios mío, what happened to your face?” wails Rosenda, who has no indoor voice.
“Ay, hermana, I just got kicked,” protests Marta, who has no survival instinct.
“By a cow?”
“In the head?”
“So I forgot to tie the legs down, so what? I do feel a little...strange, though...”
“Ayy, first my fish and now my sister! A life of eternal loneliness awaits me!”
“Let’s just get you to Señora Madrigal,” says Renata, who has no lack of patience with her older sisters. (And also no qualms about taking out her frustrations on those who cross her, but she at least is working on that.)
(nm) shaman, witch doctor, quack (medicine), healer
"Taita is a more respectable term, Señora Madrigal," he says mildly. "But no matter. How might I help you?"
Alma Madrigal doesn't look too happy to see him, and neither does her son. But they're both still here, outside his hut on the very edge of the encanto. They are the keepers of the Miracle; he's just set up shop in a particularly potent locale.
His profession, if you may call it that, is to keep balance in the cosmos—or at least a specific part of it. And for that, you need to keep your eyes and ears open—inner eyes and inner ears as well.
Alma Madrigal explains. She is still new to magic, and her sixteen-year-old son has the most uncontrollable magic of all. His oldest sister has complete control over her gift, the middle sister has hers active all the time. (Which explains a lot about the weather in this valley, to be honest.) But Bruno's gift is…erratic. He gets tunnel vision, of a sort, randomly spouting nonsense that somehow comes true. Sometimes it comes true the next day. Once it took over ten years. And it…hurts him, when he uses it. If the gift is to be used properly for the encanto, says Señora Madrigal, then there has to be a way to make it better.
He ponders this.
"You realize what you are actually asking me, Señora Madrigal," he says at last. "I know of your family. I know you know what a taita—an originario—really is. Why would I take on an outsider, from a veritable palace down in the town, and teach him to become a leader just out of nowhere?"
“I am asking you to help my son,” says the woman, a little sharply.
“And I am saying that I have no reason to accept your request. I have other concerns at the moment. Your family’s miracle is...different. Not our magic. I see no reason to give your son a place as an apprentice simply because—”
He curses. (He probably shouldn’t but seriously, what the—)
Bruno Madrigal's eyes are lit up, bright glowing green in place of warm worried brown. He looks like he's in agony, like there's too much noise. His voice, when it comes through, sounds...well, “dopplered” isn’t a very common term yet, not in the middle of the rainforest, but it sounds like his voice is coiling back in on itself. Like someone else’s voice is trying to force its way out of his lungs at the same time as Bruno’s.
"You'll tell me and Mamá to leave, and then you'll have time to think, and then we'll meet and a log will roll down the road and nearly trip us up and you'll say yes and I'll learn how to work with the sands and I'll hate it but it has to be done because it keeps getting worse and worse and when I have to leave my family forever I'll remember this moment and—"
Bruno falters. His breathing becomes easier.
He shouldn’t have Spoken, shouldn’t have cut the boy off, but this...this is new.
“Señora Madrigal,” he manages, a little breathless himself. “I need time to...consider my options here.” He manages to stop himself from saying “think it over”.
She nods, wryly, supporting her collapsed son as gently as she can. “Take all the time you need, Señor Originario. You know where to find us. We live in the veritable palace down in the town.”
He watches them leave.
He is not, as a general rule, given to introspection about the nature of magic. The land works well enough on its own without people mucking about with powers they shouldn’t be dealing with.
But he has to wonder, just a little, what kind of magic did strike the Family Madrigal sixteen years ago, and how the...heck...the land literally changed around them. It could be...intriguing.
Besides...it might be an opportunity to actually bring his people back in line. San Ambrosio is a puebla colonial, yes, but they know about encantos. Giving them a taita, mestizo though he may be, would not be the worst thing in the world, surely.
(He nearly trips over the log. He doesn’t.)
(nf) craving, yearning; anxiety, apprehension
Elisenda Ozma is old enough to remember San Cristóbal. She remembers the town much better than she does San Ambrosio, to tell you the truth. And maybe she wouldn’t indulge in such trivial things as asking Luisa to reroute the river if it ever proved a problem for her, but it doesn’t, and she enjoys hearing the waters pass near her house on a Sunday like it did in her old home, as she sits in her chair and reminisces.
(“She’s a cat,” sighs Julieta to Agustín. It’s become a code word of sorts for them, a shorthand for something Julieta, for all her powers, just can’t heal. “It’s not like she’s forgetting, she remembers things well, it’s just that I can’t convince her that it’s something that needs fixing.”
Agustín, who is still wincing a little from a rapidly-recovered broken leg and thus a tad distracted, does his best to focus on his wife’s expression through his glasses and rearranges his face accordingly. “You’re doing all you can, mi amor. And she’s not hurting anyone per se. I’m just a little worried that Luisa’s taking on too much for her. She keeps wanting to handle everyone’s problems on her own.”
“She doesn’t want to be a burden,” says his wife, and smiles softly. “She takes after her father that way.”
“And in no way could she ever be one. Just like her mother.”
“Get a room, you two!” calls a rather pregnant Pepa somewhat hypocritically as she walks past.
“We have one. It’s the kitchen.”
“If you’re not hungry, then by all means—”
“Is that arroz con pollo?”
“It might be.”
When he's older, Juancho will shrug and grin and say, "Eh, with all the excitement going on around town, how else was I supposed to focus on everything at once?"
And Alejandra will nod in sympathy. "There was a jungle in a bedroom and miracles happening literally every day, focus is important."
"You two are a little obsessed, you know that?" Cecilia will say, rolling her eyes fondly.
"Oh, like you weren't right there with us all the way."
"And also like I haven't noticed you stealing my coffee."
"That is hearsay and slander and you can't prove anything."
The truth is a little more complicated than that.
Because although he is trying to focus, he's also, just a little bit, trying to understand the rush they must feel. Working miracles…that must be the greatest feeling in the world. He can never capture that himself, but a good cup of café helps him get close, surely? And he can give it up whenever he wants.
Juancho likes to think super-speed would have been a good gift.
(Heck, he's pretty sure he managed it once. It's a little blurry, though, wrapped around a song.)
She answers to the name Diana. Her actual name is a lot more complicated than that. Her people, and her philosophical school, go in for deep cogitation and that includes long and subliminally-consequential names. But Diana is as good a collection of syllables as any.
Diana is not entirely sure why the Lady bears her on her back when she is more than capable of walking on her own. It’s a little frustrating sometimes, really. She occasionally protests vociferously and would maybe bite if she weren’t a grown adult with a reputation to uphold, but the Lady’s mind is filled with Focus and Strength and Pressure. Rather like a child. (For one of her kind, she probably is one.) She wants to be like them. She understands the Onus of Aptitude—the fundamental requirement of being steadfast in one’s duty, once one has deemed said duty worthy of one’s time. But she is surprisingly isolated, as though her work is the only thing important in life, and not the choice thereof. (Diana’s thesis on the Didacticism of Informed Obligation in the Context of Recompense versus Castigation was very well received.)
Diana tries to communicate, as do her colleagues (her coworker who answers to Abram has for some time now been trying to interest her in the Metaphysics of Non-Agricultural Floral Classification, a highly stimulating and eminently practical area of research), but the Lady’s mind is as stubborn as theirs. Likely she could hear them if she just twitched a teeny tiny bit, but she won’t let herself be distracted. The poor creature is obviously suffering from a severe psychological imbalance caused by an excess of Hypertrophied Physio-Sensibility. The only known cure is patience.
Fortunately, patience is something that Donkeys have quite a lot of.
(nf) guilt, remorse
“Hmm?” Bruno’s eyes widen, and he grabs the portrait. “Uhhh, nobody. Just someone I used to know.”
“Oh,” says four-year-old Mirabel. “A friend?”
“...yeah. Yeah, you could say that.”
There was one person beyond the family who didn’t assume the worst of Bruno Madrigal’s prophecies, not too long ago.
And the fact that they didn’t is a large part of why he does.
(nm) wretch, unfortunate person
The one time Agustín’s cousin Claudio comes to visit, it’s...well.
“How in the heck did he set a house on fire with a feather?” complains Pepa.
“En seriamente, Agustín,” says Abuela, genuinely shocked. “How did your cousin get even worse luck than you?”
Agustín snorts. “Didi? He didn’t. He just got the family curse and decided not to do anything about it. Just go with the flow. Or, you know, drown in it.”
“I’m right here, primito.”
“What curse?” asks a seven-year-old Isabela curiously. “Your old familia had magic too?”
Agustín smiles at his daughter. “Ah, it’s going to sound stupid, but...my family always believed there was some sort of curse on the male members of the Valderrama bloodline that was put on them by a witch back in Castile. A bad luck curse. You know, a ‘the first shall be tied to a cactus and the last shall be eaten by bees’ kind of curse. But don’t worry! It doesn’t pass down through the female line. You’re a Madrigal, mi flor. You’re safe.”
Isabela doesn’t look completely convinced. Nor, for that matter, does Abuela.
“Maybe it’ll just skip a generation,” suggests Claudio, who thanks to Julieta’s food is looking better than he has in years. “Or you’ll end up with a very accident-prone daughter.”
(nm) culprit, culpable person
“But you heard,” he mumbles.
Dolores nods, eyes solemn.
(Maybe she’s alone. Maybe she isn’t.)
Julián Perez is not the only man—the only person—in San Ambrosio who would ultimately prefer to keep some things secret from others. But he can’t, just like they can’t. The only people who know may be himself and Dolores Eladia Castillo Madrigal, but her presence is a given.
And his actions may well not be forgiven.
And she’s protected by a mother who could blast you on sight, a brother who can shape-shift into monsters if he wants to, a cousin with super-strength and near-invulnerability, and a father who, to be fair, could break your nose with one swing. If she’s here, they almost certainly know where she is.
“...do we leave?” he asks. “Is that the price to pay?”
Dolores shakes her head. “I can’t decide that,” she says. “You should have come to us for help. You can try Padre Flores, or Abuela.” Her expression hardens. “But you know that I’ll know what you tell them. And you will return what you took.”
There are rumours that the missing Tío, Bruno Madrigal, never left at all—that he was murdered, and that his ghost still haunts the Casa Madrigal, speaking prophecies of the future.
Do Dolores’ eyes glint a little green in the light?
Julián nods. It’s the safest bet.
There are no governors or mayors or police in San Ambrosio. No political armies or criminal gangs.
Even if they could find their way into the encanto, they wouldn’t dare intrude on the Madrigals’ territory.