Killian had reported that she was bringing in three new reclaimers, but Lucretia saw four figures walking up to her on the dais. Three were familiar, and she tried to keep her expression blank as she looked at them. Her friends. Her family. Taako, looking bereft without his shadow. Merle, somehow even crunchier than when she’d last seen him. Magnus…Magnus, pulling a toddler along by the hand.
Lucretia stood involuntarily.
She couldn’t have been much older than three. Her pigtails were singed but they didn’t seem to bother her; she looked around the room with her father’s soft brown eyes, one of her hands curled around Magnus’s thumb.
Lucretia tried to keep her voice even as she explained the situation to them. They thought she was a stranger, she reminded herself. They had to believe she was a stranger. Once they forced their way through introductions, she asked, “And what’s your daughter’s name?”
“Lucy,” Magnus said, grinning at the chance to talk about his kid. “It’s a nickname. Lucretia’s pretty, but it’s kind of big for such a widdle baby, yes it iiiiis…” His voice slipped into baby talk and he swept the toddler up in his arms, poking her belly.
“Oh,” said Lucretia, and this was too much. She really should have had them knocked out already.
He had named his daughter after her. He didn’t remember her–she would have been able to tell if he did–but…God. Fuck.
She had missed so much.
“It’s good that you have this base,” said Magnus, oblivious, though Lucretia could see Killian looking at her curiously from the corner of her eye. “I kinda have to take her along on jobs and stuff, but…you guys have a childcare plan, right? That’s gotta be part of the benefits package.”
“Well–” Killian started, but Lucretia cut her off.
“We can figure something out,” she said, and smiled, quick and private, just to herself. “Whatever you…all of you…need.”