Three months ago she stepped into the fountain; baptized she was born again. Years from now Ellen will dip her fingers in pure water, and draw them across her daughters' brows. She was born again, and retreated into her own mind, her own life. And her friend Marcie reached across that grief, and that salt, and drew her back across, demanding that she give the cold bright world another chance. Gave her a choice: service, or love. Adar's campaign, or a date with Sean Ellison. To give more, or to take. Take up the reins of governance, a mother in a cabinet, or become a woman again, after so long taking care of Father and the girls. Her loneliness outweighed her powerlessness, and so she asked how old he was, and his name was familiar.
"You must be Sean," she says, more beautiful than she has been in months. He's guiltlessly charming and without guile. An invitation to the world. "Uh, yeah, I must be," he says, and she laughs. "I hope so." She takes the flowers, and offers him a glass of wine. He asks if she's comfortable, awkward, and she says it's not that, filling his glass: she just feels she knows him. She hands him the glass and he watches her face, wondering when she'll figure it out. The shoe drops and she puts down her glass. "Wait a minute."
She looks at him, accusing and charming: "You were one of my students." He is adorable in assent; he admits he knew, but didn't want to tell Marcie that he knew who Laura was. She's impressed, eating it up: "And you knew I was old enough to be your..." Sean completes the equation elegantly. "-- Teacher? Yeah." He focuses on her face, insistent and older in a moment: "But I graduated. Some time ago." She thinks a bit, and looks at him with a little smile as he offers to leave.
"Did I say you should go? I didn't say you should go." He grins sweetly, and she finishes pouring her wine. "The night's young... Apparently so are you, let's see what happens." They toast, and she laughs at herself, beautiful. Joyful. Saying his name, hearing it fall into place. What she's getting into; what the world demands. He smiles back, relieved. He smells of musk, and bergamot, he has dimples.
Years from now, they'll crowd in. Like students, each of them unique, each of them needing something from her. To teach is to govern. To govern is to teach. It's a line of salt she'll have to cross, eventually; hearing God under the Hybrid's song. For now it's an aberration. A double-dog-dare, to say goodbye to her old life and hello to the new. To throw open those windows again. Students become teachers, teachers students. Sean Ellison is an apocalypse waiting to happen, if she'll let him. The night is young. So is she.