Title: Part of the Plan
Characters: Claudia Blake, Robert Blake, Linda Herron
tamingthemuse Prompt: #273 ~ Ink / Picture Prompt
Content Warning: N/A
Summary: Claudia Blake is a thought in the mind of God when her mother leaves her father.
Author’s Note: Working on fleshing out another Riftverse OC, and the prompt spoke to me. That’s … pretty much all this is.
Disclaimer: All mine. Not yours. Don’t steal.
Claudia Blake is a thought in the mind of God when her mother leaves her father.
Linda Blake claims it’s because of false advertising.
To Robert Herron’s credit, he is upfront with her about his angelic nature from the get go—it’s not his fault she takes it the wrong way. When Linda finds out that Robert is an angel, she associates it with the fluffy little cherubs on a Hallmark card. She thinks it’s someone to spread peace and love. She’s a bit of a flower child, and more than a little naive, but that’s why she falls in love with Robert in the first place. She thinks that she’s on the cutting edge of the remaking of the world.
Then she sees what his Calling makes him do, and realizes she was very, very wrong. Robert’s an archangel. There is no peace or love in that Calling. Only power and death, and that is not the kind of angel she wants to be attached to. All she can see when she looks at him is not the gentle but strong man she knew, but the monster covered in blood so black it was like ink. So she runs, determined to never set foot into that kind of life.
A month later she finds out she’s pregnant.
She does her research, or as much research as she can, just enough to learn that she wants to know. She learns that there’s a chance that her baby could become what she had seen in Robert, and there’s a chance she might not. It’s on that slim chance that she decides to keep the baby. Linda believes in nurture, not nature, and even if this baby has something dark inside it, they could get around that. Maybe. Probably.
Regardless, seven months later she gives birth to a healthy baby girl, who she names Claudia, and presumes that she’s out of the woods. Claudia isn’t born with wings, so she thinks that the fifty percent chance of her being human has weighed in her favor.
No one ever said that Linda was all that bright.
Claudia doesn’t dispute the fact that your parents make you who you are. She doesn’t. She’s well aware of the fact that her mother has made her the person she is because there is no other person on the planet who could make her this neurotic.
Linda has always taught her that things will be what they are, regardless of whatever plans they make, and that her daughter should just go with it. Anyway the wind blows has been her mother’s mantra for as long as she could remember, but Claudia couldn’t live that way. She has watched one to many ideas and whims blow up in her mother’s face over the years, that at sixteen, she has a Plan. She’s had this Plan since she was twelve, and while her mother disapproved putting that much thought into what lay ahead of yourself, but Claudia couldn’t have managed her life without it.
Her Plan: Graduate valedictorian from the local public high school. Full ride to Georgetown. Bachelor’s in probably philosophy or English, and then graduate school for that same field. Master’s degree, Ph.D.—she is ready for it all, and she knows every step she has to take to get there. That’s the benefit of having a Plan. There’s no questioning what she should do. You follow the plan, to the letter, and you will get everything you want.
Becoming an angel is not part of the Plan, but it definitely is a roadbump on the way.
She spends two days in bed, in so much pain that sometimes it feels like she can barely breathe. Her mother does the best she can, bringing her herbal remedies and trying to take care of her as best she can, but when her wings finally sprout, large and pure white almost like a dove, and her mother disappears for a very long time. After that, the pain ebbs a bit, and she can actually sleep for a while, but when she wakes up, her whole world turns on it’s axis.
For one thing, her father is sitting in the kitchen.
Claudia and Robert have never met. She doesn’t even know if he knew about her before this point, because she’s never been inclined to ask. All she knows is that he’s sitting there, in her kitchen, and the only reason she knows who he is, is because she found a picture in her mother’s things once upon a time. She hangs back in the doorway, startled, her wings still out, trying to figure out what exactly is going on.
“Claudia, honey, this is—”
“My father, I know. What’s he doing here?” Unexpected fatherly reunions? Not part of the Plan.
“Because—” Linda hesitates, looking over at Robert, and there’s an uncomfortable silence before Robert finally speaks.
“Because this is something I will understand more than she will. And in a way, it’s my fault.” He takes a deep breath, before looking over at his daughter. “You’re an angel, Claudia.”
“I know.” And she does know. It’s instinctive, just like she knows what her Calling is, and while it definitely doesn’t fit with the Plan, she can make it work. It’s not impossible. It’s just—daunting. Lots of things are daunting. Georgetown is daunting. That doesn’t mean she still can’t achieve it.
Is she telling herself a lot of this to make herself feel better? Yeah, just a bit.
“Do you know what your Calling is?” he asks, and she nods. He gives her a small smile, before getting up from the table, and gesturing to go back into the bedroom. “Let’s talk, alone.”
She glances over to her mother, and she nods. “It’s okay, Claudia. Go ahead.”
Claudia is reluctant, but she still goes with him. Whatever this is, she needs to learn. After all, if she’s going to work it into the Plan, she needs to know where to start.