Marisa quickly got the blood drawn barely noticing the pain at all. The doctors assured her it would be only a matter of days before she got the results, but with one pointed look suddenly they were able to promise a result in 24 short hours.
She left the hospital quickly not wanting to spend another second there. She thought about Lyra and the many hospital visits she would have to endure in the near future. It felt like she was going to suffocate if she kept thinking about all the poking and prodding the little girl was going to go through. She shook the thoughts from her head as Oz gave her hand a comforting squeeze.
Instead she decided to focus her energy on something happier, which happened to be shopping for Lyra. Although she promised the girl they would go together she needed to get a few of the basics as the rags Asriel brought her in simply wouldn’t do. She found the nearest children’s store and made her way inside, turning the heads of other woman shopping as she did. Everyone knew who the scandalous and powerful Mrs. Coulter was, and none expected her to be in a children’s store. Marisa was used to the looks and the whispers, she had dealt with them for a long time, but this time it felt different. She knew it wouldn’t be long before people found out Lyra was staying with her. She was determined to protect Lyra from the judgment she was currently receiving.
As such, she decided it was best to not linger so she quickly make her way over to the girls section grabbing just about every piece of clothing on display. There were frilly dresses of all different colors she just couldn’t pass over. Slyly Marisa happened to pick out the ones that looked most similar to the dresses she already owned, though she would deny it in court if anyone asked.
‘Lyra doesn’t strike me as one to wear fluffy pink dresses.’ Oz commented.
‘Well she is young. We have time to change her mind about such things.’ Marisa commented back annoyed at Oz for always being so negative. Oz, sensing her anger, slunk away to go look at another rack.
Once Marisa had more clothes in her hand than she could carry she decided that she had got enough and made her way up to the register.
The young woman behind the counter looked a little shocked at the sheer volume of things she was buying but said nothing as she rang them up.
Off to her left and elderly woman was being rung up at the same time. She too noticed the pile of clothes, “your daughter is one lucky little girl, having a mother who can buy her all those clothes.” The woman said with a smile.
Marisa faltered at that. No on had ever referred to her as a mother before. It gave her a warm feeling. A few days ago she was have scoffed and made a snide remark in response but she wasn’t the same woman she was a few days ago. “Thank you.” She replied with a please smile.
“How old is she, your daughter?” The woman continued.
“Ahhh that’s a fun age indeed. Enjoy it while it lasts. Soon she’ll be a moody teenager that wants nothing to do with you.” The woman said with a laugh.
Marisa simply smiled as the woman bid her goodbye. She then wondered sadly if she would have a relationship with Lyra when the girl becomes a teenager. Her and Asriel have yet to talk about the longevity of their situation. Thinking about things like getting Lyra ready for her first date, and consoling her after her first heart break made her smile. In that moment Marisa vowed to herself that she would move mountains if she had to in order to stay in Lyra’s life.
Back at the flat Asriel was sitting in the living room, going over calculations in his journal when he heard the elevator ding signaling Marisa’s return. He paused as he heard the familiar click of her heels grow louder as she made her way down the hall towards him. He was surprised to see her carrying a total of five bags stuffed to the brim.
“Marisa please tell me that those are not all for Lyra?” Asriel asked in disbelief.
“And so what if they were? At least the girl has proper clothes now.” Marisa shot back.
Asriel got up and made his way over to her, inspecting the contents of the bags. He immediately saw lots of pink and sequence and he couldn’t help rolling his eyes.
“Marisa I am only saying this so that you can prepare yourself, but Lyra hates dresses. She does not like itchy fancy clothing.”
“Yes I could tell based on what she arrived in, but she can learn to like them.” Marisa responded with a smile.
“Haha good luck with that one love.” Asriel chuckled. “Pigs will sooner learn how to fly before Lyra voluntarily wears a dress.”
Marisa frowned at him, “I thought you knew me better Lord Belacqua, I am quite skilled at the art of persuasion.”
“Hmmm, you don’t have to remind me darling. I remember quite well.” Asriel said meeting Marisas crystal blue eyes which shone with mischief. If Asriel didn’t know any better he would wager that he saw a bit of desire behind those flash eyelashes.
At their humans feet Stel and Oz both silently stalked their way towards each other locking eyes. Oz slowly reached out, unsure at first, before Stel closed the distance between them and nuzzled her head into the side of his hand.
Both humans gazed down at their dæmon halves in curiosity feeling the inexplicable warmth at the contact. Asriel took a moment to look back at the woman standing a few feet in front of him. She looked different he noticed, softer, gentler than she used too. But still just as beautiful as the day he met her.
Before he had a chance to second guess himself he cupped both sides of her face. Her eyes instantly rose to meet his for a brief second, a knowing look passing between them, before they crashed their lips together hungrily in a way that was both new and familiar.
The two adults were so absorbed in each other that they didn’t notice the soft footsteps of a certain child approaching.
“Ewwwwwww!” Lyra shrieked in disgust covering her eyes, Pan doing the same with his tiny paws.