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Last Thread Archive: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5379135/
===

You don't know why you're listening to a lecture: You've already graduated. Still, a lovely instructor is speaking.

"The inner cell mass undergoes changes to form three germ layers known as the ectoderm, the mesoderm, and the endoderm," Meryl declares, looking very professional and elegant. She's always so casual, so this is a nice look on her. She's got a long skirt on, a shirt-vest combo, and is also wearing high heels, something she rarely does outside of dresses. Last time she put some on she was complaining all night about her ankles- and leaning on you, which made it all even. "The ectoderm becomes the skin and nervous system, the mesoderm becomes the muscles and other internal organs, and the endoderm becomes the gastrointestinal tract."

Just like in university proper, you're taking notes, though you can't seem to read what you're writing. You listen carefully, but it all bleeds together, like some sort of fast-forwarded movie. Still, your serenity remains with you. Just looking at the aqua-eyed beauty is enough to keep you happy.

---

Meryl proposed to you only recently- Which would have been odd enough, as far as you were concerned, until she explained why: It was now or never, at least until you showed up.

She's got demi-human physiology, some kind of fish-woman, and her father is a magician. Yeah, unbelievable... but also true. She proved it, by swimming with you in the deep blue sea. Normally, Meryl appears completely normal (if extremely hot), a tall redhead bombshell with sea-green eyes. In secret, or in the deep ocean, her true visage includes claws, gills, and piscine eyes that could pass as gemstones. She still keeps her very nice human legs and curves, so there's no real loss.

Her mother, another human-Dagonian hybrid, intruded on your romantic week. Superficially, she's just a crazy lady perpetuating albino stereotypes. In reality, she's an almost alien woman who was somehow seduced by Meryl's insane marine biology professor wizard(?!?) father and was going to kill you if you turned Meryl down. Meryl, of course, was not interested in her parents' shenanigans.

Meryl was expected to help connect humanity and her people, so they could be absorbed into human society safely. That would have normally meant a ritual followed by marrying you, but it seemed as though fate helped that along. By being able to see her as she was, you made what the ritual was supposed to perform happen. Now, she refuses to return home, in case she can't return. She hasn't bothered you with more info yet.

The details are fuzzy, but her love is clear. You're not big on 'twu wuv', being a practical sort, but it's clear your fiancée cares about you. And you definitely care about her. You've decided to celebrate life with her, despite her fear of being a burden due to her origins. She risked everything to be with you.
>>
Right now, you're staying with your parents until you can work out the finer details of moving up to Maine. The location is a well-cultivated cabin in the woods, with a lake and pine trees. You're inheriting it through your mother's father, who can no longer afford to live there. Mom and Dad were trying to leverage their contacts for jobs up Northeast. Apparently, you're in demand from some contract group or other, research and development.

Before crashing on the couch because your mother didn't want to encourage premarital sex, you read a couple of the offers, and some of them seemed quite high-end. Persistent gene therapy to treat victims of radiation? Meryl didn't seem to like that one, on the basis that she liked her genes the way they were and didn't want to risk some sort of science-experiment gone wrong. Another one was something called 'muscle optimization', which looked promising.

Still, there's something that bugs at you. You feel like you're forgetting something important.
Eh, whatever.
If you forgot it, it wasn't important.

---

But you're poked awake by an unwelcome gesture, and forced from your groggy stupor. Reality is somehow hot and stuffy while being cold and windy. Fuck reality. Blinking your eyes open, the new target of your ire is a familiar face, who's concealing a mixture of self-superiority and disgust at your lack of urgency. Oh. It's Daryl. Like Meryl, but instead of her being your fiancée, he's your younger brother. Uh. But not like that. Wow, you really are sluggish.

"So has our conquering champion decided to wake?" He's dressed in very nice business casual, with the variant of heavy but clean jeans and work suitable boots. Like your father, he aspires to sell chainsaws. He's a little more ambitious than Dad, but he's been tempered by blowback he's gotten for being old money in a world where haves and have-nots are at an all-time wide.

"Mom's got breakfast on- and has for about half an hour." That means he and Dad are about to head off to work- Daryl is 'apprenticing' under your father to succeed as the owner of Woodsman Works. He's probably still a little mad that you're getting a vacation and he's not, though he wouldn't say something like that outright. He's a big fan about bragging about how much he works, and hours to mastery and all that. But he should have let you sleep- you got in last night at a little after 10. Maybe this is eight hours of sleep, but you've just gotten off the road.

Any curses on your tongue are blunted by the smell of bacon and coffee. Being wealthy has some advantages, including having access to really good food.

>"We should talk when you get back." You haven't seen him in a while, even if he can be an annoying shit at times.
>"Where's Dad?" You had a question you wanted to ask him.
>"Have fun." You're not going to rise to his provocation. Instead, you're going to sleep in.
>"Half an hour? Isn't that bad for your digestion?" You read something about that once.
>[Write-In]
>>
>>5471261
>Thanks
>"We should talk when you get back." You haven't seen him in a while, even if he can be an annoying shit at times.

Welcome back, Seba.
Also did we manage to knock Meryl up already? I mean we were at it quite a lot. Or would that be spoilers.
>>
>>5471261
>>Thanks
>>"We should talk when you get back." You haven't seen him in a while, even if he can be an annoying shit at times.
>>
>>5471261
>Thanks
>"We should talk when you get back." You haven't seen him in a while, even if he can be an annoying shit at times.
oh hey, s'back
>>
>>5471261
>"We should talk when you get back." You haven't seen him in a while, even if he can be an annoying shit at times.
>>
>>5471261
>>5471342
Support.

Good to see you're back!
>>
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(Appreciate the patience!)
>>5471342
>>5471343
>>5471929
>>5472292
>>5472379
Thanks. That's the one response he wasn't really expecting, based on his sudden blinking.

He looks away for a second before turning back to you. "No problem."

We should talk when you get back. For a second, you see your brother as ten instead of twenty. It's kind of funny how a decade runs past. But... There's just some sort of connection that isn't there any more. He's blood, obviously, but... It just seems like you've gone different directions, and there's no going back.

Daryl's face falls, and it's obvious he sees things the same way. "Yeah." he stands up. You don't know what you're going to talk about, besides your upcoming marriage. You're not sure what there is to talk about. But you'll think of something. He's your brother. "See you then."

Your father enters the room, and you're reminded how close in appearance the three of you are. Blond, with a hard jaw and perpetually wide-open eyes. Among the men in the family, you're the most traditionally masculine, standing a half-foot taller than Dad. Daryl manages to be taller than him too, but your younger brother is much skinnier, basically the image of lean and mean. He also inherited Mom's green eyes, which has been the butt of many an unspoken joke.

Your mother once described you as 'your father, but bigger', which was an uncomfortable moment- thankfully, it happened in private. The man himself smiles faintly when he sees you awake, and nods. "Morning. There's still plenty of eggs. Just make sure to leave some for Alice and Meryl." And the bacon? Daryl and Dad give you a simultaneous look, Dad being more resigned and Daryl being more contemptuous. "Yes, Alex. There's plenty of bacon." You stand up, and he embraces you before preparing to head out.

I love you, Dad.

"I love you, too." He then checks himself over for his essentials and leaves. Daryl follows, and the garage and car echo in the background as you head into the dining room.

Meryl you can understand being slow to wake because of her time on the road. Alice, on the other hand, is just being lazy. Being a pretty blonde rich girl, she's gotten used to being treated well, especially when she hid in your shadow if she was rebuffed or ran into problems. She got shaken out of it when she 'borrowed' Mom's car at the age of 14. You were waiting to hear back from your college applications when you suddenly heard the front door open and felt the room temperature drop to freezing.

...Now's not the time for terrifying memories, though. Food's on, and you'd hate to keep Mom waiting. But there are still the other ladies.

>Go get Meryl yourself. It's your room, and she's your wife.
>Bother Alice to wake up Meryl. Those two need to get to know each other anyway.
>You've got some time alone with Mom, you want to break the news about Meryl.
>They'll wake up on their own time, focus on eating.
>[Write-In]
>>
>>5473824
>Go get Meryl yourself. It's your room, and she's your wife.
>>
>>5473824
>Go get Meryl yourself. It's your room, and she's your wife
Suppose she should be present in breaching the secret if not tell it herself
>>
>>5473824
>Go get Meryl yourself. It's your room, and she's your wife.
>>
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>>5474145
>>5474154
>>5474717
You change from your destination and head upstairs, looking to enter your childhood room. It's... There's something that makes you slow down. Some of these photos have been hanging here for longer than you've been alive. A few are even older than your parents. The weight of ages threatens to crush you, but you move up the stairs, remembering that every individual along the way must have seen their life the same way you saw yours- just your own. Daryl has embraced your heritage in the traditional sense, but you've done so in a different way. The Woodsmen will carry on with or without their Virginia residence- after all, there had to be other brothers in the past.

There's something else odd about some of the photos that strikes you. Looking at several, you try and put your finger on what it is. Trees are often in the background, but they've never been anything but a comfort to you- the clan has a habit of reforesting. Taking a look at the oldest one there, you can't see anything other but a familiar-looking ancestor and the men who work beside him, alongside their tools and some felled logs, which are stacked as benches for the photo. But... There's an anxiety, something just outside the cropped image. You put the image of the loggers and Hans Woodsman away. You can make memories and photos of your own, with the woman you're neglecting to wake up.

Opening the door, you're reminded that this room used to be painted in accordance to a childhood love of the Grimm fairy tales. Now all of those have a modern housing sheen covering up the images beneath. But your Red Riding Hood is fast asleep. Well, she isn't really little, and she's not wearing a hood, and she's the one sleeping... and this metaphor is useless. You walk over in the dark, only the light bleeding through the blinds guiding you, and gently whisper to her. Meryl keeps snoring, and drooling a little bit. So you nudge her gently, and she still doesn't move. You try to work on slowly increasing the intensity, but what happens instead is her snoring louder. Is she playing at being asleep? Well, she can save that for when you're in Maine.

Pinching the bridge of her nose to cut off her snoring, she opens her eyes immediately, proving she was playing at it. "Awex." Yes, beloved? "Whe?" Food. She groggily pulls your hand from her face and brings herself to sitting. "You could have just said that, you know." She's wearing the bra she was wearing when you got in, and it does a nice job of showing off her cleavage. Not that you're looking, of course, especially after she gives you a raised eyebrow. "Also, I need to shower, so go. Or your Mom will..." She looks at someone behind you, and you turn around to see Alice booking it away from your door and headed downstairs. Mom yells at her for running, and a yelling contest you can't hear clearly erupts.

(1/2)
>>
(2/2 repost)

"Good news, you don't need to go any more. Let's just eat and work things out afterward." You go ahead of her, already clothed enough to sit at the table.

Alice is sitting at the table with a suppressed smile, trying to look inconspicuous. She wasn't here when Meryl was visiting during Christmas. She stayed with Grandpa at the cabin you're going to make your home... coming back to complain about how awful the whole experience was, without life's finer luxuries. Of average height and usually prettied up to be able to win men over with a wink, she plays the part of the innocent storybook Alice to anyone she thinks she can fool, and cuts everyone else down to size.

Meryl walks down in the shirt and shorts she showed up in last night, much the same as you. When she sees your wife-to-be, Alice's jaw visibly drops, not used to women as large as Meryl. "Geez, did you eat his last girlfriend?"

Mom gets angry before you do. "Alice!"

Meryl, on the other hand, opens her mouth and begins picking at her teeth mockingly, as if showing off fangs. "Why would I? She wouldn't be much of a meal." The implication is obvious: Alice is only as fit as it takes to lure boys, while Jessica was an athlete in her own right. Mom lets it go because Alice provoked the exchange. It's funny at first, but then you realize that the joke is going to seem in awful taste when you have to tell Mom about Meryl's heritage. Alice narrows her eyes.

Thankfully, in the presence of Mom, the barb-trading is left to a minimum. Once she's gotten enough pancakes and eggs in her, Alice heads upstairs, where she's sure to spend an hour or so prepping her makeup so she can go to the mall and strut about. With a small posse of other girls her age and a few boys dumb or horny enough to circle them, she should be fine. She's 'the unattainable one' in her clique, and acted as a consigliere for the local prom queen until they graduated.

The important part is that you don't need to see your trouble sibling for a bit. And Mom is here, preparing to griddle up more pancakes for Meryl, who is trying to come up with excuses to refuse. You rescue her from Death by Flapjacks by breaking the question of Meryl's heritage. Mom, you know when Meryl mentioned she had an albino mother?

Putting aside the homemade dry mix she uses for pancake batter, Mom gets serious and sits down. "Yes. There was another issue, wasn't there?" You feel yourself choking up. It's kind of a ridiculous statement to hear from the perspective of someone else, and your aqua-eyed partner stands by, in case you can't break the news.

>"Mom, Meryl's not entirely human." Tell her outright about the Dagonian situation- all you know about it.
>"Mom, Meryl comes from a rare lineage of Irishmen..." Spin a tale that will cover the basics in a way that isn't explicitly supernatural.
>Meryl has to explain it. She's the only one who can.
>"Actually, forget about it. We need Dad here."
>[Write-In]
>>
>>5475759
>"Mom, Meryl's not entirely human." Tell her outright about the Dagonian situation- all you know about it.
>>
>>5475759
>So, Mom, how do you feel about what is considered... supernatural?
let's maybe try to ease her into the concept.
Also some sort of demonstration may be necessary.
>>
>>5475759
>>"Mom, Meryl's not entirely human." Tell her outright about the Dagonian situation- all you know about it.
>>
>>5475779
>>5475780
>>5475791
So, Mom, how do you feel about what is considered... supernatural? Mom places a hand on her chest and her lips curl up in a joking smile. "W-What?"

Well, that tears it. No use beating around the bush.

"Mom, Meryl's not entirely human." When you start explaining to Mom, she pays close attention. At first, you don't notice a change in expression. But over time, the mixture of Meryl's slowly growing panic and your own clenching fist tell you that this description isn't going as well as you thought it was. Mom's eyes narrow, her head tilts, and a wide, shallow smile spreads over her face. No teeth appear. She doesn't interrupt you, she doesn't say anything. Did she have that many wrinkles a moment ago?

You describe everything you know, from the gills to the claws to the eyes to how Mrs. Cier doesn't have proper hair on her head. The depths of the ocean. The visual experience involving Dagon. The explanations are so vivid she should be able to visualize everything you speak about as if she were there in person. In fact, Meryl's eyes even flash that crystalline form they do when you're alone with her mystic form. Mom saw that, right? She can see that, right? You're not going insane.

Meryl's true nature is a continuous fact to you, and you swam with her at depths that wouldn't be possible if you were lying. But you're feeling intense pressure to renounce everything you just said, to 'admit' that it was all a delusion. Human beings are programmed at a physiological level to fit in: Infants denied comfort have a higher mortality rate, for instance. This is totally against that. American society may think the supernatural exists, but not something you can prove, and certainly not someone you can marry. Continuing to speak, even to one person, is like giving a speech to a murderous crowd. If Meryl weren't right here, you couldn't believe it yourself.

"Alex." You're finally interrupted, the thought you had vanishing in the presence of an innocuous question. You wait for some sort of scathing commentary on how you've been taken in by Meryl, but it doesn't come. Instead, she beams angelically. "Do you mind taking my car to go on a grocery run? We're short on some staples, there's a note on the fridge."

You're stunned for a second, and Meryl is as well. Mom, what?

"Just a short nip out for goods, because you two are here." She smiles, but it's a stock expression, not a genuine one. "Please, Alex. Meryl and I need to have some girl talk time." This reminds you of Red Riding Hood again... and Roald Dahl.

Meryl thinks it over with an intense sweat, before saying, "Alex, it's fine."

>"No, it's not." Stay and demand a response.
>Mom's made up her mind. Just drop it and go, like she says.
>"Mom, are you..." Is she not human? Are you? That seems impossible.
>"Okay. But I plan to eat out with Daryl for dinner so we can catch up."
>[Write-In]
>>
>>5478334
>Mom, I’m being level with you, I’d appreciate the same from you. I love you. I love Meryl, and I trust her to have a future, a family and a home together.

>I also trust you and your intentions but I really, really don’t want any misunderstandings.
>>
>>5478334
>"No, it's not." Stay and demand a response.
>>
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(Apologies, this saw a couple revisions!)
>>5478862
>>5479084
Ultimately, you put your foot down in refusal, something that surprises your mother more than it surprises Meryl. You want to know why she wants you to leave, and you want her to know you really are serious. Maybe it's a little more romantic than practical, but that's life. Sometimes you make serious decisions for reasons other than convenience. While you do your best to remain level-headed, you don't have a heart of stone. You're really in love with her, and she's really in love with you. Meryl reaches out to take your hand, and you feel a wave of warmth as she takes hold of it.

Your mother looks aside, bitterly gathering her resolve. It's tragic that she's showing so much resistance to the woman she herself advocated you marry, but she doesn't seem to believe your story. She walks away from the table in a haze, heading into the master bedroom, and you're unsure of what's going to happen. "I'm sorry," Meryl whispers, but you re-assure her. There's nothing to apologize for. She doesn't seem to agree, and is inches from crying, suppressing her tears. It's clear she believes that her nature has ruined your relationship with your family instantly. You assure her you'll be with her, and she nods. "I know."

But rather than calling your father or beginning to cry, Mom returns with a jewelry box small enough for a ring. Opening it, she places it on the table in front of you. "This belonged to your grandfather," she states, and refuses to look at either of you. There's a symbol on the ring that you don't recognize, and when you take a closer look at it, Meryl pulls away. It's a simple ring, and it looks like it's made of steel, but it doesn't seem rusted or scratched in the slightest. Whatever this is, its significance is lost on you.

"My father-in-law couldn't keep a job outside of the government." she arches her fingers over her nose and closes her eyes, moderating her breathing. You remember Grandpa as being quite fun, if a bit odd, but you attributed that to age. "Your father was put in charge of the family business at the age of eighteen, by his grandfather. As soon as that happened, his mother divorced, back when that was becoming more common." You always wondered why you never saw Grandma for a while, but that was an age ago. She still talks to Dad, but barely knows the rest of you.

Meryl is still staying away from the ring, and seems to understand its significance. You still don't, so you want more information, and ask about it from Mom. "That ring is part of a fraternity, called Yggdrasil. It's closer to a conspiracy, really. Obviously, your grandfather was a member. I didn't think much of it- I wanted to stay out of it, and so did your father. The reason we have the ring at all is that your grandfather quit over an ideological split but held onto the ring just in case."

(1/2)
>>
(2/2)

A conspiracy? You blurt out, A conspiracy to do what?

"Kill people like Meryl," she says. "Vampires. Werewolves. Sea...People," she says, trying to remain even-tempered. "Magic, too. Anything that exists, even partially, outside of humanity's world."

"But that's just what I'm trying to fix," Meryl protests. "By devoting myself to your son, I literally become more human."

Mom clutches her chair's armrests, and says, "Meryl, these people know who you are, don't they? They know who we are, too. Maybe, if you had proposed to anyone else, they could have turned a blind eye to it. But to these people-" she holds up the ring "-it's nothing less than a direct insult. Whether you intended to or not, they probably think you picked him specifically to piss them off, or to corrupt him. I've spent most of my adult life averting my eyes from this kind of thing to keep the wrong attention away from my family- it's enough of a problem to be on friendly terms with political figures, much less hold a position on eldritch beings."

She crosses her arms and glares at you. "And since you're not leaving, I guess I have to come clean. I was going to give her an out- and figure out what her true colors were. Be as romantic as you want, Alex Hyllus Woodsman, but this is dangerous in more ways than you can appreciate. There are people who want you, Meryl, and any child of yours dead. We can do a lot of things, but hiding you isn't really one of them." Mom stands, and walks back towards the master bedroom. "It seems I'll have to rely on Dr. Sheridan to give you more than just a job offer." Stopping and turning, she pleads with you, "Until then, please be safe. I'll talk to your father when he gets home."

Well, that was depressing. But the tension lifts, for the most part. Meryl leans back, winking with one eye. "I guess I got all worked up for..." Not nothing, but not the right kind of concern? She shrugs. "I guess." Your redheaded fiancee is trying to relax, but she's a bit stir-crazy after that particular exchange.

>The backyard is pretty nice, just hanging out in the summer is relaxing around here.
>There are some small family shops that make for good window shopping, even if you aren't going to buy anything.
>Alice had the right idea when it came to going to the mall.
>Bowling is good clean fun. Not a lot that can go wrong there.
>Canoodling is an option- Mom won't be looking after you for a bit.
>[Write-In]
>>
>>5480748
Oh boy. Talk about star crossed. Well, we'll find a way to make this work. Maybe persuasion could be an option? That personification in the vision did not seem personally invested in squashing Meryl so maybe the conspiratists can be argued with as well. If they have some moral code of their own maybe we can prove our integrity and Meryl's harmlessness somehow. She's the one "corrupting" herself, after all, so to speak.
Barring that, maybe there's possibility of elusion.
For now though...

>Ask Meryl if she has a preference
then default to
>The backyard is pretty nice, just hanging out in the summer is relaxing around here.
>>
>>5480748
>Ask Meryl if she has a preference
then default to
>The backyard is pretty nice, just hanging out in the summer is relaxing around here.

A secret society with the Elder Sign as their signet? That's not good, it'll not be easy to convince them that our little Dagonian is harmless. We should talk to the father in law about them, he probably knows them and he might have some pointers.
>>
>>5480748
>Any nice scenery in the local area? Perhaps we could go for a nice scenic walk.



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