They weren’t very dangerous bounties. At least, not for him. For Kravitz it was simple enough after hundreds of years to fall into a rhythm. To be able to anticipate how a bounty would act, and sure, there were still things that took him by surprise, but all in all he hadn’t needed to worry about his own safety in a very long time.
Of course, that didn’t mean the bounties he was after were in anyway safe for any average person. Not in the slightest, and Kravitz had seen more than his fair share of unfortunate casualties over the years. The people he went after were twisted, and the ones who weren’t outright evil were often desperate enough to do some downright heinous acts in pursuit of what they wanted.
In other words, it was all absolutely no place for a child to be.
The first time Kravitz had figured it was just a little boy getting in way over his head. It had started as a rather average bounty, disrupt a relatively new cult working on a ritual in the bowels of Neverwinter. Get rid of them before they could grow into anything too strong. It was simple work, and often jobs like this wouldn’t even require throwing anyone’s soul into the eternal stockade. A visit from the actual grim reaper could set enough fear in any cocky upstart for them to drop the whole thing.
Crashing their ritual with a dramatic flourish in his full reaper form, he wasn’t surprised when more of the cultists tried to run instead of fight. The few that did try found themselves outmatched, and Kravitz only gave a cursory chase after them as they turned to run. Mostly though he let them escape, figuring the most important work would be to destroy what was left of their base in case any of them got it in their heads to try and come back and start it all up again later.
When he turned back towards the room, his eyes immediately locked on a form still in there, peaking out at him behind some long, dark curtains. Kravitz started to raise his scythe up in a threat before he realized what it was, immediately lowering it again and trying to make his stance a little less terrifying.
Gods, he hadn’t realized there was a child here.
“Everything is going to be okay, they didn’t hurt you, did they?” he asked, realizing his face was skill a skull and quickly fixing that. He could see the boy rapidly thinking, and for his part he didn’t look nearly as scared as Kravitz would have expected.
“No sir, I’m alright,” the boy said after a moment, stepping out from behind the curtain. He did look completely unharmed, and Kravitz let out a sigh of relief at that. It was always hard when children ended up being victims, he was relieved that didn’t seem to be the case this time.
“Good, I’m sorry if I scared you. Do you need any help getting out of here?” he asked, and a bit to his surprised the boy shook his head. Now that he realized Kravitz wasn’t a threat he was surprisingly at ease, starting to move around the room and look through some of the items the cultists had left behind. Kravitz found himself hovering around, trying to make sure the child didn’t get into anything too dangerous. He had to be only seven or eight at most.
“Oh no that’s fine sir. I still have a few things I need to do here, but I really appreciate you getting rid of the cult for me. That makes getting evidence a lot easier,” he said, and Kravitz raised an eyebrow at that.
“Evidence?” he asked, somewhat amused despite the oddity of the situation. The boy nodded, seeming totally serious.
“Yes sir, I had suspected this cult for a few crimes for some time, but I haven’t had enough evidence to put anyone away for it yet. That shouldn’t be any problem now though,” he said, grabbing a few books and other papers. Kravitz put a hand out hesitantly before pulling it back, not sure if he should let a child walk off with those sorts of things. Well no, he was very sure he shouldn’t let a child walk off with necromantic tomes.
“And um, why are you trying to put these people away dear?” he asked, and then he felt his non-beating heart sink as an idea came to him. “Did they do something to you… or your family?” he asked softly. To his surprise the boy shook his head, still seeming downright chipper about this whole thing.
“Oh no sir, it’s nothing as personal as that. I’m a detective,” he said, finishing shoving a few more papers into a bag before holding his hand out. “My name is Angus McDonald,” he said brightly, and this whole thing was bizarre enough Kravitz couldn’t help smiling as he took the boy’s hand and shook it.
“You can call me Kravitz,” he said, and it seemed like the boy wasn’t lying about all of this. It probably wouldn’t hurt to let him keep those papers if it resulted in the arrest of a few of those cultists.
“You’re the grim reaper, right? Or some other agent of death?” he asked, and Kravitz was surprised by that until he remembered the boy had seem him running around as a skeleton and swinging a scythe.
“Yes, I’m a bounty hunger for the Raven Queen. You’re lucky I was here, those people were incredibly dangerous. I’d hate to have had to meet you in another circumstance,” he said, although Angus didn’t seem particularly fazed by the thought.
“I had it under control sir, but it was really nice to meet you regardless,” he said, and Kravitz chuckled some at that and nodded.
“Is that all the evidence you need? Because I am going to have to destroy the rest of this,” he said, gesturing at the rest of the hideout. Angus had a thoughtful look on his face, before grabbing one more book and nodding.
“Okay, that should be it. Thanks again for the help sir!” he said, turning to leave. Kravitz nodded, honestly a little delighted by the strange interaction. It had been a long time since he was able to have a pleasant conversation with anyone while on the job.
“Goodbye Angus, do try and be more careful about the detective work you take on, alright?” he called after the boy, who nodded.
“Alright sir!” he called back, and Kravitz had assumed that would be the last he would see of the strange little detective. The kid had done quite a good job of putting on a brave face, but Kravitz imagined it had to be a little terrifying for him. Not everyone can walk away from meeting death so casually, even if Kravitz hadn’t meant any harm.
Of course, that was far from the last time he actually ended up seeing Angus McDonald.
It probably wasn’t as often as it felt like it was to Kravitz. It wasn’t every bounty by a long shot, but every couple of bounties. Whenever he had something around Neverwinter or a few other close by cities he’d run a chance of stumbling over the boy. The next few times had been like the firsts, with Angus hidden away and only coming out once Kravitz had gotten the danger to pass. He didn’t seem to take his ever increasing insistence that he should really stay away from these sorts of jobs very seriously.
Kravitz might have started taking a few more bounties around Neverwinter than he typically would. Some of them were a little below his pay grade, but it wasn’t like he didn’t have the time. If it meant being able to keep an eye out for Angus in case he got himself into trouble, it was worth the little bit of extra work.
He wasn’t really going out of his way though, this was still work that needed to be done for his Queen after all. There wasn’t even any guarantee he would run into Angus when on the job, more often than not he didn’t after all.
The job he was on now wasn’t one of the lower level jobs he’d been taking. It was honestly one he was hoping he wouldn’t see Angus on.
So of course, he was the first thing he saw when he entered the lair.
It had been a long time since he felt that mix of fear about what would have happened if he had arrived a few moments too late.
It wasn’t too hard to guess how Angus had gotten into this situation. It was the thing Kravitz had been so worried about. The necromancer must have found Angus when he was trying to do his sneaking around, and had managed to catch him without too much trouble. It looked like he was trapped with a hold person spell, although Kravitz saw his eyes immediately shift towards him as he came in through a rift.
Kravitz didn’t waste time reading off the necromancer’s charges, moving in for an attack as soon as he took in the situation. It was enough to break him of the concentration on the spell holding Angus in place. Relief flooded through him when Angus immediately ran, hiding behind some sort of alter in the back of the room. Thankfully he stayed out of the way long enough for Kravitz to strike the necromancer down, cutting a rift open for his soul to start its sentence in the Eternal Stockade.
It was quiet for a moment after that, until Angus started to peek out from behind the alter, seeming to judge it was safe again.
“Um, thanks a lot of the save sir. I really appreciate it,” he said, and Kravitz sighed heavily. He was fairly sure getting attached to mortal children was not in his job description. He’d been working for quite a while now and it had never come up before.
“Do you have any idea what could have happened to you if I hadn’t shown up?” Kravitz asked, and he had learned how old Angus actually was a little while ago. Only nine, and at least he had the wherewithal to look a bit shaken by all of this.
“Well, worst case scenario I could have ended up sacrificed as part of a necromantic ritual,” he said and Kravitz nodded sharply.
“Exactly! How many times do I have to tell you to stay away from these sorts of jobs?” he asked, and Angus shrugged, looking a little sheepish.
“I mean, my other jobs are just as dangerous sir. Murderers and kidnappers and all sorts of evil people who don’t use any necromancy at all. It’s really not a big difference,” Angus explained. Kravitz wanted to think he was exaggerating, that the jobs he took where Kravitz didn’t see him had to be significantly safer.
Except Kravitz was pretty damn sure he was telling the truth.
“Do you have a stone of farspeech?” Kravitz asked suddenly. Angus seemed surprised by the question for a moment before nodding, patting at his pockets before pulling out a stone.
“Yes sir, why?” he asked, and Kravitz held his hand out for it.
“Give it here a moment,” he said, and Angus handed it over. Kravitz quickly pulled out his own stone, it wasn’t something he strictly needed or used often, but it didn’t hurt to have. He connected their frequencies before handing Angus’s his back. “There, if you ever find yourself in danger like that again, call me. I’d rather you just stay out of these sorts of things all together, but it doesn’t seem like you’re all that interested in that,” he said.
Angus seemed surprised by that, but smiled and nodded as he took his stone back.
“Oh, thank you sir. I appreciate it!” he said happily.
It wasn’t a fool proof solution. There was no way to be sure that Angus would actually call him, or if he would even have a chance to if the situation went south too fast, but Kravitz told himself it was the best he could do. In the end Angus wasn’t really his responsibility, and he just had to hope that the boy would be fine with Kravitz checking in every now and then.
After that though he did start traveling to the prime material plane more often. Not for bounties, instead specifically to see Angus. He never seemed to mind, and he wasn’t always on a mission when Kravitz decided to check in on him either. Sometimes he was just relaxing at a library or eating dinner or taking a walk through town.
Kravitz actually found himself enjoying those visits much more than when he did find Angus in the middle of some detective case. One, because it meant he wasn’t in any danger and Kravitz didn’t need to worry. Two, because spending time with Angus actually turned out to be fun. He was an extremely clever child who didn’t seem daunted in the slightest by getting regular visits from the grim reaper. If anything, he also seemed to enjoy them.
At some point something had shifted. Kravitz didn't only want to make sure this child who kept sticking his nose into his work didn’t end up a messy casualty in some necromancer’s plot. Instead he found himself genuinely caring about this boy and wanting to look after him. Not just make sure he wasn’t dead.
He’d known Angus for a while when he found out that he didn’t have any parents. Just a grandfather, who was very old and not expected to stick around for too much longer.
Kravitz might have checked through some of the records to see exactly how much time Angus had left with his grandpa. About a year or so. He didn’t tell him outright, but Angus seemed to understand when he impressed on him to cherish the time they still had left.
This certainly wasn’t how his job was supposed to go. Despite that though Kravitz found himself watching after a boy who was practically an orphan. He had no clue how this had happened, but he couldn’t find it in himself to complain.
Gods above, he was not supposed to be a dad. If the Raven Queen had any objections when he started to think of Angus as his son though, she did not voice them. He knew she knew too, and that was all of the permission he needed.
He never brought it up with Angus. Maybe he should have, it certainly concerned him after all. Still, Kravitz wasn’t going to delude himself into thinking he could actually take care of and raise a child. He was the grim reaper after all, and his first duty was to enforcing the laws of life and death.
If he just watched over Angus in his spare time though, that didn’t hurt anyone.
When he met with Angus one day, he seemed much more excited than he usually was. It was the kind of excited he got when he finished a big case, which he supposed wasn’t too surprising. He had been talking about a case that was giving him a lot of trouble lately, missing persons reports for people who by all accounts never seemed to exist in the first place. Pretty strange, but most of the cases Angus took on were a bit odd.
“I take it something good happened?” he asked, and he was always a little worried when he realized Angus had gone on some dangerous detective job without him. He really was a good detective and got out of jobs without any help nine times out of ten. Still, Kravitz couldn’t help but worry about that last one out of ten. At least this time it seemed like there wasn’t any need to be.
“Oh yes sir! I solved that case that had been driving me crazy. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to tell you, but apparently there was this whole organization of people wiping everyone’s memories. They’re not evil though, they’re actually saving the world and let me join them!” he said, and Kravitz raised his eyebrows at that.
“Joined them? Are you positive they’re not evil?” he asked, and Angus nodded.
“Very positive, it seemed a lot like a shadowy cabal, and it kinda is, but not in a bad way. It’s kinda like a real neat exclusive club!” he said, and Kravitz still found himself pretty hesitant hearing that. He didn’t want to rain on Angus’s good mood, but he also didn’t want him accidentally getting indoctrinated into a cult.
“Can shadowy cabals be good?” he asked, and he wasn’t too surprised when Angus nodded.
“This one is, as far as I can tell,” he said, and reluctantly Kravitz nodded.
“And it’s not a cult?” he asked. He knew Angus was very familiar with cults and such from his work, so he wouldn’t expect the boy to fall into one, but you could never be too sure. To his relief Angus nodded, not seeming offended by the question any.
“Definitely not a cult. It’s actually really nice, I get to help them solve mysteries, and it’s a little disappointing because I won’t be doing a lot of field work anymore but I guess that’s technically safer,” he said, and Kravitz couldn’t help but smile at that, letting out a sigh of relief. The one definite good thing he could take from this was Angus not doing much field work anymore.
“Well, I’m sure you’ll be plenty of help even without getting to go out in the field,” he said and Angus nodded.
“Oh definitely sir, they wouldn’t have hired me if I couldn’t help. They didn’t seem too eager to hire a little boy at first,” he said, and Kravitz laughed at that.
“I’m sure they won’t regret it,” he said, and then he paused. “Even if you aren’t out chasing serial killers and such anymore, just know the offer still stands. If you ever need any help don’t hesitate to-” he started, but Angus started nodding before he could ever finish.
“I’ll call, I’ll call. You don’t have to worry so much dad ,” he said, and it was obviously meant as a little teasing joke. Even still Kravitz found himself freeze at the name for just a moment. He’d already started thinking of Angus as his kid, but it was another thing to actually be called dad, even as a joke.
Kravitz didn’t let himself stay frozen for long though. He didn’t want Angus to think he’d done something wrong. As soon as he had control of his brain again Kravitz chuckled.
“Maybe if you gave me less reasons to worry I wouldn’t,” he said, and Angus smiled sheepishly at that.
The rest of the visit went well, although Angus didn’t give him too many details about this organization he’d joined. Kravitz told himself not to worry too much about it. Angus didn’t tend to try and hide if he was planning on doing something dangerous, and anything that would keep him from walking right into necromantic keeps and murder dungeons had to be a good thing.
He was sure if anything too important came up he would hear about it.
Taako told himself he just knew what it was like being a kid on your own. It helped to have some skills to fall back on. Even if they were cushy on the moon right now, it wasn’t like this job would last forever. Sure, Angus already had his smart kid detective thing, but it never hurt to broaden your repertoire.
And well, Taako couldn’t exactly teach him how to cook. He didn’t think that would end well, and he wasn’t even sure if Angus was interested in cooking.
He did seem pretty interested in magic though. Taako figured it would be a simple enough thing. Teach the kid a few spells in his spare time, pay off any sort of karmic dept he might have incurred via silverware theft, and be done with it. That was definitely how it started. Teaching the kid mage hand had involved just as much teasing as it had letting him know he actually wasn’t doing half bad.
Taako wasn’t surprised that Angus was a fast learner, the kid made sure everyone knew intelligence was his highest stat. Taako figured he’d get tired of the teaching and go off to study his own thing once Taako got the ball rolling.
That wasn’t what happened though. Sure, Angus ended up teaching himself the occasional spell here and there, but every time he did he always ended up coming to Taako for approval and advice. More often than not when he wanted to learn a spell he just came and asked if Taako could show him.
Taako guessed the outright asking was better than the way Angus had tried to get him to teach him prestidigitation. That one had not gone great. Taako still wasn’t sure what had been up with that, but he figured if Angus ever cracked that mystery he’d let him know.
The point was, this whole thing was supposed to be a couple quick lessons that Taako would be able to wash his hands of in a couple of weeks, tops. Instead it was going on a couple months now and Taako didn’t see it stopping anytime soon. He wasn’t even sure if he super wanted it to stop either. He didn’t mind teaching the kid after all, as much as he would never fucking admit that to anyone.
The big problem though was that at some point, it had stopped being just magic lessons.
Taako tried to blame it on the fact that there was a lot of down time between reclaimer missions, and those never lasted particularly long anyway. So Taako found himself with a lot of time sitting around looking pretty, and that would be great if he didn’t get bored so fucking easily. He guessed Angus was the same way. Sure he was a seeker, but his main job was helping them when they were out after relics.
After a while Angus had started hanging around in his dorm for longer and longer after magic lessons had finished, or on days where they weren’t practicing spells at all. It wasn’t constantly, the kid had his own life that Taako had no interest prying into. He was pretty sure Angus still went down planet side pretty regularly, probably for little detective missions whenever he got too bored.
Still, it was often enough that Taako was rapidly starting to panic as he realized he was the person on the moon the kid hung around the most. He was still trying not to think about that, but it was hard when the kid was under his heels all the goddamn time.
“It’s just not very realistic is all. Sure, the mysteries hold up, but most of the villains don’t have the motivation or the skill to pull off something so complicated,” Angus said. Taako was only half listening to him as he ranted about some book he’d finished reading last night.
“And the Kyle Collins books you love are the pinnacle of reality, right?” he asked, flipping through a page of the wizard magazine he was lazily skimming. They hadn’t had a magic lesson today, Angus had just showed up to start talking about some book. Taako had been in the middle of making himself some dinner, so he’d shoved some food in front of the kid without a second thought. Or at least, trying not to have a second thought. He was getting better at the whole food thing.
“Caleb Cleveland, and no but they do a much better job at establishing the character’s motivations and fitting the mysteries within logical skill sets those characters would have,” Angus argued. Taako snorted, shifting his legs so that they were laying across Angus’s lap and on top of the book he still had resting open in it. The kid tried to push him off to no avail before huffing and accepting his fate as a foot rest.
“I don’t know, the whole kid detective thing seems pretty far-fetched to me no matter which way you slice it,” he joked, getting an eye roll from Angus.
“I think the author managed to- to do a good job with such an unrealistic concept,” Angus said, pausing in the middle of his sentence to try and stifle a yawn.
“Did you sleep at all last night or did you spend the whole time reading a book you hate?” Taako asked, and Angus shook his head, this time yawning in full before he managed to answer.
“I don’t hate it. Its actually pretty good other than a few flaws,” he said, which didn’t do anything to answer Taako’s question. After a moment Angus seemed to realize Taako was still waiting on that and smiled sheepishly. “I slept a little,” he said, not sounding very convincing in the slightest.
“Did you sleep or did you lie in bed not reading?” he asked.
“Yes?” Angus responded, which not a snort out of Taako. He swung around so his legs were no longer trapping the kid, tossing a pillow at him for good measure.
“Go get some fucking sleep. If you pass out here I’m not levitating you all the way back to your room,” he said. Angus stretched his arms up above his head as he stood up, still looking pretty tired.
“I didn’t know you were so worried about saving your spell slots,” he said. Taako snorted, not expecting that jab even though he probably should have.
“Hey, it’d be about spell slots if I decided to carry you back instead. I’m not doing either, that’s just laziness, which is totally acceptable,” he said. Angus laughed before yawning again, and so Taako started shooing him away some more. “What are you, deaf? Get going already,” he said, and Angus nodded.
“I’m going, I’m going,” he said, finally starting towards the door.
“Night pumpkin,” Taako called after him, stretching back out on the couch and flipping open his magazine again.
“Good night dad,” Angus said as he left, and it was a good thing the kid was faced away and couldn’t see Taako at that moment. He felt himself freeze, his face blank and not taking in anything he was looking at on the magazine. Angus didn’t even seem to notice the slip, probably too tired to. He left the room without another word, and Taako could feel the internal panic quickly rising.
It was definitely an accident. The kid was half asleep, and that was a thing, wasn’t it? Kids always ended up calling their teacher mom or dad at least once. It certainly didn’t mean anything. The last thing anyone would ever think of when they pictured the one, the only, Taako, was a parent. What did it matter if he was the one who always ended up watching after him now a days and fed him and shit? Sure, Angus was almost definitely an orphan, but that wasn’t Taako’s problem.
He guessed he kind of had a kid now.
Kravitz knew that Angus was spending a lot of time with his new group, and so he wasn’t seeing him as often. That would have started to cause him a bit of concern it he wasn’t suddenly getting rather busy as well. It had started with what was supposed to be a relatively routine bounty. It turned out to be anything but though when he ran into three of the biggest offenders of the laws of life and death he’d ever seen.
That night had been a mess, although it had worked out for the best in the end. Kravitz hadn’t mentioned it to Angus, as strange as the whole thing had been he wasn’t looking to rehash his near failure and the entire eternal stockade almost having a breakout. He had figured that once it was done with he could put all of that behind him.
Of course that wasn’t the case, and Kravitz wasn’t sure why he believed anything would go the way he hoped it would anymore. No, instead a few months later he found himself called to see to the bounties of one Taako, Magnus Burnsides, and Merle Highchurch all over again. The bounties hadn’t been officially reopened, but they had each died eleven more times. That wasn’t even counting the thousands of deaths raked up by a single small town all in an instant.
It was just supposed to be a civilized meeting though. They weren’t looking to bring anyone in, they only wanted to understand the situation. Luckily Taako seemed willing enough to explain the whole situation with the relics and the time sick town caught in an infinite loop of death for years on end. It was certainly big enough that it didn’t quite fall into Kravitz’s jurisdiction anymore. It was officially in Istus’s domain, and death allowed for certain caveats when the strings of fate were involved.
Of course, it was still all supposed to be strictly business. It did not stay strictly business, and Kravitz was finding it hard to be upset about that fact. He found himself quite liking Taako, much more than he ever expected to.
It was strange. Maybe it was a sort of ripple effect. After so long feeling disconnected from the world Kravitz found himself with all of these ties trying to ground him to it. Maybe it was a bad idea, as death there needed to be a certain degree of separation, but even as he left to try and see if he could place the source of that powerful undead energy he’d felt, Kravitz found himself hoping to get to see Taako again soon. Hopefully for something that wasn’t related to his job at all.
So hopeful in fact, that Kravitz didn’t wait for Taako to make the next move this time. It seemed only fair, since he had been the one to do the first push, for Kravitz to be the one to call for a second date. If that had even been a date.
He supposed it must have been, because Taako had been very on board for a second one.
And then a third, and a forth. And then Kravitz said he’d stopped counting but that wasn’t quite true. He was still counting, but it was less because it was a novel thing that had only happened a few times and more because he wanted to be sure to remember every night he ended up spending with Taako.
It really wasn’t that long, not in the grand scheme of things. Hell, it hadn’t even been that long for regular people, let alone for a functionally immortal grim reaper and someone as long lived as an elf. Kravitz knew that, but it still felt like things were starting to get serious. Sure it had only been a few months, but it still felt like that was much too long to go without mentioning some things.
Namely, Kravitz felt like things probably shouldn’t get much more serious without him bringing up Angus. He knew it wasn’t… he couldn’t say exactly what it was, but it felt like something he should let Taako know about.
The next date was casual, not really a date at all. Taako was too tired from reclaimer training to want to go out, and Kravitz certainly didn’t mind the opportunity to just spend some time with Taako.
It also seemed like as good of a time as any to try and breech this subject.
“Taako?” Kravitz said. They were in Taako’s dorm room, the elf currently leaning up against him in bed, apparently pretty fond of the cool temperature of his construct after a full morning of training. Kravitz was running his hand softly through Taako’s hair, trying to convince himself not to be nervous. He didn’t realize this would mean so much to him, but it had been so long since Kravitz had people he cared about. He wanted them to like each other.
“Hmm?” Taako hummed, sounding half asleep and Kravitz was suddenly second guessing bringing this up now.
“Can we talk about something?” he asked, and he guessed his voice betrayed him because Taako quickly sat up, looking at him with concern.
“Yeah? Everything good?” he asked and Kravitz quickly nodded. He didn’t want to start this conversation out on a bad note.
“Oh yes, it’s not- nothing bad. I promise,” he said, and he could see Taako visibly relax at that, shifting to lean up against him again.
“Then sure, what’s on your mind homeslice?” Taako asked, and Kravitz chuckled slightly at the sudden shift in mood. It did help some in alleviating his own nerves though, and he took a large unnecessary breath before speaking.
“It’s… well, you know how I’m a reaper for the Raven Queen?” Kravitz asked, not too sure how to start this. For some reason he wanted to ease Taako into it, almost afraid of scaring him off.
“I’m passingly familiar with the fact, yep,” Taako said, and Kravitz snorted at that.
“Yes well, you meet a lot of… interesting people, in that line of work,” he continued, and he could see Taako smirking now as he raised an eyebrow.
“You don’t say,” he said, and Kravitz couldn’t blame him for that.
“Fair enough,” he said, and tried to find the words he was looking for. “A few years ago I met someone, who um, became pretty important to me,” he continued. Taako had stopped looking amused and was clearly curious now, sitting up and turned towards him. It was pretty obvious that he had many questions he wanted to ask, but he seemed to be holding them back for Kravitz to finish explaining.
“I guess you could say I sort of… adopted him? He’s still only a child, but he has a remarkable talent for getting himself into trouble, and I’ve just been looking out for him,” he said. When he looked over at Taako it was difficult to read exactly what he was thinking, but he didn’t seem upset. If anything he looked a little relieved, although Kravitz couldn’t imagine as to why.
“Oh, you never mentioned you had a kid Krav,” he said, and Kravitz smiled a bit sheepishly.
“That’s why I figured it would be a good thing to bring up now,” he said and Taako nodded, a thoughtful look on his face. One of his ears were twitching as he seemed to be debating something internally and it took all of Kravitz’s restraint not to reach out and poke it.
“This is probably a good time to mention the fact that I’m kinda in the same boat then, huh?” he said, and Kravitz couldn’t help the surprised look on his face at that. He tried to, because Taako immediately looked worried. “Like, it’s not really that- I’ve known the brat for less than a year I think? Who fucking knows, time is fake. He’s a kid I teach magic to and ya know, make sure he eats and junk,” he added on quickly. Kravitz could feel a fond, dopey smile stretch across his face as Taako continued to try and downplay the care he had for this child.
“He sounds wonderful Taako,” he cut in, and Taako shrugged, trying very much to look like he didn’t care.
“He’s a nosy brat who’s too smart for his own good,” he muttered, and Kravitz chuckled a little at that. He might as well have been describing Angus.
“It sounds like they would get along famously then,” he said, and Taako looked up at that.
“You think so?” he asked and Kravitz nodded.
“It certainly sounds like it,” he said, and he could tell Taako was thinking that over. “It’s actually… that was kind of why I wanted to talk to you about this. It’s been a long time since I’ve had people who are as important to me as you two, and I was kind of hoping that maybe you could, you know, meet him?” Kravitz said, some of his nerves starting to build back up. It felt like a big thing, asking Taako to meet the kid he thought of as his. He was sure Taako could tell too, because he looked somewhat surprised before nodding.
“Yeah, sure why not? Hell, fuck it. I’ll drag my brat along too, make it a damn play date,” he said, barreling through the words like he was afraid he would back out if he didn’t get them out fast enough. Kravitz couldn’t help the smile that was spreading over his face now. This was honestly going better than he expected.
“You really wouldn’t mind?” he asked, wanting to give Taako another chance to back out of this if he had second thoughts. Taako nodded sharply though, looking determined to go through with this.
“Course not. If he’s your kid he’s probably not too terrible, I'll survive,” he said, and as flippant as Taako was trying to sound Kravitz felt a rush of relief spread through him at that. Instead of trying to figure out a way to put that feeling into words though, Kravitz leaned forward, capturing his mouth in a soft kiss. Taako immediately began kissing him back, melting into him like he was relieved for the chance to not speak for a moment.
It felt all too soon when Kravitz pulled back though. Still, there was a few things left they should probably figure out.
“So, do we want to just bring them along with us? Next time?” he asked, and Taako nodded.
“Sure,” he said, and then a thought came to him. “Oh, we should probably stick to planet side though. Not sure how well your kid would do up here, with all the static and junk,” he said, and Kravitz nodded. Right, he always forgot about that, ironically enough.
“Sounds good,” he said, pulling Taako into another kiss immediately afterwards. He told himself it would be fine. Sure, he hadn’t quite mentioned to Angus that he was dating anyone, but he would worry about that later.
Gods, he really hoped they liked each other.
Taako had no idea how he was supposed to go about this. He might have been panicking a little, even though there was no reason to. It was just another date. They hadn’t even scheduled exactly when yet, sometime next week. It was hard to know when their schedules would be perfectly clear after all. None of this was a big deal though.
He was just going to meet Kravitz’s kid. And he had promised to bring Angus. Because he had told Kravitz that Angus was basically his kid. Definitely nothing super huge or important there.
And now he needed to let Angus know. Just a simple ‘hey, you good to hop down planet side next week?’ and that would be it. He didn’t even have to tell him why.
The only reason he hadn’t said anything yet was only because it hadn’t come up. He was distracted, ever since he found out that his magic hadn’t been at fault for Glamour Springs he was trying to get back into the kitchen. It just hadn’t been on his mind.
“Sir, is everything okay?” Angus asked suddenly, almost causing Taako to drop the pan he’d grabbed out of the oven. The kid was hanging around like usual. It was two days since him and Kravitz had that talk, although Taako swore he wasn’t paying that much attention to it.
“Everything’s fantastic bubala. Give this shit like five minutes to cool and I’ll prove it,” he said, putting the tray down. Angus frowned at that, and Taako could see him glance at the clock to check the time. Kid probably would wait exactly five minutes.
“Oh, I didn’t mean about the food. That all smells and looks wonderful sir. You just seem a little distracted is all,” he said. Taako washed his hands, wiping them dry on a towel afterwards as he shrugged.
“We’re all good, no idea what you’re talking about,” he said. It didn’t look like it convinced Angus any, but the kid was stubborn like that.
Taako told himself it would be best to just get it over with now. If he waited much longer Angus would start to get suspicious, and that would be the worst possible scenario. There was no stopping the kid once he was sure there was some mystery for him to solve.
“Hey, you doing anything next week?” he asked, which immediately caught Angus’s attention.
“Well, we have magic lessons planned, but you already know about those. There’s some seeker work I need to catch up on, but nothing urgent. The director said that she already has a lot of intel on the location of the next relic, we’re just waiting or the right moment to send you all in,” Angus listed off, and Taako rolled his eyes.
“So no then, cool. You good to head down planet side with me sometime?” he asked, and Angus nodded, his mind clearly trying to figure out what was going on here. There wasn’t anything going on though, so it could try all it wanted.
“Of course! How come? Do you have something planned?” he asked, and yeah, Taako expected this. This was exactly why he wasn't thrilled about asking the kid to begin with.
“Maybe I’m just bored of sitting on the moon all the time,” he said, which wasn’t exactly a lie. Sure, it didn’t have much to do with what they were talking about at the moment, but still. It didn’t look like Angus was buying it very much though, which he also should have expected.
“If that was the case you would probably want to go down planet side right now, sort of on impulse. Asking if I’m free next week implies that you have something planned for then, or there’s something you want to do that won’t be ready until then,” he said, and Taako groaned.
“Must you always be like this?” he asked, and Angus just grinned as he nodded.
“It seemed to be rather effective sir,” he said, and Taako rolled his eyes. He guessed there was no point in hiding it. It wasn’t a big deal after all, and acting all cagey about it would only make Angus think it was more important than it was.
“Whatever. If you must know, my boyfriend was looking to meet you, and like, introduce me to his own brat I guess,” he said. Taako expected Angus to immediately go off about something, probably talk about how he knew Taako had a boyfriend all along.
Instead Taako was met with silence, and when he finally glanced back over at Angus his eyes were wide in surprise, some emotion on his face that Taako couldn’t quite place.
“Your boyfriend is introducing you to his kid and you… want to bring me?” he asked, his voice all hopeful for some reason that was beyond Taako.
“Hey, if you don’t want to come you don’t gotta, just thought I’d offer,” he said, but Angus was immediately shaking his head.
“Oh no sir! I’d love to come!” he said, and Taako nodded, trying not to look too invested. He wasn’t invested, although he was pretty sure Kravitz would be kind of disappointed if Angus didn’t show up, and Taako was invested in making his boyfriend happy. He could at least admit that, so maybe he was a little worried about Angus’s reaction to all of this. Just for Kravitz though no other reasons.
“Cool, cool. He’s a pretty busy guy, so we’re just gonna play it by ear,” he said and Angus nodded, looking damn near overjoyed now. That was probably good thing, right? Yeah, this was good. Could certainly have gone worse.
“That sounds excellent Taako! Whenever you want to meet up, just let me know,” he said. Taako hadn’t been that worried about Angus not having any free time, but that was still a bit of a relief. The sooner they could get this all done with the sooner he could not think about what any of it might have meant.
At least no one was making him say it. As long as everyone was cool about this it was fine. More than fine. Taako was almost kind of looking forward to it. Kravitz was such a nerd, him and Angus were sure to get along great, and Taako couldn’t wait to meet whatever kid had been trouble enough that the fucking grim reaper ended up having to look after and adopt him. Sounded like Taako’s kind of kid.
Yeah, this was going to be good.
Angus was so excited. He couldn't wait to meet Taako's boyfriend, for a number of reasons. One, it was a fascinating thing to know. He knew Taako was keeping some sort of secret and a boyfriend had been near the top of Angus's list. Meeting him and getting to know the kind of person Taako would want to date sounded like fun.
The other reason was maybe a little more personal. He’d been surprised when Taako explained why he wanted to bring him along. His boyfriend was going to bring his own kid, so he wanted to bring Angus.
He hadn't said it out right, but Angus didn't have to be the world's greatest detective to understand the implication. That Taako thought of him as his kid.
Angus hadn't pressed him on it, because he was pretty sure Taako would deny it if he did. It was pretty obvious that he'd been nervous to even ask. Still, Angus had walked around with a grin the rest of the day.
Unfortunately he would have to wait a bit before he could actually meet Taako's boyfriend. His kid too he supposed, although Angus honestly wasn't too interested in that part. He rarely clicked with many other kids his own age. The only really interesting part there was that Angus was kind of surprised Taako's boyfriend had a child as well. That wasn't something he would have imagined.
Still, Angus couldn't learn much more until next week. He guessed he could try and ask Taako more about it, but he didn't want to bother him. He didn't want him to take back the offer to bring him along. He doubted he would, but it was still better to be safe than sorry.
The next day Angus headed down planet side anyway. Not for anything related to Taako, or even the bureau. Honestly Angus hadn't mentioned anything about this part of his life to anyone there yet. It wasn't that he was trying to keep it a secret, it just wasn't something that ever came up, and Angus wasn't sure how to explain it anyway.
He was pretty sure most people would be more worried than reassured if Angus told them he knew the grim reaper. Let alone if he said he was very good friends with the grim reaper and had known him for years now. He was a really nice man and Angus had never felt worried or scared with him around. If anything it was usually a relief because then he knew whatever culprit he was after wasn't going to last very long at all.
Still, Angus was smart enough to know that most people would panic at the idea, so he tended not to bring Kravitz up if he could help it.
Taako calling him his kid had made Angus think of Kravitz though. He hadn't been down planet side in a while and Angus was sure he would start to get worried soon. He never visited Angus when he was on the moon.
Mr. Kravitz acted like a dad a lot, enough that Angus had called him it a few times. Mostly as a joke, because he didn't want to freak him out. He was pretty sure he hadn't gotten close to any living people for a long time.
Once Angus was down in Neverwinter it wasn't very long before Kravitz showed up. He'd called him on the stone beforehand to let him know he was going to be free today, and he actually seemed pretty excited by the fact.
"Good afternoon sir!" Angus said as he stepped out of a nearby alleyway. Kravitz smiled as soon as he saw him and started heading over.
"Hello Angus, how have you been?" he asked, coming and sitting down at the patio table Angus has grabbed.
"Good! Sorry I've been so busy, we've been doing a lot of good work, but it hasn't left me with a lot of time for individual detective cases," Angus said. Kravitz nodded, not seeming too bothered by that.
"That's fine dear, I've had a bit of a full schedule lately as well," Kravitz said and Angus supposed that made sense. It was hard to place what it was but Angus could tell that something was different with Kravitz the last few times they'd met up. Not in a bad way though, if anything he seemed happier than usual. Angus reminded himself to figure out what that was about later.
"Speaking of busy schedules though," Kravitz started, catching Angus's attention. "Are you doing anything next week?" he asked, and Angus blinked at the surprising familiarity of the question.
"I had promised to do something with someone this week, but they haven't given me an exact day or time yet," he answered honestly. He was very curious about what Kravitz wanted him for, but he'd already said yes to Taako and he didn't want to miss that. Kravitz didn't seem too deterred by it though, nodding thoughtfully.
"Okay, we can try to plan around that then if you find out more about it," he said, which was fair but didn't actually do much to let Angus know what Kravitz had planned. Something that wasn't set in stone, so probably not a public event or something someone else was planning.
"What do you have in mind sir? Something for your reaper job?" he asked, and Angus wasn't that surprised when he immediately started shaking his head.
"Oh no, nothing like that," he assured, and then a nervous look fell over his face. It was actually a pretty similar type of nervous as Angus remember being on Taako's face. Worried and maybe a little embarrassed. "I was actually hoping to introduce you to someone. Someone pretty important to me," he said, and Angus felt his eyebrows raise up in surprise.
It had to be a coincidence. Angus didn't tend to believe in coincidences though, part of being a detective and all.
"Sorry if this is rude, but I didn't know you had a lot of people like that, being the grim reaper and everything," Angus said. Instead of looking annoyed by that Kravitz chuckled and nodded, still that fond smile on his face.
"You wouldn't be wrong typically. I didn't have a lot of connections outside of the astral plane for a very long time," Kravitz said, which was about what Angus expected. His face was very soft as he spoke, obvious affection there for whoever he was talking about. "I'm glad that's changed though, with you and- and with this other person," he finished.
"Sir… are you dating someone?" Angus couldn't help but ask. He had to be wrong, because there was no way it was what he was thinking. When would they have even met? It didn't make any sense. Kravitz didn’t look surprised or very defensive of the question though, instead chucking a little more and smiling sheepishly.
"You really are an excellent detective Angus," he said as way of an answer, and Angus tried his best not to look too surprised. It was a simple enough deduction to make after all. In any other situation the fact that he was right wouldn't faze him at all.
"That's wonderful sir," Angus said, and he did mean that. It certainly explained why he'd been happier lately, although Angus couldn't focus on that very well. He supposed this wasn't quite proof yet though. Some very strange happenstance, but it was still a little too unlikely for Angus to be sold yet.
"Thank you Angus," Kravitz said, and some of that nervousness was back. "He has a child he's been watching after lately. We thought it would be… you know, fun to introduce you both," he added.
Well, that pretty much sold it.
"Yeah okay, that sounds great dad," Angus blurted out, only realizing what he'd said afterwards and not able to bring himself to care that much. It had clearly taken Kravitz by surprise though, which was fair. That was the first time he'd said that without it being an obvious joke or tease.
"Oh. Well. Good, that's good," he said, seeming at a loss for words. Angus had started gathering his things up, because he had some urgent matters he needed to look into pronto.
"Sorry I need to get going! This was real fun. Just let me know when you want to meet up with your boyfriend and I'll be sure to head down," he said quickly, shoving the last of the stuff he'd had out while waiting for Kravitz back in his bag before standing up. Kravitz looked a little befuddled but nodded none the less.
"Alright, that's- of course," he said. Angus gave him a quick hug before throwing his bag over his shoulder and starting to run off down the street.
“See you later!” he called back, and Kravitz shouted a quick goodbye after him with a wave, still seeming to be in a small daze.
Angus wasn’t sure how to start looking into this. He guessed he could always spy on them to see if they met up. He could just ask Taako was his boyfriend’s name was. Spying seemed unlikely since if he was right then the next time they met would be with him there, and asking for a name felt like cheating. Angus found himself going back and forth on what to do for a few days, until it finally didn’t matter anymore.
He was in his room on the moon base when his stone of farspeech started to light up, a dark blue that let him know that Kravitz was calling. Immediately he fumbled to answer it.
“Hello sir!” he said happily, pretty excited.
“Hey Angus. Are you busy right now?” Kravitz asked, and that was about what Angus thought. He’d been feeling more impatient than he thought as he shook his head, already climbing off his bed to put on his shoes.
“No, I’m free right now. Is tonight the night?” he asked, trying not to sound too excited in case he wasn’t.
“Yes, if you’re still interested I suppose,” Kravitz said, and Angus quickly nodded again.
“Of course! I’m very excited sir,” he said, and he could hear the relief in Kravitz’s voice at that.
“I’m glad,” he said. “Uh, we were planning on meeting in Neverwinter. Do you need me to come pick you up wherever you are?” he asked, and Angus hesitated for a moment. Kravitz picking him up would be easiest, but he still wanted to wait and see something. Plus, he could get anywhere in a canon if he needed to.
“I think I should be good sir, it shouldn’t take me long to get there. But thank you!” he added.
“Alright, if that’s what you want. I’ll see you soon Angus,” Kravitz said, and Angus was smiling brightly as he hung up.
“See you soon!” he said back. As soon as the line was dead Angus started trying to finish up getting ready.
It wasn’t very long at all before he heard a knock at his door, and he’d been expecting it but it was still a surprise. As much as the evidence was pushing this way, it still didn’t seem like it would actually be real.
“Hello sir!” Angus said just as happily as he’d addressed Kravitz when he opened the door to see Taako. He was dressed up really nice, which only led to further cement Angus’s suspicions.
“Hey pumpkin. You busy tonight?” he asked, and Angus shook his head.
“Nothing that conflicts with your schedule I think,” he said, which was the truth. Taako just nodded, not seeming too suspicious of that.
“Cool, cool. You uh, good to head out now or what? They should be waiting down in Neverwinter,” Taako said, and well, if Angus had any doubts left they’d be gone now. He’d feel dumb if it didn’t end up being Kravitz at this point. He really hoped he wasn’t wrong.
Taking the canon down with Taako, Angus was practically rocking back and forth in his chair in excitement. Taako must’ve noticed, looking over at him curiously.
“What are you all hyped up for?” he asked, and Angus grinned at him as he answered.
“I’m just really looking forward to meeting your boyfriend!” he said, not surprised when Taako rolled his eyes. “Do you love him?” he asked next, causing Taako to almost jerk dangerously on the break.
“I don’t see how that’s any of your business,” he grumbled, pulling down on the break now that they were starting to get close. That hadn’t been a no, and Angus wasn’t going to pressure him if he wasn’t ready to say it yet.
Getting out of the canon, Angus followed along after Taako. Even though it wasn’t a very hard mystery he still felt a swell of satisfaction when he spotted Kravitz a few blocks down the street. He noticed how Taako’s pace got a little bit faster as they got closer, which was really sweet.
Once they were close enough Angus could see Kravitz’s face light up as soon as he caught sight of Taako, and then he saw the small flash of confusion when he saw Angus at his side. It was barely noticeable, quickly covered up with another smile.
“Hey babe,” Taako said as they closed the distance, and Angus watched as he took a quick glance around. “Your brat not able to make it or something?” he asked, and the confusion deepened onto Kravitz’s face again, now looking directly at Angus.
“No… he’s here,” he said, and Angus was still smiling as he started rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet some.
“Hello sir! How have you been?” he asked happily, and now Taako was looking down at him as well, an equally confused look on his face.
“I’ve been fine Angus,” Kravitz said, caution in his voice. “Did you come here with Taako?” he asked, glancing over at the other man in question as he did. Angus nodded, and he should probably feel a little bad about catching them both so off guard, but he didn’t. This was pretty funny after all.
“Yep! I hope you don’t mind,” he said, and he saw the two of them staring at each other for a minute, clearly trying to piece together what was happening here. Angus had no doubt that they would be able to, but he could certainly understand the surprise. He was definitely using the fact that he’d figured it out beforehand to his advantage.
“Ango, pumpkin, do you know Kravitz?” Taako asked, his voice that kind of fake sweet where he was desperately trying to get control back of a situation. Once again Angus nodded happily at the question.
“Of course sir!” was all he said, and there was a long moment as Taako took a deep breath and Kravitz rubbed at his temples.
“Same boy,” Kravitz finally mumbled.
“Same fucking boy,” Taako echoed, and Angus wasn’t able to keep himself from laughing anymore. When Taako tried to swat at him with his hat he only laughed more as he quickly moved out of the way to hide behind Kravitz.
“How long did you know this? Were you planning on saying anything at any point?” Kravitz asked, which was a fair question and Angus didn’t feel bad answering truthfully at all.
“I only found out when you both said you wanted to introduce me to your boyfriend like a day apart. I thought it would be funnier this way, and I was right,” Angus said, which actually got a snort of laughter out of Taako. Kravitz had started smiling in amusement as well, shaking his head softly.
“Alright, I suppose I can’t blame you there,” he said, and Angus nodded in agreement.
“I can, I’m pretty sure this qualifies as entrapment,” Taako said, not actually sounding bothered by this at all. Angus giggled at that, and when Kravitz rolled his eyes he still had a fond smile on his face.
“I don’t think you know what entrapment means dear,” Kravitz said, and then he sighed, looking at both of them fondly now. “Well, I suppose introductions weren’t entirely necessary, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do the rest of the evening,” he said, and Angus saw Taako nod the same time he did.
“Oh hell yeah, there’s no way I’m not getting a nice night out of this after being horribly deceived by my own boy,” he said, and Angus smiled brightly at him again.
“It’s not my fault you decided to start dating my other dad sir,” he said, and he could see the both of them freeze a bit at that. He wasn’t saying anything the two of them hadn’t already said themselves though, and after a moment Taako shrugged, trying to look casual.
“I can date whoever I want bubala,” he said, and Angus simply nodded at that. Starting off to whatever they had planned for the night, Angus didn’t actually have any idea what they were going to be doing. He’d been a little too distracted to pay attention to that part. He still found himself excited though, pretty certain that whatever it was, he was going to enjoy it.
Walking between the two, Angus was sure he could get used to this.