Magh staggered backward as if she’d been slapped. Her eyes darted to the older Dee and the younger version followed Magh’s gaze. The girl in the house stared up at her doppelganger for a long moment, then her eyes rolled back in her head. Frederica rushed forward and caught the girl before she hit the floor. She carried the girl inside, laying her on a couch.
“Okay, what the fuck is going on?” Josephine said.
Tommy stood over the girl, staring down with an unreadable expression. He swallowed hard.
“She’s our daughter,” he said.
“Her—our—name is Danu Ikeda,” she said. “You can keep calling me Dee if that’ll make things easier.”
“Nothing about this is easy,” Josephine said.
“Danu,” Magh muttered. “That was my mother’s name.”
“I know,” Dee replied. “You’ve told me stories about her. Or, rather, you will.”
Magh reached out, tracing the lines of Dee’s face. Then she touched Dee’s scar.
“I’m so sorry I hurt you,” she said.
“I didn’t exactly leave you any choice,” Dee said. “That first duel, I was… working through some issues. And I knew that no matter what I did, we’d both come out alive, so… I didn’t hold back. I was surprised when my arm hit the ground, though.”
“It was lucky Carmen is a good healer,” Magh said, smiling faintly.
The two women stood there a long moment, finally understanding each other, but something didn’t sit right with Frederica. It gnawed at the back of her mind and wouldn’t let go.
“What do you mean, you knew?” she asked. “That you’d survive the duel, I mean.”
“Good catch,” she said, turning her back on everyone else. “When I was eighteen, the summer I finished high school, I was visited one night by an older version of myself and younger versions of my parents and their friends. All of this has happened before, you see. And now I’m back to close the loop.”