Chapter Forty-Eight: Changes
Lizzy Begly just wanted to go to bed and pretend that none of this had ever happened. Ever since she was nine she'd believed that the Improbability Clause was nothing more than some make-believe magic that Charlie was a fool to believe in.
She'd been wrong. The Improbability Clause was about friendship and working together, creating a little bit of that mystical energy called luck. It was far from a myth or a coincidence.
She felt confused and isolated. There was no way she could talk to her twin about this – Izzy was determined to believe that the Code and the Clause were nothing more than myth. She wasn't ready to talk to her brother or father either.
She followed her sister and Hugo into the house that night after her second use of the Improbability Clause, hoping she'd be able to escape quickly after dinner and spend the night in her room alone. She needed a chance to think things through and decide what she was going to do next, and she couldn't really do that with the usual hustle and bustle of the family around her.
Not a chance. The Masters had been invited over for dinner again. Belle was a very, VERY intelligent young lady, and the use of the Improbability Clause had instantly alerted her to the fact that the Outer Knights of the Last Order were none other than the Begly twins and Hugo. She figured she should have picked it sooner, what with the twins long ginger hair being a dead giveaway.
Of course, Lizzy gave herself away by hanging back and holding her head low – Belle wasn't surprised, given the bond that Lizzy had with Madeliene, of course she was going to discover the Improbability Clause, sooner rather than later. She frowned at the younger Begly twin, her eye twitching ever-so-slightly from annoyance.
Lizzy groaned silently. The look Belle was giving her said everything she needed to know – busted.
“So, what are you three doing this fine Knight?” Belle asked a little too casually as they sat down to the amazing dinner that Berry had prepared.
'That K isn't as silent as you think it is.' Lizzy thought bitterly, sitting next to her father, who immediately piped up.
“Wrong “night” Belle. Strange coming from you, the Queen of Spelling and Grammar.” Thomas pointed out.
“Oops, my bad. I have NO idea how I made such a silly mistake.” Belle intensified her stare at Lizzy, who was feeling VERY uncomfortable.
Charlie, who was sat next to Belle at the dinner table, looked at her quizzically. She gave him a small nod. His eyes widened in shock and he glared at his two sisters. Izzy looked confused and shot a look at Lizzy, who suddenly became engrossed in her soup. Thomas shared a look with Peter, who raised an eyebrow at Belle, who quickly directed her glance at Charlie, who tried to look innocent. Betty sighed and shared a knowing glance with Lara, who rolled her eyes and gave Peter a look of exasperation. Peter looked insulted, causing Izzy to shoot a look of amusement at Hugo, who shrugged and shot a look a look of sympathy at Lizzy, who pretended not to see it. She was too busy trying to avoid the stare from Belle.
“So, what did you guys get up to today?” Betty broke the silence.
Cue the rush of everyone to answer the question and fill the void.
Her phone had finally stopped going off, leaving Lizzy to her thoughts. A few days had passed since the second use of the Improbability Clause, and it was a bright, beautiful Saturday afternoon by the creek.
Not that most of Pleasantville was able to enjoy it, Master Revolver and Mobster Marion were trying to get a small shipment of kidnapped children out of the city, and our favourite (and not-so-favourite) heroes were off to save the day.
Lizzy had declined to join her fellow Outer Knights, her mind a complete mess. Izzy was furious and had been badgering her twin via text messages to get out and help. As much as she knew she was needed to help the city, Lizzy couldn't bring herself to even read the text messages. She was laying on a blanket near the creek, holding one of Lady Starlights throwing stars against the glowing light of the setting sun. The old arguments were raging a war in her head, her beloved grand-fathers, both on opposite sides of the fight. Her older brother, her hero. The girl next door who had been like an older sister. The baby who she had such a strong bond with. Her parents, also on either side of the argument, both loyal to their respective fathers.
Izzy. Her twin sister. Together from their very conception. Once one, divided into two in the womb. Now they would be divided again, this time by an ancient tradition that one was ready to accept, and the other would continue to scorn.
Lizzy nearly jumped a mile. Sam had found her, waking her from her reverie.
"Hi Sam." She recovered., quickly hiding the throwing star before he could see it. "What was up with the DVM?"
"Human trafficking of all things. I seriously don't know where they get off doing that to children." Sam looked livid. Lizzy felt a mix of anger and guilt. She should have sucked it up and gone to help.
"How could they? Did you save the kids?" Lizzy asked.
"Yup, Belle told Charlie that there was no way he could stop the truck and next minute he's used the Improbability Clause and the trailer's fallen off the truck. TJ got his cop buddies to take the children home and all is good!" Sam grinned.
Lizzy flinched at his mention of the Improbability Clause.
“That's right, you don't believe in the Code or the Clause do you?” Sam asked.
Lizzy looked away. “No, I don't.” She said, trying to sound convincing. Sam looked at her, and she couldn't help but watch him out of the corner of her eye. He had grown into a very handsome man, not even the scars left by years of fighting crime could tarnish him in Lizzys eyes.
“You sure?” Sam prodded, with a little cheekiness in his voice. Lizzy couldn't help but smile.
“I don't know.” She sighed. She looked at him, taking in all of his features. It then occurred to her that he was a twin too. “Have you ever had a real fight with Tammy before?”
“Did you and Izzy have a disagreement?”
“No, but I think we're about to.”
Sam sighed. “When she wanted to learn how to talk again. I'd been her voice for so long that I got angry when she said she was going to try. I'm Sir Hyper, she's Lady Silent. I didn't want that to change.”
Lizzy sat up and looked at him. “What happened?” She asked.
“We realised that we're two completely different people and that we shouldn't base our identities on simply being twins.” Sam replied. “I'm not just a voice, and she's not just there to look pretty.
“I guess I was scared of things changing. But just because some things changed, doesn't mean the important things did too. Tammy is my sister, my twin, and we'll always need and love each other. That's all that matters.” Sam finished his speech after a small wistful pause. He smiled at Lizzy, hoping he'd helped her.
For the first time in a few days, Lizzy found herself smiling back. “Thanks Sam.” She said, genuine warmth seeping into her words..
“By the way, have you told your parents that you're an Outer Knight yet?”
“How in the-?!” Lizzy squeaked. Sam laughed.
“Well, I saw the throwing star for a start.” He pointed out.
“Oh.” Lizzy held the star in her hand.
"Plus anyone who's been around Belle and Charlie long enough can pick the Improbability Clause a mile away." Sam continued. "Belle's LIVID that someone else pulled it on her."
"It was just dumb luck." Lizzy desperately tried to hold on to her belief.
"Dumb luck? No, I'll tell you what happened. You, being a Begly, were about to rush into battle with a half-baked plan. Belle, being a Masters, decided that letting you go through with aforementioned half-baked plan would be disastrous, and so told you everything that was wrong with the plan in an attempt to make you stop and think. Being a Begly, you DID stop and think, and you with that intelligence of yours you were quickly able to see that Belle was right and recalculate your plan to suit the conditions. THAT is what created the dumb luck, and that's how the Clause works." Sam told her.
"How do you know all of this?" Lizzy asked.
"I was talking to Charlie one day and he explained it. He was a bit like you, only he thought it was some sort of magic." Sam chuckled.
Lizzy looked at the creek. It wasn't dumb luck or magic, it was friendship that powered the Improbability Clause. Five hundred years of strong friendship that no amount of petty squabbling or even fights could ever shake.
Maybe it was magic after all.
“Anyway, I need to get home. You should get home too, it's still not safe for you to be alone.” Sam got up and offered her his hand. She accepted it, and together they headed back home.
Despite her inner turmoil, Lizzy couldn't help but grin as she walked alongside the Noble Knight of the Last Order, Sir Hyper.
Trust me, no one missed it either.
“So, how's Sam?” Charlie asked a little too innocently as Lizzy walked into the house. Izzy tried not to giggle at how red her twin suddenly was.
Lizzy wanted to strangle both of them as they both continued to needle her about her crush on Sam.