Eugene, he-of-the-hives, needs his one peculiar happy ending, right? Eugene was presented as one of the lone ones, in a school full of “different” people, which never quite sat right with me. Of course, it made a bit more sense when I made his moms into colonies of what could be sentient bees (maybe…); Eugene was just waiting for the right time when he came into his own… whatever that would look like. This takes place during winter vacation, after the vast majority of the students left. Because, of course, Eugene would check out his apiary “one last time” before going home.

From “Full of Woe” (fanfic) Chapter 12/17

Eugene came into the apiary and immediately felt the movement of the hives — skeps, as opposed to Langstroths or Warres, because they were easier to make by hand and Eugene always felt the hives respectfully had a need for privacy –even before he shut the door. In the cool dark, thousands of wings beat against his face, the tickle of segmented legs, as they landed, tested, and then lifted again. He exhaled, the sweetness of his own breath signaling his arrival.

It had been too long since he’d been back.

The injuries.

His coma.

Had he been brought back here, he knew they would have taken care of him. He knew .

But they didn’t.

He didn’t fault them for it. Not many had managed to connect to him over the time he’d been at Nevermore— through one abscond and three non-winter clusters— and the students who were all considered different, recognized one who was even more varied than they. And they appreciated that, in time, he would find his place, wherever that would be, within the world.

But he had still made friends, rare though it was. Wednesday, who had come to him initially in need, but who had not left him when his mind wandered far from his body, out in the dark. Drifting and droning in the indigo landscape of long-dead blooms.

Her [we]I like. Queen she is, in flight among drones.

Eugene nodded in agreement, not trying to shake the bees examining his hair too hard. Enid had been so nice to meet as well, though she had been reticent at first, concerned about things that wished her no harm. Savior of flowers, she is; the one who who waters the stalk and feeds the soil, who eats those who devour the blooms, who chases away the honey-devourers. Enid had written up a very nice article on the apiary and Eugene after the Hive had taken down Laurel Gates. We came to Wednesday’s call, the tip of the overwhelming swarm . He fondly recalled how, in one way or another, they were all part of the Code of the Hive on that day.

He felt surprised when he tried to move and one of the workers stung him.

That was strange.

He’d been stung before, of course. Many times, mainly through accident or misadventure. He was so much larger than them and even while being very careful, sometimes things couldn’t be avoided. But this was very deliberate.

He scented the air lightly. No smell of bananas— the pheromones produced by the guardians of a hive when in full defensive mode was known to smell lightly like bananas —so no threat was present. But he was stung again.

And again.

Moving made if worse, but this unprovoked… attack?— why would the swarm sacrifice itself in this manner if not for defense? —made no sense. As his body started to swell with the venom, he felt others, not stinging but coating him with something.


They were putting wax on him— festooning, which was the named process, done by young bees that were already plump with honey .

Still others were crawling on his lips, placing something there.

He chanced a moment to part his lips and taste what was there.

Royal jelly.

He scented lightly a resinous smell and felt as the wax around his legs and torso was growing thicker than the part in the middle. More hives were joining in. Propolis, used to seal in cracks and support a foundation.

He understood and suppressed a smile. Balling was the right term. Funny that the other students would think of something different.

It took longer than he thought.

And yet, given what was happening, it was a marvel that it was done so soon.

The warm darkness that overcame him was welcome.

And he did not dream.

A winter passed, and then some.

The exhausted hives took the spring blossoms by storm. They felt so tired and hungry after feeding their project for so long.

Inside the apiary, there was a peanut shaped lump of wax, about the size of a teen.

Slowly rocking slightly back and forth.

Then came the heat.

Not a lot. But enough.

A crack in one side, where arm fused to body. A finger moving, working at the wax. Then a hand breaking through. The arm stretched out … and then became assisting the rest of the body from freeing itself from the cocoon it was in. Fibers from clothes that had rotted inside the covering came off in wisps and clumps, leaving only fresh, vibrant flesh behind.

They had changed.

Smiling, they turned to face to face a mirror and gasped, buzzing with excitement.

They had changed quite a bit.

“Oh…” they said, and their voice vibrated with an unusual and pleasant burr.

They smiled.

“Well… that is just… delightful.”

End Note: Yes, I’m sure his moms checked in and were happy to see what was happening. Always proud to note their kid was a “late bloomer”.

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