(Sakura ~ I)
She didn't know what to make of her situation, all Sakura was able to remember was a sudden flash of light and several voices shouting her name and… Shirou's
Sakura's eyes shot open abruptly from the thought, her head turning around her frantically looking for a familiar tuff of red-turning-white hair only to find herself near the back of a bus containing people in their teens, a familiar looking girl seated to her left. The girl wore dark-blue jeans, purple running shoes, and a black turtleneck sweater with black-oval rimmed glasses perched on the bridge of her nose. But what was familiar about her was her purple hair and square irises behind her glasses… Square? Sakura thought as she narrowed her eyes at the girl. "Rider?" She questioned the person.
"I see that you've awaken too, Sakura." Medusa whispered, turning her head towards Sakura slightly, a small smile on her face. "We may have found ourselves in a bit of a problem."
"Wh-where's Shirou?" She questioned the younger looking Medusa, still unable to see a familiar dual-shaded hair.
Medusa didn't answer immediately as her lips thinned. "I am unsure." She replied, looking out the window, viewing the desert rolling by them. "I only awoke several minutes before you and found myself trying to grasp our current situation and possibilities as to why our change of appearance."
Sakura raised her brow at the last statement, looking out the window as she focused on her reflection, her eyes widening at her appearance. She looked younger, around her mid-to-late teens, yet her appearance resembled more to if she was never adopted by the Makiri: black hair with blue eyes. "H-how…?" She questioned.
"I am still u—"
"I didn't steal that car, Leo!" A feminine voice shouted, interrupting Medusa as Sakura looked behind them.
"Oh, I forgot, Piper. What was your story? You 'talked' the dealer into le—" The other voice stopped, noticing Sakura stare at them. "Oh, it looks like sleeping beauty woke up." The person, Leo, stated.
The girl, Piper, sighed. "I'm sorry for shouting." She apologized, the blonde boy sitting beside her staring at the four of them strangely. "Though you look a little… troubled."
"Still looking for that supposedly 'lost' boyfriend?" The Latino boy quirked, snickering.
Sakura's eyes narrowed at Leo. "What do you mean 'lost'?" She questioned, Medusa gulped as she looked at Sakura worriedly, noticing her eyes slowly shifting colours.
Leo shuddered, feeling the rising ominous aura around Sakura. "A-Ah… I—"
"Leo Valdez!" The person in front yelled. "Problem back there?"
Leo breath a sigh of relief as his body flinched slightly, still feeling the ominous aura surrounding Sakura. He shook his head as he turned to the four of them. "Watch this." He turned to the front. "Sorry, Coach! I was having trouble hearing you. Could you use your megaphone, please?"
The coach grunted like he was pleased to have an excuse. He unclipped the megaphone from his belt and continued giving directions, but his voice came out like Darth Vader's. The kids cracked up. The coach tried again, but this time the megaphone blared: "The cow says moo!"
The bus erupted in laughter, and the coach slammed down the megaphone. "Valdez!"
Piper stifled a laugh. "My god, Leo. How did you do that?" Leo slipped a tiny Phillips head screwdriver from his sleeve. "I'm a special boy."
"Guys, seriously," The blond boy pleaded. "What am I doing here? Where are we going?" He questioned.
Piper knit her eyebrows. "Jason, are you joking?"
"No! I have no idea—"
"Aw, yeah, he's joki—"
"We have no idea why or how we're here either." Medusa stated, cutting off Leo.
Leo stared at Medusa and Sakura. "... You're joking, I'm betting you three made a pact to get back at me for the shaving cream in the banana split thing, aren't you?"
The three stared blankly at him.
"No…" Piper muttered. "I think they're serious…" She looked at Jason as she tried to take his hand, but he pulled away.
"I'm sorry," He said. "I don't– I can't—"
"That's it!" The coach yelled from the front. "The back row has just volunteered to clean up after lunch!"
The rest of the kids cheered.
"There's a shocker," Leo muttered.
But Piper kept her eyes on Jason, like she couldn't decide between if she was hurt or worried. "Did you hit your head or something?" She questioned, then glanced at Sakura and Medusa as if she just remembered they were there too. "Or what about you two? You three seriously don't know who Leo and I are?"
Jason shrugged helplessly. "It's worse than that. I don't know who I am."
"We remember who we are, we just don't have any memories of the three of you." Sakura stated.
The bus dropped them in front of a big red stucco complex like a museum, just sitting in the middle of nowhere. A cold wind blew across the desert. Sakura partly happy that what ever happened, at least she had warm clothes: a purple T-shirt underneath a red and black hoodie, jeans and running shoes.
"So, a crash course for the three amnesiacs," Leo said, in a tone Sakura oddly felt wouldn't be too helpful. "We go to the 'Wilderness School'"— Leo made air quotes with his fingers. "Which means we're 'bad kids.' Your family, or court, or whoever, decided you were too much trouble, so they shipped you off to this lovely prison— sorry, 'boarding school'— in Armpit, Nevada, where you learn valuable nature skills like running ten miles a day through the cacti and weaving daisies into hats! And for special treat we go on 'educational' field trips with Coach Hedge, who keeps order with a baseball bat. It all coming back now?"
"No." They replied, Sakura narrowing her eyes at the other kids: around twenty guys, half that many girls. She continued to wonder what happened, why were they here, how did their bodies regress to a younger appearance, and most important to Sakura, where was Shirou.
Leo rolled his eyes. "You three are really gonna play this out, huh? Okay, so the three of us started here together this semester, Sakura and Mira—"
"Mira?" Medusa questioned.
Leo stared at her for a moment. "Yes, Mira Ryder, the name you gave us and the rest of the class. Anyways, you and Sakura started a month after us. We're totally tight. Jason, you do everything I say and give me your dessert and do my chores—"
"Leo!" Piper snapped.
"Fine. Ignore that last part. But we are friends. Well, Piper's a little more than your friend," Leo said, staring at Jason. "The last few weeks—"
"Leo, stop it!" Piper's face turned red. Jason's too. Sakura had a small, fond smile on her face. She remembered when her own face would blush when she was around Shirou… Sadly Shirou was too dense to notice her feelings until the middle of the Holy Grail War started, a slightly spiteful side of her thought.
"They've got amnesia or something," Piper said. "We've got to tell somebody."
Leo scoffed. "Who, Coach Hedge? He'd try to fix them by whacking them upside the head." Medusa frowned at that statement, still protective of Sakura.
The coach was at the front of the group, barking orders and blowing his whistle to keep the kids in line; but every so often he'd glance back at the three of them and scowl.
"Leo, they need help," Piper insisted. "They've got a concussion or—"
"Yo, Piper." One of the guys dropped back to join them as the group was heading into the museum. The new guy wedged himself in between Jason and Piper and knocked Leo down,a bemused expression as he glanced at Medusa. "Don't talk to these bottom-feeders. You're my partner, remember?"
The new guy had dark hair cut Superman style, a deep tan, and teeth blindingly white. He wore a Dallas Cowboy jersey, Western jeans and boots, and he smiled like he was God's gift to juvenile delinquent girls everywhere. He reminded Sakura of her brother too much for her liking, an inkling of malicious intent leaking out from her. Medusa placed her hand on Sakura's shoulder as she shook her head, Sakura calming down.
"Go away, Dylan," Piper grumbled. "I didn't ask to work with you."
"Ah, that's no way to be. This is your lucky day!" Dylan hooked his arm through hers, or he would've if Sakura didn't grab his wrist, glaring at him.
"If she doesn't want to, then leave her alone." Sakura stated, a cold look on her face, her eyes flashing the distinct colour of red.
Dylan glared at Sakura but something told him to run away from the girl like he was in danger, an ominous aura crawling up his spine. Dylan yanked his arm away as he slowly moved away. "Fine, consider me doing you a favour, sl—"
"If those words leave your mouth, you're going to have to deal with me." Medusa stated, glaring at Dylan. Dylan immediately stiffened when their eyes met, feeling dread as he saw her square irises, quickly moving away from them.
Leo got up and whistled as he brushed himself off. "I hate that guy." He smiled at them as. "Good work though, got Pipes away from the jerk."
Piper gave Leo a short glare before shaking her head. "Thanks." She said, walking ahead of the group as she entered the red building.
Jason nodded. "Something felt... Off about him." He muttered.
Medusa nodded as Sakura raised her brow at the Rider Servant. "Come on, we don't want to be left behind." She stated, pulling Sakura with her into the museum.
They walked through the building, stopping here and there for Coach Hedge to lecture them with his megaphone, which alternately made him sound like a Sith Lord or blared out random comments like "The pig says oink."
Leo kept pulling out nuts, bolts, and pipe cleaners from the pocket of his army jacket and putting them together, like he had to keep his hands busy at all times. Leo caught Sakura staring as he grinned. "See something you like?" He said as he wiggles his eyebrows.
Sakura shook her head, giving him an exasperated look. "No, you just remind me of Shirou..." She said in a wistful tone. "He tends to fiddle with mechanical things too."
Leo narrowed his eyes at Sakura, not sure to either take that as a complement or an insult.
"Hey, Piper, does your tribe run this place? Do you get in if you do a rain dance?" The girls in front laughed as they looked at their group.
"My dad's Cherokee," She said. "Not Hualapai. 'Course, you'd need a few brain cells to know the difference, Isabel."
Isabel's eyes widened in mock surprise, so that she looked like an owl with a makeup addiction. "Oh, sorry! Was your mom in this tribe? Oh, that's right. You never knew your mom."
Piper glared at Isabel but Sakura stopped her from charging at the clown, Sakura's hand on Piper's shoulder. She might not know Piper, but she could tell she was a better person than Isabel. "Like how you can't tell us who your dad is 'cause your mom opens up her legs to anyone like a twenty-four-seven McDonalds?" Sakura shot back, her eyes flashing red for a short moment.
Before Isabel could retort, Coach Hedge barked. "Enough back there! Set a good example or I'll break out my baseball bat!"
The group shuffled on to the next exhibit, slightly pushing Sakura's hand away as the girls kept calling out little comments to Piper.
"Good to be back on the rez?" One asked in a sweet voice.
"Dad's probably too drunk to work," Another said with fake sympathy. "That's why she turned klepto."
Piper ignored them but the look on Jason's face told Sakura that he was ready to punch them himself.
Leo caught his arm. "Be cool. Piper doesn't like us fighting her battles. Besides, if those girls found out the truth about her dad, they'd be all bowing down to her and screaming, 'We're not worthy!'"
"Why? What about her dad?"
Leo laughed in disbelief. "You're not kidding? You really don't remember that your girlfriend's dad—"
"Look, I wish I did, but I don't even remember her, much less her dad."
Leo whistled. "Whatever. We'll have to talk when we get back to the dorm."
They reached the far end of the exhibit hall, where some big glass doors led out to a terrace.
"All right, cupcakes," Coach Hedge announced. "You are about to see the Grand Canyon. Try not to break it. The skywalk can hold the weight of seventy jumbo jets, so you featherweights should be safe out there. If possible, try to avoid pushing each other over the edge, as that would cause me extra paperwork."
Sakura looked irritably at Coach Hedge, did he not care for his students? Even if they were mostly delinquents a teacher shouldn't ignore their safety.
The coach opened the doors, and they all stepped outside. The Grand Canyon spread before them. Extending over the edge was a horseshoe-shaped walkway made of glass, so you could see right through it.
"Man," Leo said. "That's pretty wicked."
Sakura narrowed her eyes as she looked beneath her, she could agree that it looked impressive, but she liked watching the sea roll by in Fuyuki better.
The canyon was bigger and wider than you could imagine from a picture. They were up so high that birds circled below their feet while five hundred feet down, a river snaked along the canyon floor. Banks of storm clouds had moved overhead while they'd been inside, casting shadows of angry faces across the cliffs. Sakura narrowed her eyes at the shadows, she wasn't sure if she was controlling them subconsciously and Shirou's disappearance was making her a little volatile causing them to look like such.
"You alright?" Leo asked Jason. "You're not going to throw up over the side, are you? 'Cause I should've brought my camera."
Jason grabbed the railing. He was shivering and sweaty, but Sakura wasn't sure if he was afraid of heights.
"I'm fine," He managed. "Just a headache." As thunder rumbled overhead and cold wind almost knocking him sideways.
"This can't be safe." Leo squinted at the clouds. Medusa agreed. "Storm's right over us, but it's clear all the way around. Weird, huh?"
Sakura's lips thinned as she looked around them, her eyes narrowing at the dark circle of clouds above them, despite the rest of the sky in every direction was perfectly clear. Sakura wasn't liking the look on Medusa's face either.
"All right, cupcakes!" Coach Hedge yelled. He frowned at the storm like it bothered him. "We may have to cut this short, so get to work! Remember, complete sentences!"
The storm rumbled, and Jason lurched forward as he grabbed the side of his head, pulling out a gold coin.
"Dang, is that gold?" Leo asked. "You been holding out on me!"
Jason shook his head as he placed the coin back into his pocket, Medusa narrowing her eyes at it.
"It's nothing," He said. "Just a coin."
Leo shrugged, his hands continuing to fiddle around with the nuts and bolts in his hands. "Come on," He said. "Dare you to spit over the edge."
Sakura just stared at the worksheet as her mind wandered, wondering mostly what happened to Shirou and where was he, along with the expression of Medusa when she stared at the storms like it were some bad omen.
Medusa was sitting beside her as she continued to stare at the circle of dark clouds above them, her expression calculating as she sighed. "Why do those clouds feel... wrong..." She grumbled.
"Check it out." Leo said as he launched the copter out of pipe cleaners. Sakura was surprised when it actually reached halfway across the canyon before it lost momentum and began plummeting down the canyon.
"How'd you do that?" Jason asked.
Leo shrugged. "Would've been cooler if I had some rubber bands."
The scene reminded Sakura of her friendship with Mitsuzuri during high school when she became the captain of the Archery club. Last she remembered talking to her was when she left for college, Sakura was unsure if she still had a crush on Shirou but last she heard she confessed to someone and got rejected.
"— everyone else is wrong?" Leo asked as Sakura was brought out of her thoughts. "You think you just appeared here this morning, and we've all got fake memories of you?"
Sakura's lips thinned, she was sure something was going on if it weren't just her and Medusa finding themselves in a bus with their younger appearances.
It didn't sound completely crazy, maybe aside from the whole becoming younger thing, but getting teleported vast distances wasn't strange with the Wizard Marshall nearby. Though it didn't fit, he was whimsical but it always had a serious motive underneath his actions. The only others who could've done something similar were very few, and the ones she's known personally was Luvia and Rin— Sakura's eyes widened at the realization and memory. Rin was experimenting with Second-Magic when something went awry with Sakura, Shirou, and Medusa being near the epicentre of the experiment, covering them in a flash of light.
"Dammit, Nee-san." Sakura groaned at the memory, somewhat spiteful of her sister for getting them into the mess they were in now.
"— he worksheet." Jason said as he handed Leo the paper. "I'll be right back."
Medusa stood up as she gestured to Sakura to follow. "I think we should do the same."
Sakura narrowed her eyes at Medusa. "Do what?" She asked, not hearing Jason's recent conversation with Leo.
"Ask the coach," Medusa answered. "He's been scowling at the three of us, you, me, and that boy."
Sakura's lips thinned before she followed, catching up to Jason. He walked up to Coach Hedge, who was leaning on his baseball bat, studying the storm clouds.
"Did you do this?" The coach asked Jason.
Jason took a step back. "Do what?" His eyes narrowed as if being accused of something he didn't do.
Coach Hedged glared at him, then glared at Sakura and Medusa but with a more weary look. "Don't play games with me, kid. What are you three doing here, why are you messing up my job?"
Sakura's eyes widened as he stepped forward, Coach Hedge stepping back a bit. "You mean you don't know us?" Sakura questioned. "We're not one of your students?"
The coach snorted. "Never seen any of you before today..." He paused, glancing at Sakura and Medusa for a moment before shaking his head.
"Look, sir, I don't know how I, or we, got here. I just woke up on the school bus. All I know is that I'm not supposed to be here." Jason said.
"Got that right." Hedge's gruff voice dropped to a murmur like he was sharing a secret. "You three got a powerful way with the Mist, kid, if you can make all these people think they know you; but you can't fool me. I've been smelling monster for days now." Medusa narrowed her eyes at the statement, Sakura's lips thinned as she knew how much Medusa hated that word. "You smell like a half blood, but you two... I've got no idea what you two are... It just... It smells wrong, but not really like monsters. So— who are you, and where'd you come from?"
Sakura's eyes narrowed as the coach continued to talk. Monsters? Half-bloods? Mist? She didn't know what he was getting at with those words but she didn't like them.
"I don't know who I am. I don't have any memories. You've got to help me."
Coach Hedge studied Jason's face like he was trying to read Jason's thoughts.
"Great," Hedge muttered. "You're being truthful. But y—"
"Of course I am! And what was all that about monsters and half-bloods? Are those code words or something?"
Hedge turned back to Jason, his eyes narrowed.
"Look, kid," Hedge said. "I don't know who you are. I just know what you are, and it means trouble. Now I got to protect the three of you rather than two, and that's not even getting to these two... are you the special package? Is that it?"
"What do you mean?" Medusa questioned, her eyes still narrowed.
Coach Hedge glanced at Medusa then stared at the storm. The clouds were getting thicker and darker, floating right over the terrace.
"This morning," Hedge sighed. "I got a message from camp. They said an extraction team is on the way. They're coming to pick up a special package, but they wouldn't give me details. I thought to myself, fine. The two I'm watching are pretty powerful, older than most. I know they're being stalked. I can smell a monster in the group. I figure that's why the camp is suddenly frantic to pick them up. But then you pop up out of nowhere. So, are you the special package?"
Sakura seriously didn't know what to think of what she learned. What did Coach Hedge mean by monster, and what did he mean of two being pretty powerful and older than most.
Jason stumbled, and Coach Hedge caught him. "Whoa, there, cupcake. You say you got no memories, huh? Fine. I'll just have to watch you, too, until the team gets here. We'll let the director figure things out."
"What director?" Jason said. "What camp?"
"Just sit tight. Reinforcements should be here soon. Hopefully nothing happens before—"
Lightning crackled overhead. The wind picked up with a vengeance. Worksheets flew into the Grand Canyon, and the entire bridge shuddered. Kids screamed, stumbling and grabbing the rails.
"I had to say something," Hedge grumbled. He bellowed into his megaphone: "Everyone inside! The cow says moo! Off the skywalk!"
"I thought this thing was stable!" Jason shouted over the wind, Medusa holding onto Sakura, keeping them from stumbling.
"Under normal circumstances," Hedge agreed. "Which these aren't. Come on!"
Alright, hello again. So I've done a rewrite for the first two chapters of the story after reading the reviews and have them proofread again by NightBringer325, thanks for the help, again. And from his words, the rewrite flowed better than the original.
A little more of an infor dump, this story takes inspirations and things from Fate/Hollow Ataraxia, Unlimited Blade Works Route, Heaven's Feel Route, and Third Fang's From Fake Dreams which I recommend you read. Seriously, great story.
See ya later ~VirtualUnity