Follows Southern Cross more or less; flashback-ish.


There were things Dana knew about him that no one else - not eerily perceptive Louis Nichols, not even his beloved Musika - could have known; in turn, there were things he knew about her that no one else would ever know. For the longest time, it had been only them, at home and at the academy, growing older and closer to one another as every year trickled by.

They were similar and dissimilar: both left by their parents with a common guardian, both unused to the separation; Dana strong and forceful, whereas Bowie was tender and meek. She had bullied him when they were younger, taking her frustrations out on a play companion who did not, would not, enjoy the same rough-and-tumble games she loved. That irritation with his sensitivity had ended their first day of the third grade, when she was ridiculed for the blood of her mother, alien blood that ran in union with human through her veins; the first day of the third grade, when Bowie found himself fighting for the first time (and not the last), in defense of Dana.

She had wiped dirt from under her nose, and when he had finally worked the courage to wipe his own, he found blood. "I didn't know you could do that," Dana had said, impressed, and then blanched when he shook, crying to know he had bled and hurt someone.

But she was kinder, afterwards, awkwardly gentle in dealing with him.

She was his sister, though there was no blood lying between them; they shored one another, a source of comfort and warmth and encouragement when no one else was there to watch them. His watchful tenderness helped her keep from discouragement when xenophobia ran its random course through the student body; her steely temper and fast fists kept him safe from the crueler pranks of the academy and its pseudo-tough-guy image.


Sometime, not long after they had first begun training at the academy, Dana bought him a simple trinket, a tiny castle made of glossed sand that was frozen in careful magnificence by glass and light. When he looked at it, the light gleaming off the red ledges and drawbridge, distracted from whatever was occupying his mind, it was like being reminded, again and firmly, that even though it seemed cold and distant outside, his sister was still there, still ready to protect him.

He could close his dark, soulful eyes and drift away, back to the third grade and nights spent creeping around Emerson's apartment in search of ghosts and miracles; of when he would burst into tears for fright of what demons Dana would imagine into nonexistent being in his mind, and she would sigh dramatically and clutching his hand take him back to their shared bedroom where she would curl beside him and give him the relief of warm security.


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Feedback: I welcome it! What do I need to work on? :D