A/N- This story started in a kinda weird way, but I think it might be interesting... I know that amnesia seems like the plot device of choice of most corny soap operas, but bear with me! K/N fluffiness will abound! Gah! My first attempt at a serious fic! Run while you can!
My name is Nita Callahan, or at least, that's what I remember. The only thing I remember. It's been 37 days since I was checked in, or so the doctors say. They say I've recovered physically almost completely, but they don't know what caused the accident or who I am. And neither do I. I don't remember a single thing about my life until a month ago, but I do know that it was... important, somehow. And I know that I'm not normal. I've never told the doctors because they'd just keep me in longer, but... I can hear a voice in my head sometimes. I can't respond to it, but it's there, a nagging reminder of my past that will never let me rest until I uncover it.
The door opened, letting in a suffusion of fluorescent light into the dimly-lit room that was decorated in the one color that all hospitals in the universes use: that sickly pale green. The auburn-haired girl sitting cross-legged on the hospital bed started and shoved her notebook under her pillow as quickly as she could, and a mere second later the orderly, a fair-haired young man with quick bright eyes and an intelligent face, entered.
"Shouldn't you be more careful when you write in that, Nita?" he said with a smile, motioning under the pillow, "You know, I risked the wrath of Dr. "Hack" to give you that."
His eyes glinted with mischief, as they always did when referring to the doctor that had been assigned with her care, who had claimed that keeping a log would be too strenuous for the newly-recovered girl, mostly out of his own laziness.
"Oh, come on, Skot'irith... this is the only thing keeping me from dying of boredom in here." She grinned back, "You wouldn't deprive me of it, would you?"
"Of course not. Any improvement?"
The question settle heavily in the air between them, and Nita began to fidget.
"I'm sorry for asking... I just thought that maybe you had--" He began, looking abashed.
Nita couldn't help but thinking that he looked awfully cute like that, but something didn't seem quite right as it flicked through her head, as if she only thought it was cute because it reminded her of someone else.
"Skot...I heard him again last night." she sighed.
She had been hearing an odd voice quite often since she woke up, and at first she had been worried for her sanity, but after she recovered from the shock, his voice comforted her in an odd way.
"Don't worry. It's probably your memory trying to recover. Don't shut it out."
The seriousness he took when discussing it always comforted her, but was also confusing. And even if he was the kindest person she had met since she'd been admitted to the hospital by the nameless good Samaritan that had found her passed out in a small residential neighborhood, what nurse in their right mind would encourage a person to listen to the voices in their head?
"Until tomorrow, Aurora." He said, using his nickname for her.
"Are you ever going to tell me what that means?" She sighed in exasperation.
He turned to leave, but she could see a small smile spread across his face.
"You can figure it out on your own. You have a good memory buried somewhere in that head... it just needs something to bring it out."
The next day, a cheerful-looking doctor with graying hair peered in at her, followed by Skot, who was wearing nervous expression. His nervousness and the scavenger-like smile of the doctor beside him made Nita feel her stomach plummet in apprehension. Today was not going to be a good day.
"Good morning, Miss Callahan. Up and about already today, I see. A good sign." The man said with a smile that seemed cheerful for all the wrong reasons.
"Err... thanks Doctor Hachk, I guess." Nita returned uncertainly, still unsettled.
"You know, today's a very important day for you."
"Why's that?" She asked, feeling the apprehension grow.
"Well, a panel of us doctors have discussed your condition, and it seems to us that given your physical recovery, we will be able to discharge you from the hospital. However... given your… err-- problem, we have deemed it unsafe to send you out into the world alone. The dilemma had us stumped for a while, but Skot'irith here has offered to put you up until you feel safe enough to... carry on alone with life as usual. In other words, you're free to go. Er... that is, after you resolve your bill." He finished with a slight smirk.
'A bill???? They expected me to pay a bill when I have no identity but a name? When I'm not even from this Power-forsaken back-water planet? When I... wait.. NOT FROM THIS PLANET? What kind of drugs have they been giving me: first voices, now this..?'
The outrage must have registered on her face, for the doctor (who she was growing to despise more and more each minute) spoke up yet again interrupting her train of thought and leaving her scowling.
"Of course, we can set up a nice payment plan, over-- oh say, eight sunorbits."
Any thoughts of her planet of origin dissipated and outrage took over yet again, this time verbally.
"WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, CHARGING A POOR PATIENT WITH AMNESIA A BILL FOR BEING ADMITTED WITHOUT KNOWING??? AND A BILL THAT WILL TAKE EIGHT YEARS TO PAY OFF, AT THAT! WHAT KIND OF CROOKS ARE YOU PEOPLE TO THINK THAT YOU CAN CHARGE THAT MUCH FOR A BED AND HORRIBLE FOOD??? I WILL NOT PAY. I. HAVE. NOTHING, GOT IT???" She raged, ignoring Skot'irith making a cut-it-out sign from behind the doctor.
"You can't expect us to give treatment for nothing. Go to the front desk to sort out your payment before I decide that you should be checked into the psych ward for such violent behavior." he said, all semblance of cheerfulness evaporated.
Skot'irith led her out and they took a copy of the payment arrangement, which made Nita pale considerably.
"They expect me to pay thirty thousand Ulings a month???" she muttered in his car, scanning the bill, "Wait a second... what's a Uling, anyways?"
"Don't worry about it."
"Why are you helping me like this?" Nita demanded, "What could you possibly get out of it?"
"The satisfaction of helping another, maybe? We're here." His car had stopped, and it was just then that it struck Nita odd that he hadn't been driving the car while he'd been talking.
"Err.. Skot? I had the oddest thought in the hospital-- I t-t-thought I was from another--" she wavered, and was surprised from the fierceness of his reply.
"I know. I'll talk about it when we get in the house. Not a word until then. Understand?"
She nodded silently, puzzled and frightened by his shift in behavior. They climbed stairs in what would have seemed to be a normal apartment building had the stairs not been made out of cubes that moved on their own and stacked on one another to create a stairway on what seemed to be telepathic whim. She tread on each step with such apprehension that anyone watching would have thought that she feared the stairs jumping out from under her and attacking. And they would have been partially correct. There was a pit stretching upwards and downwards where a normal staircase should have been with stories of landings lining it. And Nita was trying as hard as she could not to look down to see just how far it went or think about what would happen if one of the stairs decided to move from under her.
What if they're timed? Her tiny voice of panic said at the back of her head, which goaded her to rush up the stairs to a smirking Skot's landing.
"Was that magic?" she murmured, and a tiny pinprick of memory came and faded in an instant as she said the word.
"Don't say another word about that until we get in the house." He demanded, peering around to make sure no one had overheard them.
Finally, he pressed his hand to the door, and a tiny keypad appeared, on which he typed a succession of several numbers, and the door opened gently. He closed the door tightly behind him and muttered a few word under his breath, then turned to smile at Nita, who appeared thoroughly creeped-out.
"I'm definitely not from this planet." She muttered disbelievingly.
"Right you are. But don't go around telling everyone. We're lucky you didn't at the hospital. Not all of the people here are as understanding as I am." The sparkle came back to his eyes, and he motioned for her to sit down in a cushy-looking armchair as he exited the room into what seemed to be an office. She took a seat, and it shifted under her to mold to her body, making her jump.
"You could have warned me about some of this, you know! Or do you enjoy seeing me get scared out of my wits?" She glared as he chuckled, reemerging with a book.
"A little, I admit. Damn, this thing stings..." He said, juggling it from hand to hand with a wince before throwing it onto what appeared to be a coffee table.
"What is it? It looks like a normal book to me."
"They found it with you. And it's a good thing that I was working night-shift that day, too. People are kind of skittish around magic here. If I hadn't taken it... there would have been trouble."
"But what about the stairs and the door and the car? Weren't they magic?"
He smirked rather bitterly and grimaced.
"No. Most of that is technology. Magic, however, is imaginary in the eyes of most, even though it's what this world's kernel is held together with. Close-minded fools..."
The word kernel had shocked her brain with a wave of sadness that she couldn't explain. She knew about kernels somewhere in the recesses of her mind. It just wasn't accessible... Nita mulled over what he had just said, tracing a figure eight wizard's knot onto the arm of the chair unconsciously.
"Still... me? Having magic? You've gotta be kidding."
The book grabbed her attention insistently, making her stroke the spine while Skot looked on with a smile.
"But-- is that mine?" She said, frowning slightly as she picked it up: the cover seemed to be fizzing slightly.
"Yup. Dai, cousin. Open it."
He smiled, but there seemed to be sadness hidden behind it this time.
She jolted at the word, but she opened it at random to a section that filled eight pages with flashing red messages marked urgent. The rest, however, was indecipherable.
"That's everyone that cares about you, Nita."
And with that, the tears that had been welling up in her eyes began to fall.
"...So this is why you've been helping me so much, isn't it? You're a wizard too, aren't you?"
"Yes, but I also helped someone who reminded me very much of you before. I think I can help you."
Overwhelmed by his kindness and at emotion in general, she could only manage a weak thank you before the tears began again.
Kit, meanwhile, had just finished mindlessly feeding Ponch and was hunched over the kitchen table quietly in front of a bowl of soggy untouched cornflakes.
Are you ready to go again, Ponch? He thought listlessly at the dog, who cocked his head and whimpered.
This isn't a good thing. This way isn't real.
"I don't care if it isn't real. This I the only way I can see her."
That doesn't mean that it's right. the dog whined, nosing his master, who ignored him completely and buried his head in his arms.
Before he had time to tell the dog off, a manicured hand whacked him upside the head and Carmela frowned at him.
"Christopher…" She began, an immediate bad sign. No one called him Christopher unless they really wanted him to listen.
"You've been moping around for over a month. I'm sorry to be the one to say it, but Nita's gone, Kit."
Kit looked at his sister in utter betrayal and began to shout a response, but even that seemed to take too much emotion. Since she'd gone missing, Kit found that he rarely cared about anything. His only comfort was the alternate universe Ponch would sometimes create of the times before: the only place that he could see Nita's face and tell her not to go, tell her how he felt. But even that carried the nagging reminder that this wasn't the real Nita, that this Nita too would soon disappear. And each time he lost her, it felt just as painful as the first. The odd thing was that he knew she was gone, even if 'Mela didn't think he did. He was there when it happened. And yet he didn't let a day go by without trying to contact her through mindspeak or the manual. Letting go just seemed too final, and if he let himself think of Nita as permanently gone, he couldn't bear it. Yes, he'd thought of forcing out his wizardry, returning to ignorant bliss, where he could spend the rest of his high school years living normally, but each time he considered it, his mind was forced back to Nita. If the universe's entropy rate sped up, he might just be doing the same thing to someone else's partner that happened to his. Entropy was the root of the problem, and he wasn't about to help it after it. Even in this state, he knew better than to trust the servant of the Lone Power.
"I'm sorry, sis, but I just can't give up."
And with that, he led Ponch out the door to lose Nita one more time.
A/N- Hmmm… I don't know if I like this or not… Kinda sappy for my normal style, ya know? Well, review and tell me! Don't worry, it will get a tad less serious, I think, if I chose to go on with it. Next chapter: an intergalactic wild goose chase and some explanations! Now go play with the periwinkle box!
A/N- Woah, this is weird... I'm writing my first attempt at drama at the same time as I'm re-writing a Harry Potter humor fic... Talk about two very different things...