So, I wrote all my Immortal fanfictions about two or three years ago, and boy was I happy today when I was cruising through the site and realized they had finally made an Immortal category. I'm glad my fics can finally have a home somewhere permanent because my personal site is currently down, and I hope you all enjoy them as well.
I own no characters, just plots. Enjoy.
Hello, I'm back cause I know how much you enjoy my fanfics, especially if you're a Goodie fan like myself. This is a flashback inspired by the episode "Kiyomi". Okay, please keep in mind that they are all in fact talking Japanese, but Rafe and Goodwin both know English cause they're not from Japan. Rated, well PG sounds good, maybe PG 13ish and I don't own the characters or anything, someone else does. If they feel like sharing I'll be glad to take them off their hands though. Oh yeah. Feedback! Very good thing.
Goodwin sighed contently as he opened his eyes and saw the beginnings of the morning's rays of sunshine come through the window. The rays were few since it was winter and the snow was already on the ground, but he enjoyed them nonetheless. He felt so warm and safe that he considered never moving from the security of the bed. Of course he knew he had to get up and help out as best he could, it was the least he could do for the people who had so graciously taken him in, even after his less than professional robbery attempt. But for now he was happy to lie back and enjoy being safe.
It had been three weeks since Goodwin had come to the small home and moved in with Raphael and his wife and child. Three short weeks. It was very little compared to the years of suffering he had endured in his few short years of life, but he could already feel those wounds healing in the security of this home, and the love its occupants shared. He had never felt such love between anyone in his life and he marvelled at how wonderful it must be, to feel that way for someone and have those feelings returned.
Goodwin would never be able to show these people his gratitude for keeping him safe from that Hell he had lived for so long, but he supposed he could start by getting out of bed. He rolled out of the bed and made his way to the kitchen, it was even warmer there with the fire adding its heat to the household. Mikiko was there starting breakfast.
"Good morning." Goodwin greeted her politely.
"Good morning to you as well. How did you sleep?" Mikiko asked kindly.
"Very well." Goodwin replied automatically.
"Good." Mikiko smiled despite the fact she knew he was lying. She and Raphael had heard him cry out in his sleep several times in the night. He undoubtedly had been having nightmares again but she said nothing, knowing he would tell her if he wanted to talk about it. She had quickly come to feel quite strongly for the young man staying with them. He was kind and seemed sincere, it was also painfully obvious he was in desperate need of someone to help him. To guide him and keep him in safe. She also found him quite amusing, he made her laugh on a regular basis and it was nice to have a new face around the house.
"Where's the little tyke?" Goodwin enquired, meaning Kiyomi.
"She's outside with Raphael." Mikiko told him, pointing out the window. Goodwin glanced out quickly and smiled. There was Kiyomi outside attempting to build a very miniature snowman out of the limited supply of snow. It did not snow often in Japan and although it was not unbearably cold, Goodwin couldn't remember a winter that had been colder than this one.
Mikiko's smile broadened. Another reason she liked Goodwin was because of how well he handled Kiyomi. Of course Mikiko loved her daughter with all her heart, but every child can become a handful at one point. But Goodwin never seemed to reach that point with their daughter and had developed a very special relationship with Kiyomi.
"Where is Raphael?" Goodwin asked when he couldn't see the older man from the window.
"Probably in the shed. We need some more fire wood." Mikiko replied just as Rafe came in with an armful of logs.
"Glad to see you finally pulled yourself out of bed." Rafe said to Goodwin when he came in.
Goodwin looked shocked and worried, "I'm sorry. Did I oversleep? What time is it? It can't be that late, can it?" Rafe placed the logs by the fire and held up his hand to stop the stuttering youth and chuckled.
"Relax Goodwin, I was just joking. It's not late at all." Goodwin visibly relaxed when he heard this.
"Breakfast will be ready shortly." Mikiko announced from her position at the stove.
Raphael came up from behind her and lovingly wrapped his arms around Mikiko's waist.
"And what is for breakfast?" Rafe asked, whispering softly in her ear.
"You'll have to wait and see." Mikiko replied playfully then turned around and kissed her husband. She then wrapped her arm around Raphael's neck.
Goodwin knew that this may take some time. Raphael and Mikiko's love was obvious even to the blind. They cared for one another with all their heart and soul and weren't afraid to show it. It hadn't taken long for Goodwin to figure out when it was a good idea to make himself scarce around these two, and this was one of those times. He silently moved to the doorway and slipped on his shoes. He grabbed a blanket and wrapped it tightly around him. Rafe and Mikiko enjoyed a longer, deeper kiss before Goodwin could make his way outside.
Maybe Kiyomi needs some help with her snowman. He thought to himself, thinking he would use it as his excuse for leaving.
He stood on the porch in silent contemplation. He tugged the blanket closer as a chilled wind swept over him. So much had happened in so little time.
They had been so kind, Raphael and his family, taking him into their home when they knew absolutely nothing about him. Mikiko insisted he be fed right away and he had swiftly cleaned off everything placed in front him. Goodwin didn't want to hide anything from these people and told them almost immediately of how he had come across their home and why he was running. He knew Raphael had probably already figured most of it out, he had already seen the whip marks on Goodwin's back. They had listened to his story and offered a sympathetic ear, Mikiko even took his hand reassuringly as he related his tale. They took him in and nurtured him back to health. He was still weak physically, but his mind was healing. The scars criss-crossing his back would always remain and he had suffered a fever shortly after arriving with the family, due to his mistreatment. But he was recovering, slowly. His body just needed time to heal.
Rafe and his family had fed and clothed him and offered him a bed. He was more grateful than words could describe and felt a joy he never thought possible after his years of hardship. They gave him so much and he had no way of repaying them.
Their daughter, Kiyomi, also brought out a side of him he had thought long forgotten. She was so young and innocent and it felt like such a long time since he had been that way. He loved playing with the child and often did silly things just to make her smile.
Where is the little scamp? Goodwin thought fondly. He had been so lost in thought he hadn't noticed her absence. She had been building her snowman when he had peered out the window, but now that he was outside he saw only a few balls of snow and no Kiyomi. Goodwin stepped off the porch to go in search of her and silently hoped she hadn't gone to play with the horses again, she wasn't allowed in the barn alone.
"Kiyomi?" Goodwin called out as he rounded the corner of the house. He spotted the young girl, but she wasn't in the barn. Goodwin felt his heart stop and his blood freeze. Then he ran towards her as fast as he could.
"Kiyomi!" He called out again in a panic.
There was a pond near the house, just deep and large enough to be dangerous this time of year. And there was Kiyomi, in the very middle of the pond, walking over the ice. Goodwin could tell the ice was dangerously thin and Kiyomi should be nowhere near it. He wanted to go out there and pull her off the pond himself but he didn't dare for fear his weight would cause the ice to shatter.
God, she's gonna get herself killed!
Kiyomi turned when she heard her name and grinned as Goodwin approached.
"Goodwin, the pond's gone." Kiyomi announced cheerfully, thinking in her childish way that she had made a great discovery.
Goodwin stood at the very edge of the water, arm outstretched even though the child was extremely far out of reach.
"It's called ice and it's very dangerous. There's water underneath it. So just come back off the pond slowly." Goodwin instructed, his eyes pleading that the little girl would comply. The ice was definitely far too thin for comfort.
Kiyomi smiled, "Ice." She said, testing out the word since she had never heard it before. "Ice." She repeated happily and jumped in the air to test the ice's sturdiness.
"Kiyomi, no!" Goodwin shouted in horror when she jumped in the air. As the playful child came back to the ground, she was greeted with a sharp cracking sound as the ice broke beneath her feet.
"Ah!" Kiyomi yelled in surprise as the ground disappeared. She somehow managed to grab the edge of the ice that remained intact and stayed above water. But she was still partially submerged in the icy cold water of the pond and holding on for dear life.
Goodwin was moving even before she landed, desperately trying to reach her before she fell through. He crawled along the ice on his stomach, knowing it was the safest way for him to cross. He wanted to reach her as fast as possible, but it would be a short lived rescue attempt if he were to run across the ice and fall through himself.
"Goodwin!" Kiyomi called out, her voice pleading for the young man to rescue her from the water's icy grip. Goodwin couldn't move fast enough in his eyes and it seemed to take forever before he got close to the hole in the ice.
"Raphael! Come quickly!" He called out as loud as he could, knowing he may need help shortly. "Hold on Kiyomi, it'll be okay." Goodwin reassured the young girl as he crawled closer.
Raphael emerged from around the corner, in search of the reason he was called. He momentarily stopped dead in his tracks when he saw his daughter and their young houseguest on the middle of the lake. Goodwin was crawling swiftly to help Kiyomi who had fallen into the ice.
"Mikiko, get blankets and come out here! Quickly!" Rafe called behind him as he raced toward the pond.
Goodwin had just reached Kiyomi when Rafe arrived. He appeared ready to dart onto the frozen waters himself before Goodwin stopped him. "Rafe, no! Stay there. The ice is too thin, it'll collapse." Goodwin called out. Rafe knew it was true but hated to stand there and watch as his child's life was in danger.
"Be careful, Goodwin. Please."
Goodwin, still stretched out on his stomach, reached out and grasped beneath Kiyomi's shoulders and pulled her up, while shifting his body back.
"It's okay. I've got you." Goodwin told the now crying little girl as he made one final pull and managed to free her completely from the water's grasp. She was shivering but her crying quieted slightly once she was safely in Goodwin's arms. Goodwin thanked God that she hadn't fallen into the ice completely or he might not have been able to reach her. He knew she must be freezing so removed the blanket he still had around his shoulders and wrapped it tightly around the little girl.
"I think she's okay!" Goodwin called out to Raphael and Mikiko, who had just arrived bearing blankets. They both stood by the pond's edge, tensely watching as Goodwin saved their daughter.
Goodwin tried to think of what to do next. They had to move quickly before the ice decided it couldn't hold their weight. He unhesitantly decided he needed to get Kiyomi back to safety before himself.
"Kiyomi, you see your Mom and Dad over there?" Kiyomi nodded, "I need you to crawl over to them. You have to crawl or the ice might break again. Do you understand?" Goodwin asked, hoping the frightened child would be able to do as she was told without questions. He didn't like both of them on such a small patch of ice.
"Okay." Kiyomi began to crawl towards her parents and Goodwin breathed a slight sigh of relief, but they weren't out of the woods yet. Suddenly Kiyomi stopped and began to turn back around.
"No, Kiyomi keep going. I'm right behind you." Goodwin assured her, trying to get the little girl to start moving again.
She seemed to ignore his comment and started crawling back towards him with a concerned look on her face, "Mira." She said as she kept going back towards Goodwin.
Goodwin looked behind him and saw Kiyomi's beloved doll Mira beside the gaping hole in the ice. He would have left it but it was obvious the little girl was bent on retrieving it.
"Okay, honey. You go to your parents, I'll get Mira. Go." Goodwin instructed her, trying to keep calm despite his panic of being on the unsteady frozen pond.
"Kiyomi, it's okay. Just come off the pond." Raphael told her, his voice trying not to display his worry about the two youngsters being on the ice.
It wasn't until Goodwin began to turn around to retrieve the doll that Kiyomi began to go back towards Raphael and Mikiko.
"Coming, Papa." Kiyomi exclaimed as she began to crawl back.
Goodwin only had to crawl a few feet before he was able to snag the doll. Kids and their toys. He thought fondly, his mind briefly wandering to the fact that his life of toys and carefree summers had been taken away from him prematurely by the death of his parents. He quickly pushed the thoughts aside and began his crawl back to the edge of the pond. Kiyomi looked back at him once and he held up the doll, "I got her, it's okay." He reassured the little girl and sighed when she continued crawling with him not far behind.
Goodwin could feel the cold creeping in. Crawling over ice wasn't doing him any good and the wind had begun to blow slightly harder. He was impressed by how brave and strong Kiyomi was being. She was definitely a special kid.
He kept his distance from Kiyomi as she crawled, knowing too much weight in one area would cause the fragile surface to crack once more. Goodwin could feel himself breathe a bit easier with every inch closer that Kiyomi got.
Raphael stood tensely with his arms outstretched to pick up his daughter the second she was close enough. Mikiko clutched the blankets she had brought out, tightly. You could see the worry clearly etched in each of their faces.
"Come on, honey. You're almost there." Raphael coaxed Kiyomi along as she continued crawling. She inched her way forward and finally made it to the water's edge. Raphael picked her up the second she was close enough and hugged her in relief, then wrapped a blanket around her. Mikiko then took her to bring her in the house.
"Oh, baby you're so cold." Mikiko commented as she tried to wrap the blanket around her tighter. Kiyomi shivered despite its warmth and then looked back, over her Mother's shoulder.
"Goodwin." She pointed back to the pond where Goodwin was still making his way over the ice.
"Papa will make sure Goodwin's okay. We got to get you by the fire." Mikiko told her as she opened the door to the house and rushed Kiyomi to the fireplace.
The relief Raphael felt was earth shattering. Kiyomi was safe, which was the most important thing right now. But he still had to wait for Goodwin to get off the ice as well in case he needed help. He also wanted to thank the young man in private for saving his daughter's life.
"Okay, Goodwin. Take it easy, we don't need you falling in there either." Raphael said as he watched him cross the ice, slowly but surely.
"I'm with you on that thought." Goodwin commented, he looked like he was going to say more, but suddenly stopped moving. His face had an expression of fear.
"What's wrong?" Rafe asked immediately.
"The ice shifted, I felt it." Goodwin replied, his voice shaking slightly. He looked over the ice but saw no cracks forming in its surface.
"Don't stop then, hurry up." Rafe ordered him, knowing Goodwin was still much too far from the edge if the ice were to break. Goodwin began to crawl again, slightly faster than before. Rafe noted that Goodwin was clutching Kiyomi's doll in his hand as tightly as possible. He fully intended to return the doll to the little girl.
Little closer, little closer. Goodwin repeated to himself over and over, even as he felt the ice shift beneath him once more. He was still several meters away from safety. He stopped again momentarily as he felt the ice shift, but differently than before. He looked to his left and saw the crack that was forming in the ice. A fault in the surface's purity. A deadly fault.
Goodwin severely picked up the pace and tried to crawl to the edge as fast as possible. Only a few more feet and ...
The ice shattered!
He actually heard it, before he felt it. A heart wrenching creaking, and almost a hiss. Then suddenly the ground disappeared and there was a splash as he was engulfed by the abyss. And the abyss was cold. Colder than he ever thought possible. It was like a million needles all suddenly piercing the skin at once. The water surrounded him, engulfing him in its cold grasp. He flailed in the water, desperately searching for the surface which should have been so easy to find, but was somehow escaping his grasp. His lungs ached almost immediately, he wanted to gasp from the shock of the icy cold water, but to do so would mean his death.
He shot his arms in all directions, trying to find his way to the surface before the cold overtook him completely. He finally realized which direction was up when his hand suddenly hit air. He grasped the edge of the ice and pulled himself up.
As he surfaced he finally was able to breathe. A mixture of a gasp from the cold and a need for air. He wasn't safe yet though, he had only a loose grip on the ice flow and he felt it breaking. Goodwin panicked and hauled himself to the edge as close as possible and gripped the ice with all he had. He had almost no coherent thought beyond the cold coursing through his bones. His only thoughts were of survival, and survival right now only meant out of the water. He tried to use his remaining, but fleeting, strength to pull himself back onto the ice.
He had gotten halfway out of the water when the ice cracked once more. His body fell again, into the cold icy depths, but he didn't allow his head to submerge this time. He was scared, the cold was so encompassing, so overpowering, it was incredible. He thought he heard someone call his name but his only goal was to get out of the water. He looked around but saw only ice and water as he struggled to free himself from the water's grasp.
"Goodwin!" Raphael called out in panic as he watched the young man fall into the black depths of the frozen pond. His heart wrenched at the look of shock on Goodwin's face before the ice cracked. He felt panic and worry build up inside him when Goodwin didn't surface after several seconds.
"Goodwin!" Raphael called again. Suddenly a hand shot out from seemingly nowhere and grasped the water's edge. A shocked and shivering Goodwin hauled himself from the ice. Raphael felt partial relief that he was still alive but needed to help him quickly. Goodwin wasn't far from the water's edge, but he was just far enough to be out of reach and Raphael couldn't haul him in.
"Hold on, Goodwin!" Rafe looked around for something to use when he heard the dreaded shattering once more. He looked up in time to see the ice flow break once more and Goodwin fall into the water again, although he didn't disappear completely this time.
"Rafe, help." Goodwin called weakly, the water garbling his speech.
Raphael's heart clenched when he heard the desperate plea. He grabbed his axe, the only thing nearby, and swung it hard into the ground closest to the pond's edge. He gripped the handle and used it as a hold to allow him to lean out onto the pond. He was now just in reach of Goodwin. But the young man was panicked and scared and flailed about in the water so desperately that Rafe had a problem grasping him.
"Goodwin take my hand." Raphael ordered, stretching his arm out further.
Goodwin struggled in the water. He was vaguely aware that he had called out for Rafe to help him but could barely think beyond the cold and icy pain coursing through his body. The cold was everywhere, there was no escape! But dammit he was going to try. He tried to grasp the ice, only to have it break off every time. He made one final attempt and reached out as far as he could. He was surprised when instead of him gripping an iceflow, he found a strong hand grasping his wrist tightly.
Rafe finally managed to snag Goodwin's wrist and pulled hard. The blond youth offered no resistance, but gave little help, when Raphael finally pulled him free from the water's grasp.
"It's okay, I've got you." Rafe jumped back and hauled a bit more and finally Goodwin found himself safely on dry land. He was dripping wet and shivering uncontrollably, but he was alive.
"C .. c ..cold." Goodwin said immediately, wrapping his arms around himself in a feeble attempt to gain warmth. Somehow the open air was almost as bad as the water. Wind whipped his already freezing skin and he felt his body going numb.
Rafe's eyes were sympathetic, "I know my friend. Let's get you inside where it's warm." He replied as he wrapped a blanket around the shivering form and led him to the house. Goodwin closed his eyes and somehow put one foot in front of the other as he was led to the promised warmth within the house. His lips were a shade of blue and his teeth chattered insanely as his body shook. Rafe wrapped strong arms around Goodwin's shoulders, offering as much heat as possible. Together they made it to the house, Raphael opened the door and helped lead him inside.
Mikiko and Kiyomi were sitting by the fire, Kiyomi's clothes were already changed and she was wrapped tightly in a blanket. She was still chilled but appeared okay. Mikiko gasped and her heart clenched as Raphael and Goodwin came inside.
"Oh no, what happened?" She asked hurriedly as she helped to sit Goodwin by the fire while Rafe retrieved some more blankets.
"The ice broke just as he reached the edge." Raphael explained as he draped the blankets around the shivering young man.
Goodwin had paled considerably and his lips were still tinged with blue. He gripped the blanket around him for dear life and stared straight ahead, seemingly seeing nothing.
"We have to get him in warm clothes." Mikiko explained. Rafe nodded and began to lead Goodwin out of the room. Goodwin suddenly stopped and walked over to Kiyomi. He managed a small smile as he handed her Mira.
"I s..s..saved your dolly." He said through chattering teeth. Kiyomi grinned and accepted the gift.
"You did more than that." Rafe said solemnly.
An hour later Goodwin was tucked tightly in bed, sleeping uneasily while wrapped in an assortment of blankets and anything else the couple could think of to keep the young man warm. The fire was blazing and Goodwin was in clean, dry clothes but they seemed to be doing little good. Goodwin lay in the bed, shivering uncontrollably while tightly curled in a fetal position.
Rafe and Mikiko were worried to say the least. No matter what they tried they couldn't seem to be able to help the young man. The shivering hadn't gotten any better, Rafe thought it had even worsened and Goodwin was still terribly pale. Raphael couldn't help but think that he was responsible for the entire incident. He knew better than to leave Kiyomi outside by herself, especially in the winter. He hadn't even realized Goodwin had gone outside until he heard his name being called. He thanked God again and again that Goodwin had been there or else he would have undoubtedly lost his daughter.
Kiyomi herself was doing fine. She had recovered quickly from the short splash in the pond. But Goodwin still appeared to be getting worse. Rafe was worried since Goodwin's physical health had been less than adequate even before his fall through the ice. He was still weak and malnutrition over the years had taken its toll on him, not to mention that he had finally recovered from a fierce fever only a week ago. Rafe sighed and decided that he would wait a bit longer before he became overly concerned, Goodwin had suffered quite a chill and it was only reasonable it would take some time before his body temperature returned to normal. Rafe only hoped there wouldn't be any further complications in the boy's health.
Goodwin felt cold. Every fibre of his being shouted to him that he was freezing and no amount of blankets was helping. He looked around and realized he didn't know where he was.
His room where?
Raphael's? On the ship?
Funny how he still thought of the Monks' Monastery as home. Funny? Oh yeah, a laugh a minute, that place.
Suddenly a memory of the monastery emerged in his mind. It was of the man who had caused so many of his nightmares.
"What are you doing, boy? We don't keep you alive just to laze about, get to work!"
Goodwin shuddered at the memory, but it was lost amongst the tremors of cold wracking his body. He clenched his eyes shut, to keep the image from returning. He opened them again to see a beautiful woman standing near him. Her long blond hair contrasted beautifully with her blue eyes and she had the most beautiful smile ever.
"Hurry, Goodie, or we'll miss the boat." She said kindly, stretching out her hand in an welcoming gesture.
Goodwin watched in pleasant awe.
Mikiko looked up as Raphael entered the room. She was kneeling by Goodwin's side, gingerly patting his forehead with a cool cloth. His temperature had began to rise an hour ago. At first they had been elated that he was recovering, but soon realized his temperature was rising too fast and he was now suffering from a high fever.
His body was still inflicted with tremors, but not as intense as when he was fighting off the cold. Now the shivering was fever induced, a much worse kind, in Rafe's view.
"He's gotten worse. I think he's delirious." Mikiko reported as Raphael sat beside her.
"He'll be okay." Raphael tried to assure his wife, draping an arm around her shoulders.
"We should have been watching her more closely. This never would have happened." Mikiko said quietly, regret and guilt causing her voice to quiver.
"Shhh, what's done is done. All we can do now is be thankful that Kiyomi is safe and help Goodwin the best we can." Rafe reminded her as he tried to tell himself the same thing.
"Thank goodness he was there." Mikiko whispered as she brushed an errant lock of hair from Goodwin's forehead.
"Yes, we were extremely fortunate. Let's hope he is lucky as we are."
Mikiko nodded and pulled and blanket up closer to Goodwin's chin, tucking him in snugly.
Twelve year old Goodwin ran up to his mother swiftly. They were leaving today and he had been saying good-bye to his friends. Goodwin was excited about what this new world would hold and couldn't wait to get on the boat. His mother smiled as he approached and led the way to the boat.
"Are you ready?" His mother asked.
"Yes, Mother. Where are we going again?" He asked, he could never remember the name of his new home.
"Japan, honey." His mother replied.
"Right, I knew that. Are there going to be any other kids on the boat?" He didn't feel like spending weeks on a boat with no one his age.
"There will probably be a few, but not many. We'll see when we get there though. Hurry up, Father's waiting." She reminded the young man. Goodwin shouldered his bag and walked a little faster than before. They soon reached the ship. It was a massive piece of engineering and Goodwin was awed by its immense size. He glanced around rather excited and his grin widened when he saw his father. He ran up to him quickly.
"Father, is it time to go onboard?" He immediately asked.
"Yes, you and your mother collect your things." His father replied as he picked up his luggage.
"We're all ready." Goodwin announced proudly.
"Well then we better get onboard." His father smiled and led the way. They soon reached their cabin. It was somewhat small and slightly cramped but not unliveable. Goodwin threw down his bag and jumped onto the larger bed.
"I want this bed." He declared.
"Sure son, you can pay for our tickets and lodgings too if you like." His father joked. Goodwin took the hint and moved his things to the smaller bed.
It was almost an hour before the ship left dock. Goodwin stood on deck waving madly to all the onlookers. He was going to see the new land and they weren't. He felt very special for that reason.
Shortly after the ship left dock Goodwin began searching the decks. He walked through every area he was allowed and even tried to sneak into some of the restricted areas unsuccessfully. It took several hours to see the whole ship and there were many people onboard, crew and passengers. Goodwin sighed and took a seat on deck. He had not found anyone his age. There had been several children that were younger than him, but they were much younger and wouldn't make extremely good company. He had found a group of boys who appeared to be sixteen or seventeen but they had ignored him completely.
"I have a feeling this is going to be a very long trip." He grumbled to himself.
"Goodwin, honey." He looked up to see his mother and smiled, "It's time for supper, come on." He followed anxiously when he realized his stomach was growling.
The first thoughts of food had been tempting but when he actually saw the food his stomach turned. It wasn't as though it was unacceptable, he was far from living a rich life but his stomach seemed unwilling to take a bite out of anything. His mother frowned when she noticed he hadn't eaten and he had also turned quite pale with a greenish hint.
"Are you alright, Goodie?" She asked tentatively.
"I don't feel so well." He reported just as the ship lurched suddenly. He left the table without excusing himself and ran to the edge of the deck and didn't return for several minutes as he heaved over the side. It was official.
Goodwin was definitely seasick.
Mikiko remained by Goodwin's side, trying to make him comfortable anyway possible. She felt so helpless. The young man had saved their daughter's life and was now struggling for his own. The fever continued, unrelenting. Mikiko didn't think it would be so bad if it was only the fever that held him, but his restless sleep was unsettling.
He tossed in bed, seemingly trying to free himself of something, she didn't know what. He had yelled out several times, but nothing coherent. He was definitely delirious and she had no way of helping him. He also began moaning and clutching his stomach, as if he felt ill. He was sick from the cold, but Mikiko couldn't think of any reason his stomach would be upset. But still it appeared as though he was suffering from rather severe stomach problems, and still there was nothing for Mikiko to do that would help.
Raphael had stayed with him for a few hours while she rested but when she returned he was in the same condition. The heat coming off his body was incredible, it was hard to believe he had literally been ice-cold only a short time ago.
Goodwin began tossing again and muttering silently. She stroked his head and soothed him best she could.
"Shh, it's alright. You're alright Goodwin." She wasn't even sure if he could hear her, but it seemed to help sometimes. After he had calmed slightly she moved him into an almost sitting position and spoon fed him a bowl of soup, she didn't want him to get dehydrated.
He relaxed once more and seemed to sink deeper into the mattress.
Goodwin spent most of his time during his trip in their cabin. He hated being sick so often, his stomach felt permanently unsettled and he didn't think he would ever eat a full meal again. His only consolation was that there weren't any children his age onboard anyway so he wasn't really missing out on all that much.
At night his mother sang to him, her lovely voice seemed to take away any illness he felt. At first he had protested that he wasn't a child anymore but he soon gave that up, he didn't really believe it anyway. So he just laid back and listened while his mother sang so he could drift into sleep.
"The wind blows through the trees as he travels from the sea
and he watches as we live out our lives with glee.
He watches over all and he answers if we call,
for his help he will give if it's a peaceful life we live."
There was second verse but Goodwin was never awake long enough to hear it.
It was three weeks into their journey. Goodwin's parents had been taking good care of him and the seasickness had gotten mildly better. He was in their cabin once more, playing cards with his father. And utterly losing.
"I think you're cheating." He speculated.
"Don't be a sore loser Goodwin, just because I'm better at this than you are." He father retorted.
"Better? It's blackjack, there's no skill required, it all depends on the cards. That makes me believe you're cheating, that's all there is to it." He had made up his mind, his father cheated, so he lost. There was simply no other explanation.
"Now, now you two. Play nice." His mother chastised jokingly.
"Fine, I'll just have to start cheating too." Goodwin finally decided. The ship suddenly lurched, quite roughly. Goodwin tried to steady himself and clutched his uncooperative stomach.
"Are you alright?" His mother asked concerned.
He tried to force a smile, "I'm okay. Good thing I haven't eaten lately though." The ship lurched again, "But that may not be a factor." He clutched his stomach tighter and doubled over.
The ship had entered storm several hours ago. Goodwin couldn't believe their bad luck, three weeks of perfectly amazing weather and then less then a day from land they hit a storm. He couldn't help but think that there must have been a way the ship could have gotten there a day faster, although nothing came immediately to mind.
As the ship lurched a third time Goodwin knew he wouldn't make it. He ran from the cabin, not caring about the rain outside. He didn't want to be sick in closed quarters. He remained leaned over the railing of the ship for several minutes while the sickness passed. When he felt marginally better, but still wet, he looked around the deck.
"Oh, wow." He exclaimed. The sky appeared to be no more than a never-ending swirl of greys and blacks, tinted with bright and sudden jolts of pure light. The rain beat down mercilessly and the sails whipped in the wind. He suddenly realized he really shouldn't be out there. He tried to make his way back to the cabin, but the ship lurched so badly he couldn't make it very far. There was an immense crashing sound and Goodwin ducked, having no idea what it was. The floor of the boat was slippery and he lost his footing as the ship swayed to the left relentlessly. He was launched across deck and slammed his head into the railing of the ship.
His last memories were of the water beating down on him and the feeling of falling as the ship rolled over and collapsed into the sea.
He woke up and realized how dark it was. Well, nine times out of ten there was a way to remedy that problem. He opened his eyes.
Ohh, new problem. My newfound light is hurting my eyes.
After his eyes adjusted he sat up and looked around him. Where in God's Kingdom am I?
He was in a bed made of straw with plain white blankets. The room was rather large and had similar beds lining the walls. Each bed held someone with some kind of injury or illness. Some had broken bones or other visible injuries but still others appeared to only be sleeping. What he didn't understand was why the people looked so different. Sure, they were human of course but they were different from him. All of them had the same physical differences, but they still all were individual, they just weren't like him. Not exactly.
He was dumbstruck. He realized he was probably in a hospital. But where? And how had he gotten there? These were questions he didn't know. He suddenly became very scared and extremely lonely.
"Mom? Dad?" He looked around the room but they weren't there.
A woman he hadn't noticed approached him. She had a kind smile and seemed like a caring person. She gently pushed him back, obviously implying he should be resting. She then began speaking to him but he couldn't understand anything she was saying. It wasn't English, of that he was sure.
"Wait, I don't understand." He sat up again and she once more gently made him lie back. "I .. I don't understand. Where am I? Where's my Mother and Father?" He asked, becoming frantic. He was already feeling so lost and confused and now he couldn't even talk to these people.
The woman's eyes were sympathetic, but still when she talked he couldn't understand anything she said. He found himself near tears, when another woman came over hurriedly. She was very beautiful and slightly younger than the other woman. She smiled sweetly and talked to the other woman in the strange language. A few moments later the first woman left and he was left the younger one.
"Hello, I am Lee, I'm glad you have awoken." The young woman said. She didn't speak English fluently, but at least she spoke it.
"Me too. Where am I? Where are my parents?" He asked again. These people were the only ones who knew what was going on.
"You were brought here two days ago. Some men found you on the beach, you had a nasty bump on your head." Lee explained as best she could.
"I .. I must have been knocked unconscious .. on the ... boat. Was I on a boat? My parents will be worried about me. Where are they?" His voice was becoming desperate. His mind seemed very fuzzy whenever he tried to remember something, instinct told him he'd been on a boat, not memory. But he was sure his parents would be worried, even if his mental image of them was slightly blurry.
"You were on a boat. It sank." Lee told him in her broken English, she then seemed to search for the right word, "You the only one they found. No others make it."
"You mean, I'm the only one that survived? They're all dead?" He asked in absolute shock. Lee nodded grimly. He curled his legs up to his chest and ran his fingers through his hair. Dead. They can't be dead. Why would I survive? How can I survive? Mom and Dad. Both gone. Ripped away from me, just like that? I don't even get to say good-bye?
"What your name?" Lee inquired, breaking his dreary train of thought.
"Goodwin." He replied, not looking at the young woman.
"You have second name?" She asked gently.
He looked at her puzzled but realized she meant his last name.
"It's ... uh ... I don't remember. Why can't I remember. Everything's so fuzzy, so blurred!" He held his head in frustration. "What's wrong with me!" He demanded.
Lee shushed him gently, her heart extremely compassionate for the young man. "Shhh. You hit your head. Mind, all screwed up. Get better." She told him.
He nodded, too exhausted to take it all in.
"You should rest." Lee said. He couldn't argue. He just laid back down and rolled onto his side, clutching his knees to his chest. He tried to take it all in, but it was so much to process at one time. It didn't seem real. But it was real. His parents were dead, he was in a strange country, and his memory was failing him. He had no idea what he was supposed to do. He laid there silently for some time and then began to cry. Deep heart wrenching sobs that shook his body.
He cried for his Mother and Father.
He cried for everyone who had been on the ship.
He cried for his confusion about the entire situation.
He cried for the pain it all caused.
He cried for his lost memories, not knowing what he was really missing.
And he cried for himself. Alone and terrified in a new world he couldn't understand.
Mikiko's heart clenched as she stroked Goodwin's forehead, brushing away errant strands of hair. She had been starting to drift off in the chair she had placed beside his bed, when she heard him cry out. She was right beside him in a second.
He was muttering again but now tears flowed freely down his face. Heart wrenching sobs shook his body and he had curled himself into a tight ball.
"Goodwin?" She asked gently, hoping that he could hear her.
He twisted away from her touch, eyes clenched shut, he appeared to still be delirious. Mikiko wondered what he could be seeing that could cause such an outpouring of emotions. She thought idly that he might be experiencing past events.
"Goodwin, it's okay. You just have a fever, you'll be fine." She tried to assure him.
He was whispering something. It was so quiet she had to lean over to hear him.
"I don't understand." He wept, "I don't understand."
Mikiko was confused by Goodwin's words. She didn't speak English so to her he was merely speaking gibberish, but his voice held such conviction she knew the words meant something. She wiped his forehead again as the young man's delirious tears died away. Whatever his fevered mind had shown him had scared the boy greatly. He had appeared so terrified and engulfed in sadness and so ... child-like.
She was ripped from her train of thoughts as Raphael came in and draped a blanket over her shoulders. He placed his hand on her shoulder, which she held affectionately and smiled at him wearily.
"How is he doing?" Raphael asked quietly.
"Not well. His dreams are disturbing him, he began to cry earlier and whispered something over and over that I couldn't comprehend." She told him.
"What was it?"
She repeated the English phrase that was perplexing her, "I don't know what it means."
remember, they're speaking Japanese
"It's English." Rafe announced, "He's from the Americas originally. He said, 'I don't understand'." Rafe explained.
Mikiko didn't appear as though that had shed much light on the situation. She reached out and grasped Goodwin's hand.
"Goodwin?" Rafe whispered in English, "What don't you understand?"
Goodwin's eyelids flickered open at the sound of his voice.
Rafe's heart leapt. He'd heard him! "Goodwin, it's okay. You're safe." He continued in English.
"Don't understand." Goodwin repeated, tears beginning to form in his eyes.
"What don't you understand?" Rafe pushed a little farther.
"Everything." He announced. "It doesn't make sense." He then shut his eyes again and fell back into his emotional journey through his past.
Goodwin didn't know how long he stayed at the hospital. The people there seemed nice enough, even though the only one he could talk to was Lee, if he did talk. He sat in silence all day, thinking. Thinking about what he was going to do now. He had no family to return to that he could recall, he didn't even know his last name. He tried to remember more about his life as well. There were some clear things, faces and in some cases whole days. But there was still so much he couldn't recall. Street names, friends and family, his home, fine details of things he'd seen everyday of his life, they were all gone. He had remembered more about his parents, not his entire life, but he now felt he knew them. He didn't know their true names, they were simply Mother and Father.
A lone tear streaked down his face as he sat thinking. He ignored it and snapped out of his thoughts only when Lee came over and sat by his side. He didn't know much about these people but he knew when someone had some bad news and she was carrying some.
"What's wrong?" He asked immediately.
"Nothing wrong. It just that you have to leave soon." She told him.
"Leave? I'd love to, I have nowhere to go." He said bitterly as he desperately tried to bite back tears.
Lee's smile faded and her face turned grim, "You're all better now. You can leave. There is a place for you to go. I talked to them. They said they let you stay there." She chose her words carefully as she explained the situation.
Goodwin was slightly sceptical. "Where?"
"It's a holy place, run by holy men. They take care of you, give you room and food. You would have to do a little work. Earn your keep." She explained, hoping he would be alright with the situation.
"They don't speak English do they?" Goodwin asked drearily. The prospect of living with people he couldn't understand was not appealing to him.
"No. But you will learn quickly. Won't be so bad." Lee tried to assure him, but did a poor job, "You want to go?"
Goodwin thought about it for only a moment. He really didn't have much choice. He was healthy now, there was no reason for him to stay at the hospital any longer and he supposed it might not be so bad. Bad being living on the streets alone and forgotten. If this place even had streets, he hadn't left the hospital since he arrived in Japan.
"Yes, I'll go." He told her, "When?"
Lee seemed pleased and smiled brightly, "We go tomorrow. You sleep now, big day tomorrow." Then she was gone.
Goodwin nodded unenthusiastically. He knew life would never be the same, he couldn't even remember everything about what old life was like, but at least this was something. One less worry on his mind.
"One down, thousands to go." He said to himself as he sunk into his bed.
The next day Lee took him to the monastery. It was a fairly long trip, they went in a horse drawn carriage and it was almost night by the time they arrived. The monastery was a large place built of stone, it was a lone building miles away from the nearest village. The area was completely surrounded by an immense stone wall that seemed absolutely impenetrable. There were men in robes milling about the area, going on with their business, a few gave Lee and Goodwin a second glance but many didn't acknowledge them at all.
"What do they do here all day?" Goodwin asked, not really knowing how monks spend their time.
"They pray, and do chores. Also have fields of crops they tend to." Lee explained.
"Sounds like fun." Goodwin replied sarcastically. Lee frowned.
"Not be so bad." She tried to console him. Goodwin just studied the floor and never looked at her. Lee saw the head monk coming over to them and greeted him.
Goodwin listened to their conversation as best he could but much of it he couldn't grasp. Lee had been teaching him simple words and phrases but he found he learned their language best by just watching and listening to them. He recognized word such as "boy" and what he thought was "orphan". He frowned deeply but said nothing. Then Lee gestured to him as if an introduction.
"Goodwin." She announced. Goodwin nodded and shook the monk's outstretched hand.
"Irashaimasu." The monk said, which Goodwin translated as "Welcome".
"Arigato." He replied, looking to Lee to see that he'd said "Thank you" correctly. She nodded he was correct and smiled brightly.
"I have to go back to hospital. You be okay?" She asked.
Goodwin looked back to the monk whose hand he had just released. He didn't like the man, there was something wrong about him. Even though he had only said one word to him he felt that the man was anxious for Lee to leave and didn't enjoy her being here. Didn't enjoy him being here at that. He looked into the man's eyes and didn't like what he saw, his smile appeared fake as well, there appeared nothing truly holy about these people at all. But he couldn't tell that to Lee. She had to go back and not be worried about him anymore.
"Yes, I'll be fine." He replied unenthusiastically.
Lee seemed pleased and gestured to the older man, "Mashobi, take good care of you. Good - bye Goodwin."
"Good - bye." He said and all too quickly she was gone. The only one he could understand, and the only one who understood him. He sniffed back his tears. He'd had enough tears for the time being. He stood watching Lee until she was no more than a speck in the distance. He felt a hand clasp his shoulder and knew it must have been Mashobi. Lee had said this man would take care of him. Goodwin felt and heard his stomach grumble.
"When do we eat?" He asked without looking at the man. The man did not reply so Goodwin searched his limited vocabulary for the word for food and said it in question form. Mashobi's grip on his shoulder tightened and Goodwin looked up to see the monk was no longer smiling, in fact he looked positively furious.
The man began to speak but Goodwin couldn't understand him, although he got the message. Mashobi's voice was hard with no kindness in it whatsoever. And he sounded very threatening. Goodwin could pick out the words "eat" and "hard work" from the man's speech and was then practically dragged along behind him.
"Hey, I'm coming. There's no need to pull." Goodwin complained as he was led inside the building. He looked back and watched as the huge steel gates closed, almost like the cell doors of a prison. Goodwin suddenly had the feeling this wasn't going to be anything like Lee had promised. Mashobi continued to drag him roughly, although Goodwin would have gladly followed him.
"Sir, please, I can walk." This only made Mashobi haul on Goodwin's arm harder and he flinched as the man's grip tightened. He led Goodwin farther into the building, never slowing his pace. Goodwin tried to look around his new home but didn't get a chance to inspect anything closely. They finally stopped at a door at the very end of a hallway. Mashobi took out a key, but never released Goodwin's arm.
"What's going on?" Goodwin asked in near panic. He had no idea what he had done wrong to make this man dislike him on sight. Mashobi used the key to the open the door and then unceremoniously pushed Goodwin inside. The room was completely bare and the walls and floor were made of stone that felt extremely cold on Goodwin's bare feet. There was one small window that was barred, seemingly to prevent escape, which gave a small view of one of the wheat fields. Goodwin thought it was a dungeon.
"What are we doing ..." Before he could finish his question Mashobi had closed the heavy oak door and locked it behind him. "Hey, what's going on?" Goodwin pounded on the door, wondering what he had done to deserve this. There was a small opening in the door, which was also barred. Mashobi appeared in the opening, Goodwin couldn't understand it all but caught onto "welcome", "home", "boy", "work" and "eat", and then he was gone. Goodwin pounded on the door for several more minutes and then decided it was hopeless, no one was coming. He couldn't understand it. He'd done nothing and they just locked him up in this cold, dark room. He truly believed at that moment that the entire world was against him.
He walked over to the window in the room and peered out. It was nighttime now and Goodwin could just make out the stars through his view point. He was confused and scared but he was also exhausted. He walked to the farthest corner of the cold, dreary room where a small pile of hay sat. He gathered it up and laid down. He just laid there for some time, thinking about how he had come to this. How life had gone so wrong. Here he was with no family, hardly any memory, no friends, not a soul to have a real conversation with and now he was being locked up for no reason. He could feel his heart clench and his mind shatter as the events all passed through his mind. His eyes welled up with tears that he no longer fought and he cried long and hard. Eventually he managed to compose himself and thought about his mom. There was one thing about her deeply set in his mind and that one memory brought him the smallest measure of peace.
"The wind blows through the trees as he travels from the sea
and he watches as we live out our lives with glee.
He watches over all and he answers if we call,
for his help he will give if it's a peaceful life we live."
Goodwin sang the song over and over, discovering it was his only comfort. He finally managed to fall asleep and dreamed all too briefly about his mother, and then his mind was plagued with images of the storm and the ship and all the lives lost. He awoke the next morning feeling stiff, sore and unrested. The sunlight beamed through the window cheerily, as if it were a bright, happy day. It clearly wasn't. Goodwin looked out the window and saw the trees sway as the wind flowed through their leaves. Goodwin remembered the words of his song.
"Please help me wind. I'm calling to you. My mom said you help if we've lived a peaceful life. I've never really done anything wrong, I don't see how I deserve this. Please, help me. Why is this happening to me?" He pleaded to the wind blowing outside. He stayed looking out the window, as if waiting for a response. Finally he sighed and began to turn away when the wind increased rapidly. It shook the trees to their core and blew through the window with such force that the small pile of hay scattered across the room.
Goodwin shivered as the chilled air breezed around him. Then his heart stood still as he heard it. It was so clear at that moment that he knew it couldn't be a trick of a mind, although it lasted only a second. As the wind had breezed in the room he had heard a soft whisper in his ear, so sweet and gentle it almost didn't register, but Goodwin was sure he had heard it. The voice had said only one thing and Goodwin assumed he had been answering his question.
Raphael had been sitting with Goodwin for several hours now, attempting to get some coherent response from the boy. It didn't seem to be helping. Rafe talked to him in English and Japanese, hoping one would get a reaction, but Goodwin just seemed to be getting worse and worse. He felt so useless and out of control of the situation as he could do nothing to help Goodwin other than watch and listen as he moaned and mumbled words as he tossed and turned.
Beads of sweat trickled down Goodwin's brow, even though he was shivering from a cold no one else could feel. Raphael reached out and placed a hand on Goodwin's shoulder. Although meant as a sign of comfort Goodwin instinctively pulled back from the touch and whimpered slightly. Raphael's heart broke all over again for the young man who was clearly a good person but had obviously been badly treated in his short life.
Goodwin began mumbling again, but this time it was slightly less muffled and Rafe leaned in to hear what he was saying. Goodwin just tossed and murmured the same word over and over as if trying to figure out its meaning.
"Destiny." He kept repeating. Rafe had no idea of the significance it held. So he just sat and watched and offered any silent comfort he could.
Goodwin didn't have to wait long for his would-be-guardians to come and get him. He was sitting in his room looking out the window, since there was little else to do, when he had heard the footsteps approaching. From his brief tour of the building he knew he was in a rather secluded area so if someone was coming they were probably coming for him. He was correct.
He heard the rattling of keys and then the door was pulled open and there stood Mashobi, looking as angry and mean as ever. Goodwin still couldn't understand him but took the opened door as a gesture that he should leave the room. He approached Mashobi and was once more grabbed roughly by the arm and hauled away. He didn't fight this time, although once again he gladly would have followed he concentrated on keeping up. The huge man never slowed down and never loosened his grip on Goodwin's arm. Eventually they made it outside. Goodwin shielded his eyes from the sun and looked around. They were on a short stone walkway that led to the fields around the monastery. The huge wall surrounded the field on all sides and he idly wondered how long the wall must have taken to build. Mashobi hauled him to the field and threw him down on the rough ground.
The soil was untended and rough, it was spring, so that meant a new growing season. Mashobi then threw a hoe in his direction. He picked it up and listened to Mashobi yell at him threateningly, but he failed to recognize any significant words. He figured he was probably supposed to work so set about to hack at the ground with the hoe. Mashobi didn't looked exactly pleased but he stopped yelling. Goodwin sighed in relief but realized it was going to be a very long day.
By mid-day Goodwin was sure he was going to collapse. He hadn't eaten and the sweltering sun was not helping with the back breaking labor. He yearned for a drink and the well was practically just out of reach. He was scared to ask for a drink but eventually the thirst became too bad and he tentatively approached Mashobi, who had been keeping silent watch over him from a place in the shade where he sat reading a book.
Mashobi looked up at his approach and Goodwin immediately regretted it.
If looks could kill. He thought.
"Sir, I uh .. need a drink." Mashobi's glare deepened and Goodwin searched his mind for the word for "drink", the best he could come up with was "water" and he pointed to the well. Mashobi replied and then got up to lead the way to the well.
"Thank you." Goodwin said, then got an odd look. "Arigato." He corrected himself.
Hope I catch on to this language quick.
Mashobi thrust a bucket into Goodwin's hands and he realized that with all the work he'd had to do, of course he had to retrieve his own water. He plunged the bucket into the well and brought it up as quickly as possible, almost tasting the thirst quenching liquid. When he had the bucket up Goodwin was given a glass to drink from. He filled and emptied it quickly, but was halted when he went to get a second cup.
Mashobi allowed him only the minimum amount of water and then indicated he was to get more. Goodwin felt his heart drop. He spent the rest of the day fetching water and carrying it to all areas of the monastery, if the gardening work was Hell, then this was the seventh level of Hell. His back ached horribly from the day's strain and he was cruelly taunted with having to carry the buckets of water and getting none for himself. The day seemed to last forever and almost did, but eventually nightfall came.
That night Goodwin laid silently on the small pile of hay in the cell he was forced to call his home. His back hurt terribly, as did the rest of his limbs and his stomach growled horribly. He hadn't eaten in almost two days and his stomach threatened a mutiny if he didn't eat soon. After an hour of silent complaints by his stomach a small slit was opened in the door to his room. A plate with two pieces of bread and a small portion of rice was passed through, along with a glass of water.
Food! Goodwin's mind shouted. He raced across the room and gulped down the food, barely chewing. But it was merely a drop in the ocean, his stomach still felt empty, but at least now he knew it really wasn't. He settled back down on the hay and tried to sleep, knowing he would have to work again tomorrow to "earn his keep" as Lee had put it. It seemed to him for all his work he should be getting a much bigger keep.
He tried to picture in his mind that he wasn't locked in a cell by cruel people he couldn't understand. He clenched his eyes shut and told his mind that he was somewhere else, in a happier place and time with people who loved him and cared for him. He tried to convince himself that he wasn't starving but so full he couldn't eat another bite, and that he was in fact in a nice warm bed.
But it didn't work. He thought he could rely on his memory to take him to this place but he found no such memories. He couldn't remember a time in his life when he had felt happy, loved and safe. He was sure there had been a time he felt that way, he just couldn't remember it. He cursed his mind for betraying him and allowing him to forget most of his former life. He was plagued with the thought that all he would remember of his life was this Hell.
He longed for his mother, because despite the fact that he still couldn't remember much about her, he knew that she would comfort him and keep him safe. And right now there was nothing he wanted more than a kind gesture or loving touch.
Maybe it will get better. Maybe it isn't as bad as it seems. He tried to console himself. Little did he know it would only get worse.
Raphael kept up his silent vigil all through the night. At the early hours of the morning he felt his eyes droop but he knew Mikiko would awaken soon and watch over Goodwin while he rested. It was more than a day and a half since Goodwin had fallen into the icy waters of the pond while rescuing his daughter. He didn't even want to think about what would have happened if Goodwin hadn't been there, it would definitely have been worse than just a fever. Although if Goodwin's fever did get any worse he feared the worst for the young man. His condition hadn't changed during night, although the chills had abated slightly, his fever was still enduring.
Raphael heard the door open and turned around to see Kiyomi enter the room shyly. She clutched Mira tightly as she peered into the room.
"Papa." She said, seemingly asking permission to come in.
Raphael smiled, "Come in honey."
She smiled and raced over to her father and jumped in his lap and gave him a hug. She settled on Raphael's knees then her gaze shifted to Goodwin.
"What's wrong with Goodwin?" Kiyomi asked curiously.
"He's very sick. But he'll be okay, don't worry." Rafe tried to reassure his daughter.
"Will he be better soon? I want him to play with me." She confessed, her eyes pleading for her playmate to wake up.
"I hope so, honey. Why don't you stay with him a minute while I go talk to your mother?" Rafe suggested.
Kiyomi smiled brightly and nodded enthusiastically. "I'll take care of him."
"Good. I'll be right back." Raphael picked up his daughter and sat her down in the chair and then left the room.
Kiyomi immediately jumped off the chair and took a seat on the bed. She jumped up and down several times in an attempt to get Goodwin to wake up. When that didn't work she reached out and shook his shoulder gently.
"Goodwin, wake up. Time to play, come on." Goodwin didn't respond, he just rolled onto his back and shook his head as if trying to force himself not to look at something. "Wake up sleepyhead." She tried again and still got no response other than Goodwin's restlessness.
She finally realized he wasn't going to wake up. She thought about the fact that he was sick and she remembered the time she had a flu. She hadn't felt well at all and didn't want to get out of bed, she surmised that, that was probably how Goodwin felt right now. She also remembered that her mother had given her a big hug and it had made her feel a bit better. Kiyomi crawled further up in the bed and laid down beside Goodwin. She lifted up his arm and placed Mira underneath it so he would have someone to hug back. She then rested her head on his shoulder and draped her arm across his chest in a partial hug.
Immediately Goodwin seemed to relax. His breathing became easier and he was no longer restless. In fact he practically melted into the embrace and relaxed into the bed further, seemingly sinking into the mattress. He unconscious mind took comfort from the young girl's presence and Goodwin finally fell into a restful sleep.
I knew it would make him feel better. Kiyomi thought to herself as she cuddled into Goodwin's chest.
Goodwin woke up the next morning feeling worse than the night before. His sleep had started out restlessly but at one point in the night he had suddenly felt a great feeling of love and comfort. He thought that he had probably been dreaming about his mother, but he couldn't remember the dream.
His legs, arms and back ached so badly he didn't think he'd be able to walk. His overseer's arrived all too early for his tastes, he would have liked nothing better than to lay down all day and sleep, even if it was on the cold floor of his room. The morning meal was even smaller than the one the night before and his stomach greatly protested at abuse.
Later that morning Mashobi came and got him again. He was once more brought out to the fields where he was set about to work. He was so exhausted though from the previous day that he could barely pick up the shovel and hoe, let alone work at a steady pace. Mashobi became increasingly agitated at Goodwin's slow progress and growled at him the entire morning. He was suddenly sorry that he was starting to understand Japanese. Goodwin looked around the monastery, at the other men walking around the grounds. He had to assume they were all holy men, they lived in a monastery, wore the robes and prayed from what Goodwin had seen. Shouldn't these men be accepting him with open arms? Not slave driving him with little sleep and even less to eat.
Goodwin was sure he wouldn't last the day. His limbs ached so terribly and his stomach felt so empty. His only minor consolation was that the sun was not nearly as scorching as the previous day. He shovelled the soil unenthusiastically as Mashobi continued yelling. Goodwin could pick out a few choice words and he didn't like what he was hearing. He finally couldn't stand just being silent any longer and turned sternly to face his overseer.
"Look, this is hard. If you think you can do better, do it yourself." Goodwin regretted it almost immediately when he saw the fury in Mashobi's eyes but it had felt good to say. He doubted the man even had any idea what he had said, but his tone of voice probably given him away. Mashobi seemed so enraged that Goodwin prepared himself to be struck. But no pain came and Mashobi suddenly stormed off back to the building.
Goodwin was shocked. Well that was easy. He thought. He suddenly felt rather energetic somehow and turned back to his shovel and dug into the ground several more times. He then realized since Mashobi had momentarily left he could go get a drink from the well. Just as he turned around to go to the well he sensed that someone was behind him. He turned his head to see that Mashobi had snuck up behind him while he worked.
Goodwin heard a hiss of air and the crack of leather. Suddenly his mind exploded with pain.
"Ah!" He yelled out as he fell to his knees. He heard the air hiss again and this time fell onto all fours as the pain coursed through his body once more, this time sharper than before. He looked up and his mind briefly registered Mashobi standing there, leather whip in hand. He seemed extremely pleased with himself as Goodwin writhed with pain.
Goodwin gasped for breath.
God, that hurt! How could anything hurt so bad? His mind screamed, anything to get past the pain of the whip. Tears threatened to spill from his eyes but he forced them back, he would not give this sadist the pleasure of seeing his tears. He looked up at his keeper with a grim determination set on his face.
"Garitou." Goodwin said quietly and as sincerely as he could manage. The Japanese word for "I'm sorry". Mashobi smiled cruelly and wrapped the whip around his hand tightly, but didn't move to use it. Mashobi ordered him to get back to work, Goodwin had picked up on that phrase quickly.
Goodwin struggled to pick up his tools. His back screamed for him to rest, just lie down and never get up again. But he had to work or risk facing the whip again, and that wasn't an option. He shuddered at the thought that he had just apologized to a man who had whipped him and treated him so horribly. Apologized for doing nothing, while this man did every cruel thing he could think of. Goodwin suddenly flared with anger. Surely the rest of the men of the monastery had seen how he was being treated. Weren't they going to do anything?
No, that would make life actually liveable, or partially fair even. He thought bitterly.
That was how life went for Goodwin from then on. After that day Mashobi brought the whip with him everyday and didn't hesitate to use it if Goodwin didn't work as hard as possible. His life consisted of sleeping unsoundly, scrounging for enough food to survive and doing slave labor fourteen hours a day. Not to mention the beatings he endured weekly, sometimes daily. His life was confined to the monastery. Mostly the fields and his room. If you could call the small stone cell a room. More like a prison.
Several times over the years he seriously considered ending it all, permanently. But he couldn't take his own life, no matter how bad it got. And it got incredibly bad. Some days Goodwin felt so weak that he didn't think he would be able to leave his cell, which was still locked every night. But then he'd see Mashobi towering over him, whip in hand and he'd somehow find the strength to make it through the day.
At night he usually cried. For his parents, his old life, and for himself. Sometimes he was simply too exhausted to cry and would go right to sleep. He always prayed for dreams of his mother and father or of any happy time in his life, but those dreams came on amazingly rare situations. His dreams were always haunted with visions of the ship as it sank, his parents screaming for help, and often times of Mashobi's whip coming down on him over and over. He'd wake up screaming, but there was no one to comfort him, no one to tell him it was alright and nothing would hurt him. He felt so wretchedly alone.
He never did manage to remember his entire past. Only fragments of memory here and there. He longed for those memories. To remember anything other than right here, right now, in the hellhole he called home. But none came, and Goodwin was forced to live in an existence of beatings, starvation and slave work.
He had been there for six years now and was eighteen years old he surmised. It was hard for him to tell, he didn't even know his own birthday. It felt much longer than that. In six years he'd never smiled. He never had a reason to. Six years of life, and not one moment of joy, not even a flicker of happiness. Never. Six years of Hell, it might as well have been an eternity. No love, no friendship, not even a helping hand. Life was as bad as it could get, of that Goodwin was sure. It was only days of work, and cold nights of loneliness.
It was a normal, miserable day for Goodwin as he tended in the fields. His work consisted mainly of the fieldwork and caring for the animals, all the hard labor the monks didn't want to do themselves, he got stuck with. He was quite strong physically, his body was used to hard work by now, but the lack of nourishment and the continual workload kept him exhausted. He was actually quite sure if he ever got a decent meal and a few good nights sleep he'd be stronger and faster than any of the monks.
As Goodwin worked he noticed Mashobi coming towards him, whip in hand. He looked positively furious. Goodwin had long since learned Japanese and now had no trouble with the language. He looked up curiously, wondering what could have happened. He'd done nothing wrong. But then again, he rarely did.
"What .." Was as far as Goodwin got before Mashobi's whip descended across his back. "Ah!" Goodwin cried out, as the whip struck twice more, each strike worse than the last. He fell to the ground and held up his arms to defend himself. "Please, what have I done?"
Mashobi's eyes flamed, "The sheep. They have all fled. Someone didn't lock the gate last night." He said, anger punctuating each word.
Goodwin knew that "someone", was him. Although he was quite sure he had locked the gates last night. Goodwin knew it was best not to argue, they'd never believe him. It was a rule around the monastery. Everything was his fault.
"I'm sorry. I thought I locked it." He said quietly, but knowing it wasn't good enough.
Mashobi seemed to forget about his whip and kicked Goodwin hard in the ribs, "It's too late for that boy."
Goodwin moaned and curled into a tight ball, but Mashobi just kicked him again, this time in the back. He cringed and readied himself for what he knew was coming. The cracking noise filled the air and Goodwin whimpered as the whip struck again.
"I'm sorry." He repeated timidly.
The whip came down again, "You should have thought of that before you didn't lock the gate." He struck him again, even more fiercely than before.
Goodwin cried out and tried to crawl away, anything to escape. This only infuriated Mashobi further. He quickly caught Goodwin and kicked him hard to the ground. Goodwin lay on the ground, gasping for breath. The whip was extremely painful, you never got used to it. That's why it was a favorite to slavedrivers. Mashobi reached down and pulled Goodwin to his feet by his hair.
"Why is it you never learn boy? You'd think after all this time you'd know to do as you're told." Mashobi expressed his point by throwing Goodwin into a nearby tree. He practically screamed as his exposed back hit the tree. The bark rubbed roughly against the whip marks and he felt his body shudder from the pain. His knees buckled beneath him and he began to slide down to ground level. But Mashobi wasn't through yet. He grabbed Goodwin by the arm and hauled him towards the main building.
"You don't get off that easy, boy." Goodwin could barely walk and was practically dragged to the building. Mashobi launched him through the open front door where he slammed into the stone wall and yelled out once more as his back took the brunt of the hit. Mashobi continued to drag him through the halls until they reached Goodwin's cell.
"Don't plan on being fed anytime soon." He said cruelly, then threw Goodwin in with all his might. Goodwin slammed into the far wall, headfirst then fell to the floor unconscious.
Mashobi seemed pleased he was knocked out, but was still furious. He was so blinded by his own anger that he forgot to lock Goodwin's door.
Raphael and Mikiko entered the room and smiled warmly. If cameras had been around back then, it would have been a Kodak moment.
Kiyomi was asleep on the bed next to Goodwin, her arm wrapped around his chest and her head on his shoulder. She had placed Mira beneath his arm and wrapped his other arm around her small frame. Raphael wouldn't have allowed her to do so if he had been in the room, but Goodwin looked much better with the little girl there. He no longer tossed and turned and all his fevered ramblings had ceased.
Mikiko walked over to bed and kissed her daughter's forehead. She then brushed away a few locks of hair from Goodwin's brow, simultaneously checking his temperature. It hadn't dropped, but at least now he appeared to be resting. But even though he was no longer tossing or moaning, she suspected the dreams hadn't died away. His eyes were still clenched shut tightly and his pupils were moving rapidly beneath his eyelids.
"The poor boy." Mikiko commented, taking a seat by the bed.
"He's a fighter, I can tell. I doubt this will best him." Raphael tried to comfort his wife.
"Yes, but I had hoped that he would no longer need to fight, anything. I wanted him to be safe here." Mikiko confided.
Raphael said nothing, he simply clutched his wife's hand, offering silent comfort.
Goodwin woke up several hours later. His head pounded, his limbs ached and his back pained so greatly he didn't think he could stand.
"God, I bet Mashobi just never fixed the lock on the gate correctly. I told him it was broken."
He felt tears threaten to spill from his eyes but held them back. He laid down on his side in the pile of hay and tried not to move, knowing it would aggravate his back worse. As he lay there feeling sorry for himself and wondering if the pain would ever stop, he heard it. A voice. He looked around curiously, but somehow he knew he would find no one. He pulled himself to his feet and peered out the window. The wind was blowing fiercely, which seemed odd considering how calm it had been earlier. Another gust of air rushed into the room and Goodwin heard it again.
"Destiny." The words were whispered into his ear so softly, almost like a caress. He was momentarily shocked and his mind was brought back to a similar day, years ago when he first arrived. The wind had blown and whispered the same thing to him. Goodwin turned and stared at the large oak door which had held him all these years. He had long since stopped checking to see if it was locked, it always was. But for some reason he felt the urge to check tonight.
He walked across the room and reached for the knob. He turned it slowly.
He felt his heart jump into his throat. It's not locked! His mind shouted. He stayed like that for several minutes. Just standing there, holding the doorknob that had just turned. Finally he turned it farther and opened the door completely. He walked straight into the hall, as if he had just opened the doorway to another dimension. He looked up and down the hall and saw no one. Judging by the moon it was very late and they were all undoubtedly asleep. Nobody watched him at night. He felt his heart race. Could he finally gain his freedom after all these years?
He walked down the halls slowly, as if observing them for the first time. He finally forced his mind to work. He recovered from the shock of it all and made his way down the hallway, slightly faster now. He checked every corner and crept as quietly as possible. He raced for the front door and turned the knob.
What a sweet, sweet sound. He thought as the door opened to reveal the fields he had seen a million times but seemed to truly see for the first time. He raced across the field as fast as his legs could carry him. He completely ignored the protests his body made. He was free. He was doing something he wanted. He wanted to run!
It didn't take long to cross the field. He reached the stone brick wall and almost laughed at how easy it now looked to climb. He had thought of making a run for it and just jumping the wall a million times over the years. But there was always someone close by who would have seen him. Now, it was the simplest thing in the world. He reached the top and stood tall. He looked back from his perch, to the monastery that seemed so peaceful in the moonlight. He said a silent good-bye and good riddance. He grabbed two apples off the tree over the wall and then jumped down.
As he landed he looked around the area in awe. To anyone else it would have seemed almost the exact same as the area within the monastery, but to Goodwin it was a fresh new world with things to see, but mostly places to go. Places that weren't here. He took a bite of his apple and looked back to the monastery for the last time. Then he did something he hadn't done in over six years.
And then he was off like a flash.
As Mikiko sat by the bed she looked up at Goodwin still asleep. He looked much more peaceful now but still the fever raged on. She dipped a cloth in the basin of water and wiped his forehead once more. Kiyomi had woken up and left his side an hour ago, but had left Mira in his arms. It was rather sweet.
"Oh, Goodwin. I wish you'd wake up. Just give me some sign that you're still in there." Mikiko urged the young man, hoping for a response but somehow deep down not really expecting one. She suddenly gasped in shock. But it was a pleasant surprise and she took it as a good omen.
He had smiled.
It had been brief, of only a few seconds but it was there. She smiled back and continued her vigil.
Goodwin's smile faded quickly. He no longer felt a sense of triumph, now it was mostly fear. He had run in the middle of the night, he had no idea how long it was until sunrise. He hoped hours. He realized it probably wasn't the greatest plan. He had walked out of his room and ran. Upon further inspection he realized he probably should have done things a bit differently. He had no food and it had never occurred to him to secure a horse from the stables, or even to release the other ones so they couldn't give chase. But none of this had come to mind, his only thought was of his escape. And now he couldn't go back. He could never go back.
He ran, not going anywhere, just running. He had to get as far away as possible. His whole body protested at the rough treatment. He should be sleeping, giving his body time to rest and recover slightly. But he didn't. He had to get away. It was now or never.
The two apples he had snagged from the tree were gone. Without thinking he had immediately gulped them down as quickly as possible. It had given him more energy but he knew he'd be hungry again shortly. He already was to be honest. But he didn't care. At least that's what he told himself. All that mattered was that he was free. His body was scarred and injured, his stomach was empty and his lungs ached. But he was free. It could only get better. Couldn't it?
He reached a group of closely-knit trees and decided that it would be a good spot to rest. His body agreed and he almost collapsed as he reached the small enclosure. He immediately leaned against a tree but jerked up in pain. He had somehow momentarily forgotten about his whipped back. He sat on the ground instead.
"Oh yeah, Destiny's been good to me." Goodwin said bitterly. He sat there for no more then ten minutes, although his body screamed for rest, his mind was so worried and scared of being caught that he overruled his body's demands. He needed to get as far away as he could at night, perhaps he would rest during the day. He got up and ran.
And he ran, and he ran. For days, through the thick woods, hoping they wouldn't be able to follow him, he knew that no horse could make it through the thick trees in the route he was taking. He was literally starving, there was no edible food in the forest and he didn't stop to look. He just ran. With every footstep he felt his heart become lighter and the hold that the monk's had on him fade slightly. Every step brought him closer to freedom.
Run, run, run, run, run... Was his only thought. After four days, he couldn't run anymore. He thought his heart might explode if he took another step. So he stopped and laid back against a tree and closed his eyes.
"I'll just rest, just for a minute." He told himself. He felt himself drift into sleep but ignored his mind's protests that he stay awake. He allowed himself to sleep. It was a light sleep, he somehow told his body not to drift off deeply. He slept for several hours. He dreamt of nothingness. When he awoke he thought that, that may mean it was because his life could go either way at this point. The way of the horrible dreams that usually plagued him or his life could somehow become happy and peaceful. He hoped for the latter.
He suddenly realized that he had not woken up on his own. A sound in the distance had awakened him. A loud and repetitive thumping. He followed the sound and recognized it as wood being chopped, something he'd had plenty of practice in doing. He'd nearly cut off his own foot several times.
He followed the noise further and then heard voices. Few voices, but voices nonetheless. He stopped and listened closer. Laughter, there was laughter as well. It had been so long since he heard laughter, true laughter. Mashobi and the other monks had sometimes laughed cruelly at his own misfortunes, but this was good, honest laughter. He felt warm inside just hearing it. As he got closer he could see a house, it looked so warm and friendly, with the fire burning warmly and the laughter filling it with the feeling of home.
"Ah." He gasped as his mind was suddenly assaulted. Flashes of memory flew through him, his mother and father taking care of him. Loving him. At their home. It looked nothing like this, but the love and comfort felt the same. His family had loved him, just as this family loved each other. He smiled again, he had somehow found his way to more memories of his mother and father. He wanted to go find the family just to thank them for loving one another.
He was ripped from those thoughts as his stomach growled fiercely. He hadn't eaten in days. Hadn't done anything other than run. He knew they would have food inside. But would they give him any if he asked? He didn't want to risk that they wouldn't. It seemed as though the house was filled with kind, caring people but he had learned that appearances can be deceiving. From the outside the monastery appeared as a holy place. A place where someone could go if they were in need. Goodwin knew that wasn't true and wouldn't risk making that mistake with these people.
He crept closer and saw them. They looked so peaceful. As the man shovelled the hay into the cart he shot adoring looks to who appeared to be his daughter and wife. He hated to disturb them, he could have watched them interact with one another all day. But if he didn't eat soon they would find him by the rumbling in his stomach. He made up his mind and crept up to the cart silently. He grabbed a pitchfork and held it as steady as his weak arms would allow as he pointed it at the man.
"Food and drink, now." He demanded as best he could. He could never ever hurt these people but this was in fact the only way he could survive right now. The man said nothing and Goodwin worried he might try something. He did.
Goodwin flew backwards as the handle of the cart hit him under the chin. He backed away and stepped on a rake that struck him in the back, causing him a whole new version of pain, he stumbled forward and was once more hit on the head as the cart handle was brought down upon his skull. His unhealed wounds reacted immediately and he fell to the ground in pain. He looked up again to see the man holding a pitchfork of his own. Goodwin covered his head to protect himself.
"Please, I mean you no harm, I haven't eaten in days." He pleaded, not lying the least. He looked up. The man's eyes seemed to soften, but he still held the pitchfork.
"Raphael, he's just a boy." The beautiful woman said kindly. Obviously not wanting Goodwin hurt.
Goodwin smiled best he could, he didn't have much practice. The man put down the pitchfork and extended his arm to him.
"Come inside, we'll feed you." He said. Goodwin just stared at him in shock, refusing to believe it was real.
The man, Raphael, extended his arm further. "Come." He urged. Goodwin took his arm gratefully and was hauled to his feet. As Raphael led the way to the house he clasped a hand on Goodwin's back. Goodwin knew it was meant as a friendly gesture, but the man's powerful hand caused his body to explode with pain as he touched his injured back.
"Ah." He keeled forward at the touch and gripped a wooden support tightly, waiting for the pain to pass. He felt Raphael lift his tattered shirt and knew he had seen the whip marks. He was suddenly being rushed into the house as quickly as possible. Raphael picked up his daughter and they all entered the house.
Goodwin looked around the house. It was so cozy and safe. He would love to call a place like this home. Could he possibly call it home? One look into the woman's eyes and he knew that he might be able to.
"Thank-you." He said sincerely. She just smiled.
"I'm Mikiko." She introduced herself.
"Goodwin." He replied. She smiled again and led him to the table. The little girl followed them and approached him immediately.
"I'm Kiyomi. Do you wanna play with me?"
Goodwin smiled and suddenly felt there was nothing in the world he'd rather do.
I have a feeling everything's going to be a lot better from now on. He thought. I think I've come home and found my destiny.
Mikiko looked at Raphael and smiled. Goodwin's fever had finally broken, they expected him to wake up at any time. He was finally sleeping soundly. His face gave away only peacefulness as he slept. Kiyomi suddenly ran into the room and jumped on Goodwin's bed.
"Is Goodwin gonna wake up soon? He's been asleep an awful long time." She exclaimed.
"He should be waking up very shortly sweetie." Mikiko told her, honestly believing it now.
"Good." She climbed further up the bed and shook Goodwin's shoulder. "Hey, wake up. We have to play. There's more snow, we can build a snowman." She said excitedly.
Raphael picked her up off the bed. "We have to wait for him to wake up on his own." He told the little girl.
"I don't know. I could go for a snowman."
They all turned to see Goodwin. His eyes open and smiling brightly. Kiyomi freed herself from her father's grasp and jumped into his arms.
"Goodwin!" She yelled happily, hugging him tightly.
"Hey, kid. You miss me?" He asked as he returned the hug, pretty much already knowing the answer.
Kiyomi nodded enthusiastically, "Yes. Now get up, we can go play." She jumped off the bed and hauled in his arm to drag him from the bed.
"Honey, Goodwin's got to rest for awhile." Mikiko said, picking up her daughter.
"But he just woke up." She replied, not understanding. Everyone chuckled slightly.
Raphael took Kiyomi from Mikiko and headed for the door. "How about if I play with you for awhile? Goodwin can play with you later."
"Okay." She said. Rafe turned back before leaving the room.
"Thank you Goodwin. For what you did for her." He said sincerely.
Goodwin smiled, "I'd do it a thousand times over."
Rafe nodded, knowing that he would and left to play with Kiyomi.
Mikiko stayed by Goodwin's side and helped tuck him back in bed. He snuggled into the warmth of the bed. Mikiko brushed back his hair affectionately.
"Sleep well." She said and went to leave the room then turned back. "And welcome home."
Goodwin smiled contently, "It's a good place to be."
The next day Rafe decided that it would probably be best if he brought Goodwin into the village to stay with the healer there. He wanted to make sure that Goodwin had completely recovered and that he didn't relapse into sickness. Goodwin agreed and Rafe took him to the village, saying he would return for him in a few days and hoped he recovered quickly. After four days with the healer Goodwin felt stronger than he had in his life. He got over the fever rather quickly. His physical strength was at its peak and after the last few weeks of nourishing meals he could say he was fit to leave. He didn't know when Rafe was returning to get him but it wasn't far back to the farm, he decided to walk. It would be good for him.
He thanked the healer for his kindness then was on his way. He enjoyed the leisurely walk through the forest, just taking in the trees and the life that lived so peacefully in nature. He felt himself at peace very quickly. He couldn't wait to get to the farm and play with Kiyomi. He even wanted to help Rafe with the chores. He chuckled to himself, he never thought he would want to do chores. But a lot had changed very quickly.
As he neared closer to the farm he could swear that he smelled smoke. He wondered if Rafe was simply building a fire for some occasion. It could only be their farm, they were the only one within miles. As he got closer he could see the billows of smoke rise from above, it was definitely more than a wood fire.
"Raphael! Mikiko! Kiyomi!" He called as he raced toward the farm as fast as his legs allowed. His heart sunk and his mind all but shattered as he reached the farm. Or what was left of the farm. The house and barns were all burnt to the ground, there was nothing left. Goodwin gulped hard and somehow told his mind to work. He had to find everyone and make sure they were alright. He knew Raphael would get Mikiko and Kiyomi to safety at the first sign of fire, but he had to make sure himself.
He rounded a corner and found Raphael. Partial relief surged through him.
"Raphael? What happened?" He asked, panting slightly. "Where are Mikiko and Kiyomi?"
Raphael turned to him, his eyes held a deep soul penetrating sadness, but his face was set in a look of determination. "They're gone. Both of them. Demons, the minions of darkness, came. They killed Mikiko and took Kiyomi."
Goodwin felt his world collapse. He thought his knees might buckle beneath him. Both of them, Mikiko and Kiyomi, they had taught him to love and trust. They loved him and took care of him. Now they were gone. He had finally found his home and now it was ripped away from him by... by demons?
He looked back to Rafe and realized he could only imagine the torment his soul must be suffering. He had just lost his daughter and wife. Goodwin had only known them a few weeks and still felt his very soul was shattering. How could Raphael possibly live through this? Goodwin looked down and saw Raphael clutching a sword tightly. He held it in front of him ceremoniously.
"I'll hunt them forever and never rest until they're dead.
With this sword I take an oath of vengeance.
The evil ones will know my name and fear it.
I will send them back to Hell with this blade
and never stop, until it is done."
Goodwin couldn't believe all this right now, but if Raphael was looking for revenge for his wife and daughter then he would help him.
"Me too." He said as firmly as possible after the news he's just received. Raphael clasped his shoulder and then plunged the sword upward.
Goodwin was awed as a cyclone of blue energy swirled around them. It disappeared just as quickly as it came. It caused no wind and affected nothing, except the two of them. Goodwin felt different somehow. He couldn't really explain it, it was practically impossible. But he felt .. good. He liked the new feeling. His whole body felt different, even his soul he thought. He looked at Raphael who seemed to have expected the whirlwind of color and energy. He followed Raphael's gaze and saw a man emerge from the fog. He strode toward them purposely.
Goodwin had a feeling he had just discovered his destiny.
The rest is four hundred years of history.
Well what did you think? I would ADORE some feedback.
1. I actually looked up all those Japanese words. You know you're proud of me.
2. I know that's not exactly how it happened with the sword and everything but I thought that was pretty close.
3. In the episode "Kiyomi", Goodwin and Kiyomi talk about how Goodwin saved her from the pond when she was little and he got very sick. That's what this fic is basically based on.
4. One of "The Immortal" execs explained to me how Goodwin came to be in Japan and who whipped him and stuff. They originally filmed it but it got edited out. So that's pretty much how it actually happened, I didn't just pull events out of my head.