Disclaimer- I do not own any of these characters. I'm just borrowing them for the time being.  Enjoy.

Chapter 1:

The news came to us when we were still recovering from our final attack with Schwarz. The one where they'd been trying to open the gates to hell—literally. Or something along those lines. I hadn't actually stopped and asked one of them what the heck they were trying to accomplish by summoning that thing through the body of a pure, un-aging child.

I remember the date. I remember the time. I remember I was watching outside the window as the sky changed from that dark blue-not quite black color into an un-definable shade of grey. I had shivered knowing that this exact color announced a cold and bleak day. I wasn't sleeping because my shoulder ached, the medicine had long worn off, and because I just couldn't. I felt like we still needed to be on the lookout. After all, if we mere mortals had managed to survive a fucking building crumbling onto us, a handful of guys that have telepathy, telekinesis, mad-man like qualities, and visions of the future were definitely going to survive the dunking.

The heavy clouds that blocked the sun from seeping colors back into the world made my reflection in the window that much sharper—large blue eyes, child-like features, along with dark patches of skin that were bruised and getting lost in the shadows. The only warning Manx gave to startle me out of my reverie was the slight noise of a key being placed into a lock. It had been done carefully. And if we'd been anything but trained assassins, we wouldn't have even noticed it. My muscles tensed and reached for the arrows that I kept carefully hidden on me. Injured I may be, but not any less paranoid and not any less careful. A quick glance behind me showed that the other occupants of the room were twitching. Aya's eyes were open and he was moving quietly off his bed. He stilled as he noticed me… and with just a brief movement here and there, we made our plan silently. Yoji and Ken would be back-ups. I remember feeling that flood of intense energy and fear mixed into one suddenly die down with a sense of purpose. I had to keep them safe. As always, my silent mission came back to me and with it was this little nagging hope that it would be the last mission. That this mission would take me away finally. Another little noise as I crept deeper into our safe house. Whoever it was, had managed to open the door. I flipped the arrow into the right position.

The lights were flicked on in one brisk movement. Not part of the plan but whatever, the change in lighting was not going to be a problem. But the figure suddenly revealing herself did. No danger. The adrenaline rushing through my veins making the blood pound into my ears did not like this change. Did not like it at all. I felt my muscles go weak at the sight of her. Curling red-hair, a pale but strict face…


"Bombay." She greeted back serenely, confident that despite breaking into our safe place without one warning that she'd been safe all along. It was enough to make me want to scream. Instead the mask I'd been taught so long ago to wear crept back up and placed itself firmly back on. A smile, a lightening in the eyes, the muscles loosening and my aching fingers uncramping their tight hold.

"Please sit down." I gave a little sideways look as I waved her to the kitchen table with my good arm. The arrow had already been placed back in its hiding spot. I caught amethyst eyes quickly before they retreated further back into the shadows no doubt to let the others know that they could go back to sleep. As if they could now…I shook my head. "Coffee?" The woman leaned against the kitchen counter and ignored the question.

"Its Abyssinian I need." No wasted words. No how are you? How are you guys healing? How's the house? It was the best we could do in our limited time and great surprise that you four actually survived. No nothing like that. I nodded my head.

"Of course. He'll be here soon."

"He stays." The deeper voice announced his presence. "They all do." I really did try to keep the surprise showing on my face at that statement. Ken, ruffled and in pain, hid a yawn for show before slumping down to the table. Yoji followed at a slower pace, silent as he had been since we'd showed up on shore. He didn't even bother glancing in Manx's direction to admire her form. Aya mirrored Manx's stance, leaning against the wall opposite of her.

"Aya-kun?" Again, I was ignored. I looked between the two redheads and then shrugged, taking my place by Yoji's side, knowing instinctively that he needed the small comfort right now even if I didn't know the specific reason as to why.

"Fine." Manx snapped. "Might as well get more out of this meeting then. Status?" Ken rolled his eyes and mouthed 'pushy bitch' before looking at her with a quirked eyebrow.

"Status is still the same as two days ago-we're still recovering." It summed it up well. Manx didn't seem quite convinced as she stared at me.

"Hm. Well some of you seem to be recovering faster than others. Perhaps mission ready in a couple days…" She trailed off. It hadn't really sounded like a question and I felt the others tense around me in response to it. I gave her my brightest smile. Her eyes scanned my face and then glazed over. She gave a minute shrug and then gazed back up to Aya. "This information really is just for you." Strange. Her tone of voice had softened. The tension began to build its way back into my body, making the adrenaline sing within me. Silence greeted her. Something about our last mission had changed Aya in some way. Perhaps because his revenge was over, perhaps because he'd saved his sister, perhaps because we'd been there along side with him when everything went to hell—I… "She's awake but she has no memory." Manx didn't have to explain who the she was. Four pair of eyes turned to her as one. "The doctor thinks her amnesia is from shock. Whether it's temporary or not remains to be seen." Manx shifted her weight more equally on her high heels. "What would you like us to do?"

And that's how we found out. And that's when we stopped taking time to recover.

To be continued…