History Repeats Itself
Chapter Two – New Home
By Crow Skywalker
Disclaimer - I do not own Chrono Crusade or its characters. I am writing this for my own entertainment and am not making profit in any way.
Author's Notes – I've had this chapter pretty much finished for a while, I just didn't know how I wanted to end it. Not really happy with the ending, but I didn't want to add any more.
Summary - It's the year 2006. Rosette is alive and living on her own, until her brother goes missing and her world comes crashing down around her. Upon meeting a beautiful stranger, Rosette is thrust into the battle between good and evil.
They had found the door to Rosette's apartment left ajar, sunlight pouring in through the crack and casting light on the hallway floor. Rosette could not remember closing the door, nor could she remember leaving it open in her rush to get to her brother's apartment, but Father Remington took precaution anyway and was first to enter. With a gun held in the air, he gently pushed the door open and Rosette winced slightly as it made a squeaking noise as it opened all the way.
Someone had been there, and it was very apparently so. Her apartment could almost be written off as 'trashed', but not everything was toppled over and littering the floor. It was most papers, pictures, books, anything that could give someone information on the life of Rosette Christopher. Rosette stepped through the sea of mess, eyes wide and staring as she slowly walked through her apartment. Picking up a piggy bank on a bookcase in her living room, she frowned as she shook it and money jingled inside.
"Well, I can't exactly say I was robbed," she said, more to herself. "They didn't take anything that had any worth."
"They took what they thought was important," Father Remington replied. "It looks like they could quite possibly know everything about your entire life by now, Rosette. I wouldn't doubt that they've been here for the past two nights going through this stuff, and they'll probably return again tonight." He moved to sit down on Rosette's couch. "Quickly, pack your things."
Rosette did as she was told, making her way into her room. Finding a bag in her closet, she laid it on the bed and began to gather as much of her clothes as she could fit in the small bag. With that done, she bit her lip in thought before she quickly reached under the bed and hauled out a wad of money that she had been saving up and hiding there. The piggy bank would also be going – she figured she needed as much money as possible.
Her bag packed and ready to go, Rosette sunk down onto the bed and put her head in her hands, silently wondering why her life had become such a mess. What was she going to do about school now? She'd certainly paid for it, and couldn't get her money refunded. What of her job? They'd probably been calling her non-stop for two days now. And just how exactly was she going to find Joshua and save him?
With a small sob she ran her hand through her hair, looking up and finding herself staring at her own image in the mirror across her room. She looked haggard with dark circles around her eyes. Her hair was a mess due to the fact she hadn't brushed it in days, and she was still in the pajamas from that night. With a sigh, and a firm set of determination, she decided Father Remington could wait for her – she needed a good shower.
Grabbing a towel from the closet in the hallway, she headed into the bathroom in hopes of cleaning herself up and making herself look more presentable. She was, after all, about to be taken 'somewhere safe', as Father Remington had called it, and she sure didn't want their first impression to be that she was a dirt bag.
Locking the door behind her, she laid her towel down on the closed hamper and ran a hand through her tangles of hair. Within moments she had stripped out of her dirty pajamas and had stepped into the cold bathtub. The rush of cold water was soothing and made a shiver run up her spine, and when she decided she'd had enough of the cold feeling, she turned the knob until the water up until it almost burned. Relaxing, she closed her eyes and let her head fall back, letting the soothing feeling take over.
Father Remington sat on a couch in the living room, his eyes wandering around the room. His mind was so lost in thought that it only briefly registered that Rosette had not returned and that the shower was running. His eyes caught sight of a framed picture on a stand across the room, and he realized a younger Rosette and Joshua were smiling back at him. They looked just like the children he had met so many years ago.
He stood, his feet rustling through the many papers littering the floor. Glancing down, he noticed a page from what looked like a photo album. Whomever had found it had ripped the book apart, and, bending down, Remington found that it was a page from Rosette's earlier, younger years.
Baby pictures. He smiled, looking at the two siblings in the picture. They were about a year old, maybe younger in the picture. An older woman was holding them both as she rocked them in a chair, and Remington wondered if Rosette had been blessed with parents in this life. His question was answered as he spotted a piece of paper not too far away on the floor, and his smile turned grim.
He bent down to look at them, wondering why Rosette had ended up with the same fate she had had in her past life. The papers simply read that Rosette had been found as an infant, and there was no formation about the whereabouts of her parents. She had, however, he noticed, been adopted by a woman at the age of sixteen. A picture of the woman was paper clipped to the paper, and Remington took a good look at her.
"I'm ready to go," a voice said behind him, and Father Remington was surprised he hadn't heard her enter the room. He turned, the papers still in his hands, to look at her. She wore her blonde hair down, her bangs slightly obscuring her bright blue eyes. Dressed in a purple shirt and navy jeans, she looked like any other normal teenager. In one hand she carried a blue bag that was all of the belongings she wished to bring, and in the other, a pair of roller blades dangled.
He forced a smile as he looked at her, then glanced down at the papers in his hand. "Is this your mother?" He asked, hoping she didn't think he was prying too much. He was merely interested in knowing about this new Rosette, how her life had been as a child compared to the past.
Rosette didn't respond for a moment, simply ignoring his question and walking past him with bags in hand. He wondered if he had upset her somehow, if the topic of the woman in the picture was something she disliked talking about. He watched as she shrugged the bag off her shoulder and laid everything down on the couch. When she turned to face him, her expression was grim.
"She was my adoptive mother for a while. She took me in, gave me nice clothes and taught me proper manners," she smiled at that, remembering events from the past. "She was strict, but easy to get along with. She sent me to school, and saw to it that I had whatever I needed. She taught me to trust grownups…being abandoned in the woods would give a poor kid insecurities, you know? I was probably the biggest pain in the ass when she first took me into her home, but she did the best she could with me. In return for everything she did for me, I broke her heart."
"What do you mean?" Remington asked after a moment of silence.
"I only stayed with her for maybe a year," Rosette admitted. "No matter how nice she was to me, I was always very bitter towards her. I hated her for adopting me, for…taking me away from my brother."
"She adopted just you, not your brother too?"
Rosette looked away, her arms crossed and her lips set in a firm line. "She only wanted one child. A girl. She had no need of a boy, nor did she want him. She was only ever interested in adopting me, and although I fought it at first, I gave in at the end. I visited Joshua quite frequently, almost every day. She didn't seem to mind at all, she understood that we were really close." She paused to sigh, slumping down onto the couch. "Then someone adopted Joshua…and the visits stopped. So I just…I ran away. I haven't seen her since."
"And what of Joshua?" Remington wondered aloud.
"It took a long time for me to settle…I was sixteen, it was hard to get a job. It was even harder to get a place to stay…I spent many a night outside in the cold. Luckily for me, I found a job and built a life of my own from there. Joshua ran away with me after that, and we were together for a short while…but he wanted to continue with his schooling, and his adoptive parents were paying for it. He wanted a proper education so that he could take care of me…so slowly we grew apart, I guess. In the end, I wanted to finish my own schooling myself, and I'm…I mean, I was going to school…I took out a loan, and I was working whenever I could.."
She stood suddenly and walked over to the telephone, checking her missed calls. Sure enough, there were quite a few on her Caller ID box, and three messages left on her message machine. Most of them were from work, while the others were from school or from people she knew from school.
Rosette pressed the button on the message machine and it started to play the messages it had recorded in her absence.
"Rosette, this is Ted. Where are you girl? You didn't show up for your shift last night. That's not like you at all – I don't think you've ever even been late! Give me a call when you get in." There was only a small pause and then the next message started. "This is the second night you haven't shown up Rosette. I hired a new girl today – better watch it or she'll take your place!" There was a chuckle and then, "I know something must be wrong, so when you're ready, give me a call. You're my best employee and you can come back whenever you're ready." The message ended.
The last message was from the school. "Miss Christopher, I am calling to remind you of our policy. Unless you can supply a doctor's note, you are only allowed to miss out on five school days. You've been absent for two days now and we haven't heard from you. I would hate to see a young bright girl such as yourself be kicked out of our school." There was a pause, and then the message ended.
Rosette sat on the couch, running a hand through her hair until her hands rested on her forehead and stayed there. Looking at the floor from under her palms, the realization that everything she had worked so hard for was falling apart hit her like a ton of bricks. With a shaky breath she looked up at Father Remington. "I guess the life I was living is pretty much over," she said quietly.
Remington sat next to her, unsure of what to say. What could you possibly say to someone whose brother was missing, who pretty much had to go into hiding, was on the verge of losing her job, and getting kicked out of school? Anything that came to his mind he pushed aside. He was quite sure she didn't want to hear any of it at the moment. So, instead, he chose to change the subject.
"Are you ready to go?"
She nodded silently, glancing over her apartment.
"Yes," she replied.
Father Remington had spent his whole night looking for what was left of the Magdalene Order. His first impulse had been to check out the location it used to be situated at. He had found nothing there but an old abandoned institute. The building had not been used in quite a few years, and the church had all but fallen apart. Without anyone to take care of it the ceiling had caved in, smashing statues and pews. The inside of the building had been just as bad. It looked like someone had tried to fix it up sometime in the past but had given up. The floorboards creaked under his feet and in some places, they were missing. It was a lost cause; it was clear the Magdalene Order had not resided there in a few centuries.
He had wandered after that, seeking out any local priest who would be able to give him any information. Most of them were too young to remember anything about the Order, or had not read about it in their studies. He wasn't sure which was the most likely. One priest, however, told him to seek out the Hendric Foundation located on the outskirts of the city. It was an old company, run by the descendants of someone who had once worked with the Magdalene Order. Or, that's what the priest had heard, anyway.
He had found the old building right where the old man had told him it would be. In the middle of the night it didn't look like much – a red stone building surrounded by trees and vines. A black, menacing looking gate surrounded the premises and Father Remington had been doubtful that anyone even lived inside. He'd found an old security box on the side of the gate and, with a hesitant finger, he'd pressed the button and received no answer at first. Then, the gate had swung open on its creaky hinges to allow him to enter.
By the end of the night, he had found what he was looking for.
Now, he stood in front of those exact bars that he had stood in front of the night before, only this time he was not alone. Rosette stood next to him, her bag left on the muddy ground as she struggled to pull her small jacket closer around her shoulders. Her hood was pulled up over her long blonde hair, but it hung low into her eyes and, not for the first time, she raised her hand and pulled it back out of her face. It had started raining not long after they had left her apartment and they were both soaked to the bone.
"Is this the place?" She asked through the downpour, and her voice was low and almost unheard through the rain.
"This is it," he replied, lifting a hand and pressing the button.
The gates opened, allowing them to enter.
"It doesn't look like much," she frowned in return.
"That's what I first thought," he smiled at her. She grabbed her bag and followed him through the gates. "But, we're at the right place. I met the owner of the Hendric Foundation last night – they're mostly a company interested in advanced science and machinery – but apparently they worked for the Magdalene Order in the past, and when the Order all but fell apart, the people who were left in the Order came here. They've been a joint organization since then."
Rosette raised a brow, looking up at the older man through her wet bangs. "And they can help me?"
"They will be able to protect you. I have not yet fully explained the situation but they have agreed to help you in any way they can."
Looking up at the old building as they neared it, Rosette asked, "Will they be able to train me?"
Father Remington was silent for a moment as they reached the door. "If that is what you wish…"
"I do," she looked ahead in determination. "I will train and find my brother."
Anything that the older man was about to say was cut off by the opening of the door. A strange woman with light silver hair stood in the doorway, looking at her guests with concerned eyes. "Oh my, please come in right away. You two must be soaked." She moved out of the way allowing them entrance. Once they were inside and the door was shut firmly behind them, the lady signaled to a nearby maid to get her some towels.
"Mrs. Hendric, it's nice to meet you again," Father Remington smiled at the lady.
"Please, call me Donna. If you are to stay here I don't want us to be so formal with each other," She smiled at Rosette. "Donna will do just fine."
Now that Rosette was inside and out of the cold rain, she lowered her hood and took a look around her surroundings. While the outside of the building looked shabby, the inside was anything but. It looked almost like some sort of hotel, with a massive foyer and a seating area off to the side with a glowing fire. The carpet was red, and off to the left it lead to a giant stairway that lead upstairs. Another set of stairs lead downwards, but her attention was soon drawn to the lady in front of her.
Donna Hendric looked no older than forty, with long silver hair that ran down her back and almost to the floor. She was thin but healthy looking and she wore a light purple dress that matched her lavender eyes. Rosette thought she looked quite beautiful and wondered what a woman like her was doing in such a building.
"You must be Rosette Christopher," the woman smiled down at her. "Father Remington has told me about you."
Looking at the blonde man, Rosette silently wondered just what he'd told Mrs. Hendric about her, considering they'd only just met not even two days ago. Biting her lip, Rosette answered, "Thank you for letting me stay here. I really appreciate it."
Mrs. Hendric gave Rosette a warm smile, "My dear, it's no problem at all. You may stay with us as long as you wish."
A deep booming voice interrupted whatever was about to be said next.
"Father Remington! You made it here alright, I see!"
They turned to see a man making his way towards them. With a slightly balding head and black hair turning gray, Rosette decided the man was a few years older than the woman before her. He was a short, but fairly large man, but his face looked kind. Rosette liked him immediately.
"And this is the girl?" The man asked, having seen Remington's nod. "My, she's pretty. You could almost rival my oldest daughter," he said with a grin and a wink before holding out his hand. "Charles Hendric, at your service. Welcome to the Hendric Foundation."
Rosette shook the outstretched hand, and before her hand could drop back to her side Mrs. Hendric had her hand on both of Rosette's shoulders. The maid had just returned with the towels. "You must be chilled to the bone. Come, I will show you to your new room and you may get settled in and changed."
Before allowing herself to be pushed in the direction of the stairs, Rosette looked to Father Remington who nodded in approval.
"You're going to enjoy your stay here," Donna Hendric smiled and continued to chatter on as she led Rosette up the red carpeted stairs and to her new room.
To Be Continued…