I'm so sorry about this chapter. It's horrible and rushed and Nanashi is so out of character. Then again, it's an abnormal emotion for him to portray, so therefore it is already out of his character to begin with, and since we don't know how he would act if he were to portray this emotion, we don't actually know if he is acting out of character. Does that make sense? I think I'm just rambling on, sorry.
"Phantom-sama, y-your experiment, it's g-gone!" Rolan stuttered as he tried to get the news out.
Phantom turned to him.
"Really, tell me Rolan-kun, where could it have gone?" Phantom asked in his usual tone of voice.
"I-I don't know, Phantom-sama." Rolan replied. He had a look of worry in his eyes. What if Phantom-sama becomes angry ..?
"Well, let's wait and see if any news comes up about it, this may prove to be quite entertaining." Phantom's voice came out smooth, without the least amount of worry.
The three woke the next day the same way they had been for the last fifty-one days. It was Keina's turn to collect breakfast and she went out to do so. Nanashi laid back and relaxed against the grass in the nonchalant manner that he normally did. Alviss knew that today was the day that he would talk to Keina, but first, he had to see if Nanashi knew anything. He glanced over at Nanashi.
"Have you noticed anything about Keina?" Alviss questioned. He didn't want to sound like he was suggesting anything.
"Mm?" Nanashi hadn't heard Alviss's question, or at least, had acted like he hadn't.
"Have you noticed anything peculiar about Keina over the last few months." Alviss repeated.
"Hm..," Nanashi pondered the question for a moment. "I guess that depends on what you mean." Nanashi answered.
This caught Alviss's attention. Before Alviss could question Nanashi's reply, he continued.
"Compared to most girls, she seems to be less outgoing. She also seems to be quite tired a lot." Nanashi searched his mind for anything else he could add. After finding nothing, he turned his attention back to Alviss.
"Why, what have you noticed, Al-chan?" Nanashi's question caught Alviss off-guard, but a rustling in the bushes nearby indicated the Keina was back, and saved Alviss from answering.
"I'm back." Keina said cheerfully as she came to the two boys. The two looked up and took some of the fruit that she had collected.
"What should we work on today?" Keina asked. So far, they had done a lot of work on hand-to-hand stuff.
"Magic Stamina." Alviss answered coldly.
"Why don't we just take a break today Al-chan?" Nanashi suggested. Hope dripped off of each word he spoke.
"We will rest on the last day." Alviss answered. Nanashi wanted to argue with this, but decided to hold his tongue.
Keina wanted to argue too, but quickly shoved another bite of fruit into her mouth to restrain herself. Fifty-two days hadn't been enough to resolve the rift between Keina and Alviss. Keina often went to every extent to try and avoid making eye-contact with him. Alviss often did the same. They hardly ever spoke to each other, and when they did, it was three words maximum.
Keina could feel the relationship between her and Alviss grow worse, and she knew that it didn't have to be that way. Their relationship was balanced precariously on a ledge, any slight force to either side could cause it to fall into oblivion. Either way, neither of them wanted to be the cause of this, so they just avoided the situation all together. Keina didn't like it, but there was nothing she could do about it.
The rest of day went by smoothly. Magic Stamina work was difficult, but each one of them improved at least slightly over the course of the practice. Before they realized it, the day had slipped by and they were already preparing for the night. The boys had gone to the stream, while Keina stayed behind. She had already gone to the stream and was now lying down and letting her thoughts wander. The night was cool and peaceful, just as always. Keina stared up at the canopy of trees above her. When we leave the training gate, I know they're going to come for me. I'm going to have to leave before that so I don't endanger the others. Who knows what would happen if-
Keina's thoughts were cut off by the sound of Nanashi's voice coming from some where nearby.
"Oi, Kei-chan! " Nanashi's voice came out friendly and carefree.
Keina looked up and smiled a greeting, carefully avoiding Alviss's eyes.
"Let's go for a walk!" Nanashi suddenly offered. His eyes were bright and as far as Keina could see, his intentions were pure.
After considering the pros and cons, Keina decided that a walk with Nanashi wouldn't be so bad. It was still an hour or so before dark, meaning they had a bit of time. Keina hopped onto her feet and stepped over to where Nanashi was.
"All right, Nanashi-san." Nanashi flashed a smile and the two began to walk together. Just then, Nanashi paused and turned to Alviss.
"That all right with you, Al-sama?" Nanashi asked. Alviss's facial expression remained apathetic.
"Why wouldn't it be?" Alviss's voice held no interest in it what so ever.
Nanashi shrugged and began walking again with Keina beside him. Perhaps tomorrow, Alviss thought. He had no intention of rushing anything. Besides, he wasn't looking forward to it either.
When they were out of reach if hearing, Nanashi turned to Keina.
"Kei-chan, what's up with you and Al-chan?" Nanashi's question was innocent, but Keina had to choose her words carefully to keep it that way.
"I don't know, ask him." Keina didn't think any harm would come from the words she spoke.
"I did. He said almost the same thing, but he didn't say to ask you." Nanashi replied.
Nanashi frowned. "I know Alviss asks for more trust than most folks require, but I don't see why that means he won't even look at you." Nanashi looked up, smiled slightly and added, "You are quite pleasing to the eye."
"I don't think Alviss judges people by looks." Keina said. "Especially girls." She added quickly.
Nanashi nodded slightly and looked up thoughtfully. I wonder what he's thinking, Keina thought watching him. She took another step forward, and suddenly, tripped over a stick that had been lying in the grass in front of her, and fell flat on her face. Instead of watching where she stepped, she had been observing Nanashi's facial expression. Baka, she thought irritated at herself. Nanashi let out a long laugh, throwing his head back and being as dramatic about it as he could without looking unnatural. Keina pushed herself up and bushed off the dirt she had on the front of her shirt, glaring at Nanashi.
"Watch where your walking, Kei-chan." Nanashi stated just barely recovering his composure.
"Shut up." Keina muttered. They walked for a few moments in silence before they began speaking again.
"Nanashi-san?" Keina questioned. "Can I ask you for a favor?" Keina looked hopefully at Nanashi. Perhaps he could help her out.
"Depends on what that favor is." Nanashi stated. Keina was about to open her mouth to speak when Nanashi stopped her. "Let's sit," Nanashi said walking over to a tree "walking takes so much effort." Nanashi plopped down and leaned his back against the tree.
Keina walked over and sat against a tree facing Nanashi. I think that's why they call it a walk, Keina thought to herself. Nanashi looked up at her expectantly.
"So, what's this favor you want?" He asked, a hint of interest in his voice.
"Well, " Keina started, " I was wondering if you could help me become..friends with Alviss." She wondered if that would be even possible and then added, "Or at least figure out why he hates me so much so that I can change, to make him accept me?" Keina realized that she was starting to ramble on, and she looked up to signal Nanashi's decision.
Nanashi was quiet for a moment. His face was downcast and he seemed to be deep in thought. The sky of the Training Gate was growing darker, and they would need to be heading back soon. Well..? Keina wondered. Suddenly, he looked up and had a glint in his eyes that made Keina feel a bit uncomfortable.
"I'll see what I can do." Nanashi answered.
Keina was about to sigh in relief, but she held her breath. Something about Nanashi's expression said that he wasn't finished yet.
"But.." Here is where the glint in Nanashi's eyes became very prominent. "..You'll have to do something for me in return." Nanashi had a large, perverted smirk on his face. Uh oh.. Keina thought, I wasn't planning on this. She looked up at Nanashi reluctantly and braced herself.
"What do you want?" Keina asked.
Nanashi smirked pervertedly at full force. "I'll do it if-" dramatic pause "-you let me see you naked."
"What!? Forget it, I can deal with Alviss as an enemy for the rest of my life for all I care." Keina stood up and was about to storm off when Nanashi grabbed her wrist. She turned around to see what else he could possibly want after his unthinkable request.
"Wait, I changed my mind." He said. This caught Keina by surprise. "Just a kiss will be good enough."
Just a kiss? That seemed odd for Nanashi. This baffled Keina. It seemed too innocent. A kiss was just quick do it and your done; no long feelings of regret and embarrassment. A kiss, Keina considered, if it fixes things with Alviss I guess it's not so bad..at least, not as bad as it could be. I think I actually might do this. Keina picked her head up and looked at Nanashi's face to make sure he was serious. There was no sign of insincerity on it.
"You're serious?" Keina asked just to make sure.
"Yeah," Nanashi smiled slightly, as if he was trying to prove his point more clearly.
"If that will get you to fix things with Alviss, I guess I can." Keina confirmed.
Keina brought her face to his and quickly pecked him on the lips. It was quick and emotionless, but made them both smile anyway. Keina drew her head back and quickly added.
"Now, you'll talk to Alviss, right?
"Yeah," was Nanashi reply. Then, he said something so quiet, Keina wasn't sure if he was talking to her or himself.
"Sealed with a kiss.." Nanashi then did something unexpected. He sighed deeply, almost sadly, and laid his head back against the tree so that his face was tilted up slightly. His hair covered his eyes, but the rest of his face was still visible and Keina watched as a single tear glided slowly to the edge of his face, then fell off on to the grass below. Tremors ran through him every so often as he fought his emotions back. Keina stared in helplessness. What have I done wrong now? she asked herself. Just then, without thinking, she brought herself closer to him and put her hand on his cheek. Next, she carefully leaned in and very softly brushed her cheek against his, wiping the tear away in the process.
"Nanashi..?" she breathed, not sure how to proceed.
She hadn't been in this kind of situation before. The helpless feeling she had was unbearable. She watched as the normally goofy blond thief before her struggled with his thoughts and become quiet and unreadable. Damn it! Do something..the voice in her head commanded. What? She cried back to the voice frantically. Before she could react, Nanashi stood up with his arms around her waist, pulling her up with him. He then buried his face in Keina's neck and began to tremble slightly more.
"I'm sorry,..Kei-chan." Nanashi breathed so softly it was barely audible.
Keina felt wetness sliding slowly down her neck. She wrapped her arms around the blond thief and embraced him in the most comforting hug she could muster. She stroked his back soothingly with two fingers and sighed. Great job! She thought sarcastically.
Nanashi's tremors stopped slowly. He lifted his face up to see Keina's. Her eyes were filled with a burning concern that made Nanashi feel guilty.
"I'm sorry, Kei-chan. I won't-" Nanashi began. Keina stopped him before he could go on.
"It makes me happy to help." Keina's brightness made Nanashi feel better. "Thank you." Keina added.
Nanashi stared at her, slightly baffled. Then, he shrugged it off and whispered in her ear,
"I miss Dorothy-chan." were the words he whispered.
Keina felt sorry for him. As goofy and eccentric as he could be, even Nanashi had a heart. It made her feel kind of honored to be able to witness slightly what went on within it.
"We don't have that much longer in here. You'll see Dorothy soon." Keina stated reassuringly.
Nanashi smiled at Keina; however, the smile didn't reach his eyes.
"Let's get back." Nanashi then said. He began to head in the direction of Alviss.
Keina followed a foot or so behind him. She had been so caught up in the moment that had just occurred; she hadn't realized that it was completely dark around them. Wow, I didn't expect something like that..Keina thought to herself. But then again, I don't know what to expect anymore. She and Nanashi had been out a long time. I wonder what Alviss is thinking...
I told you it was bad, see now you believe me. I'll try to make the next chapter better.
Also, thank you so much to my reviewers! I can understand if you send me flames now, it's perfectly understandable.