Chapter 2: The Dream Continues
"Wishes? You've gotta be kidding me." Tiffany's voice was heavy with disbelief. "Is that the best the government could do?"
"It isn't exactly the type of thing they can do a lot of research on, Susan," Tedd explained. "The only way to know for sure what would happen is to use it, and it disappears after being used once. They had to get their information off of some old documents they found with it."
"The whole idea is crazy!" she ranted. "Granting wishes like something out of a children's story."
"Umm, you do remember who you're sitting next to, right?" Ellen interjected.
"Susan may have a point," Nanase defended. There was that name again, which was obviously being used to mean Tiffany. Why was her name different when everybody else was the same.
"You too, Nanase?" the boy with the earring asked. "I'd think that you'd be the one to believe what it can do. You have more experience with magic than any of us, after all."
"That's exactly my point," she explained. "You all have never heard of anything that can do something like that, but none of you know a lot about magic. I've never heard of anything like it either, and I do know a bit about magic."
"What part of 'confidential government warehouse' did you not hear?" Tedd asked sarcastically.
The same dream. Well, almost the same. This dream seemed to take place right after the first one. Elliot wondered what they were supposed to mean.
"Elliot, get up!" Ellen yelled. "We're going to be late for school!"
"What? What time is it?" Elliot got up and grabbed the clock next to his bed. It was five o'clock.
"Just kidding, brother dear," Ellen said, laughing. "Payback for waiting until the last minute to wake me up yesterday." Still laughing, she walked out of the room. Was she having these dreams too, making her act different? No, she had always been like that. As children she would do things and make Elliot take the blame for them. Obviously, she couldn't frame him anymore, since they looked quite different from each other, but she still enjoyed finding small ways to torture him. Elliot wondered why his sister had to be such a sadist.
The Ellen in his dream had pointed something out to Tiffany. Something was supposed to link her with some kind of magic. Was she referring to her training in Anime-style Martial Arts? That might make sense, but it would be more logical for someone to refer to Elliot, who was more experienced in martial arts, or Nanase, who used more traditional magic as opposed to the 'ki' energy used by Elliot and Ellen. Yet Nanase had spoken up, and referred to her experience. She had doubted whatever they were all talking about.
He'd just have to sort it out later. Maybe things would become clearer if he dreamt again tomorrow night.
"What is it, Elliot," she responded.
"Does the name 'Susan' mean anything to you?"
"Where did you hear that?" she asked, slightly angered.
"You've heard it before?"
"Susan is my middle name. Where did you find that out?"
"Never mind, it's nothing." He got up to go to class.
"What was that all about?" Sarah asked, following him. "How did you know that?"
"It's just a name I heard somewhere, and I thought Tiffany might know where I might have heard it, that's all," he explained. "I didn't know about the middle-name thing."
"Yeah. I'm sorry about making you drop your books yesterday," he apologized.
"It's alright, you helped me to pick them up. I'm the one who should apologize for running off without helping you."
"It was right outside my classroom, so I still made it on time. Do you mind if I sit with you?"
"Your girlfriend might not like it."
"Melissa isn't my girlfriend," Justin corrected. "She was a few years ago, but… things didn't really work out that way. We're just good friends, now."
"Where is she, anyway?"
"Probably had to stay home today. I was getting a little lonely, so thought I'd come over and say hello."
"Nothing wrong with that, just don't start hitting on me."
"Don't worry, I won't." His confidence caught her off guard. "Is it okay if I ask why you carry so many books with you?"
"I like to read. Is something wrong with that?"
"Not at all. So what kind of books are they?"
"Novels, mostly. Sometimes I read in Japanese or French so I don't start to forget those languages. Then, there's this book." She held up an unmarked, leather bound book.
"What's that one for?"
"It's a secret, but I might just show you anyway. Are you doing anything tonight?"
Elliot parked his car outside of the Anime-style Martial Arts dojo. He made sure to lock the doors, since the dojo was not in the best part of town. After getting their uniforms out of the back of the car, he and Ellen headed entered the dojo.
As usual, they were the first two there, except for Greg. They changed into their uniforms, then began sparring to pass the time until the other students arrived. Like always, Elliot was careful not to use his full strength against his sister, but was also just as careful not to reveal it. If he were to accidentally hurt Ellen while sparring, she wouldn't be anywhere close to being as mad as she would be if she thought that her brother was going easy on her.
"Greg-sensei, I brought a friend tonight," Nanase called from the entrance. Elliot and Ellen stopped fighting long enough to go and greet the visitor.
"Ellen, Elliot, this is-"
"Justin," Elliot finished. Three pairs of eyes stared at him.
"Have you two met already?" Nanase asked.
"Do I know you?"
"Never met him in my life," Elliot clarified.
"Well, you've certainly done a fine job of running away this time. Too bad for you that I'm going to have to turn you in."
"You don't have to do this, Vlad. I know you support what I'm doing."
"What I support doesn't really matter now, does it, Hedge? You know as well as I do that she doesn't."
"What I'm doing right now will help her too, even if she can't see it."
"Try telling her that."
"She could be our sister again."
"That is where you are wrong. You always fail to realize that Grace started to die the instant Damien arrived. She stopped being our sister when she became our master, and the process is irreversible."
"You know I'm right, you're just too afraid to try."
"That may be so." He turned to leave. "I'll forget that this meeting ever happened. If you're smart, you'll return to the nest immediately, but I suppose that I should know better than to expect that much clarity of thought from you."
"I won't fail, Vlad"
"You'd better not, because the next time I find you, I'm taking you back, whether you like it or not."