Chapter 1: I Reached Out My Hand

"Mai, are you coming?" Kyousuke Hyoubu asked. I'm a girl with calm eyes, long blonde hair, and a smile on my face who follows him down a hallway.

"Yes." I nod. I'm a level 7 esper, a girl who has a strong sense of justice. However, I work with Hyoubu. I never hurt anyone very badly, I only knock them out. My conscience is huge, so I can't stand to do anything worse.

"Today, we're going to break down a Normal People base." He told me.

"All right. But… Don't hurt anyone too much, all right?" Hyoubu blushed at my innocence.

"Fine, fine…" he pouted, and I giggled. I know it doesn't make any sense… Why would I ever team up with him? Maybe it's because… We're alike? People misunderstand us. Hyoubu seems scary, but he's a real sweetie. And you know what the weirdest thing is? …I'm in love with him.

It all started back in America. I was about to commit suicide by the river, I was so fed up with people bullying me, my brother becoming a delinquent… It was too much. The water rushed quickly past my eyes. But as I stepped toward the edge…

"What are you doing?" A tall man with white hair looked deep into my eyes, like he was piercing my soul. I hate people looking me in the eye. I feel weak, scared, like a bunny rabbit before a wolf.

"…I'm worthless in this world." I told him, "I'm different. No one wants me anymore." I continued to walk.

"You have a lot of potential, don't give up." He grabbed my hand and pulled me close to his chest, not on purpose, but to get me away from the fall I was about to take.

"No!!!" I screamed and tried to push him away. While I thought I would fail, a red light pushed him away quickly.

"You're a level 7 esper…?" he looked at me, "And a psychometer to boot."

"What…?! What is this…?!"

"It's OK, calm down." He cooed, "Come with me. I can help you control your powers and use them well." The man walked towards me, "My name is Kyousuke Hyoubu. What's yours?"

"…Mai Nellaki." I nodded to him.

"Mai, please, come with me." He walked towards me. Could he save me? I thought this to myself. I reached out my hand to his, but when we were about to touch…

"Espers!!! Two of them!!!" A middle-aged man with a pistol yelled to the other behind him. We both looked up quickly, and Hyoubu dashed in front of me.

"Stay behind me, let me be your shield." He told me strongly. I blushed at the way he told me. I felt safe, even though a gun was pointed at us.

"Damn espers!!!" the man shot the gun. My eyes widened as the bullet dug into his skin. I screamed my lungs out so loud that it seemed like I couldn't hear at all. I didn't know my voice had powers. But it did. My desperation to save Hyoubu gave me a new power of voice. The men fell on the ground.

"How dare you…!" I looked at them with evil, furious eyes. With my hand, I lifted them into the air and slammed their bodies down on the ground, just enough to knock them out.

"Hyoubu…!!!" I fell on me knees sobbing. I held his bleeding body in my arms, his head in my hand.

"You have a lot of potential, didn't I tell you…?" he smiled and pulled the bullet out with his powers, "You're like me."

"How can I save you…?! Are these powers for nothing…?!" I cried.

"Look, hold your hands over my wound and imagine that you're healing me."

"All right." I closed my eyes, "Please my inner self, let me heal Hyoubu…! Please…!" A blue and white glow sparkled above him, and his wound closed up.

"Yup, you're doing well." He smiled and stretched good as new.

"Thank god…!" I ran up to him and held him tight, "Oh, I-I'm sorry, I just…!" Tears dripped from my eyes. I hadn't felt like this for at least a year. I was happy, but still scared.

"It's all right." He hugged me back, petted me like a frightened child. And to him… I probably was.

After that, I moved to Japan, my stepfather was very relieved that I was leaving, and my mother was super worried. Hyoubu was taking me in as my guardian. After all, he looks 19, but he's really over 90. When I got there, he gave me my own room, next door to his. The little girl esper, named Mio glared at me for being so close to him.

"I'm sorry to intrude." I bowed honestly to her, and she forgave me only a little, but it was a start. From then on, I helped him in his missions. I knew I might be used, but I trust Hyoubu. I really do. One time, on a mission to get rid of some of the Normal People…

"These are the houses where some of the normal people live." He told me, "We're going to make a big flood and kill them all." My knees weakened, and my heart beat a mile a minute.

"You can't…!" My eyes were wide, tears flew from them like a waterfall. I screamed, and Hyoubu covered his ears.

"What is it? What's wrong?" he yelled to me over the noise.

"You don't know what happened to me!!!" I cried.

"Tell me. Is there a place you can explain it to me?"

"…Yes. Read my mind, and you'll know." Hyoubu stroked my hair again like a little girl, and held me tight, reading my mind at the same time. We appeared at a neighborhood that was destroyed, a house was in front of us. It was broken, and water stains went up to the second floor.

"This is…?" He asked, waiting for an answer.

"My home… I lived in it most of my life." I told him, "A hurricane came, and it ruined my life…! I lost all of my friends, my first love…!" I sobbed.

"Mai… I'm sorry…" He hugged me tight, knowing he had done something wrong.

"You know…" I told him quietly, "I'm usually afraid of men touching me… But… I feel so safe when you do…" I held my face close to his chest.

"I'm glad that I'm special to you." He smiled softly, so gently, like he had no hatred in him anymore. I wanted to show him that not all humans were bad.

"All right," I say in the present, "Let's storm this base!!!" I burst the door down.

"Intruders!!!" the guards call.

I hold my breath as this life starts to take its toll

I hide behind a smile as this perfect plan unfolds

But oh, God, I feel I've been lied to

Lost all faith in the things I have achieved

And I

I've woken now to find myself

In the shadows of all I have created

I'm longing to be lost in you

(away from this place I have made)

Won't you take me away from me…?

"Good job reaching your emotions, you knocked them out good."

"Thanks." I high-five him.

"Let's go." He starts to walk ahead.

"Wait!" I call to stop him, "These people need healing." I sing a gentle song to let them have good dreams and heal their wounds.

"Kyousuke, she's so soft! Why are you in lo-"

"Shut up!" he hits the little squirrel on his shoulder to quiet his mouth, Kyousuke's face is red.

"Don't be so bashful!" He laughs.

"Don't make fun of me!!!"

"Hyoubu-sama, you're so cute when you're angry." I giggle and run on without him.

"Hey, wait up!" he blushes and tries to catch up with me.

"It's fine, it's fi-" I'm cut off by a bullet in my heart. A man had shot at me. The role from so long ago was reversed. Hyoubu screams out my name, running to catch me.

"Mai!!! MAI!!!

"She'll die any minute!!!" the little squirrel checks my health.

"You bastards…!!!" he lifts his hand, "She even took the time to heal you people and give you good dreams, and this is what you do to her?!?!" he teleports us three out of there, and for a second, I can see what is going on. We are above the base, Kyousuke has a murderous look in his eye. With one twist of his hand, the entire base blows up. My eyes go wide, knowing that all of those people have died. People who's mothers spent time and love to raise them. All of that is gone. Tears drip from my eyes. Hyoubu has gained a craving for blood. And it's all my fault.

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Back at our HQ, he takes me into the infirmary and puts me on the bed. One of the women espers comes in to heal me. Hyoubu leaves for a while to cool down, and the woman examines me.

"You're really lucky you're alive." She told me, "You should be dead, but you're not. Weird." She raised my shirt off of me and put her hand on my breast. She lifts the bullet out and heals me slowly. I know how I'm OK. Hyoubu was curing me on the way back, in desperation to hold onto my life, "I can close the wound, but you'll have to go into the infirmary. You need to regain your blood." She connects me to a machine for my breathing. I inhale through the mask she puts on me, taking in the oxygen. It hurts so much, I feel so weak.

At night, I open my eyes, they flicker. I see Hyoubu sitting in a chair, fast asleep. He must have been waiting for me to get better. But I knew of the plans Hyoubu had for those people who opposed us. And if I was in danger again… Who knows what would happen to them. I pull off the mask, and I see him as he wakes up.

"You're all right, I'm glad." He comes and hands me my clothes, "Why don't you get dressed. I want to talk with you." He leaves the room, my heart beating fast. What did he want to talk about…?

"What's the matter, Hyoubu-sama?"

"I'm going to kill every single one of the Normal People for what they did to you. Come with me."

"No… Hyoubu-sama, this isn't right, and you know it."

"Not right?!" he yells at me, "I… Almost lost you…!" he says hoarsely, and I think he really was scared to see me die.

"Hyoubu-sama…" I hug him softly. Not like a child, but like the 18-year old woman I am, "Thank you for worrying about me… You've always saved me. You saved me from myself, you saved me from that bullet…" I gained a small blush on my face, "…I love you." I tell him softly, and he strokes my face with his hand.

"In all my years of living," he whispers in my ear, "I've never fallen in love with anyone, and I never expected to… Until now I met you. I fell in love with you, Mai." We reach our lips towards each other, we're both shy. We kiss warmly, and I know what I must do. Even though we love each other, I know Hyoubu will kill all of those people, all for my sake. I have to leave. I have to go to Babel. I have to go to the Zettai Karen Children, and beg for their help.