Meh: Oh.... crappppppp...

Nor: You should run.... You're 2 months over due... Its past Christmas and New Years.

Meh: I'm sorrrrrrry Ok... Plus I think people are more pissed about Guardian Angel not being updates yet....

Nor: Whatever. She doesn't own anything but me... As much as I hate to admit it...

Meh:... I hattttttte school... I hope you like Chapter 10! Enjoy!

Chapter 10: Traveling Over Dunes

"I see you've finally woken up." Nor calmly followed Kratos's voice over to the group as they stood by Noishe's pen. Kratos was currently giving him the evil eye along with Raine. Colette was oblivious to it all, a cheerful smile on her face.

"Did Genis and Lloyd wake you?" The blond asked wondering why the two boys weren't following behind him. Nor felt a small tug of a smirk forming on his face as he remembered the looks of horror that had plastered themselves on the two boy's faces. It was ever so satisfying.

"Yes. And now they know why waking me is a very bad idea…"

'At least not without a huge steaming cup of coffee to accompany it…' Nor thought sipping at the remnants if his coffee. It had disappeared faster than he thought it would, probably because he hadn't had any in so much time.

"Is that why they look afraid to leave the inn?" Kratos sighed looking like he was getting a headache. Nor turned slightly to see Lloyd and Genis poking their heads out the door, only to slam the door shut as soon as they saw him.

"At least they know better now." And if they knew better maybe next time before they tried to wake him up they'd brew a few cups from him. It would save them lots of pain if they did.

"It seems you have scared them quite well…" Raine said almost amused. Nor nodded, impressed with himself that it had only taken two words to make them so terrified. Now if they were going to be like that later on it might not work out so well.

"They need to toughen up. I'm certainly not the one they should be scared off." No, there were other things to be afraid of… What was to come and what would be… Not to mention if he screwed everything up. "Oh grow up you two." He called over his shoulder as the inn door creaked open once again. "I'm not going to kill you."

"Yea! Like we believe that!" Lloyd called Genis nodding besides him.

"Come on Lloyd! I'm sure Nor wouldn't hurt a fly." Nor looked over at Colette. The blond hair had to have something to do with the lack of brain cells… It had too. It was ether that or the sheltered life under the church had turned her utterly oblivious. Did she not see him fight at the base?

Kratos seemed to have the same thoughts. "Stop before you make me mad." That was enough to have the two racing out the door to Kratos. While they were afraid of Nor, they were terrified of Kratos.

"Impressive. I wonder what my sister would do if she were here. Perhaps it would be too much to ask if she would actually listen to someone for once…"

"From the way you describe her I doubt it…" Kratos said giving him a slight look of what look like pity? "Though it wouldn't be the first time…"

'First time? First time for what exactly?'

"Oh, Nor?" Nor glanced over to Colette who had started to speak. "Shouldn't you check around for your sister? You said she might be here."

"She isn't…" He muttered after a moment causing some very confused looks. "She can't be."

"How can you be so sure?" Asked Raine looking at him to see if he knew more then he was letting on to. A small smile graced his face as he closed his eyes.

"Call it what you will but… I call it a bond… My sister calls it twin telepathy."

"Telepathy?" Oh how lovely… The professor was getting that look in her eye. That slightly crazed on that reminded him of a rabid dog eying a juicy steak. "Are you saying that you and your twin possess the ability to communicate with each other without speech?" She said excitedly looking up at Nor with new found interest.

"Not what your thinking of. Its more along the lines of I know if she's close or not. We do however seem to finish one another's sentences occasionally." Nor admitted to the crazed Teacher who nodded still looking him over. He did not want to be her next experiment. Nope. Not one bit.

"I've never seen twins before... They aren't exactly common in Isielia..." The Professor was looking at the red head with absolute delight. "Is it true that twins personality's are exactly alike?"


"How about your looks?"


"So you look like your sister?"

"Yes but-"

"Do you look like your mother or father more? Are ether one of your parents a twin? Do twins run in your family? What about-"

"I look like my father and if you care, my sister is more towards my father as well. I can't give you the answers to the last two because I simply Do. Not. Know." Nor said doing his very best to end the conversation and fast. If he thought it would have done him any good he would have turned tail and ran but he had to follow them. Just like the army, desertion was not an option.

'Note to self: When Kara is found, hug her then throw her off a very large cliff.'

"We can finally head out to release the seal. That is if you're done fooling around." Kratos said saving Nor from anymore of Raine's questions. He merely nodded his head avoiding saying anything else that might incriminate himself. And possibly get Raine's attention diverted elsewhere. Preferably not at him.

Colette bobbed her head happily. "Yes. I'll do my best!"

"The seal Remiel spoke of is in the Triet Ruins southwest of here." Raine said finally calming down and taking her normal role as the information guru. Nor was silently cursing out the 'angel', praying that he might be able to get off a shot at he's least favorite character. The sooner the ijit died the better.

"Cool! Let's go check out that seal!" Lloyd cheered excited for what was to come.

"We'll see if that enthusiasm lasts…" Mutter Genis to Nor who snorted.

"If it lasted as long as it did in the base, it won't be very long at all..."

"I'll be fine! Just you watch!"

Raine shifted the bag that was nested on her shoulder and pulled out a rather larger book. "Oh, I just remembered. Let me give you this." She said handing it over to Lloyd who looked at it like it might try and bit his fingers. He should be glad it's not the monster book from Harry Potter. Now with that book you had a chance of losing a few fingers.

"It's a book for gathering data on your enemies. It will be incredibly useful for protecting the Chosen."

"I…I'm going to do it?" Lloyd asked paling looking at the book over again more at the mere size of it.

"I'll help, too. Just think of it as homework." Lloyd gagged at the word 'homework' not expecting it to show up on the journey. Not helping Raine. Not helping one bit. It was like adding salt to chocolate cake... Not tasty, no matter what Kara said.

"We should get going." Kratos said taking up the position as leader of sorts in the group. Not that Nor minded. It was probably better off that way. Lloyd still was new at traveling and had a long way to go before he could make the decisions in the group.

'He'll have to prove himself to everyone... I wonder what you'll do to gain my trust, Lloyd.' He had said that he would follow and protect the red clad teen. That, however, didn't mean that he trusted the decisions he made. Trusting the teen to cover his back in the base and now were two completely different things. He still was too hot headed for Nor's tastes. As much as he hated to admit it, it looked like Kratos was going to be calling the shots for a long time to come.

"Nor! Come on!" Nor's eyes focused once again and saw the rest of the group standing toward the gate. Well at least they were waiting for him. "Hurry up and stop dreaming!"

"Yea, Lloyd does that enough for all of us!"

"Genis!" Genis laughed running away as teen chased after him out the gate and into the dessert. Not the smartest thing but he wasn't going to stop them. It wasn't like things were going to get any better. If anything they would only get worse as things progressed.

"Well... Shall we go?" He asked getting the rest of the group to follow the two in to the hot dessert.


And boy was it hot. Not even walking for 30 minutes, Nor felt exhausted as he trudged through sand dunes to keep pace with Kratos of all people. Maybe he wanted to prove himself or some other ridiculous notion but it kept him going forward. To make matters worse, Noishe had disappeared leaving Nor all to his lonesome. Meaning if something happened, the dog couldn't help him.

"Sand... Why is there so much bloody sand!?" He hissed to himself as another gust of wind blew the annoying particles in to his face. At this rate he was never going to be able to get the sand out of his ears let alone his hair. And what about his clothes? It was like going to the beach without the wonderful oceanic view. And water. Absolutely no water.

"It is a dessert Nor."

"I really don't care... It's annoying me!"

"You're starting to sound like Lloyd..."

"Again, I don't care." He hissed shaking his head once again in a failed attempt to get any of the annoying bits out. It was failing miserably but at least he felt a minor relief as the air cooled his skin, even if it was for seconds.

"Hey, are you alright?" Nor turned his head to the side only to see Lloyd looking at him a slightly worried look on his face.

"The heat and I do not agree with each other." Nor snorted, burrowing his chin in the collar of the vest. "It likes to burn my skin."

"Sunburn is cause from Luna's rays not the heat." Genis corrected standing on Lloyd's other side having a more difficult time trying to keep up with the taller boys.

"Well heat means the sun is out, so my apologies on associating the two..." Nor retorted with a snap, closing his eyes as a more sand kicked up into his face.

"Oi, no need to be nasty." Genis muttered after the sand calmed down.

"... Sorry... I tend to snap if I'm too hot." It was going to be a long day. The temperature was already making him angrier than usual.

'Deep breaths Nor...' He told himself trying to keep him to keep his cool. Figures the only time he doesn't is when its too hot.

Or when Kara does something stupid to the extreme.

Or when... Not going there. Nope.

"Um so Nor... What's the rest of your family like?" Lloyd asked a grin on his face once again. Nor was just going to have to get used to it too. Lloyd after all was one of those positive types while he himself was a bit of a pessimist.

"Well... What do you want to know?" He asked in return hoping the light-hearted conversation would keep his mind off the heat. Thinking about it always made it worse.

"Anything!" Well that narrowed down the list... Let's see...

"My family consists of my father, sister and myself. My mother passed away a long time ago." He whispered. It wasn't like it was painful to mention. She had died when he was just a kid. There wasn't much to miss... The only memories of her he had was of a smiling face.

"Ah yes. I remember you saying something to that effect during the fight with those Desians." Raine said butting in on the conversation obviously listen to Nor talk about his family. "My condolences." The others said some words to the same effect. Even Kratos gave him a curt nod of sympathy.

"Thank you but as I said she died a long time ago, just after I turned 4... I don't remember much about her at all." Nothing but those blurry memories of her face filled with love and tenderness anyway. But he thought that was enough in its own way. She did love him. She loved him very much.

"Oh um what about your father then?" Lloyd asked starting Nor off for a long and angry rant about that. His father. Oh dear lord he did no just ask about that man...

"My father is annoying pest that needs to learn how to cook a single meal without burning water!" He hissed but it was only the beginning of his frustrations. "When I was 5 he almost burned down the house! My sister the idiot she is wanted to play with and I quote 'warm pretty dancing red lights'. He's just lucky enough that I managed to call for help while he tried to put the fire out himself. With water! WATER! It was a grease fire for god's sake!"

"Uh Nor-"

"Another time the ijit thought it would be ok to leave my sister in the bath unattended. She ended up needing stitches in her forehead because of a fall! Then one time in elementary school he forgot to pick us up from school and we had to walk home... It was 3 miles away. WE WERE 7!" He practically shouted, ready to kill. Where were the monsters when you really needed them?! Mana or not he'd tear them to shreds.

"Your father isn't exactly a fit parent is he?" Kratos asked in a slightly amused tone. If that was amusement that Nor heard and not something else.

"No. Not in normal terms he isn't. He can barely take care of himself let alone my sister and me..."

"You don't think he loves you." What Kratos said wasn't a question. Nor felt like he had been slapped across the face.

"No. He loves me... He loves the both of us. Probably more than anything else..." Nor admitted looking back at one of the dearest memories he held. It wasn't a terrifying one with a happy ending. "When I was 10, my dad took Kara and me to a park to have some fun. He lost us after going to get some food. Soon it was dark out and we were terrified. At that time we thought he had left us there and didn't want us anymore." Colette let out a gasp while Lloyd looked at the redhead while he told his story. "I felt abandoned..."

"But?" Genis said urging him to continue interested to see hear the end.

"But hours later, as dawn broke, there he was covered in dirt and scratches. He had been looking for us all night. I could tell from his red eyes. I think that was one of the only times I'm seen my father act like a real parent..." Or cry for that matter. That was a well kept secret he hadn't told anyone. His dad cried when he found his kids and Nor had cried too at being finally found.

"That's so sweet! You do get along with your father!" Cried Colette happily at the fairy tale like ending of the story.

"I think that proves that you can never truly hate family..." Nor said a small smile forming. He didn't hate his sister or his father. He hated these situations they got themselves into. For being Irish, they had some bad luck. He took a quick glace at Kratos in triumph.

'Yea Kratos. Sulk as you can't say anything to your son.' It was cruel but completely necessary in his eyes. Family, while being a sore subject to him, was one of the most important things in his world.

"Well that's enough about my crazy family. What about the rest of you?" The red-head asked encouraging more conversation. It was lonely being the only one talking as it was so unusual for him to talk so much at all. And honestly he liked listening more than telling his own story. Gave him time to think then to reminisce on his own experiences.

Family though was a sore subject for all of them. Nearly a minute passed of nervous glances from one another seeing who would spill first with the children. Kratos and Raine had no interest in revealing anything from the cold looks on their faces. He had made the first step, now it was up to them to continue or not. It wasn't like it wasn't information he hadn't heard before. The game was rather detailed on how most of the heroes' families were ether dead or has special circumstances. Thinking about it, the only family Nor didn't know anything about was Regal but from the way they all connected he'd have to guess they were dead.

"Um..." Heads turned to Colette looking extremely nervous. Looks like she'd be the first one to open up. "Well my own mother died when I was born but I live with my father and grandmother in Isalia." She started only flinching slightly when she saying she lived in Isalia. She already knew her fate so it was to be expected.

"I'm sorry." Nor whispered an apology, bowing his head slightly. Colette's blond hair waved around as she shook her head furiously.

"Its not your fault!" She said a blush forming on her face from embarrassment, he hoped. "I mean I would have loved to have meet her once but father told me many amazing stories about how pretty and kind she was It was like she was always there watching over me." It may have felt that way but there's something you can never replace being held in the arms of your mother.


"She sounds like an amazing person..."

"I'm sure she was!" She answered cheerfully but almost too much so.

"So no brothers or sisters?"

"No but I always liked playing with the little kids in the village!" Not what he meant but close enough. The whole village was probably very close because of its small size. Probably made it a lot easier from them to realize who's and outsider or not. They probably grew there own food as well... Oh god it was like Harvest moon all over again... Even making friendships... Oh dear.

"Nor what are you laughing about?" Asked Lloyd looking at the Redhead like he was insane. Nor bit back his laughter forcing it down.

"Sorry. Just thought of something..."

"Care to share?"

"Not really..." He said trying very hard not to start snickering again. Then he thought of Lloyd in overalls.

'Crap... I'm never going to get that out of my head...'

"Ok then... Well you know that I live with my dad outside the village. The grave of to the side was my mom... She was killed by Desians when I was little..." Lloyd's words trailed off leaving him with clenched fists. He was still furious at finding out his mother had been killed by the people who had a deal with the village. He wasn't the only one to be sure that had lost family because of them. But he would be the one to change it.

"What about your father?" Nor asked wondering if was forbidden by felt the need to ask anyway. More information. That was what he needed.

"Dead... Probably... I really have no idea what happened to him..." Lloyd said with a shrug not really worrying about it at all. He must have gotten over it a long time ago. Nor's eyes flickered over to Kratos, staring at the man.

How were things going to go during this journey? Nor had the opportunity to help their relationship or hurt it even more. He wasn't sure what to do. His own relationship with his father stunk. Did he have any right to screw around with someone else?

"Is there something you'd like to say?" Nor found the red eyes of Kratos glaring back at him. Shit, he had noticed.

"Nothing." Nor looked back over to the rest of them still feeling Kratos's narrowed eyes on his back. " What about you Genis?"

Genis looked panicked as he glanced around for some sort of escape. " I live... Lived with my sister in Iselia." He said correcting himself with a flinch.

Lloyd caught the look of distress instantly. "I'm so sorry Genis... Its all my fault..."

"Its not your fault, Lloyd... I should have never gone near the ranch..." Genis said lowly his hand covering the Marble's exsphere almost in shame.

"She wouldn't want you to blame yourself..." The red head found himself saying trying to console the boy. From the scenes he had seen and heard about, none of hit was solely his fault at all. He couldn't blame himself for this that were clearly beyond his control. "I'm willing to bet that she enjoyed the fact someone cared enough to see her despite the risks. You probably made he very happy just smiling at her and treating her with kindness.

"Nor..." Genis started to say before another sand storm picked up blowing sand once again in they're faces and ending any conversations. Leaving Nor quite curious to if Genis knew anything about his parents at all...


They had spent the rest of the day fighting the sandstorm out, going against its winds to the destination beyond. They had barely been able to keep it out of the water let alone anything else. As the group came to a small oasis late in the day, Nor was exhausted. The heat had almost been to much at several times during the day causing his to stumble more times than he could count on one hand. He had been able to hid these signs of weakness to the best of his ability by somehow he just knew that Kratos had noticed. The pain from Effret was not as bad as it had been the days before. The sapping of strength had dulled into a minor headache only causing him slight annoyances if he moved to quickly. Still it was enough to make him wish that he had a painkiller of any kind. Where are the drugs where you need them? Besides that, the only other side effects was he's tense movement and sore body but that could just be from the week he'd had.

Sadly it wasn't even like he could fall asleep yet. Nor placed his things on the ground away from the others closer to the surrounding trees. He still wasn't considered a member yet. More than an acquaintance but still less than a comrade. How long would it take for them to except him at all? They knew little to nothing about him and they thought the same of him. While he wasn't sure about Lloyd in general. The red clad teen had made a point to be friendly with him. Offing him a snack as the walked or asking how he was doing. Small things that made Nor wonder what Lloyd was thinking about and what the teen thought about him. He had saved him from the base; helped him escape from his cell and death sentence. That and he told the teen that he would help him no matter what... It wasn't something to be taken lightly and the more Nor thought about it the more he wondered what his words truly meant to him.

Oh god what had he gotten himself into...

"You think too much..." His eyes focused on Genis who was standing in front of him holding out a sandwich. He took it gratefully it being the first piece of food he had seen in hours. His hands reacted almost instinctively taking the sandwich and raising it up for him to eat. Nor didn't realize how hungry he was.

"Thanks." The red head mutter his gratefulness. They didn't have to feed him. He, after all, was a tag along. "What do you mean?"

"You can tell when you start to think because you get all spacey and your eyes get unfocused like you not really seeing what's in front of you." He said watching Nor eat his sandwich. "So what are you thinking about?"

"Just... Family..." Genis froze up immediately and began to play with the ends of his shirt. "Nor I-"

"It's ok." Nor said cutting him off before he could say anything else. "Not everyone has an easy time talking about family. I won't force you to say anything you don't want to say. I apologize for making you feel uncomfortable."

They sat there for several seconds before answering a quick thanks and rushing over to Lloyd and Colette who were sitting by the fire chatting. Nor continued to nibble at the sandwich until it dwindled away into nothing leaving him half full and wanting more. He started to shuffle things around in his bag looking for anything else to eat when he heard the sand shift next to him. Well with Lloyd, Genis, and Colette over by the fire it only left two people.

"Nor..." Raine said quietly so not to be over heard by the others. He cast a sideward's glance up at the professor noting her eyes as they darted from him to Genis. While he hands were by her side they were unnaturally pale. "I just wanted to thank you..."

"For what?" It wasn't like he had done anything outstanding in the last day. If anything he had only mad it worse by talking about family in front of Genis. He was going to have to go over things on what to say and what to avoid at all costs.

"While it is your fault that Genis started to think about family, you reassured him about the death of someone who was dear to him. I'm not sure how much it counts but I want to thank you anyway." She said calmly bowing her head slightly. Nor watched until closing his eyes with a sigh.

"That's not all you have to say is it?"

Raine sighed, "No. I want to warn you. If you do anything to hurt them, anything at all to betray the little trust I have in you, then I will not allow you to continue with us. Ever again for that matter." She said firmly glaring down at the red head leaving no room for arguments. Nor almost wanted to laugh at the seriousness of the situation. It was about at awkward as a father telling his baby's boyfriend not to hurt her. Except, he had no plans of hurting them, any of them including the over protective professor. Time could only tell if this promise would be true or not because after all nothing is set in stone.

"I can only tell you that I'll try my best... But then I'm sure you realize that's all you can get out of this situation." He replied looking at the 3 as they slept curled up near the fire trying to stay warm in the cold night air. "I can only offer them my help... Whether or not they want to make it something more is up to you and them."

"You sound as if you have no choice in what happens to you." The words she said stung Nor but at this point they were very true. His own life lay in the hands of them depending on what they said or did and in return would effect if he received mana to live. If everything went like it did in the game he would be fine... But because he was there could change everything all the same. His influence on the groups decisions would have to be minimal and pray that nothing went astray. If anything did... He'd just have to set it right no matter the cost.

"I have a responsibility that may be to big a burden for me to carry. I will try till my last breath to see it through in hopes that I will find a way to make sure everything will ok..." Partly quoting Aerith left a bitter taste in Nor's mouth but the words were true.

"You speak as if watching over Lloyd is going to be difficult..."

"From what I've seen of him and his personality, its not exactly like he is an angel..." Nor smiled thinking about the irony of his words. "If anything he attracts just about as much trouble as my sister... Which isn't exactly something to be taken lightly..."

"I see your point..." Raine admitted reluctantly looking fondly over at the sleeping trio. They spent a moment staring at them before Raine broke up the small silence. "You should get so rest. Tomorrow we'll arrive at the Ruins. It would be best if you were at your strongest." She said ending the conversation and taking her own place by the fire.

'If only you had any idea...' Nor thought as he watched Raine slowly nod off. It was a struggle at first as she tried to watch over her brother but soon she too was asleep. Nor should have closed his eyes but found himself unwilling to do so. If he fell asleep all of this could simply be over with him back home and out of harms way. All of the events in the past few days could disappear like it had never happened. If it was a dream though would Kara be there at home? Or would she still be gone and all the things he had done would be for nothing. Most of all if he fell asleep now it leave him in a very vulnerable position of being watched by a certain crimson eyed mercenary.

"You should sleep like Miss Sage recommended." The man voiced his eyes focused on Nor as he sat far from the fire and the rest. Kratos was positioned with his back to several rocks allowing him to see the whole camp from were he sat. He was the one with night watch duty and honestly until Colette got her wings Nor could not think of any one better to watch over them at night. Even if he wasn't entirely comfortable with it.

"Not yet." The red head said sending a weary look at the man. "Not just yet..."

"Is there something you wish to say?" In truth, there was just to much going on in Nor's mind for him to fall asleep. Sure it had been easy at the inn but he had been completely and utterly exhausted. So priority was just to get some rest but not his mind, while weary from the all the traveling they had done, was still able to look at all the things that had happened. He had plenty to say but nothing he could voice without risking being heard.

Well maybe there was one thing. "Actually when we were back at the inn, you never answered me. Why were you so shocked to hear my last name? Does Sinclair mean something to you?" Nor asked truly curious and slightly afraid of what he might hear. Worst comes to worst there could be a criminal running around with his last name and Kratos thought they might be related. Yea, that would be no fun at all.

"There was a old family of somewhat wealthy descent that lived in Asgard by the same name. There was a rather huge fire destroying the whole family leaving nothing behind. The only thing left of the family is the sabers in their name that as still sold there and in Luin. I crossed my mind for a second that it might just be possible that you could be distantly related but they lived centuries ago." So that was it? The only reason he had received such looks of horror from him and Yuan was from a family long since dead? It just didn't add up. What could one family possibly do to cause such pain with two of the most powerful people in the two worlds? The answer was simple. They couldn't.

"Oh..." He mutter the only reply he would give the mercenary. Well at least it wasn't a madman...

A whine was heard from behind him, turning his head slightly he say Noishe standing not 3 yards away watching them with his black eyes. He whined again and trotted past Nor without a second look over to Kratos. Nor was sure that he was going to lay down next to the mercenary if not for the way the auburn man was glaring at it. Whimpering this time, Noishe stepped cautiously away to lay down next to the much nicer Nor.

"What to scary for you?" Nor asked the big scaredy dog raising an eyebrow in amusement. You think after 4000 years Kratos's glares of doom would have no effect on the protozoan. Apparently not. The dog just whined some more shifting just enough so Nor was blocking his view of Kratos. Nor just smirked and leaned back into fur. Noishe squawked out at the added weight. "If I'm being used as a shield the least you can do is let me use you as a pillow." And partly as a blanket. The dessert night had turned the air cold and Noishe was a space heater with all that fur. He closed his eyes pushing back his thoughts to be left off until tomorrow.

No more confusion, no more pain, just simple and blissful sleep.


"Be brave, dear Sinclair, for your name bears a curse."

"A curse that will reveal what has long been forgotten by all and one who will kill to keep it."

"Good or bad, what will be revealed you must sort out to be the truth or false."

"In your eyes for those you trust to see, a far greater mystery than just your other half shall be learned."

"Be brave, dear Sinclair, for with you lies all hope of the future."

"And may all the luck in the world be by your side."

Meh: So there ya go... After a long wait chapter 10 is dooooone! Happy New Years guys!

Nor: Maybe this year she'll update every two weeks like she said she would...

Meh: ... I would be lying if I said that would happen but I'll try my best! Please review!