A/N: This story, as you can tell after reading it, follows the plot line. But with a twist! Ethan's not there!
So... That means.... GENDER BENDING! ...Or is it?
Originally, this story was supposed to be during the story where an OC appears out of nowhere and sees Ethan in action but I thought better of it and made this one!
Ethan or Kori?
"Ow!" A small girl with long black hair and blue eyes hissed, looking at her scratched up hands. Wow, Sox scratched me up pretty good!
Sox simply meowed.
"Listen Sox… You've got to get a handle on your strength. I was just trying to get you cleaned up, you know."
Sox turned his head so that he could lay it on the bed. "…Mrowr…"
No use talking to the cat, I suppose.
"Mrowr…" Sox whined.
Uh-oh, he's ticked off again. Better leave him alone for now.
The small girl walked over to her bookshelf and grabbed the watch magazine lying atop it, shifting through the pages to look at the one she most desired.
These are catalogs of the watches I collect. I'm thinking of getting a part-time job so I can afford the one I really, really want. But tomorrow's my birthday, so I might get it from my folks instead. I'll try to casually float the idea past Mom later on.
She set the magazine on top of her desk and kept on thinking about things.
I just got back from school. It's still light outside… Probably because I came straight home instead of stopping at Chronos. Chronos is a café I visit pretty regularly. I stop by after school with Olivia… Emily… And Ashley. We all grew up together.
As she thought of her friends, a picture of each individual popped up in her mind.
"Leaaa! Tiiiim! Time for dinner!" Pamela, her mother, yelled from downstairs.
It's Mom. Time to eat already?
"Coming!" Lea yelled back and went downstairs to where her parents were waiting.
Prologue: A New Day
While Lea left the room, Sox went outside where a stranger walked in front on the house.
Whoa—It's even weaker than usual today.
Dad's silently digging into his dinner, as always. "Pass me that soy sauce next to you there, would you, Lea?"
So this is where the soy sauce went. "Here's the soy sauce."
"What is it?" Pamela asked when Lea looked at her longer than needed.
"Could you pass me the salt, Mom?"
"Here you go." That's when Pamela noticed the scratch marks on her daughter's hand, "Hey! Where did you get that cut?"
Timothy freaked out, "A cut?! Did someone attack you?"
"Huh? Oh… you mean this? It was Sox—Sox scratched me."
Timothy was immeadiatly relieved, "Oh, is that all? Don't scare us like that!"
Hey, who's scaring who?
"I was about to give Sox a bath when he went ballistic…"
Pamela giggles a bit, "Hahaha! That's Sox! He absolutely hates water, that cat."
"I'm through with bath duty!"
"Speaking of Sox… Derek hasn't been around lately."
That's right—Sox used to be Uncle Derek's cat.
"I'd say that means he doesn't need our money." Timothy assumed.
"Come on now, Tim…"
"Anyway, thanks for dinner." Timothy said before retiring from the table.
"Yeah, thanks, Mom." Lea said before following her dad's example and retiring to her room also.
As the stranger walked past Sox, the cat hissed at him before dashing back in from the window he exited—Lea's room window.
The window's open again. She thought before she closed the window, "Were you outside again, Sox? You'll get filthy out there!"
"Don't tell me you're still angry."
"Mrowr!!" Sox meowed angrily as if to say yes.
"Sorry, sorry. I won't be giving you any baths, okay?"
"…Mrowr." Sox meowed happily as if he actually understood what Lea said.
"Ethan! Tea's ready!" Pamela yelled again from downstairs.
Going down the stairs, she started hearing an argument.
"Come on, I only need a little! Just a tiny bit…!"
Huh? Sounds like Uncle Derek. Speak of the devil…
"I can't lend you anything. Try to understand, Derek." Timothy said, feeling a bit guilty.
"Well, I won't leave 'til you do! Whaddya think about that, huh?"
"We just don't have enough to spare. You can't rely on us like you do, Derek."
Lea thought she should cut in before things get ugly, "Oh…hi there, Uncle Derek."
"Hey, Lea—talk some sense into your stingy old man, would ya?"
"That's enough, Derek!" Timothy yelled, enraged, "Go on—get out of here!"
"Fine! I'm not gonna stand here and take your abuse! What's a little money between family, anyway? …Ahh, don't know why I should be surprised. You've always been down on me…"
"Well? Stop beating around the bush. If you got something to say, then come out and say it!"
"…You'll regret this…"
"…Better watch your back, bro."
And Mom's just sitting there drinking her tea… amazing! Lea noticed from her spot in the doorway to the kitchen.
"I'm outta here!"
"But, Derek—I have tea!"
"Forget the tea!" Timothy yelled.
"I'll just head home like a good little boy, all right? But I'll be back!" Derek left and slammed the door behind him with a huff.
"…When is he going to act his age?" Timothy asked the air around him, knowing there won't be an answer.
Looks like they have it pretty rough…
"Oh yeah—help yourself to an apple, Lea."
Lea grabbed an apple from the small basket on the table and took a bite just when her Dad spoke to her.
"So Listen… You're turning 17 tomorrow, aren't you?"
"That's right—17 years old!"
"What's with the sudden birthday talk, you two?" Seriously, where did that come from? "Oh, I get it! You probably don't know what to get me."
"What… to get you?" Pamela asked.
"You want another watch, right?"
Lea was immeadiatly surprised. Wow, she can see right through me…! "Aw, come on! Not really! Actually, what I'd really like—"
"Say, Pam, when are we going to talk to our daughter about… that?" Timothy cut in as if Lea actually never spoke in the first place.
"It might be a little expensive… But heck—it's my birthday! And college is just around the corner!" Lea tried again but this time it was Pamela who responded to Timothy's earlier question.
"Anytime is fine by me. I'll just duck out."
"It would have some really snazzy features—appropriate for it's cost, of course…" Lea said, trying to get one tiny bit of their attention but they still acted as if she never said anything.
"No, you should be there, too. How about tomorrow? Better sooner than later."
Lea was still lost in what her parents were saying, "Whoa, whoa, everyone—time out! Aren't we talking about… my present?"
"…We'll talk about it tomorrow, Lea. On the day you turn 17."
"Talk about what?"
"Come home right away tomorrow, okay? No side trips."
"Sure thing… but what about my present?
"Well… goodnight." Timothy said, not hearing Lea's words.
"…Man! He didn't hear a word I said." Lea said, exasperated.
"You two are a lot alike." Pamela noticed.
"Huh?!" I sure hope not! Better be careful…
"Dad's got a lot on his mind."
"See, that's just the thing. I've been thinking about a lot of stuff, too."
"But no one ever listens to what I have to say!"
"Oh, Lea, that's not true."
"Like you, Mom—I can tell you 'til I'm blue in the face, but you never season your meals properly!"
"Forget it! I'm going to bed!"
Lea stormed off, leaving behind her worried mother.
Lea ran up the stairs to her room and slammed the door behind her.
"...Mrowr." Sox meowed and got off from the bed so that Lea could sleep.
Lea sighed and turned off the lights, "G'night Sox…"
"Phew…" I think I crossed the line with mom tonigh
What was Dad talking about, anyway?
"...We'll talk about it tomorrow, Lea. On the day you turn 17."
Well, whatever. I'll find out tomorrow. And when Dad's had his say, I'll apologize to Mom…
Lea gasped, tugging at the blankets and turned in her sleep, hair flying everywhere, before she spoke in her sleep, "Where are you? Mommy where? Dad...?"
In her dream, where a fire seemed to be all around her, Pamela screamed in agony as a piece of wood on fire fell from the ceiling and landed somewhere close to them while Timothy yelled her name, thinking she was hurt badly. But before he could do anything else, time froze around him and everything turned gray. He was the only thing that could move and that still had color.
He saw that his wife was still frozen, "But who—who could've done this?!" An idea hit him, "Ethan! Was it you?" He asked, looking around for said person.
Mom…! Dad…! Lea's thoughts immeadiatly yelled for them while a portal appeared next to Timothy who looked around to see who could've made the portal appear but everything else was frozen.
"That appears to be the only way out." Timothy said before he grabbed Pamela in his arms and walked through the portal.
Mom! Dad! Wait for me! Don't leave me here! Come back! Mom, Dad, take me with you! No! Come back! Don't leave meeeeeeee!!
Lea's voice faded as another piece of fire on the burning ceiling fell to the place where she was watching.
"No…!" She gasped a couple of times before opening her eyes slowly and saw one black twitchy ear.
"Mrowr. Mrowrrr..." When Lea understood that it was only Sox, she rolled over to face the ceiling but then sat up, "W-was it…"
"…What an awful dream… but who's this Ethan character?" Lea thought to herself, placing a hand to her forehead, "Yikes, I'm dripping with sweat… I need a towel." But that's when she noticed that the scratch mark on her hand was gone.
Huh? My arm… What happened to that scratch?
She looked at her bed where Sox was sleeping. Did my blanket always look like this?
That's when she noticed that the matching black and white carpet was missing. Wait—where's the carpet!?
"This is… a different room!?"
"Mrowr!" Sox meowed, rubbing onto Lea's leg so that he could get her attention.
"What is it, Sox?" Looking at Sox's collar, she saw that it had something attached to it. "A pen? Where'd you find this?"
That's when Lea noticed the portal in the middle of her room.
"…" Could that be… the same hole I saw in my dreams…? Wh-what should I do? I guess it can't hurt to take a look… Hey—what if I tap it with this pen?
That's what she ended up doing, touching the purple hole with the odd matching purple pen in her hand.
"Whoa!" Lea yelled when pictures flew into her mind. "What was that!?" I guess it's what you'd call a flashback, huh.
"What's going on, Lea?" A voice asked and Lea couldn't recognize it.
"Who's out there?" She asked while opening the door only to see her uncle standing there, confused.
"Whaddya mean, who? There's no one else here but me!"
"I'd say that means he doesn't need our money." Lea remembered her Dad saying at dinner.
"…Beter watch your back, bro." Lea remembered Uncle Derek saying before leaving yesterday.
"Oh hi there… Come to see Mom and Dad again today?" Lea asked and Derek got even more confused.
"Huh? You still half-awake, kiddo? And what's with all the sweat?"
"?" Was Uncle Derek always this buddy-buddy with me…?
"Breakfast is ready, but go shower first or you'll catch a cold."
"Hey, what's the big idea? You're getting sweat everywhere!"
"What happened to Mom and Dad?"
"You know… Mom and Dad."
"Now I KNOW you're still sleeping. You think I'd go through all this if I knew where they were? After all, it's been 12 years since they went up and disappeared."
"What? Oh… er…really?" So is Uncle Derek looking after me, then? Yeah—he was a freelance writer, wasn't he…? At least, I think he was. I can't remember exactly.
"C'mon, snap out of it! You can't spend your whole day dreaming! Or am I gonna have to slap you awake?"
"I remember now—back when I was a kid, Mom and Dad…"
"Aw, man… Fine. I'm starting breakfast without you." Derek said, getting annoyed with Lea and leaving.
…Yeah, that's it. Mom and Dad disappeared 12 years ago. Uncle Derek lives in this house and looks after me. …So was THAT a dream? Living with Mom and Dad—was it real? Or was I dreaming?
Flashback one: The fire in his dream.
Flashback two: Uncle Derek reading a newspaper at the dining room table.
Flashback three: The garbage at school.
Flashback two, verified and confirmed.
"Mrowr." I see Sox hasn't changed a bit.
Lea soon exited her room and went downstairs after checking for more changes in her room, she found Uncle Derek reading the newspaper just like in the flashback.
Mmm… I smell coffee. We were tea-drinkers. But I do remember this smell…
"Hey. You awake now?"
"Uh-huh…" He's like a completely different person…
"Okay, I'm going out. You're on dish duty, all right?"
Derek then left Lea to eat her toast alone, which made her think about things some more.
Toast and coffee. I guess this is what we usually have for breakfast. But… Which part's the dream? And which part's real?
That's right—I've got school. Better get dressed and head out.
And with that thought, she got dressed into her usual school uniform and went to school where she couldn't keep her mind on her work. When school was done for the day, Lea stayed by the school's doors to wait for her friends.
Who are those two over there? Sure are noisy…
"Are you serious? Lemme take a look!" The first said.
"I'm totally serious! I found it when I went to take the garbage out. Isn't it awesome?" The second answered.
"Whoa! Dude! Lemme have half!"
"You nuts? What're going to do with half a clock?"
"Man, that's a real find!"
A clock, eh? I wanted a clock of my own yesterday. Now I couldn't care less…
"Leaaa!" A voice yelled and Lea had no idea whom it was.
That's when she noticed two guys walking in her direction. The first had short brown hair and glasses while the other had messy dark blond hair.
"Duh! Who else?" The one with messy dark blond hair said but then he nudged the one with the glasses, "C'mon Ben—what do you say?"
"H-happy birthday, Lea…"
"I know Vin is Ashley's big brother, but who are you?"
"Oh, I'm Ben. Ben Fourier…"
"Ben, eh? Well, thanks for the birthday wishes." Lea was ready to go home if Vin didn't stop her.
"Wait! Don't go anywhere! What about your present?"
"C'mon, Ben, where is it?"
"Oh, right. This is for you, Lea…" The shy boy handed over what looked like an antique clock.
"It would mean a lot to him if you just accepted it, you know!" Vin teased and Lea couldn't help but smile.
"Ben heard you liked clocks and picked it out special. And if you don't like it, just throw it out or something." Vin said, still teasing and Ben flushed.
The two boys left Lea with a wave from Ben and a wink from Vin.
"Hey, Lea!" Ashley's voice yelled a couple of seconds after the two left. "What are those two doing? Laughing amongst themselves…"
"They gave me a birthday present."
"Who did? Vin? Ew! Throw it away!"
"Why would I? He went to all that trouble…" A clock for my birthday… Just what I was asking Mom for yesterday.
"What's up, Lea? You're so quiet. Choked up over that present, eh?" Olivia asked slyly and Lea immeadiatly changed the subject.
"Hey, do you know anything about my parents? Anything at all."
"Whoa, way to change the subject, Lea." Ashley said.
"Aha—you really don't want to talk about that present, do you?" Olivia teased.
"Yeah! We can read you like a book!" Emily added in.
"No, no—that's not it…" Although the whole present thing WAS sort of embarrassing… But I reall would like to see if anyone knows about Mom and Dad.
"Your… parents, eh?" Ashley said, thinking over what she knows, "I remember how your mom would buy us candy as kids. But that's about it."
"Didn't you say they went missing when you were little? That's all we ever heard about them."
"I'm not quite sure how to put this, but… I head they went missing about 12 years ago."
"Yeah, I figured as much…" Just like Uncle Derek… They all say my parents disappeared 12 years ago.
"What is it, Ethan? Are you feeling all right?" Ashley asked.
"Hey, if you've got a cold, go home so we don't catch it."
"…Hahaha… Sorry, guys. I'll see you later." I'll think this over when I get home.
Lea left her friends and went to her house.
This is my house. It's like it totally changed overnight… or maybe it's just my imagination. Oh yeah—I think I'll put that clock in my room.
She opened the door and entered, "I'm home…" Looks like Uncle Derek isn't home yet.
Seeing that no one was there, she just went to her room and placed the clock on her dresser.
That clock looks pretty old. It might even be an antique. "Clocks… more clocks." Wasn't Dad supposed to tell something today, on my birthday?
"…We'll talk about it tomorrow, Ethan. On the day you turn 17."
"Mrowr…" Sox meowed softly to get Lea's attention.
"Hey, Sox… Huh?" Huh? There's a piece of paper on his collar. Maybe it was attached to that pen this morning.
Lea bent down and untied the note, reading it soon afterwards. "The Hollow Pen has been handed down through many generations of the Kairos family." Hollow Pen? Like, that pen from this morning? "The Pen will glow when certain conditions have been fulfilled. Then you can open a Hole in time. You'll learn the rest at the school's garbage dump. Be there 7 hours before on May 5. 7 hours before what that— …I'm so lost.
She placed the letter on her desk, sat down and read it again, trying to figure anything out but nothing came to mind. She tried to make sense of anything so she had an idea to go to the garbage dumb at this moment.
She went down stairs to see Derek sitting at the table.
"Uncle Derek—you're back!"
"Yeah, so? What's it to you?"
"N-nothing…" Uncle Derek sure isn't the easiest guy to talk to…
"Were you headed off to, anyway?"
"You were nearly out of the door. Just what time do you think it is, pal?"
"Er…well… I just wanted to get some fresh air…I've been studying all this time."
It's not like I can tell him I'm headed to school to look into that letter, after all.
"…Make sure you lock up. I'm turning in." And then Uncle Derek left to his room.
"O-of course." Phew…
Lea left the house and made her way to the school when she arrived at the garbage dump, there wasn't any garbage there, only an unused incinerator.
"Well, here I am…" Hey, wait a minute…! I saw this place once, just for a second… in that flashback… This is the place they mentioned in that letter… So something must have happened here "7 hours before". Now it's 10 which means around 3 today.
Flashback three: Verified and confirmed.
"Whoa! The Pen's glowing! So that means…" Lea grabbed the glowing purple pen and held it up a bit confused, "Now I—I use this to open… a Hole…?" Wha-a-at? How'm I supposed to do that?? Just… draw a circle here or something?
A leaf started to fall from a tree but then it froze and so did everything else. Everything turned grey in colour.
"Draw a circle with the pen…" She made a circle in mid air and beyond the portal there was garbage with a red box atop it. "Whoa! What's that?"
"Th-this Hole sure is deep…!" She plunged her hand through and grabbed the box, a note was attached to it. "Another letter… let's see what this one says.
"Beyong the Hole is a moment from the past. The Holes you open must be closed, or time won't start up again. The holder of the Pen must have the Time to use it. Once you've gotten the hang of the Pen, come and rescue us. P.S. This box is for you, in memory of the first Hole you ever opened. —Dad"
"…Dad!?" Looking through the box, she found the watch she had wanted for her birthday. "Huh? Th-this watch… It's the one I wanted yesterday… So THAT yesterday wasn't a dream after all! Oops! I have to close up that Hole or else!"
Lea tapped the hole with her pen and it closed up. "Whoa…! What the…?" Flashbacks flew to her mind almost instantly after she closed the hole. The leaf in midair continued to float down as if Lea never stopped time.
"Wh-what the heck was that…?" It got dark there for just a second…
…Achoo! I'm going to catch a cold if I stay here. I should head home and try to process all this.
Lea hurried home and Sox meowed at her for attention.
"Sox… Do you remember when I tried making you take a bath? You gave me a nasty scratch. Even Mom was fed up with you."
"I remember. After all… it was only yesterday.
"But what happened to the part that comes after yesterday? It's got to be somewhere… The rest of it all… a world with me, Mom, and Dad in it, living together…! It WASN'T a dream! I know it wasn't!" Lea took the pen and looked at it as if it was the answer to all of her problems. "I've got to rescue Mom and Dad—with this crazy pen of theirs…!"
To be continued…
A/N: There's a reason as to why the Hollow Pen is purple. Can you guess why? If you guess corectly, you win a BRAND NEW CAR!
Pfft. I don't have a brand new car you fool. You'll win a... BASKET OF HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE COOKIES!!!!
Tempting isn't it?
You know you want them.... ^-^