I'm terribly sorry for not uploading this before I left! Even if it's been three days since I've been on FF, I feel so bad. But, you see, I've been having difficulty describing things here and there and sometimes, I feel as if it's not enough or not descriptive enough. Thank you for those waiting (and have enough patience to not strangle me in my sleep)!

And so, the moment you've all been waiting for~ Chapter 16 of In Keeping Secrets!


All three of them walked down the street, laughing and talking. Lucy would often be the slowest in the group, apparently walking in a normal rate while the other two were walking too fast. But in reality, Lucy wanted to see whether or not Vivaldi would let Break get close to her. She took noticed that it seemed like they were close but it also seemed like Vivaldi would put a barrier between her and Break.

It was something that was so expected of Vivaldi, that Lucy knew, that it would almost scare her at times.

The school bell rang as they approached the school. The school itself looked very sturdy, made out of concrete and as many windows with surrounding flowers near by. Despite being a dull grey, it seem to fit in so naturally in the surrounding buildings, almost seeming majestic.

Soon, little children rushed out of the doors, exploding with loud screams and laughter. Vivaldi smiled as she saw Sam approaching, with a giant smile on his face. Lucy stepped forward and held out her arms.

"Hello Sa—!"

"Vivaldi!"

He ran toward Vivaldi and wrapped his arms around her. He hugged her very tightly, enough to make Vivaldi stagger a bit. Vivaldi blinked and smiled back at the little boy. Break, on the other hand, twirled around with his sleeves and laughed at Lucy's disappointed state.

"That's what you get for being so ugly~!" Emily snickered.

Break tried his very best to "discipline" Emily but couldn't because he was giggling too much. Lucy instantly glared at Break and proceeded to take aim at him with many uncanny threats, with a tight fist in place. Vivaldi placed a hand on her shoulder, telling her that it's a part of him. Lucy sighed before smiling back. Though half of her didn't really believe her.

"Alright, let's get—"

"Wait, Lulu!" Sam took Vivaldi's hand. "Nee V, can we go to the Rainsworth house?"

Lucy looked at Vivaldi waver. She wondered if it was because she was deeply tired or of what the people would react afterwards. Personally, Lucy didn't really want to go to the mansion. It wasn't because she hated everyone there or harbored harsh feelings, it was because she was worried about Vivaldi's wellbeing. When she went to Dr. Sinnett to ask for some extra medication in case Vivaldi ran out, it was then that he told her of the incident.

It almost killed her hearing that she almost died. Lucy dropped her gaze down. In reality, she should be grateful that she survived and also grateful for the man that stayed with her but… worry and sorrow overcame her, blocking all reasonable thoughts at that moment.

"Lucy?"

Her head snapped up, staring at Vivaldi and Sam. Both looked back with distraught. Lucy glared at the two before flickering both of their foreheads. Simultaneously, they both held their forehead and said ow. It was adorable actually.

"I'm worried, idiots. Are you sure you want to go?"

Despite using her regular tone in her voice, she could hear her own worry in her voice. Vivaldi smiled softly at Lucy, causing her to blink back in astonishment. She then looked back at Break and smiled at him. Break blinked back. He seemed confused.

"If Break would let us…?"

Lucy half glared at Break as he eagerly agreed, skipping down the sidewalk as if everything was fine and dandy. Lucy knew that Break knew about Vivaldi's condition and he still let her go? She was going to make sure sense was knocked into him until he's practically dead.


By then, everyone was in the coach that Break had gotten for them. On one side, Lucy and Sam sat side by side with the other side occupied by Break and Vivaldi. Break mentioned the ride itself would be long because of how far the mansion was and fortunately, Vivaldi had already explained to Sam that it wasn't the true manor. With that in mind, it seems that Sam has also fallen asleep against Lucy.

Vivaldi stared outside, watching blue skies and green grass pass by. Birds flew by in groups and many flowers popped up just to say hello. It felt sort of relaxing to her as she sat her and watching. In fact, she felt more comfortable sitting her and gazing instead of sleep in her room. She turned to glance at Lucy, which she caught glancing back before quickly looking away.

"I'm fine, alright?" Lucy slightly looked up, her being skeptical.

"I promise!" Vivaldi raised her hands in defeat.

If Lucy could, she would've crossed her arms. Vivaldi slightly pouted at her disapproving attitude. She herself felt fine, albeit she was tired but that was to be expected. Lucy sighed nonetheless before looking at her with tired eyes.

"At least sleep during the ride. Break said it was going to be long so it's the perfect time,"

Vivaldi guessed that she saw through her disguise and unfortunately, she used that as an excuse. She smirked slightly afterwards, which proved Vivaldi's point.

"Fine, fine, I'll—"

"Sleep on Break~"

Vivaldi looked at Emily than back at Break. She forgot that Break was playing with Emily this entire time. His hands tighten around Emily as he looked up, almost daring Vivaldi to sleep on him. She awkwardly laughed it off, moving slowly away from him. Lucy, on the other hand, snickered to herself.

"My my, you should sleep on him. After all, you are both married! It'd look so cute too" Lucy turned to stuff her face in her other shoulder. She was laughing to hard.


When the carriage came to a full stop, Vivaldi hasn't fallen asleep and Sam had woken up a few minutes before reaching their destination. Break got out first and helped both Lucy and Vivaldi down while Sam, having never ridden a carriage before, hopped off. Vivaldi giggled as Sam looked up with green eyes filled with wonder.

"Wow! That's a big house! I can't imagine what the Rainsworth house looks like!"

"That's because its not a house, it's a mansion, dummy~" Lucy teased. Sam pouted at her.

"But a mansion is a big house, Lulu," Vivaldi corrected her, which in turn caused Break to make a comment about Lucy's intelligence level.


They were only on the first level of the house, near the steps, since they went inside. It took a while because of Sam wanting to look outside of every window and seeing if it made a difference, no matter how many times Vivaldi told him that it wouldn't make a difference. Sam was so amazed, it wouldn't surprise either of them if he were to jump out of the windows. (Though hopefully, he wouldn't.)

"But I wanna see something amazing!" Sam cried back. Vivaldi patted his head.

"Anything and everything you see is amazing, Sam. It just takes a while for people to realize it," she smiled softly at the boy and Sam nodded.

He took her hand and told her that he'll stop looking around. He seemed slightly depressed when he said that but kept his word. They started walking down the hall before a flash of yellow appeared and bumped into Vivaldi. She fell down and almost brought Sam with her. The yellow flash turned out to be Oz as he rubbed his head.

"Oh crap, who did I— VIVALDI!" His eyes went wide and helped her up.

"Hello to you too," Vivaldi teased as she took Oz's hand. "You shouldn't be running down the hall, Oz."

"I-I know but I have Gil's hat and he's gonna—"

"OZ!"

Oz turned around quickly before running behind Vivaldi and hiding behind her. He pulled on Lucy's sleeve and Sam's cloak and pushed them against Vivaldi as Gilbert came closer.

"Vivaldi? what are you doing here? You're not suppose to be here," Gilbert looked sincerely worried and almost instantly forgot about Oz taking his hat.

Oz, on the other hand, mentally laughed as he gave Vivaldi a pat on the back. Then he decided whenever she was here, Oz would have to stay close to her, so long as he had something of Gil's.

"O-Oh… well Sam wanted to see what a "big house" looked like so…" she trailed off, chuckling uncomfortably as Sam gripped her hand tighten and almost hid behind her.

Gilbert nodded and was able to go back to where he came from before he stopped dead in his tracks, looking back at Break's suspicious smile, Vivaldi's awkward grin and Lucy's dead-panned expression. He let his brows furrow for a minute before fully facing all… four of them. Gilbert wondered how in the world did he miss it.

"H-Have you seen Oz?" He didn't like the looks they all held.

"Why, my uneducated fool, he is right there~" Break happily pointed behind Vivaldi and all Gilbert heard was a long list of insults from behind her.

Gilbert quickly went behind Vivaldi and started to chase Oz down the hall. All they heard was Gilbert screaming for Oz's name and his hat and Oz laughing very loudly. Vivaldi sighed, shaking her head slightly and before she knew it, Sharon and Alice were approaching her. Before they even began talking, Vivaldi explained the situation and why she was here. She pushed Sam lightly in front along with Lucy.

"Miss Sharon, w—"

"Sharon, Vivaldi, please," Sharon smiled at her.

"Then Sharon," Vivaldi smiled back, "would you be so kind as to show both Lucy and Sam around the mansion?"

Sharon nodded while Lucy looked back at her.

"You sure? Its okay if I stay with you, you know?"

"Yes, but what about Sam? He needs his company as well," Vivaldi nodded as all four of them went away.

She felt a tug on her coat and turned around. She saw a very amused yet tired Oz, grinning at her but this time, without the hat. She looked up and saw Gilbert coming up the stairs, with his hat rightfully on his head. Despite Oz's failed attempts to try and escape with it, he seemed fairly proud and Gilbert too.

"Hey, Vivi! Can I show you something that I found?" Oz asked, his eyes gleaming brightly.

"But of course, master Oz," Vivaldi replied.

Oz had pulled her hand down the stairs, outside, and into the forest, with a bewildered Break and a content Gilbert following behind. Oz had said that it was something amazing and that he had found it a couple of days ago while he was "exploring", so he called it, the mansion and the area surrounding it. Though they weren't too deep into the forest, Vivaldi suddenly became aware of how tired she was. Even though she tried her best to hide her weariness, she could feel stone cold eyes staring through her back and she almost knew exactly who it was.

For if it wasn't Lucy, it was that person then.

"Here we are!"

Almost securely isolated, a circle of wild flowers grew in the middle. Vivaldi blinked in astonishment. There were many colors just blooming out of nowhere. Pinks, blues, purples, yellows, even oranges seem to decorate the small isolated circle. Birds seem to also come out of nowhere, often perched on the tree branches or flying through the flowers just for fun. Vivaldi walked forward and bent down to look closely at one of the flower that seemed to be drooping.


...


" Is this flower dead? "

" No, its getting ready to sleep. "

" Sleep, but flowers can't sleep? "

" Oh yes they can, just not our kind of sleep. Flowers sleep in a very special way. "

"It's amazing, V! Flowers, when they sleep, become a seed again and they'll wake up again! "

" Momma? "

" Yes, dear? "

" I wanna be a flower! "


Vivaldi blinked back and smiled sadly at the droopy flower. It was beautiful too. It was a pink with a yellow tint, almost giving it an out-of-this-world look to it, especially with the dots in the middle.

"Aww, that flower is about to die," Oz looked over, frowning slightly.

"No, its not's dying…"

"Eh? Then what it is doing?" Vivaldi smiled.

"Sleeping."