She stood in front of the window looking out, her face, for once wasn't covered by the mask that she had been forced to wear out of necessity, her long platinum blond hair free of the long brown wig that she used to cover the color. Asuna had been in a coma for four years now, and it was quickly starting to look like they would have no choice but to take her off of life support. She hated the thought of her cousin dying, but she hated deceiving Asuna's friends and classmates even more.
The colored contacts that she used to hide the color of her eyes lay in their container on her office desk.
It had been three days since the last attempt to bring Asuna back from the edge, mainly because she had used so much of her power that she had revered her bodies natural regeneration of damaged cells and organs and had nearly bled to death before Eva could stop her from continuing, if Takamichi hadn't have showed up, the mages of the school would be planning two funerals instead of one.
It was sunny outside today, bright and cheery, the girls of class 2-A were outside chasing Negi around again, she could hear the sounds of their laughter, and yelling even from where she stood and glared, annoying chits were pawing her half brother again and it was staring to piss her off as she watched the eleven year old run away from his rabid fan club and wanted to break something.
It had been like this since their return from the Kyoto trip. She would have liked to spend more time with the brother who knew nothing of her existence, without interference from the others, but sadly that would not occur for some time now. She reached out and touched the cold glass of the window and shivered at the sudden chill that ran down her spine.
Is this what Asuna had felt when she had been struck down by the demons that had come looking for her, to kill her? She wondered as she continued to watch the scene play out below her office window and wondered if maybe it had been better if she had never come to the school to watch her cousin and brother at all.
"Negi..." She said his voice very quietly as she heard the soft sounds of Takamichi's foot falls as he entered the office and silently closed the door, she didn't need to look at him to know it was him, she always knew who he was by the sound of his foot falls, and the smell of cigarette smoke that clung to his skin, hair, and clothes.
"Should you be out of bed?" the man asked as he quietly closed the distance between them.
He had been looking for the young queen for the last hour and a half thinking that she might have returned to Eva's resort, where Asuna; the real one was being prepared for her death and knew that the queen would be holed up here, in her office watching the brother that she had been charged with protecting when their father had died.
He stared down at her, she looked like death itself. So pale, and fragile. Her semi reopened wounds had had to be taken care of quickly the night before since the worst of them had reopened the hold in her heart, the one that she had received when she had used a pactio to take the wound from Asuna that fateful night four years ago, and into her self.
The doctors had warned him that if she didn't rest and recover until the wound disappeared again that she really would die. He had been horrified to find her standing over Asuna's hospital bed the night before pouring her vital life energy into the girl as she bled. Yet he had known that he would find her here, feeling guilty, and full of self loathing for failing to protect her older cousin. His heart ached for her, once Asuna was gone...Negi would be next.
Something that he knew the queen would not tolerate under any circumstances. She would use her power to destroy the worlds of human, and mage first. "Probably not, but I could'nt sleep." He reached out to place his hand on her head, and stopped. She didn't want to be comforted right now, but she needed a kind word, someone to thank her for trying so hard to keep the school, it's students and everyone else in the world safe from harm.
But knew that she wouldn't accept anything he said as the truth, she believed that she was an epic failure, she refused to see the good that she had been doing ever since becoming the queen. But he saw it. Eva saw it. Al, the headmaster, and many of the other mages who had pledged their allegiance to her, her work, her safety and well being knew that she had been pulling the strings from the shadows from the very beginning, trying to save as many as she could without sacrificing any.
It was a tedious job, mind numbing, horrible work, it was a thankless job that showed the horrors of all man and mage kind. The war, the famine, the death. They saw these things everyday, they fought for, and held the hands of the ones too weak to fight or save themselves. They gave comfort to the dying and cried along side the living. He sighed and put his hand on the top of her head as she pressed her forehead against the cool glass.
"You need to go back to the room and try and get some rest." He said gently as he ruffled her hair. She closed her eyes for a second and felt the tears that she had been holding back finally start to slip down her cheeks, a soft sob tearing itself from her throat as she hung her head in defeat.
"I know, but I can't rest. I have to be there." I can't let her die alone without being there to hold her hand, and tell her just how sorry I am that things turned out this way. She thought as Takamichi dropped to his knees in front of her and wrapped his arms around her.
His poor queen, she had fought so hard to save Asuna and now she had sit with her as she took her last breath, girl's death would weigh down the queen's heart in ways that no one else would, if it didn't end up killing her instead.
Negi was walking down the hall with Setsuna, Konoka, and Kotaro when they saw Takamichi coming down a stair case to the side of them carrying Asuna in his arms bridal style, Asuna seemed to be unconscious as he looked over at them with a surprised look on his face. Or maybe it was a wary look, it was hard to say. "Takahata sensei, what happened to Asuna?" Negi asked curiously, Asuna had gone out early in the morning to do her paper route and hadn't come to class all day, he was just a bit irritated that she had skipped class, and with her bad grades it would take forever for her to make everything up.
The man gave them an apologetic smile, "Asuna was in an accident and was hurt-" Negi paled, dear god had he been wishing that the gods would strike her down for skipping all day? And she had been hurt, he was a bloody monster!
Setsuna, Kotaro, and Konoka all paled along with Negi and started spazzing out. "How bad was she-"
"Are any bones broken-"
"Why isn't she in the hospital?"
"You mean that she was human after all-" Takamichi sighed and glanced down at the girl's face, he could still see the trek marks from her tears on her face, the dark circles under her eyes, and the paleness of her skin from almost dying, yup she looked like hell. Which was why had chosen to go with that story instead of simply saying that she was sick.
"Calm down please, she was hurt pretty badly, some pycho tried to hurt another student and she butted in and got herself stabbed in the chest, the was blade was fairly small and missed her heart, but it bled quite a bit, so she needs to stay off of her feet as much as possible. You don't have to worry about her suffering from the blood loss the doctors took care of that, so as long as she's stable and rests she should be fine."
Okay so there were some inconsistancies with his story, but lets face it; they were kids and it sounded scary enough to be true even if it was only half true.
Negi looked at her pale face and wanted to cry.
She must have been scared when she had been hurt, not to mention the pain that she must have been in. He had jinxed Asuna with his bad thoughts about her getting struck by lightning or hit by a giant pikachu from the toy store in town, he felt like a total jerk for thinking that she had skipped out on class just for fun, even if it was sometimes true.