Watery Grave Chapter 3- Collection.

-Same warnings as previously stated. I do not own thief lord nor the lovely characters, merely borrowing them for a short while. Also, so sorry for the terrible delays. I am quite forgetful. Feel free to chuck things at me.

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Realization can be the starting point of any great endeavor. It can also be the beginning of the end…

It had been quite awhile since anyone could remember seeing the brunette. Over a year right? Perhaps it was Boniface's birthday, though that was over eighteen months ago. But if he really thought about it, and Prosper felt guilt roil in his stomach, none of the group had rarely seen him after the first month or so of the children officially leaving the Stella.

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The following weeks after the wooden wing and merry-go-round debacle were certainly hectic for the rag tag group of children.

Between originally being assigned the task by an unknown benefactor in a confessional located in one of the many cathedrals constructed along the peninsula near the Mediterranean, the revelation of the great Thief Lord's less than honest life as the son of the honorable Dottore Massimo, the actual theft and discovery by the owner of the wing, further dabbling with the count and being revealed the merry-go-round of the Merciful Sisters-

No one could question that a child's life was far simpler than that of their adult counterparts.

Certainly their lives would have become much simpler if they all had accepted Signora Ida's invitation to stay with her in her large house, though only Hornet, Prosper, and Bo had accepted. Mosca and Riccio had declined and instead stayed in the Stella after Victor had managed to 'accidentally' leave one of the entrances unbarred up as the others had been, perfectly unperturbed at the thought of living off the money Scipio brought them from his father's menagerie of gilded trinkets.

Originally when it had been revealed, all of the children of the Stella were beyond forgiving and forgetting that their seeming leader was nothing but a lying rich boy, though eventually, after everything that had transpired with the Counte's request, they had forgiven the boy. And it did help that the boy continued to provide all of them the lira they had still desperately needed.

Regardless…

The sound of laughter permeated the air as the occupants of the Spavento household and their guests enjoyed a picnic styled dinner in the gardenia. Both adult and child alike were all smiles and good cheer as the sated their stomachs and need for pleasant company.

It was going on five weeks since the merry-go-round, Hornet, Prosper, and Bo settled in Ida's home as her children, and Victor on his way to becoming Ida's husband, as was evident by the shiny band on Ida's finger. Everything seemed to be falling into its rightful place, much like puzzle pieces.

Or so it might seem to some.

It was not missed by the group that they seemed to see Scipio less and less as the pandemonium seemed to die down, though no one seemed all that surprised. Judging by what they had seen that evening of unmasking the thief lord's identity, his father had quite the vice like grip over his son and his actions, something which seemed to have increased since they had stepped on to the Dottore's doorstep.

Victor had also informed them that he had heard the elder Massimo considering sending his son out of the country for some high class prep school.

It was not as though they no longer saw him though, in fact, it appeared that they saw him far more often than they had when they had all been living at the Stella together. He usually came by the house once or twice a week, though his visits were often quite brief, not that anyone really cared.

Despite the apologies on his side, as well as their acceptance on theirs, the relationship they shared with him was dulling as the days went by. Prosper seemed to be the only one who really seemed to be unchanged, save for Bo, though Bo never seemed to care for such distinctions anyway.

What was worrying though was that despite his more frequent visits, the boy seemed all the more distant, perhaps made even more obvious by his frequent appearances. One can not notice something when it was not present. Though the mask the boy dawned often enough was memorable on its own.

Prosper had made several comments about his observations, but both Riccio and Mosca reassured him that Scip was fine, that he was often at the Stella. This revelation surprised Prosper, but he could understand the other's reasoning for wanting to be there, what with all the happy memories there. Despite that though, Prosper still felt slightly unnerved at the older boy's distance. But, with his friends' assurances, he let the worry fade away. Even the worry he felt when Scipio's visits were always veiled by his infamous mask.

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Prosper had to bite his tongue to keep the saline that threatened to spill forth from the corners of his eyes. How could he have been so stupid?

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"I don't think he is saying anything Prop, I think he's screaming."

With such a revelation, one expects something more dramatic in the background- people running to in thro as if trapped in a storm, sirens ringing through the streets, even an explosion perhaps. The only response given was another pained, dry sob from the brunette who finally felt true helplessness.

And there was no comfort his little brother could offer him that would, in any way, ease the pain he felt condensed in his chest.

Bo looked on in hurt and sympathy, recognizing the pain his brother felt, he too feeling it as well. Looking around for something further he could do to bring any help, he saw the members of his surrogate family standing within the doorway.

Their appearance brought a small smile to the little boy's lips, knowing that although he could not be of much help, they would.

The blonde raised a hand to his brother's shoulder, hoping to bring him comfort before thinking better of disturbing him. The choking sobs still were issuing from his lips, though slightly muffled, the brunette having raised a hand in the hopes of containing his sorrows.

Bo looked pained when he saw his older brother like this, the boy always being a rock in their relationship, holding it together- for Bo.

He looked to the doorway, pleading to them with large, red rimmed eyes. And his prayers were answered.

Hornet, Riccio, and Mosca had been ushered into the hall by Ida, she placating them, informing them that right now, the less people were in the room, the better the boy could be helped.

Not once did she say Scipio's identity, in fact, no one said anything as to the person's identity at all. It either did not need to be addressed- they all could hazard a guess as to who would seek refuge in the Stella, or it could be attributed to just how caring and sympathetic everyone was- that they all felt obligated to help another child in need.

As the other children were being addressed, Victor had entered the room, quickly evaluating Scipio's condition, or at least what was visible of it.

The child- and he was a child, as much as the boy hated the denotation, he was but a young child, made even more visibly so by how vulnerable he appeared, lying helplessly on the mat- was in serious need.

The sobs still permeated the air, but Victor ignored them for now. The injured boy needed him more. He knelt by the mat on the other side.

Ida had now entered the room, scooping up Bo into her arms and holding him close, knowing better than trying to move him away from his brother. Instead she just carded a calloused hand through his angelic blonde hair, trying to reign her own emotions in.

She wished to phone the hospital now. It appeared serious enough to her, but Victor had told her before to let him check the boy over first.

Why- she could hazard a guess. The boy was the son of an very affluent and wealthy man, a man who was held in high standing. And if his son, his only son was in such a state and not in the protective custody of his father and instead hiding in an abandoned theatre- there was cause for concern.

Her eyes which had focused so despairingly on the once ivory face, now moved to the trembling form of her son, still sobbing. Her heart went out to both of them, knowing how close Prosper was to Scipio, and how seeing him after so long in such a state.

She was drawn from him by movement closer to the wall, Victor getting to his feet, almost… shakily, ringing his large palms which were covered in-

"We need to call that ambulance Ida."