Mari sat sullenly in her quarters beneath the Vatican, working on patching up one of her brother's shirts after his last mission against an impish man named Rumpelstiltskin. It was torn in several places from the man's sharpened nails, but her brother had defeated the beast and even rescued the child he held before he returned to Rome. He was out on a mission now, tracking down some poor fellow that had dabbled in witchcraft and science.
She missed her brother, was afraid for her brother, but she knew why she'd been ordered to stay in Rome ever since she and her brother had stumbled into the church. She wasn't normal. Not that her brother, of all people, could be considered normal, but she really wasn't. Holy water irritated her skin, crosses made her uncomfortable, and she was nearly as strong as her older brother was.
Cardinal Jinette kept her busy with chores while her brother was away, often pairing her off with a Friar to keep him from causing too much mischief with his inventions. If she were being completely honest, she liked the hours she spends with Carl, just watching his face light up in childish excitement as he names off the things his creations would be capable of when they were finished.
Of course, he'd never rise above a Friar if his inventions continued in the tradition of combusting and burning the brows right from the Cardinal's face. But today she had her other duties to attend to, namely getting her brother's favorite sweater sewn back together before he had to leave again. She didn't understand why none of the men that occupied the rooms beneath the Vatican knew how to sew, but it gave her something to keep her hands occupied with.
She was just cutting her leftover thread when her bedroom door opened, Mari not glancing up as she assumed it was Carl wanting to show her something or one of the nuns delivering fresh clothes. It wasn't until something heavy fell on the bed beside her that she gave any notice to the intruder. She let out a yelp in fear and jumped from the bed, brandishing her small needle like someone might a dagger.
It took her a full minute to realize who it was on her bed, his hair longer than it had been almost a month ago and light stubble covering the bottom half of his face. "Are you going to stab your brother with your needle, Mari," the man asks around his laughter, brown eyes lighting up even as hers narrowed.
"Van Helsing," she shouts, throwing his sweater at his head. He dodged it easily, grabbing her hand and pulling her onto the bed beside him. Even with how angry she was that he'd startled her, she was still happy that he was home and wasted little time in throwing her arms around his neck.
"Ow! Mari, the needle- You still have the needle!" Sheepishly, she pulls back and carefully sets the needle on her bedside table before embracing him again, glad to finally have him back. Van Helsing hugged her just as tightly, resting his cheek against the top of her head and closing his eyes. Just like Mari, Van Helsing missed his sibling when he was away. When they finally pull back, Mari smiles up at him, but the smile slowly dims when she realizes her brother looked torn.
"What is it? What's wrong, Van?" Grimacing, he stands up and begins to move around her room, carefully packing her clothes in one of the bags he used to carry his gear in, adding her hairbrush and favorite book as he went along. "What are you doing?" Her old fear of being thrown out came back in a rush, her hands clutching tightly at the comforter on her bed and her heart beating faster.
"You're accompanying me this time."
"What?" She'd never left the abbey before since her arrival and the thought of leaving now only doubled her earlier fear. "Did I do something wrong?"
"Why do you think you did something wrong?" Van Helsing turns to face her, brows furrowed as he takes in her obvious fear.
"Because," she says, fingers nor fidgeting with the dark blue skirts of her dress," why else would they want me to follow you after some monster or another?" With a sigh, Van sets the bag aside and kneels before his baby sister, cupping her face in his hands and making her look at him. Her brown eyes had gone wide and he could see the tears that she barely held back.
"They want you to come with me because they think this case has ties to our pasts." She gasps at that, looking hopeful for the first time since they arrived. "Carl's coming as well and I'm sure the Cardinal was hoping that you could keep him from blowing up our ship." At the mention of a ship, Mari's face took on a pale green shade, the woman swallowing hard.
"Ship? Don't they have a tendency of sinking?" Her eyes widen again as she stands up, her sudden movement knocking Van Helsing backwards, but she didn't notice as she started pacing her small bedroom. "And with Carl's inventions coming with us, then it's almost a certainty that we'll be at the bottom of the sea in five or ten minutes."
She turned to face her brother, already in a tizzy as her mind worked through all of the scenarios. Thankfully, Van Helsing had thought ahead and blew a fine blue powder in her face. The effect was instantaneous, the brunette dropping the second she breathed it in, and Van Helsing swooped her up in his arms, placing her on the bed long enough to shoulder the new bag before putting his sister over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and walking out of her room.
"I'm never going to hear the end of that," he mutters under his breath.