One Year Later...
So much had happened over the past year. Moses' bandits explored forests, climbed mountains, and braved battlefields. But now, it was time for a nap. Moses yawned loudly as he crashed on Will's couch. Will was currently on the mainland and had asked Moses and Jay to house-sit. Of course, Moses wouldn't be able to do it by himself. Something the redhead joyously stayed oblivious of.
But as the redheaded bandit snored there, laid out on the couch, he had a dream. A dream of a rainy night. Shadows were rushing at him. Then suddenly, blood. It was always at that moment that Moses would wake up. He stared at the ceiling, frowning slightly at the nightmare he had nearly every night. He wondered if it had something to do with the time before he got amnesia... A fact that he never told any of his comrades. Only Csaba knew this.
Jay sighed in annoyance as he walked to Will's house again. He couldn't believe he was stuck house-sitting with that idiot! He wondered why in the world Will had decided to make Moses help him out with this, as just himself would've been enough.
When he finally arrived at the house Jay couldn't help but to glare at the door. He now wished he had taken longer buying the groceries... Jay didn't know why he always disliked being in the bandit's presence so much. Ever since he had met him, he made him have this strange feeling that drove him crazy! Everything about Moses annoyed him. From his red hair, to his voice... to the very way he acted.
It was kind of familiar... hah, more like Moses was way too familiar with everyone. Who wouldn't get uncomfortable by that? With a sigh, Jay finally pushed open the door and announced his arrival.
Moses sat up and grinned. "Welcome back!" he responded. Jay... Out of all the members of their group, Jay was the one that Moses liked the best. There was just something about him that felt so nice. He leaned back on the couch, his hands behind his head. "Hey, need help?" he asked, watching Jay carry the groceries. Moses' feet were propped up on the coffee table in front of the couch, looking quite comfortable and lazy.
Jay snorted at the other's offer. "No thanks. I would hate to have to run to get more food just because you decided to do something stupid while I'm not looking," he told him as he headed towards the kitchen. He sighed as he entered the kitchen, annoyed that he had to be here in the first place. He had other responsibilities to take care of... and now he had to leave those responsibilities to the Oresoren, whom with he'd have to meet later to receive a report. There had been some suspicious activity as of late, and he really had wanted to investigate it on his own... but it didn't seem to be that serious so far, and he couldn't turn down Will's offer... Jay owed it to him.
"Oh, come on~" Moses grinned and now seemed determined to help. He stood and headed towards the kitchen. He grabbed a bag and reached into it curiously before pulling out an apple. "Ooh, yum." he grinned, making sure to hold the bag and fruit out of Jay's reach.
"Idiot." Jay growled at the other, but did nothing else to rise the bait. He knew that if he tried to reach for the bag, the other would surely start making fun of his height... or lack thereof. For some reason a wave of nostalgia hit him then, but he pushed that feeling away, just like he had been doing since over a year ago. Ever since he had escaped Solon's grasp, he had done his best to try to forget everything that had happened to him before. He refused to dwell on it even for a second. He had a new life now, and he wanted nothing to do with his old one. Jay began putting the food away, not noticing that he had become unusually silent.
Moses looked at Jay for a moment before biting into the apple and putting the bag down. "Hey, Jay. What's with the long face?" He put his hand on Jay's head with a smile. "Come on. There's nothing going on. The Legacy is safe and everything's good. So relax!"
Jay's frowned at the other's carefree attitude. "Just because there's nothing going on at the moment, doesn't mean that we should let our guards down." Especially now, Jay thought. Most of their friends were back at the Mainland at the moment. Chloe due to knight business, Will and Harriet were visiting her mother's grave, Norma had gone off on another treasure-hunting adventure, and Senel had even left Shirley here in her village while he went back to the Mainland, to 'tie up some lose ends'; (Jay suspected it had something more to do with Chloe's departure, himself.) At this time, it would be easy for someone to strike at them... and there was only Moses and himself left here to protect the Legacy. Just thinking about it gave Jay a headache.
Moses looked at him before sighing slightly. It looked as if he was about to submit and become serious... but then he spoke. "If you keep stressing out over little things, you're going to stay little forever," he teased with a mock-concerned frown.
Fwosh! Jay's dagger swiftly cut through the air and landed on the wall beside Moses' neck. "Hm?" he voiced innocently. "Did you say something?" he asked lightly as he finished putting away his purchases.
"Ahaha..." Moses froze at the knife that was suddenly inches away from his neck and quivering in the wall from the recent throw. "Nah. Nothing," he said with a nervous laugh. Then he grinned. "Just maybe that Will won't like a hole in his wall," he said in a taunting voice. It seems that along with his memory, Moses had forgotten the limits of teasing his little Jay.
Jay turned around and smirked evilly at the redhead. "I'm sure he wouldn't," he agreed smoothly. "So if I were you, and thank heavens I'm not, I wouldn't make any more holes in this house. Although, I'm sure that's a hard request to make to a savage like you." He smirked.
"What?" Moses pulled out the knife and pointed to the hole. "But that's totally your fault!" He gave Jay a pout, seemingly unaffected by the threat. "You're so..." Moses stopped, trying to think of the word. "Ninja..y...?" The redhead was lost in thought for a moment before he nodded, satisfied with his choice in words.
Jay fought the urge to roll his eyes at that particular remark. He couldn't help but to still be in awe at the stupid things that could come out of the bandit's mouth! However just as he was about to make a snarky reply of his own, his eyes shifted towards the window, more specifically, to what was happening beyond it. What were the Oresoren doing here so early, he wondered, already beginning to worry.
Moses looked at Jay before following his eyes and looking out the window. "Oh, hey. Aren't those the Oresoren you live with?" He went and opened up the door. Quppo bounced in and smiled, lifting a paw in greeting. "Jay!" he squeaked. "We just came by to see how everything is!"
"Do you need anything, Jay?" Pippo chimed in.
"We can help if you need it!" Poppo concluded.
"Everything's fine for now. But thanks for coming over," Jay told them, smiling slightly. He was a little more at ease at their cheerful greeting, however he still wanted to ask if they had found out anything that he should be aware of... but first he needed (more like wanted) to get rid of Moses. And as if the heavens were on his side, at this moment one of Moses' men arrived, a slightly worried look on his face. "Boss!" he called out to the redhead. "I'm glad I found you... a fight broke out back at the camp and it's not looking very good... Could you come back to talk some sense into them?" he asked him. "I tried to look for Csaba, but it seems he was last seen headed to the Forest of No Return for some reason..."
Moses' expression changed to one of concern. "Alright, I'm coming." He looked back at the ninja. "Hey, Jay. I'll be back as soon as I can. Don't miss me too much!" He gave Jay a grin before running off with the bandit, heading for the camp. "Tell me what's goin on," he could be heard saying as he walked off.
The otters watched Moses leave before Pippo was the first to speak. "Jay. Other Oresoren are saying that they're seeing weird people on the Legacy. That they don't smell right."
Jay frowned at the Oresoren's words. "Weird people?" he asked, "Any distinguishable features? How many of them?" he asked, his mind already calculating possibilities.
Quppo was the first one to speak up. "They don't look any different but they just don't smell like the Legacy."
"At first there weren't that many. But there's been a lot more lately. We got worried and came to check on you," Pippo admitted.
"Do you know where they were last spotted?" Jay asked them, already thinking of paying a visit to the place himself. This seemed rather worrisome... and it just had to happen at a time like this.
"Well, a lot of them are around here." Poppo fidgeted slightly.
"That's why we got so worried!" Quppo hopped a little closer to Jay. "You're sure everything's okay, right?"
"What?" Jay asked, startled. He hadn't expected that answer! "Here, in Werites Beacon?" he asked for confirmation. Jay frowned, berating himself for not noticing anything strange when he was out earlier. He had left his guard down... He growled quietly, annoyed at this slip. He was growing soft... this really shouldn't have caught him so off-guard.
The three Oresoren looked at each other with worry before looking back at Jay. "Don't be too hard on yourself, Jay. If we couldn't smell as good as we could, we wouldn't have spotted them either!" Quppo said quickly.
Jay softened his face ever so slightly and tried not to look so worried. Their words didn't really make him feel any better, but he didn't want them to know that. "I know," he told them. "Don't worry."
An unpleasant knot was beginning to form in his stomach. He needed to go out and investigate this himself. He had a bad feeling about this for some reason... But he didn't let that show. "You guys should head home for now. I'll contact you guys later," he told them.
The Oresoren looked at him and nodded. "Okay," Pippo said. "Be careful, Jay." The three otters hugged Jay before they left Will's house. It wasn't long though before there was a loud knock at the door. It was almost panicked and quick.
Jay frowned wondering who it was now. The knock had sounded worried, but no one had called out. Was Moses back already? Maybe something had happened...? The ninja hurried towards the door to open it, ignoring the foreboding feeling in his stomach.
It was one of the bandits under Moses' care. He stared wide eyed at Jay, shocked and pale. "J..Ja..." he breathed before blood began to leak out of the corner of his mouth. His eyes glazed over and he fell to his knees before falling flat, dead. There was a knife in his back that looked eerily familiar. A knife that Jay hadn't seen for an entire year.
"H-hey...!" Jay protested, jumping back when the bandit fell dead at his feet. His limbs began to shake at the sight of that knife... Solon's knife. "...No...no!" Jay closed his eyes in misery. "I'm such an idiot, how could I have been so stupid...!" he immediately began blaming himself. Ever since he had befriended the group.. he had gotten so careless... His life on the Legacy had consisted of him hiding around, being "The Unseen"... but with everything that had happened lately... of course his Master would find him! His eyes snapped open then. "Moses!" he breathed horrified.
Without another thought, he began to run to the lighthouse, where the redhead should be. On his way he noticed how quiet the town had become... he hadn't noticed earlier, another mistake. "Dammit...!" he growled, trying to shake away the images his mind was suddenly supplying him with. That day, that night, when everything went wrong. The night Noah had died... It had been so long since he had really thought of his dead friend. He had blocked out those memories out, not wanting to deal with them. But the seams were tearing at the very thought that Moses could suffer the same fate.
The camp was deserted. The bandits were all either unconscious or dead. All of them had knife wounds. Others had their skin tinged green from poison. But there was one who was still aware. Csaba was bleeding profusely from a wound on his thigh. He screamed in pain every time he moved but he gripped the fence, trying to stand. Then he spotted Jay. "Jay!" he cried out. "Moses..! They took Moses!"
"Csaba!" Jay made to rush over and help him, but Csaba's words made stop in his tracks. It was as if someone had punched him in his stomach, because he suddenly doubled over and fell on his knees. "W-what...?" he croaked, not wanting to believe it. Moses... had been taken. And Jay knew exactly who had done it. "No..." he moaned, his body trembling. "No...!" he yelled, clutching at his head.
It was just like then... just like last time. Bodies piled up, dead, injured... and someone important to him...gone.
"J-Jay!" Csaba's voice was full of pain. "We have to.. Ah..." Csaba lost his grip and fell down to the floor, his blood coating the grass. "You... You have to go after them.. Get Moses back.. They'll kill him, Jay..." He was growing weaker and his voice was mere whispers.
Csaba's pained voice somehow managed to snap him out of his remembrance. Shakily, he got up to his feet and approached the injured man. "I-idiot, don't strain yourself." Jay scolded him with a numb voice, as he performed some quick first aid on the other. Meanwhile all he could think was, He's going to die... he's going to die... and Damn you Solon.. "Dammit..." he murmured aloud.
"Why did that idiot have to get kidnapped..." his voice broke a little, not sounding as angry as he had wanted it to be.
"They were after him..." Csaba was able to regain just a bit of strength. "Jay.. I... Not even Moses knows this but, he's known you far before the Legacy was ever involved..." he murmured before coughing violently.
"W-what?" Jay's eyes widened at this, "What the hell are you talking about?" he asked, startled. His heart thumped loudly, too loudly.
"I was there that night, remember..?" Csaba spoke softly. "When Noah died.. I watched him jump from the window..." Csaba closed his eyes for a moment before he looked at Jay. "Noah never died. I got him to the hospital in time..."
Jay's hands dropped at his sides, his body numb with his surprise. "Noah..." he breathed, his eyes unfocused as he remembered his old friend... and compared it to the appearance Moses now had. "That's... impossible..." he found himself saying in his shock. But he already knew it was the truth. He did remember Csaba then... although the man had changed over the past year. No signs of the weak boy he was over a year ago. Now, despite his extensive injuries, was a man who's been fighting along Moses this whole time. "No..." Jay moaned again. He had been alongside Noah this whole time... and now, now that he knew, Noah was going to be taken away from him again.
"He doesn't know... When he woke up at the hospital, he woke up with amnesia." Csaba continued. "I couldn't... I couldn't tell him the truth..." he gulped. "If I had told him he was running from a group of ninjas, one of which was his best friend... he'd have panicked. He was like a kid, Jay... I.. I was the one who made Moses. I gave him a new identity... so he could live peacefully..." His breath was shaky. "But he still.. has the bell... Your bell. He told me that he doesn't know why.. he keeps it... He just knows that it's very important..."
Jay shook his head at Csaba's words. He didn't want to listen to this... he didn't want to know... All of this was opening up his old wounds again, of Noah, of Solon... At Csaba's last words however, Jay stilled again. "My... bell..." Jay hadn't know.. he had no idea Noah had tried to steal it back for him. "Idiot.." he whispered to himself then, his hands clutching at his clothes. Was that why Solon had ordered him to kill him? Because he had stolen from him? No... even if that had been the catalyst, Solon would've have made him kill him anyway, because Jay had cared... Because Noah made Jay feel like a human.
"They headed for the Mirage Castle, Jay... Please.. You have to go after them... They'll kill Moses if you don't..." Csaba gripped Jay's sleeve as he spoke. "I'll.. be okay... Just hurry and go..."
Mirage Castle... Jay closed his eyes and nodded. "I'll send my people to help you guys out," he told him as he shakily got up to his feet. "I'll rescue him... I promise." Even if it kills me, he thought to himself. He wouldn't let him die this time, he vowed. And then he was gone.
Moses woke up with a horrible headache. It was pounding with pain and he groaned slightly, feeling as bad as that one time he and his bandits had spent all night partying. He went to massage his head.. but his hands wouldn't move. Moses' eye snapped open. His hands were tied firmly behind his back and a cloth was tied around his head, firmly between his teeth. His ankles were also tied together. Moses struggled for a few moments before he felt a cold shiver. He sensed someone in the room. Someone... horrible. A low chuckle sounded to his left, but when Moses looked, there was no one there. There was suddenly a kick from his right. Moses grunted as the hard shoe connected with his side. His body wanted to slump over to the side, but Moses didn't allow himself.
"I finally found you." Solon smirked down at the redhead. "And soon... My little Jay will follow." At this, Moses snarled through the gag. He thrashed, trying to throw himself against Solon, but Solon took a step back, causing Moses to fall uselessly on the floor.
Jay's mind was a mess. A complete utter mess. He didn't know what to think, how to feel... everything that had just happened threatened to overwhelm him. All he could do was run. He had to save "Moses." Jay had done his best to clear his mind and his tone when he had alerted the Oreorsen, as well as a few other contacts he had in the Legacy about what had happened at the lighthouse. They should be heading there already, tending to the injured...burying the dead.
But now that he was dealing with one, all he could think about was his Mas- about Solon. His body was struggling between the two biggest forces, instincts. The ones that yelled at him to run away, far away, where Solon couldn't find him. And the ones that told him to hurry the hell up, to save Moses... he couldn't let him die this time! Jay almost didn't notice that he was almost at his destination, so far he was in his thoughts. But then, his ninja honed instincts alerted him of various presences nearby. Solon's men.. What was I thinking, coming here all alone, a small part of him berated him. It had been a stupid move. No, another part of him said, one that sounded very much like Moses' voice, this was the right thing to do.
Jay approached the place more cautiously now. He needed to find where Moses was being kept.
The ninjas watched Jay from the shadows but did not attack. Instead, they moved as easily as shadows in the night. They blocked certain paths with knife throws and glares as well as opening other paths with a sense of security. They were herding Jay towards where Solon was. By the time Jay would arrive, Solon stood there, Moses flat on his stomach and Solon's heel grinding into a familiar-looking scar on the bandit's back.
At the sight of the two, Jay's body struggled again, wanting to flee, to tremble at the sight of his Mas- of Solon. He had to will his body still then, and with a cold fury, he let his dagger fly to the other man.
Solon caught the dagger swiftly between two fingers. "My, My, My... Your time on the Legacy has really softened you. Do you really think that you can win against me? Your teacher?" He smirked widely, walking over to Jay. In a swift movement, he tossed the dagger up, caught it by the handle, and swiped a small shallow cut onto Jay's cheek.
Jay stumbled back once, the cut at his cheek stinging with nostalgia. He glared up at the other man, refusing to show any fear. "W-why are you here?" he demanded, ignoring the way his voice wavered and the way his hand trembled slightly. He clenched it tight into a fist.
"To give you a second chance, of course." Solon smirked. "Your last assignment ended in failure." He grabbed Jay's chin and made him look at Moses. "I'm sure you've noticed. Your dear little friend. That boy that caused you so much trouble, so much pain. If it wasn't for him, why you'd be at my right hand by now. You'd be the sharpest knife. The most useful. But because of him, you are nothing. Pathetic to everyone. You have no use." Solon smirked a bit wider. "Kill him, and everything will be forgiven."
Moses glared at Solon and shook his head furiously, yelling muffled curse words through the cloth. He chewed on the cloth and pushed at it, trying to get it out of his mouth.
Jay flinched at the other's touch, feeling disgust at his words. Although a very small part of him told him to listen to him. To come back to his Master's care. The part that haunted him at night and told him he was worthless... that he was nothing. Jay swallowed thickly and he pushed the other's hand off of him. "Never," he defied him, glaring at him and palming another one of his knives.
Immediately, Solon smacked Jay across the face and Moses' yells became louder and possibly more crude. Solon grabbed Jay and shoved him roughly against a wall before kneeing him in the stomach. "It's useless to fight, Jay. I may have taught you everything you know, but I didn't teach you everything I know. I can easily beat you down without taking out my knife," he said lowly, a wide smirk stretching across his features.
"Agh...!" Jay coughed, heaved rather, at the force of Solon's blows. God it hurt... this pain... he hated this pain. "Bas...tard..." he wheezed, because he was past the point of being scared... at least for now.
Solon chuckled slightly before he grabbed Jay's ponytail and pulled him over. He threw him to the ground in front of Moses and put his foot right on Jay's back. "Moses, is that your name now? Do you remember little Jay?" he asked him, putting more pressure on Jay's back as he did. "You ruined his chances at becoming a proper ninja. Not only that, but your interference made me have to punish him on a daily basis." Solon then held up the pouch that used to be on Moses' belt. The redhead growled and narrowed his good eye. Solon pulled out the small silver bell and dangled it over the two boys. "This belongs to Jay. You stole it from me." Moses glared at Solon before his expression softened slightly. He looked at Jay before looking back at the bell... And then it seemed to come back to him. Everything returned. The memory of Jay lying on his bed, broken and injured. It flashed in his mind, before it all seemed to disappear again, avoiding his grasp. The only thing that stayed clear was that image. And that it was all his fault. Moses didn't realize that his expression had gone slack, almost shocked, as he stared at the silver bell as if it was hypnotizing him.
Jay too stared at the item in Solon's hand, a longing expression spreading across his face. It had been too long since he had seen his precious bell... that too had been something that he had done his best to try to forget. But now.. his eyes strayed to Moses, who's expression made his stomach twist. The other must have remembered by now, all the horrible things he had said that day.. what he had done.. "Noah..." he called out to him, looking at him sadly. If only Jay had never met him... Solon never needed to have come to his life and ruin it this way...
Hearing Jay's voice say this name... It felt strangely familiar. But the memories were fading by the second. They were being locked away once more and all that remained was this overwhelming and crushing guilt. The redhead slowly looked away from the bell and looked at Jay. He couldn't speak but his expression said it all. "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry..."
Solon looked at the two and smirked. He put the bell back into the pouch and grabbed Jay's ponytail, pulling him back up. "Do you see him, Jay?" He gripped Jay's face, forcing him to look at Moses who was no longer struggling against his bonds. "His entire group of bandits is dead. His pet abandoned him. And he just found out that everything he thought he knew was a lie. A fake identity. Moses Sandor... does not exist." His words were more for the redhead at his feet than the ninja being held firmly in his grasp.
The bandit didn't look up, instead, he stared straight at the floor. "Tell me, Jay. Do you think he has the will to continue living?" Solon said, stroking Jay's cheek soothingly. "Do you think you're doing him a favor by letting him live? He has nothing left. Kill him."
Jay hissed as Solon dragged him up by his hair. At seeing Moses expression he faltered. He had never seen that expression on the redhead's face before, not as Moses.. nor as Noah.
His stomach churched in guilt and unease as he wondered what was going through the other's mind. At Solon's words though, Jay attempted to struggle out of the ninja's grasp. "Never!" he vowed vehemently before biting the other's hand in an attempt to be released.
When Jay bit him, Solon hissed and threw Jay to the floor. He kicked Jay in the stomach and side multiple times before looking at the bite mark on his hand and giving it a lick. "You know, Jay. I don't think I've ever gotten this angry before," he said as Moses started yelling again. Solon strode over to the redhead and put his foot on his head, pressing it down into the floor. Moses bit into the cloth, refusing to let any sound of pain pass through. "In fact, I'm so angry I might just start talking to myself. Don't pay this any mind. I'm just thinking."
Jay looked up and through blurry eyes saw Solon pressing Moses down again. "S-stop... it." he protested, trying to ignore his body's aching injuries.
"The Oresoren, was it?" Solon's expression contorted to a large smirk. "I wonder what color their blood is."
Jay froze at the words. All of his rage, his anger, froze. He became very, very scared.
The Oresoren... They had taken him in, taken care of him... The image of them dead at Solon's feet terrified him.
Oh, it felt so good. Seeing Jay's expression just like it had been a year ago. Wide-eyed, scared, and submissive. It made Solon's smirk grow ever larger. "I'm getting excited just thinking about it. Little otters running in panic, screaming and crying. Begging for their lives as they die. I'm sure it'll be a marvelous sight!" Solon laughed heartily.
"YOU SICK BASTARD!" Moses had finally gotten the cloth out of his mouth. Solon lifted his foot off the other's head and snapped his fingers. "JAY! DON'T YOU LISTEN TO THIS ASS-MMPH!" Two ninjas seemingly came out of nowhere and put the cloth back in place, tighter than before, before disappearing once more.
Jay shook as Solon continued to torture him with his words. He felt so helpless... so powerless. The feeling fortified as he saw the ninjas pop in to tie Moses up again...
He felt himself begin to give up on it all..
Perfect. This was exactly what he wanted. "There's nothing you can do, Jay," Solon said, walking over to the young ninja on the floor. "You must realize by now that the bandit will not leave here alive. Whether he dies by my hand, or yours... That is your choice. And after he is dead, you will return to the mainland with me." Solon took out his knife. "You have five seconds to decide whether or not you kill him. And I guarantee that I will make his death slow and painful." He smirked then. "The Oresoren's as well."
Jay felt completely cornered... He didn't want Moses to die... He didn't want anyone to die. But what choice did he have now? There was nothing he could do..
He stared at his Master's knife in front of him, knowing that once he took hold of it, there was no going back. He would be his Master's forever.
Jay's eyes then drifted forwards Moses' face, his furious expression. Jay knew there was no way he could kill him. And Jay also knew his Master wouldn't let the Oresoren live either, no matter what he did.
There was a resigned expression on his face as he turned to look at his Master. He was going to lose everything...
Without another thought, his hand reached for the blade, its cold heavy weight fueling him to do this. He looked into Moses' eyes with cold determination, "I'm sorry..." he told him, and "Goodbye.."
And then the knife hit flesh. Not Moses', but his own.
Moses watched Jay deliberate and think. He knew Jay wouldn't kill him. But when he grabbed the knife, a small flicker of doubt surfaced. He listened to Jay's words and looked into his eyes. A second before it happened, he knew.
Moses let out a scream as he watched Jay stab himself. The redhead thrashed in his bonds before he managed to pull out a hand. It was red and irritated with rope burns. He ripped off the gag before pushing himself over. "Jay! Dammit! And you call me stupid! What are you thinking?"
Solon watched this, his expression devoid of emotion. He didn't move from the spot where he stood.
Jay breathed slowly, ignoring the way his stomach ached due to the wound he had just made. He bit his lip as he felt his blood trickle out of wound, dripping into the floor. As Moses reached his side he couldn't help but to want to snark at the other, for old times' sake. But instead he shot him a worried look. "I-idiot... What are you still doing here?" he berated him.
Jay's eyes turned to peer at Solon, enjoining the blank expression in his face. He knew the other hadn't expected him to do that. It made Jay happy knowing he has defied him in the end, had deprived him of owning him again.
If only Will were here, or dammit, even Bubbles! They'd be able to heal Jay. But Moses.. he couldn't do anything. "I can't leave you like this.." he frowned, using a blade to cut the ropes on his ankles. He pulled Jay close, holding the small ninja securely against his chest. As he stood to run out and get Jay to a safe place, Solon spoke.
"You won't leave here alive. I have no further use for you and the moment you leave this room, my men will kill you in a matter of seconds." The man spoke in a dangerous sounding monotone. Moses growled slightly, holding Jay tightly. The chances of him living were slim to none. But he had to save Jay.
"Screw you." Moses spat before he ran out of the room.
But no attacks came. In fact, there were unconscious ninjas littering the halls.
Jay closed his eyes as he felt Moses pick him up. He too knew that the moment they tried to escape, they would die.
But... It didn't end up happening that way at all.
"Sandor!" Chloe's voice called out in the distance.
"Heya Red!" Norma waved at then with a smile... at least before she noticed the state they were both in. Her eyes widened in shock then, and she hurried over towered Jay's side to heal him.
"Demon Fist!" Senel sent a burst of energy towards the last of the ninjas who fell to the ground with a cry.
Moses stared wide-eyed at this heavenly sight. He even laughed slightly. He put Jay down to allow Norma to heal him and passed a hand over Jay's forehead, looking at him softly. So his name wasn't really Moses. Noah... He wondered who Noah was. Who he had been to Jay.
"Oh my." Grune hurried over and bent down over Jay. "Wakey wakey, Jay! This is no time for a nap." She smiled happily.
Jay fluttered his eyes open as he felt his injuries being healed. He stared at Norma in confusion, before turning it to the rest of the others. Everyone was here... The fact kind of dumbfounded him in surprise. "H-how...?" he found himself murmuring, flinching as he felt the last of his self-inflicted cut sealed shut.
Moses grinned as Jay was healed. "Nice to have you back, little bro," he said cheerfully.
Senel walked over. "The Oresoren told us about the weird people on the Legacy and we all came back as soon as we could," he said before giving him a smile. "I knew it wasn't a good idea leaving you and Moses alone."
"What a quaint sight." A cold voice interrupted their reunion.
Moses stood immediately, standing defensively in front of Jay as he glared at Solon.
Solon chuckled slightly. "I will say that I didn't see this coming. Those little otters are more trouble than they're worth."
Jay gulped seeing his Master reappear. He felt a little braver now that mostly everyone was here, but couldn't help but to feel apprehensive.
Chloe frowned at the man's tone, already disliking the guy, even more so as she saw the usually unshakable Jay actually afraid. She gripped her sword tightly, ready to fight him if necessary.
"Who the heck is this old man?" Norma frowned as well. This guy was giving off some major creep-vibes.
Senel glared, taking a fighting stance, the tips of his fingers glowing ever so slightly as he readied for battle.
"I am Jay's master of course. His teacher. I raised the boy." Solon looked at Jay giving a sickly sweet smile. "You didn't tell them about me? I'm so disappointed."
"Don't talk to him, you sick bastard," Moses growled, stepping right into the line of vision between Solon and Jay. He wished he had his spear...
Jay looked down at the floor and said nothing in response to that. He struggled against his old instincts once more, the ones that reminded him of just who had taken him in, just who had raised him. He could hear Solon's voice in his head berating him for running off, for being an 'ungrateful thing.'
And while Norma looked more than a little creeped out by Solon's revelation, Chloe was more surprised at Moses' language (but she had a feeling this wasn't the time to protest about it). It actually made her more worried than before, wondering what these two have been through while the rest of them got here.
Of course, when they wanted Will around, he wasn't here, Senel scoffed to himself. "Listen. We don't care who you are. You better clear out now."
"You will talk like that to the man who has assassins stationed all across the Legacy?" Solon smirked. "I even have a few posing in the very village where the Merines is kept."
Senel stared at Solon, faltering for a moment. Shirley... was she okay?
"Not to mention, I have quite the information network on the mainland. I'm sure that the knights wouldn't appreciate you abandoning them again, Chloe Valens," Solon continued. "And also the failed boss of his band of bandits. All of whom are probably dead at this very moment."
Moses paled and gritted his teeth. He did his best to keep the anguish from his expression.
Chloe too faltered for just a second at Solon's threats. His words had hit her hard, making her lips thin into a frown.
Norma glared daggers at the older ninja. Who did he think he was, she growled, taking a step forward. However, just as she was about to cast some major pain on the old man, a small hand grabbed her wrist and stopped her.
Jay had heard enough.
"Don't," he told her, still staring at the ground. "Don't," he repeated again, louder this time, and directed to someone else. He got back up to his feet, although a bit wobbly, and let go of Norma's wrist. "Please don't, M-master." Jay hesitated calling him by that title again, it was a struggle to do so. He took a step forward then, past Moses, but then froze there. His body refused to walk any closer to his Master. "I..." he tried to speak then, but couldn't.
"Hm? What is it, my dear apprentice?" Solon said with a smirk. He put his hand under his chin as he looked at Jay with an almost predatory expression.
"Jay.. What do you think you're doing?" Moses frowned, reaching forward and putting a hand on Jay's shoulder.
Jay didn't shrug the hand off, for instead of making him falter in his decision, it helped strengthen it. "If.. if I leave with you..." he began, hoping the other would allow him to bargain with him for once. "Do you promise to leave them all alone? Everyone?" he finished with a much lower voice. Jay knew that the bargain had to have at least some appeal. After all, although not stated, it was more than implied that Jay would do anything, anything in exchange for everyone's life. Not to mention that while Solon was probably strong enough to beat them all, his current amount of ninjas in the Legacy had been decimated already.
"Jay!" Moses' eyes widened and he grabbed Jay's shoulders more firmly. "What are you talking about? We can handle this guy no sweat! You don't have to do this!"
Solon ignored Moses' protests and thought about it for a moment. "If I accept, then we will leave for the ship immediately. There will be no more disobedience and you will follow my every order. Are we clear, Jay?"
"Jay.. Don't." Moses spoke softly.
Jay ignored him (although it was hard, so hard, cause all he could think of was that time when Noah had urged him to run away with him). "Crystal," he began to respond. But he was barely able to get the word out, because at that moment, a Will-worthy hit landed on the back of his head.
"You idiot!" Norma frowned at him. "You think we're going to let you go off with that creep that easily?" She shuddered comically. "No way, JJ. Don't even think about it!" she told him, before winking at Moses. "Better get him out of the way before he makes more trouble, Red," she told him, her hands doing a 'you-should-probably-throw-him-over-your-shoulder-or-something' motion.
"Sandor is right." Chloe frowned as well, feeling almost insulted at the implications of Jay's request. "There's no way we can lose against someone as despicable as that." She narrowed her eyes, her determination and chivalry returning at full force.
With every word from his comrades, Moses' confidence returned. He grinned and scooped Jay up in his arms. "You got it, Bubbles. No one's breaking this family apart!"
"Not even you, old man." Senel stood in front of Moses and Jay.
"I wouldn't like it very much if Jay left," Grune said softly with a gentle smile. "I'm sure Moses would feel awfully lonely too."
"Fine." Solon pulled out two knives and smirked wide. "It's been a while since I've had blood on my hands. This will be a nice exercise." He threw a knife straight at Senel who blocked it with his iron eres before charging forward with a battle cry.
Moses moved back, holding onto Jay. He couldn't fight without a weapon.
But it was as if the heavens heard him and a spear was thrown from a rooftop, landing with a quiver next to Moses' feet. Moses looked up and his expression lit up. It was one of the surviving members of the bandits. He saluted Moses with a grin. "Csaba sends his regards!" he called before running off again. The relief almost crushed Moses' chest.
Chloe charged at Solon as well, side-by-side with Senel. Together, they did their best to focus Solon's attacks on them as Norma began casting in the back.
Grune also aided Norma with the casting, albeit with a bit more of a happy disposition than the others.
Meanwhile Jay stared almost in awe at their fight. Jay had originally struggled a little at Moses' hold, but as he watched everyone fight for his sake, his chest filled with warmth again... It made him feel wanted for once, cared for.
Moses looked at Jay with a bit of a smile, though nervous at leaving him alone. "We'll take care of him!" Moses turned around at the voice and grinned. "Alright. I'll leave little Jay in your paws!" he said. Quppo, Pippo, and Poppo saluted as if they were furry little soldiers.
Moses put Jay down beside the three Oresoren and gently placed a hand on Jay's shoulder. "I'll protect you," he said softly. "You can count on your big bro." Moses gave Jay one last grin before he turned and grabbed his spear, running at Solon to join the brawl.
Moses' gesture sent another wave of nostalgia surge through him. Jay watched him go, not sure if to feel happy or scared that Moses was joining in the battle. He felt restless, just waiting here. Useless... Solon's voice came back to taunt him.
He shook his head to clear his mind of that thought before finally addressing the Oresoren. "Why did you guys come here?" He frowned at them. "You shouldn't be here!" He shook his head at them, didn't they know it was dangerous?
The three otters looked at Jay, slightly perplexed by his question. "But, we were worried about you, Jay," Pippo said.
"We had to come and see if you were alright!" Quppo chimed in.
"You're part of our family too, Jay!" Poppo said.
Jay wanted to keep on protesting, but the words seemed to be stuck at his throat as he heard their reasons. He felt... happy.
The three Oresoren smiled happily at Jay. But the fight wasn't going so well. Solon was quick to find the rhythm and was soon dodging each attack with ease. He smirked at Moses' frustration as Solon dodged yet another attack of his. Then, he saw an opening. After Chloe did her attack, he used the fraction of a second to hurl a knife at her, aiming straight for her chest. Senel saw this and was quick to react. There wasn't enough time to use his eren, so instead, he blocked the knife with his own body.
"Augh!" Senel grunted as the knife lodged itself into his shoulder.
At that moment, time seemed to slow. Chloe saw the knife coming, knew that if she didn't dodge this one she would meet her end, but she couldn't move, there was no time.
And then- "Coolidge!" she cried out as she saw him take the hit for her. She watched him grimace in pain and her heart fluttered at her chest in worry. Her grip on her sword slacked then, but as she watched Norma slip him a gel, her shock turned into anger. Her grip tightened on her sword again and she glared at Solon, feeling her determination strengthen.
Senel gripped the handle of the knife and pulled it out of his arm with a wince before using the gel. He glanced back at Chloe, checking if she was okay, before he turned back to Solon.
However, Chloe's scream had brought Jay's attention back to them. He stared wide-eyed and worried as he saw Solon begin to overtake them all, just as he had predicted. "Dammit..." Jay whispered, clenching his fist in frustration.
He stood up then, his heart set and his eyes determined. "You guys wait here," he told the Oresoren, before rushing off to join the battle. No more, Jay thought as he glared at Solon's taunting face. He was not going to run away anymore. With that thought, he threw a well-aimed dagger in the older ninja's direction.
Solon caught the knife swiftly and looked at Jay with a grin. Then he began laughing. "It's amusing to see you all think you actually have a chance! You won't win!" Solon announced as he threw a total of three daggers at Jay.
Thunk, Thunk, Thunk!
Moses stood there with the three knives stuck in the handle of his spear. "You ain't touchin my little brother anymore, old man," he snarled.
Jay had been prepared to dodge the incoming daggers, but was surprised to see none of them even get close enough. He ignored the way his face visibly flushed at Moses' words and actions, and instead focused on his target.
"I won't lose to you anymore!" Jay declared to him as he continued his assault with swift, practiced ease.
Solon easily continued to dodge the blows as the fight continued. But with all these attacks, he could never get a shot in. There was only one way he'd win. He'd have to fight dirty. In a quick motion, Solon kicked up dirt into Senel and Chloe's faces before throwing a smoke bomb and disappearing.
"Ack..!" Senel coughed as he got blinded. He furiously rubbed his face, his eyes watering.
Suddenly, Norma would feel a blade at her throat as Solon appeared behind her. He figured she would be the easiest to hold hostage since she was a crystal eren instead of iron. "Nobody takes a step." He smirked.
"Bubbles!" Moses growled, clenching his fists. "You dirty cheat!"
"Ugh..!" Chloe's eyes stung as the dirt made contact, making her falter. She blinked rapidly and tried to focus her blurry eyes at Moses' growl, and gasped when she saw what made him do so.
Norma laughed a little nervously at the predicament she was suddenly in. "Now, now-" she began to blabber, intending to distract him, but as she felt the knife press closer to her skin, she immediately shut up.
Jay on the other hand, had watched Solon begin to get desperate. He watched him sharply and alert, knowing he was about to pull a dirty move. When he saw Solon activate a smoke bomb, he did the same, and quickly dashed over to where he knew Solon would head to. This time, he didn't let his dagger fly off to his target, this time he would stab him himself.
Solon thought he had the upper hand. As he gazed on the frustrated and angered faces of the three fighters.. Wait... three?
Solon noticed a second too late that Jay wasn't in front of him. But the other's presence was announced as he felt the searing pain of a blade entering his flesh. Solon's eyes widened and he dropped the knife at Norma's neck. Senel was quick to run forward and grab the crystal eren, pulling her safely out of reach.
Solon fell to one knee, panting slightly as he began losing blood rapidly. Then, he smirked one last time. "Maybe I underestimated you, my dear apprentice. You did well in becoming an instrument... A tool. Almost.. too well..." he rasped out the last words.
Jay glared at Solon, not letting his words get to him this time. "You're wrong," he told him as he withdrew the blade from Solon's body. "With this, I've finally become human." Jay let the blade drop from the floor then, its ringing clatter resounding through the room, as if to finalize his words. As Jay watched his old Master die before him, he vowed then that this would be the end of it all.
With this, his past as a ninja was over.
Solon died moments after, the least breath that left him was a small chuckle. Moses watched Solon die before looking at Jay with a small smile. The redhead walked over and held out his hand for Jay's. "It's all over," he said softly. "You okay?"
Jay's eyes didn't leave Solon's body until he was sure the other had died. Once Moses approached him, his soft voice made him look up, and he couldn't help but to give the other a small smile. "Yeah, everything... everything is fine now," he murmured as he took the other's hand. He moved to step over Solon's body, wanting to check on how everyone else was doing, when his foot accidentally hit Solon's body. A soft familiar jingle rang across the room, making Jay stop in his tracks.
He slowly let go of Moses' hand, and as if in a trance, he bent down to search through Solon's pockets. Inside, he found the pouch Noah had kept the bell in all this time. He held it close to him, enjoying the familiar weight of his bell back on his hands. Jay smile turned more beautiful then, but only for a brief moment. When he stood back up he gave Moses a look that meant they would talk, but later.
He finally turned to address everyone else. "Everyone, thank you-" he began what might've been a touching moment, but Norma took that moment to tackle him to the ground. "Phew! Good timing, JJ! If it wasn't for you I'd be mincemeat!"
Moses watched Norma tackle Jay to the ground and let out a hearty laugh. But that image of Jay smiling so fondly. So beautifully... I want to see him smile again. No.. I want to see him smiling forever. Jay deserves a life full of smiles. Right there, Moses made a vow of his own. To be the best big brother Jay could ever have. "Come on, Bubbles! Get offa him. You're gonna squish poor little Jay!"
Senel laughed slightly as well at the sight before he looked at Chloe. There was a small twinge of discomfort left where Solon's knife had hit him. "Hey, you alright?" he said.
Chloe smiled at the others antics, but when Senel addressed her she couldn't help but to blush. "I..I'm fine," she stuttered, looking down shyly. "Thank you..." she told him, her eyes peeking upward to finally look at him. Her expression slowly turned more worried then. "Moreover, are you alright?" she asked him, wondering how the wound was doing.
Senel smiled softly at her before nodding. "Yeah, I'm fine. Norma took care of it," he said, stretching and moving his arm around to show her he was alright.
"I'm glad." Chloe smiled.
Norma pouted at Moses' words, but she did heed them. She got up from the now breathless and peeved Jay, who glared at her, but she ignored this, instead turning to address Moses. "You're just jealous I beat you to it, Red!" she stuck out her tongue at him.
"Jealous of you?" Moses put his hands on his hips. "Why would I ever be jealous of you, Bubbles! I can hug Jay whenever I want! Right?" He picked up Jay and rubbed his fist into the small ninja's head. "See? See?" he said happily.
"Moses...!" Jay growled out, his voice past the point of threatening. He was tired of being manhandled by these two, and he showed his distaste by elbowing the redhead sharply.
"Oof!" Moses grunted as he was elbowed and let go of Jay. He laughed slightly and rubbed the spot.
"Come on, let's all get out of here and go back to Will's house," Senel said. "We can all rest properly there."
"Yes, yes, I agree. I'll make some sandwiches when we get there too!" Grune said with a smile.
"Alright!" Norma grinned at the mention of Grune's cooking. "Come on, come on! Let's get out of here, I'm starving!" she urged everyone, pumping her fist up in the air.
Jay had a small smile too. It felt like it had been forever since they were all like this.
Senel lead the group out of the Mirage Palace and one travel through the ducts later, and they were in front of the small town of Werites Beacon. From there, it was a short walk to Will's house. Grune skipped over to the oven and got to work, humming a happy tune as she cooked, making good use of the recently bought groceries.
"Hey, I'll be back. I'm gonna go check on Csaba," Moses said with a small wave before he exited the house.
Jay watched him go with a small worried frown on his lip. He too wondered how Csaba was doing, and wanted to see him, but he had a feeling Moses wanted to see him alone. Still...
Jay decided to follow after, but he would follow Moses secretly, making sure no one saw him. "I have something to do as well. I'll be back soon," he announced to the party, and left before they could question him.
Norma stopped staring hungrily at the kitchen then and raised a brow at this. "Oooh~" she grinned mischievously. "Now this is unusual!" she giggled, making Chloe stare at her in confusion. "Usually it's Red chasing after JJ, you know." She grinned, wiggling her brows at the swordswoman. Chloe rolled her eyes at Norma's implications and just ignored her.
Senel looked at Norma and shook his head. "And what makes you so sure Jay's going after Moses anyway? He could be checking up on the Oresoren for all you know."
Norma wagged her finger at them both. "Tsk, tsk, Senny. You should know better than that!" She shook her head, her grin never faltering. "JJ already knows the Scallops are alright! And anyway, haven't you noticed how chummy they've been getting along?" Norma put her hand on her chin as her face turned more sly then. "Something's going on with those two. Call it woman's intuition! Heheh~"
"Woman's intuition? Please. Grune is more of a woman than you are." Senel said, rolling his eyes. Of course, he had meant this in an intellectual way... but it could easily be mistaken for something else.
"Thank you, Senel~" Grune called from the kitchen with a happy smile.
At this statement both Chloe's and Norma's faces began to turn red. "Despicable." Chloe muttered coldly, just loud enough to be heard. She narrowed her eyes at Senel and crossed her arms over her chest before looking away. Norma on the other hand stopped her foot on the ground. "That was mean, Senny!" she protested before going turning around to ignore him as well. Normally she would've made a jive to make Chloe join her but Senel had taken care of that himself this time.
"Huh?" Senel looked in confusion at Chloe and Norma. He didn't think they'd take it that bad. And why were they blushing? ... Senel thought over what he had said before it dawned on him. "Wait! I didn't mean it like that!" he said quickly, his face also turning red.
Norma had pretty much expected that response out of Senel, but continued to playfully ignore him, trying not to snicker at his predicament. Chloe on the other hand, didn't believe him for a second. Poor Senel...
Moses headed off towards the hospital in Werites Beacon. He asked the nurse where Csaba's room was before she directed him to the right place. Entering Csaba's room, Moses grinned and gave the other male a tight hug which Csaba returned.
"Moses! I'm glad you're okay!" Csaba said happily.
"Yeah, me too! I thought you all had been done for." Moses sat on the chair next to the bed. "When are they letting you out?"
"In a few hours, I think. The wound to my leg wasn't as bad as the others," Csaba said with a small smile.
"That's good." Moses grinned. "Then you can join us for dinner today. I think we're gonna have a party!"
Csaba laughed at this. "No alcohol, right? You know how you get when you get drunk."
Moses laughed in return. "Nah. I can't be drunk around my little Jay-bo. I'll hold off the booze today."
Jay entered the hospital discreetly, following Moses at a fair distance. He stayed outside the room Moses entered and began to eavesdrop. From the sounds of it, it looked like Csaba was doing just fine. Jay smiled feeling glad. It had been his fault the other had gotten hurt after all. Jay continued to listen to their conversation, his brow returning irritably at Moses "little" remark.
Moses and Csaba continued to speak for a while before a nurse came passing the hall. She walked over to Jay and smiled kindly. "Hi, little boy, are you lost?" she asked sweetly.
Jay's eye twitched at the nurse's assumption before remembering where he was. His eyes widened slightly, and he slowly turned around to stare at her, feeling unease. "Um, I was just leaving...!" he whispered to her lowly so the occupants he had been spying on wouldn't notice the commotion. He made to leave then, sidestepping over the nurse and heading towards the exit.
But Moses, being the good big brother that he was, could sense Jay's distress miles away. He stood up and opened the door before grinning at the sight of the ninja. "Jay! Over here!" he said happily with a wave, thinking that instead of leaving, Jay was merely lost.
Jay froze on his step and really, almost cringed at being so careless. He turned around and was about to awkwardly wave at Moses in greeting when he stopped himself in time. What was he thinking? He crossed his arms over his chest and rolled his eyes instead. "Really Moses, I had thought even you were smart enough to know not to yell inside a hospital. People are trying to get rest, you know." he lectured him as he approached the redhead. Jay tried to ignore the blush that spread across his cheeks, but was relieved it was probably not noticeable through his face paint.
"You should know how careless Moses is at this point, Jay," Csaba said with a smile.
"Hey! Why are you two picking on me?" Moses said, giving them a pout. The redhead let Jay in before closing the door.
Csaba smiled at Moses before looking at Jay. "How are you?" he asked, though the question had more meaning than an everyday greeting.
"..." Jay's expression turned nervous for a split second before it returned to normal. He sidestepped the question. "Shouldn't I be asking you that question? You are the one on the hospital bed," he reminded him as he sat down on one of the chairs.
Csaba smiled a bit. "I'm fine. Don't worry about me." He said.
"Yeah, Csaba's tough! Even though he doesn't really look it." Moses said, leaning against the wall.
"I've improved over the past year," Csaba said with a small laugh before looking at Jay and flashing him a special smile.
"I suppose you have..." Jay smiled weakly, slightly cursing the man for getting back on track. Jay didn't know why he felt like avoiding this subject now. He was such a coward... Jay stared down at his lap, not knowing what else to say.
Luckily, Moses stepped in at the right moment. "So we'll let you rest, Csaba. Food should be ready back at Will's place." he said with a grin. "You rest, alright?"
Csaba nodded. "I will. I'll come over to the house when they let me go," he said.
Moses nodded and looked at Jay. "Come on, let's go. I'm starving!" he said as he headed out of the room.
Jay looked up from his lap in surprise at this sudden goodbye. Although he supposed it was his fault, as he had interrupted the two. Jay got up and followed Moses out the door, only turning back to say goodbye to Csaba.
Csaba waved and watched them go. Moses walked out of the hospital with Jay and smiled a bit at him. "Thanks for coming. I'm really glad Csaba's alright," he said as his grin widened happily.
"D-Don't mention it," Jay murmured, still embarrassed at having been caught at the hospital.
Moses looked at Jay for a moment. "Hey, something wrong, Jay? You look flustered," he said, leaning down a bit to be eye level with Jay.
Jay shook his head although he didn't meet Moses' eyes. "It's nothing."
"Come on. You can tell your big brother anything," Moses said with a grin, putting a hand fondly on Jay's head. "You trust me, right?"
Jay glared slightly at the hand on his head, but Moses' words soften up his expression. "I-Idiot..." Jay muttered, embarrassed. "You should already know that," he admitted to him quietly. Why did the other have to say it that way? Jay thought, looking away from the redhead. He... really never changed, he thought fondly.
Moses gave him a smile and let his hand fall back to his side. After a few moments of silence, Moses stopped and put his hands behind his head. "Jay." he said, looking at him for a moment, his expression a bit serious. "Tell me about... Noah," he said. "How was I before.. whatever happened that I lost my memory?"
Jay stopped in his tracks the moment Moses spoke his name in that tone. He had thought he could avoid this a bit longer... He frowned, looking at the ground as he tried to think about where to begin. Would Moses hate him...? He wondered, hesitating. After all, Jay had said horrible things that night, had done horrible things back then.
It was as if Jay was back to his old self then, back before when Solon haunted his very thoughts, crushing his self esteem. Jay tried to shake these thoughts away and instead forced a smirk. "You haven't changed at all you know," Jay told him, his tone turning teasing. "You're still the same loudmouth who rushes ahead into danger without thinking. And... you're still..." You're still able to care about someone like me, he wanted to say, but the words stuck in his throat.
On one hand, Moses was happy that he wasn't that different. But as Jay spoke, he noticed that the tone was sort of... forced. And when the boy trailed off, Moses couldn't help but feel concerned. "If you don't want to talk about it, then you don't have to. Just tell me, Jay," he said, putting his hands on Jay's shoulders. "You're my little bro. I don't want to make you feel bad."
Jay was beginning to get that weird feeling again, the one both Noah and Moses made him feel at times like this. "Really..." Jay shook his head, his mouth curving into a small smile. "No matter what happens, you are always 'you'," he told him, and laughed.
Moses looked at him for a moment before he smiled. A doubt that he hadn't been aware of seemed to disappear and he laughed slightly. "Feels good, hearing that from you," he said before he pulled Jay into a bear hug. "You're gonna make your big brother cry!" he said with a grin.
"Ack!" Jay thought he might too, but for an entirely different reason. He struggled against Moses arms, wanting to get out of his hold. "G-Get off of me, you stupid bandit!" he growled scathingly. Old habits never died it seemed. Jay's face burnt as he noticed that people were beginning to notice.
"Haha~! I knew it!" a familiar voice proclaimed in the not-quite-so-far distance. Norma was skipping along with a triumphant expression on her face. "What did I tell you guys?" she gloated to Chloe and Senel. Indeed, Chloe looked surprised Norma had been right.
Senel still looked quite embarrassed from previous events that he didn't respond when Norma turned out to be correct, above all.
Moses looked at the three of them and raised an eyebrow, still holding onto Jay. "What are you babbling about now, Bubbles?" He then sniffed the air and let go of Jay. "Food's ready!" he announced as he marched off towards the heavenly aroma of Grune's cooking.
Jay was too horrified about having been caught by the party to feel relieved about Moses finally letting go. Without even muttering a word of acknowledgment to them he quickly hurried into the house as well, making it seem like he was following after Moses.
Norma watched the two go with a growing smirk across her face. She was seriously never going to let Jay live this down! She giggled then, feeling entirely mischievous as she too followed after them.
The End! Hope you guys enjoyed it!
For those curious, I played: Jay, Norma, and Chloe; while TheKillerBunny played: Moses, Solon, Senel, and Grune. She's the best, isn't she? You guys should go check out her fics!
And of course, please leave a review, that makes us very happy as well. (: