A/N: Hey, long time no see, and yes, I KNOW it's been pretty much ages since I last really updated anything, but I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now trying to rewrite one of my fan fictions and also working on an original story every now and again. But after a week of reading Drarry fiction I decided hey, maybe I should take a stab at finishing that chapter I started oh so very long ago. And here I am :P
Chapter 3: Surviving Trans-Dimensional Transportation
Yuri stared blankly at the fountain where his cousin had been only moments before. Seeing her inside Covenant Castle had been one thing, but seeing her disappear like that was on a whole other level of shock. It wasn't until Conrad started trying to convince him to go back to the office to continue signing papers that he remembered the other incident.
"Hey Murata," the double black Maoh started hesitantly, "since you guys are both human, that slap was just a regular slap, right?" The sage couldn't help the all-knowing smirk that painted his face. If Amelia was still there she would have called it arrogant.
"Is that how it seems to you Shibuya?" His tone was light, questioning but not suggesting the other was wrong in any way, but Conrad saw it differently. It had been a complete coincidence, Murata meeting Amelia, yet it seemed as though he were scheming something. It would come to no surprise to the soldier if he saw the girl wandering the castle grounds a few weeks from then, shouting obscenities and breaking things with her magic. He would have to politely bow out and leave her in the hands of other castle dwellers, which could inevitably lead to her being forced to interact with the sage again even though it was plain that she no longer had any intention of trying to be friendly towards him.
"Yuri, I think you should go back to the office now. If Gwendal stops by he'll be furious if you aren't there." Conrad placed a hand on the teen's shoulder and began steering him back into the castle hallways, sending one short conflicted look back at Murata's lonely figure as the sage stared at the fountain.
When Amelia's consciousness returned to her she could hear voices all around, speaking and shouting in her beloved first language, one that didn't make her head spin. The next thing she noticed was an ever-changing weight on her chest, similar in ways to when her cat would walk across her stomach yet at the same time completely different. It was unpleasant, not to mention she didn't like the thought of someone touching her chest while she was passed out. She forced her eyes open a fraction, but the harsh light shining down on her quickly had her scrunching them shut once more. Instead she cleared her throat in irritation and lifted one of her soaking wet arms from where she was lying and attempted to push against whoever was touching her, not that she could see where they were. The pressure vanished completely and a single voice, the voice nearest to her, showed shock. Ignoring them she rolled onto her stomach, hoping to find a reprieve from the bright lights.
"Uergh… This is just not my day." Laid spread out on her stomach it was hard to tell whether the floor was damp or it was just her clothes. Taking the time to just breathe for a while she slowly cracked her eyes open again, more cautiously this time as her eyes had already paid the price once.
"Miss, are you sure you're alright? We can call an ambulance if you need one." It was that voice again, the shocked one from before. Sighing wearily she pushed herself up on shaking arms, managing to settle into a sitting position. Pushing her dripping hair out of her face she squinted slightly, green eyes irritated by the chlorine in the pool.
"Don't be stupid," she muttered disapprovingly, once more scanning the crowds for her little brother, "I'm fine. Don't waste your breath calling anyone."
"Nee-chan!" Her head spun in the direction of the voice and she let out a sigh of relief as she saw Daniel walking towards her. Now that she knew where he was she could deal with the guy who was convinced she was about to drop dead.
"I'm so glad you're alright." He rambled, shocking her as she turned to face him. "Today's my first shift and I didn't know what I was going to do if someone died on my watch. I don't think I'd ever have been able to forgive myself." Amelia wasn't sure what to say. Shuffling over to the young lifeguard she awkwardly patted him on the back, trying to calm him down. His breakdown was causing more of a scene than her unnecessary – in her mind – resuscitation. She wasn't particularly adept at comforting people, so she forced herself to remain silent, opting instead to glare at the spectators until they went back to minding their own business.
"Sis, are you okay, what happened?" Daniel's voice questioned from beside her, his small hand coming down to rest lightly on her shoulder as she leaned over the lifeguard.
"I'm fine Dan, just…" Glancing over at him she snapped her fingers, drying him off the best she could without drawing any attention. "Just go get changed, yeah?" He nodded furiously before rushing off towards where he had left his stuff, slowing to a quick march when an older lifeguard yelled at him for running near the pool.
A chocked sob drew her attention back to her 'saviour' and she rested a hand on his shoulder, forcing him to look at her.
"Hey. Bad things happen all the time. It was simply a coincidence that something happened on your first day, in fact it was probably a good thing, making sure that you know what you're getting yourself into by becoming a lifeguard. Sure, things are less likely to go wrong at a swimming pool than the beach, but you just have to remember that things happen and stay strong." The lifeguard wasn't the only one shocked by her speech – she startled herself! Coughing awkwardly to break the tension she climbed to her feet, giving the young man one last pat on the back before turning away.
Her goal now? To get out of the pool and find somewhere private to dry off without being harassed by anyone else.
Drying off was simple enough. Amelia simply slipped into an unoccupied changing room – more private than the bathroom – and set her magic to the job. It took time though, and during that time she eventually noticed that she wasn't wearing any shoes. It was that fact alone that convinced her that perhaps all that stuff really did just happen – when she woke up she had been half expecting it all to have been a weird dream caused by a concussion.
Ten minutes later, having ensured that she was as dry as she could manage with her powers, the commotion had died down and she had no problems getting to the lobby where she found Daniel already waiting for her, not knowing where the car was parked. Daniel opened his mouth to say something, but as she approached she could literally see the question die on his tongue and he shook his head slightly under her questioning gaze. Whatever question he had had obviously answered itself.
"Well, I'm completely wiped." She commented as she led Daniel through the carpark. He sent her an odd look and she shrugged in response. "What? I am. I think I'll crash for a while once we get home. It's a good thing I'm not driving today."
"Whatever you say sis." He muttered, eyes on the pavement in front of him.
"Say, do you know if mum or dad has heard anything from Shori or Auntie Jennifer recently?" Amelia asked suddenly, staring inquisitively at her younger sibling. The young boy shook his head once more and made a break for the car which could finally be seen from where they were. She sighed and followed him at a more leisurely pace, picking her steps with care. Students could get drunk just about anywhere and she didn't fancy cutting her feet open on shattered beer bottles.
It wasn't until she was safely seated in the car that she actually took the time to dwell on what had happened. When it finally, truly sunk in that her cousin's pesky friend had so arrogantly claimed a kiss from her the atmosphere inside the small car became decidedly tense, an angry breeze flitting anxiously around the interior. Daniel rolled his eyes, having grown up with the antics of his older sister's temper, and turned to look out the window. She curled her toes and crossed her legs in the tight confines of her seat, crossing her arms across her chest and biting her lip irritably.
"Is everything alright over there?" Takashi asked, laughing nervously at the careless display of power. As she grew older her control certainly grew better, but make her angry and everything was lost.
"I am going to kill that damn Murata…" Amelia murmured, biting her thumb and ignoring her father's concern in favour of wondering how on earth she was going to get back there in order to beat the crap out of Murata.
"Amelia?" When she didn't respond he chanced a glance in her direction, slightly startled by the animosity in her expression.
"Father," she started quietly, forcibly relaxing her hands and bringing them down to rest in her lap as she struggled to shift her thoughts away from first-degree murder, "what exactly is a mazoku?" When the m word slipped out the car swerved dangerously into the next lane – luckily there was no traffic going the other way. After frantically correcting their course Takashi decided to keep his eyes firmly on the road at all times.
"Where on earth did you hear that word from?" He asked lightly, trying to keep the confusion and concern from showing through in his tone. She made an effort to purposely turn and face him, sending him an incredulous look that simply screamed 'you already know the answer to that'.
"You and Bob and Shoma-oji-san."
"Really?" Daniel had suddenly decided to take an interest in the conversation and was watching their exchange intently from the back seat.
"Yeah. Apparently it has something to do with my powers, although I can't for the life of me fathom why."
"What has you asking about all this now?" Takashi questioned, wondering how exactly he was going to go about answering her inquiries. When she remained silent he breathed a sigh of relief, hoping that she wasn't going to press the issue anymore, but his relief was short-lived.
"I was talking to Conrad and I remembered some… things," Amelia stretched the last word out, emphasising each sound as she stared out the window.
"Amelia, who is Conrad?"
Ignoring him, she continued on. "Things that the three of you spoke of one day when I was younger and the family was all together. You were discussing my powers with Bob and Oji-san, and you started talking about Mazoku." Takashi's grip on the steering wheel tightened and he glanced at Daniel through the rear-view mirror.
"Now isn't really the best time to talk about that…"
"Oh don't be such a baby old man, now is as good a time as any, or perhaps you'd rather have this conversation away from prying ears?" She gestured loosely in the direction of her younger brother, her tone of voice a clear indicator of the fact that she was deeply entrenched in her teenage rebellious phase.
"Can this at least wait until we get home?" If he was going to have that conversation he would much prefer it if he wasn't driving. They were only a block or two away from their house as it was. As she confirmed that fact for herself her shoulders slumped, all the pent up rage rushing out of her posture at once. She knew that she was being unfairly harsh – it wasn't him she was angry at, after all – and it was presumptuous of her to expect him to give her a straight answer without any sort of explanation from her side first. Even so, the situation annoyed her.
Once they had made it inside the house Amelia had managed to calm down even further. It no longer seemed like such an urgent question. Instead, her priority changed to having a shower in order to get all the chlorine out of her hair. She always had hated going to the pool.
Downstairs Takashi was having a secretive conversation with his wife, Lillian.
"I don't know how she found out, but Amelia started asking about the Mazoku on the way here. What am I supposed to tell her?" He fretted as he paced backwards and forwards across the tiled kitchen floor. Most explanations about life were delivered by Lillian, since she was better at that sort of thing than he was.
"Just tell her the truth, no harm can come from it," Lillian had to supress a small grin as she watched her husband freak out, normally he was so much more composed. Suddenly he stopped pacing, a thoughtful look overcoming the distress etched into his features.
"Hey, doesn't Yuri have a friend called Murata?" He asked, shocking her with its apparent lack of relevance to the subject at hand.
"Yes, I believe he does. Why?" She asked curiously, keeping one eye on him as she continued dinner preparations.
"Because I believe he's done something that greatly angered Amelia." Lillian's light green eyes widened in shock.
"How is that even possible? They've never met before in their lives!"
"Something strange is going on here…"