For the One I Love
Chapter 2: Departure
"Stop crying," She spoke sternly. Grandmother had always carried a tone of authority. She was a force to be reckoned with and she dared you to talk back to her years of experience in torture. "I taught you better than that,"
"But, granny…I can't help it!" Mei wailed like a baby as she clung to her grandmother's scandal. "I don't wanna go to Tokyo! I want to stay home with you and Aqua!"
"Get up, girl!" She tried shaking her off but she stuck like glue to her leg. "Xu Mei, get up now! You know your responsibilities."
"Yes, grandmother," She immediately stopped crying and stood on her feet. A chill filled the air and ran up Aqua's spine as the mood changed. The foreshadowed future was known to all of them.
"But, I'm going to miss you!" Mei broke down again, throwing herself at Aqua.
"Hey, get off! I don't want your gross snot on me!" Aqua pushed at her face, her round, child cheeks drenched with salty tears. "You have to go Mei! Get on the boat! You'll see me again anyway!"
She blinked twice, "Really? Why didn't you say so? Now it doesn't seem all that bad!"
"Duh, you big baby! You already know I'll be chosen to go with you. I worked just as hard you training under granny." Aqua bragged, arrogantly. If there was anything she was confident about it was her own abilities to claim her goals. Nothing ever stopped her from what she wanted and nothing ever would.
"Okay~" Mei sung as she spun and skipped off to the boat. "See you soon! Wish me luck on finding Lenny!"
Aqua stared, in disbelief, she felt cheated. "Wait a minute! Just two seconds ago you were crying at our feet and now you ready to leave like that! What if I never see you again?"
"Don't give me that," Len looked away from his tearful sister. The rest of his family didn't care to see him off. They prepared for this day for the last 500 years. There was no need for sentimental good byes. Len knew what the expected from him as well as what he expected from himself.
Jun took advantage of the situation of being alone to cry. They knew if there father was there he would have been greatly "displeased". She wiped a tear from her eye, "Yes, I'm sorry. I know you'll be alright. I'm just…concerned Len."
"Won't you change your mind? I know you miss her. I'll admit it, I do,"
"Forget it, Jun. I closed that chapter and burned it in a Hell's flame." Len looked away from her. "I don't need to pick up any childhood baggage. It will only prove to be a nuisance in the way. She's just a dead past along with the other things."
He continued to turn away, "Well if that's all I'll be on my way now sister. The train runs on a schedule and so do I. Bason, let's go." Len picked up his suitcase and carried aboard the train without even waiting for Jun to say goodbye.
There wasn't any worry about seeing her again, he just didn't want her to show him the truth in his heart anymore. A truth carried for years, but never revealed. For him it wasn't just denial but to protect one of the only people he ever cherished.
Just as she protected him.
"Len, you know that's not true…" Jun looked down at her feet. "You're just scared to tell her you're not quite the same anymore."
"I'm sorry, Aqua," Mei smiled. "I shouldn't have been so dramatic. I will miss being here with you. Spending time here with you and grandma were the some of the best memories of my life. Some of the only memories I have of my life,"
She paused in remembrance. They had been here only to train to become stronger. But, yet they still grew up together for the first time being treated as children, as human beings. No longer brandishing the title:
"But, we both know it's time to go forward. Be strong for me Aqua, I want you to be chosen to fight by my side. I know you'll make it, I've seen your skills first hand." Mei reached out and squeezed Aqua's open palm. "This will keep you safe,"
Her lips parted in shock as she felt Mei close her fingers around an item. "Promise me you won't forget to give this back to me when I see you again, okay? It's very important to me!"
"Mei, I can't take this…this is yours," Aqua looked down at the sacred treasure in her hands. The Pendant of Xu, it was a symbol of the heir's rightful seat to the throne.
"Take it. I'm sure Dad would do the same if he still had it." Mei grinned. "I want them to know that I believe in you. Not one of their greatest warriors they bought with money or trained with secret teachings can beat you!" She had a determined look I her eyes.
A look Aqua had seen before, when Mei had said she believed in her. It was the first time anyone had said such a thing to her.
"Aqua is my friend! Not some demon you can seal away!"
"She's better than any of the goons you throw at us! You hear me, Uncle? You hear me?"
"Shut up, you…" Aqua's lip quivered. She bit it in defiance. She refused to cry. Mei and Aqua had been through to much to cry over a small farewell. It's not like she wasn't going to see her again. "Get going already! Stop taking forever to get on the stupid plane! Just go!"
"But, Aqua, your…crying," Mei hesitated. Out of all the time she spent living with Aqua she had only seen her cry once. This would be the second and she hadn't expected it to get this emotional.
"No, I'm not! Just leave, okay? It's not like I'm not going to see you again anyway!" Aqua pushed Mei towards the plane.
"But, nothing! It'll be like a flash, I'm going to give this back to you when I see you later!" Mei tried to struggle a bit feeling it was right to stay and comfort her friend.
She stopped when Aqua spoke again, "Please go, I don't want this to be your last memory of me…I want it to be looking strong and brave, so you'll have courage on your journey."
With that she smiled, feeling content with her wishes. "Okay," Mei didn't turn around this time and just kept walking. She put up a hand gesturing goodbye.
"Just so you know, when I see you cry it makes me feel stronger so I can protect you." Aqua looked up to yell at her again, but stopped when she saw Mei standing in front of her.
Carefully looking at the tears streaming from her eyes and her ears, as if she were taking in the memory to preserve, Mei wiped the tears from her right eye.
"See you later," She smiled, and then ran to board the plane content with her farewell.
Mei, you…you idiot.