Disclaimer: Riot Games owns all of this, you know?

HEADS UP: Last chapter I made a grave mistake when I miscalculated the punishment Kitty was supposed to receive. Originally they were fifty (spaced out as it will be clarified this chapter), but later changed to something more symbolic but didn't change the fifty. My bad. It has been corrected to real values.

Chapter 11 - Path to Exile

The dark wall rose several feet from the ground, way past what was normally acceptable to reach imposingly intimidating heights. Onyx bricks were piled upon each other, seamlessly forming an impressive block of inky black. Moss patches gave it relief and spires on top of the wall finished the aura of a sinister keep. Light came from the few barred windows populating the surface, like the shining eyes of a great beast. Its massive gates were covered in reinforced plates and nails painted as onyx as the rest of the building. Overall, Noxus' prison looked as impenetrable as it was in reality. It truly was an inescapable terror.

To add even more despair to its presence, the fortress was built four levels below surface, just one level above the lowest. Therefore, sunlight was a precious utopia everyone dreamed about within its holdings. Landing a life sentence was often considered worse than a death sentence in Noxus, and the prison was the reason. The fortification had clear rules. You cannot escape, and you were out for your own hide. Survival of the fittest was a must, as it was in every echelon of Noxian society.

It was to these very gates that a peculiar carriage arrived. The driver looked up at the building, let off an involuntary shudder, hopped off and quickly scampered to open the vehicle's door. Holding it open as was his custom, he watched the occupant slither out of it and pause a few steps ahead. The figure had a dark cloak over its shoulders, but the telltale snake's tail did not protect her identity as much as she wanted. The owner of said appendage looked up under the cloak's cowl at the prison, snarling in disgust at the unwelcoming place she had been forced to visit. But, this was a matter of great importance and she wouldn't let any other deal with it. Regardless that if by some strange alignment of planets, someone offered to do so.

Moving to the massive plated gate, Cassiopeia slammed her fist onto a small pad near the center of it, producing a somehow loud noise. Such pad was a special spot for visitors to knock. Anywhere else, there would be no sound coming out due to the thickness of the gate.

Moments later, a disinterested voice came from the pad. "Yeah?"

"Came to pick up Katarina Du Couteau." She replied with a growl. Three days. Three days without any news from her imprisoned and punished sister. It went without saying that during the lapse of time the Serpent was so distraught she had trouble sleeping or even keeping up with her meals. For the first time, her sister was gone and she knew she was suffering during that abscense.

The gates screeched softly for a moment and a normal sized door materialized on it. A pair of heavy armoured guards came out of it, followed by a tall, mean-faced hairy man. He stretched to his full height in a clear intimidating gesture, but Cassiopeia had faced much worse in the Field of Justice. A fully fed Cho, for example.

"Spare me your boureaucracy." She said instantly before the man had a chance to speak. "You know who I am and what I can do. Do not test my patience." Her eyes glowed ominously, her teeth barred at the trio.

The tall man eyed her silently before acquiesing. "Very well." He said in a funnily high-pitched voice that caught the Gorgon off-guard.

The trio went back inside and she followed, but not before noticing her driver chuckling amusedly until she shut him up with a stern look.

The interior of the fortress was the same damp, dark place as outside, but filled with pained, furious or crazy noises. The people kept within contributed to the orchestra. Cassiopeia tightened the cloak around herself instinctively, warding off the chill stalking from the floor and the pungent smell that permeated the prison. No wonder she knew she wouldn't like it. The place stank of rot and death. And not the clean death, but the filthy, filled with grime and dirt.

Cassiopeia followed the guards through a set of stairs until it opened to a wide field surrounded by chains and barbed wire. In the field, the inmates were traipsing around and mingling among themselves. Some were fighting and others were eyeing her curiously. There were some benches and tables around, but only the bare basics. In the middle of it all, a single cell stood under a direct ray of sunlight coming all the way from the surface. It had no windows whatsoever and the door was barely distinguishable.

The trio disappeared within a nearby passage and she followed them all the way to the top of the fortress, where a tight security protocol stopped them briefly.

After being cleared thanks to the guards confirming their identity, they entered a fancier section of the fort. Cassiopeia instantly felt more at ease, but slightly so. This was still a devious prison.

They stopped in front of a wooden door that had an inscription: "Iphlios Ahmare - Warden". Knocking once, they waited.

"Come in." At once the main guard opened the door but didn't go in and stepped aside for her to enter.

The Serpent eyed them and entered. The door closed behind her and she was treated to the sight of the Warden's office. A few pieces of art hanged on the walls, but the room was centered around the massive desk and the huge cabinets around the place. Behind the desk, a man with ragged black hair, locked jaw and beady eyes sat staring at the newcomer intently.

Nothing was said for a moment while they scrutinized each other. The warden finally invited Cassiopeia to sit on a chair with a motion of her hand.

"I'd rather make this quick." She said pointedly.

Iphilios nodded. "As you wish, miss Du Couteau."

Cassiopeia wasn't surprised he knew her identity. Ever since her addition to the League, she was instantly recognized around the major cities and most of the minor. Sometimes it was a nuisance, but she quickly learned to take profit from it. There were interesting things to be learned from fanatized people, and one could never underestimate the power of gossip and rumors. "I'm here to retrieve my sister."

The Warden eyed her for a second and nodded slowly. "Certainly. Her punishment has already been delivered in accordance to the Emperor's orders."

Cassiopeia churned her lips. All these events were not to her liking. "I know. I was notified."

Iphilios nodded again and wrote something on a paper on his desk. "Very well." He stood up. "You'll be taking just your sister?"

Something in that sentence chilled the serpent. There was something extra that rang alarm bells all over her brain. "What?"

He just waved his hand dismissively. "Nevermind. Let's go." He shot back picking up a set of keys and walking towards the door.

The Gorgon dropped the topic, but filed it in the back of her mind. What else was hidden in the shadows now? She hated being kept in the dark, but maybe she was reading too much into this. Maybe he just spoke strange.

No. He spoke clearly. One did not reach wardeb with poor communication skills.

Mutely following the Warden through several winding and downslope corridors, as well as some memorably steep stairs, Cassiopeia pondered more on her current issue than what Iphilios was talking about.

What state would her sister be? Was she sick? Cold? Addled? Or worse, a lettuce? Nevermind that lashes weren't able to produce such effects, but her preoccupation overrode that section of her self.

"Here we are." They stopped in front of a metallic door with a vent on top, a catflap on the bottom and numbered simply as 381. Around them, steam, smog and moss cloaked them like a snug cloth. The younger Du Couteau pulled her garb closer and covered her face instinctively. She watched as the warden jiggled with his keys until he found the one and proceeded to open the door.

The creaking door gave way to the darkness within, something common in windowless cells like this. Plucking a lantern from nearby, Cassiopeia took a deep breath, calming her nerves, and went forward under the watch of Iphilios.

Slowly, light filled the cell and once it did, her heart broke into a million pieces.

There, sitting spread-eagle with her arms chained high, her head dipped unresponsively and clothed only on her legs was her once radiant, powerful and unmovable sister. Now she was in shambles and the sheer sadness it brought her made her drop the lantern, somehow not turning it off, and slowly slither to Katarina, her hands trembling as well as her lower lip and tears beginning to gather on the corner of her eyes.

"Sister... No..." She managed to whisper in a croak, the lump in her throat making talking a test of will. She enveloped the redhead in a close embrace, feeling her chilling skin on her own, which only served to panic and further her gathering fury.

Katarina stirred weakly. Her head lifted very sluggishly. "Cas...sie?"

It spoke of how much despair Sinister Blade was going through when she used a nickname not uttered since they were at least a third their age.

Her hug tightened. "I'm here, Mittens. I won't leave you." The lump clenched painfully in her voice.

"Heh... How the mighty have fallen..." The assassin mumbled sardonically.

Cassiopeia knew it was because of her proclamation that she wouldn't leave. They knew that they cared greatly for each other, but they very rarely spoke about it.

"Love you, Cassie." She added with a sincere tired half-smile. The dirt accumulated on her face gave it a whole new pure meaning. Previously they declared their sisterly love in the midst of the easy high-class life, but now, it was in the deepest, vilest and ratiest place in Noxus, and still Katarina said those words.

It brought untold joy to Cassiopeia that her sister was not gone in the slightest, but what other effects would this punishment have?

She was about to reply with similar warm words when Katarina's head lolled forward.

The gorgon's heart skipped a beat. Placing her hand on her sister's forehead, she instantly knew of the boiling fever she was suffering. She tried to lift Katarina bridal style, but her chains prevented her to do so.

It was in that moment that all her pent-up emotions exploded like a giant volcano. It was just too much of everything.

"Get your ass over here and fucking free my sister!" She growled in her darkest and most animalistic roar she could manage in her state.

Needless to say, Iphilios zoomed into the cell, his hands flying through the keys. He easily understood a pissed off Cassiopeia was a bad Cassiopeia.

Once the redhead was free and she once again tried to lift her, Katarina almost slipped from her arms when something slippery covered her hands and forearms.

With an indefinite amount of apprehension, Cassiopeia carried her sister into the light, intent on inspecting what happened.

She didn't have to move from the threshold to notice the blood on her forearm and elbow.

Setting her sister down very carefully, the gorgon quickly understood where it was coming from. The lashes on her back hadn't healed much and blood was still very slowly flowing from her wounds. Considering that it had been three days of back-to-back punishment, she was surprised Katarina regained her consciousness.

Anger filled her veins as she pulled her cloak from her shoulders and covered her sister's bare torso.

She was enraged.

Scratch that.

She was seething in barely restrained fury.

But she didn't speak nor did anything other than pick her dear sibling and carry her through the corridors under the stare of some inmates as well as all the guards she encountered.

No, lashing at them would produce nothing. They were following orders. No, the people responsible for this travesty were much more powerful and devious and they needed to be dealt with accordingly.

Reaching the cart, she waited not very patiently as the driver opened the door and waited for her to get in before closing it, his eyes landing sadly for a moment on his older mistress. Inside, she coiled her tail in a make-shift sofa and placed her sister as carefully and snugly as she could on it. The long journey would definitely leave it numb, but she didn't care at all.

"To the Institute! Now!" The carriage zoomed out of the prison seconds later.

No, she didn't mind an asleep appendage when her sister needed all the comfort she could get now.

There would be time for revenge.

Now it was time to heal.

She planted a kiss on Katarina's heated forehead.

Her sister needed her now, and she would not let her down.

That's what sisters did, after all.

It was probably the shortest travel she had from Noxus to the Institute of War. During their many traipses to and fro, it took most of half a day just to reach their nearby city-state by land. One could only imagine the odyssey it was for the Ionians or the Jordles, since the former had to cross treacherous waters and the latter wilder and more dangerous mountains and jungles. No wonder they didn't like very much to go back home.

The carriage screeched to a careful halt in front of the stairs and the driver hopped off in a flash. His mistress was pissed off like never before and her other mistress was clearly in a very delicate state. Their orders carried a heavier sense of gravity than getting rid of his job.

He didn't even reach the doorknob when it slammed open and Cassiopeia sprung forward, her sister covered in her fancy black cloak and carried in her arms. There was a wild look on the serpent's eyes as she slithered as fast as she could on the ramp next to the front steps, the driver not even taken into account. There was the clear intention to get her sister medical attention as soon as possible ever since she had lost some colour halfway through to the Institute.

As she went on her warpath, summoners as well as some champions took notice of the distraught Noxian and the covered person she was carrying. Gossip and rumours started spreading as she went, but she paid them no heed at the moment. She only diverted her path when she found Soraka close by. As one of the medical experts of the Institute and a sworn dedicated healer, she was bound to help.

"Starchild!" She called urgently as she moved to her.

The transformed woman turned from talking with Irelia and immediately raised her eyebrows in surprise at the scene in front of her. She instantly assumed correctly there was something wrong. "Cassiopeia. How can I help you?" This was one of the particularities of the healer, she did not hold a grudge against anyone after her intent on revenge transformed her into what she currently was. Obviously, this meant she gained favour amongst the majority of the populace as a sort of go-to when one needed a secondary input about anything.

Because of this, Cassiopeia was commonly around the Ionian, due to her knowledge of rumours and happenings and their shared trait of forced transformation, they had a civil treatment of each other. That didn't mean it translated to friendly, since both were kind of wary around the other because of their backgrounds. It was more like an understanding relationship in which both gave and returned information. However, recent events blurred that barrier slightly and the gorgon allowed herself some despair. "Katarina! She's wounded and sick and lost a lot of blood and now she's pale and-"

The Starchild ignored the rest of her rant and assumed the covered person was the famed Noxian assassin. Lifting the cowl off to confirm the identity and get a reading of her current state, she sucked air sharply. The pale face, ragged breathing and deep eye bags were not exactly welcoming. "Irelia, get them." When the Will of blades didn't move after a few moments, Soraka turned to her, a serious and rare hard look on her face. "NOW!"

The bladeswoman instantly scurried off while Soraka lead them towards the nearby infirmary at a hurried pace. The healer directed them to the closest clean booth with an unused bed. "Get that cloak off and lay her here." She said and closed the curtains behind them. Privacy was a constant she was proud of keeping for her patients, and this particular patient would surely need all she could. There was no telling what would happen if word got by that the famed Noxian assassin was down for the count.

Cassiopeia fulfilled the orders as quickly as she could, her mind not even registering the state of her sister's garbs, and lay her flat on her stomach as carefully as she could. Now, under some good light, she could assess the damage that had been done and it wasn't pretty at all. There was caked and fresh blood all over her back and hair, the crisscrossing lashes were not very deep but very obvious and dirt was all over her skin. The serpent grabbed her sister's hand and held it warmly. Sadness worming its way back into her heart.

Another sharp intake of breath. "How did this happen?" Soraka inquiried in shock. Not since the Noxus-Ionia war had she seen such type of wounds. They were not lethal, but if left untreated for long could very well be.

The gorgon averted her eyes. "I... rather not talk about it..."

It was a testament of Soraka's unwillingness to meddle in the affairs of others when she did not pursuit the topic and continued to inspect the injured assassin. She leaned closer to get a better look and then frowned. "What's that?" She mumbled and lowered her face closer before sniffing a few times. "Is that...?" Recognition dawned on her face and she shot back up, brows raised high in surprise and jaw slacked in disbelief. Who could be so sadistic?

Cassiopeia frowned, unable to comprehend what the healer was going on about, but before she could voice her inquiries, the door to the infirmary opened and a second later two people entered the booth they were in.

"We came as soon as Irelia..." The yordle ninja dressed in his medical clothing stopped talking when he took notice of who was standing there. "Cassiopeia?"

"Katarina?" Akali, dressed in her nurse outfit, zoomed past him in disbelief, instantly reaching the fallen woman's side and taking her free hand between hers, a need to reassure she was okay surging within. "Kitty! What happened?!" Her tone left no doubt she was worried and affected at her girlfriend's current state. "You look terrible..." She lamented. Her eyes travelled all over her back, where noticeable cuts on her skin, mixed with her blood and hair in them did not make a nice scene. Her hands moved by themselves and removed the offending remaining hairs from the lacerations and moved her mane to her side with a careful touch, batches of it moving in blocks due to the clotted blood.

Cassiopeia watched with a snarl the ninja pass her hand over her sister's rugged hair, trying to smooth it over as much as she could. It sickened her to the core. "You tell me what happened." She replied more acidly than her corrosive poison.

Her tone took Akali by surprise and the other two instantly eyed her for her it. Facing the Gorgon, she hesitated under the Serpent's scalding gaze. "W-what? What are you talking about?"

A dark glare absorbed the younger Du Couteau's face. All her frustration and anger finally had a valid outlet who she assumed to be the culprit behind Mittens' punishment. "Do not lie to me, you bitch! I know what you did!"

The brunette ninja was even more lost. Gaping like a fish, she tried to find something to defend herself or get an explanation for Cassiopeia's sudden hostile words, but none came. "W-what?" She parroted dumbly. It confused her even more when the normally civil and cool-headed Cassiopeia took the frontal and emotional route.

The Serpent erupted. Letting her sister's hand gently next to her, she grabbed the nurse by the front of her dress and shook her wildly, her fangs bared dangerously and a vicious glint in her iris. "This is all your fault! I know you are behind this! I knew you weren't-"

Her incensed outburst was halted by a hand on her shoulder. She directed her glowing glare at the one brave enough to try and stop her.

Shen's stoic face staring back did stop her, but only from shaking his fellow ninja. Her anger was relentless. "I think you should calm down." He said evenly. His presence was like a rock in the path of a wild river, unmovable.

With a shake, the Gorgon removed his hand. "Don't touch me!" She growled defiantly but let go of Akali's clothes. Her head dropped and her gaze landed on her sister. Her dear sister. This bitch was the reason her sister was in this state, exiled from her homeland and considered barely above common dirt by those who once held her in high esteem. She was not worthy of being in her presence! Not after all she had done! "Out!" She exclaimed out of the blue. "Get out! All of you!"

The four Ionians stared at the distraught Du Couteau, knowing that the current situation was a heavy burden and didn't let her think straight. Sharing a look between them and a pointed one from Shen, the female ninja understood what was necessary to do. She opposed the decision vehemently, but there was nothing she could do to fix it. Cassiopeia was quite adamant on not having her around, and no matter how important she might be in the procedure to heal the assassin, there was no need to force an altercation when Katarina was in a delicate state. Altercations previous to a healing procedure would only complicate things.

"I'll... Wait outside..." The brunette said reluctantly. With one last caress at her girlfriend and a saddened glance at the affected sister, she slowly shuffled away like a chastised pet. The three Ionians watched her go silently, but all of them knew that it affected her. No one commented on it, since it was the wishes of the sibling, but being prohibited from taking care of her other half.

"You should go too." Soraka told the Gorgon after the heiress was long gone.

The younger Noxian remained motionless for a few seconds before reacting at all. Shaking her head, she faced her. "I… I'll stay." She said with a decisive nod.

The transformed Ionian sighed. Now was not the time to be stubborn. "This is not a matter of wanting, but a matter of procedure. We'll move her to a clean room and you won't be able to help with anything. Better go to your room and rest or take a bath and come back once we're done. Then you can help." The firm nods from the ninjas only reassured her command. "We'll let you know."

Hearing the order suddenly made Cassiopeia aware of how tired she was and how hard staying awake was, the adrenaline now receding to normal levels. "O-Okay." She relented. Shooting a sad smile at her unconscious sister, the Gorgon slowly inched towards the exit but halted there. "Please take care of her. I... can't lose her..." Pulling the curtain before her, she left the medics to their devices, trusting them to do their job. No matter that they were Ionian and they had been enemies not too long ago. They were honour-bound to their medical practices when asked for help.

They would give her back her sister.

I miss you already, you twit...

"How is she?"

Fourteen hours had passed since Katarina's forced admission into the medical ward of the Institute of War with heavy wounds and signs of infection in them. The medical staff of three champions worked quickly and effectively, cleaning, sanitizing and healing as much as they could in just a few hours. Luckily it was mostly a surface multitude of cuts, but there had been some complications. It was a simple, yet slow process.

Kennen gave her a half-smile. The worried tone was not missed by him. He had been the designated helper of Shen and Soraka, since they had more experience with treating more delicate injuries. So, he could update Akali on how to treat the slumbering assassin before going to rest. "She'll be okay, but…"

"But?" The heiress asked almost instantly.

"But there were issues." He stated with a frown and did not alleviate any of Akali's fears. "Soraka noticed the wounds secreted a pungent odor and with a brief analysis, we found what it was. Malonnia."

"Are you sure?" Akali asked in astonishment.

"Yes. Whatever caused the wounds was painted with the poison from that plant. So, her wounds did not heal as quickly as they should and caused the blackout from blood loss and minor poisoning. It did cause a slight case of infection and coupled with Malonnia's naturally corrupting juices prevented us from sealing the wounds correctly." He paused to purse his lips in frustration. He hated failing his duties as a ninja and equally so as a medic, specially towards someone in need and pleaded for help. "She'll have noticeable scars the rest of her life."

The female Kinkou gritted her teeth and clenched her fists. Katarina did not deserve this. She was vicious, blood-thirsty and had a vindictive streak miles long, but she had been witness to the redhead's kind side during months of interaction. She had been witness to the caring moments the Noxian was capable of, regardless of her constant need to assert her superiority and being in command. At first she had been hesitant, but as the redhead opened more little by little, she had been pulled into the uncontrollable roller coaster of emotions. Akali was relieved that it wouldn't be anything hindering in the least, but to leave such a prominent mark on her? Who needed to leave such a message on Katarina's everyday life? Noxians were not…

Her eyes widened.

Could it be possible?

Could Noxians be really that heartless?

"They won't be pretty, but she'll live without any hindrance." Kennen continued oblivious to her musings. He yawned and covered his mouth during its length, clearly tired. "Can you… keep an eye on her? She'll wake up soon enough with the quickened healing and blood transfusion completed after we operated."

"Yes, of course."

"Thanks. It's been a long shift." Walking away, he shot her an amused grin over his shoulder. "Try not to do anything naughty, though. This is a medical ward, after all." Kennen laughed joyously when Akali spluttered, her face a deep crimson. He couldn't resist poking some joke at the normally stoic Pruner.

"K-Kennen!" She watched him go laughing loudly. She couldn't help but notice a connection between that style of jokes and Katarina's usually one-way teasing. Was he always like this? With a sigh, she decided to make herself useful and went to do her rounds, leaving the redhead for last, so she could stay there as much as she wanted. No Cassiopeia would stop her this time, since she would have a very valid excuse.

With practised ease, the Kinkou heiress went around the few bedridden people, checking their status was according to plan, chatting amiably to keep them from boredom for a few minutes and replaced any remedy when low. It was a simple and gratifying job to do when her patients thanked profusely for their efforts.

"When are you going to go out with me, Milady?" The man inquired with a dashing smile.

Though the last one had an infatuation with her that she wished could get out of. No amount of telling him off would deter his efforts, and while it was flattering, it was overbearing sometimes. This instance, for example, with everything she had going, was not something she wanted to deal with at this particular moment. "My answer has not changed, Summoner." She replied unemotionally while she checked his chart.

"Well, you can't blame me for trying, no?" He shot back amusedly, a grin dancing on his features.

"No, but you are aware that I'm taken." She placed the chart back and proceeded to glance over his medications.

Some of his mirth seemed to evaporate and his head dropped slightly. "Yeah... We are all wondering where that came from..."

She frowned. "What do you mean?"

His face showed obvious surprise. "You mean you really don't get it?" At her head shaking, he sighed. "No one could predict you dating Sinister Blade, Milady." He said and sighed exasperatedly again. "You had zilch social interactions before aside from the usual battle or squabble in the mess hall. People are still wondering how you two got together and rumours of binding magic are popular..." He looked at her hopefully, wishing she could deny all this and shed some light on the issue.

The blank stare she sent him did none of that. "Rumours are that. Rumours. I wouldn't believe anything about us that doesn't come directly from us. As such, we are entitled to privacy. And as far as I remember, we don't care what you all think of us."

Her stoic tone squashed any hope of chatting amiably and left a stung for her almost hostile words. Clearly she wasn't interested in socializing. Or he had screwed up bringing that topic into discussion. "I... see..."

She decided to throw him a bone, noticing his downtrodden sulk. Also, maybe it would get him off her back. "You could always try another woman. I hear one of the elite summoners is searching for a boyfriend."

He instantly looked up. "Really? You think I have chance?"

She lifted her lips very slightly. How could she remain completely stoic with his hopeful look? "If you don't try..." Picking up her stuff, she motioned to leave. "Everything's in order. I'll return tomorrow with your next batch of medication."

He gave her a short salute and sat up straight on the bed. "Ok! Give my regards to Sinister Blade!"

"Will do, Evoin." She replied and left quietly at first, pacing herself evenly, but almost sprinting when no one could see her. Reaching her desk, she almost threw everything on it and rushed to Katarina's room, trying to get there before she woke up. Whooshing through the corridors, she quickly arrived to her destination and opened the door to the room. The interior was a simple; with a table, a door to the bathroom, a bed and two chairs by its sides. The pretty redhead was lying peacefully on the bed, covered in simple sheets. Her slumbering face was just as mesmerizing as it had been a week ago, almost calling her to lay down besides her and succumb to those delicious hugs the assassin could give. Stepping next to the bed, she softly took hold of her girlfriend's hand between hers, taking notice of its sudden softness and warmth. Akali was incredibly tempted to raise it to touch her face, as the redhead so often caringly did, but decided against it and plopped down on a chair after moving it closer, still holding Katarina's hand.

Glancing again at the Noxian's calm face, she felt the need to say something but words were difficult. There was so much to say but it was so complicated to explain. She could star with the obvious stuff, right? "Kitty..." She mumbled in a broken voice. Seeing Katarina like this clenched her heart more than she wanted, ever. "I miss you, Kitty... All this time you were gone I couldn't stop thinking about that date idea... Where would we go? What would we do? And I figured I was very much looking forward to it..." Squeezing lovingly the warm fingers, she sent an unanswered smile. "So you better wake up and fulfil that promise, Kitty..."

As much as she hoped she'd get an answer, logically none came. The redhead was still resting in her forced snooze state. The silence stretching in the room did not upset Akali in the least, used to being in quiet environments since her very young days in the Kinkou temple. In fact, she revelled in the lack of sounds and closed her eyes, focusing all her attention on giving a caress with her fingers on her girlfriend's hand, content with the moment of quiet. She was even tempted to get something to read, but there was no need for it, opting to catch up on her meditation time. Recalling the teachings her mother had given her on the subject, she quickly dipped her consciousness within itself, being vaguely aware of her surroundings. The peace catalyzing the transcension.

Not even fifteen minutes into her trance, the door to the room opened slowly. "I thought I made it clear you aren't wanted here."

The Kinkou heiress opened her eyes and looked at the newcomer, raising a brow at their expression.

Cassiopeia was shaking in fury.

Final note: Rage Mode: on.

I hope this chapter clarifies a lot of the previous' one questions (mainly the "scarring lashes" thing that some of you pointed out quite vocally) and also leaves some more!

Not much else to say, except that this came out quite quicker than even I expected! I really liked working on this one, and I think came out almost as much as I wanted to.

Give me a heads up what you think of it!