I'm So Sorry

The first thing she sees when she opens her eyes is a deep darkness filled with thousands of tiny points of light. The first thing she feels is a soft breeze ruffling her short soft fur and the cool night air. Her first smell is that of the desert at night. The first thing she hears however is a soft sad sound coming from the beings she knows are her mewet and yat. She doesn't understand at first. She doesn't know why they are so sad when she's just hatched from her egg because it seems like they should be happy like she is.

She'd waited so long to meet the voices that reached her while she was separated from the world by a layer of hard shell. After a few moments she realizes that there are voices other than the ones that belong to her parents and they're all telling her mewet and yat that they're 'sorry'. "It happens sometimes." Another voice that isn't either of her parents says. She doesn't know what the other voices are sorry for nor does she understand what 'happens sometimes' and she doesn't really care because at that moment she starts to whimper and wine and her parents turn their attention on her.

It only takes a few seconds for her mewet to pick her up and cradle her close. Mewet's fur is warm and soft and bright in the moonlight and while mewet holds her close to her heart yet speaks with the others surrounding them and leaves to get food for her to eat. The others leave not long after her yat is gone and then it is just her and her mewet. She is happy with this because she loves her mewet. It is her voice that reached her the most while she was waiting in the dark and so long as they are together then she's happy.

The world around her maybe new and strange but she doesn't fear what may happen. Instead she looks forward to spending her days with her mewet and yat and the rest of her makhaut. Her mewet makes a soft humming noise before turning her snout down so that they are looking at each other. There's both joy and sorrow in her voice when she speaks.

"Welcome to the world Ihehy." Sometime later Ihehy will learn that out of the four eggs that her mewet laid hers is the only one that hatched.

(o)(o)(o)

Ihehy giggled as she watched her mewet pin her yat to the ground for the third time in a row. While Ihehy herself was still too small to start learning how to fight it was always lots of fun to watch her parents spar. They were two of the best fighters in the makhaut after all. She'd even herd some of the others talking about how in time her yat would be the new Seshem. That would only happen however once the old Seshem dies or stepped down as leader.

Not that their current Seshem was going to call it quits anytime soon. He might have been old but he was still strong and willing to fight when the situation called for it. Their makhaut didn't seek out fights even though they prized themselves in their skills in both battle and reading auras. Her yat had told her that as soon as she was old enough she'd begin learning how to do both as well. It was their right by blood and spirit after all otherwise the ability wouldn't have been passed down by Anubis, the first of their kind to be gifted with the ability to see into the hearts of others.

"Curse you, Hedj! Must you bite so hard?" Ihehy giggled again at her yat's annoyed shout. He lay on the ground rubbing at one of the nerve bundles that hung from his head.

"Stop being such a pup, Medes." Hedj said as she eyed her mate. "Ihehy, didn't complain when Ibeh bit her while they were playing the other day." It was true too she hadn't made a sound when Ibeh had sunk his teeth into her tail while they had been playing and Ibeh bit hard when he was in a bad mood.

She'd given him a good hard kick in the belly in revenge however. Ibeh had run off after words to tell his mewet what she'd done in an attempt to get her in trouble. He had failed quite miserably too. His mewet had told him to expect things like that. They were fighters after all and every action he took would cause a reaction from whomever he'd acted against.

"Come here khered and help me teach your mewet a lesson." Medes called from his place on the ground. Ihehy giggled and darted towards her parents. Instead of running to her mewet however she pounced on her yat .

"Traitor." Medes called her as he pulled Ihehy to his chest and hugged her tight. Ihehy giggled and snuggled closer. It only took a few seconds longer for Hedj to join them in their pile so that all three of them were squished together and laughing. Ihehy gave a content sigh and rubbed her noise against her mewet's. This was a moment that she hoped would never end.

(o)(o)(o)

"Enjoy that while you can Ihehy." Hedj said as she watched her daughter gnaw at what was left of the meat on a rib from that days kill.

"Why?" Ihehy asked as she chewed her food. There was a split second where what she was eating was visible before she swallowed. "Are we not eating tomorrow?" Ihehy asked her voice worried. Hedj smiled and gave a soft laugh. Food was important when you were still growing and was one of the few things that most pups worried about constantly.

"We're crossing a border soon khered and there will be less food there to eat." Crossing the wasteland was something that they couldn't avoid even if they had wanted too. The area was too wide to go around especially if they wanted to make it back to the mountain range they traveled through during the harsher seasons. Ihehy seemed to think about this for a moment before shrugging and going back to her food.

"Listen to me Ihehy." Hedj said as she kneeled down so that she would be on her daughter's level. "You can't go wondering in the wasteland. There are creatures there that would gobble you up as soon as they saw you were alone."

Ihehy stopped chewing at those words and swallowed her mouthful. She looked worried for a moment before she tilted her head to the side in thought. A moment later she spoke. "You and yat would save me if they tried mewet. I know you would." While the faith her daughter had in both her and her make was heartwarming it was clear that she didn't truly understand the danger that they would be in. Hedj sighed and opened her arms in invitation. Ihehy was quick to abandon the clean bone and climb into her mewet's hug.

"Promise me that you won't go wandering away from the makhaut until I tell you it's safe khered. It would hurt my heart greatly if something happened to you." Hedj said as she wrapped her arms tighter around Ihehy's smaller form. Ihehy sniffed and was rewarded with a nose full of her mewet's warm sent.

"I promise mewet. I'll be good." Ihehy promised. It was a promise that she intended to keep no matter what happened because the last thing she wanted to do was hurt he mewet and yat. They had lost enough already and the last thing she wanted them to have to hear was more people saying "sorry".

(o)(o)(o)

Ibeh cheated when they played. Ibeh cheated and bit when he was losing their wrestling matches and when she hit him for biting her he tried to get her trouble. Inet never let losing bother her. She just waiting until Ihehy was relaxed and pounced on her until they started fighting again. Inet was more fun to play with than her brother was mostly because she didn't whine and whimper when she lost. Inet lost with grace just like all of their kind was supposed to and when she won a game she didn't tease and mock the losers.

Both winning and losing were learning experiences and every lesson made you better no matter what the outcome of the fight. At least that's what Seba said whenever she watched them play and chances were that she was right too. Seba was Seshem's mate and she was old and wise. It was Seba that would teach them how to use their aura when they were older and it was Seba that told them stories about Anubis, the first of their kind to read auras, and their history from when they lived in the sandy land by the river with the humans that fished in its waters.

"Ihehy!" The sharp shout of her name gave Ihehy just enough time to see her approaching friend before she was tackled to the ground. Sharp giggles filled the air as Ihehy and Inet rolled along the sand. Ihehy laughed loudly when she managed to pin the other Riolu under her winning their impromptu wrestling match. Inet's soft laughs had joined hers by the time the two of them had separated and climbed to their feet.

"Tag?" Inet asked her voice just as soft as her laugh. Ihehy grinned and nodded. "Only if we can get your brother to play too." Inet seemed scratched at one of the bundles hanging from her head for a moment as she thought about it before nodding.

"Ibeh can be it!" she exclaimed as she turned and darted towards where he brother was trying to hide behind their yat. Ihehy wasn't far behind her.

(o)(o)(o)

She woke to the smell of smoke, sharp barks, and pained yelps. Ihehy opened her eyes to a world that had fallen into utter chaos. Her mewet had warned her that they might be attacked but she hadn't believed her. What creature would be foolish enough to attack them? A deep rasping hiss was the answer to her question. Ihehy jerked to the side as a large black and cream bird tried to snatch her up in its claws.

The rattling bones that decorated the bird's body was something she recognized from one of Seba's stories. Only this didn't make sense because the birds that Seba had told them about were scavengers and forager's. The bone birds didn't hunt for fresh meat to eat but ate what was left of other's kills instead. They didn't hunt and kill others like they were doing now. Ihehy watched as the bird that had tried to snatch her winged its way up before turning. She knew that it was going to come back for her.

What Ihehy didn't know was if she'd be able to dodge it again. Sharp tremors ran up and down her body as Ihehy watched the bird in the sky. A sudden fear had managed to take hold of her and it refused to let her go enough for her to run away. This wasn't a fight she could win and she knew it. The little kernel of information didn't help her move however. Ihehy whined low in her throat and cringed, fear that she shouldn't feel making itself physically known, as the bird turned and dove at her again. What hit her and knocked her from her stupor however wasn't the bird but her yat. Ihehy watched as he stood tall silver blades extended from the spike on the back of his paw.

"Run now!" Medes snarled as he struck at the best that had tried to attack his khered. He had come running as soon as her fear had reached him and now he would strike down the foolish scavenger that dared to try and take her away.

"GO!" A sharp pain in Ihehy's stomach had the wide eyed and frightened Riolu moving in a heartbeat. Ihehy turned and began running not daring to turn and look as her yat began to fight behind her. Battles were raging all around her as she ran howls and hisses filling the air with so much noise that it made her ears ring. There was no way of knowing how this night would end and from what she could see while she ran things didn't seem to be in their favor. There were few things he kind feared and the scavengers seemed to have both.

The enemy could fly up into the sky where they couldn't be reached and could breathe flames so hot that the heat could be felt down to their very bones. The scavengers had the advantage and some small part of Ihehy knew that by the end of this long night many of those she had come to know over her short time would be gone. This was what her mewet had feared and it was coming to pass. This could be the end for all of them.

(o)(o)(o)

She hurt. She hurt more now than she could ever remember hurting and she couldn't remember why. She hadn't done anything the day before that would be the cause of such pain. All she had done was play with Inet and Ibeh. Ihehy blinked the dusty light filling the small space around her irritating her eyes. She had a moment of confusion.

Of wondering where she was and how she had gotten there before the memory of the night before tore through her mind like her yat's silver claws. The makhaut had been attacked by hungry scavengers and her yat had told her to run. Ihehy winched slightly as she sat up completely. She had done as he'd commanded so scared of what was happening that she wouldn't have been able to stay. She'd ran until she fallen over something. A sharp whine filled the small space as the image of Inet's mangled body flashed before her eyes. The other Riolu had had chunks missing and by the time she'd barley managed to process that she'd heard Ibeh crying out and screaming in terror and pain so strong she had felt it.

Ihehy shuttered and whined low in her throat. Sorrow and shame eating away at her. Her friends had been killed and eaten and she hadn't been able to do a thing about it. She had run like a coward and fallen into an old burrow where none of the scavengers had been able to find her. She should have left her hiding place and found others but she hadn't been able to move. Her parents had once told her that the only thing worse than someone who killed for gain was someone who saw something bad happen and did nothing. Something bad had been happening and she'd found a safe place that would have held several of her kind.

If she had gone back out she would have been able to save the others and then their parents would have been able to fight without worry. She hadn't however and no she had no way of knowing who had survived. Ihehy sniffed and rubbed a paw over her eyes before looking up at the hole that was letting the light in. Ihehy took a deep breath and let it out slowly steeling herself for what she was about to do. She had been a coward but she wouldn't hide. She would face whatever was outside of the burrow head on and she would tell her mewet and yat and Seshem and his mate that she was sorry for what she had done.

Then she would make up for it. Ihehy would do whatever she had to do to make up for being a coward. Mewet said that it took courage to make up for your mistakes and Ihehy knew that even if she was scared she could at least pretend to have courage and maybe if she pretended hard enough she'd find some. With that thought planted firmly in the front of her mind she moved forward and climbed out of her hole and into the sun. What awaited her in the light of the sun was a massacre that none had survived.

(o)(o)(o)

The sun over her head was hot and unbearable. Ihehy sniffed from where she sat panting. There was no shade or water or even food for as far as she could see and it wasn't the first time that she wished her parents were with her. But they weren't. Her yat and mewet had both died in the fight against the scavengers. She'd found her mewet's body the golden fur she had loved so much ripped and torn and bloody.

She'd never found her yat's and could only assume that he, and many others, had been taken back to the scavengers nests so that their babied could eat him. Ihehy whined in sorrow at the thought of her yat being eaten and she knew that had she had the tears to spare she would be crying for him again but she didn't. Her tears had run out days ago and now she was so dry that not even her nose was damp. It had been a long time since she'd found water she could drink and the plant she had eaten the day before had made her sick and had turned the world around her strange. That hadn't been fun at all and if she wasn't mistaken she'd spent the entire time wondering in circles or so what she had been able to see of her paw prints had told her.

Now she's just been wondering in a straight line and hoping that she'd come across something to eat or drink or maybe a place to hide. There had to be something out there because the ground beneath her paws wasn't as loose like what she had been walking on before. She'd been told once that when the ground was like that that it was because lots of other creatures walked across it. That was supposed to be a good thing because it usually meant that there was food and water nearby. Now however the packed earth just seemed to tease her with the chance of water because she'd been going for hours and found absolutely nothing.

Ihehy panted and leaned backwards so that she was lying on the ground instead of sitting. It was so tempting to just stay there and rest for as long as she wanted. There wasn't any hurry to find food and water though either would have been very appreciated at that point in time. It would have been even better if she didn't have to move in order to get them but that wasn't going to happen. There wasn't anyone left to take care of her now that all of the others were gone. Ihehy had to take care of herself because she knew that that's what her parents would have wanted.

The last thing they would have wanted her to do was lie down in the dirt and give up. So it was with a sigh that she pushed herself up onto shaky paws and began moving again. The path before her had to end somewhere and she was determined to find out where.

(o)(o)(o)

The air around her was pleasantly cool. Not cold like the air at night instead it was more like sitting in the shade provided by rocks or the occasional large plant. The air was cool and she was lying on something soft and her mouth didn't feel like she'd swallowed sand anymore. Ihahy sighed in content. The last time she had been this comfortable was when she'd been sleeping between her yat and mewet. That had been a long time ago however but still where ever she was now was nice and she felt safer than she had since her parents had been killed.

Ihehy sighed and wondered it whomever this place belonged to would mind if she slept for a while longer. It didn't seem like she'd been asleep for very long when Ihehy jerk awake and sat up. Red eyes blinked and began to water at the sudden intrusion of bright light and Ihehy ran her arm over them in an attempt to dull the hurt.

"You're awake!" A bright voice cried in happiness. Ihehy blinked and turned her head so that she could see who it was that was talking to her. Red met dark grey as she came face to face with the pink furred monster that had just spoken.

"Yes, I'm awake. Where am I?" Ihehy asked. Where ever she was she knew she wasn't in any danger. Trouble made her stomach hurt when it was near and at that moment in time all she felt was calm.

"You're in our home with me and my human and his family." Ihehy tilted her head to the side in slight confusion because while she had heard of humans before she herself had never actually seen one.

"What are you?" Ihehy asked before clamping her mouth shut. She hadn't meant to ask her fellow monster about her breed until she's asked her name. This didn't seem to bother the cotton tailed creature at all however because she just giggled and smile.

"I'm Thamina and I'm an Audino. I help Yinsen when he goes to work." Thamina replied and gave Ihehy another big smile. Ihehy offered her own small grin in return.

"My yat and mewet called me Ihehy but I don't know if it suites me anymore. Thamina's ears dropped and her eyes dropped for a moment before she bounced slightly on her feet and reach out so she could tug Ihehy out of the soft nest she'd been sleeping in.

"If you need a new name Yinsen will give you one. He's really good at things like that." Ihehy was tempted to pull her arm out of the Audino's grasp but after a moment she relented and let the other monster pull her along. Perhaps she'd been given a second chance at having a makhaut and if she was so lucky as to have such a thing happen so soon then she would take it. Things wouldn't be the same but perhaps this would help heal the whole that mad been dug out of her heart.

(o)(o)(o)

Rani yawned as she watched Yinsen's children play on the living room floor. Thamina hadn't been lying when she's told her that Yinsen would give her a new name because as soon as the man had realized that she had no real intention of leaving he'd chosen a name for her. A new name for a new life and she would admit that despite all that had happened before she was content with what she had now.

Her heart still ached but it was duller and further away. Now instead of wandering the desert looking for something she was likely to never find she watched over Yinsen's wife, Dua, and his pups, Tayyib and Hiba, when they were home from school. She wasn't the best fighter but Thamina was willing to teach whatever attack she was able to learn from her whenever the Audino had the time and energy and she learned a little from playing with Yinsen's pups. It was a life and so far it was better than what she'd had before she'd been found on the side of the road leading into Gulmira.

It was far from perfect but it was enough for now. It helped that she knew that Yinsen would let her go if she ever felt the urge to wander and Rani knew that in time she probably would roam again. At least for a while but that time was far off and wouldn't arrive until she had evolved. A loud shriek and crying caused Rani to jerk and topple off of the seat she'd been sitting on. Rani winced as Hiba's loud cries rang in her ears.

The four year old could scream for ages if she wanted too and when she wanted everyone to know that she was upset everyone knew. Rubbing at one of her ears Rani moved towards where the dark haired girl was sitting on the floor and holding her arm. Tayyib had fled the room in an attempt to escape the noise and possibly the trouble he was going to get in for pinching his sister. Whining softly to get the pups attention Rani licked the child's cheek and nudged at the bottom of Hiba's chin with her nose.

Hiba sniffed and buried her face in Rani's fur before wrapping her arms around the Riolu's torso and pulling her into a hug. Rani barked and shifted so that she could place her head on top of Hiba's and let the child cry.

It didn't take long for the girl's crying to turn into watery sniffles and hiccups. One Hiba was finished Rani pulled away and offered the little human a grin and was rewarded with a weak one in return. It would do for now.

"Tayyib!" Both Rani and Hiba jerk at Dua's shout but smiled at each other when they realized the woman was lecturing her son about the proper way to treat his little sister. When Hiba climbed to her feet and began tugging Rani in the direction of her room she knew that she could stay here and be happy. Rani made a vow right then and there that she would protect the new family that had taken her in no matter what it cost her.

(o)(o)(o)

Rani growled as Thamina bounded out of the way of her attack. The other pokėmon was giggling madly and having the time of her life dodging all of Rani's attempted attacks. It was maddening but Rani had asked to other monster to help her train and Thamina had agreed despite being a healer more than a fighter. Rani knew why she had now because nothing Rani did could touch the other pokėmon.

"Come on. You'll never get any better at this rate." Thamina teased as she danced into Rani's reach again. There was no bite in the other pokėmon's words but that didn't stop them from causing Rani to growl in annoyance anyways. She knew it was foolish to get worked up over this but she couldn't help it.

She'd always been evenly matched with the other Riolu of her makhaut so she'd won and lost her fair share of fights but Thamina was older and stronger than she was. She was also much faster. Rani growled and lunged forward lashing out with one paw to strike at the other monster. The move missed just like the last but this time she lashed out with one of her legs as well. Thamina squeaked as she toppled over more unbalanced than hurt but it was a small victory that Rani was willing to take. Thamina lay on the ground for a few seconds dazed before she jumped back to her feet.

"Very good! I knew you'd hit me eventually." she chirped. Rani offered the Audino a smile as her earlier frustration faded away.

"Thank you for training with me." "Even I need to practice every once in a while. If something goes wrong I have to be able to protect Yinsen and my patient." Rani nodded in understanding. It didn't matter if you were a fighter or not by nature because when it came right down to it all that mattered was protecting those you care about and those that were weaker than you.

"You're always stronger when you fight for something you love." Thamina said as she sat down on the ground before pulling Rani down with her. Rani was silent for a moment before replying.

"My mewet used to say the same thing. When you fight for a reason good or bad you fight better than if you were fighting for nothing."

Thamina grinned. "It's the truth too. I've seen monsters who have lost just as much and if not more than you Rani and many of them simply gave up and faded away." Thamina paused and leaned over so that she could wrap Rani in a hug.

"Never let that happen to you Rani. It'd break my heart to see you fade away like that too." Rani felt a blush creep across her snout and was thankful that her fur was dark enough to hide it.

"I won't. My kind don't give up so long as there's something to fight for." Rani said and if she puffed her chest out in pride a bit then Thamina wasn't going to say anything. There was nothing wrong with being proud of you species after all. Bouncing to her feet Thamina turned and offered Rani a paw so she could help pull the other monster up. Rani blinked at it for a moment before taking it and standing.

"I want to teach you something. Yinsen found someone to teach me this attach and now I want to teach you. Rani's tail wagged a few times at the thought of learning a new attack. Hopefully it would be something that she could use when she and Thamina fought.

"What is it?" Rani asked. Thamina smiled her eyes going squinty for a moment.

"There's a power hidden inside all of us and I'm going to teach you how to release it." Rani grinned and didn't even bother trying to stop the wag that had taken over her tail as Thamina began to explain how the attack worked and how she could learn it.

(o)(o)(o)

Rani panted slightly as she walked along behind Yinsen and Thamina. The sun was hot and the wind rough but other than that it was a good day. A busy day. It wasn't often that Rani went to work with Yinsen but an outbreak of illness in a nearby village meant that both Yinsen and Thamina needed all the help they could get and Rani had been more than happy to tag along. It would be worth it if she could help get the two of them home earlier than they had been arriving the past few nights.

Neither Dua nor the pups liked it when Yinsen was out after dark. There was danger in the dark, danger that had nothing to do with the monster that lurked in the night. Rani had heard the humans whispering about something called the Ten Rings and the trouble that was caused where ever this thing went. 'The Ten Rings killed and burned homes to the ground' or so the humans whispered in voices that were filled with fear.

"Stay close Rani." Yinsen called as she began to lag behind a bit. Rani winched and offered the pair a sheepish smile as she picked up her pace. It only took a few steps for her to catch up to them and once she had rejoined then they began moving again. The next home they were visiting wasn't very far away and it wouldn't take long for them to get there but the fear that filled the air as the humans went about their daily live made Rani's fur stand on end. It felt like they were being watched. Yet no matter where she looked Rani couldn't see anything.

It was the type of feeling that made Rani want to hide until the danger had passed. Rani knew however that if this danger did appear that she wasn't going to run and hide like a coward. No, she'd stand and fight this time and if she died in the struggle to protect her home then she could die with pride like she should have when the scavengers had attacked her makhaut. She would not fail again.

(o)(o)(o)

Rani yawned as she watched Yinsen roll a pair of dice across a game board. Tayyib sat on the other side worrying his bottom lip as he tried to think about how to best move his game piece across the board. The game was slow going but peaceful and Rani found that it was getting harder for her to stay awake the longer she watched the pair play.

The living room was peaceful and quiet in a way that it usually wasn't after dinner and it didn't help that Thamina was a warm presence against her back. The Audino had already fallen asleep and it didn't seem like she'd be waking up anytime soon. It was nice being able to relax after being so wound up for what felt like days on end. Nothing bad had happened and it appeared that the people that the other villages were so worried about weren't coming anywhere near their little town. At least not any time soon and the longer they stayed away the better.

The longer they stayed away the stronger she could get so that if they did ever come she'd be able to fight them off. So long as she was able to fight back this time everything would be okay. So long as she fought back nothing would happen to her new family. AS long as she stood strong everything would be okay.

(o)(o)(o)

A sharp 'crack' tore through the air as Rani jerked a wake red eyes wide and heart pounding. There was a moment of silence before another 'crack' tore through the night. "Thamina what is it?" Rani asked as the Audino jumped to her feet. Large ears twitched at the sounds filling the room through the cracked window.

"That's gunfire. Rani, go check on the children." Thamina ordered in a whisper. It was as if she being quiet would keep whatever was going on outside away from them. Rani didn't say a word as she darted towards the room that Yinsen's children shared. The room was dark and filled with the sound of soft whimpers. Rani's ears twitched at the sound and red eyes darted to the empty beds.

The only thing that kept her from darting back out of the room was the fact that she could see the heel of Hiba's foot pocking out from under her brother's bed. Rani crossed the room her footsteps quiet against the cold wood floor. When she was standing in front of the bed she moved so that she could look under the bed.

The space was dark but she could still see both Hiba and Tayyib and even if she hadn't been able to see them she'd have been able to hear the soft whimpers that neither of the children could hold back. Crawling forward Rani joined the pair under the bed taking a moment to try and comfort the children that were hiding there.

Rani knew that if anyone dared to try and harm the children under her protection she would fight until her last breath. Nothing would get past her while she was still able to fight. The time had come for her to protect her new family and she wouldn't fail.

(o)(o)(o)

Everything was blurry. This Rani knew because it was her eyes that seemed to have the problem. So everything was blurry and she hurt in ways that she'd never hurt before. It didn't help that she couldn't remember if she'd beaten the monster that had tried to drag Yinsen's children out from the bed. Rani knew that she'd fought. Her breed were fighters after all and that's what they did. They fought and protected their makhaut until their dyeing breath. The fact that she was still breathing meant either one of two things. Either she had won her fight and her makhaut was safe or she had lost and just hadn't realized it yet.

She had a bad feeling that it might have been the later of those two things. It would explain why she felt so bad and it would explain why Yinsen's voice sounded so worried as he tried his best to reason with the man standing over them. It didn't explain where Thamina had gone and why she wasn't there with her. It didn't explain where Dua, Hiba, and Tayyib were either because Rani knew that they had been pulled out of the house with her. She'd heard them all crying out in fear but now there was only Yinsen's voice and the voices of the people who had invaded their home.

The people who had tried to hurt the one's she loved and if she'd had the strength she'd have gotten back up and gone another round. She didn't however and moving made her feel sick and dizzy and wasn't a good thing. Rani knew that if she tried to get up then she'd only be struck down again and she couldn't help Yinsen if they struck her down. Rani blinked and shifted slightly trying her best to will the now dark edges out of her vision.

Yinsen's voice faded more with every passing second but there was a moment where he placed work worn but caring hands on her face and tilted her head so that she was looking at him. His face was bruised and bloody and there were tears running down his cheeks but he was alive and that had to count for something. Yinsen offered her a sad smile as he ran a finger along her snout.

"I'm sorry." He said. Rani blinked and tried to pull her head back but there was a click and something touched the top of her head and then there was nothing but black and the sound of Yinsen's apology ringing in her ears.

(o)(o)(o)

This took far to long to write and I apologize if the quality of the story got worse as I went. There was just something about writing this that was almost always like pulling teeth. I'm aware that there are holes and just like with Here for You they are there for a purpose. Some of the blank spaces will be addressed in Progress and some in the Avengers story and then some in the Iron Man 3 story.

You'll notice that Rani's vocabulary changes throughout the story. It will continue to do so though she will continue to use certain words no matter how much her vocab changes in the coming stories.

Now if all of you will excuse me I have a Big Bang story to work on and I need to go and start Progress.

Child - khered

Mother - Mewet

Father - Yat

(Lead)er - Seshem

Family - Makhaut