Sirah left the shower room wrapped in a towel. Morian grinned mischeiviously.
"What's with the towel?"
"This damn fortress is drafty..."
"I could keep you warm."
"We don't have time," she said, wandering around the room. "Morian, where is my dress?"
"Hm?" Morian looked up, uninterested. "Oh. I threw it away and got you a new wardrobe. Look in the closet." Sirah sighed in annoyance and walked over to the closet, looking through it.
"This looks like the wardrobe of an exotic dancer."
"Isn't it great?" Morian smiled twistedly, making Sirah roll her eyes exhasperatedly.
Rashi opened his eyes and sighed. He'd had a wonderful night. He quickly showered and dressed, heading back into the kitchen to find the others already up and waiting for him.
"Morning, Rashi," Feniel said off-handedly.
"Morning Fen, Sid. Hey Tokia."
"Hey Rashi! Didja' sleep okay last night?" Rashi nodded, smiling slightly. After breakfast, they all met in Emporer Sheed's throne room. Von and Folken came in a bit later and sat down with them. Folken and Rashi exchanged a look and a smile, but no one seemed to notice. Sheed stood in his place, a serious look on his face.
"Rashi Koherea, please come forward." Rashi got up and kneeled in front of the young Emporer.
"Rashi, what happened yesterday? Where is your fifth companion?" Rashi lowered his head, anger flaring up inside of him.
"Sire, Iñaki was...kidnapped. Her mind is not her own right now, and DoRe and Morian took her. I'm sorry about the wall..."
"Don't worry about the wall," Sheed said soothingly. "Just tell me how I can help."
"Sire," Rashi said, raising his head slightly, "Please forgive me if I sound rude, but we do not want your help. We appreciate the offer, but this is our fight."
"I understand," he answered quietly. "Then please, let us offer you food and shelter as long as you need it."
"Thank you Sire."
"Oh, how sweet." Rashi stood and whirled around at the painfully familiar voice.
"Iñaki..." Sirah stood in the center of the room, eyes fixed on Rashi. The other three travelers stood behind him.
"Hello Rashi. How did you sleep?" She tilted her head to one side. "My night was...peaceful." Rashi's eyes narrowed slightly, his heart clenching.
"Iñaki... Please, I don't..." He shook his head slightly. "Iñki, please come back to us..." Sirah gasped slightly as Rashi raised his eyes to meet hers. She saw in his silver eyes pain, guilt, pleading... And friendship... She looked down at the ground, her hands on her head.
'No no no no no rashi please help me please...'
"Stop looking at me," she said, glaring at him. Rashi's eyes softened with unshed tears.
"Iñaki please! You have to remember..."
"No! Shut up! I won't..." She closed her eyes, wincing as pain pounded in her head. Suddenly, two arms were supporting her, and she looked up to see Morian.
'no no go away...' Sirah stood and shook her head slightly to clear it, her breath short.
"You're friend is stronger than I thought..." she said, glaring.
[Are you sure about this?] Morian asked quietly.
[Yes. It will work.] She smiled cruelly at Sidney, who's eyes were wide with disbelief.
"I-Iñaki...?" Sirah turned and kissed Morian's lips gently, a twisted look on her face. Suddnely, her eyes widened in horror and she pushed away from Morian. Morian looked at her questioningly.
"NO! DON'T CALL ME THAT!!" She threw a ball of energy at Morian, who barely dodged it in time. Iñaki then ran to fall behind Sidney, who turned to look at her, eyes wide.
"Sirah, what are you doing?"
"I AM NOT SIRAH!! I DO NOT SERVE DORE!! I..." she choked back a sob. "I. Refuse. To. Hurt. Rashi." Morian glared at the girl's back, a look of hatred in her eyes.
"I knew it was too good to last." She disappeared from the room, leaving no trace she had been there. Sidney immidiately threw Iñaki to the ground and pinned her there.
"Who are you?" Iñaki looked up at him, scared.
"S-Sidney, it's me! I swear it!"
"Don't lie to me," he said sternly.
"I swear," she whispered. "Right now, it's really me. It's Iñaki." His intense glare softned a little as he watched a tear fall down her cheek, then he lifted her into his arms, holding her tightly.
"Oh gods, Iñaki," he whispered softly.
"Sidney..." She turned and looked up, then left Sidney's arms to bury her face in Rashi's chest. "Rashi, I could have killed you! Oh gods, I'm so sorry..." Rashi closed her in a tight embrace, a small smile on his face.
"Iñaki... Thank gods you're okay..." She shook her head slightly.
"No I'm not.. I'm anything but okay. I'll never be okay... Never..." Sidney stood, and she moved back into his embrace. "Sidney, I'm so sorry... I... I betrayed you..."
"It wasn't you. I know it wasn't. Don't blame yourself."
Morian watched the sickening display of emotion for a few moments, then turned away from the scene.
'I hope you know what you're doing, Sirah,' she thought coldly. 'I don't know about letting Iñaki be in control for any length of time. Despite Sirah's strength, I don't think she'll be able to regain control if she waits too long.' She shook her head slightly.
Later that night
Sidney kissed Iñaki passionately, but she pulled away, shaking her head.
"Sid, she's still here... Sirah is still here... I can't, not yet..."
"Iñaki, please," he whispered quietly. "I... I love you..." She looked into his eyes, tears threating to spill from her own.
"Sidney..." He kissed her again, and this time she didn't resist, tears falling from her eyes, his words echoing through her mind.
Rashi sighed as he turned, leaving Sidney and Iñaki to their own devices. They had been trying to get her to eat or sleep all day, but to no avail.
'Not one of your smarter ideas, Sid,' he thought to himself. 'But if you can get her to rest...' He sighed again, shaking his head. Everyone else had already gone to bed. He, Sidney and Iñaki were the last ones up, Sid and Rashi trying to calm Iñaki down still. He changed and got into bed, falling into a restless sleep...
Iñaki sighed quietly as she lay in Sidney's arms, holding onto the warmth of his body. He kissed her forehead gently, holding her close to himself. Iñaki grinned up at him.
"Hey Sid, you got your one night." He chuckled lightly.
"I got more than that..." he whispered, leaning in to kiss her again. He pulled back and reached for something on the night-stand.
"What's that?" Iñaki questioned tiredly, trying to see past him.
"Um... Well..." He sighed slightly. "Iñaki, I've been... thinking... for a while. And I've come to a decision. But now I need an answer from you..." Iñaki looked into his eyes, her innocence still buried deep, even after everything that had happened. It had dwindled and was almost gone, but there was still a spark of innocence, and his heart melted. "Iñaki..." He pulled out two arm bands and held them out to her. She picked one up and examined it, then picked up the other, her eyes widening slightly.
"Sidney, are these...?" He nodded, blushing slightly. She smiled at him, childish excitement on her face.
"Iñaki, will you... marry me? In front of the Council?" She nodded.
"Yes," she whispered, falling forward into his arms. They quickly dressed, then Sidney held her close, closing his eyes.
[Fen, coming to your little brother's wedding?]
[You know it,] Feniel responded as he entered the room. Sidney smiled at his brother, then called the Council.
"Why have you returned here, Sidniel?" the head Councilman asked. Sidniel took a deep breath and looked down at Iñaki again, who looked
around in awe. He smiled.
"Councilman," he said quietly, "I would like to marry Iñaki with your blessing." The head Councilman sighed audibly, but granted his request. When the armbands were put on, the clasp disappeared.
"That's to show that our union is unending through all time and space," Sidniel said in amusement at the bewildered look on her face. The dragon twins' wings appeared behind them after the ceremony, and involuntarily, so did Iñaki's leather wings. The Council looked a bit uncomfortable, but didn't say anything. A few moments later, the three of them were standing in the kitchen, the sun just starting to rise.
"I love you," Iñaki whispered to her new husband as they embraced.
Rashi entered the kitchen and smiled. He walked over and hugged Iñaki and sid.
"Congratulations, he said, smiling.
"Thank you, Rashi," Iñaki and Sid both said togehter. They smiled.
"And I hope you can find the love that I have, soon, my friend," Iñaki spoke and smiled sympathetically at Rashi.
"Oh, but I have, Iñaki." Rashi smiled. "I have..." Folken came from around the corner and put his arms around Rashi, smiling .A necklance dangled from Folken's neck. Sid and Iñaki noticed Rashi wore one that was nearly identical.
"You kind of inspired us to do it, Iñaki," Rashi smiled when he caught her looking at the necklaces. "We're married." Iñaki's eyes lit up and they hugged, talking and laughing.
DoRean walked around in a new world. He had just regained his consciousness after his argument with DoRe.
"Where am I?" he questioned, fearfully... The whole world he was delved into was bright red and orange. He could see no trees or water, or mountains... Only red and orange. He vaguely seemed to remember pointing somewhere, but he was now usure where...
"If ya' need help," an impish voice called form behind him, "go east. You'll find your exit there." DoRean turned, but as soon as he had seen it, an imp disapeared.
"Guess I could listen to him..." DoRean picked up his things and began walking east...
Von raised a skeptical eyebrow at his brother, but decided a simple congratulations was a better idea than commenting. Folken chuckled lightly at his expression, but graciously accepted his
congratulations. Rashi looked at Sidney, smirking.
"So, am I allowed to kiss the bride?" Sidney looked at him, mock thought on his face.
"Well, I dunno..."
"Aw, c'mon Sid! I've known her longer!"
"But she's my wife!"
"Hey, does the exoctic dancer get to say anything?" Rashi and Sidney looked at each other smiling, then looked at her.
"Gee, thanks," she said in mock annoyance as she walked over to Rashi, hugging him tightly. He kissed her cheek, holding her close.
"Hey," Folken said, tugging at her. "He's mine. Go back to your own." Iñaki threw back her head, laughing. Rashi put his hands on his hips.
"Now, Folken," he said sternly, "You know you can't hog me to yourself. I do have other friends too."
"But that's not fair. She belongs to Sidney, and you belong to me."
"But he was MINE first," Iñaki said, a possessive look on her face. Rashi giggled.
"You can't hog me either."
"Well, I have more right to you than he does."
"Hey," Tokia said as she entered the kitchen. "Who threw a party and didn't invite me?" Both couples pointed to the other, then broke out in laughter. Tokia raised an eyebrow. "Do I wanna know?"
"I dunno," Sidney said, "Do you?" Tokia rolled her eyes and stood beside Von, who was shaking his head slightly. Feniel was smiling in amusement.
"You called, Master DoRe?"
"Where is Sirah, my creation?"
"She is carrying out a plan to kill Rashi."
"Very well. You may leave Morian."
"Yes, Master." DoRe, closed his eyes, memories running through his mind. So many failures in the past, and finally, he had a successful creation. But she was always running off...
Iñaki looked out the window as panic filled her suddenly. Something was stirring inside of her.
"S-Sidney, I'll be...right back." Sidney looked at her in concern.
"Are you all right?"
"N-no..." She ran to the window and vomitted, shaking violently. Sidney ran to her side, worry rising in his chest.
"Iñaki, what's wrong?" She shook her head as another round of vomitting sent her back over the window sill.
'Not now, please not now...'
"S-Sidney... D-don't let her t-take control again..." Sidney wrapped his arms around her, gently rocking her back and forth to sooth her volatile stomach. She coughed, then turned to embrace him, her eyes wide. Rashi stared at her in concern. She shook her head slightly at him, uncertainty in her eyes.
"He's calling me back..." she whispered quietly. "My...'father' is calling me back." Rashi looked confused.
"I thought you said you didn't have any family?"
"I don't. Grandmother was just the first thing I thought of when Sid asked me where Tokia's name came from. DoRe is my father." Iñaki figeted uncomfortably as everyone turned to stare at her. "Actually," she corrected herself, "he's my...creator."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Flashback ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Damnit," DoRe said in annoyance as the screen went black again. "Another failed experiment."
"This one is still alive," Morian said, nodding toward another tube. A small girl floated in the tube, a breathing mask on her face.
"Yes, but it won't do us any good. It can't teach itself to use the magick I gave it. I'm going to get rid of it in five more years."
"Why wait so long?"
"Then it can fend for iteslf."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5 years later ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Where should I leave her?"
"Leave it by the Tokyo Tower in this dimension."
"Master DoRe, what happened to the first successful life form?"
"It was killed. I tried to recreate it, but I made the same mistakes. If it can learn to use the magick it possesses, I'll take it back."
"If I may, Master, why do you refer to her as "it"?"
"Because," DoRe shrugged nonchalantly, "It doesn't have a soul. It's a creation, and nothing more. It's completely expendable."
"Master Jadeite found me and woke me. I had spent ten years of my life in a tube, only to be rejected. He only wanted me back becuase Master Jadeite opened my powers to me." Sidney held her close, kissing her forehead. Rashi shook his head.
"Not exactly... I am a biologically engineered human being gifted with magickal abilities. I am a failed experiment that was thrown out like old trash." Iñaki shook her head at the irony. "And if I fail again, he'll destroy me. As far as DoRe is concerned, I'm just a failed experiment being given a second chance. I'm not human..."
"But see, that's where you're wrong," Rashi said, smiling. "You ARE human. I saw to that." He chuckled lightly at her confused expression. "If you search inside of yourself, you'll find a soul, a soul that may or may not have been there before. Either way, it's there now. Your love for Sidney, our friendship, the tears you've shed... They're all signs of a soul. I've been working on that since day one." Iñaki smiled at her friend.
"Oh, is that what you call it," she said mockingly. Rashi laughed, leaning back into Folken's arms.
"Yeah," he said, "That's what I call it."
"Well I call it worthless," came a harsh voice. Iñaki jumped up and moved behind Sidney, who glared at the voice's owner. DoRe smiled wickedly at them, his eyes locked on Iñaki.
"DoRe..." she whispered, fear in her eyes.
"Come on, Sirah. It's time to come home." Iñaki shook her head.
"I am not Sirah."
"Not now, but you will be soon." He lunged forward, pushing Sidney aside, and grabbed Iñaki's arm. She screamed, trying to pull away.
"SIDNEY! RASHI!" They moved to help, but stopped short when DoRe put a knife to her throat.
"Take one more step and I'll slit her throat," he said coldly. He glared down at her. "You have failed me, Sirah. I trusted you." Tears ran down I*#0241aki's face as she fought against Sirah, who was trying to regain control. Her heart beat faster and faster, anxiety building inside of her.
'oh gods not now not now i'm going to explode...'
Explosion of Sorrow