The Journey Back
It has been four days since Veronica’s unexpected attack and I was taking a bubble bath after two hours of training while listening to the radio powered by natural energy so it was an environmental friendly source of entertainment with broadcasts from plants and galaxies everywhere.
I was listening to earth music. I was interested in their culture a lot. My grandmother and I have very different opinions about what is socially acceptable behavior for a young princess.
Listening to loud music with human banshees screaming blasting through the bathroom was not very lady like.
Yes I like heavy metal. We have metal in Zelen but most of the bands did not have very interesting lyrics. Anyone or anything that does not promote peace they get the sink-eye. I remember when I was younger the Ninja police headquarters had an army of protesters my mom sympathies with them.
Nobody likes war and in a time of great turmoil, and disorder people often ban together to try and either react with hatred or protest against the government and their political empire.
Of course, if you go to other places in Zelen not everyone are a supporter of environmentalism or hippies but in my hometown and birth origin happens to be the hippy capital of the world.
I embrace peace and the environment too so I guess in retrospect I am a hippy too.
Nature was casual walking through the repaired safety house checking up on the rooms once she was sure everything was in order and the clothes were property put away the floors vacuumed she went upstairs to check on the guestrooms.
When she passed the bathroom she was meet with loud screaming music Nature was furious she trusted me and I ignored her. And continued to play the music, as loud as it can possible get not caring if I annoyed the neighbors or bunk mates in the safe house.
Nature stormed into the bathroom without knocking and glared at me. I was oblivious to my grandmother’s presence I had my head titled back relaxation and pressure coursed through my body.
I took a deep breath and sighed as I opened my eyes and turned my head to change the radio station. So, I could listen to another channel while my favorite channel had a commercial break.
When I heard the tapping of heals echoing in the bathroom at first I thought it was Sarbe again . Sarbe has a habit of going into the bathroom and talk to me occasionally bringing up the subject of boys. Which I feel slightly uncomfortable to talk about now because no one knows about how Danel and I bonded.
I have not kissed him in days but, I can still taste his breath on my lips mint, chocolate and spice one would think that was a odd combination, but for some reason I loved it.
Of course, I do not have to tell him that I enjoyed the kiss because of our connection he already knew that last thing I want to do is inflate his ego.
After a while, I reached over towards the counter near the sink to grab the soup realizing I did not bring it with me to the tub, I had just finished washing my hair and I was going to scrub the rest of me down for good measure.
I have been training and working out for so long, that no matter what I do it seems like sweat is just one of my natural scents, nothing beats waking up every morning smelling like ash and sweat from using my powers and working my body to the bone.
But, just when I started to stand up to reach for the soup I looked up and saw my grandmother Nature glaring at me with disappointment and betrayal.
I jumped she had quite startled me she was the least possible person I would expect to see.
“Grandma I am in the middle of a bath “! I shouted embarrassingly covering my cleavage with my arms crossed in front of me.
My hair down wild and untamed my black headband is the thing that held my hair together and without my hairspray my hair was wild and all over the place. .
Like flames on a candle, my powers often flared up when I was experiencing strong emotion this was one of those times .
My hair began to dance and glow my hair became like a purple candle my eyes remained the same electric blue. But, held mixed emotions like timidness and anger as I waited for my grandma’s reply.
“You think I haven’t since you naked I helped your mom change your diapers Fire this is about -” Suddenly she stopped talking, the last time my grandmother and I have interacted before was four years ago.
Yes, we had other conversations before but they were mostly about business because my grandmother devoted her life to her career more than anything else.
So when I began to get up and grab a towel she was surprised by how developed. I was my curves were great. I was not too skinny nor too fat for someone of my height and age I was right where I should be.
“I see your point well get dressed and then meet me in the dining hall and I will talk to you about your music privileges with you over break feast” Nature said as she closed the door without giving me any eye contact .
I rolled my eyes and thought great I managed to freak my grandmother out too .I looked down at my chest and sighed I know girls hope to be well developed when they were older .
But I think it is a gift and a cruse I cannot go walking around in public without at least ten people giving me weird glances.
I sighed as I defogged the mirror with my hand by going around the mirror in a circular fashion and then pounded my head against the glass and muttered, “Why am I such a freak?
"I wish I could be normal that way I wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not I will burn a building or hurt the people closet to me.” I muttered sadly
I continued in my time of self-pity for ten minutes before realizing that feeling sorry for myself is not going to make any part of my body go away I just have to deal with the way I am .
I pulled out my hairbrush endured the painful pricks of the brush combing through my long wild hair sprayed my hair, took out my headband and then tied it around my head and took a step back and tried to smile.
In hopes that nobody will notice that it was fake and then rushed down stairs leaving a few scorch marks where my boots have been.
As I crossed the Hall entering the dining room Nature was sitting at the table with her hands folded and her elbows laid in relaxation as her eyes were closed .
I smiled as I stared at my grandma doing her early meditation she in haled the sound of my grandma’s breath was very comforting .
As she breathed in and out I went into the kitchen and put four pieces of bread in the toaster and pushed it down firmly, as I went over to make myself the rest of my breakfast ,when it was finished I sat down with a bowl of warming oatmeal with four slices of toast with green tea .
I breathed in the tea the steam entering my smell sensors giving me goosebumps as I early waited for everyone else to wake up .
The rules of eating meals here was simple you do not eat breakfast until everyone else is a wake or at least half of them were awake, do grace and then finally eat. It was hard for me to wait.
I was so hungry and would it hurt to take one bite my grandmother is in her deep meditation trace she often goes there to claim her emotions down since she can’t feel strong emotion because she has a risk of losing control of her nature powers.
I sat in silence staring down at my steaming bowl of oatmeal for another five minutes before getting bored and went out near the creek that was just outside the safe house.
The safe house was a big wide cabin with the capability to hold a large amount of people in case of an emergency .There was a concave cliff that had a steep trail leading towards the creek below. I took out my camera and took some pictures of plants, animals or anything that I was fascinated by or found strange.
Suddenly, I heard a loud splash sound coming down from the creek I looked down to find Danel skipping rocks I looked at him with suspicion and amusement.
“I never pegged him to be an early worm.” I thought as I continued to watch, as he picked up another rock and skipped it the rock glided against the water before dropping gracefully in the water half away, to the other side of the bank of the creek. He sighed and then sat down on a rock on the bank he appeared to be in deep thought before I could observe anything more.
Danel smirked and said, “You know we still have mental connection Fire I knew you were here the entire time”. He had that stupid cocky smile on his face I wonder if he thought I was checking him out.
No, as if I would ever get caught staring at that dork!
“I wasn’t checking you out okay I just heard the splash and wondered who was down here do not get the wrong idea” I said defensively turning a way from him with my cheeks becoming red.
He stared at me sadly and then smiled and said “No worries. I couldn’t sleep so I went out here to clear my head, I just love the sound of nature the rushing of the water the intense roar of a campfire. Don’t you agree Fire”? He said flirtatiously
I blushed and turned away from him I was so embarrassed normally I would have a snappy come back about him and his dorky habits but his desire and love for me made it difficult for me to think straight.
I know he was not trying radiate signals of his desire but, I could feel it, and shivered trying not to do something I regret I decided to focus on the ground. I stared down at my feet playing with the pebbles below the ground .
Danel kept giving me the flirty grin but I did not want to look at it . I know that judging by his expression he knew that I felt something for him.
But, I was too scared of how to act upon it. Before he came around all the guys avoided me like I was Plague herself and now, he is looking at me with those damn eyes its irradiating that he has such a effect on me.
“He is just begging for a punch in the face isn’t he?” I thought
“So, you are avoiding me because you are scared we kiss and then you avoid me sounds pretty lame if you ask me, Fire I think you are avoiding me because you have secretly liked me all this time. But, you did not want your family to know”. Danel said
He is right of course, but did not want to give him the stratification of making me feel weak. I know love is not a weakness but, the very fact he was intruding my thoughts again, after I told him not to made me angry in ways I never thought possible.
I glared at him forget what my grandmother said I Am going to pimple him like there’s no tomorrow. I cracked my knuckles and had a killer instinct glare ready to attack him gulped and said,
”On second thought I better run!”
He charged up his lighting powers and then just like that he was gone. I punched the ground with frustration.
“Your safe for now but you is going to come back sooner or later “. I said dryly as I stood up and went back up the trail. By the time I entered the safe house half of the guests were up and devouring their breakfasts down not even bothering to savor and take time to taste their food.
Nature looked up at me and gestured to the big wide table of food I nodded excitedly and sat down and began to eat silently Nature stared down at me and then cleared her throat.
" Fire, I consider myself a fair and gracious grandmother but if you continue to ignore my wishes I will have to take your music privileges away if you are not going to listen to your music in a descent volume”.
I stopping eating and glared at her.” Privileges Grandma I Am thirteen a legal adult I do not have to listen to you anymore”.
“Yes the legal adult age is thirteen if the guardians file the proper paperwork or else they are legally a minor and since neither I nor Aunt Vicky has you are still a child”!
“Why do you always have to start a fight grandma I want to be able to talk to you without starting fight between you my sister and Danel I Am going crazy”!
I looked around the room there was none in the room anymore I looked at my grandmother with confusion. “I didn’t even notice that they had left”. I thought.
“I told them I wanted to speak with you alone through telepathy I spoke to them within their minds I did not want anyone getting involved in our problems”.
I stared at my grandmother with surprise. I kept on forgetting just how powerful my grandmother was.
She was drafted into the ninja police division she had no choice .The military was in the middle of the war and were losing men fast and for the first time ever they forcefully took royal heirs from their home princes, Dukes, lords ladies did not matter .
The chiefs had passed an act that revoked their freedom to refuse the government and took them from their homes and straight into war. Nature was paired with Mar Vaunto a silly yet powerful sensei with four teammates Maggie Tomsion, Plague Zanzibar , Shinko strong and finally Eric Sky my grandfather.
All of Nature’s teammates survived the devastation of the war .But, Maggie had lost her legs and is now using robotic legs she is a grandmother to Gabe Thomson.
Plague turned on the city and works for Peteus she now has a team of captured cedes from different cities. My cousin Yang Sky is part of that team and I promised Ying that I would get her twin sister back; my grandfather has been missing for thirty years even to this day we do not know where he went.
“I am sorry Grandma, I should not have shouted you were right, I am in your house so I do not have the right to snap back”. I cried out.
Sometimes I take myself too seriously, I have no problem admitting when I did something wrong .
Because I cannot bring myself to lie .To me there is no greater sin to me than lying .It is the same as having a slow and painful death.
Because you torture yourself to keep valuable information from the people that are closed to, the more lies you pile up on yourself the more guilt and pain ,you inflict on yourself that is why is easier to admit to failure or a mistake; because at least you told the truth.
It is because of my stubbornness and short tempter combined with my inability to tell a lie that I am hated in the royal court .Because to them I Am just a solider for the cause and what use is a solider if they are not willing to commit espionage in the face of the enemy forces?.
She shook her head and said “Now you listen here Fire Freyia Crystal you do not blame yourself you were right I had provoked you, you were just trying to eat your breakfast but please take what I said into consideration”. .
I do not mind the music but the other safe houses are trying to hide the purpose of creation a different identity and run away into these houses are to stay hidden form whatever creep comes lurking in the night.
I made these houses for people that deserve a second chance, for a woman giving birth and cannot afford to go to the hospital, for a royal like yourself to relax and be able to wind down without the media come and pester them.
I made rehab courses who wanted to quit their unhealthy habits you see Fire it is not just for Ninja police it is for the entire community to share so you must respect the other people around and they will learn to put their faith and trust in you. ”
I cried at my grandmother’s speech just imagining the mother or the people who were trying to get over their addiction compared to that my life is not so hard .so what gives me the right to complain, my sister was right I am a selfish brat!
How can I call myself a hero when I always complain when I do not get my way and I am mean to everyone especially Danel when all he does is give me a shoulder to cry on. Perhaps I Am not cut out to be Ninja police officer after all.
I stood up and thanked my grandmother for her supportive words, pushed in my chair and went upstairs towards my room and laid down on my bed my grandma’s speech still fresh in my mind .
I stared up at the ceiling suddenly there was a knock on the door I turned my head and said “Come in”.
Water came walking briskly through the room she sat down on the bed next to me and said “I a m so excited “!
I rolled my eyes and said “That is nice is that all you came into my room for”?
Water frowned and said “I know that look Fire what is wrong is there something you are not telling me”.
“Nothing important Water I can handle myself”
“ Fire you can’t just go through life without talking to someone”.
"Oh Yeah Water watch me”. I said as I rolled over the opposite direction Water sat up and put her hand on my right shoulder. She smiled sadly and said “I know you better than that Fire what is going on”.
“Grandma told me why these houses are here and that I should be more considerate about how loud I play my music “. I said
“That is why you are so upset because she told you to play your music quieter “? Water asked judgmentally
“No”. I said as I picked up my music box and winded it up and watched the two figures dance it held my mother’s lullaby before she died she used to sing it all the time and I would be so moved my mother’s voice I would cry every time.
“Then what “? She asked
“I am sad because for the first time in four years I realized what a bitch I have been to everyone Danel most of all He never deserved how I treated him.” I said
I could remember every remark I had to said to him in these past few days and it make me enraged at myself. I can not be to sure why, but Danel makes me happy all those times I pushed him away only made even enraged.
Danel was walking through the hall when he passed my room just in time to hear me say that he took a step back he stared at the door with shock.
“She is really that hard on herself I haven’t noticed I guess I was so despite to get her to love me I forgot she has a life and she has problems too I a m such an idiot”. He muttered under his breath.
Suddenly I felt his presence near the door, I could hear his heart beat echoing in my head it was beating so fast. Did he hear what I said? I certainly hope he did.
I sat up and said” Danel I know you are there I need to speak with you”.
Danel stepped into my room he was wearing his usually attire which was a black leather jacket with a purple t shirt and navy blue jeans, He wore a dark green headband with the number 13 in purple and had a sword hostler in the back of his jacket.
“He really does look good in those clothes. Black is such a good color on him it brings out his navy blue eyes and makes them look brighter..wait what?” I thought with a blush
I noticed he was not only wearing the thirteen headband I gave him all those years ago, but he is using the power conductor sword. I had given him just before my first solo mission that almost got me killed if he wasn’t there on his first solo mission around the same time I could have died.
I realized that I owe Danel my life, and I have been treating him like he did not even exist these past couple days. It was not his fault our connection happened it was mine I was the one who asked him if he still liked me. I had encouraged him to kiss me.
“What is it Fire look if this is about earlier I a m sorry I said that you like me I was just joking. I would never hurt you and if I am the one causing you pain I just wanted to tell you how I feel but instead I acted like a idiot. “. He said sadly
“No it isn’t your fault, Danel why do you like me? I a m selfish and cruel aren’t I”? I asked sadly Danel smiled as he sat on the bed beside me and removed my tears with his thumb.
I smiled as I felt the warmth of his skin pass over me, He stared at me with is big navy blue eyes his eyes were so unique. I have never seen anything like them. They were a navy blue with a touch of sky blue making his eyes shimmer when the sun hit.
“No, you aren’t Fire people look at fire and run away. It is a very misunderstood element. People think all that fire is good for destruction and pain.
But, it helps guide us through dark places and kept us warm in the winter. .You have let people judge who you are for a long time now. Fire, it is time you created your own version of you, it is time for the creation of Fire”
“Danel”. I whispered as I hugged him he stared at me with shock it was as if he never had a hug before. His father is a kind man but he isn’t one for strong emotion or helpful advice so this probably is his first hug he still had. I grabbed his arms and put them and put them around my neck as I looked up at him .
He smiled and said “So this is what getting a hug from you feels like it feels good you’re really warm and toasty its like hugging a warm blanket”.
We stared at each other for a long time it wasn’t until five minutes I realized what I was doing I removed my hands from around his neck and he moved away as we stared at each other embarrassingly.
“So ummm what did you want to tell me”? I asked Water I had forgotten she was here she smirked at me and said “I just want to remind you two love birds that Nature finally got the note in the mail”.
“Danel looked over at water with a clueless expression “Meaning”?
I shook my head and raised my hand into a face palm he is so clueless sometimes. And to think this is the guy I have to spend the rest of my life with he is my soulmate?
Leave it to Danel to say something touching, clever and romantic then be totally clueless the next moment. I smiled when I saw him joking around with Water. Maybe that isn’t so bad.I thought
“We get to go home”! Water said excitedly she was eager to get back home after six years of training and so was I.
Hours later everyone had packed up their bags, and cleared out their rooms it was dawn the sky had a brilliant orange hue with magnificent purple clouds, that complimented the departing sun with delicate beauty of the pink clouds that hid behind the grassy mountain plane.
As I stood in formation with everyone else in the junior class impatiently, I was so anxious to get home after six long years of training with Water, Nature, and Ying only to be able to see the rest of the team once a month.
The royal court had spent the night still recovering from injuries, that Veronica had gave them when she busted through the door unexpectedly four days ago.
I stood at attention in between Danel and Sisube who looked as bored as I was as Nature took roll once she was sure everyone was accounted for she closed the door and put the key in a safe place as we came our journey home.
I silently walked through the woods while Crisis and Sarbe talked about girl stuff like boys and shoes.
I rolled my eyes for some reason I was different than most girls I hated to gossip and shop and loathed the classic boy talk. I preferred to talk about art or comics everyone says I a m a geek because I enjoyed to read almost as much as my sister.
Danel had noticed my lack of conversation I always had a hard time socializing and so did he. Even though he had gained a lot of courage since he was an award shy boy, he still shuttered and did not feel like most guys.
He hated when guys talked about if a girl had a good body or not, He was sensitive man who needed someone who could understand him, not just to sit and stare at all day.
Even though Mike and Dan make fun of him he knew deep down they were looking for the right girl too. When He saw me he saw girl who had lived through the same thing he did he knew what it feels like to be hated and tossed aside from his family .
His father was a workaholic he loved his son but could not find enough time for him and had a drinking problem and Danel has to take care of him ever since Danel’s mom was banished he had begun to drink away his pain sometimes Danel wonders who is really the son and who is the father.
I took in the sight of the landscape surrounding us the claiming green of the forest moss that spread around the trees like an infectious disease ants on the trees making lines in an orderly fashion even though most people thought ants were gross .
It interests me how organized and smart they were .All the colony working together like a team sometimes I wished that Team Nature was like that.
My team has a hard time working together because of girl rivalry who is the prettiest who can get a guy first who cares? Honesty sometimes I feel like Sisube, Water, Ying and I are the only ones with brains .Even though Sarbe is the brain expert she is a little bit too boy crazy for our tastes...
“Crisis maybe we should go the mall when we get back it has been a while since us girls have had time to hang out right Fire”? Sarbe asked me as she nudged on my shoulder I rubbed my shoulder and looked down shyly.
“I don’t know Sarbe I think I would rather go to hero park and train it is less crowded and chaotic. “
Sarbe rolled her eyes and said “Why are you so weird why can’t act like a girl for once I mean look at the way you dress why do you wear that baggy sports jacket when you could wear something like this. ” she said as she gestured to her mini shirt with fishnets all over her body with her medium length skirt.
“Because I do not feel like exposing myself to everyone that walks is very inappropriate and unnecessary “. I replied back
Ying nodded and said “Sarbe leave Fire alone not everyone has to dress like you besides how Fire dresses is not that bad “. She said shyly
Sarbe smiled teasingly “Of course goody two shoes back up the granny over there”. she said as she pointed at me .I did not want to admit it but what Sarbe really hurt my feelings.
I know she was just joking but I have low self-esteem as it is add my sensitivity and strong emotions it just makes things worse I bit down on my lips to refrain from crying. I love Sarbe is one of my best friends but sometimes she can be really mean.
Water glared at Sarbe and said “Sarbe back off can’t see you are hurting Fire’s feelings Sarbe’s joking nature faded and she looked back at me and noticed the sadness and shame behind my eyes she lowered head down in guilt.
“Fire I am sorry I was just playing around how many times have I told you to tell me when I Am taking things to far please be more open with me”. She said
“I did not want you to worry about me besides what you said was the truth I am a freak I said
I have a deep secret I do not show anyone but, I have scars all over my body some are scars from training, and battle but others where from back when I lived my my aunt Vicky. Sometimes I feel bursts of the pain at night making it hard for me to sleep.
Sarbe gasped with shock and then smiled “Come on now I did not say you were freak I was just throwing out a suggestion because you are beautiful girl Fire . I think you should wear something that brings out your beauty better than that sports jacket.”
I looked down and said “I wear this jacket because I do not want people to worry about me”.
Sisube looked at me with interest “What do mean? .Everyone looked up from my face and looked at Sisube with surprise it was rare for her to talk to us on trips like this she usually only talks to us when we are in battle and our life’s are in danger.
I sighed and said “I will show you”. I removed my jacket to show them my plain black t-shirt with the Japanese kanji symbol for Fire writing on it that Aurora had gotten me at a Earth festival three years ago.
Suddenly I heard someone else gasp in the distance .I looked behind me to see Danel looking at me with shock I blushed with embarrassment and quickly put my sports jacket back on before anyone else could see my scared body.
Sarbe was the first to recover she glanced at me and said “You had a lot of damaged I did not realize you were that beat up you always seemed so”-
“Happy”? Danel interjected everyone turned to face him he looked angry. Just because someone is happy on the outside doesn’t mean they are happy on the inside right Fire”.
I gasped and nodded. Danel knows my pain more then anyone I’m not a idiot I know sometimes his happy go luck attitude is a act. A good one, but a act all the same. For some reason, I can always read Danel so easily maybe because I have a mask too.
I know underneath that over confident mask he is the stuttering shy boy that used to ask me to hang out with him because he did not have anyone else to play with.
I smiled as he defensed me again where would I be without me he always stands up to anyone that gangs up on me no matter what mood I am in he makes me smile.
Sisube nodded and “Well said storm”.
He blushed and said “Thanks Sisu “.
Nature gasped and said “Everyone duck”!
Everyone jumped out the way as a bomb came flying I did not know what to think I stared at the explosion with shock
“What was that”? Danel asked
“I don’t know”. Said Nature