Chapter 19: Memories of a Former Life
Yuri woke to a very bright room. Squinting, he sat in an upright position as his eyes adjusted. He had been laying in a snow white bed, the face of a very beautiful woman gazing at him.
"You're awake." She stated. Her voice sounded familiar, Yuri thought.
"Yuri!" Long arms and a mouthful of blonde hair embraced him. "You're okay!" Hikari beamed upon taking a step back from him.
"As are you," Yuri looked from him to the woman in confusion. "But how...?"
"This lady carried you all the way here, she's a lot stronger than she looks." Yuri's eyes traveled to the woman and her appearance. He noticed the white mask lying on a nightstand nearby. The woman smiled, her enchanting eyes radiating a sunset colour. Long, silvery hair traveled down her back and shielded part of her face, as to conceal herself if needed. Nevertheless her kind smile sent something inside of Yuri that compelled him to smile back. Yuri tried to shift his arm longer so he could touch the woman, but a shot of blinding pain went through him as soon as he tried.
"You've pushed your limits dear. But nevertheless, I've waited so long to see you again." Her eyes brimmed with tears. She wiped her face with the back if her hand, still looking at Yuri as if in a daze.
"Who are you?" Yuri asked prudently.
"I'm not sure if you'll believe me at all, but..." She chuckled. "I'm your mother."
There was a long silence, and in that quiet the gears in Yuri's head turned this way and that.
"Mother? But... I never had-"
"That's what they told you when they took you away from me. I never... My worst nightmare had become reality when I opened my door to see the police. Baby, you were just too different for the world to handle. But I loved your uniqueness. They pried you from my cold, dead hands- so to speak." Yuri's mother shook her head, holding Yuri's face in her hand. "But you're alive. You lived through that awful place. Looking at you now I couldn't ask for a better son, I'm so proud of you." She sniffed, wiping her face.
"So I was born like this?" Yuri asked.
"Yes, from the time you were an infant we would find inhuman things attached to you, or you'd just change right in front of us! It was shocking at first, but we couldn't just leave you to defend yourself. My, no. Honestly, Tyler would always fret about the smallest of things. 'Nerissa why is Yuri half of a bear again' or 'Yuri shrunk his head and refuses to eat his beans', there were several others too. He was right though, in the end. Thought we were being followed and went across the border to find someplace safe. The day after you were taken he came back with a safe house and protectors. Oh, god... I'm so sorry, I- I couldn't save you." She shook, the weight of her past taking its toll.
"I'm here now, aren't I?" Yuri hugged his knees, unsure of how to console the woman. "And... Who's Tyler?" Yuri's mother lifted her head.
"I thought it might have been obvious. Yuri, he is your father. Where he is right now is unknown to me. I built my own safe haven while he was unaware. Before we split ways I told him, and only him about where I was. It's been 10 years since then. Tyler said he would return when either he had you or the Devil's Weapon."
"What's that?" Hikari pitched in, taking a seat beside Yuri.
"A blade rumored to be so powerful that it could grant the user whatever they wanted. Power was simple, and with it would normally drive its wielder mad. I hate to think of the worst outcome but..." She cleared her throat. "It's best to leave the past behind us for now. What matters is you are my son, and you're alive. You're here with me in the flesh. I can finally hug you again." And so she did. She smelled different than Hikari or anyone for that matter smelled. Her skin wafted the odor of a blossoming flower, and brought with it a sense of comfort. Yuri felt as though he could sit in the fluffy cloud that was his mother for all eternity. But she broke away, kissing his forehead all the while smiling.
"So, where are we then?" Hikari inquired, glancing around at the bedroom they all sat in.
"In the middle of the woods where hardly a soul is to be seen. It was strange to see other people crash land in my yard all of a sudden. But I'm just so grateful you did." Yuri's mother beamed with pride. "I had no idea you could produce wings."
"I can make them shift into gliders if I'm up high and safe, I'd think." Yuri blushed, feeling butterflies swarm in his stomach at his words.
"Really? That's amazing! When you're all settled in you can show me everything." Yuri's smile faltered.
"Settled in?" He repeated.
"Wouldn't you be staying with me now that we're together again? Perhaps my assumptions were too high for you..."
"No, it's not that. I'd love to stay with you, it's just..." He hesitated, glancing at Hikari. "I have unfinished business to attend to." His mother simply nodded.
"I understand. You may leave as soon as you're ready. I won't be that far away." She kissed Yuri on the head again, holding him close. "Just remember that no matter what you have this place as a home. Make me proud, Yuri. I love you."
"Love you too." He embraced his mom for the last time. After they broke apart, Yuri faced Hikari with a determined expression.
"For what? We haven't an inkling of where to go."
"We go home. Then we'll figure out things from there."
"Right... Okay, why not? Let's go!" He jumped up, a grin spread across his face. The duo started towards the door, but Yuri glanced back momentarily.
"Will you be okay?" He asked.
"I have been for a decade. Go, I'll be fine." Yuri nodded, running out the door with Hikari.
"Are we gonna fly again?!" He asked enthusiastically.
"Uh, I'd love to, but can't. I can't shift at all for now. We'll have to walk."
"That sucks. You should work on that." Yuri rolled his eyes.
"I'll try." And so began Yuri and Hikari's long trek back to the city. Whether or not it would be the same was a mystery. But the one thing Yuri could be certain of was that whatever that creature was, it had dark intentions. And he would have to be more prepared if he ever wanted to take it down.