Chapter 14. //
The living room became a makeshift infirmary. All the chairs and coffee tables were pushed back against the walls, and the unconscious were sprawled out on soft blankets on the floor. The conscious sat around the room, either drinking tea (or beer) or napping as classical music filled the silence. Zachary and Antonia decided to leave, promising to deal with Clan business on their own from now on, with some assistance from the Hunters; Hunter gave his word. Tia Vienna and Sam were on their way, and the Guardians-in-training were outside, securing the area.
Grey leaned against Raphael, who lost consciousness for a mere thirty minutes before coming to again. Her eyes drifted across the room, and a grin stretched across her lips as all the faces she grew to love and care for graced her sight. From the twins, to Elric, to Annora, and the future King himself. This version of him was terribly skinny, whereas the original rivaled Raphael in bulk, and that was saying something. Grey knew the work was set out for her and Alice; they had discussed the matter countless times before. It would take a lot of effort, but it would be worth it. Training the Royals as if they were recruits for the Order of Guardians would make things a bit easier, given that the enemy would be coming at them full force; plus, it would be funny to see how shocked they'd be to see a Princess snap someone's neck.
Her wards wouldn't need as much training, given that they already have supernatural abilities. And now that the truth was out and the Mania was avoided, Grey could comfortably call Raphael 'Vasilakis' again; in private, of course. It was the Western Royal family name, but it wasn't used, as names have power. Once you know the Royals' family name, you could bind them to do whatever you please, which was dangerous. The privilege of knowing the Royal family name was given only to The Council, and the General of the Kingdom's army. Grey also knew the Royal family name of the Northern Kingdom, as Alice knew the family name of the Western Kingdom. They trusted each other fully; Alice's secrets were hers, as Grey's secrets were Alice's.
Her eyes drifted to the Guardian in question, who stared intently at the unconscious future King of the Northern Kingdom, most likely planning twenty steps ahead as she bit her nails. One by one, a Royal sat up with a short yell, panting and surveying their surroundings until they saw a familiar face to soothe them; Alexavier was the last to regain consciousness, and once he did, Emmanuel and Eleonora launched themselves at him, knocking him over again. The three grinned mischievously at each other and embraced each other, Elric and Annora joining in as well.
The front door opened and the Guardians-in-training filtered through. Raphael and Taj shot to their feet, wobbling slightly before regaining balance. Grey's eyes were on one person in particular, who wasn't staring at her, but at the person beside her. One second, she was standing by the door on the other side of the room, and the next, she was wrapped in Raphael's arms, crying softly as he inhaled her scent and pressed her tightly to his body. Turning her gaze to Azula, she saw her azure hair in the middle of an embrace among the three males she calls her own. Raphael yanked her up and into his arms before she could register, and the comforting scent of her Daisy filled her nostrils. "I missed you, my little flower." Grey whispered, nuzzling her nose into her salt and pepper hair. "Missed you too, momma." She sniffled, and Raphael squeezed them tighter into himself, but they didn't complain, and stayed in that position for some time.
The Northerners merely sat close to each other, lost in their own thoughts.
"So," Violet began, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, "what's the plan?" The question was directed to Alice, who sat at the head of the table as they ate dinner. "Well, first," Alice began, placing her fork down and crossing her arms, "we need to find a secure place to train ourselves, and the Royals as well."
"Wait, why?" Alexavier cut in, giving her a confused look. "Because it would be funny to see the enemy's reaction when you deck 'em in the face." Was Alice's immediate answer, and Cyan snickered along with Sage and Collin, who was the product of leaving Sage and Val alone together, especially after that whole fiasco with her soulmate. He was the spitting image of Sage, with Val's dark hair and one ocean blue eye, while the other was similar to Sage's: forest green with specks of blue.
"Okay, after we train, then what?" Azula asked next. "Once the Royals are trained up to my standards," all the Guardians, and those in training grimaced, and Alice rolled her eyes. "Oh, relax. Once they're trained to my standards, then we need to seek out the allies that the Council has gained through oppression and threats, and liberate them. That shouldn't take too long honestly. After that, we meet with Jude and Swith, and portal home. Any questions?" Ash raised his hand. Alice raised an eyebrow.
"Which portal are we taking? The ones on this planet are guarded by the Shadowhunters, but they're out of the question. Then there's Fae, Warlocks, Sirens, Dragons and Monks. I don't think they'd allow a bunch of strangers to tamper with their portals and walk through them." Alice hummed, then drained her glass of wine. "There are two more, but you shouldn't worry about that. I'll handle it." Ash, along with the others, were wary, but nodded nonetheless and continued eating. Grey and Alice stared at each other, silently conversing.
'Ares?' Grey silently asked, her eyebrow raising. Alice nodded, then her eyes drifted upwards. It was a full moon tonight, and the white glow bathed the trees outside. 'Yue?' Grey asked again, failing to hide her surprise. 'If needs be.' Alice responded, and the two nodded at each other, returning to their meals. Grey trusted Alice, and she knew that whatever she had planned would work out, one way or another. As cold and distant she may seem, she was quite selfless, and Grey, as much as the thought pained her, was ready to stand in if she needed to.
Or make her own sacrifices.
Her eyes drifted to Tia Vienna and Sam, who sat across from her, and her heart ached in her chest. As much as she wished, they weren't blood related. The mother and son were spending their last hours with the Argyros', and it felt bittersweet to Grey. She couldn't help but remember how quickly they accepted them, and allowed them to use their last name as a cover. Grey wished Hunter stayed a little longer as well, but he was adamant on leaving. She didn't exactly blame him, whatever romance they had was short-lived, and deep down, it still felt awkward between them.
They cleared the table and washed the dishes together once everyone had finished eating, chatting lightly amongst each other. Theresa and Vienna reminisced the memories they made in the four years they knew each other, while Sam and the boys joked about the missions they went on. All too soon, Sam and Tia Vienna were pulling out of the driveway, and on the road, heading to Slovenia, the home of the Hunters.
"I'm going to miss them." Raven said once they were out of sight, and the others were going back to the warmth of the house. "Me too, Rae." Grey whispered, pulling her sister to her side. "He would have been a good Guardian." Violet mused, and those who still stood outside, Raven, Ash and Cyan, nodded in agreement. "Maybe when all of this blows over, I'll come kidnap him and Tia Vienna from Hunter." Ash chuckled. "Definitely."
Little words were spoken for the rest of the night, everyone lost in their own thoughts; some coming to grips with their reality, and others going through the plan Alice dished out, making their own back-up if things go sour.
They were back to the life they'd grown accustomed to: sleeping lightly and constantly over-thinking. But they wouldn't change anything; they were glad to step up to the plate, and do something, be something, more than they were before. The reward of protecting their family and millions, if not billions of people, was too great. Being seen as a hero to their people; a powerful warrior who could take an army on their own; a Guardian to Vessels of the Gods.
~Horrible, I know. I'm sorry. I hate Writer's block.~