13 – Rain

“I can’t believe him,” Roy grumbled to himself as he maniacally tapped keys on a keyboard. “He says, work on it, work on it, and I finally say fine and what does he do? Tries to make me not work on it!!” The redhead growled and slammed a few keys. Roy had been using one pronoun to identify two people. The first being Amigo, the second, Shoy.

The door opened, Amigo came in. Immediately, he noticed Roy there and smiled. “Thank you for working on it like I asked,” he stated.

Roy hmphed, looking over to a large tube filled with what appeared to be nothing but water and discarded wires. “I don’t understand why nobody can know about it,” he replied.

Amigo turned, looking through a stack of discarded, leather-bound books he had found for Roy to read. All of them had something to do with the Phoenix, Soul Stealers, or souls in general. “They’ll know in time. It’s just important that they don’t know now.” He turned to Roy again, who was looking through a microscope. “Is there a way to accelerate the growth?”

Roy brought his face from the microscope and tapped a few more keys on the keyboard at the nearby computer, rolling his eyes. “Roy can do anything,” he replied. “Maybe I will be done in three days.”

Amigo clapped his hands together. “Excellent! Thank you. I know this is a rush job, but I know you can do it.”
Roy turned to Amigo, his eyes saddened. “I do it only because it makes father happy!” he outstretched his arms and looked as if he were about to cry.
Amigo came running forward and hugged Roy, running his hands through his ‘son”s red hair. “Yes, yes it does. It makes Father Amigo very happy.” He looked at the microscope, then to Roy’s head. “Will you be okay by yourself here?”
Roy nodded into Amigo’s chest and gave a final squeeze before turning back to his project.
Amigo quietly stepped out of the room, and took an elevator up to ground level. Swinging his umbrella, as soon as he reached above-ground, he opened it and began to hum to himself. It was going to rain tonight.

Back at the Phoenix gang’s home, Askasa was getting ready to leave, and yelling at Ismaru for not being in as much a hurry as he was.
“I don’t see what the rush is,” Ismaru stated. “Why do we have to leave now?”
“Because–” Askasa began, as he stuffed weapons into a duffelbag “We should–”

Teddy wagged a finger at them. “We are not leaving tonight!” she proclaimed.
Askasa shot up. “What? Why not!”
Tootsie grabbed around Teddy’s waist, setting her chin on the other’s shoulder. “Q– that’s the name of your Soul Stealer– He is nocturnal. It is better to leave in the morning, while he’s asleep.”

“A sneak attack?” Ismaru smirked. His specialty. “Why not listen to them, Fortenra?”
The other boy growled at them, but still shoved his weapons into the duffelbag, albeit a bit slower.

Teddy frowned at them both and yawned, only to have her mate jump away with an “ow!”.
“You just shocked me!” she shouted.
Teddy frowned. “No I didn’t?”
“Yes you did!” Tootz stomped.
Then Teddy shocked herself, and winced. “There must be a thunderhead nearby or something..” she said to herself, stepping more into the house. An area where there was a roof, preferably.

Over the Castle of the Monte Cristo, it had already begun to pour.
Q didn’t notice. He was listening to another song through his large headphones. And not having learned his lesson completely, had a kretek in his mouth. His arms were behind him, over the back of his chair, and he was blankly staring at the Phoenix once more.
The dresser was righted against the wall, and the many shards of mirror were in a pile in a faraway corner. It was nine PM.
Riddle me this: Three half eaten corneas, Who hid the aureole…Stalk the ground, Stalk the ground…”

Edmond was heading upstairs when he stopped by Q’s door. The Count had a jacket on, but had already recovered marginally. He was slightly on edge, though. If someone had come to kill him before they may come again to finish him off while he was like this. So he had always been scouting, careful if he felt ki or Rez. And while it was faint, there was no denying he was feeling it behind Q’s door.
He had to stop himself, and stare at the closed wood. Q was keeping the Phoenix in his own room, right? Edmond frowned. He reached over and turned the knob, pushing the door open, but not going inside.
Q sat in a chair near his bed, where Tali laid in her coma like some typ of totem. Q was listening to music and smoking and just… Quietly staring at her. If the visual wasn’t bad enough, he couldn’t see it, but he could visualize what was happening.
It felt almost.. Weird. Q was warm with his own energy, but it seemed like tendrils of his soul were inching toward Tali. And as they inched closer the minute soul from Tali grew, trying to Reach Q’s. They didn’t ever seem to quite touch, and as soon as they were close enough they jerked away, but kept trying again.
If ever Edmond had been horrified, this was the time.
“Q!” Edmond shouted. Q didn’t pay attention.
“You should have seen the curse that flew right by you. Page of concrete; Stain walks crutch and hobbled sway..”

“Q!” he yelled louder, still no response. Not even an extra breath. Edmond stomped into the room and yanked Q’s headphones off, throwing them to the side. “Q!” Still nothing. Edmond grabbed one of Q’s arms and began dragging him out of the chair. Finally Q’s attention was had. He pulled his arm back, turning to Edmond. “Leave me alone,” he said.

Edmond growled “No, come outside, I need to talk with you.”
Q took a deep breath, taking his cig from his mouth with his right hand. “Can’t it wait?”
Edmond glared. “No it can’t, come on!” He forcefully dragged Q out of his own room and slammed the door shut, throwing Q’s back against the outside of it. The cigarette had carelessly fallen from Q’s fingertips in the room and was on the floor somewhere.
“What were you doing in there?” Edmond growled. He knew what was going on but he wanted some sort of explanation. His hands gripped Q’s shirt collar, as he’d never bothered to change out of the uniform.
“I wasn’t doing anything…” Q said softly. “What’s the big deal…?”
Edmond shoved Q into the door again. “That’s bullshit and you know it. You’re breaking your own limiter. You–”
“Whoah, whoah–” Q brought his hands up. “I’m not breaking my own limiter, I swear– why would I do that? That’s stupid. I don’t–”

Loud thunder shook the house.
“Fine, you aren’t, whatever. I forbid you to be in the same room with the Phoenix.”
At that Q finally started to care a little more. His teeth grit and he tried to push Edmond away from him. Edmond wouldn’t let go, though. “You can’t do that!”
“I can, and I just did,” Edmond argued, his grip still tight.

“No you can’t! I fucking shot her, I should get to stay with her as long as I want!” Q tried to turn around, to get back in his room. His ki was flaring up. If Edmond didn’t do something soon the Seekers would be all over this place. Edmond growled and shoved all his weight into Q to keep his back to the door.
“Shut up and calm down. It shouldn’t be a big deal you can’t see her,” Edmond was grasping at straws. Q wasn’t buying it.
“No! What the fuck are you talking about?” he was getting antsy now, almost begging. “I can’t do that! I have to watch her, I have to be–”
“You don’t ‘have’ to anything!” Edmond screamed. “You can’t see her any more and that’s final!”

Q let out a guttural growl, as if he were an animal. He brought his leg up and kneed Edmond in the gut, but didn’t get very far as Edmond had used his Jade armor, anticipating the strike. “Let me go, Edmond! It’s none of your business what I do!”
Q now tried to get free with everything he had, but Q, having been limited for so long was just wasting his ki and not getting much done with someone with as much expierence as Edmond at his neck. The Count growled and leaned in even closer.
The both of them disappeared, replaced by a flock of monarchs which quickly flew to the sparring room.
The two materialized again, only Q fell to the ground and threw up from motion sickness. Edmond was a bit dazed himself, but recovered much more quickly than his younger companion. And as soon as he had, ran to the door and locked it from the outside.

It took Q a good two minutes to recover and figure out what had happened. He ran to the door and began to bang on it.
“Edmond! EDMOND!!” Q backed away and tried to shoulder the door. It wasn’t getting anywhere. Q began to cry. “What the fuck is wrong with you?! I NEED HER!! EDMOND!

The count took a few deep breaths and began to walk up the stairs from the cave. He whispered an ‘I’m Sorry’ to no one and hoped that being so far underground the Seekers wouldn’t feel Q. Part of being a Seeker was the ability to sense the Soul Stealer’s particular ki and Rez much better than anyone else, as it was so different.

The thunder was booming, and lightning striking through the torrents of rain. It’d be cold and wet down in the cave. As Edmond sat on his bed, he wondered if a new limiter would even do any good in a situation such as this.
Why did he kid himself? Q was too unpredictable without the limiter to even begin to learn how to use his power effectively.
He was beginning to think it was a mistake to try keep him in the dark about the prophecies. Q didn’t know about past Soul Stealers, or their relationship with the Phoenix, or the Seekers. All Q knew was that it was the Monte Cristo’s job to kill the Phoenix once and for all, and he had wanted to help.

The Count put his hands to his face, and rubbed his eyes with his palms. It was foolish to think the Soul Stealer wouldn’t try to merge with the Phoenix even if the host body didn’t know they were supposed to. Oh God, the League would have Edmond’s head for keeping a Soul Stealer so close. His whole plan was blowing up in his face. Because of Q, he was so close to ending the curse, but now… Edmond shuddered. He knew he couldn’t really hear Q’s pleas for release from the Sparring room, but that didn’t stop him from believing he did.

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