Raven's Wing: Chapter 14

"Sage... I can hear your heart... sounds like music..." she sighed a bit shakily and let her eyes drift close, liking the way it felt as he stroked her hair.

Sage smiled as he stayed calm. She was starting to calm already and her mind was indeed clearer for the release. All he did was slip in and strengthen her reactions to thoughts she wanted to block so it would not take as long for her to get her mind back under control should that reaction happen again.

Content to sit where he was he continued to stroke her hair calmingly as he started humming a wordless tune. He knew his heart beat and as he matched it to his pulse he let it echo through his chest in a calming rumble of tone that was soft enough for the two of them to hear.

It was an old song that he could barely remember his mother humming to him on the nights when he was troubled. It had never failed to comfort and calm him into a low doze and using the same vocal tricks he hoped that he would be able to comfort and help her to relax a bit.

He cared for her deeply as a friend and battle partner, but he knew of one other person who had given his heart completely to the girl that was resting against him with her arms wrapped around him like a pair of steel bands. That friend would wait for an eternity for her as he had seen him have the patience Sage himself often had. But now was not the time and they all knew it. Sage cleared his mind again and focused on his friend whom he had at one time thought he would never see again. Now here she was and more messed up now that she was when they first met.

Training would begin again and this time the mind would grow and thrive in strength so that nothing would happen to her that she did not wish for.

Shary was truly content right now. She didn't want to leave the room or her old friend's arms, but with a heavy heart she knew that would never happen. At least for the moment she would be safe and happy. His voice seemed to fill in some holes in her spirit that she never thought would ever heal again. Curling up against him more she sighed and let her eyes slip completely close. The tears had taken their toll on her as had trying to block out all the foul thoughts and images. As she was slowly falling asleep she remembered how her rescuer had held her after he saved her and imagined how it would feel if the man she was starting to like held her in his arms. But that would take some time to get used to. Before she drifted completely to sleep she whispered something to her friend.

"Domo arigato Sage-san..."

Sage heard the thanks and smiled as he felt her completely relax into sleep. She was not ready for the day and with no one else able to leave the school he gently picked her up and headed for the window. Thankful for the training that he had gone through he hopped up into the sill and dropped the three feet to the ground.

Landing deep to take the shock out of the landing so as not to disturb his sleeping charge he looked around and then ran of at an even pace towards her house. Her bag settled in her lap and his on his back he moved in the smooth pace he had been taught and was pleased when she did not wake up. As he took her home her managed to get her bag open and took out her house keys. There was no way he was going to wake her up now. She was sleeping peacefully and the one that woke her up wasn't going to be him.

He made it to her house without incident and got her inside. Moving quietly up the stairs he kicked the covers off the bed and laid her in it. Covering her up clothes and all he pulled up a chair next to the bed to watch her and make sure that when she did wake, she would not be alone.

Shary merely curled up in he soft blankets, wrapping them around her tightly. The sheets felt cool and soothing as she slipped further into sleep. She was so deep in her sleep she never heard the phone ring. As Sage picked it up he heard one of their friend's voice on the other end.

"Mannor Residence." Sage answered. Listening for a moment he nodded slightly. "She's here. She fell asleep from exhaustion and I brought her home." He waited for the response and nodded again. "Right, we'll be here when Cye gets here. Right, Good bye."

Hanging up the phone he was glad that the others had noticed that he was not in the school any more. This made it easier for them to cover for him. Sitting back down next to Shary he sighed. He wanted so much to push her like the old days. Present a challenge and get her to beat it herself. But it wasn't going to happen that way this time. It was going to take a little different strategy to kick this mess. And Shary was going to have to do most of it on her own.

It was a while and Shary slowly opened her eyes. She pulled her arms out from under the blanket and carefully stretched them before her. Laying them back down she rolled onto her side and smiled up at the blonde. She felt safe when she was with him, like in the past. He was always the brother she wished she had.

"You stayed with me?" she asked quietly.

Sage smiled at his long time friend and nodded slightly, "You realize Grandfather would have killed me if he ever found out that I brought you home after something like that and didn't stay." They remembered the rule that was banged into their heads at an early age. You never ever left your partner alone. No matter what they said. If there was trouble you stayed with them until the problem was solved.

"Are you feeling better?" Sage was truly worried. Behind the worry lay a far more dangerous emotion. One that would cause trouble if he did not get balanced again soon.

Shary nodded her head silently and sat up. Looking at him calmly she reached up to softly brush is hair aside and their eyes locked. She could feel that something was wrong with him and she wanted to help. Resting her hand on his cheek she touched his forehead with her own.

"You need to calm down," she softly told him. "All this anger... it isn't healthy." She slowly let her eyes close still touching his forehead with her own.

Sighing softly he let his own eyes close as he felt her forehead meet his as they had often done after a particularly troubled meditation lesson. "Sorry, I am still a little bit out of balance with your return. I learned to work with the guys as a team, and yet I never forgot about you. I just don't know if I will find the balance between working with you again and working with the others. I know that I can work with you again, that was proven when we did that Kata; you never lost your trust in me. Just temporarily misplaced it when you forgot grandfather and the rest of us."

Sage started automatically into the breathing exercises then to start the calming that had was always able to do with her around. As a youth he was temperamental and wild sometimes. He would listen to his mother and even though they were suggestions, he would listen to Shary. Shary was one of the few who could snap him out of a rage or even an irritation with the mere suggestion that they do some meditation exercises together.

In return he got her to be more forceful and confident in her lessons. She was soon a force to be reckoned with in the dojo even with out Sage's presence there to encourage her. They were yin and yang and not many people would get between them willingly when they argued. When they did fight it was like a brother and sister quarrel that had the added bonus of a martial arts exhibition mixed in. No one but grandfather had been willing to get in the middle of those two. They never hurt each other much but afterward they would go out into the trees to the two rocks they had chosen and they would often meditate for hours in perfect synch.

Her suggestion that he needed to calm himself again, triggered the automatic response they had developed years ago. She would suggest that he needed to calm down and he would automatically start preparations of the mind and body for the cleansing meditation rituals they always did.

She smiled softly as she felt him begin to calm down. Still keeping in touch with him she slowly began to begin the meditation as well. Soon she and Sage were completely in sync with each other. Just like before they blended well with each other. Soon she could feel that he had relaxed as much a he could for today and slowly pulled away. But before she drew away completely she pressed a soft kiss on his forehead and looked at him as he looked at her in surprise.

"Glad to see you relax once more Sage-san." She still spoke softly to him, glad that he was feeling better.

"Probably a good thing for the others that I listen to you." He smiled referring to their recent performance. Thinking a moment he smiled at her. "You hungry? I've gotten better in the kitchen and I'd keep it simple."

"Okay. Mind if I join you? We can talk some more about old times." She returned the smile and carefully stood up from the bed.

Sage nodded and walked with her down the stairs towards the kitchen area. Dropping her off at the kitchen table he set about making a light lunch of sandwiches and salad. "After you left, the entire dojo was affected. I had to learn to rebalance on my own, Grandfather missed you, not that he would have admitted it but he knew what you meant to him and me. There was a spark to the place that kind of dimmed after it was clear that you weren't coming back. The other students had a harder time dealing with me and Grandfather was shorter than ever with them. They missed our mock fights and our sparring. It was like a highlight for them."

Sage sighed as he served them and then continued on. "After that the Dynasty invaded and there was no more time for thinking, At least to the others. Kento and Ryo were all for action and Rowen was a mix of us all. He was thinking and acting at the same time. Cye, well Cye being Cye, was there for everyone in more ways than one. Usually he was the ones to beat our heads in when we got too insensitive about Ryo's problems. We learned to work as a team thanks to Mia, Yulie and the Ancient. With out them we would not be here." Sage's eyes took on a troubled cast as he told the story of everything that she had not really seen.

"The dynasty came back for another round and the second time we were able to defeat them for good. Afterwards we stayed together, it wasn't easy for us. We were heroes and we had seen everything that had gone on during the fight with the Dynasty. No one else really remembered, or so we had thought.

When we returned to school at Han'a we were definitely outsiders. No one had seen a group of five so different yet no one group was as tight as we were. We didn't trust anyone and we all got into trouble at one point or another because we did things differently. None of us put up with the bullies in the school and we all held back when turning them around and kicking their asses. Most of them straitened out once it was made clear that if you messed with one of us then you would mess with all of us."

Sage shook his head smiling as he remembered the day the poor suckers decided that Rowen would make an easy target. The bookworm and quiet brain of the five his build did not seem like any thing they couldn't handle. They swiped his pack in the hallway and knocked into him from behind. Rowen being at home in the air did a front handspring to stay on his feet. Smiling at them none of them knew what he was capable of, had any of the other guys seen his smile they would have just backed off and start laughing.

Rowen took up a loose stance and told them to give his books back. Not thinking he could do anything to them and that he was bluffing with the stance they taunted and jeered at him until one of them came with in strike range. Rowen moved fast as he knocked the group around, after he had knocked then about the halls a bit he took his books back and left them to deal with their minor injuries.

"After a while this girl with black hair and a penchance for pranks introduced herself to us. After a while we all began to trust her when she blew that trust wide open on all of us. After school one day she came up to us and invited us all over to her place. We agreed tentatively and as we got there she showed us that she was the SilverRaven armor bearer. Carrie had come across her armor after hearing of her family's history with the ninja clans of the old age. She had stayed in the Mortal realm during Talpa's second attack on us to try to get our armors. Having done so she protected the people here. Mia and Yulie did not know it at the time but they were watched by her as well."

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