Raven's Wing: Chapter 18

Shary understood it all. This was their battle. And they had to beat it alone. She nodded, looking at him with determination. "I know what you mean. This is our fight. And we're going to have to practice hard so we'll be ready to go and fight that jerk." She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I'm ready to start."

Sage grinned as he set her down and opened her eyes. In front of them was a small waterfall with a pool and a pair of rocks in the center of the pool. Looking around he hoped that she liked the calm place as the first thing they were going to have to do was train their minds again. Re learn their focus so that they were again the best.

She looked at the serenity of the place, liking it and relaxing more. She looked at her battle brother, smiling and she gave him a brief hug. "Arigato... this place is very soothing. I take it we learn to focus our minds?"

Sage nodded. "Ready to rock hop to the center?" Sage put action to word as he jumped out to the middle of the pool and took the far rock. The landing on the slick surface cause him to stick his arms out for balance to keep from sliding into the water and he turned and waited for Shary to jump out to her rock before he was going to sit down.

He knew that she could make the jump easily and stick the landing, but it had been a long time since she had the faith in herself to do something like that. The meditation he had planned was to strengthen their bonds as well as deal with her problems and get her mind squared and cleared for the training. This might take all day, but better than training half cocked.

She took another deep breath and stepped back a bit. Focusing on where to land she hop to her rock, holding her arms out stretched to balance herself. Her foot began to slide but she leaned back. After a few moments of leaning to the sides she was standing firmly on her rock. She looked up at Sage and nodded. She had made it with little trouble.

Sitting down Sage nodded to her and he began to slow and focus on his breathing. As soon as he felt her follow him into the trance he initiated the link contact. ~Ok Yang, we need to get you past the past. You live in it too often and it is what is holding you back. This will also help us to focus in the future. You have to deal with EVERYthing you have had to deal with in the past now. We will do this together, but you have to get through all of this or Damion will be able to play on your fears the next time we meet up with him. Are you ready for me to help you see everything that happened in the past in your mind? We will go through the emotions and I will help you...but this fight is primarily yours. You have to understand the past to move past it and into the future.~

~All right... here it goes.~ She let the wall that held her memories back slowly open to him. One by one they came, uncut and mostly of harsh memories. The first ones were of her family, how they treated her and how unhappy she was. She loved them but they never seemed to love her back.

Sage was there to help her. He talked to her, soothed her fears and calmed her down. He also helped her out and when he saw the rainy day of the car accident. Unfortunately the next ones were hard to sooth her down.

They both relived the moments of when she was raped. The problem was she got locked into it, reliving it all over but this time Sage was locked in it also.

Sage was better able to stay calm now that he knew that the emotions would feed into his sister. Instead of calm he projected a perseverance of the situation. Survival and relief. Positive feelings to try to combat the circle her mind was going in.

He wanted to step in and stop it himself, but he knew that for her to understand herself, her reactions to Damion she would have to stop the circle herself and look at it from the outside as if this were a TV show and put her objectivity to that. This was going to be a part of her toughest battle and though they couldn't see each other as their eyes were closed, he knew that she was shedding tears over what happened again.

Sage stayed in her mind to gently nudge her in the right direction on how to look at the memories and how to deal with them, but she had to do the rest herself. He would calm her when she came back to his mind for the moment but he always sent her back in to combat the horrors she saw, felt, heard and smelled.

She hated this. She hated this more than anything and she wanted out. But Sage kept pushing her back. "No... I-I can't take this anymore! I don't want this to happen again!!" She wasn't sure what happened but she screamed something and she felt burning and freezing at the same time. She broke the link holding them and fell back. Cold water shocked her into opening her eyes and she stood up. She was more or less damp and she was standing in the water. And shaking. She looked at Sage with wide eyes, shaking lightly. "What... what happened?"

"You got mad at me." Sage's calm answer came back at her.

"This can't be happening..." she stared at the water, still standing in it as it made her ankles numb. The freezing and burning sensations... it made no sense whatsoever. She rubbed the mark under her shoulder, and sat back down on her rock. "My fault. I want to do this again. I want to get through this.

"It is possible that the stress you were feeling as I kept pushing you back into your mind's turbulence caused an involuntary reaction of some sort. I feel the sensations as well. We will get you through this. Hop back up on the rock and get settled. You are most of the way through your memories. You just need to deal with the recent hell now. You can do it. I do believe in you."

Sage coaxed her back up on the rock, there was no way he could get into the water and help her. This was a lesson to them both in having faith in the other's ability to get back up and keep fighting.

Once more she got on the rock and took a deep breath. To make sure she went through all the memories once more. As the rape scene began she stood up to it. A few times she wanted to get out but she stood up to it. Tears still fell but she let them. Silently she made a vow to herself, Damion was going to pay for doing this to her. But he would receive a painful and very slow death. It was over and silently the rest of the memories came. They reached the last memory and she was still facing them down.

Shary took a deep breathe of relief and opened her eyes slowly. She looked over at him. "How did I do?" she asked quietly.

Sage came out of his trance slower taking time to initiate his physical senses and get oriented to what was going on in the outside world. As he opened his eyes he noted that she looked less jumpy and skittish than before and more composed now that he gave her something to fight for. The corner of his mouth quirked up in a slight smile.

"You know how you did, you are still here and you didn't kill yourself for what happened to you. And I rather think that you are a little more pissed off at than scared of this Damion character. Lets just get both of our minds calmed and back to the gray balance we had when we were little and then it should be almost time for Blaze to come get us for dinner."

She only nodded and willed herself to calm down, to relax. Her breathing evened out and heart rate slowed down some. Her eyes closed once more and she focused on balancing out again. She thought about what he said and agreed with him. She felt more at ease with herself. And she did have a goal to focus on. To kill Damion.

She wasn’t surprised when Sage's greater calm touched her and helped her to relax more. Sage had known that she was going to come back up to his level quickly and was prepared for the backlash of emotion that was sure to follow. Running an old tune to her he completed the connection and the bond for permanence and then focused with her. Soon their breathing and hearts were in synch as they had been in the distant past.

Sage was proud of her and he let a bit of that seep through their link to her, the calm they had reached was so still now that not even the animals were afraid to come around them. The deer came up to the pool and started drinking from the water and Sage saw this all in his mind. Knowing that she did not yet have this trick learned he showed it to her knowing that she would like it.

She was taken back with the site he showed her and a soft smile touched her lips. The scene was so peaceful and lovely; she really liked it and let that seep into the link as well. She asked him if he could show her how to do it as well. She wanted to see this for herself.

~Pull all of your energy and focus together. As you are doing that you will be able to see with out sight.~ Sage had first come across this as a Ronin and since then he had never been caught off guard while he was meditating.

The whole thing was to him the proof that he had reached a high level of focus and energy. Keeping that focus when he wasn't meditation was a harder lesson to learn and it took him a couple of years before he mastered the technique, but when he did it made his life a whole lot easier.

~Focus together... okay.~ She did as he said and very blurry began to see a picture in her own mind. She kept focusing it all together and little by little the picture cleared. Relief and excitement spread through the link. ~I did it! Oh wow... this is amazing...~

The excitement colored her mind and tone and Sage could only smile as he heard the tones he heard so long ago when she finally got a new move to work, as it should with the bokens. The little-girl-discovering tone as he called it and he had not, until now, realized just how much he had missed it. Feeling him more than hearing the low growl he knew that she would have a blind spot for the tiger for a bit until she got used to him. Grinning she tapped her mind and lightly broke the concentration.

He walled up against the arrows she slung at him and called out to her. ~Hey, chill out and come up for air. Dinner time and I do not want to be the thing the cat dragged in.~ His particular distaste for the last incident colored his own mental tone as he came out of his trance but kept the link up.

This was a much-needed time for them both as he now had the chance he was waiting for to strengthen and make the bond more permanent than it was before. It had weakened over time and again when she read the letter that was all over the school. Now the bond and link was as strong as before and he could feel her level of trust in them raise a bit. That was something he knew would take time, but for now this was a good start for her.

Standing his eyes open he jumped flipping in the air to keep him up longer since the slippery rock did not give him very good leverage for making the jump. Landing on the bank he looked out at her and waited for her to wake up and come over. ~Comon, I do not want to let Blaze come out there and dunk you, cause believe me, he will do it.~

Shary let out a frustrated sigh and opened her eyes. Slowly she stood up and made her way over to the bank. Unfortunately she slipped but only got her feet wet. Grumbling she wadded through the water and climbed the bank next to Sage. "I hate being wet."

White Blaze chuffed at them to get moving and Sage took her arm smiling. "I knew you were a little catty, this proves it." Grinning he looked at her in the late evening sun. It was almost below the horizon now and dinner was on the table.

Grabbing her about her sides he had already looked to Blaze to see if this was all right and then put her on his back and hopped on behind her. Holding on to her they took off like a shot towards the mansion. Mia was apparently not going to wait too long to get them to the table to eat and he could smell it from here.

Shary hung onto the tiger, liking this very much. It was fun! Blaze ran very fast, faster than she could ever run and pretty soon they were at the mansion. Sage got off first and then helped her off. "Domo arigato White Blaze." she said as she patted him on the head.

Blaze rumbled and then licked her hand and headed inside for his own meal. Sage gestured like a gallant for her to precede him inside to the dinner table.

Shary took his arm and they headed inside. The place was huge, like her own home but it held the touch of warmth and friendly atmosphere. She liked it here. Everything looked comfortable and welcoming. When they came into the living room she smiled at Mia and bowed slightly. "Domo arigato Mia-san. You have a very lovely home."

"Thank you Shary-san. Come on you two lets go eat." Standing she gestured back to the kitchen where there were sandwiches and other picnic like items that would fill them all up and give Sage and Shary the energy they needed to get back home. It was dark now and they knew that the others would be waiting for them when they got back to the mansion.

"Mia, I have a favor to ask of you. Do you think you could come with us to this planning session? You might be able to help us take out a little problem that has come up."

Mia looked at Sage and nodded. She was almost never called to help the guys unless it was something that was right up her ally of expertise. As they ate she thought out the things she would need to bring and had the list completed in her mind when they were ready to go.

Shary helped take the empty dishes back to the kitchen and kneeled next to White Blaze, scratching behind his ears. He purred like a contented house cat, which made her smile more. "You're a special cat, White Blaze... I wonder if you would like to come to my place. I'm sure Ryo and the others are already there."

Sage nodded at Blaze and Mia. "I don't think it would be a problem for him to come along. But he will have to go back with Mia." Smiling he looked at the picture of Mia and the crew just after they kicked Talpa back under the rock he came out of the first time. Looking at Mia he noted that she had grabbed her laptop and the gear for it and was ready to go.

"Mia. You go ahead with the jeep. Me, White Blaze and Shary will be along, we need the run."

Shary gave the tiger a last scratch and stood up. "I'm ready to go."

Sage and Mia nodded and as they all headed out Sage, Shary, and White Blaze started out first knowing that they would be passed on the way. Starting at a good warm up pace they all ran down the road towards town and Shary's house.

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