Raven's Wing 2: Chapter 4

"You'll never change, Kento. Sage teased him as he sat next to Shary. ~You okay?~ he asked her with concern.

~I still feel so drained. But don't worry, I should be okay by the end of school.~ She sent along the link what felt like a smile. Sage smiled down at her and stroked her hair some as she rested some more.

The bell rang for lunch period over and to prepare for the next class. Groaning softly the group gathered up their things. Just three more classes and school would be out for the day. And they could all head to the mall to go shopping.

"Hey Nikki."

"Yes?" Nikki turned to see Carrie looking at her and smiling slightly.

"If you arenít too busy, I was wondering if you would help us pick out dresses for prom."

Nikki sighed and looking down at the ground she shook her head. "No, Iím sorry Carrie, I donít think I could do that very well. Leave me be please?" As she turned from her stunned friends she headed into the school. Alone she wondered why she was doing this at all.

"I'm worried about her," Sage said as he stood up. "This... isn't like her."

"We're all worried but we have to trust Nikki." Kento sat as he get up and dusted some grass off his uniform. "She'll tell us what's wrong when she's ready."

Rowen looked at the clock and saw that that it was time to head back to classes. "So we'll meet at the gate afte school?" he asked.

They all nodded and headed back into class but Sage was thinking deep thoughts. Deeper than normal for him anyway. Walking through the crowd of students he wondered if maybe confronting Nikki would make talking about her problem any easier. She didnít seem too inclined to talk about it when they were all there. Maybe he could talk to her after school. The trick would be however, catching her as she left the building and not letting her slip-step into the Dynasty to get away from him.

Classes went the same as always, homework assignments and working on some more class work. Everyone was excited about the dance coming up as well. Even with all the black suits around the group couldn't help but temporarily push all their troubles aside. Once the final bell rang everyone gathered their things and headed to the gate to wait for each other. Sage silently followed Nikki, hoping to talk to her before she left to the Dynasty and also tried to evade the stranger following them.

Nikki proved to be a tough person to trail as she changed course many times, yet obviously had a destination in mind. Sage finally caught up with her and walked up to her as she paused when he called her name. Looking at her and nodded and then started walking with her. "How are things going?" ~We are being followed. But what is going on. I would like to listen if you feel like it would be better to talk to just one of us.~

Outwardly he kept a neutral yet interested expression for the welfare of his friend. Inwardly he was keeping tabs on one tail, knowing that there were probably more.

Nikki shrugged a little. "Alright just busy." ~Sure thing.~ They continued to talk just like old friends, about their classes and such.

This time it was two people in black suits: a man and woman. They were a bit away but tried to keep the two teenagers in their sight as they walked down the street. From what they could tell they just looked like they were talking but about what they were not sure.

"Hey, we arenít that far from a soda shop. Want to get something? My treat this time." ~We gotta ditch these tails. Can you arrange for me to play with the light a bit so we can blind them to get out of here and make it look natural?~ Sage put his hand into his pocket to make sure he had his wallet and nodded to Nikki to reinforce his offer of getting a soda or something.

Nikki nodded to both questions. They both walked a bit more before entering a little shoppe that was also crowded with some other students from the high school. They sat at a table and looked up what they were going to order. As expected the strangers came in and sat at booth within viewing range of the two of them. Nikki looked around as if looking to see fi she reconized any of the students when she was actually looking for a distraction. As if one cue she noticed that a light just about the strangers was flikering. She gently nudged Sage and pointed the light out to him.

~The bulb looks ready to give out and those agents don't seem to notice or care. That help any?~ she sasked him.

~Just be ready to get us out of here.~ Sage nodded to the waitress and gave his order. As Nikki did the same the woman left them alone and Sage continued the conversation. "As it is, I havenít seen any one sell like Cye and Ryo and then there are Carrie and you. I donít think it will be too hard for this dance to be a success."

~Now!~ The light flickered brilliantly and then with a flash and explosion of glass everywhere. The room dimmed.

Nikki silently opened a small gate just barely enough for them to slide in and it closed immediately after they entered. "We're here." True to word the two of them were in the Dyansty, a place that the black suits would never find them.

Sage smiled at her. "Thanks Nikki, that was some get away. But please tell me... what's wrong?" he looked at her with concern as he slowly lost the smile. "You haven't been yourself and we're all worried about you."

"Well, It is like this. You all have dates to the prom. And if you didnít, it wouldnít be that hard for you to get one. Even Kayura-sama is going. However, I am unable to bring Dais to the dance on the account that he is too old, and looks too old. He and I are both upset about this as he feels that I really should go to the dance. But I donít want to go alone. So we are at an impass."

Nikki looked out over the bridge, the same bridge that Kayura was saved at all those years ago. She seemed far away in thought as she tried not to think about the Prom, the end of the year or those black suits that have been following them about.

Sage wasn't sure what to say but it made sense to him. He stood next to her and looked out at the scenery. He remembered the bridge... where Anubis had risked, and lost his life to bring Kayura back. "Nikki I understand how you feel. I know you and Dais would've had a good time. But you should go and have some fun." He reached up and rubbed her shoulder some. "He would have wanted you to go even though he couldn't be with you. Think about it, okay?"

"Iíll think about it. Thank you Sage." She hugged him and as he wrapped his arms around her comfortingly he wondered what was going on now.

"Will you at least help the girls pick out their dresses? I have a feeling the guys would have problems helping them out. I could go, but I think it would look a little strange to have me in the store helping you ladies pick out the dresses you will be wearing to the dance." Smiling slightly he squeezed her shoulder to reassure her that everything would be all right.

Nikki laughed softly and nodded her head. "Alright, Iíll go. Who knows, maybe Iíll find something also even though Iím not going. So, where shall I drop us off?" They needed to be very careful where they would appear so no one would see them. Especially the black suits.

"How about you take us to Caleís room. I know that the curtains are drawn there and no one can see in or out of that place. Maybe the guys will be there too. If they arenít we know that they will all be at the mall picking out tuxís and dresses." Grinning he knew what he was wearing already since he was at so many special occasions he actually owned his own black tux.

"In the mean time we shall see about the possibility of maybe at least letting you and Dais have dinner together. That would make the night for you both I think." Sage was talking thoughtfully as he walked with her to the end of the bridge to the point where they could port to Caleís room.

"I would like that," Nikki said with a small smile. Concentrating a bit on Cale's room she opened a small gate and they both walked through it. True to word Cale's room was very dark with the curtains shut tightly. Shutting the gate they both quietly went out of the room and heard some voices in the rooms. That could only mean that all their friends had finished shopping and were probably trying on their clothing.

Sage looked towards his sister's room when he felt her reach for him tentatively. ~Ni-chan? Can I show you my dress? I want your opinion.~ She sounded shy and a little nervous but underlining that was a sense of happiness.

With a smirk he replied. ~You decent for me?~ He laughed at her reaction and stepped into her room for a moment.

Shary looked away from her mirror and smiled as she motioned him in. She was wearing what looked like a two piece gown in a very light color, a shade lighter and it would be almost white. The gown was long to the point where it habd to be picked up by the wearer. The top looked like a corset wiht a simple pattern in front in seed pearls. As she twirled slowly he saw it was laced in back.

"So... what do you think?" she asked softly, chewing on her bottom lip some as she waited his reaction.

Sage looked at her, Serious eyed and studious, he circled her before quickly poking her in the side. Watching her jump from the gentle poke lit his eyes in laughter. "You look great. Kento is going to fall over himself when he sees you."

He hugged her gently and motioned to the door. "Should I leave and let you get dressed, or should I stay because you have something else on your mind?"

"Actually I wanted to talk to you about something." She sat down on the edge of the bed and gently pulled him down to sit next to her. She was quiet for a minute, trying to think of how to tell him what to say. "You know that I love Kento a lot. And... I know we're still kinda young but... I want more than just the kissing and hugging." she brushed her hair from her eyes and looked at him. "You know what I mean?"

"You want to go the next step. Is this correct??" Sage looked at her with mildly troubled eyes. He hated seeing her grow up, but this was one thing he really couldnít help her with. "That is your decision and yours alone as to when you think you are ready. Just take the proper precautions if you both decide that it is what you want and donít push him. He knows what is best for him, and though he wants to make you happy, He also knows that he has to take care of his well being as well."

He hugged her close and smiled gently, if troubled. "Just come back to me safe and both of you unharmed ok?"

Shary nodded and hugged him back tightly. What he said made sense to her. This was as much as Kento's choice as it was hers. And she wasn't going to force him to do something he wasn't ready for. "Arigato ni-chan," she thanked him softly and kissed his cheek. "I promise." She leaned her head back on his shoulder, still hugging him tightly. She had grown close to him and Cale ever since they both came to live with her and she was thankful. She loved them both very much.

Sage hugged her close and whispered. "I just donít want to see you getting hurt again. But I trust you to know your own mind and heart. So I will leave it at that. I love you too little sis. Remember that I will always be here for you ok?"

Down stairs Nikki was a little uncomfortable as Kayura and co showed off for her. But as she had thought, they really didnít need her help in picking out a dress. Carrieís dress was a slinky basic black number that had a double slit up the sides of her legs, giving Cye, and the rest of the guys a good view of the legs that were usually covered by the school skirt. It fit her well and she knew how to walk in the shoes she had purchased to go with the dress. Smiling she knew that Cye had gotten his tux a while back and that the couple would look sharp together.

Kayura had gotten a Midnight blue dress that looked almost like a kimono. With her hair down and bound in the old style but with a few accents, she looked stunning. She promised that she would look better Prom night when she had time to work with everything. She had flat sandals that wrapped around her ankles and tied there. Everyone was looking sharp today, and she could only imagine what they would look like Prom night.

"I know. Never going to be apart ever again," Shary said softly. This was a strong bond they shared and everyday it just grew stronger and powerful. She didn't want to let go but she looked up and him with a small smile. "Let me just change and Iíll meet you downstairs with the others."

"You two look just great," Rowen said. Clearly Ryo and Cye agreed with him as well. He looked over at Nikki and saw that she looked somewhat uneasy. "Hey Nikki, do you think they look good or what?" He tried to get her to join in the conversation, ever if she said she wasn't going to the prom there was still chance she would change her mind.

Nikki smiled at her friends and nodded. "You all look terrific. You should have a blast at Prom." Her compliments were genuine and she really wanted them to have fun. Looking over the guys she winked saucily at them. "And of course you guys will be swamped for dances. No rest for the weary ne?"

"Yeah I guess you can say that," Kento said with a smile as he scratched the back of his head. He looked up when Sage and Shary, wearing some old sweats and a t-shirt came in to join them. "Where were you two?"

"I was just showing him my dress," she smiled at him as she sat next to him. So far he was the only one that had seen her outfit for the prom. She wanted to surprise everyone else, including Kento.

"Youíre being mean again Shary." Kento mock pouted, but grinned as he hugged her.

Nikki went out to the kitchen to make some tea, her nerves were frazzled and she was ready to stress out. Something the others didnít need to see. They wanted her to go to the prom so badly. Why couldnít they understand that she didnít want to go if she couldnít go with Dais?

Looking around she noticed a black flash in the window. Irritated again she finally called Cale to the kitchen when she was shaking from the adrenaline in her system so hard that she couldnít properly make her tea.

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