Raven's Wing 2: Chapter 5

Cale came in and slightly frowned. Their friend didn't look so well as he came to her side and gently laid a hand on her shoulder. "Nikki-san what's the matter? You look ready to drop." he asked her with concern.

"Help me finish my tea and Iíll talk then k?" Nikki was irritated and this was the first time the Warlord of Corruption had seen her slip out of her normally impenetrable calm. Looking up at him he could clearly see the stress in her eyes for once as she locked eyes with him.

Wordlessly he helped her out, setting the kettle on the stove, then pulled down a mug for her and they waited as the water heated up. The whistle went off and as she got her herbs ready he poured the hot water in and she let them seep. He waited patiently for her until she was ready to talk, hoping that he could help her relax.

"Leave your siblings out of this ok?" She sighed as she was still wired and cross. "You know that Dais isnít allowed to go to the prom. And he is the only one I will go with. Itís kinda stressing me out about the black suits and the pressure that the guys are putting on me to get me to go to the dance. I mean I would have an equally good time of it if I were curled up in the dynasty with Dais reading with him."

She sighed. Nerves frazzled but her usual calm was starting to return quickly as her tea made itself known to her system, she looked up at Cale and sighed. "That and I have been noticing flashes of black around the house. It is strange." ~We and about 5 other houses of groups at the school are being watched.~

"I understand how you feel and you know they only mean well. And it's up to you whether you want to go or not. You still have time to change your mind if you like." he leaned casually against the counter across from her and carefully blocked the link with Sage and Shary. ~No doubt the houses of everyone here. They're no doubt trying to spy in on us.~

"They should understand. But so far Sage and yourself are the only ones that have understood me so far. But I am not going there. They will have a wonderful time." ~You would be surprised whom they are watching. It is this house and the houses of five other troublemaker groups in the school. None of them exactly friends of the Raven.~ She chuckled softly across the link.

"Give them time and they'll understand. Trust me on this." he stifled a laugh and keep his calm face on. ~Should've guessed. They would think that now wouldn't they?~

~Birds of a feather??~ The old axiom coming in to play now as a slight smirk spread across her eyes as she sipped her tea.

~Flock together.~ Cale nodded some as if looking down and the corner of his lip quirked up. ~So what do you think we should do?~

Suddenly she perked up and looked out the window. Up and moving faster than she ever had before, she was out of the door and chasing after a fleeing black suit faster than he had expected. She was almost a half block away before Cale had made it to the door to find out what happened.

Running at top speed and grateful for the tea that loosened her up she took a flying leap and tackled the man in the black suit. As they tussled at the end of the block, Nikki flat out hauled off and punched the man out cold.

Everyone had looked up when Nikki ran out and wondered just what happened. Sage and Rowen went to go see what was wrong as Cale ran out to chase after her. When they all arrived where Nikki was they saw the black suit and all fell into place.

~These guys just don't give up. Even at home we're not safe.~ Rowen said through the link.

"Cale, pick him up. Weíre going to see that they understand that we would like to be left alone." Nikki stood and panting a little from the exertion she started walking back to the house leaving the others to wonder what had gotten into their normally quiet friend.

"Let her be," Cale said quietly and hauled the man over his shoulder. Quietly they all headed back to the mansion and locked the door behind them. He had relayed the message that they would all be getting a guest but the group was taken back when he dumped the black suit in the middle of the floor of the living room.

Bringing a basin of water that smelled faintly of herbs and a cool cloth she set about working on the large bruise that was now beginning to mar the manís face. As the cool compress on his forehead began to revive him he found himself in the middle of a group of teenagers and an adult.

The one treating him was the same girl that had taken him down. Strange but she seemed like she was trying to repair the damage that she had done to him in the scuffle. Moaning slightly he realized that she had clocked him pretty good to knock him out. She smiled softly at him and gestured for Sage and Cale to help ease him into the guest chair.

Once seated, the others sat down but they were all looking at him with uneasiness. He wasn't ever so sure what to say.

"Why were you spying on us?" Shary asked quietly. She knew along with everyone else why he was here but their best bet was to play it dumb for right now unless one of them had something up their sleeve.

"I can not tell you that." He looked at the group and wondered as Cale sat down on the floor as if he were used to it all his life, then he looked at the calm girl that was still treating him, she had taken him down. She was fast, and how did she know that he was there?

"I have a question of my own if you donít mind." Cale and Nikki nodded. "How did you know I was there? Not even my own knew where I was."

Nikki smiled slightly. "That is because everyone of us in this house has had some form of martial arts training for at least several years. I have been training in my particular style since I was very young, hence, I am hyper sensitive to my surroundings."

She made a final dab at the bruise that was starting to calm already due to her ministrations and sat back and indicated that he should lead the question and answer session.

"Tell me this... where do you all meet? You all seem like a close bunch. Closer than any friends Iíve seen at your school," he asked as he sat back.

Cale stepped in. "Well three of us are siblings if that counts for anything. Sage and Shary are my younger brother and sister. As for the others. They were friends in pairs or threes for a long time. We all had something in common and so we grouped together and have been friends ever since." He sat back his mind a complete shadow except for the glimmer of understanding of what Nikki was trying to do here.

The man looked at the ones the dark one called siblings. They looked nothing alike but the look in their eyes showed that he had spoken the truth. He nodded in understanding and thought of another question. "Answer me this then... what do you know about five samurais wearing colorful armors?" he watched them carefully for any unusual reactions.

Carrie giggled as she thought about the question. She had the attention of the entire group as her eyes filled with mirth. "Question for you friend. Do you realize that if you asked that to any self respecting person, they would ask you how many Mangaís youíve been reading?"

Cale and the others grinned as they thought about it and decided that she was right when Ryo spoke up. "We donít know what you are talking about mister. What do you mean by that. Are they a danger to the people of the city? Or is this an elaborate prank pulled off by some kids??" Ryoís eyes only echoed the question he asked as the others nodded.

"If they are a danger, would it not be best to put out a news bulletin with a reward as to how to find these people??" Kento piped up from the corner with Shary.

The man bit his lip as he realized just how foolish he did sound. Their boss was wrong. This group was just a bunch of normal teenagers. They couldn't possibly be the ones the ones they were looking for. "You're right. Perhaps this has just one big joke that something thought would be funny."

Nikki looked at him and smiled. "How do you feel?"

"Much better, thank you. You know? I never had someone treat me like that only to patch me up when they were done roughing me up. What was in that water that did all this?" He questioned carefully. She seemed to know what she was doing and with her apperent years in the martial arts, she may have picked up on some healing techniques along the way.

Nikki smiled and shook her head. "I am an herbalist in my spare time. As for roughing you up. I was just getting tired of trying to ignore you, so I decided that a more direct approach was called for. You resisted so I did was was best for all involved and brought you in to talk to us. Since I left several marks on your person, it was only fair that I patch you up before you went back to your report station."

Nikki nodded that he was welcome to leave if he wanted, and he realized that no one had forced him to stay in this dynamic group. Standing and looking a little dazed at everything he had learned today, he took his leave of the group and moved swiftly on to the rondevouz point to report. He was in enough trouble as it was.

Once he was gone the group heaved a sigh of relief. They were glad it was over and looked at Shary as she softly giggled. "Sorry guys but what you said... I almost broke our cover."

"Well we're glad you didn't," Sage said with a smile. He looked over at Carrie and Nikki. "Quick thinking you two. Now maybe they'll back down a little."

"It is getting late for me. I do want some time with Dais before this evening so I will take my leave of you all." Nikki bowed to the triplets and headed back up to Caleís room to port back to the Dynasty. It had been a long day for her. Fortunately Dais would already know every word of it.

Sage headed for the kitchen and invited everyone else to dinner. He did not argue with Nikki, but instead understood her need for some self time and some them time with Dais. Focusing on the meal he asked Shary and Cale to set the table. He was making a fast dinner and there wasnít going to be time for him to do it all in his own style tonight.

As said siblings set the table the group sat down and waited as Sage finish cooking. He brought it in and after saying grace they all began to eat and discuss what the plans were for the dance and such.

In the Dynasty, Dais and Nikki were curled up together on the couch reading their books and munching on things for the moment. It was quiet and peaceful and by that time, Sekhmet had even known to leave them alone. Nikki sighed happily and snuggled closer to Dais as they read making things warm and close for the pair.

At the table of the Mortal realm, Sage had a plan. It was a good plan, but it would require some fast-talking and agreements to be made. But he knew it would work. Looking at the others at the table he smiled slightly and began eating again as he listened to the others.

Dais smiled at her, his arm tightening around her shoulders and stroked her arm. He cared a lot for her and it showed in just about everything they did tgether. One handed he flipped to the next page of his book.

"So you all wnat to meet here to study for the finals coming up?" Rowen spoke up. Almost everyone groaned at the mention of their last exams.

"At least it'll be our last ones for high shcool," Kento said with a sigh. "But that knowing you and Carrie-san you'll pass them with no trouble at all."

"Not really Kento, Just because we are in the advanced classes does not mean that our exams will be any easier for us." Carrie looked at Kento. Rowen agreed. These were senior finals. If they all passed with decent marks, then they could all get into a reasonably good college.

"At least you'll be able to help us with some of our classes," Sherrie said and smiled at her brother. "This is good Sage."

"I agree, and I thought I was the cook here," Cye joked with a smile. The tension had already eased down and they were all happy.

Sage smiled at the praise. "I can cook at times. I just donít do it all that often, never had to." As they studied for the evening and headed for bed they wondered if they were still being watched.

As before they all retired to their rooms they got used to staying in all the times they stayed there. Everyone was already in bed or getting ready for bed excpet for maybe one person. Shary sat next to her window and peered through the curtains at the full moon. her left band with the black stone began to glow very faintly as the light hit it but she gave it no other thought. So many thoughts were swimming around in her mind she was having trouble trying to sleep.

~I got to handle this on my own. Cale and Sage won't be there to hold my hand always,~ she thought to herself, sighing softly. ~Few more days and high school will be over.~

Prom was coming up on Saturday and all the women involved had appointments with the hairdressers or with the friends they knew that were really good with hair. Sage wondered if his plan would work out. He had already talked to Dais about it and he agreed to the whole thing. Easing his mind into sleep he dropped off quickly.

The others slept well and deeply also as they paid no mind to the possibility that they were being watched still.

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