This was not too bad… though the last part was because I had no idea what else to write. :p

It was a relatively quiet jamming session.

Sukina stepped up to the mike, and began singing. Her voice was melodic and pleasing, a very generic pop-voice that was pretty easy on the ears. Naoko, meanwhile, took a violin and stayed in the background, letting her sister take the limelight. They started with a very light, and happy-go-lucky song entitled “Sakura Kiss.” She took on the face required for the song, which was mischievous yet innocent.

“Maybe you’re my love!” She held the mike close to her lips and raised her hand into the sky, doing a “throwing hand” sort of gesture favoured by some artists.

They then followed up with a song called, “Chance!” The band was more than a little surprised when Sukina took a backseat and Naoko instead stepped forward to sing. It did not take them long to find the reason why. Sukina’s voice was very much a female’s voice, while her sister’s was much rougher, and thus more suited to such masculine songs. The band was definitely surprised when their brother, famous for disapproving of the girls’ interest, came in, picked up a set of drum sticks, and began jamming with them. He was normally waiting for the girls downstairs.

“Itai yo…” the words died away as the music went on for a bit before coming to a lovely ending. The two girls looked at their brother, obviously just as surprised as the rest of the band.

“Let’s go. Okaa-san’s home,” he got up, returned the drumsticks, and left without waiting.

“Okaa-san?” the two girls waved to the band, grabbed their shopping bags and ran after their brother down the stairs.

“Aniki, how did you know before we did?” Naoko asked her brother as they walked down the street to the apartment building where they lived.

“She came to me first. Sukina, don’t touch her. She’s been wounded,” he warned as the doors opened.

“How bad?” Sukina’s voice was nearly inaudible.

“It’s just a scratch, but the blade was ambrosia-tipped. Whoever attacked her knew who she was.”

“She was in the field?” The sisters sounded incredulous.

The bellboy at the door followed them into the elevator, pressing the floor for them. His voice was respectful as the elevator moved up.

“The Lady,” referring to their mother, “Did not look too good. Would you like me to summon a doctor for you?”

“Perhaps not a doctor, Shigo-san, but could you get the Priest from the Shinjuku Shinto shrine? She would know Mother’s ailment better than any doctor,” Sukina smiled winningly at the bellboy.

“Of course, Lady Sukina,” they got out at the penthouse.

Once inside and the doors locked, Sukina threw her shopping onto the couch and ran into the master guest room. This was the room they had reserved for Mother’s infrequent visits, and it was a room with a fantastic view. Right now though, the curtains were closed and the room was in darkness; if it were not for the breaths Mother took, you would have though the room empty.

“Lady?” Sukina ran to the side of the bed and switched the bedside light on.

What she saw horrified her. There had been a sickly smell in the room, that hit her full blast when she switched the light on and lifted the blanket away from the pale woman. Her leg looked gangerous, and she knew why the Lady had come to them and not to any of her Brethren who would have been able to heal her almost immeiately. The skin definitely needed to be cut away and replaced by new tissue. The only problem is, the Lady did not have normal regenerative abilities. This meant that the tissues would have to come from a donor, and the recovery process would take a long time. She also knew why she could not touch her… Her healing touch was fatal to the lady.

“Onee-chan, open the windows and let the fresh air in. Onii-chan, get the things ready for a mini surgery and call Kivutar. She may be the only one who can help us now,” Sukina stood at the edge of the bed, holding herself to prevent from reaching out to the lady to hold her. A strong wind came in from the windows, sweetened by the flowers that grew outside the window. This high up, the pollution of the city was not that strong nor obvious.

“My daughters… Black holes, apparently, swallow up entire universes, planets, and galaxies. Isn’t is wonderful?!” she said it with a smile on her face that was truly frightening.

“Lady…” Sukina whispered, knowing immediately that the Lady was in a dangerous state. She was already delirious.

Naoko sat next to the Lady and began washing her gently. The Lady’s hair she fanned out above her head, like a black halo around her. Her hands were tender and kind as she washed the lady. Outside, they could hear their brother chanting, and the chants stopped after a few minutes, as they heard a gust of wind in the living room, even though the living room had no windows open. The two sisters could hear a hushed conversation, and then a woman with long, full red wavy hair, green eyes, and pointed ears. She looked like she was an elf from a story, but the two girls knew better. Both turned and bowed deeply to the newcomer.

“Lady Kivutar…” they allowed the woman to examine the one on the bed. Before she could say anything, there was a knock on the door and they heard their brother answer it. There was another brief discussion, and then they heard the door close and a man came in with their brother.

“Kishan tells me that Lady Celeste has been injured,” he went to the bed, looking at them suspiciously, as though they had been the reason for the injury.

“She was in the field with some of our newer trainees. According to eyewitness testimony, she was aiding them in their escape when a stray arrow hit her thigh. She looked alright, but she left the field shortly after and came here. The arrowhead’s here,” Kishan, their brother, walked to the bedside drawer and took out a small bundle.

It was wrapped in a small kerchief, scented with the heady scent of lilies, but embroidered with the narcissus flower; the same flower that had brought Persephone to Hades. Kishan passed it to the Priest, while Kivuta looked at him suspiciously. The Priest lifted the arrowhead to his nose and then he licked it, bringing a gasp of surprise to all present.

“Assiel-san!” Sukina cried out in alarm, for all she knew the ambrosia was potent to their kind.

“There is no need for alarm, dear child. Whatever did this to Celeste was not ambrosia, or even a potion of any kind. It’s something else,” he bent over the Lady, running his hand over her eyes. The Lady fell into a deep sleep.

“Kivutar, you are aware that we will need some of your tissues for the healing process, right?” he opened his bag. The red-headed woman nodded. “Good then. Kishan, you may wait outside. Sukina, I will need you and your sister here.Your herbs will come in handy,” he took a closer look at Celeste while Kivuta took off her clothes, “Kishan, call the Lady Persephone and her mother Dementer. If you can get the Weavers to get Karma, that would do too. But not yet. Only after we are done with her.”


Kishan closed the door behind him and took out a stack of papers and started his laptop up. It was going to be a long day, so he might as well get some work done. He took out the first stack of receipts and started going through them meticulously, typing from time to time in his computer. On his desktop was a digital photo of the three of them; him, Naoko and Sukina at Sukina’s graduation from middle school last year. It was a fairly recent picture, and it was one that he was fond of. He was not smiling, but his sisters were, with Sukina in the center and Naoko on her right. Sukina held up a bouquet of red roses, while Naoko had her arm around Sukina’s shoulders, grinning. He was on Sukina’s left, just a glimpse of a smile on his lips. They were dressed in their best that day, with Sukina in her middle school uniform, Naoko in a rare dress, and him in a formal shirt and jeans, with a jacket over his shoulder. He knew he looked very formal compared to his two sisters, but they had been happy that he was there and not somewhere else gallivanting. Minimizing the programs for a moment, he studied the picture closely.

He was dressed in his customary red satin shirt with with black leather pants and a matching leather jacket over his shoulder. His black hair stood up in all directions, but it also looked rather organized, so he came across like one of those stars sporting a messy yet organized hair look. The girls had giggled when they first saw him like this; both agreed that it suited him well. He disagreed with them though. Since he changed his hairstyle and wore the shades because the doctor had told him to (his eyes needed some adjusting to the sunlight after that minor surgery), there had been a larger group of girls following him since then. At first it had been amusing, but now it was simply disturbing. He definately knew how the famous stars felt now. Looking at the picture, he grinned, and then a wayward thought struck.

Could the girls have done it to him so that he would take their proposal for setting up a division offering protection to famous stars and those who wanted protection seriously? Knowing his sisters, he would not put it past them. If that were true, this had the markings of his younger sister all over it. He smiled at the thought; the two girls were far more cunning than most businessmen, and the fact that they did not hesitate when it came to their actions was also another factor that made some people afraid of them. Naoko was far more devious than her pretty exterior allowed, and Sukina was far more sterner than her innocent look.They were more ingenious and resourceful than most.

He turned his attention to Naoko’s picture at that thought. His sister had shoulder-length deep auburn hair, bordering on black in some lights. They shared the same eyes; both were dark brown, but whereas his was nearly black, Naoko’s was discernibly dark brown. They were also much brighter than his, which made sense given her more open personality. Dressed in a long, sky blue sundress, she looked like an angel, albeit a mischievious one. Naoko was definitely the more social of the three of them; she seemed to have no problems making friends left, right, front and center. He smiled. She knew the intimate details of the lives of most people around them. If she did not know it now, she would eventually.

Naoko loved kids the most though. He remembered how she was often counsellor and nurse for the many children in the orphanage they volunteered on weekends. She would play with them, but the moment they had something serious to talk to her about, she would drop everything for that child. Naoko had once cancelled an appointment he had setup with an important client to go pick up one of the older kids from school to listen to her breakup, spending about three hours with her. The client had been furious and threatened to quit their firm, to which he had simply shrugged. “At least I know where my sister is. Do you know where your daughter is?” The client had looked at him and spluttered, and Kishan had then informed him that the client’s daughter was out on a date with the client’s closest rival, which was definitely against their agreement. Naoko had laughed when she heard it from her brother.

Of course, no matter what, Naoko’s first love was her sister. She was absolutely devoted to Sukina, and it was not hard to see why. If Naoko was the kind of person who got stares, Sukina was the kind that turned heads. The blond girl had sky-blue eyes and long golden hair. She often did her hair with three braids above each ear, and then pulled it back and gather it with a red rose. It created a very innocent and youthful look; which made everyone who saw her feel protective. Sukina was not above to using this to her advantage, but when it came to her siblings, the innocent look tended to backfire. They had grown up together, after all, and it was no surpise. She was wearing the uniform of a private all-girls’ school; their families were rather rich, even though their parents were long dead. Unlike her friends though, she displayed no interest in anything but administration; considering that she, like most of her friends, were supposedly “destined” to be the wives of rich men, she was unusually ambitious.

Her brother and sister agreed, and often encouraged her. She was in the private school mainly because the will of her parents had said so. Once she finished, she had decided to enroll in a medicine college to become a nurse or a teacher. Sukina had the healer’s touch, but she had something more important than that; she had the healer’s calming bedside manners and the unbending principle of one. It was one of the few things that gave her pure joy, and her siblings wanted to encourage that. Sukina’s ancestors had very bloody histories, and this was one of the ways she was hoping to pay back their debt. Spending time with the children gave her a different aim in life, and it made her more sensitive to the world around her. It also improved her cooking by leaps and bounds.

The door opened, and it broke his concentration.

“Kishan… get them now,” to which he nodded. He took a quick look at the clock; it had only been one hour, surely they could not be done in so fast a time.

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