Author Topic: Memories Reclaimed  (Read 563 times)

Minoko Funaki

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Memories Reclaimed
« on: August 05, 2013, 03:01:29 PM »
July 25th, 2013

On a Thursday morning with little else to do, Minoko found herself marching up to the O'Connor household. Her dark gaze took in that lovely porch, which had no Gunslinger smoking on it, and then she brought a hand up to come down hard on their front door. Four loud knocks rang out before she stopped herself. You need to calm down... He's not even going to be here.  She sighed. I hope Kingsley's free.

Well wouldn't you know it, Minoko was actually right - about the first part anyway. The Gunslinger wasn't there. But it wasn't the dark-haired Kingsley that opened the door either, nor was it her older sister. Instead it was the other blonde female of the O'Connor clan, their cousin, who swung open the door and spent a mere second blinking before displaying a wide smile. "Minoko," she said. "It.. is  Minoko, isn't it?" She gave a short, soft laugh. "I always hate getting names wrong. People do it to me enough to know that it can get annoying. Are you.. looking for Kingsley?"

Minoko's lips twisted into an odd little smile. Did Fallon know that Minoko had called her Falcon that one time?! A nod was given in response to the woman's initial question. "I am. Sai too." Both of them would be preferable. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to talk about tons of memory related things around the Astral, but that didn't stop Minoko from wanting to see her friend.

Fallon gave a little wince. "I'm sorry to tell you but they're not here right now. Kingsley is down at the stables, and Sai is off on one of his hunts. He's been gone for a couple of weeks now." She wouldn't say it but she still worried about the Gunslinger, even if he... She relighted the effort of her smile. "I can tell them that you stopped by if you want. I'm sure that--..." The woman blinked and then seemed to be looking right past Minoko. It didn't last long, only a handful of seconds, before she refocused on her. "I guess you're in luck," she said, tucking in one side of her mouth in a funny little grin before ticking her chin up to motion behind Minoko. Once she'd turn, she'd see a certain cowboy just making his way to move past the front gate.

Had he really only been gone a couple of weeks? It felt like Minoko had been looking for the Gunslinger for months now. Time did seem to slow down, though, when memorable thing after memorable thing occurred, when changes were made. An eyebrow rose at the mention of luck, and then the Asian was spinning around. Her black coffee gaze widened. Instantly her heart was racing. A deep breath was taken in, and she tried to distract herself in any little way. The nails on her right hand were sent sinking into her left wrist. There was no reason for her to be terrified. No reason at all. A nauseated smile was forced onto the woman's features for a moment, but she found it too difficult to hold. Her expression changed back into a slight frown. She couldn't speak, so she simply nodded at the approaching Gunslinger.

The cowboy hadn't noticed her, or Fallon. Not yet, anyway. His head had been bowed, letting the wide brim of his hat hide both his features and the rest of the world, one from the other. It wasn't until the small gate was closed and secure and he was walking up the walkway proper that he lifted his head to find the two women standing at the open door. He blinked, looking from Minoko to Fallon. The latter smiled, a small thing, before saying, "I'll let you two alone" and, giving the Gunslinger a nod, closed the door between them. Now it was just Minoko and Sai. He looked to the Japanese woman, slowing as he approached the short stack of porch steps. "Didn't expect to see you here first thing when I got back."

The mention of being let alone seemed to trigger something in Minoko. Her hands shifted and started to press against each other. Surprisingly loud cracks came from such delicate looking knuckles. "I've been looking for you for a while." Her words were rushed. It was probably a miracle in itself that the sentence was even audible. "I decided that I want my memories back."

That was sudden. The cowboy wasn't surprised though, or at least he didn't show it if he was. Instead he just kept on looking at her. "You sure 'bout this?" he asked. "I know I ain't been 'round much, and I'm sure you've had lots of time to think 'bout it. But I want you to be sure that this is what you want." He paused. "You talk to your sister 'bout this?"

Three nods were given in quick succession. She was just that sure. "I think it's the right thing to do. It's not fair to my parents or Ki, and I'm sick of feeling empty..." At the mention of Motoko the older twin looked entirely nauseous once again. "I brought it up before. She said that I was stupid and that I'm better off..." Her gaze shifted upwards as Minoko started to chew on her bottom lip. "We should probably go over there."

He could practically feel the nervousness radiating off of her and, despite how he usually was with not being one to show much outward sympathy or emotion in general, his face softened remarkably. He gave her a small nod. "Alright." He turned halfway, giving another nod off to the side to motion that she come on down and start walking with him. "You just lead the way and I'll follow."

It was easy to move when she was being gently commanded to do so. Quick steps were taken off the porch, and then Minoko was walking in the direction of her sister's house. "They live just south of the Marketplace, so this shouldn't take long..." It really was a great location if one could ignore the market's general chaos. There was a reason that the kids weren't allowed outside without a parent or the family watchdog.

Nowhere was safe in Rhydin, or at least the Gunslinger thought so. The entire world here was just anarchy softly masked by those of which wished for a simple, peaceful life. But Sai could see beneath that mask. Too often he was witness to that horrible face that lay beneath it, snarling a wicked smile and staring with its crazed eyes. That's what he was for - to stand in between that masked harlot of a demon and those that he was champion of. Minoko, whether or not she knew or even asked for it, was one of those few. He kept a watchful eye as they walked along, too wary not to. That didn't keep him from talking to her, however. "You doin' alright?" he finally asked her, glancing in her direction for a brief moment. "I haven't seen you for a while. Want to make sure nothin's goin' wrong."

These days Minoko's feelings concerning her life seemed to go from 'Everything is terrible' to 'Everything is perfectly wonderful'. There was no in-between. She had spent far too much of the last few months covered in blood, and one person in particular was to thank for that. Minoko didn't want to mention the immortal, though. Their relationship revolved around a constant turmoil in her mind, and Sai was the last person she wanted to discuss that with. Mikoto had already got enough out of her the other day. The Asian had decided to keep her mouth shut, because if she couldn't feel guilty about a death then she would certainly feel guilty about everyone disliking Emlen. "Yeah, I'm alright. How was hunting?" She managed to look to the side and briefly meet the man's too blues.

That was brief, and a very unusual answer for the woman. Usually she had something going on, whether it was gaining new powers or meeting new people or getting into some sort of trouble with Kingsley. But, according to what she had just said, nothing had been amiss. Sai didn't buy it. He didn't push for anything else either though. If she wanted to share something with him, she would. If not, well, there wasn't much to be done about it in his mind. "Long and tirin'," he replied. "Was a horde of 'em this time 'round 'stead of the singles I've been gettin' myself used to. Wasn't all that bad though. Managed to flush 'em out and send 'em all elsewhere." Meaning that he killed them, in his own weird, demon-killing way. Speaking of demons... "You hear any more 'bout Toby?" Surprisingly, the name didn't taste as bitter as it had before. Didn't mean it didn't still taste like dirt though.

She imagined elsewhere to be some sort of hellish demon jail that rested between planes. "That's good. Toby? I?ve seen him at the inn a couple times recently..." Awkward eye contact had been made. She couldn't help but stare at the young man from across the bar. Minoko could swear that his hair had gotten redder, that maybe he was shaping up to be his former self. It made her crazy to think about him, and so she attempted to banish the boy from her mind. "I haven't seen Kings lately, so I don't know if she's still dreaming about him. "

That made him frown. "I haven't seen her since I left. I only got back just then," he said with a motion of his head behind them. He went silent for a footfall or three. "I know she don't think I noticed but, I know she was havin' a real hard time 'fore I had to leave. I think her memories are givin' her some trouble." And that just made him frown all the more. It was bad enough that the Astral had to deal with them, but the worst part for Sai was that he felt as if he had failed her. He had taken her memories once before, had cleansed the palate of her mind to leave her with the chance at peace. He had tried to do it again, to prevent her from suffering a fate worse than most of them could imagine. But this time, the memories were coming back. He scowled, mostly at himself.

Dark eyes took in the man's scowl, and her features fell into a distressed frown. She could sense the Gunslinger's unease with himself. Sai and Kingsley's relationship was complicated. People threw that word around a lot, but Minoko really did have trouble wrapping her head around it. Sai was a guardian. Not a parent, but a guardian, whose job was to keep Kingsley content, not by buying her things and providing her with support, but by tampering with her memories and killing demons. The last time she had spoken with Kingsley the Astral had still been angry. Her heart ached, knowing that Sai had to deal with those justifiable feelings. That was what made the situation seem so difficult in Minoko's mind: both Kingsley and Sai were in the right. "It's really difficult to deal with. The flashbacks and weird dreams... I had those for a few years, and then they mostly stopped."

"You said that you hit your head." Changing the subject was probably the easiest way for the Gunslinger to forget to keep blaming himself, at least for the moment. He looked at her. "Got any idea what it was you forgot? Everythin', I'm guessin', but..." He drew in a long breath and let it out in a muted sigh, looking away and around them again. "What I'm sayin' is, is there anythin' that you think that maybe you shouldn't remember? Or at least somethin' that your sister thinks you're better off without."

At the mention of her head Minoko's hand rose up to brush back through ebony locks. "I mean, sort of? I like to think that Motoko's told me everything... Our whole village was destroyed, and we were the only survivors. I remember pieces of that, and I remember a few faces, but..." She was having trouble gathering the proper words. That much was obvious. What she was going to admit was difficult enough to vocalize, and the woman was set on doing it properly. "There was this boy in my village. We grew up together, and he was my best friend, and Motoko says we were going to get married? Like, everyone just knew it. And that night he died for me. I remember his face, and I remember these horrible feelings, but I don't actually remember him...going."

"Are you afraid to?" He already knew the answer but he asked her anyway. Sometimes even when you knew something, it made a difference when you said it out loud. This was one of those things and one of those times that Sai thought it might help her, or at least help clarify for him if she really wanted to get her memories back or if she was just saying so for the sake of it.

Minoko wasn't sure if Sai had noticed, but the Asian had actually been leading them in circles for the last few blocks. The pair should have reached Motoko's house at least ten minutes ago. In spite of herself, Minoko smiled down at the cobblestone. "I'm absolutely terrified."

Even if he had noticed, he didn't let her know that, or minded. Again, he found himself breaking his own usual shell and sending a small grin down at her. "It's alright. It's natural to be. But you're goin' to be okay, Minoko." Much out of character, he placed a hand gently on her shoulder. "You're tougher that you think you are, and I think you're goin' to be just fine." The hand was gone again, like a breeze that came and left.

Her initial reaction to the hand on her shoulder was to stiffen up. She was surprised, and for a moment Minoko thought that maybe someone else had appeared and attempted to grab her attention. But it was only Sai. Once she realized that, Minoko relaxed and grinned. "That means a lot... Thank you." His words had given her the courage to take the proper turn onto Motoko's block. The Asian came to a halt in front of an odd storefront. Though the building was clearly an establishment of some kind, there was no sort of sign or any indication that they were open for business. "Here we go." She took a breath in and balled her fist up. Two hard knocks rang out on the McCesneys' front door.

Sai took a survey of the immediate area, scanning every nook and alleyway visible to the naked eye. After he felt comfortable in their safety, he turned his attention to the front door of the building, keeping behind Minoko and off to one side, and waited.

Booming barks echoed out of the front door when it finally opened after thirty seconds or so. There stood Minoko's mirror image, the only differences between the two being hair length, choice of clothing and Motoko's deep frown. A sleeping baby rested in one arm. How Tsukiko could sleep through Hentai's barks, Motoko would never know. Dark eyes slid between Minoko and whoever the hell had accompanied her here. No greeting was offered, only rude words. "Is this the guy you're f*cking?"

A dark eyebrow arched and he looked from the scowling Asian to the (he's guessing here) soon-to-be-blushing one. Well that was one way to start an introduction.

Minoko's mouth hung open in a stupor. She had taken so much care to not mention Emlen, and then her twin had given the last few months away, just like that. A light blush surely enough appeared on the woman's cheeks. She took a quick glance over to Sai and then looked back to her traitor of a sister. "Motoko, this is Sai. He's Kingsley's guardian. The guy who's supposed to give me my memories back..." Though her tone was calm, the volume of Minoko's voice was abnormally loud.

So there was someone whom Minoko was sleeping with, to put it more gently than her sister had. Lucky for the Gunslinger, his typical traits didn't betray him then. Other than a twitch at one corner of his mouth, the faintest hint at either a smirk or a scowl, his face didn't change in hue or figure. Looking back to the second Asian, he just stayed quiet. For now.

Motoko gave Sai a quick once over. She was like Minoko in the fact that her gaze said everything; the younger twin obviously wasn't impressed with the Gunslinger. "Fine. Come in." The woman turned around and stepped back into her general store turned home. Once she moved Hentai was released on the pair. He leapt onto Minoko in greeting and then started to sniff at Sai.

She stared blankly at her sister's back before looking down to the family dog. If anything could cheer her up, it was that slobbery face. "Hi, Hentai!" There was a story behind the animal's abnormal name, but Minoko had honestly forgotten that the word had any other meaning. She kneeled down and ran her fingers through the dog's fur.

"Thank you, ma'am," the cowboy said with a dip of his head, a finger and thumb tugging down one side of his ever-present hat. He looked down at Minoko, who seemed quite content with letting the dog distract her from everything else, but waited for her to step inside first. For all of his harshness and jagged edges, the man did have some manners tucked away somewhere.

Ma'am. She scoffed. Motoko supposed that was the polite thing to say, but she still disliked being addressed that way. "I'm going to put Tsukiko to bed. Did either of you want a drink?" The woman turned around and narrowed dark eyes on her drunk of a sister. Minoko's answer to that question was always yes.

"Oh, um..." She sensed the hostility in her sister's gaze, but that didn't stop Minoko from nodding. It was then that Hentai let out a whimper and headed back over to Motoko. Slightly bewildered, the older twin stood to her feet. "I haven't seen him react to something like that since he was a puppy..." Curious eyes slid over to Sai as she walked into the house.

Sai didn't give a verbal response, or even a physical one. The only thing he did after observing the dog slinking away was send a glance at Minoko before looking in after her sister. "Yes, ma'am, that'd be nice." He assumed she meant alcoholic but, he'd take whatever he was handed.

That would be the day that Minoko came over and asked for a glass of water. The two bottles of hard liquor that sat in the kitchen were for Minoko and Minoko alone. Spencer didn't drink, and when Motoko drank she preferred beer. An eyebrow lifted when she saw that Hentai's tail was down. "I take it you're not human?"

Once Minoko would make her way inside, she could be sure that the cowboy would follow. "Of a sort," was the answer he gave. It wasn't much of one but, hey, who was human in Rhydin? Or at least pure human - no changes, no alterations, no special abilities or skills, born with or earned otherwise. Sai would glance around the store-turned-household, taking it all in with one long stride of eye-sweep. "Nice place you got here."

Hadn't Motoko gotten the message that Spencer and she were the only unaltered humans left in the city? Looking slightly uncomfortable by her sister's frankness, Minoko stepped around the store counter that seemed entirely misplaced in the room. She could get her own damn drink. The woman disappeared into the kitchen for a moment and quickly returned with a bottle of cheap brandy and two glasses. "Motoko's fixed the place up a lot in the last few years." She gestured to the living area. "That used to be all shelves."

The store counter was indeed the only remaining hint that the building had once been a business. What had been shelves was now furniture, two large couches, a couple armchairs, a coffee table and a large rug. Toys were scattered around: balls, a few plush animals that the boys only seemed to use to hit each other with, some odd toy cars and action figures that Katan had bought. It wasn't that nice, but it was better than it had been before. "He's not overly fond of non-humans." And with that Motoko headed up the stairs. Hentai followed at her heels.
 
Sai watched as the more-sour sister ventured up the stairs. Once she was gone, he looked back to Minoko, one dark eyebrow only slightly hitched. He didn't say much else, just made his way over to the counter to await his drink, although he was quite careful not to kick any toys or stuffed animals along his way.

The awkward smile that Minoko forced onto her features held embarrassment and maybe even a little panic. At least there was a counter, though. Minoko always felt safer behind a counter. Both glasses were filled with brandy, and she nudged one over to Sai. "Yep, that's my sister..." Her gaze fell to the floor as she sipped at her drink.

"Seems nice." Minoko, of all people, would know that was at least a little bit of a lie. It wasn't that Motoko was cruel or anything, she just... wasn't like Minoko. Not that he could tell yet anyway. Taking the glass, he nodded his thanks for her before bringing it up for a nice, long first kiss. "I'm guessin' that she's goin' to have some questions for me." More of a statement than a question, really.

His words were no little bit of a lie. They were a straight up untruth. Motoko was a lot of things, and nice wasn't one of them. "Probably. I have questions too, but I'm sure Motoko will ask them all for me." A faint smile appeared. That was at least a load off her back.

It hadn't taken long for Motoko to put her daughter to bed. Tsukiko was by far the most cooperative of her children. The young mother of four reappeared at the bottom of the stairs, and Hentai was no longer at her side. Apparently the dog wanted to protect the baby. "Alright." She took a fleeting glance over to the counter before sitting down right in the middle of one of the couches.

The cowboy licked his lips of the warming liquid and turned to face Motoko, making a small notion with his head for Minoko to join them before walking over to the gathering of couches and seats. "I'm sure you've got a lot of things you'll be wantin' to ask me," he said as he took for himself a lone armchair, resting the brandy-filled glass atop of one of his jeaned thighs.

Minoko topped off her drink before moving to take a seat on the empty couch. She was silent, dark eyes flicking back and forth from her sister to the gunslinger.

He was correct. Motoko nodded and shifted around on the couch, rearranging both her arms and legs into crossed positions. "Are you going to save me the trouble and start explaining yourself?"

"What do you want to know?" In other words, 'no'.

Lips curved into a scowl. "I'd like to know exactly why the both of you think this is a good idea, but I suppose that's more of a question for my sister. How do you bring her memories back? What is your power?"

Her stare lingered on Motoko for a few seconds, and then Minoko's gaze fell to the floor. The brandy in her glass seemed to be disappearing at an alarming rate.
[img:ac4ccb478f]https://66.media.tumblr.com/132c5066959875bc460d8f587e94ad6c/tumblr_moilapx6dc1sw5m5io1_400.gif[/img:ac4ccb478f]
[i:ac4ccb478f]And you're a cherry blossom
You're about to bloom
You look so pretty, but you're gone so soon[/i:ac4ccb478f]

Minoko Funaki

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Re: Memories Reclaimed
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 03:50:38 PM »
"Don't you think it ain't right that she lost her memories?" he asked bluntly, looking now to Minoko, purposefully, before back to her sister. He waited a moment before answering anything further. "It's part of what I do," he began. "Don't know what she's told of me to you but I'm a sort of defender. I watch over certain folks, protect them. One of those ways is by bein' able to affect their memories."

"There was nothing right or wrong about it. She hit her head on a rock. Before that she was very sad all the time. Then I lost her, and when I met up with her again she seemed pretty f*cking happy. I understand that she's curious, but I've told her everything that there is to know." Following Sai's gaze, she glanced to Minoko, who continued to stare at the ground. "I didn't ask what you do. Okay, you can affect her memories. How?"

"Then why not let her have 'em back?" Where Motoko was curious about him, he was curious about why she was so adamant about Minoko not getting her memories back. He knew why he didn't want Kingsley to have hers - so what was the deal here? Sai took a deep breath and just stared at the second Asian before, slowly, leaning back into his chair. "As you said yourself, I ain't exactly human. You could call what I can do a sort of 'gift' - literally. I gained it from someone I work for. Still kind of do."

Dark eyes rolled in their sockets. "She can have them back. I'm not going to stop her. I'm just fairly certain that she'll be happier without them." Wasn't Sai supposed to be Kingsley's guardian, not Minoko's? She hated that her sister was being so quiet. If Minoko was within kicking reach then Motoko would have gladly sent a foot flying into her twin's shin. "That's great and everything, but you're still avoiding my question."

"I ain't avoidin' it, I'm just not able to fully answer you. It'd be like me askin' how you breathe. You do it naturally, right? In and out, all automatic. Don't have to think, you just do it." He gave a small shrug. "It's kind of the same thing. I was given the ability and now I can do it. It ain't nothin' harmful if that's what you're worried 'bout. Got myself plenty of holy folk who can tell you that."

Arms uncrossed. Motoko leaned forward. Her elbow balanced on her thigh, and she rested her chin in an open palm. "Holy folk like the psychos at that church Minoko told me about? The one that that boy worked at..." What was the name? Once it came to her mind, Motoko practically snarled it out. "Toby."

Eyes widened at the mention of the redhead. She looked to her sister, and it was obvious that Minoko was slightly alarmed. The fact that her glass was now empty probably wasn't helping the situation at all.

Instantly the Gunslinger's calm visage cracked, his scowl a perfect match for the manner and tone in which Motoko nearly growled that name. "They ain't nothin' like that - or him." He should have looked at Minoko but he didn't. He just kept right on going. "My folk aren't crazies that have a likin' for harborin' demons right in their midst."
                                                                 
The twin's lips twisted into a smirk. "I only met him once. You know that boy came over here in my sister's body?" Her gaze slid over to Minoko. She couldn't blame her sister for letting her know about the body switch, and yet Motoko had still hated everything about that situation. It was one thing to get caught up in some magical bullsh*t, but to be trapped in a male non-human body? Disgraceful.

"You're lucky," in regards to her only having to deal with that boy once. The gunslinger's scowl hadn't budged. He had hated that moment, discovering that Minoko was in Toby's body and, worse, that he was in hers. He remembered it all so clearly, his hand shoved inside of the ginger's lanky frame but feeling not his tainted soul but Minoko's instead. Were he anyone but himself, he might have shivered. "He ain't got respect for anyone, 'specially these girls."
 
Motoko opened her mouth to reply, but Minoko beat her to it. "Could we talk about something else?" Not that she had been talking... Still, Minoko looked entirely uncomfortable. There was no point in sitting around and talking about some body switch that had happened ages ago. Sai and Motoko both hated Toby. That was fine. They didn't need to sit around and make her feel stupid for having cared about someone that technically didn't even exist anymore.
 
Sai glanced to Minoko and then nodded. He didn't want to make her even more uncomfortable than she already obviously was, even if he would have likely thoroughly enjoyed scraping over the wonderful world of Toby with Motoko. Looking back to the second twin, he waited for further questions.

Her smirk was quick to fade away when Minoko finally spoke. She supposed they could talk about Minoko's current group of friends, who sounded just as bad. Minoko was reluctant to speak about them, but Motoko was excellent at getting information from Katan. Those siblings that they were so fond of sounded like magnets for the dangers that only Rhy'Din could provide. There was something in her sister's eyes, though, that kept the younger twin from making a rude comment. She sighed. "Let's just get on with it. If Minoko trusts that you won't scramble her brains then so do I."

Well that was easy, or at least easier than the cowboy had thought it would be. He had expected to be there for a few hours, being grilled and having to answer (or not) all sorts of twisting questions. Again, he looked to Minoko, expecting a second confirmation.

Maybe she had lied. Motoko didn't trust him. Not really. But her katana sat behind the store counter, and she had a rough idea of what her tainted sister was now capable of. They could hold their own if this somehow went terribly wrong. Motoko watched as Minoko lowered her terror filled eyes and nodded.

He looked at Minoko for what probably felt like a long time. Those eyes of his, blue as always, were steady and unwavering until he finally drew in a long breath and then let it out. So this was it. Leaning forward to push himself out of his chair, he placed his nearly-untouched drink aside on a table. No need for that just now. Moving to stand in front of Minoko, he looked down at her. "Are you ready?"
 
There was that word again. Ready. Minoko couldn't help but to think of Emlen. Why were these blue eyed men always asking her if she was ready? No, she wasn't. She hadn't been ready for Emlen to cut her hand. Though she had thought differently at the time, Minoko clearly hadn't been ready to jump into bed with the immortal. Today the situation was vastly different, but, after all these years, she still wasn't ready to get her memories back. She would never be ready. And yet Minoko opened her mouth to confirm. "Yes." Dark eyes looked up to the Gunslinger. The hesitance that she felt would not stop her from doing the things that needed to be done.
 
He could feel her hesitation as if it were an actual tangible thing in the air. It was thick and wary, wavering back and forth with indecision and distrust. He knew it didn't lay with him - he was fairly certain that Minoko would trust him with her life if she had need to ever do so, which he hoped she never did - but it affected him all the same. He simply looked at the young woman for a very long time, reading her in ways that were unknown to most mortal people. But finally, he nodded. "This ain't goin' to hurt any," he said, crouching in front of her so that they were just about eye-level. The hat remained on his head, giving his already constant stare an almost eerie over-shadowing. Reaching out both hands, his fingers spread so that they cradled the majority of each side of her face, index fingers on her temples and thumbs on each swell of a cheek. "It might get scary though. I ain't able to say that the memories aren't goin' to be bad. But I promise you," his eyes grew a few shades richer, "I ain't goin' to let nothin' bad happen to you. Do you trust me?"

He thought correctly. Maybe Minoko and Sai didn't see each other all that often, but she had been through enough with the man to know his character. She would have trusted Sai with her life, her soul and then some. Minoko's hands nervously clung to each other in her lap. A final glance was taken over to her sister. Would she see Motoko the same after all of this? Fifteen years... Her eyelids drifted downwards. Hands parted, and Minoko relaxed in the Gunslinger's hold. "Of course." Her words were breathy, nervous and completely certain.

Sai let a long, slow breath stretch out its lifespan in his lungs, attempting to calm Minoko even further more than himself. He had done this before, she hadn't. He honestly wasn't surprised, or offended, that she was at least a little bit scared. He would have been concerned otherwise. "Just relax." His eyes closed too, his head bowing enough so that the hat brim tucked away the view. A few moments later and both head and lids were lifting again, revealing irises that were bluer than could be imagined. The pupils were mere pinpricks, leaving the idea of sight to be dismissed. He was in another world now, one shrouded in mystery. It was like sorting through a room and finding a hidden box containing long-lost photographs, each one he carefully picked out and put back on the wall of her memory.

In this box the photographs were stacked from oldest to newest. On the top were her most recent memories, the ones that told a tale of two thieving sisters. They had wandered from village to village, stealing food and valuables. One fateful day they had gotten caught. There was a scuffle. Minoko fell. Motoko fled. And on the ground laid that rock, the one that had damaged her brain and robbed her of all that she was. The woman was still, watching those lonely days fly by, listening to her mirror image shower her with reassuring words. It's going to be alright, Minoko. We're going to be fine. All the while she clutched something: a golden inscripted ring. Her eyes opened, though they didn't see. That simple band felt like the most familiar treasure in the world to her. While Minoko had robbed villagers, Motoko had robbed her. She wanted to speak, but it wasn't yet time. Nails sank into her palms as she waited for the moon to show.

Motoko watched the process with an odd sort of fascination. Where could Minoko possibly be right now? Maybe she was running through the forest or climbing trees. Maybe she was admiring the sakura. Maybe she was spending time with Ki on that damned rooftop. But her sister didn't seem peaceful. She wasn't terrified either. If anything, she seemed empty. That was all Motoko needed to know to place her sister in time. What a shame that it had to be ordered in such a way.

He had seen horrors in his time. People murdered by other humans, the desolation and cruelty bred by war, children slaughtered by hordes of demons, punishments doled out to vicious creatures and those gone delirious with blood rage. This and so, so much more scarred the gunslinger's own memories, leaving enough room for nothing but a blank slate to be worn as a mask to hide it all. But it was always different when he was watching another's memories, gazing upon them like nothing but a moving photo album. He couldn't feel anything having to do with them, the sensations or emotions, but what he was allowed were feelings of his own. Just as he had watched so many of his precious Kingsley's memories, he was now watching Minoko's, and the response he was now feeling within his chest was something that he hadn't expected anyone to ignite except for that little Astral. Guess he was wrong.

With everything coming in backwards there was no element of surprise. Minoko knew what would happen next as the memories flashed by of digging through rubble and burying a single body. Then, as she had anticipated, the full moon started to shine down on her. She could hear the thunder of numerous horses charging for her village. Minoko positioned herself in a tree and let the arrows fly. At first she only aimed for the beasts that the soldiers rode, but as the hope in her heart started to die she began to pierce the necks of men. It wasn't enough, though. Flames flickered and grew and started to engulf everything in sight. The soldiers noticed her location and sent arrows in return. She narrowly avoided them and dropped from the tree, only to find her dying father not so far away. Her father told her to live long, to be happy. He gave her his sword as his eyes closed. Minoko's cries joined those of her dying villagers. But there wasn't any time to mourn. She was joined by Ki and Motoko, who carried news of her mother's death. Again, no time. They ran through the forest, searching for the remaining villagers. What they found was a woman being interrogated by a samurai. She had given information to the Mongols. She had screwed them all. The samurai killed her and then yelled out his orders for any remaining villagers to be slaughtered. His eyes fell on Minoko. The katana had chosen her, and yet Ki took the blow. The memories that played before her had seemed distant up until then. It was like watching a movie. But the sound of her screams tearing through the forest and the sight of Ki's blue eyes losing their light was enough to drag her into it. She was no longer in Rhy'Din. Minoko was on Earth. She was in Japan. And he was dying, all over again. No tears leaked from the black holes that her gaze had become, but blood started to drip from her palms and onto the furniture. She waited for her own death to come. It would have been such a simple ending. Maybe it would have even been peaceful. Motoko wouldn't let her go, though. Their father's sword pushed through the samurai's flesh. It was over. She was stuck in the remains of her village, sobbing over a boy's body. Only when a very real pain shot through her knuckles did Minoko snap out of it. Nails were drawn away from the crescent shaped holes in her palm. The wounds were quick to close up, and with her sanity intact, Minoko praised the immortal blood that coursed through her veins.  
                                                                               
Somewhere in the middle of the battle Motoko stood and walked over to her sister. She wasn't attempting to interrupt. The mirror image knelt down, her gaze darting between sunken black holes and bloody palms. When the wounds closed up she bit down on her lip. Again with these powers, these abilities that she wasn't meant to have. At least the worst part was over. At least minimal amounts of blood had tainted the couch.

He watched her through two sets of eyes and in two very different ways. He shared those memories with her, witnessed them as if he were a ghost present at each moment. He watched, he listened, he let his own emotions stir. And when the last of the moving pictures found their spot along Minoko's wall of memory, he stood and looked at them all. He had come here to relieve her of her lack of remembrance, to reawaken the things in which a simple fall had robbed her of. As always, he had known that not everything would be peaceful and happy and, as always, he accepted the result with stoic dignity. He did what he did because that was what he does. Nothing more, nothing less - or so it was supposed to be. His feelings for Minoko mirrored those he felt for Kingsley; protective, concerned, companionship. Anything else was his to know and his alone, but it had been enough to let him bypass his own second-guessing of giving her back her memories-- no, releasing them. He blinked, slowly, drawing back out of her mind and wholly into himself again, his eyes returning to their normal abnormal state, pupils round and irises vibrant but not so bright of a blue. His hands remained, for a short time, before gradually coming away from her face. "You alright?" His voice was low, personal. Motoko's presence was still monitored but not important.

Everything that preceded the night where she had lost everything came much quicker. Minoko's childhood was a lovely blur, speeding past her. Thousands of fragments reclaimed their place in her memory. So many days were spent training. Her father smiled down on her as an arrow successfully pierced its target. Nights were spent cooking. Minoko glanced up at her mother, who calmly instructed her as she arranged rice around raw fish. The face that she hadn't been able to remember was now hers again. It was fragile, flawless, in the way that only a mother's could possibly be. Around her neck hung an amethyst heirloom, misplaced in time. It was the same necklace that Motoko always wore. Black holes had softened into a stare that was still empty, but undoubtedly calm. Training and cooking gave way to memories of her earlier childhood. She ran, climbed trees, fought with her sister. All the while that boy was there. He was their mediator, their go-between, their best friend. There were no overly obvious feelings of first love, as Minoko had loved him always. Here was the end, the beginning: her first memory. The boy stepped from the woods, his blue eyes red from crying. Minoko couldn't have been older than four. Ki was misplaced in time, just like that necklace. The nearby villagers found his appearance alarming. Motoko cowered behind their father. But despite the calls that instructed her not to, Minoko stepped forward. She examined his white skin, his light brown hair, his strange, strange gaze. Just when the boy seemed like he was going to run back into the forest, Minoko smiled. Her arms opened wide. 'Kangei!' Welcome. Though he didn't understand the foreign word, Ki smiled too. He was the nexus's gift to her, the reason that she was alive today. Minoko's eyes lost their haze as her twin's home came into focus. The box was empty. She blinked away tears and nodded to Sai. Any skepticism that was being felt by Motoko would be washed away with one question. "Motoko, where's my ring?"

She had never found it necessary to bring that detail into the story. It was no longer her story, though. Motoko stared at her sister. There would be no point in doubting the obvious. "I'll get it for you. It's upstairs." She stood and sent a nod in Sai's direction before ascending to the upper level. It was the closest thing that the Gunslinger was going to get to a thank you. Though she'd never admit it, the younger twin was happy. Her past didn't feel quite so lonely now.

He rocked back onto his heels and rested there, looking from one set of two to the other as she made her way up the stairs. He wondered if the poor dog was hiding under a bed somewhere or curled up in a ball next to one of the children. Poor thing - he always hated the first reaction he got from dogs. Once Motoko was gone, he looked back to Minoko. It felt wrong to say anything, like any words he could come up with could only go against the grain, make matters worse. So he acted instead, reaching out one terribly calloused hand until it encompassed the back of one of hers, resting there coolly before giving it a gentle squeeze.                                          

A smile was forced onto the woman's features. She was happy, yes, but it wasn't a simple enough emotion that would leave her grinning. What Minoko felt was a bittersweet wholeness. "You saw everything?" Her hand was still beneath his. Moving felt like too difficult of a task for the time being.

The gunslinger nodded. "I did. But I can forget it if you want me to." That wasn't exactly the truth but it wasn't exactly a lie either. Regardless, it was an offer made to Minoko in honesty. His hand didn't move either. After sharing such a personal experience, it would have been futile to pretend to be shy.

A pleasant sounding laugh came from Minoko. It was brief, but genuine. "I wouldn't ask you to do that. It's, um... I guess it's kind of embarrassing." She was specifically thinking of all her early fumbles during her training. Such a large bow had been difficult for Minoko to get used to. "But I'm glad."

For the first time in a long, long time, Sai's mouth spread into a smile. Granted there weren't any teeth showing, but it was definitely a smile and not a smirk or a grin. And this one was authentic. "Ain't nothin' to be embarrassed 'bout. I'm just glad that you're happy, and that I could help you get there."

Maybe Sai wasn't feeling shy, but regaining her memories hadn't changed the bashfulness that Minoko felt from time to time. "...Thank you." Her head bowed down. She was so grateful, and a simple thank you couldn't possibly express that. Minoko would have to do something for the man in the future. Dark eyes looked to the stairs when the sound of floorboards creaking rang out in the room. Her hand attempted to shift away from Sai's.

He complied, easily, letting his hand move back and away from hers as he rose from his crouched position in front of her. Moving back to his previous seat, he stooped just enough to take up that glass of liquor and raise it to his lips, looking toward the stairwell.

"Sorry that took so long. I couldn't remember what drawer it was." Motoko didn't sound too sorry. This exchange had been a long time coming, but it was still difficult to hand over the trinket that had been with her for ten years. It might have just been easier to lie. Too late now, though. She stepped into the living room and placed the golden band into her sister's right hand.
 
What had previously felt like an indestructible memento now felt like a simple piece of metal to her. The ring glowed pink for a few seconds as she looked it over. Though she wasn't familiar with the majority of Japanese characters, she recognized the ones that were engraved into the band. There was her name, along with something that was similar to what she had recently told Emlen. A sigh came from Minoko as she slipped the band onto her ring finger.

He simply watched, again feeling that the sound of his voice would be like pouring oil onto water. He sipped at his drink, turning to face them as he stood behind his chair.
[img:ac4ccb478f]https://66.media.tumblr.com/132c5066959875bc460d8f587e94ad6c/tumblr_moilapx6dc1sw5m5io1_400.gif[/img:ac4ccb478f]
[i:ac4ccb478f]And you're a cherry blossom
You're about to bloom
You look so pretty, but you're gone so soon[/i:ac4ccb478f]

Minoko Funaki

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Re: Memories Reclaimed
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2013, 11:19:21 PM »
"So... Everything? Do you have any questions?" Motoko fell back into her spot on the couch. She was trying to pick out the most memorable parts of fifteen years in her mind. It wasn't easy. Minoko probably remembered everything better than her at this point.

"Everything. Mother was just as pretty as you said." Her ring was twisted around on her finger as she mentally reviewed the rapid slideshow. "I don't think so. My first memory was Ki showing up, and my last memory was right before I hit my head. It all matched up with what you told me."

Back and forth his gaze moved. He felt like a living statue in the room but leaving would be even more awkward. And so he stood, watching and drank. Good ol' Sai.

"That's my first memory too," was admitted with some reluctance. It appeared that Minoko still hadn't been able to put together the full picture after all these years. At least, Motoko hoped that was the case. Either way it was a good time to change the subject. "So are you going to tell me why you're healing like that angel that used to stay at the inn?" There was a pause as she lifted her legs onto the couch. "What was her name again...?"
                                                                                                   
Her teeth gritted together. "Cordelia. And I'm not, um..." There would be no point in trying to lie about this. Even if Motoko hadn't noticed the healing process a dishonesty attempt would be futile. Minoko's twin was always able to see right through her. "I'll tell you later." The woman abruptly stood. Now was as good a time as any to get the hell out of here. Sai had better things to do than listen to them babble about the past.

He hadn't minded. It was a calm before the storm, really, at least for him. At some point during their discussion, he had glanced to his shoulder, as if someone had put a hand there. He nodded, short and brief, looking back at the twins as Minoko stood. "Ready to go?" he asked, mostly rhetorical, mustering one side of his mouth to tug upward in something more than just a twitch.

Motoko didn't look too happy about her sister's attempt to run. When was Minoko going to learn that it wasn't a good thing to keep secrets, especially from the person who knew her best? "You'll be back later then?" Her feet fell to the floor. Arms were crossed as she stood and shuffled over to the front door.

A nod was sent Sai's way before she turned to her sister. "Yes." After responding she took a moment to actually think over the question. "Well, maybe not. If I don't come back tonight then I'll definitely stop by tomorrow." No promises could be made concerning tonight. Minoko felt like she wasn't in possession of her evenings anymore. Those were Emlen's hours now. She glanced over to the stairs, hoping that the dog would make an appearance as she left.

"Thanks for the hospitality," he said to Motoko before he finished off his drink and left it on the counter next to the bottle, giving her a nod in thanks to go along with his verbal one. "Was nice meetin' you. I'm sure I'll see you 'round some other time." So long as Minoko was around, he was sure that he would bump into her twin another time or two. Moving for the door, he reached for the knob, waiting for Minoko to get closer before opening it for the both of them.

Minoko's vague response earned her a glare. Surprisingly enough, said glare disappeared when Sai spoke. It was a lot easier to appreciate the Gunslinger's manners when he wasn't calling her ma'am. She leaned against the counter and nodded in return.

No dog. "Hentaiiii." Still no dog. "Hentai!" The mutt appeared at the top of the stairs with his tail between his legs. "Not coming down?" He stayed put. "Fine. Be that way." Minoko grabbed her own empty glass off the coffee table. Seeing that there were a few remaining drops, she shook them onto her tongue before abandoning the cup on the counter. She ran her thumb over her new-old ring as she approached the front door. "Thanks, Motoko."

Opening the door, he nodded to Minoko. Glancing toward the stairs, he felt bad for the poor mutt hovering at the top. Oh well, he'd get over it shortly after he was gone, he was sure. Looking back to Motoko, he tipped his hat in her direction before looking, again, to Minoko. "Back to your place or somewhere else?" he'd ask her. It was a simple question. Really.

She scoffed. "No idea what you're thanking me for... Thank him."

Arms stretched to the afternoon sun after she stepped outside. "WestEnd." Minoko then spun around to get a final look at her mirror image. "I already did! You missed that part."

He nodded, letting their parting conversation come to a close before setting the door securely back in its cradle. He started them off walking, reaching up to lift up his hat to run a handful of thick fingers through his longish dark hair before putting it right back on again. "How are you feelin'?" he'd ask a short time after.

"I feel great! It's so nice out." Minoko was taking special care to not think about any of her recovered memories, good or bad. Instead she smiled to the sun like she hadn't seen it in months. "How about you?"

If he hadn't known any better, he would have thought that he had erased all of the memories, and the event leading to their resurfacing, rather than freed them. But he knew Minoko well enough to know that she didn't like dwelling on bad situations. She had been through enough troubles, she didn't need to submerge herself in them all the time. "I'm doin' just fine," he replied, following her look to the sun and squinting.

"Y'know I think Motoko..." She had been about to say 'likes you', but the Asian stopped herself. Like was too strong of a word. "...doesn't hate you." Minoko had noticed that her sister hadn't been glaring at the Gunslinger when they left. The thanking comment had also stuck in her mind as a sign of not-hate. She seemed entirely excited about this idea of Motoko not loathing one of her friends.

She was probably feeling much like Kingsley had when he had finally met her Elijah friend, since Sai had guessed that Motoko was Minoko's version of him to the Astral. He allowed himself to smirk. "I'm glad to hear it. Wouldn't want your sister hatin' me none. She seems like she can have a real mean streak if she wants to. But she's good stuff. Loves you, you know." He glanced down at her.

"You think?" She found it necessary to tease the Gunslinger for that one. Of course she knew her sister loved her. There were some days that Minoko was certain that Motoko didn't like her at all, but she always knew the love was there.

He smirked, then upnodded down the road. "Where you goin', anyway?" He had an... errand to run, but her destination was more important to him - or rather, if he felt she needed an escort.

Her smile faltered. Motoko had already spilled her secret, though, so she supposed that the immortal could be spoken of. "I'm going to Emlen's apartment. He's, um..." The guy she's f*cking? That probably went without saying.

Sai simply nodded. "I'll walk you there." If he was good at one thing - and it was certain he was good at a lot of things - it was being able to keep his facial expressions exactly the same way no matter what he's told. This moment was no different. "Just let me know when you're good on your own and I'll let you be. Got to be gettin' to the house at some point, check in on Kingsley since I'm back."

Minoko wasn't sure if she was relieved or disappointed when Sai didn't say anything concerning the immortal. Instead of asking some sort of general question, she said the first thing that came to her mind. "I miss Kingsley..."

His eyebrows rose. "She misses you too. She sent me a letter while I was gone," he mentioned this mostly so Minoko didn't think he was psychic or anything silly like that. "Somehow her hand got blown off." One eye twitched. "She's fine now though. It grew back." Said not exactly nonchalantly but more like it was an expected thing to have happened - the growing back part, not the blowing off. "You should go see her soon," he said, more quietly than everything else.

Sai wasn't a magical psychic teleporting memory retrieving Gunslinger? This was news to her. When Sai twitched Minoko's neck flat out jerked. "Somehow...?" That was a pretty vague way to describe what she assumed was on attack on Kingsley's life. Oh, but it grew back. "Of course. You never see any injured angels..." Now she felt stupid for having worried. "I will," was said in an even softer tone.

If she had known just how worried he had been when he had first found out (okay, so maybe 'angry' was a better word... that poor wall was never going to look the same ever again), she wouldn't have felt stupid in the slightest. "It had somethin' to do with that church she keeps goin' to." His jaw rippled as he tightened it. If it wasn't one thing, it was another. He was beginning to wonder why Logan and Quill had thought that this place would be better than back on Earth. He glanced down at Minoko. "You alright?" He meant it in having nothing to do with the memories they had just freed not even an hour ago.

Minoko stiffened up at the mention of a church. "Not Toby's church, right?" There were plenty of churches in the city, but that was always the first one that came to mind. "Yep. I'm alright if Kingsley's alright." Minoko knew how uncertain her answer sounded. It would have to suffice, though.

And he took it, not seeing any way of asking further without being his uncouth self and barreling at her with questioning. The corner of his mouth twitched at that name being said again. Once was more than enough of a daily dose, in his opinion. "No, not his church. It's some other one, way out on the outskirts of the city. Up on some hill or some other. She hasn't told you about it?" In all honesty, he was surprised.

"I think she might have mentioned it, but I'm not sure. How did she get her hand blown off in a church?" Minoko's head was swimming with all sorts of odd scenarios. Warrior nuns, holy wars, cross-shaped dynamite... She really hoped it was dynamite.

He gave a lazy shrug. "I haven't seen her yet since I've been back but, apparently she doesn't really know. She touched a door and it blew up." Another rise of his shoulders. "Hopin' to get a better story straight from her mouth. Her handwritin' was awful." An attempt at a poor joke? Not really. Kingsley wrote terribly with her left hand.

Definitely dynamite. Minoko didn't seem to pick up on the handwriting comment. She had never put much thought into such a thing, unless someone's fours looked like their nines, and even then that was specifically a work problem to her. "That's really scary... I know most things around here aren't safe, but doors tend to be. Except for that one at the Red Dragon."

"There was somethin' more goin' on in there." The last thing he wanted to do was plant a seed of fear of doors in her head. "She's gone there before. Once with Elijah," He didn't even want to think about Toby's name, let alone say it, "and I guess there were some sort of angel statues inside. Gave chase to 'em or somethin'. My guess is that the place is rigged with power."
 
A legitimate fear of doors would make for some interesting nightmares. It's not what's behind the door, but what kind of door! Deadly mahogany. Eyes widened when she pictured a statue awkwardly running after Kingsley. That was something that Minoko actually found terrifying. "Wow... Did you ever get to meet Elijah?"

The gunslinger gave a nod. "Just 'fore I left. Nice kid. I liked him." Which was probably just as rare of a statement as her twin not hating somebody. "Can't say the same for Jonas though." Which was just another part of why Sai had liked him. He gave Minoko a sideways glance. "What you think 'bout 'im?"

Nice kid? Minoko didn't think of Elijah as a kid. It probably had something to do with that mustache. When Sai expressed his like of the man-boy, Minoko grinned. "I'm surprised! I thought you guys would be too similar to get along. Not sure if that makes sense..." When Jonas was mentioned she took a moment to recall the man's face. "Hmm. I've only met Elijah a couple times, but I like him. He seems really protective of Kingsley. That's never a bad thing."

He nodded. "Was one of the things I liked 'bout him. He was honest 'bout everythin', s'far as I could tell, which was much different than..." Again, Toby was about to be brought up. Sai scowled and swallowed the end of that sentence instead. "Seems like he's lookin' to protect her much as he can. S'hard not to like that in someone like him." Minoko was right, they were very much alike. Back in a different world and at a different time, he might have even gone as far as to say that he reminded him of himself at a young age. Sai just hoped the kid's future would be brighter. Looking around them, he took in their surroundings as if he hadn't been paying attention to them at all for the entire walk. "How long you been seein' this kid?" Meaning Emlen. Evidently Sai thought everyone was a kid, or at least anyone younger than himself, and he felt very old.

"I take it you guys talked about your mutual love of hats and whiskey?" She smirked up at the Gunslinger. They were well into WestEnd now and would be at the apartment complex soon. "Um... A month now? He's only been here since the end of April. I'm not sure if you ever got to meet Martyr, but he's Martyr's brother." Minoko got the feeling that Sai would have at least heard the name back in his snooping around the inn days.

'Detective Sai', that was him. Undercover subtlety? Who needed that when you had bluntness and guns? Look out, Rhydin. Here comes a new trend on investigation. His mouth twitched and he gave a nod. "I 'member somethin' 'bout her, sure. Not much. He a jerk?" Yep, there was that 'bluntness' we were just talking about.

Was it terrible that his question made her grin like an idiot? "Yep! But I'm a jerk too. So it's a good mean balance, I think." Sai probably didn't even know how awful Minoko could be. She did genuinely enjoy breaking bottles over her boyfriend's head. "That's the place up there." A finger was extended to point out an apartment complex a little ways down the block.

Her answer only got a short grunt. He followed the point of her finger and gave a nod. "Your place or his?" He had never walked her home before so, it was a fair question.

"Huh? I live at my inn." She thought everyone knew that. Minoko didn't need much space. An apartment would have been a waste of money and just put her further away from work. When she felt the need to sleep somewhere else she had the treehouse. It was an odd setup, yes, but Minoko was an odd woman.

That was putting it gently. Then again, who wasn't at least a little odd in this place? Again, he gave a short grunt. So this is where the kid lived? Don't mind him as he filed that information away somewhere in between 'people I like' and 'people I need to hunt down and kill'. The correct filing location would be set after he met him.

The immortal had been on his way out of the pointed out building. His hair was messy, he wore a wrinkled button down blue shirt, and a pair of baggy pants. Fingers groped around his scalp to scratch at it. A soft huff escaped his lips as he started out.

Dark eyes lit up when they landed on Emlen. She didn't even seem to mind that he was dressed like a hooligan. "Oh, that's him. Hey, Em!" Minoko waved over to the immortal. He might notice that there was currently a gold band on her ring finger.

Like a lost little puppy, the immortal turned to the too familiar voice. "Min.." Under his breath. "...The hell?" The boy sighed softly as he took note of the guy she was with.

Well, back to being the silent guy. Sai followed Minoko's attention and landed his sights upon the grungy-looking man. An eyebrow would have risen if he hadn't thought better of it first. Instead he just deadened his features, as always, and kept on beside the Asian.

At least it wasn't Mikoto, right? Quick steps were taken over to Emlen. "Guess what! I got my memories back. This is Sai. Sai, Emlen." Minoko gestured between the two men who towered over her, beaming all the while.

The man did not like Mikoto... Emlen's hand extended toward Sai, "Nice to meet you," he said, waiting to see if he'd take it. "So, you batsh*t crazy like you said you'd be..?"

He took it, sure, a little surprised that it was offered in the first place. "You s'well." Nice firm handshake then done. He looked between Emlen and Minoko, waiting for her response.

Her cheeks inflated once the nicely worded question had left Emlen's lips. A big breath was sucked in before she responded. "I, um... A little? It was hard. I got kind of lost in everything... But I felt you. You punched something, right? And that helped to bring me back."

When his hand was released after the firm shake, Emlen retracted his hand and looked at it. "...You mean when you were digging your fingernails into your palm?" The boy asked and narrowed his eyes and then scoffed. "You okay?"

Now one eyebrow did lift, only slightly, as he continued to look between the two. It was pretty similar to listening to Minoko and her twin talk, except this was a guy. And one he wasn't too sure of yet either.

"Yeah. Sorry about that. I wasn't really thinking..." This must have seemed like a really odd conversation to Sai. Dark eyes glanced over to the Gunslinger as she nodded. "I'll be fine. Everything matched up with what Motoko told me. She left a couple things out, but nothing important."

"Yeah? Don't worry about it, if it kept you from going insane, and you're happy, then that's what matters." The immortal informed her and brushed some rogue bangs from his face.

"Well." He had seen Minoko safely through her memory trials and to this kid's company. It seemed like the perfect time for him to get out of there and take care of that errand he had to tend to. After all, payment wasn't always appreciated when late. "I'll leave you two to your doin's," he said, reaching up to tip the brim of his hat to them. Looking to Minoko, "you just be careful, 'right? If you need me or somethin' feels funny," he motioned with a finger toward his head, "then I'll be right there."

The woman couldn't guarantee her sanity, but Minoko positively radiated happiness. There was a completeness to her that hadn't been present in quite some time. "I will! Thank you so much, Sai." Two fingers were brought up to tap at her temple. "Let Kingsley know that I'll be over soon."

Don't tell Emlen that, he was already scared of the girl... The man watched the two and sighed softly. It was nothing against Sai, he just had some things on his mind.

"You're welcome." He managed a short little smile. "Will do. Take care of yourselves." He would have told Emlen to take care of her but, really, he didn't know a thing about the kid. Yet. A nod of his head was given to the both of them before he turned and started away. It wasn't until then that he grimaced. There was always a price to pay, even for memories. It was worth it, for sure, but that didn't mean that he had to enjoy the paying of it.

"Thanks, man." Emlen said, but would not offer his hand out again. It was too soon, right? Right? He had no guy friends... He didn't know the proper procedures. "This meant a lot to her." The immortal said, swallowing hard and nodding.

Katan was his friend! Maybe? She liked to think they were friends. "Meant a lot to me," was repeated by the copycat as she moved to cling to Emlen's arm. Minoko really hoped that he wasn't heading to work, because she now had plenty of wonderful childhood memories to ramble on about. She would do Orchid proud. The sunlight gleamed off the gold band that adorned her left hand. Tonight she was sure to have nightmares. Those were hours away, though. Minoko could manage to smile until the sun went down.
[img:ac4ccb478f]https://66.media.tumblr.com/132c5066959875bc460d8f587e94ad6c/tumblr_moilapx6dc1sw5m5io1_400.gif[/img:ac4ccb478f]
[i:ac4ccb478f]And you're a cherry blossom
You're about to bloom
You look so pretty, but you're gone so soon[/i:ac4ccb478f]