Drop of a Feather
Full Summary: Responsibility. Talia had never wavered from it. No matter what the consequences. But- "Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of their choices." Alfred A. Montapert this was a rule she hadn't followed in a long time. When she finally realizes the outcome of her rash decisions, she has to choose; her life or her responsibility.
Disclaimer: We don't own Cardcaptors, Clamp does. All we own is the plot and our OCs.
A Reluctant Trip To Japan:
Talia woke up with a start. Breathing fast, she tried to calm her racing heartbeat. Her eyes moving frantically around the room, she calmed down when she noticed the familiar layout of the room, her room.
It had been a dream. Nothing but a dream.
She had a bone to pick with Clow-Reed. What was he thinking when he made such foolish decisions? Was he getting some sick pleasure playing with that girl's life? The trouble that girl was put through…
It wouldn't have bothered Talia what some random person in the world was going through, but this particular girl haunted her dreams. Every time she went to sleep, the girl appeared, experiencing some horrific event from which she would barely emerge victorious.
She remembered the anxiety, the tension, the overwhelming urge to make sure her friends came out of the problem alive.
She knew... for she had lived the experience through the girl's eyes.
She had never seen the girl, but from what her friends called her in the dream, her name was… Sakura.
What was Clow thinking?
She got off the bed with an irritated sigh and slammed the alarm clock to stop its incessant ringing.
Something caught her eye. A small golden globe resting on her bedside table had suddenly started shining and a particular region on the globe was glowing red.
She approached the globe reluctantly. She really didn't want to find out which part of the golden globe was glowing red. She didn't want to leave Singapore. Not again. Not when she had settled in and made good friends. But she had no choice.
The globe hummed insistently, waiting to be scrutinized and finally giving into the inanimate globe's summons, she spun the globe thrice.
Her magical touch initiated an ancient mechanism in the globe and a holographic image popped out, covered in grids and other navigational tools.
Where other people might have jumped back in alarm, Talia remained unfazed. She glared at the globe for a second before looking up at the map.
A feeling of dread clenched her stomach.
She was going back to Japan.
The place where everything had started for Talia.
Shaking her head to get rid of the thoughts, she quickly picked up her mobile and dialled the trustees.
She was leaving.
What was she going to say to Samirah and Mizuo?
'I'm sorry; I'm leaving because my globe told me to.' Even in her head that sounded pathetic.
'What am I going to do? How am I going to tell them?'
Just then someone picked up the phone on the other line, and she quickly snapped out of her thoughts.
"Hello, this is the Reece industry, how may I help you?"
"This is Talia Reece. I wish to speak to Mr. Migoto, is he there?"
"Good morning Ms. Reece." The voice on the line spoke pleasantly, calming her apprehensiveness somewhat." Just hold a moment please."
"Hello? Talia? It's nice to hear from you again. How are you doing?" Mr. Migoto asked her warmly.
"I'm great. How are you and your family? Did you all go on the boat trip you planned?"
"Yes, we did go. I must admit, boat picnics in Singapore are some of the most peaceful recreational activities. You should try it sometime Talia." Mr. Migoto said cheerfully.
"It seems I'll never get the chance." Talia sighed regretfully.
"What? Why won't you-?"
"Mr. Migoto, I want you to book me a one-way ticket to Japan." Talia answered quickly, cutting Migoto off before he could finish his question.
"What? Again? Talia, is there a problem that needs to be solved? There's no need to run like this." Migoto reproached.
"No, it's nothing like that." Talia tried to be as honest as possible with the situation. Unfortunately her attempt at honesty could only go as far as that sentence.
"I got a clue to my family's whereabouts. I need to go check it out." 'Lie lie lie!' Her mind repeated endlessly.
"Oh… I see. I'll book immediately."
With that curt tone, Mr. Migoto hung up on her. Talia looked at the phone in her hand in regret. She shook herself from her reverie slammed the phone down in irritation.
The day wasn't looking too good for her.
Four hours later
'What am I going to tell Mizuo and Samirah? Mizuo already suspects something about me. He'll just be more suspicious if I leave as unexpectedly as when I arrived here.'
Talia had called Samirah and Mizuo and told them to meet her at the nearest café as soon as possible.
They had agreed, but were concerned at the urgency of the call.
Presently, she was sitting in the restaurant, her packed luggage already checked into the airport.
She fiddled with her hand bag in nervousness; they were going to be so angry…
She heard the doors of the restaurant swish open, and she pushed the hand luggage beneath the table to hide it.
'They're here... Oh God! They're here!'
Talia tried to fix her composure as a boy with black hair and a girl with brown hair sauntered into the café.
Mizuo had a casual arm around Samirah's waist and Talia immediately stiffened.
'They're going out… They never told me!
At least I don't have to be the third wheel...
I thought they were never going to get together, what with Mizuo being shy with his feelings and Samirah being quiet.
They never told me.
Not that I can complain much…
I've barely told them anything about myself.
Mizuo's hand flew back to his side when he saw her, which made Talia's spirits sink even lower.
Talia's eyes scanned Mizuo's black hair which had specks of blue due to the lighting, his jade eyes, and the earring in one of his ears. She inwardly sighed. Samirah had made quite the catch. But even Samirah was exceptionally good-looking, in any case, much better looking than her.
'They're a perfect match...'
Something twinged in her heart when Mizuo made the hasty movement, but she pretended like she didn't see it.
'God! Why do I feel like I don't belong here? I feel so…'
She was afraid to confess it, even to herself. She didn't want to use the word. Admitting it would change everything…
She couldn't believe it, she had said it, albeit to herself, but this kind of admission now brought a whole new dimension to her thoughts.
She was suddenly glad she was leaving. Very glad.
She wouldn't have to be a third wheel. Watch their happiness while trying to act happy…
She was glad she was leaving.
As Mizuo and Samirah sat down on plush chairs, they noticed Talia's expression harden a bit and glanced at each other quickly before refocusing their attention to her.
Talia looked at her only two friends in her entire stay at Singapore one more time, before looking at the table and forcing herself to say,
"I'm leaving Singapore."
"WHAT?" Both of them shouted in unison. Several heads in the restaurant turned in their direction and they quickly apologised for the disturbance.
Thankfully, before they could say anything more a waiter came to take their orders. After taking their orders, he gave an odd look at the luggage and then the trio sitting at the table.
But the waiter didn't ask any questions and went to bring their orders.
"When are you leaving?" Samirah asked as soon as the waiter had gone out of earshot.
"In two hours…" Talia's eyes were glued to the table, afraid to look at the expression on their faces.
She could feel their heated glares, but didn't say anything more.
"Clever…" Talia's head shot up to look at Mizuo, he looked unaffected, but his eyes were dark and angry as he continued in his low controlled tone, "Calling us to a crowded place so we can't make a fuss… Very clever."
"Shut up Mizuo." Samirah said glaring at him. However, Talia saw the fury in her eyes.
"Why didn't you tell us before?" Samirah said in a fierce whisper.
Talia didn't say anything, because honestly, she didn't have anything to say. At least not anything they'd believe.
"We're your friends! You don't treat friends like this! You can't just pack up and tell us on the last day. That's not fair! Why are you leaving?" Mizuo said furiously.
Talia was still silent. She honestly didn't know how to answer the question. Mizuo was bright and sharp. It was a wonder that he still hadn't figured out what she was. He knew enough about her to know that whatever excuse that would come out of her mouth would be false.
"I got a clue to my family's whereabouts." She mumbled in a tiny voice. The same excuse she told Mr. Migoto. She just had to see if they'd buy it.
"Let's get out of here." Mizuo said, beckoning to Samirah while standing up himself.
"Why?" Samirah asked confused and angry, "She just told us the reason!"
"Her family's DEAD!" Mizuo barked and turned to Talia when he saw her flinch, "Yes, I checked the computer files in school to find that out about you, and if you can't consider us to be trustworthy enough to be told that or the REAL reason you're leaving, then you're not our friend or neither us, yours."
The entire restaurant was now staring at their table and Talia, for a moment, thought that her attempt to prevent a fuss was useless.
"Is that true?" Samirah asked, her anger increasing steadily.
Talia didn't say anything.
"I don't care if you're leaving! Get lost!" Samirah screamed loudly when she didn't hear get a response from Talia and started walking out.
Talia was now hurt beyond words, but for once, just once she wanted to tell the truth. She was sick of lying. This was the result every single time. If truth was always better than a lie, she was ready to give it a go.
"I am leaving because…" Both of them turned around, waiting, "Because… because… M-my globe told me to!"
The breath that everyone in the restaurant had been holding was let out…. As a laugh.
Samirah held Talia's gaze. She was confused, hurt and angry. But before she could comprehend what Talia had said, Mizuo grabbed her arm and took her out of the restaurant.
'A globe?!' Samirah thought, 'How could she think we'd believe that? But the lie is so unbelievable that it may actually be true.
But… A globe?!
That's just ridiculous.
But the expression on her face was serious, intense, almost like she meant it… Like it was the truth.
But a GLOBE? Honestly! A globe asked her to leave…'
Talia stood in the middle of the restaurant, everyone still laughing at her. 'Is this the result of my attempt to tell the truth?' She knew it sounded bizarre, but who said that truth had to be rational? Yes, she probably should have told the whole truth, but she didn't have that kind of time. And frankly, they'd consider her even more insane if she did.
Talia didn't want to end their friendship like this. Two years… Her friends of two years gone in the span of two minutes...
She couldn't end it like this.
She ran after them, taking her hand luggage with her and completely ignoring the laughter behind her.
She ran outside the restaurant and saw them standing at the side of the road. They were talking, and Samirah looked distressed. As she was about to move towards them, her cab driver pointed at his watch and said, "We're late. You'll miss your plane if we don't hurry."
The cab driver started taking her hand luggage, unknowingly restraining her from going to her friends.
She saw that they were about to leave and in a last desperate attempt she shouted, "I'm sorry! I'm really, really sorry! I love you both! I really do!"
Samirah and Mizuo turned around at the familiar voice but didn't see anything but a swish of black hair in a cab driving out to the main road.
Talia sat in the plane, looking out the window dejectedly. All she could see below her was the glittering blue sea and the red and gold of the setting sun. She had been in the plane for more than four hours and the silence surrounding her was starting to suffocate her.
The thought of losing the people she cared about again was enough to drive her nearly insane with loneliness.
'Is telling them about my powers that bad an idea? I could have told them the whole truth. I could have even given them a demonstration. Anything was better than ending it like this. What should I do? Should I call them and tell them? Would they even believe me after this?
Maybe, maybe this was for the best. This way they won't miss me so much. Maybe I did do the right thing. I would have only felt alone with them dating. I'm sure they'll get comfort in each other.'
She tried to ignore the pang in her heart at the thought. This was what always happened whenever she left the place she had settled in. She was sick of this. She was sick of the pain, of the loneliness, of all the responsibility, of all the lies.
Unable to bear the intense pain at these thoughts, she tried to think of something else.
' Whoa! Now that's a whole different story. Should I open the Pandora Box in my head for that place?' She thought wryly. Trying to change the direction of her thoughts she tried to think of the place she was being sent…by the globe. She laughed dryly.
'Tomoeda. I'm going to Tomoeda, to the place where that girl; Sakura, lives. I wonder what type of life she lives. Maybe it's like mine. Or maybe it's better. Let's hope it is better.' She sighed tiredly. She was exhausted. She honestly was, both physically and emotionally. Adjusting in her seat to find a comfortable position, she closed her eyes, drifting asleep the moment the sun set into the now dark blue silent sea.
A voice echoes in the empty black space. It's saying something. Repeating something, again and again, like a mantra.
It's more powerful then most wizards and sorcerers
Your power is pure unadulterated magic, not given any form or shape,
Sakura is our descendent, protect her,
I taught Clow Reed and he was wise in his choice of his successor
Clow Reed has reincarnated
I have as well…as you
Protect the Keeper of the Cards
That's your top priority for now…
She jolted awake and felt a shiver run down her spine. She knew the voice in her dream. It was the woman.
She snapped out of her thoughts when she heard the pilot announce their landing. She looked down and quickly belted her seatbelts.
She walked out the airport with a heavy heart. But all thoughts disappeared the moment she entered the bustling city of Tokyo. There were people everywhere, and colourful advertisements adorning almost every building. Ironically, it reminded her lot of Singapore, but somehow it felt different. True, almost all cities looked the same, but they still had their own element, which mainly came from the culture and the history.
And who would know this better than her, for she had gone to almost all the major world cities.
Snapping out of her thoughts, she looked around, trying to see if anyone had come to pick her up. Finally she spotted someone near the Information Booth carrying a big sign that had her name on it.
Walking towards the sign quickly, she failed to notice the large number of reporters loitering around the sign.
As she neared the person, she was ambushed by the reporters and she nearly fell over in surprise, the blinking lights throwing off her focus.
Gaping at the reporters and their never-ending questions, she tried to walk through them, trying to hide her face, but failed miserably.
Suddenly someone in the crowd grabbed her arm, and alarmed, Talia tried to shake the arm off, but the person's grip was strong and insistent. She couldn't shake off the grip, and the person seemed to be taking her away from the reporters anyway, so she let herself be dragged away.
She saw a limousine in front of her, and was immediately frightened. She started struggling with new vigour, but the person holding on to her shoved her inside the limo and slammed the door on her face. Before she could open the door again, she heard a 'click' which signified the locking of all the doors. She slammed against the window glass to gain the attention of the reporters so they could help her, but she realized with horror that the glass was tinted.
'He wants to kidnap me? I'll show him who he's dealing with…'
The barrier dividing the passengers' seat and the driver was locked and she heard a voice saying through the speaker,
"Welcome to Japan Ms. Reece. I'm sorry for the abrupt behaviour, but it looked as though you needed some help. I'm Alfred Pennyworth, your new butler."
"My butler?" She exclaimed in astonishment.
'So this is how Mr. Migoto plans on keeping an eye on me...
But butlers come expensive! What a waste of money! A butler for a two-room apartment – this is just ridiculous!'
When the limo stopped in front of a mini-mansion, she politely asked Mr. Pennyworth. "Why have you brought me here Mr. Pennyworth? Wasn't I supposed to reside in an apartment?"
"This is your new home, Miss Reece."
She gazed around in wonder and it suddenly struck how much it would have cost her. 'They waste so much bloody money! What is their problem? Can't they find anything good to spend the money in? Bloody wastrels.'
As she looked around the house the first thought that came to her was, 'My new home…Probably I should make Japan my home…'
She was tired due to jet lag, and politely excused herself from the butler's company. Even with her exhaustion, she sat down on her computer to research her new school. 'I need to at least have track of my school life if not my real life.'
She slumped down on the bed after the search, too tired to change out of her travelling clothes.
She woke up next morning and realised that she was running late for the first day of school. She ran around the room looking for all the essentials, and was just about to use magic to aid her, when Alfred entered the room with her backpack, all prepared.
She looked at him in awe and said, "Thank you."
He gave a small smile and said, "Just doing my job, miss."
She stared at his retreating back in gratitude and surprise. No one had done things for her all her life. In Singapore, she had lived in a one-room apartment, albeit fully furnished, and had to do all the household chores herself. She probably had it easier than most people, since she had the help of magic, but it was still tiring.
'Having a butler may not be so bad after all.'
She got herself ready, and raced out the door. She was going to be officially late in ten more minutes.
'Pfft. A little bit of magic won't hurt.'
She snapped her fingers and sped herself to the school gates. She stopped in front of the gates to stare at the school. It was big, and seemed much better than her previous one. She heard the ring of a bell and turned to find two bicycles and a girl on skates heading straight towards her.
She tried to move to the right, but the rider on her left moved the same direction thereby colliding with Talia.