I am so sorry! I haven't updated in a long time, and I'm sure you all believe that I've abandoned this story or something. Well I'm not! It's just that I've had a crapton of work, my family's been taking vacations left and right and cutting off my time on the computer, and overtime has been feeding my greed. So yeah. Money.
But you're not here to listen to me rant, go on and read!
So many things could have happened right then and there. He could have simply pretended to have fainted (as unlikely as it was that she would have believed it.), he could have run out of the room and never look back, he could have knocked her out... a number of things could have happened. Instead, he did something that he was still contemplating over. It was hard to determine whether or not it was a mistake, and it was pretty surprising that he said it at all. Still, when you think too much, and you're that shocked, you slip up sometimes.
'Is she serious? She... she thinks she's my...'
As soon as he said that, two things happened. One: Medusa began to sob and ran to hug him. Two: His reflexes immediately wanted to stab her and rip her in half. Good thing he was so damn tired. Had this Medusa been the same from his world, he would have forced a Bloody-needle into her heart, then repeatedly slammed Ragnarok into her corpse until she was nothing but a puddle of blood and guts.
And so now he was at a loss. He didn't know what to say, or if he should keep quiet, or get away while he still could. He held the woman as she grabbed onto him, deathly afraid that he would somehow leave her again if she were to let go for even a second. He could feel Ragnarok churning within him, making Crona uncomfortable as he felt his weapon coil, ready to kill Medusa.
'Don't. Not yet.'
'... If she tries anything, we're cutting off her head.' said the weapon, slowly relaxing.
The two (three technically) were still, Medusa mostly crying her eyes out while Crona was trying to think of a way out of this. He couldn't take zombie-world Crona's place, he'd had a horrible childhood. There were still so many things he didn't know, and blaming an orphanage he never attended was not something he felt comfortable doing. How the hell was a situation like this handled, anyway?
"I'm sorry." Medusa suddenly said, bringing him out of his thoughts. Looking at her, he saw the blond woman wiping her eyes and smiling at him. "I'm so sorry. It's okay now, sweetie. Mommy's here now, and I won't let you go again." Crona opened his mouth to say something, anything, but nothing came out. He had yet to figure out what to say. Deny or confirm? Either way, this was going to a big problem to explain to Maka and Soul.
'I can't handle any more of this drama!'
Back at the 'Mad-room', Maka and Soul were left alone now that Ragnarok and Crona left. Both sighed and leaned back, Maka mostly red-faced while Soul was just annoyed.
"Honestly, Ragnarok doesn't know what he's doing." mumbled the young girl, crossing her arms over her chest and pouting. Soul grinned at the look on her face. It was always fun to see her like this, and Ragnarok did seem intent in getting Crona some tail.
"You know, I personally think Crona will get a bit too scared to do much sexual pursuing." the weapon said, Maka looking over to him. "The guy's a bit too scared to deal with people normally, and I don't think him being sought after by a bunch of chicks will make things any easier."
A slight grin appeared on Maka's face, confusing Soul. "Maybe it's because I managed to feel his soul when we fought, but I think that if Crona really wanted to, he'd get any girl he wanted."
Soul blinked. Crona, getting girls? It was hard to believe. Not to say that he doubted Crona's masculinity, but the guy was a bit too soft and cowardly for him to do that. Still, maybe Maka knew something about Crona that he didn't. "So, we're here, we saw, now we're leaving, right?"
"Yeah, that's pretty much the gist of it. Hopefully Ragnarok won't stir any trouble."
"... You do realize you're asking a fish not to swim, right?"
As soon as Souichiro declared that Crona would have Medusa as his nurse, the others were kindly asked to leave. Tatsuki simply sat outside the door on a chair, ready for when Crona would wake up.
Inside, a rather amusing scene was playing out.
"Say 'ah', sweetie." Medusa cooed, holding up a spoonful of soup. Crona wasn't sure if he should feel touched or insulted. Neither was a feeling he felt regularly.
"I-I can feed myself." He almost sounded like he was whining when he said that, and with good reason.
"I know, but there's no need to overexert yourself when you're not doing anything."
Sighing, he nodded slightly and opened his mouth. He still wasn't sure if he should correct Medusa and come clean. After all, he wasn't her son, just... another Crona. One that came from another world that was a bit more messed up than this one in its own way. He still thought the sun and moon were weird, but surely these people would think his Black-blood, Soul's and other Weapons' transformation, and even Stein would be weird to them. So he'd just let it be.
He continued to let Medusa feed him while she smiled happily, almost looking at peace for once. Could he really break her heart, telling her that her son really was dead and that he was from another world altogether? How would she react? Would she cry? Become enraged that he lied? Attack him? Or simply collapse? How the hell was he going to handle this?
"S-say, M-Medusa-san?" he spoke after a bit of silence.
"You can call me mama if you want, sweetie." she chirped. He had to wonder if she'd ever stop being so cheerful. This was not something he was used to.
"R-right. Um, I was wondering, I-I saw you limping earlier." Medusa seemed to have at least calmed down considerably after he said that, her full attention on him. "I wanted to know i-if you're okay."
Sighing, she put the now empty bowl on the dresser next to the bed. "Well, it happened the night we were separated. A piece of metal managed to lodge itself between my pelvis and the head of my femur. I had to go through surgery, and now I'm very limited in my mobility. I have to use a cane now. Souichirou-san was kind enough to let me borrow this one." she reached over to beside the dresser and pulled out a cane that was leaning on it. It was all black save for the handle, which was a wooden ball. "Not much to look at, but it's nicer than my old one. I lost it back at the mall." she explained.
Crona nodded, relieved to hear that she wasn't hurt the way he thought she was. If she had been bit... Well, he didn't want to kill her, especially now that she seemed so happy. A genuine smile on Medusa's face was something he'd never seen until today, and it was still a sight to behold. One he honestly enjoyed, really.
"Say, Crona-chan." He hoped that wouldn't be how she would always address him. He didn't like how it made him feel... small. "I've been meaning to ask; You seem to care quite a bit about those girls. You even went off running after them when they were kidnapped."
Crona nodded, thinking back. He simply wanted to keep them safe. It was the right thing to do. And doing the right thing was what his friends taught him. If he were to go back to killing people and collecting power, he'd be alone again. He liked his friends. Sure, sometimes the things they said and did scared him, but otherwise, they made him happier than he could ever remember.
"Now, I believe you're be sixteen now." He nodded, wondering where this was leading to. "And I'm sure by now you've noticed a few... things about women you never did before."
What was going on? What was she talking about? Sure, he noticed how the women here were weirdly curvy, but noticed them how?
"You see, this happens to people your age. Your penis will start to harden either at random times or when you think of women too much."
Wait, that's normal? And when he thought of women? He though of Maka all the time, and Tsubaki a few times. The Thompson sisters every once in a while. His dick never got hard though. Except that one time the sisters took him shopping and they wore a bunch of bikinis. That had been a rather stressing time of trying to hide his weird condition.
"By now you've also noticed how most girls are not only prettier, but have also started growing into young women."
Okay, so they grow up. And?
"Now, maybe you already know this, but it's important you know that this is perfectly normal and happens to all boys. You're not a freak in any way."
He blinked at that. Well, that's good. He was very relieved for that. Turns out that his dick getting hard and big was something that happened to other males.
"Women also go through this phase, but different things happen. I'll get to that later."
Why not go through it now, now that she brought it up?
Before they could continue, there was a knock at the door and Medusa blinked.
'Oh well. I'll get back to this later, when I have my charts and pictures set up. I really should have been better prepared for this.'
Standing and walking over to the door, she smiled brightly at who was on the other side. "Hello, Medusa-san!" Marie chirped happily, Sakura in her arms gurgling excitedly at seeing her mother. Making way for her fellow blond, Marie walked in and smiled at Crona. "Hello Crona-san! I hope you're feeling better." Her eyes narrowed suddenly and Crona felt blood draining from his face. "By the way, the girls were looking for you a few hours ago. It's not nice to keep ladies worried and waiting, you know." Crona quickly nodded his head, trying to hide under the covers. Sakura had no idea what was going on, but she grew excited upon seeing Crona, so she cooed lightly and reached her arms out and tried to somehow make the pink-haired boy come closer to her. Smiling, Marie walked over to stand next to Crona. "Wanna hold her?"
Smiling, he nodded and reached up for the baby. The blond smiled at the boy, looking over to Medusa and realizing she hadn't even asked for permission. Medusa merely smiled and nodded, giving the okay.
Now with a baby in his arms, Crona grinned a bit at her smiling face as she pulled on his hair. "Hello Sakura. You, uh, look good today." he murmured lightly. Sakura happily began to poke at his face, making the boy giggle lightly. A small thought entered his mind for a moment and he wondered, had things been different... would Medusa have gotten pregnant again and given him a little sister? Would the baby be treated better? He hoped so. If the baby was female, she would have been a witch and Medusa was more likely to have treated her better than she would her experiment of a son. He also wondered if he would have grown jealous of the blatant favoritism. He hoped not.
Shaking those thoughts out of his head, he was surprised when Medusa piped up. "It's so cute to see you both together! Now the family's back together!"
Marie blinked at that and gave Crona a confused look, which she then directed at Medusa. "Family? I thought Crona-kun was an orphan."
"Ah, yes. I'm gonna have to explain that..."
While Medusa and Marie talked, Crona continued holding the baby, all of them unaware of what was heading their way.
It took a few minutes, but Crona finally managed to convince Medusa to let him walk around again. She was quite persistent in making sure he had a few more hours of rest, but he managed to at least get permission to move around so long as Tatsuki was with him. It was what led him to being found by Souichiro, who was the one currently holding the Ragnarok-blade in his office.
"I know you just came back from your own personal mission, but there is something I must speak with you about." the Don said seriously. Not that he never was serious, but the tone seemed slightly more intense than usual. Which made Crona gulp uncomfortably and Tatsuki look around nervously. So far, both the young man and woman noticed that aside from them and Souichiro, there was also another, older woman with them in the corner of the room.
"It concerns our resources. While we still have enough to last us at least a month, I would rather move from the estate onto more secure grounds. For that, I need to make sure that provisions are not only at full stock, but that other supplies are up to par. As such, I am going to ask you for your help, Makenshi." The Don leaned forward and narrowed his eyes a bit. "I want you and a team of four, including Shirosaki here, to go back to the mall and bring in the supplies we were originally there for."
Crona blinked a few times, unsure if he heard right.
"Y-you want me to go with Shirosaki-san to gather supplies? As a bodyguard?" he asked for clarification, still a bit confused. Surely there are others here that could do a much better job than him.
Souichiro nodded, his face betraying nothing. "You are to help her bring in more supplies, as our attempt at the mall was put on hold when we found you and Medusa, and the supplies from Marie-san's estate were already taken. by this Wes fellow As such, I need you to keep Shirosaki and three others safe while they gather supplies. You will have the blade returned to you and be given a handgun as well. Any questions?"
Crona had a few billion, but decided to go for the most troubling one. "W-why me? I-I mean, I know you know I'm strong, b-but I don't think I can handle this sort of thing."
Souichiro simply shrugged. "Whether or not you want to go is up to you. All I am saying is that you will be helping us greatly by going on this expedition." he leaned forward a bit, his eyes gaining an intensity that made Crona stand at attention. "You may very well end up saving a lot of lives by doing so."
Souichiro said this for a reason. The boy might very well still be tired, and it's likely he'd hear hell from Marie, likely Medusa as well. But he knew one thing from listening to the boy's past. He wanted redemption. And the chance to save more people would entice him a great deal.
Crona had to admit he didn't feel comfortable simply leaving people to fend for themselves when he could do something about it. He had killed so many in his quest for power, and here he was being presented with the chance to make up for his sins. Not only that, but he felt that at his current condition, bringing people in and out of a mall to get supplies wasn't that challenging. Really, as long as he avoided using the Black-Wings again, he could probably help them out just fine.
Sighing, he nodded his head and looked Souichiro dead in the eye. "I'll go."
"Can I say something?" Crona blinked at the sudden outburst from Shirosaki. The woman had been silent up until now, and hearing her voice for the first time was a surprise. She gave Souichiro a slight glare before turning to Crona and giving him a pleading look. "Listen young man, there's no need for you to go with us. This is something us adults should be dealing with, not someone who should still be in school. You don't have to prove you're brave or anything. There is absolutely no reason for you to feel obligated to do this."
Crona resisted the urge to sigh. This woman had no idea how wrong she was. He wanted to prove he wasn't a monster, and that he was not as evil as Medusa was. If not to others, then at least to himself. "I'm still going." he gulped and gave her his best pleading look. "Please, I-I want to help. I promise you won't regret this." He almost managed to say it without stuttering. Getting closer, though.
Shirosaki gave him one last pleading look, but when she saw he wasn't wavering, she sighed and nodded. "Fine. I can't change your mind, nor the Don's." she seemed saddened by the fact, but was resigned. What else could she do? If she refused to go for this, Souichiro would easily find someone else to take her role and leave her here while someone else led this scouting and might or might not have less concern for Crona. She may as well be the one to keep Crona safe.
"Now then," Souichiro stood up and from behind the desk brought out the Ragnarok blade, now with a scabbard made of leather. It was stapled together, and there was nothing special about it. It seemed that it was meant to be carried around his waist. Grabbing it, he gave Souichiro a bow. "You are both dismissed." Souichiro intoned, both Crona and Shirosaki leaving with Tatsuki tailing them and closing the door. The Don leaned back in his chair and sighed, honestly expecting that to have gone worse. Still, at least now things will get done.
Outside, Shirosaki gave Crona a parting pat on the shoulder before turning and leaving down one hall, likely to prepare. Crona went the other way, Tatsuki tailing him and watching him worriedly. Even with her blurred vision she could tell that he was actually looking forward to this. She would have assumed that he would be a nervous wreck, but he was simply walking along like this was normal.
'What kind of life did you have to live to be so used to fighting, Crona-sama?' she thought to herself, rubbing her right arm with her left hand. They were in the middle of the mansion's many hallways when Crona suddenly stopped and looked off into the distance. Tatsuki, not expecting this, almost ran into him and just managed to stop herself, looking up at Crona to see him staring out the window. "Crona-sama?"
Crona was quiet for a moment before he shook his head. "I got... distracted." he assured her, not wanting to worry her anymore than she already appeared to be. What he had sensed was actually pretty disturbing, and something he'd have to talk with Maka about. 'Shido and Wes have met.'
"You're going WHERE for WHAT!?"
Crona expected many things from Medusa when he returned to the room. A bit of concern from this nicer version of his mother was one of them. The sheer AMOUNT she was currently exhibiting was not. Nor was the big hug he was currently in.
"C-can you let me go? Please?"
"Of course not! Are you insane!?" Well he WAS, but that was a while ago. "You're only sixteen! I don't care if the fucking president came in and told me, I'm not losing you again!"
Crona sighed, for once in his life honestly thinking of his mother as silly. He was back in his room, now decked out in his borrowed clothes and a pair of sneakers, along with a gun-holster under his blue sweater; he was being hugged tightly by Medusa. She was less than happy by the Don's request for him to go out there. She was even less so when Crona told her he agreed to go. And she wasn't the only one.
"Crona-kun, I know you're strong, but you already went and brought a bunch of people here! You should take a break!" Hana suggested, sitting on the bed and rubbing her hands together. Toshimi was next to her and nodding her head in agreement, while Misuzu was off somewhere else with Busijima. Tatsuki said nothing, though she felt conflicted. She couldn't help worrying for his safety, but she had an unusual feeling that he could take on a lot more than a couple of them.
"Either way, I want to go." Crona insited, going over to the corner of the room where the Ragnarok blade was, leaning against the wall where he left it.
"Well either way, I'm not letting you!" was Medusa's response. She even went so far as to stand up and place herself right at the door. Crona would have smiled at her if he didn't find the situation very unnecessary and , dare he say it, annoying. He wished Maka was here. Maybe she'd have a few good ideas. Then again, taking advice from a little girl would look weird. And last he checked, Marie was entertaining her with a few movies that were meant to keep kids busy, so there's that.
Thinking about it for a moment, Crona decided that he'd have to simply run for it. He didn't want to freak them out with his Black-blood. Medusa of his world being disgusted by him was bad enough, he wasn't sure if he could handle this nicer Medusa looking at him like a freak. The pinkette took one look around the room, noticed the open window that lead to a thirty or so drop, then looked at the door, the area around Medusa, where everyone was positioned, and took a breath.
"What in the world is that?!" he suddenly shouted and pointed to a corner of the room. Everyone's eyes immediately went to said corner, Crona running towards the window with the blade now secured at his waist, and jumped out. By the time Medusa looked back, Crona was already disappearing out the window and she screamed in terror, everyone else looking over as well.
Everything was still, nobody sure if they saw right, before Tatsuki went over to the window, looked out, and gaped at the sight of he master running for his life towards the gates.
"C-Crona-sama is incredible." she whispered, just as Medusa reached the window and saw Crona disappear around the corner. She gaped, wondering how Crona was not only still in one piece, but how he was still running without a limp of any sort.
'That's impossible!' was her first thought, before she grabbed the cane and went in pursuit of him. Hana and Tatsuki were right behind her, leaving Marie to keep an eye on Sakura. Said blond sighed and shook her head.
"Your brother might very well be a delinquent, I'm afraid." she quietly said to Sakura, who continued to suck on her little fist. Sakura was just wondering where the pink-boy was. She liked him.
By the time Crona got to the gates, three men he assumed where the ones who would carry supplies were just about ready, going over last-minute preparations, and Shirosaki still wasn't here. There were multiple white tents set up at the front of tents. One had a large radio inside, a young woman seated there and listening through a headset; another was full of weapons, mostly guns, with only a few knives and a really long sword. Looked like a nodachi, which was commandeered by a man; the last one seemed to be full of people with scrubs, likely for when there is a person who is injured and not in danger of becoming one of them.
Looking back, he saw that he wasn't withing eyesight of the ladies he left behind in his room. Crona was pretty sure that Medusa would take a while to get here, but he would still very much like it if they were to leave. Like, right now! And who knew how long he had before the other, non-limping girls got here.
"Ah, you're here."
He turned around and was relieved to see Shirosaki, decked out in a pair of running shoes and combat gear consisting of a black shirt under a bullet-proof-vest and baggy cargo pants with multiple pockets. She also had a baseball bat in one hand, likely her weapon of choice, while a pistol was strapped under her left arm. He blinked, not realizing until that the woman was surprisingly short. She barely reached his chin.
He simply nodded and made to move for the trucks. There were three of them, one of them with a sort of shovel thing that was used to clear away snow. He assumed that it was currently used to make a clear road from either cars or them. "R-right. Well, w-we should go now!" he said, already heading to one of the other trucks that would be used to load the food. The men had already gotten behind the wheels of the trucks, waiting on the swordsman and the leader.
"Hold on." Shirosaki brought a hand down on his shoulder, and he grimaced. Now what? "I just want to know if you're completely sure of this. There's no shame in staying behind."
Really? Now? He didn't have time! If he wasn't out before Medusa and the rest got to him, he'd have to explain why he jumped out a window, and how he wasn't sporting a pair of broken legs! "Yes, yes! So let's go!"
Shirosaki frowned. "Are you okay? You seem flustered." Was he sick? he looked a little pale, grey even. "Should we go see a doctor?"
"No! I'm okay! Just... I want to get this done before it... gets dark!" he looked up, realizing that it was midday. They had time, sure, but he was pretty sure it was spring. Meaning that the days were still short, and the sun wouldn't be up for long. Cherry-blossoms bloomed in spring, right? He saw them back at the highschool. (1)
Looking up as well, Shirosaki nodded slowly. "Yes, I suppose that going around in the dark would be unwise." She nodded and turned to him. "Get in the middle truck, with me. I'll be right back."
Crona nodded, jogging over to said truck as she had turned. He climbed onto the back, jumping to get in.
It took a minute, but Shirosaki soon climbed up on the truck he was on, gave a signal over the truck to the lead one, and they were soon moving. He looked straight ahead, putting on his hood at the same time in the hopes that his pink-hair wouldn't be noticed. Then again, how many people here were waering a blue sweater with black fur lining?
(1) ... Well? Do they?
Okay, that's a new chapter! I hope you guys enjoyed, because I honestly didn't. Seriously, Mexico's a pretty crappy place during the holidays. Damn cops are trying to take your money, and can't drive for shit. Had the car bumped into twice. Fucking, pieces of...
Anyway, review if you like. Even a simple "Not bad.", or "It sucked." will do.