"Ow." Tobias winced slightly as River tightened the bandage around his left bicep too much. Both his arms were wrapped up in so many places it looked like someone had half mummified him.
"There, all done." The blonde woman put away the roll of sterile bandages, medical tape, and rubbing alcohol back in the first aid kit.
Tobias flexed and stretched his arms to get use to the restraining bandages before quietly saying, "Thanks mom."
Half an hour had passed since his little melt down in the yard and Dante sucking the voices into his own head. After he'd disappeared into the house, everyone had been kind of shell shocked, just standing around until River started helping her adoptive son to his feet so they could go treat his wounds inside. That proved to be the trigger as everyone headed inside and then kinda dissipated, going their separate ways. Kazehana and Yahan both wanted to stay with Tobias but River was firm, telling them to wait outside until his arms were treated. They weren't happy, but they did as they were told, sitting outside the door and were probably still there.
"How do you feel?" River asked, concerned.
Tobias looked at his hands for a few seconds, trying to figure that out himself. For the past few days his head had been full of constant, intense noise that battered at him every second of everyday, slowly breaking down his soundness of mind. Even sleep hadn't been a relief, as the memories had played out as dreams, jumping from places and people to different places and people in a giant never ending movie. The pain had pulsed in time with his heart and now it was all just...gone. He still had some memories, but a majority of the others had faded into nothing or half formed things that would be forgotten.
"I don't know. How are you supposed to feel when a few hundred lifetimes just got pulled from your head?" He joked, but it came out empty. "I guess I feel...hollow. Before my head was close to bursting, now it just feels really big and empty. Quite." He sighed, covering his face with both hands. "And I'm tired of this River."
The woman put her arms around the teen and held him close, hugging him as she quietly asked, "Tired of what?"
"This. I'm getting certainty in my life over and over, only for something to shake me so it's flung away. I feel like I'm in a giant cage and something is rattling it just to see me jump." He took a shaky breath. "I feel like I was never let out of the one the Silence put me in."
"Sshh." River said quietly, rubbing his back soothingly. "Don't talk like that. You're not in a cage, and the Silence don't have a hold on you anymore, just like they don't have a hold on me."
He snorted. "I have a psychopathic personality inside my head that would disagree with you." He felt River suddenly pull back and got a brief look at her angry face before he got a not so soft punch to the chest. "Ow!" He rubbed his now throbbing chest wondering what that was for until he realized what he had just said to his mother. "Oh crap, I'm sorry River."
Considering Rivers upbringing had been similar to his own- brainwashing, training, removing most anything that resembled a consciousness, and implanting programming- reminding her that he had a personality like that was the verbal equivalent to a slap in the face, doubly so because she had apparently succeeded in killing her loved one, aka The Doctor.
"Tobias Song, you are not him." She was being serious serious if she was calling him by his full name. "You are not a killer, you are not evil, and if I ever hear you say something that indicates otherwise, I will personally throw you into a deadlocked room without food or water until you get your head on straight again."
The scary part was that Tobias knew she wasn't kidding. She'd once thrown Jack into one of the cells in the Torchwood base when he'd gotten too flirty, and he was technically the boss of that place. Nobody let him out until the next day, and only because he wouldn't shut up.
"Ok. But it doesn't change the fact that he's still in here," he tapped his forehead. "And he's not leaving until his job is done, probably not even than."
She waved off the concern. "Dante has been alive and seen things even I can't claim to have seen, he must have a way to remove him, or render him harmless at the very least." She stood up. "In fact, I think I'm going to have a few words with him. And I think you need to talk to some people too."
"Yeah." Tobias heaved a sigh. He wasn't looking forward to this.
River left the room, looking to the side as she closed the door. Kazehana and Yahan were sitting on the floor, staring at the opposite wall like they were both wrestling with a difficult problem. She cleared her throat, getting their attention. "He's ready to talk, but be gentle with him." They both nodded as they got to their feet. Hesitating, she added, "And please keep this in mind; Tobias does care, but he doesn't know how to let people stay in." And with that, she left to find Dante.
The pair shared a look before they went in. Their Ashikabi was sitting on one of his air cushions like normal, but he didn't look happy to see them like normal. In fact, aside from a quick glance, he didn't look at them period. They didn't let it bother them too much, but it did hurt.
Yahan got the ball rolling. "So...how do you feel?"
"Good sore or bad sore?"
"I can't imagine having your arms sliced up and lifetimes worth of memories being pulled from your head can result in a good sore."
"No, I guess not." They lapsed back into silence for a minute. "You need to stop doing this you know."
"Pushing us out." Kazehana took over. "You need to stop letting us into your heart and then pushing us back out when it gets hard."
He winced, but said firmly while looking at the window, "It's better than letting you get hurt by me."
Both Yahan and Tobias jumped at the sudden venom and anger in Kazehana's yell. She was not finished yet though.
"You are putting us through more pain by trying to protect us than letting us help you! You know how we feel about you, but you take actions without even regarding our feelings! That week you didn't sleep, we were worried sick about you, but you didn't let us help! Why!? Because you kept having a nightmare you would kill us by accident from losing control of your emotions! And now you're pushing us away because you have a random tenant in your head that happened to get out for a few minutes and you think he's going to kill everyone you know!"
"Because that's what he will do if he gets control again! I am not going to let him kill my friends and you too because I couldn't get away fast enough!"
"You're still hurting us!"
"But you're alive to be hurt! That's better than dead!"
"You are worse than Minaka ever was!"
You couldn't get more shocked silence if you walked into a long abandoned crypt and found a fresh massacre. Tobias looked like he'd been stabbed while Kazehana had tears starting to run down her face.
"You are worse than Minaka was. I told him I loved him. He knew how much reactions like ours matter to Sekirei. And he threw my love back in my face. He said 'the Gamemaster does not become a player in his own game'. And I thought I lost my ability to ever truly love anyone ever again. But you...you are giving me love, giving us love, before suddenly throwing us aside because you think it will keep us safe. And...I can't take it anymore Tobias...I can't..." The purplette started sobbing into her hand, sinking to her knees as her entire bearing radiated pain.
Her bond with Tobias meant he could also feel the mix of pain, loneliness, and scorned affection going through her. And it hurt, possibly worse than when he had been torturing himself. How had he never noticed this from her? Breaking his own self imposed rule of staying away, Tobias put his feet on the ground and walked to her, sinking down to pull her into a hug as she cried. "I'm sorry." He whispered. It seemed inadequate, but he didn't know what else to say. His eyes flicked up to Yahan, who looked like she might start crying too, but he couldn't tell if it was from her own pain or her empathy towards Kazehana. Maybe both. "To both of you, I'm sorry."
That apparently did it, since silent tears started streaming silently down her face as she joined in on the hug, putting Kazehana in the middle of them. They just stayed like that for a while, listening to the Wind Sekirei's cries work their way into regular crying, sniffles, and then occasional hiccups. Tobias shirt and some of his bandages were wet, so his cuts were stinging, but he hardly noticed as his Sekirei clung to him.
"I'm dangerous." He said simply. "I have power that can kill so many people. I have blood on my hands I'm not able to get rid of. And I have a personality that will never stop trying to take over and do what it was made to do. Are you really sure you still want me?"
Kazehana's bloodshot eyes met his own. "Do you remember how we met?"
"Rooftop at the mall after I had just gotten away from the Lightning Twins. Not going to forget that anytime soon."
"I thought you were interesting. When you saved me from the twins, which I didn't need but thank you for by the way, I saw something else. I saw a good heart. And, I think, I recognized a kindred spirit. I made you my Ashikabi and I haven't regretted it for one moment since I have." She leaned in and planted a tender kiss on his lips, causing her Sekirei crest to flare and her wings to form, spreading out from on either side of them before they curled inwards, wrapping the trio in a cocoon of light and air. It faded away after a few moments, but the kiss went on for another minute as Kazehana poured all her love and devotion into their bond.
Tobias felt his turbulent emotions calm as the cleansing feel drifted through him. He felt the veil of worry, anxiety, self hatred and pity lift from his mind, leaving him thinking more clearly since the entire Black Wolf event. He separated from the kiss, giving Kazehana a small smile that she returned. He looked at Yahan, her own eyes less bloodshot that Kazehana's but she still had tear tracks that were drying on her face.
"While I can't claim to have quite the same story of us meeting romantically, since Dante is the one who found me after I was harassed by Mikogami's Sekirei, but I feel the same Tobias. We're Sekirei, and we bond for life. You can't get rid of us so easily." She smirked, more playful than mischievous. She stole her own kiss, her shadow wings forming and enveloping them just like Kazehana had. "Besides, who else can do that thing you do with your hands?"
"Aaaand the moments dead." He deadpanned. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say it was murdered and its corpse was now being paraded around.
"I'm sorry, but it was getting a little depressing and I figured this would lighten the mood."
"You killed the previous mood with the subtly of a sledgehammer, Yahan."
"But it worked." She smiled innocently.
He sighed, shaking his head, but smiling and feeling lighter. He couldn't sit around feeling sorry for himself anymore. Now...now he needed to do something. "Come on. Let's go see how the others are doing."
After cleaning themselves up and looking presentable, they left the room and went downstairs, heading for the dining room. Tobias stopped outside the door and sent a Pulse, seeing that Miya was sitting at the head of the table, drinking what he guessed was tea, Kusano who was drawing on Miya's left, and Akitsu who was sitting on her left. Matsu was upstairs in her room, apparently working on her computers. Musubi and Tsukiumi were apparently upstairs taking a nap. Chiho and Uzume were sitting quietly, the former sitting in the lap of the latter as she held her. Jenny and Kagari...were apparently having a make out session. While he wondered when that had happened, he was not going to think about his surrogate step sister making out with Kagari.
He did plan to put the fear of him into Kagari later.
But first, he took a breath and opened the door. All the occupants looked up when he came in. Miya looked composed, sipping her tea as she locked eyes with him, then jumped to the other two. She slightly lifted an eyebrow, but otherwise didn't react. Akitsu just gave him her usual blank look. Ku, however, did more than the two women combined.
His breath was knocked of him as the tiny child turned herself into a tiny missile, slamming him his chest as she gave him what felt like the hardest hug she could. She looked up at him with innocent eyes. "Are you feeling better?"
"I'm ok." He said, smiling slightly before it went away. "Ku?"
She tilted her head, somehow making herself look even cuter. "For what?"
"For what I said. A few days ago. You aren't selfish, and I'm very sorry for making you upset."
Her cheeks puffed out in anger. "Oh. But that wasn't you. That was the bad man who looked like you."
He shook his head. Was the universe trying to make him feel like an idiot? "It's not that simple Ku. He's still in here," he pointed at his head. "And he's part of me."
She shook her head. "Nuh-uh. Big brother Tobias is nice and fun. That man was mean, scary, and hurt us. You don't do that."
Any arguments Tobias had just dissolved at the belief in Ku's words. If this tiny, impressionable, happy-go-lucky child could still look at him like she had before the incident, and see Black Wolf as an entirely different person, who's to say others couldn't? Who's to say he couldn't? With a smile, he picked the girl and gave her a big hug. "Thanks Ku. I needed that."
"Hhmm." She hummed happily. After she was finished hugging him, she wiggled out of his grip and went back to her spot, picking up her crayon to keep coloring.
Looking at the other two, Tobias bowed formally at the hips. "I extend the same apology to you two as well. While I was not the one to utter the insults, I regret any and all pain the words may have caused you."
"Accepted." Was the word Akitsu flatly said as she nodded at him.
Miya smiled like normal. "I understand you were not in control of your body Tobias, but nonetheless I accept and appreciate your apology."
"Are you feeling better since your...episode, earlier?"
"My head still hurts a little, but I am feeling better now. I'm sorry about any damage I might've caused to the yard earlier by the way."
She waved away this apology. "As long as you're not suffering, it's inconsequential." She looked over the other Sekirei. "And how are you two?"
"Better." Kazehana said simply. Miya simply nodded in return as she accepted this.
"Do you know where Dante is? I need to ask him about something." Tobias asked Miya.
"I believe he's still in his room after calming you down earlier."
At the same time, after River left
River walked into the TARDIS, closing the door behind her before making her way up the console. "Hello darling." She said with a grin at the rotor. She than looked at the console, frowned, and clicked her tongue. "They still leave the brakes on when they land."
"Don't you dare touch that River! I have everything just like I want it!" Dante's voice came from the corridor.
"You do realize that you'll end up burning out the brakes if you keep doing this to them?" She called back.
"I can replace them. Besides, I love that sound it makes, that is a great sound!"
"It's also not supposed to happen!"
"So?" Dante asked as he came out of the corridor. His clothes were rumpled, he had bags under his eyes, and his skin was shining from sweat, but he no longer looked like he was suffering from memory overload. "She doesn't mind, now do you?" He asked, pressing his hand to the rotor. He got nothing in response. "Fine, be that way, but you know you love that sound to. Now, what do you want River, I'm trying to get over a killer headache. I feel like somebody stabbed me in the brain."
"Ignoring how you know what that feels like," River sighed. "How are you feeling? And what happened with the..."
"Memories?" She nodded. "Drained them out of my head and stored them in a memory cube. On a related note, draining a few hundred years worth of memories is surprisingly painful. But, no longer in my head, no longer feel like I'm slipping into insanity. Again."
"What do you plan to do with them?"
"Keep 'em." Dante said, sitting down and putting his feet up on the console as he laced his fingers behind his head. "While they're disorganized and jumbled, knowledge is knowledge. It's not even bad knowledge, so I'm planning to keep and sort through them when I have the time. Until then I'll keep them in stasis."
River nodded. She could appreciate keeping knowledge of the past alive. She was an archaeologist after all. She turned serious. "I need to ask about Black Wolf Dante."
The teen frowned. "I didn't get much of a look at him, but I can already tell he's going to be trouble. He was originally programming like the kind you had, but the problem is that yours remained dormant until it was needed. Black Wolf was active from the beginning, and pushing him into the subconscious just means he's had time to evolve and grow. He's gone from mental programming to a full fledged split personality."
"Is there anyway to remove or destroy him?"
Dante shrugged. "Hard to say. Some are easy to handle, others are more finicky and temperamental, and some are flat out impossible to remove or destroy without some kind of mental and psychological backlash. In those cases, removal normally causes more harm than good for the person you're trying to preserve. Until I get the chance to examine him closely, I'm afraid the best I can do is keep Black Wolf locked up in the subconscious."
River punched the console, growling. "The damn Silence! They just can't leave us alone!"
"To be more precise River, they can't leave me and the Doctor alone. Anybody else is unfortunately just collateral damage, or just not worthy of interest." The teen said with a scowl. "And anyways, they've been defunct for decades after I finished with them. As it is, Tobias and his psyche problems are just the byproduct of their old plans finally coming back to bite everyone it can reach in the ass."
"Doesn't mean I have to like it."
"Well I might've been able to help if you had told me about him when he was younger." Dante said pointedly. "Why did you never introduce us River?"
"What do you want me to say Dante?" She sighed. "When we first found him, he was young, distrustful, confused, and had power we hadn't seen from anyone except you. We discussed bringing you in, but he vehemently denied it when he found out we wanted to call you. The only people he seemed to relax around was me, Gwen, and Jack. Anyone else and he looked like he was about to attack someone."
Dante nodded. "Defensive instincts. After all long in imprisonment, even cryogenic stasis, it's hard to trust anyone unless they naturally put you at ease like Gwen can. But you could've called me when he had relaxed enough, maybe two years after."
"And how would that conversation go? 'Dante, this is the boy whom the Silence made with the purpose of killing you, but he's fine now and I decided to informally adopt him.' I knew you had to meet eventually, but I was hoping it was when he was ready Dante. Not because he was forced to."
Dante shook his head. "You've got more of Amy's sarcasm than I thought you did. Fine. I'll accept your choices, even if it looks like they've caused more harm than good for him." Gathering his thoughts, he added. "Is there anything else?"
"One thing." Now River had a look in her eye that made Dante sit up. He knew that look. She had that look before someone was about to wish they had never met her. "What can you tell me about Minaka?"
'Than again, some people need a reality check.' Dante thought with a smirk, relaxing again. "Well, it's simple enough. The man is eccentric, egotistical, massively wealthy and brilliant, but has a kind of God complex. He's been pushing around the Sekirei and their Ashikabi's like pieces on a chessboard."
"Sounds like someone I need to have a talk with."
The teen lifted an eyebrow. "Define 'talk', and I'll make arrangements at either the hospital, mental institute, or funeral home."
"Ha ha. What else?"
Dante looked up. "Well, his assistant, and I use that term loosely, is Takami Sahashi. She's the reasonable one that's normally cleaning up his messes."
"Sounds familiar." The blonde grinned.
"Ha ha River. Anyways, two kids, Yukari and Minato. Yukari is the Ashikabi of Sekirei 107 Shina, genuine bonding not forced, who is also Ku's surrogate brother. She's a bit eccentric and has an active imagination, but likable all around. Hhmm, really need to touch base with her soon." He mused. "As for Minato, he's a nice enough guy, extremely smart, but his confidence issues make it hard for him to think easily. He's also the child of Minaka."
River arched an eyebrow. "Do I want to know how that happened?"
"Fleeting love relationship, but he changed over the years. He actually rejected Kazehana when she reacted to him, hurt her pretty badly too."
"I thought Sekirei only reacted with one person ever. How did she react with Tobias then?"
"Misconception. It's not one person, but it can be people you're compatible with, someone who brings out the good and moderates the bad. The more compatible the pair is, the stronger the reaction between them. It's why multiple Sekirei can react with one Ashikabi, but I'm getting off track. Minato, actually ran into him on my first day here, but I doubt he'd remember me. Far as I can tell, he doesn't know who his father is either, since Takami never told him."
"All together, I think she made the right choice. This man sounds like the Doctor without the morals and restraint."
"Oh, no doubt there. This man is playing God with no real clue what he's messing with, or how many lives he's ruined. Hell, his actions lead us into this mess with Black Wolf and Tobias's powers."
"Hhmm," River hummed. "Maybe I should have a talk with him then. Just to make my...displeasure known."
Dante shivered. That was a conversation he had been on the end of a few times, and it did not end well for him. "Remember River, he's still mildly useful at the moment. You can't put him in a coma or shoot something he might need."
"Fine." She sighed. "But I'm making him as uncomfortable as possible for what he did to my son."
"Hell hath no fury like your scorn."
"I can speak for experience there." The pair looked at the doors to see Tobias stepping in, looking nervous. "Can I have a few minutes? In private?"
"I'll just leave you two be." River said after looking between them, giving Tobias's shoulder a small squeeze before she left. The teen walked up, conjuring a seat right across from Dante. They sat for a few seconds until Tobias broke it.
"You're looking better."
"Felt better. Can't use aspirin to dull the pain without risking killing myself."
"Yeah, that stuff stopped having any effect on me two years ago. Kept getting headaches from power usage."
"I know how that feels. Had to lock myself in a room for a couple days till the pain receded."
"Hhmm." They lapsed into silence again. "You know, we really need to stop doing this."
"Yeah. Look...it's my fault that all this is happening."
Tobias arched an eyebrow. "Huh, how about that."
"Guilt and self pity trips run in the family." The two looked at each other before they started laughing.
"Heheheh, yeah it does." Dante said, wiping an eye.
"Listen," Tobias said after taking a breath. "I just had my own guilt trip and Kazehana bared her soul to get me out of it. Now, looking at it logically, this isn't any of our faults. I mean, did you make me from splicing the DNA of two races together?"
"No. That'd be the courtesy of one group and a psychotic woman who believes what me and the Doctor do is wrong."
"Did you put the Avatar spirit, memories and all, in me when I was fetus?"
"Again, said group and psychotic woman did that."
"You know, these are simple yes or no questions, so you can just say that. Lastly, did you mentally program me to be a killing machine which later turned into my sadistic and sociopathic split personality?"
"So don't apologize. The situations that have happened were due to circumstances you weren't aware of and therefore had no control over. It's just them making their effects know."
"Yeah." He ran his fingers through his hair. "So, want to know the plan?"
"There's a plan? I got the impression we're making things up as we go and hoping we don't accidentally shoot ourselves in the foot. I seem to remember River telling me that story." He smirked.
The smirk dropped from his face, replaced by a deadpan. "It's both sad and serious cause for concern when you have to ask which story involves you getting shot in the foot."
"Oh yeah that. Well it's long and complicated that it just might take all day."
"Right," Tobias took a breath. "Putting aside the fact you have many stories involving gunshot wounds, I came in to ask for a favor. Well, a few favors really."
"What kind of favors?"
"Well, what exactly did you do with those memories you pulled out of my skull?"
"A technique I taught myself a long time ago, only managed to perfect it a long while back."
"Not what I meant. I meant where are they right now?"
"Oh. They're in a memory cube I modified from a cyber collectives data collective. Why?"
"I was wondering if I could have them back." At the look on Dante's face, Tobias hurriedly added, "Not right now! I couldn't handle that much information all jumbled up, but...I do want them back when I can handle them."
Dante took a minute to pinch the bridge between his eyes. "It's going to take a while."
"Define a while and why."
"About a month or two, give or take, and to strengthen your mental capacity. Plus the memories themselves are jumbled and out of order, so I'll need to go through them and get them in order. More to the point, why do you want those back? They nearly drove you insane and speaking from experience, it's not as fun as most people think."
The teen leaned back. "Yeah, didn't like that part, but...those memories are still part of this spirit I've got in me." He put a hand to his chest. "They're its history and the history of everyone who had it before me. I just...want to better understand it and how it was used before the Silence twisted it into this weapon."
Sighing, Dante paced in place for a few seconds before looking at Tobias. "Are you certain you want this? Because what you're about to find out spans over hundreds of years and a thousand lifetimes."
"Some people would say the same about you." Tobias pointed out. "But yes, I'm sure. I want to know what it would've been like if I hadn't been forced into having this. And as for the two months you mentioned, that leads into my other requests."
Tobias stood up. "I need help. I need training. I only know how to fight like the Silence trained me too, but I never learned anything else. I never learned how to really control my own mind, my own powers, or any other ways of fighting that didn't involve killing or hurting. I want to learn how to defend myself without hurting others, and most importantly," he tapped his forehead. "I need training on how to keep him under control on the off chance he won't go away for good. I'm tired of being unable to stop myself and making others around me suffer the consequences. So," he bowed at the hips formally. "Dante, would you take me as a student?"
There was silence for the next few minutes before finally said hybrid spoke. "First off, don't bow. It's worse than saluting. Second, informing of what we're going to do to our fellow tenants should be first priority."
"Sure." Tobias straightened. "But you shouldn't have told me about the saluting, now I know something that annoys you." He smirked.
"On a related topic, we might need to threaten Kagari with castration and possibly death."
"May I ask why?"
"Before I came in here, I went to Miya and the others to apologize for the garden thing, and saw he and Jenny were getting fairly friendly with my Air Pulse. As in make out."
"...there may be a logical explanation for why they did what they did so I wouldn't jump to conclusions. Although giving them a fair warning would be nice."
"Right. And if we just happen to fulfill the unspoken quota of threatening anybody who does that with our surrogate sister or stepsister, that's completely unrelated."
"Point is that we should talk to them about it."
"Yes sir!" Tobias saluted.
"Watch it or no training for you."
"But I happen to know four people who make that option rather unappealing to you, one of whom is my mother, the other my step sister, and the last two superhuman aliens with powers to make blades of wind or have a very sharp knife on her at all times." Tobias smiled innocently.
"...Touché. But keep in mind you're asking me for two months of training. Including the physical kind, which can hurt...a lot."
"...Point taken. Truce?"
"Two months!?" Yahan's yell seemingly shook the inn to its foundations.
"Can you yell a little louder Yahan? I don't think everyone on the other side of the planet heard you." Dante said, rubbing his ears to get the ringing to stop.
"I don't care, you really think Minaka is just going to stop the entire Sekirei Plan just so you two can train for the next two months!? The man is insane, he's not going to stop this entire thing just so his players can go off and do something else entirely!"
"Yahan," Miya smiled. "Please lower your voice, we are still indoors." She leaked a minor amount of her intent, but aside from Ku burrowing deeper into Dante's arms, the others barely seemed to notice. The widow sighed, wondering when they had all become so jaded.
"Yahan, I know you don't like it, but I... we need to do this." Tobias said, placing his hand over hers. "I can't control myself and my powers like I should and he's the only one who can help me with that. Otherwise I'm going to keep losing control of one thing or another and be unable to reign it in."
"Then let us come with." She said, getting stubborn.
"Out of the question." Dante and Tobias said at the same time. They both looked at the other, surprised, before Dante cleared his throat.
"The training I'm going to need to put him through is very intense and extremely dangerous to anyone who would be close by. His Avatar Spirit alone is going to take at least two weeks to sort out since it's not as well controlled as mine or Aang's was. His powers are most likely going to be out of whack so he'll need to familiarize himself with those again, not to mention the physical aspects of training and seeing what I can do to help him with his...tenant." Everyone shifted at the small mention of Black Wolf. "It's hard, brutal training that Tobias is asking for, and we need to be alone if we want to do it without anybody getting hurt. We're pushing it as it is with two months, which is looking on the very optimistic side of things."
"Which brings us back to the time problem." Kagari said, crossing his arms. "Minaka won't just let you train for two months, he doesn't make exceptions. With the way he's been playing lately I'll be surprised if you can squeeze in two days."
Dante snapped his fingers. "Right, yes, precisely. Which is why we're going to go somewhere where he both can't touch us and won't even know we were gone until we're already back."
"And that is?" Uzume asked the obvious question.
"The TARDIS." Tobias stole his stepbrothers thunder. "Dante is going to be training me when it's inside the Time Vortex."
"You ass, you just stole my line."
"Whatever. Point is that we'll be back before you know it. What will be two months for us would be mere moments or minutes for you. Or in this case hours, since we need to do a few things along the way and River needs to have a chat with the prestigious Game Master."
"Yes I do." The blonde in question smiled in such a way even Miya felt uneasy.
"What things do we need to do?" Tobias asked cautiously.
"Well obvious training sessions that involve sparring and endurance as well as meditation."
"Not what I meant and you know it."
"Just what I said... but with one or two errands and a catch for the training."
"What's the catch and what're the errands?"
"In reverse order, I need to inform one Kate Lethbridge Stewart who in turn needs to inform Torchwood of an income of new citizens." Dante narrowed his eyes when Tobias flinched a little and looked away. "Something I should know?"
"Let's just say it might be better if you meet Kate alone first." The teen said uncomfortably.
"What's the matter? It's not like you made their list of people to look out for." After a few seconds of no response, the hybrid added. "You made their list didn't you?"
"Last I knew, I had a immediately notify and shoot if necessary order on me."
The teen sighed, rubbing his face. "Ah jeez. Look, I'll talk her down. We might've had a few bumps in the road but she trusts me."
"Still...might be good to make sure she's not armed or any of her company when we meet."
"Oh trust me she and about ten other men will be armed. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Now do you want to hear the catch?"
"Maybe wait until we're in the Vortex, otherwise I might change my mind before we go."
"Alright." He then turned to the others. "Anything anyone wants to get of their chests, now would be a good time since we'll be gone for a few hours."
Kazehana, who had been staying quite, spoke up now. "You mentioned sparring, endurance, and meditation training. What else are you going to train him in and what for?" She slipped her hand in his, getting a reassuring squeeze that made her smile weakly.
"Well there's also mental training and I think we both know what that's for." Nobody bothered to responses to that, but he wanted to lighten the mood, so he added, "It'll help with the bonds too, I think, make them develop a little bit more. How much I can't say, but by the end you should be able to tell general direction in relation to where you are at the time, so that's a plus. Uh, what else? It'll help against psychic attacks too, if you ever get in the way of one of those. Speed, you're going to need that if you want to go Mach 1 without it all being blurry as hell, plus those speeds can be hard on the body if it's not used to it. Limit testing, he's going to need to find those and learn how far he can push things. A few other things, but that's about it for the core training."
"All that in two months?" Kagari asked, looking skeptical. In fact, aside from Musubi who was drooling slightly from that description, everyone else was sharing the skepticism.
"Yep. You can be surprised what you can do with the time that you give yourself." He clapped his hands. "Alright now that we've discussed it, it's about time Tobias and I got underway. But first, I need to speak with River in private." Picking up Ku and handing her to Akitsu, he left the room with River right behind him. The room was silent for a few minutes.
"Well, it has to be said, I think you're screwed." Uzume said flatly, looking at Tobias.
"Uzume!" Chiho's admonishment went widely ignored.
"I'm beginning to think the exact same thing." Tobias sighed. "Still, I need it badly, otherwise I'm more of a danger to those around me. Besides, River won't let him do anything permanent. If there is one person he's terrified of, it's her."
After Dante and River came back, the latter looking amused, Tobias felt nervous.
"Something we should be concerned about?"
"Just some plans I'll be doing while you're gone. Nothing to worry about." River said.
"Why does that worry me?" Yahan asked no one in particular.
"Because you're smart." Dante responded. "Tobias, we need to get going."
The mood turned a little somber at those words. The teen in question shared a small look with his Sekirei which Dante noticed.
"You two are welcome to come see us off. I can't call the TARDIS outside anyways with Minaka's control of this city's cameras."
They sent him a grateful look and the group of five left the room, Uzume calling after them. "See you later!"
"See you." Dante called back.
"And if you kill him Dante I WILL kill you!" Jenny yelled.
He shivered. Kazehana looked at Tobias. "I thought you said it was only River he was scared of?"
"I said if there's one person he's scared of, it's River. But there's more than one, Jenny just happens to be one of them."
"Yes, yes she is." Dante held up his wrist as they got to his room, tapping his Ultramatrix. A few seconds later, the TARDIS materialized with it's customary sound. He looked at Kazehana and Yahan. "Ok, like I said downstairs, we'll be gone for a few hours because I need to do a few things between training Tobias, but we should be back later today."
"Should be being the key words. Try not to overshoot again Dante." River teased with a smirk.
"Hey since when do I-? Don't answer that."
Tobias laughed, then pulled his Sekirei into a three way hug they returned, clinging like they didn't want to let go.
"Come back to us." Yahan said into his ear.
"Both of us." Kazehana added.
"I will." He gave them both a kiss. "I promise."
Reluctantly, they let go and gave Dante a look. "If anything happens to him, we are going to very pissed." Yahan snarled.
"I'll keep that in mind." He clapped his hands gleefully. "Well, time's wasting. We have places to go, people to see, and torture...I mean training to do. Allons-y!" He headed into the TARDIS.
Tobias stared after his step brother. "I can already tell I'm going to regret this." With a sigh, he went into the TARDIS. A few seconds later, it fades away with it's customary sound.
River sighed. "Well, I'm off then."
"Where are you going?" Kazehana asked, trying to get use to the weird feelings coming through their bonds, or rather no feeling. She and Yahan could tell Tobias was alive, but not what he was feeling or even what general direction he was. It was like he didn't exist but at the same time did.
"Well, I am off to break into the headquarters of a brilliant deranged megalomaniac man who took over an entire city and arranged the events that resulted in my adoptive son nearly being killed and then driven insane to repeatedly give him a kick in the pants. Oh, and have a talk with his assistant." And with that statement and a smile, River left the room humming a tune.
Tobias's Sekirei looked at each other.
"Why do I feeling she's not kidding?"
A/N from RoninS636: Ok there is no excuse for this being late. Jason and I both had to deal with IRL stuff and I had a severe lack of motivation and inspiration. That and Jason was working on his Buffy story. That being said we're getting back onto this and the other two as well as starting a few others. In fact, one of those others we've written about ten chapters for. Not going to say what it is but some of you maybe surprised. Also once again, Winter Sekirei is canceled. If someone would like to take it over please PM me. Vampire and Bleach plus this will be getting a rewrite/editing due to some cringe worthy dialogue and scenes we wrote in the past.
A/N from Jason: He's right. We both unfortunately had to deal with IRL stuff, plus I've been getting into my Buffy story. In fact just got something he's been helping me refine out of my head that's been stuck there for months now, so that's part of the reason. If anyone wants to take a look, feel free. And you're right Ronin, some of the stuff we did in the past makes me go "what the hell were we thinking?"
Ronin: True. And for you dear readers, consider this an apology for my absence. Also if we don't update this, Vampire or Bleach, I will post the other story I mentioned earlier. One chapter each time I don't update.