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[Fiction] Truthful Visit [AU/IW]


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He had visited twice during the trial. Both times he had said little to anyone save Pachacamaq, saying only that he was taking his daughter for a time and promised to return her. He took her flying, showed Yokiko the world from its top, he took her along the caosts of the Americas at a leisurely pace, allowing her to see and hear so much. She couldn't comprehend it all yet, but he hoped it would instill a sense of wonder, of curiosity about the world in her. Her tail coiled mostly around his wrist almost reflexively as he held her to his chest, nestled in soft white fur. He knew this was something he'd do with all his children, but Yokiko would forever be the first.

Long sat in the study of Ryoko's palace and sighed. "My best friend is stuck here, pursuing justice for our people. I am bound my honor both to help him if he asks it, and by a promise to Timeslip to not tear our child from her. How do I put myself in these situations?" The question wasn't directed at Ryoko, the room's other occupant, but she set down the book she was reading and looked at her alternate self intently.

"You do it because you accomodate everyone, when at times there are good reasons you shouldn't. You do it out of a sense of honor you and I know is an attempt at humanity. One you have discarded when it suited you to do so. Jager would have killed you twice if he could have in the past if not for intervention. You yourself provided him with an opportunity off the coast of Japan if you recall. As for your promise to Timeslip, you are lying to yourself about that too. In your heart you want to raise Yokiko with your other children, and damn Timeslip to face judgment alone."

It shocked him to hear her be so blunt, so forward, and so right about it. Honor meant little to him at the core. What mattered what was what he wanted, his vision of how things should be. He knew Jager as an enemy a rival and a comrade and friend, but beneath it all they were both warriors, both killers. It was what they did, what they excelled at. His feelings for Timeslip had lessened ever since her Chrysalis, and their whole final Year in a day had only reiforced their differences. They were simply too incompatible, and now their child would be forced to reconcile those opposing sides of her heritage. He felt it insane to raise her on this world, instead of Prime despite all its amenities. She should be raised with her siblings, not strangers.

"Yet Ryu, you will not do what is in your heart. You won't take her. You'll let her remain here where you must remain at a distance, only speaking to her as she dreams. You'll let your oldest freind remain here, damned to adapt to my world, or to find his own way." Her tone was almost mocking. It was clear she was trying to provoke the larger nova but to what end was anyone's guess.

He rose from his chair and stalked over to the large fireplace. "Do not tempt me Ryoko."

"Why brother? Why not do it?"

"Because It isn't right."

She laughed at him. "You must be joking. I have seen your life, When did what's right start to matter? I know the horrors in your past, things even your new wife doesn't know."

"You already know the answer to that question."

"Ah yes, when the baseline doctor stood against all your malice and fury, and begged you to turn away, offering herself in their place. It sparked the fires of your humanity again. But it didn't last did it? She wask taken from you and you lost your way. You formed a partnership with Timeslip to get her back, but you lost sight of that goal as well. You failed in almost every endeavor."

His knuckles cracked as his fists tightened, anger rising in his heart. Blue energy crackled from his hands up to his arms and shoulders. "Not every endeavor was a failure. I found the power I sought."

"The first thing you did with it was you destroyed a swath of paradise the size of a small province."

"Yes I did. I spent the remainder of my time reseeding it, repairing the damage I had done." The rage burned away, he looked to her and then retook his seat. She smiled. "Very good. Ryu. You're controlling it better. We still have a ways to go though."

"Is it really necessary to dredge up so much of the painful parts?"

"Yes because those are the buttons that can be used to provoke you into irrational action."

"It wouldn't be bad if I could put them to lie."

"I know brother, I know. But this is the life you have lived. Learn from it, see to it that your children do not repeat all that you have done."

"They'll know only peace if I can have my way on it."

"yet even now you school Benkei and Misato in the arts of swordsmanship and war."

"I teach them discipline more than anything."

"Perhaps, but to what end? They grow better more proficient, they could well become powerful and strong by the time they reach adulthood. You clearly intend to make them both warriors of a sort."

"Yes, I do."

"Why? What drives you to have them walk that path so far? Is it because they are not blood to you?"

Long bristled slightly but shook his head. "they are blood to me. They are my children. As to why I train them, should my world vision come to pass, I want to be ready. I will need strong novas to help me, warriors I can trust to see my plan through. So I set about to train them. Benkei will resemble me in capability, though I doubt he'll be remotely as strong. Misatio will be like an old friend, Sage. He was a powerful mentalist, easily on par with Shen-Kahn." Together they can defend the family in my absence. Sakurako's technology is good, but I have always preferred my own power to technology."

"Then why do you carry those?" She indicated the two swords laid upon the table, each of them pulsing with power.

"There are times when my power fails, or when I must conserve my power. In those times, These blades will serve me well. One is a gift from my wife, the other is the reforged version of the family katana."

"It was destroyed?"

"Yes, my brother Takashi tried to defend himself against Hohiro, my sister Yumiko's husband. He went mad with power and rage and destroyed both my and the family homes. It was shattered in that fight, after it had been used to slay grandfather narimassa, Jin, the servant we all thought of as an uncle and Takashi. I gathered the shattered shards and presented them to a friend, and asked him to reforge the blade into a weapon worthy of a nova warrior."

"It would seem he has done so."

"There are precious few who could stand against it."

He smiles. "Very good Ryoko, you got me off topic easily."

"You are mistaken. There's no guile her brother, just me wanting learn about you, to help you." She seems to glide across the room effortlessly and lays her hands on his massive shoulders and starts massaging them.

Long relaxes somewhat, his alternate self calming him easily with her disarming manner. "You say that Ryoko, but there's little to be done. I won't risk a war or another fear. Timeslip could always just take Yokiko and flee again. There are countless realities out there, if she did that I wouldn't find her again. So I stay away from her at least, allowing Jager his hunt, and her her space."

"How long will it last?" Nible fingers worked through the thick fur and wokred several knots from his shoulders.

"As long as it needs to I guess. Then I'll go there. Unless Jager calls to me. If that happens we'll just have to see what happens."

He smiles back to her, placing a large paw over the hand on his left shoulder. "I need to be going. Endeavor will be awake soon. probably best that she not wake up to find me gone. The announcement of our status has met with somewhat negative results among our peers. She's actually been stressing over it, wondering why I won't comment any further on it. I told her I already responded to those I thought worth the time of an explanation in private. The rest of them don't even register."

"Perhaps that's not true."

"I know of them all yes, but I don't feel the need to explain it to strangers, it simply isn't their business." He rises from the chair and gives Ryoko a warm hug. "Until next time Ryoko. Try to keep an eye on things for me here."

"Perhaps I'll go see them, just to say hello. You did mention after all that your sister Saori is here."

"Yes, I believe that would be a good idea." Long vanished in a flash of blue light reappearing in his home reality. It was a short flight back to his home where he took a seat on the steps of the back porch. The sun was just beginning to rise and he smiled.

"Looking forward, the future will be full of pain and promise. I will continue to sacrifice so my children won't have to, so the status quo remains. What tomorrow brings remains to be seen."

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