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Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM): Nexus Earth - In The Meantime - Lily


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Steam from the shower had clouded the bathroom mirror by the time Lily slid the semi-opaque glass door open and padded over to it to look at herself. She flicked the fan on and waited, leaning forward onto the sink slightly for support.

Dalaraan 'showers' used carefully modulated high-frequency sound waves. It was like getting a shower and a massage at the same time. And it didn't fog mirrors, or waste water...which was admittedly more of an issue on Dalaraan.

Slowly but surely her face materialized in the glass pane. Her hair was a very pretty shade of blue, with violet highlights. It hung lank and wet around her face, giving her a bit of the 'drowned rat' look. It was kind of odd, because she thought looking so messy ought to be ugly...but it was actually kind of cute. She wondered if Kai liked it. Thinking of Kai while standing naked in front of a mirror brought red spots to her cheeks though. She and he had only just begun this relationship. Who knew where it would go?

Except he's the military leader of Earth now, and I'm the heir to the Empire, and the easiest way to declare peace and alliance would be...

And she knew it would even work by the old laws, because Dalaraan and Earth humans had mixed before, in the distant past. Which of course led the mind to other subjects not at all appropriate for the stage they were at, and which made her cheeks even redder.

Lily splashed cold water on her face and focused. Today she had training. Then she'd go back to 'school' for the first time since the Federation had broken the orbit line and bombarded Earth. Despite her protests, Kai had insisted on that for some reason. Then more training.

From outside the bathroom she heard something crash, and Sasami's shrill voice belt, "STOP IT!" This was followed by Hayato yelling, "YOU stop it! ONEE-SAN!!"

Her face fell. Where was she going to find the time to try to raise them? She was still very much in the grip of forces, duties and responsibilities outside her control.

With an exasperated sigh she yanked the white towel off its rack and wrapped it around herself, then slammed the door open.

"Hayato! Sasami! Both of you stop it!"

Immediately the smell of cooking kudra hit Lily's nose, and she found herself salivating. She hadn't had real Dalaraan food in -ages-.

In the kitchen, Sasami stood in the door way with the blue-green bubble of her aura blocking the way entirely. She kept switching her attention between the skillet on the stove which was sizzling merrily, and Hayato, who was scowling at her and kept making little feints as if about to dash at her, or around her.

"Onee-san she won't let me in the kitchen!" Hayato bellowed angrily, his eyes locked on his younger sister. His violet hair radiated up from his scalp like a candle's flame, and energy of the same color danced around his hands, though he hadn't actually molded it into a sword or blast yet.

Sasami, smaller and frail looking, stood resolutely in his path, the open doorway into the kitchen completely filled with her shield aura. Her hair was green-blue, and done into two long ponytails; one on each side of her head. "He's gonna steal Kai's food!" she accused in return.

Eyes half-lidded in dull frustration, Lily padded over to make sure she could stop Hayato if he lost his temper. Her wet bare feet left footprints on the carpet, and squeaked slightly on the tile dining room floor.

"Hayato, go sit at the table," she instructed him firmly. "And stop mixing English and Japanese. It's confusing to people."

She looked at Sasami then. "And...wait, did you say Kai's food?"

The little girl nodded stubbornly. "He's coming over this morning when you leave, and I'll give them to him." She looked up at Lily, then innocently (mostly) added, "You've probably never cooked for him, right?"

Lily felt a stab at that and her eyes widened. "Well, I...I don't..."

Sasami beamed at her, with her adorable little dimples. "A boy likes it when a girl cooks for him, that's what nanny said!"

Hayato suddenly stood up in his chair, "Who CARES about that loser anyway?! I could throw him across the room! Hah!" He threw an imaginary punch. "He can't even fly! You should be making all of us breakfast!"

Sasami just stuck her tongue out at him.

"Hayato, be quiet!" Lily demanded. Her younger brother scowled and sat back down. She kneeled down a bit to get to Sasami's level and said, "Kai can't eat kudra, Sasami."

Sasami's big, watery eyes widened. "He can't?" she asked.

"No. Some Dalaraan food would make earth humans sick. Some even very sick. Just like you can't have some kinds of Earth foods."

Sasami looked sadly away and poked at her lips with her thumb, though didn't quite actually suck on it. "He'd get sick?"

"Hey! Onee-chan! What can't I eat?"

Lily looked back in irritation at Hayato, who was standing up again and glaring down at her balefully. "First, it's -san, and if you keep getting that wrong it'll be -sama. Second, stop..."

"...mixing 'english' and 'japanese,' I know, I KNOW!" He pouted. "It's all stupid anyway. We all speak Imperial."

"I know, but we're going to speak only languages they speak here on Earth, otherwise we'll get out of the habit," Lily said firmly. "And I'm not going to tell you what foods you can't eat, because the FIRST THING you'd do is run out to get some to see what would happen!"

Hayato's pout intensified. "...would not."

Sasami laughed and pointed. "You would too!"

"Shut up you little freak!"

"Stupid boy!"

"Askad tosha!"


Both kids gave Lily a startled look. She stood up, trying to maintain what dignity she could while holding a towel around herself with one hand, and her hair plastered around her head.

"Hayato, english or Japanese only. Sasami, Kai can't have that. Please serve it for our breakfast, and I'll help you make something from Earth that he can eat, okay?"

Sasami nodded and scampered back into the kitchen.

Lily gave her brother a stern look. "I'm going to get dressed now. I'll trust you to keep the peace for just a -few minutes- until I get out. Can you do that?"

Hayato grinned and flipped a hand negligently. "I can do that, Aksan. I'm the man of the house now after all."

She rolled her eyes and vanished in a blue haze of light.

"Onee-chan!" Hayato demanded. "Where's breakfast!"

"Hai hai, it's coming!"

Despite Lily's best efforts, her younger siblings still thought of both English and Japanese as just one language called "Earth," and freely mixed vocabularies. She'd managed to get them to do it less often in her presence at least.

When Sasami set a plate of sizzling things that looked like crosses between eggs, pancakes, and oatmeal on the table, Hayato got a wicked grin as an idea came to him.

And that's when Kai knocked at the door.

Special Bonus! Some Pics!



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Later, as she paced angrily and anxiously in the waiting room of the infirmary, Lily would have time for self-recrimination. If she hadn't mentioned that her sister's cooking might make Kai sick. If she hadn't been so quick to ignore her little brother's dislike for Kai. If she hadn't left them alone when Kai had shown up.

If if if.

She'd almost forgotten to color her hair and eyes, thus disguising herself as an Earth human, when she'd heard Kai come in. In the hurry of the moment, desperately flinging some workout clothes on for morning training and then having to go back for the coloring agent, she'd given Kai plenty of time to politely accept Hayato's oh-so-sweet offering of a treat.

He'd only eaten a bite though. That had to help. It must have tasted awful to him.

Lily stopped pacing when the nurse came out and bowed politely.

"How is he?" she asked.

"He's fine," the nurse replied. "He's purged the food, and now it's just a matter of letting the byproducts cycle out of his system. It should only take an hour or two."

All the strength seemed to drain out of Lily's legs, the relief was so strong. She hadn't really paid a lot of attention to the briefing on biochemical incompatibility during her prepwork for infiltrating Earth society. It hadn't seemed necessary. She had a list of foods not to eat, and since she had no plans (and no ability) to cook Dalaraan foods, it had seemed like a silly thing. So she really didn't know for sure how bad it would be.

"Can I see him?" she asked hopefully.

The nurse nodded and showed Lily to the door of the room Kai was in. It was a bit early for visiting hours, but she wasn't going to tell the Crown Princess she wasn't allowed to see a sick friend.

Once inside, Lily rushed to Kai's bedside. He had some electrodes hooked up to EKG and similar instruments, but wasn't on IV or oxygen or anything. In fact he was already sitting up, though wincing a bit from abdominal pain. He gave Lily a pained 'thumbs up' gesture.

"Kai, I'm so sorry," she began, but he cut her off with a wave.

"No, it's okay..."

"It's NOT okay! Kai, you were LUCKY! That could have poisoned you! It could have..." Lily trailed off, unable to speak her darkest fear.

Kai tried to reassure her. "We're not that different, Lily. Chemically, I mean. I don't think anything you can eat would really be -poisonous- to me. It just has a sort of bad reaction, you know?" He smiled and patted his belly...which chose that moment to gurgle noisily. That got another wince.

"I told him it would make you sick," Lily raged. "The little..."

He reached out and put his hand on Lily's. "Don't be too hard on him," he urged to Lily's disbelief. "Think about what he's been through. He lost his oldest brother and sister, and saw his whole world in war, and then got shipped all the way across the galaxy to some backwater planet so his middle sister could look after him."

"That doesn't give him the right to POISON people!"

"He's still just a kid, Lily. That means he doesn't always really think about what he does."

"It means," she corrects, "that he needs to -learn- to think about what he does. Besides, he's older than you are. A lot older."

Kai shrugged. "But he's still a kid. Just like you're my age, even though you're not. Different people grow in their own times."

Lily trembled for a moment, then turned away from Kai and smashed one fist into her open palm. "Would you stop being so UNDERSTANDING about this?! You should be upset!!"

He sighed. "I'll have a talk with him about it when I get out. It's just, I can't get upset over someone who's just trying to protect you. No matter what they do."

That gave Lily pause. She hadn't looked at it that way. "Protect me from what? You? Does that even make sense to you?"

Kai, in command of the forces protecting Earth itself, looked up at her and nodded that yes, it did.

Lily scowled. "Boys!" She whirled and stalked out of the room, calling back, "I'm going to the gym to train. I'll come back by here on the way back. Then you can come home with me and have your talk."



Lily sailed backwards into a rocky outcropping from the floor, shattering the sandstone into hundreds of fragments, and dust. Her protective field flickered under the assault, weakening, and she fell forward onto her hands and knees, panting.

Captain Raisho advanced on her, sword in his right hand and a corona of fading energy around his left.

"You're distracted, Princess. You can't fight if you're not completely focused."

She looked up at the captain of CRT-5 and levitated up and backwards, landing on her feet. A blaze of blue light speared from her hand, forming a blade nearly four feet long.

"I'm focused," she replied...and charged!

Their swords swung and clashed, and struck sparks and made noise. Bright flashes of light crackled and spat as they traded blows and parries. They ranged over the closed space battleground until Raisho laughed.

"You've been practicing! That's good!"

Lily drew back warily. He'd been able to sway her or distract her with words before. This time she'd be on her guard. "I thought this was bankai training," she probed.

The captain nodded. "Bankai is just another tool in battle, another weapon to choose from. It is potent, but you have only just begun to master it. You work too hard, taking too long and . You must reach the point where you can use it at will, effectively and efficiently, or it is a meaningless achievement." He studied Lily for a moment, then added, "But the reason you have not called on it yet is because you cannot, yes? You are distracted."

Lily looked like she was going to deny it...then she sighed.

"It's Kai. I'm just worried about him."

"There will be plenty of time for that. Right now, you are training with me."

She took a breath and nodded. Her sword reappeared.

"All right."

And the training began again.

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