Io had just finished up her shift and began to walk home. She preferred to walk to and from the restaurant instead of flying because as a dragon, she felt too alone. She took out her phone and was about to call Naoki when she felt the nudge of someone bumping into her.
"I'm so sorry," she began to sa, "I really should pay more attenti-Sky!" The dragon halfer scooped the smaller girl into a tight hug. "I haven't seen you since ... since... Oh my god I can't even remember the last time! That's not right. We really should get together more often. "
"Yeah...weird, I was just thinking that!" Sky said with a grin. She sighed, somewhat happily, though Io could tell she had a lot on her mind. "How've you been?"
"Not bad. Busy. Tokine sure is a handful!" Io couldn't help but laugh.
Sky giggled, "The last time I saw her she was just a baby."
"She might be three, but I swear the kid acts like she's already our age."
Sky laughed again, but then the happy sound caught in her throat.
"What's wrong?" Io asked, worried about her once close friend. After spending years together on the journey, Io still new when Sky was upset or troubled. It had become natural. "You're not staying, are you?"
Sky looked up at the dragon halter, conflicting emotions showing through her eyes. She nodded.
Io took a moment to let the thought settle in. How could sky, their leader, want to leave Harmony? She had devoted herself to finding it, so why leave? But Io understood. She knew how Sky felt. When their group had reached harmony, the outside world was becoming less and less welcoming to halfers. What had happened in the three years they'd been living peacefully in Harmony?
In an instant Io knew she had to go too.
"I'm coming with you."
Sky looked almost thrilled, almost. Who could be truly happy to go back into a world of tension and violence? Then her face fell, for surely Io wouldn't leave Tokine alone. She'd realize that and choose to stay. She said this aloud.
Io shook her head. "I can't let you go out there and not know what's happening. Naoki and Shuji and Athena can take care of her. I trust them." She was dead serious. Sky smiled, remembering her old friend's stubbornness.
"I'm glad. I've been worrying that some would say no."
"You still have my number right?" Io asked. Sky nodded. "Good, call me tomorrow and let me know what's going on-if you can. I've got to get back to Tokine right now and talk to Shuji about taking her."
"Sure." Sky said, though she sounded a little worried. "I'll talk to you tomorrow then?"
I nodded and grinned. "This'll be just like old times won't it?"
Sky returned the smile. "Yeah, I hope so."
With one last hug the women continued on their way.
Naoki sat at the table, holding the phone between his shoulder and ear. "Ok Miss I, I'll see you shortly." He propped the squirming three-year-old back into position on his hip as he walked down the stairs of Io's home. "Yes, she's fine." At the landing he set the child down and switched the cell to the other side, holding it with his hand. "You sound distracted, are you okay Miss I? ... Oh okay. Bye for now."
Nao pushed the end call button and shoved the phone into his back pocket. "Tokine!" he called for the child.
"In here!" the toddler called from the sitting room. Nao walked as silently as a cat into the room and snuck up behind the little girl, picking her up and giving her a kiss on her forehead as she laughed and squirmed to be free.
"Mommy'll be home soon Toki-chan." Nao said. The little girl thought it was strange that he added the strange word to her name. She knew it had something to do with his family, but didn't care enough to ask questions. She liked it and that was that. She liked his slight stress on vowel sounds too, but again didn't know why he talked so strangely.
Naoki settle the young girl into a high-chair, putting some strawberries out on the table for her and popping one of the sweet red berries into his own mouth. It wasn't long before Tokine's mother returned from her shift. Nao was worried though. He could tell something had changed. She seemed excited yet solemn.
"Nao, can you stay for a bit? I want to put Tokine to bed for the night and then I need to talk to you."
Naoki nodded. "Of course I can."
Io smiled, "Thanks."
Naoki waited while the older woman wrestled her daughter into her night clothes and then into bed. When she was done, she sat done across from him at the small kitchen table.
"What's on your mind Miss I?" He asked.
"Oh please Naoki. You can stop calling me 'Miss.'" Io teased
They'd had this conversation many times before. Now the lynx just said it as a joke, for endearment. He laughed and said, "Don't beat around the bush, what's on your mind?"
"I want to go back out into the human world."
Naoki almost fell out of his chair. They were no longer joking. "You what?!"
"remember the stories I used to tell you about my trip here with my friends-sky and ariel and Kasumi and the others?"
Of course Naoki remembered them. How could he forget? Whether or not he'd ever believed them was a different story. he'd always thought Io and her friend Kasumi(who came to visit fairly often with tamotsu) had been pulling his leg. Now he was beginning to think otherwise.
"I do," he said cautiously, not liking where this was going.
"Well I ran into sky on my way home and she's leaving." Io was completely serious now. "I have to go with her. I can't explain why, really, but I just know I have to."
"What about the baby?" Nao protested.
"I was going to ask your brother and Athena to take her."
Naoki saw the logic behind that. Shuji and his wife Athena had always wanted a child but had never been able to have one. Not one. He knew they'd jump at the opportunity to watch Tokine. They'd already fallen in love with her, like everybody does upon meeting her. The lynx waited for Io to continue.
"Of course, I'd pay you three for the trouble. I don't know how long I'll be gone."
Nao had trouble wrapping his mind around the fact that suddenly, Io was leaving. "Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked. She nodded. "Then I suppose I'm not going to argue. I can see that it won't do me any good." Io smiled ever so slightly and the two got up from the table and began to move toward the door.
"Is Kas going too?" Nao asked, already making his way out the door. Io shrugged.
"Not sure. I was going to ask her to stop by in the morning to talk about it."
"Ok, well call me when you know what's going on. I'll talk to Shuu-chi for you, ok?"
"Thanks for everything, Nao." Io said, giving the lynx a hug. "I love you to pieces."
"I love you back, Miss I. Call me in the morning."
"Bye now," he said with a wave and shut the door behind him.
Suddenly exhausted, Io slumped into a kitchen chair and dialed her friend's number. She hoped kasumi wasn't too busy...
The phone rang three times before she heard the familiar voice at the other end.
"Hey Kas, how are you?"
"I'm fine. You sound awful though. Long day?"
"You have no idea."
"I think I do!" Kas said with a laugh.
her laugh was contagious; Io chuckled. "You busy tomorrow morning?"
"tomorrow morning....no. Why?"
"i was hoping you could stop by for a bit."
"You only ask me to stop by when you want something," her tone was joking, Io knew she was just kidding.
"Ha! I think that's the other way around. you only stop by if you want something! Anyway it's kind of important. So bring Tamotsu if you can."
"This had better be good, Missy." Io couldn't tell if her friend was serious or joking.
She however, was completely serious. "It will be."
idk if that even helps you pippi... i hope it does ^^' i can always touch it up
and I hope sky and has weren't crazily OOC