It had been two months since the incident and Mia managed to convince herself that she was fine, that she was happy, but the only person she fooled was herself, everyone had noticed the difference. Mia never hummed while she worked anymore, she stared off at nothing, tears often unbidden in her eyes, threating to spill over onto her cheeks. Even Sekhmaet when the warlords had come for a visit, and Sekhmaet is not the most sensitive of beings, noticed the difference in Mia.
"Do you know what is wrong with her? "
Sage, Ryo, Rowan, Cye and Kento shook their heads at the inquiry.
"No," Sage's voice was low. Ever since the last battle she has been different, it is almost as though a part of her died that day."
All was quiet for a moment then Kento spoke. "How are things with your rebuilding project going?"
"Not to bad, what about you and the reMiander of Tulpa's troops?" Cale, who had been silent for most of the visit now spoke.
"Not good, there are a lot more troops than we had originally anticipated. Things aren't too bad yet, but the Mian uprising will start tomorrow."
Dais smiled, "It seems we arrived just in time then."
Cale grinned ruthlessly, "We haven't had a good fight for months."
"CALE!" Kayura scolded as she entered the room. "You know that's not why we came here," She paused and looked at the warlords forlorn expressions. "But, since we are here we might as well lend a hand. Where is Mia?"
"Upstairs at her computer, Yuli is there keeping her company, but she rarely speaks when she is up there."
"Do you know why?" Kayura's voice was full of concern.
" No..." It was Cye who spoke but his eyes denied the truth of his words.
" Cye, please show me the way up there." Kayura stood.
The young man nodded and rose, "This way."
For a few moments there was silence between them.
"You know something Cye."
"No, I suspect there is a difference."
"What is it?"
"I'd rather not say, but if I'm right, I don't know how happy Mia is going to be to see you."
"Why no..." Kayura's voice trailed off, her voice barely a whisper "Anubis..."
Cye granted no reply to her words but pointed to a door. "She is in there..."
Kayura nodded and pushed the door to the computer room open. Mia didn't look up but Yuli on the other hand did.
"Kayura!" Yuli's voice was cheerful as he saw there guest but Mia stiffened.
Kayura... Anubis' death flashed before her eyes. Your free Kayura...
What is she doing here? Isn't it enough that ... he would have live.... He would have had a chance at least.
"Kayura..." Mia smile at their guest, hoping her voice portrayed any of the resentment she felt.
"Mia, I hope you have been well."
"As well as can be expected I suppose." Mia's voice trembled as she noticed for the first time what their guest wore, the armor of Anubis.
"Don't you ever wear normal clothes?" Mia had not intended her comment to be heard, but it was.
After receiving a quizzical look Mia was relive to see the armor disappear.
"I apologize Mia, sometimes I forget that I even have it on."
How could you forget?
"Oh...Your welcome to stay here before you all go back, there is plenty of room for you as well, there are still wings of the house unused."
"No, its quite alright. I have business to take care of and would only disturb you."
Mia didnt press the matter and after a tense silence Kayura spoke again, "I was sent up here to bring you downstairs, the Ronins an the Warlords wished to talk to you."
"I will be down in a minute..." Mia turned away an Kayura left, nodding once to Cye as she passed him.
"That's what I was afraid of..."
Mia stood motionless and Yuli pulled on her hand, "C'mon Mia, they are waiting."
I'll be own in a minute Yuli, you go on ahead."
The young boy frowned but obeyed an only White Blaze reMianed with Mia.
"I can't go down there..." Mia's voice was soft as she sank to the ground burying her face in her knees, "Every time I see her, I think of him... but that shouldn't bother me, we weren't... we didn't have...
Mia was silent an White Blaze sat beside her, his head resting on her arms, his silent presence a comfort.
Sage was ready to go search for Mia, despite everyone's objections when Mia appeared, White Blaze at her side.
"Sorry it took so long, I had one more thing to finish up a the computer..." Mia smile cheerfully as she avoided eye contact with all in the room. "How have you been?" Mia sat in the chair Cale kindly vacated for her an smiled at the warlord. "Thank you Cale."
He nodded and stood behind Kayura, resting his hands on the back of the chair she sat in. It was Dais who answered her.
"Things are going well, but our new lives take a bit of adjusting too. But we hear that the reminder of Tulpa's troops are going to starts their revolt tomorrow, so we offer our assistance."
"I'm sure that the boys will appreciate an help that you all are willing to offer."
Kento smile. "It will be like old times, but we will all be on the same side."
All nodded and Sekhmaet added, "If only Anubis were here, I'm sure that he would enjoy all of this..."
Cye and Kayura glance to Mia who showed no reaction, but they d not see her hands clasped tightly in her lap, her knuckles white.
The Ronin Warriors made no reply to this comment, but they looked none to please. Ryo and Sage were nearly livid, Rowan upset and Kento shocked, only Cye seemed receptive to the idea.
A tense silence settled over the room. Finally Mia stood. "Would anyone like a drink, I'm going to get one an while I'm up...
"Do you have an fruit juice?"
Mia smiled t Kayura, all earlier resentment gone. "Cranberry?"
"I'll take some to please." Cale's voice was low.
"Anything else? Mia called as she walked away.
"Some green tea." Cye called after Mia and her laughter filled the room. It was a soul long absent for the house.
"Cye, your going to turn into a tea leaf if you don't stop drinking so much tea."
There was silence for a moment longer and then laughter fille the house.
Sage smiled as he watched Mia walk away. It was good to see her smile for a change.
"She is still not normal..." Sekhmaet's voice was low "...Even when we fought...she was always different somehow..."
Sage nodded, "but since you guys came she is getting better."
Or she is trying harder to hide her unhappiness. Cye thought as her rose. "I'm going to go help Mia."
"I'll go too." Sage stood but Ryo shook his head.
"Don't you remember last time you helped Mia in the kitchen? We had burnt food stuck to the pans for weeks."
Sage sighed as he sat own and Kayura's eyes were wide.
So he likes Mia...but she likes... someone else...poor Sage...she can never love him, not after....
Kayura shook these thought from her head as Cale whispered softly "Kayura, is something wrong? You only get that far off look when something bad is about to happen..."
"Or when I am worried..." Kayura looked up at the former Warlord who's concern was evident in his eyes. "Cale, I'm worried about Mia, I know why she is unhappy, but there is nothing I can do about it..."
Cale nodded. "Things will work out, she deserves to be happy."
"I'm not sure she can be...."
"You mean she..."
"HUSH!" Kayura hissed as she clutched Cale's hand. "Cale you know NOTHING and even if you do suspect, keep it to yourself.
Cale nodded. "I'm sorry..poor Mia..."
"Poor Sage..." Kayura's voice was barely a whisper.
Cye pushed open the door to the kitchen to see Mia pouring three drinks, her hand shaking.
"Mia, is there anything I can do?"
She nodded. "I haven't' put you tea water onto boil yet, you can do that."
Silently Cye put the water onto boil. "mia, are you alright? You seem upset."
"no I'm not, I'm fine." Mia's hands shook as she poured the juice and the ice in the cup rattled.
"Are you sure?"
"I'm fine, just tired, that's all it is. Between you guy's patrols constant house guests and my files on Tulpa, and his files at the castle, I haven't had time to rest."
"Mia go get some sleep." Although his voice was still gentle it held a command.
"But our guests..."
"Will understand." With one hand Cye grabbed the tray of glasses Mia held and with the other propelled Mia towards the side doorway that lead upstairs to the bedrooms.
"'Thank you Cye..." Mia smiled at the young man.
"Your welcome Mia." Cye pushed to door to the kitchen open, holding to tray of juice. "Mia...if you want to talk about anything, we will be here."
"Thank you Cye but I'm fine, I promise."
He frowned but let the matter drop. "Sweet dreams Mia."
"Thank you Cye."
With a sigh he pushed open the door and returned to the party.