Not Even Goodbye
Part Five

Mia quietly sang to herself as she backed cookies.

On your mark itsumo hashirii daseba
hayarino kazeni yarareta

On your mark bokuraga soredemo yamenainowa

Mia stopped singing as the kitchen doors swung open, and Mia half turned as she added flour to the cookie batter to see Kayura enter the kitchen.
"Are you ready for another lesson?"
Mia blushed. "Actually I'm not. I just started to make cookies. I figured everyone needed a little cheering up."
Kayura nodded. The last week had been a bit hectic. Everyone had moved into a new house, Mia's parents house which they had left to her. Anubis and Kayura had placed powerful wards around the house, to shield it from Talpa for as long as possible. The Ronins and the Warlords where n constant training, and Kayura trained with Mia, but since Kayura now had to armor the Ancient was working on creating her a new one, but he needed Mia's help to complete it.
"everyday, sometimes twice a day, Mia received trinkets from her admirer. Flowers, chocolate, gummy bears, stuffed animal, and poetry, (which unfortunately Anubis did not write. You see it has been a long time since Anubis has had to peruse a woman's affections, and since Talpa did not exactly support poetry, Anubis lost that particular skill, for the time begin at least ^^) the commercial kin, ad even a stuffed animal.
Sage was furious at the fact that he had competition, although he had not actively perused her before then, but he would soon remedy that.
"Can I help you?" Kayura smile at Mia, unsure as how to mention the Ancient request.
"Umm… you can get out the cookie sheets, they are in that cabinet there."
Mia hummed as she placed some dough into the cookie gun and then onto the cookie sheets which Kayura had produced, making star shape cookie.
"Kayura I will train when this is done, but that shall be close to nightfall."
Kayura nodded, and decided to bring up the matter at a later date. "I will go make sure Kento stays out of the kitchen. On second though I will go make sure everyone stays out of the kitchen."
"Thanks." Mia smiled as she filled the next cookie sheet.

Anubis smiled as he watched Mia baking. When he had told Cye he would be with her always he ha meant it, although there where times he was not preset, he id have manners, and a strong sense of propriety. The thing that he like about this house that he didn't like about the other was that this house had high vaulted ceilings with beams strung across them, so he could easily observe and protect Mia, without revealing himself.
Anubis laughed to himself watching Mia ice the coolies she had baked, well ice wasn't exactly the right word. After covering the cookie in a powdered sugar water mixture, she dipped them into sprinkles. Mia had manage to get icing in her hair, all over her hands on her apron, a on her cheek. HE thought she looked adorable as she bit her lip in concentration
Mia whirled around as she heard the door open. "Kay…Sage?" Mia's voice was puzzled. "What are you doing here?"
"Nothing, I was just checking to see f you needed any help."
"No." Mia turned around and went back to icing the cookies, and Sage loitered, leaning on the counter, content to wait until Mia found something for him to do.
Mia sighed and rolled her eyes. "If you insist on standing there, why don't you wash the dishes."
Its not that Mia mined the company but Sage just stared at her, he didn't talk or anything, just stared.

Anubis frowned slightly as he watched the scene, one leg dangling over the rafter his staff in his lap, his arms laying across it. HE had observed enough during the past week to convince himself that Mia did not like Sage as he liked her, but Sage was up to something…he had a very suspicious smile on his face.
(It seems that Anubis doesn't take very kindly to competition either.)

Mia sighed as she placed the last cookie on a rack to dry. "Finally done…" Smiling Mia walked to the sink with her dirty dishes, adding more to the pile Sage was washing
"You can wash these too." Mia untied her apron and hung it on the rack, then turned to go but Sage grabbed her wrist.
"You have icing on your face…" With a soapy hand Sage wiped the icing from her cheek, his hand lingering slightly.
Mia was frozen stiff with shock.

How dare he… Anubis clenched his staff, causing it to rattle he could barely contain his anger.

Mia whirled her eyes wide, and looked to her staff, which sat motionless beside her, then fled to her room.
That sound…its not my staff…it couldn't be, it couldn't…

Sage finally caught up with Mia as she reached the door to her room. HE barred her path and forced her to look at him suprised to see the tears in her eyes.
"Mia, what's wrong?"
"Get away from me!" Mia sobbed and pushed past him. "Just leave me alone."
Mia sank to the ground and leaned against her now close door.
"Mia are you alright?"
She ignored Sage, her eyes fastening on her bed which held another gift, her first that day.
You cant be my guardian…your dead…but so was Talpa…
"Anubis…" Mia sniffled once then her sobs consumed her once again.

It was Kayura who finally gained entrance to Mia's room carrying Mia's staff, through the window, five of the Ronins and three of the four Warlords outside of her door. Yuli was with them, and White Blaze was off comforting Anubis, who was furious at himself for causing Mia's emotional turmoil.
"Mia, what's wrong, why are you crying?"
Mia sniffled and hiccuped. " I heard something…and it reminded me of someone I lost…"
"Do you want to tell me about it?" Kayura place an arm around the girl who was grateful for a shoulder to cry on.
"Sage got into the kitchen…an he was doing the dishes wen I had finished to cookies… I was going to leave nut he grabbed my wrist…he said I had icing on my cheek, an he wiped it off…then I heard a staff…it rattled, but it wasn't mine…for a minute I thought he had come back, but that's impossible, he died…the dead don't come back…they cant can they?"
Kayura didn't answer an tears now threatened her.
Oh Ancient…she has been through so much, you would subject her to more…

Anubis slammed a fist into the ground, causing a small crater to form. How could I have been so stupid? Look at all the pan I have caused her… Mia, I am sorry, so very sorry…
A single tear trickled own Anubis; cheek. "I never meant to cause you pain, it was never my intention."

"Mia…you could see him. The Ancient needs your help. He would be your guide in the astral plain. Will you help the Ancient?"
Ma looked to the vase of roses by her bed, the unopened present, to the door, and then to her staff.
"Will it make me happier?"
"I don't know…but you will have seen him, however briefly."
Mia nodded once. "Why does the Ancient need my help?"
"I need a new armor. Your guardian has assumed the armor of cruelty, so now I am defenseless.
"Kayura, I will do it for you…"

"Anubis…you are needed she is coming…"
"So soon Ancient?"
"Kayura and I both feel that it will help her. She is confused and alone…Sage messed her up considerably today. You didn't help matters much either."
"I know that Ancient, I know…"
"You will be her guide…"
"Is that wise?"
Anubis received no answer…

"Kayura, don't tell the guys, at least not until I am gone…

"What happened Sage? Why did she start crying?" All eyes looked to Sage and Rowan awaited an answer to his question.
"She was baking, and I was doing dishes. The we heard this noise, a clinking…an then she ran off crying."
"Clinking, like a staff?"
Sage thought for a moment. "Yah, like a staff."
Cye just looked to Rowan. I wonder what really happened. Anubis wouldn't be stupid enough to reveal his presence , and I have never known him to be truly upset, which s the only reason that I can think of for him o accidentally reveal himself…so what really happened?

Mia stood behind Kayura, who sat facing the empty wall, her palms and fingertips resting lightly on it. Her eyes where close and she spoke softly.
"Ancient, through me create a gateway to you, and the astral plain. Please help this woman fulfill this part of her destiny…"
My destiny?
Slowly from Kayura's fingertips the wall began to swirl, turning liquid as it moved, until a gateway was formed, filling the entire wall.
Beads of sweat formed on her forehead. "Go, I cannot keep this open for long. The Ancient shall see to your return."
"Thank you." Mia stepped through the gateway into…

Kayura collapsed onto the ground, physically and mentally exhausted. Now I know how Mia felt when Anubis returned, why she slept for days…and she d not have the Ancient's aid in creating the gateway, she did it all on her own…

At the thud from Kayura's collapse, the door burst open. "Kayura!" Cale was instantly at her side.
"Where is Mia?" Yuli's eyes where wide, and he stopped the scream he felt in his throat as White Blaze leapt into the room through Mia's still open window.
"The Ancient needed Mia's help, to create a new armor…I created a gateway to the astral plain. There Anubis shall be her guide."
"Anubis?" Rowan and Cye paled, the same thought running through their minds.
How can he guide her, he is still alive…
"What about her guardian?" Cye finally managed to speak, and only five of the nine assemble understood the significance of his question, and the irony.
"He is with her, as always. HE rarely leaves her side. Not when she sleeps, trains, or…" Kayura pause, her gaze locking with Sage's, "bakes."
Sage turned red, and understanding came to Cye and Rowan.
HE tried something with Mia…an Anubis was jealous, almost revealing his presence because of it. Rowan frowned at that thought. You hadn't tried anything before this my friend, why try something now?
What could he have done? Cye mused, To unsettle Anubis like that?

Into blackness. Mia was in a corridor of some type, which was pitch black. Suddenly a doorway opened, Anubis standing in its light.
"This way please."
For a moment all Mia could do was stare, her hands tightening convulsively around her staff, or was it his…or Kayura's…she was so confused, but it was really him.
"Mia are you alright?"
"Mmm." She nodded and walked the was he indicated through the door. "I was just a little disoriented."
Anubis frowned slightly as he noticed her eye's were overly bright, as though she were going to cry.
"Anubis…" Mia's voice was low and soft.
"Why does the Ancient need my help in creating Kayura's new armor? Why couldn't you help him?"
"I do not know Mia, I really don't. I shall endeavor to find out if you wish."
"No it's alright…" Mia stopped and frowned, the pieces of the puzzle starting to fit together.
"Talpa wants me, because I have the thing which he needs to complete his armor…and the Ancient cannot complete this armor without me…."
"And the Ancient confided to me that you wield that staff as though he himself wielded it."
Mia's min flashed to earlier. "Anubis, why would you need a staff in the astral plain?" She looked to the silver staff he held.
"Even here the war against the dynasty continue." Anubis hated deceiving Mia, but it was true. The battle did continue, but that is not why he needed it. As a sprit nothing could harm him, but he was not a spirit, and he would need the staff if anything did happen. If an attack did occur, he could not use his armor, not with Mia being able to see him clearly.
The rest of their walk continued in silence, through a corridor lined with marble pillars. Mia constantly snuck glances at Anubis, and he caught her at it once, causing her to turn bright pink with embarrassment.
Wisely Anubis said nothing.

"Mia, finally you have arrived." The Ancient smile at her and Mia froze, realizing for the first time that Anubis and the Ancient wore exactly the same outfit, from their hats to the tips of their sandals. Mia giggled, their hair was even similar.
"What s so funny?" The Ancients voice was dry, and this caused Mia to giggle even more.
"I'm sorry." Mia gasped at last. "I apologize, I haven't been myself lately. I heard that you needed my help to finish the armor you started for Kayura." Mia sat where the Ancient indicated, her staff across her lap. Anubis at next to and slightly behind Mia. "Would you please tell me why you nee my help?"
"I cannot. I am sorry my child."
"Can you tell me if it is the same reason that Talpa wants me?"
The Ancient nodded once.
"Will this endeavor reveal her location to Talpa, once she returns to Earth?"
"Most likely it will not, but if it does, it is even more imperative that we finish Kayura's armor."
"And if it does, I shall always have my protector."
Mia didn't see Anubis, whose complexion had a faint tint of red. "Ancient, can you tell me who he is?"
"I cannot."
"Can you tell me if I know him…knew him?"
" I cannot do that either my child. I truly an sorry."
Mia sighed unhappily.
"What do you need me to do with the armor?"
"Place you hands on the armor, and will it to be whole. The magic is inside you not inside the staff, the magic shall only respond if your will is strong."
Mia looked at the armor before she did anything. It had no helmet, and looked a lot like armor of cruelty. The subarmor was silver and white. Over it went a lightweight armor, much like that the Ronin's wore, and over that was a floor length vest that fastened with a gold pin, joining the metallic purple cloth.
"This armor…" Mia paused unsure how to voice her thoughts and concerns.
"Go on…" Anubis smiled encouragingly.
""will it be like theirs?"
"No." The Ancient answered. "The nine armors where made from one armor, and each was vested with specific powers. This armor the astral armor, is made only to protect, from special materials of the astral plain.
"Its powers then, shall stem from the armor?"
"Powers, like the Fervor Flare or the Super Wave Smasher?"
when Mia nodded the Ancient smiled.
"Kayura's powers come solely from her magic as the last of the clan of the Ancients. You shall have to join her weapons to her armor."
"HER?" Anubis; eyes where wide. "But Ancient…"
"I lack the magic to join the two, just as I lack the magic to make her armor whole."
Lack the magic…but how? Why? You divided the armor, you should be able to unite one…
Mia paused in her thinking, her eyes growing wide, the one piece was missing from her earlier musings now present. "Talpa couldn't unite the nine armors when he first had then, something was missing…he couldn't unite his demon armor in the astral plain, because the magic he needed was not present, and now you both need me to complete the armors….Ancient, how did I get your magic?"