Yume Ga Yume Nara...
(If the Dream Was a Dream...)
Part Four

By Mia Koji/Yagyu Nasuti

"Yuck!" Mia grimaced as she critically beheld her reflection, "Who'd want to kiss something so hideous?!"

Indeed, her appearance was less-than-appealing. Her bangs--dull from not being washed--clung to her forehead, while the hair that was supposed to frame her face was going crazy around her shoulders. Her cheeks and nose shone, and her skin's tone seemed extremely uneven.

Feeling a great sense of loss and humiliation, Mia started the shower. She pulled off her nightshirt, and stepped out of her panties. She stepped into the shower, not taking heed to the fact she turned the spout all the way to hot.

The scalding water certainly woke her up. She yelped, and jumped out of the water's line of fire. She reached over to adjust the temperature, her back still tingling from the burn. Her sudden jerk out of the way triggered a twinge of pain from her pulled muscle in her back as well. I've got to be more careful! She scolded herself as she stuck her head under the running water.

Anubis heard the water running--for a rather long time--he realized as he was walking down the hallway leading to the shower.

The ex-warlord tried not to smile when he saw Yuli sitting against the bathroom door with a comic book in front of him.

Yuli looked up to see Anubis approaching him.

"Been here awhile, young man?" Anubis asked.

"Not really." Yuli went back to his comic.

"She's taking her precious time in there, don't you think?"

"I'm sure Mia's fine." Yuli said without looking up. "She doesn't need your protection."

"Even so, I'm sure she wants it, boy." Anubis replied.

Yuli looked back up to Anubis, and the elder of the two walked on.

"You don't know anything about Mia so stop acting like you do!" Yuli stood.

Anubis let the boy's rebuke roll off his back. This only infuriated Yuli more.

Mia heard everything on the other side of the door. She sat outside of the tub, hugging her knees. Her terry-cloth towel draped limply over her shoulders, catching the water dripping from her soaked hair.

What do I do about Yuli...? she pondered. Tiny beads of water clung onto her skin. They soon fell off as she moved to stand. We can't get anything accomplished with them at odds with each other...

Yuli and Mia were both startled when the door vanished from behind Yuli, and he fell back at Mia's feet.

Mia held the door open, and looked down at Yuli. "Yuli!" she gasped.

Yuli blushed, and rushed up. "Careful!" he scolded, frowning. "Don't you know Anubis could've been out here?!"

Mia tugged her towel tighter around her body at the thought. "You being out here isn't much better, you know."

"Get back in there, Mia!" Yuli urged Mia back into the bathroom.

Mia had to laugh. "Since when did you start taking care of me?"

"Since Ryo isn't here to." Yuli closed the door. "Now stay here until I come back with some clothes, okay?"

Mia had to draw the line there. She wasn't keen on the thought of little Yuli digging through her things. She opened the door, and snuck through the hallway.

As she tiptoed past the living room, she peered in to see Anubis studying the feudal armors against the walls. She let out a silent sigh of relief, and slipped past. Good thing she wouldn't have to have an unexpected encounter with him in the middle of the hallway.

She went to her bedroom as quickly as she could without making any noise.

Yuli was already going through her closet. She made a mad dash for him before he could make any messes.

"Yuli, I don't need you to dress me." Mia took one of her blouses.

"Mia...!" Yuli whined (or was it supposed to be a scolding?).

"You can come back in once I'm dressed." Mia pushed Yuli out, and slammed the door behind her.

Mia held her forehead, and sighed. She threw herself on her bed, and closed her eyes for a moment. Think...

She didn't move for a few minutes. She finally turned onto her back, and undid her towel. She walked over to her closet, and looked at her clothes. She looked across the room to see her pink cardigan and navy linen shorts. It seemed to be the most...resourceful outfit. She could go another day wearing it. It was easy to move in, if anything.

After fully dressing herself (except, of course, for shoes), she opened the door to see Yuli once again at her feet.

Mia smiled nervously. "You can come in now."

Yuli sat himself on Mia's unmade bed (in which he slept in just the night before).

"Yuli, this has to stop." Mia used her towel to dry her hair a bit more. "Anubis doesn't deserve to be treated like how you treated him at breakfast. I don't care what he's done in his past." Mia paused to look at Yuli. "He's here to help us, understand that."

"I'm only trying to protect you until Ryo gets back!" Yuli argued.

"Don't you see, Yuli?!" Mia rose her voice with an exasperated tone. "The longer you act like this, the longer it'll take for Ryo and the others to get back!" Mia noticed how angry she sounded, and stopped abruptly to look at Yuli. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to sound angry with you."

Yuli was furiously glaring at Mia, tears brimming his eyes.

"Oh, Yuli..." Mia breathed, lowering her towel.

Yuli didn't cry. He jumped off of the bed, and ran past Mia into the hallway.

"Yuli!" Mia called out in vain to bring the boy back. "Great." She sighed. She turned to face her reflection in the mirror hung next to her door. "Now what?"