A moment later Elijah and Natalie were gone, more than likely to a room where they could discuss this new turn of events. Cleo sat in her chair, seeming to the world twice her age. The descending sun stretched her shadow over the once-floating objects on the floor. She glanced out the window, over her textbook and notes, towards the night sky above Goldenrod.
“What’s going to happen to me?” she breathed to Mark Antony, to the world. Cleo rested her head on a hand. Shame flooded her. Wasn’t she always the one to rise above all odds? Wasn’t she one who said that giving up was not an option? Why was she letting this small setback leave her in tears?
That was the thing, though. This was no small setback. After watching her siblings grow up with their abilities, she knew that psychic powers were not something that could easily be tamed. Her mother had preached
that the older they got the harder they would be to control because just like them, powers grew in strength. If Cleo had known back then that her powers would eventually break out she would have never refused her mother’s training, no matter how much of a freak she would have seemed in front of her friends, the teachers that praised her for her intellect, the family members that saw her going places…
Then she had found out about the Huntington’s and its lack of a cure. Looking back on it, was her decision to turn her back on her potential powers to focus on her studies a wise one or just some excuse to stay normal? She didn’t even know anymore.
Save her mother.
Pretend that she was just a normal little girl.
The fear of someday succumbing to the disease.
It was mixed and blurred until she didn’t know what had been her first thought.
Whatever it had been Cleo didn’t care for normalcy anymore. Elijah and Natalie, while never shouting to the world what they were, were very obviously endowed with psychic powers. Her father was almost never home but off to some business conference.
(The past few days had just been leading into a month-long trip to Sinnoh. Cleo had known after the fourth day mark that his stay was too good to be true. That and he had been guiltily doing the home repairs he always neglected during his stays.)
Then there was the mother that, once a seamstress, never left home. Normalcy was just a fond childhood memory. What she cared about now was her potential future as a doctor and the outstanding grades she needed.
The back of her chair squeaked as Cleo leaned against it.
“I need a shower,” she told the ceiling before getting and grabbing a towel from on top of a laundry basket. Cleo took one last look at her textbook before leaving for the restroom.
Mark Antony waited for Cleo’s footsteps to fade, all the while shaking his head at the obvious. Cleo was not stupid, not by any stretch of the imagination. He could see it in her expression that she knew her powers were going to become as distracting as the actual lessons. It was all a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils.
A slow creak announced a visitor. Mark Antony turned and met Natalie’s expectant gaze. “Well?” she queried, still only halfway through the door. “Are you going to come and tell us what happened or not?”
She got a patronizing look for her trouble. Really,
Mark Antony mentally sighed, who’s in charge in here?
When he still didn’t move, Natalie came into the room and picked him up. She carried him to her room despite the irritated growling that rumbled somewhere near her chest.
Kids these days were a far cry from the respectable children he was once knew.
That night Mark Antony slept at the foot of Cleo’s bed. While the college student had knocked out the moment her head hit the pillow he had been up for a while after that. Even now, between dreams of flying pencils and rifles, the voices of Elijah and Natalie echoed back their recent conversation. Elijah, always the reasonable one, was not surprised that Cleo would end up agreeing to their lessons. He was, however, surprised at the retelling of the pencil and eraser. Even at her age he hadn’t expected for her to make things fly. At the most he had expected trembling and sliding objects.
Their voices drifted, and even the vivid images of Cleo juggling the same pencil from before faded to the back of his mind. Mark Antony, still deep in sleep, felt the semblance of a body. Now on two human legs the guardian turned in place to find the Pokémon responsible for the endless void he found himself in. Upon seeing Death, unease settled in the pit of his being. He tugged at the cuff of his forming coat.
“What are you doing here?” he asked with no preamble. Mark Antony walked towards him, a bit more anxious than he would have liked to be. His boots were silent on the color-changing floor/wall/ceiling.
“Nice to see you again,” Death quipped with a fleeting smile from his stomach. Before Mark Antony could even find comfort in the humor the Dusknoir’s demeanor changed. He was solemn and too distracted by his thoughts to notice Mark Antony’s dawning worry.
“Look, Death, why are you here?” Instinctively he began to pace. At first these dream meetings were nothing but telepathic conversations, but Mark Antony had demanded some other alternative. He was a man (soul) of action, and telepathy was like having his hands tied behind his back. He needed to gesticulate as he spoke, make facial expressions, look the speaker in the eye. As though to prove his point Mark Antony turned on his heel and connected gazes with his superior. “What’s going on?”
“Cleo’s powers,” he simply said, crossing his arms. “They’re breaking out from whatever unconscious hold she had over them because of the danger her soul senses.”
“It makes sense,” the assistant distractedly agreed, “but I could have come to that conclusion on my own.”
“True, which is why I came here for another reason.” Death looked upwards. The shifting colors around them settled for a cold gray-blue. “I never told you, but I wasn’t the one who picked up on Cleo’s case. That was Mew and Celebi.”
A sharp intake of breath. “What? Death, you can’t be serious.” Why?
balanced precariously on his lips, but the power of speech had been replaced with shock, horror, and something else he couldn’t quite identify.
The phantom still had his eye to the sky. "During these past three centuries they have gotten involved in the affairs of the Legendaries and other deities, or so I’ve heard. Maybe they want to take over Purgatory and do away with us.”
“I doubt it,” Mark Antony said with a scowl. “I’ve only met them once, and they don’t seem the type to wander over to our dimension, what with it being so grim and all.”
Death straightened and turned his back to his assistant. The flaps around his head flared with a sigh. “I know it. However, they’re unpredictable, especially Mew. Ever since Arceus went off to quell the fights between Deoxys and Rayquaza and Dialga and Palkia Mew and Celebi are getting involved in too much for my liking.”
“But that’s none of their business.” Mark Antony crossed his arms and shifted his weight, feeling a faux scythe move on his back. “Our job deals with the dead and the dying.”
Death turned around, worry coloring his features. Even the face on his stomach averted Mark Antony’s eyes. “Don’t you see? They’ve already involved themselves in our affairs, even if it was with something as innocent as tipping me about Cleo.”
Mark Antony didn’t like the sound of that. The unasked question from earlier tumbled from his mouth. “Did they mention why?”
“Mew merely mentioned that with more eyes in the sky more people can be saved, which is true. Sometimes a soul in danger is not strong enough for its distress to reach me but it may reach them. But that couldn’t be farther from their intentions. I can feel their lust for power. Saving human lives is not
what they want to get away from this.”
“And Cleo?” Mark Antony asked with gritted teeth. “What’s going to happen to her?” The soul stepped forward and jabbed a finger to his chest, the anger making his colorless eyes flash with the creeping red of the room. “I’m her guardian. I’m not going to let her get caught up in the middle of their rise to power.”
Death inwardly smirked. Mark Antony’s fierce loyalty surprised him at times. Really he couldn’t have picked a better assistant. The Grim Reaper raised a calming hand. “Don’t worry. You keep on guarding Cleo while I investigate this matter further.”
Mark Antony relaxed his stance. “Fine, but I suspect you’re going to have to be mighty discreet. I doubt Mew and Celebi would let you anywhere near them so you to find out what they’re planning.”
“True.” Here Death smiled and raised a finger. “But I have resources and friends that keep me informed about Heaven. Don’t underestimate my connections. You worry about Cleo.”
The color of their world eased into a calm fuchsia. Mark Antony regarded the hue as he thought back to the young woman asleep in her bed. Death noticed the softening of the jaw line and the released tension of the body. Then he chuckled knowingly, a sound that was lost in the vast dimension. Perhaps loyalty wasn’t all that fueled Mark Antony this time.
“Is that all?”
Death did away with his grin and solemnly nodded. “That’s all, unless you have something else of concern.”
Mark Antony had begun to shake his head when an earlier thought resurfaced. His face regained its frown. Before Death knew it Mark Antony was face-to-face with him, one finger out in accusation. The Dusknoir stared down into the narrowed silver eyes.
“Why didn’t you tell me Natalie and Elijah were psychic?”
“The brother and sister,” the sergeant growled exasperatedly. “They’re psychic. They have powers. They found out who I was with them. How could you not
know they were psychic?”
Death moved the offending finger to the side. “Mark Antony I can’t know every little detail about the family. Cleo herself is enough of a puzzle. Besides,” he continued with a crossing of his arms, “I’m sure their help will be useful.”
“Maybe,” Mark Antony amended, stepping back. “Though I could do without Natalie’s exuberant energy.”
“But you’re calling them by name, so I’m sure it must mean you’re taking a liking to them.”
Mark Antony snapped his head back. “Now that doesn’t mean—!”
Sudden he began to lose his sight. Mark Antony stumbled backwards as an overwhelming sense of numbness crawled up his body, through his limbs, and into his mind. Death’s cocky image began to melt into the purple color of the world.
“No fair…” he managed to spit out before he was forcefully sent back to the real world.
A/N: Two months for a chapter? Wow have I been slacking. It might have something to do with the fact that the whole chapter was done on the fly since I'm trying to flesh this out more than I originally planned. But a new chapter is here, even if I'm not perfectly satisfied with it. My favorite part to write was the last tone because I love Mark Antony and Death interactions.
Things are going to pick next chapter and hopefully more things will be explained and elaborated on. ^-^