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Things were good. Great even. Which would be perfect if it wasn't for the constant nagging in the wayfinder's stomach that told her something was wrong. Ophelia wasn't the superstitious type but being a human embodiment of space and time with a certain set of blessing and curses that made her a real life walking and talking time machine was enough to have her worried when the pit of her stomach started to lurch. The wayfinder, curled up a and restlessly sleeping in her room in the castle pulled the covers closer as though they might ward off whatever it was that was causing her such unease but as her lips started to murmur the word 'no' over and over again as she slipped from the dream to what she knew was a vision.
Everything was blurry, she couldn't see, like someone had thrown dirt into her eyes and her eyes were streaming with tears. Ophelia couldn't make out the shadows fully but she saw as one of them fell to their knees screaming in pain before falling silent, the vision moved, the lights were brighter once more though she couldn't see anything, relying on sound she listened to the steady beeps of what was certainly a life support machine and then she heard the doors open and her heart sank in her chest as she heard the voice ring out clearly over all of the scrambling "What happened" he spoke desperately unable to mask the emotion in his voice as he did so. Ophelia blinked once again as his face came into view, distraught. She opened her mouth to say something before realizing there was nothing she could say, for she wasn't really here.
Ripped from the moment violently she found herself in utter darkness, staring forward into the void as a voice echoed around her head, menacing and chilling "This is only the beginning" it filled her head as though it was bouncing off some invisible walls and return in waves around to her ears. And then the wayfinder started awake a scream of terror escaping as she desperately reached for the light to turn on and several deep and panicked breaths came from her lips.
Panic struck the very moment she gathered her bearings, remembering with clear detail everything she had just see. A celestial's vision was typically only triggered by physical touch. Pushing to her feet she made her way into the bathroom pushing her hair back over her face when her eyes fell upon the necklace that Mikael had given her for Christmas a gasp left her lips as she realized what she had just seen. With shaky hands she fumbled her way through the room searching for the burner phone that she had agreed with Mikael to only use in emergencies and dialed his number. Her hands were trembled as she begged down the receiver "Please pick up" she repeated it a few times as each ring came through and faded out without an answer.
Ophelia could tell that something awful was going to happen and whatever it was, Mikael was at the center of all of it. The celestial did her best to slow her heartbeat and calm herself as she returned back to her bed and attempted to get control over her breathing. She knew that she must have woken half the castle up with her scream and the last thing she needed right now was for them to figure out what she had been hiding from them for so many months. When someone did come to check on her, the wayfinder looked over at them tiredly, doing her best to keep composure and playing it all off as a bad dream. After a few moments of assurance she found herself alone again and once more the desperation set in.
Throwing the clerk in the air, Mikael let out a deep resonating growl, his forearm lodged under the man's chin, holding him up against the wall as icy hues glared at him. "Where is she?" The Warrior male growled once again, the words hissed from between his teeth. The male fumbled, choking under his assault before eventually another voice - of a doctor, he recognized on looking over his shoulder, spoke with an eerily calm tone, as if completely used to such violence. "Mr. d'Amecourt, Your sister is this way. Follow me."
Mikael gave the doctor a look filled with rage before following him, leaving the clerk to catch his breath once freed from the tenacious grip. "What happened?" The angel-child asked but this time there was something in his voice far different than the rage he had just showcased. It held vulnerability, despair. He was scared. He was scared that something had happened to his sister.
Pacing fast down the hallway, the doctor told him that Marianna had been found unconscious in the woods by a hunter. Being a supernatural himself, he recognized the scars on her back as that of a Nephilim and brought her in one of the hospitals in Evermore that was popular amongst supernaturals. While a flicker of gratitude passed Mikael's features, it was quickly replaced by concern, worrying not only about his sister's condition, but also who could have been behind it.
"There's only a few external wounds - couple of cuts and scratches. But," The doctor paused in front of a door and Mikael curled is fingers into fists and pushed past, walking straight into the intensive care unit. The sight in front of him shook him to his very core. The male taking a small step towards the bed where Marianna lay, several tubes piercing her pale, fragile skin. "But what?" Mikael asked, his gaze not breaking away from his sister. "What happened?" A long silence followed before the other male spoke once again and the words caused Mikael to almost fall to his knees, but he remained where he was, his body completely frozen in shock, unable to comprehend what had happened.
"No." He blurted out the words without even thinking, clenching his jaw, trying to keep himself from screaming. "No." He repeated, taking another step towards the bed. He reached out to let his hand gently slide over his sister's, taking her fingers delicately in his. "It can't be. She's a Nephilim. Her blood is supposed to heal." The man had to be wrong about this, he told himself over and over again. "We've been looking into it. If she wakes up in the next 12 hours, we will know it was a mundane wound. If not..." The doctor trailed off and then with a disapproving nod asked Mikael to wait outside, for the patient's sake.
Once he had been escorted out, the male slumped down onto a nearby bench, unable to process anything. At that moment a thought crossed his mind and hesitantly he reached into his coat pocket, retrieving the phone Ophelia and him had promised to use in Emergencies. He quickly dialled the one number that was in the contacts and once she would pick up, the male would speak, "It's me." In a timid voice that not even he himself recognized, Mikael continued, "It's Marianna. Something's happened to her. I'm at the Overview Hospital..."
With the covers pulled up to her neck the wayfinder focused her breathing as she tried to keep a level head, she knew that panicking now was only going to make everything so much worse. Ophelia had a rather sour relationship with her visions because for the most part she had to sit idly by and watch them come true, only once had she ever managed to change one and it had taken a lot of events aligning to do so. She picked up the phone for a moment staring at the screen and wondering if she should try again or whether it had simply been a bad dream and it would all just fade away.
It didn’t however, as she saw the light flash on the phone before it even made a sound and the wayfinder pressed the accept call button before slowly moving the receiver to her ear, Ophelia had no idea what she could say that wouldn’t make her sound insane but to her surprise he spoke first in a tone she didn’t recognize, he sounded hesitant, afraid even and a lurch came through the celestial’s chest before he even spoke another word. There went any hope that what she had seen was simply her wild imagination running free.
Ophelia went quiet as he explained the context behind his call, she was terrified by the fact that she had seen this particular vision because it was sparked by an object and not a person, she had no idea what that even meant. “No” she echoed in an equally worried tone as her mind flashed back to the look on his face and she felt her heart sink a little in her chest, unable to comprehend how someone could hurt such a kind soul as someone like Marianna. Ophelia didn’t need to ask questions, she’d seen what happened with her own eyes though she thought it was better to tell Mikael that in person and so she simply nodded her head, trying to be strong in her vocals “I’ll be there” she spoke without a second thought on how bad an idea that might be, especially after she had just woken up half of the castle.
After getting details on his whereabouts Ophelia put down the phone before changing from her night wear to a dark tshirt and black jeans and she retrieved the black hoodie she had bought a few months back in case a day like this arose. Leaving her room she evaded the places she knew the other celestials frequented looping around to make her way out of the back door and into her car. Sliding into the front seat she didn’t hesitate as she pulled off down the track that lead away from the castle towards downtown Evermore city.
After parking and entering the hospital, Ophelia followed the signs to the supernatural ward pulling the hood over her head to hide her face somewhat from anyone who happened to look up as she was passing. After a maze of hallways and doors, the wayfinder finally found herself entering the waiting room for the ICU. For the most part it was empty, with a few people sitting at different corners of the room. Her eyes fell on Mikael looking restless and her gaze softened as she made her way towards him. “Hey” she murmured softly as she pulled down the hood satisfied that she didn’t recognize anyone in the room other than him “Has there been any news?” she asked as her eyes followed where his were looking before she had come in the room and then back to his, full of concern.
As soon as he slumped down on the bench, Mikael felt himself slipping, thoughts piling up in his mind, taking over one after the other. From where he sat, he ha a clear view through the small window in the wall overlooking the room in which Marianna had been kept. His fingers were curled into fists, trying to compose himself. He had to be strong, the warrior male reminded himself every time his gaze fell on his sister. He needed to be strong.
Calling Ophelia was an impulsive decision, but one he needed to take. Hearing her voice on the other end of the phone gave him a strange sense of relief, as if making him believe that he hadn't completely lost everything. He still had her and together they would get through this and... He stopped his thoughts midway, no, there was nothing to get through, he told himself. Marianna would be fine, she would wake up in a few hours and they would all be fine.
Snapping out of his trail of thoughts, the male nodded his head as Ophelia said she'd be there soon, gulping down the anxiety that laced his tone. Sliding the phone back inside his jacket pocket, Mikael looked out towards the window once again and the fear was once again back, his chest thudding in anticipation, fingers digging deep into his palm. Mikael tried to redirect his thoughts to happier times, but almost every one of them was tied to his sister and raising her and it left a deeper ache in his heart.
He didn't know how long it had been when he heard an all too familiar voice greeting the male, dragging his steely gaze from the window to the female standing beside him. "Hi." He whispered back, his voice almost unfamiliar. He shook his head and gestured for her to sit beside him, uncertain of what to say. "I-" He paused, hesitantly continuing, "We don't know anything yet."
Ophelia had never really liked hospitals, throughout the years she had spent a lot of time at them, even assisting at a medical facility for money in the past but regardless how many times she went, she couldn’t shake the horrible feeling she got when she entered the doors. Perhaps it was because she had seen so many celestials fall to their injuries and die throughout her years or perhaps it was simply paranoia that she carried with her. She however did her best to keep those thoughts from creeping up as she entered the waiting room.
Seeing his face, the wayfinder felt a lurch in her chest as she felt the compulsion to reach forward and envelop him in a hug, she wished she could just hold him tight and make the pain disappear even for a few fleeting moments. But instead she took the seat next to him her eyes turning to where he was looking through the window. Ophelia couldn’t see much because there were doctors rushing around the room treating the patients in their care but she could tell it wasn’t good from the looks in their eyes, almost at a loss for explanation.
“The worst part is waiting, but I’m sure the doctors are giving her the best care” she answered as she tore her eyes away from the scene to look at him. She hated that the fact they were in public meant she couldn’t do anything but talk to him for fear of who might see them, she was taking enough of a risk just being here and sitting beside him. “But if I know anything, I know that she’s strong, how could she not be with a brother like you looking out for her” she affirmed with a gentle nod of her head, all was not lost yet, her focus now was to be here for him, help him not to feel like the world is collapsing around him.
“Tell me about your best memory together so far” she suggested, she hoped if she could get him talking and not just staring hopelessly through the window then perhaps she could help to ease his mind until there was any concrete information about what was happening.
Being an angel-child meant hospitals would never be a regular sight, the blood running in their veins healing injuries on its own accord. Mikael wasn't familiar with hospitals, in fact now sitting in one made him feel suffocated, reminding him of all that he had lost and what more he could lose. It made him despise his immortality, his entire existence for outliving those he once cared for.
A ragged breath left his lips as Mikael focussed on Ophelia's words, nodding softly, though his gaze remained on the little window, along with hers. Words didn't seem to come easily to him in that moment, instead an urge to hold the brunette beside him tightly in his arms and assure himself that it was going to be fine, taking over which he had to push back with clenched fists, knowing it would only make matters worse for them all. "I wish there was a way to just." His steely gaze flickered back to Ophelia as he finished with a strong emphasis, "Know."
When asked about his best memory with Marianna, Mikael drew in another breath, pinching the bridge of his nose, "Ah, there are so many." He chuckled, though the pain clearly evident in the breath of air. Closing his eyes, he leaned back into the seat and gazed back at the figure laying on the bed inside, remembering everything they had gone through together.
"She was about 5 and I was still sorting our lives out." Mikael started, a faint smile on his lips as he spoke, "I had bought her this beautiful dress she had always wanted, the first time I could afford to get her something all by myself and..." He paused, chuckling once again as he recalled the events, "I come home that night and she tells me she gave the dress away to one of the palace maid's daughter because she didn't have anything beautiful. Out of curiosity, I asked her what made her do it and she said, 'I knew it was something you would do.'" Mikael turned his gaze back to Ophelia, emotions clear in his vivid hues, as he whispered, "And in that moment I knew, I was doing something right."
The wayfinder’s eyes dropped to his lap for a moment noting the way he held his hands in fists, she worried that her being here was only going to make things worse for him, coming here had been impulsive and the decision had somewhat been made off her own panic from the vision she had seen. In response to his words her lips raised into a half sad smile “You’d think seeing the future would make things easier but the reality is watching a future you can’t change slowly come to unfold” she admitted with a half sigh.
Ophelia wasn’t the best person at making small talk, she wasn’t the kind of person who could talk about the weather for hours on end like some, but she had learned a few tricks through the years about how to keep someone talking. She could tell how dear Marianna was to Mikael just from the way he looked or the hint of pain in his voice as he tried to hide the vulnerability that came with showing emotions, Ophelia knew that tactic well, it was one she often needed when she faced hardship but knew she needed to be strong for her people.
Listening intently to his words the wayfinder echoed the small smile on his lips her eyes never leaving his, it hurt her to see the pain he was going through, though her and Marianna weren’t close, the girl was beautiful and kind and by no means deserved anything that was currently happening. His story caused her eyes to well up a little with tears as she pictured a smaller version of Marianna giving up the thing she always wanted to make someone else happy. Laughing softly she shook her head a little “I always wanted a little sister” she stated and chuckled “I mean I know that’s impossible but seeing the bond you and her have” she shook her head a little “It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen” she knew that sounded ridiculous.
After a moment she fell silent for a moment, Ophelia knew she needed to tell him, she just didn’t know how to just come out with it. Taking a long breath “I called you first” she stated almost matter of factly before she followed it up “Because I saw what happened” she had promised herself not to lie to him when they had finally decided to move what they had forward and no matter what doubts she had in her mind about what she saw, he deserved to know.
Pain. Worry. Anticipation. All flowed into one another in Mikael's steely gaze as he kept them on the little window in front of him. He heard Ophelia speaking, the very words, despite their inner meaning, reassuring him - she was here, she was safe and he hadn't lost her too. It was a devastating situation that he was stuck in and having at least someone to comfort him, not by her touch but merely her words had a relieving effect.
Lost in his thoughts, the male clenched and unclenched his fists, trying to calm himself down. He had never felt so vulnerable before, the warrior had always been strong in the face of crisis but that was because he knew what he was facing. Right now, he had no answers and was hanging onto a thin thread of hope that things would be alright.
"Marianna would love a big sister like you." Against his better judgement, Mikael reached out to take Ophelia's hand in his, his thumb grazing her soft pale flesh. "If.." He trailed off, steely gaze moving to her deep hues, before clearing his throat, shaking his head, "When she wakes up." He tried his best to remain strong but his tone flickered at the idea that it may not happen.
However, as Ophelia told him that she had called him first, instinctively Mikael used his free hand to pat over his jacket pocket, as if making sure the phone was there, "I..." He trailed off, waiting for her to finish and once she did, the Angel Warrior's brows rose up in confusion, mouth opening and closing of it's own volition. "What.." He furrowed his brows, "What do you mean you saw what happened?"
Ophelia felt somewhat helpless, at the mercy of the demons she saw and had no power to control, the brunette had to wonder sometimes what her people had done to receive such a curse and a curse it was, time’s way of punishing them for being able to change it she supposed. Regardless the wayfinder knew this was exactly where she was supposed to be, even if there was nothing she could do to better Marianna’s current state.
The brunette could tell that Mikael was tearing himself up inside, he likely felt the same way she did, only much deeper because of the bond he had with his sister. She felt the urge to reach out and touch him several times but she forced her hand to stay with a grit of her teeth, it hurt to see him hurting the way he was and not being able to take it away. “Sariah assured me the level of understanding of the supernatural has come leaps and bounds the last few years” she assured him “There’s no better hands she could be in” Ophelia believed that, she had seen with her own eyes the things humans in Evermore had overcome even in the short time she had been there.
He was the first one to give in to urge to reach out their hands intertwining together, she naturally squeezed his hand gently for reassurance her eyes not leaving him, it was a risk but if it was a risk he was willing to take then she would trust him. “I hope so” she responded brightly, due to the secrecy Ophelia hadn’t really had much opportunity to get to know the younger d’Amecourt but she could easily see what a great person she was. The wayfinder nodded sharply as he spoke the word ‘when’ as if to affirm his own emphasis “When she wakes up we’ll all have to go to dinner”.
Explaining her visions might have made her sound like a crazy person to most but she hoped if anyone could understand what she was trying to get across it’d be Mikael, she could however see the confusion in his expression as he looked back at him “I told you before...about the visions I have” she knew it was a hard thing to swallow “I saw two shadows, they were at the edge of the woods and then..” she had to stop herself from shivering as she remember it “then I heard one of them scream in pain” her hand had tightened it’s grip on his hand as she hushed her voice a little “Someone did this” her eyes flicked back over to the door to the ICU in that moment as she heard it being pushed open.
Usually one could hardly discern the emotions past Mikael's many facades, he was always careful to keep his steely gaze void of feelings but today however, there was an uncontrolled rage melding into a certain hopelessness and fear clearly reflecting in his deep azure hues. He felt vulnerable but if there was anyone he could feel so unguarded in front of, it was the Wayfinder who now sat beside him.
He nodded his head at her reassuring words, "I hope so." He whispered, his voice far from the recognizable firmness he would use on a daily basis. Reaching out for her was probably a mistake but the Warrior Guard needed it. He needed to feel her reassuring touch, needed to curl his fingers around her and allow Ophelia to squeeze them. It was the only distraction from the dark thoughts that roamed in his mind, and somehow her touch grounded him into reality and not give into the What Ifs.
Mikael chuckled at the idea of Marianna and Ophelia joining him for dinner, the thought made a genuine smile move up his lips, realising that, that would be probably the best night in his life. "Marianna would love to go out for dinner." He responded, a thoughtful smile on his face, "Though she's so picky about all that, that she would end up taking us somewhere we've never heard of but has delicious food." Remembering the first time he'd come to Evermore with her, she'd taken him around for an entire week to eat at various restaurants.
The concept of Ophelia's visions wasn't strange to him, but he still didn't fully understand it, so with her lips pursed, the male listened to her intently, nodding his head in a gesture for her to continue. It was like he could see the image in his mind that she was painting with her words and involuntarily, his fingers squeezed around hers, wincing as he came to the realisation that this was not an accident. He was about to say something, perhaps ask if she remembered anything significant about the shadow when the ICU door flung open and a female doctor walked out. Instinctively, he let go of her hand before anyone could spot them, rising to his feet.
"Mr. d'Amecourt?" The female called out to which Mikael responded with a step towards her, she gave him and Ophelia a look before exhaling, "We've gone through every aspect but it seems like your sister.." She trailed off as Mikael's fists clenched, a part of him praying that the words he was thinking of weren't going to fall out of the doctor's lips. "Is biologically fine, our guess is whatever happened to her was the result of a witchcraft. We've prepped up papers for her discharge so you can take her home."
It was as simple as a touch, something most would make in passing without even a second thought and yet to them both it meant everything all at once. Ophelia could almost feel the apprehension he had through his fingertips as they rest in hers. She knew he needed her and in a way she needed him too, needed to be there for him and to help ease his pain in some small but significant way. It was however hard to be reassuring when this feeling of dread was gnawing from the pit of her stomach.
The dinner she imagined was almost picture perfect, while they had to hide what they were to the world around them, Marianna was one of the only people they didn’t, Ophelia had always wanted a little sibling as so the idea of being able to connect with the other girl was exciting to her, though a little nerve wracking too. “Well then I suppose it’s a good job we all live our lives on the adventurous side” she chuckled softly, she wasn’t normally the biggest risk taker in years past but since she had met Mikael the risks had just kept stacking up and she couldn’t bring herself to regret any of them.
The moment his fingers squeezed hers the wayfinder tensed for a moment before easing into his touch and squeezing back. She knew this was probably the worst time to tell him what she believed had happened but she didn’t want to hide it from him either, Ophelia had never been the best at hiding her feelings but with him it was on a whole different level, like he sensed the little changes in her that most didn’t noticed. She supposed that was part of letting someone in the way she had let him, though it was still scary for her. The moment the woman came through the door he released her hand and Ophelia braced herself for whatever they had to say raising to her feet slowly.
Ophelia remained a few paces away as she let the woman say what she had to say but the wayfinder could tell it wasn’t good news simply from the look on her expression. She felt the urge to move forward and wrap her arms around Mikael, tell him they could figure it out together but instead she remained rooted to the spot almost unable to comprehend what she said. Phe had more than a bit of experience with fighting against powerful spells and both her and Mikael knew how awful that had ended.
The brunette’s mind was already spinning, thinking of all the contacts she had that might be able to figure out what had happened. She kept coming back to the resolution however that if Aureus was behind any of this then there was likely very little they could do. She didn’t voice that instead she gestured that he should go and sign the paperwork “I’ll be right here when you get back” she assured him meeting his eyes with a sympathetic gaze for a moment. They could figure this out. They had to.
Ophelia still felt the flutter flow through her entire body when he said things like that so easily, it was still strange for her to open herself to that part of her life again, Ophelia had never really known what a relationship should be, hers had never been conventional but she knew that being around him made her feel like she could take on the world, even if she knew that was a stupid thing to do. But that was also the problem, he made it too easy for her to be able to let go and letting go could put them both at risk, especially if the feeling in the pit of her chest was right.
As his hand released hers she felt an odd sense of loneliness, despite him only being across in the next room his absence felt pressing to her. The wayfinder furrowed her brow pressing her hands to her temples to try and clear her mind. She had to admit that something didn’t feel right and hadn’t since her vision and seeing the reality of what had really happened only worsened the feeling she got. Ophelia was cautious to show too much however, as she could tell that Mikael was trying very hard to keep himself together.
Her dark eyes following him as he entered the ICU, she didn’t need to be there to understand what they were telling him, if there was nothing medically wrong with Marianna then there was little use in keeping her in the hospital, the next road was to search for powerful diviners able to figure out what was wrong with the younger d’Amecourt from the supernatural perspective. The nagging feeling was repeating itself over in Ophelia’s mind however ‘someone did this’
As she met his gaze she felt her whole body instinctively wanted to lurch forward to catch him should he fall, she could see the pain in his gaze, beyond anything she had seen in his eyes before and she couldn’t stop the feeling that somehow it was her fault. When he spoke his explanation of what would happen Ophelia felt a sharp pain in her head which caused her to sway a little pressing the flat of her hand against the side of her face “No” she responded almost instinctively. Her voice had been loud enough that she had drawn attention from those around them however.
Her eyes lifted to meet his, her tongue running over her bottom lip as she tried to compose herself “I uh” now that people had gone back to their own business the wayfinder spoke softly “I can’t explain it, but I get this feeling like the Ailward manor is the last place she should be right now” Ophelia didn’t want to accuse Aureus or any of the guard of being capable of such a thing but she couldn’t help the way that her stomach was screaming at her either and she didn’t trust the aspects to tell the truth about what was causing Marianna’s condition.
Mikael was however loyal to the guard and the Ailward cause and she knew it was a lot to ask for him to listen to her over what he had known for centuries. “Mikael I only see visions of someone’s future when I touch them or something of significant to them” her eyes dropped down to the necklace she had her hands wrapped around “Which means the future I saw was about you, not her” which meant something to do with him had caused it and the brunette had a strong suspicion as to why.