Contrary to what he had suspected, Ara did not re-appear quite as dramatically as he had left. For a start, he faded back in fairly rapidly, swiftly gaining in solidity until he stood there, fully materialised, in front of the Hideout Door.
And, for a second thing, he got to keep his memory. He remembered precisely where he'd come from and what he'd been doing right before the fading started.
Finally, he also remembered that he'd been here before. It started out as a feeling that this place was familiar, that he'd seen it somewhere before... Then it all came rushing back at him so fast he had to take a step back! The living appliances, the armless thing stealing Jyll's fingers, Kathryn leaving, Nathan crashing through the skylight, fighting Shadows in the kitchen, getting shot by an assasin out to get Nathan.
Flamara. When he remembered her face when he'd vanished, he felt his eyes prickle. He knew he'd hurt her by leaving, but also knew he could have done nothing about it. But he still felt guilty.
Well, looks like I'm back again, for whatever bizarre reason. Will anything be the same as I left it?
Will anyone even remember me?
Nudging the door open carefully, and stepping delicately over the threshold to avoid tripping over it, Ara followed the passageway towards the living room. He could see people congregated in there, and his heart leapt when he recognised some. But others, he wasn't so sure about. There were a couple of people in there who looked familiar, but they certainly didn't look like anyone he knew.
Then there was the large fire-thing in the centre of the room that looked alarmingly like him!
Ah. Let's just hope it doesn't move. Or I might just end up cooked.
Ara stopped in the shadows a few feet from the living room and cautiously made his way in.
However, someone appeared to have moved the furniture, and soon enough Ara's shin had collided with a table-edge. Forgetting all sense of secrecy, Ara let out a yowl of pain and alarm;