By Anonymous Author
Time never stops.
It keeps going.
Even after death.
But, when it does...
IF it does.
Will you still be here?
In this little world of ours?
xxx JOSHUA xxx
It's been at least a month since I created, Shining Hearts, and everyone has been a big help. I managed to learn their actual names, so that made it easier when it comes to my first visit outside of Veskia. I even learned the future leader names, but I confuse Nigel's four.
Either way, I'm happy that I'm part of them. Elodia, Cyril, and Julio have been a great help when it came to my abilities. So far, I have learned to create shields, an aura staff, and aura orbs.
I was actually walking with Elodia, Colver, Cyril, Devin, Corbin, and Nathaniel to the Bowmans. They're giving me a place to stay while they others finish rebuilding one of the streets.
The Bowman's house reminded me of a townhouse, except bigger... And a lot more techy.
"Looks cozy." I joked.
Elodia shook her head and went ahead with Colver and Cyril to knock on the door.
"She's really close with him." Smiling, I turned to Devin, Corbin, and Nathaniel, "Are all of you this close?"
"Dagger and I had a brawl by second street. Sharpie here had multiple failed attempts to get Allure to date him and Raven isn't one of Diamond's top guys."
"I'm trying! But, she ain't giving me a time or place!" Corbin grumbled, "What's her deal?"
Nathaniel laughed, "Not all of us are buddy buddy, only when we got to be and I will get Ally to go out with me one day!"
"In your own dreams, mate."
"Wanna go bud?"
"Let's brawl, mate!"
My attention was brought back to the house. There stood a dark-skinned women with kinky black hair pulled up into a bun. She was in a lab coat and had a rat casually sitting on her shoulder.
"Sorry Vienna." Devin and Nathaniel simultaneously said, stepping away from each other.
Vienna was silent for a bit before looking towards me, "Joshua Devonshire Wenkert, correct?"
"Oh uh, yeah."
"Your uncle came by earlier."
What? But, he never called me or - Why?
I was about to speak until she did before me.
"He asked if you knew anyone who would like some sn- Cyril, is Elodia in the testing room?" She shouted into the house.
"Yes Miss Vi." Cyril shouted back.
"Good. As I was saying, snakes and you needing to take the medication. So, do you?"
"Not anyone for snakes, but I haven't taken my medication since I've been here. Since it was TAME anyways."
"Ah. Speak with him about that then, but do come on in. And if I catch you two fighting again, I will not hesitate to drag you both to the time-out room!"
I laughed as the two gave her a face and took off inside running when she held up a note pad. Making my way inside, I was surprised by how spacious it was on the inside. As we walked through the house, I noticed the photos of the other leaders on the walls, as kids.
"You raised them?"
"Yes. I'm not surprised that they became gang leaders." Vienna shook her head, "The living room is in here."
Walking into the room, I noticed Cyril sitting on the couch with a sketchbook on his lap. Smiling, I went to sit down next to him when Devin and Nathaniel came running in with two dogs right at their heels. Corbin came in a bit later and went to sit in front of the tv that was currently playing cartoons.
"Rocky! Vanilla, heel!" A man walked into the living room, laughing. He had dark skin like Vienna, but he wore glasses unlike her. He held out a hand towards me and smiled, "Ah, I'm Talin Bowman."
I shook his hand and nodded, "I guess that you know who I am then."
"Cyril, did you already do your testing?" Talin asked before turning to Devin and Nathaniel, "Stop pestering the dogs, will you boys? You know that they hate it when you do."
"Sorry Mr. Bowman."
"Go to the testing room with Vienna to check in your levels."
"Yes sir..." The duo walked out the room.
Cyril chuckled, "And this is why I was gone yesterday. I didn't want to deal with those guys in testing."
"What testing?" I asked.
"Well, just normal Illusioner levels. To see how strong you are."
I just simply nodded before realizing something, "Do I need to do the testing?"
Talin shook his head, "No, the others did that for you."
"Kamyrn's gang works around the tech here, but I'm sure that you knew that already." Talin explained, taking a seat with the two dogs jumping onto the spot next to him. "They helped falsify your levels. You are weaker then you are."
"How did they..."
"They have the same equipment as us. Scanners to check your levels." Talin explained, "Easy and simple. A level three."
"Ah." I nodded and started to small small talk with him as we waited for Elodia, Devin, and Nathaniel. I learned that Talin and Vienna raised Elodia, Luis, Julio, Kenta, Cyril, Devin and Nigel since the EXILE law.
It was rather interesting to hear these stories about them. Elodia, Luis, Julio, Kenta, and Kamyrn already knew each other before the EXILE law, so they didn't have the worst of times. Devin, Nigel, Nathaniel were also childhood friends, so they didn't have a hard time either, even if Nathaniel wasn't with them when the EXILE law was set into place. Luca, Atlas, Nathaniel, and Kamyrn, were being raised by another two scientists.
"They did?" I questioned when Cyril told me about Elodia and Devin fighting all the time.
"Non-stop." Cyril sighed, "Talin, do you still have that burn mark from the first week?"
"Of course." Talin chuckled, rolling up his right sleeve to reveal a burnt mark on his upper arm, "Second day, Elodia and Devin got into it bad and boy did this sting."
"Wow..." I began to think about what it would have been like if I was there.
Would I have been a different person? Maybe I would have been a bit rough around the edges. Would I even been in contact with my family even less?
"Alrighty you three, it's time for lunch!" Vienna's voice echoed throughout the house.
xxx DEVIN xxx
I laughed as Elodia threw some of her rice at me. All I just said was that she and Cyril might as well be the leader duo, instead of us.
It was true though. Elodia and Cyril are closer than her and childhood friends. I wonder why myself, after all Cyril doesn't get aggro at small things like me, he doesn't get annoyed at Elodia every so often, and he just doesn't have a temper like me.
"Elodia, I've been meaning to ask you. Why are you and Devin the leader duo?" Joshua asked.
"We made some silly kiddy promise." I answered before Elodia can, "Kept with it, I guess."
"Never change, Devi-boo." Elodia chuckled as she cleaned Colver's face.
"Oh! She can call you Devi-boo, but I can't?" Nathaniel groaned, "You're killing me here, man!"
"Sod off, Mr. Flirty." I grumbled as I flicked some pasta at him, "It's true though. We been like this since we were kiddos."
"Ah. It must be nice to have such a good friendship." Joshua commented.
"Oh please, people think that we're dating half the time and keep asking me if he's abusive towards me when we fight." Elodia started, "Arguing is healthy in any relationship. Violent arguing isn't when names, punches, and all sorts of things get involved. If you don't argue, then you both are trying to hard to keep the relationship alive when it needs to be put down."
"That's why we fight a lot. To get things off our chest. We don't agree on plenty, but when we do, it something we take to heart." I added.
Joshua only nodded and continued to talk with Vienna about Illusioners when I started to think.
Elodia has always been closer to Kenta, Luis, Julio, and Kamyrn since they were babies. But, Nathaniel didn't come into the picture until two months after the EXILE law was set into stone. Elodia made friends with him easily, even if he was hiding his face by then.
Just because of some promise we made.
"Until death do us part. Right?"
"Best friends 'till the end."
"Earth to Devin!"
Blinking back into reality, I looked over to Elodia. She was looking at me as if I was mad as a bag of ferrets.
"Corbin asked you about training."
Turning to Corbin, I sighed, "We'll continue in a week. I just need a break for a bit before the Amphitheater Tag Trials."
Corbin nodded, "Okay. But, shouldn't you be practicing?"
"Nah, poor Dev needs his sleep."
"Don't make me put catnip in your base for Mr. Snowball to cause a blizzard."
"You wouldn't dare bud."
"Can you two stop it?" Cyril sighed, "Honestly, you both are such babies. I take pity on Nigel for being friends with you guys."
"Sod off." I grumbled, "I take pity on those who get to hear your excuses on why you wear that mask."
"Hey, they are pretty good excuses." Elodia argued, "I mean, come on! A mad man stole my face and now I have no eyes, mouth, nor nose."
I laughed. Elodia is barmy as ever when it comes to Cyril's excuses.
"Stop your yapping and finish your food." Vienna snapped, "Honestly, it's like you're still toddlers."
The lunch continued without much hassle, but honestly it was fine. Vienna and Talin were asking questions about everything and were now escorting us all out the house.
"Don't pick a fight."
"I'm not Devin, Vinny. No worries." Elodia chuckled, much to my annoyance.
Rolling my eyes, I playfully shoved her and as we walked, we kept at it. Joshua, of course, was trying to stop us before we get hurt.
xxx ELODIA xxx
I rolled my eyes as we walked past the station, it was turning to night and I was starting to get tired. Looking over at Colver, he was starting to doze off as well. He was starting to sign something towards me.
'Sleepy. I want to be with Uncle Dama.'
"I know bud. We get to leave tomorrow with Joshua and the others." I yawned, slowing down a bit.
Cyril suddenly stopped in front of me causing me to bump into his back. Grumbling, I rubbed my nose and yawned once more.
"Get on my back. I'll carry you back."
"No." I whined, but did it anyways, wrapping my arms around his neck and sighing, "Devin, can you carry Colly? He's getting tired too."
"I can only carry one." Devin sighed.
Oh. That's right, he has Corbin on his back fast asleep.
"I'll carry him." Joshua spoke out, slowing down so he could let Colver on his back.
"Thanks." I smiled as Colver started to drift off. I started too as well when Nathaniel started to sing some of his new songs.
When I opened my eyes, I could see a blonde head in front of me. Their back was towards me, but I can make a guess on who it was, but there was another question to be answered.
Where was I? A bedroom?
"Devin?" I quietly asked, "Is that-" I quickly cut off when the figure turned around, revealing sea-green ones.
Devin's are red...
My entire body shot up in shock, and as I looked around, I was no longer in Dominik's room. I was in my own, back on Veskia, with Colver in his own bed on the other side of the room.
"Cojeme..." I swore.
Colver sat up, rubbing his eyes. I didn't mean for it to be that loud.
"Sorry buddy. Didn't mean to wake you."
He watched me with tired eyes as I got up and made my way to the mini fridge.
I took out a bottle of soda, or beer... No, it was soda. Or at least I hoped that it was.
Before I could even take the cap off, I could feel Colver's arms wrap around me. A bottle of water was floating in front of me.
Taking a better glance at the bottle in my hands, it was beer. Devin's favorite brand, Kingston Hills. What were these doing in here?
Sighing, I placed it down back into the fridge and grabbed the still floating water bottle. Twisting the cap off, I took a sip of the ice cold water.
"Thanks bud." I smiled dimly.
"Up so early?"
"Did you say something, Colly?" I asked.
Colver shook his head and went back to bed. I watched him for a bit until deciding that I should go out onto the roof to clear my mind.
Making my way out of the room and down the hall, I found the staircase to the attic. But, as I passed the guest bedroom door, I could hear snoring.
Peeking my head in, I see the guys asleep. Joshua on the couch, Nathaniel on the chair, Devin halfway on the bed, and Cyril in the ground, sitting against the wall.
Figures that they would stay over.
Shaking my head, I made my way up the stairs and onto the roof through the old window. Sitting down, I poured some water into my hands and splashed it onto my face.
"Why am I thinking of him? I may be fifteen, but I'm not some love-struck girl." I sighed, taking another sip of the water.
"Get out of my mind! " I groaned, throwing the water bottle away into someone's porch and fell back.
"I'm not a mind reader. I was just asking a question."
"Sorry." I apologized, "Just didn't have a good dream. That's all."
"Want to talk 'bout it?" Devin asked.
"It's embarrassing." I mumbled.
"Is it worse than Sho dreaming of me and guys in drag? Bceause, non of us can pull it off expect Kam."
I chuckled, but nodded yes, "Worse."
Devin clicked his tongue in annoyance before sitting down next to me. He placed his hand on my own and watched me for a bit.
"¿Qué?" I asked.
He didn't reply, instead he pulled his hand away and took off his jacket.
Nodding, I sat up and watched as he placed his coat around me.
"If you don't wanna talk 'bout it, then tell me something else."
"Why are you a salak?" I started laughing when he gave me a look. It was something to break the awkwardness.
"Besides that." He grumbled.
There was something I wanted to ask. It was an embarrassing, but serious. Yet, I can never bring myself to say it.
He's watching me. Waiting for me to say something, anything.
Maybe I can ask another stupid one...
No. I have to bring myself to say it.
"Do you-" Devin and I spoke simultaneously.
"You can go first." Devin said.
"Uh... Do you... Know what nevermind. It's stupid."
"Shut up, you damn gringo."
Devin laughed before sighing, "Fine smartass. I'll get it out of your later. I'll start. Do you think that Joshua was a good choice?"
"Can't you feel the strength?"
"From that nesh wimp? No."
"But, you can feel something from him. Right?"
"Yeah... Sort of. What are you on about?"
"Well, twelve leaders. Twelve hours on a clock. With him being the magic hour. We can finally put an end to this."
"Oh look. Another idea that can get us all killed."
"I'm serious." Punching Devin on the shoulder and groaning, "Not all my ideas result in someone getting hospitalized."
Devin laughed once more, this time more sincere.
"I know. You always are serious when it came to this."
It was quiet for a bit, or at least as quiet it can get in my district. Fights were around, pretty often, animals doing their things, the occasional guard whistling, and the sound of us - Just breathing.
Before I knew it, I was out. Up against Devin, fast asleep.