Tale of Souls Chapter Fourteen
“Nice trip, was the fall worth it?” Makoto grinned at me and flashed the backlight on his cellphone into my eyes. “Sorry, the electricity went off because Aura got pissy when we ran out of pop tarts again.”
“Could you STOP EATING THAT SHIT FOR FIVE MINTUES AND EXPLAIN WHAT JUST WENT ON?”
“Meh meh meh meh MEH!” Makoto grumbled, “So selfish.. So so,ok no nevermind you’re right i’m being selfish – want some?”
He passed the bag of cheetos back at me and I politely pushed it back.
“HOW RUDE.” Makoto, sounding like he was from an old 20th century TV show called “FUN HOUSE”. Crossing his arms he put the cheetos bag back down on the floor and knelt down in front of me. I’d evidently been in the hallway the whole time these shenanigans have been going on.
“Can you please EXPLAIN?” I rubbed my eyes for a moment and looked up as I noticed Saitou standing there growling at his brother.
“YOU LET HIM WALK WITHOUT TELLING ME?” Saitou yelled, thwacking Mako in the arm really hard.
“I had no choice, I needed more data on Izuchi’s bullshit – but sadly the poor thing kept getting shunted around. Every Time I was getting somewhere new blocks would show up and new timelines were fusing with each other. I’m as lost as he is as to what’s going on.”
“Also, your hair honey – it’s.”
“You ran that far back?”
“No, worse – I was driving somewhere in that time and instead of just losing a couple days of time like it happened originally, I was gone three or more weeks and when the time device was done doing it’s thing I crashed into a time barrier. Mike before Mike if you know what I mean.” I sighed and tried to get up only falling back onto the floor and knocking the back of my head against the wall.
“Whoa. Whoa, stop trying to be my twin, and WARN ME when you’re not going to listen to me – what happened after we left?” Kristoff walked past and lightly tapped me in the foot. He turned back around for a moment and knelt in front of me. His green eyes were overly calming and it almost scared me.
“What do you want?”
“What do… you mean?”
“Sorry, I saw or heard something on the way out. It may not have to do with you.”
“It may, but it may not – try me.”
I sighed and looked away for a moment and ran my fingers through my hair. You’d think I’d have streaks of grey by now for how much stress there was. No, instead my hair decides it’s going to return to the color it turned after so many experiments before landing in Mike’s care – then going to jail and then ending up in Izuchi’s care.
“In the one time, and to be honest – everything’s so fucked up there’s no way in hell you’re just one version of you – in the one time you’re with Sai, what did I do to you.”
“You mean the time you’re using my name and you’re with your husband? The Sai from that time is insane and batshit, he forgets that’s not me. Idjit fucking forgets i’m the devil, i’m the one that fucked shit up. No, the only reason people forget that is because it’s the only time I’m using your name and you’re using mine. Rana didn’t exist in that time, or if he does it’s not in the same way he does now. I’m atoning for it, trust me – I never meant to fuck you over in any time or space but I got enoguh of my own devils for jumping time.” Kristoff growled lightly and tapped me on the knee, “I know everyone forgets a part of me exists from this time – because i’ve been a walker longer than you and Ryan both have been.”
“I’m sorry I…”
“You’ve been through hell and back trying to deal with being shunted, and Mako trying to experiment on the limits of your mind. Welcome to the club, I went through that years ago when Izuchi tried it on me to try and get ahead of the game and try and avoid going insane. Sadly, he failed and I went on a run trying to fix shit – me n’ Felix kept hopping – but because I’m a more recent walker I kept running into versions of myself when time would fold on itself.”
“Run into as in?” Saitou responded, sniffing around Kristoff’s neck, “Ah, that’s why you smell like him. Would’ve been nice if you would’ve explained it ages ago.”
“No no, I’m still..” Kristoff panicked for a second, as Saitou kept getting closer to him and sniffing around his lower neck and around the top of his head. “Can you stop?!?”
“No, because there’s something different about you and with everything changing wildly around here, an explanation would be perfectly awesome.” Saitou pulled Kristoff up by his shirt collar and grinned wildly. “I mean I can smell someone else with animalistic traits a mile away – but one with literal traits, physical ones – shouldn’t need to hide them.”
“Why would he be hiding anything besides the fact that he’s me, and I”m him and we hide, oh – that’s – why we … ok i get it.”
It’s the iteration of: I’m him, he’s me, Rana’s him and Ryan’s also Rana. Ergo, Ryan Is me, Rana is Ryan, Kristoff is Rana and I am Kristoff. Edo Wa Edo Da Mou?
“I have nothing, t-to hide why are you up in my – Saitou, please stop.” Kristoff tried to dodge what was about to happen next but to no avail.
“You’re hiding something, and I’m going to get to the bottom of it. Excuse me dear husband while I break a couple of marital rules for this one.” Saitou grinned, tied his hair back and proceeded to pull down the back of Kristoff’s shirt and lick from his shoulder blades up to the nape of his neck. What transpired was Kristoff’s hair growing slightly longer, and his human ears disappearing and revealing cat-like ears near the top of his head.
“Oof, what was that about hiding shit? Got some Nazarenko blood in there? The only other ones that show their physical traits like that were Warai before the wars broke out – and the old school Nazarenko before the Makara fucked them out of existence practically.” Makoto grabbed his cheetos and started munching some more. You’d think the bag would be empty by now.
Kristoff gulped as his eyes went from green to one eye like mine – turquoise, and the other blood red in the iris. He turned away from me for a moment thinking I wouldn’t catch him. I’m done with trying to understand everything.
“I- I… “ Kristoff tried to walk off.
“You could’ve said something. You could’ve given us all a heads up that you were changing faster than the rest of us. There’s nothing more hurtful than you hiding shit just because we’re still under a pandemic, and we’re dealing with a government saying lies about us.” I snarled, I didn’t give a shit whether he was human or not anymore – I care more he was hiding shit.
“I think he’s cute.” Makoto, still munching, poked me in the knee, “Besides, he’s the angrier less settle you anyways.”
“Angrier? I’m not sure anyone understands.” I sighed again and stood up with a modicum of success. “I just got shunted through a ton of shit and you think I’m not the angry one? I just saw several versions of myself and others and I can’t even piece together who I am right now let alone who anyone else is. People are fucking lucky we call each other brothers, because nobody gets how much we’re still connected.”
I walked the other way back to Saitou and I’s apartment and didn’t even bother to unpack what was going on before leaving. I just need to sleep, I just need to rest – I need something.