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 Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath

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Lynx-Tiger



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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:04 pm

"I'm pretty glad that the White King was gracious enough to buy me the outfit. I told him that he had complete control of what I wore. Which is why I look like this." Megumi said, hooking her arm with Tsume's as she was being lead back down away from the castle. "I'm going to ask Ikki to come here when I go back through Wonderland, I have a gift for him from him and he's gonna love it." She showed her the quiver that was on her shoulder with a bright smile. "He designed it and everything. Bought it just for him too, I was so impressed. I have a feeling that he's trying to court me. He's certainly making the moves and I know in my heart that's what he wants. But he doesn't want to try to think too far ahead. He thinks Ikki will loathe him something awful. Him or Wonderland."

"Well, maybe that's a bit too drastic. He sounds shy, which is...pretty adorable, really. He's acting like a noble more than anything, going through the motions of asking the male of the family for permission instead of just taking. That's sweet and kind of him. Like Ikki, he has a reputation, but instead of sounding promiscuous it's more...dark." Tsume brightened, "I know! I can tell stories, too. See, it happened a long time ago, but when he went mad, he rocked the surrounding realms, us, Clover, and Diamond. Storms went through, and in Wonderland a natural storm passing by will go from grey to blue with yellow lightning, as the sun goes from yellow to white. When the White King gets Mad, the storms are an angry dark purple with sickly green lightning. I did experience one of those, and it's terrifying. He's not usually seen in public in his village, either. Rumors have it that there used to be a second town, a Riverside one upstream and he has a white castle there. When he lost his mind, the townfolk fled and his castle was lost in the forest. No one knows how to get to it. Upstream yes, but those who try to follow it get turned around and around and sent right back here. Even the waters are impossible."

Megumi's eyebrows furrowed. The first part made a lot of sense, now that she was thinking about it. But the story that Tsume told made her look in the direction towards Wonderland. There was no maddening lightening or ghastly clouds. Maybe she was being too dramatic, like she said. They only been a part for minutes. Moments even. She thought about their time in the village. "Why did he lose his mind? I know that he told me it was overtime...but do you know what happened?"

"The Faery Queen happened. I don't know specific details, but like everyone else she's wronged, she tricked him. I don't think it had anything to do with riddles, like she's fond of, but again, those details escape me." Tsume shook her head, "Now, as for the situation that I remember where I saw the angry storm clouds, I do believe it was after he found Hisako. Yes, I've met the little witch girl. She likes coming down to watch the tides on full moons."

"She's a good kid." Megumi said fondly. "He wants to make her Queen one day and I told him that's a good idea." She frowned. "So Faeries are real, I wonder if I should've kept my name to myself. A few of the townsfolk know it. Even a part of your name can be used against you."

"The Faery Queen hasn't been spotted in a while, and she goes from place to place, not just Wonderland. She likes making deals and if someone particularly catches her fancy, she'll do something 'special' with them." Tsume made a face, "Names are important, true, but she needs your full name to do any control. Nicknames and the like are fine. Which is why people only use their first names, and don't call anyone by their last."

Megumi let out a loud sigh, "You know I had wondered about that, but I wasn't too interested in perusing it." She looked at Tsume worriedly. "You said something about him finding Hisako. Do you know much about that story?"

"Poor thing left in the middle of the Swamps to die. Yeah, I'd be angry, too." Tsume scowled, "She's ten now, so that was nine years ago, I was only seven. She couldn't even walk yet, couldn't talk, just cried and cried. The White King was beside himself and even if he was super gentle and sweet with her, his inner emotions were plain to see."

She heard that story from Hisako, but as a baby? It made her heart hurt and she wished that she had stopped by the cottage to see her. She was aware that the King probably stopped by more than she did. That could cause her to make a storm too if she saw something like that. The Wonderland showed his emotions, she knew that. But now she knew that if she really wanted to belong, she would have to pay much more attention to it. The slightest change could tell her a multitude of things. A storm was...well... what Tsume said, easy to see. She looked back over where Wonderland was located. Ukyo told her, as well as all the others, Hisako and Shin, that she belonged there. Outfit discarded, her mind worked the same as theirs. Only with a little more logic. She probably sounded like Kent to them. "I'm glad he found her and cared for her."

"Same. Ah! Here, the wooden path to the docks. After I get your feet wet, how about a nice cup of coffee and a snack at the seaside coffee shop? Have you ever had ice cream? You get to try shrimp and lobster and crab, too! So many foods for you to taste!" Tsume grinned brightly, "Oh, I can't wait to get Ikki to experience what you are. You mentioned you think White King's trying to court you? What are your thoughts and feelings on it? Do you feel anything towards him?"

"All of that sounds lovely. I haven't had ice cream so it'll be a treat." Megumi beamed. "It'll be so good. I can't wait." She bent down to start untying her boots, buying herself time as she thought about it. How did she feel about the King? "I think," she said after a moment as she stood up, "that he sees me exactly who I am. Twice I gave him stories that were close to my heart, and so far he hasn't backed down. Though twice he tested me and I proved myself too him, too. As for my heart and what it says...it hurts when I leave Wonderland. Whether it's the land itself or his company, I don't know. I know that I want to belong there. I know he's trying to show that I can. That I do. But I think that it's some unspoken thing we need to speak about but we just don't have the words yet."

"His dark side needs to come out for him to be satisfied in whatever decision you make." Tsume concluded with a nod, paying close attention to the apprehension and other mixed emotions playing through her. "If you two are truly meant to be, then you will continue to accept any and all of his flaws and the obstacles thrown at you. So far, from what it sounds like, you are pretty confident you will." Tsume led her down the second level of the docs which led onto the sandy beach. "The sun makes the sand horrible to walk on, but the water will feel wonderful. What do you think of the scent on the breeze?"

Megumi took a big inhale and she let it out slowly. "Salty." She said, making Tsume laugh. "And the breeze feels a bit sticky too, like it's carrying the salt. She wiggled her toes into the sand as she carried her boots in one hand. The sand was /hot/ but...it also felt really nice. She wondered if next time she went through Wonderland to be as dangerous as this and see what the ground felt like on her feet. Maybe even see what places were safe for her to swim in. "The ocean, does it always move like that?" She asked, pointing to the waves.

"The windier it is, the stronger the waves. There's days where we call it sea glass, when the wind is dead and it's so smooth it barely ripples. The ice is thin in the Wintertime, but mostly with all the salt and movement of the undercurrent, it's also usually broken up. There's caves out on either side, both visible and not. The ones that aren't you have to go under for." Tsume pointed at both the edges of the mountains and the cliff-sides of the hills at either end of the beach.

"Sounds like the ocean has as many adventures as Wonderland does." Megumi whistled, thinking about it. "It's so vast. Have you ever thought about wishing to be a mermaid or something? Just to see what lays beneath the layers?"

"No. The sharks and other toothy predators are too terrifying. I stick to the shallows or stay on the ships and boats." She motions the the varying sizes of ocean craft. "I wonder if you'd get seasick..." she mused mostly to herself.

"Only way to find out is to go on a boat." Megumi said, putting her hands on her hips. "I'd make an awesome pirate. Only I'd be looting the bad guys, whoever they are. Come on, let's walk alongside. I want to find a seashell. I think U-Hatter will like it."

"You keep doing that. It's funny. So you call him Hatter? It is easier than White King." Tsume took her closer to the water and slipped off her own shoes and hiked up her skirt, sighing softly as the waves tickled her legs, "A pretty seashell or two or three, maybe he could fashion them to a hat or something as cute decoration."

"I don't know how he feels about other people knowing his name," Megumi confessed. "He gave it to me and now that I know it's true he did have a run in with a Faerie, I mean...it's ridiculous, I know, it already happened. But still. I want to at least let him decide who gets his name and who doesn't."

"I can respect that, I was just giving you a hard time." Tsume giggled, "How's the water? Do you think Ikki would like it here? I hope you don't mind me bringing him up. It's silly, but even though the Ball happened almost a full moon cycle ago, I feel like it was yesterday and at the same time feel like it was a year ago. Once was certainly not enough, and getting his letter made me unbelievably happy. Mother is ecstatic, but also very annoying, wanting me to get it done, get married, and start having heirs. It got significantly worse after my cousin got married in the spring."

"Ikki probably would. He's always open to new places." Megumi said, kicking the water and watched it splash, catching the sunlight before it went back. "I like it. It's nice and cool. Refreshing even. I know that Ikki thinks about you, too. He's been trying to figure out a way to see you without making it look...well...awful. I wanted to see you because I got lonely. Then Hatter caught me and distracted me a thousand times. I'm not complaining though. I learned a lot."

"So you /did/ mean to see me. That's good to know." Tsume smiled and reached down, splashing at Meg, laughing heartily at her scream, "If he wishes to court me, then that's good enough reason. What happened at the Ball spread like wildfire, anyway. I'm sure people expect him to show up sooner or later, or I go to him for round two."

Megumi splashed her back. "Rumor has it that you're going to pick either me or Ikki and since I keep disappearing into Wonderland, they're assuming that I'm meeting you. Though they don't know how I'm getting through the forest yet. I love the gossip wheel. So annoying."

Tsume's grin went from ear to ear, "You are already spoken for, so Ikki it is. I do enjoy how easily our conversations flow, however. I look forward to having you as a sister-in-law."

"I wonder if you'd look forward to having the Hatter as a brother-in-law." Megumi was highly amused. "Though that's a conversation for when he gets a response back from Ikki." She shifted the quiver on her shoulder. "I'm kind of wondering what he'll think of Wonderland too. I thought about dragging Kent. Maybe when Ikki comes our way, you come with us back."

"Any opportunity to get away from my mother, for sure." Tsume agreed happily, "Let's go back so we can eat!"

~
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:38 am

Megumi’s letter had been short and sweet. To go through Wonderland by taking the route from the Diamond Kingdom to Oceania. She wanted him to meet someone within Wonderland and he had a vague feeling that he knew who it was. It was easy to tell his mother that he was going to go visit Tsume, and that Megumi was going to stay there a bit longer since he might think about having her as the one. Though not to hold her breath.

He had been curious about Wonderland, about what it was that made his sister fall in love with it. Besides the absurd and the impossible coming to life, he wondered about the King himself. Mad Hatter, Mad King, White King he went by so many names it was hard to keep track of. It was harder to even think of what the king would be like. He pictured a man that was a bit older than himself, with a mean streak. But he also pictured someone who was just lonely and didn’t want to be around people too. He thought of a man that might be a practical joker, or maybe a man that was shy and rough around the edges. There were many ways he could meet him and many personalities to match.

However, now that he was in the forest itself, he was starting to see that what he thought barely scratched the surface. The road that he was one was truly the only stable thing that was there. The fauna and the landscape changed so fast and rapidly, he couldn’t tell how far he was from the kingdom, or how far he was into the forest unless he looked behind him. The trees were windy yet there was no breeze. He could hear voices, but he wasn’t exactly certain if it was the flowers, the grass, or his own imagination going wild. He had a feeling that the road had a barrier around it or something so that the magic wouldn’t affect people traveling on it much. At least till it was given attention.

Megumi walked this forest a thousand times by now certainly. She didn’t take the path, the Mad King wouldn’t /be/ on the road. He was /Mad/. Wonderland probably considered him magic and he was in a kingdom somewhere that was just as ever changing as the scenery. The scenery turned from a lush green to a bright orange and yellow and Ikki stopped.

Did he want to follow his sister’s example and run through the forest? The road was a straight shot, but…he was curious to know what Wonderland had that made Megumi fall in love with it so fast. The changing scenery was just like a taste of a good alcoholic drink. Once wasn’t enough. Just a glimpse of what could be, wasn’t enough.

But a road was a road, and he didn’t want to be lost to Wonderland.

But did he want to be lost to Wonderland.

He didn’t even realize that he kept moving down the road till he stopped again. “Ugggghhh…Fine! Fine!” He shouted. “You win!” He jumped off the path and…

Skidded right down a small hill that had a babbling brook.

No. It really was /babbling/ like a child. He wandered closer to the river, careful not to get to close in case it could become sentient and grab him around the ankle and pull him under. He heard a rustle of the trees and he looked up to see the most strangest creature. It was shaped like a rabbit, but it wasn’t a rabbit and it was moving so fast through the trees, he wasn’t exactly certain /what/ he saw.

Following the river would undoubtedly get him close to the ocean. The river had to meet up somewhere in order to reach the ocean, right? At least that’s how physics worked, but he had to remind himself that this was Wonderland…and Wonderland-

He let out a shriek that was so unbecoming of him, he could be embarrassed and ashamed. He felt himself get yanked up and he nearly hit his head on the ground and hung upside down his fingertips barely touching the grass. He looked up to see wiggling vines that were holding him at the ankle and were threatening to come down to get him.

At first he thought to cut them.

Then he thought that it was pretty freaking weird that they were wiggling so he grabbed the vine and hauled himself up and ran his fingers against the vine, trying to figure out what it was that was making it move like that. It was firm and heavy but he let out another shriek when it suddenly dropped him, the vines quickly recoiling back.
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:40 am

He heard a gale of laughter.

“Laugh it up, Meg-“ But that laugh wasn’t his sister’s. It was the wrong tone and everything and he looked up to see…”Not my sister.” He wore a black and white checkered hat and his clothes were black and white as well with plenty of checkers to go around. His hair was tied in a green braid and his eyes were staring like they could see right through his soul, despite the laugh and smile that was on his face.

"Meg was right, you /can/ be just as reckless. At least you were able to get untangled from the tickle vines. Meg was too busy holding up her skirt and laughing loud enough to wake the barafae." Ukyo had his hand over his mouth, still busting giggles here and there.

Ikki had to laugh, for that did sound like his sister. "She always thought it funny when of the trainers would flip over his back. It never failed to make him do a double-take and have her get the upper hand. They tell her she'll die laughing and she just shrugs it off. No better way to." He stood up, brushing himself off. "So you're him. The infamous White King I've heard so much about. It's a pleasure to meet you in the flesh. I'm Ikki."

"I was watching you since you stepped onto the path. I was wondering if you really would jump off as she did. I was about ready to save you, but you saved yourself. At least you didn't drink from the stream, you would've started laughing talking nonsense and been so confused. I mean, it's drinkable, but you just won't stop talking for an hour." Ukyo explained to him. He gave a polite partial bow, "Pleasure to meet you, Ikki. Meg and I talk a lot about you."

"Oh god what does she say." Ikki stared at him a little in horror.

"Oh...let's see..." Ukyo motioned for them to walk, "She has talked about your training, and how you fair with a sword, and you always fight fairly, never from behind. You and your friend Kent enjoy math puzzles and logic, and that you two also used to act out her stories when you were young." He ticked off on his fingers, "That you were upset one night that you had never seen a fallen stare, and that you three debated the existence of them. How happy you were when you saw one, and then your slow regret."

"So she told you everything." Ikki was both exasperated, but also fond. "It almost sounds like you're more interested in me than my sister."

"You are a big part of her life, and what I didn't ask for she readily told besides." Ukyo told him firmly, "You mean a lot to each other, that is plain to see. Blood is obviously not a factor with how alike you two are. You are family."

Ikki shook his head from side to side, "I am for now, but tomorrow that'll change for certain. I bet there's plenty of stories of herself she failed to tell you. I suppose pay back's in order. Though I have to wonder, who is she here? Megumi of Spades, or Megumi herself? Or Megumi of Wonderland?" His eyes narrowed. "Or is Hatter's Meg?"

"I gave her a piece of me, but it is a harmless thing that I don't think she realizes the true significance of it yet." Rather than be intimidated, Ukyo grinned at Ikki, "I tried a bit of courting yesterday, but even she will tell you that I wanted to meet you, before I went any further than showing her simple glimpses into Wonderland. Wonderland has certainly accepted her, as have my dear friends in the village. So, perhaps Wonderland's Meg? She has yet to accept herself as Megumi of Wonderland, anyhow."

Ikki sighed pinching his nose. He wasn't upset that the Hatter was courting her. He was a little taken aback that he was. "She hasn't ever accepted herself as Spades, so...you might be looking at years." He said, putting his hand down. "Wonderland won't have to work hard though, she's already half-way in love. She's grown up a lot since she first came here. She still has her imagination, but...this place certainly has her vibe in it. I almost feel like she closer than you think. Yet I know she's not anywhere in here."

"Strange, isn't it?" Ukyo smiled softly, getting them both on the road, "She charms everyone she meets. She even created some things. You saw one of them, in the trees. I really should ask her what it's called."

"She does." Ikki said softly, his heart twisting quietly in his chest. She was able to make things here, create things. No one feared her. No one was coming after them. Wonderland's Meg indeed. "..." He glanced away only for a moment before he decided that it was best that Ukyo knew. "Since she told you so much about me, I suppose it's only fair for me to return the favor and tell you a bit about her. I'm sorry to say, I don't have her flair. But I certainly do know how to make it sound at /least/ a bit entertaining."

"Not everyone has a knack for storytelling. You can share whatever you wish with me, if you feel I need to know it. Meg called me her Story Keeper, after all." Ukyo glanced at him curiously.

Ikki looked at him in surprise. "Did she really..." He smiled softly, "So she gave you that piece of her. But in order to be a good story keeper, you have to know the story teller. Let's see here....she told you about our training so I'll skip that. She told you about the falling star...hm. To tell you about her magic or to tell you about how she became a Princess. I'll let you choose and if you want to hear the other, or another that's completely different, you'll let me know."

"I am interested in hearing how she became part of your family." Ukyo's eyes lit up, "I didn't want to ask her that because I feel because she is younger she wouldn't remember much to begin with."

"You'd be right. My mother told me the story becuase I wouldn't stop being curious. She made me swear not to tell Meg unless Meg asked, but...well...Meg likes to pretend and we like to pretend too." Ikki agreed, and smiled softly. "My mother told me the story like this: I was a year old and I was beginning to walk and talk when a servant came rushing into the living room. She was pale and shaking, like she had come down with a sudden fever, or had seen a ghost. My mother immediately grabbed me and demanded to know what was going on. The servant said, "someone left a dead babe on the palace porch. They got here without the guards seeing them" and my mother was furious. Who would leave a dead child on our doorstep? What servant thought that was a smart idea? She walked outside just in time to see one of the knights pick her up and she wasn't dead. Just bloody from the afterbirth and not cleaned. She screamed and cried which made me cry because god was that annoying. But mom, she asked the knight who left the child and he didn't know. He said it was a man and they practically tossed her onto the doorstep. They were hunting the couple down as they spoke, for it was a felony, a murder, to leave a child like that behind."

"But the couple weren't found at all. Some say faeries. Some say that she was left behind by a servant and the servant ran off. No one was ever certain about her whereabouts. Or who she belonged to. But mom couldn't foresee her going into an orphanage. She believed it was one of the servants in the castle who didn't know protection and had been scared off. She took her in and she thought about what to do. Dad was the one that told her, "bring her into the family. Say she's yours." and my mom said, "Why would I do that?" and he said, "Because she looks like someone I know. Someone from a long time ago." My mom never questioned my dad. He rarely ever made requests and well...mom had a difficult birth with me...it wasn't likely she'd ever get a second child out of it."

"So we took her in." Ikki said after a moment. "We never kept it secret that she didn't belong to us by blood. Mom believed that those kind of secrets were harmful to a child, and it wasn't like the household was going to keep it. Someone was going to throw it in her face and try to ruin her self-esteem with it. But instead of someone throwing it in her face, it was her two abilities that showed up. Her story-telling, and her reflection. I call it a reflection, I'm probably exaggerating a bit. Anyway. Her story-telling was innocent at first, you know, childish things. But then as she grew older, so did her stories. Stories from places you'd never heard of, she'd talk about. Stories of islands and battles. Of magic and glory. People became afraid of what she'd make them believe. But what was worse was that they became afraid of what she'd discover about them themselves. She always had this...canny ability that if she sat with you long enough...you'd spill out whatever was on your heart that moment."

"She might've had that with me, but I am an honest person, so I probably didn't notice. She asks, I try to answer." Ukyo had listened with rapt attention, the wind changing and sky darkening just a bit at imagining someone being so cruel to her, just like Hisako. He was so enraptured by the story, however, that now he snapped out of it he calmed as he looked at Ikki again, "It is good she had such a caring family. I'm so glad you were able to do that for her. She became such a beautiful, pure person, both inside and out."

"Beautiful because someone loves her," Ikki retorted, though his smile was pleased. "Pure because she understands what misunderstandings look like. Just like I do. Just like Kent does. You were absolutely terrified of meeting me, weren't you? I can tell that you're a little more relaxed and a little less guarded. That's good. I'd hate for my brother-in-law to be frightened of me." He couldn't help to tease there.

Ukyo's cheeks turned pink, as did the hue of Wonderland, the wind warming, "I fell in love with her again and again, every time I'm with her. You are right, however. I was. I'm a scary person. I felt as though you would think I would be too dangerous for her."

"Actually," Ikki admitted, rubbing the back of his neck. "I feared the opposite. I feared that she would fall in love with you, and you wouldn't love her back. I told her to be weary of you, not because of your danger, but because she's so easy to fall in love with that if she loved you and you not...she'd be brokenhearted. Though I suppose one of my fears do have ground now; that Wonderland will sweep her away and she'll hesitate to return home."

"I told her when we first met that I would never, ever keep her captive, away from her family. Just like you wouldn't ever tell Tsume she can't return to the sea when she marries you." Ukyo said, tapping his finger into his hand with gusto, "If she doesn't go back at any given point in time, it will not be because of me. It hurts to have her gone, but she is free to go and do what she pleases."

"I know." Ikki said kindly, gently. "I know that it'll be her decision. I know you're not someone that'll take her away from anyone or anything, just like I wouldn't for Tsume. But Wonderland is a world of it's own, Hatter. Even if she decides, Wonderland might make that decision for her. But I wouldn't blame either of them really, for choosing here rather than the Kingdom of Spades."

"We'll see what happens, won't we? We've reached the end of the road." The skies faded from pink to blue, the trees shifting from lavender to green, and from the high hill they stood on, they could see the ocean and the looming castle beside it, "I have to leave you here, Ikki. I cannot physically leave, as I'm sure you're aware."

"I bet Megumi's already going to bring you back loads of things from here." Ikki said, and he thought about it for a moment and then looked at him. "You can court her a little more openly if you want. Have the future talk and all that jazz. I'm not worried about her being in your care."

'I still am.' Ukyo thought but smiled anyway, grateful and relieved, "Thank you. You enjoy yourself. I will see you and Meg on our return trip." With that, he nodded and turned back around, stepping off the path and disappearing.

Ikki also got off of the path, towards the ocean and the castle where his sister and Tsume was going to be. He knew he told a heavy story to the Hatter, but it seemed to him that it was good that he said something about her abilities. Maybe next time, he'd tell him about the time she fell off a tree.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:02 am

Tsume was enjoying watching Megumi's face twist as she got her first brain freeze from the ice cream they were eating at the parlor. It was a nice warm day and the two had just gone swimming in the ocean. Megumi had enjoyed playing with the fish and she had a jar partially full of seashells and sand now, and another jar with pure sea water she wanted to give Hisako. Dinner had been a success, with Meg trying so many samples of different seafood she hadn't even eaten an entire full meal.

She felt him before she heard his voice. Confused, then asking residents if they'd seen her or his sister. She lifted her sun hat and looked over her shoulder, spotting Ikki and she stood up, the yellow skirt of her dress flowing around her. She had multiples of the same one, varying shades and textures. This one had a flower pattern on the skirt and the blue bodice was lacy. "Ikki, over here!" she waved at him, catching his attention and her breath caught. He looked flushed and alive. No doubt from the trip through Wonderland, his eyes sparkling like Megumi's did. His answering admiration through his emotions reached her and her face turned red. Feeling others emotions really could be a challenge sometimes, especially when she had to keep it under-wraps for a while longer until she was comfortable enough to tell him.
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:59 pm

"Hey ladies." Ikki said as he approached the table. He gave a short bow to Tsume, taking her hand and kissing the back of it. He stood up blinked at the treat that Megumi was eating. "What is that?"

"Ice cream. Careful, it'll make your head hurt." Megumi said, passing the ice cream towards him. It was a strange thing and he didn't know what to make of it. He picked it up and took the spoon. He scooped a bit on the edge and tried it.

"What's the flavor?"

"Vanilla. I'm told that the three basic flavors are the ones you're supposed to know before you go adventurous and try the crazy ones." Megumi explained.

"It's sweet and soft." Ikki mused as he gave it back to her. "What are the other two flavors?"

"Chocolate and Strawberry."

"Both of those sound extremely rich or extremely sweet." Ikki turned to Tsume. "What's your favorite flavor? I think I'm qualified for adventure if you think I can I handle it."
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:09 pm

"Like dyes, they can only make what they can get their hands on, so if you can think of a fruit or berry they have it. I like the mint flavored one they make. It's a real kick in the mouth. They're trying to make a cookie one but they tend to be either too hard or mushy. Brownie works, it's just a really chewy texture. They have a /coffee/ flavored one, it's insane." Tsume waved her hand in front of her face, whistling, "I'm like their ice cream connoisseur. They tend to send their son as their messenger boy when they have something new for me to try. They're dabbling lately in combos. Ice cream is really easy to make, it's just ice, sugar and half-n-half cream, vanilla extract for the vanilla ice cream she has. It's the most /basic/ flavor and makes up a lot of other things. Since it makes you cold, it's best for summertime, but they fade it out with their special flavor, pumpkin, at Samhain, and bring it back at Beltane with their basics."
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:14 pm

"Mint coffee sounds like an adventure." Megumi was highly amused at how quickly Tsume rattled about the ice cream and the family that made it.

Ikki looked thoughtful. "I'll be safe and try the mint. You have a better kingdom here than Spades does, I don't think we'd ever want to leave after this."

"Vacation spot." Megumi pointed her spoon at her brother. "And I get one of the towers."

"Why a tower? For the roof?" Ikki pushed his sister as he walked by her to go to the stand and get himself a mint ice cream. He came back with a small dish and a spoon as well. "But I have to agree. Resort area, vacation spot. I can see why you would want to lure more people here. You have more attractions. Spade Kingdom wouldn't handle the flow of people, nor would we have anything that they'd want to see."

Megumi frowned, "But if you ditch Spade Kingdom, whose gonna rule it? Not me."

"No not you." Ikki said quietly. "We'd just combine the two. There's been Kings and Queens who had more than one Kingdom."
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:05 pm

"No conquering involved." Tsume smiled softly, her heart fluttering at the thought, "My parents will continue to rule if you do decide to take me, but...the oceans as a vacation spot sounds wonderful. Spades during the Winter, Oceania during Summer, go back and forth at Beltane and Samhain, switch up where to go for Yule every other year." It would be a dream. "My father likes the sound of a resort, but my mother keeps shooting me down. She's the real iron fist around here. Doesn't want to bother considering she is /certain/ I won't come back to keep such a thing running."

Ikki and Megumi rolled their eyes at the same time. "Then she's missing a huge business opportunity as well as the love of people and their kingdom. There's a road that's a straight shot through Wonderland if those are brave enough to take it or you could go around cutting through the Diamond Kingdom. Diamond will get a few more travelers on their way as well. They get more trades, more business. We get more trade, more business and it goes from there." Ikki sat down. "Well, regardless. I don't honestly care what your mother thinks. Seriously, what does she think women /do/? My mother was a healer for fuck's sake and she went around /helping/ people. She didn't just marry my dad and just went "oops have a kid now, sorry life I don't have time for you."

"Ikki, your sarcasm's showing." Megumi warned gently.

"Sorry." Ikki took a bite of his ice cream, though he didn't look too upset. "I just hate it when people think down on other people's ideas. Especially when their ideas that can improve a Kingdom's population."

Tsume stifled her laughter behind her hand. "Don't be sorry. You can talk freely with me. I mean, I complimented Meg twice now on her outfits, I think I can handle sarcasm. I get where you're going, too. My mother just...is stuck in her ways. She likes things the way they are, she just wants heirs. She doesn't care where I go or what I do, just as long as the end goal is...you, and babies. She simply put her foot down at any long-term goals until things are settled and secure. She likes stability."

"Because we're so stable." This time, it was Megumi whose sarcasm came out as dry as it possibly could.

"I adore you." Tsume said fondly.

"Well you're not." Ikki amended.

"I'm so loved. At least I know I'm the favorite of /someone/." Megumi grinned.

"If you toss her in the ocean I'll toss you in right after her." Tsume gave Ikki a pleasant smile.

Megumi choked on her bite.

"Hmm, I had an idea but she has been pretty allusive about it. So you got to talk to him?" Tsume tilted her head.

"He certainly was an interesting man, but he's not what I was expecting either." Ikki admitted with a small smile taking another bite of his ice cream. "He was certainly afraid of my opinion. Though why he'd be scared of me, I have /no/ idea." He leveled a look at his sister. "Something about how I'm good with a sword and might stab him I suppose."

"I /never/ said that! I never!" Megumi's cheeks burned red. "He was afraid of your opinion about him!"

"Well he certainly was afraid of that, but there's an underlining fear there, too." Ikki conceded. "I just wanted to rile you up a bit."

Megumi kicked him under the table. "Jerk."

He kicked back. "Says the one who is."

Tsume giggled around her spoon, "What do you think of the flavor?" she asked him, "When you're done, I'll take you down to get your feet wet."

"Of mint? It's good." Ikki handed it to his sister who tried a spoonful and she nodded. "Though if we get our feet wet, does that give me permission to throw my sister in the ocean without you going against me?"

"I make no such promises." Tsume shook her head.

Ikki out a sound that could easily be described as mournful. "When you're out of sight I suppose."

"He's really out to get you. Maybe you should give him the thing later to placate him." Tsume nudged Meg.

"Thing?" Ikki perked.

"Later." Megumi agreed.

"You are terrible to me." Ikki sighed.

"Be nice and I'll give it to you sooner." Megumi took another bite of her ice cream, finishing it off and stood to go throw it away.

~
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:01 pm

While no one had been dumped in the ocean, the three came back covered in sand and their clothes partially soaked. Tsume had displayed some of her water powers to splash the both of them after Meg had splashed Ikki and Ikki went to grab her. It had turned into a splash war and then the Prince and Princess of the Spade Kingdom wrestled in the sand, Tsume landing in it when Meg grabbed her ankle begging for her help.

"I will have the servants wash and dry our clothes tonight. I have something you could wear instead, Meg, and one of the servants should be able to supply you with some of my father's clothes, Ikki." Tsume took her shoes off now they were in the palace and had smooth marble beneath her feet instead of cobblestone.

"We appreciate the hospitality." Ikki said, still shaking out the sand that somehow managed to stick onto his skin and inside his shirt. No matter how many times he shook it, it felt like it was never coming off. It still sprinkled here and there. Megumi had decided to strip to a camisole and pantaloons but didn't go any further to her bra and underwear. Despite that she was still showing as much as skin as she was when wearing a dress, the townsfolk and the guards had blushed so red, Ikki wondered which one would faint faster, a man in armor or a woman wearing a corset. Sadly none of them won /that/ mental bet.

"A skirt and a shirt will be fine, and a shower or baths." Megumi pleaded. "That isn't made of salt water. I don't think I can handle the stickiness any longer than I have."

"Of course, who do you think I am?" Tsume laughed softly. A maid came over with a broom and a butler by her side, both looking exasperated. The butler ushered Ikki after him, having him also take off his shoes, and Tsume led Meg upstairs, "That was so much fun, though. I enjoyed watching you two. It makes me happy that you became relaxed enough with me to show me that side of you. I'm just sorry you have to wear /plain/ clothes for a night."

"It's fine." Megumi shook her head from side to side. "I can wear Hatter's outfit heading back home. God knows what mom's gonna think. She might even appreciate that he took the artistic time and challenge to make me look the way he did. Of course, I could always conjure something up when we're in Wonderland too. Hide in the bushes, change, come out."

"You didn't tell me you can /make/ things in Wonderland." Tsume gaped at her, but got her into the bath room, filling the tub with water and using magic to heat it, "Ikki looks so much happier than when I first met him. I'm sad for you two to go back so soon. At least I get to see his face as he gets to make a meal out of sampler platters like you did last night."

"You should come with us." Megumi frowned at her. "I'm sure Hatter wouldn't mind meeting you...he's already met Ikki."

"The two hit it off, I can tell, which is great for you. It means you can pursue him with more enthusiasm than before, and he will no doubt show you more, too." Tsume grinned at her, stripping her sandy dress off, and put hers with Meg's, "Would you like to try something else that we make here? It'll be /completely/ different than salt water, I /swear/, but it's scented bath salts."

"Scented bath salts? Will it make me sticky?" Megumi asked wearily. She had to admit that Tsume was right. Ikki's approval would make him relax somewhat. But she wondered if it /really/ was Ikki's permission he was waiting for. She felt like it was Uki's. But that was just her.

"I promise it won't. It'll make you smell all pretty. It should still linger even tomorrow when you go to see Hatter again." Tsume promised, "I have a lot of flavors, and dyes are used to give them color, pink for rose and blue for vanilla sort of thing. It won't dye the water."

"Ooooh." Roses were nice, but she had a feeling that Ukyo surrounded himself with the scent too much. "You know what, which one do you think will smell pretty but will be uncommon to Wonderland? Roses are common so I won't do that. Vanilla sounds like a good idea. What else?"

"Hmm...lavender would be perfect for that. It's kind of strong, but if you want to also catch his attention then that's the way to go. However, tell me what Ikki would like as payment." Tsume winked at her, going to the cupboard to pull out a clear container with purple colored grains of salt in it. She brought it over and offered it to Meg to smell.

She smelled the lavender, thought about and then looked at Tsume seriously. "What would happen if I mixed the Vanilla and the Lavender together?"

"Then you'd smell like both, with the softer vanilla as an undertone. Lavender in herbology will make you relax, as Hisako so kindly told me before. Vanilla's just pleasant." Tsume explained easily, proud to use some of Hisako's knowledge.

"Sounds good," Megumi said as she started looking through the cupboard. Something Ikki would like. Vanilla was too plain and it wouldn't suit. Roses was too romantic and as much as Ikki was a romantic, Tsume wasn't a one night stand either. Lavender was alright, but Megumi felt a little possessive that Ukyo should be the one to smell that scent on her and /not/ on Tsume and also it sounded like she would need two salts to go with that anyway. She picked out a few, sniffed them and then put them back when she found the one that she was looking for. "He'd like the Jasmine one."

Tsume's eyes lit up, and she took it, "I'll use it by itself. I'm not all that adventurous with my scents. Here, I'll show you with yours how much to put in. I can send everybody home with a jar of their favorites, they last a while." She set the Jasmine salts aside and took Megumi's lavender and vanilla flavors, sprinkling the right amount for each, and then set a towel down for her, grabbing the bath robe, "I'll be back with fresh clothes. Take your time."

~
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:15 pm

After dinner with the whole seafood debate behind them, Megumi had taken her leave, wanting to rest before heading back into Wonderland. Ikki watched his sister go, and he knew that Megumi was only giving him room so that he could at least talk to Tsume by herself. "Are you at all tired yet? Do you mind taking a walk with me around the courtyard?" At least he had won her mother over, otherwise, that invite would be the quickest way for him to be kicked out of the Kingdom.

"We can take a stroll." Tsume smiled, standing after finishing her drink, "I'm starting to feel tired, but I'm surprised you're not joining your sister after journeying all the way from your Kingdom. Did you ride a horse to the edges of Wonderland and walk the rest of the way? There was certainly no carriage."

"I rode my horse to Diamond and hired a stable-boy to look after him for me." Ikki said hooking his arm to hers and letting her lead him to the courtyards. It was a warm night, with many stars scattered about and a crisp breeze that toned down the heat. He made a casual glance over at Wonderland, and wondered if the Hatter was at the edge of the forest, waiting for Megumi to come back to him. But he refocused on Tsume. She was more important right now. "After that, I went on the road and then decided to jump off the path to really get a feel for what Wonderland was like. Met the Hatter. And basically told him that I thought that she would be safe with him."

Tsume laughed softly under her breath, "That should surprise me, but after today, it really doesn't. I'm relieved you two got along. Meg and I completely forgot about your little gift. You'll see it in the morning." She mused, "This is only our second time together, but I can see that it was silly for either of us to worry. From what Meg told me, Hatter is a shy and sweet guy, too."

"He's right up her ally." Ikki agreed, smiling softly and then letting out a sigh. "I must admit, when I knew that Megumi was falling in love with Wonderland, I feared for a lot of things. I've always seen her as a kid. Someone I'm supposed to cherish and protect. But when she came home from Wonderland that one day, I saw her in so many different lights, I was taken aback. I thought, this was it. I was only going to see her a handful of times. She would pick Wonderland and I wouldn't blame her. She's happier, healthier, and so much in love with that place. I feel guilty, bringing her home."

"As it is, she no doubt will only go back for a couple days. She keeps looking at it with longing. Also, with that new outfit, people will look at her even stranger than before. She won't feel welcome. People from Wonderland's village come here often enough we've grown used to it to an extent. I guess that's also why I enjoyed hers so much." As the wind blew by and she continued to walk with Ikki, feeling like she was leaning closer and closer, she could smell the faint scent of vanilla. "Did you use bath salts?"

"The vanilla one was the only one that I liked." Ikki confessed, his cheeks tinting a bit. "I can tell that you used yours. Jasmine isn't it? It smells good on you."

"Thank you. I'm glad you like it. Not sure if you smelled Meg's, but she did lavender and vanilla." Tsume turned her nose into his arm and breathed him in, the vanilla mixing beautifully with his natural musk. "You smell like the forests, beneath the vanilla. You like to hunt, don't you?"

"Kent and I sometimes do." Ikki said with a smile. "He's damn good with a bow and arrow. I'm half as good. I like to shoot more than I like to fence. We don't hunt much, sometimes we go out as far as we dare and we have picnics, or we go on small adventures. Or we just keep an eye out when Megumi's feeling wanderlust. Though I'm sure Wonderland will be able to cure that just a bit."

"Every day will be an adventure to her." Tsume agreed, "Kent...I don't think I've met him. I might've seen him, but I did steal yours and Meg's attention." She smiled apologetically, "Maybe I can meet him sometime soon." She paused, and then fidgeted. She spotted a bench in the courtyard and brought him to it, "Meg suggested that I come back with you two."

"It would be fun for you to get a better look at our Kingdom and what we have to offer, before you agree to anything drastic." Ikki said slowly, mentally agreeing with his sister. He sat down along side her.  "It'd be nice for you to stay and not just see stone walls and guards and a castle. But to know the people like I got to, and what we do for a living, so on. So forth. It'll be fun."

"I would like that, too." Tsume traced her fingers over the back of his hand. She had liked it a lot when he had kissed hers when he arrived, and the connection had been a relief. "Having you come and go...it made me sad, and I really don't want a repeat of last time. I wanted to agree with Meg right away, but I just wanted to know your thoughts instead of blindsiding you by going 'come on, let's go' rather than goodbye. Granted, I don't think you would've minded that, either, but assuming is rude."

"I suppose we cancel each other out." Tsume gripped his hand in hers instead of pulling away.

Ikki smiled softly and squeezed her hand with his. "Did you make a terrifying wish too?"

"I wished to understand people." Tsume didn't miss a beat, getting right to it. "I was tired of saying the wrong thing, upsetting people without knowing what I did wrong or how to fix it. I'd try and comfort people and they'd just get angry with me or they'd babble on and I couldn't make sense of it. One wrong turn after another. I just wanted to help." She looked up at the stars, "Well, it worked. I got to feel everyone's emotions after that. It just goes to show, be careful what you wish for, and why the word is such a taboo."

"Megumi wouldn't dare say it around me for years." Ikki agreed softly, knowing how this worked. "You already know my wish. I had wanted something completely different in the end. She never saw it pitying though. We make jokes out of it, but she knows the mental toll. Did you tell her about it? That you can sense emotions?"

"No, actually. Not yet. Conversation didn't strike for it. What you said, it seemed the right chance to slip it in." Tsume looked back at him, her heart squeezing, "It's sad...that you can't look at people directly without charming them. Your eyes are rather gorgeous.'

"Well, sometimes I think that I don't exactly charm anyone. I just get to know what their selfishness looks like and I play the part to their liking. I wanted girls to like me, but...well." He shrugged lightly and smiled softly. "At least I can look at you and not play a part. I can be genuine and it's been a long time since I had that. It's freeing."

Reaching her hand up, she stroked her thumb over the small spade tattoo by his eye, "That's good. I even said to Meg that you looked so happy today. It was fun to see your eyes sparkle. I'm so pleased that I was able to give you that. You two may look nothing alike, but I certainly couldn't tell you weren't related."

Ikki closed his eyes, letting her touch linger on his skin. She was warm, and soothing. Her touch was like a balm on a hard day. A soothing relief. "Thank you. But we're related. Just not by blood. Not by marriages. Just because we say so. Just like maybe one day the Hatter will be and you will be too. Though I could be jumping far ahead."

"If you're jumping ahead, then so am I. I didn't want to go to the Ball, but I'm glad I did. You and your sister already mean a lot to me. My parents don't even know about the wish I made. I've kept it a secret. You're the first person I've told, and this is only the second time meeting?" Tsume's expression was tender and her hand moved to rest against his chest. He was strong and solid. A wish, a curse like theirs wasn't something you took lightly. "I think the Fates already have us wrapped around their fingers."

He held her hand against his chest and he used his other one to tilt her chin with his fingers. He leaned in, though he hesitated. "May I kiss you? I don't want to do anything that you don't want me to do."

"Don't kiss me if you don't want me." Tsume's voice was airy, her heart pounding hard in her chest.

Ikki took that as a challenge as well as an invite. He leaned in and pressed their lips together. He didn't want to go all the way in for a french, not yet. The smooth skin of her lips, the lingering taste and the feelings of warmth and happiness that kiss brought him was enough. He didn't need the passion yet. This was good enough.

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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:44 pm

"I only ever saw this place through a carriage window! Since that storm happened I never wandered in here again." Tsume was dressed in a male outfit with a deep blue coat that went to her knees, lighter blue pants, and a white top with a ruffle at the neck. Her deep blue boots to match her coat went to her knees. She was also travelling light, just a sack on her back and Ikki had one, too, but his had four containers of bath salts. Two vanilla, a lavender, and a rose. The rose was for their mother. He was sporting his brand new quiver beside the sack. The man had nearly cried when he saw it, and wore it with pride.

Ikki shifted the quiver on his shoulder, adjusting the strap again. He couldn't really believe that the Hatter went through all the trouble of getting him a quiver and couldn't wait to see him again. However, Megumi's face was...serious. She was staring at the scene before them with a skeptical look. "What's up?" He asked. "I thought you'd be hustling us to hurry or something."

"I'm trying to figure out where that singing's coming from." Megumi frowned. "It's not annoying or anything, but...it's certainly a happy tune and I'd like to know whose playing it. Also the colors coming back really bright. I was worried, the color was dull for a moment. Did you notice?"

"I did, then again I live next door." Tsume assured, "I don't hear singing, though."

"Neither do I." Ikki confessed. "Though the colors changing I barely got a glimpse of. It was a subtle change."

Megumi wondered if Wonderland had been sad. It would explain how the colors had went from a little dark to a little bright. Well, more vibrant, than they had been when they first got on the road. "Let's go find him."

"Off the road?!" Tsume sounded excited rather than panicked.

"We won't find him on it." Ikki and Megumi said together at the same time.

"That...was eerie but amusing at the same time." Tsume gave them an odd look, but she was the first one to spot a break in the trees, "Better late than never, right?" she chirped and took off.

"WHAT IS IT WITH YOU GUYS?! Ukyo's shout was heard about five seconds later.

Megumi turned around as Ikki was reaching up and helping Tsume with the vines. It had been pretty hysterical to see Tsume shriek and be yanked up by the vines. They really had no time to react since Ukyo appeared. "U-Hatter!" She exclaimed, happy. "I was just about to find you."

"U-Hatter, hello!" Tsume waved from her upside down position, glad her hair was in a bun and out of her face.

Megumi's cheeks reddened and Ikki snorted as he reached up and ran his fingers against the vine. "Don't worry Princess you'll be down in no time." He teased her.

"I'm just happy she's not wearing a skirt." Ukyo teased Megumi, "Ikki might /really/ have my head then."

"No, I'd just throw you in the babbling brook." Ikki assured, catching Tsume as the vine let her go. "Can't go killing the only person that'll marry her."

"My hero!" It was hard to tell if her cheeks were red from laughing or from shy embarrassment.

"It /is/ nice to meet you, Tsume. Welcome back, Ikki, Meg." Ukyo finally shook his head and rolled his eyes, "So I'm U-Hatter, now? I suppose I might have to actually tell them my name later, once we've become more acquainted. Not fair just for you to know."

"I like you." Ikki said fondly. "It's a shame your bound and tied here. My mother would adore you something awful for putting up with her."

"I /do/ have a village she can come visit, if she is so inclined one day." Ukyo shrugged, "So long as I don't have to save her from the tickle vines like the rest of you. She sounds too smart for that, raising the two of you."

"He is full of /all/ of the sass, isn't he?" Tsume grinned at Megumi.

"Well she wouldn't be Meg who was dying of hysteria I can promise you that." Ikki replied before realizing that he was holding on to Tsume still and carefully placed her back on her feet. "Sorry about that."

"I wasn't complaining." Tsume cooed.

"So we have the romantics, the sass masters, am I just...chopped liver or something?" Megumi questioned before a couple of livers that were chopped fell on her and she let out a shriek. "Words goddamn it!"

Ukyo doubled over, "NOT EVEN TWO WHOLE MINUTES."

Ikki was cracking up so hard he had to sit down and try to catch his breath. "Oh my god. Oh my god."

"You can conjure things, all right!" Tsume had to lean against a nearby tree. "Oh, Megumi." She gasped through her giggles.

"Only in Wonderland I can do that. Let's get rid of the livers. Or at least have something eat the livers. Just don't let them get on me." She was kind of pleased that the livers did disappear and a few birds that happened to be nearby picked up what was on the ground. "I'm so glad I can amuse you all."

Ukyo wrapped Meg up in his arms and hugged her tight, though his body was still shaking with chuckles here and there, "Gone a day and I missed you so much."

"Was that why the colors were so dull?" Megumi asked, hugging him back. She was glad that she was able to make him laugh, even though it was at her expense. "Also what's up with the singing?"

"She claims she hears singing." Ikki said as he managed to catch his breath. "And she got worried when the colors went from dull to bright again."

"Sing...oh. /Oh/!" Ukyo pulled away sharply, eyes wide, "You heard...Meg...that was the land itself."

"That's /Wonderland/?" Megumi stared at him for a moment. "I didn't know the land could do that. I mean, I know it can do all sorts of things, but not that. Why can't they hear it then?"

"We don't belong here, not like you do." Tsume was able to answer that with ease, though Ikki looked saddened.

"Wonderland's Megumi." Ukyo agreed softly.

Ikki watched as a range of emotions played out on Megumi's face. Happiness, awe, wonder...not once did she look upset or unsure. He knew right then and there he was right. The Hatter and him had no say. He shoved the emotion aside as fast as he possibly could, now that he knew Tsume could read. She was here to have fun. They were here to enjoy the Hatter's company. Megumi swallowed. "Well. I suppose that settles everything I wanted to know. But I still have a ways to go before I actually belong here." Ikki wanted to bang his head against the tree. "Knowing you for starters." Ooh maybe not.

"If she's trying to flirt she has a long way to go and I feel bad because all those times I could be giving her lessons." Ikki whispered to Tsume. "I'm /really/ going to have my work cut out if that was the /best/ line she could have used."

"If he has the smooth moves, then Megumi's fine. They have their own way of flirting." Tsume assured him, patting his shoulder.

"Know me through knowing my family." Ukyo stroked his fingers across her cheek, "That's a good start, at least. I promised to show Ikki the village, and since Tsume came with I think it's best."

"Speaking of knowing family." Ikki decided to speak up. "Meg-"

"Can we see Hisako?!" Megumi cut him off immediately.

Ikki rolled his eyes fondly. "Now I see /I'm/ loved."

"We can see Hisako, of course. Shin might be there, too." Ukyo chuckled and looked at Tsume, "Good you're wearing boots. It's a long walk. Here, Wonderland can even separate groups when it's feeling mischievous." He waved his hand and a /literal/ red pinky string appeared tied to Ikki's and Tsume's fingers. "As the quiver was my gift to you, Ikki, you will be fine."

"Well this is going to be fun." Ikki said with a smile. "I'm glad I'm your partner and not Meg's."

Tsume's face was just as scarlet as the string, "This isn't obvious at all."

"Still shy around your betrothed. That's cute." Ukyo grinned at her.

"He hasn't even-!" Tsume cut herself off as his grin widened. There really wasn't a point, was there?

"Off we go. Hisako will be happy to have visitors."

~
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:11 am

Hisako beamed happily as she set down the watering can. The lavender was blooming beautifully. It had been pretty sick there for a while, the coloring was off and she had felt sad that it was dying. But she managed to get it back to health. She felt Wonderland shift and she stood up and ran out of the garden to see...

"Princess Tsume! Prince Ikki!" She screeched, trying to catch herself and nearly tripping before doing a hasty bow. "It's wonderful to see you! Meg!!!!" She ran over the peach haired girl. "You came back! Are you going to tell stories?!"

"I don't think I'll have time, but I brought you something that I thought you might like." Megumi said lightly bending down to the girl's level. "I also have something for U-Hatter...I am going to get a hang of this I swear..."

Hisako blinked at the new name while the adults snickered at the slip up again. "You brought me something? You...thought of me?"

Ukyo also blinked, "You are full of surprises."

Ikki actually laughed. "I'm used to this."

Megumi ignored Ikki and went into Tsume's bag where she kept the bottle since she didn't have her own thing and took out a jar. She knelt back down to Hisako's level. "Tsume showed me the sea." She explained. "And taught me how to catch a wave."

"You caught a /wave/?" Hisako let out a surprised gasp as the water inside the jar did exactly as Megumi said, a miniature wave.

"It can't do that outside Wonderland..." Tsume gasped, "It was just plain seawater...that's so sweet of her." She gushed to Ikki.

Hisako didn't hear what they said, she took the jar in wonder and awe and she looked at Megumi with tears in her eyes. "You caught me a wave. Thank you! I'll cherish it forever and ever!" She hugged Megumi tightly. "You'd make the best Queen. Please keep her Hatter. Please."

Ukyo's cheeks turned a bit pink, "It's a work in progress." He told her gently, carefully.

Hisako nodded in understanding and pulled away from Megumi whose cheeks were quite red. "You'd make a good mom, too. Are you leaving soon? Do you have to go? You should come by more. See my garden. My lavender's feeling better now. Shin's not here yet, too, he'd be sad to miss you."

"It's still early yet. The bar's more lively at night, anyway. How about teatime?" Ukyo offered sweetly.

"Yes!" Hisako clapped her hands together and grabbed Megumi's hands. "We'll do it outside. It's so nice out. You can see my garden too. Come on!" She dragged Megumi away with Ikki softly laughing.

"Well," Ikki looked over at Ukyo highly amused. "I was /wondering/ if you ever saw her interact with children before."

"You suggesting something?" Ukyo arched a brow at Ikki.

"Not to that extreme." Ikki assured, a small smile on his face. "I'm just shocked that Wonderland doesn't have a gaggle of them surrounding her yet. She certainly has enough around the Spade Kingdom and the Clover Kingdom to make up for the lack of adults in her life."

"Haha, the children tend to stay inside the village. Like the roads, the tickle vines keep them protected from straying off. They need to be able to fend for themselves before they can wander." Ukyo explained, "She's only been to the village once. Give it time, I'm sure it'll happen."

~
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:42 pm

They left Hisako's little cottage around dusk. The sunset turning into interesting greens and blues and weird colors that Ikki was pretty sure didn't exist anywhere else outside of Wonderland. The stars moved, dancing happily into shapes, blinking in and out of existence since the sun was still up, but was dying on the horizon.

The village was bursting with last minute life as well. There were children that were playing interesting games with teacups and a mouse that was running to different areas. Ikki would have assumed that they were simply trying to catch a mouse, but this was Wonderland, and they had tea cups.

Tsume was practically vibrating with excitement next to him. It made him smile with fondness. It meant that should he marry her, he'd have no trouble trying to visit his sister here if she decided to stay. He looked over at the two who were near to each other, but weren't touching. He was kind of disappointed. Not even a nudge of a shoulder or an attempt to hold each other's hands. He wondered how crazy Wonderland would be for Kent.

Then again, Kent had the most open-mind despite being so strict in thought. He'd probably take this at face value and be able to go right through without problems. He was tempted to see if he could lure his friend.

Megumi might get to it first.
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:40 am

"Right along this way." Ukyo motioned as he tugged his hood a little more, weaving and winding through the streets on their way to the bar, "I'm so excited to see what you all think of this quaint little town. I'm also really eager to hear the story you decide to tell the tavern." He smiled down at Megumi. "I'll be sure to get you all good beds at the Inn when we've had our fill."
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:50 pm

Ikki shook his head from side to side and he continued to follow. "What story are you going to tell Meg?" It had to be hard. Where the impossible was possible and things that shouldn't exist did, Meg was going to have a hard time creating one. Could his sister even top Wonderland? Not to mention the summoning problem.

The Chopped Liver Incident. It was kind of a shame Kent missed that. He would've died. "What about the time you fell off a tree?"

It was the fastest he had ever seen Meg spin. Her cheeks were flushed a deep crimson and he grinned backing up. "Don't you dare!"

"You could always tell them about the time when you were trying to-" He didn't even have a chance to finish that sentence before Megumi set off chasing him. He laughed, dodging the villagers and knowing he had to circle back if they were going to make it to the inn.

Megumi flung herself up and wrapped her arms around his body. They both stumbled before they fell onto the ground. The villagers had stopped what they were doing as they shouted and laughed. Megumi occassionally shrieked as Ikki got on top of her.

"What on earth are they doing? What type of outsider thing is that?" One of the villagers asked the other, sounding quiet worried.

"It must be a game of some sort. Like chess." The other villager agreed.

"No no /cards/."

"Can't be cards. Charades maybe?"

That made sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:00 pm

"This is what you might have heard of as 'chase' or 'tag'." Ukyo explained to them, keeping his head down so they only saw half his face under the hood, "More often children play it, but they are siblings, and childish at heart, so it doesn't matter to them. They are also 'wrestling' now, and tickling-fighting."

Tsume had both arms around her waist, as she gasped air between fits of laughter, "What kind of games of chess do these people play?!"

"It's pretty brutal, actually. The chessboard is made of checkered grass and the pieces are larger than we are. Sometimes players ride the Knights, sometimes players /are/ the pieces. They can go on for hours; the tournaments are a full-day event." Ukyo smiled at Tsume as Ikki shrieked like a girl when Megumi got his sides.
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:09 pm

The villagers watched with amusement as the two of them were trying to get the best of each other. A couple of kids peeked out from their mother's legs, exchanging looks. They didn't understand the game, but it looked like fun and if it's something two adults could play that didn't look overly complicated and absurd then they should be able to as well.

Now, how did the rules go again? It looked like that they were supposed to chase the girl, but she was already down on the ground. Did they chase her again? The next was to jump while screaming...that was easy enough. They needed to be strong enough to take them down.

"Wait a minute!" The mothers stared in horror as their kids took off running, screamed, and jumped on Ikki's back. One of them landed on Megumi.

"Oh dear..." One of the villagers clapped a hand over their mouths.

"They don't look too upset." The villager pointed out. Ikki was playfully wrestling with one of the boys while Megumi was doing the same. "They are easy to adapt to more players. Though maybe it's because they're small."

The other villager nodded quickly. "We'd crush them."
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:17 pm

"You just chase each other and do your best to catch them; gender doesn't matter. No hitting, just tickles. If they aren't ticklish, you try and pin them down." Ukyo laughed as he watched the children try and get at the tickle spots they'd seen Ikki and Meg use on each other.

"It's also good for couples. Great way to get the blood hot." Tsume winked at Ukyo who ducked his head even more.
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:24 pm

The villagers just watched, slightly more amused now that they knew that violence wasn't in the question. They were quite impressed that the two managed to keep up with the children. Adult stamina wasn't the same as the children's, but they certainly were keeping up. In fact, they were keeping up so well that by the time the kids called it quits or "uncle" as their term of surrender, the woman with peach hair said, "What quitting already?!"

"Leave them alone, Meg." Said the Spade Prince who was on his back, flopped with the rest of the children. "Just because you have more energy than a horse doesn't mean anything."

"Lucky you for not being able to summon." Megumi scowled, pinching her brother's cheek.

He grabbed her wrist and tugged her down, but she didn't do anything and the children were happy to stay where they were too.

"Should we...give them something more energizing?" One of the villagers sounded concerned.

"No, no," one of the villagers hurriedly said. "They managed to wear them out. IF we give them more energy, by the time night time falls, it'd be all for nothing." The villager frowned. "What are a pair of Outsiders doing in Wonderland anyway? Make that a third. I seen you around before, Hatter. Your cloak hides you not well."
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:34 pm

"Eh-heh..." Ukyo rubbed his neck, but didn't put his hood down, "If you must know, I promised to take my bard to the tavern. She's only ever told her tales in the outside world, and I thought it was a shame."

"Those of you without kids to care for, would you like to join?" Tsume pipped up, going over to Ikki and offering her hand to him. "Us two are just passing through, seeing new sights and all. Tourists having fun."
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:44 pm

Ikki gave Megumi a teasing look. "He called you his bard." He teased softly under his breath and didn't even wince when she smacked his shoulder, her cheeks flaming. He took Tsume's offered hand and yanked Megumi up. His bard. Ikki wondered if Ukyo even knew he said that. The other villagers certainly caught on and were curious.

Time was ticking now. If the villagers accepted her, if the villagers liked her story, then it was just a matter of moments, minutes even before Wonderland took it's claim. He gripped his sister's wrist a little tighter than normal before letting her go. He ignored the look of confusion for a smile instead. She smiled back, but he could tell that it was hesitant.

"I'd love to hear a story. If she's yours, then she must be good." One of the Villagers said excitedly. "Let's go get a good seat." He told one of the others who agreed. Those with children went over to their fallen brood with teasing smiles and helping them up so that they could be put to rest or at least have some dinner before then.
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:58 pm

Ukyo smiled at Megumi, "Looks like you might have a stage set up for you by the time we get there." He chuckled and put his hand at her back, "Come along, come along."

"We're not taking her with us back to your home, are we?" Tsume asked Ikki softly as she walked close to him, their bags and his quiver back on their shoulders.
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:11 pm

Ikki watched as Megumi leaned into his hold. He watched as the nerves and the tension bled out from underneath his fingertips. He shook his head from side to side. "It's Megumi's Wonderland." He said quietly to her, squeezing her hand that he didn't let go of. "It pains him to watch her leave his lands and I'm sure it breaks her heart too."
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:51 pm

"He promised he wouldn't ever hold her against her will, but I guess he doesn't always have a say." Tsume nodded, squeezing back, enjoying the feel of his hand enveloping hers, "Let's make the most of it while we can, then. Wonderland is the land between yours and mine, it's not like we'll never see her again."
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PostSubject: Re: Amnesia Fantasy - Before the Aftermath   Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:09 pm

"I know." Ikki assured. Ukyo had even been adament about letting her go and letting her do her own free will. But even Ikki had told him the truth. He watched his sister's smile at her new friend and he felt his heart both soar with affection and sink. He was losing his best friend, but he knew that she belonged here.

Where else could someone so odd and so weird belong to?
~
The tavern was bursting with life. Megumi had finished two stories, both of which had been filled with new excitement and inventions. Only the White King had been rumored to be able to make things, so to see that his bard could do the same was like watching a circus act. Every story came with a new animal, a new scene, a new face, a new name. Ikki watched with fascination as she weaved her tales, impressing the crowd with her imagination, her impossibility and knowledge.

Now she was taking a break and was talking to a couple of villagers. There was a girl with a purple outfit and a man that wore black and looked like a butler of sorts. His glasses well rimmed. There was another girl with brown hair and a green checker board type of style of clothing, which reminded Ikki of Clover.

Swaya? Was that her name? It was something with an S. Ukyo was standing far away from the crowd, covered in black and was content to keep to his corner. Tsume was already in the crowd, getting to know the villagers and was getting to know the people that was surronding his sister. He quietly got over to the corner and leaned back against the wall.

"I'm starting to understand why Meg finds comfort in this type of hiding hole." Ikki said conversationally. "I deal with a crowd like that on a daily basis. Now that I'm not apart of it, it feels kind of dull."


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