We, Orpheus

By: Shmeilia Rockie

Chapter 1: Reality Is Overrated Anyway

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A/N: Thus we begin again the story formerly known as Gate Keepers. I was forced to change the name when I discovered an anime held that had same title already. This first chapter is short, but it sets up what will follow. The *'s indicate when telepathy is used. Please forgive the large amount of dialogue in it. I really hope everyone who reads this enjoys it. And please review. I need and want constructive critism, but flames are not welcome.

Thanks, and enjoy!

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            "Daddy! Daddy, where are you?" The little boy ran out into the night, calling for his father desperately, knowing in his heart he'd never find the man. Tears formed in his eyes, but he refused to let them fall. He called again. The brokenness in his voice made Tessa's heart ache. She knew there was nothing she could do, but that didn't stop her from wanting to run up to the boy and giving him a big hug. But this wasn't real, it was a memory. Even if she tried, she couldn't change what happened.

            Please, make it stop! I can't bear to hear him suffer any more!

            The scene changed. The darkened houses melted away, trees sprouted up all around her. She turned back around when she heard the scuffle of feet and the sound of someone hitting the ground hard. There was the same boy, but he was older, about her age. Some large men stood over him, with evil intent in their eyes. This surely had never happened in one of her dreams before. One of the men grabbed the boy by his unruly blond hair and forced his mouth open. The other man poured the contents of a vile into his mouth and forced it shut. He had no choice but to swallow. As soon as he did, he began fading until there was nothing left but a transparent, ghost-like version of his former self. With triumphant grins, the men released him. "You'll not be getting in our way again. You have failed to protect the girl, and now she is ours. There's nothing you can do to stop us."

            "I failed," he echoed. Tears fell from his empty eyes. "Forgive me, Tessa. I'm so sorry."

            And with a gasp, Tessa snapped out of it.

            She was in the bathtub, not in bed as she expected to be. Confused, she looked around nervously.

            HE was back. She could feel him, not saying a word, just waiting in the back of her mind.  He wanted her to make the first move.  Unfortunately, her policy of 'ignore him and he will go away' wasn't working.

            *Do you enjoy sitting in on girls while they take their baths? * She asked rather impatiently.

            *Took you long enough,* he replied, cleverly choosing to avoid that subject matter completely. *I should have been timing you. *

            *What do you want this time? Can't I just have a normal week today?*

            The young man laughed rather harshly. *I must say, "Nice word choice."* The words actually came out of Tessa's mouth, and quickly she clamped her hands over it. *Anyway, I came in for a good reason. *

            *It better be a darn good reason, 'cause I'm kinda busy right now* she growled.

            *No, you're not.  You're just taking a bath.* He told her.  Somehow the knowledge of that disturbed her.

            *How much can you see?* She asked quietly.

            He hesitated.  *More than you can, actually.  Especially since you've got your eyes closed.  You can open them now, being that it doesn't affect me at all.*

            Poor Tessa sighed and slowly opened her eyes again.  It was official. She had gone completely insane.  She had a boy living in her head. A rather rude one at that. *I don't like you invading my privacy like this. * She whined.

            *Excuse me, * he said bitterly. *But I'm here on business.*

            *So my taking a bath is your business?* She asked angrily, reaching for the bar of soap.

            He growled.  *Would you listen to me?*

            Tessa wrinkled up her nose in frustration. *Fine. You have my complete attention.* She began furiously lathering up her arms.

            *You had a vision just now, didn't you?*

            She stopped what she was doing and stared thoughtfully off into space. *Yeah, it was about that boy again. He was poisoned by some rather large men. Then he turned into a ghost or something and they started taunting him about not being able to protect a girl.*

            *Was that it?*

            She shook her head. *Then he said he'd failed and said he was sorry… To a girl named Tessa… What do you think it means, friend?*

            He didn't reply. Just as she'd begun to wonder if he'd left, he replied. His "voice" was incredibly quiet in her mind, like he was beginning to fade away again. *I'm not sure, but it's not good. Something's going to happen, Tessa. Something really, really bad. Can't you feel it?*

            She nodded and slowly, mechanically, resumed lathering her arms. *I feel so bad for the guy. It seemed he really loved her.*

            *Yeah, I bet he did,* the voice said distractedly. *Well, I'll leave you now in peace.* and he was gone.

            "Goodbye, friend." She whispered. If only I knew more about that kid, she thought to herself. He seems to know an awful lot about me, and I don't even know his name. I wonder if he's just a figment of my crazy imagination, and that's why I know nothing about him.  Maybe there is nothing to know about him, because I'm insane. Ha, that would be just great.  "Just wonderful."

            Now that she was free to enjoy her bath in peace, she found she couldn't. That stupid kid stirred up all the strange little things that swam around in her head.  There were so many questions that she didn't have the foggiest answers to. I'd bet he knows what's going' on and he just won't tell me. Stupid kid. "I can't stand him!" She squealed a little louder than perhaps she should have. She slammed her fists down, and sloshed bubbly water all over the floor. "Oh, why do I even bother!" She got out of the tub, towel-dried the floor, drained what was left of her luxurious bath, and took a ten minute shower.

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            Slowly, as if waking from a dream, the boy returned home. A single flame flickered silently in front of him, occupying his whole being.  Then, other things appeared.  The little half-spent white candle dribbled hot wax over a silver platter.  It rested on a beautifully carved antique table that thrust the flickering light right into the boy's eyes. He sat cross-legged on the carpet of his bedroom floor. The bedroom floor of the house that he grew up in. The house he was now about to leave behind forever. "I think I'd better go, now."

            "Are you sure?" His mother asked quietly, squeezing his hand just a bit harder than necessary.

            He sighed and rubbed his eyelids. "Yeah, I'm sure. She's so close to it… Her prophetic dreams are becoming more distinct, and this time I think she had one about me…"

            "What happened?"

            "She said I died."

            There was a silence. Finally, his mother stood up. "Well, then I think it's time I have a nice chat with some old friends."

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A/N: So what do you think? Shall I continue? Please review.