"I still can't believe she let me take the car!" Marie squealed in delight as she turned into her driveway. Her friend Amelia had always had a possessiveness about her belongings and Marie had thought her hope was a futile one. But Amelia had given up her keys with little to no argument and Marie had then promptly gotten Cerian into the car and driven off before more people arrived at school. They had been lucky that no one had seen Cerian while she walked through the school.
Cerian now sat in the passenger's seat, looking around at Marie's home. "Won't your family be wondering about me?"
Marie shook her head, "My mom and dad always leave for work around 7 and my brothers and sister always go to school early for practice. The house should be empty by now." Marie cut the engine and got of the car, going up to the house, followed silently by Cerian, who held her armor which she grabbed before they left. After they were inside, Marie showed Cerian her room, where she dug around in her drawers for clean clothes that Cerian could wear and showed her around the house. After the brief tour, Marie headed to the door, while Cerian stayed in the living room, and told her, "No one should be home before three. You have the house to yourself until then. When they come home, you can just wait in my room; it'd be awkward trying to explain why you're here when I'm not home. You're free to find something to eat or take a shower, but make sure you bandage that wound again if you do, it looked pretty nasty. I have to leave now, before I'm late for school. Bye."
"Wait!" Cerian called before Marie could leave. Marie turned around, looking at Cerian, waiting for her to say something. Cerian looked around the house before looking down at the floor, "Th…Thank you."
"No problem! See ya!" Marie called out behind her as she left the house.
Cerian stared at the door which Marie had just closed behind her. She didn't really know what to do now. After looking through the house, she decided she wanted to take a shower. She was covered in smoke, dirt, and blood and wanted to clean before she wore Marie's clean clothes. While she was showering, Cerian thought about what she should do. Her family was now dead and people who attacked were surely after her life now. Cerian sighed as she leaned against the wall, letting the warm water run over her dirtied skin. "I can't seem to do anything right. I can't even figure out what to do now!" she exclaimed to herself. She banged her head against the wall lightly in frustration before continuing on with cleaning herself. The wounds she had received in the fight were beginning to heal, but the one in her abdomen would take at least a few days to heal. She couldn't do anything productive until she was fully healed and had recovered.
Climbing out of the shower, Cerian continued to try and find a solution to her dilemma. She knew her father had a friend around here, but she did not know where exactly he was. Perhaps Marie might know him, though she doubted that very much. If she could find her father's friend, he might be able to help her. At least he could tell her what needed to be done next. As she dried herself off and bandaged her wounds again, she decided what she would do. She would find her father's friend and, after that, decide her long-term plan.
Marie couldn't wait to get home after school that day. She had been jumpy all day long and, finally, when school let out, she asked Amelia if she could have a ride home that day.
"Sure," Amelia said, "But I thought you liked walking home."
"I do," Marie said as she quickly went out to Amelia's car, hurrying her friend. "But today I want to get home as quickly as possible."
"Okay," Amelia said as she got in the driver's seat and turned on the car.
Marie waited in the car, willing it to move faster. After she went back to school in the morning, she suddenly realized that, since Cerian was bandaged and everything, might just leave. She didn't want that to happen. She had so many things she wanted to ask Cerian, and she thought she deserved to know some things since she did help her out when she didn't have to. As the car parked in front of her home, Marie hopped out, called a short "Thanks!" to her friend before going in.
Her older brother had already arrived home from high school. He ignored her as she flew by him in the living room, heading for her room upstairs. Without hesitating, Marie threw open her bedroom door and ran inside, half-expecting an empty room to greet her. Instead, she found Cerian sitting on the floor, with a book in her hands. Marie stared, "You're still here." she half-stated, half-asked.
Cerian looked at Marie's flustered appearance, "Yes, did you expect me to leave?"
"Uh…well, I kinda thought you might," Marie admitted.
Cerian smiled, "I thought about it, then decided against it."
"Really?" Marie asked. "Well, I'm glad you decided to stay." Marie then took a good look at Cerian and suddenly did a double take. Her eyes, which had before been a deep, blood-red color, were now golden. "Hey…your eyes changed!"
"Yes, they did," Cerian confirmed. "My eyes turn red either when I'm extremely angry, or when I'm seriously injured."
"Oh," Marie said, wishing she could say something more intelligible. She was never the type of person who could think of something good to say in strange situations. She sat down next to Cerian and asked, "So, what are you going to do now?"
Cerian contemplated on what to tell the girl in front of her. She did not need to know everything, at least not yet, but the girl did deserve to know some things. Finally, she said "I…would like for you to help me with something…if you are able to."
Marie nodded in understanding, "I'll do all I can to help."
"One of my father's friends lives near here, but I do not know where he lives. Could you possibly help me locate him? I have no idea on how to go about this, but I am sure that my father's friend will be able to help me," Cerian explained with as little detail as possible.
"That should be easy enough; most people around here are in the phone book. Do you the name of your father's friend?"
Cerian nodded, "Trinculo, though I do not know his last name."
"Trin…cu…lo?" Marie asked uncertainly. "I recognize that name…it's not one a person could easily forget. But where did I see it?...Oh, yes! There a little shop downtown called 'Trinculo's Trinkets,' I bet he owns it or something!"
"Really?" Cerian asked surprised, she did not think that it would be so easy to find her father's friend. "How soon do you think we could go?"
"Well, I don't know, most little shops like those close by four or five in the afternoon, and it's gotten pretty late now," Marie said as she glanced at the darkening sky outside her window and the clock that read 5:53. "Hmmm…we could probably go tomorrow; it's a Saturday and I have no school. That is, if you want to stay the night here."
"You would allow me to do that, stay here?" Cerian asked uncertainly. "You barely know me, let alone anything about me."
"Yes, but I think you owe me some explanation," Marie countered. "My family always eats around this time, but afterward, I want some sort of explanation to everything that has happened, including what you are! I helped you, now you owe me…" Marie was about to continue just as her door suddenly swung open and a little boy entered.
"Sis! Mommy says-" the little boy began, but was cut off by Marie's yell.
"Don't you knock?! Get out!" Marie screamed as she jumped up and went for the boy.
The little boy hurried out of the way and further into Marie's room. He went straight up to Cerian and stuck out his hand, "Hi! I'm Tommy! Are you a friend of Sis?"
Marie whirled around, afraid of what Tommy was going to see.