Heya :) sorry I haven't updated in ages, kind of lost momentum :( but got over that, and here it is :D

Lumina was in a hazy world of pain and memories. Still, even she couldn't fail to notice that one of her father's Obscuro guards had turned into Melissa and was now attacking him. She assumed it was a hallucination, induced by blood loss, but she was eager to help anyone who attacked her father, real or not. While her father was kept busy with Melissa's badly aimed sword strikes, Lumina spun around painfully on the floor and shot a column of fire at him. He almost dodged it, but his arm was hit. The heat seared his expensive suit and singed the skin beneath. He roared in pain and rage and started towards her, but before he got a step a crossbow bolt had been fired at him, from the other Obscuro guard. He again dodged it with lightning speed, but in doing so he over balanced slightly.

Seeing a perfect opportunity, Lumina kicked him from her position on the floor. He stumbled, and fell hard on his face. Before he could get up, the fat Obscuro guard seized her in his arms and took off down the corridor, with the hallucination Melissa following behind. Before Lumina knew it, they had turned back into the main corridor. The Obscuro guard holding her stopped to consider his options.

"Let me go!" Protested Lumina weakly, starting to struggle. She hit him over the head with her still-bound hands. The blow glanced off his helmet and had no effect whatsoever. Lumina screwed up her eyes, then grabbed the helmet. Her hands, which were red hot, melted the helmet slightly. The guard roared in pain and ripped the helmet off. Lumina looked up into the beet-red face of James.

"What..." she mumbled, "how is that possible?"

"No time to explain!" Panted James, "which way out?" Lumina hesitated. She wasn't sure if she was seeing things or not, but she looked over her shoulder and saw her father sprinting along the corridor towards them. She made a split second decision, pointed to the left and croaked; "that way."

They were moving surprisingly fast, and Lumina's father soon gave up the chase and dashed into a room off the side of the tunnel. Probably getting more Obscuro guards thought Melissa, but she didn't stop to find out. They kept running and running, until eventually they reached a flight of stairs that led up.

Directed by Lumina, they climbed the stairs, ran along another corridor, made a few sharp turns, climbed through a trapdoor, and suddenly they found themselves in what looked like a normal house. They had emerged in a kitchen, which was bathed in sunlight thanks to the huge windows.

"Turn right-down hall," choked Lumina.

Melissa looked at her worriedly. The sunlight had thrown her injuries into greater relief. She could see that there was a cut on the back of her head and her shoulder had bones poking out where bones shouldn't be. Her bad arm was shaking and a trickle of blood was slowly making its way from the corner of her mouth to her chin. Her cheek was swollen, and had already tuned a sickening shade of purple. She had a look of vulnerability and confusion that made Melissa want to throw her arms around her.

James followed Lumina's directions, and soon they were jogging down a narrow suburban street. Melissa had lost track of all time while being underground, but it looked like it was about midday. She squinted ahead and saw that James was making for a small park placed at the end of the street. Hopefully the trees would provide some cover and security. They didn't want some ordinary person coming along and calling the police.

Once they were under the cover of trees, James lay Lumina down gently, then collapsed beside her and promptly started snoring. Melissa rolled her eyes and sat down next to Lumina.

"Gimme a knife," she gasped. "Quick!" Melissa was startled, but wrenched her dagger out of her belt and handed it to Lumina. She flipped it over in her hand and stabbed at the chain of her handcuffs. It broke with a bang that made Melissa flinch.

"Ahhh ouch... ouch, ouch ouch," said Lumina softly. She sawed at the metal bracelet on her right hand. After a couple of seconds it broke free and fell to the ground. Melissa was horrified to see that Lumina's wrist had a circle of burnt skin, the same size as the handcuff. The other bracelet fell to the ground, but Lumina wasn't finished.

"Arm," she said, her face strained.



Melissa did as she was told and Lumina gripped it. She twisted and there was a loud crunching sound as the bones in her left shoulder realigned themselves. She sighed in relief and sat back against the trunk of a tree.

Melissa hesitated for a second, before gingerly putting an arm around her shoulders. Lumina jerked and punched her arm until it withdrew.

"Hey," said Melissa gently, while rubbing her arm. "You okay?"

"I'm fine," said Lumina.

"You- um, sure?"


"Like as in, sure sure?"

"Yep," said Lumina, popping the p.

"Why were you covered in blood when we found you?"

Lumina shrugged.

"So... you're okay?"

"Melissa, shut up." Lumina shut her eyes. Her hands traveled up to feel her ribs, and she sighed.

"Although, jerk seems to have busted one of my ribs, which will take awhile to heal."

"Oh my god!" Squeaked Melissa. "Are you okay?"

"Thats the fifth time you've asked me that, and the answer hasn't changed. I- am-fine. Drop it," Lumina said angrily. She rolled over, biting back the gasp of pain, and let the rivers of exhaustion wash her away.

Melissa stared at her sleeping friend's back. She had lost her jacket back at her father's, and her long sleeved t-shirt was stained with blood. It was a cold, crisp night, so Melissa took off her own jacket and laid it over Lumina. As she did so, she felt Lumina shiver slightly. Suddenly Raphael's words came back to her; 'my lady Lumina wears a mask of well being and happiness, but that is all an act, Believe me, I have seen that mask crack.' Melissa sighed and closed her eyes. She had ridiculed Raph's words at the time, but now, with Lumina lying bleeding and bruised to her, she wasn't so sure.

oooooh, she wasn't so sure... Hehe. Anyway, please please PLEASE review, thanks for reading :D