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A Whole Different World

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Rose sat on the couch of her friend's apartment, watching as Genny struggled to get the DVD of her favorite anime to play while Rose scrolled through her IPod. She had agreed to benge watch the series with her friend several months ago, thinking that Genny would forget about it and leave her be. Unfortunately, she didn't. Now, Rose was stuck on this old couch watching her best friend try to get a DVD working that had been watched several thousand times too many.

"Why don't we just watch one of those other animes you have," Rose suggested, motioning toward the large collection her friend had.

Genny gritted her teeth and shook her head, "no. You promised me that you would try to watch the Magi series and I think that, once you're into it, you'll really like it," she said giving a squeal of delight when the show started, "okayokayokay. It's started!"

Genny scurried back to the couch and pulled the throw over her, taking a handfull of popcorn before focusing in on the show.

- Several hours later -

"So, let me get this straight," Rose said, making Genny sigh and pause the show...again, "Sinbad was picked to be this Magi's choice to be a King Vessel, which he won't actually be until later on in the series and Magi's are, basically, magicians that decide the fate of everybody on earth at the time?"

Genny nodded, "yeah, pretty much," she said, starting to raise the remote to start the show again.

Rose frowned, lifting the box set (Magi: The Kingdom Of Magic) and pointing at a boy with blue hair, "so, who's this kid?"

Genny gave the box a wave, "oh, that's Aladdin. You won't see him until the next season," she said, starting the show without waiting for Rose to finish.

"So, who are the guys with red hair?" she asked, making Genny groan and stop the show again.

"Those are the Fanalis. They're a group of powerful warriors that are more animal than people," Genny gave a giddy giggle, "I like Muu Alexius," she squealed, pointing to one of the red heads in the corner, "he's so dreamy and cool!"

Rose gave her friend a raised eyebrow before tossing the box onto the coffee table, "you realize you're crushing on a fake dude, right?"

Genny gave Rose a glare, "I know that, but that's what makes him so great," she looked down at her lap with a small smile, "he'll never leave me no matter what."

Rose blinked at her friend before sighing and shaking her head, "honestly, Genny, I would like this show a lot more if there was more action I could get into," she said, as Genny turned the show back on, "I wish I could really get into it. For your benefit."

The man wearing green with long, braided blonde hair turned toward the screen and smiled, seeming to look at Rose. Rose blinked, leaning slightly toward Genny, "hey, is that part of the anime?" she asked, only to get a shush from her friend.

"You're wish is my command, Rose King," the blonde said before waving his staff out.

Rose blinked at the glowing butterflies that flew out of the screen, surrounding her in a flurry of glowing light. She looked at her friend, frantically reaching for her before calling out, "GENNY!!" she hollered as she was swallowed by the light. She closed her eyes tight against the brightness, wrapping her arms around her head as she felt herself floating. She slowly opened her eyes, peaking through her arms to look at the man she had seen on the TV a few seconds earlier. Rose lowered her arms, looking around before looking back at him. She swallowed before speaking, "wh...Where am I?" she asked, feeling like she was in a dream.

He gave her a warm, comforting smile, "you are about to enter the world of Magi, Rose King," he said, motioning out, "a special destiny awaits you there."

Rose blinked at him before frowning, "a special destiny awaited me back where I was at!" she protested, getting a smile from the man, "now, send me back home!"

"I'm afraid I can't do that just yet, Rose," he said, moving toward her, "you see, there is much you have to offer."

She started to feel herself slowly falling, making her blink and try to reach out for something to grab onto.

"Take care on your journey, Rose King," he said, his smile and the light disappearing, sending her into a whirling gale of cold rain and wind.

She screamed, trying to right herself as the water grew nearer and nearer. She hit the surface hard, but not hard enough to break anything. The cold water almost instantly sent her into shock, causing her to push through the surface with a loud scream before being pushed back under by a wave. She broke the surface again, trying to get a few breaths of air before being pushed back down. The water hammered at her, forcing her farther and farther down into the depths. She felt herself starting to drown and reached out, breaking through the surface just as she was about to lose the last bit of breath she had. She inhaled, deeply, keeping her head above water long enough to see where shore was before being pushed back down. Taking the initiative, she started to swim in the direction of the shore while remaining under water. Using every ounce of effort she had to get there and only going up for air when she was sure she would drown. Rose finally reached the shore, coughing and sputtering as she stumbled across the sand and fell to her hands and knees. She took several deep, shakey breaths, coughing with each one until most of the water was cleared from her lungs. Still, each breath burned with every inhale, making her almost wish she had drown. She sniffled, wiping the water residue from her upper lip as she slowly got to her feet and looked up.

Her eyes widened at the sight of the large city, as she took a shakey step back. It was almost, if not more impressive than the city she had come from, reminding her of a Roman city from anicent times. The lights shown in the windows of the building, speckling the city with flickers of yellow. She swallowed, licking her lips and grimacing at the sharp taste of salt. She slowly walked toward and into the city, looking around the streets as she did. Even at night, the place seemed busy and alive, much like her home. She stopped and looked down at the ground in front of her. Home, she thought, feeling tears of fear and sadness start to well up in her chest, will I be able to go home? She shook her head, lifting her chin and putting her shoulders back as she started walking again. I will find a way home, if it's the last thing I do, she thought, putting determination in her steps.

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Rose paused at an intersection, her clothing still wet from the water, as she looked up and down the streets. She let out a heavy sigh as she rubbed the back of her neck, frustrated. "I don't even know where to begin or where to go," she mumbled to herself, turning in place to face the way she had come. She frowned and gave another sigh, giving the dirt a kick, "some instruction would have been nice!" she cried to the sky.

"Hey, you!" a man called from her right, making her blink and look at him. The man and two slightly behind him wore bronze, what looked like, roman armor, and started toward her, "we want to talk to you."

She narrowed her eyes, glancing at the swords on their hips, "I'd rather not," she said, taking a few steps away from them.

"Hold it!" the soldier in front said, instantly kicking her juvenile past into her mind.

She turned, taking off down the opposite street, getting a few shouts and hollers from the soldiers that were chasing her. She ran, ignoring the protesting in her lungs as she skidded around a corner and into a dark alley. Behind her, she could hear the soldiers following her, from the sounds of their armor clanking, and saw her shadow extend as a bright flash of light lit up the area. She blinked in the sudden light, glancing over her shoulder long enough to see the soldiers about twenty feet behind her. Damn, isn't that armor heavy? She thought as she ran out of the alley and turned down the main road. She took a deep inhale, catching her second wind as she rushed forward, smiling to herself as the soldiers behind her called out. Another flash in the sky lit up the area, this one bright red, making her slow enough to glance back. The last one was white, she thought as she turned her attention back to where she was going. Her eyes widened at the line of soldiers standing ahead of her before darting toward a stack of crates. She took a deep breath, angling herself for the crates. She ran up them, getting "woah"s from the soldiers as she jumped onto an awning that sent her into the air. She gave a yelp, not expecting it to spring like that, before landing roughly on the roof. She stumbled a couple of steps, holding her hands out at her sides to keep herself from falling before standing straight and glancing back toward where she had come from. She panted, swallowing past the pain starting to form in her side as she started to chuckle.

A light shot up from where the soldiers were, like a firework on the forth of July, breaking apart at it's highest point to color everything in neon blue. She frowned at the light, taking a couple of breaths before looking at the next roof over. She took one last deep inhale before sprinting for the next roof, jumping the narrow gap and landing in a roll. She gave a small laugh, glancing back at the other roof before getting to her feet. Another light shot into the sky, infront of the building she was on. Making her frown at the neon blue. So, Neon blue means on the rooftops, she thought, glancing toward the edge of the building, What do the other colors mean? she smiled at herself, maybe I should find out, she thought as she took off running. Each rooftop she lept to got another blue light in the sky. She smirked as she jumped from the last one, crying out as she had forgotten to check where she was jumping. Luckily, there was a large pile of hay that she landed on. She blew a few strands of hair out of her eyes before plucking a couple pieces of hay from her hair. An Orange light shown in the sky, making her widen her eyes before taking off down the road. Orange means on the street, she thought, making the mental note as she did. She ran, listening to the soldiers shouting at her to stop. Some sounded out of breath. She turned down an alley again, paying attention to the light as the ground behind her lit up with red. White means left, she thought, as she turned out of the alley, checking her theory as she turned left. Sure enough, a white light flashed in the sky, making her nod as she turned right, into yet another alley. A red light lit everything, making her snort slightly. Red is right, she thought, narrowing her eyes at the end of the alley, let's see how many they have.

She raced across the ground, purposely taking every turn she could, sometimes even back tracking as different colors lit up the sky. If she wasn't the one they were exploding about, she might have enjoyed it. She even took to the roof a couple of times, noting that when she crossed a roof to the right or left, a neon blue light and a red or white light would go up. She jumped from the low roof, landing in a roll that brought her back up and running. She smirked back at the soldiers as they sent up more flares. They'll have to be down to a few by now, she thought, feeling her body start to slow slightly, I'm getting tired. She raced down one of the main streets, feeling her legs and lungs start to fatigue and burn when a three green lights appeared in the sky ahead of her. She skidded to a stop, her eyes scanning the street ahead as she listened. There weren't anymore clanks or huffing and puffing from soldiers. She turned, looking toward the direction she had come from. There wasn't a single soldier behind her anymore, making her swallow as the sound of silence started to sink into her brain, making her almost deaf. She took a deep breath, blowing it out slowly from her mouth as she cleared her throat and glanced around. Even the shop and house windows were eerily dark and silent. She was starting to feel like she had run right into a trap and prepared herself for a fight. She took a fighting stance, only letting her eyes glance around for any threat. She knew there was someone there, watching her. She couldn't see them, but she could feel the eyes on her.

"Where are you?" She whispered to herself, thinking about where she would be hiding if she was going to sneak up on someone.

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Movement ahead of her brought her attention to a tall man wearing bronze gladiator armor as he approached her. His long, wild, red hair blowing in the slight breeze as he moved. She lowered her arms slightly, looking around her hands at him with narrowed eyes. There was something about him that seemed...familiar. He stopped about fifteen feet from her, looking her over with red eyes before giving her a gentle smile. She blinked, having not been expecting him to smile at her at all, let alone with such warmth and gentleness. She felt...confused and that only set her farther on edge.

"You gave the guards a run for their money," he said, chuckling as he tilted his head slightly to the side.

She gave him a slow blink, feeling like she shouldn't lower her guard as she glanced around.

He watched her for a moment before taking a step toward her, snapping her eyes back to him as she brought her fists up, ready to fight. He stopped, his red eyes calculating before he gave her that gentle smile again, "I'm not going to hurt you," he said, holding his hands up, as if that would help.

She snorted, glaring past her fists at him, "throw your sword to the side and I'll consider that you won't," she said, watching as he pulled the sword from the sheath and tossed it away, causing it to stick in the wall of one of the buildings to her left. Her eyes widened slightly at that, knowing that it was impossible for a person to do that from twenty feet away. She turned her eyes back to him, narrowing them, "What are you?"

He blinked at her, confusion apparent for a moment before he smiled, "I'm half Fanalis," he said, like it was something everyone knew.

She frowned, "What the fuck is a Fanalese (pronounced like the ese at the end of chinese)?" she asked,

He laughed, "Not, Fanalese. Fanalis," he said, smiling at her like you would a child who said something cute, "we're a type of warrior with exceptional skills in combat and fighting."

Rose swallowed, "meaning that telling you to throw your sword away was useless," she stated, feeling frightened and anxious. Where have I seen him before? she thought, tilting her head slightly around her fists.

He shrugged, "I said I wouldn't hurt you and if throwing my sword to the side helps show you that, them I'm more than happy to do it," he said, sounding honest.

Rose frowned at him, narrowing her eyes farther, "I don't believe you," she said, cynicism lacing her words. Living in a big city, you learn to trust no one very quickly. Especially people you don't know or that seem familiar. Chances are, you've met them but don't remember and it's always bad if they remember you.

His expression became a little sad, like it hurt his feelings that she didn't believe him, but she didn't care. She didn't know where she was or what she was doing here. All she knew was that she was dropped from the sky into a freezing ocean where she had to fight to swim to shore. Only to be chased into a trap. She frowned at her own thought. In hind sight, I probably shouldn't have run, she thought, chewing on the inside of her cheek.

"What could I do to help you believe me?" he asked, taking a step forward.

Rose stepped back, her eyes locking on his once again, "you could stop trying to get closer. That would be a start," she growled, narrowing her eyes at him once again, "why does it matter to you if I believe you or not? I don't even fucking know you."

He smiled before giving her a small bow, making her blink in surprise, again, "forgive me," he said, standing straight and putting his right fist in the center of his chest, making her eyes widen.

"Oh...My...God..." she gasped, lowering her fists as she stared at him like he had grown a second head.

Her reaction made him pause mid introduction, and blink at her in confusion, "is something wrong?" he asked, tilting his head slightly.

She felt herself start to panic and take a couple of steps back, "ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod!" she gasped, starting to pace back and forth, "this isn't happening. This can't be happening. There's no fucking way this is happening. I can't be in that show. No way." He took a step toward her, his head tilted slightly as she panicked. She paused, shooting him a glare and holding her hand, palming facing him, as if to ward him off, "no! no, no, no, no! You stay there while I try to figure this out. Okay? Okay," she said, her voice going a little high as she squatted down, putting her head between her knees. She took several slow, deep breaths, closing her eyes as she went over everything while counting them off on her fingers, "went to Genny's. Watched her mess with the DVD player. Watched most of the Magi anime with Sinbad," she paused, him shifting on his feet bringing her eyes to him. He folded his arms over his chest, watching her with confused, patient eyes, before she turned back to her fingers, "asked Genny about the anime. Told her I wished I could..." she paused, her eyes going wide as she let out a low groan, falling onto her butt in the dirt and laying down completely with her legs spread and her arms out at her sides, "I wish I could get more into this anime," she mumbled, staring, blankly up at the sky. She gave another groan, rubbing her face with her hands before stiffly getting to her feet. Surprisingly, to her anyway, the man didn't move toward her at all, but he did look concerned. She let out a groaning breath, looking at him with tired, aggitated eyes.

"Are you okay?" he asked, looking like he wanted to comfort her, but she didn't want him to touch her.

She slowly shook her head, "no. No, I am not," she said, looking down at the ground before taking a deep breath. She put up one finger, "excuse me a second," before turning and screaming toward the sky, "HELLO! YOOHOO! DOWN HERE! YOU'VE HAD YOUR LAUGH! GENIE! DJINN! MAGGIE! WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU ARE! NOW SEND ME HOME! I WISH TO BE HOME!" She paused, "GENNY! IF YOU'RE WATCHING THIS CRAP AND CAN HEAR ME! WISH ME OUT!" She paused again, "HELLO! Anybody?" She felt herself starting to get sad and sighed, giving the dirt a kick, "well that didn't do anything but make my throat sore. Maybe if I click my heels and say 'there's no place like home'?"

"Who are you yelling at?" the man asked, making her sigh and turn to look at him. He still hadn't moved from that spot, which, slightly impressed her.

"I was trying to get the attention of either the guy who sent me here or my friend Genny, who is WAY more into this anime than me," she said, folding her arms over her chest.

He stared at her for a moment before narrowing his eyes, his expression, suddenly serious, "then, you're a spy," he said, making her blink at him with wide eyes.

"What? Serious? You think I'M a spy?" she asked, chuckling slightly, "Dude, Muu. I wouldn't make a good spy at all."

He blinked, his red eyes becoming more narrow, "how do you know my name?"

She licked her lips before clearing her throat, "you won't like my answer," she said, giving him a glare, "and it's not a confession that I'm a spy, because I'm not."

He frowned at her, folding his arms over his bronze clad chest, "enlighten me then," he said, giving her a serious stare.

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She took a deep breath, taking a seat on the ground with a grunt. She looked up at him and waved at the spot in front of her, "this is a long story, brah. You're gunna want to sit," she said, making him blink at her before cautiously moving up and taking a seat in front of her. He kept his hands in plain view, making her think a little better of him. She tilted her head, seeming to stare off into space for a moment, "your friends can enjoy the story too, unless they really like their hiding spots," she said, making him blink at her in surprise for a second before he smiled as several people wearing bronze armor with red hair and eyes stepped out of the shadows. Rose blinked at how many there were and gave a low whistle, "wow. Wasn't expecting that many," she mumbled as most of them moved up to stand in a wide circle around her and Muu.

"How many were you expecting?" he asked, leaning back on his hands as he looked at her with amused eyes.

She shrugged, folding her arms over her chest, "five, maybe?" she admitted, glancing around. Most of the red heads had scars on their faces, arms, or, what of their chests she could see. "I didn't realize that I had gotten that much attention."

"You out ran the entire guard of the Reim Empire," a woman with a strange necklace around her neck and part of her red hair tied up in a high ponytail said, looking at Rose like she couldn't believe her.

"And you look like a Fanalis from the back," a man with part of his mouth and cheek missing said, grinning at her like some deviant demon.

Rose thought about that for a moment. While it was true that she had red hair, like they did, she didn't have the red eyes.

"Most people don't think to take the rooftops," a woman with a scar across her face and another across her chest said, giving Rose a smirk, "that's pretty clever."

Rose glanced at her, "then why do you have fireworks that signify that someone's on the roof?" she asked, getting surprised blinks from the group.

Muu chuckled, "is that what you were doing?" he asked, bringing her eyes to him as he grinned at her with laughing red eyes.

She shrugged, "I had a theory and it proved to be right," she said, tilting her head as she stared at him.

He leaned forward, placing his elbows on his knees as he grinned at her, "and what was that theory?" he asked, looking amused.

She stared back for a moment before sighing, "my answer to knowing your name," she said, deciding to change the subject.

Muu chuckled, leaning back on his hands again.

"Smooth transition," one of the red heads said, making a few in the group chuckle.

She rolled her eyes, "alright, let's start with this morning..." she started, almost as if it was a signal, most of the group sat down, lounging as she told the story of how she came to be in this...anime world.

After telling her story, Rose sat staring at Muu, who had remained silent the entire time, listening to her. It was nice to have someone hear her out, god knows she never really had anyone who did, except Genny. However, she knew he was just trying to get the information he may need to lock her up in a tower or something. He gave a sigh before getting to his feet and dusting himself off.

"I guess we have no choice," he said, his tone sounding like he was about to deliver bad news before he looked at her, "we'll have to take you before Lady Scheherazade and see if there's anything that can be done to send you back home."

Rose blinked, shocked that he would suggest that before getting to her feet herself, "wait, for real?" she asked, tilting her head to the side.

He gave her a closed eyes smile, "of course," he said, looking at her with kind eyes, "I know I would want to go home as soon as possible, if I was in your position."

She stared at him for a moment, sort of in shock from what he was saying, "you're serious?" she asked again, making him laugh.

"You don't believe anything anyone tells you, do you?" he asked, moving past her as she stared toward where he had been.

She frowned, turning to follow him, "believing people I don't know is stupid and has gotten me in more trouble than I care to admit," she said, walking beside him.

"That's actually really smart," the woman with the necklace said, walking on the other side of Rose.

Rose narrowed her eyes at the woman, "why do I feel like you think I'm an idiot?" she asked, getting a frown from the woman.

"Because I do," she admitted, making Rose click her tongue.

"Oh, honey, it's a good thing you're pretty," Rose said with a sigh, getting a glare from the other woman.

Several of the men behind them chuckled at the verbal jabs they were taking at one another. Even Muu was smiling while the women continued to insult one another straight up the street toward the castle.

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Rose and Myron, the woman that she kept having a banter with, actually started to like one another by the time they reached the castle. Rose never really got along with anyone that quickly before, but she was glad to have someone to banter with. It kept her nerves low key and her mind from thinking about going home. She had pulled out her IPod, showing it off to Myron as she tried to see if it still worked. 

She frowned down at the little device as they walked through the halls, "maybe if I had some rice," she muttered, holding the button to turn it on.

"What's supposed to happen?" Myron asked, tilting her head to look at Rose.

Rose sighed, pulling the ear bud from her ear, "this little area is supposed to light up," she said, pointing at the tiny screen before holding up the ear buds, "and music is supposed to come out of these, but I think it's dead. I was in the water too long for it to have survived." She sighed again as she wrapped the headphones around the IPod, "oh well."

"Amazing," Muu mused, looking down at the small object, "even with the Reim Empire's advanced technology, we don't have anything like that."

Rose groaned, "which means you don't have cell phones, electricity, or indoor plumbing," she said as they came to a large door. She had to admit, meeting Scheherazade, the Magi of the region, was a little intimidating. Even if Muu had tried to reassure her that Scheherazade would only want to help her. Another thing she didn't believe. Why would someone help someone they didn't know? That wasn't how the world worked, in her experience.

Muu reached for the door and her hand shot out, grabbing his wrist automatically, "wait!" she yelped before she could stop herself.

He paused, looking at her with a surprised expression before giving her a gentle smile. He gently removed her hand from his wrist, cupping her hand in both his while looking her in the eye, "I promise you that Lady Scheherazade will try to help you," he said, giving her sparkling kind eyes.

She felt her heartrate pick up, half from nerves, half from the feel of his hands on hers, but still. She shook her head, "don't make promises you can't keep," she said, jerking her hand from his and glaring at him.

He sighed, giving her a sad expression, "you can trust me," he said, making her narrow her eyes at him.

"The last guy that said that to me got me put in juvie for a year," she said, getting a confused blink from the man in front of her. She sighed, "it's a prison for people under eighteen years old."

He gave a small nod, looking like he wanted to ask, but turned to the door instead and pushed it open. She followed him through the doors, feeling more anxious as they approached the woman sitting on the throne. They stood before Lady Scheherazade before the entire group knelt down, except Rose. She was too busy staring at the woman, in awe of her beauty. Even her mouth was hanging open. Scheherazade's long, blonde hair seemed to frame her entire body, creating a golden glow around her. She watched Rose with studying blue eyes, patient and waiting. She had been so busy staring, she didn't notice the men standing on either side of her.

"Arise, Captain Muu Alexius," Scheherazade said, her voice gentle and soft.

Rose blinked, coming back to herself as Muu stood. The others stood as well, but the only person who seemed offended by it was the man on Scheherazade's left.

He sneered at the other Fanalis, looking down his nose at them with distaste in his eyes before stepping forward, "Lady Scheherazade said nothing of the rest of you getting to your feet. You do her such dishonor," he said, his voice high and cocky.

Rose frowned, setting her electric blue eyes on him, "I can't tell if you're a man or a woman and THEY do her dishonor?" she asked, pointing her thumb at the group behind her. The man blinked at her, surprised and affronted, "let me know when your balls drop, son, then you can talk shit all you want."

He sneered at her, his beady eyes narrowing at her, "I did not ask the opinion of a lowly commoner who has no business coming before our Lady Magi with petty inconviniences."

Rose gave him innocent eyes, "Oh! You know what?" She started, putting her hand out toward him with her palm facing him, "I gave you the impression that your opinion of me matters when it doesn't, coming from an amoeba. So, that's on me," she put her hand to her chest, "that's my bad."

A few of the men behind her coughed, trying to cover up chuckles and laughs while the man sneered at them then her.

She put her hand up as he was about to speak, getting another dirty look from the man, "before you ask, let me explain. An Amoeba, is a microscopic, single celled organism that reproduces A-sexually, or without a partner and let's face it," she looked him up and down, "who would want to. I bet there isn't enough money in the world to get someone to blow you, let alone reproduce." Several of the people behind her started laughing, deciding that they weren't going to bother with keeping it in any longer. She continued because, let's face it, when you're on a roll, you're on a roll. "Now, the way you reproduce A-sexually, is by eating a lot until you split in two and honey," she had moved forward at this point and patted his stomach, "you look like you're really close to splitting in two."

Everyone at this point, even Myron, who had kept her composure until then, and Lady Scheherazade, as well as the soldier looking old man, started chuckling.

The man's face was beet red as he glared death at Rose. He moved forward, like he was about to do something that would hurt her, but hesitated when someone stepped up behind her. She didn't bother to look back, only gave him a cocky grin that said, "you can't touch me". He contented himself with glaring at her as he took a step back and pointed at her accusingly, "you'll regret what you've said to me, woman," he growled as he started for the door.

"I let you know you exist, so I already do," she said, getting a few more chuckles from the Fanalis.

The man's steps became heavier and angrier as he left the hall. Rose was sure if he could slam that large, heavy door behind him, he would have.

"You realize that you just insulted the Prince of the Reim Empire," the man behind her said, bringing her attention around to look up at him. It was the man with part of his mouth missing that made it look like he was half grinning all the time. She couldn't help but think of Heath Ledger from the batman movie.

She blinked at him before leaning to look toward the door, "there ain't no fucking way that piece of shit is a prince," she said, shaking her head, "maybe the advisor. I'd believe that, 'cause they're always shadey."

He chuckled, "I can agree with that," he said, giving her amused red eyes. His hair was darker than Muu's and cut short with a braid coming down his back from the back of his neck. He sported a shaggy looking, chin strap style beard that, actually, didn't look half bad on his face. Normally, Rose was a firm believer that most men shouldn't have facial hair. He leaned down, coming eye to eye with her and making her blink. "If you're in love with me, just confess it already," he said, grinning like the devil himself.

She blinked at him and took a step back, the words shocking her, "what? I'm not," she said, her voice a little too high. She narrowed her eyes at him, leaning forward herself and poking him in the forehead, "I don't even know you, bub."

"I don't believe you," he said, standing straight as another Fanalis stepped up beside him. This one had wild red hair, like the rest, but his hair was only about mid-back length with his bangs covering his right eye. His ears were pierced as well, but that didn't take away from the smirk he had as he bumped his elbow against the grinner.

"You were staring pretty hard at Lo'Lo," he said, his voice deeper then she expected.

She frowned, folding her arms over her chest, before nodding toward him, "Lo'Lo, huh?" she hummed, looking back up at the Grinner, "of course your boyfriend would notice something like that, huh? Totally makes sense," she said, giving them an amused eyebrow raise, "I get it, you're already taken."

They stared at her with wide eyes for a second before frowning at her, Lo'Lo gave a growl, roughly shoving the other man away and causing him to stumble into a few others, "I don't like men!" he snarled, baring his teeth at her.

Rose gave him superior eyes before shrugging, "I know you don't like men," she said, leaning forward with a grin, "you LOVE them."

His eyes were the first warning before he snarled and went after her, becoming the dangerous eyes of a predator. She stood her ground, thinking if this was how she was going to go out, at least she had fun. A flash of bronze and red made her blink as Muu appeared in front of her, blocking the hard fist that was meant for her. Her eyes widened at the sheer force behind it, making the ground under Muu's feet crumble slightly. Lo'Lo' seemed to come back to himself as his eyes moved slowly from her to Muu, holding the other man's fist at bay.

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"Lady Scheherazade is present," was all Muu said, making the other man glance toward the throne, where the beautiful woman sat, hardly phased by the occurance. Like it was an everyday thing.

Lo'Lo' let out a calming breath, turning his eyes to her before he gave her a sneer.

Rose snorted back, "if you can't take it, don't dish it," she growled, glaring at him.

Muu turned to face her, his face serious as he folded his arms over his chest, "speak to Lady Scheherazade," he said, his tone leaving no room for arguement.

Rose narrowed her eyes at him for a moment before sighing, "fine, but the next time you tell me to do something, I'm not," she said, moving to stand before Lady Scheherazade as Muu followed.

He stood beside her, putting his fist in the center of his chest before lowering it, "my lady," he said, his voice smooth and gentle, getting a chuckle from the woman on the throne.

"There's no need to be so formal, Muu, you know that," she said, turning her gentle gaze to Rose, "what of your amusing friend here?"

Rose gave her a raised eyebrow, "I aim to entertain," she muttered, getting another chuckle from the woman.

"Please, Muu, introduce your friend," she said, motioning toward Rose.

Rose blinked before a smug grin spread across her face, "Yeah, Muu, introduce us," she said, leaning to the side slightly.

Muu started to open his mouth but quickly shut it and gave Scheherazade a confused, frightened blink when he realized...He didn't know her name. He cleared his throat, looking like he was going to try and play it off like he really knew when he chuckled, rubbing the back of his head as he looked at Scheherazade, "I must have forgot to ask," he said, sounding coy. Rose gave him unamused eyes as he looked at her, "but, I'm sure it's something beautiful," he said, making her scoff.

"Nice save, Cassanova," she said, rolling her eyes, "I'll give you a hint. It's a flower you give a girl, and it starts with an R."

Muu blinked at her for a moment before frowning at the ground, "Rodinia isn't a very pretty name," he said, making her stare at him with wide eyes.

"Seriously?" she growled, feeling her eye twitch, "that's your guess?"

He gave her confused, innocent eyes as he gave her a slow nod.

She furrowed her brow, "ok, first, no. Second, who the fuck is giving a girl a rodinia?" She sighed, rubbing her eyes with her fingers, "I'm getting a headache."

"RHODOTYPOS!" someone shouted from the back of the group, making her frown and look at them.

"What?!" she yelped as others called out R flower names. Most of which, she had never heard of or were probably made up. She waved her arms, "okay! Stop! Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop!" she called out as they all chuckled, "I was asking for reals, but whatever. Have your fun. Jerks." She looked at Scheherazade, who was grinning at her, making her narrow her eyes at the woman.

"Yes, Rosemary," she said, making Rose blink at her with wide eyes before groaning.

"Not you too," she mumbled, getting a chuckle from the woman.

"Of course. I can't have everyone but me in on the joke," Scheherazade said, before clearing her throat, "I would, however, like to know your name so I could properly address you."

Rose sighed, starting to comtemplate telling her after the joke she was the butt of.

"It's Rose, isn't it?" Muu asked, turning her eyes to him as he gave her laughing red eyes.

Rose gave a short nod before snorting, "fucker knew it the whole time," she muttered before turning fully to glare at him, "you started that bullshit and I'm going to make you regret it...eventually when you least expect it," she said, turning back to face Scheherazade with her arms folded over her chest, "my name is Rose King, and I'm from a different dimension."

Chapter Text


Scheherazade didn't look too...shocked at this information, instead, giving a small nod, as if she knew. She stood, moving toward Rose before standing in front of her. Scheherazade looked up at Rose, being a few inches shorter than her, staring into her eyes as if trying to find something that was there.

"Your eyes are blue," Scheherazade said, making Rose blink and take a step away from her.

"So?" she asked, turning her head slightly, "don't tell me there's some great prophecy about a girl with red hair and blue eyes falling from the sky to right all the wrongs in this world."

Scheherazade smiled at her, "no, there is not," she said, tilting her head, "it's quite odd for a Fanalis to have eyes any color other than red, though."

Rose frowned at her, "I'm not a Fanalis," she growled, narrowing her eyes at the woman.

Scheherazade just smiled in return, "we'll see," she said, turning and retaking her place on the throne, "now, you wish me to help you go home, yes?"

Rose nodded, "that was the plan," she said before letting a deep breath out through her nose, "let me guess. You can't do it, it has to be the one who brought me here. Right?"

Scheherazade gave her sympathetic eyes, "I'm sorry, Rose King," she said, making Rose nod and look at the ground.

Rose took a deep breath, running her hand through her hair, "figures," she mumbled.

"If there is anything I could do to help you, I will," Scheherazade said, her voice sounding sincere.

Rose shook her head, "nah, it's alright," she said, looking up at her for a second with a shrug, "I'll just figure it out myself. Nothing new," she took a deep breath before turning, "I just...need some space to think," she said as she moved past the group of Fanalis toward the doors.

"You may stay here in the palace, if you need somewhere to stay," Scheherazade said, sounding like she was trying to make an excuse for Rose to stay longer.

Rose reached the doors and turned to look back, forcing a smile on her face that didn't reach her eyes, "thanks, Shey, but I'll be alright," she said before walking from the room.

Rose gave another sigh as she walked through the halls of the palace, not paying attention to where she was going. Her mind raced with thoughts of how she was going to get home, or even if she could get home. She paused at an open area of the palace that looked out over the expanse of the city. The buildings glowed with flickering light as people, even at this time of night, walked the streets, laughing and enjoying one another's company. Rose frowned leaning on the railing as she stared out over the city. Is this what I have to look at for the rest of my life? she thought, looking down at her hands as she wrung them. She licked her lips and sighed again, feeling drained from the day she had, but she knew that, even if she tried, she wouldn't be able to sleep. Not with her mind going a thousand miles an hour. She looked up at the sky, searching for something, anything, that could be taken as a sign of what she was supposed to do. She gave another sigh when the stars didn't do anything and shook her head, "Genny would know what to do," she muttered, looking at her hands.

"Genny's your friend, right?" a voice said, making her jump as turn to face whoever it belonged to.

She let out a calming puff of air before glaring at Muu, "you need a bell or something around your neck. Announce yourself before you give someone a heartattack," she said, turning back to face the city.

"Mind if I join you?" he asked, his tone gentle.

Rose shrugged, "I would say it's a free country, but I don't know that," she said as he leaned against the railing next to her.

He leaned forward slightly, looking at her face with kind eyes.

Rose frowned, looking at him fully with frustration, "gotta staring problem?" she growled, narrowing her eyes at him.

He shook his head, "just seeing if you were alright."

Rose shook her head, standing straight to lean on the railing with her hands, "no, I'm not," she said, looking at him, "I mean, how would you feel if you were snatched from your normal life and tossed into a world you didn't know anything about?"

He gave a small nod, "I would be upset and angry," he turned, leaning on the railing with his right elbow as he looked at her and held his left hand with his right hand, "and scared."

Rose frowned at him, "I'm not scared," she said, turning her gaze out at the city.

His chuckle brought her attention back to him, "you're a terrible liar," he said, smiling at her with that same gentle smile he had met her with.

She snorted, "I'm not lieing," she growled, folding her arms over her chest, "there's very few things in the universe that scare me and being dropped in another dimension isn't one of them."

He watched her with that smile, like it would change what she was saying, before he stood straight and stretched, rubbing the back of his head as he did, "well, I'm going to get some sleep," he said, looking at her with sympathetic eyes, "if you need anything or want someone to talk to, you can always talk to me," he reached out to place his hand on her shoulder, only to pause when she stepped away from him.

"I'm still in denial that this is all a dream and you touching me is going to prove me wrong," she said, shaking her head as he arms moved, unconsciously wrapping around her to hold herself, "I would rather keep living in denial, for a little longer, if you don't mind."

He watched her for a moment before nodding, "the offer still stands, Rose," he said, as he moved past her.

Chapter Text


She took several deep breaths, swallowing the building tears as she stepped back up to the railing. Admittedly, she was scared, but she would never admit it to anyone. Not even herself. She leaned over it, looking down at the ground far below. If this is a dream, she thought as she took a deep breath and climbed onto the railing, then I should wake up before I hit the ground. She held onto the pillar, looking down for a few moments before taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. "Here goes nothing," she murmurred under her breath as she closed her eyes and let go of the pillar, stepping out into thin air as she did.

"HEY!" someone shouted as she fell, only to be stopped abruptly and slammed against the side of the building with a smack.

"Ouch!" she yelped, rubbing her forehead as she looked up her body at Lo'Lo's blazing red eyes as he glared down at her. His large hand was wrapped around her ankle, keeping her from falling any farther. "What the hell?!?"

His eyes narrowed farther, "that's what I want to know," he growled, starting to pull her up. He wasn't gentle about it, putting himself between her and the railing as soon as she was over it and standing, "what were you thinking jumping from this height? That would have killed you."

Rose frowned at him, "I was trying to wake up," she said, glaring at him as she folded her arm over her chest.

He stared at her with confused red eyes that seemed to glow in the moonlight before frowning at her, the scare on his face making it look weird, "you really think you're dreaming?" he asked, folding his large arms over his broad chest.

Rose rolled her eyes, "duh! Easy way to wake up. I jump from the railing and the fall wakes me before I hit the ground," she said, trying to explain it logically, when she knew that the smack against the building would have woke her as well.

"Or, it could have killed you," he growled at her, making her frown.

"I didn't ask for this," she said, the words slipping out before she could stop them. He watched her for a moment, his red eyes studying her face as she felt the tears start to burn and blur her vision. She swallowed, trying to regian control of her eyes before the tears broke free. She lost, frowning at the feeling of hot wetness gliding down her cheeks. She snorted, shaking her head as she sneered and took a step back, her forehead creasing with pain and hurt. " go home," she said, her voice thick and gravely as she took another step back, "I don't want to be here. I didn't even want to watch this stupid show," she wiped her nose with the back of her hand as she sniffled. She took a deep breath, swallowing past the thick saliva as she looked up at the tall feral man, "I don't need anybody's help. I never have and I never will. So, the next time I want to jump from a railing, just let me do it," she said, the tears finally stopping, but leaving her cheeks and eyes sticky and hot.

Lo'Lo' continued to watch her for a moment before smirking and leaning down to be eye to eye with her, "your life doesn't matter to me," he growled, making her blink at his blunt words, "matter of fact, Thorn bush, if it wasn't for Captain Muu asking me to keep an eye on you for the night, to make sure you don't do anything stupid, I would have just let you jump," he stood straight, sneering down at her, "you're just another annoying pest that we Fanalis have to baby sit. If it were up to me, we would have killed you first thing. One less pest in the world."

Rose felt the anger and hatred with his every word. He didn't like her and probably never would, but she gave him a smile that didn't reach her eyes, "good. At least I know where I stand," she said, folding her arms over her chest as they stared at one another.

He nodded down the hallway, "I'm supposed to show you where your room is," he said, his eyes still angry.

She smirked, "lead the way," she said, giving him a slight bow.

He snorted, but moved past her to take the lead. She didn't bother to memorize where he was leading her, thinking that she wasn't going to stay in the palace near people who hated her. I already spent enough time with people who hate me, she thought, her mind going back to her school days and every job she ever had. He stopped in front of a door and pushed it open before turning to her.

"This is your room," he said, his voice neutral while the spark in his eyes said, clearly, "now you know I know where you sleep".

She moved into the room, "thank you, Jeeves," she said, giving him a wave, "that will be all."

His red eyes narrowed at her as he let out a warning growl, "understand that I'm not your servant, girl," he growled, taking up the entire doorway.

She rolled her eyes, turning to look up at him with a superior, smug smile, "I said, that will be all," she said, doing the dismissing hand wave again.

He growled, reaching out and snatching her wrist before jerking her toward him. His grip on her wrist hurt and she knew there would be a bruise in the morning, but that didn't stop her from glaring back. "If I did not owe my loyalty to Muu Alexius, I would wrap my hand around your neck and watch the life slowly drain from your eyes," he growled, giving her wrist a tighter squeeze.

She resisted the urge to flinch and smirked at him, "kinky," she hummed, making him snort.

"I would break you," he growled, releasing her wrist before taking a step back, moving out into the hallway, "if you need anything, take care of it yourself."

With that, he closed the door, hard enough to prove a point, but not so hard she thought it might break. She let out a breath she was holding and rubbed her aching wrist, frowning down at the already forming bruise as she walked toward the bed. Maybe I should try to get some sleep, she thought, taking a deep breath as she pulled her clothing off. She made sure to pull her IPod out of the clothing before tossing them onto the floor, not knowing what else to do with them, before crawling into the bed, naked. She thought about asking about a bath or shower but the soft blankets and bed lulled her into a deep sleep almost immidiately.

Chapter Text


Rose felt herself slowly surface from her deep sleep, feeling groggy despite having slept really well as she sat up. She blinked slowly in the sunlight coming in from the balcony, staring blankly as the blanket pooled in her lap. Where am I? she thought, slowly turning her head to glance out the balcony doors. She took a deep breath, letting it out in a long, loud yawn as she stretched with her eyes closed.

"Sleep well?" a deep male voice asked from near the bedroom door.

Rose yelped, jerking the blankets up to her chest as she gave the smirking red head a glare, "don't you people know how to knock?" she growled.

He chuckled, walking farther into the room with some cloth hanging over his arm, "relax, girly. You don't have anything I haven't seen before," he said, draping the cloth over the end of the bed, "Captain Muu wanted me to bring these to you, since your clothing was, somewhat, ruined by the sea salt," he said looking up at her with the uncovered red eye, "he also wanted you to be a spectator to the Fanalis Corps training."

Rose snorted, holding the blankets to her chest as she moved to the end of the bed, lifting the cloth and tilting her head to look at it, "tell him thanks but no thanks," she said, frowning at the colors.

"Is there something wrong with the clothing?" he asked, watching her with emotionless eyes as he wore a smile.

Rose glanced at him, "everything," she said simply, tossing it onto the bed, "it's pink and the style makes me think of the show, I Dream Of Genie." She shook her head, "I've never wore pink a day in my life and I'm not going to start now."

His eye twitched slightly, before he plastered a charming smile on his lips and picked the clothing up from the bed, "very well," he said, sounding irritated without looking it. He walked toward the door, "I'll find something else for her highness."

Rose shot his back a glare as he closed the door behind him. She sighed, shaking her head as she got to her feet and went to the dresser on the other side of the room. She figured it would take him a while to find something else for her to wear, so she was fine with walking around nude, for the moment. She opened the drawers and smiled at the clothing already in there. It was mostly togas or just large drapings of cloth, but it would do. She pulled out the first piece of cloth, this one blue, and wrapped it around her upper body, creating a make-shift bra style top. She pulled out a piece of white cloth and wrapped it around her lower body, creating a skirt out of it. She checked herself over in the mirror and gave herself a nod before grabbing her IPod and heading for the door. She wasn't about to wait around for the Fanalis to come back, not when she had to figure out how to get home. Not to mention, not wanting to spend too much time around people that didn't want her around anyway. She moved quickly down the hallway, doing her best to avoid anyone she came across before she reached the entrance to the palace. She took a deep, relieved breath as she crossed the threshhold, smiling as she moved down the hill and into the city.

The street as a buzz with people. Some shopping, some selling their wares, but all seemed happy and were moving about with such haste she was starting to feel at home. She smiled at all the pretty jewelry that one man was selling, yelling out that he had the best prices in all of the Reim Empire. The smell of cooking meat and fresh baked bread wafted toward her from farther down the street, making her Mmmm at the smell. Her stomach gave a small growl, making her frown and sigh. I wish I had some money, she thought as she passed a food vendor. Rose quickly shook the thought from her head as she kept walking. The sound of a scream caught her attention, stopping her in her tracks. She turned to look, watching as a woman and her two children stood behind a stall, cowering from a man who was glaring at them with blood shot eyes. Curiosity taking hold, Rose moved toward them, taking note of the people around not paying any attention to the scene. Like it was an everyday thing. Maybe it was, but that didn't stop her from checking it out.

"I told you to sell all of this before noonday," the man growled, his words slurring. From the half empty bottle in his hand, Rose deduced that he was drunk.

The woman cowered, "please, just give us a little more time," she pleaded, trying to keep the children behind her.

Rose felt herself start to get angry and glanced around. She spotted a guard a few stalls up and moved toward him, "hey, there's a woman that needs help," she said, getting the guard's attention, "I think that man's going to hurt her."

The guard glanced toward the scene before snorting, "we don't deal with domestic desputes," he growled before narrowing his eyes at her, "now move along."

Rose stood shocked. Her blood rushed through her veins as she clenched her jaw, her lips becoming a thin line as she gave a nod and moved back toward the scene.

"Please, DON'T!" she heard the woman cry before the destinct sound of flesh on flesh, snapped her eyes to them. The man had slapped the woman hard enough across the face to knock her out, leaving the children to cry over their mother's unconscious body, defenseless.

"Mama, mama," the children cried, shaking their mother to try to wake her up as the man moved to stand over them.

He sneered down at the children, like they were worse than the scum on the bottom of his boot, as he took a sloppy drink from the bottle. He reached out, taking the little girl's hair in his massive, meaty fist before jerking her off her feet and tossing her out into the street. Rose desperately looked around for someone, anyone, who would help. Still, people moved around the scene like it didn't exist. She felt her blood boil as the man gave the boy a kick, after he had tried to defend his mother and sister. What gave this man the right to treat his family like that? She moved before she realized, standing in front of the little girl as she sniffled and sobbed. Rose knelt down, gently placing her hand on the little girl's head as she looked up at Rose with fearful brown eyes.

"Who the hell are you?" the man snarled, taking a stumbling step toward Rose as she helped the little girl to her feet.

She stayed bent in half, giving the girl a reassuring smile, "don't worry, sweetie. Everything will be alright," she said, standing straight as she set her angry gaze on the man, "stay here."

The man glared at her, taking another sloppy sip of the booze before smirking at her, "if you're not going to buy something lady, move along," he said, his voice thick and slurred.

She wrinkled her nose, being able to smell the booze from several feet away, "I don't like the way you're treating your family," she said, her tone even as she moved forward. He sneered at her and was about to say something, but Rose wasn't having it. She moved forward, planting her fist hard in the man's solar plexus, sending him straight to the ground, "shut the fuck up," she snarled, giving him and hard kick to the ribs, "how the fuck do you like being kicked around!" She grabbed him by the front of his shirt, lifting him enough off the ground to get a good angle on his face. She brought her fist back, bringing it forward in an angry swing that spun him onto his stomach as she let go. She moved around, giving him a swift kick to the face that broke and bloodied his nose. She moved again, taking a step back as he tried to get to his feet. She swung her leg high, bringing the heel of her foot down in the center of his back, putting him back in the dirt. "Stay down, mother fucker!" she snarled, her teeth ground together as he huffed and puffed, trying to catch his breath enough to get back up. She waited, moving to check on the boy as she knelt in front of him, "are you okay, honey?" she asked, getting wide, fearful eyes from the boy before he scurried to his mother's body. She followed, shooting the man a glare as he got to his hands and knees, still wobbling to stand. The little girl had moved around her beating the guy up, and now sat next to their mother. Rose reached down, checking for a pulse and giving the children a smile, "she's alright," she assured them, "she'll probably wake up any minute."

The children nodded, before they started to cower again, that being the only warning she had before someone grabbed her hair, making her cry out as she was jerked to her feet. A hand across her cheek knocked her head slightly to the side, making stars dance for a second in front of her face. She blinked the stars away, giving the man a glare as he pulled his hand back for another hit. She braced herself for it just before he slapped her again. This time, she didn't see stars, and took the opportunity to let her legs fall out from under her, making her body dead weight enough that he let go out of shock. She spun, a few strands of her tangled hair ripping free of her head as she brought her foot up in a round house kick that sent him spinning back to the ground. She took several deep breaths, ignoring the stares the fight was getting as she grabbed the man by the back of his head and slammed it into the ground several times. She could hear shouting, but couldn't make out the words as she heard the man's head start to crack under her hand and constant pounding.

Suddenly, she was lifted from the ground, jerking her from her world of "Kill, kill, kill" and making her give a loud scream of anger. "LET ME GO! I'M NOT FINISHED WITH THAT MOTHER FUCKER!" she screamed, kicking and clawing at the arms wrapped around her.

"You're done, Rose," Muu's voice made her glare at the man as he moved past her and the man holding her off the ground, to check to see if the abuser was alive.

She growled, swinging her foot back to kick whoever had her in the groin, making him drop her on his way to the ground himself. She glared at the man laying on the ground as Muu watched her with cautious red eyes, almost like he was protecting the man. That thought made her sick. She scoffed and turned, walking to where the children and their mother were. She knelt beside their mother, glancing over her body for any other wounds before looking at the kids, "are you guys alright?" she asked, getting nods from the children as she smiled, "good." Their mother groaned, her eyes fluttering open as they tried to focus. She started to sit up, her eyes flying wide open as she tried to scramble back with the children behind her. Rose held her hands out, giving her a small smile, "it's alright, ma'am," she said, reaching out to take the woman's frantically waving hand, "it's alright. I took care of that bastard."

The woman blinked, glancing past Rose to the unconscious man beside Muu, "is he..." she couldn't finish that sentence, giving a small sob.

Rose glanced back as well, "god I hope so," she said, hearing the man groan before cursing, "I should have hit him harder."

The woman sobbed, her tears streaking through the blood on the corner of her mouth as the children crawled into her lap, looking like a broken family that just needed a safe place. Rose looked at them, thinking how lucky she was to have a father that loved her like he had, before giving a nod and getting to her feet.

She held her hand out to the woman, who looked at her with fear and shock, "you're coming with me," she said, getting a shakey breath from the woman before she nodded and took Rose's hand.

Chapter Text

Rose stood outside of the house, waiting for the mother and her children to gather their things. She leaned back against the wall with her arms folded over her chest, ignoring the glare she was getting from Lo'Lo' while Muu and Myron stared at her. Like they were trying to figure her out. She finally looked up, her eyes going from one Fanalis to the other and back, "what?" she asked, sounding tired.

"Why did you interfere in a family dispute?" Myron asked out right, folding her arms over her chest.

Rose gave her an even glare, "because no one else was doing anything about it and I wasn't about stand by and let that mother fucking sorry excuse for a human being treat someone like that," she snarled, leaning back against the wall as she took a deep breath to calm herself down, "where I come from, that shit is illegal. He could go to prison for a long time because of it."

"This isn't your world," Lo'Lo' growled, snarling at her, "whatever rules you know of don't apply here. You should get use to that."

Rose shot him a glare, "excuse me for having higher morals and standards than you fucking barbarians," she snarled, baring her teeth at him, "I would have wanted someone to help me if I couldn't help myself, instead of walking by like nothing was happening."

"Would you?" Muu asked, after remaining silent.

Rose looked at him, knowing what he meant before snorting, "I said if I couldn't help myself," she said, folding her arms over her chest.

"You can't help yourself get home, Rose," he said, taking a few steps toward her, he stopped putting his hand out, "you should let us help you."

She frowned, smacking his hand away, "you can't help me either and I would rather spend my time roaming the streets, at least trying to find a way home, than to spend it cooped up with a bunch of people who don't even fucking like me," she said, the last part hitting her hard and making her voice crack, slightly. She took a deep breath and shook her head as he stared at her with surprised eyes, "I don't know what it's like here, Muu, but where I'm from, if we see someone getting beat up, we do something about it, instead of walking by," she frowned, lowering her eyes to the ground, "although, even in my world, more often than not, people just keep walking like nothing's happening," she looked up at him with angry electric blue eyes, "and that pisses me off more than anything."

"What happened to your wrist?" Muu asked, making her blink at the sudden change in subject.

She snorted, folding her arms so that her bruised wrist was hidden, "does it really matter?"

He watched her for a moment, his red eyes looking hurt that she wouldn't tell him anything before the door to the house opened. Rose turned away from him, going to the mother and children as they, timidly, walked beside her toward the palace.

The children, Azek and Metek, gave a loud gasp as they entered the building, looking around the entrance hall before moving on with Rose. Rose lead them through the hallways, ignoring the Fanalis that followed as she pushed open her bedroom door, and waved them in. The children and their mother, Senadra, stood in the doorway for a moment, awestruck at the size and beauty of the room before the children gave squeals of delight, rushing to the bed and jumping on it like a trampoline. The mother turned to Rose, with tears in her eyes and took her hands, giving them a squeeze.

"Thank you so much, Lady Rose," she said, pulling Rose into a tight hug.

Rose smiled and hugged back, rubbing the Senadra's back, "you guys can stay here as long as you like," she said, moving back from the woman and holding her hands, "just promise me that you won't go back to the bastard, no matter what he says."

Senadra nodded, "I promise," she said, sniffling and wiping the tears from her eyes, "this is more than I could have ever dreamed for."

"Good," Rose said, putting her fists on her hips as she watched the children jumping on the bed, "sorry there's only one bed."

Senadra waved the apology away, "you've done more for us this day than anyone ever has," she said, making Rose blink at her before smiling, "thank you."

Rose grinned, "don't mention it," she said, leaning toward Senadra and lowering her voice, "seriously, don't mention it. I have a reputation to keep up."

Senadra laughed, "I'm sure that's not true, Lady Rose. You are an angel."

Rose chuckled, "yeah, fell from the sky and everything," she said, getting a confused blink from the woman before she shook her head, "never mind. You guys get settled and have a good night." She started to leave, only to bump into Muu's chest and stumble back a step, "geez. And again, no bell," she grumbled, getting a smile from him before he moved toward the Senadra and handed something to her. She blinked down at the little pendant he placed in her hands before looking up at him with confused eyes.

"This will ensure that you have permission to enter and exit the palace whenever you want," he explained, giving her a smile, "so you don't get kicked out by some idiot."

Senadra gave him a small smile and nodded as she put her closed hand to her chest, "thank you, Captain Muu. You're more kind than I heard of."

Muu gave her a shy grin, rubbing the back of his head, "you flatter me, my lady."

Rose rolled her eyes, "geez. Can't even wait for her to be stable on her feet, can you?" she said, getting a confused blink from the Fanalis before she turned him toward the door and started pushing him, "she just got out of a bad relationship. The tradition is to let her get her mind and emotions straightened first, which could take three months. Now get," she said, getting a chuckle from the Fanalis as he pretended to fight her. They both knew he could have easily kept from moving, but, this was fun and got Senadra to laugh. "I'll be back to check on you later," Rose said, waving at the bouncing kids before closing the door.

Chapter Text

Rose took a deep breath as she turned to look at the three Fanalis. Two were glowering at her while Muu, ever the sunny type, was smiling at her. She rolled her eyes before sighing and folding her arms over her chest, narrowing her eyes at him, "what?"

He shrugged, "nothing," he said, starting to move past her, "I wouldn't want to ruin your reputation."

Myron chuckled as she and Lo'Lo' followed. Rose shook her head, starting to walk the other way, only to be stopped by Muu's voice, "you're going the wrong way," he called.

She turned, walking backward a couple of steps, "I'm really not," she called back, turning to walk right. She paused as another Fanalis stepped out from around the corner, like they knew she would try to go a different way. She frowned at the large Fanalis with his mohawked bald head and narrowed red eyes. She sighed, "I wouldn't supposed you'd just let me walk around you, would ya?" she asked, leaning slightly.

He slowly shook his head, making her sigh again.

She glanced toward Muu, Myron and Lo'Lo', feeling a little like a trapped rat again before looking toward the balcony. She was half wondering if she stood a chance at jumping out the window if she caught the curtain just so. The large man moving brought her attention to him, making her frown while dancing away from him as he reached out to grab her. "Don't fucking touch me," she growled, glaring up at the man.

"Alright, I've had enough," Muu's voice was close, making her blink and turn to face him as a shoulder hit her stomach, sending her over his shoulder as he stood and started the way he was going.

She growled, beating her fists against his armored back, "damn it! Put me down! I'm not a sack of flour," she snarled, kicking her feet as she tried to push herself over and off his shoulder.

He shrugged, adjusting her on his shoulder as his arm around her thighs tightened, "keep struggling and I'll end up dropping you," he warned with a laugh in his voice.

"Put me down and you wouldn't have to worry about that," she growled at the back of his head, making him chuckle.

Almost an hour later, mostly because Rose had mannaged to slip off Muu's shoulder, Muu carried her into the arena of the Colosseum under his arm, glancing down at her as she tried to push his arm out, again. He sighed, shifting her roughly and making her grunt, "stawp," he grumbled, sounding like an annoyed brother.

She snorted, trying to push his arm out again as he moved up the colosseum steps, "never!" she annouced, resulting to trying to scratch his arms. Why did I have to clip my fingernails yesterday morning? she thought as he dropped her on one of the benches with an "oof". She scambled into a sitting postition, giving him a glare as he checked over his arm. She started to get up, only to be pushed back down onto the bench.

With his hand on her shoulder, mostly to keep her in place, Muu leaned down, making sure they were eye to eye before speaking, "stay here and behave yourself, Rose," he said, his voice and eyes stern as she frowned at him.

"I already told you," she growled, putting their noses almost touching, "I don't want to be where I'm not wanted and I have more important things to do than sit here and watch you over grown neanderthals grunt and growl at one another all day."

Muu gave a heavy sigh as he stood, giving her shoulder a squeeze, "if you stay here and behave, I'll buy you anything you want," he said, looking down at her.

She snorted, folding her arms over her chest, "you gunna buy me a ticket to get the fuck outta this anime?" she asked, narrowing her eyes at him, "because that's what I really want."

He stared at her for a few moments before shaking his head, "if I could, Rose, I would buy that for you, but, as it does not exist, I can't," he paused, watching a flash of sadness wash across her brilliant blue eyes, "I'm sorry."

She snorted, shrugging his hand off her shoulder as she turned slightly away from him, "whatever," she muttered, looking off toward a different entrance. Honestly, it hurt hearing Muu say that he would do that, even if she didn't believe him. Still, the hope that it could happen being dashed was like a hot knife to the gut.

A few hours later, Rose gave a long yawn as she lay back on the bench, listening to the Fanalis Corps beating the crap out of one another. She stared up at the mid-afternoon sky, watching the clouds change shape above her before moving over the colosseum walls. She took a deep breath, letting it out through her nose as she glanced over at Muu, who had decided to stay in the stands and direct his men from there. Rose knew it was because he thought she would try to run again, and he was right. She would have run. Straight out of the colosseum and down toward the water. She frowned, looking down at her chest and arms, where the sun had hit her the most. She was sunburnt and groaned slightly as her sunburnt skin stretched as she sat up. Usually, she could be outside for a few hours at a time without much effect, but she hadn't been able to get a descent tan in years because of her desk job. She was at work before the sun was high and out of work long after the sun was low. She clenched and unclenched her fists, furrowing her brow at the tightening of the sunburn on the backs of her hands before sighing. She reached into the halter top she had made and pulled out her IPod, mentally praying that it worked as she unwrapped the cords. She gritted her teeth, closing one eye tight as she watched the screen with the other one.

"Please, please, please, please," she whispered, feeling her breath and heart stop. She pushed the button to turn in on. "YES!" she squealed when the screen lit up, showing her playlists. She bounced happily on the bench as she scrolled through the playlists and stuck one of the ear buds in her ears. She paused, noticing that the clanking and crashing had stopped briefly before glancing up. The entire Corps was watching her. Most of them with annoyed red eyes, but a few looked at her with mild curiosity. She gave them an apologetic grin, "sorry," she said, waving a couple of times before they went back to what they were doing and she turned her attention back to the IPod in her hands.

"Got it working?" Muu asked, watching her with a smile as he sat next to her.

She nodded, her mind concentrating on the words on the screen, "yeah, now I hope the headphones work," she said in a distracted voice. She chose a song, Get Up - Ciara Ft. Chamillionaire, and crossed her fingers, hoping that the headphones worked. When the song started playing through the earbuds she gave a squeal of excitement, making Muu jump in surprise. She put her hand on his arm, the way you do when you mean to apologize, "sorry," she giggled, "sorry, I'm just so happy!" She shook her head to the beat, smiling at the device while scrolling through the rest of the playlists.

"You seem happier," he said, giving her a grin, "it's good to see you smiling for real."

Rose paused, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly before glancing at him, "I smiled," she said, trying to defend herself as she turned away from him, her thumb working the pad of the IPod.

He sighed, "not like you are now," he said, getting to his feet and walking to the wall of the arena, looking over the Fanalis.

Rose snorted, mumbling to the IPod, "haven't really had a reason to smile 'til now."

"I guess not," Muu said without turning around.

Chapter Text

Rose lay on her stomach with her head on her arms, listening to the music with her eyes closed while it got darker in the arena. She hummed along to some of the music, letting her feet lazily kick in the air. A hand on her back, opened her eyes, bringing her attention to Muu, who was smiling at her and saying something. She frowned, sitting up and pulling one of the earbuds from her ear, "what?" she asked, tilting her head, "I can't hear anything with these in my ears."

He gave a small nod, "some of us were going to the tavern for a drink. Since you behaved yourself, do you want to come?" he said, motioning toward a group of six standing near the entrance of the arena. Myron was amongst them and, although she wanted to show her new friend the IPod, the others in the group, including Lo'Lo', didn't look too happy about Muu inviting her.

She looked them over before shaking her head, "nah. I'm good," she said, feeling both hurt that she wasn't welcome and relieved that he had given her an out.

Muu frowned, looking her over as she avoided his eyes, making herself busy with wrapping the earbuds around the IPod, "does you saying no have anything to do with your statement earlier, or do you really not want to go?" he asked, folding his arms over his bronze, clad chest.

Rose furrowed her brow, putting the IPod against her breast in the halter top, "what statement? I make a lot of them."

"You not being welcome or wanted here," he said, watching her with calculating red eyes.

She glanced at him, trying to keep her expression neutral as she stood in front of him. She tilted her head slightly, keeping eye contact as she did, "what if it did?"

"Then, I'll talk to them," he said, like it was really that simple.

Rose sighed, running her hand through her, still grimey hair, "do you think forcing the issue is going to make it better, or go away completely? It'll only make things worse, Muu. Trust me," she said, folding her arms over her chest as she glanced at the group.

"They won't do anything to you while I'm around," he said, his voice stern.

Rose scoffed, making him blink at her as she looked up at him, "funny thing is, you won't be around me forever. You have to sleep, sometime, and I'm positive that, no matter what, if they decide I'm not worth keeping around, that's it. I'm dead," she said, moving her thumb across her neck in a quick motion of a throat slice, "and there ain't a damn thing you could do about it."

"They're loyal to me," he stated, like that made a difference.

Rose snorted, "not to me," she said, making him furrow his brow, looking a little flustered.

"If I tell them not to kill you..." she cut him off.

"I'll have an accident," she said with a shrug.

He frowned, his brow knit together as he glared at her, "you're a very pessimistic person," he growled.

She shrugged, "I'm a realist, Muu," she said, glaring back and poking him in the sternum, "and there ain't a damn thing you can say to me that's going to change my mind about the subject."

He nodded toward her outstretched hand, "is that what happened to your wrist? Did...someone hurt you?" he asked, his voice softening.

She blinked, looking down at her bruised wrist before folding her arms so it was hidden again, "no. Nobody hurt me," she paused and took a deep breath, "I thought that this was a dream and was going to jump off that balcony area to prove it," she paused again, looking down at his feet, "Lo'Lo' came to check on me, I guess, and caught me as I jumped," she said, shrugging as she looked up at Muu, "I got the bruise from him."

Muu stared at her in disbelief for a few seconds, "why would you try to jump?"

She shrugged again, "I figured, if this was a dream, I would wake up before I hit the ground, like I always do," she said, frowning as she glared up at him, "who the fuck you think you are? My Dad? Stop questioning what I do with my time and life."

"I feel like you should question your own choices," he said, his face and voice becoming stern, almost angry.

"I don't have to because they're MY choices," she snarled, putting her hand to her chest, "so stay the fuck out of them and leave me alone."

She turned to march away, only to get grabbed by the upper arm, making her hiss in pain at being touched (sunburnt, remember?). Muu gave her a jerk, turning her slightly more toward him as he glared at her with angry red eyes, "where are you going?" he asked, his voice low and even, like he was trying to keep from screaming at her.

She glared back, ignoring the pins and needles and, almost overbearing heat, coming from where his hand had her arm, "I'm going back to the palace and taking a cold bath because my skin fucking hurts. Is that alright with you, Captain?" she snarled at him.

They glared at one another for a few moments before he let out a calming breath through his nose and slowly released her. She let her arm drop to her side, ignoring the pleasant feeling of the cool night air on her hot skin as she glared up at Muu.

"I'm sorry," he said, his voice low as he lowered his gaze to the ground before looking up at her. His eyes scanned over her features for a few seconds before he spoke, "does it hurt?"

She blinked, slightly confused by the sudden change in him before frowning, "it's none of your business," she hissed, narrowing her eyes at him, "nothing that has to do with me is."

He watched her for a moment, sadness creeping into his red eyes before he sighed, "someone should go with you," he said, making her frown deepen.

"Why? So I don't run off and attempt to find my way home myself? Or so you can keep tabs on your little, foreign prisoner?" she asked, the words full of venom and anger. She didn't bother to filter what she said, like she normally did. He had made her angry. This whole place made her angry. The whole situation made her angry. And she was tired.

He watched her, his face neutral before he took a deep breath, looking a little hurt, "is that what you think? That you're a prisoner?" he asked, his brows furrowed as he tilted his head slightly with his eyes narrowed.

She snorted, "if the shoe fits," she said, folding her arms over her chest as she glared at him.

He shook his head, "you're not a prisoner, Rose," he said, making her scoff.

"Then why don't you let me go anywhere alone? Why do I need an escort everywhere and why are you making your men keep their eyes on me?" she asked, pointing at the group near the entrance, who were looking at the scene with confusion and annoyance.

He started to open his mouth to say something but quickly closed it, watching her as she glared at him.

She felt her throat swell with unshed tears of sorrow, loneliness and anger as her eyes started to burn, "all I want to do is go home," she said, her voice shaking, "I'm not a spy from a foreign nation. I'm not a thief. I'm not trying to make friends," she paused, holding her hands out a her sides, "I'm just an angry, lost, scared girl from Vegas that just wants to find out why I'm here so I can go home. What's so hard to understand about that?" She felt the first tears trickle down her cheeks. Saying what she had thought for the last day, or so, made it real and made it hurt more. She was angry. She was scared. All she wanted was to go home. Muu moved forward, reaching for her and grabbing for air as she stepped away from him, shaking her head. He gave her confused, hurt eyes as she held her hand, palm facing him, out, "don't, Muu," she said, her voice thick with tears, "I know you just want to help, but right now, I need to not be touched, okay?"

He took a breath and nodded, seeming to understand, "okay," he said, his voice gentle as he let his hands drop to his sides, "but I would like you to allow someone to escort you back to the palace. Please?"

She nodded, keeping her eyes on the ground as she wiped her nose with the back of her hand. She didn't trust her voice at the moment and wanted to keep what little control she had. Muu motioned her toward the group, being careful not to touch her as she moved past him. In all honesty, she wanted nothing more than to cry and sob and scream while someone held her and told her it would be alright. What made it worse was, she knew, from the last day that they had spent together, that Muu would do it, if she asked. Why does he have to be so nice? she thought, glancing up at him as he stood next to her near the group of Fanalis, I get why Genny likes him.

He looked at a man who stood a few inches taller than him. The Fanalis was blind in his left eye, with a large scar going over it and his red hair pulled back with a hair band, making it look like a lion's mane, "Roke, would you escort Rose back to the palace?" Muu asked, causing the man to glance at her.

She kept her eyes on the ground, feeling pathetic and homesick.

"I'll do it," Lo'Lo's voice brought her eyes up to look at him, confusion settling in her stomach, twisting it with the distrust she had for this man, that formed a heavy pit there.

Muu gave a nod, turning to look down at Rose and give her a reassuring smile, "you'll be safe with Lo'Lo'," he said, lifting his hand to place it on her head before hesitating and lowering it back down to his side.

She swallowed, looking at the dangerous Fanalis as the others left them alone.

Chapter Text

Rose and Lo'Lo' walked in silence, neither wanting to say anything to the other. Rose let out a sigh, keeping her eyes on the ground as she spoke, "why did you volunteer to take me back to the palace?" she asked, looking at him out of the corner of her eye, "you made it painfully clear that you don't like me and find me to be nothing more than a...what was the word you used? Pest?"

He kept silent, his eyes dead ahead before he glanced at her, "my opinion of you hasn't changed, Thorn bush," he said, turning his eyes back to the palace in the distance.

She gave a short nod, letting the silence stretch for a few moments before speaking again, "then why volunteer? Why not let the other guy take me back?" she asked, looking at him as they walked.

He shrugged, but didn't say anything, leaving her to sigh in the silence. They walked for another couple of blocks, or what she could determine to be blocks. Everything's so tightly packed here, she thought, glancing at the stalls as they walked by.

"Why did you lie?" he asked, making her blink up at the tall man.

She shrugged, "I didn't lie, completely. You did save me from jumping to my death and you did give me the bruise," she said, a jewlery stall catching her eye as they walked.

"But that's not how you got it," he said, looking at her as they walked.

She sighed and shook her head, "getting you in trouble with your boss will only make my life a living Hell," she paused, glancing over Lo'Lo' before looking him in the eyes, "if you're the kind of man I think you are."

He snorted, folding his arms over his chest, "and what kind of man is that?"

She shrugged, "vendictive, coniving, easy to anger, can hold a grudge until the end of time," she said, pausing at a stall that sold clothing.

He watched her for a few seconds as she looked over the brightly dyed clothing.

The stall vendor moved forward with a friendly grin on his face, "may I help you?" he asked, making her blink at him with confused, innocent eyes.

She gave the vendor a smile, "no thank you. I was just looking at your beautiful clothing," she said, getting a wider grin from the man.

"Well, if there is anything you would like, please, let me know," he said, moving to greet a couple that stepped up to the stall.

Rose's grin instantly disappeared as she frowned at the clothing, "not that I have any money for something anyway," she mumbled, giving a heavy sigh before starting to walk away. Lo'Lo' grabbed her arm, making her hiss and turn to glare up at him, "mother fucker!" she snarled, trying to scratch at his hands, "let go!"

"Do you want it?" he asked, making her frown at his hand, more confused than anything, before looking up at him.

"What?" she asked, blinking at him.

He growled, narrowing his red eyes at her, "why does everyone have to repeat what they say to you? Are you deaf or stupid?" he asked, turning so that he was fully facing her, "do. You. Want. Those. Clothes?"

She gave him confused eyes before glancing at the clothes behind him. She took a deep breath, really thinking about it for a moment. Did she want the outfit or was it one of those girlish passing fancies? She tilted her head, staring at the vibrant blues, greens and yellows that splashed together in a tie dye pattern. She swallowed, blinking out of her thoughts before frowning at turning her glare to Lo'Lo', "why the hell does it matter?" she asked, trying to jerk her arm away from him and only hurting herself.

He watched her for a moment before letting go suddenly, making her stumble back a couple of steps, "I was going to buy them for you," he mumbled as he walked past her, heading for the palace.

She blinked after him before hurrying to catch up, feeling a little like an ass as she fell into step beside him. She glanced up at him, his face serious as they walked, before she cleared her throat, "you really weren't going to buy those clothes for me, were you?" she asked, looking down at the ground as they walked.

"So what, if I was?" he asked, sounding a little flustered, "why?"

She wrung her hands in front of her as she looked at them, lowering her chin to her chest in shame, "because that makes me feel like a bitch, being mean and all," she mumbled. The silence stretched for a few heartbeats before she took a deep breath and swallowed, "sorry," she muttered, glancing off to the side.

Lo'Lo' glanced down at her, taking note of the blush in her cheeks before smiling. He put his hand on her shoulder, making her look at him with serious, untrusting eyes, which only made him smile wider, "you hungry, Thorn Bush?"

She shrugged, "I could eat," she said, ignoring the pain of her stomach trying to eat itself. (Fun Fact: After going without food for a while, your stomach doesn't even growl anymore, it just hurts. Life experience.)

He chuckled, "you didn't eat yesterday or all day today," he said, steering her down an ajoining street.

"So?" she asked, glaring over her shoulder at him, "and could you please stop steering me? I'm not a frickin' boat."

He chuckled, but kept his hand on her shoulder.

Chapter Text

An hour, or so, later, Rose sat at a table in the back of a crowded restaurant. She glanced at all the people around them, laughing and talking with loud voices while music played in the background. Lo'Lo' had gone to the bar, probably to get drinks that she insisted that she didn't want or need. She sat back in her seat, frowning at the center of the table as she crossed her arms and legs. A man stumbled to the table, bringing her eyes up to him as he grinned at her. He smelled, heavily, of booze, which turned her stomach. She wrinkled her nose and put her fingers under her nostrils and frowning at the man.

"Can I help you?" she asked, trying not to vomit.

His grin widened as he leaned over the table, looking like he was trying to be smoothe and failing, "wadda ya shay you and meee get outta here and go shome where more private?" he asked, making her frown and narrow her eyes at him.

"Dude, I don't even know you, and you don't know me," she said, furrowing her brow as he leaned more over the table, "kick rocks, bitch."

He frowned at her, "show, are you shaying no?" he asked, making her roll her eyes.

He wasn't the first drunk guy she ever had hit on her, and she knew he wouldn't be the last. She spotted Lo'Lo' as he stepped away from the bar and started toward her. He paused for a second when he saw the drunk starting to move around the table toward her, frowning as he moved closer with a mug in either hand. She stood, smoothly avoiding the man's arm as he tried to wrap it around her neck, and met Lo'Lo' as he stepped around the table next to theirs. She slid her arms around his waist and smiled up at him, "baby, where you been? You were taking an aweful long time with the drinks," she said, hoping Lo'Lo' would catch the hint.

Thankfully, he did, wrapping one of his arms around her as he gave her a kiss on the head, "sorry, Princess, there was a bit of a line," he said, turning to grin at the man near the table, "this guy bothering you?"

She looked at the man with a superior smirk, "no, he was just asking where the door was," she said, getting quick nods from the man, who was looking at Lo'Lo' with wide, fearful eyes.

Lo'Lo' nodded toward the door, "it's that way," he growled, keeping the grin in place as the man moved quickly around the room, keeping his eyes on the floor.

Rose snorted as she started to chuckle, "what a loser," she said with a smile as she sadly shook her head and stepped away from Lo'Lo'. She looked up at him with a raised eyebrow, "'Princess', seriously?"

He chuckled, moving to sit at the table, "you act like one and it was the first thing that came to mind," he said, setting one of the mugs in front of the vacant area next to him.
She rolled her eyes, taking a seat, "you could have stuck with 'Thorn Bush'. I don't think the bastard would have known the difference," she said.

He smiled, "I suppose," he said, reaching out and taking the back of her chair. He pulled her around the table, making her yelp in surprise at how easily he moved her and the chair, as it came to rest beside him. He lay his arm over the back of her chair, giving her a smile as he raised his mug, "don't want anyone else to think you're alone, do we?" he asked, a deviant glint in his eyes as he look a long drink from his mug.

She frowned down at the liquid in the mug, wrinkling her nose at it, "what is this stuff?" she asked, lifting the mug from the table.

Lo'Lo' smiled at her, "just drink it," he said, looking off toward the entrance as a few Fanalis entered.

She snorted, "you said we were getting something to eat and I'm starving," she complained, setting the drink down on the table and folding her arms over her chest in a huff.
Lo'Lo' sighed, "food is coming, Princess. It'll just take a while," he said, making her snort at him.

"Food only takes, five minutes where I'm from," she grumbled, swirling the liquid in the mug as she looked up at the group, now heading for their table, "what I wouldn't do for a burger right now." She spotted Muu and Myron in the group, which made her feel a little better, but not much as the others hesitated when they spotted her...although, it might have been Lo'Lo's arm over the back of her chair.

"I thought you said you didn't want to go out drinking?" Muu asked her as he sat down across from her.

Rose narrowed her eyes at him, "I don't recall saying, 'I don't want to go out drinking'," she said, tilting her head slightly as she stared at him.

He chuckled and rolled his eyes as everyone sat around the table. Myron sat next to Rose and glanced over Lo'Lo's arm over the back of her chair, "what's with the possessive arm, Lo'Lo'?" she asked, giving said man a raised eyebrow over Rose's head.

Rose opted to answer for him, "some sleeze ball started hitting on me and Lo'Lo' came to my rescue," she said, giving him a slap on the shoulder, "you should keep him around a little longer. He makes a great sleeze deterant."

Lo'Lo' shrugged, "from what I saw, he wasn't hitting on anything," he said, giving Rose confused eyes.

Rose sighed, shaking her head, "what I mean is, the bastard was flirting with me. Badly," she said, trying to explain terminology to the Fanalis sitting there, "that's what, 'hitting on' means in my world. Flirtting."

"So, what do you say when someone actually hits on someone?" Roke, the one who was supposed to take her to the palace, asked.

She shrugged, "beating."

"What other terms do you have for things?" Muu asked, leaning in his elbows on the table, his eyes focused on her.

She shrugged again, "well, there's 'that's cool' which means that it's alright. Depending on how drawn out the word is depends on how amazing something is. Like, for example, if I say, 'that's cool,' it means, that's alright, but if I say, 'Dude, that's soooo coooool', it means that I find it amazing. Same thing if I say something's wicked. Wicked can also mean that something looks do I put it?...angry or nasty or like it would hurt really badly to be touched by it."

They seemed to understand what she was saying, even the people in the group that didn't like her seemed fasinated by the terms of speech from her world.

Chapter Text

The sun coming in from the window made Rose furrow her brow and close her eyes tight, making her groan as she pulled the blankets over her head. 

"About time you woke up," Myron's annoyed voice made Rose lift the edge of the blanket, slightly to look out at the woman.

"What time is it?" she asked, her voice as thick as her mouth was dry.

"Mid-morning," Myron said from across the room, "now hurry up. Muu wants me to take you shopping. I don't know why when you can do it yourself."

Rose groaned and grumbled as she drug herself from under the blankets, hissing in the bright sunlight, "what happened last night?"

Myron blinked at her as she stood, "you don't remember?"

Rose shook her head, "the last thing I remember was telling you guys about a few metephors we use in my world and taking a couple drinks of that crap in the mugs."

Myron sighed and rubbed her forehead, like she didn't want to say anything, "well, you got drunk..." she started, making Rose sigh.

"Alright. Who did I kiss and or offer to sleep with?" Rose said as she stretched the hangover out of her muscles.

Myron sighed again, twirling the end of her hair around her finger as she looked at Rose, "well, you offered to sleep with Muu. Luckily, my brother is smart and not desperate..." she paused, "but you did kiss Lo'Lo'...a lot."

Rose stopped midmotion, giving Myron wide eyes as the blood drained from her face. She groaned, putting her hands over her face, "oh, no."

Myron snorted, "you have to deal with the consequences of what you did, wheither you remember it or not," she said, folding her arms over her toga covered chest.

Rose sighed, "can't I just crawl into a hole and die? That seems easier," she said, giving Myron a pleading look.

Myron shook her head, "no. We have to go clothes shopping," she said, turning and heading out the door without waiting for a response.

Rose groaned, reluctantly following. I hope we don't run into Lo'Lo' any time soon, she thought as they moved down the hallway.

But, of course, Lo'Lo' and Yaqut were waiting for them at the entrance of the palace. Rose felt her face grow hot with embarrassment and stopped dead when she saw the two. She shook her head and turned, heading back into the building, "nope."

Myron clicked her tongue and grabbed the back of Rose's top, "you'll have to face him some time and I would rather it be sooner than later," she growled, keeping Rose from walking away.

Rose snorted, giving Myron a glare as she looked over her shoulder at the other woman, "I will face him, just not right now...or today...or this century," she said, trying to walk away, "now let go, Myron."

Myron shook her head, giving Rose a quick jerk that made her stumble back, "look, I don't want to do this any more than you do, but it needs to be done and if being a little uncomfortable is the worst of your problems, then deal with it."

Rose turned, forcing Myron to let go of her top as she glared at the woman, "no I will not!" she said, her voice going a little higher than she intended, "this is just another way to make me fucking suffer. Am I not suffering enough already without having to deal with the consequences of last night's drunken escapade swinging over my head like a guillotine?"

Myron sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose before looking at Rose with narrowed red eyes, "you, apparently, find Lo'Lo' attractive enough to kiss him half the night."

Rose snorted, "I was drunk and didn't know what the fuck I was doing. You can't blame me for my actions."

Myron frowned, "I can and will," she growled, grabbing Rose's arm and pushing her toward the two men, who were watching them with amused eyes, "now move it before I do something we'll both regret."

"So I'm the only one who's regretting things today?" Rose growled at the woman over her shoulder, "that's hardly fair."

"No one forced you to kiss him," Myron said, loudly, making Rose blush.

"That hell you gotta say that so loud for?" she growled under her breath, "and I disagree. Alcohol forced it."

Myron gave a frustrated sigh as she pushed Rose past the two and out into the street, "just walk, Rose. I want to get this errand done and over with."

Rose snorted, "you know, most women like clothes shopping," she pointed out, walking at a normal pace as Myron released her and fell into step beside her.

"Maybe in your world," Myron said under her breath.

Rose spent half the time avoiding looking at Lo'Lo' and the other half the the time trying to avoid anything that may lead to the subject of the night before. Myron stood glaring at Rose as she glanced through the hanging clothing, tapping her foot angrily. Rose gave a heavy sigh and looked at her, "what?"

Myron's eyes narrowed as she nodded toward Lo'Lo' and Yaqut, whom they could see outside the doorway of the store, "you need to talk to Lo'Lo' about what happened," she said, making Rose frown.

"Why?" she asked, turned to face the woman with her arms folded, "why is it such a big deal that we need to talk about it?"

"Because, one, you're making it awkward to be around you, and two, because avoiding the subject completely isn't going to make it go away," she said, putting her fists on her hips as she glared at Rose, "besides that, Lo'Lo' may not seem like it, but he's upset with how much you're avoiding him."

Rose blinked, looking at the ground as she thought about that before sighing, "I'm sorry, Myron, but I...I'm not ready to talk about it yet," she said, putting her finger up, "that doesn't mean that I won't, just that, right now I can't."

"Why not?" Myron asked, tilting her head as she gave Rose an expectant look.

Rose heaved a heavy sigh, lowering her chin to her chest, "because nothing like this has ever happened to me before," she said, glancing at the other woman before shifting through the clothing, "I've always had someone there, when I went out drinking, to run interferance and to keep things like that from happening. So, I'm embarrassed and trying to rush me into talking about it without allowing me to cope with it myself is just making it worse," she turned to look at Myron, "so, please, Myron, leave it alone for now. When I'm ready, I'll talk to Lo'Lo' about it. Okay?"

Myron watched Rose for a few seconds before sighing and giving a nod, "alright," she said, sounding a little sympathetic before frowning, "hurry up and pick something, would you?"

Rose smiled at her before shifting the clothes around.

Mid-afternoon, Rose sat on a wall and scrolled through her IPod, listening to some encouraging songs to get her courage up to talk to Lo'Lo' while Myron had gone off with said man to get something to eat. Yaqut leaned back against the wall, glancing at the people as they walked by before glancing up at Rose.

"You should talk to him," he said, his deep voice cutting through the music in her ears. She started listening to it low enough to hear what other people were saying.

She sighed and glanced at him before turning her attention back to the IPod, "I already told Myron that I would. Just not now and, probably, not today," she said, playing one of her favorite songs, Worthless - Anna Clendening.

"We heard," he said, making her stop.

She looked at him, trying to figure out if he was lieing, "'we'?"

He gave a slow nod, touching his ear as he smiled, "Fanalis have really good hearing," he said, making her groan and put her face in her hands.

"Fuck my life running," she groaned into her palms, "so he heard everything."

"Every word," Yaqut said, looking at the people passing by.

"God, I just wanna crawl into a hole and die," she grumbled into her hands, making Yaqut chuckle.

"There's nothing to be so embarrassed about," he said with a shrug, "you kissed Lo'Lo'. So what?"

Rose snorted, looking at him over her fingers, "'so, what'?" she growled, hopping down from the wall and standing in front of Yaqut, who was watching her with an amused eye, "I'll tell you, 'so, what'. One, I don't know him. Two, he hates me. Said so himself. Three, I'm not a whore and don't go around kissing random people. Four, I don't know what the customs are here. For all I know, making out with someone means your engaged or married."

Yaqut chuckled and rolled his eyes, "alright, Rosey. One, who cares. Two, he likes you enough to not stop it. Three, no one said you were or did. Four, no. You aren't married unless you get married. Kissing someone or bedding them doesn't mean you're married to that person. It just means you enjoy their company enough to keep their company through the night and into the next morning," he said, smiling at her as he folded his arms over his chest. He tilted his head to the side, a deviant glint sparkling in his eye, the one not covered by his bangs, "would it make you feel better if you kissed me?"

Rose's eyes widened before she gave him a glare and a shove, "sick bastard! I'm having a mental break down and you're making fun of me," she growled.

"Yes I am, because you're being stupid," he said back, his expression turning serious, "you're acting like a spoiled child."

She snorted, "no, I'm acting like someone who just had something traumatic happen to them," she snapped back, "when I'm ready to talk about it, I'll talk to Lo'Lo' about it, but until then, I won't talk to anyone about it. So, y'all need to back the fuck up and let me deal with my own mental state before I deal with the rest. Get me?"

Yaqut watched her with a narrow eye before sighing, "fine, but stop trying to avoid him, at least."

She frowned but gave a short nod, "fine. I'll, at least, try that," she grumbled, folding her arms over her chest as she crawled back onto the wall.

Chapter Text

The rest of the day went by smoothly, without either Myron or Yaqut saying anything else to her about talking to Lo'Lo'. Rose even got enough outfits for about a week and a half before having to either wash or rewear the clothing. She was glad when they walked through the gates of the palace, but knew that she had to talk to Lo'Lo' about them making out the night before...before she lost her nerve. They were walking down the hallway and Rose took a deep breath, swallowing the butterflies fluttering in her stomach before glancing at Lo'Lo', who was carrying a few articles of clothing. 

"Hey, Lo'Lo'?" she started, getting his attention. He blinked a few times, looking confused as she continued, "can I talk to you for a second?"

He tilted his head, slightly, before shrugging, "if you want," he said, glancing at Yaqut and Myron as they took the clothing from Rose and Lo'Lo' and headed off, leaving the two alone in the hallway. He gave their departure a raised eyebrow before looking down at Rose as she stood before him, shuffling her feet and trying to keep her courage built up.
"I wanted to talk to you about last night and us...kissing," she said, keeping her eyes on the ground and she took a deep breath.

Lo'Lo's chuckle brought her eyes up to him with confusion sparkling in her blue orbs, "is that why you were avoiding me?" he said, grinning at her, "phew, I thought I had done something wrong."

Rose narrowed her eyes, "it was wrong. You can't, and shouldn't, make out with someone you barely know," she said, leaning forward slightly as she glared at him.

He smirked down at her with his arms folded over his chest, watching as she fumed and glared at him, "your world must have some very closed off people," he said, tilting his head as she snorted, "we kissed a few times, Thornbush. It wasn't like I threw you on the table and had my way with you...unless..."

Her eyes widened before they narrowed in anger, "no," she growled, waving her hand out, "not even in your dreams creeper and not in public."

Lo'Lo' grinned at her, "alright then. Stop making a big deal out of it," he said, before walking past her, heading for the inside of the palace.

Rose let out a frustrated huff, "it's a big deal to me," she said, turning and following him like an angry storm, "I said no to the alcohol but you gave it to me anyway. I wanted water."

Lo'Lo' sighed, glancing back at her as he slowed, "you looked like you needed a drink," he said, grinning at her as she caught up to him.

She snorted, "I said no, and the only thing I need is a nice, hot shower," she said, glancing over the paintings and art along the hallway.

Lo'Lo' tilted his head as he looked at her, his nostrils flaring, "you do smell a little..."

She cut him off with a dangerous glare, "choose your words carefully, or I'll rip the other half of your mouth off."

His grin widened as he leaned toward her, "I'd like yo see you try, Thornbush," he growled the challenge, making her frown. They had stopped in the middle of the hallway, Lo'Lo' grinning at her as she glared up at him.

She let out a calming sigh and shook her head, "look, I wanted to say I was sorry for...being handsy and, since I probably initiated the kiss in the first place, doing that. It won't happen again because I'm not drinking around you again...or anyone, until I can find a friend that'll keep me from going home with the first dick I see."

Lo'Lo' gave her a raised eyebrow and tilted his head to the side as he looked at her, "so, in your world, men just drop their pants if they're interested and let you see their dicks?" he asked, giving a shrug before heading down the hallway, "strange, but if it works."

Rose's eyes shot wide open as she frantically shook her head and rushed to walk beside him, "NO! That's not how that happens. They don't just drop trow and let a girl their interested in see their junk. You have to be a smooth talker and slightly more aggressive than...Ahh!" she gave a yelp as Lo'Lo' put her against the nearest wall. He leaned down to be eye to eye with her, grinning as she blinked at him in confusion. His hand was against the wall beside her head while his other hand was beside her hip, blocking her in. She felt her cheeks heat up and quickly shook the feeling away. Like hell I'm going to let him enjoy this, she thought, frowning at him, "that's not what I meant, now get back, mother fucker, you don't know me like that," she said, putting her hand against his chest. The feeling of rock hard muscles under her hand set her nerves on edge and made her mouth go dry. She started to wonder what it would feel like, covered by those muscles as they moved above her...or below her, she was versatile like that, but Lo'Lo' seemed like the "always dominate" type. She swallowed past the driness and cleared her throat, realizing that she had frozen in place.

Lo'Lo' leaned forward, placing his mouth near her ear, his breath hot against her skin as he spoke, "it smells like you want me to," he growled, making her stomach flutter.

She cleared her throat again and shook her head, not trusting her voice.

His deep, rumbling chuckle, made her twitch as he traced his lips across her bare shoulder. A light, delicate touch that made her bite her lip to keep from making any noise as her fingers tensed against his pecks. He gave a low "Mmmmm" that quickened her breath, bringing it out in a small gasp. Her eyes widened as she slapped her free hand across her mouth, feeling embarrassed and a little upset with herself that she didn't have as much control over herself as she liked to believe. He chuckled against her neck, his hot breath gliding across her skin like a gentle, promising breeze.

"You sound like you want it," he growled, against the base of her neck, "blue eyed Fanalis."

She shook her head frantically, narrowing her eyes at the tuffs of hair she could see.

She felt him grin against her neck before she felt his hot tongue trace her throat, all the way up her jaw and chin. She tilted back her head as he licked up, letting out a low moaning gasp as her eyes closed. She quickly squeezed her eyes shut, dropping her chin to her chest as she covered her mouth with both her hands, shaking her head in defiance of her own body's need. Lo'Lo's chuckle brought her eyes open and up to glare at him as he grinned at her like a deviant inccubus. Oh, God. Stop looking at me like you're going to do so many dirty things to me, Rose mentally begged, carefully keeping her eyes narrowed while the thoughts and images of what he might do danced in her head.

He started to lean forward again, and she braced herself for everything only to blink in surprise when his warm lips came to rest on her forehead. She slowly lowered her hands as he leaned back, smiling down at her with gentle sparkling eyes, "if you ever need a real male in your bed, Thornbush, all you have to do is ask," he said, his smiling turning into a grin as her confusion turned to anger.

She gave his chest a punch, making him chuckle as he moved back and away enough for her to step away from the wall, "I take back my apology."

Chapter Text


Rose sat on the edge of the bed as Metek and Azek ran around the room, pretending to be Magi and throwing fake fireballs at one another. Senadra smiled at them as she helped Rose put her clothing away.

"These are very extravagent," She said, holding up a powder blue outfit that Rose was reconsidering.

Rose shrugged, "you can have that one if you want," she said, frowning at the pile in the middle of the bed, "I really don't need all of these, but they just kept buying them."

Senadra smiled and waved her offer away, "no thank you, Rose. I don't need anything this fancy."

Rose rolled her eyes, "Senadra, I insist. When was the last time you got any new clothes, anyway?" she said, motioning to the pile, "girl, you need to upgrade your style a little bit. Pick out a few that you like...except this dark blue one. I actually really like this one."

Senadra blinked at Rose before giving a sigh and nodding, "thank you, Rose," she said, motioning toward a privacy screen, "I drew you a hot bath. I thought you would enjoy one."

Rose blinked at the screen before giving a relieved sigh and smile, "you have no idea," she said, walking behind the screen. She blinked at where it was positioned, just so that she could look out over the city, but not so far out that she would feel like someone would be peeping at her. She smiled at the thoughtfulness that Senadra showed in drawing the bath and positioning it as she slipped out of her grimey clothes. Steam was still rising from the water, showing her that it must have been super hot when it was drawn. She slowly emerged her foot, giving a great sigh of relaxation as she slowly lowered herself into the water.

"Is it to your liking?" Senadra asked, making Rose nod.

"Giiiiiirrrrllll! This is heaven in a tub," she said, getting a chuckle from the older woman.

"I'm glad you enjoy it," she said, leaving Rose with the only sounds being the children laughing and playing and Senadra looking through the clothing.

She closed her eyes, letting her head fall back against the edge of the tub while she listened. Her mind wandered to Lo'Lo' and how he had put her against the wall. She snorted and shook her head, closing her eyes tight, "bastard," she hissed under her breath as she started to scrub her arms and legs with the sponge that was laying beside the tub. She dipped her head under water before surfacing, scrubbing the salt out of her hair before rinsing her hair out. A knock at the door made her pause as she listened to Senadra open the door.

"Yes?" the woman asked.

"Dinner will be served in a few minutes and Lady Scheharazade wanted to know if you and your children would like to join us?" Muu's voice was encouraging and bright, as it usually was, making Rose sigh into the water's surface.

"Oh, that sounds wonderful," Senadra said, her voice excited, "come children."

Rose listened to the children clambering after their mother, laughing as they annoyed one another.

"Rose is taking a bath," Senadra informed him, making Rose groan, "she'll probably be a while."

The door closing made the room silent, except for the sounds of the night coming in from the open balcony. She took a deep breath, closing her eyes as she leaned down into the water, feeling better, now that she was cleaner. A thought washed over her, making her frown. I better get out of the water before the salt decides to reattach to my skin, she thought as she stood and stepped out of the tub. Water slid down her skin in rivlets, tickling as it trailed down her body. She took a deep breath, stretching in the coolness of the night air before grabbing the towel hanging over the screen and wrapping it around herself. She let out a low yawn as she stepped around the screen giving a yelp and jumping when she saw Muu standing next to the bed. He glanced at her over the clothing in his hand, his red eyes moving over her for a second as she frowned at him.
"You couldn't wait outside?" she asked, sounding as flustered as she felt.

He shrugged, dropping the clothing onto the bed, "how was your bath?" he asked, making her frown.

"Are you seriously trying to make small talk, right now?" she asked, tilting her head to the side as she folded her arms over her chest, purposely crushing her breasts beneath the towel.

He chuckled, taking a seat on the edge of the bed, "I was, but someone has a problem with small talk, apparently," he said, giving her a smile.

She let out a calming sigh before walking to the foot of the bed and pulling a couple outfits toward her, "I'm going to assume you didn't stick around to ask how my bath was," she said, glancing at him from the corner of her eye before laying the outfit out in front of her on the bed, "which was fantastic, since you asked."

He gave a nod, "good," he said before silence seemed to settle between them. After several minutes, Muu cleared his throat and spoke, his voice usually serious, "Rose, I want to ask you something."

Rose blinked, having been in the middle of trying to decide which outfit to wear. The pastel green one or the gold one? she thought before glancing up at him briefly, "shoot," she said, deciding to do eenie meanie mineie moe to choose.

He had stood and moved around the bed to stand near her. Close enough she could feel the heat coming off his body, but not so close that they were touching. She took a step away from him, furrowing her brow at him in confusion as he stared at her with calculating red eyes, "which of your parents was a Fanalis?" he asked, making her blink at him with wide eyes.

"What?" she asked, shaking her head, "neither of them were. Fanalis don't exist in my world, Muu," she paused, narrowing her eyes at him, "why?" He moved forward, forcing her to move back if she wanted to keep the distance between them. "What the fuck do you think you're doing?" she asked, stopping before she took another step and putting her hand out, halting Muu as her palm rested against his bronze clad chest. She would have wondered if he wore anything else, but half suspected that he didn't.

He watched her for a few moments, his eyes seeming to search for something. A lie. Truth. Something. He let out a sigh and lowered his eyes to her stomach, "I'm sorry," he said, taking a step back before turning and heading for the door, "I'll wait outside for you to get dressed before we go to dinner."

Rose blinked at the door as it closed, tilting her head slightly in confusion before furrowing her brow at the floor, "what the fuck was that?"

Chapter Text

Rose sat at the other end of the table next to Metek who was having problems cutting up her food. She reached out, gently taking the sharp knife from the little girl before cutting the bits of meat into smaller bites, "there you go, Metek," she said, getting a grateful grin from the child before she started to eat. Rose glanced down the long table to Muu, who hadn't said anything the entire walk to the dining room and had remained silent the majority of the meal. She gave a frustrated huff before turning back to her plate.

"Is something wrong, Rose?" Scheherazade asked, bringing Rose's eyes up to the woman.

She shook her head, "no. Everythings fantastic," she said, taking a happy bite of her vegetables before frowning, "except those," she muttered, spitting them out into the napkin beside her plate, "what the hell was that?"

Scheherazade gave her a closed eyes smile, "asparagus," she said, making Rose wrinkle to nose as she poked the offensive veggie, "they were harvested fresh this morning."

Rose snorted, "the only good asparagus is one that's in the trash," she grumbled to her plate.

"If Lady Rose isn't going to eat her aspargus, neither am I," Azek annouced, folding his arms over his chest in a huff as he fell back in his chair.

"Me either!" his sister said, following suit.

Rose stared at the children for a few moments before glancing at Senada, who was giving her pleading dark eyes. Rose let out a frustrated huff as she stabbed one of the spears with her fork. She swallowed the hate of this vegetable and took a deep breath before shoving it in her mouth. She made a show of chewing and enjoying it while giving the children a thumbs up. The children eyed her, skeptically, watching as she took another deep inhale through her nose and swallowed the spear. She forced a smile on her face, cuing the children as they started to eat their asparagus. She closed her eyes, feeling like she had just done one of the most disgusting things on the face of the planet before glancing down the table. She blinked at the Fanalis grinning at her, making her snort and turn her eyes back to the plate. "The things I'll do for children," she muttered, glancing at them as they happily cleaned their plates.

She felt warmth drift into her heart as she watched the children and their mother. She always wanted to start a family, but most of the men she came across weren't family material. They were barely boyfriend material. Still, she, like many other women, dreamed of finding the right guy, settling down and having a couple of kids. That was what she wanted and her mind drifted through that thought, wandering to the fact that she might never go home again.

Her smile slowly wilted into something sad and lonely as she took a deep breath and looked down at her plate. She wanted a family, probably more than she wanted to go home, but... She glanced down the table at the Fanalis, talking and laughing amongst themselves as they ate. Is this what I have to live with now? she thought, letting another sad sigh escape her lips before she started to get to her feet. She couldn't take it anymore. Everyone was so damned happy and she felt like she was isolated from the room. Pushed into a corner of sadness and self loathing. "Excuse me," she said, moving away from the table and across the room before anyone could say anything. She needed to get away from the joy that seemed to be choking her. Rose knew that it was all in her head and that she could enjoy herself if she just let herself, but she couldn't. She moved through the doors, ignoring the calls she was getting as she turned down the hallway. This wasn't her world. This wasn't her life. This wasn't real.

She found herself picking up her pace, her fast walk quickly becoming a jog and then, a flat out sprint. Tears burned her eyes, trickling down her cheeks as she raced across the palace grounds and out into the streets. She sobbed, sprinting through the streets, avoiding as many people as she could while she ran. She didn't know what she was running from. All she knew was that she had to get away. She couldn't be there anymore. Her feet pounded the wooden planks of the dock, sounding like there was more than just her running on the dock. She came to a sudden stop, just as she reached the edge of the dock, causing her to lean over the edge to regain her balance. She stepped back and gave several, open mouthed, inhales as tears trickled down her cheeks. Her heart squeezed and hammered, filling her chest with pain as her arms came up to her chest, curling into her body as she sobbed and cried, trying to hold herself as her legs gave out. Her knees cracked against the dock, but her heart was hurting too much to feel the pain shoot up her thighs and hips. She hunched over, trying to make herself as small as possible. I want to go home, she thought, making the tears come faster and her cries become louder.
She didn't know how long she sat there crying. All she knew was that she hurt and didn't want to be there anymore. Warm arms wrapped around her, pulling her close to something hard and solid. She turned into it, letting the warmth sweep through her body as she sobbed, curling her fingers in their clothing as they held her. She sniffled, laying her cheek against their chest, keeping her eyes closed as she listened to their heartbeat.

"What's wrong, Rosey?" Yaqut's deep voice rumbled in her ear, making her slowly open her eyes.

"I don't know," she said, her voice strained and thick from crying as she watched a few pairs of legs appear in her vision.

"If you didn't know, you wouldn't be crying," Myron's voice was somewhere behind Yaqut, bringing his attention back to her with a tongue click.

"Myron," Muu's voice was a warning, making the woman snort as one of those pairs of legs bent, revealing Muu as he knelt down beside Yaqut and her with a gentle smile, "what's going on, Rose?"

She watched him for a moment, feeling tired as she shook her head, "I don't know."

His eyes were gentle as he reached out, gently brushing the hair hanging around her face, "you can talk to us about anything, Rose," he said, his voice as gentle as his eyes and smile.

"Yeah," Lo'Lo's voice was laughing, "you're practically like family now, anyway."

She felt the tears well up in her chest again before a sob broke through her lips. Yaqut gave a sigh as he tightened his arms around her.

"Lo'Lo'," Razol's voice was annoyed as one pair of legs moved in front of the other pair before they moved back, "why do you have to speak?"

Lo'Lo' gave a growl, "what'd I say? I was just telling her she's fine."

"She's obviously NOT fine, you insensetive prick," the woman growled back, bringing Myron's legs into view to break the two up.

"Knock it off, you two," she growled, moving the two apart.

Muu gave them a glance before reaching out, gently taking Rose from Yaqut and lifting her in his arms, "let's take a walk," he said, giving the three an annoyed glare as he moved past them.

Rose sniffled, wiping her nose on the back of her hand as he carried her down the dock, "where are you taking me?" she asked, giving a small sniffle past a sob.

"Away from the stress," he said, glancing down at her as he came to the end of the dock.

He stood there, holding her in his arms as he looked out over the water lapping at the boats. The sound started to soothe her as her tears slowed until they stopped completely. She looked out at the water, letting the feeling of Muu's arms holding her off the ground comfort her as the water ebbed and flowed against the beach she could see in the moonlight. She swallowed, licking her lips as she looked back at her knees.

"You can put me down, now," she said, her voice soft and tired.

He glanced down at her, his eyes studying her face before he slowly shook his head, "not until you tell me what's going on," he said, bringing her eyes up to meet his.

She looked defiant for a brief moment until that defiance slid out of her eyes, being replaced with fear and sadness before she looked back down at her knees, "feelings," she muttered, twisting some of the cloth of her skirt, "I just feel...lost and alone..."

He gave a small nod, lowering her legs so she was standing in front of him but he kept his hand on her waist, as if to keep her grounded, "you're in a world you don't know anything about, but you're not alone, Rose," he said, leaning slightly to look at her face, "I'm here, if you need to talk. Myron may not say it out loud, but she's there for you too. You've got all of the Fanalis Corps."

Rose gave a scoff, stopping his words, "most of that group still hates me, Muu," she said, looking up at him, finally.

He gave her an even stare, "let me finish," he said, getting a small nod from the woman before he continued, "my point is, you aren't as alone as you feel. I know that you're scared, being in a new world by yourself without anyone or anything that you're familiar with. I can't even imagine the loneliness you're feeling right now, even standing here with me," he paused, lifting her chin to look at him, "but I am here and I want to help you go back to your world no matter what, if that's what it'll take to see you smile." She blinked at him, a little confused as he smiled at her, brushing his knuckles across her cheek, "you are so beautiful when you smile," he breathed, making her mouth open slightly in surprise.

Her heart jumped into her throat, making it hard to breathe as she looked into Muu's eyes. They sparkled down at her, catching the moonlight just enough to almost glow. Any other situation, glowing red eyes would have been scarey but, set in Muu's face with that smile after what he just said, she wasn't scared. She felt... Am love...with Muu? she thought, swallowing the thick saliva at the thought.

He gave a nervous chuckle as he stepped back, rubbing the back of his head as he gave her a grin, "that sounded stupid," he said, looking at her with that sparkling grin, "sorry. Myron said I need to work on that."

Rose blinked back into herself, giving a small, forced chuckle as she scratched behind her ear, "yeah. She may be right," she said, mentally slapping herself. Why would you say that? she thought, glancing back toward the four still standing on the other dock. "We should head back to the palace before they send out the guard. I don't feel like running around the city again."

Muu chuckled, putting his arm around her shoulders as they walked back toward the group.