Chapter 1: I Want to Go Back
As Sunflower's birthday approaches, she wishes the opportunity to use her mom's watch. Unfortunately, things won't go as expected.
Amelia Watson, the one and only time traveler detective and Gawr Gura, the apex predator and "sole survivor" from the lost city of Atlantis. Those two made an inseparable duo for the longest of time, solving innumerable cases through time and space. Those were their days as part of HoloMyth, a group formed by 5 members; Ninomae Ina’nis, the girl in possession of the mysterious book of the ancient ones, Calliope Mori, the first apprentice of the Grim Reaper, and Takanashi Kiara, the phoenix that has evaded death over and over again.
And so, they spent a good amount of their lives discovering some of the strangest creatures in the world, a long time has passed since then. And as their feelings for each other only deepened through the years, the relationship between these two changed from being best friends to a married couple.
They eventually went to live to a more peaceful place, a little farm-like house near to a lake. They had everything they could have wanted in that place, one fishing in a little boat while the other one swam through the entire lake in a few seconds, how that same lake froze in the winter and they could just try to dance with each other in the slippery place. The house was decorated with pictures of all of their friends, a few terrariums and a big fish tank could be found around the place, and they always had an ukulele near their fireplace for those times they just wanted to sit, relax and sing a few songs.
They enjoyed that life to the fullest until they felt there was something missing, something that they could make them even happier than before. An so, a few years after the couple moved to this place, they managed to have two beautiful daughters; the first one, Clementine, was closer in looks to the detective with a short white and yellow-striped hair and without any shark tail, and the second, Naomi, inherited lots of things from the shark girl, with that iconic tail and a longer blonde and blue-striped hair.
As they grew up their mothers came up with some nicknames for the two, Clementine being Sunflower, and Naomi being Lemondrop. The oldest of the two with that sunflower hair pin became the most reckless one, with a huge sense of adventure and curiosity for everything in sight, which eventually became a huge intuition skill but also a huge problem with overthinking things, just like her mother. The youngest, with that little lemon hair pin became the most reserved one, with lots of care to everything she does, being the voice of reason between the two, having a lovely nature and a huge appreciaton to everything she had in life, and of course, being almost overprotective with her older sister.
They grew in a very extensive family, being often visited by their mother’s friends, mostly by the other Myth members. Calli and Kiara also had a child a few years before Ame and Gura got their own, being a girl with pink hair and green highlights named Clara, which came very often to see the siblings, to the point she felt like an older sister to them.
Almost 12 years have passed since Sunflower was born, and with her birthday coming close, she wished she could finally go to an adventure just as wacky as the ones that her mother Amelia talked about from time to time, those stories that she was certain were more than just a story to hear before going to sleep, those ones that her mother Gura said were too dangerous for children like them.
She didn’t want to wait any longer, so a few days before her birthday, she approached both of her mother’s at night while they were watching some T.V. on the sofa.
“Hey boss!” said the little girl while hugging the detective.
“Yeah Sunflower, what’s the matter? You can’t sleep or something?” said Amelia with that motherly voice she has developed over the years.
“Nothing like that, you see… my birthday is in a few days…and…well…I always love all those stories you tell me so…”
“I… I… I wanted to use your watch in my birthday pretty please I would take care of myself I swear I can do it I- “said the little girl as fast as she could.
“Wow wow wow, easy there. We have already talked about this don’t we?” said Gura while looking directly at her wife.
“Yeah, you’re, well, too young for that kind of things you know?”
As soon as she heard those words, Sunflower stopped hugging the detective and just looked at both of her mothers with sad eyes.
“But I-I can be careful! I always… “
“Mommy’s right Clemie, you could get hurt or even worse.” said Lemondrop, coming from behind her and holding her sister’s arm. “Besides, you’re not as careful as you think you are… you still have those band-aids on your knees...”
Sunflower remembered perfectly why she had those in the first place, one day in which she escaped a picnic with the Myth family just to try to climb a long tree in the forest by herself, until she fell down and got hurt with all of the branches with her little sister was just able to see her sister fall through all of them, at least until Clara came to help with her phoenix capabilities. She felt so ashamed that day, not being able to prove herself and having to stop their mother’s and friends’ picnic just to put attend to her injuries.
When Lemondrop mentioned that, she couldn’t help but to just be silent.
“C’mon little girl, don’t feel too bad about that. You can use the watch once you grow up, but you need to be ready before doing something crazy” said Amelia while giving a head pat to Sunflower. “You will know when you’re ready, I promise”
“Don’t feel too bad about that, I’m sure you will do amazing things once you grow up” said Gura while giving a small hug to her daughter “Also, is too late for you two to be awake, your sleep schedule could mess up, right sunshine?”
“Yeah, and trust me you really don’t want that”
The couple accompanied their daughters to their room in the first floor, it was a pretty place decorated with a few stars painted on the ceiling, courtesy of Ina, and a pair of beds with blue and yellow blankets on them.
“Good night girls, we love you. Oyasame!” said the shark girl while closing the door.
The married couple also needed to sleep, Amelia took her wife’s hand as soon as she closed the door and went with her to their room. As soon as those two couldn’t be heard, Lemondrop could hear her sister mumbling things.
“I can hear you Clemie, are you still mad about the watch?”
There was just silence, it was like her pointing it out pissed off her sister.
“Look, you well know why mom can’t let you do that kind of stuff now”
“Why? Because I’m too irresponsible, or dumb, or old enough to do it?”
“You know that’s not the case… they love you as much as I do, and neither of us wants to see you hurt”
“Well how can you know if I’m gonna get hurt or not if I can’t even try!?”
“We’re too young to do that kind of stuff without getting badly hurt you know? we’re still kids and- “
“And we should just act like other kids then?”
“W-what? That’s not what I meant…what I’m trying to say is just…”
“Just what Naomi? spit it out”
Again silence, as much as Lemondrop wanted to protect Sunflower from her own stubbornness, there were times like this when she just couldn’t say anything to calm her.
“You know… mommy Amelia wasn’t born as a time traveler, and I’m very sure mommy Gura didn’t just became an apex predator out of nowhere... I’m sure you can become as amazing as them...eventually”
“How can you be so sure Lemondrop?”
“It’s just… intuition, you should know that better than me”
Sunflower didn’t respond to that, although there was still some tension between the two they still got to sleep through most of the night quite peacefully, at least, that was the case for Lemondrop, until she heard some weird noises.
“-yawn- Clementine? Is that you?” she asked without any response from her sister. She stood up while hugging her shark plushie, searching for her sister in their room she found nothing
She saw how the door was still open, and some weird noises were still sounding from somewhere in the house. “Sis?” she asked while she walked outside her room, she saw her mothers' room opened, but no sight of her sister. She ran downstairs just to find her sister near the fireplace sitting on the floor.
“There you are Sunflower, what are you do…ing?”
She dropped her plushie as soon as she saw what her sister had in her hands; it was Amelia’s watch. The noises were coming from Sunflower messing around with it.
“Shhh, I’m a little occupied here”
“I can see that, please stop messing around with that thing and let’s go back to sleep sis…”
“Why? aren’t you curious about it?”
“What do you mean?”
“When you mentioned about our moms not being born with such abilities, I got way too curious you know? I want to figure out if that’s the case or not”
“W-wha- Are you crazy?”
“Perhaps, but it’s the perfect opportunity to learn to use this thing, I think I figured it out!”
“Hey give me that!”
“We can’t do this and you know it. We don’t know how that watch really works, what if something really bad happens?”
“Oh, it shouldn’t be that bad. If I just click this right now it should…”
As Lemondrop saw her sister’s finger approaching the watch she could see a little lighting between the object and her sister, she was really truly scarred of the worst-case scenario if she pressed it now. She had no other choice but to took it by force.
“No when I’m this close, trust me just for once Naomi!”
“I can trust you, but I don’t trust that watch in your hands!”
“Too late!” she said as she pressed that button, Sunflower could feel like time stopped moving from a few seconds, and she could see her little sister jumping to her while this was happening,
“No!” said Lemondrop as she embraced her sister with her arms, this was the last thing she could say before they lost consciousness.
A few minutes passed before Lemondrop opened her eyes again, they were in what it seemed like a forest in the middle of nowhere, with an orange sky a few hours before the sun came down.
As she woke up, she saw her sister in top of a boulder nearby, she went running to her as fast as she could.
“Hey! what happened Clementine, where are we?... and why is it earlier than before?”
Sunflower didn’t respond, she was just looking at something in her hand, she was afraid of the worst. She climbed the boulder slowly and sat next to her sister.
“Clemie?, what happened?”
Sunflower was looking at the watch she previously used, it had a little crack and Clementine kept pressing the same button she used before.
“It… it doesn’t work…”
“Wh… What do you mean?”
“I said it doesn’t work!… I used mom’s watch and it broke…” said Sunflower as she started to cry a little bit.
“You’re going to say it’s all my fault right… and how I’m always this dumb and so stubborn don’t you?”
“I don’t ever say that kind of things sis, you know that…”
“I sure know that, right? like I should know everything in the world just because you or anyone says so!”
Naomi could feel how her heart hurt more than any time before and her voice simply couldn’t come out.
“I knew you wouldn’t get it, how could you… you’re the perfect daughter of the apex predator…”
As soon as she heard that, Lemondrop started to cry in silence while she tried to climb down, but she slipped half way through. The sound of her fall was enough for her sister to notice.
“Naomi!” she shouted as she saw her sister on the ground, but as soon as she saw her, the girl started running to the other side of the forest.
“Fuck… I really messed up this time…” she said as she just saw her sister run away, the amount of guilt she felt at the moment was impossible to ignore, she knew that she wanted to see her little sister, hug her and cheer her up like everything was fine. But how could she even approach her when she was such an idiot the entire night? It was too much for the little girl.
As the sun finally came down, with her sister nowhere to be seen, and the watch which didn’t seem to respond to anything in the slightest. Sunflower knew she couldn’t just sit there and do nothing, so she climbed down and started to search for Lemondrop.
She didn’t have to search for her too long though, as soon as she was a few meters past a lake nearby she could hear that unmistakable tail wagging near a tree. She was just there, sitting and hugging her own legs. Sunflower sat next to her and started talking.
“Hey… Naomi I…”
“I’m really sorry…for everything. For being so mean to you today, for being so stubborn, for completely ruining this day…”
“I just… I wanted to prove myself… I wanted to prove that I can do anything…I…I just wanted to be as good as you at something”
Lemondrop didn’t say a word, but she turned her head to see her sister.
“You’re just so talented at everything you do, you always there when someone needs it, you always help our family with lots of things, you’re always the voice of reason and… well… I also wanted to be someone for once you know…”
The more she talked, the more her voice seemed to crack and some of her tears started to flow through her face.
“I’m such a dumbass Naomi… despite being your older sister you seem to be always the one to look up to and… I don’t know… I…I wanted to do something for myself… I didn’t mean to drag you into all of this mess and… and… what I’m trying to say is… I’m so sorry”
Lemondrop hugged her sister as soon as she started to cry, seeing her sister hurt herself like that was something she didn’t want to see. And being there for her was the best she could do.
“You really are dumb Sunflower…” she said while she started to cry a little too.
“You don’t need to prove anyone who you are…Me, our mother’s, and every single member of our family loves you for who you are now”
“But… what if I’m not what everyone expects? What if I can’t I be as talented as anyone around me?”
“Mommy said that you’ll know when you’re ready didn’t she?... You’ll know when you have the talent to do something great, you have it in yourself Sunflower, I know it”
Sunflower felt a lot calmer than before and her tears weren’t flowing as much as they did a few minutes ago.
“Still… how can we come back now? The watch is broken, where in the middle of nowhere, and it’s already dark…”
“We will do it somehow; I know we can”
“But… what if we can’t come back… I miss mom and mom… I miss Clara… I miss our house… I miss my bed… I miss everything… I-I-“
Lemondrop just keep hugging her sister, despite how sad the girl was, she knew she needed to vent all of those thoughts.
“You know Sunflower? I also miss everything as much as you do, maybe a little more…but… I’m not scared”
Sunflower completely stopped crying for a few seconds.
“Because I have you. We work better as a team you know?”
Sunflower’s heartbeat felt a lot calmer now.
“As long as we stay together, I know we’ll find a way back home. Besides, you know I wouldn’t let a thing like this just to my big sister.”
“Haha, now that you mentioned it, I guess it’s true… Thanks Lemondrop, I really needed to hear that”
“There’s no need to thank me Clem~ie. This is what siblings are for”
And so, they ended up sleeping through the night near to that tree, watching to the stars that somehow felt almost like the ones drawn on their ceiling.
No matter what the future would come with, as long as the two had each other to count on, they knew they would be safe. At the end of the day, there was nothing in this world that could stop this pair of siblings, the daughters of a time traveler and an apex predator. Despite how odd their chances were, they could make it back home.
It was just a matter of time.
Chapter 2: (Re)union
Not everyone can be a time traveler since no one is ready for all of the problems it has. That’s something a certain member of the Watson family knew since that fateful day, where she would meet something that would change her life forever.
So, after a few erased WIPs I finally decided to continue this one. I hope it didn’t turn out too bad, enjoy it!
Time traveling is a complicated thing to understand, even for time travelers there’s always something to look out for. From time batteries, to the fragility of your own watch, from the time and space you’re travelling to, to the ever-changing timelines. It always seemed as if for every benefit of being able to change every event possible there was a huge list of caveats that came with every single one.
How does one become a time traveler anyways? Well, not by your own decision that’s for sure. That’s something Amelia H. Watson knew since the moment she touched that golden watch made by members of her own family.
It felt like it was yesterday, how at a really young age she ended up touching that artifact that her parents seemed to protect like their own life, how lighting surrounded her body for what it seemed like a few minutes until she woke up in darkness. How the only thing she could remember when she came back to her house were some voices that told her to help them and what it seemed like thousands of purple eyes watching over her, somehow shining in that completely desolated and dark place.
If there was something she wanted to avoid, was being prey of those voices ever again, being even close to something resembling those things, at least, for the time being. Still, she got more and more curious about that watch, were did she sent her and why it seemed like those voices were involved in some way or form. And so, she spent a good amount of her life understanding the ins and outs of it.
As time went on, she grew a special connection to the watch, to the point she basically became the owner. And so, Amelia became the one and only time traveler of the Watson family, at least that was what she thought.
With the help of a few time jumps, she came to understand how her family was connected to the watch, how past owners just let it pass from generation to generation. Most importantly, she understood how lucky she was with her connection to it, how time travel can affect people that aren’t ready to use it, and despite she never came across with any situation like the ones her ancestors said, she still feel the curiosity of it, although she could only keep that to herself.
Her young years as a traveler weren’t the most exciting, she was still scared of those purple eyes that seemed to follow her even in her dreams, until one day, she felt it. She felt those voices talking to her again and again, telling her to travel to a certain time, in a certain space. It was too much pressure for her, and she knew that there was no one else in this world she could ask for help, and so, she travelled back.
She found herself in a forest, it was early in the afternoon. Something was… off. She felt how her watch was doing strange things in that area, it was similar to the dozens of times she found another member of the Watson family but, this time around, it was like the signal was really, really, low. As if the owner was passing out, or even worse, if the clock was dying in that exact moment.
Maybe those voices weren’t trying to disturb her, or even asking help for themselves… maybe, she needed to be in that exact time and space.
As she entered more and more into the forest, she saw that beautiful lake, and how the sun reflected into it. It was an amazing place to see, most importantly, she felt a weird sense of calm on that place, if she could she would spend a long time just watching it. But as she approached it more, she sensed that signal of a Watson watch, still very low, until she saw a familiar lighting near some trees, she approached it as fast as she could until she saw them; two little girls sleeping next to each other, one with the watch in her hand.
She could ask how a little girl, no, how two persons even got to time travel into this specific place and time. But it didn’t matter too much, timelines are always a weird thing, she could just see what was happening to the watch and came back in a flash. At least, that was what Amelia thought, until one of the girls, the one with a long blonde hair and what it seemed like a shark tail, disappeared for a millisecond with that lighting effect of the watch.
This… she kind of knew what was happening but it was something she only heard from old manuals and very few owners of the watch, even thought she was prepared for this kind of stuff, she knew she couldn’t just take the watch, most importantly with two young lives being in danger as she was thinking about it.
And so, she waited for a few minutes right in front of the girls, during that time she saw how peculiar these girls were. They were certainly similar, hell that exact color in their hairs was something she only really has seen in other members of her family but… a shark tail? shark TEETH? Her successors must have really gone wild with the bloodline.
It wasn’t too long until she saw how one of the two woke up, she seemed tired… too tired. That didn’t stop the girl from screaming as she woke up.
“Naomi! wake up someone is here!” she said with a very loud voice while shaking her little sister.
“W-what? Clemie….” said Naomi with a very tired voice as she rubbed her eyes and saw Amelia in front of them.
“C’mon Naomi can’t you see that weird wo… oh…”
Amelia took her hat out while laughing a little bit at the interaction of the sisters, while putting on her hairpin. It was somewhat of a way the time travelers of the family could identify themselves, but that’s not why the sisters recognized her mother, although little younger than the usual.
“W-wait weird wasn’t the word I didn’t mean it!” She looked her a little bit more, trying to hold her tears after being so afraid without her mother. “I think I never saw you in the work uniform before, not outside of photos at least” said Sunflower as she stood up and walked closer to Amelia, while sniffing a little bit. “I’m glad you’re here m-” she stopped as that same disappearing with lighting happened with her and she stumbled into the floor.
“Clementine!” Lemondrop shouted as she stood up and tried to grab her sister, but Amelia managed to grab her before she touched the floor.
“Wowie, are you ok little girl?” said Amelia with a gentle tone while holding Sunflower in her hands.
“Yeah, yeah… I just feel… a little… uhhhh” she said as she passed out.
“She must be tired as all hell… how long have you two been here anyway?”
“Uhm…” Lemondrop said while taking the watch from Sunflower’s hand, while it didn’t work, she kind of knew the hour thanks to the sun rising like every day since they have lived there, she just needed the hour in which she arrived “like 10 hours at least…”
“That’s…” she stopped as she felt her chest hurt a little, knowing what being 10 hours in this position meant “…a long time”
There was some silence between the two, until Amelia stood up once again with Sunflower in her arms.
“Can you walk for a little bit girl? we need somewhere to plan things out”
Lemondrop, despite knowing her mom was the number one detective on the world, really wondered what she meant. “Planning what?”.
“Well, we need to talk, about that clock you have in your hands”
As she spoke, Lemondrop started to watch the clock closer, how the glass was cracked from side to side, the hands of it were misplaced and not moving at all, but most importantly, the once brown mustache in the middle of it was completely covered in blue.
“Is she going to be okay?”
“Yes of course of course… we just… will need somethings”
While she was curious about which things did her mother meant at the moment, at the same time she was too afraid to ask her. Yes, is her mother but, from which time, is she even in the same timeline? Despite trying her best to keep calm, her chest hurt a little when trying to think about what would it take to get home.
After a few hours, they got to what it seemed like an ordinary apartment. Because it was.
“Welp here we are… it’s not the cleanest thing ever but for now, it should suffice”
Indeed, it wasn’t the best place, there was a lot of dust and even a few webs on the ceiling. It seemed like it wasn’t used at all, there was nothing but a desk with a few papers on it, a window behind it, a lamp that didn’t illuminate the entire place, and a couch.
“Sorry for the mess, it’s the first time I use this place in a long time, well a long time in this timeline at least.”
She put Sunflower in the couch next to Lemondrop, while Amelia started to search some papers she had in the place.
“So… Naomi, is it?”
“Yes…M… Ame, can I call you that?”
“Sure sure, I guess even in the future everyone just calls me that way!”
“Yes… wait how did you…?”
“Ah it’s just an intuition I guess, nothing too special about a member of the Watson family”
There was a little bit of silence again, both were curious about the matter but Lemondrop was too shy to ask anything, and Amelia just spaced out a little bit while searching all those papers. As she finally found the one paper she needed, she stretched her arms out with those characteristic noises of her and saw the other sister waking up.
“Huh… where are we? Mom...”
“Mom!?” yelled Amelia in disbelief.
“Uhh…” Lemondrop tried to cover that, “I’m sorry for my sister, she must be still a little confused after falling like that” said as quickly as she could.
“Sure… sure…” said Ame while covering her face with the papers she found. “I have lots of questions for the future me” she thought in silence, while reading the entirety of her paper.
Sunflower stood up and walked to the side of Amelia, trying to see her papers and failing in the attempt. “So, what are we doing now?”
“Now I’m searching you a way home”
“Oh, so you know that we’re trapped here?”
“I just… supposed it, I guess. You know, the lighting, the low signals, and the fact that you were 10 hours in the middle of nowhere, that kind of stuff”
“I see, nice one detective!... wait… signals?”
Amelia turned to see Sunflower, “Yeah, usually owners of the clock have a signal that can be received by other owners, it’s not the craziest thing but it helps us to recognize each other from afar.”
“I see I see, that’s… interesting”
“It’s one of the first things people usually learn from using this thing… so I guess this was your first travel, right?”
“Yup… it was a complete accident and… well…”
“Yeah, I think no one really gets it right the first time around but…”
“Usually it just takes you back after a few minutes the first time around… can I see your clock?”
“Uhh….” Lemondrop spaced out a little bit, but she stood up afterwards and gave Amelia the clock, “yes” she said as she returned to the couch.
“Yeah it’s just as I thought, the core must have overcharged”
“Core?” said Sunflower.
“Yeah, the core is what makes the thingy work at all along with some time batteries but… if there’s too much charge from the batteries it can make a disaster like this”
“Well, usually we only travel one at a time with no too much carrying so… maybe it was that.”
Lemondrop heard that loud and clear, and it hit like a truck. Sunflower was more concerned about how would they go back without that core, knowing that trying to come back with this Ame’s clock would leave her without it.
“So… now what?”
“There are a few time cores out there, luckily it seems like there is one nearby. I searched it a few months back when learning about this kind of stuff but I never retrieved it”
“Ehhhh, I just was too lazy to do it”
Sunflower wasn’t really that surprised, knowing how much her mother forgot things from time to time it seemed normal that she was like that before.
“So, what are we waiting for, let’s go!”
“Uh, for what boss?”
“We need to be very careful, specially you two.”
“But w- “as she tried to speak that lighting appeared again and she barely could stand up again.
“Well, until we get that time core you could experiment some…” Amelia stopped for a while, thinking which words to use without alarming them too much “...issues for having used a clock with the core not functioning”
“I see… well, it should be easy enough to find the core and come back safe and sound!”
“Yeah yeah…” more silence from Amelia as she heard the optimism from the little girl “that’s the attitude I guess...”
“Yeah!, c’mon Lemondrop we need to go”
Lemondrop spaced out again, she still lost in her thoughts after hearing the reason they were stuck in the first place.
“Lemondrop?” said Sunflower getting close to her, wondering what’s on her mind "Is there something wrong?"
“O-oh no, nothing... I’ll follow you”
“Well, with all of that settled, we need to go. It’s somewhere in the forest so be careful” said Amelia
“Heard it loud and clear boss!” said Sunflower.
They left the building heading to the forest again, this time in a direction completely different from the lake, it seemed like there were a lot of trees covering the sunlight from this part of the forest, almost as if the more they entered it went even darker. Amelia sensed some weird stuff as she got closer to the core, almost as if there was something calling her.
Despite all of this, Lemondrop mind was only centered around one thing; that she could have avoided this from the start. Despite having said all of that motivational stuff to her sister the day before, now the thing she felt the most was guilt, guilt of holding her sister back one more time. How much could have this gone right if she only wasn’t there trying to do the “right thing to do”, how much she must have really hurt her sister yesterday just because her selfish wish to protect her.
At least, as soon as she finds her way home, she could just bury these thoughts into her shark pillow.
Like she used to do.
Chapter 3: Voices
The voices of the ancient ones keep getting louder, and at the same time, all those doubts on Lemondrop's mind keep increasing.
A calm life, that’s all that Lemondrop had for the most part of her life, or at least that’s how she used to see most of the time.
She grew in that big family with her older, yet reckless, sister. It was great being able to live in such a wonderful place, gardening with her Atlantean mother, and later checking the terrariums made by her human mom. Learning some simple cooking with both of her mothers, keeping an eye on her sister to not get the kitchen in fire a second time. Learning to swim at that lake with her mommy Gura in summer, and getting to hear some histories before going to sleep with her mommy Amelia and her amazing voice acting, despite being as loud as she could be.
She has always felt loved in that house near the lake, by her mothers, her sister, even some mascots they used to have. But if there was something, she couldn’t help was her own doubts with herself, with her calm and even shy personality, to her appearance and her self-esteem. And if there was someone she looked up to the must, was her older sister Sunflower.
Reckless yes, but her older sister was brave all the time, was so confident in herself even if she didn’t do her best all of the time, someone who helped her when she was on her lowest, who wouldn’t look up to someone so confident in her position?
She couldn’t help but be overprotective from time to time with her, at the end of the day, she was the one who helped with that dumb thought she once had with her freckles, who helped her control a little bit better that almost feral rage she had from time to time, who was by her side in every moment. More than anything, she was glad to be the daughter of Amelia H. Watson and Gawr Gura, and being the sister of Clementine “Sunflower”.
That’s why, not being able to help someone, not being able to help her own family was the one thing she felt the worst about. Seeing her trying to do all sort of crazy things and failing in the attempt, seeing her being reckless trying to impress not only their mothers, but Clara, Ina, Calli, Kiara and every single person they could think of.
That day when Sunflower failed trying to climb a tree “as high as Clara can fly”, when she was too afraid to act, to help, to say something, to even try to get back and tell her parents to help, she just stood there. Maybe it was too dumb but, seeing her sister feeling weak, feeling like she wasn’t the best out there like she thought, really, really hurt.
It wasn’t the first or last time she felt, well, useless, like she could have done something but she was too afraid to even try. And the one time she tried to help, tried to be responsive and tried to actually do the right thing, she got stuck in the past with a broken clock. A clock that now, she knows would work if it weren’t for her.
Despite of that, her sister always ended up being that cheerful girl that couldn’t be stopped by anything, even if she didn’t help her, she knew her sister would always support her no matter what. That’s why, it felt… not deserved. When that girl helped her with so many things about herself and made her into a better person, but she felt like the times she actually helped her sister where few and far between, like that little talk they had before sleeping in the forest.
That’s why, knowing that her selfishness kept them trapped in the past… no… that being an idiot got her sister more mad than ever before… that her own sister thought at some point that she was too perfect… too spoiled… that trying to help her only made her seem like an obstacle… maybe, the one that needed to do something on her own, that needed to take a risk one time, that needed to take a step forward to become more worthy of everything she has, was herself.
Voices telling her to keep trying, voices telling her to be complete once and for all, asking for help, asking to become one… maybe this was the chance she needed. Maybe this could help, maybe she could finally be someone worthy.
Why is it dark, where is Sunflower and Amelia… who knows… there’s only voices and bright purple eyes in the horizon.
This is the chance.
But… what about herself... what is she thinking… why are those voices telling her to stay here for a while… there’s no need… there are people waiting for her.
But if she doesn’t do it… if she doesn’t take this chance… if…
If there’s a wrong choice, that was the one she tried to take.
A voice louder than the rest comes from afar, a familiar, childish, voice screaming her name.
A hand, reaching out to hers, bigger, similar to the one from her mother.
A sudden force trying to keep her in place, so strong that she felt like instead of being dragged outside, she was getting deeper into the dark.
Other voice, next to her starts to talk, those voices from before seem to respond somehow. Right now, she’s too tired to understand what they’re saying. How long has she been here anyways?... who knows, but it was enough to drain all of her energy.
The ancient ones are calling for someone else.
As soon as Lemondrop got out of that dark place, her sister ran to her side. She was lucky that her sister was still safe, no one knew what those voices wanted, or how did they work. They just keep calling for someone to help complete them, but if they were already complete, who knows what those so-called Ancient Ones could do.
Lemondrop couldn’t resist that proposal, but despite how many hours passed, that didn’t happen. Amelia, after hearing the proposal and seeing the little shark girl run towards the dark, knew she needed to do something. It’s not like she was planning something else after finally getting to know what those voices wanted, and most importantly, that core the little girls needed was somewhere in that dark place.
After getting the little girl outside of the place, she walked as deep as she could, and kind of watched the source of all of the voices. An open book floating as if it was powered by something. As she walked near the book, the clock started to react to the signal in a peculiar way, it wasn’t just an ordinary signal, it was as if the signal was there and not at the same time, as if it was in this time and space and in the same time it was in another period, as she walked more and more it felt like time slowed down, or even stopped completely.
As she tried to get near it, the purple eyes disappeared, the book closed and darkness seemed to grew even bigger.
Tentacles surfaced out of the dark, trying to keep the time traveler far, the voices started making other questions.
“Is this what you really want?”
To Amelia, it was like she already had her answer way before they encountered one more time, if it wasn’t her, then who?
She spent most of her live trying to understand that clock that sent her to the Ancient Ones, understanding what her family was actually about, how time worked and how it affected her and other people. It was like it was her only purpose, having multiple little places in different times just to continue investigating and having her family support in any point just to know more about that watch.
She wasn’t careful with other people besides her family and other time travelers, hell, she wasn’t even careful with herself. Who know how many times she managed to escape death itself just for a bit of luck? if death was a person, it would surely hate her for not dying after all this time.
After this, after finally getting to confront her only fear up until this point, what’s next?
While her appearance hasn’t changed a bit since her first year as a traveler, her mind surely has. She knows almost everything regarding that watch but, what for? There’s something she didn’t even ask to the other time travelers, what’s the point? What to use this unique power for?
As far as she knew, every single one of them just passed the clock to the next member of their family, found somewhere to belong and someone to pass the rest of their days.
But until then… what? She has investigated many places in this world but nothing really stood out to her, the most she knew was some ancient civilizations hidden under the sea, and it’s not like she really invested much time into investigating it.
If her travels had to end helping another time traveler, and finally surpassing the one thing that has kept her off from going too crazy with her travels, then she would do it gladly.
But… as she approached more and more the clock ticked faster and faster, almost out of control.
That signal… was it even a time core at all?
It was too late.
She touched the book.
The clock reacted, from afar it looked like an explosion with lots of those lightings that came with every time travel.
It was like she traveled seconds, minutes, months and years before and after in this exact moment.
Despite this, she ended up in the same time and place.
With the darkness faded, the book closed, and Amelia stumbled in the ground with her clock still intact in her left hand.
The voices finally stopped.
The Ancient Ones were free, finally being able to keep themselves in just one place.
They were still calling for someone, this time in silence.
It was like time stopped for a few minutes, at least for Amelia. She understood that those voices were really asking for help, but maybe not anyone could do it. There was a reason why she was sent to this exact time and space so many years ago, her purpose to the Ancient Ones finally ended, and it was the duty of someone else to complete them.
Amelia was badly hurt from that explosion, the time core didn’t seem to like being near to an anomaly in time-space, she was sure she could survive this one, death seemed to be friendly to her. She only needed a lot more luck this time, and a little rest. But for now, there was another priority.
Sunflower looked from the distance, searching for Amelia all over the place until she found her near to a tree.
“Ame!” Sunflower shouted while nearing her past mother in a weak state.
“I… I think I messed up haha…”
“The other one… is kind of far…”
“What are you talking about, what about the time….”
“Look… you don’t have much time and me neither so we better keep the chit chat short...”
Lemondrop woke a few seconds ago and ran towards them, she was too scared to get near, so she hid behind a tree where she could hear the conversation.
“That book… bullshit, no time core at all… I should have known before… I… I’m sorry… I tried”
She mumbled a little bit while saying that, but she kept going.
“I’m sure you know me a lot better than I know you but… I’m sure you can handle this…”
She gave Sunflower the paper she had in the office; along some annotation and photos of the place, it had a little map of the area. Sunflower kind of knew the place thanks to living around for a long time, at least in the future. There was a circle in the area they were in right now, and an arrow starting from the coast of the beach all the way to the edge of the map, with a name she only heard from stories from her other mother.
“I searched for that place before out of curiosity but, well, I don’t really have a boat so... I think… no… I’m sure the time core is there”
“But what about you m-… Ame?”
“Heh… well, that book really was something… I just… need a rest…and you… need to get going, now”
“I didn’t tell you but… there’s a reason I knew you came from the future… those lightings and disappearances remember?” she coughed a little before continuing “Well… usually we time travelers are connected to our clock, when you travel to another time your own existence becomes attached to the time core… but…”
She stopped for a while before continuing.
“If the clock completely dies before you travel back…”
That was more than enough to Lemondrop to feel as if her heart stopped, she didn’t only get them trapped, she got them close to not only dead itself, but to completely disappearing.
But… what now?... Atlantis was a place that was out the reach of her sister, Sunflower couldn’t swim as well as her or breath underwater. And she herself didn’t have the confidence to go into the deepest part of the ocean, it was scary just to think of it…
“I didn't have the opportunity to know you like I wanted to but... I trust you... both of you…”
Amelia fell asleep.
Sunflower stumbled into the floor, terrified of the idea that came into her head, what if the clock dies? She watched it once again just to see how the clock seemed even more cracked than before, there was no way to tell when their time would end, and… Atlantis? The few stories she had from her mother were about the ruins or little stories about past atlanteans, can she even swim there? Surely Ame didn’t think that far ahead to realize she was more human than shark, and her sister was about to get abducted by that weird darkness a few minutes ago.
Once again, she felt unworthy of being the daughter of that time traveler that was brave enough to save her sister, and the apex predator from Atlantis.
She felt a hand in her shoulder as she started to cry.
“Clemie… I’ll go”
“Clementine, I feel… I feel like I messed up a lot too”
“What do you mean?”
“If I didn’t try to stop you in the first place…we wouldn’t be in this situation…”
“No!” she shouted at the top of her lungs, while her eyes were filling with tears.
“I… I need to do this alone” she said as she tried to grab that paper from the hands of her sister, but Sunflower resisted.
“Clemie… just let me do it this time… I can fix it”
“Naomi, i don't think you have an idea of what are you talking about”
“Look… even if what Ame said about travelling with two persons was true, it wasn’t your fault sis.”
“B-but…” Lemondrop mumbled a little bit before continuing “I tried to help so many times… I didn’t want to be useless anymore and…” she let go of the paper while keeping her eyes looking down.
“And you aren’t useless!” shouted Sunflower while grabbing her sister shoulders.
“I said this to you before and I’ll said it again… you’re an amazing sister. I know you can’t help me every time and that’s okay, you know more than anyone how stubborn I am haha…”
Both calmed down a little bit.
“I knew using the clock was a bad idea, and now I know there’s a lot of things I don’t know of this dumb thing. But I got carried away because of how I felt and… I don’t want you to get carried because of that too.”
Lemondrop smiled a little bit, remembering how much her sister cares for her… what was she even thinking before? There’s a lot of things she forgets when that kind of feelings get in her head, despite knowing how much there are people who appreciate her. Maybe, the best person to judge if she was doing the right thing wasn’t herself, but the one that’s on her side.
Lemondrop hugged her sister as if she was her shark pillow, for now, she felt calm, she said it before but really, she felt like if she’s with her sister they can do anything now.
“No need to thank me, it’s the least I can do dumdum”
They laughted a little bit, feeling as if the air was a lot less tense between them.
“And ehmm… I’m sorry for not trying to talk to you about it before, I knew you were acting weird and…”
“No more apologies sis” Lemondrop stood up and reached her hand for her sister. “That’s just how you are, isn’t it?”
Sunflower grinned and took the hand of her sister “Heh, right”.
They stood up side by side and took a look to the map in the paper.
“So… Atlantis” said Lemondrop
“Yeah, we should get going”
“What about mommy?”
“She’s going to be fine, I’m sure we’ll just have one more anecdote from her when we come back home”
It was almost night again so they tried to get out as quick as possible, not before Lemondrop covered her mother in her own coat, but as she and her sister tried to walk away, that same disappearance lighting happened again, they stumbled into the floor.
“Ugh… are you okay Naomi?”
“Y-yes, I’m fi…” Lemondrop froze in the moment and just kept looking at something into the forest.
“Sis?... is there something wrong?”
She tried to look at the same place, with no luck whatsoever, at least, until she heard the sound of something… heavy steps from afar.
She stood of and helped her sister do the same, Lemondrop was still as shocked as before, and when Sunflower finally saw what was approaching, she felt just as shocked.
A pair of eyes tinted in a pink yet red-like color, her hair completely covered by a black cloak, her face looked more like a skeleton than her human appearance. Was that scary figure as merciful as their mother said so many times, as good as a person as they know her nowadays?
They would know soon enough.
Chapter 4: Interlude
"Life is quite something, isn’t it?" is something that Calli has thought for a long time.
So yeah a shorter chapter this time around before going back to only Sunflower and Lemondrop, hope ya like it!
Humanity is weird in a lot of ways, despite being along with them all of these years there are a lot of things I don’t get to understand as a reaper.
Why do humans care so much for each other, why do they sacrifice themselves for others or escape death just because they want to keep being in the world of the living ones? I still don’t know.
And despite that, why do I feel so… empathetic towards them? It’s been a long time since I’ve reaped a soul without hesitation… maybe I need a break one of these days.
During my work as the apprentice of Death Sensei, there has only been two souls that I’ve seen more than once, one is quite… annoying. The other one is just… you could say, interesting.
That shitty bird is always so annoying, there has not been a century without encountering that idiot wherever I go, it’s so weird that despite having a completely different life every time I saw her, the only thing that remains constant is that she remembers me. I mean, I’m kind of glad for that but, damn that kusotori.
The other one is… quite something. When I first sensed her soul, she was already an adult, sitting outside of a house burn in flames, completely unconscious and with some important wounds on her legs, with a little brown dog on her arms I thought she would die there but as soon as I raised my scythe, she woke up, with a lot of pain but, she managed to get up and ran, I tried to saw where would she go but as soon as I pursued her, she was already gone along with the dog.
The next time I saw her, she was in the coast of this city, again, unconscious, without any signs to still be alive, and most importantly. She looked… younger. While she looked quite similar to some old dudes I reaped some time ago, I’ve never seen someone like this being about to die 2 times in a row without any time in between. I keep looking at her, expecting her to be actually dead this time around before taking her soul to the underworld, but then again, she woke up. She tried to swam to the ocean, and once again, she was gone a few seconds after.
After that, I never stopped being curious about this one woman that survived death itself more than once, some times they were as dumb as eating too much gluten or having an accident at an amusement park, others, she was trying to save some strange creatures. The only thing that wasn’t constant, was her age; sometimes she was just a child, other ones, she seemed close to her 50’s.
I know I should be this merciless force of nature, reaping souls of both the already damned and the saints, of elders and babies alike, but after seeing such a being able to fight her own death, it was quite something, I started to see things a different way and well, one could say I’m more human than ever before.
Death Sensei usually tells me that I have more work to do, that I need to reap more souls if I really want to be the one and only death itself once the time comes but, the more I think about it, maybe there’s more in life than in death.
Has he even seen the amazing things humans do nowadays? Specially that music that even reaches the deepest parts of hell, that even after I reaped the souls that created those amazing tracks they’re still sound through the world time and time again, how even after death they still emit a lot of life is quite something… life is quite something, isn’t it?
Not only humans, I’ve seen of everything while being around the world of the living, from fox, wolf, cat and shark girls, dragons, devils and angels… the world is increasingly being habituated by non-humans and even then from just seeing them from afar, they seem more human than some idiots I’ve killed before.
The more I think about it, maybe I’m already alive having someone that remembers my existence every time she meets me. One day of these, maybe I’ll do more than just trying to kill her. Speaking of which, I haven’t seen Kusotori for a long time now, at least a couple hundred of years… it makes me feel quite lonely.
I don’t like to admit it but, I hope I see that shitty bird soon…huh… I sense a soul… no… three… but they feel… different.
This forest is so annoying to walk around, even though I can just pass between some trees I can’t see shit while doing it ugh, so annoying.
I see them… is that?...
Yeah, is that one girl again, she seems a lot younger than the last time I saw her, and once again she’s as about to die as always. I would usually try to walk through her but… these little girls are also quite different than the usual souls I reap.
It’s like, they were disappearing on its own, they’re there but at the same time they’re not. I could reap them right now but… they seem so scared, even approaching the girl who keeps on dying.
If she wasn’t that young, I could say they even seem like quite a cute family, even being horrified… now that I think about it… how they can see me anyways? Are they that close to death that they can see me without a human body?
At the same time… is so cute seeing them being more worried about the blondie that about having death right in front of their eyes, telling me to keep away from… Amelia? So that’s her name…
These two girls are quite different from the usual… I think I won’t mess around that kind of stuff for now, even if Death Sensei shouts at me from letting a soul leave once again. Most importantly that g… Amelia, has survived way worse things than this. I’m sure she’ll be awake sooner or after.
Still… it’s so interesting, how these two are just as brave as Amelia when I first encountered her, while yes it was just a dog back then, seeing someone putting itself between one loved one and death it’s… It kinda makes me jealous of humans, for having a constant people to care for.
I think, I’ll let them live for now. “Let’s just, turn around and pretend like this never happened young fellas!” …I don’t know why did I say that if they can’t hear me ugh.
Why are they laughing, “Same old uncle Calli”!?. What a disrespectful child son of a… how did they know my name?... Well, it doesn’t matter, it surely is just another weird coincidence from humans.
Yeah, just another dumb coincidence. It was nice to know that this girl is still around these days, it’s been some time Amelia. I hope we’ll meet again, without you dying that is.
Ugh stupid trees, I seriously need that vacation.
Chapter 5: City of Myths
As they finally get out of the forest; Sunflower and Lemondrop try to find a way to get to Atlantis, while being fascinated by the city near the sea.
"Same old uncle Calli” said Sunflower as she heard Calli’s voice, Calli immediately turned around as she seemed to want so respond to Sunflower’s comment, but she immediately turned the other way again. “That was a close one heh”
“Yeah yeah, let’s not do that again”
“Roger, well, time to go”
They started walking towards the city once again, hoping that a miracle would help them go to the not-so-lost city of Atlantis.
“Are you still… you know… scared?”
“Huh… I mean…” there was silence from Sunflower as she got overwhelmed thinking about all they have to do now, find a way to Atlantis, enter and somehow find the time core before time runs out, and not only that, how are they even supposed to repair the watch with that?. It’s a lot to handle… but…
“I mean… I am but….”
“If I don’t have confidence, then surely you won’t have it.”
“I mean that if I have to be brave now is for the both of us dummy-head”
“Oh… I see…I can say it works sis!”
“Hehe, it’s good to know…for now we should focus on the city”
“True … what’s in the city again?”
“Uhhh… well…. Uh”
“You don’t have any idea, do you?”
“Hey you don’t have any idea either Lemondrop!?”
“Well yes but… you’re the one that goes out every single time so…”
“Aaaand you’re the one that follows me around... from time to time”
“Sure, but I only follow, I don’t have that good of a memory Clemie!”
“Well you… you have a good point”
“Hey you!...” Sunflower started to giggle a little bit afterwards
“Uhm? What’s the giggle for?”
“I just, it’s nice to see you being a little bit more confident.”
“Yup, I’m just, proud y’know?”
Lemondrop blushed and giggled a little. “I guess I have to thank you for that”
“Yeah yeah, maybe you’ll be Clara’s favorite at this pace hehe”
Lemondrop got flustered “Huh!?, what does that even…? come back here Clemie!”
Sunflower ran towards the city, which at this point wasn’t that far away. She stopped in the top of a little pathway that let her see some of the buildings nearby, letting the wind pass through her short hair. While trying to find something interesting in the city, Lemondrop arrived from behind with a hug.
“Hey hey we still have a city to investigate!”
“Sure…but the view from here is quite pretty…”
“Except for mom’s office”
“Hey!... huh… this city is quite…”
The wind started to blow more and more, as a huge creature flew from top of them, a orange dragon with a purple tail attached to her went with a huge speed that let some of the leaves from the forest flying in the air, the dragon seemingly entered the city while a light surfaced as she touched the floor. From there, they could see creatures of all kinds, from wolves to cats, from knighs to elves. If there was something concerning is that, despite being there from time to time, their mother didn’t catch an eye on everything that was in front of her eyes.
“Woah... well come on Clemie let’s go!”
“You seem quite excited, aren’t you?”
“Just a little bit, you said it yourself, we have a city to investigate!”
Lemondrop ran towards the city with an amazing speed, she seemed so excited. Sunflower really liked when Lemondrop was like that, her sister while being calm most of the time, could go like crazy when she found something really interesting to her, words couldn’t even describe the happiness the girl had with things like gardening, beautiful scenery, and much more. When she loved something, she really did.
As they arrived to the city, past the abandoned offices and old buildings, closer to the center there were a lot of nice things around; dog themed bakery with a surprising amount of chocolate cornets, a cosplay shop with lots of cute outfits including some reminiscent of a certain pirate, a ramen shop with lots of lights outside that felt almost like a home. While they were still under a time frame, seeing Lemondrop being so excited looking at everything in the city certainly made Sunflower felt more peaceful, at least for a while.
“You seem to really enjoy this sis”
“I sure do, I… well… I think I understand the appeal of time travel now” she said with a huge smile facing towards Sunflower “there are just so many things that aren’t in town anymore, or at least not that I’ve seen hehe… It wouldn’t be bad to go back in time some other time to see this kind of stuff, well, without me breaking stuff haha”
“Hey what did I say about feeling guilty!”
“Sorry sorry...hehe, but you look kinda cute when you scream like that.”
“You’re enjoying this too much… Hey that does look familiar” she said as she pointed towards what it seemed like a KFP establishment.
“Uh!?, isn’t that auntie Kiara’s business?”
“Yeah, just uglier”
“Hey nothing starts being perfect… but now that you said it… it does look kind of ugly”
The place was quite literally a house painted in gray, as they stepped closer they realized there were some dust and ashes around for no reason, like something burned literally next to the building, it seemed like it was painted in that color so that the ashes couldn’t be seen from afar but they weren’t even the same tone of gray, so it was really easy to spot.
“Well time to get in”
“We need a way to go to Atlantis, and aunt Kiara can fly so…”
“Yes, but not without burning us in the process!”
“Clara can do it without problems, her mother should too don’t she?”
“Well yes but… uhh… uhh…”
“It’s because there must be lots people in there isn’t it?”
“What!? No there’s no…” she looked to the ground while Sunflower raised an eyebrow to her “it could be…”
It was too easy for Sunflower to know that; it really isn’t the first time Lemondrop’s shyness comes in full force. It’s not the worst thing out there but, at least with strangers and big crowds, it can be somewhat scary for her. It’s like her switch completely flipped from being completely absorbed into what was she doing to being a lot more reserved.
“It won’t take more than a few minutes so… stay here Lemondrop. Don’t move, at all”
“I said, at all. Who knows if that weird lighting comes in again”
“Oh! you’re right, well thought sis!.”
“Hehe, I know, see you in a minute!”
While Sunflower entered the establishment, Lemondrop stood there thinking about the situation for a second. Atlantis… a place inhabited that doesn’t exists in her present, no one else than her atlantean mother knew how it really was before being reduced to mere ruins. And despite all of the stories they have told to her and her sister, the only thing certain is that an angry atlantean could be really scary when it wanted to, and that if there’s something those people cared the most was for their own civilization, except for her mother who ran away when she got the chance. Stories of humans getting to Atlantis where nothing more than just myths, and the idea a half human half atlantean it wasn’t even considered back then. For now, the only thing that mattered was if she could swim all the way to the bottom of the ocean and get back to the surface with the time core.
But her brain was also in another place, in the present, or well, the past. Seeing all of those beautiful almost touristic places made her remember some of the places she visited along with their family, from that mountain with nothing more than snow and a comfy house which their mother’s said used to be an onigiri place settled by an old woman and a certain cat, to that cute forest full of lemon trees where they took one seed to plant it next to their house, that cute shrine they liked to visit every summer along with the rest of the Myths and some friends coming along. Lots of memories from places that could have been a lot different before and after. Maybe, if she was a professional time traveler, she would use it just to see all of the places that time has erased from the world.
It’s has been a few minutes since Sunflower entered, “What is taking her so long?” thought her sister.
“Hey let go of me I just want to see the manag-EEEEEEER” said Sunflower as she was kicked outside of the restaurant.
“Clemie! Are you okay?”
“Ugh, I’m fine I’m fine, these jerks surely didn’t want me to see their manager… and she also isn’t here.”
“Yeah, I asked them to see her, then they told me -How do you know her name!?- or something like that, they said she wasn’t here and…”
“Well I'm sure they weren’t lying about that, but I insisted a tiny bit more than I should and now I have a kicked butt.”
“Hey I'm fine!... although they weren’t really nice.”
“I guess so but, ugh, at least they didn’t hurt you badly. I was... kind of... worried”
“It’s going to take more than a little kick to take out an apex predator”
Sunflower giggled a little bit, “If you say so”
“Hey I… I don’t have any ideas of where should we search next…”
“Hmm… wasn’t there a park nearby?”
“It was closured a few months ag- oh right we should go now!”
“I’ll follow you s-“ she said before stumbling to the ground, again with those lightings and disappearing from before.
“Naomi are you okay!?”
“Ugh... I think… we really should get going don’t we?”
Sunflower hummed in response “We can appreciate the city once we get the time core, let’s go”
She lend her hand to Lemondrop to get her up, they started running as fast as they could towards the park near the edge of the city, the path wasn’t really nice to them as the lightings became more and more frequent, they had to be close to each other so neither of them fell as much as before, it seemed like the time was too short to continue wandering around. Until in one of those instances, they fell at the same time.
“We’re almost there sis…” said Sunflower as she attempted to get up again.
“I… I know…”
“Are you two okay?” said someone from behind them, a huge figure stood behind them and helped them to get up. It was a tall girl covered in just Adidas clothes, with a huge tail coming from behind. While Lemondrop didn’t have an idea of who the woman was, Sunflower could somewhat remember that one dragon girl in some old photos with other of their mother’s friends. Those photos were long lost in some album of one of their aunties, and so, when Lemondrop grew she didn't had the opportunity to see them.
“Yes, we’re fine uhhh… excuse me uhh…” said Lemondrop
“The name’s Coco”
A name that neither of them really knew, that nowadays it only existed in the memories of their mothers and some of their friends, while they didn't get to know her, Sunflower could vaguely remember some anecdotes from Amelia, and to her understanding, she was someone she could trust.
“Yeah, Coco, we kind of need some help right now and uhhh”
“Wait! First I need to know..." there was some silence as the dragon girl closed her eyes and pointed at the two sisters, before continuing with her question. "Are you children of Yakuza members or something!?”
“What!? No no no nothing like that”
“What a relief...” There was quite a bit of an akward silence before she spoke again. “In that case, sure, what do you need little girls?”
“We need… uh… how do I say this…” tried to say Lemondrop
“We need a way to go to Atlantis!” said Sunflower immediately after
“Atlantis! You know how far that place is?... no, no, better question, you know that place exists?”
“Yeah, kind of, and we need to go there fast!”
“Well you don’t seem like quite the swimmer, or adventurer to get there hmm…”
“Hmm!? What does that mean!?”
“Nothing, nothing… I mean you two are just children but... eh, I like your attitude so, I guess I can help a little bit.”
“A little bit, what do you…?”
“Just wait here for a second”
Coco quickly showed her wings and started to take fly, as she went farther into the sky, she completely transformed into her dragon form and flew faster than they could ever imagine, getting all of the clouds in the sky dispersed as she flew towards the middle of nowhere, a mere seconds after, she came back with a little boat in her hand, she descended a little bit letting the boat just close enough to the ground so they could get in.
“And now, get in!” said Coco with a way deeper voice than before.
“...is...is this safe?” said Lemondrop
“Well it’s not like we have other option so…” said Sunflower
“I’ll take that as a no…”
Both of them got in the boat, only to realize there was a rope attached to the entire boat, tied so it seemed like a security belt.
“Hey big one, what are these for!?” said Sunflower
“What do you think little one!?” responded Coco as she ascended a little more, to the point they could see most of the city and a good amount of the ocean ahead of them.
“Hold tight!” said Coco as she stopped completely before flying along with the girls towards the ocean, while not being as fast as before, she carried a lot of speed in that flight.
“Couldn’t you just take us in your hand or something like that!?” said Sunflower as she held as tight as she could to the rope, closing her eyes so she couldn’t see how far they were from the ground. Lemondrop on the other hand, seemed to enjoy the view quite a bit, although she was even more attached to the rope and seemed more terrified than fascinated.
“Then how could you get back to land dumbass!?”
"I don't know, maybe if you brought us back too!?"
"I have...things to do kid!"
“Aaaaaand... well.. I also haven’t been in Atlantis before so…”
“What!?” said both of the sisters.
“Yeah well...no one really knows the exact location, other than some cruise ships being lost in the area, I don’t think anything other than atlanteans have been there… now that I think of it...I should have said that before, right?”
“Maybe, are they aggressive!?” responded Sunflower
“They’re just legends… but your sister has a shark tail just like some describe the atlanteans so, in any case, you should be fine… I think?”
“Uhhh…” Lemondrop said with a sadder tone than before “I hope so...”
“Don’t worry sis, I’m sure they will recognize an apex predator when they see it!”
“And what about you?” said Lemondrop while facing her sister, which still had her eyes completely closed.
“Pff, I’m just as atlantean as you. They’ll know how to recognize it!.... surely… surely…” said with a sadder tone every time she repeated it, quite unsure if lacking that tail would make her any different.
Coco started to descent a little bit, and so, Sunflower opened her eyes to see the vast ocean in front of her, an immense body of water which seemed to never end. With only that paper that Amelia left on her hands, a boat and her sister by her side, the only thing left to do was to find the time core, and hopefuly, come back home in one piece.
Chapter 6: The Farthest You Can Fly
As the sisters finally reach the ocean, and with no signs of Atlantis, they start to remember that day on the forest where Sunflower tried to prove herself.
The ocean was a big and scary place, an almost infinite space where you couldn’t see anything below the surface until it was too late, it wasn’t a surprise that people didn’t know of Atlantis existence until time had the opportunity to destroy it, and that no human was known to have been to Atlantis and came back alive.
All that the sisters ever knew of Atlantis were the few anecdotes that Gura had of the ocean life, nothing too interesting or important for this case, yet, it always seemed as Gura omitted lots of stuff, anecdotes that Sunflower thought would continue were stopped by any excuse her mother had, questions that Lemondrop had were dismissed, and if Amelia knew about anything that Gura didn’t like to tell, then she was very good at hiding it, compared to her wife at least.
“Well, this is the farthest I can go!” said Coco as she carefully put the boat on the ocean. There were a lot more clouds than in the city, they were a lot even compared to the point where Coco was starting to descend. It was hard to see for Coco without getting her face covered in clouds that seemed like they could start to rain at any moment.
Coco changed form as soon as the boat was on the ocean, she sat behind the sisters in order to talk normally before going back to the city.
“Well, thanks for helping us out!” said Sunflower
“Oh, it’s nothing it’s nothing, just, be careful out there… I don’t want endangering people’s lives in my list of bad things I’ve done.”
“Don’t worry about that, we’ll be fine… surely!”
“I still like that attitude kid, good luck you two!”
Coco jumped from the boat as her wings came out, she flew so fast that Lemondrop didn’t had an opportunity so say “Thank you”, but still, she was glad someone actually helped them to get here.
“Hehe, she was nice” said Lemondrop
“Yup, kind of crazy if I say so myself but… I’m just glad we are actually close to finishing this.”
Sunflower closed her eyes and giggled a little bit.
“Uhm, what’s that giggle for?”
“Oh nothing, it’s just that… well… I got us into this because I wanted an adventure and now, I’m happy that it’s coming to an end… kind of ironic I guess”
Lemondrop saw her sister, looking down as her voice seemed to break a little bit, while she remained in silence until Sunflower started to talk again.
“Am I an idiot, for regretting this now?”
“I don’t think so…”
“In all honesty, no need to be too sweet to me.”
“You are not sis, you’re the bravest person I know”
“Yet I didn’t help you with that thing on the forest…”
“That’s… completely different, I was dumb enough to do something like that.”
“And I got our mom almost dead because of that.”
“And if it where you then what?”
“Then I would have done something useful today!”
Lemondrop felt her heart sink, she just took one of the oars of the boat and started to row the boat little by little, usually her sister was the one who knew how to do this kind of thing, but for this once, she tried. Sunflower understood and started to see through the water beneath them in case something resembling Atlantis appeared.
A few minutes passed, the clouds seemed more and more gray the more the boat moved. Lemondrop didn’t had the experience and it showed with how slow the movement was, it should be calming to be like this with her sister, specially with no signs of starting to disappear again, but Sunflower certainly didn’t feel in the mood to talk again for a while.
But she knew, she couldn’t be mad with herself all this time, and most importantly, she couldn’t make her sister feel bad.
“You know sis? After seeing what was in the city, I thought…”
“Maybe you’re the one that should be the professional time traveler when you grow up and not me.”
“Huh, Clemie I...”
“I mean just look at us now, trapped in the past in a boat in the middle of nowhere because I wanted a dumb adventure… I wouldn’t even thought of looking at the things of the city if it weren’t for you being so curious, you’re way less reckless than me and… uh… and you don’t make your sister sad because of stupid things you say.”
Lemondrop stopped rowing the boat for a moment, she stood up and went right behind her sister, Sunflower could feel her sister hug coming from behind.
“You’re an idiot for thinking those things if anything…”
“Naomi?” she heard how Lemondrop’s voice was crackling as she said those words.
“After all we’ve been through today… sis you haven’t changed a bit.”
“You still have those band-aids, don’t you?”
“Yeah… I do…”
“And do you remember what happened that day?”
That day from weeks ago, one day she wasn’t careful enough, one day she tried to prove that she was the brave daughter of the apex predator and failed, and to Lemondrop, it was one day where she was too afraid to help her sister, where she saw her sister feeling weak once again.
Completely different experiences from both, yet, it started just the same. With all of the family reunited after quite some time, just having a good time until Sunflower did something dumb.
“I’m gonna go play for a bit, don’t wait for me!”
“What’s the rush for little girl?” said Calliope
“Oh nothing, nothing uncle Callie, nothing at all”
“It’s auntie you… sweet… girl…”
“Well, gotta go, cya in a bit!”
“Can you check up on your sis, please?” said Amelia.
Naomi nodded in response, while she stood up and went right behind her sister, it wasn’t the first or the last time she would go after her in case she did something dangerous, she would go after her even if her mother hadn’t told her to do so.
“Are you sure we can let Sunflower doing stuff there?” said Gura
“Not really but, I don’t think she would get into anything too dangerous here, not with her sister besides her at least.”
And for the most part, she wasn’t wrong, there was an enormous number of occasions where Lemondrop stopped her sister of doing something that would get her hurt, if anything, she would get scolded for trying to do somethings like that.
“Look, this is the tree I told you about the other day!” said Sunflower
“It looks so… pretty…”
It was quite a large tree, it was nothing compared to the other ones around it, Sunflower searched for things in this forest right when her mothers told them where would they go and this thing surely came to her attention. With little flowers around it that only looked better with the help of sunlight, and shadows created by the number of branches it had, she showed it to her sister right when she investigated it and found it really cute looking, no surprise with someone who inherited that interest in gardening from her mother, and to a certain extent, she was just as excited to see it in person as her sister, for completely different reasons.
“Well, here goes nothing!”
Sunflower jumped to the tree, she could barely grasp it with all of the little broken branches it had, yet, she could continue going up, just far enough that her sister couldn’t reach her with her hand.
“Sis what are you doing!?”
“Climbing up, don’t you see!?”
“I don’t think it’s a good idea! …”
“I think differently!”
“I thought we were only supposed to see it!”
“Yeah but, wouldn’t it be cool to see everything from above!”
“Maybe but, not when you can just fall of it!”
“Ah come on sis, I won’t fall, trust me, I’m careful!”
Lemondrop stepped back a bit to see how far her sister went, she wasn’t even near a quarter of the tree, yet, she could feel how far she was from the ground. She went right in front of the tree and tried to climb it, time and time again. No matter what she did, no matter which branch she tried to step in or which part of the tree she tried to grasp into, she fell time and time again. She wasn’t hurt by it, only grass and dirt on her dress, while she continued to see her sister going up and up.
From there she could see where she came from, but she couldn’t really see her family from there, she was tempted to go running as fast as she could to them and ask them for help, but she was too afraid to go for it, who knew if her sister would fall while she tried to seek for help?... but then again, if her sister did fell, what would she do? Try to climb again and just fall with her?
Lots of questions invaded her mind as she just continued to see her sister, past the mid part of the tree, going up and up, while her breath started to get heavier and her heartbeat went like crazy, with her mind not letting her to do anything.
“Can you see this sister, this is amazing!” said Sunflower as she looked from the tree, the view was just as amazing as she thought, she wasn’t really scared of heights back then, she continued to climb while saying how nice was the view from there, not knowing that from where she was no one could hear a word of what she was saying.
As she continued to climb more and more, as she could see more and more to the horizon, it did get harder as the wind seemed to blow a lot more every single moment she continued to go up. It came to a point that her hands would hurt, until she just decided to hug the tree.
“It’s okay Sunflower, it’s okay… just… it’s a little climb down… just a bit…”
She saw towards the ground just to discover how far she was from it, how hard it seemed the way back, how scary it was the thought of going back down trough those branches that surely could break easier now.
She tried to climb down, she wanted to close her eyes just to forget how long the fall would be if she didn’t make it, but it was impossible to do if she wanted to actually go down. It was scary, the thought of falling down with no help whatsoever, with the only person that she thought could have helped her was on the ground waiting for her, just because she didn’t want to listen and prove something; that she was brave.
But the more she tried to climb down she only could remember how she actually wasn’t as brave as she thought, how she could get scared, how helpless she could be if there was no one at her side, and then, a branch broke.
Lemondrop could only see from afar, how her sister started to fall between broken branches that certainly didn’t help her to stop falling, while Sunflower just fell how some of them hit on her knees, closing her eyes expecting that the fall would stop at some point, and eventually, it did.
Lemondrop had her eyes closed and looked to the floor, until the sound of something flying extremely fast through the forest and right above of her made her open them, as she saw a pink light through the sky going right where Sunflower was falling, she perfectly knew it was Clara saving her as she saw her descending really slowly.
She heard the sound of her mothers and aunties from where she came from, as Clara finally reached the floor with Sunflower on her hands.
“Clemie! are you okay!?”
“I… I think so…” Sunflower responded as she tried to walk again, just to tremble and fall into Clara’s arms again “agh…maybe not…”
Her knees were certainly injured, nothing too extreme or visible other than a few scratches, but they still hurt just enough.
“Does it hurt?” said Clara as she touched Sunflower’s knee.
“Aaaaaaaagh!, yes, yes it does!”
“I figured, just rest for a while.”
It didn’t took long until the rest of the family came in, but that little time was just uncomfortable enough, Sunflower feeling like she didn’t prove anything of what she wanted to herself, Lemondrop feeling like she could have done something more to help, and Clara just patiently waiting for her mothers to came in to stop this uncomfortable silence.
“Specially today, yes I do remember what happened that day…” Sunflower responded
“And what about the thing that happened afterwards?”
Sunflower only could, no, she only wanted to remember perfectly up until that moment after she fell, everything afterwards felt just like a blur, to Lemondrop it wasn’t too different, at least, until she thought lots of things during that silence rowing minutes ago.
“Maybe… just a bit.”
“Well, in that case…”
Their mothers came in as fast as they could, not fast enough for Clara, but fast enough to make Lemondrop a little bit calmer.
“Are you okay!?” said Gura as she ran towards Sunflower Clara let the little girl go to her mother’s arms. Amelia went right behind her, seeing the scratches that Sunflower had, thinking that at least her little daughter was safe and sound. She hugged Lemondrop for a bit as she seemed shocked at the moment.
“Is everything fine Lemondrop?”
“Yeah yeah… I think… it is now”
She saw Gura talking to Clementine, she seemed a bit upset as she didn’t want to talk, she couldn’t really hear what she was saying, but from the expression in her mother’s face she seemed more worried than mad, and being fair, Gura wasn’t the kind of mother to go nuts because of things like this, even if she was the first one to not let her do crazy stuff, she was always there trying to make her and her sister feel safe at home, even if Sunflower didn’t seemed to understand that at times.
“Don’t you have any band-aids?” asked Gura to her wife.
“No… I think we only have some at home…”
“Well, then we can call it a day then.” said Calli.
“Oh no, no, no, here’s no need to, I would feel bad if we finish this early because of our family…” said Gura, while Sunflower only sighed and stared at the floor. Gura noticed the expression of her daughter.
“It’s okay Gura, we can see each other every time! I think your daughter is more of a priority now, isn’t it?” said Kiara.
“Humu humu, we can make an appointment in a few weeks, no pressure.” said Ina.
“Hehe, I guess you’re right, thanks girls” said Gura.
“No problem my dude, we’ll start to pack things up.” said Calli.
“C’mon Clara let’s go!” said Kiara.
“Yeah mom!” said Clara as she started to fly again, she really liked to show her skills at it, using it basically for everything, unlike her mother who only used her phoenix wings in specific situations. The pair of sisters couldn’t help but notice how awesome and talented the daughter of the reaper and the phoenix was, especially Sunflower, who couldn’t prove herself now matter how hard she tried, at this point it wasn’t about showing off to their family, she really wanted to feel like the daughter of an apex predator, and sometimes like this, it was the only thing she wanted.
Twenty or so minutes passed until everyone packed everything back and went their separate ways, as Amelia started to drive back home, everything went completely silent for a few minutes until her wife decided to talk.
“Hey Sunflower… about that…”
“I don’t want to talk about it…”
“…fine… but at least hear me.”
“…as you wish.”
“Look, don’t be so hard on yourself, I know what I said but… don’t let all of the fault come on you.”
“But I was the one who got hurt, how isn’t it my fault?”
“Let me continue darling, I usually let you do as you want and, yeah, I’ve said time and time again that I was just as… uh…” said Amelia
“Chaotic?” said Sunflower
“That’s… not the word I wanted to use but, yes, chaotic. I used to do some, dumb stuff, and I was unresponsible for letting you without knowing what you were planning to do.”
“But… I really wanted to climb that tree, don’t you see how far can Clara fly!?... I just wanted to be as cool and brave as her… or you…”
Lemondrop saw her sister with sad eyes, trying to reach her for a hug, but she just doubted to do it.
“Sunflower… I know I’ve said it before but I will say it all the times I need, you don’t need to prove us how cool you are, you’re our amazing daughter just the way you already are, we know that you like to adventure from time to time but, it’s not good when you risk yourself for something like that…”
“But she’s just a few years older than me and still!...”
“Sweetie… there are things that other people can you and you don’t, I mean, there’s no way I could fly like your auntie Kiara or something.” said Gura
“Yeah but you can swim stupidly fast, and you were even used to be named the -apex predator-, you’re all amazing people and then… and then there’s me…”
“Look… there’s a point in life where you will find something cool as you say, that you want to do, you know you can and others can’t, why do you think most of my anecdotes are when I was already a detective?” said Amelia.
“As your mom said. Sweetie, don’t force yourself to grow up now, I’m… we’re sure you two will do amazing things when that day comes in, but until then, just enjoy life!” said Gura
Sunflower giggled a little bit in response, with a cute smile in her face. She felt a sense of relief now, and her sister too as things seemed to do well.
“When we come home, we can play some games, maybe eat some ice cream, it will be fun Sunflower!” said Amelia
“Hehe… yeah, yeah, it will” Sunflower responded.
Back to the present day, Sunflower giggled as she remembered that afternoon in home having fun with her family, just as they always have. What her atlantean mom said was right, and what she really enjoyed more than anything, was to have fun with her entire family. She missed home a little bit more, but more than anything, she felt more motivated to keep going for that time core and finally come back.
“I’m such a dummy Naomi…”
“I know I know, but you’re the bravest dummy out there”
“Pff, if you say so.”
“I’m telling you the truth! If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t even get a boat to get here, or an idea of where to go after that time at the forest, and I wouldn’t even be trying to help you now!”
“I guess… I guess you’re right.”
“Well, then how about you go back to being the brave sister and go for that time thingy.”
“I’ll do it… and… seriously thank sis, I don’t know what would I have done without you helping me.”
“Aw no worries, I had to return you the favor for not letting me go alone to Atlantis so…”
“Yeah, and you did… also one more thing and don’t get too offended…”
“Huh, what is it?”
“That’s not how you row a boat properly…”
“It was the first time I tried!”
“I know but, uhh, let me do it this time okay?”
“I didn’t plan to continue doing it so, it’s all yours sis!”
“Good, well time to go then!”
“Oh, one more thing from me”
“It’s good to have you back the way you usually are Sunflower”
“Hehe, same thing here Lemondrop, same thing.”
Sunflower stood up as Lemondrop took her place seeing for any instance of Atlantis, Sunflower went to the rowing seat.
“Oh, and about the time traveler thing!” said Lemondrop
“We can always share the watch if the day comes, don’t we? Like, not at the same time like today but, you know.”
“Maybe, I was just saying dumb stuff tho, I’m sure mom will be the time traveler for a really long time.”
“Sure, but maybe we can use it from time to time, if it doesn’t mess with its rules or something.”
“You really want to use the watch now, eh?”
“No, no, no! I mean, not now, now, but it would be fun one day or another wouldn’t it?”
“Yes, maybe one day… huh?”
“What is it Clemie?”
“One of the oars is gone…”
“Huh? Both of them were there when I was rowing”
“Maybe it fell but… wouldn’t it be floating now?”
“I’ll search for it; it won’t take long!”
“Sure, tell me if you find Atlantis down there”
Lemondrop went right into the ocean, searching for that oar, there was no way it sunk all the way down, it was technically just a piece of wood, “How far could it be?” she thought as she went around the boat.
From the surface Sunflower could barely see Lemondrop swimming and certainly the weather there didn’t help, a few minutes passed until she couldn’t see anything from her sister.
“Sis, are you still there?” she said, with no response whatsoever.
“Naomi! Swim up, maybe you can push the boat or something, no need to search it for me!” she shouted, even if she knew Lemondrop wasn’t the strongest girl out her, surely she could do something like that rather than put herself in danger down there.
“Lemondrop! Lemondrop!!!” she shouted more and more, again with no response.
“Sis… where are you!?”
“I’m here I’m here!” finally responded Lemondrop as she came out of the surface.
“Dear lord I… I thought I lost you there for a moment.”
“Sorry, sorry, I thought I saw something moving down there but when I tried to reach it, it was gone, and well, yeah…”
“No problem sis, did you hear my idea?”
“I can’t hear that far underwater Clemie.”
“Well, maybe you could just push the boat until we find something.”
“Huh, well thought sis!... maybe it would be a little bit tiring but, no problem!”
And she was right, she wasn’t even that experienced with swimming on large masses of water, but trying no move a boat while doing it only kept being harder and harder the more, she moved, almost if something in the ocean was trying to keep the boat far from Atlantis.
“Are you okay sis?”
“Yes… I… you think the watch would move us back home and not in the ocean if we use it here?”
“Huh, I don’t think that’s how it works but, why?”
“It’s… a little…tiring…”
“You can do it Lemondrop, just a little bit more, I’m sure!”
They continued moving more and more, neither of them could see anything different from where they started other than the weather getting worse and worse, luckily enough, there was no signs of waves that could make it even harder for Lemondrop.
But then at some point, Sunflower could see how the boat completely stopped, it even seemed to go backwards.
“Naomi is everything o…kay?”
She saw back to where Lemondrop was, or at least, it was supposed to be. There were no signs of her, and the boat just continued to move backwards. Sunflower took the oar that was still there.
“Sis, where are you!?”
“Lemondrop! Naomi! Say something!!!”
Again, no response.
With the oar in hand, she tied to see to the ocean if anything changed, there was no signs of anything; her sister, Atlantis, or whatever made her sister disappear from one moment to the next. Then, that lighting of the watch came back in full force, making her fall with her facing the ocean.
“Ugh… sis… is that?”
She said as she saw something moving in the ocean, she couldn’t recognize everything, but at least, a shark tail was visible from there.
“Oh good… I thought I lost you again… sis?”
That thing was moving faster and faster, eventually, the tail was facing completely downwards and she could recognize something emerging from the ocean; a pair of red eyes accompanied by some red lights that moved as it was hair.
Scared, Sunflower tried to row the boat with just that one oar, trying to get out of the way of whatever was that thing following her, but it wasn’t enough, that thing went faster and faster until she felt how something hit the boat.
“I-I don’t know what you want, but just give me back my sister!”
Something broke a part of the boat right underneath the rowing seat, the boat started to sink without letting her any opportunity to escape. Thanks to being half Atlantean, she knew she could at least breath a little bit underwater, but thanks to not using her gills as often, she knew she didn’t have the limitless time that Gura and Lemondrop had, and even if she had, she didn’t have a tail. Saying that she was scared would be an understatement of what she was feeling at the moment.
Eventually, she just felt how something grabbed her from her leg, as she saw how she started to go lower and lower into the ocean. The only thing she could see was those red lights, until she turned around to see what the thing that was taking her had on her other arm, she could recognize that lemon pin and hair tie everywhere.
“Lemondrop are you… oka…y?”
She said as her eyes closed.
Chapter 7: Where Clouds Hide the Sun
The lost city of Atlantis was a place only known in legends until this point, where entire cruise ships would disappear, where no one even dared to prove its existence, and most importantly, it was the home of the one and only apex predator.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Atlantis, the legendary that city sunk in the middle of the ocean thousands of years ago, a big place full of lights in the deeps of an ocean covered in the darkness of the surface.
For many, many years it seemed as just a fantasy, a myth that everyone knew about yet it wasn’t treated as something that could exist. At least, until people saw things out of the ordinary in the ocean; more specifically, a girl with a shark tail was spotted one time swimming by the coast of a certain city, which was already full of many mysteries and legends that no one seemed to care enough for.
Until now, the only other people that seemed to spot something like that were the ones who dared to travel to the middle of the ocean, where clouds were so dense that they completely hide the sun from the area, the many anecdotes of sailors that somehow got out of there at the coast of their boats that went missing, attacked by a creature that was somehow strong enough to get big ships down, and yet, small and fast enough to not be seen by any of them.
And yet, despite all of the coincidences in the area, despite all of the mystery behind it, it wasn’t until many years later when a certain predator went to the surface to stay that people were sure of Atlantis existence, and by then, Atlantis was nothing more than a bunch of ruins, a shadow of what it used to be.
For Gura, she only wished to tell the times where Atlantis was as it’s best, and when asked about the ruins, she could only say that it was more abandoned than actually destroyed, despite being called the “sole survivor” for so long that it stood with her.
And so, the many stories of Atlantis worst times, of that time between being the city full of lights and the ruins of an ancient society were only buried within Gura’s memories.
Or so she thought.
Lemondrop opened her eyes, she didn’t know how much time passed since something grabbed her while she tried to move the boat, the last thing she remembered was hearing her sister screaming for her as she constantly tried to get off whatever was taking her towards other part of the ocean, with no success.
It was even darker than before, getting even closer to pitch black the more she got dragged into the ocean depths. She spent a few seconds trying to understand what was happening at the moment. That something was still grabbing her leg and swimming incredibly fast, she could recognize a shark tail in perfect shape wagging up and down as the creature swam faster every second. She tried to not move her legs at all in fear of the thing that got her in the first place, and then turned around to the side only to see her sister being on the other arm of the creature.
“Sis!” she yelled without thinking twice as it was her sister what was in danger now, she saw how the thing that was grabbing her turned around a little bit only to be dazzled by a pair of red eyes, and most importantly, a red lock of hair. She was shocked for a few seconds as the creature completely stopped her swimming and just watched her for a few seconds. Lemondrop’s heart sank as she not only could recognize that pattern of hair highlights, but also the same shark hoodie her mother loves so much.
She was completely shocked at that moment, not knowing what to do next, she wanted to get her and her sister out of this but… her mother? She knew Gura liked to hid a lot of stuff from back when she was in Atlantis, but she couldn’t have expected anything as scary and menacing as this. At most, the only thing she and her sister knew what was she was called back then: “the apex predator”.
Her eyes and Gura’s met for a brief moment, and Gura didn’t even seem interested in letting go of her in the slightest. Her heart was beating stupidly fast, she was more scared than ever before, and she couldn’t have thought that her loving mother, or at least, her past self, would be the thing that would give her that feeling.
Gura turned around again and started swimming, a little bit slower than before.
Lemondrop was way too afraid to do anything, what was Gura doing in the first place, bringing two people from the surface back down to Atlantis? After what she heard from Coco, she would think that the atlanteans wanted people out of there, not getting them closer to it. The only thing she could do was to question herself, even if that wouldn’t give her any answers yet.
Not much time passed until she finally saw her destination, until she saw that place for the first time and it looked… not like she was expecting.
Atlantis, the place that supposedly was destroyed many years ago, the place who only had one known survivor for the longest time, the home of the Apex Predator and Gem of the Sea was… empty.
She could see many of the lights that adorned the buildings, which now were dim, the once majestic statues, now full of moss, the many houses and big edifications, now with many parts of them buried in the sand, separated or missing as no one seemed to have used them in a long while, the streets, or at least what resembled a street, now completely empty.
Gura continued swimming, there weren’t any signs of life outside of them until they got closer to the center of the city, seeing some atlanteans swimming by, neither of them looking friendly at all, with a trident in their hand and looking from side to side every few seconds.
They entered more and more, seeing how not much seemed to change, everything around was silent. At most they could hear some people talking outside of the destroyed houses, many of which sounded more cheerful than they actually looked like. Atlantis didn’t seem like the Utopia covered in light that Gura mentioned so much in her stories, and at the same time, it sort of fit into her reasoning of leaving it for moving to the surface: from how boring it was, a place that now was the representation of nothingness.
Something came into the attention of Lemondrop as Gura didn’t stop a single second, approaching a huge palace, the least deteriorated thing around there, she could see more buildings still full of light around it. It was as if the only part of the city that still resembled what Atlantis used to be was just in the center of it all, and yet, there were still a lot of destroyed buildings around.
And then, seeing how Gura got closer and closer to the palace guarded by a pair of atlanteans, one on each side of the huge door that blocked the entrance, Lemondrop could heard Gura’s past self-talking for the first time.
“Hey, you the one on the right.” she pointed to one of the atlanteans.
“The other right… yes you idiot! You can open the door now, and tell the guards that they can stop roaming around now!”
“Sure, I’ll do it… but first… what was it this time, intruders again?”
“Sort of… one of them has a tail so…”
“Has?... one of them?... are they thing still around here?”
“Yup, I heard them mentioning something about the time core and well…”
“You know, one of the few things we still have in the museum? That time core?”
“Ohhh, the blue thingy?”
“We have a lot of blue thingies in the museum, be more specific.”
“Well, the blue thingy that shines and does weird sounds, and stuff?”
“Yeah, that one!”
“Oh yeah… what was that for again?”
“Is… I… ugh… stop questioning it! You know that it’s strictly prohibited for us to take anything from the museum, rules are rules!”
“Yeah… just like it’s prohibited to go to the surface…”
“Hey, I’m doing all of your work for a reason, I’m close to being clean!”
“Sure… that’s why you still use that dumb hoodie.”
“Hey it’s not dumb!... and…”
Gura dropped Lemondrop and Sunflower for a bit, as she went full speed in front of the guy, with her hair and eyes turning into an ever deeper red, it even seemed as if it was glowing.
“Be careful of who you make fun of…” she said as she took the trident from the man, putting it underneath his chin.
“Good!... now where was I… huh?”
She turned around just to see how neither of the sisters were where she left them.
“What did I do know?”
“Where are they!?”
“The atlanteans they… they were just there a second ago!”
“Atlanteans? I thought you said only one of them had a tail!”
“Yeah, and yet she was still breathing just like us!”
“As you heard.”
“But that’s impossible!”
“I know what I saw…”
“Uh… don’t you think that’s even more worrying than the time core thing?”
“Hey, how about you stop questioning me and tell everyone inside and outside to start searching from them?” she said as she put the trident even closer to his chin, almost touching it.
“A-as you wish…”
One of the atlanteans went full speed to the top of Atlantis, while the other opened the door to the palace and entered quite rappidly, searching for the rest of them to warn them, as Gura did the same in the surface. Luckily enough, Lemondrop went into what it used to be the second floor one of the buildings that were unused with Sunflower in her arms, still asleep after being dragged from the surface.
“Hey… Clemie… are you okay?”
Sunflower didn’t seem to respond, Lemondrop looked around just to see how Gura was roaming around in the surface level. Her heart skipped a beat seeing how fast she was, how she could just swim through at any second and catch them once again.
They stood there for a few minutes until the clock made its thing once again, that flashy blue lighting happened once, then twice, then thrice, every time it felt worse than the last, even more so for Lemondrop who already had her heart going like crazy thinking on what to do now. The third one however, got Sunflower to wake up.
“Ugh… where… are w….” she stopped talking as soon as she realized that she was underwater. She never used her atlantean half as much as she wished too, and she could feel that, she felt the area near her lungs hurt for how long has she been there, despite that, she could at least still breath enough to remain conscious for a while, or at least she wanted to think that.
“Clemie!” Lemondrop hugged her sister as soon as she saw her talking, not too good for Sunflower’s ribs, but still, she was glad that her sister was still safe.
“Hey… you’re a little strong…”
“No big deal…” Sunflower said as she touched her own chest.
“Hey… did it hurt so much?...”
“It’s not that… I can’t breathe as much as you can… you know… more human than Atlantean and stuff…”
“Sis… are you sure you want to continue like this?... we can swim as fast as we can back to the surface and then…”
“No!... no… we’re already here… and besides who know how much time we have left now…”
“I… you’re right…”
“Good… now… where are we?”
“Well… we’re in Atlantis now…”
“Good… good… uh… so where’s the time core?”
“I heard Gura saying that it was in…”
“Wow, wow, wait, mom is here!?”
“Yes, she is…”
“Cool!... she can help us with this right?” Lemondrop turned her view to the side, knowing that it wasn’t the case.
“Sis… the thing that brought us down there…”
“Yes? What about it?”
“It was her…mom…Gura brought us down here…”
“She…she heard us talking about the time core and… well… now all of Atlantis is searching for us…”
“Wait… are you saying were fugitives or something...?”
“If I understood her…yes…it seems like it…”
“Well… that’s cool… fugitives from Atlantis huh?”
“Clemie… I don’t know what to do… she looks super scary and… I have no idea where the museum is and… and…”
“Wait Lemondrop, piece by piece, museum?”
“Right… yes, she said something about the time core being there…”
“And… scary?... are we talking of the same Gura?”
“Yes, yes she is!”
“Huh… hearing mom’s stories I always thought she looked cool and all but… not scary…”
Sunflower saw through the side of the building, seeing how Atlantis actually looked like.
“But well… I also imagined Atlantis being a lot prettier.”
“Same haha… ha… do you have any ideas...?”
“Huh… maybe if we sneak around the other buildings and search it.”
“Do you think it would be that easy?”
“Maybe? There can’t be that many beautiful enough places to be called a museum…”
“And, well, there’s no other thing we can do so…”
“Well, now let’s move.”
Sunflower tried to move outside, only to realize how slow she was swimming, accompanied with the pressure of the ocean and her lack of breath, it didn’t help at all.
“Clemie… can you...?”
“Yes I… I… No…I can’t move… not well enough…”
“Well… then you guide me.”
Lemondrop went behind Sunflower and grabbed her.
“I already brought to this building; it can’t be that hard.”
“I… true…let’s do it then.”
They went out of the building slowly, going from building to building as there were no atlanteans nearby. Lemondrops heart was beating fast as the mere thought of being found by any of them, specially Gura, was scary enough. Sunflower on the other hand searched from side to side as Lemondrop continued swimming, with no signs of any museum of sorts. Most of the buildings that were illuminated looked just the same from each other, other than a few monuments on the distance.
Lemondrop was surprised that no one was nearby them, it was like everyone went searching from them in the ruins rather than near the brightest parts of the city, and despite that, she couldn’t let go of the feeling of being chased by someone. They continued swimming from building to building looking for anything, at least, until one of them stood out.
“To your left, can you see that monument?”
“Yes… it looks like the other ones that we’ve seen so far.”
“Let’s get a little bit closer...”
Lemondrop could see the path to the monument, it was far enough from the city that no buildings were in between where she was and the monument itself.
“Sis… we can’t hide until we get there…”
“I know but, I’m sure I saw something over there…”
“I can’t see anything from here… are you sure abo-“
She was interrupted as the clock did its thing once again for both of them, getting even worse than the last few times as she almost let go of her sister. Sunflower on the other side, seemed to struggle to breath more than before as the lighting took her by surprise, she sounded as if she was hyperventilating.
“Clemie!... are you…”
“I’m fine… I’m fine…”
“You don’t sound like it…”
“I’ll be fine okay?... no worries…” she said as she touched her chest once again, feeling as if she could get out of oxygen at any second.
“Let’s just… hurry okay sis?”
“I… sure… sure…”
“Well said… now swim there as fast as you can…”
“What if anyone see us?”
“We won’t know until we try it…right?”
“Right…right… hold tight sis!”
And so, Lemondrop swam the fastest she could, going through the blank spaces between her and the monument until she reached it in a few seconds. She turned back around just to make sure that no one was following her.
“Hey sis… down here!”
Lemondrop spaced out as she thought she could see something from where she was seconds ago, and as soon as she heard her sister, she turned down to see what Sunflower was referring to.
“Huh… what is this?”
She could see a sort of entrance for a building, which while still buried outside by the sand, it looked as if the interiors were in almost perfect shape, other than the lights being dimmer than they should.
“I think we found it sis…”
“Now let’s take a look inside…”
Lemondrop swam inside of the building, despite being confusing to traverse due to being completely sideways, she could recognize what it was a statue of a trident in the center of it all, with different pathways from side to side. As they swam through, seeing the different pathways they saw how many of them were now empty, with broken glass all over the place as if someone went and robbed it some time ago.
And yet, there was one pathway that resalted from the bunch, one which’s lights seemed to come from the middle of the pathway rather than the entrance, a light in a tone similar that the one that the clock emitted when being used.
“Uh…is this?” said Lemondrop
“Let’s check it out…” said Sunflower
As they entered that pathway, she could see that it actually had some stuff within it in comparison to the others, and the most important thing within it, was that piece shining in blue that almost resembled the looks of a sand clock.
“Clemie… it is…”
“I’m sure… there’s no other thing here that looks like it… well… there’s no other things here as well.”
Lemondrop giggled “…right…so… this is it right?”
She stopped grabbing her sister, so they were side by side looking at the time core.
“Yes…” Sunflower closed her eyes for a second “Now just break that glass and-“
She opened her eyes in surprise as she could hear her sister breaking through it.
“Well… now what?”
“Now we take it and…huh?”
Sunflower heard the sound of a clock ticking, she took the broken clock from one of her pockets just to see that it wasn’t it what was ticking, but the time core in front of them.
“Now that I think of it… they did mention that it made a sound but… I never expected that it would be only a clock tick.”
“Huh… but now… how do we use it?”
“You don’t.” said a certain voice near the entrance of the pathway.
“Naomi…take the core!” said Sunflower as she put the clock back in her pocket, Lemondrop took the time core and went behind Sunflower. As they saw who was following them, Gura, still tinted in red, entered slowly with a gold metallic trident in her hand.
“Heh, thought you could just leave?”
“I mean…yeah…that’s what I thought.” She said as she felt Lemondrop grabbing her again.
“Well, wrong. Not when you tried to steal one of Atlantis treasures.”
“Tried? But…I’m already…halfway through it!”
“Not for long…”
“Yeah, yeah, but it looks like you didn’t do a…good…job…protecting…them…before.” Sunflower said as her chest started to hurt near the lungs, she felt the pressure of being with little time left underwater.
“Well would you look at that, trying to make fun of me and getting backstabbed right after…”
“Huh? But we were only getting started…” the voice got closer as that familiar pair of red eyes got closer to them, along with those hair highlights, illuminating the rest of the pathway.
Lemondrop couldn’t respond or move, she was shocked just seeing that scary thing getting closer and closer, and having seen how much scarier she was when seeing her at front.
“Huh, what’s happening… are you scared?”
“Naomi just…go as fast as you can!”
Lemondrop grabbed Sunflower again and tried to swim by the side of Gura. Sunflower saw how she was getting closer and closer to the entrance, just to then feel how Lemondrop let go of her.
And there she was, grabbed by Gura with one hand. Her trident was now sinking as her other hand held the time core.
“Let her go!”
“Why should I? After attempting to break Atlantis rules there’s no way I could do that…”
“Are Atlantis…rules…that important to you? Enough to… you know… threaten children?”
“Don’t try to be smart on me, do you think that I don’t know how atlanteans age?”
“I mean… you could be ten years old, or maybe a hundred, maybe just over a thousand, who knows?”
“But we aren’t… not… not comple-”
“Oh, you don’t? No human could survive with this much pressure and yet, you have been here for quite some time.”
Sunflower stayed quiet as she could see Gura’s clothing, it was still the same she has been using all of this time, the one she really loved, the one that she took from the human world.
“Although I gotta say, not having a tail is interesting… you’re lucky we don’t have the megalodon anymore.”
“You know, largest shark out there, the one we used when someone broke the rules? Gosh you sound like you aren’t even from Atlantis.”
“Sure…sure… I do wonder what would the rest decide to do with you after they find what you tried to do; we haven’t punished anyone since the Megalodon left… although seeing that you come outside, maybe not letting you two go from Atlantis is enough…”
“What… what does that mean?”
“Don’t you know the rules?... Atlanteans aren’t supposed to left this place…no wonder why don’t you know any of the rules if you went for so long…”
“Heh… it’s funny that you say that…”
“Uh, what do you mean?”
“That hoodie…is human… isn’t it?”
“Huh… how do you…?”
“I’ve seen it before… you… you went to the surface before, didn’t you?”
Sunflower could remember many of the words that Gura use to describe Atlantis, but if there was one that stuck with her, the reason she decided to left Atlantis in the first place, the reason she was in the surface in the first place, the reason everything happened like it did, and yet, it was the simplest reason ever.
“It’s boring… isn’t it?”
“What…I…” Gura’s red colors went dim.
“I mean… who would want to live here with all… of this…ruins… just watching if people go over there to catch them… protecting something that you don’t care for…is this what you really want?”
“I…” she closed her eyes, as her colors went back to that vibrant red color “If that’s what Atlantis need, then I’ll do it…”
“But it’s that what you really want… Gura?”
“What… how did you… no… no one around here calls me like that…”
“Then how eh?... is it the entire thing, or just Gawr?... or maybe… you’re just an apex predator to them?”
“I… no… they need me… this place still have people in it… they still need a predator…”
“And then why so many people left… why are there no people out there other than a few that decided to stay… why…”
Gura couldn’t respond, no, she didn’t want to respond. She knew all of those reasons the day she decided to go to the city and buy that hoodie, she knew how amazing the outside world really was, how free she felt when she used those legs to walk on land for the first time, how nicer everything sounded and looked like when on land, and how much she had to repress those feelings as she got scolded when getting back to Atlantis.
How much she had to pay for doing that, how much work she had to do, how much she had to let the other side of her take control of her life as she couldn’t even do the things that the people in Atlantis wanted, as she took down all of those ships but never had the heart to attack the people themselves, without knowing how would that affect the view of the people on land of Atlantis.
How much she wished she could just escape, and yet, she felt obliged to do what the other people wanted, she felt obliged to follow a set of rules that she didn’t agree with, to protect artifact from a museum she didn’t understand, to take down ships that she didn’t know if were important for other ones, she didn’t feel free, and yet, she was there, threatening people that she just met just because they talked of something that other people on Atlantis seemed to care about, even if none of them could tell for what it actually was.
She spaced out as her train of thought went on a complete opposite direction from where it was, as she let go of her feral side as she thought more into that question, “Is this what I want?” thought Gura. It wasn’t the first time she questioned this, hell, she did it since that day she went to the surface, she couldn’t help but fantasize about going up there and wonder what did humans do there, and doing all of that stuff herself, to not follow any of the rules that Atlantis had on her, to finally let the best of her show.
As much as she wanted to continue questioning herself, her brain was sent back to reality as she heard something extremely noisy from the hand that she had the time core on, just to see the girl that she had on the other hand trying to contain a scream as something resembling a lighting covered her for a few seconds.
“What… what happened?”
“Did you ever ask yourself…what that thing in your hand is for…?” said Sunflower, as she saw how Gura’s red colors were now gone, finally having the same color she always used to have.
“Well…” Sunflower said as she showed the clock to Gura.
“This… this thing keeps us here… and if we don’t use that soon… then…-” she was interrupted as the clock did it’s thing again, she now knew why Lemondrop struggled to contain her screaming, it was painful to no end and it even endured longer than the last few ones.
“Please…let us use that thing…plea-…” Sunflower fainted.
“Clemie!” yelled Lemondrop as she swam with her sister with enough strength that she could free herself from Gura’s arm.
“Clementine…Clementine!...” she said as she put her head against her chest, trying to hear if she was still breathing.
“She’s struggling to breath and her heart is…”
“Wait… what’s happening to her?”
“She can’t breathe underwater that much! And the clock isn’t helping either!”
“Hey, is anyone here!?” they heard a male voice from outside the museum.
Both of them stayed silent, until one more voice summed to the last one.
“They sure are here, we have searched everywhere else.”
And more than just one summed to the group.
“If they’re here, then Gawr should have already took care of them”
“If that’s the case what is taking her so long?”
“Gawr, are you here!?”
“I’ll take that silence as a yes, let’s enter!”
Lemondrop could only see Gura as she was also completely silent, now she could also see how her colors were no longer red, how she seemed to be back to what she is use to be.
“Gura...? Your eyes… your hair…”
“I know… I know…change of plans, you two are going out of here.”
“As you heard, these idiots aren’t getting more people that don’t want to be here.”
“Hey, I can see you!” said one of the atlanteans as he entered the museum.
“Shit…” said Gura as she went behind Lemondrop.
“Okay… now just don’t think much of anything, okay?” Gura said as she took one sister on each arm.
“We’re going as fast as I can so… just hold tight and pray that the other girl does too… okay?”
“Okay… and huh…take this…” she said as gave Lemondrop the time core.
“Good? Now get ready… we’re going in 3…”
Gura swam outside of the pathway, now facing the main entrance.
“There she is, and she captured them!”
“Hey… wasn’t her hair supposed to be red…”
“Unless she…oh… not again… watch out!”
Gura swam fast enough that many of the atlanteans from the entrance were sent almost flying, either back to the city or to the many mountains of sand nearby.
“Hope you don’t mind going this fast!”
“No worr-“she was stopped again by the clock doing it’s thing, and Gura couldn’t help but notice that.
“Hey, do you need to use that soon?”
“I… I think so…”
Gura decreased her speed for a bit, until she saw a trident being sent right next to her.
“Huh, are you kidding me!?” she said as she turned back only to see a few atlanteans still following her.
“Okay… please help me with this…” Gura said as she made her usual trident appear, one in an almost cyan color, it looked completely different from the ones that the other atlanteans used, and the fact that she just made it appear with her hand was surprising enough.
“Huh, how did you…?”
“Let’s just say I wasn’t with the ones protecting the museum back then… now throw it!”
Lemondrop tried to throw it, instead of going straight it went rolling from side to side, which was good enough to knock back down some of them.
“Good… now hold on… as soon as the sun seems to shine, we’ll be completely out of Atlantis…!”
“Wait, aren’t you supposed to not go out!”
“Yeah, that’s why the rest of them will be staying behind!”
“But what about you!?”
“Me...?...I… I don’t know...! I’ll take a detour of something!”
Lemondrop stayed silent as she saw how the atlanteans behind stopped following them in a certain spot, just to then see how the they went back to the depths of the ocean, to the point that they couldn’t be seen anymore.
“They’re gone now!”
“Good, we aren’t far from the surface now!”
And so, she swam faster and faster, being in a hurry she could go as fast as she could possibly think of, seeing the sun once again reflecting the colors of the sea as she went closer to the surface, seeing once again a light that wasn’t dim or flickering, and so, after a few minutes, she finally got the girls back to the surface.
They breathed in the air from outside, it has been a while since Gura felt the sensation of using her nose for breathing instead of just her gills.
“We… we made it!” Gura let go of the two as she saw how Lemondrop tried to get closer to her sister.
“We did it Clemie, we have it, we can finally go home!” she hugged her sister, still unconscious, while Gura turned around and tried to swim a little bit farther from them.
“Hey… sis?... are you?...” as she hugged her, while she could feel how she was breathing normally again, she also felt how her heart still went slower than it should.
“Sis… is everything okay?... sis?”
Sunflower didn’t respond.
“Hey… hey we made it… hey… sis… why… why is your heart going slower?”
Gura could hear that question, she turned back and started swimming little by little near them.
“What’s happening to her?”
“I don’t know… her heart is going slower… I… maybe we need to change the core now or el-“
She said as the clock did its thing again, this time both of the sisters had this lighting, they even seemed to went transparent as the lighting color got stronger and stronger. This time, Lemondrop couldn’t contain her voice as she screamed.
“Hey! What’s going on with you two!?”
“The… the clock… I… change the….core…”
Rappidly, Gura swam in front of them and took the time core and the clock itself, just seeing how neither of them reacted to each other.
“How do I do that!?”
“I… I don’t… I… she… mom… knew…”
“Where is she now!?…hey… hey… please respond me...please... don't...”
She saw how Lemondrop closed her eyes as she couldn’t even scream anymore, seeing how she was now mostly covered in that lighting now.
“No… don’t die on me… I escaped that dump because of you two…I can’t let… not now… please tell me where… I…maybe...”
There was only one place she knew about, and if they weren’t lying about not being atlantean, there was only one place where people could have seen her, only one place where the person who knows about that clock could be, only one city near the ocean.
Sorry for the more-than-a-month-long-writer-block hiatus, but yeah, at long last I updated this thing, and uh, yeah, that, hope you enjoyed this chapter!.
Chapter 8: A Point in Life
Amelia wakes up with no signs of the sisters, as she tries to find a way to find them, she starts to question her purpose as a time traveler.
Amelia opened her eyes, seeing a few leaves dropping in front of her as the sunlight entered between the trees. It was weird thinking about how it looked some time ago, completely surrounded by darkness, and even then, her eyes couldn’t let her see how beautiful the forest was now before she fainted thanks to the book.
After seeing how changed the forest looked now, blinking as she felt her body responding to her again after who-knows-how-many hours, she put her hands in her face just to feel it a little bit, making sure that she was indeed, still alive.
“Phew, either I’m lucky or dead really doesn’t wants to take me.”
She saw from side to side wondering the place, only to see the book of the Ancient Ones on the floor, it really didn’t seem that menacing as it looked before, it was almost perfectly normal from what she could see.
She stood up as she took her coat, which has been covering her for quite a while now like it was a blanket, she put it on while walking towards the book.
“So, you were the one giving me so much trouble huh?”
She said as she took the book from the floor, seeing that it didn’t react weirdly this time.
“And to think that you only needed a little help over there huh, you could have asked way nicer than you did.”
She turned the book around to see a sort of lock in the side of it, protecting it from being open.
“Well, what you do from now on is not of my business, but whoever helps you from now on… please don’t explode on them okay?”
She put the book back where she was sitting before, hoping that someone else would be able to hear it again, that whoever the book would choose, or whoever that would choose the book, would make take care of it.
“And if you do, well, what’s another explosion going to do to me, huh?”
She turned around, looking for an exit from the forest, not before turning her head to the side before saying one last thing to the book.
“Heh, it’s quite nice to finally finish this, isn’t it AO-chan?”
And so, she turned again as she started walking out of the forest.
“I hope they like that name…
Ugh, talking to a book, your career surely took a turn huh Ame? What would anyone say if they saw you like this, even those children would make fun of you!...huh… fuck, right, the kids!”
She took her clock trying to see if she sensed anything from another time core, no matter how weak it was, only to not feel anything around.
“Shit…” she said as she watched the clock, seeing that many hours passed since she was there along with those two kids.
“Wait, I still have…” she put her hand inside her coat, searching for that paper that had her attempt of a map to Atlantis “Agh, right, I gave it to the long haired one… nice one Ame, giving a map to the land of who-knows-what-the-fuck-it-is to a pair of children, you would make a great mom!”
She started walking a little bit faster as she grew more and more nervous “Well, now what Ame?” she said out loud as she starting thinking in the many consequences that this would give her if something bad happens, while she new what happened to people who travelled and their clock broke, she didn’t know what would actually happen to the timeline, hell, what would even happen to their family now? Would they just never happen at all? Would the timeline from where they come from disappear? Would it be just a weird loop thing? So many questions for something that couldn’t be answered, and being honest with herself, she didn’t want to know.
She walked quite a bit, thinking on what the next thing to do would be, only to see from the side that the city was just in front of her.
“Well, I hope someone left a boat over there.”
She said as she started running towards the city, only to realize how big it actually was, and how the lights from different buildings made the view quite a bit spectacular, but then, as she walked down, she saw her office at the side, seeing how ugly it looked in comparison to the buildings around it.
“Huh… I never realized… is it really that bad?”
During the past few years, and the few times that she was actually in this time frame, she never really took any of her opportunities to actually clean around the place, it even seemed as if every time she went here searching for things about the clock it went even dirtier, until now, having her only priority being searching about that clock and the voices that she heard since that first meeting, she never realized how badly managed her life really was.
“…whatever, I still have more things to do.”
She said as she ran towards the coast, looking around trying to find something that could help her get to Atlantis or wherever the sisters were now.
“Well… now what Watson?”
As she spoke, she heard something flying by from the forest where she was, as she turned around, she only saw a big bird-like figure, covered in flames flying around.
“What in the world…?”
She knew that this city was a strange place, it was even the reason she decided to put her office around here in the first place, along with the signal from what it ended up being the ancient ones appearing and disappearing from time to time.
Until now, the only thing she knew, and even then, she was unsure if it was real, was the existence of Atlantis, only thanks to the people saying stuff about their lost ships, and that one time she got to see what it seemed to be a shark tail swimming by. If it weren’t because those girls really needed that time core, she wouldn’t even care enough to take that map out again, and yet, there she was, searching for a way to actually find it, seeing something completely different from whatever she has seen until now flying in front of her.
The figure started to become slower as it flew near the center of the city.
“Maybe flying isn’t that bad of an idea to travel.”
She said as she ran towards the center of the city, or at least, she tried to run as she saw the many buildings around. She starting going slower as she could see many things out of the ordinary, or at least, out of the ordinary for what she investigated for the past few years, seeing some newspaper saying something about necromancy, tourists with rabbit ears that for some reason ended all of their sentences with some sort of word, even a cute shrine with ornaments resembling a wolf.
For being around for so many years, she never really got to explore this place, well, she didn’t get to explore any place where she travelled. Her only focus stood strong for a while, she met many, many members of the Watson family, and yet, she never got to see anything from what the people of her family talked about, she never got to see the many limitations and crazy stuff that she could do with that clock, she never got to see the many cities of the future and past as her goal still wasn’t finished, as she was still afraid to use that clock with those voices wanting something from her.
But now, having that case finally closed, she wondered. “What after this?” Yes, her number one mission now was to find and save those girls, she even forgot to say how to actually use the time core, and she was the only one around that could knew how to do that, and yet, her mind still was around whatever would happen after that, after closing that final case that she had in the works.
She reached the center of the city, seeing as the figure started to become even smaller until it finally descended near a building as a bunch of dust, or even ashes by the looks of it, flew nearby. She ran through the streets until she got near to where she landed. To her surprise it was… a fast-food restaurant?
“Welcome back boss! So… how did it go?” said a male voice, it seemed to be an employee from the place.
“Terrible! She wasn’t there anymore!” said a female voice, which seemed to be the boss of the place.
Amelia walked around to see from where the voices were, only to see that the girl that was standing there had her hair in the same color than the flaming figure that was flying nearby, it still was on fire on some parts as the girl was struggling to stop it, putting her hands in the fire time and time again, and yet, she seemed so used to do it from her expression alone.
“Hey! This time was different! I was sure Calli was in that forest a while ago!”
“Who?” Ame thought.
“I-I’m sorry, it just sounded like all the other times tenchou….”
“I… Yeah… I did say that a lot huh?”
“Yes… quite a lot actua-“
“Stop before I change my mind.”
“Good, so huh, did something happen in the meanwhile?”
“Not much, just a customer searching for you.”
“For me!? Who?”
“No one important, just a child wanting to see the manager, that’s all”
“Huh, weird… hey, was that child, like, strong?”
“Huh, why do you ask that?”
“Well… you have some dirt in your uniform”
“Huh, what!?” said the employee as he saw his shirt.
“Yeah, I don’t think you want the marks of such a fierce battle in your uniform or something.”
“Hey she was savage!”
“And a child too.”
“No but’s in my establishment, now let’s go back to work, shall we?”
They entered the building from an entrance behind it, only to be closed right afterwards.
“Huh… that was… weird…”
“I know right” said another voice near her.
“Oh sorry, sorry, I thought out loud…”
Amelia turned around to see who was talking to her, sitting in the floor there was a girl with glasses, a black beret in her head that mixed quite well with her purple hair along with the rest of her outfit. She had a notebook in her hand with a pencil in the other one, along with some other drawing materials in a pink bag that she carried with her.
“Oh no, no, no. No worries, I was didn’t expect it.”
“I know… sorry I didn’t intend to surprise you or anything.”
“Huh, well after I’ve seen today, I wouldn’t exactly use the word surprise.”
“Humu humu, I get it, this place is always surprising to say the least.”
“Is that so?”
“Yup, I’ve only been her for a few weeks but it really is something unique to see, you don’t usually get to see a city with so many things happening at the same time.”
“Like what huh?”
“Well, just today I got to see two things flying through the city, first there was this orange… dragon? Or at least I thought it was a dragon, and then I saw Kiara flying right here.”
“Yup, that’s the name of the manager of this place, or at least from what I could hear around.”
“And… how does she do it?”
“You know, flying, setting in flames and stuff.”
“Oh, I… I don’t know… I only see how she transforms with a lot of fire around but, other than that, I don’t even know.”
“Hey, are you, a detective or something?”
“Huh, why do you ask?”
“Well, with all the questions and…well…your clothing”
“Am I?” She thought for a moment. She didn’t know if she really could consider herself a detective, with only one “case” and even that one was more like a necessity of sorts for her rather than something that she wanted to investigate, and the only other time that she got information for something else it ended up connecting back to the clock. Was there any other reason she had other than finishing what she already started?
“Here!” said the girl as she handed a piece of paper to Amelia.
“What is this?”
“It’s a drawing! I don’t know if it’s of much use, but, it’s the closest I could get of what she looks like”
She saw the drawing, it was incredibly detailed along with the amazing art style of that girl, in one side of the page there was Kiara in her human form that Amelia got to see, and in the other there was a sketch of what she looked like while being in that bird-like form, seeing the different sizes and sort of stages that she passed through before converting to one form or the other.
“Wow, this is really, really, good!”
“Oh, it’s not that much, I’m still practicing after all”
“Well let me say that it surely has paid off”
“Hehe, thanks detective!”
“No, no, thanks to you!”
“This could be just what I needed” she said as she observed the drawing again, thinking that at long last, there was still another case she could do, and with a city like this, there was no way she could ever finish up with all of these. For one moment she thought that there was still something more to do as a detective.
Then, she saw that orange dragon that the girl described flying over them, it went so fast that she almost missed seeing to where she was going, and yet, she still managed to see that she headed to the coast.
“Oh, there she is!”
“I see… I need to go, thank you so much for this!” Amelia said as she started running towards the coast, showing the girl that paper that she gave her.
Amelia ran as fast as she could, she even forgot to ask the name of that girl, but after hearing of a dragon passing by, and not wanting to be burned trying to search help from that bird lady, she thought that probably the best thing she could do was to ask that creature if it would help her.
As she ran, she couldn’t stop thinking about the many things she missed during the past years as she saw the city from side to side, she didn’t even need to stay in the city, if a place like this had many things that she didn’t knew about, god-know how many things there would be in other places, in other times of the world. She didn’t even have to wonder; she had her answer right in her pocket with that clock.
And yet, she couldn’t believe that it was just because she decided to help a pair of girls, when she only really wanted to finish her story with the voices of the ancient ones.
She ran to the coast only to see a girl in Adidas clothes, with a huge tail behind her sitting in the sand.
“Hey… are you?”
“No! You won’t take m…” said the girl as she turned around, closing her eyes and putting her hands in front of her.
“Oh… hi stranger!”
“That was quite a reaction.”
“Yeeeee I know, I usually get quite a lot of shit from some people so…”
“Yeah, sorry about that”
“It doesn’t matter, so, what brought you here near this sexy dragon.”
“Huh, I was just about to say that, well, not the sexy part but, the dragon part.”
“Huh, what is it?”
“You see… I saw you flying and I thought that maaaaaybe you could help me get to a place really quick?”
“Weeeeeeeell, it depends, which place?”
“Huh… in the ocean… like…somewhere near the ships that disappeared and stuff”
“Are you kidding me?”
“This is the second time someone asked me to take them to Atlantis this day!”
“Yeah, there were these two nice kids who…wait a second…”
The girl stood up and started walking around Amelia, watching her little by little.
“Huh… you do look like quite…similar to them…”
“Are you perhaps these girls’ mother!?”
“Huh!? No, I’m not!”
“Hmm… that sounds quite…suspicious to say the least.”
She stopped walking around, she went in front of Amelia and looked down to her eyes.
“Well, why do you need to go there?”
“Trick question, it doesn’t matter.” She said as she grew her wings out of her body, flying upwards and then turning into that dragon form from before. She went flying towards the forest very, very fast from what Amelia could see.
“Well, there goes my option… huh?”
She sensed a signal, no, she sensed two signals coming from the ocean. One of them was quite normal, while the other seemed as it could disappear at any second.
“Wait… did they actually did it!?”
As she spoke, she saw the dragon coming back with a boat in her hands.
“Hey, come here!” said the dragon.
Amelia felt how the signals were getting closer and closer at crazy speeds, almost as if they would get to the coast in just a few minutes.
“Change of plans!”
“Put the boat near the sea, I’m using it from here!”
“Are you sure? Atlantis seemed quite far…”
“I know I know! just put it around here!” she said as she approached the sea and pointed to it.
“You’re the boss!”
The dragon put the boat right where Ame pointed towards, she went back to her human form and stepped aside from the boat.
“Thank you so much!”
“No problem, just one thing.”
“Yeah?” Amelia responded as she was already starting to row the boat
“Take better care of your children next time”
“They’re not my!... ugh, whatever” she started rowing faster right to were the signal seemed to come from.
Minutes passed with nothing coming nearby her, it felt even worse as she could feel how that one signal went lower and lower every second it passed, it made her fear whatever would it happen if she, or them, didn’t get in time.
She rowed time and time again, wondering if she could do it, if she could finish helping those two that indirectly helped to make her see what she missed for so many years.
Chapter 9: Home
Amelia and the sisters reunite, as their journey comes to an end.
Gura swam the fastest she could, for the first time in thousands of years she tried to do something that wasn’t for herself, and most importantly, that she wasn’t forced to do. The sense of freedom that she got that day when she got her hoodie, when she knew that someone spotted her in the city as she was ready to go back to Atlantis, it all came back after escaping what she considered her home for so long, despite feeling how dull it was to still be there.
The sisters, still under that lighting, felt extremely weakened. And despite that, Sunflower could open her eyes for a bit some time after the clock started doing it’s thing consistently. She was afraid of whatever could happen, and yet, she trusted that Gura, despite being so different from her future self, could do something to help, that she wasn’t only the apex predator that she liked to imagine so much from hearing her old stories of the golden days of Atlantis, after all, Gura wasn’t anything like she imagined, and yet, she was as brave if not even more so that she could think.
Gura continued swimming over the surface, making sure that Sunflower could breathe air, at least until she got really close to the city, seeing as something was approaching the ocean.
She went underwater once again and slowed down seeing that whatever was going on the surface was going pretty fast for the small structure that it had. As she got closer to it, she noticed that it was the exact same type of boat that she got the sisters from, with only one person above.
Her eyes and hair got red “Gawr…don’t” she thought, still struggling to maintain her predator side after using it for so long, closing her eyes as she tried her hardest to maintain like she needed to. Her hair, while tinted in red, was getting dim as she continued maintaining that side of hers hidden.
Sunflower, struggling to maintain her eyes open and seeing Gura stopping herself as her hair got closer and closer to that blue color, turned her view in front of them at the surface, trying to distinguish who was in the boat as her view got blurrier. While it was hard for her, she could recognize that coat everywhere.
“M-mom?” she said, struggling even more to talk as she felt the clock still going stronger each second.
Gura could hear clearly what she said, she opened her eyes once again as the words of the girl made her worst side stop, she swam slowly as she got close to the boat only to hear the voice of the girl above.
“Girls! I know you’re around here!” Amelia yelled, as she got more and more nervous seeing how the signal of their clock was about to disappear.
Gura carried them to the surface, maintaining them next to the boat with her under the water, trying to not be seen while keeping both of them safe from sinking under the water.
Amelia turned around as she heard the sound of the water splashing around where Gura put them.
“Here you are!” Amelia shouted as she carried Sunflower first, and then Lemondrop in to the boat. Despite what Gura thought, Amelia could still see the little hands of the atlantean underneath, and even more, she saw how she immediately swam to other part as she took both of the sisters.
Gura, thinking that Amelia didn’t see her, she swam closer to the surface letting her tail and fins show from the surface a bit, until she went back to full speed, as she thought of where she would take that detour next, and hoping that the girl that the sister trusted could finish helping them, and so, she hid herself, staying as far from Atlantis as she could, and yet, close enough to the city for the day that she would be ready to go completely into the surface.
Amelia saw Gura going “I guess you were friendly, huh?” she said after seeing that same tail that she saw near the city quite some time ago, the one that got her the first clue to find Atlantis, or at least, to let these two girls find it.
Amelia turned back to the sisters, finding in their pockets the thing that has gave them so much trouble in the first place, that clock that got them here in the first place, seeing as the crack that it had many hours ago grew more and more, as the color of it was almost completely covered in the color of the core that she now had in her other hand, ticking as it sensed the existence of the clock near it, shining time and time again at the same rhythm that the clock is supposed to do.
And so, trying to not break it more, she did what is usually impossible for a clock like this in usage, opening it from the back revealing the core that keeps it alive, or at least it should. Seeing that the time battery was still in perfect state, drowning little by little as the clock went malfunctioning, keeping the last few minutes of the old core still working.
Rapidly, she put the newly acquired core next to the one that was overcharged, seeing as the old one was getting dimmer and dimmer with those lightings around it, reflecting the same state that the sisters had at the moment. Trying to not mess up, she took off the old one as she slid the working one as fast as she could. As she heard the sound of a click when she did, she closed her eyes expecting the worse scenario, knowing that she never did something like this, and quite probably, no other Watson member in this timeline did before.
The clock started ticking again, and so, Amelia opened her eyes in front of her seeing both of the sisters, while still unconscious, the lightings were now gone, and most importantly, their body wasn’t as transparent as it was. A huge sense of relief got into Amelia, she saw the clock again seeing as the now working core completely reversed its state as it should be, and so, she took the opportunity to give a new battery to the clock before it would go off again.
As the clock started to tick again, both of their sisters’ hearts went back to its normal heartbeat, letting Sunflower open her eyes again without struggling a bit.
“I… huh?” Sunflower said quietly as she saw her hands, seeing as it was just like it used to be. She stopped laying down and moved her sister from side to side.
“Naomi, Naomi!” she yelled, and to quite a pleasant surprise, Lemondrop responded.
“Huh… sis?” she said in quite a sleepy tone, as she also stopped laying down now being in the same sitting position as Amelia and her sister.
“We did it, we really did it!” said Sunflower as she hugged her sister.
“We… we… wait we…” she said as she saw her hands, seeing as everything was back to normal.
“We did it… we…”
“Yes! Yes we did!”
“I… Clemie!” she returned her sister’s hug as she struggled to maintain her tears of happiness, seeing as everything was over now, as the pressure of not having enough time to go back was no more, as the scary things from the forest and ocean was now just a memory.
“It would be nice to thank me a little bit more you know?” said Amelia after giggling a bit, feeling the same sense of relief that both of the sister now had.
“Boss!” Sunflower said as she stopped hugging her sister to going to hug Amelia, almost jumping to her. Lemondrop did the same to Amelia’s surprise.
“Hey, hey, I know what I said but, I don’t think the boat will resist much like this!” and yet, she giggled seeing that this time around it was over, that her nights inspecting everything about the clock of the voices was now only in her many documents, and she still had many new cases to open and investigate.
“Wait, are you telling me you didn’t investigate anything in the city before?” said Sunflower.
Hours passed since the clock was repaired. By now, the sun was near setting down as the hour that they got here the day before passed a few minutes again, and so, their clothes weren’t as wet as there were after going to Atlantis, expecting that neither of her mothers would notice anything after going back, that also included a new band-aid in Sunflower’s knee, as the one she got before was missing sometime after getting dragged to the ocean.
They were now in the same location as they were when they came here in the first place, near that boulder where Sunflower hid herself after the clock was destroyed, a few meters from the tree where they reconciliated for the first time before knowing the reason why the clock started working in the first place, and this time, more than scary, it felt cozy as the few rays of sunlight passed through the trees, letting that orange color of the sky being clearly seen, even more so with that huge lake in the middle.
“Well, yeah, I guess I was too invested into this close and, that stupid book.”
“Oh…but, it’s over now isn’t it?”
“And, what are you going to do now?”
“I’m thinking about it but, seeing the city after waking up made me realize how much I missed so…”
“You’re gonna investigate those myths huh?”
“Myths? That’s quite a way to put it but yes, haha, that was a quick response tho, I guess I can recognize that both of you two are certainly Watsons”
“We took it from the best!” said Lemondrop.
“The best huh…? hey, by any chance…”
“Yeah?” said Sunflower.
“No, no, no, no, no.” rapidly said Lemondrop, trying to cover whatever Sunflower was going to answer.
“Huh…well, if you insist then.” Still suspicious about it, she tried to be convinced by the little girls answer.
“In that case, I wonder how amazing she must be to have such brave daughters.”
“She is amazing, she really is” said Lemondrop.
“Well, I think that’s it!” said Amelia, with both clocks in her hand after adjusting hers to the time that Sunflower put in hers.
“Great! Well, not great in the way that we’re going to separate from you but… huh…”
“Hah don’t worry about it, I’ll be fine, and well, the least we change the timeline the better.” she said as she gave Sunflower the other clock.
“Well, now, if it works like I think it works, if we press the button at the same time a portal enough for the two of you should open.”
“That’s… a great question… just in case you stand behind your sister” she said as she pointed towards Lemondrop.
Lemondrop nodded as she went behind Sunflower.
“Well, at the count of three we both press it, okay?”
“Loud and clear!”
“Good, now count with me.”
“One!” said the three of them, as Sunflower and Amelia put their finger above its respective clock’s button.
“Three!” they pressed the button at the same time, as the portal opened in front of them, the grass around it seemed distorted as the circular figure, in a cyan color with a few lightings were around it.
“Well, that worked better than expected!”
“Hey… Amelia” said Lemondrop.
“How many things like this can the clock do?”
“Huh, not that many, or at least not this useful… although this is already pretty situational unless you know other traveler or something.”
“But, well, there’s a lot of things we don’t know about this thingy but, I mean, I think there are better things to worry about.”
While Amelia was a time traveler, and it certainly was one of the many reasons that she got to do what she did in the future, it was not only the detective side of hers, but just everything around her person that really shaped her into what she would become, and it certainly showed as she stopped thinking of the clock, starting to wonder on the many mysteries around.
“So… this is it.” said Amelia.
“Yup” said Sunflower.
“Well, this sure was an experience to say the least huh”
“Couldn’t say it better myself boss.”
“Well… there’s not much time for that portal left so…”
Sunflower went and hugged that past Amelia, Lemondrop did the same for one last time before going back home
“I’m glad to have met you two, although we didn’t know each other a lot but, you know”
“Yeah, yeah… but, what we knew was enough, isn’t it?”
“True… well, time to go back to your time you two”
Lemondrop nodded, Sunflower went a little faster than her as she was right next to the portal when Lemondrop was still walking towards it.
“Thanks for everything Amelia!”
“No, thank you two! Take care!”
Sunflower nodded with a big smile in her face as she went through that portal.
“I was going to say the same but… thanks for helping us so so much Amelia!” Lemondrop said as she turned around back to her.
“It was no biggie… hey, before you go.”
“Can I know your names?”
“I…huh…” Lemondrop struggled to answer as she thought that something could change if she said more than she should.
“Wait, right, the least we change the timeline the better, remember?”
“Well, but huh, I have to say, both of your pins are hella cute.”
“I know, our mom chose them!”
“She sure has a great taste in that regard, well, now go, go!”
Lemondrop nodded as she went through the portal, and as soon as she entered, it closed from both sides.
“Well, all in a day of a detective’s work I guess” she said as she put her put her clock back when she uses to put it.
“I guess I wouldn’t mind having daughters like that one day… who am I kidding I can’t even feed myself.” She said as she started walking back to her office, with her hand still near her coat searching for something within it.
“So, investigating myths huh?” Amelia said as she took the paper that the artist girl gave her on the city, admiring the picture of that bird flying around, and with the memory in her head of that creature with a shark tail that helped her to finish her latest case.
“This will be fun” she said as she put the paper back, with the night now taking over the day while she continued the way back to her office, being excited for the next day where her new detective work would start.
“Agh!” Sunflower said as she fell from the portal down to the floor of the living room of their house.
“Uhhh…” Lemondrop said as the same happened to her, the portal appeared just a couple meters above the ground.
“I guess they flattened this place for the house huh?” Sunflower said.
“Yes… I… I expected a better welcoming home…” said Lemondrop
They saw from side-to-side home, seeing that everything was basically the same as it was when they left, with the fireplace still being lit and home feeling way warmer than the abandoned forest near the lake than it used to be.
“Same…” Sunflower replied as she saw her hand, seeing that the clock was still in perfect state, ticking again, they saw the hour seeing that their mothers would be awake just a few hours from now.
“Well, I think I should give this to mom before I make more trouble.”
“Yes… better do that…”
They stood up, feeling some pain in their backs after falling from that portal.
“Well… I guess we had worse things today than that…”
“Yes… that doesn’t make it less painful though…”
“Right… right… well, you go back to our room while I put this back to where it was.”
Lemondrop nodded, Sunflower took the stairs first going as slowly as she could trying to not get their moms to wake up.
Lemondrop entered her room first, leaving the door open for Sunflower to enter after she got the clock back in place. Sunflower, while nervous, did had a scarier stealth experience today, and so she went to their moms’ room and went back quite quickly without doing much sound. She closed the door right afterwards as she went to her bed.
“So, how did it go?”
“Well, there was a little lighting between the clock and mom Amelia’s hand so… I guess it’s just like never happened now.”
“Did that wake her up?”
“Nah, she still has a very heavy sleep.”
“I didn’t have the time to say it back there but… well… thank you for helping me so much.”
“Hey, no worries, I said that we would do it together didn’t I?”
“Yeah but, I mean, I never expected to get so much trouble and…I’m just glad it’s finally over.”
“Me too… I guess I have to thank you too.”
“I mean, we wouldn’t even get back here if it weren’t for you being, well, you, and…”
“Hey I can say the same about you.”
“Maybe but, you’re the bravest one of the both so…”
“Hey you’re just as brave, want me to prove it again?”
“No, no, I know… but even then, If it weren’t for you we wouldn’t…”
“Let’s keep it like if it weren’t for the both of us, we’re a team after all, aren’t we?”
“Heheh, yeah, that’s true.”
“Well… enough chatting for today… all of that being knocked out made me quite tired…”
“Yeah… I can say the same…”
“Well, good night Lemondrop.”
“Good night Sunflower”
“Oh! And one last thing!”
“What is it sis?”
Lemondrop wasn’t lying when she said that she expected a better welcoming home, and Sunflower did too, so, she tried to compensate that just a bit.
“Welcome home Naomi!”
Lemondrop giggled before responding.
“Welcome home too, Clem~ie!”
And so, they tried to sleep. Despite how odd the chances were to getting back they managed to do it, now knowing what the Apex Predator and the one and only time traveler detective used to be, knowing that there was still a long way until they could know the best of themselves, and even then, everything until that time could be sweeter than they could know.
The stars on the ceiling weren’t as pretty as the ones in the forest on the past, and yet, they felt even better as that little detail welcomed both of the sisters back to where they needed to be; back home.
Chapter 10: Growing Up
Some time passed since Lemondrop and Sunflower came back to their own time. And so, both in the past and the present, everyone grows in their own way.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“Aaaah, it’s good to actually be in vacation.” said Calliope, getting out of the underworld thanks to her scythe, right where she got to see two girls with the weirdest souls she has seen.
Many years have passed since that day in the forest when she met those two girls along with Amelia, that was the last time she would get to see Amelia as just a stranger, and so, also the last time she would see her almost dying, at least until now.
The world of the living never stopped to amaze her during those years, instead, she got to see many more fantastic creatures out there, and funnily enough, many of them met Amelia at some point. She would get to know that this girl she was so interested in eventually became some sort of detective, seeing the many cases of mythological creatures all over the space and time, of course, only knowing this once Amelia confronted her many years ago.
Luckily (or unluckily) for her, she wouldn’t be the only one who got confronted by the detective.
“Calli!” she heard a familiar voice coming from above.
“Not now Kusotori!”
Kiara, one of the first cases of Amelia and one of the most annoying souls she has met, or at least, that was what she thought after many, many resets on their relationship, the many times where Kiara could only remember her most hyperactive side of her towards Calli.
Her warning was in vain, since Kiara rapidly transformed into her most human form and hugging her as she fell, getting both of them in the ground.
“Hey! Not touching!”
“Ugh… how many times we have to do this?”
“Hey, I just…” Kiara stopped hugging her, trying to sit in front of Calli.
“I just missed you… I mean, you were always busy as a reaper and well…”
“Ugh…it’s okay Kusotori, I’m on vacation now…” Calli said as she also sit, rubbing her own back as she really felt the phoenix’s weight falling on her.
“Yeah, Death Sensei said that it was o-“
“That’s great!” Kiara said as she hugged Calli.
Despite what she thought of Kiara’s actual state, she couldn’t hide the fact that she also missed having the only person out there who lived as long as she did, the only who remembered her despite how many hundreds and thousand of years happened, and only having seeing her a couple times during that time frame between that day in the forest, she also felt lonely not having that not-so-shitty bird at her side.
“I… I also missed you.” Calli said as she returned Kiara that hug.
Kiara felt like her heart was about to explode, it’s been such a long time since she saw Calli actually being somewhat affectionate to her, and it really felt more special as she wouldn’t ever expect Calli missing her as much as she did.
“Calli!” Kiara said with her voice crackling a little bit, as she threw herself into Calli, getting them both into the ground again.
“Hey! Don’t get that excited!”
“How could I not!?”
Calli closed her eyes, as the only thought in her head was to embrace Kiara as she was, at least, until they could get back the way they used to be thousands of years ago, hoping that being eternal would get them full circle once again.
For the world many decades passed, but for Amelia, it was only a few years ago thanks to her using that clock. This was her present version of the city, as she never really got to use it as much as she used to, the same city she has now investigated in many different scenarios, the same city she got to know that artist who got her to know a little bit more about her first case.
She never got to meet that artist again, at least not until now, despite starting fairly close to the day she met her, she never got to see what happened to that girl, and most importantly, she also never got to see what happened to the book that she left in the forest.
During the first years of her new detective life, still in that time, she walked through the forest time and time again seeing that the book was still there, as no one seemed to hear those voices again. But then, when she decided to continue her investigations in her present time, she saw how the book wasn’t there anymore, and no one seemed to know of the existence of it.
She wondered who could be the person who got to be the one that the Ancient Ones choose, seeing as nothing really bad happened, she could at least rest easy for now knowing that whoever is with AO-chan now wasn’t someone evil, and yet, she still had some papers on her office for the day where her curiosity about it would be enough to make her start a new case.
However, there was still one more reason to walk through the forest, specifically, in the same place when she said goodbye to the siblings. That place with a huge lake, which seemed to freeze during the winter and it was a great place to try to fish during the summer, now it was a completely peaceful place, especially when the voice of a certain person filled the ambience.
Amelia walked towards this place, hearing the sound of an Ukulele and a familiar voice as she got even closer to it, she was happy knowing that today that girl was there once again.
“Hey, need some company over there?” Amelia said as she saw a certain girl with a shark tail near that huge boulder.
“Huh?... Oh! Hi Watson!” said Gura as she turned around to see the detective, standing up and leaving the ukulele behind her as she ran towards Amelia.
“Hi Gur-aaa!” she said as Gura hugged her, with way too much strength into her arms.
“Hey, hey, remember, your strength is kind of…” she said as she was getting out of air.
“Oh!... sorry Ame.” Gura said as she stopped hugging Amelia.
“No worries…” Amelia said as she breathed once again. “It’s okay…it’s okay…”
“Sorry… I’m still not used to this…”
“It’s good… It’ll take some time I guess”
“Yeah… can I try again?”
Gura hugged Amelia again, this time not hurting Amelia at all, and instead, being quite comfy to feel.
After some time exploring the ocean, Gura returned to this city where she got that shark hoodie after having her tail badly hurt. Thanks to Amelia, who was investigating at the moment, her tail, although with the hurt areas being noticeable, was in a good state once again. When Amelia went back to the present, Gura had to wait many years until she could meet her again, just enough time for her to stop being scared by humans, despite not being used to a lot of human interactions after being on her own for so long.
And so, after meeting Amelia again, she started learning little by little, from how to use that Ukulele and some songs from the surface world, to the hugs that she still struggled to not hurt Amelia with her atlantean strength.
“That’s…a lot better.” Amelia patted Gura with one of her hands as the other one was on Gura’s back.
“Good… hey, want to hear what I’ve been practicing Am~e?”
For the past few weeks, Gura stopped meeting Amelia just in the coast or randomly in the city, as they decided to start meeting each other near this lake where both of them could meet peacefully, without the now even more industrialized sound of the city, or the sounds of a certain dragon flying above the deepest parts of the forest.
And so, Gura and Amelia sat next to each other with their backs facing that boulder, seeing the lake reflecting the sunshine above it. It was quite a view, specially to Gura who had to spent so much time in that, now desolated, place where the clouds still hide the sun.
Gura started singing while she played the ukulele, with Amelia humming by her side, she felt like her life was already taking a new direction once again, one she wanted to treasure for the longest time.
Many, many, many years after, the time from where Lemondrop and Sunflower were, while there weren’t any boulders around and some of the trees weren’t there anymore, the lake was still as beautiful as always, this time, being seen near that farm-like house nearby.
Days have passed since Sunflower and Lemondrop came back, while Amelia felt the clock somewhat different from before, it still worked like it should, and so, for her and Gura it was like nothing ever happened during that night, although the same couldn’t be said by the siblings.
The two were sitting out of the house, waiting for the rest of the family to come as Sunflower’s birthday, the reason why their journey to the past even happened in the first place, was finally here.
“Hey, you think they’re going to take long?” said Sunflower.
“Just be a little bit more patient, you know that they don’t live exactly near here.” Lemondrop replied.
“I know I know, I’m just a little bit excited!” Sunflower said as she stood up.
“Heheh, you seem more than a little bit.”
“Can you blame me? I’ve been waiting this for days!”
“I know, I know, you couldn’t stop talking about it, well, for the past two or three days at least.”
“Well, I needed to take my mind of our little adventure.”
“Seriously, I think if I didn’t, I would get crazy.”
“I know, I really wouldn’t want that…”
“Hey, you think If I got crazy my hair would also get red and stuff?”
“I… I don’t want to think about it…” Lemondrop could still remember how scared she was of Gura when she saw her with those red eyes and highlights, despite her past self not being as bad as it seemed, it certainly was still scary to her eyes.
“Oh, right, sorry.”
“No worries… but I have to say, you seem a little bit more confidant now”
“Yeah, I haven’t heard you mumbling in days!”
“It wasn’t that noticeable in the first place!”
“It… it kind of was…”
“Huh…well…at least there’s no reason to do it anymore is it?”
“Well, that only you know sis.”
“Yeah… I-“ she got interrupted as she heard the familiar sound of flames approaching them, she turned around to see that pinkish color nearby.
“Clara!” both of them said, with Lemondrop standing up as she said it.
“Hey little ones” said Clara as she stopped flying and hugged both of the sisters.
“And huh, happy birthday Sunflower!” she said as she patted Sunflower’s head.
“Same to y- I mean, thank you Clara!”
“Heh, twelve birthdays and you still say the same thing”
“Hey! It’s kind of a tradition now, it would be weird if I didn’t do it.”
“Yeah, yeah, anyways, I have to help the rest to unpack stuff when they come so, cya in a bit!”
“Bye!” both of the sisters said.
“Twelve..I still can’t believe you’re twelve now....”
“Why? Am I too immature still or something?”
“No, no… maybe… but it does feel sort of weird… you being older than me and stuff…” Lemondrop said in a sadder tone.
“Hey, you’re going to be twelve too next year!”
“And you thirteen…”
“Yes but… hey, is it because I’m growing or…?”
Lemondrop stayed silent.
“Hey, you know I’ll always need my sister to back me up.”
“Maybe not always Clemie…”
“Hey, no matter how much time it passes we’ll still be sisters, don’t we?”
“Even if we grow up it’ll be the same so, don’t think too much about it!”
Lemondrop went silent again.
“And, well, we still have a long time until we actually grow so, we’re still going to be a team the most time we can!” Sunflower said as she hugged Lemondrop with one arm.
“Heh… yeah… I guess so.”
"And well, even if we change, I know you'll do great on anything you do!"
"Are you sure?"
"I'm more than sure for my amazing sister, and besides, it's not like anything stopping us from being a time anytime soon."
"Heh... yeah...you're right... thanks Clemie!" Lemondrop said as she smiled towards Sunflower.
"No biggie sis, we'll still be the best no matter what!" said Sunflower.
They saw the cars of the rest of the Myths parking nearby, seeing as their aunties came out of their cars along with their mothers, with Clara still flying over them, and so, Sunflower and Lemondrop walked towards them.
“Hey!” said Sunflower
“There’s the birthday girl!” said Kiara as she hugged Sunflower quite rapidly.
“Happy birthday dude!” said Calli as she also hugged Sunflower afterwards, while Lemondrop was greeting Ina and talking a little bit to her.
“Hey, how has your sister been since, you know” said ina.
“She’s been a lot better!” Lemondrop said.
“She does seem like it!” Ina replied as she saw Sunflower being hugged by their aunties, seeing as she didn’t have that band-aid anymore after her knee was completely good now.
“Yes, she really does.” Lemondrop said as she saw Sunflower laughing with Kiara, with Calli seeming a little bit annoyed.
“Hey! How many times I’ve said I’m not uncle!” said Calli
“Maybe not enough” said Kiara.
“Hey, you too!?”
Kiara laughed a bit “Sorry, sorry, it’s always cute seeing you flustered again.”
“…well, guess I’ll never get used to being called weird names by kids”
“…at least you can enjoy seeing me like that more…” she said as quietly as she could
“What?” said Kiara
“Huh…anyways, we’re going to start unpacking so if you and your sister can help…”
“Of course!” said Sunflower as she walked towards where Ina and Lemondrop were.
“You can really say some stuff after being flus-“ Kiara tried to say.
“I know, I know just forget about it” said Calli.
“Aw come on it was cute, Kawaiiope!”
Meanwhile, Sunflower was now with Ina as Lemondrop went to the car of their moms.
“Hi Sunflower! Happy birthday!” Ina said as she patted Sunflower’s head.
“Heh, thank you auntie Ina”
“I see your knee got better!”
“Yeah, it was only a scratch.”
“It didn’t look like it but… oh well, I guess it’s gone now.”
“Well go help your sister now!”
“Sure, cya in a bit auntie!”
Sunflower went towards Lemondrop, who was behind Watson’s car as Amelia and Gura were opening the trunk.
“Welcome back moms!” said Sunflower as she saw that Amelia opened the trunk and started taking some boxes out of it.
“Hi sweetie” said Gura as she hugged Sunflower.
“So, is there anything to take with us?”
“Yup, there’s some food in the trunk, just be careful!” said Amelia as she started to walk towards the house with the box in her hands.
“Sure mom!” said Lemondrop.
“And huh, Sunflower!”
“Yup?” Sunflower replied.
“Tell me when you decide your present!”
Gura took other box out of the trunk and went along with Amelia, as Sunflower and Lemondrop started taking the food from the trunk.
“You really haven’t chosen anything do you?”
“Huh, after so much time thinking about this day one could have thought that you had an idea.”
“Well, after years with the clock idea it’s kind of hard to have any other idea…”
“And well, I think that kind of gift would be better suited to you.”
“Hey don’t act so surprised, you really wanted to continue seeing that city in the past, didn’t you?”
“I did but… not when it’s that dangerous.”
“Well, it may be right now but, one day… who knows.”
“Yeah… one day huh?... but you surely still want to mess up with when that day comes, don’t you?”
“I mean, maybe then but…”
As they walked towards the house, Sunflower saw Clara and her family helping setting up some chairs and tables outside, as Ina was inflating some yellow and blue balloons and putting them around while Amelia and Gura were taking some decorations out of the boxes and putting them in place.
“I think, there’s more than enough on our time now, isn’t it?”
“Yeah…” Lemondrop spaced out as she saw Clara flying above them, taking things from her family’s car as quickly as she could, as the rest of the family continued setting everything up for Sunflower’s birthday party.
“I guess so!”
“Well, let’s go Lemondrop!”
“Oh, right, let’s go Clemie!” she said as she started walking with her sister towards the rest of the extended Myth family.
And so, with her mind a lot clearer than it was a few days ago, knowing that there was a long way to go until she could do something amazing in her own words, and stopping trying to prove something, after all, what she was living day by day as the daughter of Amelia Watson, the one and only time traveler detective and Gawr Gura, the apex predator and "sole survivor" from the lost city of Atlantis, was more than enough to be something amazing in its own way. And until the day she would grow up, she could at least appreciate the little moments that she could get.
While Lemondrop, while still as overprotective as always, she carried more confidence in herself after that day, not letting her thoughts being only buried in that shark pillow of hers, and being the best that she could do not only for her sister, but for herself. And even if these days couldn’t last forever, surely something would wait for her the day where she would grow.
“Everything is ready!” said Ina, as everyone got around to see the little signs saying Happy Birthday to Sunflower, some little decorations around complete even with some Sunflowers that Gura has been growing along with Lemondrop for quite some time.
Sunflower took her sit, with her sister at her right side and Gura at her left side.
As Amelia took her cake and put it in the table, Sunflower couldn’t help but giggle seeing all of her family gathering around just for her birthday, even after the day she messed up.
And so, as they started to sing happy birthday to the girl, Sunflower looked from side to side, seeing each and everyone of the Myth members happily singing for a special day. Amelia was now behind her, hugging Gura with one arm, and they could say the same of Kiara and Calliope who were really clingy, while Ina clapped her hands along with Clara, who was on the other side of the table.
“Happy birthday Sunflower!” the family said as they finished singing to her, as Sunflower was sitting on one of the chairs in front of her cake.
“Now make a wish!” said Gura.
Sunflower’s mind was blank this time as she couldn’t wish anything that she already had.
“Have anything in mind?” said Amelia.
“Well… only one thing…”
And so, she blew the candle in top of the cake, only wishing that this day could be a longer than usual.
Now, with the sun shining as bright as ever, the lake making the scenery better as it reflected the sun just as it did many years ago, and with Sunflower being one year older than the day before, she and her sister treasured every moment for all the time that it could last.
Well, after 4 (almost 5) months and 30k+ words I actually finished Grow Up… it will feel reeeeeally weird not having a chapter in my WIP folder.
I really, really, really want to thank Mittsu and AlfaHatdog for brainrotting the siblings, well, actually I want to thank them for every brainrot since I really wouldn’t have started writing AmeSame fics if it weren’t for them in the first place, and I really can’t thank them enough.
Also thanks to other fanartists who used the MythKids and other people who had some little ideas on the sisters back in the day (Ty Zib for the “Naomi calling Clementine Clem~ie" idea!) because I did got some inspiration from them buuut it’s been months since I started this fic so I don’t really remember other specific ones so, yeah, sorry.
And, well, thanks to everyone who read through the entire thing over the past few months, no matter if you only read it a little bit, left some comments, kudos or anything else, despite how long it took me to upload some chapters and despite how messy my writing was, I would have dropped this a long time ago if it weren’t for you.
Finally, no matter who or when you read this, thank you for spending some of your time to read this fic!