Dio rested her head on the pillow, her mind trying to go into a meditative state.
“Stefini? Are you okay?” A woman with jet black hair walked into her mind’s eye.
“Ren-ai…” Dio smiled slightly at her. “You saw what happened… things are falling apart around me and there is nothing I can do to stop it…”
“You can’t stop every fight, Stefini. You can only try to help them stop on their own.”
“I… I just wanted to protect him… and I can’t… I have to rely on you… I’m weak…”
Ren-ai placed her hand on Dio’s shoulder. “You aren’t weak. You are stronger than you realize. I wouldn’t be able to exist if you weren’t. Your love for him helps with that strength.”
“Thanks Ren-ai. Sorry for needing you tonight.”
“Don’t worry about it, Stef. I’m here for you. And he’s worth it, I can tell.”
Dio smiled and wiped away some small tears. She then got up and went to check her email, as per normal.
After the attempted mugging
After the conversation with the rest of the cabal, Dio went into the bathroom closest to her room, running the shower. As the warm water runs over her, her arms wrap around herself, tears falling down her face, she slides onto the ground.
“Stefini… it wasn’t your fault. There was nothing you could do…”
“Liar! I could have reached, I could have prevented a needless death… fate and time are mine to control and yet…”
“You are only human, Stefini. If you reached, you could have caused more damage and drew the eyes of the Guardians.”
Dio starts scrubbing at her left arm, causing it to become raw and bloody.
“Stefini, stop! This doesn’t help! It’s all gone, Overman made sure of it!”
“I can still feel it… still smell it… why?! I can’t handle this pain alone!!”
Ren-ai’s eyes narrowed and she punched the tile beside Dio’s head. Dio gasped and looked up at the black haired figure.
“Stefini… how many time do I have tell you, you’re not alone.”
“Oh yeah, my imaginary friend… my imaginary protector…”
“Not only me… not anymore. You have THEM.”
“Them? Aside from one, they probably think I’m the cause of all this.”
“But the one?”
“I… I don’t want to keep pushing him because I could push him away, but I fear… if I don’t… I will lose him anyway. There isn’t anyone else here I can really talk to…”
“Thrice is a mind mage. Ask him to come in and I’ll explain your fears for you. He can bring the others as well.”
“Into… my mind? But they will know everything…”
“Not everything, at least, I don’t think. We can speak to Thrice about it if you want. Maybe we can make time to do it on the trip, since being so close to… there… might make it easier. And if not, go there and find out the truth.”
“The truth? That girl knows that she is speaking to me, knows things about her that I don’t and wouldn’t have ever started to learn if not for this drug!”
“If your mother really is a mage, there is a chance you would have awakened anyway, without the drug. It just sped up the process.”
“Why? Why couldn’t she have told me… she could have just said she was from another marriage or from a fling in her childhood, some kind of bullshit like that, but at least then… I would have known… and what if they are both just fucking with me? What if they want to use me? I’m tired of being used and abused by those around me! I’m not some helpless little girl, I’m 25 for fuck’s sake!”
“Then prove it.”
“I don’t know how… all my life, I was abused by my classmates, I had my heart broken countless times, I don’t know how to be strong. Magic obviously hasn’t made me strong, it just helps me run away…”
“It helps you help the others. You make them stronger with your strength.”
“My strength? You mean my magic.”
“Your magic is powered by your will, your inner strength.”
“At least promise me that you will try… try to be a stronger person… for him… to prove to everyone that you aren’t the same girl you were then.”
“I… will try.”
The girl disappeared back into Dio’s mind. Dio bandaged her left arm and put her clothes on. She looked at herself in the mirror and for a moment, one of her eyes seemed to change color to that of Ren-a’s, as if she was saying ’I’m right here with you’. She then went to pack for the trip.