Chapter 297A Thread Supports

Afentis told me of a place he'd often found Kai, or Janus, coming for rest. To my marginal surprise, it wasn't anywhere particularly technical. In fact, it was a rather simple place with nothing more but a small bit of stream and a bridge. It wasn't exactly in town either, apparently Kai grew up in the richer part of town originally.

After saying goodbye and giving a hug to both of them, I set off to find Kai. He probably had no idea what had happened and if he had an idea, it should at least be verified. This would be even harder than telling Afentis and Faith, as Kai was... probably closer to them. Especially Valerie. They had a bond, maybe one of dependence, that I couldn't really describe.

The air was getting thicker though, it might rain soon or it might not rain all night. The autumn here was strange sometimes. One would think the sky had expelled all the rain it contained the night and day before. But there was always more. Mother earth always had more tears to shed, or smiles to warm.

Afentis had dictated detailed directions to the place where Kai might be. It took me a short while to find the landmarks he described, a birch tree, a bridge and the stream. But all things considered, it went smooth.

And Kai was there.

He just sat there, on the ground with his eyes on the water. He didn't cry or sigh or even move. Just sitting, staring.

I wasn't sure how I should make my presence known, I supposed discretion would be the better way. So instead of landing right next to him, my feet touched the ground about ten paces away. Silently of course.

But as I stepped I made sure that Kai could hear me.

He did.

"Oh, hey Amy. How did you find me?"

I smiled gently, speaking as soft as leaves rustling in the wind. "Afentis."

He smiled and turned to the water again, almost giving me the invitation to sit next to him.

I did.

As I stepped closer I realized that he wasn't sitting in the grass actually, but on a flat, dry stone that was just big enough for maybe two people. I hoped Kai wouldn't mind me sitting that close, but it was preferable to sitting on the wet earth.

Kai nodded softly when I looked at him. He was alright with it.

Moments passed in silence as I took in the environment. It really was a nice place. Not idyllic or in any way perfect. Just nice and quiet. The water moved too slow to really make a noise and the grass and tree were simple, not memorable because of anything specific. The bridge wasn't really impressive either. Enough for cars to pass, but it was not a main road.

Kai spoke softly. "What happened."

I guess there was only one way to say it. "Khuna and Valerie died."

More moments passed as Kai dissolved those words and extracted their meaning. The deeper more important implications of four words.

He only spoke one word. "How?"

I told him of Muriel, of Isabel and the fight on the roof. On how Isabel intervened, the things I'd seen before vision faded. The words to tell him how I woke, how I didn't kill Muriel, talked with her and forgave her. Sentences on the church where Valerie's parents rested, how we burned them to give them peace. I also told him of of tonight, of finding Isabel near death, allowing her to pass away and bury her. About what the Gypsy queen had said and why.

When I was finally done I stayed quiet, not asking anything from him.

He stayed quiet for several more minutes until the tears came.

He cried, almost silent with pride, several tears before he spoke again. "Hold me..." His voice soft and lost.

And I did, I held him for as long as he desired. He wasn't really dependant on them from any normal point of view. But he was part of something, part of a group that was now irrevocably fractured. Part of me was surprised he asked for this, but I assumed the feelings roaming around his soul were enough to ask for a bit of warmth.

And he was very cold... He probably hadn't fed for days.

But that was not my concern now. I had, at the moment, only a single concern. He cried in my arms and I held him.

Sometimes the world was that simple.