Split in Two
Authoress' Notes: This chapter foreshadows a lot of stuff that may or may not happen, so read closely. As always, C&C would be very much appreciated.
Magic Knight Rayearth is property of CLAMP. I am naught but a lowly fangirl.
Chapter 1: The Revelation
The four girls approached the castle’s throne room slowly after defeating Debonair, the battle surprisingly easy once Cephiro’s people believed in themselves and not just the pillar. Debonair was now nothing more than a bad memory to all of them.
With some trepidation, Hikaru knocked on the door softly. There was no answer except the opening of the huge doors. Clef was not surprisingly in the throne chair, deep in thought. The small mage looked up and started to smile, figuring the Knights had just come to say goodbye, but then caught Nova clinging to Hikaru’s arm in a death grip. He looked quizzically at her before turning to Hikaru.
“Is there something wrong Hikaru?”
Hikaru opened her mouth, but found that she couldn’t speak. Nova was no help either, as she kept looking around with a fearful expression on her face. Umi, not surprisingly, spoke first.
“Clef…we’ve ran into a big problem. Hikaru and that Nova girl can’t merge. We can’t figure out the reason why, and we thought you could help us.”
The Master Mage looked at Hikaru and Nova closely. “Come here.” Hikaru started forward, dragging the petrified shadow that was digging her heels into the floor. “I’m not going to hurt you, Nova.” Taking the slightly mollified girl’s wrist into his own, along with Hikaru’s, he held them, as if checking their pulses.
When he was done, he looked up at the duo and sighed before going back into the chair, addressing them all, a very worried expression suffusing his childlike features. “I was afraid of this. You all know that Nova is Hikaru’s shadow, right?”
The four girls nodded, looking uneasy.
“This sometimes happens with shadows, or doppelgangers. Theoretically, if they spend too much time outside of their other self’s body, they gradually form their own personalities, making it near impossible for the two to become one again. Hikaru and Nova’s heartbeats are not in sync, meaning they are starting to become separate people. If they succeed in doing such, the stronger of the two will force the other to merge with her. Only one of them can exist."
Fuu looked at Clef in disbelief, her voice shaking. “You mean...there's a chance that Nova might absorb Hikaru?”
Clef nodded his head. “I'm afraid so. Hikaru and Nova are the only ones who can get themselves back together. No one else can do it but themselves.”
Nova’s eyes filled with tears, but she managed to squeak out a few words in her shrill, yet breathless voice. “But Hikaru and I both wanted to! We had a talk right outside the castle about this! She stomped her foot in impotent rage. “We_both_wanted_to!” Though a little embarassed at Nova's outburst, Hikaru nodded fervently in agreement.
"Apparently, you two did not figure out just why the attempt failed." replied Clef. "You knew the cause of the separation, right?"
The duo looked at each other and nodded. "It was the guilt I felt when I killed Emeraude." replied Hikaru reflectively. Nova nodded in agreement, a little bit more relaxed now that she knew no one was going to try and hurt her.
Clef got up from the throne and started to pace slowly, deep in thought. He paused, facing the wall. "I'm no expert on this, quite the contrary in fact. What I've told you is theoretical at best. I've never dealt with anything like this before. I've just read about it."
"We can't just stand here and watch Hikaru suffer Clef! Isn't there SOME way we can help her?" asked Umi, frustration marring her delicate features. Clef turned around slowly, looking more like his full 750 years than his usual ten. He shook his head.
"The only thing you and Fuu can do, is make sure that Hikaru and her counterpart are never separated, and that they spend as much time as possible with each other, even if it hurts. Theoretically, that should keep them from completely separating."
He turned to Hikaru. "If my theory is correct, the only way you can absorb your dark part, is for you to figure out together, why you are unable to merge, and then do something about the problem. The sooner the better."
The two Hikarus looked at each other, and nodded. "We'll try." replied Hikaru.
Clef smiled wearily. "Good." he said quietly. "As for returning to Tokyo, I don't think that's a good idea for Hikaru and Nova to do such. I want to keep up an eye on Hikaru's progress." He gestured for Umi and Fuu to come closer, and whispered quietly to them.
"I cannot make you stay, but it would be very reassuring if you did. If you do decide to stay, just make sure you don't make Nova feel unwanted, or she might just run away, and/or start beating you up again, which would severely dampen the chances of Hikaru being able to absorb her again. Also, I know that Hikaru is very proud, and doesn't like to ask for help. If you sense something amiss with her or her doppelganger, you MUST let me know at once. I'm relying on you."
The two girls nodded, and stepped back, but not before looking at Hikaru and her other-self. They knew by instinct that it was going to be a painfully long time.
End of Chapter 1