Sophia Autumn Mari, who preferred the name Autumn, had a story, like most people. Sharing that story, however, was not what she did. She kept her history buried deep down, never once letting it see the light of day. Not even Corvi knew her entire history, and Corvi was her best friend.
No one knew Autumn's story at all; no one, except one nonliving being who had called upon her when he knew she was needed. And even then, rousing her from her self-imposed, silent existence had been difficult.
The only reason Autumn had even moved to this town was this being. And she was sort of starting to enjoy it.
Corvi dragged Autumn in through the door of their shared apartment, frowning. "Who were those two assholes?" Autumn tilted her head to the side in mock confusion, smirking. "Who?"
Corvi growled and once more took out her gun, aiming it at Autumn's face. Autumn rolled her eyes and pushed the gun away. "Friends. I finally made some." Corvi put her gun back in her coat. "Si, well, that is good. You should have called me. Dinner was lonely," Corvi mumbled. Autumn patted Corvi on the head. The smaller, although older girl, frowned deeply.
"Autonno, I swear to dio, I'm going to smack you." Autumn shrugged. Corvi sighed and moved out of the entryway. Autumn followed. "Why did you even want to move up here with me, anyway? You should have stayed back home. You’d be in less danger," Corvi, stated moving into the spacious living room of their apartment. Corvi was rich. Autumn knew her wealth had come from her 'father', a somewhat nice, (to the girls, anyway), mobster by the name of Donatello. The girls called him Twinkletoes or Ninja Turtle.
"I didn’t want to stay at home. I want excitement and adventure! And I know I’ll get that, living with you. Besides, you need someone to look after you. And you have a job to do. I have one, too, as I’ve mentioned before," Autumn said, shrugging.
The problem with their jobs, however, was that neither was allowed to tell the other about the job they had taken. It was to keep each other out of danger. "You promise your job isn't gonna get you killed?" Autumn shook her head. "It won't. I swear." She made an 'x' over her heart. "Cross my heart."
Corvi waved her off. "Just...Go sleep or something. I have to get ready to go out." Autumn nodded. Corvi worked at night while Autumn's job could happen at any moment. "Corvi...?"
"Nothing. Have a goodnight. Call me if there's trouble." Corvi raised an eyebrow, although she nodded without another word. Autumn stalked off to her room. Before entering her room, she made a pit stop, however, at the kitchen, grabbing two bottles of white wine. The tops of the bottles were cold and they numbed Autumn's finger tips slightly and she gripped them tightly. The second door on the right side of the hallway was pushed open with her foot, as there was one bottle of wine in each hand.
Autumn's room was rather large. There was a desk against the left wall filled with numerous papers and books, all from her past. A bed was pressed sideways, against the right side of the room. A large window was directly in front of the door to the room. Underneath the window was a window seat, where Autumn could look out at the town and feel distant. Autumn liked the feeling of watching. She liked to see how people behaved, and what things looked like from above, as if she were a bird of prey.
Stacks of books, waist high, were pressed against every square inch of empty wall space. Autumn preferred books on the floor and in odd places rather than on shelves, which vexed Corvi endlessly.
The walls themselves were sapphire, the floor made of dark brown wood. Autumn took off her shoes at the door of her room and placed them neatly next to the door frame. Diagonal from her bed was her closet. It was wall to wall and held every piece of clothing she owned.
She cleared a space at her desk, set the bottles of wine down, and went to the closet, taking out a long, flowery dress. It had long sleeves and hugged her curves nicely, as well as the fact that it tied in the back. The dress was from her mother, when her mother had been pregnant with her. Autumn pressed the cloth against her face and sighed. Her mother. She shook her head.
She would not think of those she had left behind.
Slowly, humming the tune of BIOS-DELTA by Mika Kobayashi, she slid out of her pants, taking off her socks as well. She always hated her legs, particularly her thighs. Looking down at them now, she wrinkled her nose in disgust. "I need to lose weight," she murmured to no one in particular. She said that just about nightly, although she never followed through with her nightly promise to exercise more and eat less.
As she pulled her shirt off, over her head, Autumn felt that someone was watching her. She kept her back turned toward the rest of the room and held her shirt to her chest, blocking any view of it. There was not much she could do to stop the peeping Tom's eyes from wandering to her lower body, however.
"Francis Bonnefoy, I swear to Godzilla if you're watching me in hopes that I'll get nude, you are sorely mistaken." There was silence for a moment, in which Autumn was frozen to the ground where she stood. "Oh, come on, mon cher! You’re no fun at all!" Autumn sighed. "You're a ghost, Francis! You could watch any other woman! Any other one! Why me?" She quickly threw on her mother's dress and whirled around angrily. Francis was sitting, cross-legged, on the center of her bed. The Frenchman shrugged and smirked slightly. "I like zhe way you sing. And you're beautiful."
She rolled her eyes and walked over to him, grabbing a bottle of wine and twisting the cap off of the bottle. She took a swig of the bottle wrinkled her nose at the bitter taste of the liquid. "You must have lost your sight when you died, darling," Autumn said, her tone sarcastic on the word darling. She sat next to him, capping the bottle. She splayed her arms out behind her, resting her upper body's weight on them and staring up at the ceiling. Her short curls were thrown carelessly about her shoulders, and the crimson strand of hair flowed backward, appearing to be on fire in the dim lighting.
Francis watched her eyes. Those damn bottomless pools of silver caught him every time. Every time, they made him feel like his heart was beating again, like it would try to beat out of his chest. The pair sat in silence for a few moments. "I zhought you deedn't drink?" Francis asked. Autumn shrugged, her eyes staring into the middle distance. She seemed to be thinking about her past and all the mistakes she had made.
"I'm a deeply unhappy person, Francis. As much as I hate wine, life sucks a bit more than this shit,” she raised the bottle of wine slightly, swinging it from side to side. “So I'll take wine over life at this point." She uncapped the bottle again and took another swig, coughing. She cleared her throat and sighed.
"Ugh, I hate alcohol." Francis rolled his eyes. Another bout of silence ensued, in which Autumn took a few more sips of the bottle of wine, drinking half of the liquid in the bottle. Francis said nothing to her, although he knew her habit of drinking wine whenever her bottled-up depression decided to be released—which was often, lately--was not good for her.
"So, why are you here?" Autumn finally asked after taking another swig and capping the bottle, tilting her head down and looking at Francis. "Any sign of danger?" Francis asked. Autumn shook her head. "I looked. I studied every suspect possible." Francis nodded, relief flooding through him. "How are Arthur and Alfred?"
"Fine. I mean, I caught them practically fucking after I went to the grocery store for maybe ten minutes and came back to cook them dinner." Francis raised an eyebrow in amusement and Autumn smirked. "You heard me. Alfred had his hands down Arthur's pants, goddammit!" Francis chuckled knowingly. "What deed I tell you, mon cher? Are zhey not cute?" Autumn smiled, nodded, and rolled her eyes, then became serious again. She fingered the neck of the bottle of wine.
"I miss home." Francis sighed. "I know you do. But I need you to do this job. I cannot do eet." Autumn nodded. "There are times when I wish I wasn't me."
"I know what you mean."
"Has Oriel spoken to you in your dreams or whatever lately?"
Ghosts did not need to sleep. That didn't mean that they didn't sleep, however. Sometimes, even ghosts just want to get away from everything without having to leave the Earth. Sleep helped. Francis shook his head in answer to Autumn’s question. "Nothing."
"Do you still love her?" Francis stiffened at Autumn’s next, unexpected inquiry. "I...I zhink...I mean, oui. I do." Autumn seemed disappointed at his answer although she said nothing.
They were silent again, until, suddenly very angry, Autumn stood up, jabbing her index finger at Francis' chest. It seemed as though her frustration with the lots she and all the people she cared about had been given in life had come to a boiling point.
"Why are you doing all this? You could have been peaceful! You could have had eternal rest! Yet you took on her stupid unfinished business! I'm not saying that Arthur's a lost cause. He's a good kid. But it's her responsibility to look after him, protect him, not yours, Francis. Even if you didn't want to leave the Earth, I could give you your life back!" Francis' features hardened.
"If you deed zhat, you'd die." Autumn brushed it off, pacing back and forth.
They were silent until Autumn began to speak again, her voice softer and more melancholy than before. "Why did you call me for this, Francis? I was happy being alone. I was happy before you showed up. Why did you do this?" Autumn continued to pace, staring at the ground beneath her feet. Her whole life she had walked on eggshells, holding back, afraid that she would hurt someone.
"I needed your magic to protect Ar-" Autumn stopped pacing and froze at the word magic. "I do not use magic. Don't you ever call it that again! I only wish it was magic. I can't do magic. I am like Ryner fucking Lute from Legend of the Legendary Heroes. There's almost no difference. We both destroy and we're both afraid of ourselves. The only difference is that I don't have any damn pentagrams in my eyes and I can't turn this shit off, ever! I am like a fucking…a fucking demon, Francis! Can a user of magic take life or give it back? Can a user of magic use only electricity to defend themselves?"
Francis shook his head sadly. "I am not a user of magic. I am a monster." Autumn, suddenly unable to bear the weight of what she was, fell to the floor, her knees hitting the wooden surface with a thud. Francis rushed to her side, his eyes wide. "Don't say zhat. I'm just as much of a monster as-"
"No you're not! You're a ghost! You'll get your eternal peace one day! I might wander this God forsaken planet for eons!" Autumn cried out, clenching her fists, tears burning at the edges of her eyes. Francis said nothing now, simply rubbing her back and then hugging her.
Autumn broke out into sobs after a few moments, overcome with the irony of her gift and her curse; the power to destroy and give life. She wept, encircled by Francis' arms, for a long time. Finally, she only hiccupped and sniffled, and it seemed that her feelings of distraught had come to pass. She stood up unsteadily, swaying from side to side as if she might fall, and made her way to her bed. She lay down on it, her dress fanning out beneath her. Her legs were bent and intertwined together, and her fists where clenched against her chest, almost like she was a child. Francis lay down next to her, facing her. What else might he do to comfort her?
"Corvi wouldn't be alive without me," Autumn whispered to herself more than Francis. Francis nodded, although this was the first he’d heard of that incident.
"She would be dead. But she doesn't know that. She thinks...She thinks she just recovered on her own. But… All those bullet wounds. It wasn't a miracle that she lived; it was me. It was me." Autumn sniffled and buried her face in her pillow. "It was me..." She murmured her voice muffled by the fabric and cracking. She closed her eyes gently. Francis clasped her clenched fists in his hands. "Your power is great and astounding, Autumn. Zhat is why I need you to save Arthur, to watch over him. He could be zhe saving grace of zhis world... or zhe end of eet."
"I know," Autumn said sleepily. "But… Can't he save himself? I’m tired of trying to save people who don’t wanna be saved." Francis smiled sadly and stroked her hair. "No, mon cher. He can't. He's afraid and he doesn't know what to do."
"I know, I know. I'll save him. And Alfred. And everyone. And then, maybe, I'll save you, too." Francis wanted to ask what she meant by that, but she was already asleep, breathing softly, smiling slightly.
From a thousand miles an hour, a freight train on a collision course, to a gently breeze blowing over the sunny ocean; that was Autumn. And from all the trouble in her past, Francis certainly didn’t plain her.
Francis kissed her forehead and caressed her cheek with his thumb. "Sleep well, mon cher," he mumbled. He stood up and was gone before anyone realized that he had been there in the first place.
Arthur woke in the middle of the night. His breathing was heavy and his heart hammered in his chest. He clutched at the area of cloth above his heart, looking around frantically.
His breathing slowed and his heart rate returned to normal as he saw Alfred sprawled out next to him, snoring softly, his mouth wide open. Arthur smiled slightly. Alfred was sort of annoying sometimes, but he was still adorable, especially when he was asleep.
Arthur laid back down and stared up at the ceiling, intertwining his own fingers together over his stomach. What had scared him awake? A nightmare, obviously. But what about? His stomach churned. He thought of his dead mother and father and cringed.
He couldn't think of them and the pain he had caused.
Still, the feeling of dread lingered. Something bad was to happen soon, Arthur knew. He didn't know what, he just knew that it would be bad and that everything would change forever. Arthur turned toward Alfred and laid his head on Alfred’s chest. He closed his eyes and resolved to stay alert in the coming days. Who knew what danger lurked about this place?
A/N: DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN~! FORESHADOWING! WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ALFRED AND ARTHUR? WHAT DANGER LURKS IN THE SHADOWS? WILL AUTUMN END UP KILLING/SAVING SOMEONE? WHAT THE HELL IS CORVI'S JOB, ANYWAY? FIND OUT NEXT CHAPTER~!
Oh. My. Gee.
Guys, like, I'm flipping out! 25 likes? 24 favorites? This is amazing! I'm so happy!
REGARDING THE NEW RATING: I decided that this was a rated R story, mostly because of language and because of suggestive material. If I'm honest though, there have been crusades throughout this website, (which I agree with and am happy about), where people are reporting those who have inappropriate ratings on inappropriate stories, and I really don't want to be reported. I don't want to offend anyone, although I know there are still people who like reading this. At the same time, I also don't want to change the content of this story; so I just changed the rating. I don't want kids who aren't of age reading this and being scarred for life! That would be horrible! If anyone has any problems with this story, and those problems have to do with the Movellas Terms and Conditions, please tell me about them and I’ll sort through them.
Anyway, that's what I've got to say. Also, thank you to all those who are reporting the inappropriate stories. If any of you say that my own story is inappropriate and needs to be taken down, I will not hesitate to do so. I have a lot of respect for you guys. Grazie!