It had been a few days since she arrived at Shade Academy and she had gotten into the hang of things. Or at least as much as she could. She did manage to make a map for herself in order to prevent herself from getting lost anymore and managed to find where she would have all of her classes while she was attending Shade. To her, that was a large accomplishment.
However, there was another accomplishment that was in the works that she was more so proud of than the other.
Parts of her memories were returning in small fragments. Some of them were fuzzy while others seemed to jumbled up with other memories. With each new memory that returned, a new entry was made into her journal. Using these new entries, she tried to sort out her memories in order to piece them back together.
She had already made so much progress with what little amount she had to work with. While their faces were still a blur in the memories, she was able to identify their voices. But her greatest progress lied with Jin.
The memories she had regained seemed to largely focus on him. She even had childhood memories that had him front and center. And that was where the larger puzzle came in. She was positive that they had a very strong bond, and the little bit of childhood memories she had was proof of that. But what was the extent of that bond? She tried to narrow it down with how he acted around her and how he treated her, and she was able to narrow it to two options; they were either very close friends, or siblings like everyone seemed to have assumed. To her, both seemed like very possible relations. But, she wanted to know for sure.
She wanted to have answers for once instead of more questions. However, she knew she couldn’t flat out ask Jin. She tried once and the only thing she got in return was a cryptic answer. She didn’t know much about her biological parents to seek them out and ask them and, while she was sure the professor would be willing to help, but she also knew that Gwyn’s knowledge about her family was just as limited, if not more, as hers was.
So, now here she was, sitting on her bed as she stared at her journal. Her team was out doing their own thing so she had the dorm room to herself for the time being. She figured she might as well take advantage of the peace and quiet while she could, especially while she did not have any homework. She chose to take advantage of the time to try to piece together some more of her memories. There was one memory in particular that was driving her insane. She really could not piece it together with the rest of them.
The memory was of a younger version of herself. She seemed to be maybe around the age of either eleven or twelve. She was standing on her toes in front of a counter besides a woman, looking at what she was doing. She was begging to help make lunch for someone she referred to as Cheshire. Apparently, Cheshire was her older brother and he was going to be attending Signal Academy and she wanted to help make lunch for him, especially since it would be his first day. So there she was, standing beside the woman she assumed was her mother, making what appeared to be a tuna salad. Once they finished with that, they made a sandwich from the salad they had just finished preparing and wrapped it before she began to decorate the brown paper bag the sandwich would placed in. However, the memory ended with her making a note.
While this did confirm that she did indeed have an older brother, she still had no way to identify who he was.She didn’t even have anything to work with to rule out Jin either.
She let out a soft sigh before setting her journal down upon her bed. Perhaps some fresh air would do her some good. So, she began to get up off her bed as she went to go get her shoes in order to slip them on. However, it seems like someone had other plans for the young girl.
She was halfway to the door where she had taken her shoes off at when she suddenly became lightheaded. She let out a soft gasp as she fell forward, her head hitting the foot board of her bed. She then laid on the ground, groaning softly in pain as she went in and out of unconsciousness, her eyes glazed over, almost glass like. As she began to slowly slip into the darkness, a scene began to flash in her mind.
She was about five years old as she ran outside. She was smiling widely as she laughed, seeming to be so carefree and happy. However, that all seemed to change as she accidentally ran into a group of other kids. All of them seemed to glare at her and began to shove her and taunt her, pulling on her hair. Tears began to stream down her cheeks as she begged them to stop, although her pleas seemed to fall on deaf ears. Suddenly, out of the blue, small rocks hit the bullies in the head, gaining their attention. They all seemed to look at Jin who was holding a handful of pebbles, glaring at the group. He shouted at them to get away from her and chucked more pebbles at them. The kids all shouted before running off, vowing vengeance, covering their heads as they fled. Jin walked over to her sobbing form before kneeling down beside her. Gently placing a hand on her head, he softly asked if she was alright. She looked up at him with tear filled eyes before throwing herself into his arms, sobbing into his chest, calling out the name, Cheshire. Jin seemed to give a small smile before holding her close, softly calling her Alice and telling her it would all be ok.
Suddenly, Destiny’s eyes shot open wide as she took a large gasp for air. Taking deep rapid breaths, she slowly pushed herself into a sitting position, still finding herself on the floor and alone in the room. She slowly looked around, trying to steady herself and regain her senses as she processed everything.
She recalled suddenly getting lightheaded and falling before hitting her head and eventually passing out. And then something seemed to occur while she was unconscious. It seemed to be another memory from her childhood and it once more featured Jin. As she sat there in the floor, making sure she sustained little to no injury, she began to think over the recovered memory, figuring out every detail till eventually she froze, her body going tense. This one memory held a very important piece to part of the puzzle she had been working on.
With a sudden realization, she bolted up from the floor and rushed over to her shoes, putting them on in such a rush that she stumbled a little bit. Once they were on, she quickly ran out of her room, slamming the door shut as she ran down the hall to another door. Without hesitation, she flung the door open, not bothering to knock as she glanced around the room. Her eyes soon landed on a startled Jin who was placing a kitten in an area he had blocked off in order to keep the kittens he had been rescuing out of everyone’s way. He had just returned from training with his team and was stopping by his room long enough to feed the kittens. He never expected Destiny to suddenly barge in, especially without knocking.
“Destiny? Is something the matter?” Jin asked, taking notice of her ragged breathing and startled expression.
Concern began to course through her veins and as he began to walk towards her, she suddenly bolted at him, almost tackling him with a hug, causing him to stumble back some. She began to sob into his chest as she clung to him, causing him to become even more concerned.
“I...I r..remembered. I...I remembered s...something i..important.” Destiny said, trying to speak through her sobbing.
“What is it you remember?” Jin asked softly.
There were a number of things she could have remembered, especially ones that could have caused her to become so distraught. He tried to wrack his brain for any possibility as to what could have caused her to be in this kind of state. However, he failed to notice the soft smile that played on his beloved sister’s lips.
“I..I remembered you..C..Cheshire. I...I remembered you.” Destiny said softly, looking up at him, smiling softly as tears still streamed down her cheek.
Jin’s eyes suddenly widened as he stared at her before a smile began to form and he slowly began to let out a relief chuckle. He pulled her close and hugged her as he happily nuzzled the top of her head, tears of relief streaming down his cheeks. A deep purr resonated in his chest as he continued to affectionately hug and nuzzle his little sister. She remembered him, after all this time. He knew this didn’t mean she remembered everything, but this was such a wonderful start and it gave him some relief.
“Oh little Alice….you have no idea how relieved I am to hear that.” He said, pulling back long enough to place a tender kiss upon Destiny’s forehead.
It was a small amount of progress, but it was progress none the less and this was both a relief and a blessing to the two siblings. Destiny smiled up at her brother, feeling how happy he was and that made her even more happy. She remembered one family member and she was beginning to remember the remaining two. She knew that everything would continue to get better and improve for them, especially as her memories returned. She briefly wondered how her parents would react once she managed to remember them, whoever they may be before shaking her head. Now was not the time to think on that. Now was the time to celebrate and be thankful for at all she did remember thus far.
As if he read her mind, Jin gave the top of her head one last nuzzle before smiling down at her.
“Come one. We should go out to celebrate. Whatever you want, it's my treat.” He said, smiling at her warmly.
“Oh! I...I know th….this o..one g..gelateria i..in town w..we can go to! Y...You should g..grab N..Neela and I...I can g..grab Eric a..and we can a..also do a d..double date!” Destiny said excitedly.
Jin chuckled and wrapped his arm around her shoulders and began to walk out the door, gently shaking his head. Her enthusiasm never ceased to entertain him. And the fact that she had made such progress with her memories only seemed to fuel that enthusiasm.
“We shall see, little Alice. We shall see.” He said before closing the door behind them as they left.
Jin smiled at his little sister as they walked together out of the school’s domintary. He was so glad that her memories were starting to return. He knew, it was only a matter of time before she remembered everything and would be able to return to a home she had often called Wonderland.