I nodded and walked briskly to the trunk to retrieve the bandages. I delivered them to Edward and watched him turn it into a brace.
The doctor must be helping him I thought.
As Stanley and I watched Hyde form himself a brace, soft violin music began to play. I turned to see Erik playing a piece I didn't recognize. A strange, yet familiar piece . . .
Visions of the Landing passed before my eyes; The cobblestone streets of the Business District; the lapping of the water at the dock; the pitter patter of rain on the lid of my metal crate; the fresh smells of the market; the voices of mothers, calling in the grotto.
I closed my eyes and saw it all, so near, yet so far away . . .
"Ye don't know ow long ye'll be gone?" Annie's innocent face appeared in my mind as I relived the memory.
I'll be back soon I though as she faded away, Once all the madness is over, I'll come back to you.
Will the madness ever be over?" asked Miss A in my mind, The Phantom will always have foes to face, he may always have to hide, will you always hide with him?
He's always had foes in the past, only this one is stronger, more powerful then we can face for now. I sighed aloud, This isn't forever, A, we'll return to the Landing soon.
How soon, she stated, How do you know when to return? How long will the Aether ghost hide?
As long as he needs to! I snapped back.
No need to grow offensive, K, Miss A said softly, However, these things need to be considered, how long will you leave your urchins? What kind of a guardian leaves the way you do?
Ava Tinnight is perfectly capable of caring for them! I gritted my teeth, This is where I need to be!
How necessary is your presences really? You could be somewhere else, helping those who need you.
It's not my presences here that's important, it's my absence in the Landing. Don't you remember Mr. Eldercraft? Eerie and I would be bargaining chips should Raoul find either of us.
How do you know you'd be found? she asked.
If he could find the Phantom, he could find a street rat just as easily!
Why do you call yourself that? she asked in a softer tone.
I groaned and hit my head against the arm of Hyde's chair unknowingly.
Don't make me answer all your questions, A! I snapped back.
These aren't my questions, K, they're yours. . . Miss A's voice slowly faded away. She was right, of course, Miss A was almost always right.
I let out a long sigh and returned to the present, only to find Stanley giving me strange looks. By her eyes, she had listened to my conversation with Miss A, but had no idea what she had heard.
"Erik," I asked, standing up from beside Hyde's chair, "How long will we stay here?" I bit my lip, "How long will we hide?"