“Yes… I’m sorry I hurt you, then.” Umi left her voice soften, her eyes downcast to her fingers, which intertwined themselves nervously in her lap. “I didn’t realize they were your friends until I saw my own friends in trouble… I just didn’t want them hurt.” Her gem like eyes gave a lasting look towards the window as the sun slipped below the horizon leaving the room in almost total darkness before magical lights suddenly sprung to life along the walls in forms of the flowers or in the case of the table a small globe.

“Please… sit.” She tried a harmless smile promising herself to talk of serious maters but nothing too serious. “I miss those times.” Umi quickly cleared her throat. ‘No goodbyes, not now, I just got here and no moaning about the past!’ She smiled again and motioned in front of her towards another seat. “Why do the Cephireans want the Pillar system back and why have they… if I remember correctly, why have they chosen you and Ferio to represent different sides? I thought that they were at peace. And I also wanted to ask you if anything strange like illnesses have been occurring here on Cephiro and any other planets.”

Her mother. It was a sudden thought and a terrifying thought. What was happening to her mother as they spoke? “My mother lies in a hospital bed on Earth… One of Fuu’s favorite teachers has died… and Hikaru’s brothers were in a accident plus her mother was badly burned in a fire… Has things like these been happening here?” Umi blurted out. There was a connection and it had to be Ragyn. Damn, she got too serious.

Ascot flushed as he watched Umi's face soften, the girl apologizing for what had happened in the past. His throat tightened; she looked so distraught... He frowned very deeply, wistful, regretting ever bringing it up. He wanted to go onto reassure her that it was all right, but she had quickly gone on to the issue of the warring divisions of Cephiro; he remained silent, unsure of what to say, his thoughts still lingering on the image of her saddened face, blue eyes shining, framed by long and straight locks of fine azure hair.

He sighed though, shifting his eyes sideways and to the ground after he had stood, blinking slowly as the room was softly soaked in nearly total darkness for an instant before the enchantment of the lights sprung to life about the room. His mind wandered back to Zazu, the dark-haired, adolescent mechanic who had flown in from Autozam, shaken, sick, spouting tales of a mysterious sickness having had claimed so many back at his home. Illnesses, Umi asked about... illnesses, they did have.

He chose his words carefully, by spied a shining haze glisten over her pristine blue eyes, and he wondered. Umi began to speak of her home.. back where she was born, where she had come so many miles from to help an entirely different world... Where her family and friends were. Where her family and friends were... falling deathly ill, according to the fair-skinned Knight.

Ascot's brow knotted in sympathy, and he suddenly felt a pulling in his heart, watching Umi slowly transcend into a sadness, explaining to the Bal of the tragedies back on Earth. It was not just Umi... it was all of them. Hikaru, Fuu.. Horrors were everywhere, Ascot was realizing, growing upset. Something was... definitely stirring, but what? Cephiro could.. not afford to be staging these petty wars between each other! All of this.. all of this, a terrible omen, and Ascot could feel it in every part of him. But how on Earth, and Cephiro, and Autozam..? And if.. the Magic Knights were here, who would protect Earth?

"Umi... I am so sorry, please forgive me; I had no idea such tragedy had befallen you and yours." he paused before approaching her, a very little apprehensive on behalf of feelings he dreaded addressing then, "I've been... less than accommodating. I am happy to see you though.." he admitted, brushing his hair out of his eyes quickly. "Ne, though, Umi-san. Your mother... will she be all right? Is there anyway you would be able to.. go back and see her? I know you must be very worried.."

“I don’t think that any of the Knights could go back right now until the problem here on Cephiro is addressed. That has been how things worked the last two times.” Umi smiled softly. “You know I’m just a normal girl over there…” Umi didn’t want to think about her mother lying in some hospital bed. Right now she had her friends fate, and possibly hundreds of lives in her hand to worry about. “She’ll…get better but right now there are so many people here that need our help and we wanted to come. Fuu, Hikaru, and I thought we would never come back and we were about to go separate ways back home. I’m glad to come back.” And no she wouldn’t say it, ‘to come back for this last time.’

“I was wondering if you ever moved your hair out of your eyes.” She looked up into the emerald depths unobstructed by his hair for the first time. “And even though she wont admit it Fuu is really happy about seeing Ferio herself… and Hikaru Lantis…” Umi almost winced.

“So it has been happening here also. Hummm… Umi looked pensive then sighed. “Right now we need rest even though we have problems we all have to take breaks plus I’m a little thirsty.” She let out a laugh. “I wouldn’t suppose you would summon up something to drink?” Umi winked at Ascot and stood up. “And you wouldn’t happen to have sandwiches in your hat?” All right, she paused thinking, kind of childish but it does the trick to lighten up the mood and smooth away some tears. Her slender hand reached up slowly and deliberately plucked Ascot’s hat off his head. She could almost imagine he wore the thing in his sleep with the rest of his ‘armor’ jewels and gloves. Almost as if all those items including the gloves, the hair, and the hat were barrier items.

With an impish grin reserved usually for Mokona only she stepped backwards a few paces. “Got your hat.”

Ascot sweatdropped, pursing his lips as his cheeks flushed red, not fully understanding what had just happened. Umi's demeanor had begun to shift from sullen to a might bit more upbeat, but faster than he could analyze that, the sapphire-eyed girl stood a few paces away from him... holding his hat? He sweatdropped profusely. No one did that!

He started to grumble, "Keh?!" he blurted, cheeks flushing deeper at the shock of turned events, "... It seems.. to be that way.. Umi- san.." he lowered the surprise factor in his face, stormcloud over his head, so to speak. "But I am like a rock you see," he began, "and such petty things do not phase me~~" He startled himself, rattling off in a mocking tone...

He shot her a mocking, smug look from beneath his bangs, green eyes glinting coolly.

"Come on then if you're thirsty. I'm useless you know, without my hat~~I really can't do anything in the ways of magic. You don't ever wonder why I never take it off!" He gripped his upper arms, elbows bent. "I can take you down to the kitchen; it will be closed, so we can fix you whatever you like." He felt a little strange and naked without his hat, he realized, wanting to shake his head constantly to rearrange his hair. The plucky young Knight however, seemed to notice this aswell, and not only that, also seemed to be enoying it...

He quirked his mouth, smiling a little to stifle the chuckle he felt coming on.

Leilandra took in a deep breath and pulled back her dark blue hood. "Guru Clef, I am Leilandra. I come from the far edges of Cephiro." She paused a moment and looked at the Guru. "I started to learn magic back in my home village, but after it was destroyed, I came here. Guru Clef, what I'm asking is would you please do me the honor of teaching me magic?"

Clef sighed. All those who wanted to train with him as of the current moment had been dismissed due to the circumstances. “Your quest must have been long but… after we resolve issues here at the palace I would be willing to teach you. Right now I have no choice but to dismiss my pupils. If you will it there is another pupil of mine, which you may study with named Neira. She should be near the eastern wing of the castle.” His eyes traveled over the girl. A new pupil? He gave her a gentle smile wondering how Neira and Leilandra would get along.

Lantis sat up straighter in the tree he was resting in just like so long ago. His mind on darker subjects when Hikaru strolled by unaware of his presence up on the tree branch. She had grown thinner, slightly taller, but still had a easy smile every once in awhile but now those seemed so far away from the Hikaru he witnessed here. When she was gone back to Earth for that last time, the first time he had ever meet her, he wondered what her life was like there. Was her civilization like Cephiro? Autozam? Or even… He almost laughed. Clef had once started talking about the very first time the Knights had come to Cephiro and how they knew no magic but then Clef had stopped in mid thought looking out across Cephiro from a window and had stood there before walking odd without another word. He pulled himself up and off of the tree landing behind Hikaru. “Hikaru. How are you?”

Umi’s azure eyes laughed for her as she witnessed Ascot’s ‘recovery’ and then the attempt to shrug off the loss of his hat. “Well it you are like a rock then you don’t need shelter.” She hinted at what she suspected. His hat, a covering of himself, hiding from what though? The outside world?

“There is an actual kitchen some where in this place? And here I though you wished it and the food appears.” She held his hat in both hands, her fingertips roaming over the front jewels. She nodded and walked around to her bed placing the hat down before walking by Ascot daring him not to pick up his hat. Even if she had been childish she saw the beginnings of a smile trace his lips and then reach his eyes. Cephiro food was in most past like how she imagined western medieval cooking was but with a hint of some eastern influences.

Leilandra smiled and thought for a moment. She had come all the way here to study magic, but due to issues, Clef couldn't teach her at the moment. But on the other hand, he had said that after the problems were solved he would teach her, and in the mean time she would be leaning magic under a girl named Neira. She was overjoyed. "Oh thank you Guru Clef." She turned to leave, but then stopped when she got to the door. Her Jade eyes then went back to Clef. "If you don't mind my asking sir, but what are the problems that are happening, and how can I help you solve them?"

Fuu's insides crumbled. When Ferio stopped to look at her she stopped as well. Then his voice came to her ears, alive with a sort of suprize, to argue what she had said. After a sentence of so he paused and his voice became more quite, more reassuring. It was his words of absolute admiration and comfort that broke her completely. With her arm still slung over Ferio's shoulder for support she stepped forward a bit, tears beginning to stand out in her eyes. She turned her body around to face the young prince. She let a tear fall from her eye as she put her other arm around his shoulders. "Oh, Ferio..I missed you." She felt her face flush, she didn't know why she had done that. In that embrace she felt so much better, safe and somehow at home. It went against what she expected. She was nearly weeping now. This sweep of emotion was so strange. She had no reasons to be so sorrowful, yet the tears somehow took a little of her confusion and pain with them. She rested her forehead on Prince Ferio's chest. She could tell her face was still flushed.

‘Excuse me, but could you tell me what is going on inside that room?’

Torn from her thoughts and admittedly startled by this voice whose apparent source seemed to be her own head, Mackey whirled around quickly to see who was behind her. If it hadn't been for the din in the other room and her utter state of confusion at her current situation, she might've at least heard or otherwise noticed if someone had been sneaking up on her. As it was, she had apparently been less than alert when the girl had walked up to the group. Facing her, all signs of surprise hidden beneath a now quizzical expression as she regarded Neira and chided herself for being so inattentive to her surroundings.

"Did you just say that?" She asked the redhead, shifting her weight just slightly towards the left as she spoke. Walking towards the room the other girl had spoke of, she continued, "You know, I really wouldn't know, having just gotten here, but I bet some of these people might be able to help you out." The chamber had emptied quite a bit by that time, as there were only three people left standing in it- a diminutive purple-haired guy, a green-clad teenager, and a comparatively tall woman who seemed to be conversing with the purple-haired one about something. Poking her head in, the youthful-looking woman formally addressed them as a general whole. "Hello!!!"

Hikaru, somewhat startled turned around quickly finding herself staring up at Lantis. She smiled happy and more relaxed than she had been a few minutes ago.

"Lantis! It's wonderful to see you! I'm doing a-alright," she faltered a little remembering about her brothers and her mother, "I hope that you are doing ok...are you?"

Neira was as surprised as Mackey. She had almost overlooked the shorter woman, being nearly a foot taller. Plus she had been distracted by Emeraude...or at least the person she believed was Emeraude. She didn't know for certain and was definitely not going to impose by asking. That was just rude.

Searching her brain, Neira couldn't match Mackey with any of the palace staff that she knew. Perhaps she was a refugee like so many others. She had heard that people were flocking to the palace, had seen some of them walking the palace grounds that afternoon. She offered Mackey a smile. Turning to face the young woman, she nodded emphatically.

’I did, yes,’ she placed the words into the other woman's mind carefully. She was not trying to pry, but many often mistrusted her innate ability.

Veering away from the small group she had encountered just outside the doorway, she followed Mackey into the Great Hall. She stopped just shy of the other woman once she was inside the room, standing beside her on her left. Her eyes quickly took in the room and its inhabitants. Many inside the room she didn't recognize and a vague realization finally hit her. There had been a meeting in this room, and a big one at that. She could feel it with just a touch of her magic. Although she could not pick out anyone in particular, she was certain that Clef had been present. She mentally cursed herself for her procrastination and sighed.

’I've missed him again,’ she said, letting her voice drift into the minds of anyone within just a few feet. The frown on her face matched her current mood. That something troubling she felt earlier somehow felt stronger within the room. Had something happened here?

With another sigh -- this one barely audible as it passed between her lips -- she turned to Mackey once again, bowing slightly. ‘My name is Neira,’ she introduced herself. ‘I thank you for your assitance.’

Ascot hiked an eyebrow, amused however almost comically keeping his composure; he kept his dark green eyes at half-mast, looking over the girl as she teased him. He could have laughed, then, amazed at the change of events and shift of emotions.

He seemed not having to swallow back such heavy tension now as he thought over things, he could even go as far as to admitting his thinking was clearer and not so.. so screwed up; he could look over things and.. understand now. Or at least, that's what it felt like.

It had only seemed so long, he guessed, since he had last talked to someone who did not look on him and see the hopeless, heart-broken boy in a man's body, the weak and powerless victim caught in the midst of complicated anarchy. It was nice, he mused, however he could not help but momentarily brush over the indefinite fact that... well. Just as they three had all gone before, they would eventually leave again, perhaps forever at that. He bit on the inside of his cheek and turned on the heel of his plain and white boots, raising an arm to his eye level and gave a wayward, nonchalant gesture.

A very brief breath of transparent and green magic washed around the air Ascot's hand had passed against, seeming to deactivate the lighted orbs about the pair, and the room was swallowed in a soft dark. ".. Yes, the palace does have a wing for the making and distribution of food... I myself never actually have spent much time down there, though. I should not wonder that the cooks spend most of their time slacking off and using magic, anyway.." Ascot paused, stepping under the doorframe; he was a perfectly black silhouette as he continued, the contours of his body wrapped in his loose overcoat all that was being distinguishable, "I taste sneaky magic in my food sometimes. But it doesn't matter... come on~"

His eyes glinted spookily from the light of the hallway as he turned his head, offering Umi a steady, apathetic and relaxed stare.

The commotion in the main hall had gotten to the preteenaged mechanic long before he remembered; his deep, reddish eyes began to swim and a strange pulling tensed all of his body. He had quickly made his exit, pushing past people boredly, feeling as though he was struggling to keep awake.

Once outside and having had made his way into a long and empty hall, Zazu slumped against a window pane, sitting heavily on the tapestried sill. An unusual cough had racked his body, making his head pulse. His eyes misted over and watered in the aftermath, and the boy grew angry at fate's choice of timing to have the youth come down with sudden illness. Zazu sniffed and brought a bare arm up to his pale face, characteristic of those from Autozam, wiping his mouth and furrowing his brow.

'Must be the smog or something in... Autozam. Working around high- emission vehicles all day seems to have.. destroyed my lungs. The air here is too clean for me..'

His eyes shifted from the sill to the floor, and he squeezed his eyes shut very tight; the throbbing in his head had come so sudden and seemed to be climaxing. Thankfully however, it almost seemed to be dying back.. The boy sighed, tugging on the rim of his hat so that it shadowed his eyes better against the painfully bright lights of the Palace.

His trip to Cephiro had not been one he had planned with a vacation in mind. He was almost certain now, however, that the sickness claiming so many so quick, the epidemic in Autozam, had its roots here, in Cephiro. Zazu did not think he had to come here to have that concrete in his thinking, though... He wanted someone to know what it was, someone to... use their magic, send their healers, something!

Geo was... dying. Zazu-Torque's mind's eye took him back to the image of when he had gone to see his best friend last... Geo lay there, emaciating, forever trembling with a clammy cold, a cool sweat. The once lumbering, bulky, healthy man whom had always glowed for Zazu when he was less than happy was now nothing but a dying wind, fighting with all it had, for if and when the time came that it was vanquished... only a deadly stop would remain; Zazu knew he would not be able to handle Geo's death if and when it came.

Zazu shook with a sudden cold, gritting his teeth and cursing between them at the slight tears that welled even against his tightly shut eyelids. Geo couldn't die.. Zazu would never stand for it!! He just.. wasn't capable of it. Just.. wasn't capable.

The boy's shoulders sagged a moment before he turned and looked past the dark earflap of his hat, behind him, down the dizzyingly long corridor. The countless windows parading beside him donned black- seeming panes with high glare from the inside lights -- Night had come already, he mused, tiredly.

Presea stood outside of the room where Clef was. Her mind was restless for some reason, and she felt that consulting with the Guru could perhaps put her mind at ease. She began to step towards the door, when the sound of voices reached her ears. She paused, listening. She recognized Clef's, but the other puzzled her. The feminine quality of it was unfamiliar to her, and it disturbed her greatly. She felt guilt tugging at the back of her mind for listening to the Guru's private conversation, but she pushed it aside and proceeded to knock on the door. "Clef?" She asked, poking her head in.


"No problem, though I guess I wasn't much help," Mackey replied to the blue-clad girl standing in front of her, her dimeanor becoming a bit more serious as she noted the disappointment in Neira's face, "I'm sorry about that. My name's Mackey." She returned the slight bow. The thought crossed her mind to ask Neira who it was she had been looking for, but she decided against it. After all, it's not like she would've been able to help her, anyway, so it would simply have been a nosy inquiry on the part of the shorter woman. She wondered if it would be an imposition to ask her something else, though... Well, perhaps it couldn't hurt. She looked back up at Neira.

"...This may surprise you, considering the way I'm dressed, but I'm really not supposed to be here." She said, referring to her black nylon pants and black tee-shirt. Mackey delivered her sarcasm subtly and with a politeness that might've been taken seriously if it were not blatantly obvious that she did not belong in a palace of any sort, let alone one that existed in what seemed to be a quasi-Medieval setting. "I'm really supposed to be on an entirely different planet altogether, but I somehow ended up here along with Skyhawk, the guy standing over there." She gestured over at Skyhawk, who was standing next to Emeraude with his back to the two, and continued, "So I don't want to impose, but you wouldn't happen to know of anyone who would know how I, or maybe we, could get back to where we were?"

Skyhawk looked over at Mackey and Neira. "If you do know a way, then we could get back and destroy that Ragyn character. I want him to pay for what he did to us back there. There's no telling what happened to the Shadow or to that girl he had with him. We have to think of something, otherwise, Earth could be in serious trouble."

Elsewhere, Megor roamed the halls, and found his way to where Zazu had been standing. He looked at the distraught mechanic and shook his head. He had not wanted to walk into anyone, so he made a turn and started walking the other way. He stopped, and thought for a few moments. The boy was in a disturbing situation it seemed. But his determination to solve that problem was clearly shown on his face. What was the problem, though? Megor glanced behind him at Zazu and was letting thoughts run through his head. Should he help him? Should he put his hand in this war and see what he could pull off? He turned to Zazu, his eyes fixed on the youth's face and walked over. "Your face shows a lot of troubled thoughts. As does mine. In this pathetic war, we perhaps are allies. Your determination is great, I can tell. You show no fear into going into this war if necessary to solve your own issues. I'm curious. What issues are these? What problems do you have that makes you so fixated on solving them as soon as possible? I've a great interest in seeing what makes such a young soul like yourself so mature in spirit." He said crossing his arms under the cloak.

In Chad's room, the boy slept, but not peacefully. The dreams haunted him now more than ever. Flashes of a past Cephiro went through his mind, the incident with Umi,Fuu,and Hikaru and the two people known as Zagato and Emeraude shot through quickly. The memories of Jamar, Black Lotus, the Shadow, they flashed through as well. They were haunting him. All of them. In a huge flash of light in his mind, a single voice called to him. ~Your mother wishes to meet you. Show her that respect and awaken yourself, son. The time for reunion grows near.~ The flashes stopped suddenly, as Chad sat up quickly, holding his chest, breathing hard, and sweating profusely. He couldn't believe his dream, but something had made sense. Whose voice called to him though? He had only heard it on few occasions. Was that not....Zagato's voice? He glared at the door a few moments, his heart racing. Was his mother really coming? Was the woman that had been killed-Emeraude-really coming to greet him? He let his mind set for a few moments, his mind racing alongside the beat of his heart. Emeraude and Zagato, the two whom loved each other so dearly, that had given up their lives in a battle with the girls he met in the hospital-they were his parents? Impossible, he thought. He then started piecing things together. The dreams of Cephiro, the hauntings of his parents, and the very aura of his own power at times. The strange happenings that had been going around him, the mysteries that tied in with Cephiro. This was it. This was the truth. He held his breath for a few moments letting it all register in his head. He held his hands to his temples and shut his eyes tightly. The memories were coming back to him, one by one. The face of his mother, before he was sent away. The sorrow-striken face of his father and mother, there before him. This was the past he had forgotten. This was the past that had slipped away from him so many years ago. Did Kyle know? Had he known? Chad's eyes opened with a slight glow for a few moments. His eyes brightening with a white eerie light. The glow stopped after a few minutes, as he once again kept his eyes on the door. He stood up, and prepared to meet his mother, that is, if the dream was true. His heart, however, assured him that indeed, this was no lie. He was one half of the sons of Cephiro. A fragment of a royal family that had lived here as a newborn. But now that's not who he was. He was Chad, a young man that had lived on Earth all of his life, that had befriended and lost allies and friends. What would his mother think of him? Would she be disappointed? Or proud? Each step she had taken towards his room, grew louder and louder. Each step seemed like days for him. The reunion was near. His mother was coming to see him. And in a sense of presense, he felt Kyle was coming too. He had stayed in Cephiro after all, he thought, unaware of the incident on the train with Ragyn. If only his father had been there, things would have been perfect. A full reunion. Unaware to him, was the fact that he had yet another sibling. The young girl who walked with Emeraude and Kyle. Naomi-had also been part of this family. Why she let no one know was a mystery. What was going to happen when they all came into his room together? Chaos? Or Embrace?

Amber eyes widened; Ferio looked startled for a moment. He hadn't expected that--but it certainly wasn't an unwelcome position. He smiled, gently wrapping his arms around Fuu's slight frame. "I missed you too, Fuu," he whispered, protectively holding the girl close. There had been tears in those expressive emerald eyes of hers...

The prince understood. Everything that had happened upon the Magic Knights' arrival on Cephiro today, and possibly even events that had taken place back in the girls' own world, must have overwhelmed her completely, he thought to himself. He wanted to say something to ease her emotional pain and confusion, but found himself at a loss of words, so he continued to hold her in silence.

Such troubled times were really taking their toll on people. And though he knew that he and the others were glad at the return of the Knights, as well as immensely grateful for all the help these three girls of legend had given Cephiro, Ferio wished that it didn't always have to be this way, with discord darkening people's lives. No wonder Fuu felt as if she and her two friends were somehow responsible for the arising difficulties here! If only there would be happier times that Cephiro could share with the three Magic Knights. Of course, everyone generally kept their spirits up and went about things as per normal as much as possible, no matter what the situation, but it would just seem a lot nicer, wouldn't it? Without being weighed down by grave matters...

These thoughts led Ferio onto wondering whether there might be a connection between happenings here on Cephiro, and Earth. That was a possibility, wasn't it? Nobody had really discussed it at the meeting earlier on, and he was curious. And... The image of that white-haired stranger, who had mysteriously shown up this morning to 'warn' them of what was to come if they made the 'wrong' decisions then vanished again, briefly appeared in his mind. The green-haired youth frowned. Would Cephiro truly crumble and fall, as the stranger had predicted? And his sister, Princess Emeraude, one of the former Pillars... how could she have returned? She had died... It seemed so long ago now. But could she possibly be in Cephiro right at that instant, even? Perhaps it had been her doing then, and she had summoned the Magic Knights back here.

Involuntarily, Ferio made a face, annoyed at having so many questions wreaking havoc inside of him. But no... no, tonight there was no time to find answers. Besides, it seemed that Fuu was more willing to open up again now. He wanted to spend some time with her, as it may prove to be the last chance to do so for all he knew, and he wanted to try and get her to take her mind off all these serious things. For a little while at least.

"Hey, I'm keeping you standing out here in the hallway when you've got an injured ankle," the prince remarked lightly, shaking his head. "That's not exactly what I should be doing to the beautiful lady, huh?" he paused, gently tilting her chin upwards so he could meet her gaze, and winked roguishly before adding, "I should be gallantly carrying you to your room so you can get some rest! And bowing to you and kissing your hand."

Ferio knew he was acting somewhat stupid right now, but he desperately wanted to lighten things up, just a bit at least, and get Fuu to feel more relaxed and less unhappy. Technically, since he was one of the people who should be sorting out these conflicts on Cephiro, he was responsible for it upsetting Fuu. And hurting her was the last thing he ever wanted to do...

"You're being sarcastic, right?" Fuu took a step back, almost stumbling as she did so. She leaned her weight onto her good leg. "Where is that room anyway?" She looked up and down the corridor. She turned on her left heel and started walking forward. Step,limp,step, limp, she carried on the pattern a few paces. She then turned to look back at the Prince. She looked down at her outfit and grabbed at the hem of the hospital dress. "Say, Ferio. When we get there could I have some clothes or something. I hate these hospital gowns." She smiled, looking at his strange expression. "Well, C'mon."