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Limerance

Sabrie

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a part of Limerance, by The_Queen.

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The_Queen holds sovereignty over Sabrie, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Sabrie

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Sabrie is a part of Limerance.

3 Characters Here

Doll [381] "I long to see the day where I will be free."
ZERO [359] "Family don't end in blood."
REN [5] Kid Brother // WIP

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Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO
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❝I will keep you safe and sound.❞

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
DIALOGUE
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Zero looked at her from the corner of his eyes, it wasn't just a bubble she kept herself in but she had this childish way that squashed any desire to outright reveal anything she couldn't yet handle. Despite having gotten herself abducted, a terrifying thing all in itself addled with the violence that folowed, she hadn't made the connections; this was a move to ensure her security. It was why even she couldn't know where they were headed until they arrived there without a hitch. At least she was't oblivious, she understood the situation was a serious one. It scared her.

After she spoke he nodded, it was only natural for her to react this way, but why wasn't she just as frustrated? Perhaps she wasn't the type to demand answers. She's just the pet, that follows where she is guided without question. That needed to change, she should ask, no, demand why things are going how they were going. Didn't she get tired of the secrecy? It was when her stomach protested and she apologized when he snapped out of it and turned his gaze to her fully, "Yeah, go ahead." He said, then chuckled, she's adorable.

When she left he reached for his duffle and pulled out the tablet, if she wanted to look up stuff for inspiration it would help. He turned it on and set it on the floor where she sat before she returned with chocolate milk and toast.

He rested his head on his arms, "It'd be nice if we could go outside soon, maybe by next week Isabel will be around." At least it's what he hoped for, if things could go back to how they were, he wouldn't complain. "We're gonna be here for a while Miss Loretta, this isn't a trip, trips aren't made in haste. But I don't want you to worry too much, so instead, let me worry." It was best if he kept all the bad stuff away from her, he wanted her to stay just the way she was. But if she had questions and no one would answer them, then she had someone who would.

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Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO
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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


Why was he always shouldering these burdens alone? Why wouldn't he tell her what was wrong? Doll looked down at the crayons and paper. She wanted to help, but no one would tell her what was wrong. How could she fix things if she didn't even know what was broken? Maybe that was the point. Perhaps Zero told her nothing so that she could keep smiling. Fine, if that was what he wanted her to do, if that was how she could help, then Doll would smile; she would pretend nothing was wrong. "Alright, I can't wait." Doll looked back down at the paper before her, the half drawn Christmas tree. There was something beside it, some sort of black shiny thing. Doll tapped it and the screen lit up. She jumped, grabbing a crayon as though to defend herself.

Pictures in vibrant colors called out to her, all sorts of Christmas trees on the page. If she swiped up, the pictures moved down. "Wha-what is this?" Doll looked up at Zero in awe. Did he always have this magic box? The papers suddenly forgotten about, Doll was enthralled by the box. She pressed a button and sound started coming out of it, it was music! Low and rhythmic, almost a hum. Sure, Doll had seen screens before, but those were not ones you could interact with and all they displayed were numbers and lines she hadn't been able to understand. Doll tapped something else on the screen and a word box came up, a bunch of letters in no particular order taking up half of the screen. Doll pressed the side and the box went away.

"Is this magic?" She held up the screen to him, her eyes sparkling in awe.

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❝Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.❞

—THEODORE ROOSEVELT

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
DIALOGUE
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He wasn't Doc, always calm and all-business not by a long shot. He wasn't Grell, cool and confident, he couldn't keep up with the charade. He wasn't going to hide everything, but he wasn't going to dump it all on her, she didn't deserve that. But for now it was tucked in a drawer, she knew she was here and the situation wasn't great but it wasn't terrible and they could sit in a room and color and Google stuff. It's just a puzzle, only she had all the pieces and he had the picture he wasn't going to show until she was able to recognize something is taking form. They'd build it, one pice at at time.

Zero tilted his head a little, why didn't he have a camera on him to record this? Her reaction to her first time using a tablet was priceless. Like magic, she glowed even brighter and to this light he melted. She pulled up his iTunes and at random got a song playing, then the notepad where the QWERTY keyboard popped up, she swiped some more and looked up totally fascinated.

He smiled, "Something like modern magic, with that you're connected to the world. Everything is in there, games, music, videos. I think you'll find lots of cool stuff. You can keep it." Not like he was gonna miss it anyways, she could learn perhaps faster on the tablet than him teaching her. Some kids are like that, but still he'd like to teach her regardless, something about it was too fun to pass up.

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender
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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


"Modern magic," Doll repeated. She shook her head, "No, I couldn't possibly keep something that's so special." She'd probably end up losing or breaking it, or accidentally blowing it up somehow. Doll was lucky that way. She placed it back down and sighed, taking the tub of crayons and dumping them all out so that it would be easier to find all of the colors. One of the crayons rolled underneath the bed, Doll reached under to grab it, her fingers brushing something soft. Was that... Hair? She looked underneath the bed, pulling out an animal of some sort. Or perhaps it was a being? "Is this a horse?" It had black and white stripes, its snout was black, it's stomach white.

It looked nothing like Isabel or the other horses in the stable. Maybe it was an Alaskan horse? Did Alaska have horses? Doll placed the plush toy beside her and looked underneath the bed, there were more. Not just the striped horse but weird cats and oh her crayon! She grabbed the blue crayon, pulling the weird cat out with it. It had sand colored fur and large green eyes, a mane of fur surrounding its head. There was a tag attached to its leg, "L-ly-lio-n." She managed to puzzle out. "Lion. Is that what this is?" She held it out towards Zero. He would know, Zero knew everything.

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❝Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.❞

—CHINESE PROVERB

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
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He smiled a little more, "It's special 'cause it's yours." He wasn't gonna take it back, if she worried she'd lose it or it'd break she could leave it here and he'd keep it safe. Then she dumped all the crayons and one rolled away, she went after it and dipped under the bed, then came back up with a pony or a zebra? Then a lion. Where did she?

Under the bed? Who put that stuff there? Whoever was tasked with cleaning did one heck of a job.

He crawled on the floor and peered under to find there were several stuffed little critters down there. How weird.

Zero sat back up and shrugged, then nodded to her question she read it right. "The king of the jungle himself." Seems like they just made a new discovery, which begged to question, did this room belong to some kid? Was this were Doc went with his family when they were going off for a holiday or something? Could the animals had one belonged to the mystery girl and her diary? There was so much they didn't know and had to find out.

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender
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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


"The King of the Jungle," Doll looked at the stuffed toy in her hands. Who had this belonged to? Were they missing it? Did they think about this toy ever? "I know!" Doll stood up, going to the next room with the lion in her hands and bringing back the journal. "Maybe there's something in here about it." She sat back down on the floor, placing the lion next to the zebra and flipping through the diary, looking for anything about a lion. She wasn't a fast reader, but thankfully, the page had a drawing of the two stuffed animals, as well as a few more. None of the creatures were like anything Doll had ever seen. Whoever had drawn these pictures clearly had talent.

Dear Diary,
The epidemic has spread. Despite Father's knowledge as a doctor, both Mother and Edward are ill. He has moved us to this house in hopes that we will be safe from the epidemic and spreading unrest of the sudden drop in the human population. How will we feed? Father says not to worry, that one day, we will all be safe and living in the main home. Today, Mr. Gracy came for a visit, he brought us tales from his adventures in Africa and brought Edward and I stuffed toys and wooden masks back. He said that the humans there are thriving now that they've urbanized it and prevent the spread of popular disease.

I would love to see Africa one day, I'd love to go with Father, Mother, and Edward. Father promises that as soon as everything settles we'll all go with Mr. Gracy and that we'll see all sorts of animals. Well, that's enough for now, dinner is ready so I must go.


Doll finished, holding the book open so that she could copy the pictures onto her paper. Her crayon drawings were nowhere near as good as the elegant lines and soft textures in the journal, but Doll did what she could. "Is Africa another place? Are we close?"

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❝The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.❞

—SAINT AUGUSTINE

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
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Good call on referring to the diary, it just may have almost all the answers.

Doc had a family. He had assumed correctly, so, what happened to them? Zero stared down at the diary once Loretta had finished the passage, it became clear that perhaps the decline in the being's main source of sustenance had ultimately gotten to them. Or Doc may have sent his family away to where it was safer? Maybe that's why they weren't around. If that's the case what were he and Loretta doing here? This was exactly why he asked Grell to get the doc over so they could talk.

He sighed heavily and rubbed his eyes, "Africa is... Far from here. You need a plane to get there. And it's warmer with lots of desert." He tapped on the tablet to pull up Google Maps so she'd see for herself.

"All kinds of animals live in the Sahara, a lot of tourists used to travel there, now I'm not so sure."

That last update of the image was several years back, much of the geography had changed, the climate and being influence having much to do with that. Surprisingly enough they still kept with once human-run companies, the thought of others much like Doc came to mind. Beings who weren't barbaric, thought themselves deserving even of human driven advancements.

Zero's gaze fell to the animals she had pulled out from under the bed, maybe not all beings were terrible. Maybe some of them were like him, believed that humans could thrive on their own and despite their flaws and many mistakes they could survive without being enslaved. He just had to find them, wherever they are.



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Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO
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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


Doll listened to him describe the desert, not quite understanding. It was much easier when he pulled up the pictures. "What's a plane?" There was still so much to learn, so many things she didn't know. Doll wondered what sorts of animals lived there. Besides the lion and the zebra. Were there horses? Unicorns? And how did a plane take a person there? Did you sit on a plane? Was it like a car? Was there water in between? "Can we go to Africa?" Doll was so excited now, she wanted to know so much more. A knock came from the door, one of the maids poked her head inside. "Zero, the Doctor has arrived. He would like to speak to you." She looked at the human, something a bit like distaste in her eyes. "The human has been requested to go to the kitchen."

Doll put the crayons down and the notion of Africa aside. She stood, waving bye to Zero and following the maid to the kitchen where Grell was waiting with what looked like bags of frosting and large pieces of cookies. "Hello Loretta," he greeted, tying off a piping bag full of red icing and placing it down. "Would you like me to show you how to make a gingerbread house?" Grell asked, his smile gentle. She nodded her head, standing across from Grell as he showed her how to use the piping bag. They started, first gluing the giant pieces of cookie together to make a house. Although, there was one problem. "This isn't a house," Doll noted, seeing as how it looked nothing like the houses she had been in.

"It is, it's just a different kind of house." Four walls with a triangular roof. "This is what the houses of the normal people look like. Back when the earth was populated with mostly humans, there were all sorts of houses."

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❝Sometimes the hardest thing
and the right thing are the same.❞

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
DIALOGUE
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"A plane is much like a car, only you fly in the air." Ok so it wasn't the best comparison but she would get it eventually. It was curious how much of the world Loretta didn't know, he wanted her to catch up faster but he didn't think they could rush, he still had to figure out what kind of learner she was. So far visual seemed to be her strongest. Maybe Doc would know.

When she asked about visiting Africa he shook his head and smiled, "Sure, after we go to Alaska." He chuckled then and ruffled her hair. An adventurous spirit isn't she?

Zero tensed when an unfamiliar presence knocked at the door, he stared up at the face of a lady who peered in, a new maid? He met her regard with little interest. So Doc finally decided to grace them with his presence, requested Zero go find him to chat, it was when she blatantly refereed to Loretta as "the human" instead of by name, she did that purposely. The bitch. He snatched one of the stuffed animals and hurled it at her, it hit the door his aim wasn't as perfect apparently. Not a good sign.

"Her name's Loretta you piss poor excuse of a maid." Next time he'd break her arm, then have her dismissed. No one was going to disrespect Loretta, not on his watch.

Loretta didn't seem to mind, maybe she'd grown used to it, conformed to their dislike and mistreatment. It didn't have to be that way and it wasn't going to continue either. She didn't say anything, just smiled and waved before following the maid out the door. Zero pushed himself up to his feet made sure to keep his balance as he did so to not have another dizzy spell. He paced across his room, passed hers and out the hall. He remembered the way back down stairs to the living room, passed there a set of doors he assumed was the office. He didn't knock as it wasn't his prerogative with the scientist, he slid the doors open, stepped through.

"You should tell maid number three to watch how she addresses Loretta, or we're gonna have a problem." Why did Doc feel the need to hire any more beings to have around when all they needed was Grell and J. Already the thought of him made him miss Isabel, she must be kicking at the walls, she gets edgy when he doesn't show for a while. Zero made his way to the leather chairs and sunk into it, he kept his features nonchalant and kicked up his feet at the edge of the giant dark stained table where Doc had yet to fill with his stuff. They were gone for a while.

He looked around, but spotted no family photos, not even ones of Doc himself, must have hidden them, it gave the impression that no, perhaps, his family weren't alive. Or maybe they were but no longer with him.

"Are we safe here?" Zero had to ask, he looked up to regard him with raised brows. "What I really want to know is what's gonna happen if they find us here, we can't just pack up and run." Now's the perfect time to plan their next move, figure out what's chasing them and deal with it, the only way they could.

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Doll Character Portrait: ZERO
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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


The Doctor had been anticipating that question of Zero's, he had known it was coming and was prepared. "You should be absolutely safe here," then, "I'll tell Maid 3 to use more discretion," he closed the drawer of his desk, having removed all personal pictures from a life that had taken place so long ago it nearly seemed to belong to someone else. "I don't know if you've realized, but the additional employees are retired security officers." That was why the maid had probably addressed Loretta so rudely, he would have to speak to them about tone. Of course there were a few of the regular staff as well to keep an eye on them, but the majority (which was about six people) were officers. Even Grell had been given permission to carry a gun with him despite the Doctor's distaste of the barbaric weapons.

"Did you read the file?" And more importantly, "You didn't let her see it, did you?" The Doctor had known the risks of giving Zero the folder, that the boy would try to break the news to Loretta somehow. Even he did, the Doctor wasn't too worried. He didn't think that Loretta would even understand, after all, humans were very simple minded creatures. Most great scientific inventions and advancements had come from Beings disguised as humans living in a world where fear still ruled. Einstein, Tesla, Franklin, all great inventors, all Beings. Humans were smart in some respect though, after all, they hadn't yet died out and were quite crafty, it is because of this that the Doctor would never trust them, especially after what they did to his family.

There was frosting everywhere, Doll was sure more ended up on her hands then on the actual gingerbread house. Regardless, the female was very happy. Grell was doing one side, Doll the other and they were currently working on the roof. She used slow movements, pushing down on the pipping bag from the top so that the frosting wouldn't leak out. Grell had a red dot of icing on his nose that Doll may or may not have put there and the female had a streak of blue across her cheek. Most of the candy was missing from the house already since Doll had laid it down, then picked it out to eat. She was hyper from sugar and the two of them were giggling like school girls.

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❝Well she lives in a fairy tale
Somewhere too far for us to find
Forgotten the taste and smell
Of a world that she's left behind
It's all about the exposure the lens I told her
The angles are all wrong now.❞

—PARAMORE, "Brick By Boring Brick"

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
DIALOGUE
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Zero nodded hearing him out. So, according to Doc, they would be alright? They were safe. For now. And the newly hired staff were retired security guards with attitude problems. Then again who wouldn't be on edge having known those who'd worked before them were killed? They should have been informed about it beforehand. About Loretta and how she was to be respected. It was enough to piss him off regardless of their misinformation. If Zero were in charge he would have fired the maid on the spot. Good thing he wasn't, he doubted he could tackle it all anyways.

Zero stared out the windows and shook his head at the next topic Doc brought up, "Doctor Atarashi that's cold." He glanced back at him, "How you'd even think I'd drop that ball on her." Because right now she was far from getting it if at all. Maybe for another year or more before she could fully grasp this. Before the awareness snuffed out what remained of her light. A selfish thought, keeping it from her so she wouldn't have to suffer anymore. She might think she was some kind of freak, be afraid of her own shadow. Better if she didn't have to go through that, he'd gone through it, in fact, he still was.

"It wouldn't change anything if she knew, I think it'd only make her question herself and that's a road she shouldn't have to go down. She's like a kid, in a way, something happened didn't it?" He held the doc's gaze, dared him to deny it, "something so bad she's hidden it deep enough to regress to this childish person. Repression is the human's way of coping isn't it?"


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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


The Doctor shook his head, his smile gone. "She hasn't regressed to a child, she is a child." Thirteen was far too young to have to face the adult world. "You are correct to say that her memory is repressed, the file will be able to fill you in as it includes the circumstances under which she was moved around. The gist, however, is that her body had built a defense against traumatic memories, which is why Loretta has none. Sometimes there are flash backs, which cause anxiety attacks. That's where the medicines come in, they are not only to make the pain stop, but to make the anxiety go away as well." It was also to keep her from remembering. For reason's the Doctor hadn't figured out, the higher ups didn't want Loretta to remember anything.

He had a feeling that they had a hand to play in the girl's history, but with no evidence, the Doctor did not voice his thoughts. The Doctor decided to switch directions. "What about you Zero? Are you alright?" The Doctor knew about Zero's history as well, of course, he had to know what he was getting himself into when adopting the boy. "That night, do you want to talk about it?" He wasn't talking about the night that Zero lost his brother, no, he was speaking about the one where he had gone crazy against the Beings that had taken his precious toy and so he went mad attempting to get her back. "How is your pain? And your wounds?"

If Zero would let him, the Doctor would want to change the bandages and inspect to ensure that the wound was not getting infected. Zero did not exactly have a track record for taking care of himself. "How are you feeling? I noticed you seemed a bit... Off." The Doctor was a Doctor for a reason after all.

Downstairs, the shenanigans continued. The roof was finished, decorated in red and white icing. Doll was pretty sure that she wasn't going to ever sit down ever again with all the candy she had eaten. The female had abandoned her chair in favor of standing, working intricately and with intense focus on the lawn and the snowman in the front.

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❝If the road is easy, you're likely going the wrong way.❞

—TERRY GOODKIND

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
DIALOGUE
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A child huh? It's amazing how she still retained that aspect in a world that would crush notions of frail young innocence in seconds. Had it not been for Doc would she still be this way or worse? Zero cringed at the thought, there wasn't any other place she belonged but with him. He listened intent at Doc's every word as it involved the girl he cared for most. Of course, the file was her Bible but that had been heavily edited, it was too sterile? It held more of an objective view over Loretta, some details were too vague to mean anything, just skimming the surface. Damn scientists.

He was right in his suspicion that something had happened to her and she had pushed it away. Or were the drugs they forced down her throat or jabbed into her skin doing that? Will she always have to rely on that of were beings terrible counselors? Did beings even have shrinks? No. They don't.

Humans act illogically sometimes. They aren't so sacred. Beings don't require or see the use of being illogical at all. They're all about control, it's what made them the superior race in the end didn't it? Comparing beings to monsters would be an insult, no, for them humans would be the most like monsters because they kill and eat a multitude of different life-forms. While beings simply eat one or two. They're quite frugal and efficient in comparison. They feed on the flesh—Zero fed on the blood, but only to survive. A well-known fact drilled into him by his scientist mom and dad. Survive, as much as possible. Survive no matter what.

Yet the most horrendous of experiences that stuck with him were the years he'd been trapped and abused by those of his own race. So he had nothing against humans, they didn't hurt him, they didn't abuse him, they didn't try to kill him. He shouldn't have been angry, he didn't have the time for anger, yet when he thought of other beings or even the ones involved down at the hell he and Ren had been subjected to all he felt was the intensity of his rage to eradicate them all.

With Loretta, he was beginning to learn what it meant to be human. She was the only human in the entire world he cared about, would do anything for.

Zero leaned back into the chair when Doc switched the focus on him. He wasn't here to talk about himself, he shook his head, "I didn't lose control, not for the reason you think." Why did Doc have to bring this up? Zero stared at a plant on Doc's desk, it looked like a tree that's been twisted as it grew. A Bonsai tree? He must have remembered it from a book somewhere. So this is what they look like huh? So small.

That night. He'd deliberately wiped out every being in his path.

But then.

"I had Loretta with me, she'd been hurt so bad. I was carrying her out, and then, then I was shot again." He gripped at his side, the ghost of pain jolted up his spine at the memory. "For the first time since I could remember I wasn't certain in our probability to make it out, the both of us."

He had seconds no, it wasn't a second he'd just reacted on instinct.

"I let her go, told her to run. It was our only optimal choice at that time because I'd felt the other's murderous intent. I wasn't going to allow it to kill me otherwise how was I to know if she made it out?" Zero looked away from the tree to the window and the snow that fell in dizzying tangles, he remembered her running off down halls filled with entrails, slick with being's crimson plasma.

"I did what I had to. I became the target's distraction so she had a chance to make it. I admit there was a moment where I couldn't recognize my own actions, or where I was or why." He didn't mention his inner doubts, those were secrets Doc didn't have to learn. He had reacted in fear of losing her, had she not been there he wouldn't have lost the tight hold he'd always kept. So maybe in a way he was almost human, he'd went at them despite getting shot so many times, without thinking, without the being's natural preservation instinct, like an irrational human because he was only thinking about reaching her. No matter what happened, no matter what came at him.

Humans have a name for that, determination. Was it that? The one thing driving him down that path in the reckless, so very human fury that sent him on fire? Maybe.

"I'm fine," He waved off Doc's concerns over him and the injuries that should be long gone by now, "with some sleep and time, by tomorrow I'm golden." He pulled his feet from off the desk, he wanted to go if that's all they were gonna chat about. There was also the matter of discussing a plan for if and yes, if more beings got the drop on them they'd be ready for it. Other than that, Zero wasn't interested in much else.

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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


He could tell that it was a very uncomfortable subject. Zero claimed to having been in control the entire time, but the Doctor wasn't so sure he believed this. The man had gone down there himself. There was only one more question he had, but for the sake of knowing Zero's personality, he kept it to himself. It was like that night wasn't it? The night that Zero had lost his little brother. If the Doctor had asked such a thing, Zero would never forgive him, he would probably curse the Doctor out for using his brother's name or something of the sort.

"That's all, you may go."

Downstairs they had started decorating cookies. The gingerbread house was done and after Grell spruced both sides up a bit, it looked wonderful. He had a way with a piping bag, a certain elegance like a ballroom dancer. His strokes were practiced and even, his lines straight and snow crisp. Doll envied his abilities, asked if he'd teacher her how to do that. So Grell had pulled out a sheet of cookies, as though he had been prepared. "This is fun," Doll chirped, enjoying learning how to make the cookies look not only delicious, but beautiful. She was too hyper to stand still though and every so often she would do a lap around the kitchen to try and get the sugar out of her system. Grell chuckled each time, shaking his head and watching her run around until she returned to the station to finish decorating cookies. Doll had decided she was going to give each staff member a cookie, after what happened this morning, she wanted to make sure all of them knew that she wasn't just a human or an object.

Doll was not a dog that was going to be kicked around and so she would try to make friends with the staff, like Grell, to show them that she was more than just the Atarashi pet. "Do you think Zero will be here soon?" Doll wanted him to join in on the fun. It wasn't fair if they got to do all of the decorating and Zero just sat by and watched or had a boring conversation with the Doctor. Sometimes, Doll wondered what they spoke about. Did they talk about Doctor things or did Zero talk to him?

As an outside observer, it seemed as though Zero didn't like the Doctor at all, so Doll couldn't imagine why he would want to spend any time with him.

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❝Let's pretend nothing is broken.❞

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
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Did Doc have more to say? It lingered between them despite his having dismissed Zero. Fine by him, to which he stood and left the office.

Zero found Loretta in the kitchen, she was covered in frosting and smiling despite the mess. He leaned against the door jamb, watching.

Ginger bread houses, candy, sweet things, they made her smile brighter than the sun. He took note of that. He smiled already forgetting the discussion he'd had with Doc. After a moment he walked in and leaned close over Loretta, reached across for a gum drop from the roof of the ginger bread house and popped it into his mouth.

"Look who's having fun." He said, then he glanced at her and his smile deepened. Her joy infectious he couldn't help bask in it. In fact whatever made her smile he'd love nothing more but to be apart of.

If Doc promised they'd be safe here. Good. Zero wanted to ensure that as well. She'd have a Christmas she'd never forget, and Noe he was looking forward to it too.

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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


Doll was having so much fun. It took a few minutes for her to notice Zero's presence and then he was walking towards her. Her smile brightened. He picked a gumdrop, one of the few left, out of the bowl beside the gingerbread house and ate it. Doll held up one of the cookies to show him. "Grell and I made this one for you," the cookie was in the shape of a snow angel, or perhaps a ghost. There was white frosting, the same color as Zero's hair, decorating the shape. Doll didn't know the difference between a snow angel and a real angel, or if there was even a difference, but she had liked the shape. "Grell says he's going to show me how to bake." The red haired man chuckled.

"You're welcome to join us of course Zero." The chef wasn't sure if the boy had any interest in human food. He sometimes thought that Zero only ate it to humor him, or perhaps the girl. "Loretta and I were going to make cookies for all of the staff if you want to help us?" Doll nodded her head eagerly, turning towards Zero to see if he would join them. They were going to need more icing, probably and dough too.

"What else do you do on Christmas?" Doll asked Zero. Grell had told her this was a Christmas activity. She was getting incredibly excited for the holiday, having made cookies and seen the house all decorated. There was even an advent calendar by the tree.

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❝And we'll close our eyes tight so we won't have to wake from this dream anymore.❞

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
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An angel cookie how cute! He happily accepted the cookie and turned to start on decorating. At her announcement he smiled and shook his head, "Cool. Just be careful." Zero did his best with the piping but his hand wasn't as still for the precision required to get the details on point.

Grell asked if he could help, sure, why not? "Yeah, guess I could." He didn't look up from the little project he'd given himself. No, this wasn't like anything he had in mind. The angel was beginning to look like someone had vomited rainbow all over it. So absurd, whimsical even, he laughed. "Crappy angel anyone?" He pointed at the terribly designed thing and put the frosting down. Whatever right? He coated the once-white celestial cookie in every candy and gumdrop he could fit on its surface. Hiding the disaster. This was fun.

As an after thought he said, "No, not all of them." Why reward rude staff members? It surprised him how mildly that came out, but he wouldn't ponder on it any more than he needed to as it'd only make his headache worse. He looked up from the catastrophic mess of the angel, to Loretta's question of Christmas.

He hummed softly, trying to come up with a good answer, "X'mas is a religious sort of holiday, you do things like bake cookies, light trees, sing annoying songs, drink egg nog," He chuckled and nudged Grell with his elbow, he'd get that one, "generally time spent with family, gift-giving, and having a jolly good time. I think it's best to experience it, it's not the same for everyone. you'll see." Soon they could go sledding and build snow-men and forts and play in the snow. Soon. It could be normal, that's all he wanted it to be. For her, he wanted the best of things, as long as he could see her smile that's reward in itself.

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Slang, a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman. I.e. "She's nothing more than a doll."



{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


Christmas sounded like so much fun. Why don't people celebrate Christmas all the time? Doll wondered. She looked at the cookie Zero placed on the metal work table, debating eating it. It was dripping in frosting and candy. Doll looked from her work to where the tempting cookie lay, clearly having an inner battle. Finally, Doll shook her head and turned back towards Grell who was taking out the items to construct cookies.

"Sue-gar," Doll sounded out, a bit confused. Suegar? Was that like the shugar that made things sweet? Maybe it was in another language? Another tin was put on the table, this one labeled, "Flo-ur." The rest of the bins put on the table didn't have labels. There were measuring cups and bowls and all sorts of ingredients. Doll had never known how complicated cooking was until Grell said that this was an exact science.

Doll turned towards Zero, whose smile was something to behold. It was rare, but wonderful. "Who doesn't deserve cookies?" Doll asked, wondering if Zero was referring to the Doctor. It wasn't the Doctor's fault that he was slightly evil. It could have to do with his past, or the girl she read about in the diary.

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Zero patted atop her head, having noticed she looked tempted, "You can have it." Even though she came to some conclusion in her mind that no, not now. Later perhaps. He helped put the brandished stuff in order as Grell set each on the large isle. Sugar, Flour, baking pans, cookie cut-outs, measuring cups and spoons, vanilla extract and all the things that went into the craft of baking. It's best to work when things are in order, otherwise they'd end up with a mess. Not counting the puffs of flour and sugar that already dusted the counter and the bowls of candy and sweets that with Loretta's picking, might not be around by the end of baking. Too amusing.

He glanced back when she questioned who he'd been referencing about then, he shook his head, "Someone who's greatly gotten on my nerve, but don't worry your sweet little head about it." The more he thought of how he'd approach such a class-less being the more sour his mood became. So he didn't dwell on it and focused instead on prepping the baking pans, spraying each one down with PAM. No one wants to work with cookies that won't budge off their pans. It'd be a disaster. For the most part he knew some things about baking the sugary treats, he wondered if they were making ginger-bread cookies or something else.

"What do we got Grell?"

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{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


"We're making sugar cookies," Grell replied. "Gingerbread are good, but they're not really for eating, more for decorating and making the house smell good." Doll wanted to know what gingerbread tasted like. She figured that when Christmas was over, they would all eat the gingerbread house. Unless that just got thrown away. The more she thought about it, the more Doll wondered why Beings would make all of this food just to waste it. Well, here at least, it didn't really go to waste. Doll ate the delicious food Grell made and sometimes she saw the other Beings eating it too. Were they curious? Or was it like eating snacks? Doll looked between Grell and Zero.

"First we're going to cream the butter and sugar."

"How do we do that?" Doll asked. Grell pulled out a kitchen stand mixer. He asked them to measure out one cup of sugar and put two sticks of butter in the mixer. Doll asked Zero for help for looking for the 1 cup measure. She had no idea what it was supposed to look like. Once they had done that, Doll filled the sugar cup up to the top and dumped it into the bowl. Grell turned the mixer on and the kitchen suddenly became very loud. The sound of intense stirring could be heard throughout the kitchen. Doll looked into the bowl to see what was happening, watching the stirring action. Grell stopped it and handed a measuring spoon to Zero.

"Now we need half a teaspoon of vanilla."

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❝I burned so long, so quiet....❞

[X AMBASSADORS ¤ RENEGADES]
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Sugar cookies. Sweet. That'd be fun to make. Gingerbread cookies are edible, so where the ones they'd been decorating but Grell was right, sugar cookies were easier to eat and it was better they switched up anyways. He popped another piece of candy into his mouth, just to have something to chew on. He hasn't had much to run with since, hell he couldn't remember when was the last he'd fed but he wasn't going to interrupt this with a request for the red stuff. Not in front of Loretta.

When she divided her gaze from Grell to him, Zero wondered what she'd been thinking about. He returned with a little smile, and turned to what Grell was demonstrating.

Loretta then asked for assistance to which he gladly obliged, fetched up the measuring cup and handed it to her. Just watching her alone was a joy. Soon enough it was his go to measure a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Ok, he could do this.

He nodded and did his best to get the right amount into the hollow and incredibly small teaspoon—wait, did Grell say half a teaspoon? Well then, he added less, eyeballing half without it spilling over despite his shaky hand. He'd rather do something else that didn't require too much precision. Zero managed to get it done efficiently enough and hoped they mistook his unsteadiness for excitement. Added the vanilla into the bowl.

"Let it rip." He said, and smiled a little more. She wouldn't worry so much if he didn't give any reason to. He wanted to have fun and this was something she liked. So he would stay up a bit longer, not like he could sleep now anyways.

"Don't we need eggs? How much cookies are we making?" He reached for the carton of eggs. "When does that go in?" Was their a precise step by step they had to follow of could they just add stuff?

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{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


Doll couldn't help but notice the shaking in Zero's hands. She tried not to worry though, she could tell that Zero was doing his best to hold back whatever it was that was bothering him and Doll didn't want to be the one to remind him of his pain. "I think we're making twenty cookies. Grell said that this should come out to twenty four though," Doll had no idea what the difference was due to the fact that numbers meant nothing to her. She knew one through ten of course but anything more that was beyond her. Twenty may as well have been one million. Grell took out two eggs, handing one to each child. "Crack these into the bowl, careful not to get any shell into it though.

Doll looked down at the egg in her hands, wondering where it came from. Eggs came from chickens, the girl knew that much, but would there be a chicken inside of this one? "Isn't there a baby chicken in this?" Doll asked worriedly. She could hear Grell laughing, but the girl had no idea why. She shook it a bit to see if she could hear anything, but it sounded solid. "I don't want to hurt the chicken," Doll hated being in pain, therefore she had promised never to inflict it on anyone else, be it creature or man.

Perhaps it was already dead? The thought made her feel sick, handling a dead animal. She put the egg back on the counter. Grell quickly caught the oval as it rolled towards him and cracked it into the bowl. Doll leaned forward, seeing no baby chicken. She was suddenly very, very confused.

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It should have been funny, brought at least a smile to Zero's face. But he neither smiled nor laughed. Hr stared at the bowl. The egg. The egg does in the bowl. Simple enough. Zero reached for an egg then stopped when pain shocked through his chest and he gasped. For a second he couldn't breathe, his heart jolted like it wanted to pop.

Zero gripped the counter and took deep breaths but that was difficult when the air wasn't enough. He shut his eyes and counted in his head, tried to focus despite the dizziness. Little by little he could breathe a little better.

"...Need to sit..." He stepped from the kitchen and left them to their entertainments. He didn't want them to see him like this so he went off. He ascended the steps to their room and there was her bed. He approached it and without much though he collapsed on her bed and that's where he stayed.

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{ Bird Set Free | Sia }



Garamound]Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #66CDAA || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #008B8B


Zero didn't answer her question, rather, he picked up the egg, suddenly very focused at the task of putting the egg in the bowl. Doll tilted her head to the side in question, he began panting, as though it were incredibly hard to breath. "Zero?" Doll asked as the egg rolled off of the table, splattering against the ground. There was something terribly wrong, he seemed unfocused, unable to breathe. Doll ran after him, calling behind him. "Zero!" Doll yelled, bursting through the kitchen doors but he was gone. The Doctor very calmly went upstairs, kit in hand.

"What happened?" Doll asked, turning towards Grell whose expression was one of concern. "I don't know," Grell shook his head truthfully. Doll wanted to go after him, but Grell gently took her wrist, leading her back to the table. "Why don't we make him some cookies?" Grell suggested, his smile patient. "I'm sure it'll make him feel better." He knelt down to clean the egg from the floor. "These eggs aren't fertile, so their's no chance of there being a baby inside." Grell assured Doll, patting her head as though she were a little sister getting her hair ruffled.

Grell showed Doll the next few steps with patience. He could tell she was worrying and Doll tried to keep it from her face, smiling despite the fear she felt. They rolled out the dough on the counter and cut out shapes, placing them on a tray. The hardest part was the waiting for the cookies to cool so they could decorate. Doll did her best to make them festive, wanting to give one to every worker in the house. She wouldn't let Grell help her with this bit as Doll wanted to do it herself.

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Zero didn't stir from the clutches of sleep til he felt Doc grab at his arm, and he pulled it back. "The hell...?"

Doc stared at him, "You don't look so hot, mind telling me what's this about?"

Zero clutched at the pillow, "...Just need some down time, you can go now." He buried his face into the pillow.

"Zero."

"What?"

"This is Loretta's room."

"..." He knew that. He just didn't care.

"You got them really concerned. Do you recall our last discussion?"

Now he wanted to talk? The nerve of this guy.

"Zero..."

He grit his teeth, the pounding in his head was relentless and he could barely lift his head, "I don't care, get the hell out. I don't want to see you, hear you just leave me alone." Why didn't he take a hint? Was he stupid or something? Zero wasn't taking any more of his crap, he didn't care about Zero at all, all this was pretenses. Bullshit. "Just leave me alone." He picked up the blankets and pulled them over his head, back into darkness.

If Doc was mad or not, his problem. He could go back to whatever the hell he was doing, go back to his lab, Zero was done with him. As for Loretta, he didn't wan t to see her either, she was better off without him. All he did was screw up her recovery with his crap. What was he thinking of wanting to get close to her? They could never be anything, he lived in a world of hurt and he didn't want her suffering for it.

Maybe he had to learn to let go too. It was the same with... Ren. He still held on to the guilt of losing his kid brother, he failed him. What were the odds that he wouldn't mess up again and become Loretta's failure? He didn't want to have to go through that, he didn't want to lose someone he cared about. Not again.

Just need some rest, he couldn't even think straight when he was so wrung out like this. So he took a breath then another and sunk into the deep.

cron