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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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 days were slow, Zero didn't come, Ren avoided her, the only visitors she had were those of medical personal and Grell. "I'm sure he'll be awake soon," those were Doll's only updates. She would smile and nod, watch the door, wait for that flash of white hair that would reveal him but it didn't come. "We're gonna start your PT today," Doctor Atarashi said and Doll nodded her head. She was transferred to a wheelchair and they went to a different room, one with different instruments and tools that she had never seen before. They hadn't had anything like this at the rehab zoo, this was something completely different. No doubt Being's received stellar health care.

First they tested for feeling by putting little dots on her legs and sending small shocks of electricity up. "I can't feel it," Doll admitted, also a bit relieved. She didn't like pain, Doll had a very low tolerance for it. "That's alright, that's what we're here to fix." There was a little bit of feeling however, in her toes and when they shocked there she yelped and jumped, which prompted relieved sighs. "We can work with that," the doctor that wasn't Doctor Atarashi said. Then they did some other tests that involved bending her legs and wiggling her toes and whatever she couldn't make her body do the Doctor would do manually.

They outfitted her with odd braces that were incredibly uncomfortable and crutches to use for an hour every day. "We can make them any color you like," the nurse said with a bright smile and Doll tried to think about what color she'd like them. "Can you make them purple?" The Being nodded her head, her smile seemed fake somehow that Doll couldn't quite place. "That's a very popular choice," she worked some sort of magic and the leg braces were somehow now purple. That night when they thought she was asleep, the Doctor started talking to Grell. "Still nothing from Zero and Ren isn't willing to talk. I suspect he's the one that did this to him."

Her worst fears were confirmed, Ren had done this to his brother willingly. "We also had to restrain the nurse who took Loretta's blood. She went crazy after a whiff of it," crazy? Was it because she was a human? Doll felt scared. If one of the nurses went crazy so easily then no doubt this place wasn't safe either. "I've put the entire floor on lock down, only the most trustworthy personal can go in and out for now." Doll curled up further beneath the blanket, no, she wasn't safe here either, not even with Zero right across the hall.

"He's awake!" Grell burst in and Doll looked up from her crutches. She had been wrestling with them to try and walk across the room. "He is?" Her eyes lit up and she smiled, a few seconds later, Doctor Atarashi joined them in the PT room. "Is it true?" Doll asked eagerly and the Doc nodded his head, "yes, Zero is awake. So far he seems to be fine, I'm hopeful he'll be able to come and see you later. First though, PT."

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For a fully functional hospital, they seemed to be short on actual staff. He could count them on one hand, that was telling. Each door he passed should at least contain a patient. A name on the door. But the rooms were empty. There were no names. A good sign, it meant there were no sick or ill folk around. What was strange however was that the entire wing, on both sides was empty. It was just him and whoever Loretta was. Why the isolation? Did he get something he couldn't remember? Is that why Doc had questioned him?

Shit.

Zero shoved the IV on wheels forward. He wanted answers. He looked in the rooms for Doc but only found his lingering presesnce in the room with the solitary name, Doll. Another patient? The bed was disturbed, a pink plush toy, books and papers set on the side table, a long chair with a folded sheet and pillow. The windows open, letting in natural light. A warm sense of comfort wrapped around him, was it the aura of the room? Since when did a patient's room offer such a luxury?

"What are you looking for?" Ren's voice cut through his reverie.

Zero didn't immediately reply, he almost didn't want to. "What happened?"

"I asked first."

"No," Zero interrupted, "I did."

"You wore yourself out, I just helped you get the medical attention you needed." Ren was very close, close enough to whisper in his ear, "Don't scratch at the walls."

Zero sighed. Could he sound anymore cryptic? "There's gaps in my memory, did I hit my head?"

"How much do you remember?"

"Everything's still hazy, let me get back to you on that." He met his regard, it was oddly cool and distant. "What's going on here? There's a Loretta and a Doll and they're missing."

Ren shrugged. His nonchalant attitude was getting annoying. "I'm not their keeper. Maybe they're with Doc."

"Why is the floor nearly empty?"

"We have a hybrid on our hands, most patients and employees are like us. Get the picture." He reached out and took Zero's arm leading him out into the hall again. "Don't worry about 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


"Just a little bit father," the Doctor promised. She took another step forward, using the crutches and then trying to swing her body forward. "No, that doesn't count." Doll sighed and Grell brought her back a step. "An actual step," he prompted and Doll tried, she really did, but she couldn't. Her legs weren't cooperating and she ended up falling flat. "Alright, I think that's enough for today." Doctor Atarashi sighed and pushed his glasses up his nose. "Let me help you up," Grell said quietly and lifted her, putting her in the wheelchair. "I'm sorry, I tried, I really did." Doll said as the nurse removed the braces from her legs. "We know, you're doing your best." Doctor Atarashi said encouragingly.

"Can I go see him now?" She asked eagerly and Grell laughed. "I can see if he's up for it," Grell wheeled Doll back to her room, leaving the door open. Ren was blocking the doorway of Zero's room so that Doll couldn't see him. She felt excited though, she couldn't wait to see Zero again and tell him about all the things he had missed, about how Grell had taken her up to the roof where there was a little sanctuary garden and about the braces and all the cookies he had missed. "Do you want to go back in bed?" Grell asked and Doll shook her head. "No, that's alright. It's almost lunch time anyways." Which meant more soup and pudding.

"I convinced the cook to sneak in some cookies." Grell lifted the cover to reveal soup and a dirt cup, which was pudding with crushed cookies in it. He was joking of course since he was the cook. "Everything looks so good," her eyes lit up as she picked up her spoon. "Oh are you gonna go see if Zero is up?" Doll asked as Grell walked towards the door. The red headed Being nodded his head and smiled, "Yup, I'll be back in a jiffy." Doll had no idea what a jiffy was but she smiled regardless and watched him leave. What would she tell Zero about first? Maybe that she could write her name on her own. Both Loretta and Doll, she had it hanging up on the wall as proof.

Or perhaps she should show him the braces first? No, they had left those in the PT room so that was out of the question. Hmm what should Doll talk to him about? She had no idea, she was excited and also a little bit nervous in case he really was hurt by Ren.

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❝Wine always gets better with age...❞

[X Ambassadors — RENEGADES]

DIALOGUE COLOUR | #853c41

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"Why am I still here?" Zero asked this the instant Doc paced back into the room, his eyes trained on a chart in hand.

"Recent blood work," Doc said, more to himself, he plucked up the glass tablet and placed it on the table, scrolling through it for what was Zero's guess. "The numbers aren't high, it's a concerning matter."

"He's fine." Ren said, yet his gaze was off, mulling over something in his head.

"Yeah, I just needed some sleep and fuel, I'm good to go—" A nurse walked into the room, she held a set of blood bags in each hand. She placed them on the adjustable table, she gestured he take them.

Strange. Zero settled on the edge of the bed, both bags were marked O Positive and held no difference to the other far as he could tell, what was this an experiment?

But Doc wasn't even staring, he's still tapping into the glass, his face hard-set like he wasn't happy with whatever he was seeing. His silence unnerved Zero, this wasn't like him at all. "What's going on Doc? What numbers? What are you looking for?"

"Zero," Doc flipped through the chart and clicked a pen, he gestured to the blood bag on the left. "I want you to take that, tell me what think."

"Why?" Ren was closer, he leaned against the bed rail overlooking the set of blood bags. One was a little darker now that Zero gave it a look, the other lighter and yet they were both the same. He picked one up but Ren caught his hand, squeezed.

"Don't you wanna know what this is about?"

"Yeah, but I don't see the harm, it's just blood."

"You don't know what's in it—"

Doc cleared his throat, " You can cut the accusatory tone Ren, I'm in no way any threat against Zero, he's my son."

"No. He's not."

"Guys, I'm hungry. Whatever this is, let it go." Zero didn't care to want to know either, free blood wasn't something he'd pass up, no matter what was in it. Long as it didn't kill him. He freed his hand from Ren and worked the tube open so he'd suck down its contents. Blood, rushed down his throat and even though he'd long been familiar to its taste, he gripped at the bag sucking long and deep.

"Zero?" Why did Ren sound tense? Did he expect Zero to keel over?

The blood was alright, it tasted human, but that was it. Nothing about it stood out. He twisted the tubeand placed it down.

Doc scribbled his observations. "You didn't finish it."

Zero picked up the second back, pried the tube open and stuck the end between his teeth, he watched Doc's gaze, the same look he must give his rats when he was highly intrigued. What was the point of—Oh shit. The warmth of the blood hit him and it drew his attention like a fish caught in a net. The sheer heat and pull slithered down his throat. The more he swallowed the more its volume spread a fire through his veins. Energy sizzled and danced in his limbs, his heart lurched and he shut his eyes at the pleasurable feel of fullness in his stomach.

This blood was different, no it was better than different. He felt it down to the tips of his toes, it consumed him. Until the wave left him and he was cold. Opening his eyes, his shoulders fell. The bag was thin, sucked dry. He put the bag down and averted his gaze.

"That's telling." Doc said, he scribbled into the chart. "Now I understand your case. You've altered your physiological construct considerably. It's quite fascinating."

"What are you talking about? When did I alter myself in any way, Doc?"

Doc's gaze was like a focal beam of light on him, Zero frowned and stared back. "Well?"

"You truly don't remember." Not a question.

"There's a lot I don't remember, mind filling me in on what happened?"

Ren slammed his hand on the table. "I've lost my patience with you, get out everyone."

The nurse collected the bags but Zero caught the second bag before she could take it. He met her startled eyes. "This. I want more of this."

She nodded and drew back with the collected bags.

Doc placed dark shades on the side table, Zero was grateful. However there was a certain hard set in his eyes when he glimpsed at Ren, then he flipped the chart closed. "I'll be back after you rest Zero." He put the tablet back in the dock.

"Ren, we need to talk." Then he was gone.

Zero rubbed at his temples, he shouldn't have taken the blood like that, it was like he hadn't gotten enough and left him craving more. He wasn't gonna question Ren and his outburst, he wasn't up for it. He tore the blankets over himself and buried into the pillows. He closed his eyes and did that, he attempted to relax.

"When you're better. We're leaving." It was all Ren said, then silence.

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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


Grell returned looking a bit nervous. What was wrong? Doll craned her neck to see him, watching as he walked over to the table. "I'm sorry Loretta," he started and the butterflies went away. Her heart sunk, so that was a no? "He isn't feeling well right now, he's resting." Doll looked down, "That's alright. I'll just make him a picture then," she reached over for her coloring tools. She had to start over on her collection of favorite things, but Doll believed that it just gave her another opportunity to do better. A second chance, or perhaps this was really a third? Doll was unsure, but she knew she had more things to put in it.

"Are you gonna eat?" Grell asked, uncovering the tray with the untouched meal. "I'm not hungry right now," Doll replied. "You should at least try," so Doll picked up a spoon and ate some of the pudding Grell had specially made. Grell sighed, "it's better than nothing. How did I turn into a glorified baby sitter?" He rubbed his temples and Doll smiled up at him. "I guess it is sort of worth it," he said and ruffled her hair. "I made one for you too," Doll passed him a drawing. He smiled and folded it, tucking it into his pocket. "Can you give Zero his when he wakes up? And tell him I miss him?" Grell nodded his head.

"Yeah, I'll do it as soon as he's awake." Doll was glad, she had put a lot of effort into the picture. It was of the two of them and Isabel of course, she wrote their names over everything as a surprise to show that she was still practicing everything he had taught her. There was a knock on the door, Doctor Atarashi came in with a nurse. "I'm sorry Loretta, we're going to need to take some more blood." He apologized and Doll nodded her head. "It's okay," she rolled up her sleeve, her arm was already full of bandages. "We're going to try something else. See this? We call it a Barbie straw, it's so we don't have to keep sticking you and you won't have to take medicine by mouth."

No more bad tasting medicine? That was nice. She still didn't like needles though and the initial panic returned. "It hurts," she whimpered and Doctor Atarashi laughed. "I haven't even put it in yet," Doll opened one eye. No, the needle was already in. He was just doing that to distract her. The nurse taped it down and then Doll watched as the blood flowed into a bag. The color was dark, but Doll could still see the crimson quality and wondered if it was what all human blood looked like. Or was blood unique to the person? Doll thought back, the only blood she had ever seen was red.

"I feel dizzy," she said quietly. Tired too and Doctor Atarashi looked at the tray. He had Grell bring it over and then made Doll eat a few bites. "Better?" She nodded her head slowly. "You should rest," he said and Grell wheeled Doll over to the bed. He lifted her into it and Doll buried herself underneath the blanket. "Do you think he'll be up soon?" She asked and Grell nodded his head, "yeah, I'm sure he'll come around."

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❝Even the lost have a chance to be found...❞

[X Ambassadors — RENEGADES]

DIALOGUE COLOUR | #853c41

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The clock on the wall ticked ticked, it was too silent. There were faded voices but so far away and Zero couldn't take it anymore. He had managed to change out of dreary hospital gowns and into his shirt and jeans, he's pulled a jacket on and tugged a cap over his stark white hair. Ren was right, hospitals suck. When the coast was clear enough he stepped out the room and headed down the corridor. The shades hid his eyes and he was grateful for them, even so he still refused to meet anyone's direct gaze in case.

"Zero, hey." Shit. Grell. Now what? Zero stiffened, he'd been just a few meters from the stairs to freedom. No point running now. He drew a deep breath and slowly met the red-head. His hand clenched a large paper, it looked like it'd been scribbled in colors. He was looking worse for wear. What was that about?

"Hey, Grell, how's it going?" Zero smirked and readjusted the hat. Could this be any more awkward?

"Yeah, where are you headed?"

"Can't I go for walk? I"m not a prisoner here last I checked."

"What about Loretta, how long you're gonna keep her waiting?" He then held out the partially crumpled paper—drawing out for him to take. "She made this for you."

Loretta?

"Here."

Ok. Zero made the short cross over and took the drawing, she'd definitely drew his likeness, even his name along side hers. She had met him before.

"At least if you're running you could tell her good bye, you owe her that much." Grell didn't wait and just brushed passed him. Something wasn't right. He wasn't right and seemed too pissed off to explain.

"I don't..." Zero stared at the drawing as if it could give him all the answers. Why couldn't he remember the blonde haired girl in the image, much less the name? Who is Loretta? Did it matter anymore if he knew her or not? He had to go, Ren was waiting. Yet the way Grell had mentioned her, the same way Doc had. She wasn't an ordinary girl, something about her was special.

He folded the picture and tucked it into his pocket. Fine. He'd just have to find out. Ren would have to wait a little bit longer.

Zero headed back the direction he'd came and there was only one other room, the one with the name "Doll" on the door. Was this Loretta's room? Was she also a "Doll"? to the staff or was that her nickname? He approached the door, it was open and he peeked inside, there was a girl, fairly young inside. She was in a hospital gown, in bed and beside her the plush and the books. She had along the walls art work, a mixture of drawings and words she must have been practicing. A human who was allowed to write. That was new. Doc must truly favor her to allow it, wasn't that illegal? But the letters weren't their language, it was English, the old tongue of the human race. With practice she could write novels and stories. She could write their history if she wanted to.

It was odd, standing there. He was unsure what to say, or how to say good bye, especially to someone he couldn't remember. So why was he here? A part of him wanted to confirm that what Grell had said was true, another part of him was certain that maybe they'd met once, but he could only gauge the extent of that through her. If at all.

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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 had run out of her own clothes so for now she had to wear a starchy white hospital gown. It was uncomfortable and she could feel a breeze on her back, but Doll decided she would tolerate it because Doctor Atarashi had promised that they would wash her pajamas and bring them back. It was only a matter of time, Doll thought, it was only for today. Doll hugged the unicorn, wondering if she should draw the stuffed animal next. She smiled to herself, wondering what Zero would say the next time she saw him. She couldn't wait, her heart fluttered in that mysterious way and Doll couldn't wait to tell him about everything. Her thoughts cut to that day when he had rescued her and the last time she had been able to walk.

Running over, his arms around him, his warmth embracing her as their lips met. He had been so gentle, there was hunger, but also something else. Her cheeks flushed just thinking about it and she squealed, burying her face in the soft exterior of the unicorn. Luckily she was alone in the room, Grell had gone out to do something and only Doll remained. "I should read," she said quietly to herself and reached for the stack. She was still on the first book, working on a few pages a day. She had made a little marking to keep her place, something Grell and Doctor Atarashi had called a book mark.

"The little dog jumped over the fox," Doll read slowly, clumsily, aloud. She sounded out each word, tasting them on her tongue, letting it linger, then moving on to the next one. So many words, so many new words. What was a fox? Doll looked at the picture illustrating a small red animal and with delight she remembered seeing one skittering across the forest on a cool morning in England. She had only learned the name of the place from Madame Maddox. Doll shivered, she didn't like thinking about that woman, about that day.

The door opened, Doll expected it to be Grell so she didn't look up from her book, instead, reading aloud. "The two animals were very good friends." She ran her fingers across page, tracing the little dog chasing the little fox. Friends. That was the first time Doll had read it and it had been a difficult obstacle to overcome. She did it though, slowly and patiently. Doll looked up, wondering why Grell hadn't come to sit beside her only to realize it wasn't Grell at all but a certain white haired boy. "Zero!" Doll said excitedly, then hesitated. His warmth, it was different, almost reluctant if that made any sense. Still it was Zero and he was here.

With some difficulty, Doll managed to get herself into the wheelchair. Her legs were unwilling to follow any direction aside from the occasional twitch. "You came, I'm so happy you're awake." Doll wheeled herself over to him, her smile bright, eyes sparkling, expression full of warmth.

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❝No matter where I go, as long as I can see the sun in the sky, you'll always be there.❞

[X Ambassadors — RENEGADES]

DIALOGUE COLOUR | #853c41

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Not only could she write, but also read. She could read anything written in her language it seemed. She ceased to amaze. Then she looked up and her smile was instant. She didn't just know him, she was fond of him. A human girl, fond, of him? Shocking. Since when? Surely he'd remember a girl like her even looking at him without holding judgement, without the fear. There was a slight hesitance, something she must have sensed however short lived as it was she moved to a wheelchair. She'd been bed-ridden, was she very ill? Then she was wheeling forwards, eager to draw closer and he stayed put. He didn't shy from her.

She was more than glad to see him awake, even the smile threatened to melt the ice in him, he almost wanted it to. What could have possibly happened for him to forget her? Of all his memories, she was the one person he couldn't remember. Why was that? What sort of amnesia takes away one memory and leaves another?

"I'm sorry." Zero said, he shook his head and tried to smile but his lips barely twitched. There was nothing in him to smile for, this was just harsh. Maybe he shouldn't steal her warmth, maybe he shouldn't say anything at all. But why couldn't he avert his gaze from her? Those eyes, so beautiful, they shimmered like the ocean reflecting the light, and they were focused on him. "I don't deserve your kindness, it's just..." He wouldn't tell her, he couldn't tell her. He shook his head. "Never mind, forget it." He stared at the floor, she was really warm, so the lingering presence he'd sensed actually came from her. It wasn't the room after all. She must have some sort of power to do that, Ren had been right, Loretta was far more extraordinary than she seemed.

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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 stopped before him. He was there, standing, in outside clothing, but with an IV still in him. "How are you feeling?" Doll asked, he apologized and Doll tilted her head to the side in question. Was he apologizing for taking so long? "It's okay, you weren't doing well! After you went off to go to talk with Ren you got really sick and I was worried that you weren't gonna wake up." He did though and Doll was so relieved and happy that he stood before her once more, whole. "Where are you going?" Doll asked, having noticed that he was in street clothes. "Can I come too?" Was he going on a walk to the beach? Doll hadn't gotten to go there yet, she was stuck on this floor and the rooftop garden if someone wanted to take her up there. She mostly had either Grell or a nurse by her side and wondered if this was intentional.

"I've been reading a lot!" Doll wanted to suddenly tell him all about everything that he had missed, right there in the doorway. "And I've been practicing everything you taught me," yes, Doll was using the reading techniques that Zero had first given her. Thanks to him, Doll had something to do during those long, boring hours. What else could she tell him? Doll didn't want to bore him with details of small, not important things either. She had to edit her thoughts a bit, taking out the not so important stuff that could wait until later.

"I started learning to walk again too! They got me these weird brace things that go around my legs and they're purple." Oh no! She could've ommitted that last detail, that wasn't important for him to know. "I'm sorry, I must be overwhelming you with all of these things." Doll wiggled in the wheelchair, it wasn't exactly the most comfortable. Apparently the Doctor was having one fitted to her, it was going to be purple, Doll's favorite color.

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❝Crack me open and what you find is dust; remnants of a lost ghost.❞

[X Ambassadors — RENEGADES]

DIALOGUE COLOUR | #853c41

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How was he feeling? If he was being honest, he wasn't feeling anything at all. There was only the throbbing in his head but she didn't mean physically right? He wasn't about to delve into that. She seemed bemused at his apology and he remembered then that she had no clue of his windexed memories. Then went on to reveal that Ren had been the last to had seen him before he fell asleep. Had something happened prior that may have caused this obviously laser-guided amnesia? Maybe Ren had something to do with it. After all every time Zero mentioned it, Ren would try to deflect of completely shut him down. He'd have to confront the kid about it, this was getting too suspicious.

She wanted to know where he was going.

"Out. Ren's waiting." He really meant off land, he wasn't about to stick around on this weirdly isolated island. They had that underground lab back in town that was still waiting for them. It wasn't going to uncover its secrets itself. Like Ren had said, this was a job only they could finish.

She wanted to join them? Why? Wouldn't she be in danger with him? But then again, she saw him as a friend, or was there something else? The thing about memory loss was that he only had what he heard or observed from her to go on and so far it seemed like they'd established a more intimate relationship than his initial assumption and that was a little unnerving. The prey and predator, the lion and lamb... Friends. That sounded ludicrous and nearly fairy tale-like. And this wasn't some cheesy fairy tale. It just doesn't happen in their world. Ever.

Before Zero could tell her, no, she wouldn't be accompanying them because, one she couldn't even walk and two. she was putting herself at risk even talking to or being around them, him especially, she moved on to express her love of reading or learning to. Truly enthused over the prospect of forming sentence structures and recognizing words written by her late authors of another time. At least he could agree, reading edified the mind. "Keep practicing, if you'd like. Just don't share this knowledge with everyone." Not many beings would appreciate her utter shattering of her supposed "fixed" place in society by going beyond her role as the doctor's pet. No one would appreciate the little rebellious streak in her and would eat her alive for it.

She expressed excitement over her relearning to walk, he nodded. "Baby steps." So she liked purple? Not bad. She apologized again, was that a habit imposed by Doc? Was he constantly scolding her when she messed up, thus having her apologize for the slightest blunder? What an asshole. Then again, what scientist, being especially wasn't toward a supposedly "special" pet/test subject? Or any pet in that regards?

Still it was alright, she was happy at the very least. And her little bout of chatter had answered some of the many questions Zero had bubbling within him since awakening in a hospital room. She seemed to be the only candidate trustworthy enough to reveal her knowledge without a filter. Useful yes, and with no barrier he could question away. Only there was the issue of his inadvertently revealing his current predicament through questioning something he should already know. That'd only complicate things. Maybe it was for the best, right?

Glass cracked behind her followed by the flare of electrical currents. Ren? A bolt of raw adrenaline shot through Zero’s veins. He lunged forward, sighted on the girl, and wrapping her into a protective embrace he dove for cover. His vectors had also sprang out, caging her as they hit the floor, his arms and knees took the brunt of the fall. Above him, charged energies coupled with Ren's barely stable force shattered the windows projecting its jagged edges everywhere. Most of which pierced into Zero's flesh, he winced at the pain but it was nothing compared to what it would have done had she been exposed.

Zero spat out blood, his vision shifted, this wasn't good. What the hell was going on out there? What the hell was Ren doing? He checked the girl beneath him, she wasn't hurt too badly. "Are you okay?" His voice sounded hoarse, every instinct in him roared with an unbearable urge to protect her, he scanned up from the dust and debris. Voices and alarms pierced the once quiet hospital wing. White coated doctor was approaching, his concern bordered on terror perhaps for his pet. He'd be proud to know Zero had done his part in keeping her safe. Grell's energies spiked and he was moving fast, never straying far from her. She really was special wasn't she?

Zero didn't move, well, he couldn't, his body was locked into place, his primal attack mode activated. It felt almost familiar, like he'd done this before but when and why was lost to him. Didn't matter, whatever this was, he'd figure it out. First he had to ensure she was taken by Doc. Then, he'd go find Ren.

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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


Was it Doll or did Zero look blank? Lost? As though he were trying to follow along but had no idea how to keep up with her train of thought. Perhaps she was speaking about too many things at once and he had no idea how to address any of them? Doll suddenly felt bad, how terrible of her to be so inconsiderate! He had been asleep for a few days, no doubt Zero needed time to recuperate and become one hundred percent again. Maybe Doll should stay away in the meantime then, but the thought of doing so was too painful so she shook it out of her head almost as soon as the suggestion had come. Was there anything Doll could do in the meantime to make it more comfortable?

"Out? Where out?" She asked excitedly, wondering if she could go with him. It was boring on the hospital floor, only going back and forth from here to the PT room and sometimes to the roof. It was funny how before Doll had met Zero, moving meant danger and pain, but now it meant fun and a new adventure. The girl had gone from a stuttering wreck to someone who was slightly less terrified of the other species. Doll was still very much afraid of strangers, but she had also managed to open up with those she was comfortable with. The Doctor, Grell, Zero, and even Ren, although Ren didn't seem to like her at all. She had no idea why either, Doll had been nothing but kind to him and yet he was rude and mean.

He praised her for her reading, telling her to keep practicing. "I will!" Doll smiled, she didn't intend to stop reading anytime soon unless for some reason the Doctor suddenly opposed her learning a dead language. He was risking a lot letting Doll get away with learning to read and write and letting the doctors and nurses in the hospital see it. Without knowing to read this stay would have been very boring so far. Doll had only been able to keep herself entertained by reading and writing. She was still using the children's books that Doctor Atarashi had given Zero that day to teach her. "I won't," it was a secret, Doll was smart enough to tell that much.

Baby steps he said; yes of course. Start small, that's how all good things began wasn't it? Doll hoped so, she hoped that once she relearned to walk and was no longer wheelchair bound she would get to run on the beach and ride Isabel again. That would be fun, getting to saddle up the horse once more and ride around the estate back in wherever they had been before. It was odd that she didn't no the names of the places, aside from England because that one was especially prominent in some of her books. Oh! She also knew Africa and Alaska because she and Zero were going to go there one day on something called an airplane. She had been on it once before with Madame Maddox.

Doll wanted to ask something when she caught Zero's gaze and her eye widened, the wheelchair toppled over and Zero was on top of her, shielding her with his body and his Being gift. The window shattered, pieces of glass flying. There was a cut across her cheek, the scent of semi human blood now in the air. There was an alarm in the air, the same sort of whopping noise the firetrucks had made after the first time she had been kidnapped.

"Zero, you're hurt." Doll whispered, skinny but long fingers touching one of the wounds on him. Pieces of glass stuck out, jagged edges painted red.

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❝Here we'll start again.❞

[X Ambassadors — RENEGADES]

DIALOGUE COLOUR | #853c41

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Fire raked down his back where the sharp edges of glass had struck. His body worked in ridding the foreign objects but he quickly dispelled the sensory nerves from reacting to pain. He kept his focus instead on her, his heart pounded in his head and her words smothered the panic that'd froze him.

Have you ever felt so anxious that you shoot past terror and come out the other side?

"Miss Loretta... You're glowing."

Then you're no longer scared and you plunge into recklessness?

He brushed strands of blonde away from her eyes, his gaze intense, fixed on her. "I won't leave you. I'm gonna help."

In her presence there wasn't pain or agony or sadness, when she looked at him there wasn't fear or hatred or disgust all words he'd describe himself within. She was someone he'd keep in his life. Even if she belonged to another. If only he could remember her, if only he could place this strange connection he felt to her. Why he was so drawn to a human girl. Why Doc's pet? These questions whirled in his head joining the rest that remained unanswered.

Pushing off the glass covered floor he scooped her up into his arms. For a second the room swept from him and he touched one of his vectors to the wall to keep steady.

"It's alright." Hopefully she wasn't alarmed, Doc had mentioned something about numbers but as far as he knew he'd be fine. When the room fell still he took a step and then another, boots crunching pieces of glass. They had to get out of here and move her to another room. Figure out from there what had happened outside.

Doc and Grell were there seconds later, Doc took her and was engulfed by cloud of blue clad scrubs. He gave instruction and was gone before Zero could explain.

Hands tugged him back and he realized he'd been following. Grell pushed him into a chair, another nurse worked on removing his shirt, she asked questions, but he couldn't hear them over the pounding in his head. She was then very close, gloved hands picked away at tiny shards from his skin.

"What happened?" Zero stared at the floor, looking up was difficult when he could barely focus.

His vision faded in and out, his eyes hurt from the light. But when the floor turned from its pale sandy tone to a solid grey, the edges of his boots well defined by natural nocturnal vision he sat up. They were in the pit of darkness.

"Grell?"

"Zero stand, we have visitors."

Screams erupted from down the hall and Zero stood only to crash into the redhead. He worked the muscles, he had to reign in the extra limbs, they took up too much blood for their use. "What about...the girl?"

Grell helped him stand. "We're transferring her."

"It's one of our kind." The nurse said, but she stepped back. "I'm not getting involved in this."

Something was out there. Its menacing vibe prevented Zero from shifting back. It was impossible to ignore its murderous intent.

"I've never seen anything like this." Grell moved swift in motion, readying for battle.

Despite the pain Zero stood his ground. The blood stopped flowing and feeling returned. He focused on the mass of vile energy across the hall. At the edges of his hearing a voice shouted, "We lost power, someone activate the generators!"

Had to be Ren but where was he now? He'd been outside, he better be alright. He'd have to find him but first they had to deal with this creature that was anything but human.

Zero gripped at Grell's wrist, tight. "Let me." Then he moved ahead facing the creature without a second hesitance. He shot out a piercing blow of his own lethal intent further exciting their newest threat.

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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 it that her heart seemed to stop when he was so close? His breath was warm and his red eyes stood out against that pale, snow white hair. Fire and ice, rage and kindness all built up into one person that made Doll feel strange things she had never felt before. He said something, something about her glowing and Doll couldn't speak. He was close, so close and yet... somehow he was still so far away. "You're bleeding," she reached up with a shaky hand to touch his cheek, pushing back his hair and leaving a streak of red where her palm was bleeding, the smell of blood permeating the air.

The only thing she could smell, however, was him. The scent of hospital soap,paper gowns, and him. He wanted to help her, but Doll didn't know what he was referring to. What did he want to help her with? "Zero, there's glass." She said, terrified of the shards that were embedded into his skin, lacerations causing open wounds. That was no good, he could get an infection. He lifted her up, carrying Doll with her useless legs, boots crunching on glass like broken bones. The door opened, Doctor Atarashi and Grell appeared and soon she was swarmed by a cloud of buzzing concern.

"Wait-" her hand fell from his as she was pulled away. "Zero!" She called after him but they heeded no attention to her cries, opting to carry her away to a room whose windows hadn't been shattered, where blood didn't stain the walls and glass the beds. Doctor Atarashi assessed her wounds. Her ears were still ringing from the explosion, but the only sound she could hear was his voice in her head. Zero wanted to help her, but she didn't understand. They were moving again, faster this time, to a room with no windows and only one door. There was a boy in there, a familiar human with two colored eyes. "Doll," he greeted with a cheeky grin.

"Xavier," she smiled. He had come to visit her here and there between trying to decide what he wanted to do with his life. The Doctor had brought him along, but he wasn't allowed to leave, not in a place where another Being could so easily pick him up and turn him into their toy. "Do you know what's happening? No one will tell me anything?" He shrugged his shoulders, "about the same for me. They said to stay here, haven't heard anything since." Doll was placed on a stretcher, there wasn't a wheelchair in this room. Perhaps the Doc had ordered them not to, knowing that she would leave to find Zero.

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❝Loss through victory.❞

[X Ambassadors — RENEGADES]

DIALOGUE COLOUR | #853c41

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Dust and old blood smeared and splashed across the walls, the floor. The fight had lasted several moments, Zero had blacked out then, only remembered the rush of pure fury riding him hard. Until he'd torn through the beast, ripped it apart with his bare hands. He'd felt the intensity of such raw human emotion once. Then he'd also torn through a being, a woman, Madame. She'd deserved no better fate. After all, she'd taken joy in his agony. Sweet utter joy. His hands were stained in blood so dark it looked like oil. He understood now. The joy that came in violence. It was pure, unlike other things, direct. It was the only assurance, it'd never betray; what's dead stayed dead. Facts of life. Yet for so long he'd believed Ren had died. Only to find out years later the son of a gun was kickin'. What hurt more, that he'd thought he'd lost Ren, or that Ren never once looked for him? Guess some things are more important than family. Not that their kind had any values to start with.

"Zero, it's over. We have to go." Grell was right there, standing in front of him, watching with little emotion.

Clenching and unclenching his fists, Zero nodded. Of course there was more to do, the hits keep coming. His stomach rolled, like most beasts this one had fed on dead man's blood. Must have been a hunch man or lackey. They don't get live blood. Zero groaned and moved, on his hands and knees he couldn't hold back. His stomach heaved and the heat of bile and mixed plasma rose up his throat and out. He coughed and sunk into the floor away from the mess, he trembled.

"Zero, we have to go—" Grell shifted and moved to grab Zero. The lights flared across the hall painting the horror to life. He shut his eyes against the image, against the sting of it. It was best to get out before Doc saw him like this. No, no one should see him like this. All fucked up, but he always was and he hated it.

Grell dragged him to another room, dropped him into the bed. "Stay." The single word left him in a hiss, so he was pissed huh? Wasn't that a surprise?

"I'm not your fucking dog." He bit back, tensing when a wave of pain washed through and he struggled to shut down the part of him awake to it.

"You're stupid, you gotta be kidding me that you're blind to the shit Ren did."

What? What about Ren?

"What are you...?" Words tangled on his tongue, pricked like nettles and his throat tightened. Where the hell is Ren for fuck's sake? Why wasn't he here? Zero's fingers clutched at the fabric he lay on, knuckles white against the black. He swallowed and made to move but it only made his world turn violently and he groaned. His insides tightened, threatened to make him hurl again. Shit.

"Ren, I'm talking about him. If you know what's missing, get it back." Grell cut through his haze, "You're not a victim, don't you dare make yourself one."

It was Ren, his gut instinct said so, Grell just confirmed it and yet it twisted in his chest, a pain that tore at the hole eating him alive. He coughed up blood and spat on the floor, his legs pulled in, he couldn't get up, he couldn't break from the frost spreading like a winter storm. He missed the numbing embrace of alcohol, now more than ever he craved it.

"he's still on site, I sense his presence."

So did Zero, his brother was lost in a storm of his own mess. He was also battling the things that came with the night, whoever let them lose was clever. But why and for what purpose would they want to attack a hospital? Zero's head throbbed as though he was hung over, his veins ached from the blood loss. Hunger unfurled in him and replaced the chill with intense heat, fire scorching him from the inside.

"I'll return, I have to find Doc."

Zero nodded but the movement made the nausea worse. Eyes closed he listened to the voices of nurses and staff relaying info, they got power but they had intruders wrecking havoc. Security was dispatched and the island's only hospital was soon gonna be scoured with even more powerful beings, taking control of the situation. A name floated up from the murmurs, Lord Grace. Oh, he's found them, he's come for the kid. It was only a matter of time.

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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


Lights flickered like stars, the room went dark, then the lights returned, illuminating everything in the thick artificial fluorescence. There were noises outside, horrible screams like a banshee that made Doll cower and shake, it sounded like a wild beast had entered the building, tearing limbs, drinking blood, the sound of padding footsteps growing closer only to turn away. Xavier seemed just as frightened, pushing himself into the wall to make himself smaller. The two waited in silence, every breath baited, every blink knowing that it could be the last. The door didn't open, it remained shut and that in itself was terrifying. Neither dare not to make a sound until there was a final terrible scream. Then the door opened, Doctor Atarashi was there, hands deep in blood. "Come," he gestured to both of them, then as though remembering, rolled in a wheelchair that miraculously survived the thrashing.

The entire floor was war zone, dead nurses and doctors, the remains of a Being torn apart and standing there in pristine starched glory was a man in a gray suit. He was unrolling his sleeves as though he had actually fought, a dark grin in his face. "Oh good, you've brought him." He stepped back and the elevator doors opened. Doll felt sick, the smell of blood was thick in the air. "We're going," Doctor Atarashi walked right past him into the elevator, Xavier going with them. Lord Grace stuck his foot out, an oxford keeping silver from shutting in his face. "One please," he said pleasantly. The doors shut, trapping them all inside. "She'd make a beautiful piece to my collection."

"She's not for sale," Doll's heart thumped in her chest, nerves making her palms sweat. "I could simply take her from you," Lord Grace said as though speaking of the weather. "Go ahead and try, there's a hell hound protecting her." Zero. Doll's breath caught in her throat, the mere mention of his name enough to make her head spin. Was he alright? Was he the source of the screaming? The doors opened, they rolled out. "I wouldn't want something defective anyhow," he stuck his foot into one of the wheels and the whole chair tipped over, sending tumbling out and sprawling on the ground. "Crawl you dog," he nudged her in the ribs with his foot. "Filthy mutt," his words stung like alcohol in a cut.

"Leave her alone," Xavier growled, stepping between them. "Xavier-" she stopped, looking up. "Oh look at you? Spend a month away from home and you've suddenly grown a pair." Lord Grace walked in a circle around him. "It will be a pleasure breaking you in again." Doctor Atarashi set the wheelchair upright and lifted her, placing the girl back inside. "Xavier, please take Loretta to the beach. I'm sure she'd enjoy it," the Doctor rolled up his sleeves. "Don't look back," he warned them and then they were off. They went around the corner, where there was a wheelchair friendly boardwalk. "What did he mean?" Doll asked, feeling shaken.

"Don't listen to him," Xavier said through clenched teeth. Tears stung her eyes and the world blurred. "Hey," Xavier placed a hand on her shoulder. She squeezed the fabric of the hospital gown in her hands. "I'm so useless," Xavier came around the front, kneeling beside the chair. "It's not your fault," he shook his head. "There's nothing we can do, we're just humans."

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❝For the longest, I'd forgotten myself.❞


[RED ¤ HYMN FOR THE MISSING]

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#853c41



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Several meters ahead, there it stood. A parasite already shifted into attack mode. Once human form morphed. The torso and limbs extended into long whip-like stalks, each razor-sharp blade at the ends. The eyes, crimson and obsidian, much like Zero's at the brink of madness. Fixed on him with a sort of frenzy Zero could for once find common ground with. He wanted to tear it apart just as much as it did him. Where it came from or why it chose to attack was beyond him.

Zero lunged forward, thoughts silent he pulled in vectors at the last second, struck without a second's hesitance. The creature like all the desiccated ones that littered the ground, collapsed. Dead before it hit the ground. Doc's signals thrummed at the edges of his senses, as well as a more foreign one. Who he couldn't tell, why it was here of all places, what did it matter anymore? Attacks by strange entities for whatever reason was becoming a norm.

Nowhere was safe. Best to accept that and move on.

Red painted the halls. Tainted his hands. Stains on top of more stains. Zero destroyed what remained of the glare above. Just for the satisfaction of something breaking. Music, more music, it'd kill the silence. Anything but the void. Yet, the quiet in his head was just the surface. Everything beneath was gone. At some point, between Grell's leaving and Zero's losing consciousness. Something had changed.

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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


In the end she was only a human, powerless to do anything in the face of the enemy. Doll wasn't strong or brave, she was human, a lowly, pathetic dog on the bottom of the food chain. Doll squeezed her hands into fists, half of her body wasn't even working, she had two useless legs, leaving her at a severe disadvantage. "I can't protect them, even after all they've done for me." Doll said, placing her hands against her chest. Xavier pushed her wheelchair away from where the battle was happening, sand crunching under wheels. Her breaths came out in quick, sharp, needles. Something in her head pulsed, making her spin. "Doll?" Xavier asked, but Doll couldn't answer. "Hey," he grabbed hold of her shoulders, kneeling in front of the wheelchair. "Hold yourself together." He said, shaking her slightly.

"Tch, can't deal with this now." He wheeled her away faster, knowing that soon the battle would be starting and that they had to be out of range if they wanted to live another day. "I'm... okay." Doll eventually said, hugging her arms. "Don't scare me like that," Xavier sighed, shaking his head. They were far down the boardwalk now, hiding underneath a wooden hut that had been built to take shelter from the sun and sudden, possible rain. "Are we going in here?" Doll asked as Xavier wheeled her in. "Yeah, we're gonna wait out the fight here. Hopefully once it's over and the Doc wins, we'll be able to go back." Doll shook her head, "The hospital isn't gonna survive. Not if Zero is in there," she shivered, a flashback of the first time she had been kidnapped, how he had told her to run and not to look back.

Doll hadn't dared to look behind her, but the road ahead hadn't exactly been startlingly beautiful either. Corpses had lined the floors, slippery with blood. She remembered falling, tripping over ripped limbs, sliding across pools of crimson and a chill had crept up her spine. Almost as quickly as it had come, the glimpses were gone. No longer could Doll remember that night, only a vague sense of cold as she had knelt in the snow, a terrible fear looming over her like a dark shadow. "We're safe as long as he's watching over us." Doll smiled, that much she knew was true. Zero had been acting strange though, oddly distant. Had Doll done something? Had he tired of her and was distancing himself to prepare for when he got rid of her?

There was the sound of an explosion, or perhaps one of the Being's attacks and Doll jumped, the wheelchair toppling over. She squeaked as she fell, the chair clattering on top of her. It wasn't the first time that this had happened, the other day Doll had seen a shadow and gotten so excited that it may have been Zero, she tried to turn the wheelchair too quickly and fell. Since then, Doll had been working in PT on how to right herself should something like this happen. "We may need to go farther away," Xavier suddenly said, panicked. He lifted Doll up, placing her back in the chair and breaking into a sprint. "What's wrong?" Doll asked, attempting to remain calm. With a burst of wind and speed, the chair toppled over once more. Doll was whacked against the railing, a cry ripped from her body as she fell, her hospital gown tearing. She opened her eyes, her teal orbs widening further as she screamed.

"Xavier!" He had been pierced through the middle, blood spouting from his lips. "I'm... okay," he gasped, his blood speckling her face as he fell. "No, no, no! You can't die. No, please, don't leave me." She crawled over pathetically, her legs scratched by unpolished wood. Doll sat up, placing Xavier's head in her lap. "It... s'okay." He coughed and Doll wiped the blood that was dribbling down his chin. "Just... hurts." He winced and Doll looked around frantically. She pressed her hands against the wound to keep him from bleeding out. "Help!" Doll screamed, hoping to whatever higher power that Xavier wouldn't perish. "Crawl away you pathetic dog." A burst of wind came at her, throwing Doll back. The Baron stood before her, placing a polished shoe on Xavier's body as though claiming him like some sort of prize.

"You won't die boy, not unless I let you." He dug the tip of his shoe into the bloody mess and Xavier cried out in pain. "Stop that!" Doll screamed, "You're hurting him!" The Baron glanced at her, a sidelong disinterested glance. "It's too bad you're a mutt," he said, suddenly grinning. "You would have bred beautifully." He raised his hand, preparing for another attack when something hit him in the side, sending him flying over the railing and towards the beach. "Doctor Atarashi," Doll breathed in relief. "Sorry Ms. Loretta," he apologized. "I didn't think the fight would get this far."

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❝I have lost the ways of men...❞


[RED ¤ HYMN FOR THE MISSING]

DIALOGUE
#853c41

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They were all destroyed. The ones in blue, white, gowns, the ones on tubes and machines. The entire building silenced. Daunting how much destruction their kind had caused. When at one point they were allegedly the superior race. They were no better than the humans. Of course, Zero watched it all through a haze. Every kill, every swing of his vectors tearing away at members of his own kind. A monster killing monsters.

It was like observing one of them only the one doing the killing was himself, provoked or not. He latched to the pull of another signal and raced up the steps that lead to the roof. Someone forgot to invite him to the rooftop party.

More desiccated remains littered the ground. The monsters had attacked the weaker among them.

"Zero, what happened?" Ren stood at the other end, blocking the few remaining. "Running in reptilian mode now?" Was that doubt or alarm bleeding into his voice?

He didn't ask, no, he couldn't. So he moved out and attacked the closest one.

Ren finished off his side of the roof. Perhaps with more ease than usual, well he did have more practice in that department didn't he? All these years that'd been his drive. More than family. More than him. When Zero looked at him, his chest tightened and his limbs tensed and burned.

He shut it down. Let the wave toss and tumble above. Let the deafening roar take over. Let the ice spread from within and take with it the burden. More things he had to accept. Like his nature.

Glimpses of Ren seared through the cover of black. Eyes evolving to their true state. Volts sparking from strange hands. Words of self-control, or illogical reasoning none the more subtle hung in the air. Waiting for something to spring forth from it. These things were their default, at least Ren thought so.

But in this abyss, the one Zero turned to, it was the most natural place. Here he couldn't feel a damn thing.


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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


"Please, we need to help him." Doctor Atarashi was panting, he looked as though he had been clear through the ringer, except they had yet to get to the other side. "I'm sorry Loretta," Doctor Atarashi pulled something from his pocket, stabbing it into Doll's shoulder and pressing something. Her eyes widened, her head spinning, heart thumping. Doll's pupils grew smaller and she drew upwards, standing in a trance. She shouldn't have been, she was going to injure her body, but whatever the Doctor had done it was too late to take back. As though hypnotized Doll moved, closing in on the enemy. The Baron stood, laughing at the pathetic sight he saw before him. "You, a mere human think you can stand up to me?" He asked, blasting wind like knives. It cut into her skin, tearing through the hospital gown and leaving but a shred that covered her up.

Doll moved her fingers, the blood droplets separating from sand and shooting out like needles, hitting the Baron's skin. "Tch, damn dog." The Baron wiped at the lacerations, seeing blood. He leaped forward, using his Being power to hit her. Her skin burst wherever he touched, blood staining her body, covering her in shimmering crimson skin. Like a puppet she moved, manipulating her own plasma. With a flick of her wrist the Baron's hand disappeared, falling the same way an acorn fell to the ground. His screams of rage filled the air, a terrible sound that vibrated within her. Another flick, blood spouting like a fountain across his neat charcoal suit. "I won't lose to you," he growled, using his Being ability to blind her with dust and wind. Doll didn't make a sound as her vision blurred, a burning pain in her eyes.

She used her own blood to part the storm, sending one final blast towards him that sliced at his throat. His head fell back, a ball rolling across the playground and into the salty ocean. Doll's body gave out, sinking as gravity began tugging at her very existence. "Loretta!" Doctor Atarashi called, catching her as she dropped. He took something out of his pocket, trying to wipe the sand out of her bleeding eyes. She was limp, like a doll, her body feather light. Her legs were black and blue, coated in red, her whole body, coated in red. "I shouldn't have used it, it was a mistake." He murmured, carrying her back to the boardwalk where the remaining staff from the hospital were. Xavier was laying on a stretcher, being wheeled away. Doctor Atarashi had performed a maneuver right then and there to preserve the boy, using Loretta to buy them both some time.

He hadn't expected the girl to kill him, no, he had simply been stalling for time to get them all out alive. Seeing her performance had left him with more questions than answers, no more pieces to the puzzle uncovered than they had been before. In fact, he was sure he had lost a few them underneath the metaphorical table. "Stay with us," Doctor Atarashi placed her down on a stretcher. The hospital was in ruin, a tent set up a few meters away to provide first aid. Being's were first priority, as always, but the Doctor couldn't lose his charge. He had to find Zero, although he believed the boy to be in good hands with Grell there to protect him.

As predicted, the tent pushed the Doctor out. There were police at the scene, the military showing up to try and figure out what exactly had just went down. Frustrated, it took quite the nagging to get them to set up a tent for the two human casualties. As Xavier was looked at, Doll was cleaned off. A few remaining nurses lent Doctor Atarashi a hand, stripping off what was left of the hospital gown and immersing her in a tub of water. They believed the girl to be in a state of shock, Doctor Atarashi knew better. He said nothing as they used solution to get the sand out of her eyes, gently closing them and wrapping a bandage around her head to keep them shut for the moment.

Out of his pocket came another syringe, another injection. Doll gasped for air, breathing as though alive for the first time. "It's dark," she whimpered, feeling a blanket being wrapped around her bare shoulders. She clung to it, her fingers shaking. There were bandages wrapped round the cuts and slices on her body. "What happened?" Doll asked, her voice a whimper. "I-I can't remember." She felt a hand on her head, smoothing her hair back. "You hit your head and lost consciousness after the Baron attacked." Doctor Atarashi's voice was there, speaking in calming tones. Doll believed him because she had nothing else to believe. It made the most sense, at least. Doll, a weak, pitiful human knocked out by a strong Being.

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❝There is a certain degree
of madness in us all.❞


[Hozier - Arsonist's Lullaby]

DIALOGUE
#853c41


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He wanted to break. Wanted Ren to break him. If Ren didn't then Zero would end up killing him. Ren hadn't been wrong in his guess, Zero wasn't himself, or was he? Running on nothing but the fire fueling him, he struck relentless and unforgiving. It's as though he'd replaced any affection he'd once held toward him into something long buried. The truth burst with every punch, every swipe of his vectors.

Ren however didn't crack, he met Zero at every hit and kept nothing back. He sent volts jolting through Zero as if that could stop him. The blows didn't register and wouldn't, not after he'd turned off the nerve receptors. But if Ren noticed he gave no indication, he continued holding up strong.

"Zero, come back!" The words strung in the air then fell away like dust. They meant nothing. Not anymore. He wouldn't go back to the way he was, not now or ever. Wasn't is better this way?

"There's nothing to come back to."

"You're lying to yourself."

"Just like you lied to me, for years." He landed a solid strike toward Ren's torso, ripping away. "You're a ghost."

Ren gripped at Zero's throat, white sparks crackling the air. "Is that what this is?"

Zero ran him through with the edge of his vector, blood seeping from Ren's lips. Yet he didn't even flinch. "I've been sharpening them for years."

"I've been getting revenge for the both of us." Ren sounded a little angry or was that disappointment? Did he honestly think that was what Zero wanted? Wrong.

Zero choked a laugh. "Look who's delusional now."

Ren turned his attention away. "Stay out of this Red man. It's between us."

Grell's signals were spiked and frantic. Zero grinned. The taste of it better than blood almost. "Let him join the party, it'll be fun." Zero ripped at Ren's wrist, bone snapped and the limb tore. The hand writhed once severed from its host. He tossed it away. But of course it crawled up in a heap of shattered bone and active muscle magnetizing back to Ren."Where are you going?"

Zero stood at the edge of the building, below near the beach, another set of their kind—no, the girl. She was emitting a signal unlike any he'd ever sensed from her.

"Zero!"

He leaped off the roof, landing into the concrete with enough force to shatter the surface, then bolted. He wasn't sticking around, not while there was a chance at capture.

Ren's signals were close, why couldn't he just disappear again? There was only one way for this to go.

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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 can't I see?" Doll asked, whimpering in pain. Doctor Atarashi gave her something to ease up on it, trying to reassure her that it was only temporary. "It's because of the injury," he explained. "After some eye drops, by tomorrow you should be good as new." He meant vision wise of course, the other injuries would take a bit longer. Had Doll been a regular human, she would have died from the wounds that had been inflicted upon her. Xavier had nearly perished with one of those hits, imagine a human body withstanding four of them. It wasn't any normal human durability and it wasn't something Doll could really understand. The girl was laying on her side on a stretcher, bundled underneath two blankets since blood loss made her cold.

The tube in her chest that Doctor Atarashi had put in was mid blood transfusion, two bags of plasma prepared to be given to her. It was a special formula, both human and being that Doll couldn't see. Only few were privy to enter the tent, no one from the mainland hospital or emergency services. Doll was unaware of all of this, the precautions that were being taken to keep her invisible. To her and outsiders, she was just a weak human whose legs weren't working very well. "Is Zero... is he okay?" Doll asked, feeling something cold and metal against her chest. "I don't know," Doctor Atarashi admitted. Doll felt cold, but this time, it wasn't because she had no clothes. "Where is he?" Doll inquired slowly. His absence was like the ocean, vast and drowning.

"Last I heard from Grell they were still inside the building." Someone came into the tent. It was funny how losing one sense made your others so vigilant. Sounds were too loud, smells too flavorful, touch too sensitive. Even if it was only temporary, the body adjusted to make up for the loss. "It's cold," Doll shivered, her teeth chattering. It was a warm day out in reality, the weather was quite nice should one want to go for a stroll. Someone was walking towards the stretcher, their footsteps uneven on the pavement. "I've brought some clothes," a female voice said and Doll tried to sit up, but she felt weak. "Don't move," Doctor Atarashi placed a hand on her shoulder. "But-" Doll started. "I'll allow the nurse to get you dressed, but if you move around too much your stitches might open."

So Doll tried to remain still, an odd disquiet that settled stomach at the darkness that enveloped her. Her tongue tasted like ashes, no doubt it was coated in sand, her hair felt odd from the salty air whipping it to and fro. Doll had never been to the ocean before, the battle was the closest she had ever come to the vast blue and even then she couldn't remember it. "Can I have water?" Her throat felt dry, like it had been replaced with sand paper. "You can't swallow it," Doctor Atarashi warned, tipping a cup up to her lips. Doll swished and spit, her tongue still tasting odd despite the fact that she had gotten rid of the sand. Redressed in clothing she couldn't see, Doctor Atarashi made her lay back down.

"Zero," Doll whispered, her hands clutched against her chest. Saying his name brought butterflies to her stomach, fluttering around in a cacophony of soundless disaster. "Please be alright."

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❝The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God's name is Abraxas.❞
—HERMANN HESSE

[Hozier - Arsonist's Lullaby]
DIALOGUE
#853c41

¤¤

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Her voice. A whisper that rang out among the roar. The familiarity pulled him in. He pushed his momentary lapse of control on the backburner. He'd deal with Ren later. Right now, there was a girl. The one who called for him. Her signals were the ones he'd found easy to grasp; as though taking an offered hand. But she was inside one of the tents and treated for injuries. Did one of his kind hurt her? Why would they? Too many gaps in his memories he couldn't fill, and the memories he did have were ones he wished had vanished. He pulled in his vectors and sunk into one of the empty chairs outside. He wasn't about to walk in looking like a war zone survivor. Not the sort of image worth imprinting on her. Not that it mattered, they weren't human.

Still, didn't feel right.

"Doc... You suck at your job." Zero said. "No matter where we go, shit follows." He pushed tangled hair out of his eyes, rubbed at the tightness in his neck. "Who was that bastard Loretta ganked? What did he want?" Bet he came for them, was he another creepy collector? Set on a hunt to catch 'em all? Try stealing one or all of them and putting them to some sick torture for kicks? Was he in the same club as Madame Red? Was there even a club? Zero shuddered at the thought.

"He came for the human." Ren was approaching, accompanied by Grell. The two having formed some kind of insta-bond at some point. Great, now they could party.

"Should've known bringing him along was a bad idea." Did Zero feel anything admitting this? Nope. Just facts. Yet, he'd offered to help the kid in the first place.

"Zero." Grell quirked a brow and shot him a mean look.

"They're safe, and the enemy was indeed eliminated." Ren sounded so sure of himself.

Zero rubbed at his face, it didn't mean there wouldn't be others, coming to look for the asshat. And if he was some huge honcho, then they'd a have a hell storm after them. The Beings weren't fond of the slaughtering of their own VIP folks. They had strict laws and harsh punitions against indiscriminate assaults—but only toward the higher up ranks. No one gave a crap about the low-tiered bunch. It's how Zero and Ren's favorite fight club was kept under wraps and never exposed. Didn't matter who knew, who attended, it was just for sport. It made a sour taste in his mouth remembering it, so he focused on something else.

"Doc, how soon can we relocate?"

Grell crossed his arms and shook his head, "Not anytime soon, not with her condition."

"We don't have to stick around," Ren said, his expression and tone distance, grim. "If it ensures our survival, then a severance is in order. I for one—"

"Then go, that's all you know how to do. Run." Zero shot him a cutting glare. "You just cut ties when shit gets real and it's every man for himself. Jerk."

"Bitch."

"Your mother."

Ren stared, incredulous. "We have the same mother."

Zero met and held his regard. "Shut up!"

"That's enough, you guys gotta stow your crap and get your shit together." Grell cut in. "We're not splitting up."

"I don't take orders from you, Red Man."

Zero tore off his boot and hurled it at Ren. "Stop being a dick!"

Ren dodged the flying old boot. "You suck."

"Screw you." Zero didn't toss his other boot, he sighed heavily and buried his face in his hands.

Ren snorted, "Someone needs a hug."

Grell sighed. "You two, are beyond ridiculous."

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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 feel of fabric on top of the bandages was something she had grown used to. It seemed that Doll had always had bandages, that they were as much a part of her as hair or nails. Doll tried to sit up, but her head was spinning. "Don't," Doctor Atarashi said. The darkness enveloped her, sending a chill up her spine. Doll was afraid of the dark, she was afraid of not being able to see the monsters that lurked in it. "You can't go anywhere anyways." He said, pointing out her useless legs. Doll lay back down, the tug of the IV reminding her that she was still in the middle of the blood transfusion too. "Ready for transport," an unfamiliar voice said. They left the tent soon after. Doll lay still, still shivering; someone lent her a blanket, draping the soft woolen sheet over her body. She clung to the edges of it, needing something to hold onto, feeling wholly unsteady.

Doll heard a rustling outside of the tent. "Zero," she breathed, hearing his voice. The cold began to thaw and even in her darkness she could feel the warmth of him being close. Doll tried to sit up again, but she felt disoriented and dizzy. "Loretta if you don't lay down, I'm going to strap you down." The Doctor warned, but Doll needed to see him, to be close to the sunshine that would take away the darkness. "I need to-" she started when she felt the hand on her shoulder. "Don't make me sedate you," this was enough to make Doll stop. "Zero, can I go to him?" The Doctor was silent for a moment. "Wait five more minutes," he said.

It was agony. Every second that ticked by, the only sound being the trickle of the IV pump infusing the plasma she had lost. There was a void of sight, but of sound there was plenty. She could hear three male voices outside, arguing, more than just the normal banter, they sounded mad. What was wrong? Had something happened? Was someone hurt? Zero, was he alright? Her heart thumped painfully in her chest. She wanted to go to him, even if she couldn't see him. It was scary, in this temporary darkness, Doll could already find herself forgetting. What did Zero look like? She clung to the image of him laughing, the sharp curve of his cheeks, the snowy white hair that framed the startling red eyes. Doll held onto the image for dear life, like a safety raft in the middle of a darkening ocean. She was slipping, her hands no longer able to hold onto the colorful flotation device and drifting down, down, down.

There was a beep, the sound loud and piercing through her mind like a painful spike of white. "Your five minutes are up," Doctor Atarashi said. He disconnected Doll's port from the IV, cleaning the end and capping it. "Can I... go to him now?" She felt herself being lifted, moved from the stretcher to the wheelchair. Her eyes were hidden behind bandages, the teal orbs disappearing behind sterile white. "Zero?" Doll asked once the wheelchair stopped. She wriggled, feeling suddenly self conscious. Doll couldn't see what she was wearing, but she knew it wasn't a hospital gown, she also couldn't see how much of a mess she was, even if the sand had been washed off and her multiple cuts bandaged.

"Now that Xavier is stable, we'll be moving out soon." Doctor Atarashi said to the group. "Where are we going to go?" Doll asked, feeling as though they had exhausted their options. "We're going to Kyoto, in a place called Japan. The Japanese are a smaller nation, but unlike The US and UK, they aren't aligned with any other nation." The Doctor sighed, "in fact, the only reason I can get us there is thanks to a favor owed to me by a client." That was a lot of information to process, but the bottom line was that they were moving again.

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❝You never cease to give me strength..❞

[Moonlight Sonata | Beethoven]
DIALOGUE
#853c41

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Even when he felt like he was sinking, even when it felt like what was left faded, there was something tugging at him. A glimpse of golden hair, a smile, her voice. Saying his name. Why did it resonate within him each time he heard her voice? Why did it cut deep at him and birth a sorrow that shouldn't exist for things like them? Why did this girl make him feel... Human? What was she to him? Why had he forgotten her and why did it feel as though he'd been pried open? There was nothing left in him, nothing that could make him feel alive, even if he was sitting there, breathing.

Only when he looked at her. Felt her presence he could breathe and taste the air. Smell the dust and tropical breeze, the saltine caress of the ocean. Hear the sounds dancing around him, lifted by the winds. She was someone so fragile, yet, when he'd glimpsed her at the boardwalk, kicking ass like that—it dismantled that fragile image. Decimated the doll everyone built her up to be.

Now, she was in a wheel chair, eyes hidden beneath sterile bandages. She gave off this tenderness, like a blooming flower, ready for daybreak. Ready to start again. Why did she inspire hope when there was none? Why did she remind him of silver linings? Why her? Why this girl who, even when he couldn't remember her, she was there?

Zero stood up. Grell's words struck a chord with him, echoed off the walls he'd built up over the years. The same walls that looked ready to shatter. Approaching Ren he grabbed his arm and pulled him along. Somewhere they wouldn't be interrupted.

"What the hell are you doing?" Ren yanked himself free only to tumble back into the dirt.

Zero towered over him, at last, their eyes could meet and he saw it there. The shadow of guilt in the eyes that were so much like his own. The heaviness in them, the clouded gaze lacking its strength to hold on.

"Ren, I want back what you took from me."

"What?"

Zero stomped closer, his shadow encased the younger boy in. He reached down and gripped at Ren's shirt, without hesitating, he bit into his neck.

The whirl wind of crimson burst through him, a fire that burned too bright. Every memory, every emotion, every loss, every win, every doubt, and crippling fear. It all flared in his mind, rushing through as sparks pierced the night. Infusing with the ice he'd made, banishing its chill. Loretta filled every gaping hole, the ones that mattered, her touch, her smile, her warmth. Most of all, her trust. In him. In the both of them.

There was the sun. It blinded him.

Ren wrapped his arms around Zero. The images sparkled and hissed and curled with smoke. She was standing there, shrouded by a light that followed her as she walked. One step, another.

"I don't want her to take you. I can't lose you again." The heat of him, pounding against Zero, tearing him from the shimmery dream of lived in memory. Bringin him back down. "Can't you see it, what she's done?"

Zero pulled him in as if he could preserve this forever. Lock them out of the pain loss and grief had shackled them for so long. Ren had struck out when he could, taken revenge, yet there was the hole none of them could fill. He'd taken that road alone and Zero would never be able to make up for all that time lost. At least now, they could try.

"Don't you get it, Ren?" Zero whispered. "It's like what dad said, we're not strangers. We never have been."

"She's pulled you into her web, she's pulling them all into her weakness."

Zero wanted to shake some sense into the boy, he was still seeing through tainted lens. Still stuck somewhere deep inside himself, refusing to break past it.

"Don't underestimate her, she's brave, braver than anyone I know." Zero smiled, when he closed his eyes, he saw her smile too. Now, there was the strength he needed there, physical, concrete. Alive.

"You think she's like us?"

"No, she's Loretta." Zero pushed back from Ren so he could meet his gaze. "We're more like them you know. Two halves of the same thing." Dad was working on his projects, with his own means. Decyphering their origin, with that knowledge, it'd change everything. Maybe that's why they always had to move around. Maybe what he was getting at, wasn't something everyone would readily accept. Just like humans, the others were afraid. Just like humans, they could feel.

"So, what's next for us, that Land of the Rising Sun?" Zero stood up, offering his hand to Ren.

"Yeah, except, no car."

Zero tensed at the reminder. "Oh, crap." He gripped at his head, clenched his teeth. Ren nudged him forward, "It'll be fine, you won't be alone."

"It's not cool. It's irrational." Zero hesitated when he spotted Doc and her. She was beautiful and he was glad she couldn't see him. Not like this. He sighed, taking the short distance to reach her before coming to stop again. He lowered his hand, fingers trembling as they settled over the top of her bandaged hand. There was something nostalgic about this as if they were meeting for the first time. He'd forgotten how to breathe.

Until his world started to sway and he remembered to breathe, the numbers going off in his head died down to nothing but the repetitive beat rising in him. A crescendo of life that refused to let go, something that only burst when they were close. The last image soaring within was that fraction of memory, the one Ren had smothered deep; the moment their lips met. She had given him something he never wanted to lose. She'd given him something they could both hold on to. It was a miracle and it was theirs.

His hand covered hers, fingers grasping at the one he wanted more than anything.

"Miss Loretta, I'm here."

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{ Bird Set Free | Sia }


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


A breath, a shuffle but no sound. The gentle lap of waves against the sand, the salty taste of ocean air, but no Zero. She had heard him, or so she had thought, unless the blood loss had effected her in more ways than one. "Loretta," it was Grell's voice. "How are you feeling?" She hoped her disappointment wasn't apparent. "I'm okay," she smiled, "just a bit dizzy." Grell lightly touched her shoulder, one of the more bandaged areas. "You were amazing out there." Amazing? What did he mean? Doll shook her head. "No, I just got knocked out." Grell was about to say something, she heard him stop. Doctor Atarashi put a finger to his lips, mouthing a single word that Doll couldn't see. She couldn't hear anything aside from the occasional cry from some sort of bird.

Doll could relate, she wished to cry as well. She wrung the fabric of her dress in her hands, the sun having hidden itself among the clouds. "It's cold," Doll shivered. "Let me get you a blanket," she felt it wrap around her shoulders, Grell was by her side, sitting on one of the chairs that had been set outside of the tent. "So you really can't see, huh?" He asked, waving a hand in front of her face. Doll writhed in her chair, feeling his gaze on her. "Doctor Atarashi said that it's only temporary," then, in a lower voice, "I'm afraid of the dark." Grell was quiet, no doubt taking in the information Doll had just given him. Afraid of the dark and temporary blind, a terrible mix. Her worst fear was not seeing again, never getting to glance at Zero, the sun, light. She was already forgetting what colors looked like. Bright hues of red and orange, deep shades of blue and purple. They were all so fleeting, drifting slowly from her reach.

"I'm afraid he's going to take him from me." Doll said in a whisper, wondering if Ren and Zero could hear them. "Zero won't let him, he wants to stay here, with you." Grell reassured her, placing a hand on her shoulder. Doll flinched away, not a fan of suddenly being touched. It usually led to awful things, needles and bandages, sticks and stones. "But he's his family, the only one he has left. Surely they won't just abandon one another." Doll clutched at the edges of the blanket, little speckles of red rising on the bandages as blood leaked through. She was in no danger of losing too much blood, these were just the wounds healing themselves. Bodies healed in strange ways, her's especially.

"He's staying, no doubt, I wouldn't worry about Ren."

"I don't think Ren likes me very much."

"I think Ren is afraid."

"Afraid? He's strong though."

"Just because someone is strong doesn't mean they're fearless. I think you can't truly be strong without ever facing your fears."

That was an interesting perspective, Doll thought. She had never thought of it that way. "How can we be brave if we're not afraid?" Did he mean something like that? Grell nodded his head, not that Doll could see it. "Yeah, something like that." He said and Doll heard footsteps approaching. She held her breath, listening to the sound of shoes on the pavement. They weren't Doctor Atarashi's, Doll could already recognize his steps, the certain footwork only a doctor would have. Grell's were different too, almost rhythmic. These were different, uncertain and yet so sure, not hesitant per say but present.

He was like the sun. Even in the darkness, his warmth could reach her, shining like the north star, a beacon in the nighttime sky that stole her breath away. "Zero," Doll smiled, she didn't need to see him to feel the warmth trickle down her spine. "I wasn't worried, you're strong after all." Unlike Doll who couldn't neither see nor walk. Her legs were useless and now her eyes would be gone for a bit too.

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