Author: Kimsa Ki-Lurria PM
No one understands, and no one wants to. In a world where they are outcasts, two stitchpunks form a bond. 6 discovers why 8 loves that magnet of his so much. No slash, pre-movie.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Hurt/Comfort - 6 & 8 - Words: 1,703 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 1 - Published: 07-22-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6168074
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
6 is adorable, 8 ehh...not so much, but he was still an interesting character with his own unexplored sides. I hope to resolve that in this one-shot.
Disclaimer: I own neither 9 nor any of its characters, though I wish I did - I would die for that kind of imagination.
Before it was used on him, 6 didn't know what the rope hanging down from the rafter right above the entrance to the throne room was for. Maybe before the humans had all gone away, they had used it to hold together the rotted, creaking wood, or perhaps they'd hung decorations of some sort.
Or maybe they had done the same as 1 and ordered 6 to be hung from his ankles until the oil rushed to his head and cleared out all the "unwanted insanity in there."
8 giggled and pushed on 6, making the much smaller stitchpunk sway to and fro above the ground. 6 hung there miserably with his arms dangling loosely on either side of his head and stared at the wood beneath 8's gigantic feet. His ankles were really starting to hurt, and 8 wasn't being too gentle about enjoying the seer's punishment, either.
Angry voices penetrated the buzz of oil in 6's ears.
"You can't do that to him!" 7 shouted furiously. He could see her out of the corner of his optic, a blurry white figure clutching at her spear with one hand and waving violently at 6 with the other. "You've crossed the line, 1. This is cruel. He didn't even do anything to you!"
"It's not enough that he's poisoning the minds of his brethren with his insane babblings?" 1 snapped back. The older stitchpunk was pointedly not looking in 6's direction. 8 chuckled gleefully and pushed on 6 again, sending him swinging.
"Rumors like that will only bring unnecessary fear down on their heads," 1 continued. "The last time 5 believed one of 6's lies, he nearly went wild with fear! Can you imagine what would happen if he or 2 heard that 6 was babbling on about some monster coming to destroy us all?"
"But it's true!" 6 burst out. He flinched at the vicious glare 1 sent his way and tried to look as contrite as he could while hanging upside down by his ankles. "I-it's true. I-I s-saw it. They showed me."
"Who showed you?" 7 asked in concern. 1 rolled his optics behind her and gave a huff of impatience, but she ignored him and came up to cup the top of 6's head gently. "6? Who showed you the monster?"
He looked her in the optic, hoping beyond practicality that she would believe him, and said earnestly, "The voices."
Something closed off in 7's face and she gave him a weak, sympathetic smile. 6 lowered his optics; he knew she didn't believe him. She thought he was crazy, too.
7 went to untie his ankles, but 8 moved in her way and pushed her aside. She glared up at him so fiercely 6 was surprised the leviathan didn't burst into flames, but 8 didn't budge. He simply folded his thick, scary arms and grunted a challenge.
7 sighed. "Don't worry, 6," she told him. "I'll fix this."
Then she took after 1, who had rounded on his heel and was marching stiffly away. "1! Get back here!"
There was silence after their hurried footsteps faded away. 6 stared nervously up at 8, hoping that the giant guardian wouldn't decide he was bored and begin pushing him around again. His hopes were unfounded. 8 entertained himself in swinging 6 around again until the seer's head was spinning and his ankles felt like they were about to snap off.
Finally, after another few rounds of giggling and pushing, 8 tired of swinging 6 by the ankles and lumbered off to sit in a corner. 6 blinked back the blurriness from his optics. The oil was rushing to his head just as 1 said it should, and 6 was getting an unsettled feeling in the bottom of his stomach. He would have to get down soon. Yet, somehow, he didn't think 8 would be so accommodating as to set him free.
In his corner, 8 glanced around nervously before sneaking out the magnet he always kept strapped to his back. 6 watched curiously as 8 put the metal up to his head. His optics turned fuzzy and he giggled again, ooing and aahing at something 6 couldn't see.
6 had seen the leviathan do this several times before, but he still didn't understand what it was that made 8 love his magnet so much. Curious, he watched openly for a few minutes before 8 set down the piece of metal.
Suddenly, the leviathan's head snapped up and he caught 6 staring. The small stitchpunk jumped, his arms flailing in circles as they fought to carry him away. 8 scared 6. It was as solid a truth as knowing that 7 hated 1, and vice versa, or that 2 and 5 were and probably always would be inseparable. Now 8 had caught the seer watching something that was obviously meant to be kept a secret, and he looked angry. Beyond angry. He looked furious.
"What're you looking at, huh?" he grunted.
"N-n-nothing," 6 stammered. Please don't eat me! He wanted to squeal, but he didn't think 8 would like that, either.
8 lurched to his feet and lumbered over to stand in front of the squirming stitchpunk. "You think you're gonna get me in trouble?" he asked. His optics narrowed in suspicion.
"N-no," 6 squeaked. "I d-don't want to get you into t-trouble."
8 growled. "I don't believe you."
6's frazzled mind scrambled around for a reply. Before he knew what he was doing, he eyed the magnet, still clutched in 8's huge hand, and asked, "What's that for?"
8 leaned back in surprise, an almost thoughtful look on his broad features. 6's instincts screamed at him to run, but his ankles were still tied uselessly together, preventing him from doing anything but swing twitchily in the air.
"Why should I tell you?" 8 asked warily.
"U-um," said 6, the stammer back in his thin voice. He didn't really know why 8 should tell him. The question had just popped out before he could think to keep it in.
"Huh," said 8 when the seer failed to come up with a reply. "Well, I guess no one's gonna believe you anyway. You're just a weirdo."
6 winced. He kept quiet; he knew better than to protest. All it would get him was a glare and a smack on the head.
"I found this," said 8, proudly brandishing the magnet in 6's face, "in the Scientist's lab. Bet he doesn't even know it's gone."
"It makes you…h-happy," 6 observed quietly, eyeing the red-colored metal thoughtfully. 8 grunted and shook his head.
"It makes me forget."
6 looked up at him in surprise. 8 wrinkled his forehead and took a step back, looking as if he couldn't understand why he was telling this to another stitchpunk. 6, fearing that the guardian would leave him hanging by his ankles from the ceiling, quickly asked, "Forget what?"
"Everything," 8 muttered resentfully. He looked down at the magnet and frowned. "How stupid everyone thinks I am. The war. The monsters. Sometimes, I get…"
The hulking guardian gave the tiny seer another suspicious, wary glare. 6 did his best to look unassuming and attentive, but 8 had already closed off. He took another heavy step backward and shook himself, as if breaking out of a spell.
"Sometimes," 6 said softly as the guardian began to turn away, "y-you get scared."
8 flinched violently. He whirled on 6, looking as if he was about to bash the smaller stitchpunk's head in with the magnet, before some of the anger in his expression abated.
"I'm scared all the time," 6 admitted quietly. He shivered as horrors none of the others could see passed before his optics. Things he had never seen before, nightmares that belonged to someone else entirely. "I s-see things. Monsters. Dead things. A-and there are the…voices."
6 curled in on himself as best he could while hanging upside down and waited for the abuse that he knew would follow such a confession. 8 would call him freak, runt, weirdo. And then he would probably push him around and leave him alone with only the voices and the creaking rafters for company.
8 reached out a hand big enough to engulf 6's face. For a second the seer thought that the guardian was going to strike him, but 8 merely grunted and nodded sharply to his outstretched hand. 6 reached out his own hand, his optics wide and disbelieving. His hand was tiny and frail-looking next to 8's massive, thick fingers, and he nearly squeaked in fear when the guardian took his hand and shook it.
6 stared up at him in surprise. 8 dropped his hand like it was made of something squishy and repulsive and looked away, an awkward rumble stuck in his throat.
"I don't really know how," he said, "but I remember…from before…that shaking someone's hand is some kinda ceremony."
6 couldn't exactly remember what kind of ceremony shaking someone's hand was, but he guessed that 8 meant it as an agreement or respect of some sort. Maybe a weak, temporary kind of kinship between the two most misunderstood souls in the world's tiny population of eight.
And even though 6 understood that the instant 1 came back through the door, this kinship would probably be broken, it was enough. It was enough to forget, even for the tiniest, most infinitesimal moment, that he was alone.