(Author's Notes: Hi! This is a story that came to me after playing Squigly's story mode in Skullgirls, that I felt I just had to write. This story assumes the events of Squigly's story (and just those events) all happened, so just keep that in mind. This is my first time ever writing a long-form story and posting it to the internet, so R&R is greatly appreciated! :) )
(Author's Notes 9/22/14: Hi again! I've gone back and re-edited this story, correcting certain stylistic and grammatical issues, removing unnecessary writing, and just generally sprucing things up. IMO it should read a lot better now. I'm still putting together my next story, but while you wait, I recommend keeping an eye on zodiac38352. His story "To Heal a Broken Heart" is particularly well done, and I hear he has even more great stories planned in the future!)
"...ady... wa... p, m... ady..."
"Wake up, my lady. This irredeemable land requires our presence once again."
"M... mmmm... m-morning... Leviathan..."
The young woman slowly opened her eyes and looked around. She found herself lying on her back in a dark, cramped space, and was surrounded by luxurious cushioning on all sides. She wasn't afraid or alarmed, as she had grown accustomed to waking up in this setting.
"Well," a voice replied, "from within here it's nigh impossible to determine what time of day it is, but let us greet it all the same, shall we?"
The woman began to feel around the tight space she was in for any sign of an opening. Near her right side, she could sense what felt like a piece of paper. "Leviathan..." she faintly spoke, grabbing hold of it, "...would you please provide me with some light?"
"Certainly, my dear."
A small, purple flame appeared by the woman's side. It wasn't bright enough to view her peculiar surroundings, but provided just enough light to allow her to identify the object in her hands as an envelope.
"Thank you, Leviathan," she said as she began examining the envelope. "...It seems there was a letter here for me."
The young woman's examination of the envelope had revealed a name written on it in plain-looking handwriting: Sienna "Squigly" Contiello. She promptly opened it and removed the letter, reading it aloud to the unseen companion in the small enclosure who provided her with the light.
If you're reading this, that means good news and bad news. The good news is that you're finally 'awake' again, and we can spend more time together! The bad news is... well, you know there could only be ONE thing that'd wake you up.
I'm writing this about a week after our battle with Double and the destruction of the Skull Heart, and a day before your burial. After you, um... began to "rest", I took EXTRA special care to make sure your body stays preserved for as long as you're gone. I knew you'd need it again one day, after all! I dug a grave for you under a tree in New Meridian Central Park. Hope you like the view when you wake up!
Do you like the coffin? I made it myself! Well, with Samson's help, of course. I used some sturdy recycled wood I found and some pillows that Samson, uh... "found". After getting the materials, I worked on it for three days straight! Don't worry, it's strong and thick enough to keep the bugs out. I really wish I coulda just bought you one, but every penny I had went towards your headstone and preservation. As for how I got that money, I begged, literally BEGGED everyone in my school to donate to giving you a nice funeral. After getting everyone in my own school to donate, I even went to other schools for their help. I told them all about what a nice and kind girl you were, and what you'd done for our city. Mentioning that you were also of the famous opera-singing Contiello family definitely helped! I didn't mention, er... well, the fact that it's only a temporary resting place, though. That'd freak some people out.
Anyways, I bet you're wondering how to get out right about now. There is a latch by the right side of your head that removes the lock. Neat, huh? The grave I dug is pretty shallow, so a few good pushes should remove all the dirt and grass and stuff.
As much as I'd LOVE to spend time with you catching up and having fun, it's the unfortunate truth that a new Skullgirl will have arisen. Our first priority will have to be determining her location and once again eliminating her and the Skull Heart. When you read this, I will have aged. I'm not sure by how many years, but... well, let's just say, I shouldn't look too different. There aren't many other girls with giant teeth sticking out of their hair, after all. (Samson says "Come back, I miss you" by the way. Not in those... exact words, but I'm sure that's what he MEANT to say.)
And, even though it definitely goes without saying... I miss you too. I've been an absolute mess ever since your death, and I just know I'll be crying nonstop at your burial tomorrow. I have very few memories of anyone ever loving or caring for me, and since you've been gone, I've never felt more alone. With you-know-who on my head, it's really hard for me to make new friends, and most people just tease me or run screaming when they see him. Even though I only knew you briefly, you were one of the only people in the world who not only befriended me, but TRULY accepted me. Even after you found out about my "family", the "family" not even I knew about... you still stuck with me. No one had ever done ANYTHING like that for me before, so it was a painful blow to see you leave so soon. I'd feel utterly hopeless if it weren't for me having a very strong faith that we WILL meet again...
...And when we do, I'm SURE we'll be able to squeeze in some girl time! Promise!
Come back soon, friend
"Hmph. I didn't think that detestable hairball would extend sympathy at all. I'm still in disbelief, to be honest."
"Oh Leviathan, now's not the time! Like you said, we need to greet the day!"
The sleeping young woman, who liked to go by the name "Squigly", slowly stood up from her resting place after its lid had been shoved open by Leviathan: a skeletal, snake-like parasite whose long, thin neck and tail emerged respectively from a hole in the top left side of her head and her right ear, possessing a tapered snout, small yellow eyes, two short horns, and a genteel demeanor that complimented the eloquent inflection of his voice. Squigly smiled at her chivalrous companion, then yawned and stretched out her arms as she gazed out at the yellow-orange sky.
"Well now, it seems to be morning after all," remarked Leviathan. "...But then again, the sky tends to turn every manner of unnatural hues around this place, regardless of time. One can never be sure."
"You have to admit, Leviathan, it is quite beautiful," said Squigly, stepping out of the shade of the tree she was under. "I love feeling the sun's heat and the fresh air against my skin. There's really no better way of knowing that you're alive!"
"Oh, that reminds me, my lady. Please allow me to inspect you and assess your physical condition. We wouldn't want to stumble upon any more 'surprises', such was case with your mouth."
"If you wish, but I think it's unnecessary. I trust Filia did an exceptional job preserving me."
"Indeed, but all the same."
Leviathan extended his serpentine body out of Squigly's head and scanned her from top to bottom. As far as he could tell, she appeared exactly as she did when she last awakened: her skin was a pale blue, her hair was dark blue with a pigtail on the right of her head, the iris of her one remaining eye was a deep crimson, with her vacant socket covered by her fringe, and her lips were bound together with stitches from a prior "burial" (This prevented Squigly from speaking conventionally; she was instead granted by Leviathan the power to "project" her voice.) She had still been clad in her familiar attire of a long, blackish-blue dress, a burgundy corset with an ornamental skull-shaped breastplate, red and white striped sleeves with matching pantyhose, and a black high-neck collar. The oversized detached sleeves tended to hang loosely over her hands, and concealed within the left sleeve was an arm that had been stripped of skin and muscle from the elbow down; despite this, Squigly supernaturally retained use of it.
"Hmm... everything appears to be in order," observed Leviathan, concluding his inspection. Looking over Squigly's back, however, something immediately caught his attention. "...What's this?"
"W-what is it, Leviathan?" asked Squigly, a hint of worry in her voice. "Is there something wrong with my back?"
"Actually, my lady, I would describe it as the absence of anything wrong with your back!"
"What do you mean?"
Squigly nervously felt around the backs of her shoulders. To her amazement, the usual open wound that could be found behind her right shoulder had been completely grafted shut. "...Wow! I can't believe this!" she remarked in awe. "My wound! It feels like it's completely gone! This... this was Filia's doing?"
"That would be the logical conclusion as I see it," replied Leviathan, holding the wedge-shaped tip of his tail to his chin. "It seems the lady Medici has actually held to her word."
"Of course she would, Leviathan!" said Squigly, a hint of indignation in her tone. "Not only that, but I'm actually in better condition than I was before resting because of her! Also, do not refer to her as 'Lady Medici'. She's a dear friend, not some Family lowlife. I would think you'd have a bit more respect and gratitude for the one who mended me, not to mention the only person who ever gave me a proper burial."
"You're absolutely right, my lady. Terribly sorry," Leviathan meekly replied. "I was out of line. I beg your forgiveness."
"And speaking of which..." Squigly began as she turned back to her burial site, "...what a lovely headstone."
Squigly walked toward the granite headstone, and she and Leviathan examined it more closely: at its base rested a bouquet of dried yellow flowers, and atop it sat an ornate statue of a dragon resembling a winged Leviathan. She crouched down to better view the epitaph, which read:
Here lie Sienna "Squigly" Contiello and Leviathan. May they Rest In Peace until we meet again.
Squigly was heavily moved by the inscription and began to choke up, as it had truly been the first and only time anyone had honored her death. "The la – *ahem* Filia really did cherish the short time she spent with you here..." Leviathan gently interrupted, "...but Miss Squigly, this is hardly the time to be dour. She'd always had faith that the two of you would reunite, and this headstone is inscrutable proof of it. Right now, reunite with her is what we must do."
"You're... right, Leviathan, thank you." Squigly began to collect herself. "It's as Filia said in her letter: the only reason I can be here right now is... is because a Skullgirl is once again wreaking havoc on the land. My first priority should be to meet with Filia so we can begin to gather information."
"Quite right. Though I must say, I decidedly don't look forward to reacquainting with that putrid mop that infests her scalp."
"Oh Leviathan..." Squigly sighed. "Will you ever change?"
"I'm afraid not, my lady. A gentleman's character must be immutable. In any case, shall we be off?"
"Right then. Tally ho!"