This originally was just something to get me back into writing Breach. But then I thought "screw it, why not share with you all?"
Rain bombarded a tree-house in the middle of Dragon Valley, its two occupants slept unaware. A pink dragon occupied the top bunk of a bunk bed inside, and a younger cream colored basset hound slept in a smaller bed in the far corner of the room. Nobody occupied the bottom bunk. For a time, nothing disturbed the two young girls as they slept.
But then the dragon began to stir, she twitched and gasped in her sleep as she began tossing and turning. It didn't take long for her to start hyperventilating, tears leaked as she clawed at her sheets. After a few more seconds of panicked thrashing, her eyes snapped open with a sharp gasp. Her gaze darted around the room as she struggled to catch her breath. She quickly turned her attention to the hound sleeping in the far corner of the room, the sight of her seemed to calm the dragon down. Eventually her breathing settled down as she wiped her tears away.
Too tired to sit up, she rolled over on her back, covered her eyes, and took a deep breath. She then let her arms drop before staring up at the ceiling dejectedly. It wouldn't have been the first time she had this nightmare, and it brought back bitter memories each time. She couldn't expunge them, they dominated her thoughts and brought tears to her eyes.
Before she could start full on crying however, the hound began to stir. This prompted the dragon to turn away so her face wouldn't be seen. She attempted to ignore her dark thoughts so she could keep her composure and remain silent, but the more she tried to think of something else the more intrusive they became.
The hound stopped moving, a sign that all she did was turn over in her sleep. The dragon let out a quiet sigh of relief. But her resistance against her haunting memories faded, letting them completely consume her mind. She squeezed her eyes shut as more tears flowed, sniffs escaped her as she finally gave in to the urge to cry.
At the very least, she'll eventually cry herself back to sleep, she hoped.
The tree house sported a fairly modest kitchen, nothing flashy or expensive but nice enough to put together a decent meal. The dragon, having only been awake for an hour, was in the middle of preparing breakfast. Well, if you can call putting noodles in a microwave "preparing". While she waited, she leaned against the counter and sighed exasperatedly. Her nightmare left her drained and lacking much needed sleep.
A sudden beep from the microwave yanked her from her frustration. As she retrieved her cooked meal, small footsteps could be heard from upstairs. This brought a small smile to her face, though her happiness was still tempered by exhaustion. The basset hound from last night lazily made her way into the kitchen, rubbing discharge from her eyes.
"Morning, Milla," the dragon greeted. Milla blinked and looked back with a smile.
"Mm. Good morning, Lilac," she greeted back.
"You're just in time, I already made breakfast for you!" Lilac explained as she set the noodles on a small table.
"Thanks!" Milla responded gleefully. Both girls took their seats before Milla noticed something odd.
"Did you not make anything for yourself?" she asked. Lilac was briefly caught off guard, but quickly came up with a response.
"Its fine, I already ate before you woke up."
Milla turned her attention to her noodles. Chopsticks in hand, she took a whiff of her meal and smiled before digging in.
"Sorry it's nothing spectacular like Mayor Zao's sushi," Lilac commented. Milla shook her head in response.
"It's delicious!" the hound insisted before continuing her feast. Lilac rested her chin on her hand with a soft smile, her eyelids felt heavy and could only be held open halfway. Though still shaken by her nightmare, just spending time with Milla calmed the dragon down. It also helped that Milla didn't know about Lilac's current troubles, her innocent bliss supplied the normalcy Lilac needed to distance herself from said problems.
Suddenly, one of Milla's ears perked up and she stopped eating. Lilac's shoulders tensed as her smile faded, what did she hear? One of his leftover machines? Her worries instantly dissipated when the hound's tail started wagging enthusiastically.
"It's Carol!" Milla shouted as she practically leaped out of her seat and ran out of the kitchen. Lilac sighed in relief, but also mentally chastised herself for overreacting. Once she stood up, lightheadedness suddenly gripped her, making her lean on the table and grab her head. She gritted her teeth and groaned in discomfort, thankful that Milla had already took off and couldn't see her like this.
"Okay, come on, girl," Lilac told herself after shaking her head. Had to put on a healthy face for her friends.
After climbing down the ladder leading up to her treehouse, Lilac turned and was greeted with the sight of Milla eagerly waiting, tail still wagging wildly. Still no sign of Carol, though. Lilac figured Milla must have heard her motorcycle.
"She's only been gone for half a day, Milla!" Lilac chuckled as she joined her friend.
"I know, I still missed her though," Milla responded. Lilac gave a wry smile. Before meeting Lilac and Carol, the only friend Milla had was a tree stump with a face carved in it. And recent exploits taught the trio not to take each other for granted.
The sound of a motorcycle engine finally reached Lilac's ears. Not a second later, the source of the noise blasted into view and came to a screeching halt just a few feet in front of Lilac and Milla; a green wild cat on a red and seemingly worn motorcycle.
"Hi Carol!" Milla shouted gleefully as she sprinted to her side. Carol dismounted her transport and gave Milla a warm smile.
"Hey, Milla. It's good to see you again!" she greeted. "Have you been taking care of Lilac while I was gone?"
Lilac rolled her eyes, though unbeknownst to Carol or Milla herself it wasn't completely untrue.
"Tell me you got everything on the list," Lilac demanded in response to Carol's quip.
"Nice to see you too, Miss Heropants!" Carol replied with thinly veiled indignation, "Yeah, I got everything." She opened her bike's saddlebags, presenting bundles of groceries like some host on a gameshow. "And maybe a little more than we needed!"
"Wait, how much more?" Lilac asked, "We don't exactly bleed money, you know!"
"Just a little, I figured we deserve to spoil ourselves after saving Avalice from an alien warlord," Carol explained with a mischievous grin. Lilac crossed her arms and looked away.
"I guess…" she conceded. Being reminded of this "alien warlord" summoned unpleasant memories, making her pinch the bridge of her nose and sigh in exasperation. It took every ounce of self-control she had to maintain her composure.
"Lilac?" Carol inquired. Lilac looked back to see Carol staring at her worriedly. Caught off guard, the dragon opened her mouth to speak but nothing happened. Thankfully, Carol supplied the excuse she was looking for. "Hey, sorry. I didn't know this would bother you that much!"
"Oh no, its fine, just a little concerned is all. I don't think you spent too much," Lilac explained with a soft smile. Carol looked at her for a few seconds, making her anxious. Eventually, the wildcat shrugged.
"Well, if you say so."
Later that day, the three girls gathered around the TV in the living room. With the lights off and the curtains closed, the only source of illumination was the TV itself. Carol sat directly in front with a video game controller in hand, Milla took the couch, and Lilac occupied the chair in the back of the room.
"Ugh, I've check every door in the mansion, but this key doesn't go anywhere!" Carol complained as she played.
"Can you use it on something in your inventory?" Milla asked, eyes glued to the screen.
"All I've got on me is ammo, I'd have to go all the way back to the storage room to check on the rest of the stuff we found!" Carol explained exasperatedly, "Hey, Lilac, you played this game before, right? Where the heck do I use this key?" After playing for a few seconds, Carol noticed Lilac not giving an answer. She turned around, neglecting to pause the game, and was taken aback by what she saw.
Lilac was resting her chin in her hand, though facing forward her gaze went off to the side. Her eyes only opened half way, making her look what Carol would call distressed.
"Lilac?" she called to her, a little louder than earlier. The dragon sat up strait, her eyes snapped open in alarm for a few seconds before she quickly composed herself. But Carol already saw it, in fact she could have sworn she felt it too; apprehension.
"What is it, Carol?" Lilac asked with a friendly smile.
"Are you alright? You looked kind of sad…" Carol pointed out.
"I did?" Lilac answered as she rubbed the back of her head, "I guess I'm just tired." Carol's ears drooped as she frowned, something was clearly bothering the dragon and here she was trying to act like everything was fine. They were supposed to be friends, right? Why was Lilac lying to her?
"Are you sure?" Carol insisted. Lilac's eyes suddenly narrowed in annoyance, making Carol perk her ears up again.
"Yes, I am," Lilac hissed aggressively. Carol leaned back for a second before donning a glare. Though concerned about her friend, she did not appreciate being talked to like that. Before she could talk back however, Milla interrupted her.
"Are you two fighting?" she asked worriedly. Both girls looked back at the basset hound, the sight of her frowning and hiding her face behind her knees made them soften their faces in guilt.
"No, we're okay. Everything's fine, Milla," Lilac assured her with a friendly smile. Carol wanted to press Lilac some more but decided to let it go for now, situations like this always made Milla uncomfortable.
"Yeah, we're cool," Carol said with a smile of her own as she suppressed her frustration. Lilac got up from her seat, catching Carol's attention again.
"I'm a little tired, think I'll just soak in the shower and change early," she explained, "You two have fun!"
Carol frowned as she watched her leave, if she was going to interrogate Lilac, it would have to be without Milla around.
"Carol! Zombie!" Milla suddenly shouted. Back in reality, Carol's eyes widened in panic as she scrambled to pick up her controller. But by the time she looked back at the screen, it was far too late. The words "Game Over" filled the screen as her character fell victim to an undead abomination. Completely flabbergasted, Carol held her head with her mouth agape as she stared at the screen in disbelief. How could she die to a zombie, the lowliest enemy in the game!? Her character was at full health!
"Um, Carol?" Milla inquired quietly, as if diffusing a bomb, "When was the last time you saved?"
Carol's eye started twitching.
As comfortable as a hot shower made her, Lilac still didn't feel any better. The sound of the water pattering against her and the shower floor drowning out any other noise in the house only served to further isolate her within her own thoughts. She had just finished cleaning herself, but she wasn't ready to head back out and put on a chipper face for her oblivious friends, so she just stood there and soaked.
What really bothered her at the moment was Carol, she almost had her pegged. Lilac couldn't count on Milla always being there to defuse Carol's attempts at interrogation, she'll have to do a better job at masking herself. It took so much effort though….
Suddenly, a dull noise echoed throughout the bathroom. Lilac tensed up and stood still as she listened. It seemed silly, but the thought of some creep being in the house took root in the back of her mind. For a while, nothing else happened, then she heard it again. It was louder this time, and clearly coming from somewhere in the bathroom.
Lilac felt a chill, she barely even felt the heat from her warm shower. A dreadful sense of déjà vu enveloped the dragon. She then shook her head and attempted to compose herself, if somebody did break in the room somehow, she could handle it. A plan came together in her head as she reached for the shower curtain. Her first instinct was to dragon boost the intruder, but that would probably damage the house too. A cyclone would probably be sufficient. She pulled the curtain back just enough to peek outside, not enough to give anyone outside a look at anything she didn't want them to see. Once she had a clear view, she couldn't help but be confused by what she saw.
This made no sense, where did that noise come from? Was she just going nuts? Suddenly, a malicious laugh boomed from right behind her. Lilac gasped and turned around, again seeing nothing. Her eyes widened in horror as her breathing became more erratic. She heard that laugh before, a soul shaking laugh that heralded dark times for her and her friends. It was his laugh.
"Before you decided to throw your life away and interfere with our mission, you should have asked yourself one very important question," a low and guttural voice suddenly said to her, just hearing it paralyzed her. "What makes you so special?"
He wasn't supposed to be here, he wasn't even supposed to be on Avalice! If hewas here, what happened to Carol and Milla? And where is he? As her thoughts raced, Lilac noticed it becoming increasingly difficult to breathe. Eventually, she started desperately gasping for air, but no matter how much she inhaled it didn't feel like she was getting enough oxygen. It got to the point where it felt like her lungs were imploding from how much she was wheezing. The longer it went on, the more it scared her, and the more it scared her, the more it hurt.
Desperate, Lilac flung the curtain aside and scrambled out of the shower. She immediately leaned over the sink as she was no longer able to stand up on her own. Suddenly something gave and her wheezing was replaced by borderline violent coughing. Somehow, this broke her vicious cycle of suffocating and freaking out and she was able to get a satisfying breath. Her chest still hurt, but she finally felt like she was getting oxygen.
The voice Lilac heard came back to mind, making her turn around and quickly scan the bathroom. Again, there was nothing. The dragon sighed in relief as she palmed her forehead, it was all in her head. Still, this never happened before, it was as if the nightmares she's been having recently haunted her while she was awake.
With a defeated frown, Lilac decided her shower was over, so she returned to it and turned it off. A knock at the door made her jump, fortunately she covered her mouth quick enough to muffle her shriek.
"Lilac, are you okay?" her visitor asked from the other side, Lilac recognized the voice as Carol's, "I heard some weird noises!"
"Uh, yeah, I'm fine!" Lilac answered hesitantly as she reached for a towel, "Just got soap in my eyes." A moment of silence followed, then an exasperated sigh could be heard from outside.
"Alright, just checking," Carol replied before leaving.
Relieved, Lilac began drying herself off.
Night had fallen, prompting the three friends to turn in. In the bottom bunk, Carol had ungracefully sprawled herself across her bed, snoring loudly after kicking her sheets off the bed in her sleep. Thankfully, the other two girls already fell into a deep enough sleep not to hear her.
But like last night, a deep sleep wasn't synonymous with a pleasant sleep for Lilac.
"Why do you fight?"
Lilac didn't respond to her captor, she closed her eyes to pass herself off as asleep.
"I know you're awake. Answer the question. Why do you fight?" he demanded. His borderline demonic voice gripped her and forced a response. Though intimidated, Lilac glared at the monster with furious determination. His back was turned to her. Having strapped her to some machine incased in a glass tube, the alien warlord had no reason to fear his prisoner.
"For my friends," she told him defiantly, baring her teeth "I'll do whatever it takes to keep them safe from freaks like you." The warlord let out an amused laugh as he turned to face her, his dark smile made her uneasy.
"Keep them safe?" Lord Brevon repeated, "Every move you've made has put them directly in harm's way." His smile faded as he crossed his arms. "Destroying our property, assisting our sworn enemies, attempting sabotage against our mission which, by the way, has nothing to do with your world. We are leaving this barbaric planet behind as soon as our ship is repaired." Lilac's ire rose with each word he spoke. Is this guy for real?
"You forgot the part where you took our Kingdom Stone!" she shouted, "Where you ruined years of peace between my people and put thousands in danger!"
"An unfortunate side effect, yes," Brevon commented casually, completely unfazed by having his crimes called out, "But I wouldn't have resorted to such drastic measures if you had the common sense to stay out of our affairs. Thanks to you, your companions are in more danger than ever."
Lilac's glare faded as Brevon's words sank in. It troubled her that she couldn't disprove what he said. She could have let Torque handle this on his own and she wouldn't be here right now. But the Kingdom Stone played a critical role in sustaining Avalice's civilizations. Destroying it, as Torque said he'd possibly have to do so Brevon wouldn't have it, wasn't an option. Suddenly, Lilac's fit of self-justification was interrupted by something Carol said to her not long ago.
"Sometimes I think you're trying to get us killed!" she shouted at her.
Even Lilac's best friend found her heroics unnecessarily risky. Was she right? Was Brevon right? The only one saying otherwise was Lilac herself. She looked up at Brevon, who stared back at her with a ghoulish grin. Lilac already knew what he found amusing, he caught her in a moment of weakness.
"Allow me to show you the consequences of your stupidity," Brevon sneered. The warlord turned around and operated a console, opening a steel shutter on the wall and revealing the prisoner Lilac came here to rescue.
"Lilac!" Torque shouted. Restraints held him as two shade troopers acted as his escort.
"I had to do something!" Lilac said back to him desperately. She wasn't sure if she was talking to Torque, Brevon, an imaginary Carol, or herself.
"Answers, Commander. Give them to me," Brevon demanded from Torque. The commander lowered his gaze in an attempt to not make eye contact with him. Lilac didn't blame him. "Don't be a fool. You've seen how far I'll go to get the information I need."
"Don't tell him anything!" Lilac pleaded. She didn't know what Brevon was asking about, but it probably wouldn't do anyone any good if he got what he wanted.
Torque closed his eyes. Lilac could have sworn she detected shame from him. She couldn't fathom why, though. All of this was her fault. Getting Torque out of Shang Tu's prison just to be captured by Brevon, busting in to save him without thinking and getting herself caught, it was just one bad decision after another.
"Very well," Brevon said after a few seconds of silence, "Don't say I didn't warn you."
The alien warlord pressed another button on the console and turned to face Lilac. His ghoulish smile returned, filling the dragon with dread as the machine she was strapped to hummed to life. Whatever Brevon had planned for her, it was obvious he was going to enjoy it immensely.
Suddenly, Lilac went ridged as a hellishly agonizing sensation traveled through every nerve in her body. It grew more intense as time went on, drowning out her other senses and painting gruesome images in her mind. Flashes of light seeped its way through her closed eyelids. It felt as if her body was trying to rip itself apart, slowly, just for the sake of making her feel every tear and bone fracture. Eventually, she was able to make out a noise through the all-consuming agony, her own tortured screams. Another voice spoke up, but her screaming stymied her from hearing who it was or what they were saying. Lilac stopped caring about where she was, what she was doing, about anything. She just wanted the pain to stop.
Then there was nothing. Lilac's body finally went limp as the pain released its grip on her. She struggled to catch her breath as her awareness returned. Torque was now glaring at Brevon defiantly, but the latter's attention was fixed on Lilac, much to her terror after what he just did to her.
Still grinning like a madman, Brevon turned around and pressed the same button again, making Lilac's heart plummet like a rock. Why? Why was he doing this to her? Did he enjoy torturing her!? He's nothing but a deranged monster! She heard Torque speak but didn't pay attention. The machine hummed once more.
Again, her body stiffened and she screamed as her torture resumed. This time, Lilac was able to keep her eyes open long enough to see that she was being electrocuted, before her senses abandoned her to unimaginable agony. It was worse this time, she kept wanting to move but her restraints prevented her from doing so. Her back arched in response to her painful sensations, painting an image in her head of her spine snapping in half from bending too far. An unpleasant and sharp sent made its way to her nose. At first, she didn't know what to make of it. But since she was being shocked, all she could think it could be was the smell of her own burning flesh. Lilac's thoughts ceased, she had no refuge from the pain, no way to distract herself. Her mind went completely blank.
Carol's ear twitched in response to a noise, making her open her eyes slightly in annoyance. At first she tried going back to sleep. But then she heard a loud bang above her. The wildcat sat up and her eyes snapped open in alarm. Still half asleep, it took her a bit to register the sound of someone crying hysterically. Once she fully woke up though, she instantly recognized who it was.
Carol fought through her grogginess as she climbed out of bed. She then climbed up so she could peek at the top bunk. What she saw next was nothing she ever expected to see. Lilac thrashed about in her sleep, kicking and screaming like some trapped animal as tears poured down her face. Carol's eyes widened before she scrambled onto the bunk and rushed to her friend's side.
"Lilac! Wake up!" she shouted after grabbing Lilac's shoulders and shaking her. Hardly anything scared Lilac. What could she possibly be dreaming about? Suddenly, Lilac's eyes snapped open. Before Carol could say anything, the dragon shoved her away with a startled shriek. The wildcat managed to catch herself before falling off the bunk.
Lilac sat up and stared at her with tear filled eyes while trying to catch her breath and stop herself from crying. Carol had never seen anything more pathetic in her life, and this was the last person she, and pretty much anyone, expected to see in such a state.
"Carol! I…" Lilac started before being interrupted by her own sobbing. Carol decided to give her space until she calmed down enough. Though curious about her friend's troubles, she didn't feel like getting smacked again. Eventually, the dragon's sobbing died down enough to where she could form coherent sentences.
"I can explain," she managed to say.
"You better," Carol demanded as she moved closer and donned a glare, "And don't think 'I'm just tired' is going to cut it this time!" She sounded a little harsher than she intended, but frankly she was sick of being lied to by her best friend. There's no way she was getting out of this.
Lilac hesitated before looking over Carol's shoulder, making the wildcat do the same. They both looked at a somehow still asleep Milla. After a few seconds, they looked back at each other.
"Not here," Lilac requested.
Lilac sat on the couch as she waited for Carol, her head supported by her arm. Needless to say, she was not looking forward to the inevitably awkward conversation to come. A million excuses formed in her head. However, with Carol both angry and sleep deprived, Lilac suspected there was no getting out of this. Eventually, the wildcat came in holding a glass of water, which she handed to Lilac.
"Thanks," the dragon said quietly before taking a sip. Her throat grew parched from all the stressful activity earlier. Carol took a seat next to her, her limbs tense as if trying to keep her from lashing out. Lilac could tell from her body language that she was frustrated, but the wildcat stared at her with contrastingly worried eyes. The combination filled Lilac with both guilt and dread.
"So," Carol started, "You going to tell me what's been going on with you?" Lilac hesitated. Eventually, she set her glass on the table and let her hands rest in her lap. Resolving to speak the truth, Lilac opened her mouth to speak but an automated response she grew use to repeating came out instead.
"Nothing. Everything is fine," she muttered, avoiding eye contact.
"So I guess that nightmare you had was 'nothing', right?" Carol replied indignantly, her tone growing more impatient, "'Nothing' made you scream and cry in your sleep? I didn't know 'nothing' could do that!"
Lilac didn't say anything. She just kept looking down in her lap. Discomfort and anxiety kept her from speaking up for herself. It was a relatively new feeing for the dragon, one she abhorred since she was used to being the fearless and assertive hero. But she lacked the energy for such behavior, so her response was uncharacteristically meek, almost a whisper.
Even though Lilac meant it, it served as a painful reminder of her troubled state of mind. A few seconds of silence followed. Eventually Carol sighed before speaking again, this time in a much gentler tone than before, though Lilac could still sense frustration.
"Look, I'm not trying to be a jerk. But you've been acting really weird for a while now!" Surprised, Lilac finally made eye contact with her. Carol had moved closer to her, making this talk all the more uncomfortable. A glare found its way on the wildcat's face. "Staring off into space, getting upset over small stuff, snapping at me, now this nightmare. You're my best friend, I hate seeing you like this! Now will you please stop being Little Miss Heropants for two seconds and tell me what's wrong?"
"….I was that obvious, huh?" Lilac asked, half out of curiosity and half to delay the inevitable.
"General Gong could have picked it up," Carol commented flatly. Wrought with guilt, Lilac looked down again. She had no idea Carol was sensitive to such things. As if this situation couldn't be more messed up.
"Alright, I'll tell you everything," Lilac relented. She didn't immediately speak, however. The last thing she wanted was to talk about Lord Brevon, bad memories and what have you. As she sat there in silence, she felt Carol gently grab her hand, prompting her to make eye contact again. The wildcat's glare faded in favor of a more soft face and concerned eyes. The sight made Lilac almost want to cry, but she managed to choke it back, only letting out a cracked sigh instead. How could she be so stupid? Carol could have helped all along! This newfound form of trust gave Lilac the courage to finally tell her tale.
"I…uh…" Lilac said before clearing her throat, "Lately I've been thinking about Brevon."
"Brevon!?" Carol exclaimed, "Why think about that jerk at all?"
"I can't stop. At first I thought I was just shaken from what we went through trying to stop him. But it just…kept going…" Lilac took a deep breath as she recalled unpleasant memories, "Eventually, I started having nightmares about what happened. Every night."
"That doesn't sound normal," Carol said worriedly. Lilac shook her head in agreement. A sniff escaped her as she felt her eyes growing moist. The memories came back again, imbedding themselves in her mind and filling her with dread. Still, she pressed on with her story.
"I tried to not think about Brevon, but those nightmares keep reminding me of him," tears finally started flowing as her voice cracked, "I'm sorry…I…" Lilac's breathing got out of control as sobbing began to set in, despite her best efforts to keep it down.
"But it's okay, though!" Carol interrupted, putting on a cheery face, "We beat Brevon all the way back to Planet Jerkbuttwhatever! He can't touch us!"
"I'm not finished," Lilac replied grimly, having managed to choke down her crying for the time being, "Something new happened yesterday while I was in the shower. I actually heard Brevon talking to me."
"What? But…that's not…"Carol trailed off, seemingly baffled by what she was hearing. Lilac kept talking as best she could.
"It was like he was right behind me, I could practically feel his breath on me," she hiccuped as her crying threatened to overtake her again, "Carol, I'm scared. I think I'm losing my mind!" It grew more difficult for Lilac to control herself. Carol's company did help some, but Brevon's venomous words still haunted her.
"You probably don't want to answer this, but I want to know," Carol said quietly, as if something would explode if she wasn't careful, "What happens in your nightmares? What does he do to you?" Lilac's words became trapped in her throat. Carol was right, she didn't want to answer.
"Well…" Lilac hesitated, taking in a shaky breath before continuing, "They're usually about things Brevon did to us. But he says it's my fault all those things happened. I keep telling myself otherwise, that I had to stop him. But I was the only one who really wanted to, I dragged you and Milla along with me and look what happened to us! You nearly die in a cave in, Torque gets captured, I get tortured, and Milla mutates into some kind of monster. Brevon was right, it's all my fault!"
No longer able to speak coherently, Lilac held her head as she lost control of herself once more. Brevon's words from her torture echoed in her head. Oblivious to the world around her, Lilac desperately attempted to drive the extraterrestrial lunatic from her mind, to no avail. Suddenly, she felt something warm lean on her and embrace her, she guessed it was Carol. Desperate for some form of relief, Lilac leaned on Carol as she cried her eyes out. Carol didn't seem the touchy feely type, but Lilac didn't care to question it, she'll take it.
The dragon stopped crying after a few seconds, pulling away from her friend so she could get a good look at her. Carol had a face Lilac didn't see since the wildcat came to her rescue after being tortured. Somehow, Lilac found it both soothing and troubling at the same time.
"What happened to us really sucked, but I had no idea it got to you like this," Carol commented, placing a hand on Lilac's shoulder, "Why lie about it?"
"I thought it would go away after a while, that it was no big deal," Lilac answered, finally calming down, "But then I started having nightmares and the memories just kept coming back again and again. I can't just move on like you and Milla. If Brevon comes back for some reason…I don't know what to do."
"He's not here, Lilac. We need to focus on you," Carol interjected, gently grabbing Lilac's arms and staring into her puffy eyes, "Whether or not you want to fight Brevon or any other nut-job that comes our way, you're way to messed up to do anything about it right now! So enough of this 'I' stuff, forget about being Ms. Heropants for a little while. You're not alone, let me help you."
Lilac already came to this revelation earlier in the conversation. But to hear it from Carol herself, it warmed the troubled dragon's heart to the point where she couldn't help but smile.
"Alright," she replied, "I'm sorry for lying to you." Carol smiled back and released her grip on the dragon.
"Just don't do it again," she instructed, "Whenever you feel weird, you come to me. No more of this moping around, okay?"
"And until we figure out how to give those nightmares the boot, don't let what Brevon said get to you. He has no power over you."
"I'll try," Lilac said as her smile faded, "But it's hard."
"It probably is if you can't deal with it by yourself," Carol commented before yawning, "Can we go back to bed now?"
Carol started stretching before getting up. This gave Lilac the perfect opportunity to grab her friend and pull her into a hug. She knew Carol hated stuff like this, but after all that there was no way the wildcat was getting away without a hug.
"Thank you," Lilac said softly.
"Uh, yeah. No problem," Carol replied as she awkwardly returned the hug, "So….can you let me go now, please?"