Dedicated to TheTesseractSeraph, she was the one who gave me the idea for this chapter!
To all who have reviewed, thank you ever so much...your kind words did alot for me. I hope you've enjoyed
AE Two: Comforter
"Rubedo!" The scream fresh on his lips, he tore himself free from the nightmare, muscles trembling, sweat adorning his body, purple eyes wild. "Rubedo…" Breathing heavily, he put his head in his hands, terror's claws still hooked into his psyche. Tears seeped out from behind his eyelids, loneliness tearing at his heart, there was nobody there, nobody he could go to, he couldn't simply just get up and go to his twin, his other half for comfort, no, he was all alone…
A small hand placed itself on his back, while another rested on his left knee. Recognizing the touch instantly, Albedo turned his head slightly, one violet eye peering out from in-between his fingers.
"Was it the nightmare again?" Wordless, the U.R.T.V nodded. The hands moved, reaching up to cradle his face, pushing back sweat-soaked strands of white hair. "You're drenched…I'll go get you a towel." Dragging in a shuddering breath Albedo straightened, watching as the small form turned and left, leaving not in its wake the sweet smell of cherries, but the lingering scent of vanilla…
Anger coursed through him, rage a red mist clouding his vision. How dare she, how dare she, how dare she go into his mind, his thoughts…and then look at him, tears in her eyes, weeping! He had lost track of her, and so he poured all his energy into the mental link, finding his prey easily, appearing behind her as she struggled to rise…
"You bitch!" He snarled. In the back of his mind he could hear his twin roar in anger, red energy lashing out with pain-tipped claws, in front of him the android appeared and Shion saw her, screaming her name as she rose, stumbling towards her…
And then…silence. Time seemed to slow down, Shion closed her eyes and fell once more, but Albedo saw two Shions, one separating herself from the other as she collapsed…as the first one hit the ground the second one turned to face him, tears in her eyes.
"I'm sorry…I'm sorry for all the pain you've been through…" Albedo found he could not say anything to this, save to only stretch out his hand towards her…but before his fingers could close around warm flesh, she shattered into a million lights and faded away…
Then the pain kicked in, and darkness overwhelmed him.
When he had awoken, the first thought that had gone through his mind was of her. Seeing that image of her shattering…it was if a knife had been stabbed into his heart, and it was slowly turning. Fear constricting his chest, he had boarded Simeon and flew towards the Durandal.
The pain had been the first thing he felt when he gated out. Screams that were torn from the very soul…curious, he had traced them back to their source, using them as a balm for his tortured spirit. He was mildly shocked to discover that his younger brother was the origin (though he fed on his pain with glee).
But his next discovery had the knife twisting wildly, a howl escaping his lips; a scream of denial…his nightmare had come true…
Cardiac arrest. It was an automatic given; of course, it would have been a miracle if she had gotten out of this situation without her body suffering some sort of repercussion…the power had been too much for her. He had retreated back, numb, and hollow…the nightmarish scene replaying itself over and over in his mind. The madness had followed, though it not had brought him respite from the grief tormenting him. How many of the remaining Kirschwassers he had killed, he didn't know…one moment he was screaming in pain, howling her name over and over, and the next he was on his throne, breathing harshly, adrenaline still roaring through his system, several small bodies scattered around him.
"Shion…" He breathed, her name sweet on his tongue. "Mon ange..." Closing his eyes, he fell deeper into the pit of despair. "Why did you leave me…?"
It was the breathing that stirred him out of his melancholy. Harsh, raspy…choking. Curious, he rose from his seat, seeing one of the Kirschwasser's bodies spasm, eyes flying open. She clutched at her neck, garbled sounds coming from her throat, a strange white light surrounding her. Pushing aside the bodies of her sisters, Albedo took the quaking Realian in his arms, mindful of her lashing limbs.
"What is…?" With a small scream, the Kirschwasser's body stiffened, and then suddenly went limp. She sagged weakly in the white-haired U.R.T.V.'s embrace, the white light moving from the crown of her head down over her body. Silver hair turned to brown, golden highlights peeking out amongst the strands…skin lightened and turned the color of cream, silver eyebrows turned to brown…Albedo felt the breath slam out of his lungs.
"No…" He whispered, his eyes wide and staring down. "It can't be…" But it was…Shion lay in his arms, fast asleep, her little nurse's cap askew. Heart racing, Albedo clutched her small frame close to his body, burying his face in her hair, smelling not cherries, but vanilla, her own special scent… "It can't be…" Fearful now, he stood and rushed back to his bedroom…placing her gently in the bed, tucking the covers gently about her frame. For several hours he watched over her, often drawing close and feeling for her pulse, the steady beat reassuring him on some primal level. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she finally stirred, eyes opening, the orbs green instead of gold.
"Ughh…" Breathless, Albedo sat on the edge of the bed, leaning close, his fingers taking on a life of their own, tucking gently under that small chin, stroking her face…
"Shion?" He whispered. A small smile crossed rose-colored lips.
"Al…bedo?" Shock rippled through the U.R.T.V.'s system, his fingers trembled as he stroked Shion's hair, pushing the little nurse's hat off.
"Wh…why?" He choked out, unable to comprehend the enormity of her decision. Smiling softly, Shion lifted a hand, placing it on his right cheek.
"Because you've been alone long enough." She answered. At this, something inside Albedo broke. As Shion sat up his arms came around her, his face buried in her midsection, hot tears scalding his cheeks and staining the sheets. In return, Shion gently started to run her fingers though his hair, murmuring gentle endearments.
The feel of terrycloth startled him out of his reverie; Shion had returned and had gotten up onto the bed next to him, running the towel briskly over his head and shoulders.
"Don't." He said, putting a hand over hers to stop. "It's late, you should be sleeping."
"I'm fine. I was already up; I wanted a drink of water." The small girl answered. "I brought you a glass as well…" Albedo shifted position, turning so that he could face Shion directly.
"I'll be alright…you go back to the others, please?" He asked, putting a finger on her lips. The other Kirschwassers had accepted Shion as one of them, yet Albedo refused to treat her as such…she was different, special. Around her, he was calm…rational…sane. He could not bear to come before her after he had killed or after his insanity had taken hold of him…he didn't want her to see him with blood-stained hands, had he not tainted her enough already? Her health worried him, shortly after she had returned; he had racked the U.M.N. for an explanation…her soul had transmigrated, living in a new body. The problem was that sometimes the host body would reject the spirit…at least in fiction anyway; there was no record of this ever happening in real life. So Albedo kept a close eye on Shion's health, so far for the exception of a few sleepless nights, everything seemed to be alright.
"Here." Giving in, Albedo took the glass, the cool water a respite for his parched throat. Bringing the glass down, he eyed Shion, then patted her gently on the head.
"Mon ange, rest please." His voice was gentle, his eyes reflecting its tone. Shion didn't reply, taking the glass and towel and putting them on the night table.
"May I sleep with you tonight?" She asked, looking up. "I lied; I didn't wake up for water…"
"I thought so." Albedo answered. He patted the space next to him. "Here." Shion obeyed, removing her boots and nurse's hat before sitting next to him, lying down and curling up into a little ball. Chuckling softly, Albedo put a hand on her head, fingers running through her brown locks.
"Am I going to wake up and find you all curled up like a little cat?" He teased, pulling the covers around her. Shion didn't reply save for a yawn, unaware of the mental prodding Albedo was doing to her mind to force it into slumber. As her green eyes fluttered closed, a soft smile crossed Albedo's lips.
"Rest, ange." He murmured, leaning over and pressing a kiss to her forehead. He didn't care if he went back to sleep, right now all that mattered was making sure Shion slept until morning. Once he was sure she was deeply caught in sleep's embrace, did he dare to leave the bed, and stopping only to make sure he hadn't disturbed her. He had plans to make, missions to carry out…and he couldn't bear to have her watch him as he did so.