By Karen Hart
Disclaimer: In no way do I own any part of the
Xenosaga series, nor do I make any money from this or other
fanfictions. I write these stories for love of the game(s), nothing
Amazing how quiet it could be, Shion thought, as she sat in Kevin's quarters. No lights were on, the only illumination coming from the opened window in the adjacent dining area. A breeze ruffled the flimsies that'd been piled on his desk now and again, one falling off entirely every few minutes. She did nothing to stop that, though. She didn't feel like doing much of anything, truth be told.
She'd gotten there an hour ago, just quietly entered the unlock code and slipped in. In all honesty she had no idea why she'd done it. Maybe denial had a part in it—or maybe it was confirmation of a sort. But in any case, she'd come.
So there she was, seated in the middle of the floor of her…actually, she wasn't sure what to call him. She'd never really thought of him as a boyfriend. "Confidant" was too severe. But maybe "fiancé" would have been more appropriate, she thought as she turned the small black box over in her hand. Numbly she flipped the lid open and stared at the ring inside. It was a modest piece, small diamonds set deep in a gold band. She flipped it closed, trying not to think of the implications.
Kevin had never told her his intentions—never hinted them, even, and now they were both paying for it. She'd always thought of him as admirable, a role model of sorts, but she'd never really believed he'd had those sorts of feelings for her. She was cute to him, was what she thought, all enthusiasm, but not to be taken too seriously.
Again, there she was, in the dark and the cold, the box tumbling over in her hands while half-thoughts bounced around in her head, things like "He's dead" and "I do", with the occasional "She killed him" thrown in, because that was about as much as her mind could compute at the time. After a while she shook her head to clear it, and the words "He was going to marry me" fell into place.
Her face turned upwards, the sudden movement making her slightly dizzy. She waited until the gray and red subsided, then stood up and made her way to the door. The sentence repeated itself in her mind, each repetition angrier and more urgent than the last. She hardly noticed the half hour walk or the two lift rides, until she stood in front of the lab's side door, the only entrance not sealed by a "NO ENTRY" hologram. She entered the unlock code, stepped inside—god, it felt like déjà vu just then. This place too was dark, though there was no breeze and no flimsies laying about.
It was another good few moments before she found herself standing front of the black service module, a crowbar from the junk locker in her raised hands. Somewhere inside she wondered when she'd gotten it, then dismissed the thought as she brought the bludgeon down against the module. The only thing she accomplished was a loud clanging and a vibration that went from her fingers to her teeth. Still, she kept at it, smashing the machine until her arms turned to gel, and the crowbar slipped from her fingers and fall to the floor. She followed it a moment later, her legs folding under her, while her hands went up to her face. She cried, then, a full on sob since she was certain she was alone.
What was she doing there, Allen wondered, as he stared at his coworker lying among the rubble of the lab. He saw the crowbar a moment later, and the scratches on the service module, and put two and two together. He reached a hand out to wake her up, then stopped himself. Was it really his business? Maybe he should just let her be, though that couldn't be comfortable. Again, he reached, and again, he stopped, almost sighing in relief when he saw her stir. She opened puffy, bloodshot eyes and stared at him in confusion.
"What are you doing here?" Shion asked, a tactless question though her confusion was genuine. What reason did he have to be there? She hauled herself into a sitting position. "Shouldn't you still be at the hospital?"
Allen shook his head and sat down beside her. "Nah," he said, shrugging. "All I had was a few cuts and bruises, really. Guess they figured a quick nano-treatment would be good enough for me. They kicked me back out of there about an hour after I was admitted. –As to why I'm here, well…" Allen trailed off, and looked ahead of him for a few minutes, staring at the debris piled about. He turned to her, then. "It doesn't feel real, does it?" She twitched, slightly, though she never turned to face him. "I mean, day before last we were all but uncorking the champagne, patting ourselves on the back for all our hard work, and now here we are, after having lost so much. I guess I had to see it again, to really believe it. I don't know." He stopped talking then, just sat and stared at the opposite wall.
"I found something in his quarters," he heard Shion say, and turned to look at her again. The words came out forced and ragged at first, then steadied into something soulless and dead. "A ring. Gold with diamonds. I think he was going to propose. I would have said yes." She brought her knees up under her chin, and wrapped her arms around her shins. Neither of them really cared about the view.
It was a while more before either of them said anything, both of them lost in their thoughts. Shion stood up, finally, and began making her way back outside. Allen followed her a moment later, called out to her before she could get very far. He stammered a moment, then asked "Want me…want me to drive you home?"
Shion thought about that a moment, then shook her head, sighing. "No. I'll be fine."