Summary: (Sheelos) He strikes; she screams—there's no one around to hear her. Stifle, terrorize. It's over. He flees with the morning's first glow, and arrives with the wings of the night. Inner strength doesn't always come from the inside.
A/N: Here's to my first horror attempt, but of course, there has to be some fluff.
"I'll take the night watch again,"
"Are you sure, Sheena? This would be the third night in a row that you've taken the night shift…"
"I'll be fine,"
"Raine's right. One night without beauty sleep can be devastating to someone of your caliber, let alone three—"
"Just what are you trying to say?"
"Get some rest, Sheena," Zelos stated simply. "I'll take the night shift tonight."
She narrowed her eyes, "That just gives me all the more reason to make sure I don't fall asleep. I don't trust you and your arsenal of perverted tricks,"
"Alright, fine then. Stay up." He said with an edge, sitting himself down on the ground. "After two nights of no sleep though, I doubt you'll even make it past midnight."
She sat down adjacent to him. "Loser makes dinner tomorrow,"
The rest of their group set up their beddings for the night and fell asleep rather fast. It had been a long day of battles and traveling by foot, and every member of their band was exhausted mentally or physically—or both.
Regardless, Sheena had volunteered to be the night watch for the past two days without hassle. Normally she never took up the job, as she did value her sleep, but weeks had passed in which she suffered from a reoccurring nightmare that became more real with each passing night. It became so real to the point where she had awoken one night face down in a small nearby stream and bruises about her neck in the shape of two hands.
She had never had any sleeping problems before this—even directly after the Volt incident years ago her sleep had not been as disturbed as it was now. It made her thankful to be a light sleeper.
Her eyes were closed, she realized, and immediately she opened both of them, staring tensely at the fire before her.
Zelos meanwhile, kept his eyes locked on her. Needless to say, Sheena was acting down right strange and completely out of her normal persona. He had noted when she had nodded off how she quickly snapped back awake, therefore it couldn't be insomnia.
"Sheena," he whispered; she looked over the fire at him with tired eyes. "You're exhausted, don't try to hide it. Get to sleep,"
"I am not," she argued stubbornly.
Zelos frowned, but did not press further. He had been around girls for a good chunk of his life, so he preferred to think of himself as someone who understood those of the opposite sex. He was good at getting into their head—as well as their pants.
But Sheena was a totally different story: she puzzled him, and left him at wits end. Her mind worked in ways Zelos had never encountered, and her actions just the like. While she was never close to what one would call a 'damsel-in-distress', nor to a leader or heroine, she never seemed in between the two. Sheena was just... Sheena.
And in all honesty, that intrigued him.
The two remained silent as the night grew ever darker and the fire ever dimmer. Zelos took note of that, looking around for anything to suffice as firewood. He spotted none. When he quietly rose to fetch some more, Sheena spoke up in a—frightened?—whisper.
"Where are you going?"
"Feed the fire," he replied, dissolving into the darkness of the forest.
She reached out her hand as if to stop him, then retracted her hand to her chest and nodded. He was just getting some spare fire wood; he wouldn't be gone for long, he'd just be gone for a minute or so, no less.
A half an hour passed without sight nor sound of Tethe'alla's Chosen, causing Sheena to become increasingly anxious. The winds around them had since become frigid, howling with icy prowess as he once clear, star filled sky rapidly darkened with a thick, murky—unnatural—miasma. Even the innocent moon overhead hid behind a cloak of the sinister haze.
More eerie still, the trees quivered and whispered in anticipation, their voices crystal clear over the dirge-like zephyrs. He's coming... Run... with the wind... Just keep running...
"No," she breathed, her warm breath a visible mist over the frosting ground. "No... this isn't real... It's just a dream... I have to wake up!"
"No... no," she shivered, placing her hands over her arms for warmth. It was no use for the gusts continued to numb her frame.
She looked downward when she felt an especially arctic chill crash against her lower back; icy water flowed around her, endlessly trickling out from the darkness beyond the trees. She squelched a scream and instantly rose to her feet, the water quickly rising above her ankles.
In a panic, Sheena splashed through the icy liquid over to where Lloyd and her other dear friends slept. Why hadn't they awoken? Why hadn't she awoken?
"Lloyd! Colette! Genis! Wake up, please, wake up!" she cried, reaching into the frigid waters in attempts to shake Lloyd awake. When he did not stir, he turned him over...
Sheena screamed, leaping backward before stumbling, then falling into a sitting position with her hands behind herself.
The person she had turned over was not Lloyd.
Their body lay frozen in ice and in death, expressionless with their eyes glazed as they stared unto the great beyond. The waters rolled over them, sending their frozen features into animation, blood oozing from their lifeless eyes like tears.
It's too late...
She rose to her feet again, the water level gradually mounting to her breasts. But as she turned to run, she found her legs frozen in the waters' depth, and the person she thought to Lloyd had latched itself onto her ankles, staring intently up at her with those same unresponsive eyes.
A cold hand slid over her mouth. It pulled her backward, plunging her into the arctic waters. As she struggled vainly against the being, she could feel him smirk cruelly, removing his hand from her mouth and repositioning both hands delicately around her neck. Then, without a warning, they constricted painfully.
His evil smirk grew wider as her thrashing weaker. Why are you resisting, Kahana?
She opened her eyes in shock at his words. He knew... her hidden name?
Of course, Kahanako. I know all that you know, I see all that you see... and now... He squeezed her throat tighter. You will feel all that we feel!
Two arms—warm with life—grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her towards the surface. As this happened, He released his grip on her and ran a jagged nail across the flesh of her neck. So long as you live, Kahana, we cannot rest...
Sheena broke the surface with a violent splash, gasping and struggling for air. The grip on her shoulders remained firm as she felt her breath escaping her; it was Him, He was still there! Instinctively, she shoved the person from her, shouting, "Get away from me!"
The water around her shifted as the individual was thrown from her, giving her enough physical information about her opponent to launch her counterattack. From the strength of the waves that returned to her, she could tell the being was not overly muscular and somewhat slim, meaning her could only be a couple inches taller than her at most.
"Get away from me!" she repeated her threat as she thrust her arm forward in attempts to strike him. Unfortunately, he stepped backward at the last moment, narrowly avoiding her attack. Sheena, in response, blindly staggered forward until she was caught in a solid—but gentle—embrace, her breathing still dangerously out of control.
"Sheena, relax!" He urged, "You have to calm down!"
That voice... was not His voice. She cracked open an eye and looked up at him. The salty seawater dripping from her hair stung her eyes and blurred her vision, regardless, she could still make out the color pink—and that's all she needed to see to figure out her rescuer.
"Ze... Zelos..." she panted, "What—"
He shook his head, "Don't talk," he snapped, placing a composed hand on her back. "Just breathe."
Sheena clung tightly to Zelos as she worked to ease her hyperventilating; not before long dying down to ragged series of inhales and exhales. In those moments, everything seemed to hush. The only sound between them was the softening breathes taken by Sheena and the droplets from the sea that fell from their sodden clothes and body.
Carefully wiping the saltwater from her eyes, she looked around. The sky above them was clear and filled to the brim with peaceful, twinkling stars; the winds placid and warm, and the ocean they stood in... sleeping and balmy from the hot summer day.
She then looked up at Zelos. "Zelos... what happened?"
He raised both eyebrows, slightly shaking his head. "I... That's what I wanted to ask you. I got back from getting the fire wood and you were gone, then I heard splashes coming from the ocean so I ran here and... There you were, flailing about in the water.
"What... happened? What's going on?"
As she opened her mouth to speak, Sheena could feel the terror and the dread flowing back to her. "I... I don't know. I just... these nightmares. I've been having them for weeks now, and each time they became more... real." Her voice began to shake, "Until one night, when I woke up from it, I was face down in a stream with bruises lining my neck an-and..."
He had shushed her with his inquisitive look as he reached with one finger towards her neck, where a tiny river of blood poured freely from a small cut. He brought his finger, now laden with her blood, to his line of sight.
Sheena noticed the crimson liquid and placed her own hand on the slash, withdrawing to find it covered in blood as well.
Tears filled her eyes as trepidation and insight weighed heavy on her. "Oh my god..."
Zelos pulled her close, "Sheena..."
Post Note: Another two-shot! Yay!