To Understand: Redemption of Ones Sins
Chapter 32: Let Me
A/N: Sorry this took so long. Or maybe not. Realized I was a bit of an idiot for something, so yeah, this was nearly put on complete hiatus (as in, "I'm dropping it" hiatus). But it isn't. Thankfully. I refuse to have 3 years of work go down the drain. BUT ANYWAY…yeah, this is all you're getting for a beginning, because, well…
Jiniasu: she doesn't wanna bother with us anymore *sighs* I get it…okay, yeah, she doesn't own, for the…uh, how many times have you done a disclaimer?
Me: Does it matter? On with the fic. And of course, thank you to everyone who reviewed for the last chapter! (Triple thank yous for being so patient while I dealt with crap) Also thanks to LittleLinor for beta-reading (and helping me get my ideas in order *hugs* Love you~)!
And just for confusion-lessening (in the beginning):
Genis –Feral speaking
Genis –older Feral speaking (remember who she is, right?)
'Genis' –Genis speaking (yes the beginning is a dream…ish thing/sequence)
*hopes that FF doesn't screw up the underlining stuff, like it usually does* (EDIT: And of course it did screw up...if you don't see the underlined words then, well, I've tried about every combination; so if they don't show up...you should be able to understand who's speaking after a moment. If not then ask in your review! I will tell you! *kicks FF*)
Buzzing. A buzzing sound, loud, in my ears. It hurt to move my head; I felt dizzy. Sick, too. My stomach…everything. It felt…off. I couldn't even open my eyes all the way, they felt…glued shut. But not.
Like I was staring at darkness. Perpetual darkness. It was buzzing at me, humming along my skin, threatening. Threatening…to do what, I didn't know. But it was there, buzzing, just underneath my skin. Just barely touching it; somehow both at the same time.
Don't feel A too familiar voice brushed by my ear, echoing, adding to the buzz. I gasped, and attempted to turn my head.
But I was stuck. So completely stuck.
Don't feel. You can't feel. You'll get hurt if you feel.
It was like a chant, in my ear, a constant thrumming, like the buzz.
'Where am I?' The thought was thick, and heavy, and took far too much energy than I would have liked. Energy I knew I would need if…if this was a place I shouldn't be.
Let me feel for you.
I flinched, when this time, a tugging motion accompanied the voice. Like something…something was being drawn out. Tugged, and stretched, along with the buzzing, thrumming, voice, it made it hard to concentrate—but—what to concentrate on?
Let me feel for you The voice repeated, it sounded too familiar, like I knew who it was, but hadn't heard it for some time. A voice, in my memories, of a time I would have—forgotten.
Let me feel. Let me take it away. Let me—
The voice cut off, sequencing precisely with another violent tug.
But it didn't hurt.
Somehow…it just, didn't.
'Why should it?' I didn't even know what it was, 'But it should.'
Why I thought that; I didn't know.
'I don't know many things.' The thought was almost humorous, but I didn't laugh. I just concentrated on what I could.
The buzzing. The thrumming; singular notes, like on a piano. Of a song, or what should have been a song, but wasn't, because it was missing notes.
Let me take it all away.The voice murmured, once more, along with the one-tune notes, Let me take your place.
Let me be in control
Let me take your pain
Each word spoken, louder, with another tug.
The thrumming stopped. The buzzing stopped. My eyes…didn't feel as heavy. I could swallow, and breathe, and the darkness seemed lighter.
'Is this a dream?'
Common sense told me it was.
'So I'm waking up?'
I gasped. That—that voice was different. That time it was—
It was Feral. She sounded…desperate? Hurt? Tired?
The darkness around me lightened, and I had the vaguest feeling I had been in this place before. The place, I had visited, more than once, on the journey—the journey—with my friends-and—
Genis you have to get out!
No he doesn't
He has to
You can't take it
Yes I can!
Just this once
'Who is it?' I forced the words out; watching as the darkness around me both faded, then darkened, and faded again. 'Who is—'
I told you, you should have chosen me.
You don't remember, do you? How sad.
The tugging motion was back again, at those words. This time, much more forceful; harder, the voice hissed almost like it was in pain.
I'll make you remember me, then.
The world around me, faded to black. Complete, and utter black.
See? There. Much better.
And laughing. Chains. Blood, flowing out between the dark tiles—green hair, purple eyes, now a dull corps in front of me.
No, no, no…
I knew who the carrier of that voice was. I more than knew who it was.
The corpse in front of me twitched, and moved; and then a scythe—slashed, downwards, easily into the center—and more blood—more, more, more—
A grinning face. Silver strands, dripping in blood.
You do remember me.She sounded pleased, as her lips, moved with the words; even though I knew it couldn't—Then let me take over for a while. It seems my younger half can't take it. You don't want her to 'die' now would you?
I didn't get a chance to respond, before I was thrown, roughly; dragged, downward, and a choking feeling of too-familiar chains—around my neck—and burning pain, in my back--
I jolted from my chair immediately, when he first started to struggle. I was up on the bed, a moment later, when the thrashing started—when it looked as if he was trying to push some weight away. I barely noticed when the door slammed open, only concentrating on Genis, and his expression, pained—pained, so pained, like whatever he was dreaming of was hurting him.
"Get the covers off him." I barely registered Rose's voice, next to my ear; and I barely had time to wonder when she had come in—but then, she had to have come in through the door when it slammed open, it wasn't like she was gentle with inanimate objects—but I listened, regardless, shifting Genis' body as she tugged the covers away from him.
Immediately her hand flew to his wrist, checking his pulse. Why checking his pulse?
I didn't want to think of what that could mean.
I didn't. But I did anyway.
"It's too fast." She hissed out a moment later, "He might be—dammit, now I really wish lightning boy hadn't gone and disappeared on us!"
"But he isn't dying."
"No, he isn't." she agreed, "But his pulse, if it slows down after all this then—you do know electricity can help with that, right?"
"Help with what?" Looking back, it was probably a stupid question to ask, but it wasn't like I got an answer for it.
She was up off the bed, and over towards our packs before another word could be spared, "Good," she sighed after a moment of rummaging, "Life Bottles. We've got a few to spare."
'But those are only for—' I cut that thought off, pulling Genis—who was now twitching, in short jerking motions—closer, "I thought you said he wasn't—"
"He isn't going to." She snapped, and, with painfully few steps, she was beside me again, placing the life bottle on the bedside table, "We're making sure of that. Because dammit I'm a healer, but I don't know any reviving spells."
She didn't say yet.
"Good to know."
"Isn't it?" She laughed, bitterly, reaching out once more to check Genis' pulse, "But really, you only took your eyes off him for one moment and--?"
"He collapsed." I finished the sentence, scowling, "The one moment I wasn't and—"
"He collapsed." She repeated, exhaling, but never removing her fingers from his wrist, "Yeah, I got that. But why?"
"Don't know." The twitches were now short shivers, pulsing through him, near constantly, but his chest wasn't heaving, he didn't look like he was being smothered, but his forehead was soaked with sweat, and…I knew that couldn't be good.
She still didn't remove her fingers despite this short improvement, "We'll have to ask him when he wakes up." She rubbed her fingers over the visible veins, "Or…he tells you, you tell me." Her eyes flickered up to mine, and for a moment they reminded me—
I shook the thought away, ignoring the confused glance she sent at me a split second later, "Of course. That is…if he tells me."
"You mean he doesn't tell you everything?" Again, her hand didn't move, and her eyes had flickered away, to the clock on the wall.
"No," Not that I tell him everything either. It was the truth, I knew it was, but, "I'll make him, this time."
"After everything." She paused, "that happened." Another pause, "You two don't fight often, do you?"
I shook my head, "We…don't."
"You didn't have much alone time, either." That one was a statement.
"No, we didn't."
Then her hand pulled away from his wrist. I could feel my shoulders relax, "I see. No wonder," her voice was flat though, as she crawled off the bed, and sat on the chair I had been sitting in, "his pulse slowed down. I don't think you need the Life Bottle now, but," she leaned back in the chair, shivering.
"But?" I chanced, squeezing Genis closer. I could barely feel the shivers now, but they were still there, and he was moaning, slightly, as if now whatever had been plaguing him was just a simple nightmare, and not a terror that—not a—dream that—was like those. With Feral.
"Keep it there." The words sounded hoarse when they left her lips, and soon green hair was splayed over her shoulders, hands hiding her face, "Just in case. I—" she shook her head, lifting it a moment later, rubbing her forehead, "That wasn't just some dream."
I squeezed Genis' shoulders, and he let out another moan.
"Really, it wasn't." Her eyes were back on us, focused on Genis' expression, "Though now, yeah, he's dreaming." She almost seemed hesitant to call it that.
"He is." I agreed, even though I wasn't so sure myself, "It…isn't a good one, though."
"How can it be?" I heard the chair scrape against the floor, she was standing again, "Especially after that?" She exhaled, and I noticed, faintly, her hands were shaking by her sides.
"True." I glanced away when she pulled her arms up to fold across her chest, "I'll…wake him up. He doesn't—look like he…" I couldn't even think of what to say.
"Yeah, wake him up." But she seemed to understand, regardless, "Try to get him to tell you. Even if it means staying up for the rest of the night." Her lips turned down in a scowl, "Not that you seem to mind staying up."
Before I could respond to that, she was already turning away, towards the door, brushing her hair off her shoulders, so it could sway behind her.
It almost reminded me of—
'No. No it doesn't.'
I promptly ended the thought, pulling Genis until he was resting on my lap, leaning up against my chest. This seemed to calm his shivers, and soon they were nearly non-existent. A few minutes later, and I felt him shift, groan, and then—
"F…eral…?" His voice sounded weaker than it should have been, worried, tired, sad…then shocked. Like he didn't think he should be here, like he hadn't been here a moment ago.
Almost like that first dream
Back in Flanoir
When it was snowing, and—
I wrapped my arms tightly around his waist, to prevent him from getting up, but he still struggled. Like I wasn't me. Like he didn't recognize me. "Genis!" I tried again, grabbing his head and tugging it back against my chest, "Calm down—" he didn't calm down, he continued to struggle, and then—
I felt his teeth, sink down, into the junction of my neck and shoulder, not hard enough to draw blood, but enough to hurt, "Genis!" I hissed out again, roughly pushing him backward, until he was sprawled out on the mattress under me.
"What's—" I started, only to have the words die on my lips.
He was looking at me, straight in the eyes.
But they weren't Genis' eyes. Or—not entirely.
"She's hurt." He whispered after what felt like hours in silence, "Someone…hurt her." His eyes closed briefly, his chest rising and falling with shallow breaths, as he tried to regain some sembelance of control.
If he had control.
I pushed that thought away, 'Of course he has control.' But his eyes—
I didn't like the look in them.
Not when they opened, even when they looked so much like his that it was almost hard to tell the difference.
Not with his words, in Genis' voice, "Can we take a walk?" It was so hard to tell, but it wasn't enough.
Enough for me to not protest, "But you just woke up."
His eyes didn't change, it was almost like he expected me to say that, "I…see." He turned his head so that he wasn't looking at me, eyes focused on the opposite wall, on the bed I would be sleeping in, even if just for 'show', "She's close, though."
I blinked, "Close?"
His shoulders tensed, as he gave the barest nod, "Yes. She's…here. In this…city. Somewhere." He paused for a moment, eyes slipping shut, "I heard her."
The last few words came out in a choked voice, with eyes, opening to face me again—Genis' eyes. Just his.
"Is that why?" the vague question left my mouth before I could stop it. Genis blinked, confused, "Earlier…when we were looking around, you…collapsed." I explained, making his eyes widen, "Is she…the reason you collapsed?"
Though I already knew the answer, from the expression that crossed his face. Startled, worried, pained. He gave the briefest of nods, swallowing audibly, before whispering, almost to himself, "I…she was…screaming." He paused, flinching as if the statement hurt him, but continued only a moment later, "It was dark, too. And…she…came. She came and tried to take over, and it hurt."
"So please," he was biting his lower lip, worrying it with his teeth, so much that I knew it would eventually bleed, "can we…at least…go for a walk? I…I want to see if I can…tell where she is. How close she is." Sure enough, a trickle of blood began to dribble down his chin, from his bruised lips.
It was enough; like that. To make up my mind.
"Fine," I sat back up, pulling him with me, until he was half in my lap again, "We'll go for a walk." I licked his lower lip gently with my tongue, lapping at the small bead of blood that formed there, and feeling the short shiver it caused.
"It's why we came here, after all." I said once I pulled away, "To find her."
He looked pained at that, but nodded his head regardless, "Right." It was short, simple, followed by a smile.
I didn't even have time to ask about the worry behind it, before he staggered off the bed, and started gathering his things. But I had seen it, there, reflected in his eyes, along with something else that worried me.
The 'she' and—what had happened to Feral, and—where would she even be in a city like this? There were too many questions, too little answers, and it was almost idiotic to think we'd find anything in a city like this, especially alone, and in the dark.
'It's just a walk.' I reminded myself, 'No one said we would find anything.' But with the expression on Genis' face…I wasn't so sure.
And for some reason; that worried me.
After all, this was a city—a capital as the idiot Lance guy had pointed out—and all capitals had it. Secrets, dirt, scum, disgusting things crawling around at the turn of a corner; always just barely keeping out of sight from the general public.
The kind of secrets that annoying 'heroes' so often dredged up. Annoying heroes with red hair, or brown, with their childhood companions, and their lovers, and their insane optimism.
"We're only going for a walk, right?" I wondered, walking the short space to the door, where Genis was having trouble turning the knob. "That's all we're doing, right?" I put emphasis on the word now, shutting the door even as he finally got it to open.
He simply blinked at me in response, still seeming slightly startled from whatever dream Feral had showed him. But he understood my question well enough, after a moment, and he simply nodded his head.
"Of course," He attempted to turn the knob again, "I'm not like Lloyd, I won't dredge up what doesn't need to be dredged up." I lifted my hand from the door, and it popped open readily.
But as we stepped out into the hall, I could have sworn I heard him whisper—
And there's the end of this chapter. A bit shorter than I originally planned, but I like where I ended it. Gives it more 'impact' if you will. Also the dream sequence in the beginning turned out longer, but that was necessary for understanding purposes.
Jiniasu: So this means Older Feral is back?
Me: Basically, yup. That was the whole reason for the scene in the last chapter (for those who were curious about it's placement--I hope it connects now!)
Jiniasu: Yeah it does, but...isn't that like...really bad, then?
Me: You'll see...oh and before I forget. AN IMPORTANT NOTE: University is starting up for me in less than a week (literally. My move in day is this Saturday). I have NO CLUE how my schedule will work out, with classes, plus studying, and of course roommates (at least I know my roommate, but still...) thus meaning this will probably be the last update for a while (again). I'm REALLY SORRY ABOUT THAT. And I truly mean it. I'm hoping University isn't as hectic as they say it is (the classes don't seem overly hard, it's the...getting everywhere that worries me), and I'll work on this whenever I have the chance to *hopes her inspiration lasts* um, but other than that...
Reviews would be greatly appreciated. As in...really. I hope my inspiration for this section doesn't die XP (because I DO really wanna finish this...)
(*shameless plug* if you haven't read Butterfly Memorial--PLEASE DO. I'd love comments on that as well!)