Gods, yet another fic. I just can't stop, can I? Nevertheless, Special Discount still holds basic priority over the others. I just wanted to get this up, 'cause I'm trying out my hand in other genres, like suspense. And by "sci-fi" which was originally what this fic was put under ... yes, this takes place in the future. You can't tell in this chapter, but we'll get there. Also, one can consider this my late Halloween thing, too. xD Dunno if I'm gonna keep updating it, though. We'll see.
By the way, be sure to check out that other silly fic of mine and my friend's, "Bump in the Night." It's sexeh, I swearzorz.
Any reviews would be greatly appreciated :3
Chapter 1 - "It Won't Come Back"
The echoes and voices were everywhere and nowhere. In, but out. Harsh, but soft. Cajoling, but threatening. Loud, but quiet. There, but not there at all.
Were they talking to him, or simply passing through? Surely, he could use some intelligent conversation right now.
Yin and yang, white and black, your sanity's gone and it won't come back.
What a joke.
The figure shifted, pulling up its knees and wrapping his arms around them. He shivered.
What a life.
The lone, skinny individual tilted his body sideways to lie in the fetal position. His cheek pressed into the cold linoleum. Such a funny word, fetal. Fee-tal. Spelled like petal, but not pronounced the same way. That would be feh-tal, wouldn't it? Silly silly silly. The ramblings of a crazy person, huh? Well, he was hearing voices. That was probably the first sign. He giggled softly.
What a joke.
He twitched, toes wiggling slightly as he nuzzled his head farther into the floor, hoping to find a more comfortable position. His ears were ringing with a dull roar. It hurt slightly, but just slightly. He had more important things to worry about than that. Like his wants.
He wanted to eat. Oh, but he was so unbelievably hungry. But they weren't feeding him. They were keeping all of the delicious food for themselves, selfish asses. But he wanted it, too! He wanted it all! All for himself! But they were keeping it from him. Why? WHY!? He'd kill them! He'd kill them all!
Jealousy and rage curled up in his stomach, only to die down shortly afterwards. Why was he stooping to their level? He was bigger than that. Bigger and better and stronger and smarter. He would show them. Besides... he just didn't feel like getting up right now, either. Much too lazy. Why hurry when life could go so slow, after all?
What a life.
He purred to himself, smiling wearily. All this intense thought was making him hard. And horny. Was it getting hot in here?
One hand slithered down slowly, nonchalantly slipping beneath the plain white, hospital issued pants to reach his goal. As pale, slim fingers circled around the hot, hard flesh, squeezing and pumping, causing the already dull eyes to darken, the pain began to slid away. He sighed softly, eyes shutting. Things were ok. Everything was ok...
The voices came back in sudden full force, as if sensing that he had put his guard down. It was painful to witness. With a gurgled choke, he gasped and curled even tighter in on himself, lust forgotten as he dragged his hands back up into his hair, squeezing and hoping to rid himself of the screaming echoes.
They were singing in horrible, wailing voices to him.
What a joke.
What a life.
Yin and yang, white and black, your sanity's gone and it won't come back.
I am not fond of writing journal entries, but my lab partner, Riku, has recommended that I start a small progress report from our departure of Oblivion Inc. to mark down the beginning of our new "lives," so to speak. In layman's terms, a "diary." I personally think this is ridiculous, but nevertheless...
Introductions, then. My name is Roxas Ventus. I have watched 23 years pass by without much realization, so caught up as I've been in school, college, and now, my research. As soon as I received my degree for science and medicine, I've been working busily at Oblivion Inc, researching. Unfortunately, the company had a fallout, despite its fierce competition with Twilight Pharmaceuticals, the company across town. Ironically, the only other place for us Oblivion workers to go was right to our enemies.
As soon as I had entered with Riku on that early October morning, our eyes were scouring the sterile environment for our two foes in the researching world: Axel Minato and Sora Astrum.
"Y'know, we haven't heard any recent news about those two for a few months, now..." the tall, silver-haired man said as he tucked his hands into his jacket after they passed through the heavily-armed security. His boots made soft sounds on the tiled floor as they walked down together, he and Roxas. The corridor itself was sparsely occupied with other Twilight workers, but the pair was, for the main part, ignored.
It was their first day at work. Their new job. Twilight Pharmaceuticals.
Roxas shrugged silently, his blue eyes hidden behind the spiky cowl of blonde hair as he feigned disinterest. But the other knew perfectly that he was just as curious. Roxas and Riku had been competing with Axel and Sora for two years now, both trying to one-up each other in their projects:
The first year, Oblivion came out with Verlazil, a drug against the common cold.
Just that April, Twilight released a more effective flu shot than ever before. Needless to say, competition between the two was fierce, with the four leading the fray.
However, that summer, Oblivion went bankrupt over a fatal mistake in marketing. Everything went downhill from there, and Roxas and Riku had wisely, if not somewhat shame-facedly, scrambled for jobs in Twilight before they lost everything. It was a tough world and they knew that they needed to survive, despite all of their old loyalty to the company.
The world of medicine in 2123 was cruel and ruthless. In fact, the world in general was pretty damn ruthless, as well. Doctors did everything they could to achieve their goals and cure disease. If it meant killing off a dozen or so patients, well... so be it.
Cancer was a thing of the past. And AIDS? Forgotten. The human populace had bigger things to worry about.
It wasn't until about 50 years ago that disease got... well, smarter. It mutated, it grew, it molded itself to squeeze around anti-biotics and meds. Viruses and bacteria become so much more advanced than ever before, and the world had begun hurriedly scrambling to keep up before their race was killed off by the micoscopic pests. Pharmaceutical companies had been sprouting up like weeds ever since and the business was so intense and secretive that transferring was almost like a death-sentence. No one trusted each other anymore in the science and medicine field, and the common public hardly knew any better. They depended too much on the companies and the power of doctors and scientists alike had risen dramatically in the past fifty years.
With the rise of science came an evolution in medicine, as well as a fall in the value of life. Drugs and vaccines were processed speedily, but only because most of the testing occured right at the source of the problem. Instead of lab rats, there were lab humans. The infected, those lucky ones that had the honor of going through the process of achieving a new cure, became test subjects. The whole research process, unsurprisingly, went a lot faster that way.
Roxas and Riku had been partners since being made to work together two years earlier, and they had yet to separate, which was more of a safety issue than anything else. So, of course, they went together into the enemy territory, and got assigned to the Research wing together.
"Granted, and unsurpsisingly, we have never seen the duo of Axel and Sora. We are sure that they have never witnessed our faces, either. Our local newspapers do not find it fit to publish stories on our or their achievements, and we have never actually cared enough to visit. So Riku and I did not even know who to look for. We plan on asking around as soon as we receive our job assignments, however."
A brunette smiled warmly at them, watching Riku and Roxas tug on lab coats. "Welcome to Twilight Pharmaceuticals! It's nice to see some famous faces here, despite even the unfortunate closure of our sister company, Oblivion Inc."
Roxas frowned to himself, but kept from rolling his eyes. Unfortunate closure? Yeah right.
She extended a slender hand. A few silver bracelets were sparking from her wrists and Roxas was sure that the clothes she was wearing were designer. She obviously wasn't poor. Then again, workers in Twilight were not known for poverty. Most people these days in this field of work weren't.
"My name is Aeris Gainsborough, the Clinical Research Vice President of this branch. We realize that you are much more used to working in large groups, but here at Twilight, we prefer smaller amounts. This keeps the information compact. You'll send in your reports to me every week. We trust that you read your contracts and noticed the secrecy compact, as well."
Riku strode forward to grasp her hand first after he fastened on his name tag. He was always the more polite of the two. Grinning slightly, he nodded his head. Some of his silver, silky hair fell across his shoulders. "Riku Suzume. Pleasure to meet you."
"I've heard a lot of good things about you, Riku. It's wonderful to have you with us." Aeris continued to smile. She radiated calm and peace, even in the simple white lab coat. Roxas didn't trust her. He didn't trust many, though. Not in this line of profession. He was here to work, not make friends.
"Our supervisor goes by the name of Aeris Gainsborough. She seems to be well-aware of what she is doing. However, as we asked about Axel and Sora and when we could meet our greatest rivals, we were in for an unpleasant surprise.."
"I'm afraid our two favorite research scientists are out on a business trip and won't be back until the end of the year." laughed Aeris gently, "They will appreciate the help once they return, though, I'm sure. This project is small in numbers as it is."
Riku and Roxas exchanged curious glances, sharing a feeling of disappointment, before shrugging it off and allowing Aeris to lead them off to their respective offices.
We began work almost immediately. At least there weren't any idle minds or hands.
At the moment, Twilight's newest medicine, unnamed, is going through research. This is where Riku and I come in. Coming in liquid form, given through needles and shots, the medicine was designed to cure a disease of the brain. Anterior Cingulate Cortex Disability Complex. As the ACC has been proven to help control the amygdala, which in turn processes our emotions, the disability complex neutralizes all the emotions. The victim loses his or her feelings and soon just becomes monotonous, feeling neither happiness, nor sadness, nor anger.
The medicine is meant to rectify that and get the ACC to start working again. A synthetic, man-made anti-virus is injected into the patient, which in turn targets the ACC and reboots it. And all had been going well. The shots had been working. Until..."
Roxas walked in silence after Aeris, who was leading the blonde through a white hallway. Riku had already been dropped off and now Roxas was left alone with the woman.
Paintings hung on the walls between the rooms, but Aeris simply passed them by and continued talking. "A few months ago, some of our research began showing negative results. As it turned out, some of the subjects who had been going through testing reacted very badly with the shots."
As they walked, Roxas occasionally glanced through the windows set into the doors. People were busy working away, mostly in labs. He looked over to Aeris. "How badly?"
The brunette sighed. "The anti-virus that we injected into them was rejected by the cells, then proceeded to mutate. In fact, it mutated into a completely new, stronger form of ACCDC. And because we made the anti-virus, we gave the new disease the name of Synthetic Anterior Cingulate Cortex Disability Complex."
"Despite the ridiculously long name, the disease itself is serious. Not deadly, so far, but painful. It was like a super-diease. There was no cure for it. As I found out later, it is usually called Syns. Thus far, there are only two subjects that are infected with it, but apparently, many others took the first anti-virus as well, so coming up with a cure was compulsory."
"I have already assigned Mr. Suzume to Subject Two, so you will be paired with Subject One. Both One and Two have been afflicted with Syns. We want you to observe them, as research for this has just begun. Both subjects recieve their injections every morning and we want you to record any observations. Jot things down, run tests, take blood samples, and the like. Learn about their symptoms, then compare notes. As Doctors, you two would be able to spot things much better than any simple study coordinator."
Roxas was lead through one of the many identical white doors. A simple task such as this one was unsurprising, he was new here. And observation and tests was what he did best. He had no complaints. Nodding in understanding, he followed Aeris through the small hall. Two doors faced him, but they walked through the one of the left.
It was the observation area. A small table was set against a large window that looked into a medium-sized room. Aeris set down Roxas's clipboard on the counter. The blonde frowned briefly.
"I'll be able to observe directly, correct?"
Aeris only smiled. "Of course! However, some of Subject One's symptoms so far have been... violent... so I would much rather you obeserve from a safe distance first to set your base. You are the first to intensively study him, so you must start from scratch." The tall woman distractedly plucked at the shiny bracelets at her wrist, taking one last look around the area, before nodding to Roxas with another upturn of her lips.
"I'll just leave you to it. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask Naminè. She is Number One's care-taker and nurse."
Roxas was left by himself. The observing room carried only the table and the chair. The room he was actually observing... well, maybe the patient was out? He blinked briefly, looking into the seemingly empty, and, he noted, padded box, before sitting down in the only actually sitting implement in his own area and sighing.
So this is what his new life felt like at Twilight Pharmaceuticals. He really couldn't complain. It paid well, had insurance, and he got the weekends off every other week. The blonde picked up his pencil and began fiddling with it boredly, blue eyes glazing over.
The two years he had spent out of college had been mostly like this. As a research scientist, in the beginning, he had spent most of his time observing, making notes, putting the subjects through intensive testing, then writing reports. After a few months, Roxas moved up to coordinating these actual projects. As the medicine progressed, he was the one responsible for smoothing out problems and glitches in the medications. But now, it was back to the novice days. He was basically a one-man operation for Subject One, if he inferred what Aeris said correctly. It appeared that Twilight had multiple small operations running at once with smaller teams, rather than one or two large ones like in Oblivion. Roxas sighed again.
Science had been a passion back in college. Now it was a routine, day-to-day job that paid well but didn't satisfy his lust for excitement. Pursing his lips, Roxas leaned back in the chair and had just started wondering if Riku had gotten off any better when there was suddenly movement in the adjoining room.
The nameless victim, the sorry human who had contracted the Syns disease, was moving about. Looks like Roxas wasn't alone, afterall.
"I had also wondered why the disease had been abbreviated to Syns. It wasn't odd that the diseased victim was living there, being researched. These people always had consent from their families if they themselves weren't coherent enough. It was for the sake of science, after all, and they were also well taken care of.
But never before had I seen something like this. Like... him.
I knew now why it is called Syns."
The lanky individual rose from his simple mattress that had been pushed into the corner. Well, "rose" was over exaggerating. He rolled out from beneath his blanket onto the floor. Roxas sat up, eyes keen as he watched him, wondering what exactly he was in for, how gruesome this disease was.
Visibly shivering, the man sat up and ran a few pale fingers through his matted, dull red hair.
Roxas frowned, at first not seeing anything unusual. The victim was skinny, yes, but it was obvious that he was well taken care of. His body-type was slim, but he was well-fed. His hair was a little messy, but groomed nevertheless. He appeared to be functioning normally, as well. The blonde was perplexed and couldn't help but scowl. What was there to be scared of here? He would have much rather prefered to be observing up close, rather than in the dingy little room.
The male abruptly turned his gaze towards Roxas. And while the research scientist knew completely well that the tinted window hid him completely from view, he couldn't help but be a little disturbed by the look his subject was giving him.
The green eyes that Number One had looked crazed. Had Syns driven him insane? Was that the reason for the supposed "violent" symptoms?
Still, determined to do his job, the blonde pulled his chair forward and readied his pencil. Studying from afar, he would at least record. He looked back to Number One, expecting the male to still be sitting with that blank look on his face. Instead... Roxas' jaw dropped.
The Syns victim had pulled out his cock from his pants and was now feverishly jerking himself off, regardless of the window in front of him, regardless of anything at all, really.
Roxas stared. And stared. And his eyes moved just slightly in their sockets, watching the up and down motions of the man's hand, his mouth dry with shock. He had never seen anything like his before. To be truthful, Roxas had never worked much with severely incapicated mental patients either, but he was still startled and stuck dumb. His fingers curled tightly around his pencil, unable to take his eyes away from the sight.
"His behavior was abnormal. He just... went and masturbated. Right there. In front of me.
But it made sense why. At least, later.
The name 'Syns' had been coined not only for the shortened word 'synthetic,' but because it was based on the Seven Deadly Sins. The victims, One and Two, display violent symptoms that imitate the classified vices. I have never witnessed or heard anything of the sort before."
For the next week, Roxas went about doing his job, Aeris still wishing for him to keep his distance. Every morning, he awoke around 9:00 am, got dressed, took the local train to work, and arrived almost always at 10:00 on the dot. That was where his day would begin. Sitting down at his pathetic little table (now hosting a little Dragon tree that he had brought in himself to liven things up), Roxas would tug out his notepad and pencil and wait. One (for he went by no other name) would wake up shortly afterwards to find breakfast waiting for him by the bed and Naminè, the nurse, to give him his shot. Roxas would watch and scribble down notes.
1:00 was a lunch break, but by 2:00, it was back to work and at 7:00, Roxas met with Riku. They compared notes, and at 8:00, they went home. Seven times, Monday through Sunday, Roxas had repeated this, but there were results, as futile as it seemed.
Roxas had noticed a pattern. Each day, every few hours, One would go into overdrive and start moving about or acting in such a way that resembled one of the Seven. Every day was a different one.
"If it was Gluttony, he would grab at every single scrap of food his caretaker brought him, stuffing it all down and chewing voraciously. Later, he would bang at the door, yelling wordlessly for more. As far as I know, he does not speak coherently.
For Pride, One would sit upon his bed as if it were a throne, turning his nose up at Naminè and keeping to himself. I caught him peering at his nails and preening himself once.
Greed had One huddling in a corner, clutching at all of his possessions (which included a blanket, the mattress, and a pillow) and giving Naminè suspicious glares when she came in.
If it was Sloth, the man stayed in a comatose position all day, not bothering to move, not bothering to even live, as it appeared to me. This is one of the more alarming, if not eventless, symptoms One goes through.
Wrath had One screaming and smashing everything he could in his padded room, flinging himself into the wall and door and even, once, running right into my window. The window, I know, hides me from view so that he does not realize my presence, but for a moment, I could have sworn he saw me.
Envy was a calmer one. He just isn't allowed to be around people at this time. Every time the caretaker came in, One would try to grab something of hers and make her give it to him. But Naminè knew better. She always managed to sneak out with all of her possessions.
But Lust... Lust was another story altogether. Naminè never came in on those days. She hurriedly slid his food around the door and hurried out. And of all of them, Lust happens the most.
But I... I always stayed. I had no choice. I observed. At least in-between his attacks, the man is calm. He usually just sits and stares at something. If I didn't know better, I would have said he was deep in thought. However, I am getting impatient with this procedure. I need to run tests and actually come into contact with One if I hope to make any more progress with this."
Finally, Roxas was introduced to Naminè, the caretaker, after a full week of work. It was a pleasant meeting. Naminè was about the same age and soft-spoken. She took care of One's needs, whether it was feeding him, bathing him, giving him his medicine every morning, or even giving him a haircut. The smaller, slimmer, blonde had smiled upon their first meeting and told Roxas all that she could about One.
"He can be really sweet, One. He doesn't talk, I know that, but I think he's trying to tell me something sometimes."
Roxas tucked his notebook under his arm. It was Monday again. Another day of observations complete. "Does he know who I am? Will I ever get to meet him?"
The girl smiled to herself and shrugged. Roxas had been surprised with the respect in which Naminè spoke about One. She didn't see him as a mindless, nameless, diseased individual.
"You'll have to run than by Miss Gainsborough. I'm sure that One will actually want to meet you one day. regardless, though. He knows that he's being watched. Figured it out a while ago when he smashed the old window with his fist. That had been one of his Wrath days..."
As the two walked together, Roxas frowned, another question coming to mind. "How long has he been here?"
Naminè fell silent for a moment, biting her lip. Roxas didn't miss the brief, far-away look in her eye, but she was back to reality in no time, smiling sadly. "Two months. Since about August, right when we started the testing for the new medicine. How's it coming along, by the way?"
Roxas thought back to the very first meeting that had been held that weekend. The blonde had finally come into contact with the whole team working on the medicine. There were only about twenty. "Well, we've been assuming that Syns and the original disease can be cured with the same anti-virus, so we've been focusing on the old calculations, but with modifications."
"The Cure will take a while, then." sighed Naminè. They reached the end of the hall and bid each other goodnight.
Riku and I finally compared notes in a more in-depth fashion. It seems that One and Two are completely similar in their symptoms. And my initial observation was incorrect. Their Seven Sins cycle is not limited to just seven days. One spent a whole week in Sloth mode once, according to Naminè."
Two entire weeks had passed. Roxas was still observing, and steadily growing impatient with Aeris's stubborn belief that they wait a little longer before delving into more intense testing. And One had continued to exhibit the strange symptoms.
"The Subject spent most of the day sleeping, only rising occasionally to eat..." -- Sloth
"The Subject reacted violently when his caretaker attempted to take back the food he had not eaten, and was nearly tranquilized." -- Greed
"Patient One, for the most part, was seen sitting in the corner, mumbling to himself and occasionally feeling parts of his body in a sexual manner." -- Lust
It was becoming an everyday thing for Roxas to occasionally catch the red-head sitting on the floor, staring with a dazed look at the glass separating them. It was odd, but Roxas had a strange urge to not only test him, but talk to him, even if it was one-sided. There was a chance he could push his research forward that way.
He brought it up upon one of his note-comparison meetings with Riku.
The older man nodded in agreement, shuffling his papers. "I was just thinking the same thing the other day."
"Because, I mean..." Roxas ran a hand through his blonde spikes. "I'm not really getting anywhere at this point. One is just repeating the same things. Maybe if there was some interaction..."
"Roxas, I agree with you." Riku sighed, "Two is just as frustrating because he's younger than One. His attacks are longer. He spent almost an hour yesterday flinging his body into the wall..."
Roxas fell silent, turning his eyes onto the small picture of Two attached to Riku's folder. The victim was a few years younger than One, according to his file. A kind-eyed teen with a huge mass of brown hair on his head, Roxas had seen him in person once. That had been his Sloth day. There hadn't been much to see. It was becoming common-place, almost, to see the two Syns victims go through their day to day torture.
The blonde nodded goodbye to Riku as he walked back to One's room, troubled. Since when had he lost his compassion? Since when had he stopped pitying One and Two in the first place? Yes, he was working for a cure, trying as hard as he could, but was it really for the victims? Or just for the medicine?
Had he ever really pitied him at all?
Roxas hadn't written a journal entry in days.
The singing had stopped. How odd. How funny.
He giggled lightly, idly poking at his pillow. There were new eyes watching him, he knew. Blue eyes, Nami had said. Pretty pretty blue eyes. Like the ocean. Pretty.
What was an ocean? Funny word, ocean.
Silly and funny. Like a joke.
Every time he thought about those eyes, the singing stopped. The voices took their leave, too. How nice of them, giving him some more room in his head. It had been getting a little cluttered, anyway.
One smiled eagerly, hugging the pillow. When he met the ocean-blue eyes, he'd be sure to find out what an ocean was.
Nami was back again. With the needle. Damn needle. It didn't hurt. It didn't do much, really. He didn't know why he hated it. But some part of him told him to hate it.
Did pretty ocean blue eyes like the needle?
He'd have to find out.
With a shake of his head, he raised his eyes to meet Nami's and he smiled.
What a life.
What a joke.
Up and down, through and through, what'll you do when your mind's left you?
By week three, Roxas had had enough time to completely take in the victim and learn everything there was to know about him... through observation. He knew every single symptom, every single detail about the male, down to the tiny tear-drop tattoos beneath his eyes. He could even diagnose how to treat One on certain days.
That was when Aeris had allowed him to take things to the next level. Finally.
It was mid-October. And Naminè had come into his observing room that third week and told him that it was time to meet One. He was getting a haircut.
Roxas had gotten his chair and brought it over, excitedly entering the padded room for the first time. It smelled pleasant. Like faint cinnamon. Following Naminè's instructions, he sat himself right in front of One's stool, pen and pad ready, legs shaking slightly from nerves. This was it. He was finally meeting the Syns victim. One sat across from him, staring at his lap, completely ignoring Roxas.
It was a Lust day, but One had gone through a lapse about fifteen minutes ago, so it was safe to interact. They had about an hour before anything occurred again, if things went according to the patterns, which they usually did.
Naminè entered shortly afterwards, smiling gently as she always did, an electric razor, barber scissors, and a comb in one hand.
"One, this is Roxas. He's just gonna watch you today and make sure you get a nice hair-cut, alright?" She said softly, kneeling by One and motioning to Roxas. Eager to get a good mood going, Roxas tipped his lips into a small grin.
One pulled his head slowly, painstakingly, his long red hair falling over his face slightly. He stared long and hard at Roxas, his green eyes dark and gaunt as he observed the blonde, before looking away without any reaction, face blank. It was as if he hadn't even seen Roxas.
Roxas's smile slipped, but Naminè continued to nod encouragingly at him as she moved to stand behind One. She gently took a strand of red into her nimble grip and began cutting, scissors making soft snapping noises as pieces of hair fell to the ground onto the sheet of cloth the girl had placed there earlier.
Roxas kept himself still, watching One. The man didn't move. In fact, if not for his open eyes, the scientist might have thought he had fallen asleep.
Meanwhile, Naminè spoke to Roxas in her soft voice, keeping her tone so gentle, it would have been appropriate for calming down a spooked animal. "He gets haircuts once a month. For some reason, his hair always grows so fast, so some were thinking there might be some weird growth hormones in the drug..."
"So I've heard..." Roxas replied quietly, noting that One's eyes weren't actually still. They were flicking back, to where he could see his hair falling to the floor, then forward to Roxas's shoes, then back to his lap.
The hair-cut proceeded in silence, all three in the padded room saying nothing.
"Oh, shoot!" Naminè had picked up the razor to trim some of One's neck hair, only to realize that the battery had died. She grinned sheepishly at Roxas. "I forgot to check if it worked. Can you stay with him for a few minutes? You should be fine, I'll be right back!"
Roxas just managed a nod before the blonde scurried out of the room, leaving him alone with the Syns patient.
The atmosphere turned awkward. There Roxas was, stuck with the diseased and somewhat empty-headed individual. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat, choosing instead to peer around the room. The change in attention cost him.
He didn't notice the movement.
He didn't see the spark of life return to the green eyes.
Nor did he notice the stretch of lips and skin, making room for a sly smirk.
But as Roxas turned back to look at One and see if any change had occurred, he most certainly managed to take in how the taller red-head had straightened his slumped shoulders, propping his hands, which were pale and slim, on his knees, and leaned forward.
The blonde scientist didn't dare move as One's face came in closer and closer. Anything could happen and the idea of a sudden movement on his part didn't seem particularly intelligent. He was startled to realize that even with the three weeks of work under his belt, he had never noticed that the green eyes were narrow and slightly slanted or that One's face construction was almost elegant.
"One! I... what are you doing?" Roxas whispered weakly, fascinated but slightly fearful at the same time. He didn't expect a reply, but hoped that some speech and noise in the suddenly silent, still room would break whatever spell One was going through.
The sly smirk expanded. Warm breath skittered over Roxas's face. Those slim fingers moved forward to splay over his chest. There was no body heat radiating off of those palms. Roxas swallowed, locked on One's intense gaze.
Then a voice was speaking. It took Roxas a moment to realize that it was One who was uttering words.
One had whispered it, ache and desperation apparent in the hoarse voice. Roxas barely even saw the lips move, but he spoke. The blonde was too stunned to move, let alone say anything.
"Help..." He repeated. "I don't want to feel... anymore. No more. Please..."
"I don't..." Roxas choked out, bewilderment written across his features. "I don't know what you mean... we are helping you, that's why you're here!"
But One was off in another world now. Just like that. His anxious mood changed and he was sighing softly, leaning in until his face was nuzzling into Roxas's neck. Still, the scientist couldn't shift his limbs. His eyes were wide.
"You're so warm... so soft..."
There were pressing lips at Roxas' neck. Then they were at his cheek, barely even making contact. And before he knew it, One had pulled in for just a small kiss.
And unlike One's hand, there was definitely warmth and life in those lips.
The patient abruptly snapped at the sharp noise and pulled away, scuttling across the room to bury himself into his bed. Naminè stood at the doorway, a pack of batteries in her grip, both hands on her hips as she glared at the quivering pile of One huddled underneath his blanket. There was anger in her eyes, something that Roxas had never seen before. But the gaze quickly changed to pity as she looked over to her co-worker.
"Sorry about that... it's the Lust, probably. I think it's time you go, I'll handle this..."
"Uh, uh...yeah." Unable to bring a hand up to his mouth and wipe away the lingering warmth that he was still feeling, Roxas stood and nodded distractedly. His scientific mind, for once, fell short on providing an explanation on what the hell had just happened. He didn't even bid Naminè goodbye, but simply staggered out, leaving the care-taker and her subject alone.
He needed to go see Riku. Now.
As soon as Roxas's uneven footsteps died away, Naminè sighed and flung down the batteries. She turned mournfully to One, who was cautiously peering out from beneath the blankets, eyes wide with fear.
"Oh, Axel..." She sighed, shaking her head. "... what have you done?"