Hello, everyone! My name is Juana la Cliker-Rooster. This is my first 9 fic, so please be gentle with me. Let me start off by saying that I am not shipping any characters here, this is just my take on what happened while everyone was trapped in the machine/talisman thingy. Please review maturely, and if you want to be nasty, then don't say anything at all. I don't want to see any "OMG yur a fag this sux alot you prolly didnt see teh movie" reviews, because those don't do anything for anyone. I did this just for fun, I'm not here to start any controversy or a 9 fan war. That said, please enjoy.
Quiet. Too quiet. Too damn quiet!
The space they shared was not large, not like the cathedral they once called home, or prison. Claustrophobic though it was, no one complained. The silence hanging over them was dense, heavy, and unbearably uncomfortable. It was so thick that the slightest movement sounded like church bells in the dead of night. Each of them was frightened and unsure about their futures, but no one was ready to voice his fears.
One sat as far from the others as he could, staring aimlessly at his feet. Eight stood as far away from the others as well, arms crossed, optics focused on nothing in particular. Three other figures sat on the supposed floor, if they could call the cold, black void a floor at all, huddled together tightly, desperate to forget they were here.
Death. It wasn't painful, the way dying had been. Existing in death felt almost euphoric, but they didn't allow that feeling to take over, not when they knew they had been taken away from the ones they loved. There had been so much to learn, so much to ask, so much to change back in the material world.
Two rested his head against Five's shoulder, optics shut and breathing slow. Five stared at the floor, one hand gripping Six's the way a scared child would. Six rocked back and forth, his mouth silent but his mind racing. Nothing was happening here, and nothing was going to happen. There was a question that was bugging him, and he needed an answer. Now.
"Why were you so mean to us?" he asked gently, breaking the dense silence unexpectedly. He ignored the surprised looks on Five and Two's faces, instead fixing his gaze upon Eight, who had not turned around.
"Eight. I'm talking to you. Why were you so mean to us?"
Still no answer. For a moment, everyone thought the one-sided conversation was over, but Six surprised them further when he stood up and demanded once again in a cool, calm voice,
"Why were you so mean to us?"
Eight, now very aware that the smaller creature was staring at him intently, shook his head and said,
"Why were you so mean to us? We were all…we were all brothers and sisters. Why did you like hurting us?"
"Six," One mumbled, "just let it go." His voice held no contempt or anger. The artist turned his head to look down at the old Stitchpunk who had fiercely imprisoned them for years.
"One," he said in his softest voice, "I need to know. We're dead now, and we're still together. I wish I could have asked these questions before, so I could make a difference and stand up to you. But I didn't. So I'm asking now, and I need to hear Eight's answer. Eight," he turned to look back at the so-called protector, "Eight. Please."
Eight turned around slowly, making optic contact with Six. His frown deepened as his optics flashed dangerously. Although he dearly wanted to, Six refused to flinch even slightly. Aggravated, Eight snarled,
"'Cause you're weak and weird."
"That's not an answer." Two stood up defiantly and walked over to Six, placing a worn old hand on the artist's shoulder.
"Six is right, Eight: you're a bully, and needlessly so. It's high time you explain yourself and your actions. You treated us like garbage; you scared the twins so bad that they cried themselves to sleep every night. Seven could never console them. Even I had wanted to get revenge on you for how you behaved. So answer Six's question."
"Answer the question," Five said as he too stepped in, "You were disgusting towards Nine, and you know it. There was no need for you to knock him around the way you did. Even the Twins rarely left their space before they ran away, just to avoid you."
Questions, questions…too many questions, too much responsibility to take…Eight couldn't handle it. He hated this, he wanted to attack them, hurt them all in some way…could he harm them even in death? He was about to try it out when the strong, confident voice of his leader spoke out.
"It was because of me," One answered, slowly rising from his place on the icy ghost floor, "I told him what to do. I molded him into my bodyguard. I thought only of myself, and did not care for any of you." Six shook his head and replied,
"But you always said you were trying to protect us."
"No, Six. I was protecting myself like the coward I was. I…I apologize. To all of you."
He sat back down and looked away, finally ashamed of his behavior and controlling hands.
"You controlled us with fear," Five said hoarsely, "You realize how hard it was to live like that, right? I was scared to live my own life. Everyday I would aks myself what should I do, what would I be blamed for what could I do to remain as invisible as possible. It was difficult"
"I was more afraid of you than I was of the beast," Six whispered, "Both of you were scary. You thought I was an insane freak. I wasn't allowed away from the cathedral since we arrived there. It wasn't a sanctuary, it was a prison."
"I know," One answered, "and I'm sorry for it."
The apology went un-thanked. No one was really sure what to think of it, not after the long, hard years of living like caged animals. There was so much more to say, but the question that had started this whole thing was still truly unanswered.
"Eight," Six breathed once more, "I'm still waiting fo—"
"It's 'cause I feel stupid 'round you guys, okay!?" Eight bellowed, throwing his arms above his head, "I felt stupid 'round all of you 'cause all I can do is fight! You can draw, the twins are Brilliant, Seven is really good at fighting and stuff, Two and Five were good at makin' stuff work! And I was the big idiot who couldn't do anything! Are you happy now?!"
Resisting the furious urge to start beating the artist, Eight turned away and punched the air, cursing for several minutes before he finally cooled down. When he turned back around to flash a nasty face, everyone was silent and watching him carefully. Diverting his optics, he sighed and sat down, wishing he would just disappear from sight.
Six stepped forward and walked slowly towards the protector, all too aware of the nervous glances Five and Two were giving each other. He shuffled closer and closer to Eight until they were right next to each other. Six kneeled down next to Eight and suddenly wrapped his arms around the bigger Stitchpunk.
"Thank you, "he said, "That's all I needed to hear."
One watched the tender scene with mild surprise—never once had he, or anyone else, ever thought they'd see Eight not pummel someone who got too close, but at the same time, it seemed for a moment that everything was going to be alright, regardless of whether they were dead or alive. He smiled slightly, unaware that Two was watching his reaction. Nodding with a small smile of his won, Two sat back down, pulling on Five's hand to follow suit.
Eight sat as still as a stone, feeling weak and exposed. He wasn't used to being hugged, and he certainly was not happy that he'd been practically forced into a confession, but Six had no plans to let the larger one go. Instead, Eight looked to One for directions on what to do, but when he caught One's optic, he was given a nod and a smile. It was time to let forgiveness in.
The uncomfortable silence turned into quiet moment among friends. Reluctantly, Eight turned his head to look down at the small Stitchpunk beside him, then nervously, trembling, returning the hug. Hoping now he would be released, he grunted as Six happily squeezed him back.
Five and Two began to laugh as Eight squeezed back. Even One found himself chuckling very slightly, hiding it well from the others.
Six began to ask Eight questions, slowly drawing out short, quick answers. As they spoke, Five and Two began to reminisce on their own adventures, while One watched and listening absently. He had his own questions, but no one here was going to be able to answer. At this point, it was best to just wait patiently for something to happen, or for the others to join them.
What felt like hours passed by. Time was immeasurable in this dark space, but it didn't seem to bother anyone. The mood had lifted, and everyone was learning something new about each other. Then, suddenly, the space was violently shaken and a sharp green light broke into the darkness. Frightened, everyone huddled together, waiting for whatever awful thing was going to happen.
And then, Eight was ripped away from the arms that clung to him.
"NO!" One yelled, reaching a hand out in an attempt to pull him back in, "NO! Don't take him!" Behind him came another cry as Six slipped away from them. Five and Two reached to snatch his arms, but he was already out of reach by the time they jumped to rescue him. Instead, they found themselves pulled forward and disappeared into the glowing green void. Only One was left. He cried out as the void dragged him in. There was no pain.
He opened his optics and found himself in another void, but this one was brighter and warmer than the last one. Floating around him were the others, shaken but no longer scared. Six had a knowing smile on his face, and he wasn't telling anyone what he had realized. Another void opened up, this time far calmer, and everyone turned to look at it with nervous anticipation.
Six touched Eight's arm and said,
"Go ahead. There's nothing to be scared of anymore."
Eight, despite his nervousness, trusted the little one and took the first step into the light, and was happy that he listened. Freedom waited them all on the other side.
Please review maturely.