Are you an Angel?
Finally, 7 decided she was tired helping 2 carry 5.
"It's okay, I've got him," 2 assured.
7 sighed. 2 was strong at heart, but there was no way he could carry 5 by himself. Still, 7's shoulders were beginning to hurt so she finally gave in hoisting 5's arm off her shoulder and around 2's. 2's knees gave way a little bit from the extra weight but he pressed on.
7 almost insisted that she would help the elder stitchpunk when she heard a faint clicking noise. She turned to look at the twins, 3 and 4, their eyes flashing in their own special way of communicating with each other. 7 could tell they were frightened. She rested her hands on their shoulders. The twins flinched and turned to look at her.
"It's okay," she smiled at them.
The twins gave tiny smiles in return.
The sound of a bomb in the distance caused the group of stitchpunks to stop in their tracks. 6 gave a small yelp and shrunk into his shoulders. Shaking slightly, 1 peered through the two small holes in the helmet they had been using as shelter. Through the dust and debris and human bodies running and falling to the ground he could see a tall building.
"Keep going," he ordered 8.
8 raised the helmet back up and the group continued walking.
About a minute or so passed before a bomb shook the ground causing 5 to let out a loud groan.
"It's alright, 5, it's alright," 2 comforted.
1 wheeled around and glared at 2. 2 pulled 5 in closer to him as the group stopped walking and 1 advanced on him.
"I still can't believe you went back for him," 1 began sourly. "After I specifically told you to leave him!"
"He could've been killed," 2 pointed out.
"You could've been killed! Did you even think of that?" 1 spat.
"I couldn't just leave him!" 2 said.
"You could've! Look at him! He's just deadweight! He'll hold us back and we'll all be in danger! You can't possibly carry him all the way to-!" 1 started raging.
"No! No, I've got him, I…" 2 gathered up all his strength and picked up 5's legs with his right hand. He cradled the wounded stitchpunk in his arm and smiled sheepishly. "See? It's fine, I can carry him."
1's eyes narrowed in on 2. He was a persistent old fool but 1 didn't feel like starting a full blown argument over the matter with bombs raining down on them. Staring 2 straight in the eyes, 1 said: "Fine. But you listen to me, if he starts holding you back, you will drop him, and you will leave him to die. And if for some reason you decide to go back for his body, you're as good as dead because we will not go back for you."
Sighing, 2 nodded in understanding.
"That's horrible," 7 gasped in disbelief. "How would you feel if you got left behind and we didn't bother to go back for you?!"
"I assure you, you won't be leaving me behind," 1 said.
"And what makes you so sure?" 7 hissed.
"I'm the leader of this group. I was first, I've experienced more than you all have, therefore without me you all will surely die!" 1 explained.
7's eyebrows narrowed and emitted a low growl as 1 turned his back to her. The twins shivered when they heard such a dreadful noise come out of 7. When 7 saw the fear on the twins faces, she eased up and continued walking.
Sparks spat from the circuits sticking out of the hole in 5's head. 2 sighed and titled 5's head onto his shoulder. 5 rubbed his forehead against 2's neck and shivered.
"I-," he tried to speak, but he was too shaken to complete what he was trying to say.
"It'll be alright. I've got you. You don't need to be afraid 5," 2 assured slightly rocking 5 in his arms.
5 gripped 2's shoulder tightly as another spark spat causing his whole body to lurch.
2's lips pursed. He felt so sorry for 5. He wished he could've gotten to 5 quicker, maybe then he could've prevented him from losing his eye. But no, 1 didn't want to hear it.
"Leave him. He's not worth it," he had said.
But 2, being the way he was, wanted to save him. So he split off from the group and rushed back to look for 5. Noticing there was a group member missing, 7 rushed after 2 eventually saving him and 5 from being crushed by a giant robotic foot.
Hours and hours went by and 2 felt his strength begin to leave him. He could barely hold on to 5 any longer. He didn't want to drop him. He didn't want 5 to die. 2 felt the burlap body he was holding slowly begin to slip out of his arms. Before 5 had the chance to fall onto the ground, another bomb dropped beside them shaking the Earth and launching the stitchpunks at least and inch off the ground.
6 bumped into 7 and the twins, 1 fell on top of 8, and 2 landed flat on his back, still holding onto 5. 5 groaned.
"Shh. It's alright, 5. It's alright," 2 whispered to 5 who was clinging to 2 for dear life.
Shaking violently, 5 looked up at 2 with his remaining eye. "It's alright. I won't let anything happen to you," 2 smiled.
5 attempted to smile back but the pain made it hard to show even false joy. 2 stroked the side of 5's face. "Just relax. It'll be fine," he smiled.
2 had a strange sense of optimism. It was one of the many things about him that annoyed 1. 1 had almost considered having nothing to do with 2 when they first met. But 1 needed an ally and 2 was the only other living thing like him at the time.
8 lifted his 'master' up and picked up the helmet. 6 helped 7 and the twins to their feet and 2 regained enough strength to lift himself and 5 upright. Dusting himself off, 1 ordered: "Let's move on."
The journey was long and there were many times when they would have to stop and pick themselves back up again but the stitchpunks eventually made it to the cathedral 1 had decided would be their sanctuary.
"Why there?" 6 had asked meekly. It was the first time in days anyone had heard him speak.
"The humans all ran away from it when that flying machine crashed into it. No one should be in there and we'll all be safe," was 1's reply.
Indeed, there were no humans or machines anywhere near the cathedral except for the flying machine sticking out of the side of it and a human who lay dead by the ruined steps. He was dressed in white and red and was stained with blood and dirt. He had already begun decaying and his face was beginning to sink in. His still open eyes were lifeless and frightened 6. The twins, surprisingly enough, were not frightened but rather intrigued as to why this human's skin was purple. 8 had no interest in the human and had no problem stepping on his face, chipping a tooth in the process, and walking over it to the other side.
The rest decided to walk around the human. 7 had to take the twins by their hands in order to stop them from touching the sunken face. Their eyes flickered as they continued to gaze upon the corpse's face.
"Feh. He had it coming to him," 1 muttered.
The inside of the cathedral was damp and dark. A cockroach skittered across the floor, paused to look at the newcomers, and then darted out the door. Having seen the cockroach, 5 shuttered.
"It's not going to hurt you," 2 chuckled in a hushed tone.
A tall, broken staircase was visible at the far end of the room. 1 turned to look at his 'accomplices' and said: "Alright, let's spread out and see what we can find. 7, you, 3, and 4 look over there." He pointed to a giant archway that led into a room to the right of the main entrance. "2, you and uh…" his finger lingered on 5.
"5," 2 said.
"Right, you two search over there," 1 said motioning to a dark hallway. "8, you, 6, and I will see what's up there," 1 pointed to the staircase where a small stream of light trickled down the steps.
The groups went their separate ways. 1, 6, and 8 carefully made their way up the rickety steps, 7 and the twins ventured into the other room, and 2 carried 5 down the dark hallway.
As he went further down the hall, 2 realized it wasn't all that dark. It was either that, or his eyes had adjusted to the darkness. Tired from carrying 5 for so long, 2 stumbled into a wall and sat down abruptly.
Leaning his back against the wall, 2 looked down at 5. "How are you holding up?"
5 didn't answer.
"5?" 2 whispered.
Still no reply.
"5 did you fall asleep?" 2 asked. Still nothing. "5?"
5's head rolled off 2's shoulder and hung limply.
"5," 2 whispered. "5 wake up. 5?"
5 didn't move. A couple of sparks sputtered from the hole where his left eye used to be but nothing else moved.
"5. 5 wake up. Please wake up," 2 pleaded.
When 5 still didn't move, 2 shook him. "5!" Still nothing.
"No," 2 whispered clutching 5's head to his chest. His bottom lip quivered: "Oh, 5. I'm sorry. I tried to help you I-…"
Suddenly, he heard a clicking noise. He looked at 5's face to see his remaining eye was opening and closing rapidly. The two stitchpunks stared at each other for a long while before 5 tried to speak again. "I-," he was cut off from another jolt of pain that started on the left side of his face.
2 frowned. "Oh, 5," he stroked the left side of 5's face. "There has to be something I can do about that eye of yours."
He began to stand up when a jolt of pain erupted from his back. He grunted in pain and leaned back into the wall. 5 watched 2's face twist in pain and frowned. When 2 tried to stand up again, 5 seized his shoulders and kept him down. 2 arched one of his stitched eyebrows in confusion. "5."
"You-you don't have to-get up. I-ugh-I'll be fine," 5 finally spoke, sparks still flying from his circuits.
"5," 2 said. "You're hurt."
"And you're tired," 5 said.
2 sighed. 5 was right, he was tired. He groaned slightly and said: "It's no trouble 5, I'll do something to fix your eye."
"No," 5 said quietly shaking his head. "You-you need to rest."
"It's fine, I'll help you…" 2 began.
He stopped when 5 put his fingers to 2's lips. His single eye looked over every inch of 2 as his hand trailed down 2's front.
"5, let me help you," 2 said.
5 gave 2 a small smile. "You already have helped me," he whispered.
2 was about to speak when 5 continued. "You've already done-so much for me. I-you-you…" His body shook as he spoke, sparks spitting every which way.
2 took 5's face in his hands and said: "5 you're hurt."
"It's fine. I can handle a little more pain. J-just rest," 5 said weakly gently touching the side of 2's face.
"I…" 2 didn't know what to say.
There was something odd about talking to 5. 5 almost seemed half asleep when he spoke. 2 felt his gears moving at odd paces when he looked at 5. The younger stitchpunk seemed to be in some dreamland all his own when he talked to 2. He swayed slowly from side to side, keeping his gaze on 2 the whole time. 2 wasn't even sure if 5 was really even looking at him.
"5?" 2 whispered.
"Yes?" 5 said.
So he was paying attention to 2 and didn't drift off into another world.
"Are you sure you'll be okay?" 2 asked.
5 nodded his head and chuckled softly. He leaned forward and rested his forehead against 2's. The fabric of each other's faces rubbed together as 5 moved his head around 2's. 2 flinched when he suddenly realized 5's lips were pressed against his own. In the back of his head, 2 knew what this was, but the name of the action escaped him.
5's action frightened him at first but suddenly, he felt calm and comfortable and…warm. 5's hand caressed 2's face briefly before he laid it upon 2's shoulder. 2's arms snaked their way around 5's waist and pulled him in closer.
5 had only felt truly safe once in his life and that was when he had first met 2. 7 and the twins never did or said anything to frighten 5 when they had discovered him but they didn't give him the same feeling of security 2 had the moment their eyes met. 5 was frightened of the war unfolding before him. Noticing this, 2 placed his hands on 5's shoulder and gave him a reassuring smile. Something about that small gesture made 5 feel safe. The same feeling of safety had returned to him as he and 2 moved closer together.
2 and 5's lips pressed closer and closer together until the fabric of their mouths began to fray. Suddenly, 5's circuits sparked again and 5 pulled away from 2, gripping the left side of his face.
"5!" 2 gasped grabbing 5's shoulders to stabilize him.
5 looked at 2. "I…" He never finished his sentence. Instead, he leaned forward and lightly placed his lips on 2's. 2's lips separated and he gazed at 5 for a long time before asking: "What was that for?"
5 cocked his head to the side. "What was that you were doing?" 2 asked.
"I don't know. I just-I felt like I had to. I don't know why but…" 5 almost instantly collapsed in 2's arms. 2 hugged him tightly as 5 whispered: "Thank you. For everything."
2 smiled. "It was nothing."
"No. It means everything to me," 5's voice began to drift away as he fell into a deep sleep.
2's hand glided over 5's back. He looked down at the younger stitchpunk's sleeping form and smiled before he too drifted off into dreamland.
- - - - -
5 was still fast asleep when 2 awoke. He carefully repositioned 5 against the wall and set off in search of something that could fix 5's eye. He found a small blade and picked it up. When he got back to 5, he was still asleep. 2 kneeled down and began cutting the frayed ends the circuits with the blade. A few sparks stilled flared and 5 flinched.
"Sorry," 2 apologized. 5 didn't seem to hear him and fell back to sleep.
After searching around some more, 2 discovered a sewing kit. An idea struck him. 2 carried a still sleeping 5 into the room with the sewing kit. Something about sewing seemed familiar to 2, the concept of it was familiar at least. After practicing a few times on a nearby piece of fabric, 2 used a pair of scissors to cut into a square of leather. 5 was still fast asleep as 2 sewed the leather patch over what used to be his left eye. He didn't get very far before he heard 5 let out a painful groan. 5's hand instinctively gripped his forehead.
2 noticed a wire tied around 5's neck holding the fabric over his face. He unwound the wire and gently lifted the fabric on the back of 5's head up. A few circuits had been jumbled and twisted most likely from being thrown around so much outside. 2 carefully began untangling them. 5 grunted and groaned a few times but still never woke up. 2 wondered if he was dreaming that he was still outside. He wanted to wake 5 up and tell him everything would be alright but decided it was better if he wasn't awake for this.
Once he had finished untangling 5's circuits, 2 reattached 5's fabric to his head, tightly winding the wire around 5's neck. He then proceeded with sewing the leather patch to 5's face.
- - - - -
Things looked noticeably clearer when 5 finally awoke. His optic dilated and shrunk from the sudden sight of light. He pushed himself upright and looked around.
"Oh good, you're awake," 2 said suddenly.
5 screamed and almost fell off the table he had been sleeping on. "Whoa! 5! 5 it's okay! 5 it's just me!" 2 said grabbing 5 by the shoulders.
5 stared at 2 for a while. "Do-do you not remember me?" 2 asked.
5 blinked. "N-no…I-I remember you. You-you saved me."
"Yes…I did," 2 said.
"Thank you," 5 smiled.
2 smiled back. "You're welcome."
He reached out and touched 5's eye patch. 5's hand almost instantly went to 2's. His fingers ran over his new eye patch. He paused when he realized he was missing an eye.
"5?" 2 asked taking his hand away.
"My eye…wha-what happened to my…?" 5 asked frantically.
2 watched 5 in confusion. Had 5 never noticed he lost his eye?
"Um…5?" 2 began. "Do-do you not remember what happened?"
Fear written across his face, 5 looked at 2 and said: "I-I remember you. I remember…the floor was shaking…I…"
"Do you remember…losing your…?"
"How'd I lose it?"
2 sighed. "I didn't see how it happened, I just know it's gone."
5 looked down at his feet. 2 placed his hand on 5's shoulder. "I'm sorry. This was the best I could do I…" He pointed to 5's eye patch.
"It's okay," 5 said suddenly.
2 looked at 5, surprised.
"I mean, I can still see can't I?" 5 asked smiling.
"Yes, that's true," 2 couldn't help but grin.
5 began to stand up and almost immediately toppled over. 2 grabbed 5 around the waist and tried to pull him back up into a standing position. 5 sat back down on the table and looked over 2.
"Who are you?" he questioned.
"What?" 2 asked.
"You keep calling me 5, what am I supposed to call you?" 5 asked.
2 suddenly realized that he had never introduced himself. "2," he said.
5 smiled. "2." He repeated.
"Yes, see?" 2 said showing 5 the number on his back.
5 traced the number with his fingers. "2."
"Do I have a…?" 5 began motioning behind him.
"You do. 5," 2 said looking at 5's back.
5 tried to look over his shoulder to see but it was hard. 2 laughed.
"Are there others like us?" 5 asked.
"There are. Do you not remember? You met 3, 4, and 7 before you met me," 2 said.
5 twisted his face up, trying to remember, but he couldn't.
"You really don't remember do you?" 2 looked at 5 in concern.
"Not really. I mean, I kind of remember others but…you're the only one that really stood out," 5 explained, his eye darting around the room as if looking for the answer.
2 sat down next to 5 and wrapped an arm around his waist.
"What are we?" 5 asked.
"I'm not sure," 2 admitted.
"Are you and the same thing? We don't look alike," 5 pointed out.
"I think we're the same thing. I'm not sure," 2 shrugged.
"Are you an angel?" 5 asked.
2 stared. "Am I a what?"
"An angel," 5 repeated.
"What's that?" 2 asked.
I don't know exactly. I remember being outside, alone, and there were these…humans…and they were asking angels to help them…to save them…so I think angels help people. You helped me so…" 5 explained.
"5, I don't know if that's the same thing," 2 said.
"I think it is," 5 said.
There was a long, awkward silence after that. 2 never took his arm away from 5 and they stared each other for a long time without ever breaking their gaze. 5's optic clicked as a sleepy look appeared on his face. Slowly, 5's head sunk into 2's shoulder and he shut his eye. 2 hugged 5 tightly and closed his eyes as well.
2's eyes opened. 5 still had his eye closed. "Yes, 5?"
There was a pause before 5 said: "Thank you, again."
"You're welcome," 2 smiled.
Something about the look on 5's face gave 2 the impression 5 had planned on saying something else, but whatever his original intended sentence was 2 didn't know. 5's eye opened and 2's eyes closed.
"Will you always be there for me?" 5 asked abruptly.
2 opened his eyes again. "Yes."
5 wrapped his arms around 2's neck and hugged him close. 2 laughed and closed his eyes. "I think you and I are going to get along just fine."
"I think so too," 5 said distantly.
2 could tell 5 was still exhausted so he rocked him gently back and forth and before he knew it, they had both fallen asleep.
When they awoke, 2 decided they should look for the others. It took awhile before 5 got used to walking and 2 usually had to hold him steady as they walked down the dark hallway. They made their way up the staircase. It was a long hard climb. A few steps cracked under their feet and one of them wound up almost falling through the wood every ten or so steps. "I wonder where these led," 2 wondered out loud.
5 leaned against the railing and looked down. He screamed and jumped back toppling into 2. "Ah! I'm-I'm sorry, I…!"
2 laughed. "It's alright. Come on." The stitchpunks helped each other up and continued walking.
Just then, a shadow appeared along one of the steps. 5 gasped and grabbed 2's arm. Someone, about the same height as 2 and 5, stepped forward. 5 was shocked to see that this person's right eye was smaller than his left. His pen nib fingers fiddled with the key around his neck and he smiled.
"2!" the stranger cried.
"Hello, 6," 2 greeted.
5 glanced at 2. "You know him?"
"Yes. He's one of the others I told you about," 2 explained as 6 rushed forward.
6 stared at 5 with his mismatched eyes, astounded by his eye patch. He reached forward and almost touched it but failed when 5 jerked his head away. 6 looked disappointed and withdrew his hand.
2 laughed. "5, he's not going to hurt you."
6 suddenly grabbed 5's hand and began observing his fingers. 5 almost pulled back when he felt 2 take his other hand. "It's alright."
6 smiled and pulled 5 and 2 along with him up the final steps. The room they entered was full of light. At the far end of the room was a giant, see-through clock. 6 let go of 5's hand and began walking around the room, still fumbling with his key. In a split second, the image of 6 was blocked out by two hooded characters with flashing eyes. 5 screamed and jumped back and the hooded beings circled him, poking and prodding him. Someone laughed.
"Okay, guys, give him some space. I think you're scaring him," 7 took 3 and 4 by the hands and led them away from 5.
"Hey. Hey I know you three," 5 realized.
"You should, we found you,"7 pointed out. "So, 2, what have you been up to?"
5's eyebrow arched. How did she know 2?
"Just fixing up 5," 2 said stroking 5's eye patch.
"How long did it take? I haven't seen you for at least a day," 7 said reaching out to touch the eye patch.
5 flinched and backed away. 7 withdrew her hand and glanced at 2. 2 rubbed his chin. "He did the same thing with 6," he said.
"Does he not like people touching it?" 7 asked.
"I don't know, he seems fine when I touch it," 2 pointed out touching the eye patch again.
"Maybe he just feels more comfortable around you. You did save him after all," 7 said as the twins began 'cataloging' a candle they had noticed out of the corners of their eyes.
7 smirked and watched the twins stick their fingers into the waxy object.
"So…that's 7…" 5 said noticing the number on the female stitchpunk's back.
"Yes," 2 said.
"And…and those two are…" 5 pointed to the twins. What looked like a white human thumb hung from the twins back but no number was visible.
"3 and 4," 2 answered.
Having heard their names the twins turned to look at 2. 5 noticed that the twins' numbers were written on their fronts instead of their backs.
"And that's 6…" 5 motioned to 6 who was looking up at the ceiling and spinning around in circles for some reason.
"They all seem nice," 5 said.
"They are,"2 said patting 5 on the shoulder.
5 smiled. But his smile faded when a much larger stitchpunk stood before him. On the stranger's arms was the number 8. 8 was large and menacing looking. 5 quickly retreated behind 2.
"Hello 8," 2 didn't seem too shaken by 8 but his tone didn't have quit the same joy in it when he had greeted 6, 7, and the twins.
8 said nothing. He only grunted.
"Oh, there you are 2. I was beginning to think you had died on us," 1 spoke suddenly not sounding the least bit concerned.
"What's with the get up?" 2 smirked at 1's new attire. He wore a red cape with a giant red gem holding it together around 1's neck. His bullet hat he originally wore had been replaced a new white hat with a penny attached to it by some string.
1 adjusted the gem and answered plainly: "It seemed to fit the place." 2 noticed 1 almost resembled the dead human outside the cathedral. "What on Earth did you do to him?" 1 asked pointing to 5.
5 dug his face into 2's back.
"What's that thing on his face?" 1 asked.
"It's an eye patch," 2 answered concealing 5 more with his body.
1 didn't seem to like 5 very much but why that was 5 didn't know.
"What for?" 1 asked.
"Well, I figured it would be better than having a hole in the side of his face," 2 said with a chuckle.
1 didn't find it the least bit amusing. 8 smirked, probably not because he thought what 2 said was funny but rather he found 5 to be funny looking.
"I still say you should've left him out there," 1 scoffed and walked away.
5 gasped. He knew 1's voice sounded familiar. "Look at him! He's just deadweight! He'll hold us back and we'll all be in danger!"
"…if he starts holding you back, you will drop him, and you will leave him to die. And if for some reason you decide to go back for his body, you're as good as dead because we will not go back for you."
5's lips quivered. "5? Are you alright?" 2 asked softly.
He lifted 5's chin up with the tips of his fingers. "Who-who was it you were just talking to?"
"1," 2 answered with a sigh. "Don't mind him, he's just a…"
"He wanted you to leave me behind. He-he said I was deadweight and that I'd hold you back," 5 said.
2 sighed. "5 don't listen to him."
"Why didn't you leave me behind?" 5 asked. Before 2 could answer, 5 added: "I was holding you back. I remember you were having a hard time carrying me."
"5, I couldn't just leave you," 2 said.
"You didn't even know me," 5 reminded.
2 took 5's face in his hands. "I still cared about you."
"Why? You didn't know me!" 5 cried a little louder than he had meant to.
"Why should that have mattered?" 2 asked. 5 could tell that wasn't a rhetorical question. 2 really didn't see the problem. "5, you were hurt, I didn't want anything to happen to you."
"But…" 2 brought his finger to 5's lips, silencing him.
"Don't worry about it. You're here now, and you're safe," 2 grinned. 5 grinned as well.
"Angel," 6 chimed.
"What?" 5 asked.
"Angel," 6 pointed to a stained glass window of what looked like a woman dressed in white with white wings and a halo over her head.
"Huh? So that's what an angel is," 2 beamed looking at the window.
"What is it?" 2 asked.
"That doesn't look anything like I imagined," 5 said. 2 knew that was just another way for 5 to say: "It looks nothing like you, 2."
"5…" 2 started.
Instead of completing his sentence, 2 took 5's hand lacing their fingers together.
"2," 5 whispered.
"You'll always be my angel."
2 smiled. He didn't know why, but 5's comment made him feel good. "And you'll always be mine."
5 cocked his head to the side. "But, I didn't save you from anything."
"But I know you would if you had the chance," 2 said.
5 smiled. "Yeah," he said. "I would."
Man! That was freaking long. Hope it was worth it. Enjoy 8D R&R w/NO FLAMES please! Thank you.