The Outlaw of Madain Sari
Adventures of Fenrir

Hello! So, this is where the Blank/Eiko thing will sort of start. I figured that this was a good way to introduce it as this very thing happened to me one time as far as how I started to like a guy. Anyway. I hope you guys enjoy the chapter! As usual, flames and criticism welcome; as well as happy comments (:

Also! I wrote ANOTHER story (I know, I need to stop). But the reason it took me almost a week to update is that I started to write "Frankensten's Monster". It's a story of where Blank came from and how he got his patches. I have another one on him like that but I think this one is more creative; and more creative than any other Blank origin story that I've read (and I've read nearly every Blank story on this site...because I love him and it's a sickness). haha. Anyway, check it out if you're interested!

On with the story. Hope you like it!


IX
Silence


Where was she?

Eiko lay on the ground, her hands tied behind her back and her face was in the dirt. As she raised her head slightly, she could feel streams of sweat running down her face from the heat. Along with the sweat, there was a sharp pain in her forehead when she realized that not only sweat was crawling on her forehead, but blood, as well. She winced a bit from the pain as she felt it throbbing over and over and over again. She was breathing through the pain when she heard a loud shout.

"Let her go, bastard!" Looking up through squinted and clearly bruised eyes, she saw Zidane, tied up and held down by Lani. As he made eye contact with her, Zidane lost it. "Eiko. Don't listen to him! Don't let him get into your head! You-"

"I'm losing my patience, Princess," Gilgamesh said. Time was running out. She must have not bonded with Alexander yet. Until she summoned him and bonded with the spirit, he couldn't extract the power from her. He couldn't transfer his allegiance over to himself. Not until he was properly summoned.

As Zidane continued to continue on his tirade, Lani held up her axe and thrust it down. "Zidane!" Eiko mouthed, finding in it that she could barely talk as the axe landed on Zidane's neck. His head, severed from his body, rolled a little bit and tears streamed down Eiko's face as she bit her lip so hard that it was bleeding. No, this can't be happening…Zidane wasn't dead. He couldn't be dead!

"Zidane!" she found her voice and began to scream. "Please come back," she begged.

Something started to happen. His face began to change and haze away. Now, Garnet and Leon lay next to each other, tied up as well. Eiko's eyes widened. Leon was blindfold and gagged, whimpering and fidgeting, while Garnet looked bruised beyond repair. She, too, was bleeding at her forehead.

"We have faith in you, Eiko," Garnet said, trying to remain as calm as she could as her son wept beside her. "Be strong," were her last words. They died.

Again, Eiko screamed. "Please stop!" she screamed.

"Summon him," Gilgamesh demanded.

"Over your dead body!"

One by one, her friends were killed before her very eyes. An arrow was sent straight through Freya's forehead. Marcus was dropped into the ocean, tied to a heavy weight. Vivi was burned to death. Steiner had his armour taken off as they pierced him with a sword and poisoned him. He died a slow death as Eiko was forced to watch. Before each one of them died, they pled with her to stay strong. To not summon him. It killed her.

"Never," she would mumble after every time. "Never. Never…" That was all she said. All she could say.

After each of their deaths, Eiko couldn't help feeling she was going to hell. The Gods were going to smite her for all the deaths she's allowed. Granted, if she let him take Alexander, there would be even MORE deaths. Which was the better of the two evils, Eiko didn't know. But, it was torture.

Clearly realizing that they weren't getting anywhere, Gilgamesh turned to Lani. "Bring him in," he ordered. Lani gave a small smile to Gilgamesh and nodded, retiring into the house that Eiko once called home.

Who was him? Eiko was terrified. Whoever he was, clearly Gilgamesh knew that this would, indeed, break her.

There was a sudden crash inside the house. In fact, there were many crashes. She heard the crack of a whip and a laugh, by Lani. Then, there were footsteps.

Lani led the way; and she was dragging a figure out of the house with a rope tied around his neck. Blank.

Eiko let out a giant whimper and Gilgamesh's Cheshire grin spread from ear to ear. Clearly, he'd found the lottery ticket. By now, she knew they were serious about killing all her friends. Would she be able to watch him die?

Not him, she thought, pleading, but she knew it would be no good.

Blank had a blindfold over his belted eyes and another thin cloth was tied around his mouth, gagging him. Though, he could be hurt screaming angrily underneath it. His hands were tied in front of him at the wrists. His stitches had been taken out and he had been left to bleed. Splotches of dry and fresh blood covered his entire body. There were also many fresh wounds and scars all around his body that Eiko knew were not there before.

Gilgamesh took the 'leash' from Lani, who handed it over with a huge smile on her face, and threw Blank at the ground causing him to grunt slightly. If Eiko had her hands free, she would be embracing him, trying to comfort him. Not Blank…not him.

Walking towards him, Gilgamesh tightened his grip on the leash and took the gag out of Blank's mouth. "Where is she?" he demanded, immediately. Eiko's heart dropped. "I don't want her to be around when I cut your fucking penis out, you disgusting little verminous piece of-!"

"Careful, patchwork," Gilgamesh said as calmly as if he were slightly scolding his son. "There are ladies present." He emphasized the word ladies.

Blank caught on rather quickly. "Eiko?"

"Blank," she whimpered.

Hearing her voice so close, he started to feel around and felt her chest (something that almost made her a bit uncomfortable) and his hands went up and felt her face, then embracing her tightly as if they were lovers who hadn't seen each other for years after a war. "You're doing great," he said, burying his face in her hair.

"I can't take any more," she moaned. Tears were streaming down her face. "I'm done, Blank. I can't-"

"No, Eiko!" he begged. "He'll kill us all anyway. I'm not worth it. Eiko-you can't!" This only caused Eiko to cry more.

That was all the talk that they got as Gilgamesh carried Blank away and gagged him once more while Eiko screamed his name, desperately. Forcing Blank to kneel, Gilgamesh removed the blindfold that he had around Blank's belt. Then, Gilgamesh smiled.

"Let's see what's under your mask, lover boy." Blank gritted his teeth together, preparing for the worst.

"Leave him alone!" Eiko screamed.

But, they didn't listen. Gilgamesh raised his hands to the belt that was around Blank's head and cast it aside. It was easy to tell that as Blank stared at her through his true eyes, he wanted to scream. And he would have, had he not been gagged.

His right eye was missing, and that was something Eiko noticed right away. Blank had no right eye. The eyelid that would have encased that eye was drooping over it, sadly. His left eye was intact, though there were burn marks just above it. The red wrinkled and patched skin that he had everywhere else. Except, his eye was white. It was blank…no wonder where he got his name from.

Eiko had never seen him with his belt off. Honestly, she'd never asked to see it. Clearly, he had something to hide, just like Eiko cut off her horn to hide her identity.

Blank's face looked agonizing. He stared at Eiko with such torture. He didn't want her to see him like this. At least not in the presence of Gilgamesh. One day, Eiko would have brought up the topic of seeing him without his belt, and he would voluntarily have taken it off. It shouldn't have been this way…

"Disgusting," Lani spat. She kicked Blank in the stomach causing him to hunch over slightly.

Walking behind Blank, Gilgamesh took the gag out of his mouth, again, this time throwing it onto the floor. Blank looked at the gag in terror. He knew what was next. Gilgamesh drew his bow and arrow behind Blank's head. "Any last words, patchwork?" he asked.

Breathing in and out very harshly, he looked at Eiko, silently begging her to not give in. "I love you," he said with such sadness and humiliation.

With a frantic look, Eiko gazed from Lani to Gilgamesh…and then to Blank. He was begging her…but she couldn't do it. "No!" she screamed. A smile grew on Gilgamesh's face. He knew this would happen. "I'll do it."

"Eiko-" Blank warned.

"Just don't kill him!" she screamed. Tears fell down her face. She felt so weak…she had given in. "I'm not strong enough, Blank…I can only take so much!"

Without another word, Gilgamesh threw Blank to the ground and walked over towards Eiko. He grabbed her by the throat and lifted her up, causing Eiko to wince slightly.

"Wise decision," he told her.

The next thing she knew, they were on a beach. Lani had Blank tied up, as usually, gagged but his eyes were showing. It was clear to see that he was ultimately humiliated. Never had Eiko seen Blank that tormented. Tortured. He hated being unmasked.

In Eiko's hands were four parts of a stone that were now shining and forming together. Eiko's hands were tied together, this time in front of her, and Gilgamesh had his bow and arrow out. It was mostly aimed towards Blank, in case she decided to do anything stupid.

Without any other options, her fists clenched around the jewels and she began to focus all her power on its energy. Blank was moaning through his gag. She knew he was begging her not to do this…she couldn't help it.

Suddenly, a huge stream of pain went up her entire body and landed on the spot where her horn used to live. As if she had been struck by lightning, Eiko fell to the ground, still clutching her fists around the rock as jolts of electricity sprang through her.

Her entire body began to tingle and shake and her forehead felt like it was on fire. Burning until she couldn't take it anymore. Was this what dying felt like…? For a brief moment, she thought about what heaven would be like. Was there even a heaven? Were the Gods there? Would they take care of her?

Eiko fell down face forward on the beach, not even bothering to steady her hands out for her fall. The last thing she saw before her eyes closed was a large white monster.

Finally, she could sleep. She didn't even hear his screams or feel his touch as he came over to her. Time to sleep.

"Wake up!"


A blood-curdling scream could be heard throughout the closer rooms of the castle as the purple-haired princess turned back and forth in her sleep, screaming in pain and clenching her fists. Streams of sweat were flowing down her face.

Eiko woke up screaming, her voice almost hoarse from it. Her hands were on her forehead, clenching it tightly like a safety float, and her face was sweating like crazy. Tears were streaming down her cheeks as she gritted her hands around the edge of the bed. Wait…the bed? She sat up, breathing heavily in and out, realizing she was in the room assigned to her in the Alexandria castle. Sitting on the edge of a bed next to her, staring at her, were Marcus and Blank.

It was just a dream? It felt so real…

Looking at Blank, she blinked a few times, avoiding his eye contact a bit. Eiko hadn't thought about Blank before. Not the way she clearly had in the dream. The way they acted…they were like lovers. Eiko didn't understand where that came from. Of all the people that could get her to crack, why him? Sure, he was easy to get along with and they could talk no problem. But love?

Her eyes went up to the belt on his forehead and then she quickly lowered them to the ground. Was that really what his face looked like underneath his belt? Would he show her if she asked? Had he ever shown anyone in his life? Surely Marcus had seen it at least once. It made Eiko wonder. A lot.

Marcus was the first to move. Walking towards her, he sat down on the bed next to her, handing her a washcloth. Slightly embarrassed, Eiko took it, using it to wipe the tears away from her eyes and the beads of sweat on her face. Her right hand went up to where her horn used to be. It didn't hurt right now. The pain was all imagined.

She had never been in more pain in her entire life. Cutting it off had hurt less than that. Or maybe Eiko forgot the pain she had experienced that day. The day after she cut it off, she remembered having some sort of hangover from the aftermath. But the pain she felt in her dream? There was simply no comparison.

The two of them seemed to notice that she had been focusing her attention on her horn and she lowered her hand immediately.

"Do you…wanna talk about it?" Blank asked. His hands were clenched together in between his knees as he stared at her.

"Depends," she said. "How much do you know?" Neither of them said a word but they glanced at each other. "I know I talk in my sleep."

Just how much did she say? She was beginning to worry. They were just dreams. It wasn't like she loved Blank or anything. Not to her recollection, at least. But, it would be awkward if he knew she had just dreamed about him like that.

"Who did he kill?" Marcus asked, finally. Clearly, people were dying in this dream. More than likely, they heard Eiko screaming 'Don't kill her! Leave him alone!' several times. Eiko was pathetic that way.

"Everyone," she said. She gave a small glance to Blank and then looked back down to the ground. He seemed to do the same thing. A tear went down her face as the dream re-played itself in her head over and over again. Zidane's head rolling over next to his body, the blood flowing out of his neck. Dagger and Leon dying, side by side, holding each other till the end of their days. The look on Marcus's face as they tied him to a weight and threw him off the cliff. Vivi's yellow, sad eyes as he burned to his death, squealing. Freya's blank gaze when the arrow punctured her face; emotionless, as she always was. Steiner's humiliated defeat when he was stabbed with his one blade in his undergarments. Being forced to watch as the poison penetrated his body and as the blood left a pool around him; dying his slow and traumatizing death.

And then Blank…who never died…but was humiliated. His face. His eyes. That blank eye.

At this point, Eiko had her mouth covered with her hands and started to sob, hiccupping through her sorrow. She was losing so much face. It was torture for her. If there was one thing Eiko had prided herself in, it was her ability to make pain look like it was nothing. Acting tough. Saving face. It was how she survived as a child. But now…she just couldn't take it. Everyone she had ever cared about? Gone. As quick as a gunshot.

The door to their room opened and everyone else was there. Zidane, Dagger, Steiner, and little Leon. They were all staring at her. Clearly, they had heard the screams. If not, someone had clearly told them. As the silent minutes went forward, Eiko felt herself slowly sinking into a pit of depression and agony. Seeing them all alive…it was a relief. But she did not forget the pain she felt in the dream as they died. And she would never tell them what all happened in that dream.

Dagger walked towards her first and kneeled in front of her. Leon was clutching the side of Zidane as Steiner stayed in his place and stood guard over the door. He would do that.

"It was just a dream-"

"Leave me alone!" Eiko forced through sobs. Pushing Dagger slightly onto the ground and brushing past Marcus and Blank, she pushed herself in between Zidane and Leon, splitting them apart. Steiner looked down on her with that stern and disapproval look.

"You got a problem?" she said, trying desperately to sound tough. They stared each other down, as if daring each other. "Get out of my way, rusty."

He reluctantly obeyed. She was a princess, after all. After years of being together, that much was obvious. Steiner was very much obedient to royalty, even if he didn't agree with what they were doing.

Humiliated and embarrassed, Eiko made her way, all by herself, to the tower in the Alexandria castle. She simply lay on top of the edge, thinking what would happen if she accidentally decided to roll off. She wasn't suicidal, but sometimes, she wondered. Would anyone really miss me if I died?

Zidane told her stories about this tower all the time when she was younger. It was where Zidane and Dagger first met. He said that he fell in love with her when he first saw her. She was backing up on the ledge of the tower and suddenly fell off, swinging on a festivity rope against the other tower like Jane from Tarzan. A smile came across Eiko's face as she imagined the scene. She could totally see Zidane chasing after her like that. The thought soothed Eiko a bit. Such a happy memory had to outshine her bad dream, right? It worked at least a little bit.

Suddenly, she heard a noise. Just one set of footsteps coming up the tower. Great. It was probably Rusty going to tell her that it was dangerous to lie on the ledge like that. Eiko could just vomit.

Looking over, though, she saw Blank. For some reason, her heart started to beat faster.

What was this? Before now, Eiko had never thought of Blank like that. Sure, he was the first one she met back in Lindblum. He was that stupid idiot who couldn't figure out who she was. He was the only person who didn't force the past out of her. He never asked many questions. But, even still, she wouldn't have ever thought…

Blank didn't say anything. They looked at each other for a momentary beat and then Eiko turned her head, looking at the sky, instead. She heard him walk towards her as he hoisted himself up onto the ledge near her head, swinging his feet over the side. Looking up at him, she saw he wasn't even looking at her. His head was raised a little bit as he took in the wind brushing up against his hair (which Eiko noted was lusciously floating about in the breeze) and then he leaned back, putting his hands on the other side of the ledge.

Not a word was spoken as the two enjoyed the morning breeze. Dawn in Alexandria was always gorgeous. The sun rose just in the right place and the lake glistened from the light. It was peaceful and it calmed Eiko, which was something rare considering what Eiko had just gone through. The sun, wind and beauty made her feel normal. Human. No matter how dark it gets; no matter how scary her dreams are, it will always be morning again. Always. Unless, of course, you live in Treno.

As usual, Blank was there giving her exactly what she needed.

Silence.


To continue on my thought, I ended up falling for a guy because I had a dream about him one time. haha. It was pathetic, but it happens, right? Let the Blank crush begin (whoever said Blank was going to like her back. haha).

Special shout out to sup3rl0z3r