What Really Matters
So far, most of what 5 had talked about was 2. Not that 9 minded, he thought it was great that 2 meant so much to the eye-patched rag doll.
"He really shouldn't have gone out in the first place, but he likes it out here. I mean, I don't know why but…" 5 said.
9 hadn't known 2 for a very long time but he knew this much:
2 was nice.
2 would do anything to protect people.
2 had a funny hat.
And apparently, 2 was old, whatever that was. 5 said it was when someone or something had been around for a really long time. Other than 1, 2 was the oldest.
"That's why I don't like him going out alone," 5 explained. "He's fragile, you know. I-I worry about him. It's weird though, he doesn't really act like it. Like he's old. Or maybe I just don't notice it a lot…I just love him so much." 5 leaned into an old tire and hugged it, smiling.
Love? Huh. 9 liked the sound of it. Love. He wasn't sure what it was but it sounded like a good thing.
Or maybe not.
9 noticed 5 looked rather embarrassed after he said that and shrunk away from 9 for a moment before moving forward. 9 wondered what could be the problem but decided not to ask. Instead, another question popped into his mind.
"If you don't mind my asking, does it bother you at all?" he asked.
"What?" 5 asked.
"The eye patch. Does it…I mean-?" 9 asked sheepishly. 5 paused and 9 took the lead momentarily.
"Actually, I don't mind having one eye," 5 answered making his way down a pile of rubbish. "It's easier for me. It allows me to concentrate on just one thing at a time, you know?"
Something in the tone of 5's voice didn't completely convince 9 it was okay, but he didn't press on.
5 walked up to a spinning wheel and stopped it with his hand. He looked up and gasped. As he rushed forward, 9 walked over to a familiar looking object on the ground. It was 2's spear. He picked it up and looked it over. It might help when they came across the Cat Beast, hopefully.
He watched 5 climb up to something. It was 2's hat. As 9 made his way up to 5, he noticed the candle had fallen out and the crank he had used to control the broken spoon on the back of the hat had come off. The glasses lens that had been attached to it had come off as well. 5 delicately picked up the hat. As he moved it, the spoon that 2 had used to extinguish the candle light toppled off. 5 froze, almost in horror at what had happened to his mentor's hat. He sighed.
"Why was he out here alone?" he wondered aloud, his voice full of grief.
9's face twisted up. He had a feeling 1 had something to do with it. 1 didn't seem to like or care about 2 very much. Did he, perhaps, send 2 out to get rid of him? 9 didn't say anything to 5 however, he looked depressed enough.
5 hugged the base of 2's hat to his chest and shuddered. 9 rested his hand 5's shoulder.
"I'm sure he's fine."
5 looked sadly over at 9. He sighed a petted the top of the hat. Looking down at it, he frowned and then closed his only eye.
"He means a lot to you, doesn't he? 2, I mean," 9 said.
5 took a deep breath before saying: "Yes."
He stuck the remainder of 2's hat into his bag and kept walking.
"Once when, uhm, when 2 and I were out here-back when we were allowed out here- 2 said he found a tunnel over by that…" 5 pointed to the three tall shapes in the distance.
The two burlap dolls continued onward. Every so often, 5 would look sadly over at something before continuing. 9 wasn't sure if it was just a spur of the moment look or if that specific spot had significance. Maybe 2 and 5 had come across that area of the Emptiness long ago, 9 didn't know. He almost asked once, but 5 didn't look like he wanted to talk so 9 said nothing. That didn't stop him from asking questions though.
"So, how long of you all been around?"
5 laughed bitterly. "I'm not sure. You kind of lose track of time after a while."
"1 said that others had been lost already. Were there really others? How many were there?" 9 asked.
"You know, you ask a lot of questions," 5 paused to look back at 9.
"Sorry," 9 apologized.
"Nah, it's fine. 2 asked questions a lot too," 5 paused a moment. "There were three others. 3, 4, and 7. You actually remind me of 7 a bit."
"What was 7 like?" 9 asked.
"She was-eh-reckless," 5 said. 9 didn't quite know how to take that if 5 was comparing him to 7. "She was nice though. But she could never really stay in one place for too long and…one day, she just…left."
"You mean she just ran off?" 9 asked.
"Yeah, then 3 and 4 trailed after her a few days later," 5 recalled sadly.
"Are they still a live? Do you know?" 9 asked.
5 sighed. "I doubt it. Especially with the beast out here…"
"But maybe they're still a live. I mean, the beast didn't kill 2," 9 reminded.
5 pursed his lips. "Are you sure?" he asked.
"I saw him. He took 2 out that way and 2 was still alive. I promise," 9 said.
5 wrung his hands nervously.
"He was still alive," 9 reassured.
5 sighed and let his hands drop to his side. He looked afraid and confused. 9 wasn't sure what to do or say to comfort him other than: "He's alive" or "We'll find him". Shifting the spear in his hand, 9 walked on. 5 followed close behind.
Eventually, 5 pulled out the map again. "Okay, so-uh-we were just here and-ugh!" His eye darted all over the map. He led the way for a while.
9 paused when his guide began moving in the opposite direction. "Uh…5? We're headed this way."
5 stopped dead in his tracks and looked up from the map. He writhed uncomfortably where he stood and said: "I-I don't think I can do this."
9 frowned. He didn't hate 5 (he was certainly nicer to be around than 1), but it was starting to get a little irritating how 5 was so unsure of himself. But 9 could hardly blame him for feeling so wishy-washy considering who he lived with.
Suddenly, 5 raised his hand to his eye patch. His lip trembled and he clutched the map to his chest. He shook his head and wheeled back around, staring down at the map so as not to catch 9's eyes.
9 flashed a tiny smile and followed along. 2 definitely meant a lot to 5.
They traveled farther out and the wind began to pick up. 9 had taken the lead for a moment, rushing forward and looking around wildly.
"Where's this tunnel?!" he called to 5 trying his hardest to be heard over the rush of the wind.
"I don't know!" 5 called back.
Just then, the map flew out of his hand. 5 rushed after it ducking under a barbed wire fence. "Wait!" 9 ran after him. The map blew into a piece of wood that protruded from the ground. 5 ran for it when suddenly, his foot fell through a crack in the wood beneath him. He caught himself before he could fall into the jagged pieces of wood below. 9 hoisted 5 up out of the crack. The wind blew the map away again.
Almost as if the wind had blown away all hope, 5 turned to face 9. "We should go back!" he said.
The wind doubled in speed. The stitchpunks shielded themselves from the debris. "We can't!" 9 said.
When he noticed a cave, he nudged 5. They ran over to it.
5 gasped. "The beast," he knelt down and pointed out the beast's foot prints leading into the cave.
"It's too dark," 5 shrunk back.
9 turned and saw an old car. He noticed the headlights.
"We can use that," he walked up to it.
He wasn't quite sure why, but 9 somehow knew that the glass bulb at the nose of the car would help light the way. Something in his subconscious had called it a light bulb. It made sense.
5 approached the car and unscrewed the light bulb from it's socket. He brought it back over to 9 and held it out. 9 took it and smiled using the fabric of his arm to wipe away some grime. 5 reached into his burlap and produced a small battery. He tossed it up in the air and caught it before sticking it underneath the light bulb. He pressed the side of it and the bulb lit up. 9 smiled.
He handed the bulb to 5 and the light went out. He picked up the spear and began untying it from it's pole. He stuck the blade in his mouth and held onto it with his lips. He proceeded over to 5 and removed the base of what was once 2's hat from 5's bag and stuck it onto the top of the pole. 5 had seemed hesitant for a moment but suddenly smiled and handed 9 the battery. 9 dropped it into the top of the hat. 5 stuck the light bulb in, turned it, and watched the bulb light up again. He beamed:
"2 would be impressed."
Suddenly, his smile faded and his face fell. He let his hands slide off the light staff.
9 took the blade out of his mouth and hand it to 5. "We'll find him," he assured.
5 took the blade as 9 started off into the cave. 5 flinched when he noticed 9 had started moving and said: "You know you're just like him. You forget to remember to be scared."
When they had reached the end of the tunnel, the stood before a giant building. They both looked upward, awed by it's height.
"Can I wait here?" 5 asked nervously.
9 glared at him, a little harder than intended, and made his way into the factory. Still nervous, 5 followed.
As they entered, 5 wielded his crossbow and held it close to him. Hanging from above were giant machines. 9 noticed from the look on 5's face that he had seen these machines before. He scratched his eye patch subconsciously.
9 and 5 made their way through a narrow passageway of what looked like-torpedos-9 wanted to call them.
"Why would it bring him here?" 5 wondered aloud.
They paused at the sound of something shifting to their right. 9 lead the way over to what to them was a hallway of pipes.
In the distance, they could hear a low growl. 5 turned to look at 9 in concern. 9 reached up and twisted the light bulb, cutting off the light.
They slide down some confined space and had to hope onto large pebbles what looked like stone so as not to fall into the vile black liquid below. Something in the back of 9's mind called it oil.
The room they had entered had a giant hole in the back wall which allowed an eerie yellow light to shine through. Long mechanical legs descended from the ceiling down into something that was concealed by rubble and a large red cloth.
As the got closer to the center of all this, 9 noticed a bird cage. He could vaguely make out something, or someone, inside of it. He nudged 5's arm and pointed to it. 5 gasped and practically shoved 9 out of the way.
This was the fastest 9 had seen 5 move since he met him, not counting when he ran after the map. 5 moved up the pile of rubbish quickly.
"2!" he called.
2's back was facing them and he didn't appear to be moving. 5 reached out and gently shock him by the shoulder.
2 head rolled off his shoulder.
"No…" 5 dropped his head in anguish.
9 fell too. He had been so sure that 2 would be alright. He felt horrible, not only for 2, but for 5. He had lost the one person that meant the most to him.
5 was silently sobbing as 2 woke up. He turned to see his apprentice, still clinging to his mentor's shoulder. 2 took 5's hand and said:
"I knew you would come."
5 looked up at 2 and glowed.
9 perked up as well. 2 was alive. There really was hope.
My god, why is 5 in all my 9 fanfictions? 'Cause he's awesome that's why XD lol I figured I would write for 9 for a change. It's sad how I write a ton of 9 fanfiction but not one involves the main character –gasp- (well, that's not true he was in one of them but it didn't center around him…) 9's pretty fun to write for. Yay 9! You know, before he accidentally kills 2 ^^; Nah I'm kidding.