Note: So I'll admit right off the bat that I took a few liberties, mostly with the Spirit's memory, since the excuse for the Spirit (a.k.a. the player) being new to the world of BK was that it supposedly lost our memory for spoilerish reasons. I wanted the Spirit in this story to have something of a relationship with Kalas, so I let him keep everything but the spoilers. Speaking of spoilers, though I've already explained in my last fic including him where Horatio's name comes from (Hamlet), I don't know if I should spoil it's significance quite yet. Maybe later.

Also: yeah I know that you all know what Kalas looks like and what greythornes are and whatnot, but I began this thing as a bit of practice and therefore treated it like a novelization for people who may not know about the BK world yet.

"SECOND WITCH: By the pricking of my thumbs,

Something wicked this way comes"

-From Shakespeare's Macbeth

If the Soul could recall any aspect of its past self, the fact of its own existence without a body would have fascinated it. What can this mean? it might have asked. Are all things found in two parts like this—mind and body? I suppose Descartes was right. Hume would be pissed if he knew...among others, that is. But the Soul had long since forgotten that it once thrived on such questions, and, if the names Descartes and Hume drifted at all into its thoughts, it met them with confusion, and a heap of dust where a wall of memory had been. Instead, it did what required no memory or thought at all, which is to say it existed and floated there among the trees, beside orbs of red that, could it see itself, looked exactly like it.

Voices and footsteps crunching through the dry foliage caught its attention, sending a spark of alarm through its ethereal consciousness. With that single burst of thought, it moved without muscle, drifting towards the sound, guided by an invisible ear. It saw—though its past self would have puzzled over how it saw, given it had no eyes—a young man halt below it, accompanied by another being somewhere beyond its sight. Even in the dark, the Soul could make out the blue color of the man's hair and his odd clothing: a battered brown cape which blanketed his shoulders, a leather vest worn over a blue striped shirt with puffed shoulders, bracers of fur-lined cloth, and pants made from the hairy hide of some unknown animal. His tanned, handsome face peered up through uneven bangs pressed to his forehead with a decorative beaded rope. Fallen leaves crackled beneath leather sandals as he stepped back once to have a better view of the pulsing red Soul above him.

"That Spirit seems to like you," said the being the Soul could not see. "If you could bond with it something wonderful may happen to you." The voice sounded gleeful, almost ecstatic. "Are you ready?" it asked the man.

The blue-haired man was silent. After a moment he raised his arms towards the Soul as if to embrace it. Another spark of feeling exploded within the Soul-electric pangs of excitement and tenderness like that of a child experiencing its first kiss, paired with an unbearable loneliness that makes human throats ache with wordless painful emotion. Propelled by this, the Spirit dove into the man, searching for the beating thing that drew it inward. It found it within the man's core and wrapped itself around it. The man buckled under the weight of the being that now clung to him with a soft gasp, but quickly recovered as he straightened up. The Spirit could now see the piercing blue of the man's eyes, feel the gentle breaths pump from his lungs to his throat and taste the warm saliva pooling around his tongue. It was both within and without him—merged and divided as two beings that were also one.

"Uh, hello. Can I...may I ask your name?"

The Spirit remained quiet as more thoughts like rivers from the mouth of a mysterious spring gathered in its consciousness. A single word paused as it slid by, took root, then rose clearly in its mind.

Horatio.

The Soul's voice materialized inside the man's ear. It sounded young and male, but with an almost feminine warmth and laced with subtle humor. As it heard itself speak for the first time, the Spirit began to understand itself, or rather himself.

"Horatio...so that's your name." The man grinned as another word solidified in the Spirit's mind, emanating blue to match the man's clothes and bright eyes.

Kalas.