Something To Hold Onto
"I've always kind of wanted to have a baby," 2 mused.
5 dropped what he was doing. 2 had asked 5 earlier if there was anything the humans used to have that he wanted. Unsure, 5 repeated the question to 2. He hadn't expected his mentor's answer. "A wha-?"
"You know. A baby. Those cute little people the humans had," 2 explained.
"No! No, I-I know what they are…" 5 laughed nervously. "But uhm…2 you're…I don't think you'd be able to- to have…" He motioned to 2's stomach.
2 laughed. "Oh, 5. I wouldn't be having it."
"Oh. Well, uh, who would have it?" 5 asked.
2 chuckled and patted 5's shoulder. "5 it's not possible for us to have children. Remember?"
"Right," 5 chuckled awkwardly rubbing his own stomach. "So, uh…how would you get one?"
"I don't expect to ever get one," 2 said returning to his project.
5 was confused. "So…why do you want one?"
2 paused. "Well, I guess I just…I like the idea of having a little person in my arms. You know, just something to hold onto." He made a motion with his arms and made it look like he was rocking an invisible child.
5's eye lingered on 2's arms for a while. "Yeah."
"You never answered me, you know," 2 pointed out resting his arms on the table.
"Well, why'd you ask?" 5 questioned.
"No reason," 2 waved the question away with his hand.
"2, come on. I know there's a reason," 5 said leaning over and wrapping his arms around 2's chest.
2 melted. "I wanted to surprise you," he laughed. "I was going to make you something."
5 shook his head. "2 you always make me stuff. You don't have to."
"I know. But I want to," 2 said. He took 5's hand. "Now come on, what's something you really want? Something I can make you."
5 smiled and shook his head again. "2 you don't need to make me anything."
"So there's nothing I can give you?" 2 asked sounding a little upset.
"You already give me what I really want," 5 said.
"What's that?" 2 asked.
"I just love being with you. That's all," 5 beamed looking 2 straight in the eyes.
5 gave his mentor a small kiss on the forehead before he stood up. "I, uh, I'm gonna go to sleep, m'kay?"
"Alright. Goodnight, 5."
As 5 walked out of the room, 2 turned back to his project. He couldn't bring himself to work on it though. He made the rocking motion with his arms again and sighed.
Babies just seemed so sweet. 2 wanted someone that he could hold in his arms for hours. Some little person he could let fall asleep in his arms. He liked the idea.
Eventually, he gave up working on his device and went to bed. He picked up the piece of cloth he was using as a pillow and cradled it in his arms. 2 found it a bit difficult trying to sleep without a pillow so he put the cloth back and laid down. Sighing bitterly, 2 nuzzled his face into his cloth pillow and he fell asleep. Meanwhile, 5 snuck back into the workshop.
2 didn't see 5 at all the next day. 2 spent his time with 6, watching him draw and trying to figure out what the striped doll's pictures meant. Outside of 6's little nook, 7 and 1 were going at it again. 2 pursed his lips. 7 had been getting more and more irritated with the group's self proclaimed leader and her arguments with him were just leading her closer and closer to the edge. There was a horrible nagging feeling in 2's core that 7 would snap and either kill 1 or just up and leave. 2 hoped that neither would happen.
As 2 got up, he noticed 5 quietly sneaking past 1 and 7 and getting into the lift. What had he been up to all day?
After a good half hour of bickering, 8 intervened the argument by hoisting 7 over his shoulder and taking her out of the room. 6 seemed far too preoccupied with his picture to notice 2 was there so the elder stood up and followed after 7.
He found her steaming, kicking a piece of wood to the side. 2 was about to approach her and try to calm her when suddenly, the twins appeared from their study. 7 took in a deep breath and eased at their presence. The rushed to her and seized her wrists trying to pull her into their study to show her something. 7 didn't move. Instead she pulled the twins in and hugged them. They weren't very tiny, but they were still smaller than the others. They were like 7's babies. 2 wrapped his arms around himself and walked off.
As 2 made his way back to his room, he could feel 5's presence. He wasn't sure where he was but he knew he was somewhere close. 2 turned around and saw the one-eyed rag doll looking back at him with a huge smile on his face and his hands behind his back.
"Where have you been all day?" 2 asked grinning.
"I was looking for something I could use as stuffing," 5 said.
2's eyebrows pitched downward. What did 5 mean by that? 5 suddenly revealed what he had been holding behind his back. It was a small white doll with a head, two arms, and no legs. It was stitched around the rim of it's body, along it's neck, and around both arms. It was completely white aside from the black ink used to make two dots for eyes and a smiling mouth. 2 stared at it for a long time before 5 placed it in the elder's hand.
"I made it for you. It's supposed to be like a baby," 5 said.
2 blinked. He opened his mouth to speak but said nothing. He looked back at the doll again. "You were working on this all day?"
"Well, last night I cut everything out and then today I was trying to find fabric to stuff it with and then I tried to wait until I could get some of 6's ink to make the face. I didn't want to you to see because I wanted it to be a surprise so I waited until you weren't with 6 anymore. I-I did that after I sewed it up…" 5 explained his work progress.
2 stared at 5. "5…why did you…?"
"You said you wanted a baby."
"Oh, 5. That's-that' very sweet. You didn't have to make this for me," 2 smiled.
"I know. But I wanted to," 5 smiled.
2 giggled and looked at the doll again. It was extremely simple but just the fact 5 had made it for him made it special.
"You always make things for me; I thought I should make something for you."
If 2 could cry, he would have. He covered his mouth as he let out a strangled sob.
"2?" 5 asked in concern.
2 threw himself into 5 and hugged him. 5 hugged 2 back. 2 hugged the doll to his chest and said. "What's it's name?"
"Well, I had a couple of names in mind when I was making it. Amy or Jane…" 5 suggested as he and 2 sat down on 2's bed.
"Amy Jane. I like it," 2 said looking back at 5.
5 smiled as 2 began to cradle Amy Jane in his arms. He patted 2 on his shoulder and they rested their foreheads together. "Thank you," 2 thanked.
"It was no trouble," 5 smiled.
2 kissed 5 and cuddled his 'baby' closer to him.
"Goodnight," 5 whispered.
"Goodnight, 5," 2 said in a dreamy, far-off voice.
5 walked out, occasionally looking over his shoulder to see 2 smiling and rocking Amy Jane in his arm. 2's apprentice flashed a quick smile before heading off to bed.
2 looked into Amy Jane's ink dot eyes and smiled. He positioned her so that her head rested on his shoulder and he continued to rock her. It didn't matter that she wasn't a living thing; she was something to hold onto and something about her felt real. 2 wasn't sure why, but she did. He closed his eyes and swayed a little bit before he plopped down onto his pillow and fell asleep; Amy Jane still wrapped in his warm embrace.
A month had gone by since 5 gave 2 his doll. 2 didn't bring her everywhere, but he would usually hold onto her for a long time before he did anything. Sometimes, when he was working, he would hold her in one arm and try to work with the other. This usually proved difficult and he would hand her to 5. 5 would cradle her the same way 2 did as the older of the two continued working. Whenever 2 went out into the Emptiness to get supplies, he would bring Amy Jane with him. After a while, he began collecting so much that carrying her was becoming difficult. He started to use one of the roller skates that was in his and 5's workshop to carry everything and sometimes Amy Jane.
One day, 5 was up in the watch tower fixing up the telescope. 5 loved the telescope. He could still remember working on it with 2.
He peered through the lens and saw 2 was approaching the cathedral. 5 smiled.
When 2 finally made it up to the tower, 5 said: "I fixed up the telescope. You know because yesterday it was squeaking really bad and…" He noticed 2's fallen face. "What's wrong?"
It was very rare that 5 ever saw 2 sad. In fact, this was the first time in months he had seen his mentor look genuinely depressed.
"I lost her," he sobbed.
"Amy Jane. I brought her out in the Emptiness with me and I put her on the roller skate and…I must of-I must have dropped her along the way. I-I didn't notice until I was halfway back and I went back and retraced my steps to try and find her but I…" He buried his face in his hands.
5 wrapped his arms around 2 and hugged him tight. "2. Don't be sad."
"5, I-I'm so sorry!" 2 cried.
"For what?" 5 asked.
"For losing her. I mean, you made her for me and you worked so hard I-I'm so sorry!" 2 covered his mouth.
"2. No. I'm sorry. I'm sorry you lost her," 5 said sympathetically.
"Do you think you could come with me and look for her?" 2 asked.
5 looked at the sunset. "2 it-it's getting kind of dark," he pointed out nervously.
"No, I-I can't just leave her out there! I need to find her. 5 please come with me!" 2 pleaded.
"2. It's getting late. Can't this wait until tomorrow?" 5 asked.
2 sighed. "I don't want to wait until tomorrow. I don't-," 2 stifled a sob and shook his head. "Do you think she'll be alright?"
5 didn't answered.
"Oh, I hope she's okay." 2 rested his head against 5's chest.
"2, I'm sorry. I-maybe you check the telescope so you'll know where to look tomorrow," 5 suggested.
2's head perked up. He bolted to the telescope and overlooked ever inch of the wasteland before him.
"Do you see her?" 5 asked.
2 sighed. "No."
5 dropped his head. 2 stepped down from the matchbox they used as a stepping stool and said: "5. I'm so sorry."
5 shook his head. "You don't need to be sorry."
"But it was something you made and I lost it. I feel horrible, I'm so sorry. And I loved her and I just wish…i-I just wish I didn't…I can't believe I lost her! What was I thinking? Oh, 5, I miss her!"
2 sat down on the match box and rubbed his forehead. 5 kneeled down to his friend's height. "I know she wasn't alive but, she felt alive. When I held her she felt alive. And I don't know why but she did. I just felt like I had someone I could hold onto." He took a deep breath and sighed. He wasn't sobbing anymore but 5 could still tell he was upset.
"Well, I know I'm not as small as she is but…if you need someone to hold onto…"
2 hugged 5's face to his chest and 5 wrapped his around 2's waist. Slowly, 2 hoisted 5 up so that his head rested on 2's shoulder.
"I may not be a baby but…I hope that helped," 5 said.
2 shook his head and smiled. "I love you," he said breathlessly. "Thank you."
"For what?" 5 asked.
"For everything," 2 said.
5 leaned forward, kissed 2, and said: "I love you, 2."
2 lifted 5's chin and smiled. His smile got smaller as he asked: "Do you think we can find her?"
5 shrugged. "I don't know."
2 sighed. "Do you think she's alright?"
5 doubted it. He had never felt comfortable in the Emptiness and had always felt the outside world was dangerous. But if there was one thing 2 had taught him it was to never give up hope. "Yeah. I think she'll be fine."
2 gleamed. He hugged 5 closer and closed his eyes. "At least I had her. It may have been for a while but…"
5 looked up at 2. "I guess this is why you need to cherish the time you spend with people. You don't know when they'll be gone."
5 gripped 2's hand tighter and held it to his face. "I won't lose you, will I?"
2 shook his head. "You can never lose me. I'm right here," 2 said as he placed his free had on the spot where 5's heart would be.
5 took a deep breath and smiled. "And she'll always be right here," 5 said resting his free hand on where 2's heart would be.
2 smiled before 5 added: "And so will I."
2 held 5 in his arms the rest of the night until the two of them fell fast asleep.
About four months past by before 7 finally split from the group. She was through with 1 and couldn't stand to be anywhere near him anymore. She regretted it after she realized everyone she had left behind, especially the twins.
A week or so after she had left, she barely escaped the Cat Beast. She had fashioned herself a helmet from a bird skull and some feathers to blend in with the surroundings and evade the Beast better until she had figured out a way to destroy it.
One day, she stumbled across something in the wasteland. It was a small doll that had been ripped at the neck. The rip had reached the middle of the doll's neck and bits of colored fabric protruded from the wound. 7 picked it up and looked at it. The fabric was filthy with dirt and debris and there was a small scratch mark across the doll's back. 7 could barely make out it's face which seemed to have been drawn with ink.
Despite it's ruined appearance it was still kind of cute. It reminded 7 of the twins, in a way, due to it's size or even the innocent, simplistic smile and 7 found herself unable to control her urge to hug the thing to her chest.
Suddenly, she heard the Beast in the distance. She wielded her spear and held the doll closer to her, burring it's dirty face in the crook of her neck. When she heard the Beast again, she took off.
I had this idea in my head for a while and finally decided to write it 8D YAY!
Don't ask about the doll's name because it was just random so I dunno.
Anyway, hope you enjoy!