Just a oneshot that came to mind that I had to write. When you read this, keep in mind that the Amazon Rainforest (which is the forest I had in mind when I wrote this, even though I never mentioned the forest by name), extends to more than 1.6 million square miles, so that's a pretty huge place to get lost in.
Just a note, there's some slight Holix in this, or you could just view it as Six showing general care and concern for Holiday if you want to. Anyway, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Generator Rex. Don't sue me.
They might as well have been stinking a target on their backs when they called it a 'routine mission.' There wasn't supposed to have been anything dangerous about it, which was why they only traveled in one airship with just a smattering of Providence soldiers along with Rex and herself. Rex was considered one of Providence's 'big guns' after all, so it wasn't believed that much more protection was needed for what was supposed to be a simple mission to collect some samples from the rainforest.
Just a few weeks before, the nanites had caused the vegetation in the rainforest to start growing at an accelerated rate. The plants weren't at all dangerous in the way a feral Evo is dangerous, they were just beginning to become a bit of a weed problem, and Providence wanted to study their sudden growth before the 'weed problem' became a 'weed disaster' and started spreading to other countries.
It was supposed to be a quick trip. Go to the rainforest, collect the necessary samples, and then head back to Providence. The probes that had been sent in beforehand hadn't detected any dangerous Evo activity, so that's why they only went in one airship, that's why they only brought a few other soldiers with them, that's why they agreed to divide their resources between this mission and the other slightly more dangerous mission that came up and let Six go off and deal with said second mission rather than come along with them.
Either the probes malfunctioned or the Evos popped up overnight, because the wildlife in the rainforest wasn't as harmless as they were led to believe when they got there. Their airship had been hit too quickly for them to send out a distress signal and suddenly Holiday was falling to the earth, shrapnel and hunks of the airship falling alongside her. A parachute, a jetpack, a hoverboard, it wasn't anything she'd had the time or foresight to grab before they'd been hit.
Rex's arms looped around her, catching her before she fell too far. The same fortunate fate could not be said for their airship, and sadly, Holiday didn't think the Providence soldiers that had accompanied them on the trip would be any luckier. Despite this, Rex smiled down at her, clearly just happy that he had been able to save her. He quickly began to lower her to the ground, needing his hands free to defend against whatever Evo it was that had attacked them.
He didn't see the beast coming up on their left until it was too late.
"Rex, look out!"
Three days later...
"What do you mean 'they never came back'?"
There was no anger in Six's tone, no hint of any emotion on his face as he stared down at the unfortunate Providence soldier who must have drawn the short straw when it came to telling him the news of what had happened to Holiday and Rex, and there didn't need to be to strike fear into the hearts of those around him. He wasn't the sixth deadliest man in the world for nothing.
When the soldier before him failed to say anything, Six pointed out accusingly, as if it was somehow that soldier's fault, "It was supposed to be a safe, simple mission."
The soldier stumbled over his words, but again, said nothing helpful.
"Tell me what happened," he finally ordered.
He had just barely gotten back from his own information-gathering mission. His mission was different from the one Rex and Holiday went on in the way that it required sneaking around and being discreet, not seen, all the things that Rex wasn't very good at. He'd been hoping upon his arrival back that he'd be able to pass in his mission reports, grab a little quick something to eat, take a shower and then turn in for the night. He'd been expecting Holiday and Rex to already be back from their own mission, to have been back three days ago.
Definitely not the alternative that he was hearing now.
'One of the few times I go on a separate mission from them...' he thought with exasperation.
"Well, see, we don't really know what happened," the Providence soldier explained to him nervously. "The signal on their ship just suddenly went out and they never reported back. We couldn't pick anything up on satellite and when we sent more ships to fly over the area and check it out, we still couldn't spot anything. Not a landing sight or... or a crash site. If there was anything of the sort, the trees would have covered over the area by the time we first got there to check it out."
'Right, the plants' accelerated growth.'
"Is there a search party out there, or heading out soon?" Six asked.
"One just got back, sir," the soldier said, then rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "Um, don't know if anymore are going-"
Six turned on his heal and walked away from the nervous soldier, on his way now to go see White Knight, and it wasn't because he was going to ask the man how soon they were going to have another search party sent out. No, Six was simply going to White Knight to inform the man that in the next five minutes, he would leading a search party out to find his wayward co-workers. You know, telling Knight for courtesy's sake.
Three days earlier...
Rex's broken machine parts lay scattered across the ground along with her now uselessly empty laser gun. She'd used up all the shots helping Rex fight off the Evos that had attacked them. Thankfully even with Rex's nanites failing on him – his machines crumbling shortly after he summoned them – they'd managed to fend off their attackers and were, for the moment, safe.
Unfortunately, there was now the aftermath of that first hit Rex took to deal with. Rex had managed to hold it together during the fight, working through the pain probably due to an adrenaline rush and had not only gotten them both safely back on the ground, he'd also ignored the pain long enough to follow her shouted instructions of what direction he should be swinging his his metal fists or his sword in until all of their Evo attackers had been dealt with. It was amazing what the body could do in times of great stress.
Now that the danger was gone and the adrenaline had faded though...
Holiday couldn't help the sympathetic wince that crossed her face as the teen stumbled backwards with a howl of pain. His goggles were long gone now, having been knocked off from that first hit. Slashed across his face, across his eyes, were several gruesome-looking cuts, some of which still had the needle-like quills from the Evo that had caused the cuts in the first place embedded in them.
As Rex's hands jerked up to his face, Holiday rushed forward and grabbed hold of his wrists before the boy could paw at the cuts and cause even more damage than what was already there. She underestimated the strength of an Evo teen in pain though and was unexpectedly pulled to the ground when Rex tripped backwards over his own feet, apparently so startled by her suddenly being there, holding onto his wrists, that he stopped paying attention to how he was walking.
She sat up as soon as they hit the ground, but Rex stayed laying where he fell. He tugged at her grasp, but she held on strong, tightening her grip around his wrists, and when he couldn't free his hands, another agonized cry ripped free from his throat.
She'd experienced pain of that magnitude once in her lifetime before, courtesy of a childhood car accident, and had a fairly good idea of what he was going through. At first the pain would seem endless, and then it came in waves and left you mindless with it, feeling trapped in your own body and unable to escape the torture.
She was sure the salty tears falling from his damaged eyes weren't helping any.
Speaking to him loudly enough to be heard over his screaming, but soothingly all the same, she called his name several times to get his attention, telling him that it was going to be okay, that she was going to take care of him. Eventually his screaming petered out to quiet gasping with the occasional sob mixed in and he stopped struggling against her.
"There, see?" she said, quietly now that he'd calmed down a bit. She still held onto his wrists, but she loosened her hold just a bit. "You're okay. Everything's going to be okay. I just need you to let me take a look at those cuts. I need to get the quills out and bandage them up."
"What?" Rex yelped, struggling beginning anew. "No, no, no. Don't touch it! It's fine, the-the quills are fine. Just le-leave them in."
"Rex, I can't bandage over the quills," Holiday pointed out, exasperated. "And if I leave them in, the cuts will get infected."
"We're in a dirty jungle,rain forest, whatever, the cuts are probably already infected!" he said miserably, defending his case.
"Even if that was true, leaving the quills in would just make it worse," she said, then added. "Plus, from the way your nanites are acting, I'm suspecting there's some sort of toxin in the quills that's interfering with them. You need your nanites in working order to help heal your cuts Rex, and your eyes, and we both need your nanites to help us get out of this jungle."
It was a 'guilt trip' tactic, and she wasn't proud of it, but it got him to cooperate in the end and she'd take what she could get.
She was careful but quick with each needle-like quill that she pulled out, trying to make the whole painful process go as fast as it could so that he wouldn't have to suffer long. Holiday only wished with each cry of pain that escaped him that she had some sort of anesthetic to give him.
A yellowish substance dripped from the quills that she pulled out, confirming her suspicions of there being a toxin. She didn't have anything to clean the cuts with once the quills were all out, so in the end, she used strips of fabric torn off from Rex's jacket (at his insistence) to wrap around the wounds, covering the upper-half of his face almost like a blindfold.
"So what now?" he asked.
"Now we track down where the majority of the ship fell," she said. "If the ship's tracker is still intact, search and rescue will be able to find us easier, and if we're lucky, there'll be something in the ship that'll let us contact Providence.
'And if not, then hopefully they'll realize that we're missing soon. Who knows what's lurking about in this rainforest.'
Four days after the airship went down...
Six's first day of leading the search and rescue team hadn't gone as successfully as he had hoped. The rain forest they were searching was a big place. The landscape constantly changing from the accelerated growth of the trees and plants wasn't helping, and neither were the rainstorms they kept running into. There were no working trackers to follow and something must be going on with Rex's biometrics because they couldn't get any sort of reading from that source either.
Six didn't even want to consider the possibility that they couldn't get a reading on Rex because there was nothing to even get a reading from anymore. He'd cross that bridge when he saw actual proof.
They hadn't managed to locate a landing site or a crash site before they'd needed to head back to Providence's nearest base to refuel. Those that had been on the first search and rescue team with him had been switched out with a new group to give the first group a much needed rest. It had been recommended by several people working with him that he also take a break from the search, but Six silenced any such suggestions with a single look.
He would rest once he found them.
Three days earlier, one day after the airship went down...
It was fairly dark beneath the trees' thick canopy, but she knew it wasn't nightfall just yet. Night had been completely pitch-black, the light of the moon unable to reach down to the level they were at, and her eyes had been about as useful as Rex's eyes currently were beneath the blindfold of bandages. Hearing the sounds of the wildlife moving around them, but not being able to see anything, not knowing if there were Evos nearby, it definitely hadn't been a fun first night.
"Gimme a minute," Rex said, muscles tense, arms stretched out to his sides with his hands curled into fists. He was trying to summon his wings, had been trying for the past half-hour. "If I can just fly us up past the trees, you can be my eyes and we can see where we are, maybe spot the crash site."
With the shifting sound of metal followed by a triumphant cry, Rex's 'boogie pack' sprung out from his back. A moment later though, before Holiday could even stand up, the pack shuddered and crumbled into machine scraps around him. Rex let out a frustrated groan, arms falling limply to his sides.
"Come sit down, Rex," she said kindly, gently. "We've been walking for hours. You should rest a little before we keep going."
Rex sighed and plopped down in the dirt where he stood, grumbling after a moment of silence, "I could fly us back to civilization if I could just keep my nanites working long enough."
"It's alright," she assured him. "We'll make due with what we have."
The rumbling sound of thunder overhead drew their attention upward. Rain began to fall shortly after that.
This time it was Holiday's turn to sigh, "Wonderful."
"Well, it is a rainforest," Rex said with a small smile before he tilted his head back and opened his mouth wide to catch the rain.
Five days after the airship went down...
Six's shoes sunk into the muddy soil. His katanas were out and at the ready now that they were down on the ground among the wildlife. After much searching, their scanners had finally picked up a high concentration of metal and they had landed just moments ago. Scattered all around them was the smashed remains of the airship they had been searching for.
There had also been Evos, or... the remains of Evos. Though plants had already started to grow up over the body parts, with the vegetation's accelerated growth to take into consideration, it was impossible to tell just how long the Evos had been dead.
There had been no surviving soldiers at the wreckage. Thankfully though, Holiday and Rex hadn't been among the bodies that had been found, so there was still a chance that they were alive. However, they were nowhere to be found, which meant that they had to be somewhere out there in the forest.
Six reached down with one of his katanas and used the blade to lift up the shredded remains of a familiar red and orange jacket. Rex's jacket.
'They aren't here now, but they had been at some point.'
Letting the destroyed jacket fall to the ground, he called out to the rescue team that was scattered around him, "Spread out and search the area."
Two days after the airship went down...
Yellow fever. Malaria. Those were two of the big ones that most people were at risk of catching in a rainforest such as this, and Holiday was all too glad that she'd had the foresight to have both her and Rex vaccinated before they went on this trip. Still, the doctor in her couldn't help but come up with a wide range of other diseases or sickness they might be catching. The rainforest was teeming with all sorts of different kinds of bacteria, not to mention-
Her hand slapped against her neck before brushing the now dead mosquito away a moment later.
'Damn mosquitoes,' she thought irritably. Though she was vaccinated against the malaria she could get from them, she was sure that there were all sorts of other kinds of things she could catch from their bites.
She glanced sideways at Rex who had one arm looped around hers, letting her lead him through the forest since he couldn't currently see. She knew even without having to see the sweat beading up on his now pale skin that he was getting sick. She had checked the wounds on his face earlier that morning, changing out the bandages in exchange for more strips of fabric torn from the kid's jacket, and she had been able to spot the beginning signs of infection. Without any medical supplies on hand, there was nothing she could do about it either.
He wasn't the only one getting sick. Though she wasn't exactly sure what she was catching, she could feel it writhing around deep inside her, the start of some sort of sickness. Her doctor's mind came up with a dozen different possibilities. She only hoped that, whatever it was, it didn't knock her flat. With Rex unable to see, it was up to her to get them both to the crash sight.
Maybe then, they'd have a chance of getting back to Providence. Home base was looking more and more like a luxury hotel the longer they were stuck in this forest.
Seven days after the airship went down...
An entire week. If Rex and Holiday were still alive, then they'd been stuck in the rainforest fending for themselves for an entire week. Six had a lot of confidence in the two's survival abilities, but he knew that things weren't looking good.
The search and rescue team had split up into groups and gone off in different directions, each one being sure to keep in radio contact with each other. They had been searching on the ground for two days and in those two days, they'd had to deal with a number of different kinds of Evos that had once been the rainforest's natural wildlife. Thankfully, each Evo had been dealt with effectively and as of yet, there had been no serious injuries.
"Group C reporting that we just caught sight of it again, Agent Six," came the crackling voice of one of the soldiers over the radio. The soldier then proceeded to rattle off his group's latitude and longitude coordinates.
No, things weren't looking all that great at all, especially not when there was a reportedly massive Evo lurking about the forest among them. Six had yet to see it himself, and none of the groups that had seen it caught more than a glimpse of it, as the creature always managed to stay well-hidden.
There was definitely something out there though, something beyond large if the few footprints in the mud that Six came across were anything to go by. Six guessed that it was a reptile or an amphibian based on the footprints, and whatever it was, it almost seemed to be stalking them.
The Evo would be in for quite the surprise if it thought for one moment that Six would make a good meal. The green-clad agent only hoped that Holiday and Rex hadn't had any trouble with the beast.
Three days after the airship went down...
Holiday was surprised that they'd managed to even travel for this long without running into any trouble, but she supposed that their luck had to run out at some point.
"Why are we stopping?" Rex asked curiously from her side.
"There's a swampy area up ahead," she explained. "It doesn't look that deep, but it'd probably be smarter to go around it."
"Can we take a drink from it first?" Rex pleaded. "I don't even care how dirty the water is."
They had taken to drinking the rain water and avoided the water that pooled up on the muddy ground, but the rain water alone wasn't enough to quench their thirst and soothe their scratchy throats. Still, the ground water just wasn't an option. Not yet. Not until they were desperate.
"No, Rex," she sighed. "It's filled with bacteria. You'd be sick within the hour."
'Sicker than you are, sicker than we both are.'
"Believe me, it wouldn't be worth it," she assured him.
He let out a grumble of complaint, but didn't push the issue. They were both very thirsty, and hungry, and tired, but they knew that getting at each other's throats over how miserable they were because of these things wouldn't help.
Feet slipping through the mud, they began their trek around the flooded swampy area. She kept her eyes focused along the shore, watching for any movement in the water of either potentially dangerous wildlife or something small such as a fish that they could catch and eat. Despite the fact that she had been keeping an eye out for it though, she'd still been surprised and unprepared when what she thought was a large rock had actually turned out to be a snake's massive head.
The large reptile lashed out at her, its mouth locking around her leg, teeth digging in, and dragging her away from Rex with a startled yelp. She was pulled into the swampy water where the snake's powerful body wrapped around her and squeezed tight, crushing the air out of her lungs as it dragged her under the water's surface.
She dug her fingers into its long body, raking her nails across the scaly surface. She struggled as much as she could, an incredulous anger grew inside her. Being killed out on the job by Evos was an occupational hazard she had come to accept as a possibility in her future, but being killed by some jungle cliché? Being drowned in only two feet of water? No way in hell.
There was still too much she needed to do.
And Rex... Rex was blind and relying on her. There's no way he'd make it to the crash site on his own, no way he'd find his way out of the jungle if need be.
But she couldn't get a good grip on the snake, and she was starting to get light-headed...
Suddenly the snake loosened its grip before slipping away from her completely and a pair of hands were wrapping around her upper arms, pulling her out of the water and back to shore.
"Oh man, oh man," she could hear Rex's voice repeat worriedly.
She coughed as she was laid down several feet away from the water she had just been dragged out of. She was now all muddy and completely soaking wet from the swampy water. Absolutely fantastic.
Opening her eyes with a sigh, she saw Rex hovering over her. The bandages around his face had been pulled down from his right eye just enough to see, and he squinted down at her with an eye that was bloody red, the exposed cuts around it looking angry and inflamed.
"You okay, Doc?" he asked, concerned. "I didn't accidentally cut you, did I?"
His one exposed eye quickly scanned her for injuries, squinting even more, and she had to wonder just how much he could even see.
"I'm fine, Rex," she said, sitting up with a wince. Her ribs hurt a little and the bite on her leg stung, but it was nothing she couldn't live with and there was no point in worrying him. Looking out at the water, she saw a now dead snake, its body cut in two with several smaller cuts running along its form.
"I was able to form my BFS just in time," Rex explained, still sounding a little shaken up by the whole thing. It wasn't often that he was faced with a threat that he couldn't see and could barely defend against.
Being dryer than she was, Rex insisted that she take his jacket, and for a while afterward, they both just sat there in the mud, taking a breather to regain their composure.
"So," she said a little while later, "You up for a meal of raw snake?"
"What?" Rex asked, looking taken-aback. "Ew, seriously?"
"We both haven't eaten in three days, Rex," she pointed out logically. "Who knows when we'll get another meal that we're sure is safe to eat. I'm hungry, aren't you?"
Though he had a look of disgust on his face, he nodded in agreement, saying, "I'm starving."
"Great, help me get it out of the water."
As they pulled the snake's body out of the water and Rex formed his BFS again, just long enough to cut the snake into smaller more-edible pieces, Rex chuckled and said, "I suppose this is a fitting revenge, right? It tried to eat you, so now we're eating it."
Holiday couldn't help but smile.
'Serves the snake right.'
Seven days after the airship went down...
Six raced pass rainforest trees, his katanas temporarily folded up and stored up his sleeves, his team running along behind him. Several hours after the reported sighting of the giant Evo that morning, another call had come over the radio.
"Agent Six, we found Rex!"
There had been no mention of Holiday, but Six would worry about that later. Right now he had to get to the coordinates they'd given him on Rex's location and deal with the situation on hand.
"We can't get to him, sir."
And following that statement had been an enraged animalistic roar. They're found Rex alright, but the Evo that had been stalking them the past two days had found the kid first.
Four days after the airship went down...
A nice hot shower and antibiotics. That's what she wanted most at the moment. She was losing track of time, losing track of the days. She only hoped that she wasn't leading them around in circles. They were both sick, feverish, and had reached a point where they were using each other as a crutch, leaning against each other in a way where they probably wouldn't be standing upright if they had each been on their own.
They trudged along in a slumped manner, more muddy at this point than clean, and once again soaked by the rain that was currently falling. Rex kept asking for a break, but Holiday felt that if she were to sit down, she wouldn't be able to stand up again, so she pushed them to keep moving forward. All the while she mentally cursed the rainforest in a way that one might not consider in character for herself.
She didn't even notice that they had reached the crash site until her foot ran into one of the broken pieces of the airship.
"We made it, Rex," she said with a relieved breath. "We're at the crash site."
"Please tell me there's a whole team of Providence airships around us that are here to rescue us and take us home," he said while blindly looking up at the sky, new make-shift bandages having already been reapplied over his eyes to replace the ones he tore away when the snake had attacked her.
"No," she was sorry to say. "We're going to be on our own for just a little while longer."
At least, she hoped that it would only be for a little while longer.
She did have one positive suggestion to offer their situation though, "We can at least take shelter under some of the ships remains and get out of this rain."
Just a short break. Just to rest for a little bit, to get out of the rain, and then they would search the ship for something to contact Providence with. Let them know that they were alive, let them know that they needed to be picked up, that they needed medical attention.
It would seem though that they weren't the only ones who had the idea of taking shelter under the broken pieces of the airship, and it wasn't long at all before they realized that they weren't as alone as they thought.
The Evos came out in swarms, each about as big as a medium-sized dog. They traveled on several pairs of spindly legs, their bodies fat, long, and slimy, with fanged gaping mouths. Evo leeches.
She'd take the time to shudder about that later, after the leeches were all dead or at least frightened away.
Holiday swung the thick branch she had found, knocking one Evo away only to have it be replaced by another. Several feet away from her, bandages once again pulled away from his right eye, Rex summoned his machines again and again, and each time he did, they would quickly crumble to pieces around him. His nanites were still on the fritz. He swung around at the Evos, taking out what he could with what he had. It wasn't long before one of the Evo leeches latched onto him though, and one was all that was needed.
He had already been pale with sickness before, but when that Evo sank its teeth into his side, it was like watching all of the color drain out of him. He stumbled, and just seemed to wilt before his legs shook and gave out on him. As he sank to his knees, another Evo leech bit down onto his arm, and now that he was down, even more of the leeches turned and headed his way. With that many leeches, he'd be drained dry in a matter of minutes.
Shouting for Rex to get up, shouting at the leeches, she swung the branch violently, smashing her way through the swarm and trying to get to the teen before the other leeches did. There were too many of them though, too many to fight on her own, and soon one of the leeches got past her defenses and latched its fanged sucking mouth onto her thigh.
Holiday didn't know if it was just because these were Evo leeches, or if it was just a myth that a leech's bite had a numbing effect to it, but the bite she got definitely hurt.
She could feel the weakness of blood loss wash over her like a cold wave, and against her will, she sank to her knees. She felt another stinging bite on her other leg as a second leech latched onto her. Struggling for breath, a floating sensation passed over her. Not so far in the distance, through blurred vision, she saw a third leech attach itself to Rex.
She couldn't believe that they had come this far and gone through all of that just to be stopped now, when they were so close, when they had finally reached the crash site and could possibly have a chance of being rescued.
Couldn't believe it, no, couldn't accept it. There was no way, no way she was just going to sit here and let that happen.
Ahead of her, Rex slumped to the ground. No longer moving, no longer struggling.
A rage unlike anything she'd ever felt bubbled up deep in the pit of her stomach, and with it came a rush of pain. Yet somehow it was a good pain, a pain that brought about a powerful feeling within her. She could suddenly feel her body twisting, growing. Bones shattered and reformed as her body morphed and changed shape. Her clothes were torn to shreds as this new body grew larger and larger, the world seeming to shrink around her.
A numbing mindlessness took over, but one thought, one purpose remained through it all:
Protect her kid.
Seven days after the airship went down...
Providence soldiers had the Evo surrounded by the time Six reached the area. Guns held up and at the ready in case the Evo decided to attack, they all waited for Six's instructions. Walking past the soldiers, past the shrubbery they'd concealed themselves behind, Six cautiously stepped into the small clearing. Up ahead, Rex lay still on the ground, and shielding the boy from their rescue efforts was the Evo.
The creature was just as large as he had been expecting based on the footprints he had previously found, and there was no doubt in Six's mind that this was the same Evo that made those footprints. The creature's form reminded Six of a giant salamander; four legs, the long sleek body, a long tail and the shape of its head. It was dark greys and blacks in color with bright orange splotches running along its back. What made it different from a normal salamander, aside from its massive size, was its six eyes, the dangerous looking spikes that protruded from the end of its tail, and then there were the vine-like extensions coming out of its back and from the sides of its head.
The Evo had its long body curved around the area where Rex lay, forming a wall around the boy. The vine-like extensions on its back lashed threateningly in the air, and when Six took a step towards it, the creature snarled at him, revealing a sharp set of teeth and a multi-forked tongue. Six pulled out his katanas, the blades making their usual shink noise as they unfolded.
'Going to have to do this the hard way then?'
"Six?" came Rex's voice, quiet, fatigued, and completely unexpected. He'd thought the boy had been unconscious.
"Stay down, Rex," he said, readying his blades for attack. "I'll handle this one."
"Wait!" Rex snapped, one hand flying into the air. The teen rolled over on the ground to face Six, revealing a face full of ragged bandages, and what the bandages failed to cover, a nice set of violent-looking cuts. Fingers splayed in the air, hand waving in Six's general direction, Rex shouted, "Don't hurt her!"
"Her?" Six echoed, an eyebrow raised in question.
"It's Dr. Holiday, Six," Rex said, his arm falling back to the ground. "Sh-she's still kind of in control. She's just protecting me."
Six stared up at the three sets of eyes that glared down at him, but despite Rex's reassurance, his fighting stance didn't lessen any. That Evo was Holiday? It was hard to wrap his mind around it. He'd always known that it was a likely possibility that one day one of them would go Evo, but he supposed he had always kind of hoped that it would never happen to Holiday. Fighting her because she'd turned Evo wasn't something he'd ever wanted to be faced with, though he would do it if he had to.
Yet maybe he didn't have to, at least not today due to these particular events. She'd yet to actually attack any of them, not even Rex who was completely at her mercy. So far, the only thing she'd done is look threatening.
"Lower you weapons," he instructed to the soldiers around him, and he did the same with his katanas, folding them up and slipping them back up his sleeves. He could have them back out in a second if he really needed to. Tossing a glance at the shrubbery behind him where he knew some of his rescue team stood waiting, he said, "Someone get me a first aid kit."
The white case was pressed into his hands before whoever gave it to him retreated back to a safe distance. The entire time he kept his eyes on Holiday, watching her for any sudden movements, and when the first aid kit was in hand, he held it up for her to see.
"I'm here to help, Dr. Holiday" he said calmly, disarmingly, and took a step forward. "But you're going to have to let me through to do that."
Holiday stared down at him, her stance unsure, and she bared her teeth at him, but that was all that she did. Six took another slow step towards her, wondering just how much of her mind was still intact.
'Don't make me have to fight you.'
He took a few more steps towards her, but stopped when she arched her long back up in the air and hissed at him, the vine-like extensions on her back snapping like whips.
"Come on, Doc," he could hear Rex's quiet voice saying to her. "It's just Six. You remember Six."
Those three sets of eyes darted back and forth between Rex and Six a few times, a growl rumbling deep in Holiday's throat. After several tense minutes, she seemed to come to a decision and her back lowered back down to the ground. The spiked tail that had been looped around, blocking his path to Rex, pulled away to allow Six easy access to the teen. It was as good of an invitation as he was going to get.
While keeping a close eye on Holiday, Six closed the distance been him and Rex and knelt down next to the teen's side. Rex was a sorry sight to see. He was clearly sick with something and through the tears in his clothes and on his bare arms, Six could make out several bite marks (all of which were too small to have possibly come from Holiday, so at least there was that). There were also the cuts across the boy's face that Six could see peaking out from beneath the dirty bandages that had previously been applied.
Asking Rex if he was okay just seemed like a stupid question all around, so instead Six asked, "Have you tried curing her?"
Swallowing thickly, Rex shook his head slightly as he said, "She wouldn't let me. Every time I tried, she'd move away from me and... my nanites have kind of been on the fritz for a couple days now..."
Six supposed he could understand Holiday's reasoning, even if the doctor didn't currently understand it herself, most likely being driven by her instincts at this point. On a normal day, Holiday wasn't someone you wanted to mess with, and now in this Evo form of hers, she was an even more dangerous opponent than before. Perfectly capable of defending against any of the threats in the rainforest. Now that rescue was here though, she didn't need to fight anymore. Six only hoped that Holiday realized this.
Six popped open the first aid kit. There really wasn't a lot he could do here. It'd be better to get them both back to Providence, although... he wasn't sure how they'd get Holiday back if they couldn't cure her. She was too big to be taken on the airships they brought with them. They'd need to come back with a bigger transport and Six didn't like the idea of leaving her behind, even if she was pretty well built now to live in this kind of environment. He was also pretty sure Holiday wouldn't be too happy with them taking Rex back to Providence and away from her.
Grabbing some gauze out of the first aid kit, Six decided he could at least change the bandages covering the cuts of Rex's face. Pulling away the dirty bandages, Six held back a wince at the damage. He only hoped that Rex didn't lose any vision due to this. Deciding to save disinfecting the cut for when they got back to Providence (lord knows Holiday would gut him if he made the kid cry), Six set about wrapping the fresh bandages around Rex's head and over the cuts.
"How long have we been out here?" Rex asked tiredly.
"A week," Six answered.
"Only a week? Feels like longer," Rex said with a miserable groan. "Man, screw the stupid rainforest. I totally get what Bobo was saying before."
The boy then shuddered and made some comment about leeches that Six decided he really didn't want to know about.
"Can we go home now?" Rex asked after Six finished bandaging him up and was snapping the first aid kit closed.
"If the good doctor will allow us," Six said, throwing a sideways glance up at Holiday.
"What do you say, Doc?" Rex asked with a smile. "Rescue is finally here. How about we go home?"
The words must have resonated with something that still remained of Holiday's mind, because when Six finally pulled Rex to his feet, one of the kid's arms slung over his shoulders, she didn't make a single noise of protest, and she let them leave the small clearing without any trouble at all.
She followed directly behind them for the entire trek back to the crash site where the rescue ships waited, her six eyes darting all around them for any potential danger, and she only growled at the Providence soldiers traveling alongside them a couple of times.
Now here they stood before the platform leading up to the open doors of one of the airships, just him, Rex, and the Evo-fied Holiday. After having someone fetch him a lab coat and a blanket from inside the ship, Six had sent all of the rest of the rescue team back inside the airships until it was only the three of them left outside.
Adjusting the bandages to make sure that they were completely covering the kid's eyes, Six guided Rex over to one of Holiday's arms, pressing the boy's hands against the amphibian-like appendage. Holiday growled quietly from above, but made no move to stop them.
"Cure her," Six instructed.
Nodding, Rex splayed his fingers against Holiday's arm. The teen took a few deep breaths before gritting his teeth and lowering his head in concentration. For a moment, nothing happened, and Six was stuck between wondering if the boy just didn't have the strength to pull off the cure quite yet, or if Holiday would end up being one of the unlucky ones that couldn't be cured.
But then suddenly the familiar blue lights were spreading out from Rex's hands and Holiday's large salamander form was shrinking. Getting smaller and smaller and reforming back into the woman Six knew.
Respectfully keeping his gaze on her face, he wrapped the lab coat around her naked form, helping her slip her arms through the sleeves and then helping her to her feet. As she hugged the lab coat around herself tight, he draped the blanket over her shoulders, wrapping that around her as well.
"It's good to see you again, Six," she said, her voice quiet from exhaustion.
"You too, Doctor," he said, nodding at her.
"You okay, Doc?" Rex asked, concern clear in his voice.
"About as okay as you are at the moment," she said, shivering. She was definitely right about that, Six realized. It would seem that she and Rex had both gotten sick from their week in the rainforest. Looking up at Six, she asked, "Did your rescue team get the samples that started this whole fiasco?"
It was clear from the look on her face that she did not want to be making a return trip.
"It's all on the ships," he assured her.
"Then let's get out of this god-forsaken forest before something else happens," she said, shoulders slumping.
She made a move to step forward, towards the platform leading up to the ship's entrance, but she immediately stumbled, her legs nearly giving out. Six was quick to steady her, his left arm looping around her waist and pulling her to his side.
When he was sure that she had regained her balance, Six reached out with his other arm to Rex who was also looking pretty unsteady on his feet, and tugged the Evo teen over to him. Looping one of Rex's arms over his shoulders, and still keeping his left arm wrapped around Holiday, Six provided himself as a crutch for the two.
Six offered no words of comfort, it wasn't his way, and it would seem that it wasn't needed either. Just being able to walk his two previously lost co-workers (His companions? His family?) up into the ship – to safety, to food, a warm bed, and medical attention – was enough for them, for all three of them. The hell of searching for them, of having to consider the possibility that the two might already be dead was finally over.
Six didn't fully relax though until they were all safely back at Providence.
Holiday's first few days of recovery had been rather infuriating ones. For one thing, she'd had to turn Rex's care over to several of Providence's more physically fit doctors, and that just didn't sit right with her. She had no problem with another doctor tending to the Evo teen's wounds, but when it came to Rex's nanites (in this case, finding a way to cure the boy of the toxin that was messing with his nanites to begin with), that was her territory and she didn't like the idea of some half-wit doing her job for her.
There was also of course the sickness itself that made her recovery days back at Providence rather lousy ones, but even more annoying than that was way so many people kept tip-toeing around any subject matter involving her brief stint as an Evo.
Her memories of being an Evo were a bit hazy around the edges, but when she looked back on what she did remember, it wasn't with a feeling of unpleasantness and it wasn't a taboo topic to her. Her Evo form gave her the strength she needed at the time. It allowed her to survive the remaining days they were trapped in the rainforest and it also allowed her to protect Rex when her human form had been too weak to.
This was exactly what she shouted at her colleagues when she eventually got fed up with them walking on eggshells around her. Thankfully that set everything back to normal with her coworkers and she was able to recover in peace.
There was one thing though, one not-so-normal thing that happened, most-likely in part to her outburst. This thing was in no way unwelcome though. She'd been mostly asleep when it happened. Through barely open eyes, she saw Six quietly slip into her room and set an orange and black lizard plushie down on the pillow next to her before leaving the room just as quietly. At the time, she thought she'd been dreaming, but several hours later, she knew otherwise when she woke up hugging the lizard plushie close, the ribbon with the message 'Get well soon' printed on it tickling her nose.
Six of course said nothing of the gift the next time he visited her, and so Holiday didn't say anything either. She simply kept the plushie by her side.
"How's Rex?" she asked the agent in green well over a week later. She'd heard earlier on that they'd be removing the boy's bandages around his eyes that day.
"He can see just fine," Six assured her, and the last of Holiday's worries drifted away. "Looks like he could have a set of scars much like Callan though."
"How's he taking that?"
"I told him women like scars. Callan attested to that fact," Six said simply. "He'll be fine, Dr. Holiday. You on the other hand-"
"I will also be fine," she said insistently. "My immune system just took a real beating from our little rainforest excursion is all. I am feeling a lot better now though. Should be up and about in another few days."
He nodded once, as if he didn't expect any less of her. A few more short pleasantries were exchanged between them before Six made his leave. It wasn't until Six reached the door leading out that she spoke up.
"Thank you for the gift, Six."
There was a brief moment of silence before Six looked over his shoulder at her. He then nodded again and said in his usual 'Six' tone, "You're welcome, Holiday."
The door shut behind him as he left, and Holiday slid back down under the blankets of her nice warm bed, an arm wrapped around her sick-bed plushie companion as she drifted off to a comfortable sleep.
End of oneshot. Don't really know how I feel about how this came out, so after editing this puppy, I'm gonna post it before my evil inner critic fully wakes up and tears this fic apart.
In case anyone's interested, I drew a picture of Holiday's Evo form. You can check it out on my DeviantArt account (which there is a link to on my profile here). Or just type in the address below:
http:/ / derangedblackkitten. deviantart. com /#/d3600fd
(just remove the spaces!)
Anyway, review please and tell me what you think! :)