I heard a voice that I knew
And I couldn't walk away
It took me back to the end
"Sleepwalker" Sung By Adam Lambert
"Banem, is something wrong?" Koly's voice was gentle and concerned, and Baki hated it with everything in him. He was tip-toed around in each place he went to. Koly and Mork, they were endlessly kind and indulgent in his frequent rages, but they were not the friends he so desperately needed. It seemed Nari was the only one who truly listened when he spoke. It was far from Mork or Koly's fault that they could not have stood to hear his past, his secrets, or even of his thoughts. He was an enigma sitting among people too easy, even for one such as he, to understand. There were few he found interested him more than a moment. Chernang was one such man, a man who at first was simply a leader, a damned good one, but nothing more. And that was when he listened to the man talk to himself. He was a murderer, a father, a man, and, to Baki's surprise, a teacher to any who were willing to learn. He was willing to let Baki learn of things other than rumor and slavery. The only thing Baki could not do was fight and go anywhere alone, even with Nari he was limited in his travels.
"No, Koly, I'm fine. Just thinking." His voice was calm, like it always was when he wasn't being sarcastic or angry. Koly's cotton top brushed his side and his breathing became closer as the boy settled beside him. The thick heat that came only from another's body burned at his arm, and he resisted the urge to move away from Koly just barely.
"What about? You're always thinking but I never can what, or even if it troubles you." Koly sounded confused, and he honestly couldn't blame him.
"What the water looks like." Baki replied, his brows furrowing. Koly's breath hitched and he snorted, knowing what was coming.
"But, you're...well, er...blind." Koly's voice hissed over the word blind, like it was a curse that would strike him down if he spoke too loud. Baki tensed, his mind bubbling with frustration, and let his head hide against his knees, surrounded by his arms.
"Never mind...I think Mork's calling you." He stated, his voice hard and cold enough it made even himself flinch. Koly sucked in a sharp breath, but nodded and was gone. When Baki could no longer hear the other male's retreat, he stood carefully, letting out a low whistle. Nari's claws soon closed around his right shoulder.
"Let's go for a walk." He murmured, self loathing boiling in his belly as his hand ran over her silken feathers. Gods but he wanted to see with his eyes. Anything, even if it were for a moment, if it were nothing but the ground, a feather, the rain, nightfall, just so he could see what every one else did. What it was about their sight that made them content to simply ignore the rest.
Quietly, he slunk towards what he knew to be the outskirts of the village. As he expected, just as he reached the first trees, a thump signaled the arrival of one the fighters. Irritated, Baki sighed, turning his head in the person's general direction.
"You shouldn't be alone." Curious, he tilted his head slightly, this man was new to him, although he had heard this one walking before. This was the man with the light almost dancing steps, the dancing steps that held no pride. Just an angry pain that echoed like screams.
"Does it matter?" Baki finally spoke, not bothering to hide his annoyance with the man.
"To Chernang it does. He does not wish to see you hurt." Came the stoic reply. Baki sighed and began walking, pointedly avoiding the tree roots via Nari's guiding nudges. The footsteps followed. Sighing, he stopped and an idea came to mind. Unknown to him, a cold smirk slid across his face, and his follower tensed.
"Oh? And is he blind to your pain? The pain that's even now festering in your dancer's footsteps." A sharp hitch in breath was Baki's reply at first, and his smirk widened. However, instead of coming up with a hasty excuse for retreat, the other only walked closer.
"Why dancer's footsteps? There aren't many dancer's here." He laughed at the question, Nari shuffling on his shoulder.
"Even if you don't dance now, you used to. There's a subtle difference between a dancer and a fighter, just listen every once in a while. But!" Baki's smile lost its coldness and turned melancholic and bitter. "You're never going to hear it."
Then he was bristling, the persistent man had moved to stand beside him, close enough that he could feel the body heat through his clothing. If the man noticed, he didn't say anything, but either way, it took all of Baki's control to keep from shuddering as if to rid himself of the too warm presence. Before he could say anything though, Nari's beak clicked and she let out an unhappy hiss.
There was a laugh and the warmth vanished from his side, footsteps telling of its owner's new place in front of him. Baki took a step back, all to eager to escape this one's prying eyes. He could feel them, burning holes into his skin.
"I don't think that it likes me much. Very territorial over you." The voice was rich with amusement and much like the fluffed up bird on his shoulder, he felt ruffled. His reaction showed it.
Hissing a few choice words under his breath, Baki whirled and moved smoothly away from the man, back toward the village. Nari let out a very not owl-like squawk and flapped her wings to stabilize herself. The man laughed again and followed, catching the fuming blind man by the shoulder.
"I don't mean harm, Banem. If you like I will walk with you, so that you can-" He cut him off.
"If a workhorse is blind, do you keep it?" Before the man could answer, Baki slipped back toward the village, Nari letting out a discontented hurr.
An: Kay, I'm back with a new chapter. Hope you enjoy it.
But I would also like to say that when I get reviews I tend to update slightly faster, because in my opinion if no one likes it, why keep working on something for the 'fans'. Fans have input, so far any readers I have aside from IceDragonOfDarkness don't have input.