Author's Note: I don't think this came out quite the way I wanted it to. It was just an idea that popped into my head while I was reading "On a beam of light". Yes, I finally got around to reading the books, and I can't wait till the third one comes out. I guess I'm kinda lucky, since I live in London and I only have to wait until July. grin

Also, I was very surprised by the response I got for "Bluebird", especially since the K-PAX category is so small. So thanks to everyone who reviewed, and I hope you enjoy this one, too.

Note: When I use phrases such as "I took a deep breath" from Rob's POV, it's a mental intake of breath... if you know what I mean.

Update: I would like to thank Atomdancerrr and Madam Foogie for pointing out some slight factual mistakes in the previous version of this story, which I have now corrected. That's all. ^_^

Disclaimer: K-PAX and all related characters do not belong to me.

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Words

Words. What a powerful tool. They can change you, influence you... even hurt you. Some are unforgettable.

I remember prot's words. They scared me. Scared me even more than I already was.

Within the five years of being frozen within my own fear, I always had my light of hope - that prot would someday come back to protect me, once again. He had always been there, whatever happened. Had always kept his promises. Had always been loyal and true.

Then he came back.

"Hiya rob, miss me?"

I tensed inwardly at the sudden voice within my mind.

"Still not saying much, eh?"

I didn't reply... couldn't.

"Thought so." Prot sighed tiredly. It almost sounded frustrated, which was very uncharacteristical for him.

"Well, you know, when you feel like talking, I'll be here." I could almost hear him add an annoyed 'as usual', but he didn't. He would never say that.

Suddenly, I noticed prot weakly trying to leave our wheelchair

I wanted to protest, but I was too afraid. I didn't want to be there, out in the cold, wide world. In fact, I didn't want to be anywhere at all. I just wanted to die. Be with Sarah and Becky. Away from here...

Thank God he wasn't successful.

"I must still be tired from the journey. Oh, well. A little rest will do me good," he chirped happily, and closed our eyes. He immediately drifted off in exhaustion, leaving me alone with my thoughts.

I don't know for how long he slept. For how long I just sat there in complete darkness. It didn't really make that much difference to me, anyway. It was usually like this.

Suddenly, I heard the door click open for my regular check-up. Prot automatically snapped open our eyes, and grinned weakly at the woman standing above us.

"Good morning, Robert, how're…" she started, then stopped, and blinked as if she couldn't believe her eyes. "Oh, my God. Prot? Is that you?"

He nodded slightly, his vague smile still playing on our lips.

Betty's shocked expression slowly turned into one of great joy, as she gently hugged us. "Prot! I can't believe it's you!"

Again, he nodded in response.

"It's great to have you back," she smiled warmly, before leaving to inform everyone else about prot's return.

I guess I won't be missed very much.

Word got around very quick that prot had come back, and soon enough, Dr. Brewer wanted to see him, too, as soon as he had come back from holiday. I didn't like the idea of that. He scared me. He knew too much about me. I was sure he hated me. After all, I had killed...

But for now, prot was just resting. Beaming from place to place can be exhausting, he told me.

"Rob?" prot spoke after a long silence, as we lay on my bed.  "I thought I'd better tell you now than later that this is going to be my last visit to Earth."

What? I was suddenly filled with great apprehension.

"I can't help you. I've tried my best. But you're too ill."

Is he abandoning me?

"I suppose you'll stay like this forever."

Forever?

"But at least you'll be safe here at the hospital with gene."

Here? At the hospital?

I didn't like that prospect. After all, I had already been here for more than five years. And I didn't want to be ill, either. To be honest, I was tired of it. I was so sick and tired of everything. Of being afraid. Of never speaking, never moving. Of feeling guilty... But somehow, I had only realised this, now. Why had I only realised this now?

But more than I was tired, I was still afraid. I didn't know what to say to prot. So I stayed silent, until he finally fell asleep.

--

You'll stay like this forever.

Those words kept ringing in my head. Forever... That sure is a hell of a lot of time.

And it was going to be all my fault. Just because I was too scared to talk. Because I was too much of a coward to face myself, not to mention, the world. My own damn fault.

I took a shaky breath, and slowly opened my mouth. "P... pro... t," I whispered so quietly, I almost couldn't hear myself. But immediately, he was awake.

"Rob? Did I just hear you speak?"

"Prot..."

"Good to hear you, Robert! How have you been?"

I paused.

"Not so hot," I finally replied.

"Thought so."

"..."

"..."

"Prot?"

"Yeah?"

"... I don't want to be..." I took a small breath. "... to be... like this. I don't want to be scared anymore..."

"Who would?"

"Pl... please... help me."

"I already told you, I can't."

"... why?"

At that point one of the orderlies had come to pick us up and escort us to Dr. Brewer's office. He and prot conversed and laughed a lot, but I wasn't really listening. My mind was on something different, completely.

--

The first session after five years had gone pretty well. It was a basic recap, and Dr. Brewer had been happy to hear that I had spoken to prot. Also, he had suggested the use of hypnosis in the next session...

Now, we were in the doctor's office again for our second session.

"Robert?" he asked softly.

I came out slightly reluctantly, but didn't look at him or move.

He started summarizing my life in one big heap, which made it sound like the life of a character from a book.

I looked up at him, watching him read my file slowly and calmly. He stopped, and our eyes met. Thick silence hung in the air.

Why was he still trying to help me even after five years?

Suddenly, I felt I needed to say something... anything. I needed to make it up to him.

"I'm sorry."

For a moment, he looked surprised, but quickly recovered.

"Thank you, Robert. I'm sorry, too."

--

It's unbelievable that, after so many years, a few awakening words from prot have gotten me this far. I'm healed now... or as healed as I'll ever be. Prot is no-where in sight, but I don't need him anymore. I have Giselle and my mum.

And I love them.

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