Protect You – Chapter 2: Find Me
Summary: Stephano Tuteur is a young traveler who has accidentally gotten himself lost in the forests of Prussia. Seeking shelter, he takes residence in what he thinks is an abandoned castle. The next day, when he tries to leave, the doors are sealed shut and the chase begins.
In a world of monsters, there's always a saving light.
"I must be able to get out of this place. I don't have any supplies left. Without food I'll perish." Stephano growled softly. Mr. Chair blinked sadly and rubbed his shoulder.
"I've never seen anyone leave here. They always get tricked by the magic of the castle…" he muttered, just barely auditable. "That broken window, that was a trap to get you inside… the monster that lives here, needs human flesh to survive. If it does not feed, it will die, and the castle will lose its magic and crumble."
Stephano shook his head in disbelief and prepared his things to leave. Once he had all his belongings, he opened the bedroom door. A dusty wind seemed to blow from no-where down the connected hall. Stephano sneezed.
"Can't this so called 'magic' at least keep the place clean?" he complained angrily. Mr. Chair silently followed behind, shrugging at the rhetorical question.
They continued down the hallway for a few minutes before they came to a set of doors directly across from each other. A dusty old window was placed next to the door on Stephano's left, making it easy to see the blood stains on the opposing wall. A chill ran down the blonde-man's spine at the sight, but he remained virtually un-affected and reached for the door to his left. He turned the knob and pushed open the door with a loud creak. Behind him, Mr. Chair winced at the noise, looking ahead of them and behind them to see if anything heard.
"Call me Stephano."
"Stephano, you must be careful. If the monster hears…"
"Mr. Chair," Stephano started, turning around to look directly at the smaller man. "I understand you're scared, but I don't have time to be careful. I have a place to be and that's not waiting around here to become some creatures lunch."
The blonde man then turned back around and entered the room. Mr. Chair followed glumly.
The room appeared to be a study. Bookshelves packed with books and papers took up every space of available wall. A desk and chair where squeezed up against the wall under the rooms only window. Stephano let his eyes adjust to the slightly brighter room and began his looting spree. He upturned every little thing in the room. Books were ripped apart on the ground and drawers were pulled all the way out of their places; their contents spilled like blood on the pavement. The French man scoured every inch of the place and then did a double check. There was nothing there he could use. No lantern, no matches, and no oil; no magic fairy dust or stupid wand carved out of wood. In a fit of frustration, he stormed out of the room, knocking over Mr. Chair on the way out.
"H-hey…" Mr. Chair whispered his complaint. Unfortunately, Stephano didn't hear him; and instead went onto the next room.
After a little more than an hour searching through rooms, Stephano finally stumbled upon the main entrance. It was a wide, lobby-like area complete with several chandeliers far above their heads and two grand staircases. This part of the castle looked a bit faded, but other than that [and the dust], it looked habitable. Stephano looked at the entrance doors he saw from the outside the previous day and furrowed his eyebrows in confusion.
"Mr. Chair," he turned to look at the brunette's face. "What else does the magic in this castle do?"
Mr. Chair looked a bit startled by the question. He pushed his glasses higher up on the bridge of his nose and nodded absently.
"W-well, the magic is used to confuse prey into giving up on leaving. So sometimes it can switch up hallways, add and remove doors, and delete and expand space. It can only do this on the inside though, and the added space is always just a copy of some other room, since it can't create anything new."
Stephano nodded to clarify his comprehension. He looked at the staircase on the right and then the one of the left. Mr. Chair shifted from one foot to the other behind him anxiously. He seemed to want to get Stephano's attention, but he was too shy to.
"Mr. Chair… which staircase should I take?" The blonde asked, looking indecisive. "If I follow the right staircase, I'll enter the door on the right and vice versa for the left…"
He looked at the shy man with a confused expression, since he hadn't spoken up. Mr. Chair was staring down the hallway they came from. Once Stephano quit talking, a deadly silence fell over the lobby. After a few moments of tense stillness; both men heard a growl-like moan from way down the hallway they came. Mr. Chair's shoulders raised and his whole body stiffened.
"Oh no you don't-" Stephano went to grab Mr. Chair; but as he did, that all-too-familiar poofing noise sounds and Mr. Chair is suddenly an elegant, green-cushioned chair. Stephano cursed under his breath and hurried as quietly as possible up the right staircase.
The growling was nearing quickly; much faster than he would have expected. The French man hurried into a closet, keeping the door open just a crack so he could see this 'monster' Mr. Chair spoke of.
The growling grew louder and louder until it echoed off the walls of the lobby. Since the door was a door that pulled open, Stephano's vision was mostly blocked. He could just barely see Mr. Chair as the green chair on the edge of his vision in the center of the room. The chair wobbled a bit, making something tighten in his chest. He didn't know why, but he had a sudden urge to dart out and grab Mr. Chair.
The chair wobbled some-more, making Stephano fret a bit; until something picked it up and threw it across the lobby. The chair shattered on the opposite wall with a deafening crack. Stephano's chest tightened to the point where it was difficult to breathe. He didn't want to see the monster anymore. He didn't want to be there anymore; in that nightmare.
The blonde pushed himself into the very back of the closet, completely concealed in shadow. His body shook in frustration. Was Mr. Chair dead? He had no way of knowing, but worse yet… Stephano no longer had a guide. He was alone now.
"Allos, Pewdie." Stephano greeted the Swede. Pewdie immediately latched onto his friend as soon as he saw him. Stephano hugged back; over-whelmingly happy to see him again.
"I thought you were dead!" Pewdie cried angrily, hitting the French man's chest with his fist lightly.
"I thought I was done for too…" Stephano smiled sheepishly, "but it turned out to be a poofer. I think they were simply trying to scare us away, Pewdie."
"Are you hurt? Did he hurt you?" Pewdie demanded to know. Stephano rubbed his shoulder.
"As I said before, Pewdie… It was merely a poofer. He caused me no harm."
Pewdie looked skeptical, but he let it go for now.
"Where do we go now?"
"This is the key to the Choir…" Stephano explained. His expression darkened. "Pewdie… the Choir is really dangerous."
Pewdie put his hand on Stephano's shoulder and smiled.
"I think I can handle it."
The two of them made their way down some stairs, past Agrippa [who was still talking], and down the hall to the Choir door.
Pewdie held out his hand for the key.
"Gimme the key, Stephano," the Swede said, beckoning with his fingers.
Stephano stared at the man's hand and shook his head.
"I don't want you to go in there."
There was a thick silence between them suddenly. Not even Agrippa's droning voice could be heard in the background, just… silence. Their eyes did not meet, their hands stayed at their sides, and neither of them said a word.
"You do realize I need to leave… right?"
The sentence stung. Stephano hadn't really considered the fact that he'd be alone when all this was over. Just like a dream, Pewdie would be gone and he would be alone again… like nothing ever happened to begin with. It was an endless cycle of loathing and death; longing and betrayal. When Pewdie was gone, another person would come along and play the game of life or death. All Stephano wanted was for the violence to be over. All he wanted was for something to shed light in the all-consuming darkness.
And he had found that light… in Pewdie.
"I don't want you to leave… not without me…"
"Then I promise." Pewdie spoke up, a determined look in his eye.
Stephano shifted his golden eyes to his Swedish friend.
"I promise I'll take you with me when we finally get to leaving this horrid place!"
Stephano awoke with a start. Everything was pitch black around him, and when he lifted his hands to his face, he realized he'd been crying. Had he cried himself to sleep?
He must've fallen asleep waiting for the monster to leave the lobby. He almost didn't remember what he'd been crying about when it suddenly hit him.
"Mr. Chair!" Stephano yelped, jumping out of the closet and right into something. That something made an 'oof' noise when Stephano knocked into it and they both fell to the ground. Stephano scrambled to his feet almost immediately and glared down at the thing that had been in his way.
On the floor in front of him was a skinny man. He had a white, ragged dress-shirt on that was unbuttoned; a pair of tight-fitting black pants with holes in the knees, and two pink pig ears sprouted from the mess of equally pink hair. He scratched the side of his face and then the back of his head.
"Who're you? Where's Mr. Chair?" The man asked, his tone a little stressed. "I heard something break…"
Stephano's chest tightened all of a sudden and he remembered why he jumped out of the closet in the first place. His eyes darted to the far wall where Mr. Chair was thrown, but to his surprise, there were no chair pieces there anymore. The pink-haired man got up slowly, examining Stephano head to toe.
"Let me guess," Stephano drawled in his French accent, "you can shift into a pig for defense?"
"Yeah…" Piggy grinned, "You like it when people turn into in-animate objects for defensive purposes?"
"Wait…" Stephano scowled, "pigs are alive."
"I transform into a dead pig…"
"I know, it's cool, isn't it?" Piggy wiggled his eyebrows, which were also pink by the way. "You like it, don't you blondie?"
"Don't call me that…"
The sudden shout attracted both of the men's attention to the bottom of the left staircase. Standing there was Mr. Chair; definitely not smashed into pieces.
Piggy and Stephano both rushed downstairs to join the other.
"I thought you were dead…" Stephano breathed a sigh of relief.
"Oh, sorry!" Mr. Chair squeaked. "When I'm in chair-mode, I can switch my spirit to another chair when my chair is about to be smashed."
"That's handy." Piggy commented, smirking.
"It's a bit frustrating, though… since I could end up anywhere within a mile radius."
Stephano blinked in thought. That would be frustrating… especially in this castle.
"Everyone is okay, then?" Mr. Chair asked kindly.
Piggy and Stephano nodded, but then motioned to one another.
"Oh, Piggy, that's Stephano. He's the human that came in yesterday."
"That's Piggy, but I guess you already knew that."
The blonde nodded slowly.
"We're missing a part of the crew, though…" Piggy stated after a moment of awkward silence.
"And who's that?" Stephano asked, shifting his golden gaze to the pink-haired man.
"That would be the Golden Statue Man."
((Author's Note: I'm sorry but I'm gonna end this chapter here, bros. There'll hopefully be more soon!))