Mable: This popped into my head and I had to write it down, even with so many other projects I'm supposed to be doing. I don't own the Stitchpunks, Enjoy!

For lost Time

For as long as Eight had been alive he had always targeted him over the others. Of course the occasional shove to Nine or barging past Five was necessary, but he really did that for show, and really had no ill towards the two. In fact, he was relatively close friends with Five. Never, though, was it a show when it involved Six. Ever since the beginning, since first meetings, Eight had always targeted the small one. Though it wasn't based on size, basing on size would've caused him to go after Two and that was absolutely as far from his mind as possible, it was based on many other traits. His yarn hair, his strangle and sharp hands, the way he was constantly dripping with ink, his striped, his mismatched optics; Eight could list for hours the things that made Six a 'freak', and a target.

However, he was always up for a soft spot, such as when he heard Nine mention Six having a recent fear of losing his new key. For the whole day he tried to steal it from the Artist and repeatedly failed, but the desired fear and paranoia was reached. So sometimes he would listen in on conversations that involved Six. This is what stopped him outside the curtain of the workshop, the word 'Six' coming into play, and Eight shifted to the wall so that he wouldn't be seen through the curtain and listened. He could hear One and Two speaking and knew that whatever was to be said would be important; One and Two always voiced concerns of the others to each other and would certainly be mentioning something new. Two was speaking when Eight focused in.

"One, you cannot say you haven't noticed it. How he recently has been." The Inventor was very concerned and even One sounded shockingly calm, "I have noticed a few changes. I never expected it was anything serious, what with Six being such an eccentric." A nice way of saying the same thing Eight did, or that's what Eight took from it. He smirked a bit and listened as the Inventor spoke again, now walking about. "The way he's been… Stumbling. He's been so much quieter and the other day I spoke to him and… And it was as though he couldn't focus on anything. It is becoming more serious, and I…I fear the worst." Now Eight was confused. One let out an exhale, "How much worse can he become? We knew how he was deteriorating before…"

"Deteriorating?" Eight repeated quietly to himself. He might not have such a wide vocabulary as One, but he knew exactly what that meant, and suddenly he started to believe it was more serious. "It is. It is becoming much worse and every day I've grown more fearful. I expect him to eventually collapse one day and… It will seem sudden, but we both knew it was coming." Eight sort of moved back from the door to take it in. He no longer thought of his plans to torment Six and instead tried to figure out exactly what was occurring. "He's just faking it." Eight insisted, "There's nothing wrong with him. They're all just being played." He leaned in again quick enough to catch Two speaking again, sounding incredibly solemn, "We'll lose him soon."

It was like everything stopped at once. Everything stopped moving, Eight stopped breathing, and he slowly pulled back again. The thoughts were confirmed; Six wasn't fine, he wasn't even near stable, and Two just confirmed that he was dying. Repeating that word in his head, 'dying', caused Eight to feel strangely weak and even a little lightheaded. The closest they had gotten to death was during the 'Fabrication Machine Incident' when their souls were removed. However, they returned with the rain, they were fine, but there was no rain to fix Six. Six's soul wasn't just separated; Six's entire being was falling apart. Eight panicked and decided that he had to make sure this was true, and spun in the other direction towards Five and Nine's room.

He burst in, looking wild and worse for wear, and couldn't stop the strained cry, "Is it true?! Is he right?!" Only Five was in the room, working on his weapon, and he looked up in confusion, "Who? I don't-…" Eight came forward quickly, causing Five to jump back a bit. "Two said he's dying. Is it true?" He demanded and Five seemed still confused, so Eight explained. "I heard him and One talking. They said Six is getting worse, doing weird stuff, and they think he's going to just fall over soon and…" Eight trailed off, he couldn't make his voice work, and he had a horrible flash in his mind. He imagined himself bullying Six, snatching up one of his drawings, and have Six reach for it only to suddenly fall over onto the ground, and never get back up.

He came back to reality fast enough to catch Five speaking, "I… I had no idea… I did hear Two mention how afraid he was for Six, but I never thought that…" Eight shook his head, "I have to go." Five looked up at him, carrying a sad look for the thought of losing Six, "Go where?" Eight stormed out of the room, "Go somewhere." He headed straight down the hall and entered his own room. He couldn't get this dread feeling out of his mind, overwhelming him, eating him, and making him feel terrible. "Did I do this?" He questioned, pacing around, "Maybe I pushed him to hard. Or maybe that time I dumped ink on him the ink got inside and messed up everything…" Slowly he began to become convinced that he had done this; he was the reason for Six dying.

For a few minutes he sat on the bed with his head dropped in his hands and just tried to convince himself that this wasn't happening. Eight trusted One and Two though; if anyone would know it would be them. Thinking back, he did notice how Six had been acting strangely quieter recently, he was no longer to walk very straight, and he seemed to disappear into his mind much more. It finally made sense and Eight knew he had to do something. Since he caused this, maybe he could reverse it, or at least fix what damage he had done. Eight quickly exited his room and went straight to Six's small one. Pushing aside the stained curtain he could see the Artist doing what he usually did, draw. His hands seemed to move slower than usual though, Eight noticed it now.

"Hey." Eight saw Six jump and was confused as usually the Artist always heard him coming. Six looked back at him, he looked fearful, and Eight suppressed a cringe. "Hello." The other's soft voice tried cautiously. He watched as Eight entered, the guard feeling bizarrely out of place, "What are you doing?" That was the most socially civil he had ever been and Six responded quietly, "Drawing." He then looked over almost regretfully as his inkwell, which Eight could see was running low, like his life. The thought made him cringe and he spoke to ignore it, "What happened to all of your ink?" He knew exactly what happened, it was poured over Six's head two days ago, but Six had another answer, "I knocked it over. Two said he'd get me more from the outside tomorrow."

"You going with him?" Eight had never seen Six as leaving the Sanctuary, and soon got an answer to reassure this thought, "No. Too dangerous. Can't defend myself." The guard was about to demand to know who said he couldn't defend himself, but then remembered the incident and remembered it was himself, so he stayed quiet. He couldn't say he didn't feel terrible. Six spent all of his time in this room and would never be able to go out. If his ink ran out, the stress would probably make him worse, and it could be what caused him to collapse like Two had suggested. Eight suddenly spoke up, "I could take you out." Six looked back in surprise, confused at the offer, and questioned quietly, "You would?" Eight nodded, "Yeah, I've been out there hundreds of times. I know it by memory."

It could've been a trap; Six contemplated this as his wrung his dripping hands. He knew Eight was capable of tricking him, but decided that he was still willing to trust him a little, and slowly nodded. "Okay…" He stood and approached the other, clutching his key, and the guard watched as dark liquid began to run onto the metal. He waited for Six to walk by before following him, Six leading to the bucket lift, and he could now notice that Two's observation was correct. The Artist wasn't walking straight, he was swaying a bit and not in a way Eight had seen before. It concerned the guard, and he kept having the images of Six collapsing and leaving them all. Those mismatched optics that annoyed Eight being devoid of life, him fading away.

Eight found himself suddenly becoming very focused on exactly what Six was doing, ready to grab for him if he fell. Instead, Six got to the becket lift without any incident and stepped inside. Thankfully, the others in the throne room weren't paying attention, so Eight started to lower the bucket lift, and looked over to see the Artist leaning on the side of the lift. "You okay?" Eight asked and Six nodded, "I'm tired." The guard didn't like that, but decided not to turn back. That's when Six suddenly changed the subject, "Did One… Did One talk to you?" Eight raised a stitched eyebrow, "About what?" He wondered if the Artist knew about his condition. "You aren't… You're not… I…" Six couldn't get the words out, but Eight grasped that he was questioning why he was being kinder than usual.

"Just wanted to get out for a while." Eight lied, "I'm not willing to go alone after, you know." Six did; the seamstress changed Eight's prospective of 'safe'. The bucket lift stopped in the house below the new sanctuary and they silently headed out of the cracked front door and into the Emptiness. The New Sanctuary was located in an area that was still destroyed, but more evacuated than such, so most of the houses still stood. It used to be an area with many houses lined together, as by how they stood now, and Eight felt a little more safe here than in the destroyed area circling the Cathedral. Six was cautious, but curious, and looked around at the surroundings like he hadn't seen it before. He then began to wander about a bit and Eight steered him back with a question.

"Where does Two get the ink?" The guard asked and Six tried to think, "He found some… In the… In the…" He gripped at his key and thought back a bit; Eight realized that his memory was failing with his body. Finally the Artist spoke, "He found a box of inkwells… By the… By the sound machine." Of course they had to go all the way to the phonograph, Eight begrudgingly knew that they couldn't just have a simple trip, but had been there before and knew the route well enough. "Too far." Six said sadly and Eight interrupted his sadness, "No it's not. Come on, we'll make it." He then hated the choice of words and winced a bit before continuing on. He soon felt the pattering of feet behind him and was content with the striped one following him.

Everything seemed to be going alright for most of the trip before eventually, when they started to enter the more destroyed area, Six started to lag behind. Eight would've before just left Six, or taunt him about being unable to keep up, but with the sudden change he became fearful. He looked back and noticed that the Artist was looking worse for wear. He stopped and after a second the Artist stopped too, "Eight?" The guard caught one, "We'll stop and rest." The artist shook his head and stumbled a bit, "I'm okay." As he took a few steps, Eight stepped right before him, "We're stopping." Six seemed to immediately cave as soon as Eight became assertive. With how bad Two said he was, Eight felt a weird twinge of guilt by having to be so strict, but kept thinking about Six falling over and dying.

As he led Six towards some area of shelter, Eight started to remember Two's exact words. "We'll lose him soon." That meant that there was no chance, Six would eventually be gone, and soon Eight would be looking back on this as the only time he treated the Artist well. It changed his perspective a bit more and as he finally found a decent overturned box to use as a shelter, he decided to be even easier on Six. "Come on, it's safe." He insisted and Six slid under the box as the guard lifted it up. Once inside, with so much rubble about, the area wasn't small. It was a good excuse to stay close to the Artist and watch him. Six laid down on the ground and curled a bit into a ball, slowly beginning to drift off as he was exhausted, and Eight knew he was watching him before those mismatched optics finally closed.

To say that Eight was on the edge was underestimating by far. He found himself being as quiet as possible to make sure he could hear Six's soft breathing continued. Once he was sure the other was fine, he began to actually watch Six. It was strange how different Six looked like this. All of the things Eight hated before seemed obsolete in his eyes now and he reached out to touch Six's arm. It was like he was small enough that's he would shatter in his grasp. At the same time, Eight found that Six's fabric was surprisingly smooth, without any rough patches from Beasts or sewn wounds like Eight's. His hand tingled as he stroked across Six's fabric, he couldn't deny that he liked touching Six in this way, but he knew he wasn't made to be gentle, and Six was fragile.

It took until now for Eight to realize that Six wasn't resistant. He actually was small, he couldn't defend himself, and he was like pure glass. Eight removed his hand briefly before letting it rest on the ground beside him, looking over every detail of Six. He waited for at least an hour and a half before he dared to reach over and shake Six awake. He made sure to nudge him soft enough that it took a bit for Six to awaken. He was relieved when Six's mismatched optics opened and the Artist began to awaken groggily. "Need any longer?" The guard asked and Six shook his head before finally sitting up. Eight coaxed Six out of the box, holding it up for him, and the two began to venture longer into the Emptiness. Eight was glad that the rest seemed to help Six quite a bit as he was now eager to move on.

Six seemed to actually be acting completely different than usual. He was smiling, looking quite happy, and taking in the surroundings that he was getting to witness. Eventually, though, he began to question Eight again, "You… Umm… I'm sure Seven would've come with you… You didn't have to come with me; I know you didn't want to." Eight was a little surprised that Six vocalized anything this much, taking it as the Artist finally being comfortable, and decided to bend the truth to his angle. "I already spar with her in the morning. I don't want the boss thinking that I side with her or something." Six nodded and now walked beside Seven, deciding to be completely honest, "I'm… I'm glad you let me come with you…"

Something in Eight felt warm, and a bit of the guilt lifted, so he let a little bit of a smile through, much to Six's surprise. He had no idea what made Eight suddenly be so nice, but decided to just go along with it and gain the friendship with Eight that he had never had before. He didn't want to pester Eight too much, but continued to speak, "I like coming out here. Sometimes I see things and then draw them, so I don't only have drawings of… Of the Beasts." The guard listened and nodded, "One's always talking about how much he likes your drawings. He told me he wanted to get you to draw one of him, but I think he…" He cut off. It suddenly made sense why two days ago One was speaking about Six drawing and now he no longer mentioned it, now that Eight knew about Six's condition.

"Forgot." Eight finished and Six smiled at the ground, "I think I could do it. Not very good, I'm not that good, but I could try." The guard said the next sentence without thinking, or perhaps he wouldn't have said it so dismissively, "I've seen humans' pictures before and you're way better than them." He gauged Six's reaction; surprise, a pause, and then another, wider smile. Eight decided to then change the focus, "There's the drop up there." The 'drop', as Eight called it, was the trench beside the phonograph. Not long ago, Five and Two built a small bridge across the gap so that the Phonograph was reachable, instead of taking the longer way around the trench, and Eight felt a bit uneasy seeing it. Basically wood and rope, neither looking strong enough to hold his weight.

Six, however, pattered across the bridge quickly, excited to get to his ink, and stopped at the other side. "Come on." Eight willed himself to move, but looking at the bridge he knew better, and stepped back. "How about this; you bring the ink here and I'll carry it back." Six blinked, a bit confused, and gestured still, "It's okay, Eight." Ignoring how Six saying his name made him feel awkward, Eight suddenly defended, "That thing isn't going to hold me." The Artist actually came back over and, feeling brave, decided to try to coax Eight across in a different way. He grasped Eight's hand, Eight was looking at him like Six had just ate his hand, and began to pull him. "It will hold. See?" Eight felt something inside warm up further as he lumbered behind Six, his hand taken into the sharp one of Six's.

It was strange how warm it was, how the sharp points were controlled to not scrape Eight's hand, and the ink on the hands had previously been rubbed onto his sides. More black ink staining his stripes, most likely, and Eight's optics looked over the smaller to see where. He then locked onto an obviously knew mark on his hip and found his optics locking on it. This wasn't the first time this happened. Occasionally Eight would get stuck staring at Six, usually when he was tormenting him, and he always assumed it was from hate. However, now he started to realize that the 'freak' didn't look as 'creepy' as previously thought. In fact, the way he smiled right now was actually a little endearing, just a little attractive.

"See?" Eight almost missed Six's word and he now looked away to see that they were on the other side of the trench. He was a bit impressed, "Never knew that Two could make bridges." He said absentmindedly and Six smiled before finally releasing Eight's hand, it now locking onto his key. He wandered in the direction of the phonograph and Eight lagged behind, trying to sort through whatever was causing him to be drawn to Six. He started to put together that maybe he just hadn't ever paid enough attention to Six to really see something other than an excuse to torment him. It was the farthest thing from his mind now, and not just because of Six's condition, but because of exactly how different the other was acting. Awake, alert, and alive, but not for long.

That thought made Eight sudden feel devastated. The second he realized that perhaps Six wasn't such a 'freak', was the second he learned that he was soon to perish. He couldn't even imagine life without Six, even when bullying, the small male was just too important. He made it to the phonograph at this time and noticed Six rolling a large disk towards the phonograph, Two called them records, and Eight approached to aid him. "I thought we came for ink." He pointed out, trying to sound relatively uninterested to hide the despair from his hidden knowledge. Six nodded, "I know. I wanted to hear the sound again. Just for a second." His voice turned soft in almost a begging tone, and Eight felt much too upset about losing Six to deny anything from him.

He removed the other record and put the new one Six chose onto it before going over to the crank, turning it. It wasn't like how the twins did it, but it did turn it on just the same. Immediately the music began to play, thankfully nothing dark or gloomy, and Eight was glad to see Six's face alight with another of his smiles. The music's lyrics weren't understandable as the voice didn't seem to be saying real words, or words that they understood, but it still was enough. The Artist sort of moved around a bit, twisting and turning, spinning and stumbling, like he was dancing. Eight then guessed that he was dancing and watched as the striped one managed to become steadier and even a bit graceful. Then, suddenly, he stopped, and turned to the guard.

"...I…" He looked as though he wanted to say something and fell silent. Eight coaxed it, "Yeah?" Six didn't look at the taller male as he spoke, "The twins once showed me that… That humans move like that when they hear the sound… But there's always… There's… There's two." He held up two fingers and Eight sort of caught on, slowly approaching him, "They call it dancing. One told me humans do it." He couldn't get Six to look at him, not even when he was right before him, but soon had Six reaching up to grab his hands. "I think… One goes here." He rested it on his waist, nearly brushing the new stain, and then rested his own on Eight's arm. "And I…" He took Eight's other hand, "Then we…" To show the taller, he swayed a bit, but Eight couldn't do much, or perhaps was too busy taking in the one in his grasp.

The music continued on and Six must have grown tired because he was soon leaning against Eight's front. His grasp slipped from Eight's hand and slid up his arm to lock on like the other did. Eight used the now free hand and slid it onto Six's back and pulled him closer in. Now with the artist this close he felt a bit restless, because he was realizing that even with him this close he was soon to be too far to touch. It made Eight ignore how rapidly their relationship changed, how much he hated him this morning and now no longer did so. He just didn't want to let go, and soon the music faded off, and after a few seconds they started to come back to realization. Eight didn't want to separate from Six, but he suddenly wanted a little distance, and he spoke, "The ink."

"Oh… Yes, the ink." Six whispered and pulled back cautiously, staring up at Eight like he was surprised by what happened, like he was too able to tell that this was a bizarre change between then. They separated, Eight sort of felt guilty releasing Six, and the Artist slowly led Eight to the small, wooden building behind the phonograph. Inside there was a decent sized box full of glass bottles filled with ink. Six's optics lit up and he counted them before Eight spoke, "I'll bring a few. You head to the bridge, I'll be there in a bit." Six nodded and did as told, walking slowly to the trench. Leaving Eight alone, not knowing he needed some time to think. Six needed to think as well, though, and slowly walked to the trench.

He couldn't deny that the change in how Eight treated him was all that he ever wanted. Every time Eight had bullied him, he had always imagined that someday they'd be friends, or closer. He didn't know what closer could be, but he couldn't deny that resting against the taller's front, held in his strong arms, had been wonderful. He now stood at the edge of the trench and peered down into the depth. Usually when here he would remember when he awoke in the trench, cold and wet, and then would remember the incident and grow upset. However, all he could think of was Eight, and the sudden change. He wasn't very sure why Eight suddenly became nice to him in one day and became afraid that perhaps it was a trap. Perhaps it was all just a drastic trick.

It was at that second that all his thoughts were erased. Suddenly Six noticed his foot, which he set down on the edge, didn't stop as loose soil crumbled and fell into the trench. He let out a cry and suddenly began to fall. He was suddenly choked by his key tight on his throat, yanked back, and then the key went loose as an arm slung around Six's waist and swung him back onto the solid ground. He realized that it was Eight but fell onto his backside and clutched his throat briefly, gasping in shock of how close he went to plummeting in. That's when suddenly Eight yelled out, "What were you thinking?!" Six winced at the guard's voice and looked up at him, identifying the other's look as anger, and spoke, "I… I'm sorry…" Eight growled, "You could've been killed! What were you doing that close to the edge?!"

The Artist didn't respond and the Guard looked away, noticing in his panic to grab Six he had dropped the two inkwells he was carrying and one had opened to spill its black contents across the ground. "I'll be back. Don't go back near the edge." Eight commanded and immediately left, leaving Six to stare pitifully at the ground. He felt terrible, but not because he had almost fell, but because he had ruined everything. He had been so worried that it was a trap, when he should've been doing anything to keep from ruining what had been occurring. He had a flash of the countless pictures ripped up, ink dumped out, shoves, trip, and the horrific words, not sure if it was just a memory or a vision of what would come. Hours spent in his room trying to redraw, to fix, to clean; they all came back.

Six felt a pitiful choke in his chest and knew what was coming, since it came after every bad bullying session, and hung his head to let it out. Six never cried in front of the others, never got comfort for all of the bullying, and until now he was fine with it. Now though, after he had been so close to something else, he felt nothing but shame. He had ruined it and Eight would never be kind to him ever again. He didn't pay attention though, or he would've quieted himself before Eight came back. Eight arrived back, though, and caught the scene, and immediately he went into a fit of panic. Six, who could succumb at any second, was crying, and he immediately dropped this inkwell and hurried to approach. "Six? Were you- did you get hurt?"

"No…" Six responded, whimpering, and he tried to speak through the choking, "I'm sorry. I should- shouldn't have left the Sanctuary. I ruined everything!" He grabbed his head and clutched into his yarn, "I am a freak…" Eight didn't like this, not the slightest, and he went into a surprising state of concern and kneeled before the striped one. "Come on, Six, that's not true. I shouldn't have yelled at you." Six shook his head, tugging at his hair, so Eight went to free them before they ripped the yarn out of his head. "I'm sorry, you just scared me. If I would've been screwing around with the box still, you would've fallen." It didn't seem to help. Six was managing to pull himself together a bit and voiced his true concern, "You're going to hate me again and it's all my fault."

The Guard didn't know what to say, fearing anything would make it worse, and he came with a new idea. When Two's legs were being worked on still, he had gotten a bit depressed at one time and One had done something to make him feel better. He tried to keep it innocent, saying in his mind that this was just an innocent gesture, and then he went to attempt it. His rested his hand on Six's striped cheek and lifted it a bit. Six didn't want to look out of shame, but soon had himself thrown through a loop as his mouth was taken by another's. He never had this happen before, but had though he saw it once before, but couldn't remember where. Either way, Eight had overtaken his mouth, and it felt very good. Warm, a bit strange, and very good.

He started to fade out into a mix of no thoughts, no visions, just Eight, and his hands grasped for the larger. Eight, meanwhile, was taking this as the smartest decision he had made all day. They were lost for a good while until eventually they had to pull apart. Six was panting a bit and Eight's hands had a mind of their own. He managed to eventually get out the point he had wanted to put across the entire time, "I'm afraid I'm going to lose you." The artist smiled a little, obviously thinking of the near fall into the trench and not the fact that he was going to die, and leaned forward to embrace onto Eight. Eight was at a mixed loss. He was finally seeing the real Six beyond the exhaustion and the visions, and he knew that he wanted him in more ways than just as his victim.

He tried to swallow the dread that grew as he kept thinking of what Two had said. He didn't want to imagine how soon that 'soon' could be. Perhaps next week, or tomorrow, maybe even sooner, and he hated it. He forced a smile and pushed it away, "One'll kill me if we don't get back soon." Six nodded in understanding and stood to begin the trip back. Eight gathered the two inkwells and headed towards the bridge. Instead of taking his hand that was full, Six held Eight's arm and led him across the bridge like before. The trip back to the Sanctuary was quiet and relatively uneventful. The sun set and sent them into darkness through which they were able to get themselves back to the sanctuary. The bucket lift was still down and Eight placed the inkwells inside before starting the crank.

Looking over, he could see that Six looked tired again, but at least now there was a reason for it. Six didn't get much activity except for wandering around and drawing, so hours of walking, dancing, and almost falling into a trench was obvious to exhaust him, even with the brief rest earlier. The throne room was dim, but Eight still saw One perched on the throne, eyeing him with a questioning gaze. "Where have you been?" He asked, relatively calmly, the calm before the raging storm. Before Eight could explain, Six spoke up, something he barely seemed to do, "Eight took me to get more ink." He pointed to the wells in the bucket lift and Eight nodded in agreement. One seemed to be bought more by Six's explanation than the wells themselves.

"Next time," One suggested, "make me aware that you are leaving before you do so." With his point made, he stood and exited the throne room to his own chambers. Eight knew that One probably went easy because of Six's condition, and yet didn't bring it up. "Want me to move these to your room?" He asked, gesturing to the wells, and Six shook his head. "You don't have to. Could you move them there? In the corner that I draw in?" Eight did as asked before following Six into the hall. At this time the two stopped again and Six spoke quietly, "Eight..." He started, "Today was the best day of my life." The admission made Eight feel both elated and guilty, and Six continued, "I really, really like you, Eight." Eight didn't know exactly what they were admitting, because this was much more than 'like', but spoke.

"Yeah, I like you too, Six." The Artist smiled a bit shyly at this, "Could we do this tomorrow too?" Eight couldn't help but have the shadow lingering over him, the thought of what Two meant by 'soon', but kept compositor, "Yeah, okay." Six turned away then and began to hurry down the hall, absolutely filled with more joy than ever before. Eight found that he was becoming a bit clingy, though, because he felt more distressed the more that the other left. He knew Six could not wake tomorrow, this could be the last time he saw him. He finally took action and somewhat hastened forward, "Six wait!" The Artist stopped outside his door and turned around. "Stay with me tonight. I don't want you having some sort of nightmare and not getting any sleep."

Six again perked and was more than thrilled to rush back to Eight who now turned to walk back to his room. He stopped outside of the workshop where he heard Two again speaking inside, now to Five, and glanced to the smaller. "You go ahead. I got to talk to Two about something." Six had no indication that anything could be wrong and entered Eight's room to climb into bed. Then the guard let the fake calm look vanish and burst into the workshop, "Two." He said firmly; causing Five to jump and Two to look over. "Oh Eight, I was expecting you." The Inventor smiled pleasantly and Eight felt a bit insulted by his happiness while Six was dying. "I know what's going on with Six." Two laughed and waved it off a bit, "Eight, there has been a misunderstanding-."

"I'm not stupid, Two." Eight growled out, "I heard what you said about him getting worse, about you expecting him to fall over and die!" Two went calmer after this, but continued to smile even through the other's growing volume. "Eight, I wasn't saying that Six was going to die. One and I were just discussing Six's recent sleep pattern. It has become very unpredictable and is starting to cause him to have trouble functioning right." Eight still didn't believe him; Two wasn't above hiding things from the others to keep them without worry. "And what about him falling over and dying?" Two shook his head, "No, no. I didn't mean he would fall over and die. I meant that Six could easily start having problems with fainting, from the lack of sleep."

"Yeah," Eight was still not bought and had one last piece of evidence, "but you said 'we'll lose him soon'." The Inventor now approached and reached to rest a hand on Eight's shoulder, though not making it all the way to the shoulder from height difference, "I said quite a few things that came out the wrong way, and I apologize. I was speaking of Six's mental state, as I am sure Six will become more reclusive and such if he stays in this pattern. I didn't intend for anyone to overhear us and I certainly didn't want to worry Five or you." Eight didn't speak, he just pulled back, "Yeah, I have to go." Two nodded and the guard exited the room. Now in the hall he slowly started back towards his room where Six was waiting for him.

Everything was different now; Six wasn't dying. There was no reason that Eight couldn't go back to bullying Six. He was completely torn and confused about why he was so torn. It seemed simple; go back to how it was or stay in this new change. As he entered his room he could see Six already in bed, curled under the blankets, and watched as he sat up when the other entered. He was still smiling, oblivious to what Eight had learned. Eight noticed his key was missing, "Don't you usually sleep with your key?" He sort of pointed at the bare front and Six seemed unconcerned, "It helps the nightmares, but I don't need it tonight." The last part was almost whispered as he disappeared under the blankets. Typical; Eight was trapped in confusion and Six had to say something like that.

Eight shedding his shoulder guards and weapons before finally laying down on the bed beside the smaller who immediately pressed against him in a loving manner. Eight exhaled slowly before finally deciding that this just wasn't worth giving up. He grabbed onto Six and pulled him closer into his grasp; because even though Six wasn't leaving him, he wasn't going to take any chances.

Mable: Long, a bit rushed, but I had a fun time writing it just as well. I hope you enjoyed! ^-^