|Darth Calliope's Creative Journal. (dee_cees_cj) wrote,|
@ 2011-01-11 13:34:00
Chapter Ten: Too Many Faces
Arise to the new day and realize that yesterday may not have happened at all. We weave dreams all of the time, who’s to say that anything exists?
He often pondered the meaning of his own existence, more accurately; he pondered the meaning of existence in general. If he were to live a life of just grief and sorrow, why live at all? He had done something bad, he realized that, and it ate away at his soul like a searing, painful, acid.
I’ve made too many mistakes, and yet I can’t go back and change any of them. There’re too many faces, too many accusing looks. I don’t really no how much longer I can take this. When I go down stairs, they all will look at me with some form of apprehension in their eyes. Now, whether that apprehension is of the knowing or the unknowing kind is completely relative to how good of an actor Gallows is…They’re not foolish… Damn it, what have I done?
Jet rose from the bed and looked down at his shoes blaringly; they even seemed to be accusing him of something.
Is everything plotting against me?
I don’t know, is it? Jet groaned to Reason’s intervention and slipped on his shoes.
No, of course it’s not!
Well then, stop worrying so much and get downstairs.
No, not until you tell me about that creepy dream. Thought Jet demandingly, crossing his arms across his chest and standing in one place.
I will explain that later. Right now, you need to be more concerned about putting up a calm façade. You don’t want your friends to think that something’s amiss, do you? Challenged Reasons voice in almost a taunting manner. Jet uncrossed his arms from his chest and started to cross the room, his face trying to work itself into its seemingly permanent sneer.
I think Virginia already does, she’s not dumb you know?
Of course she’s not… At any rate, we must get ready.
“We“? What’s all of this “we” stuff? I thought that you were going to disappear again, per ritual.
Heavens no! You need me now; I’m not going to leave you behind.
Yeah… “Whatever…” Finished Jet out loud, reaching for his jacket that sit contently on the dusty dresser.
You’ll see, you’ll see that you do, indeed, need me. After all, we all need a reason… Whatever reason that may be.
“Yeah yeah…” grumbled Jet, running a still shaking hand through his thin, white, hair.
Let’s go, open the door!
Jet sighed, shook his head a couple of times, and then opened the door hurriedly, feeling the rush of cold wind brush past his face.
And with that, he exited the room and made his way down stairs, praying that he looked presentable.
Gallows sat next to the window, letting the warmth of the morning sun caress his face. He could not see the sun, true enough, but he could feel the result of its existence. He realized, especially at this moment, he missed sight.
I won’t be able to flirt as much… He sighed and leaned his head back so that it overlapped the back of the chair. Oh well, it’s not like I need to do that anymore… I doubt that anybody would want a blind man… Practically useless… Hm. Well, Virginia might… No… She wouldn’t… She wants some one else, I’m sure of it. Well, I’m just out of luck, aren’t I? He slowly lifted his head and opened his eyes, feeling the sun as it drifted behind some clouds.
It’s cold… So cold. He took in another deep breath and was about to stand up when he heard someone coming down the stairs.
Jet… He’s up early… I wonder time it really it is? It’s perpetual night to me… Bastard.
“Hmph, it’s seven in the morning, what are you doing already up, lazy?” simpered Jet, walking behind Gallows with a semi triumphant smile. Gallows turned his head toward Jet’s voice and smirked.
“The early bird catches the worm, punk. ‘Sides, I got the first muffin.” He finished, pointing toward the plate that was minus a couple of muffins. Jet blinked and then sat down beside Clive at the table.
“I’m surprised you didn’t eat all of them, you jerk…” He snipped, reaching for a muffin. Just as he was putting the muffin on his plate, Virginia walked in, carrying some orange juice in one hand and a plate of flap jacks in the other.
“Hullo!” She chirped cheerfully, setting the items on the table and then taking her seat beside Jet.
“Must you always be so cheerful?” grumbled Jet as he took a sip of milk.
“I don’t know, punk, I prefer her sweet, cheerful, voice, to your bitter, sulky, one.” Gallows smiled, turning his head back toward the sun, which was now out again.
“Whatever…” sniped Jet, putting the milk down and looking down at the uneaten muffin. It looked too sweet and it made him sick. He pushed the plate away and drank what was left of his milk, wiping the milk moustache off before standing up quickly.
“Where are you going, Jet?” asked Virginia, tilting her head up inquisitively and watching him as he started toward the door. Jet stopped and turned his head to the side so that all she could see was one violet eye partially covered by silver hair.
“Out. What, are you my mo-?” Jet stopped when he realized that Gallows was glaring at him with vacant eyes. Not only did that creep him out, it also made him realize that perhaps now was not the best time to be screwing around with people and being a jerk.
“S-sorry…” Stuttered Jet as he opened the door and made a quick retreat.
Virginia blinked at the still open door with her mouth partially open and shock.
“Jerk…” grunted Gallows, standing up and walking toward the door, having felt the wind flow softly around his body. He tried his best to walk without stumbling, but it was kind of hard since he was not used to the change in his equilibrium.
Clive blinked at his teammate with amusement and then pushed his glasses up with one hand, as his other hand sat the paper that he had been reading down on the table in front of him.
“Did you have a little too much to drink last night, Gallows” Smiled Clive warmly as Gallows shut the door and ambled to the seat Jet had occupied just moments before. Gallows sat down and gave him a smile of his own.
“I guess you could say that.” He snickered, absently grabbing the peppershaker and rubbing it in between his hands.
Did he forget that his drink is still over near the window? Clive mused, watching as Gallows silently played with the peppershaker.
“So, Gallows are you still thirsty?” came Clive’s question from out of the blue. Gallows ceased playing with the peppershaker and looked up at the sniper.
“Huh?” He blinked, setting down the shaker and giving Clive a sheepish grin.
“Your drink, it is still over on the adjoining table.” Concluded Clive, pointing in that direction, noticing that Gallows did not follow his finger.
“Oh that?! Right, well, you see, I…” Clive’s biting cough bit the rest of Gallows’ sentence off.
“Gallows, there’s something amiss with you today; and I think it is more than just a hangover.” sighed Clive, lowering his pointing finger down to the table and looking at the young Baskar. Gallows paled, his sheepish smile now twitching nervously.
“What are you talking about?” He chuckled, absently reaching for the peppershaker and knocking it over.
“Let me see. Firstly, you have been walking funny. Secondly, you seem to be distracted. Lastly, you just knocked the peppershaker over; and I do not think that was an act of clumsiness on your behalf, Gallows."
Gallows shrugged to Clive’s assumptions and responded by picking up the fallen peppershaker with no problem this time.
“There’s nothing wrong with me, I just have butter hands this morning for some reason. I probably shouldn’t have drunk so much last night.” laughed Gallows as he sat the peppershaker carefully down in front of him.
Without warning Clive, picked out a bullet from his pocket and reflected the rays of the morning sun into Gallows’ pale, blue, eyes. No response, he did not even flinch.
“Peculiar.” stated Clive, putting the bullet away and blinking at a seemingly oblivious Gallows. Gallows directed his eyes toward Clive’s voice and raised an eyebrow.
“What’s peculiar, my face?” laughed Gallows, a hint of nervousness creeping into his tone as he tapped his fingers lightly against the table.
“No, it’s peculiar that you can not see…” Clive pulled out another bullet and tossed it right at the young Baskar’s chest with enough force for it to connect. Gallows winced as the bullet rolled down his chest and into his lap.
“What the hell?! Clive, what’d you do that for?!” huffed Gallows, taking the bullet from his lap and rolling it across the table to where he thought Clive was sitting. However, the brilliant sniper, having sensed something was amiss, scooted over so the bullet missed him by several millimeters.
“To prove my point. Now, Gallows, you had best tell me what is going on, I dislike secrets.” demanded Clive, picking the bullet up from the floor and placing it back into his pocket.
“Well, may as well come clean, I guess. Clive, I am blind. Someone spiked my drink with some kind of drug and as a result I lost my sight. I have no idea who it was or why, but I can only assume that they were out of their minds…”
Jet looked at the table and said nothing.
“I suspect it may have been meant as a joke; you know, when you get a bunch of drunks around, someone is bound to do something really stupid. Maybe they figured that a little something, something would do no harm. Although…”
There was a painful pause and Gallows could feel all eyes on him.
“Whoever did it had to know a little bit about chemistry. I saw, last night, this young scraggly man sketching some complicated equations and then looked up at me after I caused that scene. He didn’t seem too thrilled, hell, one could even say that he was completely pissed… Even so, that’s a very cruel joke.”
Gallows made it a point not to look at Jet.
You punk, I know it was you, you know it was you, but I will keep the peace in this team whether you like or not.
At that point, Jet’s gaze snapped back at Gallows, speechless.
Why the fuck is he defending me?!
Because he doesn’t want to stir up trouble. He also wants to prove he is better than you. By not playing the blame game, he seems to be winning…
Shut the fuck up, Reason, this was your idea from the start…
Yes, keep blaming yourself. I like that.
Why in the hell should I take joy in belittling and degrading myself?
I do not know, perhaps it is because you hate yourself. It’s just a guess, really, but you do have some serious issues…
…Just…just shut the fuck up, reason; I’ve had it with you!
So you’re having a hard time acknowledging that you hate yourself? Delightful! Tell me why? Why do you hate yourself so much?
Wouldn’t you like to know, you mother fucking asshole…?”
Ouch. Your words sting me to my very soul, oh, wait, strike that, your soul. Gee, I tend to slip up a lot nowadays.
Funny, I was just thinking that…
“Even so,” continued Clive “we should find out who that person was and fast. Perhaps they can reverse Gallows’ blindness.”
Gallows’ eyes averted to the table, he was unable or, perhaps, unwilling to accept the fact that it could be reversed; he remember what Ephyra had said and he was quite sure that it couldn’t.
That doesn’t keep me from dreaming, though.
“Well, it will be easier said than done, seeing as most drunks leave at closing time, and there were quite a few people here.”
Once again Gallows’ eyes vacantly passed from person to person.
“So looking for them and bringing them down is out of the question, then?” huffed Virginia, looking out the window, trying not to let on that she knew it was Jet.
“That seems to be the case.” concluded Clive.
“So, what do you want to do?” asked Jet hastily, looking at Gallows with discomfort.
“Not much we can do, honestly. We have two choices: One, we wait and see if the effect wears off on its own, or two we seek out a cure. Florina might have something for this type of thing. Elws tend to know the ways of arcane healing, after all.” mused Gallows, returning his gaze to the window.
“Either way, we need to so something, nothing will come out of sitting around doing nothing.”
Virginia was still quite angry at Jet’s apathetic and cruel way of acting.
I know that you did it, Jet, and if it weren’t for the fact Gallows specifically told me not to so anything to you, your ass would be on the ground with me kicking. Be grateful that Gallows is a better person than you.
Jet felt Virginia’s animosity and became even more uncomfortable.
“So, um, where do we start? We can’t go randomly knocking on doors in hopes of finding a mad scientist that drinks…”
He was about to mouth off something else, but Virginia’s glare stopped him in his tracks.
“Shut up before I punch the ever loving shit out of you.” said her expression and Jet was inclined not to push his luck.
“Well, we can always around town to see if anything is going on rumor wise.”
Clive looked at Virginia and smiled.
“That’s a good idea, leader.” Virginia returned the smile. Jet tried to muster a smile and compliment but was afraid of what might happen were he to try.
Yeah, keeping your mouth shut might be wise here, boy.
Don’t call me “boy” you two faced fucker. You might be Reason but you sure as hell aren’t me! Only one me! And, sometimes…
Jet’s face pulled into a smile.
Sometimes Reason can fail, as can logic. So, why don’t you find “Logic” and go fuck one another?
What’s wrong, Reason? Was my line of thought reasonable? Or was it too irrational for your narrow minded ideas to comprehend? I’m going to help Gallows.
Yes, because you feel it the right thing to do, right? Or are you using it for my selfish reasons?
…You know what, Reason? I’ll tell you this right now: if you don’t fucking shut up, I will put a bullet into you, and I’m not even fucking around, anymore.
How could you possibly do that? That would mean shooting yourself.
Or I could just somehow drag you out of my skull and beat the ever loving shit out of you.
How could you do that? We’re one in the same.
I always could commit suicide…
Don’t be foolish, Jet, that screams “guilty” in big, shiny, letters. Why sink so low? Don’t give them the benefit of a doubt. Do as I say and you will go far.
So, where do we start? There are multiple drunks in town and their houses typically doesn’t scream “A mad scientist lives here!”. No, we have to think of a way to tie in descriptions with faces. The obvious start would be the bar keeper and the bar maids, perhaps they will have some insight…” said Virginia, standing up and walking towards the counter; the bar keeper from last night was already up, polishing his glasses, he looked up and smile.
“What can I do for you, miss?”
“Good morning, sir. I have a question for you.”
“What would that be, honey?” he asked, setting down the glass and looking at her, his scarred face brightening up, so rarely did he have such a pretty question, especially in the mornings when most people’s eyes were droopy and darkened and their faces crinkled from the night before.
“Would you happen to know if there was some form of scientist that comes in here regularly? I ask because we suspect that my friend was poisoned.” she nodded towards Gallows and continued. “Any information would be most appreciated.” The bar tender picked up his glass and continued to polish the cups, glaring up at Jet as he did so.
“Too bad it wasn’t him.” She heard him mutter under his breath. At this point Virginia was inclined to agree with him. She also knew, however, however cruel his deed, he was still her teammate and, as such, she couldn’t allow this kind of behavior.
“That’s not a very nice thing to say…”
The barkeeper sighed and muttered his apologizes.
“Well, sir, thank you for your time. She gave her head a bow and smiled.
“No problem, honey, any time.”
The leader walked back over to the table, an exasperated look on her face.
“He didn’t have any pertinent information we could use; he still appeared to be somewhat tired…”
“Probably had too much to drink…”
“…-ck up…” muttered Gallows, glaring at Jet. Jet blinked and shut his mouth, he half heard it, but he still knew its implications and its tone.
“Whatever.” mocked Gallows, rolling his eyes. It was at this point Jet was starting to feel uncomfortable; it felt as if there were too many faces staring at him, studying him, judging him.
“Sorry…” he sighed.
No you’re not, you fucking punk… You lie! It’s your fault that I am blind and I will make you pay for it when the time comes…
“Jet, if I hear “whatever” escape your mouth one more time, so the Guardians help me, I will rip them off!” seethed Virginia, all of the sudden feeling rather hostile towards the silver haired Drifter. This startled the sniper.
“Virginia, calm down! No good will come from this sort of behavior! If we are going to find the culprit, we must work as a team.”
“Whatev-” the rest of his sentence was cut off by Virginia’s glare.
Gallows’ reply was a glare and silence.
All of the sudden. Jet felt the need to flee.
“Listen, I need some fresh air, after that, we can find the culprit.” and with that, he left, gently closing the door behind him, which was rather uncharacteristic of him.
The culprit is you, you mother fucker. Virginia shook those thoughts out of her head, as Clive had said, those thoughts would get them nowhere.
But the culprit is right in front of us! Right outside the door for crying out loud!
In the midst of her thoughts, a voice cut through the angry veil.
“Virginia, is there something you are not telling me? As I told Gallows, I don’t care much for secrets…”
“No, Clive, there’s not; I just feel super angry and hurt that one of my teammates… no… one of my friends are suffering and the bastard that did it is still at large…”
Jet. Jet. Jet. Jet. Jet. Jet.
“Perhaps getting out into the open will help you feel better; we can walk around town and ask the villagers if they know anything about this sort of thing.”
Virginia nodded to this and started to walk towards the door.
“Virginia, it may take me a few to get to the door.” sighted Gallows, standing up, wobbling, and then straitening himself. Virginia shook her head to this, walked to him, grabbed his hand, and guided him towards the door.
“We will go slow.” she said quietly. Gallows smiled to this and gave her hand a small squeeze.
That was all Virginia needed to heard.
As soon as they exited the building, they saw Jet leaning against the wooden wall.
“Well, are you ready to go?”
Everyone nodded and Virginia led Gallows down the stairs carefully.
“If he falls on his face, I’m gonna laugh.”
Oops. Goddamn it, that is not what I meant to say. Shit, I’m going to get it. Just know I am.
Surprisingly, his leader said nothing, but she could feel her glare.
“Jet, that was not an appropriate thing to say…” said the green haired sniper through gritted teeth.
And now Clive is angry with me; this is not good.
No you’re not, and you know it.
Before they knew it, they were walking through the streets of Little Twister, knocking at doors and asking if there were any chemist that they knew of, making the excuse that they needed some solvent to deteriorate some base metals to form them into some gears.
“Not that I know of.” were most of their responses.
No surprise there.
“Thank you for your time, ma’am.” thanked the brunette, bowing her head gratefully.
“Well, that was the last one. Can we go back to the hotel and drink some water? I’m thirsty…” said Jet, knowing that two of his teammates were completely ignoring him.
“Sure.” was Virginia’s curt response. Their progress was no longer slowed by Gallows as he had started to remember the route’s deviations and obstacles. It was a known fact that when one faculty shut down, the others were amplified and this most certainly was the case. Before they knew it, they were in the inn, ordering some water.
“So, what now? The people here are completely oblivious and most of the drunks even more so. I say that we stay another night and see if we see the culprit, again.” suggest the android, trying to read the other’s expression, especially Virginia’s.
She’s getting more and more hostile towards me and I can’t say that I blame her, after all, the culprit is standing right in front of her… Reason, I don’t know how much longer I can go without finally telling them the truth.
If you wish to be killed, then by all means, tell them. However, self preservation typically overrides consciousness.
Jet said nothing to Reason, but, instead, decided to drink his water in silence.
“I agree with Jet, no good will come from agitating the town folks with constant pestering; no one likes to be pestered.” pointed out the priest, looking at Jet with an unreadable smile.
What the fuck?
“Okay.” was Virginia’s only response.
“Listen, I wish to return home for a bit, there are some issues I must attend to…” said Clive out of the blue. Jet all of the sudden was gripped by fear.
If he leaves, I will die.
“Then let’s all go together! I’m sure that Kaitlyn will want to see her “Uncle Gallows”, again.” sprouted Jet out of nowhere.
Both of his knowing teammate fell silent and he felt awkward.
“Yeah, I agree with Jet; perhaps we should go with you, Clive.” smiled Gallows, walking towards the door, again.
“Do you need for me to guide you, Gallows?” offered Virginia, extending her hand. Gallows nodded and took her hand.
“Thanks.” he said with a smile.
“Now let’s go! I’m getting bored…”
He felt six eyes boring into him and looked down at the ground.
Something Gallows will never do. What kind of monster am I?
Not a monster, just an asshole.
…Fuck you, man, just fuck you.
Way to tell yourself to fuck yourself.
Ha, clever, now shut the hell up. I hate myself enough, already.
Because I’m a bad person and I know it.
There were now flowers pressing through the parched earth and small bodies of water pooling around in hollowed out craters, but Filgaia was far from perfect; there was still much for the people to do. Virginia knew that everyone would do their part but there was still a problem with…
“Monsters!” warned Jet, taking his gun out and aiming at a very pissed off looking tower. The tower’s columns were encircled by blades that spun around and sliced the air, creating small shock waves. Gallows, hearing the air, barely missed a blade that suddenly shot out of the column and towards his face.
“Oh come on! Is that the best you can do?” smiled Gallows as he dodged another blade.
How the fuck is he doing that?
Jet, not to be outdone by a blind man, shot one of the blades that flew towards Virginia. The blade snapped back into the place, something they weren’t expecting. This time, the blade nicked Gallows’ face, tracing a fine line of blood on his cheek,
“Son of a…”
He pulled out his gun and fired away, dodging the random blades that shot out towards him. What he didn’t hear was the tower phase out.
What the fuck?
The tower phased behind Virginia and he heard the blade unsheathe from the tower.
Where is it coming from? What’s happening!?”
He heard a gunshot and then the sound of breaking metal. Jet lowered his smoking gun and motioned with his hand for the tower to come his way.
“Come to me. Stop picking on the ladies. Don’t you know it’s rude to stab random people?”
Or poison them?
Thought Gallows, bitterly.
The tower screeched and Gallows heard it charge Jet and, without even realizing it, he fired a shot at the tower. He heard the bullet hit one of it’s cracks and heard it start to crumble. How did he knew where the crack were? He didn’t know, nor care; Jet had saved Virginia’s life and he could do nothing.
Useless, that’s what you are.
Jet, however, had other opinions.
“That was a great shot, Gallows.”
Gallows looked over towards Jet, shocked that he actually got a compliment.
“No time for that, let’s finish it off!” shouted Virginia, shooting a barrage of bullets at the tower.
“And, as an added bonus, Gallows shot off an ice spell so that the next shot would shatter it. Clive took aim and delivered the final blow.
“Whew, that was close! I have never seen a monster like that, before…” said Virginia, looking down at the fallen tower.
“Perhaps the inanimate objects became animate after the defeat of Beatrice?” mused the priest, rubbing his chin.
“It is possible…” responded the sniper, looking around to make sure that there were no more enemies.
“Well, at any rate, we should get a move on…I do not wish to be here during nightfall.” With that, the sniper started to walk towards his town and the rest followed suit.
“Yeah, I’d hate to see what kind of beasts that the night would produce.” Before he could stop himself, Jet realized what he had said.
“Yeah, well, I imagine they’ll be rather angry. What, with suddenly be given the gift of being sentient having no idea as to how to use it…”
“That’s true, Gallows, very true. Hey, I almost see Clive’s town, let’s get a move on!” smiled Virginia running towards Clive’s sleepy village.
Clive’s town had always be quiet even when the bounty hunters were looking for their the quarry. The villagers told the truth, nothing more, nothing less, and that seemed to pacify them. They were always glad the team when they came to visit, though, especially Cather and Kaitlyn. His daughter would nearly knock him down with a hug and then, after picking her up and sitting her down, Catherine would come in with a kiss and gentler hug.
“Welcome back, honey, we have missed you.”
Clive held is wife close and kissed the top of her head and smelled her hair.
“I have you missed you two, too… More than you can imagine.”
“Well, why don’t you all spend the night? I’m sure we can accommodate the three of you easily.” She said, looking at Clive with a wry smile. Gallows, sensing her meaning smiled. Sure, if it’s okay with our leader…
“Yay! It’s uncle Gallows, aunt Virginia, and uncle Jet!”
Jet was about to say something to the effect that he was not her uncle but decided against it; he had a feeling that he would be shot in the head as soon as they walked a far distance from Clive’s residence.
“Um, hey!” he said, with a forced smile. Kaitlyn, sensing Jet’s uncertainty, walked over to Virginia and gave her a hug. Virginia returned the hug and kissed her on top of the head.
“You’ve been a good girl, haven’t you?”
“Yep, she’s been a very good girl; she’s even been eating her vegetables!”
Kaitlyn nodded to this happily and ran over to Gallows.
“And how about you, Catherine? How are you doing?” asked Virginia, walking up to Clive’s wife and giving her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Catherine returned the hug and kiss.
“Doing fine, honey, just busy.”
“I imagine so.”
“Uncle Gallows!” Kaitlyn wrapped her arms around his waist and pulled him into a hug, Gallows hugged her back and ruffled her hair.
“Glad that you’ve been a good girl, honey.”
“Gallows, can I have a piggy back ride?” Gallows smiled and swooped down, allowing the little girl to climb on his back.
“Now hold on tight.” he said, grabbing on to the other side of her knees. She laughed and placed her head against his neck.
“’Kay, Uncle Gallows, I’m ready! Go, horsy, go!”
Gallows stumbled around and that was when Kaitlyn knew something wrong.
“Uncle Gallows, are you sick?”
“Huh? Nah! Uncle Gallows is just tired is all.”
Gallows hated to lie, especially to Kaitlyn, but he didn’t want her to worry, either.
“Do we need to stop the horsy back ride?”
“Nah, nah, just guide me around, give my hair a tug.”
“Nah, Uncle Gallows, I don’t want to hurt you. Just put me down and we can play some other time, okay?”
Gallows smiled got down to one knee and let her off.
Kaitlyn shook her head and smiled.
“No, no, Uncle Gallows, you should try to get some rest. Rest here, tonight.” she said with a nod. Gallows “looked” at his leader.
“Sure, I don’t see why not.” said Virginia, plopping down on the couch with a smile. Gallows, trying to listen to the steps and mimic her actions, sat down beside her, grateful that he checked before he sat down. Jet, however, stayed standing.
“Don’t you want to sit down, honey? We have plenty of room on the cou-”
“No thank you, I’ll stand, thanks.” He could feel all eyes on him.
No eyes. No eyes…
“Suit yourself, punk.” sniffed Gallows, patting the seat behind him.
“Why don’t you sit down, Clive.”
Clive shook his head no and started to head upstairs.
“Catherine and I need to talk.” he said, taking her by the hand and leading her up. Gallows raised an eyebrow.
“I imagine they have much to catch up on.” mused Virginia, looking up at the ceiling.
“I imagine so.” blinked Gallows, not knowing what else to say.
“Mommy and daddy talk for a loooong time when the see each other. I wonder why?” asked Kaitlyn, rubbing her chin.
“Erm. Well, they probably just talk about our journeys.” said Gallows, hastily.
“And vegetables!” was Virginia’s follow up.
“And money.” was Jet’s response.
Kaitlyn shyly walked up to Jet and opened her arms.
“You haven’t given me a hug, yet.”
Jet, very awkwardly, gave her a hug.
“There. Sorry if I’m sweaty, it was a long trip.”
Kaitlyn smiled and shook her head.
“It doesn’t matter, we have nice bathroom you can use and we’re having stew with ice cream afterwards! Doesn’t that sound good?”
Jet had to admit both of those sounded good.
“Yeah, it does.”
“So, honey, how have you been? It seems as if we haven’t spoken in ages.” she slowly walked over to him, wrapped her around his waist and nuzzled her face against his chest.
“Too long.” was his response, wrapping his arms around her lower waist with one arm and the other caressing her back.
Her skin is so soft, I haven’t felt her for so long.
“So, have you missed me?”
He could feel a chuckle reverberate against his chest.
“Of course I have, silly.” she said, pulling away and playfully punching him on the shoulder.
She walked back over to him and caressed his face.
“So long…” she whispered, leaning into a kiss. Clive blushed a bit but nonetheless returned it.
She opened his mouth her lips and darted her tongue in. He deepened the kiss and let their tongues mingle. She pulled even closer and slid her hand down to the base of his spine and then towards his butt. She gave it a light smack and pulled away, leaving Clive in an awkward silence. She smiled and gave him a seductive look. Clive smiled back and closed the distance between them.
“Don’t start something you can’t finish, honey.” he whispered into her ear and the nibbling on it. She giggled, pulled away and started to tug at his coat. Before he knew it, his coat and his shirt was off and she was kissing him down his body, licking occasionally for good measure. He moaned in pleasure and stroked her hair. She pulled away after another lick and smiled.
“Keep it down, honey, wouldn’t want anyone to hear us now would we.”
“Mm, sorry, can’t resist. A beautiful, ravenous, woman is enticing me with her siren like ways.
“Siren, eh? Seducing? You bet.” She started to unzip his pants and relieved him of them.
“Oooh, boxers. Hearts this time? Come now, honey, what happened to the see through?”
Clive blushed deeper as she removed those, too.
“Now, it’s my turn.” she started to unbutton her blouse, one button at a time, slowly revealing her bra and her breast. They hadn’t changed a bit, they were still soft look, supple, and perky. She turned around and smiled over her shoulder.
“Would you mind helping me hun? These things are so terribly hard to undo. Clive put his arm around her waist, tickling her stomach as he walked his fingers up and down her stomach before directing his attention to the hooks that were constricting his wife’s breast. Her bra fell off and hit the floor, he whirled her around so that she faced him and pulled her into a passionate kiss, his hands reaching down to undo the front of his Catherine’s skirt. She smiled around the kissed, pulled away, and then helped him with the rest of the buttons, before they knew it, both of them were undressed.
Catherine’s smiled grew as she lightly pressed against Clive’s chest and pushed him towards the bed.
“Here now, let’s get started. I’ve been wanting you terribly.”
“The feeling his mutual.” he said, falling down on the bed, his arousal now painfully apparent.
“ Apparently.” she said, her smile now almost feral. She straddle him and slowly sank her self against Clive’s belly, moaning as he penetrated her. He shifted around, maximizing the pleasure for both of them. And she clawed at his chest as she arced her back. She quickly settle down and pressed her chest against his, reveling in his strong frame tightening with pleasure. She leaned back and down to start nibbling on his nipple, Clive was about to get vocal when Cather leaned back down and sealed his moan of ecstasy into a muffled groan with a kiss. She started to move up and down, feeling the beginning of a climax; they were both sweating and, to be quite honest, as horny as two teenagers. Clive had forgotten about just how fiery she was and that made her want her more. He gripped her lower back and pulled himself deeper insider of her so that their bellies were flush, she continued to ride him until she felt Clive reaching climax. She quickly pulled up and out seconds before he ejected his seed on her lower belly.
“That was” she said breathing hard “the best sex we’ve had in a long time.”
Clive was speechless but agreed with a weak, but satisfied, nod of the his head.
“Now, once we clean up and regain our strength, we should head back down before others get suspicious.”
Clive was no longer speechless.
“Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.”
“Wow, daddy and mommy must be having one of their long talks…” Kaitlyn looked up at the ceiling before continuing.
“ I hope they’re not arguing.”
Gallows and Virginia remained wisely silent.
“What could they possibly be talking about?!” huffed Jet, pushing himself from the wall and letting himself out. Virginia giggled and whispered into Gallows’ ear.
“I keep forgetting that Jet has no idea about the birds and the bees…”
Gallows snickered into his hand.
“Uncle Gallows, what do you think they’re doing?”
Gallows continued to smile into his hand.
“They’re probably just talking about our journeys and what not, I’d not worry about it.” said Virginia, glad that Gallows had said nothing.
I love him, but he can be a bit too honest and a bit too candid.
Jet, feeling embarrassed that he didn’t know what the hell people were talking about, sat on a low wall and sulked. It wasn’t like him to be so rude towards Kaitlyn. He felt bad, true enough, but he also felt annoyed that she wanted so much affection from him.
Ain’t like she’s my kid. Don’t really like kids, anyway.
That’s because you are still one.
Oh my god, it’s you again! I thought I told you to fuck off! I am so tired of listening to you!
Then off yourself, it’s the only way to get rid of me…
Oh? Because I can easily purge you. I can just revert my brain back to a CPU and boot your ass to the curb!
Not that simple, unfortunately, for, you see, you can not revert back your brain back to a CPU, it is impossible…
So says Reason. But what if I defy reason, huh? What if I defy logic? What if there were a way to tell you to get the fuck out of my head and let me make amends?
Amends you say? The only reason they’re not killing you is because their moral standards prevent them to do so. Your leader and the man you poisoned would kill you if given you a chance. They no longer have a use for you…
B-but what about battle? I can fight!
While this true, there are plenty of people better than you and you know it. So, do yourself a favor and don’t be so damned cocky. You’re replaceable and you know it.
Replaceable…? No, that’s not true.
It is, stop deluding yourself.
So you start to see reason. Don’t you see? You should kill everyone, that way you have no competition You will no longer be competing against Gallows for Virginia’s affection!
I-I fail to see how that will solve anything… I’m beginning to think that you’re not Reason at all…
Because true reasoning would be to just kill the competition, not everyone else. Also, what is left when you kill everyone, huh? Emptiness, loneliness… desolation; like it or not, Reason, you fear what I fear. If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t exist, plain and simple. And you’re just afraid that I’ll be lost and won’t need you anymore, after all, who needs reason when there’s no reasoning to be done. You exist, no one else does. Wanna know what I think you are, Reason?
I think you’re just the side of me that’s a whiny little bitch. The side of me that tries to hide and run away from all my problems and then blames someone else to make myself feel better. To talk shit behind their backs because I’m so sure that everyone does it to me. Paranoia, I think it’s called. Or, perhaps, you’re that scared little boy at the Leylines, sobbing because no one cares. Abused by circumstances, coddled out of pity, and pissed off because you feel as everyone is insincere. That’s what I think.
What’s wrong “Reason”? Don’t like the mind fucking I’m giving you? Yeah, well tough shit. You know what else I think?
I think that you’re weak, just like me. Behind all that bad mouthing, you’re nothing but a puppet to my mind. I can purge you, you son of a bitch. I’m no longer that weak, helpless, child, making you obsolete. Goodbye, Reason, we will not be seeing each other…
No! Just stop it! Listen to yourself! You can’t purge me… you can’t get rid of reason! Reason will always prevail… YOU CAN’T RID YOURSELF OF ME, I’M TOO IMPORTANT!
No, you’re a narcissistic little bastard that can’t stand the fact that there’s something bigger and better than you. How many more times do I have to say goodbye.
Now to tell the truth. It’s the right thing to do.
Jet walked back in, dead set on telling the truth, he was ready to face the music and the punishment. Sitting at the table were Clive, Catherine, Kaitlyn, Gallows, and Virginia.
“So glad you could make it.” Said Gallows coldly. Jet flinched at that; Gallows had every right to be angry, as did everyone.
“Listen, I have a confession to make.”
Gallows tilted his head towards Virginia, confused, and Virginia grabbed his hand and squeezed it under the table. Clive, also quite interested in what Jet wanted to confess, looked at him. Catherine tilted her head and Kaitlyn played with her bow.
“Gallows is blind and it’s all my fault.”
Clive’s reaction was fierce.
“You did what?”
Gallows and Virginia remained silent.
“Why’d you want to do that to uncle Gallows?” asked Kaitlyn, who ceased playing with her bow to look at Jet perplexed.
“Yeah, I would like to know this as well.” said Clive, narrowing his eyes.
“Because I… because I…” he stared down at the ground, his vision blurring and wavering.
“Because I am weak and jealous.”
“I-I have nothing to say to you, Jet. You.. You have royally pissed me off.” quaked Clive’s voice, his eyes now slits. Jet, head still bowed, could only muster
“And you!” he snapped his head towards Gallows and Virginia.
“Why did you lie to me?!”
“Because, we didn’t want to start trouble.” answered Virginia as calmly as she could.
“And because we didn’t know how to tell you. You have to believe us, Clive, we didn’t want to be deceptive, but at the time and seemed like the only choice.”
Clive shook his head to this, stood up, walked out the door, slammed it shut, leaving everyone stunned.
“Should I go cheer daddy up?”
Catherine shook her head no.
“No, it’s better to let him let out his frustration. Gallows, Jet, Virginia, it might be best to just sit down and lay low; when Clive gets like this it is best to leave him be.”
They all nodded silently, not knowing what else to say.
Clive’s hands shook and he gritted his teeth. How dare they lie to him?! He felt as if they let him down, felt as if they should be punished.
I want to rip them all a new one. Jet…Why? You have killed before, that is so, but never, EVER, have you tried to kill your own teammate. I cannot forgive you for that. I won’t forgive you for that. However, I do understand Virginia and Gallows’ point of view: they just wanted to keep the peace… but it still gave them no reason to hide the truth from me for so long. But, on the other hand, had I known…
“Jet would’ve gotten his ass kicked by me.”
After he said that, he fell silent, sat down on the porch, and watched the people walk by.
Gallows shifted his blank eyes towards Jet.
“F-for what it’s worth… I’m sorry.”
Gallows closed his eyes, his mouth folding into a frown.
“Jet, these kind of things are not easily forgiven; I can no longer see, you have taken one of the things that I take pride in the most. I will never see anything again…”
“No, Gallows! There’s hope! Let’s go see Florina! I’m sure she can help.”
“We have already discussed this, I doubt I could make the trip there…”
“Then… I’ll go for you. It’s… the least I can do.”
“Don’t think for a minute that I’m letting you go by yourself! I want to help him just as much as you do, if not more so.”
Jet nodded to this.
“And once Clive calms down, I’m sure he’ll want to come, too.” said Jet, hoping that he would calm down soon.
I hope he won’t stay mad at me forever… I can’t say that I would blame him, though…
Jet drooped his head. He had done so much and for what?
To be noticed? Revenge? It was more than just the punch. Damn, what an idiot I am…
“Well, we will wait, I guess.” said Virginia leaning back into the seat that she was about to rise from.
“Yep.” said Gallows.
“I guess so.” mumbled Jet.
“Guys, I’m sure he’ll not stay mad for long, he isn’t the sort of person to hold grudges.”
Of course Virginia was right, Clive was not that kind of man.
“He is a good man.” concurred Catherine, smiling her beautiful smile.
“Yep, daddy is awesome!”
Everyone laughed at Kaitlyn’s frankness.
Clive had her the merriment and, quite curious, he walked in to see Kaitlyn walking around the couch playing “Duck, Duck, Goose.”
“Tag, you’re it, Jet!” Jet hastily got up and started to run around the couch.
“Come back here, Goose!” laughed Kaitlyn. Clive couldn’t help but smile, Jet’s willingness to play with his daughter made him feel as if he could trust Jet, again.
“So, are we playing a game? Can I play, too?”
Jet laughed when Kaitlyn caught him.
“Only if you want to be a goose!” Kaitlyn smiled, tugging at her bow.
Clive laughed, walked over to Kaitlyn, and picked her up.
“You are now the goose!” Kaitlyn laughed and squirmed in his arms. Everyone else started laughing and before everyone knew it, the room was filled with laughter and merriment.
After a fun game of Duck, Duck, Goose, everyone settled down and started to have a serious talk.
“Well, we need to see Florina and Gallows can’t go for obvious reasons. So, Clive, would you to come with us to see if we can make it so Gallows can see, again.”
Clive pushed up his glasses with a smile.
“You should know the answer to that question.”
They all set out to retrieve for the beloved friend one of the greatest gifts of all: Sight.
“Filgaia is getting more and more beautiful by the day.” Observed Virginia, looking down at the flowers that were sprouting through what used to be chapped, cracked, ground. Jet said nothing, still feeling guilty.
“Yes, once defeated Beatrice and her underlings, life has really started to blossom.” observed Clive, smiling as he looked down at a particularly beautiful white flower.
“Yep, yep.” Smiled Virginia, practically leaping a few paces in front of them. Jet and Clive smiled at each other and tried to catch up with her.
It has been awhile since I’ve seen Jet smile. That is good, perhaps he has finally fought all the demons that once possessed him…
“Oooh, I see Florina’s garden!” And with that, she ran off and towards the little house, taking care not to trample the flowers.
“I hope she’s able to help…”
“Try not to fret, Jet, if anyone can help Gallows, it’s Florina.”
“I hope so.”
Clive put his hand on Jet’s shoulder to stop him.
“Jet, I’m not going to tell you to stop beating yourself up, but I will tell you that it will not help you heal. If we can help Gallows, great, but if we cannot, don’t let your inner demons arise again.”
“Clive, about that.” he looked straight ahead.
“I have seen some truly horrible things, I’ve done horrible things, and all because “Reason” told me to. Reason was a persona, not an entity like I had originally thought; Reason was the one that suggested to poison Gallows for punching me, but, in reality, I just was insecure because he called me out and made me feel like a fool. And I am a fool, a big one, and I hope that eventually he’ll find it in his heart to love me, again.”
“Love, Jet?” Clive was a bit shocked that Jet actually used a word like that. Jet felt the tears come again.
“Yes, love. He loves me so much, he was always there, trying to hug me, trying to cheer me up, trying to make me feel better, but I didn’t want that attachment, I didn’t want to feel wanted out of fear that eventually it would fade away and I’d be alone and broken, but now I realize that you all will never leave me and for that, I thank you all. I love you all.” Tears stated to stream down his face and he wiped them away.
“Damn emotions.” he said through a weak laugh. Clive laughed and squeezed his shoulder.
“Come on, let’s see if we can catch up to Virginia and see what’s happening.”
“Blindness? I don’t know if I can reverse that, Virginia; blindness, especially by poison or other means, is not so easily reversed. Deep wounds, such as wounds received in battle, can be mended by my fruits and salves, but blindness, I’m sad to say, it’s not that simple. I’d have to know how long he has been blind and what the person used and how much. If it his eyes were splashed with something slightly acidic, I could reverse that because it’s considered a superficial wound, but if it was ingested… that means it has already affected the brain and there is nothing I can do…I’m so sorry.”
Jet drooped his head when he heard that; he had blinded Gallows for good and there was nothing Florina could do.
Then that means all hope is lost.
Virginia, too, looked down and then she brightened up.
“Hey! Maybe the Guardians can help! I mean, they help heal us in battle, why wouldn’t the be able to heal what is seemingly not healable? We just need to invoke the right Guardian is all!”
Jet’s, Clive’s, and Florina’s all brightened.
“You know, that’s right! We can summon Schturdark, I’m sure he can help! Come on, let’s go back to see Gallows! Bye Florina, thanks for the help!” said Virginia, running over to Florina, giving her a hug, and then running back towards the way out.
“Yes, Florina, you were a very big help and we appreciate that. “ said Clive, following in Virginia’s footsteps.
“Sorry for the trouble, Florina.” said Jet, bowing his head and following the other two. Florina was left there, confused, and in silence.
“Soo, we decided to give the Guardians a shot! What do you think, Gallows?” said Virginia with no dearth of enthusiasm.
“Yeah, we figured that Schturdark or Raftina would be our best shot…” was Jet’s response after a moment or two of deliberation.
“Not only that, we can probably undo some of the other side effects of the poison, such as headaches and what not.” concluded Clive.
“…Thank you.” said Gallows, his eyes starting to tear up.
“For what?” asked Virginia, honestly confused as to why he was thanking them and crying to boot.
“For caring for me enough to go through all that trouble for me…”
“Gallows… I…” and, before Jet knew what he was doing he ran over to Gallows and gave him a hug.
“I love you.” he whispered in his ear. Gallows blinked away his tears and embraced the younger Drifter.
“I love you, too, little buddy.” he whispered back.
Jet pulled away and smiled.
“So, what are we waiting for, eh? Let’s go somewhere and summon the Guardians!” said Virginia, rushing out.
“Gallows, you’re coming with, this time.” said Jet, matter-of-factly.”
“Here, let me help you.” offered Clive, offering Gallows his hand. Gallows took it with a smile.
And with that they left, ready to summon the Guardian that could possibly restore their beloved Priest’s sight.