Chapter 12: Answers, Part II

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 733

"I'm not sure," Zidane said, his voice hushed. He looked away again, his eyes remaining the same deep blue as before. "I have some ideas on how to get the cells out, but I don't have the means to actually try anything yet."

Zidane stepped to the side as Lance passed by him, giving absolutely no protest as Lance tossed the washcloth into the sink and continued out of the bathroom. He moved down the hallway, trying to fight back the childhood memories that the new setting triggered. But every door to every room he passed by was just part of another moment that only he remembered.

This isn't happening. The thought was a punch to the gut. He tried to fight back a wince, continuing on into the main room crossing it and going into the kitchen area. He forced his own mind away, completely focusing all of his energy on the simple task of finding a glass he could put some water in, but he knew exactly where the cups were. His muscles acted on their own, retracing steps and movements he'd watched his mother make when he'd been too small to reach the upper cabinets.

Lance took the cup in one hand, feeling a sharp pain as he remembered watching his mother turn around, her fear knocking over the cup she was taking from the shelf. He kept his hands steady, focusing on not doing the same thing as he brought it over to the sink

Lance kept his mind as blank as possible, his unfocused eyes watching the faucet's water fill up the tall glass.

"I know you probably have a lot of questions."

Shock bolted through Lance; how did this guy sneak up on him like that? He hadn't even heard a footstep.

He heard Zidane say something else; some start of an apology. Lance forced his eyes closed for a moment, feeling the water overfill the glass and rush down his hand. When he felt calm enough, he gently cleared his throat, shut off the water, and turned around.

Zidane sat on the back of the couch, long legs dangling off and eyes patiently waiting. Lance thought back to what the crossbreed had said.

He took a sip of water, swishing it inside his mouth. He turned, spitting out in the sink.

"So, what?" he asked casually. "You're helping get these things out?"

"If you want me to."

A grin hitched onto Lance's mouth as he turned back, barking out a single laugh. Staring down at his water as he gently swirled the glass, he spoke.

"Yeah. No thanks, man. Sorry, but I don't got anything to worry about."

Zidane didn't reply. Lance briefly looked up, seeing him rest his chin against a fist. Still sitting on the back of the couch, arm propped against his thigh. An eyebrow was raised. Lance thought about his family; his mother and friends. That was real. Even if the cells weren't... Their memories of him were gone. That part was real.

He took another sip of water, swallowing it down this time. His throat still burned; probably would for a while.

"You said you could get their memory back?" he asked, raising his stare to Zidane again.

The crossbreed nodded, straightening his posture and letting his hand fall away. "Yeah. I know someone who can help."


Zidane shook his head, dismissing the question. "It's a long story," he replied. "Hopefully you don't have to know it."

Lance raised an eyebrow. What the hell was that supposed to mean?

"Alright." He set the glass of water on the counter beside him. "So how do we get to your friend? Does the sink suck us in or do we go down the toilet this time?"

Zidane smiled at the sarcasm. "I could teleport us that way, if you really wanted to. But I need to make some preparations before we go anywhere."

"Like what?"

The crossbreed shook his head again. "Another long story. The short version is that I gotta break through some pretty heavy barriers, which takes more energy than I have."

Lance paused. "Barriers?"

"Between the Razalek and human territories." Zidane slipped off the couch, landing on his feet. He straightened his back, hands slipping into his pockets. "Safety measure, in case you guys ever found out how to teleport."

A sound of disbelief shot through Lance's teeth. "Yeah, you guys've got nothing to worry about. And we sure as hell wouldn't go into the center of the Earth, either."

Zidane shrugged. "Miscalculation, maybe."

"Whatever," Lance muttered. He leaned back, resting the bottom of his shoe flat against the cabinet behind his leg. "So this energy, however much it takes to break through. You don't have it?"

His head shook. "No," Zidane replied. "It's part of being a mixed breed."

"Bet your parents are happy about that."

When no reply came, Lance looked up, seeing Zidane's eyes had turned so dark they were nearly black. Something about the color shoved a horrible amount of sadness into Lance's already weak stomach.

"Uh, sorry." Lance looked away. "Didn't know that would be a sore spot."

Zidane blinked, his eyes reverting to a neutral blue. "It's alright." He cleared his throat, looking to the floor before his stare lifted to Lance. "You should probably get some sleep; you're looking a little tired."

Lance briefly raised both eyebrows. He picked up his water again, taking a sip before speaking.

"Something tells me I've been sleeping a lot lately; I woke up feeling pretty refreshed." He looked up, watching Zidane from the rim of his glass. "You know how long I've been out for?"

The crossbreed stared at him before giving a shrug, shaking his head a little bit. "I have no idea. What's the last date you remember?"

"November 5th." That's the date I heard this guy's voice in my room.

"Today's January 18th." He included the year, too; there were only a few months in between the dates.

"You're joking," Lance laughed. "Today's my birthday."

Something about that statement sucked the color right out of Zidane's eyes. He shifted his weight, looking down at the floor.

"I'm sorry," he said. "I'm sure this wasn't what you were planning."

"Oh, no." Lance motioned with his glass as if toasting. "I was planning on only having one more year before I moved out. My friends and I should've had our demo CD recorded by now, hopefully picked up something of a deal." He laughed, ignoring the pain in his throat. "But y'know, stuck in a cabin with some weird guy that can teleport me through walls is totally cool, too. Great celebration for my seventeenth."

"You're not stuck here, you know," Zidane replied, his eyes still dark as he glanced towards the front door. "It's not like I'm taking you hostage."

"Mm." Lance put his glass, now empty, down again. "Kind of; you are a little bit."

The door opened on its own, the knob gently banging against the wall as the entrance finished moving.

"Go on," Zidane said. "If you want to leave, then leave."

Lance shook his head. "I can't. But you know that, right?"

Zidane didn't reply; he only looked away, the sunlight catching the small amount of blue in his eyes. The sun was beginning to set, the orange hue only making Lance think of the hotel room they'd been in earlier. The walls were red. That was before he even knew what was going on. What was happening, with his family, with himself.

He blocked out the thoughts.

"These cells aren't really in me, are they?" he asked.

Zidane was quiet, like he was surprised Lance would even ask.

"What makes you say that?"

Lance shrugged, hand gripping the edge of the counter. "I dunno... I'm not sure why they would be..." A pain began to surface near the front of his head, forcing his eyes closed. He raised his other hand to it. "I don't even know if this race exists."

Zidane took a single step forward. "How can I prove that to you, Lance?"

Lance shook his head. "I don't know," he said quietly. His stare drifted to the kitchen table between them before catching sight of Zidane's tail.

"Why the tails?"

"It's leftover after from our birth," the crossbreed replied, the thin limb they were speaking of gently whipping out. "Another long story."

Lance met his stare, keeping his body hunched. "You have a lot of those."

A smile came; one that was almost sad. "I've done a lot of things." His eyes darkened as he said this, the color dropping a few shades.

"Your eyes keep doing that."

"Doing what? Changing shades?"

"Yeah. That a racial trait?"


Submitted: November 07, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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