Chapter 41: Trust, Part II

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

Reads: 487

"Come work for me."

The shorter Razalek turned towards her, eyes wide. "Miz Ezyta—"

The woman held her hand out to him in silence. Her stare kept to Zidane, perfect smile still on her lips.

Zidane thought, and when his stare went back to her, Lance saw an innocence in him. The way he was supposed to be...

"What would I be doing?" he asked quietly.

Her smile hitched upwards. "Whatever you're capable of."

Zidane's focused fell down to his lap. He slid his palm against his pants and revealing the dark marking on the back of his hand. "I don't..."

Ezyta's smile fell. "What do you mean you don't?"

"I can't!"

His words hung in the silence that followed, the stillness not even breaking when Lance felt anger rise from Ezyta, her hands turning to fists and mouth growling in a low voice. "Absolutely uselesswhat good are you then?"

This made Zidane's eyes blacken, body shrinking downwards in hurt.

"Pure waste with the marks of our kind," Ezyta continued on. "How was this even possible? What gene got so misplaced—"

"Miz Ezyta."

She turned to the smaller Razalek, eyes wild. "What?"

"It is my recommendation that you make a decision now. The more time you spend here, the further away you'll be."

Confused at the riddle, Lance looked to Zidane, who wore an expression similar to what he was feeling. The crossbreed looked to Ezyta, watching her body rise completely upright, chin tilting up.

"Of course," she said, looking down at Zidane. "It is your choice. Reverse the death you feel so guilty over"—She turned, looking behind her shoulder. Her face scrunched up in pure disgust—"Or stay wasting away even further in here."

The death he caused? Lance thought. Quickly, his mind sped back, trying to grab every detail that might have been important. There was nothing... How could he have caused it?

Zidane was thinking about what she said, mulling it over in his brain. He didn't think for long, and for a single flash of a moment, Lance thought he would say what'd been on his own mind. That last statement from her was just a guilt trip; it wasn't true; there's no way he would buy into—

"How long would it take?" Ebony eyes rose to her. "To bring her back?"

"That depends on you," she responded, slight smile returning. "There needs to be a personal connection with the being either before or at the time of death, so the only person that can revive her is you. You're absolutely positive you can't conduct any energetic influences?"

If possible, Zidane's eyes grew darker. "I've... never had the chance to really try."

Ezyta seemed to stifle a sigh through her nose. Lance noticed the smaller Razalek briefly close his eyes, head moving in the slightest of approving nods.

"We'll work on it," Ezyta said, her voice fading to a biting mumble. And then, louder, she asked, "Do we have an agreement or not?"

Zidane's nod was almost instant. "Yeah."

Ezyta's hand glowed again, and Lance had just enough time to see her marking become bright gold before the light traveled up and around her arm like a ribbon was wrapping around it. The light came to the right side of her chest and shot out towards Zidane. It hit his chest, but no pain came to him. Only shock.

"Congratulations; we're now bound by contract."

The light faded. Zidane gradually recovered, shaking his head a little before looking up to her. "When are we leaving?"

Ezyta's smile curved onto her lips again, exposing her teeth this time. "We can leave now if you want."

Zidane shook his head, more forceful this time. "I need to say goodbye to some people."

Laughter greeted him. Ezyta threw her head back, arms wrapped around her stomach, and when the laughter finally died down, she spoke. "Oh, what could you possibly have to try and communicate with in here? Your little pet over there? This place has nothing for you!"

The glare returned to Zidane's face. "I've got two requests."

The light pain in Lance's arm suddenly shot up, Zidane's quiet cry becoming background noise as Lance doubled over. He was about to put a hand to his upper arm when the pain became something new. His broken bone wasn't just moving; it was being pushed until the jagged tip rested against the inside of his skin, waiting for enough pressure to break through.

"You're forgetting who has control here," Ezyta said. The bone moved, and Lance felt the tip raise his skin, breaking through most of the layers. "Your ridiculous 'requests' mean nothing to me. The only time you'll ever speak is to ask a question or give an agreement. Is that clear?"

No answer. The bone pressed even deeper, and Lance could feel a single drop of blood swell to the surface of his skin.

"Fuckin' answer her!" he yelled.

"Yes!" Zidane's voice. "It's clear!"

Lance was standing upright again, no pain in his arm and no memory of it ever hurting. He blinked, dully realizing there was some fog in his mind, clearing some painful, recent experience away. He only felt relieved.

Zidane was gasping for breath, one hand by his upper arm. His palm was applying weight also, and it was this observation that told Lance his bone had been healed.

"The more you comply," Ezyta said, "the less it'll hurt."

He didn't respond; his head hung low, and by the way he was taking such deep, quiet breaths, Lance could feel the emotions running through him. Fear. Panic. Regret. He'd been cornered.

Zidane remained silent for another moment, and then out of either sheer bravery or pure stupidity, he spoke.

"How long will it take?" Deep blue spotted the midnight of his eyes as they rose to her. "To bring her back?"

"That depends on you," Ezyta responded, slight smile returning. "Like I said, there needs to be a connection with the being you want to bring back. Since you do not have the ability to perform anything any other Razalek can, this will be a task much more difficult for you to complete."

Zidane was speechless for a moment. His expression darkened. "It sounds like it's impossible."

"No," Ezyta said. "Not impossible. The fact you could see us means that there are some parts of your righteous side that still work. Perhaps in time there will be more parts that come into fruition." Before Zidane could speak a protest, she held up a hand. "You didn't make a wrong choice; your time with me will not be wasted."

This doesn't sound right, Lance thought, watching her hand lower down to gently hold her other one. Some Razalek gesture of loyalty. This doesn't make sense.

"Call us when you're fully prepared to leave." In the next moment, both the Razaleks blurred, their image smudging to the left and right before disappearing. Lance felt the sound barrier lift away.

Zidane let out a quick breath, his mind catching up to what had happened. Without any intuition helping him, Lance could tell he was trying to process the fact that Kyrene could be brought back. The fact that his life could be laid out for him again.

This realization pressed a heavy weight against Lance's gut, reminding him of his own life. How both he and Zidane were still technically sitting at a kitchen table, seconds ticking by and nothing about Lance's life changing—

He ripped the thought away with more vigor than he knew he possessed.

Focus on the present.

Zidane's head was bowed, hands limp by his sides. Lance shifted more weight onto one foot, hands in the pocket of his sweatshirt.

"What'd you do?" he asked quietly.

Zidane just shook his head, the closing of his eyes preventing Lance from seeing their color. Without warning, Lance was standing in the orphanage's hallway, mid-morning sun lighting up their surroundings. Soft footsteps and the sound of a cane faded in, and Lance turned to see Kazuo walking with Zidane. They were headed his way.

"I don't understand your need to leave," Kazuo began with a patient, calming tone that matched the morning light, "but I feel it is not my place to."

Acting on an idea, Lance didn't move as they became closer to him. Both of them passed straight through as if he were a ghost, Kazuo continuing on.

"I just wish for you to be safe." He looked down at Zidane, a wide closed-lip smile on his face. "I always have."

Two emotions hit Zidane like a heavy knock on a door—shock, then anxiety. He stopped looking at Kazuo from the corner of his eye, attention turning in front as they stepped into the playroom, teleporting Lance with them.

The room was deserted, and as Lance stood in the center of the worn carpet, he watched Zidane and Kazuo walk towards the front door in silence. Stopping a few feet away, Kazuo reached forward, opening the door and looking at Zidane with a smile that touched mostly his eyes.

There were no words spoken, and Lance felt there weren't any that needed to be said. Zidane held the caregiver's gaze for a moment, then looked away, eyes deepening a little in spite of the outside morning light. A hint of a smile came to his face, one hand that hung by his side curling gently into a fist. This wasn't in anger; it was desperation. It was a longing to hold on just a little longer.

Kazuo looked out into the morning air, the smile still on his face as he took a step back, holding the door open even more for Zidane. The crossbreed looked up, their eyes meeting again, and with his eyes crinkling and his head gently motioning, Kazuo welcomed him to take the first step outside.

Zidane did, and Lance felt the calm, deep waters of what he was feeling shift with every step he took. Those waters were swirling, the tail of the whirlpool becoming deeper and deeper, longer and longer; the water's rhythmic rotation becoming ferocious, splashing the surface water and beginning to drill a hole into his gut with the tail. He was nervous. He was absolutely, incredibly anxious, but despite all of this, no emotion showed on Zidane's face save for his eyes. Lance had a clear view as he teleported in front of the orphanage, Zidane stopping at the crossroad created from the main path and the sidewalk.

Lance followed his searching gaze, trying to find what he was looking for. But there was only one person he could possibly be searching for. Something twisted deep inside Lance's gut, but he ignored it, walking behind Zidane as the crossbreed started down the sidewalk.

"I think this was the first time I was this nervous," Zidane began. Lance looked up in a gesture of interest, a silent reply to go on. "I never really had so much riding on an interaction with someone. With Arzo, there wasn't this type of nervousness. And my mom..." His voice ended there, words caught somewhere in between his mind and mouth.

Lance walked with him for another moment, halting when Zidane stopped walking. Lance tried to be surprised when he looked up and saw Zooka—he tried to act like his intuition hadn't screamed in recognition before his eyes even began moving towards her. He tried to act surprised, because the alternative was so insane, right?

When he focused back, Zooka's grin had fallen. Her stare wasn't on him—never had been, never would be—but solely focused on Zidane, like he was the only thing in the world. Barely any emotion was on her face, but Lance still felt the tidal wave crash into him. Deep with worry and sadness. Something Lance wasn't sure Zidane had anything to do with.

She pouted, the expression nothing but pure innocence. "Something's wrong," she said.

"Um..." Zidane looked away, hand rising to his head. "Depends how you look at it."

Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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