Chapter 47: Found, Part I

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

Reads: 558

"You belong here

You belong here with me

You were meant to be with me"

- You Belong Here, Anberlin


The room Lance stood in was a sterile, hospital white. Memories threatened to come back, at first, tearing at his consciousness like demons with claws. Yet, he focused on the bed's occupant, something that seemed too out of place.

The longer Lance stared at Zooka lying in that stark white bed, the more painful it became. Zidane's distress wasn't helping; he hadn't spoken from his seat close by her bed, hunched over with his hands peeking through the front of his hair, palms pressed against his forehead and above his eyes. He'd grown older, now at the age of fifteen, and Lance recognized the style of the uniform he wore as the same as the one he currently owned. Dark grey with the nearly-white MOCT symbol on the back.

Realizing this was only a temporary distraction, so as the seconds ticked on, Lance thought of another one. New information had been fed to him when the memory started, coming into his brain as a string of thoughts. How Kazuo had been registered as Zooka's legal guardian, and Zidane—for many reasons along with a heavy intuition—had altered his own papers to leave the guardianship blank and keep it that way. He had set a spark on that blank space, making it so anyone who either saw or thought about it, would view that space as perfectly normal. His "legal" last name was added to the papers, which was sparked along with his first name. To the human eye and brain, all of it was nothing to glance twice at.

Lance paused, the reflection stopping as he tried to remember what exactly Zidane's full name was. Something Ezyta had called him during their time together...

Lesyee. He stretched it out, pronouncing it again. Lee-sigh. Translates to 'a thousand faces.'

Lance looked up, staring at the crossbreed that still hadn't moved, trying to figure out why in the hell he would brand himself with the name of someone who had betrayed him so badly.

I was hoping to get answers by doing this, Lance thought. Here I am just getting more confused.

"I hate this." Zidane's hands dropped, falling down to his lap. His eyes closed, shut tight as if he couldn't bear to look at the sight before him. Lance kept his own gaze away, focusing on anything he could. He was staring at the back legs of Zidane's chair when another voice spoke, coming from behind Zidane.

"I know you do." An older woman shifted, straightening in her chair and crossing her legs. Her eyes were open, regarding Zooka's state with a professional seriousness. Then she sighed, demeanor lost. "I'm hoping this is going to be the last one. She can't keep passing out like this."

Lance could feel the guilt coming from Zidane, a sour feeling that spread from his chest to his mouth. He even tried to influence her this time, give her a push, let her know she was strong enough to fight this. The guilt dropped to his stomach. She was strong enough to fight anything—he'd seen it every time he looked at her, every second he was around her. Why hadn't he said any of that instead?

The older woman shifted in her chair, resting an elbow on the back of her seat. "You know you can't blame yourself. She's got a fear of blood, among other things. This is a tough place for someone like her, but she'll get through it. She's made it this far."

"With thirteen trips here."

The guilt in Zidane's gut burned like acid. The woman looked to Zooka, then raised a palm to her eye, roughly wiping along the side of it. "She'll get through it."

A moment past before the arm against the back of the chair dropped and the woman checked her watch. "I'm gonna go grab some coffee. You want anything?"

Zidane shook his head, giving a rehearsed, "I'm good."

"She'd want you to have something." The woman's hand found Zidane's shoulder as she passed by. "Don't think I've ever seen you eat when she's like this..."

This got a small, sarcastic smile, but his voice was level when he spoke. "I'll have something when she wakes up."

"Well, alright..." Stretching one arm, the woman headed towards the door. "Lemme know if she wakes up, alright? I'll keep my phone on."

Zidane gave a quiet agreement, and as soon as the woman had crossed into the doorway, she stopped and turned around. Zidane looked up, surprised as he met her eyes.

"You know she appreciates you, right?"

He looked down, and despite Lance feeling a cloud loom over him, he didn't see Zidane's eyes darken. They stayed the same constant shade of medium blue.

"I know," Zidane replied, looking back to her. He gave a smile that barely reached his eyes. "Thanks, Kim."

Kim nodded and turned back, knocking on the doorframe. "Let me know." She went through the doorway, disappearing from view.

In the space of seconds, minutes stretched on.

The soft sound of a phone vibrating cut through the silence. Lance watched Zidane take a small device out of his pocket, recognizing it as an incredibly outdated cell phone. The crossbreed read the text message; the screen of the phone coming into view above his head. Just a text from Zooka's mentor saying she wouldn't be back for another few hours. Work meetings.

Zidane's reply appeared onto the screen, but with a quick glance down, Lance saw his hands weren't moving at all. There was a soft smile on his face though.

Glad you didn't get me any coffee :) I'll let you know when she wakes up.

The text was sent, again without a single movement from Zidane. A moment later, a polite reply came back. The phone was returned to Zidane's loose pockets, and when his hand withdrew, his fingers were holding something even smaller than his phone.

The contact case levitated, lids unscrewing themselves as Zidane raised a hand to his eye. His ring finger pulled down his lower-lid, allowing his pointer and middle to pinch a contact out of his eye. As the thin lens came off, the color of Zidane's eyes shifted. Lance watched, keeping his focus on the color as Zidane removed the other lens.

His eyes were nearly black.

The lids of the contact case replaced themselves, the small container dropping into Zidane's waiting hand before being pocketed again. He settled back into the chair, head leaning back towards the ceiling. Lance knew a few hours had sped by when he noticed Zooka was moving on the bed beside Zidane.

He got the sense that nearly a half-hour had gone by without Zidane moving from his seat. Lance felt a rise in his chest, like something small had taken a breath, as he saw Zooka's eyes open, her hand rise up to her head.

Zidane's head lifted, a slight surprise coming to his expression. He sat up instantly, watching Zooka gradually push herself upright.

Zidane was immediately by her bedside, hand covering the spot she was reaching for. For some reason, Lance silently fought the energy that rose up into the room. He knew it was from Zidane's healing, so why was it making him want to shift away?

The shy smile on Zooka's face sidetracked his thoughts, and immediately Lance was standing a few steps away from the foot of the bed. This position was short-lived; something new and feral-like was quietly burning from Zidane. Lance could only get the sense that it might not have been part of the memory before he teleported himself back to his starting position. He remained watching closer from his mind's eye.

The memory resumed and Zooka's smile completed.

"You always heal my headaches."

"You get too many of them," Zidane stated quietly, and again Lance felt his guilt.

"One's too many for you."

Zidane's hand lifted, his thumb gently stroking her hair before it left. The action seemed automatic, and he briefly raised his eyebrows in a silent agreement to her statement.

Zooka sat up, movements careful, and Lance had to pull himself back to normal vision as she came into his view. That warm lightning struck him again, stunning him for just a moment. She definitely wasn't a kid anymore.

She moved her knees towards her chest, hands finding her face as Zidane spoke again, regarding her with quiet worry.

"Anything else besides the headache?"

Zooka shook her head and wrapped her arms around her knees. She met Zidane's eyes for the first time, and instantly Lance saw the shift of blue. He could almost feel something else, some distant strike of emotion, but promptly ignored it.

"What happened?" Zooka was asking.

Zidane delicately flipped her question. "What do you remember?"

"I remember..." Zooka's mouth gradually pressed against her knees, brows close together in thought. Then they separated. "There was blood. There was a lot of it."

She fell back onto the bed, hands on her hairline and elbows together.

"I fainted again, didn't I?"

Nodding, Zidane looked down at his hands. "Yeah..." This time, Lance didn't ignore the distant thoughts he was receiving. How Zidane had tried to fight her fear, but there was something blocking him. Something powerful.

Zooka laid on her side facing the wall, arms in the same position.

"I'm never gonna pass this..."

Zidane shifted over to sit on the edge of her bed. "You'll pass this, Zoo." His tail swept out from behind him, gently moving up and over her side, twisting to slip into the hand waiting for him. She turned onto her side, holding onto the thin limb like a child holding onto a security blanket. The long limb moved, a wave rocking through it and stopping at Zooka's hand. She smiled, making a smile appear on Zidane's face as well.

Moments passed, but to Lance the space was nothing more than a single second instead of many.


Zidane leaned forward, hands folded by his mouth, and while his smile dropped a little, his tail wiggled in her grasp. Playful, and this must have been what made her laugh like that.

"What is it, Zoo?"

"I... Need help with something." In the space of a moment, her demeanor changed. These words were reaching out from deeply kept worry. She turned onto her back and then sat up, Zidane's tail pulling away from her as she let go. Her hands rose behind her neck, and it was then Lance noticed a pendant hanging. The same one Zidane had shown him; the one too rusted to display anything but her current name and a possible birth date.

The necklace unlatched from her neck and she extended it out to Zidane. He watched the tag swing, his silence filling the space before she spoke.

"Take it." Her voice broke at the end.

Zidane's eyes grew darker, and his hand reached forward, gently hooking the chain with two fingers and lifting it away. Zooka's hand returned to her lap, both Lance and Zidane patiently waiting for an explanation. It came in a quiet voice, not as broken as before.

"They would've found me by now. If they wanted..." The remained caught itself in her throat. She leaned forward, hands in her hairline again, pushing up the brown strands. "I keep thinking, every day I wake up and I keep hoping that maybe today's the day. Maybe they'll realize how much they miss me, and they'll call. They'll get in touch with someone, and come looking for..." A small whine replaced the word she could not say, curving her voice downwards before a sob choked out of her. Her grip on her hair tightened. "I can't. I can't do it anymore. I can't keep hoping."

Zidane sat on the bed, turning around with his knees fanned out, gently murmuring her name as he did so. He reached out, and she complied with no resistance as she melted into his embrace, her head against his shoulder. She had been reduced to a shell, every emotion drained from the years they'd been building up.

With his mouth against her hair, Zidane held her closer, his eyes gently shutting as her sobs rocked through them both. They stayed like that, pain etched into his expression as Lance felt his own pain. The seconds kept ticking, and still Lance felt no relief from the block of lead in his chest. He kept looking, kept waiting for something else to happen. He didn't care what it was; just as long as she wasn't crying anymore. The fact that Zidane wasn't doing much sparked a heat in his stomach, and Lance had to clench his teeth in order to keep the words from slipping out.

And then the heaving sobs slowly faded, and the sounds Lance could only describe as agonizing became muffled until they were part of the silence. Zidane moved for the first time in what seemed like a long while, doing nothing but pulling away slightly, Zooka following his lead. Zidane's hands cupped her face, his forehead resting against hers and pressing forward, the space between his brows creasing. Nuzzling against her, trying to fill the silence with words he couldn't speak. His thumbs moved, wiping away the tear tracks and streaks of sadness. Clearing the agony from her face.

Zooka sniffled, lip trembling as she too closed her eyes. They stayed like that, in blissful silence, words coming to Lance in waves of emotion

I'm here.

It's okay.

It's okay.

It's okay.

Zooka didn't move, staying where she was for another few moments before the hands half-clutching Zidane's jacket fully relaxed, falling down a few inches. Pulling his Zidane gently lowered his hands, taking both of hers between his. Zooka looked down, staring at their hands together with red-blotched eyes, while Zidane's attention remained on her face. He watched her attention come to full-focus as his thumbs moved, delicately brushing along the skin of her fingers. Moving up in an arch; soft, quiet, honoring. Zooka smiled, looking up at him and causing the blue in his eyes to appear again. Lance felt an unease in his chest, like part of him wanted to step away from the memory. But he didn't; something kept him there, rooted right where he was.

Zidane's hand lifted, fingertips trailing down her face and coming to a point upon reaching the corner of her lips. The Spiro equivalent of a kiss.

Zooka smiled, her eyes dropping, studying the sheets between them before rising again. Leaning forward, connecting her lips to Zidane's. His eyes closed, hiding the electric blue away, and Lance could only stand there. Feeling the immense emotion, the shockwave of lightning in his chest again. An anger rose up, from somewhere deep in his gut. An emotion he didn't dare put a name to. 


A/N: Bonus song: Inevitable by Anberlin.

Their first kiss! Do you ship Zoodane (Zidane and Zooka) or Looka (Lance and Zooka)? 

Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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