Chapter 48: Found, Part II

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

Reads: 730

The room faded into an expansion of white. Zidane stepped in front of Lance, the brightness of his eyes quickly fading.

"You okay?" the crossbreed asked.

"Yeah." Lance pushed his hands through the sides of his hair, palms stretching the sides of his eyes. "Fine. Are we done?"

Please, a voice inside his head sneered. Make it more obvious.

He silenced it, denying the possibility, and watched Zidane hold up two fingers. "Last two."

"Just two?" Lance asked, though he was surprised there were any memories left at all.

Zidane nodded, and as Lance returned the silent agreement, he used the transition to compose himself. The darkness of night helped, and soon there was barely a thought of how he'd been stressed at all. With part of his mind there, he scanned the room in front of him, noting the bare walls and a few framed photos on a desk. All of them were of Zidane and Zooka, mostly when they were younger. Kazuo was in one of them, a map in one hand and a backpack armed with water bottles hooked through both shoulders. Zidane was next to him, the hug Zooka was giving him causing a grin so wide his eyes shut. Behind the circular stone bench they sat on was a zoo habitat.

Lance felt his intuition directing him to the right, his stomach dropping a little upon seeing a wide bed and connecting it with the previous memory.

"Not what you're thinking of," Zidane said, a bitterness inside his words.

Shoving back the embarrassment, Lance looked a little closer, seeing that there was indeed only one person sleeping. In the space of a moment, Lance felt the energy in the room shift like a small vacuum was pulling air molecules up towards the ceiling in a slight arc. This pathway wasn't something Lance saw, but despite this a figure stepped out. The room was dark and the more he tried to look at who was standing there, the darker everything became. Noticing this, he relaxed and the room brightened just enough to see the tall figure raise a hand to its mouth.

Zidane awoke. He didn't move, keeping his eyes closed and his breath at a normal rate. Lance could feel his energy reaching, trying to sense who was there. When the energy found a match, confusion and pain stabbed into him. Light came from the ceiling, and Lance's eyes widened. Adelah stood there, and she had changed during the ten year absence, her hair a mess of medium-length spikes. Lance could only think of Cal, that stupid goofy grin on his best friend's face.

He blinked back the tears wanting to form, focusing on Adelah again. Her hand was over her mouth, covering a smile.


Zidane sat upright, his eyes wide and crazed with fear. One hand shot out, and Lance felt the transference of energy, quick flashes going back and forth. It lasted less than a second, ending as Zidane's chest visibly deflated in a heavy exhale. There was more pain in his eyes than any other time, and beneath it all there was a cry of desperation. A pleading.

Another type of energy rose from Adelah, a soft and soothing feeling that held a bit of flame. It reached out, trying to surround Zidane. Invisible sparks fought the energy back, quick snaps of fear and brief anger that quickly turned to sadness. All at once, both sets of energy dispersed, moving out into the room like fireflies until thinning away into something Lance could barely feel. Zidane's empty voice came into the room.

"I thought you were dead..."

"I know." Adelah was just as quiet.

Bringing his knees towards his chest, Zidane ran both hands through his hair, keeping his palms against his face. "This isn't real."

The Razalek in front of him almost laughed. "What are you talking about, Konachi? Of course—"

"No." Zidane threw the sheets off and walked out of the room, hands interlinked behind his neck. "You're not here."

Adelah gave a light sigh, and Lance suddenly stood in the doorway of a closet, looking in on a narrow bathroom. The sink furthest from him was running at full blast, and as Zidane half-tossed water onto his face, Lance noticed the markings on his arms and hands were exposed for the first time. His tail was out as well, the end of it spiking further as Zidane straightened, holding the sides of his hair with wet hands. His eyes stayed shut, and through the mirror Lance could see the faint crescents underneath his eyes.

A step away from the bathroom, Adelah sat down in a chair Lance couldn't see. "He... He asked about you the other day. He said how nice it would be to see you again. It's been a long time, Konachi."

The pain of hearing his birth name again was barely a flick compared to the emotion rising. It was a type of weightlessness, something Lance couldn't name. Zidane stayed frozen, though his eyes brightened to a sky blue. After a long moment, he swallowed, the color dying as he shook his head.

"It's not enough that you show up like this but you lie straight to my face, too."

"Nachi!" Adelah stood up, but with mirth in his eyes Zidane pointed a finger at her.

"Don't you dare," he said. "Don't you dare call me that, Adelah."

Adelah's mouth closed, and she took a moment to regard him. Right then, she looked small, weak for someone so tall.

"Alright." The word was barely audible. "I'm sorry."

They stood in silence for a long moment, Zidane looking at the corner of the bathroom's closet doorway and Adelah looking at the floor a few feet beside her. Her eyes rose, regarding the spikes in Zidane's normally soft looking tail.

"I know you're scared," she said, looking to the eyes avoiding hers.

She stopped talking, allowing Zidane to say what she wasn't.

"I'm not going back there, Adelah," he said, finally looking to her. "There's no way I'm going wherever you want me to go. I'm sorry if your happy little life isn't entirely perfect—"

"Konachi, I just want—"

Her voice stopped, like she expected Zidane to interrupt her. He didn't, seeming almost surprised as he motioned for her to continue. "Please, Adelah, tell me! Tell me what's not perfect in your life! Tell me how hard it's been for you these past ten years. 'Cause judging from your clothes"—Two fingers found a space above his earlobe—"and that nice wedding ring on your ear, you've been having a really tough time!"

Lance looked to Adelah's ear, noticing the second piercing on her right lobe. The stone was small and white, crystallized and sharp-looking. Expensive.

Adelah raised a hand to her mouth. "I'm sorry."

Zidane threw his hands up to his head, turning around with an audible inhale.

"I know it's been hard, Konachi." Lance felt the sharp flinch Zidane gave at his birth name. "I can't imagine living in a place like this. But I sent you here for a reason."

Zidane turned back, listening as she continued.

"This was safe. That's what I thought of when I teleported you. Safe."

After a moment of consideration, Zidane shook his head. "I nearly died four times before I was eight, Adelah."

She didn't respond, instead letting the silence speak for her. Telling how, if she hadn't been there, he wouldn't be here. How 'nearly' was the key word in that statement. She was the reason they were standing here, and one of those four times she had saved him. But within moments of this realization, Zidane was shaking his head again. He brought his hands up to his face, running them up and down as if he was trying to wake himself up again.

"Look," he began, "I get it. Totally understand. Why you showed up now, I don't know." His arms rose out, giving up. "But it's great. So thanks for letting me know you're alive."

Adelah straightened her posture, stare not meeting Zidane's.

"It took us a long time," she said. "After... what happened. We had to sort through everyone that had passed, trying to find survivors. And then relocating. Helping Father—recover."

Zidane's eyes grew black at this last statement, though out of sadness or anger Lance couldn't tell. Adelah continued on with a small shake of her head.

"I know you're upset, but it was hard on all of us, Konachi."

"And it just took you ten years to decide to come find me again."

Adelah sighed, putting a hand over her eye. "I couldn't re-link to your mind. I don't know why or how, but I couldn't hear anything from you. I thought..." She covered her mouth, eyes watering a little. "And then a few days ago I felt something. It was powerful and wonderful and I knew it was from you. So I tracked the energy to here."

There was something she wasn't telling him, some explanation she was side-stepping, but Zidane didn't ask. Lance sensed from the color of his eyes that he already knew what it was. The crossbreed shook his head again.

"Thanks for thinking of me again," he said quietly, unconvincingly.

"Konachi, please." Adelah stepped forward, hand half-raised towards him. "He really does want to see you again."

Zidane shut his eyes tight, putting a fist against his mouth. An incredible amount of anger was burning from him, and despite this Adelah spoke again.

"Just come back. Just for a day. You'll see how much he's changed."

Zidane's jaw set, teeth pressing together. His voice rang out in a thought that Lance sensed Adelah pick up on as well.
I swear Adelah, lie to me again and I will break your teeth.

"How do you know that's a lie?" she cried out.

"Oh please, Adelah!" Zidane matched her anger. "Like I can't pick up on the twenty different emotions you put out whenever you say that. You think I'm stupid?"

The Razalek's anger drained out of her expression, and for a moment she was quiet.

"I don't think you're stupid."

"Just dumb enough not to notice how bad of a liar you are, right?"

Adelah avoided looking at him. "I... Didn't think... I didn't know you could..." Lance could tell what wanted to come out of her mouth—how she didn't know Zidane could sense her emotions and energy, but that too was a lie. Their brief exchange when Adelah appeared was enough proof.

Zidane let out a long breath through his nose, and released the sink's edge. He turned around, leaning against it and roughly shook his head. Lance could tell he was trying to get the anger out, reminding himself that this wasn't the person he wanted to be. Soon, his posture became less tense, the hands gripping the counter relaxing. His eyes opened, staring down at the floor in front of him.

"Why'd you really come here, Adelah?"

A drop in Adelah's emotions—the feeling nothing more than a flash before Zidane looked at her, eyes wide. He brought his hands to his face, moving them as if he were once again trying to wake himself up.

"Shit, I thought I was wrong when I first said that." He looked to her again and then lean forward to peer at her in disbelief. "Really? That's your reason for coming."

Adelah stayed quiet.

"It was a mixture," she began, her arms crossed and her eyes away. "Things haven't been perfect—but I did want to see you, Konachi. I've never lied about that." She stepped forward, watching Zidane eye her. "I'm really glad to know you're okay."

The crossbreed forced himself to look away, and Lance felt some emotion crawl into the air. A sinister self-deprecation that fled when Zidane spoke.

"I'm fine. Thanks for checking in."

Adelah nodded, glancing up towards him.

"Let me know if there's anything—"

"Yeah," Zidane said. "Thanks."

He didn't look at her, opting to stare at a spot where the closet wall met the bathroom tile. Adelah studied this before straightening to her full height. She created a point with the fingers of her right hand, and with a subtle glow of her markings, Lance saw a misty ice curl around her fingertips. The mist swirled, soon consuming her arm and then quickly wrapping around the rest of her. The stare of her eyes, the longing inside them, was one of the last things to fade. The mist, however, stayed for a few moments. An offering, an open door that welcomed Zidane to step through.

He lifted his hand and without looking drew his fingers to a point. The mist shrank and dispersed. The portal had closed.


A/N: Adelah makes another appearance! Are you happy she's still alive, or was her survival a disappointment? 

Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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