Chapter 49: Behind the Lion's Eyes, Part I

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

Reads: 503

"The pride of a lion is your disguise


But the fear of a coward's in your eyes"


- Chasing the Rapture, 10 Years



Standing in the white landscape again, Lance looked around, searching for another fade-in. He found none, and soon noticed Zidane walking towards him. The crossbreed stopped after a few feet, hands in his pockets and eyes cast down.

Zidane cleared his throat. "So, this is the last memory."

"Really?" Lance asked.

Zidane nodded, eyes closing. "Yeah."

Before Lance could ask what was wrong, he faded out. A playground replaced his presence, and Lance found himself standing in a sandpit. He kicked the sand a little, wondering why he was here, before sensing Zidane fade in.

He looked up, spotting him walking hand-in-hand with Zooka. They looked older, and Lance guessed that this memory couldn't have been more than a few months old.

It was a strange sight, seeing Zidane without the markings on his arms. They were gone, as was his tail. Zidane grinned, watching Zooka laugh at something he had said, and leaned towards her, pecking her temple.

Lance shifted, leaning to one side and slipping his hands in the pocket of his hoodie. It was hot out, that much he could tell from Zooka's sundress, but the heat wasn't affecting him. He couldn't blame the weather on the knot in his stomach.

He tried to focus on Zidane, trying not to take notice of how long Zooka's legs were, or how smooth they looked, or how ridiculously well that sundress curved along her body. Lance forced himself away from all of it; there was something off about Zidane's emotions. Something that was withdrawing Zidane even further away than before.

He noticed Zooka's gaze linger on something to his right, and turning, Lance noticed children at the play structure a handful of feet away from him. He glanced back, forcing down any expression as she softly smiled to herself. Zidane noticed this as well, eyes darting from her to the children, and instantly his eye color began to dim.

She suddenly stopped walking, and after a few feet, Zidane turned around, stopping with their hands stretched out between them.

"What's wrong?" he asked, but Zooka's brow only furrowed further, her eyes downcast.

She stalled for a moment, the single word slipping from her mouth as she looked away. Squeezing Zidane's hand. Lance sensed him return the pressure, feeling the solidness in his own palm, and watched the crossbreed take a step closer.


She looked to him, face heating up and tinging red.

"You... Can have kids, right?" she asked.

Zidane's shock overpowered Lance's.

"Where's that coming from?" he asked quietly.

She shrugged one shoulder, looking away again.

"Just... Wanted to know."

He took another step towards her, laughing slightly as he spoke. "Yeah, of course I can. What made you think otherwise?"

Another shrug.

And then a smile.

"I guess it is a bit silly, huh?" she asked, grinning.

He shrugged a little, raising their hands to spin her around.

"Not silly at all," he responded over her giggling. "It's curiosity, Zoo."

She nodded, stopping her spinning. A moment passed between them, and Lance moved, wanting to get closer. His request was granted, and he was placed a half-a-yard away from the couple. The tension in his gut only built up, and he tried to shake it off.

Something's wrong.

In a smooth step, Zidane was behind her, arms wrapping around her waist. She grinned, holding his hands again. Zidane leaned forward, and as she turned to face him, he planted a kiss on Zooka's forehead. And then another one, erasing the lines that had crept up between her brows. She smiled again, holding his hands a little tighter.

He grinned, nuzzling his nose against hers. Zooka smiled, laughing a little, and with a peck to her forehead, Zidane pulled away. He drew back, lips coming to rest against the crown of her hair. His body remained bowed, hands and arms embracing hers, eyes shut.

When they opened again, Lance felt his breath leave him. He felt a chilling numbness, seeing those black eyes.

Like someone had pierced the sky and brought out the night.

He stayed standing, rooted to the spot as Zidane stared, unfocused. He blinked slowly, that color never going away. If anything... It only got darker.

Lance felt the scene slipping away from him. Everything began to blur, and he fought to hold on. It... It couldn't end this way.

But all too soon, darkness enfolded him and he felt the cement in his chest, his lungs. Daylight. That's the first thing he noticed; how the sunlight peeked through folded blinds, striping the table with light.

It shouldn't be this bright outside.

He stared at an omelet, fork resting on the rim of the plate. A familiar table, a familiar atmosphere.

Zidane's voice came to him.

"That was... The first time I ever lied to her."

The words took more than a moment to register. The way they were spoken, the voice they were coming from... It was too broken, too defeated.

Lance forced himself to do something. He looked up, staring across the table and not recognizing the face. The body was hunched over, the eyes a deeper shade of navy. They closed, the space between the brow furrowing.

"With Razaleks, sex is simple. It's elementary; females just have to wait, males don't have to wait at all. Spiros have it even easier. It's so fucking simple."

Lance blinked, trying to focus on the words and not how they were spoken. But it was hard, seeing him like this after everything.

Zidane cleared his throat, but the roughness didn't go away, when he spoke again.
"Because of... What I am... Putting it simply... I'm sexually incompatible."

Lance felt the shock, and felt it a second time as the words registered.


Zidane shrugged one shoulder, looking away. "I've searched for a long time... Been looking for a way to take out my Spiro side, but nothing works. I just want to make her happy, pay her back for all she's done, and it kills me that I can't."

"So..." Lance tried to make the right words form, tried to not mess up. But thoughts left his brain, and he could only fall back on a secondhand embarrassment. He looked away, lightly clearing his throat.

"Why're you telling me this?"

Ebony eyes rose to meet his.

"You asked why I was here."

Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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