Chapter 64: Progress, Part I

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

Reads: 553


Zidane breathed out, slowly exhaling through his nose. His eyes remained closed, but he could see the sky's morning light shining into the room. He could feel the gravity, blood still settled to his head from his upside-down position. His tail was aching from having to constantly suspend his body; it'd been a long time since he'd hung like this for more than a few hours.

Part of him still didn't want to move. But he knew he had to. It was morning; Yittek had probably released the barrier by now. Zidane let go of the pole suspending him, flipping over and breathing out, floating down enough to land quietly on his feet.

He blinked, noticing a cloud of sleeplessness along one side of his brain. Even next to her, he'd hardly slept.

Know who to blame for that one.

He looked out towards the hall, still not stepping forward yet. He didn't want to do this... Memories began appearing, stills from last night, and Zidane forced himself to move. Even if his feet were dragging, he had to move.

He turned, moving along the hall and hearing a voice. Lance's. Was he hurt? What was going on?

No; he was casually talking about something, still speaking in Razalek tongue. Something about wheels and metal paths.

His voice gradually grew a little louder, and as Zidane began nearing the kitchen, he gathered his energy. Using to straighten his posture, pick up his steps a little more

By the time he was arm's length away from the kitchen's wide doorway, he had replaced his mask once again.

He stepped into the doorway's line of sight, immediately feeling leftover energy from last night. Tendrils of black pierced through his sense of calm, waking him up. Adelah was staring from her spot at the kitchen table.

She hardly acknowledged the spike in his mood; only giving a soft smile with mostly her eyes. She understood the pain, and she was still worried about him, still wanting to know what was going on.

After last night, he wasn't sure what she was planning. He wasn't about to tell her.

His foot shifted back, the slide no more than an inch. Adelah was speaking to him, smile more genuine.

"Come," she slid the chair next to her backwards, opening a spot for him. "Sit with us. Lance was just explaining—" She turned to the human, and when she spoke again, the name more than awkward in her mouth. "Musement perks?"

"Amusement parks," Lance said, glancing down. He looked back, smiled a little. "Close, though."

"Ah-muh-use-ment parks." Adelah stretched out, turning back to Zidane with something of a grin on her face. "Have you ever been to one?"

He hadn't, since there were always way too many people there, but he only looked to Lance.

"I'm going to go fill Yittek in on everything," he said. "His barrier's down"—Adelah nodded in agreement, slipping the end of a fork out of her mouth—"so now's probably a good time before he picks up another appointment."

Plates were suddenly suspended in front of him, dishes that would've looked delicious, if he hadn't known how badly they were cooked.

Maybe I'm just spoiled by Zoo's cooking.

Adelah was talking to him. He looked past the plates, watching her mouth and connecting the shapes to words.

A memory triggered, chilling every part of him.


His half-sister's words hung in the silence before he brought himself back. Adelah nudged the plates a little towards him, sending a thought to his brain.

"At least have something before you go."

He severed the mental connection, dropping it to its minimal setting. He had enough energy to teleport to Yittek and back; when he'd connected with the clone, he'd thickened the link between the two bodies, making it so the clone was using its nearly full energy storage to keep him linked. It'd worked perfectly.

Zidane pulled in a breath, his stare going to Adelah. Orah's voice came into his mind, spoken in part of a memory.

"Are you getting what you wanted out of this?"

The words still hurt. Maybe they always would. Why would she have planned that? What good could that have possibly brought?

He has never been there for me. Flames rose up, covering his vision of his half-sister. And neither has she...

He wasn't about to think of the aftermath, her sobbing against him like that. Something of another plan. Get close enough to incite another meeting, another attempt at whatever the original goal was. Maybe. The flames died down, and Zidane felt the energy of his surroundings reach out. Healing, a pale grey-blue. Almost like coming home.

He was in the examination room, Yittek standing at the medicine counter in the front. A glass vial was in his hand, glowing softly, but his dark-eyed stare was on Zidane.

The wall Zidane had been building up for the past twelve hours began crumbling. He looked down, away from the gentle eyes. Yittek's energy reached out, cautiously, a gentle request inside his mind.

Zidane resisted at first, visibly moving back and sensing the energy recoil as well. He didn't have to, it was his choice, of course.

Zidane gave in, letting the energy move into his forehead, connecting with his memories. And they all came, one after the other, speeding through with every word spoken, every blow felt, every feeling amplified again.

He was so weak. He couldn't even talk about it. He had to show him like this... again.

I can't do this again, Zidane told himself, his own voice speaking below the words of the memory. Words his own father had told him. This has to be the last time...

The memories faded, and Zidane was met with the darkness created by closed eyelids. He opened his eyes, revealing the brightness of the room again. Most of Yittek's energy retraced, some lingering. Trying to soothe away the darkness in Zidane's own aura.

"I'm sorry this happened," Yittek said, speaking quietly into the silence. "Let me know if I can ever be of any consultation, Zidane."

Zidane just shook his head, the small gesture taking more energy than he expected. He was exhausted again, just by reliving it all. He imagined Adelah speaking to him, asking the question he knew she would when he got back. Why was he doing this?

Making his life better. Giving Zooka what she deserved, because she had done so much for him and he had repaid her with so little.

He pulled himself upright, straightening his back, looking to Yittek while his hands found his pockets.

"I need your help with something."


Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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