Chapter 89: Nothing & Everything

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

Reads: 424

Zidane looked up, eyes trailing over the pale-gold carpet, the pyramid staircase, before movement caught his eye. Gurenok's freakishly short body running down the stairs, arms out in hopes for balance. Arms that seemed to reach out further than possible, as if they could somehow extend and reclaim their length again.

Zidane always thought it so revolting, how she'd diminished her own life guardian.

His stare traveled up the steps, up the wide golden carpet, his sight landing on her throne.

Her legs were crossed, trapping part of the elegant dress she wore. Sleek with the hem ripped to pieces, some floating around her. One elbow on the armrest, one hand perching her slim jaw.

Her mouth adorned a smile, eyes narrowed at him and him alone.

"So, finally you come," she said, her voice echoing down to him. "Shame I have to drag my own pet."

Zidane willed himself not to look away, keeping his dark eyes on orange irises swirled with gold. Even if it hurt, seeing that color. Even if it always would.

"Thought you could figure out the deal's off."

"Hm." Ezyta shifted, placing her arm on its respective rest, reversing her crossed legs. "And here I thought you too stupid to back out again."

A sweeping flash; a feeling like his consciousness had just been cut. Something to do with Lance.

Lance? No answer. It was as if the connection had been severed.

Ezyta smiled. Her fingers tapped against the armrest's large orb, playing to a rhythm only she knew. "How many things does your human not know?"

A breath shot out from Zidane, mind willing fire to take him back to Yowlitch's forest of Ereithri. He remained there, trapped in Ezyta's presence. Feeling her energy swirl, push against his back and cause a light stumble. He refused to look away from her, glare evident.

Her words came back, spoken with ripping malice.

"Betray me again and I will destroy your existence."

Is that what she was doing? What she had done?

"So many lies..." Her head slowly tilted to one side, smug smile only increasing.

The connection clicked.

"No..." His eyes went wide. She couldn't have... "You... You didn't..."

A sly smile curved Ezyta's lips.

"We're even."

Fire swarmed him, and in the next moment, Zidane was in the forest of Ereithri again.




All he felt was the slit of his neck, and then the pain.

Lance crumpled to his knees, hands slapping to his neck. But the blood kept pouring, quickly draining from him. Lance never saw the grass close to his face; he only saw Cal through the eye of his memory. Zidane's hand reaching to his temple, withdrawing nothing. No mDNA strand; no grey in Cal's eyes.


Lisa's face next. Knife in Zidane's hand, the other withdrawing nothing from her temple. Her eyes flickering from grey to brown.

From the beginning.

Grass. Lance blinked, his airways struggling this time. Only six words resounded in his mind.

He's been lying since the beginning.

His chest stuttered, lungs fighting alongside it.

Myself. I've only had myself this whole time.

Was Yittek in on this, too?

Lance collapsed on his side, temple scraping into the dirt. He clutched his throat a bit tighter, feeling his head reach new heights of lightness.

Blood spurted from his mouth, globbing onto the grass and his lips.

Someone's voice. Lance felt hands move him, turning him onto his back and moving his hands away from his throat. Something was placed on his neck, and it was enough for Lance to open his eyes. See the one face he didn't want to.

His wound—whatever the hell that was—was healing, but his head was still sky-high. He blinked, staring up at Zidane.

The crossbreed looked back, dark eyes searching Lance's.

"Guess I don't have to ask if you're okay or not," Zidane said.

Taking the healing pack, Lance pushed himself up, mind replaying the images he'd seen. All of it... He couldn't explain it but somehow all of it made sense...

Lance looked to Zidane, keeping the bag on his neck.

"You lied."

A flash of wide eyes; a flash of a color deeper than black.

"Lied about what?"

Lance stood up, stepping backwards as his head swam from the lightheadedness. "Everything. What didn't you lie about, you bastard?" Taking another step back with his other foot, Lance put a hand to his head, breathing out.

A small inkling of feeling; an increment of happiness.

"Don't even try to influence me!" Lance yelled. "What else are you hiding?"

Zidane stood, one hand brushing off his leg. "I'm not hiding anything, Lance. You're delusional; you just lost a lot of blood."

Brightening eyes glanced downward, directing Lance's stare to the grass. Short blades that were soaked with ruby red.

Lance swallowed, bringing the bag down to both hands. He stared at it, seeing the blood drip off the translucent surface.

What had he just experience, those memories of his mother and Cal, mDNA nonexistent. Was that real?

"Where did you just go?" Lance asked, looking to Zidane again. "What was that fire? Where'd it take you?"

"To Ezyta," Zidane replied, leaning his weight to one leg and putting his hands in his pockets. "Had a fun time chatting with her."

Lance stared. "E-Ezyta?"

Zidane nodded. "Yeah." He bent down, picking up the spilled healing patches and messenger bag.

"C'mon, we should get going."

He started walking away when Lance's voice stopped him.


The crossbreed turned, bright eyes looking over one shoulder. Lance continued on.

"You've been honest with me this entire time, right?"

Zidane nodded.

"Of course," he said with the smallest of laughs. "We're in this together, right?"

"Yeah," Lance murmured, searching the grass. "But..."

He heard, saw, Zidane shift, turning around as he thought. What were those images?

Lance swallowed.

"How did you contact me?" he asked. "The very first time; I was in my room, and your voice came out of nowhere."

An image; a memory that wasn't his. A yellow portal shining in a dark room. Zidane's voice, then Ezyta's.

"What will you do after my Solflux's been injected?"

"You'll find out soon enough; it's nothing to trouble yourself with..." Loud heels tapped against echoing floor, leading Ezyta away.

"I'll contact you when it's ready."

"Solflux..." The word fell from Lance's lips. "What the fuck is a Solflux?"

Zidane's eyes grew wide, darkening to a shade deeper than cobalt.


Lance briefly saw the drops of blood before Zidane clapped a hand to his temple. He winced, speaking through his teeth.

"Everything she tells you is a lie."

"Oh please," Ezyta's voice came into Lance's mind, ringing out from every direction. "Don't think you can still run, Zidane. Not when this is my playing field."

More images. A memory from he was in the principal's office; when he was with Cal. A memory of Zidane's first promise, a voice that rang out from every angle.

"Don't freak out. We can do this. I'm not the enemy here."


"Stop..." Lance said. "Please, make it stop."

"Your life is gone, human," Ezyta said, words like silk. "And it's all thanks to him. If he doesn't tell you, then I will." A grin formed in her voice as she added, "I may even kill you after, save those mutilated cells the trouble!"

What're you talking about? Lance asked. Tell me what? Zidane was trying to save me; he still is.

Laughter. Loud, exuberant laughter.

"Don't listen to her!"

A short scream—Zidane. Lance opened his eyes, seeing blood trickle down the crossbreed's temple, rolling off his cheek, his chin.

"Dammit." Their eyes locked, and Zidane spoke, words seething through his teeth. "Do not listen"—The wound on his temple dug deeper, blood spraying out like an invisible drill was tunneling into his skin—"to her!"

"A thief holds onto his possessions 'til the very end," Ezyta said. "The one lesson I didn't teach you, Zidane. Or should I say Konachi?"

Another musical laugh. "I wonder how Zooka will react when I send her the truth about the abomination that is your lower half."

Zidane breathed out, screaming with his breath.

The pain, the pressure, subsided from both of them.

"Don't you dare."

Lance blinked, seeing stars dance around in his vision. The pressure that came with Ezyta's voice was suddenly ripped away, and Lance reclaimed his consciousness. But the memories—fresh, newfound realizations—didn't go away.

He took a step towards Zidane. "What the hell was that? Those images..."

"Nothing." Zidane walked towards the discarded duffel bag, crouching down and retrieving a healing pack. He placed it to his temple, wincing slightly as he spoke through his teeth. "Whatever she sent you was just an illusion."

But something about it made sense.


The crossbreed rose, blue eyes looking up towards him. Lance continued speaking.

"You never answered my question."

A light sigh fell from Zidane's mouth, his free hand disappearing into his pocket. "I told you in the beginning. I was supposed to bring you back and have you dissected."

"But you chose not to," Lance finished, remembering the words spoken across a hotel room table. "Because of your mom."

Zidane's eyes turned nearly black. He nodded. "That's right."

"Before that. What happened?"

Zidane removed the pack from his temple, the raw skin a bright scarlet. He tossed the bag into the duffel's opening, picking up the strap and securing it over his chest. "It's a long story. I'll tell you on the way to Yowlitch's."

Lance took another step. "You're stalling; I know you well enough by now."

"You're on the right track, human..." Ezyta's voice sang. The grin was evident as she added, "Oh, how fun destructions are..."

A silence passed through them.

Zidane's eyes didn't raise from the ground, and finally he pivoted.

"It's really not worth knowing, Lance," he said. "We're wasting time."

"Stop lying!" The memories of Cal and Lisa, of the non-existent mDNA strand came back again full-force. Tears stung Lance's eyes. "It's not real, is it? The mDNA?"

The footstep's stopped, ball of one foot on the ground.

Zidane looked back, eyes dark.

"What makes you say that?"

Another memory triggered: being in the cabin, a glass in his hand and the light of a sunset coating their surroundings.

"These cells aren't really in me, are they?"

"What makes you say that?"

How much have I been lied to? His insides quaked with fury.

"Tell me the truth."

Another memory flashed into his consciousness. But this was a blur of color; green and bright blue. A blur of Zidane and Zooka together.

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

"Of course I can."

A flash of pain. Lie.

"What's the truth, Zidane?" Lance yelled, holding his head.

Zidane's face suddenly twitched in pain, a wince coming from him. He bowed forward, holding his head as well, and the words rushed out of him. Like they were being forced out.

"I lied about everything. Once memories are gone, they're gone. There's no way to restore them. I just needed you to rely on me."


The pain vanished. Lance stood up straight, looking to the crossbreed in disbelief. In utter hopelessness.

"Tell... Tell me that's a lie..."

Another memory filled his mind—one that wasn't his own. Yittek with his arms crossed, leaning against a medicine counter.

"Well, you certainly have yourself in a bind, don't you?"

"Yittek..." He forced back a sob, forced himself to keep speaking. "Yittek was in on it, too?"

Zidane kept his stare down, kept his head turned away.

"He was, wasn't he?"

A small nod answered him, and he noticed Zidane's fist clench by his side. Lance turned away, feeling his chest tighten just as much.

He brought his hands to his face, trying to keep the tears from falling. But he still felt them rolling over his fingers, his palms. Moving into the sleeves of his sweatshirt. His mother's voice came back, telling him to take a jacket because it would be cold outside.

Lance couldn't stop himself from shaking.

He couldn't stop the indescribable amount of pain pushing his chest down towards the ground. The hurt was beyond physical.

His fingers curled, nails clawing into the skin of his forehead as another sob moved through him. He tried to hold his composure, tried to pull a deeper breath into his lungs but feeling it instantly crumble.

"There was no way..." His voice sounded so weak, barely making a vibration in his throat. "There was no way for me to even get back..."

Cal flashed into his mind and Lance could only let out a scream. A cry that quickly turned into another sob as his knees hit the ground, bowing his body forward. His hands stayed by his face, shaking along with the rest of him.

There was no way... There was no way... Never a way...

He growled for a moment, anger humming past clenched teeth, but quickly dying. Breaking away for that sadness again.

He could feel, sense Zidane's pain like it was a quiet extension of his own. Lance sunk away from it, trying to breathe still, trying to fight down the constant tremors in his body and lungs.

These cells... These cells were in his body. Or was that all a lie, too?

He wanted to ask. He wanted to speak, but sobs came out instead of words. He grabbed a handful of the grass, pressing his mouth against his arm. Trying to breathe right. Stabilizing his lungs and his heart enough for him to voluntarily move again.

Lance's arms shook as he pushed himself up, feeling Zidane's eyes go to him. That agonizingly sad stare burning the more, it focused on his face.

Lance stood up, feeling even more pain as he met Zidane's black eyes.

"The cells," he began, the words almost breaking from a sob. "Are they even real?"

Zidane nodded once, stare lowering again.

"Yeah." His voice was barely there. And Lance was brought back to the memory of them sitting on opposite sides of a kitchen table, how broken Zidane looked—how broken he had sounded—when he told Lance about his incompetency.

Lance pushed himself away from feeling any hint of pity. He turned, looking towards the ground. And he screamed again, saying what, he didn't know. Just trying to get out this sadness. This weight inside him...

Lance was tempted; he was so tempted to go back. Question his sanity again because that was something manageable. He could deal with that. But this... He couldn't even begin to question it.

Words were on his tongue. To say what, he didn't know. He just focused on the pressure they gave his mouth, forcing himself to stand up once again. Remain on his feet. But his legs were shaking, the will leaving them again. Beginning to break apart like a dam that could no longer fight the river crashing against it.

He breathed, lungs grabbing the air. "She started this," he said.

He felt Zidane's eyes raise, lifeless stare beginning to focus in on him. Lance thought, mind repeating the words he'd just said, words he didn't understand himself.

Memories clicked. He looked up, staring straight past Zidane as the realization came.


Pressure slammed into his chest. His back hit the tree a few feet behind him, the arm crushing his chest holding his body up.

"Don't you dare." Zidane's face was close, words spitting out from between clenched teeth. "Don't you even try blaming this on her..."

Lance opened his eyes, feeling something weaker than a grin playing on his lips. He almost wanted to laugh.

"This?" he repeated. "We both know this is her fault—"

Pain cracked into the side of face. The pressure against his chest was released, allowing the force of the punch to slam him against the ground. He smiled again, feeling blood fall from the corner of his mouth, the teeth roll off of his tongue. This... This pain was nothing...

He laughed, the sound cruel and broken. It barely released the brutal agony inside him, and a sudden weight pushed his shoulder, rolling him onto his back. Grinning, Lance stared up at Zidane. There was no blue in his eyes, and this only made Lance think of the last memory he'd been shown. The one where Zidane had lied to her.

Lance grinned a little more, feeling more blood spill from the empty sockets in his mouth. He kept his focus directly in Zidane's eyes, repeating a single thought as loud as he possibly could.

You're such an idiot.

He hoped it was heard.

Zidane stepped back, footsteps leading him away. Lance turned onto his side, spitting blood in the crossbreed's direction. For a moment, he thought he heard Ezyta's laughter, but the pressure he'd felt before had subsided. Leaving him completely alone.



He thought of his mother.

He wanted to tell her that he missed her and he was sorry. That he loved her.

Lance couldn't remember the last time he had told her that. When he was younger, probably. Their fights had always been resolved with small agreeing quips; short words that had led to short periods of peace.

He'd never experience that cycle again.

He felt emotion lunge against his chest, taking his breath along with it. Lance fought back the sobs, but he couldn't keep the tears from breaking. His eyes shut, feeling the wetness trail down his temples. Feeling his body begin to shake.

He couldn't hold back the memories now. All the experiences he would never relive again. Spending time with all the people he cared for; people who cared for him as well.

For the first time in his life, he could accurately, truly, say that he was alone.

Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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