Chapter 92: Cross, Part II

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

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Lance scanned the balcony again, seeing nothing but faint light glowing from the windows, the wide, entrance-less doorway. He retracted his sight, shoulder resting against a tree, and looked around again. Nothing.

Running footsteps came into hearing. No, not just running—sprinting.


Lance only saw a blur jump over bushes before hearing the lingering voice.

"Let's go."

Lance immediately followed, feet hitting the ground and legs pumping as fast as they could. Placing him a few yards behind the crossbreed. His tail was spiked a little, the longer strands at the tip standing up.

He's scared?

"Tell me you got it," Lance said.

A wall of fire suddenly appeared in front of them, dying down to reveal a line of guards. Energy shot from them as Zidane skidded to a stop, hitting his arms, his legs.

A flash of light in the air, arcing towards Lance.

The vial.

Lance jumped up, catching and tucking the serum against his chest. Hands holding tight, a grin coming to his face as he landed.

They had it.

A thin, black bag was discarded on the ground, and Lance watched Zidane twirl the staff. Holding the weapon with both hands, he pressed a series of buttons, eliciting a series of beautiful notes.

A long, jagged scythe folded out of the flute.

His senses coming back to him, Lance ran around the guards. He ducked the lines of energy, seeing one guard try and block his path before being slid back and turned around towards Zidane. Being forced into the fray.

More guards appeared, shooting energy, arrows that were evaded. But the shots were a little slow, almost like they were trying to miss...

Thoughts escaped Lance as a blade swung and he slid against the ground, dodging it. He picked himself up again, running towards a clear path.

The ground began to shake, stumbling him.

A large, jagged crack moved across the Inner-Earth, and the ground began to open up.

Lance's steps stuttered, feet skidding back as the ground beneath him began to give way. Shitshitshitshit

He fell, dropping with a slab of the earth, turning to try and hang onto the ledge. It was close; his fingertips brushed the edge, and all at once he was flung high into the air, the black serum forced out of his hand. His body twisted, arching up towards the sky while his hand reached downwards, fingertips straining for the vial.

His fingernails knocked against the base, turning the vial as his hand stretched to its limit.

Time sped up; Lance was falling to the water below, dropping quickly and watching the vial become even more out of his reach. But that didn't make any sense; he was heavier—he should have passed it by now!

Gravity slammed against him, air whistling past his ears, through his entire being.

This was going to be a long fall.

He shut his eyes, preparing for impact.

And then a hand gripped the back of his jacket. His eyes opened just in time to see Zidane twisting around as he passed Lance, releasing a strong breath and throwing his arm, hand letting go.

Lance was flying up now, the ledge getting closer and closer. Gravity began to trickle in, slowing him and beginning to send him downwards again. Lance reached out, grabbing the ledge, body jerking downwards at the impact.

His other arm leaned against the solid earth, feet scraping against the earth and slowly moving him up.

His fist was closed, something familiar in his grasp. He opened it slightly, seeing the shine of the vial, the pink contents inside.

It's here?

A force tried to pull it away. Lance held on tight, his hand being forced to turn around. The vial shifting in his grip, laughter echoing out to him as the rounded base began to press against his palm.

Lance's vision darkened, eyelids coming close together as the vial began to dig past skin and muscle, hitting his bone and chewing its way through.

His mouth opened in a non-existent scream, the feeling of fire inside his hand. In one strong pull, the vial slammed through, blood coating it.

Lance was pushed back, his scream echoing inside his own ears as he began to fall once again, heading to the sea of water below.


Zidane's body screamed against the gravity. He continued to fall, wind echoing through him, squinting his eyes. But he never turned his stare from the vial inches away.

His fingertips stretched out.

They moved, barely grazing the serum's base.

If only he had some kind of energy left... But he'd used the last getting Lance to safety.

He hit the water hard.

It enveloped him, his impact in slow-motion. Allow him to watch the rubber-like web separate with every movement he made, the vial nowhere to be seen. The aftershocks of the water's impact echoed through him, stinging every part of his body as he looked in every direction, searching for the glimmer of glass against light.

Did it break? He pulled in a breath, trying to get some taste of the water. Something tainted with the serum.

The water level suddenly lowered, dropping quickly until Zidane's feet hit the ground again. He was standing up, the water's weight heavy, his eyes watching the serum float along the wall.

He jumped, instantly beginning to climb it with clawed hands and scraping feet. His foot slipped, the embossed grooves of the wall too unstable.

He reached higher, barely touching the vial. His father's voice whispered in his ear, darkening the very core of his existence.

"You're nothing but a curse upon this world."

He reached out further, shoving his feet against the wall, leaping a little higher. The vial was inches away.

"I can only hope..."

His fingers strained, muscles screaming as the tips of his hand grazed against the base of the vial.

"That you continue to exist... Simply to show..."

Zidane slammed his hands into the wall, screaming out from the pure anger, the pure desperation. The pain of his heart continuing to beat, the feeling of his fingers shattering as they lodged themselves into the wall. Allowing him to press up against the shattered pieces of bones and get a little bit higher, wrap the beginning digits of his broken fingers around the vial.

"How very far this race can fall."

Zidane's eyes widened. He... He had it. He was holding it, if only just by a few inches of force.

Laughter came from the cliffs above. Cackling laughter. The vial began slipping, slowly being pulled out of his reach again.



He leaped forward, trying to take his hand out and grab the vial with that one as well. But it was too far away now, the thin glass container floating away. Catching the light from the sky above, flashing a wave goodbye. The hole his hand had made closed over, and Zidane didn't move as he began falling. He didn't try to save himself, realizing there was no reason for him to.

Below, the roar of water began to cover the earth. Zidane waited for the impact his body would make, some part of his mind hoping he wouldn't wake up.


Lance landed against earth, watching Zidane scramble up the wall. The vial barely in his grasp, then all too soon, floating away.

He heard the first second of the water's deafening entrance before feeling himself completely submerged. His vision was tilted, body swirling around in something of a circle. His eyes shut, mind trying to regather itself and rid the deep pain in his head.

That force should've killed him. Was he dead already?

He felt some type of energy around him, lingering on the outer layers of his skin. Yittek.

Thanks for the save.

No response came, and Lance felt the energy quickly skittering away from him. Slipping away, like the connection was being lost.

Lance kicked his feet and pushed his arms out, heading up to the surface. He broke through with a gasp, lungs grateful for the air. He looked around, but the thing he was searching for had yet to be seen.

"Zidane! Zidane!"

A wave came, water sloshing into his mouth. Lance spit it out, pushing his hair back and spotting familiar ashen grey. Zidane hunched against a large rock, his jacket caught on a small spike.

Lance swam towards him, gliding to his side and putting Zidane's arm around his shoulders. He still heard the laughter—deep, carefree amusement from the ledges around them.

They're just toying with us.

A voice came into his mind. Foreign words spoken by a male tongue.

Lance was suddenly submerged, water invading his mouth, his throat, his lungs. He closed his mouth, trying to breathe and choking against the river's water.

He tried to swim up towards the surface, his movements blocked by some kind of barrier. His palm hit the surface, eliciting a solid noise. He hit it again, seeing the ripples pulse out.


Another hit, another shout.

His lungs gave out, releasing air from his mouth. His vision dimmed, darkening, as his mind screamed for Yittek once more.

He barely felt the heat of the fire.

He landed on his knees, bringing Zidane with him. Lance coughed up water, throwing it onto the grass, most of his mind listening for Zidane's coughs as well.

He heard them.

He relaxed as much as he could, retching more water with a painful burn.

They were alive, but the serum...

He punched ground, hard. Enough for his bones to scream in protest as he muffled coughs inside his mouth.


Zidane's coughing stopped, and Lance looked to see the crossbreed on his side. Still breathing. Good.

His tail shook out, whipping into a mess of spikes. It moved against the grass, sweeping towards Lance. Prickling further—fear this time.

We didn't get it, Lance thought, but the fact wasn't registering. Part of his mind, his body, was tense as if they were still scrambling after it.

We... Had it. A flash of excitement, of accomplishment, quickly stomped down by fact.

We had it.

Supporting himself with one hand, he punched the ground again, feeling a bone split in a microfracture.

He screamed, bowing himself low and fading the words into a growl.

Being on all fours, a memory came back. A nightmare—being like this, rendered useless as his spine became a bloody tail.

It all comes back around, a voice whispered to him.

He punched the grass again, lower this time. God fucking dammit.

The facts still weren't registering; he felt that flash of success again, the disappointment hitting harder once more. It was around the time that Zidane picked himself up.

Lance looked up, watching the crossbreed move forward.

Did he have some kind of plan?

"What do you mean you can't teleport us back?"

Lance stared. Had he finally lost it?

Yittek. He must be talking to Yittek.

"Fucking teleport us back!" Zidane yelled.

A silence, and then Zidane crouched down, holding his head. Fighting back a sudden burst of anger.

He screamed, the sound ripping upwards towards the sky. Lance stared blankly, feeling his mind leave him. His thoughts replaced with a numbness.

This wasn't happening.

Were they just toying with us? His mind went to the laughter he'd heard upon climbing back up the ledge, the laughter just before he'd almost drowned.

He didn't know. But the fact that there'd been two vials... Maybe...

Lance felt like screaming. He bowed towards the earth, gripping his hair. God dammit. Tears stung his eyes, his body shaking in a sob.

He pushed off the ground, feeling the hole in his hand scream as he forced himself upright. A burst of fire appeared, a healing patch landing on the ground.

Lance stared at it for a long time. What was the point?

Zidane fell to his knees in front of him, picking the patch up with a trembling hand. The hand he'd used to force himself higher, slamming it into the concrete-like earth.

"Hold out your hand."

With his mind only partially there, Lance extended his hand, seeing blood and muscle and bone.

Another healing pack appeared, landing in Lance's waiting hold.

"The other is for him." Yittek's voice.

"Thanks," Lance said into the open air.

He secured the pack's strap around his hand, feeling sparks of pain contrast the cool healing. Soon, the pain died down, and gradually he felt the muscle and bone begin to regenerate. Lance suddenly laughed, bowing until his forehead came in contact with Zidane's shoulder.

"What?" The crossbreed's voice was broken; almost as numb as Lance felt.

"The hole..." Lance belted out another laugh, some part of his brain thinking someone might come and find them. He didn't care. "It's in the same fucking place my scar was in before." More laughter.

He leaned back, laughter bubbling down into a wide grin. When he had first gotten that scar, when the broken fence link had sliced his hand, he had actually been worried about how his hand would look. And now there was a hole through that same spot. He didn't know why it was so funny; only that it was.

He noticed the healing pack on the ground, one that had a strap in the back like his. It was large, and seemed to be attached to another pack, as if they could be broken apart. Lance looked over to Zidane, seeing him stare off into a spot on the ground between them. He didn't move to take the pack, and with a deep sorrow Lance understood why. Yowlitch had been playing them from the beginning; in the purest form of the word, this entire attempt had been a complete and utter failure. He'd been the show master and them, his puppets.

Lance secured the pack around his hand, freeing his other hand to reach and take the packet. He tucked it against his side and his inner arm, allowing himself to tear the packs away from each other. He took one in his hand and placed it on Zidane's knee. He set the other pack between them, close to one of Zidane's broken hands. Zidane looked to him, eyes empty. Like space.

Lance only felt his pain, adding to his own. If only they'd tried harder...

As the last few layers of his skin began to regrow, Lance knew the statement was empty. The words had lost every meaning, replaced with nothing but agonizing reality. They'd lost, plain and simple. It just wasn't an easy thing to face.

Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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