SUMMARY: Cadence Swift has never been normal, someone extraordinary yes, but when images of death and decay haunt his dreams and eventually drip into his conscious state, there is nothing the doctors can do for the schizophrenic teenager, or is there?

WARNINGS: Nothing to worry about in this chapter…however, warnings for later…slash/shounen ai, boy X boy relationships, occasional language, and possible yaoi in later chapters.

CHAPTER 3: The Oracle

Cadence had gone from one hospital to another, only unlike the asylum; the second one seemed to be only recognizable from short vivid visions. Nervously, the teen fumbled through the hallways of rooms desperately seeking comfort from the doctor who had brought him there. He still didn't understand why Adrian had driven to such a place and he wasn't sure he wanted to. The feeling of dread and confusion had only intensified since he had left the asylum, and Adrian had done little to comfort him, eyes never looking anywhere but straight ahead. The blonde seemed such a different person outside the hospital and Cadence wondered if he really had any intent on helping him after all. He was too afraid to voice his uncertainties aloud however.

A few minutes passed before they approached a room marked Whitmore. "I wanted to visit someone before we went home Cadence." He paused as he turned to open the door suddenly seeming as nervous as the patient he was caring for. Frowning he turned again to Cadence. "Its someone you'll recognize."

With those very words the brunette suddenly felt an uncontrollable urge to run and hide. If it was someone from his visions he didn't want to know. He didn't want to see them, but he knew that his freedom depended on trusting the doctor. Inside he was torn, part of him wanting to cling to freedom and the other part desperately needing to feel the comforting protection the asylum offered. Swallowing his fear, again he moved to cling desperately to Adrian. "Someone I know?"

Adrian didn't answer the question, finally opening the door and entering the room. Lying in the bed was the form of a sleeping child, a five year old. Long peachy blonde bangs fell over his face forming pools of feathery hair around his head and glowing slightly in the bright whiteness of the hospital. When Cadence saw him, he suddenly felt nauseous, grotesque images flashing before his brain as vividly as they had the first time, though strangely different, because he had witnessed it before. Twisted metal, screams, the grinding sound of one car crashing into the other, it all seemed so real. In the midst of it all, there was a child, sitting in the back seat. He was seemingly unaffected by the commotion whirring around him, nearly like he expected it. It wasn't until bones pierced his own skin that he screamed, and it was the first time Cadence had concentrated on the boy that hadn't died. It was the same boy, the same child he had seen the day he had met Adrian. Shivering he came to his senses, realizing he had fallen to the floor and curled into his ball. He wasn't sane; he couldn't be sane. There was no way that boy could have reacted so calmly. He would have noticed. Cadence would have noticed. A blood curdling whisper interrupted his heavy breathing.

"So you've finally come Cadence." Both Adrian and Cadence froze. The child was awake, and had sat up in his bed. Bandages were still wrapped around him in spots from previous wounds, but nothing was serious and it was a wonder he was still being held in the hospital. "I've been expecting you."

An arm came out, strangely protective as Adrian separated the child from Cadence, glaring at him with a warning stare. "We came to talk to you child, but it seems you are more than expected. If you want Cadence you'll have to go through me." The doctor didn't know what had come over him, some instinctual protective nature driving him on though his entire body was trembling, regretting having chosen to come. Originally he had merely wanted to find what was so special about the child that he had survived, but now he was beginning to question the possibility of the boy being the cause of the accident.

"I knew you would come. That's why I refused to leave the hospital to live with my father's cousin. I had to wait for you, for both of you." Cadence couldn't help but notice how icy the boy's voice was, like emotion had been driven from him before he had ever learned it. He moved to stand on trembling limbs, trying to get a better look at the child. He looked like a normal boy aside from his eyes. Pale violet was glossed over and lacking in emotion just like the voice, and Cadence's fear transformed into pity.

"Who are you?" The question caught the boy off guard, but only for a moment, like he was disappointed because he wasn't recognized. After all, Cadence should have known. The protector should always know. "Why do you know my name?"

A frown tipped down at the corners of the child's mouth as he moved to speak again. He paused, giving Adrian an icy look, warning him not to interfere. "Delaney is the name I was given. I've been looking for you Cadence. I've been looking ever since the day I learned how to walk. I am the oracle. I see every future there is to come. I see that only the protector can keep this world alive, which is why they want me dead."

"Enough!" Adrian's hand took a firm hold on Cadence's wrist, pulling the mental patient close to his body protectively. He didn't trust the child; never having expected Delaney would awaken so easily. According to the report the doctors had made, the boy wouldn't wake up though there seemed to be nothing wrong with him. He simply wouldn't open his eyes and it was assumed shock was the cause. He was supposed to be sleeping. He wasn't supposed to wake up. I refused to leave the hospital…could it be he had faked? "Cadence I think its time to leave. Lets go home."

"No wait…" The brunette tried to break free, but Adrian's grasp tightened as he pulled towards the door, discomfort only intensifying in his stomach. "Adrian why did you bring me here if…"

"Don't leave Doctor, you are needed as well, even if you are what you are."

It was as if someone had hit the mute button. All noise ceased, leaving an incomprehensible silence so powerful it burned the ears to listen to it. The child was more than human, but then, both Adrian and Cadence were more as well, and though the Doctor hated to admit it, Delaney might be needed to ever understand why. The child smiled, a true sign of emotion despite the ice behind it. "Just as I thought, it is you. They'll try to kill you too."

"Who are they?" Adrian's tone was still bitter, mistrust thick in his voice as his protective hold on Cadence only intensified.

"The Dark Ones of course." Slowly, Delaney threw his legs over the edge of the bed, carefully pulling the IV needles from his wrists before standing up. He could tell by the looks on both Cadence's and Adrian's faces that they didn't understand, but it wasn't his place to explain. He was merely a guide and nothing more. "You'll remember and understand in time, but before you can you must understand yourselves. You haven't told him yet have you Adrian? You haven't told him the extent of his gift which is why another has died."

"Adrian what is he talking about?" Again the nausea had returned and Cadence felt like he might vomit. An arm wrapped around his stomach as he buckled over, head whirring in confusion because suddenly he felt like he would explode. Had Adrian been hiding something from him? With what little strength he had he turned to the doctor, begging for an answer and only finding shock in those gray eyes. "Adrian?"

"Go ahead and tell him doctor. Tell him what you discovered when you came to the hospital the day of my accident, or are you afraid of how he'll react? I assure you Adrian, it has caused more damage by waiting than it would have had you told him on that day."

Adrian looked down at Cadence's begging glare, pleading for answers and so horrendously confused. It had been a mistake waiting. He knew that and he couldn't deny that what the child said was true. He had to tell Cadence now, because it had already been too long. Cadence had had another vision since the truck accident and nothing had been done. Another life had been lost because of a doctor's fear. "Cadence, the deaths you see can be avoided."

Mistrust, fear, anger, each emotion overwhelmed the teen as he pulled away from Adrian. He hadn't heard right had he? Every person he had seen die, the thought that he had no control over it had been partial cause for his pain, but somehow had also been the key to his sanity. None of the deaths were his fault…none of them. Yet now someone was trying to tell him those very lives could have been saved if only his so-called gift had been used right. Lies…it had to be lies. "What are you talking about Dr. Eves? What do you mean they could have been avoided?" This man wasn't Adrian; he wasn't a friend now…not until Cadence knew everything.

"I didn't want to tell you!" Adrian took a step closer to the teen, wanting to comfort him but only finding rejection. Had his secret been that horrible? But it was true he should have told him sooner. He should have but he had feared the truth would have broken Cadence. "I didn't want you to know and then find out I wouldn't be able to get you out of there. Out here you aren't helpless anymore, but in there even if you had known there wouldn't have been anything you could do. I didn't want that. I didn't want you living the rest of your life in there seeing people like that and having no control over it. Cadence I'm sorry I didn't mean to…"

"Keep trying doctor. Nothing you say will fix what you have done. Cadence should have known of his gift long ago, but then, it's in your nature to be selfish now isn't it? Because you are what you are."

"What are you talking about? Cadence, don't listen to him please. Its not what you think."

"I thought I could trust you Dr. Eves. I thought you were different from the others…that you actually wanted to help me." Cadence had found himself backed into a corner shivering tremendously. The entire room seemed so cold now. The walls outside of his haven were so new and frightening, and cold. Why had he run away from the asylum? Why had he thought this would be better? Where was that light Adrian had spoken of? "You're just like them aren't you?"

"Cadence stop. Please listen to me. When I told you what happened to me. When I told you it was my fault my family had died I saw it in your eyes. If you had felt responsible for any of those deaths you would have lost yourself. I didn't want you to blame yourself but I came here to tell you the truth. I never wanted to hurt you." A cold hand came down and rested upon the doctor's shoulder as a child whispered coolly into his ear.

"Who would have ever thought the eternal would be someone like you?" No sooner had the word's left the child's lips and the child fell heavily to the floor unconscious. Cadence hadn't heard the strange message; one meant only to be shared between the two blondes, and even if he had he wouldn't have understood. Even Adrian was at a loss, trapped in a mass of confusion. Gray eyes were wide with primal fear of something he didn't understand, as everything became hazier and less logical.

"Delaney?" He turned to the boy, lifting him gently. He didn't exactly trust the boy, but he wanted to understand more and it seemed the Whitmore child was the only one who could answer any questions. "Delaney, are you alright?"

Cadence as well, had found himself uncertain, but he was still in too much shock, shrouded in fear, to move from his protective corner. He didn't like this new world. He didn't like these new people. He wanted Adrian to be the person he had been inside the hospital, not this new person who kept things from him. He wanted everything to go back because there it was safe. His confusion only grew as the child once more opened his eyes.

This time it was a bright violet that met the world, once icy eyes now vibrant and innocent. Delaney seemed frightened, but no words would leave his mouth, only soft squeaks of unease. "Adrian what's wrong with him?" Adrian didn't answer, in just as much shock as his patient. It was as if he were cradling an entirely different child in his arms, one he found a strange need to comfort. Gently he lifted the boy to his softly beating heart, cradling him there with a desperate need to help Delaney find contentment. "Was he possessed?"

"I don't really know Cadence. Maybe it would be best if we called the nurse to contact his relatives and leave him to them. Its best if we have no further contact with him." His words were met with a desperate cling. Tiny frail hands had reached around him and dug into the back of his shirt refusing to let go, as if the child were afraid of something. It wasn't the Doctor's place to take a child that wasn't his, especially one who frightened him so much. The word eternal echoed through Adrian's mind, begging for understanding, like the meaning was buried only inches below the surface of understanding but he couldn't quite reach it. What had the child meant? "I'm sorry Delaney, we have to leave. You should be happy though, you'll be with your family soon."

"The child is a mute." Adrian and Cadence both turned to see a doctor standing in the doorway. She held a clipboard and various tools. It must have been time to check up on the child. "That's why he wont say a word to you. Since he is awake he is most likely ready to leave the hospital now. It seems Mr. Eves, that according to the records, you are his only living relative and therefore legal guardian."

"What?" Legal guardian? Relative? It was all nonsense. Delaney had said already once before that he had been scheduled to live with his father's cousin. He didn't even know this child or anyone by the last name Whitmore. How could he be the child's relative? "What about his cousin? You must be mistaken."

"Why would the child go to a cousin instead of an uncle? The records say it right here." The Doctor pointed to a line of information on one of the many sheets of paper attached to her clipboard. "Delaney Whitmore, son of Tehya Whitmore, maiden name Tehya Eves. If you don't take care of the boy he'll be put into a group home for boys. I wish you would though Mr. Eves. A child such as he wouldn't assimilate well into an orphanage in my opinion."

"Adrian what is she talking about? What is she…"

"Very well Doctor, I'll take responsibility for the child. When should I be expecting to take him home?"

"Of course there is paperwork that must be filled out, but for now we'll keep the child for one more night and then he can come home to stay with you. I'm sorry to put so much pressure on you. Its not particularly easy for a single man to take care of a mute child, but its not easy for a child to lose his mother and sister in one day either."

Adrian nodded, finally prying Delaney from his lap and setting him down on the bed. "Be good for the doctors and you'll be able to come home soon okay? Cadence and I have to be leaving now but wait for us and we'll come back for you." Standing he nodded to the doctor in defeat and headed towards the door, taking Cadence by the hand and leaving the room. This was ridiculous. Why had he agreed to take the child with him? What had come over him? Cadence had an equally confused look on his face, forgetting entirely that he had been angry with Adrian before.

"Adrian what was she talking about? I thought you told me that everyone around you had died."

"Everyone had. I did have a sister named Tehya. She was my little sister, but she died shortly after she was born. I don't understand what is going on either." Sadly he reached his arm around Cadence's waist, pulling him close to his side. "I think he needs help too Cadence. I don't know how the paperwork got switched around, but for some reason he's going to be my responsibility."

"I'm scared Adrian. Maybe I should have stayed at the institution. I don't think you are going to be able to help me." Again as before Cadence pulled away from Adrian, not knowing anymore whom his allies were and whom his enemies were. It seemed like everything Adrian had told him was unraveling into lies, and try as he might it was becoming so hard to trust the doctor. He needed some kind of consolation. He needed proof he could trust Dr. Eves. "Why did you take me away from where it was safe?"

Adrian paused at the doorway to the hospital exit, taking Cadence's hands into his own and staring down at him discontentedly. "Nowhere is safe Cadence, but keeping you locked up in there would be worse. I know it would have been. I think your visions mean more. I think there is a deeper story behind this, and if you ever want to be free…if either of us ever wants to be free, we need to uncover the secrets of our past. You're special Cadence, and don't let anyone ever let you believe anything else. More than anything I want to help you." Finally he began to move again, heading out the doors and towards his car. Over and over Adrian whispered to himself it hadn't been a mistake. He had made the right decisions even in waiting to tell Cadence of his gift. He didn't care what some child had to say to him, he couldn't possibly have made a mistake. "I don't know about you, but I believe in fate. It was my fate to meet you in that asylum. You are the very reason I felt compelled to become a psychologist. Every moment in my life led up to our meeting, because we were meant to help each other. Can you believe in that?"

"I'd rather not believe that I was fated to be locked away for the majority of my life. I'd rather not believe I was fated to be miserable, and I'd rather not believe I was fated to be loathed by all. I'm sorry Adrian, I don't believe in fate…I believe in curses. It just so happens, that I'm not the only victim. You, me, that child in the hospital, and every victim of my visions, we are all cursed. You search for answers, all I wish is to find the spell that will lift our curse."

That's right Cadence…cursed child. You are fated to be miserable. You are cursed to see others die and are branded with the same fate. All around you shall perish and you'll be the last one, the all-seeing watcher with no power. The reign of the protector shall finally end, and finally revenge will be complete. In the end, power is found only in the darkness, and power always survives.

TO BE CONTINUED!

THANK YOU: Thanks to everyone who has reviewed this story thus far. All reviews are welcome. They tell me that people actually want more of this story…so if you read it please review. It means a lot to me. It lets me know people are reading (nods) so yeah ^^ YAY FOR THE CADENCE! I really like this story.

Mruahahaha shorter and shorter these chapters seem to be getting. I guess it's better than having to wait four months between chapters though right? Hmmm perhaps... Sorry its short but as I've said every time, this story seems to work better in shorter chapters. So there is good news and bad news. I'll give you the good news first. This story is (gasp) believe it or not…DEVELOPING A PLOTLINE! The bad news is, a lot of my wonderful plans are getting shot down because my characters argue with me. Hahaha so I have a few things planned for later on and finally I (this is good to know) actually know WHAT Adrian is…still not quite so sure about the other two though haha and honestly I'm just as uncertain about the "oracle's" powers as you are. Hahaha he wont tell me which side he is on. More will be revealed in next chapter that is a promise, so stick around coz yeah hehe…things should get more interesting from here on out.