By Allanasha Ke Kiri
Jason rubbed his head, sighing heavily. "I still don't believe you."
A frown pulled at Isaac's lips, his eyes on the wall, for some reason refusing to look at him. "It does not matter if you believe it," he said, softly. "They do. And they hunt me again because they believe it."
Jason sighed. "I think you're delusional." he said. "Who ever it is that hurt you, I doubt its because you're not human. And if they are chasing you, it's most likely so you wont spill their secrets."
Isaac finally shifted his gaze to him, eyes blank of any emotion. It sent a chill down Jason's spine, but he forced himself to stare back at his guest.
"You can't honestly expect me to believe you, do you?" Jason asked.
He didn't reply.
Jason stood, moving away as he withheld another sigh. "It's not possible. It just isn't, alright?" he turned back to the blond. "Look, I've heard that experiences lik yours can mess with the mind. They look for a reason why it's happening to them and ... if they can't find one, they'll create their own."
He was talking out his ass, and he knew it. He'd never heard of such a thing, but it was as good an excuse as anything. It certainly sounded believable. But that's really what it was, and he knew it; an excuse.
"Then how did I introduce you?" Isaac asked, softly. "If it's all in my head, how did I do that?"
"I imagined it."
"You didn't even know what I was doing, or what it was supposed to do."
"I ... it ..." he sighed, sinking into the chair once more. "I don't know.
Isaac was silent.
"Alright, fine. If they did take you because you're, uh ..."
"Alright, Keer, then why? What did they do to you?"
He wasn't accepting. Jason still thought this was just something Isaac's brain had concocted to help him deal. It just wasn't possible.
Neither is talking (or feeling) rain.
it was a trick.
He shook hsi head to clear it of pointless questions.
Jason blinked. Wait .. what?
Oh, right, his question.
"I cannot tell you. If I told you, you would not be safe."
Jason frowned. Yeah, he'd heard that before.
"They do not want their work known. Any who knew would be in ... in danger."
"Just how will they find out I know, hmm?"
"You will talk." Isaac's eyes had glazed, and he was shaking slightly. "You always talk. They would not allow you not to. The less you know, the safer you are. And I will not risk you, not when you have been so kind.
"This is assuming they ever find you."
"They will find my trail. They will know my route, where I went. Earth will not hide it for me. They will know I was here. They will question you. What you know is already dangerous."
Jason scowled. "I don't know anything!"
"You do, you do, you do," Isaac had pulled his legs up to his chest, still shaking lightly.
Jason felt bad. Isaac definitely wasn't ready to talk about this. He debated leaving it because of this. But ...
"If I'm already in danger, it shouldn't matter. Tell me what they did."
Isaac shook his head, burying it in his knees.
Jason sighed. "Alright, fine. I wont ask."
Isaac seemed to relax, but he was still shaking, and he didn't lift his head. Jason watched him a moment, silently. It amazed him just how ... fragile Isaac was. Then again, what did he expect? The guy had just gone through a year of hell. That much he did believe. Isaac looked like he'd been tortured. He definitely wouldn't be willing to talk about it, and Isaac had only been free a few days, maybe a month. And most of that had been spent running.
This though ... this was his fault. He should have pushed Isaac just yet, not that hard. What could he do, he wondered. What could he do to help?
Well ... he'd said that Keer take touch as comfort. Not that he actually believed Isaac, not really, but well, most people liked to be comforted. Nodding to himself, he stood and moved to the couch, sitting next to Isaac. The blond didn't move away. In fact, he seemed to furl farther in on himself. Jason bit back a sigh, becoming angrier with himself, and put a gentle arm around him. Isaac flinched.
"Shh," Jason murmured. "It's okay. You're all right. You're safe."
Gradually, Isaac began to relax and lean against him. Isaac didn't so much uncurl as he curled around Jason, head burrowing into his should and his arms about his waist. Jason continued to murmur softly, not paying much attention to what he was saying. His right hand, the one around Isaac, made small circles on his back, hoping to sooth him farther.
He froze when Isaac's hands moved under his shirt, splaying across his bare skin. Isaac's hands moved up his back, slowly, steadily. Jason still didn't move, too shocked to do anything else.
What the hell? he thought.
A moment later, Isaac stopped and withdrew quickly. "Sorry," he murmured. "Didn't mean ... comfort. Only comfort. Didn't mean anything. It's why we don't seek comfort with humans. You misunderstand." Isaac's head was bowed, sounding near to tears. "Skin comforts us," he continued. "The warmth of another body. It calms us down. Sorry. Shouldn't have. You just ... felt like keer."
"It's fine," Jason said, after a moment of silence where he got himself back under control. "You just surprised me. You hadn't said that the first time around."
Isaac glanced up at him, blinking, but he didn't say anything. Jason sighed and pulled him close again. Isaac's relaxation wasn't immediate. Again it was painfully slow, but before long, he felt Isaac's hands under his shirt again, hesitantly. This time, Jason didn't react. He simply continued to rub circles on Isaac's back.
Jason jerked awake with a groan. Without opening his eyes, his hand rose to his nightstand and hit off the alarm. Only then did he open his eyes. The room was still dark.
He hated Mondays.
"What's going on?"
Jason glanced down at Isaac, who was half on his stomach, arms loosely wrapped around him.
"I've got class today," he said, yawning.
Isaac sat up in a flash, eyes widening in obvious fear. "You're leaving?"
Jason blinked. "I have to," he replied. "I can't not go."
Isaac was silent. With a sigh, Jason sat up as well. "I'll only be gone for a couple of hours," he said, slipping out of the bed.
No reply. He moved to the dresser. "You'll be fine. Just don't answer the phone, or the door. You know where the food it. You know how to cook, I assume?"
He glanced back at the bed. Isaac nodding and he turned his attention back to the dresser.
"You've only been out once. I doubt they'll have found you yet."
No reply. Jasen folded his clothing over his arm. It wasn't anything fancy, just a black shirt and a pair of jeans.
"When I get back, we'll start work on that emergency back I told you about okay?"
Another glance, another silent nod. Isaac wasn't even looking at him.
"You should get dressed," Jason told him. "When I get out of the shower, we'll eat something before I head out, okay?"
Jason shot him a smile the blond couldn't see before leaving the room. It wasn't until he stood under the spray that he began thinking. Isaac was convinced 'They' were going to find him. He didn't like being left alone, though that was probably because of the first point.
Still, though ... there had to be some reason he was so afraid of them … why he thought they'd find him. Maybe ... maybe it was more than just paranoia?
Well, in that case, he'd be fine with the door closed and locked.
He was satisfied with that as he soaped up his short hair. When he moved on to other parts, though, more doubts began to surface.
Would a locked door stop them? Surely I wouldn't, not if they did desperately want Isaac back. They could break it down and take him ... might even be gone before the police could arrive. They'd have Isaac back and no one would be any wiser. Except for Jason and he wouldn't be able to tell anyone much, and half of what he knew wasn't something he could tell anyone else because it was unbelievable. Insane.
By the time he got out of the shower, he'd come to a half-decision; he was still thinking it over.
Isaac was sitting in the living room, an open book in his hands. He glanced up when Jason came in.
"Hungry?" he asked.
Isaac nodded, his lips curling upwards slightly.
"Alright. I think we'll just have cereal. Not really up to cooking. That alright with you?"
Isaac nodded again. "That's fine."
Five minutes later, they both sat at the table, a bowl of fruity pebbles in front of him.
"So, you probably wouldn't have much fun, but, you want to come to class with me?"
Isaac blinked up at him in surprise. "Really?"
Jason nodded. "Yeah. I figured that, in case they do find out where you are, leaving you alone wouldn't be the smartest thing to do. More likely to leave you alone if your with someone, yeah?"
Isaac nodded. "Yeah, they are."
"Alright, then it stands to reason that if you're with twenty or so, you're even safer."
Isaac smiled. "Right."
He nodded decisively. "Right."
Good, now he wouldn't have to spend his time worrying about him.
When they finished, he told Isaac to get his hoodie while he rinsed out the bowls. He was done before Isaac returned, so he grabbed his coat and keys while he waited.
Jason glanced up when Isaac re-entered, his black hoodie already on. It would definitely help him blend in with his classmates.
Isaac nodded, following him out of the apartment. He quickly locked the door and hurried over to the stairs.
"What are your classes?" Isaac asked.
"Hmm? Oh, I'm a theatre major," he said.
"I've got an English class first, then I've got my production class after."
"Yeah, we're working on a play. We start showing Friday.
They were silent the rest of the way to the bus stop (this time crossing the street to get to the other one). Jason didn't really mind the silence. In fact, if he was completely honest with himself, he actually preferred it most time, not that either of his friends would believe him.
From the corner of his eye, he noticed Isaac shift uncomfortably and pull the hood up over his head. He raised an eyebrow, letting his eyes flicker around the area. There was no one out. Besides them, there wasn't another sign of life.
Isaac was just being paranoid. He could handle that. Isaac was paranoid so there was no reason for him to be so anxious. Yet, as his eyes scanned the area again, his felt like someone was watching. He shook his head and crossed his arms, as if to ward off the unseen eyes. Next to him, Isaac shoved his hands into his pockets and hunched over, tense.
When the bus finally came into sight, Jason couldn't help the sigh of relief that left him. Getting out of there sounded exceptionally good. They both practically ran up the steps when it pulled to a stop. Once again, Jason paid Isaac's way on and showed his bus pass. They sat and were on their way. Almost immediately, Isaac seed to relax, allowing Jason to do the same.
Isaac leaned against the window, his eyes scanning the passing scenery worriedly.
"What's wrong?" Jason asked, softly.
Isaac shook his head. "Nothing."
"Didn't seem like nothing."
The blond bit his lip. "They were there."
Jason blinked. "No one was there."
Isaac shook his head. "There were there. I could ... feel them."
He raised an eyebrow in reply. "You could?"
Isaac nodded. "They were there."
"Then why didn't they come out? It wasn't like either of us could have stopped them."
Isaac shook his head. "I don't know, but it worries me. They do not usually wait to make a capture. Maybe because you were there?"
Jason bit back a sigh and decided to humor him, after all, he didn't think telling him he was paranoid would do him any good.
"What about a recapture?"
"I-I don't know. I'm the first to escape ... that I've heard of."
Jason hmmed softly. he doubted that Isaac was the first, but it was very likely they didn't tell any of their prisoners about it. Wouldn't do to encourage them after all.
"Do you think they recognized you?"
Isaac shrugged. "I don't know, but they will soon find the apartment. I should leave."
"You're still in no condition to do so," Jason told him with a shake of his head. "You wouldn't get far without collapsing, and then where would you be?"
He wasn't going to let the guy leave because he was being paranoid. He expected them to find him, so his mind was making him think they were. And it was catching.
Isaac bit his lip. "I have to try."
"Look, you said yourself that they're unlikely to attack when you're around someone. So, we just make sure you're always with me, or someone else. Okay?"
Isaac seemed hesitant, but he nodded nonetheless.
They fell silent once more, neither of them feeling the need to break it.
"You did very well," Miss Caroline told them with a grin. "You're going to be brilliant Friday."
"Now, as you all know, we have our last practice Wednesday. We'll be in full costume and make-up."
Jason grimaced, making everyone laugh, including Miss Caroline. His make-up was a special case. And it changed a few times throughout the production as his character continued to lose his grasp on reality and those around him.
"Well, you're all excused. Enjoy the rest of your day."
Every one thanked her and began filing out.
"Jason, can you wait a minute please?"
He turned back to the director, who motioned him to follow her.
"Are you alright?" She asked. "You seemed a little distracted today."
Jason blinked, frowning lightly. He hadn't thought it was that noticeable. "Sorry."
"Don't apologize for it, Jason. Just tell me what's wrong."
Jason bit his lip, trying to concoct a believable story. "That friend I brought?"
"Well, he gets … anxious easily. I was worried about him, how he'd take the theater. he wants to see the production, but .. Well, I wanted to make sure he was alright in an empty audience first."
"I see ... do you think he'll be alright?"
Jason nodded. "He should be. It's most new things that set it off. Since he was fine today, it shouldn't matter."
All lying really was, was another form of acting. Granted, it was improv, but it was something.
Miss Caroline nodded. "Well, alright them, but I don't want you distracted Wednesday, is that clear?"
Jason's lips arched upwards. "Yes, ma'am," he replied.
"Good. Well, I'm sure your friend is waiting for you."
Jason nodded. "See you Wednesday, Miss Caroline."
"See you Wednesday," she replied as she walked away."
Isaac was waiting for him by the door. "Something wrong?"
"No. Just something about the play," he replied with a shake of his head.
"Oh ... okay."
They were silent as they left the building. "So, what'd you think?"
"It was interesting," Isaac replied. "Depressing."
Jason nodded. "It's meant to be."
"Who was your favorite?"
"..." Isaac glanced out of the corner of his eye. "The girl you killed in the last act."
Jason winced. "Ah ... Stacie's an interesting character. Jenny's good at her.
Jason's eyes shifted to the side. "Something wrong?" he asked.
Isaac shook his head. "No, just a little overwhelmed. It has been a long time since my scenery has changed so often."
"Ah ... okay," They were silent a moment. "Hungry?"
"... I guess."
I am not used to eating to often," Isaac told him plainly. "Something small, maybe."
Jason nodded. "Alright."
I was sitting. My hands were bound to the padded arms, and my ankles to the legs. I didn't even try to fight. It was no use; I wouldn't break free.
Free? Freedom. I'd almost forgotten the meaning of the word.
My head hung, my chin resting against my chest. It hurt. I don't think a day had gone by that hadn't hurt. I had no energy either. It was all gone and I couldn't reach it.
"He looks close to death."
I didn't look up. There was no use for it. I couldn't do anything, even if I saw who was speaking. It didn't matter.
"They all do. This ones almost done though."
"Good. When will he be ready?"
A pause, a rustle of fabric. "These things take time. With with how close he is, they naturally fight."
"Would you like to see?"
"Yes ... what does the chair do?"
There was a chuckle, the sound of movement. My heard picked up and my body tensed. I knew what was happening and I hated it. But there was nothing I could do.
I heard him turning something and my body jolted. It didn't hurt at first, but it quickly grew. Whimpers passed through my lips. I could feel it taking hold, painfully.
I'm sorry (again) for taking so long. I don't really have any excuse this time., but I hope you're all still here and willing to put up with me ... if all goes well, i should have another update by the end of the week to make up for it .