wreathsofrue:

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       ”—…”

It’s okay, he says. Maybe it is okay. Maybe that’s fine. Maybe things will be okay even if she doesn’t come to her door anymore—so Abra will peer towards Zero and pull in a slow breath, clasping her hands and tucking them beneath her cheek. She’s quick to nuzzle into him when he offers her his warmth—she always feels so cold and she doesn’t like it very much at all.

       ”You have pretty eyes, Beau.”

She changes the subject with her soft, small voice, bright eyes flickering to look towards her elder.

  “Yeah? Thank you.” 

  Zero supposes he doesn’t mind the change of subject. If it will keep Abra from delving deeper into her despair, then maybe it’s a good thing that they have meaningless conversations about his eyes. 

  “They freak a lot of people out. Can’t find the pupils. Makes everyone think I’m either on drugs, or—you know. Hellspawn.” 

  (It’s funny because he is.)

  “You have a pretty everything.”

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       ”Okay.”

       And she pulls in a slow breath, brushing a hand over her eyes and slowly looking towards Zero. It’s so difficult to live in this place. It’s so difficult to try to get back to her life when she doesn’t know which life she needs to get back to—when the horrors have torn into her, watching her, waiting for their moment to pounce. Abra draws in a slow breath, rubbing her honey eyes and slowly reaches for the boy once more. He’s tired, so is she. She’s sorry for being such a bother.

        “…Beau.”

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  “It’s okay—don’t look so sad. I love you. I love you so much, you know? I love you more than anything. And—and it’s all going to be okay—okay? I know it all seems really bad now, but…”

  But what? Truth be told, he doesn’t see things getting better any time soon. If things do ever become the way they were, it’s going to be a very long and hard road before they get there. Zero’s just trying not to lose hope. He knows nothing good could come of that. 

  He scoops her into his arms. “—It’s okay.” 

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wreathsofrue:

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        “I don’t—know what I think.”

       She chews down on her bottom lip, keeping her gaze on her lap. She does love Zero—he helps, he helps but she doesn’t feel like there’s any real belonging here. She can’t look at the animals without cringing back, she can’t do much of anything without trembling and shivering and squeezing her eyes shut in an attempt to force away disgusting thoughts that filled her mind. She needs guidance, but there is nothing, now. Abra quickly wipes at her eyes the moment she feels them dewing over, hugging her blanket tightly to her and peering towards Zero.

        “…You don’t—mean. That. Good parts—you don’t—like her.”

  “No. I don’t like her. But there’s good parts to her, even I can see that.”

  Very few good parts. But they’re there. She gave Abra stability, she kept Abra happy despite all the wrongness in their lives. Abra seemed to feel an intense love for the delusion, or an intense something—so there were good parts to her. She helped Abra remember a little, come to terms with things. Though, he supposes, that seems like a bad thing at the moment.

  “My only concern is you. That’s all I care about.” 

wreathsofrue:

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       ”It makes me—lost and. Lonely.”

       And Abra rubs her bony shoulder, looking down at her lap with a tiny shrug. She doesn’t know what to do without that woman leading her—she flounders in this world. She doesn’t think she belongs. The anger that burned her raw is always subdued into grief—but it’s better than dreaming about That Place. It’s better than reliving the monsters plucking at her feathers or tearing into her chest. It’s better than remembering it all—she’ll tuck it all away, look towards Zero with a small whimper.

        “But you don’t—like her. You or Grandfather. So good and—bad? Is that—right?”

  “There’s no right answer. I was just asking how you felt about it. Good and bad works, though, if that’s what you think.” 

  Lost and lonely. He knows it isn’t fair, he knows it’s selfish, but he can’t help but feel a little hurt than she isn’t finding solace in him anymore. (Well, she is, but she still feels lost and lonely.) He knows she can’t help it. He knows. He knows he shouldn’t be so quick to feel pain when he’s trying very hard not to feel anything. Unless he has to. Or really wants to, like good feelings. 

  “We just worry about you, that’s all—it isn’t that we’re against… against the good parts of her. There’s good parts of her, too…” 

wreathsofrue:

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        “I haven’t—dreamt for. Some time. Did She—go to bed.”

         Small, needy hands raise—William was finally able to get her to bathe, and now, she’s bundled up in a towel with a blanket over her bony shoulders. Clearly, she wants no one else but Zero at this moment. 

  “She might’ve.” 

  He tries not to sound too relieved at the idea of Ophelia returning to the corner’s of Abra’s head, especially since her presence had been one of those mixed blessings disguised as a curse. Either way, she’s sure to come back—Abra’s sure to start dreaming again, crying and wrapping her arms around herself and pulling out her hair. 

  “You think that’s good or bad?” 

wreathsofrue:

        Abra remembers that. She remembers the frantic sobs of her beau, the hot, salty tears that fell against her cold and almost dead face. The goddess had hissed for her to come closer, but the hiss was so silken and smooth that it sounded like an enchanting song—and Abra falters, feeling her stomach tighten as she drops her spoon to the surface of the table, a small whimper spilling past her lips.

          It frightens her—because the woman won’t leave her be, because she’s always in Abra’s dreams and Abra doesn’t know how to turn away or send her off—and she doesn’t think she could, anyway. The woman seems so sad.

          “…You can’t trust her, Abra. You might go back down there if you do—” Abra sounds a frantic little cry, quickly rubbing at her eyes. “Don’t cry, now. We love you. Zero loves you—adores you…he does. He fought all that way to bring you back—don’t…don’t do that. Come on. No crying—it’s going to be okay, darling. I promise.”

  Zero is quiet once more, looking toward Liam for a moment as he kindly and tiredly does his best to soothe Abra. There’s guilt there, guilt for taking everything out on him when all he does is try to help. Another flash of anger from the part of him that’s trying to build himself back up to who he used to be sparks, though he doesn’t know why—sometimes any sort of emotion just sparks up his temper now. 

  “You’ll be safe. Don’t worry.” 

  His voice is quiet, but genuine—that anger stays inside for now.

  “Please don’t cry. The whole world cries when you cry.” He slinks over toward Abra again, wrapping his arms around her, kissing the top of her head. “He’s right, it’s going to be okay. He promised. He wouldn’t lie to us. Come on—finish… finish up with the food, then we can rest.”

wreathsofrue:

          Her gaze flickers at that name—Ophelia, who wouldn’t dare pluck the flowers from the ground much as her lover had plucked her, only to leave her at the roadside to wither and decay. Abra trembles slightly, pulling in a quick little breath and pressing her forehead into her hands. Does she say anything to Abra? Abra bites down at her bottom lip, and William looks towards Zero with a hard frown. He feels the childe’s anger rising, and he watches the boy warningly—he can be angry all he likes. But he better not lose his temper in front of Abra.

          “—…N…No I—don’t…think that’s..it.” She manages to whisper, and William exhales softly, looking down towards Abra and lightly pushing her hair back. He catches her chin in his touch, raising her eyes to meet his own. His gaze burns intense, he refuses to release her. “If she tries to speak to you—tries to tell you to come to her, don’t listen to her. You may go when Zero takes you—alright? If you go alone—you might go back Down There. You know where. Don’t you?” And there’s fear in Abra’s eyes—and she understands, bowing her head, pulling in a sharp breath and squeezing her eyes shut.

          “…How would t—hat…happen she’s—not…horrible…”

  “She tried to take you away from me before.” 

  He does his best to keep the disdain and bitterness out of his voice at the memory. Even with his foggy head these days, he can still clearly recall the feeling of his clothing sticking to his skin as he dove in the water and pulled Abra out, crying over her and imploring her to wake up. He remembers how empty she looked, how unhappy, much like now—and he’d felt so betrayed, betrayed and sad and angry knowing she had chosen the woman in the water who wasn’t even real over him. 

  Zero doesn’t know how to explain it to Abra. He doesn’t know how to tell her about her vengeful goddess without his bias seeping through, so that’s all he says, pouring another glass of milk and downing it quickly before closing the fridge. 

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