Makes Its Way Into My Thoughts
If I had a human face, it would have been set with determination. Instead, all I could do was sit up straight and look out to the road before us while I rode on the shoulders of my companions and students. The steady trot would keep us on pace to join with the building army by late afternoon. I could feel an unsteadiness in my heart, but I pushed it aside.
This wasn’t a battle we could win, and should not plan to even try if I believed the boy and girl. A glance behind me showed her keeping up but staying at a distance. I could see the darkness behind her eyes as we continued to ride ever forward. Though she kept strong and didn’t seem like she would falter or turn away.
I steeled myself and leaped from Red’s shoulder to fly over to her. Perching on shoulders she looked at me with surprise and stiffened up. Why was she so nervous? Though I suppose this was the first time I had landed on her shoulder, wasn’t it?
“Do ye need someone to talk to?”
I offered to her, trying to keep my voice softer than normal. Her body language was of someone who was bottling things up, someone who had witnessed a lot of horrors that they really shouldn’t have. My sympathies rose even more for her. She sighed and started to shake her head before stopping halfway, instead now looking like she had turned her face from me. I remained where I was patiently waiting as she took a breath.
“I-… I’ve never had anyone but Blue to talk with. Everything that happened to us, he’s the only one who understood because he was there too. And now…”
“He’s not the Blue you know any more?”
She nodded her head slightly but then stopped and gave a slight shake of her head, her face turning pensive. She reflected a moment before resuming speaking.
“He’s still a lot like himself. But, he’s…. Purer? There isn’t the jaded part of him. I could tell the first time we met that something had happened to him. He had been through some stuff almost as bad as what we’ve suffered together. It seemed to fade as we fell in love with each other, but it was still some kind of ghost haunting him. He kept having to relive it every time we started over with ****.
“He had almost fallen in love with some book character, Heide, I think her name was. But every time, the slavers came and stole her away and he either died fighting them or couldn’t find her again. I don’t know how many times he ended up using **** because I didn’t even know it was happening until the first time he used it after meeting me.”
I nodded silently, adjusting my perch on her shoulder and listening. That explained a few things from our previous adventure. Moments falling into place that fit the puzzle I was trying to build out of the mess we were looking at, she took a moment to breathe and then continued.
“The parts of him I fell in love with are still there. But there are times he looked at me and all I see on his face is guilt. Is he merely humoring me out of pity? Am I pushing selfishly onto him my own desire to be with him? It’s like the man I loved is gone but he’s still standing there in front of me, acting exactly like he always has. But I can’t let go because what if he remembers again? He’s getting flashbacks of things he did, we did, I’ve been pulled along with him but…”
I gave her a slight cuff with my wing across the back of her head. She looked at me with surprise, her eyes filled with tears and light red color as she tried to hold back.
“Ye need to have some trust in him. I haven’t really been around much to see what ye two are doing, but he’s not made any moves toward anyone but ye. Give it time and trust, and if ye do love him hope for the best. It’s only a few days since we all met up so just give it time and see what happens”
She raised a hand to wipe away a few of the tears that rolled down her cheeks. Giving a half-smile and a nod to me.
“Thank you, Clarion-sama. You’re right, I’m pushing way too hard on this aren’t I?”
“Ye fell in love with him and he with ye. If he is still the same person overall why wouldn’t he fall in love again?”
She turned her head away and spoke quietly.
“Because I’m broken… I’ve been broken over and over. I wish I could have had all these memories and pains erased. My body doesn’t have scars or anything to remember them all every time we used ****. But my soul, my mind recalls all of it, and when Blue has a flashback I see it all in perfect detail.
“I’m there looking at it all through my own eyes. I’m watching Blue die in front of me. The baron overpowering him and killing him with ruthless efficiency Reliving the terror and hopelessness as I’m subdued by him and bound in magic blocking chains dragged into his camp. I’m feeling those vile hands grabbing my body, violating me, trying to break me into submission as he rapes me for days I can’t even count. That feeling of absolute disgust every time he left me alone afterward as he manages to make me feel good against my will. The despair that turned into hope when I found a sword carelessly left in reach of my chains. The joy as I fell on that sword, letting it pierce my heart and end my personal hell so Blue can use the ****. The horrifying realization after all of that, how I knew I was so close to giving up and becoming exactly what that man wanted.”
The tears were flowing freely down her cheeks, she looked at me with haunted eyes, I placed a wing around her and pulled her in close as I could with this bird body. Letting her continue while I stayed there in silence.
“I knew I couldn’t stand suffering through that again. When we tried to fight him before we were actually strong enough I started taking my own life as soon as I saw Blue die. I was so afraid that I’d break too easily if he caught me again. That I’d turn into his slave and spend an entire lifetime before Blue could use the **** again.”
I took a deep breath, perhaps I had been too foolhardy to push this onto her. Maybe it would have been better to have gone ahead and abandoned our quest here after all. But I had set this course in motion and there was still something that puzzled me about this situation that I hadn’t managed to piece together.
“I’m truly sorry, I am going to make sure that you don’t have to suffer through that again. But this situation isn’t as simple as leaving anymore. Captain Hook came to this kingdom with a purpose and he’s demonstrating knowledge that he shouldn’t possibly have. That has me fearful that if we aren’t here things could spiral out of control and cause greater problems for us elsewhere.”
Even with Baron Ran’s invasion, causing trouble, Hook had still made his presence known before we even arrived. Violet had been here for a while, but Hook had come here with the express knowledge of Blue’s impending arrival. He had called him out as some kind of villain, warning the people. Predicting things that I could warrant him understanding the story of Sleeping Beauty, he could bluff as predictions. I could even say he got lucky following Peter and the fairies from Neverland and recognizing the setting enough. Even making an Eton educated guess that Blue would eventually be arriving to help Violet
But, then he knew where Blue was being held after Violet had him locked away in a dungeon that blocked any form of magic that could track him. Made sure that Blue would bring the Dark Queen to curse the child, and assassinated the King while making it look like Blue had done it all because this world doesn’t understand guns. Something was seriously wrong with this picture and I still couldn’t figure out what.
Violet gave a half-smile to me, her eyes telling me she wanted to believe what I was saying. I patted the back of her head with my wing and took a glance toward Red. He was riding ahead of us, his back seeming a bit straighter than normal and purposefully keeping his head facing forward. I could tell he was trying his best to seem like he hadn’t heard anything out of respect for her.
“And since we can’t seal Hook away without trapping him back in Neverland, and Peter Pan is working against us We would need to find a new way or hope we can convince Pan to side with us again.”
“Aye. Which leaves us with trying to stop a bad situation from getting worse.”
Violet sighs deeply, wiping her eyes and staring forward down the road again. Picking up her horse’s pace just slightly to catch up more with Red. Pulling up beside him and matching stride as she looked between the two of us.
“I’m going to trust you two for now. But if things go badly I’m going to find a way to erase my memories and then use **** so we can start over and I can have the same clean start Blue has… Why should I be the one left suffering from the past?”
I was about to answer when Red spoke up. Giving her a soft but stern look as he spoke.
“I know you hurt, and you’ve been through hella and being forced to relive it right now. If you need time to collect yourself, or hell if you need to go find some beach, or rural alone spot for a while and just relax with Blue and reconcile or rekindle flames, let us know. I’ll make sure Clarion-sama lets you have what you need. Let’s just get through this first.”
Violet seemed to relax a little and smiled to Red, one of the few genuine ones I’d seen on her face.
“Thank you, Red-san.”