~Bruised Inside and Out~
Fang sat on the edge of his bed. It was about six in the morning. The sun was still hidden but the sky was getting bright. There was a quiet knock at the door.
“Come in,” Fang said.
“Penelope said that she could customize the shadowcraft so that the others can’t find it or track it. She said that way we couldn’t need to steal another one,” Raven said as she walked in.
“That’s good,” Fang said only half listening, “How are the others?”
“Shadow is still unconscious. Do you really think it was a good idea to punch him that hard after he had been through an accident?”
“He had it coming,” Fang answered.
“I’m sure,” Raven sighed, she continued, “Alister is still complaining about the bump on his head. Arisa hasn’t talked to anyone and Blue is still out of it. He hasn’t said a thing since last night.”
“Blue’s awake?” he finally turned to look at her.
“Yeah,” she shrugged, “He’s been in his room the whole time. I honestly don’t think he’s even blinked.”
Fang stood up and walked past her. She stood there for a moment.
“I hate being second,” she muttered and slowly turned to leave the room, “I wish I was forth or something. But Shadow had to start freaking out and now I have to take on his duties. There is no way I’m cooking breakfast.”
Fang walked to Blue’s room. The door was closed and when Fang opened it he realized that it was dark inside. The blinds were all closed and all the electronics pulled out of their sockets. Blue wasn’t in his bed. Fang walked around and found the bathroom door open. He walked in and saw Blue curled up in the bathtub. The faucet was dripping and Blue’s hair was soaked. He stared off into the distance. Even if he was looking at Fang he wasn’t seeing him.
“Blue?” Fang said.
Blue didn’t move.
“Blue, I’m talking to you,” Fang said a little more forceful.
Blue’s eyes slowly shifted to where Fang stood, focusing on the figure in the dark.
Fang looked a little disappointed, “So you aren’t talking again.”
Since when have I actually said anything?
Blue looked away again.
Blue looked up again from the tub.
Fang paused, “You should get some rest.”
“No, you’re not, Blue,” Fang said, “Do you remember what happened last night?”
Clear as day.
“Then who was she?” Fang asked.
Blue didn’t say anything. His eyes started to stray again.
“Blue, concentrate,” he knelt down, “Who is she to you?”
But Blue had already retreated deep into his own mind. There would be nothing coming from him for a while. Fang stood up. He looked at the dripping faucet. At this rate Blue would catch a cold. He helped the broken man up and helped him to his bed. Fang grabbed a towel and dried Blue’s hair. Blue just laid there like an empty doll. He didn’t seem to notice that his location had changed. With some hesitation, he left Blue’s room.
As Fang closed the door he noticed something down the hallway. When he turned to look the someone or something it hid from his sight. Fang sighed and walked quietly to investigate. Arisa sat on the floor with her arms around her knees. She wore a black and pink dress with long white sleeves. Slowly, she looked up at Fang. Her eyes were puffy and red. She looked horribly lonely.
“Hi,” she said quietly.
“And what are you doing here?” Fang asked.
“Nothing,” Arisa buried her face into her legs.
“Come on,” Fang said, “I’ll walk you to your room.”
Reluctantly, Arisa stood up and followed Fang back down the hallway. She paused momentarily at Blue’s door.
“Blue hates me,” she said all of a sudden.
Fang stopped walking. He couldn’t believe the words coming out of her mouth. Those three words were like someone saying you’re going to die soon. They could stop a heart. They almost stopped Fang’s. Fang looked back at her. She was still looking at the door that she once was so excited to see. Fang turned and walked up her.
“Blue doesn’t hate you,” Fang said, “He’s just not well right now. When he’s better I’m sure he’ll tell you that himself.”
“When you’re sick you don’t push people away,” Arisa said.
Fang paused, looking for the right words, “Sometimes when you’re sick you want to be left alone for a while. But later when you feel a little better you ask others for help. Right now, Blue just needs some time to figure it all out. When he’s ready I’m sure you’ll be the one he asks for help.”
Arisa turned away from the door. Fang placed one hand on her arm. She twisted away from his touch as if she was in pain. Fang’s eyes narrowed.
“Let me see it,” Fang said.
With her head down she pulled up her sleeve. A dark bruise took up most of her arm. Fang sighed.
“Did that happen last night?” he asked.
Arisa nodded, “I just wanted to help,” she said quietly.
“I know you did,” Fang said, “I’m sure Blue will realize it soon enough.”
Fang brought her down to the medical closet, where anything from a Band-Aid and a defibrillator was kept. As they passed the kitchen Fang stopped.
“What are you doing, Alister?” Fang said through the closed door.
“Getting’ myself a snack!” Alister said, “What’s it look like?”
Fang pushed the door open, Alister stood in front of the counter with a flamethrower in his hands. Fang crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow in question.
“Eh,” Alister paused, “I know this looks bad.”
“It is,” Fang said.
“Let me explain,” Alister looked up as if the answer was on the ceiling, “Raven. Yeah, it’s Raven’s fault! She didn’t want to cook breakfast.”
“You’re sticking with that?” Fang asked
“She threatened me?” Alister said as an afterthought.
“Out,” Fang said.
With slumped shoulders, Alister walked up to his room. Fang took Arisa’s hand and continued on their way. He looked through the closet while Arisa waited a little ways behind him. She looked down at the ground while she held on to her bruised arm.
“Are you sure it isn’t broken?” Fang asked.
“Yeah,” Arisa said.
Fang found what he was looking for. It was the bruise remedy that Undertaker gave them before. There was still quite a bit left so Fang brought Arisa to the living room. She sat in a chair while Fang gently rubbed the salve on her arm. As Fang used the ointment he could tell Arisa was feeling less and less pain. She stared at the bottle the entire time.
There was a knock at the door. Fang sighed. Interesting how Raven coincidentally disappeared when you needed her for house work. He got up and answered the door.
“Well, it’s so nice seeing a pretty face like your own,” Undertaker said, “I heard the Tower’s looking everywhere for that mug.”
Undertaker had his hand on Fang’s chin.
Reighn sat up, “Yeap.”
“I’d lie low for a while if I were you,” Undertaker smiled, “Well, aren’t you going to let me in?”
Fang stepped to one side. Undertaker whistled.
“You have gotten yourself in quite the trouble, haven’t you?” he said with a smile that one would have if they knew something others didn’t.
“I might,” Fang said, “You tell me.”
“I mean walking up to the Director and asking for directions. Did you really think the Director wouldn’t know you weren’t supposed to be there?” Undertaker laughed.
“Director?” Fang asked, “And how would you know about what happened?”
Mentally, Undertaker slapped himself. For a brief moment his gold eyes were visible under his mess of hair. He did it again. Even Reighn wanted to bite his ear off. Reading minds wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. You had to make excuses why you knew things others didn’t. Undertaker spun on one foot, masking his initial pause.
“I have friends, Fang. My friends tell me things,” he said in a sing-song tone.
“Your friends know quite a lot,” Fang stated.
“Oh, please, Fang,” Undertaker turned to him, “It’s mostly street chatter. Everyone knows a little something of the truth, whether they know it or not. Just piece the fragments together and vuala! You get the truth!”
“If you’ll excuse me,” Fang said, “I was attending to Arisa’s bruise.”
“Speaking of which,” Undertaker looked around, “Where is the little pearl?”
Fang looked at the chair where she was sitting, it was empty. The ointment was even gone. He looks around the room. Fang wasn’t worried because of course she had to be in the house somewhere. But she was down.
“Ow, my head,” Shadow moaned from the top of the stairs.
“My, my,” Undertaker said, “looks like someone asked to many questions.”
Fang glanced at him.
Undertaker noticed, “What? It looks like your handiwork. But I would have through you’d skip the trouble and shot him then and there.”
“He’s still valuable,” Fang said.
“It feels great being talked about like I’m a chicken or a cow while I’m standing right here and you two don’t seem to notice,” Shadow muttered.
“Did you see Arisa up there?” Fang asked.
“Yeah, she ran up here with something in her hands. I’m not sure where she went. I think I’m seeing double,” Shadow answered.
Fang walked past him.
“‘Oh yeah, Fang, I’m doing pretty good for being punched in the face,’” in a deeper tone he said, “‘Oh, that’s good Shadow. I hope you’ve learned your lesson.’ ‘That I have, Fang. I will never again question your wisdom.’ ‘Good.’ Like, seriously Fang! I can barely see here!”
“I hope you’ve learned your lesson,” Fang said and walked away.
“Okay, okay,” Shadow nodded, “I can live with that. Next time though we’ll have to go through the whole dialogue, alright! Because that is what you say to people you hurt. Other people might say something else like ‘I’m sorry’ but you don’t say that. Not in a million years would you say that,” Shadow paused, “Gosh, I need pain killers. I feel like I ran into a truck.”
“Just a truck steering wheel and windshield,” Undertaker shrugged.
Fang walked down the hallway. Blue’s door was slightly opened. Fang pushed it open a little more.
“Come on, Blue,” he heard Arisa’s voice, “You have to put this on. It helped my arm. See? So It’s gotta help you too.”
Blue lay still, his eyes looking past her.
“Blue?” Arisa said, “Come on, wake up, Blue.”
Slowly, Blue seemed to notice there was someone else in the room. He looked at Arisa as she explained how the ointment works and that there was plenty left for him to use wherever he was hurting. His eyes looked over to her busied arm; her sleeve was still pulled up. The light was enough that he saw the dark streak on her arm. Arisa said that there was no way they were going to be able put on the salve in the dark and she went to turn on a lamp. Blue closed his eyes for a while and slowly opened them as they became accustomed to the light.
He sat up as Arisa climbed up in to the bed with the blue bottle. She poured some in her hand. On accident some got onto the bed. Arisa looked at what she spilled and apologized repeatedly for making a mess. Blue didn’t seem to notice the mess. His eyes were still on Arisa’s arm. Blue picked her up, she spilled the remaining ointment in her and as she was pulled onto his lap. She asked him what he was doing. He held out his hand for the bottle and she gave it to him.
She started talking about how this was her ‘bestest idea ever’. If the ointment worked for her, why wouldn’t it work for Blue? Blue poured some of the liquid onto his hands. He placed the bottle beside him and rubbed his hands together. Arisa seemed happy that Blue seemed to think it was a good idea too. Blue grabbed Arisa’s injured arm and started lathering it in the ointment. Arisa was so surprised that she stopped talking for the first time in five minutes. She stared at her arm than up at Blue.