164 Days Until Focus And the Uncertain End (part 2)
Evester sat in the bedroom, the only habitable living space, looking over his holoblade reciting information. Dates, circled in his mind even when he didn’t hold onto the documents. They were there, ingrained in his memory from weeks of memorization, along with the question on if things changed. He’d had the documents almost a year ago. Things were different then than they were now, and the Project always used to have to rerun projections. He wondered what would happen if they ran the projections again now.
Would things changed?
The dates tumbled out of his mouth as he did maintenance, along with what was supposed to happen with each one of them.
“You really have them memorized.” Zeydar walked in. Evester looked up to Zeydar who looked worse for wear, but coherent in full.
“You look good.” Evester tried to pry his eyes away from Zeydar who stood similar to how he had in Valaria. The confident Zeydar that others feared. This Zeydar made Evester’s… He focused on his holoblade and its maintenance.
“I wish.” Zeydar sat across from him, forcing Evester to pat attention to him. “I’m just good at acting.”
“What’s up?” Evester placed his weapon down as he looked to Zeydar. The two of them said nothing for a moment and just starred. “No?” There was nothing? Zeydar had just come to him to bother him? Evester’s eyes dropped from Zeydar’s to Zeydar’s lips, thinking of how much he wanted to —
“Kony wants me to go the Stars after we get your dad. To stop them.” Zeydar broke Evester’s train of thought?
“To go back?” Evester’s mind was spinning. What had he been imagining? About to do, in fact? And since when? Since when had he wanted to?
“To go back.” Zeydar agreed, not moving closer but sitting in a way that made Evester wonder if Zeydar knew what Evester was about to do and had changed the converstaion.
“Back to Dreams?” Evester felt a bit of betrayal in it. Zeydar was going back to the Stars. To the Circles. To comfort. Away from the project. Away from all the progress they had made. Away from him…
“Back to a fantasy.” Zeydar shrugged. “The cities are but a fantasy, masquerading as perfection. I won’t go back to Dreams.”
“And do you want to? Go, that is.” Did Zeydar truly want to go back to the threat of the Stars who had used him so fully?
“I want…” Zeydar looked at Evester his eyes drifting for the smallest of seconds. Away from Evester’s eyes to his– “To control myself for certain.”
“Which means?” Evester placed down his holoblade. He was reading the signals and he knew what they meant. The question was on if he was going to act on them.
“After we find your dad. After we get the program running. After all of that. I’m going to full detox, far away from everyone. Far away where no one will get hurt.” The words were like a slap in the face. A moment of clarity that told Evester that this was the focus of the conversation. This was what Zeydar was really asking him for.
“Out here?” Evester could only imagine the consequences. What if the Aralax attacked? What would they do then? What sort of magic would Zeydar give off? They didn’t even know his symptoms and how to best mitigate them. In the middle of nowhere was not the ideal location.
“I have to do it.” Zeydar explained. He was already dead set on it, which made Evester wonder how long Zeydar had been thinking about it.
“You are sure?” Evester was the only one hesitant now.
Evester sat back a bit to take in all of Zeydar’s figure. He wasn’t sure what it was, but Zeydar had come to tell him, to get permission. He wanted Evester’s support and so Evester had to give it. “Then I’ll support you.”
“I figured as much.” Zeydar sighed leaning forward, as if calling Evester back closer. “I never wanted to fall back to it, I hope you know that.”
“I know you have horrors in your mind that you won’t tell anyone.”
“I saw everyone around me die when Arcadia collapsed.” Zeydar’s words were crass, harsh, dark, and light all at the same time. Evester sat reeling in the revelation. He wasn’t sure how he hadn’t thought that Zeydar would have seen that. “I still hear them scream, dying. All of it. It’s never going to go away. I know that now, but I can’t keep using Dreams as a way to escape from it.”
“Zeydar.” Evester watched as Zeydar moved closer.
“I will tell you one day.” Zeydar grabbed Evester’s hand. Intimate, connected, asking Evester to trust him. “Because I need to. I need to tell someone. You and Heia. We are the trio that the project specified and I will lay it bare for you both, but until then I’m trying. Just know that I am trying.”
Evester placed his hand over Zeydar’s. “Just focus.” On me, the words were unspoken between them as Zeydar pulled Evester closer. It was then that Heiphillia’s asked question came back to Evester, a thought he had not cared to think about and was forming with a resurgence. Thoughts from earlier reemerging. Evester grabbed for Zeydar, to pull him closer as Zeydar tugged him. Trying to close the gap between the faster than they were processing thought. All Evester wanted in that moment was to kiss Zeydar when Zeydar froze and Evester did as well. The once open and unguarded expression turned to a flat one. Zeydar looked back behind him, to the window, his eyes narrowing before he got to his feet.
“We need to move.” Zeydar shifted in weight before he rose his hand up and everything was moving. All of their blankets and supplies were being thrown about, collected and consolidated. A jacket was pressed into Evester’s face. “We need to move now!”
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