Fayt is understandably freaked out after Flad drops the big old secret about the connection between 4D space and the rest of the universe. Emotions boil over; confession are made.
Fayt looks at him blandly. His optimistic facade is cracking. "I want to some time to myself."
The blonde maggot scoffs, "No way I'm shacking up with him for the night." He gestures to me irritably.
"That's fine," Fayt replies calmly, "Albel can room with me."
In the pregnant silence, they stare at us. I bristle, imagining that they can see into our secret hearts. What is between us is our business alone.
"Alright," Cliff sighs, "I guess I can't complain, getting my own room and all. I suppose Albel's company ain't much different from being alone."
I sneer at him and turn away from their prying eyes. If they know, I couldn't care less. All I want is to get Fayt alone so I can ascertain his current state of mind. I find it strange that he play acts for the others, but is always true with me.
"If we're done bickering, I'm exhausted," Maria announces with great annoyance. "Can I please get our keycard?"
We go our separate ways and Fayt walks in silence by my side. I glance over at him and scowl. He looks drained. I shake my head angrily and walk a little faster to hurry him along. He gives too much to maggots that deserve nothing but his contempt.
When we get to our room, Fayt waves the card at the panel and the door opens automatically. I step inside and access the room. It is adequate aside from the strange capsules the innkeeper had mentioned. Thankfully, there is a large daybed. Though that might create a problem considering there is only one and we've never shared a bed before.
I hear the door close with a soft hiss and speak without turning. "How do these idiots sleep in those contraptions?"
Fayt's hand on my good arm causes me to turn and I find myself being embraced. His mouth closes over mine and I am lost. Fayt's lips are hot and sweet, and I am instantly addicted to his taste. I kiss him back, greedy for the touch. It has been too long and this desire is too great for me to deny.
Nonetheless, I grab a fistful of hair at the back of his head and pull him back to look into his face. He moans softly, from pain or passion, I know not which. Fayt is flushed and wanton, but his eyes are disturbed. There is desperation wrapped up in the heat of his gaze that does not sit right with me.
I shove him up against the wall and this time the grunt elicited was one of pain. He looks at me with an annoyed expression. "Take it easy. I've never done this before."
His confession gives me the resolve I need to go on. "Do you really want this?"
"What do you mean?" Fayt furrows his brow.
I stroke fingertips along his mouth and watch his eyes grow dark with desire. Ah, that's a better reaction. He whimpers softly as I caress the side of his face. My heart is pounding as I cling to my willpower. Dammit, this boy is dangerous for no other reason than the way he makes me feel.
"Does this have anything to do with the brat who told us that ridiculous story?" I ask.
He deflates and I know I hit a nerve. "Yeah."
"I see," I murmur as I drop my hand and step slightly back from him. "Do explain."
Fayt sighs and covers his face with hand. "Ah...I wanted to..."
"Spit it out," I snap angrily.
"I wanted to feel alive ok?" Fayt shoots back, just as angrily. "Do you understand what we were told by Flad?"
"Utter nonsense, I'm sure," I scoff.
"I...I don't think it is," Fayt replies. "We're.../data/, but how...how can that be so?"
His eyes are shiny with unshed tears and I give into the urge to pull him into my arms. "So what if we are? As far as I can tell, we're more alive than these 4D beings."
Fayt doesn't reply and after a moment I realize he's sobbing. Anyone else, I would have shoved away and verbally humiliated but I figure Fayt deserves it. He is understandably overwhelmed. Perhaps if I had truly grasped what the green haired brat said, I would be just as distraught. Ignorance may indeed be bliss in this case.
"Sorry. You must think I'm pathetic," Fayt says in a low, emotionally raw tone.
I stroke his hair and do not answer. It does not matter if I think he's pathetic. For once, I rein in my cruelty and hold my tongue. Instead I rub his back in comforting circles. It's strange to be in this position and I want to laugh.
Fayt pulls away when he's done crying. He sniffles and rubs his eyes, trying to look stoic but instead looks like the troubled teenager that he is. With a small sigh, I push him toward the day bed.
"Get some sleep, idiot," I tell him, "You'll feel better after you've rested."
In my dreams I am usually fourteen. Dressed in the supple leather armour of a soldier of the dragon brigade, I stand before a great dragon. It is laughing at me.
"To think that the great Glou Nox would raise such an impudent son! How disappointing."
"You dare mock me, you overgrown worm!" I rage, oh how I'd raged back then.
"Albel!" My father hisses as he grabs my arm.
I shake him off and step closer to the dragon and draw my sword. "I see your kind isn't as sensible or wise as I'd been led to believe. You leave me no choice but to beat sense into your scaly hide!"
"Know your place human!" The dragon snarls as it inhales deeply.
I struggle back to consciousness, willing myself out of the dream. Waking with a harsh gasp, I grip the sword in my lap and try to stifle the scream crawling up my throat. It comes out as a long, low moan instead.
I quickly realize that I'm alone. Fayt had taken the bed while I'd insisted on sleeping on the floor. After Fayt's kiss, I decided that sharing a bed was a very poor idea. Quite frankly, I didn't trust myself and him even less. He is in a vulnerable state of mind and while I don't begrudge him that, I feel like sex is the last thing he needs. Someone to hold him, perhaps, but I am not the sort of man you turn to for cuddling.
The bed is empty now, and his clothes and weapon are gone. I worry that perhaps he did something rash and quickly make my way out into the city. There is no one about, which I suppose is just as well. The people are strange here; they stare and whisper nonsense about their Eternal Sphere. I wander for the moment, trying to figure out where Fayt could have gone. I comb each district with my good hand resting on the hilt of my sword.
Eventually I find him standing in front of the display through which we'd entered. He is watching images move across it. I don't say a word as I step up beside him. He looks absolutely distraught.
"If I am a program, does that mean everything that has happened to me was pre-determined?" Fayt asks softly.
"Hmph," I scoff softly, "Of course not. That strange boy said as much. Did he not say that he can't control us?"
"True, but that just means we're NPCs. I wonder...how many people have I met who were players?" Fayt muses.
"Who cares? It's not as though we're actually meeting them," I dismiss coolly.
Fayt gives me a quick look that's shaded with surprise and approval. "I guess that's true. It just sort of freaks me out that I might have spoken with who befriended people who were...being controlled by someone in a virtual space."
"Do you know what I think?"
"Your prattling is meaningless," I tell him, "We are alive regardless of our origin. As far as I am concerned. I am still the son of Glou and Eliza Nox."
Fayt shakes his head, "You never cease to amaze me."
I smirk, "Have you finally realized my superiority?"
"Shut up," Fayt replies without heat, "You know what I mean."
"Hm," I grunt and watch the stars shimmer on the screen. The silence that stretches between is not awkward. He moves a little closer to me before speaking again.
"I think I'm falling for you," Fayt replies so sincerely I want to smack him.
"Tch," I cluck my tongue with disgust that I don't truly feel, "You're a fool."
I turn away from him and spare him a withering glance over my shoulder. "I'm returning to the inn. I suggest you accompany me otherwise I might break that cursed panel with my sword."
I have feelings for Fayt, strong ones, but I'm not ready to deal with them. He should, by all right, hate and fear me; he should be mistrustful of me. This new revelation disturbs me and yet I am secretly overjoyed. My emotions are in turmoil, but when I look back at Fayt he appears serene.