Published: February 21, 2015
What was he, again? A beating heart?
He laid there, unable to tell where he was or what he was or how he was. He could have been curled up into a ball or on his side or maybe both, or maybe he wasn’t even there at all.
No, he had to be. He could feel it. He could feel it all. He could feel her claws at the back of his head, scratching at his scalp in search of an open door, peeling off the most outermost layer of his mind. He could feel the pounding everywhere, in the heart he didn’t have and in the bones he didn’t have and in the throat he thought was spilling blood but couldn’t have. He could feel the roses blooming in his eyes and the breeze of their wings on his ears and their legs dancing in the blood that pooled inside of him, weighing him down under the blackness that was all he could comprehend. Every time he tried to think, the static swallowed him again. Struggling to feel something that wasn’t cold, he pulled his coat closer, closed up a little more, wondered if he was hearing himself breathing or if that was someone else.
“…you're far too valuable to just lose like that.”
Huh? What was that?
Oh, right. He was saying something earlier, wasn’t he?
There wasn’t anything to see here even if you could see here at all, but nonetheless Dicro opened his eyes in search of something. How did he get here, again? Right, Ignis was there. And there were eyes. There were a lot of eyes. They were in Umbra’s subconscious… and then the butterflies.
He could feel them there, still. He didn’t remember them leaving. What else could that crawling sensation be? That wasn’t important, though. He remembered the static and the buzz and the lights and the darkness and the thoughts that threatened to consume him and the absence of being and when it stopped, everything was dead. There was a flickering, a hammering, but it was quiet again. Ignis helped him back, and then… well, they were moving again. But what did he say?
Something about shredding… that magician from before… no, don’t shred the magician. Okay. Not a request he liked much, but okay. Is there anything else you need? That’s what Dicro asked, something along those lines. And he said he was just going to stay here in Fray’s subconscious – okay, so that’s where he was. That’s why it was so dark and vaguely familiar. Then Ignis responded to his question, and that response was…
“Suit yourself, I guess. Don't let anyone come and mind creep you while you're away, of course... you're far too valuable to just lose like that.”
Huh. That was weird. Valuable?
Had he ever been called that before? He had heard “I love you,” “thank you,” “I appreciate it,” but “you’re valuable”? That was odd. He wanted to turn over, to look up blankly into the void, but he worried his face wouldn’t come with him.
What was he getting at? Was Ignis just buttering him up because he owed him, maybe twice over now? He wasn’t taking that seriously, was he? Not that he wasn’t appreciative of the offer, but it really wasn’t necessary. Did Ignis know that? Did he know that he was really just doing this for fun? That the Competitions were long and stressful and he wanted to avoid them so it was just fun to kind of… go off and do his own thing with someone who didn’t really have any reason to hate him?
Oh, that was a strange thought. They didn’t really know each other much, did they? They knew of each other, a little, but come to think of it, Ignis really didn’t have any reason to dislike him, did he? He wasn’t there to watch him ruin anything or hurt anyone or kill people and, as far as he could tell, he probably would’ve approved of that, anyway. The extent of their reaction had been Dicro helping him out with whatever he wanted without question or hesitation. He was fine with him using Fray as an avatar, he had no issues pushing him out of her body, he suggested taking over Entirety and then decided to help him do it without Ignis even needing to ask, he sacrificed most of his soul to block out Opine’s connection to Umbra just to make Ignis’ life more convenient, even went on to ask genuinely if he needed anything else and certainly would have at least tried to fulfill any further requests he had. That was awfully convenient.
So that was it. He was a tool. He was the means to an end. But an irreplaceable tool; who else could help him take over Entirety? Who else would? That was interesting. He had never been anything like that before. Even to his friends all he had been was trouble and consequence and a fear that kept him from becoming anything more. But to Ignis, he had to have been more of a something than a someone. You don’t get attached to a tool. A tool doesn’t ruin your life when it doesn’t work perfectly so long as it gets the job done. And it does; it gets the job done to no fanfare, without any rebellion or hesitation or care in the world. You might have a certain fondness for a tool if you use it enough, but it doesn’t become a part of you. It doesn’t hurt you unless you force it to.
Dicro wasn’t expecting it, but the idea was oddly comforting to him. Everyone’s interest in him had always been complicated, full of drops to depth he wished he didn’t know. But this was different. Ignis just needed him to help him accomplish his goals. He didn’t care about his past or his relationships or his morals, he just wanted Dicro to help him take over Entirety and be done with it. It was certainly possible that Ignis would just throw him out afterward, but how often do you just throw a hammer or a screwdriver into the trash after using it? That would be a waste. You might need it later.
Even if not, it didn’t matter. Dicro generally tried to avoid thinking too far into the future. Nothing ever went right there. He preferred to stay blind to it – and it seemed like that’s how Ignis dealt with his problems, too.
He idly wondered what would happen if he ignored the Competition and just… went on with this. It almost sounded nice. He ignored what she whispered in his ear. It sounded nice.
When he opened his eyes again, he found they weren’t his. He swore he heard laughter before he let the darkness take him back.