A/n: I think it's a good thing I moved the update day to Sunday even though I missed it. This week has been really good but also really shitty. I had been doing really well, and then Saturday I was using a program called zenpen to help me concentrate on writing. I got about 2,000- 2,500 words into my chapter and walked away for a second only to come back to my fucking windows updating. I'd had multiple tabs open with this app, and it usually saves one in the webpage, but it saved my chapter bullet points tab and not the writing tab. T.T I have to work today, and I have a pretty bad infection and I can't get to the doctor until like thirty minutes before work so it'll be amazing to see how that works out. Anyway, I'm so burnt out from this week and shitty I just can't wait until spring break. I hope you guys like this chapter though, and I hope you look forward to the next chapter!
"You don't have to worry, (Y/n). What you did has protected us more than we ever could have asked for. You have put yourself in the line of fire so many times now just so you could stand in front of all of us. I, of all people, realize just how much you are willing to sacrifice in order to protect, and now it almost really took losing your life to make sure that we would never be bothered by the Samarin army that Mira created to try and tear our family apart, and I can't tell you how much that means to all of us. It doesn't matter if you don't have the abilities you utilized to protect us anymore, your desire to do so is what has given us the strength over this time to be able to move forward now to protect you instead. That is what I want, and I'm sure if I feel this way, all of us are more than willing to put our lives on the line for you to do what you have done for us."
"Masky is right," Jack pitches in as he places a hand on my shoulder and squeezes it in an attempt to comfort me. "It doesn't matter if you have abilities or not- we have all always cared for you just the same. Before you left to fight Sage, you left with us thinking you were a Creepypasta. When you came back a Samarin and we understood what you were capable of, we still came looking after you, caring for you all the same despite the thought you could hurt us. Our trust in you and having you by our side despite what abilities you have, that is what we care about."
"We don't need protection now. We have been protected more than enough by you over these past few weeks. It's time that you fell back on us instead of us relying on you. We'll be here, we'll find a way because we always do, and your ability to protect us right now doesn't matter- what matters is that we are all finally back together and safe with you by our side. Our best friend, lover, sister, whatever- all that matters is that we are all together. United with each other once more." Hoodie grasps on of my hands as he looks into my eyes, his warm brown hues showing the same care that Masky has shown me day one just like he has.
I can't help but feel placated by everyone's presence and hope that they are right. Whatever happens, the most important thing is that we stay together.
And we'll find a way.
We always do.
I swipe my knuckles over my cheeks to deftly wipe away my tears. They still leave cold, ghostly trails down my face and neck, but I shake off the sadness of them as much as I can. Everyone is right. We will find a way to fix this somehow. We always manage to find a way through every impossible situation somehow, and I feel even better knowing that everyone will be by my side through it all this time. To see them repay my sacrifices by standing in front of me this time and shielding me from pain, it gives me enough strength to stand back up on my own two feet, albeit shakily, and try along with them to find a way to get through all of this.
I glance at everyone around me in appreciation and attempt a light, weak grin. Although it's not much of a reassuring expression in my mind, it still causes them to return the grin, which makes me feel better about being a burden to them in my mind. I squeeze Masky's hand and lean into his hand that cups my cheek in a mock hug, then relax, which allows him to pull away. I look at the rest of the people around me and then move to wipe off my face again and stare at the floor.
I can't stand being in this private of a room right now. I have a desire to be out in the open and feel normal. To get away from the places I felt so much pain in. I know I can't stay in this room any longer. So I place my hands behind me and push myself up off of the bed a bit shakily. Masky shoots up from his place crouching on the floor in front of me to steady my weak form, but I hold my hands up to keep him back a little and only gently grasp his arm until I'm sure I have my bearings.
Everyone stares at me with a bit of confusion until I'm steady, then I just look up at Masky to open my mouth and explain.
"I really would like to kind of get away from thinking about all of my troubles right now until I can talk with Slender and get this all figured out. This room, while I feel comfortable in it, just reminds me a lot about what happened and I'd just kind of like to stay away from it all for a little bit and clear my mind to feel better. There's nothing I can really do right now to fix the situation, so I'd just like to clear my head a bit... if that's alright."
Masky's eyes widen a little, but he shakes his head at my behavior. "Of course, yeah we can go to the living room and put you in front of the TV, we can take you to BEN's room to play some games, maybe the study to look at some of the books- anything at all you need. We get it completely, don't worry about it," he murmurs as he places a soft hand on my shoulder and squeezes it, causing me to look at him appreciatively.
Everyone else agrees behind me with only a few looks passing between them to get on the same page. Lilly takes the initiative and bounces herself off of the bed to grab my hand. I look down at her in surprise as she tugs at my wrist a little trying to get my attention.
"Do you think we could try to find the next episode of (f/tv show) that we missed? I... honestly want to know what happens next and was wondering if you want to catch up a little while you wait."
I continue to look at her in complete surprise for a second before I'm hit with a wave of nostalgia and a bit of comfort. I can see the child-like wonder in her eyes that has stayed there even throughout this mess we've been in for so long now, and it makes me remember how simple and sweet things used to be. I softly grin and squeeze her small hand between my weak fingers, finding that last bit of strength to get moving as I murmur, "Of course, Lil."
Masky eyes me carefully to make sure I am okay as I start to take a few steps forward to guide Lilly towards the stairs. I give him a brief look to let him know that I know my limits and I will stop for a break if I need to which causes him to sigh a little and nod, keeping close behind me just in case I need help.
Jack moves so that he hits the bottom stair before I can get halfway across the room and then turns to look at me and make sure that I get there alright. Once I get close enough I give him a lightly chiding look and tilt my chin to motion to him that I am alright and that he can just walk up the stairs normally. I give a somewhat chiding look to Masky as well just to warn him that I'm not entirely helpless, and I end up catching Hoodie's eyes close behind Masky, which are full of worry, yet confidence in my ability. He gives me a crooked smile at being caught which I warmly return before setting my sights on the path before me.
It isn't as much of a struggle as I thought it might be to get up the stairs. I could feel the ghosting of Masky's fingertips near the small of my back with every other step as he worriedly holds his arms out to catch me every step of the way. Once I've made it up the stairs almost entirely by myself, they both back up a bit and let out breaths they didn't really know they had been holding for so long.
The walk to the living room is uneventful and short, ending with my crashing down into the very middle of the couch where it is the most worn out, but still the cushiest part. I feel a lot of weight leave my shoulders the second I sink into the soft cushions, and not a couple of seconds after, Lilly is curled flush against my side and the blanket draped over the back of the couch is taken off to be tucked around me.
The guys still look at me with worry as they stand around a bit awkwardly for a second after Masky hands me the control. I stare at them for a second and then shake my head. I can tell that they aren't used to having me be so mellowed out and dull-eyed. Usually even though I might be feeling at my worst, the fire in my eyes burns bright as ever because there is always something I can do to try and fix it, but right now everything seems absolutely hopeless to me. There seems like there is absolutely no way to come back from this, and I just can't shake it away from me despite knowing that everyone will try their damndest to get me back up on my feet more powerful than ever once again.
I sigh and grit my teeth to hide the pain behind my eyes as I motion for them to sit next to me. Thankfully they don't notice it as they look at each other and then slowly settle themselves down on either side of me. Masky nestles into my side and Jack kicks back on the other side of Lilly. Hoodie happily splays over the corner of the couch, having a lot of room to himself and a bit placated seeing me wanting nothing more than to just lay down and watch TV like the good old days before everything was so complicated.
With that I go ahead and hit the power button for the TV and immediately find myself to be stuck on a news station. Nothing serious scrolls across the bottom of the screen thankfully, but the fear of seeing my name or my picture pop up on the screen still creeps up in my mind. I just stare at the screen for a few seconds, my eyes glued to the pointless message about yet another heinous act within the community that was cleared up with police body cameras and the like. Just as I go to hit the guide on the remote, the newscaster moves on to a new topic that makes her expression go from monotonous to dead serious.
"Our latest on the brutal mass homicide that took place not three weeks ago. Police are still investigating leads of an underground drug ring, however their prime suspect is a woman named-"
Before I can hear all of it over again and be reminded of how I have ended up in all of this mess in the first place again, Masky slaps the control out of my hands and into his lap, where he rapidly changes the channel to some random number that takes us to some random music station playing older rock music. All of us just sit in silence for a second before Masky finally shakily presses the button for the guide and searches up the show he heard Lilly mutter earlier. Easily enough, all of the episodes have been placed on demand, so he simply gives the remote to Lilly and lets her pick the episode.
Everyone can tell that even though we are trying our hardest to make everything seem normal, it just isn't the same. There is way too much that we have gone through and that we have to worry about now for us to just relax like we used to. I zone out as I watch the show in front of me. Lilly seems to realize that things are uncomfortable, but doesn’t much care in her child-like state of mind that is more focused on the right now instead of comparing the past to the present.
Just as I’m about to get up and make my way into the kitchen to find something to occupy my mind with munching on, I hear a heavy pair of footsteps marching down the stairs. With how loud the steps echo down the narrow stairway, I can’t help but stare forward and watch for whoever is going to come down.
I’m surprised to see Jeff actually pushing the wooden door open with light fingers as he lazily holds his other hand in his hoodie pocket. When we lock gazes and he notices the mass of people surrounding me on the couch, a large grin forms on top of his already freakishly large smile. I can’t help but match his expression with how goofy he looks as he starts to make his way over to me.
“Where the hell have you been? What’s up, (Y/n)? Been a fuckin bit.”
I laugh a little bit and ignore the small pang I feel in my chest at the swearing with my sister so close to me, but I try to ignore it. Her vocabulary is already on a straight track to becoming just as bad as mine, and I know that she is stubborn enough not to listen to me telling her she should watch her language and not turn out like the rest of the adults she knows.
“Yeah it really has been a while since we’ve been able to talk without being super stressed about everything.”
“Shit, yeah. So what’s got you so huddled up and looking like a fuckin’ corpse today?”
I clench my teeth to hide my expression again and just shake my head before he can see my eyes flicker away from him as I lie and say, "I'm fine, it's just been rough lately."
He stares silently at me for a moment, no doubt seeing through my blatant lie, but he just shrugs and moves closer to us on the couch.
"Well whatever it fuckin' is, you all tried to have a party without me, so now you gotta deal with me," Jeff states just before he grins and flops down over all of us. I let out a breath but find myself laughing as he dead-weights on us all except for Lilly, who giggles as she curls against the back of the couch enough to let all the rest of us take the brunt of his weight. He lays his head on the side of the couch near Jack, who grits his teeth in discomfort and pouts down at Jeff, who just smiles right back up at him and coos, "Hel-lo there, Jackie-poo," with a teasing wiggle of his eyebrows. Jeff then glances at Lilly who simply grins and laughs her ass off as she joins me in my laughter, despite my groaning. An accomplished look flashes across his face for a brief moment when he sees that all of us have kind of lightened up since the time he walked in, so he just hunkers down in his spot to keep us all company- providing enough comfort to cover our annoyance at his heaviness.
We laugh and carry on a little bit longer as we all lay on the couch watching Lilly's favorite TV show, lightheartedly speaking to each other and not paying attention as much to it as we were before to idly chit chat. I find solace within the lack of substance we fill the conversation with. Every word I feel that I have said within the past week seems to have bore a heavy hole through my skin and embedded themselves within my soul. Nothing has been lighthearted lately I can remember that trumps the feeling of duty and responsibility to my goals I have felt, so it's kind of nice to just let myself drone on about nothing.
My comfort doesn't last very long, however. Just as we settle in halfway through the next episode, I hear another pair of boots descending the stairs. Some part of me makes me look towards the hall again, but this time more out of an irrational dread than out of curiosity.
As I stare, I watch Sage almost dejectedly enter the room to see all of us sprawled across the couch. The room goes dead silent as even Jeff recognizes that there is nothing more important for him to say or do in the moment besides allow all of us to give our undivided attention to her. He doesn't know the whole story whatsoever, but he understands enough to know he needs to shut the fuck up and listen as she begins to open her mouth, but hesitates to speak.
Sage's eyes flicker over my expression as she locks gazes with me. There is a sadness and a helpless emotion in her eyes that just tells me that Slender wants to see me now, and the situation still doesn't look good at all.
"Sorry ta come break you all up again. Slender needs ta see ya now, (Y/n)."
I purse my lips and furrow my brows in thought and worry at what he might say, but nonetheless, Jeff carefully removes himself to allow me to get out from under the blanket. I weakly hoist myself up once he stands and holds the blanket out of the way, everyone trying not to stare at me but not really able to cover up their stares out of the corners of their eyes as I stare at the floor and push myself to my feet.
I can feel everyone's hands itching behind me to help me if I need it and I'm glad to have Jeff standing in front of me with an air of complete confidence in me. He knows if I fall I want to get back up on my own because he's the same way, and he knows he should have full faith in me with whatever I did for everyone to be acting this way. I give him a solid nod to let him know everything is good and he doesn't have to worry like the others, which causes his shoulders to unknot, his worry about me still affecting me a lot.
I look towards Sage as I take my first steps. I've regained a lot of my bearings but it still takes a heavy toll to move my body around. My mind races about Jeff and if I should let him know what happened or not because I want him to keep that air of confidence and very miniscule amount of worry. Then I remember how Hoodie knew and acted just the same way around me, so I start to make up my mind.
I think about it all the way to the staircase, where I turn and lock eyes with Hoodie, who seems like he expects my gaze. He grins knowingly and reassuringly as I ask him softly, "Could you please fill him in while I'm gone?"
"Of course, (Y/n). Good luck."
"Yeah good luck," a few of the others chime in just as I give them a weak smile and start to trail after Sage once more.
When I catch her expression it is hard and worried. I feel a pang of fear race through my veins.
"What did he say?" I hesitantly ask, eyeing her expression from the corner of my eye as she continues to stare forward.
"He... didn't say much. Granted, I didn't say anythin' much either besides that ya woke back up and that'cha were very weak and needed ta talk with him. I mentioned there 'as something wrong with your abilities, and that's when he sent me ta bring ya back. He contacted Hoodie and he requested that I come to get you instead of being pulled immediately away from everyone with his mindspeak."
I can't help but feel warmed from hearing that and appreciative towards Hoodie and Slenderman, because I think they both realize that the situation seems a bit hopeless right now and I just needed a quick break. Either that, or Hoodie did a damn good job explaining the situation to Slender to get him to back off just a little bit. Regardless, I'm incredibly thankful.
"Well, thank you for going up and telling him. I probably could have done it after awhile, but-"
"No, don't even mention it. You weren't in any state ta talk with him when ya first woke up. I had no business bein' there in the moment anyway. I'm not exactly the one that's comforted you all this time." She scoffs at herself, but continues to talk a little bit. "But I'm happy to try an' help ya through this. I know some of what ya feel- not exactly, but enough to know it's hell and I'd be happy to ease it for ya as much as I can after everythin' I've done..."
I just stare at her, lost on really what to say especially when she stops walking. I break out of my trance when she places her hand on the knob of the door in front of her then locks eyes with me. I open my mouth to say something but she just shakes her head in resolve. "There's nothin' you can say to make me feel otherwise, and don't cha dare worry about me. I chose this path on my own, I chose to feel this way when I made those choices, and while I might have been under an influence that amplified it all, it don't mean that I didn't do it. All I'm doin' is tryin' to repent for it all in any way I can to ya..." She stares at me for a second, searching my eyes with her own worry and her own shame before she purses her lips and looks towards the ground. "Now in ya go, (Y/n). I wish ya luck."
I stare after her for a second then nod to her to allow her to open the door. I can tell there will be no negotiation with her and she needs to figure a lot of things out for herself that I can't really help her with much. She makes me recognize that the both of us are taking our heaviest emotions in our hands and dealing with them head on, and that is the thought that gets me to step into the doorframe of Slender's study.
If she is facing the worst head on, I need to do the same as well. We may have been enemies in the past, but we both are similar in a lot of ways.
Not that I like the notion, but I can still see the good in her and her drive, which is the main reason I have chosen to forgive what she did.
My mind wants to think more on it, but when David's eyes jerk up from the papers on his desk, his pen immediately slips from his fingers and my mind blanks as I stand still. We don't say anything for a full minute, but I can see the conflict flickering in our eyes. I can tell that he already knows some parts of it. Agony pulls at the light wrinkles near his eyes from grimacing in pain and sadness for a while. His eyes have a dewy appearance to show he's been holding back all of his emotions, and I can only figure that someone said something about Amy's death to him while I was unconscious.
I furrow my brows in sadness at seeing him that way then move my gaze to the ground and move to slump in the chair right in front of his desk. He watches me the whole way, questions racing through his mind about Amy, about why I fell unconscious, and about why I seems so pale and weak. I close my eyes for just a moment, gathering my thoughts before I decide to open my eyes and meet his deep onyx ones.
He just stares at me for a moment, wondering why I look so distressed and crestfallen, then he notices the dullness of my stare and widens his eyes in shock. Before he can say anything, I move to speak first, blinking away my emotions to stare at the desk so I can just talk to him without seeing what his reactions are, because it all seems like too much for me to bear.
"I only got to speak with her directly for an hour, but I felt like I knew her my whole life. Amy... Amy had been in the back of my mind all along, helping me through life, guiding me to you guys to save you and the Samarin she manipulated. I knew her for only a little bit, but I feel like a piece of my own soul has been torn from me without her there, hiding somewhere in my mind as a reassurance and as a friend that I was supposed to have guide me through life until my inevitable end. But... she sacrificed herself yet again for the greater good in her mind. She didn't have to die. She didn't have to do anything... but she did... and now she is lost to us both." I pause for a second and grit my teeth, trying not to let my guilt get to me and dwell to deeply in the past on what could have been. Instead I just continue. "Amy told me that she knew she had to reincarnate the moment she died to fix the mistakes of her past life and to protect the ones she wished she could have protected in her previous, so she was placed into my body. Because in order to truly fix those mistakes, she would have to sacrifice living again to choose the ability that would undo it all: Interception. In order for it to work, it required both of our consciousnesses to generate my power- hers that gave me the ability and mine that wielded it. But with her gone, now... I can't wield our ability. It took her consciousness being in our safehouse and in my body, and with that link broken, I only have a bit of her consciousness, and it isn't enough. So... not only have we lost Amy... but I have lost our abilities to fix everything as well..."
I bring my legs up into the chair unconsciously as I curl in on myself to try and keep from crying in rage at the world's cruelty for forcing this to happen. I try not to think about if I could have done something, anything differently that could have brought a better outcome to this. I know that looking in hindsight will only blind me from looking in the present and moving on with this. But it's so goddamn hard not to think of things that way.
I can hear David putting his head in his hands for a second, but instead of keeping there he lets his hand run past his forehead in through his hair to look at me once more with dismay. "What did she tell you in there...?" he softly asks. He isn't mad, which is a good sign.
I clench my fists and lay my cheek on my knees, thinking for a moment on everything.
"I woke up in my safe room and Amy gave me a choice. She said that I could return but it would risk losing all of my abilities and she would be lost to the void, but I would be alive or I could move on. There were terms to this. She said if I came back, that I would have to promise to do everything in my power to fulfill her last wish. This was to save all Samarin from what she had done, no matter the cost, and to continue saving those who are misunderstood and unprotected from the cruel world we live in for as long as they can. She wanted me to tell you that and have you help her- ...me fulfill this wish. More than anything she wished for me to save the ones she hurt before by any means possible, but right now... right now it all seems impossible..."
He breathes weakly at this thought but still stares at me. He gulps as he stares at me, catching my eyes and pursing his lips as his expression turns into determination, which confuses me. I don't have to wait very long to hear an answer as to why he wears the emotion so well.
"It... is not impossible for you to get your abilities back if what you are saying is true... but it will take an immense amount of trust and sacrifice from me..."
He folds his hands in front of me as I place my feet back on the floor and lean forward in desperation to hear what his solution is. I have no idea what he could say or what he could do, but I know from his reaction to it that it is going to cost an arm and a leg for this.
"There is a way... but it will be risky. Nonetheless, I am willing to do anything to help save those that I forced her to manipulate and to help you regain your abilities. And if... if it takes possibly losing some of my own abilities then so be it."
"What? What do you mean?" I ask incredulously.
He licks his lip in thought, trying to figure out how he can explain.
"I mean... that there quite possibly could be a way to return you to normal with my abilities. They work in a way so that when I take the core of another Samarin's abilities, my own ability creates a replica of their consciousness that turns that core, thus giving me the power to wield that ability in the way that it took both your consciousness and Amy's to weild your own ability. But if I give you this core and her replicated consciousness, I would essentially have to give every core and every consciousness to you that I have stolen because that is how my ability works. I will be the one left powerless, but... my brothers and you would not be, as long as you continued to channel my ability to them using the mind-linking ability I had stolen..."
"I understand that it would be an immense amount of responsibility placed upon you, however I see no other way to fix this situation to regain your abilities without sacrificing my own. But that... is a sacrifice I would be willing to make in order to fulfill Amy's last wish. I would place my ultimate trust in you and in your capabilities, however if that is the price to pay, risking everything I have built, and all of my abilities, solely for the greater good of Samarin and Creepypastas alike... then that is a sacrifice I am absolutely willing to take. Despite the risk. No matter what."
I'm young, imaginative writer who wants to be free to write and draw as she pleases... although it gets me into trouble 'cuz I end up taking forever to freaking update most of the time.
I'm straight, however I support all types of love and gender identity, and I truly think that diversity is art. Please stay true to who you are inside, though!