I want to apologize for my inactivity on this blog as of late. I’ve been very mentally busy, and it has hindered my ability to focus and create the story that I want to create.
Thank you for sticking with me, as it appears we’re at a whopping 397 follows. That’s amazing! Take care of yourself, and I’ll do my best to get back up and running as soon as I can.
//clings to and hugs tight// c:
Hey, you. Take care of yourself, y’hear? Good to see you. Keep that chin up!
Yet a child. A lonely child with uncertainties, with doubts. Hark had lived longer than all of the Shadows he knew combined, and yet here he was, shaking like a leaf in Commander’s arms. Here he was, burying his face in Commander’s shirt, whining like a child and trying not scream at the injustice of it all.
Why? Why, why, why?!
A muffled, frustrated howl was given as more tears were shed and he held Commander. Held him in a desperate grip that wouldn’t be loosened anytime soon, even as Hark slowly calmed down enough to talk.
"I – I found the Emeralds in my world and they reacted. It was an accident. I didn’t want to be connected to them or anything. They just did. Because of that, I can – I can call onto them at will."
And meet Commander’s gaze with his own, frightened one.
"It’s already hard enough for me to be a leader, hard enough for me to be a hero. I can’t be this. I can’t be anymore. I just wanted a normal life with Satu, Commander! I never asked for this! I don’t want any of this!"
Make it stop. Make it stop, make it stop, make it stop!
The cyborg listened, waited. Hark needed to get this out, perhaps more than he realized. Just how much stress had he been taking on? It seemed they were both in the same boat. Calm but worried eyes watched as Hark broke in front of him. This was never meant to happen, but everyone needed to break sometime, didn’t they? It made him wonder when his own cracks would become too much.
Quietly, a firm hand placed itself between bristled quills - thank Miles for sturdy construction - and pressed Hark’s head into his shoulder. The thick weave of his shirt would serve as a tear rag, if it had to; he didn’t care. Not about the shirt, anyway. About Hark? Absolutely. When the sobbing mess had finally finished his wails, Commander softly cleared his throat, and in a low tone, began to speak.
"…I’ve been in your shoes. Or boots, or sandals, or whatever you prefer. I’ve stood where you stand, Hark; that’s what I’m getting at. Remember the talk we had at the gazebo? Go ahead and bring yourself back there. To a safer place. Go ahead; I’ll wait." He paused, giving Hark a chance to collect himself, and find his assumed happy place.
"You don’t have to be anything you don’t want to be, Hark. And yes; It is that simple. You just have to be you.Do you understand? You don’t have to carry any burden alone, not ever. I don’t care how heavy the burden is.
I’m beginning to learn that now. You have friends to guide you, for you to lean on in case things do get messy. You hear me? You’re not alone, champ. Never have been, never will.”
It was an impromptu pep talk, but hopefully it would be the right one.
A bundle of cloth would appear in a corner of Commander’s room before it shuffled. Shuffled just enough to seemingly produce an emerald. A red, glowing emerald that pulsed gently to a rhythm only comparable to a heartbeat.
There wasn’t a word from the bundle, though, just soft sobs and light shaking.
The quivering lump of cloth on the floor accompanied by a flash was all it took for Commander’s curiosity to fade, only to be replaced by a deep worry as he stood from his bedside and rushed to Hark. Eyebrows furrowed deeply as a polished hand was placed on the hedgehog.
"…Ah, boy…I’ll get you fixed up. Sit tight." The words were quiet, calm, as he deftly scooped up the broken creature and upon rising, carried him to the spot where he’d previously sat. His arms didn’t let go, but rather readjusted themselves in a gentle hug. There would be no questions until he was ready to talk - he didn’t know what happened, but by god, if it wasn’t his responsibility to be there for him…
"…Come on, Hark. Snap out of it. I don’t know what’s going on, but you need to talk to me before I can help you. But go ahead and just take a minute, y’hear? I’m right here.”
And that was all he said, as he waited patiently for his brother to calm, wrapped up in a protective cape. Older by thousands of years, and yet…
Even if it wasn’t the answer he was expecting, Commander was still getting it as Hark outright refused to speak, to talk.
Instead, he screamed, he howled and yelled. He wanted to be left alone, dammit!
[AND I SAID GO AWAY! I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU! GO AWAY!]
A cringe. Why was Hark suddenly so hostile? Commander, for all his merit, couldn’t think of a single offense he’d done to Hark in the past week. So it had to be something else…right? Ears flattened, lungs intook air, and he sighed, rubbing his forehead in thought. How to approach this? Carefully. Careful was just something not in his nature, but when handling a bomb like this? You just had to be.
»Hark. Listen to me. I hear you. I get that you don’t want to talk to me. I don’t understand why, or what I did, but it doesn’t change the fact that to me, it sounds like you need someone to talk to right now more than ever. If I need to, I will come over. Hell, I’ll bring you a warm drink and some food if that’s what you need. But I want to know what’s bugging you, champ.
»…You’re not normally this distressed.
No. No. No. No!
[GO AWAY!] was the only answer Commander would receive. Hark refused, out right refused to talk to anyone. The image of his fiance crying was still too clear in his mind to even…
No. That was all. And Commander would have to take it.
Yeeeowch. That wasn’t the answer he was expecting. It also, believe it nor not, signified that yes, there was indeed a problem, and no, Hark was not okay.
Not in the slightest.
So, steeling himself with a slightly exasperated exhale, and gathering his patience, he reached out again, this time gentler - if such a thing was possible through mental radio, anyway.
»I’ll stay right here, thank you. I’m not anywhere near you, if that’s what you’re worried about. I’m at home, in my tower, and I’m quite concerned now, actually. What’s going on? Something’s not right, and I want to know what. So there’s no need to yell at me - just talk to me, Hark. Tell me what’s got you so…shouty?
Something didn’t feel right. It was a nudge, just a little tap at first; something he could ignore until he felt like acknowledging it. But then it escalated into a knocking. Something, someone, was knocking at his conscience. And it came in the form of a tiny little surge, unnoticed but to the trained individual. But it was strong enough that Commander felt it, and only one word resonated in his head.
So, figuring it’d be intercepted one way or another, he reached into the abyss of the multiverse with a signal:
»Hey, Hark, it’s me. You okay?
I’ll be okay… I think I’ll just go on a run or somethin’.
… Did ya want him for somethin’?
You want my honest answer?
I want to beat his ass in for guilt tripping you like that. But no matter; he’ll show his face eventually. My question is, are you okay?
Hey buddy… If you’re lookin’ for Shadow he just left.
Son of a bitch…
…Do you need someone to talk to, sport?
I would like to sleep.
Not just a nap…but honest to goodness rest. I would like to forget about the bionics and just lay under some heavy blankets, in a cold room, warm food in my stomach, and sleep for hours.
I’m so tired. I need to start taking better care of myself. I just want to forget about all my stress and sleep. Wish I could be one of those hibernating folk, like a bear or something.
Out of all the alternates of yourself you know, who would you say is the biggest gay baby?
Xana. It’s definitely Xana.
Though I suppose he’s not really an alternate, is he? So in that case…
COMMANDER. You're such a badass and I love it <3 Nuff said
Ha! Thanks! I love you too, stranger.
21:A time when you felt the most needed?
When I first brought Opi home.
That kid needed me, and I need him, too. He might know it, he might not, but I will do my absolute best to give him what he needs and help him grow.
I love that kid.