I.V The First of Many..

Athena felt her eyes close as she mulled to herself. What a stupid answer! And he dared to ask a woman that question!? How infuriating!

What did she expect? Snark begets snark~

She adjusted herself once more, trying to alleviate some of the tension in her currently aching limbs. Still! It was a simple question, anyone can answer it.

The fact that he thought you're a bitch is the exact same reason why you don't have friends anymore.

Any kind of frustration that she was currently feeling vanished instantly. That infernal voice... Shut it. She still has friends!

Really? Then where are they now?

Her arms buckled.

Th-they... They're busy with their own lives. She couldn't possibly let them shoulder her burdens.

You're just in denial that you have no one to lean on.

She almost lost her balance. That's... not true..

Your attitude's too overbearing.

Tears slowly pooled back into her eyes. Stop...

You left the easy life for something as mercurial as dreams and morals~


And even now that you have nothing left to lose, you still refuse to see the truth that-

"SHUT UP!! I refuse to go back!"


Eremes was surprised at Athena's sudden outburst, with her form now weighing heavily against his back. Did she slip? Thankfully the coat was still shielding the delicate parts of the circuitry. And as much as he wanted to, he never moved, his hands unable to let go of the wires lest something might go off.

"What's wrong!? Are you hurt!?"

"...no-not a-again...g-get..."


He quickly jammed the wires back inside the box and closed it shut. He could fix it later. Right now he had to deal with Athena's condition. He hoisted her from his back and grabbed hold of both of her shoulders. She was catatonic, her unblinking eyes flooded with tears. Her arms were limp at her side, and her mouth was moving as if to say something, only for the sound to come out as gibberish.

"Athena! Speak to me!"



Her mind was an incoherent mess.

YoU'Re a dIsGRaCe!

Memories, real and fabricated, clashed painfully in her head. She felt as if she wasn't supposed to exist.

A sTaIn tO tHe fAMiLy NaMe!

Whispers and harsh voices echoed so much that she couldn't distinguish her own thoughts from the sea of madness.

yOu sHoULd bE aShAmED oF YoURsElF!

Her vision swam blurrily. Where was she?

wE gAVe yOu eVeRytHing! yOu UnGrAteFuL WeNCh!

She can't remember. All she could feel was...pain.

a dReAm? SuCh a RiDicULouS nOTiOn!


She can barely make out a silhouette of.. something?

YoU wILl nOT dIsOBey Me YoUng WOmAN!


Wha.. what was that? She tried her best to focus on the source of the sound.

WhAT aRe TheSe NuMbERS?! wErE yOU evEn TRyInG?!


Her head swam as she tried to pinpoint the few words that stood out. A... man's voice... Who was he? She trudged through her memories as she tried to ignore the cacophony of noise bombarding her...

A man... Someone that prevented her from committing suicide...


Someone that she had offered to help... It was getting clearer..

"Sn.a.p ou.t. o.f..it!"

She felt something tight gripping her shoulders. Was it real? Was it actually real?

You're all alone.


The voice, it was getting clearer!

It's hopeless..

"Come on! Snap out of it!"

It's all coming back! The feeling of impatience, annoyance, amusement, the sarcasm...

Her desire to die.

You can't run forever.

"Athena! Are you okay!?"

The Family always finds their own.

Clarity made its return as she shook her head, emerald eyes refocusing to show the raining night sky. Athena slowly caught her breath. That was the worst attack she had ever experienced as of yet. Slowly, she sat up straight on the wet pavement, one hand clutching her head as she was greeted by Eremes' worried face.

"I-I'm... fine.."

"Are you sure? I could call an ambu-"

"I said I'm fine!" She found herself reiterating. "Don't you have work to do!?"

Her trembling legs tried to support themselves, denying any sort of help from the worried man beside her. Slowly, she shakily made her way to somewhere that wasn't-


The fleeing woman grit her teeth as her face met wet pavement. Her legs, hell, her own body won't stop shaking. Damn it! She needed to be alone! She couldn't risk lashing out here, she might do something she'll regret.

As if you even cared.

"You're not going anywhere."

Athena failed to notice that Eremes was currently beside her. Go away. Can't he see that she didn't want to be there right now? She tried getting on her own but he immediately slung her left arm onto his shoulder, hefting her weight and slowly made his way towards rooftop entrance.

"I'm taking you down and calling the ambulance."

No. No! Anything but that! She willed her body to move, to try and get away..

But she couldn't.

She was too weak.

"P-please. Don't call the ambulance." Malaka..

"You need medical attention." She heard him speak, his baritone voice taking on a serious tone. "I'm not letting you die or something."

Hah! Ironic~

"N-no! I'm begging you! I-I'll help you with your work, I'll answer your questions! Please! Don't take me to the hospital!"


He stopped walking just as he was about to open the door. That tone...


"Why are you so hell-bent on not going to the hospital?"

"I-I'll tell you everything! Just.. don't call the ambulance..."

That sounded far too desperate. He sighed. How could he refuse? Eremes glanced over to his human cargo. She was trembling, looking absolutely terrified. Far from the sarcastic and confident woman that was teasing him non stop just a while ago. What happened to her that made her so afraid? Maybe he shouldn't... But that's irresponsible... Maybe...

"Fine. I won't call the ambulance." He saw her face lighten up from that one sentence. "I will, however, take you to your room."

Her face fell instantly.

"N-no. I'll walk back there myself later."

Did she think that would work after what happened to her? She looked like she was going to fall once he let go of her arm!

"I insist. You've been out here in this rain for who knows how long. I'm taking you inside."

"A-ah.. B-but do you know what my room number is?" The desperate woman countered. "You don't know, don't you?"

He didn't, but that's an easy bridge to cross once he got there. She should've known that by now. Something's not right. His alarm bells were ringing but he decided to ignore them for now. She needed to rest, not stay here and be miserable in the rain.

"I can always ask reception."

"It's got to be well past midnight, they should be gone by now."

"You do realize that this is still a hotel right? They'll still be down there to entertain late-night accommodations."

Her face had anxiety written all over it. Why can't she just relax? It's her own damn room for crying out loud. He turned the knob and opened the stairway door. He felt his partner trying to get his attention.


Damn it.


He heard her whisper her silent plea. At one moment she's adamant to leave and the next she's begging to stay. He sighed in defeat. Well, he guessed that it was kind of cruel to leave her alone after what she had been through. With that thought, he backtracked to his unfinished work, laying her down to sit against the wall right beside the cabinet. He then took off his coat and draped it around her, the exhausted woman now accepting it instead of pushing it away.

"Fine, I give. But as soon as I am done I am taking you to your room."

She nodded as she rested her head on her knees and wrapped her arms around her legs. He watched as she slowly closed her eyes, as if to seemingly fall asleep despite the constant pitter-patter of the rain on both the pavement and herself. He sighed for the umpteenth time. What can he do? It's not as if he can force her back inside. And he can't exactly leave her alone either. He made his way back to the now-closed cabinet of electronic work, the spare raincoat still arduously protecting it from the elements.


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