For the first time since he woke from his death, Red feels old. He feels worn down and tired.

After he had been called out by the numb looking child, Red had shoved the younger out of their mindscape and sealed his Study's door with him inside. He wasn't sure how Azrael would take the news he shouldn't actually exist and if he was honest, Red didn't want to know.

He didn't want Azrael to know and now that the younger does- thank you Hans, thank you so very much- The Russian is avoiding his living persona... again. Heh, seems he was making a hobby of that.

Sighing the rouge allowed himself to go lax in his desk's rolling chair.

Why couldn't his life ever be simple?

Was that too much to ask for?

Or did Fate just enjoying screwing him over at every chance presented?

The Russian wouldn't be surprised if that was actually the case.


Not his body.

Not his body.

Not his body.

How did he get here then?

Why was he in Red's body while Red stayed hidden in their mind...

Oh Gods was he one of those body snatchers he once saw in a movie?

Was he some sort of oversized space leech?

...No, that was ridiculous. He's quite sure one took their physical shape in their mind and since he wasn't a giant bug there he couldn't possible be one.

When he thought about it his mental form was almost identical to Red's but a bit younger and he had both eyes. Maybe he and Red had been twins? Red would be the older twin since his mental form looked older. Perhaps he had died in the womb and his soul somehow got stuck in his brother's body. It would explain why Red taught him and looked after him- you didn't teach body snatchers after all, let alone look after them. Yet Red did both so they had to be family.

But Red said that Nigel had killed him...

Maybe Nigel was the reason he was in control of their body? Maybe the British man had attacked Red and he had been so weak the other had to hide away? Maybe that was why they where orphans?

He wished he could ask Red but the Russian had sealed the Study from within and no amount of begging or screaming would get the elder to open it.

So if Red wouldn't tell him maybe Hans would?

Red did seem to know him after all.


The Red Squirrel's fa├žade persona is even more delusional then he.

Hans had to admit that was rather impressive.

It actually believed itself alive. It actually had its own thoughts and conscious. It didn't seem to realize it shouldn't exist.

It thought itself to be The Mad Russian's Brother.

Eh, he supposed he could humor it or a while. Who knew, maybe it would became a steady source of valuable entertainment in the future?

"Of course Azrael. You have heard of Magical Twins, haven't you?"

The grin on the once Dane's face was as friendly as possible but the devious gleam in his eyes would have been a clear warning to all who once knew him.


"What?"

There's a clear tone of disbelief in the elder's tone as the younger all but beams at him.

"Hans told me the truth. He told me about how I died in the womb and somehow my magic placed me within your mind.

"What?"

"-He told me that when Nigel managed to kill you instead of properly dying I was woken instead and placed in control-"

"What?"

"-that way we could be survive and you had been too weak to take control until recently."

The Russian is certain like a broken record by now but God Damn It, Azrael actually believes that Physco Dane. He actually believes he's his twin...

How the Hell does that work? Clearly he was much older then the persona. And twins always had a Mental and Soul Bond seeing as they where two halves of the same soul.

Hans story is just that; A badly told piece of bullshit. He should deal with this before it had time to fester- he never was one for fallacy- but...

Seeing that joyful look in those shining gold eyes had the elder hesitating.

If he did crush Azrael's delusions what would he tell the younger?

How did he tell the truth in a way that didn't crush every ounce of spirit and will out of the persona?

...

...

A heavy sigh leaves the rouge as he resists the urge to start breaking everything in sight out of sheer frustration.

He didn't, he couldn't. If Azrael knew the Truth...

Gods, he had gotten soft.