She hadn't moved in a long time. The ache in her limbs had long turned numb from the stillness. Much like the rest of her. The flickering had stopped some time ago, but she dare not move yet. The shadow she clung to was the closest thing to safety she had. She stayed crouched by the dusty wall, so still that it had settled across her body and she had become one.

Something high above the floor, somewhere near the pitch ceiling moved with the gentle rattle of chains and dusty breathe. For a moment she thought she was watching herself again. But then the movement stopped and she was hit with a wave of dizziness. No, she was in her own body. The movement was something else. Her mind flicked across the possible things it could be.

The movement started again, and again, after a moment it stopped. There was another rattle, angrier this time, of the chains, and the cough was hard like stone and bone. An old knight, she realized. She knew it was old. It had to be. The young ones didn't cough like that. The rattle came again, and the movement was more pronounced. The knight dropped from whatever place it had managed to suspend itself from and landed in the dusty pitch feet from her with a thud, rattle, and grind of chains and bone.

The new dust that had been puffed into the air was for a long moment after the only movement again. She knew the knight was still there, standing in utter stillness. She could hear the pained intake of its breath.

It moved again after too long, stepping toward her in a single massive step. It nearly stepped on her if she hadn't moved, scrambling away in a flurry of dust and movement again. The knight growled, low and quiet and curious. Know, smell you. Why? Who?

She hissed at him in response, almost surprised at his lack of hostility. Hiding, quiet, dark, safe. Dust dust, quiet still. Still.

There was another movement from him, a shifting in his body, bone sliding across bone in the worn grooves of ancient armor. Hiding safe? Hiding who? Hiding why?

She shifted and fidgeted. The dust was too much for a moment and she coughed, too wet. Hide, hide. She hissed softly, almost shameful. Wizard eat, eat blind. Wet sick young, strange. Not good brood. Too weak.

The knight was still for a time. She could see his eyes in the darkness, flicking yellow orbs at her. Her own stared back, watching his breaths puff from him in the swirl of the darkness. Then suddenly he moved. There was no roar, no rage in his movement, no emotion. His fist came at her, the darkness parting around it like a spearhead through flesh. She moved, hissing quiet mean words. Her only way was up, so she leapt, grabbing at his shoulder and heaving herself over the fist that would bring her death. She clung to the bone on his shoulders, hissing more mean things to his ears, the dust and torn cloth flapping and swaying from her movement.

The knight straightened, no longer making a move to knock her from his shoulders. He moved with a slowness that spoke now of caution than age. She leapt from his shoulders, landing in the dust with light footsteps that hardly stirred the ash. She didn't, nor prowled, but spirited across the ground, a chain still hanging from the ceiling rattling at her passing, and came to rest in the opposite corner with another wet cough.

The knight turned slowly, watching her again for a moment with his bright yellow eyes.

She hissed at him after a moment, digging her fingers into the dust and ash deep enough to find the clumps. She threw bits at him, only for them to hit his wide chest and disintegrate harmlessly. Rude rude rude.

He growled a low noise that she realized was a laugh, if she had ever heard one so gentle. This one must have been terribly old. For a knight to know calm, he had to first outgrow his rage and hate. Usually the Light killed them first. Anger?

Yes. She huffed at him after a moment, quiet in surprise by him again.

She heard him move again, softly and almost gentle. He was lower to the ground, his flickering eyes closer to her when he growled softly again. Sick. Die? Bad die? Forever die?

She curled herself further into the darkness, wrapping torn and dusty cloth around her aching legs as if to hide herself. Bad die, she whispered softly, so quiet and brittle it was like they were dust as well.

The knight remained still and quiet for a long time. He made no noise, said nothing further. She curled back into her dusty silence, let the musk in the air settle, and stifled her coughing. He would either kill her here or leave her alone. She wasn't sure, and she couldn't bring herself to care. The grime settled on her and as the stillness seized her limbs as did the despair that followed her. She could not weep, not anymore. So she waited. Waited for a continuation of her agony. Or an end.

Finally, after an eternity the knight moved again. Wet sick dying thing come with old dying knight.

She looked at him, where his shoulders cut the darkness and his eyes glittered sickly yellow like her own. Dying knight? She hissed back. These night monsters did not appreciate sympathy. So she merely asked. She could not give him sympathy if she wanted.

Old knight. Company. Wet sick thing come. Not bad shame death. Come. A claw reached for her in the darkness, slicing it open like a knife. She hissed at him but made no move to swat his arm away. He grabbed at the cloth around her legs, gentle despite himself. Come sick thing. Old knight protect. No hungry wizard. Protect now protect.

She continued to hiss at him for a long time. Nonsensical insults that meant nothing to him. Hate hate hate. She fell into a soft chant at him. She wanted to weep and be angry but her hissing turned to wet coughing and she finally stopped.

He dragged her from her dusty corner and she finally let him. She had given up a long time ago. He put her on his shoulder where she could find a comfortable groove between the hard points if his shoulder armor and his head.

She continued to hiss angry words in his ears long after he had taken her from the dusky hole she had been laying in for so long.

Just a character and style experiment. Apologize for any typos I missed, kinda half-assed the editing. Also sorry how it kinda turns to shit at the end. Might be more later, idk.