Spirits Among Us

Chapter 2

After the trek back to the Underground in the cold rain, Jak and Daxter was greeted with an empty hideout,

"Huh, I wonder what went down to make the old grump leave his hidey hole." Daxter said as he hopped onto the bunk closest to the hanging zoomer with all the grace he can conjure from his tired body. Hanging on for dear life can be exhausting.

But between the two of them, Jak was the worst of them. Being covered in cuts, scrapes, bruises, metal head blood, his own blood, and mud can sure dampen one's mood,

"I'm gonna go get a bath before whatever mud is left to harden." Jak says as he heads towards the door behind Torn's desk. His voice sounding as if he had gurgled gravel.

"Okay, but I get one after you. So save some hot water for me!" Dax calls out as Jak goes down the hall to the bathroom.

Once he enters the small bathroom, he flips the light switch, illuminating the tiny space in a dull yellow glow from one lone light bulb hanging from the ceiling, giving the room a candle light glow to it. It was kinda relaxing. Jak shrugs his shoulders and closes the door and locking it as he strolls over to the tub and turns the water on. Once he gets the temperature of the water where he wants it, he starts to strip off his gear and peeling his clothes off earning a hiss or two from his busted lips. He looks up at the mirror and wishing he didn't. Eying all the scars that littered his body, some old and some new. Slowly reaching up and gently tracing one scar, a rather large one, that ran diagonally across his chest. It's light violet hue glowing eerily from his touch, following his fingers, leaving a glowing trail behind then fading as his fingers slide down the scar. From watching the display in the mirror, the memories start to show their ugly head, making his head start to ache more than it already did. A faint whimper escapes him, the memories still fresh in his tormented mind. What they did to him was wrong and unjustified and he'll make them pay for it. For torturing, beating, experimenting, and stealing two years of his life from him. He shuts his eyes and shakes his head, then heads towards the tub and turns the water off. He carefully steps in the warm water, slowly sitting down and relaxing into the water. Feeling the pain melt away into the water. Sinking into the water, just below his nose, letting his thoughts flood his mind. Thoughts of Sandover started to fill his mind making him smile as the memories of him and his friends playing on the beach of Sentinel Beach and racing through the Mountain Pass play in his mind.

The memories stop playing when he hears faint clicking of rocks on a stone floor. He looks over the tub seeing coals laying on the floor, he watches them for a moment. There was maybe ten coals lying there, some of them in different sizes.

Jak let's a lazy smirk cross his tired features as the little coals' eyes slowly open, realizing they've been spotted, but they don't make to scramble away. Instead they roll towards the tub and look up with their big goofy looking eyes.

Jak chuckles a bit as he crosses his arms on the rim of the tub and propping his chin on his arms and looks down at them,

"Hey there. What brings you in here?"

The little coal closest to him starts to squeak at him like it's talking.

He sits there listening, being able to understand the spirits' language. Once the little spirit finishes and looks up at him, it's eyes making it look like it was smiling.

He smiles back at it,

"Well, I don't really see why you can't. I'll help." Jak replies then looks around for a moment then spots what he was searching for. He picks up a small saucer and places the half melted candle down where he had picked up the tiny china. He lowers it to the stone floor and watches as some manage to get up onto the saucer, then he lifts it up and dumps the coals into the water and repeats til all the coals was in the water.

Once all the little coals was in the water, they roll about spreading out, then start warming up the water to a relaxing temperature, making a smile spread across his face as he closes his cerealean optics.

~/~

After a few hours pass, Jak is awoken to the sound of banging,

"Jak? Jak! Open the door!" Daxter yells as he bangs on the door with his tiny fist.

As he sits up and yawns, Jak stretches his arms over his head and looks around realizing where he was and chuckles to himself then quickly washing his hair and body in the still warm water. Once he finishes, he climbs out, wrapping a towel around his waist, then picks up the saucer and gets the little coal spirits out as the water drains from the tub. Laying the small dish on the floor with the last of the coals, he watches them shake off and their warm glow return to normal,

"Thanks, I needed that." he says as he dries off.

The little coals smile at him, then they go down through their hidden tunnel network as he puts on a clean pair of black boxers, an off white, knee length pants, and a fitted gray muscle shirt.

"Jak! For Precursors sakes! Open th-" his sentence gets cut off as the door quickly opens, revealing an annoyed Jak,

"About time! I was beginning to think you went down the drain!"

"Very funny, Dax." Jak rolls his eyes as he walks out with his gear in one arm and his dirty clothes in a bag and heads towards the set of bunks closest to the entrance of the hideout, dropping his gear on the floor. Then he heads to the laundry room, once he gets there he dumps his clothes in the machine, gets a detergent packet and drops it in and starts the machine.

Daxter walks in and jumps up onto the dryer,

"Hey, buddy. What took so long in there? You ok?"

Jak had to admit that he liked having a friend care about him, but some things he just wanted to keep to himself, but he guessed it would be good to talk about 'certain' things. Not yet he thought..

"I'm fine."

Daxter looked at him, still wanting to help get whatever is on Jak's mind out in the open instead of letting it fester and make him sick inside,

"Jak, you know you can talk to me, buddy. Right?"

Jak nods.

"Then talk to me. What's eatin' ya?"

He sighs as he looks away from Daxter,

"I don't want to talk about it." he gets up and walks out of the little room and heads to the bunks.

Daxter sits there for a moment then goes after him and sees Jak is already on the top bunk. He wanted to keep trying, but he knew Jak wasn't gonna talk til he wanted to. So he gets up onto the bottom bunk and crawls under the blankets and slowly falls asleep,

"I hope you feel better in the morning, bud…" Daxter whispers then finally falls asleep.