Prompt: Costumes/Dress Up

Prompt Summary: Maria and Sophia both watch over Fayt, forgetting they're still dressed up. Albel reminds them.


The medical bay remained eerily silent, save for the breathing and heartrate monitors, and Maria shifted in discomfort from her position. She'd taken up a vigil with Sophia at Fayt's bedside. The blue-haired young man lay, comatose, a medical suit covering his entire body.

The damage to Fayt had been extensive. According to the medical officer, once they got him back aboard The Diplo, if they had found him several minutes later, if they hadn't given him the pain medication when they had, Fayt would be brain dead due to massive cerebral hemorrhaging. His heart almost stopped several times as they tried to untangle his body from the way it had landed, and his right arm rested snug against him after they'd relocated his shoulder. Internal bleeding, broken bones . . . the injuries kept stacking up until Maria wanted to vomit. An I.V. fed Fayt fluids.

Potential suicide.

That was the only explanation anyone had for how Fayt ended up on the ground. Albel had scoffed at the idea, claiming that their friend hadn't displayed any signs of depression or suicidal tendencies, but doubts clouded Maria's mind.

"Why couldn't you just talk to us?" she murmured, reaching over to take his hand. Sophia rested her head on the bed itself, a light snoring coming from her. "We could have helped you."

"Could you?" a familiar, sneering, mocking voice asked. Maria internally groaned at Albel's intrusion. "Could you really have helped him, or is it just wishful thinking, thanks to that ridiculous costume you're wearing?"

Maria blinked then glanced down. Her cheeks heated up with her embarrassment. She and Sophia hadn't changed out of their costumes from the party. The younger girl still wore her witch's outfit while Maria remained clad in iridescent pink and purple, a fairy outfit. She then scowled and faced Albel.

"At least we're here," she hissed. "What did you do the moment they finished wrapping him up? You took off, like a coward . . ."

"I took off so as not to kill anyone," Albel intoned darkly. His expression and his eyes matched his tone of voice. "In case you didn't see it through your self-recriminations, there's a mark on the back of Leingod's neck. It wasn't there when we left for the surface, and it certainly wasn't there when he and I parted ways for that short time."

"A mark," Maria deadpanned. "That's what set you off? A mark? He fell off a cliff! He jumped. Of course, he's going to have a mark . . ."

"Not just any mark, and he didn't jump, you fool," Albel said. "The mark belongs to the next chosen commander of the Dragon Brigade. If there's no one worthy amongst the ranks, when the colors on the trees begin to turn, the last true captain is able to put that mark on the one he wishes to replace him."

"Why would Vox mark Fayt?" Maria snorted. "According to Cliff, he hated you and them both."

"Vox wouldn't," Albel agreed. "But my father would."

"What?"

"Leingod didn't jump, you fool. He was pushed. My father is what's keeping him alive right now." Albel's eyes glittered. "I'd bet the Crimson Scourge on that."