A/N: Heyo everyone! Welcome to my first Ergo Proxy fanfic! I recently finished this series and I thought that it was so interesting that I just had to write about it! So here we go!
Come and Save Me
Re-L was surrounded by mist when she opened her eyes. Thick, cloying clouds of it. She couldn't see anything but white and shadows softened by the water in the air. It was hot. The heat clung to her skin and a thin sweat broke out all over her body. The mist caressed her skin and even though it was hot, she shivered for some reason, goose bumps breaking out on her arms and chest. That's when she noticed that she was naked, not even a scrap of cloth hung on her skin. Stunned, Re-L threw her hands over her breasts and looked around wildly, hoping that no could see her. There wasn't anyone there as far as she could see (which wasn't very far to being with in the first place). The raven sighed, blowing a chunk of her hair out of her face. She was still tense, strung like a tight cord, but at least she had a moment to find something to cover herself before someone found her.
"Where am I?" She breathed, so confused as to how she even got here. As if answering her question, the mist parted a little, revealing a familiar mirror and a counter. Re-L's blue eyes widened as she realized where she was. She was in Romdeau! She was in her house! "But…how…?" The last thing she remembered was finding Vincent Law at that stupid little AutoReiv out in the middle of nowhere. She knew that Vincent was Ergo Proxy, she knew that she should be far away from this place…an yet she was here. What it all a dream…? None of this made sense as the woman took the few steps to her mirror, wiping the condensation off the smooth surface to look at herself. She looked the same. She didn't have any make-up on, but she rarely did in the house. She blinked a few times, gazing at her face, wondering what the hell was going on when she noticed something.
There was something moving on her arm. She squinted into the mirror to see it better, and Re-L watched as a thin black line made its way across her arm, over her chest and then snake up her neck. She frantically brushed at herself, and batted the blackness, but it seemed fused into her skin. She stared into the mirror again, unable to watch it with her own eyes and gasped in horror as she saw a single word painted across her skin in black:
Suddenly, a darkness shot out of the mist and slammed into her, pinning the woman against the counter. She screamed in agony, her torso compressing against the hard surface , stuck between the counter and whatever had run into her. A thick, black hand shot out swiped across the mirror, breaking the glass and wiping away the moisture. A pair of menacing, electric blue eyes stared back at her, black lips pulled away from brilliantly white teeth, revealing a sick grin that was only enhanced by the half smile of the mask the monster wore on the right side of its face. White hair fell across obsidian skin, like a snowfall in the night and it would've been beautiful if it hadn't been utterly horrifying.
Re-L screamed, faced with the only thing that every terrified her and struggle to pulled herself away from the monster. But she was stuck where she was, caught in the clutches of Ergo Proxy as his right hand came away from the mirror and grabbed her face. She screamed again, her cry muffled by skin and claws. He had her cheekbones pinched in between his thumb and index finger, her lips in the center of his palm. His other fingers splayed out her left cheek, down to her jaw and neck. He had her in an iron grip, his other coming around her body and clawing at her chest. She shrieked, terrified, trembling and crying, struggling to somehow get away. But he had her, and she wasn't getting away. Re-L was crushed against the proxy's body, his hard chest pressed against her back and head. Claws, pricked at her skin, drawing little drops of blood that ran down her face like tears. Ergo growled, the sound rumbling in his chest and vibrating both of their bodies. Re-L tried to stomp on his foot or kick his leg, but the proxy wouldn't budge. He just squeezed her tighter in retaliation, drawing more blood from her face and chest, claws tearing into her skin. The raven screamed again desperately, but she doubted that anyone was coming to save her. She squeezed her eyes shut, forcing some trapped tears down her cheeks and waited for the end.
Then, the proxy's grip of her face loosened just a bit, just enough so that he could move his thumb across her lips, pushing aside the flesh, touching her teeth. The motion was gentler than anything else he'd done to her, but it was still rough, still possessive. This was a reminder of the memory that would always haunt her on that fateful night. Tears ran freely down her skin, mixing with blood and pain and terror. The raven was forced to stare at herself in the mirror, watch her ice queen image fall apart into that of a terrified little girl. She hated being weak, but against the proxy, she wasn't anything but weak.
The proxy's hand came away from her face, his arm still poised in from of her mouth. His sick grin got even wider, a deep chuckle hissing out from between his teeth. Re-L's eyes widened even more, a split second before he attacked, whipped her face to the right, yanking his claws through her chest to the left. She felt her neck snap; her chest tear open in a rush of blood and then everything was black.
She screamed, her eyes flying open, her body pulled her up into a sitting position instantaneously as she awoke in terror. Re-L was a trembling mess, her breath heavy and short with fear. Her scream woke up her companion sleeping below her on the floor and Vincent snapped away as well.
"Re-L! What's wrong?!" The man was wiggling out of his sleeping back and stood up to check on her. The woman was shaking, visibly upset and clutching her body with her arms. Vincent reached out to grab her shoulders but she slapped his hands away.
"Don't touch me!" Re-L hissed, glaring fiercely at the immigrant. She looked like a cornered cat, all teeth and claws and Vincent stumbled back, surprised at her fierce snarl and that he'd tried to touch her. He hardly ever tried to touch her…she might kill him if he did.
"Miss Re-L…I'm sor-" He started to apologize meekly but she growled at him again.
"Get the hell away from me!"
"What's going on?" Pino had poked her little head out from her hiding place in the back of the hold by the bathroom. All her little trinkets were back there as well as a blanket she used to "sleep" on (she didn't really sleep, but she wanted to do what everyone else was doing).
"Shut up, Pino!" Re-L screamed, scaring the little AutoReiv back into her hiding place.
"Ah! Scary Lady!" The girl wailed.
"Miss Re-L, you shouldn't talk to Pino like that…" Vincent said warily, wanting to protect his friend from the fiery wrath of his crush, but also not wanting to get his head ripped off in the process.
"Shut up! Just leave me alone!" Re-L couldn't take it anymore; she couldn't stay here any longer. The monster in her dreams was standing right in front of her, staring at her with those green, puppy-dog eyes and it sickened her to think about what was lurking under his skin. She couldn't stay here with him, not if she wanted to hold herself together. Re-L was still wearing most of her clothes because it was so goddamn cold outside, so she just grabbed her coat, bundled up and pushed the door up and out of the way before Vincent had time to do anything, but call out after her.
She burst out into the cold, erasing the last bit of fogginess from her brain as the dream finally became insubstantial. Re-L slammed the door shut again and ran to the back of the Rabbit, hunkering down on the cold, metal floor. She sat there, shivering, breathing heavily and dreading the moment Vincent walked out here. I haven't had a dream that bad in a long time, the woman thought to herself. They went away for a while…but started again when I saw…when I saw Vincent turn into a proxy with my own eyes. That had been before Iggy's death, that time where she almost got attacked by that wild proxy and his little AutoReiv. It was like, once she saw the proxy again, all the horror from that night, her close brush with death, it all came slamming back into her. She always wanted to be strong, she couldn't stand letting people see her cry and yet, here she was doing both of those things in front of the monster that horrified her.
"Damn…damn…damn…goddamnit!" Re-L threw her arm to the side and smacked it against the Rabbit. Her fist hurt, she was cold and tired and scared and she didn't want anyone to know. She wanted Iggy…but Iggy was gone. All she had was a man she barely knew and a little robot that annoyed her fifty percent of the time and the other half was spent trying to become Re-L's friend. She had no one, everything she had was gone and all she was left with was her dark memories.
Re-L didn't know how long she was outside, but she'd started to drift off into some cold-induced exhaustion sleep when she felt someone touch her.
"Miss Re-L…?" It was Vincent's soft voice.
"What do you want?" The raven hiss softly, way too tired to be scared of him right now.
"…You should come inside now. You're really cold." The man hesitantly reached out to grab her arm, afraid that she might break his fingers or something but also really nervous to touch her in the first place. Re-L was still off limits because she didn't even like him. Re-L saw the hesitation and knew she couldn't completely blame the guy for who he was. But she would partially blame him for sure.
"Fine." She relented, shivering and wanting to get back inside. Vincent gently wrapped his hand around her arm and helped her stand up. Once standing, Re-L stumbled back inside by herself and flopped back down on her cot.
"…Will you be okay?" Vincent asked, shutting the Rabbit's door.
"I'll be fine." The woman grumped. She felt two sets of eyes on her, watching her closely. I guess this is what I get for treating them like test subjects and studying them all the time. "But do me a favor." She ordered.
"Ah…uh…sure…?" Vincent stumbled over his words, his green eyes looking at the raven cautiously. And that's how Vincent was forced to wait in the bathroom until Re-L fell asleep again without ever knowing why (Pino let him know when she was out).
The next day, Re-L was up before anyone else (okay, she was up before Vincent because Pino didn't sleep) and got out of the room as fast as she could. She didn't even let Vincent do her hair which was odd, because then she didn't even do it herself. However, she did manage to put her blue eye shadow on like normal. Vincent woke up to Re-L's empty cot and Pino's piano-harmonica toy blaring in his ear.
"Wake up, Vince! It's time to get up!" Pino sang, playing a few more notes of her signature song.
"I'm up, I'm up. " He replied groggily, his mind still trying to shove off sleep and figure out what had happened the night before. Re-L had seemed…unhinged. It was new to Vincent to see her like that…she was usually the ice queen but yesterday was very strange. She must've had a really bad dream, he mused, knowing that sometimes his dreams could be horrifying. I wish she'd talk to me…but who am I kidding? She'd never tell me. Vincent gazed longingly at the empty cot and started his morning routine. As he went into the bathroom, he remembered her strange request from yesterday, and smiled a little. Sitting in the bathroom for an hour hadn't been the best experience ever, but he was glad that he could do something for Re-L…no matter how weird it was. As he was getting ready, Vincent heard Re-L call out to him.
"Hey! I'm going to go see what the landscape is like up ahead. I'm going!" Re-L called out suddenly and then the man heard the Rabbit's ladder drop and her footsteps on it as she disembarked.
"Wait! You shouldn't go alone!" Vincent replied, running out of the bathroom and out the door just to see Re-L take off running. What is up with her today? He really was worried about her and turned to get Pino to follow her when he realized that the AutoReiv was in hibernation, charging her battery.
"Oh, geez. Why can't she do that while we're sleeping?" Vincent turned away from Pino and watched his beloved get smaller and smaller for a minute, but then rationalized that she wouldn't be gone long. Maybe an hour or so. "I should get to work on repairs." He told himself, going back inside to get a fresh pair of undergarments before suiting up. "We're not going anywhere until those are done." He got ready and then got to work.
Meanwhile, Re-L had gotten far enough away from the ship to feel safe and alone. She stopped running and looked back at the Rabbit to get her bearings. "Finally, I'm alone." The woman pulled her coat up around her face and yanked her hood on. She was always cold, but the run did help a little bit. She really was going to scout ahead, but she mostly used it as an excuse to get away from Vincent. He was okay, but she definitely did not want to be around his alter ego right now.
When Re-L had gone far enough, the small hills that had been in front of them had turned into quite big hills, but she could still see the ship and Pino could find her with her sensors if need be. If Vincent did a good job on repairs, the Rabbit could just come and pick her up instead of her having to walk back. Re-L shrugged and got back to walking. The hills were just like all the other ones they had traveled through – grayish brown, pretty bare, lacking animal life. The world was a wasteland. But these hills had done a little better for themselves. They had a few trees and bushes, all the knobby roots poking up here and there. When the raven wasn't paying attention, she accidently tripped over an upturned root, falling to the ground painfully.
"Ow!" She hissed, her elbows hurting and her left foot hurt too. It was caught in the root of a skinny, bare tree and when Re-L got her foot unstuck, it ached and throbbed. She sighed. Now she really wished she had Iggy – he could give her a medical exam and carry her back to the ship with ease. She poked her foot, checking it out and while it did hurt, nothing seemed severely injured. The raven rested for a minute and then stood up again, testing her weight on her foot. It ached still, but it wasn't back. She'd live.
"I'll just have the Rabbit come pick me up." She told herself. "They have a telescope too and I'll signal them somehow to come and get me." Re-L displayed a confidence that she just didn't have today. What's the matter with me? I've known about the proxies long enough…they shouldn't terrify me anymore. They're scary, but…Vincent isn't too scary. As she walked, Re-L remembered her dream from the night before, how the proxy had grabbed her, clawed her and then savagely broke her neck. She shivered and shook her head as if she could dispel the memory. She kept trying to get rid of it by walking uphill as fast as she could for the next thirty minutes. It didn't really work, but whatever.
Re-L found herself nearing the top of the hill as the little path she'd made for herself thinned and passed by a gully in the hillside. It wasn't a huge one, but it looked like the mountain had just cracked open and a slip down that could kill someone. The woman peeked over the side carefully and then decided that she didn't like looking down all that much. She started to walk back towards the middle of the path when her left foot hit an uneven patch of dirt and rocks and twisted painfully. Her injured leg buckled under her weight and gave out. She yelped in surprise and fell to her side…towards the gully. She hit the ground hard on her left hip and elbow and even though she was still mostly on the ground, her head and shoulders were out over open air. Re-L hissed in pain but then screamed in terror as the barren earth under her torso crumbled just enough to slide her right over the edge of the drop. She couldn't scramble up fast enough to grab the edge of the cliff and fell, futilely reaching for safety. Re-L's voice echoed off the walls of the gully as she tumbled down the steep incline. Desperate, dizzy and scared to death, the raven's hands scrambled for something to hold onto and snatched, a root sticking out of the ground. She jerked to a stop, her shoulders screaming in pain, her body aching and covered in dirt. Her feet slid around and she managed to find two precarious footholds. She was in deep shit now. Re-L was one lost grip away from tumbling the rest of the way down the cliff-like gully and onto the hard ground and rocks a few dozen meters below her.
"Shit shit shit shit shit…" She swore, gasping in panic and pain, squeezing out whatever life was left in the dead tree root. Her legs were already shaking from her fall and trying to hold the rest of her body up and she knew that she couldn't hold on forever. "What do I do?" The raven pleaded, knowing that no one could hear her. "I have to try…HELP! SOMEONE, PLEASE HELP ME! VINCENT! PINO! ANYONE! HELP!" The woman looked up desperately at the edge of the gully, far above her, praying to an unknown God to help her. The distance between her and the top of the gully looked to be about the height of the Rabbit's sails to the deck…a distance she'd never be able to climb by herself. "Please…" She whispered, tears springing to her eyes. "HELP!"
She yelled for what seemed like hours, until her voice was raw and then fell silent. The day wore on and her stomach growled, telling her that it was lunch time. We should've been moving by now…Vincent probably fixed whatever was wrong with the Rabbit…are they looking for me? Of course, they are. Vincent loves me and Pino…well…I guess Pino can stand me. I promise to be a little nicer to her if I get out of this alive. Re-L was left only with her thoughts and aching body, and slowly dwindling strength to hold herself up. But she was too stubborn to give up and hung on for her life. Time passed, she didn't know how much and then her situation got worse. Her weak, left ankle slipped from its foothold, dangling uselessly under her body. The raven screamed again, her shoulders pulling painfully as they were forced to take on more weight.
This is it. This is where I'm going to die. Grandfather…Iggy…Daedalus…Vincent…
She could feel her grip weakening, her shoulders were shaking. She could only hold on for a little longer.
"Why? Why am I so weak?" She whispered, wishing her body was like Iggy's, synthetic and tireless. Then she could've climbed up by herself and been done with this whole mess. I can't let it end like this…I have to hold on…they'll come…they'll come for me… Frustrated at her own mortality and wishing her body would be as hard and strong as her personality, Re-L screamed again, the raw emotion vocalized in that animal noise. The echoes faded away quickly, leaving her alone again.
Then she heard a sound that gave her a last, desperate hope.
"Re-L? Re-L! Is that you?!"
It was Vincent! He'd found her!
"Vincent! Down here!" Re-L croaked out, looking up, waiting, and hoping. Vincent's messy black hair leaned out above her, the man's fierce green eyes staring down in horror.
"Re-L! Are you okay?!" He shouted down.
"Now is not the time for stupid questions! Do I look okay?!" The woman was both relieved and annoyed that she had the help she did. "Please, get me out of here!"
"O-okay!" Vincent frantically looked around for something to use to pull the girl up, but there was hardly any vegetation to hold onto and he didn't bring anything with him from the Rabbit other than his flashlight. He was scared, scared that he couldn't get to Re-L. She was hanging a far distance from him…he couldn't reach her without some sort of tool. As he searched for something to use, he checked on the woman's condition.
She was dirty and scraped up and as he watched he discerned that her body was shaking, especially her hands. She had been down there for who knows how long. Vincent had fixed up the Rabbit and then he had Pino had gotten everything ready and waited for Re-L to return. But she never did. They even used the telescope to see if she was coming back or signaling them from up on the hills. But she hadn't. So, they'd moved the Rabbit, getting as close to the hills as possible. Then, Pino had spotted Re-L's footprints and Vincent had followed them, leaving the AutoReiv in charge of the ship. He'd trekked the hills, searching, flowing the path Re-L had until he heard her scream. Then he'd found her, his heart in his throat as he figured out that she was in danger.
"What do I do? What do I do?" He muttered, panicking. There was nothing for Vincent to lower down to her…the only thing he could do was try to pull her up himself…somehow. He was about to carefully climb down himself when the worst possible thing happened: Re-L's body jerked precariously, and she shrieked. "Re-L!" Vincent shouted, his heart clenching tightly in his chest.
"Vincent! Hurry!" Re-L looked up at him desperately, tears in her eyes. Her other foothold and crumbled under her weight and she was scrambling to find another.
Vincent started to climb over the cliff, sliding down until his hand hooked onto the edge. He wasn't really thinking at this point, he just knew that he needed to get to her. His hand clung to the wall securely, much more so than he was expecting. Vincent glanced up quickly and noticed that his arm had turned black, his claws coming out as the stress of the situation forced him to change. For once, he was glad it happened. He reached for Re-L, the rest of his body beginning to transform, gaining strength and speed. He could do this if he inched down quickly, using his claws, grabbed her and then climbed back up. He slid down another meter and Re-L looked up in horror at him.
"Stop! Don't change…please…" She pleaded, looking even more terrified at him than she'd been of falling to her death. Vincent's heart ached, sad that she was scared of him, the monster.
"But…" He replied, his voice growing huskier, deeper. "I don't know how to save you without this power." A single tear slid down his cheek as he started at the woman he loved, her terrified eyes locked onto his. Her eyes widened with something else that wasn't terror…it was more like awe.
She was still scared of the proxy that Vincent hid within him, she couldn't deny that. But hearing those words from his lips alleviated a little of her fear. Vincent wanted to save her and he wanted to do it with everything he had at his disposal. Re-L didn't want to die and she didn't want to hurt him or Pino or anyone else by dying either. So, maybe…just this once she could trust him, the proxy him.
"…Okay." She agreed. "Come and save me." Vincent smiled down at her gratefully and inched down further. As he came closer, Re-L let go of the root with one hand and reached for his outstretched fingers. She strained upward, brushing his hand, so close. Then it happened.
She slipped. The raven lost her grip and fell, her arm still reaching for Vincent, her entire consciousness hanging in the air for a slow second. Then she was falling, a surprised gasp escaping from her lips. The next second she heard a roar, her nightmare becoming reality as a blur of white, red and black flashed above her. Then suddenly, it was underneath her. Her body fell into a strong arm, jerking to a stop as the proxy wrapped his arm around her shoulders, his other hand clawing at the hillside. Re-L couldn't believe how fast he'd caught her, her torso now snuggly against Vincent's chest. She stared at his face as he started to move upwards, his electric blue eyes narrowed in concentration and determination. Vincent's face was covered by his white mask, his white hair flowing around her face. With indescribable speed, the proxy shot up the cliff in a few short bursts, literally running and jumping like a normal person would on flat ground. Before she could even take another breath, they were both on solid ground again.
Re-L was stunned by how quickly everything had transpired, but the moment she got her breath back she realized that she was facing her nightmare all over again. The proxy was staring at her, his clawed hand coming towards her face. She recoiled, but the arm around her felt like iron. She couldn't move let alone escape. The sick grin of the white mask leered at her and the woman opened her mouth to scream again, but then she stopped. The proxy was crying, just like he had on that fateful night back in Romdeau, a single tear ran down his uncovered cheek. His hand came up to her face, cradling her jaw before she was crushed in a strong embrace.
It was warm in his arms. And while she was still scared around him, Re-L felt much safer than she had been that night in her bathroom. Almost unconsciously, her arms came up to touch his back, returning the embrace softly. She didn't even really know why she did it, but she did.
"I'm so happy," the proxy, growled, his voice deep. "I'm so happy that you're safe." He pulled back, looking into Re-L's eyes, studying her face. Re-L saw Vincent behind the mask and black skin. Those were his eyes, the same eyes that always stared at her longingly. She'd never seen such a monster look such a way. It was beautiful.
"Vincent-" She started, but then a pair of lips were pressed against hers, Vincent's mask pressed against her cheek. Now, it wasn't the most elegant kiss – considering that she could only feel the half of his mouth that wasn't covered by the mask – but Re-L could feel his love for her as if a wordless conversation was passing between their bodies. The moment didn't last too long as the woman realized that she was literally kissing her nightmare. "Get off!" She snapped, pulling at Vincent's clothes. He pulled away, his eyes shifting back into stunning green.
"Uh…" His mouth didn't seem to work. Re-L eyed him, taking in the contrast of his dark skin surrounding his human eyes for a moment before speaking.
"I'm only going to say this once," she stated. "Thank you."
"Uh…welcome…" he rumbled. Then, seeming to regain some of his senses, Vincent's eyes changed back into the proxy ones. He stood up quickly, sweeping Re-L into his arms like a princess, one arm cradling her shoulders and the other under her knees before dashing down the hillside. Re-L's breath was taken away from her again at the sheer speed at which he could move. They were back to the Rabbit in no time at all.
"Other Vince! Re-L! Hi!" Pino was calling to them as they neared the ship and the proxy leaped aboard with ease. The danger was gone now, and Vincent shifted back into his human form, his clothes still loose and unbuckled as they always seemed to get when he transformed. "You're back! You're back!" The AutoReiv chanted as the man carried Re-L down into the Rabbit. He set her gently on her cot and started looking her over, careful to keep his eyes lowered and blush hidden. Re-L couldn't believe she'd just trusted a proxy…it was a very unsettling feeling, but she soon forgot about it when Vincent touched her ankle and it flared up in pain.
"Ouch! Damnit!" She cursed, her body tensing up.
"Ouch! Dammit!" Pino repeated, making the same face the woman was.
"That's pretty bad." Vincent was gentler as he continued to check the raven's leg. "It's not broken, but you'll need to rest and get off it. He carefully pulled her boot off, wincing as Re-L hissed loudly and smacked him on the shoulders a few times.
"Damndamndamndamnshit!" Swears were leaking out of her mouth nonstop until her boot fell onto the floor with a dull thud, followed by her sock. Re-L's ankle was terribly swollen and black and purple bruises had already formed around her injury.
"We don't have any ice…but we could make a compress." Vincent continued, letting her leg dangle softly before checking the other one. "Pino."
"Yes?" The AutoReiv answered brightly.
"Could you go soak a cloth in cold water and bring it back here?"
"Sure thing!" The little girl did the task quickly and without complaint, which was a rarity. Usually, she was busy doing something else or just plain didn't want to do what she was told. But luckily enough, she was back in a moment and holding out the cloth to Vincent. He pulled up her pant leg a bit and wrapped the cloth around her ankle and secured it with a small piece of string. There were more curses as Vince quickly took care of the raven's scratches, spraying them with antibacterial solutions and bandaging them up. By the time the whole process was done, Re-L was so done.
"Okay! That's enough of that!' She declared, batting Vincent's hands away. "I'm fine now."
"O-oh, o-okay." He replied. Re-L swung her legs up onto her cot and laid down, utterly exhausted. She was already getting pulled into sleep but she had one more thing to say.
"Thank you." She whispered, dropping into dreams that weren't quite as scary, even with the proxy showing up in them.
"I thought you were only going to say that once." Vincent chuckled, packing the medical supplies away and giving his beloved a soft smile.
"Shut up…" Was the last thing he heard out of her for several hours.
"I'm glad I could save you." Vincent's soft smile got wider as he blushed deeply, just thinking about their kiss. "I can't believe I did that!" He breathed, excited and nervous at the same time. Re-L hadn't killed him for kissing her, so that was a start. Maybe he needed to save her more often.
In any case, they still needed to get to Mosk. So Vincent put the first aid kit away and draped a blanket over Re-L, chuckling at the fact that she was sleeping fully clothed with her coat on. Vincent placed a light kiss on her forehead before heading out to pilot the Rabbit, the rest of the day passing uneventfully.
A/N: And that's all folks! Let me know what you think! :3 See you next time!