Guide Us Through Our Darkest Days

Chapter 5: Faces

If it weren't for the railings at the side of his bed, Pit for sure would have fallen off his mattress from all the bouncing around he was doing. Every time someone walked into his room, he'd ask how much longer it was going to be. He was just so excited! Today was the day that he was going to be meeting his 'older sibling' who would come and play with him. The boy was thankful for the nurses and doctors who took time when their shifts were done to play with him but he always felt a little guilty when they did. They should be going home to their own families after working! Yet he swallowed his thoughts down and let himself live in the moment. He's expressed his loneliness to his caretakers before, especially where his brother doesn't visit him very often. Pit doesn't understand why, but at the moment, he can't go talk to Dark Pit without help.

Dark Pit, on the other hand, was loathing his meeting with this so called 'older sibling' he would be getting. He has one annoying sibling and that was enough. He didn't need someone else bossing him around or bothering him like the workers here do. "It's good for you" and, "It'll help you get better." It's the same old story every single day. Yet subconsciously, he didn't know that a part of him didn't want this routine to break. Every day was the same and he knew what to expect. Sudden changes to his schedule made him feel as though he was walking on a balance beam. The caretakers tried to reason with Dark Pit by telling him that changes to his schedule would be good but he blocked their words out.

The walk through the hallways weren't as bad as Viridi thought. She knew that Paluntena would have no problem memorizing the twists and turns within the hospital, but she wasn't the green haired woman. From Doctor Brovanski's office, it was about a three-minute walk to the C4 area. More frosted glass panels lined the sturdy set of double doors blocking the way. The woman swiped her key card in front of the reader and the doors slid open for the trio to walk inside. Here, the atmosphere was very different. Here, the walls and floors were as plain as plain could be. A white floor with white walls. From this doorway, there was a small reception desk with a few people dressed in colorful scrubs flipping through charts and conversing. The hallway went left and right with doorways lining between.

"This is the middle C4 area. This is where records are held and where coffee is grabbed. There's always somewhere here so if you ever need anything, check in here," the doctor said while gesturing to the desk. The employees there smiled and waves, and Paluntena and Viridi waved back. "You'll get familiar with the regulars who are around here."

She took a left from there, heading deeper into the ward. They walked passed a few rooms, each with their own viewing window. The rooms seemed to each have a theme. One was ocean themed while another was jungle themed. The kids in the rooms were either minding their own or were playing with a caretaker.

"As I mentioned earlier," she said, "C4 is for longer-term cases. Patients who require in-house therapy or who will only be in our care for a few months are stationed more towards the front, or the right side of the middle C4. This side is for our long-term cases. Majority of these cases will need special long-term help into their teen and adult years. Our team of specialists sees to each patient's unique situation, and devises plans to help them through their life."

After a bit more walking, Doctor Brovanski stopped in front of a door with an overly decorated door sign. "Lady, this is Pit's room. I don't think I need to go in there. He knows about you coming, and by gods, he's very excited to meet you. I'm going to walk Miss Viridi down to Dark Pit's room and I'll stop in after to check in," she finished with a smile and ushered Viridi to keep following her. The small blonde woman gave Paluntena a cheeky thumbs up and mouthed a 'good luck' before continuing forward.

Paluntena reached up to knock on the door but for some reason she stopped to catch her breath. With a huff of determination, she knocked on the door and opened it to a whole new world.

Pit's mind was elsewhere when there was a knock at the door. He'd been munching on some crackers while some cartoons sang in the background on the small TV stationed in his room. He was caught extremely off guard when a tall, beautiful young woman with flowing green hair walked into his room. With cheeks stuffed with crackers, he tried to say hello, but all that came out was a garbled string of sounds. He swallowed hard and started choking a bit which caused a look of concern to jump onto the woman's face.

"A-Are you okay? Should I go get someone?" she asked with wide eyes. Pit simply waved his hand in a dismissive motion while reaching for a cup filled with water. After a few swigs he let out a loud 'ah' and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. A smile instantly plastered itself to his face.

"Hello, I'm Pit! Are you my older sibling?"

This caused Paluntena to start laughing, which in turn made Pit look at her with confusion. She suddenly understood why Val had said his smiles were contagious around the unit.

"Yes, I'm Lady Paluntena, but you can just call me Paluntena," she held her hand out for Pit to shake it. He gladly accepted and shook hands with her.

"Why only just 'Paluntena?' Lady Paluntena is such a pretty name! It's like… like… a god name!" Pit asked her while she slung her purse on the edge of a nearby chair and while she scooched it closer to Pit's bed.

"Well, 'Lady Paluntena' is kind of a mouthful. 'Lady' is a strange first name, so Paluntena usually works. If you wish to call me Lady Paluntena, you may do that."

Pit's face contorted as the gears started to grind in his head and then he started giggling. "Cause people would call you Lady Lady Paluntena!"

"Thanks right! So, Pit, how about we get to know each other a little bit more, since I'll be your older sibling!"

"Yeah yeah yeah!" the brunette boy's eyes sparkled while he nodded his head furiously. "Um… but how do we start?"

"How about we start with your name, your favorite color, your favorite food, and your favorite animal? Would you like me to go first?" Paluntena offered. This was a common icebreaker used to get to know one another, so she figured it'd be easy enough with Pit.

"Yeah, you can go first!" the boy was absolutely glowing with wonder and excitement.

"Well, I'm Lady Paluntena. My favorite color is green. My favorite food is anything to do with vegetables. And my favorite animals are birds."

"Your favorite color is green like your hair!"

Paluntena laughed. "Yes, like my hair. Now you go."

"My name is Pit! My favorite color is blue, like the walls in my room! My favorite food is… is… anything NOT vegetables! Any my favorite animals are unicorns!"

"Unicorns?" this caused the woman to laugh once again.

"Yeah, unicorns! Ones that can fly and that have really cool hair!" Pit made a flying motion with his hand in his explanation."

"Oh, I see. And what's this I hear about you not liking vegetables?"

"Vegetables are icky! Meat is where it's at!" he stuck his tongue out with a gagging sound.

"Well, without vegetables, I wouldn't be able to grow this tall!" she stood up and swished her hair to prove a point.

"What?! So you're saying if I eat vegetables, I'll be tall like you?!" the boy's mouth was agape.

"Of course! Vegetables are what make you strong and healthy after all!" the green haired woman took a seat again.

Pit looked down at his hands in his lap. "That's what the nurses and caretakers tell me. Sometimes I overhear them saying that mine and my brother's growing is 'stunted' and I don't know what that means. It makes them look sad so it must be sad, right?"

Paluntena took one of his hands into her own and looked into his eyes. "Pit, it's not a sad thing. You still have so much life ahead of you—there's no rush to grow! Takes things one day at a time," she smiled warmly. The boy's face brightened up a bit. "Now," Paluntena let go of his hand and instead sat back in the chair, "tell me all about this brother of yours."

"So, Viridi, I've assigned Dark Pit to you. He may be a challenging case, but a spry young woman like yourself could take this, aye?" They walked a little bit further down the hallway. Viridi noted that the doors down here required a keycard to get in.

"A challenge, you say? Ha, this'll be easy. What harm could a little boy do anyways?" the plant lover tossed her ponytail behind her shoulder while walking. Her response brought a chuckle out of the older doctor.

"You'd be surprised. Now, I need to explain a few things here. First, doors down this end of the corridor require key access to get in and out. Pretty much any kind of card lets you in and out. Hell, someone once tried their car insurance card and it let them in. The point is, you'll need a card to get out as well. I advise you keep your card close to you, as we've had some kids swipe them when their owner wasn't looking."

They stopped at a door with a boring 'Dark Pit' doorhanger written in doctor scribble on a piece of computer paper.

"I do need to cover a few things before we go in. First, if Dark Pit ever does something that makes you feel uncomfortable, please don't hesitate on leaving the room and finding any one of us. He's known to get loud. Second, I advise you keep anything expensive out of reach. He's prone to breaking things more often than not. It's not his fault—he can get frustrated if he isn't able to do something and it sometimes escalates. Third, he required medicine every six hours. He's highly prone to migraines. While the medicine helps a little, it can't fully prevent them. If he says he has a headache, just darken the room. The glass here is one way so light from the hallway shouldn't be a problem." The doctor was counting on her fingers as she was talking. "So, any thoughts or questions?"

Viridi would be lying if she didn't say she didn't feel at least a little bit put off by all this information. She thought she would just be playing babysitter. This was like babysitter but on hard mode. Either way, she shrugged her shoulders. "He just sounds like a kid to me." Sometimes her stubbornness was worth inheriting from her mother.

Val smiled at Viridi. "That's what we like to hear. Alrighty then, how about we meet the boy?" She turned and knocked politely on the door. Without waiting for a response, she slid her card under the reader and the door slid open.

"Go away."

"Now, now, Dark Pit. You've got a special visitor here!" Val patiently talked back to the boy while stepping aside for Viridi to step in.

The petite woman wasn't prepared for just how red the young boy's eyes were. They locked gazes momentarily until Viridi deflected hers to elsewhere in the room.

"I don't want to be a part of this shitty sibling thing," the raven haired boy crossed his arms while he sat crosslegged in his bed.

The room was a dark plum colored with gold accents sprinkled around. On the walls were star-like stickers that were sprinkled around. In all, Viridi wouldn't mind having this room to herself. Of course, it was missing the plants she so dearly loved.

"Dark Pit, watch your language, please," Val sighed.

"Bite me," Dark Pit stuck his tongue out at her.

Viridi rolled her eyes and she set her purse down on the floor close to the door. "Okay," she said, and she began to make her way towards the boy. His eyes went wide and he was quick to stand up in his bed.

"I didn't mean it literally, you crazy woman!"

"Of course you didn't," Viridi turned to wink at Doctor Brovanski, who promptly got the message. She gave a wave to the college student before rescanning her card and exiting the room, leaving the two alone.

"I don't want you here."

"And I don't want to be here, but here we are, stuck with one another. It's like fate played a cruel hand, hm?" Viridi was sitting with the closest chair next to Dark Pit's bed, with her legs propped up on his bed. The young boy scooted as far as he could away from her, as if her aura was acid.

"Then just leave," he pointed at the door.

"No can do, kiddo. I need to be here with you in order to graduate so that I can get on with my life. Now, how about we start with introductions. I'm Viridi Nature-"

"I don't care."

Viridi narrowed her eyes at Dark Pit. If this was the game that he wanted to play, then she'd play with him. "I'm Viridi Nature. I'm a college student at Angel Land University studying bio-energy and business. A fun fact about me is that I love gardening. Now, how about you go."

Dark Pit glared at her. "This is stupid. I'm not doing this."

"Alright then, it's going to be a long…" she pulled out her phone from her dress pocket. "three hours then. I've got nothing to do and nowhere to be, so it'll just be awkward for both of us."

Dark Pit studied Viridi for a moment and found that the woman wasn't budging. He let out a growling sort of noise before giving in. "I'm Dark Pit. Don't call me by anything else. I'm stuck in this shithole with my dumbass brother. A fun fact is that I hate it here."

"Mmh. See? That wasn't so hard, now was it?"

The raven haired boy looked at her with a crazy look. "You're not going to tell me to watch my mouth?"

The woman shrugged. "If you want me to, I can. But that's just a waste of time and energy. Besides, you won't actually stop even if I asked you to, right? So there you have it. Now, what do you have to do around here? I'm bored."

The gears in Dark Pit's head were turning. This tiny woman wasn't bossing him around. In fact, she wasn't doing anything. She just sat in the damn chair with her legs up on his bed looking around without a care in the world. Dark Pit wasn't able to pinpoint exactly how the woman made him feel. All he knew is that he was going to be stuck with her whether he wanted her to be or not.

Here's the next chapter to Guide Us Through Our Darkest Days. I'm so sorry about the five-month delay of this chapter. This semester had an absolute killer of a work load. Any free time I had went into playing games and other hobby activities ^^;

I apologize for any spelling or grammar mistakes. I don't have a beta reader to look this over. If there are any inconsistencies with the story, I apologize for that as well. I'm just going based on what I can remember from previous chapters. I could go back and read them to better digest the material, but that's something I'll say I'll do and then I'll never get it done.

So the siblings finally meet! I didn't want to go too overboard with the initial meetings. If I did, this chapter would be insanely long and I don't want that. It's also a bit challenging in remembering that Pit can't exactly move around as well as he actually would. He's very excitable and curious, so I can only really imagine him literally vibrating in excitement. Dark Pit on the other hand, I didn't want to make him over the top. He's going through a lot right now and he has a hard time managing his emotions. It may seem extreme that he's basically locked in a room, but that's because he tried escaping before when they kept him in an open room. This is something I'll talk about later in the actual story, but I just wanted to give a quick explanation for that.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this chapter! I'll hopefully get the next one out soon.

Until next time!