Inwhich some nasty, and not quite so nasty surprises are presented

Amon stalk the shadows of Walled City with increasing distaste. It'd been three years since the Factory 'collapsed', and 2 years and 7 months since Robin disapeared. Since then, he'd been wandering around this small section of city in a daze, returning to the hole he'd called home since leaving the STN. Always returning to see if she'd come back. She had been where he'd left her one morning, and gone later that afternoon. He shrugged deeper into his coat, trying hard to shake the feeling that he had made some big mistakes with her. She'd snapped, her power had taken over, he told himself repeatedly. Which is why he's out in the cold to hunt her down. His world, his life was distroyed and she split. She whom he'd broken free from his shackles for. That wasn't quite the truth, but it was close enough.

So absorbed in his self pity was he, that he stopped paying attention to where he was headed. Relived at the thought of being lost, maybe he could lose himself in the endless twists and turns. Maybe emerging as someone new, someone who's skin he could stand wearing every day. Turning down an alley that he'd never noticed before, Amon tripped over an unseen obstacle. The obstacle was warm and softish, stretched half way across the walkway was a man's leg.

"Hey, man, watch it." The voice was male, and slightly spacy sounding. "You could hurt yourself if your not carefull." Amon whirld impressively(The way only Amon can) toward the speaker. Inky hair flowed to the barren earth, a dusty red coat, black pants, and he was smoking. Exhaling, actually. A deep sticky sorta smell. "Or worse, you could get lost...which is my predicament." Amon rolled his eyes inwardly. "I'm not lost really", said the man " I just don't know exactly which way is home."

"Perhaps if you'd put down the pipe..." Amon started, but the man turned such kind silvery eyes up to his that he froze. Robin's eyes had that gentleness in them, even the last he'd seen of them. He tightened his lips, and lowered a glower to the man.

"It helps actually." The silver eyed man chuckled, "She'll be worried if I don't get back soon. If I'm stoned, I'll just get there..." The man took another hit, and stared off into space as he let the smoke trickle from his mouth. "You look like you could use some." Without warning Amon was dragged to the ground by a grip which was impossibly strong and a warm pipe shoved into his hand. "My Lady doesn't need a lighter...neither do I when she's around..." He seemed somewhat confused for a moment. "You are lost...that was what brought you to me...I was lost once too. When we're both good and loaded, I'll take you to her. I'm found now you see, maybe she can do the same for you?" It really wasn't a question, so Amon didn't answer. Suddenly reminded of early highschool years, he too raised the pipe and enjoyed the sticky flavor of strong flowers.

Niether man talked when they stood up, and not a word was uttered as they strolled off together. The stranger was true to his word, that he would find his home if he didn't have to think about it. Or couldn't think about it, Amon almost grinned at the moment of clarity that dirfted to him, then was lost again as it was drowned with confusion. It suddenly dawned on him that he was no longer in the Walled City. They were ambling down a driveway that was lined in garden and trees. A voice he couldn't forget was saying something from a shadowy porch. He looked up with surprise and alarm, all this time he'd hunted her, and now, when he was lost, cold, and starving, he finds her.

"Amon? Goodness you look thin! Mephisto, get him in here before he wastes away entirely!" Was all that he caught from the conversation.

"This cub a friend of yours then?" Mephisto ambled with no particular speed toward Amon's prey. "Good, good...never have too many friends..." Robin was making a face Amon didn't know the meaning to as she pushed both men into the house.

"I had a feeling we'd be having a guest tonight..." Robin said, just as spacy-like as Mephisto, as she took their coats and motioned for the two of them to move on without her. The deep well of anger began pushing it's way toward Amon's surface until he caught sent of fine Italian cuisine,at which point his self pity and internal loathing took a backseat to the growling in his stomach. Mephisto was chuckling at him as they sat down.

"I was lost when she found me..." The other man started as they surved themselves. Piling plates high with aromatic mediteranian food.

"As soon as you weren't, I was...no...I was just as lost as you..." Came Robin's soft voice from behind Amon, he would have swivled to look at her, but he was in the middle of a bite so he only eyed her from a sideways glance. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail that hung to her waist, the same sumerset gold he remebered. Her eyes were bright and almost cheerful, though sad as they beheld him. Was he truely in a bad state? She had no more of the childishness left to the curve of her mouth, but she wasn't weighted either. Time was apparrently healing her wounds in a way that he could not boast.

The rest of the meal was spent listening to Mephisto pontificate on the ways of the world, and how wonderfuly things get wrapped up. After a few hours of being full to sleepiness, and a Thai Stick, Mephisto anounced that he was turning in, and off he went. Dissappearing into a darkened hall, his voice in the tune of some ancient song fading off with his dissappearing figure.

Robin was shaking her head and chuckling to herself as she put the last of the clean dishes where the belonged. "One of the last Ancients left...such a pity...so much knowledge, not enough youth for ambition, or memory...such a pity..."

"Robin...why?" Amon was so stoned that the words slipped, but no sentence would structure itself. She turned to him, biting her lip in silence as she looked with such sorrow.

"I...I couldn't watch you tear yourself apart anymore." The sorrow in her eyes deepend. "I couldn't think of how to help you." She shook her head. "There is nothing I can do to save you. You must save yourself." Her back was to him now, and he was on his feet, hands in fists of rage.

"Save me from what!" He demanded in a dangerous tone.

"Yourself." She answered, unafraid, unoffended, and with a loving tone of understanding. "Go to bed, Amon. There is more than enough room for you here. Rest knowing you are safe." She said gently, and drifted from the room. He sank to the floor, staring at the tile pattern for a long time. The self pity wasn't far from his mind as he took the hall that his hosts had taken. Founding an empty room, he collapsed face first on a wide, soft bed.