A/N So I am not entirely certain if the pace the story has had so far will continue or if things will settle down a bit in the near future and the actual action of the story will begin to take place at a more novel like pace. Thanks for reading and if you have any question or comments please review.

Chapter Three

He sat at the window, as he had every day since he had arrived here. He didn't like looking at people, because when he saw them he could feel their fear more strongly, and most of the people that stayed here had so much fear; the fear was why they were here, it made them feel strange or do strange things and they were called crazy and locked up here. It was stronger if he looked at them, even stronger still if he looked them in the eye. So he sat in his chair and stared out the window trying to resist the temptation to take that fear for his own.

The Instinct to take that fear for himself, to twist it to his own uses and magnify it was so strong; to make them cower around him and feel his dominance. It seemed all he did these days was to resist that temptation that was so consuming and all present he could think of little else. He knew that the pills they gave him made it better; they dampened the feeling of the fear around him, making it harder to sense and easier to ignore and suppress.

He remembered a few things from Before, but they were so fragmented and strange that he could make no sense of the memories. The longer he stared out the window the more things seemed to come back though. It felt as if he was standing in the center of a violent ocean and his memories were buckets of dirt that he tried to dump beneath him to create an island to stand upon, but his shelter in the storm was being eroded away as quickly as he could make it by The Instinct. He knew that if he failed to create a strong enough shelter of his memories that he would fall into the sea of Instinct and be drowned by it. Slowly, however, so slowly, in fact, that it seemed almost impossible to tell, the storm seemed to be losing power; he was getting better at resisting The Instinct. As The Instinct became easier to resist he was able to remember better and his island could grow.

He remembered meeting the doctor, though he couldn't remember his name despite being told it several times. He remembered thinking he could resist The Instinct and wanting to ask for help. He had wanted to say that he felt confused, that his memories were all over the place, and that he couldn't remember things long because he had to focus on fighting the Instinct. He hadn't said that though, he had looked into the man's eyes and he had seen his fear. The Instinct had been so much stronger as the fear had been of him, and it had won out for precious moments. The heady feeling of control and power had been addicting, as he made that fear grow and consume, overwhelming all his other emotions. Ever since then it had been harder than ever to resist the temptation to use the fear of those around him.

So he sat in the corner of the room staring out the window, desperately hoping he could resist The Instinct. Hoping that maybe if he built his island of memories large and strong enough that the storm of the instinct would not be able to reach him at all at its center. He didn't know if he could last long enough against The Instinct to step out from beneath its shadow, but he hoped, and that was all he could do. Hope and desperately scrabble at the control of himself that always seemed just out of reach.

He twitched as he felt one particular patient pass closer to him, the cloying, suffocating feel of his abnormally powerful fear clawing at the Instinct. He felt tremors move along his arms and make his hands shake as he wrestled with the instinct to pull upon the man's fear. No matter how hard he tried to push the Instinct away it seemed no more effective than if he had tried to push away the winds of a storm with his hands. All while he tried to suppress the Instinct the man's fear crashed against his senses, mocking and enticing him in all the wrong ways. Desperately he wished he could suppress the man's fear as he couldn't the Instinct. Suppress the man's fear instead of magnify it. He snatched at the thought and the hope it brought.

He relented to The Instinct, riding it out; allowing the Instinct to stretch his will out to the man's fear, and just as it was about to grasp that fear and magnify it he tore back control and tried desperately to suppress the fear with his own will. However, fear was itself an emotion of suppression and overwhelming, and even as he tried to destroy it and push it away it gained strength just as if he were to allow the Instinct free reign to magnify it. It seemed that his hopes were for naught as his grasp on himself and the other's fear was weakening and he knew soon he would lose control. His hopes were fleeing him and he couldn't help but fear what he might do. Without hope he was afraid.

Hoping with all his might that it might work and he wasn't just grasping at straws, he reached out with the very hope he felt and fueled him at the moment and instead of trying to grab the fear of the other man with his will he tried to smother it with his hope.

It worked, but not as he expected. The hope slid through and around the fear unaffected by it and ineffectual in stopping it but when it reached the core of the man his emotions flared and his own hope rose up in response. Although it didn't diminish the fear the man felt, it did create a balance, and when he looked away from the window and into the man's eyes the Instinct was quiet. The fear was still there but it existed in balance, at least temporarily, with the hope. He realized for the first time that his instinct had never been to merely magnify fear, but to seek out imbalance between hope and fear and magnify that imbalance towards fear. It had been so bad here because he was always surrounded by those who weren't in control of themselves, the insane, the mad… the unbalanced.

As he gazed into the eyes of the slightly stunned man he smiled as he realized these things and his own hope for the future swelled. He knew he was now more balanced than he had been since he had woken to the Instinct; he felt now that resisting it would not be so hard in the future.

A/N much shorter than I thought when I started but I like where it is right now and I have a good idea of where I want to pick up next and it doesn't follow this scene well. So until next time. Please review and tell me what you think.